Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jennifer Hartline

8/12/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Fellow defenders of true marriage, choose your words wisely. Don't join the rest of the world in declaring what is true to be merely traditional.

We do not call abortion "choice" because it is never a moral choice. It is murder. Two persons of the same gender cannot enter into marriage.  It is ontologically impossible.  So it's quite silly for us to begin describing marriage as "traditional" vs. "same-sex" because it's drawing a distinction between marriage and something that can never even exist in the first place.  There is a better way to draw a distinction and that's the way Deacon Keith Fournier has been doing all along: using the word true.  True marriage only happens between a man and a woman.

Article Highlights

By Jennifer Hartline

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/12/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: marriage, tolerance, same-sex marriage, traditional marriage, Jennifer Hartline


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) - Don't shoot me, but I think maybe the choir is singing the wrong tune.  At least I think they're getting the lyrics mixed up a bit.  So I'm sticking my neck out (I may regret it) and piping up.  Here goes...

Honestly, more and more these days I find myself feeling like Eliza Doolittle.  "Words, words, words, I'm so sick of words..."  (Campaign season does nothing to help.  Ugh.)  Especially since words are being twisted into such wildly contorted things; words are being drained of their real meaning and stuffed with something cunning and artificial; words are being hijacked and deformed.  And sadly, words have always made pretty powerful weapons.

So it's all the more incumbent on us as Christians in a culture descending into an immoral abyss to choose our words wisely and use them well.  Let's make sure what we say accurately reflects what is true about the human person; about God; about marriage and the family.  Above all, we must make sure our words aren't crafted to cause harm but to shed light. 

I want to scream when I read articles containing the ever-popular term "fertilized egg."  It's a favorite of the abortion industry because it's a handy dehumanizing term in their rhetoric war against the fact that life begins at conception.  But I've also seen the phrase used by pro-lifers and people of faith.

The term drives me nuts because it's wholly inadequate at best, and just plain inaccurate at worst.  Fertilization is a singular event in time when a sperm joins with an ovum and once it happens, what you have is no longer an egg (fertilized or otherwise) but a newly-conceived human -- an entirely new and distinct being. 

Think of it this way:  it takes yellow and blue to make green.  Once you mix yellow and blue, what you have is not "yellowized-blue" or "blueized-yellow" but green.  You could no longer separate the yellow from the blue if you wanted to.  They have combined to create something entirely new and different and it has its own name.

We're now caught up in a similar word-game with marriage. 

I have a little bone to pick with well-meaning people who are using the phrase "traditional marriage" to refer to marriage, in an attempt to distinguish it from same-sex "marriage."  This idea is everywhere these days in secular as well as religious media.  It posits that there is "traditional" marriage (between a man and a woman), and now other, more modern, progressive forms of marriage as well (same-sex couples).  Christians and other people of faith have begun adopting this language right along with the rest of society.

I politely suggest it needs to stop.  Language matters.  We are not doing marriage any favors by using such terminology, no matter how good our intentions, or even if we're just seeking clarity in dialogue.  The world has decided that marriage will now be classified into types and that same-sex "marriage" is now one of those types.  We cannot go along with that classification.

Marriage means something.  It has an intrinsic and unchangeable nature.  If we reduce marriage to simply an agreement between any two people who love each other then we have utterly destroyed the meaning of marriage.  It will become a trivial, throw-away concept because its core will be only self-seeking.

In the same way that we do not call abortion "choice" because it isn't in any way a legitimate moral choice but is in fact murder, so we cannot succumb to the easy temptation to call marriage "traditional" in order to set it apart from same-sex "marriage."  Two persons of the same gender cannot enter into marriage.  It is ontologically impossible.  So it's quite silly for us to begin describing marriage as "traditional" vs. "same-sex" because it's drawing a distinction between marriage and something that can never even exist in the first place.

Using the green analogy again, no matter how forcefully I insist that I want to make green with two yellows or two blues, it will never happen.  It's just not possible.  The nature of green cannot be changed.

There is a better way to draw a distinction and that's the way Deacon Keith Fournier has been doing all along:  using the word true.  True marriage only happens between a man and a woman.  Some may feel that's a more provocative term, but it is accurate and faithful to the integrity of marriage.

There is only marriage, and it only happens between a man and woman.  That's not my plan or your plan; it's God's plan.  We have to understand this, and be unflinching in stating it and defending it.  Whatever relationship of sexual intimacy, fidelity, and love exists between two men or two women, it can never be marriage.  That's not bigotry or discrimination or hatred no matter what the world says.  Leave the hyper-charged feelings aside for a moment:  refusing to call a thing what it isn't is nothing but logical, reasonable, and factual. 

For thousands of years human civilization has known that marriage is only between a man and a woman, as the foundation of society, ordered toward the raising of children, but now suddenly in our so-called enlightened age those of us who refuse to part with reason and morality are on the wrong side of history?  Absurd.

So there's my two cents'.  Fellow defenders of true marriage, choose your words wisely and well.  Don't join the rest of the world in declaring what is true to be merely "traditional."

Our challenge is to be unafraid and resolute without ever abandoning love.  That's not an easy task, and I admit I have failed often.  We're not wielding weapons, and we don't seek destruction or discrimination. 

For myself, I don't write with animosity or any desire to wound.  But like so many others in America today, I won't be bullied into capitulation either.  I won't forsake what I know is true.  I won't call something that is not marriage, marriage.  It's that simple.

For the sake of true marriage and the family, even though I'm getting quite sick of words, words, words... silence is not an option.

-----

Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, a proud Army wife and homeschooling mother of three children.  She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.  Visit her online at Wake Up, Deborah!

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More U.S.

Suffering, Struggle and the Christian Revolution Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Christian tradition instructs us that even undeserved and unmerited suffering, when joined in love to the sufferings of Jesus Christ, can produce extraordinary fruit within us - and then through us, as we change. This is a part of the teaching on the mystery ... continue reading


Holy Saturday: God has Died in the Flesh and Hell Trembles with Fear Watch

Image of Holy Saturday Byzantine Icon. This is a day which presents to those who approach it in contemplation, an opportunity to probe the mystery of life and death. It is a day to enter into the deeper mysteries of the faith with the millions and millions of those who have gone before us.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all ... continue reading


The Birth of Catholic Evangelism Watch

Image of I recently interviewed Jeff Cavins  for my weekly show  on Ave Maria Radio.  Jeff, who is nationally known for his study guides to the Bible, has just taken a job as Director of Evangelism at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  It's a significant point in this nation's Church history that an apologist/educator with EWTN origins has taken a significant job inside an archdiocese.

By Deal W. Hudson

In spite of being ignored, and in some cases blacklisted, several of the hosts of EWTN radio and TV shows grew ministries of their own in the evangelistic Catholic style of Mother Angelica's still-prospering network. Jeff Cavins is one of the most successful of ... continue reading


Good Friday: Behold the Wood of the Cross Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

This is Good Friday. This is the day when the whole world stands still. We recall the great Sacrifice offered on the second tree on Golgotha's Hill. There, the one St. Paul calls the New Adam (1 Cor.15), in the perfect obedience of love, did for us  what we ... continue reading


Finally Justice! Small town city manager gets 12 years in jail on corruption charges Watch

Image of Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo's party came crashing down when it was revealed in 2010 that Rizzo was giving himself an annual salary and benefits package of $1.5 million.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bell, California is a small town with less than 36,000 people. That didn't stop City Manager Robert Rizzo, along with his friends, from awarding themselves hefty raises and drawing yearly salaries as high as $1.5 million. It was fun while it lasted - now Rizzo ... continue reading


FORCED BESTIALITY: Evil teenage girls sexually assault autistic boy - and record it for posterity Watch

Image of Seventeen-year-old Lauren Bush along with her 15-year-old accomplice are accused by the St. Mary's County sheriff's department on numerous charges.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an episode shocking for its sheer cruelty, two teenage girls in Maryland are now in custody after they repeatedly abused a 16-year-old autistic boy - eventually making him perform sexual acts with a family pet - and recording it all on their cell phones. LOS ... continue reading


HOW LONG BEFORE THE SYSTEM BREAKS? Working Americans increasingly made to pay for those on welfare Watch

Image of Those who work in America are increasingly being made to pay for those who don't -- in the manner of an over-burdened ox.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're an American who awakes each day to begin a day of toil you have no interest in, take heed: There are only more reasons to hit your pillow in frustration each night as you drift off to sleep. You are an endangered species, and the media has not rallied ... continue reading


Ron Paul warns Feds may stage 'Waco styled' raid Watch

Image of Cliven Bundy has been fighting with the Bureau of Land Management for 20 years over his cattle and grazing rights.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Cliven Bundy, his family, their supporters, and myriad militiamen forced federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management to back off of the Bundy's Nevada ranch and release hundreds of captured cattle, one politician warns that the feds could be planning ... continue reading


What does this say about America? More people getting food stamps than women working full-time Watch

Image of There were only 15,678,000 women who worked full-time, year-round in the United States in 1969.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a distressing figure that shines a most unflattering light on affairs here in the United States. According to recent statistics, those  participating in the food stamp program, or SNAP outnumbered the number of women who worked full-time, year-round ... continue reading


Palm/Passion Sunday: Will We Make This Week Holy By Encountering Jesus Christ? Watch

Image of Holy Week invites us to let go of self and embrace the Lord Jesus anew through saying Yes to the invitation to continuing conversion. How desperately we all need to hear the Good news that we can begin again!

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Palm/ Passion Sunday: Make This Holy Week a Deep Encounter With Jesus Christ!During this week called Holy, the Lord Jesus is extending His saving Hand to each one of us anew. The timeless one has broken into time and now transforms it from within. The question is ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 1:1--2:2
1 In the beginning God created heaven and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11
5 My birthright, my cup is Yahweh; you, you alone, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 28:1-10
1 After the Sabbath, and towards dawn on the first ... Read More

Reading 2, Genesis 22:1-18
1 It happened some time later that God put Abraham to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 19th, 2014 Image

St. Alphege
April 19: Archbishop and "the First Martyr of Canterbury." He was born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter