(The Stoning of Zechariah)
The Supreme Court has ruled today legalizing “same sex marriage” in a very poorly reasoned decision. This is something a Christian cannot support in good faith. Of course we believe that we are called to treat each individual with all the love and respect that is due a human person. But that love we are called to does not mean that we are required to recognize a morally bad act as if it were good. Therefore we deny that our actions are motivated by hatred when we say that homosexual acts are wrong. However, people will accuse us of hatred anyway.
Because those political and cultural elites have decided that the only moral wrong is “hatred,” and because they decide that any action or belief they dislike is “hatred,” it stands to reason that we will become social pariahs in society. I fully expect that families will be divided as Our Lord warned in Matthew:
34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. 35 For I have come to set
a man ‘against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36 and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’ (Matthew 10:34-36)
So, when those of us who believe that marriage can only exist between one man and one woman encounter those who believe that any sexual relationship can become a “marriage,” they will accuse us of bigotry, hatred, homophobia and so on. They will falsely compare themselves with the Civil Rights movement and equate us with being Klansmen. To bolster their claim, they will trot out every extremist who comes along and equate them with being the “typical” example of Christian opposition.
This is false of course. The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes quite clear that, despite moral opposition to same sex sexual acts, we are not to treat people with such an inclination with hatred or do harm to them:
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, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” 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) [Emphasis added]
Of course this hostility in the face of rejecting society’s values in favor of Our Lord’s values. Is nothing new. The pagan Romans viewed the early Christians as “enemies of humanity” and a danger to society because we rejected the vicious (in the sense of “vice filled”) practices they accepted as normal. Any government which finds our moral stance to be a barrier to what they want to do will find a way to label us as an enemy of the state, being cheered along by the crowds.
Of course, we must make sure our behavior as Christians is worthy of Our Lord. We have to love and bless those who hate us, and rebuke those extremists who confuse the teaching of what is right with the hatred of those who do wrong. And there will be extremists out there. When something offensive is done, there will always be a small percentage among the offended who think an unjust response is acceptable—and the greater the offense, the larger the amount offended and a corresponding larger number of extremists. We must urge them to remember that we may not do evil to those who wrong us.
So, we will no do evil, but, we will not surrender doing what is right before God either, because we must obey God, rather than men. We cannot "burn the pinch of incense” that society demands to get along. So, just as we did after Roe v. Wade, we will refuse to accept the validity of the Supreme Court decision. We will work to bring a fallen society back to Christ. In doing so, we will reject the charge of “hatred” towards those who hate us. We may be fired, fined, sued or imprisoned. We may find the Supreme Court will invent a “workaround” to evade the First Amendment and justify direct attacks on denominations they despise. But despite that, we will continue to love those we are called to teach the truth about how God calls us to live.