Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Gravity of Sins Disputed

I don't know what it is about America magazine, but the editors frequently seem to be drifting Leftward, and happen to be Jesuits.

On this occasion, Fr. James Martin S.J. takes issue with the Pope's declaration that Abortion and Homosexual "Marriage" are gravely evil sins. From America magazine's blog:

Pope Benedict XVI's comments last week in Fatima, Portugal, in which he stated that abortion and same-sex marriage were "some of today's most insidious and dangerous threats" to the common good seemed oddly discordant. The equation of abortion, something that clearly is about a threat to life, with same-sex marriage, which no matter how you look at it, does not mean that anyone is going to die, is bizarre.

The Pope said they are "insidious" threats, because all but the most wise would not believe them to be threats. Like Fr. Martin S.J., who seems to be under the impression that gay marriage is a socially and spiritually harmless diversion.

Why has same-sex marriage been equated with abortion? Are they really equivalent "threats" to life?

They aren't equated, but they do spring from a similar source: "My body is MINE, and I shall do with it as I see fit." Abortion denies life to a life already started, while homosexual relationships denies life to future life. Both refuse the rule of God over our sexuality and reproduction. This is mortal sin.

If you’re looking for a life issue with stakes as high as abortion, why not something that actually threatens life? Like war? Or the death penalty? Or the kind of poverty and destitution that lead to death? Why aren't “abortion and war” the most "insidious and dangerous" threats to the common good? Or “war and the death penalty”? Or “war and poverty?”

These are not "insidious and dangerous" because they are OBVIOUS and dangerous, and the Church speaks out about these things all the time, the Gospel also speaks out against theft, hatred and violence. But, War is not socially acceptable, and neither is poverty. It is not only against socially abhorrent sins, but also against the sins that our culture embraces that the Church is to speak out. Don't filter your message because you fear the loss of party invitations and the shallow goodwill of the social elites.

The great danger is that this increasingly popular equation will seem to many as having less to do with moral equivalency and more to do with a simple dislike, or even a hatred, of gays and lesbians.

Instead of condemning the message and messenger, the writer should be expounding on Church teaching, not just pounding on it. He'd be doing all his gay friends a better service by preparing them for the Kingdom of Heaven, rather than railing for their comfort on Earth.

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