The Same Sex Marriage Debate and the Origins of Love

I have tried several times on this blog to explain and defend the Church’s teaching        concerning homosexual acts. I have failed. That is why I am going to yield the floor to those who have same sex inclinations and choose to live as faithful Catholics.

Last Friday we heard from Steve via the Little Catholic Bubble   .  Leila has another post up from a woman who turned away from the gay lifestyle because she heard the call of Christ. It is a wonderful and honest post. The entire post is worth your time, but it is her observations on what real love is that really spoke to me.


The root of this fight is not about sexuality or equality, it’s about love. Everyone wants to be loved, to feel love, to express love and to give love. The difference extends to the origin of that love. As human beings, we love on a physical plane, yet are called to something greater. It can be hard to grasp this if you don’t understand the difference and unity of love – eros, philia and agape.

Eros is the love between man and woman that is neither planned nor willed but somehow imposes itself upon human beings. Philia is the love of friendship, akin to the relationship of Christ and the disciples. Agape is divine, unconditional, self-sacrificing, active, volitional, and thoughtful love. It is the love of God, grounded in and shaped by faith. They all are the essence of God, as He is love. The problem is that man has taken these gifts and has chosen to maintain the separateness of them instead of unifying. “An intoxicated and undisciplined eros is not an ascent in ecstasy…but a fall, a degradation of man.”(ii) The love between a man and a woman has become worldly and broken, creating a disordered union between eros and philia, and a complete division from agape. That is homosexual love. It is still real. It is still love. But it is not love in its full, true being. It is a fascination for the great promise of happiness, but because it has lost its proper unity in the one reality and true nature of love, it is impoverished and loses its truth.

So here is where I ponder: How did we get to this point? How did the beauty of God’s most precious gift become reduced to a mere commodity of sex and pleasure? How did marriage become a debatable issue of rights, desires, and benefits? Why is the societal hot topic “gay marriage” when real marriage has been broken? “To love and to be loved was sweet to me, and all the more when I gained the enjoyment of the body of the person I loved. Thus I polluted the spring of friendship with the filth of concupiscence and I dimmed its luster with the slime of lust.”(iii) Thanks, St. Augustine… 1,600 years later, you took the words out of my mouth. Man, gay and straight, has fallen victim to disordered love. This is why the issue right now may appear to be a fight about sexuality, equality, and freedoms, when truly it’s about love. Until man unifies the fullness of love, there will always remain this struggle between those who know and those who don’t want to know; there will be no purification or healing.

So please, “Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”(iv) However, with this armor please never stop loving and praying for those against you in this battle.  Read the post here.

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
This entry was posted in Catholic Moral Teaching, Marriage and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Same Sex Marriage Debate and the Origins of Love

  1. That was a wonderful provocative post. Thanks. I shared the blog about a gay man living celibate with a friend who joyfully performs same sex marriage in Iowa. She appreciated my point of view, but she is a very open minded person.


  2. Thank you so much for your continually excellent blog posts. I love the links referencing to other works, particularly this and the Steve Gershom blog. I am happy to be a subscriber and look forward to everything else you will post in the future.


  3. Susan Kehoe says:

    Thank you–you are very kind.
    God Bless


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