DOMA: R.I.P.

By NCR‘s Pat Archbold:

DOMA is dead.

And, technicalities aside, Prop 8. in California is dead, paving the way for same-sex marriage there.

While many people will try to dissect these opinions and look for legal silver linings based on the narrowness of this or that part of the rulings, make no mistake, as a practical matter marriage as we knew it is over. The dam has burst even if all the water has not yet traversed the breach.

Marriage, as the union of a man and woman for the purposes of raising children and for mutual support as recognized in culture and law, has ceased to exist. The only reason that marriage needs be recognized by law is that previous generations understood its value and wished to confer certain legal and societal privileges to it so as to encourage it. They rightly understood that marriage is the cornerstone of a society.

Advocates have used those legal and societal privileges to beat, twist, and deform the very meaning and purpose of marriage. We now view the purpose of marriage solely as the conferring of these legal and societal privileges, and thus they can be granted to anyone and anything.

While many states have sought to forestall the redefinition of marriage in their states by statute or constitution, today’s ruling basically invalidates their efforts and has opened the floodgate to approval of same sex marriage across the nation with no reasonable recourse. Marriage as we knew it is dead.

With the universal legal recognition of same-sex marriage a fait accompli, the next fight will on the Church doorstep. The next battle will be to force Churches, most particularly the Catholic Church, to recognize and conduct same-sex marriage. The refusal to do so will result in a series of escalating legal and financial ramifications.

Eventually, becuase of its refusal to recognize immoral unions as marriage, the state will refuse to recognize Church marriages. As a result, more and more people will bypass Church marriage altogether, further marginalizing faith in this country. This effort is and has always been a war against religion and in particular a war against the Catholic Church. Right now, it is a war we are losing and after today, perhaps it is fair to say that we lost.

Yes, the Church has the guarantee that it will ultimately prevail, but that does not mean it will prevail in the United States. The failure to see the real target of this war and frankly the weak response to the threat by Church leaders and rank and file have doomed marriage and put the target squarely on the sanctuary.

I don’t know if religious liberty can be saved in this country, but it is worth fighting for. I for one will continue to fight, but at least now everyone should understand that the battle is real and we are losing. I just hope that we haven’t already lost.

For those who think I am wrong about what is next… Read more…

3 comments on “DOMA: R.I.P.

  1. […] While many people will try to dissect these opinions and look for legal silver linings based on the narrowness of this or that part of the rulings, make …read more […]

  2. Anthony says:

    Dear Tom,

    I was rather gutted by this news. Morgan tried to downplay it by telling me what the ruling actually said (vs what was being reported). But still I thought that the psychological/propaganda victory was huge. And then I read your post, and other posts elsewhere, which only confirmed my thoughts.

    Yet, what can I do in the face of this situation? I have no control over the hearts of the masses. But I do have some control in my home. So “as for me and my household”, I’ve resolved to press onward, continuing with my plan of loving my wife and raising my kids to understand the true meaning of marriage and of self-giving love. May I image the Father well for them! Because it seems to me that the only solution is a transgenerational one. Perhaps, one day when those who have failed to value the sanctity of life and marriage have managed to make themselves the minority again, our kids will still be around, and from there things will be able to change for the better.

    • Tom Neal says:

      Anthony,
      So good to see your name and hear your inspiring reflections!
      Yes, rough news, especially as it, as with so many other byproducts of postmodern-esque social engineering (i.e. reality is infinitely plastic, able to be molded at will, in service to any desire) that lack any real sense of gravitas as to the long term consequences on, well, a reality whose laws are not infinitely plastic and are, when flagrantly transgressed, are quite unforgiving in exacting justice. Our only genuine response can be fidelity, just as you say. It’s always been the Christian response to civilization decline and decay and the Gospel, laden with the luminous laws of reality, always remains, and pardons, restores and resurrects the fallen. Alleluia! So even if we — worst case — are front row spectators of the fall of Western civilization, hope beats strong and our costly witness, no matter how small, will never be without effect when it is entrusted into God’s providential care. Keep imaging the Father to your children, Christ to your bride and the Spirit to the world around you and our future Church will rejoice to add into her Litaniae Sanctorum, Holy Bennett Family, pray for us! We are driving today to Iowa and Omaha for me to teach at IPF, so say a prayer for our safe travels! Many blessings on all of you, and my love to Morgan especially. Tom
      P.S. Scalia shares this post-DOMA pessimism: http://catholicyearoffaith.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/justice-scalia-on-doma-ruling/

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