The Catholic League has a long history of mutual cooperation with evangelical Christians on a host of cultural issues. In that spirit, we condemn the unfair attacks against the statement on marriage, family and sexuality that was signed by more than 150 evangelical leaders following their conference in Nashville last week.
“Hateful,” “homophobic,” “anti-LGBT” are among the hysterical condemnations of the statement flying around print, broadcast and social media. But the statement is none of those things.
While restating long-held Christian teaching that marriage is ordained by God as the “lifelong union of one man and one woman,” and that differences between male and female are “divinely ordained” and unchangeable, the statement does not single out homosexual or transgender persons. It emphasizes that all human beings are called to “chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage,” reiterating the immorality of heterosexual intercourse “before or outside marriage” as well.
Nor can the statement accurately be termed “hateful.” Quite the contrary. It affirms God’s “merciful” love and forgiveness. It rejects the idea that “divinely ordained differences between male and female” somehow “render them unequal in dignity or worth.” It refutes the notion that same-sex attraction “puts a person outside the hope of the gospel.” And it calls on Christians to “speak the truth in love at all times” and to never “speak in such ways that dishonor God’s design.”
In short, the statement is a loving, faith-filled affirmation of timeless Christian teachings on marriage, family and human sexuality. In these tumultuous times, we continue to stand with our evangelical brothers and sisters in defending these traditional moral values.