Why do a majority of Catholics think God is wrong about marriage?


Here’s a fun fact for the start of your work week: 53% of Americans now support redefining marriage along gender neutral lines.

While that might not be a “fun” or even newsworthy statistic, you might be surprised to learn that only ten short years ago – seems like only yesterday doesn’t it? – only 3 in 10 Americans thought that denying children the chance to obey the 4th Commandment (honor thy father and mother) was a wise thing to do.

According to the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), increasing numbers of Catholics are also turning their backs on God’s laws for the family.

If the PRRI report is to be believed, and it appears that it can be, as it stands today roughly 60% of white Catholics and 56% of Latino Catholics are now in favor of recognizing homosexual unions as a form of marriage.

PRRI also found that 72% of white Catholics and 66% of Latino Catholics think that homosexual couples can “be as good as parents as heterosexual couples.” Thus, 63% of white Catholics and two-thirds of Latino Catholics now think it’s acceptable for gay couples to adopt children.


These statistics will surely be used to advance the narrative that the Catholic Church needs to change her ways and that those who favor redefining marriage are on the right side of history…as if “history,” and not God, is whose side we need to worry about being on.

The truth is that no matter how malnourished and poorly formed the consciences of the Catholic laity are, God’s laws pertaining to marriage, children and the family unit are as unchangeable as the sun rising in the east. No human being can alter them, and that’s that.

What, then, should we make of this apostasy? What is driving this confusion? Who, in other words, is to blame?

Well, our schools, for one.

Think back to December of 2013. You’ll recall that in Seattle, Washington, Mark Zmuda, the vice principal of Eastside Catholic High School, was asked to resign after the diocese learned he exchanged wedding vows with his “partner” in 2012.

He complied but almost immediately thereafter the students at Eastside burst into full on dictatorship of relativism mode. As did the media, who had a field day with the story.

In an effort to have Mr. Zmuda re-instated, the students held massive sit-ins and protests where they made cute little signs with glitter and pink markers that read “Love is Love” and “Who am I to judge?” The only one missing was one that said “YOLO.”

They even wrote up a petition for Change.org that has gained over 15,000 signatures. Here is what it says:

We are uniting in order to change the Catholic Church’s opposition of gay marriage. It is time to revisit the policy and act as Jesus would have, loving and supporting every person regardless of their marital status

Right. Good luck with that.

The question I have is: Who is educating these children about Catholicism? Because they sure as heck aren’t teaching them what the Church believes.

Now look, this small kerfuffle in an undeniably progressive state doesn’t mean that all Catholic schools are to blame. But it does suggest that bishops, priests, principals and educators need to get a grip on their curriculum. If they aren’t already, these folks need to work together if they aren’t already so that the next generation of Catholics turns out to be, well, Catholic!


Oh you know, Jesus at the Wedding at Cana, clearly not letting it be known that he supported “traditional” marriage

Another possible reason more and more Catholics are fine with homosexual unions is the lukewarm leadership in the church.

Before you go and quote me out of context, allow me to explain.

There are a large, large number of brave, courageous priests as well as bishops in the United States when it comes to the marriage issue. And we at CatholicVote have been instrumental in supporting them and letting you know about their condemnations of same-sex unions. We will continue to do so.

Still, there needs to be a more robust course of action taken by the clergy when it comes to politicians who support laws that lead to the destruction of the family unit.

Just like how Vladimir Putin is unafraid of Barack Obama, Catholics in elected office seemingly have no fear of the Catholic hierarchy. Why? Because there has been very little, if any, reprimanding taking place for voting against the moral teachings of the Catholic Church.

When the laity sees Catholic politicians who support pro-choice legislation or gay marriage bills get away with it without being punished, they are emboldened to defy the Church’s teachings elsewhere. Eventually, they convince themselves that they are acting in alignment with Catholic teaching even when, in actuality, they are not, and that no one, not even the clergy, has the right to tell them they are wrong.

Finally, it must be said that the culture, the media, and television bears a large burden of the blame as well. When one consumes thousands of hours of what passes for comedy, music and entertainment, one is slowly infected with the noxious beliefs these industries promote. I, as well as other CV writers, have written about this in countless other posts. There’s no need to beat a dead horse. Suffice it to say that the culture we live in is vehemently anti-Catholic. The more you breathe in its poisonous fumes, the more it pollutes your way of thinking.

In summary, what this PRRI poll tells us is that Catholics need to not only focus on keeping out those thieves who are trying to break into our house, but that our primary obligation must be to kick out those thieves already on the inside. That might seem like an insurmountable hill to climb, especially given these dreadful statistics, but God didn’t instruct us to fight only if victory seemed feasible. He simply demanded that we fight. The rest is up to Him.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org


About Author

Stephen Kokx is a freelance writer and adjunct professor of political science living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has previously worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office for Peace and Justice. His writing on religion, politics and Catholic social teaching has appeared in a number of outlets, including Crisis Magazine, The American Thinker and his hometown paper The Grand Rapids Press. He is a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, and is a graduate of Aquinas College and Loyola University Chicago. Follow Stephen on twitter @StephenKokx

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