Saturday, May 09, 2009

gay marriage, welcome to the vomitorium






















At first glance the whole subject seems too ridiculous to entertain. I don't think any of the gay men I know really want to be married. They want a gaudy spectacle of a wedding. They want attention but I doubt that they have any concept of what marriage is supposed to be. I say supposed to be because normal people have damaged the institution of marriage and damaged it severely. It's like taking a piece of fine linen and tearing it to shreds and then objecting when your kid puts his dirty hands on it.

Marriage was mocked and shredded long ago. And you know who did it? Your parents and their parents. When Elizabeth Taylor was going from man to man people still flocked to her movies. When Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner humiliated his wife in public, people idolized Frank and couldn't get enough of Ava. And don't forget your part: you love reading People and US magazine to see what Brad and Angie are up to, don't you?

We will never know for sure if Cardinal Cushing knew the extent of JFKs adultery but we do know years later when Jackie was about to marry the divorced Aristotle Onassis when people asked Cushing what he thought he stated that people should practice charity and leave Jackie alone. Later when Jackie died she was given a Catholic funeral, anyone who mentioned that at the time of her death she had been living with a married man was branded a gauche hater.
Decades earlier, Archbishop Sheen told Joe DiMaggio to his face that his "marriage" to Marilyn Monroe was wrong, but he was only the only churchman who did. It may not seem like much now but millions of Catholics and non Catholics were watching and listening and making conclusions.

Once, a divorce or open adultery was the end of a Protestant minister's career. No more. In the 1950s, the Reverend Adam Clayton Powell dumped his wife to marry his lover. Most people in the church were shocked but didn't stop attending Abyssinian Baptist Church. Joel Osteen's father was a divorced man but that didn't faze his congregants. He married again and built up a powerful ministry that spawned the career of Joel. Richard Roberts, son of Oral, divorced his wife and most people in the church didn't even flinch, at least not in public where it counted. Some people excuse the ministers by saying that it's hard being a preacher's wife (it is) or that the wife wasn't fit to be a preacher's wife and that the divorce was her fault. Other's use the King David excuse.

In the American Catholic church annulments are handed out like cookies at a girl scout meeting. People who've been married for decades with teen aged or adult children have gotten annulments. Are you telling me that ALL of these annulled marriages REALLY were invalid? Now, yes, of course, there are pitiful cases where an annulment is the only right thing to do : A woman who finds that she's married to a secretly gay man was lied to from the beginning. Her marriage was not valid. She did not have all the facts before the wedding. A man who finds that his wife has no intention of having children and didn't tell him was duped into a false marriage. I know of one woman who married a man who suffered from severe depression. His family was relieved when he married. Did anyone tell the wife about his condition? I don't know but if no-one did she has a right to an annulment one day. Those are sad cases but they aren't common. They aren't enough to fuel the annulment machine we seem to have today. And let's not forget the divorced and remarried Catholics who haven't gone the annulment route have been known to present themselves for Communion.

To a gay man, who is the victim of parents who probably didn't have the marriage they should've had or who fell prey to a horrible situation early in his development it must seem like rank hypocrisy that we who have played marriage so fast and loose should turn our noses up at him for trying to play house. I could argue with him pointing out that he's not right in the head (and he is not) but he could argue back that the society that produced him is sicker. I expect gay marriage to be the law of the land within five years. Of course, if it's true that as some economists are predicting, that the entire US economy is going to collapse, gay marriage will collapse with it. A rich fat man can afford to be decadent. He can afford to ignore gay marriage.As long as his wife's gay friends don't insinuate themselves into his children's lives, he'll shrug his shoulders about the whole thing. A man who's rioting in the streets for food or who hasn't worked in over a year will not look kindly on the frivolous or the ridiculous. After the binge comes the hangover. After the bacchanal somebody is left cleaning up the vomitorium.

12 comments:

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

This post was good. I mean really good.

Charlotte said...

Wow. Moving this over to my blog and going to talk about it.

Anita Moore said...

Maybe there really are a lot more invalid marriages than one might think. What about the lack of intent to marry for life? If people get married figuring they can just get a divorce if things don't work out the way they want them to (thank you, no-fault divorce), are they validly married?

But don't forget a really huge basis for annulments: lack of canonical form. Catholics today can walk away from a long marriage that produced children just because they weren't married in the presence of an authorized cleric and two witnesses. There is a case to be made for changing the law of the Church to prevent this; but until that happens, you can be sure this accounts for a large number of annulments.

Carlos Echevarria said...

Dympha, i responded to you on Pope Benedict to Israel blog....

take care, nice blog!

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Amazing, I'm borrowing.

Robert said...

"lack of canonical form" is a legitimate grounds for annulment.
canon law is canon law.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Excellent post!

A few years ago, I read a letter to the editor that said that we'd be more effective in preserving the sanctity of marriage by rejecting vulgar reality shows like Who Wants to Marry a Millionare? (yeah, the reference really dates the letter, aye?) than by blocking same-sex unions. I had to agree.

Cygnus said...

One critique I've gotten from my "useful idiot" friends who support "gay marriage" is I must necessarily support all heterosexual marriages, regardless of the circumstances. I've expressed sentiments similar to what you've written here, that "gay marriage" is but one front in the assault on the institution of marriage. But you did so much better . . . thanks!

LeoRufus said...

Gay marriage is only part of the problem, you discuss much of the real issue in your post. These include civil marriage, Catholics in marriages of mixed religion, remarried divorced Catholics, Catholics who are "living together", and on and on. Then there are all the excessive weddings which mask the sacrament with the show - the dresses the flowers the gifts and so forth. All these things have contributed to the decline of marriage as matrimony and diminished the married state as sacred and holy.

Mr. Confudenundrulum said...

Though I disagree with you on the gay marriage, you've made the most sound arguments about the dilapidation of our culture.

You go a bit far when saying their won't be gays when the economy fails (like right now) but you really hit the nail on the head that gays are a bi-product of not only nature, but a healthy does of nurture.

This coming from a gay guy.

But like you said, we're a byproduct of what the world has made. That leads to some pretty complicated questions on what is excepted as "beyond their control", such as sociopaths. God can't condemn a sociopath, at least not outright.

But that's where I lead the call to God and just stay out of the way.

It was refreshing to read a post like yours that actually tackles the real issues, even if you teetered on unneeded inflammatory words.

P.S. A vomitorium is where the actors remained hidden in the Roman theatres, usually hidden underneath the audience seating. There was no vomit involved at all. That's a myth.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"Maybe there really are a lot more invalid marriages than one might think."

I think you are suspect of heresy, like the non-retracted public one of Bergoglio and Quarracino previous to the formers pretended election to papacy.

"If people get married figuring they can just get a divorce if things don't work out the way they want them to (thank you, no-fault divorce), are they validly married?"

1) presence of a legal possibility does not mean one is thinking of it when marrying
2) one can think of it while marrying and consider it a temptation
3) figuring "one can" does not ban proper intent if one adds "but we won't".

"Catholics today can walk away from a long marriage that produced children just because they weren't married in the presence of an authorized cleric and two witnesses."

Even if they married in circumstances where they COULD not find a cleric?

I think at least 1986, possibly earlier codes too (1917, Bullarium), states that if one cannot find a cleric while wanting to marry someone, after two months (presumably of reasonably active searching), one can marry validly without a cleric.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

we'd be more effective in preserving the sanctity of marriage by rejecting vulgar reality shows like Who Wants to Marry a Millionare? (yeah, the reference really dates the letter, aye?) than by blocking same-sex unions. I had to agree.

Let us distinguish two kinds of sanctity.

The sanctity of objective realities, of the sacrament, and the sanctity as when people handle it with proper respect.

An Anglican may be "celebrating" a non-valid "Mass" ("Lord's Supper or Mass") with great worthiness while some valid Masses seem to have been celebrated despite liturgic reforms (Bishop Williamson noted so, due to Eucharistic miracles, like the one in Buenos Aires), while not celebrating and handling Communion of Faithful with due respect (again, Eucharistic Miracle of Buenos Aires, as usual such miracles are God's answer to sacrilege).

While "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire" is unworthy, it does not make marriages resulting from dates on that show invalid any more than Novus Ordo PLUS bad routines not only allowing Hosts to drop, but also when Hosts have dropped to the ground made the Mass of Fr. Alejandro Pezet invalid.

While two male gay Christians "marrying (each other)" in something like an Anglican "service" may have great reverence, they are in fact engaged in an act which is NOT a sacramental marriage and can never be so, but which sacrilegiously pretends to do so, that is, it is as much of an objective sacrilege as an Anglican "Mass".