Sentiment Trumps Reason as Judges Impose Gay “Marriage”

At this hour, we all bear witness to the spectacle of laws accurately defining marriage being dismantled in order to establish a rhetorical equivalence between genuine marital unions and those rare associations formed out of same-sex desires.  One substantial club in this act of moral viciousness is an appeal to sentiment that tries to persuade us that rational law stands in the way of our fellow citizens’ pursuit of happiness. Journalists have been its most obvious abettors, with their incessant coverage of how “happy” homosexual couples are, by which they mean that they are smiling. As the recent decision in Oregon indicates, however, judges have been quick to follow suit.

In the pages of the Philadelphia Inquirer, for instance, we see that journalists, whose only possible virtue as writers is their factitious reserve, suddenly wax purple, when it comes to this matter. A rhetorical revolution in the definition of marriage requires a forced rhetoric in order to find some kind of justification somewhere.  Thus, from yesterday morning’s paper:

In the dreary corridors of City Hall, the smiles of couples were incandescent. Even a guard at the ground-floor security check-in was prompted to cheer,  “Congratulations guys!” as happy pairs made their way to the fourth-floor office.

Followed by this a few lines down:

After consulting with city clerks, Roots was told that the ruling now recognizes her marriage license from New Jersey and she could apply to change her name at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

“I’m going straight to DMV,” said an ecstatic Roots.

The pairs are “happy.” Miss Deidra Roots is “ecstatic.”  The smiles burst with sufficient “incandescence” to dispel a “drear” for which Philadelphia’s incompetent and corrupt government is responsible. Well, I suppose that’s what “gay” is supposed to mean, but that’s not my point.  The article by reporter Jennifer Lin is not primarily about an action, and it is not properly speaking a news article.  It is, as most such pieces are, a bit of propaganda in order to establish a logical causation that regarding nearly any other matter would not be treated as credible in our unhappily liberal society.

Same-sex couplings ought to be dignified with the name “marriage,” it is suggested, precisely because those couples are already so happy and will be happier still if they are allowed to have their amours recognized by the state as outright goods—so good, in fact, that no unprejudiced person could possibly detect the slightest difference between two men who crown their companionship with sodomy and a husband and wife. We are to be blinded to all distinction by the incandescence of their joy.

Happiness is Not Founded on Sentiment
There is much to be said in response to this, but I want only to offer a reflection on how this article gets one thing right and another deeply wrong. Lin insinuates a moral argument that proposes that any and all knowledge regarding the human good is rooted in sentiment, and that sentiments therefore ought to guide positive law.

Lin’s article suggests the following: because certain persons want something and have demonstrated that desire by expressing their feelings, and because, so far as we can tell, they will continue to hold those feelings even after they have gotten what they want, we should rest easy.  We should give them what they want, because it is good.  You can see the goodness breaking forth in their smiles—in, as it were, the ecstasy of Roots.

I agree that every argument about how human beings should live is an argument about happiness.  Our end is happiness.  The only question is what properly constitutes happiness and the means we have of discovering it.  Because those means are as contested as the nature of happiness itself, arguments about them are just the kinds of arguments Americans tend to avoid in public. Such arguments are specifically those liberal society, from Thomas Hobbes onward, was intended to avoid.  The state’s job, we typically say, is not to concern itself with happiness, but to leave questions of happiness to the private realm; the state’s task is merely to concern itself with a stable and secure public realm that makes possible the existence of a private realm in the first place.

When debating questions of law and public policy, therefore, we scramble to establish some kind of objective, measurable criterion, whose quantitative nature and utilitarian purpose spares us having to ask qualitative questions about happiness. We do not ask whether the poor or unemployed are happy, but whether they have enough to eat.  We do not ask whether the opening of a casino will make our fellow citizens happier, but only whether it will contribute dollars to the local economy or increase crime. In these and other matters, we are publically agonistic regarding, and substantially indifferent to, happiness.

So it has been that, in most arguments regarding whether persons with homosexual desires can “marry,” the question has been whether such allowances will increase or decrease the lifespan, increase or decrease the likelihood that children raised by persons involved in such unions will graduate high school or win their high school bowling championship. These metrics, not happiness, were at issue, and though homosexual unions fair poorly in these metrics, the data are ambiguous enough, and dubiously sourced enough, that they do not settle the question. We sense at the limits of metrics how poor a substitute they are for a rational knowledge of real happiness.

As Allan Carlson observed years ago, the judges involved in these early cases specifically excluded arguments that referred to qualitative knowledge. We are told, in keeping with the distinction foundational to liberalism, that happiness is not a public concern. Man’s end, his final cause or purpose, is not a public concern. The state, the public realm, exists only to make it possible for him to pursue his happiness in the private realm, and this can be established by determinant measurements.

And yet, Lin’s article exemplifies a new argument that stands athwart this liberal principle: if we will just let these people “marry,” they will be happy.  You can see it.

What this suggests, of course, is that happiness is a feeling, a sensation one has, rather than a condition to which one attains.  And so, the reporter’s job becomes to project adjectives and adverbs of sensation, of feeling—of sentiment—onto the persons discussed in her article. These words in turn become the sole substantial claim of the article.  Recognizing homosexual relationships as “marriage” will make some people feel better, by which we mean, it will make them happy.

This represents an unfortunate dualism in our public discourse, but not a new one. It dates back to Hobbes, who defined “good” as simply “whatever one wants,” the incidental object of an appetite. He asserted that reason cannot tell us what we ought to find good, but can only help us find means to attaining it.  There is no “rational appetite.”  Reason is but a tool of our unconstrained, unpredictable, and largely unintelligible desires.

Because that did not feel quite accurate to such later writers as David Hume and Adam Smith, these and other worthies of the eighteenth century came to associate morality with appetite, with feeling, with, in their words, sentiment. Reason, they admitted, could only know facts, that is to say, things pertaining to what can be counted: material beings and their movements. And so, while reason does not instruct our desires, and while morality is per se arational, we can still feel the difference between good and vicious desires and judge them on that basis. Morality becomes a question of learning how to feel rightly, about which feeling alone can teach us.

Lin’s article, and others of its kind, therefore attempts to give her readers a feeling that they would not naturally have. She would impose by rhetoric a claim that neither falls within the typical purview of facts a reporter can observe nor one that a reader of the article would be likely to feel in response to a straight reporting of those facts. In her own crude way, she is persuading us of how we ought to feel, simply because those persons mentioned in her article themselves feel this way. On the basis of such arational persuasion, on the basis of such feeling, we ought to rewrite positive law to conform to them. The law becomes nothing other than an expression of how we feel.

The Cost of Abandoning Reason
The modern division between reason and appetite, knowledge and sentiment, is an inheritance that Americans have accepted to their great cost. We think it beneficial, because it constrains the rational arguments conducted in the public sphere to matters knowable to anyone who can count, and it leaves us a maximal latitude to pursue feelings of happiness without having to demonstrate them as being genuinely good.

This division is not one we ought to accept. Lin’s article inadvertently suggests as much. Human beings want to be happy; because politics and ethics alike are concerned with human beings, all political and ethical questions, including those concerned with positive law, are intrinsically concerned with our happiness.

Where Lin errs is in violating the liberal separation of public reason and private sentiment only part way. She wants some persons’ sentiments about happiness to be admitted as public argument—while implicitly doing what several judges have explicitly done in cases involving homosexual “marriage,” to wit, denying the legitimacy of opposing feelings. The “ecstasy” of a homosexual is deemed a public fact that should be admitted, while the conviction of most persons that marriage is a union between a man and a woman is to be denounced as an attempt to “disparage,” and the deep, gut feeling that sodomy is not only incommensurable to the marital act but repellently different from it is deemed inadmissible as merely bigoted and “rooted in animus.” When you deny that happiness is rooted in reason, then all arguments about it boil down to who “feels” the strongest about a question, or which judge in a position of power is willing to impose his feelings on the law. A morality of sentiments leads to a public discourse conducted by mere enthusiasm and a rule of law grounded in pure force.

We see this in the decision itself that occasions Lin’s article. At the close of U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III’s opinion, we are instructed with the following august sentiments:

We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.

Jones appeals to our understanding of the finality or purpose, the goodness, of the American people and their laws. What Pennsylvania law “represents,” or did until he ruined it, was a rational definition of marriage. He replaced a definition that could account for itself with rational argument with one rooted entirely in sentiment: because two people of the same sex feel strongly for one another, they must be granted access to the name of marriage, even if in giving them access the word “marriage” loses all meaning except as a union of sentiments.

The judge, like Lin’s article gets something right: all arguments, moral or political, “public” or “private,” are about human happiness, and so happiness must be admitted as the criterion for judging what is good in moral and political life. Depending on how rightly we understand and pursue what is good will determine whether we are a better or a worse people. What the judge and Lin, along with so many others, get wrong is persisting in the absolute and indefensible distinction between reason and appetite. For, this leads us to define happiness as a feeling rather than as a condition, as something that can be experienced but not something that can be known, defined, and judged. It denies that any appetite could be governed by reason, and therefore subjects reason as a mere tool to secure whatever someone or other already feels he wants.

Happiness is not a Feeling but a Condition
In actuality, happiness is not a feeling, though it is consistently accompanied, even crowned by one—that of rest and pleasure. It is, rather, to appropriate Plato’s words, to possess permanently what is wholly good for one’s nature. This is a condition, one which can be defined in the same way anything else is defined, by a reason open to knowledge not only of quantity but quality—a reason capable of distinguishing between the purpose—the goodness—of things and perversions of that purpose.

I would presume that persons who have deep-seated homosexual desires would experience a feeling of pleasure on learning that the strong arm of the law has just forced the rest of society to accept their relationships as normal, as equal. But this is just to say that I would presume people who feel a certain way will feel that way. That feeling tells me little about whether those relationships actually are normal, equal, or good. To discover that, I have to go beyond a theory of sentiments and a quantitative rationalism to ask, what is the genuine purpose for which human beings by nature live and ought consciously to know they live for? Of what do our lives consist when they are good lives?

No one, having admitted reason’s capacity to answer such questions, could rationally conclude that homosexual acts, much less the denomination of those who engage in them on an ongoing basis as “married,” could be included in that definition. Unless, that is, we commit ourselves to the following premises: 1) We do not think that the differences between men and women have any positive value and they should be concealed or eliminated. 2) We do not think that the differences between men’s and women’s bodies should in any way determine or limit the acts in which they may properly engage. 3) We do not think the conceiving and rearing of children a normal constituent of human happiness. 4) We do not, finally, think that anything other than whatever present feelings we happen to have ought to guide our actions.

We cannot rationally so commit ourselves. The differences between men and women are vital, rather than incidental, to the life of the family; the specific instances of complementarity between husband and wife begin with how they respond to an infant’s cry and how they play with that same infant, and go on from there pretty much ad infinitum. Those differences are visible in their bodies and in fact their bodily difference is the condition of possibility for their having children; their bodily differences are essential to their constitution as a family. The good of a family—its purpose, whose attainment constitutes its happiness—is just that union of opposites whose goodness is intrinsically self-diffusive, self-giving and, therefore, accidental impediments notwithstanding, leads to the having and rearing of children.

Finally, we know a happy person not merely because he has a smile on his face. We do not call a smiling drunk on the subway happy; in fact, if we care about him, we help him to get sober. We recognize a happy person because he possesses those goods, internal and external, we think necessary to living not necessarily a long but a full or complete life. All the enthusiasm of the guards at City Hall and the glee of the couples who convene there to attain “marriage” licenses for their partnerships will not make them happy. To the contrary, it seals with the gravity of positive law their having given up on happiness. They have sacrificed a lasting condition, a permanent good, for the mere extension of a feeling.

Lin, Jones and others like them abet these persons’ self-deception with a specious argumentation from sentiments. Just as Lin’s projection of adjectives onto the facts of her story does not finally change those facts, the inscription in law of homosexual couplings as “marriages” does not make them so and cannot not change in any fundamental way how most persons will pursue the happiness to which they are by nature ordered. Jones’ judgment may however help such persons, and our society as a whole, discover sooner rather than later that one cannot substitute sentiments for reason or redefine reality to conform to our wills’ desires. But, in the short term, both these things constitute obstacles; they obscure reality. They try to make many of us feel what we do not feel, and they attempt to inhibit the capacity of reason to instruct our feelings. We have good reason to feel bad about that.

James Matthew Wilson

By

James Matthew Wilson is Associate Professor of Religion and Literature in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University. He is the author of a chapbook of poems, Four Verse Letters (Steubenville, 2010) and of Timothy Steele: A Critical Introduction (Story Line, 2012), and a collection of poems entitled The Violent and the Fallen (Finishing Line Press). His latest book is titled The Fortunes of Poetry in An Age of Unmaking (Wiseblood Books, 2015). Readers can learn more about his writing at jamesmatthewwilson.com

  • Bedarz Iliaci

    It is odd that the Americans accept that they need a license from Govt in order to marry. Many other less-developed people would find it servile already. Hindus and Muslims in their own countries DO not need any Govt license.

    Even Conservatives that are big on liberty have accustomed themselves to the State license to marry.

    It only shows that a people can get accustomed to anything.

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      Unless there is some public and easily accessible record of marriages, it is impossible for anyone to know whether their spouse was free to marry or that their children are legitimate. Indeed, an individual may be genuinely in doubt as to whether the law will construe some past conduct of his or hers as amounting to a marriage or not.

      A person may go through a public ceremony, raise a family and, on their spouse’s death, someone comes forward claiming the estate on the basis of a secret marriage, entered into some 60 years earlier and relying for proof on some expressions in the one surviving side of a correspondence, which she (usually it is she) had preserved and which express or virtually imply marriage.

      I speak from experience. Until 1940, in Scotland, marriage required no notice, no formality and no record of any kind. For the next 50 years, claims, such as the one I have suggested were all too common and were, in most cases, simply a form of blackmail.

      • NML

        Can’t the record be held with a private lawyer?

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          But that would not make the fact easily accessible to third parties. How could a person know whether a person a person was free to marry?

          Again, the proof of marriage should be so easily accessible, by means of public and permanent records, that the claims of future generations by inheritance in the course of lawful descent, may be traced in the most certain and effectual manner.

          • Bedarz Iliaci

            Marriages could be registered after being performed. That would equally do it. This is how it is done in India.
            This is what you allude to above, I believe.

            So what is the special purpose of the American and English custom of “marriage license”, i.e. permission from Govt to marry.

            • Michael Paterson-Seymour

              Like banns, they provide a check that the parties are free to inter-marry and a check on the resident status of aliens.

              In Scotland, to obtain one, one has to produce a certificate from two householders that the parties are personally known to them, and that one of the parties, has been resident in registration district, for the space of fifteen clear days immediately preceding the date of the application, and that they have good reason to believe them to be unmarried persons, and not related to each other within the forbidden degrees.

              In addition, anyone (but usually a parent or guardian) can lodge a caveat, requiring two clear days’ notice to be given them of any application for a licence by a named person.

      • Bedarz Iliaci

        So a City clerk when asked for a marriage license looks up the marriage records for the whole country and issues the license only if no irregularity is found?

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          In most European countries, he simply asks for a recent extract of the parties’ birth certificates. When the marriage takes place, a reference is noted on the original registration of birth.

          The Church does the same thing with the baptismal register.

        • fredx2

          No, but what happens when a wife wants to make some claim in regards to the marriage, but the husband simply says. I never married her – nope, never happened. There has to be some way to establish the marriage quickly and easily. A signed document on file at the courthouse does that.

          • Bedarz Iliaci

            That purpose would be equally served by registering marriages after they are performed.

            What is the purpose of taking a license (which is a permission) from State to marry?

            • slainte

              Licensing generates revenue for the state.

            • fredx2

              I suppose that if people did it after the marriage, some would simply not do it – or would forget about it, or not do it for several weeks or months. In the meantime, some kind of marital complaint could arise.

    • Interested

      Marriage is a public matter. The new libertine notion that marriage should not be recognized by the State makes matters worse not better.

      • TheAbaum

        Where is same sex pseudonogamy libertine?

        Heterosexual couples are libertine, in that they not only don’t seek recognition of marriage, they don’t seek marriage at all. It’s just “we’re together”. Of course in some cases, there’s an explicit calculation that there is government booty to be had absent marriage. Women used to seek marriage to ensure the public recognition of paternity.

        But for same sex pseudonogamy, that is a statist notion. It is a device to use the full power of the state to create a counterfeit. You have to believe the state has extraordinary power to redefine marriage, and impose recognition of the citizenry.

        Of course, the assignment to marriage to the state as its custodian and conservator is the product of an intellectual marriage of the ideas of Luther and Tudor, who no doubt couldn’t imagine the present state of affairs. However, ideas have consequences, and consequences have a long gestation period.

        • Interested

          I was not talking about homosexual absurdities but this recent idea that the State should get out of the “marriage business”. That is new. People mistakenly think that is in some way a solution to “gay marriage”. It is not.

          The solution is for Catholics to live like Catholics, vote like Catholics, legislate like Catholics, and so on.

          • pmains

            It’s not a new idea. Prior to the Norman Conquest, the Church did not have its own courts in England. As such, although the Church largely controlled and defined marriage, it did not have the means to exercise true governmental power. Local customary law reigned, which is to say, the community resolved disputes and what we know as law — specifically the Anglo-American Common Law tradition — grew out of their experiences. Getting back to 1066, as part of his plan to reinvent the English monarchy, William granted special privileges to the Church, thinking that Rome would be distant to govern the Church itself and allow the king to be the effective local primate. This sort of worked out, with the king being able to appoint bishops and so on, but not entirely. The crown jostled with Rome over what authority these courts should have over the centuries. Notable dust-ups happened in 1164, over the Constitutions of Clarendon (Archbishop Thomas Beckett was murdered, and Henry II backed off until 1166, when the Assize of Clarendon accomplished much of what he had wanted); and 1215, when the Magna Carta declared, at Archbishop Stephen Langton’s behest that “the English Church shall be free.” (Ecclesia Anglicana libera sit) Presumably this meant that the Church could run its own courts and be basically autonomous, but, of course, that’s not the way future kings would want it. Finally, between 1529 and 1531, Henry VIII ratcheted up the pressure on priests to declare fealty to him and not the Pope. This accomplished what William the Conqueror had originally wanted. Without the Church acting as the counterweight to the crown, the king was now the absolute ruler of England and, among other things, free to redefine marriage and grant himself a divorce. The Glorious Revolution partially rolled back that victory, but the damage to the Church and the institution of marriage was done. Government now controlled marriage, and continued to undermine the institution over the centuries. So, like most things wrong with our system, we can blame William the Conqueror, who introduced a foreign and ultimately poisonous concept of government as the owner of subjects rather than the servant of citizens.

        • FormerLiberalnowConservative

          Where the state imposes this is in the public schools. It gives them access to our children with no parental opt out.

      • Bedarz Iliaci

        Is this your notion of “society” that anything public must be State-sanctioned and licensed?

  • Objectivetruth

    Great article, James.

    I think eventually, reason will win the day. If you dig deep, the gay communities whole purpose for marriage is to some how gain societal approval for their unnatural, perverted lifestyle (hence the original definition of “GAY”: “Good As You”). Over time, however, very few homosexuals will actually pursuit marriage. In Canada for example, gay marriage has been approved for ten years but only 17% of homosexuals actually get “married.” The laws of man forced upon us can never trump the ultimate divinely ordained laws of nature. The gay lifestyle and homosexual acts are an affront and perversion to the very nature of man. Legalized gay marriage is a house built upon sand, and ultimately will collapse.

    • HenryBowers

      Why will it collapse, when contraception and IVF have not collapsed? They will all collapse only under the blood of Christians, by revolution, by apocalypse.

    • Paul

      Sure hope you’re right.

    • Reason has never won over emotionalism in government before, why should it now? Especially when we have Jesuit trained gay judges like the one in Oregon refusing to even *hear* arguments on the other side?

      • DougEisner

        “Refusing to hear” because NOM was late in trying to intervene? They ignored due dates…are they trying to intervene in last year’s Windsor decision? Boo-hoo, everyone’s against the religious, poor, persecuted Christians (so called). Hardly, they almost won the Presidency and currently run the House and the whole South.

        • Refusing to hear because only NOM and the Attorney General were considered at all. Why doesn’t every single Oregonian who voted for or against Measure 36 have standing? Every single one of us should have been consulted.

  • cpsho

    Catholics (and all Christians) must stand firm in their belief that homosexual sex acts are the worst of the worst of all sexual sins. It does not matter that much what the current trend of the world is. As long as we Catholics stand firm everything will be okay.
    .
    And why are we not standing as firmly as we should be? Because a significant portion of the Roman Curia is seeking – even as we blog here – ways and means to make homosexual sex acts okay in the context of the Catholic Church. That, by the way, is what the upcoming Synod of Bishops is all about.

    • FernieV

      Fully agree on first paragraph. Disagree on the second: although there might be some members of the Curia who are practicing homosexuals they well know they would loose their job if they are found out. They will not voice their support for such an abhorrent sin. I am certain of that.

      • bonaventure

        I am afraid that the Synod of Bishops in October will give them immunity to “come out” and start a movement of open dissent against the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.

        Their motto will be “Who Am I to Judge,” and only just a few orthodox bishops (mostly from Africa) will oppose it.

    • cpsho: Do you really and honestly think that homosexual sex acts are the worst of the worst of all sexual sins?

      Which of the following offends God more: (a) The perverted but loving embrace of two gentle adult homosexual Christian lovers, or (b) The perverted, hateful, and murderous hetero gang-rape of a little Catholic girl during a Satanic Black Mass?

      There but for the grace of God go I–because I myself was a Satanist before my conversion to Christ.

      We Catholics (and all Christians) must stand firm in the painful awareness of our own filthy-rag-infirmity (cf. Isaiah 64:6); we must humbly submit to God through Christ in the Holy Spirit–everything else is perversion and pride.

      We’re all in the same boat.

      God help us all.

      • Interested

        You are confusing species of sin. See Aquinas. Homosexual acts are worse than heterosexual fornication. I think the only sexual sin worse he lists is beastiality. I cannot see rape as in this category. So you have a category error.

        • cpsho

          Thanks interested. I hope David Ross gets the point. Every heterosexual act regardless of circumstance can at least claim to be part of the will of God in Genesis where God made us male and female and allowed us to pair in that way, multiplying and subduing the earth.
          Every single homosexual act, regardless of circumstance can’t claim any link whatsover to God’s commands at creation.

          • cpsho: Thank you for your calm and reasonable reply.

            (I don’t see why so many of my comments have been deleted on this thread. Have I said something wrong? Then correct me. I love correction. What good will a muzzle do me?)

            In any case, I merely questioned your strong claim that homosexual sex acts are the worst of the worst of all sexual sins. And, as is happens, it seems that Aquinas may have refuted your claim–thanks Interested.

            • cpsho

              you still don’t quite get the point. Homosexuality is the Devil’s last card to drag as many people as possible to a very unpleasant place. That is what has been prophesied in Revelation 13, 14 and 17.
              My advice: get off the bandwagon of the “Gay agenda” now!!!
              the time is short
              http://www.prophetamos3m.com/3.html

              • cpsho: I appreciate your concern, but I am not aware of having mounted any bandwagon. Of course I could be wrong, and I love correction, so please correct me by showing me exactly what I have said that is not in line with the teachings of Christ and his Body, the Church.

                • cpsho

                  here is an example of the “gay agenda” bandwagon:
                  “The perverted but loving embrace of two gentle adult homosexual Christian lovers,”
                  .
                  This must not be condoned. it is an occasion of grave sin. A grave sin described as abomination i Genesis and Leviticus; and described as the “Mark of the Beast” in Revelation.
                  Indeed to condone this sin is to also have ‘the Mark of the Beast”
                  http://www.prophetamos3m.9.html

                  • I call sin perverted and you accuse me of condoning perverted sin. Please explain your reasoning.

                    • cpsho

                      I don’t see you condemn sin in action. Rather i see you cuddling sin in action. Not right.

                    • I plead not-guilty to your charges. But if there is any evidence for your claims bring it forward so that we can examine it together using reason. I will recant if anything I have said contradicts the teachings of Christ and His Church.

                    • cpsho

                      You see two men dancing on the precipice; but your response is, “they have not stepped into the precipice, so they are doing nothing wrong. So no need to call them out.”
                      That is not love, it is hatred.
                      Prevention they say is better than cure.

                    • Did I say that homosexuals are “doing nothing wrong” or that they should not “called out”, i.e., educated, corrected, and evangelized? Show me where I said that and I will recant immediately.

                      I very much appreciate and share your concern for the eternal salvation of all souls. But as your brother in Christ, I beg you to beware: presumption and despair are treacherously slippery slopes flanking the narrow path of love.

                      If you are more pure and holy than your neighbor, then you should thank God–but all the while take special care to be on guard against the subtle snares of the evil one.

                      I am not being facetious: I honestly fear more for your soul and my own than for the souls of my criminal homosexual satanist rock-star friends, because, as Jesus says:

                      “if you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.” (John 9:41)

                      Email me if you want to continue discussing our precious faith in more depth together: dabidross(at)gmail(dot)com.

                      The same invitation holds for all the other users on this forum who question my orthodoxy.

                      Your brother in Christ,

                      David Ross

                • JP

                  You defend sodomy but take offense with intercourse. You are certainly gay.

                  • I plead not-guilty to your charges, too, JP. But if there is any evidence for your claims bring it forward so that we can examine it together using reason. I will recant if anything I have said contradicts the teachings of Christ and His Church.

                  • DougEisner

                    Perhaps we should defend simony instead ;~)

      • TheAbaum

        The perverted but loving embrace of two gentle adult homosexual Christian lovers

        That which is perverted cannot be “loving”.

        • Art Deco

          I think he misses the whole point as well.

      • Art Deco

        (a) The perverted but loving embrace of two gentle adult homosexual
        Christian lovers, or (b) The perverted, hateful, and murderous hetero
        gang-rape of a little Catholic girl during a Satanic Black Mass?

        The first is a caricature, the second the stuff of horror fiction that almost never happens. Care to explain the point of this manipulative exercise???

      • tikhf

        David, your shocking claim that sinners can embrace lovingly, albeit in a perverted and sinful way, brings to mind a quote from St. Augustine: Seek what you seek but not where you seek it. I think that applies to all of us. I see room for improvement in my own life, anyway. We do well to remember that sin is great, but God’s mercy is greater still.

        I don’t think you are being treated fairly on this forum. You claim to be a new convert to Catholicism who seeks to obey Christ. You “beg” for correction. I am sad to read that without further questioning or consultation of your perspective, you are flatly told that:

        Your questions are “a manipulative exercise”
        You make as much sense as a deranged killer, Jared Loughner
        Your “cheap defense” says “keep doing what you want”
        You “miss the whole point”
        You are a “troll” merely “playing a game”
        You “insist defiantly” on “ex ante permission for sins”
        You will “need an attorney”
        You are “obviously jamming”
        ou are on “gay agenda” bandwagon
        You “condone sin”
        You “cuddle sin”
        You “defend sodomy”
        You “take offense with intercourse”
        You are “certainly gay”

        It seems to me that these accusations and attacks on your character are uncharitable and unwarranted.

        Instead of prejudging you and reacting instinctively, I prefer to ask you directly where you stand.

        1. Do you strive to frequent the sacraments?
        2. Do you strive sincerely to obey the ten commandments?
        3. Do you have a life of prayer, private and public?
        4. Do you submit unreservedly to the infallible teachings of Christ and the Magesterium on all matters concerning faith and morals?
        5. Do you renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works, and give yourself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry your cross after him all the days of your life, and to be more faithful to him than you have ever been before?

        If you answer anything but “yes” to any of these questions, then we need to talk. If you can honestly answer “yes” to those simple questions then welcome home.

        I am truly sorry if anyone on this forum has caused you to stumble on your wonderful new path. I for one love you and wish you only the best. God bless.

        • tikhf: I answer “Yes!” to all of your questions. Thank you for asking. God bless.

        • tikhf: I answer “Yes!” to all of your questions. Thank you for asking. God bless.

      • FormerLiberalnowConservative

        No such thing as a homosexual Christian.

        • FormerLiberalnow Conservative: You make the bold claim that there is “no such thing as a homosexual Christian”. How did you come to this conclusion? Please explain your reasoning, lest sentiment trump reason.

          Are you open to accepting well-reasoned arguments which refute your bold claim?–and if not, why not?

          If you were to discover that your claim contradicts the teachings of Christ and His Church, would you nevertheless continue to cling to your bold claim?–and if so, why?

          God help us all.

          • FormerLiberalnowConservative

            It is real simple to understand. Throughout Scripture Christians are told of the code of conduct including sexual conduct where homosexuality is strictly forbidden.
            So all true Christian do not engage in homosexuality. They have repented. There is no such thing as a homosexual Christian.

            • Your treatment of homosexuals is both simple and easy to understand, but I have to wonder if you are being consistent in your judgement. Let’s consider another sexual sin: masturbation. Masturbation is another intrinsically and gravely disordered action (CCC-2352) which has always been strictly forbidden. Are masturbators Christian?

              Do you have any idea how many practicing-masturbators sit next to you in your parish church? Can you guess how many practicing masturbators at this very hour preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord, for your salvation and mine?

              There are about 2 billion Christians. We can safely estimate that about 1.4 billiion of them, 70%, masturbate (estimates range from 70-95% of all humans). What would you say to all these?

              Now, you don’t have to like the billions of shameful and wretched masturbators who proudly roam the earth with a deceptively confident air of wholesomeness and impunity; but Christ firmly and unambiguously commands you to love them.

              If you have difficulty seeing Christ in the homosexual, then perhaps these simple and understandable words will put the fear of God into you:

              “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not love one of the least of these, you did not love Me.” (cf Matthew 25:45)

              God help us all.

        • Neihan

          I’m not sure how that follows. Being tempted to sin isn’t a dis-qualifier for being a Christian – if it was we would, none of us be Christians. Our Lord Himself was tempted. So, of course, someone who is sexually attracted to people of the same sex can be Christians.

          If you mean that those who act on those temptations can’t be Christians, well, again that doesn’t follow. We’re all sinners. Christ came to reconcile sinners to God. That doesn’t make same-sex sexual activity less of a sin, it just means the person who has committed the sin requires (as we all do) Christ.

          Even not believing same-sex sexual activity is a sin doesn’t mean one isn’t a Christian, in the same way that not believing the Catholic Church is the One True Church founded by Christ doesn’t mean someone isn’t a Christian.

          So what is it that you mean by “no such thing as a homosexual Christian?”

          • FormerLiberalnowConservative

            Sure they may have been one before Christ. However once baptized you now repent. You are no longer practicing homosexuality.
            Thsi is why there is no such thing as homosexual Christian.

            • Neihan

              Well, obviously one must repent whenever one sins. What about those of us who are addicts who have converted? If I shoot up tomorrow am I no longer a Christian, or am I a Christian who failed and needs to repent?

              One’s faith is what determines whether or not one is a Christian. Do you cease being a Christian when you commit sins you have previously repented of? Or are you simply a Christian who needs to, once again, beg on the mercy of Christ?

              What you’re advocating sounds a lot like the heresy of Donatism.

              • FormerLiberalnowConservative

                Again it is really simple. Christians do not practice a certain sin and keep on doing it. We don’t hear of adulterous Christians, thieving Christians, or lying Christians. Same with homosexuality. You are expected to repent from that and no longer engage in that practice that Yahweh finds an abomination.

                • Pollos Hermanos

                  I guess we’ll have to expel all those fatties sitting in the pews then since gluttony is a sin.

    • DougEisner

      “Homosexual acts are the worst of the worst of all sexual sins” – is that your infallible pronouncement ex cathedra or your personal opinion? Read the catechism – at least there it only calls such acts “of grave depravity” and “intrinsically disordered” (CCC 2357) but it does not claim such acts worse than violent rape as you apparently believe. And if you’re gay, consensual adult intimacy of this kind seems natural and while it is offensive to Catholic teachings, even then those gay people are under the judgment of their personal consciences. The opprobrium your opinion represents and attempts to enforce by law are what cause misery among people who have no choice in how they were born, and drove untold numbers to despair and suicide. Now that equal marriage is succeeding, previously unthinkable options of “civil unions” or “domestic partnerships” are being mentioned by none other than His Holiness himself – impossible under St. John Paul II, but here we are. Lighten up and let these people live with some safety net and civil protections – legal marriage of gays doesn’t diminish the Sacrament of Matrimony for anyone else.

      • cpsho

        6, the number of a man,

        6, the number of a man created on the sixth (6th) day,

        6, the number of a man created on the sixth (6th) day to multiply and fill the earth.

        .

        6, the number of disobedience

        6, the number of the separation from God

        6, the number of the forbidden fruit

        6, the number of sexual activity initiated at Adam’s fall

        .

        6, the number of another man,

        6, the number of disobedience

        6, the number of the sin initiated by the father of lies: the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called devil and satan.

        .

        666, the number of a man having sex with another man,

        666, the number of the abomination described in Scriptures,

        666, the number of the Beast

        .

        616, the number of a man married to another man,

        616, the number of the devil’s plan,

        616, the number of the Beast.

        .

        The man with 666 on his right hand: a man who engages in willful homosexual activity in thoughts and in actions.

        .

        The man with 666 on his forehead: A man, who accepts, abets supports, celebrates, downplays, or promotes homosexuality; but does not engage in homosexual acts .

        .
        The man with 666 on both his right hand and forehead: a man who practices willful homosexual activity in thoughts and in actions; and also encourages and grooms it in other people.
        Read more: http://www.prophetamos3m.com/6.html
        My advice: get off the “Gay Agenda” bandwagon, now, while there is time!

        • DougEisner

          Reference was to Nero – you’re way over the edge and should get some help.

          • cpsho

            No, sir. Not Nero. Now is the time. There is no place to hide. Everyone who cuddles homosexuality has the Mark of The Beast on him.

      • cpsho

        it causes all, both small and great, both rich
        and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the
        forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark,
        that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18 This
        calls for wisdom: let him who has understanding reckon the number of
        the beast, for it is the number of a man, its number is six hundred and
        sixty-six (666). [Revelation 13 v 16-18]
        .
        All these are happening now before our very eyes.
        Get off the “Gay Agenda” bandwagon, now!

      • JP

        Ah yes, it’s all Nature. If one replaces the word Devil with Nature, the rationalism becomes all too apparent; the devil made me do it. And while you’re at it, you may wish to look up the Etymology of the words Matrimony. The Sacrament was given from Christ. And it concerns the making of Mothers. And the word Mother infers children. Pope JPII or Pope Leo, or any other Pontiff didn’t give us the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Christ did.

        And during the time of Christ, homosexuality and bisexuality were the norm in the Roman Empire. Christ’s first public miracle occurred at a wedding feast. Our Savior was with his Mother (the one person who brought Christ into the world). Christ came into the world through a Mother and into a family during an era where a highly homosexual/bisexual oppressive empire reigned supreme. Yet, his first miracle occurred at a wedding feast. One would think, using your logic that Christ would have found time to sanctify sodomy if in fact, as you say, there is nothing wrong with it. But, Christ himself said he did not come to destroy Mosaic Law, but to complete it.

        Either you’re wrong or Christ is a liar. Homosexuality is a Grave Sin (as is adultery and fornication). And homosexual marriage is nothing less than a sacrilege against one of Christ’s sacrament.

        • DougEisner

          You’re not as persuasive as Christ, and certainly He is no liar. Legalism was not found with Him as with what you say – you can’t justify adherence to Mosaic law by Christians then or now, anymore than Baptists can justify their demand for tea-totaling as “Biblically required” while overlooking the miracle at Cana (and it was the BEST wine that Christ made from the water). Rigorous scruples, especially when looking at others, marks the Pharisee – then and now.

      • TheAbaum

        Penetrating the alimentary canal not “intimacy”. It is an act of extreme violence.

        • DougEisner

          Probably best not to get into graphics, but the alimentary canal has two ends; do you refer to both or only to what repulses you? Consensual acts between adults are not “of extreme violence”.

          • TheAbaum

            I meant both. Any misuse of the body does it violence-but the exit point is especially vulnerable.
            Beyond fissures, there is the possibility of introducing pathogens into the body.

            Consent has nothing to do with the objective nature of the act. Suicide pacts are consensual but violent.

    • happiernow

      “Catholics (and all Christians) must stand firm in their belief that homosexual sex acts are the worst of the worst of all sexual sins.”

      Really? The worst of the worst? Sorry, but no. Rape, child sexual abuse, adultery, incest, bestiality (animal abuse), necrophilia…all far, far worse than sexual intimacy between two consenting adults of the same sex. Give me a break!

      • cpsho

        Every
        heterosexual act regardless of circumstance can at least claim to be part of
        the will of God in Genesis where God made us male and female and allowed us to
        pair in that way, multiplying and subduing the earth.

        Every single homosexual act, regardless of circumstance can’t claim any link
        whatsoever to God’s commands at creation

        • cpsho

          in case you still don’t quite get the point. Homosexuality is the Devil last card to drag as many people as possible to a very unpleasant place. That is what has been prophesied in Revelation 13, 14 and 17.
          My advice: get off the “Gay agenda” bandwagon, now!!!
          While there is still time.
          http://www.prophetamos3m.com/6.html
          http://popeleo13.com/pope/2013/11/01/message-2/#more-93

        • happiernow

          I wholly disagree with your theology and your interpretation of scripture. And I caution anyone to speak with humility when they claim to know the will of God. However, our disagreement over religious beliefs is irrelevant. We live a country that is governed by secular law, and every law must have a legitimate secular purpose and be at least rationally related to that secular purpose. Our Constitution also promises equal treatment under the law to all citizens. So what you think about the private intimate acts of other consenting adults is irrelevant to the question of equal protection under the law.

          • cpsho

            “Do you not know that
            friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes
            to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” 9James 4 v 4)
            Choose your side; but remember when the Lord Jesus returns – in a short while – he will judge according to the revelation of God.
            http://popeleo13.com/pope/2014/05/30/category-archive-message-board-48/#more-412

            • happiernow

              I much prefer the words of Jesus himself, such as as found in these particular passages:

              “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating.
              Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’ “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O
              Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31);

              “When [the scribes and the Pharisees] kept on questioning [Jesus], he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her’.” (John 8:7);

              “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37);

              “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.” (Matthew 23:27);

              “As he taught, Jesus said, ‘Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely’.” (Mark 12:38-40);

              “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me’.” (Matthew 18:1-5);

              “Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments’.” (Matthew 22:34-40);

              “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: ‘The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others. But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted’.” (Matthew 23:1-12);

              “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you’.” (Luke 6:27-38).

              • cpsho

                wonderful quotes all. Now, lets live them in our lives.
                And what is your take on the baptism of the Baby of the so-called lesbian couple?
                http://popeleo13.com/pope/2014/06/02/category-archive-message-board-51/#more-429

                • happiernow

                  Well, for starters, I don’t believe in baptizing babies, so I’m not sure my opinion really matters on this one. I rely on Acts 2:38 (“repent and be baptized”), and I just cannot see how babies are capable of repentance before baptism. But if I did believe in it, I don’t understand why the Church should refuse to baptize the baby, regardless of who the parents are. Even if you believe the parents are unrepentant sinners, you shouldn’t blame the baby!

            • happiernow

              Although I suppose if you want to focus on the book of James, you might find some wisdom from these verses:

              “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” (James 1:26);

              “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:12-13);

              “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” (James 3:9-10);

              “Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:11-12).

              Of course, none of these have anything to do with the question of whether the U.S. Constitution requires equal protection under the law for ALL citizens, but if you want to engage in a duel over scripture, I assure you that I am well-taught.

              • cpsho

                Homosexuality (sodomy) is the Devil’s Last Card.
                http://www.prophetamos3m.com/6.html
                I will not stop warning Catholics and Christians about this. It is the mandate I have from our Lord Jesus.
                If we love God then lets do his will. His will on this matter is clearly spelt out in Leviticus chapters 18 and 20 and in Romans chapter 1.
                God bless.

                • happiernow

                  That link was very bizarre. And of all the things that I could think of as “the Devil’s Last Card,” what consenting adults choose to do in the privacy of their bedroom just doesn’t seem to rank very high on the list when compared to things like murder, war, rampant greed, child abuse, human trafficking, rape…I could go on, but what’s the point? If you think homosexuality is the worst of the worst sins, there really is nothing I can say to you.

                  P.S. I believe you have misinterpreted the verses in Leviticus and Romans to which you are referring. Historical context and accurate translation is everything. Then again, I’m not a biblical literalist, and I don’t believe that God himself wrote those words (or dictated the words to the writers like I would dictate a letter to my secretary). My faith is so much bigger than the literalists would allow!

  • ‘Christianity’ sold out a long time ago on definitions and teaching ‘the way’ of life. Worrying about their tax deductibility puts them in bed with Caesar and all its minions. Happiness while it is a condition is not something you can search for. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote “happiness is the end of life”, that is to say it is the point of our being here. Searching for happiness pretty much guarantees you will never find it. Happiness is a gift. No one can earn it or even create it. “Happiness is not something to be searched for; still less is it something you can make; it is something you can only receive, and become.” – Gerald Vann The ‘way’ to being ‘notoriously’ happy is not difficult but as long as Christians legislate it you won’t find it.

    • JP

      You comments remind me of what Nietzsche wrote of the Last Men who discovered “happiness”:

      The hour when you say, ‘What matters my happiness?
      It is poverty and filth and wretched contentment. But my happiness ought to justify existence itself.’

      Nietzsche went on to write in the next stanza:

      The hour when you say, ‘What matters my virtue?
      As yet it has not made me rage. How weary I am of my good and my evil! All that is poverty and filth and wretched contentment.’

      In our desires to go beyond Good and Evil in order to find Happiness we are discovering that it is nothing but poverty and wretched contentment.

      • DougEisner

        Nietzsche seems a poor authority on happiness. His conclusion regarding God is just as absurd as «Jenseits von Gute und Böse»

        • JP

          It appears his writings went right over your head. The Last Men, “who discovered” happiness are the Modern and Post Modern men who dispensed with God, tradition, and culture in the name of some easy going secular belief that we all can overcome Good and Evil. It’s not that the Last Men were unhappy; it’s that their happiness is simply nauseating.

          Perhaps, the truth is that Nietzsche knew exactly what we are up to, and his keen insights into modern men and society is too much for most people to handle.

  • Don Schenk

    If a right wing judge would impose”We’re going to change ‘under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance to ‘under our Lord Jesus Christ’–Hah1 Hah! Hah!” that would do less damage to our democracy and the Constitution than what these crazy liberal judges are doing.

  • abu assim golor

    This is what happens when you live in a dictatorial kritarchy.

  • Scott W.

    The article by reporter Jennifer Lin is not primarily about an action, and it is not properly speaking a news article. It is, as most such pieces are, a bit of propaganda in order to establish a logical causation that regarding nearly any other matter would not be treated as credible in our unhappily liberal society.

    No truth in the news. No news in the Truth

  • hombre111

    I guess, over and over again, the good readers of Crisis will have to gag on these words from Pope Francis:

    “Who am I to admit impediments?A nice word for bishops, for priests and for Christians. Who are we to close doors? … The Holy Spirit is the living presence of God in the Church. He keeps the Church going, keeps the Church moving forward. More and more, beyond the limits, onwards. … And He makes unthinkable choices, but unimaginable! To use a word of St. John XXIII: it is the Holy Spirit that updates the Church: Really, he really updates it and keeps it going.”

    • cestusdei

      He also said “I am a son of the Church.” He also said that he had to clean up homosexuals in the Vatican and priesthood.

    • Objectivetruth

      Agreed, hombre. Pope Francis is absolutely correct, the Holy Spirit is the living presence of God in the Church.

      And thankfully, the Holy Spirit was guiding the successor to Peter when he stated that gay marriage is “anti-value and an anthropological regression.”

      I hope you’re not gagging on these words……

      • Objectivetruth

        More of the words of the pope on gay marriage and gay adoption for you to gag on, hombre:

        ““[T]he Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family,” he wrote to the four monasteries in Argentina. “At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”

        He went on to describe it as a “‘move’ of the Father of Lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

      • hombre111

        Thanks for a brisk reply. A few generations from now, after homosexuals are firmly integrated within the Church, some other successor to Peter is going to say, “As the Church has always taught and believed….” The Easter-time readings talk about the first time the conservatives had to eat their words. As good Jews, they did not believe any Gentile could be part of the Church. It was absolutely a core belief. Jesus Himself said, “I have come only for the sons of Israel.” But….

        • Objectivetruth

          Homosexuals are already firmly integrated in to the Church, hombre! Good, chaste, devout Catholic men and women with a homosexual tendancy who follow the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and lead loving, celibate lives rejecting the gay lifestyle, and turning from the father of all lies, Satan.

          • hombre111

            Good reply. I am thoroughly aware of everything you just said. I know homosexual priests who are doing just what you said. But my problem is with the agony of men and women who cannot follow the call to live celibate lives, and my question: if they were made that way by a good and loving God, how could he call them to a sacrifice beyond the ability of most people? Is the only alternative, live in celibacy or live in shame?

            I am not talking about the promiscuity of the gay lifestyle. I am talking about people I know who have lived with each other faithfully for many, many years. I saw a newsclip about gay partners marrying in Oregon, and I was amazed how many of them were in middle age or older. Clearly, they had found a way to be faithful for a long time. I cannot believe that the Church is following the way of compassion and mercy on this question.

            • Hombre111

              Be silent. Now.

            • hombre111

              How long have you been ill?

            • Art Deco

              I am talking about people I know who have lived with each other
              faithfully for many, many years. I saw a newsclip about gay partners
              marrying in Oregon, and I was amazed how many of them were in middle age
              or older. Clearly, they had found a way to be faithful for a long time.

              You don’t know them that well.

              • hombre111

                And, dear Art, neither do you. But many of the gay men and women I do know are not living promiscuous lives, but are trying to be faithful spouses. Two of them have been “married” much longer than many modern heterosexual spouses.

                • TheAbaum

                  Two homosexuals are “not faithful spouses”, they are practicing exclusive sin.

                  • hombre111

                    “By their fruits you shall know them.” They are loving, supportive, forgiving, generous to others, anxious to be part of their parish, prayerful, hard workers in their community. This in contrast to some parishioners I have known over the years.

                    • TheAbaum

                      And thoroughly dedicated to sin. Never dawned on you that the parable of the rich man you use as a cudgel in pursuit of statist hell is an analogy for the sin you want to remain attached to.

                    • TheAbaum

                      In one of my prior jobs, I worked (a couple levels down) for a fellow who was reported to be a real peach. Always seemed like a great guy.

                      His name was Mark Mangelsdorf. (Google it).

                    • hombre111

                      Maybe not.

                    • TheAbaum

                      That’s my reaction to your assertion having having a collar not purchased from a costume store.

                      The guy and his wife murdered her first husband, like you murder the truth.

                    • slainte

                      “…They are loving, supportive, forgiving, generous to others, anxious to be part of their parish, prayerful, hard workers in their community…”
                      .
                      As their priest, do you counsel and encourage them to engage celibacy?

                    • hombre111

                      For all I know, they are living that way.

                    • slainte

                      For their well being, you must counsel them to abstain from sexual intimacy. Please don’t adopt a passive position on this issue. They need your firm but caring guidance.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      And Mussolini made the trains run on time.

                      Good. They seem like they have wonderful qualities. Now go and counsel them that their lifestyle is in direct opposition to the teaching of the Church they wish to belong to. Counsel them that if they continue to live in such a sinful lifestyle, for their own good they should refrain from receiving the Eucharist until they are ready to confess their sins and repent.

                      But of course, that would require you to actually attend to priestly duties faithful to the vocation.

                    • hombre111

                      The fruit of the Spirit is love, patience, kindness, goodness, forgiveness….. I have to honor people who seem to be listening to God. If they were living lives of rebellion, I don’t think the Spirit would be with them.

                    • DougEisner

                      Everyone knows the Germans, not the Italians, had the trains running on time…and to what evil ends indeed!

                • Art Deco

                  But many of the gay men and women I do know are not living promiscuous lives, but are trying to be faithful spouses.

                  Your an easy mark.

              • DougEisner

                Ah, but you have the knowledge and the authority to say? I always wonder about those who are stridently and authoritatively anti-gay.

                • Art Deco

                  Go ahead and wonder. (I do not bother with stridency and nothing I say is authoritative. The gay lobby expects to be treated cloyingly or deferentially and are put out when they get neither, as are their self-appointed tribunes.)

                  • DougEisner

                    No cloying deference required (and clearly none given), but neither is criticism, boycott, or letter writing an attack on religious (or any other freedom).

                • TheAbaum

                  Ah, but you have the knowledge and the authority to say? I always wonder about those who are stridently and authoritatively against people who understand sodomy is a sin and not something people should be encouraged to habituate or define themselves by.

                • Interested

                  Do you wonder at those strongly against arson or genocide?

                  • DougEisner

                    Not at all – those are external while strident homophobes are often closet cases.

                • Objectivetruth

                  Catholics aren’t “anti-gay”, they’re anti sin.

            • Objectivetruth

              “Faithful for a long time”…..faithful to what? Sodomy?

              • TheAbaum

                The interesting thing about Hombre’s claim to being a priest is that its credibility rests on the scandals of clerical abuse.

                Forty years ago, nobody would have believed he could be a priest, because of his public infidelity to the Church.

                • Objectivetruth

                  I still have my doubts.

                • Interested

                  I have quoted that great and holy nun who started a tv network. Regarding dissenting priests who cause scandal: “He might be a priest, but he aint Catholic”.

                  • TheAbaum

                    He’s a weevil, gnawing at the plant from the inside, living off it, even as he injures it.

                    The only thing he cares about is money.

            • DougEisner

              Thank you for a kind comment among the Pharisee-like views…I know people as you have described as well. They have their crosses and we in the church make them heavier when we could help them.

              • TheAbaum

                We can help them by being good friends, encouraging them, not giving permission to sin.

                Of course, there are people who don’t want help.

                • DougEisner

                  I don’t expect people to ask my permission about their lives, otherwise I agree with your comment.

              • hombre111

                Our Pharisees forget the Gospel passage, which I paraphrase: The measure you measure by will be the measure used on you. I hope for understanding and compassion when I stand before God. They want a full body scan.

              • slainte

                How do you propose to help them?

            • slainte

              Hombre writes, “….But my problem is with the agony of men and women who cannot follow the call to live celibate lives, and my question: if they were made that way by a good and loving God, how could he call them to a sacrifice beyond the ability of most people?…”
              .
              Human beings are not animals in heat unable to control themselves sexually.
              .
              Where does this agony stuff come from?…self control is eminently doable.

              • Objectivetruth

                “With Christ, all things are possible.”

              • hombre111

                Mmm. Maybe not, Slainte, when lonely people fall in love. I am not talking about hook-up nights at the local bar.

                • slainte

                  You are not correct Hombre. I am a living witness that this can be done; I have done it. I attest that it is not an agony.
                  .
                  Just as you, a priest, engage celibacy so have I following a divorce. I have gifted my trial to God and he has graced me with the strength to prevail. I am no stronger than any other average person.

                  • hombre111

                    As I said, Slainte, I admire and respect you for what you have done. I really don’t think you are the average person in this instance. But I have already mentioned you as an example to a woman who is dealing with her own divorce.

                    • slainte

                      Hombre, I don’t write this for anyone’s admiration or respect.
                      .
                      I attest that Christ calls us to reach ideals greater than we think we can achieve. We can do the seemingly impossible if we just engage Him in the effort.
                      .
                      Please encourage those you counsel to Radically Embrace Christ. He will provide the grace they require to live Celibacy following a divorce or in response to same sex desire.
                      .
                      We are so much more than animals responding to hormonal demands. We are Christ centered incarnated souls seeking our perfection in the Lord. We can do this by living His commandments.

                    • hombre111

                      I just saved your email for use in future sermons. I know you don’t write for admiration, but as a witness. I was just listening to our local Catholic radio station that broadcasts in Spanish. I know the priest who was at the mic and his sermon, filled with bombastic repetitions, could have used a few good words of testimony from somebody.

                    • Slainte

                      Hombre, maybe what divides Catholics who are called traditionalists from Vatican II Catholics is the acceptance by the former that trials are purpose driven events which cause spiritual growth by joining one’s suffering with Christ’s sacrifice. We come to the redeemed Christ through sacrifice.
                      .
                      The latter VII Catholics, however, reject suffering as they envision Christ has done that part already by dying on the cross, and it is done. Thus they focus on the risen Lord and lay aside the events that preceded the resurrection. For them, suffering is optional, every trial is a problem awaiting a solution, and if the solution happens to contradict God’s law, they rest assured that the Church, in the name of mercy and pastoral considerations, will amend the law to coincide with their life choices.
                      .
                      Isn’t this scenario what is playing out in our churches today regarding contraception, divorce, same sex relationships. Don’t the Protestants describe the permissive scenario as Cheap Grace?
                      .
                      Thanks for listening.

                    • hombre111

                      A really good point, well made. Thanks. I hope that does not describe the Catholics I know. If it does, I spend all of Lent reminding them that we can’t go to a cross shop and pick out a cross that is light in weight and a pleasure to carry. Crosses, I tell them, are the struggles that arise because of the vows they have made and the consequences, such as spouse and children and all the complications that follow, with the times when they are reduced to saying to God, “I am only an empty cup, you have to fill me up.” I talk to them over and over about the fact that, wherever they are in their life, and whatever their burden, this is what they signed up for when they followed Christ to Jerusalem. I talk to them about the apostles who ran away and the women who stayed behind. I joke with them about my mother, who used to say, “offer it up,” and how mad I would get, and how she was right.

            • fredx2

              No, they probably did not find a way to be faithful. They just agreed to live with constant non-monagamy. They made rules about when and where it could take place, etc.

              • hombre111

                The gay couples I know have been monogamous for twenty years or longer. Their faithfulness outshines half of hetero couples.

                • Art Deco

                  Tell them to let go of your leg. (Or let go of ours).

                • TheAbaum

                  The term of derision “hetero” betrays you.

            • fredx2

              “…if they were made that way by a good and loving God, how could he call them to a sacrifice beyond the ability of most people? ”

              This applies to large numbers of people – Alcoholics, etc.

              • hombre111

                Don’t know if alcoholics and drug addicts were made that way by God. Homosexuality seems to be in the genes, and in the brain.

                • Art Deco

                  Studies of identical twins have demonstrated pretty conclusively that it is not heritable per se (though correlates may be). That’s one of the few things fairly securely understood about the phenomenon.

                • fredx2

                  From the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

                  “Alcoholism often seems to run in families, and we may hear about scientific studies of an “alcoholism gene.” Genetics certainly influence our likelihood of developing alcoholism, but the story isn’t so simple.

                  Research shows that genes are responsible for about half of the risk for alcoholism. Therefore, genes alone do not determine whether someone will become an alcoholic. Environmental factors, as well as gene and environment interactions account for the remainder of the risk.”

                  So actually, alcholism may have more a genetic basis than has been found so far for homosexuality.

                  • hombre111

                    Thanks, Fred. You caused me to do a Google search. No surprise to me about a possible “alchoholism gene,” considering all the alcoholics in my family. The reading I did said that genetics might account for 30-40% of the tendency toward alcoholism, but the articles said there is still a lot of uncertainty. Both alcoholism and homosexuality involve environmental factors, along with gene and environment interactions. But it is important to note, in both cases, that it does not seem to be a matter of choice. I have been very careful to watch my drinking and obsessive behavior, so that I do not succumb to the alcoholism that ruined my family. Does this mean that a person can refuse to succumb to homosexual tendencies? Any studies you know of that have been observed by science? Any religious studies that would be respected by science?

              • DougEisner

                And left-handed people who should struggle and be forced to write properly with their right hands (dexter rather than sinister – the terms alone prove the rule is God-ordained)!

        • TheAbaum

          If you could only be for some thing other than government with the same vigor as the people you are against.

        • hombre111

          I probably should admit I am a homosexual at this point.

          • hombre111

            But if the real hombre said this, it would be a lie.

            • John200

              But hombre the First, be careful with the word “lie.” You spend your time peppering CrisisMag with dissenting Catholicism and its half-lies, three-quarter lies, and outrageous lies.

              How are we to know mini-hombre is not more real than you? I rather suspect he is the reality and you, the un-Holy Ghost.

              • hombre111

                Heh. Pretty good. Actually, I have only a few areas where I disagree with Crisis. 1) Its relentless attack on the gay lifestyle. I think gay promiscuity is sinful, as charged. But not all gays are promiscuous. A few of them are celibate heroes. Some of them could teach the herteros about fidelity. These men and women, doing their best with a bad deal, are the ones I defend, because I have known them personally and see their goodness.
                2) Turning contraception into a grievous sin. This is not what Humanae Vitae taught when it counseled men and women practicing artificial contraception to go to confession and continue receiving Communion. And Humanae Vitae is sorely lacking in its logic, the adequacy of its point of view, and in its command of science and the facts. Again, my attitude flows from my experience as a confessor. It is entirely too easy for a celibate to pile heavy burdens onto the shoulders of married people.
                3) Forced priestly celibacy. When my generation was ordained, celibacy “came with the job.” But if a person is not called to celibacy by a charism from the Holy Spirit, he will struggle and often fail. Last year, 12 good men were in the seminary, studying for our diocese. Now, there are seven. In my deanery, five priests and one retired priest labor among about 250,000 people, with at least thirty percent of them Catholic. This is a catastrophe inflicted on us by leaders who will not budge on celibate vocations.
                4) The role of women in the Church. The hierarchy is defensive about this, assuring us that, even though they play absolutely no role in leadership, that the Church loves and respects them. I say, maybe.
                5) Divorce and remarriage. Surely, a Church that claims to embody Christ in his mercy, has a better way to minister to people who are hurting.
                6) Capitalism. Crisis is an arm of the Acton Institute, proclaiming capitalism as if it were part of the Gospel. I see it as a force that has created astonishing prosperity for some, while ravaging our planet. Its addiction to perpetual growth will destroy the earth with its limited resources.

              • TheAbaum

                “CateSchism. ”

                Prepare to be plagiarized. I’m stealing that one.

                (Unless you really mind)

                • John200

                  Not at all — use it as you see fit.

          • Scott W.

            As much as I often disagree with the real hombre, posting under his name is dishonest.

          • John200

            Ha, ha, ha, splendid work, mini-Hombre.

        • cpsho

          a few generations from now? No, sir. There will be nothing like that. We are at the end of time. It is virtually over. That is what the gay-lobby don’t understand.
          This is the end of the End-Times; the Lord Jesus comes back within a generation and half a generation.
          Do the math.
          http://www.prophetamos3m.com/7.html
          http://popeleo13.com/pope/2014/05/18/category-archive-message-board-40/
          http://www.prophetamos3m.com/9.html

    • TheAbaum

      Update in Hombre111 land:

      Allowing contraceptives, homosexual pseudonogamy, divorce and remarriage-in other words sexual anarchy.

      But hey, as long as you vote for the right way, Jesus will appear to you as Barney the Dinosaur.

      • Objectivetruth

        Dogs and cats, living together……

        Hombre111 Land is the new theme park where heretics go to vacation. I hear the Martin Luther ride and the “create your own Catechism” arts and crafts center have long lines, que up early.

        • TheAbaum

          Sin and sin boldly….

    • Thomas

      Who needs the Catechism, right? Glad to know you think the Holy Spirit shows up only when a progressive is sitting in St. Peter’s chair.

      • hombre111

        For about half of my priesthood, I would have agreed with the Catechism. But my experiences with gay people makes it very difficult for me to classify them as grave sinners. Sin should be apparent by its effects, but some of the kindest, most sensitive, most generous people I know are gay men or women who are living with a partner. And so I find myself at a epistemic crisis. My way of knowing this issue in the past conflicts with my honest experience.

        • Thomas

          Even though I am not gay, I understand what you mean by “past conflicts with…experience.”

          So you struggle with this issue out of compassion for others. That is good. Compassion is good; vitriol is not necessary.

          Reading your reply reminded me of the story where a former Catholic usher parked himself next to Fulton J. Sheen on a plane and attacked the Church, but Sheen saw through it and asked, “How much did you steal from the collection?”

          I’ll let you read about it.

          http://unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspot.com/2007/08/fulton-sheen-its-always-moral-problem.html

          • TheAbaum

            You want vitriol? Ask him about the recently Sainted Pope from Poland.

            • Thomas

              Did you hear the Sheen story? Sheen saw through the exterior of a person and into the underlying moral crises fueling their objections to Catholicism. It’s true that any rationalization of sin, or any accommodations made in its behalf, usually belie a flaw. True for me; true for all of us.
              JP II, a great Pope.

              • TheAbaum

                I seem to recall that story. I agree with your observations about sin and rationalization.

          • Art Deco

            There was another story of Bp. Sheen listening to a soliloquy from a priest on his objections to the celibacy rule. When the man was done, Bp. Sheen asks, “what is her name?”.

        • Art Deco

          But my experiences with gay people makes it very difficult for me to classify them as grave sinners.

          I’ll put those ‘experiences’ in the same file with your ‘researches’ into Latin American history.

          • Carl

            I think the only time hombre hangs around “orthodox” Catholics is here on Crisismagazinedotcom

        • Art Deco

          but some of the kindest, most sensitive, most generous people I know are gay men or women who are living with a partner.

          It’s called ‘confirmation bias’. (I take it you’ve not met many lesbians, nor has it occurred to you that homosexual men have an affinity for the theatre for a reason).

    • bonaventure

      If there is any movement of the Holy Spirit in our contemporary world, it is where conservative Christian populations are growing — such as in Africa and Russia, where homosexuality is not only treated as sin, but also as an increasingly serious crime — as it should be, since of course that is the correct answer to such as pervasive sexually debauched perversion.

      Fact of the matter is, the Church’s teaching on homosexuality has not changed, and cannot change.

      If anything happens at the Synod of Bishops in favor of homosexuality in one way of another (as you surely hope it wilI), it’s gonna be the fruit of dissent and apostasy, not the Spirit’s presence.

      • hombre111

        Good to hear from a new voice. Of course, it is impossible for me to think of the good gay people I know personally as criminals. They are merely people who are trying to find love in their lives within the limits of their personalities–as we all are.

        I would agree that it is very difficult to think of the Church’s teaching changing, but it has. Back in the day, the Church saw homosexuality as much more than an “objectively disordered” condition. The very condition was the gravest evil, because it was assumed that a homosexual made a conscious choice to be homosexual. Now the Church admits its origins are more mysterious, and grave evil is reserved to homosexual acts, and the Church asks us to treat homosexual persons with respect.

        My dilemma is this: How can the Church be compassionate toward homosexuals who are unable to live the chaste lives she asks them to live? Especially when my experience shows so many of them to be living in a way that is life-giving, if not procreative.

        • TheAbaum

          The compassion comes in the forgiveness of sins for the price of asking-your mandate was to forgive sins, not permit them.

        • bonaventure

          The homosexual is a sinner like everyone else. Graver maybe than other sinners because engaging in a graver sin, but that is normal and continuous Catholic teaching — that some sins are graver than others. So “back in the day” (as you write) is no different from today. The difference, however, is only on the dissenting side, whereby the dissenters assume that a person is incapable of sexual choices, regardless of the origins (psychological or otherwise) of a particular sin.

          • hombre111

            No, in the past it was simply the state, whether it was acted on or not. No “soft person” (the literal meaning of the Greek, translated as “homosexual” can inherit the Kingdom of God. Now, the Church is saying a “soft person” can gain the Kingdom if he is celibate.

            • bonaventure

              F in biblical exegesis.
              A+ in liberal spin.

              “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor 6:6-11 RSV)

              The list of sins that will not inherit the Kingdom of God is long. The Church has always taught the clear biblical doctrine that all sinners can inherit the Kingdom if they allow themselves to be washed and sanctified, whether their sin is homosexuality, adultery, idolatry, greed, etc.

              • hombre111

                As somebody said, every translator is a liar. It would be interesting if you used different translations and saw how the Greek word “Malakoi” is translated. Your translation says “sexual perverts.” My translation at this moment says “Sodomites.” But my analytical lexicon of the Greek New Testament says, 1: Soft, as in delicate clothes, luxurious clothes. 2: Figuratively, in a bad sense of men who are effeminate, unmanly 3: substantivally, (ie, hoi malakoi, using the word as a noun) especially of a man or boy who submits his body to homosexual lewdness.
                The Greek text does not use malakoi in a substantative way as a noun. Therefore the word is an adjective? Commentators then note how this third meaning, using the word as a noun, creates a dilemma for people who lived in a slave society. Slaves could not say no to a master who demanded to use them for such purposes. Many Christians in the Corinthian community were slaves.

                • bonaventure

                  Using your “interpretive art,” Paul may be telling the slaves that their masters will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Unless, of course, they stop their homosexual acts and repent of their homosexual sins… which you deny as possible, since you (as all liberals) claim that homosexuality is a “gift from God,” “innate” and “immutable.”

                  In your “exegesis,” therefore, the master who abused his slave really did not have any choice but to abuse the male slave, since that was his “orientation” and the slave was allowed, by then law and custom, to fulfill the master’s “right” to that “orientation.”

                  In reality, Paul is just telling the Corinthians that anyone who repents from their sins (including homosexuality) and turns around can inherit the Kingdom. And this teaching has never changed, whatever spin parading as exegesis you might try to put on it.

                  • hombre111

                    Peace, amigo. Do what scholars do. Check an analytical Greek concordance, and you will see a puzzle. Malakoi, means “soft,” or “not masculine.” The third meaning, oddly enough, did not specify the dominators in the sexual act, but the victims. Is Paul saying the “soft” or “not masculine” can’t be saved? Is he blaming the victims?
                    I suppose that the translators are unanimous on translating the term “homosexuals,” or “Sodomites,” because they are aware of the larger way the word was used in the culture. But it is a puzzle, and not nearly as black and white as you would have it.

  • NML

    Maybe we should rescind the privilege we give to the state of recognizing and recording our marriages into law. The natural state of marriage exists when a man and woman vow to it whether the state recognizes it or not, and the state and the courts don’t seem to realize that. They think it is they who make the marriage valid, and so they somehow can make a same sex marriage “valid” unto the rest of society, just as they are failing to realize we grant them some rights over our children, for example to be educated in public schools, but the state does not therefore own our children anymore than it owns marriage. Therefore the state has no authority to enforce recognition of a sham marriage. It is all utterly foolish pretension.

  • BJGreen

    What a long & wordy compilation of nonsense. This article is so ridiculous and boring. Work on defining your own happiness and monitoring your own perverse depressions. We all were born with the ‘nature to sin’. We were not, however, born knowing or understanding what sin is. We have come to define it through the years in different ways through different religions, and have learned to reject those who have beliefs other than our own. Just because gay relationships and the gay lifestyle are not accepted by your belief system or understood by your well educated mind, does not mean that your views are relevant. Calling gays perverse and judging what you imagine their personal choices and practices to be is a sin. It’s not yours or anyone else’s place to decide who someone decides to love and share their life with. Many of the same derogatory comments and observations could just as easily be aimed people who choose to pursue relations and perhaps relationships w the opposite sex. Regardless of a person’s sexual orientation, good choices can be made as can bad choices. Successful relationships can and do occur, most are unsuccessful. Families can be made, children can be created or adopted and successfully raised, society can benefit. It’s time people who are of a certain belief stop worrying about what their neighbors brothers and fellow countrymen who may follow a different belief system are doing (and who they are doing it with) and instead start worrying about what they can do in their own life to manifest happiness and prosperity. We need to preach more about spreading love and acceptance for one another and learn how to continue coexisting on this wonderful but limited planet that we turn a blind eye to as we over use over pollute and under appreciate. We are all one people. Let’s find something more compelling and personally significant to ponder than marriage equality for people of all religions, ethnic backgrounds, genders, levels of education, sexual orientation, physical and mental abilities. If you have an aversion to gay marriage, it’s simple. Pursue non gay relationships and marry someone of the opposite gender. The gays can pursue the gay relationships and marry who they fall in love with end of discussion everyone wins.

    • NML

      It’s time people who are of a certain belief stop worrying about what
      their neighbors brothers and fellow countrymen who may follow a
      different belief system are doing

      Same sex marriage advocates are the ones’ worrying about what their neighbors who follow a different belief system are doing and even thinking-and their answer is to enforce acceptance of a new untenable meaning for marriage upon those who cannot agree; by imposing it through the courts. Just because the court says such a partnership is marriage (as opposed to a civil union or domestic partnership-which can certainly be true and acceptable) it will not change the minds of those who view marriage implicitly, and prior to the existence of the state, as a union between a man and a woman; evidenced by the complementarity of the male and female, and their ability to consummate marriage in a natural procreative fashion. Can a pretense be authorized by court order? And with the expectation that assent will occur? It is a disreputable and Orwellian. approach that cannot win its proponents any esteem. Call it something other than marriage; that is fair; and the wish to be recognized (under whatever that other word is) is also fair and understandable. Coercion is not fair.

    • Interested

      This is the shallow logic that passes for reasoning today. Pathetic.

    • Bruno

      “Calling gays perverse and judging what you imagine their personal choices and practices to be is a sin.”

      Interesting logic. You say that calling a sin a sin is a sin. Have you sinned by doing so, just now?

    • TERRY

      wrong

    • FormerLiberalnowConservative

      It was you who was wordy and compiled nothing but nonsense. Homosexuality is immoral, perverse, and just plain disgusting that it should not be accepted and promoted in the public square. What is so normal about shoving reproductive organs into the rectums of others? The deadly disease of AIDS shows this to be not normal and quite deadly.
      We are not deciding who someone may love or is spending their time with. Only by the government going into your home and busting this up, would we be doing that. We are not obligated to confer our taxpayer funded benefits subsidized by singles on relationships that bring no value to society. It is not so much we worry about what they are doing but how they are shoving that in our faces. This includes our public schools where once this becomes law allows the sodomites easy access to our children in the school system.

  • TheAbaum

    “Who is pure and holy enough to be loving, in your estimation?”

    Everybody can be, and nobody is when engaged in perversion.

    • TheAbaum: The real difference between your point of view and mine is how we choose to define your elusive “engaged in perversion” clause. I’m firmly with St-Anselm:

      Thus I am placed when I wake, thus when I sleep;
      I am thus when I smile, thus when I jest;
      thus when I am proud, thus when I am humiliated;
      thus when angry, thus when vindicated;
      thus, thus I am when I miserably love the delights of the flesh.
      Thus am I then always and everywhere.
      (St. Anselm, A Prayer to St-Stephen, Lines 75-87)

      God help us all.

      • TheAbaum

        Sodomy is perversion (extraneous and irrelevant quote aside).

        • JP

          David Ross is just playing a game with us. Perhaps to him it is amusing. But, it is still a game. In short, he is trolling.

          • TheAbaum

            Agreed.

          • I am not a troll, trolls seek emotional chaos; I seek simple answers to simple questions. Above all I seek correction where I fail to follow the teachings of Christ and HIs Church.

            • TheAbaum

              The teachings are clear. Homosexuality is a sin. One needs a firm purpose of amendment to be forgiven, not a defiant insistence on that somehow this is a unique sin that demands ex ante permission.

              • The Catholic teachings are crystal clear, and if you can show me that I have said anything to contradict them, I will recant immediately.

                If, for example, you have the feeling that I demand permission for any sin, please provide evidence to support your sentiment, lest sentiment trump reason, and judgement is imposed unjustly.

                • TheAbaum

                  “oving embrace of two gentle adult homosexual
                  Christian lovers,”

                  The errors in this statement were already explained.

                  • There is no error in that statement, how could there be? What do you mean? Do you mean that homosexuals cannot love each other?

                    I claim, with Christ and His Church, that sinners are capable of loving each other, while you claim, it seems, something else.

                    I asked: who is pure and holy enough to be loving, in your estimation? Liars? Murderers? Adulterers? Fornicators? Masturbators? You answered that everybody is able, but not while “engaged in perversion.”

                    I still do not know what exactly you mean by “engaged in perversion” but am willing to accept any number of reasonable definitions.

                    I sincerely want to understand your elusive point-of-view, and have no ill-will toward you.

        • Yes, all sin is perversion.

          • TheAbaum

            Yes, but most people don’t define themselves by their sin.

            • If you are charging me with “defining myself by my sin” or promoting this perverted definition in others, I plead not-guilty. But if there is any evidence for your claims bring it forward so that we can examine it together using reason. I will recant if anything I have said contradicts the teachings of Christ and His Church.

        • If you are charging me with condoning sodomy or any other sin, I plead not-guilty to your charges. But if there is any evidence for your claims bring it forward so that we can examine it together using reason. I will recant if anything I have said contradicts the teachings of Christ and His Church.

          The quote from St-Anselm is relevant: I provided it as an antidote to the deadly and demonic pride which tempts us all.

          We’re all in the same boat.

          God help us all.

          • TheAbaum

            “I plead not-guilty to your charges. ”

            We have an attorney on the board, you’ll need one.

            • I have no idea what “the board” is, or why you claim I’ll need an attorney; please explain your reasoning to me.

              • TheAbaum

                Obviously, you are jamming, so I’m done.

                • I have no idea what “jamming” is. Please explain.

  • Art Deco

    You don’t have to be pure to avoid strange non sequiturs.

  • Art Deco

    Given time and diligent effort, you may begin to make slightly more sense than Jared Loughner.

    • Art Deco: I may well be criminally insane, but God isn’t.

      I may well be inferior to you, but God isn’t.

      You may not love me, but God does.

      If you love me (and that is how they shall know we are Christians) you will correct me when I beg for correction; I am begging you for correction now. What have I said that is not in line with the teachings of Christ or His Church?

      (Please bear in mind that I am a new convert and you have the grave honor of representing the Holy Church Militant in my eyes)

      • JP

        Defending Sinners who seduce others and lead them to Hell. Christ once gave a warning to those who lead others astray.

        • JP, I appreciate your heart-felt sentiment, but I prefer reason.

          Again, I ask: What have I said that is not in line with the teachings of Christ or His Church?

  • montanajack1948

    “What is the genuine purpose for which human beings by nature live and ought consciously to know they live for? Of what do our lives consist when they are good lives?” I thought–on my limited knowledge and understanding of the Christian gospels–that the answer would be “love,” but apparently I’m wrong; and so apparently were Jesus and St. Paul, neither of whom included the begetting or raising of children as constituent of human happiness.

    • Tann

      The two answers are actually the same answer, Jack. True love and true happiness both lie in the acceptance of God’s will. You can’t be happy without loving God; you can’t truly love God without obeying Him. Unfortunately, very often we human beings want what God doesn’t want. Catholics think God, the Eternal Creator, doesn’t want sex to be divorced from procreation and pursued for pleasure alone, any more than He wants eating and drinking divorced from nutrition and pursued for pleasure alone, like those Lucullan epicures who forced themselves to vomit for the sake of having three feasts in a row.

      Undefined “love” is not enough (especially in English, which bundles so many concepts under one term). Its very stature, which makes it about the highest of human emotions when it is rightly ordered, makes it among the worst when it is disordered: “corruptio optimi pessima est.”

      • montanajack1948

        Well, if you put it like that…thanks.

      • Thomas

        A fine post and a must read each and every day. Thank you!

  • JP

    Defend them how? Defend them as they seduce the young into their ways? Defend them as they push heresy and Sin as Love and Virtue?

    • TheAbaum

      It is a cheap defense that says keep doing what you want.

      • Show me where I said that and I will recant immediately.

    • I’m Catholic. I hate sin. I love sinners.

  • tamsin

    So at the heart of this story: egged on by Hume, another eighteenth-century worthy named Smith wrote a book called The Theory of Moral Sentiments which laid the intellectual groundwork for the governmental imposition of gay “marriage” on us by divorcing reason from the satisfaction of appetites. Rousseau had nothing to do with it. Smith is the bag man.

    Is there any evil the Bourgeois Mind cannot conceive, and perpetrate upon the worker below him and the landowner above him? Is there any evil which could not be ameliorated by eliminating the bourgeoisie?

    Since Plato is quoted near the end, consider the object of his ire: the Sophists who used and abused words to get what they wanted, not the bourgeoisie.

    • slainte

      The pleasure principle has been a guiding force of humanity for millenia. To engage it with some claim of legitimacy, ordered ends (procreation as an end to sex) must be subordinated to individual preferences. Hence reason is rejected.
      .
      Who would have thought stern faced Scots would have been so tuned into this. It’s always the ones you least suspect :).

  • Thomas

    To some of the warriors below, on both sides:
    We all commit sin. We admit this.
    A colleague once told me of an experience in confession with a liberal-minded priest. The colleague confessed his heterosexual addiction to prostitutes. He was a divorced man. The priest told him he wasn’t sinning because “he needed intimacy.” The priest believed that denying the sin was in the interest of this man’s human needs and his psyche as well. The man tells me his response to the priest was, “I don’t want you to make my behavior less than what it is. You don’t need to lower the bar for me; I need to raise myself up to it.”
    So, when the regulars here on Crisis opine on this subject, they are not Pharisaical to hold to Church teachings on sin; they themselves know their own shortcomings, but they refuse to lower the bar–for themselves or for others.
    To the well-meaning defenders of the homosexual: you might try to understand that talking about sin is sometimes going to make people uncomfortable. It is always going to make EVERYONE uncomfortable. Once we stop feeling uncomfortable about our sinful condition, once we erroneously tar people as “Pharisees”, we make sin acceptable and we perpetuate human misery in the process.

    • Objectivetruth

      We are followers of the Christ, the son of the living God. He told us “You must become perfect, as my Heavenly Father is perfect.” The bar is set high. We are to encourage, cajole, critique, chastise each other out of love to reach that heavenly bar.

      We have no choice but to keep the bar high, for ourselves and each other.

      • Thomas

        We agree. Let’s add something that the very Catholic Vince Lombardi once said to the Packers. He said, (I paraphrase), “Gentlemen, we are going to strive to be perfect. We will not attain perfection, but in always aiming for it we will become excellent.” This same great son of the Church, also had a brother who was a homosexual. Being a good son of the Church who had been discriminated against while seeking head coaching jobs, he did not tolerate any form of racism or discrimination. He made it clear to his assistants that if they questioned the manhood of a certain gay player(s) with the Redskins, that they would be out of a job. Did this mean that today he would support gay marriage? My guess is that as a daily Communicant, he would never cross the line against the Church; but he did embrace the Church’s teaching fully on respecting the dignity of the other man.
        While we must always be careful of being Pharisaical, we try to remember that Jesus said he came, “not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.”
        To some, this means that love and mercy supplant dogma. While that sounds good, it fails to see theological truth may be a BOTH/AND proposition, not an EITHER/OR. If Jesus is both true God and true man, then I believe it is our duty to be both obedient to the law and merciful to others, as well as humble because I, too, am not immune to sin. I don’t know about you, but I wonder if some here don’t recognize this about Pope Francis. If I thought he wanted to abandon the Church’s moral teaching, I would be wary of him. But I don’t see that being his agenda.
        So, like you, I think many of the good folks here understand this.

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  • portlandCatholic

    An insightful article–thank you, Mr. Wilson! But I am waiting for another article that addresses how Catholics like myself can continue to live and work in a society that cannot tolerate truth and rationality. I’m at a loss.

  • Invincible Hope

    good article!

  • Bruno

    “What then! say you: if one commit fornication, may I not say that fornication is a bad thing, nor at all correct him that is playing the wanton? Nay, correct him, but not as a foe, nor as an adversary exacting a penalty, but as a physician providing medicines. For neither did Christ say, stay not him that is sinning, but judge not; that is, be not bitter in pronouncing sentence.”

    Thus said Saint John Chrysostom.
    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/200123.htm

    In light of the Gospel and of the sayings of the saint, I give reason to brother David.

    • Bruno, thanks for chiming in. I was starting to think I was the only Catholic on this Catholic forum who doesn’t hate his enemies. Perhaps my point was too plain and simple for anyone but a saint to see. I’m glad you understand, in any case. God bless you and yours.

      St. John Chrysostom, pray for us.

      • Bruno

        I am still much in need of grace to love all my enemies, but we must ever try.

        It is said that a chicken’s maternal instinct is so strong that, when she is with her chicks and sees a hawk in the sky, and the hawk hovers over one chick, the chicken gets mad and attacks the chick furiously, mistaking it for the black terror in the sky. Argentine priest and psychologist Leonardo Castellani calls that psychological phenomenon “aglutinated causation”, a distortion of perception caused by instinct. Or as we say in Brazil, a dog bitten by a snake is terrified of sausages!

        We live in times so full of turmoil, and satan strikes such strong
        blows on us, that many are confused and
        see the hawk even where he isn’t (but be not mistaken, there are hawks). We lack faith, and feel abandoned. So did the disciples when our Lord was taken to the tomb, and even more so Mary Magdalene when He disappeared. But then He came, and asked Mary Magdalene, “Woman, how come do you cry?”. May His comfort not be far from us in these terrible times we live.

        • Amen.

          Your “sausage” idiom is both helpful and hilarious. Thank you for that, and all your other insights, Bruno. This is a delicate topic, to be sure.

          I am sincerely jealous of the cradle-Catholic. However, my 25 years as a very selfish and sinful atheist has given me unshakable hope for (and therefore a somewhat politically-incorrect gentleness toward) my fellow man–no matter how sinful he may be. I know better than most what sin is, and how small it is when compared to God’s mercy.

          The Lord works in mysterious ways.

          God help us all.

  • BillinJax

    It is not justice it is not compassion it is not fairness it
    is not equality. It is the heat from the fires of hell that is warming the
    passions and arousing false courage in those whose perversions are erroneously being
    deemed worthy of mainstream morality.

    The gradual softening of Judeo-Christian will to protect the
    truth of scripture and its traditional values which with reliance on Divine
    Providence allowed western civilization to prosper and flourish over the last
    few centuries has now, by the last sixty years of easy living and the daily
    drumbeat of the live and let live lullaby of the secular progressives who
    convinced themselves they are more than simply God’s children and have ordained
    themselves His counselors among mankind, brought us to the brink of modern day
    Sodom and Gomorrah.

    As a result of our growing indifference to the truth we seem
    to never get it when it comes to recognizing Evil and its intent when it is wrapped
    in politically correct language or persuasive but corrosive compassion by legislators,
    news media, and the entertainment industry. This has been going on for so long
    that we now have some of our spiritual leaders falling victim to the mountain
    of madness being released as an avalanche of appeasement upon us by the
    aggressive gay agenda, abortion on demand despots, and most destructively those
    wise but devious secular progressives who cleverly challenge us and want you to
    turn the other cheek, not judge lest you be judged, love and accept everyone AND
    their sinful behavior lest you are less than the Christian you claim to be.

    These masters of deceit only quote and use scripture to
    serve their need to dilute and dissolve our traditional values one by one until
    the few truly faithful remaining are deemed enemies of society and antiquated
    bigots.

    The new Christian persecutions have begun and will increase
    rapidly just as prophesy has foretold that the flock will be scattered when the
    shepherds are smitten but ultimately those who remain faithful through the
    purification of the Church will, in the end, share in the glory of our savior
    Lords triumphant return and His divine justice.

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  • Gatorlaw92

    Overall societal happiness derives from judges following the law that is given them by the people, not overriding the democratic outcomes on judges’ own personal whim, disguised as a constitutional holding. Otherwise, we might as well admit we live in a judicial dictatorship. These district courts that are striking marriage are doing so unlawfully and against their oath to support sup ct precedent. BAKER v. NELSON is scotus precedent that states may ban same sex marriage, and scotus is the only body that can reverse that. They have not. The framers of the 14th amendment didn’t consider traditional marriage a violation of the equal protection clause. The epc isn’t absolute, otherwise all law would be destroyed, as all law has distinctions. That’s why interpretation of the framers understanding is required, and binds judges. Nothing else is interpretation, or there is no point using the framers’ language in the first place. The framers of the epc wouldn’t even let Utah become a state until it agreed to limit marriage to one man, one woman, the only marriage the framers conceived of keeping. This is conclusive evidence to any neutral interpreter that the marriage laws are constitutional. Last year’s Windsor doma case had the scotus emphasizing that states define marriage and fed courts stay out of the way. While saying so, they also left Baker v. Nelson intact. Thus, the only logical conclusion is that the states may still ban ssm.,

  • FormerLiberalnowConservative

    Great article I must say. I also would add, that we are seeing over and over again the constant double standard from these judges. Giving the homosexuals one interpretation of the law while forcing the rest of America to have to abide by the true meaning of the Constitution.
    Would any other group of Americans get this verdict and interpretation of happiness under the Constitution? No. Name me any other group that would get this.

  • lexi

    i want to share a testimony of my life to every one. i was married to my husband, i love him so much we have been married for 5 years now with two kids. when he went for a vacation to France he meant a lady who en charm him with her beauty, he told me that he is no longer interested in the marriage any more. i was so confuse and seeking for help, i don’t know what to do until I complained to my friend and told her about my problem. she told me not to worry about it that she had a similar problem before and introduce me to a man called Dr Saibaba. who cast a spell on her ex and bring him back to her after 2days. she ask me to contact Dr Saibaba. I contacted him to help me bring back my husband and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods of his fore-fathers will fight for me. He told me by two days he will re-unite me and my husband together. After two days my husband called and told me he is coming back to sought out things with me, I was surprise when I saw him and he started crying for forgiveness and that he never knew what came upon him that he will never leave me again or the kids. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth for what this great spell caster did for me and my husband, you can contact Dr Saibaba on any problem, he is very nice, here is his contact templesaibaba@yahoo.com

    .

  • Bob E. Spurgeon

    The gay agenda is like the “mark of the beast”. There is a day coming when people of conscience will not be permitted to buy and sell (own a business) unless they agree with the HS agenda.

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