In the light of the same-sex “marriage” debate, the very premises of a civilized nation are now being questioned.
By definition, a civilized country is one that lives under the rule of law and justice. True law must be based on morals or it will be nothing but an arbitrary imposition.
When law no longer reflects moral values or when a just law is no longer respected, tyranny or chaos ensues. The way is open for unscrupulous and brazen groups or individuals to impose their yoke on defenseless citizens.
This is the danger our country now faces.
Indeed, activist judges are emptying the law of its moral content while municipal authorities openly disobey it.
Emptying the Law of its Moral Content
Running against the spirit of both our nation’s Constitution and state constitutions, activist judges are issuing personal interpretations at variance with the original intent of their writers. They are changing the very meaning of these fundamental laws. In fact, their interpretations and consequent rulings are tantamount to arbitrary changes.
Instead of supporting and protecting virtue as the foundation of social peace, such interpretations legitimize and protect aberrant behavior.1
By bestowing juridical recognition on same-sex unions as the judges of Massachusetts have done, these activists interpret not only the law but human nature itself.2
Thus, by emptying the law of its proper meaning and defeating its ultimate end to protect the common good, judicial activism makes a powerful contribution toward demolishing the rule of law in our country.
Breaking the Law with Impunity: Municipal Secessionism
Alongside judicial activism, a new phenomenon has begun in San Francisco and is now spreading to other cities: a kind of municipal secessionism. Trampling the law underfoot, some municipal authorities are imposing homosexual “marriages” on the nation. Even worse, by breaking the law, these authorities gradually create, so to speak, “liberated cities,” a process similar to that in countries under attack by Communist guerrillas.
Surprisingly, higher authorities appear hesitant to put a halt to this municipal secessionism and restore order and national unity.
The country is thus thrown into a state of stupor, confusion and paralysis, facing a situation it cannot understand.
Destroying Christian Order
Judicial activism and municipal secessionism are thus deconstructing3 the Christian order reflected in our traditional juridical framework.
One could not find a more powerful weapon to carry out this destruction than imposing homosexual “marriage.”
Indeed, if two people of the same sex can legally establish a relationship like husband and wife, the whole natural ethics — and the revealed morals summarized in the Ten Commandments — are overturned. Also overthrown is the very concept of human nature as it has always been understood, and whose undeniable duality — male and female – is attested to by anatomy itself.
In its recent ruling, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court redefined civil marriage as “the voluntary union of two persons as spouses, to the exclusion of all others.”
This definition of marriage as a “voluntary union of two persons” encompasses any being that can be called a person, without specification of sex, age, degree of kinship or civil status.4 Accordingly, the definition encompasses the union between a man and a woman, two men or two women, adults and children, parents and their own children, brothers and sisters, and so forth.
This Court’s argumentation is based on a statement that enthrones the most absolute juridical positivism. Simply put, the government creates civil marriage.
From this false premise, the judges conclude they can modify the definition of civil marriage to include people of the same sex. They also insist on the non-religious aspect of civil marriage.
However, civil government does not create civil marriage for the simple reason that it does not create marriage. Marriage is a social reality that predates the state and therefore cannot originate from it. Without marriage, there would be no family, and without the family, no society would be formed.5
What the government does in so-called civil marriage is to recognize the civil effects of marriage. But this recognition must respect the nature of the institution and the end for which it exists.
By the very fact that the civil government is not the author of marriage (the author is nature itself and, through nature, the Creator), it can alter neither the essence nor appearance of marriage. It is not up to the state but to nature to determine the number and sex of the parties, the goal and duration of marriage.
Marriage can assume a religious character6 and be regulated by civil law. However, its essence is always the same: a bilateral contract between a man and a woman whereby they give themselves to each other and mutually receive the usage of each other’s body to perform those actions which, by their very nature, are destined to the procreation of offspring.
The Role of the State is to Defend the Common Good
The goal of the state is to defend the common good, encouraging everything that favors it and forbidding that which harms it. Since marriage does not depend on the state to exist, it legislates on marriage based solely on its role in advancing the common good.
Marriage promotes the common good by guaranteeing the perpetuation of the species and providing a proper upbringing for offspring. Thus, from the state’s standpoint, only a type of association that can, by its very nature, fulfill this goal – that is, the stable and committed union between a man and a woman – can be called marriage.7
This matrimonial union between husband and wife not only ensures attaining the ultimate end, which is good of the human species, but is also capable of making the spouses happy. This is because marriage, in accordance with nature, results from a natural attraction between the sexes which produces affection and complements the personality.
Homosexual Union Does Not Favor the Common Good
The sterility of homosexual acts does not depend on the will of those who engage in them, or on an accidental cause as in the heterosexual act. It stems from the failure to unite male and female reproductive organs, thus making begetting impossible.
Therefore, its end is not linked to the common good of the species either directly or remotely. It also cannot provide true happiness to those who engage in such acts, meant solely for a pleasure obtained through contacts that vilify the human person.
The possibility of adopting children or resorting to artificial means of conception does nothing to change the natural sterility of a union to which nature itself denies the marital character.
“Homosexual Marriage” Destroys Marriage
To say that legalizing homosexual unions does not harm marriage is to deny the social nature and the public aspect of this institution. Redefining marriage as a union between two people regardless of their sex defeats the very finality of marriage – the perpetuation of the species – and therefore spells the end of the institution of marriage. Marriage is no longer defined by its specific end to ensure the perpetuation of the human species but by the mere, more or less stable cohabitation of two people regardless of their sex, degree of kinship or age, as noted above.
Since in homosexual “marriage,” the partners have the same sex, not even the outer appearance of marriage, which is seen when two people of the opposite sex cohabitate, is maintained. Thus, this redefinition of marriage is so far removed from the fundamental requirement of ensuring the common good of the species – reproducing and properly upbringing offspring – that the very reason for state protection of this “marriage” ceases to exist.
Reestablishing the Moral and Juridical Order
In spite of the feverish pro-homosexual activism relentlessly supported by the liberal media and the incipient state of rebellion against the rule of law, a great majority of Americans remains faithful to the laws of God and natural law.
In contrast with the secularism of judicial activists and the hedonism of the homosexual movement, these Americans increasingly see the Ten Commandments as a safe norm of human behavior. Religiosity in our country has been growing to the point of disconcerting peoples in those European nations that formerly made up Christendom, who let themselves be dragged down by practical or theoretical atheism.
This great number of Americans looks toward our country’s leaders and authorities ardently hoping for energetic measures that may restore a true order in harmony with our Christian tradition.
Regardless of partisan or electoral interests, our authorities must strive in great earnest to carry out this work of restoration and make sure that our society has order today and hope in the future.
- Cf. Are We Still “One Nation Under God”? The Supreme Court’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas is America’s “moral 9/11” July 4, 2003, The American TFP, at https://www.tfp.org/TFPForum/TFPCommentary
- Cf. Goodridge v. Department of Pubic Health [FN2] SJC-08860, in November 18, 2003.
- “A term tied very closely to postmodernism, deconstructionism is a challenge to the attempt to establish any ultimate or secure meaning in a text. Basing itself in language analysis, it seeks to “deconstruct” the ideological biases (gender, racial, economic, political, cultural) and traditional assumptions that infect all histories, as well as philosophical and religious “truths.” Deconstructionism is based on the premise that much of human history, in trying to understand, and then define, reality has led to various forms of domination – of nature, of people of color, of the poor, of homosexuals.” It denies “the claims of an ultimate truth which must be accepted or obeyed by all.” Glossary, at http://www.pbs.org/faithandreason/gengloss/decon-body.html
- While God and the angels are also persons, in its very broad definition of marriage the Court certainly did not have them in mind.
- Cf. Victor Cathrein, S.J., Philosophia Moralis, Editorial Herder, Barcelona, 1945, pp. 313-381; Taparelli d’Azeglio, Essai Théorique de Droit Naturel, v. II, Casterman, Paris-Leipzig, 1875, pp. 144-161.
- God instituted marriage in the Earthly Paradise (Gen. 1-2) and Our Lord elevated it to the category of a sacrament among the baptized (cf. Monsignor Pietro Palazzini, Marriage, in Francesco Cardinal Roberti and Monsignor Pietro Palazzini, Dictionary of Moral Theology, p. 733, The Newman Press, Wstminster Maryland, 1962.
- Even when sterile due to accidental reasons, this union is still a true marriage because, in its essence, it has the same constitutive elements of marriage: the possibility of performing an act destined by nature to procreation, which only by accident fails to occur.