Friday, November 15, 2013

Nuts or Bolts

Our neighboring state, Illinois, recently joined a growing number of states to recognize same-sex marriage. Most media reports herald this move as long overdue. The Chicago Tribune article of November 5, 2013, quotes the bill sponsor, Representative Greg Harris as saying, “At the end of the day, what this bill is about is love, it’s about family, it’s about commitment.” While it may have something to do with love and commitment, I see no benefit to family.

Chicago has a terrible problem with street violence in some of its neighborhoods. Young people die most every day from gunfire mostly perpetrated by undisciplined youths who grew up in single-parent homes. The deterioration of the traditional family unit has played a huge role in the increase of violent crime. Boys need a strong father figure to teach them to behave responsibly in society. This idea that family can be whatever makes somebody happy only serves to further diminish structure that is so important in nurturing children.

I find it interesting that Pope Francis is being credited for helping to get the bill passed in Illinois. In July, the Pope was quoted as saying, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?” The Tribune article notes that several Catholic lawmakers, who had difficulty reconciling their religious beliefs with same-sex marriage, used the Pope’s comments to justify voting in favor of the bill. Of course, this is a cop-out. The Pope was not condoning same-sex marriage, and those lawmakers would have found some other justification for their vote had the Pope not spoken.

Secular society’s notion of marriage is much different from the natural covenant instituted by the Creator. Many people take a cursory view of the issue. They see no real problem if two people with same-sex attraction want to commit to each other in a relationship. The Catholic Church must take the view evident in natural law as revealed to us by God in Genesis 2:24 and reiterated by Jesus in Mark 10:8, where we are told a man shall be united to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. There is no natural way two men or two women can become one flesh.

A television commercial currently airing for the Ford Fusion car shows a man and woman discussing the dilemma of choosing between a great ride or great gas mileage. The man says, “It’s like choosing between nuts OR bolts.” The next scene shows a man standing next to an above ground swimming pool saying, “I wonder what these nuts are for?” About that time, the swimming pool walls burst forth, spilling the water and swimmers all over the lawn.

The commercial uses an example I have used in the past to demonstrate one of the problems with same-sex marriage. A bolt has to be married to a nut or it cannot be used for its designed purpose. A bolt will not bond with another bolt. A nut will not bond with another nut. Attempting to do so will result in failure. The resulting effort is disordered. A natural marriage requires a male and a female to form a bond, whether we are talking human beings or hardware.

We should not expect the Catholic Church to say the misuse of God’s creation is okay just because certain people find it desirable. As the Vicar of Christ on earth, the Pope is responsible for guiding all humanity in matters of faith and morals. Those having no regard for Church authority, view Church teaching on homosexual behavior as intolerant or bigoted. On the contrary, the Church is speaking out of love and concern for all souls created by God. Resisting temptation requires discipline, and from discipline comes discipleship. To be a disciple means to listen to those Christ left in authority. “Whoever listens to you, listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” Luke 10:16