"Agree or disagree, they aren’t being welcoming of ‘everyone.’ They should have the courage to say so."
Mozilla’s statements have been little more than an exercise in doublespeak, saying one thing while meaning the opposite. Their commitment to “diversity” clearly implies the new phenomenon of sexual diversity is more important than the other types; “religion” notably shows up last. The Orwellian maxim “some are more equal than others” rings very loudly through this statement. Eich’s firing sends a strong message to Catholics and anyone who would object to the prevailing cultural mindsets on marriage. If we fail to speak up now, the gradual edging out of religious persons from society will likely continue at a faster pace.
The Catholic Understanding of Marriage
With little philosophical discussion, the current has shifted significantly on same-sex attraction. A few years ago, it was little more than a fringe issue. Now it is social orthodoxy complete with social and professional penalties. In response, we need to be able to articulate the value of traditional marriage coherently since the gay-marriage proponents who sealed Eich’s fate do not seem to recognize that a person may oppose gay marriage without any hatred or malice for persons who experience same-sex attraction.
The labels “bigot” and “homophobe” are so effective today that most people support gay marriage out of passion and a genuine desire to be moral and on the “right side of history.” Supporting traditional marriage is lumped in with racism and sexism, though unfairly so.
Catechism of the Catholic Church defines marriage as follows:
"The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament." (CCC 1601)
Marriage, teaches the Church, is about the good of the spouses and begetting children. It’s the second part of that definition which has been abandoned in the developed West today.
The essence of marriage that supporters for traditional marriage insist on is that children matter to marriage and that a large part (half) of marriage is about begetting and raising children.
It is uncontroversial that neither two men nor two women can beget a child through the sexual act. Nowadays there are other methods of generating a child, but these are not normative (and are also unacceptable in the Church’s teaching). The sexual act is definitive for marriage. It is the way in which children enter the world and the way in which the bond between the husband and wife is sealed. Only the union of a man and woman realizes the biological reality of what sex is for: it makes babies and joins the couple in the true unity of performing one whole act as one agent.
The importance of sex, not a hatred or fear of it, is why the Church prohibits acts that interrupt or fail to realize the whole good of sexuality. These include all sexual sins from contraception, to masturbation, to homosexual acts.
Nevertheless, while the Church recognizes and denounces sexual sins, She never hates the sinner. Most people fall into sexual sin at different points in life just as every human being sins in general. The Church is a hospital for sinners, a place for all of us to come, repent and be healed. Supporting marriage does not mean hatred of persons with same-sex attraction, just as it does not mean hatred of persons with other sexual sins or other sorts of sins. Indeed, if calling certain actions sinful amounted to hating the person who performed them, then we all would be hated, for we are all sinners.
There is nothing hateful or bigoted about supporting traditional marriage. Now is the time for Catholics to express the truth about marriage boldly. Our jobs and our legitimate standing in the public sphere may soon depend on it. Brendan Eich’s did.
Stephanie Pacheco is a writer, blogger, and speaker in Northern Virginia.