Personal Holiness and the Homosexual Agenda

… it is imperative that we reclaim the language of covenant within marriage, and that we clarify the vocabulary we use in this debate. We are not simply talking about contracts, but about covenants.

In the last several months, we have seen an explosion of news regarding the legalization of same-sex unions. These stories are the clear effort of the secular media to whittle away the natural definition of marriage. There is a powerful, anti-family agenda, which seems to be picking up steam and leaving in its wake a disfigured view of our human sexuality. This agenda seems to be inextricably moving toward the goal of normalizing homosexuality and same-sex unions. But how did we arrive at this point? If the nature of marriage is so evident from the truth of the male and female body—why are there so many people lobbying for the legalization of same-sex unions as a proof of both the fairness and the progress of our society? While the majority of Americans are innately certain that marriage can only exist between one man and one woman, it seems that we Christians are, nevertheless, losing the battle to defend the natural definition of marriage. How should we respond?

Our greatest problem in the debate regarding same-sex unions is that we don’t know how to enter the arena of dialogue. Our fatal error is that we are failing to make our presence felt in the debate. Simply stated: we are not showing up for the discussion! Because we don’t know how to debate the issue, and we don’t want to be labeled as “insensitive” or “rigid,” we timidly avoid the issues, and hope that it will simply sort itself out on its own. Please note: we are not losing the battle because we are being outsmarted; we are not losing the battle because we are wrong. We are losing the battle because we are not showing up for the debate, and do not offer adequate answers to our society in order to convince others of the inferiority of same-sex unions, and the impossibility of equating them with a real marriage.

I would like to forward the discussion by presenting three things that must change in the Christian community if we are going to present a positive and comprehensive response to the question of the legalization of same-sex unions. It is my hope that this article will help the Christian community to respond more effectively to this societal issue, and that it will also encourage Christians to engage this issue without fear.

First, we must understand that secular society and the Christian communities are speaking two separate languages when it comes to the definition of marriage. For civil society, marriage is seen as a contract, whereas the Christian sees marriage as a covenant. In a contract, a person attempts to enter into an agreement with another party wherein both parties receive a mutually agreeable benefit. But if the parties concerned in the contract arrive at a point where the contract is no longer useful, it may be revoked by the consent of both parties. Civil society no longer sees marriage as a life-long commitment within a covenantal bond. The increased number of divorces exemplifies this change of vision. This accumulated number of “failed” contracts inherently changes the idea of marriage in the minds of the American people.

Since our society views marriage as merely a contract, and the state has the right to regulate contracts, it, therefore, becomes “obvious” that the state should permit contracts between two persons of the same gender. When marriage is seen only through the lens of a contract, the possibility of preventing a contract between two persons, based solely upon sexual gender or sexual orientation, seems preposterous in connection with the American view of law and marriage. (Note: The premise here is actually incorrect because the state already limits marriage in many ways. For example, the state does not allow marriage to persons with direct bloodline—as for a marriage between a grandchild and a grandmother. Nor does the state allow marriage for persons who have not reached the age of majority. The state, in fact, does have the right to limit marriage as being between one man and one woman because it already limits the contract of marriage in many other ways.)

As Christians, however, we speak a different language. Marriage is not simply a contract. It is also a covenant. This covenant is binding for life, and is made within the context of a belief in the Divine Person. The covenant of marriage is only possible when a man and a woman recognize that the covenant is established within their own bodies by the mutual exchange of the sexual act—an act which is open to new life in children. Because the same-sex couple is incapable of openness to life in their sexual acts, it can never be equal to marriage. A gay union is not a covenant, and never can be. No matter what ridiculous laws the state may establish, the union of same-sex couples will always be inferior to that of a covenanted marriage. This is not because of hatred or bigotry or rigidity. It is the nature of our male and female bodies, which are designed by God, and which speak this language of life-long commitment and openness to children through an appropriately applied sexual act.

If we as Christians wish to enter more forcefully into the debate regarding same-sex unions, it is imperative that we reclaim the language of covenant within marriage, and that we clarify the vocabulary we use in this debate. We are not simply talking about contracts, but about covenants.  It is also imperative that Christians live their married lives in such a way as to witness to this idea of covenant. We cannot effectively enter this debate until the Christian community discovers and lives the difference between a contractual union and a covenantal marital union, which is established by the nature of the male and female body.

The second reason why we are losing the debate in the area of same-sex unions is the proliferation of the “contraceptive mentality.” Although the raw numbers about who is using contraception are difficult to gage, and the reported number of users is not perfectly consistent, it is nevertheless certain that a majority of women of child-rearing age are using artificial contraception. The proliferation of artificial contraception has had devastating effects on our society. It has created a negative attitude toward children in general; it has made women victims of abuse through the sexual revolution; and it has marginalized couples who authentically understand their human sexuality and children as a gift from God. The net effect of this is that we have definitively separated the sexual act from its procreative power. This change is unprecedented in history, and has drastically deformed the beauty of our sexuality. Sex no longer has as its goals the unity and love of the couple, as well as the gift of new life. Instead, the primary goal of sex is simply pleasure. The gift of new life as a goal of sex has been nearly universally replaced with the simple goal of PLEASURE! Although pleasure is a gift of the sexual union, it is not its singular and ultimate goal. In our society, there is a general attitude that the primary and singular goal of a sexual encounter is pleasure. And herein is the problem: If the goal of sex is simply pleasure, then what is the difference between a homosexual sexual act and a heterosexual sexual act? They both have pleasure as their ultimate end. If the psyche of our society no longer sees new life as a goal of sex, then there is effectively no difference between what a heterosexual couple and a homosexual couple are doing in their sexual unions. Because of the proliferation of artificial contraception among heterosexual couples, the procreative goal of sex has been lost. Once the connection between new life and the sexual act is lost, the distinction between heterosexual acts and homosexual acts will be lost as well.

If we want to wage an effective campaign to promote the dignity of a true sexuality, then heterosexual couples must STOP using artificial contraceptives. Christian married couples must rediscover the intimate and intrinsic link between their marital, sexual act and openness to children. We must re-instill in the psyche of the American people the true goals of marriage and the sexual act. This intimate expression of our sexuality should not be reduced to pleasure because it would then become nothing more than a form of selfishness and individual gratification.  If we do not practice within the Christian community the dignity of the sexual act and its natural movement towards new life, then we will never be able to convince the world that homosexual acts are disordered, and a grave offense against the dignity of both the human person, and the beauty of our sexuality.

The final reason I would like to present as to why we are losing the battle to protect marriage as an institution between one man and one woman is because the Christian community is not living an authentic witness to the discipline of chastity, and the joy that comes from a life of purity.

As a priest, I have celebrated around two hundred weddings. The sad reality is that about 90 percent of these couples were living together before they were married. I understand that this is only anecdotal information, but it points to a larger problem within the Christian community: Christians are no longer living the beauty of sexual purity before marriage. Although there are many, many negative effects caused by this sad reality, one of these effects is the paralysis that it causes within the Christian community. We are no longer free to talk about the importance of purity to persons with same-sex attraction since we do not even talk about purity to the heterosexual person. If we tell persons with same-sex attraction that they may not engage in sexual experiences with a person whom they “love,” we are setting a double standard. Many Christians in the Church in America do not expect heterosexual couples to refrain from sex before marriage; therefore, they can’t expect anyone else to refrain either. Many Christians are saying things like, “It is impossible for you to not have sex before marriage in today’s world.” Or “No one could ever be expected to make that commitment in the times in which we live.” If we have arrived at the point where we give tacit approval to impurity outside of marriage for heterosexual couples, then how can we place even stricter demands upon persons with same-sex attraction? Many people respond to this dilemma by admitting defeat. They say, “Well, no one can really live purity, so we should allow gay marriage.”

This manner of responding is the exact opposite of what is needed. Rather than admit defeat and surrender to the culture of promiscuity, the Christian must defend the virtue of purity by personal example. Although the battle for purity may be difficult, it is an affirmation of true love. If we are going to help persons with same-sex attraction to live according to their real dignity, we must show them the joyful effects of living that purity. We cannot succumb to the lies and tyranny of our culture, which suppresses our human freedom, and proclaims unmitigated defeat when confronted with temptations against purity. Undoubtedly, we must ask our Lord and his Mother Mary for grace to battle courageously in this area. It will mean frequent use of the sacrament of confession in moments of weakness, and regular strengthening of our will through reception of Holy Communion. But purity is possible and always brings with it a sense of peace and joy.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, together we can defend and promote a true image of matrimony. Together, we can become the voice of Christ calling out in the silence. Together, we will triumph with Christ and promote a true and viable image of marriage, if only we are faithful to the dignity that is ours—a dignity given to us by the Father at the moment of creation, and imbued with divine grace through the gift of Jesus at our baptism.


Fr. David Kime About Fr. David Kime

Fr. David Kime is a priest of the Diocese of Gary, Indiana. He was ordained in the year 1997. He graduated from Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, Michigan. He is currently serving as pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish, in Lake Station, Indiana, and St. Mark Parish, Gary, Indiana, and as a Dean for the Diocese of Gary, Indiana.


  1. Avatar john frawley says:

    The essential hallmark of Catholic marriage has to be that marriage is a sacrament. That is, it is the outward sign of the presence of God in our world. In the ritual of the Sacrament of Matrimony a man and a woman are joined with the Creator God as the instruments of God’s creation of human life. The covenant entered into with God is immutable and everlasting in the life of the marriage partners and agrees that the sexual union of the partnership with God is open to the creation of children for which the marriage partners will accept stewardship for the moral, spiritual and temporal well-being of any children to whom they have given life. It is thus an impossible inanity to suggest that same-sex “marriage” is a genuine marriage relationship. It is also an inanity to suggest that the production of children outside marriage through scientific means such as cloning, surrogacy and IVF in homosexual relationships bestows parenthood

    • Father McGavin Father McGavin says:

      Father Kime,
      An essential thing is that the officiating priest himself undertake the marriage preparation, and not delegate it to some lay Catholic agency. This then is likely to give rise to the suspension of cohabitation in the lead-up to the marriage, and at least is a big assistance to marriage.
      I recently asked a university colleague after a civil marriage, “How’s married life?”, and got back the reply, “Not much different from what is was before.” Yet she still changed her surname to her husband’s. This kind of response if “shared” gives insight into what is involved in making marriage unique.
      I am not convinced of a rigorous reading of the contraception issue, but that is not to say that the “contraception culture” is not so damaging and so in need of reversing. Taking couples during marriage preparation through the essentiality of “open to children” will be challenging to young people who think of sex as recreational rather than pro-creative; and one is likely to get “reported” to a bishop who is likely to like priests who do not “rock the boat”. But learning delicacy and discretion, and with understanding for “where they are coming from and the culture of our day” is important for assisting young people on a step-by-step path to practising a more integrated life of human sexuality that undergirds marriage.
      But we still have to deal comprehensively with the world we encounter and the tragedies of the world we encounter. So it’s important that conversations involving that where we do not proceed from “the answer” be sustained. This is what I argue in the posting below:
      Father McGavin

  2. I spoke to a priest recently who said that 29 out of 32 couples whom he had instructed in pre-Cana classes were already cohabiting. This 90% figure is also anecdotal, but it seems to hold up.

    Forgotten in this mix are people who aren’t married because they won’t cohabit, contracept, or consent to premarital sex. Not all of us have given in. But we are lonely, frustrated, and often near the point of despair. Many of us now are far beyond the age when we could start a family now even if we could get married. Most of us are watching our prime, family building years tick away in sterile loneliness.

    We get no support from Catholic parishes, in part because 90% of couples of have married in recent decades just “did what they needed to do” to get married. They have no concept what it is like to be utterly excluded from dating in secular society and then to get the cold shoulder in one’s own parish as well.

    The Catholic church has a theology of marriage, but we no longer have a marriage culture. Catholic lay society is AWOL in providing the traditional services–good offices, introductions, etc–that supported marriage in prior days. It would really help to have prayers, every once in a while, “for single people seeking marriage.” That might spur the rest of the community to do its job.

    Meanwhile, let’s not forget how discouraging it is for single people generally to see all these marriages of people we know, often family members, who were cohabiting up to the morning of their wedding day while we, who have followed Church teaching, are treated like social outcasts and non-entities in the typical parish, which is like a club for marrieds-with-children only.

    Finally, I will say, never preach about the “single vocation.” There is no such thing. Most of us who involuntarily single hate being single. God never calls us to be single, though he may call us to some service that involves being single, incidentally, or for a time. Preaching about the single vocation, or preaching that there can be no vocation until one discerns a vocation to marriage, or that their can be no vocation to marriage until we find the specific person we are called to marry, just creates a lot of vocational confusion and drift. The vast majority of people who are not called to the priesthood or to religious life are called to marriage. We are called to marriage by virtue of being created male and female. Preaching should focus on intentional preparation for marriage at any early age unless we clearly discern a call for religious life. Preaching that encourages endless discerning about discernment or suggests that the uncommitted single state can be a terminal vocation like marriage or the priesthood can only discourage vocational drift.

    • Peter, You are so ‘right on’ with your eloquent response concerning single people. I whole-heartedly agree with everything you said. I don’t believe that the single life is a vocation and yet I get constantly ‘told’ that it is. There is no focus on what marriage is all about and that leaves the message that it is ‘do whatever you want.’ And for those of us who strive to follow Church teaching, we’re looked upon as freaks. All I know is that it is a frustrating place to be.

    • Amen, Peter. You express precisely my experience as a single Catholic.

  3. Hello Fr. Kime,

    Thank you for your well thought-out approach to this important issue. I think, however, that we need an approach both broader and deeper, going to the root of a bigger problem. The issue of marriage is an important one! But it is only one battle among many, in a much wider war having many fronts.

    You asked the question, “But how did we arrive at this point?” I could not help but remember the piercing pondering of King Theoden, in the film “The Twin Towers”, from the Lord of the Rings trilogy – recently brought back from his drugged stupor:

    “Where is the horse and the rider?
Where is the horn that was blowing? 

    They have passed like rain on the mountain, like wind in the meadow. 

    The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow. 

    How did it come to this?”

    The present always gets here from the past, one day at a time. And if “we” fail to be vigilant, and fail to seek wholehearted the things of the Kingdom in our personal souls and parishes and dioceses, then “they” have a very soft target in us.

    For some time now, “we” have been weakening while “they” and their goals of dechristianization and secularization have been advancing. Catholics have not been powerful evangelizers among the secularists – just the other way around. They have been forming us, “evangelizing” us, luring us deeper and deeper into a secular world-view, the secular culture, entertainment, sports, jokes, lifestyle and value system. They have been winning and we have been losing. For many of us, it seems, we have been as if unconscious or even “drugged” by the glitter and the toys of this world.

    Many recent saints – clergy and laity – have seen this coming! We have many beautiful and true documents and teachings! But do they ever get down to the members in the pews? How many of our parishes have systematic and comprehensive programs of adult formation in the Faith of the Church, embraced by pastors and parish members alike, all holding fast to and guarding the legacy entrusted to us by the saints and fathers and doctors of our tradition?

  4. When I got married in 1967 almost nobody lived together before they married; there may have been some falls by the wayside but there was no moving in and setting up home even before there was talk of engagements as there is now. This was something to do with the culture both inside and outside the Church e.g. all residential halls in my university were single sex and well policed at throwing out times for guests. This was something to do with the fact that contraception was not easily available or cheap; there were condoms but I never saw them on sale on the counter and not advertised either. Then came Humanae Vitae and all I heard was the opposition of priests, bishops, theologians; nobody ever explained it and I was left to struggle on by myself until I read the encyclical for myself and came to realise that I was not being asked to do something sinful in following the Pope’s teaching but only something difficult. Since leading a Christian life was already difficult, what was the difference? My husband is not a Catholic or even ( he would say) a Christian but he has principles and those did not permit him to force me to act against my conscience- so, we had seven children and recently he asked me why we had not had twice as many ? It is perfectly true that there was no support from the clergy, in fact the were often as bad as non -Catholics who asked whether we had a television as we did not seem to have anything else to do but have children. Actually, we were very abstemious. I do believe that the mess we’re in is because Humanae Vitae was never taught and the World evangelised us with their contraceptive/abortive message all based on choice. Truly, the children of this world are wiser in their way than the children of light. Now, there seems to be a chance that the Church will reverse her teaching on sexual matters in the forthcoming Family synod and Cardinal Dolan is going to lead the gay St. Patrick’s Day parade -I could weep for the safe days of my childhood when I was taught that the Catholic Church was founded by Christ and He would be with us all days till the consummation of the world. But, did He not also say, “When the Son of Man returns to earth will He find faith?”

    • What Father Kime has said so well in gentle terms is that the Catholic Church in the West is losing the battle regarding sodomy because its people have, in practice, accepted the errors of the sexual revolution, including marital sodomy. To paraphrase Walter Lippmann in 1929, they are following the logic of birth control, not the logic of human nature. So how does the teaching Church lead the disciples back to the divine truths about human love? Part of the answer is a requirement for every engaged couple to take the right kind of course in natural family planning. By the “right kind” I mean the course that includes Catholic moral teaching, all the common signs of fertility, and ecological breastfeeding–the only form of baby care that, on average, will postpone the return of fertility for 14 to 15 months postpartum. This course will also be an effort in the new evangelization, showing that the Lord Jesus is the ultimate author of the divine truths about human love. It will also teach the covenant theology that helped to persuaded Scott Hahn to accept Catholic teaching on birth control even when he was still an anti-Catholic Protestant. This Home Study Course is available everywhere in the English-speaking world at This is a unique apostolate, not just a business. Some priests are already using it with their engaged couples and are happy they have found it.

  5. “These stories are the clear effort of the secular media to whittle away the natural definition of marriage. There is a powerful, anti-family agenda, which seems to be picking up steam and leaving in its wake a disfigured view of our human sexuality.”

    This is a difficult start to your essay. Blame does no good. These suspicions could be true of a few individuals, but I doubt it. In any event, these cannot be proven. The good remarks about covenant and purity are wasted from the bitter poison offered at the outset. This essay will make no converts, and only enflame the frustrations of those who agree with it.

    Heroic examples of good and graced marriages will serve the Church and the culture best of all. Perhaps it is time to place a moratorium for a century or two on canonizing popes and bishops and religious founders. More married saints, now, please. And make haste about it.

  6. Avatar Tom McGuire says:

    We have lost the battle! That is not good news! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is Good News, which states the victory has been won. My experience is that people of all sorts are seeking the Way. The Way of Jesus, a Way of compassion and love. When we like Jesus cure those who are lame, blind, sick, and possessed by demons, the crowds will come to us. Moralizing about how one should follow the law, which is more like what the Pharisees did in the Gospels, turns people away and they seek elsewhere. I sincerely hope the Synod on the Family will not follow the moralizing line presented here, but proclaim load and clear the Good News. News of a loving savior who loves every sinner.

  7. Avatar Clifford Schneider says:

    1) I am in total agreement with the churches teaching about marriage. We as Christians follow the rules of God by our own free will. And we as Christians have sinned of our own free will. Why do we treat Homosexuals like lepers or outcast of society. Why do we deny them the right of healthcare, respect, and humanity. Many Gays are killed like dogs every year.
    2) The gays’ are going to do and live as they do; with or without our permission. As, it is their free will in action. They accept the consequences of their actions.
    3) The Church should continue to make it clear that gay behavior is a sin. It should withhold the sacraments as they would do any sinner. Try to be a better example of love, hope, and compassion to all humans. Set up protocols for dealing with gays’ and their activities and purpose in the church.
    Jesus came to heal the sinner. Let us gather our forces and start healing sinners. They already have more condemnation than the deserve from us Christians.

  8. If the reason for marriage and sex within marriage is for procreation, what of the person ( male or female) wanting to get married is confirmed as being “sterile?” It seems to me that any sexual activity within that dynamic should be prohibited. I’m not sure about this– but it seems not everyone, not every relationship is about procreation. That’s just obvious. Perhaps a person who has been confirmed as being sterile should make the decision to remain single and celibate because any sexual activity on their part would be self-serving at best.


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