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. Your Grace,
    You are an intelligent, rational, faithful child of God. Please stop leading your flock astray. Your comments are not based in fact or real experience. I’ve seen the destruction Roman Catholic marriages have caused the children. And I’ve experienced how the love two men share in marriage can benefit the 3 children they adopted from women who couldn’t care for their babies and have very little self esteem. The children are thriving spiritually, emotionally and physically.
    I am certain your heart knows your comments are wrong. But your thirst for power is corrupting you and allowing ego to lead you from the Truth of God’s Love and continuous working of the Holy Spirit revealing the expansiveness of that Love.
    Please set yourself free from the man-made dogma (women were not involved in the dogma you espouse) that hinders The Way.

    I am afraid for your soul and will pray that God forgives you.
    Your actions belie Christianity that I have come to know.
    “By my actions you will know my faith.”

    Your brother in Christ,
    William Cruse

  2. Rory Bellows says:

    “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.” – Archbishop Dolan

    Why isn’t the Archdiocese pursuing laws in Albany that prohibit the State of New York from issuing marriage licenses to couples that are past the age of procreation? Or better yet, shouldn’t the State test all women seeking a marriage license to see if they are capable of getting pregnant? When will the archdiocese get behind the bill to prohibit barren women from marrying? These barren women should not be allowed to get married in the State of New York.

  3. David&Johnathan says:

    The true, loving Philosophy of Jesus is being shrouded by egos and dogma. The current enlightenment by society and scientists is that Homosexuals are born gay – or created that way by God. Society and the church has reinterpreted their dogma in the past – It’s time for another change now.
    A union of two people in the presence of God is simple and beautiful. I have been granted love by God – I want Him to be a witness to it; to thank him for it.
    Your time would be better spent speaking against T.V. reality shows that flaunt marriage as a game show prize. That is what the heterosexual community has done with their “sacred” union. They have flaunted and degraded it on their own – they should be ashamed.
    I was brought up in a Catholic parish filled with love and acceptance, but your vitriol is exactly the reason for my leaving the church.
    1 Samuel 18:1,3

  4. Matthew Hayden says:

    If you cherish true freedom why are you attempting to dictate who marries whom?

    I find your argument full of contradictions and double talk, not something I expect from a leader of a church but something more akin to a politician.

    You advocate true freedom as long as you get to define the meaning of it. I find your abuse of your status within the community disheartening.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

  5. Steven says:

    I have two questions about your post.
    What would a celibate man know about marriage?
    Why would a sworn celibate man care about other peoples marriage?

    It makes sense to me that a person with no stake in it should keep his mouth shut.

  6. Robert Evert says:

    Thank you Father Dolan for doing God’s work here on earth. Can you please tell me if Mr. Cuomo has been ex-communicated (if he is even a Catholic). If not can you please see that he is excommunicated a.s.a.p., as well as any other Catholic Senators who support this blasphemous homosexual “marriage” bill. Thank you again Father Dolan, may the Lord Bless you and keep you, may he make his face to shine down upon you and give you Peace.

  7. Kurt H says:

    With all due respect Archbishop, I disagree with you. While I feel it is fine for you to practice your bigotry within your church I feel you should have no right to force you bigotry on others.

  8. Toby A. says:

    In regards to Aaron’s comments…

    June 16, 2011 at 8:18 am

    \Regarding same-sex marriage, Albany should not make a ruling on any social issues. I think it should appear on the ballot that all citizens vote for or against. Then, rather than an innapropriate top-down ruling, the people would decide which direction society will go.\

    The legislature is the appropriate place for this debate and vote. When it comes to protecting the rights of the minortiy in any society, there must be a forum where there is balance. Where the issue can be debated appropriately and then voted on. Placing civil rights before the people would rarely if ever protect the rights of the minority. Would the 1964 civil rights act have passed if it was placed before the voters? It took 90+ years from the passage of the 13th and 14th ammendments for it to come to a vote in congress. What about interatial marriage? How long would that have taken if it was left to the people to decide?

  9. Vincent Truman says:

    If kids need a mom and a dad, why not devote your time and energy to outlawing divorce?

  10. Toby A. says:

    I have a question regarding your post…What devistation are you refering to?

    “Padre Fred says:

    June 16, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Actions have consequences, and speak louder than words. \Splitting the atom\ in the realm of marriage has caused the devastation we are living through, but witnessing to the truth can restore life. “

  11. Stephen C Yang says:

    Archbiship Dolan,

    My grandfather, Francis Ma, was the barrister for the Catholic Church in China and Taiwan from the 1930s through the early 70′s. He spent his life in service to Christ and the Church until his death a few years ago.

    He could never understand why I had such animosity towards church in general.

    By your comparison that Asians are something to be looked down upon, I think he would be greatly disappointed in how you’ve made my point, in that the Catholic Church, and all religions in general, are just made up of self-appointed, deeply flawed, human beings, just like the rest of us.

    If you expect to spread the good news about Christ, you must be INCLUSIVE in your writings, thoughts, and actions. You’ll never win the hearts and minds of those who you think need to hear the word of God if you’re making aspersions upon them.

    And unless you change your writings, thoughts, and actions as necessary, you will fail in your mission to spread the word of God.

    — Stephen Yang

  12. Toby A. says:

    “Thomas said:

    June 16, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    “Thank you Father Dolan for doing God’s will as we all should be.”

    Exactly what is god’s will? You, the church, religions through the ages are not even able to prove the existence of a god and yet you assume to know god’s will. This is absurd. The existence of god is unknowable as is “his will.” And is it really “his will” that people should be denied their civil rights. Is it “his will” when the catholic church preaches abstinence to Africans, instead of teaching them that in the face of the AIDS crisis they should be protecting themselves by using condoms? Is it “his will” when those same people started to die leaving family’s broken and children without parents? Is it “his will” that these children and millions of children around the world should die of hunger? For an all-knowing, all-powerful and loving god; “his will” leaves a lot to be desired.

  13. bob says:

    \In philosophy, a sentence which asserts incomplete truth conditions for a proposition may be regarded as a truism. An example of such a sentence would be: \Under appropriate conditions, the sun rises.\ Without contextual support — a statement of what those appropriate conditions are — the sentence is true but incontestable.\

  14. megan says:

    you do realize that nobody is asking to receive the sacrament of matrimony, don’t you? that is where the church’s influence should begin and end. i do not understand how the catholic church, or any other religious group for that matter, has a right to say anything at all about the civil rights of the people. this has NOTHING to do with the church. this country was based on freedom of religion. we should also be granted freedom FROM religion. as someone who grew up catholic, and still volunteers at a catholic retreat house (with my jewish partner, no less), your statements break my heart.

  15. Linda says:

    A Union yes, “MARRIAGE” please God NO! What right do politcians have to say what is or is not a marriage. Does the beliefs of the Catholic church become irrelavant in this matter. Regardless of what the vote is in Albany I will continue to pray that the millions of Catholics that have voting rights remember these strong arm tactics by Gov. Cuomo and his cronie senators. Also, has anyone bothered to figure out the financial ramifications of this?
    I know I will do everything in my power to see that these men and women do not get re-elected to office.
    The bigger question here is why do Catholics remain silent on issues of such importance?? Again, call it a “union” allow visitation rights when a partner is ill all of this yes but calling it a “marriage” well it just is not that.

  16. Noelle says:

    I second what Megan said! Noone is asking to receive marriage as a sacrament, so the church’s opinion should not influence legal rights. I was raised Catholic, and statements such as Archbishop Dolan’s make me ashamed to be associated with the Catholic church.

  17. David Helms says:

    Per your statement “tamper with a definition as old as human reason and ordered good…”

    Is it not human reason and ordered good that compels us to continually reevaluate tradition beliefs and defintions so that we best incorporate learning, understanding and compassion for our fellow man?

    One can only imagine what the reaction must have been when Galileo demonstrated that we lived in a heliocentric world…oops, my bad.

  18. Andrew Appel says:

    The Archbishop is allowing his faith and subservience to it to be a license for stupidity and false argument. And he is relying on his flock’s innocence to argue so falsely. I know he knows better.

    I admire anyone’s strength of purpose and fidelity to a vision of goodness and right. These are personal commitments and our country allows each of us to follow his spirit and will. HOWEVER, I believe something quite different. I dont call it “truth” and I dont make up arguments to pretend it is “truth”. It is my way, my route through this life. My route involves loving another man, searching with him to be good in our world. We want to be useful and bring joy to many people. We want to hold hands and combine our hearts and wills in a relationship that the state will define as marriage. We are saddened that so many Churches can not see themselves through the detritus of centuries of hatred that connects itself to the magnificent and loving words of Christ (NOT John and NOT Paul where we must be selective). But the “will” of the institution of the Catholic, or any church, can hold NO SWAY in a free society. Religion is not freedom, religion is a choice of faith and deed. It gives up freedom to achieve something else. Our country, our civil society must allow each of us the freedom to make those choices and to choose our restrictions. Mine, and the Archbishops as well. I choose to marry my partner. Who will have a piece of wedding cake with us?

  19. Barbara B. says:

    I am so saddened by the tone of this blog, and to me a lifelong catholic it is quite disturbing. It is as if this site has been hijacked by special interest groups. God bless you Archbishop for speaking truth to power! Keep fighting because the masses are with you. If this was such a critical issue, why not have the people vote in a referendum? Because the numbers aren’t there, that is why it has to be back doored with favors and lobbying. Shame on any cafeteria catholic who supports this abomination. To the hidden bloggers here with an agenda- I do not believe you are either catholic or people of any faith at all. You only want to talk about tolerance and not practice it. Very bad form.

  20. Shin says:

    You’re logic is full of holes and flaws.

    If you believe in limited government, wouldn’t allowing same sex marriage be championing deregulation and smaller government? This legislation is telling people that they are FREE to marry their loved one.

    What you religious people and preachers don’t understand is the fact that there are people who don’t believe in your religion neither care for what you believe in.

    If you do believe in the basic human rights, then the obvious answer is to allow one human to marry another human. That’s why we all call it “Human Rights”, not “Straight People’s right”.

    As a straight man, I am threatened by no one and their rights to be wedded. I only fear the ignorant and the intolerance stemming from their religious beliefs. And no, i was not molested by a priest, contrary to popular belief.

  21. Mark says:

    I am far more saddened and upset by sexual abuse by priests than I am by emotionally stable gay people marrying.
    The archbishop is a perfect example of the sad and pathetic state of the Catholic clergy.

    Barbara B. is right, there is no more tolerance for any of the churches hate, nor the suffering the church causes.

    Since the church stopped allowing the enlightened to revoke membership I still remain a Catholic based upon your own church rules and post on this blog in good conscience.

    Meanwhile Rome continues to advise the poor to avoid birth control, and to have babies without the ability to feed them. Shame on all those who follow this most hideous of institutions.

  22. Daniel Ferreira says:

    Gay marriage WILL be legal BECAUSE we are living in the US and not in China or North Korea… To deny ANY human being the same opportunity granted to others, especially the ability to “unite in lifelong love and fidelity”, is a spiteful act of self-righteousness. You don’t have to support it, but the very act of fighting it shows how little interest the church continues to have in bringing peace and joy to this world. It’s this kind of rhetoric that keeps pushing people away from the church (and god).

    This country’s founding principles speak of basic human rights & freedoms not exclusive to religious rights. This is why separation between church and state is imperative to any humane democratic state. Given the catholic church’s history, the ‘rights given by God’ you speek of keep being revised and align themselves with the opportunistic exploits of the church to suit it’s own interest, not God’s. These noble values you speak of are evident in all human beings despite religious beliefs!! This is why it is becoming easier for ALL people (from atheists to Catholics) to grasp the concept of ‘home, family, marriage, children, faith’ for every kind of couple. Despite how much you would like to shame homosexuals into feeling they are undeserving of love and unity, they ALREADY exist… Legally or symbolically, the reality is we are already forming unions, building families and creating loving lasting relationships that challenge the one’s you support and seem to feel entitled to!!

    You will loose this week or decades to come, not because faith in God is lost, but because the human spirit always aligns itself with what’s right… and in this case, you are wrong!!

  23. W says:

    Barbara B. – The Catholic Church has disenchanted enough people over the years that “hidden bloggers with an agenda” are hardly necessary. I can only speak for myself, a non-blogger raised Catholic and educated by them, and my only agenda is to speak out against the church’s stultifying worldview when its transmissions threaten progress out here in the real world.

    But if you’re wondering how people arrive at this blog, this is how it works: a person reads the news and discover that some chubby, pink charlatan is meddling with people’s lives and using religion as cover. Then, using that omniscient tool, the internet, he discovers this blog (speaking of bloggers with an agenda), its specious content, and, finding a comment section, proceeds to comment. To his Reverence’s credit, people’s comments have been posted, a transparent practice that should be praised (in a secular fashion).

  24. Josh R says:

    So, a man who is required by his job to remain unmarried, working for a organization that has maintained an official policy of sheltering pedophiles, which has a history of supporting and defending dictators and using a false claim of morality to justify its actions is now trying to write with authority about why god hates gay people and doesn’t want them to have the same legal protections straight people have.

    I’m shocked! Shocked!

    Hey, Bish… take your theocracy and move to Rome. This is a republic which guarantees equal protection under the law for everyone. Sometimes it takes a while for that message to sink in, but this country has changed to allow women to vote and have public office, black people to have the same rights as whites, and now it is moving to have gay people have the same rights as straight people. Maybe in another 50 years, atheists might have the same rights as theists.

    But the changes are happening. But don’t worry. I’m sure Bishop Law will let you sit on his lap.

  25. Ed says:

    The church does not have a right to interfer with the civil rights of anyone. I would think anyone trying to truly live like Jesus would be accepting of others. Lets not forget that Jesus spent most of his time with groups that society demeed unworthy. And he didn’t spend that time beratting them. This is the civil rights issue of our time and it is sad to see church leadership on the wrong side. But what do you expect from someone who gives Paul Ryan’s budget that attacks the poor and elderly a pass.

  26. W says:

    From an interview Dolan gave earlier, on the New York vote:

    “We’re realistic to know the forces pushing this are very strong, they’re well oiled, they’re well financed.” – http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/17/archbishop-calls-gay-marriage-bill-an-ominous-threat/?hp

    Wow, so he’s stoking a conspiracy rather than engaging with everyday citizens who are simply outraged. This has turned from mildly upsetting to sort of sickening. His true political colors sure show, don’t they?

  27. Otto S. says:

    Interesting that the communists are defining natural law according to Dolan.
    Wasn’t it the Catholics who drummed and still is to this day the 6 day story in which earth was created, the word was flat for long and everybody is dammed including children from birth on and blacks descended from cursed Hem.
    If anybody preached ignorance then price goes to the R.C Church and unfortunately it found many copycats including Mormons and many other storyteller. This blog is speaking volumes.

  28. Ben Bradley says:

    I’m reminded of the USA’s previous acts of “redefining” rights: the Emancipation Proclamation that took away the right to own slaves while giving the former slaves the same rights (at least theoretically) as their former masters. Then there was the creation of the right of women to vote.

    But there IS a difference between what the USA has done and what these other countries have done. What the USA did was NOT redefining rights, but finally RECOGNIZING these rights as having always existed, and in recognizing each such right we are correcting a great injustice.

    And so it is with the right to marry someone of the same sex.

    No one (at least that I’ve heard) is asking the Catholic Church to perform or bless such a ceremony, so the only objection a Catholic can have against it involves an attempt to suppress others’ rights.

    While recognition of right does not stop discrimination by individuals, it at least stops it by the Government, and gives society direction on how people should be treated. Only time changes attitudes which allow people to recogize other “different” people as true and complete human beings. I look forward to the day when a person is treated equally by others regardless of marrige status or to whom they’re married, and whatever their religious beliefs are, including no belief.

  29. Michael DiPasquale says:

    I have been married to my gay husband in Massaschusetts since it became legal in 2004.
    The Catholic Church in Massachusetts has not suffered since this happened, and New York is hardly “rushing” in by following Massachusetts’ lead.

    If Bishop Dolan really believes in the teachings of Jesus Christ, he will do what Jesus would do, and support equal rights for everyone.

  30. Veronica says:

    This is one of the very reasons why I chose to leave the Catholic church. My parents put me through Catholic schools all the way from kindergarden to high school. I did all the sacraments, but began to seriously doubt the faith and stopped attending church in high school. I NEVER understood the double standard of “loving your neighbor as yourself” but denying certain people the right to marry whomever they love and condeming them as sinners. Its hypocrticial and I for one cannot be on board with something that preaches such ridiculousness. The Church clearly preaches the message “oh no. These people are sinners, evil, and will be spending eternal life in hell. BUT we should love them as our own brothers and sisters in Christ.” Its as though the Church gives homosexuals merely a PASS as human beings. You say that your beliefs should not be viewed as discrimination, but I hate to tell you I can’t think of any other definition for it other than discrimination.

  31. Juan Lino says:

    The statement that “no one is asking that the Church bless marriage” is a mendacious Trojan horse. And one can see this in what’s happening in California today where those in “civil unions” enjoy the same legal rights as those men and women who are married. And when I bring this up in discussions I always hear the “separate but not equal is not acceptable” B.S.

    So the real problem is a redefinition of reality. And believe me, the same-sex Nazis will use the force of law to make Jews, Christians, and other reasonable people “bless” their erroneous life style and unions.

  32. Dale says:

    It saddens me that you can see so many hundreds of couples who are demonstrably in love with, and committed to, each other and deny them basic rights that you so freely grant to people who carelessly marry, divorce and remarry as if it were as trivial as changing one’s socks.

    This is not about a label – husband, wife, married or whatever. This is about a huge checklist of basic human rights denied to people in monogamous couples purely because they are of the same gender:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights_and_responsibilities_of_marriages_in_the_United_States

    You argue that allowing gay marriage is allowing the government to define what is and isn’t a family, but not allowing it is much the same thing. Except in your version, the government is dictating the very same notion of family that you want them to, so it’s no skin off your nose. Right?

    You may not like homosexuals. You may not believe their lifestyle is “right” or what your God would want, and you are entitled to those opinions. Your opinions should not restrict the liberty of other human beings, much as my thinking Catholicism is a dangerous, dated cult should not force the government to restrict its practice.

  33. Janus Daniels says:

    You finished by writing, \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.\
    Me too.
    Our formative principles include limiting religion, \… not unleashing it to tamper with life’s most basic values.\
    Marriage outside your church is God’s business, not yours.

  34. Lindsay says:

    Marriage is a legal condition. Marriage should be legal for all people.

    Don’t worry, I’m an athiest, despite years of growing up in the Catholic Church and going to Catholic school while knowing in my heart that there is no god and that gay people are awesome.

    So I won’t be looking to join in any sacraments despite being forced to take them when I was young.

    When my future wife and myself become brides together, don’t worry, the Catholic church will be the furthest from our minds and we’ll be married in a museum or a library- you know places where education thrives not ignorance.

  35. Dave on Staten Island says:

    From the AP wire this afternoon:

    “We are still working for the defeat of this bill,” Dolan told WGDJ-AM in Albany. “We’re realistic to know the forces pushing this are very strong; they’re well-oiled, they’re well-financed … (but) it’s not a done deal.”

    How very sad.

    I am not part of some well-oiled or well-financed force, just someone who believes in equal civil rights for all citizens AND in the separation of Church and State. That has always been my argument when debating public policy that contradicts certain religious beliefs: the US Constitution protects your right to worship the way you choose, and it protects other people from being forced to worship the way you do. I agree with all previous posters who stated that there is no argument against marriage equality that does not begin and end with religious doctrine. I’m sorry, but we don’t all espouse the same religious beliefs, nor do we all even believe in God. To impose public policy based on one set of religious beliefs is unconstitutional and should be fought with every last breath.

    To excerpt from an email I sent this afternoon to a NYS Senator who is still undecided:

    “Although you may be struggling with this issue, it is votes like this that define Americans not just for current constituencies but also for future generations. Plain and simple, this is a vote to extend civil rights to our fellow New Yorkers, and I am convinced that those who support marriage equality will be viewed among our most enlightened – and in some cases – most courageous political leaders.

    This is not the time to hem and haw, to take the easy way out or to be an obstructionist. Now is the time to act confidently, be decisive and do the right thing. I am convinced that, in your heart of hearts, you know that government has no place dictating which relationships between consenting adults are worthy of its approval. We are all God’s children, and we should all have the right to marry the person we love.

    I trust you will see your way clear to being a leader who works to expand civil rights for his neighbors.”

    We can only hope that NYS Senate Republicans choose to abide by the constitutional principles of the separation of Church and State and equal rights for all.

  36. Chris Rhodes says:

    Why is the Catholic Church involved in our government on any level? “This is America, not China or North Korea”. Dolan lies when he says anyone is being coersed into marrying same sex couples. The law has layers of protections preventing that and he knows it. I’m sure the recently scheduled Rapture was canceled because God look down and saw people like the Archbishop and just didn’t want them. There simple weren’t enough real Christians to make the huge production worthwhile.

  37. Mark L says:

    Archbishop Dolan,

    Your comparison of the gay rights movement to repressive communist regimes is intellectually dishonest and shameful. It is an insult both to our gay brothers and sisters who only want to enjoy the same rights everyone else does, as well as those who have ACTUALLY suffered at the hands of North Korean brutality.

    This makes me saddened and ashamed to be called a Catholic in the state of New York.

    If you won’t change your position on gay marriage, then at least retract this horrible comparison.

  38. Nicholas Cash says:

    So, Barbara, what gives YOUR religion the right to oppress people? Especially since your same church does nothing to punish the the priests that molest boys?

    The Catholic Church is one of the most evil, vile cult groups on the face of the planet. They have done more harm than any other group to ever exist.

  39. Bren says:

    Thanks for speaking out for us Archbishop. It amazes me how there is so much outrage coming from those who want to change the definition of marriage which has been the bedrock of civilizations throughout history. Yet those of us who see beyond the current trends and “values” are either completely silent for fear of being labeled intolerant, or are must defend a natural law which should not need defending.

    True Christians should defend marriage (the real definition of marriage) and true Americans should know that the government has no power to change the definition of marriage rights. As Americans we believe our rights are “endowed by our Creator” and government should be securing those rights. God defines rights, not governments or special interest groups!

  40. Mary says:

    The founding fathers set up the government to keep church and state separate. However, there is a saying: “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” And let us not forget that ALL men are created equal. If you stick with the literal translation then women shouldn’t have the vote, own property or be entitled to an education. As time goes on civilization must be able to transition – change with the times to address real life situations instead of disenfranchising large portions of the population. United we stand….and by united I mean everyone.

  41. JC says:

    Abp. Dolan, if the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all this they will do to you on my account, because they do not know him who sent me.

    Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.

  42. Kay says:

    Archbishop Dolan’s article was published in the Deseret News in Salt Lake City as an editorial. I studied it carefully, as well as the subsequent comments posted on this blog. I greatly admire Archbishop Dolan for taking a stand on this important issue. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. Anything else is not.

    Many people disagree with this belief. That is their choice and their right. Not very many years ago, these same people suffered intolerance at the hands of others. Now, many of these same people perpetrate physical, verbal, and emotional persecution on those whose beliefs differ from theirs, (i.e. on anyone who makes a stand for traditional marriage.).

    I applaud the efforts of government to pass laws that forbid discrimination of any kind. However, I will not change my beliefs on traditional marriage or agree to vote to change marriage laws, just as I doubt gay couples will change their beliefs on marriage. Can we not agree to disagree and all work together to the betterment of everyone without the bullying and nastiness that is occurring? After all, we are all God’s children.

  43. I have no doubt that the church will look back 100 years from now and be embarrassed at the stance it has taken on Gay Marriage. The church has historically reacted fearfully to any change in the power distribution in society. Over time, however, the church has always reflected on their positions and love eventually wins out. The homophobia of the church seems to be linked to the inability of the Church to embrace the level of homosexuality within its own ranks. I would find it amusing, if not for the hurt and pain it causes many same sex couples, that the church takes such a strong position against homosexuality and yet continues to ordain closeted gay priests.

  44. Dan says:

    I always learned this country was founded on the “separation of church and state”. The government, nor it’s officials, have ever represented my moral or ethical positions (especially these days). I wish that such influential and intelligent leaders of the church would educate about much more important current events that it does have influence over people’s behavior, like addressing why our society has the greatest disparities between the poor and wealthy than ever before. Gay marriage is a legal matter, not a matter of church or religion. Let’s be honest, the church doesnt have a flawless record through it’s history of adopting “radical ideas”.

  45. Pat O says:

    Thank you Archbishop Dolan for speaking out on this. It is so disturbing to think that a small percentage of our population should try to re-define an institution of the longevity that marriage has had in the history of the world. Gay people have been given all the rights that they should have to live within society and not have what they have worked for left to the control of the government. It would be nice to see them spend their time more constructively trying to define what they would want to call their union instead of trying to hijack what the institution of marriage has been for centuries.
    In response to poor Megan, she must live in a cave-we attend at least one to two weddings in the Catholic church every month for YEARS. Not sure who isn’t seeking the sacrament in her world.

  46. The way the Church stands, largely alone, against both modernity and hagiographic portraits of the past is not shameful but inspiring. To paraphrase Chesterton, “Only a living thing can swim against the current, &c., &c.”

    Ed and Andrew must read a version of the New Testament without millstones, Megan and Noelle: Freedom from religion is, literally, freedom from a relationship with God. Religion, that is, a relationship with God, must be a part of your life, the foundation for everything and not simply a Sunday peccadillo.

    Barbara, I stand with you.

  47. What utter and complete hate-filled evil. The world’s religious are insane, racist, utterly against Democracy, truth, civil rights, human rights, freedom, everything that humanity strives to gain and retain.

    While this contemptible, evil monster spews his Christanic hatred for equal rights for all, not one word does he say about his evil cult’s endless raping of children as a matter of policy, nor his hate cult’s endless efforts to cover-up each other’s rape of children.

    Amazing. No wonder the hate cult is slowly dying off with insane, hate fulled old cult monsters like this one spewing his hate against everything America and Western Democracies stand for.

  48. A Citizen says:

    Citizens have a right to express their opinion.
    Dolan is an AMERICAN CITIZEN.
    Some of you may hate him and his religion, but you are mere bigots.

    Try to think objectively and follow his point.
    Religious and non-religious people are saying that government has no right to redefine reality.
    Government has no right to invent rights out of thin air.
    That’s what “gay marriage” is. It is invented out of than air because of a few with a agenda and big time propaganda machine in the media.

  49. Ishmial says:

    At what point is God involved in the government’s decisions? Separation of church and state.

  50. Beorn says:

    Just because gay people have been disenfranchised since the beginning of civilization is no excuse for continuing to do it. As an American you have the right to define marriage any way you want. The problem here is that law which define marriage as one and one woman are taking away the rights of gay people (also Americans) to define marriage the way they want. They aren’t saying that the law should state that marriage should be defined as same sex couples. This isn’t even any of your (or my) business let alone something we should be upset about. No one says that a nun’s “marriage to god” shouldn’t be allowed, so why are you even commenting?