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April 08, 2006

Comments

Robbie

Personally, Mark, I don't honestly care if you approve of me or not. I barely care what my parents approve of, so I'm certainly not going to do rhetorical gymnastics for a stranger on the internet.

The issue isn't really approval, though many gay people do indeed seek that. The issue is one of tolerance. You don't have to like everything gay people do, not by any stretch of the imagination. It's a free country, and you're entitled to your point of view.

However, you ask if the image being projected is the "real" gay community. The big secret is that there is no gay community. We're too diverse, too different, too separated by our individual lives. What binds us together is a social situation. When you condemn people for one specific thing, those people will naturally band together.

However, here's the trick. If there was gay marriage, you'd see a lot more people growing up to become the people in that Rosie documentary. If you make marriage, monogamy, and children the expectation for gay citizens in the same way it's an expectation for heterosexuals, you will see more and more gay people funneled into that construct.

Right now, you want to deny gay marriage. You're basically saying, "You're on your own. We don't care what becomes of you." It's a socially destructive position. You expect gay people to behave "respectfully" but you deny them the greatest social engine for leading a "respectable" life. And you do this without a shred of irony or self-awareness.

Gay people will never go away. They're not going to convert, they're not going to go straight, they're not going to change who they are. That ship has done up and sailed. The question facing America now is what to do with gay people. Do you want to keep them in the shadows? Well, according to the culture, that's not happening. So, what are your other choices? Deny them the basic tools for relationship stability? Create an uncertain family situation for their children by denying basic adoption laws?

The Christian conservative position in this country is the ultimate hypocritical paradox. You want us gay folk to behave more "normally" but you deny us the one institution that would make us most normal of all.

North Dallas Thirty

Was this presentation was an accurate presentation of the entire gay community? (Which is what everyone knows Rosie wants us all to accept.) Did what was shown reflect a small subculture of the gay community, or did it show people the whole picture, i.e., what those who oppose same sex marriage, gay adoption, gay culture (in its variant forms), and homosexual activity (in its variant forms) would see if they were to honestly look at the gay community in order to assess whether or not they find such values as espoused by all the variant forms of homosexuality as acceptable?

In some senses yes, in other senses no.

Did it show everything that gay people do in public? No.

Did it show what gay people generally do when around their children and others? Yep.


An even simpler question is this: What is essential to being gay, regardless of what type of gay someone is, what qualities and behaviors are required to be a part of the gay community, or to be considered gay? Seeing that would cut through any sort of criticism about what "type" of gay person is presented and get to the heart of the matter so that people could honestly decide their own feelings and reactions to homosexuality.

You need to be attracted to men and prefer long-term emotional, physical, and spiritual relationships with men (or women, if you're a lesbian).

Believe it or not, being gay does not require you to renounce Catholicism, Christianity, conservativism, or the Republican Party, nor does it require drug use, party attendance, multiple sexual partners, supporting abortion, or everything else that the major "gay rights" groups tend to tell people that gays do (normally for the purpose of soliciting lobbying dollars).


I think most people want to live and let live. Yes there are extremists (on both sides, I might add), but I honestly think that most people don't want to hurt gay people. I think most people just don't want to hear about what you prefer to do with your genitals, whether you are homosexual or heterosexual.

The problem is, Mark, that quite often matters of everyday life seem to trigger the "prefer to do with your genitals" part.

Think of how often who you are seeing or with whom you are in a relationship comes up in conversation, be it with your family, at the office watercooler, and so forth. With heterosexuals, thanks to social conditioning, the first thing people think of usually isn't the act of sex when you mention your wife or girlfriend's name. But because homosexuality is relatively unusual in the population, not as many people have experience with it. When the mind doesn't have much in the way of experience or continuity, it has trouble interpreting facts, and that tends to magnify matters.

A good example would be public displays of affection, i.e. holding hands or kissing in public. Usually, this is not frowned upon when a man and woman do it. But when two gay guys do it, the mind in several cases lacks the context to interpret it, and leaps to the only conclusion it knows -- men having sex with men, which most heterosexuals find vaguely disturbing at the least and "gross". Therefore, the simple act of holding hands with your date will be interpreted by people unfamiliar with the concept as equivalent to having sex.

So, to summarize, we're more than happy to leave direct and detailed conversations about our genitals out of things. But, at the same time, heterosexuals need to realize that not everything gays do involves sex; you just THINK it does because sex-related experiences are the only ones involving gays with which you are familiar.


Then moving from what is essential, what is common should be honestly considered. For example, it seems to me that gay porn is generally a part of the lives of most gay men. Am I wrong? Pornography may be widespread among heterosexual men, but it's generally not considered acceptable or respectable in the heterosexual community. It's still generally considered sleazy, and it's also generally considered bad/deviant behavior to watch pornography (especially among those who are faithful to most major religions, which is a large group of people).

One thing to remember, Mark, is that a lot of gay subculture grew out of situations that were intensely private and homogenous. Back in the bad old days, you made damn sure someone else was gay before you let them into your gay bar or your house and dropped your guard, as it were. As we slowly grew in number and came out of the backrooms and closets and more out into the open, we still kept with us that whole "it's in the family" attitude.

A good analogue here in San Francisco is in Chinatown. You see things there, i.e. live chickens being slaughtered, people eating odd fish parts and the like, that are WAY outside mainstream for most Americans, but taking place out in the open -- just as they would if they were in China. It's because in Chinatown, they are the majority, and that's what they do. As those areas become more heterogenous and more integrated, those things migrate back into more private places, and the "public" cultures and mores tend to predominate.

Similarly, in the gay sections of town, you see things that you ordinarily wouldn't see in the heterosexual universe out in shop windows -- just as you would if we were still back in the dark corners. But, as we become more heterogenous and more integrated, those things migrate back into more private places, and we start to assume more "public" cultures and mores.

You can think of gays, Mark, as a second-generation immigrant group, "born" into a mainstream culture, but "raised" into another one that is quite different in many ways. Some people embrace the polar extremes, but others take bits and pieces from each. For example, my partner and I are of different religions; he's Jewish and I'm Lutheran. Neither of us converted; we simply celebrate both sets of holy days in our own fashion, which is a fusion of each tradition in the manner most meaningful to us.

In the case of porn, you'll see less and less of it as we start to integrate more and more because, believe it or not, we know you think it's yucky and, as gracious hosts/coworkers/neighbors, we would put it away, just as we might expect you to do with the Playboys, and we DO think that some of it's very sleazy. But it's not going to vanish completely.

Jack Malebranche

I think most people want to live and let live. Yes there are extremists (on both sides, I might add), but I honestly think that most people don't want to hurt gay people. I think most people just don't want to hear about what you prefer to do with your genitals, whether you are homosexual or heterosexual.

Why is that wrong?

I think it's perfect, actually.

In my ideal world, no one bothers with what other people do with their genitals, so long as it is consensual and non-violent. Now that sodomy is no longer a legal issue (who made THAT an issue in the first place?), I personally see very little reason for the gay rights movement to exist.

If you don't want what people do with their genitals to matter, though, you have to build that out a bit, Mark. It means removing legal preferences for what people do with their genitals, does it not? In my opinion, this shouldn't be within the state's jurisdiction at all. Isn't marriage, in a civic sense, the government overseeing what people do with their genitals?

I'm not a proponent of gay marriage. I'm a proponent of civil arrangements that are seperate from the religious construct of marriage. I think churches should be able to marry whomever they please and exclude whomever they please. In my estimation, they are simply private clubs. They should be able to do as they please, but their conventions should be seperate from state conventions, which should be based not on superstitious morality, but on reason. It is my position that the state has no special interest in binding one man to another, but that it also has no interest in denying the ability of any man to designate a benificiary or a person who will make healthcare decisions, etc.

The whole issue, really, is that the government is already more involved in the placement of genitalia than it should be.

Churches should be able to proscribe what they think is morally correct for their followers, but attempting to hold non-believers or those of other faiths to their codes is unfair and disrespectful.

just me

Back to Rosie for a minute.

But she is showcasing gay families. This means children are involved.

Children tend to be civilizing. When you have kids, you can't go out and party all night. You can't even go out on the spur of the moment, because you have to arrange for a sitter.

Now I am not gay, but there are things that my husband and I do not do around the kids, or discuss around the kids, there are things my kids aren't permitted to watch on TV, we monitor internet use etc.

I admit I have never been on a cruise with gay families before-but I suspect that most gay families are in reality similar to mine-pretty boring as reality TV fair, but still a great life to live.

Mark

I really appreciate the insightful comments to my post from Robbie, North Dallas Thirty, and Jack. I will try to say something about each in different comboxes as I am able.

I'll start with:

Robbie,

I get that you personally don't care if I accept what you do, but that's not the message the gay community puts out in the media, or at least it's not what I am hearing. I am definitely hearing a demand that I recognize homosexual activity as equivalent to heterosexual activity, as though these were two sides of one coin. Where is my perception wrong?

You admit that Rosie's program is propaganda, but what is it propaganda for? Isn't it designed to get heterosexuals to accept homosexuality? Isn't that why it's so "carefully edited" "scrubbed-up", "tidy" and "wholesome"?

You said this about gay cruises: "Any honest gay person knows what an all-mo cruise is like. Whether or not two gay men are coupled, dating, wedded, what have you, a gay cruise almost always has its orgiastic elements."

I would assume that gay people know that, as you've indicated it is common knowledge, and I also assume that you are indicating that most gay people are okay with that. Who, then, is Rosie targeting by editing out these elements, if not heterosexuals who are unfamiliar with gay culture and perhaps open to accepting homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle?

Why would she go to such trouble if she didn't care about getting us to accept homosexuality? I suppose she may only really care about getting gay marriage legally accepted, and not really give a damn if heterosexual people accept homosexuality as a good thing, but that's not the impression I get. I think she wants heterosexuals to see homosexuality as not only benign, but wholesome and good; just like folks, and no different from anybody else.

However, you have indicated that what she presents isn't the whole truth, or even most of it.

You have also indicated that homosexual cruises have "orgiastic" elements to them. In contrast, heterosexuals orgies are not normative (on cruises or in other places) and the type of people Rosie is trying to persuade aren't likely to think kindly of a heterosexual orgy any more than a homosexual one, so it's not even a matter of picking on people because they are gay.

You don't seem to have a problem with the orgiastic elements, but most people would, if they knew about them. I think that if gays want acceptance, they should be honest about what they are asking people to accept.

I am confused when you say: "The Christian conservative position in this country is the ultimate hypocritical paradox. You want us gay folk to behave more "normally" but you deny us the one institution that would make us most normal of all."

Because you already said: "Any honest gay person knows what an all-mo cruise is like. Whether or not two gay men are coupled, dating, wedded, what have you, a gay cruise almost always has its orgiastic elements."

So you are basically saying that gay marriage isn't really monogamous (and monogamy is the norm for marriage, and it is a vital norm for a marriage that includes children), but you want society to legitimize gay marriage to make you "more normal".

Doesn't that seem problematic?

Everyone knows that monogamy is more or less a relative term when speaking of homosexuals. You basically admitted it. How can you have good gay marriages if they involve infidelity (especially if children are involved).

Asking that marriage be redefined so as to include legal homosexual unions is also a demand for public acceptance. How am I wrong in thinking that?

You even hint at the fact that homosexual unions aren't currently respectable (in your own eyes) when you call marriage "the greatest social engine for leading a "respectable" life." Saying this implies that you want society to consider homosexual unions respectable and believe that homosexual unions a means to that end.

Yet you deny caring what anyone thinks of your lifestyle.

Here's my problem with homosexual unions.

Words mean things. Institutions (like marriage) mean things. Redefining marriage so as to include homosexual unions is problematic for four reasons:

From the order of right reason:

The scope of the civil law is certainly more limited than that of the moral law, but civil law cannot contradict right reason without losing its binding force on conscience. Every humanly-created law is legitimate insofar as it is consistent with the natural moral law, recognized by right reason, and insofar as it respects the inalienable rights of every person. Laws in favor of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason because they confer legal guarantees, analogous to those granted to marriage, to unions between persons of the same sex. Given the values at stake in this question, the State could not grant legal standing to such unions without failing in its duty to promote and defend marriage as an institution essential to the common good.

It might be asked how a law can be contrary to the common good if it does not impose any particular kind of behavior, but simply gives legal recognition to a de facto reality which does not seem to cause injustice to anyone. In this area, one needs first to reflect on the difference between homosexual behavior as a private phenomenon and the same behavior as a relationship in society, foreseen and approved by the law, to the point where it becomes one of the institutions in the legal structure. This second phenomenon is not only more serious, but also assumes a more wide-reaching and profound influence, and would result in changes to the entire organization of society, contrary to the common good. Civil laws are structuring principles of man's life in society, for good or for ill. They "play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behavior". Lifestyles and the underlying presuppositions these express not only externally shape the life of society, but also tend to modify the younger generation's perception and evaluation of forms of behavior. Legal recognition of homosexual unions would obscure certain basic moral values and cause a devaluation of the institution of marriage.

From the biological and anthropological order:

Homosexual unions are totally lacking in the biological and anthropological elements of marriage and family which would be the basis, on the level of reason, for granting them legal recognition. Such unions are not able to contribute in a proper way to the procreation and survival of the human race. The possibility of using recently discovered methods of artificial reproduction, beyond involving a grave lack of respect for human dignity, does nothing to alter this inadequacy.

Homosexual unions are also totally lacking in the conjugal dimension, which represents the human and ordered form of sexuality. Sexual relations are human when and insofar as they express and promote the mutual assistance of the sexes in marriage and are open to the transmission of new life.

As experience has shown, the absence of sexual complementarity in these unions creates obstacles in the normal development of children who would be placed in the care of such persons. They would be deprived of the experience of either fatherhood or motherhood. Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development. This is gravely immoral and in open contradiction to the principle, recognized also in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, that the best interests of the child, as the weaker and more vulnerable party, are to be the paramount consideration in every case.

From the social order:

Society owes its continued survival to the family, founded on marriage. The inevitable consequence of legal recognition of homosexual unions would be the redefinition of marriage, which would become, in its legal status, an institution devoid of essential reference to factors linked to heterosexuality; for example, procreation and raising children. If, from the legal standpoint, marriage between a man and a woman were to be considered just one possible form of marriage, the concept of marriage would undergo a radical transformation, with grave detriment to the common good. By putting homosexual unions on a legal plane analogous to that of marriage and the family, the State acts arbitrarily and in contradiction with its duties.

The principles of respect and nondiscrimination cannot be invoked to support legal recognition of homosexual unions. Differentiating between persons or refusing social recognition or benefits is unacceptable only when it is contrary to justice. The denial of the social and legal status of marriage to forms of cohabitation that are not and cannot be marital is not opposed to justice; on the contrary, justice requires it.

Nor can the principle of the proper autonomy of the individual be reasonably invoked. It is one thing to maintain that individual citizens may freely engage in those activities that interest them and that this falls within the common civil right to freedom; it is something quite different to hold that activities which do not represent a significant or positive contribution to the development of the human person in society can receive specific and categorical legal recognition by the State. Not even in a remote analogous sense do homosexual unions fulfill the purpose for which marriage and family deserve specific categorical recognition. On the contrary, there are good reasons for holding that such unions are harmful to the proper development of human society, especially if their impact on society were to increase.

From the legal order:

Because married couples ensure the succession of generations and are therefore eminently within the public interest, civil law grants them institutional recognition. Homosexual unions, on the other hand, do not need specific attention from the legal standpoint since they do not exercise this function for the common good.

Nor is the argument valid according to which legal recognition of homosexual unions is necessary to avoid situations in which cohabiting homosexual persons, simply because they live together, might be deprived of real recognition of their rights as persons and citizens. In reality, they can always make use of the provisions of law -- like all citizens from the standpoint of their private autonomy -- to protect their rights in matters of common interest. It would be gravely unjust to sacrifice the common good and just laws on the family in order to protect personal goods that can and must be guaranteed in ways that do not harm the body of society.

Gay marriage involves gutting marriage of its meaning, namely, the union of one man and one woman, thereby rendering the common understanding of what marriage is obsolete (which then devalues the institution itself, whether the gay community intends this or not). Marriage can be of benefit to no one if marriage doesn't really mean anything, and by demanding that society should chuck out its understanding of what marriage is and replace it with a whole new concept is to say that the old concept was essentially worthless (which leads one to wonder why the gay community is so desperate to acquire the right to a concept they wittingly or unwittingly consider of no real value or meaning).

Redefining marriage is a slippery slope. Accepting consensual homosexual unions as marriage opens the door redefining marriage to include accepting polygamy (having more than one wife) or polyandry (more than one husband), and why stop there? Why not allow people to marry children? Or even animals? You may say that won't happen (especially the bit about children and animals), but why not? The very same arguments used to justify homosexual activity can be used to justify these other things. NAMBLA already does so with children. The arguments they make to justify their "love" are pretty much identical with the arguments for justifying homosexuality. Absent any moral standard, which, of course has already been eroded (if not completely denied) to allow for the acceptance of homosexuality, what arguments can be made to prevent allowing these things later on? Remember, the new morality says I can't tell you what is right or wrong and you can't tell me. Morality is all just personal opinion in this view and binding on no one. How can we argue that anything is wrong then? Some will say the rule is that people must consent and/or not be hurting others and/or be adults. But those are moral standards. Those are statements of objective morality, and we've already abandoned the concept of objective morality that is binding on everyone, remember? No one can be sure of the truth, right? There are no absolutes. There is no black and white. Everything is gray and fuzzy. We can never prove anything, we can only be reasonably certain of things. Right? Isn't that sort of belief what is required to overthrow the tyranny of religion? So let's go with that, but then nothing is right and nothing is wrong, or at least we can never know what is right or wrong, we can only have a sense of it, yet if we buy into all of that, it really is wrong to legislate any type of morality, whether it be about murder, rape, paying taxes, or stopping for traffic lights. Morality becomes a social construct, to be taken up or discarded at will.

The problem with this is that it is all a lie. There is an objective right and wrong. We must treat others as we wish to be treated. If I steal from you, then I am saying (by my action) that stealing is okay, but nobody really believes stealing is okay, because nobody thinks it is okay for people to steal from them! The same goes for any number of moral, immoral, or indifferent acts (just plug in words like befriend, comfort, feed, visit, and nurture; hurt, rape, and kill in place of the word steal).

Furthermore, morality can't be a mere social construct because there are things that are always considered bad, no matter what time or place in history. Show me the society that has ever decided that it was noble to betray one's best friend, or steal.

No, morality isn't just a passing fad to be redefined at will.

Moral principles reflect what things are, calling them by their proper names and treating them according to their nature. When we use things in accordance with their nature, things go smoothly, but when we go against nature, we destroy the nature of the thing we abuse. We can't redefine red to include green, squares to include circles, or bachelors to include married men. To do so only causes confusion and destroys the identity of the thing we would be trying to redefine and to act as though the new definition has merit will only cause problems. So we put gasoline in gas tanks and not sugar. We treat a head of lettuce like a head of lettuce, a puppy like a puppy, and a human being like a human being. It's wrong to chop up a human being and toss them in a bowl or to raise a human child as though it were a puppy with dog collars and leashes and newspapers on the floor.

Once we know what a thing is, we then know how to treat it. We can't redefine puppies to include kittens or human infants, because then we'd have a mess. We can't redefine marriage for much the same reason. If we do, then marriage doesn't mean anything at all, never did, and never will.

Marriage exists not just for the good of the spouses, but for the good of children that come from marriage. It benefits society to have stable family units which bring children into the world in the most loving and supportive environment possible. (I understand this doesn't always happen, but it's the ideal, and the law of the land, at present, favors the ideal so as to encourage it). Single parents have a hard time. This isn't to say that they aren't good people or well-meaning. It just means they don't have all the help associated with a two-parent household. If two parents were all that mattered, then homosexual unions might be okay (in a non-religious sense). However, it is a fact of human nature that children are best served by having a mother and a father. I don't mean a mother figure and a father figure. I mean a mother and a father. Sometimes this is not possible (due to death or even due to sexual immorality among heterosexual couples) and then people have to make due. However, these circumstances are not only less than optimal, they are observably detrimental to children, despite the best intentions of the single parent, and minimizing the damage that will stem from the absence of a married mother and father. Divorce and remarriage causes similar observable developmental difficulties in kids. it is in the best interest of society to reward the optimal circumstances for raising children so as to encourage those circumstances. If homosexual unions are legitimized, that renders the optimal circumstance (by virtue of law) equal in status to a circumstance that primarily seeks the good of the homosexual couple and not the children. It destabilizes the meaning of marriage, the value of marriage, and hence the perceived need for marriage, thereby encouraging that more children are born into less than the best possible circumstance for their upbringing. You yourself called marriage "the greatest social engine for leading a "respectable" life." Why would you want to devalue the meaning of marriage and consequently destroy that engine, especially when children are involved?

Patrick

Word count: 2,974.

just me

I think that was the longest post in comments I have ever seen.

Aatom

yeah, someone is just a teensy bit obsessed with homosexuality. even I don't think about it that much, and I have sex with men.

take a valium, Mark!

louis

Dearest Mark

These never ending diatribes and rejoinders of yours are practically becoming inappropriate as it would seem, from the thread flooding effects of them alone.

Let's just cut to the chase here. Why is a heterosexual man up in the wee hours of the morning on a gay board, cutting/pasting and splitting hairs with respect to every word written from those who have chosen to entertain your neurotic rants?

Have you been a participant in a/some homosexual experience for which you haven't been able to forgive your person?

Are you feeling some homosexual urges that have you confused or upset?

Or is all this, going-thru, of yours just the worrisome results from the stringent doctrin by which you've chosen to live? Which incidentally, no mortal (namely you) would ever be able to champion.

Indeed, why are you truly soooo, malcontent?

Tell daddy where it hurts.

Queer Conservative

Mark, you think about "gayness" way too much. Eating cheeseburgers is a sin in the Old Testament too. Now go play at Burger King for a while.

Tommy, Rosie's program is to gay people/family life what the Brady Bunch is to straight people/family life. A bit too vanilla, a bit too smooth, a bit too "filmed in Hollywood before a life-like audience."

Tommy

louis - noooooooo,

All of louis's questions are rhetorical and require no response - (in case someone doesn't get the subtext). The answers can be found all over this blog, here, here and here (if I knew how to do that - most notably in the famous never ending thread) in great detail.

QC - if Shales would have said that, then I'd understand what he was saying. Maybe you should write for the WP, or is that too MSM for you.

Ishkabibble

Oy!

I read some of the posts yesterday, and thought about posting today. I have to say that I feel somewhat intimidated at this point. So much to address, so little time.

My first thoughts were about the show, and how much I enjoyed it, and how much sense it made that we weren't seeing a showcase of sexual behavior because, just like straight parents, gay parents are capable of putting their sexual lives on a back burner for the sake of the children. I wasn't on this cruise, but I'll wager that the voyagers found the time spent around partners and children so much more fullfilling than any "orgy" could ever be, and so the need to participate in such was quite possiblly the last thing on anyone's mind. The reason the sexual shennanigans and wild partying were not shown was quite possiblly because it never happened.

I have been with my partner for nearly 20 years. It has been a wonderful, fullfilling, monogamous relationship. Our lives are consumed by the mundane, and happily so. We haven't been to a bar in years, can't imagine partaking in an orgy, haven't had sex in public, and are ordinary, tax-paying citizens concerned with the good of our community (and by this I mean the community in which all people live, not just a "gay" community). We have a life, not a "lifestyle."

This Mark character who has posted so much originally made sense when he posited that acceptance of sexual activity one finds abhorrant is unlikely to ever occur, so why should it be expected, why should gay people continue to foist their lifestyle on those who will neve acccept gay sexuality. To this I say, as my father would, to each his own said the man as he kissed the cow. I "get" that homosexual acts will never appeal to many people,

But where my knickers get knotted is when he starts ranting about homosexuality and relationships and conjugal dimmensions and marriage being for children and the obscure abomination known as NAMBLA. While erudite, the man hasn't a f..king clue. Marriage provides the same emotional benefits and support to married people who are childless. Emotionally supported people of whatever stripe become beneficial to society as a whole, rather than a burden. "Gay" marriage is about all of the same things and carries with it all of the same benefits and psychological, ethical, legal, and societal supports as does traditonal marraige. Gay relationships (as opposed to homosexual acts) are about everything that straight relationships are about. Being in a gay relationship takes away nothing from straight relationships. Gay marriage takes away nothing from "traditional" marriage. Truly allowing for difference and providing support for healthy emotional development within Gay relationships will be of enormous social benefit on so many levels, and in particular for those Gay families of which children are a part. People with conservative views informed by dogma rather than pragmatics are not likely to open their eyes enough to see this, and so we all suffer.

But like I said, so little time.

louis

All of louis's questions are rhetorical and require no response - (in case someone doesn't get the subtext). The answers can be found all over this blog, here, here and here (if I knew how to do that - most notably in the famous never ending thread) in great detail


Oh hell, well then by all means, Mark, please ignore all questions that I've submitted that may be of a redundant nature! PLEASE I say!

Thanks for the threads-up Tommy. Although there is/was no way that I could ever make my way through the aforementioned thread. (parochial school victim here)

I'll just hope that Mark has taken in a heavier swig of Jesus Juice this morning during communion. It would seem as though he's in need of its calming affects.

louis

Ishkabibble - beautifully conveyed.

Tommy

Ditto - and only in a few short paragraphs

James

Wow, Mark’s argument against gay love, marriage, and child rearing is dripping with so much passion and clarity that I just can’t help but admire its originality and zeal. And yet it almost seems to ring of some sort of bored repetitive rhetoric.

Oh yeah, because it is: almost all of the ideas put forth in his statement are unabashedly ripped from the Vatican’s own “CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS” published in July 2003 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.

Due to the length of his plagiarized statement and the fact that the Vatican’s argument has been disassembled by many more qualified individuals (including the Spanish government) I won’t even bother with a rebuttal. But if any of you would like to compare Mark’s sorry stolen argument with the Vatican’s check out this: http://catholicinsight.com/online/church/vatican/printer_474.shtml.

I knew Mark rung too smart for his own intellect.

Queer Conservative

James,

Did you really think that Mark was coming up with this stuff on his own? :-)

He admitted in the thread "Where's Your Messiah Now" that he doesn't think for himself. He finds it much easier to let Benny Sixteen do it for him.

Mark

I would have simply linked Considerations, but if I had, I felt certain that people wouldn't have read it. I also figured if I said this is from the Vatican people wouldn't have read it. I wasn't trying to make people think I'm smarter than I am or whatever. It's just that in the other thread people said they wouldn't bother with the links because they could see the sources within the name of the links.

I wrote my stuff first, and I hadn't really ever read Considerations. I knew it existed, though. So I looked it up and thought it said some things so well that it would be a shame not to be able to have it seen just because it was linked. I was also surprised that some of the stuff I reasoned out for myself in my initial response was fairly close to the ideas set forth in Considerations, because, as I said, I'd never really read it before.

I wrote all but these four parts:

From the order of right reason
From the biological and anthropological order
From the social order
From the legal order

Those parts are from Considerations.

Then it concludes with more from me.

I also happen to work overnight shifts and was bored at work. I'm not up at all hours working out inner demons. lol :)

Louis: I've never had a homosexual experience, and I'm not interested in having one.

I'm confident that doesn't disappoint anyone.

I've often wondered why gay people seem so excited to find evidence of homosexuality in everyone else. Sometimes it feels like gay people think almost everyone is potentially gay. Maybe it's because gay people always have to be on the lookout for other gay people so they are always looking, whereas heterosexuals don't think about that stuff.

I am fascinated by moral theology, and I love Church teaching. Homosexuality has been a problem of late in the Church, and there is a lot of confusion about Church teaching on homosexuality among priests and lay Catholics, and sadly, some bishops (and possibly a cardinal or so). Anyway, nothing sharpens me like discussing the reasons behind what I think, and talking about them in an environment that is challenging helps me work out the best way to express things in the future.

I'm glad James linked Considerations. Thanks James. :) And thanks for keeping things honest and real.

Consider reading Considerations. I'd be genuinely interested in honest intellectual criticism of the document.

I'd also love to hear what qualifies the Spanish government as experts in philosophy and moral theology who are able to "disassemble" Considerations. Do elected positions or political appointments automatically confer such qualifications? WHo are the other "more qualified individuals"? I honestly would like to read what they have to say. I wouldn't even be snarky in my response (even though they would be challenging my beliefs).

It would be great if people could have intellectual dialogues without getting their undies in a wad and acting snippy.

I'm just trying to understand the reasoning behind gay politics, etc., from real gay people.

steve

Did it ever occur to Shales that the "drag queen, pierced nipples and campy vamping" crowd is not that interested in adopting? Even if they were, those characteristics or "proclivities" would almost certainly cost them the child during the vetting process.

Mark

Queer Conservative - That's not true. I said that I submit to the authority of the Church.

The reason I submit is because Jesus is God, he founded a Church. He promised to preserve that Church in truth by sending the Holy Spirit to guide it. He promised to remain with it until the end of time. He also promised that the gates of hell would never prevail against that Church. The Catholic Church is that Church.

I believe that Jesus, who is God, can neither deceive nor be deceived. He speaks the truth because He is Truth. Because He is God he can do all things that are possible. And he keeps His promises.

It follows, then, that the Church He founded would have to exist from His time to the present day, and that it will have never fallen into error, or else Jesus didn't keep His promise (and consequently He isn't God).

Jesus gave St. Peter special authority: I give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven also. Whatever you loose, shall be loosed in heaven.

He also prayed specifically for Peter to confirm the faith of the other apostles: Simon, Simon, Satan has sought to sift you all like wheat, but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail, and when you are converted, strengthen your brethren.

(Just so nobody accuses me of stealing, I'm loosely quoting from memory the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, in that order.)

So the Pope, the successor of St. Peter has this special charism from Jesus to never lead souls into error, because Peter is the Rock upon which Christ built his Church.

That's why I submit to the Church, because I properly understand that it is to the Church that Christ gave His authority. That's why He said: The man who will not hear the Church, let him be to you as the heathen and the tax collector. He also said: As the Father has sent me, now I send you, go therefore, and make disciples of all nations... (giving them His authority, His commission, and His promise to remain with the apostles (the first bishops)and especially Peter (the rock on which He built His Church) until the end of the world at the same time (Matthew again for both of these passages.)

I say, with St. Augustine, that I would not believe in the gospels themselves were it not for the authority of the Church. (A Catholic Council set the canon for the New Testament, weeding out non-canonical books and discrediting gnostic "gospels" like the Gospel of Judas in the recent headlines.) Were it not for the Catholic Church preserving the texts of the New Testament for centuries, you wouldn't even have a bible (or at least a New Testament).

louis

Mark - even God gave it a rest on Sunday.

Robbie

Of course, the Church is more than just a little fallible. Anyone with a history book can list dozens of incidents where they really, really hope God's not guiding the Church.

You worship a God who, by the Church's logic, is responsible for some of the most despicable acts in human history.

I don't really want to worship a god like that. The Catholic god seems like a complete asshole. My neighbors are better entities.

just me

Did it ever occur to Shales that the "drag queen, pierced nipples and campy vamping" crowd is not that interested in adopting?

I think this is probably a good question.

I would also add that if they did opt to adopt, having kids will probably tone down some of this stuff, just by virtue of the responsibility. Kids put a cramp in everyone's lifestyle-and things change.

I also suspect that by virtue of the fact that there were kids on the cruise, those who might opt to party in some situations, may have chosen not to in this one. Most people-gay or straight recognize that some things aren't apprpriate, when kids are around.

Queer Conservative

Mark: Queer Conservative - That's not true. I said that I submit to the authority of the Church.

Tomato, Tomahto
Potato, Potahto

Queer Conservative

As Blanche said on the Golden Girls when she cursed in front of a nun: "I'm a Baptist."

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