SCALIALAND—Sorry to say, but Father Paul Scalia, the son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, comes off like the evil twin of Marcus Bachmann, another gay denier whose oafishness somehow works to mitigate his menace. Not so with Paul Scalia, who for years has not only vehemently denied that homosexuality is a “fixed orientation,” but instead claims that people who act out their “same-sex attractions” are immoral and even insane. Most people are aware that Catholics believe homosexuality is immoral of course, but an indicator of insanity?
And yet the second step of the Twelve Steps of Courage—Courage being the Catholic apostolate founded to combat homosexuality on whose board Scalia serves as director—addresses exactly that issue, proclaiming, “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Courage also notes their twelve steps are adapted from AA, making a clear comparison between homosexuality and alcoholism.
Since at least 2005, Father Scalia has been writing about the homosexual “label”—even going so far as to admonish high school administrators for on the one hand counseling against the use of labels, (“preps, jocks, cheerleaders, punks, deadheads, druggies, geeks…”), while on the other encouraging “one group of students to label themselves: those who experience same-sex attractions—and still speaks out against the existence of homosexuality, advocating total abstinence instead, and will do so later this month at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Ill., during Courage’s annual summit.
Father Scalia’s professional obsession with homosexuality might not be as interesting (i.e. troubling) were it not for his human father’s view on the subject, which cannot even be said to be indifferent. Indeed, time and again over the decades, the elder Scalia has used homosexuality or, as a handy replacement, sodomy, to pointedly demonstrate the boundaries of his judicial philosophy—as if it, out of all the issues that Americans have faced over the centuries is the one from which a verifiable American point of view can be gleaned—even more than same sex marriage, which is a more recent political development that was only made possible after the prohibition against sodomy was lifted. The core grievance, the original instigators, for both father and son are the acts themselves, the “same sex attractions” that are literally acted upon.
In their own way, then, each Scalia does his best to put homosexuality in its historical, legal, societal and religious place. Justice Scalia has never wavered in his belief that laws against homosexual sex have existed in harmony with the U.S. Constitution for generations, and he sees no reason in law or society to change what he can only see as the status quo. He recognizes the arguments (and attractions) of the other side while simultaneously ignoring them. Likewise, his son, from his religious perch, utilizes every ounce of standing he has as the Bishop’s Delegate for Clergy in the Diocese of Arlington to make a “rational argument” against “what not long ago was regarded as morally abhorrent.”
Each sees their stand as a moral imperative whose intransigence is equivalent to the moral abhorrence each feels and expresses, the one draping his disgust in “the beauty and goodness of the Church’s teaching,” the other in his “originalist” judicial philosophy.
Image: Justice Antonin Scalia, left, and Father Paul Scalia.