Jun 172009
 

Ms. Tweedy in her letter dated May 28 suggests that all who oppose gay marriage do so because they “fear and hate” gays. This suggestion is false.

Are there some who “fear and hate” gays? Of course. There are also some who fear and hate Catholics, politicians and dentists. There are also some who want to carry on a reasoned discussion about how government should deal with issues that impact various groups of people.

The church understands marriage as a permanent and indissoluble covenant between the spouses and their children. Our law, on the other hand, understands marriage as a contract between two individuals that can be dissolved at will. When the spouses accept marriage as a breakable contract, when (not if!) they have problems, they are more likely to simply take the easy exit of divorce. A couple who accepts the church’s position needs to think harder before joining themselves in this unbreakable relationship. When (not if!) they have problems, they have more reason to dig deeper to resolve them.

Broad social expectations have broad social consequences. When we expect the marriage to last a lifetime for the sake of the children, the marriage is more likely to last a lifetime. When we expect that the marriage will last only until the couple decides to end it, it is obviously more likely to end when the shine wears off.

The church’s stand on marriage strengthens the whole idea of marriage and protects the children. The popular view of marriage as a breakable contract weakens marriage and exposes our children to the ravages of divorce and broken homes. Now, is marriage always perfect and without problems? Of course not, but given the choice, which approach to marriage makes more sense for the state to embrace?

Roy Doorenbos

St. Mary Parish, Grinnell

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