I’d like to suggest that our society never even truly knew the definition of marriage, and why we had it right before they tried to change it.
But let’s just preface something here: Just because I DISAGREE with something does not mean that I HATE someone. Our society needs to learn the difference. And fast. Also, the Catholic Church does not hate homosexuals, the Catholic Church disagrees with acting on the sin involved, and other sexual acts outside of the Sacrament of Marriage. Now that we understand each other, let’s continue…
The Supreme Court ruled on a 5-4 decision today that must allow same-sex marriage. In the words of 2016 presidential candidate Rick Santorum, “Today, 5 unelected judges redefined the foundational unit of society. Now it is the people’s turn to speak.” Marriage affects more than just two people. It affects society, children, and adopted children… the whole family unit. Marriage between a man and a woman has been the foundation of societies, both Christian and non-Christian, for as long as man can remember. It is how we continue to flourish.
I remember sitting in my political science class last semester while my professor went on and on about how dysfunctional our United States Senate is, and how deeply undemocratic the judicial system is. The judges aren’t elected by the people, but by the presidents based on their own personal ideologies, and therefore leave a legacy for themselves long after they have left office. And let’s not forget that in the process we also disregard the right of the states to make decisions, which then becomes dysfunctional for everyone.
I think the #1 relativistic argument that our society tends to yell at religious people who want to uphold the dignity of marriage is, “What I do with my life doesn’t affect you!” And while it isn’t my business what you do in privacy (it’s you and God’s), this argument is weak at best. Marriage is a natural good for our whole society. The government is a teacher, whether they like it or not, and the public listens.
But when our government endorses something, whether that is a union, relationship, or even to say that same sex relations are the “equivalent of marriage,” we are not grounded in truth. Pilate asked Jesus, “What is Truth?” The answer was that Truth is a person. The person of Jesus Christ. As Mark Hart famously puts it, “The world crucifies Truth, it’s too uncontrollable.” So it’s not a surprise that we’ve become numb to what is right and wrong. However, as Venerable Fulton Sheen beautifully put it, “Moral principles do not depend on a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong. Right is right, even if nobody is right.”
When Obama stood in front of America this morning to address the nation about the SCOTUS ruling, the first thing he said was, “Our nation was created on a bedrock principle, that we were all created equal.” I don’t believe this issue to be one of equality, but before I get to that, I’d like to point out how misguided Obama is in forgetting that our nation was, above all, founded on religious freedom and explicitly “Under God.” But like I said before, the world crucifies Truth.
The modern world is conveying a certain idea of what marriage is. Natural law, however, says that moral common sense is written on all human hearts, and that marriage is a distinctive human good that embodies a union on a spiritual, emotional, and physical level that is intended for the sanctification and procreation of both people. Same sex couples can’t participate fully in this because the reality of it being free and fruitful is lost.
Then, it’s only logical that the union of same sex couples is purely an emotional, sexual, and romantic union within a household. If that’s what marriage is then there’s really no reason as to why anything should be permanent or exclusive. Our commitment changes. Our culture has long distorted what marriage is, but this distortion is beyond recognition anymore.
In the Theology of the Body, revised by Christopher West, Saint Pope John Paul II graciously explains that, “God gives us freedom in the first place. But some choices negate our vocation to love. Some choices never bring happiness. We are ‘free’ in the sense to ‘do whatever we want with out bodies.’ However, we are not free to determine whether what we do with our bodies is good and evil. As Adam learned, this is the tree (of the knowledge of good and evil) from which he cannot eat, lest he die. Therefore, human freedom is fully realized not by inventing good and evil, but by choosing properly between them.” We don’t have the choice to re-determine what God has already established as good.
This is not an issue of equality, especially not for all persons. But if you want to make it an issue of equality for all persons, then that begs the question, when are we overturning Roe vs. Wade? You’re fighting with a double-edged sword, America, and it’s starting to sound hypocritical.
This is about rediscovering the definition of marriage and holding onto it tightly. I understand that the Sacrament of Matrimony has not changed, but I don’t believe in calling what should be defined as a civil union, “marriage.” Matt Fradd tweeted saying, “We don’t believe in same-sex marriage for the same reason why we don’t believe in square circles.” It just doesn’t work.The true definition of marriage (as recognized by the Church) is a union between a man and a woman which is meant to bring about new life as man and woman join and become co-creators with God. It is not wrong to love your neighbor for we must love all, but that does not mean we can act lustfully, and constrict sex from it’s full, and beautiful purpose.
Like I said before, the Church doesn’t hate people who have same sex attraction; in fact, they are called to a holy, and beautiful life. The Church basically says, “We’re not going to define you by your sexuality. Why? Because we realize that there are thousands of other ways that you are called to love others. And you’re also not the sum of your sins, you’re the sum of the Father’s infinite love for you. Guess what else? You can become a Saint. You have the power of God within you, and you are his beloved.” Where’s the bigotry in that?
You were made in the image and likeness of God. That should define you so much more than your sexuality. We are never justified in our hate toward others, and so I ask all Christian’s to take Mother Teresa’s words to heart when she says, “Don’t call them by their sin, call them children of God.” It’s a false form of compassion to tell a person that they can find fulfillment outside of the will of God. Tolerance isn’t about making up your own rules so that everyone loves and agrees with everyone- love sometimes needs to be tough. The Catechism tells us to treat all LGBT people with “Respect, sensitivity, and compassion.” So we better start doing so, even if we disagree.
We should all acknowledge the area’s in which we need God’s grace in our lives, whatever our cross may be, because the truth is that the sins of my brothers and sisters who act on same sex attraction ARE NOT bigger than my own sin- but we aren’t called to make up our own morality in life. Following Christ in the pursuit of living a pure and good life with the grace of God that makes this life worth living, and there’s incredible genius in Catholicism. Church teaching has been strong and alive for over 2,000 years, and instead of dismissing the world’s greatest theologians and saints, maybe it’s time to look into why certain teachings are the way that they are in the first place.
God leads us to a joy that no pleasure on Earth could ever match. I’m happy to be apart of the Holy Catholic Church because it allows me to tell my brothers and sisters with same sex attraction that they too are called to a life of freedom in Christ. When a man and a woman unite with Christ in Holy Matrimony, the priest says, “What God has created, let no man destroy.” God’s law is not based upon fleeting emotions or changing societal standards. He loves us more than that.
God’s law is based on a lifelong commitment to sacrifice out of love for another, and has withstood since the beginning of time. I keep seeing headlines that say, “Love won!” or “Love is love,” and “#LoveWins” but our nation has forgotten the meaning of true, and total love for the good of another. Love is not lust. Love is not about take. Love isn’t even about give and take, as Mark Hart puts it, Love is 100% give. Always. That’s how we find true happiness. I’m not saying homosexual couple’s cannot give to each other, but they are compromised, because God’s plan for marriage was intended in a way so that His love can have a lasting affect- in sanctity and in procreation. The cross is where Love won, and the cross is where we will always find victory. It’s time that we show the world the beauty in that victory.
So I invite all of us to pray for a better understanding of each other. It’s okay to disagree with each other, it’s not okay to show hatred. I will pray for you. But pray for the dignity of marriage as well. And do not forget your call as God’s child to love. We have the sacred duty to bring everyone to Christ. I encourage you to pray for all those involved with this movement. Do not forget that we are all sinners in need of Gods mercy. I also will pray for you as we valiantly defend the faith together. You will be persecuted for your beliefs, but do not be discouraged. Love one another as He has loved us. I will pray for you, and I ask that you do the same for me.
And if you’re still confused, check out this video by Chris Stephanick: