The Supreme Court of the United States, in a 5-4 vote on June 26, 2015, has finally succumbed to decades of activism and propaganda. It has been decreed by the law of this land that the divine institution of marriage is no longer between one man and one woman.
It shouldn’t surprise us too much, the momentum of the homosexual agenda has found legal approbation in all but thirteen states and it was only a matter of time before “gay marriage” became codified into our conventional laws. As a nation we have been sliding into licentiousness for generations aided and abetted by the public schools, politicians, mass media and psychologists. This age has cut itself off from God and philosophy. Without the divine and natural law, without the reference to the objective standard of truth and without the right use of the intellect, we are left defenseless against the increasing assaults on our souls. These attacks are no longer mitigated by men of character and rightly ordered reason we used to call “statesmen.” This is the will of the world as we are warned in the St. Michael prayer to be aware of countless “wicked spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruination of souls.”
For souls who have abandoned hope and faith, this shift in conventional law seems like a good thing. Satan himself is the master of inverting good and evil. When he said “I will not serve!” he set for himself the inverted standard which calls “good evil and evil good.” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy enshrines this inversion with his words that “no longer may this liberty be denied.” He would call bondage to vice liberty and liberty, bondage to vice. The Supreme Court justice goes on to further invert and contort reality by stating that “no union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.” And though these words are deeply true concerning an eligible man and an eligible woman who decide to join in matrimony, they do not apply to all people indiscriminately.
Work out our salvation…
There is but one thing to do in response to this Supreme Court decision. It is what is called for in all generations and for all souls in this fallen world, we are “to work out our salvation in fear and trembling.” Our duty is to become saints by taking up arms in the spiritual combat, cultivating a life of prayer and doing everything within our power to colonize heaven. This is particularly difficult in this confused age because the enemy has coopted our words and used them against us. Many Catholics may not see what is wrong with man’s attempt to redefine marriage. Many Catholics don’t know how to teach their children the loving truth behind the Catholic teaching on the nature of marriage. There are a few basic ideas and definitions we must recover if we are going to grapple honestly with the issues surrounding “gay marriage” and whether or not man has the right to usurp the Creator’s authority in attempting to redefine it.
Many Catholics are Confused
It is a strange thing that in polls, Catholics and non-Catholics alike claim to support “gay marriage” at an alarmingly similar rate. This is a devastating sign substantiating the truth that catechesis in the United States has been dismal for the last several generations. In a post from a young man I know from my parish in California, we are given a glimpse of the general errors causing confusion on the nature of marriage. Accompanying this commentary of the SCOTUS decision was a picture of this young man with his daughter and a supportive comment from his mother. He is a deeply confused young man who will no doubt further confuse his own children, but was undoubtedly confused by his mother. As Catholic parents, our duty is to raise and educate our children by conforming our teaching to Catholic truth, not rejecting it.
This young man’s response is important because it not only echoes Justice Kennedy’s inverted morality, it generally characterizes what young people, even Catholics, have been indoctrinated to feel at the hands of an increasingly secularized society. His first suggestion is: “fellow Christians, before you speak out all crazy and make us all look bad over the next few days, dig into your bible a little deeper.” Our young Catholic dad would suggest that if a well-ordered Christian were to speak out against the decision it would “make us all look bad.” It is no small irony that this suggestion in fact does make us Christians look bad, not to the world, but to our Creator. Sadly, he is suggesting a “peace, peace when there is no peace” attitude that constitutes soul death. We must not hold positons of moral cowardice out for fear of “looking bad.” This shows deference for the human respect of the world while ignoring the commands of God.
When the young Catholic dad said “dig into your bible a little deeper,” he followed it with “and I think you may find the lines are pretty blurred leaving LOTS to be questioned. At least leave an open mind.” G.K. Chesterton suggested that an open mind ought to be like an open mouth, that it ought to close on something nourishing to chew on for edification. He suggested that to keep a mind open was like a sewer taking in all things. This is a terrible idea for we ought to be open to truth, but never open to falsehood. More frighteningly is that our poorly catechized Catholic dad suggests that the inerrant word of God is blurred “leaving LOTS to be questioned.” The scriptures are crystal clear on virtue, vice, morality, truth goodness and beauty. There is no ambiguity concerning sexual morality or even our call to fidelity in marriage. It is certainly understandable that in this illiterate age many are confused by the Bible, but it does not follow that the Bible leaves “LOTS to be questioned.” It is a very dangerous belief that the Sacred Scriptures might lead us astray by blurring our vision when they are in fact the inerrant word of God.
Finally our young Catholic dad suggests: “Why are we so worried about legislating our personal beliefs anyway? We are not Isis! Love, just love. There’s too much damn hate in the world.” The confusion bursting from these few words is immense. The Catholic Church is not at all interested in legislating anyone’s personal morality. We are interested in souls ending in heaven and we know that the morality of the saints is no less than conforming to the morality to which Christ calls us. To suggest that being opposed to vicious and damaging sexual behavior, such as the Supreme Court sanctions, is comparable to ISIS is magnificently misguided. As Catholics we oppose the licentious morality that encourages sex acts outside of marriage- we oppose the behavior, not the sinners committing the sins. There is no relationship between properly ordered Catholic morality and the terror organization ISIS and to suggest there is to be steeped in the depths of ignorance propagated by the world.
Unfortunately, my young Catholic friend is representative of far too many young Catholics. He was taught by his parents and he will teach his children and if he is not able to overcome his ignorance by cooperating with the graces of the Holy Spirit, we will see another generation sink further into the moral abyss that characterizes the darkness of this age. It is helpful here to point out that we are in the midst of intense spiritual battle and the battle lines are demarcated by stark clarity to those with the eyes to see and the ears to hear. The two sides are dramatically diametrically opposed to one another as can be seen by a comparison of the words we share that have opposite meanings, words like freedom, equality, love, hate, marriage, virtue and vice. A cursory look at a few words and concepts ought to help clarify the glaring difference between the positions of the world and the Catholic Church.
This entire issue surrounds the definition of marriage. The Catholic Church knows that words are signs pointing to transcendent realities we are able to discover, but not to invent. A word is the incarnation of an idea like the body is the manifestation of the soul, a composite, not compound substance and any attempt to separate the two is deadly. Justice Kennedy said that marriage is a “keystone of our social order.” And about this he is right, assuming a proper understanding of marriage as between one man and one women. However, he does not. He also claims that they are seeking “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.” Justice Kennedy has to redefine “marriage” and “equality” in an arbitrary way to attach a false notion of dignity to his already false statements. A man and a woman couple does not equal a man and a man couple no matter what semantic games we play, nothing we can do or say can make it so.
When the Church says marriage she means between a man and a woman because by the order of creation and divine and natural law, it is the only possibility for the culture of life, the propagation of the species and God’s plan for Salvation History. When the world says “marriage” there is no fixed meaning, it will mean one thing today and another tomorrow. When the Church speaks of freedom She means that in binding ourselves to Christ’s laws that we find our greatest freedoms. The world believes that being untethered from Christ’s law is freedom, when in fact this is a bondage to sin. A most vital word to define in this debate is “love.” Love is perhaps the most misunderstood and misused word in the English language. When the Church speaks of love She is referring to sacrificial charity that wills the ultimate good of the other. When the world speaks of love they really mean a kind of self-gratifying licentiousness.
The world and the Church would both say that “love” has everything to do with this issue and it does. “Love has won” was the chant in the courtroom after the “gay rights” victory and now this is the slogan being repeated all over the country by souls who believe that redefining marriage is a good thing. The truth is that love did not win. Licentiousness won. Freedom from morality won. The Culture of death won. The love of the world won, but the love of the Creator did not win. According to Holy Mother Church sacrificial love calls us to speak the truth for the love of Christ first and for the sake of others second. As Catholics, we are compelled to tell all of our brothers and sisters the truths that will guide them towards eternal heaven. The world has no concern for heaven, but concerns itself with instant and temporary gratification of the appetites here and now.
Where Do We Go From Here?
If we are going to live as faithful Catholics it is our sacred duty to conform ourselves to Christ. By the combination of acquired and infused virtues, if we cooperate with grace in fidelity to our highest ends, we are to prayerfully order our wills to God’s supreme will and cultivate our intellects to apprehend truth. Let us take Isaiah’s warning seriously when he tells us in his prophecy 5:20: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” As Catholics we must not misuse words to invert their meanings. We must call good good and evil evil no matter what the world thinks.
There is a false dichotomy put forward by the world that either you support “gay marriage” and you are loving or you are against it and you are hateful. The truth is the opposite of this false narrative. Those who support “gay marriage” and sex acts out of marriage “love” disordered acts and hate people who are against them. Catholics hate disordered acts that harm human souls but love sinners. It is appropriate to disapprove of disordered actions and to still love humans who sin. The truth is that those supporting “gay marriage” are truly hateful toward the human souls with whom they disagree while approving of disordered behavior.
We must say to all our brothers and sisters afflicted by same sex attraction that we love them so much that we are willing to stand against the world on their behalf. This world encourages the pursuit of vice so that temporary contentment may be achieved. We are willing to endure hatred and scorn from the world to say that we are all called to virtue and excellence so that we might end eternally in heaven. We acknowledge that we too are sinners in need of mercy. We acknowledge the intrinsic dignity of all human souls. It is an act of properly ordered love to tell someone in a vicious cycle that vicious acts are damaging to the human soul. We hope that others do the same for us, though it is never an easy thing to do.
We ought not to worry about how we look to the world for it is just as Christ tells us in John 15:18-19, “if the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” There is no way to compromise our morality to please both the world and God so we are faced with a tough decision. Christ calls us to pick up these crosses and follow Him. We must fully embrace Christ’s twin commandments to first love God, our Creator, with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength, and secondarily to love our brothers and sisters as we ought to love ourselves. This is an impossible task in this vale of tears without the graces freely bestowed upon us by God. As Catholics, let us stand against the world and against all notions of marriage that do not conform to the divine and natural law. We must stand for virtue clearly elucidated by Catholic morality and let us teach our sons and daughters to do the same, not for the sake of the world, but for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.