Catholics and the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage “equality”: where do we go from here?

I’m sure many of you who are my devoted followers on this blog are eager to hear me discuss my reaction to yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court. I wasn’t surprised at the outcome; in fact, I was kind of expecting it. After the Defense of Marriage Act was shot down the writing was on the wall for this decision. My opposition to allowing same-sex marriage or altering the definition of marriage hasn’t changed since the blog I wrote on Pandora’s box nearly two years ago. For details of that, please see that blog. Just click the link here:The Supreme Court and Pandora’s Box

But what has changed this time?

First of all, I find the language that was used to defend allowing same-sex marriage and overriding the laws of the states to be interesting. They kept referring to the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman only as “discriminatory”, “hate filled”, “bigoted”, and a host of other negative descriptions. But where did this definition come from? It came from God. Therefore, if we are referring to the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman as hate filled and discriminatory and bigoted then  we’re calling God hate filled, discriminatory and bigoted. In effect, yesterday the Supreme Court sat in judgment of God and declared God “discriminatory”, “hate filled”, and “bigoted”. I remember another Supreme Court that sat in judgment over God. That was the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. Caiaphas and Annas and the Sadducees and all of their supporters sat in judgment of Jesus and accused him of blasphemy and they sent God to his death. The United States Supreme Court has done the same thing: they have sat in judgment of God and called him hate filled.

Christ in Majesty2

What is the good news? The good news for us is this: God has already won the victory! Every member of the Supreme Court and every politician and everyone who has been fighting to overturn God’s definition of marriage will have to stand before Christ in judgment when they die and they will hear Christ say to them, “I declared marriage to be between one man and one woman. Who were you to decide that my definition was hate filled?” I’d love to be able to be there that day to see what will happen.

The big question is, “Where do we go from here?” The final remaining question is whether or not the courts will try to force religions to perform marriages that violate their religious beliefs. If they do, they will be in clear violation of the First Amendment which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” We will then have every right to be in civil disobedience and open rebellion against the Court should that ever happen because it clearly will have violated the United States Constitution.

As for ourselves, however, while we may not be able to do much to change yesterday’s ruling or what happens in states throughout the nation, what we can change is how we respond to it. Many people have lamented to me about the world we’re leaving to their children and grandchildren. The best way we can protect them from not being affected by this is to teach them clearly from now to follow God and not the social mores of our time. The days of cultural Catholicism are over. We can no longer go with the flow and feel content just to say we went to church on Sunday and did our Easter duty. The time has come for us to be countercultural. It is no longer possible for us to go along with society and remain faithful to God. We must choose one or the other; either we will follow God or we will follow society. In many ways it can be a glorious time for us to be Catholics today, because we are following in similar circumstances that the ancient Christians faced. They had the awesome responsibility of converting the Roman Empire to the faith, and even though the Roman Empire used all of its might to try to fight the new faith, ultimately it embraced as its official religion the very faith that tried to destroy. We today, if we wish to win back our country need to do so by remaining firm ourselves in the faith by being truly dedicated to God not merely on Sunday but every day of the week, that we literally fall in love with Jesus, that we let our life revolve around him and his call to holiness and his truth and unashamedly and unhesitatingly reject anything that contradicts God’s call to holiness. When civil law disagrees with God’s law, God’s law trumps it, and we have an obligation to obey God and not man.

So my dear friends do not panic! Christ has won the victory and we are on the side of that victory. We may feel right now like our opponents have hit a grand slam and are now beating us ten to nothing, but hang in there! At the end of the game we are the victors! Do not jump ship and try to decide that we must change the teachings of the Church to be more popular and fit in with the rest of the world so as to win more people back, as so many people would like us to do. Jesus never called us to be popular; he called us to be faithful. Our job is to teach the truth whether convenient or inconvenient, whether in season or out of season, whether popular or unpopular. If people listen to us, wonderful! We will then have saved their souls. And if they don’t at least we have done our job, and when we stand in judgment before the Lord we will not hear the condemnation that Jesus certainly gave to Caiaphas and Annas and will give to anyone else who has sat in judgment of his law and called it hateful and discriminatory, but we will hear Jesus say to us “Well done brave and faithful servant! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world! As you bore witness to me in the world, so I bear witness to you before my father! Come share in my joy!” May Jesus Christ be praised!

12 thoughts on “Catholics and the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage “equality”: where do we go from here?

  1. JAC says:

    I just saw several articles where churches are being sued because LGBT movement is basically demanding they get married in a church. This is totally unbelievable. I am outraged and wonder just when all of this is going to stop. I also read something from a non-Catholic pastor that raised the question of whether or not the day would come that he would marry an LGBT couple….his response: “probably” not….!?? what??? there’s an element of doubt here….I truly don’t understand what is happening. Do we have faith in God and his teachings, or don’t we? Everyone is afraid of offending someone else (just because they have different beliefs). Well, like everyone is saying, this is America. We are free to choose which religion we follow. Are Catholics that attend LGBT weddings picking and choosing what they want to believe? Do they have doubts about God? Are they living for what they can touch, see and smell? What has become of Faith and good morals and good judgement through our actions? Some of what I’ve read about a few years back about the Catholic faith, is that it’s ok if lay people, (except those who are employees of the church) are able to attend a gay/lesbian wedding ceremony. While clergy and sisters are forbidden because it’s ‘their job’, so to speak. So why are lay people being told they can attend, especially if it means the family may break up? But, aren’t all of us supposed to be living our faith? Why is it ok for lay people to be present?….we should not be condoning, nor celebrating the marriage of two people of the same sex, if we truly believe in God’s teachings. What I hear is that families should stick together and not break up….so go to the wedding if it’s going to cause problems. But, what about ‘love the sinner’, ‘hate the sin’. I had a Deacon tell me, he hated being a deacon, because now his nephew dis-owned him…he didn’t attend the wedding. Wow! a deacon hates being a deacon. I’ve heard of church employees telling their pastor that they are attending a LGBT wedding in their family, whether the church likes it or not (“you could fire me, I don’t care!”)
    Again, Wow! If we don’t stick by our beliefs, then let’s not believe in anything and do what the LGBT’s are doing….Our government leaders recently said the recent declaration was not due to the constitution….so why don’t they just stay out of it and work on other problems in this country that truly need their focus. (international peace, economy, etc)

    No one wants their family to break up. The LGBT’s only wanted financial stability for each other. But because political leaders kept falling on the excuse, ‘we only do that for married couples’ bit, that gave the LGBT’s the IDEA…”well, then, if we could just get married”….

    Enough people were/are against same sex marriage. The government and insurance companies should’ve worked a different policy specific for LGBT recognition for financial security between partners…..marriage rights was their easy way out, instead of being creative. Now the problem is in the laps of the churches.

    • Leonard A Smith says:

      Our God is one of Love. God has created men and women in God’s image an image of love, understanding and compassion. Jesus teachings were never homophobic but all inclusive. Saying it says so in the bible and taking the Bible literary only the passages we like then yes we probably are able to point out many “untruths” in the bible. In the end this is a civil rights issue on equality. Churches are free to deny blessings of guy and lesbian marriage. Maybe one day Catholicism will follow the Episcopal’s and recognize that God is a loving God. Not a judging and hateful One.

      • God is indeed a loving God, that’s why he loves us so much that he calls us to a glory far higher than anything earth can ever imagine. A Marriage between one man and one woman where they are open to receiving the gift of a new life from him to raise for him is one of the most beautiful ways he calls people into union with him. Do you realize that a husband and wife who give themselves to each other in the sexual act as a permanent sign of their love and commitment to each other and leave open the possibility of receiving a new life from God are actually being brought into union with God in his very being? They are uniting themselves with God, receiving tremendous graces, and are leading their souls to heaven. That’s why marriage is a sacrament – a grace-filled encounter between Christ and his redeemed whereby his saving paschal mystery is made present to them. For this reason we are obligated to respect God’s institution with a sense of awe and not dare to presume we know better and remold his sacrament into something else that is politically correct or popular but has nothing whatsoever to do with what God created. You are correct that God is not hateful, but he WILL in fact come as judge of the world on the last day – so yes he IS a judging God, and He will judge everyone according to how well we followed and taught what He told us. The Episcopalians will face severe judgment from God for daring to call his definition of marriage as “hate-filled” and “discriminatory” simply because it was not popular. St. Paul reminds us: “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths. But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.” (2 Tim 4:3-8). Remember, Jesus never told us to go out and be popular. He told us to go out and be faithful. We have done that – we have kept the faith even though some people don’t like it; we will receive our reward. Those such as the Episcopalians who denied the truth in order to be popular will be judged accordingly for abandoning the truth in order to be popular. God’s judgment is not to be taken lightly and I fear for them and all who side with them on that dreadful day when he will judge them for going along with the Supreme Court and deciding that God’s definition of marriage as between one man and one woman only is “hate-filled” and “discriminatory”. God has the final word.

  2. JAC says:

    I hear what same sex couples are saying about their love for each other and understand that they want to ‘be like everyone else’. The problem is, they will NEVER be like everyone else, because marriage was instituted between a man and a woman….since the beginning of time. Marriages were to promote the growth of our society (between a man and woman (daddy and mommy)..to continue the growth of faith and cultures to their children…..same sex couples cannot do that, unless they adopt or use technology and someone else’s sperm/ovaries/surrogate mother. So how are they the SAME? Who is called mom? Dad? Do they go by first names? (yuk!)
    Many same sex couples also say they want marriage rights primarily for financial reasons….SO why doesn’t the government just give them that…?? Have them prove they are a couple, sign a legal document and let them sign up for health benefits, social security rights and proxy and power of attorney rights…. WHY does it have to be marriage? I try to accept it, but it doesn’t make sense……before technology, how would any of us have been created if it wasn’t for a man and a woman pro-creating? Conception is a blessing…it comes from God! My belief is politicians, legislators, congressman, etc just want to stop the knocking at the door….get rid of the headache, and give them what they want……if it was the right decision to have been made at the beginning in the 1970’s, then why has it taken all of these years and caused such a raucous throughout the world?..The decision has not happened over night….many people that were against it and thought it was disgusting, are now for it, because they have sons/daughters that are in same sex ‘unions’ that have tied the knot and because those loving parents don’t want to ‘lose’ their children, they’ve turned the other cheek and are now pro- gay/lesbian. I understand the all want their children to be happy, but does it make sense if it’s at the cost of the sanity of our society and cultures and belief in God. Since same sex marriages were approved so many people seem to be ‘coming out’, but there are enough of them that are also going through divorce…and some entering heterosexual relationships….so, it makes me wonder…….are some of these couples just trying it to see what it’s like? Observing today’s teens, I think some of them ‘come out’ because they don’t have an opposite sex partner….they feel left out….so if no one has a girl or boy friend, it must mean I’m gay/lesbian.. I see teens that just pick anyone to ‘go out’ with, just so no one thinks their gay..they get bullied about it,too, if they have no ‘partner’…..I see teens ready to commit suicide because they just don’t ‘click’ with anyone in their school (yet)….so they must be gay…(where are these kids getting counseling?…just because you don’t have a boy/girl friend – yet – doesn’t mean you are. You might not meet the right person for many years to come) …Several years ago, an acquaintance told me not to judge gays/lesbians unless I tried it! (no thanks!) Personally, I have been disowned by a sibling because I didn’t go to their wedding. Which to me, was one day in our lives…Just becauuse they were ‘married’ didn’t mean I stopped loving them and wasn’t going to socialize with them any more. Prior to the wedding, I always hugged/kissed my sibling and partner….spent holidays, made phone calls, visited over the summer…..I’m guilty of not going to their wedding so they shun me forever! Wow! It boggles my mind. Have they forgotten that I have shown them love for over 40+ years? Have they forgotten what my faith has taught me? Why am I expected to give up what I have been taught and believe all my life? And yet, they are behaving as if I hate them…..what happened to all the years that passed where I showed love and caring? Now, who’s not being fair? Who is showing hate? Now that they have what they want, they put their noses up at us….I often wonder what went wrong…..my opinion, based on observation of certain situations from when I was younger of my sibling and other ‘gay/lesbian’ friends….a father or mother figure (maybe both) was missing in that person’s life, or was too busy to be involved in school events, etc…..
    I also wonder why it was so important for my 40+ year old sibling to fly to my father’s bedside, weeks before my father died, to tell him they were gay/lesbian? Why didn’t that conversation happen when my father was well?….My sibling had a partner for over 15+ years……. was he afraid my father would disown him….why did my father have to know this before he died? I don’t know….and will never know….

    I’ve said a lot and should exit…..but, all I have to say is I love my fellow man…..but when I see gay/lesbian parades and demonstrations, it looks like orgy time….people just doing what they feel like doing and because we are in America, everything is free game…everyone should get what they want and feel entitled to……the proper raising of children…morals, ethics is down the tubes. I hear so many grandparents and parents say they fear for their children and grandchildren…they don’t like what’s going on in this world….and neither do I.

  3. Thank you again for your kind comment. You are correct that it is not the worst of all sins – blasphemy holds that claim – but Jesus calls us to avoid all sin, not just the worst sin. My point about the Supreme Court decision is that they didn’t acknowledge any impediments to marriage – they declared it a fundamental right – and that allows for no exceptions. The Supreme Court could have defined marriage and acknowledged the need for impediments and simply decided that the impediment of being of the same gender should be dropped, but they didn’t. They declared it a fundamental right, thereby removing all impediments to marriage. Already polygamists have won a challenge to the Utah constitution by a circuit court out west that declared Utah’s ban on polygamy unconstitutional.One by one the current impediments will begin to fall to judicial review, and there will be nothing to stop them. Pandora’s Box has been opened.

    • Leonard A Smith says:

      Mister Carroza, come and kneel in front of your loving God and ask for enlightenment. Polygamy has not the same definition as a marriage between two individuals. Sure we hear now from people who declare that the Supreme court decision will pave the way to bestiality. Wrong don’t muddle the waters by trying to make your view point the right one. I don’t think you have God on your side as you imply. Blessing be

      • Thank you for your response. But let’s look at it this way: fifty years ago no one would ever have imagined gay marriage as being acceptable before God; we all knew better. What changed all that? It wasn’t any new understanding of the nature of marriage and its purpose; that was never even addresses. Popular opinion changed, and that was all that was needed for many people to decide that the traditional understanding of marriage that all churches and societies have understood was now hateful and discriminatory. So if fifty years from now popular opinion changes and polygamy becomes socially acceptable, you will now be telling me that God is in favor of it and I am being hate-filled and discriminating against polygamists. In fact, polygamy will be far easier to defend biblically, for it was common practice in the Old Testament- King David had several wives, so did King Solomon and the prophet Hosea. You won’t find any biblical reference suggesting a valid gay marriage. So no, I don’t think I’m guilty of muddying the waters; on the contrary, I am seeing the reality of the danger of the Supreme Court’s decision. Already there are groups fighting for the right to polygamy, and a circuit court out west a year ago December declared Utah’s laws banning polygamy unconstitutional. So you see, what I have feared is already happening!

        On a final point: you ask me not to muddle (sic) the waters by making my view point the right one. I base my opinion on the fact that Jesus upheld Genesis 2 when he declared “…from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife, and the two shall become one (Mark 10:6-8).” What scriptural basis do you use to assure that your opinion is that of God?

  4. Lee von Doehren says:

    Thank you Fr. Andrew. I try to be example of Jesus Christ. If we can be a reflection of Christ, then HIs light will shine.

    Have a wonderful pilgrimage.

    Lee

  5. I don’t agree with this. Have your opinions or whatever, but I’m pretty sure that making same-sex marriage legal isn’t gonna get them judged when they die, or being in a same-sex marriage. This is about love. I doubt Jesus would judge someone for love, unless they used someone’s love for them to manipulate them or something like that.

    • Thank you for your comment. Please show me where the Scriptures say that Jesus wouldn’t judge someone for love? Was John the Baptist wrong when he scolded King Herod for marrying his brother’s wife? I’m sure Herod loved her, but the marriage was unlawful, and even though they may have been in love, what they did was commit a terrible sin. We cannot simply claim whatever we want is love and thereby say Jesus won’t judge us. If I choose to love and marry my sister, are you telling me that Jesus wouldn’t judge me for that? Jesus’ final command to his disciples at his ascension was to “teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you.” That includes respecting and defending his creation of the Sacrament of Marriage as a holy bond between one man and one woman only. Yes, he will judge us for any violation of this. Of that you can be sure.

      • I would, but my memory is being troublesome. I did just wake up a little bit ago, though. The thing is, I’m not sure how marrying your sibling or marrying your brother’s wife is comparable to two people getting married who just happen to be the same sex. I could go on about this for a while, but my final standing point is that you can hold what opinions you want, and I’ll hold mine.

        And even if you are right, and he would judge people for it, I believe it wouldn’t be nearly as bad as, say, that of a mass murderer. But in any event, although I could say more, I don’t wish to upset you or to disrupt anything…argh, I shouldn’t have responded to this tired. But if you get the point that’s good enough. I’ll take my leave.

        I hope you have a good day!

      • In follow-up of my last comment–in hindsight, I should’ve said beliefs instead of opinions. Ah well.

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