Martin Sheen begs a lot of questions in his recent statements explaining his support for changes to marriage legislation to allow gay people to call their unions marriage. Apart from dubious definitions of “the Church” he professes allegiance to and its relationship with God, there is far too much vagueness in his concept of conscience to enable us to take seriously what he is trying to say to us. Where did he get his conscience, we would like to ask?
But the main point he seems to miss about the marriage issue is that it is fundamentally a political one, one about how we organise our society in the interests of the common good. Above all it is about what kind of social environment we are creating for the children who will be procreated through the union of men and women who join together in nature’s own natural bond – marriage.
Before Martin says anything else on this subject it might be very helpful for us all if he were to have a look at the book just produced by Michael Cook and MercatorNet, “Same-Sex Marriage: Dangers, Difficulties, Deceptions”. This book, full of incisive observations and powerful arguments, will make any reasonable person think twice about opening the Pandora’s Box of miseries which same-sex marriage is going to inflict on society. For many people this question is tied up with conscience and religious belief, but before that it has an awful lot to do with rational thinking and common sense.
Fair enough, Sheen was asked, as LifeSiteNews reports, about the apparent conflict between his Catholic identity and his stance on marriage by the Wilshire & Washington blog, following his performance in a play that raised $2 million for a gay rights lobby group. Sheen played the role of one of the plaintiffs in the play “8,” a dramatic rendition of the Proposition 8 trials written by Dustin Lance Black, who also wrote the screenplay for the 2008 gay advocacy movie, Milk.
“My religion’s highest standard is conscience. Nothing can get between your conscience and God, not even the Church.” Sheen said, as quoted by the blog. How, we wonder again, does he think God chose to help him form that delicate flower, conscience?
Although known to support generally liberal views – he was a strong advocate for Barack Obama’s presidential run – Sheen has voiced opposition in the past to some leftist cultural positions, such as assisted suicide and abortion. Just last year, he spoke of his opposition to abortion, revealing that his wife was nearly killed by abortion after she was conceived in rape and describing how he supported unplanned pregnancies in his own family.
Martin Sheen’s moral judgement hits the nail on the head on some very important issues. However, one wonders about the logic and joined-up-thinking behind his political judgement. A bit more homework might be in order and then he might reach a different conclusion on this vexed issue.