Friday, May 14, 2010

Gay Marriage? A Insidious Threat To The Common Good, Or A Real Threat To The Celibate Priesthood

I suppose the one liner Benedict tossed out about the indissolubility marriage and the insidious threat other forms of relationship pose to the common good, was a last ditch attempt to convince Portugal's President Anibal Silva to veto Portugal's gay marriage law. It's a standard staple line which we have all heard countless times before and as such comes across to me as a half hearted attempt to underscore the position of Portugal's bishops. Besides, compared to heterosexual adultery, gay marriage is a non threat--and Benedict certainly knows this. Consequently, I found the Times headline to be misdirected.

Pope Decries Gay Marriage in Portugal Visit
By RACHEL DONADIO - New York Times - May 13, 2010

FÁTIMA, Portugal — Pope Benedict XVI used a famous Portuguese shrine to the Virgin Mary on Thursday as a stage to denounce abortion and gay marriage, just days before Portugal is expected to join five European countries that have legalized same-sex weddings. (This is the operative word for this whole trip--purposely using Fatima to shore up his popularity and authority.)
Pope Benedict XVI greeted Portugal’s President Anibal Cavaco Silva, left, at the end of a mass at the Catholic shrine of Fatima in central Portugal on Thursday.

In a speech here to Catholic social service groups, Benedict called for initiatives aimed at protecting “the family based on the indissoluble marriage between a man and a woman, help to respond to some of today’s most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good.”

He also said he expressed his “deep appreciation for all those social and pastoral initiatives aimed at combating the socioeconomic and cultural mechanisms which lead to abortion, and are openly concerned to defend life and to promote the reconciliation and healing of those harmed by the tragedy of abortion.” (Could this possibly be an admission that pursuing legal options are not the only way to reduce abortions? The real life facts show that the per capita percentage of abortions are significantly lower in countries where it's legal.)

The audience in a chapel at the shrine gave the pope a standing ovation.

The pope’s remarks came on the third day of a four-day visit aimed at shoring up Christian belief in increasingly secular Europe, although it has been somewhat eclipsed by the sexual-abuse scandal confronting the Vatican in recent weeks. Benedict also has used the visit to signal a more forceful tone in confronting the abuse, which he has called a “sin inside the church.”

Although it is 90 percent Catholic, Portugal has seen a notable shift away from Catholic teaching in recent years. The country legalized abortion in 2008 and its Parliament recently approved a bill permitting same-sex marriage. President Aníbal Cavaco Silva is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming days. (He might just as well sign it, because the votes exist to over ride a veto.)

The church has opposed the measure, but Portuguese society appears to be largely supportive.
Portugal would be the sixth country in Europe to legalize same-sex marriage, after the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Norway and Sweden. France and Denmark recognize same-sex unions, which convey many but not all of the rights enjoyed by married couples.

Throughout his five-year-old papacy, Benedict has endeavored to shape a new identity for the church as a “creative minority” in an increasingly secular Europe. On Thursday, he denounced “the pressure exerted by the prevailing culture, which constantly holds up a lifestyle based on the law of the stronger, on easy and attractive gain.”

The pope also told the social service groups to find alternatives to state financing so they would not be subject to legislation at odds with Catholic teaching, urging them to “ensure that Christian charitable activity is granted autonomy and independence from politics and ideologies, even while cooperating with state agencies in the pursuit of common goals.”

Addressing bishops later on Thursday, Benedict called for “authentic witnesses to Jesus Christ” in “those human situations where the silence of the faith is most widely and deeply felt: among politicians, intellectuals, communications professionals who profess and who promote a monocultural ideal, with disdain for the religious and contemplative dimension of life.” (Shock and awe, these are precisely the targeted groups of Opus Dei and the Legion.)

He added that “in such circles are found some believers who are ashamed of their beliefs and who even give a helping hand to this type of secularism, which builds barriers before Christian inspiration.” (How in the world is one not to be ashamed of what has come to light about the priorities of our Catholic leadership when these priorities are an absolute betrayal of the Gospel?)


One of the issues I feel that has been overlooked or underplayed, is the historical correlation of the timing between the vast exodus of priests--mostly straight--from the priesthood, and the sudden upsurge in anti gay rhetoric coming from the Vatican.

As Terrence Wheldon has pointed out today on his blog Queering the Church, this anti gay crusade is a recent historical phenomenon. I maintain one of the major reasons for Catholicism's sudden fixation on gays is not the sexual revolution. It is directly correlated to the slump in vocations and the massive increase in requests for laicization. I think it's related because gays are now the last best source of 'celibate' priests, and if the legal opposition and societal fear of homosexuality is not constantly reinforced, this source of vocations will become as dry a vine as the heterosexual source. I don't believe for one minute the supposed ban on gays in the priesthood exists in practice, except in the cases of overly 'effeminate' gay men.

If the ratio of gay to straight priests is really about 50/50, one of the major reasons is the exodus of straight men from the priesthood. The celibate priesthood is a dead idea amongst the vast majority of straight men, but in many countries it remains a path to acceptance and security for the gay male--especially in Latin America. Africa demonstrates the other path to maintaining the fantasy of the celibate priesthood by it's turning a blind eye to all the philandering and extra marital relationships of it's straight priests. Unfortunately, Africa's strategy is no longer really workable in Western society as it relies on the silent and complicit approval of the laity. The pedophile crisis has blown that kind of silent complicity off the table in the West.

It seems to me the message the Vatican is not hearing in the pedophile crisis is that their seminary program and theology of priesthood has drawn too many of the very people who do not belong in a leadership role in any spirituality---much less one dedicated to modeling the teachings and life of Jesus Christ. To be an effective model of His life and teachings calls for an unusual level of spiritual maturity, humility, courage, and service. None of these traits are dependent on sexual orientation (or gender), except in the sense that one's sexuality is oriented to the understanding that an equal relationship can not exist in the Roman Catholic priesthood when commitment to an honest open relationship is completely precluded. To orient otherwise is to orient to betrayal and hypocrisy, traits common to both gay and straight. Unfortunately, this preference for hypocrisy is the exact message given by the Vatican when it rapidly laicized thousands of priests who sought to take their relationships out of the shadows, and then dithered and dithered with laizing pedophile priests in order to keep their behavior in the shadows.

I understand that Catholicism's theology of sexuality and the priesthood is all wrapped up in notions of ritual sexual purity, but when that theology fosters so much corruption, deceit, misery, abuse, and hypocrisy maybe it's time to re evaluate the theology.

The problem in the West is not with sexual acts per se, as it is with committed relationships. This is why it's absurd to wage a campaign against gays who desire a formalized commitment for their relationships. If anything it is the gay marriage initiatives which are underlying the importance of committed relationships to the common good. This request truly runs as a counter witness to the prevailing acceptance of serial monogamy in heterosexual culture. After all it is this heterosexual trend which has statistically proven to be unhealthy for the common good.

It just seems to me that when looked at from an objective stance, gay marriage and gay acceptance is really a threat to the continued existence of the celibate priesthood, and that's the real motivation for the Vatican's sudden historical need to pound on the immorality of committed gay relationships and their 'threat' to the common good.


  1. I think you have a very correct estimate of the reason for the rise of anti-gay rhetoric coming from the Vatican when you say that if gay relationships are recognized and more of the stigma from being gay is removed, the celibate priesthood becomes less and less of an attractive alternative lifestyle.

    There could also be another reason for this rise in anti-gay Vatican rhetoric. Professor Mark Jordan from the Harvard Divinity School, who wrote The Silence of Sodom: Homosexuality in Modern Catholicism, suggests all the protests by popes, cardinals, and bishops against gays and gay marriage is an attempt to distract and hide from the laity the reality that there is a significant number of gay men in the priesthood and a strong element of homoeroticism in the Catholic Church. It could also be a sign of a seriously repressed sexuality.

    Colleen, you were wondering a few days ago whether Benedict could get through this trip without mentioning something about gays and gay marriage. You have your answer.

    A final note about Fatima and the month of May, a gay priest friend of mine is fond of telling the story of a friend of his who suggested the whole gay priest thing started with young boys and May Altars.

  2. So what you're saying is that if the Church weren't so "homophobic" there would be fewer gays wanting to become priests?

    Well, it could be worth a try. All those lawsuits are starting to get expensive. Even the Legionaries of Christ and their ilk aren't going to be able to keep those funds for sodomized seminarians going indefinitely.

    God bless!

    'Bye for now!

  3. That's part of it Glorfindel, but what I really mean to emphasise is if society isn't so anti gay relationship/homophobic the priesthood is no longer such an attractive option. The homophobia in the church is in service of the celibate priesthood, and as wild hair points out, designed to cover the fact the priesthood is very gay and High Church Anglicanism and Catholicism have a high degree of homoeroticism.

  4. As much as JP2 hated the communists I think the Portuguese (and Spanish for that matter) now hate the fascists that ruled, hand in glove with the Church for most of the last century. I have Iberian ancestry.

    So too JP2 misunderstood the politics of Latin America and liberation theology. Of course, it was seen through the dark lens of Sodano, Medina and Trujillo of Columbia, no friends of democracy or the people, who didn't mind using the Catholic Church to lend legitimacy to right wing dictators such as Pinochet.

    Based upon recent political events in Canada I think the Vatican prefers a mysterious sort of Orwellian character, like Emmanuel Goldstein, as its enemy. (Just as George Bush preferred the elusive Bin Laden to justify his evil.) That's the purpose of backing political losers like abortion and opposition to gay marriage.

    You're right Colleen, education, sex education, birth control and more than anything opportunity for girls and women to participate fully in society result in lower teen pregnancy rates, lower abortion rates, and a lower absolute number of abortions.

    If abortion was truly the enemy the Church would embrace feminism.

    Who cares about gays in the church or clergy? Homoerotic images? I don't.

    As for gay marriage? In Canada it is ironic that gay and lesbian people are embracing the institution when most straight people are abandoning it. If you want I can supply statistics.


  5. p2p, that's really a great point about Spain, Portugal, and some of the countries in Latin America who had the pleasure of living under fascist regimes who worked hand in glove with the Church. I can easily see where they might be as sick of fascism as Eastern Europeans were of communism.

    The frustrating thing about any reduction abortion statistics is that the really vocal pro lifers don't care about reduction. For some reason they truly believe a state of zero abortions is possible if abortion is criminalized. It doesn't seem any sort of logic can cut through the fallacy of that position.

  6. Last week I had a conversation with a teenage girl who is near and dear to me. Well it ended up being a lecture I enjoyed giving. The "pro-life" agenda is derived from the fifth commandment. Further Ex 23:7 says "Do not slay the innocent and the righteous."

    What then are we to think of the absolute prohibition of abortion when the Church has such a nuanced stance on war? Is it permissible to kill in some circumstances? When one's life is threatened? In self-defense etc.? Where is the prolonged loud outcry against the American war of aggression in Iraq? Where is the condemnation of the President Bush/Cheney et al by the UCSSB?

    What about the differences between what is right and wrong in law, morality and/or religion? Is it possible for a particular commission or omission to be illegal but moral? Legal but immoral? etc.

    You know the answer.

    Today you'll never see members of a Catholic pro-life group being arrested for protesting an unjust, illegal, immoral war that has destroyed millions of lives, ruined the moral integrity and finances of the United States. That's so '60's, the era of "hippies", promiscuity... at least that's how bow-tie wearing children of the children of the 60's imagine what it was like.

    But you and I know it was different back then. These "Alex P. Keaton" wannabes need to know about people like Fr. Daniel Berrigan SJ.


    OMG! The ghost is back...
    Word Verification: padred (Padre D) Alleluia, Amen!

  7. Colleen,

    The frustrating thing about any reduction abortion statistics is that the really vocal pro lifers don't care about reduction. For some reason they truly believe a state of zero abortions is possible if abortion is criminalized. It doesn't seem any sort of logic can cut through the fallacy of that position.

    That's a good point (though I would avoid calling them "pro-lifers" for that very reason). I think they see reduction strategies as a kind of compromise, and it doesn't bring the same feelings of righteousness that an uncompromising -- even if completely ineffective -- absolutist stand can bring.

  8. This is a very good article. It is food for thought. I am kind of iffy on the idea that homophobia will draw more men to the priesthood. Officially the Church doesn't want gay men in the priesthood. (Per Pope Benedict) But it seems that a lot just look that other way. With the abuse crisis, I think a married priesthood is in the wings. Plus we also have married priests who converted from the Episcopal Church, etc. In regard to the abortion issue. I think Roe vs. Wade was a huge mistake and caused a lot of damage. Within 2 years of Roe vs. Wade the number of births in the US dropped by half a million. As women born in the 1950's (the largest generation ever) were reaching child-bearing years, the number of births was going down. We are lucky that we sit next to Mexico because the US really hasn't had to pay the full price of Roe vs. Wade. Large numbers of immigrants have taken the place of those innocents whose lives were stolen from them in America's abortion mills.

  9. I have changed my position on abortion after seriously considering the case of conception by rape.
    Some politicians say (or used to) that they are against abortion "except in the case of rape or incest", but they support those who would close down abortion facilities entirely, which makes me think that theirs is the ultimate lip service to sexual abuse victims.
    Pressing the scholastic grid against the reality of conception via rape, firmly holding up the Catholic superego as a lens unto children conceived by way of violence and human disregard, I must conclude that we are not so apart; there are really no biological 'stops' and 'starts' by which we can determine 'life' and 'non-life'.
    The Old World was founded on rape, whether is be the creation of the natural world by Gods raping demi-goddesses or poor female mortals or the creation of human societies, such as in the case of the Rape of the Sabine Women.
    We truly live in a New World in which we strive to define ourselves, men and women, as equals. To that effect, reproductive rights must be protected.
    For example, the right-wing is conditioned to grow pallid at the phrase "population-control", but isn't that what every middle (and above) class family practices when they calculate the money and, more importantly, the time that they would be able to spend on a potential addition to their family? This is a reasonable and humane calculation based on the average cost-of-living, therefore, places with a lower cost-of-living have more children yet the Grand Inquisitors continue to believe that it's because the less industrialized parts of our world have "kept Gospel values."
    But they have a point! If only they could make it!
    Yes, we have more money, more things... yet why do we not have more leisure time, more social facilities??
    To delve into this is to criticize the forces of Capital (such as marketing) - yes, as Karl Marx pioneered, but by no means had the last word on. This is beyond our Church establishment. In fact, the Vatican actively worked to stamp out any theology inspired by marxian critique - often with deadly consequences. Those killed should have been burned at the stake instead of gunned down, if only for consistency's sake.

  10. @ Mareczku

    Whatever one's view of Roe v Wade the statistics don't support your argument.

    The birth rates (per 1,000 of population) have been declining in the USA since 1910. One could argue that many factors such as a decline in infant mortality and migration from farms to cities were factors in the first 50 years. Later would come birth control, feminism, abortion etc. Note that women were having fewer children per 1,000 population in the 1950's than their mothers and grandmothers had in 1910. (25 versus 30)

    The number of births depends on a variety of factors such as the number of women of childbearing age. If you want to look at the decline in life births in the USA you would be better to examine the data starting from 1960 with the introduction of the birth control pill. (Invented by a devout Catholic, John Rock. See: John Rock's Error

    I think the "abortion mill" argument is too simplistic. It is one factor among many. Note that the number of live births was declining by about 200,000 per year in the two years before Roe v Wade in 1973. The year you refer to, 1975, had the lowest number of births between 1950 and today. I'm a member of the baby boom and I recall young women were deferring marriage and childbirth at that time.

    What is undeniable is the decline in birth rate over the past 100 years, from 30.1 births per 1,000 population to less than half that at 14.0 births per 1,000 population today.

    I don't understand your "Mexico" argument. The USA, with a much larger population, still had about 4.1 million births in 2005, about the same as the beginning and end of the baby boom of 1955-1962. But that doesn't represent growth in the population the way it did in the post war years.


  11. One of the other trends which is frequently overlooked is that in the sixties people started to have to relocate to follow the job market. That resulted in the loss of extended family relationships which meant raising children truly became a nuclear family event. Couple that with women having to go into the job market in order to sustain the 'American dream' and many of us think birth control came a long at the perfect time.

    People sometimes forget the women's movement was propelled by the concept of equal pay for equal work, not just reproductive rights.

    If one backs up and takes the really long view, Mother Earth did not need first world countries populating at excessive rates given the cost in material resources to maintain a first world family vis a vis a family in the developing world. In order to maintain any balance someone was going to have to give.

    Personally, I chose to have one child because I honestly thought we were going to blow ourselves to smithereens anyway, so why bring more children into what at times appeared to be certain nuclear death.

    The sixties were a complicated era and many many issues were driving the many calls for change. They were about far more than sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

  12. Note to anonymous. The number of births in the US was above 4 million per year from 1954 through 1964. The advent of the birth control pill did result in the number of births going down. I don't know exactly how many states had legal abortions before 1973. Some of the drop in births in the years just before 1973 might have been the result in an increase in the number of abortions. The years 1973-1976, had the lowest number of births since the end of World War II. I realize that there are some pro-abortion Catholics but in my opinion abortion is pretty much the death penalty for the unwanted and the unloved.

  13. Your take may be just a tad bit too judgmental. Having a child is about far more than birthing a live baby.

    If men and women would engage in sex strictly when they lovingly wanted a baby, we would have no problems, but that's not how the biology is set up. Most men and a lot of women engage in plenty of sexual acts which don't have loving and wanting a baby as their genesis. If this wasn't a fact prostitution would be a non starter and adultery wouldn't exist.

    Think about this fact, spontaneous miscarriage happens about 25% of the time in the procreative process. If you multiply that times the number of women in their child bearing years through out the globe, that's a staggering number of miscarriages. Somewhere in the half a billion range on a yearly basis. This happens irrespective of want or need.

    If full personhood exists at conception then the pro creative process itself has little built in respect for our notions of the sanctity of human life. Perhaps this is why this whole notion of a fully human person existing at conception is a recent absolute teaching. The tradition more easily supports quickening, and that actually makes more sense vis a vis what actually happens in nature.

  14. @Mareczku

    You might want to look at that era a little more carefully.

    "On June 14, 1967, Ronald Reagan signed the Therapeutic Abortion Act, after only six months as California governor. From a total of 518 legal abortions in California in 1967, the number of abortions would soar to an annual average of 100,000 in the remaining years of Reagan’s two terms — more abortions than in any U.S. state prior to the advent of Roe v. Wade. Reagan’s signing of the abortion bill was an ironic beginning for a man often seen as the modern father of the pro-life movement..."

    Source: Reagan’s Darkest Hour
    “Therapeutic” abortion in California.

    Today, according to:

    "• In California, 887,900 of the 7,697,776 women of reproductive age became pregnant in 2005. 62% of these pregnancies resulted in live births and 23% in induced abortions."

    That's 204,217 abortions in California in 2005.

    I understand your point about the lower number of births in the 1970's but it cannot be due to abortion alone.

    On the issue of legality: The Incidence of Abortion Worldwide

    Conclusions: Both developed and developing countries can have low abortion rates. Most countries, however, have moderate to high abortion rates, reflecting lower prevalence and effectiveness of contraceptive use. Stringent legal restrictions do not guarantee a low abortion rate.

    To prevent abortion:
    1. encourage girls to become educated.
    2. provide sex education.
    3. allow birth control
    4. encourage girls and women to be full members of society (legal, social, political and economic participation)


  15. Anonymous, I agree with the 4 statments that you mentioned. Those along with stringent legal restritions against abortion would be a good thing. Less me stress that young people do need good sex education and people should use birth control if they do not wish to have children. But in my mind abortion is not birth control. It was terrible that Reagan singed that act. As you have noted, it ended a lot of lives. It was a tragedy.

  16. p2p I find it so sad that all the recommendations dealing with abortion reduction place no responsibility on males to re evaluate anything about their own sexual responsibilities.

    Will it ever be thus, or will someday men understand they need to give serious consideration to the responsibilty inherent in their own sexuality.

  17. Yes, Colkoch, having a child is more than birthing a live baby. This is true. I don't believe that any woman should be forced to raise an unwanted child. However, if a woman is pregnant then she does have a responsiblity to the child. A human fetus is a human being not just a bunch of cells as some of the pro-abortion people would have it. Our Catholic faith honors the sanctity of human life. I would hope that our faith would never turn their back on the unborn and say that abortion is just a choice and that the lives of unborn children are without meaning or worth. You are saying that I may be judgemental but what kind of judgement is it to say that a person's life is not worth living and it is OK to take that life away from them?

  18. Great discussion here. May I add that there are other contributing factors to the decline in the birth rates. There are more females, I believe, being born than males in the US. Also, men are preferring not to marry at an early age. There are a lot of single females. In the 1970s a lot of the young men were carted off to Vietnam. Some came back sick and could not hold down a job let alone have a family. Other factors for lower birth rates in the US and Europe should include the pollutants in the environment and their effects in causing sterility in men and women.

    It seems that the RCC men in "authority" really have lost all sense of reality when it comes to the world and its people and the God who made us.

  19. Well, Colkoch, the guys need to be educated too. Sadly, I don't think that the abortion industry is going anywhere because a lot of men make a lot of money in this industry. A lot of women are exploited by men. A lot of women are forced by male partners to have abortions. Real feminism is for the kids too and against the abortion industry that exploits women and children.

  20. Butterfly, in the US, there are 105-106 males born for every 100 females. Since males die at a higher rate than females at a certain age the ratio is equal. There are a lot more females over 70 than males. In countries such as India and China the ratio of male to female births may be as high as 120 to 130 males births for every 100 female births as abortion for sex selection is being used more.

  21. No Marcezku I'm asking you to take a serious look at what happens NATURALLY in the procreative process and try to understand that some of us look at those data and have truly come to believe that the legal definition of full human person can not meaningfully exist at conception.

    There are compelling reasons to refrain from making a moral definition the legal definition.

    I agree completely that real feminism needs to include child advocacy--but then so does real masculinism. I have written in the past that Sacramental marriage should be reserved only to those couples who agree to raise children and it should include a life long commitment to the children, and not be a commitment exclusive to the other adult.

  22. Colkoch, I was not aware that you had said that about Sacramental marriage. So you do not believe that infertile couples should have a Sacramental marriage? It sounds as if you are even stricter in this than official Church teaching.

  23. Mareczku, "Our Catholic faith honors the sanctity of human life."

    To a point, then it drops the ball entirely when it comes to the promulgation of nuclear weapons (the bigger threat to human life than abortion), playing political footsie with the military industrial complex, the hatred of gays, women, people of other faiths, certain politicians they don't like, etc.

    The abortion issue keeps people busy in this issue while the bigger threat looms everyday these weapons are on the planet.

    Colleen, we did grow up in a time when the nuclear threat was very real and many decided to either not have any children or fewer. Now other issues have become dominant and pushed as the threat, but the issue still is the nuclear one that should be brought to the forefront and made illegal to have on the planet by any nation or people.

    I don't believe that the hierarchy cares about the life of people. They talk about the sanctity of life of fetuses while ignoring or condemning those who have already been born. This is the tragedy of the "pro-life" movement.

    Young people do need sex education when it comes to birth control, knowing what is available and how to use it. More than that is needed though that would encourage loving relationships.

  24. Butterfly, I thought that the Church was against nuclear weapons. I think you are in agreement with Church teachings about this but may be in disagreement with right wing conservative Catholics who may be pro-nuclear weapons. I think some in the hierarchy care about the people but sadly some do not. I am in agreement with your last paragraph there.

  25. Some of the hierarchy leave me shaking my head. I think of Cardinal Law and Archbishop Burke in Rome and I shake my head. There was a discussion about Archbishop Burke on another site and people went on about him as if he was the second coming. I made a critical comment which got moderated. It amazes me that those people go on so about how great Archbishop Burke is and to me that guy is such a pompous queen. (No I didn't say that on that site, I criticized Burke for his treatment of abuse victims.) Sorry for being somewhat rude here but just felt like a little venting. With guys like Burke, I can understand why many women feel alienated from the Church.

  26. Thanks for the stats Mareczku. Are those stats for the late sixties and early 70's, the Vietnam era, or current stats?

    I am familiar with India and China's stats and the reasons behind it. China only allows for one child per couple and in a lot of cases they prefer the male. I've heard some awful stories coming from India and the killing of girls when they are only a few days old and their reasons are purely economic.

    The extreme in China with its forced abortions if caught having more than one child and another type of extreme that many Pro-Lifers here push of totally banning all abortions, in my mind are both political extremes which I do not agree with as they do not address the issue with any sense of reasonableness or compassion.

    China now seeks females from other countries, in the form of sexual slavery to fulfill their sexual appetites.

    word verif: redrali

  27. Mareczku, the RCC supposedly is against them, but we don't hear about it at all. We do hear about abortion and about their homophobia.

  28. Butterfly, the ratios for India and China are current. The 105-106 male to 100 female ratio in the US is a fairly stable ratio that hasn't changed much over the years. That is just from my memory. I wasn't aware that China was importing women from other countries for evil purposes. This is the first I ever heard of that.

  29. The discrepancy in gender ratios in both India and China are fueling a type of 'mail order bride' industry. A side issue concerns the fact that not all the 'brides' are Chinese or Indian. Which I guess shows the unintended consequences with intentional social engineering.

  30. @ Mareczku

    I hope this discussion hasn't been too adversarial.

    There are too many abortions. Most can be prevented under the conditions I've mentioned earlier.


    word verification: stsinfe
    Hmmm St. Sin fe... ???

  31. p2p, I don't think this discussion is adversarial at all. I was in a discussion on another site with pro-lifers and was called terrible names because I support President Obama. So even though I am pro-life these people consider me guilty of evil because I voted for Obama.

  32. Colleen -

    1) the cartoon is hysterical!!! :))

    2) The Vatican should consider examining the considerable contents of its own closet.....

    3) Typical of 'Opus-Speak" this clown cannot (actually is intentionally not...) distinguishing between a sacramental marriage - and a civil union.

    The former IS the province of the Church (or any particular faith); the latter is none of their business.

    The core of the problem is the misuse of the word 'marriage". This is a sacramental union of a man & woman - witnessed by the community in the presence of a priest, minister, rabbi, imam, mullah, buddhist priest, etc. The contracting parties marry each other; confecting the sacrament. The clerical officiant merely acts as a notary for the state - and asks God's blessing upon the union.

    ...but 'the Church' neither makes the union nor creates it.

    By contrast, a civil union between any two persons is NOT a marriage, as it is not sacramental. This does not make it a '2nd class' thing. It does NOT mean they are 'living in sin'.Nor does it in ANY way imply that God does not approve of or refuse to bless such a union. He does....sometimes more the certain so called 'marriages'!

    No civil union/civil wedding is a (sacramental) marriage. BUT...not all 'marriages' are in truth....marriages.

    If one or both party enter into a marriage insincerely: there is NO 'marriage'. No matter how many men wearing pointy hats officiated!

    'Marriages of convenience' (regardless of the reason...) are an abomination before God. Because they are LIE! You cannot lie to God; He is not mocked! Whether it is for $$, social standing, an arranged marriage, or to hide one's is LIE! And God does not bless lies.

    Would God bless a same sex union? Why not? If they are completely sincere & mature in entering into the union, an devoted to each other, then their union is (correctly) about love. Not hedonism.

    One should not fall into the trap of calling a gay civil union "2nd class' or somehow inferior to a conventional/sacramental marriage. Because this is simply NOT TRUE.

    Would you dare call the wedded union of a man & woman - officiated at by a justice of the peace...a Civil Union......'inferior'
    Or say they are 'living in sin'?

    If that union was entered into sincerely, they are loyal & devoted to each other, there is most certainly NO sin!

    Anon Y.Mouse