After the Spin: A Catholic Deacon and Lawyer Reflects on Lawrence v Texas
Deacon Keith A Fournier
(c) Third Millennium, LLC
Like millions of Americans I greeted the news of the Supreme Courts decision in Lawrence v Texas with profound sorrow. I mourned for truth, for marriage, for the family and for those who will now become lost in the hopeless and unfulfilling lifestyle and lie promoted by the proponents of the homosexual equivalency argument.
You hear and read this argument - and see it made- on an almost daily basis now. It fills our contemporary cultural portals, our sitcoms, our internet, our television and our movies. The proponents of this myth, a hard core small cadre of activists in what I call the "homosexual equivalency" movement, actively seek to create a new "liberated" society where homosexual relationships are given the legal equivalence of marriage.
Not all homosexuals have joined this activist community. There have, after all, been homosexual persons throughout history.
Wedding social engineering efforts to modern technology the new activists now also promote the use of the new "medical" technologies to manufacture children outside of the womb and outside of the bond of marriage and a stable family life.
They "spin" the language, trying to redefine "marriage" as we once witnessed the word "choice" redefined. Now, children can be "made" and placed in these new "families". In fact, causing homosexual unions to be given the legally equivalent status of marriage is their highest priority.
Armed with this travesty of an opinion, they will engage in protracted legal engineering efforts to move beyond wordsmithing to using the force of law. Not only will they continue to create an Orwellian newspeak to recreate "family" in their new image, they will back it up with legal cases and legislative efforts.
The Legal "Analysis"
Frankly, I expected this decision. It is, after all, perversely logical.
When a society actually calls a "choice" and a "right" the unrestrained exercise of raw power over small people in the womb who are "unwanted"; sanctions the wielding of such a power to destroy as an exercise of "freedom"; when that society of utilitarianism and "use" seeks to use science to create spare humans for replacement parts and make petri dish people for experimentation making a new class of persons into property- in a new form of slavery- it should come as no surprise that this counterfeit notion of freedom, unrestrained by truth and not exercised within a moral constitution, would lead to the "logic" of this opinion and its feigned "constitutional" analysis.
As a constitutional lawyer, I am aware of how it all works - this creation of precedent out of whole cloth and the alleged "scholarly" creation of new "rights" out of legal fictions found in "penumbras" by un-elected Judges.
We have witnessed the horror that flowed from the last tragedy of this sort. Remember, the so called "right" to unrestrained abortion began with a carefully crafted and orchestrated law suit, Griswold v Connecticut, which concerned the States regulation of contraception by married couples.
That case was carefully staged to lay the predicate for the "right to privacy" which would be "found" not in the words of the U.S. Constitution but in its "penumbra." This new judicially created "super right", then led to the series of decisions that propelled that "right" to promethean status, muffling the inalienable right to life under its march to the killing fields.
After all, who hears the cry of the poor anymore, especially when they are incommunicado, in the first home of the mothers womb. Freedom is increasingly all about no restraint, an unfettered "right" to do as I please in this new vision of the social order.
So it will be with Lawrence v Texas.
Make no mistake, the legal "precedent" created by this case will be used as a social and legal battering ram to assault the institution of marriage and redefine the word "family".
The Christian Response
I purposely waited a while to write on the case. I wanted the "spin" to unfold. I also knew that the "talking heads" would be out in full force
The "homosexual equivalence" community, seeking to spin the ruling as some new great civil and human rights issue, were the first out in full force, crowing over the "victory". The leadership of this powerful community, equating, as they try so hard to do, the practices of homosexual sex with race or gender, have already begun their next campaign. How outrageous!
The religious right, with their same old tired voices (some sincere, some not) are warning of the "wrath" of God, or simply playing into the hands of the homosexual advocates by looking and sounding like the very caricature they have been accused of being. Some are wagging their fingers (literally and figuratively) on the television set and smugly quoting the Bible.
How sad. It is the Christian faith, the Christian Church and Christian people who are the only hope in our current age. Yet, some of us have lost the way, forgetting what our mission truly is in the culture. We are to carry on the redemptive mission of Jesus Christ to all men and women.
The challenge we face in America is not new if we understand Christian history. This is not the first "culture of death" and use that the Christian Church has been called into. The early Church often moved into societies where primitive abortion was practiced along with "exposure", a practice wherein unwanted children were left on rocks to either be eaten by birds of prey or stolen by slave traders. These societies were often "homosexualized" cultures where homosexual sexual practice was normative and promiscuity the norm.
It was the witness of fidelity demonstrated in the Christians' marriage practices; and the compelling appeal of Christian family life as a source of true joy, human fulfillment and authentic freedom- that eventually led to the conversion of those "pagan" (pre-Christian) cultures. The message these Christians proclaimed they also lived.
Christian practices, such as monogamous marriage, accepting children as gifts from God, caring for widows, orphans, and the sick, were the novelty in these cultures as they are increasingly in our contemporary western culture. They eventually won the day, because truth is magnetic and beauty always defends herself. They will once again.
Perhaps those Christians among us who actually believed that the Christian influence on American culture was deep and strong, are the ones most disillusioned and shocked by this U.S. Supreme Court decision.
Unfortunately, I believe that it is one more sign that the "religious right" has failed. If Christianity, indeed if the Jewish and Christian world view had such an influence on our culture, why has this culture of death and use seemingly won the debate? Many of the tactics and the groups that characterized the "religious right" need to stop, pray and seek once again their very purpose.
Much of the blame for the fact that this decision was actually rendered by the Highest Court of our land lies right at our own feet. We who bear the name Christian have failed to live, proclaim and demonstrate the truth that sets all men and women free. We have shown little compassion on those homosexual persons who need to hear the truth of a Gospel that sets the captives free.Our methods and our message have come up short.
We have all too often stayed out of the very "world" into which we are sent by the call our Baptism, choosing instead to create our little isolated communities, subcultures and encampments. We need to remember God still loves the world...and He still sends His son, through His Body, His church, on this earth into that world. We are the soul of the world, the salt, the leaven and the very solution to the problems we so quickly decry. Our behavior and our language has often become more reminiscent of the Pharisee ("I thank you Lord that I am not like other men") then the Publican, in the telling Gospel parable.
We are called to respect the dignity of every human person, including homosexual persons, while living and proclaiming the truth about love, about sexuality, sexual expression, marriage and family. Homosexual sexual practices are disordered. They are immoral. They are sinful.
Sexual relationships, of any sort outside of marriage are not only immoral, but they never satisfy. We were made for much more. We were made for fidelity and authentic love. Such sexual acts can never be either unitive or procreative. They do not humanize but rather constitute the use of another.
The protracted practice of homosexual sex with one partner does not change the disordered nature of homosexual practice. The myth of the "happy homosexual" is quickly dispelled when you work with homosexual persons. It was the Christian faith and Church which liberated pagan cultures from the inevitable sterility and misery this kind of lifestyle unfortunately produces.
To say this is so is not mean, it is true. Truth is always the most loving thing we can give to anyone.However our message is not first "anti", we are called to offer another way, the way of love, life and true human fulfillment and freedom.
The beauty and dignity of sexual expression within a faithful marriage as being both "unitive" (bringing the spouses to unity and authentic intimacy and human fulfillment) and "procreative" (always open to life) is what has endowed sexual expression with the most profound meaning, fulfillment and purpose. This rich insight and understanding is a unique contribution of the Christian faith. Christianity is not against sex. To the contrary, it proclaims a message that elevates sexual expression and sexuality to the heights of dignity!
Only what Pope John Paul II has called a "Theology of the Body" can eventually lead our culture out of the spiral of decadence currently masquerading as sexual freedom. The gift of self in the conjugal act, within married love, is beautiful because it is not about the use of the other. Rather it is the language of love, of self giving love, exchanged by spouses, that opens love up to both unity and participation in the very creation of a new life. What a wonder!
Unfortunately, some of our spokes persons have not done a very good job in either proclaiming or demonstrating the authentic sexual liberation which only the Gospel brings. They have also sometimes spoken and acted in a manner that demonstrates that they lack compassion for homosexual persons. However, a disordered appetite, like homosexual desire, is just that, an appetite and not a civil right.
At least, that is, until this latest Supreme Court decision.
Make no mistake about it; this decision does not signal some kind of "liberation". It will leave in its wake numerous victims. First, the children and the families of this nation will suffer.
How many young people, inclined to experimentation, seeking a "cause", will follow the siren song of the "homosexualist" advocates into a life of bondage and despair? How many families will suffer as the "homosexual equivalency" movement begins to enforce its way into school curriculum and the laws that govern all of us? This is not alarmist, it is already becoming a reality.
How many homosexuals will be encouraged not to remain chaste, or how many who have given into homosexual temptation or suffer from identity confusion, will no longer seek to get help, but rather be encouraged to throw off all "restraint", even to engage in some of the more deviant sexual practices prevalent in this community and actually contract a terrible sickness that can lead to death? This too is not alarmist. The statistics do not lie.
Our society, once held together by the glue that comes from the first society of the family, will soon, propelled by this decision, be faced with another assault by verbal, legal, social and political engineers.
What is needed is a new missionary age and a new missionary spirit. All of those who bear the name Christian need to pray, and to live the liberating message of truth that is the Gospel, the good news, of Jesus Christ.
The message we proclaim about the dignity of every human person, at every age and stage; the truth about the family; the understanding of authentic human freedom as bounded by truth and requiring us to care about one another as another self - and to make all of our choices within a moral framework; and our choice to hear the poor and reach out to them with compassion and help are not true only for us. They form a part of the natural law written on every human heart and binding on truly human and just societies.
We have the message that will lead this new pagan society to true liberation. We have the message that will help all persons, including homosexual persons, to find their highest destiny and true fulfillment. We need to proclaim it with both compassion and truth.
Perhaps some of our friends in the "religious right" would be better off if they stopped pining for some past idyllic notion of a "Christian Nation" (which arguably never existed - there were simply Jewish and Christian principles enshrined in this grand experiment in ordered liberty called America) and learned from the failure of much of the activism of the last twenty years. It has not born the fruit that was promised or proclaimed.
I choose instead to look at this beloved country of ours, not as "post Christian", but at worst, as pre-Christian. Any people who hunger for freedom will always be led to its source, the one who is the Way, the Truth and the Life because there is a loving God. The message we Christians proclaim, and the One whom we follow is forever young and new.
The future unfurls before us, let us begin our work, undaunted.
After the spin... it is time to begin, again. Only the truth will set us all free!
Deacon Keith Fournier is a Deacon of the Catholic Church and a constitutional lawyer. He is also the editor of Catholic Online and President of the "Your Catholic Voice Foundation."
Your Catholic Voice is a movement to promote faithful citizenship based on the fundamental truths of the Catholic Church relating to Life, Family, Freedom and Solidarity. For information go to Your Catholic Voice http://www.yourcatholicvoice.org
Your Catholic Voice Foundation
http://www.ycvf.org VA, US
Deacon Keith Fournier - President, 757 546-9580
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