Thursday, February 12, 2004

Not that anyone's asked, but Katherine is continuing to do well. She's up to 5 pounds, six ounces, and is taking all her feedings by nipple. She still has some heart rate drops, but will probably be home with us in the next week or so.

You can see the latest pictures of her here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

There are two main thrusts to the argument for same sex marriage, and they contradict each other.

The initial thrust is that denying gays access to marriage to the partner of their choice is an affront to their dignity, makes them second class citizens, etc. Never mind that marriage is a statement about a relationship rather than people; their "feelings" are what's most important.

This usually leads to a stalemate between these feelings and the concerns by those opposed about what redefining marriage will do to the definition of it. Leading to...

The next thrust is the proponents insisting that marriage has nothing to do with children, and by extension, sex. In fact, this whole connection is an invention of social conservatives who are obsessed and hung up on sex. It's about "partnership" and "love." Sex and children have nothing to do with it, and you're some kind of pervert for thinking so.

Of course, this contradicts the initial argument that denying gays the right to marry someone of the sex they're attracted to is an affront to their dignity. If marriage isn't about sex, it shouldn't matter, should it? Gays should be free to form these loving partnerships that have nothing to do with sex or children with members of the opposite sex. It also makes one wonder what exactly they want "marriage" to mean. I'm committed to loving partnerships with lots of folks in my life, but I'm only married to one.

Well then, maybe sex and children do have something to do with marriage, and maybe we need to honestly consider what the impact of redefining marriage will have on children, don't we?

Thursday, February 05, 2004

This discussion of dissent leads me to what I think is a fundamental misunderstanding of what dissent is that I see out there. It goes like this:

Any dissent on "matters of faith" (i.e. dissent from the left) is wrong and gorunds for denial of communion.

Dissent on "prudential judgements" (i.e. dissent from the right), is always justified, and in many cases a solemn duty.

So long as the disagreement is about a "prudential judegement," all methods of argument are in bounds, and the dissenters are immune from any criticism. In fact, it's probably unfair to call them "dissenters" at all.

Thus, it is far, far worse to say, "I still don't see why women can't be ordained," or "The doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary never did much for me," than it is to say, "The moving of my favorite priest is yet another example of the hierarchy's tone deafness toward the laity, and we are right not to listen to them." or "The hierarchy's opposition to the war in Iraq shows again its refusal to confront evil which was evidenced by the sexual abuse scandals."

I don't buy this line of thinking. I think the manner in which one dissents is as important, if not more important, than the matter upon which one is dissenting.

If I destroy the hierarchy's ability to teach in order to win an argument, I will not be consoled by the fact that the disagreement was over a "prudential judgement."
Interesting article in Slate about what happens when the emplty pro-choice rehtoric runs into the facts of more science revealing that embryos are life, and the expierience of women who had bought their lines and are now having trouble fulfilling their dreams of parenthood.

Who are the enemies of science again?