couple holding hands black and white - smallWritten by: Fr. Jason Kuntz

One of the most frequent questions asked regarding the Church’s position on homosexuality is:

How can you condemn a person to a life without love?

Ms. Elaine McMahon, president of the Ottawa branch of OECTA asked this very question before the  Standing Committee on Social Policy of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in a conversation regarding bullying of students with same sex attraction. [1]

In her presentation Ms. McMahon lists five types of love: Love from God, from parents, from siblings, from friends and “from a significant other.”     She argues that all five loves are required “to feel worthy and accepted” and to “survive.”    If any of them is lacking “it erodes my love of self” and I might “despair.”

Ms. McMahon’s expectations are quite idealistic.  There are many persons who are unable to share the love of a “significant other.”   I often hear from devout Catholics who have been unable to find Mr. or Mrs. Right.   Chronic illness or disability can make finding a partner particularly difficult.   Personal circumstances such as caring for young children or an elderly family member, a demanding work schedule, or an isolated location can all make courtship impractical.

Such persons might struggle with loneliness and self-confidence.   But this is no reason to despair.   Not only can they “survive” – many of them thrive.   They have exceptional professional lives, deep prayer, intense relationships with family and friends, and offer generous service to their community.   A prominent lie in our society is that romantic relationships are essential for happiness.

This logic is what allows bullies to thrive.  Bullies manipulate their victims by convincing them their self worth depends upon what others think of them.   Since “no one loves you” you must be unlovable.

To help children cope with bullying we must convince them that their self worth does not depend on how many friends they have or whether they bring a date to the prom.  Our worth comes from the fact that we were created by God who saw us as “very good.”  He has a plan for us to love others and to serve them, even if it does not involve marriage or romance.

Within the scriptures, God describes himself in all four categories of love that Ms. McMahon lists: he is our Father, he sent his son to be our Brother, Jesus calls us “friends,”  and throughout the scriptures he is a “bridegroom.”   This means that no matter what love we are lacking in life– God’s love is big enough to fill the void.

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[1] Ms. McMahon’s exact question was as follows: “Why would anyone choose to be something when society says from the moment of birth until you die you are never to experience intimate love? Why would anyone choose to be lonely and an outcast? It makes no sense.”

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