The U.S. Supreme Court case involving California’s Proposition 8 and its ban on same-sex marriages is receiving an elevated level of attention. It’s providing an excellent opportunity for those supporting the unchangeable institution of marriage to reveal their understanding of it… or lack of it as evidenced by:
From the Court’s Proceedings
“Much of the debate circled around the needs of children and the importance of procreation to the state’s interest in marriage. In one exchange, Justice Elena Kagan asked whether it would be constitutional to prevent couples over the age of 55 from marrying, given that they would not be procreating.
‘Your Honor, even with respect to couples over the age of 55, it is very rare that both couples, both parties to the couple are infertile, and the traditional –‘Cooper began, before being interrupted by laughter.
‘I can just assure you, if both the woman and the man are over the age of 55, there are not a lot of children coming out of that marriage,’ Kagan shot back.”1
Key Aspect of Marriage is Misunderstood
Charles J. Cooper, representing Proposition 8, got himself into this jam when he said that it supports “responsible procreation”2 and the implication that marriage without children is not a marriage. One of the aspects of a valid marriage is that the couple is “open to having children,” not necessarily discovering whether they are able to have them. Thus, the discussion with Justice Kagan took a turn for the worse (see footnote #3).
The Old Testament case of Abraham and Sarah is a great example of this distinction. They were an elderly, childless couple.4 They proved to be open to God’s will to give them a child, even though they certainly weren’t of the age normally expected to be able to have one.
Society Chose the Wrong Fork in the Road in the ‘60s
“Openness to children” is a recurring theme regarding human sexuality, especially since the arrival of artificial contraceptives in the 1960s. Many, including a great number portraying themselves as Catholic, were “relieved” and took great delight in reducing the chances for conception within marriage through unnatural means. By doing so, they ignored a key aspect of marriage.3,5
This notion of trying to circumvent the inherent responsibility of sex spilled over into the unmarried segment of the population. The outcome is a complete disregard for all that the 6th Commandment entails.6
With the resulting distortion of what marriage is and the erroneous belief that human sexual activity does not have to be restricted to valid marriages, is it really surprising that there is a movement to legitimize disordered same-sex unions?
1 – from “Supreme Court Prop. 8 Arguments Focus on Sex, Science,” by Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience senior writer, 3/26/2013
2 – Huffington Post article by Mike Sacks and Ryan J. Reilly, 3/26/2013
3 – Paragraph 1664 of Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Unity, indissolubility and openness to fertility (emphasis added) are essential to marriage. Polygamy is incompatible with the unity of marriage; divorce separates what God has joined together; the refusal of fertility turns married life away from its “supreme gift,” the child (emphasis added).” Before someone argues that the Church does not consider a couple to be married when it is discovered they cannot have children, there is Paragraph 1654: “Spouses to whom God has not granted children can nevertheless have a conjugal life full of meaning, in both human and Christian terms. Their marriage can radiate a fruitfulness of charity, of hospitality, and of sacrifice.” (published by Liguori Publications, Liguori, MO, 1994)
4 — Whether or not one takes their stated ages literally is not important. The purpose of the account was to show that they were beyond the normal child-bearing years, at least for the wife.
5 – Preventing conception through natural means allows for God to “overrule” us. By the same token, “openness to children” does not mean having children using any method. This includes having in vitro fertilization (which also involves the destruction of “excess” babies) and surrogate conception, both of which go outside the marital bond. Each is an attempt to overrule God’s natural plan for procreation.
6 – In discussions, I have found that a great many Christians think that the 6th Commandment pertains only to married couples because it says “adultery”—that single people are not bound by a moral standard for sex, too. Somehow Scripture’s condemnation of fornication between heterosexuals and disordered sexual behavior between those who are same-sex attracted has been conveniently swept under the carpet. In addition to the overriding fact that same-sex relations are inherently disordered, they are also a means of unnaturally blocking the potential procreative aspect of sexual activity in the same way self-gratification does (masturbation).