Saturday, June 27, 2015

Canonist Peters on SCOTUS decision ... and more!

Edward Peters, "Two thoughts re the Supreme Court decision on 'same-sex marriage'" (In the Light of the Law, June 26, 2015):
So, the US Supreme Court, relying on what Justice Scalia has called “the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie”, has ruled that two persons of the same sex can marry. The only relationship on earth limited to two people of the opposite sex has been gutted of its core identity by our highest judicial body. Words fail. Of course, the Court has not yet reached the end of its marriage line, for yet to come are “marriages” between siblings, parents and children, groups of people, and so on, but come they will, for the corner was turned today, much like the corner was turned on abortion back in 1973—in another ruling never righted. The Court might, of course, from time to time, get some other cases correct, but it clearly cannot be relied upon as a repository of judicial, or even logical, good sense in tumultuous times. The loss is a grievous one for the American body politic. Anyway, I make here two points especially for Catholics.

First, we need to recall that the State has long recognized as married some persons who are not married, namely, when the State allows divorced persons simply to remarry. We have lived with persons in pseudo-marriage for many decades; so now the pool of such people is larger. The pastoral challenges in consequence of this latest decision are greater as will be the sacrifices needed to meet them. But so far—and this is a key point—State power has not been applied to try to force Churches or their faithful to treat as married those who, by doctrine or discipline, are not married. This brings me to my next point.

Second, Catholic doctrine and discipline can never, ever, recognize as married two persons of the same sex, and any Catholic who regards “same-sex marriage” as marriage is, beyond question, “opposed to the doctrine of the Church” (Canon 750 § 2). I am sorry so many Catholics apparently think otherwise and I recognize that many who think that Church teaching on marriage can and should change, do so in good faith. But they are still wrong and their error leads them, among other things, to underestimate how non-negotiable is the Church’s opposition to the recognition of same-sex unions as marriage. The Church (and for that matter our nation) will have great need of Catholics who understand and accept the teaching of Christ and his Church on marriage if the damage done by the Supreme Court today is ever to be repaired. Appreciating the infallible character of this teaching on marriage is the first step.

As for whether we succeed in righting this wrong, that’s not our concern. The question we will be asked at Judgment will be, Did we try?
And then, there's this: "WordPress and the art of 'In Your Face'":
Today ... when I went to post my blog on the Supreme Court case [using WordPress], there was suddenly blazoned across the editing screen a marquis style Gay Pride Rainbow flag. Atop my usual shades of grey, the multiple colors veritably screamed ‘Gay Marriage! Gay Marriage! Gay Marriage!’. Unless WordPress got hacked or something, it looks like they (with all the lately-found bravery of one who jumps on a bandwagon after someone else has won a fight) wants folks to celebrate this Supreme Court decision. Mind, WordPress has never, in my three or so years of using it, marked its tool pages with any political logos or symbols of any kind. But today there is an in-your-face gloat over the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell.

Makes me wonder how WordPress (assuming it was them who ran the Rainbow marquis) might have celebrated the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision back in the day. Perhaps a marquis featuring chains and shackles? Or how about the Supreme Court’s ruling in Plessy vs. Ferguson? Maybe back-to-back rows of chairs? Weren’t these both Supreme Court cases thought to have settled once and for all major questions of their day?

Yes, a lot of people are happy about Obergefell. I get it. But assuming everyone wants to celebrate it?

PS: I wonder whether WordPress’ paying customers were greeted with a political banner today. Or was it just us charity cases?