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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Vulture Culture

What do gay marriage, abortion and reality TV shows have in common? In famously Protestant America, each of these culturally reflect and enshrine the Protestant version of the Ten Commandments, the commandments Judge Moore and company fight about. This may seem a remarkable statement, but it is true.

Take gay marriage, for instance. One-third of teens who choose to be actively gay will be dead from disease by the age of thirty. Disease will kill half of them before their fiftieth birthday. The lifestyle of active homosexuals is deadly. Though they have access to the most advanced medical technology in history, gays today have a life expectancy virtually identical to someone living in the late 1800’s – when we had no antibiotics and few survivable surgical procedures.

Because of this, many civic planners, influenced by Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class, are cultivating a gay subculture in their cities. Neither city officials nor Mr. Florida mention the real reason: active homosexuals pursue personal pleasure above all else, which means they spend lots of money on themselves. They have, after all, no one else to spend it on and no particular reason to save it. Their lifestyle pumps millions into the local economy, their lingering deaths from disease pump in millions more from the insurance companies. For those few gays who chose to adopt or IVF a child before they die, the orphans become wards of the state, and bring in still more federal dollars. For city officials, it’s a sweet setup – the city isn’t exactly written into the will, but by encouraging debauchery the city coffers profit enormously. Homosexuals are a revenue source, a set of substantial bank accounts to tap. Throughout the country, the death tax is notoriously high. Both city and state profit from encouraging a high population of wealthy people who die rapidly.

So, our city planners now echo the abortionists, the only doctors who don’t accept charge cards or checks. “It’s their right to live as they wish,” say proponents as they ring up the sales, “and who are we to interfere with a right? Cash only, please, and step to the left as you die so as not to upset the others in line.” Abortionists don’t tell women what the March 2004 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reports: women who abort are three times more likely to be dead within a year of their abortion than they would be if they gave birth. Likewise, city officials don’t mention what everyone knows: the city’s homosexual neighborhood always has real estate agents hustling empty housing units. Everyone just wears black armbands when a particularly wealthy homosexual kicks the bucket. Loving funeral notices are written, and the number of funeral homes increase. Everybody wins but the corpse.

In a society uncontaminated by Christ, people are tools, and we reward those who recognize this. Is it any wonder that the first reality television show, Survivor, was won by a homosexual? This is not to say that heterosexuals cannot coldly and callously use people as instruments – we do it every time we sin – but using people like objects is part of the fabric of homosexual society to a unique degree. According to a 2003 issue of the journal AIDS (vol. 17), “monogamous” homosexuals typically have between six and ten anonymous sexual affairs a year outside of their “monogamous” relationship. No heterosexual would think to define monogamy that way. The homosexual life is about use – who uses whom, and what do I get out of it? Likewise, reality television shows are all about how I can use other people in order to get what I want. Thus, it is fitting and right that the homosexual Richard Hatch win the first reality gameshow, Survivor.

In an interview after having been voted off a later All-Star Survivor game, Richard Hatch was asked who the smartest member left in the game was. His reply, “I've been voted off, so... who cares?” In a vulture culture, we talk about me or we don’t talk.

And this is ultimately why gay marriage is a contradiction in terms. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out “Matrimony [is] directed towards the service of others; if [it] contributes as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that [it does] so” (#1534). Marriage is a sacrament of service because it makes me the primary servant to my spouse. Through marriage, I voluntarily bind myself to the service of my spouse before all others.

The Catholic understanding of marriage is radically at odds with American culture. The vulture culture asks, “Is my spouse doing a good job of serving me? Is my spouse helping me achieve my goals?” Orthodox Catholics ask, “Am I doing my job of loving service? Am I giving myself entirely to my spouse so that she has all she needs to become more perfect?”

How many heterosexuals get divorced because they know they aren’t serving their spouse well enough? In that sense, the homosexuals are right: homosexual marriage cannot threaten heterosexual marriage because heterosexual marriage in the Catholic sense is a concept that really doesn’t exist in America. It never has. The great irony in the gay marriage/Ten Commandments fight lies precisely in the fact that non-Catholic Christians have no idea their position is self-contradictory. They haven’t thought it through.

Catholics separate the sins of coveting your neighbor’s wife and coveting your neighbor’s house. Coveting a person, that is, treating a person like an object, is a sin against the ninth commandment and entirely different from coveting someone else’s goods, the sin against the tenth commandment. Contrast this to non-Catholic Christian theology where a person is treated as an object – the two different kinds of coveting are not distinguished. They both offend a single commandment, the tenth.

Likewise, when considering God, non-Catholic Christians concentrate on the means more than the end. They concentrate on separating the mis-use of words (taking God’s name in vain violates their second commandment) from the mis-use of things (using idols violates their third commandment). Catholics know all of these are offenses against the infinite majesty of God’s Persons, and condemn all such offenses in a single commandment, the second. Protestant theology doesn’t really understand the difference between an object and a person. Catholic theology does. And that is why homosexual marriage is simply the next logical step on the road that redefines social justice.

Homosexual marriage will not only change our understanding of monogamy, as we have already seen, it will also change our understanding of social justice, but not in the way you might think. Consider: lesbians are three times more likely to be alcoholic than non-lesbians (nearly half reported frequent drunkenness), and most pointed to money problems, not social acceptance, as the cause. Gays make up 80% of the both the AIDS and the syphilis cases in the US, their rate of syphilis is ten times that of the heterosexual population, and hepatitis-B transmits nearly nine times more efficiently than AIDS among homosexuals. 55% of homosexual men with ano-rectal complaints have gonorrhea, one-third have herpes simplex, 15% have chlamydia. Gays contract gonorrhea of the throat at a rate four times higher than heterosexuals. 91% of homosexual men have intestinal protozoa: the majority of shigella and amoeba infections among non-travelled immunocompetent patients are homosexuals. Indeed, one New York study found that every single such patient with giardiasis was homosexual. E. histolytica infection is a staggering twenty-seven times more prevelant in homosexuals. Not surprisingly, the most powerful predictor for both giardiasis and E. histolytica infection is homosexual behaviour. Rates of anal cancer are 2500 times higher in homosexuals. The list could go on, but you get the point.

Unsurprisingly, “monogamous” gays are as diseased as promiscuous gays: The American Journal of Public Health published a 1990 study that found, "Being in a monogamous gay relationship was associated with higher risk sex throughout the entire study." The AIDS article referred to above agreed: “monogamous” homosexuals were more likely to be infected, not less so.

So, this is the love homosexuals have for one another: my partner must give me pleasure until s/he dies from it. The principle is already enshrined in heterosexual law via legal contraception and legal abortion. Homosexuals want the same rights heterosexuals have to use their partner like Kleenex. Who can deny them?

Historically, society has regulated harmful activities, such as alcohol use, tobacco use and drug use. Prostitution, contraception, abortion and homosexual activity also used to be heavily regulated. After all, these activities tend to kill you and the rest of us have to pay your medical bills and take care of your widows and orphans. But the pursuit of sexual pleasure appears to hold a special place in the hearts of Americans. Apparently, we want to keep people from using alcohol, tobacco and drugs, but we want to encourage people to use people. Homosexuality, contraception, abortion, gay marriage, embryo screening, reality television shows: these are all social justice issues.

Social justice now means I have a right to use you. Use you until you die.

Can this be attitude be beaten? Yes. John Paul II has given us the answer. Learn to speak the Theology of the Body . It is the only coherent way to explain to our separated brethren and our pagan friends that people are not objects. Properly used, it speaks the language of every person’s heart, expressing what we each know. I am a person, I am important, and I am not to be used like an object for someone else’s pleasure or gain.

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