With 80% Friends Like These…

bill-oreilly

In these dirty dishonest days you expect your political enemies deliberately to misstate your positions. How positively Medieval to restate your opponent’s position better than he can before demolishing it. Now is the day of the straw man, and the flimsier the better.

While you expect this from your enemies, it’s disheartening to see 80% friends acting like 20% enemies. In recent days columnists John Podhoretz and Jennifer Rubin have done just that on the marriage question.

Podhoretz published a column in the New York Post about how each side in the marriage debate is happy to use any argument to win, even arguments they otherwise oppose on principle.

He writes, “Conservative foes of gay marriage oppose it any way they can. My guess is that most of them were horrified by the federal standards imposed on states by the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001—yet have no problem with the federalization of the definition of marriage.” Underscore his claim that conservative supporters of traditional marriage, those who usually believe in state’s rights, are happy to have the federal government impose a definition of marriage on the states.

Jennifer Rubin, the “conservative” columnist for the Washington Post online, says exactly the same thing and more in a column about “How did the right lose on gay marrige.” She writes, “[Supporters of traditional marriage] never explained how same-sex marriage ‘harms’ heterosexual marriage.” And she goes on the make the same claim as Podhoretz, “They insisted on federalizing the issue with the Defense of Marriage Act, leading to the current Supreme Court case and turning federalism (usually a conservative cause) into an argument about federal meddling into marriage.”

Put simply, these arguments are not the arguments of friends. They are the false arguments of the most dishonest and vociferous homosexual advocate.

Let’s deal with the federalism issue first. It is hardly the case that conservative supporters of traditional marriage were the first to federalize marriage. The federal government recognizes marriage more than 1,000 times in federal law and regulations and these laws and regulations predate the 1996 Defense of Marriage act by decades.

To give just one example, the Social Security Administration delivers benefits based on marital status. Living wives get the benefits of dead husbands. This has always been unremarkable until 1993 when the Supreme Court of Hawaii ruled the state must show a “compelling interest” in why homosexual marriage cannot be allowed. The worry then was that Hawaii would lead individual states to rule for homosexual marriage and then using the Full Faith and Credit clause of the U.S. Constitution impose this new definition of marriage not only on the other states but also on the Federal government.

Perhaps Podhoretz and Rubin missed the oral arguments in the Supreme Court on March 26. Here is lawyer Paul Clement defending DOMA before the Supreme Court:

Well, Justice Kennedy, two points. First of all, the very fact that there are 1,100 provisions of federal law that define the terms “marriage” and “spouse” goes a long way to showing that federal law has not just stayed completely out of these issues. It’s gotten involved in them in a variety of contexts where there is an independent federal power that supported that. Now, the second thing is the fact that (the Defense of Marriage Act) involves all 1,100 statutes at once is not really a sign of its irrationality. It is a sign that what it is, and all it has ever purported to be, is a definitional provision. And like every other provision in the Dictionary Act, what it does is it defines the term wherever it appears in federal law in a consistent way. And that was part and parcel of what Congress was trying to accomplish with DOMA in 1996.

The first part of DOMA underscores the federalism argument that marriage is left up to the States and the second part underscores the federalism argument that the federal government gets to decide what is marriage for federal but not state purposes. Podhoretz and Rubin must know all this.

Rubin is far worse than Podhoretz though. She has gone on a jihad against social conservatives in her Washington Post online column. Besides the federalism straw man she also says conservative proponents of traditional marriage, “never explained how same-sex marriage ‘harms’ heterosexual marriage.” Rubin would do well to use Mr. Google. Put that question into Google and dozens of examples pop up dating back to the early aughts including several from a magazine where Rubin has published, the Weekly Standard.

In the Weekly Standard, Stanley Kurtz looked at the Netherlands where homosexual marriage had been allowed for some time and showed it likely had a negative effect on the formation of already shaky heterosexual marriage. Family Research Council published a brochure in more recent days making the same claim. And contra Rubin’s silly claim, there are dozens more examples of conservatives “explaining how same-sex marriage ‘harms’ heterosexual marriage.”

Worse than Podhoretz and Rubin, however, is Bill O’Reilly who in recent days said, unlike pro-lifers, marriage proponents tend to “thump the bible” and are losing the debate because of it. Is Planet O’Reilly nowhere near Earth’s orbit? Has O’Reilly never been to the March for Life or 40 Days for Life or been outside an abortion clinic and seen all the religious imagery and heard the prayers? Has he never deigned to look at the reams of non-religious social science data produced by marriage proponents or even listened to their arguments that are almost purely secular?

Disagreement among friends is one thing. Deliberately lying about or otherwise manhandling an ally’s positions is quite another.  Ronald Reagan famously said, “An 80% friend is not a 20% enemy.” Podhoretz, Rubin and O’Reilly ought to remember that before it’s too late, before a heretofore potent coalition is sundered permanently.

Austin Ruse

By

Austin Ruse is president of C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute focusing on international legal and social policy. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of C-FAM.

  • Scott Waddell

    And some seed fell among thorns, the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

  • Alecto

    I heard O’Reilly’s comment, but I do not believe he intended that as a pejorative statement on religious believers or supporters of marriage preservation. He was simply explaining that in this aggressively secular society, using arguments based on the Bible alone to try and convince people who are hostile to such arguments and sources is problematic. Catholic thinkers are profound. There are many ways to attack the homosexualist agenda, and we had better find them all.

    • Austin Rsue

      Hardly anyone does what O’Reilly says. It is a straw man. He does not know what he is talking about…

  • dch

    What is the specific mechanism by which SSM “harms” the marriages of other couples?
    You need to provide specific examples of how a specific same-sex married couple’s marriage directly harmed another marriage.

    • Jhawk77

      The point isn’t that so-called gay marriage directly harms a married man and woman, the point is that so-called gay marriage undermines marriage itself, which is the foundation of society. Americans have done a good job in undermining marriage without the gay community’s help in the last 40 years. Allowing gay marriage will only speed up the culture’s demise.

      • dch

        How does SSM undermine marriage specifically and what does “undermine” even mean?

        Name a harm caused by a specific SSM in MA that “undermined” a straight marriage?

        • Jhawk77

          A specific example has no bearing on my argument. My point is that our culture will be damaged if so-called SSM is understood to be equal to traditional marriage. This format is too limited to go into detail, except to say that nearly all societies were founded on marriage between a man and a woman. If that changes so does our culture – and not for the good.

        • Scott Waddell

          We’ve been through this. When I brought up people being fired for not accepting homosexual fake marriage, you just blithely dismissed it as “Well, gee, if you won’t abide by a companies policies, you should be fired.” Of course we have already seen what happens when a company tries to not to adopt “diversity” policies or refuse to materially cooperate with it against their consciences–it gets the crap sued out of them.

        • Austin Ruse

          Not a straight marriage but marriage as an institution. Look up the Stanley Kurtz piece that looks at the result of gay marriage in teh Netherlands.

        • tamsin

          No, you first. You tell me what is the specific mechanism by which same-sex “marriage” does not harm the marriages of opposite-sex couples.

          You need to provide a specific example of how a non-monogamous, child-free homosexual “marriage” has strengthened a marriage.

          Go ahead. Take your time. There’s a lot of married couples to check in with. But to paraphrase the president, if it saves even one marriage in the state of Massachusetts, it will be worth your time, and we thank you in advance for reassuring us that you are not mindlessly defending homosexual “marriage” without providing evidence.

          How does same-sex “marriage” strengthen marriage specifically?

          Is it that it focuses like a laser on the mutual optimization of sexual pleasure between two adults? And this leads to a permanent, exclusive commitment between the man and woman to whom children tend to result from their heterosexual union?

          Or is there a different mechanism at work in ensuring that children enjoy the basic human right to be raised decently by their biological parents?

          • dch

            1. “You tell me what is the specific mechanism by which same-sex “marriage” does not harm the marriages of opposite-sex couples.”

            Sorry that requires proving a negative.

            2. “You need to provide a specific example of how a non-monogamous, child-free homosexual “marriage” has strengthened a marriage.”

            Ok, I’d say the positive and negative effect would be the same as Newt Gingrich’s multiple “non-monogamous and child free marriages” have had on the overall institution – no measurable effect either way.

            3. “How does same-sex “marriage” strengthen marriage specifically?”

            Well it expands the boundaries to include other committed relationships.

            The fact is there is no quantifiable evidence of harm from nine years of SSM in MA.

          • hombre111

            A non-monogamous, child-free homosexual marriage? By writing “non-monogomous”, you have already stacked the deck. Countless heterosexuals live a kind of serial polygamy, defining monogamy as being faithful to someone for a couple of years or so.
            But, as for child-free homosexual marriage? I know a number of such good people. Their willingness to be faithful to a vow should inspire anybody else who claims to take a vow.

        • tom

          Married Lesbian couples break up, frequently. Sometimes, it’s after they’ve had a child. The “female” of the Lesbian couple often changes her orientation to heterosexuality and “finds a man”. The child is understandably confused because the “male” half of the divorced Lesbian couple retains visitation or perhaps even custody. The child has a new male father and a “female” father, neither of whom fathered the child. Can anyone say psychic trauma?

      • beriggs

        The Christian church has failed in the area of marriage. The defining thesis of protestantism is to separate and divide, therefore, protestant churches have no cogent basis for the permanence of marriage, and therefore, there is rampant divorce in that realm. This attitude has bled into the Catholic world to an almost equal amount, fueled by lax divorce laws and the automatic granting of annulments by the Church. There is no social stigma or shame in having denied the vows of marriage.
        This failure to regard sacramental marriage as a picture of the Trinity and the relationship of the faithful Christ to His Church is the sickness of which the SSM issue is only a symptom. If the Catholic 25% of the population modeled grace-filled, faithful, permanent marriages, this free-for-all would not have occurred.

    • Austin Ruse

      The harms argument is largely theoretical since it has not been in existence long enough to show actual harm. The argument not that it will harm any specific marriage but marriage as an institution. Young people are having a hard enough time forming families. If they now see that marriage is only based on affection, then you don’t need a piece of paper for that. There is some empirical evidence I mention and that is the evidence from the Netherlands explored in teh Weekly Standard by Stanley Kurtz. He shows that homosexual marriage has contributed to an overall decline in marriage committments in the Netherlands.

    • Jeff

      dch, your question is a good one, and there is no objectively correct answer. Divorce rates have actually declined in many areas since marriage equality was introduced. Same sex marriage will eventually be legalized. That is inevitable given the current social trends. If anyone wants to advocate for traditional marriage, it would behoove them to attack divorce rather than SSM. There are many objective reasons to target divorce — effect on children, stress to both marriage partners, expense. It’s very hard to find objective reasons to target SSM. The argument seems to be that marriage equality will draw more people into homosexual lifestyles, which doesn’t appear to be true.

    • cestusdei

      By redefining marriage so that it has no definition what exactly is the benefit? Polygamists are now eagerly awaiting their turn. Destroy the foundation and the house collapses.

      • hombre111

        Iron Fist of God, you speak the truth, I think. Read Bellah’s “Habits of the Heart.” He talks about the huge role only religion can play in turning this around. But we will not do it by trying to bend civil law to our principles. It will happen with the witness of Christians. But, like the society of Rome, many–maybe even the majority–will go the other way. This will give a new meaning to evangelization.

        • tom

          This is…well…er…silly…Hombre.

          • hombre111

            Que tal, Tom? Not really silly. I have been reading Fr. John Courtney Murrray, S.J., probably the greatest American theologian of the last century. He has an interesting discussion about the role of civil law in moral questions. At best, given the nature of law based on English Common Law, he argues that government can only demand them minimum in its search for the common good. This means it is up to religious people to give a better intellectual and moral witness to those who feel constrained only by the minimum.
            I would recommend that you read John Courtney Murray. You can follow the evolution of his thought in “We Hold These Truths.” He began to write and teach in the forties and his thinking played a major role in the document on religious liberty.

  • Franklier

    Bill O’Reilly’s point was that appeals to biblical passages don’t win the argument these days and that we should confront our adversaries in a more rational way. In a BBC TV discussion recently I witnessed two or three Christians quoting tit-for-tat bits of the bible in an effort to contradict one another. There’s always been something ludicrous about ‘biblicism’ of that sort, a phenomenon I fear that is increasingly entering the Catholic Church, which once stood outside that sort of nonsense — the Church put the bible together, is its owner, and has protected its contents from misinterpretation over the centuries. I feel that we all already know that.

    • Austin Ruse

      O’Reilly iknows nothing about the pro-life debate if he thinks it is only secular. He also knows nothing about the marriage debate if he thinks its only or even largely religious. He is just not paying attention to either.

  • John

    A lot of political “conservatives” are libertarians. They don’t want any government interference — either in the free market or in social issues. It follows that they would not want government interference in choosing a marital partner. Most of the conservative elites fall into that category. They can’t make it on their own, so they’ve recruited the army of the “Christian Right” to vote for their views. After all, they reason, people who believe the world is 6,000 years old can be persuaded to believe that unrestricted capitalism is moral, whatever Catholicism and other religions teach, and that a complete government ban on abortion is just over the horizon if only you keep voting for us. The mask has come off this uneasy alliance as religious conservatives are realizing how much they’ve been duped over the years. As a result, libertarians have given up on the deceit and are publicly going back to their libertarian roots. To be consistent, they don’t really want government in people’s private lives any more than they want government in the market. It’s not a betrayal of conservative principles. It’s an affirmation of libertarianism.

    • Theorist

      A historical quibble but the libertarian parts of the Republican Party are actually pretty small. The Republicans act the way they do because they are men of the establishment. That is, they are friends with Rockefeller and his internationalist-interventionist ideals. After all, most of the main neo-conservative thinkers were former trotskyists. The libertarian wing is pretty far out of orbit and just to notice the difference between ron paul’s foreign policy and mitt romney’s or the difference between richard nixon and barry goldwater is to realize this fact.

      • cestusdei

        Trotskyites? Oh please.

        • tom

          They didn’t go away when Stalin axed Leon, they just moved into the University of Chicago with John Dewey, then on to CCNY, and Yale. Now, they’re at Georgetown. Don’t call them Trotskyites, call them “Professor”.

      • Jeff

        Theorist, I would suggest that the internationalist-interventionist wing of the Republican Party is driven in large part by huge corporations that would profit from international intervention. The military industrial complex made a pile of money off of the invasion of Iraq. http://247wallst.com/2013/03/06/ten-companies-profiting-most-from-war-2/3/ lists the top 10 corporations that benefited. Corporatists are libertarian in as far as they don’t want government interference in their “right” to rape, loot, and pillage for profit. If they can profit by getting government to do the raping, looting, and pillaging for them, they don’t see a problem. I don’t think the neoconservative/free market liberals that run the Republican Party really care about social issues. If they did, they wouldn’t have been prepared to tolerate the “co-lateral” damage and human fallout of their wars. So no, I don’t expect to see the mouthpieces of the Right fighting for SSM, especially if it’s going to cost their party votes. So, no, I’m not surprised at all to see Podhoretz and Rubin breaking ranks on the marriage question.

        • Theorist

          A common misconception is that Libertarians=Corporations. I can guarantee that the CEOs of Banks etc. are not libertarians. Let’s take Rockefeller. He was in favor of the UN and population control -not very libertarian. GM is in favor of green environmentalism -is that libertarian? The Morgans pioneered the Glass-Stegall Act and the FED -how is that libertarian? Our very own banking sector today, profited from a massive bailout and this cannot be considered a very liberty-minded action. Likewise, our car industries have, for decades, proven that they are the opposite of libertarian by lobbying for emissions regulations and other anti-competitive measures to block japanese and german competition.

          But why define corporatists as libertarian in as far as they want a right to rape, loot, and pillage? That is like defining a marxist as a libertarian in so far as they also do not want government to stop them from being marxists and destroying private property. One should look at the history of the thing itself, and from that one can readily see that libertarians can only be defined as those who wanted governments to limit themselves so as not to prejudice the abilities of private people to work out conflicts (and not as some would have it, to allow businesses to have untrammeled power).

          • tedseeber

            Population control is very libertarian- get rid of the useless 1/3rd Takers of the human race so that the makers can have More resources. Ayn Rand and Von Mises were both eugenicists just as much as Margaret Sanger.

    • MarkRutledge

      Then libertarianism is a self-contradicting sham. The Defense of Marriage Act did not do anything other than affirm the already long-standing definition of marriage, and guaranteed that one state’s actions would not force another state to accept a novel and radical redefinition of marriage. Further to that point, if SSM becomes the law of the land, it will be done by panels of judges overruling the will of the people. That in itself should be revolting to a genuine libertarian. Oligarchy over democracy? The fundamental problem here is not so much one of political philosophy but of moral philosophy, and it’s muddled modern manifestations. Too many self-described libertarians suffer the same fault as contemporary progressives in that they cannot distinguish liberty from license.

      • tedseeber

        The only difference between a libertarian and a crony capitalist is enough business success to hire a lobbyist. The entire purpose of the libertarian movement is oligarchy- to turn the Declaration of Independence backwards and make it right to pursuit of happiness (ownership of property), then liberty, and if you happen to survive, life.

        • Theorist

          That vision of life is at least, more honest than what we have now. Now we have oligarchs who lie to us about our freedom, adding dishonesty to selfishness. At least a true oligarch will have no shame to conceal when he rules.

  • hombre111

    Hmm. We have gays pining for marriage and all those young people in their live-together relationships or all those young single mothers with children by various fathers and no husband in sight. And who is doing harm to marriage? We need a study about that. Heterosexuals in their present craziness are the real danger to marriage and the stability of our society, and I cannot see how gays led them to that behavior.

    • cestusdei

      So destroying marriage even further is the solution?

      • hombre111

        Beloved Iron Fist of God: You missed the irony. While homosexuals are clamoring for the right to be married, more and more heterosexuals are abandoning marriage. Is there a connection? Don’t think so. I think it is the result of our individualism and institutionalized narcissism. Capitalist marketing efforts which create slogans like, “Just do it!” and then planned obselescence and a throw-away society have a role.
        As I write this, I think Catholics will have to understand that, given all the above, their role is to be counter-cultural. Distinguish marriage from the sacrament of marriage. Support groups like Marriage Encounter or the Christian Family Movement. Socialize the kids into this ideal early on. But in order for this to happen, there has to be a huge level of conversion among adults, especially young adults with young families. This solution cannot come from above, with the proclamations of celibates who know nothing about marriage. Let married people themselves find the solutions. .

        • V

          It is unjust to say that celibates do not know about marriage…

          • hombre111

            Hola, V. I am a celibate. During my days as a pastor, I used to read two books a year by marriage counselors to deepen my understanding of marriage. Gave me something to say once in a while. But, from the point of view of lived experience, I didn’t know a durn thing. I met the real experts when I helped with Marriage Encounter and Retrouvaille. And the material from The Christian Family Movement has a wisdom no celibate could ever have,

        • Austin Ruse

          More and more homosexuals are not clamoring to get married. They are clamoring to redefine marriage but they are not getting married in droves. A tiny minority of a tiny minority are driving this debate…

        • givelifeachance2

          CFM is another of those organizations birthed in Chicago sporting a euphemistic name but having all sorts of bad effects on the Church. Google the founders, the Crowleys, and see that they also godfathered the notorious “Call to Action”, along with their greasing the skids for the contraception wedge into the Church in the 60s.

          • hombre111

            Or even better yet, read CFM’s present day material, and discover a wonderful celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage, with lots and lots of wisdom.

    • HigherCalling

      “Heterosexuals in their present craziness are the real danger to marriage…”
      That present craziness involves the acceptance of some element of Liberalism (Liberalism, as defined by the Church, is a sin — it is condemned by the Church because it is a denial of the truth of things, which ends in a denial of God). Marriage, correctly defined, is perfectly functional. Liberalism is what is destroying marriage. We “cannot see how gays led them to that behavior” because it is not gays leading anything — they’ve been led here by people who’ve been indoctrinated in lie after lie of Liberalism. It is Liberalism (with all its subset ‘isms’ including Individualism, Humanism, Rationalism, Naturalism, Scientism, Secularism, Relativism, Atheism) that makes acceptable (even ‘virtuous’) the enslaving lies of contraception, divorce, abortion, shacking up, single motherhood, and now, taken to its next logical stage, same-sex “marriage.” S-s”m” is not happening in a vacuum. It originates in the greater fundamental falsehood of Liberalism. To the extent that heterosexuals are to blame for the current destruction of marriage, “heterosexualism” is not to blame. It’s not “who is doing harm to marriage,” but “what” is causing those people to do the damage. Understanding, confronting, and mitigating the falsehood of Liberalism is the only way to return to the truth of things and aim toward real liberty and a flourishing life for all.

      • hombre111

        Dear Higher Calling. I need a source so I can see how the Church defined liberalism. I am guessing the definition occured when the Church was confronted by Enlightenment rationalism and its excessive individualism, etc.. In the United States, both conservatives and liberals adhere to the principles of Enlightenment rationalism. Conservatives hue to its economic principles as they are expressed in capitalism. Liberals hue to its individualistic approach to sexual matters. Both sides avoid discussions about the need for responsibility.
        But this still does not get at what the gays are up to in the desire for marriage. I was talking to a friend who lived with his friend for almost thirty years before becoming married when it was allowed in their state. What difference did marriage make? I asked. They wanted this formal commitment to each other, this solemn way of holding each other mutually responsible for the love they share. Heterosexuals could learn somethng from them.

        • HigherCalling

          A couple of sources for the Church’s condemnation of capitol “L” Liberalism (i.e. the philosophy of Liberalism, aka Modernism). The last section lists the many encyclicals condemning Liberalism.

          http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09212a.htm

          Liberalism cannot be seen apart from its direct connection to Protestantism and the rejection of Church authority. Two good books.

          http://www.catholiccompany.com/liberalism-is-sin-p1004428/?

          http://www.catholiccompany.com/popes-against-modern-error-p1004406/?

          My poorly-made point is that I don’t think homosexuals would be desiring marriage were it not for marriage already being redefined into something it never was. Marriage was redefined when society accepted divorce. It was redefined when society accepted contraception. It was redefined when society proudly made abortion the law of the land. Bottom line: marriage has been being redefined by accepting elements of Liberalism incrementally for decades. If it meant what it truly means (the essence and final purposes of marriage), homosexuals would understand that they could never have *that* and likely be content with a different kind of union. But they want “marriage” so it must be redefined (an integral tactic of Liberalism) to suit their desires.

          • hombre111

            HigherCalling, thank you sir, for the sources. It also pins down the date. I think sociologists would give a different timeline about when marriage was redefined. Marriage was first defined in the polygamous patriarchal system of the Bible. Jesus talked about adultery, but I never remember him condemning polygamy. But anyway, Christians abandoned polygamy while they kept the patriarachal system.
            The family in America was defined by farms and farming, with lots of kids needed to make the place run. But then came the Industrial Revolution, the gradual end of the family farm, and the birth of larger and larger cities. There was still a place for kids: they could work in the mills, and they did. But then our nation put a stop to child labor except on farms, which were becoming fewer and fewer.
            Sociologists have documented the gradual collapse of families within this setting. Capitalism and its “creative destruction” was really hard on family life. Then came the Second World War, with millions of women in the workplace and husbands gone for years. When the men returned, they found women with a different attitude. It was the kids they raised who bought into the revolution of the sixties.
            For a while, a family could live on the single income of the father, but with the collapse of labor unions and lower wages, both spouses had to work. Now the family was really in trouble. Anyway, so you see, the story goes on.

            • HigherCalling

              Yes, capitalism is a factor in the destruction of the family; as is socialism. That’s why the Church denounces both — both ultimately fail human nature — one holding the individual as the foundation of society, and the other holding the community/State as the center. One is a false reduction, the other a false expansion. Anything that negatively affects the family, the true core of society (per the Church), is false and must be realigned to truth in order to protect the family (as defined by the Church: the trinity of mother, father, child). Since capitalism is based in Individualism, and Individualism is a product of Protestantism, and Protestantism IS the source of Liberalism (per the Church — as a brazen rejection of authority, which necessarily ends in atheism), it’s more than a little ironical that capitalism is considered “conservative” and that so many Protestants proudly sport the “conservative” label. Catholics would do well to examine the Church’s teaching on capitalism and how it does not comport with a Catholic understanding of man in society. It advances a false concept of man. Same goes for socialism/Marxism, even more obviously. Great Catholic thinkers have written that capitalism and socialism are two sides of the same counterfeit coin — Hudge and Gudge, as Chesterton called them.

              • Bono95

                Oh yes, the Calvinists believe that if you’re one of the saved elect, you’ll have material prosperity on earth as well as in Heaven like all the good guys in the Old Testament. That’s why so many of the bankers in and around Geneva rushed to adopt that creed when it first came out.

              • hombre111

                Excellent!

              • Theorist

                Define capitalism.

                I would agree that “industrialism” is a factor but that capitalism is not. Properly speaking, capitalism as freedom cannot hurt nor help any society. Improperly, yes freedom can cause bad things or good. But always it is never external circumstances which constitute good men, but rather practiced habits (though externals can aid people they must never be conceived as crutches or necessities).

                • HigherCalling

                  I’m glad you demand a definition. That is something we must ask in any discussion, no matter what the issue. We must demand that people (particularly the unprincipled Left) define their terms, or they will redefine things in any way they want and think they’ve won the debate. (And they are “winning” the cultural debate, because they are not forced to define their terms).

                  On capitalism, the problem with a definition is deciding between what it has become in practice versus what it is in theory. Theoretically (I think), capitalism could be in line with a Catholic teaching so long as it remains small — call it micro-capitalism. In practice, it can’t seem to remain in the micro, but inevitably becomes macro, since its basis is in the falsehood of Individualism (which tends toward falsifying concepts like freedom, liberty, justice, charity, etc). It can only end in “industrialism,” commercialism, huge businesses that tend toward monopolies, and ultimately in a merger with the only thing that possesses the power and authority to protect those things — a merger with what is supposedly its opposite — the State. That capitalism in practice produces “wage slaves,” results in a concentration of capital in the hands of a very small few, assures that those, the many, without capital will rarely be involved in ownership, etc, is small potatoes when compared with the negative effects those things have had on the family. Those, of course, are the negative results of capitalism, admittedly ignoring the many positive things it offers. But in my mind, the things that affect human life positively all revolve around capitalism remaining in the micro, where it can’t hold. The eye-opening thing for me came in discovering why this thing called capitalism had always felt so unnatural. I had always felt something essentially wrong about this hectic, capitalistic culture, and then I discovered that I was not alone. I had always known that socialism was fundamentally false, and I kept trying, despite my instincts, to convince myself that capitalism was the only other possible answer. When I found out that the Church, the world’s only teacher of truth, actually had teachings on this (and plenty of great thinkers to back it up), I figured I must be on to something.

    • tom

      Big Gubmint hurts the family by replacing it and then by re-defining it. Now, we have leftists stating the state owns the kids or that “It takes a village.” None of it bodes well.

      • hombre111

        Howdy, Tom. When did Big Gubmint replace and re-define the family? Sneaky rascal must have done it when I was looking the other way. And it does take a village to raise a child. All those grandparents, relatives, neighbors, teachers, police, etc..

        • tom

          Hi Hombre! That, of course, is not what we mean. Can you add, positively, to the dialogue or not?

          • hombre111

            Ho, Tom. I was responding to your comment. My contribution to the dialogue is just above yours on this thread, where I trace the description sociologists give about change and collapse in the family.

            • tom

              You’re still silly, Hombre.

        • tamsin

          I put the re-define at about 1935 with ADC in the Social Security Act.

          • hombre111

            The family got redefined when people moved from the country to the city and got themselves tangled in a whole new cultural reality. ADC? It was to keep children from starving. Is starvation part of the definition of healthy family? For a conservative, the starvation of somebody else’s children might not be so bad.

            • http://www.facebook.com/carson.lauffer.7 Carson Lauffer

              You commit the same error as the article chides people for. What’s the matter with you?

        • tom

          You’re silly, HOMBRE.

    • MarkRutledge

      Another straw man. No one says that the state of marriage is healthy. But a radical and ontologically false redefinition of the institution is no way to improve it.

    • dbwheeler

      I never use the term gay. One way these people have turned everything upside down is stealing the language. They’re not gay,they’re homosexuals. They’re not going to win in the end, either. The wheels of God may seem slow but they grind very fine. Stop letting them define what things are…there is no such thing as a gay marriage. There is same sex attraction and there is so-called same-sex marriage. scssm. haha. They also just adore acronyms, don’t they?

      • Bono95

        Yeah, and they stole the rainbow too, which is rather ironic because it was given as a promise by God to Noah, who brought his WIFE, his 3 sons, their WIVES, and 1 MALE and 1 FEMALE of every animal onto the Ark. No male-male or female-female pairs anywhere.

  • Dan Deeny

    Same-sex marriage harms everyone just as separate but equal harmed everyone. The advocates of same-sex marriage advocate sodomy, and the advocates of separate but equal advocated racism. They didn’t do this openly, of course. Their euphemism resembles the euphemism of gay marriage.
    I think this problem goes back to our – black Americans and white Americans – inability to include black Americans in society like other Americans – Polish, Italian, Navajo, Irish, Norwegian, etc..

    • tom

      No one was ever nice to any of these groups. American Indians are still on the perimeter of society.

  • cestusdei

    Let’s consider a related issue. How does “gay marriage” cause harm? Let’s say my Catholic child is in public school and the teacher wants to teach the class about how wonderful gay marriage is. The child is told “your parents and religion are wrong and hateful.” Next thing you know social services is looking into the family. It’s already happening.

    • dch

      Provide THE specific case since you just identified where a specific Catholic child was told those things that and social services was looking into the family. Where and when did it happen exactly?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jambe-dArgent/100003865893919 Jambe d’Argent

      “How does “gay marriage” cause harm?” As Guest has proven above, it is a lie and all lies are harmful. I don’t see any difference between SSM and the belief in hollow Earth – both are unscientific.

  • chrisinva

    Friends? Opportunists is more like it. Classic wannabes, the “designated conservatives” appointed by the left to make conservatism look stupid.

    And they deliver, big time.

  • http://twitter.com/pdmcguirelaw Paul McGuire

    It is good that you mention NOM’s silly argument that marriage rates have continued to fall since Massachusetts passed same-sex marriage, therefore same-sex marriage must cause declining marriage rates. If you notice their graph, marriage rates have been in steep decline long before any state started recognizing same-sex marriage. If anything, their chart proves mostly that society has lost connection with why marriage is important because fewer and fewer people are getting married. Though I don’t know why rates of marriage in groups of people over age 15 are relevant. Nobody should be getting married that young to begin with.

    See: (bit.ly/YCWUT9 )[I link to a liberal critique of NOM’s graph because they hide it in the middle of a huge multi-page PDF. You can see the original image on page 65 of the report at this link. http://bit.ly/W6w1kt ]

    • tom

      Abortion led to increase illegitimacy which led to increased dependence on Big Government which led to a loss of individuality vis a vis the powerful state. We are almost all “comrades”, now, Comrade McGuire. Lord Obama now knows best, as he evolves towards Point Omega.

    • MarkRutledge

      So you don’t see how continued deconstruction of marriage continues the institution’s demise?

      As to the harm argument, there is another element not explored, which is the harm to the homosexual person. When society endorses two homosexuals in a counterfeit marriage, it locks them further into a self-destructive (not to mention soul-destroying) lifestyle. There can thus be little chance of healing and conversion, and the resultant realization of authentic sexuality.

      • http://twitter.com/pdmcguirelaw Paul McGuire

        There is no self-destructive homosexual lifestyle. Two gay men in love live their lives just like anyone else, raising children and living together. Gay men who engage in self destructive promiscuity and constant partying are certainly more visible but they don’t represent the average gay man.

        Second, the true harm is done to the straight spouses who marry gay men or lesbian women who listen to religious messages and marry someone of the opposite sex. These marriages are more likely to create children and then when they break down the straight spouse and children suffer.

        The child of one such relationship writes, “But I can’t help but think that if gay marriage is legalized, the negative stigma associated with it for some would decrease. I want my dad to be able to openly love whom he loves and marry them in front of his friends and family. I want my mother to have a marriage that is fulfilling and full of love and faithfulness.”
        (See: http://bit.ly/16SW9XX )

        • dbwheeler

          The ‘average’ homosexual man has about 400 to 500 sexual partners in his relatively short lifetime, is highly promisicuous with an average life span of about 47 due to disease, depression, suicide, general trauma to the body from disordered sexual practices etc.. Please spare the rest of us the spin as you’re talking a small fraction of the general population of homosexual males. Also, you’re also talking about a percentage of a small population that only comprises about 2 to 3% of the total population of the US. You try to make people think there are so many of you because you have huge funds now left to you by the new wealth coming from the ‘computer age’ which has changed the balance of power, hasn’t it, Paul? I wonder if you give any thought at all as to what the final result will be to the Church, to the family and to the whole fabric of our society? It was generally accepted that people sacrificed their own selfish desires for the ulimate good of family and country and especially God. How sad to pursue one’s own selfish desires at the destruction of everything and everyone else. With such a weak basis for existence, I can assure you it won’t last. Or have you forgotten what Jesus said about building our house upon the sand.?

  • Tom ATK

    Some arguments against SSM for the secular wold (used it on NCR):

    What is the evolutionary purpose of reproductive organs? How is use of a same gender organs exactly the same as male and female genders, biologically?

    This is about redefinition of words. The fact is that the evolutionary purpose oreproductive organs is reproduction. Marriage reflects that for millennia.

    To many of us, same sex unions is a secular, new concept. If society wants to grant similar or even more legal status, it’s a secular issue.

    But just give it a new name, call it something else, because biologically, it is something else.

    Nowadays groups of people use reproductive organs not for reproduction, both heterosexual and homosexual. But that does not mean that the original concept of marriage needs of to be redefined. Each human has a single biological mother and a father, as hard as this simple biological fact is to “progressives”. Even in-vitro fertilization
    requires a male sperm and female ovum (not to mention the unethical destruction of “unused” embryos, something this author does not mention).

    Why this fake victimhood, by privileged groups? Why this shyness of obvious difference?

    It is as if a planet was really upset because people would not call it the sun. No, you are a planet, get over it.

    Otherwise, one powerful group is imposing a new secular dogma on everyone, using Orwellian double speak by redefining words, to fit own agenda, that has no biological basis.

  • Tom ATK

    ..more arguments against SSM for the secular wold (used it on NCR):

    Yes, Matrimony is a Sacrament in the Catholic Church. It is also part of elaborate series of rituals of most cultures. There are reasons. Humans for millennia realized the importance of reproduction. In fact fertility is a prominent concept of many religious; because humans realized it was a matter of survival. Nowadays, large commercial interests prefer that we dissociate sex from reproduction and consider reproduction either as a nuisance, or, at best, a quaint old fashion side effect of sex for fun. So use of reproductive organs between same genders, or different genders, is now considered “equal”. It is as if golf course owners were now demanding same status as farmers, because they also use irrigation, fertilizers, etc, even if they produce no food. It’s a question of 101 biology.

    This being said, in my personal opinion, when same gender couples live in union, they are much less “in sin” than people of regardless what gender that hurt other people with promiscuity or that abort their babies to be able to continue promiscuity. But to say that sex between same genders and between male and female is exactly the same is plain
    wrong. Why? Because unless a woman has the uterus removed or is post menopause, each sex act between different genders carries a huge potential responsibility: the creation of life. Why not respect that?

    In our post ‘60’s “modern” Anglo throwaway culture, the notion that sex between a male and a female is designed by evolution to create life is completely occulted by financial interests. The result is a monumental tragedy: millions of babies killed in utero. Contraception is not going to solve this. At least half of abortions are because
    contraception fails. That contraception does not work all the time is a fact that people are brainwashed not to think about. The only thing that will make “abortion rare” is a change in attitudes about the repercussion of the reproductive act, even if birth control is used.

    What I am pleading, is that same gender couples at least acknowledge that there is a world of a difference their use of reproductive organs, compared to male and females. That we all acknowledge that there is something serious about use of reproductive organs. That it’s not all just a game, even if that is what Glee Club commercial sponsors want us to think.

    There is a disturbing side to the early history of the Castro District gay movement. Early political proponents, like Milk and Moscone were heavily supported by Rev Jim Jones, a fact people don’t like to think about. All I am pleading is that same gender couples help restore some balance, and have the humidly to acknowledged fundamental biological differences, that have huge repercussions. Hope this makes sense.

  • Tony W

    Podhoretz, Rubin and the rest of their ilk have always been just barely able to suppress their contempt for social conservatives and Christianity in general. The problem for them is that they need our votes, sons and money to fight the wars they continuously demand, especially in the Middle East. Perhaps by more clearly revealing themselves, they will hasten the demise of an alliance that has done neither us nor the rest of the world any good at all. We can only hope.

    • Scott Waddell

      Exactly. Or as I say, conservatives are often just liberals five to ten years behind the times.

      • tom

        Neo-cons have parents or grandparents who supported Stalin and Trotsky. Not very nice people. There roots are in atheism and or Zionism, but never in Christianity or religious Judaism.

  • jaymis

    Let’s be blunt about Bill O’Reilly! He’s a jackass! He claims to be Catholic but really sets a poor example. It would much better if he just kept his mouth shut rather than open it and confirm he is a fool.

    • tom

      O’Reilly used to spout values; now, he just sits on the fence…counting his $$$. Attending Harvard rubbed off on him, even though he attended after middle age. I say he was “brainwashed” on the Charles River like so many others.

      • Scott Waddell

        I’d agree. I always get a chuckle when someone accuses me of being a Fox disciple. The reality is that Fox and O’Reilly are just more voices for democrotheocracy.

  • tom

    Neo-cons are just the offspring of Trotskyites. Remember, Leon Trotsky founded the Red Army that terrorized Russia, the USSR and then the world for over 70 years. When neo-cons say they have “conservative values”, there’s an ulterior motive more attached to Marxist-Leninism than the Judeo-Christian ethos.

    • hombre111

      Well, actually…. The Trotskyites, who recommended the use of force to create a democratic world, started by appealing to Democrats. When this did not fly, they then turned to the conservatives, who were much more willing to spill blood in the name of the good. This led to the neocons who got us into Iraq. This is history, lad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sam-Sundberg/100000503691206 Sam Sundberg

    Homosexual sex, a man having sex with another man or a woman with another woman is unnatural – simple as that. A key is formed to fit into a lock – period. It can be manipulated but not changed. Male and Female bodies were formed to fit each other – to complement each other. It’s strange that a tiny minority of a tiny minority has such power – power to try to make what is unnatural to be accepted not only as natural but as good and beautiful. And heterosexual marriage needs to be honored and not tossed about (by heterosexuals) and discarded when it seems stale or when a husband or wife wants to change partners. Heterosexual marriage is already be in trouble and even if the Supreme Court denies the gay lobby the right to change the definition of marriage, heterosexual marriage will still be in trouble. I believe and hope that Pope Francis will, in time, address all these issues, first of all the issue of the acceptable mass murder of millions of human babies — if Gosnell’s barbaric slaughter of live babies, as well as babies emerging from the womb and in the womb, does not wake people up to the horrors of this mass slaughter then I don’t know what will. Meanwhile, Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, who are both Catholic not only stand behind the slaughter of the innocent but aggressively urge others to do the same – and they paste wide smiles on their faces as they talk about Pope Francis’s homily on taking care of the least among us, of helping the poor and disenfranchised…evil has surely seeped into their very pores if they still cannot ‘see and understand’ that they are mandating murder – just as Hitler ordered his henchmen to slaughter prisoners without having to pick up a weapon himself…what madness!

  • tom

    “Inconsistency on the part of pastors and the faithful between what they say and what they do, between word and manner of life, is undermining the Church’s credibility,” the pontiff said in his homily. Maybe the boyos should stop having coffee with Biden, Pelosi, and Durbin?

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