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Miami Herald readers respond to Archbishop Wenski letter that gay marriage 'opens up a Pandora’s box'

Last weekend, Miami Archbishop Rev. Thomas G. Wenski wrote a public letter to the Miami Herald criticizing the four pro-gay marriage rulings recently in South Florida as "exercises of raw judicial activism."

"To impose same-sex marriage would open up a Pandora's box of unintended consequences that bode ill for the advancement of the common good and human flourishing in all of society," Wenski wrote.

Here's Wenski's complete letter, followed by an opposing viewpoint from Maxine E. Schwartz of Hollywood. (Schwartz is mother of Miami Beach attorney Elizabeth Schwartz, who is helping represent six same-sex couples who recently won the right to marry in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.)

From Wenski:

Judges in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and now Palm Beach counties have ruled that the Florida state amendment passed in 2008 defending traditional marriage is unconstitutional. These exercises of raw judicial activism have been stayed pending appeal.

Yet, in light of these rulings, self-appointed progressive elites — including the presumptive Democratic candidate for Florida governor — are telling the majority of Florida citizens, along with millions of Americans who still support marriage as it has been understood for millennia, as a union of one man and one woman, to get with the program.

Those who characterize themselves as proponents of tolerance will not tolerate their fellow citizens who oppose both the erosion of democratic self-government by aggressively activist judges legislating from the bench, and the further erosion of their freedoms of conscience and religion.

Those who promote same-sex marriage in effect wish to consolidate the hollow victories of the sexual revolution. To promote what they deem marriage equality, the understanding of marriage as a conjugal union of a male and a female, in a permanent and exclusive commitment, conducive to welcoming and raising the children born from such a union, must be deconstructed and redefined. In much the same way that abortion and safe sex are promoted to protect one from the inevitable consequences of sexual activity, seen now as merely a recreational activity without any moral significance, the advocacy of same sex marriage renders the idea of all marriages meaningless.

Indeed, the argument that allowing same sex partners to marry is about marriage equality is fallacious: Enacting same sex marriage does not expand the institution of marriage to a once excluded class, rather it reduces marriage to being just about the emotional gratification of two — and why just two? — persons. Such a redefinition defies the true nature of marriage as a comprehensive "two-in-one-flesh" union capable of uniting children with their mothers and fathers.

Common sense — increasingly uncommon today — understands traditional marriage between one man and one woman as a natural fact rooted in procreation and sexual difference.

Marriage equality today is the poster child of those who hold for a radical autonomy that believes that anyone can essentially create his or her reality by one's individual will without reference to the truth of things. An individual who would believe that he could, by the force of his will, defy gravity is setting himself up for a disastrous fall.

To impose same-sex marriage would open up a Pandora's box of unintended consequences that bode ill for the advancement of the common good and human flourishing in all of society.

Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski, Archbishop of Miami

Maxine E. Schwartz's rebuttal:

Re Archbishop Thomas Wenski’s Aug. 17 letter, Same-sex marriages would open Pandora’s Box: I am a 76-year-old heterosexual woman, married to my husband for 45 years. No one forced me into this relationship, just as no one forced Wenski into the celibate life selected. How does my marital relationship hurt him or his lack of one hurt me? Similarly, if two women or two men choose each other as life partners, it has nothing to do with his choice or mine. It hurts neither of us. Certainly, no clergyman or woman should be forced to officiate at any marriage of which he or she does not approve, but I don’t think that should mean that there can be no marriage where they do not approve.

Many people who share Archbishop Wenski’s point of view refer to the Florida vote of 2008 rejecting marriage equality.

But as Judge Sara Zabel said in her verdict, we can vote anything we want into the state Constitution, but it still has to pass muster with the Constitution of the United States. Denying anybody the right to marriage is to deny them his or her fundamental right. One by one, each state has begun to recognize this basic constitutional premise. The rest, including Florida, will have to fall in line, sooner or later.

Archbishop Wenski rails against the “hollow victories of the sexual revolution,” abortion and safe sex, and seems to promote a return to the way things were 50 years ago. This train has already left the station. We must evolve into a more just society.

As Archbishop Wenski is a man of God. How can he think it is right to stigmatize and cast out so many of His — or Her — children?

Maxine E. Schwartz, Hollywood

Read more gay marriage letters here.


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Reply to letter from Maxine. Who someone else marries should not affect others like archbishop Wenski who do not agree with same sex marriage but it does. It affects what the Catholic Church teaches and what our country defined as marriage was the union of one man and one woman. Notice I say it in past tense because many things have CHANGED (not evolved) to fulfill selfless needs instead of promoting security, moral/ intellectual education, and a future for families to grow in God. God has been removed from schools and public places. Do not hate or criticize those of us who choose to keep him and all he teaches in our hearts. We will fight for our rights as much as you will for yours. We are not asking for you to give up your technology or scientific advances or to understand what has been established for the past millennia but we will ask from society to remember how we came to be who we are and how our country was founded (Under GOD). Archbishop Wenski, I congratulate you on your letter and standing for your beliefs.

Only one word to describe Archbishop Wenski: shameless!

Hi Tati:
Not read your bible but repeating what you have heard I see.
Could be nice to clarify which kind of matrimony you are referring to as the bible is soooo informative and abundant with examples:
Theres one in which…
Inter-faith marriages are theoretically forbidden. However, they were sometimes formed most notably by Solomon.
Children of inter-faith marriages were considered illegitimate.
Marriages were generally arranged by family or friends. They did not result from a gradually evolving, loving relationship that developed during a period of courtship.
A bride who had been presented as a virgin and who could not be proven to be one was stoned to death by the men of her village. (Deuteronomy 22:13-21)

Type 2: The one in which you need to marry your brother in law if if you are widowed?- Genesis 38:6-10
Type 3: A man, one or more wives, and some concubines-Genesis 16
Type 4: A male rapist and his victim: Deuteronomy 22:28-29
Type 5: A man, a woman and her property: Genesis 16
Type 6: A male soldier and a female prisoner of war: Numbers 31:1-18, Deuteronomy 21:11-14
Type 7: Polygynous marriage: Esau with 3 wives; Jacob: 2; Ashur: 2; Gideon: many; Elkanah: 2; David: many; Solomon had 700 wives of royal birth along with 300 concubines; Rehaboam: 3; Abijah: 14. Jehoram, Joash, Ahab, Jeholachin and Belshazzar also had multiple wives.
Type 8: A male and female slave: Exodus 21:4
Please Tati do not forget that marriage should be forever and of course all the gay marriage haters are married just once, are still in the same marriage and NEVER have been unfaithfull (god forbid). Luke 16:18 "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery (may I remind you the 7th commandment?).

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