Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Interesting comment about opposition to gay "marriage"

From Mark Shea's talk about Leah Libresco's position on civil unions.


That’s always been my concern, too. The people storming the barricades to block same sex civil unions/”marriages” just don’t appear to be as concerned about, e.g., the rampant, un-Catholic divorce culture. Britney Spears was married to that one guy for, what, a week? The fact that such a mockery of marriage has been possible under our civil law for decades is a grave scandal in itself. Now, many of the people concerned about gay civil unions/”marriages” probably ARE doing great work against the divorce culture, too. But just like how those in the pro-life movement who are also deeply involved in social justice issues get ignored by the media, the media certainly makes it *appear* that all SSM opponents care about is “ick, teh gay,” instead of *all* the assaults on marriage embodied in our civil law. So whether we’re dealing with real hypocrisy, the media-fueled appearance of hypocrisy, or some combination, the fact remains that it makes us look anti-gay folks rather than pro-marriage to non-Catholic observers. Which has got to be hurtful in the extreme for gay observers, Catholic or not. That’s a staggeringly important problem.

Incidentally, I diagnose a lot of this problem, both in terms of our own thinking and much more in terms of the optics of Catholic opposition to SSM, as coming from the common political front in the culture wars forged (and rightly so) with our Protestant brethren as part of the politics of abortion. Because Protestants don’t generally have a problem with either divorce or contraception since the great disastrous Lambeth apostasy, their non-natural law-based, supposedly “Biblical,” fideist opposition to abortion and SSM really is rather abitrary, since it is divorced (ahem) from the necessary context of Sacred Tradition.
Catholic opposition to SSM *and* divorce is part of a “seamless garment” on marriage issues rooted in natural law; it doesn’t unduly emphasize same sex attraction issues. Protestant opposition, to the contrary, really does often seem to have an arbitrary “ick, teh gay” aspect that is open to snark about not obeying all the rules in Leviticus or whatever, because they don’t have any good grounding in Tradition for taking some parts of the Bible literally (e.g., St. Paul on sodomy) and others not (e.g., St. Paul on speaking in church)–they’re just winging it. I think there’s a lot of good voices in St. Blog’s trying to distance the Catholic, natural law arguments about SSM from the fideistic “culture war” arguments of our Protestant brethren. May such efforts flourish.

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