Wednesday, March 27, 2013

“For the love of Christ impels us”

In light of the U.S. Supreme Court hearing oral arguments in the case challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, this morning I posted the picture below on Facebook. Above the image I wrote something like- “To love someone is to point them towards their destiny.” In a comment below the image, I wrote that it was now more important to give witness to marriage by joyfully living it fully, especially when it comes to divorce, child-bearing, and raising children, than to discourse about it. Hardly the stuff of hate speech, a reasonable person would think.



Not long after posting it a friend posted something on my Wall asking if I had been censured by FB. Initially, I was puzzled and responded that to my knowledge I had not been. Then, scrolling down, I noticed this image, along with my caption and comment, were no longer there. Not noticing anything on FB, either on my Wall, or a private message regarding this, I checked the email account I use to log onto FB to see if there was something at least notifying me that this had been removed and give me some indication as to why. I received nothing. Everyone I knew who posted the picture this morning had it inexplicably removed. Many of us re-posted it and it is still there. My best guess is that someone complained, and so without checking, FB administrators removed it and by the time we re-posted it they had determined it was not "inappropriate," like FB can make that call, at least judging by what I see show-up in my newsfeed on a regular basis.

I find this disturbing on a number of levels. We all know that social media is a mixed bag, bringing both good and bad. I don’t want to exaggerate and fall prey to a martyr complex, or put myself forward as a prophet. I know myself too well to do either of those things. Nonetheless, I won’t give in to hate and bitterness. To do so would be to lose when it comes to what matters most. Suffice it to say, when it comes to speaking, writing, posting the truth in love, I won’t be silenced. These days especially, the truth is often the minority opinion, but truth is not determined by a democratic process, this falsehood was revealed in humanity’s fall from its state of original grace.

In an interview he gave recently to the U.K.’s Catholic Herald newspaper, the USCCB’s point man on marriage, Archbishop Salvatore Cordilione of San Francisco, it was noted, “Even if opponents do not agree with his stance on same-sex marriage, he commands respect for his persistence in arguing for marriage between a man and a woman, in the face of being called homophobic and charged with the erroneous idea that he discriminates against gay people and lesbians. All the same, it must be unnerving at times to be on the receiving end of such hostility in San Francisco. But he doesn’t let it get to him. ‘All our detractors can do is call us names,’ he says. He throws his hands up in the air, and adds: ‘Big deal if they shout at us or throw insults!’

“When I say that people in Britain who oppose gay marriage have been slammed as ‘bigots’, by people who won’t allow any opinion but their own, he says: ‘How ironic!’” How ironic, indeed!

You can delete what I post off Facebook in Big Brother fashion, but you can’t silence me because, to borrow a phrase from St. Paul, who knew what it was to really be persecuted for speaking the truth in love: “For the love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all; therefore, all have died” (2 Cor. 5:14). At the end of my comment I stated that the truth remains the truth no matter what the U.S. Supreme Court decides, what any legislative body determines, or what any executive power on earth may mandate. I stand by this comment. In the end, only the truth remains. While it is true that there is no love without truth, one can speak, or communicate, the truth in an unloving way. The challenge is always to speak the truth in love, out of love and then let the chips fall where they may. My reason for not supporting so-called same-sex marriage is not because I am a homophobe (which term is simply agitprop from the Stanlist diagnostic manual), but because I love people by loving their destiny, which is another thing not subject to any worldly power.

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