Friday, June 28, 2013

Like Beauty, Marriage Is In the Eye of the Beholder

This has been a strange week for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the Supreme Court issued two rulings that have thrown gasoline on the already-raging fire that surrounds the concept of "gay marriage." I know you are familiar with the California Prop 8 case and the DOMA case, so I won't linger on them. And in all honesty, I was not the least bit surprised by either outcome. Both were what I expected.

Still, I have grown so weary of the continued battering by Liberals of those of us who continue to cling to a God-given belief that marriage can only be constituted between one man and one woman. It makes me sick in my heart. In the name of "tolerance" we are supposed to bow to the minority view that marriage is essentially nothing more than a choice between two (for now) people who love each other to live together (while they love each other) and get the benefits that go along with it. 

In reality, "marriage" has not been true marriage in this country for decades. The fact that divorce is so easily obtainable shows that, in reality, we have not had a single-understanding of marriage for probably a century. The Catholic teaching on marriage has been at odds with the non-Catholic world for much of the last century. Indeed, the concept of indissolubility as a fundamental element of marriage is as foreign to most Catholics as it is to non-Catholics.

I was well-tuned to this when I was a judge in the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal a number of years ago. I recall vividly how most non-Catholics who were pulled into a marriage case could not understand why their marriages had to be examined when they divorced and wanted to marry a Catholic. Similarly, Catholics often fumed when their previous marriages to non-Catholics had to be examined for validity when the Catholic party desired to marry again. I could write a book on all the ins and outs of Tribunal life, but it would not really serve a purpose. When it comes to having their (former) marriages examined by a Tribunal, most people just do what they have to do to get on with their lives.

Image found at www.fopohiolodge50.org
And that, I suspect, is what will happen in the wake of the Supreme Court decisions this week. There is no real effect on most of us. One case merely made same sex marriage legal in California (again), and the other will wreak havoc on how federal benefits and tax breaks are awarded. President Obama assures Americans that he will not force ministers to marry same sex couples -- as if he COULD do so.

My only other observation on this subject as we move into this weekend before our nation celebrates Independence  Day is that freedom always comes at a price -- and so does losing ones freedom.


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