This is the kind of stuff that really makes my lumbago act up.
"Ain't no homo gonna make it to heaven"... those are the words this toddler sang in church on Sunday. Give a listen:
And to cheers, no less (and what appears to be an encore). This is the kind of stuff that gets used as propoganda in the secular media around the world to paint Christians as ugly fools. Makes me frustrated and sad.
This highlights where fundamentalism so often goes so wrong. And where the pro-traditional-Marriage movement has been hijacked by unreasonable (and often ignorant and ugly) rhetoric that does more harm to the movement than help.
Why so many Christians can't separate a person's sexual attraction (sexuality) from their sexual acts is beyond me. Being a homosexual does not put somebody in grave sin any more than being a heterosexual makes you a fornicator or an adulterer. Saying "ain't no homo gonna make it to heaven" is similar to saying "ain't no hetero gonna make it to heaven." It's just dumb. And lame. And unnecessary. And unproductive. And hurtful to the cause of Marriage and especially to those people who carry the cross of being homosexual.
Teaching an innocent child to do this just makes it even worse.
The Catholic Church has a very different position than the false caricature of Christians above. It's a position that manages to hate the sin (the act) while loving the sinner. A position that distinguishes between the person and then how that person chooses to act. A belief that is, while difficult, still reasonable and just. And that calls anyone who is challenged by their sexuality to rise up over it all and to become what God made them to be: Perfect. (And a Saint.) Just as God calls all of us.
Here's what the Catholic Catechism says about it:
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
Some will still disagree with that, but it is most certainly not homophobic, ignorant or ugly. Sheesh.
Matthew Warner is the founder and CEO of Flocknote.com, an innovative communication tool helping thousands of churches and dioceses better connect with their flocks. He also blogs (MatthewWarner.me), is one of the founders and speakers of the Digital Church Conference, and is author of the book Messy and Foolish: How to Make a Mess, Be a Fool and Evangelize the World (messyandfoolish.com).
Matt has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M and an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship. He, his wife and his five children hang their hats in Texas.