Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Marriage and the Political Battle

1. Is marriage a purely social construct or is it intrinsic to the structured nature of sexual beings and discovered as such?

This is an either/or question. If marriage is discovered as intrinsic to nature, then it has a social construction but is not reducible to such.

If the first part of 1 is affirmed, then:

2.1) By whom is marriage constructed? (A similar question is: by what process does this social construction solidify?)

If part 2 of 1 is affirmed, then:

2.2) What is marriage in its fundamental essence among the animal kingdom? And among the human species?

Once either 2.1 or 2.2 are answered, then we can ask:

3) Who shall be given the power to protect this understanding of marriage?


The Sacrament of Marriage crystalizes and perfects natural marriage. As a Sacrament, it receives its essence from Christ and is protected by Christ through the Church. Hence, whatever non-Catholics may want to say, marriage in the Church transcends the dialogue (if there is any) about the nature of marriage on the natural level but may contribute to that dialogue because it has the clarity of truth as to what marriage should be.


Why would one give the State the power to determine and enforce what marriage is? And then, having given that power to the State, how could one in any meaningful way object to the Church's "intrusiveness" into peoples' private sex lives when those very private lives have been handed over on a silver platter to the State, which is far more powerful and omnipresent than the visible Church?


A secular person answering the above questions will quickly reveal that the only possible reason that Christians could become involved in the political process surrounding the definition of marriage and hence family life would be to protect the family from its disintegration, i.e. to protect the children especially.

Nevertheless, the only real way to protect the family from its disintegration is by living a holy life and fostering holy families, which is not a political action although it has political consequences.

And while there is division among Christians themselves as to what constitutes marriage, to what purpose and effect shall a Christian engage those political processes to "defend" marriage?

It seems the only reasonable option is actually to live a holy life and, if one is married, to foster a holy family through the example of holiness.


Relatedly, a Christian must ask himself if the urge to uphold the traditional understanding of marriage in the public sphere is actually an unconscious sense of taking responsibility for the actions of others. And further, to what extent is such an urge a manifestation of the desire to be loved by the world, by the Other, and hence also by one's own parents? Finally, if the Christian does not have the sufficient degree of purity to determine his true intentions in such work, then how effective can the Christian really be in the political process?
Let the wicked continue in their wicked ways, the depraved in their depravity! The virtuous must live on in their virtue and the holy ones in their holiness!
“Remember, I am coming soon! I bring with me the reward that will be given to each man as his conduct deserves. . . . Happy are they who wash their robes so as to have free access to the tree of life and enter the city through its gates! Outside are the dogs and sorcerers, the fornicators and murderers, the idol-worshipers and all who love falsehood.” (Revelation 22:11-15)

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