After our wedding Mass 27 years ago, my mother-in-law looked her son and me in the eyes and told us that she prayed we would be blessed with the gift of understanding each other.
Wise words. God designed men and women differently and no matter how much a husband and wife love each other, sometimes the other person simply remains a mystery.
“He’s a man,” a friend told me once about my better half. “They’re like that.”
While it’s true that men and women have their fundamental differences, it’s also true that they are made by God so as to be complementary. Their union is to be life-giving, a manifestation of a deeper spiritual reality — the bond of love between Jesus Christ and His Bride, the Church.
Our modern society, however, has largely rejected this Christian belief about marriage. While there are many reasons for this rejection, a major factor has to be the 24/7 indoctrination that takes place through modern media, particularly television.
There are notable exceptions, of course, but for the most part, television does not endorse traditional family values the way it once did. (I’d be happy to give away our television set, but the sports fans in our home would lynch me.)
Take for example “The New Normal,” a preachy show about a gay couple that won the 2013 People’s Choice Award for the favorite new comedy.
In a recent episode, the two main characters, Bryan and David, are planning their wedding. One of them is disappointed that “Fr. Mike,” a Catholic priest, will not officiate at the ceremony.
“I told you to fight for change from within,” he tells the couple over dinner.
A waitress who has agreed to be the surrogate mother for the two men goes into labor just prior to the vows. The episode culminates with a cutesy first-time father scene and then an impromptu wedding on the beach at which Fr. Mike — sans his Roman collar — witnesses the couple’s vows.
“Well look at that,” the pseudo priest says afterward, “No lightning bolt.” The waitress’ 10-year old daughter gushes that they are now all one, big, happy family — the gay couple, the surrogate mother, the new baby, etc.
Back in 2003 when Britney Spears kissed Madonna at the MTV Video Music Awards it was big news. Ten years later we have a prime-time show in which two males repeatedly kiss and no one seems to even care. Instead, the program scores awards.
It’s war on marriage as we’ve known it for millennia, yet the media and educators continue to insist that it’s all about tolerance and civil rights. Those who dare to criticize the movement to legally recognize gay marriage are instantly branded bigots. People on both sides are awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on the issue set for this June.
Note, however, that tolerance is a one-way street when it comes to those devoted to abolishing traditional marriage along with our Christian heritage.
Elaine Huguenin, a New Mexico photographer, received death threats and was fined thousands of dollars for refusing to photograph a gay couple’s commitment ceremony. Blaine Adamson, a Kentucky shirt shop owner, is being investigated by the City of Louisville for refusing to print T-shirts promoting homosexual behavior. Emily Brooker, a student at Missouri State University, was ordered by her professor to write a letter to the Missouri legislature expressing her support of same-sex adoption.
For the last 40 years, we’ve been bombarded by the media with the message that sex outside of marriage was perfectly normal, healthy behavior, that cohabitation and fornication were hip. Now we’re being pressured into condoning gay marriage. Why this sudden push to redefine marriage, once thought so unnecessary by the cultural elite?
Here’s my suggestion: turn off the TV and pray for conversions, pray for husbands and wives, pray for the Supreme Court justices, pray that people around the world will come to know Jesus Christ and His timeless truths. Endure the name-calling and fines. We worship Truth Himself, and will not bow to the false god of tolerance, no matter what they do to us.
This column appears in the April 18, 2013, print edition of The Catholic Sun.