#080: Taylor’s Catholic Thoughts on Same Sex Marriage [Podcast]

I recorded a long cultural and theological reflection about my thoughts on Same-Sex Marriage, culture, and its relationship to nature and grace through the lens of Saint Thomas Aquinas. It’s robustly Catholic, but without the hate and judgmentalism. Scroll down and click the “Play” button to begin listening:

trad marriage stripes

This audio program was initially only for the Members of the New Saint Thomas Institute. However, I’m getting so many inquiries on the subject, I’d like to make it available to everyone. I know that the Members of NSTI won’t mind if we share this.

Even more, I’m hearing from so many Catholics who did not hear one word about the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage from the pulpit last Sunday, and they are confused. They want a Catholic perspective. So here goes. This is a crucial topic and if we don’t get marriage right, our children will experience pains in the future.

Brief synopsis of this Podcast on Same Sex Marriage:

Humans can survive on synthetic hormonal contraceptives, in vitro babies, and same-sex parental families. The question we should ask is not, “Can it work?” but “Is this good for humanity over the span of several generations?”

It’s really a question about crafting a human society naturally or synthetically. In the audio version below, we follow an analogy: Do you want to eat GMO veggies and synthetics meats? They will give you calories and energy, but…we all prefer that which is natural. Whole foods lead to a whole life. That which has been cultivated in accord with nature is always better. This same argument applies to raising future generations. Our procreative organs are designed to function naturally for a natural end. Do we want to create the future human society synthetically or in accord with nature? This is our debate surrounding marriage. Love wins only when nature wins – and grace perfects nature. [I also address the ‘Catholic’ objection: “Gay marriage is okay civilly, just not inside the church as a sacrament.”]

Please feel free to listen to my “Catholic thoughts on Same Sex Marriage” and get ready for some natural law without judgmentalism:

Click here to listen:

Don’t see the “Play” button in your email or browser? Click here to begin listening.

Question: Do you know someone who identifies as homosexual or transgender? Do the principles discussed in the podcast make sense to you? Any questions or comments on things that I did not cover? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Zac Mabry

    Thank you for posting Dr. Marshall. I have a question about one of your statements. You say above “It’s robustly Catholic, but without the hate and judgmentalism. ” My question is this: Am I correct in interpreting this statement to be implying that other Catholics are practicing hate and judgementalism? And if yes, do you perhaps have specific examples? As a still-new Catholic (just 4 Easters in!), I have not yet encountered the hate and judgementalism you refer to and I want to make sure I can spot it if I ever do encounter it.

    • Margaret Rooney

      Congratulations on coming home to Catholicism. I think the hate and judgementalism referred to is in the general realm rather than to Catholicism in particular.

      • I just don’t want people visiting this site to assume that that is a homophobic post, but rather something well-considered.

  • LSG

    +++JMJ+++ FYI: As far as my Pastor, on Sunday he was brief and to the point. “Remember Sodom and Gomorrah”. That’s what I keep saying over and over. May Almighty God have mercy on us and on the whole world. In charity thru JMJ, LSG

  • ADAM

    (CAIRO) – “Those who live disordered lives tell those who are normal, that it is they who deviate from nature, and think that they themselves are following nature – just as those on board a ship feel that those on shore are moving away.” – PASCAL Pensées (S576/L697)

    BRAVE NEW WORLD !

  • I usually really like your talks but this I did not like at all.

    It was, in my opinion, judgmental (even if you said it shouldn’t be) and very simplified.

    Statements like “we all feel it in our guts” are condescending and not a good argument to make. Not good at all. Even if I don’t agree with you on this subject I had hoped for better argumentation in stead of this I-am-right-and-you-are-wrong-talk.

    Very well. God bless.

    I am still looking forward to coming posts and talks.

    • I wish you would engage my arguments. Instead you claim that I’m *condescending.* Kinda judgmental of you…. 😉

      • Well. First. I’m no theologian. Second. English is not my primary language.
        So it’s hard for me to express all my thoughts from an hour of listening.
        It was more general feelings and thoughts about what had been said.
        Just wanted you to know what was my gut feeling.
        And do not think that I haven’t thought about this subject before. I have. I have thought about it for many years. And to hear things like “I think we all know that a society like (where lesbians and gays can merry and have kids) that is not going to work.” and hear that “we all feel that this is wrong” makes me sad.

  • Mary R. Gorman

    Dr. Marshall, I thought your comments about natural law were well thought out and should cause a lot of discussion. It’s a difficult topic. Several of my friends changed their FB pictures to “rainbow” in honor of same-sex marriage. Jesus loves each and every one of us, and I try to think of people as individuals who are struggling to live good lives and want the same rights and priveleges as everyone else; however, only a man and a woman can co-create with God. It certainly seems as if we humans are evolving into something less than beautiful. When you describe the synthetic hormones that many women are taking to avoid getting pregnant and add in all the other pills which modern adults (and children) ingest, it does make one pause. Everywhere people want clean air and organically-grown food, and yet look what we put in our bodies. Thank you for your podcasts, as well as your books. I just finished reading “The Eternal City” and found it fascinating.

  • Julieta

    As a practicing Catholic, supporter of the right of every child to have a mum and a dad and Biotech student, I think your GMO analogy was quite unfortunate. I’m not criticizing God’s Creation at all, I’m just saying that GMOs are not intrinsecally bad, they can help to fight hunger and diseases and to have better crops without using toxic compounds. If only anti-GMO groups knew what we are really doing and did some science research, they would be our allies. We are not part of a conspiracy that wants to poison the entire world. Sometimes we ask:” Why God created X? It’s just another cause of illness!!” But that is ignoring God’s great wisdom, since X can be used to save lives.

  • John Nelson

    Dr Marshall, thank you so much. Your talk was not only a terrific review of catholic teaching on marriage, but also a comforting and exhilarating exhortation to keep the faith. I have a question about something you said, something to the effect that where cultures embrace marriage, they are successful. I’m wondering about historical examples. It seems that, unlike our current era, cultures throughout history have embraced the notion of marriage. Have i got that wrong?

  • Ken Vee

    An excellent presentation, Dr Marshall. Your discussions on a previous page about the heterosexual community allowing the institution of marriage to degrade down to some sort of glorified form of dating is spot on. Not recognizing their desire to join the club as the final blunt force applied to the side of the old house, many Homosexuals see what we’ve made of the institution and reasonably wonder “why not?”. Birth control comments are also central to the state of things. Men in any age would indeed be tempted to approve of contraceptive measures… the difference today is the great acceptance of this sort of thinking by women as well. Call it a quaint thought if you like, but women use to be quiet yet powerful arbiters of our culture, despite feminist complaints to the contrary. They were that thing that brought men to virtue and maturity at a critical point of development for want of them and their fruits, which were wisely guarded; held back and away in exchange for the crucial promise of fidelity (Purity and modesty weren’t fodder for comedy then). Now the barbarian inside all men has little or no resistance at the gate. One could say, in a manner of speaking, that women’s great social power has been given up for the false promises of modernism, and its political definitions of power. One might just as well swap a great lake for an urban puddle. As go the women, so goes any Christian culture.
    Related: “Where are the men?” is a mantra/ question often heard in the church and culture. The sorry truth is fewer and fewer of them are being produced, so fewer and fewer of them are spotted in the wild. We are raising up generations of 6 foot adolescents. Were there more men, properly formed , there would have been a different outcome to this political/social struggle. The fact that there are far too few men on the social ramparts is just as critical to our way of life as the shortage of men answering the call to vocations is to our spiritual existence. Dr Marshall is correct in saying their is a lot of work to do. Thank you, doctor, for your efforts to stem the tide on both of these fronts.

  • MPR

    Thank you for this excellent podcast, Dr. Marshall. It was very helpful and informative!
    God bless you
    +JMJ+
    MPR

  • Matt Arundel

    So, I am looking at joining the Church and I’m gay. First, I have to say that your tone here is much less abrasive than what I’ve heard elsewhere so I do need to give you credit for that. Still, it seems rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding of what you’re referring to as natural law. Yes, procreation without assistance from artificial methods that we currently have absolutely depends on a male and a female. And yes, societies that have prospered and not been scraping by for survival have expanded their understanding of relationships and love simply because they can (that is, not out of licentiousness or a disregard for any moral or natural law, but that same-sex relationships will not negatively impact the community).

    I have to tell you that something I missed from this is a basic recognition that sexual orientation is almost certainly rooted in factors that are beyond change. And I can say with confidence that despite as repressed as some gay men might be and thus become able to mislead their families and wives for long periods of time, that is not their natural orientation. That’s why we’ve come to adapt the word “orientation” rather than preference; it recognizes something that is much deeper than the cultural winds and the environment in which we grow up (I grew up in a conservative family and honestly had little idea what ‘gay’ was until I began to realize what I was experiencing).

    I feel like you dodged these facts in pursuit of a more ancient understanding of natural law that disregards current and cumulative scientific understandings of gender and sexuality; I know the Church has not entirely embraced the evidence on this, but it still presents a valid challenge. I understand you are genuine in your statements, but I beg of you and others to consider.

    I really do long for the day when the Church recognizes that I have something just as valuable to offer in a same-sex partnership to the Church and to God as couples who are infertile (or contain one infertile person), or couples who are married outside of the Church – we don’t hear of the Church blasting those who are married outside of the Church as living in sin because their marriage isn’t regarded as “true” and we don’t hear the Church lambasting the millions who were born to married couples outside of the Church (including me) or to unmarried couples as bastards or attacking their parents for such sin. And why not? Because it isolates the potential convert when the Church’s mission is to embrace.

    I don’t expect you to abandon the Church’s teaching just from reading my post or anyone else’s, but we must really move beyond hypocrisy and take a serious look at what it means to be gay. I am familiar with St. Paul’s words on homosexuality, but we have come to regard so many things in the Bible as cultural rather than ethical that I wonder why his comments (and others in the Bible) remain so relevant on one specific topic. I really do think it’s out of fear and a misappropriated assignment of blame (as tempered and level-headed as it may be) to people like me in contributing to a culture of decadence.

    One last thought – nobody would have dreamed in 1969 when the Stonewall riots occurred that gay and bisexual people would be seriously pushing for membership in the most conservative, family-oriented institutions that any society can offer. That sentiment is at least something to celebrate and there is something to praise in the maturation of a movement than had its roots in the sexual revolution of the 1960s. I think we understood that our place was within society and not fighting against it. We recognize that there is something valuable in the family, and our participation in mainstream culture adds rather than detracts.

    Sorry for the long post, but I look forward to your reply!