I wrote comments on a number of other blogs similar to what I said in my What makes a marriage? post the other day. The comments are almost more disturbing than the wedding dance video.
Many of the comments, if not most of the comments, go something like this:
I would NEVER want to see such a thing take place in a CATHOLIC church, but this couple was not Catholic, so let them do what they want.
The problem is that this kind of comment misses the whole point. The wedding dance was not wrong because it would have been abominable if it were done in a Catholic church. The dance was wrong because it undermined the beauty and dignity of marriage per se.
Perhaps some examples will help illustrate my point. Let’s replace the concept “wedding dance” with something else and see the results:
I would NEVER want a CATHOLIC to steal, but he is not a Catholic, so let him do what he wants.
I would NEVER want a CATHOLIC to commit adultery, but he is not a Catholic, so let him do what he wants.
I would NEVER want a CATHOLIC to get an abortion, but this girl was not Catholic, so let her do what she wants.
There are, as one great mind said, some things that do not admit of a mean. That is, some things are black or white, true or false, right or wrong. They are not wrong because the Catholic Church says so. The Church recognizes these things as wrong because they violate the natural moral law. The Church recognizes these evils and then develops a deeper philosophical and theological understanding of them.
Returning to marriage, we should not say that one action would be wrong in one church building and acceptable in another. If it is unacceptable in the Catholic Church, there is a good reason it is not allowed and we should pay attention. There is a truth underlying Catholic doctrine that shines forth in the actions of Catholics and non-Catholics alike. And degrading the institution of marriage is not just an affront to the Church, but to the basic fabric of our society.
Catholics pride themselves on thinking rightly, on Making Distinctions, on using reason to think through issues both spiritual and practical. I think it’s about time we strove to think more clearly.