Sunday, August 23, 2009

Opposition to gay marriage: not an exclusively Christian position

I find people often characterize the debate on same sex marriage as a progressive, liberal, and even society-at-large vs. Christianity issue. Christian beliefs on homosexuality are characterized as bigoted, intolerant, hateful, and homophobic. Many often assume that other religions are much more lenient on the issue and either take a pro-gay stance or none at all. But after doing some research, I discovered that far from being hateful to homosexuals, Christianity, and specifically the Catholicism were probably the most understanding.

Every religion I found, especially the largest ones, were all against homosexual activity and condemned it in various ways. Here's a sample of some of the condemnation:

- Orthodox and Conservative Judaism are strongly opposed to homosexual activity and many Biblical references refer to this as being evil.

- Islam completely condemns all homosexual activity.

- Zoroastrianism is against homosexuality and says: "The man that lies with mankind as man lies with womankind, or as woman lies with mankind, is a man that is a Daeva [demon]; this man is a worshipper of the Daevas, a male paramour of the Daevas"

- Ancient Hindu law books from the 1st century onward characterize non-vaginal sex as impure.

- Buddhism refers to homosexuality as a deviant behavior

- In 2005, the world's highest Sikh religious authority described homosexuality as "against the Sikh religion and the Sikh code of conduct and totally against the laws of nature," and called on Sikhs to support laws against gay marriage.

- In Jainism, marriage is the only place in which sexual activity is appropriate, and homosexual acts give bad karma.

- Taoism is about yin and yang, male and female, and it believes sex must be complementary in order to bring harmony.

But if you think there are religions that do not have an issue with homosexual activity, you're right. The one religion I found that had no problem with homosexual activity is neopaganism. Surprise, surprise.

Catholicism has one of the most compassionate positions with regards to homosexuality. First of all, the Church does not regard same-sex attraction in itself to be a sin, like many Christian denominations do. They only regard acting or lusting on these attractions to be sinful. For someone to simply consider themselves "homosexual" would not be sinful.

Secondly, the Church recognizes it as a struggle, or cross to bear, and considers it in a similar way as it does with other sexual temptation, such as adultery, fornication, masturbation, etc. The Church believes these can all be gravely sinful.

The point is, the Church does not wish to gay-bash. She simply recognizes that a person is most happy when he or she fulfills his or her nature. A man is designed to be with a woman, a fact which is obvious from our biology. Homosexual relationships do not fulfill the deepest desires of a person's being. Violence is much higher in gay relationships than in heterosexual relationships. Children grow up happiest and healthiest in a home with a mother and a father. There are many reasons why a marriage must be between a man and a woman and that sex is reserved for marriage.

Let us pray for those who struggle with the cross of same-sex attraction, that they may find Christ's healing.


  1. Fortunately, philosophical Taoists understand that each person must define their OWN path. External definitions are meaningless. So, if two men or two women find love with each other, more power to them. To NOT act on their love would be going against their own nature.

  2. Taoists also understand that yin and yang does not equal male and female. That actuallly completely misunderstands the principle.

    Yin and Yang is more akin to breathing in and out than to male and female, and in the sex act itself it refers to the flow of energy between the participants based on more than just the obvious physical aspects.

    Not all schools of Buddhist thought refer to homosexuality as deviant nor do all schools of Hinduism.

  3. I can't believe how ignorant this is. Of course Orthodox Judaism is opposed to homosexual activity...they are conservative. So are fundamentalist Muslims and all other religious extremists. You happened to find one religion that doesn't have a problem with it and it has the word PAGAN in it. Check out Reform Judaism, or progressive Christian churches. They are very accepting of gay people. And Taoists and Buddhists are not interested in judging other people in this way.