You’ve heard it before, didn’t you? Homosexuality is considered immoral, awful and the biggest sin ever. All gay people are instantaneously condemned to hell. News of violence towards gays is seen every day and homophobia is almost a job description for some people. California prohibited future same-sex marriages and only nine countries on this planet allow them at all. And if that is not enough, we often hear that homosexuality is a disease…
I support gay people. Why would they be unnatural or immoral? If it happens, it’s natural, isn’t it? It may sound gooey but after all we’re talking about love between two human beings. What the hell is wrong with love? And homosexuality being a disease? Come on. Homophobia is a disease.
Where did that sick hatred towards homosexuals begin? Obviously I don’t have to underline that majority of those who are against the same-sex relationship are people of religion. And the one who started that persecution was one of them.
Enter Tomas Aquinas. He was born some 800 years ago but his ideas are still present in this day and age.
When people say that homosexuality is immoral, their argument is usually its not being natural. Thomas Aquinas was the inventor of that argument. He referred to the great Aristotle, whose philosophy Thomas tried to merge with Christianity. So let’s begin with Aristotle, shall we?
Aristotle said that every thing has it’s purpose. Knives are for cutting stuff, telephones are for calling and pencils are for drawing. If you ask him, the same goes with humans. Legs are obviously for walking and heart is for pumping blood. But what are clouds and mountains for? Aristotle believed that even inanimate things have some purpose, we just don’t know it yet. So nothing just exists. It exists for something. And according to Aristotle, everything exists for humans.
Let’s add God
That kind of thinking was of course appealing to the Christian thinkers. A world with purpose, that is. But they didn’t like the fact that Aristotle didn’t mention God, so they did. Here’s the new version: Everything has its purpose, but that purpose is given by God. With unraveling the secrets of nature we discover the meaning of everything, hence the God’s plan. And with that we discover our purpose.
Thomas Aquinas said that eventually we can find out what is our purpose and what is God’s plan. Everything we do must be according to those purposes. If they don’t, they’re immoral. He called it “the law of nature”.
See where he was going?
Thomas Aquinas and Ethics of Sex
Every body part is supposed to have a certain purpose and any “misuse” is against God. What is the purpose of semen (according to him)? It’s reproduction and allow me to cite him: “It’s obvious that if man uses his semen and no new generation follows that action, that’s against his nature. And if he is doing that deliberately, it’s surely a sin.”
That’s why homosexuality is considered immoral, since body parts are not used accordingly to their purpose. That kind of conduct is against God and that only means sin. But if we follow Aquinas’ logics, we can say that masturbation, oral sex or contraception are immoral too. And if you listen to clerics, you will often hear them mention those three “sins”.
Even today, in the 21th Century, condoms are condemned by the Roman Catholic Church. Even in Africa, where AIDS and HIV killed more than 2,5 million people in 2007 alone! One of the reasons for that is the infamous marriage between Christian theology and Aristotle’s science. (If you asked me, the latter was forced into marriage…)
Aquinas’ theory owned
That absurd theory didn’t have to wait long for critics. People asked Thomas if “not every ‘wrong’ usage of body parts is sinful? What about walking on hands? Surely you don’t think that’s immoral. But if we follow your logics, all the clowns are going to hell!” Yes indeed, why don’t preachers condemn clowns to eternal suffering?
Well, Aquinas had his answer ready. He ‘cunningly’ said that “the misuse of body parts is not always wrong. Men are still good, even if the do such things. It is allowed to ‘misuse’ your extremities, if they help you as a whole or they don’t oppose the natural purpose of that whole. Walking on hands does not oppose God and is therefore not immoral. Homosexuality, for that matter, is immoral, since men are created to procreate, like nature and the Holy Bible dictate.”
But think about it. First of all, one has to presume the God’s existence in order to set such rules. And even if we do presume that God exists, how on Earth do we know what he/she wants?!
Let’s go further. No scientist believes that the world and everything on it was created at the same time. If we take into consideration that body functions were not given by God but are a result of the millions of years of evolution, those functions don’t have to be moral. So those functions are natural, but that doesn’t mean they have to be moral, let alone approved by God.
People, listen. Don’t be so lame and conservative. Live and let live. Love and let love. Let homosexuals live their own lives and fix your own instead.
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