Wednesday, 7/15/15

  1. A Canon Lawyer’s take on SSM
  2. We piped for you …
  3. Moderation in all blogs?
  4. Morality as aesthetic habituation


A canon lawyer analyzes Why Same-Sex Couples Possess No Conjugal Rights and then responds to objections.

Put on your thinking cap and turn off the radio/iPhone/Pandora/Stitcher. His points are unfamiliar enough (including to me) to require concentration, which by no means invalidates them.


My, we are hard to please:

What mystifies me about many of Rod’s critics is this: It’s clear that they don’t want us traditional Christians as active participants in the public square – any hints that we’re attempting anything in that direction get us accused of seeking to impose theocracy – but when Rod instead articulates response to this that involves a measured withdrawal and increased attention to the stewardship of our own institutions and families, people complain that it’s nothing more than a petulant desire to take our toys and go home. And here I was thinking that that’s precisely what they want us to do! Why can’t they make up their d–n minds? Other than becoming just like you, other than converting us to holding your enlightened views, how would you suggest that we engage – or not – with culture and politics?

Rod’s critics think there’s value in a Native American community maintaining its cultural traditions, in an immigrant community maintaining its linguistic traditions, and in religious minorities (some longstanding, others – such as Muslim immigrants to Europe – relatively recent) maintaining distinct religious traditions. On the other hand, they think the beliefs and practices of traditional Christians valueless. That’s within their rights. But they could do us the favor of having the courage to say so, and then of saying no more, for, if they find our beliefs and practices ridiculous, what more is there for us to say to each other in a conversation devoted to figuring out how to carry these beliefs and practices forward?

(Reader Richao, quoted by Rod Dreher)

And finally, this from a reader in the DC area:

I thought you might enjoy a little analogy to some BenOp discussions:

A: Americans should get more exercise.

B: So what exercise program should they follow?

A: Well, that depends on a lot of factors.

B: So basically you are making an empty claim.

A: I don’t think so. People do need exercise. But not everyone needs exactly the same exercise.

B: Why do you think everyone should become an Olympic athlete?

A: I don’t.

B: You should stop saying everyone should become an Olympic athlete. At the very least, you should first define exercise in a completely unambiguous way.

A: I don’t think it’s possible or necessary for me to do that.

B: So you refuse to respond to criticism!

At a certain point, one begins to wonder whether B is being sincere. There are important questions that need to be raised about the BenOp, but B isn’t contributing to that at all.

(Rod Dreher)


I foolishly waded into an unmoderated comment section at National Review Online, to suggest that Maggie Gallagher had taken another author’s hyperbole about same-sex marriage and turned it into a falsehood, and found myself skimming over comments about “faggotry,” in comparison to which “sodomite” seems very mild. But then, on the terminology of sexual disorders, we’re hard to please, too.

Thanks to all the bloggers who moderate their comments, by the way.


Pedestrian as it is, [Fr. Paul F.] Morrisey’s article is worth reading for the insight it gives into the mindset of liberal Catholicism: It is really no different from the mindset of the secular world. Central to Morrisey’s case is the fact that many of us now know gay people and like them. “Liking” is the key concept here. If “liking” someone is the basis for affirming a sexual orientation, then ethics is really reduced to matters of personal preference. That is a dangerous position to hold. By the same aesthetic token, one could then argue that “disliking” someone offers a sufficient argument for outlawing some aspect of their behavior—an approach to ethical questions generally known as “bigotry.”

(Carl R. Trueman)

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.