Part Seven of The Battle to Save Marriage
When writing an opinion piece, speech, or a column in defense of marriage, I never doubted we would outmatch the other side. The homosexual rights movement took their arguments from poorly-understood and poorly-stated notions of law and sociology, and resorted again and again to that most effective, yet most deceptive of appeals — an appeal to pity. Curiously enough, it was the same method adopted by the new leadership of the League.
Our resources were far better. In all my commentary, I relied on a compendium of ethics written by Father Ignatius W. Cox, a Jesuit father and professor of ethics at Fordham University. The name of his most useful book, which I have read and re-read until the spine is broken and the cover is battered, is “Liberty Its Use and Abuse.” Father Cox wrote on the topic of the decline of sexual morality in America; and I have before me at this very moment a copy of Liberty Magazine from June 4, 1938 containing his article “What is Wrong with American Youth?” On the cover of the magazine is a smiling wedded couple, with the groom carrying the bride over the threshold.
If I was perplexed and could not find a ready answer to a question being discussed in the press, I consulted a very old source indeed – Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica. To these ideas, I added whatever rhetorical effect I could, gleaned here and there from old writers on oratory and poetics. Old books were my armory and my armamentarium, and from these I drew my resources.
Thus, whatever was good in my writing was not of my own doing. My insights, such as they were, were merely light reflected from a very old and ancient sun, the teachings of the Church. Illumined and guided by this light, I was at all times convinced of the truth of our own propositions; just as I was always aware, at every passing moment, of the errors of our opponents. I clearly discerned their arguments to be mired in deception; and I saw the truth of our own propositions shine forth with the light and the clarity of a proof by Euclid.
My editorial skills being somewhat lacking, I sent each column and opinion piece in advance to a good friend I had in made in New York in the years leading up to 9-11, Miss Andrea White. Miss White, a woman of great wisdom, patiently guided me back to sound and simple truths when my fancy threatened to carry me off the proper path.
We have then at the heart of my narrative a story that is not really about voting and politics at all, but a story about the nature of the Christian life, where our duties lie, and what we may expect as a reward.
Those who enlisted in the battle to save marriage fell in the estimation of the world. Many lost their livelihoods and went on to make very meager livings. Others were persecuted in the courts. Some fell ill. And others, as in the case of M.D. Harmon, went on to strange and sad ends. For most, defending marriage proved to be a type of martyrdom. Those who compromised with the world rose in power and status, and grew in wealth and pride.
Rarely have the powers of darkness worked with more ferocity, crushing down to earth those who seek to do God’s will, and raising up those who do their bidding. The forces unleashed against the Church by the homosexual rights movement are Hellish. As Dr. Scott Lively claims, the homosexual rights movement may be the capstone of the heresy found in the Last Days, as predicted by the Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 2:
“But there were also false prophets among the people, as there will be false teachers among you also, who will stealthily introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master having bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned. In their greed, these false teachers will exploit you with tales they have concocted.”
And the destruction will be carried out in the name of tolerance, under the banner of an all-inclusive rainbow. Tolerance will be, as Bishop Fulton Sheen correctly predicted, the doctrine and the organizing principle of the Antichrist.
Now, at the end of my journey, I find that the battle to save marriage – and holy matrimony is a much better term – was not a political battle after all, but a battle for the souls of men, and for my own soul as well. Along the way I became convinced that marriage is permanent and indissoluble, a sacrament needed for our salvation. And it became clear to me that we are engaged in a battle between light and darkness, between Heaven and Hell, between God and the Devil, between compromise with the world and fidelity to the truth; and in the process, we are choosing our own eternal destiny.
I owe a debt of gratitude to Dave Deschesne, editor and publisher of the Fort Fairfield Journal for allowing me to publish this brief reminiscence. I am also grateful for his allowing me to publish my column “Old Embers for New Torches” in which I reviewed old works of interest to the conservative movement. One may gain a better understanding of my spiritual journey by reading that column.