The Rise and Fall of the National Organization for Marriage

Thomas Peters isn’t against anything (*expect for all those times that he is)

September 12, 2012, by Jeremy Hooper

Here's NOM's Cultural Director and head of its NextGen project, Thomas Peters, instructing a young audience on how to "own the high ground":

FULL VIDEO: The Next Generation For Marriage [Love and Fidelity]

Fight for the right to publicly debate? Who is denying that to you, Thomas? Speak. Freely. Often. Have at it, buddy. None of us are saying that you cannot or should not stand for what you believe.

What we are denying you, Thomas, is the right to confuse your ability to speak out against certain "life choices" (as you put it) with your seeming desire to be above scrutiny or reproach. That, my friend, is the problem with so much socially conservatism activism. All too often, those of us who engage on the equality side face off against people who think that pushback is the equivalent of silencing. Who think that fair discourse is the equivalent of an attack. Who think that our choice to stand our ground in a national debate that deeply concerns our lives and loves is the equivalent of "trolling." Who think that the high ground is the high ground simply because they say so. 

The truth is that you, Thomas Peters, have quite clearly and proudly said all kinds of things that are, undeniably, *against* the welfare and peace of mind of LGBT people. Here's just some of it:

  • Of the LGBT movement generally, Thomas claims: "The homosexual movement is not about equality, it is about reshaping the cultural landscape in a way that is totally at-odds with conventual morality and the truth claims of Christianity and traditional morality."
"She believes the Church (as it is) is wrong when it says that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. I don’t. Graham therefore attacks the saying “Love the sinner, hate the sin” because she doesn’t believe homosexual acts are sinful. In doing so, she misses the point that the saying has real value. But here’s why it does.

Let’s take for an example a male rapist. As a Christian, Graham should agree with me that we must love the man as a person (“Love the sinner”), but I’d be truly shocked to find out that Graham loves his sin of raping. I’d also be shocked if she says we should simply tolerate this man’s propensity to rape people. Therefore she does not “love” his sin. She, in fact, must hate it, because it is evil. Rape hurts the victim, and the rapist is also guilty of a grave sin. No one wins (even if the rapist thinks he loves raping).

So the principle “love the sinner, hate the sin” is a sound one. If something is truly sinful, we should hate it, because it hurts the person we love. We should hate the heroin addict’s use of heroin, we should hate the murder’s act of murder, etc. And yet, for all these individuals, we should still love them. We should attempt to help the heroin addict overcome his addiction. We should remove the murderer from society where he may murder again (or be killed by someone avenging his victim’s death), and punish him in justice for his taking of another innocent human life, to allow him a chance for reparation and expiation. In other words, we should love the sinner, and hate the sin.

Graham is correct that one cannot separate what people do from who they are, on one level. If I murder someone, that makes me a murderer. But my action to murder, we know as Christians, is not the last word in my life. There is forgiveness, even of murder, and certainly of homosexual acts. The tens of thousands of chaste people with homosexual inclinations is proof of this. We are all sinners who have sinned, but some of us have sought forgiveness. And those who have been forgiven of sins always realize that they have, in fact, sinned. Graham does not seek forgiveness for her sin, again, because she does not believe (or does not admit) it is sinful.

(**At the end , Thomas added: "It should go without saying that I am not comparing homosexual acts to murder or heroin addiction. I'm simply trying to use widely-accepted examples of sinful behavior to make my points clearly." But in fact, he TOTALLY *did* make the comparison!)
  • Thomas once bemoaned a Bishops' statement against marriage equality because "it doesn’t mention a single reason for the Church’s teaching that homosexual acts are wrong, that allowing homosexual partners to marry is imprudent, that homosexual persons are called to lives of chastity, etc."

  • Disconnects gay people from our attractions: "And so, as a Catholic, the church doesn't believe in gay and lesbian people, per se, in the way they do. "Born that way," all this kind of stuff. What they believe is there are people born with deep-seated same-sex attraction. So as a Catholic a term which I use is SSA, same-sex attraction, and if you look at, it's also with people who have moven [sic] out of the gay lifestyle into saying "I was a person and am a person with same-sex attraction."

Again, I'm more than happy to help you let the public know that you feel this way, Thomas. I will not, however, let you say you are simply working toward a "pro-something platform" when you are so clearly working towards more. Against more.