Joseph Bottum joins the long line of Catholics who've caved to culture, who've given up the fight, who've decided the fashionably shallow trumps the deepness and and abiding goodness of Catholic teaching:
In fact, same-sex marriage might prove a small advance in chastity in a culture that has lost much sense of chastity. Same-sex marriage might prove a small advance in love in a civilization that no longer seems to know what love is for. Same-sex marriage might prove a small advance in the coherence of family life in a society in which the family is dissolving.
I don’t know that it will, of course, and some of the most persuasive statements of conservatism insist that we should not undertake projects the consequences of which we cannot foresee. But same-sex marriage is already here; it’s not as though we can halt it. And other profound statements of conservatism remind us that we must take people as we find them—must instruct the nation where the nation is.
I'm not familiar with Mr. Bottum, in fact, I've not heard about him to this point however, I'd like to believe I am familiar enough with Catholic teaching to know and recognize the abandonment of one of Catholicism's sacraments to the whimsy that is gay marriage.
Frank Weathers has responded in an aptly title post he called Joseph Bottum Writes "The Long Goodbye":
Or is it “Farewell My Lovely?” Those are the titles that came to my mind as I read his essay today over at Commonweal.
No disrespect to Raymond Chandler intended for thinking of his titles, but I will never get back the hour I lost reading Bottums’ essay, where he makes his personal case for coming out in favor of Same Sex Marriage.
When I got to the end, it felt like I had endured the wandering in the Sinai for forty years, while learning that I was still not getting to the Promised Land.
A bad trade, that.
There also seemed to be a lot of “America” this, and “America” that, in the essay, and strike your colors thoughts like,
We are now at the point where, I believe, American Catholics should accept state recognition of same-sex marriage simply because they are Americans.
At which point I was thinking, really? So we should bag the idea of defending what the Church holds as true, both because it is philosophically true, and morally true, and knuckle under to the pressure of the animal spirits of the zeitgeist, and just throw in the towel? All because we are afraid of the potential white martyrdom of being called bigots?
Frank's response should be read in its entirety.
He takes a massively huge amount of words to work up to saying he never really gave much of shit about the gay marriage stuff that the Church is on about and he would now like the Church to just surrender on that point, pretend there is such a thing, and get behind the Rockefeller Republican agenda of pretending to give a shit about prolifers while supporting crony capitalism, double malt scotch, and war for hedonistic democratic capitalism around the world.
Look. If he wants to say, “Most Americans oppose the Church on this and realism dictates facing that fact” he gets no argument from me. But he’s saying, “The Church needs to get with the program and pretend gay ‘marriage’ is something other than a fantasy agreed upon by a culture that is radically out of touch with reality.” His core message is “Surrender”, not “Maintain the Tradition in a hostile culture.”
There'll be more on this. Given the reaction on the Catholic blogs I read, Mr. Bottums must be a man of some influence which means his essay will be used by those who hate Catholicism like a bludgeon.
This is what I find most grievous.
There are people I love deeply who will read Bottum's words and use them as a compost pile to nurture their doubts about The Church, in effect drawing them further away from The Truth.
He's done a great disservice to his faith but more impacting, he's likely done the same to the faith of many others.
I hope I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong big-time.
Lord, let it be so.