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We must love in truth

| Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Those who struggle with same-sex attraction bear a cross I have not struggled with personally. I have only a secondary understanding of how difficult it can be to remain chaste in mind and body when one’s sexuality is diverted toward the same sex. However, I certainly understand struggles with chastity. Most of us strain at some point to discipline the desires, passions and heartfelt longings for union with another. Some of us (dare I say most of us guys) must address the realities of these desires every day.

Sex and sexuality are a large part of the constant chatter at this school, much like the murmur of the crowd at a ball game. This is not bad. While only one aspect of who we are, it is important to have a healthy sexuality, and we’re all at an integral time of formation into adulthood. Ultimately, though, the demands of certain homosexual activists who call on Notre Dame to officially endorse groups or activities with precepts patently contrary to Catholic teaching are doing a disservice to this University community. Why should Notre Dame endorse a message that will lead to confusion, lifeless and disordered unions and emptiness? This school cannot – must not, for the sake of her Mission – bow to the demands of those who wish to hollow out or undermine the hopeful, challenging, life-giving Catholic spirit that animates her.

This University needs to be a bold witness to the truths of humanity. Often we already do such a good job of rallying for the poor, oppressed, unborn and needy. It would be a serious mistake – a great sin toward our brothers and sisters, I believe – to abandon those with homosexual tendencies to the barren waste of the secular homosexual world.

Of course we need to be loving, respectful and welcoming. And “mere tolerance” is not the message of Christ, who loved everyone to measures beyond comprehension. However, his message is not one of mindlessly accepting brokenness. While loving sinners (which includes ALL of us), and always providing the greatest hope for conversion of heart and actions, He condemned sin, abhorred sin and then died and rose again that it might not triumph over us.

Homosexuality should not be celebrated, and this week’s events aimed at that purpose are seriously misguided. Neither should those struggling with homosexuality be abandoned to indulgent or patronizing groups that encourage devotion to a sexuality-based creed. We as a University family must be committed to living virtuous and disciplined lives of loving each other and seeing the good in our brothers and sisters. Let’s win this culture war with love.

I do hope, however, that we have an ally in Our Lady’s University, which has a choice in either promoting or rejecting the Church’s beautiful truths of human sexuality.

Dan Hess

Notre Dame Law School

Nov. 16