For a while I have been wanting to write a post about the “gay marriage” debate. I am often frustrated by the way discussions on this topic play out in the media and on the internet, because most of the time, neither side is using good arguments, and neither side makes much of an attempt to understand where the other side is coming from. The result is that instead of real debate or discussion, it turns into a shouting match, consisting largely of slogans, reciprocal condescending snide remarks, clichés, emotional outbursts, and foggy thinking.
Fortunately, sometimes someone writes something intelligent that helps eliminate some of the false arguments and get to the real issues. Dr. Jeff Mirus of CatholicCulture.org has written an article that does just that. It is not a conclusive argument that will convince everyone of the position held by many Christians, but if only everyone would read this article, it might help narrow the discussion down to the real key issues. I hope to write something soon to complete the picture of the issue from my perspective.
Here’s the key issue:
Does the Church have a say in legal marriage?
My evidence? I will be getting married in October. I am an atheist. My fiancee is an agnostic. We will have nothing religious involved with our wedding ceremony or our marriage.
And our marriage will be 100% legal.
That being the case, unless there’s a good non-religious reason to prevent gay marriage (and I’ve yet to hear one), then they should be allowed.
Exactly! That’s one of the key points. As Dr. Minus argues in the article to which I link, the Church contends that there ARE non-religious arguments to prevent gay marriage. The Church just happens to be the one proposing those arguments, in part because the Church also has theological reasons for doing so. But as long as Christians just quote scripture (mostly ineptly and without the necessary context or explanations, even for meaningful debate among Christians), then non-Christians can rightly argue that the church has no say in the matter as far as legal non-religious marriages go.
It shouldn’t be called marriage, because sex between two males or two females can in no way bring about the conception of new human life. Call the “union” between homosexual partners whatever else you want, and if state authorities recognize it as legal, then fine, it’s tolerable. But don’t call it marriage.
Reblogged this on Biltrix and commented:
Great insights from a good friend, Fr Matthew Green.
“ecause there is sex between two males or two females can in no way bring about the conception of new human life. ”
So if you’re a heterosexual but sterile, then you can’t get married.
Good to know.
I figured you’d come back with something like that. It does not at all from what I said.
Naturally, sex between a male and female partner is the type of thing which can produce offspring; that can’t be said of two guys or two gals, ever. The sterile couple who would like to have children, but cannot, desires something that would ordinarily flow from conjugal activity. Homosexual acts can’t even be called conjugal acts, because the result of producing offspring can never flow from that type of activity. If they were to desire to produce children from their sexual activity, now they would be desiring something completely unnatural, wouldn’t they?
The sterile couple might wish that they did not have the impediment ad nd take the measures to try to conceive children. In that respect, the gay couple really does not have any real option… Or do they?
“It may come as a shock to some, but marriage is not, and never has been, just about the sex life of consenting adults. However, given the self-centeredness of our popular culture, it is not surprising that many adults today see marriage as about them being happy as INDIVIDUALS.
…….Society’s interest in protecting marriage goes beyond the public recognition of a romantic relationship and making people feel accepted. I’ve made the case that the reason our society has such a strong interest in strengthening the institution of marriage is because marriage as we traditionally understood it is far and away the best place for raising children – who happen to be the future of any society.
……..Marriage is the word for the way in which we connect a man, a woman, and their children into one loving family. It represents our best attempt to see that every child receives his or her birthright: the right to know and be known by, to love and to be loved by, his or her own mother and father.”
– Rick Santorum
Conservatism and the Common Good
Forgot the main title of Rick’s book – “It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good”
One more thing, there is no value neutral law. The purpose of law is to do what is in the best interest of society. People of faith and goodwill can arrive at what is best using many different reasonong methodologies: natural law, philosophy, theology, logic, etc. However, once a law is determined and enacted it excludes any other possibility. If you break the law, there is punishment.
So, in the case of “gay marriage”, if it becomes the law of the land, then Judeo-Christians will be (1) silenced and then (2) persecuted. It is already happening in the Netherlands and Canada. We do not need to look very far to see the inevitable progression of such things.
Thanks for sharing the quotes from Rick, and for adding to it with these insightful points!
The law is created for the common good of a society, if we start with this, in the future we’ll have robbers asking for their right to steal, and all kind of wrong doing people for their rights to kill, etc, etc. Please just have common sense. If you want to sin do it, don’t involve society in it.