Ireland has suffered a national tragedy. By 62 to 38 percent, she voted Yes to amend her constitution to allow for so-called same-sex ‘marriage’ last Friday.
It is even tempting to speak of an international tragedy, inasmuch as Ireland thus became the first country in the world to back gay ‘marriage’ by popular vote (as opposed to judicial fiat or parliamentary decision).
The eyes of the world were briefly focussed on this little nation last week. And the effects of her vote will undoubtedly be felt across the world – in English-speaking culture above all.
Thus, the Yes Vote brings many perils both here and abroad.
It brings us all one step closer, for example, to a widespread culture of surrogacy – where a woman’s womb is ever more associated as part of a reproductive machine.
It brings us one step closer to the situation in England where gay millionaires threaten to sue the Church of England for denying them ‘marriage’.
It brings us one step closer to what may soon be a vastly increased population in the West who, as children, never had their psychological needs for a mother and father met.
Of course, vast liberalisation of divorce laws, stemming from the 1960s revolution, started that process. However, the current gay revolution takes the process further. Whilst many people realise that divorce is a tragedy for the child, we increasingly face a situation where a child having two mothers or two fathers is not seen as a tragedy – but rather a victory for equality. (For equality was the key word used in this referendum campaign. And no doubt Yes voters genuinely believed they were voting for a more equal, just and noble world.)
These are just a few ‘one step closers’ amidst many others – often too intangible to capture in short tidy sentences.
But, in fine, we appear to be moving towards an ever-more dry, abstract, mechanical, dehumanised society everywhere in the West. The result of this referendum can only abet that process.
For the Catholic Church, in defending both the traditional nature of marriage and the child’s psychological need for a mother and father, is defending that which is true, beautiful, natural and wholesome.
And the vast-ranging attack on Catholic Christian values here in Ireland – from internationally funded media and government elites – can only negate what is true, beautiful, natural and wholesome.
It is, as I say, dehumanising, slowly turning human nature ever more into something stripped of the natural and organic. In other words: ever more machine-like.
For machines function purely and simply according to human will – whereas nature (whilst admittedly fallen) is always connected to God’s will. Trying to divert nature, then, from divine ends to purely human ones inevitably leads in the direction of the machine.
These last days, I have been feeling a terrible sadness. It is like my soul is seared by the plight of modernity like it never has before.
In one way, I am glad for this sadness. I am glad for this searing.
Because a few years ago, I do not think it would have hurt as much as it does today. I would have been more detached, more ‘philosophical’ about it.
Today, I think, my heart is more alive, more awake. (And if that is indeed true, I owe it all to my ongoing immersion in the Sacraments of the Church. But this is a theme for another time.)
From Roger Buck, co-author of this site. Click to buy from Amazon worldwide
How to convey my grateful, terrible sadness? Perhaps I can tell you a story. Yesterday, I received a comment at this site to my last post on this subject from a woman called Emma. It ran like this:
this writing has pushed me further away from God than I thought possible. I’ve already been told I’m going to spend eternity in hell, thanks for bringing a little piece of that hell to earth.
Emma no doubt felt attacked by my post. Although I said nothing whatsoever about hell or anything that would seem to connect to her comments. But for whatever reason (possibly very painful episodes in her past) I do imagine Emma felt attacked – and attacked me back.
Now, being rather thin-skinned myself, I often feel hurt by such attacks. This time, however, was different. By God’s mercy, I did not feel personally hurt by Emma. I did not even feel annoyed.
Rather, deep sadness welled up in my heart. Her words evidently betray her own real suffering and I felt terribly sad – not only for her but the no doubt untold thousands more Yes voters who feel akin to her.
Emma – what can I say?
I, of course, never said you were going to hell. And any human being who has ever told you that is guilty not simply of being asinine – but of monstrousness. For it is monstrous that any mere human being assume the supreme arrogance – and heartlessness – of condemning any soul to hell. I, myself, cannot even condemn Hitler to hell, no matter how many millions he tortured and killed. Judgment is reserved for God alone.
Emma – I am sorry if you have been attacked by asinine, monstrous remarks like this …
But whatever I feel for you Emma, my sadness goes far beyond your suffering – as undoubtedly real as that is.
How can I confess this terrible sadness last night, upon reading your words? If I do, I imagine that I can only be seen by souls such as yourself as patronising and out of touch.
But you yourself declare your distance from God: ‘further from God’. But although you say I ‘pushed’ you, clearly you were already headed down this track. And I know that you speak for an entire generation of Irish young people who feel further than ever from God.
Thus, they feel further than ever away from that great joy of my life: discovering Christ in His Church.
What can I say? Once I was a secular-New Age type, far, far from the Church. I considered it narrow and intolerant and bigoted – no doubt just like so many of the Irish young today.
But discovering Catholicism has not only rendered me undreamed-of joy, but also a sense of wholesomeness and naturalness I could never imagine in all my secular, pre-Catholic days.
And feeling what I feel – the joy, the naturalness, the wholesomeness of sacramental Christianity, I cannot help but feel sad for everyone deprived of this joy.
I cannot help but mourn a whole generation of young people robbed. Gold has been taken from them and they have been given plastic in its place.
I am sorry if I offend any readers, but my grief stems from my experience of my old secular past: What I had before my conversion was like plastic compared to gold.
Soon, we intend to speak further of this Irish tragedy. We intend to name the causes we see, which include the crimes of Catholics in the clerical abuse scandals of recent decades.
We also mean to speak of globalisation, which it seems to me, is led by Anglo-American civilisation.
Truly, Anglo-American cultural imperialism has never been as clear to me than it is in the aftermath of this election. For millions and millions of euros were pumped into this cause by American sources, above all. Today, more than ever before, I understand Éamon de Valera’s dream of restoring Gaelic …
Finally, we must also address the ecclesiastical failure to teach doctrine and tradition. The behaviour of the bishops here in Ireland has been disgraceful.
But these are things for another time. (I hope it will be soon, but I promise rather too many things in this weblog, which I am often slow to deliver.)
Today, my hope is mainly to convey something of the tragedy that has happened these last days for Ireland – and for the world that still looks to her as a ‘Catholic country’.
But now I close – by returning to where I began, regarding the descent into an ever-mechanised civilisation.
As I have typed this piece, the words of an old song have floated back to my mind. For in my youth, many years ago, I listened to Pink Floyd and loved their album Wish You Were Here.
That album features a song Welcome to the Machine – with the following couplet:
Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
What did you dream? It’s alright, we told you what to dream.
The Irish people have been welcomed to the machine. On Friday, they walked straight in.
They have been told what to dream – by the unimaginable power of global elites and their Irish proxies.
It is a sham, abstract dream of equality, which respects neither tradition, nor nature, nor difference.
It is leading us to the equality of machines …