What the world perceives as good is painfully piercing into the very heart of our society and culture. One of these false goods is none other than Homosexuality. In our next installment of this guide series, let us take a brief look at how secular and popular culture have twisted morality upside down, where the push is coming from all sides to make homosexuality a norm to call good.
First, it is important to approach this issue with charity and understanding. It is easy to see the entire homosexual movement as a non-person entity, but it is made up of people. Moreover, it is very easy to overlook the fact that there are real men and women out there who are struggling with same-sex attraction (or being told it is OK to live a homosexual lifestyle). So our first expression of charity should be towards the loud, powerful, and even hateful homosexual movement. Charity does not mean we sit back and lovingly say nothing. It does mean that we are required to engage in the dialogue against homosexuality, but always with charity. Our second expression of charity should be towards the individuals who truly have same-sex attraction, and especially those actively living a homosexual lifestyle. Our world is one of sexual (and identity) chaos and confusion all around. Individuals with same-sex attraction fall easy prey to the gay movement’s message that there is nothing wrong or immoral with homosexuality. Let us pray that their hearts, minds, and bodies may be elevated to the purpose of God’s design, rather than acting contrary to it!
We’re at a point in history where the majority of the culture accepts the validity of homosexuality as an alternative normal way of life. Although enticing and seemingly logical, conclusions that try to justify homosexuality are rather superficial and emotional and tend to neglect the deeper principles of our human existence, as well as the natural and moral law. People think that the only opposition to homosexuality comes from the Bible (and thus the Bible is hate speech), but the opposition also comes from our biological nature and human anthropology. In any case, our generation will increasingly be taught to conform to the idea that homosexuality is an acceptable way of life and an acceptable expression of love. The ramifications of this mindset have already undermined the value of marriage and will extend to the tolerance and encouragement of other actions, such as transexuality, polygamy, bestiality, incest, pedophilia, and rape, not to mention fornication and infidelity within marriages. (By the way, these are exactly the things Saint Paul admonished 2000 years ago). Our human concupiscence hasn’t gone away.
This guide is not meant to exhaust and prove the argument definitively (hopefully you’re convinced of that from other sources). But I do wish to convince other Catholic Gentlemen to be Men and defend God, the Church, marriage, as well as Masculinity (and by default, Femininity). Our Manly Faith should not permit us to remain silent, so let us see what it has to teach us:
There are only three explicit paragraphs in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that discuss homosexuality. Of course there are others that are related, such as those on marriage and those on virtue and overcoming sin in general. Essentially the Church states that “Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex” (CCC 2357). Based on both scripture and tradition, this definition intends homosexuality to mean both the orientation or attraction (which is an evil temptation, but not a sin) AND the active relations or lifestyle (which is an evil and a sin). It also quotes Persona Humana in saying that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”
Wait a second…Perhaps you gasped at the use of the word “disordered,” just as an advocate of homosexuality might have, thinking that the word makes homosexuality stand out as some kind of disease that needs medication or treatment. Now it’s hard to simplify Aquinas, but “disordered” simply means “not ordered.” To be “ordered” means that something is directed towards its proper end (and we know that, as humans created in God’s image, our end is God and the promise of eternal life). So anything “dis”ordered will misdirect us from that end, be it homosexuality, greed, lust, anger, fornication, or any willed and chosen sinful action. The fact is, homosexuality is not in a category of it’s own, but is accompanied by every sin under the sun. In other words, the Church doesn’t single out homosexuality, it simply stands fast to it’s moral principles, whatever the sin. Sin is sin and evil is evil and both are a disorder of our true nature as willed by God.
With an understanding of the Catholic view on homosexuality, one might draw the conclusion that the best place for a person with same-sex attractions is as far away from the Catholic Church as possible. Isn’t the Catholic Church the epitome of homophobia? This couldn’t be further from the truth, and, properly understood, the reality is that the Catholic Church is the BEST place a person with same-sex attractions could ever be. The only “phobia” going on is “Catholiphobia” and the false fear of the true beauty and salvation that Christ offers to all human sinners through His Church.
The Catechism continues to say that those with homosexual attraction must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. In the Church, there is a sure distinction between “homosexual condition” and “homosexual acts,” the former being an immense cross to bear in order to live the Christian life, and the latter a way of life that is incompatible with Christianity. Those with homosexual attraction, like ALL of us, are simply called to chasity and self-mastery, with the goal of Christian perfection. You may think this to be impossible. I mean, we constantly hear the claim that homosexuality is in our genetics or is a natural disposition. The fact is, we are given free will and the freedom to choose the good and to participate with God’s grace to ultimately end up united to Him for eternity. If that’s true, then those graces are available to transform the lives of those who struggle with homosexuality. Don’t believe me? Check out what the Catholic Apostolate Couragerc.org has proven! Praise God!
In conclusion, it is so easy to give in to the claims that “love is love,” or that you shouldn’t judge, or that homosexual relationships should be equal with heterosexual relationships, or that the homosexual movement is akin to the civil rights movement. It is easy in this issue to be shut down and forced or coerced into silence, even by the media or ridiculous lawsuits. But here’s the thing: Can we be Catholic Gentlemen if we sit back and allow real people and real souls believe the proclaimed lie that homosexuality and the homosexual lifestyle are best lived in homosexual expression? I think not. It is indeed up to us, Catholic Gentlemen, to stand up and call evil by its name, and do so by countering the culture by proclaiming the beautiful and loving message of Christ and the hope He wishes to extend to individuals with same-sex attraction. We must be confident that reason, in both natural and moral law, can guide us to see homosexuality (both the temptation and way of life) for what it truly is: Evil. As Catholic Gentlemen, it is our duty more than ever before to be vigilant, to cling tight to what is true, good, and beautiful, and to call evil by its name while we face it head on.
~ The Catholic Gentleman's Guide