Thursday, July 02, 2009

Founding Fathers and homosexuality...

"It can be safely said that the attitude of the Founders on the subject of homosexuality was precisely that given by William Blackstone in his Commentaries on the Laws--the basis of legal jurisprudence in America and heartily endorsed by numbers of significant Founders. In addressing sodomy (homosexuality), he found the subject so reprehensible that he was ashamed even to discuss it. Nonetheless, he noted:

'What has been here observed . . . [the fact that the punishment fit the crime] ought to be the more clear in proportion as the crime is the more detestable, may be applied to another offence of a still deeper malignity; the infamous crime against nature committed either with man or beast. A crime which ought to be strictly and impartially proved and then as strictly and impartially punished. . . . I will not act so disagreeable part to my readers as well as myself as to dwell any longer upon a subject the very mention of which is a disgrace to human nature [sodomy]. It will be more eligible to imitate in this respect the delicacy of our English law which treats it in its very indictments as a crime not fit to be named; "peccatum illud horribile, inter christianos non nominandum" (that horrible crime not to be named among Christians). A taciturnity observed likewise by the edict of Constantius and Constans: "ubi scelus est id, quod non proficit scire, jubemus insurgere leges, armari jura gladio ultore, ut exquisitis poenis subdantur infames, qui sunt, vel qui futuri sunt, rei" (where that crime is found, which is unfit even to know, we command the law to arise armed with an avenging sword that the infamous men who are, or shall in future be guilty of it, may undergo the most severe punishments).'" (Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1769, Vol. IV, pp. 215-216).

"Because of the nature of the crime, the penalties for the act of sodomy were often severe. For example, Thomas Jefferson indicated that in his home state of Virginia, "dismemberment" of the offensive organ was the penalty for sodomy. In fact, Jefferson himself authored a bill penalizing sodomy by castration. The laws of the other states showed similar or even more severe penalties:

That the detestable and abominable vice of buggery [sodomy] . . . shall be from henceforth adjudged felony . . . and that every person being thereof convicted by verdict, confession, or outlawry [unlawful flight to avoid prosecution], shall be hanged by the neck until he or she shall be dead.


That if any man shall lie with mankind as he lieth with womankind, both of them have committed abomination; they both shall be put to death.


Sodomy . . . shall be punished by imprisonment at hard labour in the penitentiary during the natural life or lives of the person or persons convicted of th[is] detestable crime.


That if any man shall commit the crime against nature with a man or male child . . . every such offender, being duly convicted thereof in the Supreme Judicial Court, shall be punished by solitary imprisonment for such term not exceeding one year and by confinement afterwards to hard labor for such term not exceeding ten years.


That if any person or persons shall commit sodomy . . . he or they so offending or committing any of the said crimes within this province, their counsellors, aiders, comforters, and abettors, being convicted thereof as above said, shall suffer as felons. [And] shall forfeit to the Commonwealth all and singular the lands and tenements, goods and chattels, whereof he or she was seized or possessed at the time . . . at the discretion of the court passing the sentence, not exceeding ten years, in the public gaol or house of correction of the county or city in which the offence shall have been committed and be kept at such labor.


[T]he detestable and abominable vice of buggery [sodomy] . . . be from henceforth adjudged felony . . . and that the offenders being hereof convicted by verdict, confession, or outlawry [unlawful flight to avoid prosecution], shall suffer such pains of death and losses and penalties of their goods.


That if any man lieth with mankind as he lieth with a woman, they both shall suffer death."

For much more, view the excellent article at Wallbuilders which may be found here. All sources are listed at the end of the article.

Our Founding Fathers had a healthy respect for Divine Revelation and Natural Law. Homosexual acts were viewed as crimes against nature. Since the Natural Law is immutable, or unchangeable, they still are.


Derek said...

"..a crime not fit to be named." That really says it all doesn't it? Think of how far America has degenerated into vice, even unnatural vice - what is an abomination before the Lord! God help us!

Anonymous said...

Homosexuality was treated as a criminal offense in all of the original thirteen colonies, and eventually every one of the fifty states (see Robinson, 2003; “Sodomy Laws...,” 2003). Severe penalties were invoked for those who engaged in homosexuality. In fact, few Americans know that the penalty for homosexuality in several states was death—including New York, Vermont, Connecticut, and South Carolina (Barton, 2000, pp. 306,482). Most people nowadays would be shocked to learn that Thomas Jefferson advocated “dismemberment” as the penalty for homosexuality in his home state of Virginia, and even authored a bill to that effect (1781, Query 14; cf. 1903, 1:226-227).

Ted Loiseau said...

What was once considered by all to be a crime against nature is now labelled a civil right by many. America is not the same country I grew up in. I am ashamed of what this once-great country has become. Our Republic is in need of divine intervention if things are to be put right. We obviously lack the will.

Ellen Wironken said...

God's Word is clear: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.... Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations...lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you" (Leviticus 18:22-28).

As America moves further and further away from God's Holy Law, the land itself will revolt. This phrase, "..lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it," may be understood as natural disasters being the result of such iniquity.

And haven't we witnessed an increase in natural disasters? Several days ago, 35 people were killed by lightning during the same storm. Think of the odds of this. Ones chances of winning
the lottery are greater than being hit by lightning according to experts on statistics. And ye, 35 people were hit by lightning in one storm.

Wake up people.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Ellen, your comment expresses a scriptural truth. There is a mysterious spiritual connection between human deeds and the land itself. Recall how Abel's blood cried out from the earth to God.

As I'm sure you know, there is much apathy throughout the Church. Most Catholics who actually live a sacramental life (and many more do not) believe that their duty toward God is fulfilled merely by attending Holy Mass. Not so. We must be a people of prayer every day of the week. And though most aren't called to evangelize full time - everyone IS called to evangelize our secular world. Even something as "small" as a smile has inestimable worth. But how many cannot even give that to God and neighbor.

Those few Catholics who are actually deeply committed toward evangelization can expect to meet with insults, snide remarks, and will (in many cases) be shunned even by fellow "Catholics."

Being an ardent disciple of Christ isn't easy. It's hard. Sociological "Catholics" who would rather spend their time shopping the mall, dining out and enjoying various entertainments than spending that time in prayer will not understand us. Ever. Such people have a "live and let live" philosophy and respect even practicing sodomites more than they do us.

You see, we irritate such people. By our words and actions, we are a constant reminder of what they should be but are not: Catholics in more than name.

Never get discouraged. Keep your eyes on Jesus and Mary. It doesn't matter what these ignorant children of belial think anyway. Some are destined for the slaughter according to Sacred Scripture. We reach whom we can and leave the rest to God's mercy and providence.

Anonymous said...

Sehr geehrter Herr Melanson,
da Sie offenbar aus Deutschland stammen (Ihre Vor- u. Nachnamen scheinen mittlerweile amerikanisiert worden zu sein), dürfte Ihnen bekannt sein, daß der gegenwärtige Vizekanzler und Außenminister der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Guido Westerwelle, offen schwul ist, und glücklich mit seinem Lebensgefährten Michael Mronz zusammenlebt. Herr Westerwelle freut sich sicherlich schon auf seinen ersten Besuch (als gewählter Vertreter unseres Landes) bei Präsident Obama! Goethe und Schiller hatten, wie die überwiegende Mehrheit der heutigen Deutschen, kein Problem mit der Homosexualität ihrer Freunde u. Bekannten, und Sie sollten auch keine nicht haben. Es grüßt freundlichst aus (dem überwiegend sekulären) Deutschland, Dieter H.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Homosexuelle Taten sind ernst sündig. Danke für Ihre Anmerkung.

Anonymous said...

Paul, yes on Jesus. No on Mary.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Oedipus, no Mary, no Jesus. No Jesus, no salvation. Read Galatians 4. Born of a woman.

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