Hawaii is at the threshold of one of the most serious and transcendent events in its history: the November 3 ballot initiative to amend its Constitution to prevent the State Supreme Court from mandating homosexual “marriage.”
If voters reaffirm their commitment to the American family, Hawaiians will be able to live according to morality and Christian tradition. If, on the contrary, the ballot’s outcome favors the legal and shameless practice of unnatural vice, the state will sink into a moral abyss. It will become the testing ground for degrading doctrines and the hotbed of a moral infection which will spread to other places.
In view of this, The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) urges Hawaii’s voters to consider that their vote on this key initiative can contribute not just to Hawaii’s fidelity to Christian civilization, but that of the entire Nation. If, however, this ballot initiative opens Hawaii’s doors to homosexual “marriage,” it will stain the Nation’s honor.
“Protect the Constitution!” – a Slogan Favoring Homosexual “Marriage”
To further their agenda, the advocates of homosexual unions are casting themselves as defenders of the state Constitution. They argue that the document implicitly sanctions such a union and should not be touched.
They err on both accounts. They overlook the legal maxim “Salus populi, suprema lex” (Cicero, De Legibus, III, 9), which states that society’s welfare is the supreme law according to which the Constitution and other laws must be interpreted. Since observance of the Ten Commandments – which are but the embodiment of natural law – is indispensable for the good of man and society, the Hawaiian Constitution should not be interpreted as implicitly sanctioning their violation by infamous vice.
Furthermore, no one can honestly affirm that the authors of Hawaii’s Constitution intended to legitimize homosexual “marriage.” The principles of natural law were much more generally accepted fifty years ago than they are today. Consequently, there was no intent to grant the status of marriage to a violation of natural law.
Now that there is such an intent, to advocate the “untouchability” of Hawaii’s Constitution, refusing to improve it in face of new dangers to the common good, would be false traditionalism and attachment to form to the neglect of substance. What is unchanging is morality, not necessarily the Hawaiian Constitution.
The Descent to Depravity
Over the last several years the agents of moral degeneration in many countries have striven to legitimize the worst perversions, specifically such unnatural and profoundly degrading acts as homosexuality. Public opinion in several countries has thwarted this. The public realizes that widespread permissiveness of anti-natural and immoral customs will result in a climate of oppression against those who respect the Ten Commandments and will hurl society into moral disintegration.
The efforts to introduce homosexual unions in Hawaii are obviously a first step for their acceptance in other states and would transform Hawaii into an instrument for the moral corruption of the rest of the Nation. If Hawaii legalizes homosexual unions, homosexuals from around the country will travel to Hawaii to be “married,” and will then use the full faith and credit clause in Article IV of the U.S. Constitution to force their home states to accept their new legal status. This will lead to a systematic, steady, ostentatious, and unbridled violation of morality throughout the country.
The Goal of the Promoters of Moral Aberration: Destruction of the Family
The world is witnessing an obsessive, multi-pronged offensive against the family, the basic cell of society.
Initially, the promoters of this anti-family offensive encouraged private perversion. To engage in such – we were told – is a personal right and any attempt to restrict or prevent it is oppression and discrimination.
When degenerate acts became frequent, anti-family forces began to cite them as proof of an evolution in customs. Such an evolution – they now argued – calls for changes in legislation, since laws should reflect the prevailing customs. The result is that as customs wax increasingly immoral and anti-Christian, laws provide impunity for new perversions.
Besides demanding the legalization of homosexual unions, homosexuals are already clamoring for the “right” to adopt children, with the inevitable risk that the latter will be induced to follow their perverse example. The legalization of pedophilia and incest are next on the list. The triumph of such dissoluteness would spell the doom of the family.
Homosexuality is Condemned in the Old Testament
The Old Testament condemns unnatural vice with the greatest severity. Leviticus, which contains the precepts dictated by God to Moses to preserve the Chosen People from corruption in matters of faith and customs, firmly condemns homosexuality: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such thing is an abomination” (18:22); “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives” (20:13).
The Divine Punishment of Sodom and Gomorra is a Lesson for History
The Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality is not just theoretical, but is manifest in the chastisement of sinners. The most striking example is narrated in Genesis, when God sent angels in human form to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorra, corrupted by unnatural vice. (Cf. 18:20; 19:12-13, 24-25, 27-28.)
Homosexuality is Condemned in the New Testament as Well
The New Testament reiterates the condemnation of homosexuality. Saint Peter reminds us that God “condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorra to destruction, reducing them to ashes, thus making them an example” (2 Peter 2:6). Saint Paul writes in his letter to the Romans: “God abandoned them up to shameful lusts; for their women have exchanged the natural use for that which is against nature, and in like manner the men also, having abandoned the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men doing shameless things and receiving in themselves the fitting recompense of their perversity…. Although they have known the ordinance of God, they have not understood that those who practice such things are deserving of death” (1:26-27, 32). In his first epistle to Timothy, Paul groups the sodomites with the murderers, the perjurers, and “whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine” (1:10). And in 1 Corinthians, he declares that those who practice unnatural vice will not possess the kingdom of God (cf. 6:9-10).
Saint Augustine of Hippo: “Offenses contrary to nature are to be detested and punished.”
Saint Augustine (354-430) echoes these teachings in his Confessions. “Those foul offenses that are contrary to nature are everywhere and at all times to be detested and punished; such were those of the Sodomites, which should all nations commit, they should all be held guilty of the same crime by the law of God, Who hath not so made men that they should so abuse one another” (Book III, Chapter 8).
Saint Peter Damian: “Homosexuality surpasses all other vices in enormity.”
In the eleventh century, Saint Peter Damian wrote “Liber Gomorrhianus” for the clerical reform carried out under the inspiration of the Cluniac monk Hildebrand, later Pope Saint Gregory VII. In this book, dedicated to Pope Saint Leo IX, we read: “The vice of homosexuality is absolutely incomparable to any other, for it surpasses all of them in enormity. This vice produces the death of the bodies and the destruction of the souls. It pollutes the flesh; extinguishes the light of intelligence…. It opens hell and closes the gates of Heaven” (Chapter 16).
Saint Pius X: Homosexuality cries out to Heaven for vengeance
In his 1910 catechism, the great Pontiff Saint Pius X classified the “sin of impurity against nature” second only to voluntary homicide among the sins that “cry out to Heaven for vengeance.” He explained that this expression comes to us from the Holy Ghost Himself and means that homosexuality’s iniquity is “so grave and manifest that it provokes God to send the severest punishments” (967).
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: “Homosexual relations are a serious depravity.”
In accord with the millennial tradition of the Catholic Church, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has spoken out several times against the present homosexual onslaught, for “according to the objective moral order, homosexual relations are acts which lack an essential and indispensable finality. In Sacred Scripture they are condemned as a serious depravity and even presented as the sad consequence of rejecting God. This judgment of Scripture…attests to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and can in no case be approved” (Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics, 1975).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”
Homosexual relations are again clearly condemned in the Catechism of the Catholic Church promulgated by His Holiness John Paul II: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the Natural Law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved” (2357).
John Paul II: “The juridic approval of homosexual practice is morally inadmissible.”
On February 20, 1994, shortly after the European Parliament approved a resolution in favor of homosexual “marriage,” His Holiness John Paul II reaffirmed the illicitness of such unions. In his Angelus address he stated: “The juridic approval of homosexual practice is morally inadmissible. In effect, to show understanding for those who sin or for those incapable of freeing themselves from this tendency is not tantamount to the lessening of the demands of morality…. The Parliament has inappropriately given institutional merit to devious behavior that is not in conformity with God’s plan…. Forgetting the words of Christ ‘the truth shall set you free’ (John 8:32), it has tried to show our continent’s people a moral evil, a deviation, a form of slavery, as a way of liberation, falsifying the family’s very essence” (L’Osservatore Romano, February 22, 1994).
YES! Amend the Constitution!
In light of these documents as well as the opportune and courageous September 25 letter of Honolulu’s Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo asking Catholics to help educate voters on this serious issue, we conclude that to defend morality, Christian tradition, and the family, it is necessary to vote YES and amend Hawaii’s Constitution. True marriage, which conforms to the Natural Law instituted by God, must be upheld.
May Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States, protect our country from moral ruin and convert it into an example of respect for God’s Law.
Published in the Honolulu Advertiser on Novmber 1, 1998