Gay Marriage and the End of Christian Civilization

Back in the 90s when Fr. Paul Marx, founder of HLI, was asked his opinion about the efforts to legalize “same-sex unions” he commented in his usual forthright fashion, “When they do that,” he said, “it’s the end.” He meant “the end” of the Christian civilization whose values used to form the basis of American common life. Fr. Marx, in a prophetic sense, saw rightly that a society cannot survive the perverse manipulation of the very structure of reality that God Himself has revealed to us, one very fundamental element of which is the institution of marriage.  When we allow that to be changed-”It’s the end.”

In 2009, 52% of the voting population in California endorsed Proposition 8 which ratified the constitutional protection of marriage as between a man and a woman. One might argue that even 52% was shockingly low on something so important, but the people won that battle despite the veritable war of the homosexual militants to sink that Proposition. In fact, Christian decency won and the structure of reality stayed intact, at least in this aspect of law in California, until this week when a single judge just nullified 7 million votes and the will of the people and lifted the “ban” on gay marriage. There was rejoicing in Sodom on the Bay, but how sad for our nation and even for our poor, misguided world that will weaken in its opposition to the homosexual lifestyle as a result of this decision.

So why, you ask, is gay marriage wrong? Let me count the ways.

First and foremost is because it violates the revealed Will of God as seen in Scripture. There are few things as clear in God’s revelation as the sacred institution of marriage between a man and a woman. From Genesis 1 (the marriage of Adam and Eve) to Revelation 21 (the marriage of Christ the Lamb with His Bride the Church) God has had only one model of marriage, and it is not gay marriage. Even polygamy and divorce was done away with in the Christian Church, as Our Lord reminded all of the essence of marriage as it was “in the beginning.” This Christian view of marriage became the norm of Western society and its most basic societal unit, undoubtedly allowing the West to flourish.

A close second to this is that gay marriage distorts the very concept of parenting as well as marriage. Even if you overlook the fact that gay marriage is by definition sterile, every child of a gay marriage has to be adopted or artificially inseminated, and that in itself is a violation of the whole concept of family. In the 80s the Vatican actually said that the adoption of children by homosexuals “does violence” to the child. Pretty strong language, but true nonetheless. In its simplest terms, kids need a mom and a dad, and are forever stigmatized by being the child of a gay marriage. Kids model their lives, their concept of family, their morals and oftentimes their whole worldview on their parents’ attitudes and values. These kids get a totally distorted view of all these basics.

Third but by no means the last reason, all of society suffers because of the public endorsement of an intrinsically disordered lifestyle and practice. Yes, “disordered” is what our Church calls both the homosexual orientation and lifestyle, and gay marriage simply ratifies that disorder on a social level. In recent debates, the term “human right” to describe gay marriage and the charge that anyone who stands against it is guilty of “discrimination” are examples of these fundamental distortions. Fr. Marx was right: a society cannot long survive this kind of violence done to its basic values, and history surely shows many societies like Ancient Greece, whose rapid decline was preceded by the proliferation of the gay lifestyle and its public acceptance.

While we respect all people as they are, we don’t have to respect such a wholesale assault on everything that is sacred to us and good for our society; no, in fact, we must fight against it with our very lives. The question is not whether or not we can win the battle; the question is whether we will join it. Will we accept the challenge to defend the sacred or not? We are called to be faithful and obedient to the Plan of God for our world, and within that, God will bring forth the victory. There is no doubt that, if it is not already there, gay marriage will be coming to your state soon. If we don’t fight it, our souls, our families and basically, our very civilization, will find themselves at “the end” of the line in very short order.

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  • frmartin

    I am utterly appauled at the sentiments and inacuracies expressed in this article.
    First Adam and Eve, to my understanding of scripture never entered into a “marriage” they simply pro-created. And indeed as far as Genesis is concerned they didn’t actually demonstrate much integrity in the fulfilment of the the will of God! Not many Biblical figures to my reading of the Bible can claim to have a marriage based on fidelity either. Joseph wasn’t too pleased about Mary’s condidtion and revelation…indeed God did not marry Mary he fathered his child to a woman betrothed to another. This latter statement is not blasphemous, just an example of how God’s understanding of marriage might be perceived.

    It is not only a nonsense to claim children who belong to parents of the same sex are “done a violence” is an appauling remark. Such children are loved by their parents, they live and grow in a family which has as much love and security that children of heterosexual parents offer. If they areIf the situation arose where a child is stigmatised because of his or her parents are Gay then those who create such cruel acts ought to be prosecuted with the full weight of the law. It’s as bad as stigmatising a child because his parents are handicapped or of a different race. I am saddened to read this attitude being pushed by a Christian.
    If the situation arose where a child is stigmatised because of his or her parents then those who create such cruel acts ought to be prosecuted with the full weight of the law. It’s as bad as stigmatising a child because his parents are handicapped or of a different race. I am saddened to read this attitude being pushed by a Christian.

    Now to the thrid point: ” all of society suffers because of the public endorsement of an intrinsically disordered lifestyle and practice. Well for a start I am married and my neither me nor partner live a disordered lifestyle and how dare the author assume that the practice (expression of our love for one another )is disordered and creating a violence to society. We are both professional people, we pay our taxes and we contrubute to society. We are not held at arms length by people we know and meet, we are loved, valued and trusted by people for who we are not for our sexuality. We love each other and our union is based solely on trust and our marriage is based on truth and fidelity towards each other.
    reading the above narrow remarks above shows a complete lack of understanding of human sexuality and commitment. It is insulting. It is lacking in charity and the basic concept of Christian principles, ie love. The whole and entire problem here is that fundamentalists cannot get out of the corner they have painted themselves into, they have lost the ability to think and reason for themselves and become both intolerant of attitudes and lack the ability to see through the scales that are on their eyes. They sing the praises of someone like Blessed Mother Teresa but look with scorn on the legacy of the late Harvey Milk.
    For goodness sake try to use Faith and Love to contribute to society in a positive and inclusive way and stop forcing bigotted cruel principles on society so that it is made in the likeness and image of the intolerant.

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  • Terri

    I have been so upset by this judges’ overruling of something that was the outcome from our voting. What is the purpose of voting if it can so easily be overturned by one judge? Our American rights have been taken away because of a judge who shouldn’t have taken the case in the first place. Many people tell me why don’t we just let them get married? Allow them to be happy. Allow something that is not of God? God is my King, my ruler – all my decisions are based on his foundation of love. God made it very clear from the very beginning how we were to live our lives. He has a reason why certain things are not acceptable. It’s not that He wants to hurt anybody in any way – He only wants the best for each and every one of us. Men marrying men, women marrying women is going to hurt our civilization – our country. If I could stop this in its tracks I would but I’m only one person. I’m really surprised there isn’t an uprising. This is very very wrong. I don’t think many people really understand how it’s going to hurt us more then it’s going to make everything “lovely” and “happy”. We are being pushed into believing this is ok. Commercials, movies, etc. are telling us there is nothing wrong. Even my own family is telling me to accept it. Like any sin, it’s going to create a division in my own family, confusion and make our lives complex. How can I attend that family gathering wondering is that man/man couple going to be there? What’s next? What is going to be made acceptable in the future? I don’t even want to imagine. I hope and pray for our country because of this is what is so-called “change” it’s very wrong. Lord, help us.

  • fishman

    frMartin:

    How can I begin to express love to you. All I have are the strange remarks you have left on this discussion board.

    First of all, your suggest Adam and eve were not married show a complete lack of any understanding of scripture. As proof I will simply point out that in the gospel when Jesus was questioned about divorce ( which can not happen except if one is married) he said ‘In the begging it was not so’ referring to the union of Adam and Eve. Matthew 19:8.

    Secondly , do you think it would would be a good thing to adopt children to prostitutes? ( in Nevada the enterprise is legal). The fact is that to raise a child in an environment that teaches the severely unhealthy things is a dis-service ( aka does violence) to that child.

    Homosexual sex is severely unhealthy and disordered as prostitution and a child raised in an environment where they are taught such a thing is normal, is done a disservice. If the state actually places a child in such a environment they have not only done them a dis-service but a violence, because they have not protected them as they were obligated to from a harmful environment.

    Your remarks show you have a complete lack of understand of human sexuality and human volition. Do you suppose a homosexual does not have the ability to choose weather or not to have sex ? Or with whom? This is evidenced by the fact that even in most favorable (to your implied argument that homosexuality is somehow normal) double blind twin studies more then 1/4 of all twins with identical genetics did not become homosexuals. All other studies undermine the ‘genetic’ link to homosexuality even further. Even if homosexuality were ‘in born’ their still is no case to be made that it is anything less then a birth defect.

    Would you suppose us next to accept that if pedophilia or kleptomania are inborn that the actions they cause should be accepted as someone ‘normal’ or good?

    Anyway, i liked the article Fr. Tom. There is so much confusion on this issue , that is just isn’t funny. it is really sad there are so many well intended people like frmartin out there , who have been bamboozled by the lies spread by a powerful and wealthy minority group who reveals in their sins.

  • caporasa

    Matrimony is defined as: The act or state of being married; marriage. The Latin root of which is “mater” from which we get mother. In the natural state (from which one derives the natural law, independent of religion) one becomes a mother through the “marital act” (which consummates the marriage) by the complementary union of husband and wife.

  • http://www.catholicexchange.com Mary Kochan

    frmartin, I am going to be very frank with you, because you are being very assertive. You are very good at tossing a red herring across the trail of this argument. The red herring is an argumentative trick by which someone introduces something irrelevant to take the argument onto another track, like one might drag a strong smelling fish along a trail a hound was following in an attempt to confuse him and cause him to lose his trail. This is not about love and commitment. The argument against “gay marriage” has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not homosexual persons are capable of contributing to society through their work, paying taxes, having friends, or whether there are present in their relationships some of the marks of genuine human friendship and companionship.

    Marriage is something – it has been this thing for millennia. The thing that marriage is IS a union of a man and a woman. That is what marriage is. Period. Abe Lincoln asked, “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg.” And he answered, “Four, because calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg.” Calling yourself married to a man does not make you married. Two men cannot marry one another because to reiterate the obvious: marriage IS the union of man and woman.

    Marriage between a man and woman forms the basic unit of society – the family. Society depends upon the family for continued existence, because the family is the natural unit for the begetting and raising of children.

    Homosexuals also depend upon the family. They have their own origins, either immediately or back a generation or so, in the family. If they rear children in their own unnatural arrangement, those children also owe their existence, either immediately or further back, to natural families. Therefore the existence of homosexuals, and especially when they pretend to form families with children, is parasitical upon the natural family and the natural sexual union between men and women.

    Homosexual acts are unnatural. You and your partner cannot form “a couple” (for “to couple” is a verb denoting what a couple does and you cannot do that). You have to stick your penises in each other’s rectums. This is an abuse of your bodies. It is very clear from biology that your penises were not made for that and your rectums were not made for that. These are disgusting acts. They are violations of God’s law and as obvious perversions of the created order as the desire of some mentally ill people to eat metal is an obvious perversion of the digestive system. These unnatural acts are a health hazard, of course. That is why there is a whole constellation of “gay” illnesses and physical disorders.

    The Church teaches that these acts are “intrinsically disordered.” No intelligent person could not know that they are disordered any more than any intelligent person would try to argue that you could put a car together using only bolts and no nuts or vice versa. Homosexuals think that if they can only get society to accept them and give them a label like “normal” or “marriage” they will feel ok. But it will never end because deep inside they know that there is something wrong with them. They cannot not know it.

    The perverted, often compulsive, acts in which they engage – and really anal sex is only one of many – do not communicate love for another person, regardless of affection (very real and strong) they feel toward their partners. Real love puts the well-being of the beloved above all. It is self-giving, self sacrificing. As many married people down through the ages have discovered, it may even require laying aside one’s sexual desire to seek the good of the spouse.

    Any two men who are engaging in unnatural acts with each other are really not showing love by those acts. Once again, let me stress that I am not denying the strength of their feelings or the reality that there may be between them many marks of genuine caring. But that caring IS NOT being demonstrated by their sexual acts because those acts are perverted and no one who truly cares about another human being will seek to involve him or her in perversion or degradation.

    This is why society should in no way sanction homosexual acts. Society has no more interest in doing so than in licensing restaurants to serve metal shavings to the mentally ill.

    You are correct is saying that children subjected to the violence of being raised by homosexuals (it is emotional violence to deprive a child of a mother and father) should not be subjected to any cruel acts. However, at some point in their lives they will have to come to terms with the fact that they were raised by perverts. It would be preferable if they were not put in that position — granting of course that some poor children of heterosexuals end up having to come to the same painful realization.

  • liturgylover

    Mary Kochan: AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! Thank you so much for acknowledging and exposing the elephant in the room! God bless you!

  • frmartin

    Well not one of points made above are valid, correct, or enlightening, indeed some are downright vulgar and insulting. They add nothing to reasoned and intelligent debate on this important issue which I have tried to raise. Indeed such spurious arguments are not worthy to be dignified by an a response. This saddens me.

  • peanutbutter

    Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. It’s not about any sort of concept of love that gives power to marriage, it’s the grace of God. Grace allows us to marry and be free, fruitful, and faithful. Grace raises our children. Grace instructs us in the good. Homosexuals want this and they are trying to be good. However, the sacrament is not available to them. Our entire tradition, most especially our stories in Scripture, are oriented toward male and female marriage that is “til death.” Because of property laws we will have to allow our gay brothers and sisters some sort of civil unions. It’s more about divorce than union, in my opinion.

    I always say, the differences between men and women are so great that it takes an institution, marriage, for them to unite. Men and men and women and women together, well, that’s a piece of cake. For that you don’t need an institution. But when they want to separate they want the same protections that persons have had when marriages dissolve. In my opinion same sex “marriage” is all about divorce, not to preserve the institution of marriage.

  • http://www.catholicexchange.com Mary Kochan

    frmartin:

    What point is not correct?

    What is vulgar? Is it vulgar to describe what homosexuals do with each other? or are the acts themselves vulgar and disgusting?

    Did you know that proper description, using proper names of body parts, of the marital act between a man and a woman is not vulgur? They are more properly kept private of course, because they are holy. In fact, the act is so holy that it is model of the spiritual life: before the penetrating life-giving power of God’s love, all human souls are receptively feminine. That is why in mystical writings the soul is alwasy spoken of as “she.” Jesus love for the Church is represented in Scripture by marriage between a bride and her groom. The marriage of man and woman is even an icon of the life-giving love of God himself, an icon of the Holy Trinity where the love of the Father and Son generates the Holy Spirit. The two become one flesh and a child — a third person comes into being. This is life. This is reality. This is what you are against. This is what you must deny to remain where you are.

    A married man and woman are not ashamed of the world knowing what they do in bed — they walk around proudly with the fruit of their sexual act, they show it off to all the world, dress it, feed it, educate it, and fondly hope that it will go forth and do likewise. But homosexuals are always troubled when talk turns to what they actually DO with each other because they don’t want anyone to focus on that. Yes, indeed it is shameful. It is so shameful to talk about that they hope we never mention it and that we forget all about it so they can pretend it’s all about “love.” Why should we pretend that? We don’t pretend that in marriage between a man and woman the sex act doesn’t exist. We even call it the “consumation of the marriage.”

    You can repent. You can experience grace. The torment of your perverted desires may not ever leave you, but we all have perverted desires. We are all with you in the common lot of humanity on that one. We all have disordered lusts — some for sex, some for money or power or food or other greediness. You are not worse than we are and we do not set ourselves above you when we say that your sexual passion for another man is wrong. But it is wrong. And God can give you the grace to begin to live in chastity and celibacy like other unmarried Christians are called to do. This is how you can make use of whatever real affection, caring, and friendship truly exists for your partner — by helping each other to get to heaven, instead of greasing a path for one another to hell.

    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And yet such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God — 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.

  • peanutbutter

    Mary Kochan, you are something else! I love it. I am the grandmother of two beautiful children of lesbian women, one who is their mother and the other who thinks she is. The violence done to them is that they are forced to play along with feelings that are made up and not real. Imagine how I feel when my precious granddaughter says to me “Grandma, why does grandpa like girls?” They both have everything. But emotionally the little boy has no one to show him how to handle anger as a man would. I fear he will grow up a very angry person, and we know from boys who are raised in single mom households that this can be a huge issue. Do some men who are angry come from homes with a mom and dad. Of course, but look back in the history of this person and there is a home without a dad somewhere in his background. Violence begets violence. What is violence but a huge sense of entitlement that one deserves to act violently. No one has shown them otherwise. In God’s plan we have the beauty of unity and peace brought about by His grace. The lie that my grandkids have to live with is that they must believe that they have two mothers. Lie to a child and you create tension and eventually violence.

  • jgillen

    Thank you Mary for such a frank and honest answer. How sad it is that these people are so afflicted by sin that they can no longer see clearly. They truly have the scales on their eyes. Even when one of their partners dies from AIDS they want to blame it on our intolerance. May God have mercy on their souls and grant them the grace to repent.

  • frmartin

    We must beg to disagree, but I concede no part of the arguments, it has been an enormous pleasure to share thoughts on the matter so my final words are too quoted from scripture “Woe to you, you scribes and pharisees.”

  • goral

    The end of Christian civilization also means the end to critical Western thinking which has its roots in logical (LOGOS) sensible progression and moral clarity.
    Now other civilizations also had/have that but it’s the Christian West that has done the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

    Since disordered acts are brought about by a disordered mind then there is no arguing or debating the point. It’s a whirlpool, one feeding the other. The only way out is another force. Start with Confession and keep going back to Confession to break this cycle. Yes, here pride and the ego have to step aside for Grace to enter. She will not force her way.

    All of that said, Mary, you rock!
    I suggest you have a sex change (while we’re on the topic). Think of the possibilities. You could go to male only country clubs etc. While within the Church the doors could open to at least the level of bishop. You would do a stellar job. No one needs to know.
    Ahh!….. you would know. With your strong and well chiseled conscience you would not be able to live with yourself, your excellency. (Pardon the jest)

    Like you said, we all live with some sin, some level of perversion of the ultimate good. While we make excuses and always seek mitigation, our immortal souls know better than to call a man, a woman and to call sodomy, love.

  • gfm

    frmartin:

    Your responses, and lack thereof, work to avoid the issue: homosexual marriage is perverse – that is: “out of the norm”. Mary’s well-reasoned, thoughtful and loving remarks clearly present the case — describing her argument as “spurious” without countering, simply “begging to disagree”, and conducting an ad hominem attack belie the foundation of your position.

    The Truth is a tough thing to hear (or in this case read). Do remember: God loves you, forgives you and supports you always.

  • Rodrigo Guerra

    Dear Mary Kochan, Please allow me to warmly congratulate you on your thoughtful comments regarding the inherent inmorality of homosexual acts and at the same time expressing mercy and love towards the persons afflicted with this disorder.

    Indeed it is our duty as authentic Catholic Christians to warn homosexuals about the consequences of their perverse acts for it is written “If I (God) say to the wicked man, You shall surely die; and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his wicked conduct so that he may live: that wicked man shall die for his sin, but I (God) will hold you responsible for his death. If, on the other hand, you have warned the wicked man, yet he has not turned away from his evil nor from his wicked conduct, then he shall die for his sin, but you shall save your life.” Ez 3:18-19

    May Almighty God always bless you and may the Blessed Virgin Mary intercede in your prayers ! Ad majorem Dei gloriam

  • http://www.catholicexchange.com Mary Kochan

    Goral!! I should get a ruler and make your fingers sting.

    Now, I understand that you are trying to say that I “write like a man” — people have told me that before. This is because, as one person put it, “there are teeth in [my] writing.”

    But women have to be strong. We cannot afford to be wimps in the face of evil anymore than can our brothers. And isn’t that exactly what Fr. Tom was asking us all to do — stand up and tell the truth?

    frmartin, you did, by leaving the field with no argument, concede every point. But I am going to address your final salvo:

    Give it up. We aren’t going to be cowed by this “though shalt not judge” whining crap any longer. We will call it out for the craven attempt at manipulation, intimidation, and Scripture twisting that it is. The Pharisees claimed to perfectly keep God’s law and therefore to be better than the masses of people whose difficult lives made adhering to the jot and tittle of the ceremonial Jewish law very hard. We are not claiming to be better than you are. We are not even judging the state of your soul. We are saying with great clarity that you are engaged in an objective moral evil and violation of God’s law. We are saying very clearly that we will never accept your attempt to redefine your sodomite lifestyle as “marriage.” This is worth breaking the Union over — that is how wicked your attempt and that of the other homosexualists is, because they have made it quite clear that they WILL demolish freedom of relgion to get their way.

    “You shall not bring the hire of a harlot, or the wages of a dog [male prostitute], into the house of the LORD your God in payment for any vow; for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God” — Deut 23: 18.

    “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying” — Rev 22: 14-15.

  • http://www.RomanCatholicInfo.com jamespereira

    frmartin,
    When you live the life you do, of course you will not concede any points of your argument. Would a person driving under the influence of alcohol admit to it when stopped by the cops? No!

    You’re in the same predicament.

    Don’t confuse Christian love with being permissive. Christ didn’t condone sin and said to the woman about to be stoned for adultery – “Sin No More”. And that’s what Fr. Tom is doing here.

    Your point of view is similar to a color blind person who can’t see all the 3 colors of the traffic lights. As far as he’s concerned, all those with normal color vision are wrong. Whatever he thinks, the truth is the colors are green, orange and red – no matter how many color blind people there are…

  • bem

    frmartin? fishman and Mary Kochan are not only intellectually sound, but they are also presenting valid, correct, well-reasoned and enlightening arguments! I find you rather insulting. You are an insult to the intellectual prowess of these people. Instead of responding to their arguments (which you obviously cannot due to your LACK of a correct reasoning ability), you attack their persons and make NO POINT at all.

    It’s either you leave the keyboard or begin to write something that people with intellect can read!

    Great job Mary!

  • goral

    Hmmm…. that’s an interesting take on my comments, Mary.
    I actually wasn’t framing it quite that way, although I follow your thinking.
    It’s not that you write like a man, you write as one with authority.
    I like it, it’s very womanly.
    I can assure you that I’m straighter than a patient going through an MRI.

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  • LarryW2LJ

    Mary,

    Thanks so much! Your response should be “The Textbook”.

    frmartin, please don’t go hiding behind the “Scribes and Pharisees” line. Jesus did shine new light on the hypocrites; but people who disagree with your understanding of things are not hypocrites. Jesus came to bring freedom and forgiveness to sinners; He was, and more importantly is indeed merciful – but He was NOT for “anything goes”. He was and does stand up against sin.

  • frmartin

    Reluctantly I have ben brought back into the field. I left because it is very difficult to have reasoned debate when selective scripture is used for the basis of an argument. I could retort with ones that suit my argument like as Paul exhorts that women should keep quiet in church!!! That would be unheard of in today’s society. Slavery is proscribed in the Old Testament along with the other aintiquated taboos like not touching dead people, menstruating women, lepers, sewing two different types of cloth together and planting similar crops alongside each other. Peter argued for a relaxation of Jewish food laws and Paul argued against circumcision. There are so many contradictions that it is very difficult to bring any cohesive argument to this issue solely on the basis of scripture. As an example may I suggest a similar case being the absence from scripture direct and unequivical references to the Immaculate Conception and Assumption; but the development of Marian dogma has nevertheless still been afforded complete acceptance in the Catholic catechism. It seems that certain things can be selected and rejected as the age we live in dictate and we deem appropriate for the benefit of mankind.

    As for the personal attack on my apparent lack of intelect… this is an example of why I became frustrated with the argument. I am a priest, I studied theology at Oxford (that’s in the nited Kingdom) I have been a priest for 22 years and have both an excellent pastoral, theological a,d liturgical record, I care for my people and nurture and love them as they love me. Bludgeoning your way through a debate with remarks that describe Gay people as “perverted”, “permissive” and likening their lifestyle to those reprobate paedophiles not in addition the silly metaphors like :drunks” traffic lights” rather distracts my reasoning and leaves little room to add anything that might even be worthy of a genuine response.

    Forty years ago a person in the UK who was found guilty of homosexual activity could receive a prison sentence equivalent to a person convicted of grievous physical assault the maximum being 8 years imprisonment. These draconian laws have been swept away, a minorty has gained equal recognition under the law to live the lifestyle without fear, without recrimination, without guilt being heaped upon them. Civil Partnerships are recognised under law in the UK as they are in the majority of E.U. countries and in several conyinental American countries. Society in these countries has not crumbled, there is no civil unrest, there is no social upheaval no increase in “perverted acts”. There is still harmony, but they have achieved greater freedom and a recognition that not all human beings are the same but can be accpeted.
    Yes Christianity has a place, and it has a voice in modern society, society would be impoverished without that voice but the Church also has to listen and respond to the times in which we live as it always has had to. December 25th is a response to a pagan festival it is not Jesus’ birthday but the Church had to adopt and adapt or lose its recently won converts.

    My argument has been based soley on my understanding of scripture as it is revealed to us. Scripture was in times gone used in the argument to justify war, to repeal slavery, to set women free, and to accept that it is wrong to discriminate against a person because they are black and not white. Christianity is a strange thing, it creates extremes, the same Christ who inspired Martin Luther King jr., also inspires Dr. Phelps of the Baptist Church!!
    My Faith and my understanding of Scripture and God informs me that he can often be a God of contradictions and challenges. He is a God of love and above all the one who created me as I am, you as you are and my brother and sister where ever they may be as they are. To equate members of the LGBT community as prostitutes, thieves and alcholics is spurious because one is not born any of these things, a gay person is gay born gay, and despite many medical procedures to “cure” their gayness we cannot change who we are. being gay is not a choice it is how we are born. A black man was not allowed to marry a white woman once upon a time, no more than a Roman Catholic was not allowed to study at Oxford University either.
    persecution is persecution is persecution.
    My original reason for responding to this topic was simply because I know what it is like to be a persecuted minority. The persecution, is even more acute when it originates in homophobia based upon the faith, church and God whom I love and have served for over two decades.
    There are many Gay people who do love their faith and church, but who also live in a relationship that is loving and they live each day coping with, while struggling for, genuine acceptance. That’s how Catholic’s lived for many centuries in Great Britain until they were given full human rites in the mid 19th century. That should be a salutary reminder to everyone, that persecution and the refusal of equality by other more powerful human beings is one which should be a rallying callto reject. Not one that says well I’m free now, so it’s Ok to repress someone else. This similarly is what Israel does today.

    There I have, I think laid out my argument in an with basic elementary intelect. But I just think we get all hot and bothered about sex, everything boils down to sex at the end and there are many many more important issues to address in the world and church in which we live. Jesus said I have come that you might have life and have it in abundance, for goodness sake let people live, get on with their lives without fear or contradiction and let go of our tiny vision of God and see really how big, bold and generous he is.

  • http://www.catholicexchange.com Mary Kochan

    Well, frmartin, I see my hope that your moniker was initials merely and did not denote a title was not to be realized. How doubly sad you make us all. I am truly stabbed at heart to the point of tears that this is so. May the Blessed Mother hold us both within her mantle of love.

    While priests with normal (yes, I will insist that same-sex attraction is not normal) male sexual desires sometimes fall into sin and there have been those occasional ones who kept women, it certainly does seem that continence is a far greater burden upon those with SSA. For the love of them, the Church has made it clear that they ought not to be priests and add to the burden of their inclinations the temptations that living so closely among men as the priesthood requires entails for them. Your own failure to live up to your vows of celibacy is very sad and would be sad if you were living with a woman.

    This is worse though because the perversion that it entails has twisted so much of your thinking. You claim to be knowledgeable theologically, Father, but you appear to have lost a very basic intellectual function without which no analysis can proceed: that of making proper distinctions. You make no distinction between ceremonial laws and moral laws in the OT; you make no distinction between natural law and positive law; you make no distinction between God’s permissive will and God’s perfect will; you make no distinction between development of doctrine and heresy; you make no distinction between discipline and dogma; you make no distinction between religious persecution and moral opprobrium; you make no distinction between social injustice and moral legal sanctions. Your writing is a mish-mash of confusion that aims to discredit of the authority of Scripture and the Church and substitute relativism. And why? To justify buggery. This is what it must do. Homosexualism must ultimately destroy every foundation of truth and clarity in this world. It will not be satisfied until no child exists on the planet who was born of a natural union between and man and woman. It will not be satisfied until no married couples exist. For every time a woman looks up into the eyes of her spouse with rapture in that image of the Church adoring her Divine Lord, homosexuals are convicted. Every time life comes forth from a fruitful womb, they are convicted.

    No, Father, this is not what you consciously aim at. It is only the dream of the really rabid homosexuals and you aren’t one of them, are you? You are only committed enough to the lifestyle to live a lie, to pretend on the one hand that you believe in the authority of the Church to make you a priest of God to confect the Sacrament but not on her authority to tell you how to live. To pretend on the one hand that you have the power to forgive sins while having the right to engage another human soul in mortal sin with you to feed your lust. You claim to love Christ and the Church but not enough to show that love the way that Christ says it is shown – by obedience. You claim to be a pastor of souls but would undermine the faith of the people to justify your way of life. As a priest, you are a fraud.

    Be a man. Go to confession. Pay your vows. Get control of yourself. Tell your partner to go and sin no more. Live in continence. Live in reparation. Go to heaven. Please. The Blessed Virgin Mary wants to help you. We will pray for you.

  • frmartin

    Madam, I thank you for your generous and gracious prayers, I also thank God that I am English and an Anglican I am doubly damned for this, but I don’t live a lie, children are perfectly safe in my company, I am supported by my bishop and my flock and above all the person with whom I have committed my life and my love in marriage. God bless you, and in my final closing I will leave you with the words of that great English saint Thomas More who too would not make a compromise for what he held to be true… Pray for me, as I will for thee, that we may merrily meet in heaven. And we will…all of us. God bless you. Fin.

  • Rodrigo Guerra

    After reading frmartin’s comments I vividly realize why St. John Chrysostom (347-407), Doctor of the Church, said “The road to hell is paved with the skulls of erring priests.” May Almighty God have mercy on your soul !

    Priests are entrusted with much and therefore they will be judged more harshly (“to whom much is given, much will be expected” Lk 12:48) When a priest does a faithful job, he will be rewarded greatly as he will produce great eternal fruits. However, when priests become sinful and corrupt without remorse eternal punishment is to be expected; this was what St. John Chrysostom was warning about.

    I thank God that the rules for entering the seminary have changed dramatically in the last decade and men with deep rooted homosexual tendencies are NOT admitted as candidates for the Catholic Priesthood.

  • liturgylover

    Thank you Rev. Martin for showing us just why the Catholic Church should and does hold so fast to the genuine teachings of Jesus and doesn’t follow every whim and teaching of modern society. The Anglican Church signed her death warrant when she began accepting and blessing homosexual unions, even in her clergy. Of course it was no surprise, since the very foundation of your denomination is based on “protest” of truth. Your formal phraseology trying to couch your perverted beliefs in acceptable terms only succeeds in sounding even more ridiculous.

    And many, many thanks Mary Kochan! You enumerated and elucidated the argument with such mastery and balance! I agree–it should be the “Textbook” for debating this insidious issue. I am going to copy it and study it for future reference. Well done, good and faithful servant!

  • davewood73

    I read on this site with interest, personally I find some remarks totally outrageous. How dare anyone tell me that OUR god condemns me for being gay or entering into a loving union with another. If you totally agree with the scriptures then I hope to see a bit more tolerance of decent people that love each other and it would be quite refreshing to see a bit more condemnation of the evils that prevail from Rome with the allowance of paedophilia or is this being a little to honest for those that can not bear the truth of what the church is hiding. I would suggest that most of those that comment should keep their own counsel before lecturing others.

  • MichelleGA

    WOW!

    After reading all of this, I am exhausted.

    Thank you, Mary, thank you. I thank God for giving you the ability to speak the truth clearly and with genuine charity.

    God have mercy on us and help us all.

  • http://www.catholicexchange.com Mary Kochan

    Ah… Anglican. A confession conceived in lust and born in violence and theft with the wonderful charism of making the most charming excuses for moral degradation.

    Not completely their fault though — if Queen Mary had acted more like her namesake, how differently it might have all gone.

    Henry Higgins said in My Fair Lady that the French don’t care what they do actually as long as they pronounce it properly. But the English don’t care what they do as long as the silver is polished, tea is not interrupted, the lawn is manicured, and the divines are handsome and cultured. Only the Catholic remnant can save England now. (Which of course puts her in the same boat as the US of A.)

    As for you Davewood no one has said that God condemns you for being gay. God does however call acts of sodomy abominations. God said it. We believe he meant it. We simply agree with God. However, what concerns me more is your lying. Because I bet we both agree that one is a sin. The so-called pedophilia crisis in the Catholic Church as the media liked to call it, was no such thing. It was a crisis of homosexuals abusing adolescent boys. Most of the victims were sexually mature young men and the abusers were gay men who groomed and abused them. So now you want to take that reality and use it as a club to beat the Church into silence on the evils of homosexuality. Am I the only one who sees the irony here?

    What you need is some elementary moral philosophy. Let’s say that I was a murderer who right at this moment had the bodies of a half dozen poor wretches I had done in buried in my back yard. And suppose that I made the statement that murder is wrong and one should not take the life of an innocent human being. Would my being a murderer make my statement false. Not hardly. It might me a tad hypocritical, but it would not change the truth of what I said. So it really would not matter to this discussion if the Church were hiding pederasts in every rectory — the Church would still be correct to say that homosexual acts are disordered and sinful.

  • Pingback: On the Issues » Blog Archive » Admonish with Love

  • fatherted

    Oh dear Oh dear, Fr. Martin seems to have taken on single-handedly the most fierce personal criticism I have ever witnessed in my long ministry (49years). He has, in my view argued validly his points, in which he used scripture and ethics. But he has done more, he has laid himself bare like the Psamist says…”the powerful gathered together against me:
    And like giants they stood against me.
    Strangers have risen up against me
    and the mighty have sought after my soul.
    And like giants they stood against me. ”

    It has been, as I read, the intention to save poor Fr martin from damnation, (but I must sincerely reassure him that his soul is not damned ) For if he is damned so too will be many thousands of priests and members of our congregations who have not had the courage to do what he has. They lurk and skulk behind their drapes afraid to be whom they are. They do so because of the remarks similar to those above which only show how sanctamonious and self-righteous some catholics are.
    I can myself quote numerous examples of active gay priests in parishes, seminaries and even basilicas, and they like the gracious father perform admirable service to the Church and her people, it does not in anyway impeded upon their ministry.
    As for the accusation that all paedophiles are homosexual is the most blatant, sweeping generaliztation that I have ever heard coming from the mind of one of my own. It is really despicable to make such an assertion. The guilty ones interfere with CHILDREN regardless of their sex, they abuse power for their own sexual gratification with a minor..sexuality does not enter this vile abuse and depravity and I am angered that sexuality is and gay people are denegrated in this way. NO NO NO. Because were this the case we need to look at the antics of some as far away as our own headquarters.
    Fr. Martin, I apologise for the remarks made against your Church and the history of your country and your culture. We might learn valuable lessons from our Anglican brothers and sisters for am I wrong when I remember that you have laws that protect your citizens from discrimination and that were some of the remarks levelled at you were used in Great Britain the person responsible could be prosecuted in a court of law?

    I will pray for you, I and some of my fellow priests who have followed this debate with interest applaude your courage and openess. Nil desperandum…Jesus and his Blessed Mother are far more tolerant, less pontificating and open than you would believe from what you read here. I would encourage more people to show solidarity with you on this page for there are millions out there who do, and we will …as you quote from Tom More…meet merrily in heaven.

  • http://www.catholicexchange.com Mary Kochan

    So now we have an actual Catholic priest in fatherted, I suppose. A Catholic priest who does not believe what the Church teaches. Just as you misrepresent the Church, you misrepresent the faithful who support the Church.

    I never said that all pedophiles were homosexual. I know they are not. What I said was that the so-called pedophile problem in the Church was no such thing. That is not to say there have never been any pedophiles in the Church or that none of the cases among those that came to light were actual pedophilia. But, as I said, most of them WERE homosexual abusers, not of prepubescent children, but of sexually mature adolescent boys. It was an a conspiracy of the media — certainly abetted by some of what you called “active gay priests in parishes, seminaries and even basilicas” — that insisted on calling it a pedophile crisis and keeping from the Catholic faithful the true nature of the problem.

    NONE of us have any problem, in theory, with a celibate man who suffers from SSA being a priest. And as you point out, many of them have served admirably and continue to do so. However, the Church is able to learn from experience. And experience has taught her that those whose SSA is very deep seated, who identify themselves with their homosexuality to a great degree, who cannot from their hearts agree with God that homosexual acts are an unnatural abomination, who cannot from their hearts agree with the Church that they are disordered, for whom continence is a overwhelming struggle — are not qualified to be priests. It is a cruelty to them to put them in that position!

    I understand what you mean about the lurking and shame. But we cannot do anything about the shame, fatherted. The shame is not from society. It is not from the Church’s teaching. It is not from the Scriptures. IT IS NOT AN EXTERNAL THING!! IT IS INTRINSIC TO THE HOLDING OF UNNATURAL DESIRES.

    Homosexuals are not the only ones who feel this shame. So do men addicted to porn. So do young women who are bulimics. Unnatural desires cause shame.

    Driven by shame and its flip-side: rage, homosexuals are determined to overturn all sexual mores in the mistaken notion that if everyone accepts them and tells them they are normal, they will feel ok. But they will not. Society is getting into a vicious spiral with homosexualists. They will not be satisfied ever. At some point the placating of perversion will end and they will be left fuming in their frustration. Only a true conversion works here.

    The Church does not want homosexuals to live without love — as so many put it. They can live with deep friendships. They can marry women. Through the years many men with SSA married women and knew the joy and satisfaction of raising families. Many, perhaps most, men with SSA are capable of this. But what you want — for the Church to say that homosexual relations are not disordered is never going to happen. Because this is the truth.

    I note that it is a truth, the proclamation of which fatherted would rejoice to see outlawed. Folks here you have it. This is why freedom of religion and speech cannot co-exist with homosexualism.

    So fatherted, if you are not willing to assent to the teaching of the Catholic Church and you want to belong to a Church that agrees with you, please go be Anglican. And please take with you all the other priests you know who are skulking around with acts of sodomy. We do hope to see you in heaven, but we do not want to see you committing sacrilege (receiving the Sacrament while in a state of mortal sin) in the Catholic Church in the meantime.

  • Rodrigo Guerra

    fatherted, first of all I would like to know if you really are a Roman Catholic priest ? If so, have you forgotten that you freely took sacred vows of obedience to the Magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church ?

    Your view regarding the morality of homosexual acts is completely contrary to the infallible teachings of the Church. Allow me to refresh you memory of authentic Catholic Doctrine: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” Catechism of the Catholic Church 2357

    If you really are a Catholic priest it would not surprise me because there is a small group of disloyal and disobidient members of the clergy that prescribe to your liberal beliefs. Liberal catholic “doctrines have given such a bent to their minds, that they disdain all authority and brook no restraint; and relying upon a false conscience, they attempt to ascribe to a love of truth that which is in reality the result of pride and obstinacy.” PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS – St. Pius X Pope

    Faithful Catholics are called to be as sheep that willingly follow their shephard (Vicarius Christi), and to “become like little children” Matthew 18:3 who have absolute faith that the Magisterium is guided by the Holy Sprit and should never be questioned in matters of faith and morals.

    It is the pride of satan that leads some liberal catholics “to hold themselves up as the rule for all, pride which puffs them up with that vainglory which allows them to regard themselves as the sole possessors of knowledge, and makes them say, inflated with presumption, we are not as the rest of men, and which, to make them really not as other men, leads them to embrace all kinds of the most absurd novelties; it is pride which rouses in them the spirit of disobedience and causes them to demand a compromise between authority and liberty; it is pride that makes of them the reformers of others, while they forget to reform themselves, and which begets their absolute want of respect for authority, not excepting the supreme authority.” PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS – St. Pius X Pope

    Let us be instead like the Blessed Virgin Mary when she said with utter humility “I am the servant of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word”. Lk 1:38

    fatherted, as for frmartin and you I will gladly leave justice in God’s hands for He “gives each person what his conduct and his actions deserve” Jeremiah 17:10

  • http://followingthetruth.com Gary Zimak

    fatherted, If you are indeed a Catholic priest, it greatly saddens me to read your comments. Your open dissent to the Magisterium of the Church is greatly troubling and presents a scandalous example for the sheep of your flock. I’d be very interested in hearing from where you get the authority to “assure” Fr. Martin of his salvation. It is certainly not from the Church founded by Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago. I recently wrote an article for Catholic Exchange about the supposed “freedom of conscience” that is professed by many confused Catholics. Yes, we must obey or conscience, but that conscience must be informed and not operate in a vacuum. The Catechism states:

    “Personal conscience and reason should not be set in opposition to the moral law or the Magisterium of the Church (CCC 2039)”

    Therefore, by openly dissenting (and encouraging other priests to dissent) from the teaching of Jesus Christ through His Church you are placing yourself in a very dangerous position:

    Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:17-19)

    As far as Jesus and the Blessed Mother being “far more tolerant”, I’d like to remind you that Our Lord gave His Church the authority to teach infallibly in His name (Mt 28:19-20) and the Blessed Mother gave us the wise words that will help us to one day reach Heaven:

    “Do whatever He tells you.” (Jn 2:5)

    As for the original article…Congratulations to Father Tom for saying what needed to be said about this issue. You are acting as a true shepherd and carrying out your role as a representative of Our Lord in this world!

  • Christopher Fish

    It seems a simple point I already made has been entirely ignored in this ‘debate’.
    There is NO i repeat NO scientific evidence that people are by nature or born homosexual.

    I would recommend to anyone who is convinced otherwise they make a careful review of the scientific evidence for the case.

    I can tell you want you will find. A series of studies that prove out a genetic or in womb propensity towards homosexuality. Exactly the same type of propensity that is well known and proved out amongst alcoholics.

    Although I’m not a big fan of the source there is a decent summary here.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation

    These studies substantiate 2 things.
    1) People with certain genetics are more likely to be homosexual
    2) People with identical genetics are not ALWAYS homosexual.

    In other words it is NOT inborn any more then alcoholism. You might argue the tendency is somehow stronger , but this is very subject and not particularity supported by the scientific evidence.

    This goes directly to the heart of Fr. Martins argument that gays are ‘the way God made them’. Which is of coarse is vacuously true in one sense and totally false in the other.

    After all, EVERYONE , even Adolf Hitler was or is ‘The way God made them’. In sou much as all decisions are a combination of what we are and our environment and God is the God of all including randomness ( aka choas).

    However I do not think that is the intention of the argument as used. The emphasis seems to be on ” I am not responsible for what I like or what I do” , which is an entirely false argument.

    Especially if the intent is to claim the trait is somehow inborn and that absolves you from responsibility for your actions for 2 reasons.

    1) The trait is not inborn.
    2) Even if it were inborn it would not resolve you for responsibility for your actions. There is some evidence that sociopathic murder are inborn. Assuming that it is , would you then assume that murder should be morally acceptable because some people are born with the propensity for it? The fact is a genetic trait does not a moral argument make.

  • wrinnmom

    Thank you so much, Father Euteneuer, for your excellent article. Thank you, Mary Kochan, for your forthright and honest exposition of the grievous errors stated by the homosexuals who have posted here. I completely agree with you both. Well said, Mr. Zimak.

    I must say, not to be rude or cruel, but I thought that attaining an education from Oxford must be the “top of the world,” but frmartin has disillusioned me, not only with his lack of ability to debate with reason but his lack of spelling skills. As a Catholic, I will respect you as a reverend but the Anglican Church cannot, because of the break from the true succession, have authentically ordained priests.

    I will pray for you and beg Our Lady to ask her Son for the grace you need to realize how far you’ve wandered into relativism and error. Please please seek her help. She will lead you to the Truth, Jesus Christ.

    Meanwhile, I feel inspired to fight for my own valid marriage and that of all other men and women. I will fight in prayer, with my vote, and in honest discussion with any who are confused about this situation. The next chance I get I will be praying fervently before the Blessed Sacrament to help us open the eyes of our confused brothers and sisters without condemnation but with firm resolve in Truth.

    Deo Gratias!

  • brianm

    Proponents of prop8 never cease to amaze me with their narrow-mindedness. This article addresses none of the legal issues and presents no pragmatic argument in favor of discriminating against same-sex marriages.

    I encourage all of you on this forum to read the judge’s opinion in the recent case overturning prop8, so that you can see how foolish you all look to the rest of the world.

    frmartin:
    I’m sorry you have to put up with all this pious bigotry, but these people are on the wrong side of history. Best wishes to you and your partner

  • anneke

    frmartin, you say: “Society in these countries has not crumbled, there is no civil unrest, there is no social upheaval no increase in “perverted acts”. There is still harmony, but they have achieved greater freedom and a recognition that not all human beings are the same but can be accepted.”

    If you truly believe this, I don’t know that you have a sense of the scope of social change in the last few decades. Living our day-to-day lives, it is indeed difficult to have such a sense – but conscientious researchers who work in the social sciences have been observing these sorts of things long-term and what they see is a contradiction to your summing up of the state of the world. Let me quote Urie Bronfenbrenner, one of the most reputable researchers in the field of educational psychology:

    “At the most general level,the evidence reveals growing chaos in the lives of families, in child care settings, schools, peer groups, youth programs, neighborhoods, workplaces, and other everyday environments in which human beings live their lives. Such chaos, in turn, interrupts and undermines the formation and stability of relationships and activities that are essential for psychological growth. Moreover, many of the conditions leading to that chaos are the often unforeseen products of policy decisions made both in the private and in the public sector. Today, in both of these arenas, we are considering profound economic and social changes, some of which threaten to raise the degree of chaos to even higher and less psychologically tolerable levels. The most likely and earliest observed consequences of such a rise would be reflected in still higher levels of youth crime and violence, teenage pregnancy and single parenthood, as well as in reduced school achievement, and, ultimately, a decline in the quality of our nation’s human capital.”

    What is this instability? You can blame it on divorce rates in heterosexual marriage, which are indeed a big part of the problem. But homosexual unions are statistically much LESS likely to remain solvent. Talk about introducing instability into children’s lives. We can’t, of course, isolated these huge, complex social changes and blame a singe cause. But if we are wise, we can identify trends and we can look at research – such as that suggesting that children raised without a parent of each sex in the home have significantly more developmental problems – and we can gain a proper sense of the gravity of these situations. It’s all fun and games when we’re talking about “love” and justifying lifestyle choices based on what feels good. But to start proposing sweeping changes that strike at the very root of our society without acknowledging the gravity of these suggestions is irresponsible and even dangerous.

  • Rodrigo Guerra

    To brianm, The term bigotry in your comment refers to unjustified discrimination towards homosexuals. This term often is used by gay activists to end rational discussion of the issue by accusing their opponents of being bigots or homophobic. This is unjust. One can disagree with and be critical of a behavior without discriminating against the individual. When the charge of “bigotry” is made, it signifies that those making the accusation do not have reasoned responses to their critics, so they switch to portraying their critics as irrational rather than responding to their arguments.

    While the Catholic Church does recognize homosexuality as disordered, this does not mean that the Church is uncompassionate to those who suffer from the disorder. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies . . . must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

    We have to remember that all people are created in the image of God and deserve to be treated as such, no matter what their behavior. We make a distinction between person and behavior, sometimes expressed as “hate the sin, love the sinner.” The Catechism describes homosexual acts as “intrinsically disordered”: “They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

    So we deplore acts of discrimination or unkindness against homosexual persons, but we insist on speaking the truth about the nature of homosexual acts. This is not a bigotry. It is compassion together with frank recognition of the nature of a disordered condition.

    The Catholic Church opposes homosexual activity because it is intrinsically disordered, an abuse of our human nature and contrary to God’s will for his creation.

  • brianm

    Rodriggo Guerra:
    As you correctly pointed out, bigotry “refers to unjustified discrimination.”
    I can think of no better label than bigots for those who appose same-sex marriage, for they do so with no just reason.

    And if you cannot see how withholding marriage licenses from same-sex partners is discrimination, you must not know what that word means either.

  • http://www.catholicexchange.com Mary Kochan

    The question is not whether we know what “bigotry” is. The question is whether you know what “marriage” is.

  • Rodrigo Guerra

    To brianm, Marriage should be exclusive, unconditional, permanent, and life-giving. Marriages like that lead to health, happiness, prosperity, long life, and social peace. And the evidence is there to prove it. Homosexuals will not be able to create marriages like that, even if their “marriages” become legal.

    Homosexual activity doesn’t satisfy because it is intrinsically immoral and therefore contrary to God’s will. Gay activists who seek absolution from society will not find it, even if same-sex marriage becomes legal. Courts and legislatures cannot create clean consciences.

    But legalization of homosexual marriage would empty marriage of its meaning. And that will tend to weaken marriage even further, which will further increase the divorce rate and maximize divorce-related misery.

    The institution of marriage is precious. It enhances the health, longevity, and well-being of married couples. It increases the health, vocational success, and emotional well-being of children. In providing all these benefits, heterosexual marriage contributes to the happiness and prosperity of society. Marriage must, therefore, remain limited to one man and one woman who strive to keep their marriage exclusive, unconditional, permanent, and life-giving. Nothing less will ever meet the needs of the human person, because nothing less satisfies.

    Because it is intrinsically disordered, we must not recognize homosexual activity as legitimate, and we must not give public approval to homosexual marriage because of the harm that will do to the institution of marriage and because of the social harm that will result from emptying marriage of its meaning. Perhaps the most serious social harm would be to children: the children of divorce and the children of same-sex couples, who will suffer all the ills mentioned previously.

    Society has a lot to lose from legalizing homosexual marriage. And homosexuals have nothing to gain.

  • http://saintslppr.com fjindra

    Mary,
    Thank you for your clarity and patience in dealing with these distortions. “frmartin” and “fatherted” and all those supposedly lurking in support of homosexualists are refusing to even address the question of natural law in this issue. In fact there is a desire to deny the validity of natural law in the argumentation of many in our culture today, and not on this issue alone. It was not much discussed in MY seminary of almost 30 years ago, and that seems to have been at the height of the confusion in training priests. So I am not surprised at “fatherted” and his reaction. “fatherted”: you are wrong – no other way to put it. As a priest – to a priest who has spoken so publicly and demonically, I say: silence! You are distorting the Faith and denying the Truth. If you were not a priest, I would not write so forcefully.

    “frmartin” in one of his messages tried to label dissenters from his position as homophobic. Well, as I wrote in an article earlier for Catholic Exchange, the reality is that he is alithinophobic: afraid of the truth. The truth cannot be clearer than has been presented by many who have responded above. “frmartin”, though not in so many words, claims in one of his responses that there is a mean-spiritedness in the orthodox position upheld by most respondents here. This seems to me to be a consistent tactic by those who are alithinophobes – and I have to count among this number those like “fatherted”. I have seen this far too often. Candidly, I am tired of the attempt at new-speak: making the moral seem immoral.

    To claim an authority from Scripture that legitimates homosexuality requires a sweeping away of clearly stated prohibitions to this activity that obviously goes against the Gospel of Life. The very first commandment God gives to humanity is to “be fruitful and multiply” (GEN 1:28 – RSV). That is the basis for our understanding of marriage. Unlike Islam which states that later “revelation” supersedes earlier, we have always seen God’s revelation as a whole. There is simply no way to side-step this first command. Attempting to dismiss the clear indications of Scripture because they sound “unenlightened” in modern society is simply alithinophobic. To believe that, as Mary said above, the ritualistic rules are on a par with ethical rules is simply wrong, unscriptural, untheological, untruthful, and dishonest.

    We have further come to understand that there is an exclusive right that spouses have to one another. That is why sperm or egg donation and surrogate gestation are unacceptable. To pursue children in an homosexual relationship means the necessary involvement of someone who is not part of the relationship. Even if one were to grant homosexual “couples” the freedom to engage in their own lusts, to beget a child means to prostitute and/or abuse someone else.

    To claim there is no damage to children of such a “couple” is also dishonest. Look at the problems of families with absentee fathers. Not in all situations, to be sure, but there is ample evidence that anything other than a stable family with modeled behavior of a father and mother leaves many children with developmental challenges. To claim that all it takes is two people, regardless of gender is to ignore the tragedies our society is already seeing in so many examples. It comes back to the issue of natural law. The structure of the family is to fulfill the natural and God-breathed law to “be fruitful.”

    The denial of this will continue to haunt our culture until we turn from the “tyranny of relativism” to the “Gospel of Life”.

    Fr. Frank E. Jindra, AS

  • brianm

    Mary Kochan- “The question is whether you know what “marriage” is.”

    Definitions undergo changes as a natural part of social progress. In America, the definition of “citizen” has shifted drastically since the time when it meant a white male landowner. It shifted to encompass more and more people because it was recognized that those people were denied certain social privileges for no just reason. Likewise, the the concept of marriage is becoming more inclusive. Your apposition to change will be seen by history to be every bit as silly and bigoted as those who protested a woman’s right to vote or an African American’s right to go to whatever school they want.

  • brianm

    -Rodrigo Guera: “Marriage should be exclusive, unconditional, permanent, and life-giving. Marriages like that lead to health, happiness, prosperity, long life, and social peace. And the evidence is there to prove it. Homosexuals will not be able to create marriages like that, even if their “marriages” become legal.”

    I’m afraid you’re misinformed. There is no evidence to indicate that same-sex marriages cannot lead to healthy and happy lives- in fact the apposite is the case. Perhaps you are thinking of studies that show that same-sex partners on average stay together for a (slightly) shorter period than hetero couples? If that’s the case I would point out that there’s actually another demographic that has even higher divorce rates-the highest in fact! African Americans. If your concern over divorce would lead you to prevent an entire demographic from becoming married in the first place, perhaps you should first start with the largest! (this is said in jest, of course keeping African Americans from marrying is stupid and wrong, just like keeping same-sex couples from marrying is stupid and wrong)

    “Homosexual activity doesn’t satisfy because it is intrinsically immoral and therefore contrary to God’s will. Gay activists who seek absolution from society will not find it, even if same-sex marriage becomes legal. Courts and legislatures cannot create clean consciences.”

    Your Churches do little to cleanse the conscience, preferring instead to heap guilt on the young and the gullible for acts which are victimless. I suspect gay activist care very little for what you and your particular brand of god think about them.

    “But legalization of homosexual marriage would empty marriage of its meaning. And that will tend to weaken marriage even further, which will further increase the divorce rate and maximize divorce-related misery.”

    I have very little inclination to address your last two paragraphs. They rely entirely on the unwarranted assumption that homosexuality is “inherently bad. As for the silly claim that legalizing homosexual marriage will weaken marriage, this is unfounded gibberish.

    But if you or anyone else wants to explain how 1) Homosexuality is inherently evil or 2) The legalization of same-sex marriage will weaken marriage, please have a go!

  • brianm

    -fjindra: “To claim there is no damage to children of such a “couple” is also dishonest. Look at the problems of families with absentee fathers. Not in all situations, to be sure, but there is ample evidence that anything other than a stable family with modeled behavior of a father and mother leaves many children with developmental challenges. To claim that all it takes is two people, regardless of gender is to ignore the tragedies our society is already seeing in so many examples. It comes back to the issue of natural law. The structure of the family is to fulfill the natural and God-breathed law to “be fruitful.”

    1.Same-sex couples are not synonymous with ‘absentee fathers.’ To suggest that two lesbian parents are only worth as much as one hetero parent displays your ignorance for all to see.

    2.If you insist that same-sex couples shouldn’t have their own children (for the sake of the child), I’m sure you would at least support them adopting a child. Children who spend their critical years in an orphanage or in various foster homes certainly suffer more confusion and dysfunction than any LBG couple could inflict on them!

    3.Natural law. I’m not sure what you mean by calling your religious guidelines natural. Surely you’re aware that hundreds of different species have been recorded having homosexual relations among each other? If natural means what it usually means (of nature, pertaining to nature, ect.) it would seem that homosexuality is actually quite natural. I think you were just using the word “natural” as a stand in for “not-yucky.”

    4. This point probably doesn’t need to be made, but you never know… Surely you don’t think that the sole purpose of marriage is reproduction? If that were the case, it would be best to keep wives constantly impregnated so as to maximize the eh…fruitfulness. Interestingly enough that was the social norm in the Mediterranean nations back when that verse was originally written, but darn that social change! Always weakening our “god- breathed” values of traditional marriage!

  • http://www.catholicexchange.com Mary Kochan

    brianm, what we mean by natural law is not religion. We mean that there are things we can know from human reason applied to reality. The natural complimentarity of man and woman is one of those things.

    Yes, it is true that animals may occasionally engage in indiscriminate sexual activity with other animals or even with objects. Male dogs who catch a scent of a female in heat will mount anything they can get to including a human leg, or a sofa. Dogs also mount, including females, to show dominance. Sex displays in animals often are used socially to prevent conflict or establish social rank. To confuse this with what humans call “homosexuality” shows a lack of biological and psychological understanding. Animals are not “oriented” sexually away from the opposite sex and toward the same sex — they merely respond to stimuli.

    Some animals eat their babies. Some male animals will kill their offspring if the female allows them to get close. Should we use this to excuse parents killing their children?

    See, the problem here is not merely that you do not know what marriage is — you do not know what human is. Let’s begin at the beginning. Humans were made in the image of God. We are rational. Even apart from religious belief in a creator, you should be able to figure out that humans differ from animals in this way. A human being experiencing sexual desire has a mind. He (or she) isn’t supposed to be like an animal responding indiscriminately to stimuli. He can distract himself; he can sublimate his desires (use his sexual energy for a higher purpose); he can use his reason to direct his desires to the proper object. None of these are functions animals are capable of. That is why if a dog mounts a man, we do not arrest the dog; but if a man mounts a dog, we arrest the man. We recognize in law the rationality of the man and the irrationality of the dog.

    So we go back to natural law. Apart from religion, we are able to look at males and females and see that they were made for each other. Yes, we see that in their bodies, but we also see it in their characteristics. They complete one another. We can see that the natural family — mother, father, offspring — is foundational to any society because it is the unit that gives the social order a future. We can apply our reason to that and understand why marriage and the natural family are both prior to and valuable to society and worthy of protection.

    Marriage IS something — it IS the union of a man and women. The state does not define it, because the state didn’t make it. It was in existence for millenia before the state, before any human society. It is the thing that built the societies, not vice versa. That is why the state cannot change the definition of it.

    One of the purposes of marriage is procreation — that is not the only purpose, but it is the main purpose. However, the ability to engage in the procreative act — whether it would be fruitful or not, even whether the couple choose to engage in it or not — has been seen by every society as a prerequisite to marriage. So for example a eunach would not be considered for marriage. That has nothing to do with making every woman have as many kids as possible — although that is because our society experiences less childhood death than some have in the past. There have been many times in human history when every woman in the society very desperately needed to have as many children as she possibly could bear just to keep the society alive.

    brianm, how old are you? Did you grow up in a family?

  • Rodrigo Guerra

    brianm, you misunderstood my comments, I never said that homosexuality is inherently evil. What I said was that homosexual activity (i.e. homosexual sex) is intrinsically disordered and immoral. How do I know this is the case you might ask; as faithful Catholics Catholics we come to know God’s revelation through Sacred Scriptures, Sacred Apostolic Tradition, and the Magisterium of the Church. All three of these sources of Divine revelation unequivocally proclaim that homosexual acts are immoral and therefore contrary to God’s Holy will. Both the old and the new testaments have a multitude passages that confirm the truth of the Catholic Church’s position:

    “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, because it is an abomination. . . . Defile not yourselves with any of these things with which all the nations have been defiled, which I will cast out before you, and with which the land is defiled: the abominations of which I will visit, that it may vomit out its inhabitants. . . . Beware then, lest in like manner, it vomit you also out, if you do the like things, as it vomited out the nation that was before you. Every soul that shall commit any of these abominations, shall perish from the midst of his people. . . . I am the Lord your God.” —Leviticus 18:22-30

    “For this cause God delivered them up to shameful passions. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error. . . . Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.”—Romans 1:26-27, 32

    “For if God . . . reducing the cities of the Sodomites, and of the Gomorrhites, into ashes, condemned them to be overthrown, making them an example to those that should after act wickedly. . . . The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly from temptation, but to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be tormented.” —2 Peter 2:4-9

    “Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind [sodomites] . . . shall possess the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10).

    The Catechisim of the Catholic Church pulls it all altogether with magnificent clarity ” “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” CCC 2357

    As I mentioned earlier, we have to remember that all people are created in the image of God and deserve to be treated as such, no matter what their behavior. We make a distinction between person and behavior, sometimes expressed as “hate the sin, love the sinner.

    So we deplore acts of discrimination or unkindness against homosexual persons, but we insist on speaking the truth about the nature of homosexual acts. This is not a bigotry. It is compassion together with frank recognition of the nature of a disordered condition. As the Catechisim states “homosexuals are called to chasity”.

    The Catholic Church opposes homosexual acts because they are intrinsically disordered and immoral, an abuse of our human nature and contrary to God’s will for his creation.

  • brianm

    -Mary Kochan:

    1. Natural law. You defined natural law as “things we can know from human reason applied to reality.” This is a strange definition and really has nothing to do with either the word ‘natural’ or ‘law.’ Perhaps what you mean to say is logic? If that is the case, I feel that same-sex marriage can certainly withstand the scrutiny of reason.

    And actually, animals do exhibit sexual preferences. It’s estimated that 8% of male rams prefer having sex with other male sex over having sex with female rams. I am not advocating that we become as “natural” as possible and “give in to every impulse.” I’m simply pointing out that on the in terms of what is “natural,” homosexuality is actually quite natural, as it exists in nature.

    2. Marriage. I’m sure you’re aware that the concept of marriage has undergone drastic changes since the days of your Bible. In those patriarchal societies of old, marriage meant ownership of females- and yes the emphasis was on procreation. There existed no romantic partnership of the kind that we are familiar with today. I cannot imagine that you would advocate a return to marriage’s fundamental roots, so you must accept that marriage does and has changed over time.

    The most relevant question isn’t what marriage originally was- it is what does marriage mean for us today. And today in the 21st century marriage is not about procreation. Unfertilized partners get hitched all the time (1/8th of couples are sterile). And a eunuch would and should be allowed to get married if he and his partner chose.

    Today marriage is the formalization of a strong emotional bond. The state should (and does) restrict who can be married- but only for really good reasons as in the case of marrying an animal or a child, either of which cannot reasonably consent.

    It is certainly true that those of the same sex can and have experienced strong emotional bonds, although even if they hadn’t it wouldn’t be a big deal- passion isn’t a prerequisite to marriage either. SO why deny them the right to formalize that bond? There is no good reason, as in the case of the pedophile or the animal-lover, to deny them that right.

    So, just to recap.
    - I have shown that homosexuality, instead of being unnatural is actually commonly found in many species. So it apposes no “natural law” even if such a thing was actually relevant.
    -I have pointed out that marriage has changed and that change is generally viewed as good, so it is not reasonable to appose changing marriage just for the sake of tradition.
    -Finally, I contrasted same-sex marriages with pedophilia and bestiality, demonstrating that while in the latter cases there exists a good reason to deny those partners any formal recognition of a bond, there exists no such reason to deny that right to same-sex couples who are consenting adults.

  • http://www.catholicexchange.com Mary Kochan

    brianm, Rodrigo Guerra, has made a slight error. It is true that our tradition and scripture tell us these things aobut homosexual acts. However, that alone is not how we know them, both the Scripture and the tradition point to the natural law. it is first by the natural law that we know that the acts are intrinsically disordered and immoral.

    This is precisely the argument made by St. Paul in Romans: That men were without excuse because everythingthey had to know about basic morality was clear from the natural order, apart from any revelation. He even references the diseases and bad effects that clearly mark homosexual acts as unhealthy:

    “Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.”

    By ‘in their own persons’ he means the mental and physical health effects — including lowered life expectancy — that show any rational person that this is not what the body is made for.

  • brianm

    Rodrigo Guera:
    “The Catholic Church opposes homosexual acts because they are intrinsically disordered and immoral, an abuse of our human nature and contrary to God’s will for his creation.”

    I have no problem with your personal belief that homosexuality is wrong, just as I have no problem with a Jew abstaining from consuming pork. My problem with you and your church is that you feel the need to impose you warped version of your god’s ‘will’ on society through laws that hurt people. As for your claims about homosexuality, can they be proven apart from scripture? If the Jewish community suddenly launched a campaign to rid the nation of pork, they would need some pretty good secular reasons why. You should not be surprised then to find that your cherry-picked verses hold no water when scrutinized in court or when examined by me.

    Remember, this isn’t some abstract theological discussion we’re having. This is about a law that impacts lives.

  • brianm

    Mary Kochan:

    Your continued use of the term “natural” bears no relevance to this topic. It is “unnatural” to smoke cigarettes, live in a sealed-off air-conditioned home, ride a bus…even much of our food is “unnatural.” How natural something is is not a meaningful criteria for what is wrong and what is right. A good argument could be made on that basis that we should not wear clothes, as they are “unnatural.”

    Towards the end you seemed to be arguing from a paternalistic perspective. This is somewhat valid, since some laws have been passed denying rights to citizens on the basis that it is harmful to them. The problem is that there is a means by which sexual partners can protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases. Since the protection exists and is readily available, homosexuality does not present an unreasonable threat to the individual. It’s definitely not more harmful than cigarettes or alcohol- so if you are really arguing from a purely paternalistic perspective, your efforts would be better spent banning alcohol and cigarettes rather than homosexuality.

  • http://www.catholicexchange.com Mary Kochan

    brianm, thank you for continuing this discussion with such politeness. But I think you are committing some fallacies.

    To attribute indiscriminate sexual activity among animals to “homosexuality” is to attribute to the animals human rationality. A ram does not know that it is male. A ram does not even know that it is a ram. A ram that mounts another ram does not know it is mounting a ram as opposed to a ewe, any more than a bull that mounts a sperm collection apparatus knows it is not mounting a cow. These animals are responding to stimuli, period. In the case of most that is scent. The ram responds to scent. The scent of a female may be on another male, or it may just be in the air. Due to rivalry many males in mammilian groups are prevented from ever sexually connecting with a female so they connect with what is available. They also use mounting to show agression, frustration, or dominance.

    But you have not explained WHY it is that if you are going to use that to claim homosexuality is normal FOR HUMANS, we ought not to claim that other things like eating the young, robbing food from the weaker, etc. are not normal behaviors for humans. What is the basis for your distinction?

    For me the basis is that HUMANS ARE NOT ANIMALS — what is natural for animals is NOT natural for humans. In fact everything that animals do IS natural. An animal never acts unnaturally because it cannot will to act contrary to its nature. Humans are different. A human can be inhumane, but an animal cannot be inanimalistic. Whenever we say a human is being inhumane, we are saying that the human being has in some way betrayed his nature. Been less than what he ought to be. We do not make ought statements about animals. if two women get into a physical fight over the last doll in Christmas display, we call it a cat fight. One or both of them may be charged with assault or disorderly conduct because we agree they OUGHT not to act like that. But when the real cats in the alley fight, we don’t charge them with a crime; we don’t even make the statement that they ought not to fight.

    What is natural for animals is not natural for humans.

    Natural law IS relevant as it is the basis for all our laws in this country. It is the basis for the very founding of our country:

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation — Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence.

    Thank you for reading, brianm.

  • brianm

    Mary Kochan:

    I think you misunderstood my previous comments. I said that “Your continued use of the term “natural” bears no relevance to this topic.” I don’t think that laws should be based off of what is most in tune with nature, whatever that means. Neither do you, otherwise you would probably live out in the woods naked somewhere eating fruit and nuts. Our discussion of homosexuality in animals runs tangent to the primary topic, which is how allowing same-sex marriage could be wrong. Nevertheless I feel the need to correct you on one thing before we get back on topic. When I said that some animals are recorded as having a same-sex preference, it is indeed very similar to the preferences of some humans, not just the result of confusion- although that is sometimes also the case. There’s a Wikipedia article on this subject that has some very insightful links to studies that have been conducted, I would recommend browsing them as they’re very fascinating.

    As I said though, it matters little how natural homosexuality is or isn’t, that is not a valid standard to judge laws by.

    “But you have not explained WHY it is that if you are going to use that to claim homosexuality is normal FOR HUMANS, we ought not to claim that other things like eating the young, robbing food from the weaker, etc. are not normal behaviors for humans. What is the basis for your distinction?”

    Once again my basis is not about what is natural, that standard becomes meaningless/ridiculous when applied to most of our everyday choices.

    My basis is that the government should not restrict rights unless there is very good reason to. You listed “stealing” and “eating the young” as comparisons, but those examples obviously involve victims, whereas in homosexuality, no one is victimized. The U.S. government is not designed in a way that people must justify why they should have each and every right- how could you possibly justify mundane things such as eating oatmeal instead of cereal- instead, it is assumed that the people hold every right to do anything unless the government can find good reason to restrict those rights. That is why I do not need to justify why same-sex partners should have the right to marry, you must justify why they should have that right taken away.

  • http://saintslppr.com fjindra

    Brianm, I quote your comments to me as you numbered them, my responses follow:

    1.Same-sex couples are not synonymous with ‘absentee fathers.’ To suggest that two lesbian parents are only worth as much as one hetero parent displays your ignorance for all to see.

    I did not intend to imply synonymity. What I was declaring is that other-than-traditional families exhibit higher rates of disfunctionality in children. That has been documented. To therefore subject children to this situation via homosexual “parents” is unconscionable.

    2.If you insist that same-sex couples shouldn’t have their own children (for the sake of the child), I’m sure you would at least support them adopting a child. Children who spend their critical years in an orphanage or in various foster homes certainly suffer more confusion and dysfunction than any LBG couple could inflict on them!

    No, for the same reason listed above and because the dysfunctionality so clearly detailed in this discussion would not orient a child toward the natural law structure of human nature. See the next response.

    3.Natural law. I’m not sure what you mean by calling your religious guidelines natural. Surely you’re aware that hundreds of different species have been recorded having homosexual relations among each other? If natural means what it usually means (of nature, pertaining to nature, ect.) it would seem that homosexuality is actually quite natural. I think you were just using the word “natural” as a stand in for “not-yucky.”

    You betray an extreme lack of knowledge. A simple search of “natural law” on Wikipedia yields the following description:
    As classically used, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature and deduce binding rules of moral behavior. The phrase natural law is opposed to the positive law (meaning “man-made law”, not “good law”; cf. posit) of a given political community, society, or nation-state, and thus can function as a standard by which to criticize that law.[2] In natural law jurisprudence, on the other hand, the content of positive law cannot be known without some reference to the natural law (or something like it). Used in this way, natural law can be invoked to criticize decisions about the statutes, but less so to criticize the law itself. Some use natural law synonymously with natural justice or natural right (Latin ius naturale), although most contemporary political and legal theorists separate the two.
    Although natural law is often conflated with common law, the two are distinct in that natural law is a view that certain rights or values are inherent in or universally cognizable by virtue of human reason or human nature, while common law is the legal tradition whereby certain rights or values are legally cognizable by virtue of judicial recognition or articulation.[3] Natural law theories have, however, exercised a profound influence on the development of English common law,[4] and have featured greatly in the philosophies of Thomas Aquinas, Francisco Suárez, Richard Hooker, Thomas Hobbes, Hugo Grotius, Samuel von Pufendorf, John Locke, Francis Hutcheson, Jean Jacques Burlamaqui, and Emmerich de Vattel. Because of the intersection between natural law and natural rights, it has been cited as a component in United States Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. The essence of Declarationism is that the founding of the United States is based on Natural law.
    So natural law, as we use the term, is not what is “done in nature” as you erroneously keep attempting to foist on this discussion. Attempting to use animal activity as a comparison of natural law is not using the term as we use it. Mary’s descriptions have been spot-on. Understand and use the terms as used by your interlocutors. Anything else is not logical discussing.

    4. This point probably doesn’t need to be made, but you never know… Surely you don’t think that the sole purpose of marriage is reproduction? If that were the case, it would be best to keep wives constantly impregnated so as to maximize the eh…fruitfulness. Interestingly enough that was the social norm in the Mediterranean nations back when that verse was originally written, but darn that social change! Always weakening our “god- breathed” values of traditional marriage!
    No, as Pope Paul VI described marriage in Humanae Vitae, the two primary points of marriage are unitive and pro-creative – as one philosopher puts it poetically: marriage is for babies and for bonding. It is not about subjecting women to exclusive, life-long child-rearing activity. Most of the women that I know have minds that are too great for that! Plus the way women are made does not allow for that, as their years of fertility are typically much less than that of their husband.

    You seem to think that social change, just because it is change, is good. If you hold to that form of relativism, I feel very sorry you, because change could happen that would be very disruptive. Islamic sharia law for instance would allow for much more justification of capital punishment – including, if I am not mistaken, homosexuals. Social order needs to follow on the basis of natural law – as defined above – not on some feeling-of-the-moment notionality. It cannot be that what is right in one moment is wrong in another.

    You may be inclined to respond with the question of slavery. Let me head you off on that one: slavery as experienced in apostolic times was more of an indentured servant. Yes, there were some exceptions, but that appears to be the rule. Also, Jewish law required a year of Jubilee every 49 years where all slaves were set free and debts absolved. The Church understood that the socio-economic order in “New Testament times” depended on slavery/indentured servanthood, and St. Paul wrote very clearly about the nature of the relationship that was required of people in that setting. Lastly, while there were those who supported slavery-as-experienced in our hemisphere within the Church, it was the Christians in-and-out of the Church that demanded justice in this regard. To claim now that there is a comparison or similitude between racial discrimination and homosexual discrimination is to compare apples to oranges, as the saying goes. Sorry, no similitude exists. Subjugating another human being for racial reasons is against the dignity of the person, thus is against the natural law. Denying equality of relationships between heterosexuals over-against homosexuals is not the same, regardless of how stridently it is declared to be the same, because homosexual activity is intrinsically against natural law.
    Fr. Frank E. Jindra, AS

  • brianm

    fjindra:

    1. “I did not intend to imply synonymity. What I was declaring is that other-than-traditional families exhibit higher rates of disfunctionality in children. That has been documented. To therefore subject children to this situation via homosexual “parents” is unconscionable.”

    If you’ll refer to one of my previous comments, I pointed out that life in an orphanage in in various foster homes is much more dysfunctional than a non-traditional family. And as I also previously mentioned, the demographic with the highest degree of dysfunctional families is African Americans. We don’t deny the right to raise children based on demographics information. I’m sure I don’t need to further explain how disastrous that would be for our society. We have social services that try to insure that children have a safe stable household, but they do their work case by case, not based on statistical averages.

    2.”As classically used, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature and deduce binding rules of moral behavior.”

    Natural Law. I realize what you and Mary meant by natural law, what you don’t seem to realize is that the study of human nature is closely entwined with animal nature. We do not have wild humans that we can refer moral questions to-nor would we I suspect- but studying for example the great apes, who possess (on a primitive level) human-like social attitudes is about as close as we can get to finding evidence for a “natural law.”

    As I said though, this discussion of natural law is pointless in relation to the primary topic. It would not matter if homosexuality fell within the confines of human nature or if it were a social construct. (obviously the evidence for the former is compelling, see previous comments) Natural Law is not an affective means of moral reasoning, first of all because human nature can be difficult to discern and secondly because it is not always beneficial to conform to our base instincts.

    I’m trying to understand how you think natural law enters into this discussion, as you use it quite frequently. Perhaps it would be helpful if you spelled out how you are reasoning through human nature that homosexuality is wrong. So far you your statements regarding natural law have been without depth, simply stating and restating that homosexuality violates natural law. Show me how. Then perhaps we’ll have better understanding between us.

  • caporasa

    At the risk of stating the obvious, homosexuals in the natural state are incapable of procreating, which is a significant deprivation. This “privation” is deeply felt by many loving homosexual couples. They lack complementary sexual organs and therefore cannot generate biological offspring. Thus homosexuality is not a “normal” state, if it ever did become the “normal” state within a particular species, it would cease to exist.

  • http://www.catholicexchange.com Mary Kochan

    brianm, natural law is an effective basis for making many moral determinations. Here is why:

    First of all, it is accessible to all men in all times and all cultures. CS Lewis showed the great unity of morality across and time and culture and called this shared human partimony The Tao.

    It allows us to bracket religious belief which is really almost a prerequisite in a modern diverse society where a mere “Thou Shalt Not” might not be authoritative to someone who does not share our beliefs.

    Without a grounding in natural law, positive law (man made statutes) can become merely aribtrary and tools of oppression. Positive law may also become oppressive in multiplying detailed dictates that cannot evoke the intelligent assent of the governed, causing social unrest and widespread lawlessness.

    Natural law considerations really undergird all the “social progress” and “rights” appeals you keep referring to. It really takes — for gay marriage — to be accepted as a right, the overturning of the 2500 years of thought and social experimentation that developed Western civilization which gave the very concept of human rights to the world.

    You might think of it as the “golden goose” that you are trying to kill, if you know that story.

    How do we reason according to natural law regarding homosexual relations?

    Well we first look objectively at the reality of how men and women are made and the complementary function of their bodies. Natural law is grounded in the reality of what things are and a belief in the ability of human reason to make that judgement. This one is obvious. Really it is; it has been obvious to humans for millenia. If there comes a day when there are human beings walking around to whom the normal function of the male vis a vis the female is no longer obvious well, first of all I hope they don’t go to work in a hardware store — and second, I hardly think an arguemnt could be mounted that their ignorance represents an advancement in human knowledge.

    A second way natural law helps us here is by looking at the good of all humans. We can just do a thought experiment (hat tip to Kant). If all homosexual relations were to cease and all humans only had heterosexual relations, would the human species be harmed in any way? The answer is no. The human species would actaully be healthier.

    Let’s flip it around. If heterosexual relations ceased and all humans had only homosexual relations, would the human species be harmed? YES — the species would die out! That would be the natural consequence. Natural law helps us to see that the natutral consequences of a behavior teach us something about whether it is morally good or not.

    Now, let me say something about the relation between natural law and positive law. We are not asserting that everything that is immoral according to natural law reasoning has to be unlawful by statute. I am not for homosexual relations between consenting adults being illegal. I am not for fornication or adultery — which are also immoral, although not disordered, being illegal either. But that is because I think the kind of intrusive power needed by the state to enforce such statutes threatens freedom. So we aren’t making the argument that everything that is immoral has to be illegal.

    But — everything that is legally sanctioned — that is positively supported by law, has to be moral. The law can be silent on certain things. But when the law approves and endorses something — that thing has to be right and good according to natural law.

  • http://www.catholicexchange.com Mary Kochan

    I should respond to this question of yours, brianm:

    “My basis is that the government should not restrict rights unless there is very good reason to. You listed “stealing” and “eating the young” as comparisons, but those examples obviously involve victims, whereas in homosexuality, no one is victimized. The U.S. government is not designed in a way that people must justify why they should have each and every right- how could you possibly justify mundane things such as eating oatmeal instead of cereal- instead, it is assumed that the people hold every right to do anything unless the government can find good reason to restrict those rights. That is why I do not need to justify why same-sex partners should have the right to marry, you must justify why they should have that right taken away.”

    My answer is that you have it backwards. Homosexuals have never had the right to marry — homosexual marriage is an oxymoron. Marriage IS something — it IS the union of a man and woman, and is supported as a positive good for socety because it is the means by which society continues into the future. Homosexuals have right now exactly the same right to marry that everyone else has — the right to marry a person of the opposite sex. Marriage gives a societal stamp of approval to the sexual union between a man and woman because the man and woman together prepetuate the species and the society and because the union of the man and woman is the origin of the society.

    What homosexuals are asking for is a NEW right — the right to change the definition of marriage from a union of a man and woman to the union of any people who want to have the government stamp of approval on their sexual activities. But the activity in which they engage does nothing for the good of society. It is in fact parasitical on the heterosexual relationships of their own familes of origin and the wider society. The homosexual himself owes his own existence to heterosexual relations!

    We don’t have to justify removing the right — it doesn’t exist and never has. They have to demonstrate a benefit to society, but in fact we already see just the opposite. We see that creating this new thing entails the removal of other rights. Freedom of speech and religion for example.

    You and I agree that the state does not give rights — it merely recognizes that the rights exist. Look here:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Rights come from God. That is the basis of our laws, that our rights come from God. Marriage also comes from God. It is understood and has always been understood across cultures and religions to be grounded in Creation itself. You might view this as just a religious retelling of the natural law — that things are created purposefully and that we can ascertain the purpose of the Creator by looking at Creation.

    Human rights AND human marraige exist prior to the state. The state cannot change them; the state does not confer them; the state merely recognizes them. The state cannot “recognize” a right of gays to marry because it does not exist. All the state can do is claim to give it to them. To claim the power to create it as a new right. Granting to the state the power to do that undermines everything you are saying about the limits of state control and power.

  • brianm

    -Mary Kochan:
    It seems that your reasoning boils down to this point- if everyone were homosexual, we would cease to exist. There’s a problem with your reasoning though. Human nature isn’t identical from individual to individual. There are lots of similarities but also deviations, in intellect or physiology or psychology- even sexual preference. There is a whole spectrum of sexual preference which includes those who are heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual, and even those who lack sexual drive entirely. To point to any one of these and say “that is natural law” is ignoring the natural scope of human diversity.

    Additionally, the hypothetical scenario of “well if everyone did this” is generally useless in discussions like this. I could apply it to a million everyday activities creating many nightmare scenarios, but it doesn’t make any of those activities wrong. It just make this argument meaningless.

    You’re not quite grasping my legal arguments I think. As I said previously,

    “My basis is that the government should not restrict rights unless there is very good reason to. You listed “stealing” and “eating the young” as comparisons, but those examples obviously involve victims, whereas in homosexuality, no one is victimized. The U.S. government is not designed in a way that people must justify why they should have each and every right- how could you possibly justify mundane things such as eating oatmeal instead of cereal- instead, it is assumed that the people hold every right to do anything unless the government can find good reason to restrict those rights. That is why I do not need to justify why same-sex partners should have the right to marry, you must justify why they should have that right taken away.”

    Removing restrictions on marriage for same-sex partners is not “positive support” for their actions, at least not in a legal sense. In that respect it is similar to your examples of divorce or fornication- not placing a ban on those activities is not “positive support,” it is just recognition that there is not enough reason to restrict those rights.

  • brianm

    Mary kochan:
    “My answer is that you have it backwards. Homosexuals have never had the right to marry — homosexual marriage is an oxymoron. Marriage IS something — it IS the union of a man and woman, and is supported as a positive good for socety because it is the means by which society continues into the future. Homosexuals have right now exactly the same right to marry that everyone else has — the right to marry a person of the opposite sex. Marriage gives a societal stamp of approval to the sexual union between a man and woman because the man and woman together prepetuate the species and the society and because the union of the man and woman is the origin of the society.”

    Prior to the American civil war, African Americans were not citizens and did not possess any of the rights that distinction entails. Someone in the mid 19th century arguing that African Americans shouldn’t have those rights because they never had them is nonsensical. Of course they never had those rights, but it was recognized that skin color is not reason enough to continue to deprive them of those rights. Likewise it is being recognized that sexual orientation is not reason enough to deprive partners of the right to formalize their union- a union that is only different physiologically. As in the case of skin color, that difference is shallow and is not at the core of the issue. A Black man can pay taxes and own property and vote just like a white man, and a same-sex couple can love each other and provide for each other just like a hetero couple.

  • brianm

    It should also be pointed out that when African Americans were allowed citizenship, the government was not “creating a new right.” It was just removing arbitrary restrictions of that right.

  • http://www.catholicexchange.com Mary Kochan

    The connection between the rights of African Americans and the issue of “gay marriage” is this:

    By application of natural law principles it can clearly be known to human reason (as was tirelessly proclaimed by the mostly-Christian abolitionists) that chattel slavery was a moral evil.

    and

    By application of natural law principles it can be clearly known to human reason that homosexual acts are immoral and that there can be no such thing as “same-sex marriage.”

    Both conclusions follow from clarity regarding what man is.

  • caporasa

    In my experience the sex drive is peculiar in that it can easily overcome objective reason and lead us to do things that in retrospect were selfish and not for the greater good. On the other hand, when the conjugal act is performed in the state of holy matrimony, and is open to life, it is transformed into something that is self-giving and other-centered. One is amazed that you can, in a sense, become a co-creator with God and gain a sense of the inner reality on which all families are based – the holy Trinity. Sex becomes sacred.
    In the long run we are all on this modest planet in the vast cosmos for but a brief moment. While we still have breath we must always seek after the Truth, wherever it leads us. We must ask ourselves if God exists, and if so has He/She made an effort to reveal Himself/Herself to us. Of all the “religions” out there, which is the most grounded in history, which makes the most sense of this fallen state where in (don’t kid yourselves, without God we are all in the end little more then “rats in a cage”). We are all finite beings who long for the eternal. My search has lead me to conclude that only in Christ (God-made-Man) is the answer.
    I feel for my brothers and sisters who truly suffer with same sex attraction, (who would choose to be in a loving relationship that is a priori closed to the possibility of bearing children). I think of the ~20% of heterosexual couples who have difficulty conceiving and all the hardships they go through. We must try to put ourselves in their shoes. Love must come before all-else.
    In this life we all have our faults and limitations. We can either curse God or the “cosmos” for them, or we can acknowledge them and like St. Paul offer them up, so that they can be used as a conduit of Grace.

  • brianm

    Mary Kochan:
    Your previous comment did nothing to further your case. I already know you think natural law is relevant and that you think it backs up your claims. You have yet to demonstrate how either of these is the case and have neglected to answer the central question in this debate- what justifies the government in keeping same-sex couples from getting married?

  • http://saintslppr.com fjindra

    brianm,

    You concluded your last comment to me:

    “I’m trying to understand how you think natural law enters into this discussion, as you use it quite frequently. Perhaps it would be helpful if you spelled out how you are reasoning through human nature that homosexuality is wrong. So far you your statements regarding natural law have been without depth, simply stating and restating that homosexuality violates natural law. Show me how. Then perhaps we’ll have better understanding between us.”

    What you are asking for is a short lesson in metaphysics, which is concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world. That is a big request in a short space! I will try.

    One part of the nature of humanity is that we are rational beings. Proof of that resides in a simple example that we are able to conceive of infinity. No other creature on earth has the intellectual capacity to do so. Therefore, our rationality – intrinsic to our being – makes us different from any other being on earth. That is why your comparative appeal to what animals do is not a legitimate argument. Our rationality makes us different from any other animal, though similar in some ways.

    Because of this difference, natural LAW for humanity is different in kind from the natural ORDER of animals. While there are similarities, there are also important differences. One example is the human intellect which we are to use for the betterment of ourselves and all the earth. Other negative examples of this have been presented to you earlier in this thread: prohibitions on stealing, killing, which can be summarized as “violating the integrity and good of another “ – in essence, this summary addresses the inalienable rights claimed by the founders of our country (life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness).

    The integrity of our sexual beings resides in the fundamental, correct use of this function of our humanity. Do you claim that there are other correct functions for sexual actions when what is produced via the sexual act is intended, in kind (the sperm and egg), to form a new life? No. This cannot be, because we are physical as well as intellectual beings. The combination of the two (physical and intellectual) demands integrity that is more than just physical gratification, but cannot exclude that. Both aspects must be integrated. In order to be integrated, the sexual act must be open to the possibility of a new life.

    Granted, not every sexual act between a husband and wife produces a child, the design of the human body prohibits that, based on the cycle of fertility of the wife. That is why Pope Paul VI acknowledged that there are two primary ends of marriage: unitive and procreative – both must be there!

    The possibility of conception and the unitive bond of the couple are the proper, fundamental functions of the sexual abilities of men and women. The unitive bond engages the intellect of the couple; the procreative bond ensures succeeding generations. No relationship can claim to be marriage without both. If I am remembering my Church rules correctly, someone unable to perform sexually is not allowed to marry in the Catholic Church (or may be able to do so only with special dispensation – any Canon lawyers out there with better knowledge than me?). Infertility is not incapacity. If someone is capable of the sexual act, but not able to produce offspring, the right intention of the act is still maintained, and marriage is possible.

    So, whatever consciously violates the integrity of the human person – in the example under discussion: homosexual activity – is against natural law. It matters not whether those involved think they are not being violated. The understanding of natural law is that it is inalienable, which Webster’s dictionary defines as “incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred.” So no matter how much a homosexual couple thinks they are in love with each other, to use themselves or the other person in a way that violates or circumvents the correct function of the sexual act goes against the natural law. This is also why masturbation is a grave sin.

    I don’t know how we can make this clearer to you. Mary has given you very clear answers which you continue to spuriously reject. I have here answered your request demonstrating philosophically the fallacy of homosexual “marriage.” It is a violation of the integrity of the human person.

    It is possible that your persistence is an indication of a moral blindness that we cannot address. In that case, only the Spirit of God can break through. May God go with you.

    Fr. Frank E. Jindra, AS

  • http://www.catholicexchange.com Mary Kochan

    One last try:

    Natural law is the very foundation of all our laws in the country and for that matter the foundation for the very existence of our country. Natural law also has corrected our country’s errors. It was natural law that was applied with direct appeal to the Declaration during the entire abolition struggle and during the struggle for black civil rights.

    In order for there to be such a thing as “gay marriage” we have to allow that positive law may rightly violate natural law.

    Once we allow that, we have removed the very arguments according to which civil rights were obtained, slavery was abolished, and our country was founded.

    “Gay marriage” is NOT an issue of civil rights. It is NOT a continuation of of a widened application of natural law to positive law (which is what the entire civil rights movement was) it is a departure from civil rights and as pointed out here repeatedly and with no response by you, it is immediately followed by an attack on the first amendment rights of others — which shows by actual experience — not theory — that it undermines liberty for the entire society.

    So to your argument that the government must have a good reason for any restriction it puts on its citizens, the answer is simple. The government can simply say, “In order to grant you this right, we have to undermine the reasons for our own existence as a country and curtail the fundamental liberties of all our other citizens. That’s plenty good enough reason to say no to you.”

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