This month Piers Morgan interviewed Kirk Cameron, asking what he would tell his teenage son if the boy were to confess he was gay.
Morgan promptly volunteered his own response. “I would say, ‘That’s great son. Just so long as you are happy.”
Cameron did better than most in defending his view that marriage can only exist between a man and a woman. He did not, though, address what was uppermost in Piers Morgan’s mind: the question of the individual’s happiness.
As Catholics and Christians we undermine the faith when we fail to address the legitimate concern for the individual that has motivated so many to accept gay marriage. “What would you say to your son?” We hardly ever answer that question directly, but begin sputtering.
Then we usually speak in abstract terms about the created order—men and women were made for each other; next, the historical reality of marriage as a bulwark of civilization; and finally we cite the teaching of the Church that homosexuality is “an inherently disordered condition.” That’s all true, but it sounds like an excuse for denying a young man or woman sexual pleasure and comfort. Food. water, sleep, and sex are the four things all humans naturally crave.
Think about being a boy or girl in early adolescence realizing that he or she is attracted to the same sex. Life just became much more difficult than it might have been. Whether this came about through a genetic disposition, a skewed process of character formation, trauma, or for reasons unknown, that hardly matters. That young person is now faced with having to deal with sexuality in ways that are more difficult than his heterosexual peers.
Gay activists want us to believe that the only reason a gay person experiences awakening to same sex attraction as difficult is because of societal prejudice. If we can create a culture in which homosexuality is seen as just another way of seeking and finding love, then the challenges associated with homosexuality will disappear.
Unfortunately, if what the Scriptures and the great tradition of our faith reveals is true, the utopian future envision by the homosexual community’s agenda can never come into being. Even if we all close our eyes, cover our ears, and like the Seinfeld characters shout at the top of our lungs, “There’s nothing wrong with it!” it’s not going to happen. The witness of the image of God in which every person is made will declare to those with same sex attraction that they do suffer from “an inherently disordered condition,” just as we all know when something about us isn’t right. Homosexual relationships declare, “We were made for each other!” but that, in the nature of the case, is untrue.
The voice of conscience can be silenced, of course, through repeated betrayals. It’s possible to establish a “new normal,” at least in the sense of no longer experiencing guilt. This doesn’t mean we have triumphed over conscience; it means we are living in despair.
Because of this, we have to begin the conversation with a person awakening to same sex attraction by saying, “Jesus wants you to be happy. He knows that you are already elated as well as bewildered by what you are feeling. That you are wondering what, if anything, is wrong with you. That you may well be angry about having these feelings, and their consequences, whether you choose to act on them or not. Christianity asks that you renounce the sexual pleasure to which you are attracted. This is a harsh discipline, and it may mean living without the pleasures and comforts of marital love. That’s the bad news; and it really is bad news.”
“With God’s grace, however, you can find the life God wants you to live and has, indeed, prepared for you. Because what God reveals to us about how to live is always in each person’s best interest. It is a prescription for happiness, not misery. It is a pathway to the fulfillment of your humanity, not its negation. That is the good news of Christianity and it is as much for you as anyone else. Whatever renunciation you are called upon to practice, you will be repaid with joy.” (As testimony to this, see the great article, “The Truth about Same Sex Attraction,” by Steve Gershom.)
“If you live life as an active homosexual, on the other hand, you may have the greatest time in the world for a time and perhaps even years together, but this will ultimately lead to misery and destroy the promise of your humanity. We are not simply talking about heavenly rewards, here. We are talking about what you will experience in this life, albeit down the road far enough that you cannot see it yet.”
The ultimate misery of homosexuality is, in fact, what every longitudinal study reveals. An active homosexual life most often results in shortened life span, prevalence of disease, drug and alcohol abuse, and relationships that are brief and emotionally hurtful, with little hope of fidelity, and a high occurrence of violent abuse. The chances of a person committing suicide are also greatly increased.
The gay community will now start screaming–sorry, that’s what the data says. We can agree to the lie you want to propagate all day long and in every legal manner imaginable, but the truth simply won’t go away.
If I did not believe this, I would never—and I do mean never—recommend to someone attracted to the same sex to do his or her best to live a straight life, and, if that proves impossible, to live a celibate life. (Same sex attraction often exists alongside opposite sex attraction, and, as Camille Paglia often remarks from her own experience as a lesbian, the boundaries of sexuality are rarely as fixed as the homosexual community likes to pretend. Some people with a degree of same sex attraction can, in fact, live successful straight lives, and they are far better off doing so.)
Those who are only attracted to the same sex must remain celibate. That’s a hard thing to tell anyone, but if we aren’t willing to say this we will have substituted being “nice” for the practice of Christian charity, which is always realistic and tough-minded. A celibate life is, in a sense, a life of perpetual fasting. It’s not impossible, as we know from religious and others who have done it, but it’s a challenge—a prospect that might have crushed my spirit if I had faced it as a fourteen year-old. Every possible pastoral resource ought to be employed in dealing with this condition. Teenagers who bully others for their gay tendencies ought to have the wrath of God brought down on them.
Still, I do believe what I have said about the disordered nature of homosexuality. I believe the collective lie of gay marriage will bring about increasing infringements of religious liberty and soon enough outright persecution. As the leaders of the Velvet Revolution like the late-Vaclav Havel preached, the only way to counter and free oneself from tyranny is to “live in the truth.” Seven states and counting have now committed themselves to living a lie by legalizing gay marriage. This has been done under the aegis of “civil rights.”
The state cannot grant a right not given by God, because God is the source of rights, not the state. Once we decide that rights are governmental entitlements, as we are doing now in practice, we must simultaneously commit ourselves to oppressing the truth for the sake of maintaining our collective lie. That is a truly horrifying prospect, as anyone who has studied life under totalitarianism knows.
We’d better start saying, “Jesus wants gays to be happy”; and we’d better start explaining how this is true, as well as the horrific consequences if we turn away from this truth.