By: Rev. William Patrick Casey, C.P.M.
On April 29th of this past year, the U.S. Department of Education announced that federal student aid applications will no longer use the “outdated” terms “mother” and “father,” which are seen as too “gender-specific.” Instead, kids applying for college financing will fill in the blanks labeled “Parent 1” and “Parent 2.” I suppose that at some point in time in the near future there will be a movement to change the Commandment “Honor thy father and thy mother” to “Honor thy parent #1 and parent #2.” This, of course, is just another sign of the times in the silly season we are now living in.
I’m sorry to tell you that every priest I have spoken to in my travels this past year is in agreement that religious persecution has already begun in this country and it will become far, far more intense in the not-too-distant future. One does not have to be a prophet to foresee that this severe, aggressive persecution will come over the issues of marriage and human sexuality, and it will surely be centered upon the attempt to redefine marriage. For the first time in 6,000 years of recorded human history, there is now the demand for “same-sex marriage.” No one should be too surprised by this. If marriage can mean anything to anyone, then it will ultimately mean nothing in this society. But marriage cannot be redefined precisely because God has already defined it for all time.
What is the definition of marriage from time immemorial? Marriage in a truly Christian sense is a sacred covenant, a communion of life and love between one man and one woman collaborating with God to bring human life into the world. The covenant is sacred because human life is sacred! Made in the image and likeness of God the Creator! God brings every human person into this world with an eternal destiny, and each one is, in the language of Pope St. John Paul II, “unique, precious and unrepeatable.” Sex is the wellspring of life, and that is why, at least up until now, society has always understood that human life has got to be respected and protected. This is why there can never be a moral equivalence between sodomy and matrimony. There is an old saying, “the mills of God grind slowly … That which is against God and nature will fail.”
Wherever I go, I caution Christians against the use of the term, “traditional marriage.” It is, in a sense, a loaded term. To use the term “traditional marriage” is to imply that there is some other kind of marriage, marriage other than that between one man and one woman. I much prefer to use the term “true marriage” or “natural marriage.”
I came across a great quotation about true marriage recently. It’s spot on!
“I believe marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me, as a Christian, it’s also a sacred union. God is in the mix.” Could you guess who made that statement? It was none other than Barack Obama! Then Presidential candidate Obama made this statement during a televised debate on August 18th, 2008. But now, of course, with his finger in the wind, astutely observing which way the political winds of popular opinion have been blowing and shifting, he has contradicted himself. That’s what spineless politicians do! But God does not contradict Himself! God, who is truth itself, cannot contradict Himself!
St. John Chrysostom, the great early Church Father and Doctor of the Church, gave us a classic definition of marriage that has stood the test of time: “Marriage is one man and one woman, with God for life.”