Recently, Piers Morgan interviewed Kirk Cameron, asking what he would tell his teenage son if the boy were to confess he was gay.
Cameron did better than most in defending his view that marriage can only exist between a man and a woman. He did not, though, address what was uppermost in Piers Morgan’s mind: the question of the individual’s happiness.
As Catholics and Christians we undermine the faith when we fail to address the legitimate concern for the individual that has motivated so many to accept gay marriage. “What would you say to your son?” We hardly ever answer that question directly, but begin sputtering.
Then we usually speak in abstract terms about the created order—men and women were made for each other; next, the historical reality of marriage as a bulwark of civilization; and finally we cite the teaching of the Church that homosexuality is “an inherently disordered condition.” That’s all true, but it sounds like an excuse for denying a young man or woman sexual pleasure and comfort. Food. water, sleep, and sex are the four things all humans naturally crave.
Think about being a boy or girl in early adolescence realizing that he or she is attracted to the same sex. Life just became much more difficult than it might have been. Whether this came about through a genetic disposition, a skewed process of character formation, trauma, or for reasons unknown, that hardly matters. That young person is now faced with having to deal with sexuality in ways that are more difficult than his heterosexual peers.
Gay activists want us to believe that the only reason a gay person experiences awakening to same sex attraction as difficult is because of societal prejudice. If we can create a culture in which homosexuality is seen as just another way of seeking and finding love, then the challenges associated with homosexuality will disappear.
Unfortunately, if what the Scriptures and the great tradition of our faith reveals is true, the utopian future envision by the homosexual community’s agenda can never come into being. Even if we all close our eyes, cover our ears, and like the Seinfeld characters shout at the top of our lungs, “There’s nothing wrong with it!” it’s not going to happen. The witness of the image of God in which every person is made will declare to those with same sex attraction that they do suffer from “an inherently disordered condition,” just as we all know when something about us isn’t right. Homosexual relationships declare, “We were made for each other!” but that, in the nature of the case, is untrue.
The voice of conscience can be silenced, of course, through repeated betrayals. It’s possible to establish a “new normal,” at least in the sense of no longer experiencing guilt. This doesn’t mean we have triumphed over conscience; it means we are living in despair.
Because of this, we have to begin the conversation with a person awakening to same sex attraction by saying, “Jesus wants you to be happy. He knows that you are already elated as well as bewildered by what you are feeling. That you are wondering what, if anything, is wrong with you. That you may well be angry about having these feelings, and their consequences, whether you choose to act on them or not. Christianity asks that you renounce the sexual pleasure to which you are attracted. This is a harsh discipline, and it may mean living without the pleasures and comforts of marital love. That’s the bad news; and it really is bad news.”
“With God’s grace, however, you can find the life God wants you to live and has, indeed, prepared for you. Because what God reveals to us about how to live is always in each person’s best interest. It is a prescription for happiness, not misery. It is a pathway to the fulfillment of your humanity, not its negation. That is the good news of Christianity and it is as much for you as anyone else. Whatever renunciation you are called upon to practice, you will be repaid with joy.” (As testimony to this, see the great article, “The Truth about Same Sex Attraction,” by Steve Gershom.)
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