- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why marry?

“California’s ‘gay marriages’ appear to be following trends in other states, where lesbian couples are far more likely than homosexual men to legalize their relationships.

“The Sacramento Bee reported that a sampling of marriage licenses in Sacramento County showed 60 percent were obtained by lesbian couples, 40 percent by male couples. Elsewhere, in Yolo County, lesbian couples made up 65 percent of all marriage licenses. … In Massachusetts, which has recognized ‘gay marriage’ since 2004, nearly two-thirds of all ‘weddings’ have involved lesbians. Similarly, in New Jersey, 60 percent of all same-sex civil unions have involved women. …

“Conservative experts say it points to something just as significant: promiscuity among the male homosexual population.”

- Michael Foust, writing on “Lesbian couples make up large majority of Calif. ‘gay marriages’” on June 26 at the Baptist Press “Marriage Digest” column

Why tolerate?

“Even America´s much vaunted religious liberty was essentially a Protestant idea. However deistical and enlightened some of the Founding Fathers may have been, Deism and the Enlightenment provided little of the religious liberty they put in the Bill of Rights. The real cause was the rivalry of the Protestant churches: No denomination achieved victory as the nation´s legally established church, mostly because the Baptists fought it where they feared it would be the Episcopalians, and the Episcopalians fought it where they feared it would be the Congregationalists. The oddity of American religion produced the oddity of American religious freedom.

“The greatest oddity, however, may be the fact that the United States nonetheless ended up with something very similar to the establishment of religion in the public life of the nation. The effect often proved little more than an agreement about morals: The endlessly proliferating American churches, Tocqueville concluded, ‘all differ in respect to the worship which is due to the Creator; but they all agree in respect to the duties which are due from man to man.’ The agreement was sometimes merely an establishment of manners: ‘The clergy of all the different sects hold the same language,’ he added. ‘Their opinions are in agreement with the laws, and the human mind flows onward, so to speak, in one undivided current.’”

- Joseph Bottum, writing on “The Death of Protestant America: A Political Theory of the Protestant Mainline” in the August/September issue of First Things

Why vote?

“Archbishop [Charles J.] Chaput of Denver has long been a clear and reasoned voice when it comes to the intersection of faith and politics. Now it appears that he will be releasing a book next month on just that subject, titled ‘Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life,’ well in time for November’s election …

“Catholic faith is ‘always personal, but never private,’ [the archbishop] continues. ‘Citizens serve their country best when they take their moral convictions respectfully, but unapologetically, into public debate … American Catholics are better citizens when they first live as more faithful Catholics.’

“We’ve had voting guides before, of course, but this sounds as if it will go well beyond a simple checklist of items Catholics must (or must not) vote for, and rather delve into an understanding of why they should do so, and why it is necessary and proper for Catholics to bring their faith into the political sphere in the first place. With as clear a teacher as Chaput is, I imagine this will be a must-read.”

- Margaret Cabaniss, writing on “Chaput to release book on Catholic faith and voting” on July 23 at the Inside Catholic blog

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