18 January, 2010

Quebec defines that heterosexuality cannot be taught as being normal

With thanks to CA, I offer this report on the latest addition to the secularist formula as expressed in Quebec with the publication of the "Quebec Policy Against Homophobia."

Whereas I agree that it is right to accept that the State has the right to establish what will be considered legal or "normative" in its own curriculum and policies, it should not infringe on the right of the Church to argue for that which it believes to be moral.

Morality is a priori within the very mandate of religion. There should not be subject to the limitations of State, beyond the consensual understandings of what is needed for civic health. To do more is an infringement of the freedom of religious expression. The State cannot tell the church what they may or may not teach as essential tenet of their faith, any more than the Church should have the right to dictate to the State how to manage affairs within its purview.

The Church must be granted the right to argue for its understanding of the morality of human activity, so long as individuals are free to make these decisions for themselves for it is the collective expression of these understandings that becomes the law of the land.  To quote Pope John Paul II, the church must propose but never impose. It is up to citizens to decide the rules and values reign within civil society. The Church must be allowed to both publicly and privately engage in the public square to try to win the hearts and minds of those whose will is expressed in public policy.

To deny freedom of belief to one is to deny it to all.  This is not a road that leads to civilizational growth and mature societal debate. It's the road that leads to oppression and state domination. It's the model that has stripped societies of their cultures as the rule of the mob leads inevitably to the rule of one.

Judge for yourself. Read the document and decide if I am right or wrong.

=============

27 comments:

  1. Hi Tim,

    I agree that Churches should be free to preach as they see fit. We must remember, however, that most Churches enjoy a number of privileges granted to them by the state (e.g. exemptions from property taxes in most jurisdictions, denominational schools, charitable tax status etc...). In return, society has the right to expect that Churches contribute to the overall social good. You are right - there is a minimum consensus on what is right and good for civic health. A Church that cannot pass such a low bar ought not to enjoy any state privilieges (as noted above).

    I guess I don't understand why you find the Quebec Policy Against Homophobia to be a problem for the Catholic Church. After all, does the Church not teach that homosexual persons should be treated with respect, and not subjected to unjust discrimination? To my mind, it would seem that the goals of the state and the R.C.C. are in perfect alignment.

    No one expects Churches to agree with everything that takes place in civil society (e.g. abortion, contraception, divorce, adoption, equality of the sexes etc...). The Churches are free to preach as they see fit on any of these matters. Why would you expect anything different when it comes to the fair treatment of homosexuals?

    Do you think that the state and society at large should be free to discriminate against homosexuals?

    Here is an actual excerpt from the Quebec Policy (page 32). I would urge you not to rely solely on alarmist and reactionary publications like WorldNutDaily for your information:

    "Another goal is to obtain the commitment and participation of partners whose
    influence in their specific sector can help change mindsets and practices.
    Employers, unions and community groups can take action within their own
    organizations and sector of activity to promote acceptance of and respect
    for sexual diversity.

    Individual citizens must become involved in the fight against homophobia. The
    general population must be encouraged to reject and denounce homophobic
    behaviour patterns and attitudes. The individual actions taken by citizens are
    an essential component in the fight against homophobia."

    Seems straightforward and good to me. Why would we not all encourage a society where sexual minorities are treated as equal citizens?

    Cheers...Martin

    ReplyDelete
  2. Martin: Apologies if I did not make my objection to this clearer. I have no problem at all with the goal of this program. Where I object is in the manner that policies such as this get applied, especially in the province of Quebec (I've spent far more than half of my 20+ years working in that province).

    Equality of sexual minorities (although I can make a solid argument why sexuality should not be a defining characteristic of a person) in so far as it permits societal peace if a laudable goal. But, HRC's (Human Rights Commissions) and other government agencies are using such legislation to prohibit the teaching of traditional Christian understandings on sexuality. I fail to see how equality or social harmony can be achieved by denying the voice of as significant percentage of the population as is represented by those who use Christianity as the source for their moral framework in life.

    Just as it was wrong to exclude teaching on alternate sexualities in modern secular schools, so too is it now wrong to deny the place for a Christian voice.

    Before you state that this is not what will result from this policy, I ask you to review the part (sorry don't have page number at hand by I can provide if needed) where it states (and I paraphrase here from memory so apologies if I don't get the phrasing exactly right) that heterosexuality cannot be taught or explained as a normative form of relationships. Included in the press release that accompanied this documents publication by the government was (as qualifier as above) a phrase that said the policy was intended to overcome the "tyranny" of heterosexual thought.

    Individuals and societal organizations should most certainly support the rights of all citizens to live their lives as they wish. Denying the voice of faith in such a task is counterproductive and wrong headed.

    I conclude by again saying that I have witnessed first hand many occasions where such mandates of the Quebec government are instituted and applied to know that they no longer deserve the benefit of the doubt when it comes to a fair and equal application of such a policy. On this, I can only ask you to take this conviction on faith given my experiences.

    Tim

    ReplyDelete
  3. Time to post typing corrections to above comment:

    1. "is a laudable goal"
    2. " a significant percentage"
    3. "but I can provide if needed"
    4. "with qualifier as above"

    ReplyDelete
  4. Tim,

    I think the passage you are referring to is on page 12:

    For the purposes of this policy, “heterosexism”, “homophobia” and “sexual
    minority” mean:
    ■ Heterosexism: Affirmation of heterosexuality as a social norm or the highest
    form of sexual orientation; social practice that conceals the diversity of sexual
    orientations and identities in everyday representations, social relations
    and social institutions, in particular by taking for granted that all people
    are heterosexual.
    ■ Homophobia: All negative attitudes leading to the rejection of and direct
    or indirect discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals
    and transgenders, or against persons whose appearance or behaviour does
    not conform to masculine or feminine stereotypes.
    ■ Sexual minorities: inclusive terms for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals
    and transgenders.

    In this context, I see nothing threatening to remind the heterosexual majority that there are sexual minorities, and that heterosexuality is not superior to other forms of sexual expression.

    You may not agree with this policy aim (that is your right), but the government does have an obligation to protect minorities (including sexual minorities) from discrimination. Whether or not you wish to admit it, heterosexism and homophobia are related. LGBT citizens face multiple layers of discrimination each and every day. LGBT citizens endure a level of discrimination that almost no other minority group faces(including higher incidents of physical violence from others).

    Quite frankly Tim, the R.C.C. and some other religious denominations, often do little to challenge homophobia and anti-gay discrimination. In the process they often wittingly, and unwittingly, aid and abet some of the most vile bigotry against homosexual persons.

    If you are interested in social justice and social cohesion, you would do well to confront homophobia within the hierarchy of your own Church (and in its pews) rather than take offence to an honest effort by the Quebec government to protect a vulnerable minority.

    Cheers...Martin

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  5. Again Martin, all I can offer is what my experience has taught me on this matters. The Quebec government introduces a policy to reorganize schools along linguistic lines as opposed to religious ones, with of the course the promise of continuing religious instruction where requested. Within two years, they had eliminated all pastoral services, essentially banned religious symbols and activities from the schools and then followed it up with the banning of religious instruction as being too divisive in a modern secular society.

    This is but one example. Believe me when I tell you that 14 years of ministry in Quebec has given me quite a few other examples I could share.

    If I believed that the policy was going to be implemented fairly (permitting counter views to the official curriculum in areas of morality - again with the permission of the School Parents Council - then I would have no complaint. Experience has taught me that this is not how this policy will play out.

    Remember too Martin that it is the stated policy of all three Quebec parties that religion (and public religious discussions) have no place in the modern public square, and should be restricted to within one's own household and (with restrictions) within one's own church (eg: it is illegal in the province to speak on political matters in the pulpit, just as it is illegal to preach from sacred scripture anything that is counter to the "consensual Quebec values" outside of a church.

    To quote Romeo Dellaire who was the last guest speaker that I was able to bring into a school as a 'pastoral speaker'when speaking to me about the Quebec government of the late 20th century: "They are fascists. Why can't people see that?" Given what he faced in life, I trust he knows what he is talking about.

    Tim

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  6. Interesting commentary! I have to agree with you Fr Tim. This Quebec policy is truly out of order. This is not about “homophobia” prevention, but about restricting basic freedoms of conscience and religion of others in order to accommodate the few who would define their existence via their sexuality. Will we be defining pedophilia as being utterly normal next? How about bestiality?
    The fact is that we are living in a world that increasingly wants to reinvent its own values. That these new “values” are not easily enforceable ought to be a sign of alarm. We ought to press the pause button and reflect: if our new definition of that which is now “normal” is truly so, why then does it need to be pounded into people’s brains by force? Ought the “truth” about our humanity not be self-evident?
    CA

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  7. CA,

    I would genlty point out that equating homosxuality with either pedophilia or bestiality is no more legitimate than linking it to heterosexuality.

    Legitimate homosexual and heterosexual acts take place between consenting adults whereas acts of pedophilia and bestiality do not.

    Your comments more eloquently affirm the need for the QPAH than anything I might have said.

    Cheers...Martin

    ReplyDelete
  8. Martin: Please note that the comment you refer to was not written by me, but was posted by someone else.

    I will post any comment that is civil and intelligently written. The only purpose for the comment moderation is that I discovered that spammers where starting to hit the site.

    The fact that your comments (which do not necessarily agree with my original posts) make it on to the site is proof of the fact that I intend this site to spark conversation and debate about "where the rubber hits the road".

    Tim

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  9. Tim - If you look at the top of my post, you will see that I directed my comments to "CA". I would be surprised/disappointed if such remarks were made by you.

    Tim - With respect to your post, what countering moral argument could there possibly be to ending homosphobia? Are we not in agreement that official Church teaching supports this aim?

    CA - while you are entitled to your opinion that the purpose of the QPAH is about restricting freedom of conscience and religion, you are not entitled to your own set of facts. Please point out where in the document religion is even mentioned? Please cite any evidence to support your assertion.

    Cheers...Martin

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  10. Martin: Your correct... I did not notice the CA at the start of your comment.

    We are in complete agreement re countering homophobia. We are disagreeing on how this can be accomplished.

    Tim

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  11. Hi Martin! Sorry, I can come across as intolerant, but believe me, it is not my intent. Basically, I have a problem with the whole concept of "homophobia". It is a phobia to what?
    Here is a good definition from a medical dictionary:
    "Phobia: An unreasonable sort of fear that can cause avoidance and panic. Phobias are a relatively common type of anxiety disorder.

    For example, extreme fear of spiders is called arachnophobia, and fear of being outside is known as agoraphobia. Phobias can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy using exposure and fear reduction techniques. In many cases, anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication proves helpful, especially during the early stages of therapy.

    The word "phobia" is from the Greek "phobos" (fear)."

    People who for ethical, moral, or religious reasons are opposed to things like same-sex marriage are now being diagnosed with having a "phobia". I simply do not believe this is a truthful or fair assessment. You can be opposed to something without thereby “hating” anyone. And yet, this is what the sort of labelling does. It labels you as being hateful, when in fact, you love the person but oppose the lifestyle. Loving someone does not always mean seeing eye to eye.

    A disagreement on a lifestyle is not really the same as a medical condition such as a "phobia", but simply a disagreement. If we cannot get that straight, then we are in for big trouble in the years to come.

    I do not believe that homosexuals ought to be maltreated, but just not given special treatment, say, you would not give to polygamists, for example. This is not based on a religious belief, but on my own concept of what I believe to be the underlying purpose of marriage, which is the union between one man and one woman of the same species for the betterment of society and the propagation of our species... not to mean that thereby childless couples ought not to marry.
    You may disagree with what I have expressed above, and we can agree to disagree. But, if a law is passed, no one will be able to bring in any new insights into the discussion for fear of reprisal. This is unheard of in a democratic society. So my worry really is .... where are we really heading as a civilization?
    CA

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi CA,

    It may or may not surprise you that I agree with you to a certain extent. Not all people who oppose the equal treatment of LGBT folks are afraid of homosexuals or are "phobic". For many of the reasons you noted above, I also find the term "homophobia" to be of limited usefulness. Personally, I prefer the term "anti-gay bigot".

    Regardless of what we call such bigotry, I think people of goodwill would agree that LGBT citizens have been historically, and continue to be, subject to a lot of unjust discrimination.

    When you say that homosexuals are asking for "special treatment" you have missed the point precisely and entirely.

    Issues such as equal marriage rights for homosexuals are not about asking for special treatment - rather, equal marriage is about asking to be treated the same as heterosexuals with repsect to civil marriage under the law.

    I defend your right to exclude homosexuals from religious marriage ceremonies. When it comes to civil marriage - you are not entitled to impose your religious views on a secular institution.

    You claim that your mariage views are not religiously motivated, however, you offer us nothing but a convenient definition that arbitraily excludes opposite sex couples. I would simply point out that marriage has continuously evolved over time to meet changing social needs. At one time women were regarded as mere chattel, and marriage was largely a mechanism for the elite to consolidate property holdings. In fact, Martin Luther (pre-reformation) was entirely indifferent to the institution of marriage. Things have evolved.

    Perhaps if you looked at this way, you might see the injustice of excluding LGBT folks from civil marriage a bit more clearly:

    Why should a heterosexual crack whore be able to enter into a civil marriage contract with an unrepentent heterosexual pedophile, while a long-term committed gay couple is denied a civil marriage?

    I don't mean to be insulting, but your comments are intolerant and bigoted - especially when you try to make false links between homosexuality, beastaility, and pedophilia. As I stated before, such false linkages are a classic form of anti-gay bigotry and need to be confronted (while amply demonstrating the need for things like the QPAH).

    If you have anything constructive and valid to offer to this discussion, then I wholeheartedly welcome it. On the other hand, if all you have to offer is warmed over anti-gay bigotry (such as the false linkages noted above), then you may expect me to challenge this bilge at every turn.

    Lastly - I am more than a little disappointed that Tim has not already called you out for such blatant bigotry.

    Cheers...Martin

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sorry there Marty. When I'm traveling on my day off, I rely on my iphone to quickly survey comments etc before posting. My default position to allow people to make their arguments as they wish. I only directly deal with those cases where I notice any prejudice or bigotry. I leave it to the role of others to also join in and make points as you have done. I intend this blog to be a place of open discussion, where ideas can be shared, vetted, debated and weighed by anyone who reads these exchanges. Many thanks to you for addressing this issue with CA.

    Tim

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Martin,
    Unfortunately, the very fact that you would judge my comments to be those of a bigot has already closed you off from any further discussion on this topic. Any valid arguments I may have to offer for my stance have already been pre-judged by you, therefore you have closed the door.
    May I suggest that perhaps it is you who are close-minded against any further discussion on this topic?
    Ca

    ReplyDelete
  15. CA,

    I do judge many of your previous remarks to be bigoted. Nevertheless, I do believe in people's ability to grow and change. Consequently, if you have anything other than Republican Party talking points to offer - I am all ears.

    Cheers...Martin

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Martin,
    First of all, I am definitely not a Republican. I am merely an observant of nature and a scientifically trained person. When I look at the world around me, I don't think "politics", I think ... OK, what does nature tell me about mankind? What does it tell me about the meaning behind human sexuality?
    If man was made for woman and woman for man (I am not talking marriage now), this should be obvious from nature—ie. Not because of what people do, but via observation of bodily structures (ie. by observing our biology). If you look at this from an emotional perspective, then yes, I could see why you might say that man was created for man. But just biologically, you can see that the body parts made for copulation and reproduction only "fit" in heterosexually mating couples. It is because of this that I believe that true “marriage” is only inherently possible between male and female. You could of course make it legally possible for gays to marry, but I believe calling it a “ marriage” would be a lie.
    On another note, it is most ironic that Quebec should be such a promoter of gay marriage; a province where the number of marriages ending in divorce is sky-rocketing, and where most couples no longer even bother marrying but just shack-up. I have no problem with homosexuals shacking up, it is the calling it of a “marriage” that I have a problem with. Of course, if the word “marriage” no longer signifies what it once did, then that is another question all together. Perhaps the problem is more one of semantics?
    Cheers!
    CA

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  17. CA: Speaking for myself, I certainly agree with your last point. It is the place of the church to based upon its understanding and guided by the Holy Spirit, what constitutes a moral relationship. It really has no place in speaking to the legality of such a relationship. Clearly that falls within the purview of the state.

    However, since the term "marriage" has roots that far predate that of the state, the church does have a right to object to the redefinition of that relationship.

    Since the state is willing to extend the legal rights to any two people who choose to co- habitate in an exclusive relationship without the necessity of a ritual being performed, it is my contention that they should register all unions, blessed or not as "civil unions", thus leaving the term "marriage" to signify that which it always has... the union of one man and one woman in an exclusive and covenant relationship to each other.

    Couples could (if they wish) attend to the religious institution of their choice which would bless their union and then register (via their tax returns) if they wish to receive the legal benefits offered by the state.

    In demanding that alternative unions be defined as "marriage" is, in my opinion, simply an action on the part of the GLBT community to receive the imprimenteur of society upon them. This goal is disguised as a legal issue, but I believe that it is just another step in the process of those who wish to reform society so as to scrub out the Christian values that have hitherto been the foundations of the western civilizational project.

    If the state is unwilling to reserve the term "marriage" in its traditional form, then the churches should (and I wish they already had) return to the state the license and right to act on its behalf. At least this would allow religions to keep from offering support for the denigration (my term, Marty) of this important societal building block.

    Mt parents always told me that we would be judged by the company we keep. The church would be well advised to heed this wisdom and not permit what hold to be a marriage to somehow cover these new forms of civil unions.

    Words matter. "Marriage" is a word worth fighting for.

    Fr. Tim

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  18. Tim - You are factually incorrect. Marriage pre-dates Christianity (and therefore "the Church").

    As I pointed out in my previous post above, marriage has evolved over time. It is a human institution designed to meet human social needs.

    CA - That the "parts fit" is in not a compelling argument in favour limiting marriage to opposite sex partners. Using such reasoning, it would be equally valid to say that heterosexual rape reflects natural law because "the parts fit".

    Your Natural Law argument also ignores the fact that homosexuality naturally occurs among humans and other species.

    Nature alone is not a sufficient basis upon which to explain the meaning that human beings give to their relationships and to their behaviours. If it were, then we could justify eating our young (since we observe many higher mamals doing so).

    Civil marriage is a human institution. That some churches also have a "sacramental" version is all well and fine. Believe what you like about your sacraments, restrict them to whomever you please - but please do not inflict your theology on our civil institutions.

    Here is something to ponder CA and Tim - if you truly mean no harm to LGBT folks...then why don't you attack civil divorce with the same fury as you attack equal marriage?

    Just a bit of a double standard here, no?

    Cheers...Martin

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  19. Hi Martin,
    Unfortunately, the fight against civil divorce has long been lost, and today society is reaping the consequences. This is not to say that I do not support civil divorce in some cases.
    As to the Natural Law.... this "law" that some have said is "written in our hearts" is not limited to the sexual sphere. Raping someone goes just as much against this "law" as does, say, stealing; for to rape someone, is to unjustly take something that does not rightfully belong to you from another person. In the case of rape, it is the "stealing" of the other person's intimacy. This can never be condoned, be it via acts of hetero or of homosexuality.
    Of course, human beings are capable of excusing just about any type of behaviour, even that which goes against natural law.
    I think in order to understand each other, perhaps I need to explain what I mean by this "law". I sense that what you mean by it is not what I mean by it at all, and perhaps this is why we are at a dead-lock.
    CA

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  20. CA - Natural Law is very a problematic premise. We can determine very little about what "ought to be" from simply looking at the natural world around us. To make meaning, we must overlay social or religious constructs.

    You try to dodge the point I made about rape by making Natural Law refer to what is "written in our hearts". Unfortunately, what is written in our hearts is subjective and no more useful in determining what ought to be than religion. In fact, I suspect Natural Law in this context is just a clumsy attempt to smuggle your religous convictions into a supposedly secular argument.

    I do not argue that humans are capable of justifying just about anything, but that is not really the point of this post.

    You are trying to rationalize your PoV that nature tells us that we must exclude LGBT folks from civil marriage. I am still waiting for you to connect the dots for us.

    Cheers...Martin

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  21. CA - while we are on the topic of civil divorce, I must say that I find the Catholic position here a bit duplicitous.

    If I am not mistaken, a civil divorce must be obtained by a Catholic couple before the church will even consider annulment.

    Tim - Is this case or am I mistaken. My grasp of Canon Law is pretty rusty these days.

    Cheers...Martin

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  22. Marty: You are correct. A couple must take care of the legal relationship first, and then apply for an annulment. This is to prevent a couple from being in a state where there relationship has been declared to be un-sacramental but still legal.

    Tim

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  23. Marty: In response to your last post in our exchange, you are correct in stating that marriage pre-dates the state. I misspoke. Thank you for pointing that out. If I can steal an argument from Fr. John Cortney Murray, s.j., the fact that in virtually every culture known in human history, monogamous heterosexual relationships have been the norm. I grant you that there have been cultures where extramarital homosexual relationships were accepted, but even you have to grant that these examples are unusual, as anthropologist historians have clearly demonstrated. Thus, Murray would say that it is this wisdom, spoken through the cultures that survived until today that needs to be respected.

    As to the divorce question, in the Code of Canon Law prior to the current one, either party of a couple would have needed the permission of the Church to initiate a divorce. I would argue that it would be more in keeping with the current code if we simply removed the Church from any participation in the civil side of marriage, as is done in Europe. Let us reserve the word/concept marriage to ourselves as Church, and then let the couple also do what is needed to obtain a civil registration of their union. This is simply a civil act, thus I would hope that the gov't would call the a "civil union", which of course they would be free to define as they wish.

    This would take the steam out of the issue. Catholics can be allowed to respect their rights and ancient understand of marriage; people of any other faith can act as they see fit. Put another way, I believe that the state should be free to recognize any union as it see's fit. I reserve the right for those of faith to argue in favor of a traditional societal position on the issue. The majority has the right to jump off the cliff if they wish, just don't take us with them.

    Tim

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  24. Hi Tim,

    I see no reason why the term "marriage" must be reserved for Catholics. Catholics do not seem to have a problem with allowing heterosexual infidels the right to use the term - even though the infidels do not necessarily share any notion of your sacramental marriage. This just smacks of a double standard meant to further marginalize and exclude LGBT folks.

    Marriage pre-dates the Church and I think we all recognize that it is an evolving institution. I acknowledge that marriage has historically and largely been between opposite sex persons, however, I will also point out that arguments from authority or precedent are the weakest forms of logical argumentation. Doc Ryan was correct on this point.

    Just because something has always been one way is an insifficient reason to argue that it must always be so.

    I would also point out, that many religions (e.g. United Church of Canada, Metropolitan Community Church, Universalist Church etc...) wholeheartedly believe in same sex marriage. To impose your theology on this civil insitution would constitute enshrining one religious view point over other religious view points (in other words - it would promote religious discrimination).

    In many places on your blog you have made the case that the religious folks are suffering discrimination - yet you seem to promote a disturbing brand of religious discrimination on the issue of equal marriage. I find this very ironic.

    Cheers...Martin

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  25. G'Day Martin: I appreciate the point you are making about my view of marriage being ironic, however I do believe that I am speaking with charity and truth. In using the term "Catholic", I am using it in its universal sense. In other words, if a church wishes to exercise its own view of marriage, it is free to do so. Given that we are using the word in a sacramental sense, the state could be expected to label what they are doing from the same ontological logic is always uses. It is a civil registration of a union, therefore call it that it is.

    Perhaps you would be more comfortable if I suggested that the church address this name controversy by delineating what it does be calling it "sacramental marriage" and others use the simpler "marriage"? It would accomplish the same thing and perhaps it would also accomplish a catechetical aim as well.

    In either case, it is unfair of you to imply a discrimination on my part when all I am stating is that the Church has right to define its own beliefs. By separating the two parts of the marriage act, I am simply trying to respect both secular and faith positions.

    Tim

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  26. Hi Tim,

    So perhaps there is room for a detente. I have no problem (and I suspect most homosexuals also do not have a problem) with the church separating the notion of "sacramental marriage" from the notion of "civil marriage".

    I have always supported the church's right to define marriage for their own adherents in any way that they see fit.

    But let's be clear on one thing - it is not homosexuals who have attempted in any way to impose a secular definition on the church when it comes to civil marriage. Rather - it has been the church (using every device at their disposal) who has attempted to impose their will on the civil instituion of marriage.

    The church has clearly been the aggressor on this issue. The church has time and again avoided making a distinction between sacramental marriage and civil marriage. Given that the church is filled with educated men, who are capable of the finest philosophical hair splittling, I can only presume that this was a deliberate tactic to conflate the two concepts and thereby provoke a backlash by the laity against equal marriage.

    That Canada's Parliaments and Courts have seen through this ruse is a testament to the strength and clarity of our secular institutions.

    Let us build the wall of separation between church and state strong and high! Ultimately, it protects everyone from potential meddling by one party over the other.

    Cheers...Martin

    ReplyDelete
  27. Marty, you say:
    “We can determine very little about what "ought to be" from simply looking at the natural world around us. To make meaning, we must overlay social or religious constructs.”
    I disagree with you. I think there are plenty of things that we CAN know about the way we ought to behave by being open to natural law.
    Biology itself does point to the obvious fact that reproduction is only possible (naturally-speaking) between a man and a woman. Do you believe this was just an accident of nature? The latter observation leads me to conclude that masculinity is intended to complement femininity, and visa versa, both for the good of society, the good of families, and the propagation of the species.
    When the Church says that marriage ought to be between one man and one woman, the Church is merely stating an observable fact, one that was furthermore reinforced by biblical revelation.
    Marty, if you believe that morality is merely a social or religious construct, then I can fully understand why you believe as you do that marriage can just be redefined as we see fit. However, do you not ask yourself who it is that is doing this “reconstructing” now, and whether this unprecedented experiment will end up destroying what has kept civilizations going for centuries, namely, the good of the family and the right of each child to grow up with both a male and a female role model?
    I did not dodge the point you made about rape, I simply stated that rape is always immoral no matter whether the perpetrator’s acts are homosexual or heterosexual. But they are wrong primarily because rape constitutes taking away(stealing) something from someone without that person’s consent.
    Do you believe that the immorality of stealing is also but a social construct?
    CA

    ReplyDelete

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