In boot camp, young men are drilled to be more attached to their military fraternity than their family bonds. Such a bond is absolutely important during combat where mom and dad won’t be able to help and all they have is God and their brothers-in-arms.
The Debt of Gratitude
Several years ago, the Marine Commandant was inspecting the “Devil Dogs” and demanded of a young recruit, “Which comes first, Marine, family or Corps?” To the brief shock of the Commandant he responded, “Family.” The Commandant still a little surprised asked for an explanation. The young man, looking proud, answered, “Sir, because without my family I could have never become a Marine.” The Commandant smiled.
Steeped in Western individualism, a man may forget that there has always been a support community by which he was enabled to stand. A man shows lack of gratitude when he forgets the troubles his parents experienced giving him birth and raising him. Without them he would have died of exposure or for that matter never have existed at all. Even God commands us: “Honor your mother and father.” Yet, there is also another and larger community to whom a debt of gratitude is owed; the larger community known as the State (local or federal), which provided the peace and security needed for parents to raise children.
Without the State, communities and families would be overrun constantly by warring factions and foreign invaders. At a more local level, citizens would be without the protection of police, fire and rescue, or other emergency services. We are dependent on each other for medical care, availability of travel and food, and ease of living. No man is an island. For this reason the Catechism states: “[T]he duty of citizens to contribute to the good of society follow[s] from the duty of gratitude and belong[s] to the order of charity” (CCC #2239).
The State recognizes the need for parents to raise and educate children, and parents recognize the support they receive from the community. This inter-relationship of children benefiting the community and the community benefiting families is the origin of the legal encouragements which the state grants married couples. Just take a look at how, when people refuse to have children, economies are destroyed. Hoping to revive dying economies and cities, communities in Russia and Western Europe are now even offering homes for free to couples who will have more children.
This all leads to the issue of “gay marriage.” In today’s political environment it is easy to confuse the issue of its morality with whether or not legal benefits should be attached to such attempted unions. Few would disagree that forced slavery and murder are immoral. They are very clear violations of the “Golden Rule” which all civilized societies accept. But what about homosexual activity? Is it immoral? Here, the “Golden Rule” is not so clear, even though nature is. However, it is not necessary to judge homosexuality’s morality in order to exclude homosexual “unions” from benefits legislated by today’s Western societies for men and women joined in an institution that produces children. It is only necessary to demonstrate that homosexual individuals have no right to these special benefits because their activity which makes them a special interest group is of no special benefit to society. It can also be demonstrated that their alleged “unions” are no union at all and that even nature shows it as unreasonable.
Through the lifelong and mutually exclusive sexual relationship of marriage, future citizens, capable of continuing their society and providing for its defense, are conceived and reared. Thus, the state honors the institution and grants legal benefits of inheritance, certain immunities, and rights to spouses which it does not grant to individuals outside such unions. Only two people, a mature man and a mature woman, are capable of providing this benefit to society (the State) without any outside help in the conception of a child. Should two men, or two women, be capable of providing this identical benefit to the state, without the assistance of any outside help in conceiving a child, only then could they begin to be considered as deserving of benefits. In the meantime, they must be treated as any other tax-paying single individuals.
An astute reader may point to exceptions to the rule in married people who cannot or will not conceive. However, one must remember “exceptions to the rule” are just that, “exceptions” and not the rule. What about infertile couples who never adopt? What about advances in science? And on and on and on. A little common sense would answer most of these. On the other hand, only in the past 25 years has the possibility of test tube or even cloned babies been possible and capable of undermining the above argument. When such sciences work, they pose not only a threat to the established order since the dawn of human history, but a threat to the Western democratic state itself and the human rights all persons possess, including homosexuals.
With test tube babies and cloning, not only is mass murder occurring at the microscopic level with “excess” humans in the embryonic or blastocyst state being “discarded,” but human cannibalism is occurring at a microscopic level, too. Harvesting stem cells from humans in the blastocyst or embryonic state kills them for the express purpose of injecting their cells into a patient. It is just a new form of human cannibalism made capable of happening at the microscopic level. In fact, it should be rightly labeled “micro-cannibalism.” With such tyranny already at work, and flowing from the alienation of man and woman from nature and right reason, ought such an “exception to the rule” be proposed as voiding the rule? (Surely even the Golden Rule is easily applied here.)
Legitimate and Sane Discrimination
The bottom line is that homosexuals claim they are denied benefits based on discrimination against their choice in sexual partners; yet, the discrimination is legitimate. By definition, homosexual activity does not possess the unitive possibility, or even design, that physically makes two people become one…and therefore worthy of shared rights. Only violations of bodily organs primarily meant for other purposes can occur in homosexual activity. No physical “joining” of complementary organs can take place in homosexual activity and therefore no joining of human persons really takes place and, thus, no possibility of conceptions. In no way should a corporation or state have to recognize a homosexual employee or citizen as truly joined to another person and thus worthy of benefits exclusive to marriage.
To pretend such activities are actually a “union” is to not only violate organs, but reason itself. In fact, persisting in such sexual activity is to deny that human life is worthy of continued existence. Such people consciously refuse to give the benefit of children to the continuance of the community or state. Therefore, they are deserving of no special benefits from the community. No one has violated their rights or freedoms. If one wants the benefits, then he should have to do what everyone else does. If he is unwilling, then he is also unfit to adopt a child because his lifestyle frustrates the designs of nature and he is incapable of admitting it. Arrogance does not get much greater than when one demands society provide him with the very things he is capable of providing himself were it not for the deviancy of personal lifestyle choices.
In charity, we should respond to some of the issues that homosexuals raise, because they affect others, too. Inheritance affects childless couples and widowers without children. Should “next of kin” be legally extended to non-blood or non-marriage relatives for certain purposes of insurance, hospital visitation, etc? Perhaps private companies will want to distinguish themselves for such services. Certainly adult adoptions were not foreign ideas in the ancient world, either.
Free peoples who value justice and human dignity need to think hard about the issues that will affect generations to come, because when we violate reason we create endless more problems until we admit our mistake and fix it. Reason enables us to perceive our proper relationship to nature and with each other. It enables us to follow the “Golden Rule” and most importantly it helps us distinguish who is deserving of special benefits. Most blessed is when natural reason is aided by the light of faith and peoples are made truly free, especially from slavery to sin and their passions.
For the sake of truth and freedom, for the blessings of right reason, and most importantly, for the sake of keeping God’s blessings, Western democracies must realize the danger of accepting homosexual “unions” as equivalent to marriage. It would proclaim a union where nature says there is not one. It would overthrow the very order that gave man life and thereby make perversion equivalent to order. Those who support such an overthrow would make themselves greater than their origins (they are the offspring of heterosexuality); declaring the effect is greater than the cause. Such contradictions not only buckle the foundations of sane society, they forge the very nails used to seal the poor lunatic’s coffin.
© Copyright 2003 Catholic Exchange
Matthew Tsakanikas is a freelance Catholic writer. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org