Should Catholics Acquiesce in Today’s Homosexual “Rights” Agenda?

Christians, including Catholics, are acquiescing, and even favoring, the idea that homosexual behavior must be considered, at least, morally neutral…and must be considered something to which those, so inclined, have a right.

One of the most surprising, and dismaying, developments of recent years has been the degree to which Americans have come to accept the agenda of the radical homosexual “rights” movement—the “gays,” as they style themselves. They have also largely succeeded in getting Americans to accept their alteration of the meaning of what was once a perfectly good word, simply meaning “cheerful” or “happy,” but now meaning what they want it to mean.

Nor is today’s increased acceptance of the gay “rights” agenda confined to secularists, or to the religiously indifferent. Christians, including Catholics, in significant numbers are acquiescing in, and even favoring the idea, that homosexual behavior must no longer be disapproved of, or stigmatized. It must, at the very least, be considered morally neutral, if not actually somehow meritorious. Indeed, it must be considered something to which those, so inclined, have a right.

This viewpoint has, sadly, become widespread, if not dominant, not only in American society generally, but it has also affected—and sometimes divided—Christian communions and denominations, as well. Some of which, as a result of its influence, have deviated, and even departed entirely, from the traditional Christian understanding that always regarded same-sex intimacy as morally wrong, and out of bounds.

The same kind of deviation from the traditional Christian understanding has sometimes manifested itself within the Catholic Church. It has appeared in such phenomena as unauthorized “rainbow” Masses, and special “ministries,” carried out here and there in spite of the Church’s continuing strong moral condemnation of homosexual acts and practices. All in all, the “gays” have clearly succeeded in garnering considerable Christian sympathy for their dubious project.

When we consider the traditional Christian view of homosexual behavior, however—a view that, up until very recently, was largely reflected in society at-large—we must necessarily be surprised, not only at the degree, but at the rapidity, with which this deviant behavior has come to be accepted as both normal and natural. For the view that homosexual behavior is unnatural and immoral has been constant in Christian history, dating all the way back to New Testament times. St. Jude labeled homosexual acts as the product of “unnatural lust” (Jude 7). St. Paul, in a number of passages, characterized intimate, same-sex acts as “shameless acts” (Rom 1:27), holding that “sodomites” belonged among the “lawless and disobedient, the ungodly and sinners” (1 Tim 8:9); he bluntly declared that active homosexuals would definitely not “inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9).

These judgments by apostles were continuous with the Old Testament understanding that homosexual behavior was an “abomination” (Lev 18:22; 20:13), an understanding that was quite vividly brought out in the biblical account of what took place in Sodom and Gomorrah (cf, Gen 19: 1-29).

The traditional negative Christian view of homosexual practices and behavior was reaffirmed and codified for our own times by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, promulgated in 1992. It unambiguously teaches 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; emphasis added).

This is pretty definite. Yet, the results of a survey conducted by the Marist Institute of Public Opinion, released in October, 2010, concluded that some 63 percent of practicing Catholics, and 68 percent of all Catholics, actually support legal recognition of homosexual unions, regardless of what their Church obviously teaches. A recent Pew survey similarly found that 66 percent of Catholics, and 62 percent of Protestants, favored the lifting of the ban on service in the U.S. military by open homosexuals in December, 2010. In a Washington Post-ABC News poll in December, 2010, similar results showed a whopping 77 percent of Americans who generally approved of the lifting of the military prohibition on service by avowed gays.

Other polls, as well as other indications, point to the same general result: the fact is that most Americans, including apparently most Christians, either no longer consider homosexual practices to be immoral, or no longer consider engaging in them to be disqualifying, as far as social acceptance is concerned, whether or not they are considered immoral.

In either case, what up until yesterday was almost universally thought to be incumbent upon everybody in the realm of sexual behavior for the proper working of the good society—namely, moral and decent behavior—seems to have simply gone by the board. Evidently, society scarcely any longer demands, or requires, even a minimal standard of sexual morality. Perhaps, there still remain a couple of strictures related to age or consent. Otherwise, the current “rule” in sexual matters truly now seems to be that “anything goes.”

Certainly, the radical, organized, homosexual rights movement incurs no significant visible criticism or penalties for what it openly advocates and does, including public nudity and engaging in explicit sexual acts in “gay pride” demonstrations. The gays have achieved acceptability in ways that would have seemed unimaginable just a few short years ago.

More than that, in certain ways, the radical, organized, homosexual rights movement has turned the tables on upholders of traditional moral standards. It is now the people attempting to oppose the gay agenda, who may incur obloquy, possibly even having to pay penalties. For example, consider that for years the ROTC was banned from many college campuses because gays were not allowed to serve openly in the U.S. military. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization, recently stigmatized, as “anti-gay hate groups,” a number of perfectly responsible and respected organizations, such as the Family Research Council. The present writer personally knows of a case where McDonald’s fired a teen-aged employee for expressing his opinion to a fellow worker that a same-sex union does not constitute a marriage.

Again, Apple, the computer giant, similarly and summarily, penalized thousands of signatories of the ecumenical group, Manhattan Declaration, for affirming, among other things, that marriage was properly the union of a man and a woman—just as every dictionary published up until a couple of years ago necessarily defined marriage in exactly the same way.

The Random House College Dictionary on my desk, for example, copyright 1984, defines “marriage” as follows:

1.The social institution under which a man and a woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.;

2.The state, condition, or relationship of being married, wedlock: a happy marriage;

3.The legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of a man and woman to live as husband and wife;

4. Any close or intimate association or union: the marriage of form and content;

It is, surely, this fourth part of the definition that the proponents of so-called “same-sex marriage” are reaching out to in an attempt to show that “same-sex marriage” is a true marriage. However, this fourth definition is obviously figurative, and is meant to be nothing else but that, according to the common understanding—which is the common understanding of all peoples, at all times, and in all places, up until a few short years ago. This is when the organized homosexual rights movement unhappily came upon the scene. The operative parts of this standard dictionary definition are, indisputably: man and woman, husband and wife.

No less than 30 states, in fact, have made an explicit point of legally defining marriage in exactly the same way, by means of constitutional amendments to that effect; and more states are in the process of doing so. The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) itself defines it in the same way: the union of a man and a woman as husband and wife. The courts, that have attempted to invalidate DOMA, are simply reflecting the thinking that the organized homosexual “rights” movement is attempting to foist on the country.

In the usage which this radical movement has now made current, however, it is the articulating of the traditional understanding of what a marriage is that, amazingly, now amounts to “hate speech.” The law similarly, and increasingly, recognizes a category of so-called “hate crimes” on the same grounds. Christian ministers in Canada and Sweden have already been hauled into court, charged with hate crimes merely for preaching the biblical position that homosexual behavior and practices are sinful. In Britain, in early 2011, a black, Pentecostal couple, who had taken care of foster children for years, was told by a British court that they could no longer take children in because they disapproved of homosexual relationships.

Earlier, in Illinois, a religion teacher was accused of uttering “hate speech,” merely for stating accurately and correctly, what the Catholic Church teaching was regarding homosexual acts. He was immediately dismissed from his post, in fact, and only later reinstated after vigorous and sustained protests.

In November, 2010, the New York based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights was widely pilloried in the press and media for “bigotry,” accusing it of being an American “Taliban” organization for mounting a protest against an exhibit of gay “art,” sponsored by the tax-supported Smithsonian Institution. One example was a depiction of Christ on the cross with ants crawling over his face.

Nor are these accusations of “hate” and “bigotry” the only consequences of refusing to accept the gay agenda. It is well known, for example, how the Catholic Church, both in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, was forced by court decisions to abolish long-established adoption programs, rather than accept the requirement of placing children with same-sex couples. Similar cases have been brought about, or are pending, in other jurisdictions, as well. In March 2006, the Board of Supervisors of the City of San Francisco officially adopted a resolution harshly condemning the Catholic Church for not recognizing same-sex couples as legitimate parents, characterizing the Church’s teachings as “hateful,” “insulting,” “callous,” “absolutely unacceptable,” “insensitive,” and “ignorant.”

Other examples could be cited. The radical organized homosexual rights movement has plainly succeeded, beyond its wildest dreams, in getting many people, and many institutions, to agree that opposition to its agenda requires censure, vilification, and actual concrete penalties. Court decisions, for example, are increasingly likely to reflect the gay agenda. The gay ideology is only too likely to trump any traditional understanding of a particular issue—and sometimes it even seems to trump common sense, as well.

In today’s new and wholly unprecedented situation—where it is, more often than not, the radical homosexual agenda that now carries the day—are there Christian voices being raised calling for opposition to the homosexual juggernaut? No. As a matter of fact, quite a few Christian voices are calling for still greater tolerance for homosexuals, against a supposed continuing widespread intolerance against them! One would think the homosexuals truly were still a despised minority, by the success of their efforts to successfully persuade so many people to believe these charges.

Even in the Catechism of the Catholic Church—in a paragraph more commonly invoked than the paragraph quoted above identifying homosexuality as a disorder—solemnly teaches that “the number of men and women, who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies, is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard must be avoided…” (CCC §2358).

This passage from the Catechism is actually most often quoted when we are typically reminded by Church leaders, for the nth time, that discrimination against homosexuals and “gay bashing,” are unworthy and unchristian and must stop—as if that were the major problem for Christians today as far as homosexuals are concerned.

We can readily agree, of course, and should agree, that there, indeed, should not be any discrimination against homosexual persons. Discrimination—or a fortiori persecution—of any minority group is unjust, and should be stopped, if it is indeed taking place. It is sadly true, in fact, that contempt, and even hatred, of homosexuals were formerly manifest at times in our society, and no doubt still persist, here and there. Where they occur, they should be vigorously opposed. Hatred of homosexuals is unworthy and un-Christian.

However, the predominant problem in our society today is most distinctly not gay-bashing or discrimination against homosexuals. It is just the opposite. A much more serious problem in our society now is the steady dismantling of the traditional moral code of the West, based on the Ten Commandments. This moral code is now going by the board, in many instances, as if it never existed. The relentless, national campaigns against perceived discrimination against homosexuals—and, not incidentally, also for supposed special homosexual “rights”—are contributing precisely to the further dismantling of the moral code.

It is quite true, of course, that the radical, organized, homosexual “rights” movement has, all along, brilliantly exploited the supposed analogy between the unjust discrimination on racial grounds, formerly practiced in the United States, and the supposed present unjust discrimination inherent in, e.g., denying somebody the right to “marry” a person of the same sex, or to serve openly as an avowed homosexual in the U.S. military. These latter instances, however, are not true cases of discrimination.

For there is no “right” to marry a person of the same sex—for the simple reason that a liaison between two persons, based only on a same-sex relationship, is not a marriage! Simply calling this kind of relationship a marriage, does not make it a marriage A marriage is a relationship contracted between a man and a woman, who are, henceforth, bonded together, agreeing to live together permanently—and who also, importantly and indeed essentially, as persons of the opposite sex, possess the natural potential of bringing children into the world, thus forming a family, which is always the necessary basis of any and every human society. Persons of the same sex, who come together, do not, and cannot, constitute a family in this way; nor does their possible mutual affection, and/or agreement to live together, constitute a marriage.

Similarly, there is no “right” to serve in the military. In fact, there are many necessary exclusions where the military is concerned, including those restrictions related to height, weight, age, eyesight, or other bodily and mental conditions. Excluding persons with particular sexual proclivities, who insist on the right to act on them, is in no way unjust if it serves the basic military mission of the defense of society. Allowing homosexual activities within the framework of military life, however, introduces a kind of distraction that can be harmful to the basic military mission.

There is, then, no real “discrimination” at all involved in denying “marriage” to homosexuals, or in excluding them from military service. In actual fact, though, these individuals are not merely demanding “rights” being denied to them; they are actually demanding a special status based on their homosexuality. They already possess all of the same “true rights” as everybody else. But, they go on to claim the extra “right” of having a false marriage declared to be a true marriage, just as they are also claiming an extra right of being exempt from the normal rules of military service, established to maximize the effectiveness of carrying out the proper mission of the military.

What is being “denied” to them, therefore, constitutes nothing else but a merely perceived discrimination. It is in no way discrimination in the true sense, as was the case, historically, with racial discrimination in America. That analogy is false.

Moreover, ending this perceived “discrimination” really means imposing a new form of discrimination on everybody else, on those who continue to accept the biblical and Church teaching that homosexual behavior is morally wrong. This burden falls, especially onerously, on Christians who continue to take their faith seriously. Henceforth, it is the believers in traditional morality who must lay their convictions aside, grit their teeth, and acquiesce in a new—and now official!—“morality,” that considers intimate same-sex acts to be morally neutral, if not morally right and praiseworthy. But, again, this is not true; these acts are not morally right and praiseworthy.

Nor, as we have already noted, does the new morality—which imagines this to be so without consequences—reflect reality. There are serious consequences that, in some cases, may be far-reaching, both for individuals and for society. With the lifting of the ban on service by avowed homosexuals, members of the armed services, for example,  must now in many cases live in close contact with behaviors that are objectively immoral, and are, most likely, morally repugnant for those compelled to suffer them. This is no small thing. They certainly won’t have the “right” to protest! In December 2010, the substantial majorities in both houses of Congress that abolished the previous law, have now, in fact, established a new situation in the military. Henceforth, any objection to homosexual behavior will be stigmatized, adversely affecting assignments, promotions, and the like. Military chaplains will find it difficult, if not impossible, to affirm the moral teachings of their denominations in their pastoral and counseling work. Both commanders, and those in the ranks, will be obliged to suppress their opposition, treating wrongdoing as a right.

These, and similar consequences, will only be compounded and multiplied once the regularization of same-sex behavior is brought about in society at-large by means of, e.g., court or legislative approval of so-called same-sex marriage. Indeed, these consequences may be even more far-reaching where marriage is concerned, since it will be the very definition of what a marriage is that will be fundamentally changed. Whereas, in the case of military rules, what it means to be a soldier will not be fundamentally changed by allowing an avowed, practicing homosexual to be in the military.

In both cases, though, moral neutrality will no longer be an option, or even a possibility. Once homosexual practices are officially legalized by a positive judicial or legislative act, they will almost inevitably be seen as perfectly moral, as well. Everybody will be obliged to consider them acceptable, and perfectly all right. Ending the so-called “discrimination” against homosexuals, thus, really does mean imposing a new form of discrimination on everybody else. It will become an obligation to consider what is false and wrong to be true and right. We have already seen, in some of the examples cited above, how all this is going to work itself out in practice.

What stance, then, should Christians, and in particular, Catholics, adopt in this new, and unprecedented situation? Well, for starters, we should never cease to stick as closely as possible to the real truth of the matter, refusing to acquiesce in whatever way turns out to be available to us, in the falsehood and error that is being imposed upon us. For example, we must continue to affirm that the discrimination that our society is supposed to have been practicing against homosexuals, is not true discrimination. It is not comparable to racial discrimination. Race is neutral, and nobody really can alter the color of his skin, or the shape of his eyes.

However, behavior—for whatever the impetus or motive for it—is chosen. Choosing whether or not to act on same-sex attractions or impulses is a matter within the control of the will of the individual person. The radical, organized, homosexual “rights” movement should not be allowed to get away with claiming that, the practices they want to legitimize, are beyond the control of those who want to engage in them, and are “natural” or “right” for them. They are not. Homosexuals are just as able as the rest of us to live the chaste lives to which everybody is called, depending upon one’s state of life.

Similarly, the claim that one’s same-sex inclinations or proclivities somehow form the basis of one’s identity, must be rejected as yet another unproven assumption, as yet another falsehood. Throughout the entire period leading up to the December 2010, repeal of the law requiring the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the military services, all the military officers, government officials, legislators, and media reporters and practitioners involved, virtually without exception, referred to the alleged discrimination being imposed on homosexuals as a denial of “who they are.”

No, the previous policy was instituted not because of “who they are,” but rather because of “what they do,” which up until now, was seen as incompatible with effective military service. In fact, the true and authentic human dignity that persons with homosexual tendencies share with everyone else is actually diminished by imagining that their identity as human persons can be reduced to the question of their sexual desires or proclivities. Catholics should reject this claim as yet another pernicious falsehood.

Moreover, it must be insisted upon that those with same-sex attractions or predilections do not really possess some kind of a “right” to indulge in them. To recognize a claim of this type would really be tantamount to agreeing that human beings have a “right” to do whatever they happen to want to do at any time, which is absurd. There is no right to do wrong.

In the end, it comes down to the fact that Catholics must continue to affirm and insist upon the real truth about sexuality and marriage, regardless of what current public opinion—the elites, the media, the courts, the legislatures, and so on—might decide to the contrary. Sexuality is not merely a vehicle for self-expression, self-realization, or pleasure. Marriage is not merely an affectional, intimate relationship that two (or more) people might just decide upon as they see fit. Sex and marriage each have a meaning and purpose which arise out of the design and plan of Almighty God for human beings. There is, in other words, a Gospel truth about both sex and marriage which Catholics are obliged to affirm and defend, “in season and out of season” (II Tim 4:2).

For whatever else may be said about homosexual behavior, it is, and remains, patently “unnatural.” Neither the amazingly successful advocacy for it today, by the radical, organized, homosexual “rights” movement, nor the apparent current acceptance of it by society at large, can somehow make it natural. There is, in any case, the very real question of whether our society’s current acceptance of it can persist over time. The jury is still out on that. It was the Roman poet Horace who observed, long ago, that naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret, that is: “you may throw nature out with a pitchfork, but she will keep coming back”!

Will “nature” come back in this case? Will Christians who have acquiesced in the contemporary aberration come back to a realization of what their faith really entails? Time will tell. Neither current legislation, nor court decisions, are carved in stone; nor will current indulgent attitudes necessarily persist forever. Recently wrought changes can always be changed back, especially when it turns out that they do not work, or otherwise produce bad consequences.

In the meantime, it is surely incumbent upon Catholics—living in this radically, secularized, morally decadent, neo-pagan society—to continue to insist upon the truths that are in our possession. We must insist on these truths, no matter what society may think it has currently decided with such seeming finality to the contrary. We cannot acquiesce in the radical homosexual “rights” agenda, which is false, pernicious, and wrong. It was Jesus himself who told us: “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:32).

Neither can the Catholic Church acquiesce in this immoral and destructive agenda. Moreover, this is becoming blindingly clear to our Church leadership. On September 20, 2011, New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops, wrote to President Barack Obama in response to a number of Obama administration decisions—in particular, responding to the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision not only to no longer defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), but actually to go into the federal courts against DOMA, arguing that it should be overturned. It was written in a way rarely witnessed, a forceful communication from a Catholic archbishop to an American president. Archbishop Dolan “spoke truth to power,” as the saying goes, inter alia, in the following words:

Mr. President, I respectfully urge to press the reset button on your administration’s approach to DOMA. Our federal government should not be presuming ill intent or moral blindness on the part of the overwhelming majority of its citizens, millions of whom have gone to the polls to directly support DOMA in their states, and have, thereby, endorsed marriage as the union of man and woman.

Nor should a policy disagreement over the meaning of marriage be treated by federal officials as a federal offense—but this will happen if the Justice Department’s latest constitutional theory prevails in court. The administration’s failure to change course on this matter will…precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions, and to the detriment of both institutions.

Thus, on behalf of my brother bishops, I urge, yet again, that your administration end its campaign against DOMA, the institution of marriage it protects, and religious freedom…

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avatar About Kenneth D. Whitehead

Kenneth D. Whitehead is a writer, editor, and translator who lives in Falls Church, Virginia. His latest book is The Renewed Church: The Second Vatican Council’s Enduring Teaching about the Church (Sapientia Press of Ave Maria University, 2009); and the latest book he has translated is Vatican Archbishop Agostino Marchetto’s The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council (Scranton University Press, 2010).

Comments

  1. avatar David says:

    Excellent article. Calls us to mind and stay the course.
    The acceptance of same sex marriage will have more ramifications than dreamt of. It is important to keep to fundamental principles and not give in to demands for homosexual unions. It is also important to keep to fundamentals because the debate (when there is a debate not shouted down) has really nothing to do with marriage at all. It has everything to do with a push for society to affirm homosexual behavior -and make it illegal to say or do otherwise. Radical Homosexuals do not want marriage, they want to impose a un-natural world view. It’s a behavior not a civil rights issue; interracial marrriage affirms marriage, same-sex marriage changes the definition of marriage into something It Is Not.

  2. Thank you Mr. Whitehead!

    This was an awesome and very valuable review and critique! Proving why evangelizing the beauty and truth of our faith is dramatically essential right now; and in this case why we must articulate the ‘authentic’ Theology of the Body even to non-Christians.

  3. avatar schmenz says:

    Mr Whitehead:

    You have written such an excellent article that I feel a bit churlish about offering a few gentle criticisms. I hope you will take them in the spirit in which they are intended.

    The one main, crucial point that is missing from your piece is the obviously glaring fact that the Church, from the Popes on down, have not in the last 100 years or so effectively governed the Church entrusted to them. That is a strong statement, I know. But please bear with me for a few moments.

    The history of our Church is replete with Popes who have been great saints, many who have been mediocrities, and several who have been villains. Alas, we have been living in a period op papal mediocrities, those who may be personally good and holy men but who lack the will, or the guts, to take firm hold of the reins and govern. Governing sometimes means “tough love”. And tough love has been conspicuous by its absence for decades. You mentioned Cardinal Dolan. He says wonderful things, which I applaud him for. But has he put a stop to the homosexual masses in his own diocese? Sadly, no. And has the Holy Father used his supreme authority to “remind” the Cardinal that his actions are not in accord with his words? Probably not. In other words, the Holy Father is not acting like the vigilant father concerned about his wayward children. He may hope things get better, he may pray things get better, but if he does not ACT things willnot get any better. How many openly homosexual priests are runnimg around today, considerd “in good standing” byh the Church? Too many. How many instances must we witness of ecclesiastic authorities publicly humiliatying and punishing those priests who do what is right as regards the crime of buggery? The recent shocking, sickening and mind-boggling behavior of Cardinal Wuerl over the incident of the lesbian Buddhist in March, and His Eminence’s utter betrayal of the priest in question – and the Church – is enough to raise a stench in the nostrils of decent men. Yet Wuerl is not disciplined…indeed he has recently been given higher honors! And the good priest remains a pariah because of this. That is an example of what I mean by a Pope, in this case Benedict, who will not act in the face of such manifest scandal and injustice.

    Your article was brave and well-done, if a bit too generous to these odious homosexual villains who are trying to force the world to accept their mortal sins, those that will bring them certain spiritual death. You are right to call for Catholics to hold to their convictions and the Faith, as long as it is not forgotten that Catholics must be continually taught the Faith by priests, nuns, religious, Bishops, Cardinals and Popes. But there is also one other matter that cries out for an explanation: why has acceptance of this unspeakable perversion become so common, even among those who call themselves Christian?

    Clearly, their is an Angelic Intelligence behind this perversion movement. That it is Satanically-inspired there is little doubt. It has undoubtedly been successful because the Church has lowered Her guard, opened “to the world”, done away with the spiritual helps needed to fight off such a brilliant and clever Adversary. And there is something else, I believe. Perhaps it may seem far-fetched, but I believe that many people have succumbed to a sort of collective madness, a universal insanity, a taking leave of their senses. What else can explain some of this? Why would someone who isn’t a practicing Catholic at all, say, a libertine who has flings with innumerable women, or on the other hand some everyday upright working man with a wife and family, suddenly forget 7,000 years of human history? Yes, Hollywood and the iron clenched fist of government can explain some of this, as Americans have always been curiously susceptible to propaganda, but that cannot explain everything, surely. I believe a kind of mental imbalance takes hold of people when the subject of sodomy comes up. In short, they are losing their marbles.

    I only hope that the Church awakens from its self-imposed lethargy and starts getting tough again, first of all with its own clergy, high and low. The Church has to remind Herself that She is the true Church founded by Jesus Christ while He lived on earth. When she comes to Her senses again, and grows a backbone, then will things begin to change.

    Thanks for the fine article.

    • avatar Mac says:

      Schmenz: Excllent, same things so many are believing that the Catholic clergy is so intimidated by “the world” (media, politicans, movies), that they stopped shepherding. So our Congress is full of “Catholic” elected representatives enabling the passage of pro-abortion and sodomite laws. It isn’t just the sexual abuse issue that disgusted Catholics, but the fear by the clergy when publically, and from the pulpit, using even the words “sodomy,” “contraception,” or “divorce” for fear that half the pews will empty: aren’t they becoming Catholics sure they support sodomy-marriage, divorce/remarriage, with pockets full of condoms? As far papal action to “fire” awful clergymen goes, we are all waiting for that: we are sick of knowing that papal action might occur 25 years later, not when needed.

    • avatar Teri says:

      If you can find it, there is an excellent article titled, “Political correctness: How they market homosexuality by Val J. Peter (December 2006) issue of HPR.

  4. avatar schmenz says:

    Mr Whitehead:

    My apologies not only for the length of my reply, but for the five or six typos therein. Write in haste, repent at leisure!

  5. avatar Howard Kainz says:

    The “right” of gay marriage is connected with contraception. Contracepting couples implicitly claim a “right” to non-procreative sex. It would be inconsistent for them to deny that same “right” to gay couples, who by definition practice non-procreative sex.

  6. Thank you for this article. May it stir many Catholics to realize how far many, many members of the Church have wandered from the Truth entrusted to us all! This paragraph particularly I want to comment upon:
    +++++++++++++
    In the meantime, it is surely incumbent upon Catholics—living in this radically, secularized, morally decadent, neo-pagan society—to continue to insist upon the truths that are in our possession. We must insist on these truths, no matter what society may think it has currently decided with such seeming finality to the contrary. We cannot acquiesce in the radical homosexual “rights” agenda, which is false, pernicious, and wrong. It was Jesus himself who told us: “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:32).
    ++++++++++++++

    The subject matter of this article, I am sad to emphasize, is “merely” one symptom, one example of many such examples of confusion and poor catechesis in the Church. The fact is that “the truths that are in our possession” are not in “our” possession. They are “possessed” by precious few, and the unity implied by “our” is simply not the case. “We” are becoming more and more divided on many burning issues of our times because the unifying truth of the one Gospel is simply not being taught, is not known, is not understood or believed.

    Truth was entrusted to the Church, yes. But many members of the Church have little knowledge or understanding of these truths – and little to no ability to articulate or defend them in the hostile culture in which we are immersed. The Church needs continuing, comprehensive, systematic adult catechesis! This message has been proclaimed for a very long time from the Vatican, and is sometimes echoed in diocesan chanceries, but rarely does it make it down to where it matters: the parishes.

    The Church needs adult catechesis! We don’t need more teachings about the sad fact that we have the need – we need teaching and preaching of the Truth to actually be presented with conviction to the people. The culture is getting darker – and the “we” who were sent to be light, need to be enlightened that we might become light in His light.

  7. avatar Loren Popio says:

    This is the very best article I’ve seen on this subject. Well-reasoned and clearly articulated. Would love if every Catholic read it!

  8. avatar Gail Finke says:

    An excellent overview, very clearly stated (as I would expect from Mr. Whitehead!) and concise. The speed of this change in public opinion is indeed astounding, and the ferocity of condemnation toward anyone who disagrees is frightening. It alarms me how saying that marriage has always been considered a union between one man and one woman, in every culture in the world throughout all time, is actually considered to be a meaningless, callous, and even dangerous statement by the people I talk to about it. All that matters to them is “being nice,” “being loving,” and “being fair.” But they are not nice, loving, or fair to me!

  9. avatar joseph vellone says:

    About the military-I can’t quote chapter and verse,but I am morally certain that the military does not allow sexual activity in its bases.They will warrant military penalties for any sexual activity,heterosexual as well as homosexual.The main problem has been official spying about acdtivities that take place OFF BASE and using this information to cashier individuals who have lived an exemplary military life in their duties.We have our values which might applaud this slimey activity, vice cop mentality.The military is,according to strictly legal norms, declining to impose matters extraneous to military service which implies entrapment,vice cop morality and unjust military penalties for activities which are (sinful in our eyes)private and nobody’s business,and ruinous to many promising military carrers.Morals cops are not popular in any society.0ur joy at the ability to live ones life (albeit sinfully) should be an incentive for us to preach God’s law and convert sinners of both heterosexual and homosexual sins.

  10. avatar joe says:

    A very good article, but I think it ignores hugely influential factors: 1) the widespread toleration if not acceptance of fornication (“We are all bohemians now!”) and assumption that God really does not care especially about sex; 2) the high incidence of homosexuality within the ranks of Bishops and Priests; and 3) the denial of any real religious truth as taught in public schools, television, and as often as not implied in homilies and witnessed in broken lives around us. These factors stack the deck against us. Will nature keep coming back? Interesting question, since we are also talking about fallen human nature, and in that regard immorality seems like it spreads aggressively as often as not.

  11. BAD SAMARITANS
    When a brother has wandered astray,
    Those who love him will show him the way;
    Those who follow the fashion
    Of corrupted compassion
    Will assure him his sin is okay.

  12. avatar Gil Bailie says:

    Thank you, Ken, for a characteristically insightful report on a matter that is far more consequential than most people realize.

  13. avatar Craig says:

    I totally agree. We just went through this at our United Methodist Conference. Thank God, they had the courage to stand up for what is right, and reject this incorrect teaching, as well.

  14. avatar Kathleen Curran Sweeney says:

    Your article covers many important points, but there is one aspect that is left out and it is one that needs much more attention. This is the psychological origins of same sex attraction and the possibility of reparative therapy, which as compassionate Christians we need to publicize for those who would desire change in their conditon and lifestyle. It is important for all Christians to be able to offer this loving alternative so that they need not accept the false accusations of “hate speech” or bigotry. Good sources to offer are: http://narth.com/ http://www.peoplecanchange/ and http:www.jonahweb.org/ (a Jewish group). Also an article in First Things (1997) by Dr. Elizabeth Moberly reviews many good resources on this aspect. Dr. Moberly’s own book, Homosexulaity: A New Christian Ethic, is also a good basic explanation of the psychological origins.

  15. avatar Juan Crespo says:

      Friedrich Nietzsche is notable for having declared that God is dead and for having written several of his works in the presumption that man must find a new mode of being given the death of God. Perhaps the most interesting quote on this theme appears in his The Gay Science ( aka Joyous Wisdom).

    A fairly full version of this key quote is set out immediately below:-

     

          Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market-place, and cried incessantly: “I am looking for God! I am looking for God!”
      As many of those who did not believe in God were standing together there, he excited considerable laughter. Have you lost him, then? said one. Did he lose his way like a child? said another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? or emigrated? Thus they shouted and laughed. The madman sprang into their midst and pierced them with his glances.

      “Where has God gone?” he cried. “I shall tell you. We have killed him – you and I. We are his murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What did we do when we unchained the earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not perpetually falling? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is it not more and more night coming on all the time? Must not lanterns be lit in the morning? Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we not smell anything yet of God’s decomposition? Gods too decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we, murderers of all murderers, console ourselves? That which was the holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet possessed has bled to death under our knives. Who will wipe this blood off us? With what water could we purify ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we need to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we not ourselves become gods simply to be worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whosoever shall be born after us – for the sake of this deed he shall be part of a higher history than all history hitherto.”

      Here the madman fell silent and again regarded his listeners; and they too were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern to the ground, and it broke and went out. “I have come too early,” he said then; “my time has not come yet. The tremendous event is still on its way, still travelling – it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time, the light of the stars requires time, deeds require time even after they are done, before they can be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than the distant stars – and yet they have done it themselves.”

      It has been further related that on that same day the madman entered divers churches and there sang a requiem. Led out and quietened, he is said to have retorted each time: “what are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchres of God?”

     

        What Nietzsche is concerned at in relating the above is that God is dead in the hearts of modern men – killed by rationalism and science. This same God however, before becoming dead in men’s hearts and minds, had provided the foundation of a “Christian-moral” defining and uniting approach to life as a shared cultural set of beliefs that had defined a social and cutural outlook within which people had lived their lives.

      Nietzsche seems to be suggesting that the acceptance of the Death of God will also involve the ending of accepted standards of morality and of purpose. Without the former and accepted faith-based standards society is threatened by a nihilistic situation where peoples lives are not particularly constrained by considerations of morality or particularly guided by any faith-related sense of purpose.

  16. Good article.
    I’ve been trying for years to get through to pro-”gay rights” advocates that we don’t hate anyone, but that nonetheless they are wrong. It occurred to me around a year ago or less that the reason there is no analogy between homosexuality and any ethnic group. Homosexuality is more analogous to cigar smoking, hunting or dune buggy racing: a lifestyle. If a lifestyle lobby such as cigar smokers wishes society to change to accommodate it, it must make its case on an instance-by-instance basis and be prepared to take no for an answer the majority of the time, with no guarantee of eventual total victory and no automatic right to universal approval of its behavior, and it must do so without tantrums, mind games or doublespeak. It’s the same with homosexuality. Like cigar smoking, the fact that “traditionally” (i.e. instinctively) most people have always considered the behavior nauseating indicates that it deserves less social prestige, as a disgusting behavior, rather than more prestige as a “victim group”.
    Thank you for a brave article.

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