Saturday, August 4, 2012

And WE'RE The Bigots?

There seems to be a popular internet picture going around Facebook at this time in response to the Chick-Fil-A events of this past week:

 

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The point is to argue Christians who support traditional marriage share the same views as the Westboro Baptists who post reprehensible signs like this:

 

 

But the Catholic teaching is:


2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. (2333)

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. (2347)


Catholic Church. (2000). Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd Ed.) (566). Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference. (Emphasis added)

So, what we have is actually an act of bigotry – but not by Christians.  What we see is gross stereotyping that presumes all Christians think the same way as the Westboro Baptists, when in fact most Christians condemn their grossly unchristian behavior.  It's basically like assuming all Muslims are terrorists because a few groups are, or that all Hispanics are illegal aliens because some are.  It's grossly intolerant to assume from the behavior of some that all are this way.

One of the main problems I see is the Either-Or fallacy (sometimes called the Black or White fallacy). The argument runs in this case:

  1. Either you [support "gay marriage"] or you [are homophobic]. (Either A or B)
  2. You Do not [support "gay marriage."] (Not A)
  3. Therefore you [are homophobic.] (Therefore B)

The reason this is a fallacy is because the main premise assumes [A] and [B] are not only in opposition to each other (which they are), but are the only two options – which they are NOT. If there is any option [C] out there (opposes "gay marriage" but not out of hatred), then the argument is invalid and the claim is not proven true.

Many people seem incapable of recognizing that third option exists, so let's put the shoe on the other foot.

  1. Either you [Support Traditional Marriage] or you are an [Anti-Catholic bigot]. (Either A or B).
  2. You don't [Support Traditional Marriage] (Not A)
  3. Therefore you are an [Anti-Catholic bigot] (Therefore B).

I suspect most people who disagree with Traditional definitions of marriage would object to this. "Hey! Just because I think they are wrong doesn't mean we hate Catholics!"

Right, and that's my answer to you.  Just because we consider a certain behavior to be wrong does not mean we believe God hates people struggling with homosexual tendencies – or even people who are committing homosexual acts.  All people have struggles with sin, and all of us are to call on God to give us the grace to overcome our sins.  We may fall at times, but we need to continue to persevere.

If a person fails to distinguish between this and the view of the Westboro Baptists, perhaps the problem with intolerance isn't with those who believe in the Christian understanding of Marriage.

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