Saturday, July 12, 2014

Euclid and Same Sex "Marriage"

As I've admitted on here elsewhere, I was a math major.

Euclid's Geometry is based on five axioms.  These axioms are used to build the whole system.  If you change one of the axioms (i.e. you say "two parallel lines CAN intersect") then the ENTIRE system changes, and it looks COMPLETELY different than Euclidean Geometry.

You can change one of the axioms, but the change echoes throughout the system, producing a completely new system.

Marriage between a man and a woman is an axiom of our society.  It is assumed to be true and everything hinges on that as a foundational principle.  There are a few other "axiomatic" principles that our society is founded on.  The Church notes that a just society is one in which:

1) the dignity of every human life, from conception to natural death, is honored
2) religious freedom is granted
3) the right to work is respected
4) marriage is between a man and a woman


Some people think the Church is against same-sex "marriage" because the Bible and the Church are against same-sex sex.  The Church is against same-sex "marriage" because the Church knows the types of decisions that bring societies crashing down - and one of those would be a redefinition of what marriage is.

That's why the Church says:

"If, from a legal standpoint, marriage between a man and a woman were to be considered just one possible form of marriage, the concept of marriage would undergo a radical transformation, with grave detriment to the common good." (Compendium of Social Teaching, paragraph 228).

Here's the point - we're not saying, as Catholics, that society needs to listen to us because God is great and "you all need to do what God says"...


If you change one of the foundational axioms, you change EVERYTHING...and when you change an axiom, what you soon have is a system that looks NOTHING like what you had before


  1. "The Church notes that a just society is one in which:

    1) the dignity of every human life, from conception to natural death, is honored
    2) religious freedom is granted
    3) the right to work is respected
    4) marriage is between a man and a woman"

    Have you ever considered these points from the view of the gay community?
    1. The dignity and rights of gay families are willfully ignored. They are consistently overtaxed and under protected. Their children are discriminated against due to the marital status of their parents. They have to suffer daily humiliations such as reading about their marriage in scare quotes. They also have to tolerate poor philosophical arguments depicting their relationship as the "End of the world!" even though there is no objective justification of these arguments. In fact, gay marriage has existed for 10 years in Massachusetts. What state has the lowest amount of divorce? Massachusetts! And there has been no drop in heterosexual marriage rates or birth rates. Children from gay families are frequently studied and found to do just as well as children from heterosexual families. I could go on, but I think it is time for you to provide evidence for these hysterical rants.
    2. There are mainstream religions that support gay marriage. In fact, many feel it is essential for the growth and health of their members. Where are their rights? There have been pastors arrested for performing same sex marriage, what about them? I also think it is immoral to lie and convince people that Priests will be forced to perform same sex marriages. All evidence has shown that this will not happen. Give me one example in this country where that has happened? Give me any example where a priest has been forced to perform a marriage, including a remarriage for a divorced individual, or marriage outside their faith. Show any evidence for this claim instead of assuming priests will go to jail if same sex marriage is legalized.
    3. This is hilarious! Catholic Churches have fired gays purely on the basis of their sexual orientation. They are forcing people to sign "morality contracts" to maintain their employment. Didn't you just post about a gay band director being fired for being gay and married, and then tried to spin it as if the Church was being discriminated? There is a right to work, just not in a Catholic institution? Yeah, no irony there.
    4. Except that around the world it is not, including our own country. And the sky is not falling.

    It seems that the Church does not follow its own guidelines. Why would you ever ask our country to follow them? If your main argument is the high school debate conclusion that there will be human annihilation you must prove WHY. You are asking us to presume your conclusion is true, and your building your argument around that conclusion Not only is the argument backwards, but weak and obtuse.

    1. 1) in protecting the dignity of the human person, the Church has long held that sometimes people need to be shown that things they are doing HARM and wound and degrade themselves. By talking about what is right and wrong, even to those who hate us for it, is the way the Church, Jesus, St. Paul, etc. have operated.

      2) The Church doesn't say that gay "marriage" is wrong for any other reason than because society will collapse under such legislation. You are talking about priests being forced to marry people, and that may or may not happen - but that is not our argument as Catholics. Our argument is not "gay marriage is wrong because priests will be forced to do marriages" - people keep trying to drag the Church into the weeds of particular arguments...but there are no particular arguments...the argument is a general one - "abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage, etc., when protected by law, lead to the implosion of a society." If you want to argue about timelines, or how long that takes, or how a particular state happens to be doing this morning, feel free. We don't care. Gay marriage = the end of our society as we know it.

      I don't really think I'll change your mind, and this is not the first time that people have fundamentally disagreed about things in this nation, so I don't think of you as a villain, I just think of you as being completely wrong, and there is a big difference. We think the other is completely wrong...luckily we currently have a way for people to think the other is completely wrong...we work it out through the processes available to us through Democracy, and we see what happens. The Church needs to keep making its case, as often as possible, and you need to make your case, and then we see what happens.

      If you don't like the Church's statement on what happens if your vision of what needs to happen becomes enshrined in your laws, I would say that isn't a big surprise.

      May the Truth prevail in our country.

    2. "1) in protecting the dignity of the human person, the Church has long held that sometimes people need to be shown that things they are doing HARM and wound and degrade themselves."

      Again, Father, show us how gays are doing harm. You cannot continue to avoid the question when your conclusion hinges on the answer. All other statements, arguments, and positions are meaningless without a solid, objective evidence.

    3. all sin harms the individual. That's why God labels it a sin in the first place. That is how people who have same-sex sex are harming themselves.

    4. But we have religious freedom, remember? Many religions accept same sex marriages and do not consider it "sin", and some reject religion altogether (which is a type of religious freedom). What is your basis of violating one "Catholic Principle" for another? In other words, why are you limiting freedoms of citizenship to one group of individuals while allowing others to have equal protection under the law?

    5. you asked me to tell you how engage in same-sex sex are harming themselves, and I did.

      The marriage issue is a separate question - the Church says marriage between a man and a woman is a first principle. Throw us in jail, kill us, whatever - we will never tire of saying that marriage between a man and a woman is a first principle of a just society, and if it is abandoned, then the game is up. Democracy falls and justice wanes and we quite quickly implode.

    6. I asked for objective evidence required in a secular society, and you have provided biblical speculation that violated your own professed ideal of a just society. Are you not then being unjust? If your interpretation of biblical wisdom is the truth then it should be easy to justify harm caused by gay marriage just as it is easy to prove the harm of divorce, adultery, or polygamy.

      No one is trying to kill, jail, or even silence your opposition. Honestly, spare us the histrionics. But, you are accountable for trying to segregate and subjugate an entire group of people and rallying others to do the same.

    7. you are using a lot of words quite loosely, without having to define them, which is typical of the left...say things that sound like the truth but aren't actually.

      1) the Church's teaching on the harm of same-sex sex to the person engaging in same-sex sex is not just based on "biblical speculation", as with all sin, the teaching also comes out of 2,000 years of experience, in ourselves and in working with others, that all sin harms the person committing it.

      2) What is justice to you?

      3) are you looking for sociological studies in the Bible about gay marriage? Jesus did speak about marriage - "the MAN shall leave his mother and father and cling to his WIFE, and the two shall become one flesh..." that's pretty clear to me.

      4) you telling me not to worry about persecution does nothing to comfort me

      5) by holding up marriage between a man and a woman and saying "this is one of the foundational principles of our societies" is not subjugating anyone.

      Chesterton speaks well about you when he notes that:

      "Suppose we are all standing round a field and looking at a tree in the middle of it. It is perfectly true that we all see it in infinitely different aspects: that is not the point; the point is that we all say it is a tree. Suppose we are all poets... a conservative poet may wish to clip the tree; a revolutionary poet may wish to burn it. An optimist poet may want to make it a Christmas tree and hang candles on it. A pessimist poet may want to hang himself on it. None of these are mad, because they are all talking about the same thing. But there is another man who is talking horribly about something else. There is a monstrous exception to mankind. Why he is so we know not; a new theory says it is heredity; an older theory says it is devils. But in any case, the spirit of it is the spirit that denies, the spirit that really denies realities. This is the man who looks at the tree and...says it is a lamp-post...the difference between us and the maniac is not about how things look or how things ought to look, but about what they self-evidently are."

    8. 1. Thanks for admitting that this is really about a particular form of sex that you have an issue with. I feel that it is deeply troubling how silent the Church has been about some forms of sex that the Bible or the Church also feel is sinful, yet it is a small minority of people who are harmless that they choose to single out for humiliation. It is much like the Church cherry picking of certain sins described in the bible as being irrelevant to todays society, yet hold fast to the more convenient ones. Please explain, why is being forced to marry one's rapist no longer entertained as a serious rule, but homosexuality as a sin is? Also, if homosexuality is a sin why not demand for the prescribed punishment of homosexuality? Luckily, we live in a secular society where civil marriage and religious marriage are separate.
      2. I am using your definition of a just society, remember? It was a central theme in your post. I also pointed out how the Church rarely follows their own "principles", so I guess that would explain why it was so forgettable to you. "say things that sound like the truth but aren't actually". You're speaking about yourself, apparently.
      3. YES! Show me objective evidence. Funny how the verse did not prohibit same sex marriage; sometimes what is not said speaks volumes. Not that any of this matters since we live in a secular society where civil and religious marriage is different.
      4. I am not trying to comfort you, I am asking you to stop exaggerating claims that may be disturbing to people who would believe you without evidence. It is dishonest, and you know it.
      5. If that were all the Church were trying to do then we would not be having this conversation, but this is not the only thing the Church is doing. The Church is attempting to politically influence civil marriage with same sex marriage prohibition. Denying same sex marriage is equivalent to denying citizenship to a group of people, and this has major ripple effects through a society that prides itself of equal treatment under the law. The 14th amendment prescribes equality for all, and you are demanding without any objective evidence that gays be fenced in, subjugated and humiliated. It is deeply immoral.

      You'll never see the irony of attributing your quote to me and that makes me sad. Oh well...

      Here is a quote that speaks well to your argument from Judge Heyburn in Kentucky:

      “These arguments are not those of serious people,” Heyburn said in his decision. He said there is “no conceivable, legitimate purpose” for the ban, which keeps same-sex couples in the state from enjoying the economic, social and emotional benefits of marriage. These include tax benefits, the ability to share insurance, the ability to adopt children as a couple and other rights.

    9. You say -- "the MAN shall leave his mother and father and cling to his WIFE, and the two shall become one flesh..." that's pretty clear to me. Below are 4 passages from the Bible in which Jesus makes it pretty clear to me that he will answer prayers granting the person praying anything they ask for. My suggestion----pray that the homosexual orientation will be eliminated immediately. Please pray that all homosexuals will be promptly changed to heterosexuals. Remember, these are Jesus's words. Not mine. I'm not making this up.

      Mt. 18:19: Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven

      Mt. 21:22: If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

      Jn, 14:14: You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

      Mk, 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

    10. Jesus told his disciples to pray the Our Father. Everything you should pray for is in that prayer. Everything you should NOT pray for is NOT in that prayer.

      Here's an article on God and prayer answering -

    11. Judge Heyburn betrays the arrogance of your side quite helpfully - "they are not the arguments of serious people"...the same rationale we saw from the Supreme Court on DOMA: "The other side are all morons"...which has always been the line in serious, mature, rigorous debate in our country. (sarcasm)

      So was Obama "not a serious person" when you voted for him in '08? Or did he become a serious person only after his "conversion" to redefining marriage? Do we only glimpse his dignity and personhood NOW, after he made the decision? So someone who currently doesn't believe in redefining marriage isn't a serious person, but if they change their mind tomorrow they begin to have dignity and are welcomed into the realm of "serious personhood"?

      The reason I ask is that this line of thinking sounds a lot like same reasoning used by muslim extremists, who, incidentally, would not like to talk and reason with people having same-sex sex, but would be perfectly content to kill such persons.

      So I hear from liberals the same thing I hear from Islamic extremists: convert to our way of thinking and become a real person who has dignity and is a "serious person" in our eyes

    12. Wow, what a tantrum! Barack Obama, Islamic terrorists, what are we talking about again? Focus, Father. You cannot expect to be taken seriously if you ask for restrictions that cause others undue harm when you cannot prove reasonably why those restrictions are necessary. That is essentially what Hayburn is saying. All you have done in your argument was assert "principles" that the Church rarely follows, and offer scripture that is irrelevant. If you believe you have the Truth, then that Truth should be reflected in society. Your lack of evidence is proof that your belief of what Truth is is wrong.

    13. In response to the article on "why God won't answer my prayers" -- I read the article--and I would have to ask you this question Fr. Hollowell-----So Jesus lied then? Did Jesus lie when he made those statements? I've seen headline news where parents of a sick child refused medical treatment and relied on those passages, thus believing Jesus would heal the child and guess what? The kid ends up dying. Jesus is the 2nd person in the trinity(God the father, God the son and God the holy spirit) he surely would have known that God couldn't possibly answer everybody's prayers asking for what they want/need. How do you reconcile the article and the above situation with the kid, with the four passages where Jesus says to pray for whatever you ask for and you will receive it?

    14. ah, yes, the aloof chuckle of the liberal left, accompanied by the condescending "head pat"

      I have stated, many times, that marriage between a man and a woman is a first principle. What are your first principles? You won't answer that one, I can guarantee it.

    15. I'm a moderate independent, and as a American citizen my first principles are held in the Constitution. Your constant deflection is tiresome and weak.

    16. Dunno which anonymous user you're talking to here....we are two different people, but I am curious to know the answer to my above questions. I have yet to find a priest who can answer that question. Usually what happens is I either 1) get ignored or 2) I get an answer that doesn't make any sense. And if something doesn't make's usually not true.

    17. And my point is that saying "my first principles are in the Constitution" is tiresome and weak. You can't articulate them because as soon as you articulate them you and I both know what will happen.

    18. Constitutional principles are tiresome and weak? If this is your belief, why stay in this country?

      "You can't articulate them because as soon as you articulate them you and I both know what will happen."

      Well that's again vague and deflective, but I've learned not to expect much from you. I believe that marriage equality is required based on the 14th amendment, and will lead to greater emotional and financial health of gays and their families. Birth rates will stay stable. Divorce rates will continue to go down. I believe this because of actual evidence produced by researchers, not because God has given me a crystal ball as he has with you. I think that's quite different from your apocalyptic view, so I would appreciate it if you would stop being so presumptuous.

    19. Anonymous #2 - tell me more so that I can answer your question. You are a Christian? If you are a Christian are you also Catholic?

    20. so you can't articulate what the first principles are in the Constitution?

      I have no problem saying what I believe the first principles of this country are, nor do I have any problem why I believe those principles should be first principles.

      You have a problem articulating what first principles our country should be founded on, and you have that problem because once you say "these particular principles ought to be first principles" when I ask you the followup question of "why should those be first principles," and you can no longer say "because they're in the Constitution", you'll be stuck.

      To make it simpler, a dialogue with someone like you from the secular left would be like this
      me: "what are your first principles"
      you: "what's in the Constitution"
      me: "but why are those first principles?"
      you: "Because they're in the Constitution"
      me: "But that's not what I asked...prior to the Constitution's authorship, what made the founders choose those particular first principles?"
      you: "because they're in the Constitution"
      me: "Okay, never mind"

    21. Well, I used to be a Catholic. Nowadays I consider myself neutral. I believe there could be a God, and I think it's possible there isn't a God. But the more and more I read the Bible, the more I'm convinced it's nothing in it is true, and there probably isn't a God. The more contradictions I find in the Bible, the more I am becoming convinced there isn't a God. Like the example I pointed out in the 4 Biblical passages.....huge contradiction(honestly, that isn't the only one). I'm looking for an answer to my above questions that will blow my socks off as to make me think to myself "yeah, that sounds correct. In fact, that is correct. It makes perfect sense to me." Then I will probably go in reverse and start making my way back to the Catholic Church once and for all.

    22. anonymous 2 -
      Mt. 18:19: you must not be agreeing with the brother or sister in Christ strongly enough

      Mt. 21:22: you must not be believing with a 100% pure belief

      Jn, 14:14: You must not be asking in God's name perfectly yet

      Mk, 11:24 you must not be completely believing that you have received it

    23. Fr Hollowell/the Church: "Gay marriage = the end of our society as we know it."

      The Majority of Catholics:
      "Ending slavery= the end of our society as we knew it.
      Women's right to vote= the end of our society as we knew it.
      Civil rights for blacks= the end of our society as we knew it.
      Interracial marriage= the end of our society as we knew it.

      Ending "our society as we knew it" was a good thing when we granted the above human rights, the same will happen with same sex marriage. This is why the majority of Catholics support it, and the majority of the country supports it. You have no valid, credible argument proving otherwise. Until you can demonstrate in a credible way how it will actually hurt any straight marriage if same sex couples are allowed to marry, you really need to stop. The Church has had years to prove this, and it has failed, and you have failed.

    24. You have to be kidding right? The Catholic Church helped lead the charge against slavery in this country. The Church led the charge against civil rights for African Americans as well (it is priests and nuns in the photos of the MLK marches), and show me where Catholics said interracial marriage would be the end of society.

      your comment is ridiculous and trolling

  2. We'll put. Thanks Father.