Today’s ruling of the Supreme Court that same-sex relationships may be institutionalized as a marriage is resulting in emotional reactions such as hopelessness or anger from many of my friends on my Facebook News Feed. Like Ireland before us, the United States has decided today to move as a nation from under God to a nation under the dominion of the devil just as when the Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973. This isn’t new. The rapid moral decline of the United States is forming a nation that is becoming inhospitable to Christians and God so that there is a cause for concern for our children and their children after them who will be formed by these aberrations of morality from their earliest days to see such sins as normal and natural. The decision to allow same-sex couples to “marry” may now be seen as an aspect of what St. John Paul II called the “culture of death”. Though the late beloved Holy Father said this in reference to abortion, the physical murder of the child in the womb is now complemented by the spiritual murder of truth in the mind, especially of the young about one of the foundations of human existence (though satirical, this Onion article is eerily, dare I say, prophetic). The sympathy that same-sex couples have garnered and the children raised by some of these couples has obscured the truth and beauty of marriage taught by the Church and notably by John Paul the Great.
What could have caused our nation under God to move out from under Him in regard to His holy institution of marriage? While there are many factors such as the psychological, spiritual, and political ones, a little part that may be overlooked is the lack of love in Christians. As Vatican II’s Gaudium et Spes 19 says that Christians are one of the causes of atheism due to their erroneous teaching or deficient moral life, it may be possible to see the success of same-sex “marriage” proponents is partly the result of a lack of Christian love. Many Christians—myself included—have failed at times to see the person who was attracted to someone of the same sex and instead attached ourselves to moral principles against them. Instead of having compassion—meaning “suffering with”—for our brothers and sisters who have a sexual difficulty, they have often been ignored or treated with contempt by those who call themselves Christian. Although homosexuality is an intrinsic disorder, that does not give people the right to treat those with same-sex attraction as diseased or inferior for we all are diseased in one way or another. The deficiency of love has caused some of the gay rights movement to define love in a way they see fit. It is true that love must at times say “no” to some actions but when people hear “no” all the time their frustration may lead them to replace a “no” with a “yes” when such a change should not happen. Such treatment has probably become intolerable to those with same-sex attraction so that now they fight for the dignity that they deserve: to be seen and treated with dignity as a person. Though the desire to be seen with equal dignity is holy, they have mistakenly sought their dignity in a lie that can only be fed to them from hell and, yet, sometimes we Christians fail to be our brother’s keeper.
This does not at all imply that Christians are the only or main cause of today’s national right for same-sex couples to “wed” or exonerate the gay rights agenda but it is important to realize our own shortcomings so that we can better help the common good in orienting our nation to God’s plan for holy matrimony. We must first repent of our own sins before we can have a transformative impact on the culture. Confession is great for the common good! Too many of us often think that the decision for homosexual “marriage” in our nation is determined by the Supreme Court but legal decisions are often the fruit of what is in the heart of the people (there are some laws that are imposed tyrannically and today’s ruling may be argued to be of this kind but I tend to think of law as an expression of the culture). If it is now legal for same-sex couples to “marry”, this legality is the result of a culture that does not recognize God, the sacred dignity of marriage, or natural law and the only way to help our country realize the greatness of marriage upon which it is founded is by living a life of love first and foremost. Our moral principles are second to the law of love but love does not contradict morality for the commandments of God defend love when we threaten it by our sins. The culture war begins in our own hearts and our own marriages and families.
Instead of responding in a negative way to the Supreme Court’s decision, it is best to respond by recognizing our own dignity as sons and daughters of God including those with same-sex attraction. This dignity of ours should lead us to follow St. Paul’s exhortation,
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything… (Phil 4:4–6)
Rejoicing in the Lord is a proper response not for the institution of a lie but for the gift of God that we belong to Him in the midst of the confusion that will ultimately die. The decision of the Supreme Court does not rule over us for we are under the rule of God and His law of true love infinitely more than that of a transitory government. Our government is not our god and it only has authority because God has given our politicians such temporal power just like Pilate. Jesus submitted to the Roman governor but had a freedom as the Son of God that Pilate could not touch; it is a freedom that births His brothers and sisters into eternal life. We Christians are to follow in His footsteps to recognize our freedom as sons and daughters of God in the midst this imposition of a lie that enslaves those it claims to liberate so that Christ’s love may be communicated to our brothers and sisters today, especially those who disagree with us. The freedom God promises us is not one from hunger, fatigue, persecution, or the sword. It is a freedom from sin to overcome the world and the works of the devil that will bring us hunger, fatigue, persecution, and the sword. Do not be afraid—as John Paul II said—for if the world hates us it hated Christ first and any sufferings as a result of this are for our sanctification and those around us.
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood…It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? (Heb 12:3–7)
What are we to do when our nation moves under the devil? The nation may move but we are to remain rooted in Christ. We stay in our nation, just as we are in the world, but remain under God as His sons and daughters. Only through cultivating the love of God in our hearts for others, as St. Paul writes in 1 Cor 13, are we truly free and able to transform the culture from a society under the dominion of the devil to the kingdom of God.
After publishing this post, I saw this article that is better written but also communicates my line of thought.