Pro-Gay, Anti-Christianity

A learned friend of mine recently wrote an op-ed piece for a newspaper in which she argued that the drive for same-sex marriage is not simply about same-sex marriage; it is also about winning moral approval for homosexuality. If society, acting through the state, tells us that homosexuals can marry one another, then it is by the same token telling us that there is nothing morally objectionable about homosexual conduct.
My friend is, of course, correct. But I’ll add to this that the drive for same-sex marriage is not simply about same-sex marriage or the moral legitimization of homosexual behavior; it is also about the de-legitimizing of Christian morality. More, it is about the de-legitimizing of Christianity itself.
The taboo on homosexual conduct is as old as Christianity itself (pace the late gay historian John Boswell, who argued — absurdly — that the taboo didn’t appear until many centuries after the foundation of Christianity and is therefore not an essential part of Christian morality). And it is older even than that. It clearly goes back to Old Testament times. And if there is such a thing as natural law, the taboo is rooted in natural law; for nature (or God as author of nature) seems to have designed the anatomy and physiology of human beings in such a way that sex between men and women is sex “according to nature.” Sex between men and men or between women and women, though it can be accomplished in an unnatural manner, doesn’t seem to be what nature/God had in mind.
What’s more, the taboo on homosexual conduct is not only as old as Christianity and Christian morality; it is an essential element in Christian morality, not a merely incidental element. St. Paul made this clear by going out of his way on a number of occasions to condemn it in no uncertain terms. And even though pro-homosexuality speakers and writers, with the intention of surrounding their sexual opinions with a spiritual aura, often contend that Jesus did not utter a word of condemnation of homosexual behavior, this is not exactly so; for He condemned it by implication when He spoke in an unflattering way of the city of Sodom. (See Matthew 11:23-24 and Luke 10:12.)
The Catholic Church has classified it as a mortal sin — a moral offense that merits eternal damnation. This is why Dante (Inferno, canto 15) assigned his teacher, Brunetto Latini, to hell. (I wouldn’t be surprised if some resourceful academic apologist for same-sex marriage contends that Dante sent Ser Brunetto to hell not for his sodomy, but because he gave Dante a bad grade on a term paper. I myself have often had students who would gladly have sent me to hell because of an “unfair” grade.)
The taboo on homosexual conduct is as much an essential element of Christian morality as is the taboo on abortion. And both taboos are strongly connected with the extraordinarily high valuation that Christianity has always given to the virtue of chastity.
So if you wish to overthrow the Christian rules against sodomy and abortion, which is precisely what the prevailing secularist morality of the day wishes to do (and indeed is doing very successfully), then you wish to overthrow the Christian moral system. You don’t necessarily have to be conscious of that wish: Some of those who are out to destroy Christian morality are fully conscious of their intention, others are not. Whether conscious or not, however, the course you will be pursuing is a course tending to the overthrow of Christian morality.
But the Christian moral system is no minor part of Christianity, any more than the heart or lungs are minor parts of the human body. Overthrow the Christian moral system and you will have overthrown Christianity itself. Therefore, those who are pushing for the institution of same-sex marriage are ipso facto pushing for the elimination of the Christian religion. Q.E.D.
Of course, there are objections to the train of reasoning I have outlined above, and the most common is this: While some Christian churches (e.g., the Catholic Church and Evangelical Protestant churches) consider the bans on homosexuality and abortion to be essential to their religions, there are other Christian churches (the more liberal or “mainstream” Protestant denominations) that take a much more tolerant and open-minded attitude toward these former “sins.” Unlike Catholicism and Evangelical Protestantism, both of which hold a “fundamentalist” or “originalist” view of Christianity, these liberal denominations contend that Christianity is a “living” religion, much like our “living” United States Constitution. That is, you mustn’t, these up-to-date religions tell us, adhere literally to the classic doctrines of Christianity, for “the letter killeth.”
On the other hand, the spirit giveth life, and the life of the Christian religion is evolution. When we focus on the essential feature of Christianity — namely, love of neighbor — and disregard the incidentals — e.g., condemnations of sodomy and abortion — we realize that Jesus and Paul, if only they had been so lucky as to live in the wonderful and enlightened 21st century, would have endorsed homosexual sodomy and strongly approved of same-sex marriage. Jesus would have been in the forefront of those endorsing same-sex marriage: He would have been on cable TV talk shows applauding the California Supreme Court.
The trouble with “liberal Christianity” is that it isn’t Christianity. It is something else — a new and ever-changing religion that attempts to hijack the old and revered name of Christianity. Liberal Christianity is, and ever has been since its commencement about 200 years ago, an incoherent attempt to synthesize Christianity and whatever is the fashionable anti-Christianity of the day. It began in America with early 19th-century Unitarianism, a synthesis of Christianity and Deism. The fashionable anti-Christianity of today stresses abortion and same-sex marriage. And so today’s liberal Christianity (a religious deviation that used to be found only among Protestants, but is now often found among Catholics as well) says, “Fine, we can do that. We can bless abortion and same-sex marriage.”
In other words, they can — and do — bless the forces that are out to destroy Christianity.

By

David R. Carlin Jr. is a politician and sociologist who served as a Democratic majority leader of the Rhode Island Senate. His books include "Can a Catholic Be a Democrat?: How the Party I Loved Became the Enemy of My Religion" and "The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America." Carlin is a current professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island at Newport.

  • David W.

    ….its about legitimacy, not equal rights, and its great to hear a more expert and articulate write up on this very argument, because as you say it cuts to the heart of the matter.

  • Jerry English

    Mr. Carlin,
    I support the content of your article with one exception. I do not believe, however, that the Catholic Church states that homosexual acts are mortal sins. The Catholic Church teaches that such acts are intrinsically disordered. [CCC para.2357] For that act to be a mortal sin the person performing the act must do so with full knowledge of the evil and with full consent of the will. [CCC para. 1857] The Church of course calls the homosexual to live a chaste life, “Under no circumstances can (homoxexual) acts be approved.” [CCC para. 2357]
    Jerry English

  • Christian

    A society which okays heterosexual barren contraceptive sex lacks the moral authority to deny legal status to barren gay sex.

  • Charity

    What if Paul had access to research studies showing what we know today, that homosexuality springs from the womb and is not a deliberate life-style “choice”? If Paul had known that homosexuality is the result of nature, not nurture, would he think about it in the same way? Or, would he conclude that God’s creations, and their natural impulses, must be good and not abominations? I’m asking because people here have the incredible ability to read God’s mind.

  • Michael

    Charity wrote: What if Paul had access to research studies showing what we know today, that homosexuality springs from the womb and is not a deliberate life-style “choice”? If Paul had known that homosexuality is the result of nature, not nurture, would he think about it in the same way? Or, would he conclude that God’s creations, and their natural impulses, must be good and not abominations?

    However, not feeling that one made a deliberate “choice” is not the same as having been born with the inclination, as early social development can shape our attitudes in ways we aren’t even aware of.

    Even the American Psychological Association states on its website that: “There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles”

    With that in mind, that the APA itself admits that the causes of homosexuality are unclear, and that many believe nature and nurture to play a conjoined role in the development of homosexual inclination, it is misleading for you to make the claim that homosexuality is exclusively due to biological factors.

    It also confuses the issue itself, which is that if homosexual behavior is sinful in God’s eyes, it is irrelevant as to whether people are born that way or not. If sin separates us from God, it behooves us to do our best not to sin, regardless of if we were born with the desire. Christ commands us not just to love our neighbors, but to first love God. And part of demonstrating our love for and trust in God is by submitting ourselves to His authority. Who knows what is better for you: you, or God?

  • Robert Mosby

    Conversations with liberal friends on matters related to sex, such as abortion, homosexuality, contraception, etc. tend to be contentious, even when polite. But when prolonged, they uncover disputes about the nature of truth. There are several reasons for this.

    First, the great temptation is to assign any value difference to mere difference of taste: taste being regarded as immune from refutation by showing it to be based upon objective falsity.

    Second, even if they admit that there might be something more than a matter of taste involved, the immediate fallback is that while they themselves don’t know the truth about what that something more is, neither does anyone else – and specifically neither does the Church.

    Third, since we live in a pluralistic society, some decision procedure is needed to adjudicate disputes about all sorts of behaviors and the results of those procedures by necessity eschew anyone’s notion of truth.

    So truth for them is but an amorphous, though possibly existing but altogether unknowable and indecipherable phantom item of idle speculation. This fits neatly with socially regnant strands of relativism and libertarianism. And it fits with the very human desire to be seen as an understanding good guy who knows his limits and refrains from telling others what to do.

    The Church on this telling, which has a very different view, becomes a social offender to be reined in if not dismantled. This is the edge of Kulturkampf.

  • David W.

    The argument that “they are born with it so it must be good” is very dubious and absurd when you look at other things that people are “born with.” People are born with Down Syndrome, chemical imbalances that cause mental illness, missing limbs, blindness, webbed feet….the list can go on. Does that mean these things are “good” or desireable? They are things to overcome, and many courageous people do in fact, overcome. Homosexuals are also called to show similiar courage….

  • Kurt

    A decent article. I would just like to add though that you did not question “what” could be out to destroy Christianity?

    Who else but Satan. He is the enemy of the one true church…the Universal church…the Catholic church founded by Jesus Christ. It is the Catholic church alone “against which the gates of hell shall not prevail”. Jesus did not mention any other so-called Christian denominations as he only set up the Catholic church. True the Catholic church has had some issues to deal with over the last 2K years – never forget that we are all sinners so we are all subject to temptation. Also, Satan has been trying to destroy the church from the beggining…only he hasn’t realized that he’s already lost.

    What they (denominations) are all lacking is a single leader who can make definitive statements on what is or is not allowed by the church…a leader whom Jesus himself said would be the leader of “His church”. It is because they don’t have this authority that everything is open to personal interpretation – thus the slide towards liberalism.

    I don’t doubt that a majority of Christians have good intent and really do love Jesus; however, they are missing some of the fundamental spiritual protections such as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ truly present in the Eucharist.

    …but, I digress. Satan is the enemy of God and thus should be the enemy of all Christians; however, there is not much talk of him. He is devious and very smart…and does not want anyone to believe he exists. Who else but our hated enemy who has set himself against God by his own choosing would like to destroy Christianity.

    Food for thought.

  • Karen

    When God joined Adam and Eve together in the first marriage, it was a type or example of Jesus coming and being united with His bride the Church. That union between a man and a woman still stands today, as that example. Most things in the Old Testament serve as a foreshadow or type of what Jesus came to fulfill by His birth, life, resurrection, reign in heaven and second coming. Therefore any deviation from what God has established is a grave matter and a perversion of biblical scripture. Anyone who tries to promote that deviation should be confronted and warned of their eternal peril or at the very least not believed. The

  • Charity

    David W. wrote: The argument that “they are born with it so it must be good” is very dubious and absurd when you look at other things that people are “born with.” People are born with Down Syndrome, chemical imbalances that cause mental illness, missing limbs, blindness, webbed feet….the list can go on. Does that mean these things are “good” or desireable? They are things to overcome, and many courageous people do in fact, overcome. Homosexuals are also called to show similiar courage….

    So, homosexuality is a handicap? So, it must be bad?

  • Steve Newark

    To back you up conclusively Obtain and read the “Goodrich Decision” written by the majority of the Massachusetts Supreme Judical Court. This decision is so full of palpable hate towards Biblical Christainity that it seems to fulfill the definition of a’Hate crime’. Get it and read it for the attitudes stated…not implied. Of course what it does do, suprisingly, since the court in its hearing knows better is create a special class of people in clear cotravention of the Constitution.

  • Chris

    Steve Newark wrote: To back you up conclusively Obtain and read the “Goodrich Decision” written by the majority of the Massachusetts Supreme Judical Court. This decision is so full of palpable hate towards Biblical Christainity that it seems to fulfill the definition of a’Hate crime’. Get it and read it for the attitudes stated…not implied. Of course what it does do, suprisingly, since the court in its hearing knows better is create a special class of people in clear cotravention of the Constitution.

    Steve,
    Can you provide a reference (or link) to the decision you mention?

    Should it be the “Goodridge Decision”?

  • Dave Carlin

    Charity writes: “What if Paul had access to research studies showing what we know today, that homosexuality springs from the womb and is not a deliberate life-style ‘choice’?” — Very interesting! Please tell me, weere are those “research studies”? I’d like to pass them on to Paul and his fans.

  • David W.

    Charity wrote: [quote=David W.]The argument that “they are born with it so it must be good” is very dubious and absurd when you look at other things that people are “born with.” People are born with Down Syndrome, chemical imbalances that cause mental illness, missing limbs, blindness, webbed feet….the list can go on. Does that mean these things are “good” or desireable? They are things to overcome, and many courageous people do in fact, overcome. Homosexuals are also called to show similiar courage….

    So, homosexuality is a handicap? So, it must be bad?[/quote]
    I suppose if you’re looking at it from a procreative standpoint, it is a handicap. I’m not saying that handicapped people are spawns of Satan…what I am saying is that homosexual behavior is a disordered behavior, and that the “I was born that way” argument doesn’t hold water when you examine it.

  • R.C.

    I don’t understand why a Christian, of all people, would take seriously the argument that, “If only St. Paul or Jesus Himself had been born in the 21st century, wherein we’ve learned that homosexuals ‘can not help feeling that way,’ then they’d have said okay to the lot.”

    What, after all, does a tendency’s “inborn” origin have to do with anything?

    I, too, can’t help feeling lust, sloth, and a variety of other temptations. I guess I was born that way.

    But that has no bearing on whether I’m allowed to act on any of those temptations, now does it?

    I have sympathy for people with homosexual tendencies: It is a difficult thing to abstain when one doesn’t wish to! I know it’s difficult, because I did and often do: I was a virgin when I married, some ten years or more after puberty. I have not been unaware of the bodies of women other than my spouse since then. Natural Family Planning, and even more, the presence of children in the house, has put something of a dent even in the married sexual relationship.

    Thus far, however, I have been faithful to Christ in these areas. There were some close calls while I was engaged, mind you; and I’m afraid I cannot include avoiding “adultery in my heart” in this list. So I am not bragging. I know better: “I’m only a servant: I have done only my duty.”

    Still, one CAN do one’s duty, isn’t that right? And I’m not the only Christian I know to have managed to do it: We may be a minority of Christians (and that’s a scandal in itself) but we’re not rare as hen’s teeth, either.

    What one CANNOT do is reject God’s standards in favor of lower ones merely because it’s “just too hard.” Or, rather, one CAN do it, but not while claiming it isn’t sin.

    So I have sympathy for gays and porn addicts and sadomasochists and adulterers and latex fetishists and all other children of God who find it difficult to be chaste, limiting their sexuality to God-approved norms. Abstaining from that which is wrong is difficult, and I share your tears.

    But such is the cross we bear, as fallen human beings who nevertheless cannot avoid the obligations of God’s law, for we need relationship with Him to be complete.

    Since that is our situation, we must not give up the call of holiness. Pretending there is no need for it, or that God does not require it, is useless. It only increases the distance between us and our only hope!

    No, the 21st century has discovered nothing new about homosexuality that Rome and Athens did not already know in sordid detail. Christianity came and St. Paul wrote “and such were some of you,” and Chesterton says that the Dark Ages were a penance by which the Sons of Adam recovered their sense of cleanness after several centuries of soaking their pagan skies and souls with ubiquitous, unbridled sex.

    And if we slip so far again, then we (singly or as a society) will need another such penance. No doubt God, in His mercy, will grant it to us. But we’d be better off learning from our forebears, and not traveling that road again.

  • Marjorie Campbell

    I appreciate R.C.’s comment here, for its utter honesty. I often wonder, “who DOESN’T have a disordered sexual appetite”‘? ~ a pondering flamed to conviction during a trip to Bangkok one year and a stroll down “Sex show” avenue there. I am no longer surprised at what the consuming public will apparently pay to watch, and even “do”. But what I find missing in the discussion of human sexual practices so often is the consequences of pursuing the appetite. Morality was a good short hand for not having to grossly detail what deviance breeds; but that luxury has ended. My gay friends show some reluctance to talk honestly about the emotional and physical consequences of their sexual practices, but it’s well known that the “natural” consequences of widespread, promiscuous anal sex practices includes “natural” death by a range of diseases. Much of this data was not available, or not presented, when the sodomy laws were found unconstitutional. But I think RC is right on track in identifying Christian marriage as a way of (sexual) life, a necessary discipline we have freely chosen, generically similar to chastity for same-sex attracted people.

  • Joseph M. Gates

    This is one of the best articles I have read concerning the legitimization of homosexuality and the demise of Christian morality. I highly recommend this article for everyone to read and I also agree with it, to legitimize homosexual behavior is to begin to overthrow the foundations of this country which were based on Judeo-Christian value system. Frankly, there is no such thing as tolerance. It really is more like the intolerance of tolerance. How can a small minority portion of society be able to foist their value system that destroys the Christian value system? Those of us who care about this country and maintaining traditional values that oppose abortion on demand and same-sex marriages had better step up to the plate and voice their opinions in the marketplace of ideas. Otherwise we will be marginalized and then criminalized if we oppose or object to same-sex marriages. It’s already happening in certain parts of Europe and in Canada, our neighbors to the north. We are in a post-Christian nation and yet every one of us benefits from that value system even though they wanted terror to part. Liberal Christian churches have hijacked the word Christian. I pray that the Lord will have mercy on us and bring justice and truth to this country before it’s too late.

  • L. B.

    Look at II Timothy 3 : 1-9. To Charity and the comment called “Inconvenient Truth”: Paul, Timothy and others who wrote about homosexuality did know God’s mind. Their writings were inspired by God Himself, and they knew the truth – homosexuality, like many other sins, is a matter of choice.

  • Sherri

    Some really thoughtful intelligent discussions here!

    “My gay friends show some reluctance to talk honestly about the emotional and physical consequences of their sexual practices, but it’s well known that the “natural” consequences of widespread, promiscuous anal sex practices includes “natural” death by a range of diseases. Much of this data was not available, or not presented, when the sodomy laws were found unconstitutional. But I think RC is right on track in identifying Christian marriage as a way of (sexual) life, a necessary discipline we have freely chosen.”-Marjorie Campbell

    I receive posts several times a month about these “natural” consequences you mention. I am astounded that we hear of every single obscure disease that pops up somewhere (very few fatalities) and yet the PANDEMIC OF SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE IS VIRTUALLY IGNORED BY THE MEDIA!

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 65 MILLION AMERICANS HAVE AN INCURABLE SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE!

    Scientists also found that more new diseases emerged in the 1980s than any other decade,

  • Mike

    We’re all born with the sin nature of man’s fallen state and nothing is too evil are too depraved for people to fantasize about contemplate and execute, sexual matters are just one of a long list of sinful things that people do. The question of choice versus born orientation is a red herring God does not create error and then condemns people for it, we all think about stealing our morality and biblical teachings tell us that this is sinful and should not be done but people steal all the time they just give in to the temptation because giving in is easier! The wide descending path beckons.

    The homosexual activist are well-funded and committed to their goals and I’m sorry to say much more determined than Christians and the church, sadly even the church is accepting homosexuality and woe unto those shepherds who lead their flock astray in this way. I’m not a Catholic or some kind of scholar but I’ve been up to my eyeballs in this issue from both sides of the street from the time before I knew Christ and had many gay friends up until the time I accepted Christ and did not approve of what they did any longer I became persona non grata in fact “hated” for being judgmental. Much is said about tolerance well at least in the beginning, let me tell you about the tolerance that I saw.

    Living in Oregon at the time I became involved with the profamily group who is working politically to stem the tide of the homosexual agenda, we were at a local supermarket on a petition drive for a ballot measure. Act up and queer nation showed up and proceeded to unleash a torrent of vulgarity and visceral contempt that I had never witnessed in my life, throwing bags of urine and spitting on us and telling us they had AIDS and that if we didn’t leave they would find a way to infect us, as the disruption intensified the store manager asked us to leave for the obvious reason he apologized and was sympathetic because he had given us permission he just didn’t expect the trouble and I can’t blame him he has a business to run.

  • Mike

    Homosexual activists have a playbook and they’re running it right out of that, it’s designed to disarm and cow ignorant well-meaning people into submission and it works! I took this petition that merely said that no special rights would be granted to homosexuals in simple terms to my church and I figured that I could get many signatures there, boy was I surprised out of the whole congregation only 14 people would sign it many stating that “my grandson is gay and I wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings if he found out that I signed this” she loved him so much she was willing to stand back and let him destroy himself body and spirit. Call it what you want naivete, ignorance or just plain cowardice so afraid to offend there willing to deny their Lord Jesus Christ for the sake of getting along and not rocking the boat.

    Who can see the signs of the times?[smiley=think]

  • Nick France

    Jerry English wrote: Mr. Carlin,
    For that act to be a mortal sin the person performing the act must do so with full knowledge of the evil and with full consent of the will. [CCC para. 1857]
    Jerry English

    I would think that the vast majority of homosexuals know that deep down in the recesses of their heart, that when they commit homosexual acts they know full-well what they are doing.[smiley=think] I would agree there are amoral individuals that are unaware the homosexual act they perform is a sin, and you make a good point. I would have to stand with most do, however.

  • hysperia

    As a very faltered Catholic, I do sometimes return to these arguments to see if I can get myself to believe them and I honestly can’t. I rarely comment and this comment is not about the post, but about another commenter who compares born homosexuals with those born with Downs Syndrome. Even if I accepted the analogy, which I don’t, would this person be saying that anyone who practices Downs Syndrome, as opposed to merely being born with it, is immoral? These arguments lead to some mighty strange places. Naturally.

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