By Kathleen Gilbert

PHOENIX, Arizona, August 11, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The federal appeals court decision to overturn California's constitutional ban on recognizing same-sex "marriage" represents a threat to "cultural sanity" fueled by a line of thinking that is "absurd and only nominally rational," wrote Phoenix bishop Thomas Olmsted this week.

Olmsted said in a Tuesday column for the Catholic Sun that the decision to overturn the voter-approved constitutional language "cannot be passed over in silence," and criticized an opinion piece in The Arizona Republic that stated: “If this generation of Americans doesn’t move forward, the next one will. Young people just do not share their parents’ hang ups about gay marriage.”

"Living in an age of relativism and one marked by sound-bite triviality rather than thoughtful reasoning, such labeling of opposing opinions as 'hang ups' may come across as persuasive to some," wrote Olmsted. "But if looked at logically, and especially if seen from the perspective of God’s plan for marriage revealed in the first chapters of the Bible (as well as from the perspective of natural law), it comes off as absurd and only nominally rational.

"What is at stake here is cultural sanity and viability. Defending the clear nature and purpose of marriage is not discrimination against homosexual persons."

The Phoenix bishop questioned same-sex "marriage" proponents' dismissal of the entire order of nature in order to reconstruct a new form of marriage. "Why did God create both men and women, not just one sex? Is it merely accidental that one is born either a woman or a man? Is femininity or masculinity of little import?" Olmsted asked. "Does it not matter if a child grows up with no mother but two fathers? Does the pandemic of cultural ills born of fatherlessness in so many of our homes teach us nothing?

"Is it really all that difficult to fathom that God had a plan for marriage, which He wove into the very fabric of human nature?" he wrote. In fact, said Olmsted, the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman for the sake of procreation "is so deeply embedded in our human nature that every culture in history has recognized it and enshrined and protected it in law and custom." "Marriage being exclusively between a man and a woman was not an idea created by these cultures but, rather, a truth received by them as something handed down from a higher authority," he wrote.

He rejected the implication by same-sex "marriage" advocates that, of all the ages of humanity, "ours an enlightened age that is wiser than previous ones" and that judges who destroy the legal definition of marriage are "helping us finally to rise up and overthrow the 'hang ups' of billions of people who have gone before us and to free us from the shackles of religion."

Far from promoting unjust discrimination against homosexuals or a "homophobic" attitude, Olmsted insisted that recognizing homosexual tendencies for what they are - objectively disordered - manifests true love for those who experience such tendencies, while rejecting the idea that such individuals themselves are inferior or to blame.

"Love and truth go hand-in-hand. Everyone who experiences true love knows this — we want those we love to know the truth," he wrote. "As Catholics, we want to love people authentically and not in a mediocre way that would ignore dangers in a person’s life out of a shallow concern for political correctness."

Because of the nature of homosexual acts as contrary to the natural law, he explained, "to condone the homosexual lifestyle is never a move in favor of a person’s true happiness."

"Moreover," he continued, "to change the legal and societal definition of the fundamental institution of marriage in order to suit an adult sexual preference is a selfish and irresponsible corruption of the truth." The state cannot redefine a reality it has received from God, he said, noting that doing violence to true marriage "will certainly have a negative impact on love, especially for children, who suffer most when marriage is weakened."

Click here to read Bishop Olmsted's column in full.

A professor teaching the Catholic faith at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign was fired this summer for stating that homosexuality is contrary to the natural moral law, a sentiment one student complained amounted to "hate speech." Following a national uproar, Dr. Kenneth Howell was re-offered his teaching position.