What Next in the Marriage Debate?

A couple of months back, I received a phone call from one of my sisters, reminding me of a wedding reception that she and everyone else in the family would be flying down to Florida to attend.   A nephew had just gotten married in New York, and everyone was eager to celebrate the union.  Was I planning to go, she asked?  The question was slyly rhetorical, as we both knew, since the answer was obviously no.  And not because the cost of an airline ticket was too high, or that I’d sadly made other plans for that weekend.  There was nothing Aesopian about my refusal.  It was simply because I could not think of anything the least bit celebratory about the marriage of two men.

Nor was it, come to think of it, even a marriage—a point I did not raise with my sister, then or later, as she was already wearily aware of my reactionary views on the subject; we’d been rehearsing them for years and years.  She and I are at a complete impasse on the issue and so more and more it simply doesn’t come up.

But, of course, the damn thing just won’t go away, will it?   As witness, for instance, the latest thunderbolt from the Supreme Court effectively announcing the legalization of same-sex marriage.  Thanks to two landmark rulings last month (June 27), the defense of marriage looks to have been completely shot to pieces.  Who’s going to resurrect the institution of traditional marriage now?  The Republicans?  As an old Jesuit I once knew used to say, “It’s going to get worse before it gets a lot worse.”

Not since the late 1960s, in fact, when acquiescence to the idea of amiable co-existence with the Communist world became a welcome and widespread development among Americans have we witnessed a movement of comparable success in achieving wide cultural and political acceptance.  If anything, the mainstreaming of the gay rights movement has been at an even faster and more far-reaching clip than anything we’ve ever seen.  Not only are we expected nowadays to ratify the right of homosexuals to marry and, yes, to have and to raise children; but to rejoice in the fact that they are finally free to do so.  Who could have predicted a triumph as total as this one appears to be?

So the cause is lost and we all need to come to terms with the new dispensation—is that what I’m saying?   (Do I FedEx the wedding present to my nephew now?)  No, it is not.  Indeed, the cause is most emphatically not lost.  And anyone who hasn’t got a death wish needs to take up arms and get in the fight.  There must be zero tolerance for defeatism on this issue.  Besides, to paraphrase T.S. Eliot, there are no lost causes, because there are no gained causes.  So why fight?  In order to keep something alive lest the dark days that are coming find us without even the least scintilla of light by which to steer our way safely beyond the looming shipwreck.

But we have got to fight with weapons commensurate to the struggle.  In the effort we make to turn back the tide of defeat (and history will not look kindly upon us if we fail on this front) some arguments are less persuasive than others, and we need to know which ones they are.

So what arguments won’t work?  Begin with Appeals to Authority, to which not a few Protestant Evangelicals appear particularly vulnerable.  It will be best to avoid them altogether.  And why is that?  Because they are, as St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us, the weakest arguments of all.  Nor, as a practical matter, are they likely to work.  Not now, and certainly not with this crowd, so determined is the homosexual lobby to level every marital distinction sanctioned by Ultimate Authority Itself.  I mean God, of course, who despite clear and unmistakable authorship of the institution of marriage, is not someone to whom any direct appeal is going to succeed.  He may be the primary source when it comes to the meaning of marriage (who can better adjudicate disagreements than the Author of the text?), but, alas, who’s reading his book?  And so what I’m saying is, don’t become a “bible thumper” on this issue, to cite a term used by some to dismiss fundamentalist opponents of homosexuality.  In other words, even though the practice of sodomy is plainly proscribed by Scripture, which, as the sacred Word of God, remains normative for all time, it cannot be our first line of defense.

It also begs the key question that simply cannot be gainsaid in the struggle; it comes up repeatedly in the gay marriage debate and no appeal to scripture is going to allay the force of it.  Which is to ask—as they insistently do—why exactly do we regard it as wrong for two people in lovenot to marry just because they share the same sex?  Do we really want to rob people of their right to be happy?  It is a heart-felt question and on the strength of its sincerity it deserves an answer.

Mr. Lance Morrow, for example, a formidable essayist for TIME and other important secular publications, in a provocative piece written some years ago, put the issue squarely before those of us who hold fast to the existing and immemorial usage of the term.  The time having come, he off-handedly tells us, “for an evolutionary change regarding marriage,” we have simply got to accommodate the desires of gay people.  And why this evolutionary change exactly?  For two reasons, he says.  Because the event of marriage involves neither men nor women, but simply people; and because the essence of being married is not about babies, but about love, the expression of which needn’t eventuate in children.  “If two people want to be married,” he sternly concludes, “it’s their commitment, their love, their risk, and their responsibility.  It is not my business to interfere one way or another, and certainly not my job to check their genitals.”

Well, neither do I, for that matter, nor does anyone else I can think of, wish to do genital inspections in order to determine who’s fit to marry.  But neither do we want to trivialize the fact that the human race consists of people possessing one of two equal yet opposite sets of genitals.  Are these to signify nothing?  Is being male and female so accidental an arrangement, so whimsical a design feature, that in the most intimate exchanges among us it cannot matter how we human beings are arranged?  Mr. Morrow could hardly be more mistaken than to downplay their importance.  Unless he is prepared to dismiss them as merely vestigial, it matters enormously, and across the whole sweep of the human estate, which of the two organs we humans have come into the world equipped with.   Indeed, it is a matter about which even Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, and St. Paul himself would substantially agree.  There is just no other conjugal connection this side of perversion.  How else do we relate to one another if not as male and female?  As people?   What airy-fairy abstractionism is this?  I don’t know any people.  It is only as men or women that I’ve any real acquaintance or connection with the human race.

Here lies the best and most immediate line of defense we’ve got.  That in the turn to the subject, that anthropological matrix from which life as we know it unfolds, it is always as an embodied subject that we encounter the other, the specific configuration of whose being will be either male or female.   Again, we humans only know men and women.  Our bodies bespeak a certain language, the grammar and syntax of which are not arbitrary or unjust, but rather profound and revelatory of who we are.  The body is not a mere carapace we inhabit.  And thus in the mystery of love, of that mutual giving of self, it is the body that is bestowed upon the other.  Personhood is mediated by and through the body.  To think otherwise is to fall into angelism.

Yes, but it must truly be another to whom that gift of self is made.  Which is precisely why, at the deepest level of our experience of being sexually differentiated beings, same-sex marriage cannot be countenanced.  Because the union between the two is neither real nor natural, it cannot qualify as a marriage and we mustn’t call it such.  The question is, are there enough real men and women out there willing to summon the courage to say so?

Regis Martin

By

Regis Martin is Professor of Theology and Faculty Associate with the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He earned a licentiate and a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Martin is the author of a number of books, including Still Point: Loss, Longing, and Our Search for God (2012) and The Beggar's Banquet (Emmaus Road). His most recent book, also published by Emmaus Road, is called Witness to Wonder: The World of Catholic Sacrament. He resides in Steubenville, Ohio, with his wife and ten children.

  • Marie Dean

    Great article and you have faced what many Catholics face and to which they respond in different manners. Sadly, not all people can think as clearly as you do and do not see beyond the false usage of the word love.

    We need to think like Catholics and not like secularists-and return to real definitions. May I add that for a woman to love a man and a man to love a woman, there is a calling out of one’s self into the mystery of the other, which cannot happen in a so-called homosexual relationship, which could be labelled idolatry, as it is the love of the self and not the other.

    • Colleen

      Who are you to say where and how love can happen. You people are disturbing!

      • tom

        Colleen, I’m glad you egressed from the Faith of your Fathers, too. Just keep moving…far, far away. Pick up the pace, please! No loitering. You’ve chosen. Just go away.

      • John200

        What a misfortune! Nobody claimed to govern where and how love can happen. You write as if you have no idea of what marriage is. Or what sex is. Or what love is. Or logic, but leave that aside for the moment.

        Quelle dommage!

  • latejana

    Oh yes. I agree. I have never called these “togetherness unions” a marriage. A marriage is ONLY between a man and a woman. Jesus Christ honored the young couple at their wedding in Cana with His presence. He chose that moment in time to perform His first miracle. Matrimony is to be holy; it is a sacrament. All the homosexuals want is a “union”. They have forced a redefinition of marriage so as to include themselves and their sin but it is not true. And, the truth will prevail.

    • publiusnj

      I don’t disagree with any of this, but it is an argument from authority. We need to show the difference between Civil and Church Marriage on practical grounds. “Opposite sex Marriage” should be set apart (“holy”) not just because God says so but because opposite gender sex is so potent (and so key to the survival of the race). Because women can become mothers from opposite gender sex, the law needs to concern itself with opposite gender sexual relations.
      Gay sex, by contrast, is impotent and the law has no need to regulate such conduct. Why, for example, should gay sex be restricted to a married state with the sanction of adultery since the male participant in such sex will not be siring children out of other men? To be blunt, gay sex is just not that important, and there is no need for a civil sanction leading gay folk into “monogamous” unions. Indeed, state sanction of gay marriages reduces down to that hobgoblin of small minds like Anthony Kennedy: non-discrimination (or more honestly: foolish consistency). Moreover, as the old legal aphorism goes, the law simply should not care about such trifles (“De minimis, non curat lex.”)

      • Ford Oxaal

        Right — contractual, civil, lifelong monogamy makes no sense unless the stage is being properly set to bring a child into the world. But in a modern consumerist / atheist society, lifelong monogamy never makes sense, least of all to an opportunistic people interested mostly in money and pleasure, and who see all things, including children as commodities with pricetags. Western society began whittling away at monogamy in earnest with the advent of large numbers of women opting for part-time motherhood in order to pursue personal career goals. This new supply of women in the workplace depressed wages, massively increased adultery, and sacrificed innocence / virginity for money / advancement. There are few parents in the United States who desire virginity for their own children until marriage. Furthermore, the women’s vote divided the family vote and ushered in ‘progressivism’. Demagogues of all kinds ran with the ball. When contraception / abortion came along, the ground was already well-plowed for destroying motherhood and family altogether through state sanctioned / corporate sponsored sexual license (including sex saturated entertainment, no fault divorce, state sanctioned sodomy, etc.). In a world where the norm is that both parents work before divorcing, the family goes the way of the dodo bird. To make matters permanent, the raising and education of children is outsourced to parties with non-family motives of their own. The farce that is no-fault ‘marriage’, gay or otherwise, is a mere footnote here. But not to worry. Not even cinder block levels of stupidity and coarseness can stop reality. Reality in this case is demographics. It will only take a few generations of faithful Catholics to quietly and prayerfully rebuild families, and thus society itself.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        The public purpose of marriage is the founding of a family; in the interests of simplicity, certainty and universality – vital legal principles – the law deems all, and only, opposite-sex couples to be potentially fertile. To establish a screening process would be burdensome, expensive, intrusive and litigious, especially given current advances in reproductive medicine and assisted reproduction. Laws are enacted for the general case and anomalies are the price that legislators pay for simplicity and certainty.

        Marriage is the ordinary means of establishing the juridical bond of father and child – As Paulus says in the Digest, “Pater est is quem nuptiae demonstrant” – Marriage points out the father (Dig. 2.4.5)

        All the other legal incidents peculiar to marriage flow from this principle. It enlists the couple in a parental alliance and affords the child an indivisible filiation. This special nature of marriage is the basis for the existence of rules governing its conditions, its effects and its dissolution.

        Same-sex couples are, accordingly, not concerned with this institution.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    If we are to reject the mere togetherness unions of homosexuals, then we need to also reject the mere contracepted, together until we get bored do we part, togetherness unions of heterosexuals. A sterilized individual needs to be rejected as a suitable partner for marriage as well.

    • Me

      I think this is the best light in which to see same sex marriage. If someone has had a vasectomy or a hysterectomy or is of the same sex or is post-menopausal or is defective “down there”, reject them as a suitable partner. All these conditions fall into the same category of being unable to perform procreative sex. These people should not be allowed to marry as they cannot have families.

      • TheodoreSeeber

        Here are two exceptions to that rule for me:
        IF a couple is either already married, and is staying together for the grandchildren and great grandchildren, then they’ve proven the very definition of being open to life. I can’t see why such a couple would still want sex (seems an awful waste of energy when just sitting together watching the sunset and talking gives the same level of mental intimacy), but I’m assured that some do.

        The second case is when one or both partners are widowed, and wish to give their children an opposite gender parent.

        • Me

          But if they want to marry an opposite gender parent who is not fertile, they should not be allowed to do that. That perverts the reason for marriage. Marriage has no meaning if it is not open to the act of procreation.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Exactly. And if you extend procreation to “raising an new adult citizen”, then you still can’t include homosexuals, because many of the children of homosexuals do not become functional citizens.

            • Me

              But it’s not just homosexuals. We need to extend the fullness of Catholic teaching to heterosexuals who are trying to get away with marriage when they can’t or won’t reproduce.

              • TheodoreSeeber

                Yes, we should.

          • Adam Baum

            How do you know who is or isn’t fertile?

            Or is your life experience so limited that you’ve never met or even heard of couples having children years or decades after being told “there’s nothing we can do”. I know three couples like that. One that had a daughter after three miscarriages, one that had a perfectly normal son after 20 years (mother was age 44) and a third married seven years conceived a month after starting adoption proceedings-and that’s actually a common thing-once the “pressure is off” conception occurs.

      • Tony

        How wearisome is this foolish objection!

        A man and a woman may not, because of circumstances beyond their control, be able to conceive a child. If this is due to their deliberate action, that may be cause for a declaration of nullity, that there never was an intention to consummate a marriage to begin with. If it is due to natural causes, that is another matter.

        The man and woman in this case are (probably) not going to be the efficient cause of a child’s coming to be. But they are still an exemplary cause of children’s coming to be; a cause by way of example. They still engage in the act which brings children into being, and they do so without the intent to prevent children from coming into being. They are engaging in an action which is procreative in kind, just as all married couples do, even if in their case it is (almost) certain that it will not be procreative in effect.

        Children understand the principle, which is why they look upon all married couples as a Mommy and a Daddy, and upon elderly married couples as a Grandma and a Grandpa.

        An old man can marry an old woman, and they can do the thing that brings everybody into being. That’s nature. A man cannot do that with a man, and a woman cannot do that with a woman. Those latter relationships are mock-marital, pseudogamous.

        • Me

          It’s not about what children or anyone else thinks. It’s about the marriage act only being valid if the couple is open to the gift of procreation. There is precedent for this. Hedir Antonio de Brito, a paraplegic man, was denied an application to marry by his local bishop because he was not fertile. He appealed the decision to Pope JPII, the Catholic equivalent of the US Supreme Court, but never received a response. This is an important Catholic teaching and needs to be upheld consistently. As for all those Catholic couple in the pews that I know are using contraceptive, there marriages should be annulled. They are not open to the gift of life and are therefore as guilty as same-sex couples of being invalidly “married”. If you can’t get pregnant, you have no business pretending you’re “married”.

          • Steve Culy

            Hey, “me”, you’re a being a bit extreme and boorish here. The efficacious “sign” of marriage is the man and woman, that’s the point. Those who marry and then sadly make bad, even sinful choices, are still MAN and WOMAN, the “sign” which points to Another: Christ and His Church.

            • HigherCalling

              Additionally, the Church establishes from biological fact and natural law the principles that form her teaching on procreation and marriage. In principle, a man and a woman can procreate. Whether a man or woman is sterile or past child-bearing years is incidental to the established principle.

              By contrast, in biological fact, two men cannot procreate; two women cannot procreate. There is nothing incidental about this fact, and the procreative principle is violated.

              So long as the marital union accepts an openness to new life (achievable only through sexual complementarity), the procreative principle is not violated, and the marriage is valid. Homosexual “sex” is utterly closed to new life, and as such, the principle is utterly violated, and there can be no marriage. Incidentals play no role in establishing proper, working principles, and Catholic teaching is based in sound first principles. For falsehoods such as same-sex “marriage” to seem persuasive, principled thought must be disallowed from the discussion (which, of course, is exactly what has happened).

  • publiusnj

    The Church needs to proclaim the superiority of indissoluble Church Marriage capable of harnessing the consequences of opposites attracting (and ofttimes therefore propagating) over dissoluble Civil Marriages. It is a simple application of the birds and the bees. The important thing in marriage is the opposites: there needs to be one sire and one dam for any child to be “born out of” a participant in a marriage and that participant needs to be a female because only a female is capable of receiving semen and reproducing. As the old child’s rhyme went: “First comes love; then comes marriage; then comes ____ and the baby carriage.”

    Civil marriages have no necessary relation to people propagating since two of the same sex have no need for the assurance of marriage before they copulate. No children are going to issue “out of” either participant in the copulation, no way no how. Despite gay fantasies, no child has two mommies or two daddies. IOW, marriage as applied to gay people does nothing to advance the security of the female genetic material recipient in a copulation nor any child sired by the male participant. “Civil marriage” is simply a contractual relationship having nothing to do with the product of copulation.

    The Church needs to proclaim the superiority of its marriages loudly, clearly, without apology and without pulling punches.

  • Pingback: What Next in the Marriage Debate? | Catholic Canada()

  • Steven Jonathan

    Yes, it is going to get worse before it gets a lot worse, just look at the progression of the last ten years. Someone is turning up the heat. This is just the thing, perhaps misguided by a false ecumenism arising out of the “spirit of Vatican II”, we are motivated to try to find common ground with the secular humanists. Any notion of common ground is only pretense and entrenches us ever deeper in error.

    The temptation to disconnect from the author of life because we might be referred to as “Bible Thumpers” as we argue from True Authority, strikes me as too high a risk and leans toward calculation, which is never a good bet. Into the fray we must willingly spring, and we must use every Christian weapon at our disposal, philosophy, psychology, history, science, etc… but all grounded in and unbreakably bound to the Christ. He tells us this morning “I send you out as sheep amidst the wolves, be wise as serpents but innocent as doves.” We must speak Christ’s truth, but to speak it with authority, we have to love the truth, and to love the truth we have to know the truth, and herein lies the crux of the problem. We must teach our children to know, love and serve the Truth.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    The very first paragraph makes this into very much a First World Problem to me. Not just the wedding between two men, but the very concept of getting married in New York and having the reception in Florida makes the whole thing sound like an exercise in materialism, not an exercise in love.

    Which basically sums up the whole concept of this contracepted, ’til we get bored do we part, modern togetherness union marriage to begin with.

  • lifeknight

    For a VERY small fraction of the population (ie the sodomites and lesbians) we are at the juncture of redefining marriage! Who woulda thunk it? It is something that has occurred so rapidly in society that some of us are simply stunned that we are at this point.

    It is the SYMPATHIZERS to the “gay” ones who have bought the charity line and continue to condone the notion that these people are “born that way.” Charity must be rooted in Truth. We need to fight the right fight even if the rest of the world allows for “any orifice will do.”

    PS: Wonder if I will get edited for using sodomite? I was banned from facebook for using “queer.”

    • musicacre

      You’ve hit the nail on the head and one must also realize that the English language has bee so distorted in its use that that alone causes the problems. Definitions have gone mushy, and so has thinking. What the majority of people understand as charity is mere sentimentality. After being dosed up with pop music and movies for so many decades, sentimentality rules over clear thinking and true compassion and charity.

      So alot of people have felt generous in following the crowd and saying, “let’s include them,” not realizing that there isn’t room for both. When these people have the extra rights, they use it as a club to extinguish Catholicism. They don’t waste much time on other religions, since they have all caved.

      It was never about “including ” them, since they already do what they want, unmolested. No, it’s about having the legal rights to invasively go into the schools and force the program from kindergarten on. It’s about the new litmus paper all over society, that will see you advance in your job, get connections, or not, if you don’t help them.

    • Me

      It’s not just the sodomite and the lesbians. It’s every single person who cannot conceive a child with their preferred sexual partner. If you’ve had a vasectomy, you have no business having Sex. Ever. Again. It is a corruption of the divine purpose of copulation and a mortal sin. It’s just as disgusting to think of a man who has had the snip ever indulging his lust as it is to think of two men doing it.

      • lifeknight

        True that one’s soul is dead with mortal sin, however it is like drowning in 6 inches of water or in 60 feet of water. “Resuscitation” is less likely with the deeper depth. Sodomy is the deepest depth of sinfulness.

        Corruption of the purpose of copulation can be said of contraception as well as sex after vasectomy. “Two men doing it” is simply perverse to the deepest depths of mortal sin. It is an abomination as the Bible states.

  • John_O_Neill

    The time has finally come to understand Jesus’s words that he would turn father against son, daughter against mother, brother against brother etc. We now have to face the fact that if a member of our family refuses to accept our definition of marriage then we should cut them off completely, there is no point in trying to keep this kind of family relationship alive. It is a hard saying but it is what it is. Let the American pagani have their little fantasy world but we should shun it as much as we can. Tyberim magno spumentem sanguine cerno.

    • Steve Culy

      I would recommend a different strategy: Love that family member, but do not accept their lifestyle/position. Pray for another to come into their sphere of influence to change their heart…

  • poetcomic1

    Absolute human ‘freedom’ in a Godless void…. what could possibly go wrong?

  • FrankW

    While we shouldn’t expect anyone who doesn’t take the teachings of the Church (or the Bible) seriously, we should also not shy away from some rather basic and natural arguments in defense of traditional marriage.

    For starters, Marriage (and its implied definition for all of recorded history) does not have an established author or creator, other than natural law, or God, which secularists reject. However, the United States Government is not the author of marriage. That being the case, what grounds does the government have for redefining something that it had no role in creating?

    The entire basis for redefining marriage in our nation is “civil rights”. The problem is, by proclaiming Marriage as a civil right, the government is usurping for itself the authorship
    of Marriage. In doing so, the government not only deigns who can be married, but also (implicitly) who CANNOT get married. Is this really the role of government? Can you imagine this same logic applied to the “right to have children”?

    Think about it. If we have enough people calling for a civil right “to have children” for any
    able-bodied, able-minded adult, and we demand that right be enshrined in law, we are implicitly granting the government the authority to determine who can and cannot be a parent.

    It is a fallacy that marriage is a civil right, and trying to proclaim it as such should scare people of all belief systems, not just Christians or deists. The defense of marriage should start by preventing our government from usurping its authorship in the name of civil rights.

  • HigherCalling

    This is the modern ‘philosophical’ argument that is winning the day.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlVBg7_08n0

    And most pro-life, pro-family, pro-marriage Catholics (and others) are unable to give a persuasive response to it. In fact, they are being persuaded by it.

    • Sygurd

      The only persuasive response to this “argument” is to call it by its true name – sentimental claptrap – and ridicule it.

      • HigherCalling

        Employing the tactics (name-calling and ridicule) of the opposition, whose arguments clearly cannot withstand philosophical and intellectual scrutiny, moves the debate nowhere. This video reflects almost perfectly the cultural climate surrounding the acceptance of homosexuality. Unfortunately the battle is not being won in the intelligent, isolated Catholic blogosphere; it is being won in the mindless, widespread pop-culture. Since our best arguments do not appeal to (and are rejected by) the dominant, unprincipled, liberalized culture that buys completely the fallacies found in this video, I do believe the debate is over; and, sad and embarrassing as it is for a society that claims to be intelligent, the mindless pop-culture has won, if only by their sheer numbers.

        • Sygurd Jonfski

          “Since our best arguments do not appeal to (and are rejected by) the dominant, unprincipled, liberalized culture that buys completely the fallacies found in this video…” the only succesful strategy is to show how ridiculous these fallacies are. That’s what I suggested before. But if you prefer to surrender, go ahead. I’m not joining you, though.

          • HigherCalling

            No surrendering here. I prefer education to ridicule, but perhaps neither will advance the truth in an increasingly relativistic culture. This video is what now passes for deep, intelligent thinking, and it appeals to a broad spectrum of society that is blind to principled thought. Turning that around is not going to be easy. But when my attempts to educate fail (as they often do in this unreceptive climate), I just can’t seem to then engage in their tactics of name-calling and ridicule. Perhaps there is a viable third way that we haven’t thought of.

            • Sygurd Jonfski

              Well, if you prefer to perish as a lily-white gentleman debater, it’s your choice. I’d rather get my hands dirty in order to demonstrate the truth of these “arguments” which is dirty indeed. You’ve said yourself that a conventional discussion with these sentimental, shallow fools is no longer possible – what do you expect then? A “third way”? Dream on, my friend.

    • lifeknight

      That was simply DISGUSTING! I got nauseous watching the perversion promo.

  • James1

    In light of this article by Prof. Esolen ( http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/hatred-of-nature-hatred-of-sex ), I begin to wonder if the 3rd- and 2nd-to-last paragraphs of this article are really the “best and most immediate line of defense…” There would be State-sanctioned/enforced denial of biological reality, so the physical difference is no longer “fact.”

  • Adam__Baum

    I think you missed something here. Given the known difference between your position your sister’s position, it was obvious that she was “spiking the football” and treating you with manifest disrespect, not sly rhetoric. I’d be done with her, avoiding the major confrontation, just not accepting her communications until she learns not to be abusive.

  • Adam__Baum

    The next thing in the marriage debate will be it’s complete collapse among heterosexuals.
    It’s already started, even as the xenotheistic superstate “marries” homosexuals.

    “zerohedge” normally is an economics/financial blog, but this proves that they “get” at least a part of the problem.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-11/27-facts-prove-family-america-worst-shape-ever

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      In France in 2000, there were around 350,000 marriages. In 2010, there were 250,000 marriages and 200,000 civil unions (PACS), almost all of them between opposite-sex couples. That is before the introduction of SSM.

      According to the INED, births outside marriage, represented 44% of all births, more than half (56%) of the births of first children, a third of the births of second children, and almost a quarter of the births of third children. However, 85% of children under 15 lived with both their parents, which suggests family life is still valued, even if marriage is not.

  • Sygurd

    The practical necessity of marriage as a union of one man and one woman
    can be easily demonstrated without any reference to religion. Similarly, we don’t have to accept the sentimental definition of love as a given but we need to ask questions about it in order to show its utter vagueness: Can I marry my dog because I love him? What happens when love ends? It is exactly the same with homosexuality, for example: If all homosexuals are to be accepted, what about the ones engaging in fisting, sexual slavery or other S&M acts? Soon it turns out that the real definitions of “love” and “homosexuality” as perceived by their propagandists are very narrow and actually discriminatory. Keep it simple and ask good questions, that’s all.

  • ed

    I love when they come to me and say the Supreme Court made it right…I say go look up Plessy v. Ferguson

    • Adam Baum

      Or Roe v Wade, Buck v Bell, Korematsu, Kelo… or any of a myriad other lesser travesties that prove the Court is nothing but nine individuals afflicted with logorrhea and egomania.

  • newguy40

    I read the article several times. Maybe I’m not understanding the point of the authors arguement.
    My sense is that any arguement, however well reasoned, will not avail. The reason for that is that this is an emotional issue for some. For others, in my simple minded opinion, is that the gay lobby is solely interested in tearing down the concept of marriage for their own perverted reasons on acceptance. And, not merely acceptance but mandatory celebration by Catholic’s and Evangelicals. They won’t be satisfied until homo unions happen in Catholic Churches.
    I’ll continue to speak out about the importance of marriage and families. I’ll do my best to sow the seeds and leave it up to the Lord of the Harvest for changing hearts. Meanwhile, I’ve made up my mind to get in the “line of battle” and improve my personal sanctity for the coming persecutions.
    And, I think the author is either directly or indirectly stating that we should not as a first liine of defence argue from the point of theology. I have to say that is completely wrong.
    We have to argue from the points of moral and natural law. If we don’t appeal from the position of Truth we are truly lost and taking on the shape and form of the worldly.

    • Steve Culy

      …then you DO agree with the Professor.

      Theology, morality, and natural law are 3 different (but complementary) expressions of Truth.

  • Alphonsus

    The soultion, in my opinion, it to mount a forceful campaign to eliminate the government’s ability to use the term marriage to designate any union it recognizes. Let it use the term “symbiosis”. This will rescue the term “marriage” and ought to be a satisfactory solution for all…except perhaps for the probable fact that the homosexual marriage activists actually want to destroy marriage rather than participate in it.

    • publiusnj

      Governments almost never say they lack authority over anything, so I don’t think even a forceful campaign will get anywhere. Politicians, though, can be ridiculed and that is where I think supporters of Christian Marriage need to go. First, Tony Kennedy needs to be ridiculed. Who is he to call the marriage rules passed by a Democrat Congress in 1996 (DOMA) bigoted? Back in 1996, before the softening up campaign had begun, even Democrats realized that Gay Marriage was a bizarre idea and DOMA was passed by an overwhelming vote in Congress assembled. The Democrats had singed themselves with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the country was up in arms. 31 states later had referenda and the people spoke clearly: “Gay marriage” was anathema.
      So, the judges had to be unleashed on the issue and the “Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts” found a right to “Gay Marriage” in the Massachusetts Constitution. Of course, that was a lie, no such right existed, but the Court had spoken! Did that mean the referenda rejecting Gay marriage were then stopped cold? No, but the people continued to be ignored. To make a long story short, no legislature passed gay marriage until NY went ahead and did so in 2011. Then the floodgates were opened and the mendacious politicians in California decided to totally ignore the will of the people as expressed in 2 referenda by refusing even to defend the people’s decision. That failure to respect Democracy and the long standing culture that antedates this country by millennia in turn allowed the fellow-traveling judges on the USSC to call bigots all those people who had voted in referenda and in passing DOMA. Lest we forget, it was Bill Clinton who had proposed DOMA, in the first place.

      • Alphonsus

        I do agree with your history and analysis, publi. You have it exactly right. But if you think about what happened at the level of government, the homosexual lobby was able to conquer the government-defined term “marriage” and bend the definition to its will. Now, there is no doubt about the motive for doing this. And the game is probably lost as far as restoring the term marriage to its proper definition. So, a good strategy is to remove the term – and its deformed definition – from play at the government level.
        If you think about it, as some posters below have, the degradation of marriage in law started long before the homosexual lobby stormed the building. It has been a couple of generations now since the traditional understanding of marriage – as a life-long commitment between a man and woman for the purpose of procreation, supporting, and raising of kids – was in the law. No-fault divorce began the downward spiral.
        A “Don’t Call It Marriage!” movement, over time, could very effectively get the point across that the government has no business defining marriage…and change things. Oh, the government may require a Symbiosis License for a symbiosis to be recognized within the legal system, but it cannot call what it recognizes a “marriage”. Because it does not have the competence nor authority to do so. Not only would this return the term to the people, but it would definitively remove any doubt that the government has any legal, social engineering, or propaganda authority in that realm.

        • publiusnj

          As I said, the Government never admits to lacking authority over anything. That would restrict its power, and politicians are graspers So, we need to ridicule them. What they call “Marriage” is not marriage but a temporary “stand.” And it has no permanent meaning because politicians are always willing to compromise anything. “Civil marriage” is not an estate; it’s a “marriage of convenience.” See: we need to ridicule politicians for being what they are.

        • OLO101

          Having children is not a requirement of straight marriage.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        The Council of Trent put it very succinctly: “If any one saith, that matrimonial causes do not belong to the ecclesiastical judges; let him be anathema” (Sess 24 c 12)

        • Adam Baum

          And the reason the Council was compelled to say that was because Martin Luther and Henry Tudor sought to make marriage a state affair. Five centuries later, the perils of this idea have born fruit.

          • John200

            Look again at what these boys wrought. That stuff isn’t fruit, it’s… I don’t want to use those words in a public forum.

            But I take your point.

  • CadaveraVeroInnumero

    Obviously what happened in June was not the last line drawn, the
    final marking on on the ground. Gay marriage federalized is not the sop
    that will keep all fed and happy. And, yes, so-called traditional
    Christians (Catholic or evangelical) will make their compromises. Which
    pastor or youth leader will touch t5he issue or homosexuality again?
    When a 13 year-old parishioner approaches either to sort out his
    confusion he will be (yes, he will) referred elsewhere – so the coming
    laws against “hate speech” will not touch them, or threaten their
    ministries and livelihoods. Yes, they will! What’s coming around the
    bend is going to be draconian. Yes, it will.

    There will be no religious (or even parental) exception clauses. The hate speech
    regulations (and they will come in the worst way, through administrative
    law) will restrict (with the appropriate punishments) for any church
    leader and parent who attempts to thwart the sexual/gender identity
    choices of their minor parishioners and children. Yes, it will.

    The set is being set for the that big nasty elephant in the room (bullish
    and much in heat) – the casting down of all laws regulating the age of
    consent. (Most likely as an entailment to to legislative and court
    decisions eliminating the “discriminatory” effect of “marriage laws”
    that restrict such bonding two persons. Why not? Who is to stop them?

    The State has confiscated the very notion of parenthood. Why not, since we
    have permitted it (by our acquiescence to gay marriage) to deconstruct
    the more fundamental concepts (realities) of motherhood and fatherhood.

    This is what June was all about.

    At that point what will the Church do? What the State knocks on your door
    to remind you that your 13 year-old is in his/her/transgender/other
    rights to engage in sexual congress with the 50 year-old down the street
    – what are you going to do? Be fined for the value of your
    properties? Have your tax-exempt status revoked?

    Articles that attempt to address “what comes next/’ without tackling the obvious noted above are giving little comfort, and no direction.

  • theorist

    “Are these to signify nothing? Is being male and female so accidental an
    arrangement, so whimsical a design feature, that in the most intimate
    exchanges among us it cannot matter how we human beings are arranged?”

    Modernists believe exactly that males and females are accidents and this is because they believe that all of nature is an accident with things constantly evolving, changing, etc. The universe is a changing machine and so it may be reconfigured to our whims. Nothing is as it is, but certainty only exists if we impose it. Therefore this philosophy must be combated and ultimately destroyed to make way for the return of the true philosophy which teaches us that the universe is stable and that things are substantial.

  • slainte

    On June 6, 2013, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Defense of Marriage, was interviewed by an Orthodox priest Fr.Josiah Trenham regarding same sex “marriage”. The interview preceded the US Supreme Court rulings re: DOMA and Prop 8.

    Archbishop Cordileone discusses the development of the same sex marriage movement, the ultimate goal of the movement (societal affirmation and acceptance of the gay lifestyle), and the Church’s mission to salvage and rebuild marriage. His Excellency characterizes same sex marriage as an “impossible right” which substantially injures traditional marriage.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcS42gWhZ5w

  • Deacon Ed Peitler

    #1 No arguments of any kind will satisfy the proponents of same-sex “marriage.” Why because they are NOT at all interested in marriage. The only matter of concern to them is political. Neither theological, anthropological, philosophical, nor biological arguments will work because the matter at hand is political.
    #2 The reason why not to go to your nephew’s wedding is the same reason why a Catholic would not approach the “communion rail” in a Protestant church. It is non-sensical to walk that far for a lousy piece of bread and grape juice.
    #3 I would suggest that you send your nephew a wedding gift of any empty box. It would be an appropriate symbolic act to his symbolic “wedding.”

    • Paul McGuire

      Funny, I know a number of couples, including myself and my now (male) fiance, who are very interested in marriage. What benefit would it be to fight for entrance into the institution of marriage if one simply wishes to destroy it? It is precisely because I value the institution of marriage that I have directed my life towards becoming a part of it rather than entering into a domestic partnership.

      • Adam__Baum

        Just because you don’t intend your appropriation of the institution to be destructive, doesn’t mean you aren’t subject to the law of unintended consequences. I’m pretty sure Martin Luther and others who thought marriage to be the province of the state never expected the current state of affairs, but ideas have consequences.
        You seek marriage because you want to submit yourself to your sinful inclinations and force others to acknowledge intrinsically disordered behavior as normal. No matter what histrionics or hyperbole you resort to, it’s a counterfeit.

      • Deacon Ed Peitler

        Paul, you are seriously deluded about what conjugal love is and is not. You are seriously deluded about what marriage is and is not. No matter how much you protest (and I have read so much of it on this site), you cannot pervert the truth of the body. Perhaps someday the meaning of your body and how it’s designed to communicate love in a true marital act might become apparent to you. It makes no difference how much you say you value marriage since your notion of marriage is perverse. In the meantime, our prayers are with you.

  • Pingback: SATURDAY MORNING EDITION | God & Caesar()

  • john

    Mr. Martin,

    This is a well-reasoned article, if a bit dense for an ordinary witness to proclaim. I think a simpler approach is one that also helps expose many other lies of the sexual revolution: that homosexual partners parading as spouses damages their children (if they have retained or acquired them), the children of friends/neighbors/classmates whose sanctity and innocence must be defended from the lie of unnatural sex, and the generational poison that defying natural law sets amok. It’s also abundantly clear that obtaining legal recognition of gay pseudogamy is only one step toward forcing the entire population to acknowledge as “good” what we still know is far from it.

  • hombre111

    “In the turn to the subject, that anthropological matrix from which life as we know it unfolds, it is always as an embodied subject that we encounter the other.”
    Well said, Dr. Martin, and that precisely is the problem. Two of my best friends are gay men who were priests. Both tell me that when they encounter a woman, they feel not the least attraction to her femininity. For them, as long as they can remember, their bodily attraction has been for the bodies of other men. One man left the priesthood and has been living a contented life with his partner for twenty seven years. Whenever we get together, he strikes me as a man utterly at peace. The other remains a priest in constant anguish, ripped apart by his bodily yearnings and his struggle to lead a celibate life.

    • Tony

      Don’t fall for the Potemkin Village.
      As for your friend who has remained a priest — don’t you see that there is something strange here? A normal man has to exercise temperance, but your friend is in the grip of something that surpasses the power of temperance: a compulsion, an obsessive desire to do something that is not natural. This is also why, by the way, it is so difficult to rehabilitate a pedophile. The action is so unnatural — and the “thrill” associated with it, inextricable from the disgust and shame and evil glee, so hard to forget, that the people who have engaged in it cannot put it down. They have always to return to the scene of the crime.

    • Adam Baum

      This explains so much of your heterodoxy and xenophilia.

      You are such a fraud. Perhaps you aren’t at peace because for a long time, you represented yourself as a priest of the Catholic Church, accepting support from people who thought they were giving of their toil to support a good shepherd.

  • Colleen

    This article is very scary and dark! Wow! Your “God” created homosexuals just as he created you. Who are you to judge the works of God. All of these comments “a sterilized individual needs to be rejected as a suitable partner for marriage as well….” Who are you humans to say who can and cannot be married? This is the most disturbing article I have ever seen and quite frankly, this sort of extremism is the evil of the world. God taught us to LOVE and have PEACE, not judge one another. God save your children!

    • Bono95

      God does not create people to be homosexual any more than he creates people to murderers, thieves, liars, blasphemers, or heterosexual adulterers. Homosexuality, like all other disorders, spiritual and physical, is a result of original sin. The condition itself and its adherent temptations are not sinful, but indulging in them is gravely sinful and disordered, just as it is sinful (though not always gravely or mortally so) and disordered to indulge in any and every other immoral action and temptation. People with SSA, like all other people, are called to live out God’s commandments, which include chastity. Homosexuality, whatever its origins or causes, is a cross to be borne by those who find it a part of their inclinations. God does not create sin, temptation, or sinful inclinations in people; he simply permits them to exist in order to bring greater good out of them.

      • Colleen

        I find you very disturbing! The ignorance of those who claim to “follow” God is alarming. The more I study science, the MORE I believe in my God. My God is loving and promotes peace. I suppose your “all-knowing beliefs” guide you to discount people who are disabled as well, since they are not “perfect”. I can no longer spend my energy on close-minded, judgmental people such as yourself. You people are what is wrong with the world. I know many loving homosexuals who have lovingly adopted damaged children that were created by heterosexuals who discarded them. Until you know the heart of someone who is gay, do not call them sinners, as you have just sinned yourself by casting away someone who was created by God, because, yes, all people gay or, sadly, even those like you, are created by God.

        • slainte

          Colleen states, “I can no longer spend my energy on close-minded, judgmental people such as yourself”…

          If you looked at yourself in a mirror I suspect you might find the very close minded, judgmental person you describe….and self righteous to boot.

          • Colleen

            Yes, I will be closing my mind to those religious extremists who are the evil of this world and damage it with poisoned views and righteous, idealistic beliefs of their god. I’m glad I left the Catholic church when I became educated of the world around me. As you sit back and allow your priests to abuse children and your “catholic” husbands to beat your wives, I will be putting my loving arms around those who make positive choices in this world (be they disabled, unable to have children, gay, black, white, etc.) and accepting those that see the TRUTH clearly.

            • Bono95

              Here’s a list of some saints you might find interesting to look up:

              Saints Who Struggled With Purity or Chastity:

              St. Mary Magdalene

              St. Mary of Egypt

              St. Augustine

              St. Fabiola

              St. Apollonia

              St. Afra

              St. Thomas Aquinas

              Saints Who Died Rather Than Give Up their Purity:

              St. Agnes

              St. Cecilia

              St. Agatha

              St. Barbara

              St. Philomena

              St. Lucy

              St. Dymphna

              St. Maria Goretti

              Saints With Diseases or Disabilites:

              St. Peregrine

              St. Germaine

              Blessed Margaret of Costello

              St. Lazarus

              Black Saints:

              St. Martin de Porres
              St. Moses the Black
              St. Charles Lwanga and Companions (BTW, Charles and his companions were all martyred for resisting the homosexual advances of their country’s king)

              This list is very incomplete, but I hope it will be a good start. Even just one of these saints may very well pleasantly surprise you.

            • Sygurd Jonfski

              Ah, the usual sentimental crap…

        • Bono95

          Actually, my beliefs, which are not in themselves all-knowing, but are directed toward a God who is, make it very clear that no human being is perfect, and that no human being can get to Heaven without God’s help. God is extremely willing to give us all the help we need if only we let him (he created us with free will, and will not violate it for any reason), and one way in which he does that is to allow us to experience some form of suffering. This suffering is an opportunity for both good and ill. We can complain and use it as an excuse to be irresponsible or do wrong, or we can bear it courageously and stick it out to the end, and offer up our sufferings for the good of others. Many saints with grave diseases, disabilities, or painful martyrdoms did just that, to great benefits for themselves and others. And speaking of disabilities, of course people who cannot see, walk, hear, speak, etc. are not “imperfect” or “discountable”. They are very much God’s children (and thereby yours and my spiritual brothers and sisters), who have been created to one day be with him in Heaven forever. Their disabilities are part of their journey; blindness, crippling, etc. give them opportunities to offer up suffering for the good of others and to fulfill their unique stations in life, and they (the disabilities) give other people the opportunity to exercise compassion, care, and charity. And you are right that many homosexuals are very nice people, but it isn’t an act of love to condone or neglect to (charitably) speak out against living an “alternative” lifestyle. Homosexual acts, besides being mortal sins punishable by the fires of Hell if not repented of before death, are a flat denial of a person’s masculinity or femininity, are often manifestations of a deeper problem (abuse or neglect as a child, lack of a good role model of one’s own gender, especially a parent, etc.), often lead to or come in tandem with substance abuse, depression, and suicidal thoughts and acts, and are the most common causes of AIDS and other painful, deadly, and tragic STDs. Speaking out to save someone from the fires of Hell is not casting him away, it is a means to draw him closer to God.

    • John200

      God save your children, indeed. God also also taught you to be heterosexual; perhaps you missed the lesson? Who are you to say that homo”sex”ual perverts can marry each other?

      Your comment shows how the world looks from your scary and dark perch, where you can defend one of the extreme evils of the world. An evil that will drive you to a hot place, in the midst of mucho flames; to a piece of real estate governed by a nasty landlord with a red skin, horns, and a trident tail….who really doesn’t like you one damned bit.

      Come into the light. You will like it here. Come on, it isn’t that hard. Just step forward from the ignorance and darkness, into the light.

    • That Was Then

      This has all come to pass because the majority of people living in Western societies (or perhaps just North America) don’t really value marriage all that much. In Canada, where same sex marriage has been legal for some years now, the rate of common-law coupling is increasing yearly while the rate of matrimony is dropping. With no fault divorce, it’s much too easy for people to walk away with very little consequence. So many people do, including homosexuals.

      Provincial governments are now considering treating all common-law couples as if they were married as far as taxes and other laws go. Eventually the state of marriage won’t matter here at all. That is the future brought on mostly by heterosexuals, not homosexuals, btw.

      Next is so called polyamory marriages, a fancy word for groups of adults who have sex with each other, to marry each other. It has already started.

  • Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum!

    Notice how these expert Catholics use their apologist techniques to distort the religion and faith when dealing with their personal circumstances. Dr. Martin, this is what you say to your relatives about homosexuality: “It is depraved, it is sinful on many levels, and it is evil…..Now, stop it”.

  • What next in the marriage debate? Well, plenty of work yet to be done, unfortunately, thanks to the Supreme Court.

    Those of us who support marriage equality for law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples didn’t really have a choice but to “target” all the piecemeal, state-by-state bans, didn’t we? The Supreme Court could have issued a comprehensive ruling requiring Gay and Straight couples to be treated equally, at ALL levels of government, but instead they chose to punt on the some of the details.

    So what now? Most of the legal benefits of marriage come from the federal government. Take survivor benefits under Social Security, for example. Legally married Gay couples in Iowa are now entitled to those benefits, but suppose one of those couples relocates to West Virginia, which has a statutory ban on same-sex marriage. Does the state have the power to forcibly annul that marriage? And if so, does the couple now LOSE those federal benefits?

    Don’t fault US for continuing this fight. The Supreme Court left us no choice.

  • Karl

    The Catholic Church has made a mess of marriage through its pastoral practices and its clear encouragement of divorce through the incentive of annulments.

    I am tired of hearing Catholics whine about same sex marriage when they will do NOTHING to support abandoned spouses, while welcoming their violators.

    SHUT UP, Mr. Martin.

    Sorry for the harshness of this reply but I am disgusted with the hierarchy and the rest of the Catholic Church which is substantially supporting the destruction of marriage!!

    Get off you butt, Mr Martin and start SCREAMING HOW our marriage are being intentionally undermined by our clergy. If you cannot, you are NOT FIT to teach squat!!!

    For the record, marriage is between a man and a woman, if that makes you feel any better. THAT is my belief and how I live my life.

    An abandoned husband and father, who remains faithful to our vows, decades after the Church encouraged and continues to encourage my wife’s adultery, remarriage….
    I would gladly repeat the story to the Pope if he had the guts to be told to his face to resign, cause I sure as heck would tell him so!!!!

    • Bono95

      I am very sorry to hear that your wife abandoned you and that she continues to disrespect you, your children, and yours and her marriage vows, and that your local clergy have done nothing to admonish her or to prevent the situation, and please do not take this the wrong way, but none of that, tragic though it is, is the fault of the entire Church, the Hierarchy as a whole, all or most clergy, or Mr. Martin. It is the fault of weak and sinful individuals within the Church, Hierarchy, and clergy, and of your unfaithful wife. You are quite right that you and others in your situation needs prayers and support, and that more people need to speak up and act to end all practices and situations that conflict with True, Traditional, Holy, Christian, and Catholic Marriage, but raging at Mr. Martin, the Pope, or anyone isn’t going to accomplish that. Pray, ask others to pray for you (I’ll offer some), and spread the message (calmly). Acts such as those will be much more effective. May God Bless you in your every need, and may St. Joseph (patron saint of fathers and of the Universal Church) and St. Thomas More (another patron of fathers as well as widowers and difficult marriages who was martyred for defending both the Church Hierarchy and the sanctity of marriage) pray and intercede for you. Go in peace.

      • Karl

        I speak from two decades of experience in numerous dioceses and with Rome. The corruption includes the Popes. All know what goes on. They know it well. They choose to destroy our marriages.

        Never, would I say it is their action alone. But, they ARE in a position to take canonical actions to bring about repentance and have chosen, rather, to allow children to be scandalized and to encourage the destruction of our marriage and other marriages.

        I know many others suffering even worse injustice than ours. NONE of their American Bishops care and NO ONE in ROME gives a hoot!!!!

        These men are merely reaping what they have sewn, for decades; not for mere human weakness but because they choose to, purposefully, ignore our pleas. These men have lost credibility with most people who see how little they do for heterosexual marriage, yet, expect to influence those who have seen their marital sloth, regarding existing marriages.

        There day is just around the corner!

        Francis preaches love but does NOTHING except welcome those who are actively destroying marriage, rather than strongly correcting them.
        He does not support our, scandalized children. He encourages their deception and corruption. He does nothing to heal our valid marriages. He turns his back on us and preaches, “simplicity”.

        His love is duplicitous and evil.

        The Papacy is a sad, sad joke. They spit on our sacramental marriage.

        Their day is coming! May God have mercy on them. Certainly, more mercy than the past three Popes have shown our marriage!

        Thank you, Bono95, for the prayers; sincerely. Pray, too, for my wife, her lover, their two children, our five and all of our grandchildren….

        • Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum!

          Exactly…. God bless you for speaking the truth!

        • That Was Then

          The pope nor clergy cannot force your former wife to return to you. I have a friend whose wife left him for another man, yet he was denied a declaration of nullity. It didn’t matter to his wife that the Church still considered her married. She still didn’t come back, his marriage is still broken. In the old days before annulments were granted as numerously as today, plenty of spouses were abandoned.

    • Adam Baum

      As we haven’t heard the “other side”, for the sake of argument, I’ll assume that you grieve validly. That having been said, your argument is with a specific Canonical court, which is largely comprised of the laity. You know, the laity that routinely cohabitates and contracepts, not clerics, not the Episcopacy, the Curia, the Vatican or the Pope.

  • Derek Schramm

    I don’t like the advice to not thump out scripture because I want to appeal to sacred scripture first to give credit to God first before appealing to human reason. It seems I argue with so called liberal Catholics and other liberal Christians whom I want to turn to the Bible. starting with Jesus quoting Genesis, a man shall leave his family, find a wife and start a new one. Then the unnaturalness of the gay sex act: Romans 1 and Corinthians 6 and an appeal to biology. Then return to the two become one flesh and the beauty of marriage with children. After historic disapproval that associates the city of Sodom with gay sex,I try to point out 90% of gay adults defend abortion, pornography, prostitution, and drug legalization in an appeal to point out homosexuality is one of many vices that really should be discouraged.

  • Facile1

    Much as I prefer the State not lend any legitimacy to sin, the LAW cannot change the TRUTH.

    Sexual gratification is not love and does not merit blessings.

    The State can legislate all it wants. But it cannot bless.

    Sin consumes itself.

    Much as I prefer to spare all of a broken heart, as Oscar Wilde (a convicted sodomite and one of my favorite poets) said in his “Ballad of the Reading Gaol”:

    Ah! happy they whose hearts can break
    And peace of pardon win!
    How else may man make straight his plan
    And cleanse his soul from Sin?
    How else but through a broken heart
    May Lord Christ enter in?

    So much as I am grieved by these decisions on the part of the US Supreme Court, I am not afraid of the future. And neither should anyone be (including same-sex partners).

    GOD is LOVE. And only GOD is LOVE.

    The law (ie a human invention) cannot change the TRUTH (ie GOD).

    LOVE GOD FIRST and go in peace.

  • dom

    Very good piece. But the issue needs even greater distillation to its ultimate core, to simply this: natural marriage and gay marriage cannot coexist (which also answers the question frequently posed by the activists as to why extending the privilege to gays is a threat to actual marriage). The reasons for this need to be given, and the strong rational foundation for protection of the natural privilege of marriage. The false caricature of an institution always threatens the real institution, and here we are referring to the rights of children, even more so than parents. I think many in France found the Parisienne Rabbi that Pope Benendcit quoted in his Christmas eve homily this past year very compelling. The ultimate victim here, in a visible sense (which is a way to make a winning argument), here is the child, and this can be seen even by gays, and even by many gay activists, as the Paris protests against giving gay couples adoptive children proved. Under these circumstances, the executed laws are then more easily seen as unjust measures that may not bear the force of valid law.

    Let’s get back to that old line from the cowboy westerns: this town ain’t big enough for the 2 of us”.

  • RJ

    This idea of gay marriage causes many in the church to react with threat and anxiety and loss. It is not that gay marriage changes what marriage means to you, but rather opens up a form of recognizing relationships among gay people. The existence of one need not be a threat to the other.

    If this is the great debate of the church, then I am afraid we will become increasingly obscure.

  • VLL

    Unfortunately, people I know who should be educated on this topic have a very– abstract definition of *gender*. They think it’s only meaningful as a linguistic distinction.They think this whole, “born either male or female” business is all very fascist, and that gender is what you *want* it to be. To think otherwise is cruelty to intersex people. For them, gender is not a biological fact, it is an “identity”. The argument above doesn’t work so well, and I’m just another culturally brainwashed meanie. I suspect this is the next step “forward” for our basically relativist progressives.

    I don’t see a good way to engage with this way of thinking. Any ideas?

MENU