Yesterday we witnessed a paradigm shift in American history.
For some, it was for the better. But for many, the moral and ethical traditionalist, the faithful Catholic, and the Biblical non-Catholic Christian, the icon of the American hero suddenly became the militant homosexual man. Yesterday, after 7+ hours of, purely, football talk, during the annual NFL draft, the only topic to be discussed on a Football Network was the sexuality of Michael Sam. During the NFL Network 'after' show, a display of Michael Sam (a seventh round draft pick, which equals a developmental prospect), was boldly displayed behind the commentators, revealing this historical event as monumentous, and positive, for both our nation and the National Football League.
Yet, never before, barring President Clinton's activities with Monica Lewinsky, has a public figures sexuality been so important to a nation. Never before has an NFL draft expressed so much interest in what a man has done behind closed doors. Make no mistake, Michael Sam isn't the first gay athlete. Nor will he be the last. But when a seventh round pick (not yet to play in one single NFL game) becomes a national, let alone an NFL, icon, this tells us a lot about this American generation.
For it is less about the man and more about the movement he stands for.
And this movement is not going in the right direction.
“Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Acts 2:14, 36-41
The Catholic Church's official teaching concerning homosexuality is both conservative and liberal, compassionate and harsh. For Truth is in both polarities. The Church teaches that Christ died for all men and women, to include the person with a homosexual tendency. Therefore, He Loves the homosexual person as much as the heterosexual person. Yet, the Church also teaches that homosexual activity (not the inclination) is a grave sin and a moral disorder. The Catholic Church, moreover, calls all people with homosexual inclinations to a chaste life, open to all the graces of God through a full participation in the Life of the Catholic Church.
But a worm has gotten into the apple.
'Love the sinner, but hate the sin.' This old saying has always represented the Catholic view of how to embrace the fully dignified human person with a homosexual inclination. God loves Michael Sam. Michael Sam deserves the respect which all human persons, made in the image and likeness of God, should be given. But his participation in the 'normalization' of the grave sin of homosexuality, a national movement, is not acceptable to authentic Catholicism.
"He guides me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side." Psalm 23:1-6
Immediately after Michael Sam was selected in the NFL draft, a picture of Michael kissing his male partner went viral on television, in the print media, and on the internet. A few NFL players 'tweeted' their discomfort with this image. They were immediately corralled, and reprimanded, by NFL authorities.
The same is true in our society at large.
The gay mafia, in organized militant homosexual groups, has been exerting a tyrannical pressure on a wide variety of Americans, who, while not hating the individual homosexual person, do not agree with gay 'marriage' and the 'normalization' of what Christians, Catholics, and moral traditionalists view as either a sin, or as an abnormality. It seems that tolerance only goes one way--if you accept popular societies views on homosexuality, you are allowed to participate. If not, the mafia boot will come down hard, and swift, on your neck.
The American 'dark valley' has truly arrived for American Catholics and Christians.
"When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross..." 1 Peter 2:20-25
Catholics and Christians (non-Catholic believers), however, should not be overcome with anxiety. We have an example in how to deal with censorship, public pressure, and tyranny. We have the example of Jesus. We are certainly called to advocate for traditional marriage, and God's original (and perennial) design in the Love--open to Life--of a man and a woman, exclusively. Yet, we are not to return insult for insult, threat for threat, bearing whatever comes in the joy of witnessing to 'the Way, the Truth, and the Life' of Jesus.
But, while witnessing joyfully, we must tread carefully through this 'dark valley,' in this 'corrupt generation.'
So Jesus said again, 'Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. '" John 10:1-10
Many 'voices' clamor for our attention. Many 'authorities' proclaim homosexuality an acceptable 'alternative' lifestyle. Many politicians, and special interest groups, preach and teach tolerance and inclusiveness as the key to a utopian national reality. Yet, only the Catholic Church remains 'the light shining atop a hill,' preaching Truth, Justice, and genuine Cross-born Love, in season and out.
So, my fellow Catholic, and non-Catholic Christian friend, while we pray for Michael Sam, and hope for his success as a football player, and as a human person, we must remain faithful to only one voice--the voice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
And truth be told, this voice rings, definitively, through the Apostolic Teaching Authority of Christ's Catholic Church. And let's be crystal clear--clarifying the muddiness of the 'teaching' of cafeteria catholics--the Church still preaches and teaches the same when it comes to homosexuality. There have been no changes to Her Perennial teaching.
Yet, the real question remains: Will we have the courage to stand firm in God's Truth when the inevitable strong wind of resistance pushes us back?