In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex “marriage,” I would like to publicly thank Father Thomas White, a priest at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Biloxi, for the homily he gave this past Sunday (July 5). I can’t recall a homily ever being preached from the pulpit, charitably so, addressing the impending threat to our religious freedoms, opposing same-sex “marriage”, and affirming traditional marriage (Holy Matrimony). He laid it out quite well. It was genteel, refreshing and inspirational.
The passion and public outcry against the SCOTUS ruling, especially on the Internet, is almost deafening and forebodes a cultural and legislative conflict, and portends to rival the abortion and civil rights struggles.
Father White pointed out correctly that some past US Supreme Court rulings, like the Dred Scott decision which declared black men to be less than fully human, have been in error and against the laws of Nature and God, and have torn at the fabric of our constitutional order. He hoped and urged prayer that this recent same-sex “marriage” ruling too be corrected in the interest of family, children, and marriage.
In the same vein, a lesser known case, perhaps to Father White and others, is Abelman v. Booth, in which the Fugitive Slave Act was upheld. In the majority opinion written by then Judge Roger Taney, Justice Anthony Kennedy’s counterpart, the Court held that 1) slavery was a specially protected property under the Constitution; 2) free blacks could never be considered citizens of the United States and essentially had no rights under the Constitution; 3) that Congress had no power to ban slavery in the federal territories; 4) no law in the territories could free slaves because that would be an unconstitutional taking under the Fifth Amendment. This sweeping proslavery opinion, legally founded upon the Constitution is a flagrant example, and precedence, of judicial supremacy akin to this recent SCOTUS ruling on same-sex “marriage.” The lesson: not all Supreme Court rulings are maintained as law.
Father White also shared his concern regarding the coming assault on our religious freedoms and referenced Hillary Clinton’s urging, spoken two months ago, that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” I’m embarrassed to admit, on hearing this, I harbored some doubt about the accuracy of Father White’s claim until I looked it up. Incredibly, we in fact have a person running for the Presidency of the United States arguing that religious beliefs must be changed! What is happening! Father White’s words gently reminded those listening of what this existential threat means to our faith as believers.
Father White further highlighted Justice Anthony Kennedy’s infamous declaration (in writing the majority opinion for Lawrence v. Texas) that “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” If anything can mean anything to anyone then how can one arrive at an understanding of the common good, since the meaning of the universe could not be held in common? And if there is no common good because of this, then there can be no laws directed to achieving it. This would result in the rule of the stronger, the very thing to which the court objects.
There are many people who will be adversely affected by this sweeping ruling, not the least of which will be children. The court has informed our culture that gender does not matter with respect to parenthood; that not every child deserves to have both a mother and a father; that children are permanently subordinate to the romance of adults; that children may be denied the inherent need to be raised by a mother and a father; that the importance of the absence of a mother or father to the child as a serious loss should be ignored.
While children can be raised to adulthood in any number of parental arrangements, the court has further affirmed that the social institution of a man and woman, as mother and father, raising the offspring of their union, no longer constitutes the foundation for civilization and its progress as we’ve come to know it.
It was a godly homily.
This past week a friend, in conversation, trivialized the issue of this same-sex “marriage” ruling stating the country has bigger fish to fry. But this particular fish has been frying for some time. In fact the heat is fixing to get hotter, and the fire is fixing to blaze. In fact, the whole darn kitchen may catch afire -- as evidenced by the resignation last week of Decatur, Tennessee County Clerk and staff, refusing in good conscience as an affront to their faith, to acknowledge, accept, and participate in licensing two men to be “married.“ (I’m not sure what it means to consummate such a “marriage” or even if the meaning of the word would apply to such a union. So much for “equality“). It’s a known fact that people who don’t follow their conscience end up miserable. May God give these courageous people great peace of mind and keep them in His care.
With all due respect, and with God‘s grace, may Bishop Roger Morin and all the other U.S. bishops -- as well as priests and pastors -- publicly declare and reinforce Christ’s teaching when he said, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female‘? For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh.”
And may God see fit to help the laity follow the likes of the bakers, the florists, the Decatur county clerk, and Father White, and become the leaven, and not the lemmings, as we engage this battle for the soul of this and coming generations, and perhaps our own. And may God too have mercy on those, in and out of the Church, whose aim it is and will be to persecute them – including those campaigning for the highest political office in the land.
“To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.” -- G.K. Chesterton