Redeeming LGBTQ in Christ

For Catholics, sexuality does not start with sexuality. In a fallen world, it starts with the cross—and almost everyone harbors stereotypes when it comes to the cross. Some worry I’m about to get wildly conservative. Others are afraid I’ll be too liberal. Some would like it if I said we were going to find a healthy balance between unhealthy extremes. That’s not what we’re going to do. At the foot of the cross, balance is a big mistake, even when it comes to LGBTQ.

– L –

On a freezing cold January afternoon, I was sitting in the middle of a crowded bar sipping espresso with my friend Pip. We were surrounded by gay people. Pip says he’s always been gay. His parents kicked him out of the house when he was sixteen. We were talking about if God had a plan for Pip’s life. In the middle of that conversation, Pip lowered the tiny cup of espresso from his lips, looked me in the eyes, and said, “Tyler, I believe God made me this way. I believe it’s a good thing I’m gay.”

An interesting statement. Here was a guy in the heart of the gay community with almost no Christian friends, a guy who hadn’t seen much of love from the Christians surrounding him, from his parents, from the churches he’s visited. A guy who by all outward appearances did not have much hope of changing his lot in life. Yet he wanted to believe that God made him gay. In other words, Pip wanted to believe that God loves him, and that his being alive is a good thing. To me, this was nothing less than the work of the Holy Spirit.

“Pip, are you telling me you think God loves you?” I asked.

Happily he replied, “Exactly! You understand!”

“So you believe God loves you even though you’re gay?”

As I looked at his bright, slender face, I was struck by the earnestness of his voice. “Why not?” he asked. Then he went back to sipping his espresso.

I’ll never forget those two words.

Why not?

Then I leaned in and said, “Pip, I know God loves you.”

He thought for a moment and then responded. “To hear you say that, it just feels … good.”

What I remember about that conversation with Pip is that he was not only hopeful enough to think that God could love someone so many Christians could not, but that he was confident that his being alive was an inherently good thing.

So “L” is for love.

The hope Pip has for his life is the same hope that Jesus identified for each of our lives. God loves us. It’s a good thing we are alive. Regardless of what kind of sexual attraction we experience, what kind of salary we make, what kind of education we have, God loves us. “L” is for love.

– G –

Pip and I didn’t talk about everything else Christianity teaches about God that day. It seemed appropriate just to revel in the fact that God loves us. We just let that sink in.

At the same time, however, I have been concerned about a dangerous vagueness regarding the next step. We know that God loves us. But an all-important question remains: How does God show us that love?

God’s love is more than a feeling in his tummy. He doesn’t just wish us well. God loved the world so much that he sent his only Son to die a gruesome death on the cross so that we who were dead in our sins might become alive in God. The cross is how God loves Pip.

Not many people get offended by the message that God loves them. They might find it quaint or naïve, but usually not offensive. Almost everyone, however, is offended by the message of Christ crucified. The cross is an offense because it implies we are all sinners. Regardless of what kind of sexual attraction we experience, what kind of salary we make, what kind of education we have, the cross says we are all sinners who need a Savior.

By dying on the cross, God makes the way he loves us crystal clear: Jesus invites us to join him in spending the rest of our lives obeying and glorifying the one true God of Israel by living lives of faith, hope, and love in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

To be a Christian, then, is not merely to respect, but also to reflect the reality of Christ crucified. You either die with Christ, or you don’t. You either follow and obey, or you don’t. In the end, you are either raised with Christ, or you are not. We must put death the old self so that we might be raised to our new self, which is nothing less than the person of Jesus. Think of these verses in Romans as they apply to sexuality:

  • We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life (6:4).
  • For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin (6:6).
  • Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him (6:8).

When it comes to sexuality, the Bible proclaims nothing less than Christ crucified. For Catholics, then, the only place to talk about anything LGBTQ is at the foot of the cross. Though broken by sin, God’s purposes for male-and-female creation are healed in the cross. This is why biblical sexuality is good news for everyone. Even people who experience same-sex attraction. Everyone. No exceptions.

So “L” is for love, but “G” is for God—the triune God known in the person and work of Jesus Christ on the cross. God loves Pip way more than you or I do. His compassion is so much bigger than our idea of compassion. His justice is so much better than those self-righteous feelings of social justice that sweep over us from time to time. Who are we kidding? If the world looked to you or me for salvation, it would never be saved.

So “G” is also for God’s grace. I want to be used by God to give Pip what God has given me: grace, grace, and more grace. It’s the grace to be in a covenant relationship with the God of Israel.

The best gift God can give us is himself.

So why would I want to give Pip anything less?

– B –

Let me tell you about another friend of mine, Caleb, who also experiences same-sex attraction. Caleb is one of the most faithful, joyful Catholic men I know. He is a self-proclaimed missionary. “You’re not a Christian,” he tells me, “unless you live the Great Commission.”

Caleb does not want to be called “gay.” When someone says they’re gay, usually their sexual preference is one of the foundational ways they see themselves, and Caleb does not believe the same-sex attractions he experiences are the foundation of his identity. I once asked him to explain.

“My sexual feelings are not who I am, Tyler,” he said. “I am so much more than sexual attraction.”

“But sexuality is such a big part of life,” I said. “How can the fact that you are attracted to men not be a big deal?”

“We live in a culture that says your identity is your desires,” Caleb continued. “But I am not my desires. I am a sinner who has been born again, made new. At my most fundamental core, I am Christ.”

“So what do you do?” I asked.

He looked at me like I should already know.

“I do exactly what Jesus calls anyone to do. I repent and believe. ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me,’” he said, quoting Mark 8:34. “It’s the same for all of us, Tyler.”

Caleb is right, of course, although I have been slow to admit it. Everyone is called to deny himself, to take up his cross, to follow Jesus. This doesn’t mean making itty bitty changes here and there. It means saying “No!” to your deepest sense of personhood because you are no longer yours. You belong to Jesus. He made you. And on the bloody cross he re-made you.

But still—and I am not proud to admit this—I felt sorry for Caleb. I felt like his cross was harder to carry than mine.

“I feel … bad for you,” I said.

“I hope you don’t think the gospel must be harder for me than it is for you,” Caleb said, mildly offended. “Jesus demands everything from everyone who follows him. If you think for a moment that you don’t have to deny yourself as much as I do, you’re dead wrong.”

 I blinked, not sure what to say.

“The cost is the same for all of us,” Caleb said. “But so are the blessings. God made me for himself. So I don’t want to live a life apart from him and for myself.”

In theory I agreed with him, but on the ground this was a hard thing to accept.

“I just feel like you’re doomed to a life of loneliness,” I said. “I mean, a promiscuous gay lifestyle of one-night stands is one thing, but it’s hard to accept that a faithful, committed relationship is wrong just because it’s not heterosexual.”

Caleb looked at me and then looked out the window. At first, he didn’t say anything. When he finally spoke his voice was quieter.

“It’s not about whether a couple loves each other. That is not the issue. Whether a relationship is committed and faithful is besides the point,” he said. “The whole idea of sin is that we love the wrong things, are committed to the wrong things, and are faithful to the wrong things. It’s possible to be committed to the wrong thing in the right way, or to be committed to the right thing in the wrong way. You can love a bad thing well, and you can love a good thing badly.”

“It just doesn’t seem fair that you have to live your whole life alone,” I said.

“Don’t feel sorry for me because I’m a Christian and so I can’t have a same-sex romantic relationship. I am a Christian, Tyler. In Jesus, I have everything.”

“—Except a partner,” I said, unconvinced.

“I have Christ!” Caleb said, visibly shocked at how I tip the scales.

It has been an enormous privilege to have Caleb for a friend. He is vulnerable and courageous and much wiser than me. Caleb has taught me to ask a tough question: Why do we try to approach sex and marriage on our terms, not God’s?

So “B” is for breaking idols and the stories we tell ourselves, for bringing our desires and pain to the cross. It’s for realizing that our beautiful pictures of what sex could be and our grandiose plans of how to live it are not going to work. It’s for admitting that we are not God.

Stop imagining what could work.

Find out for real.

“B” is also for you were born for this. You were born to enjoy God and to bring him glory forever. “B” is for bowing before the God who loves us and laying everything—every part of us, even our longing and loneliness—at his feet. It’s for saying, “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker” (Ps. 95:6).

– T –

Caleb is not an “unusual” Catholic because he experiences same-sex attraction. Jesus carries Caleb’s burdens just like he carries mine. Jesus loves him, heals him, makes him whole, and unites him to himself for eternity just like he loves me. And you. All of us.

So where does homosexuality fit into the Bible’s big picture for male-and-female creation?

A number of scholars have attempted to find out what the Bible says about homosexuality by ignoring the big picture and looking only at the key Bible verses that describe homosexual activity as sinful (Gen. 19:4-5; Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:18-32; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:8-10; Jude 7). They assume that if they can show that these isolated verses are not really saying that homosexuality is sinful, then homosexuality must not be a sin.

A large and increasingly sophisticated edifice of scholarly reconstruction has been erected on this assumption. But it does not account for the big picture.

When I was a kid, my mom asked me to clean my room. I did not. When she threatened to punish me I pointed out to her that she never specified when I had to clean my room. I would get to it eventually, some day. Without delay she said, “Tyler, clean your room now.” I knew that she wanted me to clean my room right away because I knew that, in this house, we were supposed to obey cheerfully, immediately, and completely. In general, I knew that our rooms were supposed to be clean. I knew the big picture. But I also knew how to weasel my way around the detail.

Now, we could dig into the key Bible verses that describe homosexual activity as sinful. We could even do impressive exegetical gymnastics to make them say homosexual activity is not a sin. But even if we did this, it would not account for the big picture. And we do not want to have a narrow or limited outlook on our situation in salvation history.

The big picture tells us a story about what male-and-female creation is for. From creation to consummation, God says: “Do this! I made you this way for this purpose!” And God wants us to obey cheerfully, immediately, and completely.

For a number of us, it can be shocking how utterly hetero (other) biblical sexuality is. It’s because Adam and Eve are different that they have such a profound unity—“one flesh.” The perfect “fit” between man and woman is the foundation for all marriages (Gen. 2:24). Sexual polarity is why we have marriage in the first place. Marriage would not exist if men and women were identical. We are male and female: “for this reason a man will leave…” (Gen. 19:5).

Sexuality is not a mere human idea.

Sexuality is God’s idea.

Jesus says marriages are something God joins together (Matt. 19:3-6). And Jesus is clear that sex is meant for a lifelong, monogamous, male-and-female marriage (Mark 7:20-23; cf. 1 Cor. 6:9-10). God is opposed to any kind of sexual activity outside of conjugal marriage—not because he makes random rules, but because he made us for something glorious.

The fruitful one-flesh union of marriage is how men and women can fulfill God’s commandment to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen. 1:28). Even more, human sexuality, typified in marriage, is meant to reflect the profound mystery of Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:31-32). And the marriage between Christ and his Church is complementary. We are not Christ, and Christ is not us. Because Christ is other, he is able to draw us to himself in the ultimate one flesh union of heaven and earth. Human marriage (and therefore all human sexuality) is a living, breathing parable of the heavenly marriage between the Lamb and his bride (Rev. 21:9).

A man and a man, or a woman and a woman, or any sexual relationship outside of wedlock, cannot reflect the union of Christ and the Church. To be faithful to the way God made us as male and female, to obey his command to be fruitful and multiply, and to reflect the supreme marriage of Christ and the church, our marriages (and therefore our sexuality) must be between one man and one woman, open to life in the bonds of holy matrimony.

Now, it is true that the constant Bible teaching is very clear that homosexual activity is a serious sin (Gen. 19:4-5; Lev. 18:22; 20:13). Given what the Bible says about God’s mission for sex and marriage and all creation this should not surprise us. Paul even breaks all twenty-first century rules and says homosexuality is “unnatural” (Rom. 1:18-32). Homosexuality is a sign of God’s judgment (Rom. 1:19; 2:5). Those who practice these desires “will not inherit the kingdom” (1 Cor. 6:9-10).

But homosexuality is not a unique sin. In the same list of sins Paul says will render us unable to inherit the kingdom are also sexual immorality and adultery and drunkenness and theft. This does not make it less of a sin, but it reminds us that homosexual behavior is in the category of adultery or pornography or any other sins that might be heterosexual. It’s just one of the many sins of our fallen nature in the fallen Adam that we must put behind us as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Paul goes on to say about homosexuals and adulterers and thieves, “and that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6:11). Homosexual behavior is not appropriate for Christians because it is not who they are anymore. Clearly some of the Christians in Corinth were once active homosexuals. But not anymore. They have been washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of Jesus and by the Spirit of God.

Whether or not you think you were born this way, you were not re-born this way. You have a new identity in Christ. You have been made new. Attractions and feelings may still persist. But in Christ we are no longer our old selves. What defines every baptized Christian is no longer our feelings or attractions. God is who defines us now. Only “in Christ” is anyone righteous in God’s eyes (2 Cor. 5:2). “In Christ” we are presented holy and blameless (Col. 1:22). All of us are weak! But Christ is strong! If this were not true, the Gospel would be one big sham.

So “T” is for transformation.

You have been given a new identity, a new self (Eph. 4:24). In Christ, you are a new creation (2 Cor. 4:17). At the bedrock of your personhood you have been “born again” (John 3:3). “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom. 12:2).

But we still wait for the “redemption of our bodies” (Rom. 8:23). Temptations very well may linger on this side of the new creation. This is because you are not at the final goal yet. You’re still in a process of transformation. But as the baptized faithful, all of us, all broken and in need of the Savior, are “being transformed … from one degree of glory to another” (2 Cor. 3:18).

– Q –

When it comes to the biblical sexuality, we have a lot of questions about where people with same-sex attraction fit into the big picture. It can be hard for us to see the goodness of the Good News when it means some people cannot lawfully have the sexual or emotional intimacy others lawfully can. Didn’t Jesus abolish the law? Aren’t we free in Christ? If for you “Q” means questions like these, I want to suggest to you that the Bible has answers.

Caleb is right when he says that if he has Christ he has everything. For the baptized faithful, Jesus really is our “all in all” (Col. 3:11). “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

We are on a mission.

Whether you are married or single, a monk or a mother, you are on a mission, the Great Commission.

So “Q” is for quest.

In my book, Mud & Poetry: Love, Sex, and the Sacred, I put it this way: “When participating in the activity of God there are only two paths toward Christ: celibacy or Christian marriage.” As the bride of Christ, you are on a quest to bring glory to the Father through the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit. And when it comes to your sexuality, there are only two God-designed ways you can do this: marriage or celibacy.

Jesus says that the only godly alternative to marriage is celibacy. This was a hard teaching even for the disciples. This is what Jesus says to them:

Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it (Matt. 19:11-12).

“Eunuchs” were the celibates of that day. Jesus says they might be celibate because of how they were born, or because of human intervention, or because they volunteered to stay single. This is the high and holy alternative to marriage. There is not a third option.

We have two paths: marriage or celibacy. When Jesus talks about Godly alternatives to marriage, he does not mention “fooling around,” cohabitation, or faithful and loving same-sex partnerships. He mentions celibacy, “eunuchs.” Celibacy is not a curse, but a blessing. This kind of singleness is not simply “not marriage.” Celibacy is a beautiful, nourishing, holy, satisfying “gift” from God (1 Cor. 7:7). Celibacy is not “less human” than married life. Jesus was single, and he was fully human. Marriage is awesome for bringing glory to God, but it is not more awesome than celibacy. In fact, Paul was thankful to be single (1 Cor. 7:28). He says a single person is less divided in their mission for God’s glory (1 Cor. 7:32-35). The goal of our lives should be to enjoy Jesus above all else. Marriage or celibacy is meant to help you do that.

So “Q” is for quest. It’s for the long and arduous journey of being transformed into the image and likeness of God. It’s for the adventurous search to know and share the glory of the Trinity. It’s for living in the love of God. Everyone needs to repent. All of us must take up our cross. Jesus says to you and me and Pip: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24). In a world of uncertainty, pain, and struggle we must join the apostolic cry: “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). What other option do we have?

As Catholics, how ought we to love people who identify with another gender other than their biological one, or people for whom there is biological ambiguity? How do we love people who feel they are “trapped” in the wrong body? The only truly loving response is to share the gospel of Jesus. No matter how sympathetic, empathetic, understanding or caring you are, if you do not offer people Jesus you are anything but kind. Bighearted people share the big heart of God, and God loves “queer” people a lot more than you do. And he wants them to find their deepest identity in him.

He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end, the A and the Z.

The triune God is bigger than all the letters in between.

– In Rainbows –

The rainbow is a symbol of God’s covenant faithfulness in the face of human pride. The downward spiral of sin after the fall, from Cain’s murder to the Tower of Babel, culminates in God’s final assessment: “the earth was corrupt in God’s sight” (Gen. 6:11). As God created the heavens and the earth from the chaos of the waters, so God began a work of re-creation through the waters of the flood. Even though people cannot keep up their end of the deal, God makes a covenant with Noah with the sign of the rainbow after the flood. Because of pride, we deserve death. But because of God’s grace, he will never destroy the whole earth with water again (Gen. 9:13-15).

As God blessed Adam, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (1:28), so God blesses Noah, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (9:1, 7). Tragically, God’s work of re-creation is met with human rebellion once more. As Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, Noah sins in the garden of his vineyard (9:20-21). So the rainbow is a reminder that we should never be proud. “No one can boast” (Eph. 2:9). Sin is in our bones. We have nothing to be proud about—except the love of God spread across the sky in rainbows and shed abroad in our hearts. “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14).

Have you come to know the bottomless love of Jesus? Or are you struggling to understand your brokenness and how past and present mistakes can be forgiven? Are you afraid you will not be accepted because you’re not perfect? Dear reader, wherever you are, I have good news for you.

God knows your pain. God knows your fear. God knows the challenges, wrong turns, and painful circumstances we all experience. And God is not looking for perfect people. He’s looking for people who need his grace, people who will abandon themselves to the love and mercy of Jesus. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).

The baptized faithful who are so often categorized as LGBTQ by the world are not a broken branch on God’s family tree. They are not on the outside looking in. God forgives, restores, and re-makes all who repent and follow him. He wants to showcase his mercy and love through you. And he wants you to share this hidden treasure with others.

Dare to believe it, dear friend, and dare to repent. Jesus loves weary, wounded you. When you find a way to open your bruised heart and welcome him into your darkness, you will find a love beyond anything you have every known. Yesterday’s broken pieces just cannot compare to the wholeness that comes in Christ.

So. What are you trusting in other than Jesus? Where do you really experience security, or find purpose, or discover your identity? All of us—not just people who experience same-sex attraction—have invented identities apart from Christ. We have written scripts and come up with personal narratives to explain who we are and why. Christ knocks down those walls, and when he does it doesn’t feel good. Or safe. Not at all. But intimacy with Jesus does not happen any other way.

People do not need to be convinced, cajoled, persuaded, or manipulated into thinking homosexuality is wrong. They need to know God loves them, and that God’s love is the cross of Jesus Christ. Our job is only to proclaim Christ in love. Let God do the heavy lifting.

Jesus does not save us despite the way he made us as male and female and sexual, but through it. He became incarnate as a male human being so that he could be the new Adam and the Church could be the new Eve. Sexual differentiation is part of how Jesus proclaims the Gospel. Human sexuality is meant to tell the story of salvation history, the story of Jesus.

So Caleb encouraged me to talk with Pip about Jesus and the church. And that’s what I’ve been doing. I try to make God and homosexuality easy to talk about. I thank Pip for being so open with me. I assure him all the time that I will never reject him. I listen. I pray. And I tell Pip about Jesus. I’ve not only been telling him that God loves him. I’ve been telling him how God loves him, and I’ve been trying to live it too. In word and deed, I’ve been trying to share with Pip the wonderful cross: if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Tyler Blanski

By

Tyler Blanski, a Catholic convert, is the author of When Donkeys Talk: Rediscovering the Mystery and Wonder of Christianity (Zondervan, 2012) and Mud & Poetry: Love, Sex, and the Sacred (Upper Room Books, 2010). www.holyrenaissance.com

  • Siobhán

    What a wonderful read. As we know so well, we are not saved by works alone and even if someone were to leave the gay lifestyle and becomes perfectly chaste, without knowing Jesus what is the point? What merit is there if we do not do these things out of love of God? I think the conversation should lead with Jesus, bringing people to know Him and to realise how loved they are by Him.The will to live out true Christian sexuality must come from within and cannot be imposed from without. Let people discover Jesus and suddenly those stuffy and oppressive ‘rules’ become new ways to love and follow Him (and by happy coincidence, lead to a great sense of peace and fulfillment).

    I would add that my thoughts are exactly the same for those who live unchaste heterosexual lives. When broaching the topic with those close to me, I keep in mind what St Vincent de Paul said, that we must be firm and unchanging with regard to end, but gentle and humble as to the means.

    On a side note, this Caleb character sounds like a rockstar!

  • Objectivetruth

    Beautiful article, Tyler. None of us are defined by our fallen desires and tendencies. We are made for Christ, destined for Christ. He is the “cause for our joy”, not our earthly desires. Life is short, let us all keep our eye on the prize, which is Christ.

  • HenryBowers

    You say, “Marriage would not exist if men and women were identical.” But what if every human being had both a concave and a convex sex organ, positioned so that one could not copulate with one’s self? [Suppose artificial insemination of one’s self is fecund or not, it doesn’t matter.] In that case, it seems the one-flesh union would still be possible, between two identical persons. So it seems that marriage is good before sexual polarity is good, even if sexual polarity is necessary for marriage. Do you agree?

    • Interested

      Huh? Why make things up?

      • HenryBowers

        Ask the author, who started the conditional iff-ing, and slipped on a falsehood.

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      This makes about as much sense as talking about baptizing Martians.

    • Objectivetruth

      This makes as much sense as saying “if only my eyeball also had the ability to grasp objects then I’d be able to drive my car without my hands. So in that case, driving would still be possible.”

      • HenryBowers

        Your disanalogy fails, because coitus is the necessary and sufficient physical act to embody marriage, while hand movements are sufficient but not necessary for steering.

        My point is only this: human good is the will of God. Therefore, _that_ physical union is good must have come before the physical union somehow good-in-itself. The will of God came before Creation. Therefore, teleological ethics is misplaced. The speculative fact that some physical things perfect us cannot impart a moral ought. Only the will of God can impart a moral ought, and we understand those goods which are the result of God’s will practically, not speculatively. So polarity is not essentially why we have marriage. God and synderesis are why we have marriage, and polarity is only incidentally why.

        • Objectivetruth

          “The will of God came before Creation”

          You’ve put the cart before the horse. Creation is the product, the “ends” of God’s will.

          • HenryBowers

            Says who?

            • Objectivetruth

              I have really no idea what your postings mean or what you’re talking about.

    • Rusty

      You are now no longer talking about the same thing, because you have changed the basis for the discussion. This is sophistry at its worst.

      If people had wings, they might fly without needing an aircraft. They don’t. Your premise is ridiculous.

  • “Yet he wanted to believe that God made him gay.”

    What we want doesn’t matter. What we are, matters.

  • Ford Oxaal

    A very positive and edifying piece on an oftentimes contentious topic — thanks! (and well-crafted, too) It’s almost like losing oneself in “other” as you put it, is *the* greatest — and I have to say, that can happen anytime, anywhere — and is not the exclusive domain of a physically intimate relationship — quite the contrary (after all, we don’t have that kind of paired off relationship in Heaven). Your conversation with Pip is a great thing. And it can be a sport of sorts — go into an airport bar and see if you can cultivate the skill to un-annoyingly start a conversation with someone buried in their handheld, and in 45 seconds or less, find the bizarre and coincidental connection with that person — those connections exist, and it is a riot discovering them. OK, veering off topic I suppose, but thanks again.

  • Watosh

    Sometimes in seeking to be balanced we can become unbalanced. The “I was born that way, this is the way God made me” argument could be used by kleptomaniacs and pedophiles and others. And I understand they could safely say that God loves them. But I wouldn’t encourage them to remain in their state, as I wouldn’t encourage any one to yield to their wrongful desires, which I am not implying Mr. Blanski is doing here. I vaguely recall one of Martin Luther’s theories was that we should sin freely. I may not have this exactly as Luther expressed it, but we need to avoid going down that road, in trying to accommodate certain behaviors.

  • Rusty

    I am always mindful of the story of Abram, who (in submission to the will of God) was prepared to sacrifice his son, Isaac, which would have been the dearest thing to his heart.

    Upon this example, the three great faiths are founded.

    We do not know what God will ask of us, except that we are to love God above all things. What we want and what we desire will vary by person – the same self denial is required of us all.

    Thy will be done, not mine.

  • NormChouinard

    Wow! This is beautifully done!!! I always tell people who focus on the “intrisic disorder” that they are picking up our catechism on paragraph 2357. It can only be understood in light of the whole catechism beginning with God’s love for us shown in Christ crucified. Thanks Tyler for sharing this.

  • Ada

    I loved the article, especially in conjunction with this equally beautiful testimony: http://www.blackstonefilms.org/films/the-third-way/index.html

  • cpsho

    Why is the RCC, in this decadent age, handling homosexuality with kid gloves? Why are the majority of Catholics in the US cuddling homosexuality?
    People are in danger of eternal damnation; yet our main concern seems how to be nice to them, so that all can accept them for “who they are”.
    Is it love to see a man headed for the precipice and cheer him on? Are we no more our brother’s keeper?

    • Siobhán

      I know it can seem like that sometimes but I really do believe that meeting people where they are at is more reflective of Jesus. That does not mean we soften the message, but we do soften the delivery. This gives people a chance to really hear what we’re saying. It can be very easy to shout someone down, telling them what they’re doing is wrong, and it can be incredibly difficult to reflect God’s gentleness and patience. I think the latter is what is required of us.

      As I’ve commented already, helping someone to develop a relationship with Christ is paramount. When He becomes the centre of one’s life, it is then that we can see ourselves and our sins more clearly. People will only repent when they realise there is Someone to repent to.

      • cpsho

        The softly, softly approach is not working. 65% of Catholics in the US under the age of 40 years see nothing wrong with same-sex-marriage.(cf pew research web-site)
        .
        We as Catholics should treat all human beings with dignity and respect but we should not treat their homosexuality with dignity and respect. This is the crux of the matter!
        For a Catholic to call himself “gay” is to accuse God of
        creating him a homosexual and then turning round to ban him from acting on his homosexuality. This attitude borders (if not outrightly) on the blasphemous.
        It is like accusing God of creating someone a kleptomaniac and then turning round to ban him from stealing things.
        Your kleptomania does not come from God neither does your homosexuality.

        Man lives with a fallen nature, in a fallen world, constantly harassed by fallen angels: that is the source of homosexuality and the “LGBTQ thing”.
        Homosexuality certainly does not come from God. It is not and can never be a gift from God.
        When a Catholic calls himself “gay” he is directly or indirectly supporting the “gay agenda”, the “gay lifestyle” and the “gay rebellion” against God.
        .
        The sooner Catholics struggling with same-sex-attractions
        stop calling themselves “gay” the better for the Church and the Nation.

        • Siobhán

          I agree with so much of what you’ve said (perhaps you suspect that I am some sort of wishy-washy liberal? Rest assured, I’m doggedly orthodox even to a fault). First, I would say that it’s not just Catholics who identify as ‘gay’ that are at issue, it’s every person who does not understand authentic love.

          Secondly, I agree that ignorance of the value of true marriage is widespread. I certainly think Catholics, both as individuals and as part of institutions, should not be afraid to stand up and speak against any attack on marriage. But I think this article, and subsequently the points I’ve made, are in relation to individual souls we come into contact with, and that requires a very different approach. That does not mean we lack backbone or conviction, or telling people that immoral things are moral, but that we truly think of their good in getting them to understand the Truth. Sensitivity is not a weakness. There is always a danger that we are just satisfying ourselves and looking down our noses on our brothers and sisters (and fellow sinners). I’m not suggesting you do this, but it’s certainly a danger for those of us living out the teachings of the Church.

          Perhaps we are addressing different aspects of the problem.

    • Ford Oxaal

      Tyler Blanski does a great job getting this conversation back on track. “Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

  • PF

    Thank you for reminding me that God does the heavy lifting if we preach the Gospel. I was brought back to the faith in similar manner, noticing, as CS Lewis did, that the most sensible people always seemed to be Christians.

  • littleeif

    Here’s my difficulty with the above, perhaps with the entire generation. Instead of discussing a sexual activity as to homosexual behavior, we discuss a sexual identity. As though water were rock, we create a class from a conduct and invest in it attributes and rights.We then find this deep “sympathy” for persons with this “identity” and desire their deliverance from their “affliction”. We treat no other behavior in this way.

    We do not expend such words on behalf of those engaging in other assorted paraphilias, i.e. fetishists, pederasts, pedophiles, auto erotics, necrophiliacs, copromaniacs, etc.. Not to mention the spectrum of aberrant human behavior beyond the sexual. There is no lobby advocating for thieves, liars and adulterers.

    Furthermore, we speak as though heterosexuality is an end point, a solution to an otherwise unfortunate condition. We pay no heed to the fact that the requirements of chastity are rigorous of themselves.

    I therefore feel resistance when reading articles such as this that do not go to the root issue and address it directly: the sin of lust and its effect on the human person.

    • Carl

      I agree with your sympathy and affliction analysis but think you miss the greater conspiracy. You eat an elephant one bite at a time. It started with contraception (1930), no fault divorce, abortion, 60’s free love, and so on. Contraception was a huge landslide that no one talks about really. Once you take reproduction from the conjugal act and make it nothing more than a handshake anything is possible. So yes, the other assorted paraphilias will come soon enough.
      So there is not only a lobbying group for all sorts of Sexual sins their are certainly lobbyists for thieves, liars, and adulterers.
      Many Politicians and their cronies: liars and thieves
      Typical consumer media/communications: adultery (sex sells)

    • CadaveraVeroInnumero

      Amen.

      Our present craze to stir up the cauldron of moral filth and dish out identities by the spoonful is puzzling, by any measure. Such thinking (conjuring) does not abide by the canons of reason, logic, historical analysis, scientific discovery, let alone the tested parameters of morality, as affirmed b both Natural Law and Revelation.

      We have so much at hand by which to handle such issues – unto clear thinking and proper behavior. So, why this rush scuttle all, to upend what has been given to us.

      The motive power is simply that – power: grasping for the “right” to create our own reality, to establish our very existence upon foundations which never existed from the genesis of time or the human person.

      You are so correct in point out that we do not do for that pot of sexual perversions what we have done for homosexuality (bi-sexuality, and now for “tranzies”). But, of course, our future (manipulated by the power of perversion in our present) is hurtling towards us with terrifying seed and will soon be demanding recognition of their ‘identities”, with all their attendant “rights”.

      Visit the current politics of California – you will see.

      Homosexuality has not become fashionable within all segments of our society, including, unfortunately, the “community” of faithful Catholics. Witness the New Homophile debate on these pages.

      Truth be told, it is not all that difficult to lay aside one’s homosexual inclinations. The secret lies in the willingness to put aside,not only homosexual acts and their temptations, but the homosexual condition itself. We have made heroes out of those who cling to a supposed homosexual identity scraped clean of homosexual acts. Such a state is factious – if not a lying life.

      We must,first, be willing to discuss the causes of homosexuality, to dare to make the bold claim that it is no mystery. For instance, I know how homosexuality entered into my life – very powerfully, worming into my life with its great, destructive power. But it was a lying power, with no true authority. The first step of deliverance (yes, damn it, deliverance) was to acknowledge its genesis – and the powerlessness of its illusion of power.

      To give ground – let alone, street cred for evangelism sake – to the notion of “identity” is to serve the lie.

      I understood this even within the darkest depth of sin – be living “the life”. When just a boy-whore in Los Angeles, stepping into my first car as it wound up into the Hollywood Hills, I still recall mumbling to myself: “Shouldn’t be doing this. Don’t have to do this”. “What”, said the john, as he put his hand on knee, “I’m paying for this. You’ve been bought.”

      That was the point, sin has a price; for boy-whores plying trade on Santa Monica Blvd or in our present war over all things sex. But in our current debate that coinage is not negotiated bills palmed into the hand of some lost boy, but denominated in the ideology of “identity”. Even among some faithful Catholics that cash is being doled out as the coin of mercy?

      Such mercy redeems nothing, Both boy-whores and celibate Catholic “gays” know that the cloak of “identity” will be shed before walking through the Pearly, Golden Gates!

      Drop the evangelistic fluff, preach a manly gospel – with C.S. Lewis’ hairy chest exposed if must be. Then maybe boys won’t need to wander back down to Santa Monica Blvd from the Hills or Topanga Canyon. It’s a heck of a long trek from the Canyon. A hike to Pacific Highway is shorter, but the competition there is tougher. Though the suicide cliffs are near. Jumping off into the wide blue waters would be a cleansing of sorts – a kind of baptism, if only unto death.

      One knows all this when one is young. Homosexuality isn’t worth a damn.

      But if I had jumped, I would not have received – years hence – my deliverance, standing eyeball to eyeball with Christ, in front of his icon on the iconostasis. The Royal Doors of the Annunciation were to my left. That was all I needed to know: that from the Theotokos God became Man. How hard is it to say yes to that, said She the next icon down.

      I have become more bold in saying so, even if – if even among faithful Catholics – it is near heretical to say so.

      It certainly, at times, gets tiresome.

      • tamsin

        My boys were supposed to wear red today, in solidarity with LGBTQ youth at their Jesuit high school. I suggested blue, in solidarity with Mary. In solidarity with you.

        • ForChristAlone

          What an opportunity for you to evangelize those jesuits!

          • jacobhalo

            You have a better chance of evangelizing atheists than you would Jesuits.

        • Objectivetruth

          My college Jesuit alma mater has “unity week” ( formerly rainbow week.) But when you scratch beneath the surface and see the week’s agenda, it’s mostly pro gay propaganda. I used to say with great pride that I went to a Jesuit university, now it’s almost an embarrassment. Ignatius Loyola must be rolling over in his grave.

          • TheAbaum

            St Joe’s huh?

            • Objectivetruth

              Sadly….yes, Hawk Hill…..

            • Objectivetruth

              When Rick Santorum was the commencement speaker there ten years ago, there was strong opposition to him speaking by some student groups and faculty because of his strong Catholic belief that (shudder) homosexual acts and the gay lifestyle are sinful. His reception was greeted coldly, and a group of students walked out during his speech along with many faculty members. Several years ago the school had pro abortion, pro gay, pro contraception MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews speak and they gave him an award and almost a standing ovation.

              At almost $57k a year for many of these Jesuit universities, I’d almost rather send my kid to a $30k a year state college with a good Neumman Center and a Catechism tucked daily in their backpack. I’ve literally seen cradle Catholic kids leave some Catholic colleges proclaiming they’re atheists.

              • TheAbaum

                Some time ago, our former Bishop (Kevin Rhodes of Ft. Wayne) accepted an invitation to return to Harrisburg to participate in some festivities regarding Notre Dame.

                While offering Mass at my Church, he began his sermon by telling the people how little actual power he had over Notre Dame.

                I found that interesting, but somewhat wanting, because whether or not the Bishop of any diocese has any administrative power over the CINO institutions in said diocese, they always have the power of dissuasion.

                I say let them languish.

      • michael susce

        I am stunned by the lucidity, conciseness and power of your prose and the response that it has elicited in me. I sometimes ask, in my brief periods of darkened clarity, where are the saints? I have found them in my community and in the writings of people such as you. I want to assure you that your writings are having a profound impact on more people than you can imagine. Please keep responding. Your writings have implications for other areas other than what you intend. Such as the implications of Chaos Theory on humanity.

        “hurtling towards us with terrifying seed” I am assuming you meant speed. What is so profound about your accuracy is that even in your typing errors, you speak truth. A terrifying seed it is…..

        As well intentioned as this article may be, it ignores the elephant in the room i.e. that anyone who believes that homosexuality is wrong, unnatural or evil as this writer claims is wrong, unnatural or evil. And will be punished by legal and monetary means.

        • CadaveraVeroInnumero

          Thank you.

    • NDaniels

      God desires that every son grows up as a good son, and if he is a brother, a good brother, and if he becomes a husband, a good husband, and if he becomes a father, a good father; God desires every daughter grows up as a good daughter, and if she is a sister, a good sister, and if she becomes a wife, a good wife, and if she becomes a mother, a good mother; to claim that God desires we grow up to be good heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, transexuals…, is a lie from the start. Let no one continue to deceive you. We are not, in being, an object of sexual desire:

      http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/popes-christmas-message-warns-gender-theory-is-a-denial-of-god-and-the-bibl

      • Objectivetruth

        The article you reference here from lifesite is spot on. Here is clear thinking from the article from Pope Benedict. I do miss the German pope emeritus:

        “People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.”

  • hombre111

    Beautifully done, Tyler. But no matter how you dice it or slice it, you are an outsider looking in. Let’s hear from Caleb.

  • Pamela

    Caleb “gets it.” Good article overall, but I take issue with the author’s generalization that too many Christians don’t love homosexuals. I can’t speak for Protestants, but as a Catholic what I don’t love is homosexualITY. Catholics are called to always and forever love and welcome the sinner (which, as the author points out, is each of us–nobody gets a free pass on this one). I have and will continue to be labeled a bigot because I refuse to say that homosexuality is an acceptable BEHAVIOR. It is intrinsically disordered. End of discussion.

  • Lynn Loring

    Ada..thanks so much for the link: Blackstone Films The Third Way. Just sat and watched it after clicking on it. I will be sharing it!

  • JP

    While I have no doubt each person who suffers from homosexuality and its pathologies deserve understanding and our prayers we should never forget that the entire LGBT thing is as much cultural as anything else. Anyone who has studied the histories of ancient Rome and Greece understand this. Anyone who knows the history of the Church knows that the homosexual and bi-sexual culture of Southern and Southeast Europe disappeared within a century of the rise of Constantine. A wholesale revolution in family life and sexuality took place in a relatively short period of time. When the empire did fall, things went into anarchy, and the Church had to begin again in preaching the Gospel. This time it would be to violent heterosexual clansman whose treatment of women and their children was literally barbarous. It would take a 1000 years to create what became the Western Family.

    Catholics are put in an almost impossible position. We must defend the gift that Christ gave to us. The Holy Family is our ideal. We have to resist all attempts from all directions to destroy it. However, homosexuals are Sinners now different than any other Sinners. We are called on to show the same mercy as Christ shows to us. Yet, we have an even larger obligation to our families. The problem arises when we muck up our won families. I am reminded of the saying, “Physician, heal thyself!” Yet, how can we heal our own broken families when fresh attacks upon it (in many cases from gay activists) daily?

    We are like an injured man sitting on a sinking boat in the ocean. What do we do? Tend to our own wounds or right the boat?

    • Tim

      I stumbled upon this post only recently. When you mention “1000 years to create what became the Western Family,” do you have any specific sources in mind which document this process?

  • Carl

    Never thought of the rainbow flag as another rejection of God’s covenants. God the Creator of all gave a sign of the rainbow to Noah. The Creator of all represented in the prism of all colors.
    Today the rainbow flag is man’s created image of himself made in his own image. The perfect symbol for man’s rebellion. I am my own god, I can make myself into any image I want. Lucifer is laughing.

  • Kevin McCormick

    An excellent and incisive article on what surely is one of the more difficult tasks of the 21st century Christian: responding with the truth in love to a very confused generation.

    There is one clarification I would like to offer regarding your passage:
    “It can be hard for us to see the goodness of the Good News when it means some people cannot lawfully have the sexual or emotional intimacy others lawfully can.”

    Your wording seems to imply that the individual suffering from same-sex attraction is incapable of experiencing sexual or emotional intimacy with another person. But there have been some who have overcome their disordered desires and entered into marriage with a person of the opposite sex. The individual suffering from SSM is free to marry in this sense, if he can do so honestly, and God’s law applies to him no differently than anyone else.

    I realize that this was not the primary point of the passage and it may seem that this clarification is splitting hairs, but care must be taken in discussing this topic. A small error in the beginning of the journey can lead to a very different destination.

    • Ronk

      True, and also the passage wrongly implies that it is impossible to have emotional intimacy with any person unless one performs sexual or para-sexual activities with him/her.

  • cestusdei

    God loves us in spite of our faults not because of them. God loves Pip, but did not will him to be homosexual. That is a consequence of original sin. God loves Pip so much he will help him to deal with this and turn it into an opportunity for holiness through prayer and penance.

  • NDaniels

    LGBT or any word that identifies someone as an object of sexual desire/orientation is not part of the Language of Love, in fact, it is demeaning to identify oneself or someone else as an object of sexual desire. Regardless if one has a same-sex sexual attraction, or any other type of disordered inclination, including a temptation to sin, a man remains a man, and a woman remains a woman, and any act that is not ordered to the personal and relational Dignity of the human person as a son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, father, mother, is not, and can never be, an act of Love. God loves us despite our disordered inclinations, but that does not change the fact that if we Love God, we would desire to overcome our disordered inclinations, so that we are not led into temptation, but rather become transformed through Salvational Love, God’s Gift of Grace and Mercy.

  • cpsho

    Here is more cuddling of homosexuality from the hierarchy of the RCC:
    “The secretary-general of the Italian bishops’ conference (CEI),
    Nunzio Galantino, bishop of the southern diocese of Cassano all’Jonio,
    told the Florence-based La Nazione newspaper yesterday that he wanted church leaders to open their mind to different views on these issues.”

    He said: “My wish for the Italian Church is that it is able to listen
    without any taboo to the arguments in favour of married priests, the
    Eucharist for the divorced, and homosexuality.”
    The Catholic Church should listen to all the arguments in favour of gay
    relationships, Communion for remarried divorcees, and ending mandatory
    celibacy for priests, the senior Italian bishops has insisted.”
    http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/771/0/bishop-calls-for-church-to-listen-to-calls-for-communion-for-divorcees
    .
    The thing is most faithful Catholics are unaware of the depth of the crisis the Church is facing in these last decades..

    • Art Deco

      Distressing. I do wish the apparatchiks and the terminally other-directed would get lost. You always have them, but they are commonly kept in check and do not define the overall tone of the organizations activity (see Fr. Paul Shaughnessy on corrupted religious orders).

      It may be less a crisis than an abiding condition.

      • John200

        Based on my reading of the history of the faith, it is an abiding condition. We are called to try to cure it until the ultimate denouement. We are ordered to show the truth to those who do not (often will not) see it.

        It is always and everywhere easy to claim that today’s problems are a crisis. Well, they usually aren’t. So do a Catholic’s job.

        It is an abiding condition.

    • ForChristAlone

      Someone needs to get in control of the appointment process for bishops. It is way out of whack.

    • Dwight

      The fact you have found a (rather liberal) paper summarizing a bishop’s position this way doesn’t mean that the bishops are rotten through and through. Before heading for the SSPX (or SSPV, or sedevacantist) bunkers, insisting that the bishop-makers have been “out of whack” for years, etc., we ought to have a clearer notion of what we mean by “crisis,” what a “stable” RCC looks like, etc. As John200 says below, this is all pretty normal, and I would add that the first half of the 20th century (like every century previously) was no episcopal walk in the park.

      And yet, our gracious Lord has preserved his Church.

  • littleeif

    On reflection I would add that we engage in the classing of homosexuality at a cost.

    First, we sacrifice the young. Gone are the days when nonathletic young men, bookish and perhaps effeminate as many a young man can be, could be consoled by the instruction that these appurtenances do not define manhood, but rather character and virtue. Today, a diagnosis or at least labeling of latent homosexuality is not far fetched at grammar school age. Then again, an act of sodomy by a youth in experimentation today is evidence of a homosexual nature. But do we really believe it and are we prepared to proliferate homosexuality by a self fulfilling prophecy made to the young?

    Next, we corrupt the mentoring and brotherly relationships between men, redefining the passions and emotions that motivate one man to bond with another and legitimizing the motive of sexual utility as a movement of nature. That one man finds another physically attractive, perhaps having a powerful physique or a sexual energy, signifies something today that in the past it need not have. An objective attraction of one person to another, what may always have been an undercurrent in relations between people in general as well as men and what God intends to serve as a stimulant in the bond between men, must, we think today, spring from homosexual impulses.

    And yet are we really prepared for the type of men who do not engender these passions and emotions about other men at the risk of their virility? At what point does homosexuality arise? At the point where one man finds another attractive sexually or more properly at the point where one acts sexually towards another? Is it not possible that some men sublimate these emotions into perfectly non-utilitarian relationships, while others do not? And does that not sound a lot like a choice is being made by some?

    • ForChristAlone

      It all comes down to what is good being changed into something perverse by the action of Satan, sin and concupisence. The current homosexualized culture is nothing more than an attempt to give sin a politically acceptable face – just like abortion is presented as actually caring about a woman with an “unwanted” pregnancy.

      • Objectivetruth

        Exactly. Or we’ve empowered women by making them “pro-choice.” Diabolic ventriloquy.

  • John

    LGBTQ? Another day, another letter.

    • ForChristAlone

      Let’s also remember “LSMFT” from the 1950’s (Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco).

  • bonaventure

    Another article on Crisis Magazine flirting with homosexuality.

    By this time next year, Crisis will have joined the dark side, calling for some sort of recognition of homosexual “unions” in the Church — which will be quiet predictably be the main issue of dissent at the October Synod.

    • Kevin McCormick

      Where did you find that in the article?

      • bonaventure

        Every sentence of it.

        “For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them” (Matthew 13:15).

        The last sentence of Christ’s words is particularly strong, considering that even on Crisis Magazine the recent trend is not to heal homosexuals, that they may be re-born as sexual being (and therefore fully thriving in an opposite sex relationship, or with opposite sex feelings, without ever looking back at their homosexual sin), but rather to accept the voices homosexuals on their own terms.

        Many times I wondered if Crisis would have given so much time, attention, compassion, and space to, say, the voices of adulterers, pedophiIes, etc.

        • Kevin McCormick

          My understanding is that the author is a convert to Catholicism, soon to be received into the Church. An aspect of the article seems to be his conversion to the Church’s teachings on sexuality (and SSA in particular) via an individual struggling with SSA who has embraced God’s plan and the Church’s teaching. The Church must be able to preach Christ to all people and must pay particular attention to those suffering from the illnesses which are prevalent in our time. Christ did not require mankind to be healed first so that he then would come and be present among us. He became man among the fallen so that he could heal us and lead us home. I think the end of the article sums it up well:

          “Jesus does not save us despite the way he made us as male and female and sexual, but through it. He became incarnate as a male human being so that he could be the new Adam and the Church could be the new Eve. Sexual differentiation is part of how Jesus proclaims the Gospel. Human sexuality is meant to tell the story of salvation history, the story of Jesus.”

          How is that accepting anyone on his own terms?

          St. Paul himself writes of the thorn in his side that God would not free him from. How is the person suffering from SSA any different?

          • bonaventure

            (1) St. Paul mentions the thorn in his side, but does not define himself with it;

            (2) When speaking of “gay” attraction (also known as the politically correct “SSA”) is, in itself an acceptance of Orwellian Newspeak which has heavily contributed to the acceptance of homosexuality in the West. For if someone’s behavior is indeed gay, then heck, it can’t be wrong (since gay mean happy, merry, joyful, etc).

            (3) The paragraph you quote from the end of the article is indeed inspiring, but it changes nothing to the fact that the author — as indeed other writers on Crisis Magazine’s pages lately — would NOT flirt with many other sexual sins as they do with homosexuality.

            (4) No one is denying God’s free gift of salvation. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). And yes, Christ became one of us to heal us, that we may share in his divinity as he humbled himself to share in our humanity. But this article — as well as the overall tone and direction of other writings in Crisis on homosexuality — seems much further from healing than it is from the “who I am to judge” liberal spin of Francis’ words. Real healing in Christ leaves scars, but the original wound is no longer fatal.

            • Kevin McCormick

              First, I challenge your use of “homosexuality,” (2) which implies that there are different sexualities that we are born with, as opposed to “same-sex attraction” which is a far more accurate description of condition these individuals are suffering from. Those who use “SSA” do so for the very reason you apparently prefer “homosexuality,” a word which was invented to help give legitimacy to the condition as opposed to the pathology which it clearly is. “SSA” is the opposite of politically correct.

              In response to your other points above, (1) did you read this in the article?:

              “Caleb does not want to be called “gay.” When someone says they’re gay, usually their sexual preference is one of the foundational ways they see themselves, and Caleb does not believe the same-sex attractions he experiences are the foundation of his identity. I once asked him to explain.

              “My sexual feelings are not who I am, Tyler,” he said. “I am so much more than sexual attraction.”

              (3) Perhaps you’ve heard a different tone in other articles but I would disagree that you’ve found it here.

              (4) I am quite sensitive to the tone of acceptance that pervades much of the discussion of SSA in the media and in less-than-orthodox Catholic circles. I don’t find it here. I think you are projecting that tone onto the article.

  • thebigdog

    The day will soon come, when those who accept or promote homosexuality (and yes, this includes you cowards who wish not to speak up) will regret this great mistake. When NAMBLA arrives, you will be accomplices.

    • Gnort

      Arrives?
      That organization has been essentially non-existent since the 90s.
      It’s dead and gone.
      Even at it’s height, there were fewer than 2000 members, according to an investigator who got a look at their membership rolls.
      I went to a high school with more people than that.

      I can say with full confidence that the number of times the Daily Show has mocked them is higher than the total number of current members of that group.

      What I’m saying is don’t worry about illusory specters when there are real problems to confront.

      • thebigdog

        While I basically was using “NAMBLA” as a generic term for adult homosexuals sexually abusing boys, Your assertion that the group is extinct is nonsense since admitting to being a member in the U.S. would basically be an admission of child rape and land you in prison. Recently, more stories have been coming out about this problem in Hollywood circles.

        The Boy Scouts were first pressured to allow “gay scouts” and now they are pushing for the acceptance of “gay scout leaders” — why do you think they want to be around Boy Scouts? Do you honestly believe it is because they think Merit Badges are fabulous?

        Homosexuals are emotionally damaged, arrested adolescents who are obsessed with their sexuality and it is our responsibility to prevent them from molesting children.

        “It would be better for him if a millstone were put
        around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.”

        • Gnort

          Clearly they’re just monsters to you, and not hurting, broken people who need care and help and respect for their fundamental human dignity.

          Nothing I say here is going to change your mind. I’ll just pray and ask you to read *in full* what the Catechism says about them, including the way we are to treat them.

          • Objectivetruth

            ” and not hurting, broken people who need care and help and respect for their fundamental human dignity.”

            Agreed,……they do need respect for their fundamental human dignity. We all need to give everyone that respect.

            But the person with homosexual temptations and tendencies needs first and foremost to have respect for their own human dignity by denying and turning away from their disordered sinful, desires. They must be the first to say “no” to their homosexual inclinations, the way all of us must turn from sinful temptations. If someone doesn’t respect themselves, how do you expect others to respect them?

            • Gnort

              How can you expect them to respect themselves when no one else respects them?

              Our call to respect them is not contingent upon their own existing spiritual and mental well being.

              It’s the ones that are struggling that need it the most.
              It’s the ones who are unable to respect their own dignity that need us to respect it the most.

              If someone has critically low self-esteem, you don’t say, “Well, I don’t have to respect them, because how can they expect my respect when they can’t even respect themselves?”
              You say, “I must show them that they are loved, and that God believes they are worthy of being loved.”
              Otherwise you are only reinforcing what they are doing wrong.

          • Interested

            The CCC does not say to overlook a serious threat to the culture, nor does it say Catholics must tiptoe around the truth because political groups spew propaganda.

            • Gnort

              Certainly not.

              But categorically calling them child molesters is propaganda too, and we should not accept that either, because it denies their basic dignity as a human being.

              Plus it’s looking for a demographic scapegoat to blame cultural and societal problems on. That’s simply not a Catholic way of doing things.

          • thebigdog

            I wrote “emotionally damaged, arrested adolescents” and you read “monsters” — that is your problem, not mine. How many other groups of sinners do you enable? Wife beaters? Must we always watch our tone and approach them gently and lovingly in patience, hoping that they will gradually end their practice of beating their wives? How about arsonists? How patient and loving would you be with the boy next door who likes to set things on fire near your home when your kids are sleeping?

            Sin is that which offends God — not that which makes us feel unhappy, sad or guilty. I’m tired of this charade of protecting people engaged in the homosexual lifestyle as if theirs is a “different” kind of sin that must be dealt with in a more special, kinder, gentler way.

            The experiment of treating homosexuals as special people who are sensitive, fragile and only searching for good and truth in the world only leads to more public displays of perversion (they call them pride parades), increases in STDs and more children being molested.

            There is no gay gene and the kinder gentler enablers have failed the rest of us.

            • Gnort

              You’ve overstated my position.

              We must obviously keep people from being victimized.

              But we don’t just declare that they are all criminals any more than we declare that all married men who drink to excess are wife beaters.

              We stop the criminals, and we minister to the rest. We don’t just assume they’re all criminals. Doing that only makes them reject the real help we can offer them.

              I’m not saying we enable them, I’m saying we don’t just decide they’re all evil child molesting monsters like you clearly have, even if you occasionally backpedal on that characterization.

              • thebigdog

                “I’m not saying we enable them”

                What is your solution then?

                • Gnort

                  Well, we can start with not putting barriers between them and the help the Church can give them.

                  If you were looking for help, and one source of that help had someone at the door calling you a child molester, you would look elsewhere, would you not?

                  So would they.

                  They have enough stumbling blocks before them without us adding more. We should be helping them back into grace, not standing like sentries trying to keep them away.

                  Bring them to the help and support they need, don’t drive them away from it and into isolation that will only aggravate the problems they have.

                  • thebigdog

                    “Well, we can start with not putting barriers between them and the help the Church can give them.”

                    Who has ever put a barrier between the Sacrament of Reconciliation and ANY sinner?

                    “If you were looking for help, and one source of that help had someone at the door calling you a child molester”

                    Total straw man… this scenario would probably find the culprit charged with a hate crime. I personally only know of one gay person and have always treated him with the same respect I treat everyone I know.

                    “We should be helping them back into grace, not standing like sentries trying to keep them away.”

                    What percentage of homosexuals in the U.S. today do you believe are truly struggling with their intrinsic disorder? I deal with them at other sites and for the most part, they are foul mouthed liars who hate anything to do with Christianity. My guess is that you are generalizing your homosexual sympathies based on less than 10% of their population.

                    “Bring them to the help and support they need, don’t drive them away from it and into isolation that will only aggravate the problems they have.”

                    So basically you are saying that we are all sinners and have access to the Grace of Confession and even though homosexuals have additional organizations like Courage, it is not enough… because they are “special sinners”

                    Well, you know what, they, nor any of us, is a “special sinner” and you are only proving my point about enabling. Your style has been tried for the past couple of decades and has failed miserably.. let’s try something else that might actually work and prevent thousands of children from being molested also.

                    • Gnort

                      “Who has ever put a barrier between the Sacrament of Reconciliation and ANY sinner?”
                      The Church has more to give them than only the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
                      Things they need, like a supportive community that also encourages them to follow their God-given vocation. If they’re going to be celibate, they need other kinds of companionship all the more.
                      And they aren’t going to get that from people who cheerfully spread propaganda about how they’re all criminals.

                      “Total straw man… this scenario would probably find the culprit charged with a hate crime. I personally only know of one gay person and have always treated him with the same respect I treat everyone I know.”
                      1) Couldn’t be a hate crime, because to be a hate crime, something has to *already be a crime.*
                      And here’s a hint, since you don’t seem to have caught on: I was talking about you and a hypothetical gay person who was looking to reunite with the Church. That was clearly the intended message of your first couple posts.

                      “What percentage of homosexuals in the U.S. today do you believe are truly struggling with their intrinsic disorder?”
                      How could I know a percentage like that? There’s no polls to that effect, and self-reportage would skew the numbers anyway.
                      But I can tell you there’s more than one, and that’s enough.

                      “I deal with them at other sites and for the most part, they are foul mouthed liars who hate anything to do with Christianity. My guess is that you are generalizing your homosexual sympathies based on less than 10% of their population.”
                      I’m not talking about them in general, because in general they are as widely varied as any other Americans.
                      I’m talking about the ones who might consider coming back into the fold, but who see you guarding the gates to try to keep them out.

                      And just curious, what percentage of their population are *your* generalizations based on? I’m curious what would be considered sufficient to make sweeping claims about the whole, in your mind, since you clearly seem to think there is a threshold for that.

                      “So basically you are saying that we are all sinners and have access to the Grace of Confession and even though homosexuals have additional organizations like Courage, it is not enough… because they are “special sinners”
                      No, I’m saying that their unique challenges cause particular forms of pain. It causes them terrible loneliness and social isolation even when they are keeping the faith and avoiding sin.
                      You are shoving salt into that wound instead of bandaging it, metaphorically speaking.
                      They need emotional and social healing in addition to spiritual, and it is the job of the Church to provide that to them just as it is the job of the Church to try to ease the temporal suffering of all people. And the Church isn’t just the hierarchy, it’s the people too, you and me included.
                      How do you expect them to grow emotionally if they are turned away by those who could help them grow emotionally?
                      How do you expect them to have a healthy social environment if you drive them away from the healthiest social environment they could possibly have?

                      “Well, you know what, they, nor any of us, is a “special sinner” and you are only proving my point about enabling. Your style has been tried for the past couple of decades and has failed miserably.. let’s try something else that might actually work and prevent thousands of children from being molested also.”

                      You seem to think I automatically agree with some other person you’ve talked to or something, because a lot of what you’re attributing to me isn’t anywhere in anything I’ve said.

                      “My style” is to show them respect, compassion, and sensitivity as we are REQUIRED TO DO. “My style” is to gently approach frightened, lost lambs and carefully carry them back to the flock rather than shouting and waving sticks at them and scaring them away.

                      And just because I’m curious, what’s your alternative to what’s “been tried for the past couple of decades”?
                      Should we just throw out due process? Put them all in prison preemptively? What?
                      What’s your solution?

                    • thebigdog

                      “The Church has more to give them than only the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Things they need, like a supportive community”

                      The Grace from the Sacrament of Reconciliation allows us then be in the proper state to be able to receive the Grace from the Sacrament of the Eucharist. This is how spiritual battles are won for ALL of us, not hand holding committees.

                      “And they aren’t going to get that from people who cheerfully spread propaganda about how they’re all criminals.”

                      For someone who pretends to be so compassionate and sensitive, you have no problem at all attacking me and completely lying about my position. First, there is NOTHING cheerful about the amount of damage that homosexuals have done to the Church, secondly, inconvenient truths are not propaganda and thirdly, I have never said “all” about any group of people in my entire life.

                      “Couldn’t be a hate crime, because to be a hate crime, something has to *already be a crime.*”

                      Attempting to keep someone from pursuing their constitutional right of freedom of religion would most certainly be a crime and adding that the “victim” in your hysterical scenario is a homosexual would make it a hate crime… get it?

                      “I’m saying that their unique challenges cause particular forms of pain”

                      All sinners have unique challenges whether it be alcohol, drugs, internet porn, anger, etc… you just don’t get it… homosexuals are no better than the rest of us sinners. That “special” thing is part of the pride that comes before the disobedience. The Church simply does not have the resources to form support groups for every form of sin… that’s what group therapy is for. Every parish probably has a dozen members who attend AA meetings, but you want a special committee for the one or two who are sincere about coming out of the gay lifestyle? Courage is a great organization and many Catholics I know have great things to say about it. Rather than attacking me, your time might be better spent promoting Courage.

                      “I’m talking about the ones who might consider coming back into the fold,
                      but who see you guarding the gates to try to keep them out.”

                      My solution is to get all sinners (including homosexuals) to return to a state of Grace by returning to Confession and being able to receive Communion. You have a disconnect — how could I possibly be “guarding the gates to keep them out” when I WANT them to return to Confession? Where do you think the Confessionals are? I want all fallen away Catholics, regardless of their situations, to reconcile themselves with the Church. I just will not stand by quietly any longer while the left spread ridiculous lies about gay genes, imminent heterosexual AIDS epidemics and HIV being the result of Ronald Reagan.

                    • Gnort

                      “The Grace from the Sacrament of Reconciliation allows us then be in the proper state to be able to receive the Grace from the Sacrament of the Eucharist. This is how spiritual battles are won for ALL of us, not hand holding committees.”

                      You’re the only one suggesting it can only be sacraments OR social support from a loving, caring Church that wants to help them resist temptations and live God’s plan for them.

                      I have a car and a lawnmower. The lawnmower is obviously not as powerful or useful as the car, but having both is obviously better than only having one.

                      Why are you arguing AGAINST the Church providing a safe, moral social structure for them?

                      That’s without even getting into the possibility of a welcoming social environment making it more likely for them to willingly rejoin and encourage them to receive those sacraments.

                      “For someone who pretends to be so compassionate and sensitive, you have no problem at all attacking me and completely lying about my position. First, there is NOTHING cheerful about the amount of damage that homosexuals have done to the Church, secondly, inconvenient truths are not propaganda and thirdly, I have never said “all” about any group of people in my entire life.”

                      I wasn’t calling your implication that we should assume people with same sex attraction are child molesters by default was cheerful. I described your eagerness to deliver it cheerful.
                      And it’s pretty telling that you reassert your argument that we should assume they’re criminals right before protesting that you weren’t painting them all with the same brush.

                      “Attempting to keep someone from pursuing their constitutional right of freedom of religion would most certainly be a crime and adding that the “victim” in your hysterical scenario is a homosexual would make it a hate crime… get it?”

                      Um… please, go to the FBI website and look up what constitutes a hate crime. Because what you just described doesn’t qualify, even after you changed the scenario from calling someone a child molester to forcibly preventing them from practicing their religion.
                      Besides, the victim being homosexual doesn’t mean the alleged crime is a hate crime, either. That’s also described quite clearly on the FBI site.
                      They’re the branch of government responsible for investigating claims of hate crimes. They even have statistics. It’s an informative (if morbid) read.

                      But you’re changing the subject. Would you want to be a part of a community where there was someone preemptively accusing you of raping children?
                      If you needed help, would you go to such a place, or would you skip it entirely and try to find somewhere else?

                      “All sinners have unique challenges whether it be alcohol, drugs, internet porn, anger, etc… you just don’t get it… homosexuals are no better than the rest of us sinners.”
                      But they’re the only one you get outraged at the idea of treating with gentle care while helping them recover. Why is that? Why are *you* singling them out for special (hostile) treatment? Why not treat them like other sinners?

                      ” The Church simply does not have the resources to form support groups for every form of sin… that’s what group therapy is for. Every parish probably has a dozen members who attend AA meetings, but you want a special committee for the one or two who are sincere about coming out of the gay lifestyle?”

                      I want? Who are you talking to?
                      I didn’t say a single word about “special committees.”
                      Are you arguing with someone else too and getting the discussions confused in your head?

                      I simply say we have to treat them with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.
                      Those aren’t code words for anything.
                      They are broken and hurting and sick, and we need to treat them the way we are supposed to treat broken, hurting sick people. They’re also sinners, but the way we treat sinners is to help them repent, not to make them feel unwelcome in the only community in the world that can give them that opportunity.

                      “Rather than attacking me, your time might be better spent promoting Courage.”

                      I spend plenty of time and effort promoting them, how about you?

                      “My solution is to get all sinners (including homosexuals) to return to a state of Grace by returning to Confession and being able to receive Communion.”

                      That’s not a solution. That’s a goal. It’s my goal, in fact.
                      What I am asking is… what is your METHOD for that, since you’re vehemently opposed to being gentle while bringing lost sheep back into the fold.

                      “You have a disconnect — how could I possibly be “guarding the gates to keep them out” when I WANT them to return to Confession?”
                      That’s what I’ve been asking myself ever since I saw you being overtly hostile toward people who are already suspicious and quick to be hurt, due to a tragic history of being hurt and hurting themselves.

                      “I just will not stand by quietly any longer while the left spread ridiculous lies about gay genes, imminent heterosexual AIDS epidemics and HIV being the result of Ronald Reagan.”
                      I’m still trying to figure out exactly how accusing them of raping children without any sort of evidence reduces the spread of those claims.
                      Or exactly who it is you’re arguing with, since I haven’t claimed any of those things.
                      I’m a small town rural midwest conservative Catholic man from a small town rural midwest conservative Catholic diocese.
                      Try talking with me instead of the imaginary New York liberal atheist you’ve been trying to argue with, but who isn’t actually here.

                    • thebigdog

                      You are obviously emotionally unstable… I will pray for you. Be well.

                    • Gnort

                      Rationalize backing out of the discussion however you like. I was just trying to show you how your rhetoric was obstructing your own goal of getting them back into the Church where they can be saved.

      • Interested

        Uh Huh. And a few years ago the idea of two man “marrying” would be nothing but an absurd joke. And now?

  • richado

    “T” for transformation. I also thought how about ‘T’ for transfiguration (as in Matt.17:1-9,Luke 9:28-36, Mark 9:2-8) ? Theosis?

  • Tony

    Tyler — welcome! And thank you for your sensitive article.

    May I mention one thing you may be missing here, still? It’s simply this: We owe to children what a very wise Christian these days has called “an uncomplicated expectation of heterosexuality.” That is, we owe to boys and girls a full affirmation of their boyhood and girlhood; we owe to them an early training in being boys and being girls, expecting them to become FOR one another; we owe them absolutely no confusion on that score.

    Ultimately, human sexuality is about the family — first and last. It is about people getting married and having children WITHIN marriage, who will then marry likewise and have children of their own. Our obsession with sexual paraphilias has derailed us from the matters that should most concern us. Or, to put it another way, we need to restore many of the old guard rails that have come down, and that used to protect boys and girls from evil influences from without and from within. A boy should no more think it all right to — it is hard to express this — fellate another boy than he should think it all right to call himself a girl and wear a dress, or to steal the consecrated wine from the tabernacle and drink it, or to do anything else that should strike a normal sensibility with aversion. He’s the one we need to protect — he and the girl next door. Everybody else’s needs come a very distant second.

  • Bruno

    Gay people and the demands we (well not we, God) make on them are a great call for us to aspire holiness too. How easy do we forget Jesus’ admonition not to concern ourselves overtly with our neighbor while we keep on sinning!

    The way I see it, what I call “Gayzism” must be combatted. That is the tendency to ascribe a positive moral value to homosexual attraction.

    Pharisaism must be combatted as well. That is the tendency to pay too much attention to certain sexual sins because they are supposedly worse than any others.

    Both Gayzism and Pharisaism have the same root, and that is our difficulty and reluctance to acknowledge our sins. In one case one seeks to abolish sin lest he be overwhelmed by God’s demands, and that is delusion, for man cannot abolish right and wrong. In the second case one acknowledges right and wrong – to others, just like the thief who is not against property rights, just the property rights of others.

    Being Christian is tough and I often like to forget about it. Do we remember that, right next to the command not to commit adultery with our eyes, it is also said that we should kill no man with our words by calling him a fool? That not being in control of our tongues can be as sinful as fornicating? So, I think, Caleb has taught us a lesson.

  • Spambot3049

    A wonderful and refreshing article, Tyler. Many of the comments here were helpful, too.
    I recall Leah Libresco wrote much the same thing recalling her conversion. I guess Morality just loves me or something,” she said.

  • Pingback: Habits of Mercy - BigPulpit.com()

  • MarcAlcan

    Wow! I want to write that word in humongous letters!
    Just Wow! Very beautiful article.

  • D Christopher

    Excellent. I wish I had the genuine tolerance and patience that Mr. Blanski has. One of the few good things about the mainstreaming of homosexuality is that we now know who we need to minister to. When those with same-sex attraction were closeted and the gay culture was growing in the shadows, it was nearly impossible to bring God’s love directly to them. Bringing it all into the light doesn’t mean it wasn’t there before and has suddenly come upon us, it means we now know where we need to bring Christ’s love.

  • Tom Jefferson

    Perversion and sodomy are not healthy and
    wholesome activities and should not be promoted or legitimatized by anyone.
    Abnormal activities threatening the ability to provide rules for safe, stable,
    dependable marriage and family relationships are harmful to a strong social
    structure and should be discouraged. Safety, stability, and reliability are
    essential qualities in any successful family, regardless of its composition.
    That stability is based on the union of a man and a woman and this should be
    respected by all members of society LGBT included. The definition of perverse
    is abnormal and homosexual sex is abnormal. Perversion is a gay-wrong not a gay
    right. Society should not accommodate the perverse desires of a selfish few. Believing
    perversion and sodomy are unhealthy and abnormal is not bigoted or hateful it’s
    common sense. Compassion for wrong doing must be tempered by the knowledge that
    we have free will and wrong begets wrong. Innocent bystanders must be protected
    from those teaching evil is good. The LGBT community aided by Main Stream Media
    and the Supreme Court are censoring perversion out of the debate. Everyone
    should admit the LGBT lifestyle is wrong and speak out against legitimatizing
    perversion and sodomy, destroying traditional marriage, hurting the traditional
    family, and weakening the fabric of our society. There is no reason to debase
    the institution of marriage to accommodate the perverse desires of a selfish
    few.

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