Monday, September 15, 2008

Men in dresses defend marriage

Do as I say, not as I do

Religion was simpler when I believed in revealed truth. Unfortunately, revealed truth was often manifest stupidity. That makes it more difficult to cling to, so perhaps we should be impressed by those whose faith can overcome the sheer inanity of it. After all, don't we admire people who are willing to sacrifice themselves for a sacred cause?

Yeah. Not so much anymore.

The Catholic Church is trying to throw its weight around in the battle over Proposition 8 on the California general election ballot in November. If it passes, Proposition 8 overturns the state supreme court ruling establishing same-sex marriages by placing a ban in the California constitution. That would trump the state supreme court and end the Golden State's experiment with marital equality. The Catholic Church is an enthusiastic fan of traditional marriage and its celibate priesthood is girding for the fight to pass Proposition 8.

Yes. Unmarried men in dresses are among the Church's shock troops in the war to enshrine the one-man/one-woman definition of marriage. Clever.

Bishop Allen Vigneron of the Oakland diocese is one of the generals trying to lead Catholic voters into the polling stations to cast their ballots for Proposition 8. He issued a pastoral letter in the wake of the supreme court ruling that politically minded Catholics are citing as an inspirational blast of the trumpet of traditionalism. Vigneron warns his readers of the consequences of losing in the attempts to re-establish monogamous heterosexual marriage as the only sanctioned marital union:
If such efforts fail, our way of life will become counter-cultural, always a difficult situation for Christians—one our forebears faced in many ages past, one that the Lord himself predicted for us.
“Counter-cultural”? Does His Excellency actually think that old-fashioned man-woman marriage will be abandoned in the wake of Proposition 8's defeat? No doubt society will rise up in opposition to the marriage of straight couples. Heck, the fifty percent failure rate shows that it doesn't work very well anyway. May as well give it up. Counter-cultural.

And what's this “our way of life” business? Vigneron's bachelorhood is part of his career; the wedded way of life is entirely foreign to him. (Of course, he can see married couples from his vantage point in the episcopal see of Oakland, sort of like Gov. Palin can see Russia from her perch in Alaska.) It seems we must construe “way of life” broadly if it is to include bishops.

Finally, Vigneron points out that Christ himself predicted that the Church would fall into the “difficult situation” of opposing the dominant culture. Does His Excellency think he can avert Christ's oracular pronouncement? Maybe Catholics can learn a lesson from the Protestants who cheer every report of famine and disaster and war because they consider catastrophe a prerequisite for the Second Coming. Embrace same-sex marriage (though not too literally), Your Excellency. Otherwise you risk making Jesus a liar.

Vote No on Proposition 8!


Nino (n1n0) said...

hey! nice banner!

Sili said...

The good bishop can't have much respect for 'traditional marriage' if he considers it so vulnerable if an alternative is presented.

Is he perhaps repressing something? We have to keep teh ghey down, or everybody will want some of that delicious, firm, tan man-meat ...

Zeno said...

I don't know, Sili. Altar boys have traditionally been quite pale, although that's no longer the hard and fast rule that it seemed to be in my youth.

Interrobang said...

Same-sex marriage has been legal here for years, and despite the TSX having gone down some womdigious amount this morning, life is stll going on...

I'm still waiting for one of these types to really genuinely explain how gay people being allowed to marry other gay people somehow does something to the idea of straight people marrying other straight people. So far...


The Ridger, FCD said...

I believe a study published in the WSJ sometime last showed the in Scandinavia, hetero marriage went up in some countries, and divorce declined ... Surely requiring marriage for the civil benefits can only work to marriage's benefit?

But as usual, it's not really about "defending marriage" - it's about hating gays.

The Ridger, FCD said...

damn. [use preview]. "showed that in Scandinavia"...

BC Cook said...

Most conservatives have a very poor opinion of traditional marriage.
They opposed the Equal Rights Amendment because it would mean the end of marriage. (After all, if a woman didn't need a man to survive economically, why would she get/stay married?)
This extends of course to the question of same-sex marriage. They long for the days when gays "knew their place" -- i.e., in the closet.
I live in a small town in British Columbia. Last week, the local weekly carried a big announcement of the engagement of -- wait for it -- two (not young) MEN!
And you know what? The sky hasn't fallen, people haven't marched on the newspaper office with torches and pitchforks. No, in fact the only reaction I encountered was my neighbor who said "Isn't that just the sweetest thing?!"
When people get hysterical, point up to the Great White North, Strong & Free. We've had same-sex marriage here for quite a while and heterosexuals continue to marry, babies continue to be born, and none of our banks are failing.

Kaleberg said...

As for that bumper sticker, "equality for all" is a wimpy slogan. Why not simply "save marriage"? That's what the fight against Prop 8 is about.

Karen said...

To take BC Cook's comment into the bumper sticker realm:

"Same Sex Marriage Prevents Bank Failure!"

Two totally unconnected issues, of course, but it just might win over some undecided Californians.

Speaking as a straight, married, middle-aged Californian, I'd MUCH rather think about gay marriage than, say, about the current state of my retirement investments. (SIGH.) I'm thinking of gay couples I haven't seen in years, and wondering if they're still together (likely) and when and how they'll tie the knot, if they didn't do so already.