by Fr. Mark Hodges -
This week, U.S. Attorney General Holder announced Obama’s decision not to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was passed by a bipartisan overwhelming majority and signed by Bill Clinton in 1996. Significantly, the Attorney General described anti-sodomy beliefs as “animus,” which means “vehement emnity,” “hatred” or “ill will.”
This echoes Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s anti-Christian view, stated in a Supreme Court decision upholding the ejection a Christian legal group for not allowing open homosexuals in leadership positions, that “Condemnation of same-sex intimacy is, in fact, a condemnation of gay people,” and “Our (Supreme Court) decisions decline to distinguish between status and conduct.” (By this reasoning, if you don’t support gluttony, you “condemn” overweight people.)
The ACLU has hailed the Obama Administration’s decision as “the tipping point in the gay rights movement.” Indeed, it may be. It is certainly yet another turn toward moral insanity, as the Fathers and Mothers of the Church predicted, when the world calls evil “good” and good “evil.” (Interestingly, the gay agenda hypocritically says what two consenting adults do in private is no one’s business, and yet they are seeking public approval for their perverted activity, going after the social status of “marriage.”)
Alan Sears of the American Defense Fund commented,
“The Attorney General’s announcement only confirms what has been a reality since the Administration began ‘defending’ the Defense of Marriage Act where it is being challenged. It’s no exaggeration to say that the President’s team has been throwing the cases. The Administration has expressly waived advancing winning legal arguments and intentionally failed to cite binding legal precedent in each case. In fact, the Obama Administration has ‘expressly disavowed’ the winning legal arguments that the Bush Administration had made in previous cases. In short, it is clear that the President and his lawyers have been actively sabotaging DOMA in court.”
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman for the purpose of federal law, leaving the states to define marriage as their citizens wish. It also protects states from being forced to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. The Administration’s prevailing view is that laws against sodomy “harm” homosexuals; but that’s like saying laws against polygamy harm polygamists. The point is, sodomy itself is deeply harmful, physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Chuck Colson of Breakpoint says Christian teaching is not hatred.
“Our historic marriage laws ‘harm’ nobody. They serve husbands, wives, children and the common good of society. Not to be able to speak to these issues in great debate isn’t ‘tolerance,’ it’s thought control and censorship. If the expression of our convictions is treated as ‘animus,’ our religious liberty is in great peril. We must not fail to speak the truth, even if it’s labeled ‘hate speech.’ This is exactly why we wrote The Manhattan Declaration.”
The Apostles, when imprisoned and reprimanded by law and the leaders of society, responded, “We must obey God, rather than men.” For this they suffered severe beatings, and their response to this was to “rejoice that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His Name.” Furthermore, the early Christians went on to disobey the law “in every house, without ceasing.” Indeed, Jesus warns us against the “fear of man”: “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell!,” our Lord said. St Paul the holy Apostle summed up the Christian stand, “If I yet pleased men, I would not be the servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10).
Instinctively, people know that sodomy is unnatural. But the world is caving on this issue, out of fear, or out of gain, or out of rebellion against God. Indeed, the Bible teaches that sodomy and same sex activity is rooted in a rebellion against oneself, against creation itself (the natural order), and against God Himself:
“Men by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature, namely, His eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
In fact, the very next verses of that same passage from the Word of God teach that sodomy and same sex activity is rooted in a rebellion against oneself (“the sexually immoral man sins against his own body”), against Creation itself (the natural order), and against God Himself:
“Therefore (because they did not acknowledge God or give thanks to Him), God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. They were filled with all manner of wickedness.” (Rom 1:18-29)
The example of Sodom and Gomorrah, when God rained fire from the sky destroying the cities because of their homosexual sin (Genesis 19), should be enough to dissuade those with a healthy fear of committing such an “abomination” (as defined by holy Scripture in Leviticus 18:22, 20:13; cf. Deut 23:17; Jud 19:22; I Kg 14:24, 15:12, 22:46; II Kg 23:7 and elsewhere). The New Testament under Christ is equally clear: “Ungodly persons pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness (sexual lawlessness)…just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. Yet in like manner these men in their dreamings defile the flesh, reject authority, and revile the glorious ones” (Jude 1:8f).
In the same passage is the twofold Christian answer to such perversion. First, regarding ourselves: “Build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Secondly, in dealing with those who have strayed into sexual perversion: “Convince some, who doubt; save some, by snatching them out of the fire; on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” It is in the interest of helping all of those reading this to “convince some,” and “save some by snatching them out,” and showing “mercy with fear,” that I write this note.
Christianity couldn’t be clearer. We are sternly warned, “Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate (men appealing to men), nor homosexuals (in Greek, “sodomites,” or literally, “men who abuse themselves with men” –the word is repeated here twice), nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God” (I Cor 6:9; cf. I Timothy 1:9-10, which calls “sodomites” “ungodly sinners, unholy and profane”).
But the greatest sin is not the act of sodomy, it is the fact that so many Christians have abandoned biblical sense, even defending perversions that harm the body and destroy the soul. They are capitulating to the spirit of the age. As in Jesus’ time, when His teaching was too “hard” to accept, “many of His disciples drew back and no longer went about with Him” (Jn 6:66) The deterioration of basic morals among Christians has gotten to the point that for far too many, grave sin not only isn’t recognized for what it is, but it is openly defended. The result is a divided Christianity which has lost its influence as a voice of conscience in society. Speaking of divisions in Church, the Bible says, “There must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.” (I Cor 11:19)
Christians must speak out on this issue, demonstrating by our words and our actions that opposing sodomy is not equal to hating anyone. Our moral message is one of love and concern for all. (Name calling has no part in Christian speech, and any hateful comments to this note will be deleted.) As has been said many times, truly, we are called to hate the sin but love the sinner. This means we speak out loudly and clearly against sodomy and other harmful perversions, but we never condemn any person. This means we speak humbly, recognizing our own sin as worse than all others’, and never enter into fruitless debate with those not open to moral reason.
YOU and I are called to this day, this time, and, tragically, this issue. Let’s speak the truth in love, and not shrink back. Fear God, and not man. Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and” the world (Matt. 6:24).
Our Christian message must be firmly and lovingly proclaimed. We are not homophobic, but speak out of love and a concern for the truth. All human beings are made in the image of God and thus deserving of respect and love. Certain behaviors are harmful and are not love, but rather are signs of deep confusion and perversion of love. As Colson puts it, “We denounce gay-bashing, but we also denounce the suppression of free civil discourse, and critical moral debate.”
Regarding the Obama Administration’s abandoning DOMA, Congress does have the right to intervene, because Obama is not just refusing to enforce a U.S. law, but one which is clearly the will of the people (passed by bipartisan landslide, and since, thirty states have also passed marriage amendments by overwhelming majorities). Congress need only pass a resolution to take over the legal defense of DOMA, which then could be handled by pro-marriage legal groups.
The cases which prompted Obama’s announcement that he will not defend the law will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Having voted into office the most pro-abortion, now becoming the most pro-sodomy president in our history, we all will suffer the consequences of decisions made by Obama’s appointees. This is yet another reason why Christians must vote for conservative politicians who will defend life and the family.