Here is the Follow Up to The First installment of the seriesin response to Pres. Obama's announced support for So-called same sex "marriage", I am posting this series originally written by FR. Now Bishop Thomas Dowd on the subject, since it is one of the most reasoned and balanced analyses of the issue I have ever read. Here is the Second Installment "Natural Family Bonds": This is very scary, as it puts the state ahead of natural family bonds. We have already seen abuses taking place in Canada, where the state can now usurp prerogatives that once belonged to families, for instance not allowing parents to exempt children from government ordained sex education programs,discipline in the home, and other things.
Dot #1: Natural family bonds
"We don't feel threatened." Eric's haunting question.....
I've been praying and reflecting on this one long and hard. I can't claim to have the picture perfectly drawn just yet, with all the dots connected, but some things have emerged. How is the traditional family threatened? I have a few ideas.
Let us keep in mind that the courts have declared that reserving marriage to heterosexuals is unjustly discriminatory. This last point is very important. We "discriminate" all the time, but it isn't always unjust. Five-year-old children are not allowed to drive — this is discrimination — but it isn't *unjust* discrimination.
For something to be *unjustly* discriminatory, it means that the discrimination is not being based on something that is part of the essence of the thing at hand; on the contrary, it is rooted in something secondary.
What is there in the heterosexual family unit that is not present in a homosexual family unit? The answer: the natural family bonds that arise from procreation. These natural bonds have their own legal recognition, and lead to certain rights and obligations for the parents: for example, natural parents do not have to earn the right to custody of their children, i.e. they have it by virtue of the fact that they are the natural parents. They, in turn, have the corresponding responsibilities of care for and nurturing of their natural children.
Artificial family bonds do exist, such as in adoption, but these exist to take care of situations where the natural bonds have broken down in some way. Perhaps the parents have died. Perhaps they recognize they are incapable of giving to that child what the child really needs. Perhaps they are actually dangerous, and the child needs to be removed for his or her own safety. In any event, adoptions are the exception, rather than the rule, and they always occur when a natural bond has broken down.
Marriage has historically received special recognition from the State so as to be able to strength these natural bonds, to help prevent them from breaking down so that the State doesn't have to intervene as much as it otherwise might. It really is about these natural bonds, with the responsibilities and the rights that go with them.
The reservation of marriage to heterosexuals is discriminatory, yes. But it is only *unjustly* discriminatory if the existence of natural family bonds, something only heterosexual unions can create and possess, is secondary. In effect, this is what the courts have declared. The courts have declared that including natural family bonds as part of the basic definition of marriage and family is wrong, because those natural family bonds are secondary. To include them is, therefore, discriminatory, and the law should remove any such references.
So, Eric, what is happening is this: the creation of a legal equivalence for same-sex unions as marriage carries with it the corollary of weakening the legal support for the natural bonds you have with your children. Why? Because those bonds are considered, within the law today, to be part of the problem of discrimination in the first place.
Don't believe me? Read the proposed law, Bill C-38. After the first 4 paragraphs it contains amendments to a great many other laws of the land. *ALL* the references to natural parental rights and responsibilities have been removed. ALL OF THEM. It is an inescapable part of the logic of same-sex marriage.
Eric, when you first held your child in your arms, you felt something that on a gut instinct level was bigger than you, and certainly bigger than the government. The logic of the recognition of same-sex marriage *requires* Canadian society to then reject the importance and even the reality of the bonds you felt on that day. By proposing these multiple changes to all kinds of laws, the government is proving itself to be very logical. But it is a very cold logic.
And, in the final analysis, a dangerous one. If the government is not the servant of those natural bonds, it is their master. Currently the government can only terminate the legal rights of natural parents in cases which are in extremis. Once this new legal attitude sets in, however, you will gradually see a government which will decide what is best for children, despite what the parents think. If your natural bonds are no longer a legitimate source for the legal rights and responsibilities of your status as a parent, those rights and responsibilities are merely a concession of the government, manipulable at will. Don't think some faceless control-freak bureaucrat won't seize on that someday.
At its core, Eric, my opposition to same-sex marriage stems from my desire to see your rights as a parent — born from those natural bonds — recognized and respected. And we see, merely from reading the proposed legislation, that the logic of same-sex marriage requires your family to be legally weakened. The two are opposite sides of the same coin, and cannot be separated. Why? Because for the reservation of marriage to heterosexuals to be unjust, the natural dimension of the bonds of love you have for your kids must be part of that injustice. That can't be right, and it should never be part of Canadian law.
CONCLUSION: A vote for same-sex marriage is a vote for the weakening of the legal support for the relationships that arise from natural family bonds, because in the logic of same-sex marriage the support of such bonds is unjustly discriminatory. The two cannot be separated — they are logically linked. Look at Bill C-38 itself for the proof