In an op-ed column Friday ,Washington’s Cardinal Donald Weurl in commenting on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act pointed out that “Far from settling the debate over the meaning of marriage, the Supreme Court decisions have simply reminded all of us that there is a great difference between what a law can decree and what God has created.” (Washington Post, June 29, 2013)
It reminds us of the attempt in 1894 by the Indiana State Legislature to redefine pi in order to make it possible to square a circle. Fortunately the bill did not pass. The legislators recognized that even the government cannot change the laws of nature by fiat.
Unfortunately a majority of the justices on the Supreme Court failed to recognize that reality when it comes to marriage. Like the nature of a circle, the nature of marriage is not subject to governmental fiat. Marriage is not a creature of government and therefore is not subject to its jurisdiction.
Cardinal Wuerl further notes “Marriage is the word used in many translations across human history to signify the permanent, faithful and fruitful union of one man and one woman. It is the only institution that brings a man and a woman together in a partnership for life directed toward their mutual support and the generation and education of children. This is a human community that predates government.
“Marriage is not simply a committed relationship of any two adults, the Cardinal states, adding “No matter what a court, legislator, president or voter may claim to the contrary, the essence of marriage cannot be redefined. Its meaning is intrinsic, grounded in human nature and discoverable by human reason with or without the aid of faith.”
Government can address the legal consequences of any union and may choose to call it a marriage but as previously noted the action on the Supreme Court simply reminds us “that there is a great difference between what a law can decree and what God has created.”