Scientific Study Confirms Basis of Catholic Moral Teaching
True and objective science can never contradict moral theology since both study aspects of the same object, creation. There can be only one truth and one reality and so any discoveries about that reality, regardless of whether made through moral theology or science, will ultimately reach the same conclusions. The only time science and theology appear to diverge is when someone doing one of them is doing it poorly by ignoring its own methods.
The Church has always taught that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil and that engagement in them is a willed human choice that therefore has moral implications. Certainly, some people by virtue of their circumstances and the influences to which they have been exposed will be more or less tempted to different immoral behavior. Thus, some people may suffer more from the temptation to these particular acts then other people, just as some people may be more tempted to lie than others. Yet, at the end of the day, homosexual behavior is not part of what a person is (essence) but a chosen action of a person. There is no such thing as a homosexual person; there are only people performing homosexual acts.
The LGBTQ political lobby has been attempting to contradict Catholic theology for years by claiming that homosexuality is something with which one is born. They have alleged the existence of a so-called “gay gene” that makes someone engage in these acts. Their argument is simple: If homosexuality is a part of what someone is by virtue of genes, then the acts cannot be unnatural.
A massive genetic study was recently released that failed to prove any correlation between genetics and homosexual activity. Unlike prior studies that were based on a few dozen people, this study, according to Science, the journal that published the results, comprised “almost half a million individuals in the United Kingdom and United States.” The study could not prove any statistically significant correlation between a gene or group of genes and homosexual activity. According to an article in Scientific American about the study, the research “found that although genetics are certainly involved in who people choose to have sex with, there are no specific genetic predictors.” According to Science, the common genes found among those in the study that have engaged in this behavior only “explain less than 1%,” which is so minuscule that it cannot explain any relationship between the common genetic trait and the behavior.
Some scientists have the honesty and objectivity to admit when the data disproves a hypothesis. Eric Vilain, a geneticist at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., told Scientific American in an interview about the study, “It’s the end of the ‘gay gene.’” Others who want to fit science to their political agenda, rather than objectively seeking the truth, try to deny the obvious conclusions of their own study. One of the co-authors of the study, Fah Sathirapongsasuti, a computational biologist at genetic testing company 23andMe in Mountain View, California, said, “The message should remain the same that this is a complex behavior that genetics definitely plays a part in.” Unbelievable! Even though the study disproves the message, the message should remain the same! This so-called scientist authors a study that disproves a hypothesis, yet he clings to it notwithstanding the evidence because the facts cannot be allowed to disprove the “message.”
To Catholics, it is no surprise that the study could not find a genetic cause for homosexual activity. Human actions are by definition freely chosen. We have been endowed by God with free will. If our choices were genetically pre-programmed, that would be inconsistent with the reality of free will. Thus, homosexual acts are the products of free will and thus have moral consequences. Certainly our upbringing, our environment, and our habits influence the exercise of our free will; but none of us is genetically forced to perform immoral acts.