When You Wake Up in the Morning, God Will Still Be in Control

June 26 was a hard day. The U.S. Supreme Court, disregarding longstanding tradition, religious belief, and the law, redefined the institution of marriage, which has throughout history been the bedrock institution upon which society is built.

The 5-4 vote was hotly contested by Justice Antonin Scalia, who called the ruling a “threat to American democracy” and quipped that if he’d signed a statement like that, he’d have to wear a bag over his head.

Chief Justice Roberts wrote a separate dissent, comparing the decision to Dred Scott, which ruled that no one of African descent could be an American citizen, and arguing that the majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. “The right it announces,” said Roberts, “has no basis in the Constitution or this court’s precedent.”

Clarence Thomas warned that use of the judicial process “short-circuits” the political process that could consider religious-freedom implications, “with potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty.”

But with five votes, five lawyers in black robes changed life for all Americans. The ripples of Obergefell v. Hodges will stretch beyond the homosexual couples who seek to marry, and will also impact tax law, insurance policies, employment law, fair housing regulations, property and inheritance rights,  child custody, and child and spousal support. Cakes will be baked. Churches will be challenged. Christians who seek to follow the tenets of their faith will be called “bigots” and “haters,” although there is no evidence to support that scurrilous claim.

*     *     *     *     *

SO WHAT WILL WE DO NOW?

Well, in the morning we’ll sit up, put on our shoes and eat breakfast. Life will go on.

 

If you are the parent, the friend, the co-worker of a homosexual person who wants to marry, you will still love him in the morning. Perhaps you’ll remember with a special poignancy how God loves you, how His gentle hand guides you when you veer off course; and you’ll try to imagine how much He also loves your son or daughter, or your same-sex attracted friend or loved one. You’ll pray for your dear one, earnest, tearful prayers; but your love won’t fail.

If you are an employer, there may be a time of confusion; and there will be financial implications, to be sure. Vacation policies, family leave, spousal insurance, tax structures and benefits may all need to be reevaluated in light of today’s ruling. But adjust you will, and your business will continue.

If you are a person who experiences same-sex desire and you plan to marry your partner, you may go through the legal channels, sign the paperwork, exchange rings, and kiss. Your friends and relatives may attend the ceremony, or perhaps they will not. If they attend, they will hope, along with you, that things will stay the same between you–because they love you. If they stay away, it’s not because you are not loved; rather, it’s that their deep love cannot encourage you in what they sincerely believe and know to be error and sin. In the eyes of the state, you will be married. Your family and friends will come down on different sides of the fence–some acknowledging the ceremony with only a shrug, others holding onto the hope that you will reconsider and turn your face toward God. But always, they love you; always, God loves you.

Life will go on.

*     *     *     *     *

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., archbishop of Philadelphia, in his brief statement on today’s ruling, acknowledged that the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on marriage is not a surprise. “The surprise,” he said,

“…will come as ordinary people begin to experience, firsthand and painfully, the impact of today’s action on everything they thought they knew about marriage, family life, our laws and our social institutions. The mistakes of the court change nothing about the nature of men and women, and the truth of God’s Word. The task now for believers is to form our own families even more deeply in the love of God, and to rebuild a healthy marriage culture, one marriage at a time, from the debris of today’s decision.”

Let us rise up, go in the peace of Christ, and love one another. 

*     *     *     *     *

And please, because it’s a jungle out there in the ethernet, I have this request:

If you are a conservative who believes that the Supreme Court erred in this decision, don’t fill my combox and other people’s comboxes with hate-filled admonishments or threats or name-calling. Don’t call God’s judgment down on those who think differently from you: The Spirit of God, Who makes all things right, can touch their hearts more effectively than you ever could. Your job is to love, not to hurl epithets and puff up in self-righteous indignation. Remember the old adage, “You can catch more flies with honey.” Perhaps you’ll never persuade others to consider your viewpoint; but for sure, absolutely you won’t persuade them with vinegar.

And I have this request: If you are an atheistic, pro-gay, pro-abortion secularist, don’t think that you can use my combox to crow about this temporal victory. Really, I’m not in the mood. Stay home.

Wake Up

Image By Berit from Redhill/Surrey, UK (Time to wake up Uploaded by russavia) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Lark62

    As a godless heathen, I found your post calm and reasonable, even if I don’t agree on every point.

    The bible says Jesus instructed us to rejoice with those who rejoice. I hope that we can rejoice together when we see two people who have loved and been devoted to each other for decades celebrate their love, even if it is not a choice you believe is correct. I hope we will all see that equality and tolerance are good things.

    • kathyschiffer

      You aren’t Godless, Lark. You may not see Him, but He called you into existence or you wouldn’t be here. I pray that you meet Him during this life, not just the next.

      • Lark62

        I accept the kind sentiment, but I truly do know my own mind.

    • samton909

      I hope we will see that the vast majority people in gay marriages have sex outside the relationship with other people on a regular basis. This is a fact, google it for yourself. Then try and tell me its about love and care and respect for the other person.

      • Lark62

        You hope, HOPE!?, people are cheating on their loved ones? What a sad life. And you pretend to claim the moral high road?

        Newsflash. Gay people are just people, with all the strengths and weaknesses available to any other person. They love their spouses no more or less than christians love theirs. It may make you feel superior to classify “those other people” as totally lacking in morals. But it a simply isn’t true.

        • LSpinelli

          Oh, but it is.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/us/29sfmetro.html

          Like Kathy and Abp, Chaput noted, we need to decide what marriage is about, once and for all, and put it into practice. The definition’s been changing for hundreds of years. And not all of the incarnations were worthy of the sacrament. Look at 18th century France, for example. Widespread adultery, a woman can take a lover after she bore her husband an heir. 18th century England: marriages were mostly economic arrangements; with nobility, it was about preserving their titles. I could go on, but the point’s been made.

          This is a chance to reverse centuries’ worth of confusion. Will it happen overnight? No, and we “straights” have a lot of sins within marriage to answer for. But it’s more than worth the try.

          • John

            And who cares? Who made YOU the arbiter of what a marriage is and is not! It’s flabbergasting how many people need to butt out and mind their own damn business.

          • LSpinelli

            I’m not the arbiter. God is. You believe what you want; let me believe what I wish.

          • John

            You are free to believe whatever you want, but keep your hands– and all your crazy– to yourself.

          • LSpinelli

            I don’t know why your tone is so bitter, when this blog isn’t. If you have issues with Catholics who practice the Faith, why are you posting here?

          • John

            Because as an ex-Catholic/ex-Christian, I take strong exception to people who want to force their religious beliefs on the rest of us. It’s obnoxious and totally unnecessary, and we won’t put up with it any longer.

          • kathyschiffer

            Ah, but John, you are hoisted by your own petard. It is YOU, not we Christians, who are demanding that everyone condone your lifestyle–condoning same-sex marriages, hiring those who would teach against the faith in our religious schools, baking your damned cakes.

          • John

            You don’t have to “condone” same-sex marriage, but you absolutely don’t get to discriminate against us for having civil marriages. And I say that as someone who has absolutely no interest in marriage, or wedding cakes, or what you do in your churches. Truly couldn’t care less.

            As far as businesses go, no business that is open to the public ought to be allowed to discriminate against us. You serve all or you serve none. Seems fair to me.

  • newportson

    And in His image He created them. Man and Woman He created them.
    God gave Adam and Eve the gift of procreation and generation of new life, BEFORE THE FALL. This gift was not merely to propagate the species, but so that more and more humans would be created to live with God in Love. He created us for His Love, and so that we would Love Him. And, then, sin and death entered the world through the serpent. And, despite God’s antecedent will, man turned and has been turning continuously from God’s Love and the order He established for us. Because we think we can know as much as God, we can establish our own order of nature. This is surely not correct. But, because God permits sin and evil, does not mean He wills it. He is all good, and so from everything that man chooses, as promised on the Cross of Christ, goodness will come. His timetable, not ours. Praise be to the Lord of the Universe, Creator, Almighty Father.

  • samton909

    The sad thing is that places of work have already become places of fear. Everyone knew about the decision by noon on Friday, since virtually everyone reads the internet news on their breaks. But no one dared speak of it. No one said a word. We live in a society based on fear now. This is so different from when I was growing up, when we, at work, used to discuss anything we liked. No more; the workplace is a place where the wrong political opinions will get your fired.

    Now I know what it was like to live in the Soviet Union

    • Lark62

      It is about respect. I didn’t talk about it at work because I’m fairly sure some of my co workers are religious and I don’t want to talk religion at work.

    • Will

      I am retired, but the unspoken rule at work always was not to talk about religion or politics.

      My family and I went on a guided tour of Prague and Budapest last summer. The tour guides had interesting stories about their experiences, and those of their parents and grandparents, living under the Nazis and the Communists. I do not think America comes close to the supression in the communist bloc countries before 1989.