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.

This Crisis article originally appeared in May 2008



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.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

    I do not see that opposition to same-sex marriage entails any particular moral judgment of homosexual conduct.

    The civil codes of most countries contain no formal definition of marriage, but a functional definition can be found in the provision, common to all of them, that the child conceived or born in marriage has the husband for father.  Everything else that distinguishes marriage from unregulated cohabitation, civil unions, regardless of the sex of the parties, or domestic partnerships, flows from that.

    No one, I suppose, will deny that the state has a clear interest in the filiation of children being clear, certain and incontestable.  It is central to its concern for the upbringing and welfare of the child, for protecting rights and enforcing obligations between family members and to the orderly succession to property.  To date, no better, simpler, less intrusive means than marriage have been found for ensuring, as far as possible, that the legal, biological and social realities of paternity coincide.  And that is no small thing.

    It follows that marriage is quite irrelevant to same-sex couples, whom nature has not made potentially fertile and for whom no question of paternity can arise.

    • Donna

      >It follows that marriage is quite irrelevant to same-sex couples, whom nature has not made >potentially fertile and for whom no question of paternity can arise.

      To play devil’s advocate…

      Nature hasn’t, but technology is working on it.   Lab mice with female fathers have been developed. If this gets to people,  there will be girls with two female genetic parents,  no male involved – not even the minimal involvement of a sperm donor.

      BTW, I am very much against this – I just think think we ought to be aware that we may not be able to count on the argument from impossibility permanently.

      • Smokescreek

        Added to this is Obama’s recent mandate ( no pun intended) that employers be penalized if they don’t hire a transgendered person. We’re being pushed into a corner and slapped if we don’t do what the government says to do, regardless of our religious beliefs.

    • Prof. N.

      Tell that to a committed same-sex partner of decades not being allowed to make decisions about their comatose significant other’s healthcare, be at their side at their deathbed, or adopt children that no one else wants to raise.

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  • Alecto

    If society has a legitimate interest in its perpetuation (which can only be accomplished in one of two ways;  births to citizens and immigrants), and marriage legitimizes and sanctifies procreation, then marriage also begets society.  Homosexual “marriage” is anathema to the perpetuation of citizens.  Gays and lesbians can never be parents of offspring.  Therefore how is the promotion of gay marriage not also the advocacy for the very end of society itself along with the end of Christian morality and Christianity? 

    • Coffie

      well said!

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      I am not sure the purpose of civil marriage is to promote procreation; its purpose is to establish a legal bond between men and their children and converts the parent-child relationship from a mere biological fact into a civil status.  An analogy would be the way in which property law converts possession, which is a physical fact, into ownership, which is a juridical right.

    •  Many heterosexual couples are unable to procreate without help from medical professionals- and potentially not at all. Some choose to just not have children, some adopt, or any number of alternatives out there. It would be ridiculous to pass legislation to de-legitimise the marriage of a couple solely because they are incapable of producing offspring.

    • Trevor

      I agree with the church and benefited much by almost all that Christopher West wrote about the church’s view on sex and marriage, but I think the following argument hurts our cause…
      “Therefore how is the promotion of gay marriage not also the advocacy for the very end of society itself along with the end of Christian morality and Christianity?”
      Very clearly.  Promoting gay marriage only advocates for the end of society itself if the state promotes that YOU and all heterosexuals enter a gay “marriage.”  Same-sex attracted people will likely never be more than 2-10% of the population.  The above argument makes smart people look stupid.

      • Tam134

         Luke 17:1-2 “And he said to his disciples: It is inevitable that cause sin should come: but woe to him through whom they come. 
        It were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck,
        and he cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these
        little ones to sin.”

        It’s a sin for us to advocate for unions between homosexuals. (Romans Chapter –homosexual acts are a sin)

        • Tam134

          (Romans Chapter 1)

  • Paul Tran

    As liberals would have it homosexuality is just another form of love or sexual orientation – this is clearly wrong and to attempt to legitimize their claim through the state & using secular laws is just another means of endorsing sin no less.
    Moreover , taking the liberal argument to its logical conclusion (i.e. by considering homosexuality as just another form of love and sexual orientation) liberals need to determine whether their justification will have to extend to other deviant sexual practises – such as incest, paedophilia, necrophilia etc … – which can all be summed up under the same banner. Where will it all end ?
    We have seen pressure groups pushing for the legalization of incest & paedophilia, with the latter already in practise as the age of consent is set at 16 which is technically & legally considered still a minor as only at 18 is one considered adult.
    Furthermore, marriage has always been the sacrament in the eyes of God & the Church long before the state ever got involved and state control is all about money – little to do with morality.

    • Prof. N.

      Thank you for voicing this “straw man” argument.

      “Moreover , taking the liberal argument to its logical conclusion (i.e. by considering homosexuality as just another form of love and sexual orientation) liberals need to determine whether their justification will have to extend to other deviant sexual practises – such as incest, paedophilia, necrophilia etc”

      It is quite clear where the boundaries are. Pedophilia and Necrophilia will always be considered immoral because of one simple word: consent. They are akin to rape, because the child or the corpse can not be counted on to decide and express rationally on the issue of consent or lack thereof. It is, in my view, similarly immoral to have sex with an intoxicated person, because of their difficulty making and expressing rational choices. Here we see the difference between morality and law, as I refrain from drunk sex, but don’t lobby congress to prevent other people from engaging in this immoral behavior.
      That leaves the practice of incest. A large part of why this is wrong (even among adults who can rationally express consent) is the very word that has been mentioned by Alecto on this thread. The main problem is the _procreation_ itself, not to minimize the emotional difficulties one might have with regard to it.
      The gist of your argument is similar to saying “if coffee, cigarettes, and alcohol are available legally in the US, why can’t we buy heroin or cocaine at the local grocery store? They are all drugs.” So, if you’re willing to say that coffee is a gateway drug to heroin use and should be made illegal, then I’m willing not to see your slippery slope argument as inherently disingenuous.

      • Paul Tran

        Why should homosexuality be considered anything less than incest, pedophilia, necrophilia or sex with animals ? If consent were the issue, what if consent were given ? In the case of necrophilia how can anyone prove it’s not consensual ? There are plenty of cultures around the world where there’s NO age of sexual consent and , moreover, just because sexual consent by a minor is given does that make it morally right ? Wake and look at cultures where pedophilia is encouraged ! There’s no consensus on the age of sexual consent in the civilised world and just as pedophilia, incest etc … these are societal, social construct that are based on morality or immorality as the case may be.
        Please define why incest is “wrong” without referring to morality ? There are currently plenty of pressure groups that are lobbying for the legalization of incest.
        This is precisely my point, there is legitimate sexual love and there is forbiden forms of love. Your point on drugs precisely shows there are harmful drugs and there are drugs that are not.

  • DB

    Most people do not know that the term “Gay” is also an acronym for “Good as You” in the sense that homosexual morality is just as good as heterosexual morality.
    For another way to counter the heterosexual agenda with respect to marriage, please see my blog post at
    I also recommend not using the term “gay” to describe homosexuals.DB


    • Paul Tran

      Why can’t the homosexuals call their “reunion” a “civil reunion” ? Historically, the term “marriage” is one that connoted to a sacrament  made to God i.e. everything that religion is about ?
      Moreover, what will stop other sexual practises from gaining legitimacy in the eyes of secular laws ?

  • Ricdykstra1

    I cannot see any reason to fear Gay Commitment-nor any reason to say it will lessen the sanctity of  the Sacrament of Marriage!  All this commotion about Gay Marriage reminds me of the Nazis and using the Jewish people as a Scape Goat!  People like George W. Bush used the Gay “THREAT” as a scare tactic to win his election!  No doubt the Republicans will use it again now that Obama has said he supports Gay Marriage.  What this amounts to is persecution of a minority and denying them all their rights as citizens.  We are trying to cram our religious views down their throat!

    • Coffie

      No, we are trying to preserve the value and sanctity of life itself, holding as sacred all those actions connected with its very creation. Being against “Gay Marriage” has nothing to do with persecution or intolerance toward any group. Its about protecting and respecting, in love and truth, God’s most wonderful gift, which is life itself. Think about it.

    • Thalesmiletus7

      That special benefits are bestowed upon certain people, by the state, because of certain actions they perform because those actions benefit society do not constitute a right. Opponents of same-sex marriage are not persecuting or taking away the rights of gays. Gay people can make commitments and do what they want, under the law. However what business does the government have to give incentives to gay couples who make commitments? What is the point? It’s as if gay couples either seek the consent of the state to legitimize their commitment or, as the article says, they are seeking more for the wider acceptance and legitimacy of their lifestyle and behavior.

    • Paul Tran

      This is silly if not total nonsense ! The Nazis persecuted the Jews as a form of genetic persecution. Are you saying homosexuals are born gay ??? All scientific data points to the contrary !
      As a Christian, we do NOT hate or are allowed to persecute anyone ! But we must oppose all sins ! Homosexuality is just another sin which we must oppose but we , Christians, must always be compassionate to the sinners !
      Religion is first and foremost about compassion and about choice. We do not aim to cram our beliefs down anyone’s throat , it is up to those who choose to believe or disbelieve.
      By the way, it wasn’t just the Nazis who criminalized homosexuals – you need to read what Engels & Marx say about homosexuality too 🙂

  • the increase in societal approval for homosexuality is linked to the decrease in societal adherence to morality in general. The boundaries are so crumbled away … and so how can one condemn someone for being outside the boundaries when so many are unsure what they are, where they are, or indeed if there are any. 

    • Tamm1

      Too many people in the 1960’s refused to teach us purposely or unintentionally. Read the Catechism. The lines are still there it’s just members decided to not do their job.

  • A Deacon

    Jesus came to challenge the Jews in particular and He didn’t fail to speak out about where He thought they were going wrong, so much so it got Him killed.  It is reasonable to assume He did not challenge them about homosexuality because, as a practicing Jew, He didn’t feel it necessary to contradict Jewish teaching which clearly condemned it.

  • I don’t get the paragraph that start with “On the other hand, the spirit giveth life, and the life of the Christian religion is evolution.” 

    “love of neighbor” , to me, does not include looking the other way when they sin. 

    • CatholicSarcasm

      Yes, because Jesus taught to “smack those sinners down, and never forgive,” right? I think that was in the gospel of Believewotyuwannabelieve, chapter 0, verse 1,345.

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  • Ricdykstra1

    It seems out of place to hold up Evangelical Protestants as an example for Catholics!  These are the same people who believe that Jews, Catholics, and Muslims will ALL be cast into Hell at the Last Judgement!  They alone will then enter the Pearly Gates, because they alone are Righteous!

  • Chris

    I enjoyed this well written article. I just spent about 2 hours reading a blog from another Christianwebsite on which anti-Christian individuals were harrassing and down-putting Christianity and Christians in the blog. The amount of venomous hatred spewed from the Anti-Christians on the blog (the subject was homosexuality) was frightening. It was, no doubt, just a glimpse of things to come as this subject becomes more and more prominent in our society.

  • janinep

    It’s so refreshing to read something by someone who is willing to admit that the homosexual agenda is out to win moral approval for what is immoral. Of course, to do this, they have to overthrow the Christian moral system, since it is Christ our Creator who forbade the practice and called it abomination. (Lev. 18:22) By the way, there’s no such thing as a liberal Christian. You either stand for Christ and his righteousness, or you don’t. Or, as Jesus put it, you are either for him, or against him. Either you are for walking in his holy ways, or you are his enemy. Make no bones about it. The Lord hates evil. And the sinner who doesn’t repent, but instead seeks to justify his sin, is evil. He’s not the Lord’s friend. He’s in the enemy’s camp. Period.

    P.S. I know a self-proclaimed “liberal” Catholic who has several times opposed me at work when I mentioned Christ or Christmas. In my book, he’s not a Catholic at all. If you’re going to be a Catholic, you have to follow Jesus, not men. (It’s not your denomination that makes you Christian. It’s whether you yourself actually obey Christ.)

  • Chris

    An excellent and very helpful article, which I very much enjoyed reading. We need all the information we can get to survive in this world.

  • Tyme

    Um, I hate to tell you this, but I have heard Catholic priests from the pulpit claim that the Catholic Church is (also) a “living religion” and they come up with all kinds of novel ideas, like “Jesus didn’t know he was God” and we have to pray that the Church will finally someday recognize women and allow them to become priests. We keep changing parishes, but we are running out of places to go!

  • Prof. N.

    Alecto, our society certainly does not suffer from a lack of population, in fact, excessive procreation is a danger to us all. I am not in the main speaking of “environmentalist” issues, but problems regarding hunger, overcrowded cities, and imminent pandemics. If nature is the hand of God, it almost seems as if God is telling us, “you’ve been fruitful, you’ve multiplied, now slow down already!” At the time the Bible was written, and when much Church doctrine was defined, small farming communities needed all the procreation they could muster so that crops would be planted and harvested. Now we feed so many people with our technology that the population expands at an eye-popping rate. Yet the reality of human life is that many of these people will still go hungry. In other species, homosexual behaviors rise when the number of individuals within a community nears maximum carrying capacity. Why should humans be any different? I’m not oversimplifying homosexuality to a biological imperative on an individual level, but taking the species as a whole, such trends may matter.

    More importantly, though, David’s arguments on how homosexual marriage will impact Christianity by “morally legitimizing” something that Christians disagree with is misguided. I assume that “good Christians” will be “good Christians,” no matter what the law. (For example, Christians don’t go to prostitutes because it’s illegal, right? But if prostitution was legalized, all Christians might begin to think it was a moral behavior?) You seem to be confusing the categories of “moral” and “legal.”

    St. Thomas Aquinas recognized the danger of having the law be the guide to morality. In this, he followed Augustine. But more to the point, the United States is a country that welcomes and respects all religions. It would not force any Christian denominations to perform homosexual marriage ceremonies. “religious marriage” would be left virtually untouched without the consent of the religion. Likewise, its laws shouldn’t prohibit something because one group of religions bans it, whereas others don’t. To reduce the argument to the absurd, how would Christians feel if it were illegal to purchase food that wasn’t Kosher or Halal?

    The fact that civil marriage is about property, not religion, is unavoidable. If marriage was seen by the government as a sacrament defined by religion, why would our courts be embroiled in divorce cases? Marriage revolving around property likely predates the development of centralized government, and certainly predates Christianity by millennia. Christians themselves didn’t consider marriage a sacrament until quite late. The Catholic Encyclopedia points to the Council of Florence in the 1430’s as one of the earliest times it was mentioned in reference to the sacraments. During the reformation, its inclusion was enshrined in canon law, making marriage as a sacrament an essential teaching for all Catholics. But the US is inhabited by non-Catholics as well, and its government must respect them.

    • Paul Tran

      This is absurd. Homosexuality has always been a part of society regardless of population size ! It was ancient Greece that is one of the first noted cultures where homosexuality was encouraged & promoted !
      You seem to forget that the basis of many of our civil laws (i.e. what is legal) is based on morality. Moreover, both what is considered as moral & legal can be described as societal & social construct.
      Courts are embroiled in divorce for 2 reasons : First, they assume to be the judiciary over fairness. And, second, it is profitable for the lawyers & the courts.
      Yes, marriage predates Christianity by a long time BUT the type of marriage the homosexual community is demanding is the kind that allows them to be married on consacred grounds strictly as a sacrament which belongs to the realm of religion. Ask yourself why do same sex couples want to be “married” since they have already been accorded with all the constitunional rights of marriage in their civil union ?

  • Doug Cooper

    Thank God that most of the world is evolving past the idiocy I see in a lot of these remarks. It hurts my heart to see people using God’s name to condemn another human. You blind asses think that homosexuals are sick when YOU are the illness. How dare you claim to know the mind of God? What if God is sending more homosexuals to offset the massive overpopulation of the planet? Specifically to offset the Catholics, who’s Biblic misinterpretations caused the outlawing of birth control? Wouldn’t that be some weird irony there? Get this through your heads: IT’S NOT A CHOICE!

    • Paul Tran

      Homosexuality has nothing to do with population size, idiot ! Homosexuality & other forms of sexual immorality have always existed regardless of population size. Look at ancient Greece being one of the earliest cultures that celebrated & promotedhomosexuality, pedohilia & pederasty. It IS a mater of choice, there’s no scientific evidence of a gay gene !!! You are mecifully saved from the ravages of intelligence.

    • eponymous1

      Da Debbil made me do it. Ah jes coodn’t hep mysef!

  • NoodleNoggin

    I think it’s absurd to say that if (or perhaps when?) our society becomes fully accepting of homosexual acts as morally correct, that Christian morality which is based off a perfect, holy, and good God, will be over-turned. Personally, I fail to give humanity that much credit.

    “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.”

    this “overthrow of Christianity” is going happen and there’s nothing we can really do. If not in our lifetimes, then in our children’s. The best course of action for yourself is to prepare your heart to be loving of others, yet rooted in the truths of God’s promises and word.

    • Paul Tran

      I respectfully have to disagree.
      First : there is always something Christians can do to stop this onslaught of liberal tyranny. We , Christians, need to point out the implications and ramfications of the dangers of homosexuality and how, through its own flawed reasoning, it opens doors to other forms of sexual deviancy (i.e. incest, pedophilia, sex with animals etc …). This is because other forms of sexual immorality all claim the same “rights” and use the same argument for normalizing homosexuality which is that they are just another form of love, sexual preference or sexual orientation !
      Second : we must differentiate the act of homosexuality from those who practise it and thus they are sinners. This is a very important point as we are ALL sinners, in one way or another, so before we can judge others we need to judge ourselves first. Moreover, Christianity is based on a loving, compassionate God whose focus is based on the forgiveness of sin – BUT we need to recognize our sins instead of politicizing them in order to normalize them – and to repent so we can all ive in the light of Christ. This is vital because the focus is shifted from our past to the present and the future as to how we should live the rest of our lives.
      Thirdly, as Christians we need to be compassionate at all times to our fellow man because we are all flawed. Therefore, we will always be loving of others but this does not mean we should embrace sin.

  • JaeromePerez

    I respect your opinion but God only made two gender, male and female. It is said in the Bible that in the last age, many people will do immorality. Changing the gender that God has given you is immorality. It is not said in the Bible that you can marry man to man or women to women, there is only husband and wife. Jesus is only our Lord and Savior. If you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you will be saved as it is stated in John 3:16. Remember Religion will not save you.

    Jaerome Rafael C. Perez

    • Paul

      Religion will not save us ? So what do you call Christianity ?