Friday, August 23, 2013
Joseph Bottum, former chief editor of First Things, has taken to the pages of Commonweal to state a Catholic's case for same-sex marriage.
this thoughtful and personal essay, Bottum states the position plainly:
"We are now at the point where, I believe, American Catholics should
accept state recognition of same-sex marriage simply
because they are Americans."
also says there is no coherent jurisprudential argument against
same-sex marriage, and that it may be time for American bishops to stop
fighting the passage of laws that allow it. "Campaigns
against same-sex marriage are hurting the church, offering the
opportunity to make Catholicism a byword for repression in a generation
that, even among young Catholics, just doesn't think that same-sex
activity is worth fighting about.
"I find these practical considerations compelling," Bottum writes, "just as I think most ordinary Catholics do."
Bottum contends, the sexual abuse scandals have helped put the church
in America in "its weakest public position since the 1870s," when
thirty-eight states passed anti-Catholic amendments
to their constitutions. "[W]hat kind of loony, pie-eyed judgment,"
Bottum asks, "could lead the bishops to engage in a sex-based
public-policy debate they are doomed to lose -- feeding mockery of the
church while engaged in the process of losing that fight?"
"The Things We Share" is now featured on the Commonweal
the whole thing here.
[UPDATE: The "Beliefs" column in today's--Saturday's--NYT is about Bottum's Commonweal essay: here.
Let me add, while I'm at it, that calling Bottum's essay to the attention of MOJ readers does not entail that I concur--or that I do not concur--in all or part of the essay. My own position on the "jurisprudential" issue--more precisely, on the constitutional issues--is elaborated in my new book.]