NRO: The Church’s Crises of the Faith, and Mine

Nothing has changed, they tell us.

But something has changed. Pope Francis, by hand-selecting these six men to issue an unprecedented public report on a discussion in mid-process, is sending a strong if indirect signal about how Catholics and our institutions should respond, practically, to the triumph of the sexual revolution, including its latest phase, gay marriage. The synod report, if adopted by the bishops, will change Catholic witness and teaching either on marriage, or on the Eucharist, or both.

{…}Look, I am a nobody in the broader scheme of things, and I do not relate my personal troubles as if they should be of interest to anyone else, except insofar as they may inform the fathers of my Church what, pastorally, they are doing now in Rome.

The priests who martyred themselves rather than permit powerful men to remake marriage need a public apology and possibly restitution. “We should replace the feast day of St. Thomas More with the feast of St. Henry the VIII,” one wag told me privately. After all, a desire for a child is one of the very good authentic “family values” he displayed.

The faith of millions will be put at risk, and among those millions are the ones who are sustaining the Church, as even Crux noticed. (Crux urges Pope Francis to make some kind of generous gesture to the orthodox Catholic community, as if we are children seeking a pat on the head instead of those whose steadfast faith rests in the belief the Church stands for the unbroken teachings of Christ.)

I hope Cardinal Kasper is wrong. I hope he is delusional, so that I need not fear for my church or his faith, or mine.

But the combined public comments of Cardinals Burke and Kasper make the “nothing has changed, no worries” position of Catholic commenters untenable and disconnected from the truth very publicly now on display.

There is a crisis of faith taking place in public, in real time, in Rome.

When the final synod report comes out over the weekend, we will have a first glimpse of how serious and sustained that crisis is.

Read the Full Article Here

Newsmax: Maggie Gallagher on Mike Huckabee Threat to Leave GOP

Matt Towery, a GOP pollster and debate expert, said that Huckabee potentially bolting from the party would “be a huge issue for Republicans.”

“They can ill-afford a very credible conservative leader shearing away any of their vote in the general election, if he were to get on the ballot in some of the states where that is an issue of significance,” he said.

But Maggie Gallagher, senior fellow of the conservative American Principles Project, said that “many ordinary voters are going to be grateful” should Huckabee strike out on his own.

“He is the kind of man who speaks from the heart, not the pundits’ polling playbook,” she said. “For the last eight years, ‘professional Republicans’ in D.C. have urged GOP candidates to remain silent on some of the core moral issues of our time.”

Read the Full Article Here

National Review: Pew Reports Gay Marriage Support Falling, Below 50%

The Pew Forum just released a fascinating new poll on religion in public life. Among the headlines: 72 percent of Americans say the influence of religion on politics is declining, and the vast majority of these people say that’s a bad thing. Most Americans do not want churches to endorse candidates for office, though support for the idea is growing, rising from 24 percent in August 2010 to 32 percent today. By a wide margin, Americans are more likely to see the Republican party (47 percent) as friendly to religion than they are the Democrats (29 percent), but it is noteworthy that less than half of Americans see the GOP as religion friendly.

The proportion of Americans who perceive the Obama administration as “unfriendly” to religion has jumped from 17 percent in 2009 to 29 percent today. Among Americans who are Republican or lean Republican, the proportion who now view Obama’s administration as hostile to religion has jumped 22 points, from 32 percent to 54 percent. But even among Democrats there has been a 4-percentage-point increase in those who perceive hostility to religion, and among black Protestants the increase is 7 percentage points.

To me the most surprising news in the poll is that 36 percent of American voters actually list “Birth Control” as among their top concerns. Between a stagnant paycheck, rising debt, and the Islamic State, don’t we have enough things to terrify us without making stuff up?

But the poll was also remarkable for showing a rather dramatic drop in support for gay marriage in one year, after years of uninterrupted rises. Do you favor “allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally” is an imperfect question, but it does allow tracking across time. Overall support for gay marriage dropped from 54 percent to 49 percent.

Read the Full Article Here

Maggie at Public Forum On Marriage and the State Next Week

Sept. 23: Public Forum on “The State and Marriage: Understanding Two Perspectives,” 7 p.m., Thomas Harrison Middle School

The Community Dialogue Project is a structured dialogue to present the community with two different perspectives on the law and public policy concerning marriage. The traditional position – that the legal definition of marriage should be restricted to unions of one man and one woman – will be presented by Maggie Gallagher, senior fellow with the American Principles Project. The view that the state should not distinguish between heterosexual and homosexual unions in defining marriage will be presented by James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia. For more information, contact The Community Dialogue Project at CommunityDialogueProject@gmail.com.

Read the Original Post Here

Washington Times Covers Catholics in the Public Square Event

The Washington Times covered the recent “Catholics in the Public Square” event held in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as Maggie Gallagher’s discussion on defending traditional marriage:

Maggie Gallagher, senior fellow of the American Principles Project and co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage, focused her talk on the national discourse promoting “gay marriage” and its threat to religious freedom.

“Marriage is a universal, human, social institution and exists in virtually every known human society,” Gallagher said. Nevertheless, Americans are being asked to “accept the basic untruth” that “gay marriage” and traditional marriage are the same thing.

“We are seeing an unprecedented effort to enact their world point of view. You are like a racist if you oppose gay marriage, and the tools that are available both in government and in applied society to oppress racism are now going to be directed at people who stand with the Catholic faith.”

At the conclusion of her talk, Gallagher spoke of the recent string of victories in favor of “gay marriage” in the court system.

“The big question on the table is if the Supreme Court rules that ‘gay marriage’ comes to all 50 states, is that going to be, as our opponents hope, the Brown v. Board of Education of America or will it be the Roe v. Wade? The answer is up to you.

Read the Full Article at the Washington Times

NRO: The Normalization of ‘Spiritually Polygamous’ Marriages

A Utah judge bizarrely casts opposition to polygamy as racist.

Judge Clark Waddoups, in striking down Utah’s ban on “spiritual” polygamous marriages, noted that the Republican party was founded with the goal of eliminating the “twin relics of barbarism” — slavery and polygamy.

He didn’t mean it as a compliment to the GOP.

Waddoups, appointed to the federal bench by George W. Bush in 2008, is clearly deeply hostile to laws that limit marriage to monogamous couples. Laws against polygamy are not just wrong, they are also racist, he writes in his ruling.

Why, he asks, did the United States oppose polygamy so fiercely that it hounded Utah Mormons into abandoning the practice as a condition of statehood? Using Edward Said’s work as a conceptual framework, Waddoups answers:

19th-century hostility to polygamy was based, in part, on polygamy’s association with non-white races. As the U.S. Supreme Court wrote in Reynolds v. United States, “Polygamy has always been odious among the northern and western nations of Europe, and, until the establishment of the Mormon Church, was almost exclusively a feature of the life of Asiatic and of African people.”

When he notes that the Republican party was founded in opposition to slavery and polygamy, he doesn’t see in that pairing the irony of his casting moral opposition to polygamy as racism.

Read the Full Article At the National Review

Why Catholic Marriage Matters

From the National Review Online

Pope Francis has called for a reexamination of how the Church treats Catholics who have divorced and (civilly) remarried. Because a valid marriage between baptized Christians is considered indissoluble, a Catholic who remarries after a civil divorce is living in open adultery and so may not take communion. A synod of bishops this October will lay the groundwork for all the world’s bishops to gather in 2015 and consider how the Church treats sex and marriage.

This new call has sparked enough conversation about prominent thinkers, from theNew York Times’ Ross Douthat to this July 30 commentary by Peter Berger, to make me think that my two cents, my widow’s mite, is worth offering.

This conversation takes place in a particular context: first, the challenge to the Catholic Church to combine truth and love, teaching and mercy.

The overall trend in the Catholic Church has been to hold tight to dogma but retreat from discipline, leaving more matters to the individual conscience of the believer, who has presumably both the teaching of the Church and the door of the confessional always open for him to receive Christ’s forgiveness for his or her sins. Hence the American bishops have mostly resisted calls to refuse the Eucharist to pro-abortion politicians like Nancy Pelosi, and even disciplined priests who withheld communion from partnered lesbians.

I personally don’t think this dogma-without-discipline plan has worked that well, overall, especially given the failure of the Church to communicate its teaching to the children in its schools and to the people in its pews on Sunday, and sometimes apparently to priests in its seminaries. But nobody made me a bishop, and it is understandable, at least in theory, given the havoc the sexual revolution (not to mention consumerism) has wreaked in ordinary people’s lives.

But that strategy doesn’t work at all for the problem of divorced and remarried Catholics. Remarried Catholics cannot just go to confession for their sins, because they intend by their public act of remarriage to keep on sinning against their original vow.

Read The Full Article Here

 

Are Evangelicals Bad for Marriage?

From the National Review Online:

“Red state” values supposedly increase divorce risk, but the least religious couples are equally vulnerable. 

An April 2014 Urban Institute study predicts that if current marriage rates do not rebound, just 69 percent of Millennial women (and 65 percent of men) will marry by the age of 40. By contrast, in 1990, 91 percent of U.S.-born women had married by the age of 40.

Almost none of this retreat from marriage will be felt among college-educated white Americans. The majority of college-educated Millennials will marry and have their children in marriages that last until the death of one partner.

Meanwhile, the average American lives in a world where sex is plentiful but stable families are not, leading many a Millennial to conclude that there is little point in marriage at all. You can’t fail at what you don’t attempt.

Read the full article here

 

Bend it Like Benham

The best bit of good news I have seen is this report from the Hollywood Reporter suggesting multiple other networks are considering picking up the series “Flip it Forward” that HGTV cancelled.

Since Carrie Prejean was hounded off the national stage for the crime of answering the question, should every state have gay marriage, with a polite “no,” Hollywood and the entertainment industry have made their point of view crystal clear: The glamour of television and movies is not for people who believe marriage is the union of a husband and a wife.  (The pageant judge who videotaped himself and posted the video calling Ms. Prejean the “c-word” was welcomed back to judge more young would-be beauty queens—what does that tell us? And when Carrie’s not atypical California teenager’s sexual/romantic history was exposed for the clear malicious purpose of “slut-shaming” her to retaliate for her refusal to recant on gay marriage, not a single progressive voice rushed to her defense.)

Duck Dynasty’s survival was the first crack in this new and quite literal McCarthyism, the one sign of hope that the new blacklist was not impenetrable, some could seep through.  True, the Robertson’s Duck Dynasty was a monster hit network-sustaining franchise player.  But when the family who would not recant faced down a network whose economic survival depended on this hit franchise, the entertainment industry and its LGBT allies relented: that show at least could go on.

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Cooper, Mozilla, Arizona

A friend asked me, after reading my last interview with HuffPo, “So are you really stepping down from the marriage and religious liberty fight?”

No, I told him.  Sorry if it sounded like that.  What I am advocating doing is three very big, and very hard things: a) accepting where we are and b) learning from what we did not succeed in so that we can get to c) how do we build anew?

Right now most people who believe in the classic understanding of marriage are in shock, they are awed by the powers now shutting down the debate and by our ineffectualness at responding to these developments.

The temptation to shout and yell and stamp our feet in ineffectual ridiculousness is understandable, but it is to be resisted.

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