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Catholic, Gay, and Feeling Just Fine

Gay Catholic

I have heard a lot about how mean the Church is, and how bigoted, because she opposes gay marriage. How badly she misunderstands gay people, and how hostile she is towards us. My gut reaction to such things is: Are you freaking kidding me? Are we even talking about the same Church?

When I go to Confession, I sometimes mention the fact that I’m gay, to give the priest some context. I’ve always gotten one of two responses: either compassion, encouragement, and admiration, because the celibate life is difficult and profoundly counter-cultural; or nothing at all, not even a ripple, as if I had confessed eating too much on Thanksgiving.

Of the two responses, my ego prefers the first—who doesn’t like thinking of themselves as some kind of hero? — but the second might make more sense. Being gay doesn’t mean I’m special or extraordinary. It just means that my life is not always easy. (Surprise!) And as my friend J. said when I told him recently about my homosexuality, “I guess if it wasn’t that, it would have been something else.” Meaning that nobody lives without a burden of one kind or another. As Rabbi Abraham Heschel said: “The man who has not suffered, what can he possibly know, anyway?”

Where are all these bigoted Catholics I keep hearing about? When I told my family a year ago, not one of them responded with anything but love and understanding. Nobody acted like I had a disease. Nobody started treating me differently or looking at me funny. The same is true of every one of the Catholic friends that I’ve told. They love me for who I am.

Actually, the only time I get shock or disgust or disbelief, the only time I’ve noticed people treating me differently after I tell them, is when I tell someone who supports the gay lifestyle: "Celibacy?! You must be some kind of freak."

Hooray for tolerance of different viewpoints. I’m grateful to gay activists for some things—making people more aware of the prevalence of homosexuality, making homophobia less socially acceptable—but they also make it more difficult for me to be understood, to be accepted for who I am and what I believe. If I want open-mindedness, acceptance, and understanding, I look to Catholics.

Is it hard to be gay and Catholic? Yes, because like everybody, I sometimes want things that are not good for me. The Church doesn’t let me have those things, not because she’s mean, but because she’s a good mother. If my son or daughter wanted to eat sand I’d tell them: that’s not what eating is for; it won’t nourish you; it will hurt you. Maybe my daughter has some kind of condition that makes her like sand better than food, but I still wouldn’t let her eat it. Actually, if she was young or stubborn enough, I might not be able to reason with her—I might just have to make a rule against eating sand. Even if she thought I was mean.

So the Church doesn’t oppose gay marriage because it’s wrong; she opposes it because it’s impossible, just as impossible as living on sand. The Church believes, and I believe, in a universe that means something, and in a God who made the universe — made men and women, designed sex and marriage from the ground up. In that universe, gay marriage doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t fit with the rest of the picture, and we’re not about to throw out the rest of the picture.

If you don’t believe in these things, if you believe that men and women and sex and marriage are pretty much whatever we say they are, then okay: we don’t have much left to talk about. That’s not the world I live in.

So, yes, it’s hard to be gay and Catholic—it’s hard to be anything and Catholic—because I don’t always get to do what I want. Show me a religion where you always get to do what you want and I’ll show you a pretty shabby, lazy religion. Something not worth living or dying for, or even getting up in the morning for. That might be the kind of world John Lennon wanted, but John Lennon was kind of an idiot.

Would I trade in my Catholicism for a worldview where I get to marry a man? Would I trade in the Eucharist and the Mass and the rest of it? Being a Catholic means believing in a God who literally waits in the chapel for me, hoping I’ll stop by just for ten minutes so he can pour out love and healing on my heart. Which is worth more — all this, or getting to have sex with who I want? I wish everybody, straight or gay, had as beautiful a life as I have.

I know this isn’t a satisfactory answer. I don’t think any words could be. I try to make my life a satisfactory answer, to this question and to others: What are people for? What is love, and what does it look like? How do we get past our own selfishness so we can love God and our neighbors and ourselves?

It’s a work in progress.
 
 
Originally appeared at the Little Catholic Bubble. Used with author's permission.
(Image credit: Minnesota Post)

Steve Gershom

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Steve Gershom is a web developer, ex-high-school-teacher, freelance writer, and practitioner of Huaquan Kung Fu. He graduated from the Thomas More College Of Liberal Arts with a degree in literature, and currently lives in New England. His blog, Catholic, Gay, and Feeling Just Fine, Thanks can be found at SteveGershom.com.

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  • Raisinhead

    Being gay is not about having sex with who you want. That trivialises sexuality. Being human, gay and straight, is about having sex with whom you love.

    • Raisinhead, thanks for the comment! So to be clear, are you suggesting that "being human" can be reduced to "having sex with whom you love"? What would you say about people, like Steve, who intentionally choose a life of celibacy?

      • Raisinhead

        We are more than our sexuality. But we are all sexual beings. Fail to see relevance of celibacy for those who are not 'called ' to it.

        • Leila Miller

          Raisinhead, since most are not called to celibacy, should sexual activity begin when one has reached puberty (as long as one is in love)?

          • Leila Miller

            And please forgive if you or anyone doesn't like a socratic-type questioning. It is the way my brain works. I fully expect and welcome challenging questions in return, to push for the logical conclusions of my own beliefs. That is how I learn.

          • Raisinhead

            That,s not Socratic. I'm talking about adults. If you can't even consider homosexuality in the context of consenting adults then there is nothing to say.

          • Leila Miller

            It is Socratic. I am asking you to clarify your position. Everyone can see both my questions and your answers, and vice versa. That's how we all learn, including me; through clarity.

            are talking about consent. I would ask three questions then:

            1) Is consent the sole criterion of the good?

            2) Are you okay with teens, once they reach the age of consent in any given culture, having sex with whomever they love?

            3) What happens when ages of consent get lowered (as is the trend -- International Planned Parenthood, for example, is calling for children's sexual rights, even for pre-teens)?

          • jmgrodi

            (Just to clarify here, Raisinhead, Leila is not asking these questions in an accusatory way.

            The point is to begin making distinctions. Surely there is some taboo we can agree on? (you mentioned incest, bestiality, etc) We start at some basic (seemingly obvious) agreement, and work our way up. This about Truth, not winning/losing arguments.

            Don't feel like you are conceding your point of view by answering - we are just clarifying definitions, making distinctions, and getting a sense where we all stand!)

          • Raisinhead

            The bringing up of age of consent is a quite unnecessary level of boundary setting. Only adults have the full range of understanding of moral, emotional, ethical and physical complexities to be responsible in matters of sex and whether a thing is good or not.

          • Leila Miller

            You and I may agree on that, but the trend is the other way. Put your finger on the pulse of Planned Parenthood (which teaches sex ed to millions of American children), read their materials, watch their videos, and check their resources for teens and pre-teens as young as ten, and you will see quite another picture.

          • Leila Miller

            Thanks, jmgrodi. (And forgive my sentence that was cut off, above.)

            Yes, incest and bestiality are still taboo for now in most circles, although becoming less so (some thinkers at Yale and Princeton are working to break down those taboos -- you'll see more and more of that). It's good that we get clarity on all of it, so we can strip down to the principles behind sexual morality.

            To be clear, I would never equate homosexual acts with bestiality or pedophilia. They are not the same or equal in gravity. But the proponents of bestiality and pedophilia are using the same moral and legal arguments as the gay rights folks are, which is why it's worth discussing at some point. Even Justice Sotomayor brought up the subject of (adult) incestuous marriage during Supreme Court oral arguments about Prop 8. If the Supreme Court can discuss such questions, then surely we can do so here, without having the conversation shut down?

          • Raisinhead

            I could embark on Symposium on sex with beasts of the field. How far is that going to get us? If the conversation is not about adults then why have it? What is your reason for wanting to talk about non-adults? That is not an aid to clarity, it's confounding two ages of being human.

            1. Obviously not.
            2. Obviously not. The question of relationships is not just one of sex or love. (I recognise attempts to swing this back to doctrinal purity. My original post was regarding being gay and the nature of being human. I'm happy to debate that).
            3. I know of no such trend. My concerns are in regard to equality for consenting adults. Take if for granted that I am as much against under-age relationships as you are.

          • Leila Miller

            Thanks, Raisinhead.

            1 and 2 are not so obvious where I stand. If you read anything that Planned Parenthood puts out for teens for example, you might get a shock. And PP gets millions of tax dollars and grants to educate school children. The stuff would curl your hair. So, again, it's not obvious to me anymore, after three years of debating folks on the sexual left and Planned Parenthood.

            As to 3, again, it's out there if you research a bit. Scary stuff.

            I guess I would ask, what is the natural "stop" or boundary for sexual expression? If homosexual expression is a right, rooted in one's very humanity, then on what basis can we deny that might be the case for other orientations? I honestly cannot see an answer. To me, Steve Gershom has it right: There is something more to what is rightly ordered than just our feelings, even if those feelings are strong and compelling to us.

          • Raisinhead

            Not interested in Planned Parenthood. It seems you are fixated with that.

          • Leila Miller

            Planned Parenthood is culturally very important in the debate on human sexuality, and they wield a lot of influence. Why is so much discussion off-limits for you? We are talking about big cultural issues, and we should be able to talk about those influences and philosophies.

            I wish you would have answered the actual questions. We could have had a productive discussion. I am regretful that it seems that will not happen here.

          • Paul Hue

            There is good reason to focus on Planned Parenthood. They stand at the bleeding edge of the sexual revolution, and have been steadily winning -- using tax funding -- for decades now. The dismantling of marriage has been one of their great victories.

          • Bruce Lewis

            Those "feelings" are intrinsic for "gay" people--which means that, being born with them (as most genetic research is indicating), they are "God-given." YOU need to answer the question regarding why your God would implant feelings in people and forbid them to act on them. I'm not intending, believe me, to be dismissive or condescending regarding Catholic doctrine, but the problem with the Catholic doctrine (which is largely being ignored by Steve Gersholm above, as well) is that it ignores, entirely, the possibility that "same-sex attraction" may be expressed in ways entirely different and separate from--to put it bluntly--genital sexual contact. And, if there are ways to express "same-sex attraction" that do NOT involve what seems to be condemned in the Bible, it seems to me that the Catholic Church has an OBLIGATION to "discover" those ways, and, in its preaching, to suggest them to the "same-sex attracted" as being, in more ways than one, devotional practices. Sweeping homosexual attraction under the rug--which has been, pace James Gersholm, the practice of the Catholic Church for centuries, has only made the problem worse--and I would say worse for the Church herself, because it has made her seem to be cruel and ignorant, which, as Gersholm suggests, she is not, in confessionals or in interpersonal relationships. Nevertheless, in terms of equating "same-sex attraction" with "intrinsic disorder" and such a degree of inclination toward "sinfulness," she outdid herself in the statements of the homophobic (and, I think, paranoid, for personal reasons) Benedict XVI Ratzinger.

          • Percy Gryce

            What is the Church's teaching on calumny and gossip?

          • Bruce Lewis

            First of all, to suggest that Benedict XVI Ratzinger is "same-sex-attracted" is no calumny at all. (NO ONE that I know has ever suggested that he has broken his vows.) However, the atrocious virulence of his modification of the Church's previous stance regarding the "same-sex-attracted" (implying, for instance, that somebody as saintly as Gerard Manley Hopkins was intrinsically evil on account of his "same-sex-attraction," and therefore unqualified for the sacerdotal role) strongly suggested, to me and many others, the "homosexual panic" of the closeted gay man. The possibility of such a personal vendetta is extremely relevant to the issue, and the issue is not the recent pope's "orientation," but, rather, his lack of integrity--a lack of integrity that also manifested itself during his tenure as Cardinal-Archbishop in Munich, when he failed to act against pedophile abusers.

          • Percy Gryce

            Hmm, it seems you've bought into the very modern and unorthodox notion that there are homosexual persons and not just homosexual acts. That notion was unknown to the Apostles, the Fathers, the Schoolmen, and the mystics.

          • Bruce Lewis

            No, you're wrong; I do not subscribe to that "very modern and unorthodox notion"; instead, I believe that there are very FEW people who are exclusively "same-sex-attracted"--but I also DO subscribe to the equally "modern" (but very theologically sane) view that there are very few people who are EXCLUSIVELY "opposite-sex-attracted." "Gayness," is, indeed, a modernist notion that is peculiar to the societies whose "orthodoxy" is the so-called "scientific method" which aspires to pigeon-hole everybody into too-easily definable categories. Ever heard of the brother of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who raped a cardinal's nephew behind his brother's statue of Constantine the Great? Nobody thought, in that day and age, to call him a "homosexual"--just an extremely violent libertine. And I believe the people of that day were perfectly correct to do so, and perfectly correct to assume that a married father was just as potentially capable of committing such an act as anybody else.

          • MidAtlanticWoman

            Hamsters "believe" they are going somewhere in those exercise wheels, too, Bruce Lewis.

          • MidAtlanticWoman

            So you don't believe that the Devil is out and about, seeking whom he might devour, that perhaps it is the Devil and not God who implants such attraction?

          • William Davis

            Lol. Where did you get your biology degree?
            Even inside Christianity, one would expect the holy spirit to protect Christians from such influences. I guess the devil makes all the mammals just homosexual too.

          • MidAtlanticWoman

            I received my degrees in Biology/Chem. from Loma Linda University in California. God does not force anyone to do anything -- He gave us free will. I am surprised you think all thoughts -- good and bad -- come from God.

          • William Davis

            Free will exists (at least the version compatible with determinism) but not all things are subject to free will. Personally I'm confident there is no way I can "will" myself to be homosexual. There is also no reason to suspect a person can "will" themselves to be heterosexual if they are not already that way. One can use will not to act on homosexual attraction, but that is the limit of free will here. A lot of effort went into converting homosexuals, and it was largely a failure. If you haven't read about conversion therapy, you should. Tons of gay people have really tried to change this, and even with the help of science, have really been unable.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversion_therapy

          • Paul Hue

            Every feeling that you have is not good.

            If we are going to consider a Christian perspective, every feeling that occurs to does not come from God.

            Considering God or not, some feelings are best left suppressed.

          • Shawn Smith

            Why does it have to be adults? Do teenagers not fall in love? Why are you so bigoted against teenagers?

        • jmgrodi

          Depending on one's understanding of "sex" and "sexual being", celibacy is indeed going to have a quite varied degree of relevance.

          A couple questions:

          1) Could you elaborate on what you think of as a "sexual being"?

          2) Per your original comment: While I think we would agree we ought to love everyone/anyone, we shouldn't necessarily have sex with them. Thus, where do the two diverge in your view? What is sex really about that makes it appropriate with some people you love but not others?

          Glad to meet and comment with you, Raisinhead et all. Peace!

          • jmgrodi

            btw, internet discussions being what they usually are, I just wanted to say that I am not intending my questions to be "leading" or "gotcha" or anything of the sort.

            I am sure that my beliefs are quite different than yours and I want to understand your take on this issue better.

            Again I say, Peace! : D

        • Nordog6561

          Yes, but why must you sodomize those you love?

          Does grandma know about this?

          • infadelicious

            LOL. how did i know that was your comment? Really they are saying that God planted the desire in them so it should be a normal thing that they can do, if God is planting all these ideas in our heads, as in everything that pops into our heads is ok? Then, overeating, doing drugs, cheating, using violence, robbing and other criminal activities are fine too yes? Just because an urge comes into your head, doesn't mean you obey it, you have to make choices. They are trying to rationalize their choices even though really, no one cares if they are gay or not. For some reason they want to make the general population accept their lifestyle and affirm it..they have a victory and they are still angry? why is that?

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Really they are saying that God planted the desire in them so it should be a normal thing that they can do, if God is planting all these ideas in our heads, as in everything that pops into our heads is ok?

            It is a curious question. Why would God allow us to have so many bad impulses? Personally I don't worry about it though, because I don't believe in such a person.

            Then, overeating, doing drugs, cheating, using violence, robbing and other criminal activities are fine too yes?

            Nothing wrong with overeating on occasion. It is one of life's little joys.

            Nothing wrong with doing drugs either. One should be careful about the more addictive substances, but there is nothing immoral about them in and of themselves.

            So, you don't see any difference between violence, robbing, and other criminal activities and homosexual sex? I know in more unenlightened times they could all land you in jail or worse, but violence causes harm and pain to all those involved, while sex is a healthy pleasurable activity. You should try it sometime.

            For some reason they want to make the general population accept their lifestyle and affirm it..they have a victory and they are still angry?

            Not at all. I simply prefer a world in which those with homosexual attractions are not marginalized and are free to reach their fullest potential.

          • infadelicious

            I was responding to a comment made further up the thread where someone else mentioned that God put the idea in the head of people choosing to be gay. I was going on their premise and furthering it to include all the urges that come into our head We clearly have free will and know right from wrong and the person made it sound like if "God put it in my head so, let's have at it". He can't have it both ways..Lots of ideas run through our heads.. we act on them or we don't.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            We should act to promote the happiness of ourselves and others, while minimizing pain. To sacrifice our own happiness for the greater happiness of others is virtue. From this, one can see why homosexual marriage is good and forced celibacy is evil.

            Point is that the homosexual urge is a good one, with no negative consequences. Why would God give a good urge and then demand that it be repressed? Are people drawn to violence in the same manner that they are drawn to sex? They are completely different inclinations both in type and degree. Personally, I abhor violence.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            For the same reasons straight people engage in intercourse. If you think homosexual intimacy is merely "sodomy", you really need to get out more.

          • Nordog6561

            Me: >>Yes, but why must you sodomize those you love?<>For the same reasons straight people engage in intercourse.<>If you think homosexual intimacy is merely "sodomy", you really need to get out more.<<

            Well, by definition, homosexual activity is necessarily limited to some form of sodomy or tribadism.

            One need not be outdoors to realize this immutable fact.

            Have you "kissed" your dog Rex lately?

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Really? Interesting. You realize don't you, that despite the intential sterility of many so-called "straight" couples, straight people engage in intercourse to create human beings.

            That's a rather paltry view of sex. I would hesitate to guess that most sex acts are about intimacy and are not about making children. Otherwise birth control would not be so popular. I'm straight and I do not want children.

            I don't care how often you bugger your buddy you ain't never going to fertilize that turd.

            So what? Homosexuals can still join the psychological benefits of intimacy.

            Have you "kissed" your dog Rex lately?

            So I have you on record as saying that homosexuality is akin to bestiality?

          • Nordog6561

            >>Homosexuals can still join the psychological benefits of intimacy.<>So I have you on record as saying that homosexuality is akin to bestiality?<<

            Well, actually no. But we now have you on record as being ignorant of the literary work from which you take your screen name and avatar.

            Still, are you saying that bestiality is a bad thing?

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Well, actually no. Homosexual acts are fundamentally disordered. One does not as a rule obtain psychological benefits from engaging in disordered behavior.

            That is quite a claim. Evidence?

            Most of us engage in behaviors that the Catholic Church considers fundamentally disordered. They are quite enjoyable and healthy. Good for the general welfare of our civilization as well.

            Well, actually no. But we now have you on record as being ignorant of the literary work from which you take your screen name and avatar

            If you say so. I know what you are referring to now. Didn't remember the dog's name.

            Still, are you saying that bestiality is a bad thing?

            Yes.

          • Nordog6561

            >>Most of us engage in behaviors that the Catholic Church considers fundamentally disordered.<>They are quite enjoyable and healthy.<>Good for the general welfare of our civilization as well.<<

            Do you think buggery is good for the general welfare and civilization?

            How about the following? Is this healthy? Good for civilization?

            www DOT zombietime DOT com/up_your_alley_2008/

            Why do you say bestiality is a bad thing?

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Nature and reality note they are fundamentally disordered as well.

            Well, let us see some evidence.

            FTR, I did not invoke the Catholic Church, or any church for that matter.

            No you did not. Religious institutions are the only places where fundamentally disordered is bandied about so carelessly.

            I have no doubt you derive pleasure from disordered behaviors. That doesn't make them healthy.

            Psychologists disagree.

            Do you think buggery is good for the general welfare and civilization?

            It does keep the population at sustainable levels. Personally, I don't worry to much about what type of sex acts people perform in consenting relationships.

            Homosexuals who receive equal treatment under the law are going to be happier, healthier, and more productive, which is good for civilization.

            I have no idea what you are linking to. I have the distinct impression that it is NSFW.

            Why do you say bestiality is a bad thing?

            Utility.

          • Nordog6561

            >>Well, let us see some evidence.<>Psychologists disagree.<>No you did not. Religious institutions are the only places where fundamentally disordered is bandied about so carelessly.<>Utility<<

            LOL

            So, it serves you to say it's a bad thing. Of course you offer nothing in principle that says it's a bad thing. And how could you? Given your view of things?

            LOL

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Tell you what, when you fertilize fecal matter, you let me know.

            There are many philosophical assumptions that you need to make this claim stick and many of them are tenuous. Firstly, why should we consider sexual acts to simply have the purpose of procreation? Secondly, why should other purposes be considered disordered? It seems odd to say that an act or an object has purpose X, therefore that is the only legitimate purpose. For instance, the purpose of a magnifying glass is to magnify objects. If I use that magnifying glass to start a fire, is that objectively disordered?

            Thirdly, how do we know what the primary purpose of an act or object is and why should we be beholden to that primary purpose?

            Makes no difference. But I'll note your appeal to authority

            Scientific studies, which are a source of knowledge, suggest that acts such as masturbation are healthy. This is not an appeal to authority. It is an appeal to our scientific knowledge base.

            Calling people who treat the rectal sphincter as a genital "disordered" is not a careless use of the term.

            It is highly carless, because you have not done the necessary groundwork to show that the act is disordered. Is oral sex also disordered? The mouth is not a genital.

            LOL

            So, it serves you to say it's a bad thing. Of course you offer nothing in principle that says it's a bad thing. And how could you? Given your view of things?

            LOL

            I gave you the principle. Utility. I think we should endeavor to maximize pleasure and happiness, while minimizing pain.

          • Nordog6561

            Of course you do.

            But you need an argument that buggery is disordered.

            Pretty much speaks for itself.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            But you need an argument that buggery is disordered.

            An argument which you have failed to give.

          • Nordog6561

            I guess anyone who can't grasp basic middle school biology is beyond logic.

            But do tell, what exactly IS that to which buggery is ordered?

          • Ignatius Reilly

            I don't used disordered or ordered as my moral barometer. I think such concepts are rarely useful. I prefer a utilitarian system of ethics.

            Homosexual sex is good because it promotes happiness and the privation of pain.

            Please explain how middle school biology informs your ethical system.

          • Nordog6561

            >>I don't used disordered or ordered as my moral barometer. I think such concepts are rarely useful.<>Please explain how middle school biology informs your ethical system.<<

            Please explain how it is that pleasure is the benchmark of the ethical in your system.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            The question of ethics is how we ought to live. We should live to maximize our health and happiness as well as that of others. A satisfied life is better than an unsatisfied life. This is not about blindly chasing pleasures, but acting in ways that will increase your own life satisfaction and that of others. Pleasure and pain are integral pieces to our happiness and satisfaction.
            I am a utilitarian. I do not think much of natural law ethics, which seems to be your ethical system?

          • Nordog6561

            So, you admit that maximizing pleasure is not a proper principle of ethics then?

          • Mars Attacks!

            Maximizing pleasure with no regard for consequence. FIFY

          • Ignatius Reilly

            No. My point is that maximal pleasure does not imply some sort of hedonism. Secondly, our pleasure should not cause others pain.
            Is that really what all you got out of what I have wrote?

          • Nordog6561

            >>My point is that maximal pleasure does not imply some sort of hedonism. Secondly, our pleasure should not cause others pain. Is that really what all you got out of what I have wrote?<>I gave you the principle. Utility. I think we should endeavor to maximize pleasure and happiness, while minimizing pain.<<

            Oh, and yeah, actually maximal pleasure DOES imply hedonism. In fact, the quest of maximal pleasure is pretty much the definition of hedonism.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Actually it is the principle of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. No it does not imply hedonism, unless you want to make silly caricatures.

          • Nordog6561

            So, calling the pursuit of maximal pleasure by the name of hedonism is a silly caricature.

            That's some funny stuff.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Because the philosophy I am espousing is utilitarianism. Yes there are hedonistic elements to that philosophy, but it is a mistake to sum it up as mere hedonism.

            To sum up our conversation: I have told you my philosophical principles, which you have mocked, but provided zero argument as to why they might be mistaken. From these principles, I told you why I think homosexuals ought not be celibate and they ought to be allowed to marry.

            You have thrown around some Natural Law language, which you have not justified, nor answered any of my objections. You have yet to answer why homosexuals ought to be celibate and ought not be allowed to marry. Seriously, don't you think it is time for you to say something substantial?

          • Nordog6561

            I didn't say that utilitarianism was mere hedonism.

            I said maximizing pleasure as a principle is hedonism.

            If you want to reduce utilitarianism to merely a maximizing of pleasure, that's on you.

            >>You have thrown around some Natural Law language, which you have not justified, nor answered any of my objections. You have yet to answer why homosexuals ought to be celibate and ought not be allowed to marry. Seriously, don't you think it is time for you to say something substantial?<<

            I never said homosexuals ought to be celibate and should not be allowed to be married.

            I just deny that 2 guys "mating" can ever be a marriage.

            I think any free adult should be allowed to marry. Only marriage is between a man and a woman.

            If you insist on an argument that sodomy is disordered, I insist that no argument will suffice.

            I could be wrong.

            Can you think of anything that you would accept as an argument that sodomy - particularly that form known as buggery between two men - is disordered?

            While your at it, why exactly do you oppose bestiality? Evidently it brings pleasure to both beast and man. So, why are you against it?

          • Ignatius Reilly

            If you want to reduce utilitarianism to merely a maximizing of pleasure, that's on you.

            I did not. You did.

            I never said homosexuals ought to be celibate and should not be allowed to be married

            So you agree that homosexual relationships are good?

            I just deny that 2 guys "mating" can ever be a marriage.

            I think any free adult should be allowed to marry. Only marriage is between a man and a woman

            Evidence?

            If you insist on an argument that sodomy is disordered, I insist that no argument will suffice.

            You claimed sodomy was disordered. I assumed you have an argument to that effect or are you admitting that your argument is unsound.

            Can you think of anything that you would accept as an argument that sodomy - particularly that form known as buggery between two men - is disordered?

            No, if I accepted such an argument I would be on your side. I don't think it even makes sense to talk about things as being disordered. You would first have to give a definition of disordered, tell me how to identify disordered things, and then show that one ought not engage in disordered behavior.

            While your at it, why exactly do you oppose bestiality? Evidently it brings pleasure to both beast and man. So, why are you against it?

            I do not think it maximizes pleasure. I doubt it is very healthy. Relationships between consenting, autonomous, rational beings do.
            To be honest, I haven't really considered the ethical question of bestiality in great detail.

          • ernest

            Please disregard the comments of ignorant people. Though a lot of us agree (kind of) with their ideas in principal, we do not agree with the obvious lack of respect in which it is portrayed. I apologize for them. I do agree with you that to sacrifice your own happiness for another's is a good thing. However, that is why we believe homosexuals are called to a greater calling. Giving up your feelings in order to be closer to Christ can only be a good thing. I would also say...cut the church a little slack, they may not quite view homosexuality with the disdain you think they do. It is church teaching that homosexual ACTS are disordered, NOT just the urges. Everyone is called to use restraint in their sexuality...that includes homosexuals. We are called to hate the sin, but to love the sinner. We are all sinners, and some of us need to remember that.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            I disagree with some of what you say, but I do realize that these folks are mischaracterizing catholic teaching. I do not think Catholic teaching is right on this issue, but at least most Catholics on this board are far more sensitive to the complexities and personal feelings that people have on these issues.

          • David Nickol

            Here is a pretty definitive answer to very closely related question:

            Full Question
            Once people are baptized Catholic, are they Catholic forever? What if they marry outside of the Church or join another religion? If they aren't Catholic anymore, how can they become Catholic again?

            Answer
            Once someone is validly baptized, Catholic or otherwise, he is baptized forever (CIC 845). One can never lose baptism or become "unbaptized," although one might lose the benefits of baptism by personal sin. But as to whether someone baptized Catholic is thereafter always Catholic, that's a slightly different question.

            In most cases, the answer will be that someone baptized Catholic remains Catholic (see CIC 111, 205). But, by implication of canon 205--which requires, to be considered in full communion with the Church, a basic profession of the faith, some level of sacramental participation, and some degree of submission to ecclesiastical governance--one can imagine circumstances under which someone who was baptized Catholic might reject any or all of these elements to the point at which he could not be considered fully Catholic anymore, nothwithstanding the fact that he remained baptized.

            In support of this interpretation, keep in mind that the Code of Canon Law contains a norm that, although dealing with technical requirements related to marriage, has implications for your question. Canon 1117 requires that canonical form for marriage be observed by anyone baptized Catholic unless that person has "left the Church by a formal act of defection." The 1983 Code does not define "formal act of defection," but clearly the concept of leaving the Church, as opposed to simply lapsing in one's faith or breaking the laws of the Church, exists in canon law and has repercussions in Church life.

            While what is really needed here is an "authentic interpretation" by Roman authorities as to what constitutes a formal act of defection, a few things seem clear: (1) merely marrying outside the Church does not by itself count as a formal act of defection, and such a person would still be considered Catholic under canon law (albeit perhaps a "bad" Catholic and certainly one in an invalid marriage); (2) mere attendance at the services of another denomination, even if over a long period of time, does not constitute a formal act of defection from the Church; and (3) the failure to practice one's Catholic faith, even over a long period of time, does not constitute a formal act of defection.

            That said, it is generally accepted that formal registration in another denomination, especially when coupled with support or work for that denomination and extended participation in its religious services, does constitute a formal act of defection from the Catholic Church. For that matter, a public declaration of defection from the Church, under otherwise credible circumstances, might well constitute a formal act of defection, since registration in another denomination is not strictly required for defection to take place. In any case, though, since Catholic baptism establishes a canonical presumption of Catholic affiliation, canonical proof of defection from the Church must be produced to overcome that presumption.

            Finally, as to how one can come back into the Church, canon law does not specify a procedure to be used. The "abjuration of errors" formerly required by canon law under certain situations similar to the one you describe (1917 CIC 2314) has not been carried over in the 1983 Code. Therefore, I think that sacramental confession is generally the best route to follow. If there had been some public act (say, a letter to one's bishop) by which one's formal defection was accomplished, I think it prudent to repudiate such an act in the same or a similar public manner so as to remove any lingering doubts about one's ecclesiastical status.

            All of this deals with one's juridic (legal) status as a Catholic. It does not deal with other forms of union one may have with the Catholic Church, such as the moral obligations one has toward the Church, even when one is in rebellion against it. The Code itself acknowledges the existence of certain continuing legal obligations to the Church, even after a formal defection. Canon 11 states that ecclesiastical laws bind those baptized or received into the Catholic Church, but the Code nowhere makes express provision for the corresponding legal obligations to be obviated when a person defects from the Church (except in a few cases, such as observing the Catholic form of marriage). Thus, for example, a priest who formally has defected from the Church is still bound by his vow of celibacy.

            Answered by: Edward Peters

            The Church encourages divorced Catholics who marry outside the Church (and as a consequence, are living in a state of adultery) to continue their participation in the life of the Church, though they may not receive communion:

            It is first of all urgently necessary to establish a pastoral plan of preparation and of timely support for couples at the moment of crisis. The proclamation of Christ's gift and commandment on marriage is in question. Pastors, especially parish priests, must with an open heart guide and support these men and women, making them understand that even when they have broken the marriage bond, they must not despair of the grace of God, who watches over their way. The Church does not cease to "invite her children who find themselves in these painful situations to approach the divine mercy by other ways ... until such time as they have attained the required dispositions" (Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, n. 34). Pastors "are called to help them experience the charity of Christ and the maternal closeness of the Church, receiving them with love, exhorting them to trust in God's mercy and suggesting, with prudence and respect, concrete ways of conversion and participation in the life of the community of the Church" (Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church concerning the Reception of Holy Communion by Divorced and Remarried Members of the Faithful, 14 September 1994, n. 2). The Lord, moved by mercy, reaches out to all the needy, with both the demand for truth and the oil of charity.

            The same would apply to "practicing" homosexuals. There may, of course, be situations in which any Catholic takes a public stand so strongly in opposition to what the Church teaches that a bishop might speak with the person about his or her continued participation in the Church. But in general, I think it is fair to say that the official attitude of the Catholic Church is that anyone baptized Catholic and currently in an "irregular" situation, whether they be divorced and remarried outside the Church, or whether they be a "practicing homosexual," should continue participating in the Church to whatever extent they can, given canon law. Unlike (apparently) some of the recent posters here, the official Church sincerely hopes that the divorced and remarried, the "practicing" homosexual, and all others who are sinners in the eyes of the Church maintain their identity as Catholics.

    • Luke Arredondo

      Hi Raisinhead, welcome aboard! Are you asserting that the fundamental way in which we can evaluate whether someone has lived a full human life is based on whether they have had sex with those who they love? Because if so, there are quite a lot of odd things that would follow. Just trying to see if I understood you correctly. Thanks!

      • Raisinhead

        See above. I never said it was the only way to be human but is certainly fundamental.

        If you are trying in some obtuse fashion to link being gay to incest, bestiality and paedophilia, then we can stop right there. I was under the I impression that this site strove for reason.

        • Leila Miller

          Raisinhead, forgive me, but it seems as if you are saying that you will leave the conversation as soon as even a slight challenge comes up. Maybe I am reading that wrong!

          • Raisinhead

            Yes, I am leaving if homosexuality is compared to those things. That is not 'being challenged'. That is being insulted. I had hopes that there would be discussion of what it means to be human, sexuality, theology, all in the context of two consent adults.

          • Chris

            Hey guys, gonna join in on the debate here. I'd like to say that you can't really use incest as a parallel to homosexuality, because that's wrong on so many accounts. Homosexuality is inherently the same as heterosexuality, only, the two people may not produce a child. With incest, they may, but the child would have a very high chance of being, well, defective. That's why we consider it incorrect. Condemning homosexuals, however, for their inability to reproduce the same sex would be like condemning heterosexuals who were born with defective sexual organs/barren, and those are still allowed to marry, aren't they?

          • Leila Miller

            I don't think I said it was a parallel. But if two consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want and marry whomever they want, then who cares? The risk of "defect" is not really that high if there is procreation, and at this point, they would just sterilize themselves anyway, right? And if it's two gay brothers or two lesbian sisters, well, then what's the big deal? It's all about consenting adults and "love", after all.

          • Daniel Matuska

            The Egyptian pharaohs show incest is no more prone to producing defectives, than other means of producing political leaders.

          • Chris

            But the stigma is there because there is a substantial chance of the child being bred defected, and the stigma will prevail through homosexual siblings who are attracted to each other, as well. If you want to look at it that way, there's really no problem with incest, and I wouldn't see why people (with your reasoning) would still maintain the stigma.

          • Leila Miller

            I think you misunderstand: If marriage is now simply about two people "in love", then any two (or more) adults in love should be able to get "married" (that is "marriage equality", isn't it?). There is no philosophical reason why folks for "marriage equality" would be against anyone getting "married" (aren't we all free? And aren't they the ones who want to drop "stigmas"?) It shouldn't matter to them about family dynamics, the appearance or illness of their offspring, etc. If marriage is simply about the state affirming people in love, then let's open it wide up!

            (Of course that is not my position.)

          • Chris

            There are too many reasons to list why LGBT feel same sex marriage should be legal and not incest. In the end it's really about the person's own values. And I maintain that people who are disgusted by same sex marriage should not be allowed to enforce their views on to other people legally (neither should they independent of legal issues).

          • Leila Miller

            But the stigma on my end was never because of a child having potential defects, so I am not understanding what you are trying to say. Anyway, this post is years old. I am debating on other posts now, but God bless!

        • Luke Arredondo

          Hey Raisinhead,

          I wasn't trying to imply anything, just wanted to see what you meant. I did read you above comments as well, but can't quite tell what you mean.

          In any case, what I was trying to say is that if "being human...is about having sex with whom you love" then it would raise some problems. One of those is the question of consent, which you have ruled out.

          But if consent is our sole criterion for determining the purpose of our sexuality, or at least of determining its function, there are other issues. And those issues are NOT due to homosexuality, but would be due to having an overly restricted understanding of the purpose and function of sexuality. If its only purpose or function of sexuality is physical expression with those who consent, it would mean that consent dictates what is good and what is not, in terms of sexual behavior. And that certainly could include things like incest and pedophilia.

          Please not I'm not implying that homosexuality leads to incest or pedophilia, merely that if we follow the consent model of sexuality, we have no grounds on which to argue against incest or pedophilia (or, I suspect a number of other situations I haven't thought of.)

          • Raisinhead

            Consent a pre requisite but not the only criterion.

          • Leila Miller

            Luke, thank you. That last paragraph is what I had wanted to express, but you said it here so clearly.

          • Andre Boillot

            Luke,

            "Please not I'm not implying that homosexuality leads to incest or pedophilia, merely that if we follow the consent model of sexuality, we have no grounds on which to argue against incest or pedophilia (or, I suspect a number of other situations I haven't thought of.)"

            I would have to disagree with this statement outright. It seems to me that the very nature of both makes consent difficult to argue for incest, and impossible to argue for pedophilia.

          • Raisinhead

            Exactly. No child can consent. In any case, nobody in favour of equal marriage is arguing that marriage is merely based on consent. It is multifaceted - consent, love, adult, public, intimate, reciprocal, stable, faithfulness - how about discussion of any one of those?

            If others posters don't recognise that consent is a prerequisite (there are others) then there not a debate but merely posturing and propaganda , c.f. Leila and her Planned Parenthood non-sequitur

          • Raisinhead, thanks for your excellent engagement so far. I'd like to ask a question and I know it's crazy, but just humor me:

            If marriage is about "consent, love, adult, public, intimate, reciprocal, stable, faithfulness" then would you have any problem with 17 different people forming one marriage? Should the government treat that 17 person relationship identically to that of a single wife and husband? If so, why?

          • Raisinhead

            HI Brandon. Choice of 17 is an extreme outlier. Let's just say 3.

            Three people don't fulfill the need for intimacy, reciprocity, stablity and faithfulness. (I contend those are unique to two consenting adults, a 3-way always excludes one of the three at any given moment)

          • Philip Mackin

            Yes, Raisinhead, but doesn't your description of marriage also define a wonderful friendship. A thing must be different from something else for it to be itself, no? The sexual act must be included in a description of marriage.

            I think reciprocity should include the ability for receptivity. In the homosexual act, partners do not have complementary sexual organs, therefore they may both be giving but they are not able to receive each other, in the anatomically proper way. Some parts that are being used by homosexuals, I'm thinking mostly males here, but those parts are not purposed for sexual acts.

          • Raisinhead

            Intimacy is taken to mean sex where applicable. Why should "anatomically proper way" be a criteria for having sex let alone a quality that marks marriage as being only between a man and a woman? Not to beat about the bush, but the scope of sex ranges far and wide and counts as intimacy. There are no rules laid down in order to sign a marriage contract. Scotus has ruled on the right to privacy. You're assigning some mystical quality to a hierarchy of acts. Not solid grounds for legal contracts never mind the subjective nature of the kind of all-encompassing relationship that we are talking about.

          • Hegesippus

            American law is not an arbiter of truth, nor reality.

          • Bruce Lewis

            That is so vulgar and silly, Even the Catholic Church acknowledges that "complementarity" does not have to be exclusively a matter of "plumbing"; it it were, then a paraplegic made impotent in war would not have a right to a Catholic marriage.

          • Hegesippus

            The Catholic Church requires that the sexual act must be possible in order to marry.

          • Bruce Lewis

            No it doesn't; it marries menopausal women to castrated men all of the time, and a castrated man cannot complete the "sexual act"--as cannot a good number of those made paraplegic by warfare.

          • Geena Safire

            No, it doesn't. People who are known to be impotent are not eligible for marriage in the Catholic Church. (If they lie to the priest, then the church is not really authorizing it.)

            If the impotence happens after at least one sexual act, the marriage can continue.

            (Some paraplegic men are able to, with assistance, generate a functional erection, even if they cannot feel it.)

          • Bruce Lewis

            You are being ridiculously (and hideously, and uncharitably) legalistic, in precisely the way the new pope is urging his priests not to be; you know full well that the Church is all the time marrying people who her priests know to be too old or too impotent to function fully in a sexual way. This may have everything to do with archaic rules, but it has NOTHING to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

          • Rick DeLano

            Can. 1060 Marriage possesses the favor of law; therefore, in a case of doubt, the validity of a marriage must be upheld until the contrary is proven.

            Can. 1061 §1. A valid marriage between the baptized is called ratum tantum if it has not been consummated; it is called ratum et consummatum if the spouses have performed between themselves in a human fashion a conjugal act which is suitable in itself for the procreation of offspring, to which marriage is ordered by its nature and by which the spouses become one flesh.

            §2. After a marriage has been celebrated, if the spouses have lived together consummation is presumed until the contrary is proven.

            A marriage between baptized persons is valid and sacramental prior to consummation (ratum tantrum).

            It becomes indissoluble upon consummation.

          • Geena Safire

            You know full well...

            No, I don't.

            ...that the Church is all the time marrying people who her priests know to be too old or too impotent to function fully in a sexual way.

            Proof? Evidence?

          • Teresa

            I don't believe, according to Catholicism, that Mary and Joseph ever consummated their marriage, yet it was considered valid, no? So I don't think we can apply the term "ever" here or say that semen is a necessary component of a valid marriage.

          • Michael Murray

            Just so you know Teresa you won't get a reply from Geena as she was one of quite a number of atheists banned a few months back.

          • Daniel Matuska

            Were Mary and Joseph Catholics?

          • Percy Gryce

            "Archaic rules"? It's straight from the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which also says that doubts about potency are resolved in favor of the validity of the marriage.

            I do believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ also includes a delegation of authority: "What you hold bound on earth shall be bound in heaven . . . ."

          • Geena Safire

            You mentioned a castrated man. The canon allows marriage if there is any reason to consider that the impotence is not permanent. Since there is no foreseeable testicular transplant on the horizon, castration means permanent impotence, so the priest would be enjoined from performing the marriage. I'm not the one being legalistic. It's the Catholic Church that has itself tied up in logical knots of its own doing.

          • Geena Safire

            I should add that it has only been since 1917 that people who are known to be infertile have been allowed to be married in the Catholic Church.

            Previously: Hysterectomy? No marriage. Menopause? No marriage. No sperm? No marriage. Sperm count not high enough for pregnancy? No marriage. Blocked fallopian tubes? No marriage.

          • Daniel Matuska

            Do you know the grounds for annulment?

          • Hegesippus

            As Geena has explained, a man without any part of sexual organ cannot marry in canon law as the sexual act is necessary to 'cut' the covenant.

            Menopausal women? What has that to do with anything here?

            Paraplegic? Erectile function is governed by a nerve linked not through the spinal cord, so paraplegia is not necessarily connected with impotence.

          • Bruce Lewis

            Fine, I'm not arguing with you any more, except to say that I find such "rules" barbaric, archaic and AGAINST the spirit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

          • Hegesippus

            Please explain:
            What is the 'spirit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ'?
            Who made you arbiter of how to apply it?
            Does it supercede covenant theology?
            To explain, you need to ignore the concept of "cutting the covenant" within the marriage covenant if your 'spirit' can supercede covenant.
            As for 'barbaric', that was the Germanic tribes, not Hebraic.
            I'm afraid that taking pity on someone because they cannot do something cannot lead to a changing of meanings and concepts.

          • Bruce Lewis

            I am Roman Catholic; the Catholic Church, as Newman explains in his great book, The Development of Doctrine, has the authority to "develop" or interpret Sacred Scripture, through an ongoing historically contextualized discovery and rediscovery of the "spiritual"--and not necessarily literal--meaning of Sacred Scripture, in which "covenant theology" does, indeed, yield place to the teaching authority of the "Body of Christ" on earth, which professes, by virtue of the Petrine commission, not to "possess" the "Truth" (which only God--not some idolized book--"possesses"), but to be gradually led through a time-space continuum, to a fuller and fuller, but gradual, discovery of the "Truth," by a "Holy Spirit." Your kind of religious fundamentalism is actually a blasphemous despair of the efficacy of that "Spirit." So the "spirit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ" is whatever the Catholic and Apostolic Church, acting as a corporate body, says it is at any given historical moment.

          • Hegesippus

            Newman taught that doctrine can be developed, not radically changed to mean something different.

            The Church, nor any member of it, has not the authority or power to change doctrine to mean its opposite. This has been the clear teaching of the Church, especially in the words of JP2, B16 and now Francis in his apostolic exhortation.

            You can accuse me of fundamentalism, but my foundation is the teaching of the Church. By claiming, as a Roman Catholic, that my position, which is in line with Church teaching, is 'blasphemous' does not make any sense.

            I hope you will study the issue at hand by reading and pondering the reasons why the Church teaches what it teaches. It is indeed an emotive subject but wishing to be merciful is not reason enough to change covenant theology.

          • Lydia Vowels

            It would seem that the discussion here is speaking about apples and oranges. When God created Man in His image, Male and Female, He created them and He gave the command to go forth and multiply, He was creating a natural law marriage. The 2 stories of creation of marriage show the 2 ends of marriage - the building up of the spouses and the procreation of children. When Christ worked His first miracle at the Wedding at Cana, He elevated this natural marriage to the level of a sacrament - an oath between man and woman and God, promising His help to carry out their oath faithfully. Made in the image and likeness of the Trinity, marriage is to pattern itself after the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit where spouses give to each other freely, totally, faithfully and fruitfully. If this is not the case, it is not a valid marriage. The fruitfulness of the marriage is not always children but spouses must be open to cooperating with God to have children if He so chooses to bless them with them. The sacrament (oath) is done in 2 parts. First spouses vow to give to each other freely, totally, faithfully and to be open to the children God sends, second they perform the act of this covenant, sexual intercourse and the giving of themselves totally to the other. If the second part is not done, the marriage is not valid, not consummated. If the first part is not done, either by mental reservation or lack of ability to take such a vow, the sacramental marriage is not valid. Every time the couple engage in sexual intercourse that is free from any artificial birthcontrolling measures (that would mean they weren't giving of themselves totally), they renew their covenant with each other. This is how we image the Trinity and no one can change that. When people see this type of marriage, they come to know God. If they do not see this kind of marriage, their knowledge and relationship with God is skewed.

          • Bruce Lewis

            Islam does not agree with you there.

          • Lachlan Stuart

            Since neither animals nor children are capable of consenting, the model provides fertile ground for arguments against both bestiality and paedophilia.

          • Chris

            Pedophilia can't ever be consensual because the mind does not fully mature till 21, and up till then, it can't make fully level-headed decisions.

    • Shawn Smith

      Do you support incest? Should that be legally protected?

    • Nordog6561

      Ha ha ha ha...

      Look who just trivialized what it means to be human.

      Really, being human for you still reduces to a sex act?

      That's sad.

      • infadelicious

        Gosh, you'd never know it by their parades.......(sarcastic bleeding eyeroll)

        • Ignatius Reilly

          Firstly, not all homosexuals are flamboyant. Secondly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the above. Thirdly, it does not reduce their homosexual identity to a mere sex act.

          • werter

            "there is absolutely nothing wrong with the above"

            Bwhahaahahahahah! :D

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Under what ethical system is the above so obviously wrong and why should I accept that ethical system.

    • Daniel Matuska

      I think you just trivialized love.

      • infadelicious

        that's what it sounded like to me as well. There had better be something else there because really you're with that person for a lot of time when you're doing other things besides having sex and hopefully the fact that you are both interested in doing other things together and not just being sexually attracted to them will be part of what you love about them..

      • Ignatius Reilly

        There is a difference between saying that one wants to have sex with the person they love and saying that love is all about sex.
        Saying that a person wants to have sex with the person they love is different than saying that that is the only thing that they want to do. If I said that I wanted to eat apples, would you assume that was the only thing I wanted to eat?

    • hicusdicus

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Wow when I think of all the people who I have loved. Holy Moley I can't seem to remember.

    • Paul Hue

      Severing marriage from its scientific basis in the seminal act trivializes marriage.

  • Raisinhead

    Responses below a reflection of some of the reasons why RC church is losing arguments across the civilised world egarding equal marriage. A complete inabili to engage on questions of the nature of adult sexuality. I suggest you fast forward past Plato, Socarates, Aquinas and Augustine. This attempt to place homosexuality in some way along side other taboo, deriving no doubt from the philosophical and scientific misconception the Church likes to misname 'natural law', is transparent and of no persuasive power outside the narrow circles of which below seems to be an example.

    • Leila Miller

      Actually, I used to be a lapsed Catholic, living the Planned Parenthood way, and my husband was an agnostic pro-abortion Jewish man who worked for liberal Democrats. Both of us were powerfully persuaded by the Church's intellectual arguments, of which Natural Law is certainly a part. In our almost twenty years as faithful Catholics, we have encountered countless folks who made the same intellectual trek we did. Don't be so dismissive of the Church's intellectual appeal -- the latest example being my liberal, agnostic/atheist, Jewish, Obama-voting mother-in-law, who in November watched Fr. Barron's acclaimed DVD series, Catholicism on a whim, and is now inquiring as to how to convert! The varied backgrounds of the contributors on this site are a testament to how wide-ranging is her appeal. I especially love Dr. Kevin Vost, mensa member, psychologist, and for decades an enthusiastic, true-believing, well-read atheist. You should look at his offerings here.

      • Raisinhead

        Interesting journey.

        • Leila Miller

          Yes, it's been incredible. I would highly recommend a viewing of Fr. Barron's Catholicism series (PBS stations ran episodes, and that is saying something!).

    • "I suggest you fast forward past Plato, Socarates, Aquinas and Augustine."

      Are you suggesting arguably the four greatest minds in history are irrelevant?

      • Andre Boillot

        Perhaps the better question is: what these men have to contribute to a discussion on the nature of sexuality?

        • jmgrodi

          Hmmm... again, respectfully, Raisinhead brought them up. If their arguments enter the discussion, we can discuss the merits/demerits of the arguments themselves.

          • Raisinhead

            Agreed. I suggested that we should not have to recap the entire epistemology of love at the the beginning of a contemporary thread of discussion in the area of sexuality. i.e. all of adults can refer to eros and agape and know the frame of reference.

      • Brandon, they, themselves, are not "irrelevant" but their conclusions about the world can be if based on assumptions that have later been shown to be not true. I would very much like to know how each of these thinkers would revise his great works if exposed to all the knowledge that has come from Geology, Biology, Physics, Cosmology, Information Science, Neuroscience etc.

        Unfortunately, we can't have these thinkers back, so we have to go on with what we know, today, and reason to our own conclusions.

        • That's an excellent point. It's crucial to distinguish between the different kinds of claims made by the classical philosophers, though.

          Aristotle and the medievals subscribed to a cosmology involving spheres, the four elements, etc., that is simply out of date. But these notions were not necessarily principles of their metaphysical claims.

          When we look at things like the principle of non-contradiction, the distinctions between form/matter and essence/existence, the four causes, etc., it becomes difficult to see where the classical philosophers might have gotten it wrong.

          I suspect that, on the contrary, all of modern experimental science rests implicitly on the basic metaphysical claims of classical philosophy.

          Edward Feser, who I believe is featured here, is doing really excellent and accessible work in this field.

          • Hi Ben,

            I don't want to go off topic for this thread, but let say there were a metaphysical argument about the impact of homosexuality among leprechauns. The argument might be well thought and free of contradictions, but it will remain untestable until we gets some leprechauns. Assumptions from the past have fallen as we have more tools to put reality to physical tests, and we have learned that the untestable is not the kind of knowledge you would trust to the designer of the aircraft you are about to be strapped into.

          • One can only have a working experimental science by first assuming certain fundamental principles about things like causality, and in classical philosophy "metaphysics" is simply the formal investigation of these fundamental principles.

            I'm suggesting that classical metaphysics is the intellectual foundation of modern experimental science; i.e., that Aristotle is the intellectual grandfather of relativity and quantum mechanics. If this is right then it's logically impossible for discoveries in quantum mechanics to undermine classical ideas that are not dependent on outdated classical ideas about the natural world.

          • >"If this is right then it's logically impossible for discoveries in quantum mechanics to undermine classical ideas that are not dependent on outdated classical ideas about the natural world."

            Isn't that circular?

          • Bruce Lewis

            I think that what Q Quine was trying to tell you is that, until relatively recently, it was impossible to gather actual data on homosexuality, because the homosexuals were silenced, and people like Aquinas were never allowed (by the culture) to gather their testimony.

  • Andre Boillot

    I share Raisinhead's dismay that the "PIB" (pedophilia, incest, bestiality) arguments were immediately raised without any effort made to explain of how they're relevant to homosexuality / SSM.

    If the goal of this site is reasoned outreach to atheists, one would hope that you could put forth a secular definition of marriage that would rationally argue against SSM.

    • jmgrodi

      Raisinhead first brought up PIB in response to Luke: "Are you asserting that the fundamental way in which we can evaluate
      whether someone has lived a full human life is based on whether they
      have had sex with those who they love? Because if so, there are quite a
      lot of odd things that would follow. Just trying to see if I understood
      you correctly. Thanks!"

      But as Leila said, no one is equating these to Homosexuality. The point is to try to ascertain some first principles that we agree (or disagree) on so that we can move forward. If we had started with a question of "Polygamy", Luke could have just as legitimately begun a similar line of questioning.

      The consensus in this com-box seems to be that consent necessary for a "licit" or "good" sexual act (although as Leila points out, others in the culture may think otherwise). It isn't the only facet, but it is a start.

      So we have "consent" which eliminates bestiality, pedophilia, and in most cases incest - Progress made!

      Raisinhead: You mentioned a few more possible facets that we could discuss as well: "love, adult, public, intimate, reciprocal, stable, faithfulness".

      • Andre Boillot

        jmgrodi,

        You'll forgive me if I seem cynical in reading PIB into "there are quite a lot of odd things that would follow". What, aside from PIB do you think follows?

        "So we have "consent" which eliminates bestiality, pedophilia, and in most cases incest - Progress made!"

        Luke disagrees.

        • jmgrodi

          Hey Andre,

          I think Luke's main point was the problem of using consent as the sole criterion. As you and Raisinhead pointed out, PIB aren't exactly good examples depending on one's definition of "consent" (which I think we generally agree on - children/animals can't really give full "consent")

          So the question is now what other "facets" (as Raisinhead mentioned) apply to the evaluation of sexual acts/relationships between 1, 2, 3, or more consenting adults?

          • Andre Boillot

            jmgrodi,

            To take Brandon's question:

            "If marriage is about "consent, love, adult, public, intimate, reciprocal, stable, faithfulness" then would you have any problem with 17 different people forming one marriage? Should the government treat that 17 person relationship identically to that of a single wife and husband? If so, why?"

            I would argue that there's nothing intimate or stable about a 17-person relationship.

            To go back to an earlier question, what non-religious definition of marriage would you present?

          • jmgrodi

            Hey Andre,

            I would agree - not very stable/intimate. We should explore the definitions of "intimacy" and "stability" to see if they really are necessary to sexual acts/relationships, and why.

            Non-religious definition of marriage: Good question. I don't have a canned/planned response. : )

            If I were approaching it completely fresh, I suppose I would look at it historically and biologically - it seems to have a cultural function (basic unit of community in society) and also has to do with bringing about children and ensuring their welfare in the best way possible (which seems to be the nuclear family).

            Perhaps that is a start? I am sure there is addition/clarification to be made

          • jmgrodi

            (Thinking out loud here: we have departed slightly from the topic of sexuality and moved on to marriage - certainly linked, but different.

            With religion aside, marriage seems to have some societal functions (as mentioned above) but as societies change and the values of democracies shift, this leaves us with little ground to base an understand of what marriage ought or ought not to be.

            Discussing the purpose/nature of sexuality may better inform our understanding of marriage, of which sex is understood to be a part. Should we stick with "mere sexuality" for now?)

          • Gregory Miller

            I know I came in late to this conversation, but I appreciate the clarity with which the argument is proceeding forth. It appears to me that Raisinhead is quite defensive. Speaking for myself, it is difficult to create the emotional separation in an intellectual discussion when it appears, or "feels like" the same rhetoric arguments are being used to back someone into a corner and try to reason that they way they are is "wrong". I am not saying any of you are doing that, but when it looks the same, you become conditioned to expect that same trajectory.
            Of the questions that were asked, I would like to point out for clarification that a "sexual being" is simply referring to the fact that as biological beings, we are all sexual and it is the natural outcome of a close and abiding relationship. While that is perhaps not the way it is practiced these days, that by no means is unique to gay issues.

          • Andre, thanks for your comment. Two questions in reply:

            1. How would you determine "intimate" or "stable"? And where would you draw the line? Assuming you agree two people can form an "intimate" or "stable" marriage, what about three? What about one? To say it another way, I'm sure three people in a committed threesome relationship would believe their relationship was "intimate" or "stable." Both terms seem too subjective to have any legal significance.

            2. Here's the non-religious definition of marriage that virtually all societies have agreed on: Marriage is the institution that brings a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces.

            Andre, I suggest checking out the definitive new book, "What Is Marriage?" co-authored by three Princeton intellects, professor Robert George, Sherif Gergis, and Ryan T. Anderson. It handles your questions in much more depth.

          • Ooh i'll have to add that to my reading list.

          • Andre Boillot

            Brandon,

            "Here's the non-religious definition of marriage that virtually all societies have agreed on: Marriage is the institution that brings a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces. Because of this inherent purpose, it naturally require one man and one woman, it's naturally monogamous, and it's naturally permanent."

            I'm not sure how you would argue that marriage is historically or universally between just one man and one woman. I believe there's a good argument to be made that, until very recently in human history, marriage has usually been about (mostly male) power, between one man and as many women as he could acquire. To the extent that the purpose included children, I think you'll again see that a certain gendered offspring was preferred for reasons of maintaining power. I also think you'll have a difficult time showing that marriage was naturally monogamous (at least for the man) and permanent.

            Also, let's be clear, I was asking what your non-religious definition of marriage would be. Hopefully point #2 is not your non-religious definition. In addition to not being an accurate historical representation of marriage, you've left open the possibility of incest, which always and everywhere occurs when not legislated against or otherwise forbidden.

            As to your first point, I think this has more merit, at least if you could show how polygamy and homosexuality were related. For the sake of argument, I myself would draw the line at 2 (though I did chuckle at 1, until I realized you were discriminating against 0, and then I frowned). I think to go beyond two is to both dilute and destabilize the union. Again, differences in kind are not the same as differences in number.

          • Andre, thanks for the reply. Responding to several of your points:

            "marriage has usually been about (mostly male) power, between one man and as many women as he could acquire."

            You're confusing how marriage has been *used* and what it fundamentally *is*. If I stab you with a kitchen knife, that does not change the definition of long, sharp metallic objects to "murder weapons." It simply means I used a knife *as* a murder weapon. Similarly, the fact that people throughout history have *used* marriage for unworthy ends does not redefine the fundamental purpose and meaning *of* marriage.

            "Hopefully point #2 is not your non-religious definition. In addition to not being an accurate historical representation of marriage, you've left open the possibility of incest, which always and everywhere occurs when not legislated against or otherwise forbidden."

            It's true that a brother and sister *can* enter a natural marriage, since both can bind themselves in the sort of sexual union that is ordered toward children, however the state has good reason to limit civil marriage to non-related spouses. So while naturally (and I use "natural" in the philosophical sense, referring to something's intrinsic purpose, not in the biological sense) marriage is possible between a brother and sister it is not compatible with civil marriage (since the government has no reason to support that sort of relationship and plenty of reasons to discourage it.)

            For the sake of argument, I myself would draw the line at 2

            Now we're getting to the fundamental problem of redefining marriage. What principled reason do you have for limiting marriage to two people? You seem to suggest it's just your suggestive preference, and therefore arbitrary. The truth is that there is no objective reason to limit marriage between two people unless marriage has a necessary procreative dimension.

            I'll let this be my last comment in the thread since we're veering a bit off topic. Again, I highly suggest reading "What Is Marriage?" co-authored by Robert George, Sherif Gergis, and Ryan T. Anderson:

            http://bvogt.us/ZElFvc

          • Andre Boillot

            Brandon,

            "Now we're getting to the fundamental problem of redefining marriage."

            Respectfully, unless you're adopting the a-historical definition you gave earlier, you've not given your non-religious definition of marriage, or addressed the continuously evolving nature of the institution.

            "What principled reason do you have for limiting marriage to two people? You seem to suggest it's just your suggestive (sic) preference, and therefore arbitrary."

            I've given reasons for limiting marriage to two people in other responses in this thread, such as the diluting and destabilizing nature of >2 partners, have you given reasons to link polygamy to homosexual marriage?

            "The truth is that there is no objective reason to limit marriage between two people unless marriage has a necessary procreative dimension."

            What about having a harem of wives would preclude a necessary procreative dimension?

          • Andre, I'm tempted to just let this go since it really is veering off topic, but I'll add one more reply to clarify your latest points:

            1. I *have* given you my non-religious definition of marriage, you've just chosen to ignore it and ask me for another. The definition of marriage as the comprehensive union of man and woman ordered to the procreation of children has been generally accepted by every civil society throughout history. In every society, this sort of union has been valued and promoted above all other relationships because of its benefits both to children and to society as a whole.

            2. You've still not provided a principled reason why marriage should be limited to only two people (you've given an explanation, but it's not based on principle.) You say that when you add more than two partners, relationships become "diluted" (whatever that means) and "destabilizing". However neither is a general or principled fast. For example, many three-person relationships are more stable than some two-person relationships. Moreso, by your logic, one-person "marriages" would make more sense than two-person marriages since there would be far less "dilution" or "destabilization." Thus by your logic the government should promote and incentivize one-person "marriages" above any other sort of relationship.

            3. A harem of wives does not have a procreative dimensions since the collective group (i.e. one man and many women) has no procreative dimension; they are not ordered toward reproduction when grouped together. However, that man and *any one* woman *could* form a real marriage since their union would be ordered to procreation.

            To say it another way, the could not *marry* all those women as one entity; instead the harem would require entering into several individuals marriage. If the man were speaking properly about marriage he would not say, "I'm married to all these women" but would say "I'm married to each of these women."

            (It should be noted that while the man *could* legitimately enter into multiple marriages at the same time, since doing so would not violate the fundamental purpose of marriage, the state has good reasons for ensuring that an individual should only enter one marriage at a time.)

          • Andre Boillot

            Brandon,

            "1. I *have* given you my non-religious definition of marriage, you've just chosen to ignore it and ask me for another."

            I'm deeply wounded that you would accuse me of ignoring your definition. I did no such thing. You stated that societies have always agreed that marriage was between one man and one woman. I believe I rejected it as a-historical, and outlined why. You then attempted to rebut my objection by saying that what I was describing wasn't marriage at all. We might well be at an impasse - with you claiming historical definitions that I find no evidence for, and my views of the history of marriage seeming counter to your definition. That may well be where we leave things, but I'll not have it be said that I ignored you :)

            "Moreso, by your logic, one-person "marriages" would make more sense than two-person marriages since there would be far less "dilution" or "destabilization.""

            You're correct - I find it very hard not to relate to myself, know myself, love myself, or otherwise look out for my interests. I sometimes annoy myself, disagree with myself, but overall I'd consider my relationship to myself quite concentrated and stable. I'm also thankful that the government upholds my rights as an individual.

            "A harem of wives does not collectively have a procreative dimension since the group, taken together as one man and many women, has no procreative power"

            I'm really not sure what you're trying to say here. I'm pretty sure that if you put a fertile man into a room with fertile women, eventually you'll have some procreation. Though perhaps I've become lost along the way.

          • Andre, though you may not have intended to ignore my definition, your response suggested you did. You asked for my non-religious definition of marriage, I gave it to you, but then several comments later you again said, "You've not given your non-religious definition of marriage." Saying I didn't give it to can only mean you either knowingly dismised it or unintentionally ignored it.

            Also, you have given no evidence to show that my definition of marriage is ahistorical--you've simply asserted that. Even more, within your assertion you misquote me. You claim I argued that societies have "always" agreed marriage aligned with my definition, but I never said that. I said every society throughout history "generally" held this belief. That you can find individual cases of small groups of people not embracing this definition in no way invalidates the fact that the overwhelming historical consensus aligns with the definition I gave. It is, therefore, definitely historical. (And by the way, "ahistorical" would mean the definition has *no* roots in history. Yet I think even someone who disagrees with the definition could see it has at least *some* historical rooting.)

            That said, the definition I gave does not depend on history anyways, and that's not what I'm arguing. I'm not saying, "people have mostly believed marriage is X throughout history therefore today it should remain X." Instead, I'm arguing that the definition of marriage that I gave is not only historically attested to, but it's *the only* one that offers principled explanations for all the facts we agree on, specifically that marriage should be limited to just two people. Your proposed definition does not carry the same explanatory power.

            I can't tell whether you're being serious or sarcastic in your next paragraph regarding "single-person" relationships. But if serious, do you believe a person could legitimately marry himself? Do you believe the government should regulate, incentivize, promote, and encourage "single person marriages" even more than two or three person "marriages"? If not, why?

            Finally, your last sentence is correct. You have misunderstood what I said, though perhaps that's my own fault. My point was that two people, and only two people, can form a relationship ordered to procreation. If you have a "three person relationship" like two men and one woman, only two of those people can form a marriage since only two of those people can unite themselves in an act ordered toward children. One of the two men, therefore, would be outside of that act.

            The same holds true for a harem. If the harem consists of one man and sixteen women, the man could only unite with one woman at a time in that sort of act. He couldn't concurrently be married to *all* women at the same time since he can't participate in this act with *all* women at the same time. However, he could be involved (illegitimately, in the eyes of the state) in multiple marriages, each involving him and one of the women. Thus the harem would not be composed of one collective marriage but multiple individual marriages between the man and each individual woman. These would each be legitimate marriages, however the state would have very good reasons to ban them and all other marriages involving someone who is already married.

          • Andre Boillot

            Brandon,

            "Andre, though you may not have intended to ignore my definition, your response suggested you did. You asked for my non-religious definition of marriage, I gave it to you"

            Sorry, my turn to be quite specific about the meaning of words. In response to my question about your definition, you presented a "definition of marriage that virtually all societies have agreed on". That leaves open the possibility that you don't agree with the subsequent definition, that this definition is not your own. That's why I asked (and here I'll include the context): "unless you're adopting the a-historical definition you gave earlier, you've not given your non-religious definition of marriage".

          • Two questions that lie at the root of our confusion:

            1. Does something have to be universally agreed on throughout history to be considered "historical"? If so, what "historical" beliefs even exist?

            2. Does something have to be "historical" to be non-religious? Your last sentence suggests that something cannot be both "a-historical" (again, whatever that means) and "non-religious."

            I offered you a "non-religious definition" of marriage which is not dependent on its prevalence throughout history. Thus I'm not sure why we're even having this discussion.

          • Andre Boillot

            Brandon,

            "1. Does something have to be universally agreed on throughout history to be considered "historical"? If so, what "historical" beliefs even exist?"

            Universally agreed on? No. However, I would phrases that include "virtually all societies have agreed on" as bold to begin with, let alone claims that marriage has always been defined as one man and one woman. Unless the root of the confusion is that when men take multiple wives, they are not marrying their wives as a collective unit, but engaging in multiple partnerships. I can understand that distinction, though my point had to do with the historical evidence for polygamy.

            "2. Does something have to be "historical" to be non-religious?"

            No.

            "I offered you a "non-religious definition" of marriage which is not dependent on its prevalence throughout history. Thus I'm not sure why we're even having this discussion."

            Did you mean the "What is Marriage" article? In which case you've not so much offered me a definition, so much as told me to 'come back after you've read...'.

          • Raisinhead

            Definition of marriage: the legal and social contract surrounding the sexual and familial union of two consenting unrelated adults.

            This seems to be a definition gathering support across the world.

            Definitions change over time.

          • Leila Miller

            You forgot "male/female" or "heterosexual in nature" (please admit that no one, even you, even secular leftists, would ever have included two grooms as "marriage" even ten and certainly not twenty years ago). And definitions don't change to the point that the essence of the thing is gone. I cannot redefine a clock as a pencil, because the essence of those things are different. The essence of a marriage is a conjugal union. Gay couples cannot consummate a marriage. Period.

          • Leila Miller

            PS: I always like to point to Hillary Clinton's definition of marriage (I believe it was from 2004?), before her sudden evolution on the issue (even though evolutions are supposed to be quite slow):

            "[Marriage is] the fundamental bedrock principle that it exists between a man and a woman going back into the mists of history, as one of the founding foundational institutions of history and humanity and civilization, and that its primary, principle role during those millennia has been the raising and socializing of children for the society in which they are to become adults.”

            She also said in 2000:

            “Marriage has historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time, and I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman.” In 2003, she reaffirmed: “marriage … should be kept as it historically has been.”

            How did she get it so wrong, so recently? And what made her see, practically yesterday, that she had been completely wrong on her history? (Assuming she didn't switch for political expediency, though politicians on all sides do tend to do that!)

          • Gregory Miller

            I dont think it is fair to suggest that she has a revisionist historical perspective because her attitudes shifted. She likely has other reasoning which led her to change her position. All you are illustrating is that sometimes people who once thought they were right about a topic sometimes change their mind when given other information.

          • Leila Miller

            Gregory, of course she changed her opinion. But her history was right. Her definition was right. So, what information could make her suddenly believe marriage to be something that she knows it has never been? Ontologically, marriage cannot be what she now says it is. Her previous understanding was based on what marriage actually is and always has been (inherently heterosexual in nature, inherently ordered toward procreation). She can now discount historical truth and un-define a word/concept because of….? Her feelings?

          • Gregory Miller

            Well, frankly, you are asking the wrong person. I am not Hillary and cannot be in her mind. Some of her reasoning MIGHT be that just because marriage came from a reason to develop a nuclear family and the protections thereof and create an organized society does not mean that this is the only purpose it can ever have or that it should continue to be limited in that way. Perhaps she saw that people, who of their own free will, developed deep and abiding relationships were being treated as legal strangers and had no protections to help them keep the things they accumulated together when one of them might die and other travesties of fair justice. Perhaps she recognized that many other things that once were and considered to be part of the nature and the natural order by people of the time, we have abandoned and consider doing those things evil now. SOme examples of that are slavery, and the inquisition and segregation. At the time, it was considered right, true and correct to have those practices. Many considered it against nature to treat black people as equal. I also want to point out to you that you speak of marriage as "it has always been", as though it is static. While most societies (some actually did, however) do not recognize the male to male unions, the fact is that marriage has changed pretty drastically over the past 4 thousand years. It has rarely been about love. Mostly it was about procreation and it often times involved several wives. During the middle ages it was often about power or adding to one's wealth, no matter how limited that was. But this notion of what marriage "is" is a whole lot of backfilling on what the "purpose" is, as if some group of people sat down and decided these were the rules. Well, they didn't. It evolved as a mechanism of developing organized societies. Their exists no monolithic "reason", at least as it relates to anthropology, at least. Hillary did not "un-defin" anything. You don't agree with her, apparently, and you assign this value, but it ain't necessarily so.

          • Leila Miller

            Despite all the different trappings of "marriage" throughout history (and you are right, "romantic love" is not a requirement), it has, essentially, always been two things: Heterosexual in nature, and conjugal.

            Can you honestly say otherwise?

            And, if we want to talk in terms of just contracts and property, a lot of unmarried folks can have that, too. Can you tell me what is essentially different between marriage and any other relationship? What makes marriage "marriage"?

          • Gregory Miller

            I cannot believe my post did not get posted from yesterday. How frustrating.
            At any rate, You speak as though the purposes for marriage were clearly outlined and their was some box to check off in a form to determine what marriage is or as though some committee in a community decided what things had to be present. None of that happened. You are backfilling reasons that may or may not be consciously considered. The irrefutable fact is that it was not some universal agreement at the inception of marriage. Additionally, it is entirely possible that people lived in same sex relationships that more or less were the same as porridges. We cannot know that. The fact that very few people would have lived this way along with the very informal nature of creating a marriage arrangement until the 18th century for every day people make it impossible to know. It is possible that some cultures may have allowed it. It is impossible to know. Leaving that out of the conversation, because it is mere speculations, still leaves as with your questions.
            To the first, I would say it is irrelevant how marriage was historically. Just because it was does not mean that it need to be that way forward looking. SOmeone else tried to point this out to you using men in politics as the comparative analogy. Certainly, our human history and American history is full of examples of times when we stopped doing stuff the old ways because it no longer was necessary, or in some cases posed damage to society and individual liberties.

            To your second question, I would answer that the most obvious difference between marriage and other relationships is determined by the two people involved. If those people decide to commit to one another, for whatever purpose, but in our day and age usually involves deep emotional commitment and a desire to care for and even take care of each other, then that is how they perceive marriage. Their is simply no universal distinction because it is what the individuals decide it is. No matter if you press for another reason to add to your list, you cannot find it. It is simply too subjective. Being Catholic, you should understand that in the middle of the 20th century, it was not at all unusual for a woman to marry a man because she needed someone to care for her since women had little expectations of working outside the home. That may have been the major distinction to her; marriage was about someone taking the role of the father as the protector. After the sexual revolution, those reasons may be vastly different. And so it isnt that the answer is unobtainable, it is the question that is flawed as is the premise that societies and the constructs of societies are static and never changing. They have always been fluid and will always change. If you ask me, for the better.

          • Bruce Lewis

            Yes, I can. In the Catholic centuries, in addition to being "heterosexual" and "conjugal," it was also INDISSOLUBLE. "Marriage" changed radically when the Protestant heretics approved divorce.

          • robtish

            "Ontologically, marriage cannot be what she now says it is. Her previous understanding was based on what marriage actually is and always has been (inherently heterosexual in nature, inherently ordered toward procreation)."

            I'd be interested in hearing your reasoning behind that statement.

          • Leila Miller

            robtish, how do two men consummate a marriage? They cannot. Physically impossible. They can perform sex acts and mutually masturbate, etc., but they cannot consummate.

            But let's start at the basics: What is marriage? Define it, please. What makes it different from all other relationships?

          • David Nickol

            What is marriage? Define it, please. What makes it different from all other relationships?

            Were Mary and Joseph married? Isn't the Holy Family considered the model family?

            Certainly within Catholicism, a marriage does not have to be "consummated" to be valid.

            But proponents of same-sex marriage are seeking civil marriage, not religious marriage. Civil marriages do not have to be "consummated" to be valid. It is true that in some states, nonconsummation is grounds for an annulment if one of the parties wants an annulment, but generally this must be within the first two years of marriage. After that, the marriage may not be annulled. Consequently, consummation is not required for civil marriage unless one or both of the partners insist it is necessary.

            Catholic nuns are considered brides of Christ, with some even wearing wedding rings. The Church is the Bride of Christ. "What is marriage?" In these cases (although I would consider them metaphorical), marriage is not something that requires "consummation" by an act of sexual intercourse.

          • Leila Miller

            Civil marriage has always assumed consummation. In fact, if a couple got married with no intention of a "one flesh union" (such as for immigration purposes only, no consummation) it's fake, fraudulent, illegal. You really are stretching to imply that consummation has not been a necessary component of civil marriage.

            Now it seems you want to talk Christian marriage. Okay, let's. So, when the couple comes back up the aisle, consummation has not occurred (I hope, ha!) and yet the couple is married. Why? Because consummation is assumed for later. The Church assumes (and requires) the ability to consummate, the ability to perform the marital act. Josephite marriages also assume the ability to consummate, even if consummation does not occur. For Mary and Joseph, there is a reason why consummation did not occur:

            http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/06/little-teachings-from-bubble-marys.html

            Brides of Christ, nuns… yes, because earthly marriage is simply a reflection of the true consummation of the world: The spiritual marriage between a soul and the Trinity. All earthly Matrimony points to that final Union, that Consummation.

            But are you really, truly arguing that marriage has not always been understood as heterosexual in nature, and that conjugal relations are not assumed? You didn't answer the question that you cut and pasted. Can you do so now? Thanks!

          • David Nickol

            Civil marriage has always assumed consummation.

            Always? There has not "always" been civil marriage. You are saying this all off the top of your head without checking the facts. Please note the following from usmarriagelaws.com:

            Consummation of the marriage by the act of sexual relations (only a few states require this). . . . Most states consider a couple to be married when the ceremony ends. Lack of subsequent sexual relations does not automatically affect the validity of the marriage, although in some states non-consummation could be a basis for having the marriage annulled.

            In fact, if a couple got married with no intention of a "one flesh union" (such as for immigration purposes only, no consummation) it's fake,
            fraudulent, illegal.

            A sham marriage for immigration purposes is a sham marriage whether or not the couple has sex. The government can't require a couple to have sex or punish them for not having sex. A man and woman can get married in any state of the union with no intention of having sex, and as long as they build a life together as a couple, they are legally married and have not committed fraud.

            You really are stretching to imply that consummation has not been a necessary component of civil marriage.

            There are countries in which a marriage is not valid until it is consummated, but the United States is not one of them. Also, there is at least one country (Israel) in which there is no civil marriage. In ancient Israel, marriage was neither civil nor religious. It was an arrangement between the fathers of the bride and groom.

          • Leila Miller

            "bride and groom"

            Bingo.

            So, are you asserting that civil marriage does/did notassume consummation? People getting civilly married in the past, for example, were assumed to be doing so to be really good friends (or maybe half would consummate, half would not)? What has the assumption always been, then, if not consummation? What was all the buzz about the "wedding night"? Help me out. (And yes, obviously, the couple would not be expected to consummate on the courthouse steps or the altar. I already covered that.)

            Okay, so in everything you just said, you did not answer my question:

            "What is marriage? Define it, please. What makes it different from all other relationships?"

          • David Nickol

            But are you really, truly arguing that marriage has not always been understood as heterosexual in nature, and that conjugal relations are not assumed?

            With rare exceptions noted by anthropologists, marriage has been heterosexual. However, states have the legal authority to permit same-sex marriage. If there were a serious legal argument that same-sex marriage was "impossible," it would have been made by now and taken to the Supreme Court. But none of the legal challenges to same-sex marriage have claimed that same-sex marriage is impossible and/or that states do not have the authority to permit same-sex marriage. That there is no such thing as same-sex marriage is a religious or philosophical argument. It is not a legal argument. Where same-sex marriage is legal, and same-sex couples do the necessary paper work and have a marriage ceremony, there is simply no question that they are legally married.

          • Leila Miller

            Well, the states may be calling something "marriage" that cannot be. It wouldn't be the first legal fiction. For example, we have laws now that declare men to be women, simply because a man thinks he is a woman. Does that law make the man a woman? Of course not. But peer pressure and political correctness (and fuzzy thinking) makes a whole lot of otherwise reasonable people go along with that untruth.

            Or, do you think that men can become women, ontologically, by legal decree?

          • David Nickol

            Well, the states may be calling something "marriage" that cannot be.

            But the fact is that when the states say a same-sex couple is legally married, there is no legal argument they the couple is not legally married.

            The Catholic Church says that those who divorce and "remarry" are not really remarried at all. They are committing adultery. But I have never heard anyone argue that those who get a civil divorce and enter into a second civil marriage are not legally married, or that it is "impossible" for the state to grant divorces and perform second marriages.

            Or, do you think that men can become women, ontologically, by legal decree?

            I think gender and gender identity are much more complex than you probably do. I think those who are so utterly convinced that they have bodies of the "wrong" gender that they will undergo hormone treatment and surgery are enduring a great deal of psychological pain and should not be scoffed at. I don't know you personally, so I will just say generally that many who use this as an issue are at best insensitive to the suffering of such people and at worst are contemptuous of them.

          • Leila Miller

            But again, you did not answer the question(s).

            If a man is declared legally a woman, does that make a man a woman? It has nothing to do with being contemptuous. It is a very straightforward question. The law in some states now says that even if a man should merely *think* himself a woman, then he legally is a woman. Does the law make it so?

            As to the issue of those civil marriages that are not seen as valid in the eyes of the Church: First, the Church assumes the validity of a civil marriage. The only time an individual marriage would be questioned is if one of the spouses brought a petition to the Church tribunal requesting to have his/her marriage investigated to determine its status. The Church does not go to any individual couple on the street and say, "You are not married!" The assumption is that a man and woman who are civilly married, are married. If in fact it ends up that they do not have a valid marriage, it's not because of any ontological impossibility, since the basic requirements of marriage exist (or are assumed to): A man and a woman (bride and groom) with the ability to perform the duties of marriage, including the marital act.

            Even an illicitly married man and woman have the potential to be licitly married. Not so for male/male or female/female. There is no possibility of that pairing ever being "marriage", no matter the legal fiction which says it can be.

            But you still have not answered my oft repeated question(s): What is marriage? Define it, please. What makes it different from all other relationships?

          • David Nickol

            The law in some states now says that even if a man should merely *think* himself a woman, then he legally is a woman. Does the law make it so?

            Could you please name at least one of those states?

          • Leila Miller

            Massachusetts. California.

          • Leila Miller

            Children in those states can use the facilities and sports teams of the sex that they "identify" with, regardless of the sex specified on their registration (or DNA). I believe in Mass., folks also can be disciplined for calling a child by the right pronoun (meaning what the child ontologically is). So, the law says we must pretend that girls are boys and vice versa. If we don't go along with the lie, then we are afoul of the law. Same with gender reassignment. Now, I am not talking about folks with ambiguous genitalia. I am talking about biological men and women who "switch" sexes, and we are legally commanded to go along with it. So, do you think that the law can make a man (or boy) become a woman (or girl)? And that we should teach our kids that it's good to go along with this untruth, since the government says we must?

          • David Nickol

            So, do you think that the law can make a man (or boy) become a woman (or girl)? And that we should teach our kids that it's good to go along with this untruth, since the government says we must?

            I have made a quick review of California and Massachusetts laws regarding nondiscrimination based on gender identity and gender nonconformity, and they seem like good laws to me, although it is understandable that many people (including me) are disconcerted by the idea that gender is not as simple as it has, in the past, been made out to be.

            Very broadly, from what I can tell, both state laws allow students who have long-held and deep convictions that they are girls to be treated as girls, and who have long-held and deep convictions that they are boys to be treated as boys. If there is any suspicion that a student is falsely claiming to identify with a certain gender for improper purposes, students can be asked to supply proof (such as a letter from a doctor or counselor) that their claims are legitimate.

            The current medical trend when it comes to children born with ambiguous genitalia or children who deeply believe themselves to have bodies of the wrong gender is to delay any permanent physical changes until the children are in their teens and have the experience and maturity to decide what to do themselves. How would you suggest these children be dealt with at school? For a child who was considered a boy (girl) at birth but who has resisted every attempt to be socialized or dressed as a boy (girl), once s/he reaches school age, should s/he be forced to dress as a boy (girl), play boys' (girls') games, and use the boys' (girls') restroom? In many cases, the teachers and school officials will not even know the physical gender of the boy (girl).

            Are you qualified to give medical and psychiatric advice to such parents? What would you tell them? Make the child behave as the "right" gender or punish him/her?

            Do you know why some children born with female genitals are utterly convinced they are boys and some children born with female genitals are utterly convinced they are boys? If the causes are genetic, or if they are a matter of hormone anomalies during pregnancy, what would effective therapy be? What are such people to do? In what way does the Catholic Church help people with gender identity problems? By the way, a Vatican paper on the subject some years ago said gender reassignment surgery was permissible if it would reduce the person's suffering. It is the Church's position that sex-reassignment surgery does not really change a person's gender, but it seems quite clear to me that if surgery is permissible, it is also permissible for the person to "impersonate" their assigned gender—that is, dress appropriately, take an appropriate name, and live the day-to-day life of a person of the assigned gender. A female-to-male transsexual could not, of course, become a priest, and a male-to-female transsexual could not marry (n the Catholic Church) a man.

            A "genetically male" (XY) individual with complete AIS (Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome) will to all outward appearances appear to be a female, and if she has no access to modern medicine, will never suspect she is not female. Actually, she is physically female, but genetic testing would disclose the fact that she is genetically male. I don't think anyone (including the Catholic Church) would deny such a person the right to live life as a female, including the right to marry. So obviously genetic testing doesn't determine who is male and who is female. But if not, how do we know who is male and female?

          • Leila Miller

            David, that is a whole lot of questions. A lot more than I have the time to answer in a combox. I think you pretty much skipped my basic questions, so I am just going to leave it here (as my last comment), unless you want to go back to answer them.

            I am interested in a link to that Vatican document, however, if you don't mind. Thanks!

            And, I am sad that you think it's the government's role to force citizens to pretend that girls are boys and vice versa. Seems to overstep the bounds of government over her citizens, no? At least in what I used to recognize as America.

            As for how we can know who is a girl or boy…. well, it's usually not that complicated. And, the trangendered Catholic girl (now "boy") that I have had intense dialogues with on another forum has told me straight up that she is genetically and biologically a female, but "feels" strongly that she is male (and now dresses like one, and has hormone treatments). The law in some states would have me lie and have my children lie about her sex. I don't believe in lying, especially if lying is forced by the government with penalties attached. I cannot imagine anyone being okay with that, but I guess I am old school morality: The ends don't justify the means.

            Would you be okay with the law forcing citizens to treat a child as a bird if she felt she was a bird (and forcing them to go along with the make-believe, only referring to her as a bird, never a child)? Or would you be in favor of getting her the help she needs so that her mind can conform to reality (that which is real, which is true)?

            Truth is actually important to me. And I don't think it helps anyone to lie to them or help them perpetuate a lie. It's surely not the government's responsibility or right to do so.

            Many blessings, David!

          • David Nickol

            I am interested in a link to that Vatican document, however, if you don't mind.

            From the news story Vatican says 'sex-change' operation does not change person's gender:

            The Vatican document's specific points include:

            -- An analysis of the moral licitness of "sex-change" operations. It concludes that the procedure could be morally acceptable in certain extreme cases if a medical probability exists that it will "cure" the patient's internal turmoil.

            But a source familiar with the document said recent medical evidence suggested that in a majority of cases the procedure increases the likelihood of depression and psychic disturbance.

          • Leila Miller

            That's pretty vague, and I don't see the actual document. It seems quite speculative.

          • catholicchristian

            From the same National Catholic Distorter article:

            "The Vatican document's specific points include...

            "- A conclusion that people who have undergone a sex-change operation cannot enter into a valid marriage, either because they would be marrying someone of the same sex in the eyes of the church or because their mental state casts doubt on their ability to make and uphold their marriage vows."

          • David Nickol

            I think you pretty much skipped my basic questions, so I am just going to leave it here (as my last comment), unless you want to go back to answer them.

            The reason, I think, that it is difficult for us to discuss these issues is that—with all due respect—I think you take them as fodder for the "culture war." When government tries to do something to help sexually indeterminate or transgendered persons, you take it as a personal affront and say the government is forcing you to lie. You do not seem to be particularly interested in what government or society can or should do to help people with gender-related conflicts and their families. You do not seem to be particularly interest in what these people say about their own lives and experiences. You want to use them to attack government.

            Of course, nondiscrimination legislation for people with gender identity issues is no more a matter of government declaring that a boy is a girl if he decides to be a girl than the civil rights movement of the 1960s was about saying black people were white. Civil rights legislation, whether for blacks or for people with gender issues, is about treating them as they deserve to be treated. It is about not penalizing them for things that are beyond their control.

            You seem to be uninterested in why a person with an outwardly male body might think of him/herself a female or vice versa. What if—and it seems possible—physical gender is determined one way and gender identity is determined another way? For the vast majority of people, physical gender and gender identity are in harmony with one another, but for a smalll minority, the person's gender identity (determined by hormones or genetics) is the opposite of his or her physical gender. What is such a person supposed to do? What if there is no therapy that can remedy the mismatch? Your answer is apparently that if a person is born with the body of a male and the gender identity of a female, it is God's will and the teaching of the Catholic Church that the two must be brought into conformity whether it is possible or not. It would be a sin for such a person to dress as a girl, play girls games, and live outwardly as a girl not matter how natural it felt, and no matter how distressing it was to pretend to be a boy. I get the sense that you don't really care about that person's experience or pain, but rather you think there are God-given rules that everyone must conform to, or they are evil. Yet, if a baby were born blind, would you consider it to be doing wrong if it did not undergo therapy to try to see?

            I think it is your position, and the position of the Catholic Church, that even though matters like homosexuality and transgenderism are not understood, you know the "rules" that everyone must follow, and no matter how much pain those rules inflict on people who are not like yourself, they are still the "rules," and anyone who does not agree with you is necessarily mistaken, because you think they are violating God's law, and the Catholic Church tells you (infallibly) that you are right.

          • Leila Miller

            You've gone now to legislating based on wanting to make people "feel good", and you are right, I am not a proponent of that. Government has a limited role in our lives, and making people "not hurt" by forcing others to lie (or else be penalized) oversteps the bounds of government. Freedom of speech, religion, conscience supersede anyone else's "right" to feel good and be affirmed. The government has the power to tax, fine, jail, imprison, ruin, execute. That's a whole lot of power to push an agenda.

            I am confused as to whether this is a discussion about the powers of government (and their place in any individual's life) or a discussion about transgendered people, or a discussion about marriage?

            Bottom line, you have failed to define marriage, or why every society has deemed it good and necessary (and it was never because of romantic feelings).

            Blessings to you, David!

          • David Nickol

            Borrowing from Wikipedia:

            Marriage is a socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws. The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal. A broad definition of marriage includes those that are monogamous, polygamous, same-sex and temporary.

          • Bruce Lewis

            Luther DIVORCED his "bride of Christ" from her "spouse," in order to prove that divorce would now be acceptable in his new religion. When confronted with the prohibition of divorce in the Gospel of Matthew, the arch-heresiarch responded that he did, indeed, know of that sanction, but that he considered that the Saviour had "given us that command to convict us of our sins"--in other words, that the "Saviour" had, as he puts it in his Table Talk "His tongue far in His mouth" when he thus commanded. A nice trickster-God, that Protestant one, deliberately giving men and women "commands" that he knows they cannot fulfill. But that's the deity of most of Protestant American society--one that never "inspired" the Letter of Saint James ( a "text of straw," Luther calls it) and who never said "Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect." It's Hillary Clinton's God, and she knows, better than any Catholic, that to be "saved," all you have to do is "throw yourself upon the Blood" and you can forget about cheating your employees or lying about Benghazi--because, of course, you're "saved" and you're too "weak and sinful" to remain married to one woman throughout a lifetime.

          • robtish

            Hi Leila: "What is marriage? Define it, please. What makes it different from all other relationships?"

            Why are you asking me this? You've made an assertion about the ontological inherent nature of marriage, and I told you I'm curious about your reasoning. Are you willing to share it?

          • Bruce Lewis

            Maybe she looked at the marriage around her and realized that, in their provisional, serially-monogamous nature--so UN-beneficial to the "raising and socializing of children"--there was little difference between what heterosexual were already doing and what homosexuals aspired to.

          • Raisinhead

            You might wish it otherwise but equal marriage exists in many nations and more and more states. You call it whatever you like but objectively, it is increasingly my definition that marks out civilised societies. Gay has been redefined from happy to homosexual and back to something like the word s**t. Societies move from unenlightened to enlightened and adapt institutions to new realities.
            Politics and the business of government was once single sex, exclusively male. Now it isnt.

          • Leila Miller

            Government workers have never been *inherently* male. Women can fill those functions, and certainly always have. But consummation/conjugal union? Always needs to be complementary, heterosexual, a male and a female. That's the nature of the thing, the nature of marriage. Two men cannot fit the bill, just as a pencil can never have the same essence of a clock, even if we decide to redefine all pencils as "clocks". They have none of the essence of "clockness" about them. I guess we can call things anything we want (I wouldn't advise it), but redefining or undefining something will never change the nature of a thing, it will only confuse people about what is real.

            When we treat things according to their natures, humanity thrives.

          • Raisinhead

            You keep on saying it as you wish but it is not true about marriage. Same sex couples are married and thriving in many states and nations. Politics was male, only men had the vote. Only politicians were male. The founding fathers were all men. No longer true.

          • Well, the founding fathers are all still male.

          • Raisinhead

            Ha, er, yes. It was more of an example showing what pertained at that time. The same thing would no longer pertain re: gender. If there was another revolution that is.... although America has the upper hand now, too marines and big missiles. The Queen of England is old now and might only offer a cup of tea instead. And a slice of cake. Which might be nice.

          • Leila Miller

            I was speaking universally. There is nothing inherently male about being a politician. There have been many women in political power in the history of mankind. Who could argue against that? But there is something inherent about the heterosexuality of marriage (a conjugal union). In fact, the secular state will annul for non-consummation. Two men or two women cannot complete the marital act. They cannot consummate. Marriage is inherently heterosexual.

            Are there things we call "marriage" now that consists of two men? Yes, but that's like declaring that a dog is now a cat. It's not reality, it's a legal fiction. It's similar to the law saying that a man who thinks he's a woman is now a woman (even though science and objective reality says otherwise). Language is not magic. It cannot change a thing's nature.

            Back to the Hillary Clinton comments on marriage history. How did she get that history wrong for so long? What new history did she (and every other politician) see that suddenly made her see her error?

          • Raisinhead

            There used be a commonly accepted definition of politicians that they were all male. Patriarchy pertained for many centuries in most places. Things changed. Social institutions change.

            The equal marriage law in the UK deals with consummation issue. Two men will be able to marry and divorce.

            "Language is not magic". I'm afraid this is meaningless Leila. Words change meaning ALL the time. Art is a word and a thing and it changes all the time. Dogs and cats are incontrovertibly not the same thing. Marriage between two men consists of two unrelated consenting adults. The same as a man and a woman. Marital act doesn't come in to it (although it is expected that a man and woman will most often have children through the marital act - but not always and it is neither a prerequisite nor an inevitable end result).

            What exactly do you think happened in Delaware yesterday? The governor signed a bill into law. It is legal fact. It is reality. You calling it legal fiction doesn't make it so. It can't. Your words have no legal effect. And little persuasive effect judging by the dominoe effect of gay marriage laws across the US.

          • Leila Miller

            "Art is a word and a thing and it changes all the time."

            The particulars of art change, but not the essence of art (the definition). We all understand that.

            How was consummation addressed in the UK? I'm sincerely interested.

            "Dogs and cats are incontrovertibly not the same thing."

            Yes, and gay sexual pairings are incontrovertibly not the same thing as heterosexual marriage. They are different in kind. (There is something unique about the relationship between male/female, among all other relationships, and we all know that.)

            And of course, if the government declared that cats were legally dogs, vast segments of the population would be opposed at first, but with continued, unrelenting social and legal pressure and penalty, they would shrug and eventually go along with it. And yet the nature of cat and dog will not have changed.

            You did not address the transgender analogy. Is it possible that a law (or a word) can turn a man into a woman? Or does the law end up "lying" about that, forcing the rest of us to go along with the lie? Language is not magic, and neither is law, correct? They cannot change the nature of a thing, can they?

            No one ever answered: How did Hillary Clinton (and the others) get the history so wrong, so recently? What changed her understanding of history? Because her statements about the history of marriage were very strong, concrete, unwavering, then "boom", she just "evolved" (on the facts of history?).

          • Raisinhead

            HI,

            "The particulars of art change, but not the essence of art (the definition). We all understand that."

            Yes. Things not previously considered to have that 'essence' now are freely assumed to hold such 'essence'. So with marriage. The kind of things that are essential to marriage are common to same sex and straight relationships. The only essential thing that is unique to straight couples is procreation and that is not a pre-requisite for marriage nor any kind of legal impediment. Indeed the essential notion of marriage in teh modern world is that the couple choose to have children - or not. Thats the beauty of marriage - it fulfills essential needs for couples to come together in a new familial relationship - AND it forms the strong base for the bringing up of children, whatever the many ways that those children come into the family.

            If you feell that is a legal fiction, then go ahead. Use that phrase. But your phrase 'legal fiction' has no meaning in law. Equal marriage has moved into the mainstream in the US and many places around the world. It seems you are losing. It is all very well having your opinions, but when they fail to persuade then you need to question why if you are not to keep on losing.

            Ask me why.

            Transgender - if you are simply basing gender on the presence of XX or XY chromosome pair then we have no grounds for debate. Man and woman have more meanings than chromosomes. Transgender has been demonstrated
            to be a function of brain development through functional MRI scan. It may share some developmental pathways with sexuality.

          • Leila Miller

            By the way, I am and have always been against the (politically motivated) redefinition of the word "gay". Let's say we redefine it a million more times -- it still does not change the nature of anything. It does not change what is real. For example, the essence of the original meaning of the word "gay" is still joyful or happy. The essence of things do not change. The essence of marriage (what is true and real) will not change just because folks undefine the word. The reality of that thing we've called "marriage" still exists. It's that the word now has been applied to something that is not, in reality, "marriage".

            Again, it's like defining all dogs as cats. It doesn't change the essence of either a dog or a cat (their realities are the same, even if they had no "names" assigned to them at all), but it sure does confuse the situation and makes it very hard to communicate.

          • Raisinhead

            The word gay was redefined by gay people themselves so that there would be another word other than queer, fag, faggot, homo we could use to speak about ourselves. If that is 'political' then I'm more than happy with that.

            Gay now has two meanings. Only one is predominant, clearly understood by 99% of all Americans. There is no problem with comuunicating about he meaning of gays. Except if you meant to say happy.

          • Bruce Lewis

            The essence of a CATHOLIC marriage is an INDISSOLUBLE "conjugal union." For real, practising and believing Catholics, which certain on this thread profess to be, a "conjugal union" that may be "dissoluble" CANNOT constitute an actual "marriage." THAT is the "elephant in the room" that so many Catholics in America are ignoring when they try to discuss "gay marriage"--they are too ignorant (or too bashful) to address the fact that the country they live in ALREADY has what must be theologically (to them) a blasphemous form of "marriage."

          • Bruce Lewis

            Yes, and it is strictly non-religious. The Catholics cannot and will not ever agree to it--and nor should they.

          • lozen

            Don't have time right now to read all the above posts, so please excuse if I repeat something already stated. Marriage has taken all kinds of forms in different human cultures. Those cultures that did not practice the rather recent (when you consider history over the long term) western European idea of marriage only between one woman and one man, functioned as well as western European cultures.

          • Bruce Lewis

            You're confusing how marriage has been *used* and what it fundamentally *is*.

            As I have tried to explain above, the Catholics and the Protestants in this and other societies have a fundamental disagreement regarding what "marriage" *is*, because of the introduction of divorce into the equation of "marriage" by the so-called Protestant "reformers". This absolutely MUST be considered to be a part of this debate/discussion, if we are talking, even remotely, about "gays'" "rights" to marriage.

          • Percy Gryce

            Bruce, on this point one ought to distinguish between the Continental reformers, who countenanced divorce, and the Church of England, which did not.

          • Bruce Lewis

            The Church of England was FOUNDED in order to countenance a divorce!

          • Percy Gryce

            Henry VIII was not seeking a "divorce" in the modern
            sense (although the word "divortium" was used in contemporary documents to describe it), but an annulment (just like the 4 annullments that he subsequently got from Cranmer [from Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard]). There is no evidence that Henry ever came to believe "divorce" in the strict sense lawful, as almost all of the Reformers did--and, uniquely among all Protestant churches, the Church of England eventually came to ban all divorce absolutely. This ban was formalized only in the Canons of 1604, although they reflected the practice of Elizabeth's reign (as well as Elizabeth's strong feelings on the subject). The proposed Reformed Canon Law Code of 1552 (which was never enacted) would have allowed divorce in the strict sense for various causes, however, and Cranmer, acting on his own authority in 1547, shortly after Henry VIII's death, granted two divorces to men with allegedly adulterous wives (the Marquess of Northampton and Sir Ralph Sadler), with permission to remarry (which they did--something which Elizabeth, after she became Queen, reminded them of in no friendly manner from time to time). Beginning in 1670 and lasting until the formal enactment of a Divorce Bill in 1855, Parliament itself, by ordinary statutes that had to pass both Houses after formal debate, would occasionally grant an individual a divorce.

          • Bruce Lewis

            How could Henry VIII POSSIBLY have hoped to get an "annulment" from one pope (the only person who can grant such a dispensation--him or his "Rota Court," which acts in his place) when a previous pope had been asked to consider the situation of Arthur Tudor's marriage and had retroactively "annulled" it, in order to make Catherine of Aragon eligible for remarriage? As corrupt as the Catholic Church at the time was, it could not be expected to be so theologically inconsistent. Louis XII DID get an "annulment" or a "divorce"--call it what you will--but there had never been a papal dispensation granted so that he could marry Louis XI's daughter. All Henry VIII could ever have hoped for, from any ecclesiastical court, was a "divorce." Remember that Henry VIII was, himself, an amateur theologian, which means he was well aware of the preposterous nature of this application to Rome.

          • Percy Gryce

            Henry VIII did indeed fancy himself a theologian. So it was exactly an annulment from Catherine of Aragon he was seeking because, he argued, the previous dispensation he had received, which depended on a judgment on his brother's marriage, had been obtained under false pretenses. So he sought a decree of nullity (no valid marriage in the first place) as opposed to a decree of divorce (rupture of a valid marriage).

            And the larger point stands: that the Anglican Church was not a proponent of divorce until well into the 20th century.

          • Bruce Lewis

            And when it became a "proponent of divorce" did it not become, exactly as Luther and Calvin had been, a theological traducer of the prohibition of divorce in the Gospel of Matthew? And didn't the rationalization of it rest upon the same sort of reasoning Luther had used, about the futility of "sinful man" being held to such a high standard as, say, the sacerdotal celibacy of the Roman clergy, or, say, the indissolubility of "sacramental marriage"--the only kind of traditional "Christian marriage" that I at least am willing to acknowledge? Didn't it depend upon the wholesale rejection of "Be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect"?

          • Percy Gryce

            No disagreement there. I just think it's hard to blame the English Reformers for American divorce culture.

          • Raisinhead

            Most people outside this site and certain realms of the conservative Catholic world, would find that the exclusion of intimacy and stability, however subjective, from the notion of marriage, very strange. A strange notion in fact.

            In order to form a suitable ground for the bringing up of children, more than a contract of marriage is needed. The parents must love and cherish each other first. To love and cherish requires the rightly subjective experience of intimacy, the subjective arena in which Eros and agape etc play out. Thus the most stable union is produced in which children can thrive.

            This is an idea of marriage on which the legal and social institution can be built.

          • Raisinhead

            Noted. Also, I agree strongly that there is a too quick a recourse to slippery slope strawman arguments. I don't think you are being too cynical and I wanted to make clear I would not be interested in debating, in however an intellectual a manner, the notion that homosexuality can be equated to the taboos referred to.

          • Andre, I'll say this again: I'm not sure if you've read it yet, but you should really check out the academic paper "What Is Marriage?", published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. It's free online and it makes a strong non-religious case for marriage between one man and one woman. It's also the most-downloaded academic paper in the history of the Internet.

            If you're truly interested in "non-religious definitions of marriage" you'd pursue that paper.

            http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1722155

            (Also, as I noted earlier, it was later expanded into a book with the same title: http://bvogt.us/ZElFvc)

          • Bruce Lewis

            "Marriage," until Jesus Christ commanded it to be permanent and indissoluble, NEVER had any true, sacramental "religious" definition. Moses had allowed divorce, and that took marriage out of the realm of the numinous. Jesus Christ, in forbidding divorce, except in the case of adultery, put "marriage" back into the realm of the numinous, but Luther and his fellow heretics, took it right back out of the realm of the "religious." Americans live in a Protestant country, in which divorce, as an accepted practice, trumps the "sacramental marriage" of the Catholics. In such a society, because of the prevalence of divorce, "marriage" is not only non-"religious" (and entirely removed from the realm of the numinous), it has become virtual "serial monogamy" that is protected, by law, for heterosexuals. Because such protection is unequal, then the "gays" have a right to it, too. Catholic sacramental marriage is what, for two thousand years, protected (but not very well) Christendom from abandonment to pedophilia, polygamy, child marriages, and other "abuses" of "marriage."

      • jmgrodi

        The declaring and clarifying of definitions is always a great place to start.

        Raisinhead: I'd love to hear your take on the definitions of some of the terms you mentioned above. If you give some starting points, together we can critique/tweak them to (again) find out where precisely we agree or disagree.

    • jmgrodi

      Clarifying definitions is always a great place to start.

      Raisinhead: I'd love to hear your take on definitions on some of the terms you mentioned above. If you give some starting points, together we can critique/tweak them to (again) find out where precisely we agree or disagree.

    • Athanasius De Angelus

      Oh you again, thank you for sending me to the cartoon network on youtube about Darwin's clown theory. Oh you atheist/materialist/secularist really are knowledgeable about science, NOT!

      Here is a scholarly book for you sonny (it just came out to mess with your lame theory):

      Charles Darwin knew that there was a significant event in the history of life that his theory did not explain. In what is known today as the "Cambrian explosion," 530 million years ago many animals suddenly appeared in the fossil record without apparent ancestors in earlier layers of rock. In Darwin's Doubt Stephen C. Meyer tells the story of the mystery surrounding this explosion of animal life—a mystery that has intensified, not only because the expected ancestors of these animals have not been found, but also because scientists have learned more about what it takes to construct an animal.- from Darwin's Doubt

      • Max Driffill

        Darwin's Doubt is not a scholarly work. It is not a work penned by a scientist at all. Myers is not a paleontologist, not a biologist, not a geologist, no kind of scientist at all.

        Myers is the head of an intellectually dishonest organization, The Discovery Institute. This institute requires a faith statement, as well as a priori commitment to creationist conclusions. It is not scientific body but a religious one. It is not a group that cares a whit about evidence, but only on its public relations campaign.

        • Athanasius De Angelus

          I don't care what you say, because you atheist/secularist can't produce the evidence to support your clown "THEORY." If you want me to believe then you need to produce the CLOWN evidences of transitional species, well where are they?

          Where's the beef?

          Go pray to your clown god of "random mutation" to reveal to you the locations of transitional species! Ha, Ha, Ha,
          Ha, Ha, Ha,Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha.

          And what degree do you have?

          Dr. Stephen C. Meyer received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in the philosophy of science. A former geophysicist and college professor, he now directs the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle.

          • Andre Boillot

            I've got to say, everything is much funnier if you just throw "clown" in front of it. Thanks for the tip!

          • Athanasius De Angelus

            Yeah! It's the hip thing to do ya know!

            I love it when people think that they are hip but then to discover that they are really, really not. They worship what they don't understand!

            "Ye worship ye know not what." - John 4:22

            I love it when your CLOWN "theory" of evolution comes crashing down on ya, then what other IDOL will you search for next to fill in your clown void??? What will help you to cope with your boring clown RANDOM existence? A happy secular clown pill? How will you escape the clownness that is within you?

            Oh tell me how will you cope with your clown tragedy.

            I MUST KNOW, I want to know how do you survive on the darkside, tell me Darth Vader, tell me your secret!

            Oh the tragedy, oh the misery of the randomness!

          • Andre Boillot

            "then what other IDOL will you search for next to fill in your clown void?"

            Ronald McDonald, probably.

          • Athanasius De Angelus

            That's the best you can come up with?
            And I thought that you were Master Yoda/Vader kind of guy.
            Ronald McDonald is a clown, ah that makes sense!
            See I don't mean to show off but as I am working and typing away, my life is a kick ass kind of life. My office has the view of the river of life and mountain of the Lord, oh no, it is not random at all. I would say it's intelligently design for me! Ha, ha, ha, ha, read and weep and in a few short week I will be off to fun land vacation!!!! Because the good Lord has planned it out for me, oh no it's not random at all! My life is kick ass, YAHOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

          • Andre Boillot

            You're the best!

            Oh, before I forget, did you get a chance to make fun of anyone with Aspergers today? Can you teach me how?

          • Athanasius De Angelus

            You have Aspergers? I didn't make fun of you Lord Vader.

          • Susan

            Anathasius,

            I love it when your CLOWN "theory" of evolution comes crashing down on ya

            What is the theory of evolution? Any idea?

          • Athanasius De Angelus

            Read and Weep:

            "Stephen Meyer elegantly explains why the sudden appearance of animal forms in the Cambrian period gave Darwin pause. He also demonstrates, based on cutting-edge molecular biology, why explaining the origin of animals is now not just a problem of missing fossils, but an even greater engineering problem at the molecular level. With mathematical precision, he shows why the neo-Darwinian mechanism cannot produce the genetic information and novel proteins--or systems for regulating their expression--that are required to build new animals. An excellent book and a must read for anyone who wants to gain understanding of the very real--though often unreported--scientific challenges facing neo-Darwinism." --Dr. Russell Carlson, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Director of the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, University of Georgia.

          • Susan

            So... no idea?

          • Athanasius De Angelus

            No, you explain it to me, since this "theory" is your IDOL! Ha!

            You can't?

            Why young lady? Perhaps it is because:

            "Ye worship ye know not what." - John 4:22

          • Andre Boillot

            If only there were evidence that the Cambrian explosion wasn't the outlier you think it is, I could continue clinging to evolution. Instead, I'm doomed to a life of obesity, worshiping at the alter of the golden arches. Why? Why is there no such evidence?

          • Max Driffill

            Athanasius,

            "I don't care what you say, because you atheist/secularist can't produce the evidence to support your clown "THEORY." If you want me to believe then you need to produce the CLOWN evidences of transitional species, well where are they?"

            There are countless transitional forms. We have seen speciation in the wild and in the lab. I could produce the papers for you, but given your trolling behavior, and your goofy confidence in an intellectually dishonest organization, I'm not sure why I should be bothered to engage you much further.

            I will say this though about species. They are not static things to begin with. And all are more, or less (sometimes much less, sometimes much more) in transition. So to answer your question honestly all species are transitional forms. For a really dramatic example of evolution in action, I would urge you to get acquainted with the work of Peter and Rosemary Grant, and learn a bit about the domestication of foxes to see how rapidly new behaviors and new forms evolve.

            "Where's the beef?"

            If you want to have a serious conversation we'll get into the beef.

            "Go pray to your clown god of "random mutation" to reveal to you the locations of transitional species! Ha, Ha, Ha,
            Ha, Ha, Ha,Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha."

            We have found plenty, don't worry, our Clown God apparently delivers without prayer.

            "And what degree do you have?"

            I have a bachelor's in biology.

            "Dr. Stephen C. Meyer received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in the philosophy of science. A former geophysicist and college professor, he now directs the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle."

            None of this addresses his a priori commitment to intelligent design, nor does it deflect my observation that he is not an evolutionary biologist, or even a biologist of any kind. Nor is he a paleontologist, nor has he examined or worked with the fossils. Most of his publications are found in, mostly, Christian sympathetic journals. BIO-Complexity, already assumes ID is a real thing (it isn't yet a real scientific thing). Whatever he is, he is not a scientist. And as I said, he is the head of an organization that has demonstrated a flair for mendacity (as was demonstrated at Dover).

          • Sample1

            If you want me to believe

            Stop. This assumption is a mistake and a super-sized source of needless stress.

            I am here, among other things, to review and evaluate claims. That's it! I can't make anyone abandon their faith and in many cases, I may not even want to. It is up to the individual to make that decision, if ever.

            Carry on.

            Mike

        • Athanasius De Angelus

          No don't cry little one. Are you kidding me with: "Darwin's Doubt is not a scholarly work"?

          Dr. Russell Carlson, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Director of the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, University of Georgia, RECOMMENDED Myers' book!

          YOU ARE ALL TALK! Look at all the scientists recommending his work! You are a bias atheist guy! HA HA HA HA!

          Your world is crashing down upon you...
          What will you do? Where will you go?

          How can you escape the void that is within?
          Oh the darkness is too much for YOOOOOOOOO!
          Ahhhhhhhhh (screaming, crying, echoooooooo!) THE END!

          • Max Driffill

            Alright troll.
            Later.

          • Athanasius De Angelus

            Freaky, you troll over here. This blog is a Catholic Blog. So you are ultimate clown troll. I didn't reply to you, you reply to me first. You are the definition of the TROLL MASTER!
            How do you feel now that your "theory" is coming apart? HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA

          • Max Driffill

            ADA,
            Does error just characterize your life? This site's mission is to create a place for dialogue and discussion among Catholics and atheists.

          • Athanasius De Angelus

            I live in reality and YOU DON'T. You cling on to a "theory" that is falling apart. Leave the darkside Anakin before it destroy you. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

          • Athanasius De Angelus

            You live in error:

            Atheist believe:

            THEY BELIEVE THAT SOMETHING CAME OUT OF NOTHING,
            • THAT REASON CAME FROM IRRATIONALITY,
            • THAT A COMPLEX UNIVERSE AND NATURAL ORDER
            CAME OUT OF RANDOMNESS AND CHAOS,

            • THAT CONSCIOUSNESS CAME FROM NON-CONSCIOUSNESS
            • AND THAT LIFE EMERGED FROM NON-LIFE.”

            “....THAT ALL OF THIS HAS BEEN CREATED FROM NOTHING IS ABSURD: IT PRESUPPOSES A CREATOR.”

            “ATHEIST BELIEVE THAT A “MULTIVERSE (FOR WHICH THERE IS NO EXPERIMENTAL OR OBSERVATIONAL EVIDENCE) CONTAINING AN INCONCEIVABLY LARGE NUMBER OF UNIVERSES SPONTANEOUSLY CREATED ITSELF”

            YET, CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS INSISTED..“OUR BELIEF IS NOT A BELIEF”

            “NONSENSE. ATHEISM REQUIRES A BELIEF IN THE UNBELIEVABLE.”

            “CHRISTIANS BELIEVE CHRIST COULD RAISE PEOPLE FROM THE DEAD BECAUSE HE IS GOD. THAT IS FAITH. ATHEISTS BELIEVE LIFE CAME OUT OF NON-LIFE. THAT, TOO , IS FAITH. THEY BELIEVE IN WHAT THEIR GOD, SCIENCE, CANNOT DEMONSTRATE, REPLICATE OR PROVE. THEY BELIEVE IN MIRACLES BUT CANNOT IDENTIFY, PRODUCE, OR DESCRIBE THE MIRACLE WORKER.”

            “ATHEISM IS THE ABSURD WRAPPED IN THE LANGUAGE OF THE INANE PROMULGATED BY SOULESS ELITES MASQUERADING AS SNOBS”.

          • Max Driffill
      • Andre Boillot

        If your goal is to copy+paste this into every article on the site, make sure you check out the 'Article Index' up top. I wouldn't want you to miss anything.

  • NoahLuck

    You're extremely lucky in your dealings with Catholics. For the roughly dozen of gay Catholics I've spoken with about the matter, they are accustomed to giving very carefully worded confessions, because when they indicate, e.g. "I had sex with another man", rather than, e.g. "I had sex with someone I am not married to," the responses were usually harshly berating -- essentially spiritual rape -- except when dealing with priests who don't accept Church teaching about homosexuality. I remember long anguished conversations with groups of us online about whether it was better to suffer the spiritual rape or to confess to patently unorthodox priests. The unavoidable fact is that many conservative Catholics who came of age in the early 20th century, including priests, were very bigoted toward gays. That is improving, fortunately. Perhaps there has been faster change recently in regions where secular society has welcomed gay people as equals rather than as "damaged goods".

    You're also extremely unlucky in your dealings with non-Catholics. When I was a Catholic and it came up in conversation with non-believing folk that I was a celibate gay, the responses I got ranged from, "Oh, that's nice" to "Don't you think you're missing out on an important part of life?". That's the thing about non-believers. They don't care what you do or don't get up to sexually. They don't consider it to be a significant moral question. They focus their moral attention on matters of social justice.

    Your initial question, then -- "Are you freaking kidding me? Are we even talking about the same Church?" -- is appropriate. Are you bullshitting us? If not, why is your experience so entirely at odds with the usual course of things experienced by gay Catholics including (formerly) myself?

    • Luke Arredondo

      Noah, thanks for commenting, but please watch the language. Please refer to the comment policy, available here: http://www.strangenotions.com/commenting/.

      Peace,

      Luke

      • If you object to certain sorts of language, you should add that fact to your comment policy.

        I was dubious of your inaccurate replacement choice, so I just checked the dictionary (the World English Dictionary), which has a usage note that says the word is generally acceptable in modern speech though it was formerly considered taboo.

        • Luke Arredondo

          That single word wasn't the only issue with the previous comment, but certainly was out of place. I understand your issue with the article and your questions are good ones, but it seemed to me, upon reading your post, that you were veering toward attacking the person and not his ideas. I apologize if I misunderstood and please realize my editing was to try and uphold the high level of respectable dialogue that we are aiming for.

          Peace,

          Luke

          • Given that you are hoping for fruitful engagement on this site with people who disagree, the group of moderators should quickly settle on a higher moderation threshold than "it seemed to me... that you were veering toward" an insult, such as directly insulting or committing an actual ad hominem fallacy. In particular, I recommend having guidance for moderators on the difference between direct and implied insults, especially for sensitive cultural topics such as this page, where the current official teaching of the Church hierarchy isn't intended as insult but is in fact deeply offensive to millions.

  • BWB

    It seems to me this article is trying to put a really positive spin on the fact that being gay in the Catholic church means you are restricted by virtue of how you were born in determining for yourself who you love or whether or not you will be celibate. Being celibate is a great choice but the reality here is that straight people get to choose between between being celibate or not, while gay people get to choose between being celibate or living in sin.

    • Raisinhead

      Well put.

    • Guest

      So now a few people have made a similar observation as I have about this situation. I have yet to hear a response, although I'm pretty sure there isn't much of a response to be had. I think there is only recognition of the point which no one seems to want to do. I think there is a reason for this. It is because the main point of the article isn't so much to make an argument for what marriage should be, as the "What is Marriage?" paper from Harvard is. It is to make Catholics feel better about their church's position on the issue, and there has been no recognition because the point I make is done in a way to bring out the discriminatory aspects of the situation and that makes people uncomfortable. I think its a valuable observation, at least in regards to this article which seems to have been done to make people feel less uncomfortable.

    • Don't know why it posted as a guest so I'll do it again.

      So now a few people have made a similar observation as I have about this situation. I have yet to hear a response, although I'm pretty sure there isn't much of a response to be had. I think there is only recognition of the point which no one seems to want to do. I think there is a reason for this. It is because the main point of the article isn't so much to make an argument for what marriage should be, as the "What is Marriage?" paper from Harvard is. It is to make Catholics feel better about their church's position on the issue, and there has been no recognition because the point I make is done in a way to bring out the discriminatory aspects of the situation and that makes people uncomfortable. I think its a valuable observation, at least in regards to this article which seems to have been done to make people feel less uncomfortable.

  • stanz2reason

    If a gay catholic feels being guilted into being celibate is an acceptable thing, that is entirely fine. I think this expectation of celibacy further contributes to the stigma of being gay, and that a choice of it in this instance is less of a sacrifice that a priest makes (or for those priests who actually stick to it make) and more of a self-denial, sort of lying to yourself. But in the end I can't complain about the churches internal bigotry towards their own members especially if those same members willfully accept it. What I can complain about is when the the church and its members feel like their opinion on such matters becomes a problem to anyone out side their walls. Catholic dogma is not equivalent to secular law. You have the right to lie to yourself and believe what you will. You do not have the right to oppose it on anyone who doesn't share your view.

  • melo8

    How can this be called moral? Being gay is okay only if you're celibate. That's like saying being black is okay only if you wear a burqa. Both of these have to do with how someone is born.

  • David

    Yeah, this article has some interesting dynamics with the pope's recent condemnation of the "gay lobby" within the Vatican. Hey, I'm catholic (technically) and even I know how bigoted a lot of the patrons of the church are. Yet, personal experience tells me that most followers really couldn't give a butt scratch for or against gay marriage, the gay "agenda", or gay people in general.

  • Perhaps the author can get some encouragement from the words of the Pope a few days ago: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/13/world/europe/pope-is-quoted-as-acknowledging-a-vatican-gay-lobby.html?pagewanted=all

    • Susan

      That's a good link Q. Thank you for providing it.

      The breaking news of the opening line:

      >For years, perhaps even centuries, it has been an open secret in Rome: That some prelates in the Vatican hierarchy are gay.

      And the Vatican's response.

      Very informative. Good link.

  • Ricardo Granada

    The different opinions are because of the confusion about homosexuality, which has
    been misunderstood throughout history. Gay activists tried to justify it and
    even pushed mental health professionals to take it out from the pathology list.
    But thank God, some serious nonbiased mental health researchers have discovered
    solid evidence about the real causes of homosexuality. The truth is that NO ONE
    IS GAY. Same Sex Attraction (SSA) is a consequence from unsatisfied emotional
    needs and wounds, from very early childhood. Some of this news got on time to
    be included in the Catholic Catechism (2357, 2358, 2359). It states that “homosexual
    acts” are intrinsically disordered and cannot be validated, as they drive apart
    from the means of human sexuality: love and life. And it also states that God
    and the Church love and care for people with homosexuality tendencies. They are
    called to live in chastity. They should not be discriminated, but treated with
    respect and compassion. Now some catholic based and other well-meant organizations are serving people with SSA, such as Courage (couragerc.net), NARTH, International Healing Foundation (comingoutloved.com).

    • Gregory Miller

      That is an incredibly flawed diatribe.
      Gay activists in the 1970s simply did not have the political might to force an organization like the APA, who suffers nothing if some voting majority doesn't like them, and thus, are somewhat immune to "political pressure". Rather, the APA voting members LISTENED to what gay people had to say in order to determine whether this should be considered to removed or not. THis is not unusual. The APA has revised their findings throughout the course of their existence. You clearly do not work i mental health. Mental health is considered to be affected when the condition has negative impacts on the individual. Otherwise, it is just a condition and does not require treatment. This is generally accepted practice throughout mental health. There is absolutely no credible evidence whatsoever of what "causes" homosexuality. You are spouting junk science. Even if you have something to point to in "research" from someone, I would point out that as a rule, if 1% of the scientists say it is one way, and 99% of the scientists say it is another way, statistically the 99% are correct.

  • Nancy Whalen

    This post can be verified with my own experience. I am not gay. I am a divorced, non-annulled Catholic. I was in a conversation with a friend who confided in me that she an a couple of other friends thought it would be a good idea for me to pursue a relationship with a man we all knew. Although I knew him to be a good person and probably someone who would be a good match for my personality; my gut reaction to her statement was one of deep sadness. I knew I would lose "everything." I think you understand that feeling. I did not qualify him as someone I wanted to be with or not. It was a different kind of discernment.

  • Katherine Sennott

    I've heard Catholics call homosexuality a "cross to bear" in life, and that people who resist those temptations are to be applauded. I agree that anyone who remains celibate for any reason (priests, religious, etc.) should be applauded for their self control, but why is it that homosexuality has to be seen as a cross in the first place?

    When a person is "bearing the cross" of cancer, for example, no one is against the person having chemotherapy, surgery, or taking any other action that will help to remove that pain and make their lives easier. So long as they're not hurting other people, there's nothing wrong with it.

    On the other hand, if a person is gay, they aren't allowed to live in a way that would make their lives easier. They aren't allowed (according the the Catholic faith) to marry the person they love or have a family. Unlike any other "cross" a person is born with, people on the LGBTQ+ spectrum are told it would be wrong for them to try to find happiness through the traditional route. Why should this imbalance exist?

    • Andre Boillot

      "When a person is "bearing the cross" of cancer, for example, no one is against the person having chemotherapy, surgery, or taking any other action that will help to remove that pain and make their lives easier."

      Catholics wouldn't view acting on homosexual orientation as the equivalent of treating cancer. I would imagine that efforts to 'pray-the-gay-away' would be closer equivalents.

      • Katherine Sennott

        Ok, but why isn't it seen the same way?

        • Andre Boillot

          I can think of two things that apply to cancer and not to homosexuality: 1) cancer is a physical ailment; 2) cancer has widely accepted and clinically effective treatments/cures.

          If similar things applied to homosexuality, the Church would promote its treatment, not the continued practice of.

  • Stephen Brace

    I don't particularly like the identifier "gay" since God created us male and female. We are more than the inclinations that run toward temptations to violate God's will. Catholic Courage discourages the use of such identifiers; there are many reasons to drop the use of the term "gay" in the same sentence as Catholic. 1. it weakens the resolve of the individual who desire celibacy who struggles with Same Sex Attraction (SSA). 2. the subversive nature of gay activism seeks recognition with the identifier and hopes the Church will change if they can get people of like mind into positions of Church authority. 3. the identifier does not represent who we are in the Church. While the comments by the author has some good points, I take issue with the label "gay" because it violates the very principles of Catholic Courage.http://www.couragerc.net/Catholic_Language.html. Those areas where "Gay Catholic" is accepted also has a high activity of Catholic DignityUSA, which espouses the full agenda of homosexual marriage and is not an approved apostolate of the Catholic Church. Good for the author to stay on the path of celibacy, but drop the label dude and go with SSA or homosexual tendencies, but if you are Catholic you are not Gay.

  • jq

    Inappropriate and misleading language

    In a recent report regarding the current synod you made emphatic reference to the
    correct use of language and it is in that regard I would ask you to consider
    the following.
    At the moment we have the right to choose (inoffensively) the words we use (and
    for that matter those we choose not to) - it is vitally important that we use
    this freedom of choice wisely.
    I am sometimes gay (not homosexual) and I reserve the right to not use the word
    gay to describe anyone or any matter relating to homosexuality and would
    encourage others for the sake of clarity to do likewise. The word homosexual is
    clear enough to convey what is being meant without unnecessarily causing
    offense to those who are heterosexuals as a consequence of misinterpretation. I
    also civilly object to being described as ‘straight’. It has connotations of inflexibility, intolerance and when placed alongside the term gay as its opposite then it can also be interpreted as sad.
    A relationship between persons of the same sex is exactly that - a same-sex
    relationship. It is also accurate to describe some of those same-sex relationships as legalised. In such circumstances, no reference to the term ‘marriage’ is necessary. Carelessness in how we use vocabulary has resulted in us surrendering vital aspects of our language; it has not been hijacked. The correct use of language in this matter is not unimportant. If we continue to be ‘language lazy’ and careless then we will find it so much harder to resist the suppressing of the terms mother and father, husband and wife and so on from a wide range of instances such as official forms, school books etc. However, I would warn those who would adopt the practice of vocabulary accuracy, (which should be only be done with a spirit of love and tolerance), will at some stage attract hostility, but rather than that being a deterrent it should be an encouragement. Those who value the traditional use of the terms marriage, gay and straight need to be encouraged to use those terms only in the context of their original meaning.
    I would also encourage those who are accused of being homophobic to calmly
    challenge any such broad and ambiguous charge by requesting specific details
    when so accused, and when the cloak of ambiguity has been removed then such
    accusations are more charitably and non patronisingly dealt with in an edifying
    and illuminative manner (that’s not to say that such edification and illumination will be welcome) by those who are genuinely well intentioned and informed.
    Though some organisations and individuals may even vigorously oppose the current attack on marriage, their continued insistence in language surrender e.g.
    gay, straight, and gay ‘marriage’ instead of (legalised) same sex relationships; the term ‘guys’ to describe a group of both men and women, has been a significant factor in contributing to the circumstances we now find ourselves in.
    The campaign for the legalisation of same-sex relationships is not an equality or
    inclusiveness issue. It is also not a matter of political correctness. Neither
    is it primarily about the redefinition of marriage, it is about the redefinition of morality with the ultimate aim of the eradication of Christianity. Legalised same-sex relationships and the redefinition of marriage will be used to stealthily compel society (particularly through the education system) to embrace rather than tolerate practices and circumstances which people should have the right and freedom to civilly disagree with.
    In conclusion I would advise you that I believe that every human person is a
    unique and irreplaceable gift created by our loving God, and therefore must be
    treated with love, respect and dignity, which of course applies to those who
    would disagree with me.

  • Kim-Thérèse Lee

    That is more than a satisfactory answer. You shouldn't actually need to answer to people about why you are gay and choose to be celibate for God. That is your vocation, and nobody should be telling you otherwise. Good on you for keeping the morals of the Church and knowing they are good for you. God bless you.

  • Gina101

    "Pick up your cross and follow Me." Indeed. We all have our crosses. Steve expresses beautifully how like Christ he embraces it under the weight. Some choose to throw their crosses off their shoulder and join the jeering crowds.

  • God bless you. May your life be ever suffused with joy even in the midst of difficulties. :-)

  • exkyman

    Though I am neither Catholic or gay here is one who speaks with a measure of wisdom that I can respect and would be glad to call him, friend.

  • Diana Marie Roesling

    ....heterosexual, and celibate here!! People do not understand a celibate lifestyle in today's world! ...doesn't matter homosexual/heterosexual......its the celibate they can't wrap their heads around!

    • William Davis

      Celibacy does simplify many things, and if someone is comfortable with it, I'm fine with it too :) Of course, when I see articles like these, it has me scratching my head...

      http://www.strangenotions.com/very-sad-childfree-life/#comment-2105774724

      A celibate man complaining about others not having children? Pure hypocrisy ;)

      (P.S. I have multiple children myself, so my personal position is non-celibate, and pro-children. Bigotry against those who do not have children is quite similar to bigotry against celibate people). Given the opportunity, I would argue for a social need for very intelligent people to have children. Your average Joe not having kids is largely positive in a world of over 7 billion people and rising.

  • As Rabbi Abraham Heschel said: “The man who has not suffered, what can he possibly know, anyway?” Stealing this :)

    • Michael Murray

      Meaning that nobody lives without a burden of one kind or another.

      Sure. But most of humanity tries to lighten the load by removing the unnecessary burdens. The Catholic Church tries instead to heap more on by trying to get people to repress their sexuality and if they can't repress it feel guilty about it.

      • I don't agree that the meaning of the quote is simply "nobody lives without a burden..." For me the quote is simply an acknowledgement that you learn more about who you are in the world if you have experienced some suffering. If I want to know about mountain climbing, I'm more interested in talking to someone that has climbed a mountain than talking to someone that hasn't even seen a mountain, let alone never experienced the sore fingers and muscles, genuine fear and exhilaration, etc.

        Regarding the Catholic Church wanting people to repress their sexuality and if failing then wanting them to feel guilty about it, well, I don't know you or what you have experienced so I probably don't have anything to say about that that will matter since I am likely to miss your point.

        I am born and raised Catholic and have always been curious about this "Catholic Guilt" I keep hearing about. If someone is playing basketball and the coach urges them to do better and be the best player they can be, and calls them out when they double dribble or fail to get that rebound, I supposed you could call that "basketball guilt." Personally I don't see it.

        What does it even mean to "repress sexuality"? If repressing sexuality means nothing more than boundaries on behavior, well, I am repressed by traffic signs. Except that I am actually liberated by traffic signs - liberated to drive in a safe and sane manner that respects the rights of others on the same road and prevents chaos and mayhem.

        • Michael Murray

          So you equate the simple and obvious necessity of traffic lights with the arcane Catholic Church rules on masturbation, homosexuality, oral sex, sex outside marriage. Seriously ? I was talking about "unnecessary burdens".

          • William Davis

            It's amazing how such nonsense passes for reason in Catholic circles...and it is utter nonsense.

          • Michael Murray

            I find all this sexual morality stuff about as sensible as the old favourite: "don't wear patent leather shoes when dancing as the boys will look up your skirt". Maybe with the internet that has gone these days ? I'm getting old.

          • It would seem your impression then is that the Catholic Church is deliberately setting up a no-win situation for whatever nefarious reasons they may have.

          • William Davis

            I don't think, in general, that Catholics have nefarious intention, they are simply trapped by tradition. The good = "being" paradigm is also highly problematic in a world of over 7 billion people whose existence is putting a strain on natural resources (so far technology has been able to keep up with demand, but this will likely not continue indefinitely, especially with depletion of fossil fuels).
            In general, I spend time here because I care about the truth, and Catholics seem to be fairly irresponsible with truth claims (this isn't intended to be insulting, just my perspective).

          • Michael Murray

            Except I don't think the Catholic Church is that deliberate or aware of what it is doing all the time. It's a large, multinational organisation with all kinds of internal political forces at work.

        • William Davis

          What does it even mean to "repress sexuality"? If repressing sexuality means nothing more than boundaries on behavior, well, I am repressed by traffic signs. Except that I am actually liberated by traffic signs - liberated to drive in a safe and sane manner that respects the rights of others on the same road and prevents chaos and mayhem.

          Your implication is that homosexuality does not respect the rights of others. This is simply false as long as it is consenting.
          The real problem is that the Catholic Church has no good reason (other than tradition) to consider homosexuality immoral. Most of it's sexual teachings are designed for empire building. Maximizing the number of children is a great strategy for dominating competing religions, civilizations, ect. The utility of these teaching cannot be an accident.

          • Hi William. That is not my intended implication. I should have simply stopped by asking, "What does it even mean to repress sexuality?" My question was not focused on homosexuality.

            It would appear based on Michael Murray's answer that having anything to say about "masturbation, homosexuality, oral sex, sex outside marriage", etc. is repression. It would seem that for him, sex outside marriage, using his example, is something good and that any opinions or suggestions that maybe it is not a good thing is an unnecessary burden and an example of repression.

            So, I will ask this question: Am I understanding correctly that the rational position regarding sexuality is anything goes, and to suggest otherwise at any level is a form of repression?

          • William Davis

            First, we have to figure out what "good" is. Much Catholic philosophy equates "being" with "good", so let's consider that paradigm.

            If our goal is to increase being (i.e. number of individuals who exist), one has excellent reason, on the surface, to discourage homosexuality, if doing so results in more heterosexual marriages (in general marriage adds stability for children and increases their survival likelihood). The evidence is generally against this idea, however. There are some bisexual people who can be influenced in this way, but they seem to be in the minority. There has been a lot of work in trying to "convert" homosexuals, and it has been a failure.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversion_therapy#Studies_of_conversion_therapy

            The primary result is to get homosexuals to become largely non-sexual, which does not increase being in any way.

            If we change the paradigm to maximize happiness instead of just being, you have a real problem. There is every reason to think a monogamous homosexual relationship results in greater happiness than abstinence, and no reason to think there is serious harm (other than potential rectal problems with homosexual men).

            http://www.livescience.com/25519-married-same-sex-couples-happier.html

            So in one paradigm there is no significant increase in "good", in the other paradigm there is a serious decrease. Using reason (and of course empirical data), your position is a clear loser here.

            With regard to monogamy, there are clear cases to be made for both being and happiness, though there might be a few people happier in non-monogamous relationships. I have practiced complete monogamy my entire life, but it's the reasonable thing to do for me.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/07/opinion/07douthat.html?_r=0

            Inside of psychology it is somewhat debated if whether monogamy necessarily leads to the most happiness, but there is a decent amount of evidence to support it at this point. Happiness is often a problematic metric because it tends to be fairly subjective.

            We could explore other possible moral paradigms if you like. Out of curiosity, what possible rational argument do you have against masterbation? Most of the traditional "side effects" are completely non-factual, but it's possible that people with addiction problems could become "addicted" to this like anything else (abnormal people are an argument for a general recommendation).

        • Ignatius Reilly

          What does it even mean to "repress sexuality"? If repressing sexuality means nothing more than boundaries on behavior, well, I am repressed by traffic signs. Except that I am actually liberated by traffic signs - liberated to drive in a safe and sane manner that respects the rights of others on the same road and prevents chaos and mayhem.

          Problem is that the Catholic teachings on sexuality are not moral teachings. They are not virtuous. The catholic church is morally wrong about:
          A) Birth Control
          B) Masturbation
          C) Homosexuality
          D) Divorce and Remarriage
          E) Fornication
          The Catholic traffic lights on these issues cause accidents. They don't prevent them.

  • william

    The following message/comment is for Christians, and Catholic Christians, specifically (and also, maybe, for the writer of the blog). It's not for the sceptics, or the "devil's advocates" out there. I have nothing to say to you at this time. First off, thank you for the blog entry. It was thoughtful, and I appreciated the defense of the Church you undertook. So, It's a good read, but I can't forget what the Scriptures (and the book of Romans) says about homosexuality: it's sinful (which you imply, but prefer to use the "it's harmful" language -- though they mean the same thing). I believe the enemy of our souls has succeeded in passing this lie off as truth to a large portion of the population: "homosexuality is something you're born with. It's an innate condition." In other words -- you can't repent of it, you can't hope for healing from the act (in the Sacrament of Healing), so you might as well not even try (neverthess, all other sins we believe we can receive healing for, and can be turned from by the power of the Holy Spirit -- why do we make an exception for homosexual acts, or sins? It's not rationally logical, though, emotionally, it is a little logical, since we do try to justify, even ferociously, aspects of ourselves that help compose our identities, even when those aspects are incorrect). Anyway, when people believe that lie, and therefore give up the fight, that would make the devil happy, right? The battle for our souls (and I'm not saying your soul is at risk -- there's no doubt in my mind you're my brother in Christ, and that you're in full communion with the Church) begins in our minds. If we are convinced of a lie, such as the one aforementioned, then we behave (and feel) accordingly. I know it's tough to give up a belief (a lie) that's so central to your life that it makes up a part of your identity, but we must lose ourselves in order to find ourselves -- this is the wisdom of the Cross. And here's the good news: no sin is an innate condition that we're born with. I don't believe alcoholism is something we're born with, but it develops over time. A person isn't born a murderer, or a rebellious child. I mean, since we're all born under Adam (until Baptism -- because we're baptized into Christ), in a sense, we all have potential to become any one of these things because of concupiscence, but, none of us, especially once we come into the Church, and begin to believe the truth about ourselves (and the truth sets us free), is defined by our past sins. We are defined by Christ. To call yourself "gay," or an "alcoholic," or a "bad son," or anything negative/sinful like that, especially after receiving the grace of forgiveness in confession, is to refuse to acknowledge and believe the truth about who we are in Christ (read Ephesians for more -- I think it's Ephesians). I'm not just saying words, here. Technically, I have fit the profile for someone with high functioning autism. But, as a Christian, I have ceased to use that as something I identify with. My personality may be a bit different than other people's, but so what? We're all different. The world wants to call me "autistic," but I'd rather just say I'm sensitive, and sometimes I need a lot of time to myself to process daily events, and that one of my areas of weakness is interpersonal communication, but by God's grace, I can improve in that area. We all have different weaknesses. Btw -- I used to have a blog about "life as an autistic person" or some such. It was a bunch of nonsense, insofar as I was just parading normal life issues under the umbrella of "autism," and thus garnering a little more attention to them. I'd much rather write a blog about simply being a Christian/Catholic. There's more universal appeal there -- a wider audience. I don't need, anymore, to lump my various weaknesses together under a single heading (or label), and thus give my weaknesses more strength. Anyway, I hope I didn't come off as insensitive (but not too much, as some of the best writers in the history of Christianity have appeared insensitive -- St. Paul, Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, to name a few of my favorites), but really, I believe it's good to say the things we need to hear, and not necessarily what we want to hear. Saying what others need to hear is how we will truly save souls. I love you, brother.

    • William Davis

      In general, conversion therapy has been a failure. A rare few (probably more bisexual) have succeeded, but otherwise no. Your belief about the nature of human sexuality is contradicted by a large body of evidence, thus it is false. The fact that Christians continue to peddle factually false beliefs is damaging to Christianity and shows deep problems with the mindset of many Christians. There is no concern for truth, only the presupposition that they already have the truth, which is disastrous.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversion_therapy#Studies_of_conversion_therapy

      http://time.com/3705745/history-therapy-hadden/

      There is plenty more where this came from. How much time have you spent in search of the truth here? If little to none, isn't that irresponsible?

  • lamamama

    Thanks for sharing Steve! You help us Catholics better understand the heart of those with SSA, which allows us the opportunity to be more respectful of the challenges they face.

  • Kurt 20008

    I have not found it difficult to find a Catholic parish that is welcoming and supportive of gay people. We have many good priests who offer excellent pastoral care. On the other hand, sadly, our bishops have sought all sorts of civil legislation that is harmful to gay people including allowing us to be fired at will from any employer and legislation calling for us to be put in jail. It is very hard to not view it has hateful when your job and freedom is at risk.

  • infadelicious

    Sorry , if you are homosexual, you are not a Catholic. Just as Nancy Pelosi and Caroline Kennedy are not Catholics since they are pro abortion.. I know liberals like to twist the words of the founding fathers to ram through agendas that most Americans do not want, but you cannot change the word of the God of any faith. You cannot pick and choose which of his laws you will follow. You follow them or you are not that religion ok? It's pretty simple.. Gays are not Catholic, they have created their own version of it that goes against the teachings of Catholicism. They should invent a new name for it as well.. maybe Church of the Everlasting Rainbow?

    • William Davis

      Your statement is false. One can be homosexual, but not act on their homosexual inclination, and still be Catholic. The Church condemns the act, not the sexual orientation. I know this and I'm not Catholic, lol.

      • infadelicious

        Sorry oh great picker of nits that I didn't describe for you the exact sexually explicit acts one has to perform on someone of the same sex to disqualify themselves from being Catholic. My comment stands. It was not false it just wasn't dumbed down enough for you.

        • William Davis

          No, it was false ;)

          • infadelicious

            Keep telling yourself that. Sorry you and Michael have trouble comprehending what you read. Gays cannot be Catholic or any other religion that does not condone the CHOSEN lifestyle and actions of gays FACT. It's settled. You're dismissed Go find a rainbow and bite it

          • David Nickol

            Ooops. I was checking to see who would upvote a message like the above and accidentally upvoted it myself.

            Of course "gays" can be Catholic. According to the Church, anyone who was baptized a Catholic is a Catholic. If you were baptized Catholic and are gay, or don't go to Church every Sunday, or engage in premarital sex, or are married and use artificial contraception, or divorce and remarry, you are still Catholic. If you do something that incurs excommunication, you are still Catholic. It is not up to people like "infadelicious" to decide who can and cannot be a Catholic, nor even who can be "good" Catholics.

            Few things are uglier, in my opinion, than Catholics trying to read other Catholics out of the Church.

          • infadelicious

            Thanks, that was really special , a barely coherent clustershtuck of a word salad. If you want to pick and choose which of God's words you will follow then make up your own religion. It's easy.

          • Michael Murray

            If you click again it removes it :-)

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Too bad downvoting is disabled.

          • William Davis

            Lol, I was surprised to see you upvote that, thanks for the explanation. The gay haters are swarming the internet :(

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Ooops. I was checking to see who would upvote a message like the above and accidentally upvoted it myself.

            I was really wondering that myself. I think our newer commenters have crossed the line into bigotry.

          • You know if you click 'upvote' again, it undoes your upvote?

          • Jed

            I understand that you'll get a faster buzz out of smoking rainbows than by eating them, but I've never tried either.

          • infadelicious

            LOL. Not sure what their method of ingestion is but they need to pace themselves.

          • William Davis

            I'm guessing you're not Catholic anyway. Your comment history shows you to be full of hatred for some reason. Hopefully your personal life isn't that bad. People often learn to be this hateful from their parents, sorry to see it. My entire point was always to separate "being gay" from "performing homosexual acts". If you don't get it, there isn't much I can do.
            P.S. I'm highly heterosexual and have 2 kids. My concern here is justice, and I do believe you and other hate filled people are unjust. Some very angry gay groups can be unjust as well (and people often channel their disgust at said gay groups toward all gay people, which is again sad).

          • Wootsauce

            Infa? Hate? You must've clicked on the wrong person.

          • William Davis

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Status_quo_bias

            Since it's the status quo in your in-group, it's no surprise you don't perceive hateful comments as hateful. You're fully entitled to be hateful, and I'm fully entitled to criticize it, and call it like I see it.

          • Wootsauce

            a : intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury

            b : extreme dislike or antipathy :

            You're entitled to those things yes. But in this instance. you're just wrong.

            Now if you said that I am full of hate and anger, you'd be right.

          • William Davis

            I said: "You're fully entitled to be hateful"

            Hateful: "full of hate"

            http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hateful

            You said "Now if you said that I am full of hate and anger, you'd be right"

            Are you really that dimwitted or is this a joke...because I just said you are entitled to be full of hate. If it's a joke, it's almost funny, but not quite ;)

          • Wootsauce

            Infa is not full of hate for you guys... I AM though. Granted I'm working on that. But the full tilt speed with which folks like you are destroying this country, that task is becoming vastly more difficult

          • Ignatius Reilly

            So from our comments, the only thing that you can glean about our political beliefs is that we think that the government should allow gays and straights to marry, and that homosexual behavior is not immoral, but rather it is a good.

            How is this destroying the country?

          • Eponymous1

            "homosexual behavior ... is a good."

            So from this I can glean that your opinions are not well-founded in fact.

            High rates of Gonorrhea and Chlamydial Infection Co-infection of P&S Syphilis and HIV

            http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats11/msm.htm

            75% of the reported P&S syphilis cases were among the 1.6% of the population consisting of men who have sex with men (MSM).

            http://www.cdc.gov/std/Syphilis/STDFact-MSM-Syphilis.htm

            http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/07/03/gay-community-won-battles-on-marriage-but-may-be-losing-war-on-hivaids?page=2

            1 in 5 men who have sex with men in 21 U.S. cities has HIV; nearly
            half unaware http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2010/NGMHAAD2010PressRelease.html (compared with 1 in 50 poor straight urban Americans) [CDC: 1 in 50 Poor, Straight Urban Americans Infected With HIV

            http://blog.aids.gov/2012/12/syphilis-and-hiv-a-dangerous-duo-affecting-gay-and-bisexual-men.html

            http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/statistics_surveillance_epi-hiv-infection.pdf

            http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/policies/law/risk.html

            http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/gender/msm/facts/index.html

            http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/statistics/surveillance/incidence/

            http://www.cdc.gov/msmhealth/STD.htm

            http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/06/26/most_gay_couples_aren_t_monogamous_will_straight_couples_go_monogamish.html

            http://www.queerty.com/watch-dan-savage-explains-the-pros-and-cons-of-a-monogamish-relationship-20130702

            The recently published Gay Couples Study conducted by Colleen Hoff at the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality,
            San Francisco, looked at the relationships of 566 committed gay couples (males) over a three-year period. The study showed that 47 per cent of gay couples had “sex agreements” that specifically allowed sexual activity with others. An additional 8 per cent of couples were split: one person favored sex outside the relationship and the other expected monogamy. Only 45 per cent described their
            relationships as monogamous. http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/open_monogamy/

            A Canadian study of homosexual men who had been in committed relationships lasting longer than one year found that only 25 percent of those interviewed reported being monogamous." According to study author Barry Adam, "Gay culture allows men to explore different...forms of relationships besides the monogamy coveted by heterosexuals."[16]

            The Handbook of Family Diversity reported a study in which "many self-described 'monogamous' couples reported an average of three to five partners in the past year. Blasband and Peplau (1985) observed a similar pattern."[17]

            In The Male Couple, authors David P. McWhirter and Andrew M. Mattison reported that, in a study of 156 males in homosexual relationships lasting from one to thirty-seven years:

            Only seven couples have a totally exclusive sexual relationship, and these men all have been together for less than five years. Stated another way, all couples with a relationship lasting more than five
            years have incorporated some provision for outside sexual activity in their relationships.[18]

            Concerning Homosexuality and promiscuity, in 2004 the Baptist Press reported the following: "A new study by a group of University of Chicago researchers reveals a high level of promiscuity and unhealthy behavior among that city's homosexual male population. According to the researchers, 42.9 percent of homosexual men
            in Chicago's Shoreland area have had more than 60 sexual partners, while an additional 18.4 percent have had between 31 and 60 partners...As a result, 55.1 percent of homosexual males in shoreland -- known as Chicago's "gay center" -- have at least one sexually transmitted disease, researchers said."[6][7]

            Research indicates that the averagemale homosexual has hundreds of sex partners in his lifetime:

            The Dutch study of partnered homosexuals, which was published in the journal AIDS, found that men with a steady partner had an average of eight sexual partners per year.[12]

            Bell and Weinberg, in their classic study of male and female homosexuality, found that 43 percent of white male homosexuals had sex with 500 or more partners, with 28 percent having one thousand or more sex partners.[13]

            In their study of the sexual profiles of 2,583 older homosexuals published in the Journal of Sex Research, Paul Van de Ven et al. found that "the modal range for number of sexual partners ever [of homosexuals] was 101-500." In addition, 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent had between 501 and 1,000 partners. A further 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent reported having had more than one thousand lifetime sexual partners.[14]

            A survey conducted by the homosexual magazine Genre found that 24 percent of the respondents said they had had more than one hundred sexual partners in their lifetime. The magazine noted
            that several respondents suggested including a category of those who had more than one thousand sexual partners.[15]

            http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS04C02

          • William Davis

            All of these health problems are due to being promiscuous. Heterosexuals have the same problem, but anal sex does result in a higher rate of transmission. Perhaps gay marriage might help some of them settle down ;) I'm all promoting monogamy of any sort for public health. That's the point, doubling down on gay people misses the point since there are plenty of monogamous gay people.

          • Eponymous1

            There are no external forces preventing homosexuals from being promiscuous, but there are indications that many of them intend to continue the redefinition of marriage, or as some of them say, "liberate" it from the strictures of "straight monogamy." In other words, they now have expressed the desire to change not only the form of marriage and its function, but also its fidelity -- which is to say, they DO wish to re-engineer it into something else.

            According to one of the legal and intellectual leaders of the movement, Masha Gesson -- “... it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. …(F)ighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there — because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie.

            The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I don’t think it should exist."

            Another, Paula Ettelbrick, has said ""Being queer is more than setting up house, sleeping with a person of the same gender, and seeking state approval for doing so....Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex, sexuality, and family, and in the process, transforming the very fabric of society....

            As a lesbian, I am fundamentally different from non-lesbian women....In arguing for the right to legal marriage, lesbians and gay men would be forced to claim that we are just like heterosexual couples, have the same goals and purposes, and vow to structure our lives similarly....We must keep our eyes on the goals of providing true alternatives to marriage and of radically reordering society's view of reality."

            Radically reordering society's view of reality is the endgame of the "gay marriage" advocates, whether all of them realize it or not.

          • William Davis

            The people quote are just journalists and activist. "Gay" people have no leader, just like "white" people have no leader. Perhaps you can't help but stereo-type. You do realize Masha Gesson is Russian right (and I mean Russian who lives in Russia)?

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masha_Gessen

            At least Paula Ettelbrick is a U.S. citizen, but she's dead sadly. Plenty of idealists try to transform the fabric of society. The founders of this country changed the fabric of society for the better by focusing on the rights of the individual and his/her liberty. Do you think that would was a bad thing? Do you think we should all be living under the tyranny of a state church. The idea that reordering society's view of reality is inherently is just an incarnation of the status quo bias, which is inherently a very powerful bias.

            Of course, I could ask, what does this have to do with monogamy? Only the Russian seemed interested in polygamy. There is absolutely no reason these quotes should indicate anything other than the views of the activists who said them.

          • Eponymous1

            You were trying to suggest that homosexual is a parallel behavior to heterosexual unions, and both can just as easily be fitted univocally under the rubric of married relations in the same way. These quotes (and many in the earlier comments from homosexual activists regarding their disdain for monogamy, which you have ignored) belie this characterization.

            THESE are not your "marrying types," and what they're planning for the institution, as they have expressed in word and deed, is not what you're proposing.

          • Jubal Early

            Oh no. Some of those awful Shep and Infa style pictures to make my eyes bleed.

          • Eponymous1

            Sorry!

          • Paul

            You should be. Wow...I mean...Just wow.

            Do I even want to know what the scepters represent?

          • Barack’sGotYourBack

            No..

          • Paul

            Thank you for sparing me. Too many shocks to the system lately.

          • Eponymous1

            "The people quote are just journalists and activist."

            If you could complete a sentence in proper English, I MIGHT try to make sense of your efforts at debate.

          • William Davis

            I'll take this as an admission of defeat, excellent. I actually had little interest in continuing, as some people are beyond any help, but I do try sometimes. From your last comment, it's pretty obvious your a sore loser, but no surprise. With that, I'll "bugger off" and leave you to....whatever exactly it is you do.
            P.S. Why would I waste my time proofreading what I write to you? There are probably more errors than what you quoted, the meaning of sentence is obvious. Typing 70 WPM has side effects :) Feel free to have the last word, as I suspect you won't be able to resist.

          • Eponymous1

            As you say..."it's pretty obvious your (sic) a sore loser." LMAO

          • Paul Hue

            "Gay" people may have no leaders, but there are leaders who are "gay" and their leadership agenda focuses on advancing and normalizing homosexuality.

          • William Davis

            Sure. Of course Ep seems to think no gay people want to get married and be monogamous, which is pure nonsense and flies in the face of fact, and all the gay people getting married. One must realize the limitations of any stereotype, and not use that stereotype to model people who do not fit it.

          • Paul Hue

            Sure many gays want to be monogamous. But there is no pressing, eternal social need for them to be, because by definition their physical interactions cannot produce a child.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Granting that all your information is accurate, what is more preferable: healthy homosexual relationships and marriages or the current state of mass promiscuity? Or should they all just be celibate?
            It would seem that lesbian relationships must be the best.

          • Eponymous1

            Healthy same sex relationships are called "friendship," and I'm all for it. The idea that we cannot control our urges and appetites, but must act on them, and even be defined by them, inverts the entire idea of human morality as right action according to right reason, and reduces us to animals necessarily subject to every urge and whim. Homosexuals are effectively arguing that they are not moral actors, but defined entirely by their sexual appetites.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Yes, we can control our urges and in many instances it is healthy to do so. However, people crave intimate relationships. It is an integral part of our existence. I'm unmarried, but I would imagine that having a good life partner is one of the best things that can happened to someone. It seems that this is a good thing regardless of whether one is straight or gay. There is much more to intimate relationships than just sex, but sex is an important part.

          • Eponymous1

            Granted, and it is sympathy for this view that homosexuals have used to gain increasing social acceptance.

            And I'd be glad to leave it alone, if it would only leave the rest of us alone. But the homosexual militants show no inclination to do so. The five stages of political correctness are:

            1.Tolerance
            2. Acceptance
            3. Celebration
            4. Forced participation
            5. Punishment of all dissenters.

            I am perfectly willing to go with #1, which is what the face of the "gay" movement claimed to be after. However, in recent years, with political success and clout, they have gone down the rest of the list, and in the process showing no tolerance for those whose consciences dictate that they NOT accept, not celebrate, and even not participate in those celebrations, and the punishment of dissent on the issue is becoming increasingly widespread.

            I'm inclined to allow everyone their human weaknesses, as we all have them -- but to tout them as virtues, and insist that everyone MUST view a man's sexual activities with another man as though it is the same, equal, and normal as the fruitful male-female relation designed by nature as the means for transmitting new life and producing the coming generations defies the reality of the thing, and now smacks of totalitarianism. I'm willing to let others have their different beliefs, but I won't participate in calling unequal things equal.

            “You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

          • David Nickol

            I am deleting the message I wrote here because I have decided that the best approach to Eponymous1, infadelicious, and any other newly arrived members of this group, is to completely ignore them. They will not be around long anyway, since they are consistently violating the commenting rules and, I suspect, will not be able to resist doing so when this is pointed out to them.

          • Eponymous1

            Well, you should also consider that there's this little thing called reality. That should come into play somewhere, shouldn't it? Since the human reproductive system is a complementary male-female set, that relationship is true, while pretending race is like a behavior is false?

          • William Davis

            Yes, reality.

            http://www.livescience.com/44464-bonobo-homosexuality-natural.html

            Bonobos are probably the gayest mammals, but here is a bigger list:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_displaying_homosexual_behavior

            Plenty of people with both sexual organs

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersex

            I'm guessing you don't know much about biology.

          • Eponymous1

            More than people who think the digestive tract is a sex organ. You're arguing for morality from the barnyard, and normalcy from genital birth defects. And you see no problem with this.

          • William Davis

            You were the one talking about biology like you knew something about it. I thought we were done with this...couldn't resist coming back could you? You're dismissed. Or should it be "bugger off". Read a few books on critical thinking, then we can't talk again, or listen to your reasonably intelligent friend, Katie ;)

          • Eponymous1

            Well played!

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Granted, and it is sympathy for this view that homosexuals have used to gain increasing social acceptance.

            And I'd be glad to leave it alone, if it would only leave the rest of us alone. But the homosexual militants show no inclination to do so.

            It seems you just want your homosexuals quiet and in a closet.

            The five stages of political correctness are:

            1.Tolerance
            2. Acceptance
            3. Celebration
            4. Forced participation
            5. Punishment of all dissenters

            I am not really a big fan of political correctness. I think it is important to be aware of some of the ways that we offend and otherwise hurt people with our language. Sometimes it is necessary to give offense, but there is something to be said about choosing words that are not hurtful to people who are already stigmatized.

            Nobody is forcing you to be tolerant of homosexuals, accept them as equals, or celebrate their sexuality. Civilization and good manners will have left you behind though.

            We do ask that you do not discriminate against homosexuals on the basis of their orientation and allow them access to things like jobs, housing, and marriage that straight people have access to. Ideally, homosexuality would be a nonissue. However, due to centuries of discrimination and unfair treatment homosexuality is an issue. Considering the centuries of abuse, I think the strong push back that you experience is natural and to be expected.

            I am not sure what you mean by forced participation. I have never attended a gay pride parade or participated in any events celebrating homosexuality.

            Punishment of dissenters seems like paranoia to me. You are not going to be punished for arguing that we have made a mistake in allowing homosexuals to marry. You will however meet with criticism. Some of it will be nice and respectful and some of it will be nasty. That is life. Just as you have the right to free speech, others have the right to call you out on your errors.

          • Oh dear, you're stuck on stupid. . Perhaps a remedial English course might help with your reading comprehension. Or, try not reading by the light of the White House rainbow. You're dismissed !!

            Lower down on this thread. Hatred.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            It is really quite ironic. They descend on a two year old thread with all kinds of bigotry and condescension towards a minority group that has been historically oppressed (way to stay classy). Then they cry foul when they get a little bit of their invective thrown back at them. I can count on one hand the amount of substantial posts these new commenters have made.

          • Oh wow it's a 2 year old post. I just saw all these comments from a day or two ago and didn't notice...

          • Ignatius Reilly

            A 2 year old post, which I don't think they bothered to read before commenting.

          • Ladolcevipera

            You take the (extremely narrow) limits of your own field of vision for the limits of the world. I am neither a catholic nor gay, but I believe that everybody has the right to love and be loved. Love requires loyalty to and respect for each other. Same sex couples are in this respect not different from hetero couples. I think the RCC is beginning to recognise this - at least in countries that are not incredibly conservative and chasing away honest people.

          • Elven King

            Actually the rainbow was a symbol of God's covenant to never again destroy the Earth with a flood. These Sodomites spit in God's face because they have corrupted the pure and holy symbol of God's promise.

          • infadelicious

            Well it does seems they must denounce religion in order to force people to accept and affirm their sexual lifestyle choice.

          • Proud Conservative Mom

            I agree with that superb and astute assessment one hundred percent. As wise King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:29 "See only this one have I found, for G-d made Man straight, but they sought many intrigues!"

          • Ahsan

            Never thought that way bro. Thanks for enlightening me.

        • Michael Murray

          Your statement is false. Can you back it up with some actual evidence ?

          • infadelicious

            Oh dear, you're stuck on stupid. . Perhaps a remedial English course might help with your reading comprehension. Or, try not reading by the light of the White House rainbow. You're dismissed !!

          • Michael Murray

            Oh dear, you're stuck on stupid.

            Do you remember that bit about the mote and the beam? I think you are confused about who is stuck on stupid.

        • Michael Murray

          You cannot pick and choose which of his laws you will follow. You follow them or you are not that religion ok?

          How is a celibate homosexual Catholic not following God's laws ?

          • infadelicious

            You are talking about celibate ones -I was not. Sorry you're having trouble keeping up.

          • Michael Murray

            You said

            Sorry , if you are homosexual, you are not a Catholic.

            A celibate homosexual is still a homosexual. Perhaps you have trouble comprehending your own writing ?

      • Jed

        You raise a valid objection in that it is the act and not the inclination that is condemned, but there is also the question of the promotion of that activity, or "life style" if you will, even though one does not personally indulge in it.

        • Michael Murray

          You mean like people demanding to be treated fairly, wanting to sit at the front of the bus, that sort of thing ?

          • Jed

            Try being intentionally disingenuous elsewhere. It won't wash with me.

          • Michael Murray

            What's disingenous ? I thought it was pretty obvious that what you call promoting a lifestyle I would call arguing for your rights.

          • infadelicious

            He's a militant gay and anti Christian nut just parsing words and nitpicking to twist a simple comment into something other than it actually was meant. A troll, not here to discuss but merely here to mock Christians and heterosexuals and to waste time.

          • Jed

            Yep. He made that clear in his first response, which is why I dismissed him.

          • Michael Murray

            I'm gay ? Really ? You know this because ... ? I must tell my wife. It will come as a shock to her.

          • William Davis

            LOL! He/she seems to think I'm gay too...

          • Michael Murray

            Sooo. Doing anything later ...

          • William Davis

            Sorry, such a long distance relationship would be too trying for me ;)

          • Ignatius Reilly

            You know what they say about homophobes....

          • Wootsauce

            Besides the obvious misuse of the suffix "phobe"?

          • Ignatius Reilly

            I think it can often be accurately described as a fear.

          • Wootsauce

            The I think you should perhaps research what "fear" is...

          • Ignatius Reilly

            There is a continuum to everything.

          • Nate

            That they don't exist because homophobe is a made up/imaginary word used to elicit an irrational emotional response from someone?

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Oh they most definitely exist.

          • Nate

            Only in your imagination, which definitely fits with the imaginary word. smh

          • Ignatius Reilly
          • Nate

            This only proves that others like using imaginary words, too. Not a single unbiased article in the list you posted, either.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            An word that describes a real human impulse is not imaginary.

          • Nate

            Again, my point is that the homofacists (see, I can make up words, too) keep making up these words in such a childish manner. There is no real meaning or need to use them, but it's all part of the name calling that homosexuals (now that's a real word) like to use to make themselves feel superior. The bigotry and intolerance of the homosexual agenda is quite childish and tiring, though.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Not everyone who opposes gay marriage is a homophobe. Its a descriptor for people who irrationally hate, feel contempt or antipathy for homosexuals. People who judge someone based solely on their sexual orientation.

          • Nate

            Funny, but everyone that opposes gay marriage (another made up term as it's imaginary, like kids playing house) seems to be called a homophobe and bigot. If you don't see that, they you truly are blind.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            I don't call anyone a bigot or homophobe because they oppose gay marriage. Maybe others do. I am not responsible for them. If somebody claims that gay marriage is bad, but refuses to give some type of argument, I do wonder if their position stems from bigotry and homophobia.

            Here is a little anecdotal story. Someone I know owns a business as an accountant. He has been in business for 30 years and does an excellent job. He recently came out. He lost a significant percentage of his clients after coming out. Many of them had been long term customers. Is it homophobic of those clients to switch accountants solely because they found out that their long time accountant is gay?

          • Nate

            That is unfortunate, but I would say he should have kept his personal life to himself. Nobody should be forced to accept something they find disgusting, and he has paid a price for it. When you find your identity is an act/behavior, there's an issue with that. Kinda like the term gay Christian. No such thing. It denotes that the person first is identified by his/her sexuality, then by Christ. As a Christian, you find your identity in Christ and Christ alone...all else is secondary.

            Also, I am sure they have given arguments, but you chose to ignore them and say nuh-uh. That is disingenuous and petty. To be honest, there is no benefit to society that homosexual marriage can offer. It's a highly risky lifestyle that has zero chance of propagating the human species. Again, as I stated earlier, it's simply playing house, not the real thing.

          • Nate

            I actually think you will see more and more instances like this as people try to flaunt their sexuality. This will be the unintended consequence of what they originally wanted.

          • Wootsauce

            You call him wife?! So messed up bud

          • William Davis

            The fact that you think Michael and I are gay demonstrates your intellectual level...lol. Have you ever considered that some of us might be standing up for what we think it right?

          • Proud Conservative Mom

            Very aptly and succinctly put, as usual. Wishing you and all of our friends a wonderful holiday weekend. May this country be in far better shape next year at this time (albeit with Barack Obama still in the Oval Office, this is unlikely to happen).
            Sorry to be so gloomy. It just saddens me that since 2008, we are less free every single day.

          • William Davis

            Actually he/she is completely wrong. Both Michael and I are completely heterosexual.

            For the record, I agree with Jews that Jesus did not fulfill the requirement to be the Mashiach (anointed one), assuming there is only one. The idea that any great leader of the Jews is a Mashiach makes sense, and is held by quite a few Jews, though you would know whether or not this could be considered orthodox. Thankfully Christians have moved past their poor treatment of Jews in recent years. Two of my favorite people in history were Jewish (Albert Einstein and Baruch Spinoza) though they definitely were not Orthodox by any means ;)

        • Sgt. Pepper

          Mt 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

          Not too sure Christ left as much room as we all wish he had. We are accountable for our will, as in "I would if I could", the act itself is postscript.

          • William Davis

            You do understand the difference between finding someone attractive and "lusting" right? I can pull in dictionary definitions if it helps you. I find plenty of women attractive, but I don't lust after them. I can't control attractiveness, I can control lust.
            Besides, it's talking about heterosexual lust, not homosexual (you might want to think about the implications in your own life first).

          • Sgt. Pepper

            Keep the day job, exegesis is not your talent.

          • Proud Conservative Mom

            In Judaism, one is only held accountable for sinful thoughts with regard to idolatry. This is because the sin, itself, is conducted also with the mind.

            In addition, the Almighty G-d will not punish a person for their sinful thoughts, as long as action was not taken. For example, if one plans to commit murder, and he changes his mind, he is not punished for his evil intentions.

            Judaism also teaches that if a person intended to perform a meritorious act, and could not execute it, he is rewarded as if he carried out the deed. For example, if a person volunteered to drive a sick person to the doctor, and was precluded from doing so, because he became sick himself, the Almighty G-d rewards his good intentions as if he had in actuality performed the good deed from start to finish!

            This is Judaism....

          • Jed

            Sgt. Pepper makes a viable point in saying: "We are accountable for our will, as in 'I would if I could', the act itself is postscript."

            It is not the thought, or temptation, that is sinful, but rather the conscious desire to act on that temptation given the opportunity to do so that is sinful. Take someone who says: "I would rob that bank if I could get away with it." He has not actually robbed the bank, but he has in fact declared a willingness to commit the crime if it could he could do it with impunity. The physical (and legal) reality is very different. The spiritual reality is not.

          • Proud Conservative Mom

            It is true that the character of a person who would rob a bank, but is only held in check because he does not want to go to jail, is less virtuous than the one who would never dream of doing it.

            My point is that the Almighty G-d does not punish the person unless he executes the action. He is not penalized for having the evil thought, alone ---- as long as he does not act on it.

            I don't know what Christianity teaches with regard to this. I was just pointing out what the Almighty G-d of Israel holds us accountable for.

          • David Nickol

            What about the two commandments that prohibit "coveting"?

          • Proud Conservative Mom

            I have to edit what I posted hereinabove. One is indeed held accountable for sins that involve the mind --- such as the ones you posted. In Judaism, it goes even further. For example, a Jew is not allowed to hold a grudge, take revenge, and have jealousy. He is punished if he commits these sins that do not involve physical actions, since the commandments themselves, involve the mind and heart.

            I should have clarified that one is not held to account for evil thoughts when the sin itself requires a physically executed act like robbery and murder. If the physical acts to do the sin are not carried out, then he is off the hook for having the evil thoughts.

            Thanks for posting to me so I could clear it up. I truly appreciate it! :)

          • ghostofThomasPaine2

            Have a fantastic Independence day.

          • Proud Conservative Mom

            Just saw this tonight. Thank you, most kindly! I hope yours was joyous and meaningful.

            Since Obama assumed the throne --- I mean became President, yet acts like an evil dictator, July 4th has been very bittersweet. This is due to the tremendous amount of rights that the Lefties stole and for our completely eviscerated Constitution.

            May it be the Almighty G-d's Will to enable us to turn this Titanic ship around and restore America to her former greatness and glory.

          • Elven King

            Jesus (Yahoshua) said that if you lust after a woman, then you have commited adultry in your heart. He also said that if you hate someone, you have already commited murder in your heart. The Christian viewpoint, is that God will judge us for everything we've ever thought, said, and done.

          • Proud Conservative Mom

            WOW! That is a huge weight to carry, indeed.

            As King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:20 "There is no righteous man on Earth who does good and sins not!"

          • William Davis

            I've always enjoyed the wisdom books of the Hebrew Bible, especially Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. Whether or not Solomon actually wrote them is beside the point for me :)

    • Barack’sGotYourBack

      Church of the Everlasting Rainbow?

      That is a bit more upbeat than 'Church of the Perpetually Inseminated Poochute'....

      • infadelicious

        Ha ha ha ! Careful --nancy and Frances below are in a mood. Why are they all so angry if they had such a big victory?

        • Barack’sGotYourBack

          There was an article that just came out by a gay activist who thought that the *victory* wasn't so fulfilling because she thought that she preferred to perpetuate the victimhood status for the long run. Rush reviewed it a bit but I don't recall the author's name.

          Maybe they are all various versions of Rachel Dolezal.

          • infadelicious

            When i was a kid my parents said i can be anything i want to be. I took it a different way then Bruce Jenner and Rachel dolezal did. I could have been a unicorn. Sigh

          • Jubal Early

            I have a picture for that, "I could have been a unicorn," statement, but I'll behave myself... for now.

          • infadelicious

            Something to look forward to .., or to be afraid of :-(

          • Jed

            Steady ahead and easy as she goes.

            “I dearly cherish my sanity, almost as much as my pet unicorn.”
            ~ Glenn Parsons

          • Proud Conservative Mom

            That is so spectacular on so many levels. ;)

          • Ignatius Reilly

            What is wrong with what Bruce Jenner did?

          • Eponymous1

            The question is, what is right with it?

            I think I am Napoleon Bonaparte. I insist you call me "Lord High Emperor" from here on out.

            Pretending you are something you actually, in reality, are not is not healthy, even if you can force everyone to pretend along. There are places where they used to take care of people who are so detached from reality.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            You completely dodged the question. If Bruce Jenner will live a happier more fulfilled life by changing his sex, why is that an immoral thing to do. I just told you why I think it is a moral thing to do, now you can give reasons for why you think I am wrong, or you can say something snarky and irrelevant. Ball is in your court.

          • Eponymous1

            No one can actually change their sex.

            I didn't use the word "immoral," I'm not sure that that applies to such clear cases of mental ill health.

            Denial of reality cannot be healthy; your "if/then" proposition is based on the supposition that denial of reality can result in a "happier more fulfilled life." I take it as axiomatic that pursuing desires that fly in the face of fact and biological reality cannot lead to true happiness or fulfillment, and my understanding is that the rates of suicide and substance abuse among completed transgenders bears that premise out.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Or perhaps the discrimination against transgenders is why they suffer higher rates of suicide and substance abuse. Add that to the fact that wanting to be a gender other than the one that you were born with is a relatively rare and stigmatized condition, one should be able to offer other explanations for the high suicide and drug abuse rates.

            If changing you sex, is the cause of higher suicide and drug abuse rates, than I think one ought not to do it. It is still their own decision, but I would urge against it.

          • Eponymous1

            Yes, of course. It's always everyone else's fault.

            Yes, the people who urge against these behaviors adhere to "love the sin, hate the sinner." But people don't want to hear that. “It is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

            Yet to "urge against" these behaviors, more deadly than smoking, is now to invite the charges of hatred or bigotry or homophobia to be flung, as if the only possible loving reaction to the man driving over a cliff is to applaud him as he goes.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            You are welcome to make the case that these behaviors are unhealthy. If you avoid making the case that is when the bigotry label is leveled.

          • Proud Conservative Mom

            Positively outstanding!! Thank you!!!

          • Proud Conservative Mom

            Very well reasoned, with all due respect.

          • Eponymous1

            Much appreciated.

          • Proud Conservative Mom

            You really nailed it!

          • Eponymous1

            Why, thankya, ma'am. ; )

          • Jed

            There may be a symphony there: Variations in Insanity in G#.

          • Barack’sGotYourBack

            That's classic!

            Glad that they aren't attempting to arrange it for the blues in D-flat.

            If they wanted to go for a blue tone, all the flats are used up and you know they aren't smart enough to figure that one out....

          • Proud Conservative Mom

            LOL!!! Thanks for all of your terrific postings! : ) !!!!!!!!!!!

      • Cletus B Neckbeard

        LOL

    • Proud Conservative Mom

      One who is born to a Jewish mother, remains Jewish, no matter how depraved and/or sinful he acts.

      If he was born not knowing anything about Judaism, through no fault of his own, (for example, born behind the "The Iron Curtain"), then he is held blameless for not keeping the Torah. If he shirks the Torah due to a rebellious nature, then he is held accountable.

      Being Jewish is not just a religion, it is being part of the Jewish nation. The Almighty G-d gifted the Jewish People with the Torah. The Torah teaches a righteous way to live life. The Torah, is the most superior moral and ethical code ever written.

      • Elven King

        The Torah/Old Testament establishes the covenant between God and the Jews. The New Testament is the covenant established with the gentiles.

        • Proud Conservative Mom

          Isn't the New Testament claiming this new covenant to be based on a covenant from the Old Testament from Jeremiah? (In the Old Testament, there is no covenant specified with the gentiles at all. The new covenant that Jeremiah speaks about is misconstrued entirely.)

          Every gentile who keeps the Noachide Laws earns a share in the World to Come. That is the Almighty G-d's covenant with the gentiles. Also ponder the Abrahamic Covenant Genesis 12:2 "I will bless those [gentiles] who bless you [Jews], and the one [gentiles] who curses you [Jews], I will curse. All of the nations of the world will be blessed through you [Jews]!"

          • Elven King

            The new covenant was established using the blood of Jesus (Yahoshua). Anyone who wants to come to Yahweh, must do it by accepting Jesus' death on the cross as the sacrifice for our sins. Think, what if Jesus really is the Son of God? What if you were being deceived? Jesus was a Jew and he definetly believed in himself. Ask him to reveal himself to you. Surely he will listen, for you are one of His chosen people. Yahweh loves you, Jesus loves you, and the Holy Spirit loves you! I will continue to pray for you and your family. Stay strong.

  • Yeppers

    Thank you for this article! It's encouraging and refreshing to hear about others who have struggles, but still continue to live their faith. Even when that means not doing what you want all the time.

  • JonathanJennings

    Thank you for the gentle and awesome reminder about Christ waiting in the chapel - it's easy to lose perspective and forget just how amazing God's love for us is. Exactly what I needed to hear; going to leave work a few minutes early and stop by my parish.

  • Michael Murray

    Interesting to see two year old old post has attracted some comments. I guess things a bit desperate for the homophobic amongst US Catholics at the moment.

    • Michael Murray
      • William Davis

        I'm sure, somehow, this is all Obama's fault ;) They are just still trying to figure out the correct angle on that one.

      • infadelicious

        Reggie and Barry can get married now. The First Bird won't be happy, especially since her free vacations are coming to an end. The worst grifters to stink up the people's house EVER

        • cwgf

          Wonder who will get the kids - Barry or his 1st Beard husband?

          • infadelicious

            Soon they will be running a Clintonesque "Charity" for their parents, raking in millions of $$ that ultimately lines their parents and their own pockets....much of the $$$ coming from countries with horrendous human rights violations and with ties to terrorism... They are all grifters....

          • cwgf

            A real gaggle of parasites. How disgusting.

        • William Davis

          Out of curiosity, how did you and your followers (of which you have many) find this site? Linked from some other?

          • infadelicious

            My followers? Maybe I am one of their followers. Why so concerned over followers and what difference does it make how we got here? Just be thankful we are here, we may have a different view than you but we have that right just as gays now have the right to their version of marriage. Everybody is happy now.. Isn't America beautiful?

          • William Davis

            I was just curious. It' not every day you see a right wing bully troop. The same people always upvote your comments, almost no matter where they are. Considering the volume of comments, it's apparent you are one of the "moochers" who doesn't have a real job, thus a drag on society. Considering your writing style, inability to comprehend other comments, and constantly sarcastic tone, I know I wouldn't hire you (I'm a well paid electrical engineer who does have people working under me). Since you're a bully I figured I'd clue you in on that. Perhaps you should spend your time learning something useful so you can become part of the producers and not a moocher. Personally I lean right in many ways (mostly Libertarian), and people like you and your "troop" are a much bigger problem to society than gay people will ever be. Let's get the important points right (this is called wisdom). It's entirely possible, however, that you're a teenager who's simply out of school with nothing to do but this kind of garbage, if so, you might want to consider shaping yourself up so you will be employable in the future. Competition is tough, and he hire immigrants because so many Americans are pathetic intellectually. Take or leave my criticism, it's obviously up to you, but know I'm completely unimpressed ;)

          • infadelicious

            right wing bully troop? like the AL Gayda militant gays that you are a part of- and just because you're not out of the closet yet or you say you're not gay doesn't mean you're not in their propaganda army

            Your obsession with my upvotes and my "followers" is slightly amusing. Liberal nutjobs like you are merely a loud fringe group and that is why you have few followers, most normal people aren't as militant and quite as driven to silence opposition as you have shown yourself to be. Your type is all too common lately .

            yawn... since in the first 5 lines of your confused clustershtuck of a circumlocutory word salad you managed to cram in most of the usual baseless and tired liberal insults, i barely glanced through the rest of the poorly written rant.

            Some advice:

            *don't get into a battle of wits if you are unarmed

            * don't protest quite so much, you look desperate

            * get some new talking points

            Have an Infadelicious day. https://youtu.be/fahr069-fzE

          • William Davis

            My interest is primarily in your psychology, and a certain level of disgust at a jobless moocher pretending to be something they are not.
            On a side note, your response isn't surprising, and I wish luck in life...you'll need it.

          • williamdiamon

            Who sounds like the "bully" in this thread? Why that would be YOU !
            If it really bothers you that we upvote each others comments, I just have to upvote yours so you won't feel left out.
            In the future, feel free to upvote yourself at any time, just don't forget the lube.

          • William Davis

            I'm definitely bullying infadelicious, how observant of you (sarcasm). Some people only respond to bullying (if they respond to anything), and I have no qualms about bullying bullies...it seems very just ;)

          • infadelicious

            bullying online falls under the stalking umbrella and is against some websites TOS and disqus's .. You might rethink your admitted bullying. . I don't fear bullies, try using another method, like maybe an intelligent rebuttal instead of insults

          • williamdiamon

            She is not a bully. Her sharp wit and awesome sense of humor are why she has those followers, like me. It is you who are stalking and insulting. Perhaps her comments have stung you, that would require you to realize the truth in her sentiments. That those truths have caught your attention is a good thing, how you deal with it is your problem. Clean up your act.
            This thread speaks for itself.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            I have a suggestion for you and your friends. Why don't you just make the case that homosexual behavior is immoral?
            I've seen plenty of bigotry in the most recent comments, but zero arguments. Do you want to convince people that it was a mistake to legalize gay marriage, because I have seen nothing in your or any of your friends postings to change my mind.

          • infadelicious

            you're not a very clever lad are you? Why are you making things up? I said none of those things and btw, your mind is of no interest to me and i have no desire to change it.. You guys have your panties in a twist over your spinning of people's words. When you can actually say something remotely associated with the subject and not just what you read into it because of your bias, then post again and maybe i will reply, but not likely because i don't think you're capable of that and so feel free to throw out more made up bs and insults . Just remember to wipe the drool from your chin and keyboard every once in a while.

          • William Davis

            your mind is of no interest to me and i have no desire to change it..

            If this is the case, what is your motivation for commenting? Aren't you just wasting your time? I'm guessing it helps you feel better about yourself, but I'm somewhat uncertain, perhaps you can enlightenment. You comment a lot so you must have some motivation, otherwise you're nuts.
            I'll be the first to admit that my goal is to influence people's thoughts, at least to a certain extent. I also have learned a great deal from people on this website, but these people happen to be highly educated, in general. Understanding your own motivations is the first step to thinking clearly (but doesn't guarantee clear thinking).
            I have very dim hope of influencing you in any way, but why not try, I do enjoy a challenge ;) If nothing else, I learn a little more about your thought processes. Is my guess that your parents bully you accurate (people don't behave the way you do at random, and you've found a group of people who behave the same way, which serves to reinforce the behavior and lead you to believe it's a good thing...group think can be very powerful, especially on the weak minded).

          • Eponymous1

            What a toad. You have no interest in discussing topics, merely in attacking individuals.

            You are the very essence of a worthless troll.

          • williamdiamon

            "Highly educated"? Perhaps brainwashed is the proper term in this case.

          • Eponymous1

            He fancies himself quite the scholar.

            Which makes him funnier than he gives himself credit for.

          • williamdiamon

            haha, "Check out the big brain on Brad"

          • William Davis

            What type of brainwashing? Try to be more specific.

            When I was young I had both Christian and right wing brainwashing. I used to listen to lots of right ring radio (I still like Neil Bortz even though he's off the air), Rush Limbaugh is a decent entertainer, though he can be very misleading if you take him seriously (and anyone paying attention notices all the repeated hints that his only job it to entertain), I even used to watch Fox news all the time until I figured out it was right wing brain washing. Sure, MSNBC and other left wing media outlets do their share of brain washing, but I've never watched those and never plan to. I get most of my information from business websites (like Forbes, the economist, ect), tech websites, science (real hardcore science) websites..i.e. I feed on relevant and useful information, not news garbage. Business runs the country anyway, so why listen to someone's propaganda in the first place, be it left or right. I also read a ton of books (psychology, neurology, science, philosophy). So again, exactly what kind of brain washed am I? Spend some time in my comment history and see what you can find.

            I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

            ~ Thomas Jefferson

            There are so many forms of this (tyranny over the mind of man), however, it boggles the mind. I can recommend some online courses and books on critical thinking if you'd like :)
            If you guys would calm down and quit bashing gay people for no obvious reason (who in their right mind would care about gay people getting married other than seriously religious people) we might actually be able to have a good convo. I won't be insulting if you won't, but obviously I'm not afraid of verbal combat ;)

          • williamdiamon

            Where you get your news and information means little compared to what you do with that information.
            I think I can understand you point of view though, bashing "religious people" and Fox is OK, but bashing gays is bad.
            I don't think you will find much "gay bashing" in our comments however. No one really cares, like you said, what people do in their own bedroom, but no one wants to be told what to do in their own bakery. We see the move to legalize gay marriage as a stepping stone to silence those "religious people", and ultimately the 1st Amendment. That would be the real tyranny, wouldn't it?

          • William Davis

            I don't see it as a stepping stone at all. The "slippery slope" is no excuse to treat people unfairly on a secular level. In fact, it gives gay rights groups less reason to stir the pot and advocate for "silencing religious people." Surely you would also be angry if someone was denying you the privilege of a legal contract. I'm completely against any attempt to force a church to marry gay people, but magistrates have no choice...it's their job. If you don't do you job, it's just business to get someone who will. If someone who works for me won't do their job for religious reasons, they should have never applied to the job in the first place.
            I disagree with attempts to force people to participate in gay weddings if they don't want to as well. Principles of liberty and equality do have the power to work these things out over time, but we have to be careful to apply them in an unbiased (as much as possible) manner.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            No one really cares, like you said, what people do in their own bedroom, but no one wants to be told what to do in their own bakery. We see the move to legalize gay marriage as a stepping stone to silence those "religious people", and ultimately the 1st Amendment

            That is a slippery slope fallacy.

            The bakery issue is a difficult one. It is not answered by catch phrases and talking points. Should a government allow businesses to discriminate against minority groups? I prefer that we maximize individual freedom as much as possible. I tend to be in favor of allowing a degree of discrimination in individual businesses, but discrimination can really get out of hand. I do not think it is a tremendous assault on liberty if we force businesses to serve all patrons equally. Would you allow a business to have a white restroom and a minority restroom?

            In a country like ours, with a history of discrimination, I am very wary of folks who wish to discriminate against minority groups.

          • Eponymous1

            If you really prefered that we maximize individual freedom, you would be appalled at the many recent instances of the LGBTSTFU brigade suing people, stifling speech, disrupting free association, and attacking religious believers and beliefs for simply holding a moral tenet about the proper and real meaning of marriage.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Is there a particular instance of this that you wish to call to my intention?
            I do not approve of every utterance and action that is taken on behalf of the LBGT community. I am only responsible for what I say. Try not to smear.

          • Eponymous1

            Well, here are a few that I've compiled myself in recent months:

            Church daycare must pay lesbians a huge
            fine after THEY violates employees’
            moral clause – also must meet with homosexual activists. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/church-daycare-must-pay-lesbians-a-huge-fine-after-couple-violates-employee

            Lawmakers: Atlanta fire chief fired for
            believing the Bible

            http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/lawmakers-atlanta-fire-chief-fired-for-believing-the-bible/article/2560364

            Homosexuals file complaint against Methodist Pastor for refusing
            to perform SSM wedding.

            http://christiannews.net/2014/11/19/homosexuals-file-complaint-against-minister-for-not-marrying-them/

            Christian Chaplain threatened with
            dishonorable discharge for using Christian moral principles when counseling
            sailors -- a minister may not express
            his own religion in ministry.

            http://christiannews.net/2015/04/01/congress-defends-navy-chaplain-threatened-with-discharge-for-counsel-against-fornication/

            Judge began receiving threats of
            violence for simply saying he would step down and not participate in licensing
            SSM.

            http://www.dothanfirst.com/story/d/story/judge-ive-been-threatened-due-to-same-sex-marriage/24171/Y3N1SR2ts0iQV-p-JyIaHw?sf35887512=1

            Christian Student groups won’t be
            recognized by many campuses unless they abandon their moral principles and
            allow actively “gay and lesbian” students in their leadership:

            http://www.religionnews.com/2014/09/08/christian-group-sanctioned-two-dozen-college-campuses/

            Hundreds of Canadians have faced legal proceedings for
            opposing same-sex ‘marriage’ in the public sphere following its introduction in
            2005, including a Roman Catholic bishop in Alberta, Bishop Fred Henry, was
            charged with a human-rights violation for writing a letter to local churches
            outlining the Catholic position on marriage."

            A television anchor on a prominent sports show was
            immediately dismissed after he posted his support for “the traditional and
            true meaning of marriage” on Twitter.

            A Roman Catholic bishop in Alberta, Fred Henry, was
            charged with a human-rights violation for writing a letter to local
            churches outlining the Catholic position on marriage.

            A Christian organisation in Ontario working with some
            of the most marginalised disabled people in Canada was taken to court
            after objecting to the marriage of one of its homosexual
            employees. The organisation faced an ultimatum and had to choose between
            changing its hiring and employment policy or being closed down.

            An evangelical Christian marriage commissioner in
            Saskatchewan was successfully sued for refusing to marry a homosexual
            couple, despite assisting the couple by putting them in touch with another
            marriage commissioner who would be willing to conduct the ceremony.

            A campaign has now begun in Canada to remove tax-free
            status from churches that refuse to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.
            Some Canadian provinces are even considering laws to forbid teachers in
            private schools from teaching that traditional marriage is the ideal.

            http://www.christianconcern.co...

            Firefighters forced to participate in
            “Gay Pride Parades” as part of their work assignment, over their objections:

            http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/dec/29/court-throws-out-firefighters-gay-pride-lawsuits/

            Professor suspended for criticizing
            colleague who banned conservative student from discussing “gay marriage” then
            telling student to drop her class:

            http://dailycaller.com/2014/12/17/marquette-prof-suspended-for-criticizing-liberal-colleague-who-squashed-gay-rights-debate/

            The professor wrote: “(the teacher), of course, was just using a
            tactic typical among liberals now,” adding that “opinions with which they
            disagree are not merely wrong, and are not to be argued against on their
            merits, but are deemed ‘offensive’ and need to be shut up.” For which he was shut up.

            D.C. Council forces religious schools to
            accept homosexual behavior:

            http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/10/conscience-rights-for-dc-religious-schools-threate/

            Houston’s Mayor subpoena’s ministers
            sermons, speeches and all other communications because they opposed the Mayor’s
            new transgender ruling for bathroom used for transsexuals: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/houston.mayor.backs.down.but.bathroom.bill.controversy.still.rages/41897.htm

            Christian Ministers told by city attorney
            that they must provide same-sex wedding ceremonies:

            http://www.spokesman.com/stori...

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/10/22/couer-dalene-city-attorney-confirms-conservative-christian-ministers-wedding-chapel-business-must-provide-same-sex-marriage-ceremonies/

            At DOJ, celebrating homosexuality is MANDATORY.

            http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/justice-department-employees-must-affirm-homosexuality

            If
            you're a supporter of traditional marriage, then you have no right to work
            anywhere, at least according to ESPN and the Human Rights Campaign.

            http://www.creativeminorityreport.com/2014/07/espn-human-rights-campaign-blast.html

            Prop 8 supporters were hounded mercilessly,
            vandalized and attacked for supporting traditional (real) marriage:

            http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/10/the-price-of-prop-8

            Denver Cake baker forced to serve cake for “gay” event…

            http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/12/06/judge-orders-colorado-cake-maker-to-serve-gay-couples/

            then was called a “NAZI” – by the government officials
            punishing HIM

            http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/12/colorado-cake-case-pits-religion-against-tolerance/

            Iowa Cake baker sued:

            http://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-baker-may-be-sued-over-lesbian-couples-wedding-cake-62269/

            Oregon Baker sued:

            http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/faith-and-morals/item/16469-oregon-bakery-closes-over-owners-refusal-to-serve-gay-wedding

            A gay Iowa
            couple complained to the their state’s civil rights commission after the Gortz
            Haus, a potential wedding venue, turned them away. But the Christian owners of
            the venue have countered with a lawsuit of their own—claiming that
            hosting a same-sex wedding would violate their religious beliefs.

            http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/iowa-wedding-venue-lawsuit-refuse-same-sex-ceremonies-article-1.1481816

            Christian
            farm owners in upstate New York who declined a lesbian couple’s request to hold
            a wedding ceremony on their property have been fined $10,000 and ordered to pay
            the women $1,500 each.

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/farm-owners-fined-for-saying-no-to-lesbian-wedding/2014/08/19/1cfe5ca2-27dd-11e4-8b10-7db129976abb_story.html

            A Lexington,
            KY t-shirt company is under investigation by the city’s Human Rights Commission
            after they refused to print t-shirts for a local gay rights organization.

            http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/homosexuals-file-human-rights-complaint-against-t-shirt-company.html

            A human rights official in Kentucky
            says it might be perfectly fine for a printing company run by “gays” to refuse
            to print anti-”gay” literature, but a Christian company refusing to print
            T-shirts for a “gay” event would not have that same right.

            http://www.wnd.com/2012/03/homosexuals-blast-t-shirt-company-over-beliefs-speech/

            Florist Barronelle Stutzman
            was sued by both the state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the couple, Robert
            Ingersoll and Curt Freed, in 2013.

            The pair were longtime customers of Stutzman's
            Richland business, Arlene's Flowers, and asked her to provide decorations
            for their wedding following the state's legalization of same-sex marriage.

            Stutzman maintained that
            her Christian beliefs prevented her from selling flowers for the same-sex
            wedding…”

            http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/19/us-usa-washington-gaymarriage-idUSKBN0LN0B520150219

            http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Gay-wedding-lawsuits-against-Wash-florist-may-combine-226744761.html

            Law Clerks, judges, who support traditional marriage
            forced out of their jobs or had to quit:

            http://www.worldmag.com/2015/04/a_clerks_struggle

            http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/10/25/5266424/nc-magistrates-resign-over-gay.html#.VE5e9_ldXGQ

            http://www.christianpost.com/news/second-town-clerk-resigns-over-new-york-gay-marriage-law-52460/

            New Mexico Photographer sued and fined

            http://www.wnd.com/2012/06/refuse-to-photograph-lesbians-get-fined-7000/

            http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2013/august/nm-supreme-court-photographers-cant-refuse-gay-weddings.html?paging=off

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2013/08/28/entrepreneurship-threatened-by-ruling-in-new-mexico-gay-marriage-case/

            After
            the Family Research Council was listed as a "hate
            group" by the leftist Southern Poverty Law Center for its resistance to
            mainstreaming homosexuality, Floyd Lee Corkins went their office to shoot up
            the Christian "haters" and smear Chik-fil-a sandwiches in their
            faces.

            http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/06/justice/dc-family-research-council-shooting/

            Women “Subjected to
            rape threats, threats to have acid thrown in their faces, and a series of
            disturbing death threats, one of the plaintiffs finished her Georgia Tech
            career with a police escort on campus.”
            Why? Lawsuit against
            unconstitutional Georgia Tech LGBTQ program effectively mandating acceptance of
            “gay” lifestyles:

            http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/396355/grotesque-double-standards-religious-liberty-atlanta-david-french

            Brendon Eich -- fired as CEO for believing that marriage
            is a man and a woman. Then baited and
            attacked by leftist gay militants, while still unemployed.

            http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/you-will-be-assimilated_969581.html?page=1

            “ the same-sex marriage
            movement is interested in a great deal more than just the freedom to form
            marital unions. It is also interested, quite keenly, in punishing dissenters.
            But the ambitions of the movement go further than that, even. It’s about
            revisiting legal notions of freedom of speech and association, constitutional
            protections for religious freedom, and cultural norms concerning the family.”

            Phil Robertson -- attacked for saying "women have
            more to offer" a man, and suggesting men should prefer women.

            Benham Brothers – show dropped, dropped by bank as
            approved vendor for supporting Christian view of marriage.

            Don Jones for “OMG” and “horrible” tweets Fined, suspended
            and given “sensitivity training” RE Michael Sam's open-mouth same sex televised
            kiss.

            Radio hosts, fired for transgender remarks – after municipality
            decided that taxpayers are going to pay for “gender reassignment surgery.”
            JOKING not allowed.

            http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/09/kimberly_beck_rochester_back_on_air_transgender.html

          • Ignatius Reilly

            I can't read all of those articles presently. I certainly agree that religious institutions should be able to preach what they wish to preach. I do think that a judge, as a government official, should be forced to license homosexual marriages, if that is the law of the land. Not completely sure how I feel about the baker incidents. (Did not realize there was more than one)

          • williamdiamon

            " I prefer that we maximize individual freedom as much as possible. "
            By calling me a Nazi ? Yeah.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Was not referring to you as a Nazi. Jerry Brown was and is again the governor of California. I thought you would like some of the sentiments expressed in the song. I guess I was wrong.

          • williamdiamon

            Sorry for mistaking your comment, my fault.
            While I have never considered Jerry Brown in the same light as the Third Reich, in any way, I understand the song's sentiment and appreciate it's humor.
            It's strange how they were open minded hippies when young, yet grew into the same statist monsters they warned us of.
            Yes, overhanded government is eminently detrimental to individual liberty and exactly what the Nazi party was all about, and what we sometimes see in our own Statehouses. Thanks for that.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Congratulate yourself. You are mistaken on all counts, including my cleverness. My panties are perfectly free of twists. After all, my scotch cabinet is full and my homosexual brothers and sisters are one step closer to enjoying all of the rights that us straight citizens enjoy. Why would I be upset?

            What exactly are you trying to accomplish? (Besides amusing us with your hate filled rants?)

            So is homosexual behavior immoral?

            You did say this:

            I know liberals like to twist the words of the founding fathers to ram through agendas that most Americans do not want, but you cannot change the word of the God of any faith. You cannot pick and choose which of his laws you will follow. You follow them or you are not that religion ok? It's pretty simple.. Gays are not Catholic, they have created their own version of it that goes against the teachings of Catholicism.

            Am I wrong to think that you believe that homosexual behavior is immoral?

            Most people on this site are trying to have honest and respectful conversations about the issues. Perhaps you should click on the about link on the Strange Notions page.

          • infadelicious

            No you and your friend who admitted bullying me.. not that i noticed since his comments were just so much vapid blather, are here to silence opposing views. that is not discussion . That is cheerleading which is fine.. but just don't call it discussion.

          • Cajun Exile

            "When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him." - Jonathan Swift

          • infadelicious

            ;-)

          • Ignatius Reilly

            I haven't bullied anyone. I assume you are referring to William Davis. He doesn't do much bullying and his comments are anything but vapid blather. Considering the content and tone of your comments, it is highly ironic that you think you are the one being bullied.

            I take the stance that homosexuals ought to act on their impulses. It is better for homosexuals to have healthy relationships than be celibate as the catholic church teaches. I also think homosexuals should be allowed to marry. These are my positions. You seem to disagree with both of them. You have yet to offer evidence for any of your assertions. I'm beginning to suspect that you don't have any evidence.

          • infadelicious

            no , please would you and your friends stop twisting words around. I said you "and your friend who admitted bullying me" Since clearly you're not following the thread yet you comment on it, peep this before you speak.

            William Davis
            williamdiamon 25 minutes ago

            I'm definitely bullying infadelicious, how observant of you (sarcasm). Some people only respond to bullying (if they respond to anything), and I have no qualms about bullying bullies...it seems very just ;)

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Look, you seem to be very upset about these brazen homosexuals who are asserting their rights. I am curious why you are so upset. I for one have not bullied you. I am not trying to twist your words. You are avoiding any sort of meaningful discussion.

          • Paul

            I follow her comments and up-vote because they are insightful and I admire the way she presents herself, especially since it varies so much from my own approach. Us right wingers search out and embrace diversity and appreciate it without the need to censor it. We can even take criticism from those of good will. This is often seen as a mob mentality by those who actually perfected and practice mob mentality. It is very real in their experience so they see it everywhere. The distinction between you and her is that people are interested in her thoughts, consider them and leave a dime in the tray. An existence so unlike yours. Jealousy and resentment of others as an argument of your own motivation is really pretty silly. IMHO.

          • William Davis

            Of course. When you do it, it's not mob mentality, when someone else does it, it's mob mentality. LOL! You guys are comical, and if you don't like me, I consider that a big compliment. I've taken a moment to review some of your comment histories. It takes extremely little time (I read extremely fast) and all of you are completely devoid of anything like knowledge. What you perceive in my is derision, hopefully you know what that is.

            An existence so unlike yours. Jealousy and resentment of others as an argument of your own motivation is really pretty silly. IMHO.

            Spend some time with my comment history. You'll see what a fact based argument looks like on a variety of subject...of course you have to have a certain level of intelligence and education to even comprehend that. What's worse, I'm mostly libertarian, and I've historically voted Republican, though in the last election I didn't vote for president (neither candidate seemed worth my vote). In other words, I'm more right than left and you clowns are too blind to even get that much... I defend gay people because I defend individual liberty...something that is "supposed" to be conservative. I find the intellectual wasteland in much of the right to be incredibly annoying and counter productive.

          • Eponymous1

            Your unmerited conceit is the funniest thing I've read all day.

            You fancy yourself quite the intellectual, troll.

          • William Davis

            Exactly why do you think I would be impressed with childish name calling. Notice I deliver very specific context based criticism. You just repeated yourself with the "troll" insult...did you forget you just said that so quickly? The funny thing about a group of nitwits is that they all convince each other they are smart, lol.
            I'm guessing you're the smart one as you seem to be able to use not only capitalization, but also multiple sentences in one post...quite impressive ;)

          • Eponymous1

            Sometimes a word is the mot juste. For you, it's troll, imbecile. Quite context based, as all I see from you is personal attacks bereft of any intellectual substance.

          • William Davis

            So, would you like to discuss if it's reasonable to think homosexuality is immoral? What ethical system to you subscribe to. Let's see you put your money where your mouth is.

            "Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong." Thomas Jefferson

            But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

            -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

            Does gay people getting married pick your pocket or break your leg? Thomas Jefferson is one of my favorite people in history, and I truly believe the right is getting this whole thing completely wrong. I'm fully prepared to argue for it. If you'd like, we can consider "gayness" as an alternate belief system (therefore your Christian views, assuming you have some, are completely irrelevant in a secular context).

          • Eponymous1

            Failing to pretend that digestive tract sex is equal to the natural use of the reproductive system now gets you fired, gets you sued, gets your business destroyed, get you vilified, gets you boycotted, gets you threatened, gets you spat upon. This has been the design since the strategy was outlined in Kirk and Madsen's book "After the Ball," where they described how opponents had to be vilified in media and the workplace until the price was so high that no one would want to associate with them.

            NYT reporter Josh Barrow wroth "Anti-LGBT attitudes are terrible for people in all sorts of communities. They linger and oppress, and we need to stamp them out, ruthlessly." So you'll forgive the stampees if they don't appreciate the jackboots on their necks.

            Meet the new brownshirts, same as the original brownshirts

          • infadelicious

            careful- he will "bully" you .LMAO

            William Davis
            williamdiamon 25 minutes ago

            I'm definitely bullying infadelicious, how observant of you (sarcasm). Some people only respond to bullying (if they respond to anything), and I have no qualms about bullying bullies...it seems very just ;)

          • Eponymous1

            He's a self-important sanctimonious preening leftist douchebag.

            I'll be careful, as I hear it's catching.

          • infadelicious

            naaaa.. i think we've been exposed to so many of these lately, we have cootey-proofed ourselves....... LOL

          • Ignatius Reilly

            He's a libertarian and he's pretty when he preens.

          • Paul

            Poster, parse thyself. Your voluminous nut-rub was devoid of anything other than I hate you, because I hate you, because you deserve it. Notice all of the (I's)? Got it. Proceed with the melt-down. Infa can help you with that.

          • William Davis

            Can you quote where I said I hate you? Apparently I should have defined derision...I asked you if you knew what it was.

            Derision: the use of ridicule or scorn to show contempt

            http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/derision

            Here is contempt, just in case you don't get that word either:

            Contempt: the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn.

            You flatter yourselves if you think you are worth hate ;) I reserve that for equals, not buzzing flies ;) (P.S. You guys need to work on your insult game, it's pretty lame and predictable)

          • infadelicious

            Why sir!!! I don't know what you're talking about...(bats eyelashes innocently..yada yada yada)

          • Ignatius Reilly

            As someone who has read WDs comments for quite sometime, I would say that his posts are usually quite substantial and always interesting to read, even when I disagree.

          • I think I can safely respond to your comments by saying that most of the people you just spoke to in what I like to call the "regulars" crowd on here are pretty much the same...either conservative constitutionalists or more Libertarian like. They are definitely not RINO's...and most of us speak of all Americans and their right to freedom of religion/to practice their beliefs in peace on a daily basis. What most of us do NOT agree with is our present day, out of control government interfering with our private lives--a government which is constantly over regulating our businesses out of existence and peeking into our bedrooms on regular basis. As far as their intelligence, most of them are some of the most well-read, fascinating and yet still witty intellectuals I have probably ever had the pleasure of meeting in my 50+ years on this earth.

          • P,S. Not into spending time on here insulting people.. maybe throwing out a few facts & waking up a few of them to the plight of our present country, but certainly, insults are a waste of time. Nothing like a good heated discussion of the facts though. I'll be here on some days when I have time to join in the discussion ;)

          • William Davis

            A kind and thoughtful comment. I guess everyone else is having a bad day? I'm Libertarian (closest to my view though I'm not anarchist and we need government for many things even though it's bloated at this point in history), and I view preventing gay marriage as government interference on someone's private life. To me, it's that simple, and that's why I'm clashing with your buddies ;)

          • I understand what you're saying and we will probably agree more than disagree on here, but what many of them have been trying to point out is that marriage should not be regulated by the government in the first place.. no marriage of any kind. It used to be private until the country politicized it- as well as getting more involved for the money end of it, but mostly for the control of the individuals. At least when it was a state's right on the local level, we could choose to live where we found the best fit for each of our personal choices. And yes I believe in limited government which protects our safety, our borders & our sovereignty as a nation.

          • infadelicious

            please read my above reply to him. What he is telling you is the reason for me and the others clashing is not true.. my original comment was not regarding gay marriage and i have not said anything for or against it on this thread. He is either confusing me with someone else or he is making it up to fit an agenda.

          • infadelicious

            No that is not why you're clashing with her buddies.. My initial comment yesterday was regarding whether or not one could be homosexual and be Catholic. You nitpicked because i did not dumb it down enough for you and say "practicing" homosexual, you got bent out of shape and ran with it as did your friends who flagged my comments.. Clearly everyone else knew what i meant.- i did not mention gay marriage for or against. Perhaps you forgot my original comment, i would be glad to repost it and your replies...but stop with the twisting of my words and my comments.Maybe it's you having a bad day.

          • William Davis

            You are correct about your initial comment, but what caused your initial comment? The Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. What caused your bad attitude and insulting response to the relatively straight forward correction? You presumption that I was a "liberal" even though the use of that word is generally wrong and should be "progressive". Let's not pretend I don't understand you quite well. You give your thinking away in so many ways...
            Let's also look at what your "buddies" were saying in that same thread, the amount of disrespect to others, ect. I enjoy picking you guys apart, because I've known so many people just like you.
            I also spent a few minutes with your comment history, and saw the same kind of garbage on many, many forums. You can pretend to be innocent all you want, but I'm surely not stupid.
            I have been intentionally stirring up your buddy group to demonstrate what kind of people you are, and thus far, I've been proven correct. Even the insults have been pathetic, and I insult people's intelligence in order to motivate them to prove me wrong, i.e. behave intelligently. If there is little to no intelligence to be had, it shows in the response. Anger can be a strong motivator, and I enjoy practicing a form of psychological tactics when given the opportunity. I do not do this to people I believe to be decent. DJKatieOrganic seems reasonable, but upset that I'm insulting her friends, understandable.
            P.S. The difference between having same sex and attraction and engaging in the act is a HUGE deal in Catholic circles. Your comment was simply dumb and wrong, not dumbed down enough. The fact that you would not admit your error and attempted an obvious attempt at rationalization says at lot about you as well. I take a persons character seriously, and people of good character come from all different walks of life and beliefs. Character matters, if you were a good conservative, you'd agree.

          • infadelicious

            I am glad you at least admit i I was correct Sorry didnt read all of Your reply. Clearly you're the type that has to be right. Unfortunately you jumped to conclusions and melted down. You have lost all credibility . Pretend you're right. Justify it by spinning my comments and by insulting me - I don't really care. My initial comment that you blew out of proportion stands . If you want to discuss issues with people in the future don't push your view on them and twist their words. That is not discussion. You're dismissed

          • Ignatius Reilly

            And you were wrong about your initial comment.

          • infadelicious

            Cool. I expect that from a liberal or a confused rino. Seems to be a fistful of militants on here that have last word-itis and hate being proven wrong. Your friend was wrong as were you for jumping blindly into a thread and running with his error. My comment stands

            Unlike you I believe you have a right to your opinion as do I. My comment was a statement of fact. You cannot be gay and Catholic. Parse words all you want. I don't need to dumb down comments for people. Don't you have a hotdog cart to manage in NO? A sailor in the back of the canary house is calling you

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Yes, you can be gay and catholic. Once you are baptized catholic, the Catholic Church considers you Catholic forever. Sex acts are not excommunicable offenses. They might not even be mortal sins.

            Don't you have a hotdog cart to manage in NO? A sailor in the back of the canary house is calling you

            Please. I have a indictment to write. At least I have held down a job. ;)
            I must say, even though I think all of you are wrong on this issue, you guys do write some amusing things and have read books, apparently. :)

          • infadelicious

            Cool story bro but facts are awkward for you guys aren't they? SMH You can call yourself whatever you like but it doesn't make it so. I can say I am a rainbow- farting unicorn but I will never be a unicorn and I cannot fart rainbows but if you like I know a guy that can hook you up with a nice blue angel. :-)

          • Nordog6561

            He's very confused.

            It's astounding the degree of madness found in those who seek to reconcile the Gospel with two guys buggering each other.

            Madness.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            I'm an atheist. Could not care less about what the Gospel says on ethical matters. The bible is not the best place to find ethical insights.

          • Nordog6561

            You're the one going on about being "gay" and Catholic, etc.

            I'm starting to think you don't even know what you're writing.

            Are you a robot?

          • Ignatius Reilly

            I am responding to a post that claimed that one cannot be both gay and Catholic. Please cite relevant church documents or stop lying about catholic teachings. The Catholic Church has enough to atone for without you adding to it.

            Edit:

            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/strangenotions/catholic_gay_and_feeling_fine/#comment-2109801424

          • Nordog6561

            It is simply that one can live in accordance with Catholic teaching while suffering from same sex attraction, or what is also called homosexuality.

            Being "gay" on the other hand is a term of identity politics and includes the whole debutante ritual of "coming out" and being "proud" of one's sexual compulsion to the point of claiming that it even constitutes a major aspect of one's very being or identity.

            THAT is not in keeping with Catholic teaching and is incompatible with being a Catholic. We call those people heretics or apostates (depending on the particulars).

          • Ignatius Reilly

            It is simply that one can live in accordance with Catholic teaching while suffering from same sex attraction, or what is also called homosexuality.

            Agreed.

            Being "gay" on the other hand is a term of identity politics and includes the whole debutante ritual of "coming out" and being "proud" of one's sexual compulsion to the point of claiming that it even constitutes a major aspect of one's very being or identity.

            It is not a sexual compulsion. It is a sexual attraction. It is not at all different from hetero attraction.

            One's sexual orientation is a major aspect of ones identity. Considering the amount of discrimination homosexuals have faced in western civilization, it is something to celebrate that homosexuals now have more freedom to be open about their attractions.

          • Nordog6561

            >>One's sexual orientation is a major aspect of ones identity.<<

            No it's not.

            One's sexual "orientation" is simply one's sexual compulsions.

            My identity is NOT a function of what my sexual attractions are.

            That's the problem with a society ordered to maximizing pleasure as a principle of behavior, it winds up making ludicrous errors like thinking that the way one primarily seeks sexual release is the (or a) major function of their being.

            That error leave little room for those who have little to no sexual interest, such as small children and the elderly, not to mention those who consider themselves asexual (where do THEY fit in the Alphabet Soup Pantheon of Sexual Identity? Do they get a letter?) Do these people suffer from no personal identity?

            I think you are in gross error (as are most people) regarding what it is to be a person.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            I would never call myself Catholic. The Catholic Church no doubt considers me Catholic, but I left the faith years ago. In general, I would prefer not to associate with the Catholic Church. That being said, you are wrong. Practicing homosexuals are still Catholic. They are just not living in accordance with Catholic teaching.

            Why do you assume that everyone who defends gay rights is gay? Not that I mind - I would be in good company.

          • hicusdicus

            Sure one can be catholic and homosexual. A number of priests are pedophiles and they are catholic. I am neither homosexual nor a pedophile and I am not catholic. I wonder what that could mean?

          • infadelicious

            It would mean you didn't read the comment you replied to. Homosexual and pedophile are separate categories. Everyone is parsing words here to spin what i have said to fit their agenda. You are not following the teachings of Christ if you are gay (nitpicking nutjobs insist that i put in "practicing" gay because they need to be spoon fed) or if you are molesting children. I already explained this earlier. Again, Bruce jenner can say he is a woman, but he never will be. Rachel Dolezal will never be black. I can say i am a rainbow farting unicorn, but alas i am not a unicorn and i cannot fart rainbows, but i can hook you up with a guy that does a mean blue angel.

          • hicusdicus

            Omg! I was supposed to read the comment? I was just bolstering my opinion of the catholic thing. A non practicing gay??? The only place I have known them was when I visited a grave yard. Jenner in not a woman, Rachel is not black and you can't fart rainbows you have just destroyed my 4 th of July festivities . You will never make me believe you are not a unicorn. I have read to many comments by people who made stupid comments and had that unicorn horn run up their backside. You have a good forth and a good fifth and so on. Read the comments!!! I have never heard of such nonsense.

          • William Davis

            There is no logic in the mind of this infadelicious creature.

          • hicusdicus

            sThere is no logic in any religion. No two people follow the exact same thing no matter what they say. When speaking of Gods and their laws Its all ways the prevaricator Who dictates the rules and there is never any logic in mind.

          • oh and I'm not having a bad day... just don't like it when people get on here & twist our words around.. it's pretty simple actually....

          • William Davis

            I said "everyone else". I think I might like you, actually. My insults were fairly tactical and intended to see what the group was made of. In my experience, insulting someone's intelligence makes a smart person buck up and try to prove me wrong...I was not impressed with anyone other than you. I was sort of curious what the result of "kicking the bee hive" would be. Slightly interesting at least, but about what I expected, no offense to you personally :)
            Note that I'm doing any of this in a vacuum. I look at comment histories to get a better idea of who the person is. Your's is the best of the group, though I don't have much time to spend right now.

          • Eponymous1

            Your comment history, on the other hand, smacks of unmerited self-regard and disdain for anyone who disagrees with your viewpoint. You're in no position to sit in judgement upon others, despite that it appears to be a hobby of yours.

          • William Davis

            Why are you in a position to judge whether or not I'm in a position to judge? Lol. In general I'm quite civil, I just wanted to stir your little nest to see what would happen. Not much.
            Out of curiosity, don't you judge gay groups, Obama (obviously), progressives. Are you usually this obviously hypocritical?
            I fully admit that I judge people, and I try to be fair. Only a fool doesn't judge people.

          • Eponymous1

            Well, at last a little honesty. It's a start.

          • William Davis

            I think I've been brutally honest this whole time. Where do you think I've been dishonest? Being a condescending ass (and I have been that) is very different from being dishonest.

          • Eponymous1

            Well this is refreshing. Yes, you were a condescending ass, which is what prompts responses in kind.

            Which is what makes you a troll.

            "An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion."

            So you admit it now. Congratulations.

            Now bugger off.

          • William Davis

            The problem is that everything I said was quite relevant and on topic. Even the intelligence insults were specifically intended to get you guys to respond with demonstrations of intelligence and/or qualification, ect. with the hope that would eventually lead to a more substantive conversation. I still believe everything I said, and such insults are quite different when they are true...it makes them relevant. In the end, the point use anger as a motivator to improve behavior. Even if it only helps a little, getting people to behave better is a noble goal. I truly think I've done something positive in rattling your group and causing you to circle the wagons and take feeble pot shots.
            In case you haven't figured it out yet, I've been a regular on this site, so I'm not likely to "bugger off", unless I get banned, lol. Why don't you respond to my comment about promiscuity? How is that not the simple root cause of everything you attribute to "gayness"?

          • Eponymous1

            I did. But now you bore me even more than before. Please do bugger off.

          • William Davis

            You did, after I pointed this out ( 8 minutes later to be exact, disqus uses time stamps you know). Feeble response as expected. I can pull out some outlandish anti-gay quotes, but what will that matter. Perhaps we should use Westboro Baptist Church to indicate the view of all Christians. It's sad that this kind of thing passes for reason in your circles. You can learn about these things you know, I highly recommend this course:

            http://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/your-deceptive-mind-a-scientific-guide-to-critical-thinking-skills.html

            I can recommend some books that are cheaper if you'd like to reason better and easily point out problems in arguments, not to mention flawed assumptions.

          • Eponymous1

            Yes, because I was there awaiting your next utterance with bated breath, so wow, I was totally following up on your recommendation, then ran back to say I did it.

            You're really just a preening douche, jerking yourself with these little combox games. I have no interest in attempting to converse with an admitted troll and stalker playing with himself.

            Good day.

          • Everyone's method on here is unique to the individual, I'm not here to impress anyone or insult any specific commenter's intelligence. As I said before, I'm here to spark interesting & thoughtful debate on the issues of today. While doing so, every now & then I trip over someone's "bee hive" but I'm not one to intentionally kick one on purpose. As far as following any group on here, I have met many interesting people who make me laugh on a daily basis and not usually at the expense of others, but just because they are whitty & clever in their snappy comebacks. Unlike the gang mentality, I have no need or desire to be accepted by the group. That ended sometime in elementary school. If I laugh at anyone's expense, it tends to be a bumbling, lying nut who just happens to be our president or several other characters in politics such as the speaker of house, and we can't forget the media who acts like they don't have a clue on a daily basis, but I'm guessing they know much more than they let on....I try to respect the views of others, but sometimes you just can't fix stupid and there is a daily drove of clowns who come on here each day who you just can't help but laugh at or feel sorry for, no matter how hard you try not to...As far as comment histories, I too don't have that much time on my hands. I comment on here when I get the chance in-between work & other daily life events. Well I'm off to get something done today...Good luck with your hive kicking & have a nice day!

          • Ignatius Reilly

            What most of us do NOT agree with is our present day, out of control government interfering with our private lives--a government which is constantly over regulating our businesses out of existence and peeking into our bedrooms on regular basis

            Unless those bedrooms belong to two homosexuals.....

          • You'd better check the facts...the very reason government started regulating marriage actually had to do with many states inserting blood test laws after the civil war because they did not want blacks marrying whites...that is where most of the marriage laws came from originally.. trying to control "straight-religious black & white couples" and keep them from marriage as well as control all people trying to marry of any color, creed or belief...and of course make lots of money at it while doing it....Go do your homework & get back with me...many types of individuals have been singled out over the years....

          • Ignatius Reilly

            Firstly, if you read the original post and perhaps read the mission statement of Strange Notions, before your gang of nine descended upon this thread, you would realize why we are not reading your comments as simply advocating a libertarian view of marriage. This site is dedicated to dialogue between theists (usually catholic) and atheists. The original post made the claim that forced homosexual celibacy is healthy and good. I think that intimate relationships are important to the well being of both straights and gays.

            Secondly, the content and tone of the posts suggests that your fellow commenters are not merely interested in the politics of marriage. You are shifting goal posts here.

            Thirdly, most civilizations throughout history have regulated marriage. I think this is a good thing to do. I also think there is a tremendous amount of utility in allowing gays to marry.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            I would add that your side has been terribly imprecise and not particularly lucid. Add all the condescension to this and I think you should be able to see why folks like WD and myself are pushing back.
            I can count on one hand the amount of actual substantial arguments the gang of 9 has made.

          • Gang of 9? I'm not following you?

          • Ignatius Reilly

            The folks who have recently descended upon this 2 year old thread and made all sorts of comments and upvote each other. They seem to travel as a group. You mentioned earlier that you thought they were very well spoken and intelligent.

          • Eponymous1

            Where did this information come from? Can you point me to some documentation?

          • Do I need to do all the research? LOL..it's a known fact & from multiple sources. .Even a very famous movie /broadway play is about this very subject: showboat from 1936.

          • Eponymous1

            If you're going to assert facts, yes, it's customary that you're willing to provide a source.

          • It's not always necessary to provide a bibliography for every discussion on here..especially when the sources are far too many to list all in one place. Just pick a couple of search engines online & you should find plenty of reading material. This was a hot topic back in the 1930s which is why movies & plays were written about it.

          • William Davis

            Your friend DJ is correct, I posted a relevant link. I like her at least ;)

            http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2010/01/14/why-do-we-need-to-ask-the-state-for-permission-to-get-married-anyway/

          • Eponymous1

            Thanks.

          • William Davis

            You're welcome. Perhaps in different circumstances we could have a civil conversation. Until that day, best of luck and tentative truce.

          • David Nickol

            Your friend DJ is correct . . . .

            Correct in what respect? She said the following:

            You'd better check the facts...the very reason government started regulating marriage actually had to do with many states inserting blood test laws after the civil war because they did not want blacks marrying whites...

            Premarital blood tests were begun "after the civil war" alright—70 years after!

            In 1935, Connecticut became the first state to mandate premarital serologies of all prospective brides and grooms. The rationale for premarital screening was clear. If every individual about to be married were tested, and, if found to be infected, treated, the transmission of infection to marital partners and offspring would be halted. The legislation was vigorously supported by the public health establishment, organized women's groups, magazines, and the news media. . . . [B]y the end of World War II, virtuall all the states had enacted provisions mandating premarital serologies.

            So blood tests had nothing to do with preventing interracial marriage. Also, anti-miscegenation laws went all the way back to Colonial times. According to Wikipedia, "In 1776, seven out of the Thirteen Colonies that declared their independence enforced laws against interracial marriage."

          • Wikipedia is not always correct. Much of history they don't prefer has been removed. Do a few more searches & you will find that one of the first laws on marriage licenses, blood tests etc was in the 1600's in Massachusetts. There is a wealth of information out there on this subject & yes lots of propaganda without the real facts as to what happened. To do a proper search it would most likely require finding original documents & texts from each period in time. This would be what I call "true research" where you actually have to go to vaults with actual books & texts to read from as well as researching bibliographies & books in actual libraries of law....

          • Ignatius Reilly

            This would be what I call "true research" where you actually have to go to vaults with actual books & texts to read from as well as researching bibliographies & books in actual libraries of law....

            ....as opposed to getting facts from libertarian blogs.

          • David Nickol

            Do a few more searches & you will find that one of the first laws on marriage licenses, blood tests etc was in the 1600's in Massachusetts.

            Can you tell me what kind of premarital blood tests were performed in 17th-century Massachusetts or, for that matter, anywhere else in the world?

            It is not clear to me what your point is. I am responding to the following statement of yours:

            You'd better check the facts...the very reason government started regulating marriage actually had to do with many states inserting blood test laws after the civil war because they did not want blacks marrying whites...

            I made two points. First, requiring blood tests before marriage did not date to the post-Civil War era, but to the New Deal era, seventy years later, and was not for the purpose of preventing interracial marriage but instead to try to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Second, laws against interracial marriage long predated the post-Civil War era.

            Wikipedia is not always correct.

            I have always found Wikipedia to be very reliable, but even if it is not the most reliable source in the world, you cite no source at all. On a blog such as this, I don't expect people to back up their opinions by citing sources, but I do expect them, when challenged, to back up statements of alleged historical facts.

          • William Davis

            I think the issue is simply blood testing. That was a later development (they didn't really know what they were doing there until nearly 1900) I'm into medicine...

          • Please see my first response to you on this issue & then check out this op-ed piece by someone who bothered to look up the laws I was speaking of that started hundreds of years ago. It gives good insight to why these controlling laws/requirement of a marriage license were put on the books back in the early days of this country. https://mattwilson32.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/the-ugly-history-of-the-marriage-license-in-america/

          • David Nickol

            Please see my first response to you on this issue & then check out this op-ed piece by someone who bothered to look up the laws I was speaking of that started hundreds of years ago . . . .

            Your original contention was not about what happened "hundreds of years ago" but rather what happened after the Civil War. I was the one who pointed out that restrictions on interracial marriage went all the way back to Colonial times.

            There is a significant difference between an "op-ed piece" and an individual's post on his or her personal blog. I don't want to get bogged down in an extended discussion of the involvement of government in marriage. Once again, my only quarrel is with this statement of yours:

            You'd better check the facts...the very reason government started regulating marriage actually had to do with many states inserting blood test laws after the civil war because they did not want blacks marrying whites...

            Once again

            • There were no government-mandated premarital blood test in the United States until the 1930s, and they were not for the purpose of preventing interracial marriages.

            • Prohibitions against interracial marriage in the United States did not begin after the Civil War but go all the way back to Colonial times.

          • William Davis

            I was using "correct" loosely. The core I agreed with was that the original purpose of regulating marriage was to prevent interracial marriage (i.e. to enforce bigotry). The blood testing was clearly off, as blood testing is a fairly recent medical phenomena.

          • William Davis

            You are correct :) Here is an easy and reputable reference (the WSJ is usually quite good and accurate)

            http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2010/01/14/why-do-we-need-to-ask-the-state-for-permission-to-get-married-anyway/

          • Like I said in my other comments on here, states involvement of marriage has mostly been about control & making money. This article you referenced used the excuse that it was about inheritance, but before state involvement in marriage a properly witnessed will served the same purpose. Again just another way for the state to get their percentage / money from the people and of course to contol the people with their chosen definition of what was morally acceptable according to the current politicians in charge. Just like in the monarchies of the past in other countries..what was accepted depended on which ruler was in charge..example : in the days of queen Victoria's reign dresses were down to a woman's ankle & necklines were high,-it was known as one of the most prudish eras in the history of England ;)

          • MidAtlanticWoman

            So, Billy, you have a job just like the rest of us. You wouldn't hire Infa because you have no hiring power. You're way too big for your britches, boy.

          • William Davis

            What's your source of information? Or do you typically just make things up as you go along?

          • MidAtlanticWoman

            You are my source of information, WD. "I am a well-paid engineer who does have people under me." So you're a supervisor. Supervisors usually get to interview those to be working under them, but rarely have ultimate hiring power. You see I worked in Employment Discrimination Law for 20 years; you learn a few things about businesses when you're suing the pants off 'em.

          • William Davis

            Ah, you're Seventh Day Adventist. I guess you didn't do well in biology/chemistry for you to end up working in employment discrimination law. Considering you never mentioned having a law degree, it's likely you were pretty small potatoes in whatever firm.
            Actually working for a business (and a law firm is technically a business) you learn different companies do things in different ways. Of course, generally no one, except the president or CEO, has ultimate hiring power, and even he can't hire some one who is disqualified due to criminal record, ect. So far, everyone who I've wanted to hire got hired, but luckily they also passed the additional scrutiny required. In other words, you don't know what you're talking about. Nice try though :)

          • MidAtlanticWoman

            Horsefeathers.

          • William Davis
        • Jubal Early

          You need counseling.

          • infadelicious

            Sorry.

        • hicusdicus

          OMG! I just got an erection. That is better than a playboy centerfold. Its the socks they are fabulous.

  • David Nickol

    See Must Read on the main page, especially

    4. Critique ideas, not people.
    The rhetorical assault known as ad hominem, Latin for "to the person," is one of the most common fallacies online. Instead of engaging actual arguments, the culprit criticizes, insults, belittles, judges, or mocks the person making the argument. He blasts the opponent's character, intelligence, education, background, motivations, or sometimes all of the above. Attacking persons is fallacious and uncharitable and will not be permitted here. If you are wondering why your comment was flagged or deleted, consider whether it was ad hominem. (Comments that are vulgar, mocking, or insubstantial will be deleted, too.)

    Rule 1 (use your real name) is not enforced.

    • Jed

      Thanks. First time I recall seeing them under the heading "Must Read." They're usually listed under "Terms of Service."

      • David Nickol

        There is more than one reason why this site is called Strange Notions.

  • God's laws are not the same as man's laws! If we want to go to Heaven then we have to obey God over men. Nothing in this world is worth going to eternal Hell! God word is very clear in Roman's 1:25-28: [25] Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. [26] For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. [27] And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error. [28] And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient;

  • Michael Murray

    I think I am taking a leaf out of Kraker Jak's book and posting a cartoon

    http://www.jesusandmo.net/strips/2015-07-01.png

  • JustThinking

    "The Church believes, and I believe, in a universe that means something, and in a God who made the universe — made men and women, designed sex and marriage from the ground up. In that universe, gay marriage doesn’t make sense." How does this not make sense? Is it because same-sex couples cannot have sex, and marriage is the "licensure" to sex?

    In Church, sex is a blessing for those who have received the sacrament of matrimony regardless if you would want to procreate or not. If a married couple want to use contraceptions, they can do so. It's called planned parenthood. It is not considered using sex for lust because they have the "license" to have sex because they are a married couple.

    I don't agree that same-sex couples are not allowed to get married in Church. If it's because marriage consents these couples to be sexual which defies the meaning of sex according to the Church, then why can we permit planned parenthood and contraceptions among civil societies and Catholic communities?

    • Luke Meyer

      The Church actually speaks against contraception in favor of Natural Family Planning. Even married couples are encouraged to exercise sexual restraint when needed-- they need to find other ways to express love.

      So, to the Church, marriage is about starting a family unit that is fruitful and multiplies, and the binding of two individuals that can't multiply is the part that "doesn't make sense" in Steve's, and in the Church's, equation.

  • Paul Hue

    To support "gay marriage" it to deny that of the infinite numbers of ways that people can obtain sexual pleasure, one of them has no special status which is just as sacred as life itself.

    To support "gay marriage" is to dismiss the single act that is capable of creating life as nothing special -- not fundamentally different than any other imaginable anatomical configuration -- warranting its own special institution to enshrine it.