A Dictionary Definition of Homophobia

Recently, I was browsing a Catholic blog, and came across this post: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/inebriateme/2014/04/two-things-that-happened-yesterday/

I liked what it was saying about scapegoating, but I felt like being a sadist so I scrolled down to look at the comments. For some reason, this one stuck with me:

I am not addressing the main point, but I wish to register a complaint about terminology used in this article. I really, really, really object to use of the vocabulary of the “gay” ideology, especially by those who are orthodox Catholics. The word “gay” is a completely ideological word. It does not describe those who experience same sex attraction neutrally but is completely tied with the ideology of making that sexual inclination the primary focus of one’s public identity. I know many who experience same sex attraction who object to using the word “gay” to define themselves — it is absolutely demeaning to be reduced to a one dimensional caricature as someone who is completely defined by their proclivity to a certain sexual sin. As for “homophobia”, it is a ridiculous word that literally means “fear of same” in Greek. Also, it patently does NOT mean lack of charity toward those with same sex attraction in accordance with the Christian principle of loving the sinner and hating the sin. As used by the gay activists, it simply means anything that is not 100% in lockstep with the gay ideology and agenda. If, God forbid, the Catholic Church’s magisterium were ever to adopt the highly un-Christian and un-Catholic ideology of gay activism and use its terminology, I would have to investigate whether the Church has fallen into heresy despite the promise of Our Lord, and would have to make a difficult choice about Church membership.


Usual, “I’m not homophobic, and even if I was it doesn’t really exist anyway” kind of twaddle. But for some reason, the “As for ‘homophobia’, it is a ridiculous word…” line was what made me want to respond to the post. However, I realized what I was coming up with was really too good to waste on this guy, and wouldn’t really do anything to change this commenter’s mind. So I decided to put it up here instead. It is no longer addressed to that one commenter, but to everyone who denies being a homophobe, or that homophobia does not exist.


Language changes, and definitions change and adapt. We would not have called an issue that impeded or stopped performance on a piece of machinery a “bug” sixty or so years ago. ‘Homophobia’ means “fear of same” in Greek, but in English it ‘literally’ means “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homophobia

Irrational “Not based on reason, good judgment, or clear thinking.” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irrational When your gut churns when you see two men or women holding hands, even though you don’t know those people, and they have never done anything to harm you or yours in their life, and you have no clear reason for disliking these people other than their homosexual behavior.

Fear- “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fear?show=0&t=1396911614 When you believe something is a threat. The ‘gay agenda’ is a threat to your worldview, that it should be acceptable when you believe it should be punished. It is also a ‘danger to society’ that will have terrible consequences if society accepts it as normal.

Aversion- “a tendency to extinguish a behavior” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aversion?show=0&t=1396910479  You love the sinner, hate the sin- you have a conditional love for that person, so long as he or she never displays any behaviors that suggest they are homosexual.

Discrimination- “The practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other groups or groups of people.” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discrimination You have suggested that this can be vague- but you are showing discrimination when you are devaluing their claims of bigotry, treating them differently because of their homosexuality when you may lend a better ear to, for example, claims that your religious views are being suppressed, like the many ‘freedom of religion’ bills that are beginning to crop up.

Homosexuality- “The quality or state of being homosexual.” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homosexuality When you say love the sinner, hate the sin, when you hate the sin you hate the sinner, because homosexuality is a state of being. Even if they refrain from having sex with the same sex, being homosexual is still a part of who they are, innate in their being (personality and biology at the very least, probably their soul as well, depending on how you define soul)

Homosexual- See ‘Homosexuality’.


A Former Homophobe.


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