Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Interracial marriage, same-sex "marriage", and the Catholic Church

Many advocates of redefining marriage to include same-sex couples compare belief in natural (or traditional) marriage to anti-miscegenation laws (laws forbidding marriage between interracial couples).   Although I believe those making the argument believe the laws are on similar footing, the truth is, they are not.  In other words, the reasons for the anti-miscegenation laws are not at all the reasons for Proposition 8 and similar laws.  The underlying assumption against the argument is that there is a group of people who don't like some other group of people (e.g. gays or blacks), and want to deny those people the right to love whom they wish.  As I explain below, this is far from the truth.

Consider this: the Catholic Church opposes redefining marriage, and it also opposed anti-miscegenation laws, and essentially for the same reasons, but the opponents of interracial marriage are not necessarily the same supporters of natural marriage today.

In the 19th century and into the early 20th century, the philosophy of eugenics became very popular among many secularists (and, to be fair, many Christians as well).  It was the ideology that led to the holocaust, and was popular among everyone from the KKK to Margaret Sanger (foundress of Planned Parenthood).  In the United States, this took the form in the belief that if a white person has a single drop of non-white (especially black) blood, the white bloodline becomes impure.

Keep in mind, too, that there was a great stigma against having children outside of wedlock.  This stigma is virtually non-existent today.  Thus marriage was seen, properly I might add, as being the vehicle for which children are conceived and born.  If an interracial couple were to get married, especially a white person to a non-white person, this would threaten the bloodline of white people and ultimately the white race as a whole.

In laws forbidding interracial marriage ,the definition of marriage (a union between a man and a woman designed to produce children and raise a family) was never changed. Rather, certain men and women were forbidden from marrying each other, because of the philosophy of eugenics.

What about same-sex couples?  The effort to allow same-sex couples to marry necessarily involves a redefinition of marriage, so that children become impossible.  Adoption does not count into this formula, nor does barrenness.  Barrenness is a disorder that can often be remedied (and is often discovered after marriage) but there is no remedy that can naturally produce children in same-sex couples.

Rather, homosexuality is more comparable to impotency between opposite-sex couples.  In the Catholic Church, if either partner is unable to perform the sexual act in order to consummate the marriage, that marriage is not valid.  In other words, sexual impotency at the time of marriage is a barrier to a valid marriage, because the conception of children is impossible.  Likewise, a couple who enters into marriage intending not to have children, ever, do not enter into a valid marriage.  (Are you beginning to see the consistency in reasoning here?  The key is children: is it possible to naturally conceive children, or at least engage in the sexual act that would allow one to be open to children, without any unnatural barriers?)

In other words, the Catholic Church opposed anti-miscegenation laws because they prevented worthy men and women marrying each other on the basis of the wicked philosophy of eugenics, but it opposes same-sex "marriage" because it redefines marriage in a way that excludes children from the sexual union.  In both cases, the meaning of marriage is attacked by worldly philosophies that will pass from one age to the next.

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