Biden flipping on same-sex marriage?

by SDG

in Government

Catholic Exchange reports that Biden said yesterday "that if I lived in California, I would vote against Proposition 8," i.e., he would vote against defining marriage in California to be "between a man and a woman." (Hat tip: Ignatius Insight.)

This appears to conflict with his claims in the VP debate with Sarah Palin that "neither Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage." CE notes that Bill Dohonue has pointed out the conflict between Biden’s apparent opposition to defining marriage to be between a man and a woman and the teaching of Pope Benedict in Sacramentum Caritatis (quoted here at greater length, emphasis mine):

Worship pleasing to God can never be a purely private matter, without consequences for our relationships with others: it demands a public witness to our faith. Evidently, this is true for all the baptized, yet it is especially incumbent upon those who, by virtue of their social or political position, must make decisions regarding fundamental values, such as respect for human life, its defence from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms (230). These values are not negotiable. Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce and support laws inspired by values grounded in human nature (231).

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Thomas October 21, 2008 at 7:10 pm

When is enough enough. This braying donkey keeps spouting off on his “Catholicism,” unprevoked. And in the next breath he publically and obstinately dissents.
Time for a return volley beyond just clarifications from individual bishops (as welcome as those are).
Excommunicate the sonofabitch.

Rotten Orange October 21, 2008 at 7:16 pm

Excommunicate the sonofabitch.

Dear Thomas
That would be great, of course, but then he would become a kind of “Liberal Martyr”. It has happened before, as you may know.

Rotten Orange October 21, 2008 at 7:17 pm

I forgot to add:
That’s why it’s not easy to be a Bishop…Let’s keep praying for them.

SDG October 21, 2008 at 7:20 pm

Excommunicate the sonofabitch.

I’m not sure that would be canonically justifiable.

Thomas October 21, 2008 at 7:24 pm

So let them have their damned Liberal Martyrs. And at the same time let the Church stand for Christ.

Thomas October 21, 2008 at 7:26 pm

“I’m not sure that would be canonically justifiable.”
Am I missing a joke here?

Rotten Orange October 21, 2008 at 7:31 pm

I’m not sure that would be canonically justifiable.

I’m a little bit rusty on this subject. Isn’t persisting on an intrinsic moral evil that scandalizes the faithful ground for excommunication? Isn’t that what happened to Pelosi, if I’m not mistaken, who then became one of the “Liberal Martyrs” of which I wrote above?

Rotten Orange October 21, 2008 at 7:41 pm

So let them have their damned Liberal Martyrs. And at the same time let the Church stand for Christ.

That’s my gut reaction, also. But if the price for doing that is massive formal schism and even further confusion, it may not be worth it. Poor bishops…

Curious October 22, 2008 at 8:04 am

Greetings SDG,
I think you mislabeled your post. Biden isn’t flipping on gay “marriage”. Like most of the Demo establishment, he really thinks it is peachy. He was engaging in deliberately misleading language in the debate. The language was designed to convey one impression (against gay marriage) when his position was really the opposite, so that he could get by on a potentially difficult question. Obama is also great at this skill. Unfortunately, the press is so in the tank for these clowns that they never ask a follow up question.
Given his heterodox position on abortion, his position on gay marriage has always been easy to intuit.

SDG October 22, 2008 at 8:06 am

I agree, Curious, hence the question mark.

kevin October 22, 2008 at 8:38 am

Go here to read about “Joe the Theologian!”

BobCatholic October 22, 2008 at 10:07 am

He has just proven what a complete liar he was. In the VP debate, he clearly said he was against gay marriage. Then he goes ahead and does this.
He stands for nothing but mirror worship.

hamburglar October 22, 2008 at 12:43 pm

Hasn’t Biden already incurred latae sententiae excommunication?

Rotten Orange October 22, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Hasn’t Biden already incurred latae sententiae excommunication?

I asked a similar question above, but it has been ignored.

J.R. Stoodley October 22, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Hasn’t Biden already incurred latae sententia excommunication?”
If he has (and Pelosi and others), no one authoritative has declared the fact, thus leaving the situation dubious. Certain bishops have declared that such individuals should not be given Holy Communion because of their public grave sin, but that doesn’t actually equal excommunication.

Paul October 23, 2008 at 9:58 am

Opposing a proposition to define marriage correctly is not the same thing as proposing to define marriage incorrectly. I agree with him; the definition of marriage (right or wrong) is not the business of the government. There’s no state law defining what science is, and if there were, I’d probably oppose it (even if the definition were correct).
If I were a Senator I would be fighting to remove any state or federal power over any sort of marriage, and encourage reducing everything to civil unions. Does that make me anti-marriage? Should I be excommunicated?

Sleeping Beastly October 23, 2008 at 10:44 am

I sympathize with you on this issue. I think it would be best for our society if we could continue to define marriage as we have. However, if the voting public (along with our legislators) want the state to recognize civil unions without dragging the word “marriage” into it, I think that would be an acceptable compromise.

DPB October 23, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Under Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the Holy See stated its opposition to civil unions or any other recognition of homosexual unions. The general idea is that homosexual unions are evil and thus should not be afforded any recognition as a positive social unit as that would be a lie. More generally, human culture should not see homosexual unions in a positive light and particular not in a light that makes them analagous to heterosexual relationships or marriage. The Church is concerned about giving respect to the reality to which the word “marriage” and “love” refers and not giving unwarranted respect to the evil reality to which the word “homosexual union” refers. If the issue were merely about preserving the historical meaning of an English word in Western culture, then it would be merely a terminological dispute of no theological consequence. We shouldn’t defend a word; we should defend the reality to which the word refers. Words will change over time. Concepts change our connection to reality. Attempts to change the definition of a word may change our concepts but not more than would approbation of homosexual unions as civil unions would. Attempting to change the definition of a word is never intrinsically evil, though it may be evil in its intent and evil in its imprudence; attempting to recognize homosexual unions or have them function as social units is always intrinsically evil.
The govt getting out of the marriage business is one thing; the govt replacing it with civil unions for all and sundry is another.

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