Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni - 1773

Evolution for the Catholic Student

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Defending Traditional Marriage (part 2)

Defending Traditional Marriage part 2

          In the first part of this series of articles on traditional marriage I pointed out that, in reality, no government has the power to redefine the institution of marriage.  However, it is true that laws attempting to do so, though they would have no bearing on reality, would still have devastating power.
          The first result is that accepting homosexual “marriage” would lead very soon to marriage being redefined out of existence.  We have already seen this begin to happen.  A fundamentalist Mormon group has already begun the process of fighting for the legal recognition of polygamy based on the fact that if the traditional definition of marriage is being discarded, there is no legal basis to accept homosexual marriage and reject polygamy.  And they’re right.  If, in our laws, marriage is no longer what it has always been, how does the state choose which unions to endorse and which to reject?
          Polygamy, incestual relationships, and group marriages will all have to be endorsed.  For that matter, two college roommates who find it beneficial, or just funny, to declare their relationship a “marriage” for four years, would at least have a legal case.  There is no real basis for accepting homosexual “marriage” while rejecting numerous other versions of “marriage.”
          The result, of course, is that marriage will become inconsequential.  Already, a Pew study declared that forty percent of Americans found marriage irrelevant.  As a society, we should be concerned.
          This leads to the next point, why is the state involved in the marriage business in the first place?  Why does the state feel a need to grant marriage licenses, to recognize marriage in law?  There must be some social interest, some benefit to the common good.
          There is.  As Catholics we know that the ends of marriage are the perfection of the spouses, and the procreation and education of children.  Secular culture has little interest in the perfection of the spouses, but any sociologist will agree with the Church that marriage is the fundamental human relationship necessary for a stable society.  Redefining marriage and making it irrelevant hurts everyone.
          Also, every study with even the slightest credibility shows that an intact married home, with a mother and father, is the best place for children to thrive.  And yet, we have seen time and again that the legalization of gay “marriage” has led to many adoptive children being placed in situations that, statistically, are not in their best interests.  Married couples often languish on waiting lists while homosexual couples adopt.  The Catholic Church is being systematically run out of the ministry of adoption for its refusal to place children with same-sex couples.  Special interest groups celebrate, and few seem to care that children suffer.
          This leads to the next point, persecution.  There is no need to speculate; the trampling of individual rights is in full force.  I’ve already mentioned the Church losing adoption rights.  In Canada if a preacher even mentions Biblical condemnation of homosexuality, he is subject to imprisonment for a hate crime.  And it’s coming to the United States.  Just recently the governor of New York said anyone who opposes same-sex marriage is anti-American. 
          There have been lawsuits against everyone from private banquet halls to wedding photographers for refusing to participate in same-sex “marriage” ceremonies.  Conscience protection, of course, is not big with some in Washington now.  But it seems that a small businessman, who would usually have the say over what jobs he takes, when it comes to same-sex “marriage,” does not.
          Religious freedoms are not the only ones being trampled.  Parental rights are also under attack.  Sensitivity training is beginning in kindergarten, and from that age children are being taught new definitions of “marriage.”  Students who question it are routinely punished.  And certainly the teachers had better keep their opinions hidden, even in their private lives. 
          Parents often are given no notice and no ability to opt out of such instruction.  We have heard rhetoric that parents raising their children with the traditional view of marriage are engaging in child abuse.  One can only wonder what the government’s solution to that will be.
          I want to conclude this article by stressing that all of my points are in reference to the definition of marriage, and would be equally valid regardless of what new relationship was posing as a marriage.  They are not meant to attack homosexual people.  None of my arguments thus far have even touched on the issue of homosexuality itself, though my next piece will, but only ever with charity.  Every person is precious in the sight of God and we all share equal human dignity.  This is something we must remember when tackling this issue. 
If we stand up for truth we will be attacked.  Christianity comes with a cross.  If it doesn’t, you’re not doing it right.  And with this issue in particular, we will be hated.  But as the great Martin Luther King, Jr. said, darkness is never overcome by darkness, only by light.  We must have the Heart of Christ and see even in those who hate us, one who is beloved by God.
          We respond with uncompromising devotion to the truth, but overflowing charity.  If we can do that sincerely, in time, we will win a hearing, and our reward will be great in Heaven.   

Click here to read the third installment