Thursday, December 17, 2009

Struggle for Truth

The homosexual rights movement borrows a lot of tactics and arguments that have been used in past rights movements (such as the women’s and African-American). It can seem like a compelling argument, especially when one knows of history. There are many well meaning people that think that this whole debate is all about love: saying who can love who and in what ways. On the surface, it does seem wrong to say that a person can’t have the same rights as someone else just because the situation is a little bit different.

The gay rights side say that people are discriminating against them and the correct response is an overwhelming accommodation for them and acceptance (not just toleration) of their actions. They compare their struggle to that of minorities in the 1960’s.

However, the gay rights movement is almost completely different than any other major movement in American history. For one, the civil rights movement didn’t call for acceptance of what African-Americans did, but instead, of who they are. African-Americans were fighting for the right to live as God intended them to be, and not under the constraints of segregation laws and racial judgment. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said he hoped his children “will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”.

The gays right movement wants rights for actions, instead of being. No one is proposing it to be illegal for someone to be gay. It is instead keeping that it is illegal for such persons to do certain things (which is where the law comes in).

Say, for example, someone is a drug addict. No matter how they became one (genetics, mental illness, choice), they are a drug addict, and for the rest of their life they will be one. How should society react to this? Should we say, well since they are addicted to drugs, lets just let them have drugs, and we’ll make it so that it doesn’t harm society. Should we ignore them, not helping but instead ridiculing them, further insulting their dignity? Or, seeing that this isn’t the best condition for them, help them stop using drugs and support them in improving their lives? In regard to this example, all three have been proposed (and attempted), and I think we all know which is the best option.

I’m not saying that homosexuals are drug addicts, but the example has similarities. Some people argue that we can’t tell others how to live or what will make them happy. You can view this two different ways. The first being religious. As Christians, and as Catholics, we are called to love all people, and that includes proclaiming the Truth to them. If someone you love was a drug addict, you want to tell them how they are hurting themselves and help them to stop. The same holds true for all our relationships. If a friend curses and uses the Lord’s name in vain, it’s our duty to point out why they shouldn’t be doing that. Doing so is a way of loving them.

The second way of looking at this is from a legal standpoint. To say we can’t tell people what not to do just doesn’t make sense. Almost every law tells us something we can’t do. When driving, we can’t speed. We can’t murder people. We can’t not pay taxes. We can’t assault people we are angry with. There are a lot of laws telling us what we can’t do. If someone is really going to say that the government can’t tell them what they can’t do, then they probably should move to a deserted island.

The gay rights movement isn’t about love. It is about claiming rights that don’t exist. The movement is seeking to not only change laws so that gays can “marry” but to also force everyone to agree that it’s okay that they are doing sinful things.

However, like other movements, both sides can be to blame for the present situation. There has been and still is quite a bit of hatred of homosexual persons. This is wrong. While we cannot approve of their actions, we must still love the person. That is what Mayor Osby Davis spoke of when he stated his view of homosexual persons. This isn’t a hard concept. In fact, if you love anyone, you already know how to “love the person and hate the sin”. If your friend curses, you don’t insult and humiliate him, you continue to love him while praying for him to stop offending God.

Being gay, like being black, may be “who a person is”. However this certainly isn’t all there is to a person. I’d like to quote Glee. “I may be a strong black woman but I’m much more than that.” Also, “being” doesn’t necessarily require action. A drug addict will always be so, but that doesn’t mean they have to use drugs for the rest of their lives.

Overall, I think it’s sad what is happening. The only way to share the Truth is with an overwhelming amount of love. Otherwise no one will ever listen.

1 comment:

  1. Ruth, great points!

    The only hole in your argument, as I see it, is that the discrimination laws did not make it illegal to be black. It just made it illegal for black people to do certain things, i.e. drinking from the same fountain as whites.