Same-Sex Marriage, has Anything Changed?

Gay Marriage“The truth is not always the same as the majority decision” –Saint Pope John Paul II

No subject has come under more scrutiny and been more polarizing that same-sex marriage. Both sides speak with a black and white, clear cut, angry indignation, one side alleging that the definition of marriage is too narrow and the other that the definition is too broad.

This week the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriages in a narrow 5-4 vote. Almost instantly, these polarized battle grounds were ignited through social media. Twitter and Facebook are ablaze with diatribes form both sides of the issue.

But, has anything really changed? Is civil law really distinct from natural law? Is the government responsible to uphold our Christian definition of marriage or must it find a position that satisfies all religions or in fact those people with no religious affiliation?

To be sure, there are plenty of Supreme Court decisions that as good Catholics and Christians we would contend  the court got wrong. Take Rowe vs. Wade, for one. But, we go on making our case for pro-life and over the years have seen the pendulum swinging in the direction of life.

What do we know for sure?

  • According to the Pew Research Center 72% of Americans say that legal recognition of same-sex marriages is (was) inevitable.
  • A majority of Americans, 57% favor same sex marriages and that changed in just the last 5 years.
  • 65% of democrats and independents favor same sex marriage as compared to only 34% of republicans.
  • Nearly three quarters (73%) of Millennials favor legal recognition.

And, majorities of both Catholics (56%) and white mainline Protestants (62%) support same-sex marriage, along with an overwhelming majority (85%) of the religiously unaffiliated.

For many it might bring to mind the quote from St. Augustine:

“Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.” –Augustine of Hippo

So, what can we can Christians and Catholics do? I think there is much to learn from the pro-life movement.

  1. We must pray not only for a change in the hearts,  but spend some time in prayer before you comment on social media. Be compassionate with those who disagree with your position. Angry and bitter responses won’t change minds.  Thoughtful, gentle, and loving responses will.

“Arm yourself with prayer instead of a sword; be clothed with humility instead of fine raiment.” –St. Dominic

  1. We must not react in a way that alienates, polarizes and puts down the opinions of others. 73% of people who have gay or lesbian family member or friends favor same-sex marriage. They want their friends to enjoy the same love for another as they do. You won’t win them over by putting them down. They are emotionally invested in this issue.
  2. Live your marriage with joy! Understand the hypocrisy that people see in divorce, infidelity and multiple marriages. If you want people to see the beauty of a “sacramental” marriage, then you must live it. Live it joyfully!
  3. We must reflect the love of Jesus in our interactions.  If Jesus were here, He would approach the situation with love.
  4. We must keep our eyes towards heaven. Remember we are in but not of this world.

“The Church must never conform to or be assimilated into the world. We are in the world, but not of the world and we must keep our eyes firmly on our heavenly home.” –Randy Hain

Slowly but surely, with love, just as with the pro-life movement, we can make our case and turn the tide of opinion. Remember, nothing has changed except the law. And, even that can be reversed. Don’t panic or cave in to popular opinion. Hold fast to your beliefs and humbly present your opinion by the example of marriage you live.

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