In the battle to normalize homosexuality there must be some collateral damage. Lies are like parasites to the truth—always doing harm and ultimately killing their host. The truth that homosexuality preys upon is not just erotic love, but the love of friendship. The push for gay marriage may have done great harm to the love between a man and a woman in marriage, but ultimately it will not be the only casualty. In the end it will have also destroyed the ability for two men or two women to develop healthy friendships.
One might quickly dismiss all of this as homophobic hate speech. But I assure you homophobia is alive and well in the hearts of many young people today—just not in the sense we usually use the term. They may not have a problem of someone else being gay, but the fear of being gay themselves, or at the very least appearing to be gay, lurks in their hearts. How could it not be, given what they have learned?
Love is Love and the Harm it Does
“Love is love” they are told. Hard to believe that a tautology could do so much damage. Given that it has become a battle cry for a gay agenda, it doesn’t take much logic to conclude that love is about sex. It is only love when it is expressed sexually. What is not expressed sexually is not love.
Now enter into the heart of a young person. They search and realize that they too indeed are drawn to certain members of the same sex. They find themselves attracted to them and may even want to show affection towards that other person. They may go so far as to realize that they enjoy that particular person’s company over another person’s or even look forward to seeing them. All of this is natural. Ages upon ages, men have loved other men and women have loved other women with a love of friendship.
Now, dear reader, when you read my description above, where did your thoughts go? Were you thinking “wait, is he saying it is natural to wrestle with feelings of homosexuality”? Or did you immediately think “he is merely describing friendship”? The answer can reveal to us how much the culture has infected us and how deeply we need to see friendship in its proper light.
Notice that I called it natural and not normal. In substituting normal for natural we have created a culture that embraces its brokenness. Natural, or that which fulfills us as persons, is always good. “Normal” is what everyone else is doing and usually has a nicer ring to it than rationalizing. Normal is how we can keep up with Mr. and Mr. Jones.
Returning back to the inner workings of our young man or young woman. They now begin to apply what they have learned to their feelings. They are left with two alternatives. They can think that what they are feeling may be some homosexual tendency and maybe experiment. Or, and this is more likely, they will feel a sort of revulsion towards that other person because they equate the love they are feeling as something sexual. Ickiness will win out and that other person will remain at arm’s length. The chance for an authentically fulfilling friendship will pass them by.
Here is what they won’t do. They likely won’t seek help to work through this from their parents, teachers, coaches or mentors. They have been told that homophobia is the unforgivable sin and would never want to appear to say there is anything wrong with it. They may look to the same people as models and find that they too do not have anything akin to true friendship. The sages don’t know what true friendship is and are too busy for something so useless anyway. As a father, a High School Baseball Coach, and a mentor to College Students, I see this as a theme across the board. It affects kids who have been homeschooled just as much as Catholic school kids and public school kids. They have no idea what friendship is or why it matters they have them.
An Alternative Explanation
We may quickly blame technology for the dearth of friendships in the young, but what if that is the effect rather than the cause? What if our entire society has been so damaged in its ability to form meaningful friendships that technology actually offers us an escape from the emotional turmoil brought about by the feelings of friendship?
Obviously, modeling proper friendship is important to redeeming friendship, but it has been lost mostly on an ideological front. We need to be prepared to challenge the notion that “love is love.”
Love is love, but not all loves are equal. Some loves are higher than others and their differences are not in degree, but in kind. Classically the Greek classified them into three categories—affection (which they called storge), friendship (philia), and love between the sexes (eros). As Christians, we would add a fourth, namely the love of God (agape).
I have written other places about these four loves and their differences. In this essay I would prefer to focus on another important aspect, namely the belief that true love is always expressed sexually.
Love is love but each of the loves has its own proper expression. Affection, especially as between family members is expressed through hugs, kisses, tickling and the like. The love of friendship is expressed with hugs, handshakes, high fives and the like. Eros usually includes those expressions of affection, but also those expressions that we would call intimate and sexual.
What is important in this is that we help to identify that each of these loves has a proper form of expression. We intuitively know this and it is why we make incestuous relationships illegal, give actresses a hard time for kissing their children on the lips, and make movies about the destruction of friendship when two people become “friends with benefits.”
Dr. Joseph Nicolosi has done a great deal of research into some of the causes of homosexuality. While he has found that there are a number of causes, a common one, especially in men, is the proper expression of love by the father. He found that a number of the fathers themselves had terrible relationships with their own fathers and did not have significant male friendships. They would fail to show their sons what one man loving another man actually looked like. The spirit of the world, when those children went out into the world, was only too happy to give them an acceptable model. This is probably why there has been so much backlash against reparative therapy and why we must be prepared to fight this ideological battle.