Friday, November 1, 2013

Married? Didn't count!

My head hurts after reading this one. There is a Catholic website called Chastity Project. It contains a lot of your standard Catholic ridiculousness regarding sex, what's okay and when. But some of what it spews borders on the insane. Let's sample some shall we?
For a valid marriage to take place, the union must be free, total, faithful, and ordered toward procreation. All these characteristics are necessary.
Wait, so if you don't have kids, your marriage doesn't count?
In fact, the Church also believes that heterosexual couples are incapable of marriage if they are impotent. Not to be confused with sterility (a condition in which a couple is able to have intercourse but unable to have children), impotency means that a person is incapable of having intercourse.
How quaint... So according to this absurd group of Catholics, a marriage without sex that results in reproduction, you aren't really married. And I struggle to understand why they bother to distinguish between those that are sterile, vs those that are simply incapable of sex. Both are violating the supposed 'procreation requirement' for marriage. So by this group's standards some people can't be married due to the way they were born, or some accident that befell them later in life. How does that make any sense?
However, if a husband and wife are unable to have children because of sterility, they would still be truly married because they are still capable of becoming one flesh. The validity of their marriage does not depend on what happens in the woman’s womb several hours or days after they become one flesh. Although children are the possible fruit of their union, their union is still real even if conception does not occur.

Oh, okay... So they can still have sex, so it doesn't really matter if they reproduce or not. But again, how does that jive with the statement that marriage must be ordered toward procreation?
Marriage only counts if your naughty bits work. But no testing
them before marriage, or by yourself. Um... so how are you
supposed to know if your marriage will 'count' before you get married?
If you’re looking for similarities between heterosexual and homosexual couples, look at the couple using birth control. Their sexual acts, just like homosexual acts, are ordered against the transmission of life. Many people don’t know this, but if a couple gets married and intends to use contraception and never have children, the Church does not recognize their marriage as valid. If they set their wills against life, then the Church says that no marriage ever existed between them. They walked into the church as two singles, and they left as two singles.

Wait... What just happened to 'they are still capable of becoming one flesh. The validity of their marriage does not depend on what happens in the woman's womb'? Couples that use birth control, and can have vaginal sex. So they can become 'one flesh', so we can tick that box. And if it's okay that a sterile couple can have sex, but not a child, why is a marriage between fertile partners considered null and void?

Additionally, children are a possible result for couples using birth control as well. They say that it's okay for sterile couples because reproduction is a possibility from their kind of sex, even if it doesn't occur. Birth control can fail, so even using it doesn't guarantee that conception won't occur. So a couple that doesn't wish to have children can 'become one flesh' and reproduction is a possibility. Even though this marriage meets the same requirements of a marriage that they say is valid, they say that this one somehow isn't.

I couldn't care less what the church thinks of marriage, and that it thinks that 'They walked into the church as two singles, and they left as two singles'. My wife and I didn't even get married in a church, nor is it recognized by any church. And I find it funny that this group is so concerned with preserving 'Biblical marriage', when they have no idea what 'Biblical marriage' actually is.

What we are seeing here, is a Catholic group reducing marriage to some utilitarian task. Marriage is and should be about love. Yet that doesn't matter to the Chastity Project unless you also reproduce. I feel that this arbitrary requirement devalues marriage. It takes it from a beautiful union and commitment and turns it into no more than a chore. An end to a means. Want to have kids? Get married! Want to get married? Well, it doesn't count unless you have kids! Well, according to this Catholic group anyway.
I feel that marriage is more than that. More than a just a vessel for fulfilling a reproductive task. It can be and is so much more. A loving devotion and commitment. A promise to live your life with the one that you love. To care for them and cherish them always. If that includes having children, then great. If not, that's awesome as well. But to claim that a marriage does not count unless you reproduce is absurd.

My wife and I have no plans to have children even though I feel that we'd be great parents. We love each other, and are wholly devoted to one another. So how is our marriage any less real than one that does produce children? The answer is that it isn't! The church just wants more followers to have kids, because they think that will mean even more followers. Just a ploy to try and bolster numbers. So don't tell my may marriage doesn't count, and don't try to oppose your twisted requirements for what a 'real marriage' is on everyone else.

-Brain Hulk

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