The Strangest Homily: “Gay Marriage Means No More Babies”

Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Instead of discussing the ridiculous situation regarding Kim Davis, a Kentucky County Clerk who has refused to do her job and issue marriage licenses in light of the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, I’d like to go back to the root of her contempt: anti-gay preaching by Christian ministers, pastors, and priests. One can argue that the Bible, with its anti-gay verses, is the root problem, but ultimately it all comes down to interpretation, and while there are plenty of Christians who eat shellfish despite Biblical rules against doing so, too many consider fighting against marriage equality to be their moral duty. Worse, when they try to give secular arguments against marriage equality, their inability to apply reason to the issue becomes apparent.

The homily I’ll be discussing in this post is one that I remember from back when I was in 9th grade. I was homeschooled for the majority of my education, but I attended Catholic High School for one year, and during that year, every month, there was a day when the entire high school (roughly 800 students) would be marched a few blocks away to the nearest Catholic church in order to attend mass. We sat down in our uniforms on the hard, wooden pews in rain or shine, and the same priest would walk in, say mass, and give the same homily (sermon) he had given the month before. It jumped around a lot in topic, but one topic he always discussed for several minutes (after a lecture on how inexperienced high school students are) was gay marriage. It was a bad thing, he insisted. His argument against it, however, was ridiculous.

“What we’re seeing with gay marriage,” he would say, “is that it’s spreading. More and more people want to do it. I shouldn’t have to tell you all why it’s bad for society. It’s bad because gay people can’t physically have children. The biological components that unite a man and woman through God to make a child aren’t there. So what’s going to happen? As more and more people become gay, there will be fewer and fewer children being born. We can’t have a gay society. It’s not sustainable. The church’s stance on gay marriage is clear, and it’s logical, because without heterosexual unions, humans won’t survive.”

Even back then, when I was strongly opposed to gay marriage, this argument didn’t make much sense. I knew not everyone was gay. I was straight! I had friends who were straight. My parents were definitely straight. Why did he think being gay was such a temptation for everybody that if given the freedom to be openly gay, everyone in the world would do it?

Then it hit me:

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I realize this is a fairly common accusation from liberal people, but in this case I really do think it’s true. It’s the only logical explanation. A straight person considering his argument could stop and think, “This doesn’t make sense. I don’t fit that rule,” and most would be intelligent enough to conclude that they aren’t the only exception. Either he’s not bright enough to make that obvious intellectual step, or he was simply using the experience he spent so much time raving about to us, and applying it to gay marriage. In his experience, being gay was a real temptation because it was part of who he was, and he was suppressing it because of the church’s teachings.

That’s one of the strangest and saddest things about gay Catholic priests, and other gay active church members. They buy into a lot of the nonsense even though it actually applies to them. For all of his rants about high school kids being inexperienced–a fair point–he had a lot to learn about himself. Like many priests, he was starting to really advance in age. I wonder if he’s still around, and if so, I wonder how he took the news of the SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality.

What’s the craziest argument you’ve heard against marriage equality? Feel free to leave a comment. All opinions are welcome, just be respectful and think things through before posting.

Happy thinking!

-Nancy

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9 thoughts on “The Strangest Homily: “Gay Marriage Means No More Babies”

  1. You know, I just now realized that I’ve heard so many weird arguments against marriage equality that I can’t rate them. Some people tried arguing that gay people are worse parents, others argued that gay people shouldn’t be married because they can’t produce their own children (it’s slightly different than the homily; basically the idea is that potential childbirth is somehow more preferable than anything else). There was an argument that marriage had been between one man and one woman for thousands of years.

    Yet others think that their deity will smite us if gay people can get married. Then you’ve got people who are convinced that their deity is smiting us for letting gay people get married. And then you’ve got the conspiracy theorists who think that “the gay agenda” is orchestrating marriage equality (that one was in a Supreme Court decision; guess which Justice it was).

    I just don’t know anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those are all nuts. The one about marriage being the same for thousands of years is an interesting one to me because it’s such a strange argument that falls apart when you try applying it to anything else. Lots of terrible things have been around for thousands of years, like war and slavery. You don’t see anybody arguing for them using this fact, yet people do it when it comes to marriage changing a tiny bit.

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      • It also falls apart because marriage changes a lot. Taxation gets changed, qualifications get changed, all kinds of things change. Coverture is the most cited example, where women become the property of their husband when they get married (hence the name change). That ended a short while ago.

        Still, it doesn’t stop people from believing that marriage has been one way for centuries. So sad.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s very true. I read an article a few weeks ago that pointed out how recently marital rape became illegal in the US. It was uncomfortably recently–I believe it was the early ’90s. The ways marriage has changed reflect a society that’s changing to be more inclusive and kinder to minorities. That’s never a bad thing.

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  2. All arguments against gay marriage are crazy, but I think the craziest is one of these:

    “Priests/ministers/whatever will be forced to marry couples they don’t want to” – Nobody wants to be married by someone who disapproves of the marriage.

    “Marriage is a religious practice defined by our religion’s specific God” – These people never have the guts to actually admit that they are using an argument which also suggests that nobody who doesn’t belong to their religion is married either. (And if these people were right it would be an argument for not legally recognizing marriage at all.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • That second one really gets on my nerves. I’ve heard my parents make that statement, and it’s astounding to me that no one ever seems to realize that they’re arguing against legal recognition of marriage at all. I suspect it’s because they like that their union is being recognized–they just don’t want other types of such unions to be.

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  3. It’s a lot like the argument, “If you don’t believe in God there’s nothing to keep you from murdering and raping.” To which the standard reply is, “You’re right, I’m free and I do murder and rape as much as I want: ZERO.”

    Liked by 1 person

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