Homosexual Unions Versus An Anthropology Informed By The Truth About Man
It is only through an anthropology informed by the full truth about man that the question of homosexual union in all its aspects can be appropriately answered.
"All the evils which poison men and nations and trouble so many hearts have a single cause and a single source: ignorance of the truth -- and at times even more than ignorance, a contempt for truth and a reckless rejection of it. Thus arise all manner of errors, which enter the recesses of men's hearts and the bloodstream of human society as would a plague. These errors turn everything upside down: they menace individuals and society itself" -- Pope John XXIII
Proponents of homosexual unions who write there and elsewhere continue to argue from the same predictable positions of fundamental rights, basic human fairness, unjust discrimination, emerging consensus, and shift in public morality.
All of those positions are based on false premisses, and betray a serious failure to recognize the full truth about who man is. As the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church informs us, only "an anthropology corresponding to the full truth of the human person can give an appropriate response" to the question of unions between homosexual persons (No. 228). In other words, the various aspects of who man is, his purpose and destiny, the consequences of his abuse of free will, the purpose of the sexual faculties with their differences between man and woman, the meaning of marriage and those ends toward which it is ordered and so forth, all need be taken into account in order to understand why homosexual unions gravely contradict the truth about the human person.
Before continuing, it is important at the outset to note the constant teaching of the Catholic Church on human dignity: all people possess human dignity and are therefore to be always treated with the proper respect, which obviously includes homosexual persons. In fact, it is precisely because of the dignity of homosexual persons that they deserve to be informed about the real dangers homosexual unions pose to those involved individually and to society collectively.
Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his encyclical Caritas In Veritate: "To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are . . . exacting and indispensable forms of charity." Love of God for his sake and love of neighbor obligates the Christian to live by the truth, always and everywhere. That aim is twofold here: to defend the truth about the human person, and to defend the truth about the dignity of the institution of marriage, an indissoluble and permanent bond between one man and one woman, because charity demands it.
But let's look briefly at some of the typical arguments posited by marriage equivalency advocates. Take, for instance, the notion that homosexual persons have a "fundamental right to marry." This not only implies that homosexual unions are identical to heterosexual ones, but also suggests that homosexual persons have a right to engage in homosexual sex acts. But does the human person -- any person -- possess the "right" to engage in any sex act deemed to be desirable? Nope.
The natural law inscribed into the heart of every person and recognizable by reason, reveals that certain actions or inactions are opposed to true goodness and are therefore evil. Just as we know that murder is evil, so too we know that certain uses of the sexual faculties are disordered and run contrary to their purpose intended for goodness. Another way to think about this concept, is that some actions and/or inactions are opposed to the reality of man's existence and to his nature: if man willfully complies with these, then he is engaging in a self-dehumanizing action. If man combats the truth about who he is, he intentionally diminishes his dignity, and brings grave harm to not only himself but to society as a whole.
The homosexual person has no "right" to engage in homosexual sex acts any more than any other person has a "right" to incest, adultery, fornication or other disordered uses of free will with respect to the sexual faculties. The fact is, by choices of free will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, good or evil, the human person shapes his character and fathers his own being, either toward the good or toward its opposite: evil. The person who, for example, steals, is not merely a person who made a mistake but is a thief.
Another premiss we find in the argument in favor of homosexual unions is that there is more to be gained by capitulation than by resistance. The basic notion is, if same-sex unions were legitimized, then perhaps we could all agree on other important issues involved in the marriage equation. For instance, perhaps both homosexuals and heterosexuals could agree that cohabitation, extramarital sex, "trial marriages" and so forth are wrong. It's not unlike saying, "Let's all go along to get ...
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