Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

CAMPAIGN 2012—The Future of Marriage ^ | 9/26/12 | George Weigel

Posted on 09/26/2012 3:00:44 PM PDT by rhema

September 26, 2012 - Back in the day, altar boys loved to serve weddings because it involved ready cash: minimally, $5 (which in those days meant something), often a ten-spot. Once in a great while an exceptionally generous best man would slip each server an envelope with $25 – a small fortune to a boy in the early 1960s.

Serving weddings should have enlarged more than the youthful exchequer, however. For wedding servers were exposed, time and again, to the prescribed “exhortation” the priest read to the couple before they pronounced their vows. That exhortation is worth recalling, now that the very idea of “marriage” is being contested on four state ballots, and in the national election, on Nov. 6:

“My dear friends: You are about to enter upon a union which is most sacred and most serious. It is most sacred, because established by God himself. By it, he gave to man a share in the greatest work of creation, the work of the continuation of the human race. And in this way he sanctified human love and enabled man and woman to help each other live as children of God, by sharing a common life under his fatherly care.

“Because God himself is thus its author, marriage is of its very nature a holy institution, requiring of those who enter into it a complete and unreserved giving of self. But Christ our Lord added to the holiness of marriage an even deeper meaning and a higher beauty. He referred to the love of marriage to describe his own love for his Church, that is, for the people of God whom he redeemed by his own blood. ... It is for this reason that his apostle, St. Paul, clearly states that marriage is now and for all time to be considered a great mystery, intimately bound up with the supernatural union of Christ and the Church, which union is also to be its pattern. …

“No greater blessing can come to your married life than pure conjugal love, loyal and true to the end. ...”

It’s impossible to imagine a Catholic priest pronouncing those words at a gay “wedding.” And that impossibility illustrates several Catholic theological objections to the notion that same-sex couples can “marry.” “Gay marriage” is opposed to the divine order built into creation and to the Gospel: for “gay marriage,” by its very nature, cannot be a fruitful one-flesh union, and “gay marriage,” which by definition involves grave sin, cannot be an image of Christ’s spousal love for the Church. Thus Catholics who support “gay marriage” are deeply confused about both Word and Sacrament, the twin pillars of Catholic life.

In public policy terms, the Catholic critique of “gay marriage” reflects the Catholic idea of the just state. Rightly understood, marriage is one of those social institutions that exist “prior” to the state: prior in terms of time (marriage existed before the state), and prior in terms of the deep truths embedded in the human condition. A just state thus recognizes the givenness of marriage and seeks to protect and nurture this basic social institution.

By contrast, a state that asserts the authority to redefine “marriage” has stepped beyond the boundaries of its competence. And if that boundary-crossing is set in constitutional or legal concrete, it opens up a Pandora's box of undesirable results. For if the state can decree that two men or two women can make a “marriage,” why not one man and two women? Two women and two men? These are not paranoid fantasies; the case for polyandry and polygamy is now being mounted in prestigious law journals.

And if the state can define “marriage” by diktat, why not other basic human relationships, like the parent-child relationship, the doctor-patient relationship, the lawyer-client relationship, or the priest-penitent relationship? There is no principled reason why not. Thus “gay marriage” is another expression of that soft totalitarianism that Benedict XVI aptly calls the “dictatorship of relativism.”

Conscientious voters will keep this—and the Democratic Party platform’s endorsement of “gay marriage”—in mind on Nov. 6.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: catholic; homosexualagenda; marriage; moralabsolutes

1 posted on 09/26/2012 3:00:50 PM PDT by rhema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: rhema
Thus “gay marriage” is another expression of that soft totalitarianism

And soft totalitarianism begets hard totalitarianism.

2 posted on 09/26/2012 3:34:34 PM PDT by marron
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rhema
In other words Marriage is part of human nature. It is human nature that a man joins with a women to procreate, that is to produce an offspring. Man joining with man, or woman joining (sic) with woman does not produce an offspring.

The only way offspring is produced is through the union of man and woman (even when done artificially in the laboratory).

The State has an interest in promoting the good of offspring, irregardless of what Ron Paul thinks because it benefits society with new members.

The Church too is interested in this offspring because they are destine for eternal life.

All Christian denominations as well as the public at large accepted this view of Marriage until the 1950's. You got married in order to start a family.

Society at large and the Church accepted this union and conferred special benefits because you were helping to populate earth (for civil society) and heaven (for the Church).

Once children are removed from marriage through contraception and abortion, than the equation changes.

There is a greater distance between heterosexuals trying to conceive and those blocking it, than there is is between heterosexual blocking conception of children and homosexual unions. That former is open to offspring, the latter is only about sex.

3 posted on 09/26/2012 6:18:50 PM PDT by HapaxLegamenon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HapaxLegamenon
In short, the author of nature and of marriage is one and the same: The God who created us.

If you are an atheist, than nature tells you the biological the purpose of sexual union is procreation. The very fact that every personal on this earth scientifically and biologically shows this is sufficient.

4 posted on 09/26/2012 6:24:19 PM PDT by HapaxLegamenon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson