By Irene F. Starkehaus -
Here in the U.S., social conservatives who have been watching the gay marriage debate unfold in Ireland have rightly been concerned by the passage of a referendum that has redefined the millennials-old delineation of marriage. Prior to this moment in the human timeline, marriage has traditionally been between one man and one woman but now becomes a union between one person and one person.
Setting aside lazy dismissals and stereotypes of the Irish as an Australian conservative commentator Grahame Morris provided when suggesting that the Irish are a lovely people, but, after all, they can't even grow potatoes…which means, obviously, that Morris isn't just a commentator, he's an extraordinary tater… getting Ireland to accept gay marriage was an integral phase in the holistic collapse of Judeo-Christian traditions on a global scale and shouldn't be so tritely dismissed by anyone – least of all conservatives who are already in the crosshairs of the progressivist social engineers that mow down 7,000 years of marriage laws on an industrial whim.
The shame – or rather, the sham of it is that marriage is the last thing on their minds. The win was bought and paid for by American billionaires like outspoken progressive Chuck Feeney. Why? It has long been the goal of the "politically enlightened" progressive-set to liberate the world from what they characterize as superstitions associated with the submission of Man to Yahweh. To progressivists, this so called battle over gay rights is a coup-d'état aimed directly at the Yahweh-ian monopoly over modern Western culture. Marriage is simply a means to that end.
We can talk about Christianity in a broadly Protestant sense when it comes to the history of this nation and appreciate the Quaker/Puritan/Anglican ideals that made space for even the detestable Catholics to flourish if not with precisely open arms, at least with equal legal footing and protections. Had it not been for America's zeal for its beloved right to worship, I dare say the battle between religious principles and relativism would be over already; this because we're certainly not seeing much of a defense for religious liberty being mounted by the Vatican.
It is the American Constitution as written by Enlightenment Protestants and their sublime understanding of Natural Law that is what is keeping the fight for the soul of mankind alive on a global scale, and there can be no understating the importance of the miracle that is our Constitution, but when speaking of Western culture, again, in a holistic sense, Protestantism is too splintered a phenomenon to present much of an obstacle to global socialism, which detests challenges to its authoritarianism.
That means that a collapse of Catholicism is the grand prize that the Left has been eyeing for lo these many moons because Catholicism is the devotional wellspring from which other Christian traditions flow. Kill that source and all of her offspring will dry up from the famine in short order.
There is a stunning video that was produced back in 2011, wherein an informal "man on the street" survey of beleaguered Irishmen was taken to isolate where faith went haywire in the predominantly Catholic nation.
Utterly fascinating because every person questioned self-identified as a baptized Catholic, but only a handful of those surveyed still attended services at all, and of those still attending, a shocking number of people did so to make their grandmothers happy. Plainly put.
Side note - That might explain the renewed progressivist push for the legalization of euthanasia in Ireland coming on the heels of the Left's gay marriage victory. But I digress.
Several of those questioned for the survey were Christmas Catholics or had fallen away from the faith completely in favor secular rationalism because – so it would seem – everyone knows that the study of the God of all creation can't peacefully coexist with the study of the science of creation.
Hat tip to the secularists though. They took their time and did it right when they set out to make religious illiterates out of Catholics. It's actually kind of embarrassing that Catholics didn't put up a bigger fight when you think about it. To that point, there's an interesting exchange during the previously mentioned video where the interviewer questions a sixty-something Irishman about his devotional routines…for the sake of brevity, allow me to summarize the conversation:
Q. How often do you attend services? A. Oh, a couple times a year.
Q. Just out of curiosity, do you take Communion when you go? A. Yes.
Q. Are you aware that by skipping Mass and then taking Communion, you are a committing a mortal sin. A. Oh, no. That's not a sin anymore. It used to be.
For clarification, they…whoever the enchanted and numinous "they" might be…didn't change the rules on Church attendance and I'm not trying to sound judgmental in pointing out the Irishman's ignorance. The conversation particularly struck me because I had almost the same conversation with my own priest not three years ago.
"Bless me father for I have sinned…I lost my temper several times, I swore and I missed Mass four times."
"Four times? And did you take Communion before confessing this?"
"Did you know that's a mortal sin?"
As the words "I thought they changed that," formed on my lips, the ludicrousness of the idea sort of stung my brain. There's that nonspecific "they" again. No one changed the rule. The rule is as it has always been. You shall keep holy the Lord's Day. Turns out, it's not actually within the Church's power to change a Commandment. Insofar as the Church has stood for so little in recent years that I permitted myself to stand for so little too, I can find some hollow solace, but that purposive ignorance is pretty lame when you're getting stared down by a priest who is willing to call you on it.
"Now that I'm thinking about it, I guess I did."
"So you have something else you want to confess?"
"Yes sir. I guess I do."
Smack. And more power to him. Because when someone needs to hear the truth, it is a priest's job to tell that someone the truth.
I recently had the opportunity to attend a Confirmation service in the Rockford Diocese here in Illinois where the Bishop David Malloy presided over the religious ceremony. In his homily to the students, he presented the candidates with an incredibly plain decision that they would need make. For the Bishop of Rockford, it boiled down to this…again, I paraphrase:
There are two choices. We're either playacting a fairytale or this is real. What we're asking you [the candidates] to do today is stand up and state your belief that this is real thereby risking derision from the world around you.
The Irish people, by an overwhelming majority, were officially confirmed last week too. Just not as Catholics. They confirmed that they think Catholicism is a fairytale and that's a huge win for relativists. Insofar as Pope Francis has put Catholics in a position where "holding firm to Catholic doctrine and practice seems like an act of disloyalty to the pope but to acquiesce is to betray the Church," that may provide them some solace, but their purposive ignorance is still pretty lame.
The above quote is from Father Linus Clovis in his discussion entitle The Francis Effect in case you were wondering. Of course, be forewarned that Fr. Clovis references Satan in his address, so this allows us to circle back on whether or not we are playacting a fairytale when we claim to be Christians. Any number of well-respected priests and ministers will support the thesis that the Church got rid of Satan around the same time that it overrode the third Commandment if that's what we need to make us happy.
It should be noted with great consternation that a general internet search with the terms, gay marriage and Pope Francis deliver no results that include a direct defense of traditional marriage by Pope Francis. The closest thing we get to papal involvement is an after-the-fact, almost tepid admonishment from Pope Francis that gay couples shouldn't jump hastily into marriage.
The dismantling of marriage law doesn't seem a high enough priority for this pope while he's busily working on his global climate change encyclical. Perhaps when taking on big tasks like environmentalism, it is most appropriate that he should delegate the defense of traditional marriage to the Vatican's Secretary of State.
The key point here for laities is there is no obligation to follow this or any pope down a road to perdition by way of good intentions. A 1983 Code of Cannon Law recognizes the right of the faithful to object to imprecise teachings:
§212:3 They have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church. They have the right also to make their views known to others of Christ's faithful, but in doing so they must always respect the integrity of faith and morals, show due reverence to the Pastors and take into account both the common good and the dignity of individuals.
When a pope needs to hear the truth, it is our job as laypeople to tell him the truth.
Note that when we look at the state of monotheism in Ireland specifically, those leaving the Church aren't leaving to become Baptists or Anglicans or even Muslims in any great numbers. Those directions would still allow for a great deal of mystical mumbo jumbo that ultimately assents that God said let there be light and there was light.
Instead the Irish are leaving the Church to become secular humanists because it's a more rational thing to believe that light came out of nothing for no reason. At any rate, the decline in Church attendance then begets the narrative that the Church must think outside the catechism and modernize its teachings on contraception, divorce and homosexuality as it's the only prayer for filling the pews.
Filling the pews with those who think Catholicism is a fairytale merely demands that the Church should further abandon her non-negotiable, immutable laws and fall into line with the orthodoxy associated with secular humanism, so they find themselves ironically following the ways of the Ouroboros to save them from coming off as too entrenched fairytales.
Ultimately, the loss in Ireland is a tremendous blow to traditional marriage advocates because the gay lobby's victory there is simultaneously literal and symbolic. It is the embodiment of those iconic qualities that will provide a rallying point for irreligious propagandists. Ireland becomes the golden calf to which they can bow and any nation that will not comply with LGBT-WXYZ will fall prey to the collection of secular sermons entitled, "See? The Irish Are Catholics and Even They Legalized Gay Marriage." See USA Today for confirmation of that approved meme.