John Cole reacts to the Vatican’s statement that Catholic lawmakers must oppose gay marriage with a “modest proposal” of his own:

I think many people would have no problem with a legal contract known as same-sex unions, but what seems inflammatory and troublesome is calling it marriage.

I agree with John on the public policy end. The logical step, for now anyway, would be to create something like civil unions or a simple extension of “marriage” benefits to any couple–of whatever gender combination–who filed for it.

From the Catholic standpoint, though, I hardly see how they could say anything different. “Disregard 2,000 years of Church teaching and the plain meaning of the Bible. Homosexuality is not actually an ‘abomination’ but part of God’s divine plan. Sorry for the misunderstanding.” Frankly, the Catholic Cchurch doesn’t have a lot of credibility right now, anyway. Doing a 180 on such a major tenet of Church docrine because of a changing political climate would render them a joke.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Brad DeLong says:

    Considerably scarier is the document’s claim that my friend M—- and her significant other E—- are “doing violence” to their adopted son J—- by raising him in a lesbian home.

    Those who work for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are truly lost in a dark wood in the middle of their lives, and they have no Virgil to guide them.

  2. James Joyner says:


    No dispute with you there. Of course, I’m not a Catholic and–if the old joke is to be believed–the Pope is.

  3. Misanthroyst says:

    “…would render them a a joke.”

    Sorry. That one caused me to spurt some cola from my nose. A cult of majority-homosexuals who have publically renounced any form of adult sexuality decide that gay unions are evil? How’s that ‘ass-fucking vulnerable adolesent males’ problem coming along?

    Christ, grow up…

  4. James Joyner says:

    I certainly am not above making pedophile priest jokes. And, while I’m no fan of organized religion as a whole, I think it’s unfair to confuse the wrongdoing of individuals with the policies of the institution. The fact that the American church seems to be attracting large numbers of disturbed gay priests into its seminaries is a huge problem and the fact that a large number of the leaders in the American church would rather condone pedophilia than risk causing embarrasment for the Church is outrageous. But those things were never part of Catholic doctrine.

    Clearly, homosexuality, sodomy, fornication, and other non-marital, non-procreative sex has long been forbidden by Catholic doctrine. This isn’t a new invention. To the extent the Church has any credibility–and I think it has very little in the West these days–it has to stand for millenia-old beliefs and the adherence to scripture.

  5. Misanthroyst says:

    I dunno, when I was a kid eating meat on Friday (non-sexual) was a mortal sin, dooming your soul to hell forever. Then it wasn’t. What happened to the poor peeps inside already after the statute changed? Parole? Air-conditioning? Ice cream Saturdays??