Because fertility is not required for marriage (never has been), only the ability to complete the marital act. Sometimes, due to defect, disease or age (effects of the fallen world), children do not come from acts which are by their nature ordered toward procreation. (Of course, many couples deemed infertile later do conceive… as the Bible says, "God opens and closes the womb". The creation of children is ultimately in His hands. But the act that makes children is the principle act of marriage; it's what separates marriage from friendship.)First of all, I'm again glad to know that our infertility is because of the "effects of the fallen world." That's strange because God Himself said in Genesis 3:16 (NIV version) because Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
I remember from last Sunday's (Palm Sunday) gospel reading (the Passion) Jesus says in Luke 23:29, "For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’"
And I do appreciate Leila proclaiming that God's favor might fall upon me and I will conceive but I think for most of us infertiles, we've become blue in the face telling fertiles not to tell us that it's "All in God's time." I've always rejected this crazy notion some bloggers have that because they are fertile God favors them more or because they can't get pregnant, God's punishing them for something they did. I categorically reject that theory.
I also contend that sexual intercourse is NOT the principal act of marriage. You might need to initially consumate a marriage to make it a legal marriage. I think you used to be able in some countries or some states to nullify a marriage if you NEVER had sex. But, you don't need to keep knockin' the boots to retain your status as a married person.
If Catholics want to base their argument against gay marriage on procreation i.e., you have heterosexual sex, you get pregnant, you carry a child to term, you give birth to that child, and then you raise that child until age 18 (well, now it's to 25 or more), as the only thing distinguising marriage as a sacred union and in the Church, a sacrament, Houston, we've got a problem.
I think a very mature attitude about a Christian marriage is that it's not about sex. You heard it here first: If you are basing the quality of your marriage on the quality of the sex or having any sex at all, you're shallow. Christian marriage is a vocation!!!! It is one of the greatest opportunities for ministry. If you are encouraging, supporting, and lovingly challenging your spouse in their Christian faith, you are a good husband/wife. You are in a good, holy marriage.
I get that the Church wants to enter into the debate against civil gay marriage. But, why are you divorcing your argument from your faith and making it all about sex, conception, birth, and parenting? Isn't it enough to say that God says homosexual acts are wrong, bad, etc. and then say He ordained marriage between a man and a woman as a symbol of the relationship between Christ and His Church? That's good stuff for me and it prevents everybody from having to tap dance around (or just stomp on) the infertile and elderly.
For some in this debate those words are interchangable because despite being a lawyer for the OPPONENTS of same-sex marriage, Charles J. Cooper couldn't be bothered to educate himself on infertility when his whole argument is that gay marriage "will refocus the purpose of marriage and the definition of marriage away from the raising of children and to the emotional needs and desires of adults, of adult couples." The key to marriage, he said, is procreation.
He went on to say (and I quoted part of this as the title of my last post) "even with respect to couples over the age of 55 -- it is very rare that both couples -- both parties to the couple are infertile..." I think Mr. Cooper spends too much time in his office. As we NFPers know, if even one party is infertile, you are both infertile by definition because it takes two to tango. Well, three. Dr. Hilgers tells us that you need good sperm, good egg(s), and good cervical mucus to conceive. In our case, we need more than that 'cause we've got all three and it's a non-starter.
I'm really secretly delighted this whole debate is swallowing up infertiles and spitting them out like a speck of dust in someone's eye. I have joined, not by choice or desire, an extreme minority in human society. I cannot get pregnant, am making zero moves to try and get pregnant through medical intervention, and won't adopt. I am living according to my principles and my faith. I am doing the right thing.
I know that there are bad apples in every bunch but it's very sad to me to see so many people who view their faith as pure and their understanding of it - perfect, throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water (I couldn't help myself.)
I'm starting to realize my voice here on the Internets is important. If I am going to be apart of that tiny minority, I will not shrink away. I will defend the life that has been handed to me and I will advocate for my community.