Pope Francis to Young Catholics: Dare to Take the Vow

God calls you to make definitive choices, and he has a plan for each of you: to discover that plan and to respond to your vocation is to move toward personal fulfillment. God calls each of us to be holy, to live his life, but he has a particular path for each one of us. Some are called to holiness through family life in the sacrament of Marriage. Today, there are those who say that marriage is out of fashion; in a culture of relativism and the ephemeral, many preach the importance of “enjoying” the moment. They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision, “for ever”, because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes that you are incapable of responsibility, that you are incapable of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you. Have the courage “to swim against the tide”. Have the courage to be happy. Read More…

Reaction to Prop 8 Ruling

The Supreme Court has just abandoned 7 million voters, giving us no justice and no access to the courts..  The California Supreme Court made it clear that the proponents of Prop 8 are delegated the right to defend the law if state official refuse to do so.  But after accepting standing in DOMA because. . .well because it wanted to, the majority of the Supreme Court justices simply punted unable to recognize a clear injustice in kicking out of court people who have devoted thousands of hours to the democratic process –and $3 million to the defense of the law–that the Court today treats as beggars with no interest in the outcome. Read More…

Reaction to Supreme Court DOMA Ruling

Justice Kennedy has invented a new standard of ‘heightened scrutiny’ for laws which are new or unusual—that is to say most new laws: “DOMA’s unusual deviation from the usual tradition of recognizing and accepting state definitions of marriage here operates to deprive same-sex couples of the  benefits and responsibilities that come with the federal recognition of their marriages.”  Kennedy unfairly and illegitimately makes “custom” and ‘tradition” a sufficient reason to overturn the democratic branch of government—a standard which has never been applied when Congress passes new laws that affirm new leftist values.  Kennedy’s decision is not law, it is Justice Kennedy’s moral values written into our Constitution, and interfering with our rights as Americans to pass laws that accord with our values on marriage.”  Kennedy’s decision is the Roe v. Wade of this generation, not this generation’s Brown v. the Board of Educations,” said Gallagher, “Like Roe,  stepped in to disenfranchise millions of voters’ concerns to tilt unfairly the scale of justice controversial moral issue trending in a liberal direction.  But like Roe the deep questions involved in marriage will not simply go away:  At the heart of the gay marriage argument is an untruth: unions of two men or women are not the same as unions of husband and wife; The law cannot make it so, it can only require us to paint pretty pictures to cover up deep truths embedded in human nature.

Motherless Children

While we wait for the Supreme Court to rule, the New York Times publishes an amazingly sensitive column by a gay father on what his well-loved child misses:

“SOMETIMES when my daughter, who is 7, is nicely cuddled up in her bed and I snuggle her, she calls me Mommy. I am a stay-at-home dad. My male partner and I adopted both of our children at birth in open domestic adoptions. We could fill our home with nannies, sisters, grandmothers, female friends, but no mothers.

My daughter says “Mommy” in a funny way, in a high-pitched voice. Although I refer the honors immediately to her birth mom, I am flattered. But saddened as well, because she expresses herself in a voice that is not her own. It is her stuffed-animal voice. She expresses not only love; she also expresses alienation. She can role-play the mother-daughter relationship, but she cannot use her real voice, nor have the real thing.

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This Generation’s Roe v. Wade

Dear friend,

Next week, the Supreme Court will probably rule on two marriage cases. They will decide whether 7 million Californians who passed Prop 8 have the Constitutional right to vote to define marriage as one man and one woman, and whether Congress can so define marriage for the limited purpose of federal law.

Pundits are predicting a messy, hard-to-interpret decision, possibly refusing to issue any ruling on the substance on the grounds neither the House nor Prop 8 proponents have standing.

Pundits have also worked overtime the last few months to reassure the Court that it can rule for gay marriage without fear of creating another Roe v. Wade.

On June 10, for example, the Christian Science Monitor published an op ed by James Richardson, a self-described “conservative communication strategist” who worked for the RNC and Jon Huntsman, “Why Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage Ruling Won’t Be like Roe v. Wade.”

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The Gay Man’s Adoption Advantage

The Washington Post has a story on how parents, especially gay dads, are using social media to circumvent the traditional adoption process.  The story also reveals that troubled women seeking adoption deliberately (sometimes) prefer gay dads.  Why? So their children will not have a hands on mother that replaces them:

The Brads are not in danger of that kind of surprise, since they remain in touch with Juliana, who lives in Upstate New York.

Reached by phone, Juliana said she felt particularly comfortable with her child being adopted by gay men.Read More…

Beware the “Deeper Learning”

Joanne Jacobs points out the new buzzword for the anti-knowledge education movement is “deeper learning:”

“Beware of educators promising deeper learning, writes Tom Loveless on Brookings’ Chalkboard blog.

“The notion is that schools spend too much time focused on the acquisition of knowledge, especially knowing facts. In the past century, several alternatives have arisen to dethrone the prominent role of knowledge in schools: project-based learning, inquiry and discovery learning, higher-level thinking, critical thinking, outcome based education, and 21st Century Skills.  Now it is deeper learning.”

All such strategies claim to transcend learning academic content organized within traditional intellectual disciplines, writes Loveless.  For example, it’s more important for students to be able to analyze any history they study than to learn the major events of U.S. history. It’s better for students to do science than to know about science. “It is less important to learn the algorithms and articulated procedures of mathematics than to apply them in real world contexts while solving real world problems.”Read More…

“Marriage is Stronger Than Ever”

Matthew Dowd is convinced that in the old days, say 1960 the year I was born, a year when 95 percent of children were born to married couples, marriage was in terrible shape:  marriage had nothing to do with love, women were property with few rights; it wasn’t monogamous for “most of our history” (He’s right, only for the last 2,000 years or so)

Marriage as an institution is stronger than ever he says, because now it’s based on “freedom and love” and if we just “divorce” the old stereotypes we could all revel in how strong and wonderful marriage as an institution is now:

“Once we can “divorce” ourselves from these old stereotypes, we can begin to see love and mutual commitment more clearly and understand that the evolution of marriage has been and will continue to be a very positive development for each of us and society as a whole.”Read More…