‘THE HAUNTING’ ROCKED … WHY THE ‘STRACUZZI THING’ MATTERS … PLAY BALL! … plus … WEIGH IN ON THE ISSUE: THE DEFENSE OF TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE — WE WANT YOUR VIEWS
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and COMMENTARY
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012) — Today, we tackle a new issue on THE PLANET: The Definition of Marriage. First, let us deal with a few quickies:
SCREEN SHOTS — A splendid time was had by all who attended THE PLANET’s free showing of the 1963 Robert Wise classic, The Haunting. We had the small theater at the college to ourselves, with crystal clarity, the big screen, comfy seats, and a good mix of students and “civilians.” The Professor kept his introduction smart, short, and sweet, and then we all sank in to the art of filmmaking at its zenith.
TOMORROW, WE’LL TELL THEM WHO SENT WHOM — Tomorrow we shall share information straight from the courts and other official bodies relating to the arrests (multiple arrests, on two consecutive days in July 2005) of Angelo Stracuzzi, for President and CEO of Greylock Federal Credit Union. The information is still relevant, of course, for a number of reasons, including:
(1) When a person in an official fiduciary role and an unofficial position of trust as a “Community Pillar” betrays his charges so blatantly, the effects never leave the community. This is particularly true as long as the transgressions remain blemished through justice not being served. Stracuzzi copped a plea to two assault charges involving a 13- and a 15-year-old boy. Two counts of solicitation of the prostitution of a minor were dropped. He received a suspended one-year jail sentence, one-year of probation (which he never served, as far as the public record shows), and court-ordered psychological counseling (which he never received, according to the public record). The stench from all this still hangs over Stracuzzi, his family, his victims, Greylock, and its members.
(2) Greylock FCU is member owned. That changes everything. Greylock isn’t a privately held company. The members are the owners. The members were abused as badly as anyone in the entire sordid affair. There is reason to believe a civil suit could be launched, seeking damages, since it appears that the statute of limitations of Stracuzzi’s possible violations of fiduciary trust says that his actions are still in play. Greylock and Stracuzzi, of course, would sorely want this to g0 away. Should it, though?
(3) It’s bearing on the Nilan-Moore Case. Clifford Nilan, according to public knowledge, failed in his duties as chief probation officer when it came to the administration of the probation of his good buddy Stracuzzi. Nilan’s behavior in that case revealed to any reasonable interpreter that he is willing to abuse justice to help his friends and connections. As chief probation officer, and at the same time serving his buddy Angelo in a senior administrative position at Greylock Federal CU (as treasurer and member of the board of directors), the evidence shows that he knew of Stracuzzi’s conviction on the Biddeford Affair for almost five years and said nothing. That would suggest that he violated his oaths as a court officer and a Greylock officer. Thus, if he would act this way for a buddy, to what lengths would a man like this go to protect his daughter after she had, according to police, run over and nearly killed a man while driving her vehicle?
OPENING DAY TODAY— For the local teams (Red Sox, Yankees, and a lesser extent the
Mets), today is Opening Day, a designation that still requires capitals on the “O” and “D” — even in this era of $20 million-a-year ballplayers and ballparks as amusement parks.
We will not follow MLB except in a most casual way, this sport that once afforded KID PLANET with countless hours of childhood joy and ADULT PLANET a fairly lucrative living.
We wish your team well. May it win the division, the pennant, and the World Series (though we must confess, we have lost track now how the playoffs work except to say they have been watered down — we mean, “expanded” — to get more teams involved).
To show our antipathy, we shall be sporting a Houston Astros cap this year, courtesy of our good friend, Puggy Riccarini, Astros director of player personnel. We should ask my acting partner Dan Duquette, Orioles GM, for a Birds’ cap.
THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE: WE WANT YOUR THOUGHTS
Now with that, let us get to the issue of the day: The Definition of Marriage. In presidential politics, there is only one issue: The Economy. Everything else is ancillary.
Every major side issue — the military budget, national security, Social Security, healthcare — has to do with monetary philosophy and policy. Nonetheless, this being the age of the 24/7 newscycle, we have allowed religion and politics to mix, producing a toxic blend of civic zealotry. As a consequence, religious matters have taken on ill-fitting civil rainment, making political “issues” out of personal matters such as abortion and marriage.
Today, we share two views of marriage. The first is that of the Catholic Church. The U.S. Conference of Bishops has declared all-out war in defense of traditional marriage. Are they correct? The second is that of those who defend same-sex marriage We shall present their arguments and ask: Do they represent the Good here via their inclusion? We ask you to read and explore both arguments and then share your views with the rest of the community.
Tell us what you think.
WELCOME TO MARRIAGE: UNIQUE FOR A REASON!
Read a welcome message from Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, Bishop of Oakland and chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.
What is marriage? Are a man and a woman really essential to marriage? What about the child … and the role of mothers and fathers? Is it discriminatory to defend marriage as the union of one man and one woman? What impact does the redefinition of marriage have on religious liberty?
These are just a few of the many questions about marriage today. They all hinge upon the first question: What is marriage? When the answer to this question is understood, everything else falls into its proper place.
Marriage is unique for a reason. We invite you now to find out why:
- Explore the four themes (and one in Spanish) at the top of this page
- Brush up on the basics of marriage
- Dive in deep to the Catholic Church’s teaching
- Join the conversation about marriage, children, society, and more!
- Ask us your burning questions about marriage
- Order resources for your parish, class, or home (search for “Made for Each Other” or “Made for Life” as a Title, not a Keyword)
What does the Catholic Church teach about marriage?
Basing her teaching on God’s revelation in Scripture and the meaning of the human person, created male and female in the image of God, the Catholic Church teaches that marriage is the lifelong partnership of mutual and exclusive fidelity between a man and a woman ordered by its very nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children (see CCC, no. 1601; CIC, can. 1055.1; GS, no. 48). The bond of marriage is indissoluble – that is, it lasts “until death do us part.” At the heart of married love is the total gift of self that husband and wife freely offer to each other. Because of their sexual difference, husband and wife can truly become “one flesh” and can give to each other “the reality of children, who are a living reflection of their love” (FC, no. 14).
Marriage between a baptized man and a baptized woman is a sacrament. This means that the bond between husband and wife is a visible sign of the sacrificial love of Christ for his Church. As a sacrament, marriage gives spouses the grace they need to love each other generously, in imitation of Christ.
(From FAQ #3 in The Meaning of Marriage and Sexual Difference FAQs; see all FAQs)
Church Teaching About Marriage
A note on language: Why doesn’t this website use the terms “same-sex marriage” or “gay marriage”?
The terms “same-sex marriage” and “gay marriage” beg the question: What is marriage? Is it even possible for two persons of the same sex to be married? Using the terms “same-sex marriage” and “gay marriage” already presupposes (wrongly) that marriage comes in a variety of forms: “same-sex,” “opposite-sex,” “homosexual,” “heterosexual,” and so forth.
Put another way, the sexual difference and complementarity of husband and wife is not something that is added to a pre-existing thing called “marriage,” like you might add sprinkles to a sundae. Instead, male-female complementarity is at the very heart of marriage and part of its authentic definition. Marriage wouldn’t be marriage without a man and a woman, a husband and a wife. This is why adding alternative adjectives to the word “marriage” (“same-sex,” “gay,” and so on) produces not another “variety” of marriage, but a different thing entirely. It radically alters what marriage is in its very essence.
In contrast, the goal of the Marriage: Unique for a Reason website is to explain and illuminate the singular reality that the word “marriage” refers to: the faithful, fruitful, lifelong union of one man and one woman. A reality, you might say, without any adjectives. In the end, what’s at stake is precisely the authentic meaning of marriage. We invite you to explore the resources available on this website to understand why marriage is and can only be the union of one man and one woman.
Made for Each Other: Sexual difference is essential to marriage
“Love is Love,” declares a popular slogan in support of redefining marriage to include persons of the same sex. Its implication is clear: if marriage is about love, then any two adults who love each other should be free to marry … so the claim goes. Such an idea seems to have a certain appeal today, since it attempts to hold up the most universal of human ideals: love and freedom. But love and freedom don’t operate in a vacuum. Like breathing depends upon oxygen, love and freedom … and marriage … depend upon truth. Crucial questions cry out to be answered: Does love have anything to do with the human body, with being a man or a woman? Is there anything unique about married love? What is marriage? Keep reading…
Sexual Difference: Frequently Asked Questions
1. Marriage: What’s a good starting point?
2. Where does marriage come from?
3. What is marriage?
4. Why can’t marriage be “redefined” to include two men or two women?
5. What is sexual difference?
6. Isn’t marriage just about love and commitment between two people?
7. Why does a person’s gender matter for marriage?
8. How is the love between a husband and a wife irreducibly unique?
9. What is complementarity?
10. Why does the Catholic Church care so much about marriage?
11. Where can I learn more about marriage?
What about same-sex attraction?
The Church’s teaching on marriage recognizes that every human person is made in the image of God and has inviolable dignity. Every human person is a gift, deserving respect and love. It is important to acknowledge that persons with homosexual inclinations have suffered and can suffer a great deal…. The Church cares for and accepts persons who experience homosexual inclinations. She refuses to label anyone. Many with a homosexual inclination attend Mass regularly, are active in parish life, and seek to receive the sacraments. Keep reading…
Made for Life: Marriage welcomes the “supreme gift” of the child
Any honest consideration of marriage must think about children, the hope of our future. For millennia, people of every generation and of every culture have understood that the marriage of a man and a woman is the central pro-child social institution and the rock of the natural family. Marriage has never been about the relationship of just any two adults. Marriage brings together a man and a woman who unite as husband and wife to form a unique relationship open to welcoming and caring for new life. As the union of husband and wife, marriage is a union open from within to the blessing of fruitfulness. Children are born “from the very heart” of marriage, from the mutual self-giving between husband and wife (CCC, no. 2366). They are the “supreme gift” of marriage and its “ultimate crown” (GS, nos. 50, 48). Keep reading…
The Gift of Children: Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does marriage have to do with children?
2. Does the Church think that marriage is a mere “instrument” for having children?
3. What’s the difference between a husband and wife who can’t have children, and two persons of the same sex, who also can’t have children?
4. Why is a child meant to have both a father and a mother?
5. What about single parents? These families lack a father or a mother, just like households headed by two men or two women.
6. Aren’t children adaptable to many different family forms?
7. Don’t studies show that children do fine with two “moms” or two “dads”?
8. What about adoption?
9. New technology like “in vitro fertilization” (IVF) can enable two men or two women to have a child. Why does the Church teach that this is unacceptable?
Made for the Common Good: Marriage safeguards justice
Are you a bigot if you support preserving the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in the law? It is no exaggeration to say that the most common criticism leveled against those who hold to the classic and time-honored definition of marriage is that they are being “discriminatory.” “Marriage,” goes the argument, “is a human right. It’s unfair to exclude people from marriage simply because they want to marry someone of the same sex.” However, this begs the prior question of marriage. Rights, equality, fairness, and non-discrimination are all important principles and values for the good of society. But an honest consideration of these principles requires an honest consideration of the natural facts of marriage. Keep reading…
The Common Good & Human Dignity: Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does “intrinsic dignity of the human person” mean?
2. What does marriage have to do with human dignity?
3. Does the Church believe that people who experience same-sex attraction have equal dignity?
4. What does “the common good” mean?
5. Isn’t marriage a private relationship? What does it have to do with the common good?
6. Isn’t marriage just a religious issue that the government should stay out of?
7. What are basic human rights?
8. Is marriage a basic human right?
9. What’s the harm of same-sex “marriage”?
10. But isn’t it unjust discrimination to not allow two men (or two women) to marry?
11. What about civil rights?
12. Isn’t allowing two men or two women to marry just an extension of allowing interracial couples to marry?
13. What about equality and fairness?
14. What about “civil unions” or “domestic partnerships” between two persons of the same sex?
Made for Freedom: Marriage and religious liberty stand – or fall – together
Marriage, the lifelong and exclusive union of one man and one woman, is a distinct good in itself, and deserves to be protected. At the same time, because marriage and the family are the foundation of society, proposals to “extend” and ultimately “redefine” marriage to include two persons of the same sex threaten not only to empty marriage of its meaning, but also to collapse other fundamental pillars of society. One of those pillars is religious liberty. Keep reading…
Marriage and Religious Liberty: Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is religious liberty?
2. How are marriage and religious liberty connected?
3. How could changing the legal definition of marriage have any effect on religious liberty?
4. But would ministers really be forced to officiate at the “wedding” of two persons of the same-sex?
5. What’s the real threat to religious liberty posed by same-sex “marriage”?
6. Have any of these threats come to pass?
7. Doesn’t a religious exemption protect institutions and individuals if they believe that marriage can only be between a man and a woman?
Now this, the PRO Same Sex Marriage Arguments.
This, unfortunately, has become a “major” issues among certain political activists on both extremes of the spectrum. We would like to gauge the extent to which you agree or disagree with the Bishops of the Inclusionists. All are welcome to this community forum.
WITH THAT, WE LEAVE YOU FOR THE RESET OF YOUR DAY AND OURS. OUR COLUMN TODAY IS DEDICATED TO SIRE ISAAAC NEWTON — “NATURE AND NATURE’S LAWS LAY HID IN THE NIGHT; GOD SAID, ‘LET NEWTON BE!’ AND ALL WAS LIGHT. (ALEX POPE)
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE”
LOVE TO ALL.