Same love or some lies?: Emotions vs. Truth

As a hip hop artist, there are qualities about Macklemore’s song “Same Love” that I appreciate. I think about my own musical journey, and the advice I got from other people to produce music at the highest quality I could, and that people would listen to my counter cultural (Catholic) music if it’s done well and from the heart.

I believe this song is well made, creative, and from his heart. My appreciation for the song stops there.

Music can have a very powerful effect in people’s lives, and the words of a song really matter. Music is a universal language that cuts to the heart in a way that nothing else can.

Macklemore makes some bold claims in “Same Love.” And because it fits snugly within the pop culture views currently trending (making the Catholic Church look outdated and hateful while those that support gay marriage are more loving and accepting) and is very catchy and well done, it has struck a chord with millions of people.

However, just because something is emotionally stirring that doesn’t mean that it’s truthful. The song is built on a foundation of emotion instead of the rock of truth.

He wrote and dedicated the song in honor of his uncle, who has same-sex attraction. The reason it strikes a chord with so many people is because a lot of us are personally affected by the issue. When you care about someone who has same-sex attraction, it can move you to empathy and even action, but feeling that something is right doesn’t make it so. A popular vote doesn’t determine truth either. Truth is found in Jesus Christ, who is “the Truth” (John 14:6).

This song claims a lot of things as true, mostly based off of personal belief and emotional appeal. Let’s address a few of them . . .

“I Can’t Change”

The catchy refrain is referencing orientation, but the church isn’t as concerned with orientation as much as she is with action, because actions are what separate us from the love of God. Being a person with a homosexual inclination is not a sin. Immoral sexual acts (including contraception, premarital sex, and homosexual acts) are a sin. While orientations may not be able to change, we are always able to turn from our sinfulness to seek forgiveness and find hope, redemption, and new life in Christ.

That being said, yes, we all can change our sinful acts (because we all struggle with sin). Change and redemption is biblical.

The God revealed through Scriptures and history is a God who changes hearts and lives, calling His people away from sin and death and toward His love and life!

“So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Time after time God called terrible sinners to become saints: Mary Magdalene, St. Paul, St. Augustine, and countless others. Even more importantly God calls us today out of a life of mediocrity and into a life of purpose and direction. All of us are called to see the hope of redemption through our sinfulness.

We have the ability to change because we have the ability to choose virtue over sin. We aren’t animals who obey every natural urge their bodies crave. Human beings have reason, a will.

A “predisposition” isn’t a good enough reason to live a certain way. A person could be born with a predisposition for throwing a baseball a certain way, with a throwing motion that seems comfortable and natural to them. Then as they progress in their career, a pitching coach may tell them that they need to change the mechanics of their throw in order to perform to the best of their abilities. Also because their natural throwing motion would lead them to harm and injury.

Each of us have ‘natural’ predispositions that are harmful – its called original sin. Our tendency to turn away from the truth and life of God harms us and our relationship with him. However, as mentioned above, we aren’t victims of our circumstances. People have the ability to train, work hard and through their will, change. For us as Catholics, this means finding forgiveness in the Sacrament of Confession and through prayer, seeking God’s will for our life.

It is always a constant mission to continue to turn from sin to light, no matter what our circumstances are.

Confusion About Love

There is a lot of trouble with the working definition of the word “love” in our culture today. You hear people crying out for the right to marry who you love, asserting that love alone is the basis of marriage.

But what is love? Is it someone who “keeps you warm,” as mentioned in the song?

Let’s be clear: It would be ridiculous to say that a person who has a homosexual inclination is incapable of loving another, even in a self sacrificial manner. The Church simply affirms that sexual love is something that can only fulfill its purpose between a man and a woman within the context of marriage. True love can only be found in God, who is love. Christ showed us what love looks like and taught us how to model that love in marriage (Ephesians 5:25-27).

The Church “Preaches Hate”

Ben Haggerty (Macklemore) has said that he grew up in the Catholic Church, and has a bad taste in his mouth about some things he saw and heard. I want to take a moment to apologize to Ben (or anybody for that matter) who has had a bad experience with the Church.

The song condemns hate and discrimination towards people with same sex attraction. The Church teaches and believes precisely that same thing (CCC 2358). This love and charity is what you should have experienced. Contrary to popular opinion, the Church does not preach hate and Pope Francis just reiterated this as well on his way home from World Youth Day.

Pray for those who are discriminated against and who have same-sex attraction. We all have crosses to carry in life and need prayer for the long journey. Pray also for those who have the wrong impression of what the Church is and believes.

“There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church, which is, of course, quite a different thing…As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.” – Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen

So next time you are listening to the radio, take a closer look to see the message that is coming across in the song. Is it founded in truth? Or is it an emotional appeal? Be sure to not be spoon-fed opinions by the media, even in ‘harmless’ song lyrics.

Always continue to seek the truth found in Christ, and feast your soul on that food.

For a more complete explanation of the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, check out this podcast: God’s Divine Design.

(This blog was originally published on LifeTeen.com and was used with permission.)

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Aaron Hostetter: I love writing Catholic hip hop music, Philly sports, swing dance, and general tomfoolery. I’m inspired the most from the life and writings of Blessed Pope John Paul II.

 

34 Comments

  1. This message is truth, and stated in such a loving and charitable way. Thank you Matt for writing about this. I am sharing it on Facebook, God’s blessings to you, your loved ones, and all those who spread the truth of Jesus Christ and his Church. And may the Holy Spirit renew the face of the earth, Amen.

    By Mary McCann | 4 years ago Reply
  2. Thoughtfully constructed thesis. I am admittedly a layman with limited theological immersion into our catechism. I would offer these considerations. Doesn’t baptism remove original sin, the consequences of original sin, and personal sin? I do believe that temporal consequences of sin remain and an inclination to sin, so truly it would seem that it simply comes back to what is an action that constitutes sin? Is it a sexual act, a sexual attraction, an action that could lead to sin? What the individuals intention is, etc etc. ? On a personal note, I think the analogy of a person’s throwing motion misses the mark. A tough call all around.

    I would agree with “an athlete is not crowned unless he wins by following the rules”. My take is that my Roman Catholic Church will not consider gay marriage as it does not lead to entering the Kingdom of God through Jesus Christ. And as in all things, I could be wrong!

    By Joe Freehill | 4 years ago Reply
  3. Thank you for seeking the truth and sharing it, society needs better popular role models, because songs like this confuse teenagers.

    By Luisa Ruiz | 4 years ago Reply
  4. Wonderfully written! Thank you for such clearly stated words and then supporting the statements. I hope many, many people read this!

    By Susan | 4 years ago Reply
  5. It’s disappointing to know there are still people on this world that think so archaic ally.

    By Bob Johnson | 4 years ago Reply
  6. So ridiculous. Wait a few decades and Christians will be falling over themselves claiming that their religion has always been cool with gays. Just like how modern Christians sweep under the rug the enormous and religious pro-slavery movement in favor of the small minority of abolitionists, claiming that that was Christianity’s intent all along.

    By Nate | 4 years ago Reply
    • Don’t confuse doctrine with opinions. As well what Christians should do and what we do are completely different things. As Mahatma Ghandi told the Christians that infiltrated his country, “I love your Christ but I don’t like his Christians” We have unfortunately tarnished what Christianity really is about and for that sin, we definitely need to repent.

      By Tremaine | 4 years ago Reply
  7. Firstly, I don’t think the bible counts as a source of truth, just spiritual guidance. I’m also fairly confident that the actions of consenting individuals in private isn’t really your (or anyone’s) business. Why do you even care about the sexual practices of homosexuals? Finally, I’m pretty sure the homosexual community just wants the right to a civil marriage. It’s not like they’re suing to get married in the church. They just want the same civil right that everyone else has. And if you stopped writing such pointless and illogical articles opposing what non-church members do then people would stop writing songs about how you oppose them.

    By Tom Gallow | 4 years ago Reply
    • Right because we Christians must just shut up about our 2000 year old Religion that is constantly being placed in a negative light. Even though the Catholic church has done amazing things to help people for centuries. Get real Tom.

      By Tremaine | 4 years ago Reply
  8. It’s not only disappointing to see articles like this but quite frightening.

    For that person just coming to terms with their sexuality, or that person I knew that developed dissociative identity disorder when they struggled to be a good catholic and true to themselves or to that person thinking of ending their life because they are ashamed of who they are.

    I want to tell you this, this garbage is just that, utter garbage. You are who you are and there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with you. Start using your own brain and heart and come to realise like I did that the church is full of misconceptions and falsehoods. Take from it the positives and leave the negatives for them to deal with.

    You are worth so much more than this.

    By Timetowakeup | 4 years ago Reply
    • Hey Timetowakeup:
      I am not a quote on quote catholic, but I am a christian who believes what the bible teaches and what jesus our lord taught. Jesus taught that being a follower of jesus isn’t about becoming a good person. Because that is impossible for every single person who has or ever will walk this earth, except Jesus. Being a follower of Jesus means that we accept Gods grace towards are sin, and accept his dying on the cross for our rebellion towards him. This is a daily repenting that is why we take communion, to remind ourselves of the work that has been done for us. From recieving this love of God, it changes our hearts and life as we live for jesus in response to him dying on the cross..
      It isn’t about trying to become a better person, its by accepting Jesus and taking up our cross every day.

      By randomreaderofarticle | 4 years ago Reply
    • Timetowakeup: No where in this article did the author say that there is anything “wrong” with anybody, or that there is reason to be ashamed of who they are. This article actually OPPOSES the statement that says that “homosexuality is a sin”. A true Catholic would know that homosexuality is not a sin. Referencing to what you said: “Who they are” is not their sexuality – same with those who are heterosexual. So those people who were “ashamed” are the ones who made things about their sexuality. A heterosexual AND a homosexual are both EQUALLY capable of sin.

      By Becca | 4 years ago Reply
  9. I still hate the church but even more so after reading this article.

    By Isabel | 4 years ago Reply
    • Isabel, you clearly didn’t understand it then…

      By Becca | 4 years ago Reply
    • How unfortunate for you. So so sad.

      By Tremaine | 4 years ago Reply
  10. This article is beautiful! I have several homosexual friends whom I treat with love and respect, but they also know I don’t agree with some of their lifestyle choices. This article explains very well why I can’t support homosexuality even though it would be the easier and seemingly “right thing to do.” Thank you!

    By Bridget | 4 years ago Reply
    • Homosexuality is not a “lifestyle choice.” It’s not a choice at all. The feelings don’t just disappear when you choose not to act on them. When you deny yourself the chance to love someone because your Church tells you you’re loving the wrong person, you’re left feeling empty inside and not at peace with yourself, just as a heterosexual person would feel if they were denied their right to be with someone of the opposite gender.

      By Eva | 4 years ago Reply
  11. I think this article is disgusting. God loves all his children, and people like you are pushing them away from finding the love that god provides. Being Gay is 100% OK. i hope you feel good about making people feel awful. Didn’t know that was part of your religion.

    By Paul | 4 years ago Reply
    • Geezl, it’s like you didn’t read the article at all. What part of

      “The song condemns hate and discrimination towards people with same sex attraction. The Church teaches and believes precisely that same thing (CCC 2358). This love and charity is what you should have experienced. Contrary to popular opinion, the Church does not preach hate and Pope Francis just reiterated this as well on his way home from World Youth Day.”

      did you not understand? We’ve *never* made the claim that being Gay is not 100% OK. It’s the actions that we don’t believe are right. Furthermore, the article itself isn’t derogatory or demeaning in any way; it shouldn’t make you feel awful.

      If you do feel awful, go stare at a cross for a while until it hits you what God has done for you. He truly does love all his children– Gay people 100% included.

      By Brenn | 4 years ago Reply
    • And yet another misinformed bigoted person who just came on here to start drama. I would have you know that throughout the world, within parishes, there are organizations implemented to help people with their sexuality regardless of their sexual orientation

      By Tremaine | 4 years ago Reply
  12. This article is awesome! Te author of this article knows what they’re talking about! The Church and God do love homosexuals jut as much as heterosexuals. I you think any different after reading this, then you obviously didn’t read it at all! And for those that ask why we care about their actions? It’s because we want them to go to Heaven! We want everyone to go to Heaven! It’s a reward for doing your best to follow God’s laws and loving Him! And the more you love Him the easier it is to follow His laws! And by the way I am from what you would call the “new generation”. I’m a teenager and I can plainly see that this is right! This is how God wants us to live our lives and I can see that it is good and natural and holy!

    By Darrick Baker | 4 years ago Reply
  13. so let me get this straight.

    So being queer is ok?
    But only if you don’t act on it?

    Please tell me I’m reading into this the wrong way because if not, this article is disgusting, and you should feel ashamed. I may not believ in god now but when I was a child u was taught that god accepts and lives all no matter what.

    By Ebene Claire | 4 years ago Reply
    • Why? Some people are psychologically deranged, they have inclinations to rape or murder but they’re only arrested when they commit the deed. as such being “gay” is ok but having sex is the sin.

      By Tremaine | 4 years ago Reply
      • So now we’re comparing same-sex relationships to rape and murder….? That’s pretty disgusting.

        By Eva | 4 years ago Reply
  14. What happened to God loves all of his children? These rules are not okay. People should try and be good people, that is how you live a fulfilled life, not be breaking people down and judging them. This article is just sad, and i truly hope one day the author will learn to accept people for who they are, whether they perform this so called “immoral acts” or not. And I also hope, no one struggling to come out reads this, because this is not okay. People are beautiful, every single one.

    By Jamie | 4 years ago Reply
    • God does love all his children. But He doesnt love sin. If you have a family member who commits a heinous crime, do you stop loving them? No, but you dont approve of their crime, right?

      By Stasis | 4 years ago Reply
  15. So being gay is okay but just don’t act gay (aka express your love to the ones you love?)

    Got it.

    Homophobes.

    By Ted | 4 years ago Reply
  16. Reading these comments sadden. People are so blinded by what the media teaches them that they can’t even comprehend the meaning of an article. So sad.

    By Tremaine | 4 years ago Reply
  17. So i’m looking at this site for a religion internal for school and I find this article incredibly narrow-minded and honestly its Macklemore-bashing. This song may not be based on truth but neither is your arguement. Throughout you have said that people shouldn’t be influenced by emotion and should look for the deeper messages in the things they read and hear. Are you not then saying that we should whole heartedly accept this article as absolute fact and that you have no alterior motive as to what you written. The church is outdated and needs to find some new teachings because denying people the write to marriage is whats archaic.

    By Cassidy | 4 years ago Reply
  18. You quote ‘The Rock of Truth’… The 10 Commandments was written on rock and nowhere does it say that Man MUST love Woman.

    By Serena | 4 years ago Reply
    • The ten commandments dont cover everything

      By Stasis | 4 years ago Reply
  19. It is amazing to see the “pop culture” pointing the finger at Christians as the primary source for hate and slurring of homosexuals because it was only a few years ago that the pop-culture was the ringleader in slurring homosexuals.

    The same entertainment and media companies who were leading the culture then are leading the culture now. If Christians are guilty of anything it was that we failed to follow Christian teaching then and allowed ourselves to be led by the culture which is led from the top down by a very few media companies who create what we call the “pop-culture” on a daily basis.

    So “if you are confused it is because they are lying to you”.

    By Tom | 4 years ago Reply

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