According to SCOTUS, an individual’s religious beliefs are equally as important as another person’s objectively disordered sexual proclivity. Or to say it another way, Christian beliefs in regard to homosexuality and same-sex marriage are at least legally on equal par with the LGBTQ activists’ notions of what is acceptable moral behavior.
As an NBC News article on the SCOTUS decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission says, “The Supreme Court’s decision means that business owners cannot be successfully sued for refusing on religious grounds to provide services to same-sex couples, even in the 21 states with human rights laws similar to Colorado’s ban on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”
It’s doubtful that the SCOTUS ruling will stop the LGBTQ activists from calling orthodox Christians ‘homophobic.’ Name-calling is and always will be the number one weapon of the real bigots and those who are truly intolerant. But, if nothing else, as Justice Clarence Thomas stated in his opinion, “Because the Court’s decision vindicates Phillips’ right to free exercise, it seems that religious liberty has lived to fight another day.” Needless to say, the fight is not over.
Science and Homosexuality
I recently received a letter from a reader who took issue with my CS article “PFLAG ‘T.H.AW.’- A Program to Make Homosexual Behavior ‘Okay’.” He said Catholic teaching on homosexuality is “evil” and “pure bible-based bigotry and misdirection.”
What was especially sad is the writer of the letter said he was raised Catholic but is now an agnostic/deist.
I responded by asking him, “in what way is it evil to love your neighbor and still hate immoral and sinful acts? And how is it bigotry or misdirection to believe something that has good evidence supporting its veracity?”
Dr. Neil E. Whitehead, a research scientist from New Zealand with a Ph.D. in biochemistry, has reviewed all the scientific research on homosexuality in his book “My Genes Made Me Do it! Homosexuality and the Scientific Evidence” (the title is intentionally facetious). Dr. Whitehead has updated the book three times since its original publication, and the latest edition (August 2016, 4th edition) looks at all the research up through 2016. According to the Whitehead, “the more recent the research the more it strengthened the book’s original conclusions” that homosexuality is not genetic. So science says homosexuality is a disordered behavior.
Catholic Teaching on Morality
Some people today are trying to normalize homosexuality by saying that Jesus never mentioned homosexuality in any of His teachings. But as Msgr. Charles Pope points out, “Well, He never mentioned rape, or incest, or sexual abuse of minors either, and His “silence” in these matters should certainly not be taken as approval.” Simply put, there was no specific reason for Jesus to address homosexuality because no one was questioning whether it was acceptable or not. The Torah already said it was not acceptable.
Jesus also said that whoever hears His apostles hears Him (Luke 10:16). And the Apostles clearly state that homosexual acts are wrong and sinful. Such acts are sins in the same way fornication, adultery, and all sexual impurity is sinful.
So both science and the Bible say homosexuality is a disordered behavior. Believing something is true that has compelling evidence supporting its veracity is neither bigoted nor misdirection. It is wholly rational, logical, and reasonable.
Catholic Teaching on homosexuality is also perfectly in line with Catholic teaching on sexuality since sexual intercourse is a procreative and loving act that is only licit only when it is shared by a man and a woman who are husband and wife. Absent this criterion, it is an immoral act and a mortal sin. Period. End of discussion. This has been Catholic teaching for 2,000 years.
Moral Relativism and Self-Indulgence
Today, however, thanks to the moral relativists and the Me Generation back in the 60s, Catholic teaching on sexuality, contraception, abortion, homosexuality, cohabitation, and marriage, according to the document prepared by the young people that gathered in Rome in March, is “controversial.”
Last year my over-30 son and his fiancé in her late 20s, met with one of the deacons in our parish as part of their Pre-Cana counseling. One of the first questions the deacon asked them is “How long have you two been living together?” He was quite surprised when my son responded, “We don’t live together. I live with my parents and she lives with her parents.”
Apparently, it’s all too common these days for even young Catholic men and women to cohabit for some time before they get married. At least this is what the deacon told our son and his finance after they ‘shocked’ him by telling him they were not cohabiting. The deacon said they were the only couple he has met with for Pre-Cana counseling in quite some time that had not been cohabiting. That is pretty sad.
But that is our culture today. Even the Chevrolet Division of General Motors now promotes immoral behavior. A current television commercial features a Chevy spokesperson talking to young couples about three different Chevrolet model cars. The Chevy spokesman says to one of the couples, ‘so I understand you’ve just started dating. This new Trax will be great for you when you move in together.’ Such unabashed immorality is shameful.
Catholic Leaders Need to Lead
I have to wonder if Archbishop Allen Vigneron, leader of the Detroit Archdiocese, wrote to or considered writing to General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Bara to express concern over the message the commercial is sending to young people. Archbishop Vigneron called for Detroit faithful to reject the violence and sin of racism during a Mass on Sunday, April 15 at St. Fabian Catholic Church, in Farmington Hills. June 3 also marks the one year anniversary of the Archdiocese’s “Unleash the Gospel,” a New Evangelization effort aimed at renewing the Church in Archdiocese. So a statement expressing his concern over Chevrolet’s messaging would not be out of order.
Unfortunately too many Catholic bishops today seem reluctant to address sexual moral issues. The clerical sexual abuse scandal and how it was handled by so many Catholic bishops has too many Church leaders playing defense or just remaining mute when it comes to matters of sexuality. But offering guidance to the faithful on such matters is what good shepherds must do.
Today’s most-watched television shows like the Big Bang Theory promote pre-marital sex and cohabitation, while others like Modern Family promote homosexuality and same-sex ‘marriage.’ Even the Big Bang spinoff, Young Sheldon, had to bring sex to the forefront in the show. Apparently, the problems faced by a 10-year-old genius didn’t provide enough comedy material for today’s writers. Two recent episodes shifted the focus off of Sheldon and onto his widowed grandmother and her sexual escapades with a male suitor. Up until those two episodes the show was a thoroughly enjoyable family-friendly show.
What to do?
So along with the entertainment industry, the manufacturing and other industries are now promoting immoral behavior. Over at First Things last month, Mark Bauerlein has an article entitled “Businesses To Avoid If You Can,” listing 37 different companies that supported the Human Rights Campaign’s brief “arguing against the claims of Jack Phillips in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.” Even cable and internet provider Xfinity had a promo running on its homepage the other day saying “Xfinity LGBTQ – Experience Pride Month with Xfinity – Binge Your Favorite LGBTQ Shows and Films.”
We really need our bishops and pastors to start speaking out against the immorality that is so prevalent in society today. But we as the laity also need to speak God’s truth to our friends and loved ones who may be confused or wavering when it comes to moral issues. And as Bauerlein suggests, we should avoid doing business with companies that support immoral behavior if possible. But we can also pray, fast, and say the rosary regularly, too. It appears this is needed today more than ever before