Saturday, November 10, 2012

Questions for 'same sex marriage' supporters

Now that a good number of jurisdictions have--one way or the other--successfully redefined marriage to include spouses of the same sex, a few questions come to mind. These questions are specifically intended for those who favor this development. Not that others aren't welcome to answer; just that I think I already know what your answer will be.

It's how those who think "same sex marriage" involves no contradiction would answer these questions that interests me:

1. Is there any necessary connection between marriage and romantic or sexual attraction?
2. Is there any necessary connection between marriage and procreation--and by extension, child-rearing?
3. Why shouldn't people with a close familial relationship (parents-children, siblings, etc.) be able to marry?
4. What difference does the number of people consenting to marriage make?

My answers:

1. Under the until-recently-universal understanding of marriage, there actually wasn't any necessary connection to romance--marriages have been known to be arranged, and still are, and--while I'm not advocating this approach, they have been successful. It's no secret that people will marry not so much for romantic reasons, but for financial reasons. After all, you can have all the romance you want without marriage, right? Wasn't one of the arguments for redefining marriage that same-sex couples were being denied "the benefits of marriage"? I don't recall anyone arguing that not being able to married diminished anyone's romance.

The connection to sexual attraction was assumed--but, again, who can say whether a couple who married ever felt it? The issue for validity--at least as the Catholic Church understands it--is that it has to be possible. I.e., if a man and a woman utterly lack the ability to consummate their marriage, it's not a valid marriage. But simply failing to consummate it doesn't invalidate it. We believe Mary and Joseph never consummated their marriage, yet it was valid, on the assumption they were perfectly capable of doing so, but never did.

This may sound odd, but think about it: an elderly couple marries. Presumably they enjoy each other's company and are affectionate--but they may bluntly tell you, if it ever came up in conversation, that they are "past all that." Yet there has never been an issue of their getting married.

You may wonder why I ask: because one of the powerful arguments for redefining marriage is that gay people love each other, and they should not be denied something heterosexuals have access to.

But once the law allows for same-sex marriage, what prevents any two people who are not in the slightest way homosexual from entering into a same-sex marriage? Two widows who would prefer to mingle their lives and households and finances with each other--after years of friendship--over against finding a male mate, especially when there may not be so many suitable men around. An elderly parent and his or her divorced child. Two friends.

Why not--if there is no essential connection between marriage and sexual attraction?

2. Of course those opposing redefining marriage insist there is an intrinsic connection between marriage and procreation; but this is the very point that advocates of redefining marriage dispute. Which means, doesn't it, that questions of who can adopt are--or ought to be--unrelated? (This is one of the likely harms of redefining marriage: children who are raised in "same sex marriages" will suffer.) But if, as redefinition advocates insist, there's no essential connection between marriage--as they conceive of it--and procreation and family, then why should redefining marriage change how people are evaluated as potential adoptive parents?

3. Related to that: the longstanding objection to incest was, beyond the fact that it was morally repugnant, that it might result in malformed children. Now that procreation and marriage are effectively autonomous--and we no longer frame laws based on such "repressive" notions as "moral repugnance"--why not allow incestuous marriages?

4. Once again, once marriage is (a) no longer essentially connected to procreation or (b) defined in terms of social good, but no primarily in terms of self-fulfillment, why should those who want multiple husbands and wives be denied? Why be so "mean"?

I gave you my answers. Advocates of redefining marriage, what are yours--and the rationale for them?


Pat said...


Thank you for asking these questions. My pastor says that engaing in the question is important. It is only through dialogue that we can all understand each other. I've attempted my replies - I hope they are comprehensive.

1. Is there any necessary connection between marriage and romantic or sexual attraction?

No. To obtain a civil marriage license, and enjoy all the benefits and obligations of marriage, requires neither romance nor sexual attractaion. It is likely present in most marriages today, but not necessary.

2. Is there any necessary connection between marriage and procreation--and by extension, child-rearing?

No. To enter into a marriage, and continue in a marriage, there is no requirement that the couple have children or ever want to have or rear children. I note further that the married couple continues to enjoy the state benefits of marriage and suffer the state obligations of marriage regardless of whether or not they ever have children, Similarly, Parents' obligations towards their children and benefits they get fom the children are present regardless of whether or not the parents are married, divorced, or single.

3. Why shouldn't people with a close familial relationship (parents-children, siblings, etc.) be able to marry?

For a few reasons: A. They aren't ASKING for access to marriage. B But if you ask the question to understand where we would draw the line and why, my answer is: Since they aren't asking for access to marriage. and they aren't already forming the types of families that gay couples are, there is little or no empirical data on this, but it is understood that if 2 people already enjoy a close familial realtionship, the State has no interest in changing that close familial relationship to a different kind of close familial relationship - that of wedded persons. Sociologists and psychologists and psychiatrists cringe at the thought that the "sibling rivalry" and "mutual sibling support" and "brotherly love" structures that is built betweeen 2 siblings over the course of their formative and adolescent years could be changed to one that encourages the kinds of close, intimate bonds that wedded couples share. I suspect a host of psychological problems, psychiatric problens and sociological problems would ensue.

4. What difference does the number of people consenting to marriage make?

A. Similar to 3 above. A. They arent asking for it. Meaning that there are no real initiaves in this country for multiple marriages. B. But if you ask the question to understand where we would draw the line and why, my answer is: It is generally understood that polygamy wont work in the USA because it is largely a patriarchal system (one man, multiple wives - have you ever seen a woman demanding the right to have multiple husbands, and her many suitors who are on board?) and largely exists for and contributes only to the subjugation of women. This is what we conclude when we look at how it works in the countries that have it. Moreover, in the USA, the 2-person unit works quite well, (although we need to work to keep those 2-person units married for longer. The divorce rate is too high). Lastly, in comparing poygamy to gay marriage some people say, "we should give citizens the ability to marry SOMEONE." Polygamists already have the ability to marry someone. Courts say that currently gay people have no one to marry in states that disallow gay marriage because saying that a gay man has a right to marry a woman is as empty a right as if the shoe was on the other foot - that is, of the only marriage right available to straight men was to marry another man (an empty right).

Greta said...

Pat, you do not really address the questions or the answers Father left. Once it is established law on gay marriage, those who ask for new perversions such as incest or multiple people marriages will use the gay marriage as their basis of law. Remember, there was poligamy already in this country before it was outlawed so why should one suspect that it would not be sought out if marriage is perverted for other perversions.

Pat said...

Greta, Father Fox asked 4 questions and got 4 comprehensive answers.

The insulting way that you frame your question, using the word "perverted," means that you do not deserve further elaboration.

I look forward to his reply, but will likely not engage with you directly.

Good day.

Fr Martin Fox said...


So, if people with familial relationships ask for marriage, and people ask for polygamous marriages, then what is your answer? If you say no, how can you justify denying them what same-sex couples are, we are told, entitled to? Are those seeking incestuous or polygamous marriages less entitled? Why?

(And, do some checking: there are people asking for incestuous and/or polygamous marriages. What difference does it make that it may be a small number--don't smaller groups' fundamental rights merit even greater solicitude?)

Pat said...


In reply I would probably ask you, "why are you so intent on changing the question?"

The question is nothing more than this: "should gay couples continue to be denied access to civil marriage." In the USA, for the state to legally deny such access, there must be a "compelling state interest" in denying a gay couple the right to marry.

In places where this has been examined by the courts (like California) the brilliant and highly paid legal experts hired by those who would deny gay couples the right to marry have been UNABLE to demonstrate that the state has a compelling state interest in keeping gay people single.

Fr Martin Fox said...


Hahaha! You don't like my question, so you accuse me of "changing" the question!

When did I ask the question you put in quotes?

Go look at the title of this post: it was questions I was posing.

If you don't like my questions, that's fine. But let's not play games, OK?

Pat said...

Father, the question that is being asked in the USA is "should gay couples continue to be denied access to civil marriage." That is the question we are all facing. You can't deny that, can you? Were Mainers or Marylanders voting on polygamy? No, of course not. The question in the culture today is about gay marriage. Nothing more, nothing less. In my view, asking about polygamy or incest or a host of other things are attempts to change the question. Nonetheless, as a courtesy, I answered these matters in my first post. But the debate is about gay marriage. Nothing else.

Fr Martin Fox said...


You really make me laugh, because your stridency in demanding that I, on my own blog, should be dealing with the question as you see it, rather than as I might, perfectly illustrates where the fake "tolerance" surrounding this issue will take us.

I think the reasons for my questions about incest and polygamy are clear enough, for those who have eyes to see. You won't even admit that there are folks in the wings to pursue this very development.

No need to engage further with my questions.

Pat said...

Father Fox,

I think there's no need to engage further with your questions, because I've answered them! In addition to answering them, I also expressed some suspicion as to why on earth you are asking questions about polygamy or incest when our country is facing the question of gay marriage. I'm sorry if that hurts your feelings. But in the end, you asked 4 questions and got 4 answers, didn't you?

Fr Martin Fox said...


Now you're "concern trolling"? Isn't that what it's called? The condescending bit about hurting my feelings? Nice touch.

You're right out of Central Casting.

Thanks for your comments, Pat, have a nice evening.

Pat said...

I guess you didn't really want serious answers to your questions. OK. Sorry.

Sevesteen said...

I'm certainly not competent to debate Catholic doctrine with a priest, so I'm limiting myself to the legal side.

Ideally, marriage should include a deep romantic bond...but the government isn't competent to decide if such a bond exists. Legally any attempt to require the proper amount or type of attraction will be worse than what it attempts to solve. I would also say that romantic and sexual feelings alone aren't nearly enough for a good marriage.

I'm a bit dubious in looking at historical marriages as a guide to current practice--we need to compare eras where woman had relatively similar freedoms as now. In the past woman had fewer opportunities to support themselves, so a poor marriage was sometimes the best available option.

Child rearing is the most common reason for marriage, but certainly not the only one--and some same-sex couples rear children. It isn't consistent to allow marriage to certain infertile couples while using the inability to conceive as an excuse for denying it to others.

I'm not aware of anything showing that children of same-sex couples are on average worse off than the children of heterosexual couples. I would in fact expect same sex couples to be somewhat better, as they only have children intentionally and with some difficulty. In adoption the children should be paramount, but based on facts rather than prejudice or 'everyone knows'. It wouldn't surprise me if same sex adoptive parents had somewhat better, or somewhat worse outcomes on average, just as I would expect that college education, income, family racial makeup, religious background or urban/suburban/rural location would all make differences. It would surprise me to find that any of these factors alone were enough to make a decision one way or another on the fitness of adoptive parents.

I don't know why close familial relationships shouldn't marry. The idea grosses me out, but that's not enough justification to restrict others' actions. I think that argument is a red herring--the number of such would be extremely small.

I also haven't thought about polygamy that much, but I don't see how it harms me. Both of those are slippery slope arguments, support of gay marriage doesn't require support of incest or polygamy.

Wayne said...

Pat, in response to your question to Fr. Fox about changing the question, he has already pointed out the purpose of his questions and they are directly related to the gay marriage debate. He is trying to test the consistency of the gay marriage argument. If two people of the same sex can get a state-recognized marriage, then what is the state's interest in marriage at all? If it is not for the protection of the children that are the natural product of a natural marriage (and science has proven that this is the best place for children to be raised), then what is the state's interest? By recognizing gay marriage as a right of homosexual couples, it looks like it is in the state's interest simply not to hurt the feelings of the adult couple.

Sevesteen, in response to your statement "child rearing is the most common reason for marriage...," I would simply refer you to the same question I posed to Pat. Certainly there are many reasons for people to marry outside of the desire to raise children. That much is obviously true, but the state cannot regulate the reasons for marriage. They have an interest in recognizing marriage for some purpose. What is that purpose?

To both of you, most of the reasons people with homosexual desires state for wanting a state to recognized marriage is that they want the benefits from a state recognized marriage (inheritance, spousal visits to the hospital, etc.). Most of those rights are already granted to homosexual couples and those heterosexual couples who do not marry but live together for a certain number of years. I would argue that the reason for any rights (such as the right to adopt children) that are not granted to homosexual couples and non-married heterosexual couples, is that it is not in the best interest of the children to grant these couples those rights. That doesn't make it discriminatory (in the same way that hiring a construction worker to be your accountant is not discriminatory) it is in the best interest of the state to encourage the best possible environment for children. Are there marriages that don't work out? Yes. Are there situations in which children, despite the laws encouraging natural marriages, are raised in a less than optimal situation? Absolutely. That doesn't make it better to start them in an environment in which it is known to be harder for the child as he develops.

There is a reason that men and women are built a certain way and naturally come together in marriage to raise children. Society has shown that to be true for centuries and millenia (and yes, as Father points out, that includes long before the Catholic Church existed). It is the honus of same sex marriage supporters to prove that state recognition of same sex marriage is in the best interest of society at large (and children, in particular).

Pat said...

Sevesteen, I agree with much of what you say (especially your last paragraph) but am not sure what you mean by "Child rearing is the most common reason for marriage."

I suspect you left out a word or 2 or should elaborate. Unless you really do mean that most couples get married in order to rear children, in which case I strongly disagree and the facts don't support that concept. Many many couples marry and then separately determine to conceive and rear children. In fact, many couples marry and then wait for several years to have children. I am confident that in the USA the decision to marry a partner and the decision to have kids are separate decisions. Sure they are in the same general topic of life and family and plans for the future, but they are separate decisions. People don't get married to have kids. They get married to have a spouse.

Many who oppose gay marriage seem to think that a spouse is a means to an end: children. But that is an insult to marriage, in my view. A spouse is an end itself and has great worth to the other spouse, children or no children.



Wayne said...

Just saw a couple of typos in my response but one that should be corrected to be more clear. When I say, "That doesn't make it discriminatory...", it should say, "(in the same way that NOT hiring a construction worker to be your accountant is not discriminatory)." I assume you could all figure that out, but I wanted to be clear.

Pat said...


Thank you for your thoughts. It looks like we were typing at the same time. You seem to be asking me "what is the State’s interest in marriage?" Here are a few:

Marriage is one of the basic building blocks of our neighborhoods and our nation. At its best, it is a stable bond between two individuals who work to create a loving household and a social and economic partnership. We encourage couples to marry because the commitments they make to one another provide benefits not only to themselves but also to their families and communities.

Marriage requires thinking beyond one's own needs. It transforms two individuals into a union based on shared aspirations, and in doing so establishes a formal investment in the well-being of society.

Marriage promotes financial interdependence, shared living arrangements, and a commitment to mutual caring, all of which benefit society as a whole.

In marrying, the couple makes a deeper commitment to one another and to society. Marriage also provides an anchor for a couple in the chaos of sex and relationships to which all people are prone. That helps society. It provides a mechanism for emotional stability and economic security. Those are both good for society. Marriage places more responsibilities upon citizens, fosters social cohesion, emotional security, and economic prudence.

Further reasons to expressly include GAY people into the institution of marriage:

Gay people are a permanent minority and aren't likely to go away. We should encourage them to participate in the traditional values and institutions that have proven to work for society, like marriage. The alternative is bad public policy and bad for society: framing laws to encourage gay relationships to be unfaithful, undeveloped, and insecure helps nobody. Gays should be encouraged to form the kinds of lasting commitments that have proven so helpful to straight people.

Gay marriage is good for straight marriage in that including gays into this institution reinforces what we know to be a healthy social trend. Marriage is good.

Lastly, civil marriage should not be left unregulated or left to the individual religions to regulate because unlike baptism or communion, or a seder meal or annointing of the sick it is a vibrant and dynamic social institution that every day involves the married couple vs. the world. It is a public institution, it involves the common good of all citizens and the state should do what it can to provide that institution, educate the public about that institution, and make easy access to the institution. Marriages happen in our society: couples come together, form committed partnerships, and bind themselves to each other. Government should help them in those endeavors.

Please also know that under our laws gay people are not, as you suggest, required to prove why the marriage laws should include them. It's the opposite in this country: when the government provides an institution to the public, and denies access to it to only part of the public, it is the government's job to state any compelling interest that society has in denying the institution to part of the public.

Given all of the above points, I dont see how a government can say -- and so far our government has not been able to say -- that society has a compelling interest in keeping gay people out of this institution.

In short, civil marriage is such a good institution for society that we should allow gay couples to join that institution.

Fr Martin Fox said...

How can two men or two women be married when they are absolutely incapable of performing "marital acts"?

(It's a rhetorical question. Lots of people don't even know what "marital acts" are, and that by definition, they require both sexes to accomplish.

Our excursion in Fantasyland continues, where the Queen of Hearts' rule of meaning is followed--words mean whatever suits us.)

Pat said...

Father Fox,

If the point you make had any legal weight, it would have won in court.


Fr Martin Fox said...

Pat: are you under the impression that opponents of redefining marriage have not won in the courts anywhere? Where did you get that notion?

More broadly, what connection are you presupposing between court processes and what is true, even in the narrow context of the law?

Wayne said...

It is interesting, Pat, that you define marriage and suggest the state's interest in marriage without once mentioning the importance of raising children. You mention families a couple of times, but you don't mention the fact that one "version" of marriage is naturally set up to allow for children and to raise them as they were meant, and one is a false attempt to do so. There have been multiple studies that prove that point. The state is meant to protect children as best they can. Recognizing homosexual marriage is a further step away from their ability to do that.

Also, we can agree that marriage is good. That is obvious. But how is it good for a homosexual couple to pretend their marriage is the same as that of a natural marriage when there is nothing that unites them besides their "mutual aspirations?" Also, I would suggest, and perhaps this may come across as a bit harsh it is not intended as such, that people with homosexual desires should not be encouraged to live in long-lasting committed relationships (outside of friendships) but should be encouraged to live a chaste single life of service to his or her fellow man. They should have strong friendships with many people who can support them in dealing with their struggles, but they should not enter into "long-lasting committed relationships." In the same way, a person with heterosexual desires who is married is expected to live a life of sacrifice for his or her spouse and family (and not get into a long-lasting committed relationship with his or her neighbor). Again, this is not about fairness, and it is not discrimination to say that these couple should not get married. It is about what is right and what is wrong; it is about what is natural and what is unnatural. Going against nature and stripping the meaning of marriage down to just some other social contract is not good for society not matter how you look at it.

Pat said...


Oh, Wayne. You've shown your hand.

First, the state can and does have an interest in marriage separate and apart from its interest in children. That's why married couples get many rights and obligations regardless of whether they have children, and why parents get many rights and obligations regardless of whether they are married.

So sure, children are an ADDITIONAL state interest - but not the sole reason for marriage, as demonstrated above.

Secondly, as for suggesting that gay people live chaste lives, why? Our civil laws do not propose that, nor should they. That is a religious extremist view of gay people

And there is no "natural" marriage. Marriage is a social construct. It does not arise from or out of nature. It's what the people say it is. Your words tend towards a roman catholic doctrine or natural law theory of marriage, neither of which are dispositive in civil law matters. You seem to come from a place where there is something wrong or disordered about homosexuality, and that view has been roundly rejected by all well respected scientific, medical, psychiatric, psychological and social science bodies in this country.

Lastly, your conclusory remarks that gay marriage is "not good for society no matter how you look at it" is WHOLLY unsupported by evidence. Dn't even bother to look for it; it's not there. The fact is that we have had gay civil marriage for over 10 years and it is rapidly spreading to jurisdictions around the world and the country and it is working out just fine.

Again: marriage is a social good. It's so good that we should encourage gay people to participate.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Marriage is a social construct. It does not arise from or out of nature. It's what the people say it is.

Who says, other than Pat?

Meanwhile, it is an easily verifiable fact that civilizations the world over, for so many years no one know how many, have all arrived at the same, arbitrary social construct of marriage as man-and-woman. Yet without any reference to human nature!

Pat said...

Father Fox,

You are not thinking critically, which is what is required when our civil laws are at play.

Who says marriage does not arise out of nature other than me? You cannot be serious. Do you think marriage just "occurs" in nature like photosynthesis? It is a human, social construct, and a good one - but it requires free will and decision and action. No frogs in the Amazon get married. No plant life. No monkeys. No rocks. Even humans, part of nature of course, dont wake up and find themselves married. Are you confusing marriage and mating?

Fr Martin Fox said...

I'm not "thinking critically"?

That's a hoot!

I asked you a question, which you chose to evade. I ask again:

Who, other than you, says:

Marriage is a social construct. It does not arise from or out of nature. It's what the people say it is.

Please name a person, or a code of law, or other authoritative source, that says what you assert?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Meanwhile, we have this remarkable fact:
the world over, throughout history, until very recently, marriage has been understood as a heterosexual union. Even where there were variations in numbers of parties to the marriage, ages, degrees of familial relationship, the permanence of it, even the question of consent!...and yet the heterosexuality of marriage is a remarkable feature, seemingly universal.

Now, this could be because it has an essential relationship to mating, and procreation, and hence marriage is, by it's nature, an outgrowth of human nature--oh, but no!

It's an arbitrary construct, "whatever people say it is"--having no intrinsic relationship to human nature! Because Pat says so! In AD 2012! Causa finita est!

Therefore, we have the most remarkable coincidence ever: worldwide, throughout history--until very recently--all these arbitrary constructs of so many different societies all chanced into the same heterosexual option! Astonishing!

How can this be?

Since, as Pat asserts--ergo causa finita est!--marriage has nothing, no connection, to human nature, then of course it's purely coincidental that sexual attraction, sexual intercourse and procreation occur in marriage. Unless it's also true that these, as well, have nothing to do with human nature?

We wait breathlessly for more dicta from the great decider, Pat.

Wayne said...


"We have had gay marriage for over 10 years is working out fine." Actually, gay marriage has been legalized for decades in some parts of the world and everything is not just hunky dory. In fact, that is where the studies come from that show the negative impact of gay marriage on children and therefore on society at large. And if things are working out just fine I must ask: "For whom?" Are the children not being helped by Catholic Social Services in Massachusetts better off now than when CSS was allowed to practice its religious freedom? How about the many businesses who have been sued by the state and lost due to their belief and practice of supporting natural marriage? What about the scientific studies that show the level of satisfaction in a "gay marriage" to be far below that of a natural marriage.

Additionally, I understand that the state has an interest in marriage beyond that of the interests of children, but let's be honest and realize that children are the primary interest for the state in regards to marriage. That is why children are the first to get care from the state when something goes wrong in a marriage. Certainly, there are other advantages to having people stay together in marriage. Men and women thrive in marriage and become the best version of themselves when they enter into the union to which they have been called (notice I say here, men and women, I haven't seen proof that the same happens in a same-sex marriage - it may be the case, I just haven't seen proof). Of course, the state would like to see people reach their potential and marriage increases productivity most of the time. However, children are still the primary interest of the state in regards to marriage. Pretending it is not seems a bit off base to me.

And yes, my beliefs about the nature of homosexuality tend toward the Roman Catholic/natural law viewpoint. I'm glad you were able to pick that up. That means I am articulating myself well. And if you take the time to learn it, you'll find the Church to be right in almost every one of its doctrines. That's probably because it has had some of the most brilliant minds in the history of the world to help them arrive at these teachings. Of course, it could also be that most of their teachings can be arrived at through the use of reason. I would encourage you to dig more deeply into it.

I still stand by my belief that it would be better for society if those with homosexual desires would remain celibate. It would be hard for those individuals and the Church is willing to help and support those individuals, but it would be better for all of society and better for those individuals as has also been anecdotally evidenced by the number of people with homosexual desires claiming an increase in happiness when choosing to live a celibate lifestyle after living a fornicative one. I can't prove that all of society will be better if this were to happen because it will never happen, but I believe that to be true and just because it will not happen doesn't mean that the position is flawed.

P.S. I never claimed that it should be in our laws that people with homosexual desires live chaste lives. I just said that it would be better for them and society. You can feel free to disagree, it is my belief and it is based on natural law and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Pat said...


1. You are wrong about studies showing a negative impact of gay marriage on children. Wrong. And don't hand me some crazy religious pamphlets in reply.

2. CSS in Massachusetts made a business decison to stop the adoption buisness, rather than comply with law. They had 3 options: (A) continue adoptions and comply with law, (B) continue adoptions and legally avoid the law by refusing government money as many other religious adoption services do, and (3) close shop. They chose #3. Don't blame the gays on that one. My uncle was "forced" to go out of business when the government wanted him to serve black people at his lunch counter. Damn progress!!!

3. You are insane if you think that businesses that provide a public accommodateion should be able to discriminate against a minority. That is unAmerican. See 2 above.

4. You have failed to show that children are the "primary interest for the state in regards [sic] to marriage". Saying so doesn't make it so. And even if it were a significant reason, it does not reasonably lead to excluding gay people from marriage. Including gay people in marriage will benefit those gay families that have children, and therefore benefit society as a whole. Society will further benefit from including gay people in the isntitution of marriage by ALL OF THE REASONS I stated above in an earlier post.

5. "I'm glad you were able to pick that up"??????? No, sir, you are NOT articulating yourself well as regards willfully limiting your reasoning to RC doctrine and the theory of natral law. If that's the limits of your analysis, you should have said so at first, rather than have me draw it out of you over the course of several posts. I wonder why you aren't straightforward about this.

6. I hate when radical Christians pretend to discuss civil law matters, hide the fact that they are really arguing solely religious extremist/natural law theory viewpoints and then, when exposed, tell me that if I only learned it better I would agree with them. Please. I am more engaged in these matters than you know. Natural law theory grossly fails when applied to homosexuality and gay marriage. It may have other uses, but it fails miserably here.

7. Did you really just reference a "fornicative lifestyle" with respect to non-celibate gay people. Wow. As satted, you've shown your hand and you're in the wrong forum. These are legal matters. These are civil law matters. I'm closing out now and headed back to court. Enjoy bible study.

Wayne said...


I really wasn't going to respond and there is no real point to respond, but you and I both know that there are studies out there that prove that children raised by a homosexual couple are not as well formed as those raised by a heterosexual couple. I assumed you would know that if you were "more engaged in these matters than [I] know." And I also assumed you were well engaged in these matters. Hence the good arguments you were attempting to put forward. Still you haven't stated why it is good that the government should want to allow for children to be placed or raised in a home when there is evidence to suggest that the children will have a harder time developing normally as they grow. When children are raised in an unnatural environment, they don't get the proper support they need and they do, in fact, and science supports this, along with anecdotal evidence, have more problems as they grow into adulthood. If the state recognizes that parents shouldn't raise children on their own, don't they make laws that try to keep that from happening? I guess since you work in a courthouse, you have a better knowledge of all the laws than I.

At what point was I trying to hide the position from which I was arguing? And I didn't know it was necessary for people to state at the beginning of any argument, "I'm a Roman Catholic and I believe what the Church teaches." For that matter, you are the one who told me I don't know how deep into this issue you are. Who is not being upfront now? In either case, it isn't imperative to the conversation we had. I made it clear from the beginning that I supported the right of the state to not recognize gay marriage and for several good reasons. The most important of those reasons is the protection of children. My beliefs inform my stance to be certain and yes, I think that if you knew more about the teachings of the Catholic Church you would see that it shows a consistent teaching across all areas and is guided by Truth. Truth has a place in any argument, whether in civil law or in a Bible study.

Unlike you, I am not willing to throw out natural law when the laws I'm trying to cram into it just won't fit. When we cease to use natural law as the basis for our laws we cease to have any foundation whatsoever. When there is no foundation for our laws, then there is no line in the sand that can't be crossed or completely wiped away. As you said, saying natural law theory doesn't hold water here doesn't make it so. (Though i will concede that perhaps natural law doesn't hold as much water today because it has already been ignored in the creation of several other laws - again we can reference divorce law, adoption law, etc. But then we aren't looking just at natural law are we?)

Anyway, this debate has been fun and I thank you for the opportunity. You are right in assuming I haven't been at this long, and you have given me some things to research but I believe by ignoring the primacy of natural law you have no leg to stand on regarding further changes to marriage law. Fr. Fox's original questions about what happens when people want to further change the "formula" for marriage are still left unanswered by your many arguments. Natural law theory answers those questions along with the gay marriage question.

Fr Martin Fox said...

...And, Pat bares her claws...

1. She cites the example of her uncle refusing to serve blacks. Because opposing the redefinition of marriage makes you a bigot.

2. "You are insane."

3. She arrogates to herself to define the proper field of discussion: "If that's the limit of your analysis..."

4. "I hate...", "radical Christians"..."hide the fact..." Remember, when you attempt "conversation with Pat, it's actually an interrogation, and if you don't give her what she deems sufficient disclosure, you're "hiding" and therefore underhanded. It reminds me of a movie where a character joins an exclusive WASP school, and it turns out he's JEWISH! Why didn't he disclose that?

5. "I am more engaged in these matters than you know...". Translation: I am smarter than you bigoted, "radical Christians, so that's why I feel free to ignore questions posed to me. Oh, and now who's not being candid?

6. How DARE you speak tome of "fornication?!" the Magisterial Pat thunders as she shakes the dust of the unclean yokels from her shoes. (Loud door-slam for dramatic effect.)

Pat said...


1. A review of the body of respected, peer reviewed studies comparing children raised by gay parents and children raised by straight parents absolutely does NOT show what you say it shows. You are wrong or being untruthful. Take your pick.

2. Stop talking about children. This is about marriage, not children. There are already hundreds of laws that support the right of gay people to raise children, so if that's the battle you want to fight you've already lost it. Decades ago. This is about marriage.

3. Did you just twice capitalize the word truth? My pastor calls people who argue civil laws by referencing the word "truth" -- and capitalizing it-- the "fearful, Jesusy masses." Capitalizing the word truth tells me that you have left the realm of reason and moved into the realm of faith. That's fine, but inapplicable to a discussion of civil laws.

4. I do not assume anything about you. I conclude. Big difference.

5. I do not ignore natural law theory; I affirmativey reject much of it as patently false, in particular with respect to what is "ordered" and "disordered."