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A majority of the justices, and a majority of liberals, now seem to think of the Supreme Court as a council of elders with the power to make decisions for the whole tribe on the basis of their own unaided wisdom.

But only the majority is wise, of course. I guess it's sort of like the wise and foolish virgins. Some get locked out in the night.


So, Image has lost the true vision of Marriage. Could you call it The Discarded Image..


What gets you is the gratuitousness of it all. It's a frigging art journal. What's the point of a post on matrimonial law? The other thing that gets you is that the editor was published repeatedly in First Things from 1992 to 2005. One does get the impression that the 'Christian intelligentsia' has long been analogous to a tooth that's now telling you you need a root canal. Everything just rotting away underneath that filling you got in 1987.

It's worse. The editor's an old guy (56) with four kids, a graduate of Hillsdale College, and spent three years on the faculty of Christendom College. Image is issued by a subsidiary of Seattle Pacific University, which is a subsidiary of a small Methodist sect.

It's like something dreamed up by Ionesco.

The author of this insipid mess is a blogger for the 'evangelical channel' of Patheos.

That's an instance of what we were talking about earlier--the problems of the evangelical world. Protestantism in general has a really difficult time finding a place to stand between fundamentalism and liberalism, and I get the impression that this fellow is not atypical of the younger ones, though maybe better educated.

As for Image--well, I have a little personal knowledge of that situation, and I think Greg Wolfe is a good guy. He seems to be still in some degree of reaction against his right-wing zealot youth. His Beauty Will Save the World is worth reading. But from the beginning the magazine has gone further in accommodating liberalism (by which I mean the religion of liberalism) than I liked. I subscribed for some years, twenty years ago. As I recall one reason I let my subscription lapse was a story about the first woman pope. It seemed of negligible literary merit to me, and I could not think of any reason why it should have been published except to needle the orthodox. Well, either that or as a favor to someone.

I guess, Janet, you could say I discarded Image.

And as for the Supreme Court majority: they're counted wise as long as they uphold the faith. If the decision had gone the other way you'd be hearing the same cries of tyranny that you now hear from the right.

What strikes me about Kennedy's peroration is how well-suited it is to be cited by the Court when it eventually gets around to legalizing polyamory. Only one word needs to change; otherwise it seems tailor-made for the purpose.

I'm looking forward to that. I would suppose that ssm proponents would be embarrassed to raise any objection, but it will be entertaining if they do. If you've removed gender from the definition, what logical objection could you possibly come up with for removing number? And for that matter why is there a presumption that "marriage" has anything to do with the genital organs at all? If any number of people want to declare themselves married in order to procure some government benefit, what argument could there be against it? That they aren't rubbing their genitals together? Whose business is that? I thought we didn't want the government in the bedroom.

And on and on. As I and many others keep pointing out, this essential makes "marriage" meaningless.

By the way, re Image: as far as I know neither the mag nor any of its associated institutions and programs have ever represented themselves as being Catholic, though I assume the Wolfes still are. Their current description is more or less what they've always said: "...founded in 1989 to demonstrate the continued vitality and diversity of contemporary art and literature that engage with the religious traditions of Western culture."

So there's really nothing inconsistent about the Methodist affiliation etc. as such.

The logic of the piece, if you want to call it that, is inane. The left wasn't ready to buy into marriage until the institution itself, culturally speaking, had been watered down to the point of near-meaninglessness.

The notion that trads should be happy that the left has come around to seeing marriage their way is utter nonsense. What has happened, rather, is that American marriage has become such a sorry, piss-poor thing that even anti-traditional lefties can accept it.

It is true that the elites see and accept the stability-providing side of marriage (divorce rates are fairly low among the upper middle and upper classes, apparently), but even so, it's still at root a consumerist choice to them, one rooted not in tradition but in pragmatism.

It seems not so very long ago that marriage was "just a piece of paper" and "we don't need it to show our commitment." In fact I would be surprised if you couldn't turn up a celebrity or two who have said such things quite recently. Now suddenly it's, like, sacred 'n' stuff. I don't suppose this new respect will extend toward making divorce more difficult, though.

"until the institution itself, culturally speaking, had been watered down"

More specifically, until the connection between marriage and procreation had been severed in the minds of enough people.

"More specifically, until the connection between marriage and procreation had been severed in the minds of enough people"

Yep, that's what got the ball rolling. The rest flowed from that. Of course, going back even further, it comes from an erroneous view of autonomy.

Yep, that's what got the ball rolling.



Please, then, enlighten us all.

"Everything just rotting away underneath that filling you got in 1987."

That might account for why I couldn't read much of it.

"Now suddenly it's, like, sacred 'n' stuff."

Grimly funny. It reminds me of two friends - both men -who wanted to "marry" so they could do some thing or receive some benefit and then they were howled down by the gay activists for making a mockery of marriage.

Oh, this was about 9 months ago:


So he hasn't completely divorced himself from conservatism, I guess. I didn't watch the lecture video. Too long for my internet-addled attention span.

Glad I did not renew my subscription. It's an insufferably pompous magazine

That's harsh! I haven't read it for a long time, but I must say it's very attractive visually (as is the web site).

So he hasn't completely divorced himself from conservatism, I guess.

Like Rob Portman and various and sundry evangelical nitwits profiled on Religion News Service, he needs the work.

Art, I would still like to hear your theory on what got the downfall of marriage going, if it wasn't the "contraceptive mentality."

Art, I would still like to hear your theory on what got the downfall of marriage going, if it wasn't the "contraceptive mentality."

I actually do not undertake amateur historical sociology on request. You can start any place you like in the last couple of centuries and evaluate the evolution of the family as an economy, technological developments, cultural or 'ideational' aspects. One thing I would not do is select one factor and declare it categorically the causal factor when you've got 85 years of history and a mess of confounding variable there.

Bah. If you don't want to be asked, then you probably shouldn't toss around easy, unsubstantiated "nope's."

you probably shouldn't toss around easy, unsubstantiated "nope's."

I'd be fascinated to know, when you look in the mirror, just who you see.

Whoa. Deep, man, deep.

Gentlemen. Decorum!

Sorry -- I'll avoid engaging AD's comments in the future.

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