August 12 | comments icon 1 COMMENT     print icon print


Catholic view on family is positive

— JOHN DEIGHAN highlights that defending traditional morality is not homophobic

It is very difficult to suppress the truth, especially when it is on issues of every day experience. This lies at the root of the outrage that has been displayed by those who have been heaping criticism on Glasgow MSP John Mason.

Mr Mason has dared to defend the right of people to disagree with homosexual marriage. It has taken a lot of work by activists to overturn our laws and enforce a new morality that implicitly holds that all Catholics are bigoted.

It is a new morality that is policed by the heavy hand of public commentators who lambast anyone, like Mr Mason, who suggests that perhaps the new morality can be questioned. Ironically the changes in our laws have been done in recent years in the name of freedom and tolerance. But now we see that there is in fact little tolerance of those who do not fall into line with their views.

There is no mistake that it is very difficult for politicians to speak out now as John Mason has done. Anyone who has been involved in this issue over the last 10 years can testify that there is a special fury reserved for those willing to defend the institution of marriage as it has always been known and of defending the reality that sex is intrinsically the relationship ordered for bringing children into the world and this means it is about the complementarity of men and women.

The traditional understanding of sex and marriage makes sense and it has been shown throughout history to provide the bedrock of a stable society. It is therefore a strong threat to those who want to redesign society and they therefore find it best to silence those who hold to the traditional view. Therefore we have seen the creation of terms like homophobia with ingenious flexibility to make those who simply uphold traditional morality as somehow provocative and intolerant aggressors.

Armies of civil servants and campaign workers have been busy drilling the new way of thinking into citizens and teaching them to be outraged at anyone who holds to the old ways of thinking. It is understandable that this has, by and large, worked and ensured that as the law has transformed, very few have spoken out for fear of undergoing what John Mason is presently going through.

It is time now to take stock of what is about to happen politically as the homosexual campaigners march towards their next phase of social transformation. The SNP government is about to launch a consultation about redefining marriage so that it includes same-sex couples. It will be presented very cleverly as a fight for justice and as we have seen will be accompanied by bitter words for those who dare to resist change.

As Catholics we know that marriage is part of God’s vision for humanity but we are joined by the insights of societies across cultures and time that have understood human nature and the things that make for a good society.

If we abandon marriage we are removing a signpost for our children and future generations that society is built on a commitment for others not simply on a desire for self-gratification. If we accept that the most fundamental of human relationships can be redefined to suit the personal preferences and political preferences of the socially influential then what cannot be redefined. There are already those calling for polygamy to be recognised.

What will we have to teach our children in schools about sexuality and about relationships? There are many working tirelessly to have our views changed to fit the new morality that they wish to impose through the law; we should at least have their level of zeal in explaining the value of the morality that our faith has upheld for two millennia.

It is the ideal time, when the government launches its consultation on redefining marriage, to ponder the reasons for the Church’s teaching and learn how to explain them with serenity and patience.

There is a final consideration that we have to make in regard to those who agitate for changing the law. Many of them are angry and hurt, for various reasons, and can truly believe that they are campaigning for justice. The Church does have a compassionate message for those who have homosexual feelings and groups like Encourage can explain the Church’s teaching to people in that position in a very supportive way.

The Catholic vision is based on a positive vision of human sexuality, it is not repressive as some would have us believe, but it needs to be properly understood and lived by each of us whatever our position in life.

Comments - One Response

  1. Philip M. McGhee says:

    Mr. Deighan makes a good point. Opposition to same sex marriage is not the same as persecuting homosexuals. To subsume same sex marriage under the rubric of “homophobia” is not consistent with Catholic teaching, or even logic. (CCC 2357-59). Some have said that,”You can’t enforce morality” By retorsion, the real question is what and whose morality shall be enforced.

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