The lunatics have truly taken over the asylum when the marriage pact, the most ancient institution in human history – pre-dating government itself – and the bedrock foundation of all civilization is now being defined by majority rule, and in some cases, by judicial fiat, rather than by the Natural Law. No longer is the marriage contract based on sexual and procreative complementarity as nature – and nature’s God – intended; marriage is now based on whatever barbaric act of sodomy the left chooses to normalize. But as Edward Peters has pointed out, these innovative new interpretations of the marital union – such as a man marrying another man – are not merely forbidden; they are impossible. Marriage is what it is and no more. It cannot be redefined, only destroyed.
Yet in spite of the manifest impossibility of altering this Divinely ordained institution, we are now expected, nay required, to suspend the use of both our faculty of reason and the Voice of conscience to accept the bizarre premise that two men rectally assaulting each other for their own twisted pleasure is equivalent to the procreative conjugal act between a man and his wife within the bounds of Holy Matrimony (because let’s face it, any activity that results in the exchange of blood and fecal matter, but can never result in conception is, by definition, not a sexual act; it is an assault – regardless of consent.) And anyone who dares to disagree with this madness is not merely wrong, but guilty of discrimination, our betters now insist.
The truth of the matter is that any definition of marriage outside the Natural Law (procreative complementarity) is completely arbitrary. At what point is this arbitrarily drawn line going to come under attack by the next crop of politically active perverts who crave a public stamp of approval for their own bizarre fetish? How long will it be before the left is no longer satisfied with merely normalizing male-on-male anal sodomy? Which “alternative lifestyle” will the left demand we normalize next? Will it be polyamory (any combination of multiple adults marrying each other), or pederasty (an adult male marrying a boy,) or pedophilia (any adult–child marriage)? Will it be incest or bestiality; or how about a woman marrying a building or a bridge?
This oft-ridiculed ‘slippery slope’ argument is legitimate because, since any definition of marriage outside the Natural Law is completely arbitrary, it is therefore discriminatory. This is what makes the issue so ironic: by excluding all these other relationships, those championing an expanded definition of marriage outside the Natural Law – ostensibly on the grounds of fairness – are themselves the only ones actually discriminating. Eventually they will have to acknowledge this and their efforts to right this new wrong will commence. This will ultimately and inevitably lead to one of the two only possible logical conclusions: a return to the true Natural Law marriage definition or the complete elimination of the marriage pact altogether in any form.
The activists, though they are loath to admit it publicly, know this. The fact is, the long-term goal of these leftists isn’t expanding marriage at all, but rather destroying it by defining it so broadly it loses all meaning. Because once marriage is destroyed the family is destroyed with it and into this vacuum steps the all-powerful state, which was their true goal all along.
This issue (destroying the family unit) is part of the larger project of the progressive left: to replace the influence of individuals, parents, families, the Church, and local civic institutions with that of the state. Their goal all along has been to attack the very Catholic and very American concept of subsidiarity – one of the central bulwarks of American liberty. It (replacing family sovereignty with state power) also explains no-fault divorce laws, Obama-care, welfare, public education (especially the federal common-core curriculum), and so much else. It is why Hilary Clinton once wrote a book called “It Takes a Village (to raise a child.)” It is why she supported the right of kids to sue their parents: because it places the state between and above the family.
Having analyzed the left’s true motivation in destroying marriage, let us now consider what the Catholic Church, for its part, teaches on the nature of sin generally and on the human condition, and how it relates to this controversial issue.
Sin, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is defined as:
[A]n offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.
The Church affirms and teaches that all men are, due to Original Sin, engaged in a daily struggle against the temptation to commit sin. And just as human beings come in all shapes and sizes and with widely diverse physical attributes, ailments, and conditions, so too do they manifest different inclinations toward sin – both in degree and in kind. That is, for example, some are more tempted by sins against purity (lust) while others less so; some are more susceptible to sins against humility (pride) than others; and some struggle more than others with temptations to sin against temperance or moderation (gluttony.)
For our purposes and by way of example let us consider two very common sins of which we are all often guilty (or at least frequently tempted): lust and gluttony. Both are sins related to the bodily, carnal appetites and each can manifest itself in different ways. Lust is most often associated with the inordinate desire for sexual pleasure, while gluttony usually concerns itself with food or drink. Neither of these objects: sexuality (properly ordered towards marital procreation) and food are necessarily sinful in themselves; rather they become sinful when they are desired or consumed in a way that is either disordered or excessive. In other words, a ‘perverse attachment’ to these goods can cause sin.
The Church has always taught that human sexuality is a gift from God and a means through which men can become cooperators with God as Creator, hence the term procreation. The Church has always affirmed and taught that all sex outside of marriage is sinful and must be avoided. Clearly, Church teaching on sexuality is not maliciously directed merely at same-sex couples, but at all illicit sexual activity. Sex must be exclusively between husband and wife and open to life.
Through the marital act offspring are brought forth in satisfaction of God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply.” These offspring are then meant to be raised by their parents as members of the ‘domestic Church’, the family. Human sexuality, then, is more than a mere physically pleasurable act biologically necessary for the propagation of the human race; it has been elevated by God to something greater.
Likewise, the consumption of food and drink is more than just a biologically necessary function of the human body; it also bears great cultural and even religious significance. Indeed, sharing meals as a family or as a community of families satisfies both our physical need for sustenance and our very human need for friendship and social interaction. Our biological human need for food is thus elevated to something more. Moreover, the fact that eating is enjoyable to us in itself encourages us to do it and thus maintain bodily health just as the physical enjoyment of sexuality encourages procreation.
Both of these human goods (sexuality and consumption) are gifts from God bearing both physical and spiritual significance and are objectively good when rightly ordered; that is, when they are practiced in moderation and used for their true purpose guided by the Christian virtues of charity, temperance, prudence, and chastity, they can bring great joy and enrichment while being pleasing to the Almighty. On the other hand, when misused or abused in a disordered way, a person is in danger of falling into sin and all of its resultant consequences, both temporal and eternal. Let us examine each in turn.
Very few people today would argue that bulimia and anorexia are not eating disorders. To eat to gross excess, purposefully vomit to empty the stomach, then to eat some more is neither natural nor healthy; neither is it healthy to starve oneself in a misguided attempt to be skinny and attractive. This is not how nature intended the human person to sustain himself; rather these conditions are disordered corruptions of a natural human good. They are both dangerous to one’s health and unnatural and may also under certain conditions constitute the sins of gluttony and/or pride – that is, sins against temperance or humility, respectively; and just as the natural good of eating can be corrupted or abused in a way that is harmful and/or sinful, so too can the natural good of human sexuality. And in both cases our response should be to help someone so afflicted to overcome their sickness, not confirm them in it.
If someone you loved was systematically starving themselves while complaining of being fat and unattractive, would you encourage them to eat or would you exacerbate their problem by saying “you look great! Whatever diet you’re on is working for you, keep it up”? If someone you loved was binging and purging, would you help them overcome this problem or simply accept their lifestyle choice and place a bucket next to their place at the dinner table? Similarly, if you sat down for dinner and someone you love began shoving spoonful’s of mashed potatoes in their ear, would you shrug your shoulders and ignore this obviously bizarre and self-destructive behavior?
Would you not lovingly seek help for a friend with an eating disorder? Is that not the charitable Christian thing to do, to help someone in need rather than confirming them in their error and perpetuating its consequent problems? The fact of the matter is that it is no act of charity to practice blind tolerance of or open-mindedness to such behavior; as Flannery O’Connor once said, “sometimes people can be so open-minded that their brains fall out.” Both common sense and true Christian charity dictate we should help those suffering with sexual disorders just as we would help those with eating disorders. But why don’t we?
Because few are willing or courageous enough to admit that homosexuality and other psycho-sexual disorders are, in fact, disorders at all. This is regrettably true for the same reason that Internet Use Disorder (IUD or internet addiction) is now included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders while homosexuality no longer is: politics. There is no massive PR campaign or militant lobbying group championing the cause of internet addiction any more than there is for anorexia or bulimia. People who oppose internet addiction are not ridiculed, mocked, or called hateful, bigoted, or intolerant. On the other hand, people who hold to the self-evident truth that homosexuality and other illicit sexual behaviors are disordered are simply not tolerated; they are shunned, attacked, and discriminated against. This, I submit, is why opinion polls increasingly show wider support for gay unions over time. People are afraid to voice a counter-cultural opinion which puts them in the crosshairs of the thought police. Moreover, the left won’t even debate these issues because when they do they lose: their arguments fall apart with just a little scrutiny. Instead they call you a bigot. End of discussion.
Unlike those of us on the political right, those on the left tend to take the long-term view, while the right debates issues one at a time and out of context. The marriage issue is no different. What we on the right have failed to point out to the public is what the lefts long-term strategy really is: expanded state power. The destruction of marriage is merely a means to this end.
Our leftist opponents in this particular debate – whom I like to call the Alphabet Soup Nazis (those who are militantly forcing the LBGT agenda down our throats) – believe not in freedom, but conformity. They are why reparative therapy (curing same-sex attraction through counseling) is now illegal in several states; they are why businesses that decline to participate in same-sex ‘marriages’ are being shut down by the government. They are the ones that are forcing schools to allow boys to use girls’ restrooms (if they ‘self-identify’ as girls) despite the protests of concerned parents.
If freedom is to survive, these neo-fascist bullies hell-bent on destroying the institution of Holy Matrimony must be resisted and challenged by men and women of good will. The Natural Law, the eternal truths authored by the Divine Architect that used to unite us, that comprised the philosophical basis for our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the seedbed upon which our civilization grew must be respected and defended if our free country is to survive, let alone thrive. This effort begins with the defense of marriage.