Why is Homosexuality Wrong?

Dear Father,

I have inquired to many sources, but never recieved a straight answer (no pun intended). Why is homosexuality considered wrong? I try to understand, but I'm getting more and more frustrated. People say it's because homosexuality goes against God's plan, well, how are we to know that? True, in the bible, it says homosexuality is wrong, but when that was written, the term homosexuality was meant as "sexual perversion." God only inspired the writers of the bible, He didn't dictate it to them. God could have had a master plan that, when the earth became overcrowded, He would create people who, because if they followed their instincts, which he have them, would not have children.

I know several people who are gay and know from experience that they couldn't have chosen to be that way. It is a biological thing, and they don't deserve to be without love. People say, well, priests live like that, with the love of Christ, but my friends don't want to be forced into a life like that. I'm not trying to be mean, i just don't understand.

Thank you for your time and consideration,



Dear Katie,

I am not sure I can give the "straight answer" either, but before trying, it is important to make sure we agree on what we are talking about. People today often use words in an equivocal way, sometimes with a deliberate attempt to mislead. An example of that is the word "homosexuality." Sometimes it is used to mean same sex attraction or orientation; at other times to mean engaging in sexual activity with a person of the same sex. I think you can see that the first is not wrong in itself. According to the Bible David and Jonathan had a deep love for each other, but it did not involve genital sexual activity. However about the second meaning the Bible is quite clear:

Leviticus 18:22
Do not lie with a man as one lies
with a woman; that is detestable.

Romans 1:26,27
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.
Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.
In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations
with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.
Men committed indecent acts with other men,
and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

I know that some people say those teachings don't apply anymore, just like the ban on eating "unclean animals" has been lifted. However, twenty centuries of Christian teaching have been pretty consistent that genital homosexual activity is sinful. The Catechism sums up two millenia of doctrine on the point:

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,[Cf. Gen 191-29 ; Rom 124-27 ; 1 Cor 6:10 ; 1 Tim 1:10 .] tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.'[CDF, Persona humana 8.] 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."

2358. "The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is 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. "

Here at Holy Family we have a group called Courage. They are men and women who feel same sex attractions, but desire to live Jesus teaching as summed up by the Catechism. It is not easy. It requires a lot of prayer, frequent communion and confession and a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. But all of them agree that as members of Courage they have found an inner peace, even joy. By way of contrast the active homosexual lifestyle is so often a living hell. Among men it typically involves going from one empty relationship to another. If you want to get some glimpse into the torments of a homosexual life (which often is carried out behind a quite respectable facade) try reading the biography of Alfred C. Kinsey "A Public/Private Life" by James H. Jones. The author is by no means anti-homosexual, but in telling the inside story of Kinsey's tortured life, he shows the destructive potential of uncontrolled sexuality.

As far as what Christ requires, the homosexual is in a similar position to anyone who for whatever reason does not get married. Jesus teaches that the only legitimate (genital) use of our sexuality is in marriage. The reason for that teaching is found in Gen 1:27 which Jesus quotes when they asked him about the possibility of divorce: "Male and female he created them." That may seem like only a simple biological fact, but it has deep theological implications. As I tried to show in my article on women priests the entire Bible is about the "divine nuptials." The sexual union of man and woman is meant to signify, to foreshadow the union between Jesus and his bride the Church. That union naturally includes fecundity - at least the openness to it. As you can see Jesus teaching regarding such matters as divorce, women priests, abortion, homosexuality, pre-marital sex and birth control are of one piece. Once a person accepts any one of those practices, they soon wind up buying the whole package. At the same time, if someone sees the logic of Jesus' teaching in any of those areas, the others also easily fall into place. Do you see what I am saying?

Anyway, Katie, I hope I have given you something to think about. Please do feel free to ask a further question.

God bless,

Fr. Phil Bloom

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