Skip to comments.Is Marriage Bigoted and Discriminatory?
Posted on 07/21/2013 6:15:27 PM PDT by markomalley
Recently both President Obama and members of the Supreme Court gave support to the argument that the very idea that marriage is only between a man and a womancentral to the Judeo-Christian belief about marriage, as well as every culture on this planet up until recentlymanifests hatred and bigotry toward people with same-sex attractions. Writing the majority opinion for the Supreme Courts decision in US v. Windsor last month, Justice Anthony Kennedy claimed that the legislators who passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996which defined for purposes of the federal government that marriage is only between a man and a womanmust have intended to demean and injure same-sex couples, and to humiliate any children that they were raising. The next day President Obama echoed these sentiments. DOMA, he said, was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people.
This strident campaign to redefine marriage will only become more intense in the next few years. Catholics will be increasingly labeled as bigots and hate mongers. And so we will face a choice: will we be bullied by such accusations, and remain silent about what our faith and reason tell us, or will we learn how clearly to articulate and defend marriage in the public square?
The marriage of Christians is both a Sacrament and a natural community; it does not cease to be a natural union because it also involves a Sacrament. For that reason, Catholics cannot ignore our cultures errors about marriage. To answer the charge of bigotry we must be able to explain what marriage is and why it is a man-woman relationship.
The state does not create marriage. Marriage is a specific type of relationship or community, having its own structure, and would exist whether the state made any pronouncements about it or not. Marriage exists in every culture--and the path toward marriage is similar across cultures: a young man and woman fall in love and long to be one with each other. The two spend time together, talk, play games, share meals, and so on. They eventually desire to be one with each other bodily--that is, sexually. They desire this sexual union not merely for gratification, but to embody their love and personal communion.
But of course they also see that because this sexual act (or acts) may lead to children, and unites them as one body, it is appropriate only as part of a more encompassing and enduring personal union. So they realize it would be very good for them to commit themselves to each other to form a stable union, a union that would be naturally extended by enlarging into family.
This type of relationship is fundamentally different from two others, despite some similarities. It is distinct from cohabitation with sex but no intrinsic orientation to children. Couples in such relationships may decide at some point to marry, but are not yet married. And marriage is distinct from an alliance formed directly for the purpose of raising children. Two elderly sisters, for example, might agree to cooperate to raise their nieces or nephews after their parents die in a tragic accidentbut they would not be married.
Marriage is a multi-leveled union. The spouses become united in body as well as emotionally and spiritually. In sexual intercourse the man and the woman become one body, becoming the single subject of a single biological function, related to each other somewhat the way the various organsheart, lungs and arteries for exampleare parts of a single organism. (This point is taught in Scripturethe man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife, and the two become one flesh, but can also be shown by reason and accepted by anyone whether he or she has faith or not.)
At the same time, marriage is intrinsically oriented to conceiving and rearing childrennot as a mere means in relation to an endsince the union of the spouses is good in itself and a sufficient reason to marrybut to the natural unfolding and fruition of their union. Their conceiving and rearing children together fulfills the spouses precisely as a union of complementary persons, and thus is not an extrinsic end or goal.
Given the basic idea of what marriage is, it is easy to see that it can exist only between a man and a woman. Whatever the intensity of their emotional bond, same-sex partners are simply unable to form together the kind of union marriage is. In order to marry, a couple must be able, in principle, to form a real organic unionnot just an emotional and spiritual union. And the couple must be able to form the kind of communion that would be naturally fulfilled by conceiving and rearing children together.
Same-sex partners can do neither of these things. The sexual acts that persons of the same sex can perform on each other do not make them organically one, and so cannot establish the bodily foundation for the multi-leveled union that marriage is. (A mere geometrical unionsay, sticking ones finger in a persons eardoes not unite persons biologically.) Nor can same-sex partners form the kind of union that would be fulfilled by conceiving and rearing children together. Of course same-sex partners can form sexual arrangements (not real organic unions), and can also cooperate in child-rearing (as can other couples or other groups), but the one relationship is distinct and not inherently linked to the other.
It is often objected that marriage cannot be intrinsically oriented to procreation because people who are unable to procreate can still get married. However, this objection supposes that the only way marriage can be linked to procreation is as a mere means toward an end. But this is not true. The marital union of the spouses is both good in itself and intrinsically oriented to procreation: the union between the spouses is in itself fulfilling for the spouses, but the full unfolding of marital unity includes conceiving and rearing children. And so couples who cannot have children can still marrythey can form the bodily, emotional and spiritual union of the kind that would be fulfilled by conceiving children even if in fact their union does not reach that fruition. But same-sex partners cannot marry since they cannot form that kind of union.
One might also object that even if marriage is a distinct type of relationship it will do no harm for the state to place in the same category marriages and stable same-sex relationships. On this view redefining marriage is no big deal. But marriage is a distinct way in which men and women are fulfilled, a distinct basic human good, similar in this respect to health or knowledge of truth. Suppose our culture obscured the nature of health. This would be harmful in that it would make it more difficult for people to pursue and attain health. Likewise, if the state redefines marriage it will obscure what marriage really is. The idea will be re-enforced that marriage is not a natural community with an objective structure, bodily, emotional and spiritual union, whose fruition is the procreation and education of children, but instead, an emotional union whose contours are very much up for grabs and which exists solely for the well-being or gratification of adults.
Moreover, up until now it has been widely recognized that the state has no public interest in romantic relationships as such. Marriage is the only institution that unites fathers and mothers to each other and to their children, and that is why state has an interest in and should promote marriage. But changing the definition would send the message that a child does not need both a mother and a father, that in particular fathers are dispensable.
Thus, it is not unjust discrimination or bigotry, to hold that same-sex couples cannot marry.
No, marriage is the survival of the species.
I wouldn’t choose those adjectives to describe my marriage ... but then, I own an Unabridged Dictionary.
What’s bigoted is that I need to get a license by the friggin’ state to get married.
God’s word: “Male and female he made them.”
Obama and the Supreme Court are as sick as the queers they love.
We just don't think homosexuals and other deviants count for much.
Communists conquered the United States by embarrassing women for their natural role in the home so that they become restless, drive their men crazy, then leave their children to communist teachers who drug the children because they can't learn under the emotional paralysis of missing their parents.
Obama agenda: dem0ralize through stress to increase dependency.
The ancient Greeks never considered it, despite their society being rife, particularly with pederasty, but other forms of homosexuality that stemmed through it.
But we, in the United States of America, must have it foisted onto us. And in this respect “We, the People” have been defeated.
Only according to the state. There are some faiths that don’t think a license is the determining factor to decide if someone is married or not. There are some that are proposing that perhaps the best thing the Church could do is stop being involved in civil marriage at this point. There are decent arguments on both sides of that, in my opinion.
I think maybe the Church should have made a bigger deal out of the state’s definition of marriage when civil divorce and remarriage was recognized by the state, maybe so many wouldn’t be conditioned that the state defines marriage at this point. Because after civil divorce and marriage came very easy civil divorce and remarriage, and now ‘gay marriage.’ Makes you wonder what the state will be calling marriage 100 years from now, probably incestual child clone marriage or something.
Leftists’ goal: abolish the natural family and replace it with the state.
Placemark for pinging tomorrow.
Up until 1967, my marriage, which has produced a daughter and granddaughter, would have been a felony as a result of a seldom enforced miscegenation law. Now, that same marriage is considered Bigoted and Discriminatory? Amazing how society defines itself.
We just don't think homosexuals and other deviants count for much.
I just don't think homosexuals and other deviants count for much.
There. Fixed it for you. You're welcome.
Did you see the new Superman movie where all natural births in Krypton were abolished under state control?
Im not grateful. No thanks will be forthcoming for which you can respond with a courteous answer.
If you wish to register disagreement, please proceed, by all means. Im not a Liberal, after all, so I will make no attempt to stop you or take over both sides of a conversation, as would a Liberal.
Just dont pretend that your Liberality gives you leave to elbow in and control what others have to say as though the words are your own. They are not.
The Judeo-Christian Tradition holds homosexuality to be an abomination. Witness the depravity of Sodom (that is, the depravity of Sodomites). See Genesis 19. See Leviticus 18. See 1 Corinthians 6.
If you wish to register dissent, please do. I welcome dissent. That doesnt mean I must agree, or that others may take over what I say. Do not think you can Pelosi this forum. You may not.
Jus' buildin' the kingdom of the anti-Christ.
YHAOS, I decided to respond privately. But I would ask, for teh purposes of this public thread, exactly who are the ‘we’ you were referring to in your original post?
And (at the risk of getting you more exercised over this) please don’t make assumptions about my views on the basis of one exception I took (misguided as you might think it may be) to your posting.
Very well, then. For the purposes of this public thread. Read the original post. What does it say? What authority did I cite in my riposte to your response?
. . . .please dont make assumptions about my views on the basis of one exception I took . . .
Then dont attempt to Pelosi my postings. You not only took exception. Your behavior conveyed the presumption that your exception was categorical and must be accepted as definitive. What did you think my assumption would be?
Sure did. That’s what the leftist elitists want here. They want Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”.
Indeed. As black conservative La Shawn Barber posted, church going, Bible reading and believing African-Americans who marched for civil rights back in the 1950s and 1960s would never have considered or believed that one day their efforts would someday be used to say that the gender requirements for marriage should be legally abolished. If they had heard such a thing they would probably say that was something that the KKK thought up to scare people.
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