Dear Dr. Mast,
I have five kids, ages 7 to 16. My daughters are 12 and 15. Just this morning, before I dropped them off at their Catholic middle and high school (same building), my oldest daughter said, “I have a question for you.” She wanted to know why gay marriage is wrong. After all, there are a lot of things in the Bible that are no longer to be abided by (Old Testament things, for example). I have answered this question for others, explaining it more from a Natural Law perspective. But I groped for an easy way to explain it to my daughters. And there wasn’t time to give a full answer. I’d like to return to the topic later because I know our children are confronting these questions frequently now, through the media. My guess is that she saw something on the Internet about this – that the question was posed out there and the “worldly wisdom” made sense to her. How would you have approached this? I would call into your show, and maybe should, but am usually working when it’s on.
Thanks so much for your help.
Dear R: You are in a very delicate position to tell 12 ands 14 year olds about same sex unions, but this is important.
Our culture is now saturated with propaganda that promotes ignorance about sexuality and marriage. A person who knows the truth about sex and marriage is put out to pasture as intolerant or narrow, when the opposite is true. The popular narrow view of sexuality is that sexual feelings are merely for a person’s selfish pleasure. God has a much broader mind than that. Sexuality is only truly human when placed at the service of life within the love of marriage. That is the language written in our bodies in the gift of self in marriage. In this way, human sexual expression is not just gratifying, but actually fulfilling! It fulfills a deep human longing to join God in the creation of new life. Any belief about sexuality less than that is ‘intolerant’ of the truth and meaning of human sexuality, and is more on the border of the thinking that we are animals. In reality and truth, we are human beings made in the image and likeness of God.
A twelve year old can understand it this way: God made us male and female. He made male and female the opposite sex, to go together in harmony, not to be exactly the same. When he instituted marriage in the book of Genesis, he said, “Man shall leave his father and mother, cling to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.” And “Be fertile and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.” And “What God has joined together, man cannot separate.” It is IMPOSSIBLE for a man and a man to be married, or for a woman and a woman to be married, since the whole institution of marriage is for union and perpetuating God’s love through having children. These two purposes cannot be separated since they are written into the body language of marriage. Two people of the same sex will be completely unfulfilled in their inner longings. It is impossible for them to become one flesh, and it is impossible for them to have children, since two people of the same sex do not have fertility or complementary sexual organs. Thus, they set themselves not only for a life of sin, but for a life of unfulfilled frustration with a little bit of gratification.
If the girls already have a general idea of how conception occurs, you can add this:
The way God made men’s and women’s bodies is that they fit together in the marriage embrace. The man (In his sperm cells) has half of the genetic material necessary to create a new human life, and the woman (in her monthly egg cell) has the other half. This is God’s design that each child is born of the love of a man and woman. That was not an idea we made up, it is part of God’s creation of us.
Today, the culture is trying to tell us that marriage is just a relationship of two people who live together to make each other feel good. That is a lie. Married love is about sacrificing your selfishness for the good of the other person and for the sake of the family. To be a real marriage, it must be of a man and a woman, faithful to each other, free to love, and open to new life.
Same sex unions can never be a marriage. The government is trying to write a new definition of marriage, but they can’t because they didn’t invent marriage. God created marriage. We can’t change the name or meaning of it just to pass a political test.
Read them the story “The Emperors New Clothes” and see if they think the emperor is naked or not, no matter what he was led to believe. A lie is a lie is a lie, even if millions of people believe it. Satan is the author of lies, and he has many friends in the world today. Unfortunately, many politicians and citizens believe it is ‘compassionate’ and accepting to promote the legality same sex unions. But the attempt at same sex unions is not good for the individual or society, so why would we want to promote it? Stealing is not good, killing is not good, and lying is not good for the individual or society, so we shouldn’t promote those either.