Well, it’s happened. When I worked in the California Legislature, I could see it was bound to. Now all it will take is US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy siding with the Court’s liberals for it to become like Roe v. Wade, a perpetual battle royale. And I bet he will indeed side with the liberals.
In the past, I have staunchly agreed with the argument that our reasons for supporting traditional marriage had to be secular or at least non-sectarian. Given that we live in a post-Christian world where few care about the Bible or the Catechism or Church authority, this seemed to make the most sense.
I still think there is merit to that argument. However, I now also believe we have done ourselves a disservice by restating the classical – and I mean “classical” – arguments, arguments from antiquity against homosexuality, for that is the root, isn’t it? After all, if there is nothing wrong with homosexual genital acts and by extension contraception (which renders the normal sex act homosexual by its virtue of making it fruitless), then what could possibly be wrong with same sex unions (SSUs)? In that event, opposition to SSUs is truly bigotry.
As former Democrat politician David Carlin recently wrote:
“If, on the other hand, we argue that homosexual behavior is unnatural, we are arguing from ancient philosophical premises derived from Aristotle and Stoicism. According to Aristotle, those tendencies are natural that are common to all, or almost all, members of a species; if some individual members of a species deviate from these tendencies, these deviations are considered unnatural. According to Stoicism, nature is a manifestation of God; the study of nature, therefore, will uncover the will of God. Combine those philosophies, and homosexual behavior is seen as unnatural and contrary to the will of God.”
Here is what the bishops said in a statement after the vote:
The passage by the Legislature of a bill to alter radically and forever humanity’s historic understanding of marriage leaves us deeply disappointed and troubled.
We strongly uphold the Catholic Church’s clear teaching that we always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and love. But we just as strongly affirm that marriage is the joining of one man and one woman in a lifelong, loving union that is open to children, ordered for the good of those children and the spouses themselves. This definition cannot change, though we realize that our beliefs about the nature of marriage will continue to be ridiculed, and that some will even now attempt to enact government sanctions against churches and religious organizations that preach these timeless truths.
We worry that both marriage and the family will be undermined by this tragic presumption of government in passing this legislation that attempts to redefine these cornerstones of civilization.
Our society must regain what it appears to have lost – a true understanding of the meaning and the place of marriage, as revealed by God, grounded in nature, and respected by America’s foundational principles.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn was just a tad more forceful:
Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature have deconstructed the single most important institution in human history. Republicans and Democrats alike succumbed to powerful political elites and have passed legislation that will undermine our families and as a consequence, our society.
With this vote, Governor Cuomo has opened a new front in the culture wars that are tearing at the fabric of our nation....
In light of these disturbing developments and in protest for this decision, I have asked all Catholic schools to refuse any distinction or honors bestowed upon them this year by the governor or any member of the legislature who voted to support this legislation. Furthermore, I have asked all pastors and principals to not invite any state legislator to speak or be present at any parish or school celebration.
The above request is intended as a protest of the corrupt political process in New York State. More than half of all New Yorkers oppose this legislation. Yet, the governor and the state legislature have demonized people of faith, whether they be Muslims, Jews, or Christians, and identified them as bigots and prejudiced, and voted in favor of same-sex “marriage.” It is mystifying that this bill would be passed on the last day of an extended session under the cover of darkness.
This issue has been framed as upholding marriage equality. This is not the case since one of the principal purposes of marriage is to bring new life into the world. This cannot happen in same-sex marriage. It is not a civil rights issue, but rather a human rights issue upholding the age-old understanding of marriage. Our political leaders do not believe their own rhetoric. If they did, how in good conscience could they carve out any exemption for institutions that would be proponents of bigotry and prejudice?
Republicans and Democrats equally share responsibility for this ruinous legislation and we as Catholics should hold all accountable for their actions.
Of course, this is only the most recent effort of a society increasingly in enthralled by its own hubris and even more intolerant, embarrassed by, and contemptuous of its Christian foundations and roots. As proof, we can look to how left-wing groups have petitioned President Obama to “rescind an amendment to an Executive Order that allows faith-based programs to limit hiring to people of their own faith.”
The great Archbishop Charles Chaput echoes the Catholic League (or is it vice versa?) when he recently said, “And if the state refuses to allow those Catholic ministries to be faithful in their services through legal or financial bullying, then as a matter of integrity, they should end their services.”
When Catholic University of America recently announced it would begin to segregate sexes by gender—not as a means of denying rights to students but to encourage virtue and thus promote the school’s mission—a local lawyer filed a gender discrimination suit.
· In Massachusetts, it has led to indoctrination in schools (to whit, a December 2003 school assembly was held “to celebrate same-sex ‘marriage’ [and] how it is now a normal part of society.” See the previous link for more examples.).
· It has led to an increase of HIV/AIDS cases and an increase in an already bloated state budget to deal with the burgeoning health problem. Spending on domestic violence issues (known to be much higher in homosexual couples than normal relationships) has gone up by $250,000. It has led to increased costs for businesses, who are now required to provide health insurance benefits to employees in such unions, even those with HIV/AIDS.
· It has led to the erosion of the ability of Christians to maintain their morality in their businesses. As such, a Christian bed-and-breakfast owner must allow a couple they do not consider married to sleep and copulate under their roof. A Christian wedding photographer cannot refuse to take photos at these sham weddings. The list is endless. And it often leads to frivolous lawsuits against businesses whom homosexual activists target to see how well they are complying with the new regime of laws. Catholic Charities no longer participates in the adoption process in the state because it refuses to compromise its principles and beliefs by allowing same sex couples to adopt. Justices of the Peace cannot abide by their conscience and refuse to marry same sex couples without losing their jobs.
This is what’s coming to all of America now that the card of New York has fallen and the card of California is likely to do so, as well.
It is also proof positive that the American Catholic Church—progressively emasculated by gender politics, moral relativism, and the priestly ephebophilia scandals—holds absolutely no sway over the majority of her professed adherents. After all, two of the deciding votes were from “Catholic” Republicans who both made it very clear that Church teaching meant nothing to them.
And really, once the Vatican forced Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle to rescind his censure of Fr. Charles Curran and the other theologians who protested Humanae Vitae—indeed, once the Vatican allowed the encyclical to be treated by the entire Canadian bishops conference and the American theological elite as a dead letter—the game was over. Dissent was allowed to rule the day, the Spirit of Vatican II became supreme, and all that was once thought to be wholly Catholic, including obedience to one’s bishop, washed away with the tide. Were it not for a handful of faithful theologians, bishops, and the pontificates of Bl. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the Catholic Church itself would be a dead letter today. It would be a prettier version of the Anglican Church. Truly, “the gates of death” have not prevailed.
We cannot compromise with this legislation. We cannot retreat from that which has always been true about marriage and will always be true. We must stand firm in our convictions and still loudly proclaim our principles.
That, however, my friends, will come at a cost. You and I are now the enemy. Twenty years ago, such a development would have seemed preposterous. Today, it has happened because it has become amongst our leaders and too many of our citizens the common wisdom. So because of this, we become the bigots, we become the scourge of society. We are beneath contempt and seen as no different than neo-Nazis hiding in the darkness of the wooded Pacific Northwest. This is the beginning of the very end for the respectability of Christianity. Absent a huge grace from God—and with God, all things are possible—should I live to the normal age people in my family attain, thoughts such as those expressed on this blog will put me in jail or before a judge in a civil suit.
This is quite possibly one of the saddest days of my life, but I have no doubt it will be followed by many more of a similar hue.
And on that cheery note, what do you think? Agree? Disagree?