On today’s Laura Ingraham show she interviewed Newsweek Religion Editor Lisa Miller about her recent article making the religious case for homosexual marriage. Miller’s defense was quite laughable. At one point when asked by Laura Ingraham about St. Paul’s references to homosexuality, Lisa Miller replied that the same scripture also condemned drunkenness, adultery, and divorce.
Now I thought that was a rather odd reply, especially when she said drunks can get married (though they might actually be psychological impaired to be able to actually give consent). Laura Ingraham pressed her on drunkenness, adultery, and divorce and weren’t they all bad things? The answer was lots of people get divorced. With that kind of logic we might as well get rid of laws since lots of people break them.
Now this might seem an incoherent argument, but this understanding has natural consequences. It is really only the Catholic Church that defends marriage and properly sees what marriage actually is. Protestant denominations for the most part have quite accepted divorce in a way reminiscent of Moses who allowed it because of their “hardness of heart” as Jesus said. We really should be having state constitutional changes on banning no fault divorce which is one of the most destructive things in human history. With rampant fornication, adultery, divorce and “remarriage” in a hook-up culture we can’t be surprised that the definition of marriage has fallen on hard times. The sacred character of marriage is that it is an indissoluble union. A a mutual giving of two persons, and the good of the children demands total fidelity. Turn on the TV or look at the culture and it would be really hard to extrapolate the meaning of marriage.
With the culture having such an improper understanding of marriage it is no wonder that so many can see no problem with same-sex marriage. Contraception and abortion are making heterosexual sex just as sterile as homosexual sex. When children as one of the two purposes of marriage are excluded it is easy to see how same-sex marriage can seem valid. Sex gets reduced to just mutual pleasure with no meaning beyond gratification.
The natural law can certainly lead us to an understanding of the two aims of marriage. Though the Newsweek article said it was making the “religious” case for it. Though actually they were making a progressive Christian argument for it since they did not address other religions or in fact provide arguments from those opposed to their conclusion. They were using scripture from both Testaments, yet somehow never got around the commandment to be fruitful which is impossible with same-sex sexual acts. No doubt homosexual apologists will point to heterosexual couples who are sterile, but this misses the fact that in their case something biological is not working properly. It is a defect which in some cases can be remedied. Whereas homosexual acts can never lead to children by its very nature.
There are so many things I love about the Catholic Church, and one of them is the consistency of her teachings. She can condemn homosexually, contraception, IVF, divorce, masturbation, fornication, etc; based on the actual meaning of marriage as taught by Jesus. Sex within marriage is the only valid context for sex and the sexual act must never be formally separated from the possibility of procreation. The last sentence provides the basis for all of the Church’s teaching on human sexuality. When you separate sex from procreation (or vice versa) and/or allow sex outside of marriage all of the other errors necessarily follow.
Lisa Miller also referenced during the interview Psalm 139 which she called a “beautiful psalm” as evidence for support of homosexuality. This was from the reference to Fr. James Martin, S.J. she made in the original article. Fr. Martin commented on my blog about this reference. Though his comment was actually a reply to something Diogenes asked about whether he thought Jesus was still alive and clarified by saying Jesus if he was walking the Earth in physical form “would likewise reach out to the marginalized today, a group that would include gays and lesbians.” Jesus reaches out to all of us and part of that reaching out is calling us to repentance and saying “Go and sin no more.” Though I would add part of that marginalized group would be those who defend the Church teaching on sexual ethics. It is much more likely that someone objecting to homosexuality will be persecuted and even sued than someone with same-sex attraction. We can easily look to the Proposition 8 witch hunt being used against those who supported it in California as am example.
I would like to see some further clarification from Fr. Martin. Father linked to the Newsweek article on the America Magazine blog and gave no caveats as to what was quoted of him. My simple questions is does he believe that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered as the Church has always taught? For the most part I really enjoyed his book “Life with the Saints” and some of the articles he has written, it just annoys me when someone seems to skirt an issue instead of providing clarity.