In an earlier post this week I commented on three fallacies which are omnipresent in our relativistic society. To borrow an image from the Holy Father–“the dictatorship of relativism” is alive and well. The three are sentimentalism, utilitarianism and politics, and two of the three are in full swing in this video.
Here we have John and Richard. What a couple of genuinely nice fellas! They are clearly devoted to one another and have had sixty one years of happiness together. Two absolutely sweet old codgers. How could anyone be so hard hearted and calloused to refuse to allow these lovable old guys to tie the knot? It just makes you angry doesn’t it that people would refuse such sweet old dears (who are not doing anybody any harm) to get hitched? Well that’s the sentimental argument in full swing, and I mean really full, home run hitting swing.
Now check what happens next. If you don’t buy the sentimental argument; if you say, “Well, they’re a couple of nice old coots, but they shouldn’t get married” you will be blamed not only for not having compassion, but for being cynical about ‘love’. You will be blamed for being cruel. You will be blamed for not granting these old guys the good things about their relationship. You will be blamed for thinking that they are just as awful as the gay pride bath house monsters that parade naked through the streets and commit sado masochistic sex acts on the steps of the cathedral.
But that’s not what we’re saying at all. We can admit that Richard and John seem to be just about as nice as can be. We can admire what seems to be a faithful friendship over the years. We can admire the fact that the loyalty of their friendship seems to outstrip lots of heterosexual couples we can think of. We acknowledge that they love each other, as only old friends can. We can admire their loyalty and love. We could even admit that, for practical reasons, they might have a legal contract which grants each other property rights on death.
Nevertheless, they can’t be married because they’re two men. Marriage is between a man and a woman, and we resent the dictator of sentimentalism bullying us otherwise.
The second little dictator is the political argument. See how it all ends? They smile and say winningly, “Don’t we have a right to be married?” Then the clincher comes up–the slogan “Freedom to Marry Now”. So the dictator of sentimentalism hands over the stage to the dictator of politics and it turns into a question of ‘equality’ and ‘civil rights’. To deny Richard and John marriage is to be a bigot. The second little dictator of political argument is a self righteous, passive aggressive little dictator–all bluster and posturing and lecturing and hectoring and when that doesn’t work, the wounded look, playing the martyr and putting on that self righteous, victim expression so beloved of the rebellious adolescent.
Once again, we don’t mind sentimental and political arguments. They have their weight, as do all subjective and personal arguments. What we object to is not that there are such arguments, but that they are the only arguments, and what we have now is not only that these are the only arguments, but that those who hold them deny that there could possibly be any other arguments.
That such people wish to re-define marriage and impose their views not only on the vast majority of unwilling United States citizens, but also think that they should impose their views despite the opinions of the vast majority of human beings around the world who are alive today–not to mention the vast majority of those human beings who have lived in every place and in every age down through history is preposterous and dictatorial in the extreme.
When Christians and self identified Catholics also support such a radical and ludicrous innovation despite the fact that this definition of marriage is upheld throughout Sacred Scripture, never questioned by virtually all theologians and Bible scholars of all traditions from time immemorial, and is an integral part of the whole Catholic faith upheld at all times and all places by the Magisterium of Holy Mother Church, is simply breathtaking in it’s audacity.
UPDATE: Go here for Archbishop Dolan’s letter to President Obama about the administration’s attack on the Defense of Marriage Act.