Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The third way--thoughts on the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex unions: Daily Mass Homily--Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

(Listen to this homily here).

           This morning I would like to share with you Fr. Mike Schmitz’ idea of the third way.  He has a book coming out about this, and has also given a talk on Lighthouse Media on the subject.  The reason for sharing in this manner is the recent Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex unions in our country.
            Fr. Mike’s idea—consistent with our Church’s moral teaching—is the reality of a third option when it comes to men and women with same-sex attractions.  The first option—posed by secular society—is to endorse any action an individual seeks as long as it doesn’t harm others.  This way leads to a false dichotomy that you either  “support us or are a bigot” mentality.  In issues of same-sex attractions, our society poses an either/or mentality.
            Yet these aren’t the only options.  Our Church has always posed this third way—to reject sin while loving the sinner.  This is what Pope Francis meant when he said, “Who am I to judge?” when he was asked about men and women with same-sex attractions.
            I also bring this controversially issue up because of our first reading.  Now, please grant me a pass on explaining the fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah…but the fact is the Bible is clear that the men of Sodom, in desiring to sexually abuse other men, sinned grievously.  Sodomite and sodomy today are still defined by the acts these men desired.  The Bible is clear that sexual relationships of any kind outside of the marriage between one man and one woman is immoral. 
            At the same time, we don’t believe in a “kill the sinner” mentality.  I mean, some people, in the name of Christ, think that hurricanes have been God’s way of punishing gay people!  Come on!  Yes, we can remain steadfast in calling sin a sin and calling wrong wrong.  But we do so gently, firmly and all the while welcoming the sinner back to Christ.
            Finally, consider the early Roman martyrs.  Under the wicked Emperor Nero they were stripped naked and crucified.  They were made into human torches.  Yes, the Supreme Court opened the door to attacks on religious liberty and our faith.  But this isn’t nearly so bad as it has been for Christians in other times and places!  While we are rightly frustrated with this poor decision, we don’t need to panic or think the end of the world has arrived.
            We continue to stand with Christ—in truth, love, and mercy—and his Church, seeking to glorify him in all we do.

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