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05/17/2012

Audio: A look at Thomas Peters' 'civil' marriage arguments

by Jeremy Hooper
"She believes the Church (as it is) is wrong when it says that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. I don’t. Graham therefore attacks the saying “Love the sinner, hate the sin” because she doesn’t believe homosexual acts are sinful. In doing so, she misses the point that the saying has real value. But here’s why it does.

Let’s take for an example a male rapist. As a Christian, Graham should agree with me that we must love the man as a person (“Love the sinner”), but I’d be truly shocked to find out that Graham loves his sin of raping. I’d also be shocked if she says we should simply tolerate this man’s propensity to rape people. Therefore she does not “love” his sin. She, in fact, must hate it, because it is evil. Rape hurts the victim, and the rapist is also guilty of a grave sin. No one wins (even if the rapist thinks he loves raping).

So the principle “love the sinner, hate the sin” is a sound one. If something is truly sinful, we should hate it, because it hurts the person we love. We should hate the heroin addict’s use of heroin, we should hate the murder’s act of murder, etc. And yet, for all these individuals, we should still love them. We should attempt to help the heroin addict overcome his addiction. We should remove the murderer from society where he may murder again (or be killed by someone avenging his victim’s death), and punish him in justice for his taking of another innocent human life, to allow him a chance for reparation and expiation. In other words, we should love the sinner, and hate the sin.

Graham is correct that one cannot separate what people do from who they are, on one level. If I murder someone, that makes me a murderer. But my action to murder, we know as Christians, is not the last word in my life. There is forgiveness, even of murder, and certainly of homosexual acts. The tens of thousands of chaste people with homosexual inclinations is proof of this. We are all sinners who have sinned, but some of us have sought forgiveness. And those who have been forgiven of sins always realize that they have, in fact, sinned. Graham does not seek forgiveness for her sin, again, because she does not believe (or does not admit) it is sinful.
(**At the end , Thomas added: "It should go without saying that I am not comparing homosexual acts to murder or heroin addiction. I'm simply trying to use widely-accepted examples of sinful behavior to make my points clearly." But in fact, he TOTALLY *did* make the comparison!)
  • Thomas once bemoaned a Bishops' statement against marriage equality because "it doesn’t mention a single reason for the Church’s teaching that homosexual acts are wrong, that allowing homosexual partners to marry is imprudent, that homosexual persons are called to lives of chastity, etc."

And so on and so forth. These things all pertain to the gay person, not just the gay ring finger.

But now listen to Thomas, as he works to discredit openly gay parent Dan Savage's advocacy and family structure, claim that he and NOM engage in nothing but civil conversation:

I'm not going to weigh in on what Dan did or did not say in one of his hundreds of public appearances; Dan's a big boy. But I do know that Thomas, while working to oppose people like me and Dan in public policy, has admitted that he thinks our family structures are inherently harmful, that mere exposure to our weddings is somehow harmful to kids (remember: Dan's a parent), and that we can and should "change" our orientations (or at least embrace celibacy, the preferred Catholic suggestion). These documented slights are not up for debate; they and their fundamentally personal nature should be part of this ongoing marriage debate.

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