I was chatting with a few people after the choir yesterday (I have choir practice on thursdays), and the topic of conversation had (somehow) turned to homosexuality. I was more of a listener for most of the time, but it’s interesting what you do observe as a listener.
Apparently this man who is a kindergarten teacher has a boy in his class who wears a dress (for whatever reason), and a couple of girls who say “hey, he can’t wear a dress” – a remark which I would regard as being perfectly sensible. The lady he was talking to – a very respectable lady she is too – had a different opinion to my own. Although conceding to the fact, as I had pointed out, that people can change, she said that any homosexual people (unwilling or unable to change), ought to say “that’s who I am”, and we ought to accept that (presumably with all the consequences that entails).
Now, that’s a tricky remark, since it’s mostly true. No good counterfeit is a bad imitation of the authentic article. It has all the appearance of saintly charity and pious tolerance; enough to crown the speaker with an apparent halo of a 21st century crusader engaged in a valiant struggle against ages-old injustices and discriminations.
Ah, but merely an appearance.
It appears so because it is true that we must “accept them as they are”. It is true that they must be valued as human beings, with precious souls, formed in the Image of God. We are obliged, however, to separate the wheat from the chaff, sinner from the sin.
What the children – those two girls – possessed was an insight into the natural world, into its teleological order (that is, its purpose and design) – there is something objectively disordered when a human male acts as a female or has a sexual relations with another male, regardless of his “natural” condition, just as there is something objectively disordered about the effect of an illness on a formerly healthy person, regardless of how “natural” that may be. We all know this intuitively, and identify that violation of the Natural Law (for that’s what it is) is wrong.
What the adult – the lady – possessed (as well meaning as she was) was a capacity for justification, for good or for ill. Let us now ask, “is it true charity, true tolerance”? Is it more humble and righteous to accept the behaviour, and proud and immoral to hold that they are objectively disordered acts?
Well, no, not really.
There is no charity in encouraging them to live a destructive lifestyle that shortens their life span by 20 years, exposes them to venereal diseases and physical injuries (a most obvious sign of violation of teleological order), which doesn’t fulfill, but rather lead them away from, their true desires. Similarly, there is no tolerance when, through approval of anything and everything, there is no longer anything to tolerate! True tolerance requires charity; approval only a consent. There is much greater love in a person who acts charitably toward his “enemy”, than there is in one who does the same to his friend:
|If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. …love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return… Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:32-33, 35, 37-38).|
Again, it’s a paradox; a child’s simplicity exhibiting a greater wisdom than an adult’s understanding. Perhaps this is one reason why Christ says, “truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (Mark 10:15) and, “whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4).