Mixed Feelings

| | Comments (5)

I rejoice in the fact that 11 states voted to recognize the traditional, sacramental definition of marriage. It is likely that there will be a great deal of legal wrangling over this, but the people have spoken unequivocally on the matter.

I am a good deal more conflicted over the fact that 8 of these states apparently also voted to outlaw gay civil unions. I suppose the matter is merely semantic. At least in my mind that is how I have drawn the boundaries--marriage is between a man and a woman--a union recognized both by the Church and by Law. But a civil union? Why should I oppose the legal recognition of a long-term relationship.

Why, for example, should it be possible for a spouse to inherit with or without a will in most states the estate of a spouse upon the demise of the spouse, but such cannot happen without a will in place for persons of the same sex.

I see justice-of-the-peace marriages as simply a legal recognition of a bond between people. While I may be required to insist that such a bond cannot and does not exist sacramentally, what sense does it make to say that it does not exist legally?

I think the bishops have said that we should certainly fight to preserve the sanctity of marriage. And I suppose one could reasonably make the slippery slope argument with regard to the legalization of civil unions. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the heart is entrained in the strict line of reason. In this case, for me, it is not. Yes, I regard homosexual practice as a sin, but is it not possible for the homosexually attracted to live in a committed, non-sexual relationship? I suppose the temptation is always present, but temptation is not sin, and it is, frankly, none of my business and certainly not within my purview to regulate it.

In this case I will say, "The heart has its reasons that reason cannot know." I don't know why I am saddened by this turn of events, but I am. I feel that in some sense justice has been denied even while truth has been reaffirmed in the main statement.

So, I rejoice in the 11 states that have defined marriage traditionally, but I am saddened that the two issues seem to be one in at least eight of those states.

Bookmark and Share


I struggled with Ohio's proposed amendment for the reasons you state. The wording seemed to go beyond what was needed. But when the Ohio bishops uniformly came out for Issue 1 that was all I needed.

We don't need legal recognition of long-term relationships. You can have a friend for life without government entanglements. Civil unions are all about endorsement of homosexual sex and not homosexual relationships. The homosexual community also sees this as a bridge to recognition of homosexual marriage. After all, once they are approved what really is the secular difference between these unions and homosexual marriage?

I don't know if you read David Morrisons' blog Sed Contra, but he really outlines what this means. He still lives with the man who was once his lover but they have both been celibate since their conversions. This did not require any legal recognition and when his friend was hurt once he was able to visit him in the hospital with no problem. There are no property laws that present a problem here or with legal wills so what exactly need legal recognition?

I don't mean to be a pest Steven, but you also might want to consider the letter from the Congregation for the doctrine of the Faith CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS

"Those who would move from tolerance to the legitimization of specific rights for cohabiting homosexual persons need to be reminded that the approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil."

According to this letter I don't see any grounds for a Catholic supporting the legalization of same-sex unions.

Dear Jeff,

And this is where I have a problem with the letter. It impliles that all such arrangements are intrinsically evil. As you have pointed out, that of Mr. Morrison appears not to be.

But this is just a matter of time and coming to terms with what is said--not really a matter of denial. That is the struggle. I have mixed feelings, but those are feelings and feelings are triggered by a great many things. I simply haven't come to terms with the teaching on this yet, and God in His time will lead me to understand as He has done with other teachings with which I have had difficulty. I'm not certain this is one of those where disputation will assist, but one can never tell. And the reason for posting was to hear exactly what I have heard from you and TSO.

The more I hear it, the more I will try to understand it. I struggle with the teaching, but when I grasp it, it will be all the more mine. Nevertheless, at this point, if I am to be perfectly honest in the matter, I am still dismayed.

Thank you for your considerate writing.



I think it is a good thing for us to struggle with the teachings of the Church. For one it probably indicates that we know what those teachings are. It is easy to agree with your mirror image and not as easy to try to understand more of God's plan.

On Mark Shea's blog yesterday he said:

My Catholic Faith Says to Pray for Arafat

"So I do. May God have mercy on him, through Jesus Christ."

"One thing I like about being Catholic is that it challenges me to do things I would not naturally do, like love your enemies. I'm bad at that. Very bad."

We all struggle with the faith just on different aspects. Kind of like what Will Rogers said about every body is ignorant, just on different subjects.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on November 4, 2004 7:35 AM.

Monster was the previous entry in this blog.

Scriptural Reflections is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll