Thursday, February 19, 2004

WHAT'S ALL THIS, THEN? Let’s tackle a hot issue right off the bat: Same Sex Marriage. There are several arguments in support of and against this fledgling institution. Shouldn’t committed, loving couples be allowed to formally acknowledge their relationship as a matter of law? If “Civil Unions” are palatable for same sex partners, then why not just upgrade the vocabulary to “Marriage”? How is the concept of marriage denigrated by this evolution? After all, you don’t have to look very far to see that Marriage as an Institution has been trampled, denigrated, and marginalized by the very group of people that oppose SSM. Divorce, affairs, and general lack of respect of the institution as well as the spouses by those the institution serves is rampant.

As a Catholic, I’m not warm and tingly about SSM. But how is SSM hurting me? Does it affect my wallet? No. Does it corrupt my children? No again. It does “break the rules” when it comes to Catholicism, but Same Sex Partners aren’t asking to be married in the Church, they know better than to ask. To paraphrase Marx (Groucho, not Karl), why would SSP want to join this club?

The concept of SSM, and knowing that it is available, should make the Catholic Faith stronger. It should compel its followers to ask themselves if they are in fact walking the walk. I know many couples that were married in the Church (sorry for the provincial capital letter, but it makes sense in this application) who are not “practicing” Catholics. Heck, I know several who have since divorced (and it was a good thing they did). Many Catholics are cavalier about their faith. The feel certain entitlements because of their affiliation…but that’s all they have: an affiliation. I AM NOT THE PERFECT CATHOLIC, but I go to Mass every week, my kids are in religious education, and I am active in doing good things for my family and my community. Do I proselytize along the way? Heck no. Do I make it a point to tell people that I’m Catholic? No, it’s none of their business. Do I think less of people if they aren’t Catholic, Christian, or even practicing a “formal” religion? No, it’s none of MY business.

Which is exactly my position on SSM.

If these people are breaking “God’s Law”, it’s between them and God, they will answer for it at some point. I don’t need to get involved in a religion-based argument against SSM. It’s not in my job description. I’ve always believed (even prior to my life as a Catholic) that our Lord is an all-loving Lord, a compassionate Lord, but also a Lord who frowns on those who would make the Lord’s decisions for the Lord without face to face consultation with the Lord (notice how I avoided “Him” or “Her” distinctions!).

They don’t appear to be breaking any “Civil Law” by being in a committed, loving relationship (well, perhaps in Louisiana), so they don’t have to “answer” to society. (Don’t even try to tell me that Gays are pedophiles. Pedophiles are Pedophiles. Some pedophiles are married to women and have children, just ask Carlie Brucia).

Natural Law? Show me the Natural Law Code Book before you start…you may find your argument weakened.

Is Polygamy next? I only wish. People who trot out that argument are lightweights, and they think everyone else is stupid.

“If we let Gays marry, then we’ll have to let someone marry their dog!” Again, an argument made by someone without a firm grip on reality. We are talking about Human Beings here. Beware, however, there are some people who leave fortunes to specific cats and dogs, and the “rights” of these animals are somehow respected. Funny how that works.

My sole beef with SSM was that, as a married heterosexual, I wanted to have something to remain “mine”. I wanted Marriage to be this uncorrupted legacy that would be “mine”. And this was a selfish desire. I’ve since realized that what I my marriage is a sacrament of my faith, and its’ importance to me is solely based on the weight I give it…which is a lot. If I were to get upset with SSM treading on my turf, I would have to apply the same logic to Sunday Catholics, Sunday Christians, and those who don’t put the same weight on it that I do.

Wouldn’t it be neat if SSM had a lower divorce rate than “the rest of us”? I’m guessing that the legal profession would not be thrilled about that!

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