By Marcel LeJeune
Catholics have not done a good (or even adequate) job of addressing the attacks on marriage. These attacks continue to grow stronger and, without an understanding of how to defend marriage and the reasons behind the break-down of marriage, we will continue to see our culture slide into the anti-marriage mentality. Before I get into the reasons why same-sex marriage is gaining ground, we need to explore some of the fundamental reasons why same-sex "marriages" are not good for those in them or society.
WHAT MARRIAGE IS
Marriage is the basic cultural building block of society. One man, one woman, and their children unite as a family—every bit of evidence shows that families thrive in monogamous and stable homes with two biological parents of opposite sexes who remain married. This means that there is less poverty, crime, strife, etc. in homes where marriages do well. This is because the mother and father of children cannot be replaced. Two fathers or two mothers cannot provide what one mother and one father can. The role of the father can't be replaced by a woman and the role of the mother can't be replaced by a man. Studies back up this claim. Thus, same-sex couples can never provide all that children need to thrive. When families suffer, the rest of our culture suffers.
Furthermore, same-sex relationships are not the same as male-female ones. While a same-sex couple might have strong affectionate feelings for one another, nature shows us they cannot bond as a married couple can. They cannot procreate and their bodies are not made to complement one another. Think of this—a male or female by themselves is incapable of creating human life. They need the other. Thus, our bodies are incomplete without the opposite sex.
NOT ABOUT LOVE
True love is to choose what is best for the other regardless of the cost to myself. This means same-sex relationships can never have loving sexual relationships. This is because the true act of sex is about giving yourself away, but in same-sex relationships you can't do this because the body isn't made to be given to someone of the same sex. A married couple can say, with their bodies, I want to create life and bond with you. I want to be one with you. This is impossible with same-sex couples, because while the body might still be saying this, the act itself is ordered toward selfish pleasure—not creating life or bonding the couple as one flesh.
NOT ABOUT EQUALITY
Many people say that same-sex couples "deserve" the "right" to marry and that those that oppose them are merely bigots who want stamp out the rights of others. This isn't the case. The Catholic Church consistently teaches the respect of others, regardless of sexual orientation. It also teaches us to love and serve all. But, we must also work for truth and the common good. This means while we fight against same-sex marriage, we do not fight against individuals.
That being said, marriage laws are by definition discriminatory. They discriminate FOR families (not against non-married persons) in order to build up what is good for society. Where do children thrive? In the traditional family. If we tear that down, then society will suffer. Thus, the government needs to help support this building up of what is good for society.
Thus, marriage is about more than two people who have good feelings for one another. It is about the good of society—which is why the government got involved in it in the first place.
Some may argue that a same-sex couple should be able to do things such as share property rights, visit in the hospital, etc. But, all of these legal hurdles can already be overcome with current laws and a few documents.
So, what they are really looking for is social acceptance of their behavior. This is why the Catholic Church is enemy number one for advocates of same-sex marriage. They cast us as homophobic, archaic, and mean-spirited. Which is not the truth.
Catholics need to fight such lies. But, to do so we need to know where it all comes from.
My thesis is that there are two main cultural culprits that have gotten us to where we are today:
REASON #1: CONTRACEPTION—THE ROOT OF THE ISSUE:
Contraception has caused a number of cultural issues, not the least of is the fundamental re-orienting of the purpose of sex for the majority of people. What is the purpose of sex to modern man? Pleasure. This contraceptive mentality has changed us as a people. Sex is for pleasure however we can get it and is what we wish it to be. Sex is not for making babies or for bringing two spouses together. It is purely a selfish act of fulfilling a 'need,' not a giving of self to another.
Contraception makes us turn inward, rather than outward—it perpetuates this selfishness on our part. It also sees marriage as an optional social construct (an attitude which harms women and children most of all).
This mentality is tearing apart our culture. I have seen it time and time again. It happens when sex between two people becomes about me rather than you. Thus the fruits of contraception include:
• Divorce rate doubled between 1965-1975 from 25 percent to 50 percent
• One demographer has shown that access to the pill paralleled the increase to the divorce rate
• 41 percent of births are to unwed mothers in 2008 (72 percent of black babies)
• 41 percent of pregnancies end in abortion in New York City
• 50 percent of marriages end in divorce.
Now pick one of these that is good for our culture.
When sex isn't about babies or bonding, then it becomes selfish. Once this happens, the family breaks down. Once the family breaks down, society breaks down.
REASON #2: PORNOGRAPHY—THE DEATH OF MARRIAGE:
If contraception weakened marriage, pornography is killing it. More and more marriages are being ravaged by pornography and the trend will not slow down anytime soon. With 80 percent of young men and 33 percent of young women regularly using porn, more people will be unable to really love another person. Why? Take a look at this:
• Shown to devalue the other person and sex within marriage.
• Porn creates fantasies that real persons can't live up to.
• Porn sets up sexual habits or addictions that create "boredom" with only one other person.
• Porn creates distrust within marriage and is cheating on your spouse.
• Sexual satisfaction is decreased significantly.
• Porn strips sex of love and makes it about using others and objectifying them.
That is just the tip of the iceberg. It gets much worse when you really crack open the stats.
Suffice it to say, porn kills marriages. Thus, it is destroying our culture. But, at the root of porn is the contraceptive mentality that sex is about ME.
HOW CONTRACEPTION AND PORN LEAD TO SAME-SEX MARRIAGE:
How does it all fit together? Well, it is quite simple.
1. Contraception strips sex of its intended purpose—babies and bonding.
2. Pornography re-defines sex into pleasure alone.
3. Thus, once someone has bought into contraception and pornography, they won't be able to argue that same-sex relationships are wrong, because there is nothing left to argue about. Who are they to tell someone what they are doing is wrong? Who are they to say someone shouldn't have pleasure when having sex?
We have given away too much. The stakes are too high. So, what do we do?
THE GOOD NEWS
The good news is that there is THE Good News—the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Christ CAN restores hearts.
Christ CAN forgive sin.
Christ CAN change our culture.
But, we have to do our part. This is the action plan.
• We have to pray for our culture and for all people.
• We can't see anyone as the "enemy."
• We have to educate ourselves.
• We have to speak up and fight back.
• We have to vote our morals and faith.
• We have to evangelize others so God can change their hearts.
This battle for our culture is not lost yet.
Marcel LeJeune is the Assistant Director of Campus Ministry at the largest campus ministry in the country—St. Mary's Catholic Center at Texas A&M University. Marcel is also a national speaker, popular blogger, and author of Set Free to Love: Lives Changed by the Theology of the Body (Servant 2010), in addition to many articles in various publications. He is a regular guest on several national radio programs and has been featured on EWTN TV. Marcel and his wife Kristy have 5 children. You can find out more at www.MarcelLeJeune.com.
This article has been reprinted with permission and can be found at http://marysaggies.blogspot.com/2011/06/two-reasons-same-sex-marriage-is.html.