Monday, July 4, 2011

Same-sex "marriage" advocates are far too spiritual

They don't understand the meaning of marriage

4th of July, Independence Day (USA)
The United States of America is at a crossroads: Will she defend the natural institution of marriage or will she doom herself to societal decline? With all the debate about same-sex “marriage” and the recent legislation in New York, much ink (or, rather, megabytes of online data) has been spent on the issue. On point that seems to have gone unnoticed – or, at least, has not been stressed enough – is that the homosexual activists have failed to recognize that human beings are animals.
The argument for same-sex “marriage” recognizes (at least theoretically) the love of the spouses, the fidelity and permanence of the marriage bond, and the emotional and psychological significance of marital union, but it completely fails to recognize the physical and animal aspect of marriage – namely, the preservation and propagation of the human species. The same-sex “marriage” advocates treat of human beings as though we were angels, pure spirits. They completely ignore the physical nature of man.
This is what is most surprising about the promoters of the homosexual sub-culture: For materialistic hedonists, they are far too spiritual.

Marriage is more than friendship
The principal error of the same-sex “marriage” advocates is that they reduce marriage to a friendship. In fact, they almost entirely spiritualize marital love – which is a bit counter-intuitive, considering that lust is the root sin which leads to homosexual acts. The advocates will claim that they desire equality for homosexual individuals: If a man and a woman are allowed to marry, why not two men or two women? Foundational to this argument for “equality” is the claim that marriage is only really about two people falling in love. Such arguments remove marriage from the social order and the good of the human species generally, emphasizing only the good of the two individuals and their feelings of love for one another.
But marriage is more than friendship. Let me be clear: Marriage is most certainly a friendship, and it is meant to be the most intimate friendship on earth. But marriage is more than just a friendship, and any rational person should recognize this. A man can have many friends, but he has only one wife. A woman can have many close companions, but she has only one husband.
Marriage is not merely the highest degree of friendship, it transcends friendship and transforms it. No matter how close two mere friends are, they do not become one flesh.
Marriage is proper only to animals
The angels do not marry. Why do angels not marry? Because they are not animals, they do not have bodies and they do not procreate. If we ask why there is marriage at all, we must answer that (fundamentally) it is because we humans are not angels, we are animals; and we need to procreate in order for the human species continue on earth. Marriage, in the natural order, is principally a means of propagating the human species. [the spiritual, psychological, and emotional union of the spouses is an essential aspect of the rearing of children and is understood entirely within the context of procreation]
The homosexual sub-culture is far too spiritual. The same-sex “marriage” advocates think that marriage is entirely about a “spiritual” connection between two souls. Thus, they claim that, since the two men or two women love each other and are devoted to each other – because they are “soul-mates” – they should be allowed to wed. But, according to the natural order, marriage is not really about “soul-mates” (at least not principally); marriage is about children and family life.
The same-sex advocates treat of human beings only according to the spiritual element in man, completely ignoring the material element. These advocates seem to have forgotten that human beings have bodies, and that marriage is about the union of two bodies (such that, without such a union, the marriage is not contracted). For materialists and hedonists, homosexual advocates are far too spiritual.
Marriage is a matter of social order, it is public and not merely private
Marriage is not simply a contract between two individuals, rather it is an institution which exists for the good of the community (really, for the good of the human species). Marriage is necessary because, without marriage, we will lose the family. In a sad, sick, and ironic way, the advocates of adoption rights for same-sex couples prove this point: Marriage is meant for the rearing and education of children.
Considered in its natural state, marriage is much more than a friendship between two individuals – it is the foundation of the social order. Marriage is not simply about spiritual kinship, it is also the primary means of continuing the existence of the human species on earth and the building up of human society.
Because marriage and family life is essential to the social order (and because it is naturally directed to that order), the State has not only the right but even the duty of regulating certain aspects of marriage. It is right and good for the State to give benefits to married couples which are not given to non-married persons living in concubinage, because concubinage works against the good order of society (and the propagation of the human species) while the true marriage of man and woman promotes societal order. It is right and good (indeed, it is necessary) for the State to defend marriage as being between one man and one woman – in this regard, we must note that the popular “solution” of giving approval to same-sex couples under the form of a State-recognized “civil union” gravely undermines the social order. The State simply must penalize and actively work against same-sex unions (under any name), because these unions vitiate against the common good of the human species by undermining an essential aspect of married life: The procreation of children.
In the same vein, the State must certainly also enact laws against other acts which harm the institution of marriage. This is why domestic violence ought to be punished with greater severity than equal acts of violence outside of married life. Likewise, acts of fornication which betray the marriage bond (i.e. adultery) ought to be more severely penalized than acts of fornication entirely outside of marriage (i.e. pre-marital sex). When an action destroys or harms marriage and family life directly, it does greater damage to the common good of society and ought to be punished with a proportionately greater penalty.
The strange contradiction of same-sex “marriage”
There are many arguments in favor of the preservation of the traditional understanding of marriage. There are, likewise, many arguments against the same-sex “marriage” advocates. I have attempted only to point to one argument among many – and I offer this article principally as a matter of apologetics, I certainly have not made a theological statement (indeed, my argument does not rest on any religious conviction at all).
While people debate both sides, I think that stressing this point about the internal incoherence of the homosexual sub-culture (i.e. this materialistic hedonism mixed with a dualistic spiritualism) may be an effective way of countering the push for same-sex “marriage”. Marriage is not simply a matter of the soul, it is not simply a matter of spirituality, it is certainly not primarily about the sentimental feelings of love; rather, marriage must always be understood in light of the fact that human beings are animals, we have bodies and these bodies tell us something about how we are to act.
There is a reason why the two ends of an electrical cord are named the “male end” and the “female end”, respectively. Why we cannot recognize this about the human person remains unclear to me – certainly, it has to do with the over-spiritualization (and over-personalization) of the institution of marriage, resulting in a quasi-Manichaeism (i.e. rejecting the material order in favor of the spiritual).
In any case, those promoting the homosexual sub-culture in America can no longer claim science as their ally – for science is on the side of traditional marriage [and I am not speaking of whether or not people are “born this way”, I am speaking to the question of whether human beings have bodies and what the role of the body is in the propagation of the human species]. They can no longer claim to be promoting the more worldly and down-to-earth position, since their heads are in the clouds. Finally, they certainly cannot claim the benefit of common-sense or practical reason, for they have mentally abandoned the real world in attempting to free the soul from any practical relation to the body. While they talk sentimentally about love, we must recall to them their bodies.


Anonymous said...

When I look into the mirror, I know that I come from a father and a mother, a male and a female. Without either one, I will not exist in this world.

Anonymous said...

God have pity and mercy on our poor misguided country. What a mess!


AJ said...

Being convinced of this single point (that just in the natural order of things marriage is for procreation and the raising of children) was the starting point that led me from secular, homosexual hedonism to the Church. A sad reflection of our society is that this was not a point I had ever heard in my life up to that point. It's no wonder our culture is embracing not only homosexual unions but also contraception, divorce, delayed marriage, sexual deviances, etc. Those are all directly related to this same view that is so prevalent in our society, that marriage is almost entirely about falling in love and about the personal, worldly happiness and pleasure of the spouses.

Petrus Augustinus said...

A great display of how the Church and Catholicism deals with humanity: a human being is body and soul - you cannot ignore one and just live for the other. Thanks for this Father, a rational, down-to-earth argument at last. I hope that one day not just the USA (from which country the authors of this magnificent blog are from) but the whole world will realize the Truth!

"Ego sum Via, Veritas et Vita!"

Anonymous said...

Will the US doom herself to societal decline? Yep. Americans are wedded to their TV's, and they can now watch The Newleywed Game and giggle at the two men "newleyweds". They aren't even thinking about reproduction.

DR R WOLF said...

Ray W., PSC, Milton, FL
I present my freshman/ sophomore college students with this image: Two gentlemen [or gentlewomen] bow to the audience, then removing their outer clothing, step into a spacious closet furnished with a bed.

After a brief time lapse, light appears streaming from under the closet door. The light glows brighter and turns red. Much noisy shuffling about and groaning sounds are heard coming from the closet. The rattling noises cease, as does the light. Momentarily, a slight cloud of cigarette smoke is seen drifting from under the door.
The two men exit the closet - one dressed handsomely in fashion briefs, the other in Scottish tartan plaid relaxed-fit boxer shorts.
For purposes of this example, the men have remained willingly closet confined in the state of cohabitation for 9 months.
Then I ask the class, "Name one thing the two men can NEVER carry back outside and show the awaiting audience?
The class, almost unanimously, shouts "a baby" [a kid, a child].
Then, just to provoke thought, I beg to differ. "No", I say. "The men will always fail to produce a soldier (male or female)".
As a political moderate conservative, the first and foremost priority of a nation must be DEFENSE. For without a fighting force, there can be no defense, no nation, should matters reach the extreme. And a good defense, still, relies upon soldiers. So, why should homosexuals be given a tax write-off, for example, simply for signing a contract of "union", when they contribute nothing exceptional and fundamental to the nation's defense?
If this become the universal case in law, this homosexual marriage, then why not three men, or three women and a mouse, or a man a cat and a table lamp? Stranger arrangements have been sanctioned – THE YOUNG MAN WHO MARRIED AN Anime cartoon character; or the woman and a dolphin; or the man and his favorite dog.
Well, I want my share, too. So, if such exotic cases become law, then I have already selected my male partner. He's a guy who will never cause me trouble, or interrupt when I'm talking, or insist upon using the car when I want it, or eat that last piece of Ginny's fabulous quiche Florentine, or drip water on my side of the bed, or leave the toilet seat up.
No. If such a tax write-off is declared legal in such exotic cases, then I plan legally to marry the Man in the Moon. [RW]

Felix said...

An excellent article. Thank you!

But most Catholic writers also fall into this error of "spiritualizing" marriage. They talk about "the unique nature of man/woman love", and not about babies.

no theocracy please. said...

You make a slightly better argument with this one, but I will bring up only 2 points.
1)Many animals engage in homosexual behavior in nature.
2)This seems to suggest that marriage is impossible for infertile people. If a woman knows she is infertile and cannot reproduce, is it unethical for her to marry?

Father Ryan Erlenbush said...

@no theo. please,
1) If you keep comparing yourself and others to brute animals, perhaps people will begin to treat you like a beast.
What does it matter how an elephant acts? How does this determine anything about morality?

2) An infertile couple is still open to generation ... the act itself is still ordered to life ... there is simply an impediment (the infertility) which keeps the act from being fruitful.
A homosexual couple is engaging in actions which cannot possibly produce life ... even if these same actions were performed between a man and a woman, they could not produce life.
Are you able to see the difference?

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