Christianity has always regarded elements of homosexuality to be sinful. But increasingly, people are asking what this actually means. This re-evaluation arises particularly given the increasingly popular recognition that those who experience same-sex attraction, tend not to actively seek to deviate from the norm of heterosexuality, but rather are driven by innate desires that they did not choose to begin with. In this line of thinking, the question arises of whether the Bible teaches that same-sex attracted people are simply born to be condemned by God.
In the 20th century, common Christian thinking on the issue, was that homosexuals should seek with God’s help to become heterosexuals, and that this change was indeed quite possible for any homosexual. IE that God would remove homosexual attraction and replace it with heterosexual attraction. But in now in the 21st century, knowledgable Christians recognise that most male homosexuals who seek to follow Christ, find that they never loose their same-sex attractions, no matter how much they implore God to help. But many English translations of the Bible state that homosexuals “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). So the question of whether the Bible teaches that same-sex attracted people are simply born to be condemned, is particularly important.
Here at this blog we do not believe that same-sex attracted people are simply born to be condemned. This is because we believe that when the Bible refers to homosexuals, it’s not referring to orientation, but rather to those who engage in sex between members of the same sex. IE a celibate person who is attracted to members of the same sex, is not necessarily sinning. But anyone (gay or straight) who has sex with someone of the same sex, is sinning.
This is further explored here: http://www.dtl.org/ethics/article/homosexuals.htm
A few months ago, I watched the multi-award-winning movie Spotlight. It’s a movie based on real events – basically how the Boston Globe, a newspaper, uncovered legal claims of pedophilia by over 70 priests in the Catholic Church in Boston, New York. When I first heard of the movie, I thought it would basically be an exercise in Catholiphobia. But after watching it, I decided it seemed like a reasonably balanced presentation, though I didnt really know enough background, to know for sure. Here’s the trailer –
Some have pointed out that the levels of pedophilia discovered, actually match those of the general population, and that the key horror was how the church covered up the abuse. A sad story, not matter how you look at it.
But more recently, Ive become aware of much frustration by some, about how “middle management”in the Catholic Church in the USA, also turns a blind eye to the sin of homosexual practise. By “middle management”, I mean priests and bishops. Because while official Catholic teaching from the Vatican, says that homosexual practise (IE basically having gay sex) is sinful, many priests and lay-members in USA, dont respect that teaching.
But here’s the bite. Has this permissive attitude in many Catholic churches towards homosexuality, related to the problems of pedophilia?
Some will shake their heads in disbelief at such a suggestion, and cry out that pedophilia is not the same thing as homosexuality. But I suggest that such a response points to a superficial understanding of sexuality. Because while it’s true that many homosexuals seek out partners of their own age, many a gay man is attracted to younger gay men. Males in their late teens and early 20s feature strongly in gay pornography that is consumed by gay men of all ages. Pornography that features males younger than that, is illegal, and is rarer, but still exists. The point at which a sexual partner is deemed as a child, meaning pedophile territory, is legal decision, that doesnt necessarily match a lower age limit of homosexual attraction.
While some people see the world in simple terms, EG comprised of heterosexuals and homosexuals, others point out that it’s not that simple, because some are in-between, IE bisexuals. And likewise, while it’s true that there are distinct groups of homosexuals and pedophiles, there are some in-between, which we might call pederasts. Yes folks, it’s not always a clear-cut world and the distinctions we see, are sometimes arbitrary.
But society does present distinctions. These days, society tends to group some sexual and gender identities together. Im thinking the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) grouping. Some like to include a Q, for queer, in that group. And queer people sometimes like to include prostitutes in their group too, though you basically never see a P in the acronym. And apparently in decades past, the group also included pedophiles, though that is basically never the case these days. Google Harry Hay, NAMBLA and the early gay faerie culture, for details on how pedophiles and homosexuals were more united last century.
But anyway, back to the question – Did the permissive attitude in many Catholic churches towards homosexuality, contribute to the problems of pedophilia? Perhaps it did. There is interesting insight from a 1982 book named The Homosexual Network: Private Lives and Public Policy, by Enrique Rueda, a Catholic priest.
I dont have the book, and I havent read it, but according to this EWTN.com review of the book, in the 1970s, when the idea of “gay rights” was called “gay liberation”, –
…every type of sexual activity was considered equally deserving of “liberation.” As pederast theoretician David Thorstad proclaimed it in the pages of Boston’s Gay Community News in January, 1979: “We should present ourselves not merely as defenders of our own personal rights to privacy and sexual expression, but as the champions of the right of all persons — regardless of age — to engage in the sexuality of their choice. We must recognize homosexual behavior for what it is — a natural potential of the human animal.”
Note the “all persons – regardless of age” bit. Yikes.
According to a 2016 study by Enrique Gracia and Juan Merlo, discussed here:
It’s not a link that many have made. But interestingly, the following article claims that when Christians affirm things like same-sex marriage, this adds to Islamic distaste towards Christians in general, and adds to Islamic animosity and violence towards Christians. This point is made towards the end of the article, where in the context of Islamic terrorists and violent jihadists, it states –
… what these [Islamic] converts have often reacted against is the moral corruption of the West … What doesn’t help here is the repeated pronouncements of some church leaders appeasing a secular moral theology and saying for example, that the teaching of the Bible on issues such as marriage doesn’t matter anymore. Such public statements simply convince potential converts that the church is part of the moral corruption of the West and again Islamists exploit this. The Islamist critique of the West in fact very much focuses on its moral corruption.
The full article can be found here –
Liberal Christians tend to say that gay relations are ok. Conservative Christians tend to say that engaging in gay relations is sinful. Can the two sides unite and agree to disagree? I dont think they can, because from a conservative perspective, the Bible seems to disallow it. This article says it well –
I think the title is over-simplified, but I like the following, which is a response to a well-circulated meme –