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TAG | Gay Marriage

Apr/18

21

Mobile Phone, Immobile Superstition

Yet another reminder that, to quote (yet again) Carl Jung, the Middle Ages…live on merrily.

The Catholic Herald:

Priests have been carrying out exorcisms over the phone as demand continues to rise, a Cardinal has said.

Speaking at the Vatican’s annual exorcist training conference in Rome, Cardinal Ernest Simoni said priests are delivering prayers of liberation, part of the exorcism ritual, remotely.

“There are priests who carry out exorcisms on their mobile phones. That’s possible thanks to Jesus,” he said.

However, some warned that the practice was not wise, as people who are possessed often writhe around violently and have to be restrained during exorcisms….

Annual exorcist training conference?

Yup.

Around 250 priests from 50 countries are attending this year’s conference at the Regina Apostolorum university as prelates from around the world report an increase in demand for exorcisms.

The course started in 2004, and since then the number of priests attending each year has more than doubled.

And this pope, of course, that man of science who has taken it upon himself to lecture us all about climate change, will approve:

In his most recent apostolic exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, Pope Francis warns that the devil is not a myth but a “personal being who assails us”

“We should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea,” the Pope wrote. “This mistake would leave us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable.”

And among his naughty tricks is, lest we forget, same sex marriage.

Or so this pope believes:

Here’s a 2010 story from the National Catholic Register about the then Cardinal Bergoglio (my emphasis added):

A Jesuit cardinal has become the latest Church leader to speak out forcefully against a government’s push towards same-sex marriage, and has called on his nation’s contemplatives to pray fervently to prevent such laws.

According to an article in tomorrow’s L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires and Primate of Argentina, has said that if a proposed bill giving same-sex couples the opportunity to marry and adopt children should be approved, it will “seriously damage the family.”

He made the statement in a letter addressed to each of the four monasteries in Argentina, asking the contemplatives to pray “fervently” that legislators be strengthened to do the right thing.

He wrote: “In the coming weeks, the Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family…At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”

Cardinal Bergoglio continued: “Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

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Aug/13

17

Nice One, Kirill (Not)

Dynamic DuoPope Francis thinks that same-sex marriage is the work of the “father of lies”. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, dodgy Putin crony Patriarch Kirill may be even more uneasy.

Russia Today reported this (my emphasis added) back in July:

The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill sees the recognition of same-sex unions by Western countries as a portent of doom. He called upon Russians to ensure that sin is never formalized by the rule of law.

This is a very dangerous apocalyptic symptom, and we must do everything in our powers to ensure that sin is never sanctioned in Russia by state law, because that would mean that the nation has embarked on a path of self-destruction…”

Okey dokey.

· · ·

Aug/13

3

Rolling out Satan

The Devil Twilight ZoneThere’s been a lot of discussion recently on the significance or otherwise of what the new pope has had to say about homosexuality.

But less about these comments from three years back (via Breitbart):

New Pope Francis I is an ardent opponent of same-sex marriage, in coincidence with traditional Catholic belief. In 2010, he wrote, “Let’s not be naïve, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

The “Father of Lies”!

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Jan/13

8

A Skeptic

Nigel Farage, Birmingham (Sept 2012 ) (AS)From a Guardian interview with Nigel Farage, the leader of Britain’s neo-Thatcherite, euroskeptic UKIP:

He won a lot of Tory support by opposing gay marriage, chiefly because it was an affront to religious values. “Tolerance is a two-way street, and the whole equality rights agenda has come to the point of head-on conflict with religious faith,” he declares, as if such a conflict must de facto discredit the equality agenda. It takes some nerve to oppose gay marriage on religious grounds – while adding, “I know the Anglican church isn’t much good, but mind you, with that idiot having run the show for the last 10 years that’s hardly surprising. Couldn’t even clip his beard for the royal wedding!” – when, on closer questioning, it transpires Farage isn’t even really a Christian. He claims never to have thought about whether he will go to heaven, or even if such a place exists. “Never.” He goes to church four or five times a year, and thinks it plays “an important role in our society”, but as for believing in God, “I think there is something there, but that’s as far as it goes.” It sounds to me as if he’s agnostic. “Well you’ll have to draw your own conclusion,” he says, looking slightly embarrassed.

While I don’t agree with Farage on same sex marriage (live and let live, say I), the rest of this section of the interview is worth noting for the (presumably leftish) interviewer’s failure to understand that it’s quite possible to oppose something as being an affront to religious faith without sharing that particular set of beliefs. Farage quite clearly sees the Church of England (however flawed) as part of the tradition that makes the country what it is, an essential element in the glue that holds it together. Whether the rather wild claims on which it was originally based—first made in some foreign country two thousand years ago—were true is, of course, an irrelevance.

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Mar/12

4

Those in Glass Houses

Britain’s coalition government intends to legalize same-sex marriage. That a high-ranking Roman Catholic priest is opposed to these plans is neither surprise nor drama, but Scotland’s Cardinal Keith O’Brien could, I think, have used better words than these to attack them:

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Catholic church in Scotland…accused the coalition of trying to “redefine reality”.

Those in glass houses…

· ·

The New York Times reports on a confrontational interaction between Rick Santorum and people who support same-sex marriage:

“If you’re not happy unless you’re married to five other people, is that O.K.?” he asked.

That angered the audience, which booed his answer.

“I’m happy to engage in a discussion,” he continued, saying that he wanted to “give people a chance to answer, but we’re going to have a civil discussion.”

The woman who had asked the first question then persisted, saying that the question about bigamy was “irrelevant.”

“In my personal opinion, go for it,” she said. “But when two men want to marry … ”

Mr. Santorum interrupted, “What about three men?”

“That’s not what I’m talking about,” the woman said to Mr. Santorum, who spent close to an hour and a half before the crowd.

The session ended with many of the students booing Mr. Santorum as he left for his next event.

There are several issues here.

(more…)

Feb/10

1

Fathers and the fertility revolution

I consider here whether there are any arguments left that one might make regarding absent fathers’ obligation to their biological children once the fertility revolution that enables gay procreation is moved to the center of the marriage institution.  I am very sympathetic to the compelling interest in marriage, but anyone who claims that gay marriage will not have a huge, unforeseeable effect on society is either deluded or in bad faith.  One could well decide that the demand for marriage participation rightly trumps any countervailing considerations.  I tend more and more in that direction myself.  But let’s at least be honest about the massiveness of this change and our own ignorance regarding its fallout:

The facile libertarian argument that gay marriage is a trivial matter that affects only the parties involved is astoundingly blind to the complexity of human institutions and to the web of sometimes imperceptible meanings and practices that compose them. Equally specious is the central theme in attorney Theodore Olson’s legal challenge to California’s Proposition 8: that only religious belief or animus towards gays could explain someone’s hesitation regarding gay marriage. Anyone with the slightest appreciation for the Burkean understanding of tradition will feel the disquieting burden of his ignorance in this massive act of social reengineering, even if he ultimately decides that the benefits to gays from gay marriage outweigh the risks of the unknown.

The Audacious Epigone points out that though attitudes toward gay marriage shifted a great deal over the past few years for liberals and moderates, not so much for conservatives. This makes sense. I’ve looked at attitudes toward homosexuals where liberals, and to a lesser extent moderates, exhibit a great deal of age dependent difference. In contrast young conservatives tend to agree with older conservatives to a far greater extent. Younger conservatives who point out that opposition to gay marriage is less burning of an issue for more recent age cohorts on the Right are correct, but the difference is dwarfed by the radical changes you see in the Center and Left.

·

It looks like both Maine & New Hampshire will be taking steps toward recognizing gay marriage. If that happens only Rhode Island in New England will not recognize gay marriage. It also looks like there will be movement in New York. Clearly there’s a regional bias here; but I thought it would be nice to quantify it. The GSS has the “MARHOMO” variable for 1988, 2004, 2006 and 2008. I limited it to 2006 and 2008 as attitudes didn’t differ between these years, and split it by the Census regions. Results below.

gssregion1

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May/09

4

Gay marriage and unintended consequences

The biggest social problem in the U.S. today is the crime and academic achievement gap between blacks and whites. The academic achievement gap (several grade levels and 200 SAT points (old system)) distorts our pedagogy, academic hiring and admissions, and employment standards in the public and private sectors (see the recent New Haven firefighters reverse discrimination case); it triggers huge and to date wholly ineffective government programs to try to close the gap (e.g., Head Start, No Child Left Behind). Black males commit homicide at ten times the rate of white males; in New York City, a representative locality, any violent crime is 13 times more likely to be committed by a black perp than by a white one. This crime gap results in depressed urban economies, huge incarceration costs, and the unjust demonization of the police as racist for merely going after criminals and of inner-city employers who worry about black thieves coming into their stores.

One overpowering cause of black social failure is the breakdown of marriage in the black community. Nationally, the black illegitimacy rate is 71%; in some inner city areas, it is closer to 90%. When boys grow up without any expectation that they will have to marry the mother of their children, they fail to learn the most basic lesson of personal responsibility. A community without the marriage norm is teetering on the edge of civilizational collapse, if it has not already fallen into the abyss. Fatherless black boys, who themselves experience no pressure to become marriageable mates as they grow up, end up joining gangs, dropping out of school, and embracing a “street” lifestyle in the absence of any male authority in the home.

If the black illegitimacy rate were not nearly three times the rate of whites’, I would have few qualms about gay marriage. Or if someone can guarantee that widespread gay marriage would not further erode the expectation among blacks that marriage is the proper context for raising children, I would also not worry. But no one can make that guarantee. (more…)

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