The Morning After, Has Anything Changed?
By: FRATER BOVIOUS
For anyone surprised by the recent Supreme Court decision in OBERGEFELL ET AL. v. HODGES, DIRECTOR, OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, ET AL., I would like to say, “Wake up and smell the coffee.” Except that pot was brewed years ago and the coffee is old and cold.
Watching Facebook blow up has been grimly humorous.
Once I pulled up at a stoplight and on my left was a grizzled guy on his BLAT BLAT BLAT Harley and on my right was a guy on a Windsor Wellington 14 speed road bike. Different guys, right?
Then I noticed–they both had helmets that were of course tribe approved. The Harley guy had his leather chaps, the bicycle guy had his bicycle pants. The Harley guy had some sort of aviator sunglasses on, the bike rider his riding goggles. Special boots, special shoes, etc. They were each true to the stereotype of their specific mode of transportation. I chuckled, thinking that they were, in many respects, the same.
To me, that was the humorous side to the Facebook effluvia–you could interchange a few key words and realize that the strident members on both sides sounded identical.
The grim part was the sense that the “winning side” sees religion as the “losing side” and as of this moment, the winning side smells blood and can hardly wait to legislate religion out of existence.
So, how is it that something that seemed completely illogical to society at large in less than 40 years became the law of the land? I don’t think it is a coincidence that we recently had the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. (As a quick aside, Roe v. Wade is a travesty and sin against humanity and this tempest in a teapot pales in comparison. But, it was clearly and obviously a sign of things to come.)
When people decided that contraception was a good thing, regardless of what the Church taught, because of the simple belief that folks should be able to have consequence free orgasms, the rest was simply a matter of time. Coupled with no-fault divorce and abortion (radicalized contraception) the basic understanding of a marriage as being an intrinsically stable relationship inextricably bound up with creating life was dashed on the rocks of self-gratification. Logically, no children obviated the need for any kind of “official” marriage. Many many heterosexual couples opted to not go through the hassle of “getting married.” I remember hearing from several people, “we don’t need a piece of paper to prove our love.” And they certainly didn’t need any kids to complicate things either.
When you take children and permanence out of the basic understanding of marriage, you have a hollow shell into which you can put anything.
This Supreme Court decision is simply the official recognition of something tacitly agreed to decades ago: it really doesn’t matter who gets married to whom, for how long, and for what reason. In the lame vernacular of our time, “It’s all good.”
With regard to the Supreme Court decision, you can set aside all the flowery comments on love and equality because the institution they want to have access to does not add love to their relationship and as to equality, that seems to merely mean tax breaks and inheritance rights.
So, why do gay people want to be able to get married when many straight couples are opting out? From what I can gather, the basic reason is they want their lives affirmed by all of society. Odd when you think about the fact that the institution of marriage is in such disrepair. Yet, marriage is a statement, a public statement, of–something. And I guess when you can’t have something, you realize its value. They want their union recognized as something that matters. As something, dare we say it, as something that is sacred?
And so back to the grim part. I do not believe the radicalized gay agenda will be happy with this decision by the Supreme Court until they are able to force a Catholic Priest to perform a valid and sacramental marriage of a gay couple. The irony is that even if they do make that happen, they will not have a valid and sacramental marriage. Sacraments require matter and form and the gay couple will lack the constitutive element of a man and a woman. No law of the United States can impact that reality. At a certain level, I don’t even really care if a priest were to “marry” a gay couple since it can’t happen. It would be as valid and as sacramental as if my dog Coco were to perform the ceremony. Which is to say, not at all. It is a metaphysical impossibility.
The sad reality for the gay couple is that, like so many straight couples, getting married only changes their tax status. It will not add to or improve their love, or enhance the stability of their relationship. Intriguingly, why do married couples enjoy the benefit of a tax break? For what possible reason? What is the logic behind what amounts to a tax incentive to get married? I will leave that to the reader to sort out.
So, what are we Christians, and particularly, what are we Catholics to do? First I would say prepare for the coming persecution. If the gay agenda wants what I think they really want, a sacred union, when they realize they can’t have that, believing that it is being withheld from them by a mean and spiteful Church, they will seek her destruction.
Second I will say that we need to remove the plank from our eye before we bother with the splinter in the eye of the other. We need to make our own relationships sacred. We are called to be holy. We need to stop fornicating, stop committing adultery, stop contracepting. In short, we need to lead chaste lives.
Marriage will matter again in this society when sacred fruitful marriages are valued for what they are: The linchpin to a healthy viable society.