Help needed in defending our faith

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Yesterday, we received a disheartening letter from my gay brother-in-law after her received a package from my us. It consisted of the issue of “Our Sunday Visitor” pertaining to homosexuality along with a loving letter written by my husband. The letter explained our intent for sending it: to share with him the blessings that we have found as we struggle to grow in our faith. We wanted him to see the love and compassion that the Church teaches us to extend to everybody.

The Church talks about hope, and I for one do have hope, but not to the conclusion that you would seemingly like to see. I believe that science will be able to determine that homosexuality is biologically determined, causing the mainstream of society to finally come to terms with the issue. I am sure that this is inconceivable to you. But think hard about how you would have stood on issues such as slavery, interracial marriages and discrimination in general. If it were 1804 instead of 2004 would you own a herd of slaves, the Church wouldn’t have minded, the main street opinion would be with you. If it were 1954 instead of 2004 would it have been ok to live in a separate but equal world with coloreds? The bible has stories that would indicate that polygamy is acceptable, or at least it is acceptable to take your wife’s maid servant and procreate with her if your wife is incapable of having children. Should I believe that this is acceptable? Is servitude in the form of slavery and adultery, lessons of the bible?

Any help in forming a reply to him would be greatly appreciated. I am not knowledgeable enough in our faith to defend most of these questions. Thank you so much.
May I ask a favor, and have you increase the size of your font?

As for a response, this is difficult. I would probably try to keep it very loving and simple. You have reached out and presented the truth to him. Sometimes, too much debate only entrenches a person in their sin. I would formulate a short, loving response, and then offer sacrifices and prayer. It’s time to pass this over to the Holy Spirit for now. There will be other opportunities in the future.

Maybe something like: “Thanks for your reply. We love you very much and simply wanted to share something with you that we hope you will consider reading with an open mind. We realize that the Bible says many things in the Old Testament that can be confusing to many. It is not our intention to get into a debate over all these things, but to simply point out that the God loves us all no matter where we are in life. But He also expects us to put Him ahead of our own feelings and struggles, even when it is a very difficult thing to do. We all fall short, and at some point we all must confront this. It was our hope that you would not read this article defensively, but so that you could better understand our own position.”

Of course, I’m not sure this is exactly what my final draft would be, but it basically just reiterates your reason for sending it without getting into a huge debate. This is a highly emotional and sensitive issue. You have made your point known: the behavior is wrong, we don’t agree, the Church doesn’t agree, we love you, God loves you, and we hope you can see our point of view. An apologetic debate at this point isn’t necessary. That’s just my opinion.
I find it odd how many people think the debate about homosexuality would be solved if a biological cause was discovered. Alcoholism can be inherited genetically, yet the Church doesn’t tell alcoholics to “keep drinking, God made you that way.”
I was watching Life on the Rock on EWTN once, and heard a way of presenting a case on homosexuality that was quite interesting.

Are we just sexual beings? To define oneself solely by one’s sexual preference is to diminsh who you are. You are more than just a body for sex. Sex is not all you are. You are a mind, a soul, made in the image of God himself. Are we not, then, more than our physical nature?

If you think we are just sexual pieces of meat with no other redeeming value, then you would say “no.” If you say we are more than just our physical selves, you have to say “yes.”

Science has often pushed “mind over matter” - and yet now it seems to saying that our minds, our wills, cannot supercede matter. Can they or can’t they? The truth is, with God’s help, our minds can supercede matter.
Your friend is confusing the legal and the moral aspects involved with homosexual unions. Just as slavery was legal that didn’t mean that it wasnt immoral. No matter what our courts dedide regarding homosexual marriage it is and will always be immoral. Try to explain that your concern is with his soul and not what he believes are his civil rights.

You have prayed and shared the Truth with him so you are really not obligated to get into long drawn out arguments with him.

God bless you!🙂
The prior posts on this thread are excellent and I don’t have much to add other than a deeper understanding of the sin of homosexuality.

Homosexuality in and of itself is NOT a sin, any more than heterosexuality. It is the acting out on those desires that is inherently sinful. We are all called to chastity outside the union of marriage. Once we are married that chastity turns to fidelity to our spouse and the marital act combines the unitive and procreative. If a homosexual individual is not called to marriage with someone of the opposite sex, he/she cannot be married due to the separation of the unitive/procreative. Just as a heterosexual individual is called to chastity, so is the homosexual…no difference.

So many feel that homosexual persons are being ‘picked’ on, but adultery, pornography, masturbation, pre-marital sex and all sexual sins are applied to the heterosexual individal as well…no difference.

Hopefully, this will help clarify the Catholic position that is so often misunderstood.

A few points you may want to (lovingly) point out to your brother-in-law:
  • The Church calls us to Chastity (Chastity being understood as Purity of Mind and Body, particularily in the sexual sphere) REGARDLESS of our inclinations (Hetro or homo-sexual tendancies). Christ (through his Church) calls each and every one to Redemption…to overcome ourselves and our animalistic tendancies with the help of Gods Grace. This is what defines us as human…to excercise our our capacity for freedom rather than being bound (enslaved) by our emotions and desires. This call to overcome is not somehow only for Homo-sexuals, or alcoholics, or whatever. We all have our tendancy’s toward sin, and the call to overcome is for all (so I agree with the previous statement - if it is biological, so what? The call does not change)
  • The Bible has an interpreter, and it’s name is the Catholic Church. The stories in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, have to be seen in light of the revelation of God to his People, a Covenant that God made with the Isrealites. Keep in mind, that before God spoke with Abraham, no one knew that there was an “I AM”, and with Abraham and later Moses, God has slowly revealed his nature to mankind, culminating in the coming of Christ, who is the embodiment of Truth. When Christ taught, he turned the activities (Polygamy and the like) of the Isrealites on their heads, claiming that “Because of your hardness of heart, Moses allowed this, but in the beginning it was not so” (he was talking about divorce specifically, and went on to reiterate the original meaning of our sexuality and marriage, based in the Genesis account - Between one Man and one woman).
So, just because the isrealites engaged in these activities (Mostly inherited from foriegn nations) doesn’t mean that God fully approved. The example I spoke of in regards to Moses reflects the outlook God had on the nation’s history…basically, Christ might have summed it up like this:

“There are things you do now that I permitted because you did not know me fully, because I had not fully revealed myself. However, I am now here, and I now call you to purity, I call you to be like myself. You will think this impossible, but what I am asking you to do is not impossible for me, and so I will help you. I will give you myself as a gift, and so enable you to be with me forever.”

So, this is why we have the Sacraments…outward signs of Grace that God has given to wash us (baptism) strengthen us (Eucharist)and encourage us (Confirmation - Sealing of the Holy Spirit), and pick us up when we fall down (Penence), among others.

Again, the Bible needs to be interpretted “Holisticly” rather than in parts. It is the record of the great “I AM” and his revelation to Man-kind, and His covenant with them. The job of interpretation of scripture for the purposes of discerning Moral truth and guidance of Faith belongs solely in the realm of the Magesterium.

God Bless you in your discussions, and keep your hope alight!
All good advice.

It would be nice to see how someone would counter the gay position as stated in the post.

Food for thought…
Assuming we can argue that homosexuality is a biological cuase, what does that mean? A homosexual person is one that is attracted to one of the same sex, just as a heterosexual is attracted to the opposite sex.

If we find that it is biologically founded, Ok, so it is. Could it be that because of man’s sin this happened? Is cancer a manifestation of our sins? This argument will probably not work well. Does God create things that are not good? No. Our sins do.

If homosexuality is a biological cause, if the attraction to gender is biological, why can’t we say the opposite. I mean, does it make sense to say that I am not attracted to homosexual actions and this too is a biological cause. If I can learn to accept homosexual behavior, I will be doing something my genes/DNA are not prepared to accept. Homosexuals will have to be tolerant of us as well. They will be discriminating since we cannot choose, it is in our DNA. **We need a doctor who can show that people who are not attracted to homosexual behavior is also caused by DNA. ** I am really not being serious because whether you call yourself homosexual or not I believe DNA evidence does not exist.(I am no doctor.) If it were true, we would have to be prepared for the argument and Truth always wins.

Please do not take this as unloving. This is just to get people thinking.
It doesnt matter how or when the homosexual tendency begins, the act itself is sinful and always will be. The best analogy is with the alcoholic, which many say is also genetic, the truth is that it doesnt really matter whether its genetic or learned, it is still a disorder. As long as something is disordered it is wrong. Sex outside of marriage is disordered and therefore wrong! Nobody denies that alcoholism is a disorder, and who in their right mind would ever ecourage an alcoholic to embarce their disorder??? Whether or not an alcoholic has the right to drink themselves into oblivion, it is harmful to them and that behavior should be discouraged, especially by those that truly love him. :tiphat: .
Thank you so much to all who have responded! This helps greatly in drafting our reply. We are hoping that this is not the end our relationship with him. Our intent was good, but I would hate for it only to create more distance given that at the time I met my husband, he and his folks were just begining to open up communication after years of silence. God has brought so much healing to this relationship, I hope that our sending this article doesn’t cause more friction. Please pray that good will come out of this. Thank you.
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