March 20, 2013

"On Gay Unions, a Pragmatist Before He Was a Pope."

NYT headline. You may think this sounds absurd, just a figment of the imagination of American liberals who somehow suddenly see this once-unknown issue as the centerpiece of civil rights, but:
Argentina was on the verge of approving gay marriage, and the Roman Catholic Church was desperate to stop that from happening. It would lead tens of thousands of its followers in protest on the streets of Buenos Aires and publicly condemn the proposed law, a direct threat to church teaching, as the work of the devil.

But behind the scenes, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who led the public charge against the measure, spoke out in a heated meeting of bishops in 2010 and advocated a highly unorthodox solution: that the church in Argentina support the idea of civil unions for gay couples....
Bergoglio revealed himself as "a deal maker willing to compromise and court opposing sides in the debate, detractors included." Where opposition wasn't going to stop gay marriage, the compromise of civil unions might. That was the thinking. Bergoglio "acted as both the public face of the opposition to the law and as a bridge-builder."
“He didn’t want the church to take a position of condemning people but rather of respect for their rights like any vulnerable person,” said [Roxana Alfieri, a social worker in the communications department of the bishops’ central office here] who sat in on the bishops’ 2010 meeting.

66 comments:

X said...

if gays are oppressed because they are treated like singles, are singles oppressed?

Farmer said...

But marriage is a right! What's this separate but equal civil unions nonsense! It's a right! We decided so about five years ago!

wyo sis said...

So, basically he's a hater with either position by today's standards.

Mitchell the Bat said...

“A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged, it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used.”

-- Oliver Wendell Holmes

edutcher said...

The Lefties want a Revolution Theology Pope so bad and they thought they had one.

X said...

if gays are oppressed because they are treated like singles, are singles oppressed?

To ask the question is to answer it.

Shouting Thomas said...

Men in Argentina don't generally think of themselves as gay, Althouse.

The Latin American formulation is different.

You're only gay if you're a bottom. If you're a top, you're still hetero. In most Latin societies, it's common for straight men to take a "night off" for sex with a man. So long as you remain a top, you're still hetero.

You're grasping at straws here, just as you are grasping at straws with the oppression bullshit. You're kinda naive about sex, too.

Chuck the civils rights nostalgia.

Scott M said...

Every once and a while, I think we should step back, look at SSM, and wonder just how affluent our civilization has to be in historic terms to spend so much time on this.

edutcher said...

Interesting point, although we're rather in deep trouble.

This is just another way of saying, "SQUIRREL!!".

Shouting Thomas said...

Yes, Scott M, this is the decadence of an over stuffed, over fed society.

Maybe Althouse is just yammering away endlessly about this bullshit out of general and sexual boredom. The lack of action in the modern clerical life is poisonous.

Hadn't thought of it before, but that is the most likely explanation.

BarrySanders20 said...

I am encouraged that he will allow reason to prevail over dogma, though that can be a slippery slope. For example, I presume he did not adopt a wide stance on the church's teaching on gay sex. So go ahead and unionize, but no touching!

I am not responsible for the flock and am not Catholic, so know Frances had to lighten up to get to this position. My own stance is that government has no business regulating marriage, except for one at a time and humans only. That makes me a hypocrite-American, and I embrace my hypocricy in the privacy of my own bedroom and hopefully in a pride parade down main street with my fellow tribal members.

rhhardin said...

If you don't want to claim that gay civil unions are marriage, you get a lot more supporters.

Then marriage as a word gets to retain its performance.

A use will in fact arise for the civil union and marriage distinction as a metaphor.

Shouting Thomas said...

Civil unions are fine with me, but I seriously doubt that that issue is on Pope Francis' agenda.

The Church does not, as people seen to think, condemn homosexuality. It considers acting on that homosexuality to be a sin, just as it considers adultery to be a sin.

Condemning is left to the judgment of God.

Gahrie said...

Homosexuals will not accept a compromise of civil unions to protect their rights, because they do not seek protection of their rights,but rather endorsement of their lifestyle.

Portia said...

F--k the NYT

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It is the old "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" philosophy.

Civil Unions are a function of the State/Ceasar. Bessing marriage belongs to the Church/God.

Good philosophy. You mind your business and I'll mind mine. But....the Gay activists and the Libs, just can't leave anything alone. They MUST dictate and force everyone to condone and approve of their views and actions and just cannot stand it that other people do not agree with them. So, like Obama, they use force.

Glen Filthie said...

The church is not going to win any more friends by caving in to the queers and liberals.

In fact, I think they will alienate more followers than they will gain.

I would hate to see the gays make a mockery of the church the way they have done to marriage - but the tides of history will not be denied. I will watch the church burn but I will not be part of it.

whoresoftheinternet said...

Yawn. Another fag-loving publication pushing a fag-friendly story.

Enjoy the decline, perverts!

edutcher said...

Glen Filthie said...

The church is not going to win any more friends by caving in to the queers and liberals.

In fact, I think they will alienate more followers than they will gain.


You broke the code.

One of the reasons the American Church goes soft on the illegals is that it's hoping they'll fill the pews again, but the opposite seems to be the case.

This is no different from the Protestant sects that have gone all Lefty and are hemorrhaging parishioners.

Achilles said...

DBQ said,

"Good philosophy. You mind your business and I'll mind mine. But....the Gay activists and the Libs, just can't leave anything alone. They MUST dictate and force everyone to condone and approve of their views and actions and just cannot stand it that other people do not agree with them. So, like Obama, they use force."

The gays are just using government force to do what traditionalists were doing before. They used government power to force people to adhere to their point of view. Until you take the government out of this equation the minority will always be under the thumb of the majority.

Bruce Hayden said...

I do see his point on civil unions. Came around to supporting them maybe a decade ago. But, I still haven't heard a convincing argument why SSM would not lead to other loosening up of marriage constraints, and, in particular, the legalization of polygamy. The critical thing, in my mind, is that SSM has never been sanctioned by a culture that has thrived thereafter, but there is a long history of polygamy. Indeed, one of the biggest religions in the world still fully supports it, and there are references in both the Old and New Testaments that would seemingly support polygamy. So, we have no historical support for SSM, and a lot for polygamy - why should the first be a civil rights issue, and the second still banned? Slippery slope, if I ever saw one.

But, then, why not polygamy? For those poor fools who think that two or three wives would be easier than just one. Or, husbands.

Salamandyr said...

So he's being lauded for supporting a position held by most mainstream conservatives (civil unions), for which they're regularly castigated as bigots? Do I have that right?

Gahrie said...

"On Gay Unions, a Pragmatist Before He Was a Pope."

The anti-gay marriage side has always been pragmatict on this issue, extending the compromise of civil unions. It is the pro-gay marriage side that has been the all or nothing fanatics, disdaining equal treatment under law and demanding instead endorsement of their lifestyle.

Not very tolerant of them.

MayBee said...

Isn't Obama arguing that any state which allows unions must allow marriage?

Broomhandle said...



Dust Bunny Queen said...
It is the old "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" philosophy.

Civil Unions are a function of the State/Ceasar. Bessing marriage belongs to the Church/God.


This exactly. Gays are entitled to make the same contracts any other adult citizen is allowed to make.
If God doesn't want to sanction gay marriage (though I doubt the omnipotent Creator of the infinite universe is giving it much thought) he won't.

Scott M said...

But, then, why not polygamy? For those poor fools who think that two or three wives would be easier than just one. Or, husbands.

The only answer you will get is that our current laws are set up for two people, an A and a B, so SSM recognition wouldn't require new legal tools to implement. This is arguing from convenience, though, and wholly unsatisfactory. If you really press a SSM advocate on this particular aspect of the issue, eventually, they will simply throw up their hands and say that if polygamists want their rights recognized, they need to organize and do their own groundwork.

edutcher said...

Achilles said...

Good philosophy. You mind your business and I'll mind mine. But....the Gay activists and the Libs, just can't leave anything alone. They MUST dictate and force everyone to condone and approve of their views and actions and just cannot stand it that other people do not agree with them. So, like Obama, they use force.

The gays are just using government force to do what traditionalists were doing before. They used government power to force people to adhere to their point of view. Until you take the government out of this equation the minority will always be under the thumb of the majority.


Tell it to Patroclus.

What existed before was the will and expressed belief of the vast majority - and still is.

What the homosexuals are doing is what the Left has always had to do. If you can't win at the ballot box, do it through the appellate courts, where the people have no recourse.

X said...

This exactly. Gays are entitled to make the same contracts any other adult citizen is allowed to make.


this. marriage contracts should be moved under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. currently, it's completely unregulated with no disclosures.

Ah Pooh said...

Is this a silly allegory? People who support the words civil unions for same sex relationships, but not the word marriage for same, see it as similar to calling Christmas as not only a celebration for the birth of Christ but also a celebration for the birth of Moses, or the birth of Muhammad or the birth of Buddha etc.

traditionalguy said...

The new Pope Francis sounds like a Christian believer to me.

The word of God can still be our authority for life, without our surrendering its meaning to Hasidic legalists ( called Judaizers by Paul) out of fear of that Christ's grace message by over ruling the Law of Moses creates an unsafe world and breaks the Old Covenant.

That is why mankind was given the Holy Spirit under a New Covenant that leads into Christ's righteousness, peace and joy.

Achilles said...

Edutcher said,

"What the homosexuals are doing is what the Left has always had to do. If you can't win at the ballot box, do it through the appellate courts, where the people have no recourse."

I agree they have a power at all costs method. I don't agree with how they are advancing their cause. But right now you are trying to bail out the ocean with a bucket. The schools, media, and popular culture are all pushing one direction and it is not toward traditional marriage. If not now you will soon be a minority and most people will support SSM. The majority will use the government to impose their will on you. Just another example of how the government divides us where we should not be divided.

Renee said...

It was Pope Benedict XVI as Cardinal Ratizinger who defended gays in 1986. This isn't new to an informed Catholic.

Renee said...

Garhie

My issue is with birth certificates and individual rights of having a relationship with their mom and dad.

We need to ban sperm/egg/surrogacy .

edutcher said...

Achilles said...

The schools, media, and popular culture are all pushing one direction and it is not toward traditional marriage. If not now you will soon be a minority and most people will support SSM. The majority will use the government to impose their will on you. Just another example of how the government divides us where we should not be divided.

The Left is pushing one direction and it is not toward traditional marriage.

FIFY.

And I remember when the ERA was "inevitable".

And funny thing about that "you will soon be a minority" stuff (right up there with "Resistance Is Futile"). The Lefties love to keep saying how white people will soon be the minority. They've been saying it for 20 years, but guess what?

Thanks to the Lefties, we now have net negative immigration and black people are aborting themselves out of existence.

Howard said...

Scott M is right. All modern movements: civil rights, environment, feminism, SSM, public acceptance of tatoos and booger-hooks, the $5 cup o Joe, the $5 per hour gardener and our Black and White Muslim President are all the fruits of our free-market democratic republic.

If the repugs could figure out a way to sell that, they could put on big boy pants and get their greasy fingers back on the chicken switch.

Methadras said...

I do have to say that his adulation for the poor disturbs me greatly. They are the great money sink of all time.

JL said...

I find this topic increasingly tedious, because it is all about a word. Yes, feel free to argue that it is more, if you like- I won't bother to try to dissuade you; I wouldn't be able to. But you won't change my mind either.

Most people are ok with gay civil-unions, but not gay marriage, which to me is silly for both sides. Silly for gays who are not satisfied with "civil unions" that give them the same legal rights as straight couples, and silly for the straights who seemingly have no ability to recognize that there already is a distinction between a court-house marriage and a religious one; if there wasn't why do so many people choose to do both-- get a state marriage license and have a religious ceremony? The idea of widening that distinction by adding gay couples to the state definition of marriage, should not be such a stretch for the imagination.

I know the fear is that if you concede to allow the legal definition of marriage to be redefined that the church one will also be impacted-- the "priests will be forced to marry gays" argument. (I don't feel that fear is entirely unfounded BTW). But get this-- by arguing that the legal definition of marriage cannot or should not be modified to allow same sex couples, then the push to find a gay marriage "right" is the path that activists will choose; as witnessed by the professor's position that the courts should bless us by discovering that right. And if they succeed in getting the courts to declare that gay marriage is a "right" protected by the constitution, then religious marriage is more likely to be impacted than by simply altering state law. Plus it opens the door for polygamy and other forms of "marriage" groups as similarly protected constitutional rights.

edutcher said...

Howard said...

Scott M is right. All modern movements: civil rights, environment, feminism, SSM, public acceptance of tatoos and booger-hooks, the $5 cup o Joe, the $5 per hour gardener and our Black and White Muslim President are all the fruits of our free-market democratic republic.

If the repugs could figure out a way to sell that, they could put on big boy pants and get their greasy fingers back on the chicken switch.


My God, what drivel!

The only movement there that was truly popular was the civil rights movement.

The rest had nothing to do with a free market republic - they had to do with a Leftist agenda based on using the appellate courts to ram through issues they knew couldn't win at the ballot box.

Whatever else he's babbling about regarding the Republicans, God only knows, but their big problem right now is that they believe the media as much as the Facebook crowd and are spooked by it.

There's also the issue of vote fraud to keep as many districts Demo as possible, such as the new investigation into people voting in more than one state on Election Day, as was noted before.

Scott M said...

The rest had nothing to do with a free market republic - they had to do with a Leftist agenda based on using the appellate courts to ram through issues they knew couldn't win at the ballot box.

I think you missed the point of what he was saying. Whatever set of circumstances that made modern western civilization the most affluent in history also allowed for these movements/bitches/moans/groans to arise.

Affluence seems to breed complainers. It may eventually lead to our downfall or otherwise subsequent un-assing of affluence because we're top-heavy with complainers. I don't know, but it's just an idea. Sort of like the three generations from rags to riches to rags phenomena that seems to cut across cultures, but applied to generations.

Howard said...

Scott M is spot on again. The rise of complaining narcissists is the Bain of our age. However, all of these minority issues that folks piss and moan about have realpolitik synergistic leverage that the demoncrats harvest for votes.

The repugs would be smart to remember that we campaign in the existing social milieu, not the one in the past we pine for.

Fortunately, it looks like all the young dudes in the senate have got that memo.

As socially liberal and soft hearted for the poor that I am, the MF gun grabbers and nanny-state pus buckets need a counter-balance.

Howard said...

Mr. Electronic Douche:

Grow up like Tricky Dick. Move on and win in '68 and crush in '72.

Lyssa said...

JL at 10:57 is exactly right.

Roger J. said...

What JL said--this fixation on SSM is tedious--like really tedious.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

this fixation on SSM is tedious--like really tedious.

Chinese water torture.

drip....drip....drip....

Roger J. said...

DBQ--Off topic, but I love your profile pic--you are almost as cute as my new grandson

creeley23 said...

...just a figment of the imagination of American liberals who somehow suddenly see this once-unknown issue as the centerpiece of civil rights...

You got that right.

There is something imaginary about a civil right that has just about no impact on freedom, money, voting, employment, renting, insurance, or anything else and will only be exercised by maybe 20% of 2-4% of the population and result in unions that break up more often and last less time than conventional marriages and raise at best 10% the number of children per union as conventional marriages.

Meanwhile America is facing an unprecedented financial and demographic crisis in a world where the rest of the world is collapsing even faster, and WMD are becoming cheaper and more accessible than ever before.

I'm so glad that American liberals have their priorities straight and are forcing the country to face this absolutely horrifying injustice.

Roger J. said...

There is no horse so dead that it can't be dragged out and flogged some more

Creely: well said

JHapp said...

I am guessing Cardinal Bergoglio did not use the phrase "gay couples" but just something more like "same sex unions". Just a guess.

Anglelyne said...

...publicly condemn the proposed law, a direct threat to church teaching, as the work of the devil.

Really? Is that how they phrased it? I suppose it's possible that a phrase like "work of the devil" got used by some Catholic at the time, but color me skeptical that the fundie bible-basher vibe implied here is an accurate representation of the arguments and protests. Even to a casual observer it's apparent that the opposition of the Roman Catholic church to gay marriage is a tad more elaborated and, shall we say, nuanced than...."Satan!".

Somebody (wish I could remember who) once remarked that, to the typical religion-clueless journalist, all religious leaders are that preacher from Footloose. So when they don't see somebody like Bergoglio snake-wrangling and babbling in tongues, they get all confused and start seeing some new progressive breakthrough that just ain't there.

ken in sc said...

Paul wrote that a deacon or bishop should have only one wife, or remain like him without one. Jesus said that some men were wifeless because they were born that way, or made that way by other men, maybe castrated or turned, it's not clear. And some were wifeless for the glory of God. Jesus did not say anything about having sex with other men, but Paul did and he didn't like it.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Why is this debate focused solely on homosexual behavior? Surely people know this is a bigoted perspective. If we wish to experience the full "benefits" of progress, and dispense with all reactive forms of bigotry, then the process of normalization must extend to all non-lethal unions. Then again, as abortion is also considered a right, we must also consider normalizing lethal unions.

Men and women are bigots unless they support normalization of all unions, lethal and non-lethal, human and non-human.

That's it. Let's dispense with the progressive, incremental nonsense and confront the future now.

Forward to dysfunctional convergence!

n.n said...

They don't want unions. They don't want tolerance. They want marriage. They want normalization.

I think heterosexual men and women engaged in dysfunctional behaviors are more desirous of the latter outcome. The consequences of their behaviors could more easily be obfuscated with the marginalization of evolutionary fitness. They already adhere to selective human and civil rights standards, typically to favor preservation of their wealth, welfare, and backyards.

jr565 said...

It really is the only logical solution (civil unions). Gay marriage is not the same as marriage. Gays literally can't marry as gays. Because marriage requires a bride and groom and this gay marriage is the equivalent of putting a square peg into round hole.
Why then it became an equal protection argument is beyond me. I always hear how
Separate but equal doesnt work, but
What is it BUT separate?
That is not me HATING gays. That is simply looking at marriage and realizing that it doesn't apply to gays.
Gays want rights they don't and can't possess. They do have the right to a marriage it just would be with the opposite sex.
But a civil union could provide gays what they want. It wouldn't redefine marriage, it would give gays their benefits and it wouldn't force churches to violate their conscience.

Aridog said...

Sigh.

Lydia said...

"They don't want unions. They don't want tolerance. They want marriage. They want normalization."

Will & Grace, Modern Family, et al. Haven't they already accomplished that normalization?

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather said...

It seems to be a way of saying give what is Caesar's to Caesar and to God's what is God.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

jr565:

That's right. However, since we have now dispensed with biological imperatives and evolutionary principles as the primary motive, civil unions cannot reasonably discriminate based on sexual behavior. There is no longer a justification to distinguish between sexual, platonic, and other kinds of relationships.

Let the experiment begin. It's just a matter of overcoming or ignoring popular and natural resistance.

n.n said...

Lydia:

No, that is fantasy normalization in the land of television production. It represents a producer or writer's dream of normal. It is a depiction of their preferred reality and an effort to exploit a publicly accessible channel to destroy its viewers resistance.

Normalization of dysfunctional behaviors, including homosexuality, would require rolling back the revelation of evolutionary principles, which most people appreciate through instinct. It can be accomplished through indoctrination but with only marginal results. The effectiveness of indoctrination diminishes as an individual attempts to reconcile the incongruities between reality and their education.

The above phenomenon is similar to what happens with efforts to normalize abortion. An individual is less likely to be pro-abortion, than pro-choice, because it is premeditated murder of an innocent human life when it is most vulnerable. Describing a developing human life as a fetus, or something similarly innocuous, will only remain effective until our minds are freed from dreams of material, physical, and ego gratification. Eventually, the circumstances and intrinsic value of human life will reassert their influence.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

If you really wanted to stop gay marriage, civil unions are the way to do it.

In most of the State Supreme Court cases, that was offered by the court to the legislature as a compromise.

But the civil union option wasn't taken, so the courts imposed marriage.

Likewise, the many state ballot initiatives have banned civil unions as well as marriage. So those laws can't be struck down to allow civil unions without also allowing marriage.

SOJO said...

@brucehayden

The legalization of polygamy would be incredibly expensive - that's my argument why it will never happen.

You legalize polygamy, but don't have universal healthcare, get some guy to marry everybody in his town or state and BOOM, universal healthcare... which would actually be kind of interesting to see attempted. Privately as well, all "multi-couples" by marriage would have to be covered on the family plans of insurance agencies, cell phone plans, you name it.

Scott M said...

n.n.

Send me an email, if you would, at ravenloff@hotmail.com. Got a question for you to ponder.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Bravo, Jesuit Cardinal.

bardseyeview said...

The point is not to normalize gay relationships, but to demonize religious teaching.

Most (good) preachers and rabbis spend their time not so much talking down sin, as talking up marriage, extolling the sinless pleasures of marital sex, and the holiness of its union, worth the candle despite its challenges.

By placing a moral censure on all other sex, congregants are gently urged, from adolescence on, toward marriage.

And that's the target. That's what they seek to denormalize. Gays may or may not benefit ever so slightly from gay marriage. But straights, especially those at the margins, will be devastated.

rcocean said...

Gay Marriage = the most important issue ever, ever.

I'm sure Lincoln and Jefferson thought about it often.