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Why Marriage is Not a Water Fountain, via Public Discourse

At The Public Discourse, by Anthony Esolen.

Separate Water FountainsFive stars! One of the best pieces I’ve read on the subject of same-sex “marriage” and why opposition to redefining marriage is not analogous to discrimination or segregation. Simply excellent, thoughtful, and solid. Would that this sort of thorough thinking would spread through our culture like a welcome winter flu. We would be healed.

An excerpt:

“Marriage is Not a Water Fountain”

Conjugal Marriage: Not Peculiar, But Universal

“Now, none of these conditions characterizes our efforts to restore and protect the institution of marriage. If anything, they characterize some of our opponents in the debate. Let us see why.

First, the idea that marriage requires a man and a woman is not peculiar to us. It is universal in human culture. Its universality is based upon the obvious functions of the reproductive organs, and the obvious need to propagate the species. We may add, too, that in a multitude of manifestations, wide in variety but recognizably of the same kind, what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman are also universal in human culture. That too is observed and accepted as natural and good, most nobly embodied in the complementarity of marriage, man and woman.

What is peculiar? The idea that there are no such things as manhood and womanhood; that the sexes are empty of significance, except in the sole case of what must then be considered a mere irrational and inexplicable desire: that this particular male must have another male, and this particular female must have another female. We can pretend that a man can possibly marry another man, because we have shut our eyes to what marriage is, and what men and women are.

That means that we have to shore up a lie. Suppose I say, “A marriage by our bodily nature requires a man and a woman. If we think about it for a moment, it also requires a vow of permanence and exclusivity, because marriage involves the time-transcending act that brings a new generation into being.” What about that is not true? When a man and a woman unite in the congress of the sexes, that is exactly what they are doing, even if they try to thwart its natural result. Nothing in human reality is comparable to that act.

http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2014/09/13730/

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Homosexuality, Marriage, Family, and the Truth: What Would Love Really Do?

at Catholic Online

It seems my choices these days are either: 1. Celebrate homosexuality or be a homophobe. 2. Support the “right” of two men/two women to marry, or be a hateful bigot. 3. “Do unto others…” or be a hypocrite.

Loving my neighbor seems to have gotten a whole lot trickier.

Just how the heck am I supposed to love someone who demands something I cannot give? How do you love the person who requires you to celebrate their sin or be punished? How do you love the neighbor you must engage in the battle for our culture? How do you love the person whose lifestyle you must actively oppose for the sake of protecting what’s right?

It’s a good question. WWLD? (What would love do?) And what is love, anyway? What does love have to do with all of this? Everything. Just not what you might think.

Mr. Obama now says his opinions about marriage have “evolved” as dictated by his Christian faith and the Golden Rule, and no longer can he deny same-sex couples the “right” to marry. See that? In one fell swoop the President, in his infinite wisdom, decreed that all of human history, the Natural law, and the revealed moral law are suddenly contrary to Christian love. He has determined what “love” really means, and no one can honorably disagree any longer.

I disagree anyway.

St. Thomas Aquinas said: “Love is wanting the good of the other, as other.” Love can never want what is bad for the other. What is good for the other? The truth. “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth.” Not the popular truth, or the current truth; not the truth that makes everyone feel good, or the sentimental truth; not the truth that makes people happy and gives them what they want, but the real truth.

There’s such a thing as objective truth and it comes from a perfect and unchanging God. Love tells the objective truth. It does so as patiently and gently as possible, but it does so without flinching. Love does not apologize for the truth. Love will not amend the truth in order to spare someone’s feelings.

The sentiment in America today says that love is all about “equality”. If I love this or that person, I will make sure they have all the same rights I have. I will not deny them what they desire, because that would be discriminatory and mean. (The exception to this, of course, is the child in the womb. That person must never be granted equality or any rights whatsoever!)

So now if I really love my neighbor, I will support same-sex “marriage” and stop denying homosexuals the “equality” they are supposedly entitled to. If I continue to oppose same-sex “marriage” then I must not love my neighbor; I’m a hateful bigot, and I’m ignoring the only thing Jesus ever said — “Don’t judge.”

Love has been reduced to tolerance, and tolerance has been warped to mean embracing everything and opposing nothing. But love that has discarded the truth is not love at all. It is sinking, mindless, sentimental mush.

WDJS? (What did Jesus say?)

At times I’ve thought it would have been nice if Jesus, at some point in His three years of teaching, had stood on a hillside and proclaimed, “Amen, I say to you, homosexual sex is a sin. Two men cannot marry each other; two women cannot marry each other. Marriage shall be a covenant only between a man and a woman. Anything else, I tell you, is wrong and you shall not do it.” Or something like that.

At least then we could move past the “Jesus never said homosexual sex is sinful” argument. But He didn’t explicitly say those words. Does that mean Jesus is okay with homosexual sex and same-sex “marriage”? Hardly.

The same challenge is issued regarding abortion. “When did Jesus ever say abortion was wrong?” Well, in so many words, He didn’t. Are we to conclude that He had no opinion, or that He would say women have a “right” to abortion? Not so fast.

It’s a grave mistake, and usually a self-serving manipulation, to say that Jesus’ spoken words are the sum total of His teaching and the sole barometer for determining right and wrong. Jesus is The Word. His coming into this world speaks volumes about the will of God and the blessing of God and what God considers holy and right.

He did not descend from heaven a grown man (though He certainly could have), but God the Father sent His Son to be born of a woman. He began His earthly life unseen in Mary’s womb. He grew in exactly the same manner that each of us grew. He took on our humanity from its very single-celled beginning and declared it holy by virtue of His holiness. Though Jesus had not uttered a word, yet He taught us that the life in the womb is sacred and human from the moment of conception.

He was born into a family. If God the Father had chosen, Jesus could have been born to an unmarried woman, or He could have been left as a baby to be found and raised by two men or two women. God is purposeful and precise in all His ways. It is not an accident that God gave His Son into a family: husband and wife, father and mother. This again is a deafening statement on the significance and primacy of the family. God does not violate His own standards or His own laws. Children are the fruit of marriage. By His coming and His birth and His life, Jesus proclaims the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman which forms the only proper foundation of the human family.

Without saying a word, He testifies to the Natural law, the plan for the human person, the holiness of human sexuality, the sanctity of life in the womb, and the nature of marriage.

It’s also significant that when Jesus wanted to shake things up, He didn’t abolish the moral law and say that this thing that used to be sinful isn’t sinful anymore — no, He actually tightened the moral law by upping the ante. So, you say adultery is a sin? Well guess what — I’m saying that if you even look at a woman lustfully you’ve committed adultery in your heart! You’ve heard, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy’, but I tell you to love your enemy! You say you can give a certificate of divorce and all is well? Well, I say anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery!

No ambiguity there! He plainly reminded the people, God “created them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one.’ So they are no longer two but one. Therefore what God has joined together let no man put asunder.” (Matt 19: 4-6)

You know, come to think of it, that sounds an awful lot like a declaration from Jesus that marriage only exists between a man and a woman. Huh.

The truth is that God does not and cannot join together two men or two women in marriage because He created woman for man and man for woman. That’s how He designed it, and we have neither the power nor the authority to alter His design. That is so plainly obvious, it’s absurd that suddenly saying so out loud qualifies me for the label of Hateful Bigot.

So… WWLD?

I love the truth. I also desire to love my neighbor. If loving my neighbor is determined by my willingness to discard what I believe is true, then I will surely come up short. And I’m okay with that. I reject the new prevailing definition of charity.

Love is not capitulation to someone else’s wants in order not to offend them. Love bears all things, but it does not include all things. Love does not take bitter for sweet and it certainly does not call evil good. Contrary to current thinking, love does not treat all things equally.

Love cannot contradict God. Since God does not change His mind about sin, I cannot love my neighbor by telling him a particular sin is now magically okay. Sin never evolves into something righteous. And here’s the thing — homosexual sex isn’t really a “special” sin. It doesn’t require more of Christ’s blood than the sins of murder, adultery, stealing, or lying, for instance. It is noteworthy because it involves a peculiar distortion of human sexuality, and a disordered expression of the sexual love that is the prerogative of marriage. That’s what makes it so harmful to the human person.

Loving the truth does not mean I hate you. I do hate the rising conflict and cultural upheaval being forced on us right now. I do hate that human society as it’s always been is under threat of dismantling in order to create a new order based not on objective truth or right reason or the common good, but only upon individual wants and “evolving” rights.

I hate the damage being wrought on the family by homosexual activists who want to redefine marriage and sexuality for generations to come; by bullying activists and politicians who want to silence the Church and silence me, and set themselves up as the new moral authority.

I hate the perverse, insidious thinking that says human sexuality is a spectrum reality for people; that gender is some kind of fluid condition or continuum we travel, morphing as we go.

Come what may, I have no choice but to oppose with all my might the redefinition of marriage and the normalization of homosexual sex. I won’t go quietly into this strange new world where marriage and human sexuality look like the twisted images of a carnival house of mirrors. Love won’t let me do that.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Gospel of Tolerance: You Must Approve

at Catholic Online

Stacy Trascanos is one gutsy lady.  Last week she wrote a little blog post about how she’s getting tired of wondering “what in tarnation we’re going to encounter” every time she and her kids leave the house.  Two men ogling each other at the pool?  Two women engaged in public displays of affection in the park?  These are scenes she’d rather her young children not be exposed to every time they go out in public, but it’s become impossible to avoid in her community.

For having the nerve to express her objection to immorality, she’s become the object of wrath and nasty threats from homosexual activists.  Those who understand how Stacy feels (count me in) also know that her real crime is that she has rejected the Gospel of Tolerance.

The Gospel of Tolerance really only has one rule: thou shalt tolerate any action, belief, lifestyle, agenda, and person except the person who believes a certain lifestyle, action or agenda is wrong and has the gall to say so out loud.  The Gospel of Tolerance requires that you have no objection to that which it says must be tolerated.  In fact, it requires that you not even question that which it says must be tolerated.

Noncompliance will not be tolerated.

The Gospel of Tolerance only contains one verse:  “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”  It should be edited, however, to read more accurately, “Judge not me nor anything I say, do, or want, lest ye be judged intolerant.”  In the vocabulary of the Gospel of Tolerance, sin has no meaning.  It has no concept at all.

Those who preach this gospel have fashioned a “christianity” more to their liking, since the real thing cannot be tolerated.  Theirs is a toothless kitten; soft, warm, cuddly, sleepy and sentimental.  Its only purpose is to soothe and affirm.  It makes no demands.  It certainly will not tolerate any demands forthcoming!

If their christianity has a savior at all, he is merely an amiable, sympathetic mascot for their cause and the only thing he ever said was “Don’t judge.”  The only “sin” to require forgiving is the sin of intolerance, which of course is only committed by those who object to being told what they can and can’t object to.

The Gospel of Tolerance is a ruse; it’s just a marketing ploy.  The real goal here is submission.  It’s not enough to “get along” or tolerate quietly.  You must approve.  You don’t dare disapprove publicly.  Those who don’t tow the line will be punished.

Just ask the teachers who’ve been suspended for expressing opposition to gay “marriage.”  Or the Catholic health care facilities being told they must dispense contraception against their explicit beliefs; or the Catholic adoption agencies that must close down to avoid being forced to place children with homosexual couples against their explicit beliefs (beliefs they’re supposed to have the freedom to live by).

Ask the business owners now fighting lawsuits because they don’t wish to participate in gay weddings or receptions. When did they lose the right to run their private business as they wish?  Under the Gospel of Tolerance, there is no freedom to disagree, no right to object.  You must submit.  Either carry the banner or risk losing your livelihood and liberty.

Well here’s a radical piece of truth for you:  tolerance is not a virtue.  It’s not a moral victory to acquiesce to evil.

“We need to remember that tolerance is not a Christian virtue. Charity, justice, mercy, prudence, honesty — these are Christian virtues. And obviously, in a diverse community, tolerance is an important working principle. But it’s never an end in itself. In fact, tolerating grave evil within a society is itself a form of serious evil.” – Archbishop Chaput

It used to be that we could hate the sin and love the sinner, but the problem is now we’re not allowed to hate the sin anymore!  We have to love the sin, celebrate the sin, and above all, stop calling it sin!

It’s not intolerant to make the judgment that something is morally wrong and oppose it.  Just as sex does not equal love, neither does tolerance!  There is such a thing as sin, and it leads to death, and Love demands that we tell our brothers and sisters the truth so that they might decide to reject sin and gain life.

This is the sobering territory in which Christians now find themselves – in the middle of the new Dark Ages, when evil is called good and darkness is called light. (Isaiah 5:20)

Well, I’m with Stacy.  I’ve had it with all this darkness parading around as light, being championed by the government, paid for with my tax dollars, shoved in my face and my children’s faces and rammed down our throats.  I’m tired of being branded a hateful bigot for not abandoning the reasonable moral truths that have been the foundation of the human race since time began.  And frankly I couldn’t care less if you find that intolerant.

I find it intolerable that our children’s innocence is being ripped away from them beginning in Kindergarten with the new mandate of Sex-Ed that indoctrinates them into embracing and celebrating homosexuality, trans-sexuality, gender-neutral insanity, every imaginable manner of promiscuity and abortion.  It’s intolerable that our kids are seen as “sexual beings” rather than human souls.

What’s truly intolerable is that the adults in power are robbing the children of childhood purity to further their own immoral agenda.  What’s horrifyingly intolerable is that killing an innocent child is considered a woman’s sacred “right.”

It is intolerable that my children will probably not be able to make it to puberty without learning about sodomy and “gay marriage.”  It is intolerable that before they can even drive a car they will also be convicted of intolerance if they dare to defend true marriage and sexual purity.  It’s intolerable that they are growing up in a culture that defiles marriage, corrupts the family, perverts sexuality and destroys human life.

The irony is that because I believe that babies in the womb have the right to live and be born and children have the right to a mother and a father who are married to each other and that sex is sacred and beautiful and should be treated accordingly and that marriage only exists between a man and a woman because that is God’s plan for the human family, I’m the one who’s called an enemy of freedom and human rights and an intolerant bigot.

Then so be it.  Far better to be called intolerant than to call evil good.

One last thought – I recently read someone’s description of people who were “good Christians” and it boiled down to this:  good Christians are tolerant of others.  There’s that cuddly, feel-good christianity again.

Find your courage, people.  This gospel of tolerance is not our salvation and it will not bring us peace.  There is Good News to share and we must live it without fear.

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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