Once again, the Federal government has succeeded in making my Facebook an intolerable place today. In case you’re living under a rock, you probably heard that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was partially overturned and the Supreme Court chose not to rule on Proposition 8. I have intentionally linked CNN so you can be sure to see some top-shelf grandstanding.
I have read much of the commentary on both sides and the reactions. The usual suspects have scuttled out from the fringe to gloat in the usual ways, often engaging in hyperbole to over-reach the point in hopes that they can “rub our nose in it.” But none of that is what I want to write about today. I don’t really have the desire to nit-pick the Supreme Court’s ruling, looking for small glimmers of goodness amid the bad news. It’s bad news, we can deal with it. Here’s how:
Remember that True Love has already won.
One of the prevailing soundbytes that I have seen so far is the notion that love won today. This is a lie, the fact is that a misapplication (or privation) of love won a legal victory today. Properly oriented love is unitive between the spouses and oriented toward the creation of new life, modeling God’s Love for all of us. For a bit more discussion of how traditional marriage and homosexual “marriage” are different, check out my previous article Five Facts: Homosexuality And Marriage.
True love won around 2,000 years ago in the form of Christ crucified and the reality of that love will never need a law to protect it. Today I remember that Christ died for all of us regardless of our human faults, race, color, sexual orientation, or station in life. He calls us to live according to His teachings fully, to embrace His salvific love, and to pick up our Cross and follow Him. If we cherry pick teachings in such a way to fit our comfortable lifestyle or to support our sin, we are hardly living up to the standard our Lord set for us.
We’re going to enter a stage in this country where we must look to the wisdom of our Lord from Mark 12:17:
And Jesus answering, said to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.
If we continue to place our faith in the government to present for us sound moral teachings, we’re going to be constantly disappointed. These laws will come and go, but we should not allow them to point us away from what is actually True. This ruling by the Supreme Court is bound to have repercussions. Pat Archbold wrote a rather chilling article that paints a grim picture of how this could affect the Catholic Church. I pray that it doesn’t come to this, however I won’t be surprised if it does.
For my part, I am trying to not fall to despair on this topic. I pray that the Lord brings some good about with this defeat and that this act galvanizes the faithful, encouraging us to become stronger in practice, protect our faith, and protect the institution of marriage even more. It is important for us to remember the wisdom from the Sermon on the Mount:
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Remember to pray for our government, pray for the Supreme Court justices, and pray for those that delight in and embrace their sinful behavior. Love all of them, so that they come to understand what real love looks like. Last but not least, pray for the lay faithful, just politicians, blessed priests, and all others that keep up the fight. We have assurance that the gates of Hell will not prevail against our Church, but that does not mean that the road ahead will be easy.