Niko's Nature

“Whatsoever thy soul shall say to me, I will do for thee.”

Posts tagged Homosexuality

11 notes &

Spiritual Adoption and Homosexuality

On facebook, a friend of mine had posted a prayer that originated from the page “We defend traditional marriage - and we’re gay.” 

Heavenly Father [or Jesus, Mary and Joseph, or Lord Jesus Christ], I love you very much. I beg you to provide help to the LGBT/same-sex attracted person who is in spiritual danger and is most in need of my prayers. Amen.

The prayer came from a post advocating for the “spiritual adoption” of unknown people with same-sex attractions.  The idea seems to be modeled on the concept of spiritual adoption of an unborn child, wherein someone or multiple someones, often a married couple spiritually adopt a child at risk of being aborted by praying for that child’s safety, and sometimes if they know the mother of the child, bringing gifts or necessary supplies to the mother.  One of the biggest purposes of this type of ministry, is that it seeks to create a relationship between the unborn child and its “spiritually adopted parents.”

Now, while we should always pray for each other, especially for our brothers and sisters experiencing overwhelming struggles, of any type, I think this particular strategy leaves something to be desired.  The point of spiritual adoption is to build a relationship with the unborn child.  Those who spiritually adopt a child are encouraged to name it, keep track of its growth, and of course pray for it. etc.  The spiritual adoption of the unborn child is supposed to mimic in a sense, the *actual* adoption of the child.  But how can you do that with the “unknown LGBT person?” An LGBT person as a born person who is at least an adolescent or older is in a situation very different from an unborn child, capable of having a deeper relationship with more “two-way communication” than one can have with an unborn child. 

This is of course not to demean the very meaningful relationships one has with an unborn child, but it should not be demeaning to say that a child still in the womb does not understand as much, and is much more “passive” in a relationship than your typical teenager or young adult.  My point being, that while a “spiritual adoption” of a fetus can model, at least in some way the relationship one can have with an unborn child, and can at least attempt to give the adopter a sense of a relationship one has with that child, such a model fails to accurately portray what its like to have a relationship with a person with same-sex attractions, and that perhaps another model might be better developed. 

Again, I’m not saying, don’t pray for people with same-sex attractions, I’m just saying, the prayers you might say, and the relationship you seek to establish with the person you’re praying for would be very different than those for the unborn child and one needs to be cognizant of that.  To put it another way, why spiritually adopt an unknown person with same-sex attractions when they are in your neighborhood, in your school, in your church?  If you want to help a member of the LGBT community, pray for with them, build a real relationship with them.  If you want to help someone in spiritual danger, (and it should not be assumed that all people with SSA are in spiritual danger any more than the rest of us,) get to know them.  All prayers are good, but the prayer of a friend will do more than any prayer to the “unknown LGBT person.” Be that friend.

Filed under Catholic Christianity Homosexuality Spiritual Adoption LGBT

145 notes &

Religious Homphobia Is Still Homophobia

ambassadorofreconciliation:

alwaysabeautifullife:

estebanthegreat:

nikosnature:

godinthebrokenness:

"For those of us that work in our worldwide church with the intersection of LGBT and faith, this notion that you must have malice towards LGBT folk to be considered homophobic is extremely misleading. I have yet to meet a single Christian person who has been intentionally malicious towards gay people. Non-affirming Christians honestly, truly believe they are being loving by attempting to change our orientation, encourage celibacy, or ban us from their pews — but to name their actions as anything but what they are would be to turn a blind eye to the epidemic of religious homophobia.”

Interesting, so if a church or denomination doesn’t kowtow on this issue, and support same-sex marriage, never stepping out of line with the “gay agenda,” it’s homophobic?  So, no discussion, no understanding, no reflection, just “do this, or your homophobic?”  It sounds to me like those who write articles like these aren’t looking for love or acceptance from their religious communities, just obedience.

So because I don’t believe 2 men should get married and have sex, I’m a homophobe? Wow, that sounds strange for me to call myself a homophobe knowing I’m a proud gay person. Last time I checked, a homophobe was someone who has hatred toward homosexual people. When I say I think 2 men and 2 women should not be together sexually, it’s not because I hate my own kind, it’s because I love them!

It’s this simple: I believe in Christianity, thus I believe in what the Christian faith teaches. The Faith teaches same sex sexual activity is sinful. I love all people, including gays. I don’t want anyone (including gays) to sin. So, I would tell gay people (including myself) that I don’t think they should engage in sexual activity.

OMG I hate myself and other gays so much!!!!!

I find this extremely theophobic.

This is fantastic!

Hi everyone I’m the author of this article :)

Let me clarify some things: It’s not about obedience or any of that sort. It IS about love and compassion. I write about this topic for the past two years, when religion and LGBT folk intersect. If you read any of my other work you would know that i’m much more about reconciliation and bridge-building. 

It’s really interests me on why non affirming Christians (those who are against same-sex sex because we are talking about gay sex not a sexual orientation) have such a problem being labeled homophobic. The definition of homophobia is being said you must be malicious or intentionally hateful. Or an irrational fear of lgbt folk. That’s not it.

Definition: 

Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). It can be expressed as antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, or hatred, may be based on irrational fear, and is sometimes related to religious beliefs.

That’s the dictionary definition.

If by definition you are homophobic, even if it’s religiously based, why are you so afraid to be called that? I don’t think that most christians are purposefully malicious or intend to be harmful. But you don’t have to be intentional to cause harm. Homophobia under the guise of love is still homophobia. 

For those who find this “theophobic”
Here is a list of the all the times Christians have been discriminated against for tier beliefs in the USA. Just so we’re clear.
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/examples-of-anti-christian-persecution-in-present-day-america/

And contrary to the very dedicated tumblr person who believes i’m being “funded by Arcus” foundation— I’m not. I’m a broke college student who started a 501 c 3 (that’s a non profit) creating safe spaces for LGBT students on educational christian campuses. I don’t make a single cent from any of my articles or from the work that I do. It’s probono because I believe that’s what Christ calls me to do. 

But yes by definition, if you’re “against” same-sex sex, you’re homophobic. If that’s really what you believe, shouldn’t you own that label not be afraid of it? Just a thought. 

Here are all my social media links so people can “verify” me and know i’m not getting “paid” for some gay agenda. Though if someone wants to pay me, i’ll let you know where to send the check. 

I’m always up for respectful dialogue :)

Facebook
Twitter

Hello Mr. Cruz,

First of all, I just wanted to thank you for making yourself available for discussion about your article.  Not a lot of authors of articles like these have tumblrs, or are so willing to discuss, so it is a bit of a rare treat for us, and I’m sure the entire tumblr community feels the same way. 

Next, I’d like to echo your sentiment that reconciliation through bridge-making and creating loving relationships is central not just to coming to the truth on this matter, but really to our Christian mission, for Christ is the law, and the law is love.

That being said, I think the easiest place to start would be to answer your question as to why those of us who oppose same-sex marriage do not like the label “homophobic” applied to us.  The main reason is that we find it a poor descriptor of our position.  While we do have what may be called “negative attitudes” towards homosexuality, in that we believe that same-sex attractions (SSA) can cause people difficulty in their lives as Christians, because it predisposes them to a variety of sexual sin they might not otherwise be as susceptible to, we do not think this makes people with SSA bad people or even worse sinners than others.  We have no fear of SSA or those with them.  We all carry crosses, and having SSA can be one of them.  We are called to love those with SSA just like we are called to love anyone else.  Furthermore, the definition you provided says that “homophobia… can be expressed in antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, or hatred,” and of those responding to your article here on tumblr, none of us hold those sentiments.  We simply disagree with you on the issue of same-sex marriage.

Now, it should be noted that denying someone a specific right on the basis of their orientation could qualify as an example of homophobia.  Advocates of same-sex marriage who consider same-sex marriage a right often use this stipulation to show that opponents of same-sex marriage are homophobic.  However, those of us who oppose same-sex marriage do not believe we are denying a right, rather, we argue the question of whether there is a right to same-sex marriage, which is a very different thing, and therefore, cannot be called homophobic.  For more information on this issue, please check out my article which touches on the “rights” issue of same-sex marriage, here.

Furthermore, a good number of us repudiate that term because it is loaded with political baggage.  It’s a way that people can dismiss those who disagree with them without addressing their arguments.  Charge that your opponent has a phobia or an -ism, (whether homophobia, racism, sexism) and you don’t need to discuss with them, because they are “blinded by their bigotry.”  It’s a common tactic used by tumblr’s very own social justice warriors.  It is also a genetic fallacy. 

As for your article, I should note that your comment that opposition to same-sex marriage is founded primarily on “disgust with the mechanics of gay sex” is perhaps true in community level debates in some fundamentalist areas, but this hardly represents the reality of the discussion elsewhere.  For most people, the crux of the debate centers around the teleological understanding of marriage as “ordered towards procreation” which is impossible for same-sex couples.  That is the issue that needs to be addressed, not ‘disgust with the mechanics of gay sex.’

Next, in your examples of what qualifies as “homophobia” you include “encouraging celibacy.”  Now, one might wonder then if you consider the Catholic Church to be “priestphobic” as well, since it “encourages celibacy” among its priests.  Barring the possibility that you do think that, it would seem to me that “encouraging celibacy” cannot be construed as a type of prejudicial discrimination.  Either way, that definition means that anyone who opposes same-sex acts or marriage is necessarily classified as homophobic, which means that you essentially dismiss anyone who believes same-sex acts/marriage is wrong as homophobic.

Another problem with your definition is that it denies the experience of many people with same-sex attractions who oppose gay marriage and same-sex acts.  It labels them as self-loathing when that is clearly not the case.

That sums up perhaps my biggest concerns with your article and your argument, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.  I’ll be anxiously awaiting.  Pax et bonum!

In Christ,

Niko

(p.s. as to your tongue-in-cheek list of ways Christians have been discriminated against in the U.S., I would recommend looking up the experiences Catholics in early American history who often had to go into hiding or even hide their churches, for example Old St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia. Also of interest are the histories of Irish and Italian Catholic immigrants in the United States.  Catholics who were persecuted by the Ku Klux Klan.  Really, any of the myriad accusations of evil through “popery” against the Catholic Church.  More recently, Christians have been forced to participate in weddings of same-sex marriages violating their consciences, there have been several examples of churches having windows smashed or being otherwise vandalized, on new years day a priest was beaten to death with a gutter pipe and a wooden stake, and the government is coercing Christians into providing contraception against their religious beliefs.  I’m not saying these are the worst examples of discrimination in our nation’s history, but just because they aren’t the worst does not mean one can erase them.)

Filed under Homosexuality Gay Marriage Homophobia Discrimination Christianity

24 notes &

Anonymous asked: Hi, Andrew. I read a study that they are finding pedophila to be a condition that is biologically rooted and can not change. This seems to be the argument from most on the "gay rights" side. If scientists do, indeed, find that pedophilia is a "sexual orientation," should they then be given social acceptance? If there are consenting minors who want to be with older men and women, why should society tell them "no" ?

Andrew, how are you?  I hope you are doing well.  I saw this post and had some thoughts that I put down below.  I certainly don’t believe homosexuality and pedophilia are identical, nor do I believe that everyone with same-sex attractions is a pedophile, nor do I believe that same-sex attractions are as disordered as pedophilic ones.  But, I do think you overstate a lot of your claims here, and you deny the very strong historical relationship homosexuality and pederasty have had.  So, if you’re interested, please look over these arguments.  As always, I assure you of my love for you as a fellow brother in Christ.  Pax et bonum! Niko

"Pedophilia should not be compared to homosexuality.  Pedophilia is diagnosed as a mental disorder whereas homosexuality is not."

Homosexuality was diagnosed as a mental disorder until 1973 when it was declassified as one.  The reason for its declassification had less to do with any psychological research and more to do with the fact that homosexuality had achieved greater societal acceptance.  Societal acceptance that many argue ought to be given to pedophilia.  Would pedophilia cease to be a mental disorder if it achieved that same social acceptance?  From a historical perspective, all you’re saying in the above quote is that pedophilia is not as socially accepted as homosexuality, which does not speak to the objective legitimacy of either. 

Btw, look at this article that drifted onto my newsfeed in the last 10 minutes providentially.

http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2013/12/22/is_pedophilia_a_sexual_orientation.html

"There can be no consent in pedophilia simply because they are children… But that’s a totally different issue…

No, I think the fact that it’s “blurry” as you say, is a main point.  Where is the line between homosexuality and pederasty.  Can you put an age limit on where this “ability to consent” magically materializes in a young person’s life?  Why does it only apply to sexuality as opposed to other things which we certainly think young people consent to? 

But that’s ignoring an even stronger argument which is the fact that historically speaking homosexuality and pederasty have always been linked.  None of the ancient cultures that practiced some form of homosexuality differentiated it in any major way from pederasty.  They were one in the same thing.  Up through the 19th century, the two were undifferentiated.   Karl Heinrich Ulrichs was really the first person to make a case for gay marriage in the 1860s (and coincidentally the first person who differentiated between homosexuals and pederasts.)  But, despite this intellectual and taxonomical differentiation, the fact of the matter is that up until the mid 20th century, it was not practiced.  (For example, the Uranian poets (1860-1930 practiced both homosexuality and pederasty without distinguishing them.)  It really wasn’t until the modern same-sex marriage movement, which is generally agreed upon to begin at the stonewall riot that you have any modern understanding of homosexuality without pederasty, and that seems mostly due to the fact that the same-sex marriage movement realized that society would not readily condone pederasty, but could be made to accept homosexuality, so adult-oriented-homosexuality could be the point of a wedge which would split the social mores of society so pederasty and the rest could follow.  Thus, the historical relationship between homosexuality and pederasty is one which needs to be addressed. 

"When we speak of… lingering on the chin.

And here we have come across the main point of the argument.   The gay rights movement holds same-sex unions and opposite-sex unions as functionally equivalent, those who are opposed to same-sex marriage argue that they are not, and therefore, same-sex unions cannot be properly called or treated like marriage. 

As same-sex unions cannot procreate, they cannot be called functionally equivalent to opposite-sex unions and therefore, cannot be called marriages.  This is true under pretty much any philosophical scheme you want to use, Scholastic Natural Law Ethics, Kant’s Categorical Imperative, Consequentalism, even John Stuart Mill’s utilitarian understanding of “higher goods” can argue against civil same-sex marriage.

As for your napkin example, sure, the example works if we were talking about a situation in which the same thing which was given to one man was denied to another.  For example, if we were to tell one person they could marry someone of the same sex and forbid it to another.  But that is not the case.  Rather, we are discussing a situation in which we say no one can marry someone of the same sex, because marriage is a term that by definition applies only to people of the opposite sex.

Thus, using napkins, it would be as if I invited you to dinner, and before we sat down at the table, I put out rolls of toilet paper instead of napkins and I were to explain it by saying, “well, you use napkins and toilet paper to wipe yourself, so in reality they are the same thing.”  You would be right to say that I was making a silly argument and that toilet paper is not the same thing as a napkin just because they are both used for wiping, since one wipes very different things with them.

godinthebrokenness:

Pedophilia should not be compared to homosexuality. Pedophilia is diagnosed as a mental disorder whereas homosexuality is not.

There can be no consent in pedophilia simply because they are children. 

A homosexual relationship is between two consenting adults. Just like a heterosexual relationship. 

Comparing non-consenual sex with an un-sexually developed child to two consenting humans who love each other is faulty reasoning.

If you’re talking about someone who is 17 or somewhere near that age, that’s where it get’s more blurry. I think the age of consent in some other countries is like 16. But that’s a totally separate issue.

When we speak of same-sex marriage, isn’t some radically new thing at all. It’s marriage. Made available to people who have been denied it in the past.

And we have a lot of experience with the effects that this institution of marriage has. And so we can make some pretty sound predictions about what making this institution available to gays and lesbians will mean. More stability of relationships over time. Less promiscuity. Less sexual volatility, with the concomitant heartbreak and jealousy. More reliable support persons and partners to help more people through the trials of life. Reduced spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. More stable environment for child-rearing.

To use a spin on Rick Santorum’s dumb example, making marriage available to same-sex couples is nothing like introducing a new technology with unpredictable effects. It’s more like making napkins available to people who’ve previously been denied (for some weird reason) the legal right to use them. What can we expect from this? The same things we know napkins do for those of us who’ve been using them for a long time: fewer greasy fingertips; fewer smears on shirt sleeves, less frequent embarrassment caused by that dollop of spaghetti sauce lingering on the chin.” 

— The Piety That Lies Between

Comparing pedophilia to homosexuality is an invalid slippery slope argument that should not be regarded as a roadblock for full equality. 

"Comparing… for full equality."

1.  It’s not a slippery slope argument, since the argument is not, “Gay marriage leads to pederasty,” (well, I do suggest that’s the case, but that’s not the main thrust of my argument.)  instead, it is argued, “There is no justification for recognizing same-sex relationships as marriages that cannot equally be applied to pederastic relationships.”  The difference is subtle, but important. 

For example, consider these two arguments “If the U.S. lowers the drinking age to 18, then they will lower it to 16.”  This is a slippery slope argument because it suggests one action necessarily leads to another.  Instead consider, “There is no justification for lowering the drinking age to 18 that cannot equally be applied to lowering it to 16.”  Do you see the difference?  It does not imply that the future action will be taken, but that the justification for taking the first action applies equally to the future one. 

In this situation, the argument is “If we must accept same-sex marriage because those with SSA are born that way, then we must accept pedophilic unions because pedophiles are born that way too.”  If you accept that being born that way is a sufficient justification for marriage, it seems hard to deny it to pedophiles, but, if like me, you find that being born that way is not sufficient justification for marriage, then the argument cannot be used to support either pedophilic or homosexual unions.

2.  Remember how it was like 6 months ago that people were saying that “homosexuality leads to polygamy” is a slippery slope fallacy?  Have you noticed all the articles recently that have argued for polygamy based on societal acceptance for homosexuality?  Remember, while a slippery slope argument is fallacious, in that it implies necessity where necessity does not exist, that does not mean that the slippery slope is wrong, sometimes, one thing really does lead to another.

Filed under Homosexuality Pederasty

47 notes &

deadlydinos:

deadlydinos:

Well now I’m wide awake and thinking about theology of the body ANYWAY. So - let’s talk about Catholics and sex!

Usual disclaimer that these are my private views on sex based on my personal religious beliefs, and you’re not wrong or a bad person for disagreeing - ESPECIALLY if you’re not a…

And here is a link to my original response,

nikosnature.tumblr.com/post/68564348507/deadlydinos-well-now-im-wide-awake-and

so that people can see how the Catholic Church responds to criticisms like the ones above.

Also, in response to comments made in the tags, the Catholic Church’s teachings are not about denying any rights to people with same-sex attractions, nor are they “anti-gay.”  In fact, the Church’s teaching on treatment towards people with same-sex attractions is quite clear:

The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
Conjugal Love

However, accepting same-sex marriage is not required for any of that to take place, in fact, as Catholics, we see same-sex marriage as harmful to those with same-sex attractions because any justification for same-sex marriage stems from an “othering” of those with same-sex attractions, and that separation of them from the rest of humanity is the true discrimination.  Therefore, it is out of love and a recognition of the full humanity of the man or woman with same-sex attractions that the Church insists on teaching as she does. 

For more information, here is a link to USCCB documents on issues of same-sex attraction.

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/homosexuality/

Perhaps, if one intends to come to a true understanding of why the Church teaches what she does, one should actually consider her teachings, not immediately reject them as a form of “homophobia.”

Filed under Homosexuality

13 notes &

Anonymous asked: This isn't so much a question as it is something I wanted to get off my chest. Your views on same-sex marriage are hurtful, ignorant, and cruel. How can you possibly have any right to deny anyone love?

I’m not denying them love, for it is not love I deny but merely a false understanding of love.  I’m only showing the way to a higher love, the love of God and truth.  The love that we were truly made for.  

If the way seems tough, it is only because the flesh is weak.  Christ taught us love, but he did not teach the pagan understanding of love which revolves around fulfillment, where one loves only because and so long as they are given what they want, but rather a Christian love that revolves around sacrifice and self-denial for the sake of truth.  All men must sacrifice for truth, it is folly to think it should be different for those with same-sex attractions.

Filed under Catholic Christianity Homosexuality Gay Marriage

55 notes &

Against Civil Same-sex Marriage (Bringing this back)

INTRODUCTION

 

Due to the recent resurgence of an age old heresy which suggests that while the Catholic Church does not have to recognize same-sex marriages, its adherents cannot advocate against the state doing so, I think it timely to address it and the arguments supporting civil gay marriage.

 

The argument made essentially draws a distinction between “religious marriage” and “civil marriage,” and argues that the Catholic Church has jurisdiction over the former (so long as it is a marriage in the Church being sought.  I assume it is not being argued that the Church has rights over protestant or non-Christian religious marriages.) and not the latter, which are under the jurisdiction of the State.  With the state and the Church being legally separated in the United States, it is argued that the Catholic Church’s recent activism against civil gay marriage constitutes a step outside of the jurisdiction afforded to it by law and/or social convention.  Thus, the following argument is made, “The Church has the right to deny gay marriage in its own churches, but if two people of the same-sex want to marry each other, and the state is willing to marry them, the Church has no right to prevent them, and in fact, in doing so, would be violating the rights of the couple.”

 

Now, there are several counter-claims that can be made without addressing the central claim of the argument that would appear to invalidate it.  For example: Is it not hypocritical in one way or another to claim that same-sex couples have a right to marriage, but allow the Church to deny or violate it within their parishes?  Are you truly advocating for a human right if you’re claiming that the government can’t violate it but private groups can?  Could it be claimed that the state has no authority to marry?  Do same-sex couples have the legal right to civil marriage or simply the benefits given to heterosexual married couples, ex. Tax breaks and visiting rights that could be granted to them without granting them a “civil marriage”?  I believe arguments could be made condemning civil gay marriage simply mining the veins of these questions, but this essay does not attempt to do that.  Instead, it will endeavor that civil gay marriage arguments fail on four grounds:  1) There is no “right to civil gay marriage” and therefore it is not violating a right to deny it to a same sex couple.  2) Civil gay marriage is fundamentally opposed to civil marriage in that promoting it contradicts the purpose of promoting civil marriage, and therefore, civil gay marriage is not comparable to civil marriage.  3) Opposing and legislating against civil gay marriage does not constitute a violation of the free exercise or the establishment clause. 

 

In this essay, marriage will be referred to a romantic union between a man and a woman, and gay marriage would be used to refer to a romantic union between two men or two women.  Civil marriage will be used to refer to a marriage certified by the state, and civil gay marriage will be used to refer to a gay marriage certified by the state.

 

Support for this essay is found in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence of the United States, Supreme Court opinions related to this discussion, and in the social justice teachings of the Catholic Church, which have consistently opposed same-sex marriage.  The fact that I use sources which come from a religious background should not encourage skeptical readers to discount my arguments as merely religious appeal, for I could make the same arguments on a secular level without referencing these documents.  I choose to reference them in order to show how these fundamental documents in the history of humanity, which have influenced social, economic, and political thought, recognized the veracity of the statements that will be made in this essay so that I can show the continuity my arguments have with the American and the human moral tradition.

 

THERE IS NO RIGHT TO CIVIL GAY MARRIAGE

 

The underlying assumption of the gay marriage argument is that because there exists civil marriage, there must exist a right to civil marriage, and if there exists a right to civil marriage, there must exist a right to civil gay marriage.  It is this assumption that deserves questioning.  First of all, I think most people would agree that just because the government provides something to its citizens does not mean those citizens have a right to it.  If for example, a government were to provide a free car to all citizens upon their 16th birthday, we may colloquially speak about a “right” to a car in such a society, but philosophically speaking, we would not claim that the government’s decision granted human beings with an intrinsic right to an automobile.  The reason is that we recognize that the government cannot grant rights; rights are self-evident, intrinsic to the human person, fundamental and inalienable.[1],[2] If we were to believe that the government could grant rights, then we must also believe that the government can take rights away, in which case, human rights would not be inalienable.  Therefore, human rights are intrinsic to the human person and the government cannot grant them but merely recognize them.  Therefore, just because civil marriage exists does not mean that there exists a right to civil marriage, and therefore, there is no compelling reason to believe in a right to civil gay marriage simply because civil marriage exists.  It should be noted that this does not question whether the state has the authority to certify or recognize marriages, but challenges the idea that the state does so because there is a human right to a civil marriage.

 

Others would claim that a right to civil marriage (and therefore to civil gay marriage) exists because a right to marriage exists.[3],[4] This of course is decidedly false; having a right to marry does not mean the government is required to marry anyone, anymore than having a right to bear arms means that the government must provide guns to anyone wishing to act upon those rights.  The fact that man has a right to marriage simply means that the government cannot prevent people from marrying.  For example, the government cannot prevent churches from celebrating marriages and the government cannot prevent people from professing their love to each other, living together, and raising a family together, but the government certainly isn’t required to give any governmental recognition to any such union, heterosexual or homosexual.  Therefore, there is no right to civil marriage or civil gay marriage, and therefore denying it, does not violate any right.

CIVIL GAY MARRIAGE IS FUNDAMENTALLY OPPOSED TO CIVIL MARRIAGE

            There are some who would agree with the points made above, but continue to support the cause of civil gay marriage, arguing that whether or not there is a right to civil marriage or civil gay marriage, the government provides civil marriage and thus, to be fair and equal, the government must also provide civil gay marriages.  The logic of this claim is already strained simply by realizing that the government can and has given benefits to one person or group and not another, and this is generally considered progressive, not regressive.  Consider for example means tested social aid programs which only give social aid to those who need it, or consider affirmative action policies which are based on the idea that one group needs more assistance than another.  Therefore, if the government can give something to one person or group and not another, then the government can provide civil marriages without being morally constricted to provide civil gay marriages. 

            It becomes even more strained when we consider the policy aims for why the government provides civil marriages, and realize that civil gay marriages are not equivalent but rather contrary to the aims of civil marriages.  Government policies are meant to serve the common good.[5]  Therefore, the decision to offer civil marriage must be understood through the policy aims it has with reference to the common good.  Now, the government has an interest in promoting marriage through civil marriage for one reason: to strengthen by policy the natural connection between procreation and child rearing.  (NB: This does not mean this is the only purpose for marriage, but it is the purpose for which government encourages marriage through civil marriage.)  Procreation and child rearing are important to the state because the state depends on them for future generations of people performing tasks necessary for the survival of the state.  It is important that the two are seen as interdependent because this will lead to the creation of strong families based around the two-parent model, which has been shown to be the best family structure to promote the success of future generations, by assuring that a greater percentage of children will be raised by the parents that conceived them.  It is for this reason that the government promotes the civil marriage and not civil gay marriage because promoting civil gay marriage would be a public policy that would conflict with the policy aim of promoting marriage as the link between procreation and child rearing for the simple reason that procreation is not inherent to the biology of a same-sex couple as it is to one of an opposite sex couple.  Therefore, it would be contradicting the purpose of civil marriage to promote civil gay marriage, even if appearances would suggest that debates over civil gay marriage center on the issue of “equality.”

To understand this further, consider a government policy that would reward drivers for driving environmentally friendly vehicles to encourage environmentally driving habits.  It would be wrong for a hypothetical lobby, perhaps named, “Hummer and Other Gas Guzzlers Society (HOGGS),” to claim discrimination because they are not being rewarded for driving their cars.  They could claim “cars are cars, gas guzzler or environmentally friendly they both are forms of transportation and the government should not discriminate between owners of one car and owners of another” just like civil gay marriage activists claim “love is love” as if there is no distinction between a heterosexual and homosexual union.  But the fact is that if the government were to give in to the demands of this “HOGGS” lobby, it would be contradicting the original goal of the policy, just as promoting civil gay marriage would be contradicting the original goal of promoting civil marriage.

Now, there are some who would argue that technological advances have allowed and will continue to allow same-sex couples to artificially conceive children, and therefore, they are fundamentally identical to heterosexual couples.  But this overlooks a very important difference: a man and a woman are in themselves sufficient to procreate, while a same-sex couple will always have to rely on someone or something else to procreate.  In this sense, it shows the insufficiency of the couple on their own to procreate, and how they are required to bring in a third party to do it for them.  This bringing in of a third party in order to achieve that which a heterosexual couple can do independently within the realm of procreation with which marriage as a concept is so intertwined contains implications of polygamy, by bringing in something which is extraneous to the couple into the procreative union.  Therefore, a same-sex couple, even with this technology would still be fundamentally different from a heterosexual couple.  It furthermore seems to be quite a fantastic claim to think that a same-sex couple would be able to function in the same manner as an opposite sex couple with relation to child rearing, because this treats men and women as interchangeable when in reality they both bring different strengths and mindsets to table with differently nuanced relationships with their children and both are very important to a child’s development.  In treating the sexes of the parents as interchangeable, civil gay marriage proponents simply deny the reality of sex differences between males and females and how they affect parenthood and their children.  Only by affirming the complementary strengths of male and female in child rearing, through the protection of civil marriage, which includes preventing civil gay marriage which claims to testify against this complementary relationship, can we truly build families which are capable of creating and preparing the future generation for citizenship.  Therefore, the government should not create civil gay marriage.

AGAINST CLAIMS OF RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION

            One of the strategies of civil gay marriage activists is to decry the lack of civil gay marriage as a violation of the separation of Church and state.  Some claim that by not providing civil gay marriage, the state is promoting the ideals of one or more religions, which would be a violation of the establishment clause, while others argue that by preventing individuals from receiving civil gay marriage, the state is preventing them from acting on their own beliefs, and this would be a violation of the free exercise clause.  Further examination, however, reveals that neither of these claims are accurate, for they assume that endorsement of a tenet of a religion means endorsing it because it is part of that religion, and that the government cannot prevent someone from committing an act the individual deems acceptable, both of which are incorrect.

            The establishment clause claims that the United States government cannot endorse or “establish” a religion as the state religion.[6]  Using this principle, civil gay marriage activists claim that civil gay marriage must be legalized, because doing otherwise would be endorsing or “establishing” the Catholic faith as the state religion because Catholicism prohibits gay marriage.  The problem with this logic is that it assumes that the government cannot prohibit something prohibited by a religion, when the establishment clause simply means that the government cannot prohibit something because it is prohibited by a religion.  Because one does not have to be a member of a certain religion to oppose gay marriage, and there are reasons to want to limit civil marriage to opposite-sex couples, that are not limited to any one creed, it can hardly be claimed that prohibiting marriage is an “establishment” of Catholicism.  Furthermore, following the argument that any condemnation that exists both in Catholicism and in the state represents an establishment of Catholicism as the state religion, then laws against murder, stealing, and other laws necessary for the common good of the people should be abolished as they all would represent an establishment of Catholicism as the state religion.  This of course would be a ridiculous conclusion, and so, reason would seem to suggest that prohibiting civil gay marriage is not a violation of the establishment clause.

            The free exercise clause, it is claimed, protects the exercise of religion in the United States, and so it is claimed that if a same-sex couple believes civil gay marriage is acceptable, and if they so desire as to be “gay married” the government must provide such a marriage to them.  This argument also fails however, because the government can regulate actions, even if it cannot regulate beliefs.  This has always been accepted since Reynolds v. United States, when the court decided that the practice of polygamy is illegal.  If polygamy can be prohibited, so can civil gay marriage.  Therefore, not providing civil gay marriage is not a violation of the free exercise clause.

CONCLUSION

            The push for civil gay marriage has been argued to be one of the contentious civil rights issues of our era.  While I agree it is certainly one of the most contentious issues of our era, I hope this essay has shown that it is not a civil rights issue, since the typical arguments advanced for a “right” to civil gay marriage are insufficient to justify it.  Furthermore, by recognizing that civil gay marriage is not equivalent to civil marriage but opposed to it, we can see that the existence of civil marriage testifies against civil gay marriage, not for it.  Finally, I hope that I have shown that arguments against civil gay marriage cannot be condemned as mere religious rhetoric, or a violation of the first amendment.  Should my positions hold, it would seem that the supporters for civil gay marriage must either admit defeat, or find new arguments that are substantially different than those rebutted here.  But should they attempt to do so, I caution them not to make the mistake of thinking that they must merely show that civil gay marriage is acceptable, for as stated earlier, this is not merely an issue of legalization of gay marriage, but rather, a debate about whether the government should render the service of providing civil gay marriages.  Therefore, civil gay marriage proponents must show that gay marriage is something essential to society or beneficial to the common good and show that it is an institution the state has an invested interest in protecting.   Furthermore, they must show that promoting civil gay marriage would not contradict with the explicit interest in marriage as we currently understand it.  Until these standards are reached, arguments for civil gay marriage will continue to be insufficient, and therefore, the US government has no reason to provide civil gay marriages.

WORD COUNT

2,867



[1] Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, par. 388

[2] Declaration of Independence

[3] Chief Justice’s Earl Warren’s opinion Loving v. Virginia, “Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man.’”

[4] Compendium par. 216

[5] Compendium par. 168 - 169

[6] First Amendment, United States Constitution

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5 notes &

Anonymous asked: Hey Niko! first of all I admire you a lot, second I wanted to ask a quick question! Don't you think religiousness should be separate from the government? for example, don't you think its a bad idea to have thousands of people forcing laws against gay marriage? that is something I struggle with a lot. I believe marriage should be man to woman, but I do respect homosexuals , shouldn't they be allowed their own decisions ? isn't that part of their free will? why do we need to prohibit marriage?

Hi, thank you so much for your kind message.  

I do agree that there should be some degree of separation between the Church and the State, though we might differ on how much exactly.  But that’s not necessarily connected to your next questions, because the reasons people oppose gay marriage is not because it is against their religion but because they believe it is bad for society and that it is a distortion of the truth.   Consider it like this, imagine you asked me:

Don’t you think religiousness should be separate from the government? for example, don’t you think its a bad idea to have thousands of people forcing laws against murder? that is something I struggle with a lot. I believe people should not be killed, but I do respect murderers, shouldn’t they be allowed their own decisions? isn’t that part of their free will? why do we need to prohibit murder?

Now, I’m not saying same-sex marriage is murder, or that it is as bad, and I’m not trying to draw any equivalency between the two.  I’m merely pointing out that we oppose both for the same reason, because we know they are both wrong and that legalization of either will hurt society in some way.

Now, this doesn’t take away their free will, people have free will to break laws.  The law does not take away your free will, it simply holds you accountable to the choices you make with it.  Also, it should be noted, from a legal perspective, we are only opposed to having the government  sanction gay marriage, because the government is a civil authority, and if the civil authority distorts truth to the people who it is charged to protect, it is not doing its duty.  The Catholic Church does not push for laws against people of the same-sex who want to live together and have a sexual relationship together.  Therefore, we are not imposing anything on anyone, we only ask that the government not teach untruths to its people.

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9 notes &

On Marriage

I don’t.  It is an error of the modern era to suppose that everything that’s sacred happens inside the Church.  But why should God restrict Himself to the Church when the devil has no problem causing sin outside of it?  The sacred world and the secular world are not so distinct, but instead are very fluid, flowing in and out of each other.  Some might argue that they are identical.  
Point being, a secular marriage may not be a sacrament, and so may not be a conduit for the same or as many graces as a sacramental marriage is, but that does not mean it is not sacred.  Now, that being said, the intent of your question  still stands:
Now if secular marriage is not sacred and certainly not sacramental, does a secular homosexual marriage truly lessen the sacrament of marriage. In this case the marriage is not recognized by the church but is by the government. What is your opinion on this?         
No, “civil homosexual marriage” does not “lessen” the sacrament of marriage itself, or harm it in any way.  But, it does make it less comprehensible to most people.  If people grow up in an era where “gay marriage” is accepted as equal and equivalent to any other, they will lose the fundamental ideas that marriage is ordered towards procreation and is made up of the complementary natures of male and female. 
When we defend marriage as something that can only exist between a husband and wife, we don’t do so to defend the sacrament.  The sacrament can defend itself.  We do it to defend ourselves and the generations after us from being led astray from the truth  by a lie, that men and women are interchangeable, and that marriage is for our own gratification instead of being necessarily ordered for the benefit of our children.

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