Legalize Sodomy?


#1

You hear alot about legalizing gay marriage, but nothing at all about sodomy. Are not both the same thing? Some answer (as if to justify: what they do in their bedrooms is their own matter), really? Wonder what God has to say about it? We already know…the entire city of Sodom & Gormoras’ former residents already know the answer to that question. There are many references to sodomy in the Bible. I guess those who believe what they are doing is right, they also must not believe and love God. Need to pray for these people that their lives may be changed to the love and service to God, before such prayers would be too late.


#2

The US Supreme Court held this year that homosexual sodomy is not criminal conduct.

High time, too. What two people do in the privacy of their bedroom is no business of the state, as long as (a) both consent, (b) both are over-age, and © nobody is harmed.


#3

[quote=Auberon Quin]The US Supreme Court held this year that homosexual sodomy is not criminal conduct.

High time, too. What two people do in the privacy of their bedroom is no business of the state, as long as (a) both consent, (b) both are over-age, and © nobody is harmed.
[/quote]

You’re not Catholic, are you? Just thought I should ask since this is a Catholic forum, and your opinion doesn’t seem to be in agreement with Catholic teaching. “What two people do in the privacy of their bedroom” usually does involve a moral matter, and in the case of sodomy both partners are being harmed (according to Catholic teaching). The Catholic faith cannot be indifferent to a sexual matter, simply because there is no complaintant. How do you know nobody is harmed (just because of a lack of complaintant?)

Whether the state should be involved is a separate matter, and a question that could be asked of all moral issues.
(eg., should the state be involved in incest, child sex, bestiality, drugs, fraud?–one’s man’s fraud is another man’s just profit, etc. etc.) In fact, the state does mediate “moral” issues for civil society, many of which would appear not to involve a “victim” in some people’s eyes.

Perhaps this forum would be more valuable if we posed the question ,rather than stated an answer: why is sodomy wrong in the Church’s eyes (even if there is no complaintant, ie., “no one is harmed.”)? What do you think?


#4

[quote=Auberon Quin]The US Supreme Court held this year that homosexual sodomy is not criminal conduct.

High time, too. What two people do in the privacy of their bedroom is no business of the state, as long as (a) both consent, (b) both are over-age, and © nobody is harmed.
[/quote]

Yes, that might be so. But arn’t we suppose to do what God thinks and not what people think?


#5

From a technical and legal point of view, legalizing “same-sex marriage” and legalizing sodomy are two different things.

One can commit sodomy without intending to make a commitment similar to that of marriage. Just as one can commit fornication or adultery without attempting marriage.

And, while one might argue that everyone in a “same sex marriage” would probably also commit an act with their partner that the law would describe as sodomy, the law does not seem to care whether they perform any sexual acts or not in order to be “married.” Just as a foreigner in the US on a visa can get a civil marriage to a US citizen “on paper” in order to get a green card.

So, it is best to keep the terms “sodomy” and “same-sex marriage” separate when discussing this issue.


#6

[quote=Auberon Quin]The US Supreme Court held this year that homosexual sodomy is not criminal conduct.

High time, too. What two people do in the privacy of their bedroom is no business of the state, as long as (a) both consent, (b) both are over-age, and © nobody is harmed.
[/quote]

You must also support prostitution.

The both are over-age part, what state? Age of consent varies from state to state. I think Louisianna is the lowest at 15. So that means a 45 year old could then have relations with the 15 year old.

Nobody is harmed. I ask, in what way? S&M many times involves physical punishment.

By stating the government should stay out of the bed room ‘as long as’, the government is already in the bedroom putting limitations on things.


#7

[quote=zange]You’re not Catholic, are you? Just thought I should ask since this is a Catholic forum, and your opinion doesn’t seem to be in agreement with Catholic teaching. “What two people do in the privacy of their bedroom” usually does involve a moral matter, and in the case of sodomy both partners are being harmed (according to Catholic teaching). The Catholic faith cannot be indifferent to a sexual matter, simply because there is no complaintant. How do you know nobody is harmed (just because of a lack of complaintant?)

Whether the state should be involved is a separate matter, and a question that could be asked of all moral issues.
(eg., should the state be involved in incest, child sex, bestiality, drugs, fraud?–one’s man’s fraud is another man’s just profit, etc. etc.) In fact, the state does mediate “moral” issues for civil society, many of which would appear not to involve a “victim” in some people’s eyes.

Perhaps this forum would be more valuable if we posed the question ,rather than stated an answer: why is sodomy wrong in the Church’s eyes (even if there is no complaintant, ie., “no one is harmed.”)? What do you think?
[/quote]

Yes I am Catholic and is why I’m against such activities. I believe in His Church that He founded for us. Look at God if ya want a complaintant or if someone is harmed. :rolleyes:


#8

[quote=mjdonnelly]You must also support prostitution.

The both are over-age part, what state? Age of consent varies from state to state. I think Louisianna is the lowest at 15. So that means a 45 year old could then have relations with the 15 year old.

Nobody is harmed. I ask, in what way? S&M many times involves physical punishment.

By stating the government should stay out of the bed room ‘as long as’, the government is already in the bedroom putting limitations on things.
[/quote]

Yes, government should stay out, but should God stay out of the bedroom?
:rolleyes:


#9

If it is your position that homosexual sodomy should be illegal because it is sinful, then should all comparable sins *also * be outlawed? What about heterosexual acts of sodomy between married partners? What about heterosxual fornication? I think that we wouldn’t have enough police to enforce all those laws.

I am all for an amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman because anything less demeans the *public * importance of marriage and legitimizes the union of same-sex couples as a societal concept.

I think that any homosexual act is grave sin, but I’m not convinced that laws banning homosexual conduct would be an effective deterent, as most of the sodomy laws were not enforced long before the Supreme Court’s decision on the Texas sodomy law.

One final comment, the Supreme Court’s decision does not approve of homosexuality. It simply holds that the government cannot intrude on private conduct between consenting adults in the bedroom. As far as I know, that’s God’s position too, isn’t it? God gives human beings the free will to make bad choices, including the choice of engaging in sinful conduct. That makes our job as Christians much harder. We have to love even the worst sinner and pray for them to come home to God.


#10

The Supreme Court ruled recently (in Lawrence vs Texas) that sodomy was protected under the “privacy” right previously found to protect the sale of contraceptives as well as the right to abortion. In doing so, it overruled its own previous decision (Bowers vs Hardwick, 1986) that sodomy was not a protected right.

In doing so, because this was a supreme court decision, it effectively invalidated sodomy laws in every State.

The problem is not that sodomy should or should not be outlawed or regulated. That is (or should be) a matter for the legislature. But now, because of court decisions, sodomy, abortion, contraception, have all become constitutional rights,with no legislative input whatever.

JimG


#11

[quote=KowboyM]Yes I am Catholic and is why I’m against such activities. I believe in His Church that He founded for us. Look at God if ya want a complaintant or if someone is harmed. :rolleyes:
[/quote]

You’re AGAINST sodomy, and homosexual activities? Sorry, I couldn’t get that at all from your original posting. Sounded like you believed that whatever two people do in the privacy of their own bedroom was A-OK. Several others seemed to get that from your posting also.

I guess you are saying that that it shouldn’t be criminal, but that it is a sin. Is that it? If so, I wonder how far you’d push this position. As others have pointed out, are you willing to allow legalized child prostitution, pornography, and I would add bestiality and incest, so long as “God is the only complaintant.” Are you saying that Law, or at least the laws you want enacted, should have no moral content other than an obvious victim who comes forth to complain? And if not, I’m still wondering how you determine who is or is not a victim. Not all victims come bleeding and visibly broken. Not all victims complain (there are masochists). I can agree that not all our morals should be legislated, but I don’t believe all our laws should be free of all moral considerations other than the “obvious victim” standard, which is rather minimalist. Laws are where a society projects what it believes to be in its interest: morality cannot be indifferent to such issues. That is not to equate the two at all. Pluralism must co-exist with moral sincerity. Or as we often say, if you don’t like the laws, you SHOULD try to change them.


#12

This seems to be more of a topic for the Politics thread.

Regardless, here’s my opinion:

Sodomy is a sin, as God has defined it, and the Church.

To illegalize it if it’s currently legal, though, would probably not be a good idea for a secular country such as America. It’s definitely important to remember that America is not a Catholic country.

A good question might be why sodomy was illegal in the U.S. in the first place.


#13

[quote=Auberon Quin]The US Supreme Court held this year that homosexual sodomy is not criminal conduct.

High time, too. What two people do in the privacy of their bedroom is no business of the state, as long as (a) both consent, (b) both are over-age, and © nobody is harmed.
[/quote]

If the activities are sinful, © is never true. Because, at best, sin harms the one who commits it, if not those around the sinner. At the worst, it harms many around them for a long time. Then according to your post, it would be the business of the state.


#14

Whoops, a bit of confusion of Kowboy M and Aurebon Quinn. I saw that Kowboy was against sodomy, and was addressing Quinn as to whether he feels his views are “Catholic”. I also now see that Quinn is willing to make criminal certain sexual acts involving those not of age. Sorry. But I still would like to know why other matters involving adults shouldn’t be made illegal.

Archbishop raises some good points (as well as whether this is the right forum for this topic–I’d prefer to keep the focus here on apologetics issues like why does the Church consider sodomy and homosexual acts as sins? What do other religious traditions say?)

But I still have reservations about this hesitation to pass laws making illegal sexual practices we find sinful just because the USA isn’t a “Catholic country”. (whether we have enough cops to enforce them doesn’t strike me as a good reason not to assert the criminality of an act). It seems to me that, as Catholic citizens, we have an obligation to push to change our civil laws to reflect what we think would be a moral and just society. (eg., “I personally think the Catholic teaching on social justice is right and moral, but I wouldn’t want to force it on my fellow non-Catholic citizens, so I’m only supporting candidates from The Greed and Selfish Party for office!”) This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t vigorously protect the civic rights of our fellow non-Catholic citizens to pursue their own (possibly sinful) choices UNTIL the laws are changed. Pluralism should be about the process, and respect for each other in the process, not the form of the ultimate result. That is where moral relativism gets us into trouble.


#15

This question is just part of a larger question of “should all sin be illegal?”

Sodomy is a sin, so it should be illegal.

To tell a lie is a sin, so should telling a lie be illegal? (It is in some instances, such as lieing to a police officer during an investigation.) I tell a person that the time is noon, when I know that it is after 1:00pm. Because of my answer, the other person misses an important appointment. Should I be cited?

The delicate balance is in trying to promote societal values (doing the right thing) versus free will, where a person is allowed to make wrong choices (where no one else is harmed.)


#16

Also, if people want the government out of the bedroom, why don’t we also keep their bedroom out of the public eye. It appears as if they don’t want the government telling them what to do, but then they want privlidges from the government for doing those items.


#17

[quote=mjdonnelly]Also, if people want the government out of the bedroom, why don’t we also keep their bedroom out of the public eye. It appears as if they don’t want the government telling them what to do, but then they want privlidges from the government for doing those items.
[/quote]

MJDonnelly: The sodomy law struck down in Lawrence said nothing about sodomy in the “public eye.” I don’t think anyone’s asking for privileges from the government for committing sodomy; homosexuals are seeking the same access to the legal rights of marriage that straights have. Would you say that straights are getting privileges from the government for having straight sex?

As far as the age of consent laws go, they are determined by the state. I don’t know what Louisiana’s is; 15 seems awfully young to me. But if the state lege determines it’s legal for a 45 year old man and a 15 year old woman to engage in consensual sex, then it follows that it’s also legal for males of the same age to engage in consensual sex.

I don’t think it makes sense to make conduct illegal based solely on the fact that it is a sin. Otherwise, we would have to criminalize (under the Catholic view, anyway) masturbation and missing Sunday Mass. Hindus would criminalize eating beef, and we’d spend even more time yelling at each other than we already do.

Which is a lot.

Davidv, I think we disagree about the nature of “harm,” which stems from the fact that I don’t see being in the state of sin as a “harm” that the state needs to protect its citizens against. There has to be some level of harm – I may do some harm to somebody’s ego by calling them a nasty name on this forum, but that’s hardly the kind of “harm” that should be criminally punished.

Zange, you raise good questions too. I think legalized child prostitution is horribly wrong because children cannot consent to sexual activity. I think bestiality is wrong because it harms animals; if there is such a thing as vegetality, I see no problem with that as long as I do not have to watch or hear about it. Nobody is harmed.

And you’re right. I’m not Catholic. My belief is that the Church may make whatever rules it pleases regarding the conduct of its members, as long as those rules result in no serious harm. (Human sacrifice, for example, is OUT.) Its members may choose to follow those rules or not, and their conduct is a matter between them, their Church, and Almighty God. It should not involve the state.

The state’s interest is in promoting public safety and (here’s where we probably start talking about gay bowel disease, whatever that is) health. Criminalizing homosexual, or, for that matter, heterosexual sodomy between consenting adults in private doesn’t do anything to promote either of those goals.


#18

[quote=Auberon Quin]The US Supreme Court held this year that homosexual sodomy is not criminal conduct.

High time, too. What two people do in the privacy of their bedroom is no business of the state, as long as (a) both consent, (b) both are over-age, and © nobody is harmed.
[/quote]

I don’t believe it… not with a court that is 5 to 4 appointed by the GOP… say it ain’t so…


#19

[quote=space ghost]I don’t believe it… not with a court that is 5 to 4 appointed by the GOP… say it ain’t so…
[/quote]

Space Ghost, I view you as a person of genius, but your numbers are a little off. The current court is 7-2 appointed by the GOP; only Ginsburg and Breyer were appointed by Democrats.


#20

QUOTE "Zange, you raise good questions too. I think legalized child prostitution is horribly wrong because children cannot consent to sexual activity. I think bestiality is wrong because it harms animals; if there is such a thing as vegetality, I see no problem with that as long as I do not have to watch or hear about it. Nobody is harmed.

And you’re right. I’m not Catholic. My belief is that the Church may make whatever rules it pleases regarding the conduct of its members, as long as those rules result in no serious harm. (Human sacrifice, for example, is OUT.) Its members may choose to follow those rules or not, and their conduct is a matter between them, their Church, and Almighty God. It should not involve the state.

The state’s interest is in promoting public safety and (here’s where we probably start talking about gay bowel disease, whatever that is) health. Criminalizing homosexual, or, for that matter, heterosexual sodomy between consenting adults in private doesn’t do anything to promote either of those goals."

QUIN,
Well, Catholic or not, you make good points and I respect what you say and how you say it. I for one welcome your contributions to this forum.

But I think the state’s interest cannot be limited to merely public safety and health, narrowly construed. “Safety and health” ultimately involve considerations of value, and the state is inherently involved in determining which values should be mobilized to achieve a broader concept of “safety and health” (broader than merely physical safety and health): this includes income redistribution, and various kinds of support for individuals and groups, including middle class home owners and wealthy corporations.
Discussions that couch the question in terms of State agency, however, may inject an unnecessary bias. Were this an autocratic or despotic state, I’d be inclined to agree with the more liberatarian critiques. But at least in the USA, these issues are decided by representatives of the people, who can be voted out of office, if the laws they pass don’t conform with the majority opinion of the people. If we find ourselves in the minority, then we have an obligation to work to change the laws to reflect what we think is right and just (and that is a moral question). Of course that doesn’t mean we must agree that the laws should reflect all aspects of our faith. But we shouldn’t be deterred from trying to pass laws that we do feel would make this a better society, even if those beliefs stem from our religious faith.


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.