The True Meaning of Marriage

The stampede is on.  Our elected senators who have stood courageous in their refusal to capitulate on the state’s presumption to redefine marriage are reporting unrelenting pressure to cave-in.

The media, mainly sympathetic to this rush to tamper with a definition as old as human reason and ordered good, reports annoyance on the part of some senators that those in defense of traditional marriage just don’t see the light, as we persist in opposing this enlightened, progressive, cause.

But, really, shouldn’t we be more upset – and worried – about this perilous presumption of the state to re-invent the very definition of an undeniable truth – one man, one woman, united in lifelong love and fidelity, hoping for children – that has served as the very cornerstone of civilization and culture from the start?

Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America – not in China or North Korea.  In those countries, government presumes daily to “redefine” rights, relationships, values, and natural law.  There, communiqués from the government can dictate the size of families, who lives and who dies, and what the very definition of “family” and “marriage” means.

But, please, not here!  Our country’s founding principles speak of rights given by God, not invented by government, and certain noble values – life, home, family, marriage, children, faith – that are protected, not re-defined, by a state presuming omnipotence.

Please, not here!  We cherish true freedom, not as the license to do whatever we want, but the liberty to do what we ought; we acknowledge that not every desire, urge, want, or chic cause is automatically a “right.”  And, what about other rights, like that of a child to be raised in a family with a mom and a dad?

Our beliefs should not be viewed as discrimination against homosexual people.  The Church affirms the basic human rights of gay men and women, and the state has rightly changed many laws to offer these men and women hospital visitation rights, bereavement leave, death benefits, insurance benefits, and the like.  This is not about denying rights. It is about upholding a truth about the human condition.  Marriage is not simply a mechanism for delivering benefits:  It is the union of a man and a woman in a loving, permanent, life-giving union to pro-create children.  Please don’t vote to change that.  If you do, you are claiming the power to change what is not into what is, simply because you say so.  This is false, it is wrong, and it defies logic and common sense.

Yes, I admit, I come at this as a believer, who, along with other citizens of a diversity of creeds believe that God, not Albany, has settled the definition of marriage a long time ago.  We believers worry not only about what this new intrusion will do to our common good, but also that we will be coerced to violate our deepest beliefs to accommodate the newest state decree.  (If you think this paranoia, just ask believers in Canada and England what’s going on there to justify our apprehensions.)

But I also come at this as an American citizen, who reads our formative principles as limiting government, not unleashing it to tamper with life’s most basic values.

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404 Responses to “The True Meaning of Marriage”

  1. Ilona says:


    Did you know that the founders of our American constitution were against religion having anything to do with the government? Here are some quotes:

    “Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “Religions are all alike – founded upon fables and mythologies.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.” – James Madison

    “The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.” – John Adams

    “Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.” – Benjamin Franklin

    You can feel free to believe what you want; you do have that right. But you have no right to force your beliefs on others. Separation of church and state! This is why this is a free nation.

  2. Marnie says:

    I must say, although your take on the whole gay marriage thing is a new one, where you “claim” to be defending only marriage, and not “anti-gay” yet you’re forcing your opinions down my throat and i really don’t care for it.

    This is precisely why i refuse to be part of the cult that is Catholicism. How can anyone feel “loved and welcome” in a cult where the rules are but one – “if you’re not with us, you’re against us. do as i say, not as i do.” No thanks.

    God is a fable. A story told by someone countless years ago, very very well written, and very interesting and intriguing indeed. But nonetheless, a story.

    These are my beliefs. And i have the right to them.

    And i’m straight. In a marriage with a man, i am a woman. As you would call it “ideal” union. And myself, and my husband feel no threat to the lesbians who live next door, or my friend and his boyfriend, and if they marry and have kids, GREAT! Playdates! Non-threatening, socially acceptable, beautiful, fun playdates.

    Jesus said “do unto others as you would have done to you” correct? Well I ask you think Timothy Dolan – would you like to have your love, your life, your feelings, your spirit, your beliefs – taunted and rejected and treated like a joke?

    No. The answer is nothing but a resounding NO. Because no one likes to be treated in such a way. It makes the people you’re attacking feel rejected and hated and less than worthy and that my dear Arch Bishop, is NOT a loving God.

    I’m all about freedom of speech, and feeling and believing in whatever sparks your soul, but i’m NOT about any religion that tries to own the world and ram it’s rules down MY throat.

    I’m going for coffee at my big gay friends house tonight, to help them plan their wedding, and will be completely comfortable, and non-threatened in doing so.

    Thank You,

    Marnie – Welland, Ontario, Canada.

    p.s. yes – Canada. The way less uptight country to the North. :)

    p.s.s. America’s Bishop? Really?? I hope you didn’t come up with that, and it’s just a silly nickname, very rudely chosen, by the ignorant American press.

  3. William Sommerwerck says:

    I’ll state the obvious — an organization which has done almost nothing to get rid of the child molestation that has been rampant for centuries has no right to attack same-sex marriage.

    We live in a civil society. That society has the right to define marriage as it sees fit, free of interference from the church. If you don’t like that, convert to Islam.

    If you do not see the “logic and common sense” of extending marriage to people who want to enter into a (hopefully!) stable and productive union, sanctioned by society — what can I say?

    By the way, I recommend “Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe”. If the author is correct, the church had a much-different view of marriage and “unions” for the first 1000 years after Jesus’s ministry.

  4. William Sommerwerck says:

    Several years ago, I heard an interview with a moderate Islamic leader who said that, of course, he believed in freedom and/or democracy (I forget which), but only in terms of Islamic belief.

    Freedom is freedom, and democracy is democracy. (Might I add that democracy was developed in a pagan society?) Freedom to lead your life as you choose is just that — it can’t be circumscribed by a particular philosophy or religious belief.

    To argue that there’s a line between freedom and license — which, naturally, is defined by /your/ particular belief system — is to make freedom the captive of personal opinion, or unprovable metaphysics.

    If homosexual orientation were a matter of free choice, then it could be rationally argued that it was a form of license. But it isn’t freely chosen — it appears to be largely biologically determined. If you believe that an all-knowing God created a physical universe, a physical man, and physical laws that govern his behavior (I don’t), then God becomes morally responsible for everything that follows — including the desire of homosexuals to engage in “degrading” sexual activities, and “attack” His order by wanting to get married.

    You cannot have free will, then punish consenting adults for exercising it.