The United States Catholic Conference prepared an excellent Q&A on this subject. I am not trying to re-invent the wheel.
Nonetheless, I would like to tackle the problem from the point-of-view of: What should good people do about this?
So here are some indisputable answers to some crucial questions. (I would be very glad for your comments and additions.)
Vademecum on the right to “same-sex Marriage”
1. What are the duties of a good person who fights for justice?
All good Christians must love everyone, and all people are bound to be just. No one has a right to impede the legitimate freedoms of another without good reason. Christians are bound to will the good of others and to do everything possible to help other people get to heaven.
2. Is there an individual right to marriage?
No one has an absolute right to marriage, because it is impossible to marry without a consenting partner. The freedom to marry is NOT, therefore, an individual right. An unmarried man and an unmarried woman–who are not related–are free to marry.
3. In order for all people to be truly free, must we permit anyone who is not married to marry anyone he or she wants to marry, regardless of sex?
Entering into marriage involves a renunciation of freedom. Married people are not free to marry, and they have obligations to their spouse and children. The vows of marriage explicitly renounce freedoms; in other words, they impose duties.
It makes no sense to speak of the right to marry as a “freedom.” It makes more sense to think of marriage as a solemn duty undertaken for the good of others.
4. Is sex good or evil?
The conjugal union of husband and wife is beautiful, albeit fraught with pitfalls because of human weakness.
Sodomy is inherently ugly. Sodomy is itself a pitfall for people suffering with same-sex attraction.
Sex outside of marriage is selfish. It is not an option for good people.
5. Who has the authority to make laws about marriage, and where does the authority come from?
Civil laws have binding force insofar as they harmonize with the law of God. The state, which enacts and enforces civil laws, arises because of marriages and families.
In other words, marriage is an institution more fundamental than the state. The state has no prerogative to govern marriage. The Church alone has the prerogative to do so.
The Church may concede to the state some practical aspects of marriage law. But no authority can change the constitution of marriage, because marriage is marriage because of the way God made things.
6. Why can’t a man marry a man or a woman marry a woman?
A couple is not married until the marriage is consummated. Acts of sodomy cannot consummate marriage.
7. What is wrong with a man attempting–even though it is futile–to marry a man or a woman attempting to marry a woman?
Such a ceremony would make a mockery of a beautiful and sacred thing. The marriage of baptized Christians is a sacrament of the love of Christ for His Church. An attempted ‘gay marriage’ is therefore a sacrilege, an injustice to all married people, and a crass charade unworthy of any self-respecting civilized society.
…Now, because discerning minds recognize that confusion about marriage has arisen because of two widespread evils, here is a short appendix:
8. Can married couples get divorced?
Wedding vows include promises for life. The commitment of marriage terminates only with death, as the vows themselves say.
Bad circumstances can arise which require spouses to separate–even for indefinite periods of time–but divorce is impossible.
9. Can people have babies in any way other than the old-fashioned way?
For a child to be conceived in any way other than through sex between husband and wife is unjust to the child. Everyone has a right to be conceived in his or her mother’s womb, as the result of his parents’ loving embrace. In disputed cases, the rights of children always trump. In vitro fertilization is therefore unjust, and all good people must oppose it.
4 thoughts on “Good People Oppose Same-Sex Marriage”
Enjoyed you blog, and I have read a few of the other ones as well. Take a look at my blog: drmyers.wordpress.com; dealing with Gay Marriage.
I’d love to dialog with you about perhaps placing a link there so my readers could take a look at what you’re doing.
Again, keep up the suburb work!
1. “Christians are bound to will the good of others and to do everything possible to help other people get to heaven.” Really? “get to heaven.” Hmm. I’ve always held disdain for “the church’s” position as oppressors in Latin America, but have respected the work of nuns and priests in land reform, for which they often paid with their lives: they were NOT trying to help people “get to heaven” but were trying to help them PLANT FOOD to survive in THIS LIFE. Why was Jesus so concerned with the “least of these” who were naked, hungry, thirsty, imprisoned? Why, according to these earthly needs being met (or not), does he divide the goats from the sheep? In short, at least Jesus hung the carrot of heaven before mule to get it to go serve human needs HERE with the outcome of whether we do or don’t serve human needs here, THERE. The position of missionaries that go on missions to “help the poor” is about the same of that position of corporations: quid pro quo with a HUGE surplus value to capital investment value, aka “pillage and plunder.” Might not be as extreme as “Colon” torturing Taino Indians until they squeaked something that sounded like “conversion” to Christianity, in order for them to die, SAVED, but it’s the same principle. Maybe just decent folks ought to help others triumph as much as possible–survive, from Latin means to overlive or work too hard at just living–in THIS life. While one’s helpful deeds might be the only book anOther ever reads, the “Other” might “not read that book again because the ending’s just too hard to take.” That would be fine too. We’re only responsible for the effort of helping others in this life and not the outcome of their souls. He don’t stand at the door and knock where hungry people are inside, saying, “Let me in and I’ll feed you ON THE CONDITION, that you believe in me, and are thereby granted paradise in the hereafter, along with this soup that’ll save your lives today.” Naw. If the body wants to go to the dump of Gehenna LATER, that’s a personal decision: if ya believe in Gehenna, which is just Geheena like Selma, NC is just Selma, NC. I think Selma is still there. Dunno. Been a while. But they have pretty good bbq; so is it a “dump”? Or is it a place that is nourishing to the earthly body, if ya got money and are NOT “black”? Ah, how lovely is Liberal Christian Universalism vis a vis “priests in black gowns/making their rounds/and binding with briers [one’s] joy and desires.” Oh: it’s okay to stick Lightfoot and Blake in the same response. And I really shouldn’t pick on Selma, NC because it’s no more racist/discriminatory than the rest of the country. Mea culpa, Selma.
2. Okay: African-American slaves were not free to be free because they did not have the civil right to be free, even if “they” consented to be free, collectively and as individuals. (Do I hear Manichean either/or dislogic? Yep.)
A “black” man (as an individual and in any state of USA, Inc.) did not have the civil right to marry a “white” woman (as an individual and in any state of USA, Inc.), if both were consenting partners until 1967. When the feds finally allowed these consenting individuals the right to marry in 1967, this was a freedom and not a civil right?
Prior to 1967, a consenting black male from Virginia could not marry a consenting white female from North Carolina. (Actually, they couldn’t marry one another in Virginia, which became the SCOTUS rub.) Legally, that marriage was not recognized: they couldn’t file joint taxes. They COULD go to jail. Why?
The Mark of Cain and the curse upon the Sons of Ham was put upon the “black” male, individual consenting adult, while THAT SAME BLACK MALE WAS TAXED (without representation.) Even if the first amendment guaranteed the black male individual consenting adult, freedom from religion, and that “dreadful” 14th Amendment extended his civil right to marry a consenting white, individual woman, it took Loving v. Virginia to kill anti-miscegenation “laws.” (Well, Alabama’s de facto didn’t “go away” until 2000 and is probably still in tact: “we’ll feed ya to the gators in Pearl River!”) What were those anti-miscegenation “laws” based on? Hasn’t that question already been answered? Yep.
Now: here is the text of the First Amendment; I submit that that the terms “right” and “free[dom]” are “synonymous” and not collapsing binaries, as is suggested in number 2 that you posted: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the FREE exercise thereof; or abridging the FREEDOM of speech, or of the press; or the RIGHT of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” (caps, mine).
Now just sub: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the RIGHTFUL exercise thereof; or abridging the RIGHT of speech, or of the press; or the FREEDOM of the people peaceably to assemble . . .”
Are you willing to agree that in this country people only have the freedom, but not the individual or collective right, to worship? That people have the RIGHT to speak but not the FREEDOM to speak UNLESS “they” or one INDIVIDUAL, scream[s] “Fire!” in a theatre that ain’t on fire? Certainly: none of the freedoms or rights granted in the Constitution are absolutes. Aristotle weeps; Shakespeare laughs. And I LOVE Derrida, but dude, seriously. #2 is lame.
3. #3 is reasonable herein: “It makes more sense to think of marriage as a solemn duty undertaken for the good of others.” What “others”? According to your post, blog, whatever . . . you insist that marriage is about duty, and not about the freedom to marry somebody else, if one is married. Agreed. We can’t pull Solomons and Davids: polygamy is illegal in the USA, Inc. Marriage forsakes any other person, intimately, other than the person one is marrying. It ain’t okay to cheat. Player, be gone. People make a vow to God (in my opinion) and to ONE OTHER, to remain with him/her, in sickness, health, rich, poor, sick, healthy, better, worse. THUS, marriage is not for the good of my grandmother because I’m not marrying my grandmother: marriage is for the good of my consenting individual chosen spouse. Marriage is not for the “good of my community” because I’m no longer free to have sex with my community. (You opened the door .) However, marriage does not mean that I never consider the needs of my community nor the needs of my grandmother, but that I do so only in so far as those needs do not forsake the needs of my spouse. Exactly how in the world does number 3 relate to gay marriage? It goes back to the word-play in number 2. The CIVIL RIGHT TO MARRY renounces individual freedoms for the collective responsibilities inherent within the institution of marriage. And this means WHAT to L/G marriage?
4. “Sodomy is inherently ugly.” Thanks, Saint Jerome, but not much explanation. I keep trying to find the Book of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas in the Bible but can’t. Ezekiel 16: 49: “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.” Dang, sounds like USA, Inc. t’me. Interestingly, in Leviticus, nothing is mentioned of sodomy (or “gomorry’). Even Calvin–you have to know something about John Calvin–just considered Sodomites stingy, greedy, “inhospitable” people, a people who were specifically mean-spirited jerks to Lot, who had been KIND to them. And according to Calvin, Sodomites were BORN without empathy. God MADE them that way. So much for his “free will.”
Sadly, it was the custom of THAT time for SUPERIOR MALES to rape, murder, and/or take as booty, women, men, boys, girls–they just loved virgins–as a show of patriarchal supremacy. The MEN of Sodom and Gomorrah did the same thing–“knowing them”–that Moses commanded his men to do to virgins. OH! It’s DIFFERENT because just women were raped? Are we sure all those rapes were “just” vaginal?
Judges, the Levite, the concubine, Gibeah? Well, the brutes of Gibeah raped a concubine to death in lieu of the men of the house–and then the LEVITE slices and dices her into 12 pieces to admonish Israel??? Huh?? UGLY? Yes: I would declare THAT ugly! “Times are hard and you’re afraid to pay the fee/so you find yourself somebody/who will do the job for free.” What, exactly, is the definition of UGLY? Or sodomy, for that matter? And if they raped the concubine of the Levite TO DEATH, she couldn’t have no baby: they wasted their “seed.” Following this insane logic, coitus interruptus is sodomy, not “merely” Onanism.
#5 is overruled by the 1st Amendment unless you’d like The Church to be taxed. HEAVILY.
#6 Correct: physical abuse is not okay within marriage. It is grounds for divorce.
#7 Marriage is granted by a license issued by clerks of courts. One does not go to a priest to get a marriage license: THAT is illegal.
#8 Yawn. So, an abusive man beats his wife and she can never divorce him and marry somebody who will be kind to her and to whom she may be kind.
#9 Yes. In vitro is legal. Again, you must WANT to be TAXED. You must want to negate the 1st Amendment.
Thank you, Anniska, for your extensive comments. A good many of them I do not understand, and I would have been grateful for a more civil tone.
One point you make, I think, is worth considering. You refer to it as ‘insane logic,’ but it is the logic by which we all came into this world. The means the Creator has devised to perpetuate human life are beautiful. The abuse of these means is ugly.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term ‘sodomy’ refers to all unnatural sexual acts. The word has been used by English speakers since the dawn of the language, and both men and women have been called sodomites for various reasons, the common denominator being unnatural sex. Onanism–and the use of barrier methods and hormone pills to make sex infertile–would, indeed, fall into the larger category of sodomy, as you thoughtfully point out.