• Subscribe to Crisis

  • The New Homophiles and Their Critics

    by Austin Ruse

    Gay St. Aelred?

    This new school of writers and thinkers that I have called the New Homophiles are not without their critics. How could they not be? After all, while they want a warmer embrace from the Church, they want more than that and some of it seems at variance with the wishes and perhaps even the teachings of the Church.

    Some of their critics come from their own ranks, those with chaste same-sex attraction but who also believe the New Homophiles have gone too far.

    Terry Nelson runs a blog called “Abbey Roads in Ordinary Time” where he regularly takes after New Homophile propositions. In an October 2010 post he wrote about the idea that St. Aelred was gay or at least same-sex attracted. This is a major point among the New Homophiles who believe Aelred’s book “Spiritual Friendship” offers a treatise for how to be gay and chaste and still experience intensely loving relationships with another man.

    Aelred wrote, “It is no small consolation in this life to have someone you can unite with in an intimate affection and the embrace of holy love, someone in whom your spirit can rest, to whom you can pour out your soul, to whom pleasant exchanges, as to soothing songs, you can fly in sorrow … with whom spiritual kisses, as with remedial salves, you may draw out all the weariness of your restless anxieties.”

    Sounds pretty gay to my modern ears, and to the New Homophiles, too.

    Terry Nelson begs to differ, as do Aelred scholars. He says the Aelred-as-gay meme is of recent vintage, “…a novel theory postulated in the mid-twentieth century … those who make this claim are looking at this from our nineteenth–twenty-first century perspective and contemporary understanding of same-sex relations as posited by gay culture today.”

    He accuses the New Homophiles of playing something of a “doctrinal shell game” where “just about every time a couple of them write anything ‘ground-breaking’ they seem to be challenged by readers as to their orthodoxy. Subsequently they appear to backtrack and present voluminous explanations of what they really meant to say … it seems to me the underlying intention is to normalize homosexuality and to declare gay is good.”

    This gets to the most serious problem with the New Homophile proposition, their insistence on maintaining their gay identity. Melinda Selmys, a formerly active Lesbian who publishes books at Our Sunday Visitor, now married with six children, actually calls herself “queer.” She and her friends want to be known as gay and they want the Church not just to welcome but to celebrate their gayness.

    Not a homosexual himself, Michael W. Hannon comes to the debate from a more academically rigorous point of view than Terry Nelson but he, too, takes issue with this main proposition of Ron Belgau, Chris Damian and the rest, that it is perfectly fine to maintain a gay sexual-identity.

    In a First Things essay last fall, Hannon criticized Pope Francis for his casual use of the term “gay people.” He calls the concept of homosexuality “unmerited by its pedigree” because it was constructed in the nineteenth century when the classical notion of the sodomite “was set up as the bearer of a distinct and pervasive psychological persuasion.”

    Hannon believes the heterosexual-homosexual construct is “masquerading … as a natural categorization, applicable to all people in all times and places according to the typical objects of their sexual desires.”

    He says, “…this framework puts on airs, deceiving those who adopt its distinctions into believing that they are worth far more than they really are.”

    Hannon warns, “Our young people … now regularly find themselves agonizing over their sexual identity, navel-gazing in an attempt to discern their place in this allegedly natural framework of orientations.”

    Paul Scalia wrote a widely read essay in First Things nine years ago called “A Label that Sticks.” A well-regarded priest in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia and at the time chaplain to the Courage chapter in Arlington, Scalia offered a warning about the dangers of young people identifying themselves as gay.

    He said educators uniformly try to keep kids from labeling themselves and others as such things can “reinforce prejudices.” The exception, however, is for those who experience same-sex attraction. For them there is a whole educational apparatus waiting to identify, encourage, label and then lock them under gay amber for all time.

    Scalia says at a time of general adolescent confusion about almost everything, such labels are tempting to the child because he wants to belong somewhere and to others “because of their convenience and efficiency. They are common, close at hand, and make quick work of a difficult issue. But they also identify a person with his homosexual inclinations. They presume that a person is his inclinations or attractions; he is ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’.” He insists—in keeping with the Church—“People’s sexual inclinations do not determine their identity.”

    The most prolific of the New Homophile critics is Daniel Mattson, a working musician and himself same-sex attracted, also living chaste, but insisting he is not “gay” but rather simply a man and a child of God. He says the word “gay” does not accurately describe who or what he is. Those who use it, like the New Homophiles, are not faithful to the theological anthropology of the Church.

    Mattson sees the New Homophile embrace of the gay identity as “counter to the truth of man and therefore an obstacle to authentic self-knowledge.” He says “Though people may describe themselves by using terms like ‘gay’ or ‘queer’ which are commonly used in today’s culture, as Christians who believe in man created in the image of God, we should ask if these cultural terms are, in fact, true ontological categories of the human person, in accord with the blue print of human existence.” Mattson insists the “clear definition of our sexual identity [is] revealed to us by Scripture and the Church.”

    Mattson says “Since I am Catholic, the sexual identity I am called to embrace is my maleness; my true sexual orientation is towards women, my true sexual complement.” He says his attraction to men is not a new essential orientation but a “disorientation” that “does not exist within God’s blue print for humanity.”

    In 1986, then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger issued the “Pastoral Letter on the Care of the Homosexual Person” where he wrote, “Today the Church provides a badly needed context for the care of the human person when she refuses to consider the person as a ‘heterosexual’ or a ‘homosexual’ and insists that every person has a fundamental right Identity: the creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life.”

    Mattson says he takes no umbrage at the phrase objectively disordered, something the New Homophiles bristle at, and that he views his same-sex attraction as a disability “in some ways similar to blindness or deafness.”

    Against the New Homophiles he does not see same-sex attraction as a gift “in and of itself.” He insists that any goods “supposedly unique to homosexuality are common to man, and all that is good in man is the result of being made in the image and likeness of God.”

    He opposes the New Homophile notion of “gay exceptionalism” flowing from the supposed good of homosexuality. “No,” he says, “the good is the redemptive healing work of God that begins when we honestly acknowledge that homosexuality is a wound” and he says that if same-sex attracted persons take this view they can become “wounded healers.”

    Most people were not even aware the New Homophiles were even out there. Most of us discovered it when they were given a regular home at First Things last year, something that has concerned any number of faithful Catholics. Mattson was given a few chances to engage their ideas there but then he was mysteriously dropped without a word last summer.

    What is needed now is for serious Catholic theologians to engage the New Homophile proposition. These folks are not going away, and neither should they. But should their ideas be bandied about without real heavyweight consideration? Most of them are only recently decanted PhDs, not that there is anything wrong with that, but they are proposing things that are new and even esoteric and are going largely unchallenged.

    And even if they cannot convince the Church to develop or change the teaching on homosexuality, and they probably can’t, the real problem is their ideas are circulating and, according to one priest who deals with these issues, undermining the pastoral work of the Church. This priest bluntly told me, “They are in their ivory towers, they are not pastors and they are not only undermining our work but they are undermining the wishes of Catholic families.”

    Think of it this way. Your 14-year-old son feels different from the other guys at school. For whatever reason, he always has. He confides this to a counselor who asks him about his sexual orientation. Your son says that maybe the difference he feels is that he is gay. The apparatus kicks in to place him under the gay amber for life.

    Now, do you want your son to talk to Chris Damian, one of the New Homophiles who has said he would tell that young man to “Seek to draw yourself more fully into the Church and to discern how this might be a gift in your life and in others’ lives.”

    Or do you want him to meet Daniel Mattson and Father Paul Scalia who would tell the boy, “You are not your sexual inclinations. You are not ‘gay.’ What you are is a man and a Son of God.”

    At first blush there seems to be very little difference between the two, but as you gaze more closely at all that is packed into the New Homophile Proposition, you realize the difference is immense and may be profoundly harmful.

    The views expressed by the authors and editorial staff are not necessarily the views of
    Sophia Institute, Holy Spirit College, or the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.

    Subscribe to Crisis

    (It's Free)

    Go to Crisis homepage

    • Steven Jonathan

      The new homophiles, despite the appearances of good intentions, are still operating as St. Paul explains in Ephesians 2:2, under the “spirit now at work in the sons of disobedience.” They are riven with the spirit of division. It is shameful to superimpose fantasies of latent homosexual tendencies onto the works of the saints, as in the case of St. Aelred.

      Fr. Paul Scalia is right, to attempt to identity as “gay” is not to say something about being, but something about the inclinations to do, to act, and thereby be predisposed to disordered action by way of cultivating addiction.

      No matter how much sympathy the new homophiles amass, and I suspect it will be quite a lot in these extremely confused times, no amount of pathological consensus can change divine law, a tidal wave has a better chance of wiping out Siberia. Though the word games will continue and the victim narratives will become more intricately compelling, the lies will mount up and in the end we will look back on this moral wasteland and ask where our fathers had gone.

      • Matt

        Wait, these men and women who have committed themselves to obedience to God in celibacy are being disobedient? What planet do you live on?

        I would be a little more cautious as those who showed the kind of arrogance to declare as sin what God had not (and the bible does not, in fact, address the subject of homosexuality as an orientation, only behavior – yes, even in Romans 1).

        Those who chose to declare as sin what God has not we given an interesting title by Christ, “spawn of Satan.”

        Might want to be careful who you charge with being a son of disobedience

    • AcceptingReality

      Mattson’s viewpoint makes perfect sense. It is also well articulated. Commenting on the last article, I, a mere pewsitting Catholic, made the observation that the New Homophiles seemed to be self-identifying as “gay” rather than as who they are in Christ. You validate that observation through this article. So, why do we need heavyweight theologians to weigh in when average men like me can figure it out? The fact that the New Homophiles have PhD’s doesn’t mean that much does it? Education doesn’t necessarily make one smarter…..

      • Nestorian

        The real interesting question is this: Why was Mattson quietly dropped by First Things, and who at First Things has been giving the New Homophiles their bully podium to begin with?
        Is R.R. Reno a closet gay-sympathizer, and a subversive heretic/sheep-in-wolves-clothing right in the midst of the Conservative Catholic community?

        • Art Deco

          There has been discussion of this topic by some of the magazine’s clientele who have noticed the quantum of pixels bogarted at First Things by a subculture of very cirucmscribed dimensions: people who insist they are orthodox Catholics while insisting on making a public point of their sexual proclivities. Also, at least three social conservatives who frequent the discussion fora there have had serial tangles with the moderators and there have been some other odd goings on there. We are properly alert to orthodox apostolates being corrupted, as it happens quite regularly. You are not the first person to ask that question, though the last person who asked it in my presence speculated it was one of Reno’s younger deputies.

          One thing is undeniable. Under Reno’s editorship, the publication has turned into a crashing bore.

          • John200

            “…a crashing bore.” is precisely my reaction. FT was a favorite, but now I rarely bother.

            Maybe my expectations were too high for any successor to Father Neuhaus.

            • Art Deco

              I think it’s generational. The old lions die (Ralph McInerney, Charles Colson, Fr. Neuhaus) and there is not anyone to replace them or the replacements are of inferior quality (Mark Shea, and, in a very different way, Reno) or are compromised to a greater or lesser degree by scandal (Fr. Corapi, Deal Hudson, Amy Welborn, Fr. Sirico). Some of the voices you used to see have fallen silent perhaps due to age or demoralization or pastoral responsiblities (Fr. Rob Johansen, Sandra Miesel, and Peter Kreeft).

              First Things appears to be a vehicle only one man knew how to drive. After Fr. Neuhaus’ deputy retired in 2004 (and the man seemed rather spent in his valedictory), the replacement turned out to be a fraud who was working there to collect material for an expose. (It’s a testament to the poisonous character of the liberal opinion press and also of Rod Dreher that they treat this man as if he were a decent human being). That man’s successor turned out to be infected with a certain unseriousness and also severely mismanaged the magazine’s finances. And now you have Reno, a theological academic who appears infected with vices of the breed. David Mills, who has done creditable work elsewhere, is on the staff; however, it appears he lives in Pittsburgh and telecommutes.

              It’s a failing apostolate, and the foundations which finance it can with little doubt find better uses for the funds. Fr. Neuhaus once said that if the content of First Things was such that you could say it had ‘finished a course of life’ he hoped it would shut down. That time is now.

              • John200

                Thank you. That makes good sense and fills in the gaps in my knowledge. I felt that FT had lost something, but I had no idea of the steps in its decline.

              • Jim Kramer

                Rod Dreher is every bit the wolf in sheep’s clothing precisely because he will undermine the right withl glee if he believes it will spare his family from the coming reprisals against supporters of traditional marriage. That and his shameful behavior in orthodox intra-fighting mark him as compromised and cowardly.

          • Guest

            They have infiltrated EWTN and Catholic Answers as well.

            • Art Deco

              Catholic Answers had and has a more severe problem: wretchedly overpaying its executives and refusing to discipline one very prominent employee, Mark Shea.

              • Guest

                It is all very sad.

              • chezami

                I’m not their employee.

      • John200

        They have worthless PhDs. That is why they have time and energy to drop their plague onto the Catholic websites.

    • GB

      Thank you, again for your good work on this topic. One of the most troubling aspects of this propaganda is that some have infiltrated orthodox Catholic outlets as you mention.

      • Nestorian

        Again the interesting question is, how did that happen? Someone with a considerable amount of power has mad a decision to let it happen. But who???

        • Brian Patrick Delaney

          Are you saying there is a conspiracy of dangerous Church teaching -adhering homosexuals to
          infiltrate the right-leaning Catholic niche press ?? God forbid !

          • Art Deco

            Your point is what?

    • lifeknight

      Nicely written piece about the fact that many are still trying to normalize unnatural sexual behaviors. Whether the “urge” is acted upon or not, it is still disordered and is not part of the identity as a child of God. As aptly put: “You are not your sexual inclinations.”

      • Shrdlu42

              Remember your history, sir, there was a time when people thought it “disordered” to believe in Jesus.

        • Christine Niles

          Shrdlu42: Are you aware that the Catholic Church officially teaches that the homosexual inclination is “objectively disordered”? So yes, it is indeed a word we can throw around with a clear conscience, considering it’s the official stance of the Church–and it is precisely that word, or that understanding, that the New Homophiles find so objectionable–as you seem to do all over the comments boxes here.

          • William_JamesIi

            “So yes, it is indeed a word we can throw around with a clear conscience, considering it’s the official stance of the Church”

            Someday, when you know better, you will cringe at the thought that you ever said those words. There is nothing “objectively disordered” about homosexuality. You poor misguided and narrow-minded lost sheep.

            • Guest

              Uh Huh. Propaganda will not work.

              • William_JamesIi

                It’s not propaganda. It is common decency.

                Have a little respect for homosexuals.

                • AugustineThomas

                  You don’t respect someone by encouraging them in their sin (I’m sorry to keep repeating this, but), especially when there is so much scientific evidence of how much damage it does to them.
                  God bless you and them! Lord have mercy on us, sinners!

            • Paul Sho

              This is what Pope Pius V says:

              “That horrible crime (Sodomy), on account of which corrupt and obscene cities were destroyed by fire through divine condemnation, causes us most bitter sorrow and shocks our mind, impelling us to repress such a crime with the greatest possible zeal.”
              (cf Constitutionn Horrendum illud scelus, August 30, 1568)

              • William_JamesIi

                Sodom was destroyed (in the fictional story) for its wickedness. The men who wanted to rape the angels were only a small part of the wickedness for which it was destroyed.

                • AugustineThomas

                  And we don’t encourage any of their sins, which is why we don’t encourage homosexual behavior! (No one is preventing men who love each other from living together, nor even from sinning together. We’re just hoping they’ll repent together!)

              • Mark

                Of course, the New Homophiles don’t support sodomy…

                • jamesandbill

                  You are missing the point. The writer of the story about Sodom and Gamorah was not condemning homosexuality so much as the overall decrepidness of the people in general. The bad thing about the men wanting to rape the guests was the rape part of it, not the same sex part of it. Besides, it is just a story by a writer with no particular handle on issues relating to human sexuality. What same sex couples do in private is no one’s business but their own.

                  • DD

                    Talk about relativism and nihilism.

                    • jamesandbill

                      It’s called being open minded. You should try it sometime.

                      All I see on this thread is bigotry.

                      • Crisiseditor

                        Then why not be a little open minded toward the people you disagree with? Maybe you’ll see that they are not so bigoted after all. But an ideologue will only see the world one way, despite claiming to be open to different points of view. If there is one thing I won’t tolerate is accusations of bigotry. If you have a rational disagreement, that make the case. If you are going to make unsubstantiated claims and wild accusations, I’ll have to kick you off (again).

                      • DD

                        I am open to all that is true and good. I am not open to error and agitprop.

                • DD

                  No one knows what they support.

            • DD

              It is a desire not oriented toward the good. This is not insulting.

        • DD

          Who and when?

    • Vinnie

      Instead of divide and conquer their tactic is to dilute and conquer. It seems homosexuals will give you any configuration you want so they get “accepted.”

    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

      The theme for the upcoming season of Lent for my very liberal and heterodox parish is “Take up your cross and follow Me”.

      It occurs to me that if you aren’t willing to admit your cross is a cross, it becomes incredibly difficult to lift.

      • Vinnie

        Actually I would think it becomes very light, maybe even non-existent.

        • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

          In which case you wouldn’t be following him.

          • Patrick

            Even more than that, if you look at the intentional parallel of the term “take up your cross,” if you don’t lift it, you are just remaining prone on the ground under it’s weight and can’t proceed at all.

    • tamsin

      thank you thank you thank you for writing this.
      As a parent, I don’t want well-meaning educators “helping” my child to identify himself by sexual attraction, especially not before the age of consent. But educators in schools K-12 are being forced to do so in those states where marriage has been redefined to eliminate sexual complementarity.
      It is different in kind from abortion; even with abortion legalized, no kindergarten teacher in an state reads stories to children in which a grown-up girl happily chooses to abort her baby. We do not ask kindergarten girls to wonder whether they identify as aborters or not.

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        If he begins holding hands with girls, asking about their bodies (I was wondering around the age of 5), paying them any special attention to particular girls, etc. he will have outed himself as a majority heterosexual (but he could still be bisexual). Food for thought, all the LGBT people are peoples’ children. They had no one to help them figure things out in a world where you must be heterosexual to not be labeled ‘disordered’ or some cruel names (that most were called long before they understood what the older kids were talking about). It is based on their trials and miseries that they would like parents and educators to start trying harder at being there for these younger LGBT children of the people.

        Lastly, what fantasy alternate reality could you imagine yourself happy to get an abortion? Instead of pointing and jeering at people from afar, why do you hold back from actually getting to know some people who decided to abort (no one feels exactly the same on any issue and this is no exception)?

    • http://familyfeastandferia.wordpress.com/ Jennifer Gregory Miller

      Clear and precise and hit the nail on the head! Thank you for addressing this, and thank you for all the work you do!

    • http://allrightforum.blogspot.com/ ALL RIGHT FORUM

      Homomania

    • Art Deco

      Incoming: 700 comments and away we go!

      It is really rather irregular to be revealing in the manner these characters are in public print (or at least it used to be). You get the impression that some of them are engaged in attention seeking behavior.

      • John200

        Some?

    • Paul Sho

      But why choose the RAINBOW for logo? Do the Gay Agenda people realize what it means?
      Or, not content with testing the patience of men they decided to test the patience of God?
      Somehow when I see the LGBT crowd waving RAINBOW banners I keep remembering Noah and Lot.

      • CadaveraVeroInnumero

        Link below are their words on the Rainbow Flag. Explicating a movement by their use of signs and symbols is useful – often it gets to the roots of things – but gay ideology (theology has wrung any biblical meaning from it.

        In short, the Rainbow Flag symbolizes the diversity of gay orientations (acts, actually, for individual gays tend to identify with one or more sexual fetishes). This is another way of giving doctrinal support to that most invidious plank in gay theology – that of the “sexual continuum in the human experience” – wrapping it up, so to speak, in a banner and flag, giving that doctrinal plank an indelible visual presence. They are clever, these gay folks. They do know how to communicate.

        http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/user/scotts/bulgarians/rainbow-flag.html

        • Mark

          A Canticle for Leibowitz seems to suggest that there are two types of people in the world: those who believe that the colors of the rainbow came only after the Fall (indeed, only after the Flood), and those who believe that Eden was not black and white like Pleasantville:

          “‘Do you mind a question from the platform?’ asked the abbot.‘Not at all,’ said the scholar, looking a bit doubtful, as if thinking et tuBrute.‘I was wondering what there is about the refrangible property of light thatyou thought might be offensive to religion?’‘Well—’ The thon paused uncomfortably. ‘Monsignor Apollo, whom youknow, grew quite heated on the subject. He said the light could not possibly have been refrangible before the Flood, because the rainbow was supposedly—’The room burst into roaring laughter, drowning the rest of the remark. Bythe time the abbot had waved them to silence, Thon Taddeo was beet red, and DomPaulo had some difficulty in maintain his own solemn visage.‘Monsignor Apollo is a good man, a good priest, but all men are apt to beincredible asses at times, especially outside their domains. I’m sorry I asked the question.’’ The answer relieves me,’ said the scholar. ‘I seek no quarrels.’”

    • Joseph Sciambra

      As an ex-gay man myself, the road to the Truth is often a long and difficult path to follow. I spent over a decade in the gay community, here in San Francisco, as a gay activist and sometime porn star. For many of us, who emerged from traumatic childhoods filled with alienation and loneliness, the gay world offered a safe harbor of “love” and acceptance. This is a challenging shelter to leave. Here, I can see why so many of my brothers and sisters are unwilling to cut all ties; this also depends upon how long you self-identified as gay, how long you were in the life, and if you still maintain close associations with the gay community. When I left, I chose to remove myself completely; because I realized that only death waited there for me. Just recently, I decided to go back, I wrote a book, and speak to my brothers and sisters. I have met 100s who are unhappy and want out, but they don’t know how to do it. Let us keep them in our prayers. http://www.swallowedbysatan.com is the link for my book.

      • Tony

        Mr. Sciambra — God bless you abundantly for your courageous witness, and for your profound charity.

      • Adam__Baum

        Since you have the courage to discuss this briefly here, and apparently the motivation to write, perhaps you’ll expand upon your experience but submitting an article to the editor.

        There is more joy in heaven…

      • Gabriel Blanchard

        Mr. Sciambra, I’m grateful for your testimony, and far more grateful for your embrace of the Catholic faith. Welcome home.

        That being said, I think it’s also important to note that your experience of the gay world is not typical. The majority of LGBT people aren’t porn stars, don’t get involved in Satan worship, and so forth. To present your testimony is of course perfectly reasonable, but it shouldn’t be taken as the secret life of gay people in general.

        • Austin Ruse

          Gabriel, but the typical world of a gay man is often filled with porn adn with casual sex etc etc. Have you read the essay by Ronald Lee that I wrote about in these pages?

          • Shrdlu42

                  Careful, based on the evidence, the same thing could be said about Christian Ministers and Priests. (I’ll refrain from listing the obvious examples.)

            • Austin Ruse

              Except such behavior is typical in the gay community.

              • Mark

                Not sure what you mean by “typical” or “gay community.” Is there a highly promiscuous subculture? Sure; the party and play crowd. The heterosexuals have their counterpart there too, but (in part because of how long homosexuality was pushed “underground”) it admittedly plays a larger part in gay culture (gay male; lesbians don’t have sex at all. jk, but if you’re going to go on stereotypes, you can’t forget that lesbians are the other half of the gay world).

                But that club culture is hardly representative of all gays. It’s like you’re talking about cliches rather than engaging real people.

                As for porn…don’t pretend like that’s a “gay” thing. Porn is pervasive EVERYWHERE now.

                • AugustineThomas

                  People who identify naturally and people who identify by their perversion are all suffering from the same sin: lust.

                  Still, go ahead and look it up buddy! Homosexual males have STD rates that are absolutely off the charts. Lesbians suffer lower STD rates, for obvious reasons–but they share the highest levels of depression, drug abuse, self-hatred and suicide with their male homosexual partners. (Before you try to blame it on society–why didn’t the blacks report the same levels of misery and suicide when they were far more abused and less celebrated than contemporary gays??)

                  • jamesandbill

                    Your statistics about LGBTs are irrelevant. The real question is whether they deserve our respect and whether they should be accepted for who and what they are or rejected (as you are obviously inclined to do). The bigotry of some of those commenting on this thread is shameful. And when someone opposes them, they are censored.

                    • DD

                      Calling truth bigotry is shameful.

                    • Crisiseditor

                      The only people who are censored are people who are only here to accuse others of bigotry for not agreeing with them. Watch yourself or you will be next.

                    • AugustineThomas

                      I’m sorry if my sin shows through and I’m rude.

                      I truly am only trying to explain that I don’t think it’s loving to encourage someone in a sin, especially when we have so much scientific evidence of how much damage it does to them.
                      I truly love them and want them to be as healthy and happy as possible! God bless you!

                • DD

                  The problem is you compare unequal issues. Homosexuality is not normal. If you want to compare then compare the subcategory of deviant heterosexuality with homosexuality. Do not compare the moral and natural norm of heterosexuality with deviations.

                • CadaveraVeroInnumero

                  Regarding the difference difference makes.

                  May or may not care for the source but it does pull together some interesting data:

                  http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS04C02

          • Mark

            Considering Gabriel IS a gay man, why point him to an article to try to show him “what the gay lifestyle is like”?? He has, I’m sure, his own anecdotal evidence, namely every day he lives and breathes.

        • CadaveraVeroInnumero

          Poor distinction, Gabriel. And you know it. However obvious it is, it is a boring fact that most gays are not porn stars. But, with the majority that aren’t, few would, in an absolute categorical sense, condemn or dismiss the hardcore, campy gay life.

          It is part of the entertainment. It is weaved within the movement. It heaves as a banner above every public expression and advocacy of “gayness”. And, you know it.

          A good analogy is Islam’s jihad, the campaign to keel the whole world into an islamic caliphate. True (as with the hardcore gays) there is a significant minority of jihadis who go a-raiding: slaughtering, beheading, burning. But the vast majority of the Land (House) of Islam gives them place, their more than tacit approval. The House of Islam acknowledges that the mayhem and violence, for the sake of Allah, is the voice of Islam. So with the majority of gays. Those of sacrifice themselves utterly to the “pure spirit” of gayness are incarnating homosexuality without taint or compromise. They know (they fear) that homosexuality needs such blatant exhibition to retain and maintain its hold upon them, to legitimize their disordered conscience.

          NOTE: I, too, saw Satan on the corner of Hollywood & Vine, on a rooftop on Venice Beach.

          • Mark

            This analysis is actually interesting. I don’t think you’ve got it right, but it at least raises interesting points that do need to be addressed.

            As for why the more extreme hedonism is a sort of banner at gay pride stuff (to the point that drag queens and men in speedos gogo dancing are there “iconically” as part of the atmosphere, even if the vast majority of attendees are much more subdued and moderate and “regular”)…well, there are several more mundane explanations. In part it’s “bending the stick” back in the other direction against repression and conformism. In part it’s just the general spirit of non-judgmentalism; most gays aren’t like this, but the idea is that “Well, I may not think that’s a good or feasible way to live…but then again, people said that about me, so I should practice tolerance and ‘live and let live’ even where I differ.” In this, straight conservatives have a lot to learn from the gay pride scene; tolerance and non-judgment are not necessarily “endorsement” or approval. But your comparison to Islam and Jihad is interesting; it is more like “We can’t moderate and clamp down on our own radicals while we are still oppressed by an external power. Until then it has to be more ‘we’re all in this together.’” And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

            • Paul Sho

              We have nothing to learn from gay pride parades. To tolerate homosexual acts is virtually the same as committing those acts. They are always to be condemned.

              • William_JamesIi

                What a bigoted, prejudiced and ignorant remark. What makes you so righteous?

            • DD

              That is exactly the type of analysis that explains why Catholics oppose all “gay” ideology. It is a lobby and it is contrary to the moral law.

        • tj.nelson

          This is where it sounds as if there is an elite within gay society, risen to the top of the culture, with solid morals and impeccable behavior. That only the low life bar types do the dirty dirty. For years gay people have been trying to downplay the seamier side of gay life. Years ago mostly lesbians objected to all the sex ads in gay magazines and newspapers and the publications eventually cleaned up their act. Male gay activists called for ‘decency’ in the manner gays presented to straight culture. Local gay Catholic dissenters made the same assertions – blaming the causes of such gross behavior on internalized homophobia instead of lust. Perhaps following or in tandem with the research and lead of secular gay activists in the pursuit of normalizing homosexual sexual activity and making gay marriage equal to heterosexual marriage. Catholic homophiles present a similar sanitized narrative to deny and disassociate themselves from the dark side of homosexuality.

          But it’s there – maybe even more closeted than ever.

          This is the big problem I see with this movement – that the gay people present as not like ordinary ‘muggles’ but as special, each person, each group a species unto himself. That you are not like ordinary men. Amazingly, when writing about Sciambra’s story – I believe it was him – Melinda Selmys expressed doubts that he was even gay. (I didn’t file the comment, it may have been on a post she did for SF.)

          That’s strange since some within the gay Catholic movement say it is unimportant to try and understand the genesis of homosexual attraction and simply accept one’s sexual orientation as fact. Yet everyone dismisses his experience as not typical, a strange aberration, and as Selmys suggests – he’s probably not even gay.

          Inventing a new narrative for gay is pretty complex business – which is exactly why ordinary Catholics are confused.

          • Mark

            It’s like you’re still in the 70s or 80s with regards to gay culture and narratives.

            If you ask people today to “imagine gay,” they’re much more likely to point to Glee or Modern Family. Not Alan Ginsberg or the Castro District.

            This may be a generational thing, but you’re just engaging in moral panic here. All the gays I know, even secular atheist ones, are in the exact same place in their twenties (basically, serial monogamy) as straight people are these days, and I see no reason to think there will be a radical divergence in the future.

            • tj.nelson

              Yup. That’s the common reply. Generational.
              Glee and Modern Family – documentaries?
              Serial monogamy – with benefits.

              • Mark

                You’re also ignoring that the biggest disparities in these issues are not gay/straight, but racial and socio-economic, which tend to be the much greater risk factors.

              • Patrick

                I’m pretty sure the reason people would object to your last paragraph is that they would likely take “gay men” to be referring to a collection of individual people rather than to a general trend among a demographic, and to which you are ascribing a particular trait universally.
                It looks like outgroup homogeneity bias, even if it isn’t.

                Miscommunication is inevitable, so steps need to be taken to try to prevent it (by all parties involved in communication), and an openness to the possibility that there was some sort of discontinuity of meaning maintained in general.

            • DD

              Here is a secret. The standard is not deviant heterosexual behavior. The standard is the objective moral truth which is “gay” actions are wrong. Period.

            • Austin Ruse

              This is the gay narrative and sadly almost everyone believes it. Sanitize. Sanitize. Sanitize. Not even Dan Savage or Andrew Sullivan agree with you. Savage talks about his open marriage. And HIV+ Sullivan advertises himself for bare-backing in gay sex magazines. Yes, the paladins of gay push Glee but the reality is more like Cruising.

              This is one of the reasons the New Homophiles are doing good but also Courage and others who have turned their back not just on the usual hideous gay scene but even your, probably utterly false, story about serial monogamy. Ahuh.

              • Mark

                If I’m speaking anecdotally so are you. Savage and Sullivan don’t “speak for” all gays anymore than Malcolm X spoke for all blacks.

              • DD

                They want affirmation above all else.

                • Mark

                  Eh, mainly people want a sort of “live and let live” tolerance that includes not letting moral judgments about “victimless” acts not break down relationships or friendships or family bonds, letting people make their own decisions and being happy for what good you can find in them and holding your tongue about what reservations you might have. If that’s “affirmation,” I don’t know what to tell you.

          • Austin Ruse

            Test.

      • Shrdlu42

              While I’m happy you found a “solution” to your problems, please remember that everyone is unique, and not all gays and lesbians have had “traumatic childhoods”, or ended up “starring” in porn. They thus had no need for a “shelter”, and thus have no need to “cut ties” to the gay community.

              My Aunt is a Lesbian who has had a decades long relationship with her lover. (Far longer than too many politicians have with their spouses.) Now, thanks to the change in New York’s law, they can finally marry. Obviously, they’ve experienced far more than “only death” in the gay community, and far more than that awaits them there.

              One swallow does not make a summer, and your experience is not universal. Let each take the path best suited for them.

      • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

        “‘Anal sex releases into the world rare demonic entities … that even in the body could be conceived as the devil and … given birth to anally.” –Joseph Sciambra

        I don’t begrudge your path; clearly it isn’t mine. But you sir are a nutcase if you believe that anal sex releases demonic entities. Question: Is it the same for heterosexual anal sex?

        I grabbed that quote from your video on Youtube:

        http://youtu.be/iTYbHWGQME4

    • James

      Are they advocating sin? No.
      Are they dissenting from definitive magisterial teaching? No.

      Leave them alone.

      • Austin Ruse

        They cannot be immune from either debate or criticism.

        • Joshua Gonnerman

          Mr. Ruse,

          I wonder if you can clarify something. I have written several times, both at Spiritual Friendship and at First Things, about the 1986 document, and how this proof-texting argument is based on a mistranslation. See, for instance, here. http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2013/06/catholic-teaching-homosexuality-and-terminology

          So far as I am aware, no serious challenge has been made to my exegetical point, that Homosexualitatis Problema simply does not say what you want to make it say. The only answer I have seen yet is Dan Mattson saying in the comment thread on the below article (under a false name) that referring to the Latin text of a magisterial document is a Protestant argument; I hardly need to explain why this is not a very convincing accusastion. http://spiritualfriendship.org/2012/05/27/thomas-sundaram-on-friendship-with-joshua-gonnerma/

          1) Were you aware that I pointed out this mistranslation? 2) Is there a substantive response which I am not aware of? If the answers to these questions are 1) Yes and 2) No, I have to say it seems pretty damn duplicitous to continue to use that argument, without acknowledging its shaky grounds.

          Thanks,
          Joshua Gonnerman

          • Austin Ruse

            I read a great deal in the New Homophile oeuvre but missed this. Mea culpa. I know you consider your opinion settles the matter. I hope my work here opens up the debate with those who will engage all aspects of your claims including this one.

            Your group really should not presume bad faith, as you do here. There’s an old saying that I urge you and yours to consider; an 80% friend is not a 20% enemy. Your critics and those , like me, who are largely raising questions, are actually 90+% friends and no part enemy.

            All the best,

            Austin

            • Joshua Gonnerman

              I do not say that the matter is definitively settled. I only say that what I have shown about the argument renders it compromised, and that thus, any use of it which knowingly ignores the problems I have highlighted would be irresponsible. I am relieved to learn that you did not knowingly ignore them.

              • Joshua Gonnerman

                What I mean by saying that the matter is not definitively settled, is that if an argument can be proposed which demonstrates a real problem with my critique, then further engagement of the question is a possibility.

                • Austin Ruse

                  The thing is, Josh, your insistence that the document was mistranslated is hardly conclusive. We have the document and we can read waht it says. It does not mean when these terms are used that anyone is violating the teachings of the Church as you suggested at First Things. But the Church makes it clear this is a bad idea..i would put this in the category of guidance such as a mother would guide her children. I will continue to use that quote in the future. Your objection is noted but until you get someone at CDF to make a change, this remains strictly your opinion.

                  • Joshua Gonnerman

                    In fact, Mattson’s claim (under the name Nathaniel Jameson) is precisely that. I quote from the comment thread on the SF article:

                    “You’re the one who’d better be damn sure you’re NOT engaged in heresy. I am damn sure you are. I think you are doing a great disservice to the Church and I for one question your commitment to the Magisterium. How can you teach theology in a Catholic university if you promote so vigorously an idea opposed to the teaching of the Church?”

                    If that is not claiming that using these terms violates Church teaching, I don’t know what is.

                    • Austin Ruse

                      Well, I do not know if Nathaniel Jameson is Nathanial Jameson someone else or whatever. But I do know what I have said and after all, aren’t you here responding to me?

            • Patrick

              Is it not presuming bad faith when you treat any suggestion by them that you may have misunderstood as just some sort of obfuscation to divert your point (or at state that you’ve heard tell that it is a frequent tactic of theirs even if you can’t prove it’s the case in the given situation, thereby implying the same), as you’ve done several times on this page?

          • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

            Hi, Joshua–let me offer a substantive response to your claim that the Latin “unice” changes the following English text:

            *****The human person, made in the image and likeness of God, can hardly be adequately described by a reductionist reference to his or her sexual orientation. Every one living on the face of the earth has personal problems and difficulties, but challenges to growth, strengths, talents and gifts as well. Today, the Church provides a badly needed context for the care of the human person when she refuses to consider the person [unice] *only* as a “heterosexual” or a “homosexual” and insists that every person has a fundamental Identity: the creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life.*****
            Here is my response: Adding the English word “only” to the translation yields an English text that we still both agree on–the Church refuses to consider the person *only* as a “heterosexual” or “homosexual.” That is, we agree that the Church is against reducing a person to a *singular* label.
            Thus, Joshua, if we agree on this point, then why on earth would we therefore conclude that the Church, which rejects the reductive nature of a *singular* reductionist reference to sexual orientation, would actually be okay with taking a singular reductive reference to sexual orientation and adding it to some *other* singular reference to the human person, which I would refer to as “heterosexual-plus-1″ and “homosexual-plus-1″?
            I have in mind here terms like “straight/heterosexual Christian” (heterosexual-plus-1) and “gay/homosexual Christian” (homosexual-plus-1). Why would these terms seem permissible given the tenor of the text?
            Can’t we infer from the integrity of the text cited above–even when we *add* the modifier “only”–that using a reductionist reference to sexual orientation as either the sole descriptor of the person *or* as part of a *pair* of descriptors, we are *still* crossing the line into inappropriate reductionism?

      • Guest

        Obfuscation and confusion are not consistent with Catholic theology.

      • Paul Sho

        Yes, they are our brothers and we love them. That is why we want them to desist from supporting the gay label and the gay lifestyle. We want them to abandon the gay agenda and turn completely and fully to the Lord Jesus who loves them.

        • Adam__Baum

          I’m beginning to think labels are traps.

      • Art Deco

        Leave them alone.

        I would be pleased to if they were not public nuisances. What Fr. Nuehaus said: “confessions are at noon, five-thirty, and by appointment”.

      • John200

        Only two questions; you got them both wrong.

    • Tony

      Thank you, Austin. A brave and sensible article. Absolutely NOTHING should be concluded based upon a teenager’s often chaotic and transient feelings.

      The other trouble with the New Homophiles is that what they claim for themselves will make it harder for other people, in two ways. It will make it much harder for that confused teenager to sort out his feelings, without confusion or a crisis of identity; and it will cast the pall of “gayness” over quite normal and healthy friendships between members of the same sex. They need to quit saying, “I am gay,” but rather they should say, “I am a man,” or “I am a woman,” as the case may be, and acknowledge that the need for same-sex friendships of deep feeling is universal in the human race.

      • CadaveraVeroInnumero

        You nailed it: ” the need for same-sex friendships of deep feeling is universal in the human race.”

        The New Homphiles (and the old-fashioned sodomites) are guilty of a theft. They are thieving a universal expression of the human person to serve their own ideological ends. They are claiming that only homosexuality possesses the spiritual architecture to give friendship its fullest expression; that only if friendship is tugged and squeezed within the many roomed mansion of the homosexual persona can it achieve its ends.

        Yes, they are! If not, they would drop the gnostic hermeneutic which propels their argument. For only by morphing friendship into a specialized, set aside, set apart possession and tool of the homosexual persona can the New Homophiles make the claims for friendship that they do.

        Should we feel aggrieved that we, properly “ordered” as heterosexuals, are excluded from the FULNESS of friendship. Should we head over to the homosexual mansion, knock on the door and ask for a room?

        No tongue-in-cheek. The New Homophiless need to understand that we take the term “disorder” seriously: that it truly gives work to the teaching of the Church, and voice to common sense (in short, what the human condition has known for many a millennium). The designation of “disorder” is truly a civilizationial (and historic) word.

        If the New Homophiles wish to gain forward movement to their agenda (and they have one, no matter how divergent it may be from the old-fashioned sodomites) they will need to convince the Vatican to exorcise that word from the Catholic Catechism and all related texts.

        QUESTION: When was the last time the New Homophiles sent a letter of protest to Dan Savage? When was the last time the New Homophiles acknowledged our panic about the aggressive evangelization of the old-fashioned sodomites upon our children? The commenter is right, no 13-year-old has the were-withal to finalize his identification as “gay”, but that doesn’t prevent the sodomite overlords from doing so. That issue doesn’t seem to tickle their wordsmithy selves, intertwined, as they are, in their delicate, gauzy web of spinning the spiritual threads of homophilic friendship. In that regard, thank God for President Putin.

        Forget San Francisco’s Castro District. To get a belly’s view of homosexuality head for a barstool in a dive on Ellis St. From that sit-down one begins to understand the moral force of the word “disorder”.

        • Mark

          Well. This was needlessly hysterical.

          I think you might misunderstand the New Homophiles’ emphasis on friendship.

          It isn’t that gays are naturally better at friendship (because it’s not even like being gay is a “nature”). It’s that gay Christians NEED friendship more.

          Gay Christians are in a bind. They’re not supposed to have a gay marriage, a gay sexual relationship. But most would not feel comfortable recommending or embracing a [mixed-orientation, heterosexual] marriage either that could be inauthentic, emotionally unsatisfying, and spiritually abusive in lacking the emotional reciprocity that a marriage should have, the “sparks” that should be there in the physical chemistry, etc.

          So what are they do to avoid loneliness and the human need for intimacy? Friendships (ie, ideally non-sexual relationships) of one sort or another, especially same-sex friendships (as friendships even among heterosexuals more often are, naturally). THIS is why they are emphasized. It’s not that gays are exceptionally better at friendship, it’s that celibates NEED friendship more, and gay Christians are “born eunuchs” (or “made so by men,” depending on your theory of the etiology) for whom celibacy is the major option.

          Of course, might this NEED means that, by being forced to think about and pursue it and grapple with it, gays Christians become better at friendship? Maybe.

          And there is something to be said for the fact that while straight men tend to be limited to half the human race (other men) for friendship (especially under the “traditional” attitude which looks at straight male-female platonic friendships suspiciously). But gay men can be friends “without issue” (ie, without any “playing with fire”) with 97% of the human race (straight women, lesbian women, and straight men). There is no fear of anything “happening” with those three demographics. Whereas straight men have to guard their feelings with nearly half the human race (ie, straight women)…gay men only have to worry about guarding our feelings with like 2-3% of humanity (ie, only other gay men; yes, gay men can have feelings for straight men, but for most gay men after adolescence that becomes a non-issue and even if it were, there is no fear that anything could actually happen as the straight guy would have to go along with it too, which he won’t). But even among that 2-3%, they are the ones who are most similar to us, of shared experience, so there is a potential for intense friendship there too (even if there is also the danger of sexual tension and rivalry all being concentrated in the same little group). But I’d say 97% of humanity being non-problematic for gays’ friendships…is pretty good. It’s much better than the ~50% for straights.

          • CadaveraVeroInnumero

            So, this is what’s behind the homophilic teaching of “ministering from woundedness”. Now I get it.

            No I don’t.

    • Matt Jones

      Honestly, Mr. Ruse, this piece – like the one’s preceding it- is incredibly disappointing.

      Perhaps the best way to describe my reaction is instant exhaustion – responding to your piece would first require a daunting series of corrections to your statements of what the people at SF believe. Constructive engagement with your piece is almost impossible because it seems you are either seriously underinformed about SF’s basic ideas or you are intentionally misrepresenting SF.

      For instance, it is disheartening that you would quote from Chris’ article – titled Homosexuality and the Resurrection of Disability” (!) where he explicitly liken being gay to a disability – and then make it seem as if language of disability or “woundedness” is something he rejects, as opposed to the venerable Mr. Mattson. There are plenty more.

      Disagreement is fine – there is definitely real disagreement to be had. Criticism is healthy – no one is beyond it and SF encourages it. But when I read these pieces and the sometimes toxic comments that follow I see neither “disagreement” or “healthful criticism” but rather misrepresentation and a disastrous lack of grace.

      Judging by the hilarious and exasperated comments than ensue among other people at SF whenever another post is linked, I think they feel similarly.

      The church deserves better, Mr. Ruse. Christian integrity deserves better.

      • Austin Ruse

        Mockery, sadly, is a major part of any debate on same-sex attraction.

        • Shrdlu42

                Yes, and your piece certainly mocked those you disagree with. Turnabout is fair play.

          • Austin Ruse

            Please show me how and where.

            • Shrdlu42

                    Happy to oblige. It consists of words, phrases, statements and quotes you’ve employed that hardly sound like flattery or terms of endearment, but instead seek to mock, dehumanize, and deligitimate those you disagree with. (And I won’t bother addressing the overall tone of your piece.) Here are a few examples (with a response):

              “…a novel theory postulated in the mid-twentieth century”

                    Guess what, the same can be said for much of modern Science! Does that render it illegitimate? I agree there is too quick an assumption to read “gayness” into writings and activities of earlier times (look at all the nonsense about Lincoln sleeping with other men – ignoring the fact that sharing beds was a common practice in the 19th Century), but that doesn’t mean the “nineteenth–twenty-first century perspective and contemporary understanding of same-sex relations” is wrong. (And it’s posited by more than just the “gay culture” – another sneering remark.)

              This gets to the most serious problem with the New Homophile proposition, their insistence on maintaining their gay identity.

                    Actually, the only “problem” is the one you seem to have with “maintaining” a “gay identity”. As another of my Comments here points out, there’s no more “problem” with this than with your ‘maintaining a Catholic identity’. It’s part of who you are, you don’t have to deny it. Neither should a person who is gay.

              See: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2014/the-new-homophiles-and-their-critics#comment-1206394808

              He calls the concept of homosexuality “unmerited by its pedigree” because it was constructed in the nineteenth century when the classical notion of the sodomite “was set up as the bearer of a distinct and pervasive psychological persuasion.”

                    False, for the simple reason that the “classical notion of the sodomite” was restricted to what people did – and then only with respect to an act of sex. It was regarded as akin to bestiality because it was thought to be the product of pure animal lust. (All the while, ironically, being denounced as “a crime against nature”.) The idea that two people of the same gender might actually feel love for one another, and seek companionship together (including, “horrors”, life-long companionship, the same way and for the same reason heterosexual couples do) only began to be recognized in the 19th Century, and we have been working through the logical consequences of that realization ever since. Homosexuality is not the same thing as Sodomy, any more than Heterosexuality is the same thing as “the Missionary Position”. So this little sentence is a mocking of the whole concept. (Plus, as I’ve observed before, the mere fact something only arose in the 19th or 20th Centuries doesn’t invalidate it. Not unless Science, Psychology, and knowledge should have been flash frozen when Aristotle died.)

              “masquerading”

              “puts on airs, deceiving those who adopt its distinctions into believing that they are worth far more than they really are.”

              “navel-gazing”

              “lock them under gay amber”

                    Yeah, no mockery whatsoever in those words you quoted.

              Mattson sees the New Homophile embrace of the gay identity as “counter to the truth of man and therefore an obstacle to authentic self-knowledge.”

                    Again, see my other Comment for a response to this one. Just note he calls “gay identity” an “obstacle” to authenticity. How would you feel, I wonder, if someone made the same claim about identifying yourself as a Catholic? (Given that the basis for your religion may be sustained by faith, but has precious little reliable proof.)

              “Since I am Catholic, the sexual identity I am called to embrace is my maleness; my true sexual orientation is towards women, my true sexual complement.” He says his attraction to men is not a new essential orientation but a “disorientation” that “does not exist within God’s blue print for humanity.”

                    One can, of course, say that homosexuality is counter to Catholic doctrine and theology. That’s fine. But to insist that it is counter to “maleness”, or one’s “true” sexual orientation or “complement” (whatever the heck that’s supposed to mean), is (at best) a poor choice of words, and at worst a deliberate mockery of those who define “maleness” in a different way, and who regard their “orientation” to be true for them! Ditto use of the word “disorientation”. The sum totality of this is to demean, dehumanize, and deligitimate gay people – much the same way the Nazis did this to gay, Jews, Gypsies, and many Christians. I’m sure you recall how that ended up!

                    I could go on, but much of it would be repetitive, because your article is repetitive. I realize you want to reject any attempt to “normalize” homosexuality within Catholic theology, and that’s entirely your business (and that of other Catholics). But do so in a more respectful fashion both to the advocates of a different view and, more importantly, to those people who identify themselves as gay.

                    You certainly wouldn’t dare suggest it’s “disordered” for me to identify myself as Jewish – even with the vast theological differences between our faiths.

              • DD

                Why would you confuse religious belief with disordered attraction? How is that fair or reasonable ?

                • Shrdlu42

                        And yet, in an earlier age (before the 19th and 20th centuries for example), Catholic theologians did precisely that. They constantly railed at the refusal of “stiff-necked Jews” to accept the “obvious truths” of their faith, and grew increasingly more violent as a result. (Read Constantine’s Sword for a good review of this process.)

                        The primary basis for the claim that “gay identity” is “disordered” is that it runs counter to Catholic Theology (including its use of so-called “Natural Law”). The same thing can be said about my “Jewish identity”. The parallels are clear, and the comparison is apt.

                  • John200

                    You are badly spun around by your own mind.

                    Best wishes going forward, if you ever choose to go forward.

                  • DD

                    Again you compare unequal items and then draw erroneous conclusions. I will not go down the rabbit hole of fake charges of anti semitism.

              • Austin Ruse

                oh brother…this is such a mess. I am not really sure how to respond except you consider mockery or disrespect to be nothing more than things you disagree with.

                • Shrdlu42

                        One can disagree without adopting the rhetoric I cited. It crosses the line into mockery and disrespect (for the reasons I gave – which I note you’ve completely evaded and avoided responding to).

                  • Austin Ruse

                    No it doesn’t…

              • redfish

                “Homosexuality is not the same thing as Sodomy, any more than Heterosexuality is the same thing as ‘the Missionary Position’.”

                Well, I’m straight but I consider heterosexuality, by itself, primarily defining sexual attraction, and then there’s love that usually joins the attraction, but the attraction and the love are different things and can exist without each other. Heterosexuals are physically attracted to each other all the time in situations where there’s no love involved. By your standards I’m “mocking”, but I’m just holding a different opinion than you, and you’re proving Austin’s point. You’re upset people have different opinions than you.

                “Read Constantine’s Sword for a good review of this process.”

                I’d like to read a good treatment of this subject that recognizes there has been just as much philo-semitism as anti-semitism among Catholic theologians (starting with Augustine), and the fact that Christianity has inter-played with a lot of other cultural factors, including nationalism, which tended to distort Christianity for its own purposes, and these forces often came in conflict with Church teaching. — I’m Jewish, by the way.

                Catholic catechism lists sex out of marriage and masturbation as disordered, too, so if you’re going to claim dehumanization, you have to widen the net to more people than gays.

              • tj.nelson

                This argument sounds pretty disordered to me.

      • Austin Ruse

        And, by the way, I cannot find where I did what you say in your third paragraph I did. In fact, I said in my first piece that many of the NH view SSA as a thorn. The statemnet above was about their disapproval of the disordered language from Church teaching.

        • Matt Jones

          Not mockery, exasperation. Exhaustion.

          You present Mattson as an alternative to SF, so when you describe his views you do so in a way that communicates they are a divergence from SF. But the faithful Catholics at SF affirm official church teaching (which includes “objectively disordered”), and would also affirm language of being “wounded healers,” which is taken from Nouwen, and actually resonates with Chris’ piece (via Lewis) about how disabilities conceal vocations. We minister out of woundedness, out of areas of struggle. Experiences of suffering (and being same-sex attracted is sometimes that), can make us more Christlike if we are faithful through them and serve others, by the grace of God.

          I do not see you correcting your commenters who are spewing things about us trying to subvert church teaching, promote the gay agenda, obfuscate language, make our identity all about our sexuality (HOW many times do we have to say we are against that!), and lead children from orthodoxy. You say you are 90% for us, but 95% of your readers all come away from your articles vehemently against us, often saying things entirely devoid of Christlikeness. They are not misreading your articles. Their horrible misunderstanding of SF is, in fact, the logical conclusion of the misinformation you provide.

          All of us at SF are bewildered by your claims and find most of them foreign to our actual beliefs and goals. There are very real disagreements that can be discussed, but these articles have not provided a step in that direction.

          Anyway, this isn’t the most productive forum. Have a good day. Peace.

          • Austin Ruse

            I was told when i started writing this series that the most common point of rebuttal from you all is that i simply do not understand. No one understands you. Perhaps you should make yourselves clearer?

            And then you make claims that are demonstrably not true. You say the folks as SF accept the term disordered. I can show you things written by New Homophiles that reject the term, including Ron Belgau…and Eve Tushnet. I may know your corpus better than you do.

            The commenters are hardly “mine”. I am not responsilbe for anything strangers say or do. It is silly to suggest otherwise.

            As to debate. As far as i can tell you guys have had mostly an echo chamber. Now, I hope the debate can begin. I made a call for credible theorlogians to engage and i will do what i can to make that happen. You may not like the result, but I suspect they will just not understand you.

            • Austin Ruse

              By the way, I implore you all not to get rattled by the comboxes…they are wild and wooly territory adn when they are not moderated, something I favor, they can be rather shocking. Let it slide.

              • Shrdlu42

                      Actually, “moderation” often bears little difference to censorship. Review some of the Comments on the website for All Things Considered for glaring examples. At one time its system wouldn’t even let you post the scientific term Homo Sapiens!

                • Austin Ruse

                  Yes, sadly a number of people who stepped forwrad to defend me after Ron Belgau’s recent repost, had their comments rejected.

                  • Shrdlu42

                          Precisely. While I recognize the need for us to try to maintain a civil tongue, I don’t think “moderation” is the solution. I actually prefer the approach taken by the old New York Times Forum. There each of us could add a Commentator we found objectionable to a personal “block list”. The result? Comments from the “offending person” would not be visible to the one “offended”, but the rest of us could still read them. In exceptional cases (spamming, harrassment, advertising masquerading as commentary) when a sufficient number of people complained, the site manager could permanently ban the offender, but that rarely happened. I prefer that approach.

                          After all, we’re all adults here. There’s no need to treat us as if we’ll “get the vapors” if someone “comes on too strong”.

                    P.S. – But I fear I’m going off topic. Sorry about that, but this is an issue dear to me.

                    • Austin Ruse

                      Agreed…I also write a column at Catholic Thing where the comments are moderated. The result is there are the usual 10 comments and that’s it. I say let her rip…I also write quite a bit for Breitbart. Want to see some truly crazy comments, check out these guys. My wife lays in bed reading them out loud and cackling….

                      • Shrdlu42

                              No thanks. I actually spend far too much time on-line debating in Comments sections like these. The last thing I need is another website to tempt me!

                        “Get thee behind me, Satan!”
                        ;-)

                        P.S. – It was only when I read that line in context, and saw Jesus was speaking to Peter, that I realized it was probably meant in jest. (As I used it.)

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Hah…

              • AugustineThomas

                And maybe sometimes one should ask himself why he’s so offended by the comments of others. There are plenty of foul-mouthed comments, but I notice a disturbing tendency lately for people to label comments they disagree with as bigoted, homophobic, lewd, or inappropriate. (It’s so funny how Americans pretend to be the freest people in the world, when they’re among the most enslaved–even if they have Xboxes and big screens.)

                What’s the old Shakespeare quote?

            • DD

              Well said.

            • Matt Jones

              Per your readers, I was merely noting how you spend no time correcting them – either in comboxes or in your posts – and how they, emboldened by what you have written, make claims you say you aren’t trying to make yourself. But their conclusions, as far as I can tell, are consistent with your rhetoric and presentation. You aren’t responsible for what they say or do – but the consistency of such “shocking” claims after each of your articles should certainly be a troubling sign.

              My understanding of the “objectively disordered” thing was that their “umbrage” was with the way the phrase has been misappropriated by people in public discourse to encourage marginalization and skepticism. I could certainly be wrong.

              I actually feel really well understood by many, many people from many different sides of this conversation, and rarely does communication seem to break down so totally as it appears to have here. This is perhaps why I am so perplexed. The “points” against SF have a similar feel as when I read a radically leftist critique that can’t hear “celibate” without thinking anti-gay, self-hating homophobe. I simply have no clue where to start, because the conceptual chasm seems to be too vast. I am sorry to find that to be the case here. I hope that some day in the future I will be able to read your articles and find criticism of ideas that substantively sound like the wonderful men and women at SF. As it is, your “New Homophiles” are mostly strangers to me.

              Also, contrary to Shrdlu42, I don’t think you were mocking in your tone, and I hope I haven’t been in mine.

              Peace.

              • Austin Ruse

                Do you really think they need me to “embolden” them. This is an old trick of the sexual left, to blame someone’s bad behavior on another’s word. The effort is to shame someone into silence. It won’t work, Matt.
                About disordered. You are wrong about the reason for their umbrage. Ron Belgau published a piece about how a young man with SSA and who is Catholic turns to the catechism and is aghast at disordered.
                I will just repeat what I as told a several weeks ago when this began. “They main line of attack is that you just do not understand.” It is easy to understood with those who agree with you, Matt. I think it was Michael Novak who said it takes two hours even to arrive at the point where you have identified the disagreement.

                • tj.nelson

                  “it takes two hours even to arrive at the point where you have identified the disagreement.”

                  So true. The backtracking and restatements of what has been said is what is exasperating and exhausting – it is great Matt admits that.

                  The use of the term disordered is a big issue for these people – it comes up in their posts or in their com boxes.

              • DD

                Failure to accept it is disordered is the heart of the problem. Instead of seeing it as insult it ought to be seen as a statement of truth. Start there and all goes better.

                • Mark

                  What would “accept it is disordered” mean to you concretely? That we would speak of it in hushed tones and with an apology always attached? That we would mourn it and feel self-pity and self-loathing and pray that it would go away, if possible?

                  Basically, you seem to be saying you want STIGMA attached, not just to open unchastity or lust, but merely to the orientation itself.

            • Melinda Selmys

              Hi Austin,

              I’ll just say that even though I write for SF I do think that you’re basically trying to be charitable. I think a lot of the disagreement and confusion arises from the fact that there’s a tremendous difference between the way that language is being used in the two venues. I’ve run into this several times before with traditional Catholics who complain that the way we talk at SF, or on my own blog, is confusing and hard to understand.
              It’s because we’re trying to write about Catholic ideas in a way that will be accessible to people in the LGBTQ community. You have to understand that traditional Catholic language and ideas are extremely alien and incomprehensible to people in the queer community. When you translate those ideas into a queerer idiom it becomes possible to actually have a respectful dialogue with LGBTQ people. Unfortunately, this comes at the cost of rendering our discourse pretty inaccessible to many straight folks.

              • Austin Ruse

                I am not sure the misunderstanding is over language. I think you all are proposing things that others find troubling. I think they understand them and simply disagree…..
                I find that you all insist that yo are not understood quite a bit. I get that. But I do think you are understood…

                • Melinda Selmys

                  Okay. What are the things that you personally find troubling?

                  • Austin Ruse

                    In a nutshell…

                    The problem that many people have, not just me or Mattson…
                    Insistence on Gay identity, even queer.
                    Gay is a gift….even a charism, it seems, when you toss in the notion of “exceptionalism” Suggestions that the Church should “develop” doctrine along these lines. The over all proposition that SSA should be “out and proud” and the Church should celebrate them.

                    • Melinda Selmys

                      Okay, that’s good. Your list of concerns is pretty much exactly identical with the list of points where people from SF feel that you’ve misunderstood us. I think the reason why our writings on this come across this way to you is that they are primarily directed towards the end of evangelizing people in the LGBTQ community who find more traditional approaches alienating or offensive. Even pieces that are critical of trends within Catholic/Christian thought are primarily intended to make the Church less forbidding to gays. Often it’s a huge help for someone struggling to know that they’re not the first person to experience those frustrations, and when it gets written about in public they’ll often feel more hopeful about staying in the Church. In any case, I’ve mostly figured this out through trial and error and I try to do the things that work. I work for the days when someone sends me a letter saying “Your blog is the reason I’m still Catholic,” or “Your writing is the reason I’ve been able to remain committed to chastity.” These are the people who aren’t being reached by the other approaches. In any case, the Church is a big place. There’s room for Dan Mattson and Spiritual Friendship, for chaste gays and for Courage members.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        So you don’t want to maintain a queer identity? You are only doing so as a lure to the LGBT crowd?

                      • DD

                        Right, it seems this one category always gets a special pass. We have accepted their contrived narrative and are ordered to play only by their rules even when the rules are wrong.

                      • Melinda Selmys

                        Let me draw an analogy. When I wanted to work with the homeless, the first thing that I did was to sell all of my stuff and go and live outdoors. After about six months of being homeless I got to the point where I understood what that’s like and I was able to interact with homeless people without being condescending and paternalistic. I don’t “want to maintain a queer identity” nor am I “only doing so as a lure to the LGBT crowd.” It’s rather that I acknowledge my own gender-queerness in order to be able to relate in an authentic way to LGBTQ people.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        So it’s the difference between “maintain” and “acknowledge?”

                      • Melinda Selmys

                        Yeah. If I’m talking to a gay audience and I call myself a “former lesbian” (which is the term I used to use) then to them that says that I’m either deluding myself, or I’m lying. “Gay” may be seen as a chosen identity in some contexts, but in most contexts it’s seen as a descriptive adjective for someone who experiences same-sex attraction. So if you say “I’m not gay, but I am same-sex attracted” it sounds like you’re playing weasely language games.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        With a post like this from your blog, I am hard pressed to see the distinction between “maintain” and “acknowledge”…and I thought you guys really didn’t want to me “other” but here are you celebrating it. The feeling I get the most when talking to you folks is vertigo.
                        “Within half an hour of being on-line, I realized that that was bullshit. It’s hard to entirely describe the feeling that I had, reading what other people were posting, what they were thinking, how they were relating to their sexuality, to beauty, to their faith. There was no sense of horror at all, no sense of my worldview or self-concept crumbling, just an immense relief. I thought, “Here, at last, are people like me. I’m not completely alone in the world. I’m not just the really, really weird girl who doesn’t think and feel and talk like other people. I’m not just strange and socially awkward and out of place. I’m queer.” That word fit so well. The lovely “q” sound, the euphonious Victorian twang, the fact that it was a pejorative that had been reclaimed in self-defence, that it described a state of sexual otherness which didn’t necessarily connote any particular kind of sexual behaviour whatsoever. Queer. Other. Exile.”
                        http://sexualauthenticity.blogspot.com/2012/06/am-i-what-i-am.html

                      • Melinda Selmys

                        I find the vertigo thing really hard to understand. Is it just that there’s a lot of cognitive dissonance between queer and Catholic discourse so when you get a mash-up it’s really disorienting? Or is it something more than that?
                        Anyways, vis a vis celebrating it’s a matter of celebrating communion — finding a group of people like myself — not a matter of celebrating homosexual desire. You’ll note that one of the reasons why “queer” resonated for me is that it doesn’t “necessarily connote any particular kind of sexual behaviour whatsoever.”

                      • Austin Ruse

                        So, in the passage above, “I’m queer.” This is only “acknowledgment”?

                      • Melinda Selmys

                        Austin, have you never been a lonely outsider? Have you never had the experience of feeling really alienated and confused and isolated, and then finding out that you’re not the only person who is feeling and experiencing the things that set you apart?

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Did the ground just shift under my feet? I thought we were talking about linguistics and now we are talking about emotions? in the context of “I’m clear” please help me understand the distinction between maintain and acknowledge.

                      • Melinda Selmys

                        “Maintaining” would suggest that I’m choosing to keep up something voluntarily that would fall down if I just let it go. “Acknowledging” is a matter of realizing and accepting a fact that I cannot make go away. The series that this passage is taken from is about how I tried to make it go away, and eventually realized that I was engaging in a struggle that was simultaneously Herculean and Quixotic. When I realized that that struggle was not necessary for my spiritual life it was really

                        good for my psychological health, for my marriage, and for my ability to dialogue with other queer folks. That’s why you get a tone of relief/celebration in the passage that you’ve quoted.

                      • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                        If I may comment here–part of the “head-spinning” effect I have with your thought here, Melinda, is that it is hard to understand whether the “it” to which you refer trying to make “go away” is same-sex attraction (the impulse of sexual attraction toward other women) or something you might refer to as “queerness” which exists “alongside” of same-sex attraction but is not a linear consequence of it.
                        Precisely what “It” do you have in mind here? What were you struggling against that you have subsequently determined is not a struggle necessary for your “spiritual life”? 1) sexual attraction toward other women; 2) cultural or personal “queerness” which you struggled to leave behind; 3) both?

                      • Melinda Selmys

                        A combination of a) all non-sexual aspects of attraction towards other women (emotional/aesthetic attraction, e.g.) and b) cultural and personal traits that are associated with “queerness,” including gender-atypical traits, and c) involuntary homosexual impulses (I’ve actually found that if I “struggle” against these the result is that I pay attention them and they end up having a lot more psychological power than if I just let them exist, don’t entertain them, and don’t worry about them.)

                      • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                        So, moving backward from “c” to “a”, it sounds like you seek to ensure that “c” (involuntary homosexual impulses) do not end up being willed by you–they are temptations that do not engage the will.
                        Now, with “a” and “b,” am I correct to infer that these are aspects that you permit yourself to “act” upon in your will? Based on previous comments, I’m guessing that “b” equates to the feelings you expressed about finding communion/community in the “queer” culture, along with essentially the “gender-atypical” personal traits you mention.
                        The “a” element is harder for me to understand because I don’t quite know what you mean by “non-sexual” attraction towards other women. Do you mean “non-homoerotic” so to speak?
                        These clarifiers you are offering are, in my view, quite helpful for placing these different aspects in proper context. Thanks for replying.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        You are “acknowledging” your queerness in Time Square with a bullhorn. What’s more you label your human identity by your objective disorder. I have read among your friends that many people have attractions that are disordered such as being attracted to someone you’re not married to, or to pornography and that SSA is no different than that. Maybe. Maybe not. But I would feel exactly the same way if adulterers claimed that as their identity or porn addicts, even if they went on to say “but I never do it…I live by the teachings of the Church etc etc, I just want to be acknowledged for who I am, an adulterer”.
                        Being an adulterer is no more their identity than queerness is yours, first and foremost, but you are, like they would be, claiming an identity that is based on a disordered attraction….

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        http://gcnjustin.tumblr.com/post/57425271280/questions-from-christians-5-isnt-calling-yourself-a

                        It’s like you haven’t been any more than a flake to gay people. By the way adulterers and porn addicts are descriptions of what people do. They do not denote sexual orientation. Thus a woman married to man could be looking up naked men online and/or having sex with other men behind her husband’s back just as a gay woman could be looking up naked women online and/or having sex with other women behind her wife’s back. Porn addicts and adulterers would be acknowledgement of actions, not of a person who wants to be understood for who they are independent of actions (in your context sins, and based on what I have read of yours you play fast and loose with ‘”love” the sinner, HATE the sin’).

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Precisely what we’re suggesting about SSA.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        Give more of an explanation as I have no idea what your interpretation of “precisely what we’re suggesting about ssa” is.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Desiring to drink too much is no more an “identity” than wanting to have sex with your same sex.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        Neither does the drink desire the drinker nor another drink. I don’t understand why you compare two gay people of the same sex wanting to be together to the absurdity of two bottles of alcohol wanting to be together (having one be a drink and the other a drinker doesn’t make sense because it begs the question of which is which).

                        Also, I’m straight. If a guy or girl asks me out I will affirm my straight identity appropriately. No Jesus has made me differently and no Jesus can change that.

                      • DD

                        The desire of a married man to have sex with a woman not his wife is disordered. Should he identify himself by that disorder?

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        Perhaps Jesus should have made him monogamous? At any rate, what would be wrong with the man openly talking with people about something that could harm his wife? The standard practice of keep it to yourself until it explodes and harms one’s wife has a great track record of failure. Also, I don’t think “Sign divorce papers” would be very good advice for helping a man married to another man not to cheat. I know that’s out of left field, but adultery is not limited to straight people. What worth is marital commitment if it’s own worth anything in a specific situation?

                      • Austin Ruse

                        First, you may and probably should acknowledge to yourself a same sex attraction. But you have picked an identity. You have picked queerness.

                        Moreover, you are “acknowledging” your queer identity with a bullhorn in Time Square. And you label your human identity based on your disordered desires.

                        I have read among your friends that many people have attractions that are disordered, such as wanting to have sex with someone they’re not married to, or to pornography, and that these are no different than same-sex attraction. Maybe. Maybe not. But I would feel exactly the same if adulterers or porn addicts claimed their disordered desires were new sexual identities, even if they went on to say “But we live according to the teachings of the Church, we never commit adultery or look at porn but it is who we are and we want to be acknowledged that way….”

                        Their new sexual identities would not be their real human identities any more than queerness is yours.

                      • Melinda Selmys

                        Okay, you’re making a really classic mistake that Catholics continually make in this debate. You’re assuming that “queerness” or “gayness” is reducible to same-sex lust — that’s why you make comparisons to things like adultery and porn. To anyone who is gay those comparisons are frustratingly inadequate, but because conservative Catholics consistently think of queer identities in a reductively sexual way it’s practically impossible to explain why the comparison is just so, so far off the mark.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Actually, I got teh comparison from other New Homophiles.

                      • Melinda Selmys

                        Look, I don’t have a particular beef with ‘conservative’ Catholics, it’s just that there’s a group of Catholics who hold that people with SSA should order their spiritual lives according to a particular moral/spiritual stylistic that excludes describing oneself as “gay” or “queer” — but there’s no good word to refer to that group by. “Traditional” would exclude all of the gay Catholics who prefer the Latin Mass. “Homophobic” is just unacceptably judgmental. I wish there was a good catch-all term, but there isn’t. “Conservative” is the closest I’ve been able to come to a term that isn’t especially negative, but that kind of captures the sense of it. Anyways, I think I’ve already stated pretty clearly in print and in this conversation that “queerness” and “SSA” are distinct categories. You’re saying that you don’t reduce SSA to lust…but you do reduce “queerness” to SSA, and you characterize SSA as disordered. To suggest that non-lustful SSA is disordered is just incoherent — it would invalidate all forms of non-sexual attraction between people of the same sex. It would mean that I couldn’t recognize my daughter as beautiful and couldn’t desire to be in her company in a non-sexual way.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        So you’re queer BUT your are not samesex attracted and even if you were both queer and samesex attracted , they’re not the same thing. And you wonder why we poor saps get vertigo!

                      • John200

                        Mr. Ruse,

                        I hope you get paid by the hour, or by the word, for fooling around with homo”sex”uals. They seem to have infinite time on their hands, and a matchless capacity to illustrate the confusion in their own hearts and minds.

                        When the vertigo gets to be too much, just take some time and sit still and forget about these pitiful, confused people. Or go take another ride on that bicycle.

                        Their Ph. D. degrees seem to be an utter waste. Pitiful.

                      • Melinda Selmys

                        I think this might go back to what I said about the queer-Catholic mash-up being disorienting to people who are mostly used to functioning within a Catholic discourse. When I gave my talk at the Courage conference I made a joke out of it by doing a totally incomprehensible segment where I expressed one of my ideas using a 50%/50% split between John Paul II’s idiom and that of Michel Foucault. People laughed, so I’m assuming that at least some of them got the joke? Anyways I totally realize that the language problem is a huge stumbling block — it always makes me think back to Ratzinger’s brilliant observations about the modern world and the Tower of Babel. I speak fluent queer and fluent Catholic, but I know that some of the concepts are really hard to translate from one discourse to another. It always reminds me of how difficult it is for an English speaker to try to understand the concept of declension in Latin or Lithuanian. I think I mostly get it at this point — but I’ve spent upwards of fourteen years trying to learn those languages.
                        I’ll try again, and I’ll try to think if there’s a good analogy. I’m queer, I’m also same-sex attracted, those two things are related but they’re not the same. It’s kind of like autism. I have an autistic son. I would not, in a million years, try to force him to stop being autistic because I’ve read enough autobiographies of autistic people to realize that there are elements of autism that are good, and that are essential to the way that an autistic person functions, thinks, and perceives the world. When an autistic person is forced to behave more normally they end up creating a false persona, an alternate personality, in order to meet the social demands that are being placed on them — but they are quite emphatic in saying “That’s not me.” Now, one of the symptoms of autism is that my son doesn’t communicate. I see his autism as an important part of who he is, but his inability to communicate as a disability. I’m able to make a distinction between his condition (autism) and his disability (inability to speak.) So I do try, patiently, to improve his ability to communicate without trying to force him to be a “normal” child. I see my own queerness in a very similar way. Being queer is something that influences a lot of parts of my personality, my perception, my taste, my way of relating to people and to the world. A small part of that is a disordered sexual attraction. I see the disordered attraction as being inessential to my personality and I try not to do anything that will make it more pronounced. But I don’t see my queerness as reducible to that attraction.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        So, in your language, I’m heterosexual but I can also be queer?

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Ok. So, using your language. I am heterosexual but I can also be queer?

                      • Melinda Selmys

                        Well probably you can’t. But people can, sure. Consider, for example, a MtoF trans person who is attracted primarily to women. Strictly speaking, their sexuality would be heterosexual (interested in genital relations with the opposite sex) but they would certainly fall under the queer banner because of their gender-identity.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        If queer is distinct from samesex attraction then why not?

                      • Melinda Selmys

                        Uh…okay. This response is actually a non-sequitor based on my last response. I’ve suspected for several exchanges now that this isn’t actually a conversation — that you’re trying to win an argument and you’re doing clever things like setting traps and trying to corner me and trying to reveal contradictions in my argument. I understand. There’s a lot of Catholic ideology that trains people to do apologetics that way, and to be fair I deserve it: I’ve done a lot of that myself. But it’s just a waste of everyone’s time. I’m actually interested in trying to understand you, where you’re coming from, why you find the gay experience so hard to relate to, how I could be clearer and more charitable in trying to help bridge that divide. But if you’re not actually trying to understand what I’m saying I can’t force you to understand. Dialogue just doesn’t work one way.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        I am not trying to set any traps. I am not trained in any kind of apologetics. I am just trying to learn your language and its meaning. I really don’t think I am atypical, you said it yourself, among those who find these things utterly baffling.

                        Here is what I found in Wiki:

                        “The range of what “queer” includes varies. In addition to referring to LGBT-identifying people, it can also encompass: pansexual, pomosexual, intersexual, genderqueer, asexual and autosexual people, and even gender normative heterosexuals whose sexual orientations or activities place them outside the heterosexual-defined mainstream, e.g., BDSM practitioners, or polyamorous persons.”

                        I mean is queer even farther out that simply SSA?

                      • Melinda Selmys

                        lol…okay, I might have just been tetchy. Sorry about that. I guess that from your perspective queer would be “farther out,” but I think it’s worth noting that some of the groups on the list that you’ve posted are not sexual sinners, and don’t have sinful sexual inclinations: asexuals, intersex people, gender-queer people.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Although wiki also says, Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual, or gender-binary. ”

                        It reminds me of the phrase “people of color” whcih refers to everyone in the world except me (pink men). Queer seems to refer to everyone except me, too…

                        Oh well!

                      • Austin Ruse

                        I promise you, i am not clever enough to set traps. I am a simple ham and egger.

                      • Christine Niles

                        Melinda–I’m getting vertigo as well. Reading the rambling and disjointed responses to Austin’s straightforward questions is frustrating. When you mentioned Foucault, it all became clear to me–he is one of the most impenetrable and difficult writers to read (and that’s not a compliment). Some think the more convoluted the writing, the more profound, when in actual fact, it just betrays an inability to think clearly, and therefore an inability to articulate clearly.

                        For instance, you write:

                        “To suggest that non-lustful SSA is disordered is just incoherent — it would invalidate all forms of non-sexual attraction between people of the same sex. It would mean that I couldn’t recognize my daughter as beautiful and couldn’t desire to be in her company in a non-sexual way.”

                        Seriously? I have three daughters. I find them beautiful. I desire to be in their company in a non-sexual way (God, did I even have to make that clarification?). I also, like you, grew up relating to the world in a way different from most of my peers; I also felt lonely, misunderstood, interested in different things, and often felt unable to relate to others. I appreciate women and their unique gifts, beauty, insights, as fellow mothers or sisters. In your world, I am legitimately same-sex attracted in a non-lustful way. In other words, queer.

                        That’s just wrong. It is disingenuous to claim that queer can be reduced to some enhanced appreciation of the same sex, without any romantic or sexual overtones. Then it ceases to be queer, and just becomes “normal.” Homosexual/gay/SSA/queer *necessarily* means a disordered need to find some sort of emotional, psychological, or romantic fulfillment in a person of the same sex, all the fine distinctions you & your friends make notwithstanding.

                        Here’s the problem that you and the New Homophiles have a hard time accepting: there is only ONE ordered, healthy, and sane orientation in this world: opposite-sex romantic attraction. That’s it. There are no other paradigms. Any slight deviation from that puts one on the way to objective disorder.

                        As soon as you accept that, you can start the path to true healing–instead of glorifying an objectively disordered disposition that causes you to be intensely attracted & drawn to the same sex in a way not healthy and not normal.

                      • Paul Sho

                        “Seriously? I have three daughters. I find them beautiful. I desire to be in their company in a non-sexual way (God, did I even have to make that clarification?)”
                        .
                        Christine Niles, if I had any doubts about the satanic origin of the destructive Gay Agenda those doubts were totally dispersed by your comments. Thanks for being a mother and for standing up for life-giving Truth.

                      • CadaveraVeroInnumero

                        To argue with Melinda S., that is, to hold a conversation, it seems I must bracket both my experience of being homosexual and any language and “stylistic” language I once used to frame that experience. For my experience

                        It is legit for me to forward the notion of experience for they (that is, the New Homophiles) do it consistently – even that much vaunted statement that “most queer people were not introduced to queerness by brutal means, or were porn stars, etc.” Unless what rules is the dictatorship of the “majority of experience”!

                        My introduction to homosexuality was brutal, horribly so, with all the attendant dislocations of psyche and soul. Since, according to the New Homophiles, my experience has nothing to contribute to the queering of Catholic theology and language, my thoughts and reflections should be stood against the wall as some wallflower in this dance to waltz Christianity off the floor of Creation.

                        I understand very well Melinda’s language and frame of reference. Her complaint that she somehow occupies this no-man/woman’s land between the queer “community” and Catholic muddle-heads – which is constantly misrepresented, or, at least, burdened with the hard work of communication – is unwarranted. “Conservative” Catholics understand her quite clearly. Please, do not mock.

                        Queerness is an ontological disease. It is a metaphysical sadness. Queerness fumigates the extravagance of life that reproduces and hands-off.

                        Queerness may not be lust, as such, but to pump its veins with some similitude of regenerating life it must attach its identity cord honest-to-goodness homosexuality. Spiritual (Sexualized) Friendship is simply the potential of the act.

                        Am I being hard and harsh. Of course I am. It’s war over something more than language. The New Homophiles are attempting to lock-box the Church into this newly dig out den called lustless same-sex attraction; once inside the movement to transfigure potential into act (for the two are never severed) will be mustered. The sting, the siren song will be the language of queerdom. Yield to the words and you will swallow the referents.

                        I know I’m on the losing side – at least, in our current culture. I would not be surprised if the New Homophile vanguard, in time, plants its flag on a rewording of the Catechism. By then, maybe I would have moved to Russia!

                        What is most irritating is the presumptuous assumption that postmodernism (language and categories) is the ground upon which this conversation must be had. There’s no call for it, even by pleading the imperatives of missionary work. It is assuming that the queer “community” is so other and alien it is almost non-human. Why go there?

                        Anything else, at this point, I could say I have already done so in my other posts.

                        The New Homophiles never, never take seriously those queers who shook the dust from their sandals and walked away from it all. Never. What’s your problem?

                        As for me and my house, think I will push away from the wall and dance counterclockwise. Alone if I must. But, then, I’m not, am I?

                      • DD

                        Do you accept that same sex attraction is not ordered toward the good?

                      • Melinda Selmys

                        Basically. I would add the clarifiying clause that same-sex *sexual* attraction is not ordered towards the good. Obviously there are forms of attraction towards one’s own sex (the emotional attraction involved in friendship, for example, or the maternal attraction involved in mothering a same-sex child) that are ordered towards the good.

                      • DD

                        Wow. What an indictment. The quote reveals much. Apparently this issue is so unique that only those initiated get it. Hmmm. No, not buying it for a minute.

                      • CadaveraVeroInnumero

                        The Church is big enough to receive persons (especially in their individual struggles and doubts, yet not “big tent” enough to receive ideologies. That’s were the battle is – and the need to be vigilant about the use of language.

                        There is a certain whiny temblor in how the New Homophiles voice their constructed language. But, then, that’s characteristic of the gay community. And, it’s not down putting on my part to point that out. It’s an experienced observation.

              • DD

                So, does this logic apply to other groups with serious problems too?

                • Melinda Selmys

                  Of course it does. There’s a reason why Mother Theresa was so effective: it’s because she went and lived with the poor and was poor with them. When a missionary goes into mission territory, he lives with the people living there, he learns their language and figures out how to express Christian ideas in that language. If that means replacing the shepherds with wandering hunters and the manger with a lodge of broken bark, so be it. The essence is what is important, not the accidents.

                  • Jimby

                    A good but misplaced sentiment, I fear. When the Jesuits were converting the Aztecs, they would baptize them using the blood basins that were used beforehand for child sacrifice. It is in this sort of spirit that you’ve said what you’ve said, and that is admirable. But what you’re doing is more closely analogized to the changing of the words of the baptismal rite–oh, not so badly that things are invalidated, but just enough to make them comfortable, but at the risk of both scandal and obscurity of clear teaching.

                    You separate the pastoral from the doctrinal in ways that cause much more harm than you are either capable or willing to admit.

                  • DD

                    The ends do not justify the means.

                    • Melinda Selmys

                      This only applies when the means are evil. The ends justify the means completely if the means are good and/or morally neutral. Using the word “queer” has never been established to be evil. There is no authoritative document which declares it to be so. Given that the Pope, and Cardinal Dolan, and even Archbishop Cordileone have all used the word “gay” in public I’m going to suggest that the prohibition against the use of LGBTQ language is an inessential “tradition of men,” and not a truth necessary for salvation.

          • CadaveraVeroInnumero

            Melinda below wrote: “When you translate those ideas into a queerer idiom it becomes possible
            to actually have a respectful dialogue with LGBTQ people. Unfortunately,
            this comes at the cost of rendering our discourse pretty inaccessible
            to many straight folks.”

            This frames the issue perfectly. The New Homophiles want us – the Church – to accept “queerism” as a valid language, let alone a legitimate community (as “people groups” are to be defined anthropologically). The push is, at times, subtle but persistent. The wind in their sails blows from the LGBTQ population at large, especially now that it is claiming victory in the Culture War.

            New Homophilism is constructing a tension within their ideology by validating the language of “queerism” and (so they tell us) as they accept the language of the Church of designating homosexuality as “objectively disordered”. Over time one will corrode the other.

            The New Homophiles understand the problem well. In our lifetime (maybe) they may not be able to encourage the Church to jettison the language about “disorder”, so the most practical step is to denude the conventional terms of its meaning – with some subterfuge, of course, so traditional Catholics won’t see it coming. Watch their tactics. The primary thrust will be to rope off the notion of “spiritual friendship” from any contagion of the notion of “disorder”. By doing so the construct of same-sex attraction will remain untouched by any condemnation or negative language from the Church. In this way homosexuality crawls through an open window from the back porch. (Well, not so obscure, for it opens up on Market and Castro. Maybe stroll up there after Mass tomorrow and see if I can locate it!)

            • Mark

              “The New Homophiles want us – the Church – to accept ‘queerism’ as a
              valid language, let alone a legitimate community (as ‘people groups’ are
              to be defined anthropologically).”

              How can a community, a social network, a group of people associated with each other in some manner…ever be “illegitimate”??

              You can’t ban an organic informal group. You can delegitimize an institution (such as when the Jesuits were suppressed) but you cannot actually suppress a simple relational network. You can ban the wearing of gang colors or symbols in a school, but you can’t stop the fact that those people know each other, are loyal to each other, and will continue to have contact with each other and associate with each other.

              • CadaveraVeroInnumero

                Maybe the word “legitimate” was both too broad and too narrow. The sense of it remains. The teaching and prayers of the Church cannot incorporate the LANGUAGE of “queerism”. Never. Queer people? Certainly. The Church invites them, as it does all of us, to trod the road to repentance and salvation.

                In the same vein, the Church cannot accept the queer “community” as a community with its DISORDERED relations. A “community” of disorder can relate and network as much as they wish. In the end, it is a “community” that the salvation seeking queer person must exit.

                I have known Satanists. Their community is certainly tightly networked and webbed in relations. ;That does not – here it is! – a legitimate community to be received and folded into the Church, the Body of Christ.

                • Mark

                  I’d tend to think religious identities are mutually exclusive, but “gay” is not a religion! “Ex-satanists” could certainly still identify as such and still maintain old friendships and relationships and networks if possible, bonded over (past) shared experience. With gays, though, I don’t really see the need for the “ex.” One, because “gay” is not a religion and thus not incompatible with Catholicism, and two because “gay” simply describes a reality (“same sex attraction”) that continues to persist even when one is a Catholic.

                  • CadaveraVeroInnumero

                    In the strictest sense, maybe not. Yet the homosexual movement (as an ideology for grounding and organizing one’s (or a society’s) life has the trappings of a religion: a language, a set worldview, a liturgy & set apart rites, defined doctrines, the writing of mythical origins, the elevation of fore-bearers and saints, and the hunt for and expulsion of “heretics”.

                    Will get back to you regarding your longer post.

                    • Mark

                      See that’s where this becomes patronizing; when conservative (and presumably straight or at least “not gay”) Christians come in and try to tell Gay Christians what “Gay” means.

                      Gay is not an institution or organization. The relation of SSA to Gay is not like the relation of the Working Class to the Communist Party or anything like that, as if Gay is an ideological vanguard of the interests of homosexuals.

                      “Gay” is in the eye of the beholder, really. To everyone else in the culture, it is understood as denoting “same sex attraction” only, as it’s root. Now, does that experience have particular historically contingent baggage attached to it? Sure, just like having dark skin has a whole set of baggage attached to it (that we call the social construct of “Race”) in the USA.

                      But any person attracted to the same sex predominantly/exclusively can be (and is, in common parlance) “gay.” There are no dogmas, no “set worldview,” no “orthodoxy.” SOME on the Left might try to promote something like that or see themselves as a vanguard…but who cares? Others of us gays just ignore them.

                      The real logic at play here seems to be: “We have an emotional aversion to ‘gay’ because we’ve used it as a whipping boy for years in a moral panic. Therefore, if you present a less-obviously objectionable picture of ‘gay’…we need to insist on an objectionable definition to justify our continued aversion.”

                      But it doesn’t work that way. Straight Christians don’t get to tell gays “what gay means,” anymore than I get to tell Hindus “which school of Hinduism represents ‘true Hinduism.’” As if it has some sort of essence. Only a Hindu has the right to determine the essence of Hinduism and argue among themselves which version represents “the true Hinduism.”

                      If there is any debate about what represents “true gayness” or what is essential to “gay”…it could only possibly take place AMONG gays. Non-gays inserting themselves regarding “what gay really means” doesn’t make any sense. As someone who does identify as gay, I have the right to define it for myself, and I can grapple with other gays and how they define it for themselves. But people who don’t so identify simply have no horse in that race.

                      • John200

                        Telling the truth to a soul who loves his error is not definable as “patronizing.”

                        On the contrary, we are under orders to do clue him (you) in on the error.

                      • Patrick

                        And we are “under orders” to be respectful, compassionate, and sensitive about it. The patronizing comes in when you don’t follow those three things when you’re telling them.

                        But you’ve already objected to that part of the Catechism, so I’m really just saying that for others who might be reading, rather than for you.

                      • John200

                        Of course! Here you are, still at it. I should have known.

                        Big wheel, keep on turnin’,
                        Proud Mary, keep on burnin’,
                        Trolling, trolling, trolling on the river,
                        Trolling, trolling, trolling on the river,
                        Trolling, trolling, trolling on the river,

                        .
                        .
                        .

                      • Patrick

                        Somehow I’m not too shook up over accusations of trolling by someone who thinks it’s normal to use quotation marks in the middle of words.

                        But by all means, do ignore my point that the patronizing behavior he was talking about is not inherent in the message, but is a part of the delivery.

                        I’m sure ignoring things like that will do nothing but help your position. But I guess you would have to stop rationalizing your own behavior to do that, and I’d expect more accusations of trolling long before that happens.

                        But by all means, do surprise me, it’ll be good for everyone.

                      • John200

                        Surely you figured out that quotation marks in ‘homo”sex”ual’
                        convey that what they do is not sex. It is masturbation, sometimes mutual, sometimes forced, always destructive to the homo”sex”ual, to the man he is destroying, to others who would like the best for the homo”sex”ual, and to society at large.

                        As for the rest, I have a life outside this combox and will not comment simply because you ache for a response to your battery of 50+ posts. Surely you figured that out before I stated it in plain English.

                        Where do you get your energy for this perverted cause? I hope you someday do as much for the truth. No need to answer, it is a rhetorical question, and I am done here for the nonce.

                      • Patrick

                        I understand what you’re trying to say with your incorrect usage of quotation marks, I just don’t feel any sort of sting from being called a troll by someone who can’t find a manner of expressing the same sentiment without breaking the rules of the language in question.

                        And I don’t need a response to every single one of my posts.
                        If you would address my point even ONCE it would be satisfactory.
                        You just feel like distracting the issue by calling people trolls instead.

                        And what cause do you think I’m supporting?

                        Because the cause I am supporting is the cause of FOLLOWING THE CATECHISM in how we deliver the Truth.

                        I can say the word “automobile” or I can shout it through a megaphone 6 inches from someone’s ear. The word “automobile” is not the cause of the hearing loss or pain, the method of delivery is.

                        It is, in fact, possible to make a true statement in a way that is hurtful, or harms basic human dignity, or is unjust.
                        My objection is not with the Truth.

    • BCSWowbagger

      “After all, while they want a warmer embrace from the Church, they want more than that and some of it seems at variance with the wishes and perhaps even the teachings of the Church.”

      The wishes of the Church? The Church has teachings, the Church has merits, the Church has exemplars, the Church has Christ — but the only “wish” the Church has that I’m aware of is that all would be united to Christ by following the Church’s teachings. So it is not at all clear to me what this term means.

      The uncharitable part of me suggests that what it means is “the wishes of the particular people Austin Ruse hangs out with,” but surely no one here would be so wrongheaded as to consider themselves the Church! Surely no one here would believe they are entitled to deference based on their ability to anticipate future, as-yet unarticulated teachings of the Magisterium! So I hope I am thinking these things only because I am so surprised to see the term at all. After all, the only place I’ve ever seen weak-kneed phrases like “wishes of the Church” get play is over at the National Catholic Fishwrap, where dissenters use them to blur the fact that they don’t have a doctrinal leg to stand on.

      Presumably, there is some way of interpreting the phrase “wishes of the Church” that does not arrogate magisterial authority to Mr. Austin Ruse and his confrères. I would be very interested in hearing it!

      • Austin Ruse

        Guidance may have been a better word.

        • BCSWowbagger

          Which particular guidance do you have in mind? I confess that my reading of the bishops’ published documents on homosexuality is not exhaustive (as I am not a homosexual), but the evidence you give here — a single quotation from a single (though very prominent) then-cardinal — seems very thin. If it seems obvious to you that Team Spiritual Friendship is less aligned with the Church, and more “at variance” with its guidance, than Team Courage, it is not obvious to me.

          (I don’t like to use the language of “teams” among faithful Catholics in conversation, but the very purpose of these articles seems to have been to draw anthropological battle lines, and they seem to have succeeded, so I suspect we’re stuck with it.)

          • Austin Ruse

            That “single Cardinal” laterPope was at the time writing for the Church. We can assume that document was not approved by the Pope. Us, I assume you are aware that anyone who “identifies” as gay is not eligible for the priesthood?

            • BCSWowbagger

              Of course I’m aware of that. Homosexual prohibition from Holy Orders is an ancient discipline of the Church whose earliest formulation dates all the way back to 1961. The enacting document speaks of the “particular dangers” faced by homosexuals who are ordained into the priesthood. And that’s fair enough! Homosexuals do face challenges in the priestly brotherhood that others do not — but this says nothing whatsoever about the gay identity per se. We also bar everyone who lacks an academic degree in philosophy from the priesthood; that does not imply that every faithful Catholic ought to obtain a degree in philosophy. Many good Catholics wouldn’t have the intellectual faculties for it if they tried! Yet no suspicion is cast on their vocations or their mental health.

              Anyway, as for the document, I see that, in calling your claim thinly supported, I placed too much weight on the fact that your evidence came from the pen of one man, who was not writing infallibly. Of course, I must agree that CDF pastoral letters are important and authoritative. But this does not thicken the ice your claim is standing on.

              You have found a single quotation which might or might not have grave translation defects (as has been pointed out elsewhere). Even if it has been translated correctly, it does not demand what you seem to think it demands, even under the most natural construction of the text. If His Future Holiness Cardinal Ratzinger intended to reject the “homosexual” label for being anthropologically incorrect, it is very difficult to understand why he went on to use that very same label throughout the rest of the Pastoral Letter! On the contrary, we ought naturally to take the second paragraph of Section 16 (the part you quote) in light of the first paragraph of Section 16, which insists that “a homosexual person, as every human being, deeply needs to be nourished at many different levels simultaneously” — something no one, on Team SF or Team Courage, would deny, and which your quotation gently reinforces.

              I admit that it is possible to construe the Cardinal’s (and CDF’s) words they way you construe them in your article, but it is a bit of a stretch. If “Catholics reject the gay label” were truly the teaching of the Church (or even the “guidance” of the Church, however her “guidance” is to be distinguished from her teachings), I would expect to see either an explicit statement from CDF addressing the point directly or a lot more quotations like this one that at least sort of vaguely point in that direction, maybe. What you’ve served up as your proof text is neither: it’s a few words, written by one prominent cardinal in one authoritative document, which you appear to have torn from their moorings in order to service your thesis.

              And that is why I called your evidence “thin.”

              • Austin Ruse

                A stretch? Construe? My friend, the burden of proof is on those who want to make a change in the Church. It is a stretch and a construal to suggest the Church accepts the gay identity today or ever.

                • Mark

                  It’s unclear what “accepting the identity” even means. They accept that it exists as an identity. You seem to be trying to create some sort of “theology of identity” that simply doesn’t exist. Identity is a psychological and social phenomenon regarding recognizing similarities and affinities with others. That’s all.

                  • DD

                    It is pathology.

                    • Mark

                      You might even see the basic phenomenon as pathological (though in the case of homosexuality, I’d say at most you could say that about the sexual desires specifically, and even then I’d tend to see that as a spiritual matter regarding properly negotiating intimacy and the significance of sex rather than a psychological matter…otherwise all heterosexual lust, contraception etc, is “pathological” too.)

                      But even if a basic phenomenon is pathological, it doesn’t follow that the identity based on it, the class consciousness of shared experience, is pathological. Take various forms of disability. Are you going to condemn the Special Olympics for “celebrating disorder” or encouraging pride and exceptionalism (there is that word “special” after all…) regarding something abnormal and not-rightly-functioning?

                • BCSWowbagger

                  Don’t look now, but your argument is circular:

                  1. The Church’s suggests that homosexuals ought not identify as homosexuals.

                  2. Therefore, we may read a CDF statement that does not seem to suggest that as though it does.

                  3. Therefore, Church suggests that homosexuals ought not identify as homosexuals.

                  The Church has made no such suggestion. You have read that suggestion into a single convenient document, and are presenting your peculiar construction of that document as though it were the Church’s teaching. It is not. You are correct that the burden of proof is on those who want to make a change in the Church’s guidance, but you, sir, are the one seeking a change. Rome has been silent on the morality of identifying as homosexual, and your attempt to show otherwise has been exposed as poorly documented and poorly reasoned.

                  Just because you’ve spent your whole life on the side of the Magisterium, fighting against the darkness of the culture, does not mean that your instincts, your judgments, and your hermeneutical principles can anticipate the formal teachings of the Church. I mean, that’s your whole point in these articles, isn’t it? That even faithful Catholics can, at times, race ahead of doctrine into error? But you seem oblivious to the plank in your own eye.

                  I wish that you would simply say what you think in these articles rather than adopting the pose of the disinterested anthropologist. I think you are at least trying to be charitable, but it is obvious you are in no sense disinterested.

                  • Austin Ruse

                    Sorry bub…the only thread you have to hang your hat on is Gonnerman’s theory. Ain’t enough. That English translation has been up since 1986…plenty of time to listen to Gonnerman or someone Gonnerman-like. It has not happened. So, the choice is between believing the GonnerSterium or the Magisterium.

                    I rarely write to try adn convince. I mostly write to tell stories. Perhaps that is why you see these as anthropological. I believe my best work is when I find something that the readers here did not know about and then tell them about it. I wrote a month ago about No-Fap. Fascinating. And I suspect the readers here had no idea what that was before I told them. In the same way, I was eager to tell them about this group of thinkers and writers advancing new ideas within the Church. Along the way, I have made some judgements, certainly, but I began with a great deal of admiration for them. Some of that has faded with some of their responses but I still support much of their project.

                    • BCSWowbagger

                      You appear to have missed the bit of my post where I explained that the document does not say what you want it to say, even if the translation is correct. You have adopted a hermeneutic that the piece itself does not suggest, even if the English translation is picture-perfect. This is why your argument is circular. This is why you are here making an attack on the Magisterium, not supporting it.

                      I did appreciate your piece on /r/nofap and its spinoff site! Perhaps I ought to have said so at the time. But, then, you made very few judgments in that piece — two sentences in the penultimate paragraph suggesting that they open themselves up to religious appeals. It’s a suggestion I opposed, but it was clear it came from a friendly place. That’s a remarkably generous attitude, given that much of what many NoFappers profess is crazy — as any sexual teachings are bound to be when formulated by a bunch of horny young adult boys. But that generosity is still appropriate, As Flannery O’Connor wrote, “She may be basically irreligious but we are not judged by what we are basically. We are judged by how hard we use what we have been given,” and there is no doubt the NoFappers are using what they have as hard as they can.

                      But your pieces on Side B have lacked that same generosity. The very name you selected for the group, linking them to the Mattachine Society, seemed design to elicit hostility from your readers. And all of your pieces on them have been filled with little digs. In the third graff of article one, you imply that Eve Tushnet and all of us who think she’s on to something are not faithful Catholics. That “perhaps” at the end of graff 11, and again in 13, right after taking the time to demean “perhaps”-laden “softballs” in graff 10, is blisteringly sarcastic. Then in graffs 16 and 17 you come right out and say that you think Side B is on a path that places them in peril of Hell, and you get only more aggressive from there.

                      Your piece on NoFap was a story, with a very little Catholic appeal nestled at the end. Your piece on Side B was a hit piece masquerading as a story so as to cushion the blow. That original pieces made it very difficult to take you at your word when you (now) say that you began this series with so much as a scrap of admiration for them or their project. It is not until graff 24 of the second article that we get any hint of that, and, by that point — especially since it is immediately followed up by another slam on their vocabulary and final aims — it comes across to the reader as disingenuous.

                      I’m not certain this conversation can lead anywhere productive now, poisoned as it was at its roots, but I hope you’ll look back to your post on NoFap as a model for future storytelling, rather than to this series.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        You have read my piece totally wrong and without charity
                        because you have assumed bad faith all along. You say I have written a sarcasm-laden hit piece? Sheesh. Why not read it as it was intended?

                        There was one little bit of sarcasm not aimed at them but at
                        gay culture in general, the bit about show tunes and dressing up…but that’s it. And frankly, I stand by that. I am not aware of any uniquely gay culture other than the kind you see at the gay rights parade in New York.

                        If fact, I went out of my way to praise them, something
                        totally missed by them, you and others who are sympathetic to them. Good golly, 95% of the second piece was praise for Ron Belgau, and what did he do? In First Things he linked to vicious things said about me from Media Matters, Right Wing
                        Watch and other pungent sources of the sexual left, a real bush league move. I am considered a homophobe for raising a few questions? I must say if they cannot take a few questions from the puny likes of me, there don’t stand a chance with their proposition.

                        To your specific points.

                        We will have to disagree about the 1986 document.

                        Please show me where I questioned Eve Tushnet’s faith. I
                        read that over and over and cannot for the life of me understand what you are getting at. Though given your other complaints, which are utterly baseless, I figure you think you have a case. But, let me hear it anyway.

                        The “perhaps” at the end of graph 11 is “blistering sarcasm”?
                        It simply isn’t. I don’t know how to convince you, but its not anywhere even is the same town let alone the same neighborhood as sarcasm.

                        About the litany of perhaps in graph 13, THIS WAS PRAISE. I
                        admire the use of perhaps so as to “take something off the fastball BUT THROW A STRIKE NONTHELESS” as I said in the para. I use the word “perhaps” in the same way. It was a tip of the hat from one writer to another.

                        In graphs 16 and 17 you think I put them in hell? That was
                        and is a reference to crossing the line into sex not hell. Actually, I wish I had made that about the heart instead, because that is the real danger is losing your heart to someone who cannot have it. Anyway, that was not a reference to Hell. That never crossed my mind.

                        I began this project with a suspicion but still a great deal
                        of admiration for them and their project. At this point, I must say I am deeply disappointed in them and their followers, such as yourself. They and you seem to make this a kind of battle. I am sorry about that.

                        The ideas they express are not their own. They must be aired out by laymen and Churchmen and you and they had better toughen up. So far their ideas have been bandied about in a kind of post-grad bull session. But, I hope their ideas will be deeply questioned such as defending a thesis in the toughest grad school. They and your should hope for nothing less.

                • Giauz Ragnarock

                  Incorrect. The church makes objective claims about reality that “need to be taken on faith, blessed are those who believe but haven’t seen” and other such indoctrinating cult language, so the burden of proof for any claims is always on the church. Now if you said that the church sets its own unchangeable exclusions, I guess I can understand that. It’s just like how Neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, and Christian Identity exclude black people.

                  • Austin Ruse

                    You’re a few steps behind. We’re talking about the interpretation of a document.

                    • Giauz Ragnarock

                      Then I my statement from the “Now if you said that…” point going forward holds? This document just provides an unchangeable exclusion principle like that of Neo-Nazis, KKK, and CI?

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Read the document, then and only then, come back.

                  • DD

                    You are quite wrong. First the Church proposes faith and reason together. Secondly, you erroneously compare evil ideologies with goodness.

                    • Giauz Ragnarock

                      I am not comparing the church with Neo-Nazis, KKK, and Christian Identity. It’s just that exclusive organizations are exclusive organizations. Are you denying that the church, Neo-Nazis, KKK, and Christian Identity are exclusive organizations?

                  • Mark

                    Wouldn’t it be funny if the KKK started saying “Ok, we’ll welcome individuals afflicted with dark skin and an African ancestry…BUT, they have to renounce any identity as ‘Black’ and have to admit their condition is disordered and approach it with shame and stigma and negativity.”

                    That’s basically what the attitude towards gays seems to be here: we’ll welcome you as individuals, but not AS gays. We’ll welcome same-sex attracted people, but only if they compartmentalize that and are self-loathing.

                    • Giauz Ragnarock

                      In the main, the heteronormative (probably more charitable and more broadly accurate than anti-gay, though encompassing of that) Catholics/Christians strongly want to hold on to the presumption that everyone is a “heterophile” just like they are. Then they don’t have to acknowledge that your experience has any needs that aren’t being met. This does clearly result in the compartmentalization and self-loathing (just curious, how do rationalize Jesus not “healing” you? Also, assuming that Paul was speaking about the thorn in his flesh as some kind of temptation that Jesus refused to take away despite “ask and you shall receive”, is Jesus keeping the old man alive when one wants to die in the flesh and be reborn or what? When I was a Christian, such questions as they pertained to my lusts as a heterophile always seemed to avoid being addressed) that you and others have expressed in countless pieces accross the net, tv, and a few people in my life (I don’t know where they are now; I want to apologize for the language I used toward them).

              • DD

                If you read Church documents you will see, plainly, that the inclination itself can provoke moral concern.

    • Austin Ruse

      I am off on a 30 mile bike ride. So, don’t think I am ducking anyone for the next few hours. I look forward to engaging when I return.

      • Objectivetruth

        Road bike, Austin? What d’ya ride?!

        • Adam__Baum

          There’s a joke in there, I’m afraid wouldn’t be appropriate.

          • Objectivetruth

            I’ve always been a setup man….

            • Austin Ruse

              Like George Hincapie.

        • Austin Ruse

          Cervelo S2

          • Objectivetruth

            Sweet…..Colnago C40 and Franco Balcom Road on this end, with Campy Record and SRAM Red/Black, respectively.

            • Austin Ruse

              Whoa!

              • Objectivetruth

                Yea…..the Catholic guilt kicks in at the pricey carbon fibre, but (as you know) thousands of miles a year helps keep the heart attacks and medical issues at bay!

                • Austin Ruse

                  No guilt!

                • Adam__Baum

                  Tell yourself you are sequestering carbon and enjoy the ride.

    • Aaron Taylor

      Austin, your question about the 14-year old boy (“do you want your son to talk to Chris Damian … Or do you want him to meet Daniel Mattson and Father Paul Scalia?”) is poorly constructed. The answer I would have hoped that a responsible Catholic parent would give is “neither!” The irony is that by encouraging parents to think they have to make a choice between one of these two options you are playing in to the mentality which Michael Hannon (quite correctly) criticizes of encouraging youth to waste their childhoods “navel-gazing” over their sexuality.

      All teenagers tend to feel different at some point, and it’s not exactly uncommon for 14-yr olds to go through a phase of being attracted to the same-sex. For most teenage boys who experience this phase, the answer is to simply ignore it and carry on playing football and doing the other things teenagers do. Eventually, for most who experience it, it passes. While I don’t think a 14-yr old should be encouraged to identify as gay and see it as a gift, it is just as bad (if not worse) to send a 14-yr old off to a group like Courage (supported by both Mattson and Fr. Scalia) who may encourage him to dramatize his feelings by suggesting he is suffering from the psychological illness of “same-sex attraction disorder” or whatever the latest Oprah-style psychobabble term it is they are using, and from thence ship him off to endless rounds of quack therapies, weird boot camps, and down-in-the-mouth support groups.

      • Austin Ruse

        Aaron, what two option are you thinking about? I was talking about confirming someone in their gay identity and telling someone they are are a man and a child of God. And you say neither?
        You are right about the 14 year old boy. Hvae you seen the new study in Archives of Human Sexuality that found 80% of boys who identify as gay in their teen years idenitity themselves as heterosexual by their twenties. This is part of the danger of identification that Father Scalia wrote about.

        Your mocking denigration of Courage is unfortunate. It is the program the Church approves.

        • Aaron Taylor

          The LCWR is also a Vatican-approved Catholic organization. Does that mean I can’t criticize it? The fact is, though, that I don’t seek to criticize the purpose or mission of Courage as such (Fr. Harvey’s 5 goals are wonderful), but the dubious Freudian psychobabble which its members widely promote in addition to that purpose and mission.

          Austin, as I suspect you are well aware, you don’t need to send a 14yr old boy (or, indeed, anyone) to Dan Mattson and Fr. Scalia to tell him he is “a man and a child of God.” His parents could just tell him that themselves. By posing the question, you were clearly suggesting that the boy needed to be told something more, something specialist, something that only someone like Mattson or Scalia could explain.

          And no, I haven’t read the study, but I’m not at all surprised. Children should be shielded

          • Austin Ruse

            Very fair point about LCWR and therefore Courage. I feel quite free to criticize even the lay staff of the USCCB! So, fair point.

        • Shrdlu42

                You wouldn’t happen to be referring to this particular study, are you?

          http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/612386/?sc=rsln

                If so, I’m afraid the study isn’t worth much. If not, a link to what you are referring to would be helpful. (Or are we just supposed to accept your say-so?)

          • Austin Ruse

            Well, I have the actual study adn the study shows exactly waht I have reported. The authors of the study couldnt believe the results so they postulated it had to be the kids were joking. There is no evidence the kids were joking. The kids did not say there were joking. But the idea that gayness is immutable will not die.

            • Shrdlu42

                    Great, but why not provide a link to the study so the rest of use can review it and decide its worth? Again, how are we to evaluate your claim of how significant the results are. I’m sure we’re all familiar with “studies” that have breathlessly announced coffee or wine is either good or bad for us based on “sampling” that so small, or so filled with faulty methodology, as to be useless!

              • Austin Ruse

                look it up. I did…

              • Austin Ruse

                Anyway..the study costs something like 39 bucks to get the whole thing…well worth it.

      • Shrdlu42

              Yes, but at least the latter approach may eventually produce suicide, thus “solving” the “problem”. While allowing someone to accept the fact they are gay will only continue it.

        P.S. – I’m being sarcastic, of course.

      • fredx2

        I find the notion that “it’s not exactly uncommon for 14-yr olds to go through a phase of being attracted to the same-sex” odd, to say the least. I have never heard of such a thing. If this happens, why is this the first place I have heard of it? I was 14 once, never heard anyone say, “Gee, I think I am attracted to guys, but just for a while”
        Never heard it mentioned in all these years.
        Probably some new “study” says this?

        • Art Deco

          It’s been a commonplace in much of the public sex talk which has taken place in this country over more than four decades. I would say you need to get out more, but more invitations to think about these topics apart from any sublime aspect neither you nor I need.

          See the 1st edition of this volume

          http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Always-Wanted-Know-About/dp/0312976569

          Originally published in 1968.

        • DD

          Standard propaganda point from mental health “experts ” and other propagandists.

    • Gabriel Blanchard

      I find this article a little exasperating. To me it suggests a very careless reading of our corpus.

      Take the assertion that the idea of St. Aelred being gay is a major point among us. As I stated in the piece I wrote for my blog, in reply to the first of this series of articles, this actually is of very little moment to most of us, nor have I read anything by any of us that suggests otherwise; and I myself made the point, though in passing, that St. Aelred wouldn’t have described his sexuality as we do. Nor, though the authors at Spiritual Friendship find great profit from his writings, do they seem to me to consider his gayness or otherwise to be of any great significance; it is his valuable thoughts on friendship that are important.

      The contention that we are trying to maintain gayness as an ontological category runs counter to everything that any of us has written on the subject. It’s very difficult if we are to be criticized for explaining that we are loyal to the Catholic faith. The mere use of an adjective cannot be taken as proof that we subscribe to a specific philosophy of human nature, and when we go out of our way to contradict such a philosophy on the grounds that it is inconsistent with Catholicism, I feel it is a bit unreasonable to go on accusing us of both subscribing to and defending that philosophy.

      Mattson does admittedly take a rather different perspective than we do. That being said, he has not, to my knowledge, accused any of us of espousing heresy either openly or covertly; he confines himself to respectful disagreement. In fact he’s left some very nice comments on my blog. My own notion of the sense in which a homosexual disposition could be a gift lines up pretty closely with the idea of a wounded healer, to my mind, as I discussed in my recent post “Felix Culpa.”

      The suggestion that we are in ivory towers strikes me as incredible. Most of us (I’m an exception in this regard) have a master’s or higher, and find Academe a natural place to do our thinking; but we are also some of those who do the work of living as gay Catholics — or Catholics with SSA, or however one prefers to describe it. We are also, in my limited experience, much likelier than most Catholics to know gays outside the Church on a personal basis; and when some prominent Catholic does or says something insensitive, we are the ones who have to clean up the mess. We are also the ones who get caught in the crossfire, criticized by our Catholic brethren for using any language or ideas familiar to the LGBT movement, and by the LGBT movement for espousing Catholic doctrine.

      As for the distinction between what is here attributed to Chris Damian (and, by extension, all of us) and what is being attributed to Father Scalia et al., I don’t see very much difference. Damian and the rest of the New Homophiles would discourage young men and women from reducing themselves to their attractions, too, and would urge conformity to the teaching of the Church.

      And personally, I feel that ought to be enough. Differences in emphasis, in style, and even to a point in language, are and should be permissible, provided that the substance of the Church’s teaching is confessed, and we have made that exact confession repeatedly. I think that a perspective that demands something more than orthodoxy and the attempt to live in accord with it is being too stringent.

      I apologize if frustration or bad temper have resulted in a rather heated comment. I hope they have not, and in any case I request the prayers of those who read this.

      • Austin Ruse

        Gabriel, Please show me where I have said you propose a new ontological category. Also, show me where I have accused you and yours of heresy. Also, please show me specifically where i have been disrespectful.

        About Aelred being gay. Read Wesley Hill’s new essay at theotherjournal.com:

        http://theotherjournal.com/2014/01/06/the-problem-of-gay-friendship/

        • Gabriel Blanchard

          Well, I didn’t say that none of us think St. Aelred was gay — most of us do (or so I gather). What I did say was that nothing really hangs on it. It would be mildly interesting if he were proven to be, but nothing more.

          As to our proposing a new ontological category, I presumed that that was what was at stake, because every Catholic criticism of the word “gay” that I have yet seen (here or elsewhere) is based precisely on the claim that it runs counter to a properly Catholic anthropology, as you reference in your quote from Daniel Mattson. Otherwise there would be little point in contradicting “You are gay” with “You are a man and a son of God” (ontological categories, identities). The same concept is present in the rejection of the idea that being gay is an “essential orientation.” Insofar as the Church’s anthropology here is both clear and authoritative, I take it that dissent from it would be at least potentially heretical, which is one reason (and the most important one) that I don’t dissent from it, and use the adjective “gay” the same way I use the adjective “blonde.”

          The claim that we seek a change in the Church’s teaching, now made or suggested multiple times, does seem to me tantamount to a charge of heresy — especially in conjunction with the claim that we bristle at the phrase “objectively disordered” (a phrase that I admit I dislike but have nonetheless gone out of my way to explain and defend on my blog more than once, since my likings have no bearing on the truth of Catholic teaching). I may have been over-hasty in my judgment of your writing on that score, and if so, I apologize. Either way, it is certainly an untruth as applied to me or to the ladies and gentlemen of Spiritual Friendship.

          I was puzzled at first at the request to show you where you have been disrespectful, since I didn’t say I that, but then I realized it must have come from what I wrote about Daniel Mattson. I wasn’t thinking of the possible implications of that sentence when I wrote it, and I apologize for my carelessness and for having caused confusion.

          • Austin Ruse

            I do not believe that suggesting a gay identity is proposing an ontological category. You should respond to waht I write and not what others have written.

            • Gabriel

              Well, I am sorry to have misunderstood, but in that case I am at a loss as to what objection exactly you have to what we are saying. You’ve stated that we are not deviating from the formal teaching of the Church; you’ve acknowledged that we are trying to live in accord with it. This leaves me simply confused as to what the precise criticism you are raising is.

              I would venture also to point out that, given the number of complaints your articles have garnered from the people you are writing about, the possibility must be considered that you are not understanding us, either, and unintentionally misrepresenting what we have to say. Your quotations from our work are few, far between, and decontextualized. I’d like to invite you to interview me after all, if you’re willing, not for publication but for greater mutual understanding. — Gabriel

              • Austin Ruse

                Is wanting to maintain a gay identity a heresy? No. Does the church recommend it? No. Does the church frown upon it? Kind of. Does the Church recommend that anyone announce their same-sex attraction except to a close friends and family? No. Is holding onto a gay identity a good thing for others, particularly for young people? Mostly no. Is it a good thing for you to ask the Church to celebrate your SSA (which I am convinced is the development of doctrine some of you want? No.
                What’s so confusing?

                • Gabriel Blanchard

                  The Church does not recommend announcing same-sex feelings, no, but she doesn’t forbid it, either, and I think that there are particular good reasons for doing so, something I’ve discussed before on my blog — especially when it comes to witness. The gay world is highly unlikely to be impressed by a witness that doesn’t include people who perceptibly display the kind of life they could expect to lead as Catholics; and many of them, no matter what the Church’s public language, have an ingrained belief (sometimes instilled by a religious upbringing that happened to be unhealthy, other times by something else) that the Church hates them, is ashamed of them, &c. We are in a special position to counter such an impression. Conversely, for those inside the Church who harbor such self-destructive feelings and fear they have no one to turn to, we are in a special position to tell them that there is hope (and this respect we do resemble Courage).

                  Whether holding on to a gay identity is or is not a good thing seems to me a discussion to be had, not a thing to be asserted. For one thing, what constitutes a gay identity is something on which it seems to me we are decidedly not agreed. (I could certainly assent that coming to a conclusion that one is gay too quickly is deeply problematic, that many young people do so, and that the gay world is by no means sufficiently careful about that matter.) I’d say the same about the claim that we want our attractions celebrated; that was the basic point of my recent blog post “Felix Culpa.” You may well be convinced that we want our attractions celebrated in terms of a development of doctrine, but I do not consider the matter cut-and-dried, which is why I want to talk to you about it. And essays and comment boxes don’t seem like a very genial environment to have a conversation in. Will you talk with me?

                  • Christine Niles

                    Gabriel wrote: “given the number of complaints
                    your articles have garnered from the people you are writing about, the
                    possibility must be considered that you are not understanding us,
                    either, and unintentionally misrepresenting what we have to say.”

                    I can think of another possibility to be considered: that the New Homophiles are incredibly thin-skinned & don’t like to be challenged.

                    • DD

                      Sunshine is a good disinfectant.

                    • Gabriel Blanchard

                      I am most certainly thin-skinned, and I’m not sure I know anyone who actively enjoys being challenged, though I do know people who handle it with greater calm and clarity than myself. I do my level best to engage humbly and impartially with everyone, as I feel the comments on my blog (mine and others’) attest, though obviously I fail in that endeavor a good deal.

                      Nonetheless, the fact remains that many if not most of the things attributed to the New Homophiles are things that I at any rate either have no interest in (occasionally things I hadn’t even heard of until he posited them), or place in such a different context than Mr. Ruse that they are hardly even the same thing. Whether an ad hominem is accurate and appropriate or not, I think greater mutual understanding is always to everyone’s advantage, and it is that kind of engagement that I’m requesting.

                • Mark

                  So basically your objection is that you don’t like the idea of gay consciousness being raised, and certainly don’t like the idea of it being raised within the horizons of the Church and Christian identity (as opposed to something Other “out there”). Great.

                  • Austin Ruse

                    I would say there’s no such thing as “gay” consciousness.

                    • Mark

                      Well of course there is. By the very fact of there being a public movement of people identifying as gay. Mind you I’m using “consciousness” here in the sense of “class consciousness” not merely personal individual consciousness

                  • Austin Ruse

                    And I would say they are like me…male and female as God made us…children of God. No more. No less.

                  • DD

                    What is gay consciousness ?

                • Giauz Ragnarock

                  “Is holding onto a gay identity a good thing for others, particularly for young people? Mostly no.”

                  Giving a gay Catholic kid/prospective Catholic kid the impression that he is alone in his feelings, possible atypical looks, mannerisms, etc and that there are not any gay people who are faithful Catholics is a mostly good thing, then? I may be an atheist, formerly Baptist, but this doesn’t sound like a good thing for holding people to your “relationship with Jesus.”

    • Led

      This is a really uncharitable article, and doesn’t do any justice to what the “new homophiles” are actually saying, from what I can tell.

      • cestusdei

        Usually when folks say “uncharitable” that means you just don’t like that he disagrees with you.

        • Austin Ruse

          yes, the new definition of uncharitable…

      • Austin Ruse

        I wish you would show me exactlywhere and how i am being uncharitable.

        • Mark

          Well, besides the misrepresentations and general sense that you suspect ulterior motives, and the fact that you seem more concerned with politicizing people and their ideas in the abstract rather than meeting them where they are concretely AS people…the main thing is that your whole position is homophobic. Yes, I know you are as inclined to dismiss “homophobia” in the same way you dismiss “uncharitable.” You are inclined to say “It just means disagreeing!” But that’s not true, and to just dismiss it like that is to take the easy way out and not face your own prejudice. Homophobia isn’t just “disagreeing” with a philosophical position. The New Homophiles, remember, AGREE when it comes to the moral theory.

          Homophobia, rather, is disagreeing with the existence of gay persons, basically. I recall a quote from earlier this year: “Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the
          existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?
          We must always consider the person.”

          As far as I can tell, you and the other critics (even when they’re gay themselves), do not endorse the existence of gay people. I am not being facetious. You might say that, of course, you support the existence of a person (who happens to be gay). But you don’t support the existence of “gay persons.” Indeed, you seem to want “gay persons” to not exist, or even to deny that there is really such a thing as “gay persons.”

          Human beings are relational creatures. If you try to deny the raising of a consciousness, you are denying the existence of the persons constituted in said consciousness (and by “consciousness raising” I mean only this: that a class has realized that it exists, that people joined in affinity by SOME similarity have realized that they constitute a distinct minority experience in society which moves from being a merely private individual experience to being a collective experience with a collective narrative and social networks etc etc).

          By seemingly wishing that the whole gay thing would just “go away” and go back to being invisible and unconscious, you are essentially wishing for there to be a REGRESSION of consciousness, and thus a regression of personhood, in those so subject. You do not endorse the existence of gay persons, indeed you deny that there should be an “gay persons.” This is gravely uncharitable.

          • Austin Ruse

            Funny. You folks don’t seem much interested in meeting me and other critics where we are.

            • Mark

              Well it’s hard to tell “where you are” at all. And how are we not? As far as I know, we haven’t tried to say that any of your self-identifications are invalid or that any aspect of your subjectivity is not to be celebrated. We haven’t problematized your very existence, even if we disagree with you problematizing ours. And indeed we agree with you on abstract moral theory and identification as Catholic which is a huge amount of common ground.

              But even then people like Melinda have tried to be empathetic in understanding why the existence of gay people might make you uncomfortable or what your concerns are giving it the best possible spin (even if you find that patronizing or psychologizing, and even if my inclination personally is to “mind your own life, I’m not some token in your culture war.”)

              Do you think Pope Francis is also refusing to meet you where you are? Because he’s someone I’d say gay Catholics feel like he “gets it” and doesn’t problematize our very collective existence and meets us where we are. I know you are uncomfortable with him, but you can’t call him unorthodox, and I wonder if you feel that he meets you where you are too?

              • Austin Ruse

                But shouldn’t you meet us where we are?

                • Mark

                  Again: where is that? And how are we not?

                  Again, the main difference: we are not problematizing your very existence or seeking to invalidate anything about your subjectivity or self-concept or self-identification.

                  • Austin Ruse

                    So, there are actually times you are not supposed to meet someone where they are?

                    • Mark

                      By “meet someone where they are” what I mean is that you start from a stance that validates and celebrates their existence and identity and does not problematize their very personhood or subjectivity.

                      We are always supposed to do this, and as far as I can tell, we are doing this with you. We have never problematized your very existence as a self-identified “[insert adjective] person” or sought to invalidate you as a person by denying the validity of any class to which you might belong.

                      I don’t know how you’re using “meet where they are” other than to mean “agree with.” But that’s not what it means.

              • DD

                Your existence is not a problem. A bad ideology is the problem.

          • cestusdei

            There is no such thing as “homophobia.” There are those who believe that homosexual acts are sinful and that homosexuality is an objective moral disorder. Those people are called “Catholics.”

            • Patrick

              There are also people (a majority of them non-Catholics, in my experience) who demonstrate very clearly that they genuinely despise gay people, above and beyond opposing sinful acts and pity over a disorder that can constitute a difficult trial.

              They are the ones who continue to use vile slurs that I won’t repeat, vandalize property, etc.

              It is ridiculous to claim there are no such people. Spray paint does not apply itself to school buildings (or cars, or houses, or whatever) in patterns that form cruel words by itself.

              • ForChristAlone

                The “I’m a victim” lobby has weighed in. Homophobia does not exist. No one fears homosexuals. Sane people recognize what it is – a disorder of nature.

                • Patrick

                  Yes.
                  And sane people also do not deny actual injustices that have actually happened, sometimes on camera even.

                  Note that I never said “homophobia” or “fear” or even “hate.”

                  I said some people have shown they go beyond “hating the sin” and have come to actually despise gay people.

                  Despising someone is about repugnance and contempt, not hate or fear or any of that.

                  It would be ludicrous to deny that there are people who genuinely despise homosexuals. The continued use of foul language invented specifically to refer to them is alone proof of that.

                  None of that makes them right, but I’m not trying to say they’re right. I don’t even believe they’re right. But some people do despise them instead of just opposing them. That is a fact you cannot deny.

              • cestusdei

                There are plenty of homosexuals who despise Catholics. They tried to burn churches down after prop 8 in California. Some of them disrupted Mass and desecrated the Eucharist. They even disrupted an ordination ceremony. Right now they are doing their best to institute outright persecution of Christians.

                • Patrick

                  Okay.

                  How does that change my point that there are legitimately people who despise gay people (in response to claims that no such phenomena exist)?

                  It is possible for both sides of an issue to do things gravely wrong.

                  One side’s wrongs to not justify the other side’s wrongs. It does not rationalize them or excuse them.

                  We cannot simply point to their wrongs to rationalize not doing things the right way ourselves.

                  Otherwise it turns into a contest of which side has had the most members murdered over an issue, and that is not a Catholic way of resolving any situation.

                  • cestusdei

                    Most of the time they don’t despite homosexuals. However, homosexuals play the hate speech card at every opportunity. If someone says the don’t agree with same sex marriage they are told they are a hater. It is a method of silencing the opposition. I have never heard a homily where a priest stated that we are to despise homosexuals. What I experience is hatred from the homosexual activists.

                    • Patrick

                      I wasn’t saying most. I was disagreeing with the claim of none.

                      And it’s good that you’ve never heard a priest saying we should despise them, because that would be contrary to the teachings of the Church.

                      My objection is not to people taking umbrage at being called homophobic (though I do agree it’s often not accurate even when semi-applicable, which is why I use “despise” to describe people like WBC, since contempt and disgust do seem more accurate descriptions of the phenomenon than hate or fear).
                      My objection is to people claiming that no one at all is homophobic or despises gay people, because clearly some (mostly non-Catholics, in my finite experience) do.

                      • cestusdei

                        There are about 1.3 billion Catholics. If one says something that is not the official teaching of the Church.

                        On the other hand homosexuals seem rather united in their hatred of Catholicism and their attempts to silence anyone who disagrees with them. That is where the focus needs to be.

                      • Patrick

                        I never said one priest teaching a falsehood would constitute an official teaching of the Church. Why would you even get the idea that I was suggesting anything of the sort?

                        People can (and do) despise homosexuals even despite Church teaching to the contrary. Other people aren’t even Catholic, and thus don’t care what Catholic teaching says about it.

                        You said no such behavior exists, and that is what I am objecting to. I am not saying it is typical or common. I am not saying it is a growing problem even.
                        I am saying it is objectively false to say that there is “none.”
                        That was your word, “none.” “None” is what I am objecting to.
                        A single incident disproves “none.” and I could cite several from memory.

                        And believe it or not, it is entirely possible to focus on two forms of wrongdoing simultaneously. Wrongs by one group do not mean we should ever ignore wrongs done by our own group or our allies.

                        The ends do not justify the means and they don’t absolve the means.

                      • Patrick

                        Sorry, I mis-spoke. I should have said “no such thing” instead of “none” the four times I used it in quotation marks. I apologize for the imprecise statements.

                      • cestusdei

                        You are doing what so many homosexual activists do. Changing the subject and using political correctness to steer away from the the problem. The problem isn’t hatred of homosexuals. It is the use of “hate speech” codes to silence anyone who dares disagree with homosexuality in any way, shape, or form.

                      • Patrick

                        I am not changing the subject. You made the subject about how there is “no such thing” as people who despise homosexuals.
                        You made that claim and I have been sticking to that topic in replying to you.
                        I am not using political correctness in any way, either. I am not saying you despise them or that you aren’t allowed to have your opinions about them. I am correcting you on an objectively false claim you made about the complete nonexistence of people who despise homosexuals.
                        And thankfully, I (and I would assume you) live in America, where there are no such “hate speech” codes and as far as I can see never will be.

                        Don’t change the subject yourself. You said “no such thing” exists as people who despise homosexuals, and when I corrected you, you’ve done nothing but try to deflect or sweep it under the rug, or act as if one person’s victimization negates another’s.

                        Just admit you were hasty in saying “no such thing” and I’ll be satisfied on that point.

                        …not that you would, after already digging your heels in this far…

                      • cestusdei

                        There are hate speech codes, I remember them in my university. If you say you don’t agree with homosexual marriage you are subjected to a barrage of intense hatred. Disagreement is labeled at “hate” and Catholics are persecuted by the homosexuals. THAT is the issue. Just admit that and I will be satisfied.

                      • Patrick

                        I’m confused why you’re using the word “codes,’ as that implies some sort of official code of conduct or law.

                        And If you read some of the people responding to me on this very page, there’s multiple homosexual people who, despite knowing I disagree with them, seem perfectly happy to be polite and courteous with me.

                        It’s not your opinion they are upset by, it’s the things associated with it, like people who are patronizing or outright cruel. The things I’m telling you you could avoid and get less flak about.

                        See, the thing here is that I not only never claimed there was no persecution of Catholics, I even acknowledged that there was.

                        I never said there was “no such thing” so there is no reason for me to admit I was wrong on something I never said.

                        You said there is “no such thing” as people who hate (or to use a better term, despise) homosexuals.

                        You made an absolute claim, and just assumed I was making the opposite absolute claim when I pointed out the objectively false status of your claim.
                        That’s your problem, not mine. I’m not responsible for opinions you assumed I held that are contrary to the things I’ve said. That’s your imagination you’re arguing with, not me.

                      • cestusdei

                        Yes, at my university if you said something non-pc you could be punished. The issue remains that it is not Catholics who are the bad guys. Homosexual activists are the bad guys who want to silence those who oppose their agenda. That was where all this arguing started. I stand by that and nothing you say will silence me.

                      • Patrick

                        I’m pretty sure it’s not a matter of saying something “non-pc” as much as it is saying something disruptive of the learning environment of other students, but that’s a separate issue and I honestly would probably oppose the university’s policy in that regard.

                        I am not talking about “bad guys” and “not bad guys.”

                        I am saying it is wrong to disregard injustice because it was done by someone superficially siding with the “good guys.”
                        I am saying it is objectively false to claim that no injustice of any kind against gays exists or that there are no people who legitimately despise them.

                        I’m not even trying to silence you. Even by your metric, I am not one of the bad guys. I’m Catholic. Even I said (repeatedly) that most of the people I’m talking about have no ties to the Catholic Church even.

                        I am saying it is factually untrue (and therefore damaging to your own cause to claim) that there is “no such thing” as people who despise gays. It makes you look like you look like you live in some ivory tower.

                        Here’s a piece of advice that could serve you well:
                        Argue with what the person you’re talking to is actually specifically saying, not with what you expect someone who disagrees with you to say, not with some general point you think they’re trying to work toward. Reply to their actual statements, not your presumptions about their conclusions.
                        It takes a little bit of extra critical thinking, but you’re in college, you’ve got plenty. It’ll make you much more effective in debates and arguments.

                      • cestusdei

                        Sure, the prof says something and I disagree. I am then accused of “disruption” and subjected to a kangaroo court. You have heard of show trials? Or suddenly you find your grades take a nose dive. I actually experimented. When I wrote pc stuff I got excellent grades. When I disagreed, for example with same sex marriage, suddenly I went down. Go figure.

                      • Patrick

                        I’m pretty sure if you’re talking about a student code of conduct, there isn’t any sort of court involved in any way. There’s no criminal or civil law involved, so there wouldn’t be a court proceeding.
                        I agree it’s wrong for teachers to grade you based on ideology, and that’s probably grounds for a formal complaint against them. And ideally (though sadly not always), that should resolve the issue.

                        But even so, that does not change what means are acceptable in dealing with the issue.

                        I mean, part of the problem is that you’re getting wrongly lumped in with groups that actually are disruptive toward homosexual students.
                        That’s why it’s so important for Catholics to make it clear we are opposed to that harmful behavior, rather than pretending it doesn’t exist. We get tarred with the same brush when it happens unless we do a better job of showing we actively disapprove of such things.

                      • cestusdei

                        Anything that gets a kid kicked out of school is serious. In Canada and Europe they are now arresting anyone who dares say homosexuality is wrong. No complaint would do much good when the prof and the school are allied. Homosexual students are the ones who are disruptive. They are in your face.

                  • Art Deco

                    “Most members murdered”? That’s rather florid.

                    Unfortunately, obnoxious homosexuals have the legal profession in their corner, most especially the appellate judiciary. Makes trouble for everyone else on several different axes.

                    • Patrick

                      If you get into a contest of who is “most persecuted” it will inevitably become florid. That’s one of the (lesser) reasons to avoid such a competition.

                      • Art Deco

                        Not much you say is likely to affect what the gay lobby does. Complaint over fancied insults is their primary stock-in-trade. Other people have more varied wares.

                        I see no reason not to call attention to harassment perpetrated by the gay lobby when the occasion merits. If it bothers you, tough.

                      • Patrick

                        Art Deco, that wasn’t my point. I was objecting to the (obviously false) claim that there are no people who despise homosexuals.

                        Then cestusdei presented wrongdoing by homosexuals as if it somehow negated anything that has been done to them by (predominantly non-Catholic) groups.

                        I’m not the one who was trying to bring up examples of florid persecution. Initially, I was simply stating that there are well documented cases with ample direct evidence that it is objectively untrue to claim no such contempt toward gay people exists.
                        Then, once cestusdei responded, I was pointing out that it is entirely possible for two groups to simultaneously do grievous wrongs to each other, that one group’s unwarranted suffering does not negate the other’s, that one man’s guilt does not cancel out another man’s.

                        Furthermore, that trying to win a contest of most-persecuted is to revel in pain and death rather than to glorify life. No matter which side is doing it.

                        I have no problem with bringing wrongs to the light of day, keep in mind. That is good.
                        What is not good is trying to distract from one misdeed by pointing to another, or trying to “win” at suffering (and I’ve seen far, far to many arguments turn into… well, I’ll skip the impolite term, but into contests as if one harm “wins” against another, or lessens another, or justifies or absolves another.

          • CadaveraVeroInnumero

            Mar, you wrote to Ruse: ” the fact that you seem more concerned with politicizing people and
            their ideas in the abstract rather than meeting them where they are
            concretely AS people.”

            Let us assume that my primary sexuality is not so much homosexuality but S&M, especially an insatiable need to be dominated. How you or Mr. Ruse meet me where I am – very concretely so, with my chains, locks, leather and cages?

            Would you encourage me to dissociate myself from S&M orientation – which is weaved into every fiber of my sexuality – and encourage me to call it sin, a fruit from Adam’s bitten apple; or, would you instruct me to discover the undergirding goodness of the S&M inclination (even the S&M “community”) as a springboard to plunge into God’s life. A plunging, a participation, that few others are privileged to experience, for they have not been wounded as I.

            There is a certain barstool on Folsom Street. After Mass on Sunday maybe I should stroll down, sit on it, and take a tally of S&M adepts who wonder in. Just a straight-up shot of Jacki Daniels. No need to order any other. For I do know how to speak from that stool. Don’t need no queer language.

            It is a serious question, a

            • DD

              The problem is they do not see their affliction as an affliction.

              • Mark

                Mm. As Joshua Gonnerman, I believe, said quite perceptively in an article he wrote once…your problem seems to boil down to the fact that we just don’t hate ourselves enough. That we don’t feel more sad or disgusted at our own feelings or experiences. That’s what this whole thing is about; it’s not about morality or the Church’s teachings about moral acts or desires. It is about, essentially, promoting an attitude of aversion to ‘gayness’ and gay people qua gay (people).

                • Art Deco

                  Some measure of sadness and aversion is proper, if your head is screwed on straight. Certainly enough to preclude Mr. Gonnerman’s exhibitionism.

            • Mark

              It’s a little bit different given that S&M is specifically defined as a sexual predilection, and it would be hard for me to see how it wouldn’t always be referencing sex acts directly.

              But even so, I’ve known a couple guys into it. And it’s like…yeah, that’s not my thing at all, but the fact that it is theirs and that they disclose it isn’t some sort of personal affront or threat to me or source of contempt or moral outrage.

              I’m just their friend, the fact of their tastes is something we can “inside joke” about, one more experience whose disclosure means that I “know” them, and I can lend a listening ear to their concerns and discuss their foibles and misadventures with a sort of bemused curiosity even if I don’t exactly empathize.

              There is no value judgment regarding their experience, it just is. There is no condemnation, but also no encouragement, I’m simply accepting the de facto reality. If they asked me outright “Should I make this or that decision” regarding a conscious choice/act…my default response would tend to be to answer the question with a question, and to help them explore their motives, what values are at stake, what qualms they might have and why, Socratic-like.

              But at the end of the day they make their own decisions and, no, I’m not going to make them “change out of their leather and chains” at the door of my house, or my church, or my life. If that’s how they want to present themselves to the world, their style, their fashion, if that’s the message they want to send about “who they are”…who am I not to receive that message? Who am I not to endorse their very identity and personhood?

              Now, I’m not going to participate in sado-masochistic sex acts with them, of course, nor encourage or enable what they may do behind closed doors, but if you’re talking about their friendships and community and subculture then my attitude is bound to be “Let your freak flag fly, brother. If you people have bonded over this shared ‘interest,’ then I might not like the interest, but I do like that you’ve found interpersonal communion. I may not like the bondage, but at least I’m in favor of the bonding.”

              The truth is, people are very loyal to “our people.” We (human beings) don’t tend to get offended so much if you attack “me,” but we get filled with zeal if you are attacking “us.” I’m not going to attack anyone’s “us.” Why should I? If someone feels that “These are my people” who am I to question that? Who am I to say that different configurations or combinations of personal relationships or social networks are anathema? A community is a community, no matter what brought them together in the first place, filled with living breathing human beings and real authentic relationships. I’ve been told that the best way to REALLY understand this is to go into prison ministry.

              • CadaveraVeroInnumero

                Will respond to your extended reply later. Thank you for it – and your frankness. It is late.

            • Giauz Ragnarock

              Recognizing that your primary way of relating to sexuality in your mind is S&M (you have not specified you are “homophile” or “heterophile”) is not the same as encouraging you to buy S&M equipment and use it. However, could the church have a gathering of people like you who are all deeply predisposed to view sexuality through S&M but agree that it would not be right to perform S&M characteristic behavior during sex? I think that is possible, but there really isn’t reason to do so as the Church mainly goes after basic deviations of majority orientation and gender not people of particular phila.

              • CadaveraVeroInnumero

                Much -to the point of total – tongue in cheek in my response to Mark!

                My seemingly hopeless point: to push the New Homophiles into a corner. To compel them to explain why old-fashion homosexuality or their “sexualized friendship” (yes, that is what it is) should be set apart (viewed differently) by the Chuch? I know folks don’t care for the term “slippery slope”, yet how does the New Homophile ethic keep the culture and Church from sliding? If the Church ends up swallowing the not so hidden “queer” language of the New Homophiles what will prevent the Church from discovering (developing) a spirituality of S&M inclinations (both acts and orientation) and all its sibling perversions.

                We need me this discussion beyond the tweedy coat Oxford-quad preciousness of the New Homophiles. Yes, they are utterly faithful (I guess) to the teaching of the Church. But I reserve the caution to be suspious of their take on the Development of Doctrine. A slight push of D.D. in the direction of “queerness” – especially in the spiritualizing of its language – will send the Church down that slippery slope.

                The New Homophiles already show their hand in how they frame the discussion of so-called “gay youth”. They are loath to say that the sexual foundation of any 13 year-old is heterosexuality, the Original Gift (Law) of Creation.

                So come on, New Homophiles, how do you view the *development* of the Development of Doctrine?

                • Mark

                  I don’t really see the need for any “development of doctrine.”

                  I do think the Church needs to engage the social constructs of our times as they ACTUALLY exist.

                  For example, the 1986 document seems to define “homosexual inclinations” as an inclination to sex acts specifically, and thus objectively disordered.

                  Fine, in itself.

                  However, the “gay/straight/bi” construct of “sexual orientation” as it exists today is simply broader than that, is not reducible to that, is not “about” something like “who I want to have sex with” which is only one possible interpretation of “enactment” that people might choose to give to their subjective experiences.

                  The Church, then, needs to address this new sociological reality and to sort its wheat and tares. But the point is it needs to be analyzed anew, recognized as not co-extensive with the current working category of “homosexual inclinations” which seems to mean and refer to something rather different.

                  Pastoral policy (and the question of identity-politicking) would probably be clarified in light of addressing this new topic.

                  • CadaveraVeroInnumero

                    “Addressing [any] new sociological reality”, as you seem to define it, will exert pressure on the humenuetic of D.D. That pressure will not leave doctrine alone.

                    More to the point, the acceptance of any interpretation of “queer-ism” will effect our *perception* of ontological reality.

                    • Mark

                      I don’t know what you’d propose, then, other than the Church sticking its head in the sand and pretending this is still the 1950s or the Counter-Reformation or the Middle Ages (as much as I love the middle ages, being a medieval studies major myself!)

                      The Church HAS to address new sociological realities. Does this lead to “pressure on the hermeneutic”? Maybe. Did it exert pressure when the Church was moving away from its alliance with the ancien regime or strict attitude towards other faiths or tolerance for slavery (none of which I’d say was strictly speaking wrong or against the natural law in their own historical constexts) towards a greater aggiornamento and rapproachment with democracy and freedom and religious liberty and ecumenism?

                      The Church can and always has grappled with new sociological realities and social trends and cultural situations.

                      • CadaveraVeroInnumero

                        Do not know how much you identify with the New Homophiles – as Mr. Ruse defines them – yet your note leads towards a definition of Doctrinal Development as, I believe, the New Homophiles must hold if they are to maintain their position on sexualized friendship. (I know, I know, they say “spiritual”, but I’m one who tends to look under the hermeneutical sheets.)

                        I thank you for it.

                        AN ASIDE: The New Homophiles must give us their view on how they incorporate homosexual specialization. For the gay “specialists” insists that their sexual identities – for that is who they are – are received by God as much as the New Homophiles’ vanilla, touchy same-sex attraction species of homosexuality. Since, according to their theology, God’s life can touch upon queerness (or the reverse, queerness can, somehow, participate in God’s life), why not the very real human identities of S&M, of bondage, of pain, of submission and dominion? Are there not “queer spiritualities” webbed and woven within and through all of them? If sexualized friendship can lay claim to its own specialized spiritual giftedness, why not bondage, why not the gift-of-self that comes by way of sexual dominance? Would nt sexual pain be the perfect for a “ministry of woundedness”?

                        I would truly be interested in how the New Homophiles evangelize their homosexual specialist brethren. Would like to see how you would carry the Gospel onto Folsom Street. There’s an Evangelical ministry which goes eery year to Burning Man in Nevada. Maybe you can pick up a tactic or two from them.

                        Yet, permit me to give you some advise. The boys on the bar-stools are not really into Queer Theory language. Their conversation is more direct, common – it’s refreshing, even.

                • Giauz Ragnarock

                  I don’t understand why someone should be pushed into a corner or that a preconception that peoples’ consciences are flawed need be confirmed (indeed it could be wrong, and my experience with gay people affirms that the preconception is wrong). Next, I don’t understand the reference to “sexualized friendships” as I believed we were talking about celibate gay people and those who accept themselves as gay but marry a person of different gender according to belief (myself, I fully support gay marriage). Thirdly, it’s not that people don’t like the term ‘slippery slope’ but that it is a fallacy. If you are not well read on why it is a fallacy and how it is used and has been used to ill affect I encourage you to get reading and googling, as there is plenty of easily accessible information. Gay couples have just as much to do with S&M as married Catholics in that some are aroused by it and a larger some are not.

                  “But I reserve the caution to be suspious of their take on the Development of Doctrine. A slight push of D.D. in the direction of “queerness” – especially in the spiritualizing of its language – will send the Church down that slippery slope.”

                  I think necessary doctrines to provide love and longsuffering are already in place within the church (just that gay people have been targets for legislated murder and other persecution through much of history, making them exceptions to such doctrine). I propose what you experience now is the unfamiliar: you know what you know about gay people, and gay people want to take you up on that. They do not view themselves exactly as you view them based on their own relevant experience, which makes you uncomfortable. Any shaking of your preconceptions you seem to view as bad while those preconceptions do at least perceived bad to others.

                  “The New Homophiles already show their hand in how they frame the discussion of so-called “gay youth”. They are loath to say that the sexual foundation of any 13 year-old is heterosexuality, the Original Gift (Law) of Creation.”

                  For starters, every single one of the people you speak is a gay youth, a 13 year-old who did not have heterosexuality now aged to who they are this day of January 20, 2014. They speak from experiences that neither of us as “heterophiles” have had. Furthermore, while similarities exist in varying quantities between their experiences all of their experiences differ from each other as well. To just flat-out deny any of that would be placing them in a special category, while if our life experiences as heterophiles was put just as skeptically into question (can men and women really love each other? That talk about “hetersexual youth” sounds suspicious, etc) I know that we would call such talk unfair and denying our humanity as people with complexity, feelings, and history of when we knew we first wanted to hold onto a person of the other gender’s hand just because or wandered what kissing was like, what the other looked like naked, what it felt like to have sex, etc.

      • DD

        What exactly is uncharitable?

      • Christine Niles

        Nonsense, Led. Charity obliges us to speak the truth, which is what Austin does here. I’m sorry you don’t like hearing it.

    • Shrdlu42

      You are not your religious inclinations. You are not ‘Catholic.’ What you are is a man and a Son of God.

            Anyone who thinks there’s something wrong with those statements, ask yourself why they can’t apply to religion as much as to sexual orientation. Because no one is “born gay”? No one’s “born Catholic” either (or Jewish, Protestant, Muslim, or any other faith for that matter). But we certainly don’t object to a Catholic identifying themselves as being Catholic (etc.). Nor do we object to heterosexuals identifying themselves as such. (How often do we hear someone boast of being a “red-blooded man” – meaning a straight man.) Why should being Gay be any different?

            Yes, there’s more to a person than just their sexual identity, desires, or feelings. But anyone denying these things is less of a person! Like it or not the desire for sex, companionship, and love are essential parts of most people’s lives. Asking anyone to deny or suppress this is pure evil! (No matter how pretty the sophistry its dressed up in.)

      • DD

        The difference is same sex attraction is not normal.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “Not normal” just means “I don’t like it/Jesus will torture those people” not that those people and animals are not born and are not same-sex attracted. People and animals who are not male or female are also normal (either Jesus’ actions posit they are normal or indeed sin is some kind of “Chemical X” that can ignore whatever Jesus intends in creation).

          • DD

            No normal means healthy and consistent with nature as intended.

    • ForChristAlone

      Tolerance gone haywire.

    • hombre111

      Somehow, I sense that an article written by a homophobe is not going to get at the root of a profound human question.

      • Art Deco

        What would you know of ‘profound human questions’?

        • hombre111

          62 years of reading scripture, theology, philosophy, history, anthropology, sociology, and science. After a while you learn a few things. Give it a try.

          • DD

            62 years of experience or one year of experience 62 times?

      • John200

        Somehow, I sense that a comment written by a priest who believes 40-50% of Catholic faith — and thinks the rest is a satire — is not going to get at the root of a profound human question.

        Father Hombre, do you see how easy it is to play your game? Does nothing penetrate (not a homo”sex”ual reference) with you? Now go ahead, disguise and promote heretical positions on all profound human questions.

      • DD

        No such thing as a homophobe. Just a propaganda term.

        • hombre111

          Yeah. Like there’s no such thing as a racist. Crisis puts an astonishing amount of time into the gay question. Too bad not so much time on the economic issues that crush ordinary families. The one is a side issue. The other is what really guts family life in the U.S., where more couples work longer hours than any other industrial nation, with almost no child care to watch over kids at home alone. Parents who both work, sometimes at two jobs, want more than forty-five minutes a day with their kids, which is the average they get now, according to U.S. Catholic.

          • DD

            Homophobe is like pro choice. A political club. The rest of your post is just deflection. The usual.

          • Austin Ruse

            I quite sure that all of us would rather not be dealing iwth this at all…but it has been thrust upon us. You are the aggressors in teh culture war. We respond. That’s all….

            • hombre111

              First, I have considerable respect for your well written, logically precise work. It is a challenge and even a pleasure to read your articles. But second, when the stuff on the bottom of your shoe finally pushes back and demands a place in this world, that trampled upon residue is not the aggressor. Gays have been mocked, scorned, bullied, and murdered for time beyond memory. Now they want their measure of respect. It continues to be a painful struggle, for the victims and for the victimizers who thought that contempt for gays is some kind of default position.

              • Austin Ruse

                They don’t want a measure of respect. They want to dominate and destroy…

                • Patrick

                  I really hope that’s hyperbole. Otherwise it’s an astoundingly self-centered interpretation of the situation.
                  Their motivations–misguided as they may be–are not about you. They are taking actions they believe to be self-defensive, even if they cause collateral damage and/or even self-defeating.
                  Their group consists entirely of individual real people who have real emotions and real struggles and real hurts and scars, both physical and emotional.
                  No matter how frustrating they may be, we cannot allow ourselves to view them as some monolithic plot rather than as simply misguided individual people.

                  Accusations of “domination and destruction” do nothing but hold up a sign suggesting you are not willing to even attempt to empathize with them–which is a necessary step communicate on any real level with them.
                  You don’t have to agree with what they think, but you still need to take the time to understand why and how they came to their conclusions. If you don’t do that, you’ll just be accidentally setting up strawman arguments forever.

                  I’m reminded of a criticism I heard once. A gay man was talking about how his pastor would go on and on about “Why do gay people do [x]? I suspect it’s because of [y] and therefore [z].”
                  The man’s problem was because the pastor never actually considered asking the initial question non-rhetorically. There were gay people in his church that he could have asked, but instead he decided to simply speculate (and as often as not did so poorly).
                  The pastor was not treating them as people he could try to understand the thought processes of, but rather as some sort of riddle to be puzzled out unilaterally.

                  • DD

                    Go read On the Pastoral Care of the Homosexual Person at the Vatican website and stop using subjective morality as your standard.

                    • Patrick

                      1) I have read that numerous times, and, in fact, agree with it.
                      2) I am not arguing for subjective morality. I am arguing for objective reality.
                      They are human beings who are doing wrong not out of some desire for “domination and destruction” but because they have seen people subjected to actual injustice and have decided (due to imperfect knowledge and imperfect reason, traits that people are not going to be free of ever in this world, mind you) that marriage is another of those injustices.
                      It doesn’t mean they are right, but the fact that they are incorrect does not mean they are monsters bent on destruction, either.

                      I do find it disconcerting the level to which people’s hackles get raised by such controversial statements as “They are people too, even if they are wrong,” though.

                      • Paul Sho

                        Yes they are human beings but of what use is that if they are indulging in sins described as abominations by Sacred Scriptures?
                        “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and suffers the loss of his own soul?”

                      • Patrick

                        What’s your point? I ask because you aren’t even disagreeing with me in what you just said.

                        My point is that we need to still treat them as human beings. We need to respect their fundamental human dignity, ESPECIALLY if we know they are sinning and need to come to the Church and the Truth to be saved.

                      • Mark

                        Paul, but that’s just the point: what good does it do to destroy the left’s “ideas” if in the process you wind up losing all their souls?

                        Sometimes these conservatives sound like they’re the enforcers from 1984 who, even when they are going to execute someone, insist on an extracting a confession FIRST that they were right…

                      • John200

                        Why do you think that to destroy bad ideas is to lose the souls of the deceived? The destruction of bad ideas is an example of supernatural charity. It gives the deceived a reason to rethink and maybe turn themselves around.

                        This destruction is likely to help the deceived and not one bit likely to point them toward hell.

                      • Mark

                        There is little evidence that your methods are actually winning over anyone.

                      • DD

                        The truth matters.

                      • Mark

                        Yes, the truth matters. It matters that I believe it, it matters that you believe it. It is unclear that your vociferous concern with “being right” is actually bringing the truth to anyone else, however.

                      • DD

                        It is not about being right. It is about reality. Your deflection may work on the shallow, but serious people see your propaganda for what it is.

                      • John200

                        There is abundant evidence that your methods are losing many.
                        In charity, let me restate my point so clearly that you cannot deceive anyone who reads this discussion:

                        Don’t point people toward hell. If they go, you risk joining them.

                      • Mark

                        Judge not lest ye be judged.

                        If you tell people they’re going to hell, don’t be surprised when they believe you…

                      • Patrick

                        Don’t chase people away from the narrow gate either, or you risk it being closed when you turn to pass through it.

                        So to speak.

                      • John200

                        I’ll help people get through the narrow gate. The directions are simple, but to follow the path requires effort. Telling people that homo”sex”ual activity is good will make their lives worse. You and the other troll do them no good.

                        Looking ahead, I imagine you boys will continue to do your thing. And faithful Catholics will counter you at every turn.

                        So to speak.

                      • Patrick

                        I’m afraid I never once said it was good. I said we have to show them compassion, respect, and sensitivity.
                        I said we have to respect their fundamental human dignity.

                        That is simply what the Catholic Church requires of us.

                        I’ll repeat myself:
                        I do find it disconcerting the level to which people’s hackles get raised by such controversial statements as “They are people too, even if they are wrong,” though.

                      • John200

                        You have repeated yourself quite a few times. None to particularly good purpose or effect. You really are not nearly the brilliant interlocutor you would like to be.

                        Here is the clue to half (my estimate) of your problem, we’ll appeal to John 8:43 —
                        Why do you not understand what I say?
                        It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.

                        I won’t conclude with the natural, “Troll on, brother.” Instead, it’ll be:
                        You have a long way to go. Best wishes as you start your journey.

                      • Patrick

                        As long as the Catechism still says we must treat them with respect, compassion, and sensitivity, I will keep repeating that.

                        It’s not about glory or winning arguments or anything.
                        It’s not even my message, I’m just delivering it.

                        If you want to accuse me of “trolling” because I believe Catholics need to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church… well, that’s on your head, I guess. I can’t force someone to be faithful.

                      • John200

                        You can’t even force yourself to hold a mirror.

                        I think that’s enough of you. Adios and best wishes on the loooonnng journey.

                      • Patrick

                        I was hoping for a discussion a little more mature and substantive than “Well I’m rubber and you’re glue!”

                        But as I said, I can’t make you follow the teachings of the Catholic Church if you don’t desire to do so.

                      • Art Deco

                        Oh you were?

                        You’ve been granted by the original author a considerable sum of patience and attention. You can be gracious or you can be a supercilious a$$,

                      • Patrick

                        I was specifically referring to John200 and what he was saying, not the conversation in general.

                        Mr. Ruse has actually been discussing the subject, which I do appreciate.

                      • John200

                        You are not equipped to participate in a mature, substantive discussion. First, you do not have the temperament for it. You are more disruptive than participative.

                        Other reasons given above and below.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        The writer of that passage asks and answers his own rhetorical question. He doesn’t actually give a hoot about anyone’s concerns with what he says. Also note the writer might be “writing his enemies’ arguments”. As an example, real-life Jews today I have found are often baffled by Jesus’ “justifications” for himself and even more so by the questions and responses of the Jews he is talking with.

                      • Mark

                        Yeah, I don’t know who in this conversation is saying homo”sex”ual activity is good?

                      • John200

                        Jam your heart out, we know the drill.

                        So you boys just carry on. The faithful Catholics will counter you at every turn.

                      • Mark

                        Patrick, I want to thank you for sticking up for the marginalized in this fight and for treating people as people, even if you disagree with us.

                        Thank you for being a good example of how “disagreeing” and “dehumanizing” are two different things.

                        I appreciate it brother

                      • DD

                        Your understanding of objective reality seems to rationalize serous sin. The issue is not your idealized person who is inculpable due to various rationalizations. The issue is a forcefull lobby agitating to redefine society in their image.

                      • Mark

                        What does “redefine society” mean?

                      • DD

                        For one thing claiming two men are mother and father.

                      • Mark

                        I’ve never seen anyone try to claim that two men are a “mother and father.” You hear sometimes about “two daddies” or “two mommies”…but people are not so stupid as to actually believe that the two men generated a child together (impossible!) The sense of the construction is something more like “step-father,” or “godfather” or even just “male guardian.”

                        But plenty of kids being raised by step-fathers come to call them “dad” even when they still have contact with their biological father. And I think you’ll even find a sitcom about a straight man who had kids, got divorced, his wife remarried, the kids were being raised by the step-father too…and then the mother died and the step-father moved in with the birth father for the kid’s sake in an “odd couple” sort of scenario. And, bam, there was a group of kids with “two dads” under one roof (two dads who were straight!)

                      • Patrick

                        I never rationalized sin, and I’m not saying anyone is inculpable!

                        I am saying that when Mr. Ruse himself states he is more interested in winning a war of ideas than acting in a manner consistent with the Catechism, he is not helping the issue.

                        Where is this idea that “treating them like people” means “pretending they never do anything wrong” coming from?

                        I am saying we can’t treat them as some alien force. They are people. They make mistakes and they sin. If we bother to listen to why, we can help a lot more effectively than if we refuse to listen and just treat them as inhuman boogiemen or some sort of intellectual game to “win.”

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        Although, I firmly disagree with you believing gay people are wrong (which is just a way of excusing Jesus torturing people on his own whims. Even if you don’t buy the literal interpretation of the lake of fire but believe that it illustrates a separation from Jesus and “the elect”, last I checked isolation is still a technique used by torturers), I appreciate that you do take a stand against homophobia and dehumanization (up-voting).

                      • DD

                        Let us get specific:

                        ” The issue of homosexuality and the moral evaluation of
                        homosexual acts have increasingly become a matter of public debate, even in
                        Catholic circles. Since this debate often advances arguments and makes
                        assertions inconsistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church…

                        In the discussion which followed the publication of the
                        Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the
                        homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even
                        good. Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin,
                        it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and
                        thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.

                        The movement within the Church, which takes the form of
                        pressure groups of various names and sizes, attempts to give the impression that
                        it represents all homosexual persons who are Catholics. As a matter of fact, its
                        membership is by and large restricted to those who either ignore the teaching of
                        the Church or seek somehow to undermine it. It brings together under the aegis
                        of Catholicism homosexual persons who have no intention of abandoning their
                        homosexual behaviour. One tactic used is to protest that any and all criticism
                        of or reservations about homosexual people, their activity and lifestyle, are
                        simply diverse forms of unjust discrimination.

                        The human person, made in the image and likeness of God, can
                        hardly be adequately described by a reductionist reference to his or her sexual
                        orientation. Every one living on the face of the earth has personal problems and
                        difficulties, but challenges to growth, strengths, talents and gifts as well.
                        Today, the Church provides a badly needed context for the care of the human
                        person when she refuses to consider the person as a “heterosexual” or
                        a “homosexual” and insists that every person has a fundamental
                        Identity: the creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life.”

                      • Mark

                        “Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”

                        Ok. Right. We have the 1986 document’s logic laid out for us right here: the reason (the only reason) that the “inclination” is an objective disorder is because it is assumed to be a “more or less strong tendency ordered towards an intrinsic moral evil” (that “intrinsic moral evil” being, presumably, gay sex acts.)

                        So Ratzinger makes it quite clear: when he talks about “the homosexual inclination” is he talking about an inclination to gay sex acts specifically. That’s all. “Homosexual inclinations” refers to a lust for gay sex acts specifically.

                        It is unclear that Ratzinger or the 1986 document had ANY “broader” notion of orientation that wasn’t defined as “what type of sex you seek to have.”

                        If “gay” were defined as “Wanting to get it on with people of the same sex” then, yeah, that would be objectively disordered because there is no way to separate the “want” from the intrinsic disorder of those acts.

                        But “gay” and “straight” are NOT reducible to “who you want to have sex with.” Gay and straight are about emotional experience of “attraction” which are not necessarily “ordered towards” any particular act!

                        (And I do find it odd that he constructs homosexuality as “ordered towards” a particular set of acts as if it has some sort of natural telos. How could something that isn’t even a natural process with a natural essence be “ordered towards” anything unless there is an act of human intentionality thus ordering it?)

                      • Patrick

                        That’s all well and good.

                        I am not saying all disagreement is unjust discrimination. In fact I even stated that I disagree with many of them on quite a bit about the issue.

                        Making wild accusations (especially when the individual in question states himself that he is more interested in “destroying ideas” than about respecting people as people) and treating them as a problem to be solved rather than as human beings who need care and ministering to, however, is not respecting their basic human dignity.
                        And the basic dignity of a person is something the Catechism spends quite a lot of time talking about. I am focusing on Catholic teachings here, not what activists would or would not characterize as unjust discrimination.

                  • Austin Ruse

                    My comment was not about the New Homophiles but rather the broader radical gay rights movement. And I stand by what I said.

                    • Patrick

                      So was I, actually.
                      They may be wrong, they may be sinning, and they may be causing genuine damage, but they are still human beings with emotions and struggles and emotional scars.
                      No degree of wrongheaded actions justifies not even trying to communicate with them.
                      Even the totally unrepentant and radical of them are still, in their minds, trying to stand up for themselves or defend people they care about. It is not about “domination and destruction” and it’s not about the Church to them.

                      They are human beings with human (and therefore incomplete) perspectives of the world and human (and therefore flawed) reason. They are not some James Bond villain and his nameless jumpsuited minions and should not be characterized with language that would be better applied to such fictional over-the-top constructions.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        So?

                      • Patrick

                        So, it is simply objectively false that their goal is “domination and destruction” and it is an astoundingly self-centered worldview to insist that is their intent, when any effort at all to try to understand their decision-making process would show it is not.

                        It says (I hope unintentionally) that you not only are not, but have no interest in, communicating with them.

                        They see people who seem to have no interest in communicating with them still going around making claims about their motivations or desires, and it feels to them like that pastor I mentioned who just speculates when there are people right there that can just give the actual answer.
                        It feels to them like those people are AN AGGRESSOR spreading propaganda, because it simply does not bear any resemblance to their actual motivations and desires, and sounds more like the way I would describe an over-the-top James Bond villain or pod people aliens or some other monster like that.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        In the words of Midge Decter, “I am not interested in building bridges to the left. I am interested in destroying their ideas.”

                      • Patrick

                        So, YOU are working toward domination and destruction?
                        Yes, sorry, that is hyperbole to make a point. I apologize.

                        But are you saying you are legitimately disinterested in communication? That you would rather just make accusations regarding their intentions to win a political fight rather than actually know what the objective reality of their intentions is?

                        And you wonder why they accuse us of propaganda? Why they think we are the aggressor?

                        I’ll put this another way. When you egocentrically accuse them of being bent on domination and destruction when you have neither desire nor intent to even find out what their actual intentions are, you are disrespecting their fundamental human dignity.
                        When you treat them as some homogeneous entity known as “the left” because you prefer to do that than to recognize they are real people with names and experiences and the same limitations on knowledge of the world as anyone else, you are disrespecting their fundamental human dignity.

                        BE A CATHOLIC FIRST.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        I am Catholic, of a sterner stuff than you are familiar with.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Happy to dialogue, hold hands, sing kumbaya all day once they stop trying to harm my children and undermine our civilization.

                      • Patrick

                        Don’t you get it?

                        That word “trying” right there.
                        That is what I have a problem with.
                        The claim that that result is their intention, or even something they think might potentially result is not only false, but something you could not possibly be in a position to know given your declaration of disinterest in even taking the time to find out what their real intentions might be.

                        If you aren’t willing to talk to them to find out why they are doing something, you are treating them as some puzzle to be solved rather than as human beings with dignity that must be respected, even when they are wrong.

                        If you are more interested in building up “the right” and destroying political ideas than in treating people like people instead of monsters who want to gobble up children and destroy anything good in the world, you are being a Catholic SECOND, IF AT ALL.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Well, if you say so.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Let me ask you a question. Do you think hectoring me anonymously in a comment box is doing what you insist I do?

                      • Patrick

                        I am trying to help you see why a thing you said is counterproductive to the Catholic approach to dealing with the issue.
                        I am not trying to “destroy ideas of the [any political position]”

                        I am also trying to tell you that while you see them as an aggressor, the way you act as a result of that perception makes you look like an aggressor to them, and then they act because of THAT perception and it makes them look like an aggressor to you all the more and it all just escalates on and on.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Do you think that hectoring me ANONYMOUSLY in comment boxes is building bridges?

                      • Patrick

                        I haven’t made a sign-in, but I’ve been here regularly and using the same name (which so far I appear to be the only one using).
                        It would not truly be any less anonymous for me to register a name and post under that. Even my full name wouldn’t make me meaningfully less anonymous, as it is extremely common. Some people talk about googling themselves, but I’ve literally never been able to find any reference to myself by googling my name. 10, 15, 20 pages into the result, and never a single me.

                        And I am not trying to hector you, I am attempting to point out that you were resorting to (and essentially admitting to engaging in) petty politicking instead of taking a Catholic approach to the situation.

                      • DD

                        No, what you call a “Catholic” approach is your private desire.

                      • Patrick

                        Respect, compassion, and sensitivity.

                        Those are not words that started with me.
                        That is how the Catholic Church teaches we MUST deal with gay people.

                        I’m just repeating the words of the Church. Direct quote, in fact. Do you reject the authority of the Magisterium, DD?

                      • DD

                        When you have a persecution complex, demand immoral laws, indoctrinate children, and call truth hate playing the victim card is a joke.

                      • Mark

                        As far as I know, there are no laws requiring anyone to participate in gay sex acts, and as for “indoctrinating” children…indoctrinating them about what? What do you think will happen? They’re not going to “turn” children gay who weren’t already, and having fewer or more straight children grow up to condemn gays as vocally as you isn’t actually going to stop anyone from doing what they choose either. Positions are out there and presented to people. People then make their own decisions. Children (and the adults they turn into) are not sheep. They will be exposed to propoganda from both sides, I’m sure, and make their own decision. You can’t “protect” people from ideas. This isn’t the age of the Index.

                      • DD

                        You defend the immoral. Laws are used against bakers who refuse to participate in fake gay weddings. Children are indoctrinated in schools to view gay behavior as normal. You can deny all you want but there are plenty of sane folks around who wil never compromise their souls for your propaganda.

                      • Mark

                        Again, I’m not sure what you think “viewing as normal” or not affects on the practical level. If children do come to believe this (if you are unable to “protect” their poor innocent minds from exposure to ideas you disagree with) what exactly does it mean, practically? It doesn’t mean that any of them are going to go out and have gay sex who wouldn’t have otherwise. So what exactly is the concrete practical consequence of “normalization” that you fear so much? Because right now you’re going in circles, saying basically that the problem with normalizing it is then it will be normalized. But you aren’t describing what the objectionable concrete effect of that will be. That people will shrug when they hear about it rather than being filled with indignation and horror about something that doesn’t really effect them if they’re straight?

                        As for participation…that’s a complex question. We do live in a civil society. I’m against forcing anyone to participate in providing any services that can be construed as free expression. So with cakes it’s a fine line. I don’t think, if a baker offers a generic “white wedding style cake” in his catalog, he can deny service to anyone based on HOW it is going to be used. Products are offered to sale to the public at large and anyone can buy it and once it’s sold and leaves the store, the seller loses all interest in it, it’s a “don’t ask don’t tell” black box. But, at the same time, I don’t think such a baker can be forced to decorate a cake in a particularly “gay celebratory” way (as that crosses the line into free expression) nor should photographers or musicians be forced to provide their services since those could be construed as acts of artistic expression too. But you can’t refuse to sell napkins or cups or food to people that are of ultimately generic purpose.

                      • Patrick

                        What are you even talking about? This isn’t about “playing the victim card.”

                        Being a non-aggressor does not justify anything. Catholics are not the aggressor either. That doesn’t mean we can let the ends justify the means.

                        Both sides inherited this conflict.

                      • DD

                        You are trying to rationalize error and damage away be making a specious claim. No matter the history of the problem what is of great import now is the tidal wave of danger that faces us.

                      • Patrick

                        No, I am not rationalizing anything.

                        You were literally replying to a statement that said “Being a non-aggressor does not justify anything.”

                        I am trying to clarify the fact that the people who disagree with us on the issue did not start this conflict any more than we did.

                        That doesn’t mean everyone is guiltless, guilt isn’t a matter of who started what, it’s a matter of what an individual has done.

                        Even someone faced with a real aggressor can do wrong in opposing it. The ends do not justify the means.

                        Stop treating “aggressor” as “the only one who can err or cause damage or sin.”
                        Any party can do all of those regardless of being an aggressor or not.

                        What I am objecting to is the objectively false claim, not any analysis of wrongdoing.

                      • DD

                        To the pro gay trolls that is of no matter. They play the emotion card and hold out some idealized case to use as a cudgel in an attempt to silence or shame you. It is due to the fact they do not view this problem as that bad.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        Another “we should all fear” homophobic statement, I see.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        This is how I build bridges, with vicious anti catholic trolls in com boxes.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        I am an atheist and a former Baptist (and even then I wasn’t anti-Catholic, though I can remember prejudices about praying to Mary and confessing to a priest. I moved on after talking to and reading about Catholics). That you hold hatred in your heart as to imply killing people gives me relief that your hypocrisy has been aired out (you are a murderer, sir, but I suppose you will put some actual effort into justifying your own “sin”).

                        Lastly, you have not dismissed the statement nor given light as to why “we should all fear” isn’t what you were looking for instead of “Look at the liar!”

                      • Austin Ruse

                        HUH?

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        Yes, I am saying, “You lie to spread fear, and those lies will only make more lies to perpetuate the fear.”

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Is this really the way to build bridges? Is this really tolerance? And civility? I thought these things mean so much for your type?

                      • Mark

                        “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.”

                        “But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment,
                        and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the
                        Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery
                        Gehenna.”

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Oh no…the GCN Side A guy who has sex with boys is quoting scripture.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Hey look everyone…the Gay Christian Side A guy who has sex with guys (ahem, as long as its at least sequentially monogamous) is quoting scripture. do you think we can sell tickets?

                      • Mark

                        You’re lucky that this forum is relatively anonymous, Austin, as I could sue you for libel.

                        I have never identified as Side A. I accept the teachings of the Church on sexual morality and chastity. I have spent the thread defending the position of the “New Homophiles.” And I most certainly don’t “have sex with boys” (which could easily be construed as an accusation of pedophilia).

                        The only time I mentioned serial monogamy on this thread was to point out that even gay friends I have who ARE Side A…are pretty much engaged, in their twenties, in the same sort of “mid-term dating” scene as our straight peers. But I never said I was one of them. It was just to point out that my experience of what’s happening in the gay scene is not a lot of clubbing and anonymous promiscuity, but mainly guys “dating” just like their straight peers. I never said that’s what I was doing, though.

                        The irony of your libelous reaction in response to THAT particular Scripture quote shouldn’t be lost on anyone, though.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Mark, are you side a? You know the absolute defense to libel is truth.

                      • Mark

                        I am not Side A, Austin. How could I assent to all the Church’s teachings on sexual morality and be Side A?

                        I don’t go to GCN much anymore, but I am still registered as a member of the Side B board.

                        I would most properly wish to be identified as one of the New Homophiles, although I haven’t written for SF (friends with several of them, though) and you yourself has not seen fit to bestow on me the honor (and you are apparently the one who bestows it) because my own work has mainly been informal, in comboxes, in behind the scenes conversations, in GCN threads (but I’d like to think my ideas have seeped into and affected the tone and philosophical atmosphere/discourse of the New Homophile movement.)

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Taken down with apologies.

                      • Mark

                        Thank you, Austin. Maybe you had misunderstood me (or maybe you were jumping to conclusions and the sort of bias-confirmation associations you WANT to be true) but I appreciate the correction and apology and have no hard feelings.

                        I’m sure you, in turn, will understand why, for my own legal protection in the future, I am nevertheless saving the screen captures that still have your comments. There is no bad faith, I just need to be extra cautious and diligent as I’m sure you understand.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Actually I do not understand. And you have simply guaranteed that this will be our last exchange…

                        All the best,

                        Austin

                      • Mark

                        Well Austin, let me help you understand. As a certified public school teacher, the accusation in a public forum that I “have sex with boys” (I notice you still haven’t removed THAT comment) could be very damaging to my career. Therefore, I need a thorough record of such baseless accusations just in case anyone tries to perpetuate the libel or on the off chance they saw your comments on this post before you took them down and cite them. Accusing people of sex with boys is a very grave calumny even if said mockingly.

                      • Art Deco

                        As a certified public school teacher

                        So the Soros gig is in lieu of painting houses in the summer?

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Mark, I changed it to guys and took it down. I looked up through this thread and do not see it.

                      • Mark

                        Austin, the comment is two posts DOWN, beneath (now) the Soros comment that Art Deco made (I also have no idea what THAT refers to).

                        I am not completely anonymous as you say. I shared this article early on with some friends who are coworkers. They know that Mark is me (and I’m sure my email and possibly IP could be revealed in any investigation).

                        Now I’m sure my friends won’t hurt me, but who knows, they might share it with people they know (who would also recognize who I was) and with social media these days you never know who is going to share what with whom or who is going to put 2 and 2 together or try to hurt my reputation.

                        (Obviously, if recent news stories are any indication, there are busy-bodies out there who scour obituaries and report their contents regarding teachers’ relationships to the Catholic school officials; thank God I am not not in a Catholic school!)

                        And from a purely spiritual perspective, Austin, I fail to see how a statement like, “Oh no…the GCN Side A guy who has sex with boys is quoting scripture” (especially being absolutely untrue and unsubstantiated) could constitute anything other than a mortal sin against charity. We should pray for each other.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Check it now…comments have been funky for me today….they are not showing up and then tehy are so i have doubled down a few times…i belive i found it…

                      • Austin Ruse

                        And by the way, since you like to site scripture….judge not….it is not your place to judge the state of my soul or anyone elses…

                      • Mark

                        It seems to be gone, thank God.

                        I’m not judging the state of your soul, Mr Ruse, anymore than saying abortion is a mortal sin is stating that all women who have abortions are in a subjective state of mortal sin. Obviously factors like “full knowledge” and “free consent” might be effecting your subjective culpability and I make no presumption to judge that.

                        But if the act of calling someone a child molester and a heretic is not, objectively, the sort of thing that (with full knowledge and free consent) would constitute the mortal sin of calumny…then I’m not sure what else ever could. Throw murder in there maybe? It seems like it would be a pretty extreme case.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Mark, we’re done. I did not call you a child molester. Please do not address me again..;

                      • Patrick

                        I guess that depends entirely on what you meant by “has sex with boys.”
                        “Child molester” seems to be the natural interpretation of that phrase and I don’t know how you could possibly be unaware that that is exactly how many (probably most) people would interpret the accusation.

                      • Patrick

                        Just to clarify, I know you apologized, and as such I would not have commented on it, except that in addition to apologizing you also felt the need to insist you had nothing to apologize for in the first place, which kind of undoes the point of apologizing in the first place.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Mark…I changed it to “guy” and then took it down and apologized. I have looked at thread above and that is just not there. Is it somewhere else?

                        btw…boy does not refer to children. I was reading an essay by robert oscar lopez who says the term boy is used regularly in the gay community to refer to teeenagers, never to children. Even so, I thought better of it and changed it to “guy” and then when you made it clear it was wrong, I took it down.

                        If it is somewhere else, please show me where and I will take it down.

                        And, did ou know you are anonymous?

                      • Paul Sho

                        Why don’t we just start at the beginning?
                        God created Adam and Eve – male and female – and put them both in the Garden of Eden. So Adam and Eve, a man and a woman went everywhere together; had their meals together; went sight-seeing together; ran around together; walked around together; explored rivers and hills together; in close proximity and without any cloths (or any other type of covering) on, but surprisingly neither of them realize that they were each (and both) naked.
                        This point is worth meditating about. How come Adam and Eve, two healthy human beings (male and female) went around naked together alone in a garden and yet they never once realized that they were naked?
                        What does this mean for us Christians? What does it teach us?
                        .
                        Unless the Homophiles – new or old – address these questions they will keep going round and round in circles. Keep trying to follow the Church teachings without knowing WHY and HOW.

                      • Art Deco

                        You really should not be into the cooking sherry this early in the morning.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        Kind of hard to get into the cooking sherry when 1.) I don’t have any and 2.) I am against myself using drugs or alcohol. Lastly, you really didn’t have anything to say, but it seems you just had to say some idle words that you don’t believe you have to give an account for, right?

                      • Mark

                        “In the words of Midge Decter, ‘I am not interested in building bridges to the left. I am interested in destroying their ideas.’”

                        Ah, well, then there is no use talking to you. I can’t believe you’d admit this. It is so baldfacedly un-Christian that I don’t see how this can be engaged.

                        Then you are the one who is engaged in some sort of “War of the Memes” that apparently seeks to set out and destroy the memes that have infected other brains even at the cost of destroying those brains themselves.

                        People sacrificed at the altar of ideology, that’s all it is (and if that is truly the modus operandi you are operating under, I’d suggest that THAT meme is the most dangerous and aggressive one that needs to be quarantined by society).

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Mark, then don’t engage….run along. Seriously.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        Well, I can’t down-vote you for coming clean about the filth of your mind.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        I’m totally fine with others doing that , building bridges etc, it’s just not what I do or am interested in doing. I’m fighting fires. No time to buddy -buddy with the fire starters. It’s like asking a cop to play patty cake with a burglar.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        What is not understood is how people who hold in common your position on gays in society and the church are throwing gasoline on the fire. Plus, it’s a shame that a whole river of water is keeping you from getting to a “fire” because you refuse to build any bridges to get across the river.

                      • DD

                        Do you build bridge with pedophiles? If so, how?

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        I can’t tell if you are being homophobic (making a “we should all fear” gay people molesting our children statement) or just deferring to a completely different topic. Which is it?

                        If this is a new topic, I have to admit inexperience. The only two confirmed pedophiles I have known are both fathers of men my family knows and both have molested their granddaughters. One as far as I know still goes to my family’s church and is accepted and forgiven (children are still closely watched, though, because we have accepted he has uncontrollable desire to harm children). The other grandfather is doing his best to avoid his son’s and daughter-in-law’s efforts to get him thrown in jail. I have accepted there are people who can’t be “fixed” and that some of those people could cause harm to others regardless of their own thoughts about their desires. If my own say on the matter wasn’t helpful, I guess do the best you can if such a situation arises or “pray” that you are never in a place of responsibility for dealing with people like those mentioned.

                      • DD

                        It is not about building bridges, whatever that means. It is about truth. We have those who support immoral ideology that demand the law recognize it and promote it. We have others fighting such deviant things.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        I suspect you have no idea what is my “position on gays in society and the Church.” I thought dialogue was about trying to clearly understand. Perhaps you can try adn describe my “position on gays in society and the Church.”

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        You make it pretty clear that you don’t like the labels queer or gay (even if the people using them do not have same-sex sex) nor should such people hold office in the church. You are against gays having marriage licenses even if they do not value Catholicism’s teachings on natural law (if they did they would not be striving for marriage licenses). You see the struggle to help people understand sexual orientation as a waste of time or worse, something that will get Jesus to harm others (and you seem incensed at the others rather than at Jesus for wanting to harm those he has left as they are when they begged for “salvation”, many of them young adults in the Catholic church).

                      • Austin Ruse

                        It is kind of hilarious that you think dialogue is one of the virtues. It’s not. Perhaps to an atheist but I actually doubt that, too. I suspect it’s more of a cudgel or a dodge.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        Dialogue isn’t a virtue, but condemning people who have done no wrong (they merely let people know they are gay and are not ashamed by this, as they do not have sex with people of their own gender and the shame proved to be self-destructive to both health and faith) is?

                        I no longer have faith (an absolute trust in an ideology necessary for that ideology to survive, really. I mean, Hindus talk about Vishnu and Krishna a lot so Hinduism must be true, therefore Christians talking about Jesus a lot means Christianity must be true, right?), but I recognize faith as a reality with no inherent good or bad value judgement being warranted in and of itself. My path that I want to walk is that I help the defense of people and encourage others not to be offenders.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Who’s condemning>? How condemning?

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        The condemnation is a bit more clear if I just say, “Anti-gay Catholics seek domination and destruction…” You know I think I see assumptions and accusations meant to dehumanize that group of people in there, too. Sorry for “speaking the Truth in Love”.

                      • Austin Ruse

                        Yes, this would not condemn an entire category of person, only those who fit that descriptor. For instance, I have very little quarrel with the New Homophiles. In fact, I suspect that most gays, maybe not most, but a sizable minority, would be horrified at what their leadership and activists are doing. It is those that fit into the category i mentioned. So, yes, I condemn those who seek to dominate and destruct.

                      • Paul Sho

                        You seem not to care that they ‘may be sinning’. We do care that they are sinning, and we intend and are doing somethings about that fact.

                      • Patrick

                        Where are you even getting that idea from?
                        Did you just conclude that because I disagree with you on a very specific point, I must also disagree with you on anything related to the same subject?

                        Many of them are unrepentant sinners, and that is bad.

                        That does not justify hyperbole and what approaches inadvertent propagandizing.
                        They are still human beings and they are still acting based on their experiences, not out of some inhuman desire to smash everything good in the world.

                        I would think that we would agree on that last fact…

                      • Mark

                        It’s not really your place to “do something” as if private sin needs to be “enforced” by other people. If you want to do something, one would hope that you’d do something that would actually result in their conversion. I see little evidence that the culture wars or public condemnation, at this point, is actually stopping anyone from doing anything or bringing them back into the Church. It seems, at this point, like Patrick says, to be about trying to beat down (and you’re losing) ideological “enemies” and trying to “win.” But when it comes to saving souls, you don’t “win” by driving the other person away or destroying them. You only win by winning them over, being winsome, and love.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        What exactly are you doing that you would be comfortable with happening to you and not call it persecution?

                • Giauz Ragnarock

                  You just made an objective “something all should fear” statement against “people” sharing a particular trait (people is in quotes because you obviously DO NOT think of them as complex people who are all different and are and are capable of morality. Instead “They don’t want a measure of respect. They want to dominate and destroy…”).

                  How is your above statement not a marker of homophobia?

                  • DD

                    For one thing so called homophobia is a propaganda tool. It only exists in “gayspeak”.

                • hombre111

                  None of the gays I know, several of them my fellow priests with whom I have had some honest discussions, have that idea in mind. There are some crazies around, but us heterosexuals have our share, as well.

            • Patrick

              Mr. Ruse, I’ve mentioned to you before how it is just as unreasonable for you to accuse the other side of being “the aggressors in the culture war” as it is for them to accuse you of the same.

              A 20-year-old unabashed gay rights activist cannot possibly be the aggressor in a conflict that was already ages old 30 years before she was born.

              No one alive today started this fight. Everyone on BOTH sides was pulled into it by the ongoing fighting.

              • Austin Ruse

                That is simply incorrect. It was not the right that started the fight over abortion. It was not the right that started the fight over gay marriage.

                • Patrick

                  I am not talking about nebulous concepts like “the right” or “the left.”
                  I am talking about actual people. Because it is entirely the actions of actual people we are talking about.

                  And the conflict over homosexuality is more than a lifetime old.
                  Most of the current activists on their side are young people who believe they are defending themselves or their friends.

                  They think they are the ones defending themselves, too, you know. And that’s not some rhetoric. Many of them are literally too young to have even seen the first shots fired in even the marriage sub-issue of the fight.

                  There are activist on their side who weren’t even BORN in 1993 when the issue started getting into papers. I myself was too young to even care about politics or think of the evening news as anything but “really boring TV.” And even the marriage issue is only a single part of the fight that has been going on for far, far longer.

                  Characterizing EITHER side as an aggressor is both incorrect and simply going to result in increased hostility, because no one who was pulled into an existing fight is going to respond well to being blamed for the fight in the first place.

                  • Austin Ruse

                    YOu are simply wrong. The modern gay rights movement was born in the fifties and sixties. Like the women’s movement, it began with legitimate grievances and as it progressed became more and more doctrinaire, aggressive, and even fascist. The cutlure war was started by the left. I am indifferent to your desire to call it something else. It is waht it is.

                    • Patrick

                      You just restated my point. “…it began with legitimate grievances and as it progressed…”

                      It was not the first shot fired, it was a response to real harms that were done to them. As far as they were concerned, that made them the defenders and the other side the aggressor, and from their perspective, everything since has just been the aggressor continuing to push them and them continuing to fight back.

                      That is why this language of “the aggressor” is problematic.
                      You can point to people on their side starting to fight for marriage.
                      They can point to laws that sentenced gay people to 10 years of hard labor in a prison, laws that existed even before the modern gay rights movement.

                      Furthermore, a huge portion of their current movement is young people. People who were still too young to be aware of politics in 1993 when this particular sub-battle became high profile.

                      You cannot call a 18 year old activist (whether they are making good points or bad, and regardless of which side of the issue they are on) an aggressor on even the subject of gay marriage, because that fight started before they were even BORN.

                      Remember that “the left” is just people. It isn’t some entity. It is a group of people with different experiences and perspectives (due to humans having only limited knowledge of the world, and often having different pieces of it than each other).

                      • Austin Ruse

                        The Culture War began in the 60′s and 70′s and was advanced by the sexual and cultural left. Correcting grievances is one thing. Making abortion constitutionally protected is quite another thing. Redefining marriage quite another thing. Foisting your sexual disorders on school children, quite another thing. This is the culture war…all advanced by the sexual and cultural left.

                      • Patrick

                        You’re compartmentalizing now.
                        They still see their actions as correcting grievances. They are still occasionally subjected to things that are cause for legitimate grievances. That is often what brings them into the fight in the first place.
                        You may see them all as separate things, but they see it all as one long, protracted effort to fight the kind of thing that had people like them in chains breaking rocks in a prison yard 100 years ago.

                        If a young man joins the gay rights movement because he was beaten up for “looking gay,” he is OBVIOUSLY not the aggressor, regardless of what ill-conceived ideas he fights for.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        /FACE-PALM/ All gay people were once school children!

                • Giauz Ragnarock

                  Abortion seems to be legal before the 1800s (even then the laws were primarily to protect women from unsafe commonly used abortifacients) and was commonly referred to as “taking the trade.”

                  My own position is that mothers should try to bring a person to a complete infant stage where someone can provide the child with care (though I am sorry most unwanted children will have to endure the realities of being unwanted yet created anyway), but I am firmly opposed to laws that relegate pregnant women to property whose disobedience (even if a miscarriage is only suspected to be an abortion) is punishable by law. Plus, how ironic would the situation be of a woman “saved” from abortion later being condemned by that “salvation” when she doesn’t wish to carry an unwanted child based on her own experience and those of other unwanted children?

              • DD

                Participating in immorality is objectively wrong and can never be rationalized away.

                • Patrick

                  I am not attempting to rationalize anything. The gay rights activist in my example is most likely incorrect in most of her assertions and is potentially doing harm.

                  But the fact remains she cannot be an AGGRESSOR purely due to the chronological order of events! She did not start the fight, the fight is far more than twice her age.

                  I am not arguing for some subjectivist “no side is right or wrong” nonsense. I am saying this battle has been going on for longer than anyone alive has existed, so it is absurd to claim anyone now involved started it.

                  • DD

                    Are you serious? This is your reasoning? You absolve people of serious wrongs and errors because others before were wrong too? What is your point?

                    • Patrick

                      Sorry, I think I missed this post before.

                      No, I’m absolutely not absolving anyone of serious wrongs.

                      I am simply stating that it is objectively false to call someone an aggressor in this issue, since everyone involved inherited the conflict from previous generations. EVERYONE involved took up the fight because they saw what was already happening and felt they had to defend the side they associate with. Nobody alive “started it.”

                      Not being an aggressor does not make one innocent. It simply means one is not the aggressor.

          • Crisiseditor

            It is difficult to find good writers who can tackle economic topics from a Catholic perspective. (This is why we eliminated the economics category on our home page.) It is a lot easier to find authors who could write about the social issues. Thanks to the political left and their friends in the media and judiciary, this issue is increasingly in our face and calls for response. The Church is always behind in responding to harmful social trends. It is always trying to catch up because the left is always pushing us in a “progressive” direction. So, as Mr. Ruse says, we are not being the aggressors but reacting to challenges placed before us. Needless to say, I agree with you that economic policy is worthy of discussion.

            • hombre111

              I was startled but grateful to see this thoughtful answer. I regret your abandoning the economic issues, because the modern popes have touched that area of the human struggle. A respectful question. Are the social issues somehow safer? I draw a comparison with Salon, which is careful not to disturb its feminist base.

              • Crisiseditor

                Social issues are more clear cut than economic ones simply because the Church can speak more authoritatively on them than it can on economics. Papal social thought articulates principles but that is the extent of its expertise. Practical and prudential application of those principles may involve a wide range of positions that are open to debate. The Church does not have special knowledge on economic policy because Scripture does not provide any definitive guidance that would be binding on conscience. This is not the case with the social issues. The other factor is that there are few Catholic economists who can write for a popular audience. Economics is, after all, the dismal science. While people should be economically literate because it has such an important impact on how we live, many Catholics find it hard to understand. But I have not abandoned the topic. I’m just conceding that the talent pool is small.

            • hombre111

              Let me take advantage of this chance to thank you for Crisis. I know I raise heck sometimes, but I really appreciate the quality of most of your writers, as writers. I am also grateful because you put up with me.

              • Crisiseditor

                I welcome your contributions because you liven up the conversation. Whether I agree with you or not is beside the point. Crisis is here to engage the public in a debate over ideas. It’s quite pointless if all we do is preach to the choir.

                • hombre111

                  Thanks.

      • ForChristAlone

        The philosopher weighs in….and no one really listens.

    • accelerator

      Mr Ruse,

      Stay the course, brother. I have friends and family members who have struggled with SSA, and I can tell you from watching them that intentionality and identification make a huge difference. You are very much on target. Thank you!

    • Pingback: The New Catholic Homophiles and Their Critics | Catholic4Life

    • Mark

      Several bizarre things in this article.

      First, Mr Ruse seems to entirely misunderstand the appropriation of Aelred. It’s not that Aelred was necessarily “of a homosexual orientation” in modern terms (it’s hard to even really know what that would mean for people living before the consciousness was raised). It’s that he was someone who offered a model other than the Pleasantville tropes of the heteronormative family or the passionless priest/monk on a pedastal who has no “particular friendships.” The point is that Aelred shows that a heterosexual romantic relationship is not the only chaste form of very deep intimacy.

      Second, there seems to be a lot of concern with promoting some sort of Gay Essentialism. But the truth is, as far as I know, almost all of the New Homophiles would, in fact, fall into the “social constructionist” school regarding sexual orientation, rather than the essentialist school. Trust me, we know that Gay is not some sort of timeless eternal category. Indeed, the comparison you see quite a bit (in comment threads responding, if not the main articles) is to Race. A historically contingent narrative framework, to be sure, but “socially constructed” or “historically contingent” doesn’t mean “not real.”

      Yes, neither Race nor Orientation are categories essential to humanity. They are historically contingent and socially constructed identities for interpreting experience. In themselves they are not eternal metaphysical Forms. But so what? That’s the scandal of particularity. The fact is we are social and history-bound beings, and we can’t escape being constructed into certain categories.

      In this sense, Dan Mattson’s “I’m not gay, just a child of God who happens to struggle with same-sex attraction” sounds like a dark-skinned person of African descent trying to say, “I’m not ‘Black.’ I’m just a darked-skinned person of African descent, who is in a relative position of social un-privilege on account of some nasty historical baggage.” Well, everyone would raise an eyebrow to that and say, “Um…that’s what Black means!!”

      Basically, Hannon and Mattson seem to wish that gay consciousness could somehow be “un-raised.” But once consciousness is raised about a category, once a narrative paradigm exists as a social construct…you can’t put the cat back in the bag. At that point, the category exists for people to identify with and be identified by. Really, if you want it to go away, the best you can hope for is that its significance will fade over centuries, but that only happens if conditions truly are “leveled” and equalized. And you certainly cannot just “opt out” of a social construct as Dan Mattson seems to believe. If he confesses predominant or exclusive same-sex attraction…then he IS “gay” in the mind of everything who understands how language and social identification works. Just like a dark skinned person of African descent cannot just “opt out” of being “Black” by fiat, because whatever they might want, other people are still going to construct them into that category, and yet it is that construction by others, and the shared experiences that go along with perceiving oneself as somehow associated with the label, that makes one a part of the category. By definition.

      I’m not saying one just has to blithely and shallowly accept all aspects of a given narrative, of course. Accepting ones socially constructed identity authentically doesn’t mean just surrendering and conforming to all the associated stereotypes. But it does mean that one needs to grapple with that narrative and find a way to integrate it effectively. The truth is, the fact that Dan Mattson even needs to deny being gay proves that he is gay, because “gay” doesn’t mean anything else but being the sort of person whose experiences (of same sex attraction) mean that one is associated with other people who have similar experiences, and thus has to address said association or similarity. If Dan Mattson wasn’t gay, he wouldn’t be so constantly concerned with oppositional definitions of all the ways in which he ISN’T like a large portion of the LGBT community. But then, straight people aren’t usually concerned with that at all because they don’t have to deal with construction into affinity with others attracted to the same sex…because they don’t have such an affinity. Just like whites don’t have to struggle with “What it means that I am black” because they aren’t. The very fact of having to struggle with a narrative or socially constructed category and how to relate to it in ones own identity (even if it’s largely as oppositional)…proves, by definition, you are part of that category. This is just how social constructs work.

      Finally, the last part of the article is the most patronizing. “This isn’t what Catholic families want.” Well…boo hoo. As if the most important opinion when it comes to Catholic responses to gay people is what heterosexuals are comfortable with, rather than what gay people ourselves want and need. Rather than thinking about “What would you want, as a parent?” maybe it would be an exercise in empathy for the readers to think about what they would prefer if they were the 14-year-old boy himself, rather than some conservative parent wishing the whole issue would just go away.

      Truth is, it won’t. The critics still seem to be laboring under some notion that homosexuality is likely to go away or change, or that the best option is a sort of Denial or attempt to delusionally prevent gay consciousness from being raised. That may have worked in a certain generation, but it won’t be working in the new generation. Ex-gay groups are shutting their doors and largely discredited, and with more and more social acceptance, the 14-year-old attracted to guys (teenagers are not stupid; all this talk of “confusion” is rather patronizing) who is told “This is just a phase” or “You’re not really gay” when he knows he is…is either going to feel like the Church is totally discredited, or will accept repression and denial and inauthenticity for a time, only to burst later when it becomes impossible to deny that his experiences are “made sense of” by associating them with other people of similar experience, that the narrative and images that constitute the construct “Gay” are simply a more meaning-dense and empathetic interpretation of his experiences.

      Catholics real concern, at that point, should be in showing him that this identity (and I don’t know why the critics are so hung up on the notion of “real identity” as if it is some theological category; identity is just the sum total of self-descriptions and self-narratives about ones relationship to various social classes, formal and informal) isn’t necessarily exclusive of chastity, and that he can take pride in sharing an aspect of subjectivity with Wilde and Fr Judge and Neil Patrick Harris and Ron Belgau, can say “It’s neat that I’m part of THAT story, that collective experience, and can put my own stamp on it too”…rather than attempting to un-raise a class consciousness that has irrevocably been raised.

      • DD

        The fundamental problem is the failure of people to accept that same sex desire is not normal or correct. This basic truth is rejected for various reasons. Then elaborate and obfuscating reasons are given as to why it is rejected.

        • Mark

          I’m not sure when “normal” became a morally relevant category in the Church, and I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “correct” subjectivity.

          The New Homophiles would agree that homosexual sex acts are instrinsically disordered, and that the lust for such acts is objectively disordered.

          It’s just that we understand (like everyone else in the culture except some conservative autistics, apparently) that homosexual orientation is not reducible to or identifiable with homosexual lust, any more than heterosexuality is reducible to desire-for-sex.

          No one else seems to have a problem understanding how broad and multivalenced “attraction” is. No one else seems to have a problem remembering that nine times out of ten heterosexuality and homosexuality are experienced not as sexual desire but as a second look on the bus, a crush, a warm fuzzy feeling when one gets a smile, a day dream about a day hiking in the woods or a fancy intimate dinner.

          The Catechism is confused here. It says homosexual “tendencies” or “inclinations” are objectively disordered. Fine, rightly so, if by “inclination” they presumably mean an inclination-to-acts, sex acts. The problem is that people read this and understand it as condemning an orientation, as whatever scholastic metaphysician came up with the terminology apparently didn’t even bother to address that under the impression that emotional experience can be neatly defined in terms of concrete objects towards which they tend. But it doesn’t quite work that way.

          Certainly, outsiders don’t get to define an experience for me. It is the height of presumption and intellectual absurdity to tell me that when I interpret experiences as being gay that I necessarily am talking about something that must boil down to sex acts in the end. Sorry, but you can’t say that. Maybe were using “gay” differently ( though I don’t know why straight conservatives would be the ones with the right to define the term), but it’s not up to anyone else to interpret my feelings for me or tell me that the pattern I’ve recognized of homophilia in my attractions is “about” sex acts, or else isn’t a meaningful distinction at all. Well, it’s not for others to say what feelings are “about” (or at the very least, though denial does exist to be psychologically deconstructed, we need to be very careful accusing people of false consciousness), and certainly it’s not up to others to say what experiences are subjectively meaningful to someone else or to tell someone what they can or cannot mean collectively or individually.

          Justin Lee has written some great posts dealing with Christian conservatives blanket-condemning “homosexuality” even though that’s a terribly imprecise term:
          http://gcnjustin.tumblr.com/post/21504173822/the-problem-with-homosexuality

          • DD

            There is no wiggle room. The desire itself is not ordered toward the good. It is not as ordained by God. God made and female. To get this fundamental truth wrong means everything flowing from that error is wrong.

            • Mark

              I don’t think most gays perceive everything that constitutes our orientation as “flowing from” sex acts.

              • DD

                Flowing from the error of claiming same sex attraction is normal.

                • Mark

                  Again, I’m not sure what you mean by “normal.” Certainly, gay people are aware that their experience is a minority one.

                  You’re using kettle-logic now, throwing mutually contradictory accusations at us. One minute you assert we’re claiming “gay exceptionalism,” the next minute you assert we’re saying it’s “normal.” It can’t be both!

                  • DD

                    I am pointing that the gay ideologues claim the attraction is normal and healthy and equal to heterosexual attraction. It is not. Ruse’s point is that a subset claims that it is not only normal but a gift.

                    • Mark

                      “Love is love.”

                      This is actually a rather profound statement, in spite of its risk of becoming trite, tautological, or a thought-stopping cliche.

                      But it contains the Catholic truth that, at the end of the day, human beings were not made totally depraved by the Fall. Augustine and Aquinas are quite clear: human beings do not seek evil or the bad in itself. Human desire is necessarily, by the very nature of desire, a movement towards The Good.

                      Now, thanks to concupiscence, desire gets “misprioritized,” we seek lesser goods in contradiction to greater goods (as such, only “apparent” goods) and hence sin results.

                      But on a basic phenomenological level, “love is love.” All attraction is on THAT level equivalent. Relative comparisons and evaluations of desire can then go on to be made based on what the desire motivates, what it’s results are, concretely. But that is hardly set in stone.

                      Homoerotic aesthetics can produce works of art as monumental and beautiful as heteroerotic aesthetics (see: the work of Michelangelo, for example). Homoromantic love can motivate self-sacrifice on behalf of the beloved just as much as heteroromantic.

                      None of the New Homophiles would question that heterosexual SEX is obviously more significant than gay sex acts ever could be, because only it can make a baby. That is not at stake in this discussion.

                      But the question isn’t about that. It’s about homosexuality as a mode of relating in the world re: interpersonal intimacy and chemistry. Yes, heterosexuality, by the very fact of physical complementarity, allows for a level of physical intimacy (the one-flesh union) that is beyond what two men or two women can ever achieve. And yet I’m not sure how this fact is supposed to denigrate or condemn homosexuality, as if the “better” is the enemy of the “good.” Especially in a Christian framework where celibacy and non-blood bonds are extolled as being the HIGHER path, it’s not as if heterosexual intimacy is a mandatory achievement.

                      • DD

                        All love is not love. Love must be properly defined. As you describe here it us not any Catholic understanding. It is post modern nihilism dressed up as would-be theology.

                      • ObiJuan

                        …post-modern nihilism which found a home in the Sexual Revolution, whose core mantra is “Fulfill thy desires.” (Unless society thinks it’s yucky, in which case simply wait for history to catch up and validate your perversions.)

                    • Giauz Ragnarock

                      In that case, I am one to say that my and the majority of peoples’ heterosexual attractions are to the left of ‘<'. I believe that both attractions are equally valid, but this is a non-conversation between people acting jerkishly.

                      • DD

                        Well, you can deny the obvious but reality is unchanged.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        Same to you, too.

                      • DD

                        Of course, relativists see no objective truth.

    • AugustineThomas

      This is only so difficult for “enlightened” “Catholics” like Ruse.

      To the rest of us it is a simple sin. Adultery does seem so complicated because so many people are involved in it and thus defend it. Murder of unborn children does seem so complicated because so many women and men want to have sex without consequences.
      Murder of an adult would seem so complicated if we started justifying it all the time like the Muslims do.

      Thankfully, we can (barely) still agree that murder of adults is simply wrong.

      All of the rest of these sins should be that simple. (Notice how hard it is for me to even make my point because we’re nearly completely immoral as a society–murder of born humans, theft and rape are literally the only crimes we agree on anymore.)

      • R. K. Ich

        Abortion turns out to be an offense on all egregious fronts: theft, because it steals from another for the gain of the individual; rape, because it violates the sanctity of the body of the other; and murder, because an innocent dies.

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        Time travel back a few hundred years:

        “Murder of an adult would seem so complicated if we started justifying it all the time like the Christians do.”

        • DD

          Which planet?

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            History is lost to you I fear. Your revisionism and no true scotsmanship is impeccable.

            • DD

              Comic book history and moral relativism has seared your conscience.

            • ObiJuan

              The only revisionism I see is turning a vice into a virtue.

              • Giauz Ragnarock

                How can something (homosexuality) not intrinsically harmful (gay adults of the same gender getting marriage licenses- gays being married has been going on for a long time now seeing as it has been approved of in the USA since Illinois disbanded sodomy laws in 1961!) that not everyone can employ? (I can kill, steal, lie, etc, but I cannot be gay and getting married to a person of the same sex would be a loveless lie as I would always desire a woman- a gay person thus cannot share my position as a straight person)

                You only call these people as giving into some vice (some even say just because they recognize they are gay and find life less burdened if other people do as well- not because of beliefs in gay marriage) because of perceived punishment for who they are.

        • AugustineThomas

          It would have been quite nice if they had killed a few heretics to prevent the diverse heresy that has led to our present apostasy–which, I’ll remind you, has resulted in the murder of more innocent children than all the wars in history.

          That said, who was it that stopped Chrisitans from putting too many heretics and lawbreakers to death? OTHER CHRISTIANS! It sure wasn’t Buddhists, Hindus or Muslims and it most especially was not atheists!

    • Christine Niles

      Excellent article, Austin. Every point here is spot on. Great piece.

    • tj.nelson

      You are holding up well, Austin. Thanks for writing about these issues. I noted even your commenters find it an exhausting project. In my experience it is frustrating to engage with this group. I believe my POV is one this group considers as ‘confusing the issue’ as Belgau once noted about other SSA Catholics who write about the homosexual condition. Discussions of this sort are in effect academic arguments. Likewise, they can be like bringing a case before the Supreme Court, you have to cite precedent, back it up with scholarship, documented examples of what they said, bring in witnesses and dossiers, and so on. In this respect their arguments are similar as to how dissident gay Catholics operate. At least that’s how I perceive it.

      What I am reading is a denial that they are trying to change Church teaching, yet Selmys admitted she is trying to form a gay spirituality. While it may be true they are not striving to change Church teaching, they admit they would like to see a development of doctrine on homosexuality. Thus it is not unreasonable for most ordinary Catholics to be perplexed by their literature.

      Anyway – keep up the good work. I hope others will come to support you in this debate. God bless you.

      • DD

        True, they take a disordered inclination and attempt to mold into something good. It is nonsense and dangerous.

        • ObiJuan

          They would re-write Dante’s Inferno and place sodomites with the lustful in Circle Two, instead of where Dante’s locates them, in Circle Seven. Was Dante a homophobe? Not a chance. Dante, like Aquinas, saw a major difference between sins that cry out to heaven and sins closer to nature. Equivocating the two vices is absolutely dangerous.

          • Mark

            Actually, circle seven is for sins against nature, art, and God directly. He includes sodomites, but also usurers, and blasphemers.

            Distinguishing “lust” (circle two) from “unnatural vice” (circle seven) is fair enough. But in that case all heterosexual contraceptive acts and masturbation would have fallen in circle seven too (with circle two limited to fornicators and adulterers).

            Remember that well: “unnatural vice” as defined by Aquinas consisted of masturbation, heterosexual contraceptive acts, homosexual acts, and bestiality (in that order of increasing severity, but all within the same species or under the same title of sin).

            • ObiJuan

              Actually, Circle Seven is for sins of violence (murder, suicide, sodomy, usury, blasphemy, etc). Dante’s point is that sodomy does indeed involve violence against
              Nature, the handmaid of God, and is therefore rightly punished beside
              the blasphemers. Circle Two is for sins of incontinence (adultery, fornication, etc), failure to regulate natural passion for the sake of a higher calling. The
              adulterer is doing something which by its nature is blessed, but is evil
              in his case because of circumstances. The sodomite is doing something
              which by its nature is wicked, period.

              Dante was no Thomist (how could he have been?), but both Dante and Thomas arrive at the same basic insight: there is no moral equivalence between sodomy and sins of ordinary lust.

              • James_Kabala

                Yet inconsistently, both heterosexual and homosexual sinners were punished in the Lust area of Purgatory.

                • ObiJuan

                  Conflating punishment with purification is problematic. For Dante, the nature of the offense is exposed by the punishment. Dante’s point is that sodomy qua vice is different in kind from adultery. This isn’t Dante’s imagination at work (he puts one of his closest friends, Brunetto Latini, with the sodomites in Circle 7). The insight can be found latently in Leviticus, where sins against nature are described as “abominations,” a very rare word in Hebrew, used for evils that are in their essence hardly imaginable. For example, bestiality and incest are included, along with the most wicked of idolatries, such as burning your child to a crisp in sacrifice to Moloch. Sins against nature are described with absolute clarity in Roman 1, where Paul says that pagans did have knowledge of the Creator from things that were created, but turned away from Him and worshiped the creatures instead, whereupon God delivered them over to their vain imaginations, including the unnatural forms of intercourse Paul describes. It is obvious that what Paul is condemning is the unnatural union of members of the same sex.

                  Adultery is a wicked act. But sodomy is thrice so. It’s true that Christians are having plenty of trouble with sins of incontinence, no denying that. But Christians who think they can come to a modus vivendi with sodomy are not thinking clearly at all. How can we condemn adultery when we wink and smile at sodomy?

              • Guest

                And Thomas’ view is rarely discussed. It is not wanted today because it violates the popular idea of “equality” that we worship as a god.

      • Austin Ruse

        Yes, Terry, the head begins to spin and you get the sense of traveling as great speed and going round adn round and round….I am dizzy…

    • ObiJuan

      Austin, keep up the good work! People need to stop labeling themselves by their temptations. People who are tempted to have intercourse with women to whom they are not married are not “adulterals”. People who are tempted to say bad things about others behind their backs are not “detractuals.” It’s ontological nonsense (and psychologically damaging).

      • Patrick

        Does that apply to AA members who persist in identifying as alcoholics as a part of their recovery and as a tool to help them remain vigilant against temptation and thus remain sober?

        • ForChristAlone

          Drinking alcoholically is an unnatural thing to do, besides having moral implications. It does not provide an identity that means something. Alcoholism is a disorder but cannot define who someone “is.”

          • Patrick

            And yet, people who are trying to recover from alcoholism specifically make a point of identifying as an alcoholic.

            Doesn’t the sentence, “Hello, my name is George, and I’m an alcoholic.” ring any bells for you?

            • Austin Ruse

              Discretely…in private….in meetings where even there they are anonymous.

              • Patrick

                Many of them carry around a physical token as a reminder, and will happily show it to others, to role-model their success.
                It is predominantly in private, yes, but they also often strive to reach out to whomever might be encountering the same problem as them, to show them it is not a lost cause, and to let them know they aren’t alone.
                And at that stage, the people they are reaching out to are truly anonymous, so the outreach is (or at least ought to be) a gentle open offer that is not directed to a particular person.

                • Austin Ruse

                  The thing is they do not claim a new identity for themselves and they do not try to get others to celebrate their alcoholic gifts…

                  • Patrick

                    Identity qua shared experiences, yes. They do.

                    And they do actively promote the idea that recovering alcoholics are often the best people to help other alcoholics to recover. It seems to me that is a gift that results from a disordered inclination.

                    Note that doesn’t mean the disordered inclination is a gift, it is not.
                    But recovery from it can potentially be a greater gift (to others) than simply not having ever had that trial to endure in the first place.

                    • Austin Ruse

                      Oh yes, abundantly yes. That is why Courage is the best way to go. Twelve steps, anonymous, discrete, etc.

                      • Patrick

                        There still is a value, I think, to showing the success stories in a way that individuals who no one realizes are struggling with the problem that they are not alone or hopeless, or without support.

                        On a side note, being an alcoholic (especially privately identifying as an alcoholic to be vigilant against temptation) would almost certainly influence one’s world view and perspective on many subjects. As such, it is important for people who do not have that experience to try to understand the effects that experience might have if they find themselves in a situation where those differences in experience might be disrupting the ability to convey understanding or meaning of related issues.

            • ForChristAlone

              To define one’s identity by what is perverse is….well, perverse

              • Patrick

                It is not to define one’s identity by what is perverse. It is to define (one facet of) ones identity as someone who experiences (and hopefully resists) a type of temptation.

            • DD

              Overly identifying with one’a disorder can be pathologic.

        • DD

          Do they call themselves drunk Catholics and demand alcoholism is normal and good?

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        They are however non-monogamous if not outright polyamorous.

        • ObiJuan

          No, they aren’t.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Oh, I see I read that saying of Jesus that ‘a man who lusts in his heart after another woman is an adulterer’ into you post when you didn’t mean it that way. Another objection is that they (the “New Homophiles” your post construes with “other sins”) sure are not “heterophiles” as they are immune to lust after another gender (porn of women can never tempt the men and vice versa) and do not enter into different gender marriages with the fervor heterophiles do (those that do so merely are following a belief, and the results are often not so surprising…). Yet, they do have all the emotions heterophiles have for persons of their own gender and are exclusively subject to the possibility of same-gender lusts.

            • ObiJuan

              Sodomites are NOT committing the sin of Romeo and Juliet. Equivocating sins that cry out to heaven with sins closer to nature is dangerous.

              Temptations to sodomy, pornography, lust, detraction, adultery, etc are just that, temptations. You should not be labeled by your temptations.

              • Giauz Ragnarock

                “Equivocating sins that cry out to heaven with sins closer to nature is dangerous.”
                I’m sorry for my ignorance, but why is this dangerous? Also, to say that sin is any benign thing that Jesus will torture you forever over rather sets an argument against Jesus for him to struggle over, that Jesus is flawed and dangerous. Jesus has yet in well over the young earth estimate of 6,000 years to make argument against such knowing full well that I and others before me would make such an argument. The best the Biblical writers have done is realize that Jesus was a real problematic character and say people would call him unjust (they might have been a bit more clear if they had listed out all those problematic passages of villainy they say Jesus ordered and why they themselves didn’t have a problem with any of those things reflecting love and justice).

                • Guest

                  You have too much going against you. Thousands of years, reason, logic, common sense, history, faith, and truth.

                  • Giauz Ragnarock

                    Thousands of years of traditional treat ourselves better than others, yes. Your reasons shook my Christianity out of me, yes. Logical fallacies deprived me of any sense religions were objective truth, yes. Common sense I believed I always lacked, and still do in a great many things, but I have found “common sense” to be far less common and reliable than what is simply believed as well, yes. History kicked me out of that notion a Jesus ever guided anyone morally, yes. Faith showed itself for what it was in the very counterexamples the religious used as proof non-belief led to horror, that absolute trust and loyalty is the primary supporter of destructive, dominating ideology, yes. Truth confused me terribly when all that seemed to come from it and support it were lies and fallacies and misdirection (“But look at how much good Christianity has done,” as a fall back for “it must be true”), yes.
                    I tried to find your point in all of that (I started much earlier in my young nearly 26 years of life), but you continue to withdraw your “good news” of convert or be harmed.

                    • Guest

                      I have no idea what you are talking about.

                    • John200

                      “Truth confused me terribly…”

                      I believe it did. You are ultra-confused, so much so that whatever you think is not communicated by your comment.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        “… when all that seemed to come from it and support it were lies and fallacies and misdirection (“But look at how much good Christianity has done,” as a fall back for “it must be true”), yes.”

                        Perhaps you better do some research. Truth shouldn’t be so blatantly farcical that it can be parodied so well:

                        http://imgur.com/CZHeU

                      • John200

                        Christianity has done more good than you imagine. Meanwhile, your research has led you into a swamp of doubletalk and sophistry.

                        We have seen it all before. You are the 34,428th (an estimate, I didn’t really count them) troll to come here, calumniate the Church and the faithful, and instruct us about what you do not know.

                        Perhaps you better do some RCIA.

    • John

      Why 3 long, tortuous, abstruse articles about this non-issue? It’s NOT that difficult! Homosexuals are welcome in the church as long as they abstrain from homosexual acts. If that’s not clear, I can translate it into French, German and probably Swahili too. It’s not about YOU – get over yourselves and leave your egos at the church door. Mr Ruse PLEASE find a better use for your time!

      • ForChristAlone

        Well done, Austin. Your defense of Church teachings is laudable. Others should appreciate the courage you show and the intellectual acumen you bring to a difficult topic like this.

      • Mark

        Even more to the point, John: everyone is welcome in the Church, period. As long as they are, in fact, desiring to remain in the Church (ie, not profess overt heresy).

        Homosexuals are welcome in the Church, period. You don’t have to be not a sinner to be welcome in the Church. There is no “sexual activity test” for being “welcome” in the Church.

        But the critics do not believe in any such “welcome.” That’s the whole point about this debate. The critics do not believe “homosexuals” or “gays” are welcome in the Church. They believe that the people might be welcome as individuals, but not AS gays, not AS members of that class. In other words, they think we can come in, but that we have to leave our gay affiliation at the door.

        In truth, of course, that’s impossible. Entering the Church does not somehow destroy or level all our particularity. Spiritually it might, of course, but “there is no Jew or Greek, man or woman” doesn’t literally mean there is no Jew or Greek, no man or woman (or one assumes the conservatives wouldn’t worry about enforcing gender scripts so much…) No, we don’t swear off particular family or national loyalties when we enter the Church, we are not expected to disown or our friends, our comrades, our particular “people,” nor is it possible to somehow efface or renounce a similarity of perspective that simply exists as a bald fact of experience.

        But that’s what they want. Even if totally accepting Catholic morality (even if perfectly following it!) this is an identity-politics question for them. They do not want “gay” affiliation and “Catholic” affiliation to be mutually inclusive, they want them to be mutually exclusive. Gay Catholics pose a circuit-shorting cognitive dissonance for them of ambiguous loyalties in their zero-sum “us/them” game that they cannot stand.

        • kmk

          Who are these critics that you’re alluding to?

        • DD

          You are viewing reality through a political and ideological lens. There is no such thing as a Catholic nazi or a Catholic KKK member. It is absurd. All of our disordered desires are not a moniker to attach to the word Catholic. That is the problem. You do not acknowledge the attraction is contrary to nature. This is not about persecution it is about truth.

          • Mark

            Ah so now being gay is comparable to being a nazi or KKK member. Beautiful!

            • DD

              You refuse to accept the seriousness of the disordered desire.

              • Mark

                The “seriousness” is only that gay people apparently make conservative straight people uncomfortable.

                • ForChristAlone

                  DD, No one can or ought to try to become comfortable with what is unnatural. It is only normal that what is known to be unnatural will reasonably cause discomfort since we know it as something disordered.

                  • Mark

                    There are lots of things I think are disordered. They don’t make me uncomfortable when other people are involved, because then it doesn’t effect me! The only time things I think are disordered make me uncomfortable is when there is some notion of me having to get involved. If it’s something effecting other people, it is no personal affront to me. At best I am vaguely concerned or pitying…not angry, disgusted, contemptuous, outraged, etc (as the conservatives seem to be about the gay issue.)

                    • John200

                      Truth, Mark, consider truth.
                      What you think, what you feel, what makes you uncomfortable, and what affects other people are poor decision criteria when compared to truth. The truth comes first. It is much more important than the rest of the obstructions that keep you from clarity of mind.

                      Sorry to bring the news, but then I am under orders to do so.

                • DD

                  The seriousness, among other things, is that your lobby wants to normalize what is abnormal.

                  • Mark

                    Again, I’m not really sure what “normalize” means other than that “You’re allowed to talk about it in public and people won’t freak out.” Which suggests that your real problem is somehow just with the idea that people are going to have to know that gay people exist.

                    • DD

                      You are not sure or you refuse to accept the truth? Same sex attraction is abnormal and contrary to nature.

                      • Mark

                        Even if you believe that as an abstract theoretical point, I’m not sure what practical effect you want or expect that idea to have in the world.

                      • DD

                        It is true. It is not abstract. The problem seems to be you deny the obvious.

                      • Mark

                        But socially speaking, what do you see as the concrete practical difference between a world where gay is “normalized” versus one where it isn’t.

                        Dollars to doughnuts I’d bet that it isn’t actually going to effect the rates of freely chosen chastity (though if you drive it underground enough, you might be able to create a sort of scarcity by way of ignorance). But it’s not actually going to stop anything from going on behind closed doors (and why should it effect you if it does?)

                        So what is the concrete practical differences you imagine between a world where gay is “normal” versus where it is socially stigmatized?

                      • DD

                        Why would any right thinking person not care about deviant behavior and its affect on culture? It is as if we have fallen down the toilet so much the only measure of “caring” is whether we see people being physically hurt.

                        Once you invite vice to be a virtue you invert thinking. You no longer reason well. You become a type of slave. The effects will first be on our children. They will be indoctrinated into a new ideology of evil that deforms true family. That will destabilize society. It has already begun. Hedonists and relativists do not care because they can no longer reason well.

                      • Mark

                        Deviant behavior only has an effect on culture if the culture as a whole chooses to let it.

                        You have your notions of how free will works backwards. Bad ideas spread because people choose to embrace them. You are acting as if the existence of bad ideas out there is somehow causing people to embrace them, as if this is some sort of virus spreading that you need to shield your children from and that society should quarantine.

                        That sort of approach towards Ideas leads to 1984.

            • ForChristAlone

              DD, Most of us here realize that there is no such thing as “being” gay. “Gay” simply refers to attractions that are unnatural and have nothing to do with who one “is.”

              • Mark

                As the Trinity shows us, personhood is found only in communion, only in relation. Who the Father is, Who the Son is, Who the Holy Spirit…is defined by their relations. “What” they are (God) might be more essentializable (though even then, Aquinas seems to say that the relations-of-opposition ARE identifiable with the Divine Essence…)

                Our human personhood, “who we are,” is a social reality constructed of our relations with others. For gay people, one aspect of that identity that cannot be reversed now that the social consciousness has been raised is our affinity with other gay people. That is never going to just be a private individual experience again. It is an affinity among individuals, a shared experience that bonds and binds us (not the only, nor the most important, but one) in our particularity and own historical contingency.

                • DD

                  It is an objective disorder. It is abnormal. It is not oriented toward the good. Basing a cultural identity on a disorder is wrong and pathologic.

                • ForChristAlone

                  You are playing out of your league. You are neither a theologian nor a philosopher.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “There is no such thing as a Catholic nazi or a Catholic KKK member.”

            Ah, the “you shall know them by their fruits”/no true scotsman fallacy. Always a pleasure.

            • DD

              Rubbish. The usual atheist and pro gay propaganda point.

              Catholicism does not endorse identifying their faith by deviant ideologies. This is a matter of truth easily verified. That some may mistakenly do such things does not mean it is approved by the Church or encouraged. It is identity politics not theology.

              • Giauz Ragnarock

                The point is usual because it is not ‘rubbish’. Jesus says you can be a Christian even when you own people. Wait, he doesn’t. I guess none of those people went to heaven. Jesus says you can be a Christian even when you accuse people of heresy and witchcraft leading to you torturing and murdering said people… Jesus says separation of the races is lawful, and interracial marriage is like telling him that “we know better”…

                People have been able to do/not able to do a lot of crap and still be/not be Christians bound for heaven. It’s almost as if Jesus hasn’t talked to anyone in history at all…

        • Christine Niles

          Gays, like anyone else, are welcome in the Church–but they are not welcome to come in and attempt to change Church teaching, to expect everyone else to celebrate their gayness, or to pressure us to deem their orientation anything other than objectively disordered.

          Part of being a member of the Church is accepting and embracing her teachings. If you can’t do that, then leave–and come back when you’re ready.

          • Mark

            Again, I’m not sure what this “celebrate their gayness” thing is. Before there can be any talk of “celebration,” we’d have to get the basic point of just, as Pope Francis said, “endorsing the existence of.” Gay people exist, and not just as “people who happen to be gay,” but as people for whom one irrevocable part of our identity is the fact that we share a similar experience with other gay people. It is a reality we are constructed into, and everyone who isn’t invested in promoting false-consciousness can’t even begin to understand how the existence of “gay” could possibly be objected to. It simply is.

            “Church teaching” (albeit in a rather broad and recent sense) says that “homosexual inclinations” are objectively disordered. Fine. “Inclinations.” As far as I know, the “orientation” construct has never been addressed.

            • ForChristAlone

              Christine, of course we understand that homosexual anything can never constitute an identity. It is a manufactured name to give a reality to something that does not and can not exist.

              • Mark

                That’s absurd. The experience of same-sex attraction exists. More than one person has this experience. Such people have something in common. Such people have realized each other exist. Hence “gay” exists. Q.E.D.

                • ForChristAlone

                  People have sexual attractions to dead bodies. It doesn’t make them anything but disordered in that aspect of their existence.

                  • Henry

                    Well, except when they become coroners :P

                    Of course “wanting to have sex with” a dead body is disordered, just like “wanting to have sex with” a man. I haven’t seen anyone on this thread deny either. But the point has been made that homosexuality is not reducible to “wanting to have sex with” members of the same sex, and doesn’t even have to be ordered towards that at all!

        • ForChristAlone

          Homosexual behaviors are gravely sinful. The Church preaches repentance. The sacrament of reconciliation is available to all who are guilty of mortal sin.

      • Art Deco

        Mr Ruse PLEASE find a better use for your time!

        The issue has been raised by Messrs. Belgau, Gonnerman, et al. Mr. Ruse is commenting on published work in the Catholic press. If you would like the subject dropped, address these other shnooks.

      • Austin Ruse

        Abstruse? You, sir, have gone to far! Pistols at dawn!

      • ForChristAlone

        Austin, Mark calls something abstruse because he cannot swallow the truth about what you write. Pay no attention to him; you are making good use of your time

    • Mark

      All the talk of impressionable teenagers is really weird too. As if people can “catch the gay” simply by knowing that gay people exist, that gay out there as a possible interpretation or narrative or model for explaining someone’s feelings or experiences.

      That’s not how it works. If a confused teenager “accidentally” identifies as gay and experiments with that identity for a bit even though it’s not really the best fit or explanation (ie, he’s really straight)…he’ll figure that out soon enough and by his late teens or twenties, it won’t be an issue, so why worry about it?

      What’s NOT going to happen is that a teen who otherwise “would have” turned out straight is going to be “locked in gay amber” as if, had he merely ignored certain things and just accepted the idea that “You’re a man, therefore you are attracted to women and someday will fulfill the script of heterosexual marriage and family,” he would have turned out straight.

      It just doesn’t work that way. Inasmuch as teenagers can be confused…they arrive at the correct conclusion in the end. Experimentation with a mistaken identity will resolve itself soon enough, but there should be no worry that it is going to cause them to develop a whole set of physiological and emotional responses to sexual stimuli that they wouldn’t have had anyway or which would have somehow otherwise just disappeared. That’s just now how it works and sounds like moral panic. Gays cannot “recruit” anyone unless they already are.

      The integration of the LGBT community into society has not and will not actually increase the total number of homosexuals (though, up to a certain point, maybe 5%, we will see increasing willingness among people to self-identify openly, to admit it to themselves, and maybe for a certain portion of the other 95% to admit degrees of bisexuality that were always there but strictly compartmentalized and repressed).

      This fear that somehow being told that Gay is one way to possibly make sense of certain emotional experiences…is somehow going to actually CAUSE your son to be gay…is just nonsense. And hiding that information from him or telling him “Ignore that, never make it public, and just keep being a good All American red-blooded male” isn’t going to make it go away if it is there (at most that will just put him under the burden of hiding/repressing it, going into denial, only to very possible rebel in a big reactionary way later). It’s almost like the fear is less that identifying authentically as gay won’t make one’s son happy, and more a fear that having a gay son will make the parents uncomfortable, deflate their dreams of living vicariously through his wife and children, and embarrass them socially.

      If a teenage boy notices that his brain gives him an endorphine rush when he looks at a male classmate’s face or body, but not the females, or that when a guy gives him a pat on the back or brushes against him accidentally he finds himself daydreaming about a walk in the woods with that guy, or that (more to the point) a naked male body causes him to get an erection…this isn’t just “confusion” and no amount of identity moratorium or further waiting is going to make all these things go away if they weren’t going to on their own already.

      • kmk

        How can you speak for teenagers? They are impressionable and can most certainly be persuaded to try drugs or sex with the same gender. Everyone desires to be in a relationship, even if they are not healthy, especially immature teenagers.
        Teenagers (and adults) would greatly benefit from learning about chastity.

        • Mark

          I never said a confused but ultimately straight teen might not experiment with gay sex only to decide later “yeah, not for me.”

          I did say that doing so, if he isn’t really gay, won’t get him “locked in gay amber.” If he’s not already really (and so largely irreversibly) gay, he’s not going to get hooked or addicted or shoehorned into a narrative as if it’s an acquired taste or something like a hobby (or even religion) that you “pick up” in life.

          • Christine Niles

            Mark–You speak about experimenting with gay sex as if it’s no big deal. The Church speaks of it as “an act of grave depravity.” To indulge in it at a young age can do irreparable damage to an adolescent’s self-understanding, and can draw him more deeply into a lifestyle he would otherwise avoid if he had been given the right advice.

            • Mark

              It just doesn’t work that way. People are not “enticed” or “fooled” into homosexuality as if trying out a label in high school is some sort of “gateway drug.” They either are or they aren’t at that point.

              • Christine Niles

                False. The study that Ruse mentions shows that 80% of high school students who experienced same-sex attraction were unreservedly heterosexual by their twenties. People are still very much figuring out who they are at that point.

                • Patrick

                  Mark specifically addressed that people who would find themselves no longer experiencing same-sex attraction into their twenties would simply no longer identify as feeling it, since they do in fact, have *some* degree of insight into the feelings that they themselves are actually experiencing, and thus are perceptible to them and not some kind of black box they simply have to speculate about.

                  They aren’t going to get “trapped” with a self-identifier if they no longer self-identify by it. At that point it ceases to be a self-identifier, by definition.

                  I think we’re doing a disservice to the mental abilities of teenagers here. Yes they are going through a confusing and emotionally fraught experience, and yes the stage of brain development they are in causes them to feel more distress from ostracism or even potential ostracism than from even physical pain, but they aren’t morons who are incapable of processing information or understanding their own senses.

                • Mark

                  As Patrick below says, that’s just my point: if 80% of people who tried the gay label wound up deciding it wasn’t really accurate by their 20s, it proves that trying the label doesn’t “trap” them in anything or cause the gay to “stick.” Rather, if they weren’t really gay, and it really was just confusion, they seem to realize that rather quickly and move on. No one gets “stuck” in anything that isn’t actually true.

                  • ForChristAlone

                    Christine, Mark proposes that “trying the gay label” is like a teen trying on a different brand of sneakers.

          • ForChristAlone

            You advance immoral behavior as if it does not matter. Why is that?

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          /FACE-PALM/ How can he speak for teenagers?!!? Do you even think?

          Mark, I just want to thank you for popping into existence just as you are with no history or prior thought at all. Many of the people you speak with have questionable sanity. Thank you for your long suffering.

      • Art Deco

        As if people can “catch the gay” simply by knowing that gay people
        exist, that gay out there as a possible interpretation or narrative or
        model for explaining someone’s feelings or experiences.

        If you’re interested in people’s viewpoint, you don’t caricature it.

      • ForChristAlone

        “If a teenage boy notices that his brain gives him an endorphine rush when he looks at a male classmate’s face or body, but not the females, or that when a guy gives him a pat on the back or brushes against him accidentally he finds himself daydreaming about a walk in the woods with that guy”….
        ….yada, yada, yada.

        He should know that these passions are unnatural and use all his resource to see that they are kept in check.

        • Mark

          They simply are.

          As the Catechism says re: passions

          “In themselves passions are neither good nor evil.
          They are morally qualified only to the extent that they effectively
          engage reason and will [..] Passions are morally good when they contribute to a
          good action, evil in the opposite case. The upright will orders the
          movements of the senses it appropriates to the good and to beatitude; an
          evil will succumbs to disordered passions and exacerbates them.
          Emotions and feelings can be taken up into the virtues or perverted by
          the vices.”

          There’s nothing unnaturally about something making someone happy unless that something is a sin in itself. If someone discovers that they get off on murder or fantasies about murder (or theft or, yes, disordered sex acts) then, yeah, those passions are disordered inasmuch as they are engaging the will at that point relative to a specific determined act or intention.

          But saying that feeling a bit of warm-fuzzy when a cute guy gives him a pat on the back or when he sees a little tongue-in-cheek gay/bromance banter between Sherlock and Watson? There’s nothing unnatural there.

          • DD

            You must be thinking of some faith other than Catholicism.

    • kmk

      I agree with John about the article redundancy. What is the purpose of beating a dead horse? I come here to defend the Catholic faith and am pleased to see here that many others have the same idea.
      But, since I’m here I have a question about Melinda and her professed ‘queerness’. Why is she married with children, yet desires her claim of homosexuality to be celebrated? Does she think she is bisexual? Is she just confused? I am a female and love many women. I do not claim to be homosexual. It’s apparent that some people just don’tunderstand the difference between friendly and intimate relationships.

    • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

      Here’s something worth pondering regarding “gay culture”:

      ****….In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called “gay culture”.
      Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women…..****

      Quoted from the Congregation for Catholic Education, Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders, approved by Pope Benedict XVI, Aug. 31, 2005.
      The question arises: if supporting the “so-called ‘gay culture’” creates a situation that “gravely hinders” candidates for the priesthood “from relating correctly to men and women” (so much so that such men cannot be admitted to the seminary), what might such a statement from the Church mean for the rest of us?
      What is meant by “gay culture” in this text?
      How does it hinder us from relating correctly to men and women?

      • DD

        It does not fit the gay lobby narrative.

    • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

      Melinda Selmys says below: “To suggest that non-lustful SSA is disordered is just incoherent — it would invalidate all forms of non-sexual attraction between people of the same sex. It would mean that I couldn’t recognize my daughter as beautiful and couldn’t desire to be in her company in a non-sexual way.”
      THIS is at the center of the “vertigo” experienced by so many in this conversation.
      The Church teaches that the “homosexual inclination” is intrinsically disordered. But here Selmys bifurcates the meaning of “homosexual inclination” into 1) lustful SSA and 2) non-lustful SSA, claiming that only *one* of these is disordered–lustful SSA.
      This is hugely problematic. Is there really an attraction we should call “non-sexual” “same-sex” attraction and affix that label to describe our desire to be in the company of our children of the same-sex? Is my love for my sons based on “non-sexual” “same-sex” attraction?
      This is where Selmys’ apparent misunderstanding of “eros” is clear. Pope Benedict tells us that eros is “the gift of love between a man and a woman.” The attempt to broaden the meaning of “eros” beyond this definition is at the heart of the problem of discussing this.
      If my love of my brother or father or son or grandson is supposedly a form of “same-sex attraction”–just “non-sexual”–then we’ve lost the framework necessary to really discuss the meaning and morality of homosexuality.

      • DD

        Yes, it is gay propaganda. Pure and simple.

      • Patrick

        I cannot say for certain, but I believe her point was that the word “sex” in the phrase “same-sex” is referring entirely to “male or female” and not to sexuality or sexual attraction at all. Therefore “same-sex attraction” would not be implying anything sexual. It seems she means that “attraction” is not synonymous with “eros” but rather that eros is but a sub-set of “attraction.”

        Or at least that’s the reading of her statements that seems to make the most sense to me… so kind of a guess on my part until she can clarify herself.

        • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

          I totally agree that the manner of using the word “sex” is a big part of the confusion. Look, for example, at your own comment. You seem to conclude that when one refers to “male or female” one is not referring to either “sexuality” or “anything sexual.” You presumably mean it’s not referring to a particular *behavior* of pleasure-seeking via one’s sexual function. But that has already been established in virtue of the comment being about *attraction* and not behavior. And the truth is, *being* male or female is a precise reference to sexuality and sexual difference. And if the “attraction” is to a person’s “sex”–as in “non-sexual same-sex attraction”–then the attraction in question is based on sex/sexuality–on a person’s being male or female.
          This is an attempt, in my view, to normalize a niche for a non-disordered sexual attraction to a person of the same sex–an ordered “same-sex-eros” that we are supposed to see as a mere parallel to an ordered “opposite-sex-eros”. But this is not the language of the Church’s Magisterium. “Same-sex-eros” (otherwise known as the “homosexual inclination”) is objectively disordered.

          • Mark

            Where does the Catechism define “homosexual inclinations” as “same-sex eros”? That’s assuming a lot about the meaning of “inclinations” and of “eros” that are no where else further defined magisterially.

            I think the only non-controversial thing we can say is that “homosexual inclinations” definitely WAS intended to include the lust for homosexual sex acts. That definitely was called “objectively disordered” (and is).

            It’s unclear that the writers of the 1986 document or the catechism had any notion of “orientation” that was broader than just an inclination towards a particular category of sex acts.

            However, human emotions are not so neatly “teleological” as this. Take “anger” for example, or “sadness.” Anger is not defined by some set behavioral END, but rather by what causes it. It is defined by “where it comes from,” not by “where it’s going.”

            Anger can be defined as that which is caused by “perceived injustice” or something like that. But it isn’t bootstrapped to any particular “enactment.” It’s not as if there is a bee-line between anger and “violence” or “murder.” Anger can lead there, can be “intentionally specified” that way (in which case it is morally as disordered as the act itself). But anger can also express itself just by yelling, by sitting and stewing, by being channeled into something creative, into “the best revenge” which is “living well” or otherwise correcting the injustice. The point is, anger is a “toolbox” of scripts, as it were. It isn’t some set program of behavior, it is a panoply of scripts whose potentials are activated in the face of injustice as possible choices. But within the horizons of that “buffet” there are many options.

            Most emotions work this way. “Sadness” has no particular behavioral “telos” like that. Rather it is defined by what causes it (“loss” of some sort). But WHAT one DOES is not “specified” by the experience of sadness (which is just that: a bare experience) until some intention is formulated.

            Likewise with “attraction.” Attraction is not some sort of reductionist phenomenon that is ultimately trying to funnel everything towards a sex act. Attraction is simply a set of emotional responses that occurs in response to a given type of stimulus. In the case of androphilia, it is the “beauty of men” (physically and personality) and in gynephilia it is “the beauty of women.” Note, BOTH of these are REAL goods. If “the beauty of men” is a good for women, it must be a good, period. Likewise, if “the beauty of women” is a good for men, it must be a good, period. There can’t, therefore, be anything intrinsically problematic with an androphilic male or gynephilic female. Not unless you are constructing beauty/attractiveness in an entirely instrumentalist fashion whereby is not a good in itself at all, but merely as some sort of “carrot” to get people to ultimately mate. If that’s the case, I’d suggest that you are a materialist Darwinist utilitarian…

            The next objection is usually that “Well, but a man can appreciate and recognize male beauty…that doesn’t make him gay.” And that’s true enough. But that’s almost like point out that a passionless disinterested party (or a sociopath) can “recognize” injustice without actually “getting angry.” It’s in a cold and theoretical fashion. But what’s wrong a less cold experience?

            Further, it may be a difference of degree even if not nature. But when it comes to social constructs, differences of degree can BE differences of nature. For example, where does one draw the line about how much melanin or African ancestry makes one “Black.” And yet “Black” definitely exists as a real construct with real sociological and political effects in society, as one “pole” in a dichotomy with White.

            Likewise, even if you were to say “Well, if it’s not defined by intended sexual behavior, and straight men can sometimes ‘appreciate’ male beauty…how is it essentially different?” And the answer is that social constructs don’t work in terms of “essential” speciating lines like that as if they’re airtight forms. How is it different? As a gay man I’d say because, for me, my “attraction” emotion-experience is activated my male stimuli much more often than by women. I find myself giving a ‘second look’ to men frequently, not so much to women. And that, furthermore, this predominance is so many “standard deviations” outside the experience of the average male that I realize that my experience of the world is recognizably and “obviously” one that is “different” or “other.” It made much more sense and was much more authentic to analogize my experience to what straight men experience with “attraction” to women. Similar patterns to how that emotion effects whom they look at on the bus, whom they smile at in line at the store, who occupies their thoughts, what sort of natural scripts of uninhibitedness and intimacy open up in conversation (ie, “chemistry”) is simply activated predominantly by men rather than by women.

            Now, “where do I go with that?” There is no set “end” or “telos” here. Like anger, one can do many things or nothing “with” the feeling. The horizons of possible action it opens up are broad. Just like the horizons of heterosexual orientation. Men are attracted to many women who are not their wives, even when they are married. And if it means that they put an extra dollar in the cup of the pretty girl collecting for charity…that’s not adultery of the heart. And neither is it “objectively disordered” if a smile from a cute guy gives me a warm fuzzy endorphine release that causes me to put an extra doller in his charity kettle, or strike up a conversation with the (probably straight) barista at Starbuck’s, or volunteer to to take on a thankless task for a guy I have a bit of a crush on at work. I’m not trying to get into any of their pants, that thought doesn’t even enter the radar (or if it did, uninvited, it’s no different than violent thoughts that pop up when angry that we simply dismiss or don’t entertain).

            • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

              Hi, Mark—you wrote:
              ***Where does the Catechism define “homosexual
              inclinations” as “same-sex eros”? That’s assuming a lot about
              the meaning of “inclinations” and of “eros” that are no
              where else further defined magisterially.***

              The term “eros” was defined magisterially by Pope
              Benedict. Hint: it *necessarily* involves the complementarity of man and woman.

              The term “inclination” as it relates to homosexuality was
              called “objectively disordered” in CCC 2358. And homosexual “acts” were called “intrinsically disordered” in CCC 2357. What is one of the reasons for the “disorder” of such “acts”? “They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity” (CCC 2357).

              Thus it is clear that the “disorder” of the *inclination*
              as well as the act is due to a lack of genuine affective and sexual
              complementarity.This is why it is clear to me that the “homosexual inclination” equates with a disordering of “eros.”

              You wrote:
              ***Attraction is not some sort of reductionist phenomenon
              that is ultimately trying to funnel everything towards a sex act. Attraction is simply a set of emotional responses that occurs in response to a given type of stimulus.****

              Not according to the Church.

              ****. There can’t, therefore, be anything intrinsically problematic with an androphilic male or gynephilic female.****

              Uh, wow. Yes, there is something intrinsically problematic with this. It’s intrinsically disordered. No affective and sexual complementarity.

              ***And neither is it “objectively disordered” if a smile from a cute guy gives me a warm fuzzy endorphine release that causes
              me to put an extra doller in his charity kettle, or strike up a conversation with the (probably straight) barista at Starbuck’s, or volunteer to to take on a thankless task for a guy I have a bit of a crush on at work.***

              No, you’re mistaken. It most definitely is objectively disordered. Sorry. You went an awful long way on this when it really is a much shorter trip. The Church’s understanding of “eros” and sexual desire is a far cry from what you’ve described here.

              • Mark

                Actually, Benedict defined “eros” and “agape” as simply “ascending love” and “descending love.” He actually talked much less about eros’s role in the physically complementary relationship of husband and wife (though that’s certainly its “icon” and one of its manifestations), and much more about it’s role in the relationship between mystics (including male mystics) and God/Christ.

                I don’t think Benedict’s notion of eros was quite so narrow as you think, and certainly the enforcing of a certain order of gender politics was not emphasized.

                • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                  No, you are wrong. Here is how Benedict defined “eros” in his audience from Jan 18, 2006:

                  ***For my part, I would like to show that this is a single impulse with various dimensions. The “eros”, this gift of love between a man and a woman, comes from the same source, the Creator’s goodness, as the possibility of a love that gives itself for the sake of the other. ****

                  And in his Lent Message of 2007, he adds:

                  ***The word eros, on the other hand, denotes the love of one who
                  desires to possess what he or she lacks and yearns for union with the beloved.*** [note the essential complementarity here--"what he or she lacks"]
                  And in his encyclical he makes it quite clear that the *Divine* Eros is to be considered in itself, apart from *human* eros.

                  • Mark

                    If we can consider divine and human Eros seperately, we can also consider genital Eros as seperate from, “mental” Eros or “emotional” Eros. Two bodies might not be complemtary on account of sex, but two souls might be.

                    I’d also give more gravity to the encyclical then to the audience if you want to talk about “magisterial concepts” of eros

                    • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                      This makes no sense whatsoever, I’m afraid. And it totally flies in the face of Catholic teaching. Good luck with that.
                      As to pitting “encyclical” Benedict against “audience” Benedict? Equally nonsensical….

                      • Mark

                        I’m not pitting them against each other. I’m saying that focusing on marital eros is a SUBset the he emphasized in the audiences, whereas in the encyclical he gave a rather broader survey. It’s not a contradiction on his part.

                        I think to interpret Benedict’s discourse on Eros and Agape and their tension but fundamental unity in “Deus Caritas Est” as if somehow he was just talking about marital love between a man and a woman…is to totally betray the sense of what he wrote.

                        He starts out talking about sex (and has this tangent on temple prostitution) but as the section goes on, he generalizes “eros” to refer to love (all love) in its “flesh and blood” form of rapture or ecstasy (what we might call “attraction” generally) whereas “agape” is love (all love) in the form of giving; eros as the love of “being pulled” as by a force from without, agape as “pulling” initiated deliberately, like God with man.

                        He finished that section with: “Fundamentally, ‘love’ is a single reality, but
                        with different dimensions; at different times, one or other dimension may emerge
                        more clearly. Yet when the two dimensions are totally cut off from one another,
                        the result is a caricature or at least an impoverished form of love. And we have
                        also seen, synthetically, that biblical faith does not set up a parallel
                        universe, or one opposed to that primordial human phenomenon which is love, but
                        rather accepts the whole man; it intervenes in his search for love in order to
                        purify it and to reveal new dimensions of it. This newness of biblical faith is
                        shown chiefly in two elements which deserve to be highlighted: the image of God
                        and the image of man.”

                        So Benedict is quite clear: love is a single reality, and one element or the other (eros or agape) might “emerge more clearly” at this moment or that BUT the two dimensions are NEVER to be totally cut off from each other.

                        If he “eros” were limited to heterosexual marital love, this would make no sense. Then the only person that anyone could ever truly love, according to Benedict’s conception…would be ones spouse. But he doesn’t say that. He implies that ALL love properly so called has that duality between the selfless gift we make in Charity, and the emotional “reward” that we receive in our “attraction” to the people we love.

                        Everyone is attracted to anyone they love. Not necessarily sexually or even physically attracted, but something “draws us to” (which is Benedict’s fundamental notion of Eros) everyone we love, be it friends, parents, children, heroes or role models, leaders, Saints, etc.

                        Sometimes what attracts us is someone’s physical beauty, or their sex/gender specifically in personality aspects. Even this is not necessarily “gay” or “straight”…many gay men love and respect beautiful women (Audrey Hepburn for example…) for the very fact of their femininity and beauty, and many straight men are “attracted” to (in the broadest sense) the specifically masculine charisma of their action heroes, sport heroes, or “alpha” leaders they respect (there is the increasingly admitted concept of the straight “man crush”; the homoerotic undercurrent in even straight male friendship is something literary critics, and gay men from a young age, are very aware of as painfully obvious). All of this is “eros” in Benedict’s definition: the “ascending” love, a love that pulls us from without, and it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with genitals or genital relations.

                        As for why in some cases this eros is part of being gay and in some cases it isn’t (given, again, that straight men experience an aspect of eros to other men, and gay men to women)…I think I already explained that, it’s simply a question of patterns or “degree.” But then that’s always true; even marital/genital love between a man and a woman is not a special “type” of intimacy as if it is a different species (remember Benedict upholds the “fundamental unity” of all love), but is rather just a special DEGREE of eros, the most extreme possible degree of intimacy, as intimacy exists along a continuum with different levels being appropriate or not with different social relations.

                        “Social constructs don’t work in terms of ‘essential’ speciating lines
                        like that as if they’re airtight forms. How is it different? As a gay
                        man I’d say because, for me, my ‘attraction’ emotion-experience is
                        activated my male stimuli much more often than by women. I find myself
                        giving a ‘second look’ to men frequently, not so much to women. And
                        that, furthermore, this predominance is so many ‘standard deviations’
                        outside the experience of the average male that I realize that my
                        experience of the world is recognizably and ‘obviously’ one that is ‘different’ or ‘other.’ It made much more sense and was much more
                        authentic to analogize my experience to what straight men experience
                        with ‘attraction’ to women. Similar patterns to how that emotion effects
                        whom they look at on the bus, whom they smile at in line at the store,
                        who occupies their thoughts, what sort of natural scripts of
                        uninhibitedness and intimacy open up in conversation (ie, ‘chemistry’)
                        is simply activated predominantly by men rather than by women.”

                      • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                        So many words, Mark–so many ways to confuse attraction/impulse/inclination for that which is love. You’ve woefully misread Benedict.

                        NOWHERE does Benedict say what you are saying he says about “marital” eros being some kind of “subset” of eros. Of course, if he did, you could just quote him directly, as I’ve done regarding how he defines eros as “the gift of love between a man and a woman.”

                        I’ll keep it short and sweet and refer to the *encyclical* rather than an “audience” so as to make clear Benedict isn’t merely treating a “subset” of eros in the audiences and “general” eros in the encyclical:

                        ****3. That love between man and woman which is neither planned nor willed, but somehow imposes itself upon human beings, was called eros by the ancient Greeks. [Deus Caritas Est]****

                        Yup, straightaway Benedict defines–in the *encyclical*–eros as “that love between man and woman”

                        And later on in #11 he says:
                        ****Two aspects of this are important. First, eros is somehow rooted in man’s very nature; Adam is a seeker, who “abandons his mother and father” in order to find woman; only together do the two represent complete humanity and become “one flesh”. The second aspect is equally important. From the standpoint of creation, eros directs man towards marriage, to a bond which is unique and definitive; thus, and only thus, does it fulfil its deepest purpose.*****
                        So, please explain how “marriage” can be the “deepest purpose” of “eros” while “eros” is *not* specifically the gift of love between man and woman????

                      • Mark

                        As I said above, marriage between a man and a woman is certainly the “icon” of Eros. Furthermore, I repeatedly said that the deepest form of human intimacy was, indeed, the one flesh union of husband and wife.

                        I think you are reversing the syllogism then. Just because marriage is the deepest expression and, as it were, highest achievement of Eros, doesn’t mean that lesser degrees don’t exist or are wrong. On the contrary, they are found in every human love.

                        In this sense, chaste homoeroticism is not to be seen as set in competition with marriage, but as part of the same social dynamic in human love which takes heterosexual marriage as one of its sources and “poles.”

                        Benedict is pointing out the profound truth that ALL loves “reference” marriage. But this doesn’t mean all loves ARE marriage, or that marriage is the only valid love. Rather, it is like the catechism says: “2332 Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.”

                        You will note the “in a more general way” here. Sexuality is the paradigm for ALL of our affections, for our entire affective life. Yes, the paradigmatic case is marriage and procreation but Eros also refers to “in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.”

                      • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                        Please try to avoid substituting “eros” for “sexuality” as you do in your last sentence. It doesn’t work.

                        [Mark wrote:]****In this sense, chaste homoeroticism is not to be seen as set in competition with marriage, but as part of the same social dynamic in human love which takes heterosexual marriage as one of its sources and “poles.”*****
                        Homoeroticism is intrinsically disordered–it is a *false* eros. It is *not* “chaste”. Period. And a falsified “eros” is not an authentic “love”.

                      • Mark

                        You’re free to assert that, but you can’t beg the question. You can’t assert that Benedict shared your reductionist vision of Eros to marriage (though that is its paradigmatic case) by using an interpretation of his writings that already require assuming your definition.

                        I personally don’t see how your interpretation can satisfyingly explain parts of the text like: “Yet eros and agape—ascending love and descending love—can never be completely separated. The more the two, in their different aspects, find a proper unity in the one reality of love, the more the true nature of love in general is realized.”

                        If Eros and agape cannot be separated, then (under your theory that Eros is only hetero-marital love) no one could ever have agape for anyone who wasn’t a spouse or potential spouse.

                      • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                        Eros in the context of human love requires “agape” for its purification: “The element of agape thus enters into this love, for otherwise eros is impoverished and even loses its own nature.”
                        The inseparability of the two expressions of love as regards human love does in fact represent a universal call or invitation to experience *both* the gift of love between man and woman (eros) *and* “agape” as either man or woman. This is God’s plan. In this sense they are inseparable. But this inseparability does *not* likewise suggest that every act of “agape” is also somehow an act of “eros”. This is where your analysis is flawed.

                      • Mark

                        First of all, Benedict does not seem to see eros, at least, as primarily an “act” so much as an “experience.”

                        Second, I do not think your interpretation is correct. Benedict does not say “eros needs agape, but agape doesn’t require eros.” He paints them as mutually inseparable in BOTH “directions.”

                        “at different times, one or other dimension may emerge more clearly. Yet when the two dimensions are totally cut off from one another, the result is a caricature or at least an impoverished form of love.”

                        Having acts of agape that were not also in some sense “erotic” would be “a caricture or at least an impoverished form of love.”

                      • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                        Mark–btw, had I been more thorough, I would not have overlooked the most obvious context from Pope Benedict’s “Deus Caritas Est” (quoted below). I left off the front end prior to his defining “eros”–wherein he says love between man and woman stands out “in particular” amid the multiple meanings of “love” and “would seem to be the very epitome of love” etc…..

                        ****Let us first of all bring to mind the vast semantic range of the word “love”: we speak of love of country, love of one’s profession, love between friends, love of work, love between parents and children, love between family members, love of neighbour and love of God. Amid this multiplicity of meanings, however, one in particular stands out: love between man and woman, where body and soul are inseparably joined and human beings glimpse an apparently irresistible promise of happiness. This would seem to be the very epitome of love; all other kinds of love immediately seem to fade in comparison. So we need to ask: are all these forms of love basically one, so that love, in its many and varied manifestations, is ultimately a single reality, or are we merely using the same word to designate totally different realities?
                        “Eros” and “Agape” – difference and unity
                        3. That love between man and woman which is neither planned nor willed, but somehow imposes itself upon human beings, was called eros by the ancient Greeks….****

                      • Mark

                        But, Jim, you are ignoring Benedict’s conclusion to his own question!

                        Namely: he concludes by the end of this section that, yes, actually, all these different uses of “love” DO in fact ultimately refer to the same reality, and that every human love is a dynamic tension somewhere between the two poles of Eros and Agape, and analogizable to both.

                        As for the statement that “That love between man and woman which is neither planned nor willed, but somehow imposes itself upon human beings, was called eros by the ancient Greeks”…this is true! That love IS Eros! But he never says that ONLY that is Eros.

                        Your conclusion is like taking the statement “You know, like, orange and green and red? Those are colors” to mean that blue and yellow and purple aren’t.

                        Besides, we all know the ancient Greeks were not defining Eros as specifically hetero, and indeed Benedict references The Symposium, I believe, which certainly suggests a more expansive and non- reductionist vision of Eros.

                      • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                        Mark–Benedict *rejects* the “Greek” approach to eros–he doesn’t affirm it (see below).

                        And, btw, you’ll notice he speaks of the “*difference* and unity” in this section–not just unity.

                        you wrote: ****Namely: he concludes by the end of this section that, yes, actually, all these different uses of “love” DO in fact ultimately refer to the same reality, and that every human love is a dynamic tension somewhere between the two poles of Eros and Agape, and analogizable to both.****
                        The way this has gone so far is that you “tell” me about something Benedict says and then I “show” you where he refutes what you’ve said. It’s time for you to stop “telling” me about what he says and actually *show* me. So, please show me where he says what you “tell” me above that he concludes at the end of that section of the encyclical. Cite the passage.

                        [from Deus Caritas Est:]
                        ****Let us take a look at the pre- Christian world. The Greeks—not unlike other cultures—considered eros principally as a kind of intoxication, the overpowering of reason by a “divine madness” which tears man away from his finite existence and enables him, in the very process of being overwhelmed by divine power, to experience supreme happiness. All other powers in heaven and on earth thus appear secondary: “Omnia vincit amor” says Virgil in the Bucolics—love conquers all—and he adds: “et nos cedamus amori”—let us, too, yield to love.[2] In the religions, this attitude found expression in fertility cults, part of which was the “sacred” prostitution which flourished in many temples. Eros was thus celebrated as divine power, as fellowship with the Divine.

                        The Old Testament firmly opposed this form of religion, which represents a powerful temptation against monotheistic faith, combating it as a perversion of religiosity. But it in no way rejected eros as such; rather, it declared war on a warped and destructive form of it, because this counterfeit divinization of eros actually strips it of its dignity and dehumanizes it. Indeed, the prostitutes in the temple, who had to bestow this divine intoxication, were not treated as human beings and persons, but simply used as a means of arousing “divine madness”: far from being goddesses, they were human persons being exploited. An intoxicated and undisciplined eros, then, is not an ascent in “ecstasy” towards the Divine, but a fall, a degradation of man. Evidently, eros needs to be disciplined and purified if it is to provide not just fleeting pleasure, but a certain foretaste of the pinnacle of our existence, of that beatitude for which our whole being yearns.****

                      • Mark

                        If he refutes the Greek thought on Eros, Jim, then why are you also invoking his citation of “what the Greeks called Eros” as if it represents his definition too?? You can’t have it both ways.

                        As for where Benedict says what I’ve said, I’ve already provided the passages where he makes it clear that “Eros and agape can never be separated” and that “love is a single reality with different dimensions that [...] may never be cut off from each other.” But even beyond these conclusive quotes, the whole sweep of the passage, the whole argument he’s making in that section, is that all love is this inseparable dynamic and interplay of Eros and agape.

                      • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                        Wow–actually yes I can have it both ways. Because it is *Benedict* who first refers to the love between man and woman as the “one particular” love that stands out. And I’ve already cited his defining eros that way elsewhere.

                        Benedict says: “Fundamentally, “love” is a single reality, but with different dimensions; at different times, one or other dimension may emerge more clearly. Yet when the two dimensions are totally cut off from one another, the result is a caricature or at least an impoverished form of love.”
                        That much is true–but you offer zero evidence to suggest Benedict *ever* indicating that, among human persons, “eros” means anything but love between a man and a woman.

                      • Mark

                        It means “that sort of love which we think of most of all as between a man and a woman.” That’s never been in question. But it doesn’t mean that is the ONLY eros, and indeed the whole inner-structure of the logic of Benedict’s argument in that section is that while we can start at this place of agape and eros seeming very different and opposed, the more we analyze each and see what their real horizons are, the more we realize that they are in fact two sides of the same coin, two halves of the same dialectic, “ascending love and descending love” that ultimately part of the same process. In ALL love.

                      • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                        Benedict has *never* said that eros is “that sort of love which we think of most of all as between a man and a woman.” Never.
                        You’re trying to carve out wiggle room for a sexual love that is homo-eros and not eros, and it’s just not there. Homo-eros remains a disordered impulse because it’s a sexual impulse that lacks the complementarity essential to an authentic eros which is the gift of love between a man and a woman.

                      • Mark

                        Well now were back again to confusing “sexuality” and “Eros.” I don’t know why you’re insisting that gay necessarily involves “sexual” love, except in the sense that it’s a love that takes note of sex(as in male or female). But then, all love does as the catechism says; men can (indeed have to) love men AS men, not just as disembodied “people.” It’s just that for gays this is experienced with a frequency or to a degree that suggests a different vocation, just like if a straight man who finds himself focusing more on God and church matters than women or daydreams of family life will probably conclude he has a religious rather than marital calling.

                      • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                        No, Mark–the problem is that you are confusing same-sex attraction for *love*. The kind of “eros” Benedict is talking about is *love* and not merely sexual desire. And the eros-*love* he is talking about, relative to human nature, is the love between a man and a woman.

                      • Mark

                        People talking about gay are not (just, nor necessarily) talking about “sexual desire” either. They’re talking about love. Benedict was clear about the fundamental unity of love. His whole point was that it can’t be compartmentalized into distinct “types” with different essences.

                      • Art Deco

                        His whole point was that it can’t be compartmentalized into distinct “types” with different essences.

                        [drums fingers]

                      • Mark

                        Art, the “New Homophiles” have clarified endlessly that they are not “essentialists” when it comes to the gay question. Most seem to be more like constructionists. An essentialist paradigm has been attributed them falsely, but the whole argument for the validity of Gay and of identifying as such is exactly the fundamental unity of the phenomenon of love.

                      • Guest

                        Can any sane person actually think the Pope endorses “gay” love as consistent with anything Catholic? Talk about confusion.

                      • Mark

                        The Pope endorses love, period.

                      • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                        No, Mark–again (and again it seems). Benedict was clear about love’s *difference* and unity–not just its unity.
                        When a “gay” man willfully chooses to “love” a man because of a same-sex attraction that is itself a distortion of authentic sexual desire, then that “love” is a distortion of love and not authentic love.

                      • Jimby

                        The back and forth between the fair, honest, open, and accurate Jim Russell and the complicated, dodgy, and disorienting “Mark” says it all. I’ve read the whole thing, and you should too. It is a model of the tiresome struggle against homosophistry.

                        Keep it up, Jim Russel

                      • Mark

                        Yes and no, Jim. It’s difference is as two poles (“ascending and descending”) that all loves find themselves in tension between (hence, at the same time, their unity).

                        No one is choosing anything when it comes to sexual orientation and, again, “sexual desire” is not necessarily involved in any of this.

                        We’re talking Dante and Beatrice here (even though Dante had a wife…) All love is love. There is no such thing as “too much love.” There are inappropriate EXPRESSIONS of love. But there is never “too much love” between people when that love truly does have both eros and agape.

                        Besides, what sin would you accuse celibate gays of for their attraction? Are you seriously going to say it all falls in the category of “lust”? I think most people would find that a stretch, as most people understand lust intuitively as involving, you know, sexual arousal and desire for sex acts, etc. No one is calling heterosexual “warm fuzzies” the same thing as “lust” (even among the married). You seem to be making up a whole new category of sin here.

                      • Mark

                        I also don’t understand, Jim, your rejection of the idea that the “mystical” eros has anything to do with human eros.

                        As if “Well, sure, the individual soul that has Christ as our bridegroom can have a ‘mystical’ eros with God, but that has nothing to do with human relations.”

                        But that is needlessly compartmentalized. Ratzinger in an earlier article said: Naturally,
                        the Church reads this psalm as a poetic-prophetic representation of
                        Christ’s spousal relationship with his Church. She recognizes Christ as
                        the fairest of men, the grace poured upon his lips points to the inner
                        beauty of his words, the glory of his proclamation. So it is not merely
                        the external beauty of the Redeemer’s appearance that is glorified:
                        rather, the beauty of Truth appears in him, the beauty of God himself
                        who draws us to himself and, at the same time captures us with the wound
                        of Love, the holy passion (“eros”), that enables us to go forth
                        together, with and in the Church his Bride, to meet the Love who calls
                        us.”

                        We have a “holy passion” for Christ. “Fine,” you might say, “But God is different.” Except as members of the Church we are to see Christ in the poor, Christ in our brother, Christ in every human being. This, indeed, is ESSENTIAL to our agape; seeing people as God sees them, seeing them “as Christ.” But given the existence of the mystical eros…how can any of these loves lack the “holy passion” too? How can any of them not be suffused with the same eroticism we have as the bride of Christ?

          • Patrick

            Just to be more precise, I was just trying to describe how what she said seemed to me to make more sense if I interpreted it as meaning sex as an approximate synonym of gender in the phrase “same-sex.” At least in my mind, someone being male has nothing to do with sexuality or sexual actions, being someone who’s mind simply does not make those kinds of connections naturally. Male is their sex, but at least in relation to me (in regards to social interactions or friendships or the like between me and them), there is nothing involving sex (the verb) even remotely involved in that statement.

            But really this does highlight how confusing things can be if there isn’t a conscious bilateral effort to make sure we understand what definition other people are trying to use when they write, especially when dealing with subjects like this when precise meaning is vitally important.

          • DD

            You are being generous in your analysis. All this obfuscation and parsing is about redefining what cannot be redefined.

      • Paul Sho

        The fact is that the majority of the new Homophiles will do anything and say anything to get the Church to legitimize their disordered sexual desires.
        For those who are wise in the ways of the world almost anything can be justified. Thank God for divine Revelation. Where will we be without them? Life would have been ‘short and brutish’.

      • John200

        “…we’ve lost the framework necessary to really discuss the meaning and morality of homosexuality.”

        - precisely as intended.

        I admire good shooting.

      • Robert Gall

        Jim: read Freud.

        • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

          Is this the same “Freud” whose work was rejected by Blessed Pope John Paul II, and whom JPII referred to as one of the “masters of suspicion”?
          I think I’ll pass.
          Mark: read JPII… :-)

    • Evagrius

      Rather than consulting Chris Damian, I would urge anyone suffering from homosexual inclinations to consult St. Peter Damian’s Book of Gomorrah (Liber Gomorrhianus). St. Damian (OSB) was a eleventh century Cardinal and is a Doctor of the Church. His book was approved enthusiastically by Pope Leo IX. The eleventh century turns out to have been not too dissimilar to our own to the extent that clergy and religious orders seem to have been plagued with sodomites as well as clerics who turned a blind eye to or even tacitly approved this sin. St. Damian condemned not only sodomy, but addressed the root cause — homosexual inclinations. Here is what he had to say: “When a male rushes to a male to commit impurity, this is not the natural impulse of the flesh, but only the goad of diabolical impulse. This is why the holy fathers carefully established that sodomists pray together with the deranged since they did not doubt that the sodomists were possessed.” St. Damian’s teaching is entirely consistent with the teaching of the Greek Fathers (the patrimony of both the Eastern and Western churches) on logismoi, i.e. disordered thoughts (of external origin) that are the precursor to sin. As I have posted in response to Austin’s other articles in this series, the Greek fathers counseled that we ignore logismoi. Because logismoi have a demonic origin, if we attempt to dialogue with them, the demons quickly overwhelm our meager defenses. We combat them by seeking refuge in Jesus Christ. The Greek Fathers counseled use of the “Jesus Prayer”: “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me a sinner.” If, however, we admit the logismoi as our own, we become captives to these thoughts. I believe this notion of “captivity” corresponds to St. Damian’s concept of possession. A person afflicted with homosexual inclinations who embraces these logismoi as his own identity becomes quite literally a captive of that identity. I pray, therefore, for “Homophiles” who I fear are unwittingly flirting with unseen “principalities and powers.”

    • CPH

      The RCC is SO gay. Just google “Cardinal Burke”….total queen.

      • DD

        Do all “gays” think everyone is “gay”?

        • John200

          They pretend to, just like they pretend 10% of the population is homo”sex”ual.

          At some point, they will accuse you of being homo”sex”ual because you are corresponding with them in a combox.

          • Mark

            I don’t know who is claiming 10% anymore. I think the general intuition converges at 5% truly homosexual.

            But then, probably, another 10-15% of the population is significantly bisexual (but just able to “ignore” the homosexual “half” if they want).

            • John200

              Thank you for, “another 10-15% of the population is significantly bisexual… .”

              Even sillier than the 10% claim I noted above.

              • Topher

                How would we know? Bi people can “pass” as completely heterosexual if they want. Except when studies look at porn preferences…people are more “bicurious” than they admit on paper, and obviously any number of people “experiment” with all sorts of things behind the scenes even when they are married.

            • ForChristAlone

              If the bisexuals can ignore their homosexual half, why can’t the homosexuals ignore their whole homosexuality? The we won’t have to spend so much ink debating what we all know is nonsense.

              • John200

                Spot on. As soon as you talk sense to these silly fellows, they show themselves full of nonsense. Then they think you are picking on them.

                But yours is a very straightforward proposal.

          • DD

            Part of their syndrome.

        • ForChristAlone

          All homosexuals view the world through the prism of their genitalia. It is really all that matters to them. It’s sad, simply sad.

    • Art Deco

      The Sorosphere sends another pair.

    • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

      Another gem from Pope Benedict:

      ***If the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman, and demands that this order of creation be respected, this is not some antiquated metaphysics. What is involved here is faith in the Creator and a readiness to listen to the “language” of creation. To disregard this would be the self-destruction of man himself, and hence the destruction of God’s own work.
      What is often expressed and understood by the term “gender” ultimately ends up being man’s attempt at self-emancipation from creation and the Creator. Man wants to be his own master, and alone – always and exclusively – to determine everything that concerns him. Yet in this way he lives in opposition to the truth, in opposition to the Creator Spirit.***

      [ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI TO THE MEMBERS OF THE ROMAN CURIA FOR THE TRADITIONAL EXCHANGE OF CHRISTMAS GREETINGS, Clementine Hall, Monday, 22 December 2008]

    • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

      Okay–double coupon day for Pope Benedict quotes [wherein the Holy Father says the Church says NO to "'gender' philosophies"]:

      ****The human being is not a self-sufficient individual nor an anonymous element in the group. Rather he is a unique and unrepeatable person, intrinsically ordered to relationships and sociability. Thus the Church reaffirms her great “yes” to the dignity and beauty of marriage as an expression of the faithful and generous bond between man and woman, and her no to “gender” philosophies, because the reciprocity between male and female is an expression of the beauty of nature willed by the Creator.****

      [ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI TO PARTICIPANTS IN THE PLENARY MEETING OF THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL "COR UNUM", Consistory Hall, Saturday, 19 January 2013]

    • Austin Ruse

      This is a test…because my comments do not seem to be sticking…

    • Geoffrey Miller

      New Homophiles? Really? Are you guys that dedicated to creating new splinter groups among yourselves? This is just plain silly and childish. The people you’re attacking are on your team. They live chaste lives according to the Gospel.

      Yes historical Christian teaching holds that homosexual attractions are intrinsically disordered and acting upon them is wrong. But homosexual attractions often come packaged with other personality components that are very good. The physical brain structure of some men and women with same-sex leanings actually more closely resembles that of the opposite sex. I can’t tell you how valuable it would be to society to harness and embrace the talents of these unique persons. The way they think, feel, and process information combines both male and female neurophysiology.

      If you think about being gay as going beyond just sexual attraction, then there are indeed gay people. And I see nothing wrong with giving a name to this difference.

      http://lestweforgetourselves.wordpress.com

      • ObiJuan

        So we must embrace the whole “Gay Package,” intrinsic disorder and all? That just about sums up the New Homophile position, to my mind.

        • Geoffrey Miller

          That’s not what I said. The sexual impulse is disordered; other things that come from the difference in brain structure and conditioning may not be. Thus, I don’t see any substantive difference between you and your alleged opponents.

          Have you read one of their books? Then, if you have not read their position for understanding, how can you properly criticize it? Aquinas read his opponents first before arguing against them.

          http://www.amazon.com/Sexual-Authenticity-Reflection-Homosexuality-Catholicism/dp/1592764932

          • ObiJuan

            I’ve read their writings. You can’t read First Things, Patheos, Public Discourse, etc without stumbling across a New Homophile every so often. While their musings go in various directions, the common denominator is labeling oneself and others by the temptation to homosexual vice. As I said earlier, people who are tempted to have intercourse with women to whom they are
            not married are not “adulterals”. People who are tempted to say bad
            things about others behind their backs are not “detractuals.” This is nonsense. Words matter.

            • Geoffrey Miller

              Well, when you put it that way…I really can’t argue with your logic. I guess there is just a modern preference for categorizing people according to impulses rather than actions. And this does seem somewhat problematic.

              • Giauz Ragnarock

                I do wonder why this seems problematic? I know that I am straight based on girls being the only people to ‘catch my fancy’. Lust after women is the only kind of sexual struggle in the time of my life that I have ever had to deal with. I have never dated a girl- though I did have really close kinship that I thought would lead to dating with one girl before we went off to college- nor had sex. I have had family tell me that people will talk about me as gay, and now that I have really gotten to know LGBT people and support their civil rights, that stipulation of stigmatic talk only looking at outer person and actions without considering an actual person with thoughts complex as any one of us has reinforced my current position that no heteronormative religious person has ever known what they were talking about and no guiding moral presence beyond what was allowed and reinforced by society has ever been present. You may disregard my atheism in the last part, but all current heteronormative conclusions are based on profound elevation of ourselves: how many of us special, “normal” people there are.

                • Guest

                  You simply want to deny reality.

                  • Giauz Ragnarock

                    I would have to have “reality” in front of me for anyone to be sure I was denying such rather than your little quip. If Jesus were present to confirm or deny every little thing that happens in the Bible and all interpretations there of (or if we just got some things wrong completely) we could actually decide whether to start a relationship with him or not. As a counterexample to the widely held “if we knew for sure we wouldn’t have a choice” argument: I know that terrorist leaders exist. If a terrorist leader were to hold a gun in my hand and aim it at my mother’s body parts until she died in suffering agony unless I followed him/his god to obediently do whatever he wanted (even if it was as benign as cleaning his house), I would have to deny him. At that point in time the terrorist leader is omnipotent compared to me, and no one is coming to help. I cannot follow him because I know his history and all the horrible things he has justified doing and making others like me do, and I know that whether I accepted or refused him it would not take away his power to torture my mother and I anyway. To be of any help to him (even despite when our beliefs and actions do align, such as strong belief in taking care of the needy and being against stealing, etc. that this person might have) would be completely against the sense of wrongness I have in what he is telling me now: “Convert or be harmed.”
                    That last sentence is pretty much the basis of Christianity and all such world-dominating-hopeful religions.

                    • Guest

                      You are a materialist. That limits, severely, your ability to discern the truth.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        You are no less a materialist than I am. We both have the Bible, and I used to have that unwavering trust and loyalty that came from ignorance and discouragement of pointing out non-edifying material. We both go on what we have, thus we are both materialists. The fact that your experience (especially concerning gay people, which I may assume neither one of us are) is only relatable favorably to excuse-makers like you is a great point of my doubt in your experience’s authenticity.

                      • Guest

                        If I were a materialist I would reason as you do. Obviously I do not. How is it you claim I am one? I am using faith and reason.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        Your reason is faulty (also irrelevant considering even if proven utterly wrong faith has always been all you ever needed, right?), and faith, the absolute trust and loyalty in the context of an ideology, is something you have that actually exists or are you saying that it does not? I can assure you that you can show your faith exists through your speech and actions, but my perspective formed over the years is that faith is self-serving, insincere, and ultimately backed by the fear of “what if you are wrong?” (that is the question all people of faith fall back on when talking to a person of another faith or someone they are trying to convince to use *their* faith, is it not?) Therefore faith exists and is observable in concluding (in your bias toward its sincerity) that an ideology is correct or that it is incorrect (seeing as faith has not stood the test of my lifetime of perception). Therefore we are both materialists.

                      • Guest

                        Ah nope.

                        I do not want to go down a rabbit hole as this topic is about homosexuality but just to clarify:

                        “The First Vatican Council teaches, then, that the truth attained by
                        philosophy and the truth of Revelation are neither identical nor mutually
                        exclusive: “There exists a twofold order of knowledge, distinct not
                        only as regards their source, but also as regards their object. With
                        regard to the source, because we know in one by natural reason, in the
                        other by divine faith. With regard to the object, because besides those
                        things which natural reason can attain, there are proposed for our belief
                        mysteries hidden in God which, unless they are divinely revealed, cannot
                        be known”.(7) Based upon God’s testimony and enjoying the
                        supernatural assistance of grace, faith is of an order other than
                        philosophical knowledge which depends upon sense perception and experience
                        and which advances by the light of the intellect alone. Philosophy and the
                        sciences function within the order of natural reason; while faith,
                        enlightened and guided by the Spirit, recognizes in the message of
                        salvation the “fullness of grace and truth” (cf. Jn 1:14)
                        which God has willed to reveal in history and definitively through his
                        Son, Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Jn 5:9; Jn 5:31-32).”

                        Fides et ratio

                      • ObiJuan

                        Fides et Ratio. Amen. Amen.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        Materialism in biased purple prose and sophistry got me out of religion. That you assert Jesus exists and that he thought as you and/or as many others do about homosexuality is a major driving force against the fair treatment of LGBT people we expect for ourselves and are not denied.

                      • Guest

                        You are your own god.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        Are you making this an objective truth, and how do you define god? Does god doubt himself?

                      • Guest

                        You make yourself the sole and final authority. You are the god.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        If I commit a crime I have justifiably disproven my divinity have I not?

              • Mark

                Well, thanks for trying.

                These people can’t seem to get past defining “gay” as anything other than “tempted to have sex with men.” Even though sexual orientation cannot be reduced to that (doesn’t even necessarily include it), and even though it would seem very odd, to me, to define their heterosexuality in a similar way.

                Justin Lee has a great article on this:
                http://gcnjustin.tumblr.com/post/41726126968/tmi

                • Guest

                  Which part of objectively disordered is hard to grasp?

                • ObiJuan

                  Is this Side A Justin Lee? The leader of the GCN camp that would redefine the vice of sodomy into a virtue?

                  • Mark

                    His point remains valid in this case and has nothing to do with A/B.

            • Guest

              Right, and it is not only that. These groups want to walk a fine line and peer over as far as they can while claiming to be true to the faith.

          • Guest

            You can make that argument about many things. That really is not the issue. The point is pathology must be seen as pathology. If you start from a false premise then you go on to make greater errors.

            What if a tendency toward pedophilia was supposedly connected to great film making? Should be see pedophilia in some new way?

      • ForChristAlone

        Unconvincing that disordered anything leads to something worthwhile.

        Accept the disorder and get on with life’s task of saving your soul.

        • Guest

          They do not see the disorder or the sin as that bad. That is the root of the problem. If they accepted the seriousness of the issue there would be less ink spent nuancing and redirecting.

    • Charles Beard

      Dear Mr. Ruse—

      Thanks for this thoughtful essay. I have some serious concerns about some of the points you make, and I’d like to address them numerically below. (I tried to email you privately but couldn’t find an address.) Thank you for your work.

      1. I’ll address your last point first. You pose a question: “Now, do you want your son to talk to Chris Damian, one of the New Homophiles who has said he would tell that young man to ‘Seek to draw yourself more fully into the Church and to discern how this might be a gift in your life and in others’ lives.’ Or do you want him to meet Daniel Mattson and Father Paul Scalia who would tell the boy, ‘You are not your sexual
      inclinations. You are not ‘gay.’ What you are is a man and a Son of God.’”

      I want my sons (and daughter) to hear the first answer…every time. I teach my
      children that every struggle they have is or can be a gift from God to help us
      pursue holiness. If one of them thinks they are gay, or SSA, or whatever, to
      tell them anything other than the first answer would set homosexuality up as
      the exception to the rule. And that’s unconscionable.

      (That is, incidentally, what I think the new homophiles mean by celebrating their gay
      identity. Any gift from God, even a backhanded one that requires redemption, is
      still a gift and worth celebrating. How many saints have celebrated their
      sufferings as gifts?)

      Besides, I’ve seen firsthand the destructive influence of the second answer. The second answer drove my brother from the Church because he thought he’d never be good enough for it. “You are not your sexual inclinations” is frequently heard
      as “You won’t be fully yourself until you become straight.” And that
      goes way, WAY beyond what the Church asks of gay/SSA people.

      2. One of the big hang-ups that I see among orthodox folks who oppose the ideas
      of the new homophiles is the word “gay.” They say that the word
      indicates that a person’s sexual inclinations are the whole of his identity.
      They also think that because something like a “homosexual identity”
      didn’t exist before the 19th century, the homosexual identity is arbitrary, not
      essential to one’s humanity, and therefore a distraction from the pursuit of
      holiness. This has never made any sense to me.

      In one sense, it’s true. A cultural identity—even one rooted in deeply felt
      emotions experienced by many people—isn’t essential to one’s humanity or the
      pursuit of holiness. But the implication seems to be that arbitrary cultures
      are never helpful in the pursuit of holiness. And this is false.

      To use a parallel example, I am Southern. That identity was created out of a
      series of cultural and linguistic circumstances that were present in the
      18th-19th centuries but now are largely gone. These cultural and linguistic
      circumstances combined with attachment to an economic reality—chattel
      slavery—and created the identity. In other words, I belong to a culture that
      isn’t much older than the “homosexual identity” and whose foundation
      is hard to separate from a much greater sin than sodomy.

      But none of that changes the fact that I am Southern. My Southernness is part of my
      own experience and thus how I relate to God and to other people. That includes
      both positive aspects (respect for authority, attachment to land and place) and
      negative (a certain blindness to race, a tendency to think anything new
      “just ain’t right”). It’s not the whole of me any more than a
      gay identity is the whole of a gay person, but both are important parts that
      shouldn’t be ignored.

      Moreover, the Church itself acknowledges that arbitrary cultural identity is part of the
      pursuit of holiness. Take the Mozarabic rite, for example. It developed an
      independent identity because of historical accident—the Muslim conquest of
      Spain. So basically, the critics of the new homophiles are saying by
      implication that if your ancestors were conquered by the Umayyad Caliphs, you
      can have a distinct liturgical rite, theology, spirituality, and mode of
      prayer. If you find that your sexual inclinations are best described as
      “gay” and pursue chastity on that basis, it’s unorthodox to even
      describe the struggle as a gift. That’s contrary to common sense and the
      Church’s historical practice.

      3. Your article is right in that the new homophiles tend to “claim”
      saints as gay, or at least as “what we would now call gay.” That’s
      irritating, but understandable. Maybe St. Aelred was gay; maybe he wasn’t.
      Maybe Blessed John Henry Newman was gay; maybe he wasn’t. But these folks are
      looking for saintly role models who had their particular struggles and aren’t
      finding any—or at least any who admitted to it. Until Gerard Manly Hopkins and
      Andy Warhol—a virgin daily Mass attendee—are canonized, that’s just the way
      things are. If the new homophiles find inspiration in these saints, who are we
      to imply that their devotion doesn’t count by loudly proclaiming how “NOT
      GAY” they were?

      4. I think your article quotes Terry Nelson pretty selectively. It’s true that he
      is skeptical of new homophiles, but he’s also said that he thinks it is (or can
      be) a good thing for two homosexual men to live together chastely if doing so
      helps them pursue holiness. That’s basically what new homophiles are arguing,
      though they’re a lot more comfortable using modern/secular terminology as an
      aid to evangelization.

      5. None of the foregoing should be construed to mean that SSA Catholics have to
      embrace the terminology or theology of the new homophiles to live holy lives.
      (It’s not necessary that a Greek embrace Byzantine theology or that an Irishman
      embrace Celtic monasticism either.) But these particular people do need it, and
      I suspect that most gay folks would before they even begin to consider Catholic
      teaching on sexuality. Various new homophiles, notably Melinda Selmys and
      Gabriel Blanchard, have discussed expecting people to talk and think like us
      before we engage their ideas is poor evangelization.

      7. Speaking of Gabriel Blanchard, I think it’s wise to conclude with something he
      wrote recently, which in my view encapsulates my problem with this article and
      many others like it:

      “The latent premise here would seem to be that, if something is bad or messed up or
      in any way less than ideal, the only thing to do with it is to heap
      vilifications on it, as a faithful Catholic.

      “This seems to me to be not only wrong, but positively and specifically un-Catholic.
      O certe necessarium Adae peccatum, quod Christi morte deletum est! O felix
      culpa, quae talum ac tantem meruit habere Redemptorem! “O sin of Adam,
      necessary indeed, that was destroyed by the death of Christ! O happy guilt,
      that merited such and so great a Redeemer!” Without losing consciousness
      of the distinction between good and evil, and without falling into the trap of
      supposing that we may deliberately accomplish good ends through intrinsically
      evil means, Catholic spirituality has always recognized every shortcoming –
      however trivial or however terrible — as an occasion for grace to operate in a
      new way, to redeem things rather than destroying them. The Crucifixion itself
      was the worst thing that ever happened, after all; and the best.”

      • Guest

        Unfortunately, too many Catholics have been fed a line that only accents a part of Church teaching. How often do we hear that homosexual acts are a sin but the inclination is not? Well, it is true, but it is said and received in such a way that it minimizes the significance of the disorder. The Church has stated that the desire itself may evoke moral concern.

        That the desire is not sinful does not mean serious moral issues are not connected to this aspect of the problem. The desire is not like being Southern, or blue -eyed, or left handed.

        The new “style” of calling this cross a gift is likewise often misleading and an attempt to minimize the moral aspect of it. Certainly crosses, well lived, can be a type of gift but that theology must be accented on both sides of the equation and taught as the Church does not as some want it advertized.

        Pedophilia is a gift. Desire to gossip is a gift. We can go on and on but the new Homophiles are trying to spin this issue. I cannot judge their motives, but their plan is certainly not consistent with Church teaching. It is consistent with political ideology though.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Why do I find the biggest promoters of pedophilia, drunkenness, adultery, fornication, polygamy (what Jesus supposedly used to make his human body), incest (what Jesus supposedly used to make his human body), etc. are Christians, finding their logic ever so tight if gay marriage is ever recognized as a civil right (wanting people to make slippery slope fallacy be redefined as truth).

          • Guest

            You must compare equal items. Why is this hard to grasp?

            • Giauz Ragnarock

              Assuming you have a pre-adolescent son, and you find an older man and he “having sex”, you would rightly tell him, “Get out from under that man and stop molesting him you little pedophile!” Your son and other children like him feel ostracized and misunderstood, so they form political protests for the right to molest adults, which they loose complete interest in as the adults grow younger into children. Does that sound right to you? I understand that this is completely comparable to two gay adults of the same gender wanting to be together.

              • Guest

                Are you claiming consent makes evil good? Seems absurd. Is consent you god?

                • Giauz Ragnarock

                  Incorrect, I used black humor to put your immorally skewed perception of reality on display.

                  • Guest

                    As I said you view consent as morally justifying evil behavior.

                    • Giauz Ragnarock

                      I’d like to know how gay people of the same gender being together is anymore evil than two “traditionally” married people being together… other than Jesus has a flaming torch and some gasoline ready to torture them with, which makes me wonder how that is not evil.

                      • ObiJuan

                        Giauz, to paraphrase someone else’s comment, if you’re genuinely interested in another’s position, you don’t caricature it.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        Does his position basically say, “If two gay adults of the same gender get married, they will go to hell because Jesus thinks he should do that to them”? What can I learn from that? What possible good thing can I take away from harming others is good for reasons that bring the harmed joy and do not harm others?

                      • Guest

                        You are a materialist so you measure by reductionist standards. As long as no one has their house burned down all is ok.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        What makes it not OK? If your answer is, “They go to hell,” well, there you go! The one targeting them for harm, Jesus, is the only immoral element in that narrative.

        • Charles Beard

          Of course they are gifts. All is gift. To say otherwise is contrary to Church teaching.

          One example I like to give is St. Paul. He was a hothead given to rash judgment and pigheadedness. Yet God took that and turned it into zeal for the Gospel. How can homosexuality be different? It is not in a special class by itself. It seems to me that new homophiles are trying to fit their temptation to homosexuality within the framework of broader Church teaching. What could be more laudable than that?

          I agree that “theology must be accented on both sides.” My point–and I suspect the point of new homophiles–is that the moral end of the equation has been overemphasized.

          • Guest

            To not use the language of “gift” is not contrary to Church teaching. If you claim it is please point it out to us. It would be part of God’s permissive will as a type of physical evil that is allowed. Yes God can bring good out of it but the modern use of the “gift” language must be explained.

            As I said crosses, properly lived, may be a source of holiness. To attempt to create a new and false “gift” theology out of disordered attraction is not right. Please show us where the Church as stated such a theology of disordered gifts has ever existed?

            And I disagree the moral aspect has been over emphasized. It is the exact opposite. That is why the Vatican has had to write several documents to correct all the false propaganda going around.

            Now we have a new propaganda that seeks to emphasize distorted desires as a gift to be celebrated.

            • Charles Beard

              I’d be happy to provide citation. From the Catechism:

              312 In time we can discover that God in his almighty providence can bring a good from the consequences of an evil, even a moral evil, caused by his creatures: “It was not you”, said Joseph to his brothers, “who sent me here, but God. . . You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive.” From the greatest moral evil ever committed – the rejection and murder of God’s only Son, caused by the sins of all men – God, by his grace that “abounded all the more”, brought the greatest of goods: the glorification of Christ and our redemption. But for all that, evil never becomes a good.

              313 “We know that in everything God works for good for those who love him.” The constant witness of the saints confirms this truth:

              St. Catherine of Siena said to “those who are scandalized and rebel against what happens to them”: “Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind.”

              St. Thomas More, shortly before his martyrdom, consoled his daughter: “Nothing can come but that that God wills. And I make me very sure that whatsoever that be, seem it never so bad in sight, it shall indeed be the best.”

              Dame Julian of Norwich: “Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly keep me in the faith. . . and that at the same time I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in what our Lord shewed in this time – that ‘all manner [of] thing shall be well.’”

              *end quote*

              If, as St. Catherine says, “all is ordained toward the salvation of man,” we must include all temptations–including homosexuality. Evil doesn’t become good, but our tendency toward (any) evil is redeemable as a gift from God.

              • Guest

                None of that answers my assertion. I have said that God has a permissive will that allows physical evils and moral evils. I said he may bring good out of them. That is not at issue.

                Where is this teaching that disordered desires are to be viewed as gifts and celebrated? We offer up our sufferings.

                What you quote is traditional teaching. What the so called homophiles want is something different. If there is no difference we would not be having this debate right now.

                • Charles Beard

                  Whether it’s God’s permissive will or perfect will is an academic and ultimately irrelevant question. This temptation is the will of God for certain people just like the temptation to, say, unjust anger is the will of God for me. I’m probably not going to overcome it in this life. In the meantime, I’m going to try to find God in that temptation. At my best, I can redirect anger to just ends, just as the new homophiles can redirect their temptation toward positive ends. We should encourage them in that redirection.

                  I kind of chuckled when you said “If there is no difference we would not be having this debate now.” I don’t think we disagree that much, and I don’t think you disagree with the new homophiles that much. The new homophiles want to pursue chastity in in accordance with Church teaching. So do you. They are just more willing to celebrate their “felix culpa” or “eucastrophe” than some are comfortable with. I understand if that makes some uncomfortable, but it’s a perfectly Catholic thing to do (as anyone who’s sung to Exsultet will tell you)…and if it helps them pursue holiness, well, we should let them do it!

                  • DD

                    The distinction I mention is not academic. God ordained heterosexual attraction. It is good. He did not ordain homosexual attraction. It is not good. The so called homophiles want to parse this disordered attraction in such way as to make it seem it is good. It cannot be so.

                    How individuals deal with it in terms of uniting their suffering with Christ is one thing, but attempting to make it seem more than it is is quite another.

                    It is an attraction not ordered to the good whether genital actions take place or not.
                    You may have chuckled but this issue is no small matter. If they accepted Church teaching there would be nothing to discuss. But, they do not.

              • Guest

                On The Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons:

                “Nevertheless, increasing numbers of people today, even within
                the Church, are bringing enormous pressure to bear on the Church to accept the
                homosexual condition as though it were not disordered and to condone homosexual
                activity. Those within the Church who argue in this fashion often have close
                ties with those with similar views outside it. These latter groups are guided by
                a vision opposed to the truth about the human person, which is fully disclosed
                in the mystery of Christ. They reflect, even if not entirely consciously, a
                materialistic ideology which denies the transcendent nature of the human person
                as well as the supernatural vocation of every individual.

                The Church’s ministers must ensure that homosexual persons in
                their care will not be misled by this point of view, so profoundly opposed to
                the teaching of the Church. But the risk is great and there are many who seek to
                create confusion regarding the Church’s position, and then to use that confusion
                to their own advantage.

                There is an effort in some countries to manipulate the Church by
                gaining the often well-intentioned support of her pastors with a view to
                changing civil-statutes and laws. This is done in order to conform to these
                pressure groups’ concept that homosexuality is at least a completely harmless,
                if not an entirely good, thing. Even when the practice of homosexuality may
                seriously threaten the lives and well-being of a large number of people, its
                advocates remain undeterred and refuse to consider the magnitude of the risks
                involved.

                A careful
                examination of their public statements and the activities they promote reveals a
                studied ambiguity by which they attempt to mislead the pastors and the faithful.
                For example, they may present the teaching of the Magisterium, but only as if it
                were an optional source for the formation of one’s conscience. Its specific
                authority is not recognized. Some of these groups will use the word
                “Catholic” to describe either the organization or its intended
                members, yet they do not defend and promote the teaching of the Magisterium;
                indeed, they even openly attack it. While their members may claim a desire to
                conform their lives to the teaching of Jesus, in fact they abandon the teaching
                of his Church. This contradictory action should not have the support of the
                Bishops in any way.”

              • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                The key to your assertion is the word “redeemable”–how does “redemption” occur–the evil and disorder (the temptations) get *crucified* on the Cross of Christ and *die*. This is the nature of the redemption we need to seek. We don’t “celebrate” temptation–we crucify it and rise with Christ to new life.

                • Charles Beard

                  Jim–I hope you’re not saying that the homosexual temptation has to end in order to be redeemed? We don’t treat any other sin that way. We pick our crosses daily and follow Him. In the meantime, He transforms our weaknesses into ways to encounter Him. “My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

                  If the temptation helps gay Catholics relate to God in a unique way–by, for example, having a better understanding of disinterested friendship than they otherwise would–that’s a good thing and a gift. That’s God bringing good out of the temptation. Why can’t that be acknowledged?

                  • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                    No, I’m saying that, like every other *temptation* to sin, we have to crucify the temptation rather than engage it in our will. That’s what we are supposed to do with every disordered desire. We need to *surrender* that temptation to the Cross of Christ.
                    I’m also saying that *disinterested* friendship is in no way built upon disordered eros or temptation to sin. That means that *disinterested* friendship is not built upon same-sex attraction.

                    • Charles Beard

                      “I’m also saying that *disinterested* friendship is in no way built upon disordered eros or temptation to sin. That means that *disinterested* friendship is not built upon same-sex attraction.”

                      I don’t think that’s reconcilable with the Catechism, since it specifically encourages homosexual persons to pursue disinterested friendship.

                      • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                        I would assert that–by *definition*–”disinterested friendship” excludes the very concept of “eros” defined and described by Pope Benedict in his encyclical “Deus Caritas Est” (and in JPII’s TOB corpus). Eros is, by definition, *self*-interested love. And same-sex attraction is a disordered form of authentic eros. Disinterested friendship might be “philia” or “agape” but not eros.
                        Perhaps “spiritual friendship” is less apropos than the correct understanding of “disinterested friendship”?
                        ***2359–Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.***

                      • Mark

                        So people are allowed to have self-interested love but only I’m the context of a straight marriage ???

                      • John200

                        Let that be your starting point on Catholic thought. You could learn something useful.

        • Patrick

          It is a good point that many do not hear the full teaching.
          How often do we hear that homosexual acts are a sin, but do not hear that we must still treat people with homosexual inclinations with respect, compassion, and sensitivity?

          I have almost never heard that second half from the pulpit, even just in comparison to the number of times I have heard the first.

          • Guest

            It is the exact opposite. We never hear that homosexual acts are grave and that the attraction is unnatural. We only hear we must accept homosexual persons without explaining the significant theology involved.

            • Patrick

              I’m… not sure what planet you’re living on, then.

              EVERYONE knows the Church holds that it is a disordered inclination and that the acts are gravely sinful.

              It’s been a major recurring topic of homilies and letters from the Bishops and Catholic education (both for teenagers and adults) since before I was old enough to know what they were talking about.

              I kind of doubt there is a single adult in America who is unaware of that particular bit of the Catechism, at least indirectly.

              But I could count the number of times I’ve heard the following paragraph of the Catechism in a Bishop’s letter or a sermon even indirectly on one hand and have most of the fingers left over.
              And I’ve been known to nearly have panic attacks if I realize I’m going to be late for Mass because of traffic, so it’s not from lack of listening.

              • Guest

                It is common knowledge this topic is rarely discussed in homilies. The masses may have a vague idea about the Church being against homosexuality but it is vague. Many so called Catholics favor “gay” marriage which shows the lack of catechsis and disproves your position.

                People mostly form their conscience via pop culture. They ingest the gay propaganda points well.

                • Patrick

                  I guess the homilies in your diocese are different than those here in the midwest. That’s plausible.

                  But I don’t know ANYONE who isn’t reasonably familiar with the Church’s position on the issue.

                  Lots of people *disagree,* but that’s a whole different matter.

                  I have met a young girl raised in a non-Christian household who had never heard of the Rosary before, but still demonstrated an accurate understanding that the Church considers homosexuality disordered and considers homosexual acts to be sinful.

                  Yet until the past year, every single time I mentioned the following paragraph of the Catechism, at least one Catholic was convinced I was lying and making things up until I linked them to an online version.

                  Every time.

                  That’s some terribly incomplete education a lot of Catholics are getting.

        • Mark

          Once again, gayness is being reduced to “a temptation to have gay sex”…which is simply not what it is, even if sometimes homosexual orientation has its lusts just like heterosexual orientation has its lusts. But attraction is not reducible to “a temptation/desire to have sex with” in either case.

          • Guest

            The attraction to the same is is disordered. It is not as God ordained. Heterosexual desire is ordained by God. To compare homosexual inclination to normal heterosexual inclination as if they are equivalent is not Catholic.

            • Mark

              To compare gay acts to straight sex is not Catholic; they are not equivalent.

              But love? Love is love.

              • Guest

                Love as defined by the Church is not same sex attracted. That is a disorder.

      • Paul Sho

        You are a southerner but expressing your southerness is not an abomination. Herein is the crux of the matter. The goal of gayness is the actualization of grave sin; why then will a Catholic want to label himself gay?

        • Charles Beard

          The goal of gayness isn’t the actualization of grave sin. It’s simply an acknowledgement that a particular attraction/temptation exists.

          These New Homophiles are pursuing chastity. Some of them no doubt have been chaste their whole lives, while others treat it as an ongoing struggle. But they pursue the goal that the Church asks. What I don’t understand is why people are jumping on the vocabulary they use when, well, it’s working. C.S. Lewis warned us against acting high and mighty about the way people deal with temptations we ourselves aren’t subject to. I think that’s sage advice.

          • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

            Chastity requires a surrendering of the temptation to same-sex attraction.

            • Charles Beard

              What do you mean by surrendering then? Giving it to Christ? I would say that the new homophiles do that.

              Do you mean something else? Then please explain.

              • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                I would hope the “new homophiles” mean “surrendering” the temptation of same-sex attraction in the sense of letting it be crucified and thus destroyed without engaging the attraction in the will. But I am told that instead of this “surrendering” the “new homophile” approach (at least for some) is to *redirect* the attraction–sublimate it, don’t reject it in your human will. This is why I’m told the *only* homosexual inclination that should be considered disordered is the temptation to homogenital sex acts (and that this is what the Church really teaches). Thus *other* forms of same-sex attraction are proposed as *not* disordered (e.g., does a man want to date a boyfriend? go ahead–just don’t engage in homogenital sex. Want to be a “chaste gay couple”? then live together without sexual activity. Developing a crush on another gay man? Okay, just don’t get “physical”.).
                Put more simply, I’m left with the conclusion that “spiritual friendship” is not totally free of same-sex “romance” even if it is free of homogenital sex acts.
                Part of my deep interest in the “new homophiles” is the hope of fully resolving the questions related to this confusion, using the coherent teachings of the magisterium on human sexuality.

                • Charles Beard

                  Jim, that’s a pretty good summary of the new homophile position. And it is completely in accord with the magisterium. The Church has always condemned sodomy but has never said anything about the other matters you describe.

                  As an aside, I’ve found with my own temptations that crucifying them to a large extent means sublimating them. Sublimation seems to me a secular way of saying “letting God bring good out of any situation.”

                  • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                    So are you saying that the Church’s magisterium is in *favor* of a “romantic” relationship between two men as long as they don’t engage in sodomy?

                    • DD

                      That seems to be the position of many. It is reductionist and not Catholic.

                      • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                        DD–I couldn’t agree more. If that’s what is being asserted, then it would frankly seem that common sense would militate against such a conclusion. No such luck, apparently–but even lacking a common-sense rejection of the assertion, the fact that *nothing* in 2000 years of authoritative teaching from Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterium supports it should give one pause, in my view….

                      • DD

                        IMO, the fundamental problem with this issue is that they do not view the attraction as a significant problem. The claim to view the acts as a problem. The point is that even if the attraction does not carry culpability it is still contrary to nature.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        “Sin exists” ergo Jesus gave them (and some from many species of animal) an attraction “contrary to nature”? HAHA, WHAT?!!?

                      • Guest

                        More confusion from the facile club. Jesus does not ordain sin. We live in a fallen world. Your reductionist, and primitive, view of the word nature is the basis for your confusion.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        Jesus ordains “sin” in as much as there is “sin” that he himself can’t be bothered to speak with us about.

                      • Guest

                        Huh?

                    • Mark

                      “Romance” is an entirely historically contingent construct, Jim. That’s probably part of the problem of misunderstanding too.

                      For example:
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romantic_friendship

                      It is only, again, in the past 150 or so years (the same time frame as the emergence of the sexual orientation construct, btw) that the imagery and intensity that we associate with “romance” has been bootstrapped exclusively to “the kind of love that also involves sex and marriage as a conceptual necessity.”

                      In our conversation above, I think this bootstrapping is part of why you have trouble “wrapping your head around” a more expansive notion of eros.

                      There is no such thing as “too much love” between people, in itself, all other things being equal. David is allowed to love Jonathan “more than a woman.” Only EXPRESSIONS of love can be inappropriate.

                      • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                        Mark–you’re simply not making any sense. You want people to believe–with no shred of evidence whatsoever–that the Church is just fine with two people of the same sex being “romantically” involved?

                        And you cite David and Jonathan? See my comment below on that (a comment that, btw, the people at the Spiritual Friendship blog have refused to publish at their site).

                        [The questioner at "Spiritual Friendship" directly asked me for an explanation of David/Jonathan]:
                        Sure–Leviticus 19:18: “You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.”

                        This is the kind of love that 1 Samuel says David and Jonathan had for each other–each loved the other “as himself.”

                        This is also the kind of love that Jesus says we are all called to.

                        This is agape. It is not eros. The love between David and Jonathan that David said was more “precious” than David’s experience of love “for women” was agape.

                      • Mark

                        If you define “eros” as “that love which is ‘about’ sexual union” then your point is tautological and this debate is merely semantic. If by “eros” you mean, by definition, “marital love”…then your point is true but purely circular.

                        However, most people understand “eros” first as a particular phenomenological experience that has no such “determination” yet. And in that case you are trying to make an argument that a certain experience (ie, a certain set of scripts and images) is necessarily bootstrapped to sex and appropriate only for certain types of relationships, etc.

                        But that’s nowhere to be found in Church teaching. The Church has never taught that, all else being equal and all other priorities appropriately taken care of, that it is possible to love a person “too much” or “too intensely.”

                        Nor has the Church ever prescribed or proscribed a whole SCRIPT of love. The Church has taught that SEX ACTS are appropriate only in one context. It has never ruled on the whole wide and socially constructed and historically contingent SCRIPT that we call things like “romance,” for one because it is not definable by any one essence but is simply a concatination of different elements all of which may be non-controversial in themselves.

                      • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                        You really couldn’t be more wrong on this, Mark. I’m using the definition of “eros” magisterially presented by Pope Benedict: “the gift of love between a man and a woman.” This is the *only* context within which Benedict presents the “eros” of *human* love–one man and one woman.

                        Benedict even says: “The awareness that sexuality, eros and marriage as a union between a man and a woman go together–’and they become one flesh’ (Gn 2:24)–this knowledge is growing weaker and weaker; every type of bond seems entirely normal–they represent a sort of overall morality of non-discrimination and a form of freedom due to man.” (Pope Benedict, 9 Nov 2006)

                        Soooo….tell me again how the Church doesn’t teach that “eros” isn’t “bootstrapped to sex and appropriate only for certain types of relationships”….???

                      • Guest

                        This is all nonsense. People will go to any length to get homosexual ideology affirmed.

                    • Charles Beard

                      I don’t think “romantic” is the right word. The new homophiles use the language of spiritual friendship, which–it must be said–sounds awfully romantic to modern ears.

                      But assuming romance and spiritual friendship are comparable

                      ideas, I’d say the magisterium is at least neutral on the matter.

                      • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                        Modern ears are the only ears I’ve got. It sounds “romantic” because the claim is that these friendships are built upon the very same-sex attraction that persons experience in place of *opposite-sex* attraction. This means that there is a sexual component to the attraction–there is a disordered “eros” at work.
                        This is all in contrast to the CCC reference to *disinterested* friendship, which by definition would mean ordered “agape” and not disordered “eros.”
                        But what positive evidence can you provide to support your assertion that the magisterium “is at least neutral on the matter”? I’ve certainly never seen evidence to that effect and instead have seen and shared magisterial evidence to the contrary.

                      • Guest

                        The evidence is such ideology is condemned. It is nothing but post modern nonsense. Living as brothers ought to live is not “gay”, homosexual, or unnatural. Claiming that a seriously disordered attraction can now be transformed into some new notion of “love” is not consistent with any Church teaching.

                      • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                        Agree. The positive evidence is profoundly against any “eros”-involved “spiritual friendship” among persons of the same sex…

                      • Paul Sho

                        The church under no circumstance can be in *favor* of any relationship between two men, that has even a hint of romance or sex.
                        The very POSSIBILTY of romance or sex between two men is already anathema in and of itself.
                        .

                        “if your right hand causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away”

      • Mark

        Thank you, Charles. You “get it.” :)

    • William_JamesIi

      “You are not your sexual inclinations. You are not ‘gay.’ What you are is a man and a Son of God.”

      What a destructive thing to say to a young man who could really be gay. Shame.

      • Guest

        You are confused.

        • William_JamesIi

          I’m confused? No. There is no confusion. This article is filled with bigotry.

          • Guest

            Is the truth now bigotry?

            • William_JamesIi

              Tell me what you believe to be true and I will tell you if you are a bigot.

              • ObiJuan

                Well it’s clear you believe that Catholic Church teaching is itself bigoted. So I don’t see much use for the “bigot/no bigot” game.

                • William_JamesIi

                  I believe that Catholic teaching that states that homosexuality is disordered is antiquated and very seriously wrong, divisive and destructive.

                  • ObiJuan

                    I believe the central teaching of the Sexual Revolution, “fulfill thy desires,” is very seriously wrong, divisive, and destructive.

                    • William_JamesIi

                      You would believe that. Nonetheless, looking at homosexuality as a disorder, instead of just the way some people just happen to be without making disparaging judgments about them, has put the Catholic Church on the outside looking in. It is no longer looked to for moral guidance and there are other churches that will receive homosexuals with open and loving embraces and will accept, or even perform, their marriages.

                      • Guest

                        Not perceiving what is natural or unnatural is the result of a deformed or poorly developed conscience.

                      • William_JamesIi

                        First of all, we all choose unnatural over natural every time we choose plastic over paper. It doesn’t make us evil.

                        Secondly, who are you to tell anyone that what they are feeling is not “Natural” ????

                      • Guest

                        You are still confused. Natural does not mean only discriminating between man made and organic. Natural also refers to man’s true nature and that is known from right reason.

                        Who are you to tell me I may not speak the truth????

                      • William_JamesIi

                        It is well known from “right reason” that certain types of religious people are just homophobic due to their faith and that there is nothing that can be done for them unless they are deprogrammed if that is possible. I haven’t the time or the interest to try to do that.

                      • Art Deco

                        No one here wants your attention, your company, or your asinine judgment.

                      • William_JamesIi

                        The truth hurts. Ciao.

                      • Guest

                        There is no such thing as homopbobia. That is a contrived “gay” term used to attempt to discredit those who stand with moral correctness.

                      • William_JamesIi

                        That’s like a bigot saying there is no such thing as bigotry. For those who understand the meaning of the word, you are one. It doesn’t matter that you think there is no such thing. You’re just in denial.

                      • Guest

                        No, what you are saying is that evil is good. You are a relativist.

                  • ForChristAlone

                    You are left, then, to live in your ‘make-believe’ world. What you need now is no further dialogue but prayer.

              • ForChristAlone

                You do not get to determine what is bigotry. Are you a member of the bigotry police?

                • Guest

                  The tyranny of relativism.

                • William_JamesIi

                  Anyone with that much disdain for homosexuals is definitely a bigot by any respectable person’s definition. The Church teaches that we must treat homosexuals with respect.

                  • Guest

                    The Church says that the gay lobby uses Church teaching erroneously to silence any criticism of homosexual behavior. Do not try and invert Church teaching to promote evil.

              • Guest

                Who is your authority?

                • William_JamesIi

                  Me. I can tell a bigot when I see one. It is a person with ingrained prejudices against others who might be different.

                  • Guest

                    I see. So, if one is against promoting arson they are a bigot. Got it.

                    • William_JamesIi

                      Look. People who are against the rights of homosexuals are bigots. There is not even any debate about it in educated circles.

                      • Guest

                        Look, misfits believe all sorts of stupid things. That does not make them correct. BTW, simply being credentialed in some technical field hardly makes one “educated” in any real sense.

                      • William_JamesIi

                        Gays are not the “misfits” in our society. That distinction goes to religious zealots of all faiths.

                      • Art Deco

                        There are almost no ‘religious zealots’ in this country.

                        Homosexuals will always be misfits because the task of building a domestic life and raising a family will always be beyond them (aside from the subsidiary disfigurements of character that attend sexual perversions).

                      • William_JamesIi

                        Really. No religious zealots. And gays are misfits. It doesn’t get much more unenlightened and narrow-minded than that.

                      • Guest

                        I did not say “gays” were misfits. I said there are credentialed misfits. I know higher learning may not be your strength.

                      • Guest

                        Any “expert” that promotes evil ideologies is a type of misfit be he/she “gay” or not.

                      • William_JamesIi

                        I think you are the one with the evil ideology. It cracks me up when people have this “God is on our side” attitude and then resort to bigotry and intolerance. So typical.

                      • Guest

                        You are a bigot. God is not on my side. I bind myself to Him.

                    • William_JamesIi

                      You really can’t see the difference between arson and homosexuality. The Church has really messed you up.

                      • Guest

                        Promoting immoral behavior is evil. Period.

          • ForChristAlone

            You are making this up out of whole cloth. Wishful thinking does not make something a reality.

            • William_JamesIi

              Do the research yourself. The idea of homosexuality being a disorder is almost universally rejected by anyone who is not influenced by a religion incapable of assimilating new information from experts because it is stuck with having to uphold the belief that it is infallible and is therefore completely unable to admit that it can ever be wrong.

              • Guest

                The “experts” are merely credentialed misfits who embrace ideology as science.

                • William_JamesIi

                  Oh. So you don’t believe the experts in their respective disciplines. All that education and experience means nothing to you. Then don’t go to a doctor when you get sick.

                  • Guest

                    If the doctor tells you to ingest poison do you do so? I guess for the low information person they must follow what their overlords tell them. Some of us are not lemmings.

                    • William_JamesIi

                      People who follow their doctors advice are not lemmings. People who follow every teaching of a religion and don’t think for themselves are the real lemmings. You obviously didn’t think that one out. Lemmings? For following doctors orders? Really?

                      • Guest

                        You are still confused. The teachings of the Church are based in objective truth. No one stops thinking. In fact, some of the smartest people who ever lived were faithful Catholics. The Church gave us the university system, hospitals, and much more than made Western civilization.

                        Now, there is legitimate medicine and illegitimate medicine. Just because one sees a physician does not mean one stops thinking unless they follow your advice which means we all must accept abortion/murder, contraception, homosexualization, and much more based on “doctors” orders. Not all doctors are biased or utilitarians. You want a simple-minded/non thinking lemming to say oh yes doctor yes, yes I accept your authority that tells me perverted acts are wonderful. That is your understanding of “science”. It is credulous and facile.

                      • William_JamesIi

                        “The teachings of the Church are based in objective truth.”

                        There is your problem. You link Church teaching with objective truth. There is no such connection.

                      • Guest

                        As a relativist you only accept your private ideas.

                • William_JamesIi

                  Your whole worldview is one big ideology. Your very comfortable living in la la land. If anyone could learn something from the experts, it is you. And some of your opinions are not even consistent with Church teaching. So you are doubly a fool.

                  • Guest

                    You are very confused. I do not have opinions about Church teachings. You on the other hand reject Church teaching quite clearly.

              • Paul Sho

                It is not in the nature of Catholics is please men or embrace the currently reigning opinions. The Only Expert that matters has spoken through the Prophets, the Apostles and the Fathers. Any expert opinion not in line with these authorities is simply dead in the water.

                • William_JamesIi

                  No. There are true experts in various fields whose expertise does not depend on the Bible, the Church Fathers, the Magesterium or the Pope. You’ve probably had to put your trust in some of them yourself.

                  • Guest

                    The “experts” opinion must be reconciled with truth and logic not simply agitprop and hedonism.

                    • William_JamesIi

                      In almost all cases the experts opinion is based exclusively on truth and logic and is free of religious misconceptions and presuppositions. This is the real world we’re talking about, not religious dogma and doctrine.

                      • Guest

                        If you believe this you know nothing of science or “experts”.

                      • William_JamesIi

                        Experts are closer to knowing the truth about their subjects and studies than you will ever be. That’s what makes them expert. You may be able to question whether a certain person is in fact an expert. But you can’t say that experts don’t know what they are saying or doing. Those who don’t are not experts.

                      • Guest

                        Still confused. An “expert” does not make that person correct on any particular issue. Perhaps the experts were right in forced sterilizations just a few years ago?

                • Giauz Ragnarock

                  Well, then, maybe it should have killed off the abolitionists before they used loose lovey-dovey scripture-supported currently reigning opinions to uproot all the no problem with slavery/could be misconstrued to support slavery (that is quite charitable) scripture that had formed church policy for quite a few thousand years.

                  • Guest

                    That is what happens when moral relativism is your standard.

                    • Giauz Ragnarock

                      Yep, Christians held slaves and said “the Bible is CLEAR that slaves should be faithful to their masters” and all that which we know is crap now! Apparently Hesucks is a moral relativist seeing as he doesn’t just flat-out make it clear all men are created equal, none the complete master of another… but NOW he does, apparently…

                      • Guest

                        Your knowledge, and understanding, of Scripture is evident in your facile and erroneous conclusions. This is not a venue to discuss all of your deficiencies so I suggest you do some research and actually learn about Scripture rather than accept some facile, shallow understanding.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        Then why wasn’t it so simple that Jesus make slavery outlawed (watch:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MFmC6BD1B4) as simple as you think Jesus made gay marriage outlawed?

                      • Guest

                        Not all slavery is intrinsically evil. If you want to learn:

                        Let My People Go: the Catholic Church and Slavery

                        http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?RecNum=1201

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        Your moral relativism is showing- you anti-charity pro-slavery person, you!

                      • Guest

                        You have no idea what you speak of.

              • vsm

                Again: WHAT “new information”?

                • jamesandbill

                  The new information comes from studies by professional psychologists that conclude that homosexuality is not a disorder and that same sex attracted people can live rewarding and fulfilling lives; their biggest problem is dealing with homophobia which is a fear of homosexuality on the part of certain segments of society such as those with strong religious convictions.

                  • DD

                    Propaganda is still propaganda. Homosexuality is unnatural.

                  • vsm

                    Having “strong religious convictions” is entirely consistent with recognizing “that same sex attracted people can live rewarding and fulfilling lives.” The point is that, regardless of how “professional psychologists” choose to label same-sex attraction today (as opposed to how they labeled it yesterday or might tomorrow), the Church has consistently taught that homosexual acts are morally wrong, and that the inclination toward them is a cross to be borne — like any other cross — in, through, and with Christ Himself. We do not celebrate our crosses; we carry them. They are not a good in and of themselves, but God promises to bring good out of them. As such they are redemptive, and a reason to praise Him.

          • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

            Back when I was just a few years old (early 1970s), “we knew from professional psychologists” that homosexuality was a psychological disorder.
            Which “professional psychologists” should a 2000-year-old Church believe???

            • William_JamesIi

              That is only a problem if you present yourself as being infallible. Should the Church revise its stance? No. That would mean that it wasn’t infallible when it was saying what everyone else was saying. But to take the “that’s my story and I’m sticking to it” approach. We might be wrong, but our followers will still see us as infallible and will be wrong too out of loyalty to Holy Mother Church. Time will prove what a poor decision that is.

              • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                My point was simpler–in contrast to the authority of the Church’s magisterium you appealed to the “authority” of “professional psychologists” who actually *flip-flopped* on the status of homosexuality just 40 years ago. Why should anyone appeal to the authority of such a group of “experts”?

                • William_JamesIi

                  I would rather listen to professionals who can admit it when they are wrong based on new data than on anyone claiming to be infallible and sticking to an untenable position. We should run away from anyone claiming infallibility.

                  • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                    Is your assertion that we should run away from anyone claiming infallibility itself an infallible claim, or might you be wrong about it?

                    • William_JamesIi

                      No one is infallible. Least of all a pope who has to stick to dogmas and doctrines that he should know are nonsense. I’m less fallible than the pope. He thinks that Mary was taken up to heaven. I know that is not even possible.

                      • Guest

                        Are these infallible statements?

                      • William_JamesIi

                        No. Infallibility is a fallacy.

                      • Guest

                        Then your statements are dismissed.

                  • vsm

                    WHAT “new data”? It wasn’t a medical decision, but a political one, dictated by the zeitgeist. Cf. G.K. Chesterton: “The Catholic Church is the only thing that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age.”

                  • Art Deco

                    Delineating the norms of human behavior is not a function of physicians. (And while we are at it, psychiatry is is the red-headed stepchild of medical schools).

                    • jamesandbill

                      Delineating the norms of human behavior is the role of psychology. Religion consists of do’s and don’t's derived from ancient traditions that people mistake for divine revelation. It is the psychologists who use the latest studies to determine normalcy.

            • Mark

              Psychological disorder is taking things a further step, Jim. At least you have ground to stand on where the Church speaks of “objectively disorder” as regards homosexual “inclinations.” But that doesn’t mean “psychological disorder” necessarily which has a precise clinical definition relative to normative functioning relative to a given society or culture. Society’s expectations for life have changed.

              • Art Deco

                No, relative to the arbitrary opinions of the mental health trade.

                If you cannot build a domestic life, your function is not normal, but I will not break it to the American Psychiatric Association if you won’t.

                • Guest

                  Yes, the problem is proper a philosophical foundation that is lacking. Scientism is the new god.

              • Guest

                What you are saying is that people lack the proper philosophical and moral moorings to grasp the truth of this matter. That is why “experts” form erroneous conclusions.

              • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

                Is it a “further step” or is it part of the Church’s understanding of homosexuality? You do recall that, when calling homosexual inclinations “objectively disordered,” the CCC earlier states (in CCC 2357) that homosexuality’s “psychological genesis remains largely unexplained”???
                The APA might have decided that homosexuality is not a psychological disorder, but I don’t think the *Church* yet agrees with that change…

      • ForChristAlone

        It is impossible for any young man to “be” gay. There is no identity assigned – objectively or otherwise – to the passions of the genitals.

        • William_JamesIi

          It’s impossible to be gay? Really? That is not consistent with Church teaching. Please read your catechism. Now tell me that it is impossible for a young man to be gay. My son is gay. It is not impossible and it is nothing to be ashamed of.

          • Guest

            Gay is a political term. The CCC uses no such term.

            • William_JamesIi

              You know what “gay” means. I’m not going to play word games with you. Does the catechism say it is impossible for a young man to be a homosexual?

              • Guest

                I posted what the Church teaches. It is clear.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          I’m straight. Genitals are lumps of flesh. My brain centers around the female form and wanting to get to know women and be needed and desired to be known by women.

          For gay people it seems that their minds and the same genitals are just as purposed for their sex- or were you not paying attention to the structures of the genitals in anatomy class. If gay people couldn’t have sex you wouldn’t be able to complain about the sex “Jesus” made their bodies able to have.

          • Guest

            You are a materialist.

            • Giauz Ragnarock

              I don’t see you saying anything bad about that…

              • Guest

                It explains your limited powers of reason.

                • Giauz Ragnarock

                  Give some reasons that do not depend on the faith of a mustard seed and hell…

                  • Guest

                    You will not accept any reasons because you are not open to truth.

                    • Giauz Ragnarock

                      You can’t know if you don’t ask- advice for dating but completely applicable here.

                      • Guest

                        Don’t know? Your posts reveal your attitude.

                      • Giauz Ragnarock

                        Our conversation ends in mere teasing without gain.

        • Guest

          It is a made up political category.

    • Guest

      “10. “Sexual orientation” does not constitute a quality comparable to race,
      ethnic background, etc. in respect to non-discrimination. Unlike these,
      homosexual orientation is an objective disorder (cf. Letter, no. 3) and
      evokes moral concern.

      14. The “sexual orientation” of a person is not comparable to race, sex, age,
      etc. also for another reason than that given above which warrants attention. An
      individual’s sexual orientation is generally not known to others unless he
      publicly identifies himself as having this orientation or unless some overt
      behavior manifests it. As a rule, the majority of homosexually oriented persons
      who seek to lead chaste lives do not publicize their sexual orientation. Hence
      the problem of discrimination in terms of employment, housing, etc., does not
      usually arise.

      Homosexual persons who assert their homosexuality tend to be precisely those who
      judge homosexual behavior or lifestyle to be “either completely harmless, if not
      an entirely good thing” (cf. no. 3), and hence worthy of public approval. It is
      from this quarter that one is more likely to find those who seek to “manipulate
      the Church by gaining the often well-intentioned support of her pastors with a
      view to changing civil statutes and laws” (cf. no. 5), those who use the tactic
      of protesting that “any and all criticism of or reservations about homosexual
      people… are simply diverse forms of unjust discrimination” (cf. no. 9).”

      CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE
      FAITH

      SOME CONSIDERATIONS

      CONCERNING THE RESPONSE TO LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS

      ON THE NON-DISCRIMINATION OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS*

      • Mark

        Ratzinger is a good guy, but he obviously didn’t understand “orientation” as separate from “inclinations.”

        • Guest

          He understands propaganda quite well.

    • ObiJuan

      Much equivocation going on in this thread. In terms of actual sin (none of this impulse nonsense) not all vices are equal. Adultery and fornication are evil acts. But sodomy is thrice so. The adulterer/fornicator is doing something which by its nature is blessed, but is evil in his case because of circumstances. The sodomite is doing something which by its nature is wicked, period. It’s true that
      Christians are having plenty of trouble with sins of sexual incontinence, only a fool would deny that. But Christians who think they can come to a modus vivendi
      with sodomy are not thinking clearly at all. How can we condemn adultery
      when we wink and smile at sodomy?

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        Dolphin safe tuna is a moral evil as long as gay dolphins aren’t being killed!

    • CadaveraVeroInnumero

      Sinning now! Am going to haul out the “sexual continuum” meme. Make a point. Since the
      New Homophiles tell us we need to be speak queerly in order to communicate,
      here I am using the continuum (whole cloth, seamless garment) image. Forgive me.

      Though the concept of a continuum, when fully pictured-out, is circular (meaning, what appears as polar opposites meet – if only on the dark-side of the moon) we’re going to flatten it out. Doing this thought experiment in order to answer a question: Where, what place along the sexual (hemophilic) continuum do the New Homophiles snip, slice their notion of Spiritual Friendship from full-blown, old-fashion homosexuality? Or, using the notion of a sexual continuum as the structural matrix, is it even possible to snip, sluice, and cut one segment of the continuum from the rest, without depriving it of the sexual nourishment which feeds its identity?

      (Must be frank here. I don’t’ read the New Homophiles’ construct of Spiritual Friendship as being devoid of sexuality – and neither do they. So, if I slip into calling it Sexualized
      Friendship, it is meant.)

      On the left pole of the sexual homphilic continuum sits old-fashion homosexuality; on the
      opposing pole – hoping nothing embarrassing migrates from the end –squats the
      New Homophiles’ Spiritual Friendship. The left pole is heavy weighted, crowded with the tragedy and comedy of the “gay life”: the barstool sitters in Folsom St dives, the denizens from Fire Island, the over-represented pretty boys from the theatre district, and, of course, the aging hawks cruising their coupes and sedans on Lower Manhattan and Santa Monica Blvd. For the moment, we’ll ignore the political funny business in D.C. and the hypocrisy over homosexuality in Islamic societies.

      Let’s stab at drawing out the picture of such a gay life.

      In short, what do old fashion homosexuals do? I mean, what acts, conditions, and attitudes define full-blown homosexuality. Let’s focus on the acts. Which are, anal
      intercourse, oral copulation (genital and anal), mutual masturbation, “deep kissing”, and, foreplay behaviors that lead to or stimulate the exhibition of said acts. Not ignoring, but leaving out solitary acts such as masturbation, the viewing of pornography, and the
      recruitment of others – especially if they are innocent of such acts – into their
      behaviors. This is what the Catholic Catechism, and related documents, refers to as the overt sinful acts of homosexuality – the “objects of disorder”, so to speak. Acts which need, if committed, the ministry of confession and absolution.

      Don’t think any New Homophile would disagree. Their personal experience may even add an act or two. When they claim that the obligation for “gay” Catholics is to abstain,
      to be chaste, these are the acts and behaviors that must be firmly put aside. But, as I read the undercurrents of the New Homophile theology, though this old-fashion homosexual pole is certainly quarantined, it is not necessarily snipped and isolated fron the
      persona of the “gay” Catholic as he gives himself over to Spiritual (Sexualized) Friendship. The energy (effusions) from the left pole of old-fashion homosexuality is not necessarily exorcised from establishing the identity of the “gay” Catholic.

      It can’t be. The New Homophiles don’t dare. For doing so would place them in
      the category of being “ex-gay”, those who have made a firm commitment to starve
      all and any nourishment seeping from the left pole of old-fashion homosexuality. For the ex-gay mindset admits to something the New Homphiles refuse to entertain, that the sexual continuum that binds old-fashion homosexuality to the new-fangled notion of Spiritual (Sexualized) Friendship is the CONDITION of homosexuality, itself. The
      above quarantined acts are simply the working out, the enfleshment, of the
      homosexual CONDITION, the near obsessive, compulsive desire of that condition
      to manifest itself. In some sense, the acts are secondary to the condition, for absent
      the CONDITION these acts would not exhibit themselves. In short, they would have been starved. Shriveling up the CONDITION starves the ACTS.

      Yes, the repetitious indulgence of these acts further roots and deepens the condition; but even that is tertiary to the main issue, which is the homosexual CONDITION. Even more, the strenuous effort to refrain from those acts is fraught with struggle, pain and shame, for the diligent work to quarantine those acts from one’s life is handed over to failure and defeat if the homosexual CONDITION is clung to as the defining definition of one’s sexual identity.

      Only by facing the bulging grey elephant in the room – the homosexual CONDITION – can the “gay” Catholic (the New Homophile) obtain victory over sin and its temptation. The fundamental objective disorder in the “gay” Catholic’s life IS the homosexual CONDITION, not his tally or not tally of homosexual acts. It is this CONDITION, through reflection and confession, that must be made hollow by God’s grace and forgiveness . It is this CONDITION – as the Desert Fathers of Egypt taught us – that must be seen as the battlefield on which the “gay” Catholic must fight the assaulting whirlwind demons of Objective Sexual Disorder.

      If Spiritual Friendship is to survive, as an enfleshing vessel of God’s goodness and life, it must pull the threads along that sexual continuum that knits a knot into the left hand pole of homosexuality. Yet, doing so, in spite of any residual tinge of regret, Spiritual Friendship must confess that it is pulling out the fabric of the homosexual condition.

      I also come from an Eastern Orthodox position. All this scrupulous care over the
      preciousness and delicacy of Spiritual Friendship, nourished by a disordered
      sexuality, is a notion that has no spiritual ancestry for me. I try, but I can detect no antecedent in the traditions of the Church – let alone, a warrant from the Genesis of Creation.

      I envision Adam taking the gift of Eve down onto the floor of Eden’s Garden – and it ends there.

      St. Moses the Black of Egypt, pray for us. St. Mary of Egypt teach us to
      entreat the Lady Theotokos, for her pure icon guards the gate into Paradise,
      obstructing the entry of the unconfessed.

      The left-handed crucified thief never did make to Heaven!

      SECTIONS, AT THIS JUNCTURE, NOT TO BE POSTED:

      Same-Sex Attraction on the Sexual Continuum Ribbon

      Spiritual Friendship on the Sexual Continuum Ribbon

      How the Threads of that Ribbon is the Homosexual Condition; and Why Each
      Thread Must be Pulled and Discarded for Friendship to be Sanctified.

      • ForChristAlone

        Are readers expected to take this seriously?

        • CadaveraVeroInnumero

          As put, your question is “yes” or “no”. Answer is “yes”.

          What is NOT to be taken seriously?

          Is it the point of the post that the CONDITION of homosexuality is what must be isolated and put aside for the ACTS of homosexuality to have no more play in life of a Catholic man or woman? Is it the underlying thesis that, as the Catechism informs us, that homosexuality is truly “objectively disordered”, and that we must understand that term in its fullest philosophical, ethical, psychological, and sociological sense? Or is it the claim that – even as they shun the ACTS – Spiritual Friendship, as the New Homophiles define it, still gets a hefty dose of its vitality from the effusion, ether, and the penumbra exhaled from old-fashion homosexuality.

          Without confronting the CONDITION of homosexuality the ACTS will always be prodding and poking, aching to be enfleshed in the, already tragic, lives of “gay” Catholics.

          The campaign of queering of the language of the Catechism must come to an end. It has proceeded more than what us common folks think. It is destructive, and certainly disordered. Can only pray that Pope Francis is up for the fight. He is surrounded. After all, the Queering Campaign is, in its initial stage, a bureaucratic skirmish. The full-fledged war is just around the corner.

          My primary concern has always been, where are the boys over at Spiritual Friendship in this battle. My first-order question is this: Can the New Homophile boys be properly shod and armored up if their Spiritual Friendship is snorting and sniffing in the ether and effusions of the homosexual CONDITION – in short, same-sex attraction?

          So, back to you. What’s your point?

          NOTE: I am not a pastor, Which most readers on this comment thread will most likely say “thank God”. If I were, I may put things somewhat differently. For instance, I have said nothing about the issue of culpability when it comes to a person’s possession of the homosexual condition. I have not addressed the importance of patience. And you, dear reader, know nothing abut me – which is expected. Except, I did mention I was once a boy-whore in Hollywood, from which I saw the belly of the homosexual beast. I had, and saw, my share of disorderliness.

          • Mark

            The Church has never proscribed or prescribed any particular historically contingent socially constructed script of love or human relationality.

            The Church has said that sex is only appropriate in a certain context.

            The Church has not drawn “fences around the law” as regards to imagery or narratives or frameworks which are historically contingent and socially constructed (such as “romance”).

            • Guest

              Love is not a social construct. The Church does not embrace deviant ideologies.

            • CadaveraVeroInnumero

              YOU WROTE: “The Church has never proscribed or prescribed any particular historically contingent socially constructed script of love or human relationality.”

              COMMENT: Every word pushes against the final two, “human relationality”. A term of recent (deconstructionist/ postmodernist) vintage – and so open ended – that it is devoid even of sexual content. Which makes term a handy tool with which – once it is pounded on the anvil of ideology – to assault the “itness” of sex and engineer it to their liking.

              YOU WROTE: “The Church has said that sex is only appropriate in a certain context.”

              COMMENT: So, why not just say “amen” and call off the SSA/Spiritual Friendship vanguard? But, then, on my side of the demarcating line, we only speak of full-body, fleshly SEX, not about GENDER. It is the supersuccession of GENDER over SEX which has given “queerism” its entry into our cultural battles and its, apparent, recent victories. Just ask Melinda!

              YOU WROTE: “The Church has not drawn “fences around the law” as regards to imagery or narratives or frameworks which are historically contingent and socially constructed (such as “romance”).”

              COMMENT: Without even addressing Queer Theory, old-fashion sodomite homosexuality, or de-gentialized same-sex attraction (cuddled up into spiritual friendship), one can simply analyze (and deep-six bury) every word in this sentence just by exposing the fallacies of the deconstructionist/ postmodernist constructs which imposed such words upon our language – corrupting our civilization as they ran riot. Queer Theory much depends on the prior victory (havoc) of post-modernism over our language and institutions (and, with much grief, our cultural imagination in literature, film, music, and the visual arts). Defeat postmodernism and queerism becomes deliciously naked. Just ask Melinda.

              NOTE: I apologize for even using the term “constructs” in a semi-positive manner.

    • CadaveraVeroInnumero

      Spanish Cardinal-Elect Augular says that “Homosexuality is a deficiency”. Report here; http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/01/spanish-cardinal-created-by-pope.html

      Homosexual ACTS certainly are deficient; they do not fulfill any lawful moral purpose. The gaming of a homosexual act (that is, everything that leads up to its initiation – the gearing of the inclination, the desire of the homosexual NATURE into action) is not even directed towards the God-willed Other; for the object (the terminus) of that geared (desired) up ACT is, by nature of the disordered sexuality, a mirror image of the one who initiates it (male to male, female to female). It is, quite frankly, a species of sexual cannibalism. Deficient homosexual acts are – in both the intent and the doing – are dissociative, disorderly, and disruptive.

      The same goes for the CONDITION (nature, if you will) of homosexuality: the seat, the generating impulse which instils and inputs movement into the homosexual desire, and thus the ACTS. One can says that the ACT is the end result, the final staging of the homosexual inclination (the CONDITION). The inclination, the leaning towards, *is* the authorization for the ACT to commence. The ACT, before its commencement, is the potential of the homosexual CONDITION (NATURE) with its inclinations, its orientations, its desires.

      Would the good Spanish Cardinal disagree?

      It is difficult to escape the vitality between CONDITION and ACT. This is what the New Homopiles attempt to do, as they snip the Homosexual CONDITION from the homosexual ACT: wringing dry the “sin” from the CONDITION, from which they retain the FORM of homosexuality without the godlessness. Once this is done, they say, a sacralized homosexuality – which they now call same-sex attraction – is now made perfect to receive the life of God. And since the ENFLESHMENT of God’s life truly does lie at the foundation of authentic spirituality, the New Homophiles are emboldened to claim that their unique, particular vessel refracts and prisms God’s life in an especially extraordinary way. This is their “exceptionalism”. This, they say, is their special gift to the Church and its mission to evangelize the world. Especially, according to Melinda, the Queers.

      It is a “human relational” box that is wrongly packaged – in spite of the brightly rainbow wrapping, for the box is empty. There is no gift within.

      Why? Because God’s life is never “Queer” – and can never be born of queerly flesh.

      _________________________________________________________________

      NOTE: Homophiles (Old or New) misinterpret the statement variously put, that the Church does not consider the homosexual condition as sinful. This has never been a doctrinal development of moving homosexuality (and any other sexual “deficiency”) away from the consequences and fallout of Adam’s disobedience. That statement of the Church has always been an attempt to clarify culpability, nothing more. Why that is not more of a controlling premise in this conversation is an irritant, a distortion of clear thinking – and beyond my will to accept. I refuse to buckle.

      NOTE: The remark above regarding “sexual cannibalism” is a serious one. It comes by reflection of “ministering”, these past three years, to a young man who reoriented his life to that end – though, thank God, without completion. It has given me an interesting handle on the concept of “objectively disordered sexuality”.

    • Pingback: The New Homophiles: An Incomplete Apologia | Crisis Magazine

    • Pingback: Cardinal Dolan Supports The Ukraine Protestors - BigPulpit.com