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Katie van Schaijik

A few personalist insights about conjugal love

Mar. 27, 2013, at 9:34am

My introduction to philosophy came through a Nature of Love course featuring texts by von Hildebrand and Wojtyla.  The insights I gained in it changed everything for me. Lacking the leisure to write a more substantive article, I at least want to share a few of them, as a way of offering some relief from the moral darkness and confusion presently overwhelming our society.

1) Conjugal love is a unique form of love, a form perfectly embodied in the life-giving conjugal act. 

2) Conjugal love is not reducible to a commitment of the will; it's not reducible to "feelings"; it's not reducible to the sexual urge; it's not to be confused with "friendship plus sex." It is not the same as eros. It

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Katie van Schaijik

The metaphysics of marriage

Nov. 15, 2012, at 11:15am

Over at Public Discourse, Michael Hannon has a clarifying article on the debate over "same sex marriage".  (Hat tip facebook friend Patrick Langrell.)

Hannon shows convincingly that the common case for SSM rests on some basic confusions—or obfuscations (my word, not his)—about the nature of marriage.  

Olson and Boies [the super-lawyers making an apparently sincere case in favor of the legalization of SSM]—and the movement in general—claim that preserving marriage as a union of man and woman is unjust discrimination. For no good reason, they assert, the “right to marry” is being denied to same-sex couples, who are just as capable of loving and committing to each other as opposite-sex

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Katie van Schaijik

Blankenhorn succumbs to gay marriage advocacy

Jun. 23, 2012, at 4:59pm

David Blankenhorn has been among our nation's staunchest and most prominent marriage boosters for years.  Now, just days after a major new study is released confirming that tradtional marriage is better for children, he's changed his mind.  His reasoning reinforces my growing impression that defenders of marriage will have to shift gears if we hope to succeed in persuading a majority to oppose the legalization of SSM.  It won't be enough to prove that traditional marriage is better for kids.  If it were, then Blankenhorn would still be on our side.  He articulates the gist of that argument as well as anyone.

Marriage is the planet’s only institution whose core purpose is to unite the

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Michael Healy

Toward a Personalist Approach to Homosexual Attraction

Jun. 3, 2012, at 7:44pm

I do think we have to address core issues of human experience, human psychology, and human intimacy when discussing the ethics of homosexual attraction and SSM.  It is not enough to leave it at the level of politics and the legitimate interests of the state in giving special status to heterosexual marriage and family, though this latter approach is certainly valuable and important. 

Now the difficulty with this approach based in human experience is that we will have to acknowledge homosexual experience from within (without accepting it as normative), not only judge it from without.  If we just say that “homosexual acts are not and cannot be acts of love and union—they are acts of use and

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Michael Healy

Defilement and the Challenge of Addressing Evil

May. 29, 2012, at 11:09pm

This started out as a brief response in discussion of my earlier post on SSM, but developed into a further article.  I think what Katie and Jules worry about in terms of the corrosion of the natural moral sense, the impairing of ethical judgment, and the destructive effect on the moral imagination of having to deal openly with “unthinkable” evils (abortion, infanticide, homosexual relations, SSM), expresses existentially the reason why not only martyrs and virgins, but doctors of the church have special feasts and a special office in the Breviary—they have to deal with all the "unthinkables" because somebody has to refute them.   

This is their crown of thorns but it is a special work of

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Michael Healy

A Problem and a Fear about SSM

May. 29, 2012, at 10:43am

In regard to Katie’s question, “To speak or not to speak” about same sex marriage, it does seem to me that we have to speak up despite the delicacies—and crudities—involved.  Otherwise, we abandon the field to the propagandists who are already veritably overrunning us.  As was mentioned in the article, we can hardly shield our children (at least not for very long) from these realities in our culture—and even home-schoolers are part of mass society.  Eventually, by the teen-age years at the least if not before, they will be exposed to all that goes on in America despite restrictions on TV, movies, etc. 

It takes real heroism to speak up against the homosexual lobby.  People who do so and

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Katie van Schaijik

To speak or not to speak: a dilemma in the debate surrounding SSM

May. 21, 2012, at 4:12pm

President Obama's announced support of "same-sex marriage" (SSM) has put the issue in the center of public attention.  Articles and blogs on the subject are proliferating all over the internet.  It's become the stuff of casual conversation even among home-schooled teenagers.  It is practially impossible to keep young children from hearing about homosexuality and asking questions.

This raises a serious dilemma for me, and all of us.  On the one hand,  the SSM lobby relies on and takes advantage of a natural reluctance on the part of most to think and talk about what homosexuality is.  They prefer to keep the discussion focussed on subjective feelings and individual rights: "I love my

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