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Old 08-31-2017, 12:28 PM   #1030
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Domina Nostra View Post
Really, as Catholics, if you can't get at least one bishop on board, what did you really achieve?
There's nothing especially controversial in there. The entire USCCB should be on board.
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:49 PM   #1031
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Originally Posted by wizards8507 View Post
There's nothing especially controversial in there. The entire USCCB should be on board.
Should.
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:55 PM   #1032
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Originally Posted by Domina Nostra View Post
Should.
Aye, there's the rub.
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:57 PM   #1033
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizards8507 View Post
There's nothing especially controversial in there. The entire USCCB should be on board.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Domina Nostra View Post
Should.
Again, why should they be on board with a half-measure statement?

See:







And to your second point above: I don't think the Evangelicals care to make definitive statements against porn and contraception. And probably not against divorce+remarriage as well. If that's the case, why should the USCCB do anything other than call out the Nashville Statement for not going far enough?
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Old 08-31-2017, 04:12 PM   #1034
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelezo vlk View Post
Again, why should they be on board with a half-measure statement?
It's a meaningless distinction.

"Murder is evil" is a true statement and you should full-throatedly endorse it. Not whine that "yeah but rape is evil too so I'm not on board with 'murder is evil.'"

Quote:
Originally Posted by zelezo vlk View Post
And to your second point above: I don't think the Evangelicals care to make definitive statements against porn and contraception. And probably not against divorce+remarriage as well. If that's the case, why should the USCCB do anything other than call out the Nashville Statement for not going far enough?
Fantastic! I'd love them to. But they haven't.
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Old 08-31-2017, 04:19 PM   #1035
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizards8507 View Post
It's a meaningless distinction.

"Murder is evil" is a true statement and you should full-throatedly endorse it. Not whine that "yeah but rape is evil too so I'm not on board with 'murder is evil.'"
It is an incredibly important distinction. And you have that backwards. It's not "Murder is evil, but rape is too so I don't want to support you." It's "murder is evil but I don't agree that abortion is murder so I can't support you."

The Catholic Church stands for chastity within the confines of marriage in addition to outside of marriage. The Nashville Statement makes no such claim, and the recent history of the Protestant Church should lead anybody to realize that they don't care to include marriage within the scope of sexual morality.
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Old 08-31-2017, 04:23 PM   #1036
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I'm with zelezo on this. Catholic sexual ethics are the same as they were 2,000 years ago. The principles and the authority behind them can be found quite easily for anyone who is curious to know more. The USCCB filed an amicus brief in Obergefell and released a statement after the holding came down. There's no reason to believe that signing onto the Nashville Statement would advance the Church's mission, or expose Americans to a viewpoint they haven't encountered before. But it could easily cause blowback, either: (1) by further antagonizing people who are already suspicious of the Church; or (2) by obscuring the important differences between Catholics and Evangelicals on this point (which zelezo has touched on above).

One of the persistent difficulties in evangelizing people who experience same sex attraction is the perception that Catholic teaching is especially burdensome for them, when properly understood, it's not. Explicitly endorsing a statement by Christians who do not understand the concept of conjugal chastity, or that celibacy is a higher calling than marriage, would only exacerbate those difficulties.

Many of the problems facing the American Church today have come from attempts to fit Catholicism into the American political spectrum, which clearly doesn't work. And the Vatican is the center of a global institution, so one shouldn't expect (or want) it to wade into every battle in the American culture war. The Church faces a very different set of problems in African and Asia than it does in the West.

The Week's Matthew Walther just published an article on this subject titled "The progressives who cried bigotry":

Quote:
It is difficult not to enjoy the liberal outrage being generated by the so-called "Nashville Statement," a brief, fairly boring manifesto on marriage recently issued by an evangelical Christian body called the Council on Biblical Manhood and Woman. Here's a sample:

We affirm that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church.

Quote:
We deny that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God. [Nashville Statement]
As far as Christian defenses of marriage go, this is tame stuff. Still, I understand why super-woke outlets like Salon are comfortable referring to the document as "bigotry-filled" and glibly pretending that any real Christian would surely disagree with its claims about morality. These websites also pay writers to insist that wrestling GIFs are threats of violence and that allowing male teenagers to compete in female athletic competitions is unremarkable. For those engaged in such work, clear thinking with rigorous categories and definitions is a professional liability. They accept emotion, feigned or otherwise, as the only genuine moral currency. They are geniuses who can simultaneously maintain that "male" and "female" are artificial socially constructed distinctions to which no meaningful predicates can be attached — that there is no such thing as being a man or a woman per se — and that it is possible for a woman, something that in essence does not exist, to be trapped in a man's body.

But it's not just the restless young piling on the Nashville Statement. So too are the bandwagoning would-be woke neoliberal Baby Boomers who insist that a basic assumption which they have held for most of their now-long lives — namely that same-sex marriage is an oxymoron, like married bachelorhood — is now rank bigotry. In 10 years when polygamy is legalized by fiat, they will rail in their creaking voices against "polyphobes" or some similarly monstrous coinage. Their recent decision to call those of us who insist that marriage is a covenant between men and women "bigots" is ludicrous, predictable, and somewhat grimly amusing.

It's also entirely correct. In the eyes of the world, faithful Christians will always be bigots.

But if the Nashville Statement is "bigoted," then the target of the council's animus is much wider than its critics, juvenile and geriatric, will allow. It is bigoted not only against same-sex marriage, but against participation in what used to be called "the marital act" outside of its proper context, namely that of lifelong exclusive marriage designated by God for the avoidance of sin and the conferral of those graces necessary for resisting it. It is, therefore, by extension bigoted against divorce and the fallacious assumption that it is possible for those whose spouses live to marry again and against polygamy and concubinage. It is bigoted against the unnatural practice of what was once called "self-abuse," against onanism and (though its drafters may not like having this pointed out) contraception. It is bigoted against willful delight in lust, against pornography. It is bigoted against any denial of the efficacy of God's grace and his infinite mercy for the hearts of the contrite. It is bigoted, in other words, against sin.

If this is bigotry, then all Christians are bigots.

Those halcyon periods when the spirit of the Gospel has not disgusted the zeitgeist, when our religion has not outraged the powers and principalities, the rulers of the darkness of this world, have been brief and lucid intervals. If hating sin is bigotry, then may the Immaculate Heart of Mary strengthen us in our rank prejudice not only against these sins of the flesh, but against greed, blasphemy, the occult, irreligion, murder, lies, gossip, calumny, hatred, despair, and all sins moral and venial.

Of course, it should go without saying that hating sin is not the same thing as hating sinners, much less condoning violence or uncharitable words. All Christians must condemn such things.

And none of this should be taken to suggest that the Nashville Statement is without problems. The framers seem to assume that all men and women are destined to marriage, a plain denial of St. Paul's words about the higher calling of lifelong celibacy. They also contradict themselves, for example, in suggesting that chastity is required only of the unmarried (there is such a thing as "conjugal chastity" as well). It should also have made it clearer that the very concept of "sexuality" — homo, hetero, a, poly, or bi — is, as Michel Foucault observed, a late 19th century anachronism, like "race," a regrettable artifact of an era in which it was also assumed by a certain class that people convicted of robbery possessed innate, immutable traits that made their behavior inevitable. Christians harbor no ill toward homosexuals, not only because of the dictates of charity, but because there are no such things, just as there are no such things as heterosexuals. There are only people.

But it does seem to me rather late in the game for the Nashville framers to be taking up arms against the legalization of same-sex marriage. Its appearance was a predicable consequence of Protestant acquiescence with divorce, contraception, fornication, various disordered practices among married couples, and other evils. Unmoored from religious morality, marriage necessarily becomes a meaningless civic designation. Reversing Obergefell would be a good thing; it would not be enough to restore the legal status of marriage in this country to one in keeping with their own convictions.

For the foreseeable future, our bigotry looks like a losing game.
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