Fetalvero: Reciprocal self-interest

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By Noemi C. Fetalvero

Two empty bottles

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


CEBU Archbishop Jose Palma said the Church cannot consider marriages made outside the Sacrament as a valid union between two people. “Since the Church refuses to administer the Sacrament of marriage between two people of the same sex, then the union, if made outside the Church, is nothing but an agreement between two people to be united,” Palma added.

At its introduction to society, same sex marriages raised a lot of eyebrows. However, it is now an accepted reality as homosexuality is now tolerated even by conservatives.

In the book, Gay Marriages, author Jonathan Rauch pointed out: “When two people marry, they are bonded, to begin with, by reciprocal self-interest. Each one wants love and stability from the other, and must give a commitment in order to receive one in return.”

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The complication comes, Rauch said, when outside factors have to be considered. “Then come law and public policy, which reinforce reciprocity by conditioning a bundle of prerogatives on the couple’s commitment. The rights are tied to the responsibilities: to get one you need to promise to live up to the other.”

The author explained further: “The traditional understanding of marriage is grounded in the ‘natural teleology of the body’—in the inescapable fact that only a man and a woman, and two people, not three, can generate a child. Once marriage is detached from the natural teleology of the body, what ground principle would thereafter confine marriage to two people rather than some larger grouping?” Is that not the essence of procreation?

Human rights supersede all other rights: gay rights, worker’s rights, women’s rights.

As long as I adhere to my belief that one man’s right ends where the right of another begins, that should guide me the rest of the day.

Jose Maria de Nazareno, author of Sick Situations and Pastoral Heart, has a more profound way of dealing with situations: “It is in the spirit of taking full responsibility for our actions individually or collectively, that we as a nation would be able to overcome the pathological clutches of natural religiosity.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 24, 2014.

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