The questions I would have liked asked at the last debate 2

By Tom Quiner

I’m still chewing on the loaded questions thrown at the Republican candidates for President at last Saturday night’s debate.

Diane Sawyer

They dealt with gay marriage issues. This is certainly an important issue. But in this Obamanomics-sustained Great Recession, is this the issue, along with contraception, truly the main issues real people want to be talking about?

George Stephanopoulos wasted seven questions on the (non) issue of contraception.

Josh McElveen, of New Hampshire’s WMUR, posed this question on gay adoption:

“Your position on same-sex adoption, obviously, you are in favor of traditional families, but are you going to tell someone they belong in — as a ward of the state or in foster care, rather than have two parents who want them?”

And the sultry-throated Diane Sawyer purred:

“I want to turn now … to something closer to home and to maybe families sitting in their living rooms across this country. I would really love to be able to ask you what you would say personally sitting in your living rooms to the people who ask questions like this. Given that you oppose gay marriage, what do you want gay people to do who want to form loving, committed, long-term relationships? What is your solution?”

Using the Newt Gingrich technique, I would like to turn the questions around. To Mr. McElveen, I wish he would have posed his question something like this:

“In light of the tremendous demand by married heterosexual couples to adopt, why didn’t you issue an Executive Order in 2006 when you were Governor to exempt Catholic Charities, Massachusett’s largest adoption provider at the time, from the requirement that they adopt to gay couples?”

Catholic Charities was driven out of the business by that state’s insistence that they adopt to gay couples, in violation of their religious beliefs and freedoms, or get out of the business.

Catholic Charities got out of the business.

So when Josh McElveen poses questions invoking terms like “foster care and wards of the state,” he is ignoring the  impact unyielding gay rights activism has on real kids … and real parents … whose adoption options have been limited by their government in the name of political correctness.

I know many who have turned to Russia, the Ukraine, Siberia, India or elsewhere to adopt because the American adoption system is slow and bureaucratic.

To Diane Sawyer, I wish she would restate her question to Barack Obama in a future debate this Fall, something like this:

“I would really love to be able to ask you what you would say personally sitting in your living rooms to the people who ask questions like this. Given that you now refuse to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), what do you say to the Catholic voters, 54% of whom supported you in 2008, now that you seem to be supportive of gay marriage and gay rights? Why do you put more stock in the sliver of Americans with same sex attractions over the the religious freedom of millions of Catholics who view marriage as a sacrament? “

The next debate is Monday night. Let’s hope we get better questions than the ones candidates heard from ABC’s politically-correct partisans.

What is marriage? 2

By Tom Quiner

Marriage is …

“a covenant or partnership of life between a man and woman, which is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children. When validly contracted between two baptized people, marriage is a sacrament.”

The above citation is how the second edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines marriage.

“Well, the state should never have gotten involved with licensing marriage in the first place. It should be left up to churches for those people who feel they need marriage.”

This was the argument I heard from a twenty-something law student in a friendly debate we had over a beer during a Monday Night Football game.

As I’ve pointed out in previous posts, our governments very much have a vested interest in marriage: to protect our children. Our communities are healthier and more vibrant when children are raised in an intact family bound together by the security of the marriage covenant.

As we have seen the marriage covenant frayed by no-fault divorce legislation and social experimentation on the very definition of marriage, our society has weakened whether you measure using economic or social pathology yardsticks.

A Quiner’s Diner reader in Illinois recently argued that …

” … gay partners are capable of love and of raising happy children. I don’t see what is remotely inhumane about that, and increasing the number of loving couples — couples to adopt unwanted children — seems like a pretty humane thing.”

Can gay partners love? Of course. Wouldn’t it be healthier for children to be raised by a mother and father in a traditional family?  Common sense says yes.

But that’s not even the point.  The point is all about definition.  Society defined marriage accordingly to protect women and their children from commitment-wary men.  It was in the best interests of society.  Marriage was not defined on the basis of the “relationship” between the partners.

Why would we launch a radical social experiment at a time when we have married heterosexual couples standing in line to adopt?

Catholics along with other Christians, Muslims, and Jews believe the environment of traditional marriage is the best way raise children. The current social experiment underway imposes the  will of the state on faith-based adoption agencies, such as Catholic Charities, and impels them to either disregard their religious beliefs and adopt to gay couples, or get out of the adoption business. This just happened again in Illinois (as it did in Massachusetts and San Francisco) where Catholic Charities had to do just that: get out of the adoption business, despite the availability of non-Catholic adoption agencies that will adopt to same-sex couples.

To Catholics, marriage is a sacrament:

” … an efficacious sign of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us through the work of the Holy Spirit.”

New definitions of marriage which carry the imprimatur of the state are setting up clashes with our religious liberties, as demonstrated by the one example above.

Some resort to characterizing believers in traditional marriage as being gay-bashers and homophobes. This is a tactic commonly used to halt the debate. It is nonsense, of course.

The Catholic Church, for example, believes that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” because they are contrary to the natural law. But they go on to say people with same-sex attractions must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.”

This respect, compassion, and sensitivity does not extend to redefining marriage.