University of Notre Dame Renames Marriage

The paranoia of Catholic bishops and their claque over the supposed “redefinition” of marriage has some bizarre consequences. At Notre Dame, for example, an editor’s anxiety to reserve the word “marriage” to sacramental marriage, between a man and a women, has led him to change the wording of an alumnus’ announcement that he had been married, to “united in a ceremony”.  In doing so, they have unilaterally renamed civil marriage – effectively, redefining marriage, is it exists in the regulations for Washington DC. It is, furthermore, plainly discriminatory: there is no indication that the same editor has ever renamed opposite- sex civil marriages as “commitment ceremonies”.
Chuch Colbert has the story at Windy City Times, following a piece on the continuing struggle at ND for LGBT inclusion and approval of a gay straight alliance. Here are some extracts:

LGBT name game at Notre Dame Magazine

by Chuck Colbert
Even as advocates at Notre Dame pressed school officials to make the university gay friendly, a policy change at the Notre Dame Magazine signals a step backwards.
The magazine, which is distributed free of charge to tens of thousands of alumni worldwide, does not allow use of the word “marriage” in the classnotes section to acknowledge legal same-sex wedlock.
The new block-out policy came to light in the most recent issue of the magazine (Spring 2012) in a letter to the editor.
“When I was married in the District of Columbia on June 18, 2011, my friend and classmate Lorie Masters was kind enough to write about this joyous occasion in the classnotes section of the winter issue. You, however, saw fit to change the word ‘marriage’ to ‘united in a ceremony,'” wrote a 1981 law school alumnus, Allyn Amato of Alexandria, Va.
He continued, “Not only is your editorial policy intellectually and logically flawed, it is also downright insulting both to my husband and to me. We are married and have exactly the same legal status as any heterosexual couple married in the District of Columbia.”
“The attitude evidenced by your editorial policy is, in my view, most decidedly hypocritical and anti-Christian. Please answer me this question: Had I married a Jewish or Muslim woman outside the Catholic Church, would you have edited the column in the same manner? I think not,” wrote Amato.
Editor Kerry Temple explained how the change came about. “Until three or four maybe five years ago, the magazine’s classnotes section carried news of same-sex unions and called them marriages,” he said in e-mail correspondence.
“Then some very vocal alums protested and the result was a meeting of administrators during which it was decided not to use the word marriage, but to use other terminology, such as civil union or partnership ceremony,” said Temple.
“The rationale was that for the vast majority of our readers the word marriage means the sacrament of matrimony,” he added.
And yet the issue here is civil marriage and not sacramental marriage—civil rights, not sacred rites.
This sad incident highlights one of the numerous internal contradictions in the orthodox Catholic teaching on homoerotic relationships. The documents make clear the importance of treating us with “respect, compassion and sensitivity”, avoiding opposing unjust discrimination and avoiding any encouragement of malice or violence in speech or in action. But attempts to keep strictly to the rest of the teaching, on the “disordered condition” and its resultant condemnation of marriage equality, lead inevitably to actions which are themselves offensive or insensitive, discriminatory – and may well encourage hurtful speech and behaviour. In attempting to follow through logically with strict adherence to the bishops’ line on marriage, the editor is in clear contravention of the other, often – neglected strand in Catholic teaching.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

6 comments for “University of Notre Dame Renames Marriage

  1. Chris Morley
    May 3, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    So the University magazine was bullied by “some very vocal alums” and the administrators decided to collude in this for a quiet life, and cowardly didn’t inform the LGBT people affected that their entry could not appear as they wanted. Disrespect.

    It’s not so different from the hierarchy and orthodox Catholics insisting on talking about same-sex attraction / same-gender relationships, and doing everything possible to avoid people’s own choice of designation, such as lesbian, bisexual or gay.
    The same disrespect to the affected person, contrary to the Catechism’s expectation of respect, compassion and understanding.

    I also find the whole orthodox Catholic ‘we’re all human, we don’t put people into heterosexual, homosexual boxes’ similarly sickening. It’s a way of erasing and ignoring whole aspects of peoples’ being, for Natural Law doctrinal convenience. Similarly disrespectful.

    Rant over: I’ve just discovered a gay guy living with HIV was murdered when he told his partner his HIV status and I’m absolutely outraged.

    • Advocatus Diaboli
      May 8, 2012 at 12:51 am

      “gay guy living with HIV was murdered when he told his partner his HIV status”

      Reading that was like a flash back to a less happy time in my life
      One of the reasons that I used to be horrified that I was gay is because I was presented with information and reports like this all the time with the indirect (and sometimes direct) implications that this is how gays behave. The image presented was that gays are all addicted to anonymous sex and porn, and that the rates of violence were disproportionally higher among gays in sexual and romantic relationships than the general population. Not a week would go by without hearing some report of “Gay gets jealous and strangles boyfriend with belt after being told the relationship was over”, “gays more likely to dump boyfriends if they contract a disease or get a disfiguring injury”, “violently vindictive behavior among gays is high”, and on and on and on. The image was that gays are narcissistic, care only about money, cars, cloths, and sex, are irrational, violently emotional and overly sensitive, and will not think twice about cheating on someone or breaking up with them if they find someone hotter than the person they are currently dating, and all kinds of other base and immoral behavior. It didn’t help right after I finally  became comfortable ‘being gay’ I was taken advantage of and date raped 3 consecutive times. 
      I remember shaking violently in fear in the psychologist’s room, after the emergency room doctor labeled me “A Suicide Threat”, screaming in tears that I hated her for ‘tricking’ me into admitting that I was gay and that she was an bad therapist for suggesting that it was ok that I was homosexual because “they’re like animals, and I hate them!”. Obviously, I no longer believe that. I would normally be outraged by someone killing their significant other because they have HIV (like  you are) but the feelings and memories that reading that sentence evoked in me made were that of fear and shame rather than outrage. A little voice in the back of my head that I thought died two years ago almost said out of reaction “thats what will happen to you if you accept your sexuality”. Funny how the human mind works. It is truly a strange thing.

  2. Advocatus Diaboli
    May 8, 2012 at 12:04 am

    funny how those in politicized positions interpret things so different than others might. 

    First and foremost, lesson in the basics of the English language: marriage is a noun. Nouns refer to people, places or things (objects), therefore nouns have set definitions as they refer to set objects;however nouns change as the set objects change into different set objects. If the object is redefined, the noun must follow suit or it can no longer be used to refer to that object.However, “married” is a verb. Verbs are not people, places, or things, and therefore do not refer to objects. Verbs refer to actions, and the substance of the action CANNOT be redefined, unlike a  The phrase “united in ceremony” is what is called an adverbial phrase, which means it is simultaneously referring to an action (verb) and describing it (adjective) at the same time. Adjectives and verbs may be interchanged with adverbs/adverbial phrases, but a noun cannot be interchanged with an adverb/adverbial phrase.Therefore, IT IS OBJECTIVELY NOT A REDEFINITION OF MARRIAGE TO USE THE ADVERBIAL PHRASE “UNITED IN CEREMONY”. This is not a matter of interpretation, but a matter of THE FUNCTION OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. Don’t believe me? Fine, lets test it:1. “The marriage of Mike and Samantha occurred yesterday. The two were united in ceremony on a sunny beach surrounded by family and friends.”2. “The united in ceremony of Mike and Samantha occurred yesterday. The two were marriage on a sunny beach surrounded by family and friends.”3. “The marriage of mike and Samantha occurred yesterday. The two were married on a sunny beach surrounded by family and friends.””UNITED IN CEREMONY” IS AN ADVERB AND THEREFORE IT IS INTERCHANGEABLE WITH THE VERB “MARRIED”. “MARRIAGE, HOWEVER, IS A NOUN AND THEREFORE IS NOT INTERCHANGEABLE. The fact that using the adverbial phrase “united in ceremony” in place of “married” did not change the object of the sentence (aka the MARRIAGE), is non-negotioable proof that THIS IS NOT A REDEFINITION OF MARRIAGE.  If “united in ceremony” were a redefinition of marriage (actual or ‘effective’), then the words “marriage” and “united in ceremony” could be interchanged without creating a grammatically incorrect sentence. However, not only do interchanging the two create a grammatical error, there is actually an error is SYNTAX which means that it is NOT EVEN POSSIBLE TO DERIVE A MEANING FROM THAT SENTENCE. Therefore, anyone who truly believes that “united in ceremony” is a redefinition of marriage IS FUNCTIONALLY INCAPABLE OF USING ENGLISH AS A RELIABLE MEDIUM OF COMMUNICATION.Still dont believe me? lets put it into more context:1. “Joe and Bob were married in Washington DC last month.”2. “Joe and Bob were united in ceremony in Washington DC last month.””married” and “united in ceremony” do not change or in anyway redefine the object of the sentence – which is quite literally nothing other than a unitive ceremony. If “united in ceremony” did actually redefine marriage, then the following sentence would not be a syntactical error devoid of all meaning in the English language:3. “Joe and Bob were marriage in Washington DC last month.”The politicization and radicalization of sexual orientation and same-sex unions has caused people to GO OFF THE DEEP END to the point where they are becoming IRRATIONAL. “Your policy is intellectually and logically flawed”. Um, HORSE SHIT! The claim that “united in ceremony” is a “redefinition of marriage” is what is intellectually and logically flawed. There is absolutely no logical or even valid argument that this is a redefinition of marriage, at least not if you are using ENGLISH as your mode of communication. It is completely unacceptable that language is allowed to be subjectivized to the point of incomprehension simply because it is over same-sex marriage. I have half a mind to write an extremely strong worded letter to this alumnus. In fact, I have decided that as soon as my last final exam is over on friday, I will compose a article pointing out that gay-activists have reached a point of radicalization that they are actually making it MORE DIFFICULT for people and places stuck in the middle of the two sides to accommodate them.  No matter how hard Notre Dame resists, in the end it is still bound to the official Church. The less willing gays are to allow the school to compromise the more it is going to have to explicitly and fully take one side or the other; and anyone who thinks for even one second that Notre Dame can actually and practically take and official pro-same sex marriage stance in this atmosphere IS ABSOLUTELY STUPID. Unequivocally. THe harder gay-activists pressure places like notre-dame, the less wiggleroom they give them, the more they are going to have to take a side, and that side will and can ONLY be an ANTI-GAY STANCE. Radicalization breeds radicallization. People like this alumnus are actually making it HARDER for notre dame to be open and accepting of gays. I just cannot fathom the level of irrational stupidity that people like that operate on. It is just insanity. I cannot handle it. I know how some of these gay-activists work, and I would be willing to bet every single dollar in my bank account that that alumnus sent those announcements SPECIFICALLY to test Notre Dame and see what it would do. ANything less than “yay gay marriage, lets put rainbows stickers on everything we own” is seen as an F on the test, and then they go after them in the media and personal level. Then they wonder why there is a small but not insignificant minority of gay people who disassociate and disown the gay-activist movement. Harvey Milk would be appalled at this behavior.I am just BEYOND SICK of the “IM SUCH A GOD DAMN VICTIM SO THAT JUSTIFIES MY EVERY MOVE” that politicized gays have that every time i see something like this I have the urge to reverse gears and start working AGAINST the gay movement. I WILL NOT be linked to such base, animalistic, irrational, and unreasonably radicalized behavior.  I just refuse. I have an impulse to wish that washington DC’s gay marriage law gets repealed just so that this idiot wont have anything to bitch about; but I will resist the urge so that I am not drawn to the base reacting without using the higher brain functions level that he is currently operating at. I apologize for the language, I have never used such vulgarity before, but I have just about had enough of this kind of behavior. I really have not tolerance for it anymore. HOW DARE he attempt to call Notre Dame “un-christian” for this action. HOW DARE HE. Christians are supposed to be peacemakers, and to be a peacemaker one has to strike a middle path to try to appease both sides of a dissagreement. His refusal to allow a TINY compromise to avoid a shit storm from the huge conservative alumni base IS IN ITSELF UN-CHRISTIAN. The fact that this idiot thinks that trying to compromise to is “unchristian” betrays just how JACKED UP his world-view is, and the fact that he believes that the change that notre dame made was “illogical and unintellectual” when it is in fact GRAMMATICALLY, SYNTACTICALLY, and CONCEPTIONAL PERFECT according to the rules of English communication is just irrefutable evidence that this man is politicized and radicalized past the point of rationality. My grandmother was actually diagnosed with schizophrenia for this type of subjectivization of reality. He has all of the civil, legal, and marriage rights that anyone else in the country has, and his standard of living and material wellbeing is higher than 98 percent of the human population; yet He is trying to crucify a catholic institution because it tried to take a middle path and announce the marriage while not pissing off the majority of its most powerful and key alumnae. I’d like to send him to afghanistan, where presently families are murdering their little children if they suspect that they might be homosexual out of fear of shame and reprisals; and were LGBTs are hunted openly in the street by the STATE POLICE and abducted, then gang raped, beat to a pulp, then have their anus glued shut with silicone and force-fed laxatives so that their organs rupture and they die a slow and very painful death. This idiot needs some perspective of what his life is really like, because if he actually had a clue about how good he has it he would not be causing a shit storm over such absolute bullshit as a GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT interchanging of an adverbial phrase and a verb to try to avoid an escalation. people who behave like this do not deserve the luxury of marriage; and they are by definition un-christian. If he gets to identify as “Christian” then I will renounce my claim to Christianity because WE DO NOT WORSHIP THE SAME GOD. I will not support this insanity. it is disgusting. it literally disgusts me. Excuse me while I go throw up and rethink if I want to be apart of the pro-same sex marriage movement.

    • Chris Morley
      May 18, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      Your criticism of poor English grammar and syntax is, I fear, inaccurate and over-extended. To use your phrase it is you who have “gone over the deep end” and you are the person who looks rather obsessive about this.

      Aren’t academic institutions like universities supposed to be places for independent thing and critical examination of ideas? Is Catholic teaching about marriage so fragile that a magazine about the lives of university allumni cannot be honest about a man’s life and primary relationship?

      You, we, just don’t know what phraseology was submitted by the gay alumnus for publication by the Notre Dame magazine; you, we don’t know that the word ‘married’ was ever actually used.
      The magazine’s editor was the one who changed whatever wording was submitted to ‘united in ceremony’.

      Your criticism of the gay couple and blaming them as the victims does you no credit as a Christian.

      • Advocatus Diaboli
        May 18, 2012 at 11:50 pm

        1. I dispute the claim that my criticism of inconsistent application of vocabulary to refer to their designated abstract and concrete concepts, and bad grammar and syntax, is inaccurate. I also dispute that is is over-extended, in so far that it is accurate: describing a marriage ceremony as ‘united in ceremony’ is functionally accurate and objectively acceptable according to the rules and purpose of language systems. However, if you are referring to using logic to ‘dehumanize’ and ‘de-sensatize’ the issue, then I suppose I would have to admit that you have a sound point, but not one that I am required to adopt in the name of consistency and intellectual honesty.

        2. As far as being ‘over-extended’, I would have to agree that the response and argument was unrestrained and thus a ‘over-extended’. THis would have to come from my rather recent dissolution with the attitudes and tactics of gay-activists today and general souring of my opinion about the way that most gay people conceive or and approach the situation. THe few times that I am around gay people of my own age I have the desire to tell them that i’m gay and ‘be apart of the group’ so that i can have a sense of belonging, but every time without fail I get so frustrated and disgusted by the things the way they act, the things they say, and their general attitude that I loose the impulse to join them and find myself identifying more with the general world-view of non-gays. Sometimes I feel like I am a straight man trapped in a gay man’s body, or vice versa. 

        3. Originally, universities were places for being trained HOW to think. This is something that we have lost sight of. I cannot tell you how ridiculous it is that so many people today get “straight A’s” in their chemistry, history, business, etc classes, only to find courses that require deep and disciplined thought like philosophy or religious studies to be “too much work” or have to cheat their way through courses on formal logic and critical thinking because “they just cant understand it”. They were also places of education, which meant that you were taught facts and you discussed them, but only after disciplined cultivation of intellect. Today, we do not teach “truth” we teach “relative ideas”, which is fundamentally antithetical to the entire nature of “the church” – which is to promote “the truth” so to speak. Universities can and are often places of independent thinking, but independent does not mean ‘unregulated’ and ‘undisciplined’. Independent thinking does not mean promoting as true or ok whatever you happen to think at the time. Futhermore, the definition of a “Catholic university” is that it is attached to and inline with the official Catholic Church. It may come up with new theories, it may challenge old ones, but at the end of the day it must and can only officially support the truth as the Church sees it, and I do not mean some institution but the active body of believers in Jesus Christ complete with all of its parts (which includes the clergy/church government). Notre Dame can deviate from official church teaching only so far as the Church itself is willing to allow it – and the laxity of the Church over the past 2 or 3 decades as resulted in a number of divergent positions held on a number of issues by a number of supposedly ‘Catholic’ Universities. The combination of the unfair media coverage of the abuse scandal caused by inter-church laxity and apathy toward disciplined catholicism, the blatant disobedience of a number of clergy in recent years, the radicalization of attacking the church for ‘victimizing’ homosexuals for not giving libertine release for sexual activity and marriage, and the general deterioration of catholic identity due to loose-catholicism has created a reactionist and hard-line stance in the Church and its government. The harder and more adamantly and defiantly people push against the Church the less open it will be to change, this is fundamental human psychology. The Church changed immensely and easily during and after Vatican 2, probably more so than was immediately healthy at the time, when it did so from within, but if you try to change it or any other human group from without it will predictably harden, become intolerant, and harshly and rapidly discipline those within its ranks that ‘dissent’ when it would normally be far more open to listening  and dialogue.

        4. Solid criticism. I actually thought of this and tried to find the exact phrase that was originally used but could not, so I assumed or inferred from the material that I could fine that it was more or less a simple swap of vocabulary. However, I think that it is safe to assume that the alumnus used “married” or a derivative. 

        5. My criticism of the couple and “blaming them as the victims”; I am not entirely sure what you mean, it must be a typo on either your or my part, because I do not view the couple as victims but rather as egotistical idolaters; at least if thier reaction to ‘united in ceremony’ was indicative of how they truly feel. Their reaction betrays the fact that attaining a “loving and mutually supportive union with legal benefits and recognition” is not actually what they are interested in, but rather forcing everyone to use a relative cultural/vocabularical symbol (aka a “word”, which is an agreed upon combination of meaning less sounds to refer to a specific concept) is what they are after. They have what the symbolic combination of sounds (“marriage”) symbolizes, but they are still not happy. Just like idolatrous Christians who worship the relative cultural symbols in the Bible (or a version of it, such as the King James) over the actual God and concepts that they represent, this couple worships the word marriage over the actual thing it is referring too. If this were not true, then they would have no real issue with their marriage being referred to as a “unitive ceremony”. Marriage, hun-yin, vivaha, unitive-ceremony, nikah, casarse, pazshenimsya, are all symbols for the concept “a long-term union of two people in a socially recognized relationship marked by a ritualized ceremony”.  The combination of the specific meaning-less sounds ‘mmm’ aaa’ ‘rr’ ‘eee’ ‘ahh’ ‘jjjh’ pronounced in that order is the agreed upon way to refer to a long-term union of two people in a socially recognized relationship marked by a ritualized ceremony in the phonetic lanuage system called French. “hh-uu-nn-yy-in” is the agreed upon combination of sounds to symbolize marriage in the phonetic communication system called Chinese. “Vee-va-ha” is how the phonetic language system in most commonly found on the region of the world called the Indian Subcontinent symbolizes a long-term union of two people in a socially recognized relationship marked by a ritualized ceremony. You-nat-iv-sera-mown-eee is one of the ways that the phonetic system of English symbolizes a long-term union of two people in a socially recognized relationship marked by a ritualized ceremony, along with a slight alteration in the agreed pronunciation of the symbol found in the Francophone system. Nikah, casarse, pazshenimsya, are the araingement of sounds orally produced phonetic sounds that symbolize/refer to the concept of a long-term union of two people in a socially recognized relationship marked by a ritualized ceremony in Arabic, Spanish, and Russian.

        If I call this couples long-term union of two people in a socially recognized relationship marked by a ritualized ceremony a Nikah, I am symbolizing and thus refering to the same concept that the french marriage, chinese hun-yin, indian vivaha, english unitive-ceremony, spanish casarse, and russian pazshenimsya are. Switching one organization of sounds out for another DOES NOT CHANGE THE DEFINITION, SUBJECT, OR NATURE, OF THE CONCEPT it symbolizes/stands for/refers to.  Joe and bob were vivaha. Joe and bob were casarse. joe and bob were united in ceremony. joe and bob were pazshenimsya. job and bob were married – THEY ARE ALL THE SAME THING. To refer to a human as a ‘man’ or a ‘woman’ does not mean that they are both not homo sapiens, therefore to refer to a union between a man and a woman with one word and the same type of union between two men with a different word is not changing the type of union it is unless the words refer to two different types of relationships. A ‘marriage’ and a ‘ceremonial union between two people’ are the same type of relationship, but a union between two people and a master/slave relationship is NOT the same, even if there is a ‘ceremony’ and thus cannot it cannot be said that they were united in ceremony/married. The picture theory of language is DEAD and has been so for OVER A CENTURY. We need to stop getting hung up on and worshiping our own reletive cultural symbols and start getting down to the concepts they are referring to. 

        6. As fas as “not doing credit to me as a christian”; I have already stated that I believe that his couple’s reaction and publicizing this personal dispute is unchristian. My comment may not have been “christ-like”, but that is a product of being human. I have already clearly stated that if the conduct of this couple counts a “christian” then I do not want to be considered a “christian”. In fact, victimized discourse, the entire victimary thinking, self-pity, ‘we deserve this’, ‘i am discriminated against’ etc rhetoric of the lgbt lobby is definitely not christian.  Authentic christianity is that which bears its burdens and oppressions in faith and good hope; not bitter, angry, self-righteous, and insulting commentary and attitudes. A victimized christians prays for their oppressor/abuse, and forgives them before they have already done it (aka NOT bitter, NOT vindictive, NOT angry, etc). REAL christianity does not exist in large numbers anymore, and the no authentic follower of Christ would release a reaction like the one they did. My reaction may not have been what Christ’s would have been, but it was not fundamentally unchristain becuase it was not about how I am so discriminated against, and my rights, and what the state says my situation is, and me me me  I I I now now now I hate you and you are stupid for changing a word and bla bla bla inflated ego-worship. My comment is attacking the behavior and unchristian nature of the couple’s world-view that would release a comment and create a media shit storm over it. I bet that they are not even practicing catholics, just like that one women who caused a scene with the priest at her mother’s funeral then went to the press and played some ‘discrimination victim’ just as people were going to the poles for same-sex marriage, yet conveniently left out the fact that she is not even a practicing Catholic anymore. 

        So, as I stated, those people do not worship the same god as I do. Some christians unkowningly worship the Bible thinking that they are worshiping God, some christians worship the church thinking that they are worshiping God, some christians worship egalitarianism, social justice, and the institutionalization of every little action as ‘rights’ thinking that they are following and worshiping Christ.   These are the people whom Christ was referring to in the verse “But did we not do good things in your name? and he responded, Get away from me, I never knew you”; he is not talking about obvious hypocrites in this passage, he is talking about unconscious idolaters who twist, invert, and confuse the vessels of God into false God’s themselves.  The God of this gay couple, if they even actually believe in God or the Catholic Church, is NOT the same one that I believe in and worship.

  3. Nance
    December 19, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    ” Have you not heard from The Beginning, that God created them male and female, and for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh…” – Jesus The Christ

    “This” is the singular, proximal demonstrative.

    Only a man and woman can exist in relationship as husband and wife.

Leave a Reply