I don’t know how many of my friends or acquaintances have ever committed adultery. I’ve never asked them. But I imagine a fair number. After all, we live in a sexually permissive age, and I don’t know of any reason why my friends and acquaintances, who are for the most part normal Americans, should be especially exempt from the sins of the age. Besides, the old sexual double standard (lax for men, strict for women) has vanished during my lifetime; and it has vanished not by raising the male standard but by lowering the female standard. In general, feminism has meant that women are now allowed to do hitherto masculine things, not that men are required to do hitherto feminine things.
In any case, should I happen to express my disapproval of adultery (a disapproval required of me by my Catholic faith), my adulterous friends and acquaintances (whoever they may be) will not have a violent reaction to this disapproval. They will not say, “You’re a hater.” They will not accuse me of helping to make the lives of adulterers miserable. They will not accuse me of committing the great crime of adulterophobia. They will not call me an adulterophobe.
By contrast, should I happen to express my disapproval of homosexual conduct (another disapproval required of me by my Catholic faith), many persons in the LGBTQ movement, along with their liberal fellow-travelers, will not hesitate to call me a bigot and a hater, a homophobe who contributes to making the lives of homosexual persons (persons who were “born that way”) miserable.
And they will dismiss out of hand my defense – that in disapproving of homosexual conduct I am simply following the age-old teaching of my Catholic religion. This dismissal will take one of two forms. Either (a) they will tell me that I belong to a homo-hating religion; or (b) they will deny that Catholicism, properly understood, teaches this. They will tell me that Jesus, in commanding that we love our neighbors (ALL our neighbors, not just our heterosexual neighbors), revoked the Old Testament condemnations of homosexuality.
As for St. Paul’s denunciation of homosexual conduct in the first chapter of his Letter to the Romans, they will tell me that Paul, great man though he was in many ways, suffered from the tremendous misfortune of not living in the modern world. For if he had, he would know that a certain percentage of the human race is born with a strong and ineradicable homosexual orientation; and he would have drawn the proper theological conclusion from this, namely, that God wishes such persons to engage in acts of homosexual sodomy.
As a bonus, these champions of LGBTQ-ism sometimes take the trouble to inform me that the famous sin of the ancient city of Sodom was not, as homophobes allege, homosexual conduct; rather, it was inhospitality – the kind of sin that would be committed by a Marriott desk clerk who refused to rent me a room, not because there was no vacancy, but simply out of malice. Perhaps this explains why Marriott clerks never do this; they realize that such malice would horrify God Almighty.
How do I know all this? From experience. Over the last three or four decades I have from time to time written opinion pieces in newspapers, magazines, websites, and on Facebook expressing my disapproval of homosexual conduct. Rarely do these expressions of disapproval fail to provoke cries of horror from LGBTQ types or their liberal fellow-travelers. They tell me I’m a “hater,” a “homophobe,” a “bigot.” Often, they tell me that they feel sorry for my students, who are forced to listen to the ravings of a homophobe. Sometimes they tell me that my disapproval of homosexual conduct indicates that I myself must be a latent homosexual. And they say these things, not in a gentlemanly (or ladylike) way, but with anger and vitriol.
They regard disapproval of homosexual conduct as equal in its evil to the wickedness of racism. And so, as we need place no limits on our denunciations of racists, so we need place no limits on our denunciation of homophobes.
“Why,” you may ask, “do you subject yourself to this verbal abuse? Why do you bother to tell the world that you disapprove of homosexuality? If they know you’re a Catholic, they’ll know you disapprove without your saying so. If they know you’re a moral conservative, they’ll understand that your conservatism implies disapproval of homosexual conduct. No need to shout it out.”
So why do I do it? Why do I “shout it out” from time to time? For a few reasons.
For one, I see the LGBTQ movement as an important, indeed a very important, element of the ongoing and apparently never-ending sexual revolution – a cultural revolution which, clearly, has done tremendous damage to American society since its inception in the 1960s, and is likely in the future (if it is not halted) to do even more damage.
For another, I see approval of homosexual conduct as tantamount to disapproval of Catholicism. In this respect it is like approval of abortion. For if you approve of abortion and homosexual conduct, you are saying that the Catholic religion has been wrong about two really big moral questions for about two millennia now. And if you say that, you are saying that Catholicism is a false religion.
In addition, I see the almost universally accepted taboo on “homophobic” speech as a great infringement on the American tradition of free speech. I refuse to be silenced.
Finally, I wish to set a good example for our Catholic priests (and bishops), who, for the most part, are intimidated by the LGBTQ movement – and by its dupes, some of whom are sitting in Catholic pews. I hope my small example will encourage one or two priests to stand in the pulpit and defend our religion against its LGBTQ enemies.
*Image: The Destruction of Sodom by Jan Luyken, 1712 [Rijks Museum, Amsterdam]. (The Scriptural references are to Genesis 19 and Jude 7; the sense of the inscription: How dear, O Sodom, is your desire/If God extinguishes that flame with fire!