Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.
According to a New York Times story of June 25, an essential part of the coalition that brought “gay marriage” to the Empire State consisted of Republican financial high-rollers who gave Republican legislators cover for voting in favor of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “marriage equality” bill while generously funding the pro–“gay marriage” ground campaign, and who “were inclined to see the issue as one of personal freedom, consistent with their more libertarian views.”
More intellectual and political confusion would be hard to pack into one sentence.
“Gay marriage” in fact represents a vast expansion of state power: In this instance, the state of New York is declaring that it has the competence to redefine a basic human institution in order to satisfy the demands of an interest group looking for the kind of social acceptance that putatively comes from legal recognition. But as Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York and others argued during the days before the fateful vote on June 24, the state of New York does not have such competence, and the assertion that it does casts an ominous shadow over the future. For if the state in fact has the competence, or authority, to declare that Adam and Steve, or Eve and Evelyn, are married, and has the related authority to compel others to recognize such marriages as the equivalent of what we have known as marriage for millennia, then why stop at marriage between two men or two women? Why not polyamory or polygamy? Why can’t any combination of men and women sharing financial resources and body parts declare itself a marriage, and then demand from the state a redress of its grievances and legal recognition of it as a family? On what principled ground is the New York state legislature, or any other state legislature, going to say “No” to that, once it has declared that Adam and Steve, or Eve and Evelyn, can in fact get married according to the laws of the state?
The Vatican’s representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva says a recent resolution on “sexual orientation and gender identity” is part of an agenda that could restrict the Church’s freedom.
“The resolution marks a change. It is seen as the beginning of a movement within the international community and the United Nations to insert gay rights in the global human rights agenda,” said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, head of the Holy See’s Permanent Mission to the U.N. in Geneva, in a recent e-mail interview with CNA.
The archbishop noted that a U.S. State Department spokesperson had described the resolution as “a beginning of an international norm that will take hold gradually.” But “if norms are established,” Archbishop Tomasi wondered, “what provisions will be made for freedom of expression on the part of religious leaders?”
People such as Pastor Stephen Boisson can answer that question. He was ordered by Canadian Caesar to renounce his Christian belief that homosexual acts are immoral and subjected to years of legal torment by the State. Same deal for Swedish pastor Ake Green who transgressed the New Piety by stating what Christianity has always taught about one of the sins that cries out to heaven for vengeance.
The point is this: In a free society, homosexuals can do as they please in the privacy of their own home. I don’t need to know about it, just as I don’t need to know if you had carnal relations with your wife last night. Not my business. It is, I think, silly for those rare fringe Christians to talk about criminalizing the Love that Dare Not Speak its Name (unless they’d also like to criminalize the serial adulteries of Newt Gingrich and stone to death millions of marriage-destroying heterosexuals, as well). And, in fact, nobody beyond a few fringies is talking about that, so the panic-mongers in the gay community who perpetually go on about “Christian homophobia” are just blowing smoke. Not every sin is a crime, and nobody is talking about any legal punishments for gays.
But practicing homosexuals (nota bene: I have nothing but respect for those with same sex attraction who choose to live chastely) and other enemies of people of faith are eagerly pushing to make it a crime to so much as think that homosexuality is an immoral perversion. That’s what gay “marriage” is really about: creating a legal basis to punish thoughtcrime as “hate speech.” It is fired by the insistence that mere tolerance of homosexuals is not enough. You. MUST. approve of homosexual acts and if you voice any disapproval of them—if you so much as utter a whisper that homosexuality is an obviously disordered form of sexuality—you shall be punished with the full weight of the law.
In short, gay “marriage” is prelude to legal persecution of the Church for teaching what it teaches about sexuality. That’s where this is going. That’s what this is about.