Voters in the ‘Show Me’ State Prepare to Vote on Marriage

On Tuesday, a state constitutional amendment that protects marriage will be voted on in Missouri, the first of up to 13 states to vote on such an amendment this year. Gay activist groups and other amendment opponents are pulling out all the stops to defeat Missouri’s efforts. Well-financed national homosexual rights groups are spending well over $100,000 to influence the amendment vote. The large presence of these groups shows that they understand what is at stake.

This vote will very likely set the tone for the rest of the nation on how the marriage issue will play in elections across the country this election year. Opponents of the Missouri amendment tried to schedule the vote during the state’s Democratic primary in hopes that such a maneuver would help defeat the amendment. But as polls have consistently shown, protecting marriage is one thing that unites both Democratic and Republican voters.

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133 thoughts on “Voters in the ‘Show Me’ State Prepare to Vote on Marriage”

  1. Christopher writes: “I think that if the purpose is to think/discuss current societal and cultural issues in something resembling an Orthodox or traditional Christian context, it has failed in my opinion.”

    I really don’t get it. I keep hearing about all the profound things that would be discussed here, but the non-Orthodox opinions keep everyone at the kindergarten level, or worse. But I fail to see why you can’t discuss the kinds of things that you want to discuss anyway.

    In addition, all that has to happen to completely eliminate all of my or anyone else’s posts is for Fr. Hans to say “don’t post here.” So at any moment in time, you are exactly three words away from never having to read (or in your case, never having to ignore) my posts again, ever.

    Speaking of which, you and everyone else here are certainly free to ignore any and all posts that you feel are not sufficiently Orthodox in opinion.

    As of this writing, there have been 99 posts on this particular thread. Dean, who is regularly raked over the coals because of how his posts keep everyone at the kindergarten level, contributed exactly FOUR of those posts, out of 99.

    In fact, for this thread here’s a breakdown of the number of posts by generally perceived type:

    “Non-Orthodox” opinion posts: 39
    (Includes Dean, James, Jim)

    “Orthodox” opinion posts: 60
    (Includes Fr. Hans, Missourian, Christopher, Han, Michael)

    The number of perceived Orthodox posts outweigh perceived non-Orthodox posts on this thread. In addition, the theme and content of the discussions is completely determined by the articles that Fr. Hans chooses. This is why we’re talking about the evils of gay marriage rather than the evils of the Bush administration.

    In short, in this thread, the folks with the Orthodox opinions are in control of the discussions topics. They post significantly more frequently than others. They have the freedom to ignore any post or writer. They have the ability to restrict or completely eliminate posts from any individual or point of view. They have the freedom of speech to discuss anything they want regardless of what anyone else says.
    Nonethess, the presence of contrary opinions is mourned, and there is a call for a moderated list.

    But believe me, I’m not interested in disrupting anyone’s profound discussions. I’d really like to see what the advanced, non-kindergarten material looks like. I am more than happy to lurk here in utter silence, while the profundities flow.
    But so far, the discussions basically are “abortion is bad, homosexuality is bad, liberals are bad,” and hopefully the advanced material includes something more than this.

    Tell you what. So as to help unleash the geyser of advanced and profound posts, I’m not going to posts anything for the next couple of weeks. Nothing. So have at it, and let’s see what the advanced material is all about. I’ll check in later. Adios for now.

  2. James makes a good point that the more active the church is in government politics, the more susceptible the church may become to government interference, and I would also add that much of this intereference in America is purely psychological. Who is the winner if two brothers in the church end their relationship over a heated dispute over politics?

    On the other hand, it has been argued that if the church does not enter into government politics, then government will crush the church. As the saying goes, “bad things happen because good people do nothing”.

    However, as Christians, we know that government is powerless to destroy the church. History has even shown us this. The last century of soviet oppression in Russia probably brought forth more martyred saints than the whole thousand years of Imperial Russian rule. It might even be argued that this last century was Russian Orthodoxy’s crowning moment. The church is built on the blood and bones of its martyrs.

    Personally, I try not to vote in government politics. I pay my taxes, I try to respect the law. I believe that if I was called to serve my country, then I would. I am grateful to be American. By conscience, I try not to vote because I believe that my vote should be for a kingdom not of this world.

    In regards to marriage, I see it primarily as a sacrament given by the Church, not as something to be voted on. The thought of even voting for an orthodox view of marriage to me seems sacriledge.

    But what would happen if this marriage amendment were passed? Eventually, like prohibition, it would probably be overturned…and what then? Would the sacrament of marriage be overturned also? These are just psychological games used by politicians to get people riled up to vote for them.

  3. Jim, et. al.
    I apologise for the comments on kindergarten, etc. not good, got carried away.

    As to the content of the blog: It is not the split between Orthodox and non-Orthodox that is the problem. It is having to continually go over and over the same ground in a circular catechesis to no evident purpose. When there are folks who are relentless in their miss application of Christian principals and refuse to engage in real and productive dialog, it gets old real quick answering the same questions from the same people all the time.

    Yes, you are correct, we could just ignore those folks, and that is probably the best course. Pesonally, I have not had the trouble with your comments that Christpher did. It is productive to converse on topics of common interest with those who do not agree with all we believe. However, to a certain extent blogs tend to follow the old economic principal, “Bad money drives out good”,i.e., the most outrageous, off the wall, flat out wrong comments get all the attention and comment.

    A case in point. I came late to this thread, familiarized myself with the points of view and posted comment #74. The next three comments were, I felt, much more substansive and less emotionally based, then came Dean in #78 and we were off an winging again. It is real hard for me to ignore Dean because he professes to be Orthodox, yet his statements of belief are so at variance with everything I know to be Orthodox belief and practice. It is quite difficult to leave alone his really absurd statements such as the one on marriage and monasticism that are not only flat wrong, but miss the point entirely.

    Better discipline by those who post is the best course.

  4. I have to agree with Michael. The Orthodox and non-Orthodox split is not the problem. The real problem is one that afflicts so much thinking in our culture: the idea that the strength and verity of an idea is determined by the motives of the person who holds it. This makes for poor, and even dangerous ideas, masquerading as good, and the false attribution of nefarious motives to those who disagree with them.

    Correcting this misconception requires, as Michael mentioned, a consistent return to catechetical basics. No progress is made.

  5. If I may put it another way, just because one has an opinion doesn’t mean that it’s a well-thought-out opinion that can stand on its own merits.

  6. If a person has an opinion on an issue different from yours you should view it an opportunity to offer your own reasons for having an alternative view. No one has a monopoly on wisdom and we can all learn from each other. What I find insulting and hurtful is when someone instead dismisses the other person with the remark that they must not be a “real Orthodox Christian” because they don’t hold exactly the same opinion as another person.

    The moral teachings of our church are fairly straightforward and unambiguous and we must submit to them. However that doesn’t mean we can’t differ a little on how exactly they are applied in real world situations. Likewise, there should be more room for debate and an allowance for a diversity of opinion as we move away from theology and toward more purely political matters.

    In my Church are two men who serve on our parish council, who donate generously and who regularly work themselves to the point of physical exhaustion as volunteers at Church events, like our summer festival. One of them wrote an impassioned letter to the editor of our local newspaper imploring people to support President Bush. The other recently remarked that the nation will be in big trouble, unless we vote President Bush out of office. There should be room in our church for both of these fine men, and it would horrify me if anyone ever told either of them that they weren’t a “real Orthodox Christian”.

  7. Dean writes, “If a person has an opinion on an issue different from yours you should view it an opportunity to offer your own reasons for having an alternative view. No one has a monopoly on wisdom and we can all learn from each other.”

    This is least-common-denominator “thinking,” akin to the idea that you can make children more confident in themselves by declaring “everybody a winner” while providing no challenges to help the children grow. No one has a monopoly on wisdom, but that doesn’t mean that everyone’s opinion has equal worth, or that everyone should have a voice in a debate before demonstrating their ability to participate rationally and meaningfully.

  8. Dean, the point is not that people have different opinions. That’s obvious to most everyone on earth. The point is that ideas matter, some ideas are better than others, not all ideas have equal value. (Where do you get the idea that people holding differing opinions are not allowed in the Church? What parish do you go to.)

    Unless, of course you are implicitly castigating those who challenge you on your moral positions. You say for example:

    “The moral teachings of our church are fairly straightforward and unambiguous and we must submit to them. However that doesn’t mean we can’t differ a little on how exactly they are applied in real world situations.”

    Interesting idea you throw into play here: moral teachings are…straight forward and unambiguous and we must submit to them vs. …we can differ…on how they are applied.

    I think you are back at it. You throw out an idea and presume that moralizing about “diversity” somehow proves the idea true.

    Sounds more like moral relativism to me. In fact, your real point is not about politics in the Church at all, but about trying to find acceptance for your unorthodox moral positions.

  9. Stephen,

    A government like Soviet Russia cannot ultimately destroy the Church, but it can slaughter millions of people trying. Don’t be so quick to glorify the carnage.

    Don’t be too quick to discount the responsibility of Christians in public either. I don’t have time to go into detail, but here are a few paragraphs for an article being published next month that argues for the kind of involvment you seem indicate is unneccesary, and even undesirable:
    ________

    Different cultures handle moral conflicts in different ways. In America, the conflict often becomes political. Two major reasons are: 1) America is primarily a nation of laws, not class; and 2) the American Founding Fathers presumed that moral virtue was the bedrock of freedom and liberty and structured our system of governance on this foundation. There is no institution of moral arbitration in the American system, no designated cultural elites, no monarchs, and no national church. Faith, religion, values, beliefs, are foremost a personal undertaking, and when the morality derived from faith governs the decisions of individuals, a virtuous society can result that ensures the growth of freedom and liberty.

    Private faith informs the individual conscience the Founding Fathers believed, and a well-formed conscience was crucial for a healthy polity and thus freedom. Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote that the wisdom of the Fathers lay in the notion that freedom is a condition of man’s moral awareness and obligation as defined by the Christian faith. The necessity for morally sound and courageous voices is clear here.

    __________

    I am arguing that our Orthodox Christians are obligated to get involved in the great cultural debates of the day.

  10. Father Hans and Bill: I’m not saying that all opinions are equal; I’m saying that through a process of debate and discussion, we can learn from each other and improve our own understanding of an issue, as I have learned from you. The only way for me to test the soundness of my opinions are to expose them to scrutiny.

    Take Gay marriage. Originally I saw the smiling people standing on the steps of the San Francisco City Hall and thought “they seem like nice people, where the harm. Don’t we have more urgent matters to attend to?” Christopher’s article made me realize that legalizing gay marriage opens up a Pandora’s box of extremely complex legal issues, and that once we start moving boundaries, it will be very difficult to know where to stop.

    I hope that my reference to Cardinal Bernadin’s Consistent Ethic of Life approach to moral issues helped enrich our discussion. Perhaps in reponse you posted Father Pavone’s statement on the more urgent role of abortion in an overall discussion of various sanctity of life issues.

    I certainly agree with every word Father Hans wrote in 104. Our culture has grown coarse and uncivil, and unfortunately that tends to sometime seep into our comments. Some of my early comments some weeks ago were overly-confrontational and obnoxious and for that I apologize.

    Now batten down the hatches down there in Florida, and ride out that storm and I will say a prayer for you.

  11. Jim,

    In post #93 you state: “It seems to me that people here are pretty explicit the negative agenda, but less clear about what’s on the positive agenda. I know what most of the Orthodox folks are against, but not much idea of what they’re *for*.”

    A great challenge to state our ideas in a more positive way, we should describe positive moral/spiritual praxis rather than just decry moral/spiritual lapses.

    Briefly, the Church has always stood for freedom, the healing and restoration of the person, the formation of loving, serving, worshipping communities centered on the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. She has always taught us to practice self-sacrificing love and aceticism. What that has traditionally meant in practice is to help people in their daily lives overcome physical, mental, emotional, and economic challenges in a way that enables people to heal, grow, and stand on their own. We are encouraged to show great compassion and understanding for the sins of others while at the same time examine our own failings without ceasing.

    Such practice brings about an unearthly joy, not just for ourselves, but for those with whom we come in contact. That is the ideal.

    One note, the freedom is not simply or even primarily the existential freedom to choose between two or more beliefs, attitudes, or actions, but the freedom from the slavery of sin which allows the healing power of the Holy Spirit to be active and effective. We strive to live a sacremental life. Most of us fail miserably, yet most Orthodox that I know truly do have such a life as their goal.

    The political culture in the United States despite is purported democracy has become essentially nilist and materialistic in its content whether Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, or whatever. No party is able to articulate, much less enact a political vision that uplifts the human person in any but the most material way.

    Our challenge as Christians is to witness to the unique vision of man bequeathed to us the Jesus Christs, the Apostles, and all the Saints throughout the ages. In order to accomplish that we must confront all politicians. That being said, right now the Democrats seem to be the focus of the most egregious affronts to the integrity of man in society.

    The vision of the Orthodox Church is not one that can be articulated in political terms, but it can and it should have an effect in the political realm since the vision deals with the very essence of who and what man is, how he is to believe and act.

    I have just started a book which promises to shed a great deal of light on how to live that vision: “The person in the Orthodox Tradition” by Metropolitan of Hafpaktos Hierotheos, published by Birth of the Theotokos Monastery and available from Eighth Day Books (www.eighthdaybooks.com).

    In one sense, Dean is quite right in many of his posts when he insists on the primacy of love and mercy when dealing with individuals, he just approaches it from a backwards way when extrapolating to the societal level, allowing political dogma to overcome the traditional witness of the Church.

    What you see as a negative agenda, is perhaps better characterized as an outcry against activities we feel are deeply damaging to people. We have the responsibility to raise our voices in protest against such activity. You are quite correct, however, that we have the equal responsibility to provide a positive corrective.

    Thank you.

  12. Dean, if you don’t really believe all ideas have equal value, then don’t juxtapose unequal ideas in your posts as if they share the same value. Syntax is part of written communication too. Better yet, avoid unrelated moralizations and just present the idea.

  13. Since this original thread was about marriage, allow me one more statement:

    My idea is that government should be out of the “marriage” business altogether, and the sacramental union left to the Church. Benefits should be granted only when children are involved.

    There is no real reason why the government should recognize non-procreative marriages and extend benefits to couples who choose not or cannot have children. What is the purpose? In these instances, the government is simply rewarding “romantic involvements” which, as many of you have mentioned, is not a good reason for extending marital benefits. Every argument against gay marriage has been regarding the societal benefit of heterosexual marriage (e.g., children). If there are no children, then that couple serves no purpose to society. Hence, they get nada.

    Alas, this will never happen, I realize …

  14. James, it’s not government as much as the entire culture that has an interest in preserving tradition marriage. Law recognizes prevailing norms, hence the moral dimension in laws that involve interpersonal relationships.

    Further, even if a heterosexual couple has no children, the ideal for raising children is still preserved. Hence they still receive the legal benifits of marriage (inheritance laws, etc.).

    Read the article by Robert Bork in “First Things” too. It will introduce you to ideas you have not considered.

    Again, the legalization of heterosexual marriage serves an important cultural function. It is not as arbitrary as you make it out to be.

  15. Which article?

    If indeed there is a moral dimension in laws involving interpersonal relationships (and I’m not suggesting it’s completely free from that), then it is imperative that divorce laws be addressed for this reason. What I find annoying is that this issue has largely been unaddressed by even the evangelical and Protestant lobbyists despite the fact that divorce will impact families to an exponential degree greater than gay marriage will this year. This seems inconsistent to me.

    This also implies that the government needs to address more about the nature of the relationship of the marriage participants than that they are simply of the opposite gender. We place numerous restrictions on who may adopt children and extensive research is done on the interested parties. No such thing for a marriage license. Any two people may marry for any reason whatsoever. They can have served time in prison for murdering their last spouse or have a history of physical abuse, they can have failed at the last twenty marriages, they can be marrying so one of the partners can obtain a green card, it doesn’t matter. If the law does have an interest in the morality of the nature of an interpersonal relationship, it would seem it would do more to investigate the lives of those applying for licenses … as it stands now, it does not.

    Should it?

  16. The article is in the most recent issue of “First Things,” available on the newstand at Borders Books. It will be on their website next month.

    Your point about divorce is a good one. Protestant Evangelicalism has been slow on the uptake here, probably because the divorce rate mirror the rate in the larger culture. Nevertheless, a lot of work is being done under the radar in socially conservative journals like “The Marriage Project” at The Institute for American Values, or take a look at some of the research at the Heritage Institute.

    Still, the assumption that law somehow stands apart from morality, that law is “objective” in some larger sense needs to be examined more closely. Law is dependent on a larger moral framework, on a moral foundation. Laws arise out of a cultural consensus shaped by shared moral vision that ultimately has its source in religion. Law can’t, ultimately, exist apart from this grounding, this source. If the ground shifts, which is occuring in our generation, a new ground has to replace it. This, in generalized shorthand, is the reason for the “culture war.”

  17. Jacobse,

    I suppose we would agree that as Orthodox Christians we are primarily Orthodox Christians, our allegiances being first to God and the Church. Our responsibilities and allegiances to our neighbors then coming from this.

    I would agree also that moral virtue is the bedrock of freedom and liberty, and I believe that the Orthodox Church has a unique understanding of this which is very much hidden within the lives of the saints of the Church.

    The “American founding fathers”, being protestant (Thomas Jefferson being a masonic theist), built this country on a protestant foundation. I think this protestant foundation needs more examination by Orthodox thinkers. It is not suprising that an issue like gay marriage exists given the political foundation that we have. To even attempt to lay the bricks of Orthodox theology and moral virtue on this protestant foundation seems a troublesome and doomed enterprise.

    At about the same time that the American colonies were fighting their war for independance from the British, another foundation was being built among the native Americans in Alaska, and an Orthodox one too. Hidden in the lives of the saints of the Alaskan church is a light which incomparably outshines the lives of the “American founding fathers”. The true American founding fathers come to us from the East, incarnate in the lives of saints like St. Herman, St. Innocent, St. Peter the Aleut, and St. Juvenaly.

  18. Stephen, you identify yourself as an Orthodox Christian, so I am taking the liberty of mentioning that it’s not “Jacobse” but “Fr. Jacobse.”

    You raise a very interesting point and I would like to hear more about what you call the protestant foundation of our country. How would you more specifically define it as such?

    Fr. Hans, perhaps this could become another thread?

  19. Late resopnse to Note 68 from Missourian

    Sorry, I was out of town on vacation:

    2) “Homosexuality is a mental illness”
    First you said homosexuality is a choice, then you said it’s a mental illness. It can’t be both, as mental illness implies a lack of will and consent. If I am a schizophrenic, I have no choice over my delusions and paranoia. If one has Tourette’s Syndrome, they have no control over their vocal outbursts.

    No mental illness does not necessarily connote a “lack of will or consent.” Example, alcoholism is classified as a mental illness. As an attorney, I have dealt with the bad effects of alcoholism in many cases involving divorce, bankruptcy, crime and child custody. The best trteatment for alcoholism is the 12 step program. The definition of “best” is how many people stay sober for 5 continuous years? By that measure AA is the most successful form of treatment for alcoholism, and it has a success rate of 40%. AA clearly preaches that alcoholism is an “illness” and that it is “managed” not “cured” by acts of volitional will. AA teaches that a person is an “alcoholic” for life, but a recovering alcoholic exercies his free will to regrain from drinking. It is a difficult battle, but, many win that battle.

    Sociopaths who murder have no conscience and they are mentally ill by amy definiotn, however, we still hold them accountable, and rightly so, for murder. Ted Bundy got the death penalty, finally.

    The “science” of psychology is still very young. Many of the ideas of its founders, such ad Freud, have been fully refuted. I don’t think it is correct to treat modern psychology as a “science.” It has a long way to go and the profession of
    psychology is responsible for many, egregious mistakes committed under the cover of their allegedly superior knowledge.

    Again, there seems to be a very strong theme running through mamy policy arguments made by liberals, that theme, is “it is just too much to expect people to live by firm laws.” Criminal laws are undercut with excuses de-emphasizing personal
    responsibility, moral laws governing sexual conduct are constantly attacked, in general, the arguments are truly anti-social. They serve to break down a functionaing society and reward the lawless to the same degree as the lawful.

  20. Missourian,
    On what basis would you criminalize private consensual adult behavior (whether extra-marital heterosexual or homosexual) and leave alone the following:
    – getting drunk in your own home
    – lying to your family at the dinner table about where you ate lunch and with who
    – swearing at your spouse

    These all display a lack of virtue and even are w/o the consent of all parties involved. How are any of these any better? Yet the government doesn’t involve itself with one’s drinking habits, for example, unless you decide to get behind the wheel of a car and risk the lives of others.

    Are you arguing that ALL immoral actions should be criminalized or just some? If some, which ones and what criteria are you using to decide that they should be?

  21. James:

    This is getting to be time consuming and I genuinely doubt that you will directly address my points but for the record, here goes. Warning to other readers, this following content is very explicit. I don’t think we have any readers under 18.

    James, you need to distinguish between four social responses to homosexual conduct. Those four options are: 1) treat the conduct as criminal 2) de-criminalize the conduct by eliminating any CRIMINAL LAWS on the topic 3), endorse the conduct by a legislative decision to allow gay marriage and lastly, 4)enshrining gay conduct as a protected constitutional right through the actions of the judiciary.

    Society may expressly criminalize certain sexual conduct. Historically bigamy, polygamy, sexual abuse of animals, sodomy, rape, pedophilia and other forms of deviant sexual behavior have been criminalized. The truth has been ignored by the almost uniformly pro-gay media. Legislatures all over America had begun to DE-CRIMINALILZE gay-sex between consenting adults. This represents the sentiment of most Americans. Most Americans do not approve or endorse gay sex, but, they are not interested assigning precious law enforcement assets to persue adults who engage in sexually deviant behavior. Most Americans are willing to go for “live and let live.”

    Gays in America would have been free from criminal laws against their conduct within the next decade as state after state after state dropped criminal laws against sodomy. They would have the ability to live together for life and provide for each other in their wills.

    Gay rights activists are not simply seeking personal freedom. They want gay sex enshrined as a constitutional right. This is disastrous for America. If you remember the 60’s as I do, the cultural left was teaching young America that “marriage is just a piece of paper” and that it should not be given any weight or respect. Somehow that has changed. Now we are to believe that gay men, known for promiscuous sex, will suddenly change their ways if given the imprimatur of a society they have always held in contempt.

    Here is my secular argument for the continued suppression of gay sex and the banning of gay marriage.

    Human beings are capable of sexual gratifying themselves in literally thousands of different ways. Sexual gratification can be procreative or it can involve physical objects, or animals or members of one’s own sex or children or non-consenting adults or self-asphixiation to name just a few. Raising children and staying married is a very difficult task. The continued viability of society depends on the willingness of its citizens to raise the next generation. Society has every right to enshrine permanent unions based on procreative sex and make it the sole form of socially approved and rewarded sex.

    The psychological sickness of gay sex is amply demonstrated by the fact that the anus of the human body is not a sex organ. Repeated insertion of an erect penis into a anus damages that the anus. The anus is part of the gastro-intestinal tract and is designed by Nature (actually God, but we are going secular) to help the body dispose of food waste. Most gays suffer from some form of “gay bowel syndrome” by middle age. You can find this self-induced medical condition in any textbook on gastro-intestinal medicine. Gay Bowel Syndrome is the permanent damage of the delicate structure of the anus and lower intestine. The smooth interior tissue of the anus is ripped and torn by the action of the invading penis. The ripping of the smooth tissue of the anus opens the body up to infection. Gay Bowel Syndrome also damages the muscle tissue making it difficult for many middle aged gays to control their bowels properly. There is a reason that Tiny Tim was photographed buying adult diapers.

    Lesbian sex often involves simulations of the male penis. Go to a lesbian web-site and see that a large percentage of lesbian sexual encounters involve simulating the male role in pro-creative sex. If Lesbian sex were so very healthy and natural and ordained by Nature, why would so much of it be simulation of procreative sex.

    I have chosen to point out the absurdity of the primary forms of gay sex to refute any claim that gay sex is somehow a “natural” expression of human sexuality. It is a perverted form of human sexuality, as one of its primary forms damages the human body by definition. Sodomy should not be enshrined in the constitution.

    So, there it is. Society has a right to encourage and support people who form families capable of reproducing the human species.

    You will undoubtedly point out that many people live together without marriage, many children are born out of wedlock and many marriages fail SO why bother to protect marriage now? This is like saying, the patient suffers from diabetes and a heart condition so why invest in expensive surgery to remove a brain tumor that will kill the patent in two days time. It is the cultural left that has relentlessly battered the traditional institution of marriage for decades. It is the cultural Left that has encouraged young people to regard marriage with contempt. How many times did I hear in the 1960’s “marriage is just a piece of paper.” Well, wearing my secular hat, I say to you “Marriage is just a piece of paper.” LIve without it as the cultural left as encourage straight people to live without it.

    Stuides from Europe show that more 80% of children in Denmark and Sweden are born out of wedlock. Studies also make clear that boy children desperately need a strong male role model during their teenage years. The prime social indicator for criminal behavior for boys, is growing up in a home without a father. Everything we know indicates that most children raised in gay homes will actually be raised by Lesbian partners. Lesbians and gay men cannot provide a good role model for heterosexual children. An heterosexual couple who cannot conceive can still create a good home for children.

    We are tearing up our society for the 2 to 3 per cent of our population that is addicted to gay sex. The need for this 2 to 3 per cent of the population to enjoy one particularly sterile form of sex is considered more important than the needs of children and society as a whole. This is typical secular thinking. Sexual gratification is the only kind of love and the need for sexual gratification trumps everything.

    If gay marriage is recognized in the United States more boys and girls will grow up disfunctional. The overall birth rate will drop even more and eventually the continued of our Western culture will be threatened as it is now in Europe.

    The tragedy is that gays in America, could have enjoyed a tolerant “live and let live” regime under the sweeping de-criminalization trend, instead, if they prevail and institute gay marriage, birth rates will drop even further. As Western culture shrinks and dissappears, it will be replaced by cultures that more strongly enforce reproduction. Cultures cannot win at the competition if they don’t show up. Islamic culture, which has no room for toleration of gays, will prevail if Western culture continues to die off through lack of replacement children. Hopefully, I will not be alive then.

    This is the last time I am present this argument.

  22. James:

    Another reason to refrain from legitimizing gay sex through express governmental endorsement. 98% of Americans are either actively practicing Christians or they are cultural Christians.
    Legislative or judicial endorsement of gay sex will inevitably lead to taxpayer support of gay sex. Since a very large percentage of Americans consider gay sex immoral it is ludicrous to require us to support gay sex through our tax dollars.

    However, we know that the real point of the gay rights movement is the total disintegration of the nuclear family and the introduction of curriculums into public schools which teach youngsters that gay sex is normal.

    Remember all of this is about the 2 to 3 per cent of the population who are addicted to sterile and frequently physically harmful sexual practices.

    As marriage is trivialized and weakened, fewer and fewer women will take the risk and assume the burden of becoming pregnant. Birth rates will continue to drop. We will experience labor shortages and government programs that support the elderly will be overwhelmed with demands on their resources. Again, I think I will be gone by the time the full impact hits. I wish I could be more optimistic but I think we are living in a time of decline similar to that observed by St. Augustine. I hope I’m wrong.

  23. Missourian,
    Like a true attorney, you avoided my actual question and diverted attention so you could soliloquize on your topic of choice, in this case (and in an unnecessarily graphic fashion) on the evils of gay conduct. I simply asked what types of immorality were worthy of criminalizing. Alcoholism has been responsible for far more problems within existing families than gay marriage ever could, yet I see no group arguing for a complete ban on alcohol products with anything near the vehemence with which many expressed their outrage over the Lawrence versus Texas decision.

    You appeared to have argued for not only preventing gay marriage but criminalizing homosexual conduct in general, and it was to the latter that my questions were addressed. If my assumption is incorrect, many apologies.

    However, I will respond to your comments anyhow:
    – Argument 1: Society needs to encourage the perpetuation of the species.

    Society does in fact have an interest in the perpetuation of the species to a degree. It already rewards this by offering tax incentives for every child that is raised. Some people will choose to have children, some will choose not to have children, and some cannot, regardless of the legality of gay marriage. If you can show me where legalized gay marriage has caused in increase in the homosexual population (and not just a coincidental and unrelated drop in birth rates among the heterosexual population), perhaps your argument will have some bearing. However, birth rates have also dropped in conservative areas of Europe (such as Italy) where gay marriage is still illegal and homosexuality discouraged. (http://www.townhall.com/columnists/paulcraigroberts/pcr000426.shtml – This is a conservative reference, mind you).

    – Argument 2: Only heterosexuals can provide a stable environment for children.
    Children do deserve a stable environment. If it was found that someone had a history of drug abuse, spousal abuse, alcoholism, multiple marriages or promiscuity, it should be shown that they have modified their behavior before being allowed to adopt children, whether heterosexual or homosexual, if they should be permitted at all. Nevertheless, I am unconvinced that there are some single people or even gay people who would not make preferable parents for some children than having them live in a group home or orphanage or even with their birth parents if they are highly dysfunctional. Being married does not make one a worthwhile parent, since you can be a serial killer on death row and still obtain a marriage license. Even if we say that two parents (mother and father) are the ideal, would you favor the forced taking of a child from their single (but loving and supportive) mother to live with a married couple? If you think that all heterosexual parents are wonderful by nature of their heterosexuality, you should consider that “[m]ore than 2.67 million reports of possible maltreatment involving 3 million children were made to child protective service agencies in calendar year 2001”, with 81% of the abuse committed by a parent. (http://www.childhelpusa.org/abuseinfo_stats.htm)

    You have not asked my views but I’ll tell you anyhow: I think the government should not grant marriage licenses at all. Marriage is a commitment with significant religious ideals, and it is the Churches that should be responsible for encouraging and strengthening the institution. We do not need to grant Social Security to spouses of the deceased. We do not need to penalize married couples with taxes. We do not need to grant marriage licenses so that foreigners can obtain a green card. If someone wishes to share their lives and financial obligations with someone, it shouldn’t matter who that person is, whether it’s a sibling, parent, or grandparent, and the government should not grant preferential treatment to “romantic” relationships who are often childless over all others. Fr. Jacobse will disagree with me, but there it is.

  24. James:

    Basically what you are asking is that in order to discuss the limited issue of the legal rights of persons whose favorite form of sexual satisfaction is sodomy, I am compelled to develop and present an entire legal philosophy. There are multi-volume texts devoted to what is called “philosophy of law.” It was clear that your intent was to promote not only the delegitimization of the sexual habit of gratifying oneself through the gastro-intestinal organs of a persons of one’s one sex, but, to enshrine this practice on a par with the institution of marriage.

    So, back to your original post:
    ___________________________________________________________________
    Missourian,
    On what basis would you criminalize private consensual adult behavior (whether extra-marital heterosexual or homosexual) and leave alone the following:
    – getting drunk in your own home
    – lying to your family at the dinner table about where you ate lunch and with who
    – swearing at your spouse

    These all display a lack of virtue and even are w/o the consent of all parties involved. How are any of these any better? Yet the government doesn’t involve itself with one’s drinking habits, for example, unless you decide to get behind the wheel of a car and risk the lives of others.

    Are you arguing that ALL immoral actions should be criminalized or just some? If some, which ones and what criteria are you using to decide that they should be?

    _______________________________________________________________

    First, I did not argue for criminalization. In fact, I pointed out that the process of DE-CRIMINALIZATION was proceeding at a quick pace with the consent of the majority of Americans who do not approve of the practice of obtaining sexual gratification through the use of the gastro-intestinal organs of a member of your own sex. Despite the lack of approval for the practice of obtaining sexual gratification through the use of gastro-intestinal organs of a member of your own sex, most Americans believe in “live and let live” if persons whose favorite sexual habit is the gratifying of their own sexual organs with the gastro-intestinal organs of a member of their sex would allow the rest of America to live in peace for a change.

    Second, as you know full well, adultery and fornication have, in the past, been classified as crimes. Like the laws against obtaining sexual gratification through the use of the gastro-intestinal organs of a member of your own sex, these forms of sexual misconduct has been DE-CRIMINALIZED. Most Americans do not approve of adultery, but, they are content to DE-CRIMINALIZE adultery.

    Thirdly, every highly developed civilization has had laws governing personal sexual conduct for all the reaons that I pointed out in detail in my previous post. These laws promote the proper raising of children and the perpetuation of the species and the continuation of civilization. The practice of obtaining sexual gratification of your own sexual organ through the use of the gastro-intestinal organs of another person does not perpetuate the species. Persons who’s sole adult attachment in life is to someone who allows them to use their gastro-intestinal organs as a means of gratifying the sexual urges of their partner, do not constitute a role model for a healthy relationshiop between a father and a mother.

    Adultery, fornication, and the habit of obtaining sexual gratification through the use of the gastro-intestinal organs of a member of one’s own sex have IN THE PAST been criminalized behavior.

    Civilization, has traditionally meant, the control of basic urges and their redirection of those urges in a socially constructive direction. Obtaining sexual gratification through the use of the gastro-intestinal organs of a member of your own sex does not have much socially redeeming value. Today’s society is willing to TOLERATE it. However, today’s activitsts do not want mere TOLERATION and DE-CRIMINALIZATION. They want the practice of obtaining sexual gratification through the use of the gastro-intestinal organs of a member of one’s own sex to be ENSHRINED in the U.S. Constitution. They want children in public schools to be taught as soon as possible that using the gastro-intestional organs of a member of your own sex for sexual gratification is GOOD, NORMAL, HEALTHFUL and SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE.

    You have mentioned three types of shoddy behavior and have asked me why this type of behavior is not treated as criminal. Those behaviors are:

    getting drunk in your own home
    – lying to your family at the dinner table about where you ate lunch and with who
    – swearing at your spouse

    The answer that you are, of course, fishing for, is these are
    private behaviors which do not affect anyone else. This is not true. Each of these behaviors could have have legal penalties attached to them: civil or criminal. For instance, getting drunk in one’s home home could be relvant to a divorce or child custody issue. So- called private drunkeness could also be relevant to a negligence case.Lying to your family at the dinner table could be part of covering up a crime or acting as an accessory after the fact. The mere fact that this occurred inside your own’ house does not ipso facto, make it immune from the law. Swearing at your spouse could be part of a criminal action for spousal abuse.

    Contrary to your uninformed opinion, there is no general legal principle that there exists a zone which the law cannot, or does not reach. If that were true, a criminal would only need to step inside his house where he could commit any number of crimes.

    Lastly, I do not consider myself to have the burden of proof.
    A small group of sexual deviants want to disrupt the social foundation of Western civilization so that they can enshrine in the Constitution the practice of gratifying themselves with the gastro-intestinal organs of a member of their own sex. I pray that the United States resists this cultural tyranny and defends its civilization.

  25. James:

    We need to have a clear set of rules assigning responsibility for the care of children. Therefore we need to have legal regulation of family relations. We owe that to children.

    Just look at what you are willing to destroy for the sake of legitimizing the habit of obtaining sexual gratification by inserting male sexual organ into the gastro-intestinal organ of another male. This is exatly what it is about. Why are we supposed to cover it up?

    We don’t care about the continuity of family relationships which have provided a haven for the young, the elderly and the sick. Break that entire tradition up.. it is meaningless. Let the kids just fend for themselves. I want my SODOMY at all costs.
    Well, you might just get it.

  26. James:

    The reason that governments have an interest in the continuatoin of the familty include:

    a) the perpetuation of the species and the civilization
    b) the care for the young
    c) the care for the sick, disabled or handicapped by people
    who truly care about them, rather than paid caregivers
    d)the care for the elderly, again, by people who truly
    care about them.

    The transmission of wisdom from the elderly to the young, which occurs within the context of the family.

    It is easy for your to be be cavalier about family because in the end, nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important than the unfettered freedom to gratifying yourself by inserting a male sex organ into the gastro-intestinal organ of another male.

    Society, children, the sick, the elderly, the perpetuation of our civilization, the transmission of wisdom down the generations, it is all as chaff to to James. Sodomy… the ultimate value… sexual urges… the ultimate impulse trumping everything else in society.

  27. James:

    If you look up the writings of Stanley Kurtz you will see a number of solid sociological studies which demonstrate a co-relation between the social legitimization of sodomite “marriage” and the increase in illegitimacy and the increase in the number of children identify themselves as gay.

    Some references:

    Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur, 1994, Growing up with a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps. Harvard University Press

    Judith Stacey and Timony Biblarz, 2001, Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter? American Sociological Review 66:159-183 See Especially pp. 168-71.

    Key comment: Although the evidence on child outcomes is sketchy, whate evidence is available does raise two red flags. Specifically, a number of studies suggest children raised in lesbian homes are more likely to experience gender and sexual disorders. Judity Stacey-an advocate for SSM and a sociologist-reviewed the literature on child outcomes and found the following: Lesbian parenting may free daughters and sons from a broad but uneven range of traditional gender prescriptions.: Her conclusion here is based on studies that show that sons of lesbians are less masculine and that daughters of lesbians are more masculine. She also found that a “significantly greater proportion of young adult children raised by lesbian mothers than those raised by heterosexual mothers.. reported having a homoerotic relationship.: Stacey also observes that the children of lesgians are more likely to report homoerotic attractions. This argues in favor of environment over heredity.
    More gay couples raising children produces more gay activity.
    More gays fewer children.

    Andrew Sullivan wrote: There is more likely to be greater understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman. Here, one of the leading proponents of sodomite “Marriage” argues that once the label
    “marriage” is stripped of its cross-gender meaning, another attribute of marriage will be destroyed, that is fidelity.
    Andrew argues that gay marriages may not be exclusive.

    See Culture Wars: Top 10 Arguments Against Same Sex Marriage.
    Date February 18, 2004 source
    http://www.virtuosityonline.org/portal/modules/news/print.phpstoryid360&PHPSESSID

  28. Missourian:
    I’m not sure how you gathered that “society, children, the sick, the elderly, the perpetuation of our civilization, the transmission of wisdom down the generations, it is all as chaff” to myself considering you don’t even know me. These are some big assumptions.

    Actuallly, I think bearing children is a great thing for those who have shown themselves worthy of the sacrifices and commitment required. If couples choose not to have children, however, fine by me. Too many parents have proven themselves unworthy of this, as the high abuse and neglect statistics show.

    The elderly and the sick? What exactly does gay marriage have to do with the elderly? I know a gay man who is taking care of his grandmother and decided to forego a high-paying job which required a move so he could stay back and care for her.

    I’m finding your ideas to be based on an almost pathological repugnance to an act that, incidentally, is also engaged in by many heterosexual couples and not (!) all homosexual couples.

    I do not agree with radical gay writers who advocate irresponsible behavior or multiple partners … I just don’t feel a need to generalize about a group of people just because I disagree with some of them.

  29. James:

    As I said many times. Most Americans are willing to tolerate people whose favorite form of sexual gratification is the use of the gastro-intestinal organs of a member of their own sex as a means of stimulating the male sex organ. Most Americans will consent to de-criminalization.

    You questioned the very foundation of the protection given true marriage by the Anglo-American and Western legal tradition. You suggested that government shouldn’t be involved in marriage at all. Given that challenge, I gave you reasons why government involves itself in marriage. In a nutshell, marriage is the foundation of loving families which care for the young, sick and elderly, among other things.

    Secondly, you questioned why true marriage should be given special legal status and the union of persons whose favorite form of sexual gratification is the use of the gastro-intestinal organs of another person of the same sex. True marriage fosters natural procreation and the raising of children and the perpetuation of the species. It is difficult and persons who take on this responsibility, and no one else, should receive the legal and social support of society.

    Thirdly, there exists sociological data that supports the contention that children are best raised in heterosexual unions. There is sociological data from a proponent of SSM that children raised by gays are, of course, more likely to be gay.

    I repeat the exact description of sexual practice because it is important to understand what is being promoted. For the sake of this particular sexual practice, you are willing to

    a) dissolve long-standing governmental support and protection for the family
    b) ignore the well-being of children
    c) disrupt the military
    d) create yet another embittered and embattled class or
    citizens who will eventually demand quotas
    e) offend the religious sensibilities of millions of Americans and force them to CELEBRATE the act of stimulating the male sex organ by inserting it into the gastro-intestinal tract of a male.

    Deviant sexual practices are precisely and exactly what they are. What aspect of my description is FALSE? A major, earth-shaking cultural revolution for the sake of 3 per cent of the population who enjoy this practice. I do find it an outrage that people claim that this practice constitutes something which should be protected by the United States Constitution.

    It isn’t worth it.

    All of the above arguments are secular.

  30. James,

    You need to study the stats more. Most abuse (upwards of 80%) is committed by live-in males of single mothers. The greatest danger to children has been the dissolution of family.

    Multiple partners among gays is the norm, not the exception. Andrew Sullivan can hardly be categorized as a “radical” gay writer, and even he advocates the practice. In fact, he argues that multiple partners is natural to the gay lifestyle (which it is).

    Read this article to find out more about the health risks of gay sex. It puts Missourian’s biological argument into complete focus. You will see that Missourian doesn’t “generalize” at all.

    It’s time to shed your romantic notions of homosexuality, James. Homosexual coupling is not the moral, emotional, psychological, or spiritual equivalent of heterosexual marriage. It can never be. The starting points are different, a fact made plain by the biology, as well as two thousand years of moral tradition.

  31. If I am to completely agree with you, then I must intellectually assent to the following:

    a) The use of surgical or artificial contraception, especially when used by childless couples and even within marriage, is an affront to God’s natural design because it takes sexuality out of the context for which it was created. It removes the procreative aspect from it and emphasizes the “use” of a person for one’s enjoyment.

    b) Fertile married couples who refuse to have children are not completely fulfilling their roles as husband and wives.

    c) The government must more strictly monitor who it grants marriage licenses to. Just as it determines who is a proper parent for an adopted child, it must assess an individual’s capacity to enter into the marital relationship and must take into consideration mental health, past criminal history if any, especially a history of abuse or violence. This is if we grant a “moral” element to civil marriage.

    d) Any non-procreative (i.e., “non-standard”) sexual act between a married couple is sinful.

    I’m simply following a train of logic based on arguments of biology and morality.

    Catholic tradition agrees on a.
    I agree it’s an “IDEAL” … but failure to live up to this does not constitute a sin in my book.
    Some writers (including J. Budziewski) agree on b.
    I approve of c but have not heard of anyone suggesting this.
    D seems logical (and is even found in some early church fathers) but sounds a bit prudish and a little Victorian.

    What exactly is Orthodox Doctrine on these more specific issues, anyhow?

  32. correction … that should be husBANDS and wives .. not husband and wives … I wasn’t advocating polygamy

  33. Male to male, and female to female sexual relationships are biologically closed to new life. That’s an indisputable biological fact, insemination and adoption notwithstanding.

    Heterosexual couples who don’t have children still possess this biological “design” (if you will). This is also true even if the husband or wife is infertile. Nature isn’t perfect, but the “design” is constant.

    I would agree with J. Budziewski, but not all situations allow for children (health) etc.

    Yes, non-procreative acts, can be sinful. Sodomy,for example, is using the body in ways not intended, and I would argue not lawful. Sodomy is sin no matter who does it. The rectum is not an organ of reproduction.

    Marriage is primarilly a cultural (and thus religious) institution. Where culture goes, civil authority usually follows unless of course, an elite such as the judiciary intervenes.

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