The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) recently legalized same-sex marriage for the entire country.
Much can be, has been said, and will continue to be said about this historic court decision.
One thing that must be pointed out is that the Supreme Court had absolutely no moral authority to redefine the meaning of marriage.
THE SUPREME COURT USURPED AUTHORITY IT DOES NOT POSSESS AND NEVER COULD
All power and authority comes from God, and He alone has dominion. Authority serves a hierarchy, of which God is the head. Thus, He established the parameters for all His creatures.
We call God’s law, the Divine Law.
St. Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theologica summarizes this hierarchy of law, placing the Natural Law under the Divine Law (I-II, q. 94 and thereabouts).
The Natural Law is comprised of the God-given inclinations humans possess, and the reasoning ability to determine for what purpose they serve. (More on the Natural Law later.)
Only under the Natural Law comes Civil Law, derived from the above levels to serve the common good of mankind.
Thus, for any governing body of human beings to promulgate a law that defies the above hierarchy is not a bad law. Rather, it is no law at all. It has no authority. It does not stand within reality.
“That which is not just seems to be no law at all,” states clearly St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church (De Libero Arbitrio, i, 5).
In application here, SCOTUS claimed to be able to change the definition of marriage when it had no moral authority to do so.
The Catechism of Catholic Church (CCC) explains,
“Authority does not derive its moral legitimacy from itself. It must not behave in a despotic manner, but must act for the common good as a moral force based on freedom and a sense of responsibility:
“A human law has the character of law to the extent that it accords with right reason, and thus derives from the eternal law. Insofar as it falls short of right reason it is said to be an unjust law, and thus has not so much the nature of law as of a kind of violence” (#1902, emphasis added).
WHAT MAKES SO-CALLED LEGALIZED SAME-SEX MARRIAGE SO BAD?
Again, any law promulgated by mankind must be subject to or serve the Natural Law above it.
Marriage, by definition, consists in one man and one woman. No one can pretend to waive an imaginary wand to redefine it to be anything else. Thus, a man and a man or a woman and a woman can never be married.
“A human law has the character of law to the extent that it accords with right reason, and thus derives from the eternal law. Insofar as it falls short of right reason it is said to be an unjust law, and thus has not so much the nature of law as of a kind of violence.”
Oh, sure, they can get a legal document from their government recognizing them as married within the state. But that does not make them actually married.
So-called legalized same-sex marriage defies the Natural Law. Thus, a law recognizing it as legitimate, by definition, remains an unjust law.
How do we know homosexuality is unnatural, defying the Natural Law?
God gave men and women complementary reproductive body parts. He also gave them natural inclinations to procreate, to preserve their race, to live in community, to be physically attracted to the opposite gender, and so forth.
All men and women are to step back to see this beautiful design of human sexuality. They are to ask themselves, for what purpose or end are our reproductive parts to be used?
The answer is clearly for man-woman sexual union.
Any resulting child is best-served by a committed, lifelong, marital union of his mother and father. The necessity for marriage as being comprised of one man and one woman is not that difficult to reason to, as I just laid out.
Thus, the male reproductive body parts are not to be used in homosexual activity. The same goes for the female reproductive parts. Such activity disregards the ends for which sexuality activity serves.
HOW MUST WE RESPOND?
Given the nature of the unjust law SCOTUS claims we must follow, how should we the faithful respond? Does not the Bible tell us to follow the civil authorities (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-14)?
Are we morally justified to contradict the law of the land?
Well, Scripture also implores us to serve God, not man (Acts 5:29).
“Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it.
“If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse” (CCC #1903, emphasis added).
The Catechism doubles down later, stating the following:
“The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel.
“Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community.
“‘Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ ‘We must obey God rather than men:’
“When citizens are under the oppression of a public authority which oversteps its competence, they should still not refuse to give or to do what is objectively demanded of them by the common good; but it is legitimate for them to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens against the abuse of this authority within the limits of the natural law and the law of the gospel” (#2242, emphasis added).
In summary, we must be obedient to God’s Divine Law primarily. We the faithful must pray for the fortitude to stand up to the invalid laws of our day.
The faithful will, no doubt, be persecuted—and so be it. If it means jail time, then that’s how it is. And if martyrdom is called for, then let us pray for the faith to answer that call willingly.
What do you make of SCOTUS usurping authority they do not have to promulgate the unjust law of so-called legalized same-sex marriage?
Please share your charitable remarks below!