This is a question that I find myself pondering with some regularity, but for the last few years during the month of June – I cannot seem to escape it. The formerly oppressed minority in the interminably increasing alphabet soup of sexual and gender identities and now a host of social justice causes among the avant-garde have taken their quest for tolerance and inclusion into a much wider and more aggressive stage – acceptance and participation. To not do so is grounds for cancellation. After all, in their lexicon – silence is violence. As recently as yesterday, someone I consider a good man and a decent friend posted his pledge of support for pride month on a social media platform, then abruptly directed that anyone who does not agree with him should immediately un-friend him. I disagree with him, though silently, and have not yet done as he directed. So, again, why should I care?
It comes down to an answer that is grounded in a theological anthropology that is at least as old as the book of Genesis – that all men and women are created in the Image and Likeness of God. That foundational understanding of the nature of a human person is what lies at the crux of this whole discussion. From the Christian view, a human being is a composite creation, possessing a physical body and an immortal soul. The physical body is subject to decay and death, like any animal. But the soul, once created by God, since it lacks matter, cannot be destroyed in the same way. It, therefore, must endure. That begs another question, how does this endurance come about, practically speaking? The body dies, the soul lives on, but where? That answer is also found in Christian Scripture and Tradition. The soul lives either with God in heaven, or suffers eternal separation which is the essence of hell with Satan. One has two outcomes from a choice to believe God or not.
In the modern secular world view, mankind has become no different from a highly evolved hairless ape. In the context of a living and sentient animal who has only an animal nature and once that nature passes, that’s it, the idea of eternal consequences seems frivolous, at best. If one does not possess an immortal spirit, then the idea of that spirit suffering an eternity of separation from its creator does not hold any water. And I fear this is where a great majority of our well-intended friends find themselves. This leads to several other errors, among them being abortion, euthanasia, and the death penalty. Each of these impose a conditional acceptance of the killing of a human being. While an argument can be made for the liceity of the last, the former two are nearly impossible to justify – ever. At the risk of conflating these life issues with sexual mores, I only bring this up to discuss the wayward mindset our secular friends. Just a few days ago, I was labelled a “forced birth extremist” by one of these lost souls who tried to convince me that there were occasions in which killing a baby is good, for the sake of “bodily autonomy”, a hallmark of the alphabet pride movement. But, I fear I may digress too much… The point being, this physical existence, right here and now, is all they think we have. For them, there is no immortal spirit, and therefore, no eternal consequence – for anything.