Natural Law

The fool jumps off the roof of a 10-story building and as he passes the fifth floor he shouts to a friend, “So far, so good.” Does the fool die when he hits the ground because the Church has made a rule against jumping off high buildings? No, the laws of nature govern the effect of a fall from a certain height on the human body.

“But,” some may argue, “there have been cases where people have fallen or jumped from a great height and survived.” True, but that doesn’t change the natural law. If you hit a solid surface after falling from a great height, the chances are very good that you will die.

Catholics believe in natural law. We know that actions have consequences and all the wishing, all the court decisions, all the wrong-headed laws can’t change the natural law.

Every child has a natural father and mother. Children want their natural father and mother to be married and live with them. Any other arrangement is a tragedy for the child. Tragedies happen and people make the best of the situation, trying to create an arrangement that is as near normal — that is a family with a father and a mother — as possible.

There are two ways we can come to understand the consequences of actions. The first is through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, given by God through Scripture and through the teachings of the Church. God loves us and he warns us beforehand that certain actions will lead to pain and suffering even if it may not be apparent at the beginning. The consequences may not be immediate. It may take a generation before the real impact is fully evident. Some may escape relatively unscathed, but for the majority the consequences will be real.

The second way we can assess the consequences of human behavior is through scientific investigation. We can study the effect of actions after they happen. Those who promote radical social change claim that the changes they are proposing will have no negative effects. Like the fool passing the fifth floor, they refuse to see what is coming.

In accepting easy divorce, single parenthood, artificial insemination by donor, and the acquisition of children by same-sex couples, our society has thrown its children off the roof. We have assumed that adults can do whatever they want and the children will land safely. The effects of bad choices often are not apparent immediately, but sooner or later, we see the bodies piling up on the sidewalk.

One example of how long it takes to see the consequences can be found in two books by Judith Wallerstein: “Second Chances: Men, Women & Children, A Decade after Divorce, Who wins, who loses — and why” and “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: The 25 Year Landmark Study.” Wallerstein wanted to find out how long it took children whose parents divorced to adjust. She followed 60 middle class families with relatively uncomplicated divorces for 25 years. She was surprised by what she found: divorce is a trauma that goes on negatively affecting the children well into their adulthood.

In 1987, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued an Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation, “Donum Vitae.” Among other things, the document condemned artificial insemination by donor — making babies using sperm donors. The instruction was ignored and now we have a generation of young adults looking for their sperm donor fathers and feeling cheated out of something important.

In pretending that two persons of the same sex can provide the same environment for raising children as the child’s biological father and mother, society has thrown another group of children off the roof. It is easy to look at the babies created by artificial means or given in adoption to these couples and say “So far, so good.” Babies are all darling, but experience tells us that this experiment will end up in suffering.

Dr. George Rekers has collected the evidence that points to future trouble. You can read his 100-page paper, “An empirically-supported rational basis for prohibiting adoption, foster parenting, and contested child custody by any person residing in a household that includes a homosexually-behaving member” on the Web at percent7C_Professor_George_files/RekersStThomasLasReview.pdf.

The disasters we see around us are not tragic accidents. They are the inevitable result of ignoring the laws of nature and nature’s God. When we stand up for the truth about marriage, parenthood, and the human person, we are not imposing our religion on people, we are trying to protect children from fools who refuse to recognize the predictable consequences of their actions.

Dale O’Leary is the author of “The Gender Agenda” and “One Man, One Woman.”