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What’s So Wrong with Gay Marriage?

I’m a print junkie. Which is why I can get online to find a recipe for beef stew, start clicking through links, and end up still online three hours later reading about the spotted Brazilian cave slug or Kim Kardashian.

This weekend, for instance, I was looking up information on the presidential debates and came out of the fog an hour later reading reviews for the movie Brokeback Mountain. I noticed that the more I read, the easier it was for me to feel compassion for the two main male characters, which many reviewers called “star-crossed lovers.” I hate to see anyone suffer and it was impossible to rejoice in the emotional pain the men experienced from being kept apart their whole lives.

The sympathy their story engendered, even in the heart of this staunch Catholic, makes it easy for me to understand why so many people–including so many Catholics–support gay marriage. After all, if love is an emotional and sexual attraction between two consenting adults, what makes a heterosexual relationship any more deserving of legal recognition than a homosexual one?

In the past, the answer was simple: children. It was procreation that made the heterosexual union sacred and the only one worthy of legal recognition and protection, because it produced and nurtured the future citizens of the country. If government’s proper role is to promote the common good, then encouraging marriage–and discouraging the dissolution of marriage–promoted one of the most noble goods: encouraging people to have children and then raise them in stable, healthy, and lasting families.

But something changed and maybe a short history lesson is in order to understand why. As Planned Parenthood so often reminds people, contraception has been around for time immemorial, with at least one plant so harvested for its contraceptive properties that it became extinct before Christ was even born. Contraception was widely used by the pagans, but it was soundly rejected by Christians. It’s immoral, Christian teaching declared, because it violates one of the primary purposes of marriage: to produce children.

A fact few Christians want to admit: the seeds of gay marriage were planted within our own churches, when we abandoned God’s full plan for marriage.

Christian tradition, then, has always condemned contraception; even the Protestant reformers maintained that it was illicit to put up barriers to life within the marriage act. In fact, it was a Protestant (not a Catholic) named Anthony Comstock who led the charge to make contraception illegal in the United States in the 1800s. By the early 1900s, however, American progressives such as Margaret Sanger began to pressure public health officials and church leaders to condone contraception. They were successful and at the Lambeth Conference of 1930, the Anglican bishops changed their position and declared it licit for married couples to use contraception for “serious reasons.” The U.S. Federal Council of Churches joined them a year later. Contraception was then made a legal right for all citizens in 1965, when the Supreme Court ruled in Griswold v. Connecticut that contraception fell under the “right to privacy.” When countless Catholic laity, priests, and even bishops elected to publicly and privately dissent from the Church by rejecting Humanae Vitae three years later, it was the beginning of the end for marriage.

Few Christians are willing to admit that it was the disintegration of heterosexual marriage–ushered in by Christians themselves–that opened the door to gay marriage. When Christians turned against the wisdom of their longstanding sacred tradition and embraced contraception, they made procreation–one of the hallmarks of legitimate marriage–optional. In the 1970s, we went even further and embraced no-fault divorce laws, taking out yet another pillar of the institution: permanence. Judeo-Christian tradition had always defined marriage as a permanent, life-long covenant between a man and a woman for the procreation of children and the betterment of the spouses. In short, marriage is for babies and bonding, until the end. But when we exchanged authentic marriage for the counterfeit during the past century, when we changed it to a mere temporary contract between consenting adults, in which children are optional, we necessarily opened the door to every other kind of sterile union consisting of consenting adults, including homosexual ones.

What’s so wrong with gay marriage? By the standards of most heterosexual marriages these days, not much. Until Christians reclaim God’s original plan for marriage in their own lives, it’s doubtful that we have a prayer of preserving the legal integrity of this blessed institution.

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About Misty

Misty converted to Catholicism from atheism 13 years ago, just a week after becoming a mother to her first child. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom, she worked full-time as a magazine writer and editor. She has been married to her best friend for nearly 20 years and looks forward to many more decades by his side. Her days are now spent cooking, doing laundry, freelance writing, and homeschooling her five children. After spending so much of her life in spiritual darkness, she revels in the joy of being Catholic. Without a doubt, the Lord’s greatest gift to her has been saving her from a life without Him.

  • Allison - Misty, I learn from you. The end.
    Thank you for writing!October 18, 2012 – 4:20 pmReplyCancel

  • Bishop Peter J Elliott GK Chesterton Love Same Sex Marriage | Big Pulpit - […] What’s So Wrong with Same-Sex Marriage? – Misty, Catholic Sistas […]October 19, 2012 – 12:01 amReplyCancel

  • Lydia F. - Thanks for posting this. So many just don’t understand marriage at all and why it exists. If all you want is s-x and emotional attachment you don’t need a paper for that, as so many people have discovered, even though that is not to their betterment.

    But marriage is special because it brings two people together permanently and allows them the framework to raise children successfully. It IS the building block of society and since marriage has been damaged so badly look at what our society has become.

    I was recently watching this video made by a homeschooling Catholic mom of 7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiG9NMkPhus&feature=plcp It goes over the non-negotiable issues this election and one of them is the protection of marriage. As Catholics we need to vote accordingly or marriage will be nothing but a quaint institution soon. And you are right, we need to start living God’s plan or things will never get better.October 19, 2012 – 2:50 pmReplyCancel

  • Rick DeLano - “What’s so wrong with gay marriage? By the standards of most heterosexual marriages these days, not much.”

    Really?

    To the contrary. The worst, contracepting, aborting, adultery-involving marriage is still a marriage.

    Two males or two females are not.

    This fact is self-evident without reference of any kind to religion.

    It is a fact of biology that our species is constituted in two complementary genders.

    Both are necessary for civilization to derive the *unique benefit* which *only marriage* provides; that is, the next generation, best nurtured.

    While the decline of marriage is certainly related to contraception being tossed overboard by Christians in general, it is still *marriage* that is declining.

    If the radical homosexualist assault on marriage succeeds, it will no longer be *marriage* that is declining.

    Marriage will no longer exist, under the law, at all.

    Federal Friendship Benefits will have fully replaced it, and then God have mercy on us, since the piece de resistance includes the legal basis upon which to persecute Christians.October 19, 2012 – 6:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Micha Elyi - “I feel your pain,” said Bill Clinton.

    Let’s just see how well feelings work as a way to make decisions.

    I feel the pain of schoolchildren struggling to calculate the circumferences and areas of circles. Let’s legislate that pi=3 and if that doesn’t happen get a judge to rule that it’s so. Why not? This is similar to pretending that same-sex sham marriages are no different from real marriages, just because legislators or judges say so.

    Feelings are not tools of cognition. And consider that the difficulties America is facing today part of the penance millions are doing for the election and re-election of the Arkansas Hustler whose Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell scam was one of many. (For those of us who didn’t vote for him, may our suffering be accounted as reparations on behalf of the guilty.)October 19, 2012 – 7:38 pmReplyCancel

  • Joe - Please forgive the vulgarities, but read what is taught to youth in the U S bishops’ schools without exception from the site indicated below:

    “… the (U S) bishops have given their stamp of approval to a sex series that fosters the acceptance of sodomite lifestyles. GIL leads children into a dangerous early familiarity with sex and acceptance of perverted acts that should not even be discussed among adults. When bishops endorse teaching a kindergarten curriculum with details of body parts, from nipples to vulvas to scrotums, and urination and defecation it is blatantly evident that these innocent children are being courted by the homosexual/pedophile cartel!

    When bishops teach kindergarten children that there are many types of “acceptable” families, including homosexuals, they are proselytizing perversity that will destroy the integrity of the family!

    Growing in Love is squeamish talking about religion, but not squeamish talking about sex.

    has eight-year-olds defining “cursing,” “profanity and blasphemy,” “obscenity,” “vulgarity,” “insults and slurs” (ethnic put-downs and stereotypes), and “sexual slang.” “Sexual slang” is defined as using informal, crude terms for sexual acts or organs.”

    Growing in Love says that “ignorance of or discomfort with the proper names for body parts or sexual functions” is the reason for using this type of language (PR p. 35). Children can be just as hurtful when they taunt other children using the so-called proper terms.

    Instead of teaching about the Commandments, the students are given a list of steps for “Making Loving Choices:”
    Think about whether your choice will show that you love God and others.
    Think about whether your choice fits with how Jesus wants you to act.
    Think about whether your choice will help make you the kind of person you and your family can be proud of.
    Ask for advice from people you trust.
    Pray to the Holy Spirit for help.

    http://www.motherswatch.net/content/view/12/6/October 21, 2012 – 11:37 amReplyCancel

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