Question: What do homosexuality and rainforest destruction have in common?
Answer: The Pope has declared that the Catholic Church must protect mankind from both. See HOMOSEXUALITY IS AS GREAT A THREAT AS RAINFOREST DESTRUCTION, SAYS POPE published in The Malaysian Insider on 2 January, 2009.
The article states that:
The Pope – who acquired a reputation as an aggressive, doctrine-enforcing cardinal before he was appointed to the Vatican top job – also defended the Church’s right to “speak of human nature as man and woman, and ask that this order of creation be respected”.
The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are a sin. It opposes gay marriage and, in October, a leading Vatican official called homosexuality “a deviation, an irregularity, a wound”.
This month the Vatican opposed a proposed UN declaration, backed by all 27 European Union states, calling for an end to the practice of criminalising and punishing people for their sexual orientation.
The declaration was seen as an important condemnation of countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality can be punished by death.
A Papal spokesman was later forced to clarify that the Vatican continues to condemn the use of the death penalty for any crime, including any related to homosexuality.
Instead, the Vatican said its opposition to the UN proposal was driven by concern that countries that prohibit gay marriage would somehow be targeted.
The Italian gay rights association Arcigay branded this an “excuse” to distract people from the real intent of criminalising gays.
What does the Bible say?
The Bible mentions homosexuality in only seven passages and each reference is relatively brief. Whenever homosexuality is mentioned in the Bible, it is mentioned negatively. However, neither it is singled out as being worse than other sins such as envy, murder, slander, deceit and malice (see Romans 1: 18-32). See “The Bible and Homosexuality” in Christian Counseling by Gary R. Collins (PhD), 1988).
Should we criminalise and punish homosexuals?
Let us examine the reaction of Jesus Christ (see John 8:1-11). The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery (they did not bring the man). They made her stand before the public and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such woman. Now what do you say?” Jesus said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, until only Jesus was left with the woman. Jesus asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Though I am working on it, I am not a person without sin.
Should gay marriage be recognised by law? If the answer is yes, then we should also consider abolishing the law against marriages of prohibited relationships. A member of the opposition team in the last Human Rights Debate put forward this argument: If we allow gay marriages to be legalised because love is a matter between two persons, what happens if a parent falls in love with his/her biological child? A brother falls in love with his sister or another brother? A man falls in love with his dog?
Jesus loved the sinners although he did not approve of the sins. Likewise, we who seek to follow in his steps should do the same. Therefore, I will give my support to the UN declaration calling for an end to the practice of criminalising and punishing the people for their sexual orientation. It does not mean that I approve of homosexuality or any sexual immorality. I will treat the person with as much respect as I want others to do the same to me. It can be a struggle but I will try. If anyone asks me whether homosexuality is a sin, I am afraid I have to tell the truth.