Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jennifer Hartline

4/30/2014 (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.

Highlights

By Jennifer Hartline

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/30/2014 (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: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More U.S.

Mexican drug cartels fueling U.S. heroin epidemic Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The insidious Mexican drug cartels are having a massively detrimental effect on U.S. communities. The cartels have flooded the cities and suburbs with far more potent, less expensive heroin, sending overdose deaths skyrocketing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


African-American churches frequently targeted by arsonists Watch

Image of African American churches are targeted by arsons more than any other houses of worship. The ATF's results have been reported to a national database of church fires.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There have been 29 cases of churches being torched by arsonists in the United States this year alone. Frequently, African-American churches are set alight by arsonists because of racism, religious intolerance, or vandalism. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Anytime ... continue reading


Planned Parenthood threatened to be exposed with EIGHT MORE undercover videos Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The series of unfortunate events will keep on rolling for Planned Parenthood as the founder of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), David Daleiden, shared with conservative radio host Sean Hannity that there are eight more undercover videos that will reveal Planned ... continue reading


Remains of four early leaders of America uncovered in Jamestown with Catholic artifacts Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Under the floor of a Jamestown church, four body remains of the earliest English colonial leaders in America were unearthed. One was identified as Captain John Smith's rival, who researchers speculate to be part of a secret Catholic cell because of some artifacts ... continue reading


Planned Parenthood caught in FOURTH VIDEO showing the horrific practices of selling aborted baby organs

Image of Dr. Savita Ginde, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains' Vice President and Medical Director, standing in the harvesting lab.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Another new Planned Parenthood expose video has been released, making this the second video this week and the fourth revealing hidden camera video in total. The Center for Medical Progress claims to have hours upon hours of footage exposing Planned Parenthood of ... continue reading


AMC movie theaters issue warning to moviegoers urging them to stay vigilant during visit Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A unusual video message is being played at AMC Theaters in Central Florida, urging the audience to keep their eyes open to any bad agendas and malicious or suspicious actions within the establishment. The short film came to be after violent incidents inside movie ... continue reading


A massive 30,000 more immigrants expected to arrive to U.S. before year's end Watch

Image of Illegal immigrants continues to cross the U.S. border.q

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The number of illegal immigrant children and teens in the United States continues to increase. The United Nations and other humanitarian groups predict that a total of 30,000 more are expected to reach the U.S. before the year ends. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


The youngest convicted murders released from jail after 15 years Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At just 12 and 13-years-old, two siblings confessed to killing their father's girlfriend and both were charged with first-degree murder as adults, despite evidence they were sexually abused by a family member. Yesterday, the two first faced the world they once knew. ... continue reading


Satanic statue secretly unveiled in Detroit, drawing Christian protest Watch

Image of Satanists secretly unveiled a nine-foot, one-ton statue of Baphomet, the horned devil god of satanic practice in an undisclosed location in Detroit this past weekend.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Satanists secretly unveiled a nine-foot, one-ton statue of Baphomet, the horned devil god of satanic practice in an undisclosed location in Detroit this past weekend. This has spurred on heavy protest from the city's Christian community. Hundreds gathered at Detroit's ... continue reading


Will Pope Francis be warmly welcomed in the United States? Watch

Image of Pope Francis will be in the United States in September.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis will visit the United States for the first time ever in his lifetime during September. However, amid the excitement, the American populace may have lost some warmth towards the pontiff, who they once believed revived the Catholic Church in the country. ... 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, Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15
2 And the whole community of Israelites began ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54
3 What we have heard and know, what our ancestors ... Read More

Gospel, John 6:24-35
24 When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his ... Read More

Reading 2, Ephesians 4:17, 20-24
17 So this I say to you and attest to you in the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 2nd, 2015 Image

St. Eusebius of Vercelli
August 2: Christians who breathed a sigh of relief when Constantine ... 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