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The Dissenting Voice within Us

You may have noticed that you can get in trouble for expressing the opinion that homosexual conduct is morally wrong or unnatural.  You may find yourself being called a “homophobe” or a “hater” or a “bigot.”  And if there is a public record of your having expressed such an opinion in the recent or even distant past, you may find that this disqualifies you for a job you are applying for.

Or if you already have a job, your boss may call you into the office to receive a reprimand; a letter of censure may be placed in your file; and you may be warned that, if you repeat your offense, you will lose your job.  “There is no room in this company [or college or public school or government agency or charitable foundation],” your boss will tell you, ”for hate speech.”

You (a Catholic or an old-school Protestant) may try to defend yourself by pointing out that your negative view of homosexuality is not merely a personal prejudice; it is the age-old teaching of your religion.  This won’t help very much.  For all it means is that you belong to a “homophobic” religion and that you are so deficient in common decency that you refuse to dissent from this vicious doctrine of your antiquated faith.

And if you are a celebrity – an entertainer, an athlete, a political figure – millions of people, led by wise and virtuous anti-Christians, will rally in an attempt to destroy your career.  We don’t allow literal lynchings in America nowadays, the kind that took the lives of its victims, but we relish metaphorical lynchings, the kind that destroy reputations and careers with numberless indignant and self-righteous denunciations.

Meanwhile, you may have noticed that you will not get in trouble for expressing your opinion, perhaps your religion-based opinion, that adultery is morally wrong.  Nobody cares if you say that – not even adulterers.  With hardly any exceptions, people who commit adultery believe that adultery is wrong, at least as an abstract proposition.

Of course they believe that their particular instance of adultery is morally permissible, but only as an exception to a generally valid rule.  Because of special circumstances (e.g., you are “getting even” with your spouse, or you are deeply “in love” with your adulterous partner, or you are entitled to this because of the moral goodness that marks all other aspect of your admirable life), the otherwise valid rule against adultery does not apply to you in this particular instance.

Thieves are like this, too.  They think that stealing is wrong.  They won’t approve if you steal from them.  But when they themselves steal, well, that’s different.


Why don’t homosexuals take this line of defense?  Why don’t they say, “I admit that homosexual conduct is generally speaking wrong.  But it’s not wrong for me in this particular case”?  That’s what most of them used to say, back in days prior to the gay rights movement (now “new and improved” as the LGBTQ+ movement).  And I suppose some of them still do say it.  But they are the quiet ones.

Homosexuality used to be called “the love that dare not speak its name.”  It is now more properly called “the love that refuses to give us a moment’s peace.”  These noisy gays, the people who form the heart and soul of the LGBTQ+ movement, instead of granting that homosexual conduct is generally wrong, contend that such conduct is generally right. And they express moral outrage if you disagree with them, even if you do so while citing St. Paul.

I have a suggestion.

If (as many philosophers and theologians have held during the past 2,500 years) we humans have innate knowledge of certain moral truths, and if one of these truths is that homosexual conduct is wrong or unnatural, then when you say that homosexuality is wrong, this is equivalent to saying to your gay neighbor, “Not only is your conduct wrong, but you know it’s wrong; and you are therefore a self-deceiver or a hypocrite when you deny it.”  Who can be surprised that homosexuals will get upset when told that?

If the theory is true (as I myself think it probably is) that we have an inborn conviction that homosexuality is wrong, this explains the vigorous – the extremely vigorous – campaign on the part of the LGBTQ+ movement to convince every last American as to the goodness of homosexuality and to punish those (e.g., Catholics and old-school Protestants) who refuse to be convinced.

If you wish to hold a certain controversial belief, but at the same time have doubts as to the truth of that belief, the best way to quell those doubts is to surround yourself with people who share your controversial belief.  If “everybody” agrees with you, then you must be right.  Your doubts will recede.

And so if the doubts you wish to quell have to do with your belief that homosexuality is a fine and splendid thing, you may wish to take up residence in one of the many gay enclaves that can be found in the United States.  But even if you reside in, say, Provincetown, you will be aware that not far away (perhaps in New Bedford) there are people who think homosexuality is wrong.  And so your doubts, though weaker than they were when you yourself lived in New Bedford, will still be alive and still trouble you.

Only if you and your ideological allies crush all dissent, utilizing all of America’s tremendous propaganda apparatus (press, entertainment industry, schools, colleges, Democratic Party, Joe Biden) to hammer home the message that gay is good only – then will you be able to silence the dissenting voice that Nature (or God) has planted within you.

When old-school Catholics are told that their religion is very naughty for having taught them that homosexual conduct is wrong, they should reply, “It was Nature that taught me that; my religion merely endorses the lesson Nature has given.”


David Carlin is a retired professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America, Three Sexual Revolutions: Catholic, Protestant, Atheist, and most recently Atheistic Humanism, the Democratic Party, and the Catholic Church.