In this day and age, the defending of Catholic teachings is seen as reprehensible and unforgivable to an ever-growing number of people. It should come as no surprise, then, that people have coined a word for a person who upholds Church teaching on marriage. This word is, of course, homophobe.

The Church’s teaching on marriage is that it is between one man and one woman.

It is made clear through the Bible passage: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind because it is an abomination (Leviticus 18:22).” And since marriage is between two people and God, it stands to reason that God will not preside over a ceremony that leads to an abomination.

Now, there are people out there who see that we disagree with their lifestyles and want to make sure that we change our minds. This is where the term homophobia comes in. It is a term that is used by ideologues to guilt people out of their own opinion. This is a brilliant use of language and has the possibility of shutting down arguments before they even happen.

The term may have come from some misunderstandings, such as when someone sees the look on a heterosexual’s face when he or she sees two guys kissing. However, a healthy mind will always respond negatively to perversion. Similarities could be drawn between active homosexuality and active necrophilia or pedophilia. Those who are not drawn to the perversion are repulsed by it. And that is perfectly natural. Sodomy is one of the four sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance. Disgust is natural.

But the reaction is just that: disgust. A phobia is an “extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.” And this shows the brilliance of the term once again because, whereas Islamophobia is actually not irrational, given the disparity between Muslim and Christian terrorists, homophobia, at first glance, seems as though it must fit the definition. It is as though people are calling others cowards when they are afraid of harmless homosexuals.

The term and those who use it also suggest that a person fears those who he does not know. That fear turns to anger and hatred. That is the argument. However, this is not the truth.

I am unaware of any Catholics who try to convert people out of hatred or anger. Those people seem to be a figment in the imagination of those who disagree with the Catholic Church. People try to convert others for two possible reasons: either to justify their actions or to save the souls of those who are being converted.

People engaging in immoral conduct try to defend themselves by encouraging others to join them. Consider the stereotypical kid who tries to convince other kids to smoke, have premarital sex, or make another such poor decision. If his arguments are rejected, he feels as if the others have spat in his face. It is an insult. It amounts to saying that his actions are morally reprehensible.

The second possible reason can be seen in the evangelist, the person who preaches the Truth of the gospel. This person converts to save others from eternal damnation. This person likely has a deep love of the Church, of faith, and of the people this person meets.

And yet people will call this person a “homophobe.” This person loves people enough to tell them how to walk the path of the just. For, as it is written:

“Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it (Luke 13:22-30)!”

The Bible says that few find the gate that leads to life. Then it is the Church’s sacred mission to find those in need of teaching and to teach them what is necessary to walk the path that is narrow and difficult to find.