Family argument over gay marriage in Britain

The British government has just today backed legislation for gay marriage in the UK, which prompted a rather heated debate around the family dinner table.

I am very concerned because my 22 year old son has come out in favour of this, and says I am a bigot, homophobic, judgemental and prejudiced; that if I was a Christian, I should live and let live; that gays have the same rights as any other person and if I don’t agree with that I am in the wrong. I did my best to defend my position, referring to Biblical quotes and church teaching, but he was having none of it. In fact, he said he’d rather go to hell with the gays for defending their human rights than be a bigoted, judgemental person like me. He said the church has no moral authority any more because of it’s cover up of the sexual abuse of children, and that God made homosexuals.

I don’t know how to make him see reason and I am so worried about him holding these views in direction opposition to the teachings of Christ.
Any advice welcome.

Back down. Don’t let your zeal to win an argument drive him from the faith. Live right. be gentle. Offer a well-reasoned word from time-to-time. When he sees you live the faith with love, it will be something which remains attractive to him. There’s a lot of peer pressure and nasty behavior modification tactics being used against anyone who disagrees with the prevailing secular orthodoxy. Rather than try to force him to come around to your way of seeing things (even if it is correct), it’s best to love him, discuss things with him, but never browbeat or coerce him. God is never coercive so neither should we be like that.

Ugh, people are so blinded by sin. I will pray for him and your situation. He sounds like my friends

Just curious, but are you in the habit of allowing your son to speak such horrible things about you at the dinner table? I’d have smacked him, regardless of his age.

I ask this because proper formation of the sensibilities really precedes proper formation of the mind. Since he doesn’t have reverence for his own biological father, I doubt he’ll be able to form reverence for the Holy Father, or for God the Father.

Thank you, your prayers will be much appreciated. I must say, he is expressing views I hear in the workplace every day. He was so vehement about it, so completely convinced that he is right. He has managed to make me feel that maybe I am a judgmental bigot!

I’m his mother, not his father!
He was very angry and honestly,I was taken aback by his outburst. I don’t think a smack would have helped the situation, I prefer to go for reasoned argument! I did my best to form his sensibilities, so i don’t find your comment helpful in any way.

I do feel I’m fighting a losing battle though. I always try to be calm and reasonable, but he just doesn’t accept my arguments. I do love him and discuss any issue openly with him, but I feel I’m losing him to the world.

Pray to the BVM. Ask for her assistance.

After he calms down see if he would be open to reading some books.
There are plenty of books that counter his views. Challenge him to be as open-minded as he claims.

Would you recommend some books that might appeal to a young, ‘cool’ guy? Would be very grateful!

Tell him exactly what you just posted. He’s under tremendous peer pressure. It’s also legal pressure because he can be subject to penalties (at school or work) for expressing anti-gay opinions. Just tell him we live in an imperfect world and that you don’t have all the answers.

Younger adults often wander away from the faith. If they’re not punished or reviled for it but rather are treated with patience, tolerance, and love, they are far more likely to revert to the faith in a few years.

I think I will show him my post. I don’t want him to be anti-gay; I’m not anti-gay in the sense that I would not unfairly discriminate against a person because they are gay, but I would like him to understand that being a practicing homosexual is to be in a state of sin and therefore removed from God’s grace, just as a single heterosexual who is sleeping with their partner is in a state of sin. He thinks that they cannot help their feelings and that they should have the right to ‘marry’ and form a stable union built on love, and that they have been persecuted throughout history by ‘bigots’ like me. I really don’t think I am a bigot, but the whole debate has left me feeling really upset!

Is he a practicing Catholic? Or is this just one of many views that he holds in direct opposition to the teachings of Christ and His Church? What are his thoughts on other Catholic teachings like re-marriage following divorce, abortion, contraception, sex-before-marriage, pornography—or even missing Mass on Sunday? All of those things put his soul at risk too. I bet his views on homosexual marriage reflect that he commiting sins or struggling with Church teachings in other areas. :frowning:

Anyway, you might mention to your son that homosexual marriage is not about “live and let live”. Marriage is not a private matter–it is a* public* record.

My reaction exactly. What on earth is he doing calling a family member, especially his parent, “bigoted” and a “homophobe”? He’s the one with issues.

He’s 22 years old. Weren’t you ever young? At that age, we try on ideas as we would hats. If the adults in his life are good examples of Christian love, he will be more inclined to adopt that path as he moves into adulthood.

You don’t, I would suggest.

Children will rebel, that is a given, and the best thing you can do (IMO) is wait for the heat to settle, then try to represent your position. Maybe use the time to put your thoughts in order about how to best phrase your position. And think hard about how you will react if you and your son genuinely and permanently disagree on this.

Smacking him, in my opinion, is always a violent, foolish and counter productive response.

Ahh, forgive me.

I understanding being taken aback, and I don’t mean to imply any deficiency on your part. Rather that there is a much deeper problem at work here, namely impiety toward his parents, than bad opinions, so the correction of that deeper problem should come first for two reasons. First, because impiety toward one’s parents is grave moral matter, and probably even more so than heterodoxy. And second, because impiety toward one’s parents makes it even more difficult for parents’ to correct that heterodoxy.

It’s clear to me, in other words, that your son thinks very little of you for whatever reason, and until this changes, I doubt he’ll take you scolding him for his heterodoxy very seriously, no matter how well-intentioned it is or how much he really deserves to be so scolded. I don’t know what you can do to correct that given his age and my lack of knowledge about your circumstances. Obviously prayer is important here, but it’s not like you can cut him off from all the many, many bad influences around him. (Unless you can, in which case, go for it!)

Here’s a great, quick article about the case against gay marriage, by the way: crisismagazine.com/2013/we-ignore-sex-at-our-peril. I doubt he’d be interested in it though, since his mind is clearly made up that opponents of gay “marriage” are evil.

You are quite right, he is not a practicing Catholic in that he seldom attends Mass, but he claims God knows his heart and that is enough. He has agreed with the other elements such as abortion, sex outside marriage, pornography, and so on, but is very stubborn in holding to his other views. He does struggle with church teachings, and his get-out -of jail-free card is always the perversion of the clergy and the cover up of the abuse of children.
As another poster said, I know he is under tremendous peer pressure to think like the crowd, but he seems to be so totally brainwashed on this issue that I am near despair. It is very hard to watch your beloved child slide so far from the values you have sought to instill in him, but I he has a good heart and is a very loving son in many ways.
Please say a prayer for him.

He may come around in a few years, so don’t lose hope :slight_smile:

explain that you try and live according to your faith.your not bigoted, living a chaste life according to your state of life is hard for everyone. it means no masturbating, pre marital sex, abortion, contraception, and evening thinking about sex with other partners.
if what he says is true and you are bigoted because you follow the teachings of the church then he obviously believes you hate everyone as most of us fall under the burden of the above.

Well he is at the age when he knows everything! I was there once myself.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.