Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New Evangelizers Post: 3 Catholic Responses to John Boswell’s “Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe”

I have a new article up at

As of late, the internet has been buzzing about a book written nearly 20 years ago called Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe.  It was written by homosexual activist John Boswell and was published just after he died.  But there has been a flurry of references to this book as if Boswell were just to begin a book tour.

The main supposed revelation of the book was that Christianity had no problem with homosexuality and that it even married same sex couples until the 13th Century, when the Church suddenly decided that homosexuality was wrong.  High-trafficked websites like Huffington, have all posted very favorable articles about the book, accepting Boswell’s findings as Gospel (pardon the pun).

You might wonder why a two-decade-old book is suddenly popular.  Our current context cannot be ignored.  People who are in favor of “gay marriage,” can feel the tide turning, where more and more states, nations, and elected representatives in support.  The largest and strongest opposition to this radical overhaul of society comes from orthodox Christians.

But if Boswell’s claims are true, this knocks the legs out from under the opposition, making victory swifter for them.  If his findings are reported enough, the hope is that the popular culture will just take for granted that the Church’s teachings on homosexual actions are just the strange peccadillo of an irrelevant tradition.

Notice how nuts the mainstream media went over the non-story that the Pope said that homosexuals must be treated with respect.  NBC host Donny Deutsch thought that this signaled a sea change in Catholicism, thus exposing his utter ignorance.

The advantage, however, is on our side regarding Boswell’s book.  Most of the time, a fringe author will publicize a radical heterodox theory that the media simply accepts.  It then falls to us to do the legwork and catch up.  By the time we have found the refuting evidence, the media has moved on to some other story.  But Boswell’s book has been thoroughly vetted and reviewed.

The remainder of this article is not a point-by-point dismantling of Boswell’s book.  Other, more scholarly people, have already written these.  The following are just a few points to keep in mind as you hear and read stories about it.

You can check out the entire article here

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