Prop. 22 conflicts with natural law
Letter to the Editor
I am not a Catholic.
I was baptized into the United Methodist Church and have lived as a Methodist all my life. As an outsider, I have long admired the willingness of Catholics to use self-control instead of birth control. Much of that admiration comes when I realize the ease of obtaining birth control and the pride many Catholics take in rejecting their usage of such devices and instead acting based on their love for Christ as taught by the Catholic perspective.
St. Augustine discusses something similar when he speaks of the unity of the heavenly and earthly cities. The heavenly city is the community of Christians within a given society; the earthly city is the community of non-believers. The laws of the land are derived from those principles which both cities give mutual consent to help them achieve peace on earth. Above and beyond those principles, the members of the celestial city are called to an extra order of laws which will help them to achieve the presence of God. Their love for Christ inspires them to enact with a moral code above and beyond that of the natural law.
St. Thomas Aquinas also parallels these concepts. He teaches that there are two branches of law: natural and revealed law. Natural law includes the laws of the universe which people can learn based on reason, like the principle of gravitation or the attraction of opposite electrostatic forces. Revealed law, on the other hand, includes those laws of the universe only made known through the teaching of the Church, such as the authority of the Bible, the role of Christ in salvation and similar ideas.
The work of modern social and deductive science has shown that homosexuality exists within a given percentage of humankind. Gay people are distributed regularly through every nation, religion, and family. Thus, the existance of people who have a natural inclination toward attraction to their sex is part of natural law.
The Church teaches that the homosexual orientation amoral. This is because it is part of the natural law. "Homosexuals who are definitively such because of some kind of innate instinct" (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics, 1975, n.8). However, the revealed law, according to the official teaching of the Church, is such that the homosexual orientation is one ordered to an act of disorder. Thus, it is an object disorder. Therefore, gay Catholics are called to live celibate lives in fulfillment of the role of human sexuality.
However, what about other gays? Because the revealed law of Catholics is not available to non-Catholics, it follows that viewing homosexuality as an objective disorder would not be expected to them. Thus, it is unjust to legislate against the fulfillment of their naturally-ordered sexuality.
It was the insistance of the founders of this nation of freedom from a legislated revealed theology that allowed Roman Catholics into this Protestant nation. To argue for legislation based on not natural, but revealed Roman Catholic theology is heretical to the very foundations of this nation.
Proposition 22 thus serves as a purpose which directly opposes the existance of Catholicism in the United States.
L.R. Matthew Blancett
March 9, 2000
All Viewpoint Stories for Friday, March 10, 2000