Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Obama-- "Gay Marriage" is NOT Marriage. Here’s Why

By Monica Migliorino Miller, Ph.D.
Guest column

As a pro-life leader, theologian, wife and mother I feel it is necessary for me to finally weigh-in on the issue of so-called “gay marriage” in light of Obama’s recently-declared support for same-sex so-called “marital” unions. This article is not a full-blown treatise on the subject. I intend here to provide a concise argument as to why same-sex sexual activity is not the moral, social, cultural equal to heterosexual marital unions—and thus should not be granted equal status in law. In addition, I will also explain who or what is to blame for the moral and intellectual break-down on the subject of marriage represented by the current advocacy for “gay marriage.”

Legal recognition of homosexual bonds as marital bonds ultimately means that gender, human sexuality, being a husband or a wife, motherhood and fatherhood have no objective moral meaning. This also means that the family itself has no objective moral meaning. The moral law rooted in nature is completely dissolved. There are no longer any natural familial moral bonds, thus no longer any natural moral ties and thus no natural moral responsibilities arising from the very nature of the family.

If the bond between two men or two women may be considered the equivalent of the one-flesh marital unity between a man and a woman, a bond that gives rise to the family, we are then saying that all human ties are strictly a matter of the will—only when persons choose to be connected to one another—by emotional, legal or artificial contrivance— that they are then connected. And if the fundamental building block of society, namely the family, is essentially a matter of choice, those choices can be undone by personal will. The family simply becomes an arrangement of the will—no one is in essence a mother, a father, a husband or wife. The family unit is turned into a mere fragile arrangement of personal volition. Indeed, being a husband or wife, mother or father is nominal, not real.

The family is no longer a unit cemented by innate natural familial bonds that actually cause persons to be mother and child, brother and sister—essential identities embedded in nature itself that produce innate responsibilities to which persons who have such identities must be held accountable. Nothing here should be interpreted to mean that sterile couples who adopt children are not parents. Their heterosexual marital unity, unlike “gay marriage” participates in the truth of marriage and is a public sign of that truth. Their sexual unity is oriented towards life in a way that “gay marriage” can never be.

It is simply a lie that lesbian or homosexual sexual activity is equivalent to sexual activity between a wedded man and woman. I will even go on and say that making them equivalent is an insult to the very meaning of marriage and the family. Gay sex, is self-enclosed, of itself sterile and a societal dead-end. Since the family cannot come from such sex—the government does not have a compelling interest in protecting such unions.

Why must the law protect marriage—and when I say “marriage” I mean, of course, the lifelong bond between a man and a woman upon which the family is built? Sex between a married man and woman is categorically different from gay sex. It is sex that confirms the meaning of masculinity and femininity—and it is sex that confers responsibilities that arise from the commitment of husbands and wives, especially when, from such sexual acts, new human beings are conceived. Society, indeed the entire future of the world, depends on these kinds of stable sexual unions that provide the necessary innate security for children. For this reason alone, the government has an interest in protecting marriage.

Society is not the consequence of arbitrary self-willed human relationships. Marriage is the first building block that creates, not only brothers and sisters, but future marriages that produce cousins, nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, grandfathers, grandmothers, great grandfathers and mothers, as well as great uncles and aunts. Laws do not create these worlds—innate natural bonds create these worlds—worlds that of themselves cause human identity and human responsibilities. Absolutely nothing can replace such natural world-building! And the law cannot create the moral responsibilities that come from such bonds—it can only call persons to live up to them! Again, for this reason, government has an interest in protecting marriage.

How did we come to this point—that homosexual bonds should be considered the equivalent of marriage? The truth must be told. It is indeed the heterosexual community that is to blame, not homosexuals. Heterosexuals have given up on the meaning of human sexuality. Heterosexuals are the ones who no longer believe in marriage. We have said so with 50 years of contraception, unquestioned sexual activity outside of marriage, living together without marriage, rampant divorce, including no-fault divorce, rampant out-of-wedlock pregnancies, artificial reproduction—and then add to this— 40 years of abortion. Heterosexuals have already said that sex, marriage and the family have no meaning—they become what we subjectively, privately, by a sheer matter of the will, say they are—and nothing more. We simply have no moral, cultural place to stand upon which we may say that homosexuals can’t call what they do “marriage.” After all, most heterosexual activity isn’t marriage either! It too is dead-end sex that cannot carry the world into the future.

What is the answer ultimately? If we really want to fight a battle against “gay marriage” the heterosexual community needs to get its act together. We can’t carry on the way we have—we cannot privatize our sexual ethical behavior and then claim that the government needs to publicly protect what’s left of the institution of marriage. This healing of the sexual ethic is primary the work of the Church—a Church that greatly contributed to the cultural moral demise by remaining silent on contraception and by allowing Catholic politicians to support legalized abortion with ecclesial impunity. Is it any wonder that the likes of Catholic Nancy Pelosi, who supports legalized killing of the unborn contrary to the teachings of the Church, lauds Obama’s support for “gay marriage” also contrary to the teachings of the Church and, like Obama, even dares to say that this is the Christian thing to do!

And in some ways this is the most odious and insulting aspect of the entire debacle. Obama justified his position that “gay marriage” should be legally recognized by wrapping it in the Christian religion. He said that his so-called evolution on the subject was the consequence of his Christian faith and he told ABC News: “It's also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated." So with such deep critical thinking—how can we deny homosexuals access to a right that heterosexuals enjoy? It just isn’t fair.

Unfortunately Obama failed to quote Christ’s own doctrine on marriage: “Have you not read that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female and declared: ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and the two shall become one’ Thus they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, let no man separate what God has joined” (Mt. 19: 4-6). Jesus, in the next passages, even dares to forbid divorce and remarriage.

For Obama the Golden Rule is real doctrine and Christ’s view on marriage merely His opinion that may be set aside. I mean, if the president is going to quote the Bible in an attempt to dismantle the God-given meaning of marriage it would only be truly fair and honest of him to acknowledge Christ’s specific view on the subject.

Obama’s application of the Golden Rule in this case is completely misplaced. Of course Christ called us to: “treat others as you would wish to be treated.” But if society seriously accepted Obama’s invocation of the Golden Rule we would have to advocate all sorts of irrationalities. After all, saying gays have the right to marry as do heterosexuals is like saying that not only those who excel at running the 100 meters but even poor runners have just as much right to compete in the Olympics—since all that matters is that the poor runners also love the sport and wish to participate in it as much as the good runners. Obama’s application of the gospel is like saying those who are tone deaf should be allowed to sing at major concert halls, since such persons may actually love and have an appreciation for music—even more than those who actually have the ability to sing. After all, if Obama really put his version of the Golden Rule into practice then track stars and great vocalists must allow poor runners and bad singers to do what they do since Christ said: “treat others as you would wish to be treated.” Obama’s Golden Rule is not about love and acceptance at all, rather it’s a means by which the truth is distorted. Thus Obama’s gospel is not the Wisdom of Christ, but an invitation to insanity.

We must recognize that we are in a war for the truth, and it is a moral battle. This is not a time to be afraid to speak the truth. But speak always the truth in love—recognizing that homosexual persons have God-given dignity and basic human rights—and those rights must never be denied. But they simply do not have the right to marry—they do not have the rights to the privileges of marriage. Those who publicly defend marriage are going to be misunderstood, called names, mocked, belittled and derided. Nonetheless, those who understand what is at stake cannot hold back—the truth must be defended and marriage fought for—as civilization itself depends upon this sacred institution.

Dr. Monica Miller is the Director of Citizens for a Pro-life Society — an activist pro-life group that she founded in 1986. She is also an Associate Professor of Sacred Theology at Madonna University. The present article is published here by kind permission of the author. [Brief bio]


23 comments:








JFM

said...

"...a Church that greatly contributed to the cultural moral demise by remaining silent on contraception..."

And premarital sex, which it still is (silent about). All the hullabaloo about supporting contraception seems slightly overblown when no one is talking about the percentage of sexual active non-marrieds. Newsflash for leaders: a non-married sexual active population WILL abort and contracept, period. They are the enabling devices of the desired behavior.





Elizabeth

said...

Wow, that was very good. Thanks for sharing.





Robert Allen

said...

When one charitably admonishes a homosexual, telling him/her that ALL fornication is immoral and that marriage can only be between a man and a woman, one is obeying the GR, as embodied in the Spiritual Works of Mercy. One would be providing the type of fraternal correction one would hope to receive oneself in the event that one's immortal soul was in jeopardy. Thank you Dr. Miller for your Thomistic defense of what should be a part of common sense.





Brian S.

said...

Leviticus, apparently, is against same-sex unions. However, it permits polygamy and limits marital sex to the two weeks the wife is ovulating.
Sex and marriage in that worldview are fundamentally about procreation, producing able-bodied children for household labor.

Also, gone are the days (mostly) where families auction their daughters off like chattel to strengthen their own families power and/or wealth.

We, by contrast, marry primarily for companionship and love.

Furthermore, homosexuals can and do have children. In vitro fertilization is one way and adoption is another.

To deny the ability of a minority group to choose to enter into a legal contract (marriage) and create a family because it differs from yours seems, well, not aligned with much of Jesus' teachings.





Pertinacious Papist

said...

Brian,

Your conception what is "aligned with ... Jesus' teachings" is skewed entirely to the inclinations of today's flavor of political correctness. The notion that Jesus' love can be twisted like a wax nose in any direction we please ignores the fact that Jesus' love in the NT is always tied to specific content. Jesus says "he who loves me keeps my commandments"; so to know what Jesus' love means, we need to know what His commandments are. And in Mt 5:17-20, Jesus speaks of the Law (Torah) and Prophets of the OT and says, "anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commandments and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven."

The constructed "Gospel" of "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild" is pure fiction. Nobody in all the books of the Bible speaks more about hellfire and brimstone than Jesus, by way of warning, because He loves us and wants to deliver us (by His own blood) from the dominion of the Devil.

Revelation is progressive, deepening and becoming richer through redemptive history; not thinning out and becoming watered down. It's true that all sorts of things were accommodated in the OT, such as divorce and polygamy (as you suggest). Far from meaning that God's will changes, however, Jesus assures us that "from the beginning, it was not so, but Moses permitted divorce [for example] because of the hardness of your hearts" (Mt 19:8).

Further still, anyone who thinks that he can promote the ends of civil order or human marital happiness by legalizing homosexual unions, adoption or in vitro fertilization hasn't the foggiest notion of the nature of sex, procreation, or familial life. Too much to consider here, but to take just sex, it takes the accidents of the act (pleasure, subjective satisfaction) and turns it into the essential end of the act, making the natural end (procreation) an unfortunate and unintended "accident" (reminiscent of the logic of the Roman vomitorium). And the notion that it's cruel and unusual punishment to go without sexual intercourse during a week or two out of every month for one reason or another strikes me as insufferably childish. Did you not have a life before your were old enough to have sex? Can you not remember it?

Finally, your willingness to label homosexualists a "minority group" -- as though they fit comfortably into the historical narratives of oppresses blacks, Jews, or women -- neglects a critical distinction in all discourse about "diversity" and "toleration": (1) ontological difference -- a difference in a person's being, such as color, gender, age, race, ethnicity, etc.; and (2) difference in value-orientation -- such as the difference between Obama Democrats and, say, Neo-Nazi skin-heads. If you were truly about celebrating "difference" and protecting "minorities," then why shouldn't you be celebrating and protecting the position of the latter in our society?

The relevant point here would be that homosexualists embrace their life-style choices not simply because they're ontologically "born that way," any more than a man with an alcoholic disposition is born drunk; but because they approve of the value-orientation and the permission it gives them to indulge their unnatural perversions.





Robert Allen

said...

"Furthermore, homosexuals can and do have children. In vitro fertilization is one way and adoption is another."

Brian,

The former is a sin against nature. Putting that not insignificant issue aside, it is ABSOLUTELY INSANE to suggest that a homosexual couple is fit to be parents. A child needs a mother and a father. Why in God's name are we even discussing this matter? Have you not enough decency to leave the children out of it?





Robert Allen

said...

Apropos the current discussion, here's one for the meek and mild Jesus set: "It were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones." (Luke 17:2)





JFM

said...

"Furthermore, homosexuals can and do have children."

No, gays cannot *have*children: they *adopt* child of others, or seek medial innovations to conceive unnaturally. A perfect example of seeing what is simply not there. Two men do not make a marriage, and two men and a baby do not make a nuclear family. A care-giving unit, maybe, but a family? If so, every word in e engloish language is up for grabs, starting with reality.





Ralph Roister-Doister

said...

Hard to argue with anything Miller says. No feel good Catholicism, no rock star apologetics, no desire to embrace the world when the world flops around like a pig in a sty. Blunt and to the point, which is the only way Catholicism can be, if it has any prospects of surviving as itself.





Brian S.

said...

Pertinacious Papist,
I am quite aware of the contradictory actions of Jesus as portrayed within the bible.

I find it ironic that so many who invoke the supernatural are quick to label homosexuality as 'not natural'. Surely we know that other species, besides our own, exhibit homosexual couplings.

Mosaic and Levitical Law.
Seems you are cherry picking for affect.

I have yet to read your blog post denouncing WalMart for the sale of clothing with blended materials and pork products.

Where is your outrage that we no longer stone adulterers in the public square or use the penalty of death for a disobedient child?(Lev. 11:7 and 19:19 and 20:10 and Deut. 21:18-21)

Also, did not Paul warn christians about placing Levitical laws on others in Galatians and not following every law yourself (Gal. 5:1-6)? and that salvation only comes through christ and nothing else?

Nearly a dozen nations recognize "gay marriage". There are plenty of gay couples with children. Where is any evidence that heterosexual parents > homosexual parents?

Again, it seems to be cherry picking for the purpose of denying a minority group their rights.





Brian S.

said...

Robert Allen,
Your attempt and the attempt of others to label homosexuality as "unnatural" makes little sense. Your assertion that unnatural = bad, natural = good is lacking.

I can point to a myriad of evidence, within our natural world, that suggests it is 'natural' for many species, including our own to have portions of its population engaging in homosexual couplings.

However, I find it more important to deconstruct your thesis that natural = good and unnatural = bad.

Here are some examples that lay low your argument.

Unnatural = good.
Glasses, houses, steel, air conditioning, asprin, etc...

Natural = bad.
Cancer, sickle cell anemia, being struck by lightning, polio, ebola, etc...

Hopefully I have provided some light to go along with the heat generated over this issue.





positive spaces moderator

said...

It seems that this topic is hot in Greece as well. There, the current formulation of the law for voluntary cohabitation does not include same-sex couples.

If you'd like to share your thoughts about that, please join our debate here: Should the Contract for Voluntary Cohabitation Include Same-Sex Couples?





Pertinacious Papist

said...

Brian,

Your accusation of "cherry picking" exhibits no awareness of the distinction between different kinds of laws in the Torah, some of which are unchangeable and binding, and others of which are not.

As you may or may not recall, St. Thomas distinguishes four kinds of law in his Treatise on Law: eternal, natural, human (positive), and divine. Natural law is our rational, human apprehension of eternal law as it is binding upon us as humans. Human laws, like stop on red and go on green, are somewhat arbitrary but based on principles apprehended in natural law: like the duty to protect lives. Divine law is God's positive law, some of which is positive and may be intended for a specific purpose for a specific time, like circumcision; while others, like "Thou shalt not murder" are unchanging and also apprehended by human reason in natural law as part of God's eternal law (unreformable).

Parts of Mosaic law, like "Thou shalt not boil a kid in its mother's milk" (Deuteronomy 14:21 -- the basis for the Kosher laws about not mixing dairy with meat), are part of the Mosaic positive law that is not eternally binding, certainly not for Christians. The same is true of some of the laws promulgated by the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15, such as the laws that Christians in Syrian Antioch should abstain from consuming the blood of animals -- which of course is no longer binding upon Scottish Catholics who love a breakfast of black pudding (sausage made from cooked blood).

Peace, -- PP





Brian S.

said...

PP (may I call you that?),

I am familiar with the concepts of 'Natural Law' in which Aquinas based his doctrine of understanding god and humans relating to god.

Allow me to be summary with the definition.
"It is in our nature and revealed to us through our reason. Moral law is known to us if we are capable of reason."
If I am off the mark, please correct me.

The dilemma is that the idea of this moral universality doesn't hold up to historical scrutiny.

On this planet we have held a wide and often disgusting opinion on what is or is not moral. Slavery and genocide have both been considered moral by large groups of people both present and past--within multiple religions.

Also, it has been considered moral to deny women the right to vote or work (outside of the home) or to receive an education. I notice you hold a PhD, congratulations. This may not have been possible 200 or so years back.

The argument that you do not have to uphold all of the Levitical Laws yet you must uphold some because you feel reasonably sure they are still needed today is, in fact, cherry picking.

I do not mind if you uphold only 0.01% of the Levitical Law nor am I outraged if women chose to live in purdah. What bothers me is when people attempt to legislate to the point where every women must live in purdah or people are denied rights based upon someone else's views/opinions/whims. To me that seems the opposite of reasonable it seems unreasonable.

Honestly, if you are against same-sex marriage do not marry a woman. Easy, peasy.





Cathy B.

said...

I agree that the bonds within the family cannot be a matter of will - that that undermines the concept of family fatally.

But your previous sentence confuses me. The bond between a man and a woman IS a matter of consent, isn't it? I was under the impression that freely consenting to be married was the basis of marriage.





Pertinacious Papist

said...

Brian,

Please call me "Your Majesty," and be sure to genuflect. ;)

You seem to be assuming here that in order of natural law to have any basis in reality, there must be a 100% universal consensus as to what natural law demands. This is not true.

Our knowledge of natural law is not innate. Rather, as J Budziszewski says in a book you should read, What We Can't Not Know, it's per se nota -- what can't but be known as certain in itself, but must be learned (like the multiplication table) and is hindered by many moral impediments (such as the inclination to indulge moral vices), which prevent one from apprehending what is true.

Thus there is a difference between what is available to be known as objectively certain, and what is apprehended as subjectively known to be certain. As love can open your eyes to see positive qualities objectively present in another, so hate can blind you to those qualities. Likewise, moral impurity, sexual predation and self-indulgence can serve as impediments that keep one from apprehending what is true in itself. By the same token, the drift of a culture toward moral permissiveness (as in our culture, which is well beyond the tipping point), can serve as an impediment to apprehending the precepts of natural law. Don't expect consensus on what natural law is until the parousia; nevertheless, strong arguments can still be made on its basis, even if others are not willing to accept it.

The strength of an argument is not entirely dependent upon its success in getting others to agree with its conclusions, because such agreement is dependent upon finding premises with which others are willing to accept, which isn't always easy.





Robert Allen

said...

BS,

I am certainly not saying that all aspects of fallen Nature are good. As Augustine maintains, there are 'holes' in the world due do the Almighty's righteous withdrawing of portions of its goodness in response to our first parents' disobedience. None of the things you listed as unnatural, moreover, violate Nature: we are stewards of the Earth and have been commanded by God use its resources to benefit ourselves within the bounds or morality. "Fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink." My exasperation here is based on the fact that it is anatomically writ large that homosexuality is unnatural. Do I have to spell it out for you? The fact that a percentage of the human population engages in homosexual behavior does not make it any less unnatural. If the mere existence of deviants nullifies a claim of unnaturalness, then virtually nothing can be called 'unnatural'. What are you trying to say, that it is natural for some people to behave unnaturally? You are rendering the whole concept of Nature meaningless. (Hence the single quotes you must place upon its designator.) Neither am I equating naturalness and goodness. ALL fornication is immoral, a violation of the will of our Heavenly Father, whether natural or not.





Brian S.

said...

Robert,
Much to my surprise, you have made a valid statement.
"virtually nothing can be called unnatural"

Eureka, we may have struck gold!

There is nothing unnatural. Everything (yes, I mean everything) is part of nature.
We are part of this ever expanding universe and every action a human has taken has been part of nature, therefore, natural.

What we do is natural. Everything we do is part of nature.

You may argue that you believe it is against 'god's laws' to be homosexual but you may not invoke 'unnatural' for it simply isn't true.

I welcome your interpretation of why we should deny people rights within our 'free' society based upon their sexual preference.





Brian S.

said...

I am not sure if my comments are not making it through moderation. If so can we have a reason?

I understand this topic is quite emotive and I may say things that hurt others feelings. However, I merely attempting to provide facts and my opinions based upon those not ad hominem or derogatory comment.

I wish to address RA's statement regard "ALL fornication" is evil.
If that is so then disallowing a populace to marry would seem to be enforcing evil.

If I take your modern meaning of the word as premarital sex.

The dilemma is that the biblical translation from Greek to English (porneia, specifically) is up to debate.

Also, does this include masturbation?

I know Jesus spoke about lust but without lust how would I have known which woman to marry?
I am unsure if you're married. If you are did you not feel lust towards your wife before marriage? Seems a bit unintuitive for procreation.

How about those Americans that are not Christian. Are their individual rights to be upheld?
Are homosexuals, for instance, allowed a trial by jury and due process?

Theocracy may sound good but I have seen them in action (Saudi, for one) and it's quite scary and repressive. I say, no thanks.
Also, we have a Constitution.





Pertinacious Papist

said...

Sorry, folks, for the delay in getting your comments posted. We're back in business.

A quick perusal of the posts shows me that Brian confuses "natural" with "artificial." Eye glasses are artificial, but natural, because they assist the eye in perfecting its natural end: to see.

Coitus interruptus is not artificial, but unnatural, because it thwarts the natural end of coitus.

Also, the fact that virtually anything can be "called natural," doesn't make it natural. A man could presumably insert his genitalia into any number of orifices under the sun; but the fact that he could do so doesn't make all of those options natural or good or right -- any more than pouring gasoline on a growing tomato plant would do anything to help it flourish.





Anonymous

said...

Homosexuals have always been allowed to marry and presumably have done so. They cannot call their "unions" with other homosexuals "marriage". To do so, destroys the word "marriage". One of the arguments for gay unions is entitlement to better tax treatment. This is yet one more example of the unintended (perhaps) consequences of the income tax law and another reason to get rid of it. In any event,the push for recognition of these unions is the homosexuals vain effort to convince themselves that their perverse sexual activity is good. In the process they are severely damaging the essential element of a civilized society: the family.





Pertinacious Papist

said...

Nero's may have been the first really notorious attempt at "same-sex marriage." It was a ghastly affair, in which he, I believe, played the part of the effeminate submissive one. Juvenal is particularly descriptive here, though I haven't the passages at hand. Neither Juvenal nor Martial approved of such undertakings, as they make abundantly clear in their writings.





Anonymous

said...

Monica: Well said.

We really are at the point where we have to defend basic things as the sanctity of life and marriage. My worry is, what will these people want us to buy into next? How about brothers and sisters marrying, after all, they can adopt too.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen, quoted on this site:
"There is no subject on which the average mind is so much confused as the subject of tolerance.... Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to principles. Intolerance applies only to principles, but never to persons."