Here we go again. Barack Obama and whoever is pulling his puppet strings think that by civil law they can usurp God, Natural Law, thousands of years of human civilization tradition (not just the Judeo-Christian version) and the purpose of the building block of society. The regime is trying to force people of faith – and the Catholic Church in particular – to accept without complaint an altered definition of marriage to suit their purposes.
Not so fast. When it comes to matters of God and faith, in the United States, NO ONE answers to the government, and no civilization has tried to elevate sodomy and lesbianism to the level of procreative marriage, either. What this regime is up to has never been done before because even most pre-Christian pagans rejected the idea that same sex physical relationships are the same as marriage. There’s a really good reason for this.
No matter what the popular version of events is, marriage – the man and woman version – in every civilization since records have been kept has been about producing the next generation. Same-sex unions, whether they were tolerated or not (only in Ancient Greece and Rome, actually) were not considered to be at the same level as marriage. It was a sort of sanctioned, glorified living arrangement. There was no exchange of money or property, no dowry to protect the wife in case something happened to the husband or they divorced, as was frequently contracted with a real marriage. The reason: there is not a union, and as such no possible way for children to naturally result. There’s no need for the money.
Regardless of how “modern” people subvert fertility, ultimately, progeny is the natural and sacred purpose of marriage. In the Catholic Church, marriage is considered to be so important that it is raised to the level of sacrament, and to an extent what we call a vocation, a Divine call where we serve God. Yes, married people are supposed to serve their spouse, offspring and other family, but it is God who has called one to be in this state. (Just as a way of explanation, as we see it, when there are no purposeful barriers to procreation, if there are not children, or if the couple is beyond natural ability to reproduce that is a matter of God’s will and a mystery to be accepted. Same with the results of disease. It was not intentional.)
Like all of the sacraments which have common vernacular names, marriage has an official title that actually says what the sacrament is: matrimony. Matrimony literally means “the status of being a mother”. Unlike Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders, which are only received once and leave a mark on the soul, Matrimony is a state which can be received multiple times over the course of a lifetime, so long as the man and woman are free to marry. It is the same with Eucharist, Penance (Confession) and Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick).
These seven sacraments are not changeable by any civil authority anywhere. They are not even changeable by those of us who are members of he Church. Over the centuries, the ages one received each of them has varied depending on the accepted age of reason (and a fair amount of human failing, to be honest), but they and their function and purpose have remained the same. We believe, by Sacred Tradition and the commissions in the Gospels, that Jesus Christ, founder of our faith and church, gave these sacraments to us as a way of being closer to Him here on earth and the practice of them is to help us get to Heaven when our temporal life has ended. That is our primary purpose in living, as this life is but a step on the way to being with Him for eternity.
In Faith, any faith, serving God should lead to productive civil life, not the other way around. As such, government has no place in dictating how we live so long as it does not disrupt order and cause civil disobedience. Any action by any government that is a direct contradiction to bedrock tenets of any faith that cannot be changed at any level, let alone with local representatives, forces the people serving God into civil disobedience and lawlessness. This is where we Catholics are in the “who will pay for my health insurance and pharmaceuticals” fight, and now where we are with the call to redefine marriage, which we believe to be a sacred duty to God to populate His Church. We are forced to break man’s law, because God’s law comes before it. (Moral dilemmas of war and government leadership are for another time.)
Mr. Obama, it may well be the case that two people of the same sex are physically attracted to one another and have a deep, abiding friendship where one completes the other in the way that many married people do. Personally, I have relatives and many friends who have these relationships. But, what they have is not marriage. They cannot truly join, but only bond, as electrons in the valence shells of same elemental atoms do, not as the male end of an electrical cord plugs into a wall socket completing a circuit to bring electricity to a lamp thus giving light. It is not the same. It is not natural and certainly not as God ordained when He sent His only Son to us to explain the Kingdom of God. That you, or any other other civil authority on earth, cannot change. And we WILL NOT entertain the idea that what is not marriage is, simply because a government sanctions a contract.
Matrimony is more than a contract, it is a vocation, a way to serve God, not the state. No servant in civil government should ever forget that.
(In the last 2,000 years, there’s been some serious persecution from civil authorities and wealthy individuals who thought they knew better than the collective wisdom passed down from Christ and elaborated over the centuries, but this one is new. And for those who have no use for the Catholic Church, don’t be fooled. It will not end with us.)