April 2015

Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior is Changing Everything.  By Robert R. Reilly. Ignatius Press. 250 pages. $22.95.

Making Gay Okay documents the endless falsehoods, illusions, deceits, and verbal machinations that fuel the drive to prop up homosexuality as a legitimate, desirable lifestyle. Robert Reilly masterfully shows that such a relentless propaganda scheme does have, as his book’s subtitle suggests, the widespread and truly erosive effect of “changing everything.” He exposes the spurious claim that the promotion of homosexuality takes place in isolation from everything else, and that its growing prevalence will not affect standing institutions — most notably that of marriage — as nothing more than a crowning lie. Reilly observes that “the homosexual movement shares in the larger rationalization of the sexual revolution and is invested in its spread.” By its ubiquity, the homosexual movement is doing its part to renew and expand the legacy of moral demolition initially ushered in by the sexual revolution.

Reilly lays a solid foundation for his work by examining the philosophical roots of the present phenomenon. Aristotle’s perspective of nature is pertinent: In presenting the first product of Greek philosophy, he discussed the purpose and order of nature, the simple telos of plants and animals. These creatures, however, have no volition, whereas man does. In the end, for all life forms, what is “unnatural” is defined as being against the entity’s “goodness,” with goodness defined as “the fulfillment of its nature.” Pre-Christian Greek culture was pagan, but it hardly exalted or widely accepted homosexuality. Reilly points out that Socrates “loathed sodomy.” Ancient Greeks would never have seriously considered the prospect of homosexual “marriage”; they consistently saw marriage as a literal obligation of youth, so as to contribute to society through procreation. Later, the 18th-century French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau would invert Aristotle and deny any natural end, or telos, to man. We need not catalogue here the many ill effects of la Révolution.

Moral relativism abounds in the course of rationalizing homosexual behavior. The assignment of certain words and phrases to describe objects or phenomena becomes purely arbitrary. Reilly cites the simple wisdom of Confucius, who noted, “If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things.” Discussion or debate now comes down to a linguistic “might makes right” struggle. Reilly points out that ruthless wordsmithing “is what tyrants do.”

The goal of the relentless drive to legalize same-sex marriage is “to complete the rationalization of their misbehavior,” to effect “the sanctification of sodomy.” But a huge gulf emerges between marriage — making a vow of faithfulness to another — and the actual practice of men. Studies show chastity to be the overwhelming norm for heterosexual couples but the overwhelming exception for homosexual couples. Fidelity requires chastity, so how could sodomy (itself a violation of chastity) serve as a “source of fidelity” or a “foundation for monogamy”?

Reilly’s documentation of the 180-degree shift in the law’s perspective on homosexual behavior seems borrowed from imaginative science fiction. Sadly, it’s real. A chapter titled “Inventing Morality” details legal proceedings shown to be void of integrity, respect for nature and basic anthropological principles, and morality. He concludes this section with a quote from the second-century martyr St. Irenaeus, “Thinking against nature, you will become foolish. And if you persist you will fall into insanity.”

The book’s second part, “Marching through the Institutions,” reveals the wide swath homosexual activism has cut through institutions of science, parenthood, education, the military, and U.S. foreign policy — the sociological equivalent of General Sherman’s Civil War “March to the Sea,” where nothing was left standing and no mercy was shown. Reilly painstakingly describes the attack on the American Psychiatric Association (APA), which had formerly considered homosexuality to be a sickness and thus became a primary target. Homosexual activists used Nazi storm-trooper tactics against the APA, which they themselves admitted to borrowing from Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. And so the homosexual movement, which originally cried for tolerance, became wildly intolerant. They denounced former APA president Dr. Robert Spitzer for his support of reparative therapy to assist homosexuals who wished to leave the lifestyle. His detractors forced him to cease such advocacy and went so far as to elicit an apology from him. As for those for whom reparative therapy actually works, Reilly notes that they too have been “viciously attacked” by homosexual activists.

Destroying the institutions that were long known for their integrity in the moral formation of young men — namely, the Boy Scouts and the military — amounts to the movement’s coup de grâce, and this sad episode fittingly closes out the book. It is well to remember, however, that homosexuals are not completely to blame for the present moral chaos. Reilly concludes by observing, “Once sex was detached from diapers, the rest became more or less inevitable.”

- Fr. Joseph C. Klee





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