Speaking about the threat of same-sex marriage in Catholic Poland is a bit like talking about the need to prepare an inland country for a coming hurricane. For many Poles, homosexuality is simply not part of their daily experience; same-sex “marriage” is an inconceivable aberration.
Yet this unlikely “hurricane” is now appearing on their horizons, and many Poles are perplexed by the phenomena. They want to know how to deal with the problem.
Keeping the Faith
With its entry into the European Union, the nation is facing increased pressure to conform to “modern” standards by liberalizing its laws on homosexuality and abortion. Suddenly, Poland is expected to award privileges and status to an almost negligible if not invisible behavioral group.
“I don’t understand. It’s such a marginal group,” said Congresswoman Anna Sobecka of the conservative Polish League of Families at a recent conference on the family held at Poland’s Sejm Chamber of Parliament. She helped organized the March 3 event which served as a focal point of resistance to counter the left’s efforts to push through its anti-family agenda before leaving power in June. Her sentiments were echoed by many members of parliament who were also present.
“I believe 1039 years of Christianity has its obligations,” said one congresswoman when speaking of the same-sex “marriage” proposals. “We must remain true to our Faith.”
The conferences were organized together with the TFP-inspired Fr. Peter Skarga Association for Christian Culture (Stowarzyszenie Kultury Chrzescijanskiej im. Ks. Piotra Skargi). The organization has been in the forefront of the traditional marriage battle. In February alone, the Fr. Peter Skarga Association led efforts which resulted in over 87,000 protest postcards against homosexual unions being sent to the parliament’s president.
As a speaker at the March 3 event, I was struck both by the aggressiveness of the leftist pressure and the determination of the Polish resistance. My part was to assure those present that they were not alone. Americans also reject same-sex “marriage.” We must unite together in this struggle.
Indeed, very few Poles realized how extensive the American resistance to same-sex “marriage” has been. Most did not know that 13 states overwhelmingly approved state constitutional amendments in favor of traditional marriage last fall. Twenty more are in the process of introducing such amendments. Many did not realize just how important the issue was in the November elections. Almost none had heard of the nearly 30 American bishops who had publicly denounced “Catholic” politicians who support same-sex “marriage” and abortion.
Such news items do not seem to make it into the Polish press. The conference participants were pleasantly surprised to hear that others are resisting same-sex “marriage.” They were relieved to hear that enacting same-sex unions legislation is not really that “modern.” Indeed, modern nations like the United States are quite vocal and active in their reactions.
In a similar way, most Americans are unaware that Poland is the only country in the world to repeal its liberal abortion laws. Most do not realize that Polish congressmen in this session just successfully thwarted a strong attempt of the left to reenact abortion laws like those under the communist regime.
Several of the congressmen commented on the ideological nature of this struggle. Long familiar with the tactics of the left, they make the connection between the homosexual movement and its role as the left’s “new proletariat” seeking to overthrow structures of Christian civilization.
While the two situations are quite different, I was able to outline how lessons from our own American experience in this struggle are definitely applicable to Poland.
Our American experience has shown there is a largely underreported groundswell of reaction against same-sex “marriage.” Similarly, Poles face intimidation by media and public pressure that do not allow them to realize their real strength. In this case, they can learn from our experience that they are the majority and the pro-homosexual advocates are a minority. Based on this premise, they should pursue a persistent and uncompromising strategy.
I recounted how our experience in Protestant America showed just how incredibly effective Catholic bishops can be when they speak out against same-sex “marriage” as they did last fall. In Catholic Poland, bishops and priests who make use of this consistent teaching against homosexual acts and speak out on this subject could be similarly effective.
Just as the homosexual movement in America tries to deviate the debate by trying to turn it into an issue of “rights” or even “love,” Poles likewise face similar tactics.
Same-sex “Marriage” Is Not Marriage
I pointed out that we must never lose sight of the main issue of this debate: same-sex “marriage” is not marriage. Two individuals of the same sex will never be able to marry because of an insurmountable biological impossibility.
The American TFP’s book, Defending a Higher Law: Why We Must Resist Same-Sex “Marriage” and the Homosexual Movement, emphatically affirms that human nature defines the properties of marriage as between a man and a woman with the primary purpose of procreation and the education of children.
“The future spouses are not free to alter marriage’s essential purpose or properties,” the book affirms. “These do not depend on the will of the contracting parties. They are rooted in natural law which does not change.”
Thus, same-sex “marriage” is not about love or rights. It is about the nature of marriage itself. The conference in Parliament helped all concerned to stay focused on this fact. We saw that the final goal of those pushing the homosexual agenda is much more than just legislation. We are the target.
What is at stake is a struggle for Christian civilization.
The experience in Warsaw’s congress repeated itself in audiences in Krakow and Gdansk. Poles who had never faced such a “hurricane” were relieved to know they were not alone and there were ways to resist.
A Great Sympathy
Upon leaving, it was hard not to feel a grand sympathy for this valiant people and unite my prayers with theirs that the efforts to de-Christianize Poland will come to naught.
The Polish people have constantly resisted in the face of great and unlikely odds. Throughout its history, they resisted attempts to destroy their nation. The most recent was the brutal repression under communism.
In such times, Poles have always had recourse to the Mother of God, so well represented by their ornate and bejeweled icons. In that tender devotion that I so often witnessed there, I could sense a special blessing of Providence and a promise that if they remain faithful, she will protect them from all the ill winds that may blow.