Thursday, May 10, 2012


Pope Benedict with his successor, Pope Bascobama! Sister Mary Michele has joined the LCWR but is wearing the veil in an attempt to reform that group:

As a Christian supporting same sex marriage because of the Golden Rule, Pope Bascobama foresees this in his future:

From Cardinal Timothy Dolan: President Obama’s comments today in support of the redefinition of marriage are deeply saddening. As I stated in my public letter to the President on September 20, 2011, the Catholic Bishops stand ready to affirm every positive measure taken by the President and the Administration to strengthen marriage and the family. However, we cannot be silent in the face of words or actions that would undermine the institution of marriage, the very cornerstone of our society. The people of this country, especially our children, deserve better. Unfortunately, President Obama’s words today are not surprising since they follow upon various actions already taken by his Administration that erode or ignore the unique meaning of marriage. I pray for the President every day, and will continue to pray that he and his Administration act justly to uphold and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman. May we all work to promote and protect marriage and by so doing serve the true good of all persons.

My Comments: For political purposes and under political pressure from "Gay Rights Lobbyists" President Obama has couched his support of same sex marriage as the Christian thing to do by following the Golden Rule. Is he now in favor of incest because the minority of people who want to marry brother or sisters, parents or uncles and aunts are forbidden by law? If I marry my mom, I believe I could receive some of her financial benefits including her social security. I am not allowed to marry her by law. President Obama following his version of Christianity and the Golden rule should just lay it wide-open! What a hypocrite if he doesn't!

President Obama is a narcissist. He wants to run the Church. He wants to to be pope and pontificates more infallibly than any pope in history. He's trying to do so with his Catholic dissident underlings by mandating the Catholic Church to provide insurance for artificial contraception, sterilization and abortifacients. His support of same sex marriage which is opposed not only the Sacred Scripture and Tradition but also to natural law is in line with his support of artificial contraception which is also opposed to natural law.

But worse yet, in denigrating the true meaning of marriage between one man and one women, he is painting all believing, practicing Catholics and other Christians and people of other faiths as bigots in the quest for human rights. We have now become like those racists in the 1960's who opposed equal rights for blacks. We are the enemy now! We are the true evil! When we look at true oppressed groups, such as African Americans during slavery and later during segregation, we see a minority not only oppressed by law but also made poor by the oppression. The homosexuals I know for the most part are far from poor. In fact I believe homosexuals are some of the wealthiest people in America and some of the most successful as a minority. They want is all, even that which is not theirs to take. There is an insidious narcissism in all of this.

Before his election, some people wondered if Barack Obama was the anti-Christ. I thought to myself how ridiculous and how racist. However, I'm beginning to wonder if I shouldn't re-think my position on that now.


Vonito said...

Oh my, oh my, more purgatory time??

Joseph Johnson said...

The paradox is that, just as the Church seems to be turning the corner, in the right direction, secular politics is only getting worse!

Carol H. said...


Lord, please have mercy on our country, and remove from power those who would destroy us by trying to make sin lawful. Please strengthen those of us who are willing to fight against such atrocities. Amen

Steven P. Millies said...

Ad hominems are not arguments. I'm sorry to say it, but what you've offered here is a childish rant.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Steven it certainly is a rant but of the adultish rather than childish variety and a bit of satire which is very appropriate for politicians and a part of our American culture. What would be your non-"ad hominems" argument????

Bill Meyer said...

Obama seems to be reasonable intelligent, but a man can be that, and be educated, and yet be a fool.

It is sad, too, that the bottom picture is from the desecration of the Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz, my old area. Sadder still, that it was done in the name of the Ohlone Indians. No doubt the rabid liberals (most of the population of Santa Cruz) will rise up in defense of the Ohlones, who may or may not have done the damage.

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Steven P. Millies said...

I suppose I only would point out that it might be useful to draw in a breath and reflect for a moment.

The relationship of the Church to the state and to civil society is more complex today than it was when most Catholic thinking on the subject was developed. We are past the point where easy claims about the state defending traditional institutions are so easy to make. (Then again, they weren't that easy in 1878, when the Court said that, “Marriage, while from its very nature a sacred obligation, is nevertheless, in most civilized nations, a civil contract, and usually regulated by law. Upon it society may be said to be built, and out of its fruits spring social relations and social obligations and duties, with which government is necessarily required to deal…. So here, as a law of the organization of society under the exclusive dominion of the United States, it is provided that plural marriages shall not be allowed. Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself. Government could exist only in name under such circumstances.” Religiously-based assertions about the nature of traditional marriage haven't been so easy to defend at least for 134 years.)

Without ad hominem, I would say that Harry Reid got it right yesterday: "My personal belief is that marriage is between a man and a woman. But in a civil society, I believe that people should be able to marry whomever they want, and it’s no business of mine...." I couldn't say it better. That is the American constitutional tradition, at least back to 1878.

Those who disagree, without ad hominem, I would say are swept away by emotion and suffer from a lack of familiarity with the facts of the problem. Frivolous attacks (he wants to be pope?) premised on the idea that Obama hates the Church expose the emotion and paucity of information behind them for how they rush to a bad conclusion (war on traditional marriage!) from faulty premises (the U.S. Government or state governments should assert a religiously-acceptable definition of marriage because they always did until 2003).

With respect, Father, what is your argument from the historical and constitutional facts of the American political tradition? Or, are you just angry?

Steven P. Millies said...

Oh, and Gene W.:

"his two-bit, race-baiting, dimwit political hack" has snookered the Catholic bishops on healthcare. I regret to say it, but he's given them a chance to corner themselves and they took it. If Obama be a fool, the bishops are the fool's fools.

Yet, for my own part, I'll avoid ad hominems. Though fun, like fornication, they are in fact sinful.

Denise said...

I'm not sure why we expected a person who was elected by people that don't share Catholic beliefs, to uphold those very same beliefs.

Many of the people that elected him ARE Catholic. The fact that THEY don't even share these beliefs is the underlying problem.

We need to get our own house in order before the world will take us seriously.


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Steven, as Catholics in the public square, we have an obligation to our Church and our Lord to make known and even lobby for what we believe to be proper public policy and law. Harry Reid's logic as well as your own (brought to its logical conclusion) would mean accepting polygamy and of all types as well as incestuous marriages as legally possible all of which are currently outlawed I believe in every state in the union. I believe bigamy is also outlawed in every state in the union.
Of course President Obama is coming out in favor of this for political gain and even many in the homosexual community note his duplicity in this regard. If it were not politically expedient for him in terms of those who support him, he wouldn't have been so explicitly in favor of same sex marriage. But I am angry and it is righteous anger at the President of the USA hijacking religion in general and Christianity in particular and saying he is basing his argument on the "Golden Rule" and his Christian faith. And couching it within the context of civil rights thus implies that every Christian who accepts our traditional beliefs about natural law and marriage between one man and one woman is now being painted as a bigot. This would include those of other faith traditions who believe that marriage is a male and female institution, such as Orthodox Jews, Muslims and many others.

Steven P. Millies said...

"Harry Reid's logic as well as your own (brought to its logical conclusion) would mean accepting polygamy and of all types as well as incestuous marriages as legally possible all of which are currently outlawed I believe in every state in the union. I believe bigamy is also outlawed in every state in the union. "

Father, you're missing the irony because, I'm sorry, you don't know what you're talking about. Harry Reid spoke up for the point-of-view expressed by the Supreme Court in the quote I used from its 1878 Reynolds v. U.S. decision, one that outlawed bigamy and polygamy despite the objections of Reid's church (LDS) that the Court's ruling violated their religious consciences concerning the definition of marriage. Harry Reid and I know fully well what we're saying, I think, and all that comes with it.

The question is not whether we Catholics should speak up in the public square. Of course we should. But, first, that's not what you're doing. You're not lobbying for a point of view. You're posting caricatures and making caricaturish attacks. And, second, the question really is whether our religious convictions about marriage have some purchase on public policy, or whether laws are made through a political process that takes account of all points of view and comes to a final decision without privileging any point of view, but that one which garners the most support. The American political tradition only points in one of these directions.

So, by all means, let Catholics and Mormons and all others weigh in on the great questions. But so far as marriage is concerned--yes, if majorities wanted bigamy or polygamy, I suppose we couldn't stop them any more than Mormon religious convictions could stop a majority when their religious convictions were swept aside by law in 1878. That is the fact of how Church relates to state and civil society today, and our greatest problem as Catholics is that we have not figured out yet how to accustom ourselves to that fact.

Do you want to have the conversation about whether it would be sinful for a Catholic to enter into a homosexual union? A bigamous union? A polygamous union? To have an abortion? We could have a different conversation.

But to be sinful does not require that it must be illegal. "Human law is framed for a number of human beings, the majority of whom are not perfect in virtue. Wherefore, human laws do not forbid all vices from which the virtuous abstain but only the more grievous vices from which it is possible for the majority to abstain and chiefly those that are the hurt of others, without the prohibition of which human society could not be maintained; thus human law prohibits murder, theft, and suchlike." Morality is not majoritarian. But our formulations of human law must fit to what reasonably can be expected from the majority, so far as society can bear.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Steven despite the caricatures, I do believe that the promotion of same sex marriage is not on majority rule whatsoever, but by edict of the judicial system. California is the case in point. I do find it untenable (I'm in the south were states rights are big, as you may know) for every state to have its own laws on marriage. I do believe that marriage in the legal system of the USA should be defined by federal law which means obviously by-passing majority or minority rule and looking to the common good.
But let me clarify what I have posted on other posts that I do believe we as Catholics (believing, practicing Catholics in terms of Scripture, Tradition and natural law) are fighting a losing battle on the marriage definition front, although I don't want to throw the towel in yet. I personally believe that as a Church in this country we will need to adopt the position that every Catholic must first be "legally united" before they can marry in the Church,thereby eliminating the need for the priest or deacon to sign any legal document for the state--the legal union takes place in the court by the probate judge or any other civil official deputed to do so. I find it unseemly that a Catholic needs a state license to be married in the Church. I think I could live with the Church stating that a Catholic must be legally united by the state before a Catholic wedding is celebrated.

Carol H. said...

The law of the US is based on Judeo-Christian principles and morality. Start chipping away at some of the law, and the rest will begin to crumble.

rcg said...

Fr. I do take exception to you categorization of homosexuals as wealthy. You have bought the facade that they are normal and are even unintentionally endorsing the association of homosexuality with success and glamour. There are wealthy people who are feeding their appetites and reveling in the display of them. Otherwise, the population of homosexuals is beset by attendant physical and mental ailments and the financial disaster they bring.


Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

Steve, I do not believe ad hominems are sinful per se, especially when used against the enemies of the Church and morality. You sound like a Baptist.

Denise said...

The law of the US is based on Judeo-Christian principles and morality. Start chipping away at some of the law, and the rest will begin to crumble.

It seems to me that Catholics are more than just Judeo-Christians. Many Jews, as well as several Protestant denominations openly support the homosexual agenda.
We should not be counting on them, and the officials elected by them, to be enforcing our Catholic beliefs.

We should be working on sanctifying ourselves and our families. Nothing is stopping us from doing this and it seems like politics can be a distraction from this central mission.

Our nation will be holy when each individual is holy - then it won't matter if gay marriage or abortion, or any other "legalized evil" is legal -no one will want them.

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

Denise, nicely stated. Christ came to change individual hearts, not to legislate morality through government programs.

Steven P. Millies said...

Some of the comments here, truly, are breathtaking.

It must be wonderful for all of you here to have this place where you can tell one another how right you are, avoiding all of the inconvenient facts that surround you.

Law based on Judeo-Christian principles? Read John Rutledge's comments in James Madison's Notes on the Federal Convention. Read the opinion of the Court in Calder v. Bull (1796). The American founders would be very surprised to hear our legal tradition is based on Judeo-Christian principles.

Then again, St. Thomas Aquinas would be surprised to hear that the human law must express the truths of Judeo-Christian principles, the natural and divine law (ST I-II, Q.96. A.2) He sure didn't think it always must. (Do I still sound like a Baptist?)

The world raises questions for Catholics today that it did not raise 200 years ago. But most of our thinking on worldly questions is older than 200 years. What is being taught in the seminaries and even, largely, in the Catholic universities only serves to enclose Catholics inside a world that no longer exists, one increasingly separated from the real questions and problems that face lay Catholics who live in a plural world. The truths of faith don't change. But this kite of comments is ample proof of how disconnected those truths have become from their practical application. This is fantasyland here. Catholics need something better than this willful denial of the facts of the world in which we live. Will someone please deal with history??

Father McDonald, you can go state-by-state and find places where majorities don't want gay marriage. Polling tells us that, nationally, a rapidly growing majority does want it. Young people, almost without exception, just don't see the problem. I live 140 miles from you and I teach mostly-evangelical students at a public university. With few exceptions, even they are indifferent about gay marriage. The world around us is changing. How shall we respond?

I don't think the answer can be to throw in the towel. I don't think the answer is to change the teachings of the Church. But there are good alternatives, too. They begin with recognizing the distinction between moral principles and legal or political prudence in a plural environment. We need to get more comfortable with these realities if we really want the faith to be relevant to people living in the secular world today.

Maybe the problem is that we really don't want that?

Templar said...

Gene, he's not a Baptist, it would be better for us if he were. He's a Liberal Catholic, Academic Type, one each (Jesuit School of course). How could you not have picked up on his snarky holier than thou approach as he addressed us the unwashed masses. His problem is that he has his priorities mixed up. His are clearly Country and God, not God and Country. From his tone I'm willing to wager you lunch he voted for Obama in 2008.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Steven, I think it very imprudent to think that what we as college age students believed when we were sowing our wild oats is what we believe when we get married and start having children. That chastens us a bit. Many of us baby boomers thought that the hippie generation had it right, drop out of society, use LSD and other illicit drugs and make love until you're blue in the face, but when we grew up we grew out of some of these beliefs we had as children (meaning teenage and early 20's). I guess we could have legalized all the illicit behavior back in the 1960's and that would have solved all the problems--but we didn't legalize them for the most part.

Templar said...

You Shall Know Them By Their Fruits

Here's the fruits of Steven Millies:

Trashing the New Translation

Defending Obama From Archbishop Chaput

Bashing Karl Keating and Catholic Answers

Steven Millies: What's the matter, you upset you're not listed with Biden and Pelosi and the other Faith Traitors?

rcg said...

Steven, don't confuse, or attempt to portray, tolerance for acceptance. Homosexuality is disordered and that people are willing to coexist with disordered people is commendable. It does not mean the problem should be encouraged or denied. I cringed a bit when the citations of the Republic being founded on Christian principles is trotted out. Not because I don't believe it, but because it does not matter. Put another way, the founding fathers made some mistakes, we are not obliged to repeat them. So no matter what went before we are obligated to do the right thing now.

The perversion of this situation is that people are equivocating love and personal pleasure. Assuming a person loves another, regardless of their sex, we are proclaiming the sex act is evidence of their love or, conversely, that we should respect the sex act out of respect for their love rather than admitting this is simply an extremely elaborate method to justify using another human for personal pleasure. Or even more profoundly, using this as a teaching moment for society to ponder what love really is.

Templar said...

Here's a more strongly worded opinion than Father MacDonald's on what Obama did last night. I have editted these from the original for brevity and some coarse dialog.

Barack Obama....said and did something that has never, ever been done. He did something so evil that it literally has no precedent, and in itself guarantees that God's wrath will be poured out on this nation and its people, and that wrath will probably be more intense than anything yet experienced by man. Yes, I fully appreciate the enormity of what I just said. Let me say it again: God's wrath will be poured out on this nation and its people, and that wrath will probably be more intense than anything yet experienced by man. The Noahic flood brought relatively swift death to the people killed in it. I anticipate that people will be begging for death before God's wrath is fully poured out and His Justice satisfied on the former United States of America.

What did Obama say?

Barack Obama directly correlated the Perfect Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross to sodomy.

“This is something that, you know, [Michelle and I have] talked about over the years and she, you know, she feels the same way, she feels the same way that I do. And that is that, in the end the values that I care most deeply about and she cares most deeply about is how we treat other people and, you know, I, you know, we are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated…”

So, according to the antichrist Obama and his antichrist "wife", the perfect, infinite act of charity, namely God freely choosing to give Himself totally and without reserve on the Cross for humanity in order to make reparation for the sins of the world, is an ANALOGUE to one man (graphic language removed) of another man, and using that as a point of friction for masturbation. Both actions, according to the antichrist Obama, are manifestations of "love", and thus Christ Crucified points, through the prism of the Golden Rule, to the "do unto others" of sodomy in all its forms, including anal sex, oral sex, masturbation in all its forms and every perversion known to man. Thus, the act of sodomy, because, according to Obama, it is a subset of the perfect Charity of Christ Crucified, MUST be celebrated by calling it "marriage".

There ARE NOT WORDS to express the enormity of the blasphemy in this. There are four sins that cry out to God for vengeance. Yes, God's vengeance - that thing that all of these superfun rockband and Marxist-homosexualist clergy are trying so desperately to convince you does not exist - GOD'S VENGEANCE. In reverse order, here they are:

4. Depriving the laborer of his just wage. (This is the core objective of Marxism - human slavery.)

3. Injustice to widows and orphans. (Death panels, ponzi scheme government healthcare and retirement entitlements, and abortion, which is the slaughter of children not wanted by their parents, also known as "orphans", just to name a few manifestations.)

2. Murder.

and finally, in the number one position, the number one sin of mankind that CRIES OUT TO GOD FOR VENGENACE:

1. Sodomy.

Barack Obama just completed the quadfecta and used the Sacrifice on Calvary of Our Blessed Lord to promote, ratify and celebrate sodomy.

But hey, let's not get passionate, let's take a deep breath and talk nice like nice academic do nothings.

Steven P. Millies said...

I'm very flattered by this attention and delighted to have so many new readers.

Can anyone here deal with my argument, though?

I've been called a liberal Catholic (not) and a faith traitor (wow!). Anybody want to deal with the more sobering questions of how Catholic faith interacts with secular life in a plural republic? And, deal with it in a serious way that takes account of history, law, and other troubling facts?

You've got plenty of bile, folks. (Bless your hearts.) Have you got any good arguments?

William Meyer said...

Templar, give him this: Mr. Millies is at least true to his pedigree.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I do think in all fairness to Dr. Millie's that focusing on the topic rather than denigrating him is the way to go in Catholic charity. But we are dealing not only with political realities and our American way of life but living a Catholic life in a post-Christian America where we as Catholics for the time being have the freedom of speech to persuade. However in my dad's native Canada that has been seriously curtailed in the gender wars.

Steven P. Millies said...

Mr, Meyer, such high praise!

"Deus Lux Mea Est," indeed.

(And, again, with the ad hominem. Attack my schools. Bring in unrelated writings. Presume you know my faith life. Attack me because I'm an intellectual who knows all sorts of irritating facts about how things actually are. I know all of these tricks. I've seen them before. Do you want to stop me dead in my tracks? Make a good case without doing this stuff. What you're doing now is as lazy as it is ugly.)

Steven P. Millies said...

Praise God for Father McDonald! There is a Christian among us!!

Father, if we can engage in something a bit more serious, wouldn't you agree that, for Catholics like us, the political realities of our American way of life today are the same as living a Catholic life in (what you call) "post-Christian" America? How can you distinguish them without abandoning the polis?

In 1996, the editors of First Things (I do read it) asked whether things had reached the point where believing Catholics no longer can give assent to the American regime. They concluded we cannot abandon the public square. Good for them. We do need to be more serious than that, just taking our marbles and going home. Catholic faith should be more demanding of us than to permit us simply to indulge our righteousness and encircle ourselves in a ghetto like the Essenes. But as the evidence here tells us, there are many Catholics who have that instinct. It's understandable, but it needs to be preached against and resisted. The world is too valuable to abandon.

So what do we do? I've spent many long years trying to answer that question. I don't have it all yet. But I know it is something like this--we must withdraw from every effort to steer and direct the public square, and we must so fully engage and immerse ourselves in the public square that we are impossible to ignore. Or, to put it another way, we must be as the Apostles who traveled through the (far more) hostile Roman Empire to spread the faith. We'll win some, and we'll lose some. There will be costs. But they will know us by our love. Is there something better we should be doing?

That's why I've come to a point where the legal and political arguments over abortion, marriage, etc. no longer trouble me the way they used to. I can be pro-life in a world where abortion is legal because the question of whether abortion is legal or not is far, far less important than whether abortions are taking place. What can we do, practically, to prevent abortions? To make pregnancy and children safe and attractive to people? Those are much better questions.

So far as marriage goes--there have been gay and lesbian people since before the Church existed. I doubt that many of them ever have agreed with the Church's teaching on the question. Nothing happening now will change that situation, practically. Legal recognition of their long-term, monogamous relationships can give them more equitable economic rights, medical rights, etc., and those things give comfort to people in difficult situations. I'm less sanguine about other aspects of the issue. But I cannot understand how a civil recognition of those relationships, one that entitles them to reasonable civil benefits, endangers Catholic faith or the institution of marriage. Unless one hates gay people. (I don't.)

The tragedy of this long exchange today is that I really do want to have some dialogue about these things. I'm interested in what people have to say. I've not had much luck finding people who have anything to say, apart from the uncharitable schoolyard stuff.

So, I'll close by thanking you, Fr. McDonald, for shifting the tone.

Pater Ignotus said...

Hang in there, Dr. Millies. Most who post here have no appreciation of legitimate discussion, historical facts, or respectful argumentation, so you have your work cut out for you.

Bill Meyer said...

It may be a minor quibble, but I would argue with the 1878 figure, premised on the passage of the Morrill Anti-bigamy Act in 1862. If you accept that Mormonism is a religion, then the mythical wall was pierced as early as that.

I would also challenge the notion that Harry Reid got it right. The notion of same sex marriage, by suspending the traditional definition, in fact voids the definition, and makes no replacement. That would open the door to almost anything. It certainly leaves open the possibility of incest.

Far from being swept away by emotion, I would assert that the root of the problem is that marriage is historically not a state function, and that for what the state now proposes, we would all be better off considering that they are referring to a contractual union, not a marriage. If Reid were to get it right, he would offer a sweeping change in which governments did not perform marriages, but left marriage as a religious matter, and made their own business the management of civil contracts, whether for business or cohabitation.

I might not like the notion of a civil contract for conjoining two members of the same sex, but I could accept that it was a matter of civil law, and existed apart from religion.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

PI, stoking the fires has a cause and effect too, a lesson you haven't learned yet.

Templar said...

My definition of Christian Charity differs from Father's. He wants me to be "nice", as apparently you do too in your nice academic tone. You want unemotional dialog and discourse, allowing for a broad range of views and fascinating point counter point arguments no doubt.

Sorry, I'm not your huckleberry. I'm a bare knuckles Catholic. My definition of Charity is to speak the Truth as it has been handed on to me by the Church and not nuance it or spin it.

You claim you want to go out into the world and engage it like the Apostles did and then what? Debate the Fallen World into submission. The Apostles were Martyrs my friend. You want to witness your Faith to the world, go make a stand against something, something truly hopeless and a complete lost cause. Like Gay Marriage. Go die for your Faith. I'd much rather do that then waste my time engaging in useless debate with Tools of the Enemy (whether they recognize that they are or not).

Good Day.

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father, I simply stated the facts.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

We do have to live with our political system. My alarm with what is happening with the current administration is that it is taking advantage of Catholicism's fall in strength since Vatican II as Catholics are divided on so many issues some even dogmatic and defined, but also other issues having to do with cultural shifts and mismanagement of the Church's clergy by bishops in the post-Vatican II era and blame has to be set at the feet of supposed collegiality, openness to psychological treatment to cure pathology and criminal behavior, and lack of strong central Roman authority to tell bishops what to do with priests who fail miserably in their ordination commitments. But forcing the institutional Church through the mandate of law to provide that which the Church officially teaches is immoral and then Catholics applauding that mandate in hopes that it will move the Church to abandon Humanae Vitae wreaks of all things contrary to that which is good and holy. I agree though with what Bill Meyers has to say.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

PI, brutal honesty no matter where it comes from is the problem with many comments not only on this blog, but more supposed academic blogs, Praytell coming to mind the most--it's when we criticize people rather than discussing the facts that we degenerate into what happens on most blogs--I screen some nasty comments but others I let go as do most other blogs. Of course I could cut off all comments and just post my stuff, but what fun would there be in that? (Whispers in the Loggia, though, does it successfully.)

Bill Meyer said...

One of the worst perversions of our political system has been the conversion of a republic to a democracy. The results of that transition were known to the founders, and should not surprise us.

I have some agreement with Templar, as well. At least in this sense: while we may discuss and debate, this is no mere intellectual game to be enjoyed in an academy; this is the future of our country and our culture. Hence Templar's bare-knuckle approach.

I have observed first hand the effects of multicultural acceptance on a society. Canada, in this case, and it has been devastating. When one grants that a Sikh has a "right" to his turban when in RCMP uniform--a service to which he could not be conscripted--then one permits a foreign culture to override one's own. To what purpose? Surely the immigrant did not come because his own culture was paradise.

What is being done is to obliterate, not widen, the definition of marriage. I anticipate that on the heels of same-sex, we will see a push for relaxation of sex with minors. Can incest and bestiality be far behind? This is the governmental adaption of the 70s dictum: "if it feels good, do it."

Follow that to its logical conclusion, and any moral sense is destroyed. And if we heed Santayana, we will not be eager to follow the ancient cultures of Rome and Greece.

Pater Ignotus said...

Good father, "brutal honesty" is not a problem, here or elsewhere. Unless, of course, you are asked by your wife, "Does this dress make me look fat?"

Honesty is fine - name-calling, vulgar references to feces and defecation, anti-semitic slurs, fabricated accusations, defamatory caricatures, etc., are what I am talking about.

Anonymous said...

"Father, you're missing the irony because, I'm sorry, you don't know what you're talking about."

"Attack me because I'm an intellectual who knows all sorts of irritating facts about how things actually are. I know all of these tricks. I've seen them before."

Mr. Millies wants reasoned debate without ad hominen attacks while also being charitable enough to let everyone else know that (1) they are all wrong, and (2) he is an "intellectual" and knows more than all the rest of us.

There is without question a certain amount of intelligence required in being able to claim that you want reasoned debate all the while scolding your opponents for daring to debate with you and patronizing your opponents with the prideful manner of a Biblical Pharisee.

Perhaps he should also avoid grand pronouncements in fields in which he lacks the proper training.

For instance, claiming that the idea that our legal tradition is based on Judeo-Christian principles would surprise the Founders shows that Mr. Millies is unaware of Justice Story's opinion in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Vidal v. Pensylvania: "It is also said, and truly, that the Christian religion is a part of the common law of Pennsylvania. . . . So that we are compelled to admit that although Christianity be a part of the common law of the state, yet it is so in this qualified sense, that its divine origin and truth are admitted, and therefore it is not to be maliciously and openly reviled and blasphemed against, to the annoyance of believers or the injury of the public."

The common law has been the basis of the law of every state in the Union (save Louisiana), so the Christian basis for American law would have hardly surprised the Founders. Given that the law of marriage has traditionally been the province of the states (highly important, as Mr. Millies claims to want the arguments to be based on the "historical facts" of the "American political tradition"), the Christian view of marriage seems especillay relevant for determining the law of marriage across our country.

Anonymous said...

Nothing is more misguided, though, than his attempt at interpretation of Reynolds v. U.S. Here's what the Court said:

"Polygamy has always been odious among the northern and western nations of Europe, and, until the establishment of the Mormon Church, was almost exclusively a feature of the life of Asiatic and of African people. At common law, the second marriage was always void, and from the earliest history of England polygamy has been treated as an offence against society. . . .

As this statute was limited in its operation to England and Wales, it was at a very early period re-enacted, generally with some modifications, in all the colonies. In connection with the case we are now considering, it is a significant fact that on the 8th of December, 1788, after the passage of the act establishing religious freedom, . . . . the legislature of that State substantially enacted the statute of James I., death penalty included . . . .

From that day to this we think it may safely be said there never has been a time in any State of the Union when polygamy has not been an offence against society, cognizable by the civil courts and punishable with more or less severity. In the face of all this evidence, it is impossible to believe that the constitutional guaranty of religious freedom was intended to prohibit legislation in respect to this most important feature of social life.

Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself. Government could exist only in name under such circumstances."

Understand that the Court based its critique of polygamy on the ancient Western tradition of marriage and on the inadequacy of that alternative form of marriage. The Reynolds Court struck down the Mormon view of marriage not because it opposed religious basis for the law but because because its view of marriage was so strongly tied to the traditional Christian lens.

It even acknowleged as legitimate punishment by death for practicing this alternative form of marriage and said that to allow optional forms of marriage would, in effect, "permit every citizen to become a law unto himself."

The President and Mr. Millies believe in allowing different people to define marriage for themselves. Which side of the aisle do you think the Reynolds Court would stand on in the current debate?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I'm not accusing Dr. Millies of this, but I've said it often that there is more "clericalism" in academia then there is in the Catholic priesthood and in academia it is much more pronounced and much more insidious. And there is much more psychological denial in academia about it.

rcg said...

Millies, it is difficult to take a political scientist seriously who does not understand the 'plurality' of ideas across time as well as cultures. That would be funny if it were not so absurd. Policy sciences are large group ethics applications and must relate the objects that are the foundation of those policies and positions.

As for ad hominem: Can you not recognise the forum you are in? These are the ideas and belief of these people. Do you think the tenets of the Church are up for debate by you? It certainly is ad hominem becasue you do not seem to understand much at all.


Bill Meyer said...

I think there is a good deal of ill-considered opinion on what the Constitution does or does not support, not least from academia. Be that as it may, the Church has been clear in its teaching, despite the wishes of some--even some bishops--to speak otherwise.

What the president said was wrong, so far as our faith is concerned. My own observations suggest that whatever else may be true, he is, at best, amoral. his only compass is his own vision for what America should be. And that vision, for most of us, is hell.

Anonymous said...

Although I am late to this discussion, I am not surprised that President Obama’s remarks would result in such a spirited, indeed at times heated, exchange. However, unless I am misreading the many comments that have been made, there seems to be little or no disagreement that the Roman Catholic Church should continue to uphold the principles of Humane Vitae as a matter of Church law and refuse to recognize same-sex marriages among Catholics. The disagreement, then, concerns the question whether the position shared by the Catholic Church and many other faith traditions, both Christian and non-Christian, should be legislated into state law as well (or perhaps more accurately, whether it should remain so).

Assuming that the definition of marriage is an appropriate matter for state law to regulate (rather than one solely to be answered by the religious law of each faith tradition with the state just addressing contractual issues between the parties), and assuming that it is legitimate for religious voices to seek to persuade in the public square, and understanding, moreover, that there is disagreement within the body of Christian believers on the issue of civil law recognition of same sex marriages, then cannot President Obama’s remarks reasonably be viewed as he himself presents them – as one Christian voice speaking out on this issue in the public square? The Church may disagree with him on this particular issue, as on other issues, but isn’t that a different matter? Either religious voices are admitted to the public square or they are not. Perhaps more problematic is the situation of Vice-President Biden. Even if, unlike President Obama, he did not reference his faith in his remarks on Sunday (I don’t think he did, although I stand to be corrected on that), he is a practicing Roman Catholic and thus is taking a public position quite contrary to that of his Church (although I suppose he might try to draw a distinction based precisely on the fact that he was not purporting to speak as a person of faith but solely in his public persona as VP).

As the comments on this Blog clearly demonstrate, passions can run high on both sides of this issue (as they can on other issues, such as abortion and the death penalty). It seems to me that our political leaders must be either very brave or very foolish, or perhaps both, to want to get in the middle of such contentious issues. Unless they are beholden to, and protected by, some strong political base or interest group, they risk drawing down the ire of one side or the other – damned if you do and damned if you don’t – by taking any kind of fixed position. What a statesman can do, however, even when taking that fixed position, is to try to calm the passions on each side, to seek common ground where it can exist, and to encourage each side to listen to the other respectfully where it cannot. Each one of us will have to decide whether President Obama is trying to be a statesman in this sense.

Anonymous said...

[Continued] And what about us, the voters, those whom our political leaders represent and whom they are elected to serve? How do we proceed in this messy, pluralistic polity? We claim to be a democracy. What does that mean? First and foremost, I think it means that we talk with one another as citizens – really talk with one another. And we ask questions of each other – hard questions. That means gays and straights, religious and non-religious, engaging in real and serious conversations, not shouting matches. In that same spirit I have some questions of my own. First, I would like to press a point raised by several of the comments and ask Steven Millies: If the state recognizes same-sex marriages, should it also recognize incestuous or polygamous or other non-traditional kinds of marriages, and, if not, on what principled basis can we distinguish them from same-sex marriages so as to be able to argue against them in the public square? Second, I would like to ask Father McDonald: Are there any rights that same-sex couples could appropriately receive under state family law? And more personally, and distinct from the conversations with more distant fellow-citizens mentioned above, how do we best relate to our non-Catholic gay friends, co-workers, and relatives in a way that bears witness to our Catholic faith and the love of Christ? I am sorry if this comes across as too “academic” for some readers. However, what seems far more “academic” to me is to express strong opinions without confronting such questions. I find that these questions are very real because I both respect and care about the gay people I know. Some of them have been in long-term committed relationships for many years now, and I generally try to avoid discussing controversial topics, such as same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage, with them, choosing instead simply to accept them for who they are. What, if anything, should I be doing differently? My apologies for such a long post.

Supertradmum said...

One of the issues here,and I want to allude to two. First, the is the question of human beings having a moral sense, a natural consciousness, called natural law. Natural law was a concept which even some pagans in the ancient world understood. Natural law is that human sense, which allows us to understand what is moral and immoral, what is sin and not sin; also, the long established laws of civilization, such as the laws against murder, etc. fall under common natural law.

Secondly, natural law sensitivities and the normal conscience of humans, can be malformed by a society which has experienced over a century of social engineering, such as the United States. For example,the Marxists and communists and some socialists have tried to break down the normal sensitivities of natural law for the benefit of the ideologies which make the State the entire goal of life, and material benefits the entire goals of life, rather than the goal being eternal life. Once a materialistic philosophy becomes the main base for decision-making and a way to approach the world, the eternal goals fall away from the consciences of the people in a particular nation which has experienced the deadening of conscience and the undermining of natural law. There are many more arguments, but these two are human, even previous to the entire revelation and tradition of the Church. One then can move to the Teaching Magisterium of the Church after this first basis, but to deny natural law and the formation of conscience is to deny what it is to be human.

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

Millie is such a typical academic. While using a lot of words and phrases, he has not said very much. He does indicate that his academic feathers have been ruffled, which is rather funny. I really do enjoy the outrage expressed by his ilk...too "reasonable" to get really angry or passionate about anything and too wordy for anyone else to get very excited about. He is another excellent example of why parents should send Johnny to Voc/Tech school to learn a trade or skill rather than to one of the globalist indoctrination centers we call universities.
As for Ignotus, he can hardly be taken seriously. He has rudely attacked Fr. on a number of occasions with snide innuendo and sarcastic praise, then wants to p*** and moan when he receives in kind. A number of people on this Blog (Adlai, Templar, Marc, ytc, Squeeker, Anon 5, Meyer, Henry, and others) have invited him to discuss issues and he has ignored them. I have offered a number of theological caveats to which which he will not respond. He will not even answer simple direct questions that some have asked. He is constantly lamenting references to feces of the various genera, while his comments remind me of a constipated dog...dropping a bit here and a bit there while moving right along and never returning to the same place. Then he wants to whine about it when we yell, "Dammit, Spot, get off the grass!!"

Steven P. Millies said...

1) Anti-Mormonism is older than 1878, yes. If you want to date it back farther, I'm not sure that hurts my argument. The Court reached its conclusion in Reynolds not by process of law, it is true. They privileged one religious tradition to persecute another by drawing their judgment from a lengthy history that did not include much law. If that works for the folks here, great. You might not like it when they do it to Catholics, though. My point was that the Court restricted religious freedom in 1878, and we seem to think that was fine (even as it was ironic they did so by saying what we will not say--marriage is primarily a civil arrangement). But it seems odd (to me) to say religious liberty is only for Christians.

2) Yes, the influence of the Judeo-Christian tradition on the American founding is complex. We can find those who credited a Christian history, those who said nothing about it, and those who say Christianity had nothing to do with it. My point is that our tradition either was founded on Judeo-Christian principles or it wasn't--like being pregnant. If there was dispute in the 1790s about whether it was, then it wasn't.

3) An ad hominem is an argument "to the man"--like mocking his job or his affiliations instead of disproving his argument. It is not an ad hominem to point out when someone is in factual error. Go down the comment kite and count the ad hominems against me here, and then find where I have mocked someone for being a priest, or working for defense contractors that have profited from unjust wars, or using names like Templar that evoke a Church with a sword in its hand, or hiding here behind any alias at all. I could do all of that (and, I do not here except for purpose of illustrating opportunities foregone), and I have not done it. Kindly reprove me only where I am wrong.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin - Thank you for providing further support for my assertions: "...while his comments remind me of a constipated dog..."

I could not have asked for more!

And your reference to the President as "Obammy" tells, as Paul Harvey would say, "the rest of the story."

And this from a "stalwart" Catholic no less.

William Meyer said...


1. My point was that you went for a rather late violation of the Constitution. I think it is important to find where the line was first crossed, and recognize that the subsequent violations rest on that precedent. I don't know that anyone here has claimed that religious freedom is only for Christians. Rev. Niemoller's famous verse is worth keeping in mind. However, America's politicians today seem willing to do almost anything to give freedom to Muslims, or to deny freedom to Christians. Religious freedom, by definition, must apply to all. Nor is it within the purview of government to arbitrate what is, or is not, a valid religion.

2. "If there was dispute in the 1790s about whether it was, then it wasn't." Sorry, but that's just silly. The presence of dispute does not nullify anything. After all, there are still those who believe the world is flat.

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

Ignotus, It was my intention to provide support for your comments...that way I get to hear you whine more...more droppings, as it were.
You do not have a clue to "the rest of the story"...I guess you want to call me a "racist." That is another term you libs misuse and toss around to the point that it has become so cliched as to mean nothing. It no longer has the intimidating effect on people that it used to have. They are fed up. You libs will have to find a new slur (since it is ok for libs to call names), perhaps genderist, specie-ist (specist?), dolphinist, or tree-ist.
Obammy is an excellent term of endearment for that guy in the White Hous. He is firmly established on the Eastern Democratic Plantation, a veritable house-boy of that hypocritical, patronizing cabal (they even said it themselves...was it Biden or Reid..." a clean black, well-spoken, doesn't look too black..."). His administration has been one huge "Yassuh!" to every Leftist initiative and program. All he needs is some overalls, a straw hat, and a banjo. You really crack me up. Makes me wanna' sing a verse or two of "Old Black Joe." LOL!

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

Oh, Ignotus, speaking of "stalwart Catholics," aren't you the guy using Margaret Nutting Ralph's apostate books for your "Bible study?" LOL!!!!

Victor W said...

Prof Millies mentioned a US court verdict: "To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land...."
But that is precisely the issue for Catholics. The law of God is above any law of man. To think otherwise is blasphemy. When man-made laws go against the laws of God and of nature, then they are unjust. In that sense, Catholicism has always been "un-American" and has suffered for it. It is when Catholicism started conforming to the American Protestant presuppositions that it lost its claim to universality.
Of course Mr Obama is not forcing any Catholic to act contrary to his faith on this issue of homosexuality, but, like the HSS mandate, it sets the framework for that possibility.

Susan said...

Here's the point of why homosexual and lesbian "marriage" is evil.

Man is body and soul, i.e., a spirit within a corporeal body. In the physical body, man is made in the image and likeness of God in the - the WITNESS OF GOD - HIS IMAGE - IN THE WORLD). The FAMILY is the image and likeness of God. (As individuals we are made in the image and likeness of God in our soul...mind/will/spirit.)

Two homosexuals or 2 lesbians CANNOT be a family made in the image and likeness of God. Since the practice of homosexuality is a sin, a "marriage" between homosexuals or lesbians is a marriage made in the image and likeness of or woman/woman....a non-procreative entity and in no way the image of God.

Life here on earth is a battle for souls - the battle between good and evil. If homosexual "marriage" is passed then evil will stand beside good and be declared equal. Soon thereafter, evil will be presented as better than good, and good equated as evil...exactly as Holy Scripture says.

Steven P. Millies said...

"Why the Right Can't Win the Gay Marriage Fight," by Daniel McCarthy, editor of The American Conservative.

This can provide a better basis for serious discussion, perhaps.

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

It isn't about losing or winning in some political arena. It is about Church teaching and moral law.

James Howell said...

As a former student of Dr. Steven P. Millies, I want to write that he's one of the most sincere, faithful Catholics whom I've ever met. He also takes time to discuss patiently finer points of theology and political science, as well as the intersection between the two, with students during his office hours.

Obviously, he is much less concerned with the attacks on his character and faith than he is upon the actual arguments at hand. This is one of the things that makes him pretty awesome!

Hello Dr. Millies! This is Jay. I hope you're doing well!

James Howell said...

I guess I'll also jump in here and support some of what I think he's saying. As someone from outside Catholicism who advocates pro-choice laws while advocating that that choice be for life, I can tell you that you'll capture more of my attention and support the less you try to use institutional authority to limit people's options.

Remember that the success of your enterprise rests with those with whom you disagree. You will succeed when they agree with you. You lose that fight when they perceive you as strident and authoritarian, seeking to treat them as children in need of restriction rather than treating them as peers in need of community and discussion.

Nancy Danielson said...

To state that "In a civil society one should be able to marry whoever they want", is to say that since in order to be married, it is no longer necessary to exist in relationship as husband and wife, any relationship can be defined as marriage if one so desires. Oh what a tangled web...