10 Ways of Living as a Son of God

Mass on Ramapo Mountain

  1. God literally died for you. You are a son of God and you get your worth from His love for you. God willed your existence out of love. You are not just a product of chance. God willed YOUR existence, He created you exactly as you are, and He loves you as you are. He sees you as His son, and wants to see you prosper and live with the fullness of life that He wants for you. Jesus said, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” in John 10:10. That’s pretty cool, huh?! And I haven’t even hit on the part about Jesus dying for us. He thought that we were worth dying for even though we had already messed up. So remember that even when things aren’t going well, Jesus believes in you and wants to give you another chance.
  1. Men are called to serve and protect. In the story of Adam and Eve, after Adam is created, “God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it” (Genesis 2:15). God gave Adam and all men this duty, to “cultivate and care” for all of the Earth. This includes all of the plants and animals, but most importantly all of humanity. The Hebrew translation of “cultivate and care” is the word “Shamar,” which means to protect and keep.  So God wasn’t just giving us a job of being gardeners, but being protectors of all of God’s creation.  Our job is to honor God in all that we do and to selflessly serve and protect all others in our care, our wives, our families, our communities, those in need, and to even care for nature too, as  Pope Francis has put out so beautifully in his latest encyclical, Laudato Si.  A man is called to sacrifice of himself for others. Our ultimate model of manhood is Jesus Himself, and He gave us a very clear message that we need to put ourselves last in serving others. Sometimes this is in very heroic ways, like soldiers, police officers, and firemen. But we can also give of ourselves for others in everyday matters, like going out of our way to help a friend or someone in need, letting people go before us in lines, and making time to spend with your family instead doing what you want.
  1. Your masculinity doesn’t depend on what you look like. In our culture, there are these lies that in order to be a true man, we need to be super big and ripped. We see this all over: on sports, in commercials, in the locker room. This is a lie. Some men are naturally skinny or overweight, this has no bearing on their manhood. Sure, it is healthy to be in shape and to be able to do some heavy physical labor, but don’t be tempted to think any less of yourself if you don’t have big muscles. God judges us for what we do, not what we look like. In addition, remember that you can act like a man even when you are relatively young. Don’t let your elders convince you that just because you’re young, you’re destined to make mistakes and fail until you’re older. There are plenty of 10 year old boys who live much more manly lives than 40 year olds, by pursuing virtue and excellence in everything that they do.
  1. Pursuing virtue. Once I was privileged enough to attend a talk specifically on manliness at a Catholic conference (another shout-out to FOCUS!), and I was surprised to learn within the first few minutes that the essence of manliness is simply cultivating and living the virtues. Ultimately, this post could simply be about the 7 virtues, but I guess I wanted to flesh them out a little bit more for the sake of making them a bit more practical. The Catholic Gentleman has a wonderful post that highlights the importance of virtue that I would highly recommend, but the 7 virtues are prudence, temperance, justice, fortitude, faith, hope, and charity. The first 4 are called cardinal virtues that we can train ourselves in, and the final 3 are called theological virtues which are gifts from God. In your own life, your best bet is to pick out one of the cardinal virtues at a time, research them so that you can understand them, and then continuously work at attaining them. As for the theological virtues, your best bet is to take those into prayer each day, asking God for those gifts. He will provide.
  1. Treating women right. One of the easiest ways to distinguish a man from a boy is how he treats women. A man always treats women with respect, seeing them as a human being with their own life, needs, relationships, and feelings. Boys are sometimes tempted to use women, for their bodies, for a sense of emotional comfort, for power, etc. One of those general rules of thumb to apply here is to see every woman as your mother, sister, daughter, etc. This includes women that you see on screens and images. Would you treat one of them the way that you are treating this stranger? And beware, pornography may seem harmless at first, but it has a crippling effect on you and your relationships with the more beautiful sex. A huge way that we can honor women is by having chaste relationships with them. Save sex for marriage, and make sure to draw the line clearly with how physical you BOTH feel comfortable being with each other if you’re in a committed relationship. Save the “test drive” for cars, because women are so much better than that. It’s an insult to even compare them to cars. If you aren’t willing to lay down your life for them for the rest of your life, you have no right to a “test drive,” this is a go big or go home issue. On a lighter note, some things that I love to see men do for women is to open doors for them, let them eat first, paying for a date, listening attentively, and not talking down to them- especially with regards to subjects like sports and cars where the stereotype is that women don’t know anything about that. Oh yea, and if you’re Catholic, letting your wife / girlfriend / children go before you to receive Holy Communion. What a better way of sacrifice then letting them receive Jesus first?!
  1. True to our promises. A man is as good as his word, goes the common saying. “Let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation,” warns St. James in James 5:12. How often have you been affected by this in others? One of the most common issues where we see this in the 21st century is Facebook events. I’m guilty of putting “maybe” down for about 5 events in a row, only to never change to yes or no and never showing up. Doing that hurts my friends who went out of their way to invite me and don’t have any idea if I’m coming or not! And this can be applied to greater things, too.. How many times have we encountered people who are always promising to do things and never follow through? We stop taking that person seriously, don’t we? Perhaps the most important promises that affect each one of us are wedding vows. Each one of us has a mom and a dad. And most of our parents, at least at one point in time, were married. They promised to be love and serve each other, through good times and bad. They promised to be faithful to each other for their entire lives. They promised to marry each other for life. Yet, unfortunately, about half of marriages end in divorce. Dang. Talk about a broken promise. Think… they promised that they would love and serve each other in both good times and in bad. So as much as I feel for couples going through difficult marriages, divorce never really was an option according to their vows. Unfortunately these affects have wounded countless numbers of young people in my generation, who are now the likely generation in recent memory to ever get married. There is hurt everywhere because of broken promises. Long story short, a man keeps his word, even if it is very difficult. Even if just each of us as individuals try to get a little better on this, I think it would go a long way in changing the world.
  1. Taking the initiative to pursue a woman. For young men, assuming that you aren’t called to the priesthood or religious life, one of the most exhilarating times of our lives is attempting to win a woman’s heart. Notice how I used the words “pursue” and “win”, verbs that imply that you actually try. You don’t usually find the woman of your dreams by just sitting around waiting for her to walk through your door, but by going out and living life, and meeting her doing the same sort of things that you like to do. Don’t be afraid to take a chance and ask out a woman that you’re interested in! Rejection stings, but you’ll never have a shot if you don’t ask! Unfortunately there seems to be a lot of young women out there looking for relationships and potential husbands, but not many men going out and asking them. Instead, our culture has made hooking up seem like a normal thing to do. This is no way to treat a woman, to use her for her body with no thoughts for who she actually is as a person… to just try and get messed up enough that you don’t even know what you’re doing. That’s not being a man, that’s being an animal. A man goes out of his way to protect women and treat them with respect. The end goal of a relationship isn’t sex or physical pleasure. The end goal of a relationship is life-long friendship, love, and helping each other become closer to Christ. Kids are nice too, when we’re talking about marriage 😉
  1. Be sharpened by other men. Man was not created to be alone. We were actually created for community. I’ve already mentioned some cool things about relationships with women, but in general fraternal friendships are just as important! Jesus recognized this when He gave us the Church. It wasn’t just Peter alone who continued Jesus’ mission on bringing God’s Kingdom to earth in the Church, but the 12 Apostles, and the 72 Disciples, and countless others! Jesus founded the Church as a community, and it grew as a community. We are all the Body of Christ, and we are stronger together as a “body” as opposed to “a lone ear” or “a finger and two toes.” A pretty cool bible verse that highlights this is Proverbs 27:17, which says, “As iron sharpens iron, so man sharpens his fellow man.” Of course this applies to women too, but I love the imagery of iron here and I think it speaks very clearly to men. When I am alone, I am more vulnerable to temptations and not always the person that I ought to be. When I am surrounded by my good friends, they encourage me to be the best that I can be in all things. One simple way that I’ve noticed this is in prayer accountability. As a missionary, I challenged men to commit to praying daily, as I do, so that they could grow closer to Jesus. Beforehand, most of them had never had a very regular prayer life, but after I challenged them to start one and continued to check up on them, they started making impressive improvements and I could see their lives change as they grew closer to Christ through prayer. Accountability and encouragement is one of the best ways that we can help build each other up as men.
  1. Only satisfied by God. This world is great. God has given us so many people to become friends with and countless other joys. But as tempting as it can be to strictly chase the things of this world, we have to remember that in the end only God will satisfy us. We were made for God, and nothing less will give us peace. We will always be wanting more… until we are finally with God, and we will have never-ending peace and joy, ecstasy really! So with that in mind, make daily prayer a part of your schedule, and make sure to be faithful to Sunday Mass and regular confession. Our relationship with God starts right here on earth.
  1. God’s son. Did you know that God desires a personal relationship with you? Kind of like any other friend, except He’s Jesus and He created, unconditionally loves, and died for you! Now, if you’re anything like me, you get a bit turned off by that mushy “God loves us” stuff. The girls eat that up, but for us as guys, it doesn’t really work. I think we need to take a different approach. God gave us two basic ways of seeing Him: as our Father in God the Father, and as our brother in Jesus. Some of us aren’t blessed in having a father or brother in our lives that gives us a glimpse of the true love and care of God/Jesus. As a Father, God cares for us at all times. He watches out for us, is ready to give us advice, and gives us everything that we need to live joyfully as His sons. As a brother, Jesus modeled for us a firm commitment to putting God first in all that we do, a strong work ethic in our day to day labors, compassion and care for those around us who need mercy and help, and is a friend whose shoulder we can lean on whenever we need some support. God is much closer to us than we think and remembering that He is by our side at all times will help us through the good and the bad times ahead.

I hope and pray that these tips inspire and encourage you! God bless!

Note: A couple of months ago I published a post about being a Daughter of God, which inspired me to write this one as well for the guys!

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Being Faithful Isn’t Manly?

Football Praying

Whether on the college campus or not, in America I’ve noticed that the public doesn’t seem to think that having faith is manly. People seem to think that people who pray are a bunch of sissies who have problems controlling their feelings. A “real man” takes care of things himself and leaves nothing to chance, they claim.

Obviously I’d beg to differ. As a man myself, I have found that my faith has taught me how to grow as a man and be the best one that I can be.

First off, a man must be rational. This is the first task of any man, to wrestle with and find the truth so that they can live the best life possible. What sort of man lives his life according to some sort of fairy tale searching for the fountain of youth or Atlantis? A man ought to live for the truth, not some sort of fake reality- someone who lives in their own little world isn’t a man… the proper description would be insane. There is a God and an eternal reality for us all, and this can be known through philosophy and reason. After wrestling with this and coming to know the truth, the best way to live as a man is to keep that in mind at all times so that we can learn to be responsible protectors of creation and providers for those in need. And who is a better example of this than Jesus, who taught us that the things of God are worth so much more than the things of the world. Just take a look at the beatitudes in Matthew 5!

A man is responsible, he doesn’t just let his life slip away due to alcohol, drugs, pornography, or any other addictions. A man lives with clear convictions and holds to them even if that means that he might have to suffer for them. A man is accountable for his actions and strives to be the best son, father, coworker, citizen, teammate, etc. everyday. Who is a better example of this than Jesus, who followed God with all that He did so that He could teach humanity how we can live best.

A man is humble and a team player. Nobody wants to be on the same team as a ball-hog or work with a coworker who never communicates with the rest of the team. People who are angry and unreasonable ruin relationships and leave a trail of inefficiency behind them. They are a cancer to whatever group they are a part of. Through faith, we learn that we need to encourage others at all times and realize that our talents are merely gifts from God to be used for the benefit of all of humanity instead of being used for selfish gain. Jesus taught us this by never showing off His power any more than He needed to, but simply trusting in God that eventually the disciples would learn to be faithful and follow Him with their whole hearts, without forcing them to.

A man protects those entrusted to him, especially his family, friends, and nation. A man doesn’t just lie down and let evil happen to them, but sacrifices even to the point of death for those under his care. With a secular philosophy, there isn’t much reason to do this at all. In that case, it’s a dog eat dog world where the poor get poorer and those defenseless get taken advantage of without men who stick up for those in need. But we all know that a real man never wimps out of protecting others. Jesus is a fantastic example of this because He gave up His very life freely so that we all could be saved from eternal damnation. God didn’t just sit back and say, hey, I’ll let someone else do the work.. maybe John the Baptist or Elijah! No! God Himself came down as Jesus, walking the walk instead of just talking the talk.

A man provides for his family and those in need. What do you call the boss who lives extravagantly while his employees are barely making minimum wage? What do you call the father who fathers a child but leaves the mother to raise him or her all alone? What do you call the dad who finds time to drink with his friends every night while his children never get to see him? These are obviously selfish and horrible examples, but by living with faith, we can learn to put others first before ourselves instead of forgetting that essential way of life. Jesus gave us a great witness to that when He bent down to wash His disciples’ feet, showing them that the last will be first, and the first will be last.

A man honors his God. As a father, you expect your children to respect, obey, and have a relationship with you. If they don’t, it is very disrespectful. In a similar way, we need to apply this to our relationship with God. God is our Father. Do we respect Him in how we act and talk about Him? Do we speak with Him? Do we love Him? Just a like a good father, God loves us unconditionally and desires to have this relationship with us. Who is better to consul and comfort us than our loving Father?

What I really seem to have focused on is how having faith helps us to be the best men that we can be. It seems to me that without faith, there is no need for virtue. And without virtue, there is no manliness. Come to know Jesus and live for Him, and I promise you that He will constantly challenge you to become a greater man than you were before.

This is an awesome clip I wanted to throw in here with some of the Seattle Seahawks players- who will be playing for the Super Bowl next weekend- talking about their faith.

Saints Mary and Joseph, Examples of Femininity and Masculinity

Holy Family Nativity

Last week in bible study we joined up with a girls study for some bowling and a quick study on femininity and masculinity. My friend Rachel led the girls study and provided the reflection on our Blessed Mother, and I provided the reflection on St. Joseph.

Mary, Mother of God

  1. Who is Mary?

Mary is a guiding light for us. She is the only example that we have of a perfect and sinless woman. Mary demonstrates a beautiful character through her roles as both wife to Joseph and mother to Jesus. And through these roles, she portrays perfectly the vocation women are called to. But she is not simply an example to women – she is mother of all. Both men and women can look to her as an example of prayer, humility and selfless love.

The Character of Mary:

  1. Receptivity
  2. Capacity for the Other
  3. Resonance of Mind and Heart

Luke 1: 26-38 “In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, ‘Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ But Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?’ And the angel said to her in reply, ‘The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.’ Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

  1. How does Mary demonstrate receptivity in this passage?
  2. What does this reveal about Mary’s role as a wife or mother?

“The existence of Mary is an invitation to the Church to root her very being in listening and receiving the Word of God, because faith is not so much the search for God on the part of human being, as the recognition by men and women that God comes to us” – JPII

John 2 1-6: “On the third day there was a wedding in Cana, in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ [And] Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servers, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’

  1. How does Mary demonstrate her “Capacity for the other”?
  2. What does this reveal about Mary’s role as mother?

Luke 2: 41-51 “Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.’ And he said to them, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.”

  1. How does Mary demonstrate her “Resonance of Mind and Heart”?
  2. What does this reveal about Mary’s role as wife and mother?

John 19: 26-27 “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”

–          We have looked at how Mary has played a motherly role in the life of Jesus from the moment of his conception up to the point of his painful, yet, redeeming death. At this moment, Mary became mother of not just the beloved disciple, John, but to all of Jesus’ beloved disciples…us. At the foot of the cross, at a time when she is feeling so much pain and sorrow in her heart, she still gave a “yes” to the Lord and accepted us as her children.

–          Mary is a true model to all Christians because she is a model of being open to the will of God. She bore Jesus Christ in her womb and bore him into the world. Her mission has always been to bring Jesus Christ to the world and to bring the world to Jesus Christ. Let us go to her with all of our needs, our sorrows, and our joys. She will rejoice with us in our triumphs and will console us in our suffering. Mary is truly a gift from God to us, so let us entrust ourselves to her, knowing that she will bring us to her Son.

St. Joseph

St. Joseph is a fantastic model for what true manhood is especially in his virtue, faith, and charity. His family was the most unique family ever: his wife was the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, and their son Jesus was God. Imagine that craziness. And though spiritually St. Joseph is the “least important,” he was still absolutely vital. Even though not a single word by St. Joseph is recorded in scripture, he still teaches men so much by his actions.

When he found out that Mary was pregnant while they were “engaged,” instead of shaming her, St. Joseph did not plan to make a scene of it but to quietly divorce her. Think of how tough that situation was! The penalty for cheating on a man in those days potentially could have been death, by stoning! And yet St. Joseph was going to spare her as much contempt as possible.

Next, St. Joseph had a strong enough faith to trust the angel that announced to him that Mary’s child was God’s child. Again, what a ridiculous situation that we completely take for granted. God’s child! And again, St. Joseph did not abandon Jesus and Mary but trusted God.

Also, St. Joseph honored our Blessed Mother and her special role in history by protecting her virginity even though they were married. We think that priests and sisters have a sacrifice to make in celibacy: how about a properly married couple being celibate? And Mary wasn’t bad looking.

He took his entire family and fled when the emperor was having all of the children killed for fear of Jesus, thanks to a warning from an angel. He has faith in the angel again, and doesn’t abandon Jesus and Mary but takes them to Egypt, a completely foreign country, in order to escape.

St. Joseph worked to provide for Jesus and Mary. Again, we can’t take this stuff for granted: his wife was sinless and his son was God, and he had to work a day job to support them?

At all times, St. Joseph honored God and put God’s plans before his own convenience, even when it was ridiculously hard. St. Joseph is a model of virtue and sacrifice for all men.

Signs of the Transition to Manhood

Lately I’ve been thinking more about what it is to be a man. We talked about it in bible study this week for much longer than I was expecting, and it was one of the better discussions I’ve had in a few weeks.

This got me thinking of some of the talks that I heard at SEEK Conference last month about manhood. Dr. Johnathan Reyes did such a great job of comparing the signs that differentiates a boy from a man, and I’d like to share them with you:

  • A boy is occupied by looking for fun. A man is occupied by his duties.
  • A boy worries about whether others like him. A man cares more about whether he is respected.
  • A boy is self-focused in all that he does. A man keeps his thoughts and gaze outwards, thinking of others first.
  • A boy chooses the most comfortable option. A man makes sure to choose to do the right thing.
  • A boy avoids responsibility. A man is responsible. In the business world, a man accepts the responsibility of owning a project.
  • A boy becomes discouraged and gives up. A man perseveres through trial.
  • A boy doesn’t change the environment that he is in. A man improves every environment that he enters.
  • A boy views women as objects, as a “collection of body parts.” A man sees women as the whole person and respects and honors them in what he says and does.
  • A boy needs rules to act uprightly. A man is self-disciplined.
  • A boy brags about his accomplishments. A man does not exalt himself.
  • A boy avoids commitment. A man’s word is good and he honors vows to death.
  • A boy is governed by his passions. A man is governed by the truth.

This is a challenging list. But I think that it is important that we challenge ourselves and hold ourselves to a high standard (see the self-disciplined part). Are you where you want to be? I know that it’s a struggle. It is much easier to work on your journey to manhood when you do it together with a good friend or two. Share your desire to grow to become a better man with one another. And don’t forget to pray! Ask God to help give you the grace to overcome sinful tendencies.

Make war on sin, and start living like a man. Turn this Tedashii song up!

Risk

Men of the world,

If you want to make a difference, you’re going to have to get off of the couch and take risks. What worthy pursuits are there that do not require a risk?

In order to become a great football player, you have to risk injury in games, practices, and workouts. If you don’t get off of the bench, you can’t help your team win.

In order to be successful in business, you have to take a risk, whether that is in starting a new company, hiring a new coworker, or deciding which plan of action to take in dealing with a problem.

In order to marry the girl of your dreams, you’ll have to put your pride on the line and ask her out in the first place. Tough enough. And even at that, you’ll probably have to go through a few unsuccessful dating relationships before you find the one. Not to mention the potential difficulties that come with marriage in the first place. (Want to be a great dad? Put yourself last, forgive quickly, look to help others before yourself, have clear communication with your wife, see things from others point of view too)

Just to love itself takes risk. There’s no way around taking the risk out of love, as much as people try. If there wasn’t a chance of hurt and heartbreak, how could it be called love? Love without risk is more like “liking,” it doesn’t satisfy. Nobody is just satisfied with “liking” someone but rather experiencing and loving someone, whether that is a friendship or a relationship.

Really, isn’t it the risk that shows just how much you love, how much you care? Didn’t it mean a lot more when Michael Jordan played through the flu in game 5 of the 1997 NBA finals against the Utah Jazz than game 6, even though he scored more points in game 6 and they won the championship? People remember game 5 more than game 6, even though that was the clinching game. And of course there’s the stories about the sacrificial love of parents for their children: they’ll die horrible deaths just to save their children.

The risks you take in life will show the world how well you love. Man up, bite the bullet, and make the world a better place, no matter what the world might do back to you.

The Case Against Same Sex Marriage

Many people, especially the youth, seem to be very frustrated with the Church, other Christians, and all others who seem to be “traditional to a fault” by not allowing gays to marry. From their point of view, it seems like there would be nothing to lose by allowing others to do what they want, what they say would make them happy. And we’ve seen examples of same sex relationships working out and even responsibly raising adopted children, which gives their argument some weight. So how could somebody have the opinion that they could forbid someone else from doing what they think makes them happy? I’ll attempt to explain.

Are there situations where we should tell others that they can’t do something?
Yes, of course there are legitimate examples of this. Many children on Halloween night know that they will be really happy if they eat all of their candy all at once, for example. Despite how happy it might make them, their parents often don’t allow them to do this because it would make their stomach feel bad the next day and it isn’t healthy. Another example, think of drunk driving this time: by not allowing others to do what they might want, we help improve the safety for everyone else as well as the potential drunk drivers themselves. So as we can see, there are situations where we can responsibly not allow others to do what they want because even though it might make them happy, it still isn’t the best for them or for others.

What is the purpose of the law?
If same sex marriage were to be legalized, it would be done as a law. So what is the point of a law? Laws are meant to recognize the true nature of life. The basis of a good law is not what society thinks but rather what the truth is. For example, people have a right to not be enslaved not because the government grants it but because it is a part of their identity as human beings.

What is marriage?
It is absolutely essential to understand what marriage is before we can decide whether or not same sex couples could possibly be married. The word marriage is derived from the Latin marītāre, meaning to provide with a husband or wife. With that in mind, by definition marriage has complementarily of the sexes in mind. Marriage has always been the fundamental building block of society consisting of a man and a woman who join together for life, open to children and striving to help each other to the best of their abilities. And is this only a societal construction? Of course not, marriage has been necessary for the continuation of our species, producing the next generation. It would not be possible for a society without a strong emphasis on the importance of marriage to last.

So what’s wrong with same sex marriage?
With the tried and true norm of marriage defined above, we come to see that you can’t possibly justify same sex marriage by appealing to the ways of nature, because it clearly violates them. When you look at the bodies of the male and female, they do not make sense on their own. Children only come from the union of a man and a woman. That’s just nature. Something else to chew on: same sex couple’s can’t have sex. Society might call other courses of intercourse sex, but there’s only one way of intercourse which can lead to children and it requires both a man and a woman. Marriage is both unitive and open to procreation, but a same sex attempt at marriage fails in both categories.

So why can’t they just have a civil union and not call it marriage?
This would undermine the natural order of human life. People are born male or female, and that isn’t discriminating, it’s reality. Even without calling it a marriage, an endorsement of same sex partnerships would potentially place children in situations where they would be missing either a father or a mother (see next point). It would also decrease the value of traditional marriage and make it in society’s eyes only something that the government “allows” you to have. If you’re Christian (or basically of any faith that traces itself to Abraham), it would be encouraging people to sin, as almost every faith defines homosexual actions as sinful. Many people claim that we must allow civil unions for the sake of legal rights and social support, but those should be given to all people.

How does same sex marriage hurt children?
In every situation, same sex marriage denies a child either a mother or a father. This is the same issue that children have in single parent homes. The more research is done, the more we see how important it is for children to grow up with their natural father and mother. That is the way that they came into existence and is the way that nature intended them to be brought up. Furthermore, there are many benefits to having both a mother and a father while growing up, especially in the realm of self esteem. Check out the importance of fathers that I wrote about using data from none other than the US Dept. of Health and Human Services here.

How does same sex marriage hurt society?
Humanity is rooted in marriage. Without sex, there would be no more children. The best parents for children are their natural mother and father, so encouraging marriage leads to a better raised next generation, which is necessary for a stable society. Look at China or Japan for extreme examples of how a large population difference between generations can cripple individuals and society as a whole: especially social security. Traditional marriage leads to increased life expectancies and other psychological benefits for the couple. Governments have had a vested interest in marriage throughout history for many of these reasons. Finally, think about the “slippery slope” argument: if you allow two people of the same sex to be married, what keeps 3 people from getting married, or a child and an adult, or a person and an animal, etc.? Aren’t these wrong? By allowing same sex marriage, we would be opening the door to further reinterpretations of what marriage is.

What did Jesus say?
For those who are Christians or at least respect most of His teachings, we can look to see what He taught us about marriage. In Matthew 19, He uses the words of Genesis to reaffirm that marriage is between a man and a woman, saying that there should not be divorce or remarriage. He also notes that some people are incapable of marriage because they were born so. That is interesting to note because people tend to think that they deserve to be married, no matter what, but marriage is actually a sacrificial gift of oneself for their spouse, and because of this, it makes sense that some people do not have the maturity to responsibly enter into a marriage. Again, not only in Christianity but in most other religions, homosexuality is considered a sin.

How is this not discrimination?
Speaking as a Catholic, we believe in the inherent dignity of each and every human being. We believe that everyone must be treated with respect, kindness, and love. This includes everyone who identifies as LBGT or anything else.

The issue comes up that nowadays society is under a number of different impressions (incomplete list): 1. Sex is the meaning of life. 2. People can’t be happy without sex. 3. You should be able to have sex whenever you want with whoever you want. Quick answers: 1. Sex doesn’t last forever. What happens when you die? 2. I’m a virgin (and a college aged male at that) and you might have to take my word for it if you don’t know me but I’m happier than most. Want more proof that you can be happy (scratch that, overwhelmingly joyful) without sex? Go talk to a religious sister or priest. 3. There’s these things called STD’s, and condoms fail 15% of the time.

Discrimination is not allowing someone to do something based on something they can’t control. But marriage is only possible for a male and a female couple, so it isn’t discriminating any more than not “allowing” your dog to go to school.

I would like to conclude by emphasizing that the goal of this post is not to be hurtful but to bring the truth to light in a clearer manner. There are many people who surely will not find this proof sound enough and so I would only ask that they be respectful, hopefully they learned a little more of the reason behind the other side. I love all people regardless of their sexual orientation (as Jesus calls us all to do, love people hate sin), and only seek to make the truth more clear and help people see the other side of this loaded issue.

More resources:
Two Steps from Reasonable About Marriage – Public Discourse
So-Called Marriage – J. Budziszewski

I’m Pro-Life Because…

It’d like to present to you all a little project that I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks. In this project, I decided to go around asking people why they were pro-life. I was expecting some pretty diverse reasons, but what struck me were the personal stories! How powerful and touching it is when you or a loved one was supposed to be aborted! Unfortunately, in the United States, we live in a country where at any time during our stay in our mother’s womb, we could have been killed and it would have been completely legal.

The goal for this video is to showcase just the tip of the iceberg of all of the different reasons why people support the pro-life movement, and to generate a good discussion.


So now it’s your turn! Why are you pro-life?

See more:
I’m pro-life. Why aren’t you?