Gay Marriage Sets Friend Against Friend, Brother Against Brother.

Gay Marriage Sets Friend Against Friend, Brother Against Brother. July 3, 2015
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by suez92 https://www.flickr.com/photos/88691054@N00/
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by suez92 https://www.flickr.com/photos/88691054@N00/

Do you love me more than these?  Jesus Christ

The good ‘ole Supreme Court may have outdone itself in destruction to this country.

Their decision on gay marriage has set friend against friend and brother against brother.

I wrote a post about this earlier.But I’ve continued to hear from people who are concerned about their own families and friendships falling apart since then. So, I’m going to write about it again, in a more personal way this time.

Catholics in high places at Catholic institutions have announced their own gay “weddings.” This is clear rebellion against the Church by those who are tasked with teaching theology to future generations of Catholics. I can’t say it any more bluntly than that. In the meantime, far too many of our priests are either staying silent or actually giving tacit support to gay marriage.

The business of Catholic institutions allowing this behavior from their employees is a scandal of gigantic, Church-destroying proportions. Church institutions that actually teach against something as core as the nature of the family, and who allow their prominent teachers to publicly practice and celebrate defying these teachings, are bankrupt to the core.

There is one small gleam of light in this. We can now see why the children we have sent to our Catholic institutions of higher learning have been absorbed by the cultural nihilism rather than protected against it. It was because of these people and their defiance of the Church, hollowing out our institutions from the inside.

So how are we, out here in the pews, supposed to live out our faith with this anti-Christ leadership coming from the top? More to the point, how do we manage to deal with the onslaught of pressure and blackmail to abandon our beliefs that is coming at us from our dearest friends?

As I said, I’ve been asked for advice, and the truth is, I don’t have a way out to offer. All I have is a story of my own painful history in this culture war arena.

I’m going to share my own experiences in trying to deal with the question of saving relationships in the face of gay marriage and abortion. I don’t have a magic bullet to offer. What I bring instead is a hard reality.

Here’s what I’ve learned in my own life about the question of keeping your gay friends and following Christ: You can’t do it. They won’t let you. And that’s it.

The deepest personal wounds I’ve suffered since I became a Christian have to do with gay friends that I loved and trusted with all my heart. Two of my gay friends turned on me in a sudden, absolute and public way.

One of them, in particular, I loved with all my heart. He was — and is — as dear to me as my own blood. We shared so many good things through the years. I trusted him and cherished him.

I never once tried to change him or argued with him about these differences in our beliefs. In fact, I tried to avoid talking to him about it altogether. When he realized that I did not support gay marriage, he flew into a rage and … well … it was a horrible experience.

Among other things, he accused me of lying to him because I hadn’t been more up front on the issue.

Then, he went on the internet and publicly attacked me.

The other friend turned on me over abortion. I know, gay men and the abortion industry seem to be bizarre allies, but the gay men I’ve known are pro abortion fanatics. In fact, a good many gay men work for Planned Parenthood.

I do not have one encouraging word to share with those of you who want to keep your relationships with gay people and still follow the Church. My experience is that, no matter how you try, you cannot keep your relationships with your gay friends and follow your faith. They will not let you.

Even sadder, my experience is that they do not just end the friendship. They then go out and do everything they can to hurt you.

I can honestly say that I have not retaliated. I have never broken the confidences they shared with me. I have never attacked them. I have never tried to hurt them. And I never will.

In truth, I still love my friend who meant so much to me with all my heart. I pray for him daily. But we will never be friends again. He is part of my past.

And that, I think, is the way it should be.

The hard truth is that these relationships are encumbrances in the eternity work of following Christ. They make you careful. They force you to dip and dodge, shuck and jive, as you try to avoid offending them or doing something that will cost you their “friendship.”

If you’re up front with them. They’re going to attack you and dump you.

If you try to hide things and avoid confrontations, they’ll accuse you of lying to them, and then they’ll dump you and attack you.

I know one homosexual person who has been willing to accept me as an individual and at least be professional friends with me. When I told her I opposed gay marriage, she said, “I would never try to force you to violate your personal morality.”

I was so grateful to her I almost cried.

But she is unique in my experience. And, as I said, we have a professional friendship, not a deep personal friendship.

So. What advice do I, an abysmal failure at keeping my gay friends, have to share with you?

My first advice is to go ahead and be up front. I wish I had never dipped and dodged at all.

My second advice is to realize that you are going to have to choose. Choose Christ, or choose them. They will not let you have both.

My third advice is don’t get too close to your friends on the other side of the culture wars. I know this is harsh, scalding and terrible advice. But if you confide in someone in today’s world, the culture wars may very well turn and turn and then that someone will be your hate-filled, spiteful enemy on a vengeance trek to destroy you. Every tender thing you ever told them could end up coming back at you as a bullet, aimed at trying to publicly humiliate, degrade and destroy you.

It is sad, it is terrible, to say that. But it is true.

We are going to have to choose. Their demands are the winnowing fork John the Baptist prophesied.

Christ, or them? You choose.

I choose Christ. I may dither and try to keep from offending people in order to hang onto them as friends. But if they force me to it, I will choose Christ.

And every single time I choose Christ, I cut another cord that has kept me in touch with that other life, that life before my conversion. Every single time I choose Christ, I suffer the loss of the person I am not choosing. A few of them, like my friend, are wounds that feel like amputations. Even after the emotional blood has stopped running, I feel the loss.

There is no salve for this. It is a real and painful sacrifice for following Christ. It is our own Gethsemane.

The rewards are eternal and temporal, both at once. Christ has promised us rewards in heaven, but that is not what motivates me. My motivation is simply that I love Jesus. He saved me from eternal death and He forgave my unforgivable sins. He loved me from death to life and He continues to love and guide me each step of my way to Him.

I love Jesus.

And that is the most important reward, not some nebulous reward in the future, but the concrete reality of loving Him and being loved by Him now, in this life.

Do you love me more than these? He asked Peter — and us.

The answer has to be yes.

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272 responses to “Gay Marriage Sets Friend Against Friend, Brother Against Brother.”

  1. I am sorry to hear about your experiences with you gay friend who went in a rage against you because of your views on gay marriage. That is uncalled for. I have many friends who are Catholic and other Christian denominations and who are not pro-gay marriage and I would never stop loving them. When the topic has come up I have usually been able to show them how their views negatively impact my life and others’ lives and often they have seen the difference between civil law and church law, but I would never disown them!

    • Nor do I. I strongly disagree with a very traditionalist Catholic relative, who has always been conservative but only in the last decade or so became Catholic and socially conservative. I find much of what she posts on FB, for example, to be offensive. But she is still my relative, and I would never betray her confidence.

      • That is one thing I have found on Facebook. I am shocked by what many of my Christian “friends” have posted that are blatantly offensive. Not one, I kid you not, of my gay friends has ever posted negative things that I have seen on Facebook. The reverse cannot be said. Also, about 2/3 of my gay friends are actually Christian or Jewish and practicing. So why would they ever be negative about religious people. The other third respects people’s beliefs enough that it would never enter our minds to be “anti” someone of offensive.

  2. I think a discussion proved to me that we need a new civil rights movement now “Get Your Government Out of My Church”. The state should not be the arbiter of sacraments.

  3. There’s a saying that bad company ruins good character. St Paul said to keep away from anyone calling himself a Christian but who is an adulterer, an idolater or a thief. That also applies to sodomites.

    • Let’s avoid name-calling mollysdad. There’s no reason to use ugly labels for the people that God made and loves. Just stick to the issues.

  4. Thanks Rebecca—am on that tipping point and appreciate this. Our only recourse and refuge is love and truth. I’m trying to learn and empathize from the experience of this type of prejudice. Slander, anger, and misappropriating narratives isn’t helping anyone on either side. I am hopeful for places like yours here to spread. Here I may disagree with pagan sister about abortion but can like and respect her very much. And also learn from TX Ken who I think was FW Ken from his gifted way of response. Glad we still have those freedoms this Independence Day. Peace

    • Thank you peggy-o. Achieving a place where that kind of discussion can happen and relationships can grow is why I spend time monitoring comments.

    • peggy-o: I appreciate you mentioning me in your post and I feel the same. Here, with the consent, if you will, of Rebecca, we can agree or disagree with each other over various topics, and still remain respectful and if I may say,continue, a distant friendship. IMO, disagreement shouldn’t have to end in the breakup of a friendship. It is sad when it does. Obviously my views are not always in agreement with many things the Church believes, but I respect those beliefs and those that hold them. One other thing—I agree with you about TX Ken (yes, the former FW Ken) . His comments are a huge contribution to this site. Happy 4th of July to you and yours!

      • Okay my weak internet didn’t let me reply awhile back but thank you and hope had a great 4th as well. Here’s to a more respectful world!

  5. There is a fanaticism loose in American culture that certainly has roots in our puritan history, now stripped of its religious nature. The commercial media which thrives on conflict doesn’t help any.

    The Confederate flag issue is a good example. A bi-partisan coalition in South Carolina agreed to remove the flag from the state house grounds. Before the legal process can proceed, fanatics are climbing poles and committing vandalism, Amazon has taken a highly moralistic, and certainly profitable, stand. Next comes renaming streets and tearing down statues. I abhor the stars and bars (too much contact with Aryan Nation), but I also recognize when people are indulging self-serving outrage.

    • Also, I see the media-tail wagging the public-dog far too often. The media is right smack in the middle of creating the news now and feeding us what they want us to know – 24/7 of course – which has a lot to do with needing to create news to fill the time. News feeds on social media only send you the news that reinforces the other news you read so it becomes an echo chamber that the naive think defines reality. It’s so ubiquitous and insidious we hardly notice how we are being controlled anymore.

  6. As someone on the other side, I must say you’re right. I understand your beliefs and respect your right to have them, but I can’t get beyond the Catholic Church’s message that if you are gay you must live and die alone. You may say that we’re allowed Platonic relationships. In practice those relationships are only possible if both people are celibate because a wife understandably doesn’t want a man who shows signs of selfless devotion to her husband (and her).

    There are times when friendships have to be dissolved. At the height of the AIDS crisis, I had to dissolve a friendship with my most beloved friend because his wife wouldn’t have the peace of mind she needed if her husband’s gay friend, however geographically distant, was in the picture. Unfortunately, I wasn’t strong enough to do it without saying “good bye.” The only way to communicate was by letter, and my friend’s wife intercepted a tearful “good bye.” I wish I’d said nothing and taken my secret to my grave.

    I’ve been abstinent since 1984 because of an oath to God not to have sex so that I could avoid contracting or transmitting HIV. Professionally, I’ve been relatively successful. Personally, I’ve been devastated by decades of loneliness.

    I’ve cut off my Catholic friends who oppose secular same sex marriage, because they have no right to expect anyone to live the life I’ve lived.

    • It’s terrible that you have had to live that way. But what would you say to the argument that the answer is to cultivate a healthier understanding of friendship in our society, so that people don’t face the choice between “sexual relationship” and “being alone”? Eve Tushnet addresses this here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/evetushnet/2015/07/a-conversation-with-justin-lee-on-relationships-for-gay-and-same-sex-attracted-christians.html

    • Start spending time alone with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and you may soon find that the loneliness lifts. It certainly worked for me.

    • Society has trained you that a relationship cannot be intimate without sex and that is not true. That is why priests are so amazingly wonderful in helping everyone. That is why they are called Father. They give their love to each human being, which is the teaching of Christ. Granted, they do receive supernatural grace, but we can all be recipients of that. I have been divorced ten years after a 30 year marriage ended without my choosing. I didn’t even know God, but God stepped in and showed me he was real. Yes, one can have moments of feeling lonely, but I am never alone. Ever! Christ was not lying when he said he would never leave us. If one is in a relationship with the Lord, that is who you desire. You are cutting off the friends that could help introduce you to God. This is exactly what the enemy wants. Sister Lucia was told by the Blessed Mother that the final battle with the enemy would be against family and marriage. Here we go. Where do you want to be when it ends? I know how it ends. I can’t wait.

      • I had a ten year Platonic relationship with a friend. He wanted to stay friends after he married. We were never physically involved and I never wanted him to be with me. I saw him as the ideal father and I wanted nothing more than for him to marry and raise a family. He thought we should stay friends. This was during the worst part of the AIDS crisis, and I thought his wife needed peace of mind more than I needed friendship. So I ended the friendship. She is not only his wife and the mother of his children but also his best friend. I gave him up for her because she was and is best for him in all respects. Unfortunately, I wasn’t strong enough to leave without saying “good bye” and the only option was a letter. The wife intercepted the letter and read “I have always loved you and always will,” She was rightfully hurt and angry. I regretted that mistake for more than 20 years.

        Recently, I was hospitalized in a burn ward for several weeks. I remembered my friend, even imagining he was with me in spirit when I was in too much pain to see anyone. Remembering his compassion eased my pain and anxiety. it also rekindled my regret.

        I’ve decided that respect rather than selflessness would have been a better standard, but the catch is that one needs dignity to see the value of respect to others. That dignity had been beaten down prior to meeting him and was only rekindled by that friendship.

    • “I can’t get beyond the Catholic Church’s message that if you are gay you must live and die alone.”

      No you don’t.

      There is a difference between philia, and eros.

      Example: Two bachelor brothers who lived together their entire lives.

      They made some pretty interesting clocks, too (See: Frank and Joseph Bily).

  7. This is part of the mental disease that accompanies gaiety. I have noticed the desire of vengeance and revenge in other gay persons I have known throughout the years.
    Stay close to Christ.
    Those who are Gay are not happy, they live in a kind of dread having knowledge that what they do is unnatural. Did not Adam and Eve attempt to hide from God after their sin of defiance?

    Pray for your friends without end. Love them still. even if they hate you and will do you harm. bubbha

  8. If you’re against civil same sex marriage and say so, then you’re getting involved in politics. I have found that what you described happens when people mix politics with religion. Keep them separate. Not everybody is a christian and not every christian is a catholic

    • This line of reasoning (which has been worn slick with mindless reptition.) is just an attempt to silence people who disagree with you. EVERYONE bases their politics on their beliefs. This is an American right, a core freedom. Catholics have this right, the same as other Americans.

        • And possibly your job too. Discussing your opposition to same sex marriage at work can lead to the unemployment line. The people who scream for tolerance can be very intolerant of opposing views.

        • If you lose them because you choose God, like this article states, they weren’t your friends. When you are silent you are complicit. If you deny Christ in any circumstance, he will deny you.

        • Uhhh… that’s kind of what she said in her post. Thanks for agreeing with her! But the real question is, why can’t (some) people be friends with people they disagree with?

    • DJ, you do understand that the First Amendment to the constitution was written to keep the government out of religion, right?
      Rebecca covered the rest.

    • I’m not schizophrenic. As an American I have as much right to be involved with politics and political ideas as every other American. And since I am a faithful Roman Catholic, religion infuses everything I am and everything I do. I have a right to state my beliefs, just as you do.

  9. I had a discussion with someone I love on this issue long ago. I told her what was wrong with gay sex was that it’s not open to procreation. She tried IVF unsuccessfully so she understood where I was coming from. That is what’s wrong with it. She asked about married couples who use artificial birth control, and I told her the only difference between her and them is that in her case it’s obvious and in their case the rest of us don’t know what they’re doing.
    .
    It was thinking about this conversation that led me to think that civil marriage should be limited to those who have procreated. All other relationships should be civil unions. A church could still perform the sacrament of marriage, but the state would only call it marriage if they had a child. And the many financial benefits of marriage would be limited to those raising children, as they were probably originally intended to do. Not the way it came down, and that’s too bad.

    • Very interesting thought!

      The only corollary to that would be that same sex “marriages” should never ever be allowed to adopt.

    • “And the many financial benefits of marriage would be limited to those raising children. ”

      I’m happy to extend federal and state benefits to the childless couple down the hall from me. We all benefit from that marriage, even though they have no children.

  10. Rebecca,
    Thank you for this personal sharing that complements the earlier one so well. What I found particularly important in your earlier post was the emphasis on love where you wrote, “If you love someone, give yourself the freedom to keep on loving them. Never send someone who is really close to you away. If they leave, that is their choice. But when and if they decide to come back, welcome them home with the same love you felt before they left, and then let the past go.”

    I have two brothers that are gay (one in a thirty year monogamous gay relationship–now “married” in NY, the second who had a wife and three daughters before he came out) and a gay son. I attended the wedding of my brother and his partner. I also had a time in my life where I lived in great sin so I understand that all too well. Yet today I try live my life as a faithful Catholic and to do it with love, but, in honesty, I also choose to not talk about gay marriage with them. Does that mean that I am accommodating (that is a know part of my personality) and on the slippery moral slope myself? I honestly don’t know.

    Here is a blog post by Fr. Dan Horan OFM that comes at this issue from a much different perspective from yours–yet he shares the same theme that we should treat all of God’s people with “love.” http://americamagazine.org/content/all-things/how-should-christians-respond-courts-decision-marriage Like Father Dan, “I understand the church’s teaching on the Sacrament of Marriage, firmly accepting and holding all that is taught definitively.” And I find great value in reading and reflecting on your and his perspectives. They challenge me and pose questions about my own convictions and how I live them out.

    That being said, I want to follow Christ and your post today clearly shows the importance of making that choice. Especially when that choice is not easy.

    This is way too long and if you choose to not post, that is perfectly OK.

    Ray

    • You wrote:
      I have two brothers that are gay and a gay son.

      Not an easy situation. How would you live if you were in their position? Would you live and die alone? What would become of you in the process?

        • Your friends may be ‘faithful’ in attendance at Church, but a faithful Catholic is one who follows and abides by Church teachings in all areas. Not just the ones they like. The cafeteria is closed.

          • I don’t know exactly who you are speaking to. If it is me, then I’ll say that it is certainly possible to experience same-sex attraction and be a faithful Catholic. In today’s world, it’s a bit heroic. I respect those who do it, and if they fail and then get back up and try again, that only makes them human and, in a way, even more faithful.

            • I must have misunderstood. I thought you were speaking about people with SSA who lived a gay lifestyle but still considered themselves to be faithful Catholics. If this wasn’t what you meant, then I apologize. I know several men with SSA who live chaste lives of heroic virtue and abide by Church teachings in this matter. We all have disordered desires and inclinations, it is what we do with them that we are accountable for. (sorry to end the sentence with a preposition).

      • You act like gays are the only people who live involuntary celibate/chaste lives. Maybe if you really looked around you’d see a lot of people doing the same thing for different reasons. You are not as special in this regard as you may think. The divorced who choose to follow Church teaching are in pretty much the same boat as you are. The single and widowed with no realistic options for marriage are hurting too. Try to see yourself as more like all the others who carry their sexual crosses and less like an outcast.

        • The cultural dogma is that sex is necessary for a healthy life. Corollary to that, the only options are marriage and lonliness.

        • The divorced and remarried aren’t comparable. The aren’t demonized and ostracized. Moreover, the Church doesn’t endorse discrimination against them in housing, employment, education, military service, etc. as the CDF has endorsed such discrimination against gays. Finally, they are usually allowed some period of courting or dating that contributes to their emotional development. The situations are quite different.

        • Not to mention those with severe mental or physical handicaps who not only have to struggle through life, but face the prospect of always being alone. Love is sacrifice. If we love Christ, we would sacrifice anything. Our society has made sex the only focus and people becomg blinded and think that without it, they will die. Trust me, you won’t.

      • If you have awesome friends like I do you don’t have to worry about living and dying alone. Being single is wonderful. You do what you think God wants you to do without having to worry about how someone else is going to respond to it. I’ve been happily divorced for over 35 years now, no children, and I’m totally grateful for the life God has called me to.

  11. I’ve seen the same thing with friends or family who have had abortion as well. They cannot believe they will be forgiven and they attack anyone who says it was not the perfect choice. It is really sad.
    Perhaps this is what Pope Benedict meant when he said the Church would be smaller but stronger.

  12. “Chose Christ, or chose them. They will not let you have both.”

    True, true, true, true, true.

    I don’t know why it is this way, but what you say is completely true, true, true, true.

  13. That’s why I find it curious when I hear or read of Catholics lecturing other Catholics on how we should be more welcoming to homosexuals. It’s not like people are entering the narthex wearing sin tags or say hi I’m an adulterer. But more important ‘welcoming’ may mean different things to different people. ‘Welcoming’ for some homosexuals as you found out means that you must go against the teachings of Jesus.

    • I have to agree with you. We gays don’t belong in the Catholic Church. It’s not just about sex. Even our most basic dreams and aspirations run counter to Catholicism. Be up front about it. Fewer people on both sides will be hurt.

      • She was not saying anything about who belongs in the Catholic Church. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23. However anyone who has attached him or herself to a sinful lifestyle will have to repent and amend their life. It makes no difference what that life of sin has been. We must choose whether to follow Christ our Lord, or wallow in sinfulness which leads to nothing but spiritual death.

      • I’m not sure that you speak for all gays.

        Many men and women with same-sex sexual desires love God and the Church He founded.

      • That’s not true. You do belong. I welcome homosexuals to the Church. We are all sinners and in need of grace. Come home to the church and do the best you can like the rest of us sinners.

      • This generation has had sex marketed to them as the pinnacle of their identity. “Gay” now seems to sum up the identity of an entire person/population. It’s completely nonsensical. The time I spend in sexual activity as opposed to all other actions that make me who I am is less than minuscule. “Gay” or “straight” has nothing to do with what we all long for. Whether we really know what our aspirations are or not is another matter. As a society, our perception has been so dimmed by relativism I would say most have no idea where joy truly comes from

        You seem intellectually honest radiofreerome. Watch this and see if it makes any sense to you.

        vimeo.com/93079367

        You belong. Come home.

        • I am 53. I am not from this generation. My problem is that if I love somebody, even (especially?) selflessly, I am assumed to have a sexual ulterior motive. I learned a little too late that respect rather than selflessness should be the foundation of relationships. Hardly surprising that I’d believe selflessness would be the measure of purity of heart, after all I grew up Catholic.

          Selflessness alienates good people and encourages bad people to take advantage.

          • I’m 53 also.

            Loving selflessly is a virtue. Jesus said “do not throw pearls before swine”. There is a difference between loving to love and wanting to be loved. That longing to be loved can only be filled completely when you find Christ.

            I’m a heterosexual married man, and it took me 20 years of marriage to understand that. Stay on the journey.

            • I didn’t throw my pearls before a swine. My friend, who was raised without religion, was the kindest noblest man I ever met. By contrast, the Catholics and Baptists in my life treated me as less than human. It took me more than 30 years to realize that the Catholic Church just wasn’t worth it.

              • Your friend is one example that proves that not everyone has to have a religious background to be kind. The Catholics and Baptists in your life are not necessarily good examples of those groups. Sad but true.

              • My apologies Radiofree, you made it sound as if you loved selflessly and someone took advantage of that. That is where the “Pearls before Swine” came from. Please keep in mind there is often a big difference between what the church teaches and how we followers behave… it’s a long process to take on the heart of Christ.

                It’s worth it. Please keep trying.

      • I think you are wrong. Everyone belongs in the Catholic Church. It is the only Church Christ heads. It isn’t a matter of if you feel you fit in or you think your sin is too much, because we are all sinners and that is who Jesus came for. We just try to not sin and we repent when we do and we receive the Sacraments that give us the super human strength to get through life. If you are saying gays don’t belong because they will chose their sexual desires over Christ, then you are probably right. However, if the thought is that one can live a gay sexual lifestyle and go to any church that is going to accept that as if it were nothing, it is just more mockery of God. Each one of us have to realize that what they choose here in this life, will determine where we spend eternity.

      • Don’t know about that, you had said in another post that you’ve abstinent 1984; you’ve done the hardest part (something a myriad of heterosexuals couldn’t do) without reaping the benefits of a fuller relationship with God. You did the selfless part without receiving the “self” that Christ offers. It appears to me that you’d make a great Catholic, much like Eve Tushnet.

    • johnnysyc If you mean that Jesus said a man must leave his mother and cleave to his wife is a condemnation of gay marriage, no. It is a condemnation of divorce. Jesus never said a single work about homosexuality and could have even been a homosexual himself. I’m not claiming that he was, but it is certainly possible.

      • Bill, Jesus said, “a MAN, shall leave his father and his mother and cleave to his WIFE.” He defined marriage as between one man and one woman. It is also defined this way in the first chapters of Genesis, which He was quoting. Marriage is between one man and one woman. It was intended to be this way from the beginning. The part about divorce comes a bit later in the conversation. Note that the practice of polygamy by some of the Jews in the OT was a corruption of true marriage under God, as well. It never happened again after the Babylonian exile cleansed the people.

        • Rebecca,

          In my opinion, Christians are on very shaky ground when they point to that statement by Jesus about the marriage of a man to a woman as having anything to do with homosexuality in general and same sex marriage in particular. That society has come to not only accept homosexuals but to embrace them and place them in high esteem is enough evidence that they are not posing a threat to the common good. If all you’ve got is a quote from Jesus responding to a Pharasee asking him if it is acceptable for a man to divorce his wife, you’ve got no justification for the reactions of Christians to the SCOTUS decision.

            • Yes. Let’s grant for the sake of argument that what Jesus is reported to have said carried the weight of civil authority and we all must accept it as the gospel truth. I don’t but let’s just suppose that I do. If that is the passage that we are supposed to use to determine Jesus’ opinion about homosexuality, it is a real stretch. I would say it is also a stretch to imply he was eliminating the possibility of a man leaving his mother and cleaving to his husband or a woman leaving her father and cleaving to her wife. He is silent on those scenarios and, since he was constantly going against the grain such as in performing on the Sabbath, I would bet he would accept the full spectrum of the rainbow and what it represents. Sorry, I get very wordy about this for reasons I think you know.

              • Bill, you originally raised the question of what SCRIPTURE said. That is what I was answering.

                Now, you’re conflating that answer with a determination on my part that because Scripture said it, it must be civil law. I made no such determination.

                Red herring.

                • What I am trying to say is suppose that we, in the 21st century, like prior times, looked to Jesus as the ultimate authority on how we should behave and judge one anothe the way we used to look to Emiy Post on matters of ediquette. Would we really conclude from his answer to the Pharisees regarding divorce that Jesus is against gay marriage? Wouldn’t we need a more definitive statement specifically addressing same sex attraction the way we know that looking at a woman with lust in our heart is just like we have had sex with her. There is nothing like that regarding homosexuality. .

                  • Bill, you are asking a question about the personal determination of whether or not something you have done is sinful, in particular whether something is just a temptation or a means of degrading people.

                    For instance, looking at a person and feeling an attraction is not sinful. But reducing them to a sexual thing in your heart certainly would be.

                    Having said that, this is something that needs to be dealt with one on one with a spiritual director, not here in a combox.

                    • Gay marriage has nothing to do with reducing one’s partner to a sexual object. It is a committment of fidelity for life.

                    • “Gay marriage has nothing to do with reducing one’s partner to a sexual object. It is a committment of fidelity for life.”

                      This kind of commitment does not require marriage, thus does not require a redefinition of marriage.

                      More to the point, your statement is not true, as marriage under US civil law is not a life time commitment. See: No Fault Divorce.

                    • That is not what I was saying. I was answering a question as to what things Jesus might have meant when He said that if a man looks at a woman with “lust,” he has committed adultery already in his heart. I made a distinction between normal attraction and reducing another person to a sexual object.

                      You jumped on the wrong horse here.

                    • John,

                      I am referring to the committment we make to one another. I know it is not legally binding and that we are free to get a no-fault divorce. The point I am trying to make is that it not always about sex.

                  • “Would we really conclude from his answer to the Pharisees regarding divorce that Jesus is against gay marriage?”

                    No. We would look to what Jesus said about fulfilling the law, his stated relationship to Judaic tradition and law, his references to OT scripture, and his interactions with the great, but dead Jewish prophets.

                    The OT is very explicit about homosexual acts being a grave sin.

                    • John,

                      The OT is very explicit in many other areas as well. Unless you are willing to live your own life in strict compliance with the laws of Moses, you are cherry picking the OT for support of your argument against homosexuality. Do you really want to go there?

              • An interesting straw man argument. Allow me to comment:

                Firstly, Jesus’ himself admitted he had no civil authority when he answered Pilate.

                Secondly, Jesus gave us the “golden rule” of limited government, and the proper ordering of religion and government when he answered the Pharisees.

                Thirdly, Jesus did not give opinions, he gave us truth.

                Fourthly, Jesus did not write scripture, he founded a Church and gave both authority, and special powers to that Church. It is not necessary for Jesus to have spoken explicitly on every matter (nor logical to require him to do so, as the Word is infinite, but a man’s life is finite), nor necessary that Scripture contain every answer to every question, because the Church he founded exists to teach us those things and answer those explicit questions.

                Fifthly, the reasoned arguments against SSM are not purely and solely religious, and on the whole, are unassailable, while the SSM side of the discussion has yet to give even one well reasoned argument for requiring the redefinition of marriage.

                No, you’re not wordy. Wanna see wordy? Read my comments! 🙂

                • I will go with your first point. Christian morality should not be enforced by the state. The state should let people do what they want in an equal fashion. That includes marrying. There should be no state laws against same sex marriage, whatsoever.

                  I’d be interested in knowing what percentage of non-religious people oppose gay marriage compared to religious people. Opposition seem to be substantially based upon religious taboos, which have no place in state regulations.

          • Ancient pagan cultures accepted homosexuality too, and we see what happened to them: the same thing that will happen to modern society. Good thing that Christians have a citizenship in Heaven, and not here.

              • Those were different pagans. Ancient Greek paganism and ancient Roman paganism and their civilizations, collapsed.

              • As a minority, yes. The point still stands, even when the result is not total extinction of an ideology or people.

                Of course, “pagan” is an equivocal word.

            • What happens to a culture has nothing to do with whether or not it tolerates homosexuality. That is the silliest interpretation of cause and effect I have ever heard.

              • “What happens to a culture has nothing to do with whether or not it tolerates homosexuality.”

                That turns out not to be true. In countries that legalized SSM long before the US of A did, the result was a reduction in marriage rates, and a decrease in live birth rates.

                Europe and America both are experiencing a demographic collapse that is only partially hidden by high levels of immigration. SSM will only make that problem worse.

                More to the point, I refer you to “homosexual grooming”, and what it might mean to go from tolerance of homosexuality, to the celebration of it.

                • Policy can’t be set requiring people to have enough children to sustain their race, ethnicity, culture, etc. Your argument that SSM will have terrible consequences including reduced birth rates is a non-sequitur.

                  Suppose English speaking whites continue to have lower birth rates than blacks and Hispanics (and let’s include Muslims, too). Do you think the Church should try to mitigate that trend by prohibitting same sex marriage, contraception, etc. Wouldn’t that be xenophobic and maybe racist as well?

      • OH MY GOD BILL!… I ca nooot believe you just wrote that!…. You are clearly incredibly far feom what CATHOLICISM AND TRUTH means. Please gp to a GOOD RCIA course, so that you womt have all those distortions of ideas created by many separated brothers who choose to interpret the Bible by themselves as they please…… Thats why Jesus left a Church, the CATHOLIC CHURCH (not because i say so, buuut because if you go deep enough in history to the FIRST FATHERS OF THE CHURCH, you will very clearly see that, read that book and then Rome Sweet Home by Scott Hahn)

        Bur for Gods sake… STOOOPPPPP, speaking those words of hell!…. What you just said is nooot true, its just a horrendous translation mad on purpose like taht by those who wanted to create their own protestant things.

        May GOD BLESS YOU……just let yourself be guided by HIM, not what the world says!…… Go to a GOOD Catholic Church and to a RCIA Course. Thanks.

        • Give Bill a bit of space. He knows what he’s saying, he’s just being coy. But we love him here at Public Catholic. 🙂

              • I’ve never meant any disrespect toward you personally. You are my favorite blogger (since my former favorite blocked me

                  • Only because you did not post everything I sent and Leila Miller did. But then she turned on me and told me not to sent any more posts whatsoever. So I’m back to having you as my favorite. ☺️

                    • I dare say it has made me a better person. I actually have learned to gain the respect of those I debate against. Some have become email pen pals. Even Leila. I can exchange emails with her. I just can’t post on her site because I insulted Pope Paul VI calling him an old, celebate, italian man and asking what he knows about a husband and wife not giving fully to one another if they use contraception. Who knew it would set her off so much?

                      Heck, I’m an old italian man that is just about celebate, myself. Oh, but he was the pope. Big difference.

                    • Bill, you’re playing games again. You know that insults to the pope get deleted on this blog, yet you sneaked an insult to the pope into your discussion here as an aside.

                      I’m letting this one through to make the point. I’m going to delete all these in the future, you know.

                    • I think Catholics should show the same respect for the president as they do for the pope. At least the difference should not be so dramatic.

                    • The Pope is the successor of Peter, who was given special powers and responsibilities by God himself.

                      The Pope is the first among the servants of God, and has dedicated his life to serving us, and God.

                      The President is just a man, like any other.

                      Both deserve the respect that should be given to every human being, but the Pope has God-given powers and authority that demands a special type of additional respect.

                    • I can’t argue this point because I must respect the sovereignty of the pope so my comment will not be deleted.

                      You believe that the intelligence behind all that is has chosen to be represented by your religious leader. I’ll just respectfully disagree with that belief without insulting anyone (if that is possible).

        • Gaby,

          Your opinions reflect Catholic thinking. You see my opinions as a symptom of my lack of knowledge of the teachings of Jesus, the apostles, the Church fathers, etc. All you think I need is to be indoctrinated more. Been there, done that.

      • Bill…..Maybe I’m mistaken but according to Sacred Scripture Jesus never said anything about rape either. We are told that Jesus did many things and the books would be too numerous to be written down. What provision did Jesus leave in order that His teachings were spread throughout the whole world? The Bible? Jesus did not leave any instructions on how the Bible was to be compiled either. What He did leave us was the Catholic Church guided by the Holy Spirit. In fact Jesus and His Church, the Catholic Church are One and the Same. So even though we may not read that Jesus spoke about a specific teaching we know He spoke on them through the the Epistles, apostolic tradition and the Church Fathers. Christianity is not a religion of a book. It is the religion of God’s Word which comes to us through Scared Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the teaching authority of the Catholic Church. We know that Jesus spoke about homosexuality because we have the teaching authority of the Catholic Church that tells us He did.

        • I think the salient point is that Jesus clearly defined marriage as between one man and one woman. There is no questioning that.

      • Christ didn’t say a word about arson either, and he could have had temptations to burn things down wantonly.

        I’m not saying he did, but it was certainly possible.

        • There are infinite possibilities in life. The odds of us being here are something like 1 to 10 to the 128th. Which is more than the number of atoms in the entire universe.

      • Bill…..Maybe I’m mistaken but according to Sacred Scripture Jesus never said anything about rape either. We are told that Jesus did many things and the books would be too numerous to be written down. What provision did Jesus leave in order that His teachings were spread throughout the whole world? The Bible? Jesus did not leave any instructions on how the Bible was to be compiled either. What He did leave us was the Catholic Church guided by the Holy Spirit. In fact Jesus and His Church, the Catholic Church are One and the Same. So even though we may not read that Jesus spoke about a specific teaching we know He spoke on them through the the Epistles, apostolic tradition and the Church Fathers. Christianity is not a religion of a book. It is the religion of God’s Word which comes to us through Scared Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the teaching authority of the Catholic Church. We know that Jesus spoke about homosexuality because we have the teaching authority of the Catholic Church that tells us He did.

        • I just now got to this. Is it what you were quizzing me about? I don’t look at the blog on Sundays. That’s why it didn’t go up as quickly as you supposed it should have.

        • Ok. What you said is not irrational or illogical and it can be objectively true. I just do not believe that it is. Call it lack of faith. How about that I am worldwise? Which I know you see as the error of this age.

      • Jesus was an Orthodox Jew and knew Torah well. He did not have to condemn homosexuality, since the Torah already condemned it as “to’evah” (abomination), in fact, a crime worthy of capital punishment ( a fact Romans 1:32 refers to). When Jesus referred to the normal marriage as being between a man and a woman, it was pretty plain to anyone but those who choose not to understand.

        • Your justification for your attitude toward gays is weak. Very weak. People who are not brainwashed by their religion, especially by Christianity and Isalam and to a certain extent Orthodox Judaism, don’t have these issues.

          • Bill, no one has to justify their attitudes on this blog. It is enough that they are their attitudes. Think and let think.

            • AJ,

              Your concept of “natural law” is deeply rooted in religion and philosophy. It is a philosophical concept that we all are endowed with a sense of what is right and what is wrong. We all have an inate knowledge that it is wrong to unnecessarily hurt one another, etc. But it isn’t that simple because when you get into the specifics of a situation, what feels right to you might feel wrong to me. The same applies to common sense. You might say it is common sense that if I am a baker that doesn’t want to put a message on a cake that offends me, then I don’t have to. My common sense might tell me that it is just a damn cake so what is the big deal? Who has the correct common sense?

        • See my comment about obeying the Law of Moses, which is actually directed at the chosen people and not the whole world. Christians certainly do not live according to the same rules (such as dietary laws) as do Jews.

  14. Well, what are we to expect? It is all about sexual deviancy after all. I also lost my non-gay friend of close to 40 years over this idiocy. A sign of the times? Human nature? Emotional gullibility? I can’t explain it.

    • Its the evil one actiong on all hose whose Faith is not deep enough… Thats why we must take all this as a motive to EVANGELIZE even harder!.. Blessings! 🙂

  15. Do we really understand how our kids are going to be crushed in Public
    Schools by the “moral” demands of the gay marriage decision.
    Since we chose to be passive about this evil our kids now get to
    reap the evil harvest of bad laws. They are going to fed a
    steady diet of celebrated LGBT. Pray for your kids and grandchildren.
    What have we done to them?

    Tom

    • EXACTLY!…. But lets nooot fall in disppair, thats what the evil one wants…. We must see this as an opportunity to EVANGELIZE even more and stand Much Stronger for our CATHOLIC FAITH…. Lets be EXTREMELY CLEAR with our kids, and explain every detail of WHY the CHURCH is right and not all that noise outside.

      Our Catholic Church has already gone theough nillions of hells….and is the ONLY institution in history that is still STANDING AND WILL ALWAYS BE, since its Christ Himself, who Guides it!…. Sl lets just focus on that at the end Jesus will ALWAYS Win, so we can do our part with no fear from all that evil, ok! 🙂 ….BLESSINGS! <3

    • Just one of the reasons my children do not and will not be in public schools. Next up, finding a truly authentic Catholic college.

  16. I liked this essay, but do not agree totally with it. My mom was a lesbian, and I refused to cave and tell her it was OK. I continued the relationship, and any time she brought it up, I made it clear she needed to change or she would end up in hell. It is a lot more complicated than that. Anyway, she got cancer, it was ovarian cancer found at stage 3C… she lived 3 years longer than the doctors said… Anyway, she stopped living the sinful lifestyle and turned back to God and the Church. She thanked me for never caving on several occasions, and she had a holy death. This was because I persevered through the relationship while remaining completely faithful to the teachings of Christ and the Church…

    • God bless you for your faithfulness, Christopher. Though I don’t think Rebecca is saying that we should outright reject homosexual friends. She is simply saying that we must understand that, more often than not, those who have chosen to be culture warriors (on the wrong side) will not permit a peaceful friendship to endure if we have chosen to be — as we must — culture warriors on the right side.

      • No, I’m certainly not saying that we should reject homosexuals, or anyone, for that matter. Jesus died for them, and they are our brothers and sisters.

        All I’m saying is that in this current political climate of intolerance toward anyone who does not support gay marriage, the homosexual people I have known did the things I say in this post. They destroyed friendships that go back over 30 years simply because they would not abide anyone who disagreed with them.

        One did it over abortion, one over gay marriage. Both of them then became malicious enemies who attacked me publicly. This was entirely due to their intolerance of any ideas except their own.

  17. Rebecca, I’m so sorry that you have lost friends over this situation. It is no secret that I’m not against SS marriages, but I have friends that do disagree and will not change their minds. I wouldn’t expect them to. Fortunately we remain friends and just agree to disagree. FWIW, many of the teachers I taught with in my Catholic school teaching days are not against SS marriage and personally I consider them good and faithful Catholics. I’m sure that doesn’t sit well with many. They are perhaps only 10 years or so younger than I am, so they are not necessarily the younger generation of Catholics.

    • Hello my sister in Christ! 🙂 ..just wanted to say something since i read you are not against ssm.. Can you please answear me this question.. Which is the MAIN AND ONLY PURPOSE of sexual relationships? The mainly one?.. TO GIVE LIFE.. Period!…… Everything lese created around it, is nothing but the distortion of all those HUMANS who choose to act and decide since their own human nature, instead of choosing to aim to a higher place, and reach their SPIRIT, so they can now make decisions from that place.

      In the Bible it says.. Thats He who is guided by their human nature, are condemmend to DEATH….. bbbuuutttt…. Those who are Guided by the SPIRIT, HAVE LIFE!

      WE can nooot tolerate to go supporting actions that are driven by our own human nature and instincts… Let alone the sexual aspects, can you imagine where this world would be if we’d d that in all the other aspects? So when we feel angry we kill, and when we feel hungry we ear untill we die (like nowadays) and when we feel sleeppy we dont move so we dont do almost anuthing at all al day… I mean, leting ourselves be guided by our own human limited nature, will only get us so far, until thinga start falling apart… Why? Well cuz we are FROM GOD and we are made to Go back TO HIM… Nooot to the world, but HIM, GOD.

      REMEMBER THIS PART OF THE BIBLE, WHERE IT SAYS…. Do Nooot conform any longer to the paterns of this world, BUT be TRANSFORMED by the RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, that ONLY GOD can give to you,.. So that you can DISCERN, what is TRULY PURE, GOOD, KIND, INNOCENT, RIGHT….. from everything thats not.

      As a teacher in a Catholic School, im SERIOUSLY concerned that some ppl can be there and still believe these things soo far from what being Catholic (FULL THRUTH) really means… So please be EXTREMELY CAREFUL on what you pass on to all those little kids, wakting for direction in such a messy confussed world…

      Do Nooot fall from RELATIVISM… The Pope Francis himself said.. Relativis is the root of all the destruction that has come our way.

      Please, go to a GOOD course of RCIA or something, so that you ca RE-LEARN what Catholicism REALLY means.

      ALSO, read al, those innumerable letters of all thos kids of gay ppl, askinf the government Nooot To legalize it, since they have since what it causes FIRST HAND…but of course, no one listened to them….. They said they live ther parents od course, they r good ppll…. BUUTT, thanks to that upbringing, the PERPETUAL CONFUSSION of their own exista ce they live in, is a torture!…. They do not know how to socialize, since how are they going to know the limits between friendship and everything else!… They just have no idea…..and so may more things imcould write about.

      Im just gonna focus on EVANGELIZING AND PRAYING even more, cause it is really sad to see ppl in our own Church incapable of seeing the consequences of these actions.

      May God Bless You and Your heart and Mind, so that you can start Deciding from the SPIRIT, and not the human nature, which is so far from perfect…. Blessings!

      • Gaby, this runs a little long. People are more likely to read it if you only write a paragraph or two.

      • You asked a specific question and I will try to give you a specific answer. You believe that the main and only purpose of a sexual relationship is to procreate or as you put it, to give life. I do not agree. Sexual relationships can, IMO, be solely for pleasure. Nothing wrong with that. There are many, many marriages (speaking of heterosexual ones right now) where the couples choose NOT to have children, not only other faiths but some Catholic marriages also. Just because SS couples cannot procreate doesn’t mean they should not be allowed to marry. I agree, human nature isn’t always perfect, but where this is concerned, intercourse in marriage can be for more than just making babies. I no longer teach in a Catholic school, I’m retired. Many of the teachers I did teach with are still at the school, as they are 10 or so years younger than I am. The children are just fine, being taught by highly qualified Catholic teachers. Blessings.

    • I’m sure that doesn’t sit well with many.

      It has absolutely nothing to do with “sitting well” or “not sitting well”, or what you or I or anybody else “considers” them.

      What DOES matter is that same-sex marriage is not possible, and saying you support it is like saying you support legally defining a circle to be a square. However much good they’re doing, the circle is not going to become a square, and I hope they’re not teaching people that it’s okay to believe circles are squares, or else they would be gravely sinning.

      • IMO it is about equality. Simple as that. I would not expect you to agree and as I said previously, I accept that. I believe SSM is possible and is now legal everywhere in this country. In fact, a childhood friend of my daughter just married his 18 year partner. All is well. (I corrected a sentence, Rebecca, so if this looks familiar–it is. 🙂 ).

        • But you’re missing the point. It’s not about my agreeing or disagreeing with you, or equality or inequality. It’s about what is and isn’t Catholic teaching, and saying it’s about equality, even if you’re correct, does not change Catholic teaching.

          This suspiciously looks as if it’s going to turn into you saying some variant of, “Believe what you want, our opinions are just different” over and over again, and if that’s what happens it’s just more evidence that you have no idea what my point is.

          • If I read correctly, you are following and believe the Catholic Church’s views on this. I disagree with the Church’s teaching on this subject. I have no desire to change the view of a faith I do not belong to. What is your point if that isn’t it?

              • They have a different view—-and yes, that is a disagreement. IMO, there is always room for disagreement, no matter what the organization/religion. Yes, my friends I left behind when I retired are very good Catholics, and I learned a lot from them about the Church and in other ways. As a teacher I taught some of the Church’s beliefs—on a Kindergarten level.

  18. You wrote: “Here’s what I’ve learned in my own life about the question of keeping your gay friends and following Christ: You can’t do it. They won’t let you. And that’s it.”

    You are absolutely correct – the same sex marriage issue really tore the mask away. I’ve experienced it myself – almost exactly as you have stated.

  19. Thank you for this; you will be attacked even by some good Catholics for it, but you are right.

    Evangelization does not mean letting our lives be dragged down by close relationships with friends and family members who are obstinately opposed to truth and goodness. Bad company corrupts good morals. That’s not my advice: that’s Scripture.

  20. I’ll be your gay best friend who is faithful to the teachings of Holy Mother Church and opposed to Marriage Equality!

    • THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING THE AMAZING COURAGE TO DO THAT! 🙂 …God may Bless Your Life and Path forever!… Please, Help Js EVANGELIZE and keep on speaking, this world needs to hear the THRUTH, not all that distorted ideas created by media and relativism…. GOD BLESS YOU MY FRIEND! GREETINGS ALL THE WAY FROM MONTERREY, MX! 🙂 <3

      • Are you sure BJ isn’t being sarcastic? Take a look at his avatar. He also used the term “marriage equality”.

        Or maybe both of you are being sarcastic, and I am the one who is missing the sarcasm.

  21. I don’t bring up these sensitive subjects to my gay friends and relative. I choose to focus on what unites us, rather than make some point. Luckily the subject has not come up. I think they follow the same philosophy. Unfortunately for you you write publicly on the subject. This is one of the reasons I only give my first name on the internet, and I have no Facebook page.

    • Manny, how will they react when you march in marches or take other public stands that are directly linked to religious freedom? Sooner or later, God will let them make you choose.

    • I totally understand the bit about only giving a first name, and as for Facebook, I think there are even more reasons not to maintain a presence there. What I question, though, is the bit about “what unites us”, when that clearly does not include how we answer the most important questions, such as Who God is and how we can know His will for us.

      So for example, if I am in a theater watching a Spider-Man movie, I certainly have something in common with the other viewers: physical location. We probably also are, at least to some degree, fans of the Spider-Man franchise. What “unites” us is pretty flimsy stuff, though, and I doubt we could be said to constitute a community. Sadly, this seems to be typical of what people mean when they feel a need to concentrate on “what unites us” — there isn’t really that much that unites them, and the unity is not very profound.

      I also understand looking at a situation and thinking, “Nothing I could say or do would change their opinions; the only real effect would be ugly fireworks.” On the other hand, if they don’t hear the truth from friends and family, from whom will they hear it?

  22. This has been my experience in the Mainline Protestant circles. And regarding abortion with my family.

  23. “This is clear rebellion against the Church by those who are tasked with teaching theology to future generations of Catholics. I can’t say it any more bluntly than that. In the meantime, far too many of our priests are either staying silent or actually giving tacit support to gay marriage.”

    This makes it doubly difficult to argue in the public square. When the ordained Catholic hierarchy support those who attack Catholicism, what is a pew sitter to do?

    JPII foresaw a much smaller and poorer church. It is quite possible that the Institutional Church, in Rome, will go by the wayside as it is crushed by the World. We faithful will have to find the True Church, wherever it may be.

    • Mickey, Jesus said that He will be with his Church always. Have faith in that promise.

      That does not mean that the Church will not be increasingly entering a time of persecution. The Catholic League documents numerous and increasing instances of that. At some point, we may end up underground as were the early Christians in Rome, Chinese Roman Catholics for many years, and Christians in other countries.

      For many years, many Church hierarchy (bishops) have opposed basic Church teachings to various degrees. At the extreme, some have gone into schism. Many lead the former faithful into error.

      Have faith. This is the Church of Christ. It is the place to be.

      And remember prayer: With prayer and fasting, even wars can be stopped.

      Ask Our Lady. She’ll tell you.

    • Before he became Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote prophetic and similar words in his book Faith And The Future. He wrote that the Church, “will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity”
      This small Church will rediscover its center: Christ. And although “poor,” will be truly spiritual. It will be a long process of purification and trial. However, after the “sifting” is complete, “[the Church] may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.”

      P.S. The Cardinal makes an interesting observation about faithless bishops during the process of purification of the Church: “The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism of the eve of the French Revolution—when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain—to the renewal of the nineteenth century.” That sounds like it’s taking place today.

  24. GOD BLESS YOU FOR SHARING THE TRUTH!… We LOVE ALL, the Commandment of Jesus is LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU AND DO NOT JUDGE…. I will happilly always do that, unfortunate that some ppl make us choose..cause God, has to be FIRST, ALWAYS!… Blessings from Monterrey, Mx!…. LETS PRAY EVEN MORE, SO THAT HUMANITY CAN WAKE UP TO THE REAAALLL THRUTH, AND NOT TO ALL THAT DISTORTIONS CREATED BY MEDIA ANS STUFF….. <3

  25. REBECCA, IF YOU CAN READ, SO THAT YOU CAN LATER RECOMMEND…THE BOOK OF JOHN PAUL II “TEOLOGY OF THE BODY”…… It wil be lf huge help to clear anu doubt about why we must live the way the TRUE CHURCH (Catholic) says… BLESSINGS! 🙂

    • I’ve had the book for a long time, and never read it. It just keeps going to the back of the list. I’ll move it forward. This is a silly question, I know, but I have read the encyclical. Are they the same?

  26. Thank you, Miss Hamilton, for the forst realistic thing I’ve read on the whole matter. Up to the end of 2012 I supported the idea ta of same-sex marriage of false prudential grounds but was rudely awakened by the Cameron regime’s law – and by seeing it against the backdrop of the English history I know well, I heard the words from the play ‘A Man for All Seasons’ echoing as Alic More tells him ‘Ye silly man, d’you think they’ll leave you here to FISH???” We have sinned by pusillanimity and consent to the sin by conning ourselves that we were trying to show love. But it is ine of the four sins crying to Heaven for vengeance. We were sleeping and now we are awake.

  27. I see two issues in this. And I see many people here and elsewhere sadly naive about them.

    First is my long standing complaint that the Catholic Church no longer teaches its own doctrines. Many in the pews never received a solid foundation in the teachings of Catholicism. Some had a bit of teaching by teachers who, themselves, never understood Catholicism. How, therefore, can we expect today’s Catholics to stand up for the teachings of the Church? They never understood them in the first place.

    It’s not that the Church’s teachings are difficult to understand. They are not. But they do need to be taught and understood. Those of you who bemoan your children and family members taking stands opposite the Church when they supposedly had a good Catholic education, should really take a look at the basic problem of that premise: they never really had a good Catholic education! Whether or not they went to a Catholic school, they really did not learn their faith. Some actually had activist liberal “Catholic” teachers who subversively undermined Church teachings. Most often, though, teachers were well meaning but woefully incomplete in their teachings.

    We are then left with Catholics who are not really Catholic. They are willing to accept the political-correctness-of-the-day. Anyone can lead them astray.

    Wake up and see this. These friends and family of yours are not talking to you as Catholics. They don’t now…and never did truly understand the Church. Be careful. From a religious and even sociological perspective, they are not your friends…family or not. You waited too long to correct the damage. You did not even see it as it developed. And it’s going on constantly still.

    When was the last time you heard a priest actually TEACH something from the pulpit. Every good teacher knows their students need to review earlier material. Doesn’t happen in the Church though. Those core Catholics who DO understand Church teachings need to quietly come together to protect themselves, their Church, and their Faith. Every example given about the new dangers of former friends and family points to that.

    I’ll need another post to discuss the other issue here…

  28. The second issue I see here is the feeling that you can be friends with friends and family who are gay, that you can hold a differing position, even though loving and respectful, and still maintain that friendship or family tie.

    It may have been praiseworthy in the past to support what seemed to be certain legitimate issues surrounding the gay community…such as being allowed hospital visits, not being thrown in prison, etc. Most of these egregious issues have already been rectified in this country years ago.

    You would have been considered a caring friend not long back.

    But today, if one does not support the full package of the Gay Agenda, you will be thrown under the bus. When gays withdraw to attack, they do so viciously. Donated to the wrong cause? Gays have marched in front of houses of just “regular” people and caused loss of jobs, embarrassment, and concern for the physical safety of families just for expressing their opposition to same sex marriage. That’s voter intimidation after the fact. Next election? That voter will likely not be participating.

    Non-gays may feel compassion, but gays want and exact revenge…as did Rebecca’s friend. That has now become a gay PACK mentality. This no longer has to do with correcting perceived injustices. It has to do with forcibly imparting the Gay Agenda on everyone, gays and non-gays alike. Just consider the requirements for revised textbooks for younger students in California and elsewhere.

    That is not unique. It is now COMMON. You must speak in whispers if you do not support the Gay Agenda for fear of what may happen.

    So the efforts to act against the Supreme Court ruling will not be as it has been in the past. The Gay Agenda’s Pack is even now circling, waiting and watching for an opening to attack those who oppose it.

    This is not how America used to operate. This is not how good and caring people operate. Look at events in other countries to see where this is likely headed.

    If you’re not scared, you should be.

  29. I’m so sorry, Rebecca, that you have experienced this sadness that has met so many of us. I did want to share a story of hope, though, as my formerly staunchly pro-abortion (and I mean pro-abortion not pro choice) father has changed in the face of his fervently pro-life grandchildren. He understands and accepts the pro-life position now in a way I never thought possible. And I think it is his love for them that opened his heart to their point of view, as their point of view on life is fully Catholic. May God bless you and yours today and each day.

    • Thank you jb. We will eventually re-convert this culture. But it will come through personal faithfulness and love, such as what you describe, not politics. We have to be faithful and, so far as they will allow keep the doors open.

    • He did not say he “hates” them. Gays and their fellow travelers throw that term “hate” around a lot, even though the only true hate comes from them. He said he chooses to distance himself from them, as I now also choose to do. It is for our own spiritual wellbeing and perhaps physical safety as well.

  30. There is one small gleam of light in this. We can now see why the children we have sent to our Catholic institutions of higher learning have been absorbed by the cultural nihilism rather than protected against it. It was because of these people and their defiance of the Church, hollowing out our institutions from the inside.

    Ye gods, are you serious?? I went to a Catholic college* in the early 90s, and this sort of thing was already at an advanced stage! If people hadn’t figured this out before now, there is no hope for humanity *or* Catholics/Christians. You’d have to been *actively* blind not to have noticed this decades ago!

    *Which one? Let’s just say the antics of the current Pope, being of Jesuit stock, has hardly been even a middling surprise.

    • I’ve known about this infiltration of the universities since the 70s, which is why I did not send my children to college. ANY college.

  31. I have a problem with the blanket, “They won’t let you.” statements. I understand that has been your experience, but yours is a very small sample size. If I have 10 gay friends, and through loving charitable dialogue, nine turn against me, and one turns towards the Lord… Then it seems that I would have chosen the better path.

    There is a clear, “What would Jesus do?” question to be asked here… and I do not think the answer is what the author suggests.

    • You’re right on two counts. First, I was speaking entirely from my own experience. Second, many homosexual people are deeply Christian and love Jesus.

  32. I too have seen the personal hate filled attacks increase since the ruling. It is as if they feel they now have a moral authority to attack us Christians. The problem there is no such thing. Not sure if this happened to you. My attacks got personal and in some ways tapped into some of my insecurities. I find it interesting that these people would bring things up which they really have no idea about. They are things I keep to myself. It has given me proof that the battle is not against them but Satan and his minions. This whole thing is orchestrated by them. It also shows how people who are not living or at least trying to live by God’s laws are so influenced by Satan. His lies penetrate their ears much easier than ours. This is a time for us faithful followers of Christ to come together in unity and continue to breath out love and life towards the world around us. Showing them Christ, in our daily lives, is the best weapon we have.

      • AJ I’ve sometimes had this feeling with some of the people I’ve dealt with in elected office. However, making that kind of determination over the internet based on a combox comment just isn’t possible.

  33. Friends, we live in two worlds and should choose the world to come as Christ prophesied:

    “So you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided,father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” (Luke 12:51-53)

  34. I read your article yesterday and have been thinking about it ever since – I am sad for your suffering, in a similar way to my sadness for the family members, Catholic and ex-Catholic, who think the Church needs to update its thinking and become as enlightened as the world around us… I read today in Divine Intimacy a reflection that I think speaks to your article very well. It says that Jesus wants us to be simple as doves in that we are “averse to criticism and severe judgments of our neighbors; but He also wants us to be as ‘wise as serpents’, so as not to let ourselves be deceived by false appearances of good which hide dangerous snares.” I think friendship, love of God’s creatures and the affections and bonds that come with that, are a blessing, a ‘good’ from God, so long as we do not cherish that person, or those feelings, above God and so long as they glorify Him, not ourselves. We can all be disordered in our attachments – if God made me rejected by my circle of friends, would I still find my joy in Him? In the face of all these difficulties, let us ask God, and our Mother to aid us, in granting us the gift of loving Him above all things, and with pure hearts. I think that will stave off the sorrow, and any bitterness, that the ways of the world inflict on the faithful.

  35. So true. As the first mass reading (7/5) from Ezekiel points out – we must speak God’s truth. It is not up to us to try to cajole anyone in to accepting His truth. That is God’s issue.
    I have had similar experiences – at a Catholic school over abortion, no less.

  36. I watched a video today of a gay pride parade and they were mocking Christ on the cross, it made me sick inside. I see Him being whipped, beaten, spit on and hung on that cross for me and for even those who are now mocking Him.. Yes Christ is the best friend we could ever have and He loves us so much He died for us. I liked your story very much. I have given up friends because of their beliefs also, but I still pray they will wake up before it is to late for them.

    • But that’s the problem, isn’t it?
      The goal of the homosexuals and the leftists/progressives is not for equality or fair treatment. Its power. Plain and simple. How you get power takes on many forms and they have found great success in de-intellectualizing arguments to personal attacks and suppressing dissent. Align that with the ongoing purge of all in dissent of their values and you have the makings of a power structure. How it got there most of us didn’t see it coming. I guess that is why it has worked so well.

  37. Yes you are right. I would urge anyone tempted to keep friends with those attached to the Gay ideology or who supports fake marriage to avoid them and break the attachment. Unfortunately I have had experience at trying to support someone who changed from being a reliable and trustworthy friend into a lied and acted promiscuously meeting strangers on websites even married men. He changed to believe gay ideology because like encouraging a drunk to drink it let him avoid his real issue which was his relationship with his father. Very sadly and with great hurt he is now in the gay scene. Please offer a prayer for him so God comes to his aid. So he can escape.

  38. This “gay” friend of yours was one of your closest and dearest friends that you loved with all your heart? Then how could you not have shared your faith with him over the years? And the concomitant values and convictions that go with that? Don’t mean to be harsh during this time of trial for you. But how deep can friendship be if we don’t share a deep commitment to Christ?

    • Luket, as per “But how deep can friendship be if we don’t share a deep commitment to Christ?” I have wondered that about my relationship with my daughter. But she told me some years ago that we are not friends, that I am not her friend; I am her mom. Of course, I will always be her mother, but I had hoped for an adult friend in my child. But this issue has seemed to entrench a superficiality in our conversations. We raised her in the Catholic faith, but in the gay ‘marriage’ issue, she is an ‘ally’. Thirty years ago, my husband and I never foresaw that special emphasis would be needed on this, that it would advance so far, so therein lay our fault, inadvertent as it was.

  39. Following Jesus means going to places where we don’t feel comfortable. Christ didn’t cut ties to sinners. Time and time again he condemned those who thought they were too holy to associate with “sinners.” Your self-segregation doesn’t come from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

      • You seem pretty clear when you say, “Christ or them? You chose.” The Gospels show that Christ goes to where sinners are. He certainly doesn’t choose to leave them. It’s the Pharisees who turn away from sinners in the name of the law. It’s the scribes, it’s the Sadduccees, it’s the people of the law who turn their faces from the one beaten and bruised in the middle of the road.

        • Jesus also let people leave him. He let them choose. That is what I was faced with. I did not send my friends away. They left me.

          • Of course they were the ones who left you. The God of Christian revelation, though, is one who comes to “seek and save the lost.” This God is the good shepherd who goes after the sheep who wanders away; the woman who searches her house from top to bottom until she finds her lost coin. When you separate yourself from people who are hurting, or even allow yourself to be separated from them, you are not imitating the God revealed in Jesus Christ. You’re doing quite the opposite.

            • The sheep have got to want to be found. Many in the homosexual lifestyle are recalcitrant sinners. They shun the works of our Lord and Savior. They commit license with the moral law because they have chosen to worship the creature and not the Creator. God will answer the call if He is wanted, even as one Saint has written, if the sinner makes the smallest gesture, the smallest concession of his need for God, God will pursue him. The truth, a beacon to the humble, is a glaring spotlight to those who love their sins, who crave their sins, who will defend their sins even as their sins kill them. The Good Shepherd is also the God of justice (that is right judgement).

            • The sheep have got to want to be found. Many in the homosexual lifestyle are recalcitrant sinners. They shun the works of our Lord and Savior. They commit license with the moral law because they have chosen to worship the creature and not the Creator. God will answer the call if He is wanted, even as one Saint has written, if the sinner makes the smallest gesture, the smallest concession of his need for God, God will pursue him. The truth, a beacon to the humble, is a glaring spotlight to those who love their sins, who crave their sins, who will defend their sins even as their sins kill them. The Good Shepherd is also the God of justice (that is right judgement).

            • People are neither sheep, nor coins. They have free will, and can walk away when you reach out to them. This is their right, and an exercise of the faculties that God gave to them.

              The parables about sheep and shepherds are metaphorical.

            • And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal. And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.”

              — Luke 9:1-5

              These are Jesus’ instructions for us — his disciples — on dealing with sinners.

              The parables your mention (the shepherd with the lost sheep and the woman with the lost coin) are allegorical images of God’s love for all people. We — humans — are not the shepherd, but the sheep; we are not the woman, but the coin.

              It is clear from Christ’s teaching that, to a point, we ought to reach out to other sinners. After which, we must shake the dust off, and let God alone reach out to them.

        • John 6:60-68

          This is what the author was talking about: following the truth, even if those you love abandon you, hate you, or revile you for it.

          Those who love the truth will follow it, not in spite but in love.

        • The point is this: when others force us to choose between sin and Christ, then the choice is clear; we choose Christ. If friends and/or family choose to leave us because we choose Christ’s teachings, then they are exercising their free will, and nothing more can be done when their hearts remain hardened. After good-faith efforts fail to keep the friends who are vicious to us (“going to where sinners are”) these erstwhile friends are the ones who have turned their faces away from us. Who exactly then, is “beaten and bruised in the middle of the road” after being publicly attacked for Christian beliefs?

    • Jesus Christ reached out to sinners to preach repentance and to convert them. In other words: that they may turn away from sin.

      Had Jesus Christ reached to a homosexual (as he very well may have, even though it might not have been recorded), his position would have been no different as with all other sinners: “repent and sin no more,” “cut off whatever part of your body is leading you to sin, because it is better to enter the Kingdom of Heaven maimed than go to hell,” etc.

    • Wasn’t Rebecca commenting on her gay friends turning on her, not that she was the one cutting ties? Who is doing the segregating? It is not a matter of being “too holy to associate with sinners”, but understanding (because opponents have proven it) that if you disagree with gay “marriage” practitioners or advocates, they will turn on you, and viciously. How can you be comfortable and feel safe in an environment where you cannot present yourself as you are and in what you believe? Does Christ expect us to return again and again for more abuse? Association with sinners (and we all are sinners, so also, others’ association with us) should be in peaceful assembly, not in an ongoing war zone if you are attacked time and again.

    • Perhaps Jesus didn’t cut ties, but He certainly told us to.

      Lk 9: 61 Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.”
      62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

      Rebecca, I, too, had tears in my eyes reading your entry today. I’m not sure what moved me the most–your courage in letting go or the fact that you are willing to open those wounds for our benefit. I’m grateful that you did: I have a close friend whom I’m watching drift further and further away because of her support for the ruling. I fear that she’ll leave the Church and I’m certain it’s only a matter of time before she no longer speaks to me. It’s breaking my heart and I have been able to think of little else lately. Along comes your blog to remind me that praying for the courage to stand with Christ is a priority, not something to tag on to my Rosary intentions. I’m scared; I don’t want to lose the people I know I will lose but more so, I don’t want to fail to remain with Him.

    • “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave.
      Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,
      leave there and shake the dust off your feet
      in testimony against them.”

      – Ouch. That sounds like He is asking us to cut ties don’t you think?!

      • It’s more than a little important to take Scriptures in context, including the whole context of the Bible.

  40. the one who is making friends againts friends, brothers against brothers, is the christian fundamentalist.

    • There has been some of that, no doubt. Odd as this may sound to you, I have, in my young life, been pretty thoroughly attacked by both sides of the culture wars. The extremes on both sides use the same tactics and essentially worship the same false god, which is themselves.

  41. Yet I find it interesting that the conservative Catholic elite (e.g., the Cardinal Newman Society) virtually worships at the feet of Carolyn Woo of CRS, who hired and continues to employ an openly gay-married Vice President of Finance. Gay marriage at Fordham = “bad”; gay marriage at CRS = “good.”

    • Ok, you’re new here, so I’ll allow this to make the point.

      First of all, I don’t know who Carolyn Woo is, so I couldn’t know who she has on her staff.

      Second, I don’t allow personal attacks here. Stick with the issues. For instance, if I understand you, you are making the point that many conservative Catholics are inconsistent, or you may be making a point about idolatry or cult of personality. I’m not sure. Talk about those things.

      • Carolyn Woo is president of Catholic Relief Services, which is an arm of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. I’m sure you’ve come across their fundraising appeals before.

        My argument is that conservative Catholic groups (I guess I will refrain from naming names here per your request, but a simple Internet search will turn them up easily) attack PARTICULAR gay marriages when they occur in the context of “the usual suspects” (say Jesuit universities for example–a favorite target), while prominent gay marriages in contexts/institutions favored by conservatives (in this case CRS, and most notably its president, someone who gains accolades and often speaks to conservative groups) are given a complete pass.

        • I really did sound like I don’t want you to use any names at all, didn’t I? What I don’t want is for us to go off on combox threads dishing on and attacking specific people in a personal way. On the other hand, prominent people who are positions of public responsibility are always subject to discussion as to how they conduct their public duties. I muddied the water when I answered you. I think I even confused myself. 🙂 Apologies.

          • Thanks. My assumption was that no Catholic in the US had ever escaped Operation Rice Bowl and that every Catholic knows what the acronym “CRS” stands for. So that was obviously a bad assumption on my part.

  42. Wow. I so totally agree with you. And its based on personal experience as well. Since the 1970s I have had a number of gay friends (hard not to have when you have spent your life in a very liberal, East Coast city). And sure enough, as you said, once they learn of your stance on homosexuality, they turn on you, violate your confidences, lie about you, and smear you on social media. This is why I have severed all my gay friendships, only keeping one professional friendship, and with that one, I do not discuss ANYTHING personal. They cannot be trusted if you don’t agree with them. Sadly, some of their heterosexual supporters are just as bad. We are ALL better off if we only count as close, personal friends, those who share our faith and principles.

    • Unfortunately, I am not finding close, personal friends who share my faith and principles. I have my husband, but no one else. No matter whom I talk to, there is an excessive caution always hovering over me in any dialogue.

  43. First off, use the correct terminology.
    Don’t use the Newspeak of the enemy.
    It is same-sex pseudo-marriage.

    If someone took your first and second pieces of advice, the third could not apply.

  44. You are right. I think this ruling makes things more divisive for the following reason:
    I heard Kris Perry (of Hollingsworth vs. Perry the supreme court case that overturned Prop 8) speak and she said that even if they had all the same rights as married people they wouldn’t be satisfied because marriage is “Magic”. And she wanted that “magic”. So what they were really fighting for was social acceptance, and they think that is what the Supreme Court gave them, so how dare you not cash this check. But of course, this “magic” was not the court’s to give.

  45. Rebecca, I finished reading your article with tears in my eyes. I sympathize and also empathize. I am facing the same thing, the dipping and dodging, as I have not wanted to confront anyone. None of my friends and acquaintances have come right out and asked me what my views are, but if anyone does, I will do the same as you have. I am involved in a local theater community, and it is obvious that I stand alone. I cannot and will not go against Christ to keep certain friends. My heterosexual, married, self-professed Catholic daughter is in firm disagreement with me, and since our relationship has been difficult even as my husband and I raised her and beyond, this terrible SCOTUS decision has made it more strained. Thank you for the advice, and for your other good articles.

  46. All I have to say is walk a mile in someone’s shoes. Being Gay in this country or many other countries is not easy and at times is dangerous to ones health. I don’t speak from experience as I am not gay but I had a brother who was. He passed 2 yrs ago. I can relate stories of his that could fill a page of the pain he had to endure because of how he was born. Some of the most hurtful for him was the total abandonment of his family to include our parents, friends and his church. We his siblings did reconcile with him fairly early on after the he came out and were close to him and loved him and thankfully I believe he knew that.
    He chose a celibate life but still suffered total reject by many whom he loved. Your advise may work for some but not for me. To me I understand their anger. I get it. I empathize and sympathize. I don’t show my faith by speaking out on what I do or do not agree with in what is in the headlines this week, I try instead to show my faith by love and compassion. If they see that I am a Christian even thru my poor, imperfect and weak attempts to show love and compassion then I feel have done the Lord’s work no need to say anything else, (I am adding the following) As St Francis said from his Rule of 1221, Chapter XII on how the Franciscans should practice their preaching: … “All the Friars … should preach by their deeds”

    • I am sorry for your loss, Stephen. Your brother surely suffered because of lack of knowledge and guidance. Love and compassion are defined differently by the Catholic Church than by the current trend in this world. Jesus preached the truth, always, in and out of season. His love means doing what is best for the beloved. Jesus’ truth, when it comes to those men who say they are “gay,” means telling them that they were created wholly masculine, created from love, and that sometime during their growth a disordered path was taken, often through an interruption in psychic development. A psychic sickness is never easy to bear.

      Telling him the truth, charitably, and guiding him to wholeness would have helped your brother, if not physically, then surely psychically and
      spiritually. I have a very close relative who chose, yes chose, the homosexual lifestyle. I have studied under the guidance of Father Paul Check who is the compassionate and truthful executive director of Courage International, a ministry for those with SSA and their loved ones. The Catholic faith is as a tightly woven skein of yarn. When you disorganize even one strain it is easy for the rest to come apart. We must inform our consciences of the truth of our faith so that our feelings will be in alignment.

      The Church used to actively teach about the inner hierarchy which God gave us to interact with our world. First our intellect, then our will and finally our emotions (in that order). I was taught to never make decisions based on emotions. And a well-formed intellect must enlighten the will. The will has been explained to me as being like a muscle; it’s weak unless it’s exercised frequently. Our free will and intellect will
      only serve us if God is in the mix. We were made for God and if we deviate from how fearfully and wonderfully He made us then we will suffer.

      The politically correct crowd, secular humanists in practice, who would have cheered your brother on to a life of sexual licentiousness, will have to answer to God some day. According to the Gospel, It won’t be pretty.

      • I believe the core on where we differ is that from my inner most being (based on my brother’s experience) I do not believe one becomes gay thru some disordered path but is born that way and as such have no choice in the matter and as such is loved by Christ for exactly who that person and what he / she is in every aspect of how they were created.

        • You don’t understand what we mean by the word “disordered.” That word has changed in meaning to be associated with mental and physical pathology. We used disordered as meaning not properly ordered. For example, a father that works too hard and doesn’t spend enough time with his kids has a disordered life – he does not work to live, but lives to work, and his work is ordered above his children. That obviously doesn’t mean he is pathological, it merely means he doesn’t have his life ordered correctly. We Catholics view sex as ordered toward procreation first and pleasure second. Even evolution indicates that our genitals are part of our reproductive system, the purpose of which is the perpetuation of the species! So, Catholics are not the only ones who think this way. If one starts ordering pleasure above creation, all sorts of things get out of wack, which we see all the time in this society. That is why we see homosexuality as disordered – because of the obvious biological issue, it cannot be ordered toward creation. That is why some homosexuals have this very negative term toward heterosexuals – “breeders.” They are very insecure and jealous that no matter what they do, they will NEVER be able to join in that most intimate bond of procreation – for NOTHING bonds two people together like a having a child. It is a painful and hard reality for them. As a result, to tell them their “love” is just like ours is completely dishonest.

  47. Hi Rebecca –

    Human relationships are tricky, aren’t they? I believe that relationships are a part of the sanctifying work of the Spirit.

    I don’t condone the personal attacks your friend engaged in. That’s just wrong. And I’m sorry for your hurt.

    I do understand why your friend might feel hurt and betrayed by you. The doctrine you’ve aligned yourself with says the relationships gay people form are immoral and inferior (or “disordered”, “not genuinely affective”, and “a grave depravity” if you prefer). It says gay people are uniquely flawed in a way that makes them unsuitable to live into the human experience which includes being open to romantic intimacy. It says the suffering of gay people is necessary for the good of society.

    I’m sure I would be devastated if someone who I thought loved me, at some point, confessed that she saw me as a lesser human being. This isn’t like saying “I don’t think it’s moral to use contraception”. Your espoused belief is a very real attack on your friend’s person.

    David Gushee, an evangelical ethicist, recently described the traditionalist doctrine as “the teaching of contempt” for gay people. I would hope you could understand why your friend would be wounded by your expression of contempt for him.

    • “I’m sure I would be devastated if someone who I thought loved me, at
      some point, confessed that she saw me as a lesser human being”

      Dishonest manipulation. The Christian view is that being sexually attracted to the same sex is not foundational to your identity. It ends upon resurrection. You are still the same person transformed.

      She loves her friend and wants him to be saved.

      You may reject that, but your view would not be based on Christianity.

      • I disagree that yours is the only correct view of Christian belief. But even if we presume that gay sex is a salvific concern, that doesn’t change the fact that this particular belief can be received by gay people as an indictment of personhood.

        • Received as an “indictment of personhood”? I can see that some gay people do indeed receive it that way, but I don’t really understand why. That sense of indictment is certainly common now, but it used to be quite rare. I’ve read countless memoirs and letters by and about gay men – far fewer about women, but those too. Hardly any of these sources indicate the presence of a deep sense of self-hatred, or even social rejection, in same-sex attracted people, including those who were sexually active and even profligate in their amours. And this was at a time when to pursue gay sex was to court arrest and disgrace. Was Oscar Wilde a self-hater? E.M. Forster? J.M. Keynes? Tom Driberg? Vita Sackville-West? Harold Nicolson? Siegfried Sassoon? (Well, he had all kinds of psychological problems but they didn’t appear to be related to his sexual orientation.) Lytton Strachey suffered some self-hatred that appeared to be related to his sexuality, but more because he was a thin sickly intellectual who tended to be drawn to handsome heterosexuals. John Addington Symonds? Perhaps a little, but he was such an odd man in every way. I know these were all literary people, and successful at that, but other less illustrious gay persons show up in their writings and they too seem not excessively filled with self-dislike.

          In fact, many of these people in retrospect seem less filled with neurotic self-dislike than their heterosexual contemporaries. It’s noticeable that none of these people were American. Could it be that something in the American approach to human sexuality encouraged a sense of self-dislike in gay people which they are now eager to blame on religion? It’s just a guess – and I apologize for dropping in here out of nowhere. I don’t mean to be a troll.

          • Great questions raised here. There definitely could be something about American religion that might be affecting gays differently than in other countries. Having lived in Europe for many years, I can say religion is practiced very differently in public there. Very religious people but a more practical, reasonable approach to life and those who are different.

            • Well, one difference in Europe is, or used to be, that those people who engaged in what their faith deemed to be sinful actions did not demand that the moral theology of the faith should be changed to accommodate them. Such demands for undiluted acceptance are a very American phenomenon and were once uncommon in the rest of the world, until it too began to be Americanized.

              It’s true, also, that at some periods of history, some denominations simply accepted certain kinds of sin, as long as the sinners did not “scandalize the faithful” or try to receive communion without repenting and changing their ways. The Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox Churches tended to be more accepting of sexual error in general than the various Protestant denominations. It is possible that the hard-core Protestant insistence that real faith should automatically transform sinners into saints would have made such acceptance difficult for them. And the US, of course, was and to some degree remains a highly Protestant country, one born out of Protestantism, in fact. So there’s that.

    • I don’t think many quite understand certain terms when the Church uses them and how they differ from when the public uses them. The word disorder is like the word “cult”, it has negative connotations with it even though it’s synonymous with religion, which (currently) doesn’t have as much of a negative connotation with it.
      When the Church says someone is disordered it doesn’t carry the negative connotations people outside of the Church may hear or want it to have. Here’s an order; say a person, like the vast majority of humanity, has a deep desire, so deep it’s in their very soul, to have a family, this is great for everyone regardless of orientation. Due to that desire it naturally leads to wanting a relationship with a loved one to eventually start a family, this is great too! You may have these things, it’s part of what makes you wonderful regardless of who you are or your sexual attraction. Only then, you get the relationship and nature, not the bible, not men in Rome, but nature has dictated that on a psychological level certain people are attracted to the same sex. There is still absolutely no sin in this, but for your deep natural desires to be fulfilled naturally, something is preventing them from going through this natural order (desire leads to relationship, relationship leads to family). The natural order can’t be argued and it has nothing to do with picking out groups of people to disdain at all, we’re all disordered to some degree to include every heterosexual you’ve ever met (I’m assuming you have not met Jesus or His Mother).
      I know this is unsatisfactory (again, regardless of orientation) to pride, pride which states “there’s nothing disordered about me”; only therein lies the issue, if there’s absolutely nothing disordered about someone then they’re sinless. That’s why pride is considered the foundation of all sin, all sin is, is one taking a bite of knowledge of good and evil and using that knowledge to say “my way is better than God’s”. It’s a lie that I believe when I sin, and everyone else believes when they sin. I personally do not believe I’ve ever met anyone in person who is without sin.

      • Hi Norman,

        I know the natural law arguments and the CCC very well. Your explanation is a charitable one; but even in the most charitable reading, RCC teaching attempts to pathologize gay people.

        Homosexual orientation is a natural variation on human sexuality just as “left” is a natural variation on “handedness”. I think the natural law arguments make a strong case for the normative function of sex. But the RCC error is that it insists normative is prescriptive and that non-normative always indicates pathology.

        Natural law arguments privilege the procreative aspect as the telos of sex and all but ignore the unitive aspect. But the reality is that emotionally vulnerable sex is a profound way that humans bond to one another. That’s as true for gay couples as it is for straight couples. The idea that our relationships are not genuinely affective because they lack procreative potential reduces intimate human relationship down to baby-making.

        The body is multi-faceted. Eyes are not just for seeing, they are also for registering facial expression. It doesn’t make any sense to say a blind person should be forbidden from crying.

        Even if gay sex is disordered (which I believe is incorrect), that doesn’t necessarily render it immoral.

        I have many sins. I also know I have disorder desires. I’ve never claimed otherwise. Being gay is not sinful, and neither are life-giving gay relationships. If having a homosexual orientation is morally neutral (as you have said), then there must necessarily be a sanctified way to express that sexuality.

        The sanctity of gay relationships is revealed in the lives of gay couples. The RCC can insist that our relationships are a grave depravity, but that accusation is refuted by the objective virtue of mutually self-sacrificial love present in gay covenantal partnerships.

        Perhaps the sin of non-affirming Catholics is being too proud to admit that natural law arguments don’t square with the objective virtue of gay covenantal partnerships.

        Gay people are fully human. We are not pathological. We are not inferior. We are not immoral. We are able to fully live into the human experience. We are capable and worthy of loving and being loved intimately.

        We are not, as the RCC teaching insists, lesser human beings.

        • Aren’t you making ssa a special case here when it comes to natural variation of any kind? You pick morally neutral handedness as your comparative example when handedness has nothing to do with sexual behavior and its strong moral components (secular or otherwise). Why didn’t you pick pedophilia as your example of a natural variation?

          It’s because you likely see pedophilia as a pathology and dismiss it as morally unacceptable and yet it is supposed to have a very strong ‘born that way’ component to it, just like homosexuality. Homosexuality was once dismissed as a pathological sexuality in the same way as pedophilia and for the same ‘unnatural’ reasons (completely apart from child abuse which is the only focus now). Trying to compare apples (handedness) and oranges (sexual orientation) as if they are equally morally comparable isn’t an honest or enlightening way of looking at the problem.

          • Re Ja — Pedophilia has a victim, so it’s a crime. Loving homosexuality doesn’t have a victim, so it’s not a crime. Pedophilia may be a natural impulse, but we still can’t allow anyone to practice it. Homosexuality is a natural impulse, but as long as it is practiced with love, society has no reason to condemn it.

            • There are many different people and cultures who would disagree with you (the ancient Greeks are just one example, who were also keen on homosexuality by the way). Even the American Psychological Association tried to assert that Pedophilia did not negatively impact children. So the point is true that what we culturally label as pathological is arbitrary. You may not like the comparison, but it could easily be sociologically argued.

          • So what makes the paedophilia comparison apt?

            In my view the problem with pedophillia is the fact that a young child is in their formative years and is being taken advantage of by an adult. This difference is just reflective of our concern over relationships with a power disparity. Whether its physical violence, wealth or an age disparity, uneven relationships that lead to abusive patterns are something to guard against.

            This is not something that can be said of a homosexual relationships by default anymore than it can be said of a heterosexual relationship. In the past in America (with alternative scenarios played out across the world throughout history) Native American children were taken away from their homes to be placed in ‘Christian’ schools because their native spiritual beliefs were considered a ‘mental illness’ to be treated. Should we be concerned that we no longer arbitrarily dimiss those of a minority belief system as ‘mentally ill’ because that was how we viewed it morally in the past?

            • Before the APA got political and started changing definitions of sexual disorders, homosexuality and pedophilia and bestiality were all considered paraphilias (sexual deviancy – a deviation from normal) because the object of the sexual interest was disordered. It was abnormal for a man to want sex with another man, or with a child, or with a beast. The issue of consent is a (changeable) socio/legal matter and had nothing to do with defining a sexual appetite as a paraphilia.

              Bringing faith into this is another apples and oranges red herring. Defining sexual disorders was based on natural law and biological functioning that applies equally to all regardless of faith.

            • The Church NEVER asserted that the spiritual beliefs of natives were mental illnesses. That is just plain made up. How do we as Catholics engage people who are dishonest with us? We can’t. It just isn’t worth our time.

            • The sin of pedophilia (the child cannot consent and is being taken advantage of by an adult) does not justify any other disordered inclination as ‘lesser’. If/when two homosexual people engage in immoral sexual acts, that one of them is not a child makes their behavior no less sinful. A sinful act is not defined or validated by comparisons to other sins. This line of thinking is rationalization. Sin is sin, and all are to be avoided with God’s help and grace.

        • Well it seems you’ve interwoven natural law arguments and moral arguments, one is more fundamental to the other and I outlined a fundamental/natural view that we unfortunately don’t have a choice in. As much as some may want to be victimized (I’m sorry but your second to last paragraph makes it seem as if I’ve decided how nature manifests life or that I’ve deemed people inferior). Now something we may very well disagree with is where morality comes from, I’d think you feel that we (humans) make it up (via anthropology and sociology- not necessarily “fairy tales” although I hear that frequently too), I disagree and that’s fine. I’m assuming you don’t acknowledge the Bible as a sacred book, so we’re coming from very different places. Fundamental to our discussion here is where we’re coming from, I’m coming from a place where, much like how I don’t get to decide nature, I don’t get to decide morality. I did when I was an atheist but changed my mind after assessing I, and human beings in general, are nowhere near that intelligent; and I’m one of the people who constantly see us degrading the intelligence of the ancients. Why would we need an explanation like aliens to build something like pyramids, rather then say “well they must have been ridiculously intelligent because us modern people can’t figure it out” (that’s just an example, I’d think you don’t believe aliens build the pyramids). You “know”, “in your heart”, you’re “right”- only what does it mean to know something?… Who met morality and now “knows” it?… If one knows what morality is, does that mean they also know and understand all of it, where it came from, how it got to be?… That one should write a book, the Bible is one of the bestselling and not only will it make them rich, they can do all moral things with their money because they know it so well. When we know we’re “right”, how did we meet righteousness and when did it explain itself fully to a particular English speaking individual in 2015?…. Or when I know something “in my heart”- my brain exists in my head as you’re well aware, so what does that mean?… All it means is that we’re assigning depth to it, but when we assign depth to our own beliefs it’s not all that far reaching is it?… I assigned much depth to my atheism, it was really hard to let it go, but I was wrong and I didn’t get to dictate there being no God.

          So if we look over to the moral law it won’t be reduced down to baby making, but I’m coming from a place where only God can decide morality. “Of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you should not eat” – in one sentence Moses tells us that the power to decide good and evil is God’s and God’s alone. It’s not that there’s anything inherently bad about the knowledge of good and evil, we strive for that today and it’s a good thing. It’s about taking one’s knowledge and putting it at a higher place than what God has told us; God says “my idea is right” and when we sin we say “no, mine is”. At that point it becomes about ones openness to life- but not necessarily about an individuals life or a way to express a small portion of it (expression in every aspect of each of our multifaceted lives, etc.), but life as a whole. If we’re overly concerned with sexual expression, it’d be reasonable to see someone overly concerned with emotional expression as well. Anger can be good and just- like getting angry when a mob of people beat someone to death, anger can be morally neutral, but if you keep feeding it in to hatred it becomes sinful (not even acting upon it, just having that much anger and letting it get too big to cloud your judgment- only most people who have clouded judgment don’t know it, and generally don’t care if they do, why?- because their emotional expression is the only “right”). We’re all given things in life, whether some of us are given the emotion of anger, or some of us are stubborn, some of us hold grudges, some of us are mean spirited or get too angry too easily, some of us act out our lust, some of us don’t spend enough time with our family, some of us only talk about negative things or act out every emotion we have whether it’s the right thing to do or just what we feel like doing. It’s what we do with these things we’re given, and how we react to them, that determines sin; and we get to choose.

          You as an individual had to receive life which is a good thing and was manifested with a very particular way, one man and one woman; we didn’t get to choose, but what about the polygamists where two wives want to give birth to the same life (who I have no doubt love each other as well and desire children naturally)? If it were about individuals lives’, then Jesus could have chosen not to die (i.e. when His heavenly Father said “my idea”, He could have said “no, mine”)- and some think he should have, why is the one person without any sin assigned so many bad accusations?… He underwent a giving of self that I don’t think most humans, married or not, will fully understand (to include myself), and many more who wouldn’t endorse it for themselves (especially the wealthy). You’re correct in that eyes are for seeing and registering facial expressions, but the blind aren’t prohibited from facial expressions they’re prohibited from driving (and I suspect remove themselves from the sporting arena); and it’s not because they’re not good enough or lesser human beings although that argument could certainly be made. Are blind people lesser than you?… Of course not, and that’s not part of my argument at all, I have never once said gay people are lesser (I’m just as good as they are, and if they’re Christians they’re probably better than me who’ll have a higher spot in Heaven, which is just fine with me).

          RCC teaching insists:


          It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.

          It has been argued that the homosexual orientation in certain cases is not the result of deliberate choice; and so the homosexual person would then have no choice but to behave in a homosexual fashion. Lacking freedom, such a person, even if engaged in homosexual activity, would not be culpable.

          How did Christ express His sexuality?… Not as a lesser person, that’s for sure, but to be completely honest with you, I think he may have been asexual or simply defined as “above sexuality”. He taught that there were many important things way, way, way, way more important than expressing one’s sexuality. America today disagrees, and that’s fine because we use sex to sell and the goal of capitalists is money. Let’s look at the (fully human) Mary, the best human ever and way better than any human man who didn’t also happen to be God. How did she express her sexuality?… They both expressed their sexuality with sacrificing it, with celibacy for the same reason, hetero and homosexuals can do the same and in fact we’re invited to.

          Are Christians going to take some things out of context and treat gay people badly?… You bet. Are gay people going to take some things out of context and treat RCC badly?… You bet.

      • Honestly, does it really matter? Does anything you say really change the message of the conditional, limited acceptance the Catholic Church offers to non-straight people? “We will only barely tolerate you if you are celibate. If you ever dare to build a life with someone you fall in love with, we will cast you out because nothing matters more than having the right types of genitals in a relationship.”

        What would you do if you were told in no uncertain terms that you would never be any welcome for you, no place for you in the Church with your beloved spouse at your side? Would it really matter what words were spliced which way, if that was the ultimate message?

        • I’m not sure where you find the quote you used in the Vatican’s documents but if you search the word “unconditional” on their website you’ll find quite a few documents stating the opposite. Christ said not to judge people, I’m well aware that many Christians judge people but it doesn’t make it ok when others do it either- I believe that everyone sins. So yes, it matters to me when people mischaracterize what I believe about Christ’s unconditional love for each person.
          What would I do if I was told there was no place for me?… Ask why Jesus said there was a place for me. Would it matter to me the way the words were spliced?… Yes. You know why?– because I’m not sinless and I don’t get to define morality, Moses taught that defining good and evil belongs to God and God alone. If you want to disagree and think humans can on their own, ok, but don’t you think you’re going to gravitate to people who agree with you rather than search out a truth if you don’t agree with it all?
          At that point I’d think truth becomes dependant on one’s agreement with it, and God didn’t run things by me to make sure I’d agree with it all or approve of what He ordained good.

      • Just a note, the Church doesn’t say that homosexual persons are disordered, but rather that homosexual desires are disordered. There is a very real difference that often gets obscured in a society that equates inclination with identity.

    • It’s understandable, but I think you misconstrue the meaning of things. In catholic moral theology, homosexual inclinations are not the only ones that are “disordered.” Any inclination toward sin is a disordered inclination, so homosexual people are not “lesser” because of their particular inclinations . Catholic theology is not singling out people with a homosexual inclination; there are plenty of heterosexual inclinations that are disordered.

      There is a failure in evangelism on the part of Catholics to make this clear for sure, but there is also willful misinterpretation of Catholic teaching even when Catholic teaching is made clear.

      • Hi wineinthewater –

        Even if you see homosexual orientation as disordered (which I don’t), that doesn’t require you to see gay covenantal partnerships as immoral. That is the error in RCC teaching – normative (as argued as natural law) is not prescriptive. Gay relationships are not sinful.

        I’m not saying that catholic teaching is singling out gay people as disordered, I’m saying that catholic teaching is singling out gay people as lesser human beings – uniquely unsuitable to live fully into the human experience. That particular teaching is itself immoral. It is the teaching of contempt for gay people.

        Here’s the traditionalist plausibility problem:
        Gay covenantal partnerships are objectively virtuous – a vow of lifelong mutual self-sacrifice and fidelity. RCC teaching views this objective virtue as a grave depravity. Continuing to insist that gay people are unsuitable for intimate relationship and that the relationships we form are depraved and counterfeit will do nothing but erode the moral credibility of the (big c) Church universal.

        • Gay sex is disordered. If one defines oneself in terms of an inclination toward disordered acts, he is by his own definition, disordered.

        • There is no error in Catholic teaching, nor does its teaching single out gay people as lesser human beings. The contempt you allege is only for actions which are ‘lesser’, not coconfor people, but some wish to identify themselves with their sinful actions, as if they are the same entity. Every one of us only lives fully in the human experience when we follow Christ’s teachings. There is no full human experience without Him. You have called Jesus’ teachings immoral, which is sacrilege.

          The Catholic Church is not separate from its Founder. Jesus Christ is the Catholic Church; the Catholic Church is Jesus Christ. They are one and the same. If you disagree with the Church teaching, you are disagreeing with Jesus. Nothing can ever, erode the credibility of the universal Church. Jesus built it on the Rock of Truth. Real love for our fellow man, true compassion, tells the truth to our brothers and sisters. True unequivocal love does not lie to a person to help them justify their sin. Lying is an unloving act, for if you sincerely love someone, you won’t do anything to assist their separation from God. This applies to any and all unrepentant sins, not just engaging in homosexual acts and gay “marriage.” No amount of denial or pretending, no amount of whitewashing the blackness of sin, can or will change reality. Christ’s teachings, God’s design for the human race, is unchanging and unchangeable. It will be up to each individual to to stay or go. God wants us all to stay, but it is on His terms, not ours. Why? Because God wants our ultimate well-being and happiness and He alone knows what is good; He alone knows how to guide our living on earth so we may finally live with Him in eternal life.

  48. Thanks Ms. Hamilton, for the great article. I’m used to people I don’t know telling me I’m hateful or whatnot, but when a friend from childhood called me inhumane for not agreeing with gay marriage I was taken aback; he knew I had a gay brother who I love and he knew I was a generous person. I’d even already lost a romantic relationship due to my beliefs around the very same topic which he also knew (and I was Catholic before I entered into the romantic one so it was slightly surprising then too). I was taken aback and now we’re friendly with each other but not really friends anymore, only after thinking about it I realized I already knew it before I even decided to acknowledge God and eventually become Catholic:
    “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon earth. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and one’s enemies will be those of his household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life shall lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Mt 10:34-39
    Only this reinforces why I choose Jesus, and people tell us we’re surrealistic for it, but also reveals why I wouldn’t choose a culture who tries to remove any and all traces of a cross for us.

  49. This is a powerfully honest post. You should take a long, hard look at the wisdom of your friend.

    “I would never try to force you to violate your personal morality.”

    She would never ask you to violate your morality, but isn’t that exactly what you are asking supporters of gay marriage to do? To violate our personal morality? I believe that ALL loving, committed couples should show their commitment by marriage. It strengthens and increases the stability of their relationship over just living together. By denying some people the right to get married you are asking them to violate their personal morality.

    • Actually, I’m not asking them to do anything, one way or the other. I’m simply relaying my history and the opinion that is has led me to that many gay people have become so aggressively intolerant of people who disagree with them that they will destroy and betray life-long personal relationships with people who love them deeply simply for disagreeing with them.

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