It was a special and sunny summer afternoon on July 15, 2018 in Virginia Beach. It was a beautiful day birds were chirping, love was in the air, and the feeling of calmness and optimism were overflowing. John- Micheal Harris and Andrew Tyler Johnson both knew that they loved each other so much, and that love was about to be publicly expressed. John- Micheal and Andrew Tyler were about to be officially married in the eyes of their families and friends. On that day, however, in the crowd were two very unsettled guests named Karol Wojtyla and Immanuel Kant. On the day of the wedding the officiant said the opening remarks by saying, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate John- Micheal Harris and Andrew Tyler Johnson by joining them in marriage, John- Micheal and Andrew Tyler were then exchanging their vows and professing their love for one another. After exchanging their vows the officiant stated, “ If there are any objections to John- Micheal Harris and Andrew Tyler Johnson to be joined in the hands of marriage speak now or forever hold your peace.”
An unsettling silence filled the room until all of a sudden Karol Wojtyla and Immanuel Kant simultaneously stood up and dramatically yelled, “Objection!” The crowd was filled with an immense amount of dismay and awe. For a split second the room was covered in silence, so quiet you could hear a pin drop. John- Micheal and Andrew Tyler were in complete shock and for the first time ever they were both speechless. All of a sudden the mother of John- Micheal Harris stands up from her seat and exclaims, “ What is the need for all of this unnecessary drama, my son is in love with with Andrew Tyler Johnson?”
Immanuel Kant then goes on and starts talking about how their homosexual tendencies and actions are ultimately unethical, soon after Karol Wojtyla chimes in and discusses the theological issues and immorality that come with their way of life.
As John- Micheal Harris’ mom slowly starts to sit back down John- Micheal Harris stands up to Immanuel Kant and angrily and impatiently asks, “ Why is my relationship with Andrew Tyler unethical from a philosophical standpoint?” John- Micheal immediately adds to his question by asking, “ If I love Andrew isn’t that what truly matters because it is how we feel about each other?”
Immanuel takes a calm and deep breath, and starts off by explaining to John- Micheal that homosexuality is an act of pure lust. Immanuel Kant begins to explain that homosexual intercourse forces another person to be used for another person’s pure physical pleasure. He explains that John- Micheal and Andrew Tyler’s relationship will only result in the violation of humanity and its future, Kant proclaims, “ If you end up marrying Andrew Tyler it is not an ultimate means to an end.” Kant then stated, “ Only sex within a marriage between a man and a woman is ethical.”
John- Micheal got furious and offended with Kant’s response to his question because it wasn’t a sufficient answer. John- Micheal felt as though Kant was that their relationship as beings didn’t have any purpose. John- Micheal kept on wanting to question and prove Kant wrong, he asked Kant, “ Why is the bond and marriage between a man and a woman only ethical?” Kant was surprised and speechless for a second because he was not expecting John- Micheal wanting to fight back at his own wedding. After Immanuel Kant was able to collect himself he started to talk about how homosexuality is unethical and unnatural to the human person. Kant uttered, “ If homosexual acts and tendencies were normalized on a universal level, it will eventually lead to the evident extinction of the human race.”
Immanuel Kant eventually started to have a discussion with John- Micheal and Andrew Tyler by saying, “ One of the main purposes of a marriage between a man and a woman is to procreate. If you two get married your marriage is ultimately not categorically imperative.” He then stated, “ No matter the circumstances you getting married will not lead to a natural procreation. An ethical person will without a doubt follow the categorical imperative.” Even though John- Micheal and Andrew Tyler was not necessarily happy with Kant’s answer they both slowly started to understand Kant’s ethical viewpoint on their relationship. Kant adds to his explanation of the ethical issue by claiming, “ By the both of you guys getting married, in the end the maxim or the intention of your action will not lead to a proper end of natural procreation.”
Even though he didn’t want to have a change in heart or accept Kant’s views on ethics John- Micheal Harris slowly started to understand what Immanuel Kant was saying and why he was saying what he was saying, but Andrew Tyler was still not satisfied with Kant’s answers and explanations. Andrew completely dismissed what Kant had to say about their homosexual actions and tendencies. Since Andrew Tyler Johnson grew up a practicing Roman Catholic, but eventually slowly started to stray away from the faith, he wanted Karol Wojtyla to explain and elaborate on the theological standpoint of the morality of homosexuality and same- sex marriage.
There was a slight pause in the crowd because everyone even the officiant was speechless and in awe, and no one knew exactly what to do and all of a sudden out of nowhere Andrew Tyler Johnson then questions Karol Wojtyla and asks, “ From your perspective, why is our relationship immoral in the eyes of the Catholic church?” Andrew Tyler also asks Wojtyla, “ Why on a theological level is our marriage invalid and unnatural because we love each other?” Andrew Tyler was continuously persistent and even asked a follow up question by asking,” If our marriage is immoral in the eyes of the Catholic church, does that make John- Micheal and I immoral and unnatural as beings and if so what is the point of even the slightest sense of morality in a marriage especially in a homosexual marriage?” At first Karol Wojtyla was amazed and in shock of the fact that Andrew Tyler was so persistent but also very intentional with his questions because they were so personal. Andrew Tyler was tenacious in getting answers from Karol Wojtyla so he even asked a fifth question in asking, “Is it necessary to have morals in a marriage in order for the marriage to be successful?”
Immanuel Kant was in complete and utter shock when Andrew Tyler was constantly asking Karol Wojtyla questions about the morality of their marriage. It was obvious to everyone around that Andrew Tyler had some underlying trauma in being a practicing Catholic who is also same- sex attracted. It was also obvious to Kant and Wojtyla tha Andrew Tyler specifically had an issue with the ethics of homosexuality.
Luckily for Karol Wojtyla he was able to stay calm under so much pressure. He took a deep breath and first and foremost reminded John- Micheal Harris and Andrew Tyler Johnson the immense, unending, and equal love that God has for them both. In order for Karol Wojtyla to full explain himself he had to bring his explanation all the way back to Adam and Eve. Wojtyla expressed his explanation by saying, “ A marriage is morally meant to be between a man and woman because of the creation of Adam and Eve and their eventual fall, that led to the original sin and shame.” Karol was especially surprised that Andrew Tyler’s questions led to the topic of shame because with shame comes with fear. Fear of rejection and fear of bringing the morality of marriage to light. With shame even though a negative experience occurred there was a positive significance, that protects you from being used. Feeling shame ultimately reveals to us that we are persons, trying to strive for absolute goodness. Shame is naturally embedded is us, as a self defense for our sexual value, it also helps us a persons for the sake of evoking love. Shame is connected to spousal love because spousal love absorbs shame.
Soon after Andrew brought all of his questions to light Karol Wojtyla continued to explain to Andrew Tyler and John- Micheal the morality and importance of authentic spousal love. Wojtyla stated, “The most basic definition of spousal love can be defined as giving up of oneself.” Karol Wojtyla also explained that spousal love is a totality of self giving for the love of God, it is also known as the love of choice. When Karol was explaining this point, Andrew Tyler and John- Micheal both thought about Immanuel Kant’s point of their homosexual actions and tendencies not being a means to an end. After Karol Wojtyla made that specific yet important point Kant chimed in and said, “ If homosexual relations are not a means to an end there can not be a complete giving of oneself to one another and to God.”
Karol Wojtyla went on to explaining to Andrew Tyler and John- Micheal that spousal love is absolute true love which encompasses ethical love. This ethical love also encompasses love being about the genuine and full good. The ethics of that ethical love, is not what is but what can and should be. It dives deeper at human freedom, which is about the complete truth of authentic goodness and truth. Karol Wojtyla kept on trying to explain and connect the ethical and theological morality of authentic love and marriage to Andrew Tyler and John- Micheal. Karol went on to explain that the two main and original purposes for marriage is procreation and mutually leading each other to heaven and to lead the other person to a higher good.
As Wojtyla continued on his explanation of their relationship is not morally and theologically valid. Karol Wojtyla stated, “ John- Micheal Harris and Andrew Tyler Johnson are valid, moral and authentically good.” he then went on an said, “ However, even though you are good as beings, your actions are not valid in the eyes of the Catholic faith.” Wojtyla went on in explaining that loving another man as a man is different from loving them as a brother in Christ. Karol also explained that there is a fine line between the love that John- Micheal and Andrew Tyler have for each other and the goodness that comes with loving another man in a totally different and moral way. With the covenant of marriage the couple become joined in communion, and Christ becomes in one union with grace. John- Micheal and Andrew Tyler both learned that if they were to get married that it would not be in unity with grace.
As Karol Wojtyla was explaining his points to Andrew Tyler and John- Micheal they both slowly started to understand the importance of genuine goodness and how the morality of marriage from an ethical and theological view affected their relationship. They also learned that a true marriage requires morality because it allows you to have a means to an end, and it leads the other person to a higher goodness and ultimate and genuine freedom. John- Micheal and Andrew Tuyler also learned from Karol Wojtyla that Marriage is in its natural order because it is sacred and religious, it is self giving towards one another, it embraces procreation. They realized that if they were to get married natural procreation is not in order. Therefore, it is not good and their sexual actions and tendencies are not good.
In the end of Karol and Kant’s detailed conversation, the officiant was able to fully grasp and understand why Immanuel Kant and Karol Wojtyla objected to John- Micheal Harris and Andrew Tyler Johnson marriage. The officiant of the wedding ended up refusing to be wed John- Micheal and Andrew Tyler. At first John- Micheal and Andrew Tyler and all of their guests were in shock and slightly upset, but they eventually understood and accepted the officiant’s choice of not joining them in their hand in marriage.