A few days ago, Fr. Jonathan Morris was invited onto the Fox News television show, Fox & friends to discuss the possibility for people (county clerks in this case) to find protection as conscientious objectors when being required to provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Sigh … I’ve hear this line of reasoning applied to many difficult topics. The question of whether or not courts would accept conscientious objectors to gay marriage is a question worthy of discussion Yet what troubled me, was Father’s apparent questioning of whether it was even necessary to object. While his line of reasoning on this topic and the idea that people can vote for abortion legislation thought they personally don’t agree with it are not identical, they do seem to rhyme.
We live in an age quick to point out that a man must follow his conscience; no doubt because it satisfies a desire for personal determinism. But this age is one quick to forget that a person is responsible to form their conscience, to take on a responsibility that may restrict personal liberty and even make them unpopular.
In the end, it’s a clip of a tap-dancing Catholic priest, suggesting people violate their conscience if it’s only a once or twice, or if “in the long-term, it’s not really realistic.” I’m sure given enough time, Fr. Morris could have done a much better job explaining how to handle issues of conscience. I’m also sure 4 minutes and 19 seconds was not enough time.
When will we realize that compromise comes before capitulation everywhere in life but the dictionary? Deadly is the temptation to cling to a faith that holds little sway in the way we live our lives.