How to best defend traditional marriage is a hot topic among Catholics. Perhaps it’s due to President Barack Obama’s May 2012 announcement that, although he had at one time opposed same-sex marriages as a matter of faith, he had “evolved” in his understanding of the issue and now supported such unions.
His announcement should not have been that surprising to those of us who have been watching the pendulum of American culture slowing inching towards approval of same-sex unions for the past decade. But the fact these words were being spoken from the President of the United States raised our concerns about the future of traditional marriage to a whole new level. And frankly, they left many of us pointing fingers at the President, the culture, and all those immoral people of the world.
Saint Paul warns us in Romans Chapter 2 that if we judge those who engage in immorality when we do the same, we are “storing up wrath for [ourselves] for the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God.”
If we take his words to heart, we must take an honest look at our own role in the increasing threat to traditional marriage. Unfortunately, it only takes a cursory reflection to see that we are indeed part of the problem.
If we Catholics oppose homosexual marriage as a matter of faith, it means we inextricably must embrace traditional marriage also as a matter of faith. That means we believe the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope Paul VI’s encyclical letter Humanae Vitae, and Pope John Paul II’s thesis Theology of the Body. All of these support the Church’s teaching that homosexual action and same-sex unions run counter to God’s divine design, interfere with the life-giving nature of the conjugal act and the nature of the family, and ultimately interfere with God’s plan for salvation.
And yet our witness suggests otherwise.
How many of us have accepted life-altering birth control or vasectomies as a rite of passage for parents, particularly when they have three or more children?
How many of us have encouraged our friends to break their marital vows and seek divorce when the going got rough?
How many of us have condoned or even engaged in pre-marital sex?
How many of us have pretended pornography within the confines of marriage is harmless?
How many of us have complained about the physical, emotional, and financial burdens we experience from our children?
How many of us have complained about our spouses?
How many of us have failed to pray with our families daily?
If we are the choir singing the praises of traditional marriage and everything it beholds, why on earth would any nonbeliever sing along?
The point is that it is easy to point fingers and tell the world that same-sex unions are immoral but our words mean little if we cannot live out what is. We are all sinners, and we are all in need of God’s mercy.
Yes, we must protect traditional marriage, but we must first start in our own home if anyone is going to listen.
Copyright © 2012, Krissie Allen