Tuesday 10 January 2012

SPUC right to campaign against gay marriage, as Pope says threats to the family "threaten the future of humanity"

Pope Benedict XVI, in an address to the world's ambassadors to the Holy See, said:
"In addition to a clear goal, that of leading young people to a full knowledge of reality and thus of truth, education needs settings. Among these, pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman. This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself. The family unit is fundamental for the educational process and for the development both of individuals and States; hence there is a need for policies which promote the family and aid social cohesion and dialogue. It is in the family that we become open to the world and to life..."
Within this quotation I wish to emphasise the phrases:
  • "the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman"
  • "policies which undermine the family threaten...the future of humanity itself."
  • "It is in the family that we become open to...life".
This complements what the late Pope John Paul II, the great pro-life champion, taught in his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae:
  • [responsibility for abortion, among others] "lies...with those who should have ensured — but did not — effective family and social policies in support of families"
  • "The underlying causes of attacks on life have to be eliminated, especially by ensuring proper support for families and motherhood."
  • "Within the 'people of life and the people for life', the family has a decisive responsibility ... the role of the family in building a culture of life is decisive and irreplaceable."
  • "Only a true love is able to protect life."
Pope Benedict's teaching is also complemented by Cardinal Burke, who gave it a concrete form when he said in September 2009:
"The respect for the integrity of the conjugal act is essential to the context for the advancement of the culture of life". [my emphasis]
And As Dale O'Leary, an expert on the gay agenda, has written:
“Purposefully conceiving a permanently fatherless or motherless child is an act of violence against the child ... Opposition to ‘gay rights’ is rooted in a deep understanding of the truth about the human person, and cannot therefore be cast aside without undermining the very concept of human rights. The promotion of fake ‘rights’ will necessarily undermine support for real human rights.” [my emphasis]
Marriage is a fundamental good of human beings and a natural institution. While different religions honour marriage and some raise it to a sacrament, they do not thereby deny that it is an institution natural to human beings – a basic human good. People of faith and those of no faith can and do agree on this.

The necessity of the family based on marriage, the wrongness of so-called gay marriage and the close link between pro-life and pro-family issues are not only Catholic/Christian/religious beliefs, accessible only to theists and only of concern to them. These beliefs are immutable truths of the natural moral law, accessible by the light of reason to all and of concern to all. As Pope Benedict said in September 2010:
"Marriage is the lasting union of love between a man and a woman, which is always open to the transmission of human life ... the success of marriages depends upon us all and on the personal culture of each individual citizen. In this sense, the Church cannot approve legislative initiatives that involve a re-evaluation of alternative models of marriage and family life. They contribute to a weakening of the principles of natural law, and thus to the relativisation of all legislation and confusion about values in society." [my emphasis]
To defend the nature of marriage is also to re-emphasise the evil of abortion, by grounding our morality in the idea that human persons are essentially bodily beings, whose flourishing has an objective bodily dimension. Sex, procreation, marriage and human life itself are all cheapened by ignoring or downplaying this basic fact. It is for these reasons that it is necessary to speak out on issues surrounding same-sex marriage and civil unions.

SPUC cannot stand by as marriage, which exists precisely because new life stands in need of parental love and nurture, is radically undermined by political bodies which should instead defend this natural institution.

Gay marriage is a pro-family issue and therefore a pro-life issue, squarely within SPUC's constitution and democratically-decided remit. SPUC, for the sake of the future of humanity and the protection of all children, born and unborn, will continue to campaign against gay marriage - see SPUC's position paper and background paper.

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