I read on some blogs and in the news that the UK has passed laws allowing same-sex marriages. The same happened in France about a year ago, and there were fierce demonstrations organised by Civitas.
The big problem is that the world we live in is secular and no longer refers to Christian morality. We can only try to have spiritual influence, and only then will people make their moral lives consistent with their faith and spiritual lives. Gone are the days when churches had secular authorities in their pockets and could impose Christian moral laws on all.
It may sound anathema to Christians, but I advocate tolerance for those who are not of our faith. We have no choice in the matter. The world has passed us by, and the only place where we can insist on Christian morality is in the confessional.
Same-sex marriage is clearly an aberration in terms of the Christian family. However, there is the legal question of adopted children. A single person can legally adopt a child, and that child has the right of inheritance. If that single person is living in a relationship with another person, the filiation is not transferred to the partner when the adopting parent dies. This can lead to serious situations for the children. A marriage between the two partners, even if they are of the same sex, might be justified in this kind of situation to ensure the civil rights of the adopted children. This is a dimension that seems to be overlooked by Civitas and other conservative pressure groups.
The only justification for such an arrangement (civil marriage) would be this legal question of filiation. Here in France, our heterosexual marriages are first done before the Mayor of where the fiancée lives, and only then in church. In England, people can have a civil wedding at the Registry Office or at the church where the priest or minister has the legal faculties from the secular authorities as a registrar for marriages. There is no justification for attempting to marry a same-sex couple in church, as only heterosexual marriage was given the standing of a Sacrament by Christ.
There can be a good counter argument. You don’t change the law because of a fait accompli, because same sex couples are adopting children. Otherwise people can kill and steal, and then get the law changed in their favour! A couple involving a single person who has adopted a child and his/her partner knows that the child can only inherit from the adopting parent. Another problem with changing the essential definition of marriage is – Whatever next? There are many agonising moral problems that cannot be resolved by legislation. One is euthanasia. Legalise euthanasia and it will go down the slippery slope to killing people for their money or on a whim – or starting the Nazi Holocaust over again. Keep it illegal and allow judges and juries to look at each case carefully and have the power of discretion in matters of sentencing and mitigating circumstances. Killing is always killing, always intrinsically wrong, but sometimes can be justified in extreme cases of suffering. You can’t legislate for hard cases or base the law on exceptions. Likewise, same-sex marriage is not marriage. However, judges could allow the surviving partner to adopt the children when all the circumstances have been examined.
When examining questions of this kind, we need to see the legal dimensions, the human aspects, and we also need to have a clear sense of what is right and wrong. Wrong does not become right on the passing of a law that is not designed first to obey the natural law and Christian morality. It would be bad to see some kind of conservative blow-back happen and for homosexuals to suffer the kind of treatment they got in Victorian England and Europe in more recent times. This is what may happen if the gay lobby pushes too hard.
We live in a highly polarised world where politics and law no longer have the common good as their objective. The politicians are in it for money or their own egos, and laws are twisted according to the agenda of the day. This is the real problem. We are watching our civilisation crumble, not only from this single issue, but from a general environment of everything being questioned and contested. The argument is for greater freedom, but the reality is less freedom and the death spiral towards a totalitarian society such as Orwell prophesied in Nineteen Eighty Four.
Everything seems to be determined by mass hysteria and stupidity, surely the strongest argument against democracy. No doubt, I will be classed as homophobic because I do not recognise the possibility of two persons of the same sex to contract sacramental marriage, even if they can enter into a legal union for the sake of adopted children. I believe in tolerance for those who wish to live in a discreet homosexual lifestyle, respectful of others, when they are not of our faith. People have tattoos and piercings which make me cringe, but that’s what they like – and they do it to themselves. We have to be tolerant, but we can’t recognise it as “normal”.
With the degree of pressure on the majority of society not to be homophobic, racist, sexist, etc., there is bound to be one day a conservative blow-back. When reactions happen, they don’t go to a moderate position but to the other extreme. It happened under the Nazis after the “mad” years in Berlin in the 1920’s. We seem to be looking at a civilisation that will go out in a blazing Götterdämmerung or out with a whimper. I am afraid. Might Vladimir Putin help us? That’s another problem, and the man is former KGB. I don’t trust any of them, Cameron, Obama, Hollande or any of them.
We have to keep our heads down at present, but for how long? May the Lord give us not only the virtue of prudence, but also of courage.
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.