Saturday, June 24, 2006

"Whopper" Dan Maguire's "Scholarship"

As a public service, here's the REAL story behind "Church-approved ceremonies [uniting] 'gay/lesbian' couples" which "Whopper" Dan Maguire mentions in his pack-of-lies for Congress:

Reviewing a book in First Things which makes the same claim as does Whopper Dan (Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe. By John Boswell. Villard Books), Robin Young has a few salient points:

...There our host, Archbishop Dionysius Behnam Jajaweh, remarked that since we had survived the rigors of Syria and Eastern Turkey in amicable good humor, we two women must be good friends indeed. Would we like to be joined as sisters the next morning after the bishop's Sunday liturgy in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre? Intrigued, we agreed, and on a Sunday in late June of 1985, we followed the bishop and a monk through the Old City to a side chapel in the Holy Sepulchre where, according to the Syrian Orthodox, lies the actual tomb of Jesus. After the liturgy, the bishop had us join our right hands together and he wrapped them in a portion of his garment. He pronounced a series of prayers over us, told us that we were united as sisters, and admonished us not to quarrel. Ours was a sisterhood stronger than blood, confirmed in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, he said, and since it was a spiritual union, it would last beyond the grave

...If this were all that Professor Boswell [or in the instant case, Whopper Dan] were claiming to have "discovered," neither I nor anyone else would be likely to dispute his findings. It seems reasonable to assume that ceremonies like the one Susan Ashbrook Harvey and I went through continue to take place in those eastern churches that preserve the rite of adoption (adelphopoiesis) for friends. In fact, scholars of the liturgy have known for years of these rituals.

...I will say flatly that neither Boswell's reconstruction of them nor his method of argumentation can possibly support the interpretation he proposes. First, it is highly implausible that homosexual unions either in antiquity or in the Middle Ages would have been blessed by a religion that promoted ascetic devotion to the kingdom of God rather than that condition which contemporary Americans understand as the healthy expression of erotic drives.

But even more disturbing than its implausible assumption is the book's promotion of a contemporary cause, i.e., homosexual marriage, through the invention of precedent. [This "invention of precedent" is not unknown in the Church. "Liturgists" have done it for years.]Even the most cursory examination of Boswell's documentation exposes the way he has struggled to force a group of documents to conform to his conclusions. Despite its facade of scholarship, the book is studded with unwarranted a priori assumptions, with arguments from silence, and with dubious, or in some cases outrageously false, translations of critical terms. And Boswell's insouciance about historical accuracy would be unacceptable in an undergraduate paper.

But hey, it works for Whopper Dan...

The rest of the review is here.

"...a priori assumptions...outrageously false translations...unacceptable in an undergraduate paper..."

You wonder if Ms. Uihlein knows what she PAID MONEY for, eh?


Brother James said...

Dan has been, not surprisingly, against the application of Ex Corde Ecclesiae. What can be done, when even the bishop's cannot persuade theologians to be true to the Magisterium? Fr. Richard McBrien's in the same dissident boat, as are many others.

John McAdams said...

Do you have a source on Maguire telling this to Congress?

Not that I doubt it.