“Chicago values”: Card. George, Archbishop v Rahm Emanuel, Mayor

His Eminence Francis Card. George, Archbishop of Chicago, has published a piece on the archdiocesan website.

His Eminence gralloched Mayor Rahm Emanuel on the issue of “Chicago values”.

My emphases and comments:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Reflections on “Chicago values”

Recent comments by those who administer our city seem to assume that the city government can decide for everyone what are the “values” that must be held by citizens of Chicago. [That makes sense.  Rahm Emanuel worked for Pres. Obama, who thinks he can do that for all Americans at the level of the federal government.] I was born and raised here, and my understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval. Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the government of the day move from the city? [And thus reduce the tax-base even more?] Is the City Council going to set up a “Council Committee on Un-Chicagoan Activities” and call those of us who are suspect to appear before it? I would have argued a few days ago that I believe such a move is, if I can borrow a phrase, “un-Chicagoan.”

The value in question is espousal of “gender-free marriage.” [Which is impossible, and therefore desired by liberal democrats who always demand that reasonable people abandon the evidence of their senses and of reason.] Approval of state-sponsored homosexual unions has very quickly become a litmus test for bigotry; and espousing the understanding of marriage that has prevailed among all peoples throughout human history is now, supposedly, outside the American consensus. Are Americans so exceptional that we are free to define “marriage” (or other institutions we did not invent) at will? What are we re-defining?

It might be good to put aside any religious teaching and any state laws and start from scratch, from nature itself, when talking about marriage. Marriage existed before Christ called together his first disciples two thousand years ago and well before the United States of America was formed two hundred and thirty six years ago. Neither Church nor state invented marriage, and neither can change its nature.

Marriage exists because human nature comes in two complementary sexes: male and female. The sexual union of a man and woman is called the marital act because the two become physically one in a way that is impossible between two men or two women. Whatever a homosexual union might be or represent, it is not physically marital. Gender is inextricably bound up with physical sexual identity; and “gender-free marriage” is a contradiction in terms, like a square circle.

Both Church and state do, however, have an interest in regulating marriage. It is not that religious marriage is private and civil marriage public; rather, marriage is a public institution in both Church and state. The state regulates marriage to assure stability in society and for the proper protection and raising of the next generation of citizens. The state has a vested interest in knowing who is married and who is not and in fostering good marriages and strong families for the sake of society.

The Church, because Jesus raised the marital union to the level of symbolizing his own union with his Body the Church, has an interest in determining which marital unions are sacramental and which are not. The Church sees married life as a path to sanctity and as the means for raising children in the faith, as citizens of the universal kingdom of God. These are all legitimate interests of both Church and state, but they assume and do not create the nature of marriage.

People who are not Christian or religious at all take for granted that marriage is the union of a man and a woman for the sake of family and, of its nature, for life. The laws of civilizations much older than ours assume this understanding of marriage. This is also what religious leaders of almost all faiths have taught throughout the ages. Jesus affirmed this understanding of marriage when he spoke of “two becoming one flesh” (Mt. 19: 4-6). Was Jesus a bigot? Could Jesus be accepted as a Chicagoan? Would Jesus be more “enlightened” if he had the privilege of living in our society? One is welcome to believe that, of course; but it should not become the official state religion, at least not in a land that still fancies itself free.  [But the Mayor of Chicago is intimated tied up with the First Gay President's agenda.  Part of that agenda is to shift our constitutionally guaranteed "freedom of religion" to a merely private "freedom of worship".]

Surely there must be a way to properly respect people who are gay or lesbian without using civil law to undermine the nature of marriage. Surely we can find a way not to play off newly invented individual rights to “marriage” against constitutionally protected freedom of religious belief and religious practice. The State’s attempting to redefine marriage has become a defining moment not for marriage, which is what it is, but for our increasingly fragile “civil union” as citizens.

Francis Cardinal George, OMI

We need these clear and rational explanations.

However, we also need to learn to make the moral argument that appeals to emotions.

Most people who “think” about this issue – and I use “think” equivocally – do so from an emotional foundation: they have a family member or friend who has same-sex attraction.  They feel that if they back the natural law and God’s revelation concerning marriage, they would thereby betray their loved ones.  Thus, they are caught like Buridan’s Ass between two points of view and they don’t know how to resolve their conflict without hurting someone.

We need both rational explanations and arguments that don’t seem like arguments, but rather appeal also to the affective dimension of the people who are deeply conflicted.

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32 Responses to “Chicago values”: Card. George, Archbishop v Rahm Emanuel, Mayor

  1. wmeyer says:

    I was born and raised here, and my understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval.

    That’s a very odd notion. My father’s family is from Chicago, and my understanding of Chicago politics is that no submission was ever required, they simply declared what your values would be. My uncle worked for the city, and was routinely told by his boss how much he would be contributing to whatever political hack was in need of funds. The alternative was to be suddenly unemployed.

    My awareness of the Chicago machine is what left be baffled throughout Obama’s campaign. We got from him precisely the corruption I would have expected.

  2. Burke says:

    Well, three cheers for his Eminence! He put his point of view of view across clearly & succinctly … and in a manner that should not offend anyone who does not share his views unless they insist on being offended by the mere fact that anyone would dare disagree with them.

  3. acardnal says:

    I don’t know where you get some of your wacky photos, Fr. Z, but that one is great!

  4. Scott W. says:

    We need both rational explanations and arguments that don’t seem like arguments, but rather appeal also to the affective dimension of the people who are deeply conflicted.

    Indeed. Innocent as doves, but clever as foxes as I think the saying goes. The work is certainly cut out for us because we are dealing with an ideology of liberalism which has basically three modes: Good Cop (“This is just about equality and doesn’t affect heterosexual marriage in any way.”), Bad Cop (see the Mayor of Chicago who all but said you can’t run a business unless you swear fealty to the homosexualist agenda) and Deliberately Obtuse Cop (“What homosexualist agenda?”) All based on a web of lies.

  5. BigRed says:

    Gralloch!!! How apt. For those who don’t have the Scottish Gaelic it means – to gut – usually a dead beast such as a stag shot in the field but it can be performed on a live specimen which is what his Eminence did here to Rahm.

  6. rometome says:

    The Mayor would not want to publicly debate Cardinal George for Rahm would be destroyed save for one area and that is the emotional response. Father Z makes an excellent point – appeals to emotion are required in this debate.

  7. Supertradmum says:

    Sadly, the Church in Chicago is infested with homosexual priests and laity who see nothing wrong with civil unions. I am glad that the good Cardinal came out so strongly, but it will be almost impossible for him to undo the damage done by his predecessor. Just as there is the Chicago City machine, there is the Chicago Catholic Church machine. It is alive and well and chugging along.

    As to creatively arguing points regarding the emotions, there is still a type of logic, of which all people are capable. The problem is the toleration of evil. Tolerance is the new religion and I define it as the official religion of Chicago. When parents tolerate evil in their children or when schools tolerate evil in their teachers, evil proliferates.

    And as to using reason, I love to quote James Joyce when a person noted that he had lost his Catholic faith and asked him if he was going to become a Protestant, he replied “I said I had lost my faith, not my reason.” We must gently, perhaps, and with wit and good will, reintroduce reason into the arguments of those who support homosexuality and civil marriages, because their children or grand-children live the gay lifestyle. Perhaps I am just stubborn, but after teaching logic and debate for most of my academic life, I have not given up on the ability of humans to reason. If I did, I would be giving up on what it means to be human.

  8. Texas trad says:

    SSPX Bishop de Malerais has been assigned to Chicago, by Bishop Fellay. I would guess he will be living there by September 1st, if he is not already there. Perhaps Bishop Mallerais, Rahm and Cardinal George should all have brunch.

  9. Legisperitus says:

    Supertradmum – Sorry to correct, but my memory of the Joyce line is more like this: “I said that I had lost the Faith, not that I had lost self-respect. Why exchange an absurdity that is logical and coherent for an illogical and incoherent one?” :)

    And may I suggest Committee on Un-Chicagoan Undertakings (CUCU)?

  10. Legisperitus says:

    SuperTM – On looking at your post again, I see you may be quoting Joyce himself where I was quoting Stephen Dedalus. Sorry if I misunderstood.

  11. chcrix says:

    “The state regulates marriage to assure stability in society and for the proper protection and raising of the next generation of citizens. The state has a vested interest in knowing who is married and who is not and in fostering good marriages and strong families for the sake of society.”

    Surely it is obvious that in recent decades the state has been ‘regulating’ marriage to raise instability in society and has deliberately been fostering bad marriages and acting against good ones and trying to weaken family bonds.

    I am glad that his Eminence has spoken up. Now it would be wise to realize exactly what institutions have been actively undermining marriage for some time.

    It is time to remove the state from marriage.

  12. Johnno says:

    The Church should not be beholden to the state in order to marry anyone. It is ridiculous that heterosexual couples must first register with the geovernment before they can sacramentally consecrate themselves to each other before a priest and God. This is where separation of Church and State needs to be most effective. Leave Marriages to the Church, get the government out of marriage completely. If anyone wants to go to the government and courts to sort out legal documents related to controlling money, wills, visitation rights etc. done and signed, then do so. It’ll be more trouble, but it’s worth it in the long run. We don’t live in Christendom any longer. Secular government cannot be trusted nor relied upon because they are fundamentally screwed up. Don’t cast pearls before these swine far less allow them to regulate it. The only governments that can be trusted to regulate those are where there is no Church/State separation and whose constitutions are Catholic and whose values are not at the whim of democracies. And such countries no longer exist anymore or are in short supply.

  13. Kathleen10 says:

    Now that’s what I’M talkin about!

    To each his own, but here is a response to this madness I can cheer. His Eminence has made a clear, no-nonsense, reasoned, firm, determined, intelligent, coherent point about this Chicago situation and same-sex marriage in general. It’s a…a manly response! It doesn’t equivocate, pander, appear weak-kneed, hedge, patronize, nor use any of the other usual blunders. It’s clear alright. But it’s not aggressive, not (God forbid) apologetic, and yet it defines the position of the faithful on marriage and children as rightfully belonging to one man and one woman, exclusively. I especially love it’s direct nature, and that he has rightfully questioned what is going on here, is there no allowance for religious beliefs, or for simply disagreeing?
    This is the right move. We simply must continue to bravely and firmly counter this increasingly hostile mindset and behavior by gay activists and simple followers. Cardinal George has hit a home run. I can almost hear the shrieks.

    Bravo, Cardinal George. I thank you most sincerely. You are doing your part.

  14. Innocent Smith says:

    From Cardinal George’s comments:

    “Surely there must be a way to properly respect people who are gay or lesbian without using civil law to undermine the nature of marriage. ”

    I believe we have already found a way. I don’t see any persecutions of homosexuals going on. Do any of you? In fact, I see just the opposite. A bending over backwards, if you will. But, I do see this group flexing it’s muscle and trying to find ways to attack Christians. Either way, nice to see the Cardinal address the issue. He did, however, very recently backtrack over a comment he made over the so-called “Pride” Parade within the last couple of months.

    Good comments Supertradmum. And no you are not being stubborn. The world and cultural milieu has changed. That is for certain. But, I am pretty sure our DNA has not changed, nor have we evolved into a new species. No matter what the Darwinists may think or say. So, yes, keep being stubborn and keep using your logic. It seems to be in short supply at this time.

  15. spock says:

    That was about the most intelligent, lucid, thoughtful reasoning on a contemporary topic I’ve heard in a quite a while. Dittos to His Eminence ! I’ve already got a few friends at work who say they will never drive into Chicago and spend many ever again because of this. As for me, next time I travel, I’ll go to Mitchell field in Milwaukee. O’Hare doesn’t need my money …..

  16. Ambrose Jnr says:

    I agree with Supertradmum about this new religion…I’d call it ‘tolerantism’…the -ism to show it’s an ideology…an ideology which sees tolerance, including tolerance of sin, as the supreme value…

  17. CharlesG says:

    Awesome statement by Cardinal George! The bishops and other leaders in the Church really needs to hammer this message in season and out to counteract the brainwashing of youth going on in our society on this topic. I am a property owner in Boston and sent Mayor Mumbles Menino an emailed piece of my mind about his Chick Fil A thought police activity. I’m glad he has subsequently stepped down.

  18. sisu says:

    “We need both rational explanations and arguments that don’t seem like arguments, but rather appeal also to the affective dimension of the people who are deeply conflicted.”

    An affective argument…
    *Every* person – gay and straight alike – has a mommy and a daddy who came together to give them life, and that is special. Everyone, both gay and straight, deserves to have the union that gave them life be protected by the state and encouraged, with society supporting the institutionalization of that union – which IS marriage.

    Of course, in our brave new world, we’re galloping towards the point where Junior can have the combined DNA of 4 humans, the family cat, and a box of pasta.

  19. Very true sisu… sad, but true. It’s disgusting, but there was recently a case of the first artificially genetically engineered child being born who now has three biological parents.

  20. Peggy R says:

    Good on the Cardinal!

    A practical fact is that 40% of IL babies are born out of wedlock. The State NEEDS heterosexual marriages to occur (preferably before conception) so that these children are provided for by their fathers, not by the State and taxpayers. Even Geraldo Rivera recently asserted that every birth certificate should have a father named on it. (I don’t know how he squares that social necessity with his pro-homosexual views.) The State has no similar interest in whether 2 men or 2 women want to form a “union” of sorts. They can never produce children on their own, as the Cardinal notes. This is why same-sex unions do not require State recognition and heterosexual unions do.

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  22. We need both rational explanations and arguments that don’t seem like arguments, but rather appeal also to the affective dimension of the people who are deeply conflicted.

    The Attentive Reader may adapt this to many situations.

  23. Kerry says:

    There are principles, and there are ‘values’. Sauron had “Chicago values”: “… he is very wise, and weighs all things to a nicety in the scales of his malice. But the only measure that he knows is desire, desire for power; and so he judges all hearts.” If one’s principle the amassing of ever more political power, then Gandalf’s description of Sauron fits Hiz-not-so-much-honor like a Ring. Power overrides the principle of “As ye have done it to the least of these…”, and success is measured by answering the question, “Do I now have less power or more?” I don’t think Rahm, or Barry, or Chuck, or Nan, or Betty McC, or Amy K or any of the Gang that can’t think straight give two rat’s rear ends about anything but power. They must be outmaneuvered by reason and guile. (If I ever meet my rep. in public, I may ask her if she tells her grandchildren what abortions are, and does she use pictures.)

  24. Suburbanbanshee says:

    “We need both rational explanations and arguments that don’t seem like arguments, but rather appeal also to the affective dimension of the people who are deeply conflicted.”

    This is why Rhetoric is one of the classic fields of study.

  25. Brad says:

    SuperTM: re when parents tolerate, yea — condone, yea — encourage!, evil (i.e. sin) in their children: cf. our parents of today vs. Queen Blanche of Castile, who told her young son, who would become (thanks in part to her, no doubt) St. Louis IX of France: “I would rather see you dead at my feet than have you commit one mortal sin.” Obviously she knew 2 Maccabees!
    ——–
    Otherwise, re: the Cardinal’s “Surely there must be a way to properly respect people who are gay or lesbian…” I am disappointed. Am I wrong to be?

    We are told again and again that there is no gay person, only a person who is inclined to certain disorders and thus possible sins. We are all disordered in some way(s) and thus inclined to certain sins. Is it not an uncharity to identify a person, meaning to apply a deep gestalt label onto a person, as if his sins were the person himself? Does anyone know what I am trying to say? Not expressing this well. Our Lord sees us as sheep. The sick sheep, whom He pities, He sees them as suffering under the effects of the poison (sin) they are innocently or foolishly ingesting, but He doesn’t see them as their sin.

    The most cogently I ever heard it explained was here:

    http://www.catholic.com/radio/shows/understanding-same-sex-attraction-part-i-6977

    So then, what am I to make of when a Cardinal puts it the way he did? Was the good thief a thief, or was he a man made in the image and likeness of God, who had a predilection for a certain sin, thievery, and fell into the habit of sin, thievery?

    I want to say I am not criticizing the Cardinal. I am just confused. I know (I think I know) the Church thinks a certain way, but then I hear great men within the Church say seemingly different things. Sometimes when the differences are subtle it is even more confusing.

  26. dominic1955 says:

    But how do we usually know the “Good Thief” aside from St. Dismas? We call him the Good Thief. It is not wrong to call someone who is afflicted w/ homosexual tendencies a homosexual, especially if they have embraced that label. In this way, it just highlights the disordered view one has. Someone with schizophrenia is a schizophrenic. That sort of thing.

    As to the issue in general, this little letter from Cardinal George reads like an American “Mitt Brennender Sorge” in microcosm. Like His Eminence said before, he will die in bed, his successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr. People like Rahm (Rohm?) are hypocritical fascists.

    Chicago values? Please…what kind of world do we live in when people can try to make institutionalized sodomy as American as mom and apple pie? Not only that, but only some of us react against such a ridiculous assertion as simply contra naturam and many actually applaud such a suggestion.

  27. Laura98 says:

    Most people don’t bother to think any more … they simply get all emotional. (Don’t confuse me with the facts!!!) Hooray for the Good Cardinal and his wonderful letter. I just hope it will do some good.

    On a side note… some of my family lived in Chicago for many years, and I remember hearing stories about the politics and corruption there. I would bet that my great-great-grandma (d. 1932 in Chicago) is probably still voting! LOL

  28. wmeyer says:

    Laura98 wrote: Most people don’t bother to think any more … they simply get all emotional.

    You’re right, Laura, but most people seem to think that emotions are thoughts. Since vanishingly few have had any training in logic and reason, this is to be expected. It’s part of the post-Dewey dumb-them-down-to-make-them-docile program.

  29. robtbrown says:

    Innocent Smith says:

    From Cardinal George’s comments:

    “Surely there must be a way to properly respect people who are gay or lesbian without using civil law to undermine the nature of marriage. ”

    The problem is that the agenda originally was to have homosexuals included in anti-discrimination laws–sexual orientation, which in fact is now part of US Civil Service personnel regulations. Once that amounted to hiring, renting, etc. Now it has been extended (logically, I think) to homosexual “marriage”.

  30. wmeyer says:

    Supertradmum, Chicago is Chicago. It would be almost shocking if the Church there had escaped all the ill effects of that pool of corruption.

  31. robtbrown says:

    Brad,

    It is one thing to have a disorder, another to advertise it as if it’s not.

    Gay Pride Day. How about Drug Dealer Pride Day? Or Wife Beater Pride Day? Or Adulterer Pride Day? Or Ponzi Schemer Pride Day, with Bernie Madoff the Grand Marshall?

  32. NoraLee9 says:

    Living in NYC, we have friends of every stripe. My daughter attends Notre Dame HS, nominally associated with the Jesuit Order, and one of her G-dmother’s lives in the East Village. It was no surprise therefore, when she came out “in favor” of “gay marriage.” When I explained (and explained and explained) the reasons why “you can’t fool with Mother Nature,” I ended by saying that it was only a matter of time before Churches were forced into leasing Church buildings for these types of events. I warned that this was going to become a nasty legal issue, and that it wouldn’t take long. She said that when that happened, she would change her position.
    It didn’t take long.
    Mayoral Candidate Christine Quinn called for NYU to terminate their contract with the Chick-A-Fil restaurant, because of the owner’s “biblical” beliefs. Her call came at a time when NYU and the City are doing negotiations of their own. She found however, they she overstepped her bounds and has been backtracking since, but I believe she has tipped her hand. Watch for more of this. Tolerance only applies to folks who dummy up and follow the liberal agenda.