.- In a Sunday newspaper commentary Thomas Wenski, the Bishop of Orlando, Florida decried the California Supreme Courtâs decision to overturn a ban on same sex marriage, saying the act of âraw judicial activismâ reminds us that âsocietyâs culture wars are far from over.â
Writing in the Ocala Star Banner, Bishop Wenski said advocates of homosexual marriage erroneously label their opponents as intolerant bigots. âTo defend marriage as a monogamous union between one man and one woman is not bigotry,â Bishop Wenski wrote. âNor are the efforts of those who seek to enshrine in state or federal constitutions the âtraditionalâ understanding of marriage intolerant.â
Bishop Wenski also addressed those who tolerate homosexual acts they believe are immoral and sinful as long as they are kept private. These people, he said, âdo not invoke the coercive power of the stateâ to change homosexuals but instead âthey might invite the person who experiences same-sex attractions to conversion and, in place of behavior viewed as sinful, propose chastity.â
The bishop accused proponents of same-sex marriage of âimposing their views and lifestyle on the larger populaceâ by redefining marriage to include same-sex unions. âOnce legal the state's coercive power will punish those who refuse to embrace gay marriages,â Bishop Wenski warned.
He said that under a legal regime that permits homosexual marriage, public officials will be obliged to officiate at same-sex âweddings,â public schools will be required to teach children homosexual marriagesâ acceptability regardless of their parentsâ disapproval, and even First Amendment freedoms could face legal assault.
Bishop Wenski said marriage âhas been primarily about the raising of children, who seem to be hardwired to be best raised by a father and a mother who are married to each other.â He also noted the stateâs legitimate interest in favoring traditional marriages to help upcoming generations flourish.
He characterized the âculture warsâ as a conflict about âthe understanding of man and his relationship to truth and reality.â
One side, which, he argued, includes homosexual marriage advocates, âholds that anyone can essentially create his or her own reality. This side holds for a radical autonomy by which truth is determined not by the nature of things but by one's own individual will.â
This position, in the bishopâs view, is a ârecipe for tyranny.â
The other side, the bishop argued, thinks men and women are ânot self-creators but creatures.â
âTruth is not constructed, but received and thus must reflect the reality of things,â he said. This position promises freedom that is achievable only âthrough adherence to objective truth which we do not, and could never, invent.â