Ohio’s Republican senator, Rob Portman, has experienced much emotional turmoil since his son’s admission a couple of years ago that he is a homosexual. For any Christian such as the senator, this brings a torrent of conflicting emotions. One encounters the dilemma of how to show unconditional love and support for a family member while being consistent with moral truths.
Senator Portman’s announcement that he is now in favor of same-sex “marriage” is a sad example of how difficult it can be to be loyal to Truth when experiencing great distress. His statement, “It’s a change of heart from the position of a father” and “I
think we should be allowing gay couples the joy and stability of marriage”1 show the strong feelings of this situation. The troubling reality is that feelings are not reliable guides for discernment.
This is not the time to quote the Biblical verses which are clear that sexual relations outside of a valid marriage between one man and one woman are not permissible. For non-believers, simply look to Natural Law for a similar secular conclusion.
We Christians recall that Christ gave Peter “the keys to Heaven” and what he declared bound or loosed on earth would be bound or loosed in Heaven. This, however, did not include the authority to change the Ten Commandments. And none of us have such authority, no matter how compassionate we think we are being.2
This is certainly not a condemnation of Senator Portman or his son, for this Sunday’s gospel reminds us that none of us are qualified to do so.3 Rather, this is to encourage us to ask for the fortitude we need in times of great difficulty. May we have the strength to choose God’s commands, which produce eternal happiness, over our feelings which can mislead us into opposing Him.
1 – Cincinnati Enquirer, 3/15/2013, article by Deidre Shesgreen
2 – The senator’s use of “allowing” points to the problem. Marriage is not our creation;
therefore, we aren’t in a position to permit alterations.
3 – For non-Catholics, today’s gospel for the 5th Sunday in Lent dealt with Jesus’ response to those who wanted him to publically condemn the woman caught in adultery (John, all of chapter 8).