Thursday, December 1, 2011

Propaganda and Lies: The Accusation that We View Homosexuality Like Pedophilia

Introduction to the Category

There is a war against the Christian faith in general, and against the Catholic Church in particular.  In the eyes of those who consider us enemies, we are a foe who must be opposed and isolated, if not eliminated.  These foes employ differing methods of attack and different tools, sometimes spiritual, sometimes physical.  One tool constantly employed in the West against us is the tool of propaganda.

The propaganda used is to make us seem hateful people seeking to harm who will not accept our views.  We are accused of trying to force our views on others.  Many labels are applied to us: Racist, sexist, homophobic, small minded, bigoted etc.  We are also called the antichrist, anti-Bible, Works alone, worshippers of Mary and other labels.

However we reject these labels as false and having nothing to do with our beliefs.  Those who hate us tend to refuse to ask whether the charges are true, and merely repeat them as a mantra that seems irrational to question.

It reminds me of a biography (Soldat) of a German officer (Siegfried Knappe) who was a Russian prisoner after WWII.  He describes some of the attempts of the Russians to instill a sense of anti-Americanism in the prisoners.  So they were constantly bombarded with slogans that "Americans were for war, Russia was for peace."  Knappe reports that even there was no evidence for it, a person questioning it was often viewed as irrational by other prisoners.

This is often the case today.  People are told we are people filled with hatred and error to the extent that people will think we are lying when we try to explain that this propaganda is false and try to explain what we truly do believe.

Articles in the Propaganda and Lies category are intended to deal with gross misrepresentations of what we believe done with the intent of discrediting us when we teach the truth of Christ.


Homosexuality is a controversial topic in the West.  This is why I feel obligated to deal with it, though I would rather deal with other subjects.  In the West today, it is seen as a sexual preference just as valid as heterosexuality, and those who dare question that assumption are viewed as irrational or as suffering from "homophobia."

Christian values, once respected, are now treated as evidence of bigotry.  There are angry people out there who accuse us of being responsible for those thugs out there who attack homosexuals because of what they are.  They consider our message inflammatory and inciting acts of violence.  If we did not claim homosexuality is wrong, the argument goes, people would not perform acts of violence against them.  It doesn't matter that the Church commands that persons with homosexual tendencies must still be treated as persons.  Because some thugs do violence, we must be to blame.

Such people fail to distinguish between different groups of course.  The Westboro Baptist Church and the Catholic Church are thought to share the same hatred for persons with homosexual inclinations.  It is a lie of course, but the charge remains unquestioned.  What we as Catholics believe is often grossly misrepresented to make us seem hate-filled.

The Propaganda: Accusing us of Believing Homosexuality is the Same as Pedophilia

One common inflammatory bit of propaganda is the accusation that we see homosexuality as no different than pedophilia or bestiality.  Because we cannot distinguish between these things, it is obvious we must be blinded by hatred.

This is a gross distortion of the truth when it comes to this issue, though I don't doubt that some Christians through either a poor choice of words or a lack of proper understanding of the Christian faith do express it this way.

Defining Reductio ad absurdum

Actually, the truth behind the propaganda is that this is a reductio ad absurdum (reduction to absurdity) and not an allegation.

Now a reductio ad absurdum is a logical tool which exposes the flaws in an argument.  It works this way.  It takes Position [A] which is put forward as a justification for behavior.  The person challenging [A] brings up the point that if [A] is true, then situation [B] must also be true.  But since [B] is either absurd or offensive, we can't accept [A] as a valid position.

A Look at the Real Argument

Now in this case, what we have is an argument that homosexual inclinations exist, and it is unjust to expect people not to act on them.  It is considered a sexual inclination no different than heterosexual inclinations.  This will be our Position [A].

This is where the reductio ad absurdum comes into play.  A person looking at this argument can validly point out, "Ah, but pedophilia, zoophilia and necrophilia are also sexual inclinations.  If we accept that because homosexuality is an inclination and it is unjust to prevent people from expressing that inclination, we can also apply the same argument to pedophilia, zoophilia and necrophilia."

Note this does not say that homosexuality is no different than pedophilia, zoophilia and necrophilia.  It merely shows that the "inclination" argument justifies far more than just homosexuality.  Since there are natural and unnatural inclinations, the person who wants to justify the homosexual inclination as natural needs to demonstrate why the homosexual inclination is natural.

In other words, they need to prove the inclination is natural and morally acceptable, and not merely assume it is.

Defining Red Herring

The Red Herring fallacy introduces a new tangent unrelated to the original issue under dispute.  It is done to derail the original argument and lead those arguing to a different topic.  We need to be aware of the common Red Herring which will be often used when we explain the above reductio ad absurdum.

The Red Herring of the "Consenting Adults" Defense

At this time, some will argue that since homosexuality involves consenting couples while pedophilia, zoophilia and necrophilia do not.  Therefore the comparison is wrong.

This is a Red Herring fallacy.  The issue being discussed is not consent, but whether or not the inclination is natural.  Pedophiles, necrophiles and zoophiles can never act on their inclinations except in their fantasies – but most people would recognize that the existence of those tendencies are unnatural whether they are acted on or not.

Actually, the "consenting adults" argument merely deals with the issue of whether an act is a crime, not whether it is a morally acceptable act.  Adultery between consenting adults may not be illegal, but most people would consider it morally wrong.

So to claim that homosexuality involves consenting adults while pedophilia, zoophilia and necrophilia merely says such an act is not a criminal act and says nothing about whether it is a moral act.


It should be clear at this point that the reductio ad absurdum used to refute a defense of homosexuality is not an act of homophobia seeking to equate homosexuality with pedophilia, zoophilia and necrophilia.  Rather it points out the defense is flawed and justifies a lot more than the person defending homosexuality would want, therefore the defense must be abandoned as failing to justify homosexuality.

The person of good will should recognize that even if they disagree with the Catholic Church over the issue of homosexuality, it should be clear that the attack on us that we are homophobic and think there is no difference between homosexuality and pedophilia is a gross distortion used as propaganda to demonize us.

To continue to repeat the "Christians believe homosexuality = pedophilia" propaganda is to speak falsely about us.

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