June 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - When close friends are presented in film or literature today, the conclusion is often: ‘Oh, they are gay.’ One of the tragedies of our culture, in its vigorous acceptance of the homosexual agenda, is the corrosion of a true understanding of friendship. What is ‘Friendship’? Have we lost our concept of it?

Today, Friendship is considered either mere casual companionship, or, if it is something deeper, a latent sexual urge. But traditionally, Friendship was neither of these things.

In The Four Loves, novelist and philosopher C. S. Lewis describes Friendship as a love in its own right, as great as Eros (romantic love), but entirely separate from it.

“Those who cannot conceive Friendship as a substantive love, but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros, betray the fact that they have never had a Friend,” Lewis declares.

Friendship is founded on the vital question: “Do you see the same truth?” It occurs when two people perceive the same thing, or pursue the same end, separate from others. “Friendship is unnecessary,” Lewis states, “like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself. … It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

Ancient tradition often portrays the earnest—but non-erotic—love between people of the same sex. Examples of deep friendships are found throughout literature, such as Achilles and Patroclus in Homer’s The Iliad, David and Jonathan in the Bible, or, later, Rosalind and Celia in Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

“To the Ancients,” Lewis states, “Friendship seemed the happiest and most fully human of all loves; the crown of life and the school of virtue.”

It is clear that love between two people of the same sex can be profound and deep—this is established in literature and history. But, incongruously, these friendships are now taken as evidence of homosexuality.

In The Last Battle, Lewis says that mixing truth with a lie makes the lie much stronger. People point to the truth of friendship—and the very real love that’s found there—and say: ‘Here is proof of homosexuality!’

“To say that every Friendship is consciously and explicitly homosexual would be too obviously false;” Lewis states, explaining that ‘wiseacres’ then accuse deep friendship of being somehow subconsciously gay.

“The fact that no positive evidence of homosexuality can be discovered in the behaviour of two Friends,” Lewis continues, “does not disconcert the wiseacres at all: ‘That’, they say gravely, ‘is just what we should expect.’ The very lack of evidence is thus treated as evidence; the absence of smoke proves that the fire is very carefully hidden. Yes - if it exists at all. But we must first prove its existence.”

Looking for subconscious homosexuality in friendship, Lewis argues, is like looking for an invisible cat: “‘If there were an invisible cat in that chair, the chair would look empty; but the chair does look empty; therefore there is an invisible cat in it.’ A belief in invisible cats cannot perhaps be logically disproved,” he says, “but it tells us a good deal about those who hold it.”

Of course, Friendship has, on rare occasions, been combined with a homosexual urge. But this is not its natural or normal outcome. “In deciding… where [homosexuality] crept in and where it did not,” Lewis states, “we must surely be guided by the evidence—when there is any—and not by an a priori theory.”

To presume that every love is, deep down, driven by a biological urge puts humanity on an animal level; we can think better of ourselves than to imagine that Friendship springs from mere sexual instinct. We are capable of deeper love than that.