Why give up when we’re still ahead?


gay marriageI’ve read many of the responses to Jody Bottum’s article and many of them are very good. But I wanted to add a few thoughts that I haven’t seen addressed just yet.

It seems that Jody is saying instead of protecting the definition and meaning of marriage, the Church should evangelize the culture and care for the poor. To me this sounds awfully similar to what the Catholic Left has been telling pro-lifers for decades. I’m not sure if, or how, you would refrain from applying his argument to abortion, except maybe that he doesn’t see the life issue as being a lost cause.

But it is also hard for me to think of someone looking at the abortion situation in the 1990s and remaining optimistic — and that same person being a pessimist on the marriage issue today. Heck, Commonweal elevated its abortion pessimism to new heights in 2012. And yet not one state bans abortion. But 2/3rds of states define marriage correctly.

If surrender is good advice on marriage I don’t see how it isn’t also good advice on life. And that potentially raises the question whether the Church should have a social teaching at all.

I don’t see how resignation on the definition of marriage wouldn’t also lead someone to resign on the protection of the preborn. The same voices calling for the former have been seeking surrender on the latter also for years, their calls to abandon the preborn have increased recently, they offer similar reasons for both, and they point to evidence of defeat that they consider equally strong on both issues. I disagree with them, but Jody too seems to be remaining strong in protection of life. I don’t see a significant strategic reason to abandon either fight.

Finally, I am not saying we should stand strong just because it’s the right thing to do, as if we knew we would lose anyway. I think we can actually succeed in preserving life and marriage. Marriage fundamentally creates and nourishes life, and its breakdown fuels the abortion culture. Wild optimism or pessimism on either of these issues seems short sighted.


Categories:Abortion Marriage

  • j smythe

    I find it humorous that you all think that the homosexual community wants anything other than equal rights.

    • mominvermont

      People with same sex attraction have the same right to marry as heterosexuals. Marriage excludes no one. It is open to male and female regardless of their sexual orientation.

  • Slats

    Thing is, polls show that the country is becoming increasingly anti-abortion, with these sentiments especially growing among the young. Unfortunately, that evident success is a victory of straw, because the young are even more quickly growing in their support for same-gender marriage. One cannot support same-gender marriage without a presupposition of the fundamental non-importance, non-sacredness, and non-procreative nature of genital activity and the psychic and physiological systems of attraction, which is both tied to and the result of the contraceptive mentality. As the Roe vs. Wade justices pointed out, a society that presumes birth control must have abortion as a fail-safe. Unless those same young people who are increasingly opposing abortion can be made ultimately to flip also on same-gender marriage and contraception, they’ll eventually flip to pro-abortion philosophically and politically.

    Young faithful lay Catholics need to start getting serious about knowing and disseminating the Theology of the Body among their friends and work colleagues who are convinced in being against abortion, but don’t understand the nature of human sexuality and the morality thereof.

  • Chris

    I agree with Mr Bowman 100%.

  • Ron

    I haven’t seen anything from the new Pope about abortion or same sex marriage.

  • Karen

    If there is any losing cause among the social causes that the Church has a teaching about and a heart for, it is the cause of the poor—whom we will always have with us. Shall we abandon that cause?

  • Bill Aken

    Simple…. Quitting is exactly what they want us to do…. The arguments against same sex marriage are in the bible. And redefining marriage would go against the teachings of the bible… And what is complicated about that ??????



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