Fr. Marcel Guarnizo’s rebuttal to Bill O’Reilly on same-sex marriage
posted at 12:25 pm on April 21, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
During my coverage of the papal conclave in Vatican City, I got a chance to meet and interview Fr. Marcel Guarnizo, an American theologian and philosopher living in Rome. On Friday, Fr. Marcel offered a lengthy and thoughtful rebuttal to Bill O’Reilly on the subject of same-sex marriage, but also to the notion that faith and values linked to faith have no role in the American political debate. Writing for CNS News, Fr. Marcel offers a point-by-point response that is just too complicated to easily excerpt, and is worth reading in full.
However, this argument in response to O’Reilly’s charge of “Bible thumping” is a good entrée:
The second clarification comes from a philosophical direction. The argument from faith, being revealed by God is essentially the strongest argument per se. It may not be understood to be so, by those who do not believe in Divine Revelation, but, if God exists and Christian revelation is true, it is undoubtedly the strongest. God does not have opinions, or positions on issues. God is simply Truth. The fact that the argument from eternal law cannot be used with the homosexual lobby, which is markedly atheistic, does not grant the further claim that Divine Revelation is a weak argument. The weakness of it is not due to the argument itself but to the condition of the hearer, who does not recognize Divine Law.
So, as to Mr. O’Reilly’s assertion that “more than Bible thumping” is needed in the discussion regarding the nature of marriage:
Indeed, we may need to appeal to reason principally, in our day and age, due to the lack of faith of those to whom we speak. But, as a Catholic, Bill O’Reilly should also know that it is the dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church that reason and faith do not contradict. Therefore, as a Catholic priest, it is unproblematic for me to argue either way. I may indeed argue against the “Anglicans gone wild” that electing bishops who are acting on homosexual tendencies is contrary to Christian teaching and revelation. Yet I would indeed not appeal to the highest science, Divine science, if arguing with Bill O’Reilly, the libertarian.
If Bill O’Reilly believes in Divine Revelation and the divinity of Christ, he surely should realize that theology and reason (philosophy) are simply two different ways of arriving at the same conclusion. Theology and revelation are necessary, even in cases where one can arrive at the same conclusion on by reason alone, because not every individual has the time or ability to arrive at correct conclusions from reason. Revelation in this sense is a service to the human conscience, for it affords another way for many people to arrive to necessary conclusions, quickly, and without the admixture of error. Revealed doctrine is a service to reason, not an obstacle.
But since Mr. O’Reilly demands “more than Bible thumping,” I argue from reason, that homosexuality is simply not a normative inclination in the individual and therefore its existence constitutes shaky ground to make a norm for society as a whole. One has to take a deep breath and depersonalize the issue. We speak at this level when evaluating policy. The question before us is whether the tendency of some men and some women toward a same sex attraction is reasonable grounds to legislate for an entire nation or state.
Be sure to read it all.