sounding: noun, the act of measuring the depths or the heights
I guess the good news for the Boy Scouts is that the hundred-year old Scouting movement has been such a good one, lots of people want to participate. And they want to participate badly enough that they don’t want to start up an alternative, such as the “GLBT Scouts of America.”
They see the Boy Scouts of America’s rules on homosexual leaders and troopers as discriminatory. It’s like the University of North Carolina-Greensboro that required a Christian club to admit non-Christians as members and officers. (see Fox News story here) So neither the Christians that attend UNC Greensboro nor the Boy Scouts of America are allowed, in the view of some, to associate freely with like-minded individuals without being charged with discrimination, bigotry, etc.
Should heterosexuals take over gay campus clubs and the Human Rights Campaign?
A New York Times article on the subject of the Boy Scouts, of February 7, ends with statistics from a national poll of voters. And the article breaks down the results by male/female, without reference to whether or not they have children. I guess that makes my point. If anyone should be polled, it should be the million adult volunteers of the Boy Scouts. It’s their organization, not the public’s.
Lots of people who identify themselves as Catholic want to change the Church. Their positions are being made public again in the wake of Pope Benedict’s resignation. They want to see married priests. I guess they don’t know that the Catholic Church has married priests, just not in the Latin Church (or, what used to be called, the Latin rite). If they want married priests all they need to do is transfer to one of the other Churches (like Byzantine or Melkite).
Many want to change the Church’s teachings on contraception, the penalty imposed on public officials who support abortion, and the ordination of women. If they want to belong to a denomination that supports these views, there are hundreds to choose from. They all were started over the last 500 years. Why do they stay? Why do they identify themselves as Catholic? They believe it’s the “right” church (maybe even the “true” church). But it’s not “right enough” for them. If the Catholic Church were to make the changes they desire, would the Catholic Church still be right? Or true? Would they still respect Her in the morning?
1.There is no principled distinction between a same-sex couple marrying and a threesome or a foursome (especially if one of them is bisexual) marrying. Polygamy has a long history, much of it based on religion. If a same-sex couple can marry, then a Muslim man in this country can have multiple wives and, unlike any supposed right of a same-sex couple to marry, the rights of Muslim men and women are based on religion.
2.Proponents compare the ban on same-sex marriage to the ban on interracial marriage. They’re quite dissimilar. For one thing, with respect to interracial marriage, there was an assumption that, unless banned, it would be lawful. That is, of course a man of one race and the woman of another race could marry – but some legislators thought it should be deemed contrary to public policy. On the other hand, there was no prohibition in law of same-sex marriage. Why? Because of course a man cannot marry a man or a woman marry a woman. It was only after the push for such marriages that legislators (or voters) banned them by defining that marriage was between one man and one woman.
3.No same-sex couple can naturally have children. This is not a question of infertility but of impossibility. They can obtain children only through adoption or artificial means. In fact, the proponents of same-sex marriage in France have demanded the right to medically assisted reproduction (artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization). This means every child to a same-sex couple has at least three parents in some combination of biological relation or legal relation. And the courts are starting to recognize this. (See NBC news article here).
4.The argument of same-sex couples who wish to marry is that they love each other. President Obama repeated this in his Inaugural: “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well.” Sorry to inform you, Mr. President, that as a matter of formal logic, love is neither a necessary condition to marriage nor is it a sufficient condition.
Love is not a necessary condition because the law has never required a bride and groom to love each other – if by love we mean “romantic love.” Nor has the government ever required the bride and groom to demonstrate how much they love each other. Arranged marriages, under American law, are valid. The only requirements for marriage have been different gender and consent. And the different gender requirement is based in the biological reality that it takes a male and a female human being to reproduce.
Love is not a sufficient condition, otherwise there could be all sorts of arrangements for marriage, not only same-sex couples, but polygamists and close kin.
5.The American people are well versed in the tyrannical manipulation of marriage. The Bible tells the story of John the Baptist who was executed for condemning the proposed marriage between Herod and Herodias (Matt. 14:3-12; Luke 3:18-20). And there’s the play and the movie, A Man for All Seasons (movie, 1966) which tells the story of Sir Thomas More who was executed for his silence about the annulment of Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. It matters not whether the tyrannical marital regime is established by a single dictator or majority rule.
Spero columnist James M. Thunder is an attorney-at-law who practices in the Washington DC area.