Sunday, June 29, 2008

Finally, Marriage Is For Everyone?

On my AOL screen the other day I saw an image of a lady with a sign reading “Finally, Marriage Is For Everyone.” Her sign was a response to the recent decision of the California Supreme Court (,0,6182317.story ), which overturned the state’s ban on “gay marriage.” There are a ton of issues and implications involved here but I want to be relatively brief.

First, this is only a matter for the States, a States rights issue, if it does not fall under the application of the Comity Clause of the U.S. Constitution. If it does, and I don’t see how it doesn’t, then it becomes a federal issue, and this is why some have moved for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage the traditional way.

Second, marriage is NOT for everyone, nor should it be. You cannot, for instance, marry your sister, nor for that matter can you marry more than one person – like, say, your brother and sister. Yet there are, no doubt, a small minority of people who would want these “rights”. Why do we deny them their rights (the incest produces deformed children argument not withstanding – the state could simply demand the two “lovers” be “fixed”)? The question points to the fact that marriage between a man and a women must be somehow different in kind from these other unions…

Third, there’s the inevitable “homophobia” charge. Most people who don’t support “gay marriage” are not homophobes – a phobia is an irrational fear. The fear of most of us is a rational fear, a fear legitimately grounded in the idea that objective morality exists, homosexual acts are objectively wrong, and supporting things, especially politically, that are objectively wrong undermines the principles, which ultimately support Constitutional safeguards and human rights.

Fourth, most of us who do not support “gay marriage” do support the full range of common human rights for those persons homosexually inclined, and also afford them the decency and civility which the dignity and value inherent to them, as human beings, rightly warrants. On the other hand, it is the very basis upon which the idea of equality, human dignity and value rests to which many of us feel the proponents of “gay marriage” are ultimately laying an axe -- I’ll explain why in a future post.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

John Medaille, Distributivism, and the "Third Way"

“(I)t is a political axiom that power follows property. But it is now a historical fact that the means of production are fast becoming the monopolistic property of Big Business and Big Government. Therefore, if you believe in democracy, make arrangements to distribute property as widely as possible…(a)ll this is obvious today and, indeed, was obvious fifty years ago. From Hilaire Belloc to Mr. Mortimer Adler, from the early apostles of co-operative credit unions to the land reformers of modern Italy and Japan, men of good will have for generations been advocating the decentralization of economic power and the widespread distribution of property.” –Aldous Huxley, from Brave New World Revisited

Hilaire Belloc, G.K. Chesterton (who, of course, goes hand in hand with Belloc), Mortimer Adler, and even, in his Dr. Jekyll moments, Aldous Huxley (who seems to be throwing his weight behind the general solution); all intellectual powerhouses and distinct societal influences who affirm another “Way, a “Third Way” from that which leads to the dominance of Big Business and Big Government. Now, in full context Huxley states that these theories are obvious, but, falling within a chapter titled What Can Be Done?, he naturally states that the problem is in their specific application. Strangely, Huxley later writes a novel called Island, which abandons the collective wisdom he’s tacitly endorsed above; or perhaps it’s not so strange, for much of Brave New World Revisited is not in line with the perennial stream of wisdom in which Belloc, Chesterton and Adler were immersed (all, by no strange coincidence, Catholic – a religion Huxley is not shy about attacking). I call this all to your attention because there is an attempt afoot to meet Huxley’s challenge of application (incidentally, with similar Huxlian eloquence and wit) by an author named John Medaille, and, to boot, he’d like to do so with the helpful input of people like you and me .

Mr. Medaille is writing a book for the “non-specialist”, and is, before publication, posting the book chapter by chapter for us to read and comment on. I’m going to put a heading on the right side of the page beneath which I’ll post links to each chapter as he posts them. I’d also recommend, for a good introduction, his essay Practical Distributivism (to which I also have a link on the right side, under "Links"); to me, it offered refreshing insight, which began to take up where the solid and promising parts of (Jekyll) Huxley's work left off…


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Anne Rice And The "Christ The Lord" Series

Anne Rice, the author of all those vampire novels, is a former atheist who found her way back to Catholicism, and wrote a book released in 2005 called Christ The Lord: Out Of Egypt. The book, a novel, is written in the first person (as Jesus), and it's an excellent book, well worth the read ( Go here for reviews at her site: ). Anne has an Authors Note at the back of this book which recounts her journey; what she says, especially about history and the miracle of the Jews, can be a real boost to one's faith.

I just found out that Rice has recently released the second novel, of what will be a trilogy, entitled Christ The Lord: The Road To Cana. You can go here to read reviews, including an opening review by Peter Kreeft: . I'm looking forward reading this one...