Why We Can't Redefine Marriage

Some believe the word 'marriage' can mean whatever you want. The Vatican asks us to stand up for the politically incorrect truth

Let's stop talking about the slippery slope. A society that is debating making "marriage" between two people of the same sex (why stop at two?) a legal right has nearly hit bottom. Am I the only one who finds this an absolutely astonishing debate, something out of

Federico Fellini's Satyricon

?

It's because of this that the recent Vatican document condemning homosexual unions is heroic. At this juncture in history, anyone who questions the right of homosexuals to marry is likely to be derided as backwards or a hater. But the Vatican document, which contains some lovely passages, reiterates what Western (and Eastern) civilization has always understood about marriage: it is a union between a man and a woman. In the Christian tradition, this union is sanctioned by the Creator. "Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings," the Vatican warns.

Proponents of gay marriage believe the word "marriage" can mean whatever you want it to mean. This, says the Vatican, is not the case. Though there are numerous loving, longstanding, and arguably beneficial quasi-marriages between members of the same sex (this is me speaking, not the Vatican), these relationships are not marriages. Wishful thinking and the thoroughly modern notion that reality is malleable will not change this. "No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman," the document states, "who by mutual personal gifts, proper and exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons."

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Most of us know homosexual couples whose company we enjoy and whom we admire. But this doesn't mean that the Church or the secular legal system should redefine the most basic of human relationships. "[R]espect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions," the Vatican document states. Advocates of gay marriage insist that it will not injure the already fragile institution of marriage. How will a straight couple's marriage be affected by allowing gays to the right to marry legally, they ask. The answer is: We don't know. No civilization in recorded history has endorsed homosexual unions as commonplace, an obvious truth unless you have been suckered by the writings of various pseudo-scholars who, presumably using little Latin and less Greek, have "discovered" that such unions were widely accepted in the ancient and Medieval worlds.

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