In today’s Gospel, Jesus stands in the midst of His own countrymen and begins to teach. His countrymen, far from appreciating the teachings of Jesus, ridicule him, they question his ability to teach and are offended by Him. Jesus is astounded by their lack of belief and is able to do little due to their hindrance.
I think that many Christians feel like we just went through the same situation last week with the decision of the Supreme Court to declare that the constitution guarantees the right for two men or two women to quote “marry” each other. It was a hard blow for many Americans so close to the 4th of July. Although our legal system has been deeply influenced by Protestantism and Deism, it still has been shaped around the idea that laws are to uphold the public good, encourage virtue and punish vice. In the past 100 years it has slowly changed from this understanding to a new legal system that upholds personal autonomy, the freedom to do whatever you want to do, as its chief goal.
The scary fact is that in 2015, we who believe that marriage cannot exist outside of one man and one woman, and believe it is in the best interest of society to legally uphold this, are in the minority. There is a phrase I have seen lobbed at us Catholics over and over again in the past years and certainly in the past week. “If you don’t like gay marriage, then don’t get gay married! It has nothing to do with you!” Now, aside from the grammatical errors of that statement, there is plenty wrong with it. The idea that a society can all of a sudden change the way the family has worked for our country’s entire history is ludicrous. People are influenced by what they see around them. Their understanding of what is normal, and what is not, is shaped by the community around them.
I believe that we are in the situation that we find ourselves in today because of a decision we made as a culture 100 years ago: That children are not an important part of marriage.