Homosexuality and the "Duck Dynasty" Debate

December 19, 2013 | 57 comments

Caution: This post contains graphic discussions of human anatomy and sex acts.

So, apparently there’s a popular reality show on A&E called Duck Dynasty that follows the lives of a group of down-to-earth, Southern, duck-hunting entrepreneurs known for their Christian values and long beards. I’ve never really given the show much thought, except for wondering why my colleague Jimmy Akin, who sports an equally awesome beard, has never made a guest appearance.

But now one of the main actors, Phil Robertson, has been suspended from the show for comments he made about homosexuality and race. I don’t have the space to address both comments, so let’s focus on the ones getting the most attention.

Vile and disgusting?

When I saw the headlines about what Robertson said, I braced myself for the worst. Apparently he had made a “homophobic rant,” composed of “vile” and “disgusting” comments about homosexuality. So what did he say? Here are the comments (from a recent interview Robertson did for GQ magazine), starting with the interviewer setting the scene:

Out here in these woods, without any cameras around, Phil is free to say what he wants. Maybe a little too free. He’s got lots of thoughts on modern immorality, and there’s no stopping them from rushing out. Like this one: 

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

If this comment makes you squeamish, then perhaps it is anal sex that you think is vile and disgusting and not Robertson. To me this seems like a classic case of “shooting the messenger.” Robertson is just offering an opinion that is not too far from the natural law theory of morality.

Now, I can see where some people will twist what he is saying, so let me try to head them off at the pass. Women are not equivalent to vaginas, and men don’t value women solely because they form a sexual complement to men.

However, Robertson makes a sensible point. Along with providing intense pleasure for the man and woman, sexual intercourse through the vagina does have more to offer than anal sex: It can create a new human being who is made in the image and likeness of God. The creation of the child serves as a sign of the couple’s faithful, total, and lifelong gift of self to one another.

I also think it’s perfectly valid to ask if the anus, which primarily serves the body in waste disposal, is “for” sex. Websites that promote anal sex admit, “The rectum is not built to have things go in; only out. The vagina stretches to let in a penis and give birth, but a rectum does not.” (Source – Caution: explicit material). Even pro-LGBT cancer awareness websites acknowledge that men who have anal sex with men are between 20 and 40 times more likely to develop anal cancer.

It boggles my mind that in our culture even raising the question of whether or not anal sex is a good idea is labeled “bigotry” and the topic is deemed unworthy of discussion.

Comparing and labeling sin

Here’s another quote getting a lot of attention:

“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong,” he says. “Sin becomes fine.”

[The interviewer asks] What, in your mind, is sinful?

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

I do agree with Robertson that, as Isaiah 5:20 puts it, our culture frequently describes evil things as being good and good things as being evil. However, I don’t think it’s wise to directly compare bestiality and homosexual behavior. While there are many people (both opposite-sex and same-sex couples) who engage in sex acts solely to fulfill a base desire for sex, most same-sex couples probably use sex as a way to express feelings of love and affection for one another. 

A better comparison is people who have multiple partners (or as Robertson puts it, are “sleeping around”), or even polygamy. Like same-sex unions, these relationships are consensual and involve sharing mutual feelings of love and affection. If sex is just about expressions of love and the generation of pleasure, then there is no principled reason to say it’s wrong to have more than one spouse. In fact, a U.S. district court agrees, and has recently struck down part of Utah’s anti-polygamy laws at the instigation of the cast of the polyamory-themed TV show Sister Wives.

Or consider consensual adult incest. As long as the relationship is consensual and steps are taken to ensure a child with a genetic defect is not created, then the critic who believes sex is just about emotion and pleasure has no principled reason to say this kind of act is wrong. It was truly ironic that the self-identified gay blogger Perez Hilton (a.k.a. Mario Armando Lavandeira, Jr.) made the following comments about a story involving a man who wants to marry his own grandmother: “Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew!  . . . We feel so dirty and uncomfortable. This is awful . . . We feel sick. And want to cry.”

If I said that about Hilton’s sexual behaviors, I’d be labeled a bigot. However, he and his readers think those same intuitions can be validly used to condemn adult incest. Anyone else see a double standard?

What’s wrong with bestiality?

The issue of bestiality does raise an interesting point. Why is it wrong? Well, it’s unhealthy, you might say. But with the prevalence of STDs in the U.S., sex among unmarried people isn’t exactly healthy, either. Plus, a man could just use a condom to protect himself from any animal-related diseases.

Okay, how about the fact that the animal doesn’t consent to the act, and sex requires consent? The problem with this response is that most people agree it’s okay to eat animals without their consent. That would seem to harm an animal far more than “non-consensual” sex would. If it were okay to eat an animal for dinner, why wouldn’t it be okay for a “zoophile” to take an animal out to dinner and a movie?

And don’t try quoting Leviticus 18:23 to show bestiality is wrong. True, it says, “you shall not lie with any beast and defile yourself with it, neither shall any woman give herself to a beast to lie with it: it is perversion.” All that proves is that you are an ignorant bigot. You’re against bestiality because the Bible says it’s wrong? The Bible also says its wrong to eat shrimp! 

If you simply say bestiality is just “gross” or that humans weren’t meant to have sex with animals, or that sex has something to do with procreation, this also shows you’re a bigot because those same kinds of arguments are used by bigots to say homosexual sex is wrong.

As you can see, if we divorce sex from it’s context of the life-giving act of love between one man and one woman it can lead to some frightful consequences.

How should we respond?

I don’t think it’s wise for people who agree with Robertson to say this is a “free speech issue” (as Sarah Palin has done). The government isn’t trying to silence Robertson, and A&E is a private company that has the right to ditch an employee who is causing controversy.

We should instead focus our conversations around the question “What is sex for?” This moves the conversation away from the issue of being bigoted against self-identified gay people and toward the more universal issue of which sex acts are moral and which are not. I recommend J. Budziszewski’s On the Meaning of Sex to learn more about that approach.

We should also condemn hatred toward homosexuals, such as the Russian actor Ivan Okhlobystin’s recent comments about wanting to burn gays and lesbians in ovens. As Catholics, we should promote an atmosphere that affirms all human beings as being valuable in the eyes of God while at the same time promote God’s plan for human beings, including his plan for our sexuality that can be seen in our human natures.

As the Catechism puts it:

The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition (CCC 2358).


Ever since he converted to Catholicism at the age of seventeen, Trent Horn has had a passion for explaining and defending the Faith. After earning a degree in history from Arizona State University, Trent traveled the country training pro-life advocates on college campuses to engage opponents in...

Comments by Catholic.com Members

#1  Benjamin Thomas - Swansboro, North Carolina

This whole situation is atrocious, but not for the reasons given by the media and organizations like A&E and GLAAD that claim to be fighting to end discrimination, except if you are a follower of Christ.

Mr. Horn has well documented the insanity of the accusations against Mr. Robertson. Furthermore, in a press release, Mr. Robertson shows further how well he understands Christ when he displays the understanding of the difference between the sinner and the sin.

Robertson understands what we are; we are loved creations of God, all of us. We are not our sins, though they damage us, they do not define us or our worth.

That is the trending tragedy, the inability to separate the sinner from the sin. This boxes in and judges people as nothing more than the choices they make. This is not the teaching of Christ.

In the end, we should take Robertson as an example of how to approach this world. We should stand against sin and evil while at the same time embracing the sinner, and we should do this all without fear, for we have the eternal peace of Christ offered to us.

December 19, 2013 at 4:59 pm PST
#2  JoAnn Trenary - Deep River, Connecticut

I didn't think he compared homosexuality with bestiality. He added it to a list that he thought were sins. Just how I took it. I think that GQ knew that question would open a can of worms! Makes me think they were in cahoots with A&E. I wish Mr. Robertson luck and hope he sticks to his beliefs. I can see the entire family pulling out of the show.

December 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm PST
#3  Laura Peters - Pitcairn, Pennsylvania

When I've talked to some family members about this issue, and I've brought up the example of a consensual incestuous relationship as a comparison to try to demonstrate how I feel about same sex union, they have been DISGUSTED and even gotten angry with me.

My husband and I actually know of a couple who were brother and sister who lived together as man and wife. We felt the same way toward them and toward their relationship as we do toward homosexuals. That is, we don't want to infringe on their rights, and we aren't going to interfere with them, but they aren't living according to the moral standards we believe are correct.

I don't see how incest can be so disgusting that it can't be brought up in a conversation with a person who is actively campaigning for gay rights. It makes no sense to me. Do that brother and sister have less right to be with the "one they love" than two men or two women?

When you brought up incest in your column I was reminded of the discussions I had with this person, who considers me and my husband to be the intolerant ones.

December 19, 2013 at 5:51 pm PST
#4  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

God's comment: thru His Word. If it fits wear it.
1 Corinthians 6:8-11(NKJV)
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you.
Romans 1:24-32(NKJV)
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,
backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. This is all SIN, from the littlest to the Greatest. Only one sin can't be forgiven and that is rejecting to accept Jesus as Savior. He paid it all. You are only One prayer away from having eternal life.

December 19, 2013 at 6:12 pm PST
#5  Michael Murphy - San Carlos, California

I am disturbed that "Catholic Answers" would in any fashion try to defend what Mr. Robertson said. His comments were insensitive, crude, and ignorant. Mr. Horn conveniently ignored the ridiculous comments Mr. Robertson made about African Americans living happily under Jim Crow, singing in the fields. The Holy Father and Jesus would have been horrified by Mr. Roberstson's comments...they were hurtful and disgusting. Catholic Answers has lost my support if it wants to stand shoulder to shoulder with Mr. Robertson....Catholic Answers doesn't need to condemn anything, but choosing to support this man's comments in any way is simply not acceptable to a loving, compassionate Christian. Thank you.

December 20, 2013 at 10:18 am PST
#6  Lou Pizzuti - Clay, New York

Michael Murphy,
Your reaction to Mr Robertson's comments about African Americans is ignorant.
What did he say? He said that HE never witnessed any problems. He said that he worked along side them in the fields.
And, remember, these are HIS recollections. His BOYHOOD recollections.

December 20, 2013 at 10:26 am PST
#7  Lou Pizzuti - Clay, New York

Mr Horn,
You say, "I don’t think it’s wise to directly compare bestiality and homosexual behavior."

Please review Leviticus 18 and Leviticus 20.
The Mosaic Law compares them, lists both together as sexual sins, along with the other things Mr. Robertson lists.

December 20, 2013 at 10:27 am PST
#8  Mrs R Hunding - Wilmington, Illinois

He never compared homosexuality and bestiality. Nonetheless, both are a sin.

December 20, 2013 at 10:54 am PST
#9  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Common sense tells you the a square peg doesn't fit in a triangle hole. Men having sex with men ,or with animals ; women with women or animals is something everyone can make a judgement on. Everyone even non Christian can make comments to try to bring those who do such things to Repentance. they need to see it for what it is -SIN. Doing this is the loving and compassionate thing to do. Christians and non-Christians alike. When we study and follow the Bible truth ( the teachings of God) it renews our minds and We become more like God. The Bible say's we Have the mind of Christ. Can't get any better than that. We are changed into the image and likeness of Jesus. You need to be born from above. you present sinful (demonic nature) will become the nature of your father God

December 20, 2013 at 11:00 am PST
#10  Michael Murphy - San Carlos, California

Mr. Pizzuti....Mr. Robertson made his comments concerning race to support his position that pre-welfare, etc, things were much better and African Americans were much happier. Maybe he never witnessed any problems or heard anyone complain because the African Americans he met were afraid to express themselves around a white man. Or perhaps he was in the Whites Only bathroom, or eating in the Whites Only restaurant, when the African American people showed dismay at the system.

December 20, 2013 at 11:01 am PST
#11  Mrs R Hunding - Wilmington, Illinois

As for your shrimp comment you are misapplying scripture. Christians do not live under the Old Testament dietary rules of the law, which were a health issue. In layman's terms under the new Covenant it is written that all all things which God created is good for food if taken with thanksgiving.

December 20, 2013 at 11:08 am PST
#12  Michael Koeth - Lancaster, New York

Lord Jesus please increase our Compassion and Understanding of the Truth. We Trust in You.

December 20, 2013 at 11:18 am PST
#13  Stephen Kilgore - Rome, Georgia

I don't believe that Mr. Robertson was directly comparing homosexuality with bestiality. I read it like this "What do you think is sinful?" "Well, let's start with homosexuality. I also don't agree with...."

I've seen a number of Christians over the last few days make the argument that we should not judge, that the Bible teaches us not to judge. While it is true we should not judge PEOPLE, we are free to, and should, judge their sins. It is perfectly fine, and possible, to hate the act of homosexuality and to be 1000 percent against it without being cruel to homosexuals.

I'm disgusted by this liberal PC movement that's coming through from some in our faith. Yes, his comments about African Americans were not the most eloquent, he could have phrased them better. He did not, however, state anything racist. The man said he worked RIGHT ALONG SIDE THEM, together, and that everyone got along and was happy. He goes on to say that we are all from the creator and that we all should be loved, but of course THAT'S not going to show up in the MSM, because the MSM (and progressives) only believe in equality when it suits or promotes their own agenda.

December 20, 2013 at 12:49 pm PST
#14  Michael Murphy - San Carlos, California

I would have to disagree with Mr. Kilgore and his comment that Mr. Robertson was not being racist. I agree he wasn't being delieberately spiteful and he didn't call anyone names. However, he was trying to support an argument and make a claim that in the good old "pre-welfare" days, African Americans (especially in the South, which was his experience) were happy, never said anything negative about their situation, and were singing in the fields. He knows this because, as "white trash," he was working and singing alongside them (the fact that he had a choice and they did not seems to escape him.) The enormous ignorance behind his statements to the situation of African Americans in the South living under Jim Crow laws, as well as his complete lack of empathy for a people excluded, belittled and sometimes killed simply for their race, make what he said racist in the extreme. It's the attitude reflected in his comments that helped perpetuate the evil system of lawful bigotry that lasted in the South for 100 years after the Civil War. Whenever people reflect in such an oblivious fashion, it's beholden among us to point it out lest it happen again.

I would also point out, as far as "judging", that Jesus said we were not to judge, to look at the plank in our own eyes instead of looking at the splinter in others. The Holy Father would agree ("Who am I to judge?"). Jesus didn't say it's OK to judge actions (especially those associated with a specific group of people), so long as we weren't judging people (which, by the way, was happening implicitly in Mr. Robertson's comments.) I don't know how you can judge "people's sins" without at the same time judging the people who are sinning. I believe Mr. Kilgore is splitting hairs.

December 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm PST
#15  Stephen Kilgore - Rome, Georgia

Of course his statements were ignorant, but are we to judge him based on his ignorance or his intentions? He was a product of the era, his life view was different. Does that give him a free pass? Of course not. His intention was not to harm African Americans, it was not to insinuate that they SHOULD be working in the fields or that Jim Crow should still exist. His intentions were to give his point of view as to what it was like to grow up in this? Did he understand the intricacies of civil rights at that time? No. He was just a boy. Let it be clear, I don't condone racism, nor do I believe that civil rights is a 'bad' thing. But this man did not speak with malice.

I was in an RCIA class once where one of the devout, most educated parish members, an older gentleman who was a tenured professor of history at the local university, stood up and said the following words: "When I was a boy, there was a black lady who worked on my parent's farm. She lived in her shack and didn't really have anything to her name, but she was happy." I and the other young people in attendance were appalled (since the topic of the lesson was "What is a saint"). Is this man racist? No, probably not. Did he say an ignorant statement at an inopportune moment? Definitely. It's the same with Phil.

I'll show you exactly how you can judge people's sins without judging them. Is relations with someone of the same sex a sin? Many would say yes. Is Ellen DeGeneres a good person who does a lot for her community and those around her? Many would say yes.

How can we call homosexuality a sin and not call that judgement? Isn't recognizing sin inherently passing judgement on it, anyway? In a perfect world, I suppose we'd all just not even bat an eye when sin happens or occurs because we should be so afraid of 'judging others'.

Would I have phrased it the way he did? No way, and perhaps that's his biggest fault.

December 20, 2013 at 2:24 pm PST
#16  Stephen Kilgore - Rome, Georgia

Furthermore, Michael, I just want to say, I respect your opinion. I do wonder, however, why you threaten to no longer support Catholic Answers based on the opinion of one writer in one column that you happen to disagree with?

You feel so strongly for this issue that you would hold the rest of the members in contempt based on what you've read here? You are here on CA, so you know what an indelible resource it is for those in our faith community. Yet, based on this article alone, you say you will no longer support it and the numerous people it helps every day based on the comments and views of one writer, who, by the way, is entitled to his opinion.

Forgive me for being a tad bit facetious, but isn't that slightly judgmental? ;)

December 20, 2013 at 3:14 pm PST
#17  Patrick DeCann - odessa, Missouri

In response to Mr. Michael Murphys comments I would just like to say that jesus said Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4"Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5"You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

For some reason people always forget the end and take dont judge out of context.

December 20, 2013 at 4:56 pm PST
#18  William Zukowski - Denver, Colorado

To All Those Concerned About "Judging" Others,

How should these bible verses affect a Christian’s life?

John 8:1-11, Jesus didn’t condemn the adulteress to hell but He did command her to stop sinning.
Proverbs 24:24-25, We will be cursed if we tell those who sin that they’re innocent.
Ezekiel 3:18-21, God holds us accountable for the souls of those we don’t warn of their sinful ways.

December 20, 2013 at 5:11 pm PST
#19  Matthew Porcelli - Dumfries, Virginia

The links attached in this article (ex:askmen.com) are not appropriate for this site.

December 20, 2013 at 7:13 pm PST
#20  Greg Carbone - North Yarmouth, Maine

Michael Murphy, I'm sorry to say it, but you're way off base here. If, in fact, Robertson was referring to the "pre-welfare days" as you say, then he is completely correct.

The welfare state largely destroyed the faith, families, and many of the lives of the underclasses. That is clearly documented and plain to see for anyone who has spent any actual time with the victims, before and after the destruction wrought by the Oh, Great! Society. I have, and I assure you that Robertson's comment, at least as you present it, is spot on.

Now, anyone is free to use the familiar smear that blacks were so cowardly and lacking in self-confidence back in those days that they just didn't let on or, worse, didn't even know that they were so miserable. But that, of course, is the worst racist bilge and really should have been shelved with the Hollywood propaganda that spread such cartoon representations of the South in the first place.

The African-American people I have known in Virginia were and remain among the most temperamentally cheerful on the planet. They were and are extraordinarily generous, kind, and tenacious. What has happened, though, and Robertson apparently pinpoints it, is that many have lost their Christian faith, turned to drugs and alcohol, grown up without fathers, and lost their pride and confidence. That's what the welfare state has done.

I recommend Myron Magnet's "The Dream & the Nightmare: The Sixties' Legacy to the Underclass" to anyone who would like to get beyond the self-aggrandizing, liberal party line.

December 20, 2013 at 8:34 pm PST
#21  Franklins Tower - west jordan, Utah

Michael Murphy,

There have been a number of articles posted on this site that have caused me to never consider giving any kind of financial support. Stick to your principles and even if many here feel the need to prove that you are wrong simply because they do not agree, stick to them anyway.

December 20, 2013 at 10:31 pm PST
#22  Susan Fox - Centennial, Colorado

It's a big secret but not all gay men are ready to march in step with the gay lobby. Some, in fact, have chosen a life of chastity. And they are not unhappy with Phil Robertson's comments. See "I am "gay" and I agree with Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty" http://www.pursuitoftruth.ca/duck-dynasty-i-am-gay-and-i-agree-with-phil-robertson/

December 21, 2013 at 12:20 am PST
#23  Bob Uhrin - Commerce Twp., Michigan

Mr. Murphy and all that disagree with Mr. Horn's article,

Please remember that when Jesus Christ returns, he will set up his Kingdom. A Kingdom implies that there is a king. Our king will be seated on his throne and Christ will rule the earth. This will be a theocracy and we will be need to live our lives by God's rules. These rules were made know to us by his word, the bible. Sins hurt God!!! He will be intolerant of our sins. Did he not react with intolerance when he entered the temple? Did he not act with intolerance when he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Did he not act with intolerance when he killed thousands of Israelites at Mount Saini when Moses delivered the Ten Commandments?

And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.’“ So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day. Then Moses said, “Consecrate yourselves today to the Lord, that He may bestow on you a blessing this day, for every man has opposed his son and his brother.”

I am not saying that we act with violence toward any one person or any one group. I am not saying to judge anyone. Judgement is for God alone but to openly say sin is permissible is wrong. Does the bible not say that homosexuality is not permitted and is a sin? Is it more intolerant to try to save a soul than to allow and tolerate sin.

Please remember that too many people are still eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Satan corrupts far too many of us with grey areas.

Let us eat from the tree of life. Trust God and live by his word. If his word says something is wrong, it is wrong. If you do not love God enough to follow his rules, try some other Satan inspired religion. Oh my, how intolerant my thoughts.

December 21, 2013 at 10:56 am PST
#24  Violete L Stevens - Grand Junction, Colorado

What is there to disagree with what Robertson quoted in 1Corinthians 6:9-11 “…Stop deceiving yourselves! Sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunks, slanderers, and robbers will not inherit the kingdom of God. That is what some of you were! But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus the Messiah and by the Spirit of our God.” If you are one of the above, you will not inherit the Kingdom of God. However, as the good thief at Jesus’ crucifixion showed us, if you repent even at the last moment, you will inherit the Kingdom of God.” Robertson did not make a judgment – he made a statement of fact contained in the Bible. Read again the passage – it says if you are the above things, you do not inherit the Kingdom of God. However, if were the above things and repented, you will inherit the Kingdom of God. And of course, only you know if you are or were. That is exactly what Pope Francis said: he will not judge, but each person can and will judge himself and herself, if he or she repented or persists in the sin(s).

December 21, 2013 at 12:07 pm PST
#25  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Susan- All Sin is forgivable. only one Sin is not forgivable and that is not accepting Jesus as your Savior. This is why you can't save your self. Nothing you can DO can appease God. John 3:16 says For God so loved the world that he Gave his only begotten Son That whoever believes in Him shall have everlasting Life. Your self righteousness is as filthy rags.
Romans 10:9-11(NKJV)
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” With the Heart and Mouth you receive salvation. Jesus has done all that is required on His part. Now it's up to you to do your part. the book of Hebrews says:
Hebrews 10:12-18(NKJV)
But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,
from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.
For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,”
then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. Jesus made sacrifice for ALL sin over 2,000 yrs. ago. ALL SIN, FOR ALL, FOR EVER. He said; " it is finished." His Word never comes back to Him void. It will accomplish what it is sent out to do. Water Baptism doesn't save, Church doesn't save, Membership in a Church doesn't save . Only Jesus saves. Jesus took your place and paid the price, a price you could not pay. This is a personal thing you need to do with Jesus. ASK Him to come in to your Heart and be your Savior, and He will. even if your on the list above. this is why He came to save those who are LOST. thank you JESUS

December 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm PST
#26  Donald Goodliffe - Escondido, California

If you are being publicly interviewed and the words vagina and anus are being issued from your mouth then you are probably being scandalous at the very least. The question should not have been asked but once asked it should not have been answered. The words get behind me devil come to my mind. People get caught up in their own self importance.

December 22, 2013 at 10:26 am PST
#27  Pegon Zellschmidt - Covington, Louisiana

'most same-sex couples probably use sex as a way to express feelings of love and affection for one another.'
This doesn't seem to be supported by fact.

Bell and Weinberg reported evidence of widespread sexual compulsion among homosexual men. 83% of the homosexual men surveyed estimated they had had sex with 50 or more partners in their lifetime, 43% estimated they had sex with 500 or more partners; 28% with 1,000 or more partners. Bell and Weinberg p 308

The same study revealed that homosexual men have to a great extent separated sexuality from relationship. The survey showed 79% of the respondents saying that over half of their sexual partners were strangers. Seventy percent said that over half of their sexual partners were people with whom they had sex only once.

A survey conducted by the homosexual magazine Genre found that 24 percent of the respondents said they had had more than 100 sexual partners in their lifetime. The magazine noted that several respondents suggested including a category of those who had more than 1,000 sexual partners.

December 23, 2013 at 8:42 am PST
#28  Peter Laffin - Boulder, Colorado

"Who am I to judge?"

You all can stay with your bearded, southern born-again. I'll still with Pope Francis.

December 23, 2013 at 10:36 am PST
#29  Terence Stanton - Orchard Park, New York

A.M.D.G.

I highly recommend the wonderful teaching to be found from Mr. and Mrs. John F. Kippley at the web site of Natural Family Planning International: http://nfpandmore.com/ I would also like to put in a plug for Mr. Kippley's book: "Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis For Morality" from Ignatius Press. If we love Jesus Christ then we need to keep the Commandments. The Church's teachings on sexual morality must be preached and accepted by everyone.

December 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm PST
#30  Stephen Kilgore - Rome, Georgia

The Holy Father actually said. "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"

That whole searching for the lord part is actually pretty important, but often gets left out. It also implies that one is actually attempting to bear the cross of homosexuality (celibacy, chastity, etc.). This comment was uttered in the context of clergy and the attitude of openly gay priests within it. It does not mean we cannot judge the actions of homosexuality.

December 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm PST
#31  Stephen Kilgore - Rome, Georgia

And by actions, I mean specific, sexual acts.

December 23, 2013 at 1:34 pm PST
#32  Peter Laffin - Boulder, Colorado

Again, the obsessions with the small things.

Love one another and take care of the poor. We are merely human. Again, in the words of The Holy Father, who are we to judge?

December 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm PST
#33  Peter Laffin - Boulder, Colorado

Why do you people care so much about gay sex? Do you think that strengthens your faith? To be obsessed with gay people? Think about it this way: What better way could you be spending your time as a Christian person than dealing with this? Do you want this issue (an issue Christ himself never felt was worth mentioning) to continue to be the face of our Catholic Church?

December 23, 2013 at 1:44 pm PST
#34  Peter Laffin - Boulder, Colorado

And shame on Catholic Answers for jumping to write a blog about this the second it hits the news wire. Far, far more important matters to our Catholic faith have occurred this past year for which not a single word was devoted.

December 23, 2013 at 1:49 pm PST
#35  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Peter: Typical Catholic-one who agree with The Pope or Tradition. In this case our bearded, southern born again friend,He is quoting the God breathed word (bible) inspired by God Himself;Stating that those who Do these things will Not inherit the kingdom of Heaven. God said it ; can't argue with that kind of authority; it's as high as you can go. God has provided a solution to the problem. JESUS; you ought to look into it. Jesus said; " I am the Way the Truth and the Life ,no one comes to heaven except THRU ME. A verysimple solution.
1 Corinthians 1:24-25(NKJV)
but to those who are called, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

December 23, 2013 at 1:50 pm PST
#36  Peter Laffin - Boulder, Colorado

Dick, I'm not at all disagreeing with the Church's teaching (though for some reason we seem to let the idolaters [money?] and adulterers, and the others, off the hook in the verse the duck guy was quoting...

What I'm arguing about is merely emphasis: Did not a homeless person die in your community this cold season due to exposure? If only we paid such stern attention to matters of true consequence, what a wonderful world this would be.

December 23, 2013 at 2:07 pm PST
#37  Stephen Kilgore - Rome, Georgia

Concern over homosexuality does not preclude one from feeding the homeless, or being charitable, or anything of that nature. Mentioning the issue and how it contradicts the Bible and church teachings does not inhibit one from exercising good charity and love toward thy neighbor, even if that neighbor happens to be homosexual. I'm not really sure why you'd make the homelessness argument, Mr. Laffin, because I'm quite certain that many of us here who have voiced opinions you don't agree with have put time and effort into charitable works within our parish communities and without.

To paraphrase rather quickly the conclusion you're drawing, that's like saying "Why be pro-life and go to pro-life rallies when people are dying of starvation in Africa?" . Both are serious issues and both are deserving of our time and attention. We are in fact able to put stern attention to multiple 'matters of consequence', as you call it.

December 23, 2013 at 3:30 pm PST
#38  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Psalms 1:1-6(NKJV)
Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish. Yes God knows the way of Righteousness, but the ungodly will perish. Africa is full of the ungodly (non Christian) and won't accept the way of Jesus ( God's plan). They have a free will to chose Righteousness . and Prosper and be in good health. ( Benefits of being on God's side. Jesus took our sins , sickness, desease, poverty,and gave us HIS Righteousness; (the ability to stand rightly in the presents of the Father with perfect spirits). Spirit with no imperfections. No matter what you believe. The word of God is truth. Love in Jesus our God and Savior.

December 24, 2013 at 9:07 am PST
#39  Peter Laffin - Boulder, Colorado

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person."

- Pope Francis

And in this blog, and in these comments, we have failed to do this.

December 24, 2013 at 11:33 am PST
#40  Stephen Kilgore - Rome, Georgia

No one is rejecting the person of a homosexual, people are rejecting the sin of homosexuality. The old adage has always rang true: Hate the sin, love the sinner. That's what the Holy Father is saying. You can admonish sin and still love the sinner.

December 24, 2013 at 10:32 pm PST
#41  Peter Laffin - Boulder, Colorado

But are their not more important matters to be occupying the tip of our Christian minds? Yes, we can deal with more than one thing at a time, but Catholic media spends such a huge amount of time on this one sin (which God Incarnate did feel the need to mention in his time on Earth--a curious thought...) while the sins he did speak of--at length--such as greed, religious hypocrisy, violence, etc., are running rampant all over the Earth every second of every day? And yet, somehow, gay sex seems to always be our collective headline?

It's sickening.

December 25, 2013 at 11:23 am PST
#42  Cher Springer - Fort Sill, Oklahoma

Fascinating discussion. So happy you are all here, and care, and invest yourselves in these issues. Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2013 at 11:49 am PST
#43  Peter Laffin - Boulder, Colorado

Merry Christmas to you all.

December 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm PST
#44  Louise Brown - Riverside, California

Much valuable information commented on - thank you all. But I want to mention one thing that is very important and that I do not hear mentioned anywhere. Our society has put great stock in the PC labels on what to say or not say. But as the Church teaches us that being homosexual in and of itself is not a sin, the act is, then we are bound to believe as we are taught. The important thing here is that although it is politically correct to be "tolerant" that does not mean that we are bound to be "acceptant". These are two very important words. We need to make sure that what we say is what we mean. Pope Francis professes tolerance - not abject acceptance. Peace.

December 27, 2013 at 3:38 am PST
#45  Peter Laffin - Boulder, Colorado

I'll let the rest of you "obsess" over this issue, as the Pope rightly claimed, and I'll worry about things Christ actually talked about.

December 27, 2013 at 8:24 am PST
#46  thomas dorsey - plainfield, Illinois

Makes one think about, Only God can judge and as Catholics, we believe in Free Will.... oppression is sinful, homosexual acts are sinful, judgment is sinful. Yet God allows us to do such things.

December 27, 2013 at 10:26 am PST
#47  Stephen Kilgore - Rome, Georgia

So, Jesus not directly mentioning something means it's not important to follow? Got it. I guess there are tons of issues in the Bible in both testaments that are obsolete because Jesus never mentioned them directly. The Gospels, while insanely important, are only a small portion of what we need to read and apply. You can focus just on what jesus said if you want, but I like to think our whole bible is divinely inspired and thus the word of God.

December 28, 2013 at 12:47 pm PST
#48  Peter Laffin - Boulder, Colorado

Our whole Bible is divinely inspired. I'm talking about ratios. Think about how much time you spend obsessing over homosexuality, or Catholic media does, or the conservative Christian right does, and then think about how much time GOD INCARNATE spent talking about it. THEN, think about the things he DID discuss, and think about how much time you spend actually obsessing over those things (greed, religious hypocrisy, violence, faith). We are Christians--Christ People--and what are we doing to follow the message he came to Earth to give us?

December 28, 2013 at 1:28 pm PST
#49  Stephen Kilgore - Rome, Georgia

I don't 'obsess' over homosexuality, and I highly doubt many posters here do. The reason why Catholic media and conservative media have been 'obsessing' over it, as you call it, is because society is now 'obsessing' over it. In the last ten years, society has become far more concentrated upon such things. You see homosexual behaviors displayed on TV and in movies to a far greater standard now than you would have seen in the early 90s or even early 2000s. People do denounce greed, religious hypocrisy, violence, and whatnot. The difference is no one is pushing for the acceptance of violence, greed, abuse, or whatever in society at large. There are, however, a large number of people pushing for acceptance of homosexuality as a sexual act and as a lifestyle. They're pushing for it in our media, they're pushing for it in our legislature, and they're pushing for it by trying to make people feel bigoted or like 'bad Christians' for daring to speak out against the ACT (not person) of homosexuality. That's why people 'obsess about it', because it and other sexual sins (such as fornication and rampant sexual activity) are currently the ones that society is trying to get us to accept and be quiet about, or else. This also explains why people seemed to be 'obsessed' about abortion. Because society and the liberal legislature are trying to tell us that it's okay to go out and have rampant sex and kill the child so you can avoid the consequence of your sinful actions. Anyone who speaks in contrary to that is immediately labeled a religious nut job or said to be against women's rights.

Tell me, why must I or anyone else here be accused of 'not following the principle teachings of Christ based on the ratio of what he spoke about in the Gospels" simply for being a voice against what society is trying to tell us we all must accept? In your opinion, would we be better Christians if we simply remain silent and lit a candle and said a Hail Mary in hopes that someone else is going to stand up for us? Or should we make an attempt to be proactive in our faith? Make no mistake, I do not want to force any belief on any individual, but the question of homosexuality is no longer a question of the individual. It's become a question for society. Either it's acceptable, or it is not.

I wholeheartedly agree with the Holy Father that we ARE called to love one another, all sinners included and that we need to make love the center of our lives, but that does not nullify our duty to detest and discourage sin. Those who are involved in homosexuality are our brothers and sisters and we must support them, that I agree with. We must stand by them, but we cannot encourage the behavior.

I'm not sure why I have to keep stating this, as it's clear we disagree on voicing disapproval about sin, but I'll end with this. If the government and society were trying to codify and make a norm out of any other sin to us, I'd expect we'd be just as 'obsessed' and fervent about that sin as we "are"" against homosexuality.

December 28, 2013 at 3:55 pm PST
#50  Peter Laffin - Boulder, Colorado

I didn't call it "obsessing," The Pope did, and clearly, he was right.

December 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm PST
#51  Peter Laffin - Boulder, Colorado

And no one is asking us to accept violence and greed in this society? Do you hear yourself?

December 28, 2013 at 4:10 pm PST
#52  Stephen Kilgore - Rome, Georgia

Your quoting the Pope in the first place is your implicit agreement with the statement.

Sure, violence and greed are rampant in society, but they are not associated with organized social movements with political implications and lobbyists in Washington/London/Ottawa or wherever. If you really choose to not notice the distinction between the glorification that's occurring right now with homosexuality versus the large amount violence and greed in society simply because it would weaken your stance, then that's cool.

If you really think that the Holy Father's comments to the media and the Catholic world at all equate to "It's okay, homosexuality is fine, let's not focus on it because there's much worse stuff in the world that Jesus spoke about", that's also cool, but I'm afraid I disagree with you, though I respect your entitlement to opinion.

December 28, 2013 at 5:21 pm PST
#53  Peter Laffin - Boulder, Colorado

I think greed and violence are so accepted in our society that they don't need organized movements. The idolatry of money, the new tyranny, as the Pope calls it, leads to the capture of far more souls for the devil than homosexuality. Materialism is so widespread and, in a society like ours, accepted without question. (Remember Christ saying something about a rich man having a tougher time making it to Heaven than a camel passing through a needle's eye?) If the energy Catholics in general devote to opposing homosexuality could be harnessed to address this much greater and widespread oppression, imagine the good that could be done. The same goes for violence. Been to a movie lately? Watched a kid play a video game? Read about or known someone shot up in a school? Or sent off to wars that don't pose imminent threats to our security? Violence needs no organization to spread in our culture. It is our culture, probably because we don't fight very hard against it--or at least not a fraction as hard as our battle against the scourge of gay people. Remember Christ telling us that thing about turning the other cheek?

If you'd like to ignore all this, then that's cool. Enjoy your dark closet.

December 28, 2013 at 5:43 pm PST
#54  Stephen Kilgore - Rome, Georgia

Did I ever condone violence? Nope. Did I ever saw violence wasn't a problem because it doesn't have an organized movement? Nope. Did I ever deny that we should also work on that? Nope. Do you know whether or not I, or anyone else here, has actively campaigned against violence in movies or anything of that nature? Nope. Do you know how accepting I am, or how accepting any others are in this thread despite not agreeing with what you've said? Nope. I know many Catholics and Protestants alike who invest much time and money into violence, rape, and poverty awareness. It seems like you're incapable of realizing that actually having a stance against homosexuality precludes one from doing good works in other areas and for advocating for or combating against other causes.

I suppose I'll just bite the bullet and ask you outright. Do you or do you not support biblical and ecclesiastical teaching that homosexuality is a sin? I'm not asking for you to paraphrase Pope Francis in the answer. I'm asking whether or not you personally agree with biblical stance on the sin, nor am I asking you if it's the sin we should be devoting most of our time to. Lastly, I'm not asking you anything about homosexuals as people. The simple question is, I suppose, is do you agree with the statements made in CCC(2357-2359).

December 28, 2013 at 6:00 pm PST
#55  Michael Murphy - San Carlos, California

Just heard that a 4 year old video has been posted by Phil Robertson's company where he suggests marrying women when they are 15 or 16 years old. That's the best time. Oh yeah, they should also be able to cook and carry a bible. I can't wait to hear Mr. Horn's comments on Mr. Robertson's latest enlightened pronouncments. Or perhaps, like the earlier racial comments that Mr. Horn ignored, he'll ignore these as well. Apparently, Mr. Horn is a "cafeteria commentator."

January 2, 2014 at 10:13 am PST
#56  Michael Locus - Canton, Ohio

Steven Kilgore and Michael Murphy,

I'm reading your comments in the light of; Lev 18:22
‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.
and;
Deu 25:15,16
“You shall have a full and just weight; you shall have a full and just measure, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. For everyone who does these things, everyone who acts unjustly is an abomination to the LORD your God.

So both Homosexuality and injustice/Greed are an Abomination to the Lord. But I can't for the life of me understand why Michael interjects himself to dilute the subject of this Blog which is primarily about Homosexuality. Michael, God does hate both. Both meet the level of "abomination" at his throne. In this case, Michael, you should thank Stephen for his great effort for trying to get you on topic.. Also, on the topic of racism... the left constantly presents us with stereotypes, in this case a stereotype that all southern slave owners were evil towards their slaves and that all whites were evil towards blacks during the Jim Crow days. If you follow that line of view you are on par with racism; you are prejudiced against southern slave owners and or Southerners as a group. Now ask yourself; were you there during those times, pre civil war and Jim Crow? None of us were? Are you thinking Phil Robertson fits this stereotype the media has implanted in your mind? Or were people just people back then... some good, some evil, and just like today living as best they can in a swam of prevailing cultural norms? Be sure to capture every though presented you and hold it to the light of God.
-Mike

January 3, 2014 at 9:13 pm PST
#57  Michael Locus - Canton, Ohio

Sorry Michael Murphy, my comments are directed at Peter Laffin.

January 3, 2014 at 9:16 pm PST

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