The Hypocrisy of Barney Frank
Barney Frank suggests that Paul Ryan--and other unidentified "right wingers" who are supposed followers of Ayn Rand--are wed to a philosophy of individualism and are accordingly acting against the common good. That's the rub. That's the hypocritical pretense. Barney Frank's entire lifestyle is against the common good.
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - A few days ago, the inimitable Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the retiring Democratic congressman who recently married his longtime male partner James Ready in a homosexual "marriage," appeared on Al Sharpton's MSNBC show. Referring in particular to the Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan's alleged "tie" to the objectivist philosophy of philosopher Ayn Rand, Frank gave this audacious opinion: "These are right wingers who have this philosophy, going back to Ayn Rand, that says we should not come together to do things for the common good."
Now, I'm not here to discuss what may or may not be Paul Ryan's troublesome ties to Ayn Rand, a brief treatment of which you may find here, or his devotion to the common good. What I am here to expose is the rank hypocrisy of Barney Frank which exists regardless of Paul Ryan's particular views.
Hypocrisy is the practice of claiming to have moral standards or moral beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform. This position is exactly where Barney Frank finds himself.
Barney Frank suggests that Paul Ryan--and other unidentified "right wingers" who are allegedly "followers" of Ayn Rand--are wed to a philosophy of individualism and are accordingly acting against the common good.
That's the rub.
That's the hypocritical pretense.
Barney Frank rails against the "right wing" followers of Ayn Rand for acting against the common good as if Barney Frank has adopted a philosophy of life that is not individualistic and instead furthers the common good.
Here is Barney Frank--a man who espouses same-sex "marriage," has advocated its adoption in the Democratic platform, would force this institution on all of us by the force of law willy-nilly, and is the first Congressman ever to be "wed" in such a same-sex "marriage."--talking about his devotion to the common good?
Frank's devotion to the common good is really a farce, a pretense, a lie. The common good is never advanced by laws promoting or legitimizing same-sex marriage. The common good is never advanced by homosexual genital activity. His life, and the vice he engages with relish and would like to institutionalize as sacred, is a symbol of a person acting against the common good.
As the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated in its document Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons issued in 2003, "Laws in favor of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason because they confer legal guarantees, analogous to those granted to marriage, to unions of persons of the same sex."
That means that homosexual unions are unreasonable and arbitrary, and--regardless of religious belief or even the lack of belief--against the universally-binding natural moral law. It is not a matter of choice; it is a matter of reality, of what is. Granting any legitimacy to such unions is ipso facto against the common good because such unions are against the good of any human civil society.
The reason why equating marriage with "homosexual unions" (however the latter are denominated, i.e., civil unions, gay "marriage," same-sex "marriage") is against the common good is that such laws represent a failure of the State's duty "to promote and defend marriage"--a stable and permanent union between a man and a woman--"as an institution essential to the common good."
Homosexuality is an unfortunate disordered tendency, but is not itself a sin or against the common good. And I do not rail against Barney Frank for his tendencies which evidently plague him and which he may or may not be in control of. A homosexual person may very well have the common good in mind and at heart and may live honorable and productive, even a holy life.
Yet homosexual genital activity of any kind is itself intrinsically wrong and against the common good (just like prostitution, pre-marital sex, adultery, or incest all of which are genital activities against the common good). And the problem of granting any legitimacy to such homosexual unions institutionalizes or socializes such sexual activity, attempting forcefully--and against all reality--to define it as part of the common good.
To raise such unions and the genital activity they imply to the equivalency of marriage between a man and a woman is a travesty of marriage, and indeed, deeply anti-marriage. Allowing such unions--even more so giving them legal recognition--"would result in changes to the entire organization of society, contrary to the common good."
To place homosexual unions on par with a marriage between a man and a woman will have the ineluctable result that the "the concept of marriage would undergo a radical transformation," and this results in a "grave detriment to the common good."
For this reason: "By putting homosexual unions on a legal plane analogous to that of marriage and the family, the State acts arbitrarily and in contradiction with its duties."
The homosexual union should not receive legal recognition, as it contradicts the common good and is in fact intrinsically unjust. "Because married couples ensure the succession of generations and are therefore eminently within the public interest, civil law" should grant them, and them alone, "institutional recognition."
"Homosexual unions, on the other hand, do not need specific attention from the legal standpoint since they do not exercise this function for the common good."
While homosexuals--as persons--should enjoy rights as persons and citizens and so have a right--along with all other citizens--to protect their authentic rights and their personal goods in matters of common interest with society as a whole, it is "gravely unjust to sacrifice the common good and just laws on the family in order to protect personal goods that can and must be guaranteed in ways that do not harm the body of society."
However, to support laws legitimizing homosexual unions, to vote for such laws, to enjoy the protection of such laws, to relish in such laws--and this is Barney Frank par excellence--is by definition "harmful to the common good," and is therefore, in each and every instance, "gravely immoral."
The voice of reason and the voice of the Church whose teachings on human sexuality are based upon the natural moral law, were, in a more sane day, stated in some humorous doggerel penned by Hillaire Belloc.
The world is full of double beds
And most delightful maidenheads,
Which being so, there's no excuse
For sodomy of self-abuse.
The doggerel aside, let us assume for the sake of argument that Ryan is a kettle, a devotee of Ayn Rand and an enemy of the common good. (A position, by the way, of which I am highly uncertain.) Barney Frank is without question a pot, a devotee of homosexual unions who advances them with unmatched zeal. Barney Frank railing against Ryan is a perfect instantiation of the American idiom, "the pot calling the kettle black."
And here, let us invoke some more doggerel, though alas not that of Belloc:
Oho!" said the pot to the kettle;
"You are dirty and ugly and black!
Sure no one would think you were metal,
Except when you're given a crack."
"Not so! not so!" kettle said to the pot;
"'Tis your own dirty image you see;
For I am so clean - without blemish or blot -
That your blackness is mirrored in me."
Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is married with three children. He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum. You can contact Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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