SCOTUS and marriage

What we can do

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The following comes from a December 17 story on LifeSiteNews.com.

The Supreme Court of the United States has announced that in the coming months, it will consider two cases that deal directly with the definition of marriage.

The Court will take up the issue of Proposition 8, in which lower courts invalidated the will of the people of California to legally define marriage as being between one man and one woman. The court will also take up the case of the Defense of Marriage Act (or DOMA), which was passed with bipartisan support in 1996. But in 2011, President Obama instructed the Department of Justice not to defend DOMA in court.

What all this means is that, on a legal level, 2013 will be a very important year for the institution of marriage as publicly defined in the United States of America. In fact, many, including Eric Teetsel of the Manhattan Declaration, are calling this the Roe v. Wade of marriage. It’s also, therefore, a very important year for the issue of religious liberty. Chuck Colson warned us for years that so called same-sex “marriage” was the gravest threat to religious freedom in the United States, the HHS mandate notwithstanding. It’s hard to be optimistic about any compromises after that fiasco.

The simple fact is that Christians must be prepared to talk thoughtfully and winsomely about what’s at stake when it comes to the legal definition of marriage, and to dispel the myths that are often perpetuated by the supporters of gay “marriage.” Groups like the Heritage Foundation, the National Organization for Marriage, Alliance Defending Freedom, Christian Medical Comment, the Ruth Institute, and CrossExamined have created very helpful talking points on the issue.

In addition to speaking out whenever we can, we must also remember that the Supreme Court will not able to solve the marriage problem in America. Don’t get me wrong. What the justices decide in these two cases is extremely important. Still, if traditional marriage is upheld legally, marriage as an institution is still collapsing around us practically. Cohabitation is on the rise, divorce is normal, and the birthrate continues to dive.

So, it’s important that we ask: what else can we do?

First, Churches need to educate their congregation on what marriage is. It’s stunning to me how many Christians think marriage is primarily about personal happiness. It’s not. And once we embrace that false notion, the institution has already been dangerously redefined.

Second, churches need to surround young couples preparing for marriage with older couples who can mentor them. The benefits here will be mutual.

Third, we need to pray for government officials, including the Supreme Court. And we need to be active in the political sphere regardless of how these two decisions turn out, there will be other challenges in the future.

Fourth, we need to stay married. Period. Christians need to embrace that marriage is bigger than couples, bigger than personal happiness, bigger than we think. Marriage is the bedrock of the family, which is the foundation of civilization. Marriage is how God builds and rebuilds civilizations. And it is a visible symbol to the world of Christ’s love for His church.  It’s really that serious.

Finally, we need to financially support a broad range of organizations and ministries that are working to rebuild the personal, social, legal, and cultural status of marriage.

Before I leave you today, I want to let you know that I share my thoughts on this and on all kinds of issues on Facebook and Twitter. I hope you will follow me and join the discussion.  In fact, when I posted on the Supreme Court taking up gay “marriage,” one commenter wrote that the only argument she had against it was a religious one, and that “too many people don’t accept that argument.”

I was able to respond to her with a final list of 77 non-religious reasons to support marriage. Look, we don’t always agree on specifics, but we can agree that now is no time to be on the sidelines. Jump in the game with us for marriage.

Reprinted with permission from Breakpoint.org

To read the LifeSite story, click here.

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Comments

  1. Your Fellow Catholic says:

    Catholics are being offerred a clear question. Do you want a country in which your Church adheres to one definition of marriage, while all other churches and non-believers are free to choose another definition of marriage, at least as the state definition of marriage is concerned. So Catholics need to ask themselves, in this civil arena, whether there are certain areas of life in which the state ought not to intrude (who we date, who we marry, who we choose not to marry), or do we think the catholic church ought to decide for all citizens of the US as to these questions. This is very simple. Very clear.

    • First, YFC, you should have written “whom we date, whom we marry, whom we choose not to marry.” There is no excuse for poor grammar. Second, there are a lot of protestant churches who follow scriptural teaching on marriage and will not engage in the folly of homosexual marriage. They along with the Catholic church will suffer. So Catholics are not alone against the secular tide as you suppose. Third, you invoke a “civil arena” which is obviously under the purview of the state where a divinely ordained institution is somehow irrelevant, misplaced and may be redefined at will, and to which Catholics are thereby obliged to submit.
      Fourth, you absurdly conclude that the Church’s fidelity to God’s order then requires it to decide for all U.S. citizens marriage policy. No, I believe the archbishop in Washington made it clear that the Church would not allow homosexual marriage through its agency nor recognize it as valid; that stance, altogether proper, does not decide for anyone whom they should marry etc.
      Your question should be, are you Catholics willing to buck the state when it intrudes on the Divinely established order with a destructive alternative? But that would be the question of a faithful Catholic, and well, that wouldn’t interest you, or so it seems from where I sit.

    • It is very simple and very clear. The Church cannot accept or in any way condone same sex marriage, because it is intrinsically wrong. If that means She has to go against the laws of the State, then She must do that. There are times when the Church must be counter-cultural and this is certainly one of them.

    • YFC, You ask questions which can only come from someone who does not believe in the Catholic Faith. Come back when you can start being honest with yourself.

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        I’m sorry gravey, I don’t understand. “Come back”? Come back to where? I never left. Did you?

        Where does it say that people who ask questions do not believe in the Catholic Faith. Indeed only those who are willing to ask questions can ever come to truly know answers.

        I ask questions because I seek the truth. Since the Church cannot have possibly encountered every unfolding of human history, by definition, it cannot possibly have answers, until faithful people pose questions. Therefore questions further the truth, they do not hinder it.

        The Church has never encountered a situation in which a population has democratically chosen to marry individuals of the same sex. And rarely have societies “endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights” determined that among those rights endowed by their creator is the right to marry. That everyone in that society has a right to marry.

        If we don not ask questions, we cannot hope to understand the answers. And if we go away, how will we hear the answers when they are presented?

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      You obviously don’t believe in the supremacy of the Catholic Church, so PLEASE STOP USING THE TITLE “Your Fellow Catholic”! You are not a Catholic in spirit!

      May God have mercy on your soul,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        Perhaps you prefer I use the moniker “fella”? Or shall I use another phrase, “Your true catholic”? Or let’s try another: “Your honest catholic” ? Or perhaps most accurately: “Your fellow catholic who tries in all honesty to discern the movements of the spirit in his life, who grew up in the light of the Second Vatican Council, and who honestly believes the Church is Lumen Gentium”.

    • The state is involved due to financial issues. But the state has also invaded the religious function, which it needs to be thrown out of. Why should a couple marry with any state involvement at all? If there is financial issue, then all they need to do is write up a legal contract. Oh wait, it’s the pension and govt aid stuff that entangles the whole shabang … darn, just when I thought there was a clear solution.

  2. Larry from RI says:

    Groups like the Heritage Foundation, the National Organization for Marriage, Alliance Defending Freedom, Christian Medical Comment, the Ruth Institute, and CrossExamined have created very helpful talking points on the issue.

    Thank you Cal-Catholic,Life Site News,and the above groups again,again,and again.Amen.

    Donate now while we can, to influence our culture.

  3. Maryanne Leonard says:

    When I was a child in the 1940′s and 50′s, Americans were infatuated with “the Future.” Modernism was promising so many exciting things. We could barely imagine the wonders of science and modernity taking away the drudgery of the daily struggle. Now that I am officially old, so many of us long for a return to the sanity of that era, the decency, the mutual aid, the willingness to fight and die to vanquish evil and stand with those who work for the common good, all values that now appear to be written in the wind. I do not count on the legal minds on the Supreme Court, presently abundant with Catholics, to stand for common sense and social sanity, but I will stand with you in hoping and praying that something of what our fathers (and mothers!) fought and died for will have been preserved wen the dust settles. We need to be kind and charitable to those afflicted with and suffering from same sex attraction, indeed, without allowing homosexuals to coerce us, leveraging our guilt over our repulsion at their private indulgences, to shame us into legally or socially redefining the unnatural, unhealthy, and biologically absurd as normalcy.

    • Mark from PA says:

      Marianne, you make good points but some people don’t really want to return to the world of the 1940′s and 1950′s. I have a friend who grew up in Arkansas in the 1950′s and he didn’t like what he saw. He has told me that many older people down South do long for the 1940′s and 1950′s when black people knew their place. If you were a black women in Mississippi or Alabama in the 1950′s, Marianne, you wouldn’t have the right to vote. Also in over 10 states it was against the law for a black person to marry a white person. At the time over 80% of Americans were opposed to inter-racial marriage, many of them saw it as an abomination and said it was forbidden in the Bible. In some ways we have come a long way from those days. Barak Obama could never have been elected President in the 1950′s. In many states he probably couldn’t even get a hotel room, eat lunch in a drug store or even attend most schools. So for some people the 1950′s weren’t all that rosy. My brother moved to Virginia in the 1970′s and the city that he lived in filled in their municipal swimming pools with dirt rather than allow black people to swim in them. At the time I didn’t understand how people could be so petty and mean.

      • Once again, and as usual, PA, you completely missed Maryanne’s point, which had nothing to do with a yearing for a segregated past, or a deliberate concealing of past failings, but rather a yearning for that which was truly good in that era and which has now been lost. If you don’t understand what she is talking about, you are probably simply too young and too far removed from that era. But I can tell you about a time when O Holy Night could be sung at an assembly in a public school auditorium to a standing ovation (I was there) and religion was not mocked. The degradation of culture was still largely in the future when the Beatles sung I want to Hold Your Hand, though it was fast upon us by the time they sang Why Don’t We Do It in the Road? It was a time when we were content with less and exercised greater responsibility and didn’t waste huge amounts of time with THINGS. She used the word “sanity” and that resonates very well with me as well. Some 20 years later as a teacher I sat in that same school auditorium to endure a Christmas program all about Santa and his reindeer. The utter trivialization and debasement of culture was now far advanced. Our students are so incredibly deprived –no wonder our schools produce so many athiests and agnostics– students with no moral compass other than “what’s in it for me.”

        • Mark from PA says:

          Dan, I had different experiences as I went to 12 years of Catholic schools so we always sang Christmas carols. I remember how when I was in first grade we learned Adeste Fidelis and I thought that was neat. In 12th grade I remember the priests giving us his sermon during our religion class, giving it again at our school Christmas Mass and hearing it a third time at Mass on Christmas day,.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      Maryanne Leonard,

      You above statement would have been better had you written ” presently abundant with ‘Catholics’ “.

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  4. Rick DeLano says:

    YFC: “Catholics are being offerred a clear question. Do you want a country in which your Church adheres to one definition of marriage, while all other churches and non-believers are free to choose another definition of marriage, at least as the state definition of marriage is concerned.”

    That is not the question, YFC.

    The question is whether Catholics wish to deny what marriage is, exactly so as to render unto Caesar what is God’s.

    You may rejoice in the knowledge that a very great many of Your Fellow Catholics are breathlessly full of enthusiasm at the prospect of this.

    Later on they will find a way to justify having turned innocent children over to homosexualist indoctrination in the classrooms, where these poor innocent minds will be warped by the lies that mothers are not necessarily female, fathers are not necessarily male, “brides” and “grooms” and “husbands” and “wives” are discriminatory, and instead we shall have “Partner A” and “Partner B”.

    Because they have already decided that Caesar will now “define” what marriage is.

    They are Your Fellow Catholics, but they are certainly not mine.

    • I’ve have decades of experience in the grammar school system and the men who are partners in a relationship, raising children, were the ones volunteering to help out around the school, not involved in idle gossip, and the kind of adults that I would want young children to be around. Their hearts were in the right place.

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