Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DOMA

You know, marriage was not redefined today.  There are two very important reasons for this.  One is that marriage cannot be redefined any more than the law of gravity can be redefined.  These are things that can be described, but not changed because we find that they do not suit us.  We can redefine different types of relationships, we can assign various legal statuses (stati?) to relationships, but marriage is not something that we get to make up what it is or is not.

Yep.  I know about the many variations of things that have been called marriage throughout the years.  But I never considered those true marriage either.  Don't worry, I'm equal opportunity in my judgements of these variations throughout history.  If it's not between one man and one woman for the purpose of unity and the potential for new life, then it is a distortion of the real thing, not the real thing.
Now, in many of these various variations, there is very real love.  It may have some things that are not completely rightly ordered, but it is real nonetheless.  If the feelings themselves were what made marriage a reality, then I would not be writing this post, but an entirely different one.

The other reason that marriage was not redefined today is that it was redefined many years ago.  If sex is a must whenever, with whomever, then marriage is redefined.  If marriage can be sterilized temporarily or permanently by the will of the couple, marriage is redefined. If children can be had by whatever means science allows, marriage is redefined. If marriage can be entered into and left as many times as a person so desires with (presumably) different people each time, marriage is redefined.  If marriage is all and only about feelings, then all of these things become necessary as feelings change.  And if it's all about feelings, then the millions of people that have such deep feelings for their same sex partners should, indeed, be allowed to marry. Either none of these things apply to marriage, or they all do.  You can't pick and choose.

Here's the thing.  If you want me to change my views about marriage, don't try to tell me what great people gay people are.  I know a lot of fantastic people who are gay.  I'll agree with you after zero argument. Don't try to tell me that people of the same sex can love each other with deep and lasting devotion.  I know.  I've seen it.  Don't try to convince me what awesome parents two same sex parents can be.  I already believe you.  I already know that to be true.  That is not why I object.

If you want to convince me that gay marriage should be fully recognized and that it is in no way different than two heterosexuals being married, then what you have to convince me is that sex is about love and pleasure- and nothing else-, and that procreation is to be decided in whatever way a couple sees fit, whether that means keeping it from happening via any number of different methods or whether it means having children in any way science can come up with, even without sex. That is what would get me to leave the Catholic Church and join the 21st century. Until then, I will stand with that which never changes, yet is always new, that which calls us to a higher love, even when that requires a greater sacrifice than we can possibly fathom.

I'm honestly not sure if there is a huge loss with DOMA repealed.  The fact that DOMA existed in the first place means that there was already a fundamental redefinition going on in the minds and hearts of the country, or there would have been no need to try to stop the redefinition with DOMA. Further, if the repeal of DOMA leads to less hatred and greater protections for families with same sex unions (in terms of medical/legal rights, etc), then I don't object to that part of it.  As for the "redefinition of marriage" aspect, that's already been done and can't be done as explained before.  The redefinition that really concerns me is that my view on this can now redefine me as a bigot and a hater.

9 comments:

  1. Politics is overrated. In the end, we're called to serve each other. This is all just noise. Whether we call gays married or crazy cat ladies and their cats married, it doesn't really change things for us as individuals living Christian lives.

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  2. BeautifulIy expressed thoughts, could not have put it better myself.

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  3. " The redefinition that really concerns me is that my view on this can now redefine me as a bigot and a hater."

    Yes, I was trying to have a conversation, and it always turned into that I had an hidden or personal agenda. I can cite UN Rights of Children, Court Opinions, Law Journal, Reports from the Department of Health & Human Services, and even a sponsored bill from Senator Obama in 2007. The conclusion was really I was nothing but a bigot.

    I hope many of my non-Catholic friends (who even though may disagree with me) will defend my speech as simply speech to address a problem, because of the work I do dealing with father absence in the homes of our communities.

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  4. this is great. Good for you.

    My biggest beef with all of this is somehow I am viewed as a bigot, and I think that is so unfortunate and very untrue. But because they think they can redefine marriage, then they think they can redefine the people who oppose that point of view. it's sad and scary.

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  5. Yup, that last sentence hit it on the nose. I completely agree.

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  6. Very well written. I agree with you also!

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  7. I love this post. So much that I want to share it on FB. I can have real-life conversations with people about this kind of thing, but any conversation about it through social media turns into a nasty, name-calling, mud-slinging affair. All of my uber-liberal friends are like, "But how could you deny two people the right to loooove each other?!". Ah, the simplistic, emotional argument that has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue at hand. But try presenting a rational argument and you just get yelled at.
    One thing that happened to me in this whole big hoopla, though, is that I finally connected the dots between gay marriage proponents, abortion supporters, and the infertility community. I don't know why it never hit me before, but DUH. We are no longer concerned with the welfare of our children, families and communities. It's all about "me me me" and what makes adults happy (and "happy" is debatable). Screw the consequences.

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  8. Wow. What a clear and humble view you express...how could anyone label you (or I) a bigot?

    I want to show this to my family. I agree that the greatest loss isn't the DOMA, but how people of faith are slighted as bigots/haters. I also think that the redefinition of marriage has already occurred through divorce, contraception, etc.

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  9. I love your thoughts on this subject and where you stand!!
    I have 2 BIL's who identify / are gay and it makes things hard when it is more personal. You love them, but not their lifestyle. We definitely disagree on this issue with the BIL's, so avoid it at our get-togethers.

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