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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Arguments Concerning Sexual Identity

I saw an argument today:

People who identify as gay (or another sexual identity) believe that the Catholic Church, and Christians in general, hate them;

Some Christians do in fact hate such people;

But in fact, Jesus loves all people, their sins notwithstanding;

Therefore, Catholics and other Christians should attend gay weddings (and other ceremonies) to show solidarity with the people involved.

And the counter-argument:

The Church (the Catholic Church) teaches that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered, (CCC, 2357) that is, by their nature contrary to God's design for the body, and for human sexuality and cannot be approved under any circumstances; (stipulate to the compassion, respect, and sensitivity commanded of Christians by Jesus in CCC, 2358)

Attendance at a wedding signifies approval and celebration of the union, or putative union;

To approve and celebrate such unions would be to commit the sin of scandal; (CCC, 2284-2285)

Therefore, Catholics and other Christians should not attend such ceremonies.

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There's usually an unstated premise in the first argument that to disapprove of homosexual relations in any degree constitutes the "hate" under discussion. Indeed, it is the definitions of "love" and "hate" that are unclear in the first argument, and may even constitute an equivocation, with respect to the love of Jesus.

It seems that it is possible to question the second premise of the second argument, namely that attendance does not constitute approval and acceptance of the union (or putative union). Many have made this argument. However, other pro-gay arguments rely on this premise, (that attendance shows approval and acceptance) to show hypocrisy in other cases (e.g. divorce and remarriage). You can't have it both ways.

Scandal is a unique sin, because it need not involve participating in the sinful act itself, but it causes doubt about the sinful character of particular acts.

Additionally, particular observers may want to consider their relationship to the following premise: "All that the Catholic Church believes, proclaims, and teaches is revealed by God." One cannot realistically understand the second argument without this premise. And in fact, the first argument relies on it, too, but in an ad hoc way. The love of Jesus is unintelligible without the revelation of who Jesus is. Notice also that part of what the Catholic Church teaches and proclaims is the natural law, specifically pertaining to man and woman united in marriage. So, other Christians may agree with this part, and disagree in some matter of supernaturally revealed truth.

My general read of things is that, sentiment toward some people, and antipathy toward others, cause people not to be able to reason clearly. It happens all over, but adherents of the first argument are particularly prone to this lately, in my experience.

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