Saturday, June 27, 2015

Once Again Before the Tree of Knowledge

Today, we are called to preach the Gospel of Truth, praying that people turn away from the culture of self-delusion and lies that leads to death.

On Friday, June 26, 2015, we were treated to this from on-high:
Obergefell v. Hodges, ___ U.S. ___ (2015).
The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity. . . .

From their beginning to their most recent page, the annals of human history reveal the transcendent importance of marriage. The lifelong union of a man and a woman always has promised nobility and dignity to all persons, without regard to their station in life. . . . The ancient origins of marriage confirm its centrality, but it has not stood in isolation from developments in law and society. The history of marriage is one of both continuity and change. . . .

Choices about marriage shape an individual’s destiny. As the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has explained, because “it fulfils yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.” Goodridge, 440 Mass., at 322, 798 N. E. 2d, at 955.

The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality. . . . The right to marry thus dignifies couples who “wish to define themselves by their commitment to each other.” . . .

The right to marry is fundamental as a matter of history and tradition, but rights come not from ancient sources alone. They rise, too, from a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives define a liberty that remains urgent in our own era.
We've heard this before. It was said in a more concise way a dozen years ago:
Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003).
These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.
But these words were heard even further back -- all the way back to the beginning:

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-8.
The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it. The LORD God gave man this order: "You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and bad. From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die." * * *

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the LORD God had made. The serpent asked the woman, "Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?"

The woman answered the serpent: "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, 'You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.'"

But the serpent said to the woman: "You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad."

The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
Once again those words uttered at the dawn of human history have echoed from the bench and through the land. Those who proclaim with unbounded hubris to know better than all of humanity, to have a "better informed understanding," to be greater and wiser than all who have come before, again repeat the lie that one can be like a god, with the freedom, the power, to choose one's own reality, one's own conception of truth and error, of right and wrong.

Do not eat the fruit of the tree being offered you. The judicial fiat proclamation of "same-sex marriage" in Obergefell, like the words of Lawrence before it, is founded on a lie disguised as liberty and equality. In a very real sense, it is that very first lie uttered in the Garden – a corruption, not only of God's gift of creation of man as male and female, complementary of each other in a way that is intrinsically unitive and fruitful, but His gift of free choice. It is the lie whispered by the serpent in Eve's ear, "You can be a god. Eat of this fruit and you yourself can choose what is right and wrong. You can choose your own truth, your own reality. You can decree that what is different is actually the same, you can choose your inherently sterile relationship to be the equal of one that is procreative."

But this so-called “right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life” is completely divorced from transcendent Truth. We are not, we cannot be, gods unto ourselves. Existence is what it is. We have free will, but we cannot choose our own truth, we cannot choose our own reality.

And, as with that first lie, the lie of today that is "same-sex marriage," and gender change, where a man is now a woman and all are supposed to applaud, and abortion, and cloning, and embryonic experimentation, and physician-assisted death for the sick and elderly, as with the first lie, these modern lies have taken and will take an enormous toll.

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