October 29, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – On August 1, 2016 then Second Lady Jill Biden tweeted “Love is love!” She did so just after Vice President Joseph Biden officiated at the wedding of two homosexuals thereby announcing her support for and celebration of the same-sex “nuptials.”
“Love is love” is the pithy slogan used by those who support gay “marriage.” The point made by these three simple words is that one’s embodied sexuality as a man or woman is ultimately irrelevant to the essence of marriage. Marriage is of the heart, the soul, the will to be committed to another and such realities are beyond the body, or at least take precedence over the significance of the body. The slogan sums up the idea that the body is not identified with the self—as if the body is a mere shell, a kind of costume that the true self wears. At best the body’s value is strictly functional, and so it is impersonal to the invisible soul with which the essence of what it means to be human is identified.
And, of course, the slogan “love is love” is meant to close off opposition to “gay marriage.” After all, who could possibly be opposed to love? And indeed, all persons despite their sexual orientation are entitled to protection of their legitimate rights. But, if you voice opposition to same-sex relationships, one is accused of insensitivity to the feelings of others, others who only seek to express their commitment to one another and one is seen as guilty of standing in the way of human happiness. Thus, those who insist that marriage is between one man and one woman are characterized as narrow-minded bigots, full of intolerance and indeed against love!
That the body and physical sex is irrelevant to personhood is based upon a gnostic view of the world—that dualist philosophy in which reality is divided between spirit on the one side and matter on the other. In gnosticism, spirit is favored, indeed the invisible world of soul, intellect, mind, will and the exercise of human liberty is the true world. The corporeal world of nature, and especially one’s body is, at the least, insignificant and at the most hostile to those disembodied values. Saint John Paul II articulated well this modern gnosticism in his 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor. He warned against those who conceive:
of freedom as somehow in opposition to or in conflict with material and biological nature, over which it must progressively assert itself. … For some, “nature” becomes reduced to raw material for human activity and for its power: thus nature needs to be profoundly transformed, and indeed overcome by freedom, inasmuch as it represents a limitation and denial of freedom. For others, it is in the untrammeled advancement of man's power, or of his freedom, that economic, cultural, social and even moral values are established: nature would thus come to mean everything found in man and the world apart from freedom. In such an understanding, nature would include in the first place the human body, its make-up and its processes: against this physical datum would be opposed whatever is “constructed”, in other words “culture”, seen as the product and result of freedom. Human nature, understood in this way, could be reduced to and treated as a readily available biological or social material. This ultimately means making freedom self-defining and a phenomenon creative of itself and its values. Indeed, when all is said and done man would not even have a nature; he would be his own personal life-project. Man would be nothing more than his own freedom!
Certainly, this dualism serves to justify “gay marriage” and most certainly it is the foundation of transgenderism. Here the body itself may be altered by mutilation to fit the mind—as mind, and one’s spiritual/psychological sense of self must dominate biological matter that has been relegated to the impersonal world of the “its.”
What does any of this have to do with Joseph Biden? As we head into the November 3rd presidential election much has been made, at least from various quarters, of Biden’s support for legalized abortion contrary to the Catholic faith he claims to profess. At least a healthy handful of bishops have instructed their flocks that abortion is the “preeminent priority” as we go to the polls. Even a few, such as Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, have boldly taught voting for Biden would be sinful unless one sought to protect a moral good proportionate to the nearly one million human beings annually put to death under the law that Biden supports. Finding such a good is a near impossibility.
While much has been made of Biden’s support for legalized abortion, hardly any attention at all has been given to this candidate’s equally adamant advocacy of “gay marriage” and even transgenderism—an advocacy also contrary to the teachings of the Church. There is hardly a voice within the Church, either lay or clerical, that draws attention to the “other Joseph Biden.” It is almost as if faithful Catholics and other pro-lifers are simply too overwhelmed by the scandal of Biden’s advocacy for legalized abortion and the urgency of the need to end abortion that the Catholic Biden is not challenged on his support for “gay marriage.” Or perhaps there is a fear that making an issue of Biden’s “gay rights” position is so politically incorrect no one wishes to go there. And indeed, there is no organized national political/cultural movement comparable to the pro-life movement working to reverse the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that legalized same-sex “marriage.” Even Los Angeles auxiliary bishop Robert Barron, perceived as reliably orthodox, advised against working to reverse the Court’s ruling. While stating his disagreement with Obergefell, Barron stated in a 2017 interview with active homosexual Dave Rubin: “I wouldn’t want to get on a crusader’s tank and try to reverse that.” It simply seems that the Church doesn’t have the heart to enter the fray and battle the culture war over “gay marriage.” One might even say that, at least for now, the Church has essentially thrown in the towel on this one.
However, Biden’s support for “gay marriage” while professing the Catholic faith is equally as scandalous as his support for legalized abortion. And, like Biden’s defense of abortion, his position on “gay rights” dramatically evolved over his nearly fifty years in public office. In 1996, Biden voted for the Defense of Marriage Act blocking federal recognition of same-sex “marriages.” In 1998, he voted to cut off funds to schools that taught acceptance of homosexuality. When Biden first entered public office way back in 1973 he made an off-handed response to a question, wondering if perhaps homosexuals in the military posed risks to national security.
Both Biden and Obama running in the 2008 presidential race voiced opposition to “gay marriage” and their support for “traditional marriage.” Biden even stated this position in the debate with Sarah Palin. When asked by moderator Qwen Ifill: “Let’s try to avoid nuance, Senator. Do you support gay marriage?” Biden responded: “No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that. That is basically the decision to be able to be able (sic) to be left to faiths and people who practice their faiths the determination what you call it.” It appears that even in 2008 Biden was somewhat prone to verbal incoherency. Nonetheless, he did voice opposition to redefining marriage.
However, between 2008 and 2012 something changed. On May 6, 2012 Biden appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” When asked about his view of gay “marriage” Biden stated his complete support for such relationships and a change in the law: “Look, I am Vice President of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying, are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And, quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that.”
Biden’s public reversal of opposition to gay “marriage” caught Obama rather off-guard as he seemed to have not as yet staked-out his position. Biden, in running ahead of the president, prompted Obama to finally publicly admit that he too supported such “marriages,” telling ABC News only 3 days after the NBC Biden disclosure: “I’ve been going through an evolution on this issue. I’ve always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. … At a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”
It is difficult to analyze Biden’s so-called evolution on the subject. Is it possible that well before the 2008 election he had already come to his position, abandoning long ago whatever motivated him to support the Defense of Marriage Act. Back in 1996, despite his personal views, perhaps he sensed that not to do so was politically risky. Moreover, his party at the time, led by Bill Clinton, supported such legislation as Clinton actually signed the bill into law. More likely Biden’s defense of gay “marriage” evolved with the growth in cultural acceptance of homosexual relationships and once the culture had “advanced” to a certain level of acceptance through television shows like “Will and Grace,” to which he specifically referred, it was now safe for Biden to express his personal beliefs.
What is most interesting is how Biden justified the moral legitimacy that undergirds the legal legitimacy of same-sex “marital” unions. Looking his “Meet the Press” host square in the eye and choosing his words carefully Biden declared: “The good news is that as more and more Americans come to understand what this is all about is a simple proposition. Who do you love? Who do you love and will you be loyal to the person you love? And that’s what people are finding out what all marriages at their root are about. Whether they are marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals.”
The Catholic Biden embraced the gnostic view of the human person. In the gnostic view held by Biden, marriage is not a one-flesh unity between a man and a woman who speak the truth of their union through a total gift of self—the handing over of their full identities in the gift of their sexuality as male and female in the celebration of the other; the affirmation and celebration of the other that creates their indissoluble union open to the giving of life.
Biden’s view of marriage is heretical. For him, the essence of any marriage is “at root” located strictly in the invisible will to be committed to another and thus he believes in and advocates that the body is irrelevant to the person and thus to marriage—a view absolutely contrary to the doctrine of the Catholic Church. Biden has no respect for natural law which transcends sectarian religious commitments. Moreover, his gnostic dualism is a denial of sacramental truth that this world reveals the mysteries of God. From the beginning, male and female sexuality are transcendent signs that speak the nuptial covenant between Christ, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Bride. Saint Paul helps the early Christians to understand the essence of the Covenant of Redemption, the union of Christ and the Church, through the marital bond. When one denies this God-given sacramental order, one attacks the sacred and the holy. Biden, the Catholic, has a moral obligation to honor and defend this truth—starting simply with an affirmation of natural law accessible to everyone.
In this election, what also needs to be addressed is not only the scandal of Biden’s support for a law that has sent sixty-one million human beings to their deaths. What also needs to be addressed is his denial of the God-given truth of about marriage and human sexuality, a denial that is equally scandalous. In other words, attention needs to be drawn to the “other Joseph Biden”—who openly and patently contradicts the faith he claims to embrace.
Biden is a prime example of the politician Cardinal Ratzinger described in his 2002 Doctrinal Note issued by Ratzinger when he was Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This instruction clarified the duties of Catholic politicians and warned against politicians living two “parallel lives.” Article six states:
The social doctrine of the Church is not an intrusion into the government of individual countries. It is a question of the lay Catholic’s duty to be morally coherent, found within one’s conscience, which is one and indivisible. There cannot be two parallel lives in their existence: on the one hand, the so-called “spiritual life”, with its values and demands; and on the other, the so-called “secular” life, that is, life in a family, at work, in social responsibilities, in the responsibilities of public life and in culture.
The appeal often made to “the rightful autonomy of the participation of lay Catholics” in politics needs to be clarified. Promoting the common good of society, according to one’s conscience, has nothing to do with “confessionalism” or religious intolerance. For Catholic moral doctrine, the rightful autonomy of the political or civil sphere from that of religion and the Church – but not from that of morality – is a value that has been attained and recognized by the Catholic Church and belongs to the inheritance of contemporary civilization.
“Confessionalism” is the error made by many Catholic politicians who in an attempt to justify their support for legalized abortion treat opposition to abortion as if it were just a Catholic quirk—a sectarian bit of Catholic doctrine, exclusive to Catholicism that they argue cannot be imposed on members of the public who do not share that faith. Take this a step further. Biden even treats marriage between one man and one woman as merely private religious doctrine—as if it too was a quirk of Catholicism—rather than an objective anthropological reality upon which all culture and civilization is based and achieves its inherent order.
Biden’s gnosticism is not simply theoretical. He practices the heresy. In 2016, as mentioned earlier, he openly and proudly officiated at the “wedding” of two male White House staffers. He performed a sacrilegious act in bold defiance of the Catholic Faith he professes.
During the October 15th Town Hall, Biden was asked what he would do to protect the rights of the LGBTQ community—the question posed by a mother who said her eight-year-old daughter identified as transgender. Biden stated: “The idea that an 8-year-old child or a 10-year-old child decides, ‘You know, I decided I want to be transgender. That’s what I think I’d like to be. It would make my life a lot easier,’ there should be zero discrimination.” In other words, Biden defended transgenderism, and that even a child of eight could decide to alter their embodied sexuality. Here Biden’s gnosticism reached its ultimate end.
Biden’s gay rights advocacy is not simply a political issue. So long as Biden professes the Catholic faith his advocacy of gay “marriage” and transgenderism is an ecclesial issue. Thus it is incumbent on priests and bishops to clarify Catholic teaching in the face of the scandal and confusion sown by Biden’s heresy. And what will the Church do should Biden win the presidency? A heretic claiming to be a Catholic will occupy the White House. He will continue to wear his Catholic faith despite his gnostic denial of Catholic sacramental/marital doctrines. It is incumbent on the bishops to admonish him. For the sake of Biden’s own soul, he should be denied the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ. The spiritual contradiction is obvious: One cannot receive that Body while at the same time deny the inherent God-given meaning of the body.