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Logical and Spiritual REFLECTIONS

Book 6. No to Sodom

Chapter 15. Some legal issues

From a law philosophy viewpoint, a right to practice homosexuality is very doubtful. It is conceivable that there is a right of consenting adults to behave as they will in private; certainly, such a right can be claimed for heterosexuals.

But remember the general rule that the rights of one person or group of persons end where those of another begin. Certainly in the case of homosexuals, many dangers to society can be adduced to limit or exclude their potential rights[1].

In recent decades, many activities traditionally judged as immoral have been declared legal in Western countries. Some notable examples:

· Some laws have been favorable to corporations, permitting them to operate industries known to be polluting, or otherwise harm the health and wellbeing of many citizens.

· In North America, though much less so in Europe, ‘genetically-modified organisms’ (GMO) have been allowed with hardly any research or debate concerning their long-term environmental and health effects, and without granting consumers any information or choice in the supermarket.

· The law has come to allow mass production of and commerce in pornography, morally corrupting countless people who would otherwise have remained much purer in their sexual behavior.

· Abortion on demand has become legal in many countries, despite fierce resistance by pro-life advocates. What is amazing is how the pro-choice advocates are presented by most media, in Europe at least, as moral crusaders (for “the right of women to their own bodies”), while defenders of the unborn human baby’s right to life are portrayed as backward morons (with murderous tendencies, since a few of them have resorted to force). It is rarely mentioned that in the past century an estimated one billion abortions have been performed legally or illegally worldwide![2]

Many other examples can be given of the divide between law and morality. One particularly shocking example is the legalization of homosexuality in only the last few years.

Homosexuals have certainly existed in relatively small numbers throughout history, though they were usually frowned on and often legally sanctioned. Suddenly, starting in the USA, these people have succeeded in changing the law in their favor in most Western countries. They have gained the sympathy of certain media, and become fashionable. Many youths, confusing legality with moral permissibility, have been drawn into perversions that, had they been born a few years before, they would never have even contemplated.

At first, homosexuals claimed their practices were the private concern of consenting adults (seemingly just saying: ‘mind your own business’). Then they demanded the right to provocative public displays, irrespective of other people’s sensibilities (which incidentally, propagated their ‘values’ in the population at large including children, lowering general standards and increasing their own numbers). Then they claimed legitimacy and respectability.

Now they demand the right to marriage (which involves tax advantages, i.e. public subsidies). Also, they claim the right to adopt children (thus directly transmitting their values to other human beings, who are not even consenting adults).

Thus, step-by-step, these people have sought: public tolerance, then justification and condoning, then support, then propagation. To top it all, posing as a persecuted minority, as poor victims of causeless hatred, they have managed to hijack the legislative and judicial system at its highest level, in some countries, apparently making even merely verbal opposition to their progress a constitutional or bill-of-rights crime[3], so that even ethical philosophers dare not debate the issue without wondering whether they are risking imprisonment or fines. Check mate!

Even so, it must be said that homosexuality is not a “right”, exempt from all scrutiny. No voluntary human act falls outside the scope of ethics. Nothing in ethics precludes that certain behavior patterns might be evaluated and considered reprehensible. The role of ethics is precisely to consider the various consequences of each proposed behavior pattern, and evaluate it dispassionately, i.e. without being intimidated by social threats or pressures, with reference only to the profound needs of humanity.

On a material level, we could for example mention the factual, historical role played by homosexuals (and in particular, bisexuals) in the spread of the AIDS disease during its early years in Western countries. Consider to what extent this affected relations between heterosexuals (the majority of the population): men and women could no longer so freely have sex without condoms; and when they did have sex, the condoms they used constituted a physical separation between them. Consider also how many heterosexuals eventually contracted the disease and died (millions, no doubt), although innocent of homosexual practices.[4]

On a spiritual plane, the main traditions of mankind would all seem to agree that humans must not allow such lowly, impure impulses to develop and to propagate. Certainly, the Judaic, Christian and Moslem traditions consider such behavior improper, harmful and to be interdicted[5]. The Eastern traditions do not specifically attack these practices (as far as I know – I have never seen them mentioned), but effectively disapprove of them in the larger context of control of sexual lust, and (I also suspect) they concur in view of their social mores and legal dispositions.

As regards individuals involved in such practices: the issue is not just biological, a material issue relating to a duty of reproduction; the issue is especially spiritual, and we have seen some reasons why in the present essay.

If these men or women experience certain impulses or urges in their sex organs or in other parts of their bodies or minds, it does not constitute a justification for following these feelings. They are certainly not mechanically forced to – they are humans, they have freewill, they are responsible for their own acts.

They certainly cannot reach any spiritual ‘salvation’ or ‘liberation’ if they allow themselves to be carried away by such drives, as they do. And of course, the more they yield to their impulses and urges, the more they become enslaved to and negatively affected by them.

[1] To give a concrete example: willful transsexuality seems at first sight a private choice with no societal consequence. Yet, as such sex changes spread, men become more and more unsure as to whether the women they meet really are women, or are ex-men; and similarly, women come to doubt the real gender of the apparent men they meet. This may seem amusing anecdote, but it constitutes a further erosion of heterosexual relations.

[2] Compare this figure (a round number) to the fatalities of war during the same period. See www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/wrjp338sd.html.

[3] I gather they are currently seeking recognition and protection in international charters, too. They well understand that the more legal protections they achieve, the more difficult does it become to reverse the trend.

[4] I marvel at commentators who prefer to ignore such “accidental” victims of homosexuality, so as to appear “tolerant” and “kindly” to the culprits; they surely share in the moral guilt.

[5] The fact that more and more clerics have of late been compromised or intimidated into advocating or allowing homosexuality does not change the clear doctrinal intent of the Scriptures.

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