Every single human being was created in order to live and, not just to live, but to thrive and flourish. The story of creation tells us, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it;’…And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:27, 28, 31). Jesus, God incarnate, additionally said, “…I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
Regardless if a person believes in the Word of God as contained in Sacred Scripture, which many people in our world do not, the nature of humanity remains the same, the truth remains The Truth. Human beings are meant to live and thrive, not suffer and die. As such, human beings are created with a natural purpose, to live, love, and propagate the human species, by having and raising children with love. The ultimate purpose of each human being is to love and be loved in fullness (ultimately this directs us to love God as He never stops loving us and is fulfilled in eternal life in heaven). Human persons are not merely a means to an end, but are an end in and of themselves. Human beings are not tools, but are living, breathing persons with supreme dignity that should never be diminished.
In our world today, human beings are treated as means to an end, not as an end themselves. Prostitution is a means for some to experience pleasure and often the humanity behind the prostitutes is ignored. Race is also a huge issue in our country when it shouldn’t be. Just because the skin color of someone is different than mine doesn’t mean I get to treat these persons as inferior (as a means to promote my superiority); we’re all humans after all. Even the cashier at McDonald’s is a human person, and how often do we treat them as just a means to get our Big Mac and leave?
Moving to the topic of people who identify as LGBTQ, these people are persons too, with the dignity that is theirs by virtue of the fact that they are human beings! Discrimination should never occur because ultimately we are all part of one human family in solidarity. Sadly, discrimination occurs all the time because of various reasons. The city of Cheyenne is considering a resolution regarding non-discrimination and on Wednesday I went to the City Council meeting where the public was able to comment on the proposal. After reflecting and praying on this topic, below are my comments. First, the proposed resolution reads:
WHEREAS, diversity is a critical component of a thriving, successful municipality;
WHEREAS, in today’s world, discrimination occurs far too often on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, family status, veteran status, disability, marital status or source of income. Discrimination is wrong and presents a stumbling block to the pursuit of full equality;
WHEREAS, tolerance and acceptance will strengthen Cheyenne as a community, deepening bonds between neighbors and fostering a welcoming environment;
WHEREAS, a commitment to diversity will enhance the local economy, creating a positive-forward thinking environment that will help attract business and create jobs;
WHEREAS, to further these goals, the City of Cheyenne is in the process of modifying its own internal and personnel policies to additionally prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity;
WHEREAS, the city of Cheyenne will support a comprehensive state law that addresses hiring, housing and accommodation to prevent discrimination against LGBT employees and citizens and their families;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City of Cheyenne, in regular session duly assembled, it is the policy of the City to reject discrimination of any kind and to respect the inherent worth of every person, with regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, family status, veteran status, disability, marital status, or source of income.
From a Catholic perspective this resolution is extremely problematic. On the surface this resolution seems like a good thing because, of course, no one should be discriminated against. The Catholic Church is the first to argue for the supreme dignity of every human person who is made in the image and likeness of God. Our Catholic faith compels us to argue most vehemently against discrimination of any kind whatsoever. As such, the Catholic viewpoint is against this resolution, not because Catholics are for discrimination, but because Catholics are actually all-in for promoting the supreme dignity of all human persons. This resolution, in a veiled way, does the opposite.
This resolution would codify the language of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) in a resolution, with the goal of eventually making the language into law as a city ordinance. This is alarming because these identities (LGBTQ), in fact, tarnish the dignity of persons who have these attractions because it reduces their identity from a human person to their sexual desire (I know many would argue otherwise). The distinction between the person and the act of that person must be recognized. A person is not equivalent to their desires and actions. Every person is a beloved son or daughter of God and should be loved and accepted because of that reason, not because of their desires or how they act on them. Many people today, however, want to be identified as LGBTQ because they do want that true love and acceptance and “coming out” is how the culture says one will find that authentic love and acceptance. In actuality, the culture doesn’t love the person, the culture loves the LGBTQ label on the person. The LGBTQ movement seems to be focused less on the persons who experience these desires, and more on the political movement because of the now-public nature of these desires in people; it’s ultimately a political movement based on selfish desires. On the contrary, authentic love and acceptance of a person happens when the person is loved and accepted in his/her entirety, faults and all, including his/her sexual desires, even if they are disordered desires, but never condoning acing out on those disordered sexual desires. To be fair, everyone has disordered sexual desires since lust in any form is a disordered desire. Additionally, true and authentic love of a person doesn’t mean blind acceptance of a person who is heading towards harm (this is ultimately what the culture promotes and the “love wins” slogan embodies this blind acceptance of a person in the name of love). True and authentic love of a person means desiring the authentic good for the other person and stepping in when that person is heading towards harm. All lifestyles and actions (from lustful actions within a heterosexual marriage to sexual actions in the LGBTQ community) that lead to harm and the reducing of the dignity of human persons must be avoided. Humanity was created out of love to love and be loved in fullness as human persons. Any and all roads that lead people away from life and fulfillment must be stopped.
This resolution that is being considered by the city of Cheyenne is a step on the path that leads to harm. It may not seem so, it’s just an anti-discrimination resolution after all, right? But it’s a Trojan horse, a step on a path leading away from life and fulfillment, starting with the codification of the LGBTQ language. The language of LGBTQ is problematic and must be avoided because it reduces the person from their dignity as sons and daughters of God to merely their sexual desires (a person is a human person, not simply “gay” or “lesbian”). Persons must absolutely be loved and accepted in their humanity, and guided along the path of life, not of death. This resolution opens the city of Cheyenne to walking down the wrong path. Additionally, if it becomes part of the law, children today will grow up believing it to be a normal and good part of society, which if it leads to death it is not normal nor good (laws have the ability to teach, which we must guard and protect; immoral laws teach children that immorality is to be upheld by society).
We have a moral responsibility to do what is best for ourselves and future generations. Using the LGBTQ language ultimately does more harm than good, and should be avoided, and should not be put into laws that will only confuse future generations on their dignity as human beings made in the image and likeness of God.