Catalyst November Issue 2000, From The President's Desk
William A. Donohue
The Holy Father has often said that freedom is the right to do what we ought to do. What we ought to do can be found in the Ten Commandments and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Now contrast this with what the dominant culture teaches—that freedom is the right to do whatever we want to do—and the disharmony is evident.
When the popular understanding of freedom is applied to sexuality, it expresses itself in terms that lead to despair, disease and death. It is not a liberating experience to wind up with a broken relationship or a sexually transmitted disease—much less to die prematurely—but that is exactly what a liberty-as-license mentality delivers when applied to sexuality.
There is something else going on here as well. Catholics who accept the Church’s teachings on sexuality do not, as a matter of course, take to bashing those with whom they disagree. But the contra is not true: many of those who reject the Church’s teachings on sexuality literally despise the Church. Indeed, it is one of the driving forces of anti-Catholicism today.
Why can’t the libertines just “let it be”? Because they will not be satisfied until all voices of moderation are silenced; they are the ultimate bullies. These crazed men and women would never die for their country, but they don’t mind putting their lives on the line if it means playing one more hand of sexual roulette. Irrational though they are, they know exactly what they are doing.
And because of them, we all suffer. Sex may be a private affair, but it often has public consequences. Just ask the surviving family members of a hemophiliac who died of an AIDS-tainted blood infusion. Or consider the harm done to children born out of wedlock, never mind the number of babies killed in their mother’s womb.
The goal of sexual libertines is to break down every last barrier by destroying traditional moral authority. Don’t take my word for it—listen to what they say. Take, for instance, a new TV show that will air in December called “Queer As Folk.”
Already a hit in England, “Queer As Folk,” will be picked up on cable by Showtime. According to the Showtime press release, the new series “initially stunned U.K. audiences with its graphic sex scenes, provocative dialogue and its unflinching portrait of an aspect of gay cultural life.” Variety said it features “nude sex scenes” and an official at the network remarked, “It does push all the boundaries.”
When “Entertainment Tonight” asked me for a comment on this show, I offered that Showtime’s goal was to become the most irresponsible network on TV. That sounds nutty in one way, but it’s not so nutty when you consider that what I call irresponsible they call controversial. “I dare, therefore I am,” is what these man-boys believe.
In October, Entertainment Weekly did a cover story on “Gay Hollywood.” So did Variety. What’s going on here? Why are we so obsessed with homosexuality? We have Queer Studies on campus, gay days at theme parks and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered parades. They even have “gay weather” on a gay cable channel in New York.
The obsession with homosexuality is of a piece with the dominant culture’s idea of freedom qua genital liberation. It is getting so sick that we now have over 100,000 websites that feature child pornography.
As I indicated, the worst consequences of this twisted notion of sexual freedom are AIDS and abortions. It is even sadder to note that while AIDS is regarded as a tragedy, abortion is not. That is why feminists were delighted when RU-486 came on the market. How this could plausibly be regarded as an achievement, I do not know. The day after the Clinton administration gave its final okay to this “abortion without surgery” drug, women were told not to worry if they start bleeding after taking RU-486. That’s a good sign, they were informed, because that means the drug is working. And remember, this is known as women’s liberation.
In the minds of some, it is also a sign of women’s liberation to allow a child to die if that child was supposed to have been killed prior to exiting the mother’s body. On September 26, 15 members of the House of Representatives voted against a bill that would require doctors to give babies born alive during botched abortions the same care afforded other babies.
What is most astonishing about this is the lack of media attention this subject was given. Fifteen elected representatives of the United States are on record saying it is okay to let an innocent baby die in a hospital and hardly anyone is talking about it. And this includes those who are challenging these incumbents in the upcoming election.
At the end of the day, it is not the Catholic Church that needs to “get its act together.” On the contrary, it is those who are at war with the Church’s teachings on sexuality that need to do a 180. For everyone’s sake, it can’t happen too quickly.