(Originally Posted: 12/10/95)
We forget too easily that religion must be included in policy development as it holds the ethical value system used within society itself. That is because a civilization does not become a society until is ascribes to a value system. Yet values and ethics flow from religion and belief in a higher being which will judge the actions of that society’s members. Too often, our society makes up the rules of acting as each generation grows up, thus reinventing the dogma each time. This denies and disregards the expectations of the higher being, God.
For example, the issue of divorce is often framed by the misguided explanation that, “the divorce was needed because the marriage was just a mistake” made by two people. Catholics are told, often by other Catholics (read heretics), that the Church “just doesn’t get it.” In fact it might be society’s agnostics and humanists that don’t get it. And what is “it”? It is the concept that marriage is not exclusively a union of bodies under one roof. Rather, “[t]he matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring.”
Simply put, marriage is the union of two individuals with God. God is part of this because, contrary to popular belief, only God can create. Hence, when the married couple engage in intercourse, this union is for a lifetime. Thus, both the man and the woman must work at the marriage.
As St. James said, “Faith without good works is dead.” Adjust the words and we can see the problem with today’s society: Good works without faith is dead.