First Thoughts linked this op-ed from George Weigel. At the risk of veering into liturgical fussbudgetry, a quote:
Under Polish Communism, Catholic couples—which is to say, just about everyone—got “married” twice. Because marriages in the Catholic Church were not recognized by the Communist state, believers had two “weddings.” The first was a civil procedure, carried out in a dingy bureaucratic office with a state (i.e., Communist-party) apparatchik presiding. The friends with whom I was discussing this inanity are, today, distinguished academics, a physicist and a musicologist. They remembered with some glee that, a half century before, they had treated the state “wedding” with such unrestrained if blithe contempt that the presiding apparatchik had had to admonish them to take the business at hand seriously—a warning from the über-nanny-state my friends declined to, well, take seriously.
The entire business was a farce, regarded as such by virtually all concerned. Some time later, my friends were married, in every meaningful sense of that term, in Wawel Cathedral by a Polish priest whom the world would later know as Pope John Paul II.
I’m not a fan about the whiny protests emerging over same-sex unions. Protests, I should point out, seem to be surfacing more notably from the upper crust of the clergy–people who are neither married, nor, by the Roman Catholic tradition, actually perform marriages. Catholic couples marry themselves. Clergy, even future popes, witness those vows. They do not (or should not) conduct them.
I don’t have any smidgen of love for communist dictatorships. Mainly because they completely eschew democracy, self-determination, and other human values of freedom. Not unlike American corporate workplaces, I might add. If there’s an über-nanny-state to speak of in the US these days, it would have to be at the hands of conservatives like CEO’s or the craze for celebrity-driven culture of comfort. Or the rainbow of alarm colors foisted upon us during the last presidency–telling us when we should be scared, and when we need to keep shopping, buying, and consuming. (Pay no attention to the rich ripping you off.)
The best thing the Church and its commentators can do is to embrace the freedom to support, promote, and live the dignity of sacramental marriage. How non-believers structure their financial and legal life is little to no concern of mine. What is a concern to me is the ability to provide for the happiness and care and holiness of my wife. I need help to do that. My bishops haven’t been particularly forthcoming with assistance. What the same-sex couples in my community do to secure legal protections or privileges impacts the attempted holiness of my family not at all.
Those men (including me) married to fine and holy women want to avoid the pitfalls of pornography, materialism, anger, addiction, self-absorption, lust, narcissism, ignorance, and indifference. Help us to be better husbands. Help women to be better wives. It’s not as sexy as getting all hyped up about what homosexuals do in the courthouse, the hospital, the school, and at a deathbed. And as long as bishops aren’t signing on to criminalize sex outside of traditional marriage, I find nothing exciting or moral about any of this … homophobia.
I don’t think that term is a misnomer. Phobia = fear. I read about a lot of fear: Oh my gosh, we’re going to turn out just like Poland! Oh my gosh, they’re going to send priests to jail! Oh my gosh, we’re going to have to interact with homosexuals, and buy stuff from them and sell stuff to them, and get cooties!
The focus is way off for Mr Weigel. But at least, he could get the sacramental theology right.