Savoring Truth in Superficial Times
Last week, the New York Times featured an article on the uproar provoked by the firing of a Catholic High School VP in Seattle because he married a man. The decision blew apart the school board and fanned student protests. Yet their youthful dissent had more emotion than reason behind it. Said one protester: ‘I have gay friends whom I care for.’
So now we equate caring for people with redefining the most influential unit on the planet? The logic is seriously flawed. Yes, persons have same-sex attraction. Yes, these persons can be loveable and always possess human dignity. And yes, God entrusts these persons with the dignity of choice: to responsibly decide how to resolve these tendencies. Those are moral choices, and ‘gay marriage’ is but one such choice.
Choices are costly. If a Christian leader marries the same gender, (s)he reneges on his or her commitment to what in truth constitutes marriage (in all of its sacred meaning: openness to new life and clear witness to that new life, icon of Christ and Church). Redefining marriage is costly. Those who do so must be prepared to take the consequences.
It shows no dignity to our fellow humanity to ‘high five’ bad moral decisions. We can still love others while disagreeing with their choices. In fact, disagreeing with ‘gay marriage’ is much more costly today than blessing it. Young people who applaud gay weddings are not lampooned as haters and bigots. Rather, they are extolled as loving and tolerant, on the ‘right side of history.’
The core issue, however, is not ‘gay marriage.’ What has been lost in this debate is the truth that something is wrong with homosexuality. We no longer understand moral disorder in the context of same-sex attraction. Power brokers of all sorts have successfully brainwashed a generation into believing that being gay is natural and good, not disordered in the least.
Of course, our gut reaction is a bit different. Most wonder if an intense longing for one’s own gender isn’t a little off, and if the ‘wedding’ of same-gender friends is really a marriage at all. Still we stifle that hunch for the sake of being ‘nice’ to gay people. Perhaps it is not so much that we are loving as we are cowardly.
How refreshing to hear this from a Spanish cardinal–Fernando Sebastian Aguilar–recently appointed by Pope Francis: ‘Homosexuality is a defective manner of expressing sexuality, because sex has a structure and a purpose, which is procreation… To say that homosexuality is a defect is not an insult. It helps because in many cases of homosexuality it is possible to recover and become normal with the right treatment.’
Right on. Amid the din of superficial advocacy, someone dares to speak the truth in love: love because it dares to name the disorder, and truth because it points us to hopeful resolution. We must overcome the deception that we help people by denying the fact that something is wrong with homosexuality.
“Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy that need a doctor but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ “(LK 5: 31, 32)