(NC Reporter) Michael Sean Winters—Gary Wills has the Worst Column (So Far) on Same-sex Marriage

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Garry Wills takes to the online pages of the New York Review of Books, a venue that you would think might require some standards of cogent thought for publication, to make a very curious argument about same sex marriage. He suggests that the Catholic Church's view that marriage is a sacrament is simply a medieval "fiction." He makes this point by way of voicing his support for same sex marriage.

Hmmmmm. I can see that there is an argument, although not a Catholic argument, that there is no such thing as the development of doctrine and so the organic growth of the Church's teaching over the centuries is, per se, invalid. I can see, too, that there is a case to be made, although I have yet to see a convincing one so far, that the doctrine of the Church does develop and that such doctrine should now develop to encompass same-sex marriage. But, I cannot understand Wills' argument which seems to be that the only developments that are legitimate are those that end up agreeing with him. A magisterium of one, and on the pages of the New York Review. Who knew?

I am especially befuddled by his suggestion that the fact that Christian views about marriage are rooted in Jewishness somehow makes them less capable of sacramental significance.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

4 Comments
Posted May 17, 2012 at 6:44 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. evets18 wrote:

From Wills’ article:
“The early church had no specific rite for marriage. This was left up to the secular authorities of the Roman Empire, since marriage is a legal concern for the legitimacy of heirs. When the Empire became Christian under Constantine, Christian emperors continued the imperial control of marriage, as the Code of Justinian makes clear. When the Empire faltered in the West, church courts took up the role of legal adjudicator of valid marriages. But there was still no special religious meaning to the institution. As the best scholar of sacramental history, Joseph Martos, puts it: “Before the eleventh century there was no such thing as a Christian wedding ceremony in the Latin church, and throughout the Middle Ages there was no single church ritual for solemnizing marriage between Christians.”

May 17, 10:43 am | [comment link]
2. driver8 wrote:

The argument seems obviously to be fallacious. But if Mr. Willis supposes it works, why does it not also work in respect of any non-religious view of marriage? That is, non-religious marriage has changed over the last two thousand years. Therefore non-religious contemporary marriage doesn’t exist (it is fictive, if you want). Therefore homosexuals may not get married.

May 17, 1:56 pm | [comment link]
3. Jim the Puritan wrote:

No, this article is worse, purportedly written by a “priest” and “theologian” and put on the CNN Belief Blog on Tuesday. Trots out every lie put forward by the homosexual agenda about what the Bible supposedly says:  http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/15/my-take-what-the-bible-really-says-about-homosexuality/

The “priest” is actually a longtime homosexual activist.  http://visionsofdaniel.net/index.htm

May 17, 4:15 pm | [comment link]
4. driver8 wrote:

Great response from Brandon at his blog Siris: http://branemrys.blogspot.com/2012/05/garry-wills-on-sacrament-of-marriage.html

May 17, 7:20 pm | [comment link]
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