There Goes the Village
In past decades our European brethren were frequently ahead of us on the path of Western decline. Certain deviant behaviors were openly practiced first in Europe before migrating to America some months or years later. The widespread practice of cohabitation accompanied by an abandonment of the Sacrament of Marriage, for example, spread across the European continent several decades before it washed up on our shores. These days, though, the import and export of lousy ideas among Old World and New World nations seems to be balancing out. When ruinous ideology emerges overseas, the Church’s pastors and leaders in America can benefit in one limited sense: We often know what’s coming and can prepare for it.
The Church foresaw the slippery slope of contraception and abortion, and she now watches society — both in Europe and the U.S. — ignore her warnings about the redefinition of marriage. Same-sex marriage is banned in various American states but, judging from polling data that indicates that self-described Catholics and Protestants are softening on the issue, it’s looking like it’s going to be ever more difficult to defeat in the long run. Left-leaning governments leave little doubt about their intentions to ram same-sex marriage down everyone’s throats, even at the supranational level.
Now comes news that France is set to ban the words mother and father from all official documents as part of its plans to legalize gay marriage, leaving only the word parents in the civil code (Telegraph, Sept. 24). The draft law states that “marriage is a union of two people, of different or the same gender,” and gives adoption rights to homosexual couples. As has been tradition in recent centuries, France is the world’s model for deconstructing tradition.
Not so long after the gay-marriage battle commenced, we are beginning to hear more about polygamy. In this arena, Brazil actually beat Europe to the punch: A notary in the state of Sao Paulo sparked controversy by accepting a civil union between three people (BBC News, Aug. 28). Oddly enough, the union was formalized three months before the story made international news. Public Notary Claudia do Nascimento Domingues stated that the man and two women in question are entitled to family rights, and that there is nothing in the nation’s law to prevent it. The threesome has reportedly lived together in Rio de Janeiro for three years and shares bills and expenses. A court worker said they decided to register their “union” in order to protect their rights in case of separation or the death of one of the “partners.” Domingues said the case reflects the fact that the idea of a “family” has changed. “We are only recognizing what has always existed. We are not inventing anything,” she claimed. “What we considered a family before isn’t necessarily what we would consider a family today.”
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