Catholic World News News Feature
Has Catholic corruption led toward same-sex "marriage"? February 16, 2004
It's time we Catholics fully confronted the logic behind the gay marriage arguments, since we are in danger of identifying the wrong enemy in this war. The enemy is not the homosexuals-- although as a group they do indeed intend to dismantle the foundation of civilization, the family.
No, the real enemy is ourselves.
Let's look at what Andrew Sullivan, by far the most influential thinker on this subject --- the one to beat, so to speak--- has to say on the matter:
It was heterosexuals in the 1970s who changed marriage into something more like a partnership between equals, with both partners often working and gender roles less rigid than in the past. All homosexuals are saying, three decades later, is that, under the current definition, there's no reason to exclude us. If you want to return straight marriage to the 1950s, go ahead. But until you do, the exclusion of gays is simply an anomaly-- and a denial of basic civil equality.
The subtext here is what we need to be most attuned to. Sullivan makes a bit of a misdirection play when he locates equality between the sexes in job parity. What he really means is what undergirds that equality and enables it: birth control.
Sullivan doesn't spell this out because he knows he doesn't have to. Catholics have embraced the post-1950s model of marriage with a vengeance. With 70 percent of Catholics contracepting and 55 percent of Catholic women with two or more children opting for sterilization, doctrine clearly makes no difference in the scramble to evade the destiny of biology.
Sullivan actually knows well what many Christians do not: the real place of homosexual sin in the list of offenses against chastity. "The sin of gay sex is no more and no less sinful … than masturbation, extramarital sex, marital sex with contraception, heterosexual oral sex or, indeed, marital sex without love."
Once Catholics in particular accepted the "liberation" of the woman from her fertility, the covenant of marriage lost its raison d'être. Once Catholic men abandoned their families with the same sangfroid as the average deist, our defense against homosexuality was ruined.
To be sure, other Christians embraced the sexual revolution with as much fervor as we Catholics did. Yet the reality is that Catholics bear the burden of holding the last stronghold, of cleaving to the truth when others don't remember it. Sullivan's thrust-– that having sold ourselves into the slavery of sex for its own sake, we have no basis for excluding homosexuals from the fun-– is simple logic.
Until all Christians, but especially Catholics, take the radical step back to the Gospel and our faith and repudiate divorce and birth control, gays will continue to win politically and culturally, because they have a certain consistency and our bad conscience on their side.