At Queery, it is said that Justice Antonin Scalia’s comparison of homosexuality to murder has “nauseated millions of LGBT Americans and their allies.” I can’t help but think that these activists have read up on Christian teaching in order to hone their arguments. Scalia is a Catholic, and so he may indeed know that homosexuality ranks with murder as one of the four sins that cry to heaven for justice. Like murder, homosexuality naturally nauseates people who have not been conditioned to accept it. I’m willing to bet that “gay rights” activists know that Christians sometimes point this out, and this is the reason for their use of such terminology in their arguments.
I’ve often been told by “gay rights” activists that the fact that homosexuality nauseates me proves that I am “homophobic.” Though they won’t use the word “disorder,” they basically argue that it is “disordered” to be nauseated by homosexuality. There is, you see, something “wrong” with me if I think something is “wrong” with homosexuality, and if homosexual acts cause me nausea (they do) then the “wrongness” in me is, they claim, enormous indeed. This is an example of the wall we will continually run up against in this debate, that there is no way to get around the fact that intolerance of Christianity is inevitable in the arguments for tolerance of homosexuality.
I wrote recently that St. Catherine of Siena was instructed by Jesus that even the demons are repulsed by homosexual acts, not because they are sin but because demons have angelic nature that is similar to human nature, so they share the same natural repulsion to such acts as human beings do. Though demons will tempt people to commit these acts because they want people to sin, they are repulsed by the acts themselves due to the demands of nature. One does not have to be Catholic, though, or even believe anything the saints taught, to understand that sin and disorder cause nausea. Scott Diekmann, a Lutheran, writes: Nausea and sin go together. It is perfectly natural for us to be nauseated by things that are offensive to God. It is a gift of God to have an aversion to horrific things, but as with any gift, we have the choice to throw it away. The more society accepts as “normal” those things which are offensive to God, the less offended and the less nauseated people will be. Just as a society can become more civilized, a society can also become more barbaric.
So, how do we deal with this nausea? St. Francis testified that while he was walking in sin, he was nauseated “beyond measure” by the sight of lepers, but being in the light of the Lord, he was moved to have pity on lepers. Certainly, we should have pity on those who are afflicted with disorder through no fault of their own. All people are created in the image of God and, as such, have dignity that can never be taken away by any disorder, whether the disorder is leprosy, cleft palate, Bipolar Disorder, or same-sex attraction. At the same time, we should understand that it is not right for lepers (or parents of kids with cleft palate, or people with Bipolar Disorder, or homosexuals) to demand that we not call their condition “disorder” because it hurts their feelings. We should remember at all times that dignity does not depend on anything other than the fact that we are all created in God’s image, and that any defects that occur from time to time do not take away from that dignity. To the contrary, they are always an opportunity to grow even closer to God than those who are born without such defects.
In every age, man is presented with challenges that may tempt him away from God. In our age, it reaches to the depths of our hearts and minds, challenging us to continue to love those who hate us so much that they would legislate our institutions out of existence, and who claim that not only is there “no God” but that even nature itself has somehow robbed them of something they want. It is no longer just the idea of God being hated. Even human nature itself is claimed to have no bearing on anything in the social order.
Scripture tells us that God has looked upon those who reject belief and identity in Him and turned them over to darkness of mind and degradation of the body. We should not be surprised at all that growing disbelief in God has resulted in the “gay rights” movement that now claims to be “nauseated” by us for believing that homosexuality is nauseating. Because this has happened to our country on a large scale, Cardinal Dolan has rightly referred to America as mission country. It is at least as barbaric as it was before Catholic missionaries first set foot here.
“I was raised – as were most of you – to think of the missions as ‘way far away’ – and, to be sure, we can never forget our sacred duty to the foreign missions,” the New York archbishop wrote on his “Gospel in the Digital Age” blog.
“But, we are a mission territory, too. Every diocese is. And every committed Catholic is a missionary. This is at the heart of what Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI call the New Evangelization.”
Cardinal Dolan voiced his agreement with Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who observed in a June 2012 speech to the Catholic Press Association that his own archdiocese was “now really mission territory … for the second time.”
While the Philadelphia archbishop’s statement may seem startling, Cardinal Dolan said it was “right on target” – not simply due to troubles facing the Church in Philadelphia, but because of the larger crisis of faith sweeping through Western societies.
Catholics in America, and indeed, all Christians, need to accept this reality and see America in this way, as a mission country. Homosexuality should nauseate you as much as it would nauseate you to see a mother leave her child to die of exposure, or as it would nauseate you to see an elderly woman beaten. If it does not, you should probably be doing a self-assessment. That’s the first step, for many. The next step is to learn pity for those afflicted, even as they claim we nauseate them, and as they claim we have mental illness for believing our Christian Faith, and as they claim we are filled with hatred of people because we hate sin which scourges Jesus on the Cross.
Jesus desires our love very much, and growing in our pity for those afflicted will help us to grow in our relationship with Him. Growing closer to Him in this way gives strength for the road ahead, which is certain to be one of tribulation. In like manner, Our Lady of Sorrows is there to help us with learning patience at the Foot of the Cross.