Here’s a run-down of some the posts and articles that I’ve found most interesting and enlightening in the past few days regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage.
I want to start with what I consider the most important point when discussing this; you can vehemently disagree with someone on the definition of marriage without being hateful. This is where I stand. You can disagree with someone, and still love them deeply. I know many people who do.
In this discussion, in every discussion about this, let’s first and foremost remember that every person deserves to be treated with respect. Even if someone disagrees with us or with the Church, they are our brothers and our sisters, Catholic or not. And each of them were created in the image of God. We are here to love them where they are, and to gently help those who have fallen away from the Church to come back home.
And we do that by loving them, and being a witness to the goodness of the Truth the Church proclaims.
We all desire to love, and to be loved, and Jesus Christ is the only way to fulfill those desires to their fullest.
“I don’t think I’m the only one who is tired of the media telling me that if I believe in traditional marriage, I “hate” people who experience homosexual attractions. Hate is a powerful word, and it shouldn’t be tossed around in hopes of scoring polemical points by stirring up people’s sentiments.
“Many people who experience homosexual attractions have suffered through tremendous bigotry, cruel harassment, and homophobic shunning. Some have committed suicide because of the rejection and bullying that they have experienced—sometimes within their own families. We need to be deeply sensitive to these realities, acknowledging that such hateful prejudices should be condemned…
“Some will retort, “It just seems like the Church is picking on gay people by forbidding them to marry.” Those who make this understandable objection are often unaware that the Church isn’t trying to single out anyone. The Church simply believes that the sexual union of a man and a woman is one of the essential parts of marriage, and therefore those who incapable of it are also incapable of marriage. For example, the Church does not believe impotent couples are capable of marriage. [Not to be confused with infertility, impotency is when a person is incapable of intercourse.] It’s important to understand that when the Church talks about marriage, it is not primarily talking about what to people do (exchange vows), but rather what two people become (an icon of Christ’s love for his bride, the Church).”
“How can the good of marriage be restored in the minds of the faithful and non-Catholics?
“There are many things that can be done, but the most important, I think, is the witnessing of the goodness, joy and greatness of marriage. We are called to show that the Christian gospel of the family is not just an ideal, but a concrete possibility that has happened, that happens every time that Christ enters our life, touches and transforms it.”
“The best case against same-sex marriage has nothing to do with religion, morality, bigotry, or disgust. It has everything to do with protecting the rights of children to have a mother and father and to be united to their mother and father and the need to insist that it is unjust to extend benefits to a relationship-type that convey no benefits to society in return. Homosexual persons do not deserve to be treated with scorn, disrespect, or bigotry. They are persons deserving of our love and respect just like anyone else. But extending love and respect to our homosexual brothers and sisters does not extend to redefining marriage so that it socially and practically meaningless…
“Gay marriage makes it discriminatory to say that ANY child has a right to a mother and father. This is the most serious problem. Homosexual couples may have children through adoption or assisted reproduction, but they can not provide both parents. But if gay marriage is about getting society to recognize that homosexual families are “just as good as” heterosexual families, this requires denying that any children–not just children of gay parents–have a right to a mother and father or need a mother and father. This flies in the face of all available data. Every child who is denied a mother and/or a father feels the lack. Gay marriage would require society, and mental health professionals, to tell all children that their natural longing for two, opposite-sex parents is disordered.”
“I think there were good reasons to fight for the preservation of a traditional definition of marriage. But I don’t think this supreme court decision was a surprise to any of us.
“What I think WOULD surprise people is what the Catholic Church actually teaches about same sex attraction. There is no hate there.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
“We can and we must treat the people around us with love and respect. Even if they hold beliefs at odds with our own. Even if they are behaving in ways we know aren’t good for them. Even if they are being frustrating on Facebook…
It’s been a LONG time since what the world calls marriage and what the Catholic Church calls marriage have been the same thing. Contraception, abortion, no-fault divorce, the normalization of cohabitation and the having of children outside of wedlock, pornography and the sexual revolution, are all as great or even greater threats to marriage than is this redefinition of civil marriage.
“We are missionaries in a pagan culture.
“I think the most powerful thing we as Christians can do is to live committed, loving, monogamous, open to life marriages. We can raise strong and loving and well-formed children. We can hope that people will see the joy in our lives, and ask us about it.”
“The Church must never conform to or be assimilated into the world. We are in the world, but not of the world and we must keep our eyes firmly on our heavenly home.”
“God called each of us to live in this moment, at this time, in this culture. He did so for a reason. Are you ready to fulfill your baptismal mandate? … What to do now? Live your life. Become a saint. Teach your children well (start with this), because they will need to find some firm footing and sense in a crazy, upside-down world. The Church will continue to be a beacon, but even more so now. I praise God for making the line very clear! Now, the choice is more obvious. My overriding thought is “bring it on!” We were made for this, my dear Christians. Why are you afraid? … Finally, if you are truly, profoundly rattled and even devastated by this Court decision, you have put waaaaaaay too much faith in the things of this world. Change course. You will not find peace nor salvation in the things of this world. Turn to Christ, the source of our joy. He Himself asked if He would find any faith in this world upon His return. Well, will He?”
“Love is not a feeling. Marriage is not a construct. Society’s very foundation may not be un-defined on a whim of “But I want it!” Happiness cannot be found by going against our human nature and dignity. Truth does not change. All of this must be talked about.”
“As Christians, we believe that Love won when Jesus defeated sin and death making a way for us to have a relationship with God again. Love won when Jesus once and for all broke off the lies that we would never measure up, that we would never find our way back to Him, that said we would never have hope, or health, or life. Jesus won when He redeemed a broken humanity back into His perfect Love… and no ruling or power or authority can ever unseat Him from His throne of victory as He reigns forever over all things.”
“We have great compassion for people who struggle with their sexuality and gender identity—not animosity. And we love our parents. Yet, when we go public with our stories, we often face ostracism, silencing, and threats.
“I want to warn America to expect severe erosion of First Amendment freedoms if the US Supreme Court mandates same-sex marriage. The consequences have played out in Canada for ten years now, and they are truly Orwellian in nature and scope.
“In Canada, freedoms of speech, press, religion, and association have suffered greatly due to government pressure. The debate over same-sex marriage that is taking place in the United States could not legally exist in Canada today. Because of legal restrictions on speech, if you say or write anything considered “homophobic” (including, by definition, anything questioning same-sex marriage), you could face discipline, termination of employment, or prosecution by the government.”
“Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court may declare at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable. Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the question of abortion over forty years ago, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the question of marriage today. Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail. Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.
“The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female. The protection of this meaning is a critical dimension of the “integral ecology” that Pope Francis has called us to promote. Mandating marriage redefinition across the country is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us, especially children. The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home.
“Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. As Catholic bishops, we follow our Lord and will continue to teach and to act according to this truth.
“I encourage Catholics to move forward with faith, hope, and love: faith in the unchanging truth about marriage, rooted in the immutable nature of the human person and confirmed by divine revelation; hope that these truths will once again prevail in our society, not only by their logic, but by their great beauty and manifest service to the common good; and love for all our neighbors, even those who hate us or would punish us for our faith and moral convictions.
“Lastly, I call upon all people of good will to join us in proclaiming the goodness, truth, and beauty of marriage as rightly understood for millennia, and I ask all in positions of power and authority to respect the God-given freedom to seek, live by, and bear witness to the truth.”