Undoubtedly everyone is aware of the Supreme Court’s recent redefinition of marriage to include same sex unions. It would seem this requires a few comments. We mention in passing that this represents yet more evidence that the Supreme Court is a farce. Does anyone believe that the constitution as written by folks like Jefferson, some how mandated that states recognize men marrying men, but this “right” was somehow hidden from view for the next couple of centuries or so? That is obviously absurd on the face of it, and this has been noted by some folks who are sympathetic to homosexual “marriage” on policy grounds, but recognize the absurdity of the Court deciding this by dictatorial fiat of 5 justices. Nonetheless many people are saying how historic this is, and even what a great victory this is for “love”. I would like to dissent. A couple of points then are in order.
In some ways nothing has really changed. Marriage is created by God. Quoting Vatican II:
“The intimate partnership of married life and love has been established by the Creator and qualified by His laws, and is rooted in the conjugal covenant of irrevocable personal consent. Hence by that human act whereby spouses mutually bestow and accept each other a relationship arises which by divine will and in the eyes of society too is a lasting one. For the good of the spouses and their off-springs as well as of society, the existence of the sacred bond no longer depends on human decisions alone. For, God Himself is the author of matrimony, endowed as it is with various benefits and purposes. All of these have a very decisive bearing on the continuation of the human race, on the personal development and eternal destiny of the individual members of a family, and on the dignity, stability, peace and prosperity of the family itself and of human society as a whole. By their very nature, the institution of matrimony itself and conjugal love are ordained for the procreation and education of children, and find in them their ultimate crown. Thus a man and a woman, who by their compact of conjugal love “are no longer two, but one flesh” (Matt. 19:ff), render mutual help and service to each other through an intimate union of their persons and of their actions. Through this union they experience the meaning of their oneness and attain to it with growing perfection day by day. As a mutual gift of two persons, this intimate union and the good of the children impose total fidelity on the spouses and argue for an unbreakable oneness between them.”
Since marriage is created by God, it remains the same regardless of what any government, the Supreme Court, the legislature or anyone else says. Of course the legal regime we live under has consequences, and in fact marriage as conceived of by God is not currently what the government has been recognizing for a very long time. Many central features of marriage are not regarded by the state (or even the majority of citizens) as essential to its nature, for example, its necessary connection to raising children as the ultimate orientation, and its commitment to indissolubility. Same sex marriage is really only the extension of the fact that secular marriage is more regarded as a union that may or may not be permanent and is oriented to the emotional gratification of those involved. Very well. It is not immediately clear to me why the state needs to be involved in recognizing and celebrating this business, whether it be hetero or homosexuals involved. In fact given that 1) most couples are sexually active before marriage, 2) see nothing wrong in getting divorced if things go south, 3) often cohabitate before marriage or independently of it, it is not clear why we celebrate the typical modern marriage at all. What changes post marriage? The ability to file taxes jointly? In this sense gay marriage is of minimal relevance. Christian marriage is already not the entity primarily recognized by the state.
In fact in itself gay marriage would be relatively inconsequential to society at large compared to the disregard of the Catholic teachings on marriage and sexuality in general. Homosexuals make up about 1-2 % of the population. They are a tiny minority. The numbers who actually desire to get married are even smaller. We know this based on data from the frequency of marriage in places were gay marriage has been the norm. One such place is Canada which recognized gay marriage in 2005. In 2012, 7 years later homosexual marriage represented 0.1% of all marriages. It follows then than homosexuals get married at about 10% of the rate of heterosexuals even when they can freely do so. You can see this data here.
One might ask why redefine marriage for the sake of this 1/10th of 1%? We will get back to this question in a bit. Still in seems pretty clear that the damage done to society at large is much greater when you consider the typical heterosexual rejection of Catholic teaching. Consider wide spread divorce. It has been well described that children affected by divorce are at risk for a number of emotional and behavioral problems. Scholarly articles published in the medical literature describe this and can be found here as well as here and also here.
The point is not to beat up those unfortunate individuals involved in a divorce, but to suggest that since divorce is at least potentially harmful and is many times more common than gay marriage it is and will be associated with much more social damage that what is likely to be relatively rare homosexual marriage. Looked at another way, heterosexual marriages likely will make up 99.9% of marriages, about 50% of which result in divorce. A quick back of the envelope calculation suggests that divorce is about 500 times more common that gay marriage is likely to be. So marriage was already in very bad shape and most of the damage is already ongoing. The added problem with gay marriage is really beyond the fact that some homosexual relationships are going to get some sort of imprimatur of the state, since it is not clear what the state is even recognizing at this point or why.
The real issue, and real intent of those promoting gay marriage has nothing to do with the emotional sustenance of the 10% of those gay couples who get married. It has everything to do with having a club with which to ghettoize and stigmatize Christianity as “bigoted” and effectively drive traditional Christianity from the public square. For those who would like to see hard evidence of this, all you need to do is surf the web or any number of social media sites, and see the commentary and spiking of the football as Christian’s get a kind of in “in your face” mockery. In fact the real agenda of the cultural left is very well described in a column for the Weekly Standard by Jonathan Last, which deserves to be read in full, and can be found here . The basic plan will be to find some Christian somewhere who will refuse to cooperate in the celebration of homosexual activity and therefore can be destroyed. I imagine that aspects of the Bible will be banned as hate speech. The gay rights fascists will have a particularly difficult time with St. Paul’s letter to the Romans. I imagine the Catechism of the Catholic Church will similarly qualify as hate speech as well. That is in fact not a surprise. At the end of the day it is fairly obvious that peaceful coexistence between two groups, one which believes homosexual activity promoted by gay marriage is a basic human freedom, and another which believes this is not a right, but a grave sin that leads to eternal damnation, is impossible. In fact the assault has already begun, as this article reports here.
So what are we to do?
I think the plan is really very simple:
1) Recognize that “marriage” in popular sense has evolved to be nothing like marriage in the sense created and intended by God. As the word marriage has lost its meaning, we should stop using it ourselves. Catholics should enter into a sacramental union. As we stated early Holy Matrimony is a nice idea. We should being to emphasize the sacramental nature of this union, Couples interested in Holy Matrimony should have their wedding solemnized in a Church, associated with a mass and so forth. As it will be a purely religious rite. In terms of administering her sacraments, it would appear that the Church may be protected from be forced to confer them on people not in the state of grace, such as sexually active homosexuals. This should be the case at least until they repeal the First amendment. A more detailed discussion of this idea can be read here.
2) No doubt, the fascist gay lobby will try to punish the Church for this, perhaps by revoking the tax exempt status or no longer recognizing weddings performed by Catholic clergy. To this I say the government can go to hell. To hell with the tax exempt status, the Romans fed Christians to the lions. Maybe if the bishops had to pay taxes they would be less enamored of the many liberal democrats who have been imposing confiscatory taxes on the rest of us for some time. Beyond this, Catholics should be instructed to get a civil marriage if necessary for their financial and legal affairs. This will be a minor nuisance for the serious Catholic.
3) From a political view point it would be best if the states got out of the marriage business period, as there is no rational basis for recognizing something that serves purely to serve the emotional needs of two people. Under the current regimen I would be hard pressed to come up with a reason why two gay brothers should not be allowed to marry each other. After all consanguinity was an impediment to marriage when there was a concern about genetic disease being more likely. If you consider people who are going to have sex which is intrinsically sterile, on what basis do you prohibit incestuous homosexual marriages? In fact now there seems to be no principled reason to not recognize just about any relationship of two people….err… in fact why just two people? That is rather arbitrary when you think about it… Can’t 3 people be in love and sexually attracted to each other? In any case if marriage is solely about the emotional satisfaction of the folks involved, why should the states be involved at all? A couple of southern states (Alabama, Mississippi) have tiptoed in this direction. Republican Senator and Presidential Candidate Rand Paul has also suggested it. You can read his thoughts here.
In the meantime we can ask Our Lady for her prayers as always..