Marriage as Sacrament versus State Defined

Something is missing in my argument around gay marriages defined by the State. Why does the Church even care how the state defines’ marriage as long as the state does not deny the idea of marriage between man and woman for the purposes of pro-creation?


Because the Church cares for Truth and can never promote or even accept the proclamation of Falsehood.

I have asked that question many times here. No, Civil Marriage doesn’t alter the sacrament. Others in this forum tell me that allowing gay marriage is sending the message that homosexual activities are “normal” and “permissible…” There are also declarations that it would force people to either violate their moral convictions by providing services for gay marriages or being punished/persecuted for not rendering services.

Allowing gay “marriage” to be legal would be representing it as an equal goal for one to seek to attain if they have same-sex attractions. This would put their soul unnecessarily in danger, especially compared to good catechesis from a young age teaching that attractions should not be acted on but rather used in manners appropriate to moral law. Thereby, same-sex attractions should be channeled into close, non-sexual friendships with members of the same sex that do not tempt you into sin. Marriage (and parenting, going hand in hand) should also be taught as a spiritual and social responsibility, not as the endgoal of a temporal seeking of Earthly pleasure.

In short, whether or not Churches would be forced to do anything is irrelevant. Even if the Catholic adoption agencies could remain open, and even though churches in the US will never be forced to minister to gay “weddings,” legal same-sex “marriage” will always be opposed by the Church because of the intense risk it puts on the souls of those who have same-sex attractions, particularly those born in non-Catholic families or with Catholic parents who choose to not put effort (or who have a lack of knowledge themselves from which to do so) in their child’s formation.

My analogy is, if you have a troubled teenager with a drinking problem, would you leave the liquor cabinet unlocked?

No, because that would end up making it easier for the teen to drink and do harm to xerself. If we lock the cabinet, there is less of a chance of the teen doing harm to xerself because xe does not have the chance to drink and hurt xerself by doing so.

Well, besides believing it’s a sin that was at least partly responsible for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, we believe that promoting homosexuality runs counter to what we think is healthy to society.

For example, we believe God made man and woman.

In Spanish, we have a saying. In Spanish it rhythms so is a bit funnier. In English, it doesn’t.

"Hombre y mujer producen vida. Hombre y hombre producen SIDA"
(Man and woman produce life. Man and man produce AIDS).

We believe that homosexuality goes against nature.

When determining morality, some say one way we can go about it is to say, “What would happen if EVERYBODY did this?” If everybody was gay, what would the consequences of that be? Would that be a good thing?

We try not to promote things which would be damaging to the family or society.

With morality, one question you can ask would be, “If everybody did this, what would the consequences be?”

If EVERYONE was gay, would this be a good thing?

If it is, let’s promote it. If not, let’s not.

I say, let’s not, because we don’t want to promote anything that’s detrimental to the family, society or the individual.

The people who are being persecuted are Christians who disagree with so-called gay “marriage” mostly because of what is highlighted in bold.

I’ve made numerous secular arguments on here as to why the state should not subsidize so-called “gay marriage”.

This post should be framed and on the wall. :thumbsup:

Doesn’t help in public debate though. The church’s concern is the salvation of the soul…which for some is simply a fantasy. Yet are we working to impose our beliefs on society? I think so because we impose a legislative framework on a belief that not all Canadians share as an example…


And that message is simply a Catholic message; it is based on a world view taught by the church… are we to force that world view on those who do not share it? This, to me, is where that arguement and the stands of the bishops start to fall apart for me. We -as a church - believe in the supremacy of conscience, are we saying that with forked tongue while we pressure politicians to narrow the definition of marriage (and as citizen’s we can do that) to that of one man, one women for the purposes of procreation. I agree however, that part of the societal agreement should be that people, businesses, etc., should not be forced to not follwo their conscience and the state’s argument that if you take federal money, you are bound to federal conditions… is a state imposition of freedom of religion… is it not? I’m sure the gay lobby will take that one on…and why should we not extend charitable support to those who are gay… I have no problem providing services for gay and straight people on an equal basis; i respect the dignity of the gay person and I most certainly respect the supremacy of their conscience and above all “who am I to judge”?


Again, these Catholic arguements are not helpful to the public discussion. Gay marriages should be an equal goal within a state defined framework for marriage; the balancing right of course is our freedom to be Catholic in the state and that balance has to be respected.

In terms of their soul, well that is only our dogma and belief system as Catholics, it is a matter of faith for us and again we should not force that faith via holding the state legal framework hostage. As a Catholic I have no quarrel with your views of our church’s teaching… but you are not addressing in this paragraph our right as catholics to disrespect the choices others make for themselves…

I think that laws that require church’s to abandon their teaching is very relevant; we cannot accept that in countries who value personal freedoms including religious expression. If we continue to oppose state defined marriage to be consisent with our beliefs, then I believe we are guilty of imposing our faith on the world… that is not the message of evangelization, nor is it the beautiful experience of conversion…I don’t believe God is as judgemental of a person’s sexual orientation as many of us Catholics are… but my main point is why are we forcing our views on the state.

In terms of state, how does gay marriage limit the rights of traditional marriage…it doesn’t… the guilty arguement here is that not accepting gay marriage as a valid state marriage is guilty of imposing on the rights of religion (inlcuding the right not to have religion) lands right on our shoulders… we ought to lay the facts out there, not judged and respect the choice of peoples. We are not their spiritual babysitters.


Bad analogy and one that does not represent the situation well. First of all gay people who choose to get married are not troubled, they are intelligent human beings who have analyzed all the fact and made peace with their Creator in all of this and in a lot of cases realized a marriage that is successful (I don’t have any statistical back up on that).

Your analogy also patronizes gay people and their choices as childish or immature and therefore we - as Catholics - would be irresponsible in opening the cabinet of gay marriage… Troubled Teenages and liquor cabinets are not the same things as mature intelligent gay people their right to be treated in the state as equal people are completely different scenarios.


SuperLuigi, why am i not surprised or shocked by your response :slight_smile:


I will try and redefine my question. I know that in Canada, there are at least two ways of getting married. The preferred for us Catholics is obviously in the church; however, there are people who have been married in other churches and/or by the state.

Now, there is Canon Law that guides the church on how to create a Catholic blessing on a non-Catholic wedding recognizing its validity.

How the church recognizes validity. and/or the relationship of church based marriages and non-churched based marriages (recognzied by the church) is more my question. If the church needs to recognize a non-catholic or state marriage, why would it try to prevent the state from institutionalizing gay marriage under the state law?

Gay marriages could still not be recognized by the church on the basis of what our church stands for… I am sure our church has refused to recognize other forms of straight marriage that did not meet church requirments.

I simply don’t understand the church’s concern about a state defined marriage if it already has the canon law, practice and freedom of religion to protect the sacrament of marriage as jJesus would of understood marriage in his time and place.

That is where my arguement breaks down with me and my gay brothers and sisters…



Clear Water I think that is just silly thinking… it ain’t going to happen so why put that arguement in as a legitimate thought? Again, that silly evocation of extremes in not helpful to the public conversation on this…we need to be reaching out and understanding, not necessarily agreeing with other points and thoughts EVEN from our gay brothers and sisters.

How is gay marriage detrimental to the family and human society. Even in our parishes we have many single parent families, we allow seniors to marry when we know they cannot produce children, etc. What is detrimental my friend is our imposition of Catholic values on society… we might as well move towards a theocracy.


Interesting point. How does the state subsidize gay marriages? I would be very interested to hear that argument cause I have never heard it before.


I have heard this argument before(in these forums). I can’t speak for the person that you are asking so this may not be what s/he had in mind.

The arguments I’ve heard on this are centered around tax breaks. When two people are married depending on their conditions they may be able to save money by filing their taxes jointly. This tax break is said to have been intended to be of assistance to those that are raising families. Gay unions are non-procreative unions, so that money is not going towards it’s intended purpose. In the event of the death of a member of a marriage the survivor may also be eligible for survivor benefits in states in which the marriage is recognized. This includes social security benefits among a few others. Married status impacts one’s eligibility for medicaid subsidies.

Because when you legalize certain conduct the consequence of that legalization is social acceptance, and people within the catholic church are going to start viewing the conduct as pperfectly fine, hence they are going to start doing it. Divorce is the perfect example to me. When no fault divorce was being discussed back in the fifties the church was opposed to it and the same argument was made. Legal no fault divorce is going to have zero impact on the church because the church is not forced to recognize the divorce. The church should not be concerned because giving people the legal right of divorce won’t affect sacramwntal marriage. It has been over 70 years and legal divorce has heavily affected the church as now it has tons of people that are divorce, their second marriage is not recognized and those people now are asking for acceptance. Same goes for same sex marriage. It has become socially acceptable so now you have growing numbers of catholics who don’t see anything wrong with homosexuality hence the amount of catholics incurring in the sin of homosexuality will become bigger and bigger.

The second issue with legal marriageany forget is that priests are considered justices of the peace hence priests do become state actors when they marry people. There is an intertween right there that may become dangerous overtime for the church. Maybe not in five or ten years but because there is a link right there between church and state there is a danger that can backfire against the church anytime.

Also don’t forget that any state action either legalizing or banning setting is not because the goodness or the love of its gobernants. States either legalize or ban things depending on what is convenient to the states or what the state wants to control. The only reason why legal marriage exists is mainly because it solves inheritance problems, specially among men, and because the state needs people to work to produce money, in consequence they need to encourage reproduction so they can have generations that can support the state in and of itself. Married people get tax benefits because the state wants to encourage marriage between ppeople to create a families in which children can be born and raised and to solve many issues that come up when people are not married so by creating so called gay marriage the state is encouraging this conduct.

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