By: Paul Murano – June, 2014
My major point was that love demands that we judge acts, not persons; and do so according to the truth of our being. We can know how behaviors correspond to human nature but we cannot know a person’s level of knowledge or consent in performing an act. Mine was a column about looking past the popular in order to uphold the good in a culture of utter confusion about sex.
The critique of my column included false accusations and conclusions; but rather than respond to each one it is more important to uncover the underlying problem. The following is a quote from the Introduction to a new book entitled, “Making Gay OK” by Robert R. Reilly:
“There are two fundamental views of reality. One is that things have a Nature that is teleologically ordered to ends that inhere in their essence and make them what they are. In other words, things have inbuilt purposes. The other is that things do not have a Nature with ends: things are nothing in themselves, but are only what we make them to be according to our wills and desires. Therefore, we can make everything, including ourselves, anything that we wish and that we have the power to do. The first view leads to the primacy of reason in human affairs; the second leads to the primacy of the will.”
This, in a nutshell, is the underlying problem in the greatest war in our history. Some call it the culture war, but it goes far deeper. It is a war on the meaning of reality: Do we discover truth and attempt to conform to it, or do we create it by our desire and impose it by our will? Are things what they are or are they what we are say they are? If truth is that which we discover rather than create, law is the governing principle. If truth is that which we create and dictate, men are the governing principle; reason is replaced by the will, and a “might makes right” mentality ensues. This latter viewpoint holds that man has the power to redefine human life and behavior at will, and that our body parts and reproductive cells have no natural reason or purpose. After four decades of using the mass media to push such an ideology of denial, the concept of “crimes against nature” has lost all its meaning to a culture that has been abandoned human nature itself. Such foolishness, however, does not have a long shelf life.
Seeing the train of destruction moving at a rapid pace with more and more people jumping on board due to lack of courage, Cardinal George of Chicago made this prediction: “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.”
Needless to say, the column criticizing mine shares the kind of relativism that prompts Mr. Reilly’s warning and Cardinal George’s dire prediction. I will mention just a few of its falsehoods. The writer takes umbrage with the claim that there is an agenda today to justify something that has been universally condemned as a crime against nature until recently. Instead of denying it she diverts by saying everyone has an agenda, including me. I gain nothing by writing about an unpopular truth that elicits such irrational anger. She also claimed I left out heterosexual sodomy in order to focus solely on the ethics of same-sex relations. False. She apparently missed my quote: “Since acts of sodomy by their nature neither seal love nor give life, they are dead acts. Acts that attempt to separate pleasure from purpose and love from life, whether they are between people of the same or opposite sex, violate human nature and dignity and are by definition objectively abusive.” In addition she continuously used the word “sin” insinuating it was offensive and that I had used it in my column. False. I never used the term nor did I mention religion. The condemnation of homosexual acts in the Old and New Testaments are clear and unambiguous, but reasonable people of all faiths can see the irrational and unnatural character of these acts. She continued: “Murano is under the delusion that every heterosexual who is engaging in intercourse is intending to produce a child…” Again, blatantly false. I never mentioned nor assumed personal intentions. Natural purpose is different than personal intention. People may not consciously intend nutrition when they eat. Likewise, people need not intend procreation when engaging in marital relations. Nourishment and procreation are what nature intends in the acts, not necessarily what the persons performing them intend. The perversion of nature occurs only when the act is begun and the natural end is intentionally thwarted.
The writer also stated that I wrote those who perform these acts “are intrinsically unnatural and evil”. This, again, is false. Let me repeat what I actually did say in my column: Ethics focuses on acts and behaviors, not persons. Persons must judge themselves. Lastly, she labeled me as being part of the “religious right”, as if this makes any difference to the truth value of my statements. If she bothered to find out where I stood on issues like capital punishment, gun control, foreign policy, war, and the environment she might be embarrassed by her attempt to pigeonhole me into this or any political movement. The inability to attack the message too often leads to attacking the messenger.
Finally, a word of friendly advice: It is healthy to critique someone’s claims when the motivation is a genuine love for truth. However, to use someone’s name publicly and create false quotes, false presumptions, and false statements is never a good practice.