13 May, 2012

The Unintelligibility of Same-Sex Marriage

Here is an article that lays out an argument against same sex marriages. I'm hoping this might spark a bit of a conversation as this blog is blessed with a very intelligent voice that speaks in favor of this evolution in the concept of marriage. (I'm speaking of course about 'Martin' who has yet to be bested in these debates.) Others who regularly post here are also capable of arguing for the traditional definition.


Feel free to jump in!

Two Catholic Men and a Blog: The Unintelligibility of Same-Sex Marriage

88 comments:

  1. Anonymous13 May, 2012

    We ask that everybody abide by the laws of our respective societies. We ask that everyone contribute, as legally required, to the common good. In return, in most democratic societies, we promise that each citizen will enjoy equal rights under these laws.The institution of marriage provides many benefits and rights, as well as additional obligations, for those who engage in it.

    It is true that many Gays have historically chosen to engage in stable, lifelong, heterosexual marriage. Some Gays will no doubt continue to do so. There are Gays that wish to engage in homosexual marriage. This is a big change in the way the system works. So what? Society evolves. The fact remains that people whose sexual lives are exclusively homosexual, choosing to live openly as homosexuals, with homosexual partners, are treated unfairly by our legal and social system. Finally granting them fairness under secular law is not a choice that those who believe in a strictly heterosexual system of marriage get to make.

    Those that believe in the inalienable rights of homosexuals, of racial and cultural minorities, in Women's equality, in a safe environment for children, in a fair and living wage for all who labor, have a right to expect justice and equal treatment under the system. They don't ask for acceptance by those who may disagree but they deserve the right to live their lives, unmolested, in the manner of their choosing.

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    1. Anonymous: I accept every word you wrote. Thank you. May I ask you, do you think that the SSM is a problem of language? Both sides in the debate are using the word 'marriage', but in analogous ways. The Church is speaking about a sacrament. It's proclaiming a religious teaching. But the State is using the term strictly in a legal sense: as a means of civilly registering social units for tax, pension and legal reasons.

      The Church is speaking the language of covenant. The State, the language of contract. I sincerely believe that this entire mess could have been avoided if the State would be open to reframing it's modus operandi. Let me explain.

      Current registration, legislative and government practice is based upon providing certain tax and financial benefits to 'families' because they were the instruments by which future citizens were to be created, educated and formed into productive members in the years to come. To accomplish this, they extended this support to couples who were 'married' either by a Church or a Justice of the Peace. It was an effective approach because in the 1940's, 50's and 60's - the nuclear, two-parent, heterosexual family model was ubiquitous.

      But times have changed.

      Now, the 'Leave it to Beaver' family, with mom tending the hearth and dad bringing home the bacon to a house filled with 3 or 4 kids is as scarce as hen's teeth. Instead of this traditional family model, we now have a plenitude of family configurations: two parent, one parent, blended families, heterosexual couples, homosexual couple, DINKS (double income, no kids).... If all these new unions and configurations are be able to access the same level of service and legal rights... they need to be able to register their union in the only way all governments and courts accept. They need to get married.

      But it is NOT a sacrament. It is NOT a question of religion so long as the State and courts respect the right for Churches to believe and practice in accordance with their own teachings and beliefs. In the eyes of the Church... such a civil registration lacks what is needed to be what they define as a 'marriage'.

      Your thoughts?

      Fr. Tim

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    2. Anonymous13 May, 2012

      This is another issue entirely, Tim. One in which the Church hierarchy and a small group of allied true believers attempt to hold back the tide of a laity which does not hold the same beliefs or formed conscience.

      I hate to be so crude but soon it is going to come down not to who the Catholic people follow but who gets to keep the parrish church and allied facilities? Do they belong to the descendants of the people who contributed and in many cases themselves built or to the priest/agents of the institutional church? Currently, ownership of community Catholic facilities is firmly controlled from the top down. Soon there will be challenges to that ownership from the bottom up. Catholics are sickened by what their church has become and the men who have made it so. Disenchanted Catholics don't want to leave the Church, they want to take control of it. It's coming soon. Priestly child abuse, disenfranchisement and subjugation of women, Gay bashing and the entry of the institutional church into close liaison with myriad, reactionary political groups are only symptoms of isolation, disease and denial that exist within the institutional Catholic Church.

      This is not a problem with semantics. To say that it is simply bandages over the situation for the moment. This is about fundamental building blocks of our society. It's about the Church advocating the disapproval, ostracization and even condemnation of people within society who deserve peace and freedom and the pursuit of happiness, if they so desire.

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    3. Anonymous: Then essentially you are saying that each and every configuration of family and couple must be given moral attestation? If so, why? One the one hand people argue (I think persuasively) that it is simply a question of legalities. That same sex couples are neither asking for nor expecting any moral approval from Churches or others... but they demand equality under one law. You (?) wrote in your initial comment: "They don't ask for acceptance by those who may disagree but they deserve the right to live their lives, unmolested, in the manner of their choosing."

      Which is it then? Do you want equality under law? ABSOLUTELY. A persons sexual orientation should have ABSOLUTELY NO influence one way or another on their standing as a citizen. On this we are in complete agreement.

      But if you are also demanding some sort of statement from the RC Church (or most other Christian churches as well), you will be sorely disappointed. To quote an old lad from here in the Valley, 'You can't be mad at a cat for not being a dog'. We hold to an interpretation of scripture and a belief in God that we cannot give you what you seem to be asking for. I suspect you know as much too.

      You can heap all types of opprobrium and invective on our beliefs as you see fit. Call it homophobia, misogyny, patriarchy, fundamentalist etc. if it makes you feel better. But the fact remains, believers cannot give you what you are looking for if you want us to say that SSM are moral (at least in religious terms).

      Want respect? Equality under the law? It's yours already. Embrace it. Run with it and make all you can of it. We will all benefit from your success. But please don't ask from others what you know they cannot in good conscience or faith give you and then insult them when they don't.

      Fr. Tim

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    4. Anonymous13 May, 2012

      It is not me who is asking anything. How you deal with civil rights issues, what pronouncements, concessions you make or political actions you undertake will have no effect on the course of eventual equal justice under the law for those denied it currently. The pendulum will continue it's arc, just the same. If the Church had support of it's membership, all would be well and the old men would feel secure in their position, even after civil law dealt with Gay marriage totally impartially.

      The institutional church hierarchy is in a fight for it's continued existence with it's own missionary/social justice wing, women's religious orders and laity.

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    1. Anonymous14 May, 2012

      Fr. Ballard.

      You mention freedom of religion and the fact that acceptance of SSM affects many churches core beliefs. And that is true, by allowing churches the freedom to conduct same sex marriage, many churches are now free to exercise their non exclusionary belief that, as the writer to the Galatians expresses, in Christ there is "no male or female".

      You are free in your church not to marry same sex couples and not to marry divorce couples and I respect your right to do that and would defend your right not to do either. But you have to respect the rights of many, many Canadians who see no problem with SSM and which either secularly or religiously celebrate the public commitment of two adults together, no matter what sex.

      Rationalist1

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    2. Anonymous14 May, 2012

      Churches receive exemptions from societal law that no other institutions enjoy. An all male leadership class would not be tolerated in any other private or public organization. It is a violation of the law. Nor would any other organization be allowed to proscribe marriage and family to their employees. It is against the law. They receive blanket, non taxable status, even for their many endeavors that in no way could be considered charitable. It is against the law. The church was long allowed to self police it's priestly class internally, avoiding public trial and punishment for priest perpetrators of fraud, theft, discriminatory practice and sexual predation, allowing them to go largely unapprehended, unpunished and free to continue their crimes.

      Is it society as a whole that seeks to rein in these abuses of authority by church officials? No, it is the laity of the church itself, finally sickened by abuse upon itself of this autocratic priestly class. What the church wants now is protection from redress sought by it's own membership.

      What the church wants is essentially protection from itself. That is something no one can give them. Priests must face their own people and account to them why they should still be in charge. Lacking satisfactory answers, they will likely be removed from authority by Catholics themselves. Is that discriminaton?

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  3. Anonymous14 May, 2012

    Hi Tim/Steve,

    If you boys think this article is a category killer, I ask you to shine your lights of critical thinking upon the following passages:

    “The nature of male/female marriage leads directly to the building blocks of a nation just like the cells of a body.”

    There is no question that male/female intercourse is the usual means by which humanity procreates. Notwithstanding, not all humans are conceived within the bonds of holy or unholy matrimony. In fact, a sizable number of humans are not. As far as I can tell, this is not a new situation either. In fact, marriage was not even named a sacrament in the Catholic Church until the Council of Trent in 1547. For the first 13 centuries of Christianity, most poor peasants did not even bother getting married, yet somehow, they managed to procreate and form the “building blocks of a nation”. Funny that.

    “Strong families and a productive future citizenry result from a permanent and loving union between one male and one female.”

    Well perhaps…and a good many other things also go into the mix, such as public education, physical resources, commercial law, family law, social services, transit etc., etc… That is the problem with sweeping generalizations, they are often little more than empty rhetoric. In this case, the author’s hand waving is a ploy to get us to get us to unquestioningly accept that opposite sex marriage is the only kind of marriage that is right and good by definition.

    Cheers...Martin

    See part 2 below

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  4. Anonymous14 May, 2012

    Part Two


    “You will ask; what about infertile couples or couples who do not want children? This question brings a new debate. The debate becomes, should marriage be defined as any man and any woman or only a man and woman willing & able to have children. The question in no way logically justifies same-sex marriage.”

    Well it may not justify same-sex marriage, but it does make the rather important point that procreation is not essential to defining the nature of opposite sex marriage. Hmmmm…looks like more rhetorical tricks to me.

    “You will ask; what about equal rights for all? Many relationships, other than marriages, have tremendous personal significance to those involved. The fact that we do not call them marriages is not evidence of bigotry, but recognition of reality.”

    Well, this is a tautology if I ever saw one. Of course many relationships are important and yet we do not call such relationships “marriage”. There are social relationships (friends), business relationships (partner), religious relationships (priest/parishioner) etc… My response to this point is: so what? Marriage is a human institution that has changed over the centuries to meet the evolving needs of society. The admission of same-sex partners to the institution is simply one more innovation along the way. Just like when we dropped dowries, multiple wives, and permitted inter faith and inter-racial marriages. These were too were all innovations along the way.

    “Proponents of same-sex marriage insist that marriage has nothing whatsoever to do with reproduction; why children? I like to counter with a question of my own; why sex?”

    Does an opposite sex marriage have to sexually consummated to be valid? Well…according to the Catholic Church it must. Must procreation result from a marriage? Well…according to the Catholic Church it is not necessary. The RCC happily marries infertile couples all the time.

    The balance of this article is just a silly attempt to try and place proponents of same-sex marriage in the position of defending incest, polygamy etc… None of this has anything to do with same-sex marriage. If polygamists and incestuous partners want to access the rights and privileges of marriage, then they will need to make their case and show that no significant harm will result. Same-sex couples have successfully made this case, but it is not up to them to make it for others.

    This article is little more than sweeping generalizations and empty rhetorical tricks designed to place same-sex marriage proponents in the position of having to defend polygamy and incest. Frankly, I am surprised pedophilia and beastiality was not added to the list.

    Cheers…Martin

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    2. Anonymous14 May, 2012

      To society, and most of us have accepted it and see no harm with it, only theencouragement of loving, stable relationships.

      Rationalist1

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    4. Perhaps one can use the same measuring stick one measures the success of heterosexual marriages.

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  5. Martin: Thank you for the thorough analysis of the article. I have no trouble accepting what you are saying, but perhaps I approach it differently.

    1) legal marriage is 100% the purview of civil authorities. They are 100% within their rights to organize the nation any way they see fit.

    2) the State must not tell the Church what they have to teach about marriage nor interfere in how such weddings are practiced.

    3) gay couples are as capable in every way to match a comparable heterosexual couples (assuming equivalent capacity to love and parent) in successfully raising a child. Such children are no more likely to follow the sexual preference of the parents than a gay couple mirrored theirs.

    4) the gay community does not ask, nor expects or needs any sanction or blessing from the church. They simply demand to be viewed as equal citizens in law and society.

    5) all the rest is window dressing... issues to be debated in Church and before God (if he, as I believe, exists). All we are called to do is love each other (and for we believers God too) in a manner that recognizes our essential equality with each other. Any ultimate judgment is left to God.

    Agree?

    Tim

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    1. Anonymous14 May, 2012

      Fr. Tim,

      100% agree.

      Thanks,
      Rationalist1

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    1. Anonymous14 May, 2012

      Fr. Ballard,

      I don't argue this topic with vitriol or disrespect (at least I hope I don't). I am however firm in my conviction that people, religious or otherwise should follow their own conscience or religious conviction on this issue and I defend that right with vigour.

      Rationalist1

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    3. Anonymous14 May, 2012

      Nihl obstat.

      Not a problem.

      Rationalist1

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    1. Anonymous14 May, 2012

      You don't have to change your teachings at all. Just respect the rights of those who differ and do not seek to limit their rights.

      Rationalist1

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    2. Tim Dooling14 May, 2012

      Fr. Steve, I think you miss the fact that Rationalist 1 is in fact a man who lives in California, has his own Blog, and just generally tries to annoy people.

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    3. Anonymous14 May, 2012

      Tim Dooling - That wasn't me. I am a man, but live in Toronto and cheer for the Leafs. No one would say the latter if it wasn't true. leafs in 20XX.

      Rationalist1

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    4. Made up a Google account for simpler logins and consistency.

      Rationalist1

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  8. Tim: no. He's a physics teacher in the greater GTA. He's a regular on the Holy Post blog (National Post) and a stand up guy. You are confusing him with someone else.

    Fr. Tim

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    1. Tim Dooling14 May, 2012

      Father, that is not in accord with what he sent me. He gave me a click-on, and when I used it that is the info I got, along with a picture of him.

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    2. Anonymous14 May, 2012

      Tim Dooling - If the picture isn't the spitting image of George Clooney, it's not me. :->

      Rationalist1

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    3. Nope, the only liberal movie star guy I look remotely like in that picture is Rob Riener. You're a riot, Sheepess, but a bit differently abled.

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    4. Tim Dooling15 May, 2012

      Fr. Steve, I apologoze for my error. It is reddog who survives in California.
      Rationalist 1 is a whole different kettle. Tim

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    5. In this survey http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/43149/canadians-and-britons-are-more-open-on-same-sex-relations-than-americans/) 61% support them.

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  9. Thanks for linking our blog. Here is another question for your readers to contemplate. What type of sex benefits the whole society for the “common good”, fornication between men & women, incest, gay sex, prostitution? How about this one?…..one man and one woman committed for life. This generally leads to children and families. This last one should be encouraged & recognized (not forced) by the government. It makes sense for the government to be involved; the others do not.

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    1. Ben: Thanks back at you for the comment. Although I kind of find the way you frame the issue disturbing. In equating prostitution and incest - a degrading profession and a violation of cultural importance as to be universally condemned across all cultures - with people who live in monogamous relationships that is not in accord with our morality and religious beliefs, you are offering a significant insult.

      I always intended this site where people of strong mind and character can peruse a buffet of news and opinion pieces dealing with faith, culture and politics. Martin, who writes here as an advocate for the gay secularist sector of society is ABSOLUTELY a person of such qualities as I hoped would join the discussion here. I studied with him for a few years in university and argued, debated and fought with him in class and out. I respected him too. I have seen him face things in his life that I've seen crush many others with a class that anyone would hope to demonstrate faced in life's darkest days. And all this before I ever knew he was gay - something he only shared with me on this blog through which we have digitally reconnected and resumed our debates.

      He does not ask your approval of his understanding of who he is sexually, religiously, or morally. He only demands your acceptance of the same rights you, and every other citizen possess. He claims the right to speak and advocate for his beliefs in the public square just like you and me. He expects not to be insulted when he walks down a public street by having to confront material that overtly denigrates who he is as a person. I offer that to him here.

      If anyone wishes to engage him in a civil, respectful, and intelligent manner, he's willing and able to answer any challenge or question. He expects, as do I, that comments and arguments don't come laced with such bombast and insult as being equated with a prostitute or a pervert because he chooses to live within the law in a different manner than what the Church teaches. He doesn't such insult to others. May I suggest that you and others who are claiming to stand on the higher moral ground than him try to at least match his example if you wish to post here.

      All that said, you raise a point I've been trying to make for a while... which is: What is the purpose of the various tax & legal benefits of government largess these days? It used to be for the reasons you state. It was an recognition of the role of families (traditionally heterosexual monogamous parents in a nuclear configuration) in forming future citizens to advance the future cause of the country. That model is toast now with most kids being raised in non-traditionally structured families. (Those few kids that are still being born that is. Dodging an abortionists blade and vacuum pump has sadly made the womb a dangerous place for the unborn these days.) Is there any value in the government bothering to register or extend any tax benefits to any couple, save for those who have undertaken to birth and parent children? That's a discussion I really hope to have in these threads one day.

      Fr. Tim

      So if it's time

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    3. Ben - Would my marriage, a lapsed Catholic who married a non Catholic outside of a Catholic Church dispensation receieve the same level of disapprobation as you reserve for gay marriage, incest and prostitution. If it does, it's less a comment on myself and my ethics , than on you and yours.

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    4. Fr, Ballard. In the last Toronto civic election there was some vandalism of some George Smitherman signs attacking the fact that he was gay. A Muslim shop keeper whose store was near the signs was interviewed on the radio and said that although he did not approve of homosexual relations, he thought, and I quote, "that is was unCanadian to attack someone for being gay".

      I may not have faith in God, but I have faith in most people to do the right thing.

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  10. Fr. Tim,
    I certainly do not wish to insult, but sometimes the Truth cuts like a sword. I’m only being objective about all sexual activity. Imagine an ASEXUAL alien from space coming to earth to study humans. It would notice the various kinds of human sexual behavior; some good, some bad, some legal, some illegal, some moral, some immoral. If the alien were to study which sex behavior most clearly benefits the rest of society, which would it be? One male and done female committed for life. It is this type the government should encourage.

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    1. Ben - It presumes that the alien coming to earth would have to believe in a God that not only created this entire universe with 100's of billions of galaxies each with 100's of billions of stars with wonders beyond our comprehensionbut that that God also that takes inordinate interest in what consenting adults do with no clothes on.

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  11. Anonymous15 May, 2012

    Hi Ben,

    You write: "I’m only being objective about all sexual activity. Imagine an ASEXUAL alien..."

    OK. You claim objectivity. You also claim that opposite sex marriage is superior to all other forms of conjugal relationships. Rather than "imagine" what an objective "alien" might think about us, kindly tell us why opposite sex marriage is superior.

    Do you base your analysis on utilitarianism, Natural Law, adherence to divine revelation, or is it based on some other moral theory? Once you establish this superiority and its quantifiable benefits to society, kindly outline why this superiority and its related benefits outweigh the potential benefits of extending the rights and responsiblities of civil marriage to same sex couples. Forgive my obtuseness, but how exactly do you arrive at this objective conclusion?

    In other words, tell us how you make the objective calculation that denying equal treatment under the law for same sex couples is justified in your benefit analysis.

    Ben - it is easy to claim objectivity. It is easy to say that something is self-evident and that we should merely agree with your assertions. It is quite another thing to do the heavy lifting necessary to make your case.

    I am open minded. The floor is yours. Tell us.

    Cheers...Martin

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    1. I did not say “superior”, you have said so. I do say “different”. And the difference is vast. Procreation (making new citizens) is no small thing.

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  12. Anonymous16 May, 2012

    Hi Steve,

    You ask: "Same-sex couples have already successfully made this case"

    To whom? Says who?"

    Just about any recent survey I have read on the subject in Canada (and now even in the US), clearly shows that the majority of public opinion supports equal marriage. I conclude that the "case has been successfully made".

    You then note:

    "Martin, your condensed historical treatment just happens to ignore some rather substantive teaching from St. Augustine and St.Jerome."

    I am not ignoring the teachings of Augustine and Jerome. In fact, I will concede that these 3rd and 4th century writings largely buttress many of the views held by the Church today. My point is that regardless of any theological musings on the topic, marriage was not widely practiced by the great unwashed masses for the first 13 centuries of Christianity. When marriage was practiced, it was largely the preserve of the elites with a view to legitimzing heirs and consolidating property holdings. That is a far cry from how marriage is practiced in the 20th and 21st centuries. For our Protestant brethern, I would note Martin Luther's famous disdain for the institution of marriage.

    Often pro-traditionalist views assume that marriage has been handed down by God himself as an unchanging and constant institution. Even the most cursory review of history tells us otherwise. Marriage has evolved. Equal marriage is just one more evolutionary step along the way.

    Cheers...Martin

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  13. Anonymous16 May, 2012

    Hi Ben,

    Well I certainly don't want to put any words into your mouth. Thank you for clearing all that up. If all you intended to say was that opposite sex marriage is different from other forms of conjugal relationships, then I have no quibble with you. Having said that, I find your position somewhat trivial.

    The confusing part for me is that I am not sure how this "difference" translates into your stated position that government ought to incent opposite marriage to the point that it excludes same sex marriages. I quote you: "The very idea that The State should NOT give incentive & recognize a procreative union as unique from other types of human unions boggles the mind."

    If you held that opposite sex marriages were superior, then this may have provided you with a principled basis upon which to invoke discrimination against same sex couples. Now apparently, you stake your position solely upon the fact that opposite sex marriages are capable of procreation. This "fact" alone is now supposed to justify the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage? I am confused.

    The fly in the ointment is that procreation can and does occur outside the context of opposite sex marriages. In fact, it can even occur within the context of a same sex marriage. Given these startling facts, it is not same-sex marriage that is unintelligible...but rather, it is your position on the matter that appears unintelligible to me.

    By all means, connect the dots for us. You claim objectivity. You claim that it is all wonderfully logical...so spell it out. Boil it down into a simple logical statement, such as:

    Premise 1: Sexual coupling between men and women creates children.
    Premise 2: Sexual coupling between men and women should only occur within the context of holy matrimony.
    Premise 3: Procreation is the sole purpose of sexual coupling.
    Conclusion: ????

    We await your implied promise to make the unintelligible intelligible.

    Cheers...Martin

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    1. It’s interesting that you find the procreative “difference” in opposite sex marriage as something trifle. We’ll need to agree to disagree on that.

      I don’t wish to engage in a theological discussion, but the third premise you listed is not true in Catholicism. Sex in Marriage has a dual purpose of being BOTH unitive AND procreative (babies & bonding)

      How about I give you my premises instead of you giving me my premises?
      Premise 1: Sexual coupling between men and women creates children.
      Premise 2: Permanente and loving sexual coupling between one man and one woman is the MOST common sexual behavior to create stable and productive children, citizens and families (the very building blocks of society).
      Premise 3: Other sexual behavior and relationships are NOT likely to achieve the objective in #2 to keep society alive and healthy.
      Premise 4: The government should encourage the sexual behavior that BEST leads to the very building blocks of society.

      Conclusion: I prefer my government do things that are MORE reasonable, as oppose to LESS reasonable.

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  14. Anonymous16 May, 2012

    Hi Steve,

    Glad to see you dropping by Tim's blog from time to time. Hope you are doing well.

    Just thought I would post a few responses to your post above:

    “A survey is a survey is a survey - interesting but not necessarily that important.”

    No quibble there Steve, but it is not one survey but many. I would also point out that numerous provincial courts also ruled on the matter and found no reasonable basis to exclude homosexual persons from marriage. You will recall that equal marriage existed in several provinces prior to the Parliament of Canada’s amendments to the Marriage Act in 2005. In all of these forums, traditionalists trotted out their very best counterarguments. None convinced the courts. I would say the case for same sex marriage has been well and truly made.

    “I have no difficulty in acknowledging some measure of 'evolution' with respect to the manner in which the Sacrament of Marriage been celebrated.”

    You understate the truth my friend. There has been much more than a small measure of evolution. Until 1547 the sacrament of marriage did not even exist! In fact, all marriages up to that point in time were non-sacramental, and a good number of those were entirely civil. Moreover, you seem to easily conflate sacramental marriage and civil marriage in your recounting of days of yore.

    When your Church stepped into the court of public opinion in 2004 and 2005 to wage a campaign of shameful disinformation to thwart the legitimate civil aspirations of gays and lesbians, this same tactic of conflating civil and sacramental marriage was used. Had you guys been defending your sacraments I could understand the animus...but the debate then and now has nothing to do with your club house rules. Frankly, your sacramental theology is largely irrelevant to the issue of civil marriage. I get that you personally hold the sacraments dear to your heart...but it is a bit unreasonable to expect us apostates, atheists and secularists to willing yield to the Roman yoke of blind faith?

    “Not surprising, your use of language is fascinating and refined.”

    Thank you for the compliment - if only you did not subvert it in the next breath. See my comments above. We are talking about civil marriage. You are free to adhere to whatever rules, theology, mysteries, divinations etc... on the matter that you and the Church see fit. I use the term “equal” because there is only one type of civil marriage in this country today – and it applies equally to homosexual and heterosexual couples.

    “Finally, you would not be surprised to know that I am a happy 'traditionalist'.”

    Not really Steve.

    “ A penis + a vagina usually equals a BABY.”

    You have been a celibate too long Steve. A penis in a vagina does not usually equal a baby. In fact, no baby is the overwhelming result of most human copulation – even in the third world. But your statement certainly tells us a lot about your worldview, and your theology.
    As for “Natural Law” you should remember that it is only one of literally thousands of competing moral theories. I remember staying awake long enough in Doc Ryan’s class to remember it was also a deeply flawed theory at that.

    Cheers...Martin

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  17. Anonymous16 May, 2012

    Well Steveo,

    You write: "So a penis and a vagina does not usually (with all of the accompanying permutations) equal baby?"

    Ummmm...no. Each event of copulation does not result in a pregnancy. Do you also think your mother only had sex as often as she had children? LOL...

    You appear to take offense easily tonight Steve. You also seem to confuse justified criticism of your Church with disdain. You also seem to confuse any jest aimed your way as an affront on all of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. You also seem to have crossed the line of good taste and civility.

    If you have any substantive counterarguments to make, I will entertain them. If you are truly curious about the budget of Pride Toronto feel free to consult their website - audited financial statements are available there. I note that this represents far more transparancy than the Roman Catholic Church in Canada demonstrates, notwithstanding the fact that the RCC pays no property taxes, and every dollar donated to it is subsidized by all of the taxpayers of Canada - even those of us who proudly call ourselves apostates and atheists.

    Otherwise, I bid you a good night sweet prince. XXXOOOOO

    Cheers...Martin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1 abandoned sheep17 May, 2012

      Martin, does the Pride community of Toronto have some kind of Charitable, or other kind of ststus that gives donors tax receipts? If so, under what category?
      Is there an annual audit of the books of that organization?
      You seem focused on the money given by Catholic families over the years which makes up the accumulated wealth of the Catholic Church.
      If that is fair ball, would the same logic apply to the funds of the pride association? Or do you believe they have special ststus?
      Those 2 lawyers in Toronto who were key players in the drive for gay marriage did not do so out of the goodness of their hearts, I would expect.

      Delete
    2. I might add that my initial question about Pride was the appropriateness of using taxpayer funds for a parade - security - cleanup. Of course Martin skirted the issue and went off as he seems to always do, in another direction about the financial transperancy the church.

      I would have assumed that Martin was well aware of the requirements of charitable entities and the availability of all financial reports on the Revenue Canada website. They are all there to gaze at!

      Delete
    3. ..........by the way Martin, you need to be more precise in your argumentation: the Church does indeed pay property taxes - on all rectories and other buildings not being used for worship. No property tax is paid on the church building itself.

      Delete
    4. The criteria is that there is no property tax paid on a place a worship, a philanthropic organization or a cemetery. But there are property taxes in most jurisdictions for places of residence. Just because you are religious doesn't mean you don't consume civic services.

      Delete
    5. I presented information, just as a fact. I did not present any conclusion as to whether it was beneficial or not.

      Delete
  18. Hi Martin!

    Thank you for the reflections. No offense taken here my friend. Actually, I have offered many points in my argumentation which you ignore or avoid.

    That's ok.

    Blessings!

    Steve

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous17 May, 2012

    Hi Steve,

    You write: "Actually, I have offered many points in my argumentation which you ignore or avoid."

    And you have also dumped most of them into the memory hole. They are there no longer for us to read. Pity that...

    In any case, I agree with your decision to delete them. While I understand that "fierce opposition" to all things gay appears to be a positive trait among clerics with any aspirations to higher office, naked anti-gay agression is letting the mask slip too much. Remember - you are supposed to pretend to love all of us perverts, whilst simultaneously abhoring our "lifestyle".

    Cheers...Martin

    ReplyDelete
  20. Steve: I've not deleted any of your posts! Have some of them disappeared? Let me know please as I don't know how that could have happened. Thanks.

    Tim

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Tim!

    I will email you privately regarding the deletions.

    Martin, I am glad you have not lost your spunk. Very cute.

    Steve

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous17 May, 2012

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for taking the time to stake your position out more clearly for us. I was getting tired of having to guess what your actual argument is.

    You write:

    "Premise 1: Sexual coupling between men and women creates children."

    This is not strictly true. Assistive reproductive technologies do not require "sexual coupling". Nevertheless, I will grant you the point.

    "Premise 2: Permanente and loving sexual coupling between one man and one woman is the MOST common sexual behavior to create stable and productive children, citizens and families (the very building blocks of society)."

    Interesting. You now make no mention of the requirement that this permanent and loving sexual coupling must take place within the context of either a sacramental or civil marriage. Why not? Was this an oversight, or are you fine with folks who raise children outside of a marriage? Are civil marriages OK too?

    You have also inserted the requirement that these permanent and loving sexual couples must be male/female. Why is male/female coupling necessary to the enterprise of raising children? What about same gender couples who have a permanent and loving relationship - may they not also provide a sufficiently stable and loving environment for the proper rearing of children?

    What about couples of any gender combination who choose not to raise children? Are their unions somehow of a lesser order?

    Lastly, why is the most common form of sexual behaviour best for the raising children (and by extension citizens)? It is clearly your implication that the most common form is somehow best.

    “Premise 3: Other sexual behavior and relationships are NOT likely to achieve the objective in #2 to keep society alive and healthy.”

    Do you have any evidence to support this premise? Or are we just supposed to imagine that your hypothetical asexual aliens would agree with it? Are you aware of any sociological research that proves this point? While I am aware of research that shows that children of 2 parent families do better than children of single parent families, I am not aware of any research that demonstrates that society is compromised by all other variants of 2 parent families outside the male/female model (which seems to include unmarried male/female couples according to a strict reading of Premise #2).

    Continued...see part 2

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous17 May, 2012

    Part 2 continued...

    Are you aware of any research on same gender families and their successful/unsuccessful outcomes in child rearing? How do you account for the credible studies that demonstrate that children raised within gay/lesbian headed households fare as well, or better than, children raised in heterosexual headed households?

    “Premise 4: The government should encourage the sexual behavior that BEST leads to the very building blocks of society.”

    So you now want your government encouraging some forms of sexual behaviour? How un-American. Will this include regulations, tax code changes, enforcement provisions and penalties? How far do you envision such regulation encroaching upon the nation’s bedrooms? Who will monitor it and how? What powers will be at their disposal?

    Lastly, you have not proven either Premises #2 or #3, so even if I agreed that government has a role in actively “encouraging” some forms of sexual behaviour, you have not yet made a prima facie case that your version is BEST for society.

    “Conclusion: I prefer my government do things that are MORE reasonable, as oppose to LESS reasonable.”

    Well…you are certainly entitled to your preferences. We are all about personal liberties here in the great white north…

    Nevertheless, this conclusion does not logically follow from your premises. It is a nice rhetorical flourish, however, hardly a worthy conclusion from someone who claims to earn their daily bread from the application of systems logic.

    I also prefer my government to do things that are MORE reasonable, as opposed to LESS reasonable. I also prefer my government to permit the maximum personal liberty and autonomy unless there are real, empirical, and necessary reasons to curtail those freedoms.

    Sorry Ben – this analysis strikes me as little more than trying to prove a point by crafting (and poorly crafting it at that) definitions that assume your conclusions as valid. You will have to do much better than that if you are to lecture your backward northern cousins here on the unintelligibility of same sex marriage.

    Feel free to try again.

    Cheers…Martin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well done Martin.

      "Premise 2: Permanente and loving sexual coupling between one man and one woman is the MOST common sexual behavior to create stable and productive children"

      It's like saying "English is the most common language used in families in Canada where families raise stable chidren." It's true, just because there are more English speakers than French, but French families raise stable and productive children too, just not as many of them because of their percentage in the population.

      Delete
    2. Premise #2 is an observation only about sexual behavior. People are free to behave any way they want. The question becomes what “type” of sexual behavior should the government encourage (via marriage laws)for the common good. #2 is not only about raising children (like adoption issues). It relates to the basic question... Where do people or new citizens come from other than immigration? Where do our future generations come from?

      Premise #3. Gays COULD raise productive children. My mother and I COULD raise children. Should the law have relatives be married? My whole softball team COULD raise children. Should all the players (plus reserves) get married if they want? There are exceptions to every rule; common law cannot be based on exceptions.

      Premise #4. Encourage, not force. The difference is vast. It relates to words in the U.S. constitution “promote the general welfare”, not provide the general welfare

      Lastly martin, there are many things in life we cannot prove, so what should we do? Part of the logic flow we use (and I teach) at work is not really about “proof”. It’s more about moving toward what is MORE reasonable and stepping away from what is LESS reasonable. In something called Decision Analysis the decision statement here would be “Choose a type of sexual relationship to build a nation upon”

      Thanks for the chat.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous17 May, 2012

    1 abandoned sheep - Pride Toronto is a not for profit community organization whose purpose is to organize the annual Pride Week celebrations in Toronto. Its primary funding sources and audited financial statements can be easily downloaded from its website. Knock yourself out.

    Steve - The Province and the City of Toronto sponsor all types of cultural activities and parades (everything from the Santa Claus parade to Caribana). I am largely indifferent on the question of whether or not the funding of such events is an appropriate function of government, however, I see no reason to treat the Pride Festival any differently than other cutlural events in Toronto. Like it or not, attend it or not, the Pride Festival is a significant tourist draw to the City that provides economic benefits. Presumably our governments view their grants as a good investment.

    Thank you for the clarification on exactly which of your properties we all subsidize. You are welcome.

    I might also add that in addition to subsidizing the Church's charitable contributions, taxpayers also pay for 100% of the freight for separate schools in Ontario. And no - designating your property tax support as "Separate School" has absolutely nothing to do with actual funding. Such property tax information only determines who is eligible to vote in local school board trustee elections.

    I note that CRA charitable documents are only high level summaries that in no way provide the same level of detail that an audited financial statement provides. Moreover, Pride Toronto makes its information easily accessible to the public via the internet. It provides a FULL financial statement...not some abridged version. I have yet to see any diocese or parish in Canada do the same, however, I have not reviewed every diocese's and evey parish's website. I stand to be corrected on that point.

    Moreover, I have yet to see any audited financial statements or full disclosures on the payouts to sex abuse victims by the Roman Catholic Church in Canada, nor have I seen any details on how much it spends to litigage against sex abuse plaintiffs. Perhaps you could post a link to that information? Perhaps you can provide us with a link to your parish's audited financial results as well while you are at it?

    Cheers...Martin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah Martin - so that the Church DOES indeed complete a charities report for its parishioners, Diocese and Revenue Canada is not good enough for you. I am shocked! Actually, satisfying the requirements of the government and internal church entities is all that matters. The rest is really none of anyone else's business. Likewise it is really no outsider's business as to what our Church has paid in legal fees, counseling, etc. The fact is that the funds are coming from within.

      I am sure you would be pleased to know that our church is doing VERY well financially and even in the number of seminarians we have. God is good, even to atheists!

      Delete
  25. Anonymous17 May, 2012

    Hi Ben,

    You write:

    “Premise #3. Gays COULD raise productive children. “

    Not only COULD my friend, many gays and lesbians actually do. How does depriving such households of the rights and supports of marriage (religious and/or civil) enhance the project of child rearing?

    “My mother and I COULD raise children. Should the law have relatives be married? My whole softball team COULD raise children.”

    You are disingenuous here: I am not talking about the law requiring anyone to marry for any purpose. No one should be forced to marry for sex, for love, for companionship, or even for child rearing. I am only advocating that the law should be treating all couples as equal when it comes to marriage.

    “Premise #4. Encourage, not force. The difference is vast. It relates to words in the U.S. constitution “promote the general welfare”, not provide the general welfare.”

    The difference between “encourage” and “force” is in application only. I simply ask to clarify. I find it odd to hear an American wish for more government encroachment on individual liberties – but then again – you probably only welcome such intrusion when you think it will be imposed only upon those of whom you disapprove.

    Nevertheless, you still have not proven that the “general welfare” is promoted by restricting marriage to opposite sex couples. The kids would say: "epic fail".

    Does excluding same sex couples from the option of marriage enhance the stability of those families or does it undermine such stability?

    “Lastly martin, there are many things in life we cannot prove, so what should we do?”

    Well I am normally not one to dole out personal advice…but you did ask after all.

    Here it is:

    You might start by admitting that you cannot prove something and be honest about it. You should not pretend that you have some objective truth that is logical and self-evident when in fact you do not. And if you are uncertain about something, you should probably avoid cocksure arrogance with a view to promoting public policies that can be destructive to individuals and families.

    Likewise, thanks for the chat. Hopefully Tim’s readers will have some food for thought.

    Cheers…Martin

    ReplyDelete
  26. Meow............

    Holy Toledo Martin - if you cannot see your own arrogant and rather bitchy replies you should re-read them. This explains why these kind of discussions are not that helpful. Too much venom and hate. A total waste of time and energy.

    As Dieter used to say on 'Sprockets'.........this grows tiresome........

    In Christ,

    Steve

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I disagree about a waste of time. I found the dsicussion helpful. The proper role of government & marrige law is even more clear to me. Take care. Please visit us at "Two Catholic Men & a Blog"

      Delete
    2. You are right Ben. My commentary came at moment of fatigue. It easily becomes frustrating when folks who demand acceptance and respect, can so easily get on their high horse and trash all things Catholic.

      Rest assured we will not sit idly by without a voice. That's just a fact.

      What's next, let's all throw a party for NAMBLA?

      Delete
  27. Anonymous18 May, 2012

    Hi Steve,

    You write: "Meow............

    Holy Toledo Martin - if you cannot see your own arrogant and rather bitchy replies you should re-read them. This explains why these kind of discussions are not that helpful. Too much venom and hate. A total waste of time and energy.'

    I decided to copy the entire passage above in case that it too gets dumped down the memory hole. Since you have deleted most of your posts, subsequent readers are now deprived of seeing your less than "charitable" responses and aggression on the topic.

    You are correct Steve: How impertinent of us uppity fags to dare getting up on our hind legs and speak truth to our oppressors? How dare we question your theology, your revisionist version of history, or the Church's utterly shameful lies, distortions and propaganda on same sex marriage? How dare we object to the climate of homophobia and anti-gay bigotry that you and mother church suckle at your poisonous breasts? How dare we fail to fall over oursevles to offer you obsequious respect that you have not earned?

    Tell it to the LGBT youth who have to listen to anti-gay taunts and insults on an average of 46 times each and every day. Tell it to the LGBT youth who are abandoned by their families becasue of religiously inspired animus. Tell it to the LGBT youth who are 4 to 6 more times likely to attempt suicide. Tell it to the LGBT youth who succeed in snuffing out their own lives.

    You can take your false piety, your hair splitting distinctions between sinner and sins, your professed love and you can "reflect upon it in a spirit of prayerful contemplation".

    Unapologetically yours....Martin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1 abandoned sheep18 May, 2012

      Martin, your idea of * There, take that* approach with most who objest to your B S, is laughable!
      Have you swatted some with your white glove also?
      So you went to a Catholic Seminary, left there and became a proponent for, as you call them, fags.
      The insidious human pride you exhibit tells us who you are- a very unhappy, disillusioned little boy, tied down by an adult body.
      As usual, thos who complain the most about bullying, are themselves bullys.
      Take a hike in a hot tub.

      Delete
  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous18 May, 2012

    Dear Reverend Ballard, J.C.L.

    You lamented:

    "Ah Martin - so that the Church DOES indeed complete a charities report for its parishioners, Diocese and Revenue Canada is not good enough for you. I am shocked! Actually, satisfying the requirements of the government and internal church entities is all that matters. The rest is really none of anyone else's business. Likewise it is really no outsider's business as to what our Church has paid in legal fees, counseling, etc. The fact is that the funds are coming from within.

    I am sure you would be pleased to know that our church is doing VERY well financially and even in the number of seminarians we have. God is good, even to atheists!"

    What I originally wrote:

    "If you are truly curious about the budget of Pride Toronto feel free to consult their website - audited financial statements are available there. I note that this represents far more transparancy than the Roman Catholic Church in Canada demonstrates, notwithstanding the fact that the RCC pays no property taxes, and every dollar donated to it is subsidized by all of the taxpayers of Canada - even those of us who proudly call ourselves apostates and atheists."

    Kindly point out anywhere in my remarks where I stated that the Roman Catholic Church does not provide disclosure via the Canada Revenue Agency. My point is (and was) that the RCC does not provide the same level of transparency that community organizations such as Pride Toronto do. If you are somehow proud that the Church adheres to the bare minimum level of disclosure required by law, then I am baffled. That is hardly remarkable, and it hardly represents a HIGHER level of transparancy than that provided by Pride Toronto - which by the way - has no legal requirement to provide audited financial statements on its own website.

    As for the rest of your bravado and overblown sense of priviliege...it is not even worth a mention.

    Since your Church provides minimal disclosure, I have no way of validating how well your god is providing for the financial needs of his Church. Rest assured I take no pleasure in seeing your Church (particularly in Pembroke Diocese)close and consolidate parishes due to declining attendance and donations. I take no pleasure in imagining the mounting costs of compensation and litigation with wich you are burdened as a result of the scandalous actions/inactions of your heirarchy in sexual abuse crisis.

    Yes Steve...god is good - even to us atheists. May he continue his sparkling track record of munificence to your humble Church from now until the Second Coming (or foreclosure - whichever comes first).



    Have a nice day...Martin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Martin!

      Sorry but you will be disappointed to know that our little corner of heaven in our diocese is doing extremely well. We still have very small parishes being served full time and revenue is a problem in only a few places. A number of parishes, including my own, have recently completed capital projects of about $500,000, and yet have barely a few thousand dollars in debt. Following the horror show we have all witnessed in Canada and in the U.S. concerning the terrible abuse of children, the number of seminarians in the U.S. are up as they are in our great diocese! Great news!

      You see Martin, the Church is guided, protected and safeguarded by God. No wish that you have for its demise worries anyone. Foreclosure? Good luck with that!

      I do appreciate your concern for the youth and offer financial support to a child living in the Ukraine. Thanks for the chat. In your name, I will make another donation to COURAGE, in support of this excellent Catholic organization.

      Cheers...........and God Bless!

      Steve

      Delete
  30. Anonymous18 May, 2012

    Hi Steve,

    Point out one hateful comment that I have made. If you believe that I have made hateful comments, you are free to avail yourself of the law and have me prosecuted. You know my full identity. In fact, I even authorize Tim Moyle to release my contact details to you so that you may have the police follow up on the matter.

    As for lack of respect...well what can I say? Respect has to first be earned in my books.

    Cheers...Martin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Martin, I rarely sweat the 'small' stuff anymore. Life is too short and my golf clubs are waiting for me!

      Cheers!

      Steve

      Delete
  31. Anonymous18 May, 2012

    Martin why even reason with this guy who calls himself Father Steven?

    This Father person comes across as a know it all, very argumentative and God knows what he's hiding or he may be even envious of you in a way.

    "Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience".

    You've been through so much Martin and survive so many of those closed little minds.
    You are to be congratulated.

    Anonymous 10

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10: A couple of fast points about your comment.

      1) Fr. Ballard is someone that Martin and I both know well. No need for the remarks 'guy who calls himself...'

      2) I posted your comment because of the fact that you intended it to be of support for Martin. He doesn't get many such comments given the overwhelming Catholic nature of most visitors to my blog. I am grateful for the fact that Martin is willing to post and comment here since I intended this blog to be a meeting place for people of very different convictions. If you want to have future comments posted, please do more than slag someone but try to imitate the high standard and quality comment such as Martin always posts.

      3) Last point: Martin is a man of outstanding quality and intellect. I know this from the years of classes we took together years ago. You should know it from the high quality of his comments. He doesn't need help in making his argument here - especially 'help' that serves only to demean others.

      Thank you.

      Fr. Tim

      Delete
  32. Anony10

    Fascinating how people don't like it when a priest stands up for himself. Dump pails of manure on us and all is swell!

    Good luck with that!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous18 May, 2012

    Thanks Anonymous10, Rationalist 1 and Tim - I appreciate your gracious remarks.

    And to Ben - I appreciated the vigorous exchange.

    I do know Steve from our days in the Seminary together (way back in the early 1980's). Like all of us, Steve has his good points and his blind spots. I cerainly have my fair share of character flaws as well, some of which are no doubt on display in some of these posts.

    I argue with passion on these topics because they impact me and many of the people that I know and love. They also impact a lot of other people that I do not know.

    For me these are not abstract matters. I feel that my/our very rights are at stake...these are not mere points of privilege or entitlement for which I argue.

    Contrary what some folks may sling my way, I do not hate the Church or its priests. I am, however, deeply critical of the Church and many of its leaders, and to my mind, not without ample justification. But most of all, I am profoundly disappointed with what the Church has become.

    I know that many good people within the Church share many of my views, or may be sitting on the fence suspecting that all is not right with Rome.

    In my heart I believe that as more LGBT folks find the courage to live openly and honestly as full citizens (because it does takes courage some days), Catholics and others will come to understand that we are people just like everyone else. We are not monsters, perverts, god haters, and pedophiles...but we are your brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, colleagues and bosses, friends and neighbours. We are every bit as good, varied and twisted as the next person. We are as frail and as fallible, and as capable of love and valour.

    And to any young people reading this blog who are struggling to understand their own sexuality and how to reconcile it with their faith, I simply remind you that it does get better. Some of the vitriol expressed in this thread is not representative of everyone. Seek out those people who will nourish and support you without malice, condescension, or judgement. There are good people everywhere - sometimes in unlikely places.

    Cheers...Martin

    ReplyDelete
  34. Interesting debate Tim. I guess I'm the 'black sheep' in the fold! Matches my shirt. I didnt even get a mention in Martin's litany of thank yous!

    Very interesting as always. Proponents of a variety of opinions can say almost anything about the church or priests with an uppity and arrogant spirit or an anger which seems to come out of every cell of their body and when presented with a little tinge of the same, they don't like it. Reminds me of another site where we were banned!

    Martin, I'm sure I have many 'blind spots' as you like to call them however that pales in comparison to your emotional manipulation. At one end of the scale you are ranting about 'we uppity fags' (your words) and for the grand finale the crying towel comes out. A tad rich. The issue first presented was the relative merits or intelligibility of same sex UNIONS.

    ........a great many of us remind people every day that they are not alone, most especially since they are Children of God.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Steve: You're not a 'black sheep' in any venue - including here (your curly locks notwithstanding).

      I appreciate your involvement in this discussion. You very ably defended the Church's position and helped facilitate a great discussion. Thank you.

      Tim

      Delete
    2. I will say one thing - you were VERY correct in your prior assertions that we Catholics had better get involved in discussions in the public square. The alternative is to risk losing our voice and influence concerning a hosting of public policy issues.

      The recent March for Life , which I applaud you for attending, is a perfect example.

      You will be pleased to know that I recently challenged the Catholic School Board about an important matter of significant ecclesial importance. Naturally one and all has ignored me..........not done with that yet! Im sure I will be off of a few cocktail party lists (as if I was ever on them before)!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous19 May, 2012

      It must be tough being a Catholic priest these days when a priest such as yourself Father Steven who did recently challenged the Catholic School Board about an important matter of significant ecclesial importance.
      Whatever that means?

      What did these people do? Oh yes, they ignored you.

      So you are not done with this significant ecclesial importance issue yet?
      Then you better be ready for more of those imaginary dumps of pails of manure going your way.

      And about being off those cocktail lists, I'm sure many of those people do not want you there. Why? It's simple, because you are a constant reminder at what is wrong with the Roman Catholic Church today.

      Look at the bright side Father Steven; at least you were spared from what they were saying about you behind your back.
      Anyway, you have more important things to do with your time Father Steven, such as plotting and planning your next big move on behalf of protecting the teachings of the Catholic Church.

      Seriously, good luck with that!

      Signing off
      Anonymous 10

      Delete
  35. Anonymous

    Interesting remarks. It is sad that you too appear to be filled with such anger, hate and negativity. You must have a happy life.

    1) I know people like to know all the dirt these days, probably because their lives are so boring, but it is not for me to skewer someone publicly in this forum.

    2) For 100 or 1000 things you might suggest are wrong with our Church, there are millions and millions more right with it!

    3) Popularity contests nor cocktail parties do not interest me. Most are terribly boring anyway - officials of a School Board do have a responsibility to address legitimate concerns especially since they advertise themselves as 'schools to believe in'. To that refrain I use words ascribed to Captain Picard of the Enterprise - make it so!

    4) Very soon these same Boards will be enthusiastically seeking clergy and parish support when the school boards of Ontario will be amalgamated. I suspect that 'silence' will be something that they will 'hear' in many venues.

    Have a happy existence!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous21 May, 2012

    Hi Steve,

    You write:

    "What's next, let's all throw a party for NAMBLA?"

    In addition to your "civil" contribution above, you have also sneered about penises in mouths and rectums in reference to the LGBT community. Too bad you deleted all of those comments. If you really stand so steadfastly behind each and every word that you have written, you would have left them undisturbed in their entirety, and you would defend them. A "tad rich" indeed.

    You then write:

    "Martin, I'm sure I have many 'blind spots' as you like to call them however that pales in comparison to your emotional manipulation. At one end of the scale you are ranting about 'we uppity fags' (your words) and for the grand finale the crying towel comes out. A tad rich. The issue first presented was the relative merits or intelligibility of same sex UNIONS."

    Not once in this thread have you acknowledged any harm that your Church has caused to the LGBT community, and not even a passing nod to the harm caused to LGBT youth in particular. In a thread spanning several days and numerous posts, you have not offered a single cogent argument clarifying your Church's reasons for wanting to exclude LGBT citizens from civil marriage. Not a single defence of your Church's shameful lies, distortions, and propaganda made in the public square. Not one clear explanation of what harm has been caused to anyone as a result of Canada's passage of equal marriage in 2005.

    Instead you have treated us to:

    a) special pleading;
    b) whining about how you don't get any respect;
    c) moaning about any questioning or challenging of your Church's history or theology;
    d) sweeping generalizations about hateful language (yet you have offered no examples or explanations);
    e) personal attacks;
    f) misprepresenting the valid points of others and pretending to knock them over (e.g. the issue of transparancy of Pride Toronto vs the Roman Catholic Church);

    All served up with a petulance and overwrought sense of entitlement that is quite frankly bewildering for a man of your education, training, and intellectual capacity.

    You end your lecture with this gem:

    "........a great many of us remind people every day that they are not alone, most especially since they are Children of God."

    Presumably by "us" you mean the hierarchy of your Church. Whether or not people choose to believe that they are the children of god is not the salient point. The salient point is that LGBT people are as good and as wholesome as anyone else. LGBT people are entitled to equal treatment under the law. LGBT people should never let the purveyors of intolerance and shame convince them otherwise.

    Unless and until you make a substantive and cogent argument on this topic, I will regard this thread as having run its course. So far, you seem to have resisted all temptations to do so.

    Cheers...Martin

    ReplyDelete
  37. Martin, nice provocation / very cute!

    ReplyDelete

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