Our government is now granting homosexual paramours of US diplomatic personnel the same benefits as lawful spouses. I’m sure nobody’s falling over at the news; I certainly am not. What did raise my philosophical eye-brow to half-mast, however, was Madam Clinton’s explanation for this new policy: “the department will provide these benefits for both opposite-sex and same-sex partners because it is the right thing to do.”
Once upon a time, in Christendom, things were recognized as “right” or “wrong” based upon their conformity or non-conformity to the law of God, natural and revealed. With the secularization of statecraft that caused politics to degenerate from its zenith achieved in the High Middle Ages, men who had at least a commitment to the natural law had some correct notions of good and evil which informed their judgments. (Of course, without the Church, we can never quite agree on the natural law, can we? Thus the precariousness of this situation.)
Where has the degeneration brought us now? Presently, law students and criminal justice majors are taught that “we cannot legislate morality,” one of the most bankrupt notions of jurisprudence there could be, and an insult to the intelligence of anyone with a modicum of common sense.
In response to the logical objections to such foolishness, the modern legist often replies that the law should keep people from hurting each other by preventing murder, theft, etc. But a child can see the oxymoron: This is legislating morality. It is also making judgments of “right” and “wrong,” concepts we can’t seem to get away from, not even when we call evil good and good evil.
Without the law of God (supernaturally or naturally revealed), “right” and “wrong” become mere matters of opinion. In a liberal democracy like our own (or even the republic which our country is supposed to be), the nation is run by the will of the people rather than by the will of God. This implies that the dominant opinion — or that presently in favor with the oligarchs who almost always really run a democracy — becomes the law.
If original sin had not happened, this might not be a problem. But, alas, it did happen. Hence the problem.
Since the will of the people, or of the oligarchs, is that lawful marriage and homosexual relationships are on an equal footing, then “the department will provide these benefits for both opposite-sex and same-sex partners because it is the right thing to do.” Makes sense.
Maybe it’s time to go on a quest for the Catholic state… just because it’s the right thing to do.