Friday, June 26, 2015

If Truth Loses, Love Cannot Win

"We are through the looking glass, people!  Up is down.  Black is white."
-Jim Garrison, JFK

Like many of you, I have been sorting through my thoughts and feelings on today's decision by the Supreme Court.  Ever since they ruled last year that California's ban on same-sex "marriage" was unconstitutional, it was only a matter of time before all such bans were overturned in the country.

This has been on the cultural road ever since the acceptance of contraceptives by the majority of Catholics.  Instead of our leaders in the American Catholic Church standing up forcefully and clearly in 1968, confusion reigned.  And the logical progression unfolded.

If artificial contraception is morally acceptable, then it must mean that sex has no intrinsic connection to procreation.

If sex has no intrinsic connection to procreation, then there is nothing morally illicit about homosexual sex.

Add to this the acceptance of no-fault divorce.  Marriage was seen as the permanent bond that was necessary to raise children well.

But if marriages are easily ended, then they must not be necessary for raising children well.

If they are not necessary for raising children well, then it would seem that procreation and education of children has little to do with marriage.

If procreation and education of children has little to do with marriage, then there should be no impediment to homosexuals marrying.

This has been the on the horizon for a long time.

Still, though expected, today is a game-changer.

But this is not the end.  It is only the beginning.

I was not alive in 1973 when Roe v. Wade overturned most (eventually all) bans on abortion.  I wonder if faithful Christians felt then the way we feel now.  I wonder if abortion proponents thought that by winning the day they had won the war.  And I wonder how those then feel now that we are winning that war.

I have no doubt that we will eventually overturn Roe v. Wade.  We are over 40 years past it, but we are making headway.  But that is because, by the grace of God, people have fought tirelessly to protect the unborn.

Are we ready to answer the call to save marriage?

And let us be clear: the 5 justices on the Supreme Court of the United States did not redefine marriage.

They cannot.

If the Supreme Court said that it violates the Constitution if the federal government seizes a farmer's raisin crop because it wanted to affect raisin prices, then the court could because that is an interpretation of a man-made law.

If the Supreme Court decreed tomorrow that a "square" would not be legally recognized as "a flat, enclosed plane figure whose points are all equidistant from one point," it would not therefore follow that all squares will become circles.  The reason why is because the laws of geometry are not man-made.  They are man-discovered.

The same is true about marriage.

Marriage is in our human nature.  It is part of God's plan.  It is not a mere cultural construct.  If it were man-made then man could change it.  But it is not.

But even though the Supreme Court has broken with God and human nature, be prepared, O faithful Catholic, for the deluge coming at you.

George Orwell wrote in 1984, "Freedom is the freedom to say two plus two makes four."  What he meant was that freedom is the right to recognize objective reality and make arguments and conclusions from that.  But in his novel, the State wanted to be the guardians of truth.  Big Brother decided what was true.

And that is what is coming for us.  Like Captain Picard, we must say that there are 5 lights or face the full power of the state and the media.

For years we have heard that we should accept that which we know is morally wrong as long as it "doesn't hurt me."  A couple wants to contracept?  Doesn't hurt me.  Two people of the same gender want to have sex?  Doesn't hurt me.  A man wants to have his genitals cut off and be called a woman?  Doesn't hurt me.

But it does hurt.

It hurts because each link in that chain makes a chainsaw that cuts down the branch of the tree on which we are sitting.  Accepting each of those things is to deny truth.

And once you accept that there is no truth, you are lost.  All that remains is the will to power.  If we accept a common objective world of facts and logic then we can change each other through argumentation and ideas.  If there is no objective truth, then whoever shouts loudest and longest with the most violence behind it wins.  That is a world where might is right.

One of the most moving films I have ever seen is The Mission.  And this line has stayed with me for 20 years: "If might is right then love has no place in the world."

In a world without truth, love will be reduced to an ephemeral sentiment.  It will be another commodity for which we will try to find a chemical substitute.  Love will be robbed of all of its meaning and power in this world.

That is why if truth loses, love cannot win.


  1. Excellent essay. I wrote my own post on Facebook and used Spock's quote, "You must learn to govern your passions; they will be your undoing," to show what we mean when we preach against same-sex marriage, so I'm glad that somebody else fit in a Star Trek reference.

  2. Should you be quoting Stone's JFK?

    We should blame Martin Luther for this?

    Might does make right. See Guns, Germs, and Steel - the Nat Geo mini-series; it took me more than a month to get through the book.

    "The needs of the Many outweigh the needs of the Few, or the One." is the only Trek quote I can think of.

    Are you going to see Ted 2?