Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Chasm: Why we can't even seem to have a discussion about homosexuality

Over the years I've learned that facebook is hardly the place for reasonable discussions of any serious matters.  Tempers flare white-hot instantly, and the cold anonymity of cyberspace (or at least the lack of having to actually work through an issue in person) allows people to say the most vile and thoughtless things.

If 2013 had one burning political issue that affected the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, three countries I at least keep a minimum of political tabs on, it was the discussion of "marriage equality."

All of the debates and mostly worthless articles I read on the subject always assume that this is simply some public policy issue, like segregation, or taxes, or military spending, when the reality is that it was nothing of the kind.  The issue, and what lay behind it, revealed the incredible chasm between those who consider faith a legitimate source of knowledge and truth, and those too "enlightened" to be anything but condescending to the benighted souls who still believe in the Uncaused Cause and His laws.

And so, if I am finally to speak on this issue then my discourse must begin with my points of departure.  At each of these points I will lose people: i.e. our disagreement on this or that major principle will cause disagreements on all later minor principles that are logical consequents.  Hence, wherever you like you can say, ah, that's why I don't agree with Stephen on "marriage equality" and de-friend me or stop reading or whatever you'd like.  But if you fancy yourself truly open-minded, read to the end to find out what someone who takes God at His Word actually thinks.

1)  I believe that this universe and world was created ex nihilo by a loving God who has given us the ineffable gift of life.  This staggering gift daily reminds us that our life is not totally our own.  All we do should keep the glorification of God foremost.

2)  I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He founded the Catholic Church to help souls get to Heaven.  The Church prescribes guidelines and laws not only to help in the spiritual life, but also proposes solutions to our civil life in order to maximize happiness, contextualize suffering, work for social justice, and to create virtue in society.

3)  Governments, in a subsidiarial relationship to the Divine authority of the Papacy, also stand to be helpers towards the ultimate goal of salvation.  Government is far from a "necessary evil" or a "problem" but is indeed a positive good and legislates morality all day long (e.g. murder and theft are not tolerated, but punished).

4)  Church and State should not be separated.  They work best hand-in-hand.  The State should support the interests of the Church and vice-versa, within reason and sensibility.

5)  The word "homosexuality" does not even exist in some cultures and is nearly unseen in the animal kingdom.  This non-religious metric applied against a number of cultures worldwide indicates that homosexuality has never been considered "normative."  More importantly than this, homosexuals cannot consummate a normative sexual act.  Their acts have no corresponding biological purpose and quite literally they cannot help society continue its most basic end: continuance through reproduction.

6)  Apart from offending the natural law, a point on which numerous non-religious people agree, homosexuals violate the law of God, whose words in Scripture, in both the Old and New Testaments, condemn homosexuality in the harshest of terms.  Surely God punished heterosexuals, but Sodom and Gomorrah were explicitly destroyed for their unnatural, unclean practices.

7)  The Church teaches, and therefore, so should governments reinforce, that all such unions are not simply unnatural, but corrosive to good society.

8)  For those who would argue that heterosexuals destroy marriage, I agree, which is why pornography, contraception, abortion, and divorce should be outlawed.  If people choose not to be virtuous, that is one thing.  To get state-sanctioned support for their immorality is another thing entirely.

9)  And finally, for those who think a principled stance against a "lifestyle" is undergirded in hate, rather than a burning love of God and a desire to obey His law (and to help one's neighbor obey those laws), I simply ask you to realize that you may have your own convictions that are as deeply held as my own, but to accept that I do not rage against you.  I do not hate you.  If my arguments do not move you, I can always pray.  I wrote this so that you know where I am coming from.  If we understand where we are supposed to start we can begin to understand how this will end.

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