Marriage equality was made the law of the land in all fifty states on June 26, 2015. I expect the next few days to be filled with rhetoric from all sides on this issue since it has been ever more hotly debated in recent times. The media, of course, have all joined the halleluiah chorus of popular opinion while giving only a patronizing nod to those who oppose the high court’s historic decision.
The major news outlets would have us believe that almost no one is, or should be, against this decision. I shudder in expectation for the conservatives who are about to be roasted alive on this weekend’s talk shows for expressing their opinions. I’m not saying that conservatives never engage in raucous and unfair “beat-downs;” all are guilty of the all-too-frequent shouting matches whereby no single voice can be understood above the din.
In short, I don’t think we can solve the world’s problems within the rhetorical milieu by itself. Sure, it is a free country and the free exchange of ideas can only inform and enlighten us. That is why I write…and read…and watch. Trying to cull through the plethora of political and spiritual opinion is sometimes overwhelming. I digest things from a purely Catholic point of view; checking the barometer of public opinion is something I do daily. In all of this there are many of the same stories presented only with different covers from day to day. I have yet to find, however, any argument that is convincing enough, well-written enough, or logical enough to get me to accept the liberal view of same-sex marriage.
Consider the proliferation of articles of late entitled, “What Does the Bible Say About Homosexuality?” According to Google, this phrase was one of the top search phrases on the day the Supreme Court of the United States announced its decision on same-sex marriage. Suddenly some pastors, more than a few self-appointed religious “experts,” and several others have come forward with their liberal and perhaps backward interpretations of sacred scripture. Catholics, of course, put no stock in any of these corrupt understandings of what the Bible has to say.
Unlike Protestantism, Catholicism is based on both sacred scripture and on our oral tradition. That is, our deposit of faith, handed down from Jesus to his apostles, is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Jesus never wrote any scriptures, but he used sacred scripture as a tool in his teachings. Christ charged the apostles with preaching the gospel to all the nations. They were taught much that is not contained in the scriptures. The gospel itself does not purport to be all-inclusive. In the final chapter of the Gospel according to John we read, “There was much else that Jesus did; if it were written down in detail, I do not suppose the world itself would hold all the books that would be written” (John 21:25). How ironic is it then that the followers of sola scriptura even exist!
The unchanging teachings of the Catholic faith have survived intact largely because of the Catholic Magisterium. This Magisterium is the teaching arm of the Catholic Church. It is comprised of the Pope and Bishops. The Magisterium arises out of Christ’s command as written in the Gospel of Luke: "He who hears you, hears me; he who rejects you rejects me, he who rejects me, rejects Him who sent me" (Luke 10: 16). It is charged with preserving our deposit of faith as originally taught by Jesus himself. Their findings are regarded by the church as infallible. The Catholic faithful take great comfort in knowing that the most learned theological minds have preserved, protected, and cared for the truth as we know it for over two thousand years.
So what credence can we place in an article just published yesterday, last week, or even last year by someone who claims to have found the “real meaning” in sacred scripture regarding homosexuality? Serious Catholics would laugh if these twistings of God’s word weren’t so pathetically sad. We have two powerful tools to help us stay the course in understanding God’s true words of love: our oral traditions and the teachings of the Magisterium regarding sacred scripture. If ever there were a “settled science,” the teachings of the Magisterium should be the final word in what we understand to be the truth. How pointless is it then for us to listen to these eleventh-hour philosophers and their new interpretations of the Bible. Their opinions are not well-informed. Rather, they are guided by their writers’ unattainable wishes to have Heaven validate their sinful behavior.
I am saddened by the media’s propensity to showcase these items as if they were the only viewpoint that matters. These columns that have appeared of late are tacitly condemning of traditional views. The fact that Catholics and their teachings are rarely mentioned, except to portray them as messengers of hate, is grossly unfair. There is no balance when it comes to reporting on questions of same-sex marriage, only a vicious propaganda machine spun by the liberal left.