I think I’m going sane…

[UPDATE 17 Oct 2011: Readers of the CathNews “Blogwatch” will have seen Mr Michael Mullin’s claim that in this post I “come out in support of gay marriage, or at least accepting it as inevitable and tolerable”. For the record, he has completely misrepresented what I wrote in the following post. I await his public retraction and apology.]

I do not believe that “the sky will fall in” if Australia were to change the law to allow “marriage equality”. I do not believe that if we redefined marriage to include “same-sex partnerships”, that society as we know it would collapse.

I believe that the sky has already fallen in, and that “society as we know it” is already no longer “society as we knew it”.

The reason? Reason itself has been sacrificed upon the altar of human hybris and selfish libertinism. We have created a Mad-Hatter world in which “a word means what I mean it to mean, no more, no less”, and in which we employ “research” to convince ourselves that we can and should act in ways that are utterly opposed to plain common sense.

Exhibit A: Tonight’s episode of Encounter on ABC Radio National. There is a transcript (or you can listen to it if you are strong enough). Read it, and experience for yourself “the agonising pain of an almost unbearable anguish” that I felt as I listened to it. I must be going sane…

Source: Michael Leunig, The Saturday Age, October 8th 2011

About Schütz

I am a PhD candidate & sessional academic at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia. After almost 10 years in ministry as a Lutheran pastor, I was received into the Catholic Church in 2003. I worked for the Archdiocese of Melbourne for 18 years in Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations. I have been editor of Gesher for the Council of Christians & Jews and am guest editor of the historical journal “Footprints”. I have a passion for pilgrimage and pioneered the MacKillop Woods Way.
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11 Responses to I think I’m going sane…

  1. Peter says:

    Christians have survived the depravity and persecution of Rome and many others. Calling same sex relationships ‘marriage’ is not the end, it is only a symptom of the insanity David alludes to above.

  2. Paul G says:

    I listened to the first few minutes of the Encounter programme, and heard the usual arguments, namely:
    – it is an issue of equality
    – marriage has changed anyway (miscegenation, divorce rates etc).
    ( I wonder if they mentioned polygamy??)

    For what it’s worth, I think that if you start a discussion on this topic and it centres on equality, of course the traditional view of marriage loses. The fact is that the number of homosexual relationships is very small (evidence: the survival of the human race) and the difference between the Catholic/religious/traditional and the secular view of marriage is much bigger than just gay marriage. Such differences include Sacramental marriage, sexual relationships require the commitment and blessing of marriage etc.

    People will of course deny the traditional view of marriage, but its truth implies that there are psychological and social consequences from this denial.

    My prediction is that gay marriage will eventually be legalised, but the majority of people will still see a difference between gay couples and traditional families, even though both are given the same name and the same legal recognition. There will also be some resentment if we see some of the proposed absurdities, such as birth certificates showing “person 1”, “person 2” instead of mother and father, and the suppression of the identity of the actual biological parents of a child.

  3. PM says:

    Indeed an equally disruptive change happened with the Family Law Act of 1975 which gave marriage partners the unquestioned right to discard their spouses like a used condom.

  4. Tony Bartel says:

    1. Exhibit B: I heard the end of this interview last night on the radio. You really need a hard heart to talk about abortion the way that Caitlan Moran does.


    2. There is a good opinion piece by the editor of First Things, which dovetails with David’s thoughts above:


  5. Tony says:

    Thanks for the link, David. I’ve heard plenty of what passes for debate about this topic that has been far more anxiety-inducing than this. I thought it was well done.

    • Schütz says:

      What was “well done”, about it, Tony? From the very beginning – the very beginning – the entire program was not couched inthe language of a “debate”, but of certain “facts” which certain “religious” types were absurdly in denial about. The language – “marriage equality” etc. – was not for one moment held up to any kind of scrutiny. The idea that marriage was all about romantic relationships was never questioned. External changes in the way that marriage has been practiced over the years were put forward as being at the same level as this massive redefinition of the fundamental reality that has been common to what has been called “marriage” across the millenia of human society. The “religious position” was about “what the bible says”, as if some external rather than internal law were at work in marriage. This was NOT “well done”, Tony. It was, to quote a phrase from Mr Knightly, BADLY done. Badly done, Encounter.

      • Tony says:

        I’m not sure where your requirement that it should be ‘couched in the language of a “debate”’ comes from, David. To be honest I’m not even sure what you mean. But my expectation about the report came from the intro:

        The marriage amendment act of 2004 states that ‘marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others’. That’s also the view of Christian opponents of marriage equality, who argue that there is no room in the theology of marriage for same-sex couples. So what is a Christian theology of marriage, is it really so exclusive, and are the concerns of those opposed to marriage equality justified by the evidence?

        Based on that expectation, I thought the report did pretty well and although I might not agree with each contribution, it certainly wasn’t ‘anxiety-inducing’ for me. In fact the absence of the ‘henny penny’ predictions of the sky falling in were refreshing in comparison to some exchanges on this issue that I’ve read or seen or heard.

  6. Kate says:

    I certainly agree with your basic point that this is a symptom of a much larger disease.

    The bonds of society are rapidly unravelling, and I agree that the liberalisation of divorce law was probably the biggest contributor to the rot in Australia. But of course decisions to treat de facto relationships as if they were marriage (regardless of whether or not there are children) and many other such moves have compounded the problem.

    The issue now though is whether it is worth drawing some lines in the sand and defending them, in the hope that if we succeed, we can eventually win back some or all of the other ground lost. The problem is that if we don’t, nothing at all will survive…

    • Schütz says:

      I do find Mr Mullin’s take breath-taking. What this post was trying to say is not that I find “gay marriage” inevitable (far less that I in any way “support” it), but that the damage to society has already been done (past tense), it isn’t a future disaster waiting to happen. And that is because, as you say, the push for same-sex “marriages” is precisely a symptom of the rot, the fallen-sky, the change-to-society-as-we-know-it etc.

      I don’t know if the skewing of marriage happened with the liberalisation of the divorce laws – many societies (eg. ancient Rome, ancient Judah) had more or less liberal laws for divorce (all in the hands of the husband and very damaging for the divorced woman), but marriage as a natural institution survived intact. But I do think you may have put your finger on it when you speak of recognising de-facto marriage “regardless of whether or not there are children”. “Common law marriages” were, it seems to me, recognised precisely for the sake of the children of the relationship, whereas recognising a “de-facto marriage” simply on the basis of long-term cohabitation or romantic attachment seems to have provided the thought-pattern for “gay marriage”.

    • “… decisions to treat de facto relationships as if they were marriage (regardless of whether or not there are children) and many other such moves have compounded the problem”

      That sounds plausible, and if it’s true that merely de facto marriages used to enjoy the same Government treatment as de ivre ones only if they involved children, then I would agree with Mr. Schütz that that would be the ‘missing link’, so to speak, in the transition from an official Australian understanding of marriage which reflected, albeit imperfectly, the natural-law institution of marriage to one which is a complete distortion of that institution. Where could I read more about Australia’s treatment of merely de facto marriages in the recent past?

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