Benedict XVI, after his address to the German Parliament

We must listen to the language of nature and we must answer accordingly. Yet I would like to underline a further point that is still largely disregarded, today as in the past: there is also an ecology of man. Man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will. Man is not merely self-creating freedom. Man does not create himself. He is intellect and will, but he is also nature, and his will is rightly ordered if he listens to his nature, respects it and accepts himself for who he is, as one who did not create himself. In this way, and in no other, is true human freedom fulfilled. ~Pope Benedict XVI

As one federal judge after another strikes down one democratically passed pro-marriage state amendment after another, it can be awfully difficult to stay positive. (But positive and hopeful we must be. We’re Catholics, after all.) More and more, reason is being eclipsed by raw emotion and passion, making any kind of rational discussion nearly impossible. Children who are adopted by homosexual couples are going to grow up understandably thinking that their two dads or two moms are just the same as the traditional mom and dad arrangement. Furthermore, as they get older, they are going to be, understandably, very defensive when it comes to asserting the “equality” of their “parents” to traditional parents. I feel really bad for children who never experience the complimentary strengths that only a father and a mother together provide. (I’ve said this before, but what is the point of celebrating Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day, once we have concluded that neither brings something unique and special to the life of a child? If two dads are the same as one mom and one dad, when it comes to providing for a child, then we’ve basically declared that a woman, as mother, doesn’t contribute anything essentially unique to the child’s formation, haven’t we? So is Parent A Day and Parent B Day in the not-too-distant future? Admittedly, it doesn’t have the same ring to it, but it does more accurately reflect the reality of the present-day, doesn’t it?)

Before I get off on a coffee-overload-induced tangent here, I thought I’d cite a passage from probably one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard (above quote). It was an address given by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011 before the German Parliament. He provides a remarkable history of the role of natural law in the Western legal tradition, going back to the Greeks, and he concludes with the subsequent duties of lawmakers to pursue what is objectively right in their councils. Can lawmakers talk about the connection between “is” and “ought”? All of us living under the “dictatorship of relativism” who will be confronting the cultural and moral issues of tomorrow should be well-armed with Benedict’s (ever-polite) brilliance.

When he concludes his talk, you get the sense that some of the lawmakers are in awe of his intellect. (You can watch the entire speech, about 30 minutes or so, on Youtube here. It’s well worth the time.)