Love is Not Hate

man hands painted as the rainbow flag forming a heart, symbolizing gay love

A few months ago, I walked into a framing store with a large painting of Saint John Paul II, and laid it on the counter. The framer, a kind gentleman in his mid-forties, looked fondly on the image for a few moments, and remarked, “I’m a Catholic boy. Too bad the Church doesn’t want me.” Although it was unspoken, it was obvious he was referring to homosexuality. I asked, “What do you mean the Church doesn’t want you? Of course the Church wants you. God loves you. The Church loves you. This is your home.” He looked happily shocked asked, “What parish do you go to?”

We had a pleasant conversation, and when I returned a few weeks later, I greeted him and he exclaimed, “You remembered my name!” We again entered into a warm conversation and I soon noticed his eyes were becoming moist with tears. He asked, “Can I hug you?” “Absolutely!” I replied, and he walked around the counter and we embraced like brothers. I called over to my young son who was shopping with me, and said, “Give him a hug, too, buddy!” My boy wrapped his little arms around the man’s legs and mine. Driving home, I thanked God for the meeting, because I know I had encountered Christ in this man. Those brief moments with him were the highlight of my day. He even sent me a message online to show how he framed the same painting of Saint John Paul II for his house!

The reason I share this is because I don’t think I’m the only one who is tired of the media telling me that if I believe in traditional marriage, I “hate” people who experience homosexual attractions. Hate is a powerful word, and it shouldn’t be tossed around in hopes of scoring polemical points by stirring up people’s sentiments.

Many people who experience homosexual attractions have suffered through tremendous bigotry, cruel harassment, and homophobic shunning. Some have committed suicide because of the rejection and bullying that they have experienced—sometimes within their own families. We need to be deeply sensitive to these realities, acknowledging that such hateful prejudices should be condemned.

Are you a hater?
So here’s the question: Does the profession of one’s belief in traditional marriage constitute hate speech? If so, then those in favor of gay marriage should be asked:

Do you hate individuals who want to enter into a polygamous marriage?

Do you hate individuals who want to have an “open” or “monagamish” marriage, where fidelity is not a requirement?

Do you hate the woman who recently married herself?

Most people I know who experience homosexual attractions are delightful human beings. I have a difficult time thinking they would hate any of the individuals mentioned above—even though they might disagree with their definition of marriage.

So, let’s be fair: If you disagree with someone on the definition of marriage, this doesn’t make you a hater. You can disagree vehemently with someone, and still love him or her deeply.

Some will retort, “It just seems like the Church is picking on gay people by forbidding them to marry.” Those who make this understandable objection are often unaware that the Church isn’t trying to single out anyone. The Church simply believes that the sexual union of a man and a woman is one of the essential parts of marriage, and therefore those who incapable of it are also incapable of marriage. For example, the Church does not believe impotent couples are capable of marriage. [Not to be confused with infertility, impotency is when a person is incapable of intercourse.] It’s important to understand that when the Church talks about marriage, it is not primarily talking about what to people do (exchange vows), but rather what two people become (an icon of Christ’s love for his bride, the Church).

Not surprisingly, many people will object even to this, assuming the Church has no right to pontificate on such matters. What’s ironic is that the culture that first demanded to have intercourse without marriage now demands marriage without intercourse.

Called to love
By affirming that the one-flesh union is essential to marriage, the Church is not forbidding anyone to love. In fact, those who aren’t called to marriage are still invited to express God’s love in a powerful way. Many who experience homosexual attractions have joyfully embraced this calling, but their voices are often drowned out by those who assume chastity is an unrealistic option. Their lives are proof that although many have rejected the Catholic Church, the Church rejects no one.

In the end, it isn’t an expression of hatred to invite people to practice chastity. In fact, would be a false form of compassion to lead anyone to believe that they could find true happiness outside of the will of God.

The topic of same-sex marriage is bound to stir up emotional responses, and that’s okay. It’s healthy to have impassioned and spirited debates about a topics of great importance, such as the definition of marriage. But in the heat of the debate, let’s not lose sight of the fact that every person deserves to be treated with respect. If we begin calling one another names, it means that we’ve lost our temper or we’ve run out of valid arguments—or both.
____________________________

j-evertJason Evert founded chastityproject.com has spoken on six continents to more than one million people about the virtue of chastity. He is the author of more than ten books, including How to Find Your Soulmate without Losing Your Soul and Theology of the Body for Teens.

65 Comments

  1. thank you Jason. As a SSA Catholic male who came home to the Church and its teachings after 30 years of estrangement, I value anyone who helps advance the principle of a Catholic Church where everyone has a seat. I wish someone would have made that message clearer to me while I was actively living the lifestyle, and frequently being told that the Church condemned me (and it was both my gay friends, and Catholics who told me this).

    By Karl | 1 year ago Reply
    • The article was lovely to read, Jason!
      Karl, it is people like yourself I enjoy hearing from. So, I sincerely thank you for sharing! It’s voices like yours that the public NEVER hears from! Such a shame, when you are living proof of God’s Love 😀 God bless you!

      By Veronica | 1 year ago Reply
    • The article was lovely to read, Jason!
      Karl, it is people like yourself I enjoy hearing from. So, I sincerely thank you for sharing! It’s voices like yours that the public NEVER hears from! Such a shame, when you are living proof of God’s Love 😀 God bless you!

      By Veronica | 1 year ago Reply
    • The Church (like Christ) has always condemned the sin and warned those partaking of serious sin that their immoratal souls are in danger of going to hell if they do not repent and change their lives. It is the same as warning a cigarette smoker that they may get cancer if they continue to smoke. Do we hate smokers when we tell them this truth? Of course not. I would argue we actually love them more than those who remain silent about choosing smoking or living a sinful lifestyle. Our Lord was very condemning of those who refused to repent of their sins and rejected His teaching – can we do any less? I would also tell a heterosexual living with his partner that they are also in danger of losing their soul if they do not repent and change their lifestyle.

      By Barry | 1 year ago Reply
  2. Thank you! Deeply touching!

    By Margaret Meleski | 1 year ago Reply
  3. It’s a shame you used the word homophobic because it’s not actually a word. Just something invented as a politically correct term used to undo someone’s argument or statement. Please pray for my son Jacob and daughter Elisha who both have SSA.

    By James | 1 year ago Reply
    • It might be helpful for us to have an article on the difference between helathy same-sex attraction vs sexualized same-sex attraction? Kids these days don’t know they are allowed to have a best friend! People calling them “gay” if they do. It’s sick, what our world has become.

      By Andrew | 1 year ago Reply
      • That would be a wonderful article! I am CCD teacher of your TOB series, and had a gay student this past year and was perplexed on such an explanantion, keeping both the students feelings in mind and the teaching of the church. Other than a celibate life, or religious vocation I was not sure what to say, withoui making it sound like they were not deserving of a marital love from a commited spouse.

        By Joyce | 1 year ago Reply
      • I’m working on it! :)

        By Andrew | 1 year ago Reply
    • I disagree that it’s a made up term. Some people really do fear or hate gay people. The term might be used too indiscriminately, but it doesn’t mean it is invalid.

      By Michael | 1 year ago Reply
  4. Thank you for sharing the simple truths of the Church.

    By Julie Meintel | 1 year ago Reply
  5. You said – “The reason I share this is because I don’t think I’m the only one who is tired of the media telling me that if I believe in traditional marriage, I “hate” people who experience homosexual attractions.” To which I reply with a *huge* AMEN! And unfortunately, no matter how hard I try, I can’t get to the point where people can understand that significant distinction.

    By Kelly | 1 year ago Reply
    • I think you could ask “If I were a taxi driver and refused to take tourists into a bad part of town late at night, explaining to them the probability of danger to themselves and to me, would I hate them if I refused their request, even if they insisted?” No, I am actually loving them, trying to protect them from possible harm.

      By David Lewis | 1 year ago Reply
  6. Strong and powerful article :-) The simple and basic truth of Christianity.

    By Erick Perez Acuña | 1 year ago Reply
  7. Thank you for such a beautiful post. This is such an emotional issue. Even as an adult it can be hard to reconcile what I know the Church is and what the world tells me we are about. How much harder still for our young people. This is truely inspiring.

    By Marisa Gonzales | 1 year ago Reply
  8. Absolutely spot on. Jason I am not sure if you ever read my story, first featured in THIS ROCK (now Catholic Answers) magazine in the fall of 2008, and later expanded and highlighted on the “Why I’m Catholic” website among others. On that site I share some rather intense struggles I had even long after the original THIS ROCK article, and how I nearly derailed (frankly did a few times very honestly) from my return to Catholicism. I can only say this: the struggles go deep, but God’s love goes deeper always. I also want to thank you publicly for understanding that. And I am one same-sex attracted man who will not be leaving Rome again–not ever. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” So said our first Pope, St Peter, to Jesus Himself on this earth. In any case, all told my story has now been at least viewed by over 150,000 on the Why I’m Catholic website alone, and approximately 100,000 other times through various other venues including the original THIS ROCK version I mentioned above. I do not say this in any way to brag–not at all. I say it because I am utterly amazed and continue to be. The Church really does want me. ME!!! And she loves me. The right way. We just need to learn to show that love more clearly to our actively LGBT sisters and brothers because many of them still do not feel it nearly enough. And your article is a great start in that direction. Here is a link to my story if you or your readers wish to check it out…

    http://whyimcatholic.com/index.php/conversion-stories/catholic-reverts/60-catholic-revert-richard-evans

    God bless you and yours, and thanks again for loving!

    By Richard G Evans | 1 year ago Reply
  9. Beautiful piece. Helps put things in proper perspective.

    By Thomas Collins | 1 year ago Reply
  10. Thank you for this touching article, Jason! I have this argument with my own relatives telling them just because one doesn’t believe in gay marriage, it doesn’t mean we “hate” gay people. It’s simply showing the love we have for them that we don’t want them to commit a sin. Being attracted to the same sex is not a sin but doing any gay acts is. Once again, thank you and God bless!

    By Cristian Velasquez | 1 year ago Reply
  11. In the last message to Mirjana (2.4.2015), in Mejdugoje the Holy Mother of God is asking all of us to see positive things in everyone. When I think of people who disstanced themselves from faith and Mother Church, or terrorists, I think the they too where once innocent children and I pray that they too will know Jesus and his love that made Him die for each one of us. Chastity is the answer to find out the will of God every day. We also believe in chastity in marriage, with implies only to be open to life. My husband and me left it all up to God and after six years of Marriage God blesse us with three wonderful children: a boy and thwo girls!

    By Lynda Sciaraffa | 1 year ago Reply
  12. I get so glad when people ask “which parish do you go to?”, because to me that is a sign that someone has just seen Christ’s understanding, love, compassion, etc. It is clear that this young man saw Christ in your actions. Thanks for sharing authenticity of Christ’s love.

    By Claudia | 1 year ago Reply
  13. I found this to be a wonderful read. Although I am not a homosexual, I have no problem with homosexual people. I have met many “Christians” who would disown their own child if they ever found out they were homosexual. The only problem I have with what you say is when you said that the church rejects no one. Excommunication is real and does exist. It is not common anymore, but it still happens and thus rejects people. God does not reject people. Unless you are referring to a church other than a catholic one and then since I don’t know them all I cannot disagree with the statement at this time.

    By Grumpy Mama | 1 year ago Reply
    • Hi, Grumpy Mom! :)
      Excommunication is not meant to reject a person for the sake of rejecting them. But to give them an opportunity to reflect upon whatever sinful acts they committed to be excommunicated. It is not permanent, because the excommunicated person can reconcile themselves to God through the Church at any time. When someone gravely sins, whether their sin is publicIy known or not, they harm not only themselves but the whole body of Christ. They sever themselves from God and the community. That person actually rejects God and the community, the Church. You’re right to say God does not reject anyone. But he does judge us and He knows us through and through. He knows our hearts, our motivations, all our thoughts and secrets. He knows when someone sins with full consent of the will verses when someone sins “by accident” because they didn’t know that what they did was truly wrong and why it was wrong. There are certain situations though, when the Church has a duty to give the flock a “loving kick in the pants” in order to motivate them to repent of a sinful act. Such as a priest or minister who has been convicted of child abuse. They are excommunicated because they need to realize that they sinned against the child and the whole community of believers, who they chose to seperate themself from.

      That’s my understanding of it! Maybe Jason can elaborate?

      By Michelle | 1 year ago Reply
    • In Matthew 18:16 it states: “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. 17″If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18″Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.…” This is how we are to treat a believer who publicly sins and refuses to repent. This is the basis for excommunication so that the brother will be shocked out of their damning behavior. This was done because we love the brother enouhg to go to great lenghts to bring him back. If you have a problem with the Church excommunicating folks then you have a problem with the Lord Himself.

      By Barry | 1 year ago Reply
  14. It is always such a blessing to read your blog posts. I am a huge fan of your writings about abstinence. In fact, we teach a Bible Study based on your book “How to Find A Soulmate without Losing Your Soul.” It is always a huge success in our nonprofit center. It changed my life as a single woman. Now, years later, I am happily married to a great man of God. This article was of interest to me because I understand our Earthly marriage is a representation of our “marriage” to Jesus as the Bride of Christ. My defense of traditional marriage has always been that marriage is a religious term/definition that has been defined by God Almighty. Man has absolutely no right to alter this definition and use it as a term to describe civil rights. They two are very different. Marriage is sacred and pure. I could not agree more with you about showing love to homosexuals. I have friends that are gay and they no how I will never agree with gay “marriage” but I love them and my hope is that they will see the Light of Jesus in me. I believe strongly that there is such a physiological thing as same sex attraction, however it is how you act on that attraction that makes the difference. Facing temptation is not sin, acting on it IS! Thank your for sharing! I am always blessed by your words.

    By Tina | 1 year ago Reply
  15. God hates the sin but loves the sinner. So should we. I hate homosexuality but not the homosexual. I hate abortion but not the abortionist. Often the quote of Jesus ” judge ye not” is miss used. We are all called to have good moral judgment. We can judge actions but we can’t judge people because we don’t know a person’s culpability, only God does. It is no more a matter of being judgmental to say stealing is wrong than it is to say anything else is wrong. That includes sexually deviant behavior. Expressing your opinion about right and wrong, good and evil isn’t being judgmental. It is exercising your constitutional right of freedom of religion and speach. There are many places in the new testament that tells us to admonish the sinner. One such place is James ch5 vs 19 -20. It is an act of love to tell someone what they need to hear rather than what they want to hear. As for deviant sexual desires, homosexuality is just one of many. There is adultery, fornication, beastailty, necrophilia, pedophilia and many others. Should we accept them as normal just because people want to do them too? We either have moral standards or we don’t. The purpose of marriage wasn’t to give people permission to engage in sexually deviant behaviors but to give offspring legal connection to their parents. by changing it to include gay marriage we are changing its purpose thus opening up a whole Pandora’s box of sexually deviant behavior seeking public acceptance by getting married.

    By Sandra Dudley | 1 year ago Reply
    • Excellent response, Sandra.

      By Eileen | 1 year ago Reply
    • Perfectly said Sandy!

      By Carolyn | 1 year ago Reply
    • This response is ludicrous and ungrounded. I am beyond sick of hearing the “hate the sin, love the sinner” response to discussions like these because it does not apply to sexual orientation. You are implying that homosexuality is a sin because it is a “deviant sexual desire.” Well, consider this. Assuming that everything God created is good and considering that homosexuality is not a choice but rather an inborn sexual orientation, homosexuality (as well as other orientations) must also be good. And if you try to fight me by saying that any orientation besides heterosexuality is a choice, you obviously have not met any individuals who identify as such. No one chooses their sexual orientation. Why would anyone CHOOSE to be any sexual orientation other than heterosexual? In our society, those who do not identify as heterosexual are persecuted, bullied, abused, and sometimes killed. No one would willingly CHOOSE to risk their lives by identifying as something other than heterosexual unless they had no other option. News flash: they don’t have another option. Sexual orientation is a component of one’s identity that is with an individual at birth. It can’t be changed, altered, or “cured.” The fact that you are placing homosexuality among necrophilia is insulting, disgusting, and frankly idiotic. Take a step back from everything that you have been taught up until now and think about how and why you believe what you do. You may come to find–as did I–that your beliefs are not grounded in as much as substance as you have assumed.

      By Nick | 1 year ago Reply
      • Even gay activists have backed away from saying you are born that way, and I had one prominent gay activist tell me to my face that “environment plays a factor”.

        Your response to this article reveals just how much you have bought into the idea that attractions define you and that people are who they are. Where does virtue fit into your picture of reality? I would be interested in your reply. Peace in Christ – Andrew

        By Andrew | 1 year ago Reply
  16. EPHESIANS 5, 10 TRY TO DISCOVER WHAT THE LORD WANTS OF YOU

    Hello Jason

    “HOMOSEXUALITY IS A SIN AND IS A DISEASE OF THE BODY, MIND, SOUL AND SPIRIT”

    The cause of homosexuality comes from the sin of idolatry (to Idolize oneself).

    The issue of same-sex unions is like the issue of homosexuality. Everything is in Romans chapter 1 and Wisdom chapters 13 and 14 . It is a sin to have same-sex attraction, is a sin to have homosexual feelings. The desires and the actions as well.

    It is also a disease of the body, mind, soul and the spirit.

    God created us as perfect woman or a perfect man. A man (woman) does not born Homosexual, it is a choice of free will to go to the Evil or to fight it and be saint.

    God ask to us to love each other and be fully aware of the sin, to be intelligent not fools. We must love the sinner but denounce the sin. Ephesians 5, 11 take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness but, on the contrary, show them up for what they are (but rather reprove them). Romans 1, 32 who, knowing the judgment of God, that they which practise such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also give consent to others that practise those things too.

    THE MAN WHO DESPISES OR REJECTS TO ANOTHER IN ANY ASPECT COMMITS A SIN AGAINST LOVE AND MERCY, BUT ALSO COMMITS A SIN IF HE ACCEPTS THE WORKS OF DARKNESS OF OTHERS. GOD´S LOVE AND MERCY ARE IMPARTIAL, BUT HE DETESTS THE SIN. IF WE DON´T LOVE OUR NEIGHBOUR, WE HAVEN´T KNOWN GOD. BECAUSE GOD IS LOVE, IS PARDON AND LIGTH. Acts 10, 34-35 Then, Peter, opening his mouth, said: “I have concluded in truth that God has no acception of persons. But within every nation, whoever fears him and works justice is acceptable to him. PROVERBS 14, 21 whoever despises his neighbor, sins.

    Now I tell you, that we know from the Scriptures that homosexuals are liars, cheaters, gossipers….Romans 1, 29-31 we are foolish if we trust in them, if we rely on them. We must not take part in their works of evil, but if you are prepared to guide them to salvation is because you have received Spiritual Unction, Spiritual Wisdom because our fight is with the spirits of the air: Ephesians 6,12 For it is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the principalities and the ruling forces who are masters of the darkness in this world, the spirits of evil in the heavens.

    We cannot speak of having “the right” to celebrate same-sex unions or the right to live homosexual love, because it is not a matter of rights and freedoms , but a matter of spiritual disease.

    This spiritual disease is explained in the scriptures, is due to the serious consequence of detachment from God and disobey his 10 Commandments living in impurity.

    The Modern Church has not yet taught the Scriptures correctly on this issue, just give some advice or counseling. By the Grace of God this person will look for spiritual help, call it deliverance or exorcism.

    Some few people (in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal) know that “this serious sin” that leads to death of the spiritual soul is what the Scriptures call unclean spirits. Those unclean spirits that our Lord Jesus expelled out of the people who were tormented.

    In order to Evangelize about this disorder of homosexuality you must be able to explain about 3 important things: Body, Soul and Spirit. And how the enemies of the soul led us to temptation and to sin. Needs to explain also these enemies: World, Demon and Flesh.

    Unclean Spirits are the most difficult to expell (there are more than one in a person). Repentance, conversion, confession and sacraments, deliverance and changing lives (living holiness); helps you in order to these evils spirits won’t come back .

    Now the spirits of uncleanness do not torment people, because they don’t want to be recognized, and so they can continuing with the evil purpose of losing human souls. When an unclean spirit is present in the person, I mean, the person knows or realizes that he “has another person or personality inside” that is not himself, and that dominates him in evil aspects.

    Without repentance to the Lord Jesus Christ, these sins are the cause of eternal damnation (revelation 21,8).

    There is also a non-spiritual method, a clinical therapy in psychiatry to cure homosexuality, is called “reparative therapy or conversion therapy to cure homosexuality.” Yes to cure it !! Can you believe it !! How Great and merciful is God !!! Praise be the Lord !!

    I think in USA is the Dr. Josep Nicolasi .

    I personally recommend Dr. Aquilino Polaino Lorente of Spain, he is a doctor and psychiatrist. This is the best scientific explanation of homosexuality and its cure.

    I leave you with a little information on the matter, God bless you.

    Why Homosexuality is a sin?

    Because we are consenting, accepting with false humans respect others person´s sins; and we are not obeying God´s commandments:

    In Leviticus 18.22. Is homosexuality an abomination to God.

    In Romans 1, 18-32 gives us the cause of homosexuality comes from the sin of idolatry (to Idolize oneself) and just tells us how these people are worthy of death.

    In Romans 3: 20: because the law (commandments) gives only the knowledge of sin.

    In 1 Corinthians, 6, 12-19: St. Paul teaches us: Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit indwelling Spirit of God. Our bodies are not our own are members of Christ.

    In God´s Talion law (REMUNERATIVE JUSTICE) we can see numbers 4-Idolatry, 5-Carry Idolatry, 7-Sodomy and 6-Adultery (homosexual people have more than one partner) those are capital crimes and also capital sins, and for every crime there is a guilt and a penalty, in the law of man and the law of God, that is an eternal truth. Means that these crimes have the same punishment as was the crime, you will repay with the same crime.

    TALION LAW FROM THE TORAH: Law of retaliation, paying the same for the same.

    The capital crimes under Mosaic (Torah) code were :
    1. Murder, Nu 35:16 ;
    2. Blasphemy ; Lev 24:16 ;
    3. Kidnapping, Ex 21:15 ; Q1 1:10;
    4. Idolatry , Ex 22:20; 17 : 2;
    5. Carry idolatry , De 13: 6-9;
    6. Adultery , Le 20:10;
    7. Sodomy and filth , Le 20:13 ; 17.20;
    8. Incest , Le 29 : 14-21 ;
    9. Bestiality , Le 20 : 15-16;
    10. Wizardry , Ex 22:18;
    11. Hitting parents, Ex 21:15 ; De 27:16 ;
    12. Cursing Parents , Ex 21:17 ; Le 20 : 9;
    13. Disobeying parents, De 21: 20-21;
    14. Desecration of Shabbat , Ex 35: 2; Nu 15 ; 32 ;
    15. Endangering human life , Ex 21:29 .

    Wisdom of Solomon, 14, 22-27

    22. It is not enough, however, for them to have such errors about the knowledge of God; for that, living in ignorance, they call these terrible evils: peace.
    23. With Their child- murdering rites , Their occult mysteries , or frenzied orgies With Their outlandish customs ,
    24. They no longer Retain any purity in Their Lives or Their marriages, one treacherously murdering another or wronging him by adultery .
    25. Everywhere a welter of blood and murder, theft and fraud, corruption, treachery, riot, perjury,
    26. disturbance of decent people, impurity of souls, sex reversal (sins against nature), disorder in marriage, adultery, debauchery, prostitution, pornography.
    27. For the worship of idols with no name is The Beginning, cause, and end of every evil .

    Romans 1, 21-32

    21. they knew God and yet they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened.
    22. Professing themselves to be wise, they became stupids (fools).
    23. that they exchanged the glory of the uncorruptible God for the image of a corruptible man, or of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.
    24. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    25. because they exchanged God’s truth for a lie and have worshipped and served the creature instead of the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    26. For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: why their women have exchanged the natural intercourse for unnatural practices;
    27. and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due.
    28. And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
    29. Being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; They are gossipers, whisperers,
    30. Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
    31. Without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
    32. who, knowing the judgment of God, that they which practise such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also give consent to others that practise those things too.

    By Violeta Maria | 1 year ago Reply
    • Violeta, I think I speak for rational humans everywhere when I say I don’t want to know you or your god. Speaking as a heterosexual male, with a wife and 3 children, I think the nonsense you’re espousing is dangerous at best, and at worst ignorant. I believe in God, one who loves and created everyone. He does not make mistakes, people are created as He intended. Straight, gay, nut job, or sane.

      By Timothy | 1 year ago Reply
      • While it is true that God “loves and created everyone” and “does not make mistakes,” He did not create homosexuals any more than He created pedophiles, necrophiles, or other sexual degenerates. Homosexuals are not born that way; they BECOME that way just as do pedophiles or necrophiles. Nobody has ever discovered a “gay gene.”

        What is it then that brings on homosexuality (or necrophilia or pedophilia)? The evidence indicates that these are the result of an incomplete or disordered development which, of course, can be caused by a lot of things. I would nominate as one of these causes the utterly sick, pornographic culture in which we now live. This culture has ruined the lives of millions, including the large number of sexual perverts who are currently out there.

        This is why we all should be fighting this sick culture as much as possible. Not all that long ago we were doing just that. The law not only used to proscribe homosexual behavior but also pornography, underage sex (remember when the “age of consent” used to be age 21, not age 18?), abortion, prostitution, and any number of other undesirable behaviors. You heard very little about homosexuality back then — because there were simply not all that many homosexuals (and most likely hardly any transgenders). Instead children were all given the chance to grow up normally and fully develop normally, without being baraged by an avalanche of pornography. Today, of course, that is no longer the case. Is it any wonder why we currently have inordinate rates of suicide?

        As long as we continue to harbor the notion that homosexuals are “born that way,” we will continue to have a continually sickening society. Regarding the claim that this point of view is “dangerous at best, and at worst ignorant,” I would simply ask, “who’s being ignorant?”

        By Bill Bannon | 1 year ago Reply
        • Why shouldn’t homosexuality be regarded as something that not only “needs to be cured” but in fact can be cured? There are any number of Internet postings from former homosexuals who are praising God for having delivered them from that affliction. It is no more “misguided thinking” to proclaim that God can cure homosexuality any more than it is misguided to proclaim that He can cure pedophilia or necrophilia.

          Unfortunately the healing power of God is not given much emphasis in either the Catholic Church (of which I am a member) or in mainline Protestantism. It is in the fundamentalist churches where one often sees the evidence of this divine power. The Catholic Church would do well to learn from this example.

          By Bill Bannon | 1 year ago Reply
    • Homosexuality is not something that needs “to be cured”, Violeta. And the purveyors of such misguided thinking are a shrinking batch whose influence, if any, continues to wane. Sadly, this is the exact kind of language that leaves many SSA Catholic men and women estranged from the faith.

      By Karl | 1 year ago Reply
      • Why shouldn’t homosexuality be regarded as something that not only “needs to be cured” but in fact can be cured? There are any number of Internet postings from former homosexuals who are praising God for having delivered them from that affliction. It is no more “misguided thinking” to proclaim that God can cure homosexuality any more than it is misguided to proclaim that He can cure pedophilia or necrophilia.

        Unfortunately the healing power of God is not given much emphasis in either the Catholic Church (of which I am a member) or in mainline Protestantism. It is in the fundamentalist churches where one often sees the evidence of this divine power. The Catholic Church would do well to learn from this example.

        By Bill Bannon | 1 year ago Reply
  17. Good blog Jason, thank you. I missed, however, the truth on hope and restoration in your conclusion a bit. This article is very interesting and contains much truth I believe. We limit God by thinking people are born this way or that this is who they are. There is so much restoration possible for those who believe and work toward it with the help of psychotherapy.
    http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=28-01-031-f#ixzz3U2GRFU6h

    By J | 1 year ago Reply
  18. Jason, thanks for such kind words and comprehension. I feel somewhat pleased that in the Church there are people like you who put in practice this: “love someone as you love yourself”. Here in Brazil, my country, I’ve usually seen pepole being disturbed by a church leader’s words. I refer to Christian Churches which are not Catholic; Evangelist churches. In some of them, the Pastors are telling their followers to punch gay people until their death just because they are gay and, because of that, they are the biggest “broadcasters” of aids. And their followers have been doing that! The worst is: the pastors use to say that in name of God. They’ve been using God’s Word to maintain their prejudices and lack of sense. I feel shocked and can’t even imagine how a human being is able to do such thing. I’m not gay, but I fear for relatives who are. I fear for people who listen to those disturbed words. I fear for Everyone that is forgetting to respect and love the other no matter what, like the Bible says. Please, pray for them. They need to find God’s real love and not those crazy pastors’ disturbed idea of God and his love. God bless you.

    By Maria Cecília Simes | 1 year ago Reply
  19. Great read! Thank you for sharing your compassionate and good thoughts on the issue!

    By Monica | 1 year ago Reply
  20. Interesting blog. My favorite 2 words in all of this “love deeply”. Amen !!! Thank you Jason.

    By Susan | 1 year ago Reply
  21. It’s sad to see supposed loving Christians talk of homosexuality as if it’s some sort of affliction.

    By Ted | 1 year ago Reply
  22. God is undeniably a gracious God!
    He gave us freedom almost for everything even our sexuality.
    Homosexuals are not sinners until they commit homosexual acts that are not in favor of God’s creation. He gave us our homosexual neighbors, brothers and sisters for us to experience how to Love like God loves his children.
    Its by loving the unloved by society that we can be more benefited from, right? If we want to be acknowledged by God, acknowledge his creation including the people wh are being rejected by some.
    It’s an opportunity for us to be Christ like to others and exercise our faith.

    By Joseph | 1 year ago Reply
  23. Jason, don’t ever stop teaching until your heart stops beating. Your words have the sweet perfume of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God’s blessings!

    By Joey | 1 year ago Reply
  24. This should already have gone viral. One of my favorite quotes is from one of my favorite authors, Abraham Joshua Heschel, “…Prejudice gives you the most amount of hate for the least amount of reason”

    By Deacon Ken Ramsey | 1 year ago Reply
  25. The bottom line is this: you don’t get to dictate how other people live their lives. And you certainly don’t get to legislate how others live their lives, based on YOUR religious beliefs. If you want to live in a Theocracy, by all means, more to Iran. We live in a Democracy. Separation of church and state is there for a reason. THIS is that reason.

    By Bugg | 1 year ago Reply
    • nowhere in this article did he say that that gay people shouldn’t get married. If gay people want to marry, then that’s fine, they just can’t do it in the church.

      By ella | 1 year ago Reply
  26. I have followed your page for a long time and truly enjoy it. However being a gay Catholic I feel like this needs a response. I agree with 98% of your blog.

    The two things I have a problem with are those that are “for” gay marriage typically don’t have a problem with open marriage or poly relationships or anything else you mention. In my experience we tend to believe that there should be a separation of church and state. Does that mean churches should have to let us get married there? No but it does mean that we should get to be married and have the legal benefits of it, and most certainly not have to worry about when I have children how hard of a process it will be for my wife adopt him/her.

    When we start talking about marriage that is not what the church considers right, it isn’t up to us to decide. Whomever enters into a different type of marriage will deal with it with God someday.

    The only other thing I disagree with here was when you said, “What’s ironic is that the culture that first demanded to have intercourse without marriage now demands marriage without intercourse.”

    We are a different generation we want different things and either way I do not think it’s fair to say that even back when it seemed like the norm was for gays to demand intercourse without marriage that, that is what everyone wanted.

    It was truly refreshing to read this though. I don’t know how many times I have debated until I was blue in the face that the Catholic church would never “disown” anyone or want someone to leave for any reason.

    By Natalie | 1 year ago Reply
    • Actually, the reasons for not allowing the redefinition of marriage are secular – the state has no vested interest in promoting same sex “marriages”. They are not beneficial to the state and there are many detrimental aspects to placing them on equal footing with authentic marriage.

      The most important issue involved is that every child has a natural need and right to both a mother and a father. While that cannot always be had, it is an injustice for the state to actually facilitate such an unhealthy deprivation.

      The benefits you speak of can be made easier to obtain without having to redefine marriage into something that will effectively reduce it to meaning whatever anyone wants it to mean.

      By Grace | 1 year ago Reply
  27. “The Church simply believes that the sexual union of a man and a woman is one of the essential parts of marriage, and therefore those who incapable of it are also incapable of marriage. For example, the Church does not believe impotent couples are capable of marriage. [Not to be confused with infertility, impotency is when a person is incapable of intercourse.]”

    Complete hogwash. Buy this logic, the church should force men who can no longer get an erection to get divorced.

    By zee | 1 year ago Reply
    • Not at all – the act of consummation has always been the standard for a marriage to take place (without it, a couple may still separate and not be considered divorced). The fact that a man eventually becomes unable does not negate the fact that the marriage was consummated, therefore the marriage bond is still intact “till death do us part”.

      By Grace | 1 year ago Reply
  28. Zee, you must have read it wrong. It says the church DOES NOT BELIEVE impotent couples are capable of marriage. Just because a man can’t have intercourse doesn’t mean he cannot be married.

    By Judy | 1 year ago Reply
  29. I will always choose love over hate!

    By Vera Harmon | 1 year ago Reply
  30. What gays don’t understand is that a Catholic marriage not only limits to one man and one woman but as you said, those capable of the marital embrace. Further as a divorced Catholic, were I to marry again, a certificate of nullity would be required. Not all straight couples are eligible to be married in the Church. Further gays don’t seem to understand that the Church also considers any sexual activity outside of marriage as sinful. It is not simply or even primarily homosexual sex that is a problem in our world but adultery, fornication, and porn are all far more prevalent. But quite honestly people are not open about this kind of sin whereas gays wish to have their version of non marital sex considered acceptable because they have strong impulses toward the same sex. But are these impulses any stronger than for a married man who is tempted by another woman or by porn? For some reason, succumbing to temptation if one has Same Sex Attraction is considered “special” and the demands are made not simply for understanding but support and celebration of these relationships.

    No one says that gays cannot have deep and loving relationships. But no matter how much a gay couple loves each other (and I have friends who have been together over 35 years) the reality is their relationship will NEVER be equivalent to a man and woman in marriage. I just don’t know why basic biology is tossed out the window in favor of embracing some but not all sexual sins.

    Biology isn’t hate.

    By Lisa | 1 year ago Reply
  31. The Catholic Church has always been accepting and open to everyone, and always to gays. Because so many “Christian” denominations really do have a hateful attitude toward homosexuality, most people assume that Catholics must feel that way too. Like most of what we believe, even a large portion of Catholics make assumptions and believe the garbage said about us! No, our Bishops teach (document of 1997) that it would be sinful to reject the homosexual because of his sexuality…spread that around, OK?

    By joanne | 1 year ago Reply
  32. Extremely well written article that speaks to all of our hearts! I had a similar experience when I purchased a St. Anthony statue from a gay man at an Antique Store. He told me that “despite being gay, he still loved Jesus”. I said “Of course, and Jesus loves you”. That was all that needed to be said that day.

    By Maria Smith | 1 year ago Reply
  33. As a gay man (and former Catholic), I found this article to be pretty insulting, to tell the truth.

    First off, the woman who “married herself” just made up her own ceremony and called it a wedding. It was not legal. It was not anything other than her having a dress-up party. She is not “married to herself” in any way. So why bring it up in the first place? If a mentally ill person declared themselves to be president of the United States and had another mentally ill person give them the Oath of Office, does that make them president?

    But regardless, it doesn’t matter what you or anyone else think of same-sex marriage. If I want to get legally married to another man, it doesn’t affect you in any way whatsoever. It neither breaks your leg or picks your pocket. Nor does it cause any harm to the participants of this union. So why do you get to have any say in it at all? What right do you have to tell me I cannot do something that has exactly 0 effect on your life?

    Your church is not mine. Your bible is not mine. Your god is not mine. So why do you think I should have to be subject to their rules? Let me worry about my own soul (or lack thereof), and mind your own business.

    By Ralph | 1 year ago Reply
    • You’ll be in my prayers, Ralph! Have a Happy Easter.

      By Tim | 1 year ago Reply
    • As I stated to someone else above, the reasons for not allowing the redefinition of marriage are secular – the state has no vested interest in promoting same sex “marriages”. They are not beneficial to the state and there are many detrimental aspects to placing them on equal footing with authentic marriage.

      The most important issue involved is that every child has a natural need and right to both a mother and a father. While that cannot always be had, it is an injustice for the state to actually facilitate and normalize such an unhealthy deprivation.

      Reducing marriage to being whatever anyone wants it to mean (which was the point of the story about the woman marrying herself) will negatively affect our already seriously messed up society where divorce is so common, and so many young people are not marrying, and shacking up is the norm – in addition to opening up the legal doors for marriage to continue to be redefined by anyone and everyone arguing on the basis that marriage is little more than proclaiming “love” for another person(s).

      Have you ever looked at how much this costs our society? Single parent homes alone cost our country billions. The state has no vested interest in promoting an even less stable, less healthy family structure – which research very plainly confirms such to be.

      So even if you want to ignore the reality that promoting the norming of same sex relationships is resulting in people being denied their 1st Amendment rights, basically telling people that they have to sell their soul to participate in our country’s economy, there still clearly are plenty of reasons that your desire to remake marriage in your own image and force your beliefs on the entire country are going to have significant and serious effects on the rest of us.

      By Grace | 1 year ago Reply
    • If our Bible is not yours, our God is not yours and our Church is not yours – why are you reading this article? Your legally marrying another man most definitely does affect me in many ways, and it most certainly causes harm to you. It has 100% impact on my life. I can’t let you worry about your own soul and ‘mind my own business’ because that’s like seeing someone is drowning and saying, “Well, I better not save him. I’ll mind my own business.” It’s wrong. We have to try and help you, whether you want or think you need help or not.

      By Emily | 1 year ago Reply
    • hello Ralph, how are you?
      you are free to do with your life whatever. It is called free will. So you are free to choose what make you happy. But in real life, we all are brothers and sisters from he same Father who created us all, no matter where you were born.
      Good Christians never will impose to you what they believe, they only will speak what they known, you just have to listen , you believe it or not, is only the simple act of listening or reading and meditating; because they know that faith is a gift from God, an spiritual gift, that means “I do believe in God”, so therefore “I will obey him BECAUSE I LOVE HIM AND HE LOVES ME” “HE HAS SHOWN HIS LOVE FOR ME”.

      When you experience the love of God, all human reasoning disappear, it is replaced by the most loving person: God himself.

      A Christian (that evangelize) has already known the love of God, he will call you to change your mind by giving you a loving teaching, a straight counselling, even reprimand you, in order to correct or improve your human soul, because the Lord has said “Hebrews 12: 7 It is for discipline that you suffer (the correction),God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline ?” God is the most LOVING FATHER.

      IS not wise to reject discipline. Meditate what they are teaching to you, and Ask to God that show his love for you, that you want to know him and to know if you are doing right, because we have only this life to live it.

      God bless you and may show his love for you, bye bye

      By Violeta Maria | 1 year ago Reply
  34. I’m actually part of the Church of Christ, but I think this goes very well for the Christian church in general not just the Catholics. The Bible says to love the sinner not the sin. Nobody is above someone else. I may be a Christian but I am still no better than a satanist because I am just as much a sinner as they are. Do I condemn homosexuality? Yes. Do I condemn homosexuals? No. I have some good friends who are homosexual and they know I love them to death even though I disagree with them. They realize that I may believe what they are doing is wrong, but that doesn’t mean I hate them. I actually have an agnostic friend who is a lesbian and she backs up people’s ability to express their freedom of religion and to believe what they do. She understands that we may disagree but that says nothing about how much we still love them. I wish people would get that. Everyday I go through high school and someone gets upset because I disagree with it and they claim I’m a hater. They just don’t get it and it kills me cause I deal with it every single day. The church doesn’t hate, we love. We love and accept all sinners, that is what the church is made up of sinners. People need to get that. Thank you for this article.

    By Crosby | 1 year ago Reply
  35. This is a lovely article. I enjoyed your words. I just have one issue that I wish to have cleared by the writer, Mr. Evert, ONLY. The paragraph that starts with “some will retort…” isn’t clear to me. Will you break it down for me? It is important to me to understand. thank you.

    By Althea Fackrell | 1 year ago Reply
  36. Great treatment of a very tough issue to discuss. Thanks for posting.

    I have often wondered how it is that so many in our Church that stand up for Marriage as it should be, between an Man and Woman…. refuse to get involved with couples who are divorcing. How many marriages could be saved if instead of praying for those people, friends actually helped them get through the tough times. What impact would it have if Priests made sure the couple knew and understood Church teaching on Marriage and what Canon Law directs us to do when things even get abusive?

    Priest and those speaking on divorce tip toe around the fact that filing for divorce very often is a Mortal sin… Grave Matter… not just remarriage. One party can be innocent (which makes the other….???) . When the Eucharist is mentioned with the divorced but not remarried people a qualifier is usually added like, ” if in the proper condition of grace to otherwise receive….” That description also fits one who is remarried but living as brother and sister and murders too….. If you are in the proper grace to receive… means you can receive. Most of those filing for divorce are not in the proper disposition to receive… if they were they would be attempting to reconcile instead of bragging how great it is to be “single” again….

    The Catholic Church loses some of its importance on the issue of what a Marriage is when we are quick to react to same sex couples who want to use the word but allow a precious Sacrament to be marginalized because someone is unhappy…..and wants out (not talking abuse.. that is a very small part of this discussion….but Canon Law covers that too). We form parish support groups that don’t even mention Church teaching and the expectation of the Church to reconcile, even if abuse is involved (when and if the threat is no longer present). When is the last time someone speaking on Marriage said anything about what the Church expects if separation is necessary? How many are approaching for the Eucharist are showing their families and others who see them that divorcing for irreconcilable differences is fine with the Catholic Church? By saying nothing we are choosing to be part of the problem. Speaking against divorce isn’t popular because we all have friends that are touched by it. Grave matter means something. Parishes and Bishops no longer show interest in stopping divorce, at least not as much as stopping Gay marriage. Isn’t the Sacrament just as important to defend from Men and Women? When did we start to convince spouses who choose to file for divorce that God wants “them” happy and understands? Who is to say that this “new and improved God”, who thinks exactly like we do…. also doesn’t care who marries? Once one starts to redefine Church teaching so it fits a situation close to them or about them, what gives that same person the right to stop someone else from doing the same on who can marry?

    God says he hates divorce….in the old Testament and Jesus in the same passage we reference concerning same sex marriage says…

    Mark chap 10 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.c 7For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother [and be joined to his wife],d 8and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” 10

    By John breaugh | 1 year ago Reply
  37. Great article. We do a disservice to exempt from the conversation that healing is possible from unwanted SSA. There are grace filled (Catholic)ministries out there – let’s put that in the discussion. Christ came to set us free.

    By Kate | 1 year ago Reply
  38. This all sounds nice, but in reality actions speak louder than words, and all the cute anecdotes about how you’re a nice understanding guy don’t mean anything when your end stance is not allowing a group of people to express their love and commitment the same way others can.

    What’s so silly is that many who take the stance on being against same sex marriage is that this is all about civil marriages. No Church will be compelled to conduct a religious wedding ceremony, so their is really no need for people devoted to their faith to be against this. They beliefs of a religion shouldn’t impact the lives of people who do not follow that religion. That’s the exact religious persecution that brought the Pilgrims over here in the first place.

    Jesus called for us to treat one another the way we wish to be treated. He asked that those without sin cast the first stone. He said that we should not judge lest ye be judged. His closest follower was a prostitute and he dined with tax collectors. Do you know what Jesus didn’t say? Let a few vague lines about homosexuality found in a book 2000 years old, written by people who lives a hundred years after his death, selectively compiled by a committee, and translated and edited thousands of time completely define your views on a topic and cause you to relegate an entire group of people to 2nd class status.

    Please rethink your stance and do what Jesus would actually want you to do.

    By Cid | 1 year ago Reply
  39. I’ve tried communicating these concepts to my teenage daughter, and she still doesn’t see the whole picture. I will share this article with her as it covers areas that are hard for me to articulate. Thank you and God Bless!

    By Ross | 1 year ago Reply

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