The answer to the question just raised is definitely NO. There is a type of "music" (should it be called music?) and a so-called literature which is nothing but "filth". That such perverse productions should be prohibited, or at least, called by their right name, is the strict obligation of any person in a position of authority, just as one prohibits poison, or puts a label of skull and bones on certain products, one should prohibit whatever will inevitably bring a society to utter moral decay. This is the noble and incredibly difficult mission of educators: evil must be opposed but should be opposed wisely – and this is not an easy task. Historians will tell us that the tragic decadence of powerful states, i.e.(those that have become very rich) is usually triggered by moral decay. Let us never forget that "the enemy is within". The great educator is the one who, with God's grace, has educated himself.
Why does someone value Rock and Roll more than Mozart? Some psychologists will tell you that it is precisely because this vulgarity and coarseness echo their own inner life. "Tell me what you love; I will tell you who you are" are deeply meaningful words. We are here not dealing with a "lack of artistic taste and sensitivity" but, alas, an affinity with this world which appeals to what is in all of us, namely original sin, and can only be defeated by grace. One of the great dangers today is to forget it has marked all of us except the Holy Virgin, and that – to quote St. Francis of Sales – pride dies fifteen minutes after our demise.
Up to recent times, the word "discriminate" was mostly used as a compliment: to call a person "discriminating" was meant as a praise, to someone who made "intelligent distinctions" as opposed to the flat-footed person who puts everything on the same level, and claims that it is "un-democratic" to assume that there is such a thing as a hierarchy of values and disvalues. Who is to tell?
It must be said, however, that human beings being inclined as they are to error and confusion, now often use discrimination in a totally unwarranted and illegitimate way and this is the clear expression of a mind that has derailed. A couple of examples should make this clear: the distinction between black and white people. Obviously when a person comes into the room, we shall immediately notice the color of his skin. It is easy to tell whether a person comes from a Nordic country, or whether he is a southerner, or whether he is European or Chinese. The differences between races is obvious, but to make prejudicial judgments on this basis is plainly stupid – the word is not too strong. This is the very nature of anti-Semitism to Hitler: to be Jewish meant to "be evil, a deadly enemy of the great German state. Down with the Jews"; "once this vermin is eliminated, the earth will breathe fresh air". The idiocy of such a position does not even deserve a refutation; there is no race on earth deprived of good and bad qualities. Mediocrity is a universal sickness and alas, it is contagious. In other words, this type of discrimination should be opposed with every possible means, even though having lived long, I became convinced – to quote Schilller – that it is hopeless battle for " Against stupidity, even the gods contend in vain".
What we have said so far might be summarized as follows. There are clearly cases in which to discriminate is a strict moral obligation between truth and error, between morally good and morally evil; there are cases in which to discriminate is desirable; between beauty, mediocrity, ugliness, grace, coarseness, etc. but we are not thereby entitled to condemn those who lack these talents, or these sensitivities if they have no responsibility for these "blind spots". There are cases when to "discriminate" is inevitable: black or white, tall or short heavy or slender: for it is immediately perceptible, but it would be nonsensical to pass judgment on people on this basis: "I refuse to rent an apartment to fat people'" or to Irish people, or to black people. Would it not be wiser in such cases, to avoid confusion, to use the word differentiate or distinguish instead?
But our concern in this article to is draw attention to a phenomenon which has developed in the course of the last fifty years which should be a source of great concern to all of us because in a very subtle way, the word is now used to condemn as "evil discriminations", lifestyle and behaviors, which by their very essence, call for rejection and condemnation. Let me repeat emphatically: we should make a distinction between moral and immoral, between true and false, between just and unjust between pure and impure. Let us add: we should make a distinction between "natural" and "unnatural". This used to be taken for granted, but we are living in a world where moral decadence is no longer viewed as a grave going "morally downhill", but rather as a "liberation" from old taboos and old fashioned ideas which are not compatible with our "brave new world".
The question is: what do we mean by nature? Answering this question is of crucial importance in a society which willfully confuses these two radically different concepts. When we refer to nature, we clearly mean things as they were "meant to be" – an "incarnation" of their "real" being.
It is natural for human beings to walk on two legs. Even though they could possibly manage to walk on all fours, if badly disabled, it would be unnatural. It is natural for human beings to speak, that is, to form articulated sounds that have meaning. Men can imitate the barking of dogs but to do so is against their nature. It is natural for human beings to bring food to their mouth, as opposed to dogs and cats that bend down to gulp down their food. It is natural for men and women when embracing each other to be face to face, eye to eye. It is worth noting that liars and guilty people carefully avoid a face to face confrontation with their accuser. When Adam and Eve sinned they hid themselves (Genesis 3:8). They dreaded a confrontation with God. This "eye to eye", "face to face" is of crucial importance as expression of the dignity of persons. Any other posture sins against this dignity. "Noblesse oblige". In other words, it is crucial to keep in mind that even though human beings are the only persons that have a body, it is precisely their human mission to "elevate" this body so that it becomes an adequate physical expression of his nobility as person. Their body language reveals the abyss that separates them from animals.
What is crucial in our context is reproduction which in academia is a proof of the identical nature of man and mammal. I recall that years ago, after a talk that I gave in Oregon, I was interviewed on television. The anchor who was present at my talk challenged me for having said that there was a radical difference between man and animals. His question to me was "Could you name one essential difference between them?" With French speed, I answered: "yes, the sexual sphere". The anchor was speechless. Clearly, he has never heard anything like that. I had the feeling that he was challenging my sanity.
But soon after their creation Adam and Eve were commanded to be fruitful and "reproduce" themselves. Animals were not given this order, but following the laws of their nature, they instinctively did so. Why is man "told" to have a progeny? Because it is precisely a domain in which man's dignity as a person expresses itself. Hints might suffice to make my point: animals are driven by an instinct that is so powerful that they do not hesitate to risk their lives in the process. They are slaves of their biological nature. Human beings being persons are commanded to reproduce themselves because as persons they are invited by the Creator Himself to increase the number of the human race. But two crucial things must be mentioned: in human persons, reproduction, as meant by God, cannot be separated from the divine action – a close collaboration between God and man for He alone can create the soul. Moreover, according to the divine intention, the frontal embrace between human persons should be an expression of their intentio unionis, for love desires union and is by its very nature fruitful. Hence the face to face encounter of two persons embracing the beloved, gratefully conscious that a new human person might be the fruit of this union. To put it plainly, the powerful sexual instinct must be baptized and therefore worthy of persons. Moreover whereas both animals and human being must eat, drink and have a minimum of sleep in order to survive (with the very rare exceptions of some mystics) reproduction is in no way necessary for survival. Let us imagine how ludicrous it would be if an apparently very healthy man, would suddenly drop dead. According to law, an autopsy is required. How ridiculous if would be if the doctor came out of his office declaring "virginity" to be the case of his demise. A high percentage of human beings do not have a "sex life": widows, widowers, badly disabled people, very many sick people, those that are paralyzed, those who while wishing to get married never found someone willing to marry them, such people – and their name is legion – can lead a beautiful and holy life. I am sure that millions and millions of people are in this category. Alas, we live in a society in which "sex" and self-fulfillment are identified. Let us think of the millions of people who devote themselves to others, do an enormous amount of good for humanity and are unmarried or have chosen a consecrated life. Only morally decadent societies view "having sex"' as a necessity. Am I wrong in claiming that this Weltanschauung makes it impossible for such a society to have the proper understanding of the beautiful words of God "be fruitful and multiply".
This leads me back to the meaning of "nature". Plato whom the Fathers of the Church, called "a preparer of Christianity", was much concerned with ethical questions. In his last work, Laws – often shockingly overlooked in text books, he refers to homosexuality in Books I, III and VIII. He tells us that it is triggered by "unbridled lust", (Laws 636) that it is a threat to the welfare of any nation, that it should be opposed in every possible way for it is "against nature" (ibid), i.e. as things are "meant" to be. But Plato is conscious that a total uprooting of this vice is not possible, but urges the state to strongly recommend that it should be kept secret. He lived in the 4th and 5th century before Christ, but obedient to the natural moral law, he perceived the perversion which is linked to this unfortunate tendency. In other words, contra naturam means what is clearly against the very dignity of human persons. No details are necessary but one thing is luminous: it is not as "things were meant to be", and not only because of its inevitable sterility but by its very structure. The last I heard from a medical doctor – a friend of mine is that thanks to scientists, now working on this "noble" project sooner or later, homosexuals will be able to reproduce themselves. The glorious future of humanity is that one day, sexual fulfillment should be radically severed from procreation: this domain being confided to scientific progress.
It is a very grave moral question that should concern all educators and moralists. Detestable as homosexual acts are, we should, following St. Augustine, love the erring person while detesting the error – its own worst enemy. This is a noble task and as always, desperately needs God's grace and assistance. Granted that practicing homosexuals have often not been given the love owed to all human beings, that they have been rejected, while not offered the help to which they were entitled. This is a most regrettable error that is now being corrected by the admirable organization started by Father Harvey called Courage. This noble apostolate is now being taken over by his successor Father Paul Check. Saints alone, because they are "transformed in Christ" are true lovers of the sinners, but this severe lack in many of us does not justify the new grave error which is gaining currency in our society: namely to justify the practice of homosexuality, as being now recognized to be "perfectly normal" – being another legitimate lifestyle, and deserving the same recognition as what up to now was limited to heterosexuality. "It was high time to see what in fact an obvious truth, obscured until now by mediaeval taboos. Thank to "advanced social sciences", we know now that it is just as acceptable as the traditional way. Clearly, only a developed society like ours perceives this truth, up to now veiled by "old taboos and prejudice".
(Column continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
This "conviction" explains why gay people now proudly advertise their lifestyle. They publicize it as Father Charamsa did recently; one should "proudly" endorse this tendency that God himself has placed in some people's nature. Last but not least, the Catholic Church should publicly apologize for the suffering that she has, over the ages, inflicted upon people whose way to God was homosexuality.
This is probably the greatest moral revolution that has ever taken place in human society and in the Catholic church: the canonization of a perversion.
This is the world in which we now live. The Church has always been attacked. She has always had sinners in her bosom, but it is probably true that never has the situation been so threatening: we have entered apocalyptic time: as announced by St. Matthew (ch. 24) and also St Luke (ch. 20).
Never before is it more urgent to recall the blessed words of Christ: "the gates of hell shall not prevail" and take refuge in the blessed magisterium of the Church. Let us close our ears to the eloquence of false prophets, and as St. Paul recommends in his Epistle to the Thessalonians, "pray without ceasing". Let us pray the rosary and turn to our Mother – the blessed one so hated by Satan because she gave life to the one who proclaims to be LIFE itself.