“How prejudiced can a judge be?”
(The following is a September pastoral letter by Fresno Bishop John Steinbock published on the diocesan website.) My dear people of God, How is one to react to a single judge declaring that homosexuals have a right to be married, overturning the clear will of the majority of the people as expressed in proposition 8? Here are ten brief thoughts: The judge, who is homosexual himself, ethically should have recused himself as he is in the position to benefit financially from a possible homosexual marriage for himself, with tax benefits, etc. His impartiality can certainly be questioned. The judge redefined “marriage,” actually making it the same as “a committed relationship or friendship” between any two persons, with no relationship essentially to children or family. The ruling by its very arguments is imposing the homosexual agenda on the rest of society, and is a form of social engineering according to the judge’s ideology. It is incredible that the judge literally accuses the millions who voted for proposition 8 of having ill will and discriminatory intent in their vote. How prejudiced and condemnatory can a judge be who is accusing others of prejudice? This is insulting to every one who believes that marriage is a divine institution. The judge is finding a right in our Constitution that is not present in any way. Human law at many times can be at variance with divine law. This is just one example. Another example in our country would be the so called “right” to have an abortion; another example would be the so called “right” now in some states to euthanasia. Let us never mistake human law as the law of God. We must emphasize all the more the true nature of marriage as designed by God, both to ourselves and to our children. Lord only knows what will now be taught in our public schools regarding marriage because of this ruling. It will certainly not be the traditional definition and understanding of “marriage.” A “true” marriage is a unique relationship between one man and one woman and it is designed to procreate life and form a family, for the good of the children and of society. This is of divine origin and not of human origin. We are seeing the result of society separating the gift of sex from bringing forth life, which can infect all of us. More and more people in our society now justify not simply homosexual relationships, but living together without marriage, fornication, sex before marriage, sex outside of marriage, prostitution, contraception, quick and easy divorce. All of these lead us to seeing children as secondary, and self-love becoming more important than self-giving love, which leads to a narcissistic society, with people never really growing up. The good old Baltimore Catechism tells us: “The effects of the Sacrament of Matrimony are: 1st, to sanctify the love of husband and wife; 2nd, to give them grace to bear with each other’s weaknesses; 3rd, to enable them to bring up their children in the fear and love of God.” (BC#1 285) Let us pray for this judge, for our children, for our society. Lord knows we all need it.