Reilly, Robert R. Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything
For people who believe in traditional marriage, the demand for so-called “gay marriage” has come as a shock: How did this happen? What in the world would our grandparents say? Though it’s a profoundly important issue, when proponents of homosexual behavior challenge the conventional belief, people are often at a loss to argue what has always seemed glaringly apparent. Emotions on both sides remain high. The accusations of unfairness and homophobia are too frequently countered by Biblical quotations or threats of damnation. And as the American citizenry is increasingly populated by “Nones” in their religious affiliation, calling upon a faith tradition is no longer an effective argument against the homosexual agenda.
Enter Robert Reilly, whose analysis deliberately steers clear of religion, but rather anchors solely on reason. His thesis, played out effectively in a thoughtful, measured, and thoroughly researched discussion, is that there are two views of reality:
Things have “inbuilt purposes” (i.e., there is such a thing as objective truth).
Things have no essential purpose.
The logical implications of those views affect the meaning not just of sexuality, but also of our entire lives. If I believe things have purpose, then my task is to deal with things according to their nature; not to do so is “unnatural.” If I believe nothing has an implicit purpose, then I’m free to create my own reality: my will creates my world. Reilly holds that things do have a purpose, and refusing to accept that purpose is the root of the conflict.
Reilly posits a disclaimer: he’s not attacking gays. Making Gay Okay “is not about them. It is about those who insist not only on defining themselves in this way, but on defining the rest of us as well.” Although he recognizes that the previously clear distinction between the action and the person performing the act has diminished considerably, he insists that that distinction is imperative. Even if a person is genetically inclined toward homosexualityâ€”or alcoholismâ€”that does not eliminate his free will. Our reason can lead us to understand if an act is morally right or wrong.
The first part of his book discusses how and why the rationalization of homosexuality developed. Although the movement has struck many as a surprising innovation, Reilly makes it clear that the acceptance of contraception has logically led to acceptance of homosexuality: if we decide that the sexual act has no inherent purpose other than our pleasure, then we neatly separate sex from procreation, allowing any kind of sexual encounter to be OK. Reilly reaches into the classical past of Aristotle and Rousseau, but he makes his ideas concrete with very practical examples that would enhance any discussion. Next, he tackles the why of rationalization. When we feel uneasy about an act that we perform, our conscience responds. In order to silence that conscience, it’s necessary that our behavior not simply be tolerated: it must be embraced, normalized, and legalized. And, as we’ve seen in the aftermath of Roe v. Wade, what is legal is subsequently determined as moral. One way to achieve this acceptance is to hijack the language, particularly in the use of the word right. As the proponents of homosexuality characterize their struggle as a civil rights issue, those who disagree are not only ignoble but also un-American.
The second part of the book details how the rationalization of homosexuality has crept into and taken over our societal institutions: the judiciary, education, the military, psychotherapy, science, foreign policy, and even the Boy Scouts. Reilly traces the development with specific legal cases and events which, when put together, will make you see an overall pattern you had never considered and yet which makes perfect sense.
The normalization of homosexuality involves ignoring the clear science. A very powerful appendix to the book offers compelling statistics regarding disease and mortality in active homosexuals. It’s important to note that these stats are taken in part from the US. Department of Human Services and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. For example, what the media will never tell you is that 95% of HIV diagnoses in 2011 stemmed from gay sex, that lesbians have an enormously high risk of breast cancer.
Regardless of where you standâ€”or even if you’re on the fenceâ€”you’ll find Making Gay Okay a compelling read. Robert Reilly’s logic, intelligence, and facts weave a discussion that makes reason readable.