The Catholic World Report has an article dated May 22, 2012 by Benjamin Wiker that is bound to stir up some controversy. Entitled “Gay Marriage—Nothing New Under the Sun,” the article gives some historical context for marriage equality.
The article is clear that “gay marriage and homosexuality were part of the moral landscape faced by the first Christians in Ancient Rome.”
Given that the gay marriage agenda will be increasingly pressed upon Catholics by the state, we should be much more aware of what history has to teach us about gay marriage—given that we don’t want to be among those who, ignorant of history, blithely condemned themselves to repeat it.
Contrary to the popular view—both among proponents and opponents—gay marriage is not a new issue. It cannot be couched (by proponents) as a seamless advance on the civil rights movement, nor should it be understood (by opponents) as something that’s evil merely because it appears to them to be morally unprecedented.
Gay marriage was—surprise!—alive and well in Rome, celebrated even and especially by select emperors, a spin-off of the general cultural affirmation of Roman homosexuality. Gay marriage was, along with homosexuality, something the first Christians faced as part of the pagan moral darkness of their time.
What Christians are fighting against today, then, is not yet another sexual innovation peculiar to our “enlightened age,” but the return to pre-Christian, pagan sexual morality.
I highly recommend reading the article, as it’s another tool in our arsenal.
Benjamin Wiker, Ph.D. has published nine books, with another coming out this fall with Scott Hahn, Politicizing the Bible: The Roots of Historical Criticism and the Secularization of Scripture 1300-1700. He is currently working on a book on the Church and the secular state. His website is www.benjaminwiker.com.
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