Marriage Is Not Simply A Mechanism For Delivering Benefits

What Is The True Meaning of Marriage?

Archbishop Timothy DolanBy Archbishop Timothy Dolan – The stampede is on. Our elected senators who have stood courageous in their refusal to capitulate on the state’s presumption to redefine marriage are reporting unrelenting pressure to cave-in.

The media, mainly sympathetic to this rush to tamper with a definition as old as human reason and ordered good, reports annoyance on the part of some senators that those in defense of traditional marriage just don’t see the light, as we persist in opposing this enlightened, progressive, cause.

But, really, shouldn’t we be more upset – and worried – about this perilous presumption of the state to re-invent the very definition of an undeniable truth – one man, one woman, united in lifelong love and fidelity, hoping for children – that has served as the very cornerstone of civilization and culture from the start?

Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America – not in China or North Korea. In those countries, government presumes daily to “redefine” rights, relationships, values, and natural law. There, communiqués from the government can dictate the size of families, who lives and who dies, and what the very definition of “family” and “marriage” means.

But, please, not here! Our country’s founding principles speak of rights given by God, not invented by government, and certain noble values – life, home, family, marriage, children, faith – that are protected, not re-defined, by a state presuming omnipotence.

Please, not here! We cherish true freedom, not as the license to do whatever we want, but the liberty to do what we ought; we acknowledge that not every desire, urge, want, or chic cause is automatically a “right.” And, what about other rights, like that of a child to be raised in a family with a mom and a dad?

Our beliefs should not be viewed as discrimination against homosexual people. The Church affirms the basic human rights of gay men and women, and the state has rightly changed many laws to offer these men and women hospital visitation rights, bereavement leave, death benefits, insurance benefits, and the like. This is not about denying rights. It is about upholding a truth about the human condition. Marriage is not simply a mechanism for delivering benefits: It is the union of a man and a woman in a loving, permanent, life-giving union to pro-create children. Please don’t vote to change that. If you do, you are claiming the power to change what is not into what is, simply because you say so. This is false, it is wrong, and it defies logic and common sense.

Yes, I admit, I come at this as a believer, who, along with other citizens of a diversity of creeds believe that God, not Albany, has settled the definition of marriage a long time ago. We believers worry not only about what this new intrusion will do to our common good, but also that we will be coerced to violate our deepest beliefs to accommodate the newest state decree. (If you think this paranoia, just ask believers in Canada and England what’s going on there to justify our apprehensions.)

But I also come at this as an American citizen, who reads our formative principles as limiting government, not unleashing it to tamper with life’s most basic values.

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12 comments to Marriage Is Not Simply A Mechanism For Delivering Benefits

  • G. W. Markle

    The greatest threat to America, and indeed to the rest of world, comes from the staunch advocates of right wing ideology, and I must submit this warning to you: There is a grave problem with the right wing movement, in that; they seem to possess a distorted sense of entitlement. They’ve set themselves apart, and seem to think that their faith gives them the right to view the world from a platitude of conceit, through condescending eyes, and with a false sense of superiority. They actually believe themselves to be superior beings, with a manifest destiny and some strange notion that God is on their side. A people with a desire to conquer, under the false guise of Christianity, seeking to dominate in the name of Christ, their view of humanity being reduced to nothing more than a matter of “us” and “them”.

    What they fail to realize is; if the Christ you believe in leads you to view other humans as lesser beings, then you are a follower of the anti-Christ. The plain truth is; God doesn’t have a religion and God doesn’t discriminate. Any religion that professes to be the only true religion, or that they‘re special in the eyes of God preaches false doctrine. If the Spirit of God is truly with you, it will only be known by acts of “unconditional” love and charity. No religion can claim exclusive rights to God. He belongs to all that He has created, and to foster a belief in “us” and “them” is to divide humanity, not unite it.

    And so it will be in The End, that those who have set themselves apart from their fellow man will find that they have set themselves apart from God. The worth of a soul will only be measured by how much it has loved, nothing more, nothing less. Woe to those who have taken the widow’s mite and built castles and empires in His name. They have incurred a great accountability, their suffering will be unending.

    Even Jesus will not claim to be Christian, but will only proclaim the glory of the Father. And when He returns they will shout: “Here we are Lord!” And He will respond: “I never knew you”. They have forsaken the Word and have become prisoners of the Numbers.

    Those who have put themselves first will be last.


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  • Barbara MacMahon-Firestone

    God Bless Archbishop Timothy Dolan. He is so correct. I am an Irish/Canadian.
    We shall never ever condone same sex marriage. Why these same sex couples are unable
    to come forth with a unique name such as “Union” is beyond me. However, all through
    history there have been those who flaunted there own desires above all else. Look
    at the British Royalty. I met Archbishop Dolan in Rome 15years ago with my dear friend
    Contessa Maria Stella Sera. He was a man of great depth, humour, dignity, and piety.
    I would love to see him again. I think all his writings are from heaven sent and I
    wish more people would listen and reflect on his wise words.
    I thank you dear Archbishop, God speed, Devotedly yours, Barbara Ann MacMahon-Firestone
    Toronto, Canada

  • Paul C

    Truth to Power, Bishop Sheep Dog!

    I’m concerned some consider you (your push for Truth) harmless, so, keep it up and let’s see.

  • Massachusetts voters were never allowed to vote on wether we approved of the same sex marriage law for our state. Petitions wers signed by many voters but it was never put on the ballot for “We the People” to decide.Three judges made the decision for everyone. America needs to wake up to the fact that our liberties are being taken away one by one. The Founding Fathers did not have a dictatorship in mind when they fought England to start the greatest nation on earth, one in which GOD gives us our rights, NOT men/women in Washington and in state offices across this land. They can not control their own impulses and their going to dictate to the rest of us how to behave! I think not. This nation can not continue to turn its back on God, if we do it will not end well.
    The Catholic Church has alot to answer for in the sense that it stayes quiet when “Catholics” like Kerry, Palosi, Reid, etc. spit in the face of the Church and are not excommunicated. If not for the Catholics who voted against the teachings and beliefs of the Church, the most pro-abortion person in this nation’s history would not be sitting in the White Housetoday. By not standing up and speaking in one loud voice the Church is saying it is OK to continue to destroy the moral fiber of our nation.If NBC has its way it will not be ” one nation under God” much longer.

  • carmen

    Untill the Bishop stand up and stop giving these Catholic by name only holy communion they will continue to be bad catholics, it’s up to the Bishop to put a stop to all this, but the majority of the bishops are not defending the faith, by keeping silent.

  • I am living here in NY State and what is happening here is frightening.The so-called Catholic politicians will not stand up for the sanctity of the true meaning of marriage!!! The sacrament of a man and woman together to be blessed by God to raise a family.The gay people already have legal protection and secular union rights .They are out to destroy the religion of devout catholics and christians who want to safeguard the true meaning of marriage and family life.I can only say that the politians who outwardly support this and promote it as a law;who are Catholics should be excommunicated.They use to do that in pre-vatican II times.Why should they force us who are against this horrible law to be subject to them.They are usually not practicing their faith correctly and if they are trying to send their liberal agenda into our Churches and parishes as law ;they should be stopped.I picture them as religious terrorists hurting our Church, they are Liberal and all these liberal reformists need a real wake up call now;before it is too late!We want our children to practice the true faith;not a counterfeit.
    Letters should go out to every parish now, petitions started and more demonstrations like the Pro-Life movement.If a family stands for morality and marriage is that vow, for passing on the faith to our children,what can we say if these politicians are not stopped????

  • Paula

    Thank you Archbishop Dolan!
    And a Hear! Hear! to Gene’s comment

  • Close your eyes and try to picture sodomy.Now,what is wrong with that picture?

  • The family is so under attack by the enemy,& will not be restored until we as a nation recognize marriage as God intended it..between one man and one woman.
    Unfortunately today the culture has hijacked God’s message of love to His people and substituted their own ‘god’ which satisfies the desires of the flesh..
    Now is the time for prayer ‘without ceasing.’
    Blessings and +PAX

  • Gene

    God the Father has tried to protect us, to teach us, to lead us into virtue, lives of peace and joy and freedom from bondage to the enemy. He has given us the Ten Commandments, He has given us the prophets, He has given us His only begotten incarnate Son as a sacrifice and divine exchange for our sins, as a means of reconciliation with Him by forgiveness of our sins if we only come to believe in Him and come to Him with humble, contrite hearts and confess our sins, and as a means set us free fron the enemy’s hold over our lives because of our sin. Jesus’ dying on the Cross won for all believers in Him all spiritual authority. This means by use of the name of Jesus we can cast out the one who torments us and who has gained temporary dominion to torment us because of our sins. This was a great victory over the evil one but few of use realize the great spiritual benefit that this gives us. The Gospel would literally fall apart if we took out the parts where Jesus was healing people and casting out demons through spiritual means. Jesus won for us the same spiritual authority that He had. He said very pointedly that if we believe in the Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit then: John 14:12
    “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”
    So, let us start to cry out at every Mass in the petitions in a world-wide prayer to God:
    for the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman,
    for the protection of all unborn children and an end of abortion as a choice,
    for an end to worshipping the false idol of choice, convenience and liberty as a justification for killing our offspring (this is an alter we never want to approach).
    The Holy Trinity will hear the cry of a holy people and by our holiness, our prayers and our faith then God will answer our prayers.
    God does not do the will of a sinful, arrogant and unholy people.
    God answers the prayer of a people who seek Him with their whole heart, mind and soul.
    We are created to find our creator and then love Him, thank Him, praise Him, adore Him, worship Him, serve Him and make our lives a living tribute to our relationship with Him. This is our goal. Our goal should not be to justify our sinfulness and our weakness, but to glorify Him who created us, because it is only by Him that we live eternally, only by Him that we find the peace beyond all understanding from a God who loves us beyond all understanding. For our God to go through the agony that Jesus did for us is beyond our comprehension because we in our humanity cannot fathom this kind of love. So most times because we cannot understand we cease to meditate on it, cease to think about it, and instead fill our thoughts with our selfish desires and soon forget our purpose on earth. As individuals we each have a time here on earth and we each need to take this time to find and build a relationship with our Creator and become as close to Him as we can. We are individuals but we all have the same human nature. This human nature yearns for God and this yearning is only fulfilled by the love of our God and feeling His love back. When you see true happiness and joy in a person you will soon find out that the love of God is at the core of this peace and joy. We may still suffer because of our sins and the sins of our ancestors but we offer up this suffering to our Creator for his greater glory and as a means to show our love for our loving and forgiving God. Do you love Him? Do you love Him? Do you love Him? Our suffering will be our reward in heaven if we offer it up each day to our Creator.
    The evil spirits are deceiving us now by lies. They try to throw in good words like tolerance, choice, liberty, justice and equality to justify sinfulness, often all in the same poster.
    For example, in New York, today two women carry a horrifically deceptive sign that reads,
    “Liberty, Justice and Marriage Equality”
    They do this in hopes of passing a law that will be used as a club against the Church and God’s teachings.
    There is no liberty to live in bondage to the evil one. There is no justice of the rape of a society of all goodness and holiness. There is no equality to a marriage between people who cannot reproduce themselves and who openly rebel against their Creator’s love and will for them. Many people has lost the urge to reproduce and have a family because we denigrate family values, religion, and our God and instead think out human logic can replace divine wisdom. The sanctity of marriage is being destroyed while we sleep, while we play video games, while we concentrate on sports, while we work ourselves to death and destruction for temporal gains. We need to concentrate on eternal gains given through the supernatural grace of God that are acquired by seeking our Creator and doing His will, by living lives that put back the focus on loving our children, teaching them about their Creator and showing them a good example to follow by the witness of our lives. Let leads lives where we produce beautiful things that give glory to our Creator and show how much we appreciate His love for us.
    We should be crying out to the heavens daily against this sinfulness. The evil one will unleash demons of sexual perversion, sexual lust, and homosexuality to make our suffering become all the greater. We can freely sin but we then we also freely reap the seeds of destruction that we have sown. We become our own worst enemies because we do not recognize our Creator and His divine wisdom but instead replace it and make ourselves into gods and we worship false idols that we choose to create by manipulation and combination of good sounding words that result in abominations to our Creator, that are totally displeasing to Him, and only serve to hasten the disintegration of our society and our world.
    God tries to protect from this evil and tormenting spirits because they are real and they hate us. These evil spirits work constantly to destroy us and the Church. Let us pray daily against such evilness and replace evilness and sinfulness with love of God and love of our neighbor not in a sensual sense but in a sense that respects our God-given bodies and our God-given souls and in a way that leads us closer to God each day and not further away.

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