One of the top leaders employed by the Catholic Church in America — formally The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and headed by Archbishop Timothy Dolan – says that “the Devil” is responsible for making people homosexual, and that homosexuality is a “natural disaster.” Daniel Avila, a policy advisor, lobbyist and spokesperson for the USCCB writes that homosexuality is not genetic, and therefore, it is literally the work of the devil.
“God does not cause same-sex attraction,” Avila wrote Friday in The Boston Pilot, America’s oldest Catholic newspaper which serves as the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston:
No one has found a “gay gene.” Identical twins are always, of course, the same sex, providing further proof of male and female genes. If there was a gay gene, then when one twin exhibits same-sex attraction, his or her identical sibling should too. But that is not the case. The incidence of finding identical twins with identical same-sex attraction is relatively rare and certainly not anywhere near one hundred percent. Something other than the hardwiring found in the genetic code must explain the variance.
In other words, the scientific evidence of how same-sex attraction most likely may be created provides a credible basis for a spiritual explanation that indicts the devil. Any time natural disasters occur, we as people of faith look back to Scripture’s account of those angels who rebelled and fell from grace. In their anger against God, these malcontents prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. They continue to do all they can to mar, distort and destroy God’s handiwork.
Therefore, whenever natural causes disturb otherwise typical biological development, leading to the personally unchosen beginnings of same-sex attraction, the ultimate responsibility, on a theological level, is and should be imputed to the evil one, not God. Applying this aspect of Catholic belief to interpret the scientific data makes more sense because it does not place God in the awkward position of blessing two mutually incompatible realities — sexual difference and same-sex attraction.
Not to get bogged down in Avila’s thought process, but the statement, “The incidence of finding identical twins with identical same-sex attraction is relatively rare and certainly not anywhere near one hundred percent,” is false.
In one study, researchers “identified homosexual males who had identical twin brothers and found that 52% of the brothers were also homosexual. Among fraternal twins, they found the ratio to be 22%. They concluded that since identical twins had a higher incidence of mutual homosexuality than fraternal twins, there must be a genetic component in the development of homosexuality.”
Many people can look at “identical” twins and tell them apart. They are never 100% identical, so the concept that their sexual orientation should be 100% identical is preposterous.
That said, invoking “the devil” is even more preposterous, and the Catholic Church should have its head examined for allowing it.
Peter Montgomery at Right Wing Watch notes,
Avila gave no hint of his satanic origin theory of homosexuality when he spoke at the Values Voter Summit in October, though it (and the reference to natural disasters) does sound like the kind of thing one would hear from anti-gay conservative evangelicals. At the Values Voter Summit, Avila urged people not to accept that marriage equality is inevitable. He claimed that anti-equality forces in Massachusetts are building political strength toward repeal of marriage equality, a notion rejected out of hand by equality advocates familiar with the state.
Avila, who has called himself “the bishops’ marriage guy,” has previously likened the legalization of marriage equality to “a nuclear bomb exploding in every home.” Avila calls his work “mission territory,” and also says “that people just need to be educated and motivated, and then we will have very strong support in the Catholic community for traditional marriage.”
“God himself is the author of marriage,” says Avila, in an article at the Catholic News Agency.
Marriage is the foundation of society and is a “public good,” Avila observed.
And those who protect the definition of marriage are “acknowledging the essential nature of a relationship that draws together two very different but complementary representatives of the two halves of the human family,” he said.
Avila explained that the Defense of Marriage Act not only affirms the definition of marriage and applies it to all federal laws, but it also prevents states that preserve the definition of marriage from being forced to recognize a redefinition of marriage by any other state.
The supreme take-away from all this? The Catholic Church is not just advocating in favor of so-called “traditional marriage.” They have built an entire organization around fighting against same-sex marriage equality, and are committed to funding its defeat.
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