Bigotry or insanity?

- Fr. Roy Cimagala -

The issue is not immediately relevant to us, but though it is Californian or American, it has treacherous global implications that can affect us sooner or later. And so we just have to make some comments on it as it is evolving at the moment.

I am of the opinion that we need to react now to avoid this complicated development to reach our shores. We cannot deny that its dangerous seeds are already sown in our society. It is part of the culture of death that the late Pope John Paul warned us about.

I’m referring to a recent decision of an American judge to overturn the so-called Proposition 8 that bans same-sex unions in California. This proposition was put to a plebiscite before, and it won.

In fact, in all the 31 states where this issue was put to a vote, no state voted for “gay marriage.” Every single one of them reaffirmed the true nature of marriage.

Now, a judge wants to strike down the state law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. In a brazen act of judicial activism, he is redefining marriage based on an ideological reasoning.

In his argument, he said that the “ability to marry” is a fundamental right that cannot be denied to gays and lesbians. This is diametrically opposed to historical evidence where societies have always made some restrictions to this “ability to marry.”

As in, one may not marry your own sibling, nor marry several spouses at the same time, etc.

There are many valid reasons why marriage has to be regulated. Foremost among those should be the obvious natural truth that marriage is meant for couples to have children, and this can only happen between a man and a woman.

The nature of marriage does not depend on the subjective feelings and preferences of the parties involved. It has an objective, absolute and universal basis.

Of course, in real life, this objective basis may not be fully appreciated by different people in different cultures and circumstances. But there has always been a consensus that it has to be between a man and a woman. Same-sex unions have largely been seen as abnormal.

Several pro-same-sex union commentators were quick to declare that with this judge’s ruling, bigotry has been smashed, obviously referring to the Christian understanding of marriage.

One noted that the judge’s decision faulted Proposition 8 banning gay marriages for violating the rule on due process and equal protection under law. I consider these claims as alibis.

For sure, everyone is entitled to his opinion. I prefer to see the whole development not as bigotry on the part of those who are not in favor of same-sex unions, but as a step toward legal insanity.

Insanity is never a matter of a lack of reason. An insane person thinks and reasons a lot, except that his logic is detached from reality.

And when a legal system confines itself solely within reason, of the social type more than the metaphysical, and fails to anchor itself on an ultimate source of truth, as in faith and beliefs, then it is likely to lapse into legal insanity.

Its understanding of due process and equal protection under the law, while formally commendable, will suffer a basic infirmity that can easily be manipulated by ideologues pursuing some private agenda.

This has happened many times in many places and in different episodes of history. We have to be wary of these tendencies that come as a result when the moral and spiritual foundations of a society weaken.

We need to be discerning of the dangerous trends our current world, especially involving the more developed but decadent countries. We have to be quick to read the signs of the times, and ready to wage a battle of love and truth to correct emerging anomalies.

An abominable danger we should all be careful about is when our legal system makes itself an absolute source of its own power, authority and wisdom. We become the most pitiable creatures in the universe when we allow this disorder to reign over us.

When law and justice have no deeper foundations than our own understanding of things, our own preferences, our own historical, cultural and social conditionings, with no recognition of a higher source of wisdom, then we truly would be in profound trouble.

This is legal positivism, pure and simple, a very funny if most painful predicament, where we can have very sophisticated laws, thoroughly developed and elaborated, but resting ultimately on a vacuum.

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