National Catholic Register


Loving the Culture Out of its Attachment to Homosexuality

BY Joseph Nicolosi

April 29-May 5, 2001 Issue | Posted 4/29/01 at 2:00 PM


If we don't understand the truth about homosexuality, we can't respond intelligently, prudently and compassionately to the popular culture's efforts to legitimize homosexual acts.

So says Christopher Wolfe, a professor of political science at Marquette University in Milwaukee and president of the American Public Philosophy Institute, in a new book he has edited for Spence Publishing, Same-Sex Matters: The Challenge of Homosexuality .

The philosophical stance of this work is essentially Catholic. That is, all its contributing writers — an impressive group of social scientists, religious leaders, educators, political analysts and cultural observers — take the position that sex-same attractions are fundamentally disordered, and that homosexual acts are intrinsically immoral.

Collectively, the writers make Wolfe's case that we are in the midst of an enormous cultural struggle over homosexuality. Wolfe believes that, while many Americans privately consider homosexuality a disorder, some for religious and some for intuitive reasons (“it just doesn't seem right”), relatively few of those individuals are actually able to defend their position in the public square. The book succeeds in providing arguments from a variety of perspectives.

For example, in a chapter titled “A Rhetoric of Hope,” Lawrence Burtoft offers a fascinating historical review of the media's inaccurate reporting of scientific evidence. In particular, he details the ongoing media distortion and scientific dishonesty that has promoted the idea that homosexuality is biologically predetermined. The result, of course, is that most Americans have now accepted the false idea advanced by homosexual activists that homosexuals are born that way and cannot change. This misinformation must be countered, Burtoft argues.

In its place must be the declaration that homosexuality is potentially preventable and also treatable, regardless of the nature and extent of the conditions which led some people into it. Further, even in those cases where there may be biological factors creating a homosexual predisposition, that would still not change the moral status of homosexual activity.

Similarly, we do not condone drinking by some people because they suffer with an alcoholism gene, or violence by people born with a gene for aggression, or the social withdrawal of people born with a shyness gene.

Film critic and author Michael Medved explains why we now have such a flood of “gay” material in the popular media. In Hollywood, he says, one is required to be gay-affirming — or else be labeled homophobic, and the burden of proof that one is not homo-phobic rests with each individual, forcing producers to promote gay characters that are almost uniformly (and unrealistically) positive.

Next, reviewing the pop-cultural landscape, Robert Knight of the Family Research Council concludes that the strongest threat to the gay-rights movement is the ex-gay movement. This movement directly confronts the untruth that “homosexuals are so different from the rest of us that they are exempt from natural law,” (that is, designed differently by God), or “so warped by sin that they are unqualified for salvation and spiritual renewal” (so that change is an impossibility).

Robert Louis Wilkin takes apart the revisionist scholarship of the influential homosexual apologist Rev. John Boswell, whose work has received lavish praise from many religious leaders seeking theological justification for the blessing of same-sex partnerships. Wilkin exposes Boswell's distortions and misrepresentations of Christian practice and history.

Rabbi Barry Freundel offers a brief but insightful review in his chapter on homosexuality and Judaism. “What is Judaism's view of the homosexual individual?” he asks. “I contend that the only appropriate answer to this question is that there is no such individual,” is his answer. “We are told in the Talmud that [God] does not play tricks on his creations, particularly in the area of sexuality.” Therefore it would follow that God would provide some means to change for those individuals who are motivated to do so.

Father John Harvey, founder of the Catholic ministry Courage, describes his work as head of the only national Catholic outreach established for struggling homosexuals who want to live the Church's teaching on chastity.

Jane Boyer tells us of her former lesbian life and her faith-based healing. “Lesbian love is a counterfeit, a lie,” she says. “It never satisfied, it never filled. It only left me craving. The love of Jesus satisfies. This man Jesus I could trust.”

Former Army officer Melissa Wells-Petry explains that the military has been weakened by a focus on radical sexual individualism. Military readiness is undermined when the individual's personal desires are placed above the military mission, and when we fail to recognize that the military is a unique society which must operate by relatively restrictive rules that leave no room for sexual license.

In the book's afterword, Wolfe discusses the labels “bigotry” and “intolerance” and their deployment as rhetorical weapons. He shows how homosexual activists have successfully promoted the misunderstanding that to oppose their agenda is to create an atmosphere of hatred and violence.

"Hatred, by its nature,” he writes, “involves an animus against certain people — an intention to do them harm or a desire to see them harmed. Those who oppose the legitimization of active homosexuality, who promote reparative therapy for those willing to pursue it, and who believe that the place of sex is within marriage clearly argue that these principles will make life better for individuals — be they homosexual or not — as well as for society at large.”

Not only do the contributors of Same-Sex Matters make a reasoned case for these positions, but many of them have dedicated their lives to helping homosexually oriented individuals through counseling or support groups.

"This,” Wolfe points out, “is the very opposite of ‘hatred.’”

Read this book and begin loving the culture out of its unhealthy attachment to homosexuality.

Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D., a psychologist, is president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.