Skip to comments.A Brief History of Same-Sex Marriage and Why Catholics Are Losing the War Against It
Posted on 02/14/2014 4:07:38 PM PST by NYer
Surveying history for anything resembling same-sex marriage in any culture, clime, or era is a fruitless search. It has never been proposed, not even in ancient Greece, as some would like to argue. So why does this enigma of history seem like just the next progressive step in our own culture?
The answer, oddly enough, seems to be locked up in the birth control pill. Let me explain.
Healthy cultures and civilizations all have one thing in common. There is a deep understanding (even if not always acted upon or articulated) that my life has meaning because of the sacrifices I make for those who come after me, through loyalty to a clan, tribe or wider society. This simple "our lives for theirs" approach is what has animated history for centuries. Think of the building of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, which the early masons knew would never be finished in their lifetimes. "Our lives for theirs" is an easy barometer to see if a civilization is on the rise or on decline. When that order becomes inverted, like ancient Rome or late Renaissance Venice, where each man and woman lives just for himself, the civilization will decay and cease to exist.
The sexual revolution of the 1960s is a marked example of this inversion in the West with the arrival of the pill. Never in the history of the world had the fundamental link between human sexuality and reproduction been so decidedly unhinged, ushering in a new conception of sexuality. Sex became about many things: self-expression, self-gratification, exploration, desire, etc.…but not about its main reason for existence: to propagate the species. The general "our life for theirs" attitude lived out by parents for centuries suddenly became suspect as self-gratification came into vogue. "Why would anyone voluntarily put themselves through all that hard work to raise more than two children?" became the new model under which we live today.
While contraception of various sorts was nothing new, the wholesale use of it was. Without the "baby bonus," concepts of self-control, self-mastery, self-donation have not only became outdated, but an object of mockery. Denuding sex of its natural procreative character made sex simply about "me," not my spouse, my children, my family, or my community. Porn, "twerking," and the over-sexualization of young children are only the latest additions in the "sex is about me" trajectory.
Aristotle (384 -322 BC) was the first to argue for the link between what we find pleasurable and what is needed for a healthy polis, or more generally, society. An act was pleasurable to ensure that it would take place, but was not the most important reason for the action. Food tastes good so we will eat. The connection between sexual pleasure and procreation is why same-sex marriage has never been accepted in the history of the world before. It was always generally understood that such a "marriage" is not fruitful no matter what the feelings may be of those involved.
Generations of couples coupling without conceiving have led to the misperception that sexuality is, in fact, merely another contact sport, or whatever else you may want it to be, without a fixed meaning other than pleasure. Sex in the minds of most no longer has any natural link with making babies. And if the link dares to happen biologically when nature asserts herself, it is a failure, a mistake, an accident not the natural course of things.
How, then, one asks, could Catholics be so cruel to want to deny same-sex marriage to those who just have a different idea about sex? Why limit ourselves to heterosexual activity within marriage? Can't pleasure and satisfaction be found elsewhere? Well, clearly they can, to a degree. But babies cannot. And the stable families necessary to raise healthy children, study after study has shown, cannot be reformulated into any shape of laissez-faire family. Statistics show that 95 percent of Catholics are using contraception to limit family size. Clearly there has been a dramatic failure to educate ourselves about what the Church teaches on love and sexuality in the pews, in classrooms, and in Catholic media. But at the heart of it, the Christian ethos, embodied in Christ's own sacrifice of himself for all of us, needs to be revived. Ultimately, are our actions life-giving or sterile? To this question, our answer should always be "our lives for theirs."
Statistics show that 95 percent of Catholics are using contraception to limit family size. Clearly there has been a dramatic failure to educate ourselves about what the Church teaches on love and sexuality in the pews, in classrooms, and in Catholic media. But at the heart of it, the Christian ethos, embodied in Christ's own sacrifice of himself for all of us, needs to be revived. Ultimately, are our actions life-giving or sterile? To this question, our answer should always be "our lives for theirs."
We’re just losing a battle. The war has been won. This is mop-up.
Same-sex marriages are not a new idea just created in the latter part of the Twentieth Century, and never before thought of.
In fact, it has been thought of a LOT over the millennia, going back to the times of Sodom and Gomorrah, and no doubt for a while before that. And almost always, this upsurge in these “situational ethics” becomes strongest just as the fabric of the dominant societies is being torn apart.
Cause-and-effect there, or is this fascination with deviancy just a symptom of a much deeper rot? Either way, the decay continues to feed upon this leniency and licentious behavior.
having children is a duty....because each generation depends on the other generations....that young nurse or therapist assisting you to the Bathroom is there because she/he was born...
what do we do when we have no young people?
Actually it has not. Homosexuality was considered separate from marriage, even in Greek society where men had sex with boys (the traditional homosexual activity).
What worries me is the meaning of this historical detail. I suspect that a better statement is: "Surveying history for anything resembling same-sex marriage in any culture that survived long enough to be noted by historians is a fruitless search."
"He had the testicles cut off of a boy named Sporus, and attempted to transform him into a woman, marrying him with dowry and bridal veil and all due ceremony, then, accompanied by a great crowd, taking him to his house, where he treated him as his wife. Someone made the rather clever joke which is still told that it would have been a good thing for humanity if Nero's father had taken such a wife. This Sporus, decked out in the ornaments of an empress and carried in a litter, he took with him around the meeting places and markets of Greece and later, at Rome, around the Sigillaria, kissing him from time to time." (Nero, ch. 28. Trans. by Catharine Edwards, Oxford World's Classics)
Even the Romans in their most decadent period thought that was preposterous.
Sorry. All of the fancy verbiage to make homosexuality simply a “reaction to the self-centeredness of society” is once again Rome missing the mark. Homosexuality is simply sin.
Go read Romans 1 & 2. Homosexuality is just an extremely graphic expression of the brokenness of man (equal to being disobedient to parents, murder, etc.). It is sin and until we say so plainly, articles like this will continue to misrepresent the way God looks at the way men live.
It became another form of idolatrous rebellion against God, by gratification of the glands outside of the life-long commitment which provides the secure context for it and for the normal result, children.
Homosexual relations and its "marriage" is a progression of that idolatrous rebellion, and the rest of the marks of moral decline will increasingly become evident.
America is in Romans 1 .
“Were just losing a battle. The war has been won. This is mop-up.”
Says who? Just because you shout the loudest doesn’t mean you won the fight. That’s what AIDS is for as it can thin the herd.
“The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Slippery slope began with the acceptance of artificial birth control.
Accelerated with the acceptance of abortion as a means of birth control.
Rocketed with the acceptance of no-fault divorce.
Nothing new here. Why would Leviticus mention the abomination?
And in film...Ain't "she" cute? >/P>
“Now, since the family and human society at large spring from marriage, these men will on no account allow matrimony to be the subject of the jurisdiction of the Church. Nay, they endeavor to deprive it of all holiness, and so bring it within the contracted sphere of those rights which, having been instituted by man, are ruled and administered by the civil jurisprudence of the community. Wherefore it necessarily follows that they attribute all power over marriage to civil rulers, and allow none whatever to the Church; and, when the Church exercises any such power, they think that she acts either by favor of the civil authority or to its injury. Now is the time, they say, for the heads of the State to vindicate their rights unflinchingly, and to do their best to settle all that relates to marriage according as to them seems good.”
—Pope Leo XIII, 1880
He warned about the danger of the state defining marriage 130+ years ago. To the state, it simply is whatever judges, pols, or the voting majority think it can be at any one time.
Freegards, thanks for all the pings on FR
All of this needs to be repeated.
**Slippery slope began with the acceptance of artificial birth control.
Accelerated with the acceptance of abortion as a means of birth control.
Rocketed with the acceptance of no-fault divorce.**
I wonder if poor Sporus was a willing participant in all of this. Nero, what a role model!
Thanks for posting. There’s a lot to think about, not neccessarily what people want to hear, but what they need to hear.