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Part 1: Supreme Court Must Rule for State Defined Marriage

March 30, AD2015 90 Comments

Instead of a bended knee, will the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) present a stiff middle finger to Our Father who art in Heaven this June, just as the same institution did in 1973 with Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton which legitimized the greatest human holocaust in American history?

In February 2015, the court refused to issue a stay, that had a controversial result, in an Alabama case where the constitutional amendment of the state enacted in 2006 says in part, “Marriage is inherently a unique relationship between a man and a woman.” This non-action of SCOTUS along with public comments by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg were seen by many as an indication a pro-homosexual final outcome of the legal marriage issue to be taken up this April and to be decided by that court this June 2015.

What Does The Justice’s View Mean Besides Bias?

Justice Ginsburg is reported to have said, it “would not take a large adjustment” for Americans should the justices say that gay marriage is a constitutional right. Spoken not from an ivory tower as you would expect, but from it’s equivalent in marble and oak. Her simplistic view of  “adjustment” means that 81.18 percent of Alabama voters will be denied self governance. At Gettysburg alone, 1,750 Alabamans died because of denial of self governance. It also would mean “adjusting” to the power of the state being used to trample religious liberty as in the case of this Washington State Baptist. A basis for this “adjustment” according to the justice, is that she believes that Americans are, “…very fond of them.” – homosexuals being the object of fondness.

Americans’ are fond of many things like: Disneyworld, puppy dogs, television, crack cocaine, and pornography. This kind of justification is exactly what will be used when the push by other special interests expands America’s fondness for, not just sex but public sex, into almost any area of life.

The 2007 Sundance Film Festival entry “Zoo” is an example of the beginnings of a movement that mirrors the beginnings of, and actually borrows, the best tactics from the homosexual political agenda. As the film makers said in a NY Times story about two men discovered having sex with horses where one man died, “We’re going to revive their humanity.” This successful tactic for changing laws or attitudes is to get people to appreciate another person as valuable by insisting that whatever that person wants to do is also valuable, thereby surrendering ones judgment to the supposed greater good of autonomy for all.

This principle is at work in the example of a friend of mine who after attending his sister’s homosexual “wedding” told me that he didn’t approve of gay marriage but wanted to support his sister. This confusion is because we have become accustomed to relinquishing our understanding of right and wrong, desirable or undesirable, to the power of love of another. This is not noble at all because it is a denial of ones own worth and place in society. This kind of power over another is obvious to everyone except the woman who remains under the power of a man who mistreats her. Of course the Catholic Church has another way given to us by God himself.

The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. (ccc 2358)

How Will It Go, The Court Case?

We always seem to want to know the future even when we don’t have enough evidence to judge accurately. The huge popularity of sports betting comes to mind. This could be, hopefully, another one of those times when those who have much invested in the question say, “But I thought…”. It is true that the favorite in a horse race finishes in the money over 90% of the time. You would cash your ticket an unbelievable number of times, but if you were to only bet the favorite you would lose money in the long run because of the bite taken out of the pari-mutuel pie before bets are paid. I am engaging here in a prediction; that if this seeming favorite wins we will actually lose. This was so in the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford, where 600,000 American soldier lives were lost (a greater number than all American wars to follow combined!) in a civil war pushed forward in great part by an inhumane set of slavery laws. No matter which side you considered the favorite in that war at any one time, both sides were suffering great destruction by the time General Lee surrendered his army.

During the scouting of a movie location, I sat on the ground to rest near a row of dilapidated wooden cabins once lived in by slaves. Sitting next to me was a Southern man who was a department manager in a local plant. He told me, we took care of them, they were part of our life. They couldn’t live on their own, we gave them a good life.  The Confederacy was “fond” of their slaves and slave culture.

Unless this new fabrication of “homosexual marriage” is defeated, marriage itself and family which it supports will inevitably become totally obsolete, eagerly filled by the strongest political ideology. More groups eagerly waiting to somehow gain legitimacy for their life styles will clamor for inclusion in this judicial holy anointment. Defeat of this radical social change, if not immediatly total, has to come at the state level reflecting the will of the people whose country this is. These are the great number of people that have voted to not support this lifestyle. That is why sympathetic radical federal courts have been the favorite tactic of those who are pushing this radical anti-family agenda.

What Can the Court do?

The U.S. Constitution leaves marriage issues to the states. The Supreme court is only allowed by our Constitution to judge state law based on conflict with the United States Constitution. It has done so by the authority reasoned to be granted to it since our Articles of Confederation were revised and became our Constitution ratified in 1788. Traditionally the court is not allowed to decide based upon what it likes, or what may be thought to be, or actually is in the best interest of the country. Lower federal courts can decide the cases before it, and unless these rulings and issues are substantially the same, it takes SCOTUS to finalize the question for all courts – federal and state and other lower jurisdictions.

 The Argument from the Homosexual Plaintiffs.

The reply briefs filed in support of homosexual marriage and support of a Supreme Court ruling on the matter, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, claimed:

  • A lack of the ability to marry.
  • The lack of uniform recognition of a marriage.
  • The unpleasant results of not being able to marry.

In other words; I want, I want, I want! These are their arguments for forcing a state government to submit to their will despite the wishes of a state (it’s citizens) itself.

Lack of ability to marry is understood. I see lack of uniformity whenever I cross a state line and at high speed the speed limit changes. Results determined to be unpleasant  in this case are only selfishly subjective. Many results occur as a natural result of not obeying the law. These could also be arguments for a one world government eliminating other countries self determination.

The unpleasant results centers on the lack of ability to inherit the various privileges and rules that have grown around marriage that are not granted to the un-married. As a single person and a member of a much, much larger class than homosexuals, I do not have these things either. Just being a single person is of no importance to many who live this self centered lifestyle. This fact is an important indicator as to the future of children in these marriages as a new study with a much better sample size than previous ones has pointed out, and as one child of these marriages eloquently has said or as homosexuals have said here and here. The proper way to grant privilages is to revise law and procedures to accommodate those areas of interest by simply allowing choice, not hijacking marriage, demeaning it, and diluting it, and eventually eliminating it, in order to take a shortcut.

I believe though, that this avenue is merely a subterfuge, a next step up from the forgotten civil unions, merely using law to gain acceptance of a discredited lifestyle in common sense, natural law, and God’s law. According to Pew Research Center, only about half of LGBT people answered yes to the question, “If you could, would you like to get married someday?” The report also stated that, “Lesbian couples accounted for over three-fifths of the more than 50,000 same-sex marriages that were identified by gender.” What do the men want?

The Argument from the Executive Branch.

The currently politically pandering leaders in the Executive Branch of the federal government have recently joined this SCOTUS case declaring FOR same sex marriage and stating that:

…the “dignity and status” of civil marriage and the “far-reaching legal acknowledgment of the intimate relationship between two people” that civil marriage represents.

Between two people is explicitly stated. In this version of marriage that this political sector wishes to force on America from a federal legal platform, is stating a negative also by defining marriage in a way that rejects intimate relationships between more than two people. I presume from this comment that when that kind of intimate relationship does exist, the law should not allow it to have “dignity and status”. It also declares that in order to marry a person of the same sex, the couple would have to be intimate. What does that mean except an active homosexual relationship. In other words, the idea that a persons sexual orientation should be ignored for all other purposes in American life such as employment, is reversed, declaring that sexual orientation should be specially recognized. No other sexual practice is given even a thought here. This support is blatantly partial to a particular group (or class as the lawyers like to say) of Americans. The governments claim is that homosexuals are denied marriage because of the 14th amendment. But, this bias of their claim is itself a violation of the Equal Protection Clause if you agree with their thinking. It states in section 1, “…nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”  This rejection of polygamy was so powerful in the 19th century that it caused the Mormon church to change it’s overt support in return for Utah statehood.

Why are polygamists excluded  from marriage in the view of our political leaders and judges? Because, these kind of judgments are moral. Polygamists have not been given the same media coverage and support by the amoral elite. Moral judgments are not legal until the people decide. We must refer to the statement by the Church quoted above for legitimate moral guidance in creating such laws.

To be continued in Part 2 , published on 3.30.15.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

H.L. Duncan is a senior citizen widower in his 8th decade of life (70s) who was married for 36 years to his only wife Jill. He lives on 40 acres of the Great Basin Desert in an owner built solar powered home. He has three children who have left the nest and are now too far away. After an Episcopalian childhood, his teen years brought on the disease of agnosticism with occasional bouts of atheism. He entered the Church in 2010 and says he has felt at home ever since.

His working life included Forest Fire Truck Driver, Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa building schools, Motion Picture Cameraman in industrial films and while in the U.S. Army, production assistant to a Producer in Hollywood, Professional Still Photographer, Photo Lab Technician, Postal Service Letter Carrier, Computer Systems Analyst in business and government, Computer Consulting, Owner of an Internet business, Web site creation.

His educational background is mostly self directed reading and experiential but does include; A graduate of the London School of Film Technique, London, England, AA degree in Business Data Processing with an additional course in accounting, Seminars and technical classes.

He now spends his days in local parish church work and Right to Life groups, Internet conversations with new friends and old enemies of the Church.

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  • goldshield

    Marriage in the United states has always been defined in the dictionary as a union between a man and a woman. I don’t object to americans who are homosexual to have the same rights and benefits as a traditional marriage just don’t change the definition of the word “marriage” call it a “Civil Union” with all the rights and benefits of a traditional marriage.

  • bdlaacmm

    I have perfect faith in the Supreme Court… that it will do the wrong thing. Case after case after case, I find myself scratching my head, wondering what “logic” the justices used to come to their decisions. I for one certainly can’t see it.

    And the court’s insanity doesn’t seem to be a right-left, liberal conservative thing. That seems to matter not at all. The justices are equal-opportunity lunatics.

    I think it’s long past time that we amend the Constitution to get rid of these life terms, and have the justices sit for a set period – I suggest 12 years with no possibility for a second term.

    • I would go for term limits for them and Congress.

  • Pingback: Part 2: Supreme Court Must Rule for State Defined Marriage : Catholic Stand()

  • Howard

    Actually, it is not the Catholic position that voters get to determine what marriage actually is. The Catholic position is that the nature of marriage is a metaphysical reality which our words and laws can reflect well or poorly, but our words and laws do not create and cannot change that nature.

    An analogous situation would be a somewhat hypothetical argument over whether the Emperor could deify his predecessor or if only the Roman Senate could deify the deceased Emperor. The Catholic position, with which few people would likely argue, is that neither the Emperor nor the Senate could actually change the nature of any person. Augustus may have been “deified” by the Senate, but Augustus remained a mere man; Constantine may have recognized the deity of Jesus, but Constantine did not cause Jesus to be God. Such official recognition, whether right or wrong, will affect how the state does business, who is punished, and may influence public opinion, but that is all it can do; these are not magic words that change reality.

    • You are correct that the nature that we were given has not until now been changed. Our defiance of that nature has been strengthened in the case of abortion brought on by decisions such as this one we discuss here. That defiance is thought to be also metaphysical. There is an effort to change what we are through genetic manipulation. Our defiance has gained tremendous power, a desire for power that became public first in Genesis 3.

    • Howard

      Genetic manipulation would not even be effective at changing our nature, any more than surgery and drugs can make Bruce Jenner a real woman.

      There are some things we can change, and some we cannot. We can choose to enter into marriage, or not to, but we can’t change what marriage is. We can choose to sin or to repent, but we don’t get to decide what sin is.

      One way or the other, you risk putting yourself into the position of appearing to say, “Of *course* we would accept ‘gay marriage’, but only if the STATES vote it in,” only to find that the States will do exactly that. Put not your trust in princes, but put not your trust in democracy, either.

    • Change the soul, no. Nature is a combination of both body and soul.

      I believe in the right of states to determine this issue in law. If they do not support marriage as it is, then I will argue the wisdom of doing that not the legality of it.

    • Howard

      You concede more to the state than I do, then.

    • To argue the wisdom of something implies more than a simple statement.

    • Howard

      Feel free to use more than one sentence, then.

    • Thank you, I will when the time comes, then.

    • Howard

      The time is now.

      It is unwise for the State of West Virginia to leave itself completely dependent on the coal industry, but by any standards, it is legal. It would be unwise to amend the Constitution to make this country a hereditary dictatorship, but it could be done legally by a Constitutional Convention. Such acts may be unwise, but they are binding.

      That is not the case with a priest “compelled” to break the Seal of the Confessional by the State of Louisiana. That “law” is not binding; on the contrary, he is obligated to disregard it. Now of course, he may suffer for carrying out his obligation, but good people often suffer for doing what is right.

      Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? The band itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance of abandoned men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds places, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes the more plainly the name of a kingdom, because the reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of covetousness, but by the addition of impunity.

      — St. Augustine of Hippo, City of God, Book IV, Chapter 4

    • james

      ” We can choose to sin or to repent, but we don’t get to decide what sin is.”

      The third condition for sin is: you must know that it is wrong. We don’t decide what is a sin; we do however, reason what is not.

    • Howard

      You’re thinking of the conditions for a sin to be mortal. If we commit a sin without knowing it is a sin, it is still a sin, but it is venial.

    • james

      Yes, that’s right and it is the second condition not third. I was under the impression the whole gist of this blog to include sexual orientation was a mortal matter vis-a-vis the author’s understanding as well as your own – as it would seem trivial to talk about the ramifications if the entire subject were venial in nature.

    • Howard

      It is a mistake to think that only mortal sins are important, or, for that matter, that only “intrinsically evil” sins are important. (I’ve seen that argument from some Catholic Republicans as a reason why the sins of their favorite party are by no means to be compared with the sins of the other party.) “Big” or “important” sins are termed grave, and they may be “intrinsic” or not, and they may be mortal or venial.

      That’s from the Catholic perspective. There’s also an issue of the government feeling itself unrestricted in its actions by either the populace or by any unchanging standard of right and wrong. That should alarm any American.

    • james

      Then it seems this is some kind of collective sin that an arm of government is committing and if we don’t rise up the blood
      will be on us and our children. I do believe in consequences
      and these are inevitable under the natural law. Since the jury is out on whether our collective reasoning on the nature
      of this sin is mortal or venial I withdraw further comment..

    • Howard

      15 And she said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God
      of Israel: ‘Tell the man who sent you to me, 16 Thus says the LORD,
      Behold, I will bring evil upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all
      the words of the book which the king of Judah has read. 17 Because they
      have forsaken me and have burned incense to other gods, that they might
      provoke me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore my wrath
      will be kindled against this place, and it will not be quenched. 18 But
      as to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, thus
      shall you say to him, Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Regarding
      the words which you have heard, 19 because your heart was penitent, and
      you humbled yourself before the LORD, when you heard how I spoke against
      this place, and against its inhabitants, that they should become a
      desolation and a curse, and you have rent your clothes and wept before
      me, I also have heard you, says the LORD. 20 Therefore, behold, I will
      gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in
      peace, and your eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon
      this place.'” And they brought back word to the king.

      2 Kings 22:15-20, RSVCE

      I think we also have passed the point where disaster can be avoided, but it might be delayed.

    • SclrHmnst

      “Constantine may have recognized the deity of Jesus, but Constantine did not cause Jesus to be God.”

      Trust me. Had Constantine held a different position, Jesus would be just a man. Perception is reality when it comes to religion. (Not so in science).

    • Jesus was more than a perception to those who knew him. Astronomy is based on what we can perceive and then determine by reasoning from our perceptions.

    • SclrHmnst

      Our perception of the Trinity has been handed down from the Council of Nicea. To you it is reality. To me it is what Constantine and the bishops agreed upon. Had it been different, you would believe that instead. Your perception is your reality. Not mint.

    • You are forgetting what role Christ had in all of this. Broaden your perspective on the world. Squinting through a telescope may reveal images never before seen, but, It is squinting all the same.

    • SclrHmnst

      I don’t accept that Jesus of Nazareth had anything to do with the universe coming into its present existence. I don’t believe he is the Word through which all things were made. He was a man and that is all he was.

    • Howard

      I’ll go out on a limb and say that your knowledge of science is limited to what you absorb through the pop culture, together with maybe a couple of intro-level courses. Real scientists almost never talk about science the way wannabes do.

    • SclrHmnst

      Call me a fan of Cosmos.

    • Howard

      Bullseye, then.

    • SclrHmnst

      Nothing wrong with enjoying Cosmos.

    • Howard

      Not if it’s the Carl Sagan version, no. Sagan was pretty much the real deal, having done some real work at NASA, and his version of Cosmos was aimed at adults. Neil Degrasse Tyson, on the other hand, always sounds like he’s on Sesame Street talking to Elmo. A colleague of mine is an astronomer (and an atheist, for what it’s worth) and said that Tyson gave the keynote address at one of their professional meetings, and even in that context he talked like he was on Sesame Street. It did not go over well; these were Tyson’s peers, and most of them are more heavily involved in research than he is.

      I’m not an astronomer, but I am a physicist. (I’ve taught astronomy courses, too, but not since we hired a research astronomer. My area is computational statistical mechanics.) As such I’ve notice that when people start making grand, sweeping claims about how science work or what science teaches us, they are rarely people who have no real experience with science. This applies equally to people who think science somehow “disproves” religion and to people who think that if we were real scientists, we’d drop everything we’re doing now and go out in the woods to look for Bigfoot. (I’m not kidding about that last bit. I’ve had arguments under a pseudonym on cryptomundo.com with some high priests of the Church of the Unknown Primate. I swear many of them have no real interest in sasquatch; what they want is to be in the know on something while everyone else is wrong about it. This is the draw of mystery religions and cults.)

      Real scientists are typically much more careful, because we know from experience that science is often messy, though it does tend to converge to an answer eventually. We also know that about the only real “philosophical” lesson to be learned from most experiments is humility. We write up our papers as though we knew from the beginning what would happen, but the real research is never a linear process from beginning to end — only no one wants to hear in detail about all the mistakes we made and the dead ends we pursued. (I’ve often thought a Journal of Dead Ends would save people a lot of time, but no one would really want a lot of articles in that journal.)

      So if you love science, great! Just don’t think that’s a reason for getting preachy about science.

    • SclrHmnst

      Tyson is a little Mr. Rogers-like in how he explains things but that does not make him incompetent or untrustworthy. People didn’t like the use of cartoons in his series but I found it all extremely informative. I don’t see why so many people had problems with it. I didn’t. But I understand what you are saying.

    • Howard

      When discussing science, he’s as competent as any Ph.D., but really only that competent. When trying to go beyond science and offer thoughts about philosophy or religion, he has no special qualifications; he’s just another guy who can offer an opinion and either support it or fail to do so. I find his arguments simplistic and his data (particularly regarding history) shoddy, so his background in astronomy doesn’t earn him a pass.

      It’s not the use of cartoons that bothers me. Google “The Secret Lives of Machines”, a really great show that was on cable in the early 1990’s. It featured a couple of engineers who would explain how a familiar type of machine works, describe its history, and build a simplified but functional model to show the workings. They used cartoons, too, particularly for the history narrations (which were entirely light-hearted).

      No, there’s something indefinable about his tone of condescension that I recognize from how adults talk to little children. It requires extreme arrogance to talk to other adults in that tone.

    • SclrHmnst

      “It requires extreme arrogance to talk to other adults in that tone.”

      He has a certain disdain and irreverence toward religion that I find to be relevant.

    • Howard

      Relevant to what?

      And if his condescending tone were only towards religion, he would not have offended my atheist colleague.

    • SclrHmnst

      Being talked to as if you are a child on Sesame Street may be insulting but it is far from being a grave offense. By relevant I just mean that I can see why he would be justified in coming across as sarcastic or smug to certain types who hold their religious beliefs to be more reliable than science.

    • Howard

      Strictly speaking, that is a grave offense. Look it up.
      You might also want to look up the meaning of the word “relevant’. (This last statement probably hurts your feelings, but only because you are selective about who gets to be sarcastic and smug.)

      End of Thread

    • aquinasadmirer

      If Jesus isn’t God, what blasphemy did he commit when brought before the Sanhedrin Mark 14:62-63? Whose name is “I AM” ?

    • SclrHmnst

      It is quite likely that most of the stories in the Bible are embellished if not totally fabricated. To read a conversation that the writer never witnessed first hand and take it literally is unrealistic.

    • aquinasadmirer

      You’re not answering the question. You’re trying to discredit the source so you don’t have to answer.

      For the sake of discussion, let’s say the story is not true, or distorted. There is still enough prose there to know what the blasphemy was in the passage . Tell me, what was the blasphemy?

    • SclrHmnst

      The blasphemy was claiming to be God. To me it is just nonsense since there are no gods.

    • aquinasadmirer

      You were claiming that Constantine made Jesus a God. Now you acknowledge that the gospel writer says that Jesus is God. Who is it?

      If Constantine inserted it later, explain why there are over 2500 copies of the New Testament which only disagree with each other with word order (Greek word order doesn’t matter much) or synonyms for words, (like the difference between aroma and odor.)

      Explain how this change was introduced later and then propagated to these 2500 copies.

    • SclrHmnst

      “You were claiming that Constantine made Jesus a God. Now you acknowledge that the gospel writer says that Jesus is God. Who is it?”

      The gospel reports that Jesus considered himself to be the son of God. It became the universal teaching of the Church at the Council of Nicea under Constantine. Any way you look at it, it is just a bunch of nonsense. In reality, there are no gods, angels, demons, souls, spirits, etc. There is no afterlife beyond the grave. It is all one big delusion.

    • aquinasadmirer

      Did his followers consider him to be the son of God? If they knew it was a fraud, why did 10 out of the original 12 (not Judas or John) permit themselves to be brutally (e.g. having your skin peeled off alive) martyred for something they knew to be a lie? One person could be written off as a crazy, okay… but 10 or the remaining?

      How would you explain the Tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe? How did the image get put into the cloth? Why isn’t the cloth a pile of dust? How would you explain the over 60 almost instantaneous cures at Lourdes that medical science has no explanation for? How did over 50,000 people who walked in two days of rain, standing in a pasture, have their clothes (including shoes) dried and cleaned in a matter of minutes in Fatima

      Is this just “a bunch of nonsense that can be ignored?” … sounds like Frank Drebin

    • SclrHmnst

      Your questions have all been answered by skeptics. I can’t get into them here. The Church uses seemingly miraculous events to legitimized its claims. In doing so, people resort to all kinds of deceptions and even unlikely events do occur from time to time such as people overcoming all kinds of diseases.

    • aquinasadmirer

      I haven’t read of heard an explanation of how the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s image is on the Tilma that agrees with the forensic evidence. What is the image made of? It’s not ink, paint, or any pigment that existed in the 1500’s. Please provide and explanation (or a link). Your comment makes it seem that this is easy to do.

      If I believe you when you say “Skeptics have debunked it.”, with no evidence, then this is blind faith. Which, in principle is the basis of your basic position.

    • SclrHmnst

      “I haven’t read of heard an explanation of how the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s image is on the Tilma that agrees with the forensic evidence.”

      Must be some sort of amazing forgery or a work of devotional art that got misrepresented as having been miraculously produced.

    • aquinasadmirer

      You said: “Your questions have all been answered by skeptics.”

      Notice the word: ‘all’ in your statement.

      Sounds from your reply that not all of these questions have been answered. Unless you can show evidence that this is a forgery, then believing it’s forgery is just blind faith.

    • SclrHmnst

      It’s not blind faith to be skeptical about relics. I doubt the genuineness of anything said to be miraculously produced such as the tilma or the shroud.

    • aquinasadmirer

      I’m not talking about “relics” in general. I was asking about a particular one that has had multiple forensic tests performed on it.. many by non-Christians.. including atheists. None have concluded it’s a forgery. The conclusion is: there is no natural explanation.

      You’re not a skeptic; you’re a scoffer. Skeptics are curious if it’s true or false. You’ve concluded it’s a forgery because your premise tells you it’s s forgery.

    • SclrHmnst

      I live and rely on the laws of nature being consistently applied always and everywhere. Your idea of how this relic came about defies the laws of nature and therefore it didn’t happen that way. It’s that simple.

    • aquinasadmirer

      “Your idea of how this relic came about defies the laws of nature and therefore it didn’t happen that way. It’s that simple.”

      I’m confused.

      So, you acknowledge that the relic came about in a way that defies nature?

    • SclrHmnst

      I acknowledge the Church’s story as to how the relic came into existence. There is no way it happened that way. It would be physically impossible.

    • aquinasadmirer

      I’m not talking about it’s coming into existence. I’m talking about its current existence. Is there a natural explanation as to why the pigment doesn’t fade? Is there a reason the image maintains a constant temperature of 98.6 F regardless of what the ambient temperature of the air is?

      These are not questions of history, they are questions of current, ongoing events.

      Do share your thoughts as to how these phenomena are possible.

    • SclrHmnst

      I don’t know enough about this relic to make any informed theories about its authenticity. You obviously believe there is something miraculous about it. I don’t believe in miracles.

    • aquinasadmirer

      Whether I believe it’s miraculous or not is immaterial. You say you don’t believe in miracles. The NASA physicists who studied the tilma may not have either. Nevertheless, they concluded that these phenomena are real and are not explainable by any natural means. They don’t even know what the pigment it made of.

      Below you have said that “Religions have all been fabricated. There is nothing real about their supernatural claims.”

      How about this example of the tilma? By your use of the word “all”, you implicitly claim this is a fabrication. You need to demonstrate that there is nothing real about this supernatural claim. Or you could amend your statement.

    • SclrHmnst

      “You need to demonstrate that there is nothing real about this supernatural claim. Or you could amend your statement.”

      Ok. It is my sincere belief that there has never been a claim by any religion of anything having a supernatural cause that has actually been true. No one has ever walked on water by a supernatural means or risen from the dead or ascended into heaven, etc. Nothing has ever happened that didn’t have a natural cause, even if the cause could not be determined.

    • aquinasadmirer

      Your premise: Nothing has ever happened that didn’t have a natural cause, even if the cause could not be determined.

      So, in the case of the tilma: when a person puts a stethoscope over the lower abdomen, and listens, and a heartbeat of 115 bpm is heard, the cause is natural.

      The image is separated by .03 inches from the fabric of the tilma. The cause must be of natural origin.

      We don’t know which natural cause, but, by your reasoning, it must be natural.

      Somehow, sometime, some way, the natural sciences will show that this is a hoax. That’s blind faith.

    • SclrHmnst

      “We don’t know which natural cause, but, by your reasoning, it must be natural.”

      Precisely. Nothing miraculous about this relic. And now I think you are just making stuff up about it. Heartbeat? Yeah. Right.

    • aquinasadmirer

      You mentioned earlier:

      “Had Constantine held a different position, Jesus would be just a man.”

      What role did Constantine have at the Council of Nicea? I know he called that council, because the Arianism needed to be addressed and resolved. Was he a participant at the council? Was he a bishop? How did he propagate the gospel passages that speak to the divinity of Jesus into the New Testament copies I mentioned above?

      Whether you believe in miracles or the divinity of Christ is not germane to this particular point. Please stay on topic regarding your Constantine claim. I’m very curious how Constantine was capable of pulling this off.

    • SclrHmnst

      You can just research the Internet to see how Constantine oversaw the Council and made sure that everyone came to agree upon one creed.

    • aquinasadmirer

      I can also research that the moon landing was faked. I’m asking you, not the Internet.

    • SclrHmnst

      You are asking something that you can look up in the Catholic Encyclopedia or whatever source you trust. Constantine called and presided over the Council and called for a vote to get everyone to agree on the Nicean Creed which validated certain teachings and invalidated others. The teachings that Jesus was God were validated and the ones stating that he was lower than God were invalidated.

    • aquinasadmirer

      Thanks for answering the question, rather than make me find the answer in your head on the Internet.

      Were these teachings about Jesus’ divinity inserted by Constantine himself? or did they come from the Gospel accounts where Jesus’ “blasphemed” because he said he is God? If Constantine inserted them into both the Creed and the Gospels, can you explain how Constantine did this?

      Ultimately, your claim is that the belief that Jesus’ divinity is traced to Constantine. I’m asking you to make your case.

    • SclrHmnst

      “Were these teachings about Jesus’ divinity inserted by Constantine himself?”

      No. It was the consensus of the Council. Constantine declared that everyone must adopt that consensus and stop arguing which unified Christianity but also made nonconforming beliefs into heresies. For all we know, one or more of the heresies could be closer to the real truth than what was adopted as orthodoxy.

    • aquinasadmirer

      You are only arguing half of the topic here. The crux of the matter is how did Constantine insert those passages about Jesus’ divinity into all of those copies of the New Testament? Explain. How did they get there?

    • SclrHmnst

      I never said anything about Constantine changing anything written in the gospels. You misunderstood. All I am saying is that the Church established it as the orthodox position that Jesus is God at the Council called by Constantine to establish consistency and stop infighting in his empire.

    • aquinasadmirer

      At first you said this:

      “Had Constantine held a different position, Jesus would be just a man.”

      Now this:

      …the Church established it as the orthodox position that Jesus is God at the Council called by Constantine

      So, was it Constantine, or the Church that determined this?

    • SclrHmnst

      It was the consensus of the Bishops. Constantine didn’t care what the consensus would be just as long as there was unity in his kingdom. No more independent thinking about theological issues. One unified creed.

    • aquinasadmirer

      So, it was the consensus the bishops then. That is not what you originally asserted: “Had Constantine held a different position, Jesus would be just a man.”

    • SclrHmnst

      Correct.

    • aquinasadmirer

      So, you’re saying that your first statement was right, or the second? They can’t both be correct.

    • SclrHmnst

      You are correct. Constantine only led the bishops to come to a consensus. He never established any Church teachings himself. My mistake.

    • aquinasadmirer

      Okay. I’m not confused anymore. 🙂

    • Will

      Yes, to you everything stated here is nonsense because you enjoy belittling the values of others. In fact, you would willfully stamp out any value you do not share, just as did the mass murdering Bolshevik, as clearly outlined above in your “gay agenda” manifesto. You would rather dismantle the First Amendment than to admit that your selfish, narcissistic world view is at all incompatible with what we might call charity and human good will.

      And you need only look to Soviet Russia to see where your agenda leads. At present, gay marriage is outlawed in Russia, and that was a pure reaction against the actions and aims of people just like yourself. It will take time to meet the hysterical anti-freedom and anti-human agenda of atheist Bolsheviks like yourself, but it will be met, because humans are, at bottom, moral, humane, and share a certain respect for the old American adage “live and let live.” Your agenda is, at bottom, Satanic, and that is always met and countered by the great mass of humanity. Atheism is a sterile and anti-human coercive agenda, and it cannot succeed because of its inherent anti-humanism.

    • SclrHmnst

      Religions have all been fabricated. There is nothing real about their supernatural claims. There are no gods, angels, demons, etc. and there is no afterlife of any sort.

      All religious people, without exception, if they are truly religious and not faking it, believe in a complete and utter delusion. They have invested their time, energy, resources and emotions in mere illusions. They all get to a point of no return where they cannot face the real truth about this life. Ignorance is bliss for them and they can’t handle the truth because the truth is that there is really no meaning or purpose to this life other than what we give it and when it’s over, it’s over.

  • SclrHmnst

    Mr. Duncan. Same sex couples have every bit the right to the privileges and protections of marriage as do opposite sex couples. No state can take this right away from them per the 14th Amendment. This will be an open and shut case because religious considerations are rightfully ignored by enough of the justices on the Supreme Court. There are a few like Scalia who think they must rule according to their religious beliefs, but enough of them understand the concept of separation of Church and State well enough to judge accordingly.

    • I have given you arguments against any change in the definition of marriage using reasoning within our laws and customs as we have lived them. Privileges and protections are to be determined by the court. You are premature to assert that they already exist. There is no actual separation of Church and state, that is a fiction. They overlap everyday. The same health laws, building codes, and fire codes are in affect in churches. The ideal that is only enshrined in law is that the state should not become involved as it was in our early colonies in promoting one religion over another. The current mode of the amoral and atheist is to eliminate religion from American life, never a goal of our national heritage.

    • SclrHmnst

      “The current mode of the amoral and atheist is to eliminate religion from American life, never a goal of our national heritage.”

      This country is stepping beyond what I see as like the “blue laws” that have been driven by religion. This whole idea that allowing gays to marry poses a threat to traditional marriage cannot be sustained without some reference to God creating us male and female or a man shall leave his mother and cleave to his wife and they shall become one

    • “Traditional marriage” as you call it is built into our nature, it is not an invention of law or religion. You have not presented anything that supports any kind of legal definition called “separation of church and state”. As I said it its a fiction.

    • SclrHmnst

      Not many secular people in this country are saying gay marriage is unnatural and therefore should not be legal. It is religious people who claim it is against their concept of natural law.

    • I was once an agnostic and at times an atheist. I have not changed my position on marriage at all. Homosexuality, therefore marriage, is an unnatural attempt to fit parts where they don’t belong, denying purpose. Any clearer it could not be.

    • SclrHmnst

      Your position on marriage should not become the law of the land. It is simply your opinion. (A misguided one at that).

    • Feelings and a summary opinion is not an argument. All human laws are a result of opinion. Mine is not invalid because it is mine.

    • SclrHmnst

      Your opinion is valid. It just isn’t relevant given the Windsor decision and the 14th amendment.

    • Here is the point, and my last attempt. This understanding will be very helpful when trying to convince anyone of…anything.

      The court will be hearing this case. Hearing means people talk and give arguments. Arguments amount to reasoning related to the issue. The lawyers will not just keep saying to the judges over and over that they are misguided if they rule against, or, that the Windsor decision and the 14th amendment have already decided this case so they don’t have to think about it. The judges would get very annoyed at this approach and my guess is that they would toss the offender out of the courtroom shortly after the beginning of the second attempt at this “strategy”.

      So my advise is to not imitate this boob of a lawyer and come up with something better than, “You are wrong, so there”.

    • SclrHmnst

      I’m not expecting a surprise ruling (I guess that’s why they call it a surprise) from SCOTUS. It is only a matter of time before LGBTs are assured first class status including marriage equality. Then we will move on to discuss bogus RFRA claims and state laws regarding discrimination and religious freedom.

    • Hildy

      In other words, then you will move to becoming full-blown fascists, stamping out an individual’s right to personal conscience and free will. If a fundamentalist Christian doesn’t want to celebrate a gay wedding, goddammit, you would rather FORCE that person like a tyrant to celebrate it OR ELSE, just as is happening today across the land. And that is what is truly intolerant, despicable, and bigoted — your willful dismantling of this nation’s First Amendment rights to free expression and freedom of religion. Yes, your agenda is all laid out in perfect symmetry, built and supported by the an evil media regime that wishes to corrupt everyone here, in all ways, and stamp out Christianity in particular. Well, it won’t work. If bakers are forced to produce cakes for gay wedding, believe me those cakes will be hard, and they will sink. The flowers will be wilted. The photographs blurred. And we will keep fighting your bigotry and intolerance with all of our weapons at our disposal.

    • SclrHmnst

      Despite your rant and your idea of providing inferior goods and services to those whom you wish to discriminate against but can’t, normal decent people for the most part simply do their jobs and ply their trades and don’t worry about whether the customer conforms to the religious norms of others such as themselves.

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  • TomD

    “Unless this new fabrication of ‘homosexual marriage’ is defeated, marriage itself and family which it supports will inevitably become totally obsolete, eagerly filled by the strongest political ideology.”

    It is important to acknowledge that what is happening today with the radical redefinition of marriage is a reflection of the 50 to 60 year decline in attitudes and practices concerning marriage within our culture.

    The radical redefinition of marriage is not “causal” with regards to the decline of marriage, it is a reflective result of a long-term, negative trend. According to a 2010 Pew Research Center survey, 39% of respondents agreed that marriage is becoming obsolete. Within Western culture, particularly in Western Europe, cohabitation is gradually replacing marriage as the dominant partner-household type. For example, in 1950, 43% of U.S. households were married couples with children. By 2010, that number had declined to 20%.

    What is happening today with the radical redefinition of marriage is, in large measure, a reflection of the unprecedented, adverse attitudes and practices that have developed within our society with regards to marriage over the last 50/60 years.

    • The large decline in marriages since 1960, with small recent upticks, has many causes. The sexual revolution, no fault divorce, income and other economics, decline in interest in and faithful religious observance, have certainly put a large dent in the institution. This general decline has been rather slow. 4% year over year then in the late 2000 1% or less.

      To expand on my comment you quote, this kind of radical rejection of historical marriage would be the impetus to totally dump marriage. Unless family and the well being of children is considered now in the argument, any combinations of persons and whatever will argue for inclusion making it a totally ridiculous thing.

      It is possible that the decline could gain momentum again without SSM, my point is that we have reached a point where marriage is becoming a vision of the State, a fabrication of the State, and will serve the interests of the State.