In a thread on the lesbians next door I said they were living a lie, and my observation evoked this comment:
Father, with due respect, in the couple’s eyes, it’s not a lie at all. They believe (one would assume) that marriage is a lifelong committment of a loving, monogamous couple, a committment that involves respect, support, love — all the things that many, many couples (religious and nonreligious alike) intend when they get married.
Whoa! Stop the carriage. Here’s the problem. It’s all tied up in the definition of marriage.
The homosexual couple, along with many in our society, assume marriage is a lifelong, loving commitment of a loving monogamous couple, a commitment that involves respect, support and love.
But that is not the essential definition of marriage. Notice that it is largely subjective and sentimental. Marriage requires ‘respect, love and support.’ Yes indeed, and we do not deny the need for ‘respect, love and support’, however, these are requirements for a good marriage, they are not the core definition of marriage.
The essential definition of marriage is that it is a contract between one man and one woman for mutual support and procreation of children, and the marriage is sealed and validated by the conjugal act.
Now this definition is not something that is simply my opinion. It is not even something which is my opinion supported by Divine Revelation in Scripture. It is not even my opinion, supported by Scripture and upheld by the magisterium of the Catholic Church. It is actually a definition that is written into the biological realities of the human race. It is something called ‘natural law’–that is, it is written into the operating system of the entire cosmos.
As such, this is the definition of marriage upheld not only by a few religious folks in the USA, but by the vast majority of the whole human race at all times and in all places. The details may vary–some cultures allow polygamy. Others allow divorce and remarriage, but all understand that marriage is between a man and a woman for mutual support and procreation.
Marriage therefore cannot be contracted between two men or two women. They might make a legal contract committing themselves to mutual support, friendship, lifelong exclusive love, sharing the same teddy bear, whatever they like, but its not marriage and never can be.
What are we to do with such folks in our society? We mustn’t be bigots. All lesbians are not female leather clad bikers with hairy armpits. All homosexual are not interior designers with limp wrists. Are they nice people? Do they have good manners? Are they funny, fun, creative, intelligent and talented? Do they send Christmas cards to their neighbors, shop at the Mall, like Thomas Kinkaid paintings? Do they fly the flag and like puppies and kittens? Do they go to church? Are they spiritual people? Do they pray and tithe and read their Bible? Maybe so, and its wonderful if they do.
But none of that has anything to do with the objective fact that homosexuality is a disorder and they can’t be married. Are other people down the road sinners too? Of course. We are all disordered in one way or another. If others live in public immorality we educate our children about them too, and we do so with objectivity, compassion, a sense of humor and the awareness that there are other sinners who lives even closer than the folks down the road: ourselves.
The fact that we are all sinners and hypocrites does not preclude the necessity for correct moral judgements, otherwise how would we know that we are all sinners and hypocrites?