The DOMA Controversy

So. About that Supreme Court ruling today.

In case you haven’t heard the news, the US Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), an act that denied same-sex couples Social Security in the event a spouse died and other benefits married people receive. The Court voted it down 5-4, so it was a pretty close one.

My feelings are somewhat all-over-the-place regarding this situation. As a Catholic, I don’t stand for gay marriage. I love gay people, but there’s no way around that fact that homosexual acts are sinful. (Gay themselves are not, I repeat ARE NOT sinful based on their orientation.) Permitting gay marriage pretty much implies that these acts are acceptable.

For those who think the Catholic Church is homophobic, here’s what the Catechism ACTUALLY says:

1) Being gay isn’t just something people claim to be in order to get attention. There’s really something there. The Catholic Church doesn’t deny it.

Catechism evidence: “Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained.” “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible.”

2) Homosexual acts aren’t good, but the homosexuals themselves are God’s children too!

Catechism evidence: ” ‘homosexual ACTS are intrinsically disordered.’ … They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity.”
“They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.” “Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”

So why are my feelings complex regarding this situation?

Well, I don’t even get why the state is in charge of marriage in the first place. In most cultures, marriage is a religious act. I don’t care if you’re Catholic, Muslim, Protestant, or a follower of an animistic religion in Africa: marriage is religious and sacred. And now, as the United States has become increasingly secular, marriage has become increasingly secular. Marriage has become more of a legal instrument than a religious sacrament.

The state can legalize gay marriage, but it isn’t even really marriage in its true religious sense. I mean, seriously, even if a heterosexual couple is married by a justice of the peace, what does that even mean? It seems to mean that the couple is a unit financially and legally. It doesn’t mean they are united by God to be married to one another as Christ is married to His Church.

So, as far as I’m concerned, when a couple isn’t married in a church, it’s only technically a civil union. So marriage isn’t really being threatened because the Church won’t marry gay couples anyway.

God gave us free will. If some people want to sin via homosexual acts…I guess we can’t stop them. Individuals have to make the right decision, the decision to choose God over temptation. I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to fight against the legalization of same-sex marriage, but if we fail, the onus is not on us. It ultimately comes down to the individual.

And as a side note, I have a pet-peeve about the Supreme Court— just have to get it out:

Americans hail the decisions of the Supreme Court as the ultimate right. It’s like there are nine prophets in D.C. who stand on some high moral mountain receiving revelation from God. Sorry Justice Kennedy, but you ain’t no Moses!

It’s almost sickening. Just because the Supreme Court says so doesn’t mean it’s actually morally right. The justices are just sinners with opinions like you and me.

Sometimes I feel like people worship our wonderful country more than they worship out infinitely more wonderful God.


CCC Quote #1

“The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to ‘the slavery of sin.'”

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1733. Now THAT’S a book. A lot of wisdom in there.