What the Marriage Debate Is & Isn’t

Today judges on the Ninth Circuit again insisted that California’s Proposition 8 (a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage) violates the U.S. Constitution. Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez responds:

The court’s decision reflects a basic confusion about what marriage is and what marriage is for, and about why the government has an interest in promoting and strengthening marriage.

Marriage, in every culture and every age, has been recognized as the lifelong union of a man and woman for their own well-being and for the creation and nurturing of children.

Our government has a vital interest in promoting marriage for two reasons. First, because marriage is the foundation of society. Second, because government has a duty to promote the well-being of children, who have the right to be born and raised in a family with both their mother and their father.

This debate over marriage is not about equality or about the needs of individuals. It is much bigger than that. It is about the nature of the human person and the nature of society.

The government has no competence and no authority to “redefine” marriage or “expand” its definition to include other kinds of relationships. To do that is to say that marriage no longer exists. And this would have grave consequences for children and for the common good of our society.

As this case continues to make its way through in our court system, we will continue to pray for an ultimate outcome that supports and strengthens the true meaning of marriage.

Speaking of confusion, David French reads the decision and concludes:

Marriage matters a great deal, but it has no effect on child-rearing decisions. Marriage is significant, but changing its definition won’t impact religious liberty.

What a mess. Though Prop 8 voters seemed to think through the issue much more clearly. Unless you are on the Ninth Circuit and think California voters are largely bigots.

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260 thoughts on “What the Marriage Debate Is & Isn’t

  1. Logike says:

    Kevin, though pleasure during sex is “fun” and good because it facilitates the unitive bond between male and female spouses through the release of oxytocin and other chemicals, pleasure is not the purpose of sex. Sex is naturally ordered to spousal unity and procreation, so spousal unity and procreation is its purpose. If you think pleasure were good in itself without restriction, then you also think bestiality is ok. Do you? Since you deny OUR normative principle which distinguishes between ordered and disordered sex, what grounds do you have for making that distinction betwen “ordered” and “disordered” sex? Or do you deny the there is such a distinction in the first place like Patrick does?

  2. Luigi says:

    As they say – “You Can Safely Assume You’ve Created God In Your Own Image When It Turns Out That God Hates All The Same People You Do.”

  3. Patrick says:

    You dropped your tinfoil hat. (God forgive me.)

  4. Caesar J. B. Squitti says:

    One of Canada’s most powerful feminists, of the last 30 years, Judy Rebick, states, ‘lesbians were at the heart of the feminist movement, even though they did not promote their issues.”

    Canada was overwhelmed by a great many political left wing extremists during the Vietnam war and today politically we have suffered the consequences.

    Getting back to Judy REbick, it is interesting, because a great deal of Canadian feminism over the past 30 years focused on ‘women and children’ not mother, fathers, husbands and wives.

    What is interesting that in lesbian relationships the abuser is always another woman, and I say this because in Canada, cult-feminists have polarized the issue, all men bad, all women victims.

    The devil is indeed in the details, and especailly the hidden truths; truths can lie, as in half-truths of the second new type.

    http://www.equalparenting-bc.ca/issues/na_cools-senator-anne.htm

    It becomes rather obvious that social programs, women’s studies, are not from the perspective of normal heterosexual women or men, for they marry the opposite sex, are affected by the opposite sex, and have children of both possible sexes.

  5. Caesar J. B. Squitti says:

    Words do discriminate.

    So some people make mistakes.

    We are equal before God, has been changed to we are all equal; NOT.

    Truths can be spun. In fact gay men discriminte against gay women.

    Men cannot be lesbians, or can they ?

    Words do discriminate, and today all positive forms of discrimination have been brainwashed out of existence.

    You see truths can lie, when they are half-truths.

    The law discriminates when it is logical to. The law discriminates on the legal age, on the disabled, and the elderly.

    Sometimes special rights are given to those who are not equal.

    It is interesting that cult-feminists have on the one hand, corrupted logic against the family, by dividing it, based on false logic, ie since most victims of violence are women, (in fact not true) then we shall ‘stop violence against women’…

    On the other hand, two men have never conceived a child, yet that will not be held against this couple and they will be equal to a husband and wife, of legal age, married.

    I invite you all to view the new definition of ‘half-truths’ for they are being, have been for some 25 years to attack t he family.

    (ps interesting to note that with this new definition of half-truths, truth can lie, and th is may in fact be part of the deception from the garden of eden, and taking of truths from a tree of knowledge…)

  6. Patrick says:

    Logike: Name calling? Really?

    (1) The vagina makes blood and babies. It ALSO feels good to be manually or lingually (sp?) stimulated. Yes, some religions call that “disordered.’ Science doesn’t.

    (2) The anus poops. It ALSO feels good to be manually or lingually (sp?) stimulated, not to mention the feeling of having the prostate manually stimulated. Yes, some religions call that “disordered.’ Science doesn’t.

    (3) The penis eliminates urine and ejacualtes sperm. It ALSO feels good to useit to penetrate another person. Vaginally AND orally AND anally. Yes, some religions call that “disordered.’ Science doesn’t.

    (4) And the penis IS ACTUALLY a “pleasure button to push every time you want to get off!! It’s called masturbation. Yes, your religion calls that “disordered.’ Science doesn’t.

    You need to look at the bigger picture and respect the human being. To wit, stop thinking about other people’s sex lives for a minute and apply your reasoning to the world around you:

    Consider food. Are we “ordered” towards eating natural and 100% nutritious food and drink? By your reasoning we should be so ordered!! And then every piece of chocolate is disordered and a sin. Every cocktail is disorderd and a sin. But, no, we don’t live like that. We don’t limit purselves to your limited world order. Human beings are not sharks or wolves or single cell animals that eat only as much as they need to survive, consuming only the few types of foods that provide them with nutrients. The human being is COMPLEX. We create complex meals and drinks SOLELY for our own pleasure. And some of it has nutritous value and some of it has none. In fact, some of it is pretty bad for the human body (like alcohol). So are these efforts ordered or disordered? Who cares?

    That’s the wrong way to look at human beings and the way we treat each other and the way we treat ourselves. It’s not about what is ordered or disordered. That’s the wrong way to look at it. Your logic turns us all into little sharks or one-celled animals that are driven to do one thing only. But that’s not what people are. Over millions of years we have developed into impressive beings. We create art and architecture because we WANT to, because it makes us FEEL GOOD. We create music and dance and we run marathons and we compute math and write poetry for many reasons including to understand the world and including, sometimes, just to feel good. (Asking if these efforts are ordered or disorderd doesn’t serve us. Nor does applying such reasoning to sex.

    So, back to sex: Shocker of shockers, we ALSO use sex to feel good sometimes. You know, like we do with music and art and good wine. We sometimes perform sex acts SOLELY to feel good. Again, we are complex beings. We are not amoebas. We’ve realized that there are many ways to make us happy. We’ve invented a variety of sex acts that have NOTHING to do with procreation and, if you think about it, only ONE sex act that DOES cause procreation. And we’re all still here. So relax. Have faith. The world will not end if teenage boys masturbate. The world will not end if gay people have sex. The world will not end if college students perform fellatio and cunnilingus on each other.

    And the world will CERTAINLY not end if 2.5% of the population can now form a civil union called marriage.

    So, stop thinking about what is “ordered” vs. “disordered”. It doesnt help us answer the question about how we should treat each other. It is a true red herring.

    And Kevin: Logike hasn’t answered your question. Homosexuality is a naturally occuring variation in a very small percentage of the human population as it also is many other species. There is no reason to believe that the human population will die out of we let the 5% of the world that is gay be as gay as they possibly can.

    1. Kevin says:

      Thank you, Patrick, for reminding us of the value and beauty of pleasure. A lot of misanthropes cover themselves in theological virtue.

      1. Logike says:

        Kevin, though pleasure during sex is good because it facilitates the unitive bond between male and female spouses, pleasure alone is not the purpose of sex. Sex is naturally ordered to two things: spousal unity and procreation. So the purpose of sex is spousal unity and procreation. If you think pleasure were good in itself without restriction, then you also think bestiality is ok. Since you deny OUR normative principle which distinguishes between ordered and disordered types of sex, what grounds do you have for making that distinction? Or do you deny the there is such a distinction in the first place like Patrick does? Patrick has no morals. He is a hendonist because he says that SOLELY pursuing pleasure is ok in anything that you do, which means even pursuing consensual bestiality is ok. My mother’s dog likes to hump your leg, so she is consenting to have sex with you. Patrick thinks it is ok to stimulate yourself while engaging in the innocent play of this animal’s desires. Do you agree with Patrick? Why or why not?

        1. Kevin says:

          Logike, from the number and tone of your posts you may want to consult a psychiatrist. Valium can be a wonder drug.

      2. Logike says:

        Kevin, why are you thanking Patrick? Patrick is a hedonist with no morals. He believes SOLELY pursuing pleasure is ok in anything that you do, which means even pursuing bestial sex with a consenting animal is ok. My mother’s dog likes to hump your leg, so she is consenting to have sex with you. Patrick thinks it is ok to stimulate yourself while engaging in the “innocent” free-play with this animal’s desires. Do you agree with Patrick? Why or why not?

    2. Logike says:

      Patrick, are you even listening? You are not countering anything I said. (1) I never denied those activities you mention are pleasurable. But the scientific fact is this: pleasure is NOT the natural end of ANY natural function. Not one. Of course there are other functions of the penis, like discarding urine to a safe place, but pleasure is not one of these functions. How can it be? Evolutionarily speaking, pleasure is a mental state that SERVES other ends because it has the subordinate function of encouraging the repetition of certain actions which ensure the health, survival, and fecundity of an organism. Pleasure is not an end itself. In fact, the “pleasure gene” was just an added “bonus” arising LATER on the evolutionary scene for facilitating those types of behaviors (sexual intercourse, e.g.) which were ALREADY ordered to their natural ends (replication of an organism’s genes). If we ONLY did what we immediately found pleasurable as soon as we desired it, against all reason, and without regard for the proper function of our body parts, we would surely get into trouble. For instance, eating a lot of chocolate bars may taste good at first, but doing so will make you feel sick, so GLUTTONY is contrary to the natural function of eating whose aim is the health and well-being of the body. And using Bruce’s example, you can put your scrotum on a belt sander because it feels good, just right before it gets ripped off, but doing so is stupid because it is contrary to the function of male genitalia which is to inseminate the woman and fertilize her egg. Both are disordered acts precisely BECAUSE they are instances of engaging in a natural function against the purpose for which it exists. They are actions that go directly contrary to both human reason and human nature. So they are indeed disorderd. What you are proposing is an ethic of hedonism in the face of reality, not science. ——–(2)Pleasure is not the final end of sex; procreation is the final end of sex. Again, if sexual gratification is not ultimately for procreation, then why do the male genitals quite naturally ejaculate sperm when they are stimulated? Eh? Can you tell me? Please answer this question, and stop ignoring the scientific facts.

    3. Logike says:

      Patrick says, “We create complex meals and drinks SOLELY for our own pleasure.”

      –No we don’t, unless you’re a total hedonist with no regard for what is good and just, which you clearly are. What are you not understanding about what I am saying? There is nothing disordered about pursuing a delicate fine-cooked cuisine for pleasure, but such a pursuit must ALSO be consistent with what is objectively good for the human person and consistent with his human nature. You might by chance have a fine taste for various dishes of raw human feces. But I seriously doubt eating raw human feces is good for one’s health because it contains a lot of harmful bacteria like ecoli and salmonella.

    4. Logike says:

      Patrick: “So, stop thinking about what is “ordered” vs. “disordered”.”———Yeah, ok, I will just stop thinking about reality. I will ignore whether it is disordered to get-off on belt-sanders, non-human animals, or bodily orifices specifically designed as an “exit-only” passages. You have no morals or values whatsoever. Your hendonism toward sex licenses bestiality of all things! Genius counsel, Patrick!

      1. patrick says:

        Logike, I stopped reading when you accused me of OK’ing bestiality. That’s a riduculously huge leap from 2 people enjoying the mutual pleasure of oral sex.

        You do not deserve the benefit of hearing reasoned and fair argument. You “jumped the shark” a while ago.

        Good luck.

        1. Logike says:

          Patrick: No, it is not “a leap.” It is a direct logical consequence of exactly what you SAID. Doing something SOLELY for pleasure = unbridled hedonism. And denying a distinction between “ordered” and “disordered” sex licenses ALL forms of it, including bestiality. Am I missing something here? If you think consensual bestiality is DISordered, then you obviously need to change your position. Duh. So you’re stuck in a logical dilemma: Either (1) bite the bullet and admit bestiality is ok. (2) provide a moral principle of your own upon which to base a distinction between “ordered” and “disordered” types of sex. Or (3) admit that human male and female genitalia are properly ordered to procreation so that any sex outside that norm is disordered. What will it be?

        2. Logike says:

          Patrick: That’s what I thought…

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