Get updates from Catholic and Enjoying It! delivered straight to your inbox
…has been rigged. Marc Barnes is inimitable.
I posted this to my wall with a note to my gay/bi/trans/SSA friends and family that I hoped the ending would give them some hope. No such luck – every one who commented got hung up on the first several paragraphs. Sigh.
“Define your terms.” Huzzah and yes! If you’re looking for more on that, read D. Sayers’ essay “The Lost Tools of Learning”.
Speaking of Loud Slogans, unfortunately I’ve even heard “gay marriage is a contradiction in terms” used so. Those affirming it and denying treat it as little more than a slightly better worded insult.
Wow. What a great article.
Unfortunately, it took exactly 8 posts for the comments to devolve into one of the most vile, anti-Marc hatefests I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot of internet.
I love this line “Your desire to smoke meth is disordered”.
Because that’s exactly what is going on. Not that people don’t end up with desires that are disordered legitimately, but that we keep conflating the addiction with satisfying the addiction.
It is a challenge the sanctity of the one man/one woman marriage in the face of daily heterosexual marriage embarassments (i.e. the thirty-six hour Hollywood marriage, the father of five who tells you God told him to leave his wife and kids and marry a young blond sweetie he met at church, the laicized priest in my Sunday pew who remarried in the Church without bothering to annul his last marriage, the women who tells me she loves her husband but he is boring so she is divorcing him, etc.). It’s a challenge to stand up for marriage when heterosexuals are constantly trashing it.
I hear you, Anne.
OTOH “gay marriage” radically redefines marriage and must therefore be opposed.
Also, divorce needs to be opposed and also the shocking scandal of the modern annulment factory.
I’m with you on the annulment issues going on in our church. If I understand correctly a marriage cannot be annuled per se, it can only be declared annuled, which is different. That is to say, it can be declared that it never really was a marriage, for reasons such as the following: it was never consumated, one or both parties were coerced into getting married, one or both parties were not of sound mind at the time of the ceremony, etc. So an annulment simply confirms that a certain marriage never was, never took place as it had to take place. I’ve been a Catholic all my life, and I just recently understood this. Like most people, I used to think that you could file for annulment just like you file for divorce, but unlike divorce, I always knew it was a lot more difficult to get done.
When talking about specific acts as a violation of natural law, I agree with the charge of “redefinition.” However, if we’re talking about contemporary marriage, including sacramental marriage, you can’t transgress against a boundary that simply no longer exists. The charge is that gay “marriage” will redefine marriage, and thus destroy its meaning. The reality however, is that marriage has already been redefined past its tolerances and has none of its original meaning other than to the immediate parties involved. It is heterosexuals who have dealt the mortal blow. We have reduced marriage to nothing more than a temporary contractual agreement which may be broken unilaterally with absolutely no penalty, or annulled provided you file in the right diocese, or possess a certain level of income. Denying the opportunity for serial marriages and divorces to gays, is simply an attempt to eat our cake and have it too…without having to openly admit that it’s made of sawdust. It is a cowardly attempt to declare that marriage “means something” in the abstract without having to demonstrate that meaning in the particular.
>>>We have reduced marriage to nothing more than a temporary contractual agreement which may be broken unilaterally with absolutely no penalty
…and which may or may not result in the procreation of children. Widespread acceptance of divorce, contraception and sterilization have all taken their toll. Yep, we heterosexuals (in the West, at least) have debased marriage to such a degree that our society no longer has a strong argument against extending this devalued social contract to homosexuals.
As someone who has stood outside stores asking for referendum signatures, I would say it’s hard to grab people’s attention without some sort of “soundbite”, and I find if I just ask if they want to sign “the marriage petition” that many people assume I’m promoting the REDEFINING of marriage, not its preservation. But “one man one woman” clarifies things immensely. I would love to have this type of discussion, and I think one of the harms the push for redefining marriage has already had is in burying such discussions in a mound of soundbite. But people are busy, and many in WA don’t realize that marriage is already redefined unless we get the referendum through…. and sometimes it takes a soundbite to at least shake them out of the “gotta go to walmart, gotta get some stuff..” haze long enough to start the conversation.
The best expression to my opposition to redifining the traditional understanding of marriage comes from one of Chesterton’s wisest observation:
“Let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, ‘I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.’ To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: ‘If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”
Much damage has been done in my lifetime by our saying “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away” on any number of issues.
I think we all agree that Marriage is more than “just” a union. I maintain it is the special type of union of two where they are different but complimentary and this union creates a potential from within the union.
If you think about this for a minute everyone (including SSM supporters) accepts this definition when it comes to food and wine. (whether you drink wine or not). Try Googling the phrase “marriage of food and wine” (note the inverted comma’s to get an exact match) and you will see over a hundred and ten thousand (110,000) direct matches of websites around the world that promote this very definition.
Because the word Marriage perfectly describes this special union of food and wine where there is some greater potential experienced from within their union.
The phrase “marriage of wine and wine” is never used because it makes no sense. Wines are blended with other wines but blending is not marriage. Two different but complimentary items in a meal have the potential to create something new.
This is an important point as to what Marriage means.
People will never use the word marriage when combining two of the same items of food.
This is another important point as to what Marriage means.
How did many of us miss this basic understanding of marriage?
Another example where the word Marriage is used in its proper, original context.
Again, we can see the word Marriage used in exactly the same way in the International Valuation Standards (property). Plus there are numerous legal precedent for property disputes in Australia and the UK where judges have used the phrase marriage value which relies on this basic understanding of Marriage.
Judges have confirmed in
* Melbourne City Link v Teford 2001,
* English Court of Appeal in Trocette Property Co Pty v Greater London Council 1974, and
* Promenade Investments Pty Ltd v State of New South Wales 1992)
that “Marriage Value” (a term still in use today) occurs where two properties once amalgamated, have the POTENTIAL to create extra value over and above the sum total of the two properties.
In other words, the two properties created something extra once they were joined, which the owner had the choice to either realise that potential or not.
Because the word Marriage perfectly describes the special union of property where extra value is created within their union.