Thursday, October 23, 2014

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: Let the Gays Marry, and Elderly Men Will Create Babies with Different Mothers

Gay people should not be allowed the right of civil marriage because — get ready for it! — if the gays are allowed to marry, elderly men will create babies with different mothers:

Men are fertile nearly all of their lives; part of the procreative aspect of marriage involves people not risking procreation with others. That is, we encourage elderly men to enter faithful marriages so that they do not create babies with different mothers.

So sayeth one Will Thompson in the National Catholic Reporter thread discussing NCR's recent editorial calling on the U.S. Catholic bishops to stop firing employees of Catholic institutions who marry same-sex partners. Thompson is responding to Dan1234567, who points out to him that Thompson's argument that marriage must be reserved to heterosexuals because it's about procreation rules out permitting heterosexual people over 60 to marry.

Let the gays marry, and prepare for the floodgates to open: old men will begin fathering illegitimate children all over the place as surely as night follows day. (Note to Will Thompson: your argument about marriage and procreation depends on the presence of a woman somewhere in the picture, too. But your response to Dan's question acts as if the woman, and her inability to procreate if she's beyond menopause, count for nothing at all as you maintain that gays should be excluded from the right to marry because gay unions are non-procreative.)

Honestly, you can't make this stuff up, can you? As Judge Richard Posner noted when the 7th Circuit Court heard the appeals of Indiana and Wisconsin to keep bans on marriage equality alive several weeks ago, the arguments being advanced by opponents of same-sex marriage are "pathetic," "ridiculous," and "absurd." They're insubstantial. And they're eminently silly.

Ultimately, they depend solely on raw prejudice against a targeted minority group, whom those targeting that minority intend to keep targeting no matter how base and stupid their "reasons" for their prejudice appear to rational people of good will. Base and stupid, as in the "reasoning" of the states of Idaho and Nevada, which the 9th Circuit Court recently refused to accept, "that allowing committed same-sex couples to settle down in legally recognized marriages will drive opposite-sex couples to sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll."

It's embarrassing — it should be embarrassing to all American Catholics — that these kinds of arguments still pass as legitimate moral argumentation on Catholic blog sites. What that says about the level of intellectual discourse in at least some sectors of the American Catholic church, and what it says about our Catholic journals that permit these noxious conversations to be carried on at their blog sites, ought to give all of us some pause to think.

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