Dumb quote of the day--not this same tired shit edition

>> Monday, February 27, 2012

"While same sex couples may share love, they cannot create children, and therefore they don’t qualify, they don't fit the definition of marriage and that's why the Catholic Church is firmly for the marriage amendment, for traditional marriage."
-David Hains of the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, as quoted by NewsChannel 36 Staff,
"Same sex marriage debate heats up in Charlotte", MSNBC,
February 26th, 2012.


This one's a local item. As some of you may already know, and may or may not care, North Carolina's newly (2010)-Republican (as of the 2010 election) recently decided that in a state flirting with double-digit unemployment (we just recently got it under 10%), the biggest, most important, highest priority issue is a state constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage, which is already illegal under state law.

This is what happens when you replace a scandalously corrupt legislature with one that is simply dumb. The former occupants of the state house here were, at least, sort of competent.

I cannot tell you just how sick I am of stupid arguments like Hains', quoted above. We all know, of course, that all sorts of couples can't produce children. Post-menopausal women can't produce kids, obviously, nor men with absurdly low sperm counts and/or defective sperm. Nor women who have undergone tubal ligation, men who have had vasectomies, women who have had hysterectomies, men who have suffered testicular damage or removal, et al. Hains' so-called "argument" isn't so much an argument for a same-sex-marriage ban as it is an argument for making fertility tests a prerequisite for issuance of a marriage license, which frankly sounds like the kind of thing an old-school unreconstructed eugenicist from the 1920s would have been perking his ears up at more than the kind of thing I presume the Church wants to associate with.

And we all know that, of course. The Church and other opponents of same-sex marriage aren't really up in arms over procreation (although it's obviously a pet issue of theirs, c.f. the ruckus over birth control and abortion): if they were, they'd be boycotting the weddings of every adorable elderly couple who met in a nursing home instead of agreeing with all the world that such events are "cute" and "romantic", etc.; per Hains' argument, a 90-year-old widower wedding a 91-year-old widow because they want to spend their last couple of years together isn't a charming story, it's an affront to God and spittle in Jesus' eye.

And naturally we can demolish the logic in the other direction: there's no physiological reason gay couples can't avail themselves of most of the same medical technology that's become commonplace for couples with fertility problems. Sperm donors, surrogate mothers, all of that. Nor are their rational (as opposed to arbitrary and capricious legal) objections to such couples adopting, which isn't procreation per se but is certainly something these conservatives are always saying they want to see more of.

You might think these fools would get sick of soundings stupid all the time.

Here's what I would like to hear Hains say: I would like him to honestly just admit that buttsex freaks him out and the idea of two dudes going at it squicks him out, even in the context of a loving monogamous, exclusive, loving relationship, and that the thought of it bestirs in him such an irrepressible, irrational and confessedly unjustifiable disgust and bigotry that even his ideas about Christian love and notions of others' privacy can't tamp down the bile that rises in his gorge over the whole thing. It would be a refreshing change to hear him and his ilk admit they're a lot of hateful prudes instead of regurgitating the same old ridiculous canards while demurring that they do, indeed, love the sinner while they hate the sin.

Oh, good grief: they don't even know if the sin is occurring. There are plenty of happily married couples who don't even have sex at all.

You know, I take it back. What I'd really like to hear Hains and the rest say is nothing. I'd like them all to shut the hell up if they don't have anything sensible to offer.




If you're a North Carolina resident and eligible to vote, this gay-bashing amendment is up for the vote on Tuesday, May 8th, 2012. Please get out to your polling place that day and help kill this wretched tumor before it attaches itself to our state laws. Thank you.


4 comments:

Leanright,  Monday, February 27, 2012 at 10:22:00 AM EST  

Curious post of the day - "What did you expect David Hains of the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte to say?

I'm against the banning of same sex marriage, but Eric, this is a "man of the cloth" from the Catholic Church. Of COURSE this is what he's going to say. He'll probably come out and say something snarky about abortion next! Crazy!

But yeah, get out there and vote on, what is it, May 8th?

Eric Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:48:00 AM EST  

Dave, if he can't say something intelligent, I'd expect him to say nothing at all. The problem for Hains is that he can't say anything that is both intelligent and that passes muster under American law.

I.e. he is welcome to say something along the lines of, "Church law defines Marriage as a sacrament to be administered by the Roman Catholic Church, and therefore the Mother Church shall set the prerequisites, terms and conditions of Marriage as she sees fit, much as the Church defines, regulates and administers the other sacraments, such as Confession and the Eucharist." Which is a perfectly cromulent and actually intelligent argument, but for the fact that Hains knows perfectly well that North Carolina (and every other state in the country) is not following Church law, nor is the secular institution of marriage formally related to the Catholic sacrament of marriage in any way but the most superficial. Acknowledging that secular law merely has a grudging tolerance for Catholic capital-M Marriage as a ceremony associated with the secular processes of licensing and witnesses, etc., and that secular law is perfectly willing to ignore Catholic law when it comes to everything else--specifically to ending marriages (Marriage, of course, is only terminated by annulment or death)--that's a losing argument that diminishes the Church's pretensions of authority, and Hains probably knows it. Because not only does that argument, perfectly valid in its premises and conclusions, not win any secular recognition, it doesn't even win any points with the Catholics' ostensible co-religionists, the Protestants who don't recognize Papal authority in their sacraments, either.

So Hains makes a broadly appealing argument that is utterly retarded and easily demolished. He doesn't have to say something stupid. But he chose to, and I think it's fair game as a dumb quote. Especially since he isn't the only one who makes this tired, ridiculous argument about the purpose of marriage being procreation.

(That argument, by the way, isn't just an affront to gays and lesbians: it's also a slight against straights who can't have or don't want children, but would like to get married anyway for sentimental or legal reasons.)

Let's have a reality check, here: it is highly improbable that any couple, gay or straight, would go and try to get married in a church that doesn't want them. And if, for some stupid reason, the couple did try that, there's no reason a church of whatever stripe couldn't turn them down; I'm not Catholic, my girlfriend isn't Catholic, none of our immediate family are Catholic, I can't imagine we'd go to a Catholic church if we wanted to get married and I don't see why the Church would have to let us defile their sacraments by marrying us against their own tenets and articles of faith.

So what Hains et al. are trying to ban isn't the religious institution they're all so inordinately proud of. (Inordinately, yes: I think serial philanderer Newt Gingrich is clearly a bigger threat to the Catholic sacrament of marriage than every gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or what-have-you in the United States put together; but I imagine the Church still hasn't excommunicated him even though his divorce would have been grounds for it once-upon-a-time.) What Hains and his ilk are trying to ban is the secular institution--the license, the justice of the peace, the legal recognition given to spouses, etc. Of course, they're doing that to try to protect their long-lost legal authority: they wish they could still make a head of state crawl to Rome on his hands and knees (the Catholics' Protestant counterparts no doubt have similarly impotent fantasies of the days church officers' held similar sway). But they don't get to do that, do they?

Tom Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 4:00:00 PM EST  

Thanks, Eric! Your comment was even better than the original post. By the end you had me grinnin' and chuckelin'.

Eloquent and intelligent! Yay!

Warner Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 11:17:00 AM EST  

I believe, and am not going to check, that Newt's first two marriages were before he became Catholic. If true they don't count. 30+ years ago a Catholic girl friend checked on this as I had been married and was either divorced or in the process.

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