The Supreme Court’s abuse of its authority in the decision redefining marriage as an institution based on feelings rather than fact and sanctioning deviancy as a civil right was expected, but the surprise was its sentimental substitution of nihilistic narcissism for jurisprudence, expressed in an amorphous substitute for English diction. This passed a death sentence on Christian culture, just as Roe v. Wade sanctioned the deaths of millions of infants.
As Christ rose from the dead, so can our nation, but only the cynic and the naïf will deny that the next steps will be attacks on Christ himself in his Church, schools and charitable institutions. It can’t happen here? That is what the English said before 1534 and the French before 1789 and the Russians before 1917 and the Germans before 1923. Now is the time of trial predicted by Christ. Not all will be brave enough to endure the persecutions predicted by Christ, though great will be the reward for those who bring their white robes of Christian dignity “unstained into the everlasting life of Heaven.”
Pope Francis has said, “Same-sex marriage is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is a move of the ‘father of lies’ who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.” The President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops declared that the narrow vote of the Supreme Court “is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us.” Chesterton wrote in 1926: “The next great heresy is going to be simply an attack on morality, and especially on sexual morality.” In 2008, Sister Lucia, who believed that she saw the Mother of Christ at Fatima, told Cardinal Caffarra: “The final confrontation between the Lord and Satan will be over family and marriage.” Injustice takes a harsh toll, but it cannot last, whereas “justice is eternal” (Wisdom 1:15).
I yield my column to some lines from the dissenting opinion of Justice Scalia, who is Catholic in practice as well as in name:
A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy. . . . Four of the nine are natives of New York City. . . . The five Justices who compose today’s majority are entirely comfortable concluding that every State violated the Constitution for all of the 135 years between the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification and Massachusetts’ permitting of same-sex marriages in 2003. They have discovered in the Fourteenth Amendment a “fundamental right” overlooked by every person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in the time since. . . . The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic. . . . The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie. . . . With each decision of ours that takes from the People a question properly left to them—with each decision that is unabashedly based not on law, but on the “reasoned judgment” of a bare majority of this Court—we move one step closer to being reminded of our impotence.
Father George Rutler is pastor of the Church of St. Michael in New York City. He is also the author of A Crisis of Saints .