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The gay marriage debate has made us evaluate what marriage is for

Perhaps an unintended consequence of this saga is that it has made us appreciate marriage more

By on Wednesday, 11 July 2012

A short video has just been produced by a new Australian lobby group calling itself “What is Marriage?” Posing the obvious question, “What doesn’t and never has needed legislation is love. Understandably so. Why should the Government regulate our love lives?” the video presents, in a simple and attractive cartoon form, what marriage is about. Starting with the age-old reality of “Boy meets girl… They fall in love… They decide they want to get married. Why?” the video states, “because they might one day want to make little boys and girls of their own. This is called the act of marriage.”

The video informs the viewer that this is currently legislated for in the Marriage Act of Australia, defined as between a man and a woman. It emphasises that “The Government legislates marriage because the central purpose of marriage is to produce offspring and biologically one boy and one girl is the recipe for more boys and girls.” The video also points out that the Marriage Act as it stands does not take away any rights or laws of any other couples in Australia; there is no discrimination. It adds the factual details that 73% of Australians believe children should be raised by their biological mother and father and that at present 72% of Australian children are being raised in this way, in 2.1 million families. It concludes: “Let’s celebrate marriage.”

Alongside this, the family-orientated Iona Institute, based in Dublin, has produced a useful briefing paper on marriage, asking the key question: “Should we have an institution which encourages fathers and mothers to raise their children together?”

Such initiatives are timely and necessary. One might add that it is a great pity that they are being mustered so late in the day. I was reminded of this by a relevant letter from publisher Robin Baird-Smith in The Tablet recently. Baird-Smith writes, “…Two years ago my daughter was married in a Catholic church, both she and her husband being baptised Catholics…As prescribed, they attended a marriage-preparation course. They came back from this deeply disappointed and quite angry. Not only did it cost them £70 to be there, but although a lay man and a lay woman were supposed to conduct the course, only the man turned up. My daughter described him as hopeless. The physical aspects of marriage were not discussed at all. What a wasted opportunity. Instead of having hysterics about gay marriage, wouldn’t it be better if our Christian leaders devoted more time, energy and money to proper, well-informed marriage-preparation courses? Then we all might stop feeling that the institution of marriage was quite so threatened.”

One can only agree with him. Why have the bishops in this country been so slow to implement good marriage-preparation courses as a matter of priority? I know a Canadian priest who has spent his entire priestly life working on marriage preparation courses, first in Vancouver and then in Nova Scotia. The material his small office has produced is first-rate: couples have to attend several sessions, some with a priest and others with older and experienced married couples, in which to discuss the question of money, budgeting and household management, raising children in the faith, sex (and why contraception would damage their relationship) and other pertinent questions. He told me that on a few occasions a couple had decided to withdraw from the classes, realising they were not right for each other.

To celebrate marriage is good; but it must also include proper preparation for couples so they enter this unique relationship with a clear idea of the sacrifices and responsibilities, as well as the joys, that such a permanent and public commitment entails.

  • Burt

     Jeremy I quoted the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I am on a Catholic website to do what I can to propogate Catholic Truth. If you don’t have regard for Catholic beliefs I suggest you go elsewhere. I dont go on homosexual websites and read their erroneous propoganda. Yes I have been angry at the infiltration of pervertion in my Church, ever since it became apparant that certain so called priests have been raping altar boys!
    keep your hugs to those who want them pal.

  • Jonathan West

    So does this mean that the Catholic Church already regards civil partnership as being secular same-sex marriage in all but name?

  • JabbaPapa

    …. cripes ….

    Nice try, I’ll give you that ; but you’re going to have to do better than this sort of rhetorical legerdemain.

    In fact, it would be because such a relationship would constitute a violation of that priest’s vows of chastity and obedience — though given my caveat below, it is potentially conceivable that, with the consent of his Bishop, a priest could enter into a civil union NOT having sex or luuuurrrvvveee as its purpose in whatsoever capacity, for example with a young or an elderly relative for family reasons, or whatever other reason having nothing to do with any form of pseudo-marriage at all.

    Otherwise, to answer your question — I would imagine that there is no single simple answer to that.

    There are countries where a civil union is really just that — a civil union, that any two citizens can engage in, and having nothing whatsoever to do with sex ; there are other countries where such civil unions revolve entirely around the notion of a sexual relationship.

    As such, the Church is liable to have a multiplicity of opinions concerning the multiple variant forms of the “civil union”.

  • Jeremy

    Ahh Burt, the beauty of a blog and comments is that it isn’t restricted to ‘Burts Blog and Comments’, I know you’re upset that people have he audacity to question your obvious hatred of others, but that’s the way of the world.

    Rape isn’t restricted to the church, they’re just much better at covering it up, and letting those people be in situations of power without review and moderation. I can see you’ve lumped that in with homosexuality, again with the sex thing.. you sure you don’t need to talk to someone about your feelings?

    They won’t go away simply by trying to hurt others with your hate and lies.. 

  • Burt

     see the thing of it is Jeremy I hate lies and I love truth.
    That’s why I am Catholic. That’s why I want to see all lies and heresies kicked back nto the satanic realms they came from.
    If you yourself have got a prediliction for extremely disordered sexual vices, I am happy to pray for you to be free of your disorder.

  • Jonathan West

    If the relationship is celibate, then the vow of chastity is not broken. If the church doesn’t regard civil union as a form of civil marriage, then I don’t see in what way the priest has been disobedient. Therefore, what is the reason for defrocking and excommunicating him?

    The only answer I can see is that the church does in fact regard civil union as a form of marriage – a form it disapproved of, and so even celibate civil unions are unacceptable. Is that roughly correct?

  • paulsays

    The amount of times I’ve had to quote these parts of the Catechism to so-called ‘Catholics’.

    How come the ‘sin’ of sodomy is always the emphasis, not the ‘
    respect, compassion, and sensitivity’ part?

  • paulsays

    …maybe you just like c**k and can’t accept it, ever thought of that?

  • paulsays

    Civil marriage is not sacred Dee, only Catholic marriage is ‘sacred’ , as it is a sacrament.

    However, civil-marriage is neither sacred, nor a sacrament. It is a public institution of society, and if society wishes to see it’s precise definition change – then what is the issue with that – and of what business is it the Church’s?

  • paulsays

    Most gay people, and people who support gay people in society do not want any change to how religious institutions marry people. They are not interested in meddling in the Catholic sacrement of marriage – and are not interested in forcing the Church to marry same sex couples. 

    What gay people are interested in is to change the criteria of entering civil-marriage – which is not a covenant with God, nor a Catholic sacrement, but a legal document of the state.

    What is so wrong in the state legal definition of marriage altering to allow same-sex couples? And why does it have anything to do with the Church?

  • Jeremy

    Ahh Burt. Simply calling everyone who disagrees with you a liar tends to devalue any argument you have. I can see that you don’t actually have a point other than calling gay people ‘wierdos’ and obsessing about their sex (you need to talk to someone about that)

    I mentioned nothing about my sexual practices and instantly you’ve decide that they’re disorded, that is the issue here. You can’t focus on human rights, you’re too hung up on gay people and all the sex you’re missing out on. I’ll pray for you, that way my truth and your lies will both reach gods ears and he can decide instead of you where everyone’s soul ends up hey. (unless you’re elevatin yourself as his new spokesperson on earth?… That would be awesome hey! Actually knowing the mind of God instead of just thinking you do?!)

  • Burt

    “Ahh Burt. Simply calling everyone who disagrees with you a liar tends to devalue any argument you have.”

    ahh Jay/Jeremy (for some reason you keep alternating your username I notice)
    You called me a liar specifically, whereas I referred to ideologies as lies. So by your own words your argument is devalued, whereas I used the term “lies” in a general way.
     
    Because I hold that there is such a thing as objective truth, it is only right to imply that opposite beliefs to that truth are therefore ‘lies’.

    I can understand you finding the word weirdos a bit much, I was strongly making a point that abnormal sex is weird sex. Far more accurate a term than ‘gay’. That word means merry. I am feeling quite gay right now as a matter of fact, as my beautiful daughter has just given birth to my first grandchild :)

    The point I really am addressing is regarding the political issue Jay/Jeremy and I am hacked off that due to the militant homosexual agenda this ridiculous government is about to redefine marriage, and I am almost 100% certain that in the long run this measure will impact on the Church because eventually ‘human rights’ legislation will prosecute  our clergy for not complying.

    Actually I do know the mind of God in this matter (nothing remarkable about that). I know it through revelation and infallible Church teaching.

  • Jimmy the Hand

    ‘you called me a liar specifically’

    Hmmm, trying to find where I’ve called you a liar Burt?
    Did you make that up or is it projection?

    Jay is a nickname of Jeremy, I can see how this is confusing for you since you commented on it.
    This time I’ll post as ‘Jimmy the hand’ a character in a book I enjoyed.

    Congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter and I’m proud of you for acknowledging you are gay. I am as well and have 2 beautiful daughters with my partner. It’s amazing how many gay people have children.

    I think militant is bandied around a lot, gay people would see you ramming religious beliefs over their right to religious freedoms in a secular society where 69.2% of all marriages in 2011 were not religious ones quite militant. It’s just that you’re on the opposite side of the fence.

    Your last dying argument about the church being forced to marry people is obviously quite scary for you, however since the church has always and will alway be allowed to marry (or not) who they choose it’s a non issue. Hence 69.2% (wow that’s a lot!) had a civil marriage and not a religious one!

    I think you need to be very careful, the ‘mind of god’ advocated rape, slavery, not cutting your beard, not wearing clothes of different weaves, and not having shellfish! God even wants you to kill your child if they disobey you and dash babies heads against stones!! You see Burt, God changes his mind, you just don’t hear all the changes.

  • peter patrick glancy campbell

    ourladys latest  message  from  medugorje  speaks  of    OUR GODLESS  WORLD?…..WITH KNOW  FUTURE ?  AND  HER  MESSAGES  FROM  http://WWW.FATIMA.ORG   ARE  ALL  COMING  TRUE?  GOD  HAVE  ON OUR  SINFULL  MANKIND ?  PRAISE YOU JESUS ?

  • peter patrick glancy campbell

    god detests  sins of the flesh?…..and being gay  is  just  that  big TIME?   PLEASE DO NOT FORGET  CHILDREN  HAVE  HUMAN RIGHTS TO  THE WISDOM  AND LOVE ? OF A MOTHER FIGURE  IN THERE LIVES ?  THIS IS NOW UNDER SEVERE ATTACK ?  GOD SPEED YOUR SECOND COMING SOON?

  • peter patrick glancy campbell

    OURLADY  SAYS  ABOUT MEDUGORJE  MY  CHILDREN  WILL  OPEN THE EYES  OF THE UNBELIEVERS  ?  THROUGH  THERE  LIFESTYLE  AND GOOD WORKS ?  I  WAS  ONCE OUR  TOWN  DRUNK   WHO  CAUSED HELL IN  MY FAMILY  THROUGH MY ADDICTION TO ALCOHOL , I  NOW  LOOK BACK  WITH  AMAZEMENT  AND SEE HOW  MY CHOSEN CHARITY  OF http://WWW.MARYS MEALS ,COM   NOW FEEDING  NEARLY A MILLION STARVING CHILDREN IN AFRICA ,  AND RECENTLY  STARTED  PROMOTING http://WWW.EDSKILLING.COM  NOW CURING  MY WIFES DEMENTIA   AND  CANCERS  ALL AROUND THE WORLD ….PRAISE THE LORD