Monday, July 12, 2010

Same-Sex Unions -- Why is Marriage So Important Now?

For decades the argument of the most progressive among us has been that marriage is an antique, something old and stodgy that only the priggish have any involvement with. Marriage is tantamount to enslavement especially if you are a Bible believing couple; most certainly the woman will be subjugated to the man. Many have asserted that we must cast off that need for the dusty legal document that is an impoverishment to equal rights; the rights of women, in particular.

Why the battle cry now for same sex marriage? What could be the reason behind this resurgence in the desire to be joined together in a civil union or religious ceremony? Is it truly a yearning for something to signify a lasting relationship; a relationship that requires validation on its merits?

What exactly would be the merits of a same-sex marriage? What are the benefits of the legal document? It couldn't be that medical insurance is the issue any longer, because we will all be equally provided for under the new healthcare mandate. The document, as many heterosexual couples can attest to, is not guarantee that the relationship will remain monogamous, or last a life time. Could it be for the children? But, wait, we all know the answer to that one -- there can be no biological children from same sex couples. What then?

In his encyclical, Familiaris Consortio, Pope John Paul II wrote explicitly about marriage and the family. What is interesting is that in the introduction to the document, he makes this statement:
At a moment of history in which the family is the object of numerous forces that seek to destroy it [marriage] or in some way to deform it, and aware that the well-being of society and her own good are intimately tied to the good of the family,(7) the Church perceives in a more urgent and compelling way her mission of proclaiming to all people the plan of God for marriage and the family, ensuring their full vitality and human and Christian development, and thus contributing to the renewal of society and of the People of God. (FC, 3)
John Paul II promulgated this document in 1981, almost 30 years ago, yet he understood that forces were afoot to destroy the sanctity of marriage, which in turn would undermine the good of the family.

It is to destroy the sacramental nature of marriage that drives those who seek same-sex marriage. The institution itself cannot produce those fruits that are specific to a sacramental marriage. Joining together in a union that is contrary to Gospel teaching is just an act of rebellion against Truth. And, the only good reason to want to is to somehow lessen that actual value of marriage for those who seek to enter into the covenant with God as man and wife.

According to a piece on Zenit today entitled, Cardinal: Argentina Wants Mommies, Daddies for Children, a national march is scheduled to peacefully protest the legislation to allow same-sex unions in Argentina. It is sad that this is even a question in this predominantly Catholic country, but modern culture is a strong force to battle. The Archbishop of Buenos Aires encouraged his priests, clergy and lay faithful to be active participants in the march to be held tomorrow in his nation's capitol. About marriage, he and his brother bishops said this:
They [the bishops] affirmed that "heterosexuality as a requisite for marriage is not to discriminate," but rather to base marriage on an objective premise. "The contrary would be to ignore its essence."
Ignoring the essence of marriage would be to deny Christ, because He is the cornerstone of all marriages. It was Jesus who instituted the sacrament for our salvation. It is not simply a man-made contrivance. Marriage has a preternatural component that leads to eternal life.

2 comments:

Jeannie said...

"It is to destroy the sacramental nature of marriage that drives those who seek same-sex marriage."

I think it may be simpler than that. Our culture itself denies the sacramental nature of marriage. Marriage has become a social contract to be defined as we wish, as most benefits society.

Culturally we once had an appreciation for the differences between men and women, and the distinct and valuable contributions of each in the raising of children. We have lost this awareness. Our divorce laws deny the value of an intact conventional family; our social safety nets encourage remaining unmarried when having children.

Couples drawn together by a shared sexual attraction disorder see that the family has already been redefined to accommodate the selfish whims of heterosexual couples. It must seem a natural extension to accommodate the desires of homosexual couples.

There are very few marriages that testify to the sacramental union that characterizes a true marriage, and the sacrificial nature of the commitment to form and nurture a family. It is our responsibility to live our vocations to marriage in a way that makes it clear that marriage is not defined by us, but rather by God. As we shape our families we shape society and the laws that govern it.

Kathy said...

Excellent point, Jeannie. I do, however, continue to believe that there is an undercurrent of anti-religiosity attached to the motive.