Actor Kirk Cameron upset many when he honestly answered a direct question during an interview about homosexuality. Without hesitation, he condemned it. According to Cameron, homosexuality is “unnatural. … I think that it’s detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.”
Although everyone reading this column disagrees with Cameron’s opinion, he is entitled to it no matter how offensive anyone finds it. But calling his opinion “un-American” as one celebrity did is contrary to the free-speech values in the Constitution. Let’s stay clear of labels.
LGBT reactions to folks like Cameron include anger, frustration and an “I’m not going to take it anymore” attitude. Unfortunately, there is a certain reality that has to be accepted. Take the world as you find it, not how you want it with the snap of your fingers.
The Kirk Camerons aren’t going away. Nor can they be simply ignored, marginalized, or dismissed as unthinking kooks. Even if it’s beneath you to engage with such folks, do it. Pray for patience first. Lots of it. It’s better to keep them in the discussion than push them away. It ends an opportunity to change hearts and minds.
My faith, theology and philosophy are based on the empowerment of holy logic, holy reason and holy common sense gifted from the Creator through Holy Sophia (the Holy Spirit). She guides, inspires and helps to create positive, profound social change, clearing away fear, ignorance and misinformation. She is a revelation who shares the Creator’s unfolding mystery.
It’s also important to remember that because a law provides for a certain protection doesn’t mean bigotry or prejudice ends. They may still undermine the law. As tiresome as it is the dialogue must continue with those who misunderstand LGBT people.
Cameron’s comments are illogical, but don’t personalize them. Society would be better served if the Camerons of the world are asked to define “unnatural” and then discuss why it’s detrimental to civilization. Not one civilization in history has ever collapsed because of homosexuality. Hence, I’d be interested in his evidence. If he can’t offer any credible documentation then maybe seeds will be planted in him to re-think his positions. If you can’t change his thinking you may change someone who is sitting on the fence listening to the discussion.
Catholic bishops, with limited personal experience of falling in love or having physical relationships, should be asked on national television what makes them qualified on matters of the heart. I’d like to know why there’s so much focus on the physical act and why some Catholic men want to discuss it with such detail. Do they understand that being LGBT goes beyond physical intimacy? Do they realize that if a relationship is to last through the years it, like heterosexual relationships, must be grounded in much more than sex? Can they answer from experience?
The Kirk Camerons and Catholic bishops should not be chased away. Get them on panels to discuss their positions with other committed people of faith who disagree. As soon as they’re forced to defend their positions with logic, reason and common sense, not with celebrity status or the authority of a religious office, their arguments fail. This is the best way to bring about change. Don’t name-call (though it’s tempting at times). Talk to them. They can’t win. They don’t have the facts or science on their side. In my opinion, these discussions also will show that those who support LGBT rights are on God’s side.
* Paul is an author, attorney, and a seminary trained, ordained priest in greater Albany, NY. Email questions to Dilovod@aol.com.