Dear Marriage Supporter,
This has been another big week in the fight to defend marriage, so I'll get right to it!
Movement For, and Against, Marriage
In France, young people are gathering regularly to sing and pray for marriage. In Nantes, they gather at the foot of the Cross of Charette, where a famous French hero was executed in 1796.
In Great Britain, David Cameron's push for gay marriage has left his Conservative party in electoral tatters, as local elections this week proved. (From the Iron Lady to the Rubber Man in just two decades!)
Here in the United States, Delaware and Minnesota both redefined marriage, making a mockery in the latter state of the voters who were told there was no need to pass a marriage amendment because there was no threat to marriage.
Hard losses, yes, but the fight goes on—and not just in Illinois and the vast majority of other states that still protect marriage.
Bishop Thomas Tobin of Rhode Island has just published a letter to faithful Rhode Island Catholics, inviting them (and I think all of us) "to a moment of prayer and reflection as we respond to this new challenge of the post-Christian era into which, clearly, we have now entered":
"First, like many others, I am profoundly disappointed that Rhode Island has approved legislation that seeks to legitimize "same-sex marriage." The Catholic Church has fought very hard to oppose this immoral and unnecessary proposition, and we are most grateful to all those who have courageously joined us in this effort. When all is said and done, however, we know that God will be the final judge of our actions."
He asks God's blessing on our brothers and sisters who have same-sex attraction, "that they will enjoy much health, happiness and peace."
But, Bishop Tobin says, "Our respect and pastoral care, however, does not mean that we are free to endorse or ignore immoral or destructive behavior, whenever or however it occurs. Indeed, as St. Paul urges us, we are required to ‘speak the truth in love.'" (Eph 4:15)."
Speak the truth, but speak it in love.
You and I know how hard that can be and yet how necessary. We cannot simply stand bye and do nothing when the government is taking over the very meaning of marriage.
The Government-Sponsored Tyranny of Gay Marriage
British professor John Milbank suggests that in his country this drive for state control over the meaning of marriage and parenthood was the very point:
"There was no demand for "gay marriage" and this has nothing to do with gay rights. Instead, it is a strategic move in the modern state's drive to assume direct control over the reproduction of the population, bypassing our interpersonal encounters. This is not about natural justice, but the desire on the part of biopolitical tyranny to destroy marriage and the family as the most fundamental mediating social institution.
Heterosexual exchange and reproduction has always been the very "grammar" of social relating as such. The abandonment of this grammar would thus imply a society no longer primarily constituted by extended kinship, but rather by state control and merely monetary exchange and reproduction."
A biopolitical tyranny where marriage and parenthood are up for legal grabs. The replacement of the idea of the natural family with a set of legal fictions.
This is not the America I want for my children or yours.
This is certainly a time of great challenge, as Bishop Tobin told his flock, but he also points out an opportunity "to be steadfast and courageous, and to renew our commitment to Christ and His Church. As our Lord Jesus Christ told us, "In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world." (Jn 16:33)
The fight for marriage brings together an amazing coalition of people of diverse faiths, different races, and backgrounds; I cherish working with and for each one of you. We will never quit, because marriage is a fight for something fundamental, a truth that will not change, however much government attempts to make it so.
Also, some exciting news to conclude with: The USCCB has issued a church bulletin insert for Catholic churches across the country which calls the Supreme Court case the Roe v. Wade for marriage, depending on the outcome. You can read and download it here.
Only seven weeks until the Supreme Court decides on your right to vote for marriage. Keep up the good fight!
Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for marriage.