‘Gay marriage doesn’t just redefine marriage, but also parenting’

Read this open letter to the Gay Community from a loving daughter.

She wonders why there isn’t more attention on the rest of this story, namely the children raised by two mothers or two fathers.

Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn’t matter. That it’s all the same. But it’s not. A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.

I grew up surrounded by women who said they didn’t need or want a man. Yet, as a little girl, I so desperately wanted a daddy. It is a strange and confusing thing to walk around with this deep-down unquenchable ache for a father, for a man, in a community that says that men are unnecessary…

I’m not saying that you can’t be good parents. You can. I had one of the best. I’m also not saying that being raised by straight parents means everything will turn out okay. We know there are so many different ways that the family unit can break down and cause kids to suffer: divorce, abandonment, infidelity, abuse, death, etc. But by and large, the best and most successful family structure is one in which kids are being raised by both their mother and father.

And she wonders why gay people’s kids can’t be honest in talking about the realities, for them, of gay marriage.

It promotes and normalizes a family structure that necessarily denies us something precious and foundational. It denies us something we need and long for, while at the same time tells us that we don’t need what we naturally crave. That we will be okay. But we’re not. We’re hurting.

She notes that children of divorced parents, adopted children of biological parents they never knew, are “allowed” to speak out about their pain, suffering, longing, feelings.

But children of same-sex parents haven’t been given the same voice. It’s not just me. There are so many of us.

One of the first to publish such an account was Robert Lopez, and his account of being ‘raised by two moms’ clearly reveals his love for his mother, but also the long term impact that home life had on him. It opened the door for many other children of same-sex parents who were afraid to speak up because they loved them and didn’t want to hurt them.

In the past couple of days, that link has become inaccessible, and the online journal that published it has been dealing with technical issues. Which may or may not be related to the silencing Heather Barwick referred to in her honest, open letter.

If we say we are hurting because we were raised by same-sex parents, we are either ignored or labeled a hater.

This isn’t about hate at all. I know you understand the pain of a label that doesn’t fit and the pain of a label that is used to malign or silence you. And I know that you really have been hated and that you really have been hurt. I was there, at the marches, when they held up signs that said, “God hates fags” and “AIDS cures homosexuality.” I cried and turned hot with anger right there in the street with you. But that’s not me. That’s not us.

That’s not most of us. It’s the extreme left and right doing the most outright condemnation. Most of us who are trying to engage at all, are trying to do so reasonably and charitably. Many of us make efforts to speak clearly and listen closely, with the courage of conviction and respect for the dignity of those who challenge and even try to silence our beliefs, beliefs which at core witness to human dignity.

So Heather Barwick closes her letter to the Gay Community in which she was raised, with which she identified most of her life, who she understands with great compassion, and appeals to now as a children’s rights activist, with this:

I know this is a hard conversation. But we need to talk about it. If anyone can talk about hard things, it’s us. You taught me that.

Supreme Court marriage ruling is a ‘constitutionally illegitimate fiat’

The court didn’t interpret a law. It invented a right.

And it turned on the feelings and thoughts of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion and proved to be its pivotal player. No matter how prepared the experts in jurisprudence I’ve dealt with for years thought they were for this decision, they were all stunned when it came out, so sweeping was its usurpation of judicial power and lack of recourse to history and tradition.

So historic and pivotal a moment as this requires full examination, there are so many angles and issues. For now, start with law professor Helen Alvare’s early assessment of what happened, and especially whether and how the ruling considered a largely overlooked population of people generally left out of gay marriage debates: children.

Regarding children’s interests, until the first same-sex marriage opinions began to emerge in the states, every state and the US Supreme Court had grounded marriage recognition in the state’s interest in linking children with their parents. Adults received rights respecting marriage and parenting, because they first had duties — duties to the children the vast majority of marriages produced.

Today, the Supreme Court rules instead, however, that marriage is about adults’ “defin[ing] and express[ing] their identity,” adults’ desire for “nobility,” “fulfillment,” “aspirations,” “autonomy,” “self-definition,” avoiding of “loneliness,” and desire for “companionship and understanding”. The list goes on.

Regarding children? Who have now been stripped completely out of any definition of marriage that any state is permitted to have? The majority opinion assumes that there will be trickle-down benefits for children. But of course it could offer no evidence on this point. In fact, the vast majority of children (86%)[1] reared in same-sex homes have a legal mother and father and will not be affected by the new marriage rights of the same-sex couple in their home; they were conceived in a prior heterosexual relationship by one of the now-LGBT partners. And the testimony of now-adult children reared in same-sex homes reveals their deep longing and loss respecting the absent parent of an opposite sex, even as they often loved the adults who raised them.

More on that to follow here in the days ahead, with adult children of same sex parents now speaking out in greater numbers.

As for Helen’s footnote [1], here it is:

[1] Gary J. Gates, Family Formation and Raising Children Among Same-Sex Couples, Nat’l Council on Fam. Rel.: FAMILY FOCUS, Winter 2011, at F1 [hereinafter Gates, Family Formation] (“[One research study] suggest[s] that offspring of lesbian and gay parents are more often the product of different-sex relationships that occur before individuals are open about their sexual orientation.”); GARY J. GATES, WILLIAMS INST., LGBT PARENTING IN THE UNITED STATES (2013) (providing a statistical summary of the demographics of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) households); Ronald Bailey, “The Science on Same Sex Marriage,” The REASON FOUND. (April 15, 2013),  (“Nearly 20 percent of same-sex households . . . reported having children, and 84 percent contained children biologically related to one of the householders.”).

Links are on the Crux post of her opinion piece, which should be thoroughly read.

So should this piece by Professor Alvare.

Today’s opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, which invents a constitutional right to same-sex marriage applicable to the 50 states, is a story of judicial pride, successful marketing by same-sex marriage groups, and the triumph of modern therapeutic individualism. It is not a legal story. It has “nothing to do with” the Constitution, as Chief Justice Roberts so accurately states in his dissent…

Roberts warned same-sex marriage advocates that they had “lost, and lost forever: the opportunity to win the true acceptance that comes from persuading their fellow citizens of the justice of their cause,” because such opportunities require legitimate democratic process, not constitutionally illegitimate fiat.

This is only the beginning of a better understanding of what’s happened here. And what is about to.

Supreme Court marriage rulings shift American government tradition

We have always been a nation whose government serves by the consent of the governed, with separate and enumerated powers, states’ rights, rule of law and all that. Things have been ‘evolving,’ in popular parlance. With the Supreme Court rulings on marriage this week, we got a paradigm shift from self-government to ‘the tyranny of the majority,’ though that needs clarification to understand the meaning of “majority”, the way most of the language we’re using these days could benefit from clarification.

So just to recap quickly, John Adams, Alexis de Tocqueville and John Stuart Mill all referred to this term, roughly to mean ‘those who control the levers of power’, in my shorthand translation. Lord Acton put it thus:

The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.
—The History of Freedom in Antiquity, 1877

It’s apt, as Pope Benedict found it to be in his address to the UN General Assembly in 2008 warning about the consensus of the few in power not necessarily representing what’s best for the people they govern.

Which gets us to this week’s Supreme Court ruling.

There is much to unpack here. Some quick picks for first analysis:

NRO editors were succinct.

The Supreme Court declined to rule that every state in the country must recognize same-sex marriage, but do not be fooled. Five justices have taken the position that there is no rationale other than hostility to homosexuals for defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. When they believe the time is right to issue a more sweeping ruling, they will. This issue will no longer be one on which democratic deliberation is allowed.

There’s the throwdown. They decided a pair of cases, one involving Prop 8 and one involving DOMA. There are reams of commentaries to digest, but here’s a blast of clarity:

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the four Democratic appointees and himself, argues that the motivation for the law was a “bare congressional desire to harm a politically unpopular group.” The Court is not saying merely that supporters of the historic understanding of marriage are wrong, or even merely that this understanding runs afoul of the Constitution (in some unspecified way: As Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent notes, Kennedy’s opinion is hard to pin down on the question). It is saying that the supporters bring nothing but bigotry to the discussion.

This follows the type of wording Kennedy has used for at least a decade, so it didn’t surprise Court watchers though it dismayed a segment of them.

But here’s an essential point:

The real argument for continuing to treat marriage as the union of a man and a woman is that marriage and marriage law exist to channel sexual behavior in a way that promotes the flourishing of children. They exist, that is, to solve a problem that does not arise in same-sex unions: that heterosexual sex often gives rise to children. They exist to uphold the ideal that children need the mother and father who created them to stay in a stable relationship together. Recognition of same-sex marriage means that the institution is no longer about those things.

That just stated the reasons for marriage law and the State’s interest in it. It also revealed the stark reality that marriage is what the consensus defines it as now.

This, I think, is important:

What should have mattered in court was that weighing that question is not their business. Justice Samuel Alito’s dissent got it right. “Same-sex marriage presents a highly emotional and important question of public policy — but not a difficult question of constitutional law,” he writes. The Constitution is neutral on whether governmental recognition of same-sex marriage will undermine the institution of marriage, strengthen it, or have no effect at all; it does not contemplate the question.

We could come to a full stop right there. But let’s move into another analysis piece about what the Court did, by the authors of ‘What Is Marriage?’

Here’s the least reported fact about yesterday’s rulings on marriage: the Supreme Court refused to give Ted Olson and David Boies, the lawyers suing to overturn Prop 8, what they wanted. The Court refused to redefine marriage for the entire nation. The Court refused to “discover” a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Citizens and their elected representatives remain free to discuss, debate, and vote about marriage policy in all fifty states. Citizens and their elected representatives still have the right to define marriage in civil law as the union of one man and one woman.

So those of you who believe in that had better go for it, because the window is closing. Because as the NRO editors concluded…

The justices have not yet decided that we who disagree are to be permitted no influence whatsoever on the country’s marriage laws, but the clock is ticking, and this Court has no patience for self-government.

Some of my expert guests on radio this week have said justices, particularly Kennedy, are just waiting for the case to be brought that will give them cause to redefine marriage for the entire nation. And inevitably, it will.

But in the meantime, consider what those who want that redefinition are after. Dr. Paul Kengor puts a fine lens on it, one that bears reflection. All other arguments aside for the moment, marriage re-definers are after fatherless or motherless families, if children are involved at all. And that’s something we should all be concerned about. We all used to be, not that long ago, as Kengor points out.

In a speech back in 2008, President Barack Obama was emphatic in championing fatherhood:

“We know the statistics – that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.

He added:

“Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is the most important. And we are called to recognize and honor how critical every father is to that foundation. … If we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing – missing from too many lives and too many homes. … We need fathers.

Amen to that. Who would disagree? Back then, no one. So, as Kengor asks…

…why are President Obama and the liberals suddenly pushing relentlessly for fatherless families – or, more specifically, for a new form of American families that are fatherless?

The answer, of course, is gay marriage. With their sudden embrace of gay marriage, a massive shift not only within America, American culture and human civilization, but also within the Democratic party, liberals/progressives nationwide are – whether they realize it or not – simultaneously advocating a redefinition of family that embraces fatherless ones. Think about it: married female-female parents will be households without dads.

Which used to be point – fatherless households – on which liberals and conservatives agreed. It was to be avoided whenever and however possible, because of the importance of fathers.

Kengor already cited Obama on this in 2008. Now he unifies – or universalizes – the message.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan described fathers as beacons of “strength and well-being” who are responsible for “leadership and direction and teaching them integrity, truth and humility.” He added, “Every father rises to his tallest stature as he selflessly cares for his family, his wife and his children.”…

A decade later, such sentiments were consistently reinforced by Democratic president Bill Clinton, who understood the toll delivered by fatherless homes…

That principle remains unchanged. What has changed, however, is liberals/progressives’ fierce acceptance and advancement of gay marriage. In this rapid push, they are jettisoning this national consensus on fathers, demanding a form of parenting that excludes fathers. As for those who disagree with their new paradigm, they are derided as cruel, thoughtless bigots, with no possible legitimate reason for their unenlightened position.

Actually, what today’s liberals are advocating is far more radical than that. They are pushing not only for fatherless families but also, conversely, motherless families. Think about it: married male-male parents (the other half of gay marriage) will be households without moms.

Everyone reading my words knows that mothers are utterly irreplaceable. That’s a statement of the obvious…

Why would anyone, let alone a country or culture, want to open the door for a reconstitution of parenthood and family that, by literal definition, excludes mothers?

So implied in all this is the whole category of human beings whose rights aren’t as often advocated for, because they don’t have such powerful, well funded and well connected advocates. The children.

As President Obama said in 2008, if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that children need fathers. Yes, if we’re honest. They need fathers, and mothers.

The Dems agenda

Throughout the Republicans’ primary debates and into the GOP convention, that party was accused of being too focused on social issues and not the fiscal ones that matter to the country. Now, the Democrats opened their convention with a heavy emphasis on…social issues.

Which the New York Times pointed out.

On Monday night, Michelle Obama told the nation that her husband wants everyone to succeed no matter “who we love.”

If that was not clear enough, she returned to the point later in her address. “If proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love,” she said, “then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American dream.”

She was not the only one. At times it seemed as if almost every speaker on the first night of the Democratic National Convention was touting same-sex marriage.

“When it comes to letting people marry whomever they love, Mitt Romney says no,” Mayor Julián Castro of San Antonio said of the Republican nominee.

“Today in Massachusetts, you can also marry whomever you love,” said that state’s governor, Deval Patrick.

Kal Penn, the actor and former White House aide, praised Mr. Obama for being “cool with all of us getting gay-married.”

And then there was ‘abortion-palooza’.

Until the Democratic convention got into prime time, speaker after speaker went to the podium to hail the Democratic Party sacrament, to the point that one would have thought that the source of most woes in America was an epidemic of conception, rather than say, oh, jobs.  The focus shifted a little when primetime coverage began…

New York Times columnist David Brooks told PBS that his one “cavil” was that voters want to hear about jobs and the economy, not taxpayer-subsidized abortion on demand:

“You know, you’re electing someone — we’re going to spend four more years with these people — and after this speech, I think a lot of people will say, ‘Yeah, I think I kind of do,’” Brooks said.

“The one cavil I will have … is this speech has — [it] reinforces something we’ve heard all night, which was how much the crowd goes crazy and how passionate they are about abortion and gay marriage and the social issues. And tonight has been about that.

“And to me it should have been a lot more about economics, growth, and debt. And that better be the job of day two and day three because they did not do it here.”

That’s not a “cavil,” it’s a legitimate — and inescapable — observation. Brooks seemed mighty pleased to have stumped the PBS panel with that word, but he chose it poorly. The point of an incumbent’s convention is to demonstrate the progress made on issues that matter to voters and assume the high ground over one’s opponent. It’s difficult to see how Democrats could have made Barack Obama more irrelevant and small last night.

Until they made him and his administration very large.

As the convention opened, this video was played in which the narrator stated: “Government is the only thing we all belong to.”

WHAT?! Seriously? Did they really say that?

On it’s face the statement “government is the only thing we all belong to” reeks with collectivism. I halfway expected the delegates to bow down and praise Obama on the spot, the current incarnation of the all-powerful progressive conception of big-government. Instead of wasting my time watching the big government love-fest play out on screen, I took a second to look at the platform for the DNC in 2012. Then everything made sense. In this years’ version of the Democratic platform, Democrats left out two important words. Those two words make all the difference. In more ways than one.
“God Given.” Those are the two words expunged from the 2012 DNC Platform.

But wait…that changed…the next day. After a lot of pressure, never mind the outside criticism but also inside the Democratic party. They brought back God, and Israel.

Democrats voted to update their party’s platform Wednesday evening at their convention to include a reference to Jerusalem being the capital of Israel, as well as the insertion of the word “God,” neither of which was included in their platform this year but was in previous platforms.

But of all the things they played up in the party convention, they’ve certainly played down the big feature that hung over the Republican convention…the debt. Which just broke over the $16 trillion mark.

Though that didn’t get a mention in the DNC.

It was classic major-party Manicheasm: Eastasians do bad things for the simple reason that their hearts are bad; Eurasians’ hearts are good, so they don’t do bad things.

In this idyllic landscape of Democratic magical thinking, there is no state and local budget crises, no unaffordable and underfunded defined-benefit public pension obligations, nothing at all standing in the way of “investing” in our public safety, except (in ex-Republican Stern’s words) “right-wing extremists.”

The thinking behind the presentation was certainly creative.

Last night’s speeches were notable less for what they contained and more for what they did not: any engagement with the issue of having a debt load (of $16 trillion) that is now larger than GDP, of having a long-forecasted entitlement time bomb marching northward toward 100 percent of federal spending, of having underfunded obligations in the trillions of dollars promised by politicians addicted to handing out “free” benefits.

The bottom line of the first day:

One of the great ironies of this convention already is that speaker after speaker denounces Republicans for being unable to tell the truth or get their facts straight. Meanwhile, one of the most important truths of modern governance—we are well and truly out of money—sits neglected in the corner.

Ahead of Wednesday’s speech by former president Bill Clinton, predictions were easy to make about his role as reshaper of the brand and image. The Wall Street Journal’s was as accurate as anyone’s.

Clinton’s speech was certainly rousing, he was in his element and enjoying every moment, and he delivered exactly what was expected on every count. Except for time. He went way over, clocking in at just about an hour.

Here’s the key to reading the transcript or listening to the streaming audio or video. This was anticipated:

Arguably the most memorable phrase (not related to a scandal) that Bill Clinton uttered during his Presidency came in his 1996 State of the Union address: “The era of big government is over.” And for a few years, it was over. By contrast, Mr. Obama’s four years have been spent expanding the government willy-nilly—with more spending, the promise of higher taxes, and intervention across the economy. His only economic plan now is still-more spending.

So as Mr. Clinton tries to lay hands on Mr. Obama and rewrite the history of the 1990s, the real story isn’t how much policy the two Democrats have in common. What matters is what they did differently. Bill Clinton learned from the mistakes of his first two years. Mr. Obama has doubled down on his—and, on all available evidence, he will double down again if he’s re-elected.

Media ignore Family Research Council shooting

That’s another ‘dog bites man’ headline. But had the circumstances been the opposite, a shooter armed and angry opening fire in the DC headquarters of a social policy advocacy group would have been all over the news cycles with endless analysis of its grave ramifications.

Remember how quickly some media rushed to pin the Tucson shooting to some sort of right wing political extremism? More recently, recall how a major network newsman rushed to pin the Colorado theater shooter with the Tea Party? In this case, the target was conservatives, and the shooter was motivated by the politically charged issue of gay marriage. And media were virtually silent.

Here’s what happened, as reported by a very few handful (if even) of sources.

CBS, for one.

A man suspected of shooting and wounding a security guard in the lobby of a Christian lobbying group had been volunteering at a community center for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

A law enforcement official has identified the suspect arrested in Wednesday’s shooting as Floyd Corkins II of Herndon, Va. Investigators were interviewing his neighbors.

Another official says the shooter made a negative reference about the work of the Family Research Council before opening fire. The officials spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation.

David Mariner is executive director of The DC Center for the LGBT Community. He says Corkins had been volunteering at the center for about the past 6 months. Mariner describes Corkins as “kind, gentle and unassuming.”

While police have not yet stated what motivated Corkins, a coalition of 25 gay rights groups released a statement through GLAAD condemning the shooting.

“The motivation and circumstances behind today’s tragedy are still unknown, but regardless of what emerges as the reason for this shooting, we utterly reject and condemn such violence. We wish for a swift and complete recovery for the victim of this terrible incident,” the statement read.

Fox News reports:

An FBI affidavit in the investigation of a shooting Wednesday at the downtown Washington, D.C., offices of the Family Research Council says the accused gunman uttered a statement to the effect of, “I don’t like your politics,” before reaching into a backpack for a handgun and opening fire.

Floyd Lee Corkins II, of Herndon, Va., 28, is charged with assault with intent to kill, in addition to federal firearms charges.

Corkins was wearing a white prison jumpsuit and showed no visible emotions or reactions at federal court Thursday….

Leo Johnson, an unarmed building operations manager, is being lauded by D.C. police as a hero for stopping and disarming Corkins before he could get into the building.

Surveillance video shows Johnson interacting with Corkins before he allegedly opened fire, striking Johnson in the arm. The security guard managed to wrestle Corkins to the ground and disarm him before he could get inside the group’s offices.

“The security guard here is a hero, as far as I¹m concerned,” D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said. “He did his job. The person never made it past the front.”

Sources told Fox News that after Johnson disarmed Corkins, the gunman said: “Don’t shoot me, it was not about you, it was what this place stands for.”

Talk about hate crime….

Which we should. With civility, finally.

Here’s a good roundup.

I too hope this near-miss will inspire some folks to pull-back on their rhetoric, but I think it unlikely. A lot of people in this Year of Our Lord 2012 have sprung gas leaks, and they’re just floating in suspense, waiting for someone to just strike the proper match so it all goes ka-boom.

And the seeming reluctance of the press to cover this story as it was breaking, and the many hours of presidential silence in its wake, do nothing to dissuade folks that ka-boom would be so very bad, after all, as long as it was against the right sorts of people.

Yes, we need to talk about this. With the respect for truth and honesty and human dignity we proclaim.

Chick-fil-A? Really?

That was my reaction first time I heard the name of this place years ago. It was popular and well-frequented in some parts of the country, the food was good, the people extra friendly, but there wasn’t one anywhere near where I lived in Chicago. Times have certainly changed, but the reaction hasn’t.

The franchise has expanded and moved into my area in recent years, there’s even one around the corner now and a new one just down the road. Their following is kind of startling, especially the event atmosphere around the opening of a new franchise. By every measure in today’s economy, this is one business that seems to have it all figured out…service and quality and value and customer satisfaction…everything except political correctness. But then the Christian family that owns the company adheres to the idea that politics don’t determine what’s correct, which started this whole brouhaha.

And once again I’m thinking chick-fil-A is so…unlikely.

Last week when this erupted in the media, I paid little to no attention because there’s so much else to cover right now. Then I saw a tweet by comedian Conan O’Brien who probably put it best when he said ‘It’s hard to believe the greatest division in American politics these days is ‘pro’ or ‘anti-chick-fil-a.’ But he’s right, and that’s what this battle has come down to, in politics and culture. The flap over some alleged remarks by the company owner about the definition of marriage seemed disproportionate and overplayed, but this is an intense political season and people…or at least media…react on a hair-trigger.

The mayors of Boston and Chicago, two very political towns, actually said the Chick-fil-A company was not welcome to open a franchise in their cities because of the owner’s views of marriage. Really?

What were those views? How could a business owner’s views on anything disqualify him or her from acquiring a license to open a new business and bring new employment to a city in America?

Elizabeth Scalia probably summed it up best here.

…if a business willfully inserts itself into a political issue, that’s “one thing” but if a business is forced to declare its political beliefs — and if that declaration can mean the difference between getting a license or not, that’s “something else.”

It’s fascism, actually.

But this Chick-fil-A story is something beyond a demand to declare oneself and face consequences — it’s even worse than that. Apparently the mainstream media has taken it upon itself (perhaps because the owners are Christian?) to define Chick-fil-A’s positions for it.

Get Religion’s Terry Mattingly tells the miserable tale of media malfeasance:

So, did you hear about that wild quote that the president of Chick-fil-A didn’t say the other day?

Here’s a piece of a CNN report that is typical of the mainstream press coverage of this latest cyber-skirmish in America’s battles over homosexuality, commerce and free speech (sort of).

(CNN) — The fact that Chick-fil-A is a company that espouses Christian values is no secret. The fact that its 1,600 fast-food chicken restaurants across the country are closed on Sundays has long been testament to that. But the comments of company President Dan Cathy about gay marriage to Baptist Press on Monday have ignited a social media wildfire.

“Guilty as charged,”, Cathy said when asked about his company’s support of the traditional family unit as opposed to gay marriage.

Now, one would assume — after reading a reference to the “comments of company President Dan Cathy about gay marriage” — that this interview . . . actually included direct quotes from Cathy in which he talks about, well, gay marriage.

In this case, one cannot assume that.

While the story contains tons of material defending traditional Christian teachings on sexuality, the controversial entrepreneur never talks about gay rights or gay marriage. Why? Because he wasn’t asked about those issues in the interview.

Read Mattingly’s whole piece, wherein he addresses the whole “well, they may not have said it but it’s what they meant, so what’s the big deal?” angle.

The big deal is simply this: the press put aside context and decided to paint this company as some radically-religious-gay-hating-entity and then let the forces of anger, hate and spite have their way with it. The truth is, one can be a Christian and still be sympathetic to some parts of the so-called “gay agenda” without signing on in toto. One can disagree on the issue of gay marriage — based on scripture, or thousands of years of tradition, or on natural law — without actually hating anyone. But the right to principled opposition is being erased, quickly, and the press is doing all it can to help erase it. We are losing the right to say, “I don’t think the same way you do; my opinions are different.” That matters, a lot.

This is our mainstream press — the people charged with the public trust — and it has moved beyond advocacy and into “search and destroy” mode.

This is not about being “right” or “wrong” on an issue. This is about menacing and bullying people into conforming or paying the price. It’s about the bastardization of the word “tolerace” in our society, to the point where the word no longer means “live and let live” or “let people be who they are”; the word has become distorted in a very unhealthy way…

If people are no longer entitled to their own opinions, or to think what they think, then we are not free people, at all. Period. Full stop. That’s a fundamental as it gets.

Read the whole piece, and click on the links in it to follow the original posts and articles she cites in those snips. It’s quite a story.

Now we have Gov. Mike Huckabee and the Rev. Billy Graham joining a growing event to support Chick-fil-A on August 1st. Even New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called off the other mayors for their executive overreach (which was rich with irony).

After Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a big deal out of the Christian business owner’s values not being welcome in his city because they didn’t reflect Chicago values, Cardinal Francis George issued his own thoughts.

Recent comments by those who administer our city seem to assume that the city government can decide for everyone what are the “values” that must be held by citizens of Chicago.  I was born and raised here, and my understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval.  Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the government of the day move from the city?  Is the City Council going to set up a “Council Committee on Un-Chicagoan Activities” and call those of us who are suspect to appear before it?  I would have argued a few days ago that I believe such a move is, if I can borrow a phrase, “un-Chicagoan.”

The value in question is espousal of “gender-free marriage.”  Approval of state-sponsored homosexual unions has very quickly become a litmus test for bigotry; and espousing the understanding of marriage that has prevailed among all peoples throughout human history is now, supposedly, outside the American consensus.  Are Americans so exceptional that we are free to define “marriage” (or other institutions we did not invent) at will?  What are we re-defining?

Good question.

His reflections are worth reading through completely.

To this conclusion:

People who are not Christian or religious at all take for granted that marriage is the union of a man and a woman for the sake of family and, of its nature, for life.  The laws of civilizations much older than ours assume this understanding of marriage.  This is also what religious leaders of almost all faiths have taught throughout the ages.  Jesus affirmed this understanding of marriage when he spoke of “two becoming one flesh” (Mt. 19: 4-6).  Was Jesus a bigot?  Could Jesus be accepted as a Chicagoan?  Would Jesus be more “enlightened” if he had the privilege of living in our society?  One is welcome to believe that, of course; but it should not become the official state religion, at least not in a land that still fancies itself free.

Surely there must be a way to properly respect people who are gay or lesbian without using civil law to undermine the nature of marriage.  Surely we can find a way not to play off newly invented individual rights to “marriage” against constitutionally protected freedom of religious belief and religious practice.  The State’s attempting to redefine marriage has become a defining moment not for marriage, which is what it is, but for our increasingly fragile “civil union” as citizens.

Point of agreement on civil unions

Apparently the one thing both sides of this debate agree on is that the effort to change laws probably won’t stop with civil unions legislation, because such laws may stop short of full marriage rights. And gay activists are, indeed, after that goal.

Slippery slope? It sure is, says just about everyone involved.

That’s an argument gay-rights advocates are happy to concede.

“I’ve had someone stand up and say, ‘This is a slippery slope, and what you really want is equal marriage,'” said Rick Garcia, public policy director for Equality Illinois. “And I looked him right in the eye and said, ‘On this, we agree.’ We have never been shy about our support for equal marriage rights.”

With the passage last week of a civil unions bill that Gov. Pat Quinn has promised to sign into law, Illinois activists on each side of the marriage issue must now look ahead to whether civil unions will be good enough, or whether they bestow upon gay and lesbian couples a legally unacceptable “separate but equal” status.

As for Gov. Quinn signing it, Thomas Paprocki….formerly an adjunct professor of law at Loyola University’s School of Law in Chicago…addressed that as the new Bishop of the Springfield diocese.

After the Illinois House of Representatives approved legislation that would require the state to recognize same-sex unions, Governor Pat Quinn was quoted as saying, “My religious faith animates me to support this bill.” He did not say what religious faith that would be, but it certainly is not the Catholic faith. If the Governor wishes to pursue a secular agenda for political purposes, that is his prerogative for which he is accountable to the voters. But if he wishes to speak as a Catholic, then he is accountable to Catholic authority, and the Catholic Church does not support civil unions or other measures that are contrary to the natural moral law.

Quinn raised his religion as an animating force. Paprocki dutifully engaged the point for clarification.

Unhappy in California

No matter which way it goes with Proposition 8, in elections and court rulings, some group is going to be very upset. But after the latest decision Thursday, nobody’s happy. What’s going on in California?

Tension was high Thursday morning on the courthouse steps as everyone, on both sides of the gay marriage battle, waited for Judge Vaughn Walker to decide whether he would continue the stay on his controversial ruling or not, while it goes through the appeals process. He decided not.

US District Judge Vaughn Walker refused Thursday to extend a stay – placed on his ruling that declared California’s gay-marriage ban unconstitutional – beyond next week.

The decision clears the way for same-sex marriages to begin again in California on Aug. 18, barring intervention from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Everyone is on edge because this is a decisive social, legal and cultural turning point.

The high-profile case is being watched closely by supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage, as many say it is likely to make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. If it does, the case could result in a landmark decision on whether people in the United States are allowed to marry others of the same sex.

This is surreal. Some things aren’t relative to cultural lurches like this.

Cardinal Francis George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, decried the August 4 decision of a federal judge to overturn California voters’ 2008  initiative that protected marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

“Marriage between a man and a woman is the bedrock of any society. The misuse of law to change the nature of marriage undermines the common good,” Cardinal George said. “It is tragic that a federal judge would overturn the clear and expressed will of the people in their support for the institution of marriage. No court of civil law has the authority to reach into areas of human experience that nature itself has defined.”

Joining Cardinal George in his criticism of the court decision was Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage. Archbishop Kurtz noted that “Citizens of this nation have uniformly voted to uphold the understanding of marriage as a union of one man and one woman in every jurisdiction where the issue has been on the ballot.  This understanding is neither irrational nor unlawful,” he said. “Marriage is more fundamental and essential to the well being of society than perhaps any other institution. It is simply unimaginable that the court could now claim a conflict between marriage and the Constitution.”

And equally unimaginable that bishops of the Church are at the point where they have to appeal to reason with comments like ‘the understanding of marriage as a union of one man and one woman’ “is neither irrational nor unlawful.” That’s no longer given. It’s under urgent appeal.