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« Was Christ Really a Woman? | Main | Abbey of Sainte-Michel de Frigolet Is Latin Heaven This Month »

Monday, June 06, 2005



I don't support gay marriage, of course, but I never understood why conservatives generally limit "the defense of marriage" to attacking same-sex unions. The real threat to the institution of marriage comes from any "modern" "reform" that reduces marriage to the status of mere contract.

Same-sex marriage certainly is in this mode. That is where the danger lies in civil recognition of this concept. (To me, the sinfuless of such unions is of no interest to the state.) But there also is a real, much stronger threat devaluing marriage that has came from "no fault" divorce laws. This is what really set marriage on a devolving, downward spiral to being a mere at-will contract.

So it is no surprise at all that Pope Benedict XVI put his condemnation of same-sex unions into the proper context. It's not a stand-alone threat and should not be treated as such.


I agree with Retrofuturistic, with this difference. The real danger to traditional marriage is not same-sex marriage nor even no-fault divorce, but the watering down of morals that has led to the disappearance of the concept of sin. According to self-described Catholic gay commentator Andrew Sullivan, gays want not traditional marriage, but what heteros have made of marriage - and for many in our society that means a contract between two *currently* willing consenting adults with (maybe) children. It does not necessarily mean a lifelong monogamous partnership open to children.

I would date the decline of marriage at least to the acceptance of contraception in 1930 ("Every church in Christendom condemned contraception until 1930, when, at its decennial Lambeth Conference, Anglicanism gave permission for the use of contraception in a few cases. Soon all Protestant denominations had adopted the secularist position on contraception. Today not one stands with the Catholic Church to maintain the ancient Christian faith on this issue." Artifical contraceptives became popular in 1960s, and of course abortion--the solution when birth control "fails"--was infamously legalized in the 1970s. Both phenomena have assaulted marriage by destroying its unitive and procreative character.

It is to our shame that many Catholics & Christians see no problem with the pill, in or out of marriage. Nor do they see how that attitude, and the sexual promiscuity it makes possible, continues to erode the institution of marriage.

Thank God that Benedict speaks with clarity on Church teaching!


I accept your friendly amendment to my comment.

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