26 November, 2020

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Pope Benedict: Gay Marriage Destroys The Essence Of The Human Creature

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Pope Benedict used his Christmas address to teach that “homosexuality destroys the essence of the human creature,” “a person’s gender identity is God-given and unchangeable,” and same-sex marriage is a “manipulation of nature.” The US states of Maine, Maryland, and Washington endorsed gay marriage in November, joining six already permitting same-sex marriage. Efforts to legalize gay marriage are also being pushed in Europe. Spain, a largely Roman Catholic nation, already allows it. Britain and France soon would.

President Obama after saying a few years ago that he is personally not for gay marriage, has recently reversed himself. Surely we in Sri Lanka will face the question in the next few years. It is therefore good to think about it.

To write on homosexuality is dangerous because of social trends. Upholding traditional marriage is seen as fuddy-duddy. Yet I do it to show that the Christian position is thought-through. To explore the situation properly one needs to be explicit; my apologies to anyone offended.

The Christian Position

The Christian position is laid down by Jesus Christ himself in the Gospel according to St. Matthew:

And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” [St. Matt., 19:3-6].

The marriage standard is one man to one woman for life. Although this like many other laws was violated by Christian individuals, it has been the law in Christian countries. Christian nations having ruled the world, this became the law throughout the colonies. Thus polygamy was prohibited in Sri Lanka although it was once our norm.  Divorce began to be permitted slowly as the Church’s power waned.  But laws against homosexuality were retained. Ironically, in many non-Christian countries like India and Sri Lanka, Christian marriage is upheld better than in many Christian countries insofar as we remain married to one person for life and homosexual marriage is not countenanced.

Laws within the Church – the Faith Community

The Church is a faith community, the Bible being the divinely inspired basis of faith. Some argue that science shows homosexual tendencies to be real. But the Church responds that a believer’s life of obedience to God requires Christian restraint and having physical urges is no reason for giving in to them.

Since sex is permitted only within monogamous heterosexual marriage, any contrary physical attraction must be resisted. Thus just as a man attracted to a woman to whom he is not married must ignore and even suppress any attractions to her, the Christian calling is to ignore prayerfully any homosexual attraction, and the drive to act on such attraction.

That is the faithful’s life. We have divinely ordained rules. If we are naturally tempted to act contrary to those rules, we must suppress those temptations.  What then are homosexuals attracted to persons of the same sex to do, when they burn with desire? The Christian answer would be the same as to a young unmarried man burning for women: it is an illegitimate feeling so suppress it with God’ help.

The believers’ life offers no free licence to act out feelings like anger, acquisitiveness and sex, and reaches its zenith when these feelings can be controlled to align us with divine will.

The Church teaches that divinely ordained marriage laws are good for us and make us mentally healthy. The Church believes that Christian marriage is good for us and our children. The Pope is therefore entitled to assert these laws.

Who is a Homosexual or Lesbisan?

Despite claims that homosexuality is a natural estate to some, the inescapable fact is that the male principle needs a female principle for sex. There is no natural match between male and male organs, or between female and female.

This means that the so called natural inclination to homosexuality is based on masturbation or sex toys or non-fitting body parts. It is unnatural. Then, if a heterosexual school child at a hostel gets another to masturbate or do whatever they do, is he or she naturally homosexual because of enjoying the experience? I think not.

What of same sex friends living together without sexual intimacy as many unmarried women do in Sri Lanka, sometimes bringing up a child? They are no homosexuals and outside the subject of this article.

Counter Arguments Driving Change

A counter argument was used by Obama: that he has seen “loving [homosexual] couples who are committed to each other, raising kids, and are just outstanding people.” But we see many “loving [polygamous] couples committed to each other, raising kids and are just outstanding people,” and that is no case for polygamy because it puts down women and the symmetry between sexes. A case can be made that man is naturally polygamous. Even so, it makes no case for him to be polygamous.

Obama’s argument on homosexuals raising children is particularly weak because there is no data on how socially adjusted such children would be. Because mutual masturbation or other unnatural intercourse can be engaged in by any two children and enjoyed in the short run, it is not clear what parental example would do to such children and whether they would be naturally maladjusted in their own marriages later (A study in Social Science Research – 41(4), 2012 – of such children shows them to suffer disadvantages).

Similarly when a couple ages and a spouse becomes unattractive or boring, being attracted to others is never a sound argument to cheat based on “love” and “natural inclinations.” This is why the faith community holds that controlling natural inclinations makes for a happier marriage and a better adjusted society where children have a secure environment within stable parental marriage

Likewise I have seen men claiming to sexually love children but that makes no case for child sex.

Outside the Faith Community

What is being played out in the US and Europe is because many no longer share the faith of the Church. Can the Church then impose its laws on people who do not believe? This is the current tussle between the Church and the non-Christian segments of society.

While one can argue that the Church’s marriage laws should not be imposed on those who are not members, it is equally possible to argue that the laws are good for everyone in society (especially children) and therefore must be imposed on everyone – just like the polygamy laws and child sex laws of the Church are imposed on non-believers on grounds of being violations of the rights of women and children respectively, regardless of their religion.

This is why we see some faithful Christians supporting gay marriage – not necessarily as the right thing, but arguing “If that is what they want to do, who am I to say no when no third party rights are suppressed as with polygamy and child sex?”

The Pope believes gay marriage destroys the essence of the human creature and the family as an institution providing a stable healthful environment for children – both Christian and non-Christian. As the leader of Christendom, it is his duty to preach and canvass his views.

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Latest comments

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    Thank you for the enlightening and well written article, Prof. Hoole. It gives context to the opposition to gay marriage. I wish you inserted one more example of sexual restraint which happens even within marriage, and that is as prevention of pregnancy. So even in marriages, men and women cannot act upon desire whenever they feel like it because unless they are open to the possibility of accepting and nurturing life responsibly, they cannot or should not engage in sexual intercourse.

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    “The Pope believes gay marriage destroys the essence of the human creature and the family as an institution providing a stable healthful environment for children”

    In the past Popes also believed in flat earth and had supported slavery and Hitler’s henchmen.

    They were opposed to liberation theology in South America and supported the liberation of Soviet Union and its satellite states.

    Homosexuality is not unique to one race or region.

    Church in many parts of the world are shaken by sex abuse scandals and have started to pay compensations to the molested children in millions of dollars.

    If two Christians chose to live in a loving relationship or partnership who the hell am I to complain about their chosen lifestyle. The marriage in itself has no value. However if the Gay couple believe marriage can bind them closer together let them have open Gay marriage.

    Let them come out of the closet and have an organised fruitful life. In this day in age procreation is not a problem. Gay couples are finding ways and using science to have their own biological children. So the Christians are rest assured their population will not dwindle.

    I suspect in most cases those who don’t want to out themselves seem to be the virulent anti gay persons. Is it to hide one’s inclination towards homosexuality?

    If God does not like it let him/her/it sort it out.

    In the meantime if anyone planning to have a Gay marriage do invite me.

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      Well said, sir.

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      WELL SAID BRO.. IN HOLY BIBLE SAYS EARTH IS FLAT.. LOL.. POPE, IF U HAV NO OTHER WORK, FLY A KITE.. GET A LIFE N GET OVER IT..

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    Native Vedda,

    What you said is great and eyeopening.

    Gays and Lesbians are minority that need our support. My sympathy is with Tamils who are discriminated as a minority in Sri Lanka. Hoole should take much of his time to teach his engineering not the human rights in his term.

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      Nimal

      Is this not a case of “public scrutiny of private parts”?

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    Church claimed many different things and after some time that accepted that they were wrong. The most recent thing is the Vatican accepting the EVOLUTION.

    Anyway, as Lord Buddha said, as the human world become more corrupt and polluted deviant sexual practices become prevalent. Further to that, males can be born as females and animals can be born as humans. but, their habits that they had won’t go away easily.

    See the Indian culture. Males, females and ponnayas live side by side.

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    I don’t believe in God. I have no trust in such imaginary fantacies. I know for sure that even Pope got to know this God the same way others did-reading the bible. So.. Such fantacies should not be given priviledge to control the society. It is just a political tool.

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      Elvis says:

      “I don’t believe in God. I have no trust in such imaginary fantacies.”

      Do you believe Buddha’s three visits to the island?

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    “Religion is the opium of the people”. Marx got that one right!

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    ” “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” [St. Matt., 19:3-6].”

    The bible is full of Jesus and the prophets quoting “God” and the fundamentalists base their arguments (on a variety of issues) on these unverifiable “quotes”. But Jesus’ favourite woman (we are told) was Mary Magdalene, a prostitute, who hung out with him and his disciples. So, by extension, doesn’t that mean that he thought prostitution was ok? And if so, does the pope sanction prostitution and why is illegal in Christian countries?

    ” What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” One could argue that same-sex couples were also “put together” by God, because if it was not “God’s will”, how is it they were “joined together” in the first place???

    There are scores of other illogical ‘sayings’ in the bible attributed to “God” but written down by ordinary men, so if one wants to be a Christian fundamentalist, many discoveries by science will necessarily have to be dumped, but these same fundies will choose ‘science’ in many instances over ‘God’s’ supposed sayings. How come??? What about you, Prof, do you believe that the universe was made in seven days??

    This is almost as absurd as the Muslim fundamentalists believing that their ‘God’ said they would end up in heaven with several virgins if they succeed as suicide bombers!!!

    The Pope’s ” manipulation of nature” statement is also abstruse as well as absurd and those who want to believe it are welcome to, but please don’t expect everyone to buy this crap and live their lives according to the dictates of a man who doesn’t believe that ‘love’ belongs to everybody. And anyway, who people choose to love is their business and not the pope’s, or anybody else’s.

    “Pope Benedict used his Christmas address to teach that “homosexuality destroys the essence of the human creature,”. What a hateful statement on the celebration of the birth of one whose message was ‘Love’!! Poor old pope – I guess senility has clouded his understanding of Christ’s true message!

    By the way, Prof, do you believe that the pope is infallible??? And what about his stance on birth-control over the years?

    One shouldn’t expect to have one’s cake and eat it as well!

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      Prof. Hoole has done with this well written article that he is an versatile and all rounder and given a comprehensive approach to strengthen the institution of family.
      However, In peter’s comment, he mentioned “This is almost as absurd as the Muslim fundamentalists believing that their ‘God’ said they would end up in heaven with several virgins if they succeed as suicide bombers!!!”. As a true Muslim, I would like to correct what you said about Islam. Your comment indicates that you have lack of understanding about Islam and Islam is mis-projected by some terrorist element. The meaning of Islam is peace. Islam loves peace and denounce violence. “Suicide” in any form is not allowed in Islam. If you study the principles of Islam objectively, you will be surprised to know what is practiced by some element “in the name of Islam” for achieving their cause is banned and not allowed. I think you will avoid commenting on the matter of religion, if you had lack of knowledge hereafter. Otherwise it is only a prejudice against Muslim.

      My second point, both Professor Hoole and Pope did not mention anything about the need of polygamy for strengthening family unit which Islam promote for the following reasons.
      1. In the world the female population is higher than the male population and the theory of marriage of one male to one female is not practicable. In this context, one male needs to marry several females and that is the history.
      2. Adultery and extra marital affairs are more common among people. If poly gamy is allowed as in Islam, the set up of family unit is conserved and the children will become lawful.
      3. Due to war, many males are killed and that the widows could be married. The widows will get protection and their feeling would be satisfied in a lawful manner. Otherwise, they will lead clandestine affairs with others for fulfilling their sexual desires unlawfully. This will cause some communal diseases and social stigma among the society.
      4. The males, if they have enough wealth and physical strength, and if they wish to marry any lady after his marriage, rather than seeking illegal means, they can have limited wives.
      5.You can ask why female can not have more than one husband?
      If this is allowed, who is the father of the child?, and if all the husbands wants to have sexual intercourse at a time what will happen? and having more husbands is scientifically not healthy as females are the vectors of AIDS and not the Males.

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        JZAhamed – You’re right about my ignorance of Islam and I’m sorry if I hurt your (or other Muslims’) feelings with my remark on suicide bombers and the promised virgins in heaven. However, this has been widely reported as fact and accepted as such, not only by the suicide bombers, but also by readers like me. So I suppose it would be up to Muslims like you to enlighten the rest of us about the ‘true’ Islamic teachings.

        By the way, what are your observations and thoughts on the death sentences that were passed by Ayatollah Khoumeni on folk like Salman Rushdie and others whose writings or cartoons were deemed offensive to the Ayatollah(s)? Is this part of the ‘true’ Islam you describe or an aberration on the part of the Islamic leader(s) who sentenced them to death by murder?

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        If polygamy is allowed, you will have abt 10% of the males married to 90% of the females.

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        J.Zuhry Ahamed says:

        “You can ask why female can not have more than one husband?
        If this is allowed, who is the father of the child?,”

        DNA tests can help to confirm patternity.

        “if all the husbands wants to have sexual intercourse at a time what will happen?”

        In polygamous marriage if all the wives demanded sex at the same time how would the man decide which of the wives get layed?

        “and having more husbands is scientifically not healthy as females are the vectors of AIDS and not the Males.”

        You need bit more knowledge in this area. Homosexuals too transmit AIDS. In most cases it is the male partners who passed HIV to their wives or girl friends. Few years ago a study carried out in Sri Lanka clearly demonstrated this fact. This is true in India and many parts of Africa.

        In conclusion you want the husbands to have as many partners as he likes but not the other way round and then blame women for spread of AIDS.

        This is more than double standards.

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        Peter,
        You were right and Ahamed is wrong. I am quoting just two of many verses in the Koran that promote fighting for Allah (God).
        Sura 4:74 says; “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Who so fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.” And Sura 4:74 says; “Let those who fight in the cause of God who barter the life of this world for that which is to come; for whoever fights on God’s path, whether he is killed or triumphs, we will give him a handsome reward.”

        Now reward is described here. Sura 4:74 says; “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.” and Sura 4:74 says; “Let those who fight in the cause of God who barter the life of this world for that which is to come; for whoever fights on God’s path, whether he is killed or triumphs, we will give him a handsome reward.”

        This is not to promote Islamphobia just to let everyone know the truth.

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          I missed the reward. It is described in the Koran as in Sura 52:17-20 and 22 says: “Eat and drink with happiness because of what you used to do. They will recline (with ease) on thrones arranged in ranks. And we shall marry them to Hur (fair females) with wide lovely eyes. And we shall provide them with fruit and meat much as they desire.” And as in Sura 55:70 and 72 and 74 says; “In Paradise, there is a pavilion made of a single hollow pearl sixty miles wide, in each corner there are wives who will not see those in the other corners; and the believers will visit and enjoy them.”

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            Villager – Many thanks for the confirmation

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            Thank you for reading a bit of Holy Qur’aninc version, at least to attempt to refute my view about “suicide bomb”. As peter accepted that he need more understanding about Islam, even you need more knowledge to understand Islam. Here your intention should be not subjective rather objective. As I told you “Suicide” and “violence” is not allowed in Islam. Islam allow war, when they are forced to protect their religion and invasion against them. You need more study about this and mere searching a bit here and there will not suffice.
            Native Veddah is wrong in his attempt to refute my view. What I meant to say is what is practicable. Mere research in Sri Lankaan research will not generalist a world issue and the research findings is not given its validity as proof. Even the practical is some this quite different from logicality and for argument sake.

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              Hey Ahamed, why not respond to my last paragraph regarding the Fatwahs??? What do you think? And is this part of the Islam you are describing???

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    Ratnajeevan Hoole is a …

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
    http://colombotelegraph.com/comments-policy/

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    Professor, you say that “To write on homosexuality is dangerous …… Yet I do it to show that the Christian position is thought-through. To explore the situation properly one needs to be explicit; “

    Why do you think to write on homosexuality is dangerous when you write against people who are in a position to harm you and who are alleged to have killed many who have done so in the past with complete impunity?

    As for believing that ” the Christian position is thought-through…”, I never realized how gullible you can be to believe much of the illogical contents in the bible are “thought through”. Peter’s comment above touches on some of these aspects, but there are hundreds more.

    In case you are interested in my views on religion and why I criticize yours, check:
    http://javajones.wordpress.com/2007/02/03/this-is-on-a-touchy-subject-so/
    and
    http://javajones.wordpress.com/2007/02/04/religion-–-the-more-positive-aspects/

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    Prof Hoole:

    As a Practicing Catholic you may believe that the “ALMIGHTY created every thing”. If so, The ALMIGHTY created HOMOSEXUALS too. If then, why the Pope or the Church cannot accept that FACT THAT THE ALMIGHTY DID NOT CREATE HOMOSEXUALS ?.

    In Buddhism, All kinds of deviations and deviants are explained and accepted with the GREATEST COMPASSION.

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      Jim Softy say:

      “In Buddhism, All kinds of deviations and deviants are explained and accepted with the GREATEST COMPASSION.”

      Only in theory.

      The evidence suggest otherwise.

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      Prof. Hoole is not a member of the Roman Catholic Church.

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    ‘Likewise I have seen men claiming to sexually love children but that makes no case for child sex.’

    Did you just equate the attraction two consenting adults of the same sex can have for one another to pedophilia? Are you insane? What is wrong with you people?

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    Sri Lankan people need to come out of the box now. Enough being so narrow minded. Put urself in their possition and you also will wana have a man in ur life too. It happens to some people and its not a crime. What if a guy gets attracted only to men? U say, he is not allowed to fall in love? He is not allowed to get married or to have a family? How selfish you bloody people are? They r da same like us.. Feels da same.. They are human beings.. I don undstand dat stupid pope say it destroys dis n dat.. He probably wouldn say dat if his son become a gay.. People r so narrow minded in SL. Not all but few like dis pope.. Some girls like girls and guys like guys.. Jst get over it, stupid idiot..! Or get a life..!

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