Thoughts on the current same-sex marriage wars
by: John Tyrrell
The major news this week has been the US Supreme Court's review of two cases involving same-sex marriage. What I found most interesting in the case involving California's Proposition 8 was that the strongest argument, Charles Cooper, the lawyer responsible for defending it could offer was:
“[R]edefining marriage will have real-world consequences... [I]t is impossible for anyone to foresee the future accurately enough to know what those real-world consequences would be. And among those real-world consequences, your Honor, we would suggest, are adverse consequences.”
In other words, we think some things are going to happen, we don't know what they are, but some of those unknown things might be bad. Therefore, we can't legalize same sex marriage.
I can't predict how the Court is going to rule given the predispositions of some of the Justices, but, if that's the best that the opponents of same-sex marriage can offer, they are on the wrong side of history in the long run.
But predictably the court cases brought out the paranoid crazies on the religious right. Rick Perry, Governor of Texas bewailed the fact that defenders of so-called traditional marriage were criticized for their stand. He accused those who promoted same sex marriage of intolerance.
Right - it is so intolerant to oppose the intolerance of those who would impose their religious views on everyone else.
We see at the Government Is Not God website the insane and illogical claim that "If the U.S. Supreme Court decides that “marriage” in the United States includes so-called “gay” couples, religious freedom, freedom of speech and the First Amendment will die" and "No institution will be safe from being homosexualized."
On American Family Radio, Todd Starnes had an exchange with host, Sandy Rios:
STARNES: You know, it’s as if we’re second-class citizens now because we support the traditional, Biblical definition of marriage, or perhaps we are pro-life, and that means we’re somehow second-class citizens who don’t deserve to be in the public marketplace of ideas.
RIOS : Absolutely. In fact, it’ll be worse than that. You know there’s going to be punishment. There will be tremendous punishment. If gay marriage is embraced by the country, if the Supreme Court goes south this week in its hearings, we are in for – of course, we’re not going to hear about it until June – but we are in for persecution like we have never seen it.
Yup - Christians are going to be persecuted if same-sex marriage becomes legal.
Then there's the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco. They provocatively reacted with a division sign as an answer to the "equals sign" Equality posters on Facebook used by those supporting same sex marriage.
The reference to Luke is Jesus saying "Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division." I'm not too sure how this demonstrates Jesus' opposition to same-sex marriage, but I'm sure Catholic theologians have no problem making the link.
While the Archdiocese was forced by the volume of critical comments to remove this nasty piece of propaganda, they still maintain a Facebook event page named "The Two Shall Become One 1 Man + 1 Woman = Marriage & Family." This "event" takes place today - on their sacred Good Friday. Apparently, to the brilliant theologians of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco, it seems Jesus was crucified in opposition to same sex marriage.
According to this particular page:
We invite you to support the principle that:
"To legalize marriage between two people of the same sex would enshrine in the law the principle that mothers and fathers are interchangeable or irrelevant, and that marriage is essentially an institution about adults, not children; marriage would mean nothing more than giving adults recognition and benefits in their most significant relationship." Archbishop Cordiloene
What nonsense! Total nonsense.
But let's discuss Catholic marriage. I find it interesting that they are promoting the view that everyone's marriage, regardless of religion, is made up of one man and one woman over Easter. Because, whether Archbishop Cordiloene is aware of it or not, Easter of 1908 is when the Ne Temere decree of Pope Pius X went into effect. This decree did two things.
First it laid out the grounds for Catholic marriage:
The marriage must be witnessed by a priest and two other witnesses, the priest (or bishop) pastor of the parish (or the bishop of the diocese), or be the delegate of one of those, the marriage being invalid otherwise, and the marriage of a couple, neither one resident in the parish (or diocese), while valid, was illicit. It also required that marriages be registered.
It also required that a marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic must be performed in accordance with this policy. Other forms of marriage whether civil or officiated by clergy of another faith were invalid according to the Catholic Church.
Secondly, the decree explicitly stated that if the marriage involved solely non-Catholics, they were not bound by Catholic canon law for marriage, and therefore could contract valid and binding marriages without compliance.
So - by this papal policy which has never been repealed, a Catholic marriage requires the involvement of at least three other people in addition to the man and woman to be recognized by the Church and, more importantly from our viewpoint, non-Catholic marriages are none of the Catholic church's business. And that's a clear direction from the Pope Pius X. And he's now a saint.