Marriage is a Mess and Homosexuals Didn’t Do It

I support traditional marriage. I have a public track record and the scars to prove it.

I voted to put an amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution on the ballot that defined marriage as between one man and one woman. I also authored and passed a resolution memorializing Congress to begin hearings on an amendment to the United States Constitution doing the same thing. That is as much as I can do to support traditional marriage from my elected position.

It’s not a complicated issue to me, and it has almost nothing to do with what marriage is not. It’s about what marriage is. What marriage is begins with the law. Marriage under the law is and should continue to be a union freely entered into by one man and one woman. But legal definitions are just the scaffolding we use to support the social structures of how we order our lives. The actual edifice, the reality of marriage as it is lived, is something much more complex and important than that legal definition can impart.

We focus our national attention on the definition of marriage under the law. We wear out our keyboards writing about it and revile one another over our positions on it. But despite the accusations and counter-accusations that season our debate, we ignore the home truths of marriage in this country today. The truth is, marriage has been a mess for quite some time. And homosexuals weren’t the ones who messed it up.

Homosexuals didn’t set off the epidemic of divorce in this country. Homosexuals didn’t create the millions of feral children who spend most of their time alone, raising themselves on video games, drugs and interactions with their peers. Homosexuals don’t cheat on our spouses. Homosexuals don’t break into our homes and yell and curse at our families. They aren’t the cause of the rising number of unwed births and the global pandemic of abortion. We did these things. Marriage is a mess and it was heterosexuals who messed it up.

We insist that the legal definition of marriage should be a union between one man and one woman. But we behave as if it says that marriage is a union between one man and one woman at a time.

I know that is tender for many people. I know that divorce cuts people in half and leaves them with broken hearts and shattered lives. I know that some marriages are so bitter, destructive and even violent that they have to end. I know that even if you want to hold the marriage together, sometimes your spouse won’t. I know all this, and it gives me pause writing about these things. I don’t want to pick at half-healed wounds and start them bleeding again.

But the truth is that serial monogamy is NOT monogamy. Serial marriage is not marriage between one man and one woman. And heterosexuals, especially Christian heterosexuals, have a responsibility before God to care for and raise their children, cherish their spouses and build enduring stable homes which can nurture a true family. Heterosexuals who have failed to do this are the root cause of most of the social problems we face today. They, not homosexuals, are the ones who have brought marriage to the sorry state it is in now.

I have a public track record of supporting traditional marriage. I’ve got the scars to prove it. But I think that supporting traditional marriage, especially traditional marriage in the Christian sense, means more than being against same-sex marriage. I think that as Christians we are required to look past what we’re against and find what we are for. It isn’t enough for Christians to be against same-sex marriage. It certainly isn’t enough to do as some have done and whip people up into a rage and then cash in on that rage to advance your political career. That is just cheap demagoguery.

Leadership, especially true Christian leadership, mandates that we don’t just get people worked up against something. We have to lead them forward to something. In the case of marriage, we should be for true Christian marriage and we should live that kind of marriage in our own lives. Christians must be FOR marriage as a loving, giving, living institution that cocoons young children in a world of stability, positive discipline and love so that they can grow up and create loving homes of their own.

The bond between husband and wife, as the Bible says, makes them “one flesh.” This doesn’t refer just, or even primarily, to the physical union of marriage. Sex, apart from this bond of love, is a physical act. But true marriage is a spiritual bond. The deep, life bond of trust and mutual dependence that is marriage nurtures everyone within its reach. Marriage creates not just family, but home. I  do not mean a building where you sleep. Christian marriage creates home that is a refuge from the coldness of modern life.

This isn’t a hypothetical for me. My home and my husband are the living sanctuaries of my life. I could not endure the pressures of being a Public Catholic and all the controversy and criticism that engenders if I wasn’t able to go to my house, shut the door, and be Home.

Marriage is the progenitor of life, family, emotional safety and abiding peace in this life. It is a sacrament, given by Our Lord, to enable us to walk through life together and not alone.

If we are going to “save marriage” in this country, we certainly do need to resist efforts to alter its legal definition. But we also need to begin living the sacramental love and fidelity of marriage with our spouses and within our homes. We need to do this because it is what God intended for us. Marriage is His blessing on our lives and through it we can become blessings to our whole society.

  • http://quinersdiner.wordpress.com quinersdiner

    I agree with you. Well said. We could discuss this issue at length from many directions. Since your blog is called Public Catholic, I will refer to the public policy that I believe was instrumental, but not alone, in accelerating the decline of marriage, and that is no-fault divorce. When marriage is based on feelings alone, it becomes easier, via no-fault divorce, to get out of the marriage when feelings wane. Marriages that hit rough patches are less likely to “tough it out” in this climate. And if civil marriages are based on feelings, rather than their original function of protecting children born from these unions, then what’s the big deal to redefine it between two men, or two women, or even three?

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      You make good points, as usual. Thanks.

      • TANVI

        Though I am not a Christian but m quite close to this religion as i studied in a convent, i like articles and this one is very inspiring.. I am from India, here marriage is given a lot of importance and has a lot of cultural and moral value..

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          Thank you Tanvi.

    • http://www.wadleystheology.wordpress.com Keith Wadley

      Good addition to the blog post, ministermike. Maybe that is something that needs to be looked at; repealing the ‘no fault divorce’ laws.

      Keith

    • justamom

      I always considered all the no fault divorce laws to be the death knell of marriage rather than another step in the decline or just an acceleration of the decline. Sacramental Marriage began its downward trajectory with the intrusion of the state. When states began licensing, recording and administering marriage, rather than leaving the whole process in the hands of the private and voluntary community, it was inevitable that we would end up here. The secular, compulsory state ruins everything that it touches, so, like education and healthcare, state “regulation” was the beginning of the end for marriage. Once they got their hands on it, they began to dispense “benefits” based on marital status as recorded by the state. This reduced marriage to a series of state bestowed “benefits” rather than sacramental benefits and duties. The next major blow was the introduction of chemical “birth control”. The hidden and damaging effects of these chemicals on female health and psyche are only beginning to be researched and reported and the secondary effects have been far reaching and disastrous, even more so than as predicted in Humanae Vitae. The no-fault divorce laws are simply a logical consequence of state intervention into marriage that reduces a sacrament to a civil contract between licensed individuals just as the same sex marriage laws will extend all the “benefits” under the law of this contract to any licensed individuals. I had always held out hope that it will be the children of divorce that will restore marriage to its sacramental position and that it will be the surviving children of same sex marriage that finally put a stop to this downward spiral. More recently, I have realized that Marriage cannot be appropriately restored until we can get the state out of marriage completely and return Marriage to the “private” realm, which will be unlikely until the state has completed crashed and burned under its own weight. With the inevitable and impending collapse of the US’s global military empire, this is starting to look more like sooner rather than later.

  • http://hiddeninjesus.wordpress.com jessicarenshaw

    Your manifesto on marriage deserves to be nailed to every church door. It should be supplied in quantity to every justice of the peace. We wives (and husbands) who claim the name of Jesus Christ should have it engraved on all our mirrors, including those in our compacts, printed (in exceedingly small print) on little monitors before our eyes and tatooed on both hands. We should have stacks of copies by our door to hand out to visiting friends and our teenagers headed out on dates–with a copy for their date. It should be available next to hotel registers, in every hotel room like Gideon Bibles, in restaurants, under windshield wipers. It should be handed out liberally on street corners. Maybe even made into a video game. Surely what represents the relationship between Almighty God and us, His bride, needs to be handled tenderly with clean minds and holy hands.

  • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

    Thank you Jessica!

  • http:s.com//mcdermottfootcare.wordpress.com McDermott Footcare

    from http://8kidsandabusiness.wordpress.com On our wedding day 27 years ago, my wonderful father-in-law had this nugget of advice for the 2 of us: love your God first, your spouse second and everything else will fall into place. Wise words from a man who raised 12 children. You’re absolutely right. My husband and I both enjoy our careers, but there’s nothing like coming home to each other and to our kids at the end of the day. For true Christian marriage to survive, we married couples need to be an example for our children on how to live married life.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Your father-in-law knew what he was talking about. Your family is beautiful, btw.

    • http://anexileinacademia.wordpress.com John

      Hi Rebecca and McDermott Footcare (whoa I hope you had a serious talk with folks about that name they hung you with :-)……. having screwed it up the first couple of times, I have to say once you put God first, your spouse second, yourself third….. it sticks. I wish I had listened to much wiser folks when I was younger. I totally concur that the rejection of God’s centrality in our lives combined with no-fault divorce is an incredible double attack on marriage. Renewing marriage as a core foundation of our culture begins with Christians of all stripes humbling ourselves, seeking God’s face, repenting of our own wicked ways long before we start trying to get non-believers to change.

  • http://healingdiscoveries.wordpress.com Kathy McLaughlin

    Thanks to God for a voice of sanity. Bless you for taking a godly stand.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Kathy.

  • http://ackans.wordpress.com Mr. V.

    Rebecca, thanks for posting this article. It’s a very thoughtful and mature analysis of the problems with marriage and families in general in our nation today, and I’m glad I took the time to read it. Would that more public officials had the same attitude and stance about marriage and other social concerns, instead of, as you say, whipping people up into a frenzy of anger about what’s going on. Too much of that nowadays.

    Also, thanks for visiting my new blog, The Accidental Kansan. I was surprised it got any visits at all this quickly.

    God bless you, and have a great day.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you, Mr V. I love the photo on your blog, the one from Homer, Alaska. Are you a professional photographer?

      • http://ackans.wordpress.com Mr. V.

        No, just an enthusiast. We go on our family trips, and I spend a lot of my time hiking and walking and photographing the scenery. Just a hobby. Glad you enjoyed the photo.

  • http://redonnocarmon.wordpress.com redonnocarmon

    Wow! This is an excellent post. The type of post that requires us to be honest with ourselves, look at our marriage and ask the tough question “Is this marriage honoring Jesus Christ.” You said so much in this!! Thank you

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Redonno!

  • http://thresholdofheaven.wordpress.com Peter Wiebe

    Thanks for the great reminder that we, as Christians, need to stand for something, not just against something. It is what we stand for that will impact our society for Christ more than what we stand against. Not that we should never stand against anything. We rightly should. It is just that the For and Against ratio seems to be out of proportion.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Peter!

  • http://dgcree.wordpress.com dgcree

    Excellent Commentary!

  • http://freerosarys.wordpress.com freerosarys

    Thank you

  • http://peaceandpower.wordpress.com Brian Musser

    First of all, allow me to comment that I agree with your main premise. There are extreme problems within our culture about marriage and those problems stem mostly from heterosexuals flippantly abandoning of our vows. I enjoyed the post greatly. I do however, want to pick your brain on something you said that I tend to disagree with. “What marriage is begins with the law.” I wonder about this. I would love to hear you expound on why you believe that statement.

    Allow me to explain my position. I believe that marriage is primarily a religious institution instead of a legal or social or civil institution. I got married in New Jersey and was slightly offended/bothered that I had to apply for a marriage license. I had to ask the State of New Jersey for the right to get married. (Being from PA asking Jersey for anything bothers me but that is beside the point.) Now my marriage was legally approved and I’ve been married for 11 years in July but that caused me to think deeply about the question. Would I have still married my wife even if New Jersey didn’t agree with it? It seems to me that we gave the state the right to define marriage when it agreed with our majority religious institutions because it agreed with our religious institutions. But the question lurks in the back of my mind, “what if the government no longer agrees with my religious institution about what marriage is, do I still want it to have the right to define marriage?”

    I guess my reservation is that I am very wary of giving the state the right to define marriage when I know I will define the institution of marriage from religious principles no matter what the state says. I hope and pray that the state would agree with me. I expect that the state would allow room for my religiously defined marriage to exist. But I know that those things are not necessarily a given. Hopefully, this makes some sense. I’m still a little unclear of it in my own head so commenting about it clearly is hard.

    But I’m most interested in how you would respond to the idea that marriage is primarily defined by the religious institution instead of the state political institution.

  • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

    Brian this is a great question! What I was referring to is marriage as a social/civil compact. I believe that marriage is a sacrament, established by Our Lord at the Wedding at Cana, so I certainly regard it as a religious institution. But in my work as a legislator I deal with the law, which must govern everyone. In the instance of marriage, what I deal with is the legal definition of what marriage is, what civil responsibilities and privileges it entails, what legalities are applied to the legal dissolution of marriage, and how to enforce these. For instance, the law that says marriage is a contract between one man and one woman is enforced (in part) by criminal statutes defining and criminalizing bigamy. It is also enforced (in part) by a refusal to extend certain legal privileges of marriage to those who fall outside this definition.

    It is the legal definition that we are wrangling about when we discuss whether this or that politician supports “gay marriage” or not.

    In my opinion, the larger question of how God views marriage, and how His Church supports and enhances its holiness as a sacramental Christian estate, are outside the law and should remain there. I do not want the government telling the Church that it must perform marriages or that it may not perform marriages, based on some secular, governmental definition of what marriage is. This is a real concern considering the trend in how current laws are being enforced. I fear it will become an even greater concern in the future.

    So. We have a three-pronged approach to marriage:
    1. What should marriage and its responsibilities and privileges be under civil law;
    2. What do we as individuals and our religious institutions regard it to be;
    3. How, when, or if government should involve itself in religious treatment of marriage.

    That is why I made the statement that marriage begins with the law. As a matter of practical application, the law is how we determine the relationship and the outcome of the three-pronged approach to marriage that is a pragmatic fact in our society. Make no mistake about it: What the law says matters. This does not gainsay your contention that marriage is first of all a religious institution. It simply means that marriage exists within the framework of civil law and social custom that we call society.

    • http://quinersdiner.wordpress.com quinersdiner

      Brian and Rebecca: Civil society embraced the idea of marriage in part as a mechanism to protect children that could be produced from such unions, and to protect women (mothers) from men who want to “love ‘em and leave ‘em.” In other words, marriage serves the interest of our communities. Marriage was defined thusly, based on it’s practical “function” rather than the “feelings” of the participants. This by no means undermines the sacramental nature of marriage, which you have both beautifully affirmed. Rather, it reinforces the practical role marriage plays in our towns and cities. So the traditional definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman is logical, efficient, and non-discriminatory. One with same-sex attractions is free to marry someone of the opposite gender, just as one with opposite-sex attractions is prevented from marrying someone of the same gender. Here is what is wrong with the entire debate: somehow folks who embrace traditional marriage are the ones being forced to defend their position rather than the other way around. The real debate should be: what is the case for redefining the thousands of years old traditional definition of marriage? What is the upside to our towns and cities? How will this affect our religious liberties? How will it affect traditional marriage? How will this affect our children? How will this affect our ability to adopt children? I don’t see the case for gay marriage based on what is good for civil society.

      • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

        Good comments. I agree.

      • http://peaceandpower.wordpress.com Brian Musser

        This was a very helpful discussion. The thought that was prompted was that if marriage is defined functionally by the civil society then its proper functioning is important for that definition. Which adds force to Rebecca’s original post. I would say that marriage feels open for redefinition because we have found ways (i.e. no-fault divorce) around the implicit responsibilities while still being able to reap the social and civil benefits. Civil society decided to support marriage because marriage was good for producing stable families where women and children were protected from the abuse and/or neglect of more powerful men. And stable families were a necessity for society. So this begs the question: Are our marriage laws achieving the intended purpose?

        • http://quinersdiner.wordpress.com quinersdiner

          Brian: Great question. Evidence suggests something is amiss when you look at the divorce rate. We know by about every statistical measure that kids fare better when raised by a mom and dad who are married. As I mentioned in a previous comment, no-fault divorce corrupted this critical societal institution, just as abortion has. I’ve heard the case made that the proliferation of artificial birth control was the start of the decline of marriage. The beautiful fruit of marriage, children, have been redefined by society as a disease to be managed or mitigated. The introduction of the Pill was certainly a corrupting influence. And yet, last Sunday at Mass, I held my beautiful wife’s hand during the the Lord’s Prayer and felt God’s presence in such a powerful way. What a gift, this Sacrament. Pray for marriage. Pray for religious freedom. And evangelize, especially your fellow Catholics who may need it. The stakes have never been higher.

    • Howard

      Let’s back off for a moment. First of all, even according to Catholic teaching, not *all* marriages are sacramental, only those between baptized Christians. This includes all marriages before the institution of baptism. However, non-sacramental marriages are still marriages; marriage was not instituted at Cana, but in the Garden of Eden.

      Secondly, the central aspect of this dispute is whether the legal and civil definitions of marriage are like the definitions of baseball, so that we can make them whatever we want, or like the definitions in science, in which a “definition” not corresponding to reality is useless. The traditional view has always been the latter: that marriage was instituted for mankind, not by mankind, and that the it is as futile for government to attempt to redefine it as it was for the State of Indiana to attempt to redefine pi.

      If we concede that the state has the right or even the ability to set the definition of marriage, this battle is lost and it’s time to move on to what can only be more important matters, like whether or not there should be a kickoff in football.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        I think I see what you’re saying. A number of people have commented on this blog who feel much the same way that you do — or at least as I think you do. (Apologies if I misunderstand.) I’ve said before and I’ll say again that so long as the married couples themselves involve the government by seeking redress in the courts, it is a practical impossibility for government to stay out of it.

  • http://desertmum1.wordpress.com desertmum1

    I love this post! Thanks for standing up for marriage and challenging those of us who are married Christians. We need to allow Jesus to shape our marriages, our children’s lives and the communities in which we live. Drops in the ocean – but still moisture to our crusty old society! Thank you for liking my post too :) I’m new to this blog thing, but hope to write more soon!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      If we Christians would BE Christians in every aspect of our lives, it would change the world. Thank you for seeing that.

  • http://parentingministry.wordpress.com Stephen

    Well-thought post. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the “like” on my page. Be sure and check back for updates.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Stephen.

  • http://singingchickadee.wordpress.com singingchickadee

    I agree with you completely. Thank you for having the courage to say what everyone is afraid to say. It is encouraging to me that Christ has people like you working for Him in the public sphere, unafraid of persecution and willing to speak the truth in love.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you. Your post, Made to Meet My Maker, is wonderful!

      • http://singingchickadee.wordpress.com singingchickadee

        Thank you!! I’m glad you enjoyed it :) Thank you for liking my post!

  • http://lailannhaynes.wordpress.com Lail Ann Haynes

    I loved your post. We have different views in some ways, however you are 100% on the money with what you are saying is truly the issue. Love and blessings. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Lail Ann!

  • http://philhemsley.wordpress.com Minimalist Christian

    Good post. We should be strengthening marriage – proper marriage -rather than diluting it. I wrote a short blog on this from a more ‘secular’ viewpoint, would be interested in feedback.Thanks.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Phil, I read your blog on marriage and I think you did an excellent job of addressing various viewpoints and bringing them in. I don’t think I could have done it as succinctly as you did. Your conclusion that redefining marriage to allow same-sex marriage would “simply destroy marriage” is the crux of the matter from a public policy perspective. By discussing why marriage is not only valuable, but irreplaceable in the functions it performs in society you made it clear why destroying marriage would be a disastrous move for our civilization. I also want to make it clear that I think it’s important to discuss this from all angles — as you have done. Thank you for demonstrating that secular arguments in favor of marriage have a place in this debate as well as religious ones.

      • http://philhemsley.wordpress.com Minimalist Christian

        Thanks Rebecca.

  • http://www.facebook.com/diana.marley.9 Diana Marley

    I love this conversation, It strikes true on all counts, I am learning in my life, if Jesus is not first in all aspects I can expect to be disappointed in not feeling like I am in the ‘center’. In marriage, if both parties do not put Jesus first, or be open to learn to do so, It negates what marriage is supposed to reflect. Then it becomes like this author said, a bad example to learn from.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks Diana! You are right that Christian homes and lives must be Christ centered and not self centered.

  • http://www.garrickdconner.com Garrick D. Conner

    Powerful post and very well written, as always. Thank you for not only standing for traditional marriage but also for encouraging — no, challenging — married Christians to live up to a higher standard, the standard of God’s Word. (I’ll be sharing this one with my readers.)

  • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

    Thank you Garrick!

  • http://www.nathanhov.com bohemianprose

    Rebecca, Wow. I came to your blog because y
    tonight you liked a post on mine, Behemian Prose. I am humbled by this post of yours as it effortlessly touches base with what I have, on many levels, found myself, questioning, searching for and dealing with. I am not a Catholic, although I wear St Jude around my wrist. And through serendipity as it were these last three months have found myself surrounded by true Catholic believers. I think it would be great to repost this on my blog. In this time the idea tgat marriage is a sacrament has become a deep vein in my being. Something that explains the beauty lost by most of the World. If you only knew my story as of late and how it is your post connects with me.. Thanks for your words. Nate

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Nate, feel free to re-blog any of my stuff. I am soooo glad to hear that something I wrote helped you. I want to build, and not destroy. Thank you for your kind comment.

      • http://www.nathanhov.com bohemianprose

        Absolutely. Very well written. Thanks for you response I will repost it. It did, the more I learn about Catholicism and the Sacrament of marriage, the more I think it is a beautiful thing. Thanks. Nate

  • http://stannecenter.wordpress.com St. Anne Center for Reproductive Health

    Reblogged this on St Anne Center for Reproductive Health and commented:
    On this great day for me…Rebecca Hamilton makes the best and most eloquent description of the absolute mess we have made with the Sacrament of Marriage. This is an attitude that we must change, one heart at a time

  • http://thoughtsfromanamericanwoman.wordpress.com thoughtsfromanamericanwoman

    I appreciate this article. As a member of the Presbyterian Church USA we are now in the midst of this struggle – the PCUSA already redefined the qualifications of a minister and teaching elders and this year at our General Assembly we expect the permission for Ministers to marry same sex couples – which is redefining what marriage is – to be brought back to our Presbyteries to vote on. I also agree that it was the heterosexuals who “messed up” what marriage is. Just look at the media and how marriage and fidelity is no longer sacred. As Christians we do need to stand up and make our voice heard.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      I don’t know very much about the Presbyterian Church USA. I hope that they decide to back away from this redefinition of marriage and continue to support traditional marriage, instead. Thank you for posting this information.

  • http://dckoso.wordpress.com dave

    Reblogged this on Palmer St. Parentheses ( ) and commented:
    While I am personally an ex-Catholic and Ms. Hamilton’s blog is called Public Catholic, she makes an important point and makes it very well. It’s not enough to say that we’re against something. We have to clearly define what we are for and then sincerely attempt to live that out.

  • http://missionwriterdotorg.wordpress.com Corey Blankenship

    Reblogged this on Missionwriter and commented:
    A great post on the reality of where public issues find their root and source: In the hearts and homes of broken families.

  • http://scpeanutgallery.com abcinsc

    Thank you for your post. Marriage is indeed a mess… and you have raised an issue that no one wants to talk about – “serial monogamy.”

    My wife and I have been married for 45 years and we have personally experienced the blessing that comes from living out God’s plan for marriage – “one man, one woman, one marriage, one lifetime.” Divorce in our families was unthinkable – literally. It never occurred to our parents (as far as we know) and it never occurred to us. When we had “issues,” we worked them out.

    However, many of my peers have not been so fortunate for whatever reason. Their stories of pain and heartache are legion. Divorce is the “gift that keeps on giving.” Divorce and remarriage wreak havoc in the lives of everyone involved. And “his, hers and our children” add to the drama exponentially. No one emerges unscathed.

    So… if “serial monogamy” cause this much heartache, why don’t we address it? Because we typically encounter it after the fact; there’s no way to undo the damage that has already been done; the circumstances surrounding it are extremely painful; and we’re stuck… we don’t know what to do.

    You captured the essence of our dilemma – it feels like we are “picking at scabs.”

    But we are not alone. I just Googled “Christian divorce recovery” and got over 600,000 hits. Clearly there is a recognized need and some help out there. But there are no easy solutions or fixes.

    Any Christian approach to divorce recovery must begin at the foot of the cross where we face the sometimes awful truth about ourselves under the gaze of the One who died for just that purpose – forgiveness, healing, restoration, and restitution, as much as possible, to those we have hurt.

    It’s only in the security of knowing that Jesus loves us – no matter what – that we can have the courage to pull off the Band-Aids and some of the scabs along with it. And what better place to do that than in a supportive Christian community where we can come to the “throne of grace” to receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need?

    It may very well be the job of the State to work out the legal definition of marriage. But the mess of marriage can only be cleaned up by the Church.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      This is a very wise and kind comment. Thank you.

  • http://scpeanutgallery.com abcinsc

    Reblogged this on The Peanut Gallery and commented:
    Cleaning up the mess is the work of the Church.

  • http://wayneaugden.wordpress.com Wayne Augden

    Excellent post, Very well thought out. The main problem I see today is that many churches teach God is love, but don’t teach us the fundamentals of how to do it. There was a time when churches taught the practical aspects of Christianity alongside the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual aspects, but do so no longer. I can’t remember the last time I heard a preacher or teacher teach on the subject of marriage. Why God mandated it; How He views it, and How He feels about divorce. As I said, this is an excellent post. Thank you for writing it.

  • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

    I think you’ve hit on part of the problem here.

    “The main problem I see today is that many churches teach God is love, but don’t teach us the fundamentals of how to do it.”

  • http://christical.wordpress.com learnpraylove

    If only couples joined by civil union had the same rights as married couples . . .
    I like your blog. Even though I only grew up Catholic for about 5 years, I still enjoy your blog. :-)

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you and welcome home.

  • http://rayontremblant.wordpress.com rayontremblant

    Reblogged this on A Catholic's Journey and commented:
    “I know that is tender for many people. I know that divorce cuts people in half and leaves them with broken hearts and shattered lives. I know that some marriages are so bitter, destructive and even violent that they have to end. I know that even if you want to hold the marriage together, sometimes your spouse won’t. I know all this, and it gives me pause writing about these things. I don’t want to pick at half-healed wounds and start them bleeding again.”

    This is a problem for me. As a Catholic who has orthodox beliefs concerning sexual ethics, because I’m not on one or another side of the culture war that’s going on and I have beliefs about sexuality that are both orthodox and at the same time, unconventional, I find myself being attacked as if I WERE on one side or another. This is only compounded by actually being gay and having to deal with all the commentary being thrown around about me or my “condition” or what-have-you. My point is that I or something that is very important to me is constantly being involved in a fight about the direction in which our society is headed, yet the source and the solution to the problem are consistently left out so as to spare feelings.

    • David J. Hall

      Hi Ray,
      You mentioned at the end of your posted comment, “the source and the solution to the problem.”
      I would like to invite you to expound on your thoughts regarding “the source and the solution” that you made reference to.
      Thanks! I look forward to reading your reply.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      I am a little concerned about thus line of questioning, since I have seen similar discussions flare into anger and hurt feelings in other places. I want this blog to be a welcoming place. So, proceed, but gently.

      • David J. Hall

        Rebecca, I completely agree and have the gentlest of motives and inquiries. :-)

        • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

          Thank you David! That’s wonderful.

  • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

    Ray, (is it Ray? I’m not sure.) thank you for re-blogging my post and for your comment. I think there are a lot of us who find ourselves being attacked by people who presume to know what we think or believe. Oftentimes their presumptions are, if you will excuse the pun, presumptuous. If you find a solution for this, please let me know.

  • David J. Hall

    Thank You, Rebecca, for your candid observation regarding [and defense of] traditional, Biblical marriage.
    Having opted to Follow your “Public Catholic” site, I look forward to reading more of your articles as time marches on.
    I am an Oregonian by birth and after living in five other countries I have been back home for several years now. [I did however live in Tulsa for one year in the mid-1980's]. So, as a citizen of our fine country, please allow me to Thank You for your public service in Oklahoma’s Legislature. We need many more Christ-adoring people [such as yourself] in places of influence around our nation!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you David!

  • http://quinersdiner.wordpress.com quinersdiner

    Reblogged this on A Heapin' Plate of Conservative Politics & Religion and commented:
    Rebecca Hamilton is an Oklahoma legislator. This is a thought-provoking essay that deserves widespread exposure.

  • http://makeitplainontablets.wordpress.com Debra Bell

    The truth is hard to swallow. But it must be eaten! Good word.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Debra!

  • http://anniewald.wordpress.com Annie Wald

    Thanks for this profound and powerful post. Marriage for a lifetime is hard, hard work at times. Sacrifice is never easy. But it is possible to thrive in marriage–and for a once difficult marriage to become a source of strength. Lead on.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Annie!

  • http://juliesunne.wordpress.com juliesunne

    Wonderfully and beautifully said, Rebecca! I wholly support what you write, and I applaud your willingness to be involved in affecting public change and leading others through your own action for personal change. It is time to take back Christian marriages to reflect the institute as God intended! Blessings!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      This is a great statement. Thank you Julie.

      “It is time to take back Christian marriages to reflect the institute as God intended!”

  • http://scottsholar.wordpress.com Scott Sholar

    Thank you for sharing, and God bless you. I wrote a similar piece: http://scottsholar.com/2012/05/29/where-are-the-john-the-baptists/

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you for the link Scott. I guess great minds think alike. :-)

  • http://scpeanutgallery.com abcinsc

    Re: Gay Marriage – here are two references that you may find interesting, if you haven’t seen them already.

    The first link is: “How marriage has changed over centuries” – http://theweek.com/article/index/228541/how-marriage-has-changed-over-centuries – posted on The Week.

    The second link is a rebuttal: “Marriage: The Old, The New and The Normative” – http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/articles.cfm?id=536 .

    I offer them both for the purpose of cutting through some of the fog surrounding marriage. I hope it helps advance the discussion.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank for the interesting articles. My take is that the first one is simply propaganda designed to lead the reader to the conclusion that marriage is an elastic thing we can stretch to fit any space. So far as I know, Christian marriage has always been between one man and one woman. (I am not going to address the Mormon experiment with polygamy, which was confined to a few decades.) I flat-out do not believe the assertion that same-sex marriage was endorsed by the Church in medieval Europe. So far as I know, marriage as a sacrament between one man and one woman has been a constant teaching of the Church. Consider the problems Henry VIII had with this teaching.

      As for the notion that marriage changed in the 20th Century, the big change was the easy access to divorce, not the definition or practice of marriage, itself. I come from a long-lived tribe. My grandmother was born in 1886. My great grandparents were born before that. Even though they died when I was young, I can testify that their marriages were very much the same as healthy marriages today. The relationship of mutual dependence and love which are the hallmarks of marriage were the same for them as they are for me and my husband.

      Again, interesting articles. Thanks for posting them.

    • http://www.philomenasmile.wordpress.com Anna Dawson

      To pit at a nit just a little–at least looking over the first link, it’s a pretty far stretch to go from ‘brotherhood’ to a sexual union–at least that has always been socially unacceptable. The ceremonies in question were like adoption–a man (or woman) took another man as his brother (or a woman and her sister), not as a spouse. Here’s another link on that topic with a video. The name of the ceremony itself– adelphopoiesis (to make + a brother) –shows it to be a pretty ridiculous stretch to turn it from brotherly love to erotic love.

      I just stumbled upon this linked-from-a-link and wanted to thank you for your input. It really is encouraging to see someone who sees the root of the problem, beyond finger-pointing and histrionics. There *is* a deeper issue that needs addressing than yelling at each other what we are against, what we hate, when we are all sinners in need of grace, even in the privacy of our own marriages.

  • http://barefootbrooke.wordpress.com barefootbrooke

    Your article is incredibly inspiring! Unlike most Christian debates on homosexual unions yours looks at the plank before pointing out the splinter. Thank you for sharing this eye opening piece.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Brooke.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Brooke!

  • http://sonworshiper.wordpress.com sonworshiper

    Well said. Protesting same-sex marriage based on “defending the sanctity of traditional marriage” sounds very hollow when we see how traditional marriage fares. And I don’t believe it’s enough to merely acknowledge or even condemn the way heterosexuals devalue marriage; I believe the first place we should look is within our Christian churches. The numbers show a divorce rate among Christians that mirrors Western society, so the message to the world becomes very clear. That message is: “We have absolutely no idea what we’re talking about. Do as we say, not as we do.”

    Thank you for focusing attention on what we’re supposed to be supporting, not just what doesn’t fit our view of the way it should be.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you for this thoughtful comment!

  • http://weewaapc.wordpress.com Wee Waa Presbyterian Church

    Rebecca, what a thought-provoking article! I agree with most you say, and will actually link your article to my blog.
    Of course, being a Presbyterian, I differ from you in certain aspects. Although I certainly believe in the sanctity of marriage as a God-given institution, I don’t see it as a sacrament. But let’s not have this distract from this issue at hand.
    I am with you all the way to battle for the Biblical definition of marriage. We are going through the doldrums here in Australia at the moment, and it is almost if we have reached a point where we are obsessed with our own (moral) destruction. Our own Prime Minister sets and example of adultery, “cohabitating” with a partner (although she is not personally in favour of changing the definition of marriage!
    You say: “Homosexuals didn’t set off the epidemic of divorce in this country. Homosexuals didn’t create the millions of feral children who spend most of their time alone, raising themselves on video games, drugs and interactions with their peers. Homosexuals don’t cheat on our spouses. Homosexuals don’t break into our homes and yell and curse at our families…”
    Of course I agree 100% if you want to emphasize the hopeless state heterosexuals left marriage in.
    But I think you would do better stating “Homosexuals have not set off the epidemic of divorce in this country. Homosexuals have not created the millions of feral children who spend most of their time alone, raising themselves on video games, drugs and interactions with their peers. Homosexuals have not cheated on our spouses…”
    Knowing the devastating effect of sin within, both heterosexual and homosexual couples do these things. I mourn the fact that it is taken as the norm, something we should never accept, because only in the righteousness of Christ are we safe and can we keep our families safe; or, can we possibly keep the sanctity of marriage intact.
    Fact is, homosexuals, living in a sinful relationship, rejecting God’s standard for marriage, cannot expect His blessings. If heterosexuals (not honouring God in marriage) messed it up, homosexuals will even mess up to a greater extent.
    That’s the heart of our cry to keep the definition of marriage according to the infallible Word of God.
    Keep up the good work.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you.

  • http://doyoumeanwhatiknow.wordpress.com ansuyo

    Well said. We’re always looking to blame others for our messes. In reality, marriage is not what it was and not what it should be. If it were, the other issues wouldn’t exist. Thanks for standing up for right. Thanks for stopping by my blog as well :) Angie

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Angie!

  • http://www.mollyfield.com Grass Oil

    This was perforating. I have never considered the ease of access to divorce as a reason why marriages fail (maybe because it just isn’t an option in my world, just like not going to college isn’t an option for my children). I just thought it was for a good reason, as in physical abuse or personal safety but I have to say that I was confronted with defending this very position last weekend at a family event when my young niece commented to me that a couple friend of her parents was not “finally divorced yet.” I shuddered in my seat. I said, “what do you mean ‘finally’ and ‘yet’?” and she sort of rolled her eyes and said, “Well, it’s been going on forever,” and I thought (please excuse the phrase), “Holy shit. Here’s this kid telling me that the dissolution of a holy sacrament is taking forever.” This divorcing couple is catholic, btw.

    Then she went on to explain to me that the divorce was for really good reasons, and I said to her, “like what, for instance?” and she said, “Well [the wife] is constantly away. Never at home, I mean, what’s that all about?” and I said, “that’s not a good enough reason, sweetie. that’s called two children playing house and getting mad that one’s not there enough. They need counseling. What attracted them to each other in the first place is very much still alive now. They just don’t feel safe to show it. Would you think it would be OK for your parents to divorce because one travels on work all the time? There has to be trust and love. There is more to this story, and while i know it, i wanted to know what you think ‘a good reason’ is.”

    I was a little miffed about the entire thing, that her young mind could be so polluted, first of all (I never heard my parents talk about divorce until I was in my late teens back in the ’80s) jaded and confused, but then I realized that life is overexposed, diluted, simplified and broken down for children to the least common denominator. I dialed back because I was still mad, but I realized I was talking with a child.

    I blame the Kardashians. (Sorry, I had to say that, it’s all so sad.) -Molly

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Molly, you are right that the culture, including trashy tv shows, are a big part of this problem. It’s particularly sad that Christian young people are so completely following the world that they’ve come to believe in disposable marriage.

      • http://www.mollyfield.com Grass Oil

        Rebecca, just an FYI:i blogged about my own anniversary yesterday and included a link and a high-level synopsis of your (this) post in my write-up. :)

        • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

          Congratulations on your anniversary!

          I’m curious: what does “Grass Oil” mean?

          • http://www.mollyfield.com Grass Oil

            thank you! “Grass Oil” is five-year-old speak for Agla D’Olio that I made for dinner one night when my now 8.5yo was eating it. he has the most unusual phrasings and we’ve kept a running list. for instance, when he was very wee, he would sneeze and say, “i have bless you on my face.” he’s inspired.

            • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

              I think all little people are inspired in this way. I have a number of treasured baby speaks myself.

              • http://www.mollyfield.com Grass Oil

                yes, they all say wonderful things like that. but Thing 3… his are truly unique. even his doctor thinks so; the way he speaks of things and answers questions… it’s hard to replicate or predict. it’s folly to attempt either. :)

                • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

                  He’s probably a future writer!

                  • http://www.mollyfield.com Grass Oil

                    one of us better be! ;) thanks for showing me also to be a little braver. i enjoyed your piece on enabling and PC.

                    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

                      Thank you “Grass Oil”

  • Doc Arnett

    Outstanding article/comments, Rebecca. As a pastor, I have already made similar comments to my congregation, but not as eloquently as you have put it here. When we passed laws in our country to grant divorce on demand without regard to issues of adultery, we violated the same moral authority to which we appeal in our arguments against gay marriage. Good to you!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks Doc!

  • http://innerwoven.wordpress.com Robert Rife

    Dearest Rebecca, I’m impressed with your thoughtful, measured and nuanced understanding of this issue. Although I would still fall “left” of you theologically here, I’m pleased to see how intentionally and carefully you seek to parse a very complex issue indeed. The “demagoguery” you describe happens on both sides of the aisle on this and many other issues. There are fundamentalists among us left and right. Anyway, enough said. Thank you and God bless.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Robert, thank you for your comment. I agree that there are both left and right wing demagogues, and not just on this issue, but on most issues.

  • http://ournewaussielife.wordpress.com ournewaussielife

    Beautiful post, thank you. We need to stop blaming and start taking responsibility. My husband is my best friend and he and I work every day so the other feels loved abd respected. Our daughter benefits from this as much as we do. And thank you for liking my post!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you. It sounds as if you and your husband are blessings to one another, and you are right, our children benefit from this as much or more than we do.

  • http://jesuschristpooperstar.wordpress.com jesuschristpooperstar

    You make a great point that there is no modern “sanctity” to marriage. The right to live together within a legal contract, and to enjoy rights such as cheaper insurance rates, tax breaks, and the right to see one another in the hospital is not a holy concept, nor a christian invention. You can call it, or refuse to call it whatever you like on an individual basis, but there is no logical grounds for refusing any two people that right without the government stepping into and making laws regarding religious concepts. Thanks for reading, and I enjoyed your post.

  • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

    I think you may misunderstand me. I believe that marriage is a sacrament established by Our Lord Jesus Christ at the wedding at Cana, and that it is between one man and one woman. I do not support altering the legal definition of marriage to allow marriage between anyone other than one man and one woman.

    It was not my intention to say that I feel that “there is no modern ‘sanctity’ to marriage.” I WAS trying to say that many people do not treat their own marriages as they should. But that does not alter the inherent value of marriage or its holy estate.

    As for questions of whether people may live together, I believe that is legal now. The additional question of living together within a legal contract is too vague to address, since it has many possible applications and situations. Insurance rates are not normally determined by statute but by a contractual relationship between the insurer and the insured. Lower insurance rates are not a legal given as part of the statutory definition of marriage. The right to see who you wish while in the hospital, including who should make decisions for you if you are incapacitated, can be established now, entirely outside and independent of marriage.

    As for lower tax rates, my experience was that my husband and I paid higher taxes after we got married. The reason is that our combined incomes put us in a higher tax bracket so we paid more taxes than we had when we were paying taxes on our salaries as individual incomes. I’m not too knowledgeable about this, but that was my experience.

    There are legitimate questions concerning employment benefits which you did not raise. However those are also determined by a contractual agreement with employers rather than statute.

    I looked at your blog and based on what I saw there and the name you use for it, I would guess that we have markedly different ideas about a number of things, including matters of faith.

    That is fine with me. Feel free to comment on this blog if you would like. I want this blog to be a welcoming place which means that all comments should be courteously framed and respectfully offered. Additionally, I find it painful to read or hear attacks on the name of Christ. It’s perfectly all right for you or anyone else to say that you don’t believe, but again, that should be done in a courteous and respectful manner

    Thank you for your comment.

  • http://allexcellent.wordpress.com Jolene Belferman

    Excellent! Thank you for telling it like it is. We, the church, need to hear it – God is speaking to us! Psalm 43:3

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Jolene.

  • http://tammykennington.wordpress.com tammykennington

    Rebecca,
    This post eloquently presents the responsibility we–as Christians–have in society. Thank you for holding us accountable.

  • http://stephreeves.wordpress.com stephreeves

    First of all, thanks for liking my blog post “Hello, my name is.” Secondly, excellent post on marriage. I love your thought about not just being against something, but knowing what you’re FOR. Great job.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Stephanie!

  • http://thepreachersword.wordpress.com ThePreachersWord

    Amen, Rebecca. Thanks for reading ThePreachersWord and “liking.” Because now I know about your blog and can read it. And I like what I’ve read so far. Keep up the good work!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Ken.

  • http://littleobservances.wordpress.com Amy

    I’ve really enjoyed this post because you are one of the few I’ve come across that doesn’t place the blame on ‘them’ for ‘messing up’ marriage. It has already been redefined, as in past tense DONE and it was most definitely done by heterosexuals. I’m pretty confused about what ‘traditional’ marriage is though. Marriage has been continuously redefined throughout time and I think it was for the better (woman not being a piece of property exchanged from one man to another, the choice to marry of our own free will and not be constrained by class or race, etc.) How is it possible to go back to ‘traditional’ marriage without taking THOSE redefinitions away? How can we stand here and deny gay marriage which, I think we would all agree, is based on a legitimate logic stemming from the previous redefinitions?

    To be honest, I really struggle to accept the Church’s teaching on this issue. I guess my real question regarding the situation is this: if marriage were to be defined as between one man and one woman would it really bring ‘traditional’ marriage back? See I’m not so sure it would. Similarly, what about those whose religions advocate for polygamy? While in our religion it is between one man and one woman I also feel for those whose religious beliefs are suppressed and particularly for the children who are denied the legal benefits because they cannot be claimed by their father.

    Clearly I have a long way to go on this issue, but I’m continuing to pray for more understanding of the Church on this! Thank you for your great post!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Amy, I read your blog, and you have many beautiful things on it, including beautiful thoughts about Jesus.

      None of us is born knowing right from wrong. When we are born in Christ, we are like the babies we were when we were little. We don’t know very much about what Jesus wants of us. I was like that at first, and I am still like that in many, many ways.

      That’s one reason we need the Church. The Church gives us the advantage of 2,000 years of Christian teaching, including the insights that the greatest saints gained in their walks with God. It’s like having all the Billy Grahams in history wrapped into one great fount of wisdom, there to guide you.

      I came to Jesus after having tried mightily to do the right thing by following my own ideas and my own useless wisdom. I never wanted to hurt anyone. I saw myself as a good person.

      I threw myself into Jesus’ arms in despair over some sins I had committed. What I didn’t know was that many of the things I thought were alright or even good were in fact evil. Abortion was one of these things. I had thought I was a good person. I believed I was helping people. In truth I was supporting the murder of innocent babies. I can not tell you the grief I experienced when I fully understood what I had done.

      That’s why I don’t try to substitute my wisdom about moral questions for the wisdom of the Church. I am not as wise as 2,000 years of Christian teaching. I know that I am not a good judge of these things. I have horrible proof of it.

      My advice to you is to accept that you don’t fully understand these things and pray to Our Lord for guidance. If you pray with honesty and humility, He will answer. However, if you think that your prayers are leading you in directions that conflict with 2,000 years of Christian teaching, my advice is to think again.

      Trust Jesus. Trust the constant moral teachings of His Church.

      I know that this will lead you into conflict with some of your friends. I know that it will cause some of them to turn on you. I know that they will call you the names they call other Christians. I know that this will wound you.

      But it is a small thing to do for Jesus who died on the cross for you. It is a small thing to do to play your part in building His Kingdom in this world.

      Pray about all this Amy. And feel free to ask more questions or post again.

      In Christ,

      Rebecca

      • http://littleobservances.wordpress.com Amy

        Thanks for your response Rebecca. I am continuing in prayer to seek guidance to understanding on this issue as I know the Church has the right answer. I’m just looking to understand the little details so that I can hold the belief with the conviction it deserves.

  • http://jdstonetalks.wordpress.com jdstonetalks

    I am an Independent, conservative Baptist Pastor and I say “Amen!” to your very well written blog!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you JD.

  • rightbill

    HI Rebecca! Thank you for your work and your Public Catholicism! Thought you might be interested in one of my posts – I don’t write a lot on my site, but I have the occasional brain storm… http://rightbill.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/contraception-2/

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Very thorough round-up of the facts! It must’ve been a lot of work.

  • http://trudymetzger.wordpress.com Faith Girls Unleashed with Trudy Metzger

    Wow! Thank you Rebecca! I love your boldness and willingness to wear the scars! It is so true that it’s not the homosexuals who messed up marriage! If treated marriage (and our partner and children) with the love and respect each deserves, we wouldn’t be in this mess. Far less broken kids would be trying desperately to find an identity in something unnatural if we had done as one of your readers (McDermott Footcare) shared: Love God first, spouse second and everything else will fall into place. We have lost sight of the ‘God first’ part in our nation, our churches and our homes. (And Romans 1 warns us of where that leads!) God forgive us! Bless you Rebecca!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank YOU for this great — and true — comment !!

  • http://heavenawaits.wordpress.com/ Marianne

    Maybe the only true definition of marriage is a spiritual one, between a man and a woman for life, faithful unto death, with no garbage in the relationship, no abuse, and no serial partners.

    Sadly, If the spiritual definition of marriage and the biblical expectations were defined as law, most people would not be considered married.

    Most marriages have failed. We need to fix the reason for the failure – lack of spiritual definitions and commitment.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Marianne.

  • http://biblesharingonline.wordpress.com bible sharing online

    I fully agree with you.
    In the Philippines, divorce has not been legalized yet despite the pressure from the congress, I am certain that same sex marriage here will not be legalized. Or perhaps not in my lifetime. God bless you!

  • http://nocoincidence63.wordpress.com nocoincidence63

    Thanks for visiting and liking my post!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      You’re welcome.

  • http://stevenjeffries.wordpress.com Steven Jeffries

    Rebecca, I agree with man/woman marriage. I believe, however, that marital failure is due to a lack of living a “Christ-centered” life. People are so far removed from keeping marriage what God intended it to be, that they aren’t even bothering to get married these days.

    That’s a real problem…

    As for same-sex marriage and it’s followers, they can strike a nasty blow with any who do not affirm their beliefs. That’s simply sad.

    I don’t agree with same-sex marriage. However, I won’t stand in the way if another practices it. I’ll just pray to the God of all people, for all people!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks Steven. I fear that the day is coming, and is not too far off, when people will be subjected to the same sort of “nasty blow” you describe just for professing Christ. In some places and circles, it has already begun. I wonder how many, including members of the clergy, will fall away when this happens.

      • http://stevenjeffries.wordpress.com Steven Jeffries

        It could many, sadly. Thanks so much!

      • http://stevenjeffries.wordpress.com Steven Jeffries

        Rebecca, it is a sad probability. Did you know that during the 1st century, there were Roman Provences who made people deny ALL religions and “bow to Caesar” as god, or they wouldn’t be given food tokens!

        It wouldn’t surprise me to see that level of persecution near the very “end of times” yet to come. So many will fall away. Even some who confess Christ so boldly now will falter when times get tough…

        All we can do is work on our own resolve, and pray for ourselves and others…

        On that “happy note,” I will thank you for taking time to visit and comment!

        Steven

        • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

          You are welcome Steven. I enjoy your blog. I think you’re right about the rest of this.

          • http://stevenjeffries.wordpress.com Steven Jeffries

            Thanks, Rebecca. I’ll be looking for more of your posts…

  • http://churchbus71.wordpress.com churchbus71andetc

    Thank you for visiting my blog–’simplemeditations” Also I think this is a great article. It is what I have been thinking all along. It seems the only people who want to get married are gay people. And it is because hetrosexuals have undermined the foundation of what a true marriage should be.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you. I agree. I fear that this rapid destruction of marriage and family is part of the unwinding of Western civilization.

  • http://ariseandshineservices.wordpress.com ariseandshineservices

    Yes, marriage is sublime.it is God initiated.we need to foster marriage for a godly socity.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      I agree.

  • http://fairybearconfessions.wordpress.com fairybearconfessions

    Rebecca, I really appreciated this post. Your defense of true Christian marriage is eloquent and powerful. This was my favorite part:

    “Christians must be FOR marriage as a loving, giving, living institution that cocoons young children in a world of stability, positive discipline and love so that they can grow up and create loving homes of their own.

    The bond between husband and wife, as the Bible says, makes them “one flesh.” This doesn’t refer just, or even primarily, to the physical union of marriage. Sex, apart from this bond of love, is a physical act. But true marriage is a spiritual bond. The deep, life bond of trust and mutual dependence that is marriage nurtures everyone within its reach. Marriage creates not just family, but home. I do not mean a building where you sleep. Christian marriage creates home that is a refuge from the coldness of modern life.”

    My church (which is protestant) actually did a several-month series on marriage and relationships, and I think you just summed it up so succinctly and perfectly here. Marriage is such a beautiful and necessary sacrament for individuals, the church, and the community, and the inflammatory arguments about homosexuals ruining marriage are, I agree, distracting and beside the point, and I really appreciated your call to be FOR something beautiful rather than just AGAINST something perceived as wrong.

    I happen to completely and passionately disagree with you on the question of whether married homosexual couples can create, nurture, and mutually receive the same blessings in their unions, and bless others through their loving homes, because I have known enough long-term married gay couples (some with children) to have seen the incredible and beautiful fruit of their love. I cannot believe that God is not with them. I have 20+ pages of scriptural analysis at this point to make my case biblically, too, although that is not my intention here. (I only add that fact to counter an immediate dismissal that somehow I must not know my Bible or believe in its relevance in order to hold this position). My intent here is not to start a flame war on your wall or convince you in any way that being gay is a-okay, I just wanted you to know that those of us on the other side of the debate can also appreciate your passion for Christian marriage. We are all in favor of Christian marriage, we just differ on which arrangements it can take.

    And PS – thank you for liking my most recent post!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you for this nice comment.

      I agree with you that homosexuals can form loving attachments to one another that last for decades and provide them with companionship and nurture them through life. I have seen this. My reasons for supporting traditional marriage have nothing to do with attacking homosexual people.

      I am committed to marriage as an institution that is reserved to one man and one woman. I feel this way because I believe that marriage is a sacrament, instituted by Our Lord, AND because I feel that preserving marriage legally with this simple definition under the law is in the best interests of the public good. Even if I didn’t believe marriage was a sacrament, I would still believe that preserving traditional marriage was the best way to serve the common good.

      When I was first re-elected, I wanted to pass a law which would ameliorate some of the complaints that homosexual couples have raised about their legal status as couples. I didn’t do this as a judgement either for or against homosexuality, but because they are human beings and American citizens and they deserve to have their just complaints addressed under the law.

      I had staff do an extensive amount of research about this. I came to the conclusion that there might be certain areas (such as times when one partner is ill and incapacitated) where a different legal process would be easier and might need to be set up, but there was insufficient agreement between the parties as to how to do this to proceed.

      It is possible to deal with that under the law now, and it is a tricky question, giving one person that sort of life and death authority over another. When it came down to it, nobody was really that interested in changing the process we have now.

      Again, thank you for your comments.

  • http://imhungryforsomething.wordpress.com Always Hungry for Something

    Beautiful writing. I really look forward to reading more from you! Thank you for stopping by my blog.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you! I enjoy your blog at lot. Your last post made me want to go out and plant a garden!

  • http://www.8thday.us ministermike

    Very well stated one of the reasons that I recently finished writing a book on marriage is because of many of the points that you made. God created us and he also created marriage and it was not by mistake that he created a woman for the man that he created. As with all things that God instituted and created the institution and process that we know as marriage was perfect and good. However as with many things in this life we are the ones who have messed things up. If we would just follow the precepts and principles found in God’s Holy Word our lives as well as our marriages would be so much fuller and enjoyable. God created us and he knows what’s best for us. If only we would listen.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Minister Mike!

  • http://earnestservant.wordpress.com dedicated12

    Something you wrote in your post recalled to memory a lyric from the song “Jesus, friend of sinners’ by the Casting Crowns.

    ” I think that as Christians we are required to look past what we’re against and find what we are for. ”

    song: “Nobody knows what we’re for only what we’re against when we judge the wounded
    What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and loved like You did”

    By the way, excellent post.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Michael.

  • http://snowgood.wordpress.com snowgood

    Best article I have seen on line in weeks! For those of us who have worked alongside “Gay” people and had a chance to get to know them one thing frequently stands out – they are often far more caring and courteous than “us Christians”. I like your drift, keep up the good work.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      We are all just people, created and loved by the same God.

  • http://healingdiscoveries.wordpress.com Kathy McLaughlin

    This is a very wise position. We cannot rewrite what the Bible says but we can stop blaming our flaws on gays. I love how you stated this–we have begun to view Biblical marriage as one marriage at a time (serial monogamy). I feel like I just got to stand back and see the big picture view. Thank you.

  • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

    Thank you Kathy!

  • http://owprince.wordpress.com Bishop O.W. Prince

    Not to re-invent the wheel — But “Amen!” – Bishop

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Bishop!

  • http://therebelmonk.wordpress.com therebelmonk

    I am so glad that you “liked” my first blog post, as it drew me here and this was the first of your posts that I read. God bless you for the wisdom and discernment shown in your post.
    I have been on a faith journey over the past several years, struggling to resolve my rabid politics with my tepid Christianity. I am happy to report that, due to an compassionate Holy Spirit; a perfect mentor in Jesus; and a gracious, patient Abba, the adjectives have reversed themselves.
    This topic is the ONE that God used to work His convicting spirit on my heart. I pray that everyone who calls themselves a Christ follower stumbles upon your words, because they are rich indeed.
    Thanks Rebecca…..my world is a little more peaceful right now, knowing that God is alive and well.
    Peace

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Welcome to the blog world! There are many wonderful Christians here, ready to help you.

  • http://purplefacedpansy.wordpress.com Donna New

    Absolutely. I agree it’s the heart of marriage that needs changing. And it’s not the gay’s fault. You put it very well and spoke very wisely.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Donna.

  • http://godssceneryandpromises.wordpress.com sagescenery

    Another very clear bog! Thanks! Have we forgotten it’s all about Jesus?

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      I think that the temptation to make it about us instead of Him is something we are all prey to It always leads us in the wrong direction.

  • http://hismercyis4ever.wordpress.com kscandee

    First, thank you for liking my blog… In the Beginning….. I truly enjoyed your post and the comments that followed. Yes, I read all of them. What touched me most is how Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior convicted your heart and revealed the truth to you, and that can only happen when we realize somewhere deep inside of us there is a void.
    I am a product of many bad choices, including but not limited to multiple marriages,alcohol abuse and so on and so forth. I was not raised in church,nor with any great moral values. I wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, trying to fill a void that I was not aware of, and along the way broke every commandment. I was a victim of my own circumstance, and played it well. I almost let it send me over the edge, but He raised me up, glory be to God. In the midst of His conviction on my heart, I married for the fourth time, a non-christian. (which I do not recommend) but this time I was going to take my vows seriously, unlike ever before. It has been a long road, but one I will continue to travel. Ten years later, and God continues to bless me, and reveal His truth to me.
    HIS word has shown me how to love my husband. HIS word tells me how to live in this world, and not of it. HIS word tells me that our leaders are appointed. There is nothing new going on in the human race. Our legal system gives us the right to vote, so who are we voting in office?
    The Church, used to be the leader in the community. That no longer is the case. I believe it can be again, if true followers of Christ will stand up and take their communities back, with loving, open arms, and the TRUTH. We are supposed to be CHRIST centered, not, how busy can I keep my kids, how much money can I make, how many vacations can I take etc….and hopefully feel up to going to church Sunday……..sigh…..and sadly, many of our pastors are caught up in the same whirlwind.
    Jesus Christ made it clear that following Him will not be easy, but He is with us. We as His bride must come together and shake this country back to it’s original foundation. Prayer. leadership,
    teaching His truth, and the consequences. Priorities. and give God the glory, for HE is faithful and true.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you for this wonderful testimony!

  • http://www.grumpajoesplace.com Grumpa Joe

    Excellent, thought provoking essay. You are right in your analysis that marriage between a man and a woman has lost its meaning.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Joe!

  • http://wjaniese.wordpress.com janiese

    Renee you.’re right to say that the homosexual didn’t mess up marriage, and that heterosexual did. Forgive me for paraphrasing. I am a Christian. I believe in marriage between one man and one woman. I feel, that Christians need to rise up and be examples. It’s our job to love and show
    Christ in every sector of society. I enjoyed your post. Inm glad that your’re not afraid to confront hard issues. I can’t wait to see more of your post. Thank you liking my post.
    Janiese

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Janiese.

  • http://danmelcher.wordpress.com Vessel Ministries

    Excellent! Christians need to embrace the fact that we have failed the world by a poor example in marriage. A Christian marriage preach’s a gospel message of faithfulness and self sacrifice. Both are seen in Christ Jesus the Lord!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      True.

      ” A Christian marriage preach’s a gospel message of faithfulness and self sacrifice. Both are seen in Christ Jesus the Lord!”

  • http://notesfromthebackseat.wordpress.com Notes From The Backseat

    Just a thought but what would happen if the government backed out of it altogether. My husband and I have discussed this. Traditional Marriage is a union before God, not the state. If the state backed out of marriage and left it soley to the church, it may even strengthen marriages. The Bible gives barely two reasons for divorce, the state gives several (and an other category). We would like to think that homosexual marriage wouldn’t be an issue at all if only the church were responsible for marriage, as it used to be. These church marriages would have a much stronger biblical base and people wouldn’t go into these things half heartedly. There have been darker times in my marriage where, Biblically, we could have divorced. We have two children, and divorce was not a thought we had. Working it out and building a stronger marriage takes God. Too many “legal” marriages and not enough “holy unions” have taken God out of marriage altogether.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      I think the situation that you are addressing is that marriage is both a legal contract and a sacramental union. It sounds like what you are wondering is if it’s possible to eliminate marriage as a legal contract and just have it as a sacramental union. It would be great if we lived in a world where it was possible for the government to get out of the regulation of marriage altogether, but I don’t think it’s possible. The reason I say this is because of the many disputes that arise between married couples, between married couples and their creditors and between their heirs when one or both of members of a married couple dies. Put those problems together with the basic right of all American citizens to petition the courts for redress and you have a situation where marriage as a legal contract requires court action (and government statute to guide this court action) over and over again.

      • http://notesfromthebackseat.wordpress.com Notes From The Backseat

        A girl can dream, can’t she? It would be a wonderful thing if the separation of church and state extended to things like marriage. Honestly, I understand why the founding fathers refused to establish a national religion, but it begs the question: would they have still done it, if they had known their nation would become what they feared anyway? A nation with relious persecution. Makes me wonder.

        • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

          I think you’re right that we’re on the road to religious persecutive, specifically, persecution of Christians. It wouldn’t be the first time that a minority used the power of government to persecute a majority.

          • http://notesfromthebackseat.wordpress.com Notes From The Backseat

            And the Book of Revelation tells us it wont be the last. Be prepared, that’s all we can do. When the time comes, be prepared.

            • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

              I don’t think we need to be passive. In fact, I think Christians have been passive for far too long. I’m not talking about violence or engaging in any of the bad behaviors the world uses; quite the opposite. But we do need to stand up for Jesus.

    • http://www.8thday.us ministermike

      I agree the courts have not done anything to help strengthen marriages in some cases it is just too easy to get a divorce. However if it were totally left to the church I’m not sure if things would be much better. Even in churches people take sides which often causes more hurt than healing.

      • http://notesfromthebackseat.wordpress.com Notes From The Backseat

        That’s another problem altogether. Most churches preach to the babes. The preach to bring people in the door, but don’t ever get to the hard and fast stuff for those who have been around the longest. I, personally, feel more convicted by God when the Pastoral staff has preached hard about tough issues. I feel very little when we get watered down scriptures, and it’s made finding a home church in our new town very difficult. I believe, if we were all convicted more and hit with the tough scriptures more often, we, as a church family, would be better equipped to handle issues that arise within a marriage.

        Take sex for example. I know a woman who was widowed after 35 years of marriage, and it was only the last 7 or so years of her marriage she started to understand that sex within marriage wasn’t WRONG. It had been so drilled into her as a teen in the church that sex was bad, that when she got married at 19, sex was still bad. It took a younger pastor and his wife coming to their church and preaching about Godly sex as a whole for her to open her eyes to the wonders of her husband and God. She feels she wasted so much time with her husband because there were things that could have been taught to strengthen their marriage and they weren’t being taught.

        • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

          You just said a mouthful! Thank you.

          • http://notesfromthebackseat.wordpress.com Notes From The Backseat

            I try not to stick my foot in my mouth too often. My husband has a degree in Youth Ministry, so I try to run my thoughts through his filter before posting. :)

            • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

              :-)

      • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

        I know. We live in a fallen world.

  • http://dominiquetreu.wordpress.com dominiquetreu

    I certainly agree with you on this. We, as Christians, need to fix how we look at marriage. For instance, my parents became divorced and ever since then, my mom has been trying to distort the view of me and my siblings when it comes to love. However, I know that if both keep faith in God and are willing to do what will make the relationship work, there is not stopping you. So many times people forsake God and what the Bible preaches and then expect for things to turn out right. That’s not how it works. If one is truly a “Christian,” they should know what the Bible says regarding marriage. When one unites with another physically, it also happens spiritually. And that is why they say two shall become one flesh. Just because you have a legal document binding you does not mean that you’ll be fine. I know that my parents didn’t really know how to love us, let alone – each other. However, they’re relationship and how they treated me will not affect my view on love. I have a boyfriend who loves me through it all. We pray together, look to God and when in college, we go to church together. The church I grew up in just so happens to be right up the street from the college we attend. So I’m not going to let anyone’s distorted view on love or marriage taint me and my life. I know what God wants for us, I read it in the Word. And I do not have to try to prove anything to anyone. I mess up, but I’m human. I’m trying to live better. I want to eventually become a wife to my boyfriend and with my life situations, I know what not to do in a marriage nor to my kids. That’s what every Christian needs to know. Yes, homosexuality is wrong, but what did we do? We have a lot of dirt to clean off of our own hands before we ridicule others. And instead of ridiculing and judging, we need to try helping them. The Chick-Fil-A president or CEO didn’t ridicule homosexuals (that’s what they need to understand). He simply stated what he believed marriage was. It’s a blessing that him and the other owners of the company are married to their first wives. God be with them and anyone else who is trying to live right and isn’t judging others.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      • http://dominiquetreu.wordpress.com dominiquetreu

        No problem :)

  • http://annotateddomini.wordpress.com allknowr

    Hi Rebecca, and thanks for liking my blog!

    First of all, I agree with your main point in this post, that everyone needs to do a better job of committing themselves to their marriage and what marriage really means, and making sure the sanctity of marriage is truly sacred.

    However, I disagree this prohibits homosexual marriage, at least in the legal sense you begin by discussing. You have a beautiful paragraph describing marriage here: “The bond between husband and wife, as the Bible says, makes them “one flesh.” This doesn’t refer just, or even primarily, to the physical union of marriage. Sex, apart from this bond of love, is a physical act. But true marriage is a spiritual bond. The deep, life bond of trust and mutual dependence that is marriage nurtures everyone within its reach. Marriage creates not just family, but home. I do not mean a building where you sleep. Christian marriage creates home that is a refuge from the coldness of modern life.”

    I again fail to see how that precludes homosexual marriage. Where marriage is a commitment of love, trust, and faithfulness, it applies to both heterosexuals and homosexuals. There are countless examples of homosexual couples remaining committed and following all of the ‘traditional’ aspects of marriage, even without the ability in this country to be legally married. They clearly are not lacking in the ability to uphold the vows we feel are necessary for a marriage to be considered sacred.

    And it’s true that this committed relationship is possible without legal recognition, without their ability to get married. However, that creates a second-class citizenship if they are denied the rights of married couples. Their love and commitment in a monogamous relationship is denied standing. Their lack of status is a method of telling them their relationship is wrong. That I cannot agree with.

    It isn’t a question of religious doctrine (I don’t know anyone arguing that churches should be forced to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies) or tradition, but a simple question of what is right in the law of this country, and in this instance we are forsaking equality because it’s just the way it’s always been. Tradition has never been a strong enough reason to continue a practice when a strong argument against it is provided though; our laws in this country are constantly changing to reflect the new standards we live in. This is such a case where change is needed.

    The rights provided by a legally recognized marriage are not inconsequential. This isn’t a matter of people wanting a title or ceremony. It’s a matter of being just and fair, and providing equally for all of our citizenship. If two consenting adults are willing to commit to all a marriage entails, why do their genders matter?

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      This is one of the most most (if not the most) intelligent and kindly-spoken defenses of same-sex marriage that I have seen. Thank you.

      It covers enough ground to require several posts to answer it adequately. Also, I don’ t have the time right now to do it justice. I’m going to try to give a bulleted discussion. I just hope I don’t make it so brief that I’m misunderstood. (Always a danger with controversial topics.)

      1. I know that homosexuals can form deep, loving, commitments to one another that last for a long time, sometimes even for life. I’ve seen this myself. However, these commitments are not the same as a marriage between a man and a woman. In the first place, homosexual unions are sterile. No life comes from them. This isn’t just a question of semantics. It matters.

      The laws governing marriage are designed to protect an institution that is literally the cradle and the safeguard of human existence. I believe that the primary reason that our society produces so many dysfunctional people — to the point that society as a whole has become dysfunctional — is to a great extent due to the increasing dysfunction, to the point of obliteration, of the family.

      Same sex unions are sterile. They do not and can not create other human beings. They do not and cannot create family. For that reason alone, they do not need the same protections that are given to marriages between men and women.

      In their desire to get around this, some gay couples have elected to make use of technologies that reduce women to farm animals. I am speaking here of surrogate child bearers and the ignoble practice of farming young women’s bodies for eggs. I am going to blog about this in much more detail later, but I want to be clear: The practice of reducing women to the level of animals in order to create designer babies does not alter my original statement that homosexual unions are sterile. It emphasizes it.

      2. Public policy, in my opinion, must be based on what leads to a just and stable government. It must further the common good. That is the specific standard I apply to the votes I cast as an elected official. I believe that a just and stable government is always the greater good. When you consider the things done to people by unjust government and the enormous suffering created by unstable governments, you perhaps can see why I believe this.

      Anything — ANYTHING — which further degrades and destabilizes the marriage of men and women and their ability to, in cooperation with their Creator, create and nurture future generations of human beings, is bad policy and certainly not in the common good. I believe that anything that further destabilizes and degrades marriage between a woman and man also contributes to further destabilizing our country and government.

      I think that changing the legal definition of marriage to allow same-sex unions to be treated as if they were the same thing as the marriage of a woman and a man is bad public policy that will damage this country.

      3. Same sex unions are real. Rather than dealing with the fiction that they are the same as the union of a man and a woman, I think we should look at them for themselves and try to develop laws that honor the legitimate needs of homosexual couples. I don’t want to equate homosexual unions with marriage between and a woman. One reason why is because they are not the same thing. However, as I’ve said elsewhere, we are talking about human beings and American citizens. Their just requirements should be addressed.

      However, I do not believe that this should rise to the same level of protection that the law affords marriage between a man and a woman. I believe that rather than degrading marriage further and destroying it utterly (which I fear will be the end result of this debate) government should do all in its power to create a legal environment which enhances its importance and supports its survival.

      4. I’ve stayed away from the religious component in this discussion. However, I do want to add that I think that the current failure of marriage is largely a moral rather than a matter of statute. That doesn’t mean I think that since marriage is in such a bad way due to individual moral failure, we should add statutory destruction of it as a legal institution and use government force to obliterate it entirely.

      I could go on and on with this. As I said, it’s fodder for several posts. I will take it up in more depth later, over on Patheos. I am a little chary about giving such a superficial answer to these deep questions. But time and space don’t allow more.

      Thanks again for your great comment!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      I think I need to add one more thought. You say that no one is demanding that churches perform same-sex marriages if it is against their teaching. I think it would be more accurate to add the words “for now” to that statement. They are not demanding it for now. But I believe that if the legal definition of marriage is changed to include same-sex marriage, legal requirements that churches accede to this practice by performing these marriages will follow. I can see the arguments about denying people their “rights” now. If you doubt this, consider the HHS Mandate.

    • http://annotateddomini.wordpress.com allknowr

      Thank you for the well thought out response, and for also taking a kind tone. This is certainly a topic that can inspire a certain level of vitriol, but I don’t think there’s a need for that — I’m sure as a politician you know that, and as the child of a politician I learned it long ago.

      That said, I’m still in disagreement with your points. I understand you didn’t have the time to put together a full account of your thoughts (and neither do I, and I should also mention I’m far from an expert on this topic; I’m not working for or with any group to push any kind of agenda, I just have my own ideas on the subject), so hopefully I’m not reading too much into anything. But here are my rebuttals:

      1. The idea of giving less credence to marriages that cannot produce children finds no weight with me. While certainly same-sex couples cannot naturally produce children, neither too can many heterosexual couples. There are a range of natural factors that can lead men and women to be unable to conceive children, from birth or childhood or whenever. The recognition of traditional marriages between people who cannot naturally reproduce as equal to those that can is not a question I have ever seen raised, and, in my mind, not one that should. On this factor alone, same-sex marriage should not be discounted.

      I do not share your opposition to the techniques you say reduces women to farm animals, but I’ll go ahead and not argue with that portion. Even removing those procedures from the mix, adoption remains a viable process for bringing children into families that cannot otherwise have them (and should your opposition to abortion hold sway and become the national legal standing, there should be a corresponding increase in adoptions, I’d think). Whether or not you think same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children would be a separate issue than whether or not they can have a child through acceptable means.

      Regardless, though, I believe the marriage should be able to stand its own ground without the factor of children coming into play. A childless marriage is no less special — or legally protected — than one without.

      And to go too far into the deep end (freely admitting that I am!), if we want to protect the practice of having children and safeguarding our population, than the polygamy regularly practiced in the Old Testament would be the best way to do so. Multiple female partners with each male partner can increase the amount of children born.

      2. I fully agree that the purpose of the government is to provide for the common good. As part of that, we have a government that provides benefits to married couples. So we already agree that married couples can have special rights under the government, and that granted married couples does not harm the common good — with you saying that it’s as long as those couples are comprised of one man and one woman.

      I’m not sure why that limitation needs to exist. I’m also not sure how same-sex marriage harms traditional marriages. The relationship I share with my partner in no way depends on or is influenced by what my neighbors are doing. This is especially true if we acknowledge that same-sex couples (without marriage) are and should be allowed to exist. Clearly, I think they should, and from your comments it doesn’t seem like you have a problem with same-sex couples, just their ability to marry. But I simply don’t see how someone else’s relationship status affects mine in any way.

      3. I’m again not sure how same-sex marriage degrades, destabilizes, or in any way affects traditional marriage. However, I, personally, do not have a problem with seeking out other solutions that provide for same-sex unions, giving the same rights as traditional marriages.

      As a sort of side note, someone I know came up with an idea that I rather like and would have no problems with: have the government no longer issue marriage certificates. All recognized unions by the government can just be called civil unions, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual. Marriages would then be reserved for the religious bonds. The extra benefit of that is we avoid confusion over allowing gay marriage meaning churches would be forced to marry same-sex couples.

      4. I agree that the disturbing trend of failing marriages is largely a moral failure more than a structural one. I also believe it’s an individual problem, and one that stems from failings within individual marriages, perhaps exacerbated by what could seem like a growing culture of acceptance of divorce in this country. But again, and not beat a dead horse, I’m not sure how gay marriage makes that any worse. If anything, having a group of consenting adults being told they can’t get married would seem to undermine the principle of marriage. But I don’t think that really has an effect either way.

      Footnote post: Legal recognition of same-sex marriage wouldn’t force churches to perform ceremonies for anyone they don’t wish to. The separation of church and state would ensure that remains valid. There could be similar fallout, however, in terms of coverage given to employees. They would have to recognize married couples in insurance if they offer it, in accordance with the law. However, that insurance is not something the church is offering on their own — it’s another company (the insurance company) providing the coverage, and they will be forced to comply with the law. There is no extra or new action the church itself would have to take. I understand this could be unpalatable. I also don’t think that’s enough to prohibit gay marriage on its own, and I still don’t see an argument against it compelling enough to continue to deny same-sex couples the rights afforded to heterosexual couples.

      For a new point of my own, I’m not even so sure how wrong homosexuality should be considered from a Biblical standpoint. I discussed it in one of my blog posts (where, WARNING, I’m kind of flippant about Leviticus), but the prohibition on homosexuality (a subject never discussed by Jesus, though he talks of the marriage of man and woman when asked about divorce, which makes sense since he would be talking about the cultural norms of the time) is amid many other prohibitions we do not look disparagingly on anymore, such as tattoos, the wearing of mixed-fabric clothing, and many others. I’m just not sure that the messiah bringing a message of love would be in favor of shunning loving couples. Here’s that blog post: http://annotateddomini.com/2011/05/13/movement-of-jah-people/

      • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

        We’re not making comments here; we’re posting blog-length debates. I’m going to answer this one, then I think it’s time to go back to shorter, more pithy statements that are limited to one point.

        I’ll just take your points one by one.
        1. You are trying to make an argument that a statute, which has to affect everyone, should be obviated because there are exceptions among the population on which its intent is based. Men and women together are the creators of human life. The families that they create are the social wombs by which we transmit culture, values, and create stabile personalities. Marriage has enormous social and cultural value, value beyond any other relationship, because of this. The fact that there are some men and women who can not produce children either because of age or disability does NOT mean that the union of men and women as a whole is the same as the union of same sex people who do not and can not EVER create life. It is a simple fact that the only way people make other people is by the union of a man and a woman. That makes them and the union of their lives unique.

        2. a. I’m not going to address the question of whether or not you share my absolute total and complete (I’m stuttering to find words) opposition to the degradation of women by the use of egg harvesting and surrogate pregnancy for profit. It is anathema; an indicator of the depth and breadth of misogyny in our culture, particularly in our scientific community.

        b. The question of adoption is, as you say, a separate issue.

        c. I believe you misunderstood me. I am not talking about “increasing the population” but rather creating a legal environment which puts children first.

        d. You did sort of go off the deep end with your polygamy is the answer to … something suggestion. But that’s ok. I think you must have seriously misunderstood me. I’ll save discussion of the old polygamy in the Bible canard for another time when I have more space.

        3 & 4. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that what I do as a legislator is about how I “feel” about something. It is about whether or not a law will result in a just and stable government; if it will enhance the common good. I am not talking about creating a secular duplicate of civil marriage for homosexual people. What I mean is looking at the just complaints that they have and considering how those should be addressed in the law.

        The question of whether or not to change the legal definition of marriage is a huge one that strikes to the heart of how Western civilization has been organized and transmitted from one generation to the next for most of the last 2,000 years. None of the arguments I’ve heard, including yours, even address this and the vast ramifications in what we are undertaking.

        All of the arguments advocating same-sex marriage that I’ve seen seem to be based on the premise that same-sex marriage is a good and that it’s up to society to prove how it is not. This is exactly backwards when you are talking about changing one of the foundational legal tenets of Western civilization. My premise is that traditional marriage is a good. I want to hear arguments as to how same-sex marriage would benefit the common good; how it would serve to stabilize our increasingly polarized and unstable society; how it could benefit children and help us to stop raising an ever-increasing number of dysfunctional young people.

        Thanks for your intelligent discussion. I think we should limit our comments on this in the future to one topic that’s a whole lot smaller. I’ll be discussing parts of this in the future over at Patheos. It may be a while; but I’ll get around to it. I hope you write some eloquent posts about this on your blog. I look forward to reading them.

        • http://annotateddomini.wordpress.com allknowr

          You’re right. I have a tendency to say too much. I’ll be brief and give my answer to your question. Recognizing same-sex marriage is good for the following reasons:

          1. It rights a wrong. We are treating homosexuals as second-class citizens right now. This affords equality in our country, one of the founding principles.

          2. It strengthens marriage. It allows for consenting adults to marry instead of barring them from the institution. It also prevents situations where homosexuals may feel they need to hide their feelings and become involved in a heterosexual relationship. This inevitably leads to strain and likely the dissolution of that marriage.

          3. It allows children to know they’re okay if they are homosexual. They’re accepted. This leads to better adapted and more well-adjusted children becoming adults more able to contribute to society.

          4. It strengthens family by increasing family. Sally Ride’s 27-year partner was denied status as family by the government, as are all homosexual partners. Sally Ride considered her family, and the rest of us should too.

          I’m still curious how it hurts traditional marriage. I’ve yet to hear any convincing argument that it does.

          • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

            I’m going to have to let this go from now. We’re in the process of moving Public Catholic, and I’m also pretty well swamped with my real job. We can take it up later, on Patheos. Thanks for the conversation.

  • http://newcovenantchristianministries.wordpress.com Rev. Janice Robinson

    Thanks Rebecca, for liking my blog at New Covenant Christian Ministries and for not just beinga public Catholic, but a pubic Christian. It takes each of us as Christians to continue standing up for, writing and living our lives in the public square and to be a witness for the Lord Jesus Christ.

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you, Rev Janice!

      • http://newcovenantchristianministries.wordpress.com Rev. Janice Robinson

        You keep standing, Sister. The Lord Jesus never said it would be easy to stand up for Him or follow Him, especially when the fires of hell are roaring out of its hole. But always remember when those people who choose to stand with the hordes of hell and they attempt to intimidate, the Lord Jesus Christ already defeated them and they are but empty clouds without any water. Amen.

        • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

          Thank you for the encouragement Rev Janice!

  • http://seekhimwithallmyheart.wordpress.com toseekhimwithallofmyheart

    I’m just blown away by this post. You make some honest, valid points here. Lots of food for thought. Thank you for being unafraid and unashamed to say what is on your mind and heart. May I please share this post on my Facebook page? This is THAT good!

    • http://publiccatholic.wordpress.com Rebecca Hamilton

      I answered you as a comment on your own blog because I couldn’t get in here for a while. Of course you may share it on your Facebook!

      I am honored that you want to.

  • http://www.godversations.wordpress.com Karen Pullano

    Another great post Rebecca! As a member of the Mystical body of Christ, I am always proud of what you write!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Karen!

  • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com Neenergyobsever

    First, Rebecca, my friend, it is so wonderful to see this comment stream on your normal, and wonderful post. Congratulations.

    To the point. I am one of the people that thinks that the government should withdraw completely from the debate on marriage, for the government it is mainly, now at any rate, about tax treatment. As such, it could be handled very easily as with any other partnership.

    If I undertsand correctly marriage is a sacrement in your church, and a sacremental teaching in mine. This is where the term marriage belongs, to God. It is of God, and the church, and is for their definition, not the state’s

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I understand what you’re saying, but as a practical possibility, government can’t withdraw so long as married couples want to petition government for redress concerning their marriage. You are right that taxation is a factor, as are all sorts of other questions concerning property. Unfortunately, children become more “property” than people when marriages end up in court. I honestly think that the solution to the marriage is a mess conundrum as a moral, and not a legal one. I agree with you there, completely. It’s just that marriage cannot and will not ever be something outside government action so long as married people themselves bring the government into it.

      Great to see you here, my friend!

      Thanks for your fine comment.

      • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com Neenergyobsever

        You’re right, of course, and I haven’t thought all the way through this, children are a huge part of this, and the complications do involve the government. The problem, I think, may be fundemental, and based on the (lack of) moral teaching we are providing. I certainly don’t have all the answers for that, either. I do think that’s where the answers lie though, noting that while we had some problems 50+ years ago, they were orders of magnitude less.

        Marriage, divorce, kids, all enter into it, and all have to be part of the solution. Keep thinking, Rebecca, your thinking in this area is some of (if not the) best I’ve seen.

  • http://rightbill.wordpress.com Bill Kammerer

    Hi Rebecca! Of all of your posts that I’ve read, this is probably my favorite. And a lot of the comments here are great, too. Thanks for putting this up here – lots of food for thought!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks Bill!

  • E.C.Hock

    This is a well-stated and timely statement! It reminds us that change begins with us first in our lives and marriages. We have taken for granted this gift and ordinance of creation. The greatest way we can support traditional, God-designed, productive marriage, and shore up its importance and significance and defense, in this culture, is to work at it and encourage each other in the intimacy and fidelity of marriage. The greatest gift you can give our children is a healthy marriage. Yet, by our neglect of marriage, and I speak particularly to the Christian church generally, we ony help adversarial forces trumpet their false alternatives. Evil only spreads and deepens when good men and women (in their marriages) do nothing. This clarion call must reach into our personal lives, and how we live before God. Thats is, our identity in, union with, and our walk before, the living Christ. to convert and sanctify our hearts so grace flows into our marriage.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Well said. Your whole comment is great. Thank you!

  • Joe Hess

    A thought provoking article….I thing that we should examine the discourse on this topic. The categories of “homesexual” and “heterosexual” are not helpful. These words elevate a subordinate distinction to the top priority, and the argument then exists between a false dichotomy of the “heterosexuals” and “homosexuals”. The reality is the debate is between the “sexual”; we are sexual beings. The question is how do we understand, define, and prioritize(value), the way in which a person manifest sexual desires. This debate must happen. For me, the most clear signal is that when a man and woman are unified in marriage they welcome children into the world and a children have an opportunity to experience both the love of the father and the love of the mother…..these Loves are distinct. This is just a “shadow” of the true love of the Father.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I agree.

      ” For me, the most clear signal is that when a man and woman are unified in marriage they welcome children into the world and a children have an opportunity to experience both the love of the father and the love of the mother…..these Loves are distinct. This is just a “shadow” of the true love of the Father.”

  • http://www.vulcanhammer.org Don
    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you. Your approach is different from mine, but it’s a big issue with room for everyone.

  • Jennifer

    Mrs. Hamilton, bravo! It is so very true that the state of marriage is a mess and we have ourselves to blame. Thank you for being brave enough to say so out loud. I appreciate all you’re doing to defend true marriage. If you have a moment, I hope you’ll give this link a read and consider making the switch from “traditional” to “true.” This adjustment in our language is very important, I believe. Thanks for your time. God bless you.
    http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=47200

  • Michael Markham

    I thank you for the calm headed call to deal with the real problems with the state if marriage in this country. That’s where most of our energy should be spent. Not trying to tear others down but to building others up. Especially those in our community. We should deal with the plank in our own eye first. But on to the legality issues, what about Religious Freedom. There are hundreds of churches that want to marry gay couples. I want the Govt to stay out of my faith. So I have no place supporting laws that infringe on others’ rights to practice their faith. My marriage to my wife is first and foremost between myself my wife and our God. Any legal responsibility in the eyes of the state is last on that list. When we got married I said I don’t care about the liscense, I care about publicly professing before God that we are married. I appreciate that because of tradition the Govt affords me legal rights and responsibilities that match my Religious ones. But I have a problem with the government calling that a Marriage. It is a civil union of property. My marriage is a conjoining into flesh before God (a great mystery as Paul says). I don’t want the Govt telling me anything about my Marriage. So I can’t support a law saying that two people, supported by their community of faith, who get Married within the confines of their faith (whether I disagree with them or not) can’t have the legal rights and responsibilities afforded to them as to me. The Govt should have no say about Marriages. It should have governance over Civil Unions. And I see no problem with people binding themselves legally to another human being, regardless of their sex.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      There are a couple of issues here.
      First, there is nothing in the law now to prohibit any church from performing a same-sex marriage if it wants to. Some do. That is outside the law.
      Second, in some countries there is a double marriage of sorts where people actually go through two ceremonies if they wish to be married in the church: the first is a civil, or legal, ceremony; the second is a religious ceremony. That is not how we do things in this country. Throughout our history, one marriage ceremony, whether is performed in a judge’s chambers or a cathedral, is always legally binding.
      I like our system and see no relevant reason to put ourselves through the considerable upheaval of changing it.
      As for people binding themselves legally to one another, regardless of sex, that is an interesting turn of speech, but it has no legal meaning.
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

  • http://www.regan222.wordpress.com regan222

    Another insightful post. I have always been a firm believer in being FOR something rather than against its opposite. You can be against Same-Sex marriage or you can be for marriage based on the biblical model. Being against something makes it too easy to slide down into name calling and slander. Being for something is harder to do but much more effective in the long run.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Regan. Christians have so much to be for. We are meant to be the builders of society.

  • http://mychristiancoffeeshop.wordpress.com/ robind333

    I commend you on your post. Wonderfully executed! Although I to believe in marriage being to 1 man and 1 woman, it’s not my place to judge others or point fingers at individuals who are homosexual. Jesus says we are to love each other . He didn’t say only “if” people agree with my way of thinking. He just said to love one another….

    Your explanation of the sanctity of marriage is completely accurate. God gave us “very” specific rules when it comes to divorce. Just my opinion, but this is what happens when we “choose” to dismiss God’s commands…..

    Thank you for your post and many, many blessings to you….Robin

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you for your nice comment Robin.

  • Mary

    I liked your post, agree with your argument, and (as a legally divorced Catholc woman) appreciate yor sensitiviy. I look forward to future posts!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks Mary.

  • http://www.nothingnewunderthesun.wordpress.com Tracy Schlotterback

    Great article! If we truly understood that not only do we need to see marriage as created by God and designed by Him for one man and one woman, but that we need to wait on Him to direct us to that person He chose for us, we as believers in Jesus Christ would not get divorced as we would be in God’s will with the right partner. Yes, life is still life – hard; but knowing you are with the person God chose for you would put a different mindset on it and would cement that spiritual connection. We pray about so many other things involving direction in life: where to go to college; what type of career we should choose; which job we should take, etc. Maybe at the top of this type of list we should pray that God direct us to the person He chose for us to spend the rest of our life with and that we be patient during that journey. Thank you for stopping by my blog and reading Wake Up! We must all pray that the Church (Body of Christ throughout all denominations) will wake up to live holy lives before Father God.
    Blessings,
    Tracy
    http://www.tracybird.com

  • http://www.themassneverends.com Tim Rohr

    I didn’t get to read all the comments, so perhaps someone has already mentioned this. But given that heterosexuals have screwed up marriage, we must find out why. Marriage itself is built on and sustained by something bigger than itself. When that base falters , so does marriage. As the Church goes, so goes the world. Not the the other way around. Something has gone terribly wrong with the Catholic Church itself. And Satan has succeeded in getting us to look at everything else.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Marriage certainly is built on something much greater than itself and I agree that as the Church goes, so goes the world. Thanks Tim.

  • Scott Sorensen

    Yes it is a good article She has some valid points and it is refreshing to see some of the same things i believe about what Christians SHOULD be doing to support marriage. I would go a little further. Instead of saying it isn’t enough to
    be against someone elses view or definition of marriage, I would argue that since someone elses view or definition of marriage does not inhibit or alter what marriage is, or how that is expressed for the Christian, it is a distraction and a huge waste of energy to legislate that for the entire country. Especially given the knowledge that there are other people who view it differently. I think it is a mistake for any religion or group to try to legislate exclusivity on any civil matter based on thier point of view, simply because they are the majority, or because they feel morally obligated to impose that view on the rest of the country. One of the reasons Christians are able to practice our faith is because we have freedom of and from religion. We cannot have one or the other. The one protects the other. Both are necessary for either to exist.This link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECPGenexyKM&feature=youtube_gdata is a little off topic but i think relevant to the article in that the rule of law needs apply to everyone equally. I just became Aware that we do have a real choice in the upcoming election so I am spreading the word where ever I can about the Justice Party and Rocky Andersonhttp://www.voterocky.org/meet_rocky

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Scott.

  • http://www.thoughtsfromanamericanwoman.wordpress.com Patty

    I could not have said it better. Blessings – Patty

  • http://prolifeactionoforegon.org Nina

    To my knowledge, no critical analysts of marriage – such as Robert P. George and Maggie Gallagher — have blamed homosexuals. Are you trying to say that proponents of trad marriage blame homosexuals, who are married, on the list of problems, e.g., divorce? I don’t think you are but the title of your post eludes to that premise. That’s just not the case at all. No one blames homosexuals for the trouble trad marriage is in. Blame easy access to hormonal contraception, the Bishop’s lack of support for Humanae Vitae, etc.

    You wrote “Homosexuals don’t cheat on our spouses.” Hold the phone! Homosexuals/Bisexuals have been known to break up trad marriages!

    How has The Pill harmed marriage? Visit http://www.ThePillKills.org and http://www.HLIAmerica.org .

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Nina.

  • Kathy

    Thank you for a call to conscience regarding the sacrament of marriage. So well-said! How unfortunate it is that so many don’t put marriage right after God in importance. The point about a solid home life providing the basis for our children to go forth and have a healthy, happy home life as adults is right on. Lord God, open our eyes!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      “Lord God, open our eyes!”

      Amen.

  • Joseph Marshall

    “What marriage is begins with the law. Marriage under the law is and should continue to be a union freely entered into by one man and one woman.”

    If I may say so, starting there is by far the weakest grounds for any “defense of traditional marriage”. First, starting here puts you and “traditional marriage” directly in opposition to the mandate for “equal protection of the law”–from this vantage point, marriage is a contract, and “traditional marriage” is a contract whose privileges, both legal and financial are not granted to anyone but heterosexuals. Try forming an argument that would stand any scrutiny by the courts that this constitutes “equal protection of the law”. I don’t think it can be done and this is why “defenders of marriage” are regularly starting to lose in the courts. It makes no matter that “it’s always been this way”. This country started out with black slavery and fell back into legal racial segregation, but neither has withstood the demand for “equal protection of the law”.

    Further, let us consider the matter of divorce. The most common cause of divorce is not infidelity, it is chronic disagreement over money and indebtedness. And one of the most important reasons for the rise in divorce rates over the past 50 years is that the one income family simply cannot keep its head above water, particularly if it “it is fruitful and multiplies”. I have watched the process from start to finish, with my very much pre-feminist mother being forced into the workforce in the early 1960′s against her very strong preference so my family could assure my future education and their future retirement at a level above penury.

    And I was an only child.

    Just about all of the other strains on family life, particularly on the care and education of children, can be traced back largely to this obdurate economic fact. Those who simply don’t notice this or are willfully blind to this and demand the return of the pre-1960 marriage without birth control are trying to manage a flood solely with their own canoe paddle, and this demand will never be met.

    By far the strongest ground for “defending marriage” is the Catholic dogma that Christian marriage is a sacrament, but since this does not apply to the marriages of other religions or to secular ones, even this defense cannot answer the very sensible question of why non-Christian marriages pose no significant threat to Christian ones and, therefore, why anybody marrying anybody else is a true threat to Christian marriage.

    I would politely suggest that if this advocacy has scarred you it is largely because throwing your body against a brick wall is not an easy way to knock it down.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I don’t agree that Catholic dogma is the strongest ground for defending traditional marriage. I think that most important argument, at least from a law-maker’s perspective, is that changing the definition of marriage would contribute to the further destabilization of our society.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    True enough, marriage is a mess. But gay marriage would make it worse and Democrats are the ones pushing that. May I ask why abortion is routinely in the Democratic Party plank, and now for the first time, gay marriage will be? We’re all to blame for the cultural demise, but Democrats since the sexual revolution have really run it into the ground, and there’s no sign of letting up.

  • http://heulu.wordpress.com Liz Au

    Your title says it all and I agree with everything you wrote! It’s good to put things in the right perspective and be known for whose standards we represent by our lives, more than what we say we’re against. Thanks for your views on my blog, “God’s Enduring Love”.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Liz!

  • BobRN

    Ms. Hamilton,

    Thanks for an excellant post. I agree with what you say. I would only add, of course, that plenty of Christians have been fighting for what marriage is, and have been taking many positions other than oppositin to same-sex marriage for many decades now. Unfortunately, the good that Christians are doing for marriage doesn’t get a lot of press. Most Catholic diocese, for instance, require that couples go through rather extensive marriage preparation prior to getting married in the Church. My wife and I were honored to participate in preparing young couples for a number of years when we lived in Memphis. It’s also true that the divorce rate among Christians is very different according to the degree of commitment to the faith the couples have. For instance, the divorce rate among Catholics who agree with and practice the Church’s teaching on family planning is almost non-existent.
    I agree, too, that no-fault divorce has been devastating to traditional marriage. But, even before that, I would argue that the acceptance of contraception had an even greater impact. Once we separated sex from children, it was not too difficult to separate sex from marriage.
    I write a monthly column on family life and spirituality in our local paper, the Knoxville News Sentinel. Allow me to share my most recent column, from July 20:

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/jul/20/bob-hunt-our-kids-need-us-to-be-married/?print=1

    I hope that works! If not, you can google: bob hunt at knox news and find it there. Keep up the good work!

    Pax et bonum, Bob Hunt, RN

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      These are good points Bob. I agree with your article. Stable marriages between their parents are what children need. Thank you for the work you do!

  • tz

    Amen!

    My only difference is I don’t want to save the shreds of civil marriage as defined by Nero. I would make Christian Marriage legal. Make divorce harder to get than student loans forgiven, abuse, adultery, or abandonment with alimony like it was. Priests and pastors could then require that contract.

    Instead of trying to save the already broken definition of the institution, legalize the real deal.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Food for thought TZ. There are moves to do some of this, but nothing gets into law.

  • SQ

    Dear Christians,
    The beginning of the end of Christian marriage was the acceptance of contraception in the 1930′s. Two cannot become one completely and totally without inviting the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, to be there. Contraception is telling God to leave the marital embrace. We make our marriages sterile. We curse the fig tree.

    And no, this does NOT mean that every marital act must be fruitful; it means that when choosing to engage in the marital act, we are open to bearing fruit.

    There is a difference.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you SQ.

  • http://Heartonthejourney.wordpress.com Paul Bradford

    Rebecca,

    Thank you for doing such a good job of articulating points that I have been making over and over since 2004 when same sex marriage became legal in my state of Massachusetts. Whenever somebody got worked up and said, “The institution of marriage is under attack,” I would ask, “Did you just wake up from a coma? Marriage and family have been under attack for all the fifty years I’ve been alive.” (Obviously, I’m a little older than that now.)

    You look beneath the surface. Good for you! Keep digging deeper. You’ll discover reasons for our collective plight that have nothing to do with sex or with gender issues at all. As a society, we have allowed the mentality of the marketplace to invade all aspects of life — not just our economics.

    It has become so ‘natural’ to us we don’t even notice it. When looking for a partner, we evaluate our own attractiveness and attempt to ‘strike a bargain’ with someone of equal or greater attractiveness. I care less about whether a woman will be a good mother for my children than I care about whether I’m ‘good enough’ for her and whether she’s ‘good enough’ for me. I can establish a place in the world’s pecking order based on the attractiveness of my wife or girl friend.

    Life in the modern world centers around the competition to ‘make something’ of yourself. Rebecca’s in the legislature? That’s good, but it would REALLY be good if she got a spot in the governor’s cabinet. Everyone is ‘better than’ this one and ‘not quite as good’ as that one.

    How unlike the way our Lord taught us to view each other! Egotism and selfishness destroy the fabric of society. We all spend so much time gazing into the mirror we don’t even see Lazarus at the gate. I want to know what marriage can do for ME; I don’t even consider the fact that God has given me a vocation for the singular purpose of giving glory to Her (or, if you must, Him).

    We can’t ‘fix’ marriage by establishing a constitutional definition of it. We’ve got to convert our hearts. We’ve got to learn to value family more than we value self-aggrandizement.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      What you said:

      “We can’t ‘fix’ marriage by establishing a constitutional definition of it. We’ve got to convert our hearts. We’ve got to learn to value family more than we value self-aggrandizement.”

      • http://heartonthejourney.wordpress.com Paul Bradford

        Hi Rebecca,

        I see you’ve taken a quote out of my comment to you. That either means you like what I said or that you want to take issue with what I said. Either way, I’ve continued to think about the institution of marriage and it occurs to me now that the goal of strengthening marriage and family isn’t enough for me. Obviously, God has given us the command to be joyful and, just as obviously, the family is the source of much of our joy. You can’t expect joyful people to emerge out of families that are in tatters. An enlightened society has enlightened laws about marriage and requires that its citizens behave in a way that enables families to be joyful (after ten thousand years of civilization we really DO know a lot about what works and what doesn’t — too bad it’s so tempting to ignore the lessons of history when those lessons call us to make a sacrifice).

        But, as to the ‘more’ I’m interested in. As much as our fellow citizens would benefit from proper instruction about the way to build and sustain happy families, we all need more than that. We need radical repentance. We’ve all got to stop thinking about “what’s good for me” and start thinking about what gives glory to God. Radical repentance is needed for genuine conversion — and, boy, do I pray for conversion — for me, and for everyone else.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          I’m going to pull a couple of more quotes because I so agree with them. :-)

          “You can’t expect joyful people to emerge out of families that are in tatters … We need radical repentance. We’ve all got to stop thinking about “what’s good for me” and start thinking about what gives glory to God. Radical repentance is needed for genuine conversion — and, boy, do I pray for conversion — for me, and for everyone else.”

          What you said.

  • http://platytera.blogspot.com/ Christian

    Spot on. The postmodern West currently either openly approves of, or tacitly accepts:
    Premarital sex.
    Serial remarriage.
    No-fault divorce.
    Polyamory.
    Contraception.
    Sterilization.
    Willful childlessness.
    Abortion.
    Pornography.

    There’s no practical way for the straight culture, having thus devalued marriage, to deny it to homosexuals.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Christian!

  • Dixibehr

    BRAVA!

    Speaking as a gay Christian, those are my sentiments exactly. How many people who say they are fighting for “traditional marriage”, such as those who went to the eat-in at Chick-fil-A, have marital histories that meet the standards our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ gave in the Holy Gospels?

    If they were serious, they would work to make divorce difficult and remarriage afterwards nearly impossible under civil law.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      A gay Christian: That sounds almost like a pro-life Democrat. :-)

      I could hug you.

  • http://inspiration-point.org Barry

    Hi Rebeca,

    Thank for visiting my site, earlier. I just read your post and it looks like you’re on a roll. I agree with you that it does nothing for marriage to beat up on the gay community. We really have ourselves to blame for the mess. It’s time to deal with the underlying problems, as you say. I’m not married and no clear ideas about it. I just know that it’s a lot of work.

    One good thing about the Chick-Fil-A thing; it’s got the Christian community talking. As for me, I am more interested in seeing the good news of Jesus shared with the gay community. In fact, I wrote a post encouraging some to invite a gay person to lunch at Chick-Fil-A and share Jesus. I was taking my cue from the story of the woman at the well in John 4.

    Have a blessed day and I’m looking forward to visiting your site, again.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks again Barry! Stop back by anytime.

  • Dixibehr

    \\This isn’t a hypothetical for me. My home and my husband are the living sanctuaries of my life. I could not endure the pressures of being a Public Catholic and all the controversy and criticism that engenders if I wasn’t able to go to my house, shut the door, and be Home.
    Marriage is the progenitor of life, family, emotional safety and abiding peace in this life. It is a sacrament, given by Our Lord, to enable us to walk through life together and not alone.\\

    Congratulations, Rebecca!

    Now you know what marriage is about for gay couples, too.

    My own mother was married THREE TIMES before I was born (I’m in my 60′s now). She and my father, who messed around with other women before and during his marriage, were married only 17 years.

    My beloved and I have been together for 16 years, going on 17.

    Which couple is the better icon of traditional marriage?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I honestly don’t know how to answer this. It’s too personal to you for me to even try. Blessings, my friend.

  • Dominic

    Alot of truth there Rebecca, alot, to be sure. And yet, the central premise may not be altogether accurate; namely that “homosexuals didn’t do it”. Of course, it’s true to say that we who wish to preserve natural marriage need to present a better witness as to the holiness of the institution, by living holy lives, holy marriages, holy families. All true and praiseworthy. But it is misleading to say that homosexual activists have not had a very important role in tearing down and nearly destroying the institution in our society. A great deal of credible research suggest strongly that indeed they have. For example, I think if the research in The Pink Swastika, revealing the fascist and stridently anti-marriage roots of the homosexual movement, first in Nazi Germany (actually well before in the philosophical forerunners of Nazism, e.g., Nietschke).

    This reveals that this divisive and destabilizing movement purposefully set out to destabilize and destroy natural marriage and largely has succeeded in doing so.

    No, we can clearly agree that saving natural marriage is about more than opposing the insidious gay activist movement, but it is not about less.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I haven’t heard of the Pink Swastika movement. But I honestly don’t think that there is an organized army of homosexuals out there wanting to do us in. I believe that the reason they push so hard to re-define marriage is because they have a deeply-held longing for legitimacy as people in the eyes of other people. I am quite sympathetic with them about this. I just think that re-defining marriage the wrong thing to do for many, many reasons, including the great harm I feel it will do to our society as a whole. Also, I think that if they succeed, they will find that it doesn’t fix what they want fixed. I do not support re-defining the statutory definition of marriage. However, I am open to looking for ways to address legitimate concerns about unjust discrimination. I oppose unjust discrimination against anyone, including homosexuals.

  • kstrick7

    Thank you for liking my blog ishouldbewashingclothes@wordpress.com I can appreciate your blog regarding same sex marriages/heterosexual marriages. I, too, believe heterosexual marriages are what God has instituted as being the model for our homes. I know you will agree we should love the sinner & hate the sin. Thanks for the interesting post! God bless.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank YOU for taking the time to read it and then comment!

  • gaby

    I’ve been making this same point for years. The problem is, I don’t think there are many divorced, contracepting, aborting heterosexuals who support traditional marriage. That is PRECISELY why gay marriage has so much support from heterosexual. They KNOW marriages is no longer what it used to be, even what it was MEANT to be, so they see no reason why gays shouldn’t also have access to what little good is left to be gained in marriage. At this point, I think it’s nothing more than State benefits and visitation rights. And social respectability – that above all.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Gaby, I think you are right. People find the idea of throwing marriage away easy because they have already done so in their own lives. I hadn’t thought of it in this way until you posted. Thank you for the insight.

  • http://lbkennett.wordpress.com lbkennett

    I haven’t read thru all the comments – Wow – you have a quite a following! Someone my have informed you already but yesterday I saw this blog come across Facebook. It’s out there and making the rounds. :)

  • http://lbkennett.wordpress.com lbkennett

    Sorry about the typo – I meant “Someone MAY have informed you” :)

  • Ed Hamilton

    The sexual revolution has something to do with it too. And the same individuals that want to wear away the tradition of a strong American family, are working on the definition of marriage. There are people actually promoting this stuff, and its not the strong families that are doing it. Of course we are all sinners and have our hand in it. But thats what reparation is for, and fighting for a culture that supports strong family and the morality that must come with it, is difficult right now not just because of our own sins, but individuals who have risen up for the opposite of marraige and family.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      True.
      “fighting for a culture that supports strong family and the morality that must come with it, is difficult right now not just because of our own sins, but individuals who have risen up for the opposite of marraige and family.”

  • Dr. Dom

    “But I honestly don’t think that there is an organized army of homosexuals out there wanting to do us in”

    But the opposite is true Rebecca. And not just true, but noticeably so on the part of the Church’s magisterium which has since 1975, and with increasing alarm, rung out a clarion call in several key documents outlining the threat, and what Catholics are to do about it. So yes a core and powerful group of activists are indeed “out to get us” if by that is meant put an end to traditional marriage and the family. This is why the Church has warned Catholics for 30 years or more to see the increasing, and increasingly loud, claims to gay rights regarding marriage as anything but what they seem. You are correct to state that many honestly seek a kind of intimacy not truly open to them, but it doesn’t change the fact as we state it here. And one can even assert that this militant “homo-fascism” hurts first and foremost those trapped in a lifestyle with no pathway open to true love, since these might otherwise seek help and genuine love and instead are far too often cowed into silence. And remember there is love (temporal satisfaction), and then there is LOVE (our eternal gratification in the beatific vision). There is not greater crime than to deny the already suffering from their eternal mercy. One has only to examine “The Pink Swastika” and the several magisterial documents on the various legislative and socio-cultural aspects of promoted homosexuality in the West, to see their astonishingly profound convergence, despite arising from diverse polarities. It even reminds me of st. Paul’s comments somewhere, I think in second Timothy where he mystically alludes to the “forbidding of marriage”, which while having a basic and primary allusion to the anti-marriage heretics of the day, has been reproduced in history and may be again in our lifetimes. Here the allusion would be a kind of mystical double-entendre.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      If you’re the Doc Dom I think you are, you know I love ya. But I don’t agree with you about this at all.

      We don’t need to hate homosexual people or to attack them in order to stand for the preservation of traditional marriage. All we need to do is, well, stand for traditional marriage … at the polls, in our discussions and perhaps most critically in our own families. If you’re who I think you are (apologies if I’m wrong) I know that you do this.

      I am aghast at the name-calling, slander and bullying that is taking place in the public discussion of this issue. It is true that much of this comes from the proponents of same-sex marriage. But they haven’t cornered the market on this behavior. It goes both ways, and it’s time for it to stop.

      As for the “pink swastika,” I’ve never heard of it before. I don’t doubt that you have heard of it, but I wonder if it’s just an urban legend of some sort. I can not imagine anyone so stupid as to name themselves and their organization the “pink swastika.” That’s tantamount to taking on a name for yourself that will assure that you will be marginalized.

      Assuming that there is some group of people who have done this, I would guess that they have just about the same size following as that Baptist Church that goes around protesting at funerals.

      From my perspective as a legislator I am only interested in what the law says. I will not budge in my commitment that I support a legal definition of marriage that defines it as being between one man and one woman. I do not vote on the merits of individual citizens’ private sexual behavior between consenting adults, and I don’t want to. With a few bizarre exceptions involving coercion, mental illness or force, that is not the proper role of government in a free society.

      From my perspective as a Christian, I believe that homosexuals are human beings made in the image and likeness of God. Jesus died on the cross for them, just as He did for all the rest of us. They have a place in our world, and in my Church. They have a right to be here.

      If you are the Dr Dom I think you are, give my secretary a call and let’s have lunch. We can chew on this some more.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        No pun intended. :-)

  • http://www.prolifepassion.wordpress.com Debbie Neller

    I completely agree with this latest comment. In my world, I have shown (as close as possible) agape love to many homosexual men in my lifetime. They knew I did not agree with the lifestyle, but they knew I loved them; that gave us ground for friendship. These days, in taking a stand for the defense of marriage, even the people (same gender families) who know I care about them, kicked me out of their life because I don’t agree with them. It’s so sad that people cannot agree to disagree and continue being friends.
    Thank you for following me on my blog…it’s very new and there is much to be done there, and I sure appreciate your input. God bless you!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Debbie, this happened to me over changing to pro life. Blessings on you for your faithfulness.

      “people (same gender families) who know I care about them, kicked me out of their life because I don’t agree with them. It’s so sad that people cannot agree to disagree and continue being friends.”

  • Dominic

    Note the Sacred Congregation document 2003; CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS
    TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION
    TO UNIONS
    BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS:

    “Where the government’s policy is de facto tolerance and there is no explicit legal recognition
    of homosexual unions, it is necessary to distinguish carefully the various aspects of the
    problem. Moral conscience requires that, in every occasion, Christians give witness to the
    whole moral truth, which is contradicted both by approval of homosexual acts and unjust
    discrimination against homosexual persons. Therefore, discreet and prudent actions can be
    effective; these might involve: unmasking the way in which such tolerance might be
    exploited or used in the service of ideology; stating clearly the immoral nature of these
    unions; reminding the government of the need to contain the phenomenon within certain
    limits so as to safeguard public morality and, above all, to avoid exposing young people to
    erroneous ideas about sexuality and marriage that would deprive them of their necessary
    defences and contribute to the spread of the phenomenon. Those who would move from
    tolerance to the legitimization of specific rights for cohabiting homosexual persons need to
    be reminded that the approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the
    toleration of evil. …….

    As experience has shown, the absence of sexual complementarity in these unions creates
    obstacles in the normal development of children who would be placed in the care of such
    persons. They would be deprived of the experience of either fatherhood or motherhood.
    Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean
    doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be
    used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development.
    This is gravely immoral and in open contradiction to the principle, recognized also in the
    United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, that the best interests of the child, as
    the weaker and more vulnerable party, are to be the paramount consideration in every case. “

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Dominic —
      I do NOT support same-sex marriage. I also do NOT support unjust discrimination against homosexuals. I could quote the Catechism to support that, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Jesus said the same thing when he told us to love one another.
      I have voted for traditional marriage. I have authored and passed a resolution in support of it. On the other hand, I have voted against legislation that attacked homosexuals’ standing under the law and their right to seek redress through the courts and with statute.
      I am not sure what point you are making. I believe what the Church teaches. I have a track record supporting traditional marriage. But I do NOT hate or dislike homosexual people. They are human beings and many of them are very nice people. They make good friends, neighbors and productive citizens. Homosexuals who believe in Jesus are my brothers and sisters in Christ. Those who don’t follow Jesus — yet — are still children of God.
      There is not one thing that you or anyone else can say that would change my belief that all people — all of us — are children of the same God. I know it to be true.
      I also believe that we will not redeem this country for Christ by trying to hate certain groups of people to death. Homosexuals are not going to stop experiencing same-sex attractions, no matter how much we condemn them. I don’t want to destroy people Dominic. I want to convert them. I want to be God’s instrument in their lives that helps Him love them from death to life.
      Now. Enough of this. We’ve both had our say to the max.

  • Dominic

    Sounds great! Here are some additional texts from the Church’s teaching documents:

    Page 3 of 7
    http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_df86ho.htm
    Nevertheless, increasing numbers of people today, even within the Church, are bringing enormous pressure
    to bear on the Church to accept the homosexual condition as though it were not disordered and to condone
    homosexual activity. Those within the Church who argue in this fashion often have close ties with those
    with similar views outside it. These latter groups are guided by a vision opposed to the truth about the
    human person, which is fully disclosed in the mystery of Christ. They reflect, even if not entirely
    consciously, a materialistic ideology which denies the transcendent nature of the human person as well as
    the supernatural vocation of every individual.
    The Church’s ministers must ensure that homosexual persons in their care will not be misled by this point of
    view, so profoundly opposed to the teaching of the Church. But the risk is great and there are many who
    seek to create confusion regarding the Church’s position, and then to use that confusion to their own
    advantage.
    9. The movement within the Church, which takes the form of pressure groups of various names and sizes,
    attempts to give the impression that it represents all homosexual persons who are Catholics. As a matter of
    fact, its membership is by and large restricted to those who either ignore the teaching of the Church or seek
    somehow to undermine it. It brings together under the aegis of Catholicism homosexual persons who have
    no intention of abandoning their homosexual behaviour. One tactic used is to protest that any and all
    criticism of or reservations about homosexual people, their activity and lifestyle, are simply diverse forms of
    6/6/12 9:49 AM
    CATHOLIC LIBRARY: On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons (1986)

    Page 5 of 7
    http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_df86ho.htm
    14. With this in mind, this Congregation wishes to ask the Bishops to be especially cautious of any
    programmes which may seek to pressure the Church to change her teaching, even while claiming not to do
    so. A careful examination of their public statements and the activities they promote reveals a studied
    ambiguity by which they attempt to mislead the pastors and the faithful. For example, they may present the
    teaching of the Magisterium, but only as if it were an optional source for the formation of one’s conscience.
    Its specific authority is not recognized. Some of these groups will use the word “Catholic” to describe either
    the organization or its intended members, yet they do not defend and promote the teaching of the
    Magisterium; indeed, they even openly attack it. While their members may claim a desire to conform their
    lives to the teaching of Jesus, in fact they abandon the teaching of his Church. This contradictory action
    should not have the support of the Bishops in any way.
    15. We encourage the Bishops, then, to provide pastoral care in full accord with the teaching of the Church
    for homosexual persons of their dioceses. No authentic pastoral programme will include organizations in
    which homosexual persons associate with each other without clearly stating that homosexual activity is
    immoral. A truly pastoral approach will appreciate the need for homosexual persons to avoid the near
    occasions of sin.
    We would heartily encourage programmes where these dangers are avoided. But we wish to make it clear
    6/6/12 9:49 AM
    CATHOLIC LIBRARY: On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons (1986)
    that departure from the Church’s teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither
    caring nor pastoral. Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral. The neglect of the Church’s position
    prevents homosexual men and women from receiving the care they need and deserve.

    unjust discrimination.
    There is an effort in some countries to manipulate the Church by gaining the often well-intentioned support
    of her pastors with a view to changing civil-statutes and laws. This is done in order to conform to these
    pressure groups’ concept that homosexuality is at least a completely harmless, if not an entirely good, thing.
    Even when the practice of homosexuality may seriously threaten the lives and well-being of a large number
    of people, its advocates remain undeterred and refuse to consider the magnitude of the risks involved.

    6/6/12 9:49 AM
    CATHOLIC LIBRARY: On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons (1986)
    All support should be withdrawn from any organizations which seek to undermine the teaching of the
    Church, which are ambiguous about it, or which neglect it entirely. Such support, or even the semblance of
    such support, can be gravely misinterpreted. Special attention should be given to the practice of scheduling
    religious services and to the use of Church buildings by these groups, including the facilities of Catholic
    schools and colleges. To some, such permission to use Church property may seem only just and charitable;
    but in reality it is contradictory to the purpose for which these institutions were founded, it is misleading
    and often scandalous.
    In assessing proposed legislation, the Bishops should keep as their uppermost concern the responsibilitydefend and promote family life.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Dominic, it looks like most of these things are addressed to priests or others who are tasked with the pastoral care of God’s people, including those who experience same-sex attraction. These people have to guide other people in the right path in their personal lives. Part of their job is teaching their flock to discern right from wrong, to know that the sins they commit are sin.
      I, on the other hand, am a legislator. There is nothing in my official capacity that either requires or would benefit from me taking on the work of assessing the state of my constituents’ souls. My job — and it keeps me plenty busy — is to work to pass laws that will provide them with a just and stable government so that they may live their lives in peace and freedom.

  • Dominic

    …and this from another CDF document on “unjust discrimination regarding homosexuals”. It turns out that the idea itself constitutes in many cases an injustice perpetrated by gay activists, who want to expand and enshrine unjustly all considerations asserting the unjust nature of the orientation itself:

    6/6/12 9:49 AM
    CATHOLIC LIBRARY: On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons (1986)
    All support should be withdrawn from any organizations which seek to undermine the teaching of the
    Church, which are ambiguous about it, or which neglect it entirely. Such support, or even the semblance of
    such support, can be gravely misinterpreted. Special attention should be given to the practice of scheduling
    religious services and to the use of Church buildings by these groups, including the facilities of Catholic
    schools and colleges. To some, such permission to use Church property may seem only just and charitable;
    but in reality it is contradictory to the purpose for which these institutions were founded, it is misleading
    and often scandalous.
    In assessing proposed legislation, the Bishops should keep as their uppermost concern the responsibilitydefend and promote family life.

  • Dominic

    That’s right I agree Rebecca. But even that vocation — the Catholic statesman — requires a completely sober and open-eyed assessment of the viciousness of homo-ideological assaults on the truth, and in this context those come in the forms not only of the various legislative proposals the activists have advanced in favor of legislative approval, but even beyond that including the more insidious attempts to paint perpetrators as victims, allege false unjust discrimination in cases of completely just discrimination, etc., all of which is played our in our nation’s laws, legal cases, policies, and socio-cultural attitudes, and maybe the last do the most damage!

    In this respect the central premise of your essay has much truth, but yet possibly has something lacking in choice of emphasis.

    Peace.

  • http://amphomma.wordpress.com Alison

    This is written excellently. Thank you for putting this so succinctly and reminding Christians of the responsibility we have of showing the world what God intends for marriage. My husband and I have been married for 11 years, and not without trials. Our faith in God, and our ability to forgive each other because He first forgave us, are the reasons our marriage continues to thrive. We hope to teach our young children the sacredness, beauty, and wonder of marriage begun and sustained by God. Thank you also for your positive response to my humble blog recently (“Love One Another”, about love between siblings). God bless.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I enjoyed your blog a lot. Thank you for your kind words, Alison!

  • Dr. Dom

    Not to belabor the point, but in today’s headlines alone we have the gay activist who attempted to shoot multiple individuals at the Family Research Council’s Washington DC headquarters, and we have a militant pro-gay French group objecting to Catholic prayer that emphasized wanting children for their own sake, and not as a commodity. ANd all of this is simply to put the period to the sentence that reads that there is indeed a war against marriage and the family, a conspiracy of false compassion and false rights all the more vicious as its target is so precious. This is not at all about hating persons with the homosexual inclination — and it a very misguided thing to imply that it is — since the great majority of these are not anti-marriage activists, and all of them need our love and affection. But here we have on our hands a battle for the very survival of the family and the biblical notion of marriage, and this part at least has absolutely nothing to do with passing any supposed legislation that attempts to coerce the private sexual behavior of citizens. It has everything to do, though, with the deliberate mis-educatin and deception of the youth, the attacks on the Churches, the mis-classification of minority groups and their rights, and so on.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Dom, I think you are way too focused on homosexuals. There are many causes for the things you are talking about and organized homosexuals are not one of them. All I’ve ever heard homosexual groups agitate for changes under the law and social acceptance. This is well within their rights as American citizens.

      It is always a mistake to hold whole groups of people responsible for the acts of deranged individuals. We’ve gotten so we do this a lot in this country, but it’s not only illogical and untrue, it’s also cruel and destructive to public discourse.

      I do not want to hear anyone on this board use one of these tragic acts of violence against innocent people as a springboard to argue for their political/social agenda. I did not start this blog to promote that kind of thing.

      I repeat: Homosexuals are human beings, made in the image and likeness of God. I do not and will not support altering the legal definition of marriage from one-man and one woman. But I also do not and will not agree with any line of reasoning that holds whole groups of people as less than the precious children of God that they are.

  • Dom

    Vatican backs French bishops on anti-gay marriage stance
    The French Catholic Church is right to defend traditional family values, a top bishop told Vatican Radio yesterday, a day after rights groups criticised a prayer focused on families and children as homophobic.
    The prayer, read out in French churches to mark the Assumption holiday, said children should “fully benefit from the love of a father and mother”, underscoring the Church’s opposition to a commitment by French President Francois Hollande to allow gay couples to marry and adopt children.
    “French bishops are right to insist that children ‘grow up with a father and a mother’,” Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, head of the Vatican’s families committee, told Vatican Radio.
    “No one wants to deny people their individual rights, absolutely not.
    “But marriage is something else, and family is born of marriage.
    “I believe that preserving this network which is cultural – and for us also religious – is a real challenge that we have to take up in every corner of our planet.”
    Bishop Paglia blamed the pursuit of individual rights on a “cultural trend that idolises the rights of the individual”.
    “When you start destroying the ‘we’ that is found in the family, you question the structure of society as a whole,” he said.
    In Italy, Bishop Paglia said strong family links and financial support from parents had saved young people affected by the economic crisis.
    The prayer, which was first read at Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral and later to pilgrims in Lourdes, angered several gay rights groups.
    Michael Bouvar, one of the leaders of the group SOS Homophobie, told AFPTV: “The message sent out by the church is a mask for discrimination and homophobia.”
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    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I agree with the French bishops.

  • FCGeorge

    Very well articulated. Now, lets take the next step… Priests and bishops and laity… start defining divorce as our Church truly defines it (see definition) in glossary of Catechism. Start boldly preaching the Truth that it is ALWAYS a “grave offense against the natural law” to claim in my heart that I am no longer married to the one to whom God joined me to for life (CCC 2384). Start boldly preaching the Truth that civil divorces can NOT be tolerated and DO “constitute a moral offense”to unless it is the “only possible way” of providing necessary protections in situations when a separation can be tolerated. Start boldly preaching that those who are persisting in these grave sins should NOT be receiving Holy Communion. Start boldly preaching that true repentance includes a change of heart and an openness to right the wrong when/if the opportunity presents itself. God’s forgiveness ALWAYS awaits the repentant prodigal spouse. Ours shouldp as well.
    Bryan
    LOVE SO AMAZING

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Bryan for the great comment!

  • http://www.blenheim-lodge.com blodge

    Well said!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you blodge!

  • http://kzlam36.wordpress.com/ AAA Jack

    Quote: “But true marriage is a spiritual bond. The deep, life bond of trust and mutual dependence that is marriage nurtures everyone within its reach. Marriage creates not just family, but home.” Well said. Amen!
    AAA Jack

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Jack!

  • Dominic

    Who said anything about blaming whole groups of persons? I assume, I even know with certainty, that the great majority of homosexual persons are not in agreement with the core group of activists working for approval of homosexual behavior, and in some cases, politically oppose them.

    But there is no right — absolutely none — to work for social acceptance of homosexual behavior itself (though persons themselves rightly claim dignity). Even social acceptance of persons should not be (societally speaking or at large) based on a claim to special rights strictly because of orientation. Gay activists, though they may be the minority of homosexual persons (and even be politically opposed by the majority of homosexual persons) do indeed argue and fight for the public acceptance of homosexual behaviour and its legitimization or normalization, and that, and nothing else attributable to the whole group, is what is wrong and being opposed by the Church as an inappropriate form of public advocacy. The relevant Church Documents I quoted see the effort to publicly legitimize the behavior as the danger to be resisted, and are in fact warning the lay people, and one could argue especially statesmen, and not merely the clergy. In addition, as is obvious from the documents themselves, they go well beyond merely the question of redefining marriage, as they identify among other threats: tainted education programs for the youth (which present homosexuality as normal or compatible with happiness), slick public relations programs which want homosexuality to be a new basis for unique rights and entitlements in public sentiment (not found in any American founding documents or international ones), programs pressuring the Church to change its teachings against homosexual behavior, making homosexuality a legal basis for entitlements other than “marriage”, and even the threat of inducing persons to publicly declare a homosexual orientation when they otherwise wouldn’t.It isn’t that these things are merely bad, it is that they must be resisted by all of good will because they are against the common good, and this in turn because they lead to the devaluing of marriage and family, the pillar and foundation of society.

    Who knows how much or to what exact extent homosexual activists (again not the “whole group” — not all homosexuals — but the minority within arguing for normalization of the behavior itself and for the false rights claim, rather than of the person) have themselves contributed to the damage of marriage or its current sorry state? (to me contraception and its promotion is potentially even more damaging but that is a different matter) What we do know is that it is damaging, wrong, and unfortunately a modern social ill to promote normalization of homosexual behavior, special entitlements strictly and solely based on orientation, or education which falsely tries to win social acceptance of what is for society thoroughly against the common good and order of society.

    Again, nothing but love to anyone here and to even the vast majority of homosexual persons, but as we say in the Church, charity requires the truth.

    Peace.

  • Dominic

    …and love even to the very activists whose advocacy I’m finding fault with!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I know you do Dom. I think we’re talking across one another. I agree with you that we can not call bad good. As I said, I believe what the Church teaches.
      What I’ve been saying is that as a matter of law I don’t think that the government has any business interfering in what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own bedrooms.That doesn’t mean I have to approve of or promote what they do there. Just that it’s outside my scope as a legislator.

  • Dr. Dom

    Right I agree. And were it merely a matter of that private activity, without public attempts to gain approval, there would be no social problem, at least not one demanding or calling for a public policy response or legislative intervention. There has as far as we know always to a certain degree existed the problem of homosexuality, but also, and very unfortunately, there has apparently always been too the problem of the attempt of certain ones to legitimize the behavior, as St. Paul clearly testifies in Rom. 1:32.

    And I know it only too well, as someone who was placed in my medical residency in Greenwich Village in the mid 1980s at the height of the gay AIDS epidemic, and saw the almost unbearable weight of human suffering, in a veritable Calcutta of Mother Teresa proportions, and tried as best I could to deal with it. How will we as lay people deal with the inevitable and growing onslaught of the cultural effort to gain false rights and create correspondingly false duties? How will we deal with the depreciation and devaluing of natural marriage, as gay unions come to be regarded as equally deserving, even without any change in the law regarding the definition of marriage?

  • Rebecca Hamilton

    Excellent questions Dom. I don’t have an answer.
    “And I know it only too well, as someone who was placed in my medical residency in Greenwich Village in the mid 1980s at the height of the gay AIDS epidemic, and saw the almost unbearable weight of human suffering, in a veritable Calcutta of Mother Teresa proportions, and tried as best I could to deal with it. How will we as lay people deal with the inevitable and growing onslaught of the cultural effort to gain false rights and create correspondingly false duties? How will we deal with the depreciation and devaluing of natural marriage, as gay unions come to be regarded as equally deserving, even without any change in the law regarding the definition of marriage?”

  • http://www.rosesnearrunningwaters.wordpress.com Rose

    Excellent post. It’s true that many people are sp desperately looking for things to be against that they don’t fight for the things they belive in. People enter into marriage now as simply a “try it out” type relationship without regard for the lifelong commitment it should be. The definition of marriage is such a controversial issue right now and I applaud you for taking a stand and holding true to the Catholic beliefs.

  • Arkenaten

    Interesting that you use the term ‘Christian Marriage’ which will, by and large, have the support of most, if not all heterosexual Christians in this regard. Yet, immediately the topic moves a few points away from marriage then a large number of those self same Christians will denounce Catholicism as not being Christian.
    I feel convinced that the religious stance of your faith’s adherents would test even your god.
    I must admit, I always smile at the hypocrisy and ignorance of Christians. :)

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Don’t be rude Douglas. This isn’t a comment, it’s a gratuitous insult. Talk about the issue.

      • Arkenaten

        I AM talking about the issue: Traditional Christian Marriage as you have discussed in the post. My comment is to highlight the hypocrisy of Christians who will band together to attack the current ‘common enemy’ – in this case gay marriage – but no sooner have they slapped themselves on the back about a self righteous job well done than they are knifing each other over which Christian cult is the right one to worship Jesus and some of these then band together as the , We-all-know-the-Catholics-are-going-to-hell- Brigade.
        Would you like a couple of URL’s to reborn Christian blog sites just to prove the point?
        I can provide, no problem.
        They are a hoot an’ a half.

  • http://www.godcamedown.com God Came Down/Christ Centered Teaching

    We can’t fix it all at once. But we can make continued progress.
    thanks

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I think the key is that we must start.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        Yes!


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