2cornucopias

Posts Tagged ‘Same-sex marriage’

Major Threat to Life

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2013/07/19 at 12:00 AM

While there are many topics that can be included under the banner of “threats to life,” there are two right now that stand out as the most dangerous to our society: abortion and same-sex unions.

Of course when it comes to abortion, it’s very easy to see why this is a threat to life. The good news is that an increasing number of Americans believe that abortion is wrong in every circumstance, and abortions are decreasing in our country.

Some states like our own are now enacting stricter abortion laws, and many abortion mills in the U.S. are experiencing financial difficulties. These are all reasons for us to be optimistic.

But the war on abortion is far from over, and as a Pro-Life community we must keep up the pressure through programs such as 40 Days for Life and by voting only for pro-life politicians.

Why same-sex unions are a threat to life, however, is not as easy to understand. And sadly, Americans are increasingly relaxing their attitudes toward this grave evil.

Before I go any further on this topic, I want to make it absolutely clear that the Church makes a distinction between those who suffer from same-sex attraction and homosexual acts. Certainly the Church teaches us to love the sinner yet hate the sin.

Experiencing same sex attraction is a disorder, but it’s not a sin. To be sure, there are many types of disordered attractions that humanity is subject to. But acting on this disordered attraction and engaging in homosexual activity is always gravely sinful.

Same sex unions are a threat to life because they change and pervert the very act by which new life is created. And they are a threat to our society because they undermines God’s plan for the family, which is the very building block of our society.

As Catholics we know that all human life is sacred because we are created in Gods’ image and likeness, and thus the act by which life is created is also sacred and is not to be misused.

When we use our free will to misuse the gift of procreation, we rob ourselves and others of our God-given human dignity. We become less than who we are called to be.

You see, the conjugal act is sacred and holy only when directed towards its purposes established by God: first, for the procreation and education of children, and second for mutual up building in love of a married couple joined together in a permanent covenantal relationship. Any conjugal act that is not open to these two purposes is intrinsically evil.

The very first chapter of the Bibles teaches us that: “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27). God did not make them male and male, but male and female.

Thus, this passage teaches us that there is a necessary complementarity that must exist in the marital union, a complementarity that can only exist between a male and female.

The next verse continues: “God blessed them, saying: ‘Be fertile and multiply.’” Because they lack the complementarity necessary for true union, homosexual unions are not fertile and cannot multiply, and therefore they can never be open to the gift of life.

To the contrary, homosexual unions distort the marital act, destroying the procreative aspect of it as well as the unitive good, for love not rooted in Truth is not authentic love.

By legalizing same sex unions, we are not only consenting to grave sin as a society, but we are also changing the God-given nature of marriage. Salvation history teaches us that when we willfully turn away from God’s will, we set ourselves up for disaster.

Therefore, contrary to all the rhetoric we hear from the media, banning same sex unions is not a discriminatory act. It’s preventing the legalization of evil. It’s not a matter of denying someone happiness; it’s a matter of trying to save souls.

While I could talk for hours on the evils of abortion and same-sex unions, there is one evil that underlies and makes possible an acceptance of both abortion and same sex unions, and thus, it’s important to address this topic too. This root evil that has produced the rotten fruits of abortion and same sex unions is contraception.

Again, as with abortion and same sex unions, I have no intention of judging or condemning anyone who is caught up in this sin or has been in the past.

I know that many of you here right now are probably a bit uncomfortable. Well, I’ll tell you a secret: I’m uncomfortable too! Honestly, I don’t like talking about these topics. But considering the state of our society today, I can’t not talk about these things.

So I stand here today as both your spiritual father and your brother in Christ – as someone who loves you. And because I love you, I want you to have a fuller understanding of why these issues are evil so that you can make a more informed decision about them.

As I’ve said so many times before, truth is objective. It’s real and independent of us whether we like it or not. We don’t determine truth for ourselves. It simply is. And part of cooperating with God’s salvific grace is conforming our lives to Him Who is Truth!

In the parable of the landowner and tenants, Jesus tells us today of the consequences awaiting those who refuse to follow God’s will, and who instead do violence to those who represent Him: they do not inherit the Kingdom of God.

As Catholics, we are blessed that the fullness of truth has been revealed for us in Jesus Christ, who has enshrined this fullness of truth in the teachings of His Catholic Church.

As for contraception, we know that it is evil because it willfully sterilizes the marital act. By willfully eliminating the possibility of procreation, it distorts the purpose of the marital act.

By its nature marital love is meant to be fruitful and boundless. It’s like an intimate language in which spouses speak to one another and say: “I give myself to you fully.” When couples use contraception, it’s as if they are lying to each other when they engage in marital intimacy.

By contracepting we make the conjugal act something less than it was intended to be, and we take God out of the picture. This is why the Church teaches that using contraception is intrinsically evil and gravely sinful.

In essence contraception makes couples the arbiters of God’s plan for life rather than the servants of that plan. It’s an inherently selfish act and a refusal to accept the responsibilities that come with marital love. It’s a refusal of the fullness of marital love.

More than anything else, it is the widespread acceptance of contraception in western society that has led to the ill-begotten belief that the marital act can be about something other than the procreation of children. This is a terrible lie that has led to terrible consequences for us.

Pope Paul VI predicted that with the widespread use of contraception, there would be a general increase in promiscuity, adultery, and illegitimate births, as well as an increased divorce rate and the eventual acceptance and proliferation of abortion. Sadly, he was right.

This is because contraception teaches us that we can engage in the conjugal act without love and responsibility. It teaches us that we can use each other for our own gratification without consequence. This same mindset of using the conjugal act for our own selfish ends is now leading to an acceptance of same sex unions.

My brothers and sisters, look around at our society. We are drowning in an ocean of disordered sexuality. Every form of sexual perversion and impropriety is readily accepted and defended in our society as long as the people involved are consenting adults.

But we are mocking that which is sacred in God’s eyes. We mock God Himself. And it’s time that we Catholics fully embrace our faith and say “ENOUGH!” It’s high time that we rise up, speak out, and defend our society from these evils that are afflicting us.

I know that having children can be a scary proposition, and it’s often because of this that people turn to abortion and birth control. I also understand that embracing a life of celibate chastity can be lonely, which may lead those with same sex attractions to sinful unions.

But please remember that you will never find the peace and freedom we all desire apart from God’s will. And engaging in these evils is never part of God’s will for any of us.

Let us pray today for the courage not only to follow God’s will in all of these matters, but also to speak up and make these truths known

Advertisements

Marital Commitment

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2013/06/14 at 12:00 AM

• Both the reading and the Gospel today come from St. John the Beloved Disciple.  And both of these readings focus on love, reminding us that as the children of God, we are called to love one another just as God – Who Is Love Itself – has loved us.

• Indeed, love is one of those topics that we cannot over-emphasize in the Church because our Lord teaches us that the greatest commandment is to love. We are called first to love our Lord above all things, and then to love one another as we love ourselves.

• Love comes in many forms: there is the charitable love that exists between friends and neighbors, the nurturing love that exists between parents and children, the fraternal love that exists between siblings, and, of course, there is the life-giving love that exists between a man and his wife.

• While I could give homilies on any of these forms of love, I want to focus today on this last type of love: marital love, because in many ways this is the most important form of love that we exercise with one another.

• Marriage forms the basis of family life, and families are the building blocks of any human society. For better or worse, marriage is public; it’s not just a private arrangement between two people, and therefore the success or failure of a marriage has an impact on society as  a whole.

• Therefore, it’s important that we all be invested in protecting the institution of marriage, which is very sadly under attack today. It’s also important that we live out our marriages in conformity with God’s laws. But to do this, we must understand what marriage is all about.

• If you look at the documents of Vatican II (Gaudium et Spes) and Canon Law, you’ll find that marriage is the intimate, exclusive, indissoluble communion of life and love entered into by a man and woman. God designed this sacrament for the procreation and education of children and for the purpose of the spouses own good.

• “Marriage is a holy mystery, a symbol of Christ’s love for the Church.” It is a vehicle for  holiness! Marriage is not simply a social institution; it also has religious implications. Specifically, marriage is a conduit for God’s grace to flow to a couple and to their children.

• So marriage has both natural and supernatural dimensions, and both must be recognized.

• Thus, for Christians, marriages are actually triangular relationships: husband – wife – and God. All three are necessary to make a marriage work. And in living out a marriage, all three parties must be respected. All three must be willing to love.

• Furthermore, the love that is shared in a marriage is a particular type of love: a covenantal love, which requires an exchange of one’s whole self. A man gives himself fully to his wife, and a wife gives herself fully to her husband in a mutual embrace of love and fidelity.

• And this covenantal love that is shared in marriage is intimate, exclusive, indissoluble, and hopefully fruitful through a growth in holiness and the bearing and education of children.

• So the whole purpose for the covenant of marriage is growth in holiness and the bearing and education of kids. Sadly, one thing that our modern western society refuses to acknowledge is that marriage is fundamentally oriented toward the creation of life.

• We know this not just from revelation, but also from natural law. This is where Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body is indispensable. Pope John Paul has taught us that our bodies are designed to be in union with another body.

• Because the male body and the female body are complementary and actually “fit” together, we know we are called – in the very depths of our being – to give ourselves fully to another and to receive another fully unto ourselves.

• But even more than that, by creating man as male and female and calling us to be one flesh, God has stamped within our bodies an image of the reality that He desires to be one flesh with us. That’s why you often hear the Church being called the Bride of Christ!

• This is because we are called to be one flesh with God, as well as with our spouses!

• This one flesh union is meant to help us grow in communion with one another and with God, and thereby grow in holiness. But it’s this one-flesh union that also brings about children.

• Because the marital act is the one way that we participate with God in creating life, we know that the marital act is sacred. And it’s from this sense of sacredness that all of the Church’s sexual teachings are derived.

• Because it is so sacred, the conjugal act is not something we can just enter into as we please and with whom we please. It’s not simple recreation.

• On the contrary, it’s an action that carries serious responsibilities, and thus it should only be entered into by people who have accepted and vowed to live out these responsibilities: namely a man and a woman who are married to each other.

• You see, the primary purpose of marriage is the procreation of children, and the secondary purpose of marriage is the intimate, exclusive, and indissoluble unity of the couple.

• These fundamental purposes are most perfectly realized in the marital act. Thus, neither purpose should ever be divorced from the marital act because doing so distorts the purpose of the act and breaks down the marriage.

• This is why contraception is intrinsically evil and gravely sinful. Contraception and sterilization willfully undermine the marital act by suppressing or destroying one’s fertility. Contraception divorces the procreative purpose of marriage from the marital act.

• By eliminating the possibility of procreation, we severely limit the love of the act because we take away part of that gift of self that is fundamental to the act, for by its nature marital love is meant to be fruitful and boundless.

• Understanding that marriage is fundamentally oriented toward the creation of new life also helps us to understand why same-sex unions are wrong. By their very nature these types of unions can never be procreative, and therefore they can never be a true marriage.

• Because same-sex unions lack the fundamental complementarity that makes the procreative and unitive purposes of marriage possible, because same-sex unions are contrary to the natural law, and because same-sex unions close the conjugal act to life, the Church has always taught these unions are gravely sinful.

• Now I realize that the subject of same-sex unions is a very sensitive issue, and I am not here to condemn or upset anyone. I’m simply here to let you know what the Church teaches.

• Specifically, the Church is very clear that people who struggle with same-sex attraction are not to be discriminated against, but rather are to be supported, treated with compassion, and encouraged to live a life of celibacy. This is very important to remember.

• The Church condemns the sin, not the sinner. But She also recognizes and speaks the truth about the sinful nature of homosexual acts. Speaking this way is nothing more than true compassion combined with a frank recognition of the disordered nature of these acts.

• There is currently a movement in our country to legalize same-sex marriages in many states. So let’s be clear about something: the Church’s opposition to recognizing gay marriage is not a matter of the Church being prejudiced, unloving, or homophobic. It’s a matter of the Church speaking the truth. And speaking the truth is an act of love.

• The Catholic Church opposes homosexual acts because they are intrinsically disordered, and they abuse our human nature. Homosexual acts make us less than who God is calling us to be. And legalizing same-sex marriage will weaken an already damaged understanding of marriage in our society.

• In the Gospel today Jesus tells us that: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” And this notion of self-sacrifice is at the very heart of marital love. In fact, by dying on the cross, Jesus shows us that sacrifice is the very essence of love.

• If we are to be truly loving, we have to die to self. There is no other way to love. And in today’s world, that often means that we must sacrifice our own feelings and desires in order to love as God calls us to love.

• As we now prepare ourselves to become one flesh with our Lord by receiving Him in the Eucharist, let us pray that all married people will grow in their sacrificial love for their spouses and children.

• And let us pray as well that all people will grow in a greater understanding and respect for the sacrament of marriage, for the good of our society, and for the good of our souls.

Copyright 2009 by Reverend Timothy S. Reid

Reverend Reid is pastor of St. Ann’s Catholic  Church in Charlotte, NC

The Unexpected Debate by Linda Grazow

In 07 Observations on 2013/06/14 at 12:00 AM

Up until the 21st century, no reasonable human being, of faith or not, would have ever deemed it possible that the definition and understanding of marriage could be the subject of a statewide vote to either protect it or to redefine and reinvent it as something other, something less than what it has always been. The ever increasing relativism and disregard for absolute truths based on natural law in our society has put us at an unimaginable crossroads at this moment in history. This is a country founded and fought for, where religious liberty (freedom of religion, not freedom from religion) and true freedom would form the ideal society—true freedom, not to do whatever we want, but the liberty to do what is right.

In the midst of desensitization, through the media, targeted especially toward the younger generations to unprecedented violence, pornography, divorce and homosexual activity, there appears a trend toward indifference to this critical issue of what constitutes marriage and even growing support for radical negation of an undeniable truth. Many say, “What’s the big deal? I don’t have to approve of their lifestyle. If they want to get married, who cares?” It is a lack of understanding and an exaggerated expression of tolerance for any desire, urge, want, or fashionable cause that is automatically presumed to be a “right,” even if it goes against the very nature of what it means to be a man or woman, violates the natural law and ultimately corrupts and devolves the society into chaos.

Biology Lesson & Common Sense 

Males and females are physically different and are so obviously meant to join together like two puzzle pieces that fit perfectly. Further, when they join together in that beautifully perfect way, the physical reality often results in a chain of events that actually creates a new male or female.

Take for example the classic children’s toy, Tinker Toys. The inventor of Tinker Toys created simple wooden wheels with holes, and sticks which would fit perfectly into the holes. As these individual pieces are connected together, a fantastic building process takes place, limited only by the number of pieces in the set and the child’s imagination. But if one were to take all of the wheels by themselves and try to build something, the best would be to build a tower or perhaps a pyramid, which would be easily knocked down. So too, the sticks by themselves do not have the ability to build anything. It is only through the joining of the wheels and the sticks that something wonderful and structurally stable can be built.

In the same way, neither females by themselves nor males by themselves can build a wonderful and structurally stable family, community or society. In fact, the species would die out! So the primary biological purpose of sexuality for animals and humans is to procreate to ensure the species’ survival. The United States Supreme Court agreed when it said that marriage is “fundamental to the very existence and survival of the (human) race.”  In the human species, because of the added element of the soul, sexuality takes on a much deeper meaning and purpose. We are wired not only to perpetuate our community, but also to love and protect others within that community. We do this through different bonds of love depending upon our relationship to another person.

Friendship and Beyond 

We are all born capable of loving and being loved, and in fact, we need it. There are many forms that love can take, for example, the love between a mother and her child, the love between two friends, the love between a child and his dog, and the love between a man and a woman. Between two human beings, married love is the fullest expression of love. This has been true throughout human history because it requires a lifelong, faithful commitment between a man and a woman, usually witnessed by others in the community, to love and protect each other and to love and protect the children who are created out of their sexual union. This definition of marriage “has served as the very cornerstone of civilization and culture from the start.” (Archbishop Timothy Dolan)

Although we could say that a great bond of love exists between a mother and her child, we would never say that the two could be married. We could admire the bond of love between a child and his dog, but we would never say that the two could be married. In these instances, the nature of the bond of love does not fit the reality of what marriage is. Two men or two women could be great friends and enjoy each other’s company and they may have a logical expectation that they will have a lifelong friendship. But their bond of friendship love will never fit the reality of what marriage is by definition.

Dignity and Rights 

Each human being is born with inherent goodness. Even someone born with a physical or mental disability is endowed with an inherent goodness and dignity and is entitled to certain rights to life and liberty. As such, a society or culture recognizes basic natural laws—laws that are instinctively known by each individual–that protect the dignity and rights to life and liberty of its individual members. For example, a natural law would be the instinctive knowledge that killing another human being takes away that person’s right to live. Therefore, it becomes “against the law” to kill another person.

Another natural law is in the area of sexuality. Instinctively, individuals know that they are physically made as a male or a female and know that they are made to fit together complementarily for procreation. In the same way that circumstances, environment and temperament can affect a person to the point where he no longer honors the natural law against killing and instead chooses to fulfill an errant desire to commit murder, these same elements can affect a person to the point where he no longer honors the natural law of sexuality and instead gives in to an errant desire to commit rape, incest, pedophilia or homosexual acts.

Although the dignity of the person who commits such acts must be respected, the behaviors themselves cannot be allowed to supersede the natural laws that exist for the good of other individuals and that of society as a whole.  As specifically related to the question of rights for homosexual individuals, Archbishop Timothy Dolan clarified that “the Church affirms the basic human rights of gay men and women, and the state has rightly changed many laws to offer these men and women hospital visitation rights, bereavement leave, death benefits, insurance benefits, and the like. This is not about denying rights. It is about upholding a truth about the human condition.”  Logically, it is not about denying homosexual couples a “right” to marriage since, by the very definition of marriage, that “right” does not exist for them in the first place.

Real versus Counterfeit 

Over the last several years, a very small group of people in this country has been forcefully pushing an agenda to change our society’s view on homosexuality even to the point of demanding that homosexual couples be allowed to marry. Although it is easy to psychologically understand their overwhelming and desperate desire to have their unnatural sexual actions be accepted as “normal” and just another lifestyle choice among many, the reality is that it is a counterfeit of reality. The very fact that in discussions it is referred to as “gay marriage” openly acknowledges that it is not the real thing—the word “marriage” has to be qualified with the word “gay” because it is different and not the same. Think of the popular game Monopoly and Monopoly money. The qualifying word “Monopoly” reveals that it is different from the real money used in our country on which our whole economy is based. What would happen if our country decided to allow a counterfeit to commingle with reality?

Although both are made of paper, money from the game cannot be used to buy things in real life. Why can you not go into a store and buy a loaf of bread with Monopoly money? Is it because the paper itself is not good? No, it is because the value of the exchange of that paper is not backed by a tangible valuable asset such as gold.

Suppose a small group of people in this country decided to pool all of their Monopoly money and present it at a store to buy food. The store would refuse to sell, not because those presenting the money are not good people, but because the money they are trying to use is not real. Imagine the group presents a plea to the government saying they are trying to buy food and the store will not sell it to them. What would happen to the economy of that society if the government ruled that the store must accept Monopoly money from that group? Chaos and economic collapse would result because real and counterfeit money cannot be circulated at the same time.

In the same way, a small group of people who think they have a “right” to go to the government and say they want to have the ability to get “married” is proposing that it would be acceptable to have a counterfeit institution pass for the real thing. But the result for the society would also be collapse. In addition, once something counterfeit is forced to be accepted as the real thing, any entity that does not honor the counterfeit would be punished for discrimination. This is what would happen in our country to churches, businesses and individuals who, based on their faith, morals and ethical standards, refused to accept the counterfeit.

Protecting Marriage 

Although it seemed impossible that the integrity of the true meaning of marriage would someday need to be protected, that day is here. Thirty states have already passed an amendment to their state constitutions protecting the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. This is due to the current vulnerability of marriage as an institution, one which is the basic building block of a civilized and productive society, to be subject to activist judges and lawmakers who would impose decisions changing the real definition of marriage to allow its counterfeit “same-sex marriage.” Marriage is the logical, ideal and intended haven for the procreation, protection and raising of children. This is supported by an overwhelming body of social science evidence. Of course, for those who truly believe in the God who created man and woman and are still unsure, He has provided a most explicit and definitive answer to what the outcome of this unexpected debate should be.  (Genesis 1:27-28, 2:21-25, Leviticus 20:13, 18:22-24, Romans 1:24-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

Judicial Tyranny at Work

In 10 Colleen Carroll Campbell on 2013/05/08 at 12:00 AM

When a New York judge ruled earlier this month that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry, she bucked the state’s ban on gay marriage, overrode the will of most Americans and ignored the universal, millennia-old understanding of marriage.  But in one respect, at least, she was adhering to tradition: Her decision was only the latest in a series of controversial rulings issued by activist judges who have been reshaping American sexual mores from the bench for more than three decades.

As citizens who believe in government of the people, by the people and for the people, we should be concerned that a small cabal of judicial elites is making nearly all of the important decisions that face us as a nation, and they are too often making them with a flagrant disregard for our most fundamental values.  Their decisions are increasingly rooted not in the self-evident truths of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, but in a morally relativistic worldview that rejects ethical absolutes, opposes religious values and fails to defend our most fundamental rights and institutions – especially faith and family.

The Founding Fathers never wanted it this way.  They established the separation of powers to prevent any of the three branches of government from overstepping its bounds and exercising too much influence over society.  Judges were to be neutral interpreters of the law, their authority limited by the words of the Constitution and the intent of the legislature.  They were not to usurp the power of legislators or to interfere with the most basic principle of our democracy: our right to govern ourselves.

The vision of the Founding Fathers is confirmed by Catholic teachings.  In his 1991 social encyclical, Centesimus Annus (“Hundredth Year”), Pope John Paul II argued that a free society must honor the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity.  Subsidiarity holds that the government should not do for the people what they can and must do for themselves.  Solidarity ensures a defense of the weakest among us.

The Pope said that both are necessary for the proper functioning of a free society.  He also emphasized the importance of a vibrant moral culture that teaches citizens the virtues they need to govern themselves and acts as a counterweight to government power.  After living under Nazi and Communist occupation in Poland, the Pope knew the dangers of a government that grows too powerful, too intrusive and too hostile to the religious and moral values of its citizens.

In considering what sort of judges belongs on the bench, Catholics should heed the teachings of their faith and the wisdom of the Founding Fathers.  The activist judges who legalized abortion 32 years ago violated the constraints of our Constitution, the self-governance principle of our democracy and the right to life of the unborn.  Now a new breed of judicial elites is aiming to radically redefine marriage as a private affair for the gratification of consenting adults rather than a public institution geared toward the bearing and rearing of children.

Social science has shown again and again what the Catholic faith teaches as a matter of principle: that children lead healthier, happier lives when they are raised by their married, biological parents.  If activist judges use their power to separate marriage from procreation in the public mind, children will be the first to suffer in a culture that no longer encourages their parents to get married and stay married.

For the sake of the next generation, and in deference to the generations that came before us, we have a duty to defend the moral culture that sustains our democracy and demand judges who will do the same.

Our Sunday Visitor

Colleen Carroll Campbell is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. 

A Threat to Liberty: Same-Sex “Marriage,” Domestic Partnerships, and Civil Unions

In 09 Mary Summa, JD on 2012/05/03 at 9:11 AM

A Threat to Liberty: Same–Sex “Marriage,” Domestic Partnerships, and Civil Unions

Family North Carolina…written by: Mary Summa, J.D.

In Sweden in 2004, a court convicted a pastor of a hate crime and jailed him for one month for preaching against homosexuality.1 In Canada in 2007, fearful of losing custody of their children for refusing to put them in government-run schools that taught homosexuality as an ‘alternative’ lifestyle contrary to their religious beliefs, Mennonites fled Quebec for Ontario.2

These accounts should surprise no one. The homosexual rights army has been on the march for decades. The last 10 years have witnessed the fiercest battles for legalization of civil unions (or its equivalent), domestic partnerships, and same-sex “marriage.”3

What is surprising is America’s response to the struggle. Many people, including some Christians, have adopted a laissez-faire attitude when it comes to same-sex “marriage.” They have been indoctrinated by the homosexual lobby to believe that the legalization of civil unions, domestic partnerships, and same-sex “marriage” has nothing to do with them. Sadly, it does.

Make no mistake, the legalization of same-sex “marriage” would fundamentally transform the social and legal understanding of marriage. It would affect the rights and freedoms Americans hold dear and spell the death-knell of liberty. In fact, it already has.

The Steep Climb Toward

Same–Sex “Marriage”

The legalization of same-sex “marriage,” domestic partnerships, and civil unions does not represent the genesis of the homosexual rights movement, but rather its pinnacle. Beverly LaHaye, the founder of Concerned Women for America, astutely wrote: “The homosexual ideology implies the intent to rearrange our perceptions, lifestyle and legal system in the strict sense of the term. This change is revolutionary. It requires, if it is to be effectively implemented, the careful and gradual application and transfer of power. The homosexual movement is a … hard-nosed political movement bent on changing our society.”4

The goal of altering society has not come easily for the homosexual rights movement. While the first homosexual rights group was founded in 1924, 5 the movement stalled and sputtered through most of the 20th Century. Things changed drastically in 1973, when the American Psychiatric Association did an about-face and removed homosexuality from its official list of mental disorders. Buttressed with their new medical ally and aligning itself to the civil rights bandwagon, the homosexual rights movement gained traction and then momentum. Focusing on anti-discrimination laws, the movement began building an arsenal of local, county, and state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Simultaneously, the movement began successfully targeting anti-sodomy statutes and “hate crimes” based on sexual orientation.

In the 1980s, homosexual advocacy groups began demanding legalization of their status as couples. A former ally in the fight to preserve the traditional family, numerous courts became the family’s enemy. The last 25 years have witnessed a struggle between the courts (and some legislatures) who have sought to destroy marriage, and the public who has fought to preserve it.

To date, 37 states have enacted Defense of Marriage Statutes (DOMAs) and 30 states have passed amendments to preserve the definition of marriage in their State Constitutions.6 Six states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex “mar- riage,” either by judicial mandate or by legislature initiation.7 Unlike every other southern state, North Carolina lacks a Marriage Protection Amendment.

Some courts, although unwilling to overturn traditional marriage laws, began mandating that state legislatures enact laws to allow and recognize civil unions. The homosexual rights lobby saw civil unions, simply, as a legal waiting room for the subsequent coronation of the marriage title. In 1999, responding to a court mandate, Vermont became the first state to legalize civil unions.8 Praising the decision, Lambda Marriage Project Director Evan Wolfson commented, “Americans will see that when lesbians and gay men are given access to most of the rights and obligations of civil marriage, the sky will not fall and the institution of marriage will be even stronger.”9 Seven years later, the New Jersey Supreme Court mimicked Vermont’s high court and mandated the legislature to enact civil unions legislation.10 In 2005, Connecticut became the first state to legalize civil unions without a court mandate.11

Judges and legislators who thought the legalization of civil unions would quell the demand for same-sex “marriage” have been proven dead wrong. As Archbishop Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Denver, noted in a recently published article, “…in every state where civil unions have become law, the political pressure for ‘gay marriage’ has not declined; it has increased.”12

To date, seven states—Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Hawaii, Illinois, and Delaware—have enacted civil unions laws. The laws in Hawaii and Delaware will go into effect in January 2012. Seven states—California, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, Maine, and Wisconsin—and the District of Columbia legally recognize domestic partnerships.13

Three of those jurisdictions—Connecticut, Vermont, and New Hampshire—have subsequently replaced civil unions with legalized same-sex “mar- riage.”The District of Columbia has legalized same-sex “marriage“ and retained its domestic partnership law.14 If the trend in the U.S. continues, most, if not all, of these states with legalized civil unions or domestic partnerships will eventually legalize same- sex “marriage.”

Undermining Marriage

Marriage is God-given, not a creation of government, and has, in fact, existed outside of government.15 In every known human society, marriage has served as the foundational institution for society, and its purpose to regulate heterosexual activity and provide stability for the rearing of children has remained constant.16 Courts have recognized both of these facts.

Attempting to accommodate same-sex relations within the definition of “marriage,” some recent court decisions have ignored its source and minimized its foundational role in society. According to at least one court, God did not institute marriage. The State did. In Baehr v. Lewin, the Hawaii court described marriage as “a state-conferred legal status, the existence of which gives rise to rights and benefits reserved exclusively to that particular relationship.”17 In Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, a court decision that forced Massachusetts to legalize same-sex “marriage,” the court ignored the long-standing procreational aspect of marriage and described it in terms of “exclusivity, mutual support and commitment to one another.”18 The words “commitment” and “love,” as pointed out by William Duncan, Director of the Marriage Law Foundation, “are terminable in a way that ‘obliga- tion’ is not because both are subjective and can, to some degree, be chosen or unchosen.”19

Who Cares?

Anyone who cherishes freedom should care about marriage. Traditionally, state legislatures and courts have only slightly regulated the marital institution or the decisions made regarding children. The state has simply provided a “legal shell that gave the institution status and legal effect.”20

In contrast, same-sex “marriage,” domestic partnerships, civil unions, and the rights ensuing from those institutions are totally created by government. Their lifeblood depends on the winds of power. As courts and legislatures empower these institutions with rights and privileges identical to marriage, the lines of distinction blur, and government begins to tread on the rights and privileges of traditional marriage.

Undermining Parental Rights

As the definition and purpose of “marriage” has been altered, so, too, have been the rights of parents. In 2007, William Duncan argued that if marriage is no longer about “procreation” but simply a “mutual commitment,” “it is at least possible that natural parents will have to be treated the same as individuals with no natural tie to a child.”21 In fact, by 2007, the courts in several states had already re-crafted the definition of “parenthood” by legalizing “de facto” parenting, giving individuals who were not biologically linked to a child the status of “parent” with at least partial parenthood rights and privileges.

North Carolina joined the “de facto” parent- hood bandwagon in 2008, when the State Court of Appeals in Mason v. Dwinnell ruled that a non- biological ex-partner was given rights to custody and visitation to a child over the objection of the biological parent.22 This de facto parenting doctrine recently was used by the North Carolina Supreme Court in Boseman v. Jarrell to justify the awarding of custody and visitation to a non-biological parent over the objection of an ex-same-sex partner, who was the biological mother.23 Biological parents can no longer be assured that their rights, at least the rights to custody and visitation, are secure.

The court’s creation of marriage-like institutions has adversely affected other parental rights in traditional marriage. The fundamental right of parents to provide for their child’s educational, moral, and religious upbringing—rights long protected by the courts—have been victimized as well. After Massachusetts legalized same-sex “marriage” in 2003, the State Board of Education altered its curriculum to accommodate same-sex couples. In 2008, the kindergarten “Diversity Book Bag” included a picture book, Who’s In a Family?, which depicted a variety of families, including two moms or two dads. Second graders were required to listen to the reading of King and King, which describes the story of a prince falling in love with another prince. Parents objected to the content of these pro-homo-sexual materials and sued because they had never been given the opportunity to remove their children from the classroom while the materials were being taught. The lower court dismissed the lawsuit, and on appeal, the federal circuit court affirmed that dismissal. Brushing aside a parent’s rights to provide for the spiritual and moral well-being of their own children, First Circuit Judge Sandra Lynch admitted in the opinion that the book “affirmatively endorsed homosexuality and gay marriage,” and boldly concluded, “It is a fair inference that the reading of King and King was precisely intended to influence the listening children toward tolerance of gay marriage. That was the point of why that book was chosen and used.”24

Threatening Religious Freedom

For the past 20 years, churches and religiously- affiliated institutions worldwide have felt the sting of the homosexual rights movement. While not yet directly barring biblical teaching against homosexuality, many institutions have found themselves staring down the barrel of a lawsuit because they have refused to accommodate the homosexual lifestyle. In 1987, 13 years before D.C. legalized same-sex “marriage,” in Georgetown University v. Gay Rights Coalition of Georgetown Law Center, the D.C. Courts found Georgetown University, a Catholic institution, in violation of a public accommodations law for failing to allow homosexual groups to meet on campus. In the opinion of the court, “the goal of eradicating sexual orientation discrimination represents a more important government interest than protecting religious liberty.”25

The legalization of civil unions, while not called “marriage,” intensified the wrath against those who courageously spoke out against the homosexual life- style. In 2007, civil unions in California were legal but same-sex “marriages” were not. Four San Diego firefighters objected to participating in the San Diego Gay Pride Parade. Their superiors forced them to do so. (Subsequently, the firefighters won a sexual harassment suit in 2010 for injury occurring from working at the event.)26 In 2007, one year after New Jersey legalized civil unions, the State of New Jersey removed a greenway tax exemption from a New Jersey Methodist camp, because that camp refused to host a same-sex union in its marriage pavilion.27

The legalization of homosexual “marriage” has intensified the government’s scrutiny of organizations and individuals who have refused to bow to the homosexual agenda. In 2006, three years after the courts forced the Massachusetts legislature to legalize same-sex “marriage,” Catholic Charities of Massachusetts was faced with a dilemma: place children with same-sex couples or lose its license. Unable to obtain a waiver of the anti-discrimination laws regarding sexual orientation, and refusing to violate religious convictions, Catholic Charities closed its doors to the adoption business after 100 years of service.28

In 2008, the same year the judiciary redefined marriage,29 a California court refused to allow a physician to claim a religious exemption when he was asked to perform In Vitro Fertilization treatments on a lesbian woman. The court, in North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group v. San Diego County Superior Court, found that the state’s compelling interest in extinguishing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation superseded a religious belief, even if that burden on freedom of religion was “substantial.”30 The legalization of same-sex “marriage” will elicit numerous cases of this nature.

The pro-homosexual attitude in government has pervaded government entities even in jurisdictions without civil unions or same-sex “marriage.” In many cases, local human rights commissions have wielded the hammer.

• In 2006, the Arlington, Virginia Human Rights Commission ordered a professed Christian, who operated a video duplicator business, to do a job for a lesbian activist. He had refused because he did not want to help promote homosexuality.31

• In 2008, a Christian couple in Albequerque, New Mexico was tried before the State Human Rights Commission after declining to photograph a same-sex ceremony. Reportedly, the couple had to pay the commission a fine of $6,600.32

These few examples provide a glimpse of how far the homosexual agenda has advanced in this country. Looking at Canada, a country that legalized same-sex “marriage” in 2005, one can see what persecution might lie ahead.

• In 2005, the Alberta Roman Catholic Bishop Fred Henry, faced two complaints filed against him because of his pastoral letter defending the traditional definition of marriage. In a 2008 article, Bishop Henry is quoted as saying, “The social climate right now is that we’re into a new form of censorship and thought control, and the commissions are being used as thought police.”33

• In 2007, a Catholic city councilman from British Columbia was fined $1,000 and required to apologize for saying that homosexuality is “not normal or natural.”34

• In 2009, Ontario’s Ministry of Education mandated a policy that required every school board in Ontario, Catholic and public, to

implement a new ‘equity and inclusiveness’ policy recognizing sexual orientation” as a ground protected from discrimination by September 2010.35

These situations make one wonder how anyone could ever question how the legalization of same-sex “marriage” will affect them.

For Family and Freedom

Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, 235 years ago, that man is endowed with the inalienable right to liberty. That right includes religious freedom and the right of parents to instill those religious beliefs in their children. Our forefathers understood that those rights serve as the foundation of freedom and a government must protect them.

Totalitarianism, on the other hand, is a system of government that is dictatorial and requires complete subservience of its citizenry. Strong families and the Church are its two primary enemies because both diminish the power of the State to control the loyalty of its citizenry. One demands loyalty to one’s spouse and children. The latter demands loyalty to God.

As the battle over homosexual “marriage” continues to be waged in state legislatures and courtrooms nationwide, marriage defenders should not fool themselves into thinking that it does not affect all individuals and marriage at large. Amidst charges of “homophobia,” “unfairness,” and “bigotry,” the fight to preserve traditional marriage—the foundation of freedom—must continue. North Carolinians must act now to stem the tide by demanding a state constitutional amendment that will protect the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman with that relationship being the only valid and legally recognized domestic union in the state. If pro-family citizens sit back and do nothing, this religious persecution and all-out war against the family will intensify here in North Carolina. As a result, parental and religious freedom will be lost.v

Mary Summa, J.D., is an attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina, who served as Chief Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Jesse Helms during the 1980s. For a footnoted version of this article, please visit ncfamily.org.

Family North Carolina

ENDNOTES:

1) Office of the Prosecutor General v. AG, Case No. 1050-05, November 25, 2005 http://oldsite.alliancedefensefund.org/ userdocs/GreenSupremeCourtRuling.pdf.

The conviction was later overturned. See “Swedish Anti-Gay Pastor Acquitted,” BBC News.com, November 29, 2005. http:// news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4477502.stm. Last visited 21 May 2011.

2) Mennonites threaten to abandon Quebec”The Vancouver Sun, 16 August 2007 < http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/ news/story.html?id=9783f327-d369-401f-9a61-eaaa68f0db14> Last visited 20 May 2011.

3) Civil Unions -Belgium in 1998, the province of Quebec in 1999 and Sweden in 2005. and all three legalized same sex marriage—Belgium in 2003, Canada in 2005 (by 2005 with the passage of the Civil Marriage Act all but 5 Canadian provinces had legalized same sex marriage by court decisions. M v. H 2 SCR 3 (1999), a Canada Supreme Court case had mandated spousal benefits to same sex couples since 1999 and Sweden in 2009.

4) Beverly LaHaye, The Homosexual Agenda, Concerned Women for America. 1991.

5) Henry Gerber established the first homosexual rights group in 1924 but it folded a year later with his arrest. See http:// http://www.glhalloffame.org/index.pl?item=18&todo=view_item. Last visited 22 May 2011.

6) “Same Sex Marriage, civil Unions, and Domestic Partnerships,” National Conference of State Legislatures, February 2011. http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=16430 last visited May 20, 2011.

Hawaii’s amendment does not specifically define marriage but specifies that only the legislature “shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite sex couples.”

7) “Same Sex Marriage, civil Unions, and Domestic Partnerships,” National Conference of State Legislatures, February 2011. http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=16430 Last visited May 20, 2011.

8) Baker v. Vermont, 744 A.2d 864 ( Vt. 1999).

9) “Vermont Civil Unions Law to Take Effect, Putting Fairness in Full Swing,” http://www.Lambdalegal.org., June 30, 2000. http:// http://www.lambdalegal.org/news/pr/ny_20000630_vt-civil-unions- law-to-take-effect.html. Last visited 22 May 2011.

10) Lewis v. Harris, 188 N.J. 415, 908 A.2d 196 (N.J. 2006)

11) “Same Sex Marriage, Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships, National Conference of State Legislatures, February 2011. http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=16430 Last visited 20 May 2011.

12) “Voice Your Support for Marriage and Thank these Lawmakers”, Denver Catholic Register, April 6, 2011.

13) “Same Sex Marriage, civil Unions, and Domestic Partnerships,” National Conference of State Legislatures, February 2011. . http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=16430. Last visited 20 May 2011.

14) “Same Sex Marriage, civil Unions, and Domestic Partnerships,” National Conference of State Legislatures, February 2011. . http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=16430. Last visited 20 May 2011.

15) William Duncan, “Constitutions and Marriage, 6 Whittier Journal of Child and Family Advocacy 331 (2007).

16) See Justice Robert J. Cordy’s dissenting opinion in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, 440 Mass 309, 798 N.E.2d 941 (Mass 2003).

17) Baehr v. Lewin, 852 P.2d 44 (Haw. 1993).

18) 440 Mass. 309, 798 N.E.2d 941 (Mass 2003) at 440 Mass 337.

19) William Duncan, “Portrait of an Institution”, 50 Howard Law Review 95 at 105 (2oo6).

20) William Duncan, “Portrait of an Institution”, 50 Howard Law Review 95 (2006).

21) William Duncan, Constitutions and Marriage, 6 Whittier Journal of Child and Family Advocacy 331 (2007).

22) Mason v. Dwinnell, (660 S.E.2d 58 (N.C. App. 2008). 23) Boseman v. Jarrell, 695 S.E.2d 753 (2010).

24) Parker v. Hurley, 514 F.3d 87 (1st Cir. 2008) cert. denied 129 S. Ct. 56 (2008).

25) Georgetown University v. Gay Rights Coalition of Georgetown Law Center, 536 A.2d 1 (D.C. App. 1987).

26) See “San Diego Firefighters Prevail in Gay Pride Parade Lawsuit”, The United Families International Blog, October 19, 2010. http://unitedfamiliesinternational.wordpress. com/2010/10/19/san-diego-firefighters-prevail-in-gay-pride- parade-lawsuit. Last visited 8 May 2011.

27) New Jersey Attacks Religious Freedom of Methodist Campground”, Catholic News Agency, September 27, 2007, http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/new_jersey_at- tacks_religious_freedom_of_methodist_campground Last visited 20 May 2011.

28) Colleen T. Rutledge, “Caught in the Crossfire: How Catholic Charities of Boston Was Victim to the Clash Between Gay Rights and Religious Freedom,” 15 Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy 297 (2008). http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q= 15+Duke+Law+Journal+of+Gender+Law+and+Policy+297+%28 2008%29&btnG=Search Last visited 22 May 2011.

See also Maggie Gallagher, “Banned in Boston, The Coming Conflict Between Same Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty”, Weekly Standard, May 25, 2006.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/ Articles/000/000/012/191kgwgh.asp. Last visited 22 May 2011.

29) In re Marriages, 76 Cal. Rptr. 3d 683, 183 P.3d 384 (Cal. 2008).

30) North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group v. San Diego County Superior Court, 189 P3d 959, 968 (Cal. 2008).

31) Businessman Ordered to Duplicate Lesbian’s Vid- eos, WorldNetDaily.com, April 28, 2006 http://www.wnd. com/?pageId=35927 Last visited 20 May 2011.

32) Jeff Johnson, “New Mexico Commission Orders $6,000 Fine for Christian Beliefs,” onenewsnow.com, 11 April 2008.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=75547 Last visited 20 May 2011.

33) Pete Vere, “Canada’s Human Rights Beef With Catholics,” Zenit.com, 5 February 2008 http://www.zenit.org/article- 21689?l=english Last visited 20 May 2011.

34) “Canadian City Councillor Fined $1000 for Saying Homosexuality ‘not Normal or Natural’,”LifeSiteNews.com, January 19, 2007. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2007/ jan/07011902 Last visited 20 May 2011.

Also see “The Impact of Same-Sex Marriage on Religious Freedom”,Christian Examiner online, December 2008.

http://www.christianexaminer.com/Articles/Articles%20Dec08/ Art_Dec08_11.htmlYet

35) “Policy/Program Memorandum No. 119,” Ontario Ministry of Education, June 24, 2009, http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/extra/ eng/ppm/119.html last visited on 8 May 2011.

See also “Anti-Christian Persecution & Oppression in Canada: The High Cost of Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage (SSM)” Campaignlifecoaltion.com,. http://campaignlifecoalition.com/ shared/media/editor/file/PersecutionOfChristians(1).pdf Last visited 8 May 2011.

Re-printed with permission from the NORTH CAROLINA FAMILY COUNCIL MAGAZINE PUBLICATION.

“A Threat to Liberty:  Same Sex ‘Marriage,’ Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions. Family NC.  Summer 2011.

The Major Threats to Life

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2011/10/08 at 1:00 AM

While there are many topics that can be included under the banner of “threats to life,” there are two right now that stand out as the most dangerous to our society: abortion and same-sex unions.

Of course when it comes to abortion, it’s very easy to see why this is a threat to life. The good news is that an increasing number of Americans believe that abortion is wrong in every circumstance, and abortions are decreasing in our country.

Some states like our own are now enacting stricter abortion laws, and many abortion mills in the U.S. are experiencing financial difficulties. These are all reasons for us to be optimistic.

But the war on abortion is far from over, and as a Pro-Life community we must keep up the pressure through programs such as 40 Days for Life and by voting only for pro-life politicians.

Why same-sex unions are a threat to life, however, is not as easy to understand. And sadly, Americans are increasingly relaxing their attitudes toward this grave evil.

Before I go any further on this topic, I want to make it absolutely clear that the Church makes a distinction between those who suffer from same-sex attraction and homosexual acts. Certainly the Church teaches us to love the sinner yet hate the sin.

Experiencing same sex attraction is a disorder, but it’s not a sin. To be sure, there are many types of disordered attractions that humanity is subject to. But acting on this disordered attraction and engaging in homosexual activity is always gravely sinful.

Same sex unions are a threat to life because they change and pervert the very act by which new life is created. And they are a threat to our society because they undermines God’s plan for the family, which is the very building block of our society.

As Catholics we know that all human life is sacred because we are created in Gods’ image and likeness, and thus the act by which life is created is also sacred and is not to be misused.

When we use our free will to misuse the gift of procreation, we rob ourselves and others of our God-given human dignity. We become less than who we are called to be.

You see, the conjugal act is sacred and holy only when directed towards its purposes established by God: first, for the procreation and education of children, and second for mutual up building in love of a married couple joined together in a permanent covenantal relationship. Any conjugal act that is not open to these two purposes is intrinsically evil.

The very first chapter of the Bibles teaches us that: “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27). God did not make them male and male, but male and female.

Thus, this passage teaches us that there is a necessary complementarity that must exist in the marital union, a complementarity that can only exist between a male and female.

The next verse continues: “God blessed them, saying: ‘Be fertile and multiply.’” Because they lack the complementarity necessary for true union, homosexual unions are not fertile and cannot multiply, and therefore they can never be open to the gift of life.

To the contrary, homosexual unions distort the marital act, destroying the procreative aspect of it as well as the unitive good, for love not rooted in Truth is not authentic love.

By legalizing same sex unions, we are not only consenting to grave sin as a society, but we are also changing the God-given nature of marriage. Salvation history teaches us that when we willfully turn away from God’s will, we set ourselves up for disaster.

Therefore, contrary to all the rhetoric we hear from the media, banning same sex unions is not a discriminatory act. It’s preventing the legalization of evil. It’s not a matter of denying someone happiness; it’s a matter of trying to save souls.

While I could talk for hours on the evils of abortion and same-sex unions, there is one evil that underlies and makes possible an acceptance of both abortion and same sex unions, and thus, it’s important to address this topic too. This root evil that has produced the rotten fruits of abortion and same sex unions is contraception.

Again, as with abortion and same sex unions, I have no intention of judging or condemning anyone who is caught up in this sin or has been in the past.

I know that many of you here right now are probably a bit uncomfortable. Well, I’ll tell you a secret: I’m uncomfortable too! Honestly, I don’t like talking about these topics. But considering the state of our society today, I can’t not talk about these things.

So I stand here today as both your spiritual father and your brother in Christ – as someone who loves you. And because I love you, I want you to have a fuller understanding of why these issues are evil so that you can make a more informed decision about them.

As I’ve said so many times before, truth is objective. It’s real and independent of us whether we like it or not. We don’t determine truth for ourselves. It simply is. And part of cooperating with God’s salvific grace is conforming our lives to Him Who is Truth!

In the parable of the landowner and tenants, Jesus tells us today of the consequences awaiting those who refuse to follow God’s will, and who instead do violence to those who represent Him: they do not inherit the Kingdom of God.

As Catholics, we are blessed that the fullness of truth has been revealed for us in Jesus Christ, who has enshrined this fullness of truth in the teachings of His Catholic Church.

As for contraception, we know that it is evil because it willfully sterilizes the marital act. By willfully eliminating the possibility of procreation, it distorts the purpose of the marital act.

By its nature marital love is meant to be fruitful and boundless. It’s like an intimate language in which spouses speak to one another and say: “I give myself to you fully.” When couples use contraception, it’s as if they are lying to each other when they engage in marital intimacy.

By contracepting we make the conjugal act something less than it was intended to be, and we take God out of the picture. This is why the Church teaches that using contraception is intrinsically evil and gravely sinful.

In essence contraception makes couples the arbiters of God’s plan for life rather than the servants of that plan. It’s an inherently selfish act and a refusal to accept the responsibilities that come with marital love. It’s a refusal of the fullness of marital love.

More than anything else, it is the widespread acceptance of contraception in western society that has led to the ill-begotten belief that the marital act can be about something other than the procreation of children. This is a terrible lie that has led to terrible consequences for us.

Pope Paul VI predicted that with the widespread use of contraception, there would be a general increase in promiscuity, adultery, and illegitimate births, as well as an increased divorce rate and the eventual acceptance and proliferation of abortion. Sadly, he was right.

This is because contraception teaches us that we can engage in the conjugal act without love and responsibility. It teaches us that we can use each other for our own gratification without consequence. This same mindset of using the conjugal act for our own selfish ends is now leading to an acceptance of same sex unions.

My brothers and sisters, look around at our society. We are drowning in an ocean of disordered sexuality. Every form of sexual perversion and impropriety is readily accepted and defended in our society as long as the people involved are consenting adults.

But we are mocking that which is sacred in God’s eyes. We mock God Himself. And it’s time that we Catholics fully embrace our faith and say “ENOUGH!” It’s high time that we rise up, speak out, and defend our society from these evils that are afflicting us.

I know that having children can be a scary proposition, and it’s often because of this that people turn to abortion and birth control. I also understand that embracing a life of celibate chastity can be lonely, which may lead those with same sex attractions to sinful unions.

But please remember that you will never find the peace and freedom we all desire apart from God’s will. And engaging in these evils is never part of God’s will for any of us.

Let us pray today for the courage not only to follow God’s will in all of these matters, but also to speak up and make these truths known for the good of our country.

10/2/11   Reverend Reid is pastor of St. Ann’s Catholic  Church in Charlotte, NC