The Disabled Hardly Even Mentioned

Michael Coren a Canadian TV Host and columnist, writes this guest editorial in the National Review on the topic of how well the secular humanist policy has run in Canada, and he asks us to take warning.

http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/reply/301641

He writes in part:

Four years ago, a Christian organization in Ontario that works with some of the most marginalized disabled people in the country was taken to court because of its disapproval of an employee who wanted to be part of a same-sex marriage. The government paid the group to do the work because, frankly, nobody else was willing to. As with so many such bodies, it had a set of policies for its employees. While homosexuality was not mentioned, the employment policies did require that employees remain chaste outside of marriage, and marriage was interpreted as the union of a man and a woman. The group was told it had to change its hiring and employment policy or be closed down; as for the disabled people being helped, they were hardly even mentioned.

In small-town British Columbia, a Knights of Columbus chapter rented out its building for a wedding party. They were not aware that the marriage was to be of a lesbian couple, even though the lesbians were well aware that the hall was a Roman Catholic center — it’s increasingly obvious that Christian people, leaders, and organizations are being targeted, almost certainly to create legal precedents. The managers of the hall apologized to the couple but explained that they could not proceed with the arrangement, and agreed to find an alternative venue and pay for new invitations to be printed. The couple said that this was not good enough, and the hall management was prosecuted. The human-rights commission ruled that the Knights of Columbus should not have turned the couple down, and imposed a small fine on them. The couple have been vague in their subsequent demands, but feel that the fine and reprimand are inadequate.

As I write, two Canadian provinces are considering legislation that would likely prevent educators even in private denominational schools from teaching that they disapprove of same-sex marriage, and a senior government minister in Ontario recently announced that if the Roman Catholic Church did not approve of homosexuality or gay marriage, it “would have to change its teaching.”

He mentions some other points.

  • It’s estimated that, in less than five years, there have been between 200 and 300 proceedings against critics and opponents of same-sex marriage. [Meanwhile the number of so-called homosexual marriages performed is minuscule.]
  • A well-known television anchor on a major sports show was fired just hours after he tweeted his support for “the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage.” He had merely been defending a hockey player’s agent who was receiving numerous death threats and other abuse for refusing to support a pro-gay-marriage campaign.
  • The Roman Catholic bishop of Calgary, Alberta, Fred Henry, was threatened with litigation and charged with a human-rights violation after he wrote a letter to local churches outlining standard Catholic teaching on marriage.
  • A marriage commissioners contacted by a gay man eager to marry his partner under the new legislation happened to be an evangelical Christian, who explained that he had religious objections to carrying out the ceremony but would find someone who would. He did so and gave the name to the man wanting to get married. Even though the gay couple had had their marriage, they decided to make an official complaint and demand that the commissioner be reprimanded and punished.

In the comments section, one secular humanists pens this, hardly an advertisement for toleration and accommodation:

Those of us who are not Christian are getting awful tired of religious people forcing their views down our throats…and I think you will all find that we are going to start using some strategies that you will not like in the least. We have tolerated your religion for far too long, and it is time to push it into the realm of the private. In other words, keep your religion to yourself and feel free to believe whatever you want. But it is time to start rolling back all the non-secular laws that have been stealthily injected into our system.

My comment:

A friend of mine claims I write about the pro-homosex lobby all the time, and that I hate gays. To the contrary, I think perhaps I do not write about this lobby enough, for they are the ones who actually hate gays.

I don’t call the lobbyist “pro-homosexual” because they have contempt for the person suffering homosexuality. I call them “pro-homosex” The lobbyists are only supporting and cheering the act of sodomy, not cheering the man who suffers it. A chaste and temperate gay man is both inconceivable and abhorrent to the lobbyists. A man cured of the syndrome, they abhor even more, to the point of denying his existence.

Or, to be specific, the lobbyists are cheering and applauding the breakdown of the moral imagination, the loss of character, the dissipation of healthy and sane manliness, which springs from and leads to a sophisticated agnostic indifference to questions of sexual morality.

To make this point, allow me to quote from THE EVERLASTING MAN by GK Chesterton:

“Let any lad who has had the look to grow up sane and simple in his day-dreams of love hear for the first time of the cult of Ganymede; he will not be merely shocked but sickened. And that first impression, as has been said here so often about first impressions, will be right. Our cynical indifference is an illusion…”

The vice that Chesterton is too old-fashioned to name aloud is now being shouted from the rooftops with all the perverse pride the vicious have for vice; and voices raised against being silenced, by pressure in America, by law in Canada.

My point is that it is that lad, and his sanity and simplicity, which is the enemy of the pervertarians. They care nothing for the perversion itself. Most pervertartians are happily married heterosexuals with 2.5 children. It is the IDEA of perversion that they like, the moral grandeur of not making any moral judgments and hence being free of all condemnation. And so the only thing on which they pass moral judgment is moralism, also called being judgmental.

It is the cynical indifference the lobbyists love and seek, and the illusion. They are not seeking the good, much less the interests, of the homosexuals: the absurdly minuscule number who have taken advantage of the make believe marriage in Canada attests to that. The absurdly high number of prosecutions for those who dare voice even the mildest opposition attests to their real purpose, whether they admit it or no.

To be sure, some of the pro-homosex lobby are homosexuals. This is not odd. You could also find Jewish Nazis in prewar Germany, or Blacks in the antebellum South who were anti-Abolitionists.

But just in case I have spoken too often and too bluntly on the topic, let me merely note the legal theory involved in the comment that “it is time to start rolling back all the non-secular laws that have been stealthily injected into our system.”

The idea that the marriage law was safely secular contract back in the remote past, and subtle Churchmen injected non-secular attitudes making marriage a sacrament in the law without the alert public being aware of the deception is beyond nutbaggering barking moonbattery, and well into flat-earther territory.

Let me indulge in an immensity of understatement by saying the comment is not historically accurate.

As far as I know, nor Anglo-American Common law has ever treated marriage as a secular contract between two or more persons of any sex or degree of consanguinity, nor Civic law, nor Canon law, nor the Code of Napoleon, nor the Code of Justinian, nor the Mosaic law or the Code of Hammurabi. Perhaps there is a cave painting of the Neolithic which supports this odd legal interpretation, but no written law since the invention of writing.

Since the days of the French Revolution, the revolutionaries so eager for heaven on Earth have produced nothing but hell.

They have no interest in toleration, nor justice, nor reason. They do not love gays; they only hate God. The destruction of the Church their goal.  They will throw the gays under the bus as quickly as they threw women under the bus. (Or are there feminists protesting the treatment of women under Sharia law of which I am unaware?)

Are you offended that the Church denies to polygamists and to pederasts and other types of perverts the sacrament of marriage?

She does not deny to them the sacrament of baptism and confession.

*   *   *

As a postscript, let me off my advice to my fellow Christians. We are fighting the wrong enemy if we fight the homosex lobby. No fault divorce is the enemy. The sexual revolution is the enemy. Gay marriage is a non-issue: it is merely the vultures gathering to a body which has long been lying motionless in the wasteland. Let us first revive the body by eliminating no-cause divorce laws; let us begin again to enforce the laws against adultery and fornication. Once the body is on its feet again, the vultures will seek weaker prey elsewhere.

84 Comments

  1. Comment by Zach:

    Thanks for this. I had a long conversation with a relative and her same-sex partner over the weekend where we talked a little bit about this. Both of them agreed with me that their desire for one another was disordered, as in out of the natural order. When I asked them whether, if they could be cured instantly, they would take that option, one would happily say yes and one would say no. I felt nothing but pity and love for these friends caught up in an error and too weak to follow the teachings of their church (both are from an LDS background, like me).

    It was a good talk; we had the chance to demonstrate in person that while I take strong positions on the issues, this does not mean I lack compassion for the individual. As you said, it may be that I have greater compassion because I will not lie to them. Just as it would be cruel to let a man remain convinced he was capable of flight make the attempt, it is cruel to tell a same-sex couple that their relationship is equivalent to marriage.

    Thanks, as always, for the post.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      You are most welcome. The issue is a delicate one, and my coldhearted logic may be the worst possible way to deal with it.

      For the record, I have no objection to gays calling their civil unions whatever word they wish. They can even use the word “marriage” among themselves. I have no objection to revising wills or hospital visitations rights or whathaveyou between a sodomite and his partner. My objection as a lawyer to no-fault divorce is that it treats marriage like a contract.

      My objection to gay marriage laws is that the legal precedent of treating marriage like a contract at that point becomes irreversible. Legally, schools will have to teach all children homosexuality is healthy, and accommodate homosexuals in any “family” day type activities, chaplains in the military likewise, and any institution receiving government funds or operating with government permissions, or affecting interstate commerce, will have to fall in line with the new dogma.

      The experience of Canada shows that the government cannot maintain a neutral stance. Either it is pro-gay or pro-family. Since I am both a romantic and a family man, I cannot in good conscience approve when my society around me, in the name of Liberalism, becomes more and more openly and aggressively anti-family.

      But as I said above, divorce is the real issue. That is something the heteroes did to ourselves.

  2. Comment by watermelonyo:

    It’s estimated that, in less than five years, there have been between 200 and 300 proceedings against critics and opponents of same-sex marriage. [Meanwhile the number of so-called homosexual marriages performed is minuscule.]

    I’m not sure what you think that “miniscule” number is, or where you got your idea of what it is, but it was in the thousands according to the 2006 Canadian census, and has presumably grown since then. Certainly, it’s miniscule as a percentage of the general population. Homosexuals are a minority, and their right to marry in Canada is still relatively new, so it can’t really be expected to be a large percentage of the population. Still, the number is certainly much higher than the number you are apparently comparing it to, so your statement is misleading at best.

    That’s pretty much all I have to say about your rant, other than that it was mildly entertaining. You were overdue for a good rant about the gays. I do wonder though if you ever regret the fact that a not-insignificant chunk of the people who would otherwise likely be your audience consider it morally wrong to put money in your pocket due to rants like these.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      “I do wonder though if you ever regret the fact that a not-insignificant chunk of the people who would otherwise likely be your audience consider it morally wrong to put money in your pocket due to rants like these.”

      Good question. The answer is no and no. The chunk is insignificant, and I do not want your business and do not crave your good opinion. Being silent on issues like no-fault divorce and the horrors wrought by the sexual revolution is akin to treason against truth and virtue.

      My reason for not wanting their business is that even if I never said a word about whatever the controversial issues of the day might be, fanatics – and I include you in their number – cannot be reasoned with and cannot be sated. No matter how much flattery a man with a guilty conscience receives, he is never satisfied, because he secretly knows the flattery is worthless.

      The most vocal criticism I received was for daring to say that the Sci-Fi channel makes my job harder by caving to the Politically Correct self-censorship, because then fanatics of every stripe and party will be emboldened to think that artists will cave to political pressure in the spirit of thuggery. The immediate response, and one not calculated to win my good opinion of the wisdom of their position, was from an editor from a rival publishing house stirring up a nest of trolls against me — or, in other words, she thought the wisest reply to someone complaining that PC people were thugs-in-spirit was an act of pressure in the spirit of thuggery.

      Your words, of course, merely amplify hers. Mind you, it is incompetent thuggery, virtual rather than real, pointless rather than fruitful, and directed against an imaginary enemy rather than anything I’ve actually ever said or done. But it is the thought that counts.

      So, I wish not a single dollar from you, and wish never, by any word or work of mine, to bring any ray of amusement, diversion or entertainment into your life. You may take your business elsewhere and with my blessings.

      As for you PC thugs, I expect to look back at the twilight of my life to something my grandchildren hear about as rumors, shaking their heads in disbelief. Your numbers are dropping, your philosophy is bankrupt, your day is done.

      You should be the one pondering whether to regret the loss of the companionship of men of good character in your life, not asking whether I regret not selling you an idle space opera.

      I and mine, of course, stand ready to welcome you back into civilization as soon as you straighten up. Until then, what in the world makes you think you are excluding me? Is the drowning man excluding the sailor safely on the Ark from the companionship of the ocean?

      • Comment by Patrick:

        “…and wish never, by any word or work of mine, to bring any ray of amusement, diversion or entertainment into your life.”

        I read your blog all the time because you say stuff like this when you mean it. What a great reply to an insipid comment.

        • Comment by lampwright:

          Tsk. I’m not sure you should encourage him. It is perfectly possible to disagree with someone without dismissing them from your readership…though I admit he did it with elegant aplomb.

          • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

            Hmm. Jessie Jackson was a man of the cloth, once. He sold a little of his soul for a lot of money, only to find that it was all of his soul and reputation and not nearly as much money as it seemed at first glance. How should have Mr. Wright have responded to this most primal of temptations, to have the wealth of the World, if he but kneel to Satan?

            • Comment by John C Wright:

              Since Mrs Wright, whose comment is above as ‘lampwright’ is the only one in my family who knows how much money we lack, and who keeps track of the books, she is the only one who knows how much money I lose, if any, when I make such splendid gestures.

              In reality, you have to be a patron of a writer before you can boycott him. The number of men whom I exile outside of the warm circle of my readership into the outer darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth is an empty set. Do you think Watermelonyo was a fan of THE GOLDEN AGE before he stumbled across on of my diatribes praising virtue and mocking political correctness?

              So far in my life, the number of people who have written me to tell me that they will not longer buy my books because of my negative views on the pro-sodomy lobby, not counting the 24 hour troll flood provoked by a rival publisher when I complained about the Sci Fi channel caving to the pervert lobby, is two. Since I get about a buck and a half for every hardback sale, seventy five cents for the paperback, this adds up to less than the price of a cup of coffee. Assuming ten readers feel and act likewise for every one reader that writes in, that means I lost twenty sales or thirty bucks.

              Now, the troll flood contained at least thirty comments, probably the same guy writing in thirty times, saying that he had never heard of me before, but now would never buy my books. I don’t think he represented 300 readers. But if he did, then that cost me about 450 bucks, which is a nice chunk of change. However, the reality of it is that I stand to lose far more than that from the antitrust suit that the Justice Department is bringing against the sellers of e-books for price fixing, and I have certainly lost more than that due to the Thor Power Tools decision, which discouraged publishers from keeping any back stock (until then a common practice). As I said, granting the most generous assumptions favoring the case of the would-be boycotter, i have lost a healthy chunk of change, but it is as nothing compared to the vicissitudes of the market, or the accidental losses to my business due to socialist-style government meddling.

              That being so, it is in my financial longterm best interest to rail against socialist-style government meddling, which, being merely the socioeconomic arm of the general nihilist political-correctness Gnostic leftist movement which characterizes the modern age, cannot be railed against effectively without railing against vice and self-indulgence and moral relativism and all the other shibboleths of Mordor, of which applause for sexual malfunctions is a foremost ensign.

              So, even granting his assumptions, which I don’t, the boycott hardly seems the best way to proceed. One is far more likely to change my mind by arguing with me. Since I cannot add or subtract, and I don’t keep the family checkbook anyway, I am numb to any fiscal pain the forces of darkness may wish to inflict.

              • Comment by John C Wright:

                Oh, and I just got a five page fan letter from some overgenerous fan who thinks my humble work is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Maybe a coincidence, or maybe the readers will continue to be kind to me, despite my occasional lapses in courtesy, or my occasional protestations against vice, ignorance, darkness, deceit, dishonesty, and death, and everything else the deluded Orwellians of the postmodern and postrational age hold dear.

              • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

                First, Happy Scott Walker reelection day!

                Your points are all solid. Obviously I was not clear. It seemed to me that Mrs. Wright had missed or misread watermelonyo, who did not come as a concerned reader, who you exiled to the Outer Dark, (in the fashion of Ayn Rand) but as a mobster with a protection racket. Paying the Dane gild is never wise, but always a terrible temptation.

          • Comment by Nate Winchester:

            Now now, Mrs Wright.

            I only wish there was some what John could receive the pittance from these lost readers so he could then offer them to the church’s collection plate. (though it would be up to you to keep him from wearing the Robin Hood outfit while doing so)

      • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

        I must tweak you a little. Paying the danegeld will not stop until men become angels. The particulars may vary, but theft is built into the human soul.

      • Comment by watermelonyo:

        fanatics – and I include you in their number – cannot be reasoned with and cannot be sated. No matter how much flattery a man with a guilty conscience receives, he is never satisfied, because he secretly knows the flattery is worthless.

        You should be the one pondering whether to regret the loss of the companionship of men of good character in your life,

        I and mine, of course, stand ready to welcome you back into civilization as soon as you straighten up. Until then, what in the world makes you think you are excluding me? Is the drowning man excluding the sailor safely on the Ark from the companionship of the ocean?

        Interestingly, this is much the way I see you. This reads to me as if you are projecting your self-doubt upon me. As if you are responding to a dark mirror of yourself. Like most of your criticism of the left, it misses the mark by far, though it may well be accurate self-criticism.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          “Interestingly, this is much the way I see you.”

          The irony of that is not lost on me, friend.

          ‘This reads to me as if you are projecting your self-doubt upon me. As if you are responding to a dark mirror of yourself. Like most of your criticism of the left, it misses the mark by far, though it may well be accurate self-criticism.’

          You cannot play the ‘you’re projecting’ card on me after I just played it on you. At least try to be a good little sophist, and use a more original verbal ploy.

          • Comment by watermelonyo:

            You cannot play the ‘you’re projecting’ card on me after I just played it on you. At least try to be a good little sophist, and use a more original verbal ploy.

            Whether your believe me or not, you should at least remember when you call other people fanatics that you are the one writing the rants.

            • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

              Yes. He is writing rants. He is not committing fraud, signing contracts with the express purpose of forcing people to violate their beliefs and destroy their reputation at gunpoint. He is not stripping desperately needed aid from the handicapped (the actual handicapped, as opposed to the Warrens of the world). Mr. Wright wrote of the crimes of the fanatics, who’s War of Tolerance demands unconditional surrender. You don’t point out the crimes of Mr. Wright, you threaten his livelihood, imply that his opinions will and are taking bread from the mouths of his wife, his children. You have the gall to claim that Mr. Wright is a fanatic? The best case scenario is that you are so crazed with hate and pain that you cannot see clearly.

  3. Comment by briest:

    Was there in argument in there somewhere watermelon? I found your comment amusing.

  4. Comment by Stephen J.:

    I sometimes wonder if the necessary legal revision might be even more specific: rather than trying to overturn no-fault divorce, simply institute a law that states you can have either no-fault divorce or legally enforced alimony, but not both. A great many frivolous divorces would be nipped in the bud if the partner leaving the relationship knew she wasn’t going to get any money out of it.

    Alternately, institute some form of marriage called, I don’t know, M2, Marriage Squared? — if the law of the land no longer defaults to permanency in marriage, create a legal arrangement that both partners have to specifically request, but that permanently waives the participants’ legal right to dissolve it. Those of us sacramentally inclined to this position can have it supported and protected, those not willing to make the commitment don’t have to. (Add an automatic one-year waiting period between application and implementation, so as to discourage the impulse signers, and you’re good to go.)

    • Comment by DGDDavidson:

      I’m half inclined to think the problem stretches back to the government taking a hand in marriage in the first place. Maybe the answer is for Catholics to marry in their Church and refuse to get marriage licenses.

      • Comment by Stephen J.:

        “Taking a hand” implies there was a time when they didn’t; the law has always been entangled in marriage, by virtue of its (until the 20th century) inevitable connection to inheritance and property. Nor do I object to that in itself — a sensible state has a demonstrable interest in facilitating the production, protection and effective socialization of the next generation of taxpayers. It’s when governments turn “facilitating” into “controlling” that I worry.

        Given that I don’t see a democratic government passing a vote to outlaw contraception (Prohibition II, anyone?) and I don’t see any just way for a non-democratic government to do the same, the only thing I think we can do is fight on other fronts — having children should be encouraged and rewarded. Personally I think the tax benefits for raising families should be much higher: it should be not just possible, but easy, for a single income to support a lower-middle-class family again, with better benefits the more kids you have. (And that helps the poor, too, who almost universally have more children.)

        • Comment by The OFloinn:

          In the West, there were no civil registrations of marriages nor any state certificate required until the mid-1800s, save during the French First Republic. In the Code of Khamurapi, marriages are simply facts of life and the King was concerned only with provision of property to children and legal liability for debts. It does not declare divorce to be legal or illegal, but simply states what the obligation is in case of separation. That was pretty much the standard approach until the Total State took over marriage and education. (And did so well with them.)

      • Comment by Nate Winchester:

        I sort of agree here, but from a tactical standpoint.

        If anything, I take an almost capitalist view that ALL the churches should forgo the legality argument and let it be whatever secularists wish it. Meanwhile, the Church should offer it’s own, distinct and separate marriage and let the results of one marriage vs another be weighed and judge.

        Hmm… not unlike schools, perhaps? ;)

        • Comment by Tom Simon:

          The trouble with that is that if the churches cede the definition of legal marriage to the state, the state will insist that the churches perform marriages according to its own definition and its own rules. This is already happening in Canada, where a Catholic church has been punished by the authorities for its refusal to rent out a hall on consecrated ground for the celebration of a lesbian ‘wedding’.

    • Comment by lampwright:

      > simply institute a law that states you can have either no-fault divorce or legally enforced alimony, but not both. A great many frivolous divorces would be nipped in the bud if the partner leaving the relationship knew she wasn’t going to get any money out of it.

      Brilliant.

      There was a movement to have a more serious marriage a while back. I don’t know what happen to it. Your idea above would be a great way to do it.

    • Comment by Mary:

      Note that alimony generally stops anyway on re-marriage, so there’s a limit to the effectiveness.

  5. Comment by fabulous_mrs_f:

    Stephan J., I think some states do have that. I remember someone saying they lived in a state where they could ask for a “Sacramental marriage” license, which could not be dissolved through divorce. I don’t remember what state, though.

    In addition to repealing no-fault divorce laws, we need to return to the concept of courtship, instead of dating as a game or recreation or semi-permanent state of life. The hook-up culture has done a great deal of damage to the state of marriage and people’s view of it. Of course, that is connected to contraception and the push for masculinized women.

    • Comment by luckymarty:

      “Covenant” marriage, almost certainly: supposed to make it harder to divorce. Louisiana was the first state to introduce that a few years back. The idea strikes me as a good idea for a reform, although in the event I don’t think it’s been very popular an option.

    • Comment by DGDDavidson:

      Not very long ago, a typical college student acted shocked when I said dating ought not to be a form of entertainment or amusement. Serious courtship and marriage are hard for modern man to wrap his head around.

  6. Comment by JoeCool:

    [A]s for the disabled people being helped, they were hardly even mentioned.

    I once noted how the relentless push for same-sex marriage, contraception, and abortion (i.e., the things necessary so that we don’t have to exercise any self control on groin urges) seemed to trump in every way the needs of the poor. From the closure of the Catholic adoption agencies in the UK, Washington DC, and Illinois because they would not adopt to same-sex couples, to refusing to allow the Church’s charities to help victims of sex trafficking, because they would not provide them with abortions, to the current attack on the Church via the HHS mandate. In all cases, it seemed, that the less-fortunate would be demonstrably worse off (sex-trafficking victims receiving worse care, children not being adopted, teachers not being able to get health insurance from their employer).

    It struck me as similar to a sick homeless man who curses at someone for trying to offer him food, because he doesn’t want food even though he is clearly starving. Instead, he just wants money so he can buy another drink and indulge his alcohol addiction. He lashes out at those who would help him, because he doesn’t want help; he wants his vices.

    Society is, it seems, so addicted to sex that we will attack those trying to help its poorest parts, because they won’t indulge our sexual addictions.

  7. Comment by Tim Ohmes:

    Mr. Wright,

    I cannot agree with you more in divorce being the root problem but I believe the divide occurs at a deeper level than just the dissolution of a marriage.

    The problem is in the divorce of the orgasm from a responsibility the orgasm might incur.

    Contraceptives have successfully divorced sex from sexual responsibility and once this divorce occurs in the sexual realm it is effortlessly transferred into all other realms of life. No other area of life requires the rigorous discipline and sacrifice of raising a family.

    In a sense, sex demands a sacrifice be made. One will either sacrifice himself of love for another, or sacrifice another for love of himself.

    Contraception encourages the latter.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      I agree. The reason why I became Catholic was that they were the only Church I thought I could trust to hold the line on contraception. Contraception being a grave moral evil was something I believed back when I was an atheist, long before my conversion to Christianity.

      • Comment by Tim Ohmes:

        Conversely, I was raised Catholic and fell into the contraceptive mentality. I married a woman who refused contraception and my contraceptive attitude almost destroyed our marriage.

        My road to the understanding you had while still an atheist was long and difficult despite having been raised in the Church.

      • Comment by DGDDavidson:

        I converted from Evangelicalism to Catholicism largely because I arrived at the conclusion that contraception was evil.

        I didn’t arrive there with the logic you used, though. My mind is not so orderly. I merely saw its results, which were on display in particularly outre fashion in all the contraceptive ads papered around the university I attended at the time. It became clear to me that contraception trivialized sex and encouraged men to treat women with contempt.

  8. Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

    Regarding the Knights of Columbus story, I wonder if there are additional details to this story. As it stands, it seems to me that the lesbian couple is indisputably in the right. From what I can gather from the quote, the Knights had already signed a rental contract, a contract that apparently did not include a no-gay-marriage clause. Then they tried to terminate the contract unilaterally for a reason that was not among those allowed under the contract. Allowing the Knights to do this would be contrary to the very idea of a contract.

    (Now, if the contract did have a no-gay-marriage clause, then that would be the sort of additional detail that would change my mind.)

    Suppose that a Catholic landlord signs a one-year lease with a homosexual man. The landlord is known to the renter to be Catholic, but the renter is not known to the landlord to be homosexual. The renter commences to engage in frequent sexual relations with his same-sex partner (with the shades drawn and at a volume-level that does not disturb his neighbors). Six months into the one-year lease, the landlord learns of the homosexual activity taking place in his building and tries to have the renter kicked out.

    In this case, I believe that the landlord should be punished for breach of contract, as well as forced to compensate the renter for whatever hardship he suffered as a result of having to move. Once the contract is signed, the landlord can’t unilaterally introduce a new reason for terminating the contract, even if a reasonable person could guess that the landlord would have wanted to include that reason in the contract if he’d thought of it.

    Had the contract originally said “No homosexual sex allowed”, then I believe that the landlord should have been able to kick the renter out. I believe that the landlord would have been morally wrong to have included such language in the contract, but I don’t believe that he should have suffered any legal sanction. But, absent this language, the landlord has to abide by the contract he signed, not the contract he wished he’d signed after the fact.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      I would say there is room for dispute. When one party to the contract fails to inform the other of a material element of the contract, this is a constructive breech. If I agree to sell you a hunting rifle and, upon finding out you mean to use it for murder, refuse to complete the sale, but I put you in the same position you were in before the breech (which the Knights did in this case by funding reprinting the invitations) I have a solid defense against breech of contract: namely, that there was no meeting of the minds, hence no contract to begin with.
      To use an example which does not involve a breech of the law, if I agree to rent a theater to you, and only later am told you that you mean to put on a play where nude players will perform the sex act live before your patrons, even if I am in a jurisdiction where such a play would be legal, I retain the right to break the contract, since you did not tell me something that might have a material effect on the contract. (Such as the theater’s reputation in the community being irrevocably marred).
      You see, your formulation puts the burden on the Knights to investigate their patrons to discover their secret and unexpected intentions, whereas a reasonable formulation should put the burden on the patrons, who know damn well that the Catholic Church is Catholic, to disclose their true intent from the beginning.
      What is really going on is fraud. The patrons did not want to rent the hall to perform a marriage properly so called. The chose a venue to perform a ceremony which, whether they intend it or not, mocks and diminishes the Catholic teaching on the sacrament of marriage. Obviously had this been revealed from the beginning, there would have been no case, and no cause for complaint.
      The only question then is whether the use of the hall for a homosexual celebration is a material fact. Whether we agree with the Catholic Church or not, clearly the fact is material as far as they are concerned, if for no other reason than the Knights, had they been informed, would not have agreed.
      A related legal question is whether this is a case of discrimination. Suppose the hall had been owned by the KKK or the Democrat Party, or some other notorious gang of racists. A man does not reveal that his wife is colored, and when he goes to marry her in the hall, the hall-owners demur, and offer to find him another location. Since the Civil Rights Act, the argument runs (and I think with much force) that the public interest in a colorblind society outweighs the property rights of the KKK or the DNC, and public accommodation must be extended to all. My libertarian friends will disagree with this conclusion, but absent a powerful Church to shame the segregators into civilized behavior, we are left with nothing but the clumsy meataxe of the government.
      The Liberal argument should be that this is clearly a case of discrimination, and should be prohibited by public policy. The difficulty with that argument is that the analogy is not a tight fit. Homosexuality is the name of a vice; it is not the name of a race of Man.
      Canada, of course, has no First Amendment, but even if she did, the KKK or the DNC have no constitutionally protected right to promote racial segregation. In that hypo, it is simply not a religious issue; in this case it is.

      • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

        To use an example which does not involve a breech of the law, if I agree to rent a theater to you, and only later am told you that you mean to put on a play where nude players will perform the sex act live before your patrons, even if I am in a jurisdiction where such a play would be legal, I retain the right to break the contract, since you did not tell me something that might have a material effect on the contract. (Such as the theater’s reputation in the community being irrevocably marred).

        If this is settled case law in Canada, I would reconsider my opinion. Obviously I am not a lawyer, so I am not too attached to my opinion on the nature of contracts.

        But I would expect a theater renting its space to have language to the effect that the contract is void if the renters intend to do anything that will harm the theater’s ability to do business, as in your example. Similarly, I think that it is reasonable to require the Knights to include explicit language to the effect that the contract is void if the renters intend to do anything in the space contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

        In particular, I do not “[put] the burden on the Knights to investigate their patrons to discover their secret and unexpected intentions.” The Knights need only account for the fact that people sometimes rent spaces to do things that the Catholic Church considers sinful. The only burden I put on the Knights is the burden of explicitly stating in their contract boilerplate that their space is not available to any renters who wish to do this. The Knights, being renters, are more responsible for knowing that such renters exist than non-Catholics are for knowing Catholic dogma, however widely publicized that dogma may be.

        • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

          The Knights, being renters, are more responsible for knowing that such renters exist than non-Catholics are for knowing Catholic dogma, however widely publicized that dogma may be.

          Equivocation alert: I mean that the Knights, being lessors, are more responsible for knowing that such lessees exist.

          • Comment by John C Wright:

            In this case, you think the lessors were not deliberately “setting up” the Knights? You think the couple acted in good faith? (I am not familiar with the case myself, and obviously I don’t know the people involved.)

            But even assuming good faith on all sides, at most the Knights should make right the breech, which (according to this article) they did. One cannot be expected to violate religious sacraments due to a mistake in drafting a contract, particularly where it is not alleged that the couple could not find a new venue without grave burdens, or find it at all. The same freedom of association which allows sexual perverts to associate with each other as they see fit without legal penalty logically must allow religious groups not to associate with them, absent some showing of grave burden or harm, without legal penalty. If you say “it ain’t no body’s business but my own” then you say I have the right to deny you my business and leave you alone.
            If it were the only hall in the town, so that to deny the plaintiffs the rental thereof would in effect deny them their celebration, perhaps the law has an argument to interfere.

            • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

              In this case, you think the lessors were not deliberately “setting up” the Knights? You think the couple acted in good faith? (I am not familiar with the case myself, and obviously I don’t know the people involved.)

              From what I know so far, my best guess is that the lessors were acting in good faith. I wouldn’t be shocked speechless to learn otherwise, but, right now, I expect that they just wanted to rent a hall for a wedding. However, my best guess is as ill-informed as yours, so it probably shouldn’t bear on the argument.

              But even assuming good faith on all sides, at most the Knights should make right the breech, which (according to this article) they did.

              My position is that the Knights deserve the same legal consequences as they would have suffered had they canceled the couple’s reservation for any random reason. If lessors are normally allowed to do this without legal sanction, provided only that they “make right the breech” and that alternatives are easily available to the lessees, then this case would be no exception in my view.

              The same freedom of association which allows sexual perverts to associate with each other as they see fit without legal penalty logically must allow religious groups not to associate with them, absent some showing of grave burden or harm, without legal penalty.

              This is not at issue. The Knights have a freedom to associate, which they could have exercised by not signing the contract. Analogously, I have the freedom to associate with whatever employers I want, but once I’ve signed a contract committing me to provide certain services to my employers, I am obliged to associate with them. That would be true even if I hated Catholics and learned that my employers were Catholic after signing the contract.

              • Comment by John C Wright:

                “If lessors are normally allowed to do this without legal sanction, provided only that they “make right the breech” and that alternatives are easily available to the lessees, then this case would be no exception in my view”

                We agree on that point.

                “The Knights have a freedom to associate, which they could have exercised by not signing the contract. Analogously, I have the freedom to associate with whatever employers I want, but once I’ve signed a contract committing me to provide certain services to my employers, I am obliged to associate with them.”

                This is a misstatement of the law, or, since I am not familiar with Canadian law, of the common sense of justice that should obtain in the English speaking world. In this case, the contract was signed without material terms being disclosed.

                Our only argument is on who had the burden to investigate and disclose the information. If I sign a contract with a stranger to have him participate in a pie eating contest, and he does not tell me he is a Muslim, and I do not tell him the pies are pork pies, either the contact must be breached or he must break his religious dietary law. To insist on specific performance on the ground that he has waived his right not to object to the hidden substances in the pie (which is in effect what you demand by saying he waived his right not to associate by signing a contract) would be a Draconian injustice. You must be kidding.

                The far better line of attack is to use anti-segregation laws as a precedent. The problem there is that sexual misconduct is a habit not a race.

                • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

                  In this case, the contract was signed without material terms being disclosed.

                  Really? By “this case”, do you mean my hypothetical that you just quoted? Would Anglophonic law really consider the Catholic-ness of my boss to be a “material term”?

                  Maybe your “this case” meant the original story in the OP. If so, then I’m still skeptical that the homosexuality of the couple is uncontroversially a “material term” in the view of Anglophone jurists generally. But this is essentially an empirical question. I could be brought around if I saw that other similar cases had in fact been decided that way.

                  If I sign a contract with a stranger to have him participate in a pie eating contest, and he does not tell me he is a Muslim, and I do not tell him the pies are pork pies, either the contact must be breached or he must break his religious dietary law. To insist on specific performance on the ground that he has waived his right not to object to the hidden substances in the pie (which is in effect what you demand by saying he waived his right not to associate by signing a contract) would be a Draconian injustice. You must be kidding.

                  It looks to me like our disagreement is over what constitutes a “material term”. In your hypothetical, I wouldn’t have thought that the pork would be a “material term”. I would have thought that the Muslim should pay whatever penalty the breach of such a contract would normally entail. (I doubt that the penalty for breaking a pie-eating-contest contract could be too onerous.) But if the case law clearly establishes that this kind of thing is a material term, then I would accept that.

                  One of the purpose of contracts is to provide some certainty about what the other parties will do. If parties to contracts can really always invoke a “religious conscience” exception to void the contract, then that introduces uncertainty. However, if this uncertainty is well-established by the law, and I just happened to be ignorant of it, then so be it. I would prefer that the law did not elevate religious conscience above any other idiosyncratic sense of moral abhorrence, but that is a matter for the legislature, not the judiciary.

                  • Comment by ShireNomad:

                    “I would have thought that the Muslim should pay whatever penalty the breach of such a contract would normally entail.”

                    Jumping in here: The penalty for breach of contract is generally to put the non-breaching party back in the position they were before the contract was formed. The Knights offered to do just that in this instance. They fully refunded all money, they offered to find the couple a replacement venue, and they offered to pay for reprinting everything that had the old, now-incorrect venue on it. The couple were therefore no worse off leaving the contract than they would have been had they never contracted in the first place.

                    To the Canadian government, however, the very act of not fulfilling the contract was a criminal act worthy of punitive fines, as if they had charged and fined the Muslim for not violating his moral precept never to eat swine. Nowhere else in contract law does a breach of contract become criminal, no matter how insulted the non-breaching party might be by the act (or as my own contracts professor liked to say, “there’s no crying in contracts!”)

                    • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

                      If contract law really works as you say, then I retract my claim that the Knights were legally in the wrong. (…unless there is some reason why, despite appearances, the compensations offered by the Knights didn’t really suffice to “make right the breach”.)

                    • Comment by The OFloinn:

                      To the Canadian government, however, the very act of not fulfilling the contract
                      was a criminal act worthy of punitive fines

                      England, too, has its peculiarities regarding criminal acts. Darymple cites two particular instances on the soccer field:

                      During a game against Tottenham Hotspur, Balotelli deliberately stamped on a rival player’s head and received a four-game suspension. … The Manchester police expressed no interest in what was technically a criminal assault—one that took place in front of tens of thousands of witnesses.

                      Veteran defender John Terry of the Chelsea Football Club… called a rival player, Anton Ferdinand of the Queen’s Park Rangers—a man with an Irish mother and a West Indian father—a “f*cking black c*nt.” … The police took the matter seriously, investigated it over the course of a week, and charged Terry with using racially abusive language, for which he will soon have to stand criminal trial, facing a possible $3,800 fine.

                      http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_2_otbie-british-soccer.html

                    • Comment by John C Wright:

                      “The penalty for breach of contract is generally to put the non-breaching party back in the position they were before the contract was formed. The Knights offered to do just that in this instance. They fully refunded all money, they offered to find the couple a replacement venue, and they offered to pay for reprinting everything that had the old, now-incorrect venue on it. The couple were therefore no worse off leaving the contract than they would have been had they never contracted in the first place.”

                      This is a clearer statement of the law than the way I phrased it. It is what I meant by “making right the breach”.

                      The fact pattern might change if we assumed the location of the hall had some unique sentimental value or something which made it irreplaceable. I did not see that alleged in the article.

                • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

                  In this case, the contract was signed without material terms being disclosed.

                  Really? By “this case”, do you mean my hypothetical that you just quoted? Would Anglophone law really consider the Catholic-ness of my boss to be a “material term”?

                  Maybe your “this case” meant the original story in the OP. If so, then I’m still skeptical that the homosexuality of the couple is uncontroversially a “material term” in the view of Anglophone jurists generally. But this is essentially an empirical question. I could be brought around if I saw that other similar cases had in fact been decided that way.

                  If I sign a contract with a stranger to have him participate in a pie eating contest, and he does not tell me he is a Muslim, and I do not tell him the pies are pork pies, either the contact must be breached or he must break his religious dietary law. To insist on specific performance on the ground that he has waived his right not to object to the hidden substances in the pie (which is in effect what you demand by saying he waived his right not to associate by signing a contract) would be a Draconian injustice. You must be kidding.

                  It looks to me like our disagreement is over what constitutes a “material term”. In your hypothetical, I wouldn’t have thought that the pork would be a “material term”. I would have thought that the Muslim should pay whatever penalty the breach of such a contract would normally entail. (I doubt that the penalty for breaking a pie-eating-contest contract could be too onerous.) But if the case law clearly establishes that this kind of thing is a material term, then I would accept that.

                  One of the purposes of contracts is to provide some certainty about what the other parties will do. If parties to contracts can really always invoke a “religious conscience” exception to void the contract, then that introduces uncertainty. However, if this uncertainty is well-established in law, and I just happened to be ignorant of that fact, then so be it. I would then allow that the Knights could unilaterally cancel their contract. I would prefer that the law did not elevate religious conscience above any other idiosyncratic sense of moral abhorrence, but that is a matter for the legislature, not the judiciary.

                  • Comment by John C Wright:

                    “If so, then I’m still skeptical that the homosexuality of the couple is uncontroversially a “material term” in the view of Anglophone jurists generally.”

                    I will point out that had the Knights of Columbus known that the woman seeking to rent the hall for a “marriage” ceremony intended it not for a marriage but only for a “marriage” (that is, a celebration of an objectively disordered sexual psychopathology) they would not have and could not have agreed to the bargain. Of course this is a material term of the bargain, since this is the whole point of the case and the only grounds on which the Knights sought to break the contract.

                    The point of my hypo about forcing a Muslim to eat pork is that your logic does not allow the Muslim to break the contract and pay whatever is needed to put the other party in the same situation he would have been in had there been no breach. Your logic requires specific performance on the grounds that the right of association is forsworn once you sign a contract.

                    I will say again, as for as contract law goes, the homosexuals here do not have a case. They do not have the right to demand, in the name of equal treatment, that the Knights of Columbus countenance a desecration of the sacrament of matrimony, any more than they have a right to demand they trample a cross. Obviously the Knights could not have rented the hall had they known the purpose the lessees intended, any more that if the lessees had said they wanted to celebrate a “marriage” and by that meant an orgy by which a maiden is married to the Great God Pan.

                    Their only case is to claim that this is discrimination, like a Jim Crow law not allowing blacks to patronize Woolworth eating counters. However, logically, if the ‘right of association’ means that persons of sexually disordered behavior can force religious institutions publicly to offend their own religion, and aid in its humiliation, by the same logic that ‘right of association’ means that persons of faith can force sexually disordered persons publicly to offend and denounce their sexual disorder, or at least celebrate it elsewhere.

                    Unless we want to say the sexual perversion as a matter of law has priority over religious orthodoxy, the freedom of association which allows the perverts to be left alone by the orthodox should also allow the orthodox to be left alone by the perverts.

                    I myself have no problem saying that racial integration as a matter of law has priority over religious orthodoxy. If a man’s religion forbids marrying outside the faith, or holds Jews to be deserving of death, that belief is inimical to the civic order of a free society, and may rightly be discouraged or forbidden by the force of law. (My reason for so saying is my orthodox religious belief that all men are made in the image of God, and are brothers.)

                    • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

                      your logic does not allow the Muslim to break the contract and pay whatever is needed to put the other party in the same situation he would have been in had there been no breach.

                      As I said above,

                      My position is that the Knights deserve the same legal consequences as they would have suffered had they canceled the couple’s reservation for any random reason. If lessors are normally allowed to do this without legal sanction, provided only that they “make right the breech” and that alternatives are easily available to the lessees, then this case would be no exception in my view.

                      So my logic allows the Muslim the same recourse to get out of the contract that anyone who wants to unilaterally terminate a contract has. If anyone could, for whatever reason, “break the contract and pay whatever is needed to put the other party in the same situation he would have been in had there been no breach”, then so too can the Muslim. I oppose making it easier for the Muslim to break the contract on account of his religion than for any other random reason. However, I would want a judge to rule based on whatever case law says. So, if it is well established that one can always cite religion to get out of a contract, then the judge should allow the Muslim to do this. (Given the opportunity, I would vote for a law stating that religious beliefs shouldn’t be given special treatment in this sense, but that’s besides the point.)

                      I will say again, as for as contract law goes, the homosexuals here do not have a case.

                      I’m curious how far this goes. For example, suppose that the couple reserved a limousine for the ceremony, but the owner of the limousine opposes same-sex marriages. Upon discovering that the couple is a lesbian couple, can the limousine owner unilaterally revoke the reservation, citing religious opposition? What about the baker who is commissioned to bake the wedding cake? Indeed can everyone who signs a contract with a homosexual void that contract unilaterally just by citing religious opposition to homosexuality, making a creditable argument that he would not have signed the contract had he known that the other party was gay, and “making right the breach”?

                      (I’m assuming, for the sake of argument, that “making right the breach” is doesn’t always allow one to terminate any contract for whatever reason one likes. If this is not the case, then, as I said, I agree that the Knights could cancel the lesbian couple reservation without legal sanction for any reason they wanted, including religious opposition to homosexuality.)

                    • Comment by John C Wright:

                      How far it goes? I would say that everyone knows or should know that Catholics are morally obligated not to condone or abet sexual perversion and the desecration by mockery of the sacrament of marriage. In such a case, the idea that the pervert couple did not know the Knights of Columbus is far fetched: I am merely allowing it to you as a hypothetical.

                      In America, at least, the First Amendment grants persons with religious objections rights that a merely personal dislike does not confer. Hence, a Quaker being allowed, if drafted, to be a conscientious objector, is more firmly grounded in the law than would be, say, a member of the Communist party objecting on the grounds of Communist philosophy to fighting a war.

                      That said, I would place the bar at a lower level, and would allow anyone who wishes not to associate with celebrating the “marriage” of sexually disordered persons to break a contract where the nature of the “marriage” was not known beforehand. The thing is objectively immoral; it is not only the right, it is the duty, of all men of good will to do whatever they peacefully and legally can do to discourage it, or, at least, to tolerate but not to encourage it.

                      If the contract was truly made with all parties perfectly aware of the material circumstances, that makes the breach less excusable.

                      I am surprised that you continue to argue as if this is merely a breach of contract case, and not a discrimination case. Your original comment was that there was no argument to be made on behalf of the Knights; I am beginning to believe there is no argument to be made on behalf of Lesbians.

                      In my student days, I once tried to rent an apartment from an old lady who only rented to girls. Had I made the contract over the phone, perhaps by having my sister talk for me, and then showed up at the door in all my glorious masculinity, do you honestly and truly think I could pray for punitive damages from the old lady? Does she truly have no right to associate with whom she wishes, and rent to whom she wishes?

                    • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

                      That said, I would place the bar at a lower level, and would allow anyone who wishes not to associate with celebrating the “marriage” of sexually disordered persons to break a contract where the nature of the “marriage” was not known beforehand.

                      Do you mean, break the contract without even having to “make good the breach”? (It sounds like anyone can already break a contract for any reason at all, provided he makes good the breach.)

                      I am surprised that you continue to argue as if this is merely a breach of contract case, and not a discrimination case.

                      That is because I am far less clear in my own mind on what does, and what should, constitute a case of discrimination deserving of legal sanction. I am not a libertarian, but I have enough libertarian sympathies to leave me unsure about this.

                      In contrast, the question of whether there was a breach of contract deserving of punishment seemed like a clearer-cut question, where discussion would be more productive.

                      My prediction proved to be correct, since I have already learned more about contract law from you and ShireNomad. I did not know that one could break a contract without punishment, provided only that one “made good the breach”. That settles the question in my mind in favor of the Knights, unless there was some reason why their offers of compensation didn’t really make good the breach.

                      In my student days, I once tried to rent an apartment from an old lady who only rented to girls. Had I made the contract over the phone, perhaps by having my sister talk for me, and then showed up at the door in all my glorious masculinity, do you honestly and truly think I could pray for punitive damages from the old lady? Does she truly have no right to associate with whom she wishes, and rent to whom she wishes?

                      It is very standard for apartment listings to say explicitly when, eg, only women need apply. Wouldn’t the omission of such a condition create a strong presumption that applications are open to all sexes? Regardless, I gather from you and ShireNomad that she needn’t pay any punitive damages, provided only that she “makes good the breach”. If, in your hypothetical, you were intentionally exploiting the old lady’s erroneous omission, just to force her to make good the breach, then I would consider you to be a big jerk. But it is always possible for big jerks to use legal means to torment the naïve.

                      (I wouldn’t necessarily consider the lesbian couple to be big jerks, because, unlike in the analogous case with your old lady lessor, I don’t consider the Knights’ opposition to same-sex marriage to be morally justifiable, although it is legally within their rights. However, the lesbians would fall into jerk territory for me if they rented the space specifically to cause distress to the Knights. That, at least, would be a very petty way to honor their relationship.)

                    • Comment by John C Wright:

                      Do you mean, break the contract without even having to “make good the breach”?

                      Certainly not! Where, in anything I have said, gives you that idea?! To break a contract and not return the money is the same a theft by trick.

                      I did not know that one could break a contract without punishment, provided only that one “made good the breach”.

                      The legal term is “economic breach” or “efficient breach”. The seminal case was … argh … I used to know this …. GO GO GADGET INTERNET! Lake River Corp. v. Carborundum Co., 769 F.2d 1284 (7th Cir. 1985) opinion by by the famous Judge Posner.

                      I wouldn’t necessarily consider the lesbian couple to be big jerks, because, unlike in the analogous case with your old lady lessor, I don’t consider the Knights’ opposition to same-sex marriage to be morally justifiable, although it is legally within their rights.

                      Here we must disagree, albeit courteously. The lesbians in this case, if they have managed to live to majority without being aware of an institution 2012 year old, which forms the backbone of Western civilization, have violated the minimum duty to be aware of the world around you.

                      While legally allowed, in the name of toleration, to pursue their sexual disorder and privately to celebrate and praise it, a commonwealth which does not take steps to deter this gross immorality (not to mention illogic) of sex-without-sex that homosexuality involves is negligent in its duty to safeguard its citizenry and render civilization civil and habitable.

                      The Church has no duty to encourage and applaud sin. Merely because, in this case, they are sins of lust, this does not suddenly abrogate that duty. Not just Christians but all men of goodwill throughout all ages are duty bound, merely because they are human, to discourage sin and vice.

                      Men of reason, I would say, also have a duty to discourage unreason, but admittedly this is a lesser duty.

                      What makes this case notable to me is not the sin of homosexuality, but the sins of fornication, adultery, and divorce ( and divorce always involves a breach of faith). Breaking a marriage oath is still breaking an oath. In the rank and stinking and open sewer of modern post-modern post-virtuous post-sane attitudes toward sex, the tiny harm homosexual marriage does to the tormented and flayed corpse called marriage is a bee sting. It is almost not worth arguing about. It is worth arguing only because it is the point of no return. Once marriage is legally defined as being whatever we care to define it to be, precedent would prevent it from ever becoming a sacrament again. The chance of undoing no fault divorce laws (which are the real enemy) drop to zero.

                      But if our civilization has any hope to survive, and if our souls have any hope of heaven, then to protect the sanctity of the right to individual conscience and to protect the sanctity of the sacraments of the Church is absolutely vital.

                      This was a harassment lawsuit. The homosexuals may be willing to live and let live, but the homosex lobby, most of whom are heteros, are not. They are using gay marriage as a battering ram to storm the doors of the Church.

                      In a world without liberals, I would be willing and more than willing to grant gays the right to pretend to be married to each other, or to take many wives, including underage wives, on the grounds that this might reduce jealousy or violent rivalry between various mates or sodomy-partners. But, no, I live in a world where the first thing, VERY THE FIRST THING that the Obama administration did, after promising the American public universal healthcare, was not heal a single sick person of any disease. That was not the priority. The first thing and highest priority was to trample te First Amendment in a mad bureaucratic rush to force Catholic institutions to pay for and provide contraception, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization, in the name — get this — that being able to fornicate and have your insurance pay for the dick-balloon is the sum and sole concern of the medical profession. So when the Catholics say, “Buy your own damn dick balloons, and kill your own damn children without our help! Leave us be!” THAT is called a ‘War on Women’.

                      The damned HHS Mandate was not voted on by Congress. The repeal of the First Amendment did not go through any legal process. It was just a diktat, an ukase. We don’t even have a turn in English for the binding dictates of a mandarin authority because it has never happened before.

                      The degree of mental contortion, the number of words that must be used to mean the opposite of what they mean, the number of blacks that must be white and whites that must be black for a mind to come to the conclusion that me not paying for your to eunuch yourself or kill your kids is an act of vicious aggression on my part is beyond imagination. There is nothing to which I can liken it.

                      But I do note it. Do you think the people who took the fairly reasonable-sounding (if economically unsound) and fairly benevolent concept of socialized medicine and warped it so that the first priority was to get Catholics to trample the cross, as if THAT was what all this debate had been about, do you think such a mind will regard with awe and respect a legal nicety which says that Catholic Churches cannot be forced to celebrate gay ‘marriages’ on the ground that we Catholics are bigoted homophobic hatred-eaten superstition subhumans neanderthals?

                      No. I am sorry for the poor homosexuals, but if only for my own protection, gay marriage must be stopped and repealed.

                      If the Leftwing Nazgul and the orc slaves all fall out of bed tomorrow and turn into live-and-let-live libertarians, my answer would be different. While I would have stern religious reservations, from the point of view of a secular magistrate, in a libertarian commonwealth where my tax money and my public school board does not support, applaud, nor pay for the practice, it would be a private matter perhaps with some good side effects — particularly if divorce were impossible, and cheating with another sodomy partner were severely punished. (I would make an exception for gays who were cured, and wanted to ‘divorce’ their ‘husbands’ in order to marry a woman.)

                      But that is all theoretical. I no more expect a sudden triumph of libertarianism than I am of monarchic royalism.

                      Back in reality, no matter what the motives of the honest gays who want to pretend to be married might be, the motive of the Left is to war against reality, reason, authority, God and Man, and to destroy the family, or any other institution daring to oppose both the external totalitarianism of the state, and the internal madness of utter will-worshiping nihilism.

                      In such a moral environment, I say the courts have a duty to scrupulously guard the sanctity of the Church, and a lesser duty those citizens indulging in an abomination I cannot in good conscience describe to my children, to protect them from discrimination and hatred. Despite being a Christian, no child of the Enlightenment wants any man deprived of legal rights due to indulgence in an unsightly vice.

                      In this case, the vice is less worthy of condemnation than my own many vices. I am willing to tolerate any man, even a bad man, because all men are brothers; but I am not willing to tolerate any bad principle, because bad principles are the enemy of all men. Men should not be condemned. Bad principles must be.

                      If my neighbors are afflicted, whether by their own fault or not, with leprosy, I regard the leprosy as the enemy, not the lepers. We in this century have suffered a pandemic of bad principles like history has never seen, and whole continents and nations are possessed as if with unclean spirits by such ideologies and madnesses.

                      But I see I have accidentally wandered into a diatribe far from our topic.

                    • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

                      Certainly not! Where, in anything I have said, gives you that idea?!

                      To continue this conversation before I learn more about contract law would probably be to waste your time. In particular, I will look at the Lake River Corp. v. Carborundum Co. case that you cited.

                      But, to answer your question, I was given the idea by these two considerations:

                      (1) Since, apparently, any contract can be terminated for any reason by making good the economic breach (is that the right way to use the terminology?), I didn’t see the relevance of the morality of homosexuality. You had already made the case that the Knights shouldn’t suffer any sanction, provided only that they compensated the couple for the inconvenience of having the contract terminated. The only reason I could see for arguing the morality of homosexuality was to make the stronger claim that the Knights didn’t even need to do that much. Perhaps (I thought you might be arguing) the Knights were only obliged to return the rental fee, nothing more.

                      (2) I thought that you were arguing that homosexuality could, in general, be a “material term”. This, I thought, meant that the non-homosexual party was a victim of fraud, even in my other hypotheticals (the limo company and the baker). In that case, they might be obliged to return any money they were paid, but surely they wouldn’t be obliged to, e.g., pay to have new invitations printed.

                    • Comment by John C Wright:

                      In the case in real life, I suspect that the homosexuals did practice a fraud on the Knights for the purpose of getting them in trouble with the law, which in fact is what happened. I call it a material term because the hall was rented for a wedding, and the Knights are morally obligated not to desecrate the sacrament of marriage by aiding and abetting in the, how shall we say, “expansion” of the definition of marriage to include the very act their religion (and mine) defines as the opposite of marriage.

                      Is there any evidence that the Knights would have or could have leased the hall had they known from the outset that the couple wanted to perform a homosexual “antimarriage” or “homomarriage” (or whatever the non-PC term might be)?

                      I suggest that this is not the same as breaking a contract merely because I don’t like the cut of your jib. The Knights have a right to live by the tenants of their religion, provided their religion does not compel them to commit acts like human sacrifice or smoking peyote, or some other act which is illicit in and of itself. As I understand Canadian law, the homosexuals are a protected special class whom it is illegal to offend or to refuse service to.

                      Again, my answer would be different if it were a case of homosexuals sitting at a Woolworth’s lunch counter and being denied service. Merely feeding a homosexual does not desecrate a sacrament.

                      And in the current case, even if the Protestants are right or the Atheists are right and marriage is not a sacrament or nothing is a sacrament, the right of the Catholics to think marriage is a sacrament and act accordingly is firmly grounding in American law and in the Enlightenment “classical liberal” theory of government, that is, the selfsame theory AND THE ONLY THEORY that gives the sexually disordered persons the right to pursue their disorders to their unhappy fate of guilty ridden misery.

                      One could argue, by the way, that in this case the Knights are not making an “economic breach” on the grounds that the breach of the contract not only forswears the money, but costs them out of pocket.

                      (And I am not sure that case is the one I recall from law school, sorry. Maybe it is; it sounds familiar, but I am not recalling if it is clear on the point we are discussing.)

              • Comment by Tom Simon:

                From what I know so far, my best guess is that the lessors were acting in good faith. I wouldn’t be shocked speechless to learn otherwise, but, right now, I expect that they just wanted to rent a hall for a wedding. However, my best guess is as ill-informed as yours, so it probably shouldn’t bear on the argument.

                This is factually incorrect. The Knights of Columbus hall was in the basement of a Catholic church, and therefore on consecrated ground. The K. of C. were not the owners of the hall, but were themselves tenants of the parish; and they had not an unrestricted right to sublet their hall to anyone they chose.

                The lessors chose that hall knowing that it was on church property, and that they would be flouting Catholic morality on the Church’s own ground. They could have rented a hall from any secular landlord, such as a hotel or community association, but they did not choose to do that. They specifically sought out a Catholic organization in order to do dirt on Catholic teaching.

                A few years ago, as I have read (source not handy, alas), a Russian Orthodox church was used for the celebration of a same-sex ‘marriage’. The reaction of the Church was immediate and unequivocal. The hierarchy held that the ‘marriage’ was an act of desecration, that the consecration of the church building had been irreparably tainted, and that such a building could no longer be used for any sacramental purpose. The church was therefore razed to the ground and a new church built at another location.

                The teachings of the Russian Orthodox Church on marriage and sexuality are not materially different from those of the Catholic Church. Perhaps this illustration will give you an idea of the gravity of the offence that the lesbian couple in the case in point were offering to their chosen hosts.

                • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

                  Were you thinking of this case?

                  Your point is taken, though matters don’t sound quite as extreme as you implied. Also, it looks like the new church was to be built at the same location, not at a new one.

                  A spokesman for the Orthodox Church said the chapel had to go as it had been desecrated. Some local officials said it was due for demolition to make way for new, larger church, although this would not open until 2005.

                  A spokesman for the Nizhny Novgorod Patriarchate told The Telegraph: “The chapel was dismantled because it is no longer needed.” But he admitted that the “marriage” may have “sped up the process”.

                  Returning to our discussion, your information does raise the probability for me that the couple was not acting in good faith (i.e., that the Knights were “being targeted, almost certainly to create legal precedents”). However, I still assign less than 50% probability.

  9. Comment by Nostreculsus:

    If I agree to sell you a hunting rifle and, upon finding out you mean to use it for murder, refuse to complete the sale, but I put you in the same position you were in before the breech …

    If you put me before the “breech” of a rifle, you are pointing the rifle at me. My old Pappy always taught us young’uns never to point the breech of a shotgun at anything I didn’t aim to shoot.

    You mean “breach”.

  10. Comment by Mary:

    You know, we know how to stop the spread of epidemics of incurable STDs in this country. Before penicillin, we managed to contain the spread of syphilis.

    I have yet to hear any homosexual activist complain about the bigoted refusal to do likewise for a disease that mostly kills homosexuals.

  11. Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

    (Or are there feminists protesting the treatment of women under Sharia law of which I am unaware?)

    Are you aware of protestations like this post at the Ms. Magazine blog? It is a pretty typical example. Leftwing feminist opposition to the treatment of women under Sharia law is not hard to find. Here are a few more examples.

    The first time I recall hearing about the Afghanistan Taliban was around 1998 in a petition circulated by leftwing feminists protesting the treatment of women there. Obviously that’s not the first time that criticism of the Taliban appeared in the West. I mention it only as evidence that feminist criticism of Sharia has always had some prominence, if you’re following feminist discourse.

    • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

      We are aware. Perhaps too aware to take such protestations seriously, for we also saw the Leftwing feminists fight with all their power against our efforts in the Middle East. They abandoned their avowed principles the minute those principles would have had them working with Republicans. Coupled with their new found “One Grope Rule”, many of us think that the Leftwing feminists public goals are a lie, and they are nothing more then an other empty Communist cat’s paw.

      • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

        we also saw the Leftwing feminists fight with all their power against our efforts in the Middle East.

        I’m not sure what you mean by “our efforts”. Possible distinct readings include American military action and Church evangelism. Would you be more specific?

        • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

          “The War on Terror” is what I am referencing. The 180 was stunning to watch.

          • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

            By saying that there was a “180”, do you mean that there was some position, relevant to the War on Terror, that feminist used to support directly, but which they now oppose directly? What was this position on which they reversed direction?

            • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

              Yes. The feminists wanted the sexism of the Middle East dealt with, up to the point where W started to do so, at which point they marched against “The War for Oil”. Not a word was heard from NOW when millions of Iraqi women voted…..

              “Free Tibet!”…..

              • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

                Can you give an example of a method by which they used to “[want] the sexism of the Middle East dealt with”, but which they no longer want? If they opposed Bush-style methods prior to Bush’s using them, then that doesn’t really count as a 180.

                • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

                  One need only look at how NOW reacted to “Honor Killings” before the Democrats turned against “The War on Terror” for partisan political gain. And really. “Bush style methods”? Can you give an example of such? Anything close to Obama’s murder by drone? Any sign that the “Anti-war movement” grew in strength after the Democrats betrayed them so? Bush’s methods were the gentlest in history, much to the pain of our esteemed host. No, if you are reduced to complaining about W’s “Methods”, then you have left the field in disarray.

                  • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

                    One need only look at how NOW reacted to “Honor Killings” before the Democrats turned against “The War on Terror” for partisan political gain.

                    I am not aware of a change in NOW’s reaction to honor killings. Could you be more specific? The kind of specificity I’m looking for would include (1) an example of NOW’s former reaction (in their own words) and (2) an example of NOW’s latter reaction (again in their own words). Alternatively, you could point to one of NOW’s reactions prior to the alleged “180”, and then point to a lack of any similar reaction after the alleged “180”.

                    And really. “Bush style methods”? Can you give an example of such?

                    The phrase was meant to denote and connote things similar to what you said “W started to do”, where “similar” is understood in whatever sense you intended when you spoke of a “180”. The phrase was not meant to be pejorative. (I’m surprised that it was taken that way, but I will try harder to avoid the implication in the future.)

                    I used the phrase “Bush style methods” instead of “Bush’s methods” only because Bush’s methods could be neither supported nor opposed until Bush began to pursue them, at least not without the aid of an uncommon ability to predict the future in detail. I had asked you for an example of a “180”, and obviously such an example would be impossible if I required you to find a case of NOW supporting Bush’s specific methods before Bush was even on the scene. In fairness, I could only ask you for an example of NOW supporting something like what Bush eventually pursued (and then later opposing similar methods once Bush actually pursued them). Hence the need for the more general phrase “Bush style methods”.

                    • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

                      Tricky. NOW is a leftist organization, and lies come easily to them. For example, you brought up Feminist objections to Sharia law. But talk is cheap. Where are the actions to back up the words? Why, at Augusta National. Can you show me that NOW cares more about Sharia law then a golf course? And this was going on during actions that gave millions of women the right to vote and legal protections. Can you show me that NOW cared more about Iraqi women getting the right to vote (Theoretically the reason we have feminists) then about golf? Augusta National was news for months. Again, “Free Tibet”. If you say “Free Tibet”, but object to any human way to achieve that goal, then you are lying, if only to yourself.

                      Of course “Bush style methods” is going to be seen as a pejorative. There were no Bush style methods, nothing new or unique to W’s actions. What you should of said is that NOW objected to the method of War, which you can’t do, because NOW is quite happy with WWII, and it’s causing women to enter the industrial work force in millions. NOW didn’t march against Obama’s Libyan actions. So right there we have your asked for example, NOW reacting to Iraq vs. NOW reacting to Libya. Particularly sad, because destroying the government and leaving the innocent to burn in the chaos is not SOP for America, and could certainly be called the Obama method.

                    • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

                      Why, at Augusta National. Can you show me that NOW cares more about Sharia law then a golf course?

                      The “N” in “NOW” stands for “National”, so I’m not so bothered by the fact that they devote more attention to “local” issues. They have objected to sharia law in Iraq, but only when such law is a direct consequence of US national policy, as befits an organization with “national” in its title. See this statement from 2005:

                      An even greater injustice is about to be imposed on our sisters in Iraq, and with the support of the Bush administration. The current draft of the new Iraqi constitution states that “Islam is the official religion of the state and is a basic source of legislation” and that “No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam.” This is likely to result in religious rule over women’s rights in areas of marriage, divorce, custody and inheritance rights. If that is the case, the women of Iraq will be taking a giant step backward.

                      But something you wrote above seems to me like it needs to be addressed before we continue to discuss NOW and Iraq:

                      If you say “Free Tibet”, but object to any human way to achieve that goal, then you are lying, if only to yourself.

                      Is that a general principle for you? That may be the root of our disagreement. I’m not sure how we can converse productively on any particular case (e.g., NOW and Iraq) if we disagree on such a basic general principle.

                      I want to make sure that I am not misunderstanding you, because the statement you make above strikes me as bizarre. Abstract away from irrelevant particulars. If I assert, “Agent A ought to perform action B”, am I committed to supporting any “human way” by which a third party C might force A to do B? I cannot honestly object to anything that C might do to make A do B? (In your quote above, we can set A=China, B=”Free Tibet”, and C=”United States Military”.)

                      (Also, I’m taking your “human way” to mean “humanly possible way”, but maybe you meant to write “humane way”. Is that what you meant? In that case, this might be a debate about whether, e.g., the invasion of Iraq was humane.)

                    • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

                      Ah, things get deep. By your reasoning, nothing in the title, National Organization of Women, refers to War or Foreign policy or Oil, etc, etc, and so they should have had nothing to say about the War on Terror. Oops. And, of course, your post which started this thread, about feminists unhappy with Sharia Law, is a nonstarter as well. Come now, you don’t believe that, and they don’t believe that. NOW threw a tantrum about a golf course because W was doing great work in the Middle East, liberating women and giving them the vote. They should have been cheering, but that would put them in the Republican camp, which was more then those poor little tribal souls could bear. Thus Augusta. A classic case of displacement. Proven by the fact that Augusta is still men only, but is no longer an issue for NOW. The only change is a Democrat is president(And a Big golfer. What a opportunity in the right hands!)……

                      It is a general principle, but not in the way you seem to be reading it. You may be too young to understand, but this is a very common, very annoying passive-aggressive tactic. “What do you want to eat”? “Oh, I don’t care”. “Ok, pizza it is!”. “No, had pizza yesterday”. “Ok, how about chicken?”. “Oh, so much grease?”. “Right. So, what do you want to eat?”. “Oh, I don’t care, I’m not picky”. Anything in a Goldylocks sense, not a Stalin sense. Much like the Democrats objecting to the Republican budget. They haven’t passed a budget in three years (Which is not allowed by the Constitution) but the Republican budget is hateful, wrong, evil, bad, etc. If you just sit there shooting down solutions, refusing to offer one of your own, I don’t take you seriously.

                    • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

                      By your reasoning, nothing in the title, National Organization of Women, refers to War or Foreign policy or Oil, etc, etc, and so they should have had nothing to say about the War on Terror.

                      I would be surprised if NOW officially said much at all about the War on Terror apart from its direct impact on women. Am I mistaken?

                      And, of course, your post which started this thread, about feminists unhappy with Sharia Law, is a nonstarter as well.

                      I don’t follow. Could you elaborate on your reasoning?

                      NOW threw a tantrum about a golf course because W was doing great work in the Middle East, liberating women and giving them the vote.

                      This causal claim does not look plausible to me. Do you believe that NOW would have complained less about Augusta National, had Bush not gone into Iraq? That seems highly unlikely to me. I agree that there may be a correlation of timing, but that is a long way from demonstrating causation when so many other causal factors may have played a role.

                      You may be too young to understand, but this is a very common, very annoying passive-aggressive tactic.

                      Okay, so the analogous thing would be to find NOW saying that they would support anything, sight unseen, that anyone did to give Iraqi women the vote. Did they do this?

                    • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

                      Yes, you are mistaken. http://www.now.org/press/01-07/01-24a.html.

                      You implied that The National Organization of Women was a fascist movement, that the smallest national issue trumps, for them, any issue about women not in the Nation. Sharia law is not an “National issue” for America, so by your rules they are not honest in their concerns.

                      Augusta Nation has been “Men’s only” for almost eighty years. NOW made it a national issue only during the Iraq war, when W was doing the work they should have been cheering. Not before, or after. Again, if they were honest about it as an issue, they should be working with Obama, a huge golfer, to deal with the problem. You may see no problem, but I can’t help but wonder why the dog did not bark…….

                      Again, no. You are implying, perhaps, that NOW was worried that W was going to rape all the women, enslave them and murder all the children and men, and so begged off committing to the war. If this were the case, would we not see an apology from them, once we saw that W waged, perhaps, the most gentle war in history? There was nothing out of line in how W went to war, or how he waged it. For NOW to object, they would have to be against the concept of War itself, which I have shown is not the case.

                    • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

                      Yes, you are mistaken. http://www.now.org/press/01-07/01-24a.html.

                      I’m afraid that what you cite as disproof looks to me like confirmation. I said that “…apart from its direct impact on women”, and, indeed, NOW felt the need to include the following:

                      NOW’s stance against the Iraq war dates back to 2002, when on the eve of the Iraq invasion and occupation we expressed our opposition to military action. We knew then as we know now, as stated in a resolutions approved by our membership, that women bear additional personal costs in patriarchal wars that ruin their country’s physical infrastructure, destabilize their economy, destroy their homes and kill and maim children and families. Eighty percent of the world’s refugees and displaced persons are women and children. Women are victims of increased sexual abuse in areas of conflict and in the military, as we have seen here at home at military bases and recruitment centers, and in Iraq. Sexual violence and abduction of women and girls increase significantly under military occupation; perpetrators are rarely appreheded and prosecuted in such violent and hostile environments.

                      (Emphasis added.)

                      You implied that The National Organization of Women was a fascist movement, that the smallest national issue trumps, for them, any issue about women not in the Nation.

                      Fascists also think that the sky is blue on a clear day, but that doesn’t make everyone who thinks this a fascist. It is part of the human condition that our energies are usually more effective when they are focused nearby rather than far away. Fascists might have thought this, but that doesn’t make everyone who realizes this basic truth a fascist.

                      Sharia law is not an “National issue” for America, so by your rules they are not honest in their concerns.

                      I’m sorry, but I again don’t follow your reasoning. How is it that my “rules” imply this?

                      Again, no. You are implying, perhaps, that NOW was worried that W was going to rape all the women, enslave them and murder all the children and men, and so begged off committing to the war.

                      Err, what? You completely lost me. At any rate, I was not implying anything like what you suggested.

                    • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

                      Very pretty, but it’s very easy to fit a lie to a hidden agenda. Do you have anything to show a similar level of passion involving Clinton’s Bosnia mess, or Obama’s Libyan mess, both actions with a much stronger effect on women? Show me that NOW has a foreign policy that hurts Leftists as well as presidents who give the vote to millions of women.

                      Be that as it may, fascist movements exalt the nation, as you implied NOW did, when you tried to cover for them ignoring the liberation of millions of women because “they were busy protesting a private golf course”. I claim that NOW is a front organization for Leftists. You are making them inhuman with this claim. Perhaps you should stop “defending” them……

                      Obviously, if the freedom of millions of women, to vote, to walk freely, from the Rape Rooms of the Saddam regime, is unimportant to NOW because, hello, NATIONAL organization of women, then Sharia is not an issue for them, because Sharia law is not an American problem. Just pointing out how silly your attempted defense of NOW was in context.

                      Yes you were. I was quite clear about the context of “Anything”, and you continue to act like you don’t understand. Again, the feminists didn’t do anything to advance the Iraq war (The absolute minimum, to not commit money or time, but just to applaud W’s success in freeing millions of women). You keep trying to reinterpret this as the feminists did nothing because “Anything” includes unspeakable horrors (“What if we allowed W to free millions of women, and it turned out that he was successful because he sacrificed millions of souls to Satan? I mean, that’s part of “Anything”, right?”). I know you’re playing at ignorance, anyone that bad at reading wouldn’t be able to function on the Internet.

                    • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

                      Yes you were… I know you’re playing at ignorance, anyone that bad at reading wouldn’t be able to function on the Internet.

                      The point where my interlocutor tells me that I said what he says I said, instead of what I say I said — that is the point where I usually realize that I’m not getting enough out of the conversation to justify continuing it. This time is no exception.

                    • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

                      “Anything in a Goldylocks sense, not a Stalin sense.” from me, you respond with “Okay, so the analogous thing would be to find NOW saying that they would support anything, sight unseen”. The metaphor was given context, defined, and you ignored that. I am not claiming to read your mind, but you are playing at being willfully ignorant. I understand your need to retreat. Claiming a trivial golf course trumps the freedom of millions of women is an unhappy task.

      • Comment by Stephen J.:

        Let us be fair — it is possible to condemn a particular injustice without agreeing that a particular proposed policy addressing that injustice is practically effective, morally acceptable, or both. You may not be able to treat a fever yourself, but you can certainly object to a doctor treating it if you think he’s a quack.

        That said, it’s also difficult not to become skeptical of any moral outrage seen to be selectively disengaged as politically convenient, too. Protesting more loudly about American military presence than about the women they’re trying to help is one thing; not protesting at all about sexual philandering when the politicians doing it vote the right way is another.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      Not being a reader of MS magazine, no I was not aware. I am more than pleased to hear that some feminists are actually feminists. My faith in mankind is restored. Thank you.

  12. Comment by Malcolm Smith:

    We are fighting the wrong enemy if we fight the homosex lobby.

    Absolutely. It is important to note that the homosex lobby is simply the spear tip of a much larger lobby. Those who support it do so because they are really after complete sexual licence. Should anyone doubt this, I suggest a simple experiment: next time you hear people carrying on about homosexual “rights”, ask them: “Do you agree that sex was intended for marriage (as traditionally accepted), and outside of marriage it is morally wrong?”
    Of course, they will deny it. They have to. So then the next question is: “So, exactly what sexual practices between consenting adults, if any, would you consider morally wrong?”
    Probably to save face, they will have to nominate something: perhaps incest, prostitution, even adultery. But as soon as they nominate anything, they will be on the horns of a dilemma, because they will then have to admit there is a specific purpose or function for sex. What is it?
    (For an answer, I suggest you go back to John’s Apologia pro Opere Sui in his Live Journal of 9.18.09. As an ethologist, I would have come to the same conclusions, but using biological arguments.)

    • Comment by Stephen J.:

      Mr. Wright’s Apologia actually addresses this answer, but most people would probably claim that they saw no moral wrongness in any sexual practice between consenting adults qua itself; that the harmfulness of things like incest, prostitution and adultery come not from the sexual activity in itself, but from aspects of the situation which could in principle be remedied.

      Adultery is wrong not because of the sex but because of the promise-breaking and deception; if both partners consented to the other straying and took no offense, it would not be wrong. Incest is wrong not because of the sex but because of the potential for genetically burdening inbred offspring, or because of the power dynamics that inhere between different generations; if these factors did not apply it would not be wrong. Prostitution is wrong not because of the sex but because of the exploitation and the risks; if prostitutes could work legally and claim valid government protection, it would not be wrong. And so on, the thinking goes.

      To my mind this logic is something like insisting that it is perfectly “moral” to leave your child unbuckled in a car so long as you can guarantee never having an accident: Correct in a technical sense, while utterly ignoring how reality (and people) actually work. The idea that sexual activity in and of itself has objective, consistent, permanent psychological effects on people, and that those effects occur regardless of what we wish or believe about sex itself, is very hard to get people to grasp.

      • Comment by The OFloinn:

        Indeed. Because they do not grasp the human being as a whole entity, meaning both as a unity and as one of the community. They actually think such things as sexual activity are separable.

        • Comment by Malcolm Smith:

          You are quite right, of course; that is exactly how the free-lusters would argue. My point was, that once they introduce promise breaking, exploitation, risks to children, and so forth, they ultimately have to face the issue of what the function of sex is all about. And don’t get me started on the risks, deception, and exploitation involved in same sex sexual relations.

      • Comment by John C Wright:

        “Adultery is wrong not because of the sex but because of the promise-breaking and deception; if both partners consented to the other straying and took no offense, it would not be wrong.”

        Unfortunately, I think you have summed up in this one sentence the blindness and selfishness as well as the stupidity of modern moral and ethical thinking. It moors the ethics of man merely to the will, and says that whatso men consent to, this is good.

        This view offers no argument against a mutual suicide pact or a contract to grind the bodies of loved ones into hamburger and feast on them at the wake, even though this is the very definition of a self-destructive or self-degrading behavior.

        As an Ayn Rand fan, I notice the difference between theory and practice. In theory, her moral code held there to be nothing wrong with adultery, just as you said, if all parties agree. In practice, it turned two of her best friends into lifelong enemies, turned love into hate, and turned her husband into a cuckold and a fool, and herself into an adulteress. No one after such a debacle should take such shallow theorizing to heart ever again.

        And nearly all the modern thinkers would agree with this Nietzschean “triumph-of-the-will” subjective (ergo nihilist) view of morals (or, to be precise, excuses to elude morals).

        It is all theory without practice, verbiage without wisdom. No one can live this way without embracing self inflicted misery.

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