Over at Dominicana’s blog, Brother Dominic Mary Verner, O.P. tries to figure out why Catholic opposition to gay marriage, which he sees as a form of love, is so often taken as hate. “You seek your neighbor’s spiritual well-being,” he complains, “and you are accused of denying his very dignity.” He sets out to explain the disconnection and fails.
Brother Verner, it’s very easy. Here is why your love looks like hate:
Because love means seeing your brothers and sisters for who they are. That’s what love is. To know the Other. To make the effort to understand him. And so much of what you write against gay marriage shows an inability to do that.
You write things like this:
First, our love looks like hate because our concern for souls chafes against the claim that human dignity is founded upon man’s power of self-determination. Our love calls into question the quasi-religious reverence paid to this supposed power.
Second, our love looks like hate because the life we propose often looks like death. By withholding endorsement for gay marriage, we implicitly suggest the alternative of lifelong chastity. For the man or woman with same-sex attraction, this certainly entails self-denial and the cross.
Third, our love looks like hate because we seem to advocate restraint in the enjoyment of all that the world has to offer.
Brother Verner, these are the three reasons you give to explain why people take your stance against gay marriage as unloving. Every one of them suggests that you see your fight against gay marriage as a battle between restraint and license. As if gay couples seeking to marry have no idea about self-denial or personal sacrifice. As if marriage is the easy way out, the way of self-determination and indulgence. When we read that, we shake our heads at your blindness.
Let me make this real clear:
Brother Verner, your love looks like hate because you refuse to see your gay brothers and sisters. And, still worse, that refusal leads you to denigrate their very real love and harm their very real families—love that most Americans can see and families that most Americans now value.
I believe you, I really do, when you say you don’t hate gay people. But, on the other hand, you can’t say you love gay people if you don’t see them. So I’ll try this again: please watch the video at the end of this post. (I know, readers, that I posted this video last time, but bear with me—maybe repetition is good for some people.) This time, maybe for the first time, watch with your eyes open. Please.