Homosexuals and fornicators


#1

I’ve been thinking about these two groups of people recently. I think that there is still a prevalent bias against homosexuals, in that we treat homosexuals differently to how we treat fornicators. Surely we should put both of these groups into the same category? I mean, it is the act of homosexual sex (and lust) that is sinful, is it not? In the same way, straight sex (and lust) outside of marriage is just as sinful. So why do we (as in, society) treat homosexuals differently to fornicators?

I think that if we (as Christians) could treat homosexuals in exactly the same way as fornicators, then hopefully more homosexuals would be able to understand exactly what it is that we are condemning as sinful (any sex or lust outside of marriage etc). Also I think it would help us with how we are to view such people.

I haven’t completely thought this through, as you can probably tell from my disjointed thoughts. Any comments and expansions (or critiques) are very welcome.


#2

You are absolutely correct. The Catholic Church does not distinguish between homo- or heterosexual sex outside marriage - ALL sex outside marriage is mortally sinful.

I have also noticed and wondered about the many protestant preachers who rail against homosexual conduct, while turning a blind eye to couples living together, etc.

Sinful hetrosexual sexual relations is a FAR, FAR, FAR, FAR worse problem in our society than homosexual relations. Your observation and suggestion is very astute and right on-target.


#3

I myself frown heavily upon both forms of immorality equally. Both not as nice as each other.

But, just because i do it, doesn’t mean everyone else does.

I think society has gotten to some people. In society, there is a clear distinction between fornication and homosexual sex. Not that it is of the opinion that one or the other are bad, but still. It still recognises a distinction. The church does not do this.


#4

In the Old Testament, homosexuals were stoned to death along with the folks who had sex with animals because their practices are contrary to nature. Fornicators, on the other hand, because their practices are in accord nature but not licit either had to get married or the man had to pay the woman’s father a penalty.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church uses significantly different language to describe homosexual acts and acts of fornication. It refers to homosexual acts as “acts of grave depravity,” “intrinsically disordered,” and “contrary to natural law.” (2357) In contrast, acts of fornication are described as “gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality.” (2353) In other words, homosexual acts are unnatural and acts of fornication are undignified.

Of couse, both types of acts are potentially gravely sinful.


#5

Does masturbation fit into the catagory with homosexuality and bestiality, or fornication?

cheddar


#6

[quote=Todd Easton]In other words, homosexual acts are unnatural and acts of fornication are undignified.
[/quote]

But this is of little consequence, since both are mortally sinful (and “unnatural” death is no different than “undignified” death - you are still dead).

We may speak of “degrees” of sin when discussing venial sins, but mortal sins are exactly that - mortal - they kill the soul. No mortal sin is “more harmful” than another - you can’t be “more dead.”


#7

[quote=cheddarsox]Does masturbation fit into the catagory with homosexuality and bestiality, or fornication?
[/quote]

Yes. Masturbation is sex with yourself. That falls outside the marriage covenant, and thus has the potential to be mortally sinful.

There is only ONE category of mortal sin - DEAD. There are not “degrees” of mortal sin (as there are with venial sins).

Of course, the usual conditions apply in order for a sin to be mortal (the individual must be fully aware of the sinful nature of the act at the time it was committed, but nonetheless do so of his/her own free will).


#8

[quote=cheddarsox]Does masturbation fit into the catagory with homosexuality and bestiality, or fornication?

cheddar
[/quote]

The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes masturbation as “intrinsically and gravely disordered.” (2352) This is similar to the language used to describe homosexual acts.


#9

[quote=Atreyu]I’ve been thinking about these two groups of people recently. I think that there is still a prevalent bias against homosexuals, in that we treat homosexuals differently to how we treat fornicators. Surely we should put both of these groups into the same category? I mean, it is the act of homosexual sex (and lust) that is sinful, is it not? In the same way, straight sex (and lust) outside of marriage is just as sinful. So why do we (as in, society) treat homosexuals differently to fornicators?

I think that if we (as Christians) could treat homosexuals in exactly the same way as fornicators, then hopefully more homosexuals would be able to understand exactly what it is that we are condemning as sinful (any sex or lust outside of marriage etc). Also I think it would help us with how we are to view such people.

I haven’t completely thought this through, as you can probably tell from my disjointed thoughts. Any comments and expansions (or critiques) are very welcome.
[/quote]

I think that you are one-third right.

(1) In one sense, homosexuality is the same as masturbation and fornication: Climactic sex yanked-out-of its intended home, the heterosexual marital context.

(2) In another sense, climactic homosexual behavior is worse than heterosexual fornication or masturbation: It dedicates the intense reinforcing physical pleasure generated by the productive tract (a) to the wrong gender, and (b) to the wrong gender’s physical sewer system. Homosexual behavior is heavily “coprofilial” and “renal” in shape, isn’t it?

(3) However, evidence gathered by social scientists increasingly suggests that male homosexuality is a pre-wired dysfunction, and *strongly *suggests that male homosexuals, as sexually dysfunctional human beings, may have a pre-wired partial lack of self-control. One psychologist suggest that whereas the female/male family structure involves a “settling,” stabilizing non-grazing female joined to a grazing male, the male/male structure of a male homosexual relationship involves two “grazers.” I personally believe that pre-wired taboos against anal and cunnilingal copulation also constantly war with the stability of the homosexual relationship.

The bottom line, here, is that at the General Judgment heterosexuals may discover to their intense shock that God is less nasty to male homosexual perversion than to heterosexual fornication, *because *male homosexuals suffer from “pre-wired” promiscuity!


#10

[quote=Atreyu]I’ve been thinking about these two groups of people recently. I think that there is still a prevalent bias against homosexuals, in that we treat homosexuals differently to how we treat fornicators. Surely we should put both of these groups into the same category? I mean, it is the act of homosexual sex (and lust) that is sinful, is it not? In the same way, straight sex (and lust) outside of marriage is just as sinful. So why do we (as in, society) treat homosexuals differently to fornicators?
[/quote]

I’m not quite sure what you mean when you say “we (as in, society) treat homosexuals differently to fornicators.” Are you pointing to the fact that we seem to display more of a *personal * abhorance to the thought of homosexual activity as compared to the act of “straight sex” fornication? Perhaps that is so because most people who are not homosexual instinctively recognize the homosexual act as not being natural and are thus repelled by the implications that the homosexual lifestyle infers. I think you can argue that this aversion is natural rather than societal or morally imposed, so people cannot be blamed for feeling this way toward the the thought of homosexual activity as compared to their thoughts about fornication which, though just as immoral as homosexual activity, is not seen as naturally repugnant.

If the question is why it seems that Christians seem to speak out more about homosexual issues (like “same sex marriage” or adoption, etc), I think it is because it is more of a response to the current activism of groups that publically and loudly promote this sort of thing as something that everyone *must * accept. In other words, if there was not this well-orchestrated movement to legitimize an immoral lifestyle and thus impose it upon society, there would be no need to speak out publically on it. For example, if the fornicators of this country ever got organized with the media behind them to have fornication legally recognized by society as having the same status as a one man/one woman marriage, then Christians would surely be speaking out against fornication more than they do now.


#11

I should hasten to add to my post above that it should go without saying that we should treat others involved in these and other sinful situations with all due Christian compassion in virtue of their dignity as children of God. There is no excuse among Christians that, in fulfilling our responsibility to fearlessly speak the truth, it should *always * be attempted with tenderness a motive of love.

*Lord, in my zeal for the love of truth, let me not forget the truth about love. * - St. Thomas Aquinas


#12

If society had stuck to it’s guns about fornication, we would not be dealing with the issue of homosexual marriage right now.
The problem was a lack of compassion. When the fornicator or homosexual is someone you care about and they are outcast, you become indignant. Then, instead of reaching out and helping the sinner heal, you declare the people who shunned them the only wrong ones and make excuses for the fornicator or homosexual, they become a victim, and society must change. If we without sin had cast the first stone, we wouldn’t be in this mess. I guess we could have done alot to prevent this from happening. If the Anglicans had never okayed contraception . . . but what matters is how we deal with it now, i suppose. :rolleyes:


#13

We may speak of “degrees” of sin when discussing venial sins, but mortal sins are exactly that - mortal - they kill the soul. No mortal sin is “more harmful” than another - you can’t be “more dead.”

Actually, the Church and theologians clearly do speak of degrees of mortal sin. Sure, any mortal sin sends you to hell. But there are worse mortal sins that correspond to worse punishments. Not the essential punishment, the loss of God, which indeed can only be one level. But the accidental punishments are of a variety of levels, even as the glory in heaven is of different levels for different people. Sort of like that “all cups are overflowing but some cups are bigger” analogy, except with punishment instead.

just as sinful

No. Homosexual acts are worse. Sodomy (including bestiality and necrophilia in Aquinas’s broader definition, as well as gay sex) is the worst sin of the flesh. A sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance.

Acts of fornication and adultery are bad, but still intrinsically natural. That is, they can still be a male-female, potentially procreative act. If you were to come upon a heterosexual couple fornicating or commiting adultery…and knew nothing about the people personally or their marriage history…the sex would look exactly the same and you would not be able to tell the difference between it and married sex. But if you came across a homosexual sex act, you would know it was intrinsically disordered and unnatural right away.

I’m just clarifying what the Church and theologians teach. I personally agree that we concentrate on homosexuality too much and should be condemning heterosexual lust and impurity more too. But homosexual acts are intrinsically worse.


#14

We treat them differently than fornicators because they are different. Yes, their sins are both of lustfulness, but the homosexual’s sin is graver than the fornicator’s. The reason is because the homosexual is violating natural law which is still being followed by the fornicator. If you knew a man who had sex with dogs and cats and monkeys, would you treat him the same as a fornicator? I hope not, because his sins are worse than the fornicator’s. Also, he breaking a code of natural law, which you would find appauling!


#15

While I don’t think we should make homosexuals and fornicators outcasts, I also don’t think we should declare that the homosexual or fornicator should be given special prayer services and potlucks because of previous treatment by church members. In my diocese, we have special prayer services and potlucks for homosexuals. It is not a Courage meeting, where people are encouraged to be chaste. In fact, our bishop calls homosexual recognition the next wave of Civil Rights. Don’t know exactly what he means…


#16

[quote=Atreyu]I think that if we (as Christians) could treat homosexuals in exactly the same way as fornicators, then hopefully more homosexuals would be able to understand exactly what it is that we are condemning as sinful (any sex or lust outside of marriage etc).
[/quote]

I think it would be helpful if so many Christians weren’t ho-hum about premarital sex, masturbation, and divorce with remarriage. Then it would be clearer to the outside observer that we object to sexual activity outside of marriage.

I’m not sure exactly what you mean about treating fornicating couples and homosexual couples the same. Are you talking about discussions of the topic, or are you talking about how you act when confronted with a couple at a party or in your extended family? I’ve encountered many more possibly fornicating couples than I have possibly having gay sex couples. Clearly I will be more used to the one than the other. In either case, I rarely know if sex is actually taking place.


#17

The reason homosexual behavior seems to be “more” condemned publicly is that homosexuals demand that the church act as if what they do is not sinful.

If someone went and held a news conference, and announced that he was a Catholic and a professional masturbator, and demanded to receive communion, he would be treated the exact same way by his bishop.

Leftists are very adept at staging drama to make it appear they are singled out, such as the stunt with the rainbow sashes.


#18

The Church also distinguishes between those who have homosexual attraction but do not act upon them, living chaste lives and those who practice homosexual acts. In most cases, homosexual tendencies are an acquired disorder and the person is not at fault for the disorder. ( and yes, if recognized early enough, can be very successfully treated). But then if one acts upon that inclination, therein lies the sin.


#19

[quote=Atreyu]I’ve been thinking about these two groups of people recently. I think that there is still a prevalent bias against homosexuals, in that we treat homosexuals differently to how we treat fornicators. Surely we should put both of these groups into the same category? I mean, it is the act of homosexual sex (and lust) that is sinful, is it not? In the same way, straight sex (and lust) outside of marriage is just as sinful. So why do we (as in, society) treat homosexuals differently to fornicators?

I think that if we (as Christians) could treat homosexuals in exactly the same way as fornicators, then hopefully more homosexuals would be able to understand exactly what it is that we are condemning as sinful (any sex or lust outside of marriage etc). Also I think it would help us with how we are to view such people.

I haven’t completely thought this through, as you can probably tell from my disjointed thoughts. Any comments and expansions (or critiques) are very welcome.
[/quote]

First let me say that we definitely over-attack homosexuality and underattack fornication. I believe there are both logical and natural reasons for this, but that does not make it appropriate.
Logically, homosexuality is a double violation: it is sex outside of marriage AND it is sex with another of the same sex; whereas fornication simply lacks the validity of marriage. Double violation means the act will recieve additional scorn.
Naturally, heterosexuality is disproportionately prevalent - if not exclusively prevalent- in the animal world and is certainly the norm for humans. Anything abnormal is usually viewed with suspicion, if not disgust, therefore additional scorn again.
Finally, if we regard life as the greatest accomplishment through the natural world, homosexuality is unnecessary but heterosexuality is necessary to sustain life through reproduction.

Again, I am simply stating the reality as I see it but I am not justifying unloving behaviour toward anyone.

Phil


#20

[quote=Atreyu]I’ve been thinking about these two groups of people recently. I think that there is still a prevalent bias against homosexuals, in that we treat homosexuals differently to how we treat fornicators. .
[/quote]

who is this “we?”

If you mean the Catholic Church, the moral teaching of the Church applies equally to all, the commandments apply to all, the evil consequences of immoral actions are the common lot of all, the conditions for mortal sin apply to all – the matter must be grave, the individual must have full knowledge of the gravity of the sin, and the individual must fully intend and will the sinful action. The remedy for sin is the same for all: confession of all mortal sins we are conscious of to a priest and absolution. Baptism remits all actual sin (as well as original sin), and the sacrament of anointing of the sick also remits all actual sin. There is no difference in the action of the sacraments based on the individual’s sins.
Mortal sin, no matter what it is, separates the baptized individual from the communion, from the sacraments until confession and absolution have been obtained.

If you mean that those in the Church with pastoral care responsibilities deal differently with person who are struggling with this sin or that sin, that is none of our business, for one thing, because matter for confession is private, and it may very well be that different individuals require different remedies.

If you mean that many Catholics share the same laissez-faire attitude about premarital and extramarital sex that permeates our culture, and condone or even promote such behavior while claiming to be “Catholic” not doubt that is true for some, but please don’t include all of us in that “we”. Such persons may be condemnatory about the sins of another person or class of persons, such as gays, while excusing their own personal sins, and that hypocrisy is warned against often by the saints and spiritual writers. So I still don’t know who you mean by “we.”


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.