CNS featured the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judgment to strike down California’s Proposition 8. I’d like to comment on a few aspects of the story, including how CNS presented it.
“This sets up an all-or-nothing showdown at the United States Supreme Court,” said (National Organization of Marriage Education Fund director, Brian S. Brown), who asked for contributions to help fund a possible Supreme Court challenge to the lower court’s ruling.
Well, of course, contributions are solicited. It seems like whenever some side loses something in the courts, money has to be funneled in to pay off the last round or move on in the playoffs. Do people ever just accept a lower court’s ruling? Probably the poor schmucks who don’t have a national fundraising organization behind them. Like ordinary citizens.
Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Gerald Wilkerson:
We are disappointed by the ruling today by a panel of the 9th Circuit that would invalidate the action taken by the people of California affirming that marriage unites a woman and a man and any children from their union.
Wait a minute. This ruling in no way denies that “marriage unites a woman and a man …” It would be one thing if Prop 8 opponents were determined to take marriage rights away from heterosexual couples and give them exclusively to homosexuals. In that case, I could understand the fervor on this issue.
What the court ruled on is that an electoral majority cannot impose its will on a minority. The majority would need to show the minority intends to damage others and in fact does so. Even gay marriage opponents have to concede traditional marriage is more under fire from widespread pornography–just to name one issue.
Rather than fund another legal round of nonsense, I wish the NOM would pull back. Instead of lawyers and lobbyists (who, it seems, will always have work) I suggest donations be taken up for child care for couples. Has every Catholic married couple in the Los Angeles Archdiocese been Encountered? And if not, why not?
Instead of ministry, we get a hope for a SCOTUS resolution:
However, given the issues involved and the nature of the legal process, it’s always been clear that this case would very likely be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Marriage between one man and one woman has been — and always will be — the most basic building block of the family and of our society.
In the end, through sound legal reasoning, we believe the court will see this as well and uphold the will of the voters as expressed in Proposition 8. We continue to pray for that positive outcome.
What I’d really prefer my bishops and pastors pray for is my marriage. And the marriage of tens of millions of Catholics. And maybe do something about solidifying that building block, rather than focus on what the one-percent of Californians are seeking in terms of permanency, commitment, and civic privileges.
When an older couple marries, their inability to bear children does not offer an imposition to me and my wife in raising our child. When people in other neighborhoods in my town marry, that doesn’t harm my neighborhood, which has more graduate students living in single-unit housing. If a gay couple down my street want to share some of the legal aspects I share, it takes nothing away from me.
Love, respect, and commitment–unlike donated money–is not some zero-sum game. A sacramental marriage strengthened makes strong all the relationships around it. A couple focusing on their marriage in a healthy way does not mean neglected children. The Church needs to re-focus it’s commitment to couples. And yes, it needs to justify the expense as well as the time it devotes to politics.
What would be nice for churches to do while the kiddoes are in faith formation–just once in a while–have a parent night in the church hall. Instead of contributing to the drop-off, tune-out culture, offer a coffee bar and one simple discussion question. Something like:
“I should take more time for you.” When I hear you say that to me, how do I feel?
My wife and I often drop off our daughter to evening faith formation. And we scoot to a coffee shop or diner. It would be just as easy to stay on the premises–if we had a reason to stay.
Mr Brown, Bishop Wilkerson, and the other public faces on this effort need to read the numbers. Their support is eroding, and CNS isn’t afraid to tell it:
A Pew Forum analysis on attitudes toward same-sex marriage by religion released Feb. 7 said Catholics supported same-sex marriage 52 percent to 37 percent, with 11 percent undecided as of an October 2011 survey. That is up from a 46 percent favorable opinion (42 percent unfavorable) in a survey conducted in August and September 2010.
Hispanic Catholics are split, 42 percent to 42 percent, on same-sex marriage, while white Catholics approve of same-sex marriage by a margin of 57 percent to 35 percent.
Overall, same-sex marriage was favored by Americans 46 percent to 44 percent in the 2011 poll; in the 2010 survey, it was opposed 48 percent to 42 percent. The only religious groups remaining opposed to same-sex marriage in the latest survey were white evangelicals, 74 percent to 19 percent, and black Protestants, 62 to 30. Protestants overall remain opposed to gay marriage, 58 to 34.
Just for once, I’d like to read about and see what the Church is doing to publicly support actual marriages. And not just finger-pointing the gays.