Monday, July 4
Should Catholics Marry?
Civilly, I mean.
Spain, Canada, the Netherlands, and, um, I think it's Belgium, have all legalized same-sex marriage. No, more than that: They have all re-defined marriage such that there is no difference between marriage and homosexual union.
I was listening to Catholic Radio today, and the question arose:
If marriage is re-defined in this way, can Catholics really get married by the state?
By entering the same union used by homosexual partners, the Catholic couple risks saying: "What we are doing is equivalent to what a homosexual couple does." And of course, that is not what we believe: therefore, should Catholics boycott civil marriage?
I'm not sure what to think about the proposal. On the one hand, states which radically alter the definition of marriage have effectively botched their obligation to govern marriage. Therefore, if a critical mass of Christians (Catholics, Baptists, Evangelicals...) refused to have anything to do with re-defined marriage, the state would in practice lose its practical oversight of holy matrimony.
I'm generally suspicious of moves to remove the government's oversight from marriage, however. Marriage is not a private affair! It is the cornerstone of society, literally, because society is born and raised in individual families. Therefore, if a goverment is intended to govern society, it must protect and govern families (family=society). Philosophically, it's a slam-dunk: the government should have a role in family law.
Practically, the government that redefines marriage to include homosexual union is no longer doing anything to protect or govern marriage: They no longer prevent birth control, they no longer prevent divorce in any meaningful way, they no longer prevent more than one marriage, they no longer limit marriage to man and woman, and in doing that, no longer require that adoptions take place in the context of a family. So, what does the government really DO for marriage anymore, anyway?