It’s been a month since the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell vs. Hodges, requiring all 50 states to allow same-sex couples to marry no matter where they live. Within that month, conversations about the issue have dwindled in mainstream news and social media. Go on — check Facebook or your favorite news source. Compared to a month ago, how many of the latest stories are about same-sex marriage?
You’ll probably find, as I have, that most people have already declared the same-sex marriage discussion to be “over” since the Supreme Court ruling. That’s precisely why the most important thing we can do right now is keep talking about it.
To help, I’ve compiled these resources (both Catholic and non-Catholic sources) to not only share with those you know, but to also have a personal discussion about them when you do.
Don’t just copy/paste these links on Facebook and expect the world to be enlightened. It’s not gonna happen. These sources are meant to be talked over.
So check them out! Read through each resource carefully to educate yourself (you won’t be able to carry on a very good conversation if you don’t know your stuff) — and once you’ve got a solid understanding of them, pass them along to family and friends.
And remember: When you talk this over with others, the number-one thing to keep in mind is to lead with love. The only way to reach other people’s hearts is to listen to them with openness, attentiveness and respect. Only when you show you are ready to listen to others will others be ready to listen to you. When you have built that trust and have come to a mutual understanding of your points of view, then you’ll be able to share the beautiful message of marriage and the family that we know in the Catholic faith.
What to share with your non-Catholic family/friends:
Some folks you know won’t be immediately interested in hearing the Catholic argument right from the get-go. I doubt you’ll get a positive response by throwing a copy of the Catechism at them. But here are good resources to share to build the conversation:
- The Secular Case Against Gay Marriage by Adam Kolasinski
- How Could Gay Marriage Harm Anyone? by Matt Slick
What to share with your non-Catholic family/friends who are actually interested in the Catholic perspective:
Some people in your circles are probably interested in learning more about why Catholics define marriage as a union between one man and one woman or why our brothers and sisters with same-sex attraction would choose to be celibate. These are resources to check out and share with them:
- The Third Way (video, 38 minutes)
- Desire of the Everlasting Hills (video, 60 minutes)
- Some with Same-Sex Attraction Choose Celibacy: A Reflection on an Article in the Washington Post (blog post by Msgr. Charles Pope)
What to share with your Catholic family/friends:
Here are resources we should all check out to support our brothers and sisters with same-sex attraction:
- Courage, a resource for Catholics with same-sex attraction with support groups and references
- Chastity Project, which includes good short videos under “Catholic Teaching” tab
- The most important question of our generation (podcast on “Catholic Stuff You Should Know”; includes a Part II)
Books by same-sex-attracted authors:
- Beyond Gay by David Morrison (with a forward by Archbishop Chaput)
- Sexual Authenticity by Melinda Selmys
- Washed & Waiting by Wesley Hill
- Paragraphs of the Catholic Catechism to read in sequence: 2361, 2357 – 2359
A Final Word
Those in the mainstream majority, including many Catholics, have disagreed with what the Church teaches about same-sex marriage…even if they can’t articulate what that teaching actually is. And as one of my wise friends said in his homily on Church teaching recently: “If you don’t know it well enough to articulate it, then you don’t know it well enough to disagree with it.”
Keeping the conversation going won’t be easy. When Jesus shared the truth of the Good News to the Jewish people, He was kicked out of the synagogue for it. True.
…But He also converted countless hearts, including many people deeply entrenched in the mainstream lifestyles of the time.
If you’re willing to share the good news about marriage and family with reason and love, you may be surprised by how others will respond in turn.