Our American Supreme Court, which defines the binding law of the land, by a slim majority decision (5-4), today did what we hoped they wouldn’t do but knew they would. They have redefined the very nature of marriage and assured that like the decision from the 1970’s which legalized abortion across this land, have supported deeper divisions and a continued source of tension for all Americans.
The issue of same/sex “marriage” like abortion “rights” will now become ever more a firestorm and separate people of true faith from those who feel otherwise. Those who express an opinion in support of natural marriage (as natures Creator has designed us to be) or traditional marriage will now be ever more labeled as bigots, naïve, homophobs, out of touch, unpatriotic, narrow minded, prejudiced, religious zealots, etc. Take your pick including all of the above. The common good of society no longer holds any value. It just depends who has the most money, the most support, the loudest voice, and the power of the media to change values.
My personal hope is that we as members of the Clergy will be exempt as agents of the state and no longer be obliged to witness marriages in the name of the State. In other words, if a sincere Catholic man and woman or a mixed marriage of two different faiths want to enter sacramental marriage as a holy vocation according to what Jesus and his Church will forever teach, they will first need to be civilly married perhaps by a justice of the peace, a judge, or some person who speaks in the name of the State.
Once that legal relationship is established, they would then come to the Church with their legal marriage license and plan a Church wedding ceremony in which the true sacramental nature of the marriage covenant is upheld. Perhaps the name of the Sacrament should also be changed from Marriage to Matrimony in order to show the distinction between the two. Since the word marriage has been applied to something new from what it was, a true difference must be shown. To not do so just sows confusion and duplicity.
What has happened is similar to language used to redefine abortion in order to make it more acceptable. The direct killing of a human life within the womb is not killing – it is rather “reproductive rights” and “freedom of choice.” How can we as Americans be opposed to free choice even if it is at the price of killing a defenseless child? Words carry great weight and form acceptance even if they are deceptive.
Similarly, you can’t have two different things suddenly by the stroke of a pen become the same thing without redefining what that “thing” is. An orange is not an apple yet both are fruit. Since time began the union of two persons of the opposite gender i.e. man/woman has been the unquestioned definition of what is called marriage. Read Genesis to remind ourselves of God’s intention (Gen 2: 18-25).
Now, due to a legal opinion, not an infallible statement, an orange is suddenly declared to be an apple. An apple is an orange and an orange is an apple. So, what is it? Fruit is fruit is it not? A mango is a cantaloupe; a banana is a watermelon, etc. It all depends on your opinion doesn’t it?
Well, on and on it will go but the issue is hardly closed; it is only begun. Abortion across this Country did not suddenly become a mute issue due to the SCOTUS opinion in Roe v Wade. – it has been a cause of division for the last 40+ years. The good side is that it has raised the issue ever more of the value of human life for those who have an open mind. Hopefully, rather than destroying natural traditional marriage, this opinion will ever more enhance it and strengthen its superior value for male and female spouses and children welcomed into that sacred union.
Below is a link to the statement of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops which sums up the feeling of many. It is not only a Catholic opinion any more than the right to life is a Catholic/Christian opinion. Let us pray.
Statement of American Bishops: http://usccb.org/news/2015/15-103.cfm
Be attentive to our prayers, O Lord,
and in your kindness uphold
what you have established
for the increase of the human race,
so that the union you have created
may be kept safe by your assistance.
(Collect for the Celebration of Marriage)