“If, even as the price to be paid for a fifth vote, I ever joined an opinion for the Court that began: “The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,” I would hide my head in a bag. The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.” – Antonin Scalia’s Dissent from Obegerfell v. Hodges, pg. 76, Footnote 22
I have been playing blissfully little attention to American politics lately, as consumed as I have been with the machinations of the Church-wreckers. So I was somewhat surprised today to see the SCOTUS decision on “gay marriage,” which I will forever put in quotes, because no legislative decision can ever make it a real thing.
I am not, however, surprised that it took place, though I did have a sliver of hope that it might not.
But in terms of the handwriting having been quite clearly on the wall (in neon!), I will call the reader’s attention to something I wrote two years ago today:
News just broke that the Supreme Court has struck down the federal definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman. This is an extremely disappointing development, but not a surprising one. This trajectory has been set in stone for quite some time.
I’ve become increasingly convinced in recent years that the only way to keep government from re-defining marriage is to keep them out of it altogether. That position has been rejected by a lot of Catholics, and I can understand why, but I respectfully think this is proof of why they’ve been wrong.
It’s also proof of why whenever we centralize power over moral and social issues at the federal government level, there is an inevitable moment when that moral imperative is turned against us. We give them an inch, and they take a mile. The American people don’t want this, just like they don’t want unfettered abortion or Obamacare. But that has ceased to matter. He who has the power makes the rules, and we’ve handed them the power through our activism to have Washington involved in legislating every social issue we care about.
It’s time to stop the madness. George Washington said it best: “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” If we want to stop the government from continuing to destroy our sacred rights, our civil liberties, we must starve it. We must deprive it of power. We must remind those in Washington that they have forgotten their place, that they serve us, not the other way around.
So what’s next? What does today’s ruling mean?
First, it means that we’ve lost the war for the definition of marriage. A tiny minority of the population has changed thousands of years of social tradition. I can’t fault those who will fight this decision and organize around it, but in my view, their fight will never rise above a valiant, but ultimately futile, effort.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, this paves the way for the Catholic Church to become a hate group. When Father Joseph tells the homosexual couple that he can’t celebrate their “wedding” ceremony, he’ll be on trial for hate crimes and discrimination before he knows it. The First Amendment, like the Second, the Fourth, the Fifth, and the Tenth is being thrown under the bus.
This also means that religious groups, if they want to retain any semblance of autonomy, are going to have to give up their tax-exempt status. It’s done.
Again, this was published on June 26, 2013. And here we are, June 26, 2015, and the curtain just closed. Now in a sane world, in a Catholic society, we could have laws that support and uphold the family as God intended it to exist.
In case you haven’t noticed, we do not live in such a world. It might be a good time to come to terms with that.
I’m not prepared at this moment to offer an in-depth analysis of this hate crime against nature, reason, and the moral law. In fact, I’m planning to go spend the day doing something with my rather large, traditional family. But I will offer a few initial thoughts:
- If you’re rooting around trying to find a reason for what happened today, why similar things just happened in Ireland and in Rome and in other places around the world, the answer is simple: this is the direct fruit of the widespread acceptance of contraception.
- The Church’s role in societal acquiescence to the sin of contraception (and its devastating effects on a proper understanding of human sexuality and ethics) should not be understated. The Pontifical Commission on Birth Control had a full year to disseminate their position — that Catholics should be able to licitly use birth control — before Humanae Vitae was issued. It was a public relations coup, with the message spread far and wide that change was coming to the Church. The practical effect was that many Catholics, both clergy and laity alike, concluded that the change was real, and acted accordingly, never looking back even when the Church reiterated her perennial teaching on the goods of marriage and the moral boundaries of marital sexuality. Now, some 90% of Catholics surveyed admit that they contracept. Which leads me to…
- The Synod is seeking to address the fallout of fifty years of Catholic deviation from moral teaching, but not by the affirmation of Church teaching. Instead, the general tone is one of picking up where the Pontifical Commission on Birth Control left off. Secret meetings, scandalous suggestions, heterodox working documents, and everything unfolding in the press. A filial appeal to Pope Francis to state unequivocally that he will ensure the Synod upholds Catholic teaching remains unaddressed, despite having nearly 300,000 signatures. The Instrumentum Laboris retains troubling language about communion for the divorced and remarried, despite assurances from the CDF that this was a dead issue. Continued assaults on Christ’s unequivocal teaching on the Sixth Commandment threaten our praxis on both the indissolubility of marriage AND our understanding of the sinful nature of homosexual relationships. The effect of all this dirty laundry being aired in public is having a similar effect to the Pontifical Commission on Birth Control’s media blitz: namely, Catholics are beginning to change their practice, regardless of whatever re-affirmation of doctrine may occur. Parish priests are already reporting that individuals living in adulterous remarriages are presenting themselves for communion under the impression that the pope has approved of this behavior.
- Another Humanae Vitae moment has arrived for the Church, and as with Paul VI, there is as yet no indication that Pope Francis will exercise his authority with such determined clarity. Even if he does, however, we must remain vigilant about a legislative document that is issued with little force, and with no applicable consequences for those who disregard it.
- On a practical level, Catholics in the US need to begin gearing up for an even more intense form of legal persecution. The Church will be tested by litigation-happy homosexuals desirous of making a point at the expense of Christianity. There will be cases where homosexuals ask to be married by a Catholic priest, who will say no, and then the lawsuits will begin. There will also be Catholic priests who acquiesce, and who, more than likely, will not be disciplined for it.
- Religious organizations, churches, and publications like this one will most likely lose their tax-exempt status in the not-too-distant future, or be forced to give it up rather than make unacceptable compromises.
- The Benedict Option now becomes an even more worthy object of consideration for families who wish to minimize their children’s exposure to a growing public display of sodomitical behaviors and indoctrination. There is no truly effective way to escape what is coming, but there are ways to reduce its impact, and this will in large part entail relocation away from larger cities and politically-progressive geographic areas into more rural, conservative, and agriculturally-feasible environments that provide for some opportunity for at least partial self-sustenance. Homeschool will grow increasingly important, as private Catholic schools that actually teach the faith become more rare and increasingly targeted. It is likely that to some degree, truancy laws will be enforced more stringently and homeschool curricula will be placed under increased scrutiny to make it more and more difficult to opt-out of a public education system that is (literally) hell-bent on indoctrinating our children to accept and embrace sexual immorality.
- More threatening forms of persecution for those who refuse to accept, embrace, and promote the sodomite agenda are probable.
- With certain notable exceptions, we cannot count on the Catholic bishops for support.
- It would behoove us, I think, to begin studying our most ancient ancestors in the faith, those who lived through (or were martyred during) the Roman Persecutions, and those who weathered the Arian Heresy. It will be from their example that we will draw inspiration and strength; it will be their lives which will serve as models for our own behavior.
These things won’t happen overnight, but they will come with discomforting speed. For now, we need to wrestle with what has happened today. Most of us are going to feel pretty beaten and abandoned. We need to support each other as best we can. A societal crisis met by a strong Church would be one thing. But we are met with disaster everywhere we look, and that’s disheartening, even terrifying. People you know, people you never expected, may well lose their faith. It goes without saying that we need to practice prayer and penance. We have to find a way, however difficult it may seem, to deepen our faith and our trust in Divine Providence. We need to stay close to the sacraments, the rosary, and the state of grace.
And please pray for us. This work that we’re doing grows more dangerous and difficult by the day.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have eight children. You can find more of his writing at his Substack, The Skojec File.