A Christmas Message from Maggie Gallagher

“What’s your favorite Christmas song?”  my sister, who is not a Christian, asked me.

Christmas was always and extraordinarily joyous season in my home growing up, even after my mother left the Catholic faith and my father drifted in that direction.

I revel in all that some deride as excessively pagan trappings of the season: glittery Christmas wrapping paper, butter cookies, red-nosed reindeers, a riot of Christmas lights!

“But what does it all mean to you without Christ?” my high school boyfriend, a Baptist convert asked me back then and I spontaneously broke out into a chorus of “city sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style, in the air there’s a feeling of Christmas!”

I couldn’t understand my faithful boyfriend’s puzzlement, back in my atheist days. I only knew, then, that even people without an explicit faith can sense the sacred and rejoice in it.

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Maggie on Justice Kennedy & Same-Sex Marriage in Bloomberg

Speaking on behalf of the American Principles Project, Maggie Gallagher had some insight into how “swing vote” Justice Kennedy may lean in the coming Supreme Court cases on Prop 8 and DOMA:

“Backers of Proposition 8 say they’re confident Kennedy will vote to uphold the measure and refuse to recognize a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Even after new laws go into effect allowing gay marriage in Maine, Maryland and Washington, only nine of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, will permit the practice.

“It would be unlike Kennedy to overturn the laws of 41 states,” said Maggie Gallagher, a senior fellow at the American Principles Project, a Washington-based group that opposes gay marriage.

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Maggie in PBS Article on Supreme Court Case

PBS Newshour quotes Maggie Gallagher in its article on the challenges to DOMA and Proposition 8 before the Supreme Court:

“It’s going to be a national battle from day one because the question is whether people who are married in Massachusetts who are same sex are going to have to be recognized in all 50 states … It’s a big national conversation about what marriage is and what it’s for and whether fundamentally it’s about adult interests and agendas in sexual liberty and sexual affirmations or if it’s about the idea that all of us have an obligation to give our children mothers and fathers.”

Read more at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/12/milestones-mark-the-fight-for-same-sex-marriage-on-way-to-supreme-court.html

Capitalists Discover the Family

Bill Frezza, a Boston columnist and venture capitalist, writes “Will Aging Childless Voters Enslave My Future Grandchildren?”:

“If demography is destiny, democracy is toast,” he writes: “. . .Now consider the fate of modern democracies as birth rates plummet. Educated, liberated 20- and 30-somethings are increasingly dodging the rigors of marriage and parenthood as they search for self-actualization, zipless hook ups, and ecological consciousness. Growing ranks of childless, single citizens are dealing themselves out of the cycle of life. This has never happened in all of human history. These people have no particular stake in the world they will one day leave behind. And yet they vote, in increasing numbers as they age.

This powerful shift in our cultural foundations is meticulously outlined in a recently released study titled “The Rise of Post Familialism: Humanity’s Future.” Its many chilling charts and graphs show how country after country across the developed world is hurtling toward population implosion.

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Maggie on Supreme Court Case in Politico

Maggie Gallagher is quoted twice in this recent Politico article noting the silence of GOP elites on the issue of gay marriage:

“I’m personally grateful to Speaker Boehner for being willing to defend the law, but it’s clear GOP elites don’t want to talk about it and want to keep it as quiet as possible,” said Maggie Gallagher, a founder of the National Organization for Marriage and a fellow at the conservative American Principles Project. “That’s so obvious, I don’t see any point in pretending otherwise.”

. . .

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Death and Dying Sucks

My response to Amy at Family Scholars:

Maggie Gallagher says:
12.07.2012 at 2:37 PM

Amy, I want to say thank-you for your deep commitment to dealing with death and dying in families.

I also want to say, one of the problems I have with your posts is what I perceive (maybe I’m limited!) as a persistent desire to idealize “the good death.”

When death sucks. It sucks. Caring for dying people sucks. “All will be well” is a religious commitment, not in Rawlsian terms, a public argument.

The best death is horrifying from a natural perspective.

Rome Tried This Too

Apparently in Japan, adoption is becoming a solution for procreation.  No not adopting babies, adopting grown men.  That way your family line can be continued by a proven adult, instead of this wild crazy investment in babies.
Rome tried this too.  As Roman citizens increasingly declined to actually marry and have children,  Romans increasingly looked to two interlinked strategies to replace procreation: conquest and immigration (that is the elevation of elites in conquered territories to Roman citizen status.  And adoption of successful adults to continue “family lines” that did not produce actual bodily heirs.

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Where Homosexuality Does Not Exist

A pair of anthropologists find two African cultures where married couples have sex 3 or 4 times a night; sex is fun but its work of “searching for a child”; they lack, probably therefore, the concept of solo sex or gay sex:

Barry and Bonnie Hewlett had been studying the Aka and Ngandu people of central Africa for many years before they began to specifically study the groups’ sexuality. As they reported in the journal African Study Monographs, the married couple of anthropologists from Washington State University “decided to systematically study sexual behavior after several campfire discussions with married middle-aged Aka men who mentioned in passing that they had sex three or four times during the night. At first [they] thought it was just men telling their stories, but we talked to women and they verified the men’s assertions.”

In turning to a dedicated study of sex practices, the Hewletts formally confirmed that the campfire stories were no mere fish tales. Married Aka and Ngandu men and women consistently reported having sex multiple times in a single night. But in the process of verifying this, the Hewletts also incidentally found that homosexuality and masturbation appeared to be foreign to both groups.

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Hollywood Searches for God

Welcome back!

Since you and I last conversed, there’s been an election.

The Republicans, hungry as never before to defeat a mediocre president, failed to unseat him.

Four marriage amendments lost at the ballot for the first time.

People are flailing around angry, hurt, disappointed and yes, scared.

I fell silent because I feel strongly this is a time for thinking hard.

Watching GOP elites–including Ann Coulter bless her!–blame the GOP defeats on social issues is so sad and comically stupid that I have a hard time engaging in that debate.

Mitt Romney ran on economic issues.  He and his surrogate Karl Rove spent not a dime of the almost one billion dollars they spent on ads touting Romney’s socially conservative views on life or marriage.  Pres. Obama’s new assault on religious liberty went mostly unmentioned, for fear it would be turned into a debate on contraception.  The impending battle at the Supreme Court to constitutionalize gay marriage went unmentioned.  The fact that the Obama mandates will fund drugs that can cause abortions went unnoticed.

So in our two-party system, one party went all in on pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-government mandates on religion.  The other party fell silent, in response, and tried to run on the promise that “economic competence”– limited government, lower spending, no new taxes— would restart the economy.

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A Gay Man Responds to David Blankenhorn

In an exchange with me in the comments on Family Scholars, David Blankenhorn asserted more or less that the Christian tradition imposes a degree of deprivation on gay men that he sees as without meaning.

A gay man, who affirms “traditional” marriage responds:

And, as though in the dark about all of the above, Mr. Blankenhorn seems to limit his focus on sexual attraction as if it were an irresistible force of nature, no less powerful than gravity. At the same time, he assumes that fulfillment of this desire requires “marriage,” which we know in this society it does not, no matter one’s orientation. In any case, he describes homosexuality not as one of the four loves (storge, philia, eros, and agape), but as something which lies completely outside the realm of love: obsession. It’s as if he defers to it not because it possesses inherent dignity, but because of its tenacious grip. This is a tragic capitulation to the lowest common denominator on so many levels.

During college and throughout my twenties, I had many very close friends who were handsome, athletic, and intelligent, with terrific personalities. I longed to have an intimate relationship with any and all of them. However, I enjoyed something far greater, something which surpassed carnality in every way: philia (the love between true friends) — a love underappreciated by so many in today’s world because so few have actually experienced it.

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