Dialogue on homosexuality

Scott Kreppin

is an aspiring Catholic priest and sophomore at St. John’s.

There is no reason ever to hate or to discriminate, and as Christians we should be ashamed when we do so. The only thing that we disagree on with this issue is whether or not homosexual actions are sinful. Only God can answer this question for us, but the way the scriptures are commonly interpreted leads us to the conclusion that homosexual actions are sinful, and most moral theological writings that I’ve seen have agreed on this point. We must keep in mind, however, that if homosexual actions are sinful, that still does not make a homosexual person sinful.

Jesus was male, and I love him with my whole heart and soul. No Christian should be shy about professing that, male or female. The claim is not that love is ever sinful, but rather that homosexual acts, which are defined as the act of a person satisfying carnal sexual lusts with someone of the same sex, are sinful. The reasoning usually given is that God made man and woman separate so that they could unite themselves to one another. Humans do not possess the qualities of a hermaphrodite, but rather need a member of the opposite sex in order to procreate.

Also, since sex outside of marriage is considered sinful, and the Church requires that marriage be between a man and a woman, homosexual sex would necessarily be outside of marriage.

There are several canons from section 1055 through section 1165 in the Code of Canon Law that state that marriage can only be between a man and a woman, and the two parties not being a man and a woman is considered an impediment of both “natural law,” and “Divine Positive Law” to the validity of the marriage.

The claim that homosexual actions are sinful is usually supported through references in scripture. The book of Genesis says that God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Ghemorah for being sinful. God sent two angels to Sodom, and while the angels, who were described as men, were spending the night in the square, the men of Sodom tried to rape them. This biblical example is where the term “sodomy” comes from.

The most common biblical reference to homosexuality is what St. Paul says in the letter to the Romans. “Therefore, God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 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.”

This is the strongest scriptural support for the idea that homosexual acts are sinful. Yet, even in this passage, which is quoted by so many people who discriminate against homosexuals, we see that it is not the people who are looked down upon, but the actions themselves. Regardless of how strongly Paul spoke against homosexual actions, he would nonetheless be appalled to see Christians displaying hatred towards homosexuals.

Paul’s message, just like the message of the rest of the bible, is to love God, and to love your neighbor. I am straight, but far from sinless. How can I condemn a gay person for sinning when I myself am a sinner? That I am not tempted toward that particular sin does not give me the right to judge others who are.

Adam Sornchai

is an aspiring Lutheran minister and freshman at St. John’s

The Bible is interpreted as saying that homosexuality is wrong. If it is a sin – and I stress the word “if” – no where does it say to go out and hate, beat up, persecute, kill or whatever these sick and twisted people go out and do to homosexuals. If you want to call someone perverse, I would call the people who go out and hate anyone let alone justifying their reasons with God for that hateful action. Now that is perverse!

Why do people hate? Even worse, why do we try to justify our actions in hating that something or someone? I could never understand why. Probably because hate takes up too much energy and I am lazy. Throughout human history this has existed. We have tried to erase the hate, but unfortunately it is still here. Our society is very homophobic, and to make matters worse the Christian church has done a bang up job in giving a good reason for bigotry and hate. Seeing people with signs that say “God hates fags” just makes me sick to my stomach and makes me even more ashamed to call myself a Christian.

I am reminded of what Jesus said in the Gospel of Luke that talks about people passing judgment on others. Jesus says, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

Jesus says that a sinner cannot lead another sinner, and offers this parable: “Can a blind man lead another blind man? Will they not both fall into the pit…How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Jesus clearly states that not only is judgment wrong, it’s hypocritical. We must look within ourselves and correct our own faults (the plank in our eye) not worrying about what others do (the speck of dust in theirs). If homosexuality is a sin how can we dare judge another sinner? Keep in mind that Jesus himself never commented on homosexuality.

Should homosexuals have to change their lifestyles? I don’t think so. I wish we could live in a world that could accept people for who they are. If we all listened to one of the greatest commandments of all – to love your neighbor as you love yourself – this world would be such a great place. Homosexuals are people too. Why can’t they have a relationship with God? Why are they not allowed in some churches? It is because we are uncomfortable with their life style? That is a poor excuse. We are not loving our neighbors when we do this. We are rejecting them, even worse, pushing them away from God. When we push anyone away from God, that my friends, is when we miss the point.