Redemptorist Father Joseph Krastel’s opinion piece, “Are you a bigot for opposing gay marriage?” (CR, May 17) intends to make an argument against gay marriage from natural law. His argument is based upon the line of reasoning that is best demonstrated when he states, “80 percent of the world’s population insists that genuine marriage can only exist between a man and a woman” as his primary support. The form of his reasoning is, the majority of people believe X; therefore X is the case.
This is a classic fallacy called argumentum ad populum. Taking such reasoning as proof of truth can, and has, led to clearly immoral results. According to such reasoning, it would have been the case that when a majority of the world believed slavery was acceptable it must have been justified, and that was never the case. It is embarrassing to have such an article published in the Catholic Review as possible guidance to Catholics trying to defend their faith intelligently. Before you publish any further arguments against gay marriage, please find a Catholic who can offer an intelligent argument based upon sacred Scripture and Humanae Vitae.
Ian M. Davis