Posted by: readerjohn | July 27, 2014

Sunday 7/27/14

  1. A world full of first-week 1Ls
  2. Where does your logic lead?
  3. Excessively rational?
  4. NYT’s dehumanizing reductionism
  5. Factoids about the Faith and Family Folks
  6. Kudos to the ignorant but sincere freak
  7. When is a Speech Plagiarized?
  8. A long line of bad choices
  9. The Good Shepherd panders to his sheep

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Posted by: readerjohn | July 26, 2014

Saturday, 7/26/14

  1. “Traditional Christianity” in public parlance
  2. Damon Linker commits facile moral equivalence
  3. How Nominalism mutes us
  4. Oregonians for Kids Because Science
  5. Neocons for Belligerence Because Russia
  6. Elder Epiphanios’ words to live by (especially today)

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Posted by: readerjohn | July 24, 2014

Wednesday, 7/24/14

  1. The foes of conservatism
  2. “Liturgy” isn’t liturgy
  3. Friends don’t let friends matriculate in the Ivy League
  4. An expensive endeavor
  5. Imposing religion
  6. Gawd’s furrin policy

I happen to be on a bit of a run, but I’m still not ready to return to constant daily blogging. We’ll see. I, too, am trying to live well and balanced.

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Posted by: readerjohn | July 22, 2014

Emperor Barry’s Religious Establishment

  1. Unitarian Theocrats Enthroned Monday
  2. BFOQ’s two-word defense
  3. Are black people really white?

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Posted by: readerjohn | July 22, 2014

Tuesday, 7/22/14

  1. Salt of the Earth
  2. Those Poor Middle East Christians
  3. Enough already!
  4. Every silver lining has a cloud
  5. A bad bet we keep making
  6. Love ain’t love
  7. The Wisdom of Bodies
  8. 1 for 806

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Posted by: readerjohn | July 21, 2014

Monday, 7/21/14

  1. God can’t be bracketed
  2. Large and startling figures
  3. “Contraceptives”: What do manufacturers and FDA say?
  4. Positive Rights
  5. The Church ain’t no club, idiot
  6. Slaves of a violent god

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Posted by: readerjohn | July 18, 2014

Friday, 7/18/14

  1. Writing versus other callings
  2. Equality gone wild
  3. Siriusly Stultifying
  4. Proof of God

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Posted by: readerjohn | July 12, 2014

What is Marriage?

My apologies to Robert P. George, Ryan Anderson and Sherif Girgis for the caption. They’re almost completely innocent of what follows.

During a period of wakefulness in the night, in the dark and quiet, I was trying to figure out what marriage is if it isn’t what mankind had always thought it was. I came up with this this working definition: “Marriage is that institution of which it is irrational to think that it requires opposite sexes.”

Call me a curmudgeon, but that seems to be a bit thin. But this item was a couple of days in the making, and it unfolds.

Wikipedia says marriage “is a socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws.” I can already see some reason in that definition for thinking that marriage does require opposite sexes. I trust you can, too.

It took me a few days (from first draft of this) to get around to reading the decision that struck down my state’s marriage law, but here seems to be the judge’s tacit conception of marriage:

[A] public commitment to form an exclusive relationship and create a family with a partner with whom the person shares an intimate and sustaining emotional bond.

I think the judge just described a wedding, not a marriage,but never mind.

But I can’t “never mind” that this tacit judicial definition follows hard on the heels of the Judge’s insistence (based on SCOTUS precedent) that the law cannot be based on morality. So we can strike the “exclusive” from “exclusive relationship” without even dredging up the usual talking points about gay male promiscuity.

And the judge knows that same-sex couples can’t procreate together, so I’m a little fuzzy on what “create a family” means. Sorry if that sounds disrespectful, but I’m at least equal opportunity tactless: I don’t consider childless opposite-sex couples a “family,” either, but just a “couple.”

And there’s nothing on the marriage license interrogating couples about the intimacy or sustaining value of their emotional bond. I think the judge just made that up.

So we’re left, I think, with “a public commitment to form a relationship with a partner.” Kinda like a partnership agreement. A domestic partnership agreement. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

I could go on about the expansiveness of the decision, but, heck: the judge says “the history of our Constitution . . . is the story of the extension of constitutional rights and protections to people once ignored or excluded,” and that’s pretty clearly meant to be open-ended. I assume he’s smart enough to know that his expansiveness is vague enough to be cited, in due course, to justify extending “the right to make a public commitment to form an exclusive relationship and create a family with some folks with whom the person shares an intimate and sustaining emotional bond.”

I’m really not being facetious. I don’t think the new judicial concept of marriage satisfies the standards upon which he judge in the same opinion struck down my state’s concept.

Quite apart from speculation about slippery slopes, it’s just plain disorienting to have a federal judge say that one characteristic of marriage is irrational, then proffer a disingenuous new definition which includes the same fatal defects of occult morality, sloppy tailoring, and both over- and under-inclusiveness when questioned by loving threesomes, foursomes and so forth.

I hope you can understand my resultant inclination to remain irrational and risk the scorn of my black-robed masters.

* * * * *

“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.

Posted by: readerjohn | July 11, 2014

Friday, 7/11/14

  1. How will history rhyme next time?
  2. Flash! NPR Story that makes people stupider!
  3. Ignorance so baffling it defies a headline writer
  4. Siri, the 6-year-old’s oracle

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Posted by: readerjohn | July 10, 2014

Thursday, 7/10/14

  1. Won the battle. Will we lose the war?
  2. And now for something completely counter-hegemonic
  3. Designing better than they know
  4. [Mumble] Amazon retreat [Grumble]
  5. How does a “Moral Matrix” form?

Read More…

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