At a White House press conference on July 30, President George Bush fielded a number of questions about Iraq, Saudi Arabia and homeland security. Then a reporter asked: “As someone who’s spoken out in strongly moral terms, what’s your view on homosexuality?”
To begin with, Bush aptly responded: “I am mindful that we’re all sinners, and I caution those who may try to take the speck out of their neighbour’s eye when they’ve got a log in their own.”
Heterosexuals, especially, should take that admonition to heart. Heterosexual fornication and adultery rank among the most serious sexual sins, because they engender not only heartache and venereal disease, but also divorce, unwanted pregnancies and abortion. Up until about 40 years ago, virtually the entire Christian church – Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant – affirmed what is evident from both reason and revelation: that the deliberate killing of a baby in the womb is a grave sin that can never be justified.
In his remarks on homosexuality, Bush added: “I think it’s very important for our society to respect each individual, to welcome those with good hearts, to be a welcoming country. On the other hand, that does not mean that somebody like me needs to compromise on an issue such as marriage … I believe in the sanctity of marriage. I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman. And I think we ought to codify that (in law) one way or the other.”
Bush is a devout Methodist. To fulfill his responsibility to represent all the people of the United States, he avoids mentioning Jesus Christ. Yet it’s evident that in every decision he makes as president, he seeks always to uphold the traditional principles of Judeo-Christian morality. Is that wrong?
Paul Martin, the all-but-officially designated next prime minister of Canada, thinks so. Asked about a Vatican statement calling upon Catholic politicians to oppose gay marriage, he said: “I am a practising Catholic and I have responsibilities as a legislator and those responsibilities must take in a wider perspective.”
What wider perspective might that be? Martin explained: “The courts have spoken and government cannot discriminate.”
Isn’t that pathetic? Groucho Marx was joking when he quipped: “These are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.” But Martin, alas, is serious. Instead of upholding the moral truths revealed in the Bible and affirmed by the teaching magisterium of the Catholic Church, he has proclaimed his intention to tailor his moral convictions to the immoral edicts of our gods in the courts.
Martin, of course, is not alone in practising such moral equivocation. For the past 30 years, Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Heritage Minister Sheila Copps and every other so-called “practising Catholic” in the federal cabinet have gotten away with flouting the solemn teaching of the Catholic church on abortion.
Now, at last, some Catholic bishops in Canada are finally beginning to fulfill their responsibility to call these errant “Catholic” politicians to account, clearly and unequivocally. In reference to Martin’s failure to uphold Catholic teaching on marriage, Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe, president of the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops, pointedly observed: “A politician cannot be totally schizophrenic. If he is, he is not being real.”
In response to such clerical rebukes, Chretien insists, “There has to be a separation of church and state.” That’s nonsense. The hierarchy of the Catholic Church is not trying to run the government of Canada. It’s simply saying to Catholic politicians that they should not be hypocrites, claiming to be Catholics, yet flouting the basic moral teachings of the Catholic church.
Would that the leaders of Protestant churches were no less forthright in rebuking their wayward parishioners. As it is, most clerics who have not already embraced the apostate teachings of the courts are all too reluctant to speak out publicly in defence of the controversial moral precepts that they know to be true.