Tuesday, 14 February 2012

St Valentine, defend us from same sex marriage!

c14th St Valentine and his disciples
Today is the feast of St Valentine feast, a day that has become hopelessly overtaken by secular, highly sexualised  crass commercialism, so nice to see a kit has been released by the ACBC, taking up a suggestion from Canberra woman Trish Jarzynski, aimed at using the feast to honour marriage.

The bishops argue that in reality, St Valentine was a priest-martyr in the early Church who was caught illegally celebrating marriages around the year 269 - marriages had been suspended by the Emperor Claudius II in the interests of recruiting young men for the army!

The saint was arrested and imprisoned upon being caught marrying Christian couples and otherwise aiding Christians who were at the time being persecuted by Claudius in Rome. Helping Christians at this time was considered a crime. Claudius took a liking to this prisoner – until Valentinus tried to convert the Emperor – whereupon this priest was condemned to death. He was beaten with clubs and stoned; when that failed to kill him, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate.

Same sex marriage

All particularly timely, as the news comes that three separate bills have entered the House of Representatives aimed at legalizing same sex 'marriage', aided and abetted by the Prime Minister. Julia Gillard, in yet another broken commitment.

But don't think the Coalition are any better - yesterday's Australian reported backbenchers will be given a conscience vote and that Mr Abbott is allegedly 'relaxed' over this.

The only good news is that the commentariat acknowledges that they don't seem to have the numbers yet, and it will be a long fight, all the way to the High Court.


HolyCatholicApostoli said...

Thank you for your article.
Firstly, I think it is important to use accurate terminology. The current bills in Federal parliament do not legalise such a thing that is same-sex marriage, rather they change the definition and meaning of marriage (which has been understood throughout centuries, cultures and religions as the union between one man and one woman).

I, however, do think that the Coalition are better than Labor and the Greens on this issue.
Firstly, they have a party policy that defends natural marriage. Secondly, there is no conscience vote, so Liberal members would normally have to reject the redefinition of marriage. Furthermore, the Liberal party do not expel members from the party who do not follow the party line on issues members feel strongly about. I have read this being described as a "free vote".

HolyCatholicApostoli said...

May I recommend my article on this issue:
Do Not Redefine Marriage

Kate said...

Seems to me that what actually matters is how MPs vote in the House, since that is what will determine if it becomes law (High Court permitting).

Both parties seem to have adopted processes that render their platforms effectively irrelevant - Labor has a bad platform but allows a free vote on the issue; the Liberals have a good platform on this, but allow a free opt out from it.

Now I'm not opposed to the relatively loose discipline all this implies, it generally works for us rather than against us. But what it means is you have to be sure to vote for a pro life/pro marriage MP whatever party they may be a member of rather than expect either party to stand by any commitments they may give, which clearly are not worth the paper they are written on.

As for the definitional issue, I'm not really convinced. What it comes down to is that they are redefining marriage in order to permit same sex marriage.

Nor do I agree with the frequently made claim that marriage has always and everywhere been understood as the union of one man and one woman. Take a look at the Old Testament, and Islamic practice: polygamy has quite often been the norm.

Marriage as we understand it does form part of the natural law, but as with all aspects of the law, has been subject to cultural distortions that can best be countered by revelation in my view.

If we are to win the war, we need to understand that the attack on marriage is but one front of the broader attack on Christianity and our Western heritage.