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Unlike Other OT Proscriptions, Sodomy Law Unchangeable

Question:

How to explain why homosexual acts are still prohibited but not things such as trimming your beard?

Answer:

Some people like to dismiss the Old Testament’s teaching on homosexual sex (sodomy), given that the Book of Leviticus also banned such things as not wearing clothing made of two materials:

“nor shall there come upon you a garment of cloth made of two kinds of stuff” (Lev. 19:19).

Such analysis fails to distinguish between changeable discipline and unchangeable doctrine. The clothing issue, like prohibitions on certain types of food, which were relaxed in the New Covenant (see Acts 10:9-16; Act 15:28-29), involve changeable disciplines.

In other words, matters regarding clothing and food are not, in and of themselves, intrinsic moral evils. That is, they are not actions that are always and everywhere objectively gravely wrong. Ditto with a man’s trimming his beard (Lev. 19:27).

On the other hand, certain sexual actions are intrinsic moral evils, including adultery, fornication and sodomy (whether between two males or two females). That is why even in Leviticus, homosexual relations are referred to as “an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13). That’s also why homosexual sex is condemned also in Genesis 19 and Romans 1 (and elsewhere in the New Testament), and that’s why the issue wasn’t even on Jesus’ radar as a controverted matter (see also CCC 2357-59).

On the other hand, we need to treat people who experience same-sex attraction (SSA) as brothers and sisters in Christ, and remember that all men and women are called to chastity according to their state in life. Courage is a great Catholic apostolate that serves those experiencing SSA.

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