Thursday, May 31, 2012

U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Rules DOMA Unconstitutional...

In the latest "I want to punch myself in the face" moment, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. An excerpt from an article reads, "The appeals court agreed with a lower court judge who ruled in 2010 that the law is unconstitutional because it interferes with the right of a state to define marriage and denies married gay couples federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the ability to file joint tax returns."

Herein lies the problem- no state has the right or the power to redefine marriage. No state has the right or the power to redefine what constitutes life. We as humans can play games and pretend we have this power but we do not. Widespread acceptance of homosexual behavior or abortion doesn't make it right or inherently good. The truth is not decided upon by popular vote.

Where does this end? If a state or a people think they can redefine marriage to include men with men and women with women, it won't stop there. Why not one man with three women? Why not a woman and a horse? Why not? If the argument is, "I feel really strongly about this and I want it" who is to stop that? If there is no appeal to a higher knowledge and guidance, then we as people will just do whatever "feels" right and villainize whomever gets in our way of what "we want."

We must return to reason and common sense. What is the purpose of marriage? This is a question I think most people today do not know the answer to. Marriage needs restoration, not redefinition. Marriage as we know it today is broken for many reasons. The attack on the family is fierce and the temptation to leave a commitment when things get hard is always a challenge.

What does marriage symbolize? Is it just two people who happen to like each other and want to hang out together for the rest of their lives? Is it a relationship of convenience or fun? Is it just a commitment to bring new people into the world? Is it a contract or a covenant? Why get married? Because of strong feelings? or does marriage speak to something far beyond this world and into eternity?

Marriage is a covenant, an exchange of persons- a complete self gift of one to the other. It is a fruitful and life-giving covenant. It speaks to the fecundity and commitment of how God loves us. As we see a strong marriage- we see a man and woman, giving themselves to one another in good times and in hard times, when it is convenient and fun and when it is inconvenient and difficult.

We see them welcoming children even when it is a hard decision and striving to bring one another to heaven. This relationship images the intimacy and commitment in which God loves us. He loves us and fights for us and seeks to become one with us.

In His creation of man and woman, God reveals a call to oneness, love and life. There is no substitute for this. Marriage is not about this life only, it foreshadows the beautiful intimacy of heaven. The openness to life is paramount in the relationship. God is a God of life. He is living. Death has no part of Him. Much of the struggle in marriage today is a wide-spread acceptance of contraception and a deep immaturity in the human person.

One of my friends, a marriage and family therapist, commented once that men and women get married, not little boys and little girls. And much of the problem with my generation is that we are often very immature. We are in many ways like little boys and little girls in adult bodies. We come from a lot brokenness in our own families and in our woundedness we make poor decisions.

Instead of seeking healing and integration, which is readily and openly available, we want beliefs and God to change. We want what we want. And we are reaping the fruits of our own immaturity.

The Supreme Court could legalize gay marriage and marriage to horses and polygamy all they want but it won't fix the problem because "discrimination" isn't the problem. The problem is the ancient struggle with sin and disorder.

Nothing new.

 It's not until we are honest with our struggles and seek personal healing and holiness in Jesus that things will begin to change.

7 comments:

The Jones Family said...

Excellent thoughts on marriage. Thank you. We must all fight the vicious attacks on our families.

Jimmy the Progressive said...

I struggle to see how the State recognizinhg two citizens wanting to legalize a monogomous, committed relationship as a vicious attack on our families. Seems a bit inflammatory.

I am similarly not comfortable with the Church becoming another political lobby. Seems a bit unseemly. We have Canon Law and Excommunication. And a Tax Exempt status. If we want to become the most powerful SuperPac ever imagined, that is ok. But we should forfeit our Tax Exempt status along with the other churches who preach politics from the pulpit.

This also raises an interesting question of what to do when following the Church's teachings is Un-American. Even if imposing our theology on the nation to limit the freedom and civil rights of citizens is doing God's work.

My solution would be to get the State out of the Marriage business and limit them to the legal rights of civil unions of all types. The Churches are the right place to define and protect the sacrament of Matrimony and sanctity of Marriage.

Yes I know you will not agree and I still love you and the SOLT's for all of the good work you do!!

Jimmy

Sr. Miriam James said...

Oh Jimmy- you know that I love you! You might want to consider again the purpose of marriage and creation of man and woman.

I agree with you that the state should get out of the business of trying to redefine marriage (and life issues as well). Marriage isn't a political issue, but a covenant created at the beginning of all creation.

We are certainly not trying to impose theology upon anyone-- merely following the truth in our own life and praying others do the same.

I can see you shaking your head as you read this, that's okay. :)

Jimmy the Tolerant said...

So you would co-sign a letter to the Bishop saying that encouraging the Knights of Columbus (I am one) to collect signatures for a petition (any petition) outside of Mass was inappropriate?

I dont shake my head at anything you say!! You are an intelligent and educated person who ponders and prays over how to live your faith more than anyone I have known.

But sometimes you are wrong! :)

Sr. Miriam James said...

Jimmy, I don't know what letter you are referring to regarding the Knights of Columbus.

If you are referring to Referendum 74, a petition to let the people of Washington state challenge the Governor in her "redefinition of marriage", I do not think it inappropriate to allow signatures to be collected. No one had to sign the petition but it was available for those who wanted to do so.

Shall we stand idly by as the governor or popular opinion decides these things? We also protested the law allowing physician assisted suicide and will protest the legalization of abortion until our dying day.

But this is why I urged you to look again at the nature of marriage and what it means to be a man or a woman. Without a clear vision of marriage and it's meaning, then the rest will be very cloudy.

I may personally be wrong on a lot of things, for I am only a frail human, however, I do try to seek ultimate truth every day of my life and in the end, these issues are not about opinions or how we feel- there is truth and there is right order and true happiness is found in Him who is.

Anonymous said...

I get the search for knowing His will. I am not sure that it extends to making laws to require conformity by those with other beliefs.

I also get the very slim distinction between lobbying for right to life issues vs marriage equality under the law. I see a distinction as the State recognizes an inalienable right to life. So I am not trying to introduce my views on Murder in the law. It is just extending the law to include the unborn.

We dont disagree about the Sacrament of Matrimony. And nothing the governor or legislature do can decide or change this. With the availability of effective and affordable contraception the question of all marriages that are not willing to accept children and take steps to prevent it. We need to ask if intimacy between any committed monogomous couples as a part of their love for each other is against God's law. If so, do all marriages between couples who are incapable of producing children represent a vicious attack on the family?

In some parishes at least, it was the KofC who set up and manned the tables. It is dangerous for the Church to become the Spiritual arm of a Political party. Yes there are a LOT of non-Catholic churches that are even more aggressive about inserting their message into politics. And they should lose their tax-exempt status too.

Jimmy said...

Just noticed this was posted as anonymous. Should have been signed.

Jimmy - 34th District Republicans for Blogging Transparency