Peace, Love, & Bigotry

“Those who stand for nothing
fall for anything.”

-Alexander Hamilton

Ah. Do you smell that November air? It’s everyone’s favorite time of the year: elections! I will say: politics is not the most enjoyable of topics in my book. Actually, I really don’t like politics. Do you want to know why I do not enjoy politics? There are many things that annoy me about politics. One of them is the fact that so many people blindly follow a politician based off the political party in which they are. Some people just arbitrarily decide on a political party to follow. No matter what the politicians believe, as long as they are in the particular political party, the person will follow them.  talk-about-politics_o_317254Also, we are forced to decide on which beliefs on which we want to vote. The chances are extremely slim for a person to find a political candidate who shares every single political belief. We are forced to compromise our belief in something. Another frustration with politics that I have is its inherent tendency to separate people. “I’m a Republican.” “I’m a Democrat.” We separate and isolate ourselves from each other by labeling ourselves as these, making it harder for us to have calm, logical discussions on topics. We enter a conversation with certain judgments of the other based on their label. Another aspect of politics that frustrates me is its tendency to make people want to argue. “Because I believe THIS, and you believe THAT, I must do whatever I can to understand the stupidity of your belief and the wisdom of my belief.” People seem to understand “discussion” as “argument.” No one can have a calm, logical discussion, as I said before. “Maybe if I tell you my opinion with hostility, you will understand its superiority.”

There goes most of my rant on my politics. But another thing that frustrates me about politics is its tendency to turn moral, non-political issues into political issues. What should never be a question of politics becomes nothing but a political issue. When people hear an issue like this, they try to argue it as merely a political issue. There are indeed some issues that SHOULD NOT belong in the political realm, and yet they do. At that, I hold some very strong beliefs that have been brought into the political realm. I have every right to defend my moral beliefs. They shouldn’t be addressed by questions of legality, but rather by questions of morality – right or wrong. When people ask me what gives me the right to discuss certain topics, I would have every right to point out that the issues are not just against certain people, but rather they attack the human person. I have the right to do what I can to defend my belief and defend the human person, along with the rights of every human person.

Now that brings us to today’s “political” issue. The usual issue that creates a thunderstorm of ‘relevant’ phrases: tolerance, bigotry, equality, etc. I’m sure you know that about which I’m speaking. I am talking about what is referred to as ‘same-sex marriage.’ There are many people all over the world, specifically in the United States, who want to redefine marriage and legalize the marriage of either two men or two women. Recently, many states have approved such an act. In Illinois, the bill to legalize it passed through House and Senate, and it will soon be approved by the Governor of Illinois to legalize ‘same-sex marriage.’ Part of the argument for legalizing it lies in the idea that marriage is a right that cannot and should not be violated by the government. There are definitely rights that should not be violated by the government. Governments deserve certain powers, including protecting the rights of every human person. The Declaration of Independence states that all men have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These are truly rights that all men (in the universal term for humanity) have. “Rights” are that which is justly due to a person. People have the right to their life. People have the right to liberty, to freely choose.

[Small tangent: Some people might say that a government’s laws would inhibit man’s right to freely choose. However, humans suck at making decisions. It’s true. If we were perfect at making decisions, there would be world peace, no war, etc. A government must implement laws in order to help guide us in our decision-making, prohibiting us from doing what is wrong, and allowing us to do what is right. Obviously, that doesn’t always happen. But by implementing laws to do such, the government helps us make decisions by eliminating possible wrong decisions. Obviously, this small tangent doesn’t completely cover this issue; it would take much more to cover it more fully. I just wanted to skim the surface to cover that response]

These rights are due to a person by the very nature of their humanity. Yet, alongside these, people claim that marriage is a RIGHT. There is nothing in the human nature that demands that every person have the right to get married. Marriage is a privilege, not a right. While marriage is a gravely important institution, it still remains a construct. ‘Marriage’ was designed by us as humans (for a purpose). Rights are inherent in a nature. Therefore, because marriage is not inherent in the nature of the human person, it cannot be considered a right.

Token cute koala meme

Token cute koala meme

However, let’s suppose for a second that marriage is a right – which it is not. Marriage has a certain meaning as of right now: the legal/religious/social/etc. union between a man and a woman. So, according to some people, this marriage is a right. However, those in favor of ‘same-sex marriage’ talk about redefining marriage. By redefining marriage, we would be giving marriage a new meaning. So those who want ‘marriage equality’ would not be getting what they want: when marriage begins to mean something completely different, they are no longer fighting to actually get what they want; they are fighting for to change what everyone has so that they can get it themselves. Along with that, rights are inherent; they don’t change as our definitions of those things change. If we as humans had a right to marriage, that would always be the same, based off the one true meaning of marriage, the definition stated above. While we could change the understanding of the word ‘marriage,’ we could not actually change what it actually means. Though, as I said before, we as humans do not have an inherent right to marriage.

If we look at the human anatomy of either gender alone, something should look very odd to us: neither makes sense on its own. The male anatomy can only be understood by examining the female anatomy; the female anatomy can only be understood by examining the male anatomy. Ultimately, the human body does not make sense on its own. Proponents of ‘same-sex marriage’ often discuss the importance of taking into account the desires or attractions of the individual. For example, there are times when men claim that they feel like they are actually a women, or that they are actually attracted to men, or something of the sort. However, according to their genetics and their anatomy, they are clearly a man with XY chromosomes. Their attractions are contrary to the way they are made. While the media and people blew up in reaction to my school’s reference to homosexual acts as deviant behavior, that’s exactly what it is: it deviates from 1) the norm, and 2) that for which their human anatomy is designed. If everyone followed every single desire or attraction that they had, the world would be even more worse off than it is. There are some desires that deviate from the norm/design, and there are others that do not. Homosexual behavior is one of those realms of behavior that deviates from the norm/design.

Now, I’m not sure if anyone else realizes this, but the media has this tendency to hear what the Catholic Church says and then drastically twist it to benefit their agenda: either making it sound like the Catholic Church is full of bigots or like the Catholic Church has changed her doctrine. For some reason, the media loves to target the Catholic Church. In terms of this recent bill in Illinois, some lawmakers used Pope Francis to defend their decision to vote in approval of ‘same-sex marriage.’ Pope Francis has never said, will never say ANYTHING to change the doctrine of the Catholic Church. Thatd-be-greatThe doctrine of the Church is beyond us humans. Truth is determined by God, not us. Quite often, Catholics are accused of being ‘bigots’ or ‘intolerant.’ I will admit: there are Catholics who are filled with hate and do not love, or who are truly intolerant. However, this is not representative of the Catholic Church. No matter what the media says, the true spirit of the Catholic Church is a spirit of love and acceptance. Jesus teaches us to love EVERYONE; while we don’t have to like what they do, we should still always accept them and love them. True Catholicism is love. Catholicism (in its essence and nature) and bigotry could not be farther apart.

One last thing that I want to discuss is the idea of ‘tolerance.’ While people nowadays throw around the word quite often, they don’t seem to actually understand what it means. People often call Catholics, or anyone against ‘same-sex marriage,’ intolerant. They call us bigots and intolerant. They ridicule us for our beliefs. Tolerance involves “a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, etc. differ from one’s own” (dictionary.com). It means not judging or ridiculing others for their beliefs, accepting a person with their beliefs. Hmmm… Something doesn’t seem to be adding up… People ridicule us for our beliefs and react with hate toward us. For some reason, my belief alone makes me intolerant. I accept others’ beliefs. While I may not necessarily agree with them, or I may desire for their opinion to change, I allow them to believe what they believe, and I love them. When I share my opinion, it is/should be because I love them; I desire for them to understand the truth.

This is a very difficult topic to discuss in just a short blog post. If you have any questions or comments, I would definitely be happy to discuss them with you. If you want to argue and not discuss, I would rather not. Arguments get people nowhere; it just creates greater division.

“The darkest places in hell
are reserved for those who maintain
their neutrality in times of moral crisis.”

-Dante Alighieri

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Duc In Altum

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