Categories
Abortion and Other Evils

A Biblical Defense of Traditional Marriage

The following is a post which I have been hoping to write for some time. This is about homosexuality. I propose to defend the traditional viewpoint that it is immoral from Scripture and that a marriage is specifically between one man and one woman. Before you ask, I am not writing on James Martin. I am writing on certain Protestants of what is called the “Affirmation” camp. To end all questions, the Council of Trent Session XXIV, Doctrine on the Sacrament of Matrimony, states: “Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh. But, that by this bond two only are united and joined together, our Lord taught more plainly, when rehearsing those last words as having been uttered by God, He said, therefore now they are not two, but one flesh.” The Council certainly does not seem to allow room for a man to cleave to his husband or a woman her wife, nor are Councils to be read exactly as Scripture since they are written in a clearer manner. Now we shall discuss what the Scriptures say about the issue. As usual, first I shall discuss the biblical passages which are used in the Affirmation camp.

“The inspired authors did not know about loving, committed homosexual relationships, for which reason their commentaries on same-sex marriage.”

I do not see why they should be unaware of committed same-sex relationships as they were common in the Roman Empire at the time (hence Paul condemned it on multiple occasions). They may not have been recognized by law as equal, but neither were they now until relatively recently, so I could hardly say this is reason to suppose that they knew less about same-sex relationships than we do now. Furthermore, in the relevant passages, the Bible is not so specific and simply condemns two people of the same gender having relations with each other.

“There seems to be a trajectory. There are multiple passages in Scripture which seem to sanction slavery, yet now we accept it as evil. Hence if for slavery there may be a trajectory from acceptance to condemnation, there should be one for homosexuality from condemnation to acceptance.” 

I will write an entire article discussion slavery in Scripture eventually. For now let it suffice that we see this in the New Testament. “Perhaps this is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back for ever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother.” (Philemon 15-16) One cannot be brothers with one’s slave. However, as will be shown, there does not seem to be much of a reference, even in seed form to condemning homosexuality.

“But our Lord, God Incarnate said nothing about same-sex relationships. Therefore, homosexuality must not be a sin.”

Jesus was also silent on rape, incest, and bestiality, three things about which we can fairly assume he disagreed. Now, Jesus came for the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The Jews did not practice homosexuality, for which reason He had no cause to condemn it. However, Paul, who spoke to a wider audience of Gentiles did have cause to do so. Jesus at another time said, “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Mark 10:6-9) This suggests that He did believe marriage is between a man and a woman.

As for inclusivity, Jesus did welcome many people, but this does not mean he approved of their behavior. At one point Jesus explains: “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32) Thus His welcoming to them is meant to lead to repentance. Hence in John 8:11, Jesus says to the woman caught in adultery: “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.” So Jesus allows the woman to go on the condition that she does not sin again. I hope I have done well to name all the major counterarguments. Now, on the contrary…

Leviticus 18 & 20

Leviticus 18:22 states: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” Likewise, according to Leviticus 20:13 “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them.” To this there are two general objections which could be brought up. The first is that this is the Old Law, made to set the Jews apart from the Gentiles, similar to the kosher laws, and do not apply now. Second, some say that due to the word “abomination”, is frequently used to describe idolatry, God may be referring to cultic or even man-boy relationships connected to pagan temples.

To answer the first claim, that this was not carried into the New Testament, in Leviticus 18, God also condemns incest, adultery, devoting one’s children to Molech, and bestiality, which most Christians would still oppose. Following this, God says: “Do not defile yourselves by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am casting out before you defiled themselves; and the land became defiled, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.” (Lev. 18:24-25) So it seems that it displeased God to do this to the Gentiles as well. As for the second supposition, that this has something to do with cultic practices, the words are not so specific. It only refers to a man lying with a man, around which, as noted there are other sins which are clearly sexual. Note also the words: “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” In other words, they are jointly responsible, suggesting that this is consensual on the sides of both parties.

Romans 1:26-27

In Romans 1, Paul writes about unrighteousness in God’s sight. In Romans 1:18-32, he writes specifically on the Gentile world. In Romans 1:26-27, he states: “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.”

Paul calls these desires “unnatural”—hence not what God originally intended. Some would contend that Paul is only talking about “unnatural” sexual behaviors according to one’s sexuality. In other words, Paul is condemning persons with heterosexual attractions engaging in homosexual behavior. However, God refers to these acts as “passions”. The greek is πᾰ́θος/páthos, meaning any strong feeling, passion, or emotion. No man with heterosexual inclinations has such passions for another man. Nor can this refer to man-boy relationships, since Paul makes a reference to lesbianism, nor are these words so specific.

1 Corinthians 6

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God,” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) says Paul. And again, “Now we know that the law is good, if any one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, immoral persons, sodomites, kidnapers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine.” (1 Timothy 1:8-10)

Now, what does this have to do with homosexuality? Well, the words used in the Revised Standard Version are “sexual perverts” in Corinthians and “sodomites” in Timothy, but this is different in other translations. The English Standard Version says “men who practice homosexuality”.

Now there are multiple terms in Greek which could refer to homosexuals. The first is μαλακοὶ (malakoi), which literally means “soft ones”. It can mean a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man or a male prostitute. In 1 Corinthians 6:9, Paul refers to both μαλακοὶ (malakoi) and ἀρσενοκοῖται (arsenokoitai). The second word, ἀρσενοκοῖται (arsenokoitai), comes from two Greek words, ἀρσεν “male” and κοίτης, “bed”, especially referring to a marriage bed as in intercourse. The word ἀρσενοκοῖται therefore means “those who lie with men”. This word, to the best of my knowledge, is rarely or never used outside of the New Testament. However, the two words which make it up are used in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, suggesting that Paul is drawing a parallel to what was condemned then. So the pairing of μαλακοὶ (malakoi) with ἀρσενοκοῖται (arsenokoitoi) suggests that there is a difference. Unlike in the case of malakoi necessarily, which may well have referred to man-boy relationships, arsenokoitai seems to condemn both active and passive partners as equals.

I would conclude therefore that God did wish marriage to be between one man and one woman. I hope I represented the opposing viewpoint fairly enough.

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I am the Catholic of Honor

All Scripture verses are from the Revised Standard Version

Categories
Abortion and Other Evils

Do “Gay Birds” Prove Homosexuality is Moral?

This is certainly an interesting topic and certainly one which will get people to click. Apparently a number of species of birds and mammals have been known to display homosexual behavior. There were two penguins, for instance, called Roy and Silo who lived together in New York City’s Central Park Zoo. They began performing mating rituals together in 1998 and in 1999. They attempted to hatch a rock as if it were an egg and steal eggs from other penguin couples (evidently, they were alright with kidnapping in order to have a child). Eventually, the zoo staff allowed them to adopt a young penguin girl called Tango who grew up to be a lesbian and began dating another penguin called Tanuzi. It seems Roy and Silo became more aggressive once another couple forced them out of their nest. They eventually broke up and Silo got with a female called Scrappy. Roy remained single to the end of his days. It should be noted that they were never seen in a sexual act, but apparently were doing the penguin equivalent of making out. Apparently, two children’s books starring Roy, Silo, and Tango were released—controversial for obvious reasons.

Some have argued that this may not have been sexual after all, since they never had any sexual acts. Although this may be true, I would not be at all surprised if same-sex attraction exists among penguins. However, some have argued that since animals display homosexual behavior, this some way suggests it is natural and moral to do. I beg to differ.

My objection is very simple: if people are to decide from animals what is moral, this should follow for all animal practices. The majority of humans do not do this. For instance, rabbits occasionally eat their young, especially when varmints, household pets, rodents, or some other unusual visitor enters the rabbitry soon after the doe has delivered her young or the does are dehydrated (I certainly hope the reader does not support mothers eating their babies if they are dehydrated). Frogs will eat any critter they can swallow—including other frogs. Cute little hamsters can, in fact, be territorial and eat other hamsters who invade their personal space. They are even known under some circumstances to eat their young. Occasionally even chimpanzees, probably the most intelligent species on the planet, have been known to cannibalize their former friends. Some might say that this does not happen often among chimpanzees as it does not happen often among humans, which may be true, but neither do penguins often have homosexual relationships. It is a rare occurrence. But if we are to say that since some animals are homosexual, this is reason to suppose that humans can be, we might also just as well conclude that cannibalism is permissible.

I honestly do not understand why we should base our morality off of animals at all, since they have less of it. What, apart from the religious claims of the immortality of the soul, differentiates us from the animals? Rationality and volition. Monkeys are said to show some sense of fairness, but animals in general are not so ethically based as humans are. So why should we practice morality based on what the animals do? Why should we sink to our animal instincts in such a way? In other words, if a few animals mature abnormally so as to practice behaviors which would be immoral for humans, why does that mean that we should do the same?

So I do not really see why the fact that certain animals display homosexual behavior means that we should as well. If we sink to our animal instincts, nothing really makes us greater than they.

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I am the Catholic of Honor

A page from the controversial children’s book, And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, which tells in a narrative form the story of Roy, Silo, and Tango.

Categories
Abortion and Other Evils

Philosophy on Homosexuality

Disclaimer: I will have to write about sex to some extent (although not to a graphic degree). I felt uncomfortable writing it so if the reader easily gets uncomfortable about such topics, I do not recommend this post. I certainly would not recommend this for anyone younger than ten or maybe twelve. Also, if the reader is easily offended, do not read this. My own views on homosexuality are not exactly popular nowadays.

So we speak of homosexuality, a sensitive issue nowadays. By homosexuality I mean specifically sexual activity between two men or two women, rather than how it is sometimes used to mean the simple sexual attraction, over which people often have little or no control.

When discussing marriage and whether it is a necessary property of marriage to be between one man and one woman, it would first be right to define marriage. There is all this controversy as to which persons should marry which, yet rarely do persons bother to define terms. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary has this to say:

1 a: the state of being united as spouses in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law

b: the mutual relation of married persons

c: the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage

2: an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected. especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities

3: an intimate or close union

The definition of marriage as the mutual relation of two married persons is the classic definition of a word by itself. As for “the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage”—seriously? This is how they define marriage? Now definition 1a basically says that law must recognize what is or is not a marriage, which is not useful for discovering what is intrinsically moral or immoral, as the State often errs by passing laws contrary to the moral law (a prime example of this in our modern day would be the practice of slavery). If it means the moral law, what that is is exactly what we mean to determine. Definition 2 is more like it, “an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected.” But one can still question what constitutes such a rite or ceremony and so it helps us little. The final definition, “an intimate or close union” is most helpful to out purpose, as we are talking about a lasting marriage, not the act of matrimony. Still, I do not think it a good definition, as there are many things I could call an intimate or close union of which the term “marriage” is doubtful. After all, if I were to adopt a child (if I am legally allowed to do so at my age), it would not be a marriage. Yet it would be a close union and I would promise to love my child to the rest of my life. The best addition to this which I could add would be that marriage is an intimate or close union wherein sexual behavior is permissible.

So (as much as I hate to write about this as I am an erotophobic Christian teenager) the question we must ask is: when is sex permissible? To answer this, one must discover the core purpose of sex. Now some would call it intimacy. However, I have an intimate union with my family and friends. Surely, the fact that I love my family does not mean that I can have conjugal relations with them. If you do think I should have such relations with them, you are a creep because that would be incest. So with this said, I would say that the core reason which has led us to evolve sexual attractions is to procreate. This is why the most common attraction is heterosexual. It is natural. Indeed, without heterosexual relations, humanity would die out, but without homosexual relations, the species would survive. The natural way for humanity to continue is through heterosexual relations. Nowadays, of course, it is possible to make babies artificially, but this can hardly be said to be derived from nature, since without advanced technology it would be impossible. To put it another way, I have various systems in my body, all of which are complete without another person except one, that being the reproductive system. Homosexual relations have no biological purpose other than sexual pleasure. But the purpose for which humanity was given sexual pleasure was for procreation.

So with this in mind I would say that marriage is an intimate union the prime object of which is to maintain and multiply human life. As noted earlier, I needed to add to the definition that this is a union in which sex is permissible, because not all love-relationships involve sex. People frequently say when defending homosexuality “Let them love each other. Love is love, is it not?”—although not in these words. But I love my parents, yet I cannot have relations with them, since such a practice would be incest. I would also not have relations with my best friend, although I would love him (if I had one) deeply. I will probably be accused of being a right-wing homophobe for writing this, but before you angrily comment saying so, please try to be respectful of other people’s views.

Bonum Certamen Certemus

I am the Catholic of Honor

Categories
Abortion and Other Evils On Non-Christians

Is Christianity Homophobic?

I would give as an answer a firm “no”. We are called to love all those whom God puts into our lives, regardless of their orientation.🐷 For those of you who have read my post, Father James Martin Argues Scripture Sanctions Slavery, you might know that I do not approve of priests who support same-sex marriage. What I assume some people would have thought as they read it “What a homophobic Catholic!” If we are defining homophobia as the hatred of people with same-sex attraction, I must object.

Most people, I think, do not really understand what love is. They seem to sometimes use it as synonymous with acceptance. In other words, people sometimes seem to speak of it as if love involves allowing one’s neighbor do whatever he wants. I doubt people would say the same of a serial killer. “God says we must love all, serial killer or no. Therefore, we must let him go on serial killing. Hopefully he won’t kill any of my friends.” What is wrong with this? If I see my friend murdering people, I will want to stop him, not only for the sake of the safety of those whom he is killing, but also because I love him and I know that murder will ruin both mind and soul and because I would wish to save him from the wrath of God.

I suppose few people can relate to their friends being serial killers. In fact, I cannot either. Let us consider more likely examples. Imagine a four-year-old who is climbing into an oven. Would not his mother tear the child out because she loves him and what he wants to do is dangerous? Again, if my friend is about to drink poison, although he wants to consume it, do I not try to stop him because I love him?

Now I make my claim. Homosexuality is indeed a sin. By homosexuality, I do not mean it as synonymous with same-sex attraction, but rather action upon such an attraction. That is the sin. If I love someone, I do not want him to sin, because by sinning, he or she endangers his or her immortal soul. I do, however, think that homosexual inclinations are intrinsically disordered,🐮 but more broadly speaking, we are all intrinsically disordered. We are called to follow God, but we have the inclination to sin.🐼

If anyone reading this has same-sex attraction, therefore, you have my upmost sympathy. Although I do not have those inclinations myself, I know what it is like to know what is right yet be inclined to do the other thing, whether it be by lust or pride or wrath or by any other vice. But with God’s help, you can overcome it. Come to our Lord. He was also tempted, but did not sin. Come to His mother. Ask St. Maria Goretti or St. Agnes of Rome, two patron saints of purity, for intercession. With God’s help, you can conquer this cross. We can all be soldiers for Christ. We can all be Catholics of Honor.

Bonum Certamen Certemus

I am the Catholic of Honor

***

🐷Catechism of the Catholic Church ¶1822-3

🐮Catechism of the Catholic Church ¶2358

🐼Catechism of the Catholic Church ¶403, 405