A few nights ago I was asked to sit on a panel at Rose Hulman Institute of Technology’s Free Thinkers. I was asked to represent the Christian position.
I wasn’t really nervous as I have complete faith in Luke 12:11-12 (“Do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say. For the holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”)
I’ll admit I did smile a bit when I sat down next to the “neutral” lawyer who was only going to offer legal commentary, and he had a book printed off – “614 reasons why marriage equality matters”
The guy on the other side of me was a “secular humanist” who had four things written down, and one of the lines was just “genitalia” I though to myself “Oh boy!”
But it went really well, and I think most people were surprised by the Church’s teaching on same-sex marriage.
Most people know the Church is against it, but they don’t understand “why” the Church is against same-sex marriage. The Church doesn’t say “you need to make Catholic laws the laws of your country”, the Church says something very simple:
“Here is a small list of FIRST PRINCIPLES that every country must utilize if they want to thrive and not implode. Right to life, marriage between a man and a woman, only engage in just wars, religious freedom…and if you get these wrong, your society will not endure.”
The irony is that EVERYONE has first principles, but NOT ALL FIRST PRINCIPLES ARE CREATED EQUAL.
One guy on the panel said “I think it all comes back to harmony and peace”…okay, if those are your first principles, where do they come from? What is harmony? What is peace? Why are they the most important?
The Church is actually the only one talking any sense in this discussion. Our first principles come from the Church instituted by Christ who is God. God is the unmoved mover and that from which words draw their meaning.
But where do the words “justice” “harmony” “equality” “tolerance” “love” etc. come from for someone who doesn’t believe in God? Who defines those words? Are they words that all of us “just understand”? If they are, who says that we all understand them?
Here’s the question we need to be asking people in this discussion – “what are your first principles…what do those words mean…who says those are what those words mean…and why are they universal?”