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Saturday, August 14, 2010

IS THERE A BETTER WAY TO OPPOSE SAME SEX MARRIAGE?



I was listening to the Catholic Channel on my XM radio yesterday. The talk show host was on the topic of the recent ruling on same sex marriage in California. He played two clips, one from an activist gushing over the victory of same sex marriage and the other lamenting what had happened.

The homosexual activist praised the decision as a happy day for America, for freedom, and for the pursuit of life, love, liberty and happiness--the American way.

The proponent of traditional marriage railed against the decision, mocked it and was rather shrill in her attacks on same sex marriage and the homosexual community.

Of the two reactions, the Catholic host seem to think that the younger generation would agree with the homosexual's description of things as being positive and loving and the proponent of traditional marriage as mean-spirited and ugly. And to me I would have to agree after listening to both "rants," if you will.

How can we as Catholics put forth our Catholic understanding of marriage which predates Catholicism, Judaism and other world religions and do so in a convincing, loving way that does not make us look like the stereotypical "homophobes?"

And in a court of law, how are those who want to keep the definition of "legal" or "civil" marriage as being between one man and one woman without resorting to the rhetoric of marriage being divinely instituted and defined? The American court system will not decide the issue on religious principles or on any belief in God but rather from a purely legal and political point of view. Do those who want the traditional definition of legal marriage know how to defend it without resorting to pious religious platitudes? Religious belief about marriage is simply not going to work in a court of law in the USA.

I'm not a lawyer, but lawyers representing the side of those who want legal marriage defined as a union between one man and one woman had better get as wise as the world and become worldly in all of their arguments if they want to win this one especially when it reaches the Supreme Court. The religious definition of marriage just isn't going to cut the mustard on this one. What does Jesus say about the worldly? They get the job done, whereas the spiritual seem to lack proper motivation and tactics.

As Catholics we must also admit that the greatest threat to marriage whether it is a sacrament or not is divorce not same sex marriage. Nearly 50% of marriages end up in divorce.

As Catholics we must also admit that we don't believe that a man and woman who enter second marriages while their first spouse is still living without the benefit of a Catholic annulment are in a marriage although the state law says it is.

As Catholics we also have to admit that within our very own tradition we allow for the marriage between a baptized person and an unbaptized person and that the "legal bond" can be celebrated at a Catholic wedding in the Church. This type of marriage is not a sacramental marriage but rather only a "holy" legal bond. It can be dissolved by the Church, not through an annulment but through dissolution--divorce Catholic style. So in effect, even in the Catholic Church we acknowledge some marriages as valid and legal but not sacramental because a sacramental marriage must be between two baptized Christians.

Even if civil law changes the definition of legal marriage, the Church can still uphold the Catholic understanding of marriage. But here we must ask the question, will there come a time in our country or in some other country that the Church must allow same sex marriage in the Church? Not all countries have the clear separation of Church and State as does the USA.

Finally, as Catholics we teach a very strict sexual and marital ethic based upon Scripture, Tradition and natural law. We teach chastity, no sexual genital contact before marriage and fidelity or chastity within marriage. We also teach as the Bible does and natural law reveals that sodomy both oral and anal are opposed to God's will for both homosexual and heterosexual individuals even within the bond of marriage between a man and women. However, we do not police what consenting adults do behind closed doors. However, when married couples have sex in public or prance around publicly naked, they'll be arrested, convicted of obscenity and put in jail.

As Catholics we should not be preoccupied by what consenting adults do behind closed doors and privately. That's between them and their Maker and for Catholics if sin is involved, after a thorough examination of conscience, confession to a priest is required for penance and absolution. But the priest is not a voyeur peeking through the lattices of the bedroom or a deputy dragging people to confession for things done in private.

So let us get a grip on things, uphold our Catholic understanding of marriage and to the extent that our political and judicial system allows and and uphold our teachings on sex in all of its facets and find worldly ways to pro-actively keep the time-honored definition of marriage in the public square and on the law books.

And for those who do not accept the Catholic Church's teaching on sex and marriage, let us Catholics not get shrill about those who want legal recognition of their relationship and the benefits of law that come from this legal recognition. Let's be as politely pro-active in all the the arenas available to make sure that these civil unions are not called marriage, call it a legal partnership or civil union. Let's make sure we argue the traditional case for legal marriage properly in whatever court of law that will be necessary.

14 comments:

kiwiinamerica said...

Same sex "marriage" is the inevitable result of the contraceptive culture embraced by the world four decades ago.

Once the procreative aspect of marriage is negated and children are no longer regarded as the supreme gift of marriage, then marriage has already been redefined. We've stripped it of its procreative function. From that point on it's really just a matter of time..............

If marriage has been redefined, we shouldn't be surprised, therefore, when other forms of "marriage" which are inherently unnatural, are proposed as valid choices and "normal".

Gene said...

Kiwii, That is probably the most succinct and accurate analysis of this abhorrent phenomenon I have ever read. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

kiwi and Father should go on a speaking tour.
You both articulated it so well!

anon at 7:44

Anonymous said...

Seconded, Kiwi. This trend is the opposite of what we are told: it is a conscious reversion and surrender to animal urges contrary to the development of our better nature. It has enslaved men and women to sex while telling them they are liberated. It is one part of an empty lie told in small installments.

rcg

Gene said...

RCG, I am not aware of any animals that engage in such behaviors in their natural state.

Anonymous said...

Don't want to derail an important discussion, but animals will make sex displays toward same sex creatures due, usually, to the overwhelming nature of the drive. While this is often cited as proof that homosexuality is normal and natural, it simply demonstrates that animals have very a limited ability to reason almost no self awareness qua man. Perhaps that shows the result of knowledge from the creation story: we can and do know better and that is why it is a sin.

I am of the opinion that homosexuality as we know it today is primarily an illness similar to excess drink and food or sloth. Pinan, you and I have discussed this before in relation to those sins of excess. I have seen the same behaviour in gay people trying to validate their activities as I see in people who are refuse to control other appetites.

Una Voce of GA said...

Father could you help spread the word about the first ever latin mass eucharistic congress in Georgia. Thanks for any help you can give and God Bless-if we can ever be of help, all you have to do is ask.

John Rasnick
State chairman of Una Voce Georgia
www.unavoce-ga.org


Sunday, August 15, 2010
Schedule of First Latin Mass Eucharistic Congress for Youth

Below is the scedule for the very first Tridentine ( Latin Mass) Eucharistic Congress for Young People in Georgia. It is at St Andrews parish in Rosewell-Atlanta Diocese Father Bing of EWTN will be hosting this event. Please spread the word and lets show this great support. The fees are now waived. If you can't afford pay the fee then you get to attend free. If you can afford to, then all you are asked to do is make a donation to cover costs.


ADORE 2010 Eucharistic Youth Conference
Atlanta, Georgia – August 20‐22, 2010




DAY 1 (Friday, August 20, 2010 – In Honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus)


9:00am Registration / Breakfast
9:30am HOLY HOUR of ADORATION (Confession begins)
11:00am Welcoming / Orientation
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm Group Dynamics
1:30pm 1st TALK: “Doubt No Longer But Believe” – Fr. Jose Viola, OATH
3:00pm Group Workshops / Break
4:00pm ADORE 2010 Opening Mass (Traditional Latin Mass)
6:00pm Dinner
7:00pm ADORE 2010 Cultural Night
8:00pm HOLY HOUR of ADORATION
9:00pm Dismissal


DAY 2 (Saturday August 21, 2010 – In Honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary)


8:00am Registration / Breakfast
8:30am Morning Prayers (Confession begins)
9:00am Living Rosary
10:00am ADORE 2010 Opening Ceremony
10:30am 2nd TALK: “Fearless Apostles of the Eucharist” – Fr. Edgardo “Bing” Arellano
12:00pm Lunch
1:45pm Group Dynamics
2:00pm 3rd TALK: “Courage to be Pure” – Fr. Edgardo “Bing” Arellano
3:30pm Group Workshops / Break
4:00pm HOLY MASS (Traditional Latin Mass)
6:00pm Dinner
7:00pm EUCHARISTIC PROCESSION
9:00pm Dismissal


DAY 3 (Sunday August 22, 2010)


9:00am Registration / Breakfast
9:30am Morning Prayers / Rosary (Confession begins)
10:15am Group Dynamics
10:30am 4th TALK: “No Greater Love” – Fr. Edgardo “Bing” Arellano
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm Group Workshop / Break
2:00pm 5th TALK: “The Call to Holiness” – Fr. Edgardo “Bing” Arellano
3:30pm Vocation Challenge
4:15pm ADORE 2010 Final Mass (Traditional Latin Mass)
6:00pm Closing Address / Picture‐taking / Dismissal

For more information about the Alliance of the Two Hearts and the Adore 2010 conference, visit http://www.allianceoftwoheartsgeorgia.com/ or contact Diane Guesman at (770) 993-1846 or diane7guesman@att.net or Margarita Santiago at (678) 521-0484 or mestgo777@yahoo.com.

Andrew B said...

Father,
I believe you are entirely correct in your assertion that divorce is more dangerous and destructive than civil unions. Neither the state nor the church can ever police the actions of people in their own homes, whether a married man and woman, or otherwise. And neither the state nor the church can make decisions about who people will keep their house with.
I believe there are injustices within the law that create jealousy towards traditional married couples by those have no desire to be married, but still desire the social and legal benefits married persons are provided by our society.
If we are not prepared to take away the tax benefits, etc of being married, and we also hold that all citizens should be equal under the law, then we will have to afford those benefits to same sex pairs.
The important thing then, as Catholics, is to keep clear the distinction between people living together in whatever way they will, and people living in the sacrament of matrimony thru the Church. And as Christian citizens we should not try to force others to live like us, but rather to support righteousness in all.
If, as Christians, we must live in a world where homosexual relationships are considered socially acceptable, we should try to help those relationships to be as healthy and just as possible. The fact that two people of the same sex happen to live in the same house & are considered under the law in the same way that married couples are, this won't destroy the world - sin will. People that are in same sex unions, and those that are in marriages, can live sinful, destructive, fleeting lives, or holy, committed, and chaste ones. It is the latter we should hope for, then respect and support when we encounter them.

Gene said...

Andrew, just how do people in same sex unions live holy and chaste lives? It seems to me fundamentally impossible for them to do so because the very nature of their union is sinful and an abomination. This choice of life style is directly and willfully counter to Judaeo-Christian values, and it is willfully destructive of social order. They combine sexual sin with the sins of defiance and hatred. Many actively scorn the Church and her teachings, and they flaunt their perversions publicly. The whole notion of same sex pairings is a lie, both biological and social (not to mention theological). Hell, no, they should not be given the same tax benefits as normal married couples. It is just this kind of thinking that is the reason behind our moral decline. It is a bunch of egalitarian nonsense that must be combatted or there will be nothing left of civilization or the Church.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, same sex marriage is part of the assault on marriage and accepting it does not improve the plight of traditional marriage. This would imply that the attack on marriage is based on resentment of the status of married couples, per your second paragraph. This would fall into the over simplistic category of two wrongs not making a right.

Disregarding the unlikely premise of whether homosexuality is socially acceptable, the idea that Catholics must work to make those relationships just and healthy concludes that the Catholic must accept defeat of the Catholic Doctrine. Rather your conclusion should be framed as a question: can same sex unions be just and healthy? The answer is no because they presume sex as part of the relationship when it is not required for any reason except personal sensual satisfaction. It distorts interpersonal relations to include sex for no other reason. This is not considered healthy even for male/female relationships and reduces one or both parties to prostitutes for the relationship. Humans must include the mental and spiritual aspects of their natures in sex or they are dehumanised and reduced to mere animals, at best.

It is strange to consider that Catholic social teaching is considered old fashioned when it has emphasised the connection of sex and procreation for many years. Thinking creatures would reason that this connection would free women from being recreational sex objects and activate the mental aspect of Mankind to objectively understand and try to master the animal aspect of our physical natures.

Instead we turn away from our Spiritual natures, abuse our physical selves, and waste our mental powers on rationalising why we should have sex with everything except that which will actually give meaning to the act and creates another being. Homosexuality is not even rational.

Catholic doctrine cannot be countered by false analogies, poor reasoning, and false dilemma. At its core is the state wherein people can be in loving relationships that are deep and meaningful regardless of the sex of the person and without physical gratification as a premise.

rcg

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I was thinking about "civil unions" or "partnerships" that would allow those in these unions the benefit of hospital visits, but more importantly, tax benefits, inheriting one's pension, social security, etc. If the law of the land called such unions, civil unions and not marriages when one could not legally marry because of gender issues, one could still get the benefits afforded to married couples. So, I wonder if as a priest I could enter a non-sexual civil union and get the tax benefits as well as pension and social security benefits that are normally afforded married heterosexual couples. Also could these civil unions that in law would treat those in them as those in marriage, be extended to multiple partners so that polygamy could benefit as well. And how about incestuous civil unions?--just musing---Fr. AJM

Anonymous said...

Father M. If the relation were only for the tax benefit it would be a form of fraud, similar to marrying a woman for citizenship. OTOH, I would support such relationships ala 'adopting' my ailing mother-in-law so I could care for her. The tax benefit in that case is the same as if she was gaining her support from charity that I contribute.

I am convinced the tax and other benefits are the sole point of the exercise. Are gay couples willing to accept higher premiums on their insurance based on the actuarial results of their lifestyle?

rcg

Templar said...

Fighting same sex marriage is futile (same as fighting climbing divorce rates) because they are symptoms of the problem, not the problem itself. The problem is immorality in society. We should be striving to live lives which Glorify God, instead we live lives which Glorify ourselves. Getting the sexual relationship we want; getting out of a marriage that has grown too hard or too stale; and even engaging in legal contortions to get a better tax break; none of these things have anything to do with Glorifying God. Marriage should be defended as an institution because it pleases God that it be done. It is likely a losing battle in the short term because Societies have shown themselves to through cycles of morality, and we've probably passed the tipping point and heading down the slope. Eventually, probably not in our life times, some cataclysmic event will trigger a final societal collapse and then a period of suffering and eventually recovery.

We know this because history has demonstrated it, and because our Lady has told us it will be so.

So, if we are to fight, and that fight is to be futile in terms of our own ability to affect change, why should we seek compromise? We should cleave to the Truth, the Whole Truth which is the deposit of the Faith of Orthodox Catholicism and fight without concern for victory. Fight for what is Right, not what is achievable. Compromise is the road to relativism.

Gene said...

Civil unions...hmmm....anything goes, I guess. On my way to Kroger this morning I passed a field with several rather attractive goats grazing near the fence....