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June 18, 2004

Rejecting Emotional Blackmail Through Love and Belief

Although they state overconfidently the genetic predetermination of homosexuality, Rabbi Marc Gellman and Msgr. Thomas Hartman offer some firm and fair guidance for those whose religions hold the choices of family members to be sinful:

First of all, we must have courage to say what we think is right.

Your granddaughter had courage, just like Tom's brother, in confronting a pious Catholic family with a life choice that violates the clear and unambiguous teachings of the church. But her announcement is not the only act of courage called for in this ongoing discussion. Your courage is also needed to tell her, with equal love, that you cannot accept the choices she has made.

The second virtue we must all have if this deep spiritual and moral thinking about gay marriage is not to descend into bitter vituperation is humility. You must find a way to say no to your granddaughter's decision to have a commitment ceremony without saying no to your love for her.

The old cliché of disapproval's precipitation of disownment would, in many ways represent an easier model to follow, just as inherently affirming passivity would be in the other direction. We oughtn't forget that people can change, though, and inasmuch as it is possible, we want change toward truth to be an appealing one.

Posted by Justin Katz at June 18, 2004 11:40 AM
Marriage & Family