At Georgetown: Mockery, Ignorance, Lies

It’s Debate 101 that you should understand your opponent’s argument before you attempt to refute it.

Andrew Sullivan, a well-known gay activist and columnist was invited to Georgetown University last night by Catholics For Equality to conduct a “Catholic Family Conversation on LGBT Issues” with Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage.

The problem is, despite his claiming to have tried his best to be a good Catholic and understand the Church’s teachings, right down to understanding the meaning of the term “transubstantiation”, Andrew actually doesn’t know the first thing about his Catholic faith, or about the arguments of the Church for its positions on homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

Catholic moderator E. J. Dionne of the Washington Post was a hapless referee, using words like “exegetical” and tossing in quotations from St. Paul while admitting that he now dissents from the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

When facing the level of ignorance, malice and internal incoherence displayed by Andrew, it’s truly useless to attempt to engage him in a debate, because a debate requires logic.

The low-point of the evening (or high-point, if you were waiting for one outrageous statement to be topped by another) was when Andrew claimed, in response to a question I posed, that Jesus didn’t care much about families, that Jesus abandoned his own family, in fact, and that homosexual persons care more about marriage and family than Jesus did.


Allow me to rattle through a few more of the things Andrew said (I’m paraphrasing from memory but the video recording, should it ever be released, will corroborate my claims):

The Church believes homosexuals are intrinsically disordered. In 1986, Ratzinger wrote a document which implied that if gays stand up for themselves they deserve violence. The reason for the Church’s anti-gay activity is because a disproportionate number of bishops and priests are closeted gays. The only time I have experienced hostility hatred and discrimination is from celibate priests who think their power is dependent upon stigmatizing gays. Life without being able to have a romantic relationship with the one you love isn’t worth living. I was an alter boy, and there must have been something unattractive about me because I was never molested {to audience laughter and applause}. Cardinal Ratzinger covered up for a priest who he knew was a child rapist and sent that priest to go rape other children. The Church’s mistreatment of gays is the greatest scandal and threat to the Church in its entire history. I came out as gay because of my Catholic faith. I don’t believe in infallibility. Jesus was unconcerned about the family and marriage, in fact incredibly hostile to the family, he abandoned his own family, and asked every disciple to dump his wife and children.

… it’s not hard to see how it’s difficult to have a “Catholic” debate with someone who holds to these views and says these things. For the record, not a single one of Andrew’s claims about the Church or figures in the Church is true.

The audience, who were overwhelmingly gay and/or supporters of gay-marriage (though there was a respectable showing of those who support the Church’s teaching) were little better informed. One woman stood up and said, “Because my parents weren’t married when I was born the Church says I’m an illegitimate person.”

Again, this is an example of someone who is angry with a caricature of the Church.

I’m searching for access to video from the event so people can see with their own eyes what happened. I believe it is eye-opening for anyone who has not seen how the debate over homosexuality and same-sex marriage is being conducted these days.

I believe it’s imperative that faithful Catholics continue to offer up prayers and prepare themselves for the inevitable questions they will encounter about these issues.

And pray for Andrew Sullivan, who has clearly benefitted so little from his failed attempts to understand the teachings of Christ as conveyed and explained by the Church.



  • Steve

    How or why should this person have been invited to speak or be present at a Catholic University….it says something about Georgetown.

  • Vincent Manning

    Arise,you New Zouaves. This “conference” should have been broken up. Where in the CCC are Catholics required to subsidize such garbage? What was gained other than the usual Jesuit suspects giving a platform for heretics, schismatics and dissidents?Every Jesuit institution in America has a “gay” student club. Time for another “time out.” ?By the way,did the attendees have a chance to explore the Islamic view of their intrinsic disorder? What’s Koran Congressman Keith Ellison’s (D-Umma)view of Andrew Sullivan and gay marriage? Call him up Mr. Peters and let us know.

  • B. Johnson

    With all due respect to Catholics and Church teaching, the Holy Bible clearly condemns same-sex sexual relationships.

    Romans 1:25-27, for example, indicates that same-sex sexual relationships are evidence of major spiritual dysfunctionality. And more importantly, not only does that passage indicate that such relationships are a consequence of idolatry, but bear in mind that idolatry is disobedience to the 1ST COMMANDMENT, a major aspect of the GREATEST COMMANDMENT, to love God with all your being.

    Homosexuals need to keep in mind, however, that the good news of the gospel is not about how God despises same-sex sexual relationships. In fact, not only does 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 warn against such relationships, but that passage also indicates that certain members of that church had been slaves to such relationships but had been cleansed in Jesus’ name. So these former homosexuals had evidently repented and accepted God’s grace to straighten their lives out.

    • Bryan

      B. Johnson –

      Yes, there are very clear passages from scripture that tell us that Homosexual relations are immoral. However, these passages are not sufficient explanations to modern men and women of why they are immoral, especially if they reject biblical authority. To understand why they are immoral we need to do theology, best defined as “Faith Seeking Understanding.”

      Thus, the Church teachings, which are rooted in scripture, are much better explanations of why Paul taught what he taught concerning homosexual relationships.

      Simply saying that the “The Bible Says its wrong” doesn’t do justice to gay men and women or the Word of God.

  • Bruce in Kansas

    This is a second attempt to post, so if it double-taps, my apologies:

    When discussed intelligently, which is unfortunately rather rare, I believe there can be agreement on both sides about the dignity of the humand person. The differences on the issue, as well as the DADT in the military I believe, come down to whether one views homosexuality as identity or behavior.

    The same-sex “marriage” advocates seem to identify the person as homosexual and make no disticnction between the person and the behavior, and further demand change in the teachings (or policies) by appealing to the dignity of the human person, or as human rights issue.

    The Catholic Church, while in complete agreement (and even a primary promoter) of the dignity of the human person, teaches that our sin does not name us; that there is a difference between a human person who struggles with sin, in this case same-sex attraction, and the sinful behavior that attraction draws him toward.

    The Church does judge the act, but does not judge the person; the Church calls the person to repentance and conversion. (Individuals within the Church, obviously, vary widely in their understanding and adherence to this basic teaching of the Church).

    An example might be that I was attracted to fornication and then engaged in it as a younger man. Upon my coming to grips with the authoritative moral teachings, I repented, confessed, and did penance. I still struggled with the attraction, but I don’t identify myself a fornicator and demand the behavior be recognized as acceptable, and demand the Church change the authoritative moral teaching on it.

    An intelligent debate ought to start from the point at which the parties agree, namely on the dignity of the human person, and then proceed logically from there. It is better to assume good will on the part of those that disagree.



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