byÂ Robert Z. Cortes
PhD Student in Comunicazione Sociale Istituzionale
Pontificia UniversitÃ della Santa Croce
Piazza Sant’Apollinare, 49
Roma, Italia 00186
Not everything historical is cause for jubilation. One just so happened in Ireland â€“ and the Philippines would do well not to ape it.
Some 62% of voters in Ireland brought human history across a Rubicon of sorts when they voted Yes to add the following clause to the Irish Constitution: “marriage may be contracted in law by two persons without distinction as to their sex”. Irelandâ€™s present Justice and Equality Minister, Aodhan O’Riordain,may have even alluded to this historical event when he said that Ireland wonâ€™t â€œever to go back to the way things were.â€ His statement was met with cheers and jubilation.
But Iâ€™m not sure if Mr. O’Riordain really meant to say â€œcanâ€™tâ€ instead of Â â€œwonâ€™t.â€ Â After all, itâ€™s not up to him or to Ireland to actually be able to do so â€“ i.e. â€œto go back to the way things wereâ€ â€“ even if they wanted to later on. Why would they want to? Because it is almost a sure thing that decades from now they and we will all witness the devastating effects of what was either an arrogant disregard for the real nature of marriage or a naÃ¯ve and superficial evaluation of it. I doubt thereâ€™d be cheers or jubilation then.
What makes us so sure? This: the fact that the 62% chose the wrong thing. One always ends up badly when one chooses the wrong thing; all our favorite movies tell us that, from â€œItâ€™s A Wonderful Lifeâ€ to â€œThe Avengers.â€ I am not saying that those who voted Yes were malicious, or naÃ¯ve, or ignorant. Iâ€™m simply saying that those who did so in fact chose something that is totally false, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. One doesnâ€™t have to be especially evil to choose a rainy day for a class picnic, but the fact remains that because one chose that rainy day for the picnic, the class didnâ€™t get to have a picnic in the end. For both the picnic and marriage, the result from choosing a wrong thing is a sorry thing.
One website promoting the Irish Yes vote, â€œVote With Usâ€, displays this error and falsehood egregiously. It said, â€œThe vote is not about â€˜changingâ€™ marriage, itâ€™s simply about giving more committed couples access to it â€“ so that any two adults who want to get married will be able to do so on the same basis as every other loving couple.â€
That sentence is at best naÃ¯ve, or so well-crafted to hide the real intention of same-sex â€œmarriage,â€ it could have been composed by Satan himself. Meaning, the father of lies. Because what that sentence is really saying is, â€œThe vote is not about â€˜changingâ€™ marriage, itâ€™s simply about changing marriage.â€ Nothing lost in translation there; if that â€œtranslationâ€ sounds ridiculous, thatâ€™s because the original is in fact ridiculous. Meaning, false.
Because by â€œgiving more committed couples(really only meaning same-sex couples) access to itâ€ one is in fact attempting to change marriage â€“ meaning, what marriage really is. Why? Because marriage is, by its nature and definition, only between man and woman. Itâ€™s not that marriage must be between man and woman; marriage is between man and woman. How do we know? We know it the way we know a dog, even if it canâ€™t bark; or a tree, even with half of its branches removed; or love, even if itâ€™s perverted; or lust, even if itâ€™s glorified. In other words, the human being is intelligent enough to grasp what a thing is. And humanity quite grasped the man-woman thing about marriage since the dawn of history until this very progressive age even without ever coming together to â€œagreeâ€ on it one fine day.
Thus, whatever romantic negotiation may be between two men or two women, even if it means having sex (â€œconsummationâ€) after a nice and dainty exchange of I-doâ€™s at City Hall (â€œceremonyâ€), or the other way around, it is not marriage and in fact will never be. It is whatever it is, but it is not marriage. And certainly, two menâ€™s or two womenâ€™s desires for a â€œlifelong commitment with each otherâ€ cannot change what marriage is in the same way as oneâ€™s desire to make oneâ€™s dog a cat certainly wonâ€™t change the dogâ€™s dogness â€“ even if one dressed the dog with all of cat-domâ€™s furs and installed a meow-machine in the dogâ€™s larynx.One can claim that the dogâ€™s dog-ness was simply invented by society, one can even call the dog Lily (favorite cat name for 2015) and convince all oneâ€™s friends to do so â€“ but nope, in the end, Lily is a dog.
In other words, no force on earth can change what marriage is â€“ not even a human beingâ€™s wilfulness or pigheadedness. We can change what we think marriage is, but that doesnâ€™t really change what marriage is.Â Meaning, anyone can say whatÂ the Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, said â€œThis decision makes every citizen equal and I believe it will strengthen the institution of marriage,â€ and all the rest of the 62% can say â€œamen!â€ loud enough to silence everyone else, but that will not make a whit of a difference to the fact that gay â€œmarriageâ€ will only have the consequences opposite to his claim. Instead of equality, even right now in several places, what we have are Catholics and non-Catholics alike already being bullied out of their freedom of conscience and religious freedoms. Instead of strengthening the institution of marriage, â€œmarriage equalityâ€ will instead lead to the eventual abolition of marriage, for the same reason that making everything important makes nothing important.
And then, of course, thereâ€™s the question of children. Marriage has always been about raising children, and even some gay people affirm this fact. Those who donâ€™t nevertheless tacitly admit this by their equally passionate fight to have the right toÂ raise children. Yet where will all these children come from in gay â€œmarriageâ€ since gay relationships are inherently sterile? Either from surrogacy or adoption. But surrogacy now is generally acknowledged as evil, even by progressive feminists. On the other hand, the summary of the New Family Structures Study (NFSS) of the University of Texas, tells us (among other things) that children raised by gay parents, â€œreported the lowest levels of perceived safety in their childhood home while those of their intact biological parents reported the highest levels,â€ and â€œstatistically significantly higher levels of depression.â€
In summary, it is simply untrue or disingenuous or naÃ¯ve to say that the 62% of Ireland who voted Yes, did not â€œchange marriageâ€ because they actually did, wittingly or unwittingly. Unfortunately, it will not only be the Irish who will suffer the consequence of this mistake, in the same way that it was not only Pandora who suffered the evil she released when she opened â€œThe Box.â€ Indeed, the itch for the same dangerous social experiment is making its way to the Philippines.
But all is not lost to the world. Even Pandoraâ€™s story didnâ€™t end in tragedy with the appearance of Hope. And the Philippines may yet be the source of hope for the world. I donâ€™t say this from a sense of messianic delusion, but rather from the remarkable fact that the Philippines is now the only nation in the world that has resisted both the trap of divorce and the evil of abortion. We are also probably the only nation in the world where a legal document categorically states that life begins at conception. Maybe in the issue of upholding the truth of marriage we will be the only nation left standing.
Many so-called â€œprogressivesâ€ are putting pressure on Filipinos to ditch this â€œmedievalâ€ way of thinking. But this is western Imperialism all over again, now more anti-life (Pope Francis calls this â€œcontraceptive imperialismâ€). But Filipinos should be smart enough not to believe all this bull, and courageous enough to stand up to all the bullying. Thereâ€™s even a Filipino word for that: astig.