First Published in ‘The Catholic Voice’, Ireland, August 2015
The Propaganda War
I want to look at what I consider to be one of the saddest aspects of the ‘Catholic’ campaign for a ‘NO’ vote in the recent referendum in Ireland which claims to allow men to marry men and women to marry women. In previous articles I have shown how prominent Catholics spoke out publicly against same-sex marriage but contradicted Church teaching in doing so. One may ask why did they do this? The answer to that question is varied; lack of Catechesis; an improper understanding of Church teaching; a fear of offending homosexuals; these are just some of the factors at play. All of us, whether we like to admit it or not, are influenced by public discourse and in order to understand what is happening in Irish society and western culture in general we need to understand the nature of the propaganda war.
Before looking at this sad aspect of the ‘No’ campaign we need to have a clear understanding of what is happening in our society and why it is that public opinion is moving steadily away from Catholic moral norms.
Catholics Believe in Absolute Moral Norms
As Catholics we believe that there are certain ‘absolute’ moral norms, that is norms which do not change regardless of circumstances. Our behaviour should be governed and if necessary restricted by these very norms. Those who do not believe in absolute moral norms are not so restricted because, if moral norms are not absolute, then moral norms are a matter of opinion and can change and, if moral norms can change, then what was once unacceptable can, in time, become acceptable and vice versa.
This also means that if one does not accept any given moral norm as absolute, then one can campaign to change that norm through changing public opinion. This is especially difficult where the moral norm in question is built on a firm foundation such, as is the case with marriage and the right to life of the unborn. In these cases, if one wants to bring about change, one must first seek to undermine the foundation on which the moral norm is built. Those in our society who campaign for abortion, and for euthanasia and for same sex marriage have discovered that the best way to undermine moral norms is to create the illusion that one is campaigning for another perceived higher moral norm.
Clever Propaganda subtly demonises those who oppose
This is done through clever propaganda which mixes truth and error in an appeal to the emotions of the general public and which also accuses those who disagree with the change of being less caring and less concerned with human rights than are those who are campaigning for the change. The ‘Truth’ is, more often than not, parked to one side and ignored because the ‘Truth’ does not support the change that is being looked for.
Thus, in the case of abortion, one campaigns for ‘women’s rights’ and ignores the babies who are killed. In the case of Euthanasia one campaigns for the right to ‘death with dignity’ and ignores the innate dignity of every human being regardless of age or physical condition. In the case of same-sex marriage the perceived higher norm that is appealed to is ‘equality’ whilst ignoring the Truth that homosexual relationships and heterosexual relationships are clearly not equal.
As one leading same sex marriage campaigner said “Those opposing such progress (same-sex marriage) for gay people are, in effect, opposing equal citizenship, equal civil rights and equal human rights.” This of course ignores the inconvenient truth that, in the area of marriage, gay people had exactly the same rights as every other citizen before the passing of the recent referendum.
Obvious Facts Overlooked
It seems bizarre to have to point out the obvious fact that heterosexual relationships and homosexual relationships are not equal. Heterosexual relationships are capable of producing offspring and homosexual relationships are not. These are not equal relationships. Children are considered a great good and therefore, without demeaning those persons with homosexual inclinations, it is fair to say that homosexual relationships are inferior to heterosexual relationships on account of the great good of children that results from normal heterosexual relationships. This is not saying that persons with normal heterosexual tendencies are somehow better than persons with homosexual tendencies on account of this difference, it is merely noting the innate inequality between these relationships.
This inequality has nothing to do with marriage either, as the inequality still holds true for those who are in an unmarried heterosexual relationship with one another.
Name-calling is a form of Bullying
One can decide to call this view homophobic but that is mere name calling. If someone calls me an apple I don’t become an apple. I do not hate gay people or have anything against gay people but I am certain that they cannot produce children through a homosexual encounter and therefore I am also certain that their relationship is not equal to a heterosexual relationship which has the innate capacity to produce offspring. Homosexual propaganda seeks to ignore the essential inequality between heterosexual and homosexual relationships in order to further their false claim to rights which are granted to married people but are denied to the unmarried.
The Catholic Church upholds True Equality
Because the Catholic Church is almost a lone player in the battle against same sex marriage, another part of the propaganda war is to accuse the Church of discrimination against those with homosexual inclinations. However, a study of Church teaching clearly shows that this is not the case. In fact the Catholic Church in its teaching (even if not in the practice of its members), is a model of true equality. The church holds all people, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and marital status, to the same sexual moral standard. In other words all people are considered capable of upholding sexual moral ethics and all are treated equally in this regard.
Those who charge the Church with discrimination fail to point this out. They also fail to point out that the sexual practices engaged in by those with homosexual inclinations, which are forbidden by the Church, are also forbidden for those with normal heterosexual inclinations. How is this discrimination? The Church teaches that all sexual encounters must happen only within marriage and that all sexual encounters must be open to life. This rule applies equally to everyone. The Church calls everyone, equally, to live a chaste life according to their state.
As Catholics we often Fail to Live up to our Calling
Sadly, many Catholics, myself included, have failed at one time or another to live up to this ideal. But Christ, through His Church and in His mercy, has also given us a remedy for this in the sacrament of confession. We are all called to repentance, and we are all called to strive for holiness.
Same Sex Marriage is an Impossibility
The Church also teaches that neither two men, nor two women can marry one another. Again this is not discrimination but clearly recognises that, as the primary end of marriage is children, and as homosexual relationships are intrinsically not ordered to this end (which is why the Church calls them disordered), therefore two men, or two women cannot contract a valid marriage because they cannot, on account of biology and on account the disordered nature of their relationship, achieve the primary end of marriage
Two men cannot conceive and have babies together on account of their nature, therefore they cannot contract a valid marriage, regardless of what the law now claims, on account of the nature of their relationship. The church does not forbid a person with homosexual inclinations from marrying a person of the opposite sex, provided that they have the ability and the intention to consummate the marriage and live life according to the married state.
© John Lacken 2015
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Author: John Lacken
Founder: Legio Sanctae Familiae – The Legion of the Holy Family