We read, see, and hear a growing accumulation of stories in the news of small businesses being persecuted for not providing services to celebrate a same-sex marriage. Photographers, restaurants, inns, and bakeries are the initial targets; some law suits have had great success. It is an eerie echo of the Police song: Every move they make, every step they take, the forces of the new orthodoxy will be watching them.
Marriage and the Onslaught
Things are truly not what they seem in this age of shadows. Basic Christian morality is under an onslaught with such force that many faithful souls are likely to suffer confusion. The public pressure to conform to licentiousness on sexual issues is intense and increasing at an alarming rate.
Individuals have been increasingly singled out as well, such as Phil Roberson from Duck Dynasty, Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, and most recently Christian baker Jack Phillips, who has been told by the Colorado Court of Appeals that he may not refuse to bake cakes for same-sex couples. To argue for the self-evident truths of Catholic morality will earn you a peck of salt for your wound of sanity. It is apparently no longer enough to slander those who withhold support; there are increasing efforts to ruin the lives of those who do not agree with the redefinition of marriage.
In Portland, Oregon, a judge has ordered a bakery to pay a fine of $135,000 for emotional damages because on moral grounds they did not bake a cake in the celebration of a same-sex marriage. It ought to shock us that among the eighty-eight charges of suffering the lesbian couple allegedly endured is the outrageous accusation of “mental rape”. As Thomas D. Williams noted in his article, “The judge apparently found it unremarkable that ‘loss of appetite’ and ‘impaired digestion’ should lead to ‘weight gain.’” The list is almost entirely overstatement; more than just an insult to decency and common sense, it is an affront to the moral fabric of our society to allow such hyperbolic invention to create legal precedent.
Why We Object
We have always maintained a right to refuse service in this country and that is appropriate. Would a baker be compelled to bake a cake for the KKK celebrating a cross burning? Or a satanic cult in celebration of a black mass? Of course not … at least, not yet. For a point of clarification between these two examples and “marriage equality”, let’s examine what this comparison means.
We object to the KKK and the Satanists because of what they choose to believe and what they intend to do, not for who they are, for they are human persons imbued with intrinsic dignity and worth. In the case of those afflicted with same-sex attraction, the objection is not to who they are, for they are also human persons imbued with intrinsic dignity and worth. Just like the KKK and the Satanists, our objection is to the celebration of what they wish to do. Just like racism and satanic worship are things we should not celebrate, so is sexual activity not ordered toward procreation and family.
In the good society, it is impermissible to insist that a moral man cannot hold a morally ordered position without being persecuted, or accused at the very least of being hateful and bigoted. The grand irony in these charges is lost completely on the promoters of sexual liberty. There is nothing more hateful or bigoted than to try to forcefully compel a free soul to believe what you believe, and when they don’t, to try to ruin their lives. The hypocrisy is glaring. The persecutors want acceptance, but accept nothing but their own agenda. They want tolerance but are intolerant of diverging views. This is not the behavior of civil rights activists.
We recognize these self-evident truths: that men and women are complementary; that they are intended by nature and divine decree to be joined in matrimony and become one flesh; that they are to remain faithful and monogamous while they raise, love and educate their biological children. This is the gold standard for building up civilization. No other type of family or institution can build up a society, not even by an efficient government attempting to engineer society.
We clearly recognize that children are the natural primary end of the marital act of sex, and no amount of raging against truth can change this self-evident fact. In recognizing that children come from the marital act, and that children are persons deserving of rights at least as much as the rest of us (more, because of their innocence and vulnerability), it is common sense that we consider children primarily before we commit to the marital act.
We conclude as self-evident that the primary end of the marital act is the procreation of children. It follows that children have a natural right to be loved, raised and educated by their biological parents; therefore, the marital act is only morally licit within the bounds of marriage. This fulfills the authentic ends of the human person, while at the same time leading to the well-ordered civilization which is built upon the gold-standard building block of society, the family.
The equality cry is that same-sex attracted couples want to get married. It is an impossibility if one considers the nature of marriage. Marriage is a natural and divine institution, not man-made. A marriage is “the conjugal union of man and woman, contracted between two qualified persons, which obliges them to live together throughout life”.
It is by design that only one man and one woman are qualified to marry. They are eligible by the appropriateness of their relationship to one another and by virtue of their complementarity endowed by the Creator. By mutual consent they agree to be joined as one flesh, faithful and monogamous, “for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, for better and for worse, until death do [they] part.”
An Opportunity to Colonize Heaven
This is marriage, and we are not allowed to give our own interpretation of it. No amount of persecution will change the above facts; it is against all our civilization’s notions of human rights to try to compel people to believe otherwise by force of law, threat of violence, or any other kind of coercion.
This is a very difficult issue, one that divides many Catholics and non-Catholics alike. It is a fact that we are called to take a stand on this; while the Catholic stand is against the redefinition of marriage, because it is morally and ontologically impossible, we are still called to love our brothers and sisters with truth and charity. Our stand against “marriage equality” is an opportunity to colonize heaven. Let us take up our crosses (cf. Matthew 16:24) and follow Him.