“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:5
Gay marriage was legalized today in the USA and it should be, depending on what your definition of marriage is.
I think that the problem a lot of people are having with this debate is that they aren’t actually articulating their disagreements with each other clearly. Saying “I’m opposed to gay marriage” really isn’t saying much. Marriage is such a complex word.
Some aspects of marriage:
Two people who express affection for each other (hopefully)
Two people living together (usually)
Two people who are legally able to visit each other in the hospital, as family.
Two people who can file taxes together (if they want).
Tons of other things.
So when you say “I’m against gay marriage” which of these things are you against?
When I say “I am against gay marriage” I am professing my stance against my belief in the misuse of sexuality specifically. I am also against premarital sex, contraception and abortion, thus maintaining what I consider a “strong moral ground” for my arguments from that point. Here is what I think the purpose of sex is
“Marital sexuality achieves two purposes. The Church affirms, first, its role in creating new human life, sometimes called the procreative dimension of sexuality. In giving birth to children and educating them, the couple cooperates with the Creator’s love. Second, sexual union expresses and deepens the love between husband and wife. This is called the unitive, or relational, aspect of sexuality.” Excerpt from www.foryourmarriage.com. This page specifically. You can find plenty more on the Catholic understanding of the purpose of sexuality on hundreds of websites.
I am for a legal union of 2 (or 3 or 5 or 100) homosexual, pansexual, transexual, octosexual, metrosexual or lumbersexual individuals. I am still opposed to the union on religious grounds, which is completely within my ability to do as a legal gay marriage was declared today, not a religious gay marriage. A person can be for something legally that you disagree with personally. My favorite example is smoking which I refer to often. The challenge with each of these unions is that we need to understand what rights the individuals in each union want out of it? If you are only going to be married for a short time perhaps marriage is not for you anyway? It’s much easier to end a relationship that there are no legal ramification for, now I don’t think that’s a good way to have a relationship at all, but it’d certainly be a lot easier for all parties involved. This goes for many heterosexual couples also.
I think that one problem that has plagued “marriage” is the intermingling of legal and religious marriage. All married people are legally married, at least if they want the benefits. Some are married in a church. If you are familiar with a Catholic marriage you will understand that while you can be divorced from your spouse in your legal marriage, you are still bound by your religious marriage. Similarly you can be married again in the legal manner, once you are divorced, but you can not be married again in the Catholic church until you have your first marriage annulled, which is not saying it’s over but saying that in fact it never happened. Annulment is a declaration that there was something present from the beginning of the marriage that disordered it from the beginning.
We as people are hardly to blame, completely, for our complete lack of understanding. We don’t take the time to understand what each other is actually trying to say or why we are saying it. It’s a result of the short attention span shown in the media.
I hope each religious person will take the time to consider what part of gay marriage they are against and perhaps take a look at how their lives are also at odds with God. One of my favorite responses to the question of sin comes from Frank Turek where a man asks him “Why doesn’t God get rid of all the evil?” Frank responds with “Perhaps because he’d have to get rid of you! And me.” What he is reminding us is that we are all sinners. While I am against homosexual relationships because I believe they are inherently sinful, via the misuse of sexuality, I am also aware of all the times I personally have not lived up to the pure ideals of sexuality put forth by Jesus and the Church.
We like to point to others whose sin appears egregious to us, while ignoring our “minor sins” but if we truly believe that all sins are equal, as most Christians do, perhaps we need to spend less time worrying about others and more worrying about ourselves. I will continue to campaign for the correct use of sexuality by both homosexual and heterosexual couples, married and not but I will not waste my time trying to make a union of 2 homosexuals (or any other sexuals) illegal simply because I disagree with their definition of the word.
Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” – Mark 12:17
The implication here being that the legal definition of marriage is for the legal system to determine. If you disagree with it you don’t have to agree it, and that’s ok.
The one thing that I believe might change is that unlike when my husband were married in The Church we were legally married at the same time I believe that priests and deacons may not be able to keep their ability to minister a legal marriage because they refuse to minister a gay marriage in their church. So I believe what will happen is those wanting to be married in The Catholic Church will have to go down to the courthouse and get married there legally then celebrate their Sacramental Marriage in the church with their friends and family.
That could be a possibility. I don’t know that it’s a real problem though. I might like that more actually. Then it’s clear what our obligations are under each marriage. I had friends in The Netherlands who’s marriage was like that. They were married in the courthouse in the morning and later that day in the church.
It’s very common in other countries. Dan has a friend who is doing misionary work in India. She and her legal husband have been married for a couple months now but they are not getting married till they come back state side for the church marriage which I think is still a couple months away. And she still refers to him as her fiance till they are married in the church.
I agree I’d almost prefer that so it’s very clear that being married in the Catholic Church is a serious decision rather than just getting married in a pretty church…
That’s very interesting doing it months before hand.