Bishops’ Stance On Motives And Behaviors

“Hate the sin, but love the sinner”,
So I do not hate the gays—
Their desires aren’t a problem
What’s a problem is their ways

It’s their actions, not their motives,
Which define a life of sin
What’s important is their conduct
Not what drives it from within.

If you act on your attraction
That’s what matters most, you see,
Not your motives but your actions
Are forbidden by decree

Thus, I treat them like pariahs
While I love them, every one—
I don’t hate their evil thinking,
Just the evil they have done

You might want to call it bigotry—
It isn’t, really, quite—
See, I’m practicing religion
So it has to be all right

Since my faith’s my motivation
There’s a fact you’ll have to face:
It’s my motive, not my actions
That’s important in this case

According to the Catholic News Agency, representatives of US bishops have made clear their position: When it comes to same-sex relationships, it is perfectly fine for someone to experience attraction, but acting on that attraction is beyond the pale. The problem is that “the bill does not differentiate between same-sex attraction and same-sex conduct, posing a problem to faith groups such as Catholics that affirm the dignity of homosexual persons but oppose homosexual actions.” That is, it’s ok to be gay, so long as no one knows it from what you do, like, say, getting married or actually engaging in a human relationship. It’s what you do that they have a problem with, not your reasons for doing it.

They also made clear their objections to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which focuses on what you do, ignoring your reasons for doing it, which the bishops think is entirely unfair.

“Churches, businesses, and individuals should not be punished in any way for living by their religious and moral convictions concerning sexual activity,” the bishops wrote in a July 17 blog post for the U.S. bishops’ conference.

They have religious reasons for discriminating, which means they can’t possibly be actually discriminating; it’s their reasons for doing stuff that is important, not the actual discrimination they are engaged in.

It’s all so simple, really.


  1. Crimson Clupeidae says

    If you want consistency, eat cottage cheese.

    (I have no idea what that means, but my wife always says it to me….)

  2. Randomfactor says

    Thanks for drawing the lines (in rhymes).

    The bishops can believe what they want, desire what they want. But when it comes to actions those can be restricted.

    A wise man once said that there was only one sin: hurting another unnecessarily.

  3. Trebuchet says

    Of course, if your attraction is to young children, and you wear a funny collar, both the attraction and the action are perfectly fine.

  4. Al Dente says

    Why do a group of professional virgin bachelors think they have any standing to talk about marriage and sexual relationships? As the distinguished Catholic theologian and apologist Fr. Guido Sarducci put it so distinctly: “You no playa da game, you no maka da rules.”

  5. says

    So if someone’s homosexual behaviour happened to be driven by religious motives they think it’s OK!

    First Church of St Alan Turing anyone??

  6. Pierce R. Butler says

    Is it wrong or is it right?
    That depends upon your motive.
    The most illuminating light
    Comes from candles that are votive.

  7. chrisj says

    Which inevitably reminded me of Thomas Moore’s classic “An Argument”:

    I’ve oft been told by learned friars,
    That wishing and the crime are one,
    And Heaven punishes desires
    As much as if the deed were done.

    If wishing damns us, you and I
    Are damned to all our heart’s content;
    Come, then, at least we may enjoy
    Some pleasure for our punishment!

  8. Kevin Kehres says

    @8…So true. The bishops are, as ever, cherry picking the bible.

    [alleged] Jesus [allegedly] said that merely looking at a woman lustfully was exactly the same as committing adultery. Well then, in for a penny, in for a pound, as the Brits might say.

    I don’t believe Jesus actually existed, which is why I use the [alledged] tags. And even if he did, there’s no way to confirm that he actually said anything attributed to him, because those sayings weren’t written down until decades after the alleged events, and weren’t compiled in any systematic way until hundreds of years has passed. /derail of my own point.

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