May 6, 2013

"We gathered for a simple purpose, to dirty our hands as we prepared to attend Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral."

"We were soiling our hands as a silent response to Cardinal Dolan's column last week in which he suggested that LGBT people were welcome in the church so long as they washed their hands. As we began to rub our hands together with pieces of ash, our hands took on the look and feel of the effort that has defined our work to receive an equal seat at the table of Christ in the Catholic Church. Those participating were not only LGBT Catholics, but also allies and, perhaps most importantly, parents of LGBT children. We gathered not in protest, but as a silent witness...."

ADDED: Many commenters complain that the linked article — by Joseph Amodeo at HuffPo — fails to link to Dolan's column. Here it is: "All Are Welcome!" It begins with a lesson learned from his childhood: His friend was welcomed to the family's dinner table, and his father told both boys to "go wash your hands before you eat." He makes the analogy to "the supernatural family we call the Church: all are welcome!" And what is the equivalent to the expectation that hands will be washed before dinner? Dolan refers to the story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery. Jesus doesn't condemn her but tells her to "sin no more."

Dolan doesn't talk about sinners being unclean and needing to wash. He says "Hate the sin; love the sinner," and lists 6 examples of sinners who sins the Church does not "condone." Persons "with a same-sex attraction" are 5th on the list. The others are: 1. alcoholics, 2. a businessman who fails to "pay a just wage," 3. unmarried heterosexuals who have sex, 4. a woman who has an abortion and the man who impregnated her and encouraged it, and 6. rich people who don't give to the poor. 

153 comments:

Phil 3:14 said...

Is there like a quota or something on the Althouse blog, at least one gay story per day?

Michael Haz said...

Sorry LGBT people, you don't get to change the rules just to fit your lifestyles.

Perhaps you might be as tolerant of others as you demend they be tolerant of you.

Matthew Sablan said...

Anyone know what the author was actually responding to? I didn't see a link to whatever the cardinal said, and I also didn't see a use of quotation marks, so, while the protest probably makes perfect sense, I'm at a loss as to what I should think since I don't know the context.

rhhardin said...

There's a toaster now that browns the face of Jesus onto your toast, if you want to hold your own communion.

Why be satisfied with wafers.

rhhardin said...

The grammar of tradition is that it must be both imposed and chosen.

It seems to be going for neither here.

Which suggests that the goal is to make tradition unthinkable, like marriage.

Michael Haz said...

We gathered for a single purpose - to dirty our hands...

People gather at cathedrals and churches to worship Christ, not for the purpose of dirtying their hands.

Aridog said...

Joseph Amodeo, Huff Post blog said ...

... I'm cognizant of the raw emotions that I feel deep inside my heart. It's a feeling that I'm unfamiliar with, because until today, I have never been denied a seat at Christ's table. In fact, today marks the first day that I have ever felt disowned, abandoned, and lost.

Oh, boo frigging hoo. Gee, why wouldn't a church that has been pilloried for gay activity within its ranks of clergy, as well as pederasty, and spent millions upon millions to rectify the problem...yeah, golly gee, why wouldn't they welcome a bunch of LBGT "catholic researchers" who have intentionally dirtied their hands to spite an individual clergyman?

What a load of hog spittle. Come to mock a faith, a clergyman, and thereby those who believe in that faith...and you are not welcome? Wow! Ya' think? Really? I'm shocked.

Arrogant stupidity may be incurable.

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

Do you have a tag for "Charmless bad logic"?

I clicked through inclined to be sympathetic, but didn't expect such a extreme level of self-absolving cluelessness.

You converge upon a church in the manner of protest then dissolve in self-pity when you aren't welcomed in. Take pride in your idiot protest, Mr. Amodeo. Wrap yourself in the mantle of rejection. If you didn't expect a confrontation, why did you stage a protest at all?

Michael Haz said...

What's more important to the protestors here - Christ or their own genitalia? Easy to see the answer, isn't it?

Pogo said...

Try this at a mosque, Mr. Amodeo, and tell us how it went.

Amodeo
Amo + Deo
"I love God".
Misnomer.

"The nuns taught us there were two ways through life—the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you’ll follow.

Grace doesn’t try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries.

Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way.

It finds reasons to be unhappy, when all the world is shining around it, and love is smiling through all things.
"

Beta Rube said...

If a 2,000 year old institution can't let 3% of the population control their agenda, what fucking good is it?

Doesn't Dolan read the papers? Doesn't he know that gay marriage is the only real issue facing this country? That a gay basketball player puts old Audie Murphy to shame in the courage department.

That college kids who agitate for gender neutral bathrooms so as to make everyone "comfortable" are really doing the work that Rosa parks would have done if she had stayed around a bit longer?

This is really big. I can't wait to hear more about all things gay. It's just a terribly under covered topic these days.

LarsPorsena said...

Better they should dirty their feet and run through a mosque.

Pogo said...

@ Phil: The psychiatry post was about gays, too.

Lyssa said...

Would have been nice if the whiner, I mean, writer, would have included a link to the column he was upset about. I don't know what the cardinal actually said, but I'm assuming that "wash your hands" was intended as a metaphor, in that a sinner should give up his or her sin (wash their hands of it).

This seems reasonable to me. (and should have been, if it was not, clearly stated to cover all sinners, for example, those living together outside of marriage, those providing abortions, those not regularly attending mass, etc.) I don't personally believe that gay sex is a sin (though I think it should be at least done responsibly), but it would be extremely generous to call me a cafeteria Catholic on my best days. I didn't expect the church to bend to my opinions and desires when I was shacking up before marriage, and I don't expect it now.

If you don't believe the tenants of a religion, you're free to start your own.

bpm4532 said...

Is there a link to to Dolan's column? I'd like to see the context of his remark.

Deirdre Mundy said...

What the cardinal actually said:
http://cardinaldolan.org/index.php/all-are-welcome/

So... everyone is welcome, just like everyone was welcome at his family's dinner table as a child. However, every house has its house rules. Just like his friends had to wash their hands before dinner, gays living an actively homosexual lifestyle and violating Catholic moral teachings by having sex outside a monogamous one man-one woman marriage should repent and go to confession before they receive the Eucharist.

So... Dolan treats gays like divorced Catholics, protestants, people engaging in premarital sex, etc.

The "dirty hands" protest is stupid and shows they lack the ability to understand metaphors.

BUT they clearly grasp the concept of how to get coverage in the NYT.

Kohath said...

If anyone doubted whether these people put their lust and vanity ahead of their Catholicism, let them doubt no longer.

bpm4532 said...

There are lots of Christian churches that are welcoming to LGBT folk, why do these people insist that the Catholic church bend to their will? Heck, the Episcopal Church is so close in liturgy and they welcome all.

CWJ said...

Aridog,

That Joseph Amodeo quote you provided confirms that he imagines that it is he on the cross, not Christ.

It's far more about them than their cause.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Our young Mr. Joseph Amodeo isn't doing much to dispel the stereotype.

Renee said...

" Heck, the Episcopal Church is so close in liturgy and they welcome all."

And their church attendance is declining as well?

Matthew Sablan said...

I see the point of the protest, but it seems like the point of Dolan's anecdote was missed on the writer.

Also: Dolan uses too many exclamation marks.

bpm4532 said...

Thanks, Deirdre.

Again, if these people don't like what the Catholic Church stands for, there are lots of other welcoming places to worship. I wonder how long it will be before the weight of secular government is brought to bear on those churches that don't adopt the politically correct flavor of the month by threatening tax exempt status?

Beta Rube said...

They don't go to the Episcopal church because "I have a grievance therefore I am" is what gets them out of bed in the morning.

pduggie said...

"we're soiling out hands for Dolan teaching the SAME THING THE CHURCH HAS ALWAYS TAUGHT"

sheesh.

Renee said...

These actions made me upset, now I have to go to confession because of anger.


For over 25 years, we've made it clear that homosexuality in of itself is not a sin. We have openly gay Catholics, who are part of the Catholic Church. It is stunts like this, that misrepresent the Church's teachings and lie that we do not accept everyone.


As Catholics, we understand that human sexuality is designed and ordered to be open to children, and a man and a woman are unified through sexual intercourse.

For those not married, no matter their orientation, yes heaven forbid, we are called to chastity and celibacy. Even married people are called to be chaste and respect the nature of human sexuality.


Yes, there is a seat at the table for everyone. Including gay people, it is their free will and choice to take the seat. Instead with their silent witness they're mocking the Host with has set up the dinner.

uffda said...

The distinctive odor of Kumbaya sauce. The only spice that can overpower the putrid moral equivalency of the collectivists.

ricpic said...

The homosexuals' demand is that the Catholic Church be secular, like the Episcopalians. That it grow and evolve into non-belief, and then die, like the Episcopalians.

CEO-MMP said...

Why do institutions have to change? Why does the church have to change to satisfy the demands of a few Americans?

It's like not saying Merry Christmas because it might offend. I'm not a Christian but I don't get offended by it.

Not everyone gets, or should get, everything they want all the damn time.

See the previous post about too many friggin' pills.

Patrick said...

Nicely put, Renee.

Alfred Lansing said...

Why didn't they just wash their hands?

El Pollo Real said...

Its easy to imagine the same protesters also licking pews to spread colds and influenza.

m stone said...

LGBT can go to some Episcopal churches to protest, but the doctrinal episcopalians are rapidly leaving those churches to join the Anglican Church in North America, which does not yield to cultural pressures. They will not be so welcoming.

The roots of the ACNA is the African Anglican church, interestingly.

Pogo said...

I predict that this sort of thing will escalate into lawsuits and laws, once SSM is made holy law in the US.

So those people claiming that SSM would have no effect on non-gays are full of shit. It will start the loss of a basic constitutional right, as well as destroy marriage, which is its primary intent.

Mandy Moreno said...

Why do they want to be Catholics?

Renee said...

Patrick,

One of the comments I read, made me emotional. It was a Catholic, her comment mentioned her age as in her late 50s, who believe even the Sacrament of Matrimony, should be open to same sex couples.

Has she even bothered to read what the Church even teaches on marriage and why, it is define as it is as a Sacrament?

"The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament."84


Is this what they are protesting? How can someone protest something, that logically seems pretty reasonable. Heterosexual behavior creates life, we want a man and a woman to be responsible to raising their children as husband and wife.

Why is secular culture fighting, not just against the Church, but this concept as whole? The majority of Americans at this point I assume think marriage is obsolete, in terms of culture and public policy.


If civil laws want to redefine their definition of marriage, well that's our free will as a nation.

But as Catholics to take away the one man/one woman element, it takes away the offsping/procreative element as well takes away the Grace the Sacrament gives. Is this Catholic even aware that outward sign of the Sacrament is the conjugal act/coitus?

It is like saying the Church should have Baptism without the use of water, the Church should of Confession without the absolution of sins, we should have Communion without transubstantiation, no Anointing of the Sick without the Oil?

I'm a younger Catholic revert, and because of Vatican II I can read everything in the vernacular. It amazes me how poorly educated older Catholics are. Of course I must forgive them, but they just make stuff up and demand it as teaching.

The roles of masculinity and femininity, are very spiritual. It is why God Parents are one of each gender as well. God Parents do not have to be a married couple. I have single people and even siblings as God Parents to my children. They each represent the spiritual aspect of gender, as role models.

mariner said...

Renee,
Yes, there is a seat at the table for everyone. Including gay people, it is their free will and choice to take the seat. Instead with their silent witness they're mocking the Host with has set up the dinner.

They're not interested in a seat at the table.

They're interested in dancing on the table, and if you don't approve you're just a filthy bigot.

dc said...

My reaction to this article was best expressed by Aridog.
"Oh,boo frigging hoo."

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

New items that won't make the Huff Post, from the Boston Pilot.

Former Episcopalian minister ordained Catholic priest

"Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley ordained Father Jurgen W. Liias, a former Episcopalian priest of 40 years, to the Roman Catholic priesthood on April 20 at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church in Beverly.


The Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter is a national structure created by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. It was formed in response to requests from former Anglican groups and clergy who wanted to become Catholic as a group, and retain aspects of their Anglican heritage and traditions, including parts of their liturgy. Special permission has been given on a case-by-case basis for former Anglican priests who are married to be ordained Catholic priests for the ordinariate."

Ann Althouse said...

I added a link to Dolan's article.

He did not say to gay people needed to wash their hands to attend church.

He made an analogy to his fathers requirement that hands be washed before dinner. In the analogy, all he said was that the Church doesn't condone sin, but it welcomes sinners. You're welcome, but that doesn't mean we are accepting what we believe is a sin. If you want to be here, you have to accept the standards we have here.

Renee said...

"If you don't approve you're just a filthy bigot."

I guess that will be my cross to bear.

Larry J said...

bpm4532 said...
There are lots of Christian churches that are welcoming to LGBT folk, why do these people insist that the Catholic church bend to their will?


Because everyone must bend to their will. It's really as simple as that. No differing opinions are allowable.

Personally, I'm completely indifferent to how other people get their rocks off sexually. However, indifference isn't acceptable. I'm supposed to not only care very much but to celebrate their sexuality as the greatest thing ever. Sorry, but no. I don't give a damn what consenting adults (or even most teens) choose to do to each other in private. My pushback goes to those who insist in pushing their behavior in my face.

Lyssa said...

Hi Renee,

Really enjoying your contributions here. I'm curious (please don't read this as argumentative; it's not intended that way), does the church, or should the church, marry older or infertile couples? For example, if (God forbid) my father were to pass away, and my post-menopausal (with all her kids grown and gone) mother (a devout Catholic) wanted to remarry, could she or should she do so in the church?

Bender said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay said...

That a gay basketball player puts old Audie Murphy to shame in the courage department.


No, no, no. He's braver than Jackie Robinson!

Get it straight!

Bender said...

To add to Lyssa's question here --

Let's say that the woman's name is Sarah and the man she wants to marry is named Abraham.

Jay said...

They're not interested in a seat at the table.

Right.

They want to flip the table over and take a dump on the floor and call it a day.

Patrick said...

Why is secular culture fighting, not just against the Church, but this concept as whole?

Hard to say, but if I had to guess, they want sex without consequence. And that includes eliminating feeling at all guilty. Marriage, for most - even most (at least many) Catholics - no longer includes a covenant with God. It is merely a big celebration followed by a period during which the couple continually re-evaluates whether the marriage is making them happy.

Again, very nicely put.

Lyssa said...

@Bender, Sarah and Abraham may have had a miracle, given their ages, but my mother is both too old and post-hysterectomy. For her to conceive would be truly astounding!

Jay said...

In fact, today marks the first day that I have ever felt disowned, abandoned, and lost.


Imagine how stupid one would look if these thoughts were offered by someone who refused to stop, say, stealing.

These people can't seem to understand that just because they get their own identity through their sexual habits, the rest of the world doesn't see them that way.

William said...

Remember when the cops would close down gay bars? We're not there yet but we're evolving towards a society where gays can close down church services.

Mandy Moreno said...

No, it's a filthy idea that older or infertile couples be allowed to marry. Fertility and procreation is the cornerstone of a Catholic marriage! Amiwrong?

Oso Negro said...

It was asked "Why didn't they just wash their hands?" There is a great deal to understand in that question. As a sign of humility, they might have held an LBGT handwashing ceremony then entered the church as other worshippers. But the homosexual agenda is not driven by humility, but rather a desperate need for mainstream acceptance of a nasty perversion. Dirtying the hands before church is of a piece with running around with your cock hanging out at "Up Your Alley."

Bender said...

Yes, Lyssa, but she is a woman. And the nature of woman is to be able to conceive and bear children by joinder with a man.

On the other hand, by their very natures as women and men, a woman-woman joinder or a man-man joinder can NEVER conceive and bear children.

It is a matter of the nature of the human person, the essence of woman and man.

And then, in the civil law, there is the fertile octogenarian rule in property law.

Renee said...

Lyssa, As long as they want to and try to have sex, the Church still sees the sexual act as unitive and open to life. It is still a Sacrament.




CEO-MMP said...

Gee, that addition that Ann made kinda sorta totally changes the context of the whole thing don't it.

Hmmm.

Deirdre Mundy said...

The other thing with older/infertile married couples is the idea that their example still inspires the younger married couples and teaches them how to love sacrificially and to stick with each other through good times and bad. All young married couples want to be old married couples someday, and the 'old marrieds' are a great example to us.

Plus, they can still fill the roll of grandparents and great grandparents.

And, they can still engage in the marriage act, and they're not doing anything artificial to prevent children... being barren for medical reasons is different than willfully choosing to be barren.

Jay said...

The other thing with older/infertile married couples is the idea that their example still inspires the younger married couples and teaches them how to love sacrificially and to stick with each other through good times and bad

Ding, ding, ding, ding!

Get this woman a drink, bartender!

Marriage fullfills 3 roles in society:

1. Procreation & stable child rearing

2. A model for stability

3. Longer, healthier lives.

Lyssa said...

Bender, it really isn't the nature of a woman who lacks a uterus to create a child. A woman who has had a hysterectomy has as much of a chance of having a baby as a man.

Or, as those great sages of Monty Python would say "Where's the fetus going to gestate? You going to keep it in a box?"

I might be uncomfortable discussing my mother's uterus now.

Michael said...

"No, it's a filthy idea that older or infertile couples be allowed to marry. Fertility and procreation is the cornerstone of a Catholic marriage! Amiwrong?"

Yes. Read the very readable comments of Renee. Or perhaps you were not asking a good faith (sorry) question but rather making a rather sophomoric attempt at an ironic point.

YoungHegelian said...

So, some part of the Left is at war with the Catholic Church, eh?

That was first a news item back in the French Revolution, I think.

This is just a skirmish in the course of a very long war, something that the RCC understands much better than its opponents.

Lyssa said...

@ Diedra and Renee,

I think that this would be where the church loses me on this issue (though, like I said before, I'm not demanding the church change for me, just expressing my disagreement). Nothing you've given, IMO, couldn't apply to a same sex couple. They could be in the situation where they would have children together if they could and aren't doing anything artificial to block it* (as some do, using external measures of course), they can show their devotion to each other and be an excellent example of a caring couple for straight and gay couples alike, they can be devoted grandparents or aunts/uncles.

(Not saying, of course, that all or even most gay couples do these things, but a lot of straights fail at them, too.)

* You could argue that they are artificially blocking it by having sex that doesn't make babies, but that's circular. At least the man in my hypothetical is doing the same thing, as he could, presumably, have sex with a woman who could conceive.

I actually seem to recall something from marriage prep about infertility being a deal breaker for getting married in the church, but I'm not sure if I remember it correctly. (Yes, it was somewhat hypocritical of me to have gotten married in the church.)

SJ said...

One thing to note about Dolan's comments, with respect to alcoholics:

Alcoholism may have an inherited component. There are a cluster of genes that are correlated with alcoholism, though it is probably not possible to switch alcoholism on or off by altering only the genes.

(See here.)

The Church teaches that the alcoholic lifestyle is self-destructive, and uses its moral authority and in-Church social pressures to help alcoholics come clean, and stay sober.

Is there an analogy here to homosexual tendencies and behavior? Whether or not homosexual attraction is genetic?

Maybe. Cardinal Dolan appears to think that the Church should respond to the two behaviors in similar ways.

However, there isn't any cultural pressure to accept alcoholism as a valid alternative lifestyle.

Bender said...

From the Code of Canon Law:

Can. 1084 §1. Antecedent and perpetual impotence to have intercourse, whether on the part of the man or the woman, whether absolute or relative, nullifies marriage by its very nature.

§2. If the impediment of impotence is doubtful, whether by a doubt about the law or a doubt about a fact, a marriage must not be impeded nor, while the doubt remains, declared null.

§3. Sterility neither prohibits nor nullifies marriage, without prejudice to the prescript of ⇒ can. 1098.

Can. 1098 A person contracts invalidly who enters into a marriage deceived by malice, perpetrated to obtain consent, concerning some quality of the other partner which by its very nature can gravely disturb the partnership of conjugal life.

edutcher said...

Shorter article, "It's all about MEEEEE".

Like the Choom and the Silver Haired Angel of Death, they will learn you don't mess with the One True Church.

Aridog said...

Bender, Lyssa, & Reneee ... In short, re-marriage by a widow or widower is permissible in the Catholic Church. Matthew 22:23-30 is alleged to cover the concept.

Someone correct me if I am wrong.

I'm probably the worst example of a religious you could find. Not even baptized until age 69 and then I think more to assuage my friends. However, my best friend is a Priest and I will be seeing him this afternoon...and I will ask him.

edutcher said...

No problem for Catholic widows and widowers to remarry. It wasn't that long ago it was fairly common for one spouse to die early, leaving the other to raise the kids, still young enough to have more, etc.

The issue has always been divorce.

The marriage can be annulled (a practice often abused), but there are specific reasons.

Jane said...

This is just the latest in a series of attempts to use a Catholic Mass as a protest venue. Every time protesters attempt this, they get kicked out. In prior versions, they've all worn the same symbolic clothing, prominent buttons, etc. Whenever it's clear that they haven't come to worship but make a political statement, they are, in fact, not welcome.

edutcher said...

PS Remember the vows, "Till death do you part".

Renee said...

@Lyssa


It doesn't mean I would disrespect a relationship between two people of the same sex, but at most their relationship is on based love of companionship. There is no sexual unity. Anal and oral sex do not represent sexual unity, in heterosexual couples as well. The Sacrament of Marriage is not a 'Best Friends Forever' ceremony.

Secular culture pushes away from the the understanding we're men and women. In a spiritual and biological sense uniquely different and both as gifts. Today when we speak of gender equality, it usually means making sexuality androgynous and making gender void. As many acknowledge, gay marriage is a result, not the cause of this thinking.

Secular culture doesn't want to acknowledge the different forms of love, but rather wants to reduce all love to be the very same thing/no meaning at all, which seems to be narcissism/moral relativism/nihilism in my opinion.



From Pope Benedict XVI "God is Love" (2005)

A problem of language

2. God's love for us is fundamental for our lives, and it raises important questions about who God is and who we are. In considering this, we immediately find ourselves hampered by a problem of language. Today, the term “love” has become one of the most frequently used and misused of words, a word to which we attach quite different meanings. Even though this Encyclical will deal primarily with the understanding and practice of love in sacred Scripture and in the Church's Tradition, we cannot simply prescind from the meaning of the word in the different cultures and in present-day usage.

Let us first of all bring to mind the vast semantic range of the word “love”: we speak of love of country, love of one's profession, love between friends, love of work, love between parents and children, love between family members, love of neighbour and love of God. Amid this multiplicity of meanings, however, one in particular stands out: love between man and woman, where body and soul are inseparably joined and human beings glimpse an apparently irresistible promise of happiness. This would seem to be the very epitome of love; all other kinds of love immediately seem to fade in comparison. So we need to ask: are all these forms of love basically one, so that love, in its many and varied manifestations, is ultimately a single reality, or are we merely using the same word to designate totally different realities?"

furious_a said...

...oh, and...

§4. Being a wealthy, entitled, politically-connected person from the Commonwealth of Massachussetts (e.g., John Kerry, Joseph Kennedy, etc.) including such cases where the marriage has produced children... ⇒ can. 1098.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Renee said...

@Lyssa..10:16

Nice post.

Marty said...

As a gay person--excuse me, gay American!--I realize I have to live with the vapidity, narcissism, and arrogance of the left. They control the conversation because the larger "progressive" agenda gets value from their posturing. They've even managed to impose the stupid "LGBT" label on the MSM. (Note to world: we never voted on that--so much for the Left's democratic pretensions.) But make no mistake: this latest boring Kabuki has nothing to do with Catholicism and everything to do with pushing the agenda. In the real world, people who disagree with Catholic doctrine on homosexuality can do what I did: walk away.

Rae said...

Really, is there anything more sacred in our culture-at-large these days than homosexuality? They are sanctified by their suffering, voluntarily nailing themselves to the Cross.

Gay Jesus saves.

Lyssa said...

Just to make sure that I'm being clear, I acknowledge many of the problems of SSM (slippery slope, the potential problem of law being used to force submission, the problem of the people in this article being complete assholes, the androgyny issue Renee pointed to). My support for SSM is based on having decided that the pros outweigh the cons.

However, I do think that arguing that the ability to produce children is what supports the church's teachings here, yet still allowing marriage to be open to opposite sex couples who clearly cannot produce children, is logically inconsistent. Which bugs me.

And is off the topic of the original post. Sorry, professor!

jr565 said...

Deirdre Mundy wrote:
The "dirty hands" protest is stupid and shows they lack the ability to understand metaphors.

THat really seems to be one of the biggest problems of our age. The inability to understand nuance or metaphor.

doustoi said...

I have no dog in this particular fight, but I suggest that the Catholic church is the target of a three-pronged attack by gays, within and outside of the church. Within from a clergy that hides the high percentage of priests and nuns who are gay, and from lay gays who intend to show their utter disregard for church doctrine that condemns their lifestyle, while gays outside the church work ceaselessly through the courts to force the church to recognize and celebrate gay lifestyle and perform gay marriages. The church better see that they are on the brink of extinction if they try to accommodate without holding sinners accountable for sins.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Lyssa:

Procreation is an intrinsic element of marriage--meaning it belongs there and should not be wrenched out of it--but it isn't a necessary element of it, meaning one does not have to demonstrate fertility in order to be married.

Related--and antecedent--to this is the fact of marriage being complementary: it's about male-and-female.

Two men and two women are simply not complementary; they are, by definition, two of the same. I mean, really: isn't that obvious?

In order to allow for "same sex marriage," the essential quality of complementarity has to be set aside.

In which case, it's very hard to say what marriage is other than merely a legal arrangement between people who ...

Hard to finish the sentence.

Do they have to have a romantic attachment? Why? Why can't people marry without a whiff of romantic desire?

Marriage is about family and human nature. Of course it's about procreation, although that's not the only thing its about. Couples who can't conceive themselves can and do serve as parents.

And, yes, of course a single person, and persons with same-sex orientation, can provide parenting; so can an orphanage. Nevertheless, we know what the human family is: a mother and a father; and when they bind themselves to each other, that's marriage.

Moose said...

Sure are prickly, ain't they?

Renee said...

"yet still allowing marriage to be open to opposite sex couples who clearly cannot produce children"

Is it natural infertility, or voluntary sterilization?

I assume natural infertility, which is never completely infertile. Male and female are still unitive in sexual expression of love.


Remember, the conjugal act is the outward sign of the Sacrament, not the vows or the rings. Two people of the same-sex can not have this outward sign. Two people of the opposite sex, even though their reproductive organs are past-ripe, can.



Yin-Yang


"At its heart are the two poles of existence, which are opposite but complementary. The light, white Yang moving up blends into the dark, black Yin moving down. Yin and Yang are dependent opposing forces that flow in a natural cycle, always seeking balance. Though they are opposing, they are not in opposition to one another. As part of the Tao, they are merely two aspects of a single reality. Each contains the seed of the other, which is why we see a black spot of Yin in the white Yang and vice versa. They do not merely replace each other but actually become each other through the constant flow of the universe."

--------

As for civil marriage, I stay with the objective. We know sh!t hits the fan when a community has to deal with too many father-absent homes. Marriage matters for the stability, both socially and economically for children. Plus children have identity rights, to know who they are and who are their kin.

Jay said...

My support for SSM is based on having decided that the pros outweigh the cons.


What exactly are the "pros" Lyssa?

furious_a said...

Plus children have identity rights, to know who they are and who are their kin.

...and, by whatever method they're created and into whatever family structure they're welcomed, children are the product of an innately heterosexual act.

Renee said...

Jay.

"Next of Kin" status

Standing for Wrongful Death/Consortium Claims

Access to more health insurance options.

If one side of the family hates the partner, a lot of protection, in case of death.

Things that civil unions could of done.

------------

But marriage is different and can do this.

The right to put the 'second mom' as the parent on the birth certificate, because you know paternity laws that assume the husband is the father of the child violate equal protection for same-sex couples.


When do we start allowing sperm/egg/surrogacy to be legal in this country? I can't sell my biological kids naturally conceived (human trafficking), but I can sell my body parts/rent my uterus for someone else to have a child for cash.

Jane said...

Yeah, the decision in Iowa was creepy -- it's now unconsititutional to say that children have a mother and a father! A lesbian couple has the right to erase the father from existence!

Amartel said...

What?!?! No unmarried hetero having sex protest?

Lyssa said...

Jay said What exactly are the "pros" Lyssa?

I'm sure that I'll leave out a few, and most of these are based on the (undeniable) assumption that the relationships are going to take place anyway, as they do. But honestly, if you can't even think of any pros, you really should pay better attention.

* Social stability in partnerships

* An easy contract that gives the usual benefits of marriage (inheritance rights, next of kin rights, etc.)

* Marriage is well-established to be good for society. Married people are generally healthier, wealthier, less likely to commit crimes, less likely to be a drain on society, generally all around better citizens.

* It makes gays boring. Boring is good.

* The inherent fairness of allowing the same type of relationship for a couple who is in what is essentially the same type of relationship, but due to some immutable characteristic, can't effectively do it the usual way.

* Although I'm skeptical about gay parenting, given the clear fact that people will parent while gay, stability is better than none and and it is necessary to have a legal system is necessary to manage things when they go south.

* A legal system that manages circumstances that unmarried couples should manage, but rarely do. (i.e., situations where a gay couple is financially joined, but fail to have a will, creates an absurd and complex result when one passes)

* Self-determination, in as much as, if you're not directly harming anyone, you should generally be able to live your life the way you want.

* We shouldn't fault individuals (or individual couples) for the bad behavior of some members of a group.

* More stability in relationships yields less disease and self-destructive behaviors.

* Loving partnerships are a plus to everyone.

Marriage is a really great thing. I want more of it, not less.

Lyssa said...

Renee said: yet still allowing marriage to be open to opposite sex couples who clearly cannot produce children"

Is it natural infertility, or voluntary sterilization?

I assume natural infertility, which is never completely infertile. Male and female are still unitive in sexual expression of love.


Well, if a woman has a hysterectomy, then she is definitely completely infertile. It's voluntary, but usually done for a medical reason (not for sterilization purposes; it's too major of a surgery for that).

Lyssa said...

Father, with all due respect, I simply do not accept your premise that complementary-ness, in purely the sense of interlocking body parts, is an essential element of marriage. That is a conclusory statement made with no support on which to base it, other than the fact that it's always been that way.

That's simply not enough to outweigh the benefits of SSM, in my opinion.

Sam L. said...

Some people just love to be jerks.

Jay said...

* An easy contract that gives the usual benefits of marriage (inheritance rights, next of kin rights, etc.)

This is of no benefit to society.

A legal system that manages circumstances that unmarried couples should manage, but rarely do. (i.e., situations where a gay couple is financially joined, but fail to have a will, creates an absurd and complex result when one passes)

This is of no benefit to society.


* The inherent fairness of allowing the same type of relationship for a couple who is in what is essentially the same type of relationship, but due to some immutable characteristic, can't effectively do it the usual way.


This is of no benefit to society.

Marty said...

As to the "pros" of gay marriage, it's way too soon to know if anything Lyssa lists will actually materialize in human experience. Truth be told, the support network needed for two men and two women staying together is not exactly the same as for heterosexual couples. I believe Professor Althouse's support for marriage rights for gays centers on the civil dimension of marriage, but there's a lot more going on here than the simple "piece of paper from the city hall keeping us tied and true." In the long run I will be surprised if we gays will derive the benefits supposedly heading our way. The dynamics between people of the same sex are just too different from those of the opposite sex to be imported whole.

Jay said...


* It makes gays boring. Boring is good.


Really?

A study to be released next month is offering a rare glimpse inside gay relationships and reveals that monogamy is not a central feature for many. Some gay men and lesbians argue that, as a result, they have stronger, longer-lasting and more honest relationships. And while that may sound counterintuitive, some experts say boundary-challenging gay relationships represent an evolution in marriage — one that might point the way for the survival of the institution.

New research at San Francisco State University reveals just how common open relationships are among gay men and lesbians in the Bay Area. The Gay Couples Study has followed 556 male couples for three years — about 50 percent of those surveyed have sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge and approval of their partners.


The things you're listing are not "pros" - they are things you think are a good idea. But that doesn't translate into a reason to redefine marriage.

Eric S said...

"If a person is infertile through no fault of his own, can he get married in the Catholic Church?

Full Question

If a person is infertile through no fault of his own, can he get married in the Catholic Church?
Answer

You may be confusing infertility with impotence. Infertility (the inability to procreate children) is not an impediment to marriage; permanent and irreversible impotence (the inability to consummate a marriage through marital relations) is an impediment. Impotence that is known at the time of the marriage to be permanent and irreversible is a barrier to marriage, because the couple must be capable of consummating their marriage. If the couple has reason to assume that the impotence can be treated or reversed, they may get married."

Am I to understand that irreversibly impotent males cannot marry in the Catholic Church?

Jay said...

Lyssa,

I would ask that you look at this issue a different way.

When is the last time the left pushed for radical institutional changes which brough about good results?

Has this ever happened, just once?

Renee said...

Women after hysterectomies can still have sex. The point of the hysterectomies was medical, and not for birth control. Still sexually unitive.

Renee said...

They're emotionally monogamous, not physically.

What interest does the government have in it?

Really it's only to prevent baby mama drama, for the safe of children.

Government can not address the spiritual aspect of human sexuality, just the nuts and bolts of the situation.

Bender said...

Father, with all due respect, I simply do not accept your premise . . .

Well Lyssa, you are free to not accept it.

You've been given explanations here, not justifications. You can try to understand the explanation, you can try to accept the explanation, or you can go and try to poke holes in it. Either way, the Church does not need to get your permission or agreement.

Bender said...

The burden of persuasion is not on the Church.

Martin Handford said...

love between parents and children, love between family members, love of neighbour and love of God. Amid this multiplicity of meanings, however, one in particular stands out: love between man and woman, where body and soul are inseparably joined and human beings glimpse an apparently irresistible promise of happiness. This would seem to be the very epitome of love; all other kinds of love immediately seem to fade in comparison.

I don't agree that the love between a mother and a child "immediately seems to fade in comparison" to the love between "a man and a woman." There's an old proverb -- The greatest love is a mother's; then a dog's; then a sweetheart's. (The internet gives this as a Polish proverb, so apparently we're talking about one that developed specifically in a Catholic culture!) I appreciate Pope Benedict's efforts here, and I think he's right that we overuse the word "love," but a) the Catholic Church is particularly good at overusing the word, and b) the claims he's making, in this passage, about love and about how we human beings understand love are not very convincing.

I have no problem with the Catholic Church and Catholic priests setting up their own rules for what they expect of people who come to their table.

Martin Handford said...

Plus children have identity rights, to know who they are and who are their kin.

Tell me about these rights. What are they? Where do they come from? Do you derive them from the Catholic Church? From the Constitution? Let's get specific here.

If a woman gives her child up for adoption, has she failed the child, who has the "right" to know who his/her kin are? To know who he/she is?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Lyssa:

Father, with all due respect, I simply do not accept your premise that complementary-ness, in purely the sense of interlocking body parts, is an essential element of marriage. That is a conclusory statement made with no support on which to base it, other than the fact that it's always been that way.

That's simply not enough to outweigh the benefits of SSM, in my opinion.


Well, it's not merely about "body parts," but the entirety of each person of which "body parts" represents a subset.

But, OK--then your position is that any two entities (who knows what "person" means? Isn't that as arbitrary as "marriage" and "sex" and "gender" and "complementarity"?) who can express valid consent can "marry"? And, if you insist on "two"--why two?

Renee said...

Martin,

The ways it was said to me, was if a man loves his wife, then you know their children will be loved. Parents not only love their children, they are also the role model of love for their children.

If the Pope doesn't float your boat, how about Oprah?

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/packages/fatherless-sons.html#ixzz2SXEZGmvQ

Renee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fr Martin Fox said...

Lyssa, but not just to Lyssa:

And it's not at all clear--not clear at all--why marriage must be romantic.

From time immemorial, people have married without a great stress on "love" in the romantic sense. It may seem odd to people in our time, in the developed world, but it has for a long time made perfect sense to people.

At any rate, when has the state cared if two people who marry "love each other"? Do government agents ask the couple questions about their love for each other?

Renee said...

"if a woman gives her child up for adoption, has she failed the child, who has the "right" to know who his/her kin are? To know who he/she is?"

No society failed her, because she should of the emotional/financial supports to help her parents. (I'm a fiscal moderate on helping the poor and support charity efforts to help moms keep their babies)


And yes even adopted children have a right to know their biological kin, and have rights to know half siblings (with visits) if not adopted together.



as for the United Nations and identity rights....


"The Convention acknowledges that every child has certain basic rights, including the right to life, his or her own name and identity, to be raised by his or her parents within a family or cultural grouping, and to have a relationship with both parents, even if they are separated.
The Convention obliges states to allow parents to exercise their parental responsibilities. "

Martin Handford said...

Renee,

You won't get an argument from me on the fact that fathers who abandon their children and the mothers of their children do serious damage to those children, those mothers, to themselves, and to society. But Oprah is not saying the same thing, here, as what the Pope was saying in the piece you quoted. I mean, surely you get that, but why are you offering it as an alternative?

What I'm disagreeing with is the line, " This would seem to be the very epitome of love; all other kinds of love immediately seem to fade in comparison." Well, no. If you are trying to make an argument, and it involves a huge and, frankly, highly unpersuasive shortcut like this one, that is a problem. Maybe it's just that I've never known a pre-sexual revolution culture and am a child of divorce. But no, I don't see love between a man and woman as obviously and inherently more powerful than that between a parent and child.

Aridog said...

Marty said ...

In the long run I will be surprised if we gays will derive the benefits supposedly heading our way ...

Thank you. You just made maybe the least self serving and most honest statement about the conundrum so far on this board. Others may have a different opinion, but for myself, it is refreshing. It also happens to nearly mirror a conversation (mentioned here earlier, not sure what thread)I had over dinner with a friend, his partner and my daughter.

We didn't get to finish because it was late, but the gist was that as government determines less and less distinguishing features between single and married, government will act in its own best interest and remove any benefit for singularity per se....such as the adjusted gross income thresholds for tax margins extant now, as one example. That will be one huge tax revenue increase for uncle sugar....and it will mirror the treatment year to year of married couples. Remove the unique features, loss the benefit.

For committed gay couples, property can be joint, living wills can be executed, etc...so the death benefits are moot if a couple isn't just lazy or uncommitted. No law prohibits idiots from marrying, civil or otherwise, hetero or homo...it is what it is...until it isn't.

traditionalguy said...

The issue does boil down to the excessive Holiness standards of the Hebrew God.

That is why his Son had to die to save everyone with dirty hands.

Renee said...

How does one have a child without the love between a man and a woman then?

The parent/child relationship can only happen, if a man and woman love one another enough to express it through sex.

Oh... wait.... we don't equate sex with love, do we?

Guilty, been there done that too. My hands were really dirty, I don't ignore or celebrate it. Like I use to, instead I own up to the dirt and wash my hands.

Fr Martin Fox said...

In the jurisdictions where marriage has been redefined to include "same sex marriage," what, if anything, precludes heterosexuals from entering into a same-sex marriage? Do the laws expressly limit "same sex marriage" to people who are attracted to the same sex? I'm betting not.

Martin Handford said...

Renee,

Well, citing the UN is not likely to get me enthused about some cause! But OK. As I understand it, the Catholic Church handles adoptions, and indeed, the Catholic Church used to be a big practitioner of *closed* adoptions. It was outside of the Catholic Church, in secular adoption agencies, that the practice of open adoption, which does allow adopted children to know, to some degree, their biological parents, became popular.


No society failed her, because she should of the emotional/financial supports to help her parents.

So in *all* cases, it's better for the mother to raise the child herself, rather than have the child be adopted? And it's "society's fault" whenever that doesn't occur?

Don't get me wrong -- liberalism deserves the vast majority of the blame for our huge and growing underclass of dysfunctional broken families, with women raising children from numerous different men they're not married to, and men heedlessly impregnating and abandoning their children. But part of solving that problem involves trying to get more children to be raised by two-parent stable adoptive families (and part of solving the problem of abortion is championing adoption as well). I'm really troubled by the way some social conservatives seem to be turning against adoption. A child has a right to his or her own biological parents -- well, what about the right to having parents who can actually/are actually in a position to parent at all? Giving up one's child for adoption -- giving the child life, rather than aborting it, and then placing the child with loving people who very, very much want to be parents and to give love and a good home to a child -- is one of the most selfless things a person can do.

Renee said...

So a woman is 'forced' into adopting her child if the father wants to bail on her?

That isn't a good reason to make a woman adopt.

I'm happy to see the many Catholic ministries are setting up mother homes, in which a woman can keep her baby.

Unfortunately the Church, which at first was trying to help women, were becoming baby brokers.

Which was wrong.

Martin Handford said...

How does one have a child without the love between a man and a woman then?... The parent/child relationship can only happen, if a man and woman love one another enough to express it through sex....Oh... wait.... we don't equate sex with love, do we?

Yes, Renee, believe it or not, a man and woman can have sex without loving each other, or without loving each other enough to take full and total responsibility for the consequences, or without loving each other enough to wait until they're ready to become parents. And believe it or not, this has been happening since the beginning of time. Adoptions occurred back before the sexual revolution, and in fact the wait time for those who wanted to adopt was shorter then than it is now, probably because abortion was less prevalent.

Back in the day, if some poor woman got pregnant out of wedlock, and her parents had the resources, she was sent away "to Europe" for a little while, the baby was adopted by a two-parent family, and it was all hushed up. Now we have the liberals, who would the baby to be aborted, and we have you, who want to add to the ranks of single parents and children who do not have two parents in the home. Sure, there was a lot of cruel shame involved in the old way of doing things, and I'm not saying we should go back to them. But I'm also not convinced that the answer is to create more families likely to be poor and underclass, likely to perpetuate that poverty and underclass status on to the next generation, and increase the strain on our already massive welfare state. If we're talking about the "rights" of children, I'd say the right to two parents who can support the child with being dependent on the state deserves consideration.

Martin Handford said...

So a woman is 'forced' into adopting her child if the father wants to bail on her? That isn't a good reason to make a woman adopt. I'm happy to see the many Catholic ministries are setting up mother homes, in which a woman can keep her baby. Unfortunately the Church, which at first was trying to help women, were becoming baby brokers. Which was wrong.

You're talking about the rights of children, you're harping on these rights that you have discerned. Why don't these babies have the right to two parents? It seems to me that one could turn this around and say you're putting the mothers ahead of their own children -- they got pregnant out of wedlock, after all, why should their desires outweigh the child's chance to live in a home with two parents who can support him/her? Why can't we see adoption as a profound act of selflessness and love? We *know* what happens in so many single-parent families, and conservatives rightly wish to draw attention to this and to discourage the creation of a massive underclass of people dependent on the government. Yet, it sounds like you're saying the Catholic is changing its mind there, and saying, well, why not help create, or at least subsidize, some families dependent on the Church and the government? Maybe the Catholic Church has seen how effective creating a dependent underclass is for the Democratic Party, and want in on that!

Mike said...

Lyssa there is far more complimentary between two opposite sex mates than the "parts that fit together" that you cite. Men and women are different emotionally, and have different ways of approaching things like security, self-actualization and etc. These very real differences are what combine to create a cohesive parental pair. The willingness to compromise and compensate for the other's needs, dreams, and desires is what allows for growth and strengthens a marriage, allows for a range of responses to and encouragement to the offspring. Trying to reduce everything down to a difference between a vagina and a penis is not only crude, but frustratingly nonsensical.

We all are much much more than the sum of our parts. Don't you realize that?

Martin Handford said...

Renee, Prof Althouse recently posted about an adoption case in which the Indian Family Welfare Act was cited to remove a child from her adoptive parents and return the child to her biological father, despite the fact that the biological father indicated before the child's birth that he wanted to give up his rights. The Indian Child Welfare Act, which makes the biology of certain children, the fact that they are Indian (in some cases, as little as 1% Indian, as in the Supreme Court case) *the* determining factor in their lives regarding what happens to them, rather than *the best interest of the child*, has been a disaster for Native American children, which have the highest rates of foster care, aging out of the foster system without being adopted, being abused in foster care, etc. of any group in the country. See for instance: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/us/child-welfare-dangers-seen-on-spirit-lake-reservation.html?pagewanted=all

Indian children often cannot be adopted because of these rules, trumping biology over best interest, that govern the system, and because adoptive parents and adoption caseworkers are *afraid* of situations like the one in the Supreme Court case, where an adoption might occur only to be disrupted, even after the child has come to know and love the adoptive parents, simply because some no-account, but biologically related, person shows up.

In the real world, the biology-over-best interest mindset has serious problems for children, precisely because we live in a fallen world in which, yeah, people make sexual decisions they should not have made. The fact that you recognize now that those decisions are wrong does not mean that people around you have stopped, and maybe we should put the best interests of children first rather than encouraging the creation of families ill-prepared to break the cycle of bad decision making, because of certain selective "rights" of children that we have apparently discerned.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Lyssa:

If complementarity is merely about "body parts," then by that logic, until a child sees his or her parents naked, s/he can't tell mommy and daddy apart?

Eric S said...

Catholism is messed up. Martin Luther was on to something.

Martin Handford said...

If complementarity is merely about "body parts," then by that logic, until a child sees his or her parents naked, s/he can't tell mommy and daddy apart?

Can the child tell Aunt Sue from Aunt Dee apart?

Martin Handford said...

Men and women are different emotionally, and have different ways of approaching things like security, self-actualization and etc.

Maybe people use genitalia as a stand-in for all the differences between men and women because the other differences are *not* quantifiable.

I agree that men and women are different, and that they tend to differ on things like "self-actualization." But let's say you have two women whose self-actualization desires are quite different from one another. (Some women and some men are outliers, after all.) Would these two women suddenly meet the "complementarity" threshold?

Conservatives are themselves quite happy with saying that you can be a man and be a nurse, or be a woman and want to run your own roofing company, and neither one makes you "not a man or not a woman" because your body reveals what you are. Right? So why criticize Lyssa for talking about genitalia? Conservatives might phrase it differently, might call it one's fleshly incarnation, or whatever, but they also often use it as a way of differentiating the two sexes, even as the two sexes are different in other ways, because it is the only way in which we can be concrete.

Renee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fr Martin Fox said...

Martin:

Speaking for myself, I'm not denying "body parts" matter; I'm saying complementarity is about a lot more, and it's not easily boiled down.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Suddenly we have several people named "Martin" here; it throws me off a bit.

Renee said...

Martin,

And in that case the biological father was in the best interest of the child. The father was not abusive or neglectful, he was otherwise tricked by the adoption agency and their sleazy lawyers. There is more to the 'he signed over his rights' argument.

From Jezebel...

"commentators on CNN openly posited that the decision to return to Veronica to her biological father was not in her best interest. Why not, exactly? Because the Capobiancos are really nice, and have a nice house, and live in a nice neighborhood? Veronica’s biological father is a veteran who loves his daughter, and he has the support of his tribe and his community. What does Veronica need saving from? Brown may not be perfect (ehh, I don’t love his initial decision to refuse child support payments) but since when was that a requirement for being a good parent? Good grief! Perfection isn’t the standard for parenting, otherwise we’d all be tween hobos. The real problem here is why we assume that a Native American upbringing must be worse than a middle-class white one. Cultural differences do not equal quality of life differences. Moral judgments of Native American communities resulted in prejudicial treatment of parents and children, and that is what led to the passage of the ICWA in the first place."


I should mention I pretty big of father's rights, when the relationship goes sour.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Renee, beautiful work in this thread.

Martin Handford said...

Renee,

Give me one shred of evidence that the father was tricked. Let's see it. The father thought the mother would raise the baby solo, and in that case, he didn't give a shit; it's when he heard the baby had been adopted that he decided to go after it. Sounds like an awesome dad to me! And a great example of what you just said earlier in this very thread about if a father loves the mother, he'll love the children. Oops!

It's not "neglectful" to sign away rights to your child when your partner asks you? It's not "neglectful" to refuse child support payments? Interesting and good to know! Did you know that many states in the US have laws that say, if a father doesn't play a role in his child's life while the child is in utero, and doesn't show up when the child is born, and there's a good-faith to find him (and they *knew* where the father was in this case, but he wasn't interested) but he doesn't want it, well, that's it for his rights, because he has indicated that he *doesn't care.* I think it's an interesting argument to make to say that biological fathers who don't care about their children when they're born should get precedence over adoptive parents who have cared for the child every step of the way, but hey, you want to break up families because of biological ties, sure, that's not going to affect children. Whatever.

You cite Jezebel, which is crazy for the Indian Child Welfare Act because it's race-based legislation, and they love race-based legislation. Plus they love any opportunity as posing as the champion of racial minorities over "middle-class white families." Those adoptive parents -- screw 'em. They just wanted to provide a home for a child whose father wasn't interested in the child, and who told the mother of the child that. He made a choice. But, you know, he's Indian, so, yeah, screw those adoptive parents, who were never "real" parents anyway.

Pollygon said...

Not all fathers are created equally. Being a sperm donor does not a father make, same thing goes for motherhood and their precious eggs. Parental biological connections to children are exaggerated in importance. I'm a better parent to my three adopted children than their biological parents who gave up custody, because they intelligently understood they would make rotten parents. For that I'm eternally grateful.

Martin Handford said...

Renee,

Christ, the beginning of that Jezebel article you cited is really something. The unbelievably noble, selfless, and enlightened folks are here to inform us that "Interestingly enough, Native Americans are fully realized human beings who want to be viewed as such, rather than as a costume idea or a source of fashion inspiration"-- wow, thanks, Jezebel, for opening my racist eyes! The Indian Child Welfare Act *must* be good, and result in good consequences for Native American children, because it says it is, and because any questioning of anything related to the decisions Native Americans might make is racist.

The Jezebel article notes that one of the unbelievably terrible atrocities of the pre-Indian Child Welfare Act was that children who were Native American by ethnicity were being introduced to Christianity. Horrors!

Again, let's not look at what currently happens to Native American children in the foster care system (where they *must* be placed with Native American families unless none are available at all) and on Native American reservations. Whatever. Biology! Ideology!

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Renee, I mean your comments on the Catholic concept of marriage.

You and I will have to continue to agree to disagree on the topic of adoption.

Martin H--thank you for your posts. Renee and I have gone toe-to-toe over this issue in the past. If I can get personal for a moment, I have three bio children and an adopted son. His birth parents conceived him in a drugged haze and had zero interest in his well-being at any point of his gestation or after his birth. Birth mom actively endangered his well-being during her pregnancy, including drug and alcohol abuse but in other ways I can't go into here. We were his foster parents from birth until we could finalize his adoption shortly after a year of age, and his birth parents never once exercised their right to visitation or showed the slightest interest in him. I am all for helping vulnerable mothers keep their babies and become successful mothers, but when they don't want to, it is not some horrible tragedy that they give their babies up for adoption. My son has a wonderful family and a happy childhood because he was adopted by us. There is no way his birth parents could have provided that for him, for a constellation of reasons, not the least of which being that they didn't want to.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Ooops, I meant to say thanks to Althouse for taking the time to find out what Cardinal Dolan actually said and what that actually meant.

wwww said...
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wwww said...
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Crunchy Frog said...

LGBT can go to some Episcopal churches to protest, but the doctrinal episcopalians are rapidly leaving those churches to join the Anglican Church in North America, which does not yield to cultural pressures. They will not be so welcoming.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (the predominant Lutheran denomination) decided to follow the Episcopalians down the same road and is now fracturing. The biggest beneficiary has been the LCMC (Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ), of which my formerly ELCA congregation is now a part.

Martin Handford said...

It's not in the adoptive parents best interest to love a baby as their own and be told, what? three years later?!? that the system "made an oopsie and they they have to give up their child." Why would anyone be willing to adopt if legally vulnerable to this nonsense?

Exactly. The outcomes of Native American children, or, more accurately, any children that can be potentially claimed as Native American even if that represents less than 1% of their heritage, are really rotten in part *because* the Indian Child Welfare Act scares away so many adoptive parents and affects the decisions of adoption caseworkers, because they know it is a ticking time bomb that can blow up in everyone's faces. The Act was made law not because it has anything to do with individual children's best interests, but because it's about tribal *power*. It is a race-power law, about empowering tribes to make decisions that *overrule* the general child's-best-interest standard.

Aridog said...

This thread is now touching on the reason why my wife, at the time, and I decided not to adopt a 10 year old boy in desperate need to a stable home where he could participate in his own growing up. I spent hours and hours with him when he was fostered nearby. He was very bright, and soaked up affection that he'd not had before. His memory brings tears to my eyes even now as I do not know what happened to him...just that his birth mother was refusing to really give it up, even between incarcerations for drugs etc.

I became a punk. I didn't have the guts for the fight. It shames me to this day. I've been in some very hard fights, lethal ones, over my career, and nothing compares to one of the heart.

Baron Zemo said...

Renee, I would just like to say that I stand in awe of your patience and your writing style and that you have demonstrated the best of Catholic thought as seen through a lay persons eyes. Thank you so much for your clear and moving testimony.

It is the definition of grace that is granted to us through the intercession of the Holy Spirit.
The feast of the Ascension is this Thursday in which we celebrate the Ascension of Christ into heaven. It is a holy day of obligation and it is always difficult to get away from work to attend Mass. But true Catholics will do so as it is not a burden but a joy. It is a day to humble ourselves and to rededicate our efforts to follow the Word of Christ and spread the Good News.

You are doing a great job of it here.

Thank you.

wwww said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Great comments, Renee.

Renee said...

Factually specific.

The bio dad was never abusive or neglectful, that's not the argument. The misspelling of his name/wrong birth date, plus waiting until he was deployed to serve papers, a pre-written answer....


Real crappy situation because of timing... but he obtain legal counsel through the military immediately when his daughter was an infant. The adoptive couple new early on, that biodad purposely cut out from the birth and not informed. Hoping he wouldn't fight.

Want to blame someone... blame the adoption agency lawyers.




Bender said...

It is the definition of grace that is granted to us through the intercession of the Holy Spirit

Yikes. I hate to sound a sour note on such deserved praise for Renee, but grace is not provided to us through the intercession of the Holy Spirit.

Rather, it is the Holy Spirit which is that grace. It is Christ (and the saints) who intercede for us and ask the Father to send us the grace of the Holy Spirit.

el polacko said...

how the heck did alcohol make it to number one ? didn't jesus, himself, go around turning water into wine ?

it's amusing to me how many people complain that they hear far too much about gay people but show up to comment on any thread that's gay-related. wouldn't it make more sense to just ignore the topic ?

when the christians/catholics start abiding by the many other admonitions in the bible...against shaving and haircutting, for instance...or they openly support, let's say, the stoning of disobedient children and the keeping of slaves...that's when i might give a hoot about what they think about gay people. until then, they can keep their sexual obsessions and biases to themselves.

Baron Zemo said...

You are entirely correct Bender.

Sorry that I misstated it. I got all twisted around and I apologize for misstating it as I was not concentrating but writing while I was doing something else.

But I think you properly restated what I meant to say. Thank you.

Jay said...

when the christians/catholics start abiding by the many other admonitions in the bible...against shaving and haircutting, for instance...or they openly support, let's say, the stoning of disobedient children and the keeping of slaves.

You know nothing of the bible, and of course have never read the bible.

wyo sis said...

If you are an atheist or some other religion than Catholic what is your reason to either decry or defend a Catholic doctrine?

Especially if you don't either understand it or agree with what you do understand of it?

Are you open to being taught? Or do you just want to make a fuss?

Brooklynne said...

It is Bible, not bible. Anyone who reads the the Holy Word and is a believer should know this.

Baron Zemo said...

The thing is they do not want to be Catholic. They want the religion to change to the politically correct version of morality. Be it gay marriage or abortion or giving birth control to twelve year olds.

As has been said by many here, there are religions and sects that welcome this behavior. That celebrate gay marriage and married priests and gay bishops and abortions galore with birth control distributed through a pez dispenser at Sunday School. Why not go and join them?

Brooklynne said...

My admonition to Jay, as it's is obvious that el Polako is an unbeliever. I wish people like Jay and Baron Zemo would not comment on doctrinal matters, if they don't know respectful punctuation or doctrine. They embarrass true believers.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

In the jurisdictions where marriage has been redefined to include "same sex marriage," what, if anything, precludes heterosexuals from entering into a same-sex marriage?

Excellent point. If redefined this way, marriage doesn't need to be about sex or love. It can be all about MONEY. I can see many scenarios where two people of the same sex would want to establish a "marriage" for legal and monetary reasons that have nothing to do with love or ever have sex. Think of it as a financial merger.

Is this what you SSM people thing marriage should be?

Joan said...

There has been a lot of thoughtful discussion here, and I appreciate that.

But I'm still stuck on these "Catholics" purposefully dirtying their hands before Mass.

They made their hands dirty before entering the true presence of the Christ. Jesus is present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in the consecrated
host, which remains in the tabernacle at all times.

Clearly these people are not Catholic and cannot be considered Catholic, because Catholics in full communion with the Church would never enter the presence of the Lord in such a condition.

creeley23 said...

They made their hands dirty before entering the true presence of the Christ. Jesus is present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in the consecrated
host, which remains in the tabernacle at all times.

Joan: Very true. These are Christians for whom the presence of Christ is secondary to their political agenda.

It reminds me of a set-to I had with my Episcopal congregation in a group email discussion. The trigger was an occasion when African bishops refused to take communion with American Episcopalians because of the gay issue. The rector and other members of the congregations were lamenting the African boycott and saying that their absence diminished the experience of Communion for all.

I demurred. I didn't see how an experience as vast as the Eucharist could be diminished because others -- mere humans -- chose not to share it.

To say it did, as far as I was concerned, was to betray a lack of faith in Christ as Lord and his presence in the Eucharist, though I didn't put quite so fine a point on it in the discussion.

ThomasD said...

...because Catholics in full communion with the Church would never enter the presence of the Lord in such a condition.

I question whether Catholics in full Communion with the Church would so egregiously misconstrue or misrepresent the words of a Cardinal as to make one question their honesty and integrity.

Never mind that such crass theatrics can hardly be considered a reasoned or respectful response.