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The Archbishop of Guam's anti-gay letter, in text form. - Elf M. Sternberg
The Archbishop of Guam's anti-gay letter, in text form.
Since the original is in FAX copy, I've run the Archbishop of Guam's notorious anti-gay letter to the legislature (which is considering a domestic partnership bill) through a decent OCR engine (Cuneiform, which is absolutely rockin' compared to Ocropus, Tesseract, or GOCR) and cleaned it up. I found two typos in the original, but otherwise I've done my best to present the original letter.

In Bill 185 the Stakes are Very High

Marriage, as presently enshrined in the Guam Code, is the result of a Western Civilization shaped by Judeo-Christian culture. According to that culture, marriage is a union of a biological couple who unite themselves until death so as to be able to put their mutual love in the service of life. In this view, conjugal love and the generation of children are so intrinsically connected that to attempt to separate them would end up destroying them both. Given this presupposition, it should be no surprise that the Guam Code recognizes marriage only between a man and a woman since only they are capable of the marital act that begets children.

Bill 185 seeks to change the status quo by redefining marriage. The impetus for this redefinition proceeded in two stages, one building upon the other. Firstly, the culture of contraception denied that marriage has any intrinsic connection with the begetting of children. One may legitimately separate out making love from making babies. Once this link was broken, the intelligibility of biological gender was lost. Once marriage was simply about making love, the necessity for limiting sexual relations to persons of the opposite sex no longer appeared convincing.

Secondly, the culture of homosexuality proposed a new understanding of gender based, not on the body, but on the orientation of a person's sexual appetites. Lacking a reason for having sex that transcended the private good of the partners, the biological couple was no longer viewed as the biological principle for generating new life, but simply as two heterosexual persons who happen to be orientated to the opposite sex as the preferred object of sexual gratification. The notion of heterosexual marriage was then born. The door was then opened to the complementary notion of marriage between two persons of the same sex — homosexual marriage. To secure the triumph of the culture of homosexuality, Bill 185 seeks to abolish in civil law the notion of marriage that has been the foundation of Western culture and to substitute in its place the notion of domestic partnerships as a suitable genus for assimilating the notion of marriage into the twin notions of heterosexual partnerships (or unions) and homosexual partners (or unions). Once this bill is adopted, there will no longer be husbands and wives in the laws of Guam. Instead, there will simply be partner A and partner B to a domestic partnership. Homosexuality will henceforth provide the paradigm for understanding the structuring of "marriage" in the Guam Code. What is wrong with having the ideology of homosexuality as the structuring principle of civil law? The simple answer is that homosexuality is based on the notion that sexuality exists in order to get pleasure. An individual ought to be free to satisfy his sexual appetites with the preferred object of his sexual orientation. The partner appears only as the preferred object of sexual satisfaction, not as a person to be valued in his own right. The notion of self-donation to the other in pursuit of a good that transcends both parties and to which they mutual subordinate their private interest simply does not appear in homosexuality. In place of self-donation there is only self-gratification, self-interest and self-absorption. The proof is contained in the high rates of promiscuity associated with this lifestyle.

In the homosexual paradigm there is neither place nor need for the virtue of chastity to rectify the appetites since that would be an obstacle to the good of pleasure which is being sought. All the virtues need the other virtues in order to operate well and to allow the stable association of the virtues, good moral character, to appear. Chastity in particular is crucial in human development of character since it is the virtue that directs the sexual appetite away from the direct seeking of pleasure for one's self to the seeking of the good of the other. Homosexual behavior has for its driving principle the experience of pleasure. Once pleasure becomes the organizing principle of one's life, the motivation to subordinate one's a private interests to the good of the other when pleasure is no longer a possibility disappears.

The dramatic changes in law that BILL 185 proposes will have inevitable consequences. Once homosexuality becomes a validated principle of civil law, the inversion of sexuality that it proposes will spell the eventual end of Western Civilization. No culture can retain its vitality over generations without the virtues necessary to rectify the appetites, especially the sexual appetite. The first consequence of the adoption of the ideology of homosexuality will be the introduction on an institutional scale of the culture of self-absorption. Since homosexually is about receiving, not giving, its institutionalization will lead to the victimization of all those who are induced to embrace this lifestyle. (I am speaking especially about the children and the confused and immature of our society.) Law has a formative role in every society since we learn what is good and bad first from the law, and then only internalize these values over time so that as we mature we have the good moral character that is needed, among other things, for staying out of jail. When the laws of Guam encourage the development of defective character in its citizens, they are, in effect, recruiting for the Department of Corrections. Over time, civil society will become a jungle, and you will eventually have to expel the inmates of the DOC so that you can move into it for your own protection. Civil society will implode.

The second consequence of the adoption of the ideology of homosexuality will be the marginalization of the biological family. Homosexual behavior cannot produce children. The adoption of children by those in a homosexual relationship always deprives a child of the experience of either a mother or a father. It is one thing for a child to be orphaned by the death of his biological parents, but for the child to be deliberately conceived for the benefit of those in homosexual unions violates the child's rights to the biological bonds that constitute the emotion glue of the family. When one has two fathers, he is condemned to be a motherless child. Moreover he will also be a fatherless child. With two men who present themselves as his fathers, with whom can he bond as his [emphasis in the original] father? The failure to bond with his mother and father creates a huge wound in a child. Moreover, he is normally condemned to be an only child, without brothers or sisters. Over generations, the number of these wounded individuals, without biological bonds to the people with whom they have had to live, and whose only reason for being called into being is to meet the emotion needs of self-absorbed others, will increase the class that cannot care for the next generation because they have too many unresolved problems of their own. There is a tipping point where the society itself begins to implode. Already we have the highest number of out-of-wedlock births of any place in the nation. The growing number of the incarcerated is another warning sign that we are approaching the point of implosion.

The third consequence of the adoption of the ideology of homosexuality will be the crisis that it will generate in the area of public health. Ironically, Senator B. J. Cruz has introduced legislation to require a higher tax on cigarettes in order to discourage habits that are detrimental to good health. The same senator wants to require the use of helmets by motorcyclists as a way of reducing injuries and the consequent unnecessary drain on the financial resources of the hospital. At the same time, he is promoting a lifestyle that carries with it far more risks to health. A culture cannot flourish when a significant portion of the population is suffering diseases as a consequence of having been encouraged by the structures of civil law itself to expose themselves to the risks inherent in sodomy. By adopting Bill 185, the Guam Legislature Will become a co-conspirator in the conspiracy of silence regarding the health consequences of homosexuality. Over time, the health care system of Guam Will implode.

The culture of homosexuality is a culture of self-absorption because it does not value self-sacrifice. It is a glaring example of what John Paul II has called the culture of death. Islamic fundamentalists clearly understand the damage that homosexual behavior inflicts on a culture. That is why they repress such behavior by death. Their culture is anything but one of self-absorption. It may be brutal at times, but any culture that is able to produce wave after wave of suicide bombers (women as well as men) is a culture that at least knows how to value self-sacrifice. Terrorism as a way to oppose the degeneration of the culture is to be rejected completely since such violence is itself another form of degeneracy. One, however, does not have to agree with the gruesome ways that the fundamentalists use to curb the forces that undermine their culture to admit that the Islamic fundamentalist charge that Western Civilization in general and the U.S.A, in particular is the "Great Satan" is not without an element of truth. It makes no sense for the U. S. Government to send our boys to fight Al Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan, while at the same time it embraces the social policies embodied in Bill 185 (as President Obama has done). Such policies only furnish further arguments for the fundamentalists in their efforts to gain more recruits for the war against the "Great Satan."

In voting on Bill 185, you are faced with the choice either to embrace the common good of Guam and put you[sic] private good (the desire to be re-elected) in jeopardy, or to sink into self-adsorption[sic] and vote in your political self-interest. To say that the stakes are high in Bill 185 is a massive understatement. At stake is nothing less than the implosion of the moral culture of the people of Guam. The West today is engaged in a struggle with Islamic fundamentalists who are not always in sympathy with democratic values that the West holds dear. They are resisting with all the force at their command those forces that oppose marriage and the family. If we do not do the same, they will win the contest by sheer numbers alone. History will judge your desire to secure your private self-interest at this moment in Guam's history as appallingly petty in view of the damage it will do to the common good of Guam. By adopting Bill 185, you will have contributed to the end of Western Civilization.

The Archdiocese of Agana

I did get one laugh out of this. Cuneiform saw the phrase "struggle with Islamic fundamentalists" as "snuggle with Islamic fundamentalists."

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Current Mood: disgusted

6 comments or Leave a comment
lucky_otter From: lucky_otter Date: October 24th, 2009 03:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Possible mis-transcription in the last paragraph: "cult ore".

Maybe that's what cults are refined from.
elfs From: elfs Date: October 24th, 2009 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Fixed, thanks. It was indeed a mis-transcription that the OCR blew, I missed, and the spellcheck acknowledged as two valid words.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 24th, 2009 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

A thousand thank yous

You saved me the @#$%^&* pain of typing this with older tired fingers.
elfs From: elfs Date: October 24th, 2009 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: A thousand thank yous

You're welcome. I highly recommend Cuneiform, which is open source and so has been checked for viri and things, although I don't think I could vouch for pre-compiled versions. I only had to type three lines back in by hand, the OCR mangled them badly; other than that, it was a simple run of spell-checking. Very little typing involved.
cadetstar From: cadetstar Date: October 25th, 2009 01:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I obviously disagree with his entire premise, though the first two paragraphs do fairly articulate his position (and the position of many on that side of the debate).

After that he kind of jumped off the rails.

I think the two biggest problems I have with his letter are the position he holds that homosexual unions are loveless (are only about physical gratification) and that homosexuals are promiscuous.

The first point is absurd to the point of being laughable. I'm sure *some* homosexual partnerships are purely for physical pleasure, just as *some* heterosexual partnerships are the same. Very few of those would progress to the level of marriage. Also, he flat out omits the idea that homosexuals ever could dedicate themselves to something greater than themselves.

Homosexuals are not promiscuous as a subset. While there is a large group of people who have many sexual partners, and that does overlap with the homosexual/bisexual community, it also overlaps with the heterosexual community (swingers, hello?). And it is my personal opinion that a large amount of the sexual promiscuity that seems to be identified as part of being MSM or WSW (is that an equivalent use?) in America is *because* there are no fair lasting unions possible, though that is changing.

Sorry for the disjointed rant. It's early, and I just needed to get a bit of this out there.

Mind if I link this later in a post of my own? I'm of the mood to write a point-by-point denunciation of this.
iodama From: iodama Date: October 26th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC) (Link)
The part that's really awesomely tasteful is the bit where he expresses admiration for the ability to cultivate terrorists:
t may be brutal at times, but any culture that is able to produce wave after wave of suicide bombers (women as well as men) is a culture that at least knows how to value self-sacrifice.
and Islamic fundamentalist hatred of the US as The Great Satan:
One, however, does not have to agree with the gruesome ways that the fundamentalists use to curb the forces that undermine their culture to admit that the Islamic fundamentalist charge that Western Civilization in general and the U.S.A, in particular is the "Great Satan" is not without an element of truth.
Remind me again why it's liberals who are charged with hating America?
6 comments or Leave a comment