Saturday, January 23, 2010

"love is a deeper season/ than reason"

I was at the March for Life this past Friday. There's nothing I like more than a good protest for something I believe in. When I was little, all I wanted was to be a part of a cause, to fight for something. I didn't know what that something was until I realized the bubble I lived in growing up doesn't exist everywhere. Babies show the tangible love between a man and woman, and yet people want to destroy them for being inconvenient. I see now that there are people who don't love God or each other, let along respect the dignity of being human. Death stares at us, cold and empty. Evil invites us, yet is uninviting and ungracious. People welcome Hate if it fits their agenda.

If there's one thing to fight for in this world, it's to protect Love the way God created it, not its many perversions. It's a tough love too, not easy to comprehend. It's an innocent love, an encompassing love, and one that pervades society and its changing trends. I saw it especially in the religious, like Fr. Greg, who not only let people he'd never met before stay at GWU's Newman Center for night, but bought food for us, so that we would have lunch during the March. Love truly is an act, not just a feeling. Feelings are too fickle.

An issue that I've been thinking about a lot lately is same-sex marriage, most likely because it is vaguely connected to my thesis topic. (I was asked to give a talk to Fairfield Society in March, so if you were at all wondering what I'll be speaking on, here's a clue.) The cover of Newsweek a week or so ago said "The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage," which bothers me because A) this is not a partisan issue, B) the government should not be involved/ regulating it, because C) marriage is a church issue not to be connected with the state and D) gay marriage is a non sequitur.

I understand that marriage and divorce rates are almost equalizing, and therefore, logically, homosexuals should be able to marry in order to strengthen the institution marriage in America. But one does not build a house upon sand, or throw seeds upon barren soil. I do not believe homosexuals can ever truly be married because marriage is not just a social construct; it is a vocation, a constant giving of self, which includes an openness to the possibility of having children. No one is saying homosexuals cannot be together, or would discredit the reality or "realness" of their relationship, but, in my opinion, the very idea of same-sex marriage violates a separation of church and state. Heterosexuals should have the right to fight for traditional marriage in society as homosexuals have the right to attempt to legally re-define it.

In the Catholic Church, marriage is a sacrament. If this country can be respectful of the Amish and Native Americans (they don't have to buy into public health care, for example) and other minority religions in this country, they should respect the Catholics, the largest single denomination in the country. I single Catholicism out for the sake of argument because it is my religion and therefore the one I know best. Protestants technically have the majority in the country, but are not as a single denomination (and, ergo, do not have a single teaching on gay marriage).

Not letting gay people be married is not a violation of human rights, nor does it mean Catholics hate or is afraid of gays. Quite the opposite. If anything, the Catholic Church has the utmost respect for them as people, but teaches that, like the lust of a heterosexual, acting on their homosexuality is a sin. It is the act, not the inclination, which makes it wrong, and allowing homosexuals to be married would sacramentalize a sin in the eyes of the Church. (For more on the Church's teachings, here's the section in the CCC on the sixth commandment, where the dignity of marriage and homosexuals is best explained.)

Bonus points if you can quote this hilarious "mawwige" scene from The Princess Bride by heart. Shame on you if you've never seen this movie:

As aforementioned in a previous post, I've been re-reading Cummings's poetry (while simultaneously reading Faulkner prose for my 20th century Southern Lit class; quite an interesting combination!) and wanted to share these favorite selections:

yours is the light by which my spirit's born:
yours is the darkness of my souls' return
—you are my sun,my moon,and all my stars
--from [silently if,out of not knowable]

—do lovers love?why then to heaven with hell.
Whatever sages say and fools,all's well.
--from [being to timeless as it's no time]

love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
--from [love is more thicker than forget]


since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
—the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

--more E.E. Cummings greatness

And just because I think Faulkner is the cat's meow, here's a bit from the second chapter of 'Go Down, Moses':
"But it was all right. It didn't matter. He could ask her forgiveness as loudly thus as if he had shouted, express his pity and grief; husband and wife did not need to speak words to one another, not just from the old habit of living together but because in that one long-ago instant at least out of the long and shabby stretch of their human lives, even though they knew at the time it wouldn't and couldn't last, they had touched and become as God when they voluntarily and in advance forgave one another for all that they knew the other could never be."
--William Faulkner, "The Fire and the Hearth"

Finally, an overheard in KKG 11:
Heather to Lizzy: "Julie has selective hearing. Then again, so do I. That's the key to a good marriage!"

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