US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Let's not talk about gay marriage

By Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

That seems to be the feeling on both sides of the sexuality debate. On one end of the spectrum, a Baptist preacher in England was arrested, according to the U.K. Telegraph, for causing "harassment, alarm or distress" because he included homosexuality among the sins listed in the Bible. (Makes one thankful for the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of free speech and religion.) It seems a gay "police community support officer" overhead the remark and reported it to the police as a violation of the "Public Order Act."

On the other side, Archbishop John Myer of Newark, New Jersey has questioned whether Seton Hall, a Catholic university, should be offering a course on same-sex marriage in its political science department, according to the Star-Ledger, fearing the "proposed course seeks to promote as legitimate a train of thought that is contrary to what the Church teaches. As a result, the course is not in synch with Catholic teaching." Unless they are going to actually perform a same-sex marriage in the classroom, I think the archbishop might be guilty of an overabundance of caution.

Neither reaction seems helpful, as neither seems willing to deal with reality. Though I'm not sure the Bible condemns "homosexuality," I think it can be argued that certain passages condemn sexual activity between members of the same sex (along with a host of other behaviors between unmarried men and women); the issue is whether modern Christian are bound by those verses. As for a course on gay marriage, since it is one of the hottest issues in U.S. politics, including in New Jersey, I hardly see how a university can fail to offer a class on it, anymore than it could fail to offer a class on the politics of abortion.

Of course, what I really want to know is if the Baptist preacher would have been arrested for denouncing bankers for the sin of usury--all over the Bible and apropos of our current financial situation. I also know of many Catholic universities with business schools where students learned about certaub suspect financial instruments that charge exorbinant rates of interest to homeowners and other borrowers.

I know, I know. We can disagree in good conscience about money and war, just not sex...