The Spiritual Stakes in the Marriage Debate

Pietro_Longhi

Judges across the country are busy rewriting state marriage laws, overturning democratically adopted measures defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and setting the table possibly for the United States Supreme Court to complete the coup by decreeing the redefinition of marriage in every state. Consequently sexual difference is being erased from the marriage laws of more jurisdictions nationally, and perhaps soon in all of them.

To their credit, defenders of marriage’s time-honored but now imperiled definition wage their defense in secular terms. One need not be Christian or even religious to appreciate the value of upholding the institution of marriage as once universally understood, precisely because it unites as equals the two most fundamental divisions of humanity by joining husband and wife, and it affirms the natural human right of all children to be reared by both their mom and dad. Officially rendering the institution indifferent to the absence of either sex ignores these unique social dimensions, raising clear secular concerns. In a moment, however, I will argue for the need to go deeper than secular reasoning, engaging the issue morally, theologically and spiritually.

First one must acknowledge that the secular case for defining marriage as the union of the sexes is met with tremendous cultural pressure seeking to discount as irrelevant the overarching public value of bridging sexual difference and encouraging stable procreation. Same-sex marriage advocates will not countenance an exclusive sexual commitment to someone of the opposite sex, thereby refusing to treat men and women as equal. In the eyes of the same-sex couple, when it comes to romantic love, the other sex is not equal to their own sex. Marriage recognition ceases to affirm in every such commitment the equality of both sexes.

In a relationship consisting of both sexes, where each participant vows to love the other as one’s self, each then equally loves both sexes. The sexes, though not the same, are treated as equal. Yet in the same-sex situation, each participant categorically vows that only someone of his or her own sex, not the other sex, is to receive one’s utmost love. Redefining marriage thus promotes an ironic and subversive principle of inequality between the sexes.

The harm to children posed by redefining sexual difference out of marriage is associated with this preferential regard for one’s own, but not the other, sex. Every child is the offspring of both sexes. Thus nature gives children through their biological parents an opportunity and incentive to relate to and equally cherish both sexes. Nature thereby prepares every child to contribute to social harmony generally by learning human relations from parents on both sides of the sexual divide. It is from this natural reality that a child’s human right to the care of both mom and dad originates.

Casting aside sexual difference as unnecessary to marriage recognition by the state causes an injustice because it thwarts this natural incentive and corresponding human right. The concern expressed here arises irrespective of the love and care that any adult may be prepared to bestow on any child. It is the conduct of the state, obliged to respect human rights, that provokes the complaint. When the state ignores sexual difference as a public value, the equality between natural parents in a child’s life is likewise dismissed as irrelevant.

The official message conveyed to children in the custody of same-sex partners is one of parental inequality based solely on sexual difference—you don’t have your absent daddy in your life because your mommy who is raising you now loves another woman, and you as a resilient child must learn that facilitating your mommy’s preference for someone of her own sex is more important in the state’s eyes than encouraging your mommy and daddy to raise you together. It is this governmental subtext, pronounced when marriage is redefined as other than the union of the sexes, which harms children.

Don’t Ignore the Theological Arguments
For Catholics as well as other people of faith, the secular case, as persuasive as we might think it to be, and as necessary as it is politically, is not enough. Who is willing to die to self in defense of maintaining a legal definition? If it were only a question of enforcing strictly secular norms, one’s convictions regarding the matter probably would not be as strong or as deeply held.

The transcendent moral, theological and spiritual truths also at stake here should spark one’s passion. Few will stand ready to be a martyr merely to preserve a section of the civil code. But many do desire, if God permits and sustains them, to endure any persecution necessary to uphold God’s love, justice and mercy. It is because marriage is made in heaven, not in some Federal courtroom, that we must be ready to give our all in its defense.

This being said, philosophical inquiry necessarily shapes our understanding of divine reality. Professor Robert George and others have ably described the nature of the conjugal act so as to explain why, from the perspective of secular reason, marriage has been and should continue to be understood as an institution and relationship built on that act. A greater appreciation of the unitive and procreative features of becoming one flesh, which make the conjugal act the only apt means of consummating the marital promise, helps one to understand the moral, theological and spiritual significance of sexual difference.

Morality is not just a collection of various abstract rules and injunctions. Morality addresses real persons in real-life situations, and moral principles have as their subject personal dignity. To say that sex is immoral outside of marriage—properly understood as the conjugal union of man and woman committed to each other exclusively for life—is to say that it offends the dignity of those persons who engage in it.

Even sex within marriage violates each spouse’s worth when it is not conjugal. Karol Wojtyla, in his pre-papal reflections on love and responsibility, emphasized the moral implications of how in non-conjugal sexual relations, whether between persons of the same sex or of the different sexes, the participants are mutually used for pleasure; those forms of sex which are neither unitive nor procreative can only be for pleasure, and pleasure for its own sake is only self-regarding, not other-regarding.

No person, as God’s beloved, deserves to be treated in one’s body as the impersonal means of another’s pleasure. When we oppose the redefinition of marriage, we necessarily reject on moral grounds non-conjugal sexual relations that devalue persons.

Theology reveals the drama of our redemption and hoped-for salvation as a conjugal event. Over fifty years ago the Swiss Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, taking his cue from the early Church Fathers, began writing about how the one flesh union of man and woman images the inner life of the Trinity, and affords a glimpse into the mystery of God’s relationship with the world and Christ’s bond with the Church. His reflections anticipated many of the issues raised today in the marriage redefinition debate.

Within the Trinity and between God and humanity, there is an exchange of giving and receiving that is mirrored in the conjugal act and from which, however mysteriously, the sacramentality of that intimate joining shines through in a marriage of baptized persons. If marriage reflects even dimly these cosmic realities by virtue of sexual difference, which makes the conjugal act possible, then in the one flesh union of husband and wife we have a concrete sign that God is not remote and disconnected, but has become one flesh with us through the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without this capacity for one-flesh conjugality, a relationship lacks the real and comprehensive unity necessary to signify and make present in the world the internal communion of the Trinity and the external communion of God with humanity.

Spirituality demands a personal response receptive to God’s initiative because our relationship to God is conjugal. God has made us male and female in order to facilitate our entry into the beatitude of heaven, where all who remain faithful to God’s love will participate in the conjugal life of the Trinity for eternity. Our soul, sexually embodied, must be integrated with our flesh and will in order for this conjugal communion to be consummated.

This is where chastity operates. Any desire that inclines one to engage in non-conjugal sex does not flow from or move towards this body-soul integration and for that reason bears the earmarks of concupiscence. Nor can one’s psychological orientation mark one’s identity over and against one’s fundamental status of being a child of God, found precisely in our being made either male or female (see Genesis 1:27).

These are the foundational propositions, embraced as true, to which we witness when we as Catholics defend marriage against redefinition. We discern through secular inquiry that sexual difference is a compelling social reality and we believe that marriage, because of sexual difference, is even more significant as a matter of faith. Whatever persecution we will encounter for holding these beliefs we can endure because we know that so much more than preserving a human tradition is at stake

Editor’s note: The image above titled “The Sacrament of Marriage” was painted by Pietro Longhi.

Daniel Avila

By

Daniel Avila is pursuing a Masters in theology at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, IN. He is a retired attorney with extensive experience in pro-life and family public policy.

  • Sign

    Good article. The problem is no matter how we explain the truth it is rejected by too many.

    • Thomas

      God has a way of putting a stop to things that He hates.

  • RufusChoate

    Sane arguments might not win this debate no matter how clever or logical because the people who advocate it are deeply enraged, irrational and silly. Silly is a word that should be applied to any one who believes that have sexual intercourse with the digestive tract is normative.

    Homosexuality has gone from the “Love that dares not speak it name” to the “Love that dares not shut up” in an astonishingly short period of time starting with the collapse of cultural masculinity coupled with the myth of innocent victimization for a deadly venereal disease in the 1980′s to the present. It was the myth that AIDS was a unfathomable affliction that in the words of Surgeon General of the lecherous low life Bill Clinton: Jocelyn Elders was mysteriously killing off the “Best and the Brightest” which to any one marginally familiar with Homosexuals who died of it included disproportionate numbers of “Fashion Designers”, Flower shop clerks, aspiring actors/theater majors and flamboyant odd balls in the food industry.

    At the core of the concept of Homosexual Marriage is the basic nihilistic narcissism that afflicts the entire culture which is infantile and silly. Homosexual Marriage is the angry desire of broken children to be accepted and validated by the Adults in society or they will engage in extreme tantrums, threats of boycotts, loss of employment and public shaming.

    The Left has embraced Homosexual Marriage with the same vehemence it has taken for it own every deleterious, evil and harmful societal trend because it gives them power and the appearance moral superiority. .

    • Sign

      Very true. In our current unjust society your apt words will be labelled “hate” by the fascists.

      • RufusChoate

        Oh I get worse than that every time I apply even humor to their claims. My favorite retort is when my opponents claim that I am a closeted homosexual filled with self hate to which I general reply with some thing along the lines of “There but for the grace of God go I” so I am probably also a closeted Homicidal Maniac with desire for mass murder too but I have avoid it so far.

        • Sign

          Right, well logic is not used by those who wallow in relativism. These propagandists use every trick in the book to invert the discussion. They are childish, insecure, and narcissistic. In a more sane age they would have received proper medical and psychiatric care.

          • ForChristAlone

            “In a more sane age they would have received proper medical and psychiatric care.” that is, until the psychiatric world went insane. They removed homosexuality from their lexicon back in the 70′s proving that this issue is all about politics. In the world of the Leftist Democrat party, everything is political.

      • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/ DavidHart

        Who’s a fascist? Be specific. People throw words around without the slightest regard for what they mean.

        Fascism is really a synonym for authoritarianism which enforces strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom.

        • Interested

          Those who try to normalize homosexual behavior are fascists.

          • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/ DavidHart

            Really? gay people represent strict obedience to givernmental authority at the expense of personal freedom? You didn’t learn that junk at any college that I know of.

            Buy yourself a decent dictionary!

            • Sign

              Right on cue the gay police show up to confuse and misdirect. The Gay Lobby certainly requires strict obedience backed by illicit use of government power. They limit freedom by imposing their deranged agenda on our society.

              Any college that teaches gay propaganda as you spew here is not teaching an authentic discipline. It is pure propaganda. It is unreasonable, childish, shallow, and hedonistic.

            • DE-173

              ” givernmental ”

              Buy yourself a decent dictionary!

        • Thomas

          Suddenly, interjecting religious values in the public square makes one a “hater?” Some people might react with the word fascism. We might just as well say “bigot.”

          • Sign

            Not only authentic religious values but objective natural morality. The fascists would eliminate even the foundational truths that hold society together. It is a special form of insanity.

            • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/ DavidHart

              “Authentic?” Again, name a fascist and WHY they are a fascist.

              You know what? Never mind. You are a waste of time.

              • Sign

                I already named them. A good name is Legion.

              • RufusChoate

                Ernst Rohm and most of the SA. The Left encourages and support sexual minorities until it acquires power then it is off to the death camps with an spiffy pink triangle on your lapel. The Soviet did the same.

                The odd thing is most of the people you dislike so much would never do that to you but your closest allies have a long history of it. Weird Huh?

              • asmondius

                Dismissive comments are a poor substitute for a cogent argument.

              • ForChristAlone

                hissy fit time

          • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/ DavidHart

            So having a contradictory opinion that you don’t like makes one a fascist? If you say something negative about Jews and I call you a bigot – that makes me a fascist?

            What on earth do they teach in our nation’s schools. It is freakin’ scary.

            • Sign

              No, holding a perverted view of reality that imposes immorality on others is fascist. Your relativism does not allow you to think clearly or rationally. That is why you make false analogies and draw erroneous conclusions.

              I know well what is taught in schools today. It is relativism, uncritical thinking, and solipsistic nonsense.

            • Thomas

              You are right–what’s being taught in schools is freakin’ scary.

              Truthfully, I don’t care about your sexual preferences and what you do in private. I would not have a problem sitting next to you in the church pew and shaking your hand. I would not judge you.

              I do object, however, to being labeled a hater as a result of expressing opinions that private perversions should not become socially acceptable. Indeed, I don’t like the fact that “having a contradictory opinion,” as you state, is enough to have me wrongfully slandered. I don’t like the fact that laws are being written that force people with traditional moral values to keep their mouths shut.

              If you need a clear case of how twisted this has become on a national scale, just look at the Firefox executive who lost his job for freely expressing political speech in the form of a donation to Prop 8 in California. If you want another example, look at the business people who, for religious reasons, have been tarred, feathered, and punished for not wishing to photograph a gay wedding, or bake a cake. What of their rights?

              So, you can throw hissy fits here all you want.

            • Asmondius

              Can we pray for a better Troll?

            • Arriero

              - «What on earth do they teach in our nation’s schools. It is freakin’ scary.»

              I ask myself exactly the same.

              Certainly they no longer teach Francisco Suarez, Justin Martyr or even Euclid’s «Elements».

              I think you have given me a good view about the educational level in America…

              This is what happens when you «democratize» everything, including opinions and knowledge (now, those who should be listening are talking, and those who should be talking are silent, because they’re not allowed to talk). But you know, in America everybody is «free» to have an opinion, it doesn’t matter the stupidity you believe in, that you have to be respected «because that’s a free country».

              PS- In the-very-protestant America (and in its educational system) Thomas Jefferson is above any historical Catholic figure, for instance. The Nation above The Church. In millenarian Catholic nations, the Church was always above the Nation because, in fact, the Nation was built upon the Church.

              PSS- And I would prefer not discussing which is the level taught in sciences… I think the results are there. It’s interesting noting though that Catholic schools have always had a greater level of sciences – especially maths and physics – than the majority of other schools (at least when priests used to read and study good literature). That’s why I cannot do anything but laugh when someone talks about the dichotomy between Science and Faith, when Catholics have certainly been throughout history among the BEST scientists.

        • DE-173

          Anybody that insists that people must accept perversion as normal, and resorts to force or coercion. Too bad Kodak didn’t worry more about their product than employees that asked not to subjected to the homosexual propaganda, but it is sort of poetic justice that this one iconic corporation is now traded on the “pink sheets”.

        • RufusChoate

          That is easy. Fascism is a Leftist movement based on the radical unmaking of civil society and the egalitarianism of the French Revolution that concentrates all power: civic and moral into the comprehensive state. It is transitional movement to total theoretical Marxist Communism (a state of affairs which has never be encountered out side of the fevered imaginations of College English Departments).

          All Leftist- Socialist, Communist, American Democrats ect.. are fascistic.

        • Arriero

          For me, those who place freedom, democracy and such vague and obscurantist concepts (nobody seems to know how to define them, so that everybody uses them at their own ease) above everything else – including which has always been the Authentic Authoritarian Government of the Catholic Church – are the real fascists. Another kind of fascism, but fascism after all. Remember that for Stalin, the Soviet Union was a «proletarian democracy» and currently China is called «People’s Republic of China». I’ve no doubt that anarchism is another type of fascism (I assess fascism simply as «misunderstood marxism»).

          In a society where freedom of whatever (speech, thinking, religion, etc.) is the ultimate value, the Catholic Church has few things to do and say, because her «opinion» is merely regarded by society – which in this case is not Catholic in its majority – as this: just an opinion, as valid as the opinion of anybody else (including those from sheer illiterates). Is there a solution? Yes: an authentic and profound «Umwertung aller Werte». And returning to the basics.

        • ForChristAlone

          I prefer the word “Nazi” to fascist.

    • John

      Perfectly stated. It’s not about love, but power. Too many people have given up the fight on this evil – the same people who said in 1973 after Roe-Wade that the abortion battle was lost . We need to fight it to the bitter end – and beyond.

    • ForChristAlone

      “any one who believes that have sexual intercourse with the digestive tract is normative.” Great line, indeed.

      The thing about this whole homosexual political correctness is that real men do not buy it at all but chose not to dramatize what they think about it. The homosexual Nazi Left know that real men don’t buy it and that’s why they persist in their hissy fits.

  • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/ DavidHart

    Gibberish! Once more, endeavors to manufacture a secular argument from a religious objection create nonsensical rubbish.

    “The harm to children posed by redefining sexual difference out of
    marriage is associated with this preferential regard for one’s own, but
    not the other, sex.”

    Huh?

    • Sign

      If you excise moral truth from what you term secular all that is left is tyranny. That is why the Left is dangerous to society and civilization. Relativism is a dictatorship.

      Of course children are harmed by two men pretending to be father and mother. No “proof” is needed for the obvious.

      • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/ DavidHart

        Rubbish! “Tyranny?” Utter nonsense that you can get away with here or at a tea party rally but it is simply a jumbled word salad. “Relativism is a dictatorship?” What on earth …? Relativism suggests that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation
        to culture, society, or historical context, and are not absolute. How is a doctrine a dictatorship.

        • Sign

          Obviously you are very confused. Relativism has no objective authority that is unchanging. It seeks rigidity. It imposes arbitrary limits. It is tyranny in a very real and authentic sense. We see it happening right now by arbitrary court rulings that place “gay sex” above reason and truth and justice. It forces decent people to illicitly cooperate with evil.

          • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/ DavidHart

            No I am not confused. Not at all. Do you not realize that relativism and rigidity are contradictory terms? “Relativism” rejects absolute moral truths on the premise that truth depends on history, circumstance or society. Sometimes that is good and sometimes that is bad. It depends upon the specifics.

            There is nothing “arbitrary” about court rulings which suggests that they are without reason or substance. Be specific. WHICH ruling by WHICH judge is arbitrary and WHY? Have you read his or her opinion in its entirety?

            • Sign

              Sorry, but you are confused. Relativism leads to rigidity. See Nazi Germany as one example. How can you be so blind?

              Do you think people acting on their mere desires are not relative? Do you think that leads to freedom? No, it leads to rigid, intolerant, conformist, Nazism.

            • fredx2

              The rulings by many of the judges are completely arbitrary in this manner: The Constitutional rule of law is that a law may be struck down if it has no rational basis. A rational basis may exist if there is ANY rational basis for the law.
              However, the judges that have struck down gay marriage bans have simply ignored the fact that there are clearly rational bases for these laws. Instead, their opinions merely state that due to this that and the other, they don’t believe there is a rational basis, simply because they have not been convinced.
              By doing that, they usurp the role of the legislature by substituting their judgment. In effect, they have broken their oaths as judges. No wonder a couple of them retired shortly after issuing their gay marriage decisions
              In their almost laughable rationale, a law is not rational if the current social science establishment does not support it. Since we have much evidence that the current social science on the matter is junk, this is the most specious of reasons.
              Of course, the social science establishment has constantly advanced nonsensical notions, such that divorce is not bad for children, that criminals only need therapy, and so on.
              Their decisions are full of holes and often consist of no more than flaky rhetoric about their personal beliefs rather than carefully reasoned, sober constitutional analysis.
              And not only that, Judges Walker and McManus were gay themselves. and since they stand to be able to marry their partners as a result of the decision, they should have recused themselves. Do you seriously think that people will stand for gay judges proclaiming gay marriage a Constitutional right?

              • DE-173

                “Do you seriously think that people will stand for gay judges proclaiming gay marriage a Constitutional right?”

                “Bread and Circuses” buys a lot of latitude. As lindividuals get their various forms of support, and corporate America gets its subdidies, they won’t give a darn.

            • Asmondius

              Hmmm – in other words the thought went right over your head.

        • Asmondius

          How can human knowledge be absolute when it is never complete?

        • ForChristAlone

          An Obama troll identified

    • Thomas

      And you minimize “a religious objection” to mere triviality? If so, therein lies the problem.

    • John

      Gosh, you are angry, aren’t you?!

      • DE-173

        That’s why he invades this forum.

        • Thomas

          I’m gonna watch the final scene of Blazing Saddles where the dancer is pounding a cowboy on the chest shouting “You brute, you brute, you brute” and I’m gonna think of this guy. I’ll get censored for this.

          • Thomas

            “What in the Wide Wide World of Sports is goin’ on here?”

          • DE-173

            That film could never be made today. I have it on DVD, I’m sure someday it’s be confiscated as ‘hate speech” after optical media players become “smart”, by which I mean thoroughly infected with NSA snoopware.

            • Thomas

              No problem, then. Everyone laughed. Cleavon Little used the N-word (then got serious as an attorney in “Separate But Equal”). Funny that today there is more “correctness” but so much more hatred.

    • DE-173

      “Gibberish!”
      The expert speaks.

    • RufusChoate

      That is pretty clear. It is a toxic narcissism of un-natural self regard instead of the beauty of sexual complementary based on the natural affection to the other.

    • RufusChoate

      Secular arguments have not impact on your desires. e.g.
      1. Inappropriate sexual expression. Form follows Function.
      2. Male Homosexuals show higher rates of Venereal Diseases, Mental Illness, Nihilistic Promiscuity.
      3. Evolutionary dead end.
      4. Inordinate concentration on sexual activity to diminution of other healthy human.
      5. Homosexual Females who are generally monogamous claim that their selection of sexual expression is based a political choice or basic disdain for men not a compelling desire while Homosexual Males claim that they are compelled by an overwhelming sexual desire and polyandry.
      6. Immature and retarded emotional development.
      7. Increased abuse of alcohol and drugs.
      8. Increase Morbidity.
      9. Homosexuality is in my experience is usually only on aspect of morally deprave and vile personality. Or in shorthand, I have never encountered a Homosexual who was a decent or honorable human by any criteria and I have known quite a large number so it is certainly not a fluke.

      • DE-173

        “I have never encountered a Homosexual who was a decent or honorable human by any criteria and I have known quite a large number so it is certainly not a fluke.”

        I have, at least in some respects, of course they were aware that they had an affliction to be battled, not an orientation to be indulged and weren’t activists.

        The one activist I know is a thoroughly detestable sort who flies a rainbow flag whenever there’s the threat of employee discipline that results from a rather distinct aversion to supervision.

        • RufusChoate

          I should be clear that my experience was both in Priestly formation and the Fortune 10 firms I work for with activists and I have no idea who is suffering from the affliction silently which many people find odd when I mention it. I might be socially dense.

    • Asmondius

      Perhaps Crisis Junior would be a better forum for you – easier to understand thoughts.

    • GaudeteMan

      The argument against sodomy is not a religious one. Compare the numbers between heterosexuals and homosexuals in the following areas: Life expectancy, multiple partners, STD statistics, psychoses, addictions, phobias, et al. Religion comes in as the sole path to freedom from such bondage. Hey, if your about to fall off of a precipice I am going to reach out and try to save you.

  • tamsin

    Redefining the opposite sex out of marriage is truly the greatest and final divorce decree. We are lost without each other.

    • DE-173

      Humanity is a two piece puzzle, with each piece, i.e., each sex making a unique and irreplaceble contribution to the entirety.

  • publiusnj

    The reason the State doesn’t concern itself with the welfare of the child (except nominally) is because the “parents” not the children have votes. That is how politicians work and that is why our country is going down the tube so badly.

    In truth, it is only when marriage joins together the father and mother of a child that the child can be raised in a household in which both parents will have the incentive to love the child because he/she is the flesh and blood of both of them. That is a corollary of the fact that anytime genetic material has to be imported into a so-called marriage to produce a child, at least one of the supposed “marriage partners” will have NO genetic connection to the child. Whether the adoptive parent has altruism or love of the of the other parent as a reason to go forward with filiation or not, the child is not the non-genetic “parent’s” flesh and blood. The State can say: “none of this “flesh and blood” stuff is important because 1) many times flesh and blood parents are terrible ones; and 2) our Legislature and implementing courts have adopted laws that impose on all parents the same obligation to raise any child they have conceived or adopted consistently with the developing concept of adequate parenting.” Sure and the same poseurs pass all kinds of unworkable laws tha fit a momentary majority’s needs (e.g., Prohibition and “Separate but Equal”).

    It is time, we acknowledge that our country is producing shameful results.

  • DoDark

    The only option that Christians have in the debate on homosexual marriage in the United States in its reductio ad absurdum is to defy the authority of the state in what is clearly a post-Christian era: Live together in Christian love and commitment blessed by your religious community, including separately signed contracts on property arrangements if you so desire … but do NOT register your union with the state. If this becomes a movement, the state will lose its power to define marriage in a meaningful way. And this is the Christian approach to marriage. The state has never been the authority that defines or blesses Christian marriage. It is about time that Christians make that clear.

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      “If this becomes a movement, the state will lose its power to define marriage in a meaningful way.”

      Indeed and this is why, in many European countries, it is a crime to perform a religious marriage ceremony for a couple not already legally married. See, for example, the French Code Pénal Art 433-21, an article that goes back to the Revolution.

  • hombre111

    Complex, well developed arguments, worth pondering. Congratulations.

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  • Kim58

    So if a heterosexual couple has deliberately sterilized their sexual acts through contracetpion (as opposed to being sterile due to infertility or old age) can their sexual acts still be considered a “conjugal”? The act itself is “one flesh” and between “married couples” so would it matter if they have deliberately thwarted the life-giving portion of the act? Why once again do we have an article on the stakes involved in re-defining marriage but still no clear mention of how contraception undermines the Church’s understanding of marriage. Are we still afraid of angering all those nice heterosexual, married, but nonetheless contracepting, Catholic couples out there if we tell them that what they do sexually in their marriage is logically the same as what homosexual couples do?

    • Sign

      Like the Gay propagandists some Catholics like to deflect the argument. That contraception is evil does not change the facts of the article.

      Also, while both acts are evil one act is more so.

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