On Loving what is Good

This post continues a series of reflections that I began here.

I want to pause a moment, and go back to Leah Libresco’s blog post that kicked off this set of reflections. She says,

There are a lot of out, queer people in relationships, raising children, or hoping very much to wind up in one or both of those categories. Pro-traditional marriage movements are a threat to their relationships with the people they love most.

Leah suggests that when we oppose same-sex marriage, we are in effect asking these people to leave their partners; that we are saying that they should break up with people who love them, for their own good. Or, perhaps, she is saying that that’s what people in committed same-sex relationships hear us saying. In essence, we appear to be saying, “This relationship in which you have found love and joy—it’s bad. There’s nothing good about it. The love and joy you’ve found: it’s an illusion. We reject it, and you should, too.”

It struck me when I read Leah’s post, and I continue to think, that this extreme point of view is indefensible. It might be what “queer people in relationships” hear; and it might be what some of us do in fact think. And it might be true in certain cases; some relationships are simply toxic for one or both partners.

But consider two people who have made a commitment to each other, who have agreed to support each other through thick and thin, who have taken on the commitment of raising children as best they know how, who are practicing patience, loyalty, forgiveness, charity towards each other: is there nothing there that is good?

Is there sin in such a relationship? Surely, because there is sin in every human being we meet, and hence in every relationship. But there can be great goodness as well. We need to recognize that, and we need to love what is good.

Are there moral issues involved with same-sex marriage? Certainly there are (for the record, my views on sexual morality can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church). It must be difficult for a same-sex couple approaching the Church to put aside those aspects of their relationship. But that is not to say that everything must be put aside. It may be necessary to make changes, but against charity there is no law.

  • By mikenola, August 21, 2012 @ 11:15 am

    I came across your blog today from a link on Joe My God. http://www.foothills.wjduquette.com/blog/archives/2739

    I noticed the Latin in your coat of arms and started looking around to find out what someone who penned that graphic would have to say in juxtaposition to that coat of arms.

    Now I have not read a great deal of your posts, but the above did cause me to feel even more confused about your points of view.

    in particular this statement “Certainly there are (for the record, my views on sexual morality can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church).”

    Now unless you went to a different Catholic Church than I did the Catechism is pretty clear on “sexual morality”…only married people, only missionary position, no birth control, female virgin at marraige, no mention of male virginity, gays are an abomination.

    and I don’t see how that basis for your views allows for what seems to be at worst a live and let live view of gays and at best a friend and supporter of LGBT individuals and their relationships, children and families.

    I certainly not slamming you for being Catholic, though in truth the empire of Catholicism is, to me, an anachronism that really needs to join the 21st century or die off.

    The leaders of the Catholic church are publicly and proudly misogynistic; they are prevaricating protectors of pedophile priests; they are interested mainly in their world stature and lining theirs and the churches coffers.

    That does not mean there are not good people who are Catholics; lay-people, priests, and nuns. Just that the empire is rotten from the top down.

    The empire has been rotting since before the Crusades and history is replete with the vile actions of its leaders.

    I could type for hours on the sins of the church, but you get my point. How do the supposedly “moral” teachings generated by degenerates so compel your life?

  • By Will Duquette, August 21, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

    Mike said:

    Now unless you went to a different Catholic Church than I did the Catechism is pretty clear on “sexual morality”…only married people, only missionary position, no birth control, female virgin at marraige, no mention of male virginity, gays are an abomination.

    It’s true that the Catechism of the Catholic Church says that only married people may licitly have sex, and that artificial contraception is forbidden. I’d be quite curious to see citations on where the CCC discusses the missionary position is allowed or female vs. male virginity at marriage, or where it says that gays are an abomination. The CCC does say that same-sex attraction is disordered, by which it simply means that it is not directed toward its proper object.

    Let me assure you that it is my intent to be a faithful son of the Church and to believe what the Church teaches. And my views, as recorded here, are in line with that—at least, they are supposed to be. Let me further say that I’m generally considered to be fairly conservative as Catholics go. So if my views mystify you, perhaps that’s because the Church isn’t what you think it is.

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