The “Poverty” of Homosexual Orientation

Square Wheels

In my last post I made the case that sexual “orientation” as defined by secular culture today is conceptually far removed from the dignity of the human person and is an abstract and generic form of data collection that does not even accurately describe one’s total experience of sexual attraction once we have found “the one”—our spouse—in marriage.

With this as prelude, now we can ask what all this means for homosexual “orientation.” Three terms are important to our discussion:

1. Sexual attraction: My experience of being attracted to specific sexual values.

2. Gender identity: Who am “I” as a sexual being?

3. Sexual orientation: The generic “blueprint” of collected data based on my experience of sexual attraction.

Previously I posed the question “If we can have fifty-something flavors of gender identity [as on Facebook], why not more than the three categories describing sexual orientation?”

The answer is simple, yet disturbing: secular culture has inverted the truth about both gender identity and sexual orientation. How so? First, by taking that which is, by nature and according to God’s plan, “binary” (my identity as male or female) and distortedly expanding it beyond recognition. Second, by taking that which is, by nature and according to God’s plan, something specifically unique to every human person (so-called “orientation” toward specific sexual values) and reducing it to a depersonalized and effectively meaningless category (men, women, both).

Put another way, “identity” is no longer male or female—it can be anything you claim. But “orientation” has to remain almost binary—the only thing important about sexual attraction is whether I’m attracted to men, women, or both. Why does society favor this inversion of God’s plan for sexuality?

I believe it is for one crucial reason: it is one way to elevate the experience of disordered sexual attraction to a category considered in parallel with ordered sexual attraction. If people are viewed solely as being attracted only to men, women, or both, this enhances the “standing” of homosexuality alongside heterosexuality. Indeed, the only reason to really make reference to heterosexuality is when one is considering those disordered attractions that exist apart from male-female complementarity.

Therefore, the relatively recent creation of sexual “orientation” favors the standing of homosexuality (“gay” as a mere alternative to “straight”) and thus relativizes the true meaning and purpose of sexual attraction. Similarly, pluralizing “gender identity” relativizes and weakens the truth of our being created “male and female.” The end result is that both sexual identity disorders and sexual attraction disorders are being culturally “normalized.”

“Test-Driving” Homosexual Attraction
Picking up the analogy I employed before, wherein sexual attraction is likened to being whisked away magically to the driver’s seat of a car, already running, ready for me to “test-drive” or not,  the “poverty” of homosexual orientation is not only found in the data-collection “blueprint” of the various cars I am attracted to, but the real impoverishment is the car itself. That is, “orientation” itself is a reductive concept objectifying a person’s sexual values, but in the case of homosexual attraction, the very “vehicle” itself—the car attracting me to “test-drive”—is compromised, because the very sexual values I am being attracted to are not, in fact, complementary to my own.

Think of it like this: with same-sex attraction, the car that I’m sitting in to test-drive actually has square wheels. A car with square wheels is really not intended for driving. But that doesn’t mean that some folks may not go ahead and willingly put it in “drive” and try to go somewhere with it.

Again, sexual attraction is the “urge” or “drive” that is not willed, nor is it “love” itself. It comes unbidden upon us, and thus every time requires us to respond somehow to it. With same-sex attraction, the test-drive analogy makes it clear—not only is a square-wheeled car not meant for driving, it also can never be the vehicle in which we reach the intended destination of “the one”—the beloved spouse to whom all our experiences of sexual attraction are ultimately intended to lead us.

Homosexuality and “The One”
So, where has the precarious inversion of exploding gender identities and restricted “orientation” to “man-woman-both” ultimately led us? Or: What happens when a bunch of people unite in thinking that test-driving square-wheeled cars is not only possible but also gets them somewhere?

Enter so-called “same-sex marriage.”

Experience will demonstrate that sexual attraction is often severed from its intended spousal goal of union with “the one.” In doing so, such attractions are clearly disordered (think pornography, masturbation, fornication, adultery, sexual abuse, etc.). But what happens when a disordered sexual attraction like same-sex attraction continues to pursue “the one” despite the square-wheeled car?

You end up with the real havoc that arises from an unreal goal: trying to “marry” someone who cannot really “complete” me. You cannot give what you don’t already have, and you cannot receive that which you already are. It’s that simple. The illusion here is that my homosexual-orientation “blueprint” data collected after test-driving all these square-wheeled cars is justification for my claiming “the one” must exist among those persons whose sexual values I’m attracted to.

Or, surprise! Something else might happen that both shatters the concept of sexual “orientation” and makes clear its poverty and unreality: It is just barely possible, that, in the midst of all these test-driven square-wheelers, I could still find myself magically whisked away and sitting in the driver’s seat of a round-wheeled car after all, ready to put in gear! Even one such experience of “opposite-sex” attraction might well lead me genuinely to “the one” despite the overwhelming number of occasions my sexual attractions have been directed to the sexual values of someone of the same sex. And if that does happen, that means that sexual attraction really did do its job on that occasion after all, even if I still experience later impulses of same-sex attraction.

Illustrating this are the clear examples of people with same-sex attraction who still manage to experience sexual attraction to a person of the other sex, whom they go on to marry. Such examples are hard for secular culture to make sense of, based on its inverted definitions of identity and attraction. But these examples do make sense if we understand God’s real plan for sexual attraction and jettison the cultural falsehoods about it.

Furthermore, we can abandon the entire issue of “orientation change” as defined by culture. I don’t have to worry about whether the healing I seek for same-sex attraction enables me to predominantly experience attraction to the other sex, or not. Rather, I merely have to prepare at least for the possibility that I may really—concretely—encounter “the one” person of the other sex with whom spousal union is possible even in the midst of my experience of same-sex attraction.

Granted, this may be neither common nor possible for everyone experiencing same-sex attractions. Jesus Himself reminds us that not all are called to marriage in this life, and that’s quite alright. We must remind ourselves that finding “the one” in this life, as beautiful as it is, is not our ultimate and universal calling. The ultimate, universal, and eternal calling is to union not with “the one” but with “The One”—God Himself–Who beckons to us even more “spousally” than any human lover ever could. Who would not be willing to exchange the human poverty of sexual “orientation” for the eternal human-Divine complementarity we are called to experience with our Creator?

In this way, we all share the same eternal “orientation.” My (and your) ultimate orientation is “The One” Who bears the Name above all Names—Jesus Christ.

Deacon Jim Russell

By

Deacon Jim Russell is a husband and father of eleven, and grandfather of two. Ordained to the Diaconate in 2002, Deacon Russell serves as Director of Liturgy for Immaculate Conception Parish in Dardenne Prairie, Missouri, the second-largest parish in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Follow Deacon Russell on Twitter at @MarriageSTL.

  • lifeknight

    Thank you, Deacon.
    I “get” the final orientation to THE One. I may have to reread the article again when I have had more coffee to understand the orientation to an unnatural action.

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

      Thank you for reading! The more we can see “orientation” as mere data collection regarding sexual attraction (impoverished data collection that hardly points us to the human person), the more we can see just why emphasizing “orientation” (particularly regarding disordered sexual attraction) does us little good, as I see it. Thanks again.

      • cpsho

        Deacon thanks for all your posts. We need to get down to the fundamentals. Society at large is going to the dogs. The important thing when it comes to homosexuality is to protect Catholics (Christians) from inadvertently falling in the doomed.
        .
        It has already being prophesied by the Angel of Lord that the Mark of the Beast – 666 – represents the sin of Sodomy. Therefore it is important to get this message out there:
        Homosexual acts are sinful
        Homosexual desires are sinful
        Homosexual thoughts are sinful
        Homosexual temptations are not sinful, but they are to be robustly resisted by every spiritual and rational means necessary.
        Read more:http://popeleo13.com/pope/2014/03/12/category-archive-message-board-18/
        .

  • Raymond Rice

    What are your academic credential??

    • Guest

      Why would that matter? Either his assertions are correct or they are not. Credentials do not determine truth or right and wrong.

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

      Hi, Raymond–for one, I skipped Kindergarten. :-) I can get more specific, if you want more info re higher education….

      • Guest

        Do you have a doctorate in “Queer Studies”? If not, then we dismiss you.

        • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

          A doctorate in “Queer Studies” ! That’s too funny for words!

          • msmischief

            I wish it were. . . .

      • Raymond Rice

        Tell me more!!!

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

          I have a BA in English, gave up pursuit of graduate studies to raise a family of eleven kids (still underway), but hope to return to academia at some future point. Meanwhile I’m a devoted autodidact–voraciously consuming in particular the writings of JPII and Benedict XVI (and other continuing ed appropriate to my vocation as deacon).

        • TheAbaum

          Your turn

          What are your academic credential?? (sic)

          • Raymond Rice

            Doctorate in Psychology and a Doctorate in Philosophy

            • TheAbaum

              Missed basic grammar though, huh?

              Tell me when you get a Phd in Engineering, Math or Physics.

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

              That explains a lot, given the recent abuse inflicted upon students in those fields of study.

            • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

              A PhD in psychology, from the current climate in academia? Well, you just disqualified yourself from any and all rational discourse.

              • Magnets

                Nice mobile goalposts you’ve got there mate

                • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

                  Mr. Rice challenged the “credentials” of someone making rather obvious logical inferences, as if one must have a PhD in order to enter into a discussion. And you should ask the APA about “moving goalposts.” Their ever-changing theories of psychology are merely a weathervane of popular fads.

      • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

        “I skipped Kindergarten…” Wonderful! I wish I had thought of that. That no doubt gave you a good head start in life. Great article, Deacon.

  • NormChouinard

    For what it is worth, I do not consider myself heterosexual. I am bonded in life (and sex) to one woman, my wife (of course).

    • CadaveraVeroInnumero

      That may be in your personal (existential) experience. But for the Church (let alone the culture) to accept as a *legitimate* (alternate?) state of sexual being (as if it is somehow Genesis made) “I am not . . .but” – you and God deal with it – is the great sign of the decline and fall of any Catholic culture and its mission to the world.

      Have noticed of late, even among faithful Catholic Christians, that it has become fashionable to say that one is not heterosexual: as if heterosexuality does not in any way describe what God did when He made them male and female in Eden. In permitting this nonsense to take to weed and rot within the Church we are courting great theological, ontological, and ethical danger.

      If such be the case, it’s all over with. Between the “not” and the “but” one can insert anything, without the slightest fear that God just may bolt down from high heaven His righteous anger bellowing “That’s not what I did in the Garden of Eden; that’s not the mud from which I created Adam”.

      • NormChouinard

        Interesting way to look at it. So you are saying that married people are OK to be sexually attracted to the opposite sex (the definition of heterosexual) and choose to avoid acting on it. Isn’t that choice in practice a threat to monogamy, the family and culture in general?

  • Guest

    “I believe it is for one crucial reason: it is one way to elevate the experience of disordered sexual attraction to a category considered in parallel
    with ordered sexual attraction. If people are viewed solely as being
    attracted only to men, women, or both, this enhances the “standing” of
    homosexuality alongside heterosexuality. Indeed, the only reason to
    really make reference to heterosexuality is when one is considering those disordered attractions that exist apart from male-female complementarity.”

    And what you have written here is the key to the entire issue. The goal is to make all things equal and thus claim any dissent from the ideology is “hate”. It is confusion, inversion, and diabolic.

    I do not think most of the population grasps the significance of this new ideology of evil. They see it is as an issue of “equality” or some type of false compassion. The depth you offer us here is never evaluated by most. The effects on children will be monumental.

    • Raymond Rice

      Guest: what are your academic credentials??

      • Guest

        I have not be infected by queer propaganda or moral relativism. I bind myself to Christ through His Church. What specifically are you looking for?

        • Raymond Rice

          all I asked for were credentials as a neutral question and now everyone is crawling all over me!! does your physician/ cardiologist crawl all over you if you asked where he went to school and where he was trained??
          Another example of Catholic paranoia and arrogance!!!

          • TheAbaum

            You aren’t my physician and the analogy is silly.

          • msmischief

            Neutral question? Given its obvious irrelevance to the matter, asking for credentials could only have been meant to discredit.

            All right, if you can give a NEUTRAL reason for asking, we will stop believing you did it out of ill will.

          • TheAbaum

          • Guest

            A physician is in a technical field. The criteria are easily measured. Even so, those technical achievements are no guarantee of morally correct behavior or evidence of good moral reasoning.

            The issue the author speaks of here is not merely technical but goes to basic right reason.

            The arrogance is from those who worship academe as a type of god. Jesus held no doctorate nor did Peter.

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

            Hi, Raymond–I didn’t take any offense at your asking me–it’s a valid question. I think in the “combox” arena, it may come off as less neutral than you intended, but I was happy to respond. In any case, does my reply affect how you’ve viewed my post? I’d be curious as to your thoughts. Thanks.

          • cestusdei

            This is quite revealing about YOU. The question really is whether he was right and he is.

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

        Academic credentials are in and of themselves fraudulent, in all cases. They’re a made up category designed to limit debate.

        • Raymond Rice

          To deny the importance of credentials is allowing ignorant people to have equal standing with people who have an indepth understanding of the subject

          • Guest

            But, our world is full of credentialed misfits. Being credentialed is not evidence of much of anything other than the individual passed through the hoops some group decided were necessary.

            Abortionists are credentialed. Physicians who directly sterilize people are credentialed.

          • TheAbaum

            What subject? For a guy who purportedly completely two theses, you don’t seem to express yourself well.

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

            The problem with that is I don’t see credentials alone as being any guarantee of having an in depth understanding of the subject.

            Credentials is mainly fact regurgitation in the proper form to get the grade, not understanding.

          • msmischief

            If you can not discern a man’s ignorance, finding out whether he has a degree will only trap you farther.

          • TheAbaum

            Who said your credentials are exclusively relevant, let alone sufficient and authoritative?

            Most of us with advanced degrees know enough not to wield them about as cudgels.

            Nonetheless, I did enjoy your gratuitous display of bigotry and prejudice.

            “Another example of Catholic paranoia and arrogance!!!”

            • Guest

              Don’t you know who I think I am?

              • TheAbaum

                A member of the charientocracy.

          • James1

            “In-depth” & “.”

            Also, what is your measure of ignorance? Would the lack of “credentials” necessarily guarantee ignorance of any given subject?

            Or shall we allow only those with “credentials” to speak in public fora?

          • Art Deco

            It’s an opinion piece spinning out ideas. Asking for his ‘credentials’ is non sequitur.

          • redfish

            Credentials are useful are useful for blind selection for jobs, where a company doesn’t know who you are and can’t trust what you say in an interview.

            But not having credentials isn’t an indicator that you don’t have enough knowledge and education on a subject to get them if you decided to, it just means you didn’t apply for them, and having them doesn’t necessarily mean you’re smart about the subject, it just means you put in the work.

            Basically, credentials serve a commercial function. They should never be used to short-circuit a discussion.

      • James1

        Perhaps he, and the Deacon, are sentient beings with the capacity for observation and reason.

        Why would certain, alphabetic characters after a name be necessary to form cogent thought?

        • Guest

          Let’s examine this by way of example. Who would give better advice about the moral correctness of “gay” behavior? A 12th century faithful Catholic peasant woman or a 21st century Lesbian professor with a “doctorate” in Queer studies?

          The question answers itself.

      • St. Ferd III

        Some quack with some degree pronounces himself superior. Go blow.

        • Guest

          Brief, but true. It is not that academics and credentials are to be dismissed but the post modern emphasis on credentials as the key metric in all areas of life is nothing but credulous dolts worshiping each other.

          • TheAbaum

            The modern academy is a giant echo chamber filled with peacocks.

            • Guest

              Not to go off topic but we have very, very few educated people these day. We have simply “credentialed” people now.

              • musicacre

                Yes, I’ve noticed that even though my children have been attending “university” they are all without exception getting specialized in fields that make them more or less, “technicians.” It’s the areas they wanted, (music, accounting) but still, they lack basic knowledge of the classics, good literature, and many other things that were taken for granted in a university education. I’ve noticed so many doctors with out the ” bedside manner;” probably have never read a poem!

        • Raymond Rice

          Thank you for your reply. It has certainly brought me closer to Jesus.,

          • TheAbaum

            Sure, somebody penning the broadside “Another example of Catholic paranoia and arrogance!!!” is really concerned with with their proximity to the Savior.

    • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/ DavidHart

      It’s not “hate.” When then Cardinal Ratzinger wrote that gay people are disordered he did not do so out of hate (although it is offensive). Cardinal Ratzinger did so as a theologian and catechist. It is a religious belief that is in opposition to the entire medical and counseling establishment.

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

        Two things:
        1) “Cardinal Ratzinger” never wrote that “gay people are disordered”–rather, the Church claims the sexual *attraction* involved (toward someone of the same sex) is a disordered attraction. It’s the attraction–not the person–that the Church says is disordered.
        2) Forty-plus years ago did the American Psychological Association hold a “religious belief” when it counted homosexual attraction/behaviors among psychological disorders?

        • TheAbaum

          Never let facts get the way of good calumnious rant, Deacon.

        • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/ DavidHart

          With respect to point one, you are correct with respect to what the Cardinal wrote. I’m not sure that I agree with your conclusion.

          With respect to the APA; It’s a rhetorical question. Irrespective of what the APA concluded, almost a half century ago, the Cardinal’s conclusions were out of religious belief.

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

            Let’s also be clear about the fact that what “the Cardinal” concludes is in fact the always-held conclusion of the Church founded by Jesus Christ–which is precisely why I suppose we can call it both a “religious belief” *and* a Divine Truth.
            I admit to finding it noteworthy that we’re supposed to “believe” *not* the APA that was around back in the early 1970s, but rather the APA *now*. “Establishment” psychology thought itself right back then, but “establishment” psychology *today* disagrees….not exactly a confidence builder! :-)

        • musicacre

          Less years than that; when I was in psychiatric nursing training just over 30 years ago, we were taught it was a “deviant” behavior. Exact words from the textbook.

      • Art Deco

        Physicians and ‘counselors’ have their conceptions (well or ill-considered) of what men ought to live or strive for. Why should that be of interest to anyone?? Can we ask insurance agents what they think about morals and ethics?

      • Guest

        Ratzinger never wrote any such thing. You post propaganda.

      • Paul

        Give the medical , psychiatric & counseling establishment half a chance they would proclaim incest, pedophilia , sex with animals and necrophilia as other norms too I am sure. After all they tick all the same boxes as homosexuality.

  • Watosh

    What have we become? We pass a law saying no aid can be given to any country whose government came to power by overthrowing the elected government. Then in Egypt an elected government is overthrown, but we give this government aid because we deny there was a coup, even though there obviously was one. Now the same for the Ukraine where an elected government was clearly overthrown but immediately we promised them aid. I don’t care what your politics are that is the way the law that we passed reads. Then we say men can marry men and women can marry women. We say that no matter what biological sex you happen to be born with, if you want to be a person of another sex you call sex “gender.” By so doing you are free to claim whatever sexual identity you wish. Homosexual’s make the case that that is the way they were born so we have to honor their lifestyle. When will Pedophiles use that argument to justify their actions? Words now have no fixed meaning, it is like happened in the building of the tower of Babel, yet today people are constantly conversing over their ubiquitous cell phones. A madness has taken over i fear.

    • John Doman

      Your analogy is flawed. Your first example is a human law, subject to change (and should be changed, in my opinion – a coup can be good or bad) and your second is a divine law, based in human nature.

      • Watosh

        I made no analogy, you are the one to make the analogy. My point was that we may be speaking the same language but we do not subscribe to the conventional definitions of the words we use. I do not say whether the law on aiding governments that overthrow elected governments is right or wrong. I just said that this is what the law says right now, right now we have said this is the law, yet we then ignore the law when it suits us. Generally speaking I believe that when we pass a law, a human law that is, we are not free to then decide we won’t obey the law because we don;t like it UNLESS the law conflicts with a divine law. If everyone could decide whether they would obey the law or not, then why bother to have laws. I was making a point not an analogy. In the case of a divine law my point was that we were redefining words in order to ignore the divine law. In each case we were attaching new meanings to what certain words meant.

        This I claimed was insane behavior. And I might add that there is an old adage, “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.” We may become another instance of this.

    • CadaveraVeroInnumero

      You’re right, regarding it is only a matter time before the Pedophiles . . .

      Since that disastrous Supreme Court decision last summer we have witnesses:

      1. The falling of multiple state bans against same-sex marriage (without one bishop taking to the barricades with thousands upon thousands of Catholic faithful behind him).

      2. The fashionable acceptance of “transgenderism” to the point that we have uprooted the common life of our communities and public schools (without one bishop taking to the barricades with thousands upon thousands of Catholic faithful behind him).

      3. The APA (American Psychiatric Association), when they put out the new edition of their (very influential) diagnostic manual, slyly restating the definition of Pedophilia (without one bishop taking to the barricades with thousands upon thousands of Catholic faithful behind him).

      4.California & New Jersey – with others to follow – outlawing the counseling of minors who wish to change and/or lessen their same-sex attraction. In short, snatching up the moral sovereignty of personal responsibility and the obligation of parents to raise and instruct their own children. This one especially galls. The ripple effect of this chilling. (Without one bishop taking to the barricades with thousands upon thousands of Catholic faithful behind him).

      5. The rapidi acceptance of Bondage/S&M practices among all sexual “orientations”. Witness the rolling influence that the book/movie series, 50 Shades of Grey” is having even within the Catholic “faith community”. (Without one bishop taking to the barricades with thousands upon thousands of Catholic faithful behind him).

      6. The frightful inversion of sexual terms – outside of tossing the word “heterosexuality” to the cultural wolves braying for our blood and flesh. The word “virginity” has been vacated of all meaning. Especially among teens. The word is restricted to not doing vaginal intercourse. Oral sex and anal intercourse has not bearing on the meaning of virginity. The meaning of “abstinence” has followed the same lexical degradation. (Without one bishop taking to the barricades with thousands upon thousands of Catholic faithful behind him).

      Please, you come up with examples 7, 8, 9, 10 . . . .

    • TheAbaum

      There’s a relationship between the vacant chatter over electronic media and the loveless copulation born of transient attractions.

    • Magnets

      The difference is, homosexuality is between two consenting adults. Paedophilia, by definition, involves the lack of consent or at the very least uninformed, illegitimate consent.

      • Guest

        Consent does not magically turn evil into good.

      • Watosh

        but i thought since homosexuals justify their peculiar activity by arguing that that was the way they were born, if now pedophiliacs that same claim, that their behavior was normal because that is the way they were born what then? You say the situation was one of consenting adults, but at what age would we legitimize pedophilia? 16? Some feel 16 year olds should be allowed to vote. Russia recently passed a law saying homosexuals are not be allowed to advertise the homosexual lifestyle to young schoolchildren and they were condemned for this by the U.S. and the E.U. In fact German schools are going to teach children from the age of 8 on that homosexual behavior is perfectly normal and legitimate and how it expresses itself since they now do this for ordinary sexual behavior. They feel it is important for the children to know this. No German parent is allowed to prevent their children to being exposed to this. That is a nice distinction now but as we “progress” on the road to So0dom, that distinction will fade into the woodwork. When in the space of say thirty years or so attitudes toward homosexuals has changed from homosexuals hiding in the closet to public praise for those announcing they are homosexual. You think that is the end?

      • TheAbaum

        Not according to NAMBLA.

  • St. Ferd III

    Love it when people cry about ‘experts with ‘degrees’ as if not possessing some piece of bs certificate disqualifies you from common-sense and science…since when do you need a piece of paper-quackery to be ‘smart’. Globaloneywarming? A non-science cult with Phds supporting it for tax-money grants, not for science. Marxism – illiterate Phds in soft science promote that immoral garbage. Evolution with lizard scales magically turning into feathers,and fish fins into legs ? Plenty of buffoons with Phds believe in that fantasy world. Newton did not have a Phd. Neither did Plato, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Bacon, Buridan, Heytesbury, Einstein, Harvey…well you get the picture. People with brains invent, create, understand. Those who can’t get a fictitious degree.

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      As far back as the 1970s, one used to hear this joke in France: “There are more Marxists teaching in American universities than working in the Kremlin.” Some of the smartest people I have ever met were in universities… and some of the dumbest too. But pure ideologues tend to congregate where results and consequences do not matter: in universities.

  • Art Deco

    To have multiple doctorates is quite unusual, most particularly when one is in the humanities and one is in a discipline that spans the social and natural sciences and most particularly when the holder has bad grammar.

    There is an academic named Raymond Rice listed on linkedin. He’s an English professor and administrator at one of the state colleges in Maine. I would wager he can write grammatical English.

  • Michel Lhombreaud

    Good and much needed reminder. Keep these article coming, Deacon! To get down to brass tacks, the story in Genesis (the first book in the bible) serves to explain humanity’s fall from grace, i.e. the “fallen” nature of humanity. Basically it recounts a perfect harmony created by God the Father which is subsequently upset by Adam & Eve’s disobedience and appropriation of the fruit of the knowledge of good & evil (instigated by the rebellious Archangel Lucifer). Our first parents thus rejected partnership with God (this includes the rejection of His perfect laws). So we now have sin in the world, but not forever as the Tree of Life is no longer made accessible. As Christians we also know how the story can end well – with Jesus’ help. The story serves to explain why something as obvious as a lifelong faithful marriage between a man and a woman being the sole ideal place to produce and nurture balanced and healthy children is regularly under attack. That is why God communicated to Moses commandments such as “Honour your mother & father”, “You shall not commit adultery” and “You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife”. Many New Testament (the later part of the Bible) passages warn against sexual misconduct, i.e. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9–10). God would not have revealed this to us if abstaining from these things were an easy task. Bien au contraire!

  • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/ DavidHart

    Allow me to address this author’s confusion. Sexual orientation is a continuum with heterosexual and homosexual at the extreme ends. Gender identity is also a continuum with male and female at the extreme ends. Gender itself is not absolute given that about 1 in 500 births are intersex. About 2% of all births have some form of gender ambiguity. Indeed, a small percentage have chromosomal ambiguity. There are an infinite number of possible combinations. Nature’s palette is exquisite in its diversity.

    Mr. Russell seems to be struggling with attempting to conform the real world to scripture which seems, at times, to require a simplistic understanding of humanity.

    Just in passing, Mr. Russell’s definition of sexual orientation is incorrect. Adding “sexual attraction” as a separate variable is gratuitous. Sexual orientation is the attraction to men, women, both or neither.

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

      Thanks for the comment, David. You’ve just confirmed for me that I do correctly understand–and reject–the secular definition of “orientation” as being restricted to “men-women-both” (and, okay, “neither”). But you’ve just pointed out the oddness of this definition by saying I’ve gratuitously added “sexual attraction” as a “variable” to something you clearly define as “sexual attraction”.
      So, for clarity–do you agree that, according to the secular definition, saying a man with a “heterosexual orientation” is attracted to “women” is not sufficiently accurate–or must heterosexual men be attracted to *all* women?
      I’m not sure I know any “heterosexual” men who are attracted to *all* women–do you?

    • TheAbaum

      • Magnets

        The only reasonable response is called out as a troll? How unexpected…

        • TheAbaum

          Let’s see, somebody who self identifies as a “cranky Jewish Queer” posts in a site who masthead reads “faithful Catholic Laity”, with the sole purpose of antagonistic nonsense on a single topic with the regularity of an atomic clock.

          That’s a troll.. just like the the brand new poster (hah hah) who suddenly emerges to call the troll’s post “reasonable”.

          • Magnets

            Stumbled over the article while researching for an essay, couldn’t resist joining the discussion. I mean, you all seem so confused! Ironic, given the subject matter…

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

              Hi, Thanks for commenting–what seems confused?

            • Guest

              Confused? Talk about irony.

            • TheAbaum

              Fantastic. How exactly did you form your expectations if you just stumbled over the article.?

    • cestusdei

      That is false. The continuum idea is part of the propaganda.

      • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/ DavidHart

        Published and peer reviewed research that conflicts with your religion is not propaganda per se.

        • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

          “peer reviewed” !!! If I had a dollar for all the “peer-reviewed” garbage that has been published in my field in the last six months (or even the last six weeks) I would retire, purchase a 200-foot yacht, and start touring the world.

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

          Peer review is nothing but an echo chamber.

          • Magnets

            How would you suggest we determine which information is correct and which is incorrect?

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

              Time and tradition. Traditions that are incorrect die. Traditions that are correct, survive, for millennia.

              • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                I believe it was Jefferson who remarked that the past is more a warning than an example and that the earth belongs to those who are upon it, not to those who are underneath.

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

                  Yep. The Freemason Jefferson is a huge part of the problem.

        • cestusdei

          Research is not permitted that does not validate political correctness. For example homosexuality was dropped from the DSM not because of science, but politics. In another case a man discovered that children raised by homosexuals have a higher incidence of problems. He was nearly lynched.

          • cajaquarius

            You are referring to the Mark Regnerus Study, I suspect. He was “nearly lynched” because his paper was poorly researched and shouldn’t have been published. This is carefully explained, actually, in many places. In essence, only two of the respondents he studied actually lived with gay parents – the whole thing was a clobber piece meant to demonstrate that homosexuals in relationships with each other would be bad parents but didn’t quite manage that when really checked over. If anything it demonstrates the problems that come from being raised by someone who builds their relationship on a lie. It is yet another poorly constructed scientific argument based on correlation without causality.

            As a gay man myself, I would complain, but I actually love stuff like this because it is easy to point out and completely discredits my foes (whose only defense is often “Wah! It is a conspiracy against Christians!”). That is often the problem with bearing false witness though; cry wolf long enough and, eventually, people stop listening.

    • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/ DavidHart

      Jim published a reply to this post which has evaporated into the ether,

    • Art Deco

      Gender identity is also a continuum with male and female at the extreme ends.

      Articulate nonsense is not a continuum.

      • TheAbaum

        It also lacks the necessary dimensional axes to account for autoeroticism, zoophilia, “polyamory” and fetishes.

        • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

          Sexuality of the week: Objektiphilie, as in the case of a Frau Berliner-Mauer! Personally, I was never attracted to the Berlin Wall. Now the Tour Eiffel, on the other hand… Madame Eiffel and I used to exchange loving glances across a café table. Since I was married at the time, it was emotional infidelity. But my wife has forgiven me, and we moved on… thanks to Retrouvaille!

        • Magnets

          Maybe it’s just an area of the human experience we have yet to fully understand? It’s not like it’s been possible to study the assortment of sexual preferences until fairly recently as psychology, psychiatry and neurology are still relatively new sciences – not to mention that being openly homosexual or whatever else would probably have gotten you castrated until recent years.

          • Guest

            Studying pathology is good. Claiming pathology is health is bad.

          • TheAbaum

            “psychology, psychiatry and neurology are still relatively new sciences”

            They aren’t sciences. There’s a reason for the term “medical arts”.

            Where were these castrations conducted?

            • Michael Paterson-Seymour

              There is the well-known case of the pioneering computer scientist, Alan Turing, who led the team that cracked the German Enigma cipher machine.

              In 1952, following his conviction for gross indecency with a man called Murray, Turing was offered the option of probation and chemical castration as an alternative to prison. He was given injections of stilboestrol, an endocrine disruptor that produced impotence. Ironically, it also caused gynecomastia

              This was common practice in the UK

              • TheAbaum

                That was a choice he made, in country whose treatment of Catholics would have gotten you killed at one point.

                • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                  On 10 September 2009, British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown told the House of Commons, “Thousands of people have come together to demand justice for Alan Turing and recognition of the appalling way he was treated. While Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can’t put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him. So on behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan’s work I am very proud to say: we’re sorry, you deserved so much better.”

                  On 24 December 2013, HM the Queen graciously granted Dr Turing a free pardon, following a request from the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling. “His later life was overshadowed by his conviction for homosexual activity, a sentence we would now consider unjust and discriminatory and which has now been repealed.”

                  • TheAbaum

                    Great. I’ll be awaiting the pardons for those Catholics killed by Henry and his successors, as well as the NHS workers persecuted for wearing crosses.

                    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                      Perhaps you should suggest one who left a similar scientific legacy and saved thousands of lives in the process. I am sure the Nobel Prize winners and Fields Medallists and academies of sciences world-wide who signed the Turing petition would happily sign yours.

                    • TheAbaum

                      Ahh yes, one’s standing before the law should rest on accolades.

                      There’s that insidious European snobbery we all cherish.

                      Then again, the priests killed by Henry did better than save lives, they saved souls.

                    • Guest

                      If they had “sex” with a 19 year old boy, like Turing, my guess is then they would be interested in pardons.

          • Paul

            Psychology, psychiatry and neurology are new sciences but does that justify the moral question of homosexuality ? No doubt, the new sciences would find some reason to legitimize t, pedophilia, sex with animals, necrophilia too … given time.

      • Magnets

        But Space-Time is!

    • redfish

      Is it possible to have a sexual orientation of intersexual and only be attracted to hermaphrodites and not men or women? Is it possible to have a gender identity of intersex, to be a hermaphrodite trapped in a man’s body? Why, or why not? You’ll be graded on the consistency of your logic.

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      “Nature’s palette is exquisite in its diversity.” Wrong. Nature is neither an artist nor a friend. She selects some behaviors for extinction. And some cultures too, as we are discovering more and more. Nature is heartless in the extreme. God always forgives. Man sometimes forgives. Nature never forgives.

      • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/ DavidHart

        Nature most certainly does not select either behaviors or cultures for extinction. Nature does “select” species for extinction.

        Species become extinct primarily because of environmental changes. The key to extinction in contrast to adaptation is the speed at which these environmental changes occur.

        • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

          Erwin Schrödinger, the Nobel Prize winner, certainly disagrees with you. Read his “What is Life?” In humans, behavior and extinction are intimately related.

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

      Are any of those mutations fertile?

  • hombre111

    Ahh, Deacon Jim, you finally drop the other shoe and so we are on the outside looking in, discussing homosexual orientation. As I read your piece, I was thinking about my good friend David, who gave heterosexuality a sincere test drive all through high school and college. In his biography, called “Coming To,” he talks about being engaged a couple of times, only to realize that he had “fallen in love” with Tommy and Mike and not his girlfriends. As he was about to graduate from college, he faced his homosexuality with great anguish, and decided, in a flash of inspiration, to become a priest. “It solved all my problems…I would not be expected to have a relationship because priests are celibate, no questions asked, I would not have to deal with being gay, I would be celibate and nonsexual….” And so with deep faith and a degree of passion, he went to the seminary and was ordained. He went on to be a popular parish priest, missionary in South America, editor of the Catholic paper, pastor of the biggest parish in the state, and vocation director.

    But it could not last. The internal struggle collapsed the dam of denial around 18 years later. Long years after that, he would write to a man named Bob, “My spouse, my dear, we joined our lives and later married. I won the prize! Thirty-plus years, you’re my White Knight! Thank God for that, my true delight.”

    The whole gay story is still be sorted out, and when it is finally settled, the Church will apologize as she did with Galileo, her authenticity forever in doubt on another crucial issue.

    • Art Deco

      Thanks for the gassy just-so story.

    • TheAbaum

      Who will apologize for you and your fraudulent acceptance of a priest’s salary when your real faith is elsewhere?

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

      If you self-identify as a “celibate heterosexual,” it would seem to leave you on the “outside looking in” regarding *both* homosexuality *and* marriage. If being on the “outside looking in” is somehow a disqualifier, why should your comment be taken any more seriously than my posts?
      Instead, I’m more inclined to examine the message more than the messenger, particularly when dealing with objective truths….

      • hombre111

        Good insight. As an outsider looking in, I hesitate to comment on marriage. But I am getting quite an education as a spiritual director of Retrouvaille, which emphasizes the struggle and the joy. Still, I do not feel I am entitled to a lot of opinions on this subject, and would yield to your long and profound experience. We are both outsiders looking in when it comes to homosexuals. That is why I have been saying, over and over again, that we need to listen to them and find out the reasons for their struggles and joy. I believe in objective truths, but they keep arriving in a flawed and searching human package that must be respected.

        • Art Deco

          As an outsider looking in, I hesitate to comment on marriage.

          But not on several other subjects with which you are unfamiliar. Oh, well.

          • TheAbaum

            Best comment all day.

            • bonaventure

              What is even more frightening, is that Hombre111 is actually a Catholic priest, supposedly in good standing since he still has the faculties to celebrate Mass. I wonder how many people is he leading astray with his pro-culture of death teaching and preaching? Unless, of course, he is lying about the priesthood.

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

          An important thing I hope we agree on: our “objective truth” is not determined by engaging in pastoral ministry–rather, our pastoral ministry is determined by applying objective truth to subjective experience. That which is “pastoral” strives to help persons realize authentic good in their lives–good which can only come via God’s truth.

          • hombre111

            Mmm, I have to think about that. But it is time for bed because I have to get up early and get ready to celebrate 8:00 Mass in the parish, helping a pastor who suddenly finds himself working alone in a 2,500 family parish.

          • hombre111

            Well, it’s a cup of coffee and off to say Mass. But I realize that I ascribe to the “contrite fallibilism” taught by Fr. Don Gelpi, S.J., one of my mentors. The expression of objective truth in a universal statement is one of the riskiest statements we can make, because all someone needs to do is use better logic, find a new fact, discover a better perspective, or follow a more adequate approach. To make it worse, the left brain will valiantly refuse to consider any new discovery or objection. Research shows this. You can always detect a left brain thinker when he invariably responds: You are wrong! Therefore, I try to follow objective truth, but with the above caveats. This would have avoided the centuries long embarrassment caused by the Galileo story. So I approach the question of Gays.

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

              The Holy Spirit has neither a “left brain” nor a “right brain.”
              Therefore I suggest following His guidance as expressed via the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

              • hombre111

                Along with some advice from Cardinal Newman, who had some interesting things to say about the role of the laity in living truth in the Church.

            • Guest

              Just the usual moral relativism. Personal experience never trumps truth. Never.

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

          Now there’s an argument for a married priesthood!

      • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

        God bless you, Deacon. I wish I had encountered someone like you when I was a mixed-up, alienated, self-absorbed teenager. Catechesis at your hands would have spared me years of misery… Instead, I was “educated” by an army of “Hombre” types.

        • hombre111

          I discovered as a campus minister that teenagers, along with freshmen and sophomores in college, were often looking for the security of black and white answers, and would be shocked and confused by anything else. But the upper classmen, the graduate students, and the faculty understood a more complicated reality. And so it was always a challenge: Give the black and white answers and put off people who had begun to understand that life is about shades of grey, or give shades of grey answers to students who would be frightened by anything but black and white.

          So, I did my best to meet both worlds. My lay campus minister had been educated in Steubenville, and so she had black and white answers by the bucket full. I let her handle the freshmen and sophomores and the new converts. It is only now, as a mother in her thirties, that she had begun to look deeper…but she has little curiosity and will continue to make the black and white answers fit. While she was working with the black and white crowd, I ministered to older students and faculty.

          The Catholic Church spreads itself across a wide spectrum. The black and white group sees only in two tones, and fears and loathes the shades of grey crowd. The people who see shades of grey understand black and white, because they have been there.

          • Objectivetruth

            Next thing you’re going to preach to us is that the Ten Commandments are actually the Ten “suggestions”, or Ten “recommendations”.

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

            Shades of grey is just another name for lying.

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

            I remain certain that the purpose of Jesus sending the Holy Spirit to guide the Church into all *truth* was so the Magisterium could adequately handle the “shades of grey” placed in the Church’s path by the power of evil.
            Two-thousand years later, there’s really nothing very “grey” about God’s plan for human sexuality.

            • hombre111

              The shades of grey are placed in our path by the glory and pathos of human reality, and comfortably ignored by those in authority who want the comfort of legalist solutions. Jesus did not seem to have a good opinion of the black and white thinking of the scribes and Pharisees.

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

                It’s amusing to me to think that God Himself might somehow prefer “grey” thinking over that which is “black and white”… Seems to me He had a lot to say about truth and about letting “yes” mean “yes” and “no” mean “no,”….

                • hombre111

                  And it amuses me to see someone equating his thinking with God’s thinking. Whatever we write or say is done from within our limited human perspective. The God of the mysteries of the universe cannot be captured by our puny minds, and when we claim to speak in his name, we should have a caution.

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

                    On the contrary, I *submit* my thinking to “God’s thinking.” Jesus gave His Bride, the Church, the guidance of the Holy Spirit to teach in “black and white”–we should “have a caution” whenever we relativize the teaching of the Holy Spirit-guided Magisterium by substituting something else for it–agreed?

                    • leogirl87

                      Yep. Satan’s fall was because of pride. Do not be so proud as to think that God’s commandments don’t apply to you, or that it’s okay to encourage others to break the commandments as well.

                    • hombre111

                      When did Jesus say, “I commission the Magisterium of my Church to teach in black and white?”

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

                      “Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 18:18)

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

                      And it’s only fair to add Mt. 28:18-20: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…”

                    • hombre111

                      OK. But a logical process is then involved. First: the command. This includes the introduction of natural law principles, like “do the good.” Then deduction to the consequences of the command. Sometimes that deductive process goes down several steps, until you get to conclusions like, it is immoral to practice artificial birth control. But since this whole thing involves a logical process, then what I said before stands. What if someone manages the deductive process with better logic? What if the deductive process is challenged by new facts (called induction)? What if someone begins the deductive process from a better perspective? (ie, a prayerful married person living his/her sacrament as opposed to a celibate hierarch who has never slept beside a member of the opposite sex). What if someone chooses a more effective solution? (ie, encouraging a young person to come to more and more personal strength and growth in his struggle with masturbation, as opposed to a lecture about the dangers of mortal sin).

                  • leogirl87

                    Of course we can never fully understand God; nobody is claiming we can. But that doesn’t justify our disobeying His commandments.

                    • hombre111

                      It’s not just that we can never fully understand God. It’s all those people who claim to speak for God.

                    • TheAbaum

                      Like leftist religious frauds-who tell us about the minimum wage?

              • leogirl87

                I find that the grey is actually placed there by sin. Things only appear grey after a person has been sinning. Soon they sin so much that everything appears grey. They can no longer tell right from wrong because their conscience has become deformed from choosing wrong too many times.

                • hombre111

                  Let me give you a couple of examples of conservatives thinking in grey. They support the death penalty when the commandment says, “Thou shalt not kill.” They support modern war when more civilians are killed than soldiers. Oh, and many accumulate great wealth when Jesus said it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.

                  • John200

                    Father hombre,
                    That Cateschism of yours is at it again.

                    I almost started on the easy refutations you need. But even you see through the gigantic fallacies with which you decorated that last comment. Don’t tell me you cannot see through yourself. I do not believe any serious Catholic priest can be so shallow.

                    You could put away the Cateschism…

                    and read your Catechism. You know, the one that says Roman Catholic on the cover.

                    • hombre111

                      The Catechism? That was the New Testament. I read from the words of Christ so many people never seem to hear and take to heart, no matter the fact that the same challenging statements appear, year after year.

                    • John200

                      Tendentious, father. Tendentious. And ineffably sad.

                      Best to you on your journey.

                  • TheAbaum

                    Once again, we see how hombre is a cheap political activist, moralizing the political while pretending to be spiritual, accepting a salary to be exempt from work.

                    Keep writing. Sooner or later, you’ll put down enough stuff to track you down and then we’ll have a long and copious record to present to your Bishop. Red State. 76, former campus minister.. we have the census of your parish.

                    Heck for that matter, I’ll pay the postage to send an alert to every Bishop whose diocese is in a “red state” to alert them.

                    • hombre111

                      Heh, heh. The Phantom strikes again.

                    • TheAbaum

                      Like I said, go ahead, keep going.

                • TheAbaum

                  “I find that the grey is actually placed there by sin. ”

                  Brilliant. Not unlike the serpent saying “did God really tell you..”

            • Guest

              Let’s be honest. Those that reject the truth on matters of genital sexuality do so not because they are afraid following Church teaching will make them feel guilty. No, they fear only that if they follow the truth they will have some unfulfilled desire. The end.

          • Guest

            To the unprincipled everything is gray.

          • leogirl87

            There is no “gray” in morality. Something is either right or wrong. Morality isn’t based on “feelings” but on truth.

            Most of the culture is actually in the “gray” camp. It has nothing to do with age, as kids are taught by “gray” teachers. College students and young adults as well as teachers of all ages overwhelmingly vote for “gray” politicians. That is why we have so many things like STDs, abortion, divorce, fatherless children, children born out of wedlock, etc. People always seem to think their situation is so unique that they don’t have to follow moral rules. They explain away their immoral behavior until they convince themselves they’re doing something good. What they don’t realize is that the moral rules are there to protect us and our future children. If they’d kept it in their pants they wouldn’t have contracted an STD, wouldn’t have been tempted to murder their child, their kid wouldn’t be growing up without a father, etc. 1 in 3 children in America grows up without a father and that number is expected to increase to 1 in 2 in the coming years. All because sex has been separated from marriage and because of no-fault divorce. Narcissism at its worst.

            And no, homosexuality isn’t one of those things that the Church can change her teaching on. Galileo was a different camp because it was about a scientific discovery and scientific belief changes as we learn new things. His discovery was correct but he also practiced the sin of disobedience because they told him to present his idea as a theory rather than a fact because the technology didn’t yet exist to prove what he was saying (lack of scientific method). Yes, he could have been treated better but it isn’t completely one-sided. On the other hand, morality is something that doesn’t change because God doesn’t change. No, gay people shouldn’t get beat up. That is wrong and the individuals who beat up gay people should be punished.

            The homosexual lifestyle has many problems: high rates of STDs, certain kinds of cancers, depression, suicide, drug addiction, short and unfaithful relationships, and a shorter life expectancy that is 20 years less than the average person. The problems are worse in countries that are more “tolerant” of LGBT behavior. LGBT activity is not only harmful spiritually as it separates them from God, but it is also harmful physically and emotionally. The media will not say the truth because it’s not politically correct and they silence debate by labeling anyone who disagrees as a “homophobe” or “bigot.” Eventually people will grow tired of the name-calling and will be able to see the truth. It’s just that the pro-gay activity stuff is really popular right now so it might take a few decades (or more) for the culture to see the light.

            No, gay men shouldn’t become priests as it does lead to all sorts of problems. That is why seminaries today are told to screen out candidates with same-sex attraction.

            The problem is not with celibacy. Just because someone experiences sexual attraction doesn’t mean they should act on it. Many people are consecrated religious, consecrated virgins or consecrated celibate. Others are living chastity according to their state in life without being consecrated: singles and widows are celibate and married men and women should only have sex with their spouses. It is a lie that someone cannot live a happy life without having sex, and also that sex equals love.

            • hombre111

              Apart from denying the existence of grey in morality, I agree with much of what you say here. But, all that said, most people manage to live in shades of grey. They are only black and white on some issues…usually the issues that involve somebody else, do not cost money, are not inconvenient, and don’t involve changing their minds.

          • TheAbaum

            “I let her handle the freshmen and sophomores and the new converts.”

            Translation, “I spent my time attempting to foment dissent and heterodoxy”.

            • hombre111

              Translation, I help them understand that you don’t have to be a religious fundamentalist in order to be a Catholic.

      • Guest

        Gay propaganda is about attacking the messenger.

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      “The whole gay story is still being sorted out”?!! Good Lord! What about “the whole pederast story?” Or the whole “dismembered, aborted child story”? Or the whole “neglected child of selfish divorced parents story”? Or the whole “addicted to porn story”? Or the whole “I like making money by defrauding my poor immigrant employees story”? Are we only entitled to acknowledge the woundedness of sin, the horrible selfishness of any aspect of our society, if we personally participate in it or identify with it? What kind of moral discernment is this? (Never mind… I already know: “Who am I to judge?”)

      • hombre111

        Actually, the list you give is pretty black and white. But the gay story has its shades of grey that must be discerned, and will be, over time. Right now, the younger generation recognizes the good in their gay brothers and sisters, and they often reject the Church because of its attitude.

        • Objectivetruth

          Keep leading that flock over the cliff! What…..is a “wee bit of sodomy” A-OK in your world?

        • TheAbaum

          It’s funny you can rouse as much certainty for sexual sins as you do for economic statistics.

          Tell me again how little objective “black and white” reality exists, as you thunder on about “millionaires” and you “red state”. You are such a liar.

    • Objectivetruth

      The whole gay story has been definitively, clearly “sorted out.” From the Catechism, #2357:

      “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

      Christ spoke more about the narrow road and losing one’s salvation than He did about heaven. Hell’s a real place, hombre111. You choose.

    • Objectivetruth

      You know why the pews are nearly empty on Sunday’s at Mass?

      Because clownfish priests like yourself (even if you are a priest, which I highly doubt. I believe actually you’re a gay, atheist activist) have been telling the Catholic youth for the last 45 years that Catholic teaching is optional, and you only need to follow the teaching that makes you feel good and doesn’t hurt any self centered, fallen, narcissistic beliefs you may have. So Catholic youth then believe if they don’t have to take Christ’s teaching in the magisterium seriously, who needs the Church? Why receive the sacraments? You with an arrogant eye roll wave off and dismiss half of all Catholic teaching that is either written or commented on Crisis Magazine.

      So if you really are a priest, please leave the Church. Because you are putting souls eternal destiny in jeopardy. You have Christ running to the men’s room due to the lukewarmness you leave in His mouth.

      “I can smell your stink from here.”

      • TheAbaum

        So if you really are a priest, please leave the Church. Because you are putting souls eternal destiny in jeopardy.

        Including his own.

        Luke 17:2

        • Guest

          The Pope recently spoke against clerics spreading their own personal agenda. We can see a fitting example here.

    • Guest

      All is sorted out. The evil one spreads confusion. Immediately after death is a particular judgement. “Gay” sex is a perversion of the marital act. It is not from God. Leading others astray is evil.

    • bonaventure

      When all is sorter out, the homosexuals will be found guilty of the same old crimes as they always resorted to in history when trying to push their perverted agenda on the rest of society. Did you know that the Nazi S.A. were, for the great majority homosexuals?

      Well, of course you do know that, since that’s common knowledge, and that’s actually the reason why the homosexual agenda today is hiding behind the lie of “love.” Apparently they learned their lesson that open hatred and violence only leads to destruction. But the $100,000 question of the day is, have they really learned? Can the devil ever learn anything on his past mistakes, considering that he repeats them all the time?

      • hombre111

        The only homosexuals I know were involved in great personal agony, not some larger agenda. Like the woman who repeatedly tried suicide as she dealt with her lesbian tendencies. All the official Church could offer was more pain. So, she came out of the closet, admitted who she was, and now leads a reasonable life. Or the priest I described who became a priest to escape his homosexuality and tried to live a sexless life. As a gay man, he is peaceful and has helped many people.

        • bonaventure

          The only homosexuals I know ARE involved in a greater agenda, without any (apparent) agonies of sorts. It is willful, well thought out and planned. Oh, and for the most part, extremely violent, intolerant, arrogant, etc.

          What makes your “knowledge” and experience with homosexuals any better than mine?

          You see, that’s the fallacy of using subjective and personal experiences for an issue that should be dealt with objectively.

          • hombre111

            As a phenomenologist, Pope John Paul placed great store in subjective and personal experiences. Read the first part of his Theology of the Body.

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

              Using JPII to justify magisterial dissent wouldn’t be reasonable. JPII’s “phenomenology” was intentionally *balanced* with the metaphysics of Aquinas. Indeed, his second dissertation made clear that the pure phenomenology of Scheler was inadequate.
              No, JPII’s *Thomistic* Personalism was precisely Thomistic in order to avoid the pitfalls of subjective experience’s infinite rabbit-holes. This is what one finds in the Theology of the Body and all JPII’s work….

              • hombre111

                Good job.

            • bonaventure

              Sorry, Fr. Troll. But we are not discussing the “first part of [John Paul's] Theology of the Body.” Red herring.

  • Jim Balbo

    It is simply about Lust, No less No more.

  • John, Ph.D.

    Deacon,
    Excellent article. You explain it better than I have seen anywhere else.

  • Thomas

    Hi, Deacon:
    Your essays are great, but mostly for the choir. I agree with the Church’s teachings, but I have not studied the Natural Law in any depth and I am not well-grounded in Aquinas and other things Catholic–so there is much that I really don’t know. While I am not “intellectually inclined,” I find it hard to understand Natural Law teaching when it appears, superficially, that nature has made some mistakes. I don’t consider these natural mistakes, or dysfunctions, to be in the same choice-league as, say, looking at pornography, visiting prostitutes, etc. I feel blessed that I don’t bear the crosses that the homosexual or transgendered person must bear; in fact, I feel empathy for many of them.
    Two things come to mind about orientation and gender identity as I read your two recent essays. As a kid growing up, we spotted the boys early in grammar school, who would eventually become “gay.” Now, we see people who insist that they are men trapped in women’s bodies, or vice-versa. So, I begin to wonder if some human beings are a little disordered by nature, like the homosexual penguins or the other beasts mentioned by homosexual apologists. I am beginning to seriously doubt that a desire to change one’s gender is a mere, casual choice that the afflicted person can easily make. Who am I to say to the transgendered individual, “You need to read a little theology, take two aspirin, and go to bed.” Yeah, I’ll get massacred by the readers here for making these “observations” and revealing my ignorance, but ask I must.
    In fact, your article may answer the questions I have posed but I have not gleaned them. In short, I would like you to tell me how I would explain, to a homosexual or transgendered person, that they must bear such a cross. All that being said, I am deeply troubled by the rapid erosion of what was once a great country.

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

      Do you understand “natural law” to be “nothing else than the rational creature’s participation in the eternal law” as Aquinas did? Part of the difficulty of conversing on this subject relative to “natural law” is to understand the meaning of that term–the newadvent.org Catholic Encyclopedia article on it is a good start.
      As it is, once we can understand what God’s plan is for us, we can better prepare ourselves for helping those who experience sexual-attraction or sexual-identity disorders. This is not appreciably different from how we treat any other physical or psychological disorder human persons experience. I would also recommend that you would find some concrete answers regarding the pastoral dimension at the “Courage” web site–that’s a great apostolate.

      • Thomas

        No, I don’t understand many things, even though I accept them because they come from the Church that Jesus gave to us. It is an institution that I love. I walk a fine line between trying to spout the intellectual truths of Catholicism (to which I am woefully under-qualified), and to try to walk in another man’s shoes without condemning him. As a side note, certain behaviors that we read about are repugnant, perhaps even to a sailor; but these behaviors exist in the heterosexual world as well. Thank you for responding. I will read up on the definition and the web site you have referenced.

    • HigherCalling

      The common misunderstanding people have about natural law is to equate what we see in the natural world with what is natural. The fact that we see any number of traits or things occurring in nature does not necessarily prove anything about whether they are natural. Natural Law Theory (NLT) defines the nature of a thing (or what is “natural”) as the form, the function, the purpose, or the *essence* of what it instantiates. Simply put, NLT says that every thing (even abstract things like love, marriage, justice) has a true essence and final cause — what that thing is in its purest form, free of defects. When a thing conforms to its essence, and most things do, only then is it truly “natural.”

      Addressing the “naturalness” of homosexuality, the fact that homosexual attraction occurs in the natural world (or even if it could be established beyond a reasonable doubt that homosexuality is genetically based), proves nothing about, and is irrelevant to, the question of its naturalness. There is a genetic basis for any number of traits occurring in the natural world. Infant blindness or cleft palate have genetic bases, but neither is “natural” in NLT, because neither trait is in conformity to the essence, purpose, or true nature of eyes and palates. The function or final cause of the eyes is to see. We recognize blindness (or even bad eyesight) as a defect that we then desire to restore to the true purpose of the eyes– to carry out their natural function. Human sexuality also has an essence and final cause. Breaking from that function is to break from its true nature. Failure to conform to the final cause of human sexuality is to stray into the unnatural. Take the extreme examples of necrophilia or pedophilia. Those attractions certainly exist in the natural world. To say that they are then “natural” is obviously wrong, even if those attractions are never acted on. To then go on to embrace and celebrate those things simply because they occur in the natural world (or might possibly have a genetic basis) would be absurd and destructive. Marriage also has an essence and final cause which is articulated best in the Catholic definition. The primary purpose of marriage is shared between its procreative and unitive aspects. Anything that deviates from that function is to stray into the unnatural.

      Natural Law Theory is essentially a metaphysical, supernatural conception of morality. The unnaturalness of something is not proof of its immorality, nor can we say that unnaturalness is always objectively wrong. Blindness and cleft palate are not immoral things. But if a sighted person sought blindness for himself, or if a person without a cleft palate created a cleft through surgery, that would be regarded as irrational, even disgusting. To determine the good of something it is imperative to refer to its true nature as defined by NLT. Goodness is the foundation for morality. In building a properly functioning life for individuals and for societies, we must make reference to final causes. Without a “gold-standard” or a metaphysical picture of the essence of things, no satisfying explanation of life is possible. Denying final causes is to say that the purpose of reason is not seek truth or the understanding of the good. Thus everything becomes subjective, relative, or determined by fate. This is where the culture is today, ready to accept any and every metaphysical absurdity, not the least of which is same-sex “marriage.”

      Chesterton summed these things up succinctly: “Take away the supernatural, and what remains is the unnatural.”

      • Thomas

        I want to thank you for taking the time to respond to my questions. You have given me a great deal to think about, and a springboard to do some further research. I think I get the idea about the natural purpose of something like a hammer: it’s used to hammer and remove nails. This does not mean that somebody could use it for other purposes, good or bad. So, yes, you’ve made sense by saying that even though there are some defective hammers, that doesn’t give cause to sell them in the marketplace, nor does it justify using one to bash another’s skull.
        How does one sell NLT to the individuals discussed herein? I’m certainly not up to the task. Is a person who is not grounded spiritually more apt to be instinctive rather than rational? Try telling such a person to forgo sex forever or become, to them, repugnantly “normal.” I suppose that is where the rubber meets the road for the spiritual v.s. the fleshly being. That might be a fallacious statement: is there any evidence that these people are spiritual? We are either connected to the divine source or we are far from it. So, perhaps God planned this “diversity” to see how we would deal with it?
        As you can see, I have not yet grasped this fully yet.

        • HigherCalling

          You seem to grasp these things just fine.
          Going through your questions one by one: It’s difficult to sell natural law in a culture of relativism. Relativism is both one of the weakest and yet one of the most forceful philosophies we face. The relativist simply dismisses natural law, and that ends the discussion. There is no where to go when we can’t agree on reasonable first principles. A person who is not grounded spiritually (or religiously) is usually more apt to be instinctive precisely because he is merely rational. Rationalism, materialism, scientism, relativism, etc offer satisfying answers to the human condition for those who are easily satisfied, intellectually speaking. All people are spiritual. We are spiritual beings as well as rational beings. Balancing those two parts of the human mind makes one a complete and balanced thinker. Relying on logic alone or on spirituality alone creates an imbalance in the mind and thus in life itself. Catholicism, and only Catholicism, finds that balance and completeness which properly orders our minds and our lives. Nothing else is willing to accept truths in their fullness, bridging the two halves of the human brain, where every other religion or philosophy fails. We are all connected to the divine source, but we are also dealing with the effects of fallen man. There is an overwhelming amount of healthy and wonderful diversity within the truth. Outside the truth is not diversity but disorder and falsehood. The Church was instituted to deal with the effects of our fallen nature so that we could live freely in temporal life and be beatified in eternal life.

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

    Love and acceptance is needed by all human beings, but what the liberals don’t understand is that conformity is the only way to get love and acceptance. One can conform to what is good and true and brings life, or one can conform to what brings death. Both ways are routes to love and acceptance of a form, but only one way leads to Christ.

  • Sid

    Well put.

  • bonaventure

    Deacon Jim,
    Thanks for this second installment of your article. The comparison between homosexual behavior and trying to drive a car with square wheels is particularly interesting, since such an attempt inevitably leads to frustration or worse, such as death in a wreck. Which is exactly what homosexual behavior leads to.

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

      You’re very welcome! Even though all analogies fail at some point, I was hoping you’d like how it seems to apply to this aspect of the orientation discussion. Thanks for reading!

      • bonaventure

        And thanks for your insight & cordial answers.

        And yes, you’re right that analogies may fall short. In fact, the homosexual activists will indeed deny your comparison, claiming that their vehicle has the same round wheels as any other, and that they, too, are capable of monogamy, etc.

        So, on a negative note, I sometimes wonder if there is any point at all to dialogue with people whose eyes are ears are completely shut.

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

        Jesus Christ has indeed pin pointed an eternal spiritual truth in the words above…

        • cajaquarius

          “So, on a negative note, I sometimes wonder if there is any point at all to dialogue with a side whose eyes and ears are completely shut.”

          I wonder that too at times. In the real world simply being charitable, living honorably, and showing love and forgiveness has gotten me far with many people who, prior to getting to know me, didn’t like “my kind” all that much so I haven’t lost hope of reaching those on the other side. Mainly by deeds and demonstration; words are well and good but demonstrating good fruit better serves a tree than simply looking pretty enough to produce good fruit.

          • Qari

            If you pray for someone before you meet them, they will come with more open hearts, even when not perceptible. Dialogue is necessary, and I think if we have sounder principles, a real conversation can begin. Often, I find, that many Catholics are Catholics only to the extent of their morality and faith, but Catholicism brings it’s light to all aspects of our lives.

            I’ll illustrate by an example. After reading Aquinas I’ve become a bit of a libertarian, so the issue of the Arizona law came up and some discussion came about. I raised the idea that no one should initiate force or violence against another human being as a sound principle to begin from (as Jesus did.) This is most certainly a sound principle that very few people can argue against (namely, to hold the position that it is justifiable to initiate force against another human being.) Well, the Arizona law became a very simple discussion after that, as it became exceedingly clear after force was understood to mean violence, that no one should have the right to force someone else to make them a cake under threat of legal action.

            However, it’s a hard principle to follow and apply consistently. Nonetheless, simple and sound reasoning goes a long way. Often morality is shrouded in big language, but if a person can articulate a principle that is hard to disagree with, the conversation can begin in earnest. In the case of homosexuality, it is good to get to the root of the matter, namely human sexuality.

            • cajaquarius

              I can somewhat agree with that. I abide by a strict sense of non-violence as I feel that to be the right course and one taught by Christ. I vehemently oppose the death penalty, urge people away from abortion if there are alternatives, oppose military beyond purely defense forces, and so on. I test all things against my conscience since, at the end of the day, it is the only thing I can be sure of in terms of guiding me right when swimming through a gray area. Often, by acting in a way that is guided by my empathy, available evidence, and tradition where it doesn’t contradict the first two I have managed pretty well in changing the hearts of people I have talked to and been around.

              As for allowing your conscience or religious views to color your own life, I do that too, though such approaches can garner different results, depending on perspective. To use your example, I came down on the opposite side of the issue because I worried it would force people into dangerous situations in smaller towns. For example, if the only grocery store in a small desert town doesn’t wish to serve black people because the owner feels that black people live under the Curse of Ham and should never have been freed from slavery, he could actively endanger lives by this action. I also felt that since private businesses take advantage of publicly owned and tax payer funded infrastructure to run their businesses they are obligated to provide services to the public whose infrastructure they depend upon. Because I saw the law as legalizing theft and creating potential harm I found myself on the opposite side of your own view.

              • Qari

                The conversation I had with the man was a long one too! But in essence, the basic idea is that even if something is what I want, I ought not initiate force to acquire it, even if I would be in an advantageous position if I did. Even in the case of the black man, if there are enough people to warrant someone opening a store at all, surely someone, driven by the incentive to gain financially, would resell the goods to the black man that he has bought, and if enough competitors arise, then the price will get closer to the original price sold at the store. In fact, this is an interesting hypothetical, since we’ve seen just that occur with ostracized groups in the past.

                As far public roads and utilities, since they emerge by the use of force (namely tax collection,) we have already left the principle in the dust. It is something akin to taking 10 dollars from a man and then giving him back 1 and requiring that he do what you say for giving him a dollar (which was already his before it was taken with the threat of violence should he not give it up.)

                I think, in the case of same sex desire, if the conversation can focus on the issue, namely what is sex for, then the desire can be put into a clear light (namely, that it is removed from the purpose of sex.) From my experience I find that usually it is ignored rather than argued, but something of a seed is planted. There is some fruit that kind of proves the value of the approach. In France, when the legalization issue came up, a group of “homosexuals” (I hate the term) came out against gay marriage because it was opposed to what marriage is all about, namely forming a family. It was an interesting phenomenon! http://c-fam.org/en/issues/human-rights-system/2050-french-homosexuals-join-demonstration-against-gay-marriage

                • cajaquarius

                  Living in Civilization is always a matter of slavery in degrees because nobody wants to live under a tyrant yet nobody wants to live in the world of Beyond Thunderdome either. Both extremes end badly so the right path is probably in the middle. I will digress on that, though, as it is way off topic.

                  I will agree with your French group about the marriage debate. I would be fine with the Libertarian approach (having legal contracts for everyone that are recognized everywhere but secular while allowing churches to keep the world “marriage” and dole that out as they so wish). That seems to be the way it will wind up, at this rate, with marriage coming in different packages based on faith or lack thereof, so maybe it will work out alright for everyone.

                  As for the purpose of sex, I consider it to serve two purposes; fabricate offspring and to bind one to another in actual love. I can respect that only heterosexuals can use it for both purposes – where I disagree with the Church is that both are absolutely necessary in the equation to be good. In my hierarchy of necessity I would place binding people to one another in selfless love as the primary purpose of sex and fabricating humans as the secondary. That is because to deny the first in my hierarchy would deny the inherent value of the sexual partner, even if you were fulfilling the second.

                  Part of the reason I would like to save myself for someone special despite being gay is because I feel that sex outside of real, self sacrificial love is a selfish and evil act. I want the first person I give myself over to also be the last.

                  Also, I will agree with your feeling on the word homosexual – I often refer to myself as a male romantically attracted to other males as “homosexual” makes it seem as if my primary drives are towards sex. I will use them in conversation for ease of reading like straight and gay.

                  • Qari

                    The libertarian approach (not big “L” since the actual party here in the US does not accept the approach, but it’s a minor point of clarification) cannot come about with any state definition of marriage. The simple reason is recognition. Essentially, if government says X is married a person cannot disagree with that in legal matters (business is one example, but as we see in Northern European countries with official state churches even religion.) The converse is true, but not an issue here. Marriage licensing has an interesting history as part of Bismark’s Kulturekampf to protestantize Germany. However, I do not see us going that route.

                    May I ask why you believe that procreation and union are necessary ends, and then why you place union above the other? That is, if you had to explain to someone without any dispositions on what marriage is or is about, why would you give those two things in that order?

                    • cajaquarius

                      [May I ask why you believe that procreation and union are necessary ends, and then why you place union above the other? That is, if you had to explain to someone without any dispositions on what marriage is or is about, why would you give those two things in that order?]

                      I believe for sex to be enjoyed in a way consistent with being good and loving, union in self sacrificial love needs to be at the heart of it. The goal has to be giving another pleasure as an extension of wanting their happiness as a primary aspect to be morally just in my view because the only alternative is using someone for personal gratification, which is selfish and flesh born. I am not trying to create an argument and I realize I won’t sway the mind of a Catholic who sees it as spiritual or holy but I do not see procreation as spiritual or higher but as profane and born of flesh. Not evil, not good, just neutral and capable of being either based on intent.

                      For example, a post menopausal couple can make love to each other to reinforce their commitment to each other and give each other pleasure and I will see it as good whether procreation is possible or not. If a man has sex with a woman specifically to use her to carry his baby he is using her, selfishly, as a vessel for his own young. Because union can exist without procreation and still be an loving act that respects the partner, it takes primacy over the more profane act of procreation in my view. Any bird or beast can procreate but only humans are capable of real love.

                      That would be the long and short of it.

                      [The libertarian approach (not big "L" since the actual party here in the US does not accept the approach, but it's a minor point of clarification) cannot come about with any state definition of marriage. The simple reason is recognition. Essentially, if government says X is married a person cannot disagree with that in legal matters (business is one example, but as we see in Northern European countries with official state churches even religion.)] ]

                      The state definition of marriage in the libertarian sense is a contract between two people not dissimilar from any other. Let the tax considerations, the legal ramifications, the family considerations insofar as hospital visits and legal rights to the dead spouse, and so on be the realm of the state and the religious and traditional aspects belong to the church. In this way you could disagree with marriage from a theological stand point, keep whatever view you like on it, and still honor a contract separate from what you understand as marriage without causing moral dilemma. A win win, as it were. Might be moot at this point.

          • bonaventure

            (1) A sexually perverted person cannot be charitable, since charity must begin with self-love (love your neighbor as yourself), while sexual perverts actually destroy themselves.

            (2) The very notion that a sexual pervert who allows the perversion to define him/her can live honorably is a logical fallacy, since by definition sexual perversion cannot be honorable, but is instead detestable.

            (3) About love and forgiveness –> see above #1. To forgive others, you must be able to forgive yourself. To forgive yourself, you must first admit the sin and repent. Which is not the case of open sexual perverts, since they revel in the perversion.

            • cajaquarius

              1) I suppose it is a good thing I am not driven by fetishistic sexual desire or selfish lust, then.

              2) I am not defined by a sexual perversion. I am partially defined by my yearning to fall in love as much as any straight person is. That is the nature of being human. You speak as if I have accepted my inclinations towards loving another as the sole descriptor of who I am. I have not.

              3) Considering your insistance on denying who I am and what drives me despite constant correction and unresolved rebuttal, why should I consider this part of what I am to be evil or a sin? When those who supposidely hold the moral high ground consistently use false witness against myself and my brethren why would we let you define us?

  • cajaquarius

    I can agree with the meat of the argument concerning “The One” presented here, even if I am one of “the enemy”. I think people who spend their lives looking for “the one” are often the exact same people who are not yet ready to find that special person. It isn’t a matter of sexual orientation or romantic drive in this instance but a pretty common problem among people who feel that finding another person and clasping to them will “complete” them. It is a self serving drive that seeks to use another person for your own end (that end being “fixing” yourself by using another person to fill in the cracks, so to speak). It is common in many communities and one of the things that leads to the higher divorce rate, I suspect. A marriage built on a selfish drive is doomed from the start.

    Even if I am ideologically opposed to the shallow boiling of people down to their private parts as complementarity seeks to do I would admit that this is a huge problem. A very sad problem. I have had some luck turning some of my own brethren towards charity and spirituality as a means of finding meaning outside of relationships but romance is too often sold as the panacea that will cure all ills in Western culture. Movies, TV, Disney Cartoons, books; we love the chase but hate the catch. The possibility of love entices but the promise of love terrifies. Why is that, do you suppose?

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

      Thanks for the comment–I would add that the Catholic teaching on man-woman complementarity is decidedly not shallow but rather immensely rich.
      Also, what you describe vividly and accurately is, basically, “eros,” which is “doomed” in its self-directedness if it is never fulfilled in “agape.” Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical on love (Deus Caritas Est) captures this dynamic beautifully.

      • cajaquarius

        I would also agree with the encyclical on this point as well. While I may not subscribe to all of the Church’s teachings, the push towards being selfless and cleaving societies view of what love is from what love actually is according to conscience and spirit is a worthy goal. This is a very big problem amongst my brethren. Still, I have faith that by offering them ways to get help for themselves where possible I can guide a few away from falling prey to that fleshly, self centered sort of lustfulness. That and by serving as an example and maintaining that standard myself.

        As for the first part of your response, I will not deny you your experience of the teaching of complementarity. As a deacon, I can see how the teaching might appeal and streamline many of the more gray area issues concerning emotions and human relations and give a goal post to test everything against in a world where there seems no clear answers. To me, complementarity boils me/my soul down to little more than male genitals with self direction and mobility. Taking a gross anatomy class and seeing the human form devoid of spirit was enough to cause a permanent fracture in any view I once held of divinity in the human form or spiritual value ascribed to our meat. That said, I can see how people might disagree and accept it. To some, modern art looks like splatters and to others they see something beautiful. That is the nature of these sorts of things, I suppose.

    • P2H

      Cajaqaurius, why do you define yourself as one of the “enemy”in the scone line of your response. Do you feel you are an enemy because there are those of us who look at homosexuality as morally unacceptable and will not accept homosexuality as normal? Labeling yourself the “enemy” is revealing. In my opinion it is clearly indicative of the demand that everyone must give their moral acceptance to a behavior that, by definition is contrary to the morality they accept as part of their catholic faith. I do not see the Deacon use the word enemy anywhere in his text. Therefore, unless one denies there own morality and accepts the opinion that homosexuality is OK, they are the enemy.

      This is illogical and irrational if you believe in Jesus Christ, eternal life and what is demanded of us to attain the kingdom of heaven.
      Satan, the price of darkness, is the enemy and all temptation to sin finds it root in him. Acts that are contrary to the law of nature come from the enemy.

      This is why it is possible to love the sinner hate the sin. The sinner os a person created in the image and likeness of God. The sin is an act. The “fruit” an act bears reveals whether it is of God or not. What fruit does the homosexual act bear? There is never a hope that the act can ever bear “fruit” . Hope is the second of the theological virtues and since the act is void of hope it is void of God and therefore his approval of it.

      Please read the catechism(2357-2359) and see how the church instructs us as the members of her body to respect people with same sex inclination. Respect does not mean acceptance. REspect means to view every person as one made in the image and likeness of God. However, how do you respect one when they chose to define themselves by their sexual inclination and the unnatural act that it leads to. In other words how do you respect a person who decides to place themeless below the dignity that God has imprinted on their bodies; a very visible part of that imprinting, the gifts he has given the person to be in his image and likeness by allowing that person to create life like he does? So how do people who choose to remain unmarried reveal the dignity that God has placed in them. Very simply, just as Jesus did by remaining chaste. Jesus said, pick up your cross and follow me. We all bear different crosses. For a person with same sex attraction that is one of their crosses. Do your best to pick it up and carry it by following in the footsteps of Jesus chastity and the charity that is meant for all people irrespective of their sexual inclination if they are outside of the marital union.

      For thousands of years there has been a term used to define two unrelated men who love each other. That term or word is friends. The homosexual lobby seeks to redefine the term friendship to marriage because those friends decide to engage in the unnatural act of homosexuality. Why should the fact that some men want to include an unnatural act within in their friendship lead to the rise of that friendship being redefined with a word that by its very etymology speaks to the union of two fleshes becoming one and as a part of that union he hope of creating a family in the natural act intended to only be performed in that marital union?

      Same sex inclination is just but one of many sins we all commit. I to am a sinner. As one who has committed the fleshly sin of fornication I do not view those who view fornication as morally unacceptable as my enemy. In fact I view them as loving me because by explaining the truth about fornication to me and how it continued practice of it will keep me from earning the great reward, I must view those who tell me this truth and guide me in the right direction with respect to this truth as lving me more than my friends who say nothing to me about it. In fax, are those who do not challenge me about it my “friends” at all? When you consider that the greatest love one can offer to another is “willing” that person to heaven the answer is no. Those who oppose homosexuality based on the truth revealed by God should not be viewed as an enemy but as those who love because they were courageous enough to speak the truth while knowing they would likely receive the very response you offered, that is, calling them the enemy and a much worse response from many activist homosexuals.

      • cajaquarius

        [Cajaqaurius, why do you define yourself as one of the "enemy"in ... as morally unacceptable and will not accept homosexuality as normal?]

        Ideologically, I am your enemy. It has little to do with you. You feel homosexuality is morally repugnant and I do not. Since it is unlikely that either of us will be swayed by the others views on this, I am your enemy as you are mine, at least on this point.

        [Labeling yourself the "enemy" is revealing. In my opinion it is ... homosexuality is OK, they are the enemy in your mind.]

        The fact that you automatically assumed selfish and wicked motives on my behalf simple because I am one of “them” is also telling. It tells me I am right and that, in your eyes, I am your enemy. The truth? I don’t really care what you think of me. Your side doesn’t care enough to understand things from my perspective so what is the point of listening to you? I will always choose evidence and, barring that, my conscience. I do thank you for making my case for me in the response, though.

        [That immediately put you in a defense ... undertake debate on issues of Christian morality with this in mind.]

        People bearing false witness about who I am and what motivates me puts me on the defensive. My original response to this thread wasn’t the Deacon, it was to a poster named Bonaventure who attempted to spread some hateful rhetoric about me. They thought their nonsense would not be challenged and corrected. They thought wrong. Theology is a tool I use to defend my brethren. One of many.

        [Referring to yourself as the enemy is illogical and irrational to ... from its true eternal home in heaven with Christ.]

        My introduction to homosexuality came late in life when I fell in love with another man. It never worked out and he left but I often still worry about him and pray for him. When I went to the Church to share my experience I was met with suspicion of my motives, barely veiled disgust, and my Church “family” asking me not to talk about it since they don’t gloat about their sins. They pushed me towards Courage, the official apestolate which cares so much about homosexuals that it still uses the false science of places like NARTH in their pitches. This love I felt (feel) for this man, according to you, comes from the Devil. Because I refuse to deny this love and violate my conscience by calling it an evil thing, that makes me a follower of the Devil. Hence, as a Christian, I am an unrepentant sinner and walker on the road to perdition; just an Ex-Catholic Lieutenant in Lucifer’s Army. It is a station I will accept since, at the end of the day, I will always choose defending the weak and those that need me over saving my own skin.

        [Chrisitians are to love the sinner ( the person created in the image ... sexual act (1. procreation 2. Pleasure) it is void of Hope and therefore void of God's approval.]

        I tried compromising, for a time. I was willing to give up the sexual component and pursue romance and love without it. When I offered this, I was met with dire warnings about creating controversy and accusations of trying to get around the rules with loopholes. My own experience was that “love the sinner hate the sin” was just “God hates fags” wrapped in a velvet glove.

        [Please read the catechism(2357-2359) and see how the church ... to view sun people as enemies?]

        I was raised Catholic. I know the Catechism and the Magesterium, especially on this point. Priestcraft doesn’t sway me much, these days, but does prove an effective tool for defending my brethren and inoculating them against the self hate that thinking you are broken will bring.

        [No, you assume we are you enemies because we won't sacrifice our morality. In essence, you see us as enemies because you can't win another's moral approval of an immoral act. Loving a person does not mean accepting everything they do. Loving another person means willing their good. The ultimate good is desiring to see one in heaven with their creator at the end of their time here on earth. Respect means to view every person as one made in the image and likeness of God.]

        Ahhh yes! There it is! That arrogance that drove me from the faith. The unbelievable, audacious, hateful, repeated assumptions about my motivation that casts me as some two dimensional Hollywood villain paired with that self aggrandizing “look what a saint I am, I am just loving you by telling you what a piece of crap you are, I deserve a metal” boasting of their own motives. Brings back memories of how easy and wide that path was when I walked it years ago. I am leaving this one uncut.

        [However, how do you respect one when they chose to define themselves by their sexual inclination and the unnatural act that it leads to.]

        We are defined by the love we hold. Love of friends, love of family, love of strangers, and even that romantic love that longs to become one with another. To not admit this is a big part of the human experience is ridiculous. Love has been a cornerstone of literary tradition that transcends both time and place. Another bit of false witness I never get tired of rebutting.

        [In other words how do you respect a person who decides ... man. He never married but he remains the god man.]

        The Catholic Church engages in Idolatry of the Flesh. The worship of dust and ash in the Church has always kind of bugged me but was something I could simply put out of my mind before I had my eyes opened to it. Selfish on my part, but it is what it is. To reduce the spirit to something of equal value to the physical meat is to drag God down and equate him with dirt. In other words, I am a Dualism Heretic, at least to an extent, but I reckon we won’t see eye to eye on this either so I will digress on it.

        [So how do people who choose to remain unmarried reveal ... of their crosses. Do your best to pick it up and carry it by following in the footsteps of Jesus.]

        I couldn’t agree more. That is why I am saving myself for the right person. This culture treats sex and love in such a selfish manner. And I am trying to walk in the footsteps of Christ and learn all I can. It manifests in many ways. Defending my brethren against those such as yourself and Bonaventure is one such way. Another is helping them get help for themselves. Then there are the theological ways like testing the teaching of those who speak of God for their veracity and casting out the ones that add nothing but mindless, empty legalism to the lessons of the Master, ranging from the false apostle Paul to the various preachers of today and tradition worshipers of this day and age.

        [Understand that for thousands of years there has been a term used ... to something of God and not of government; that is marriage.]

        So, your view of a marriage is two opposite sex friends who produce offspring together? Nothing else binding them together? But if that is the case, why do they still have sex or be romantic with each other long after having children is impossible? Let’s see if you have anything new to respond with; I get tired of talking circles around the same empty, predictable legalisms that accompany this canard when questioned.

        Though I will take this moment to point out that this was another situation where I would have been willing to compromise for the sake of peace and simply have secular marriages (eg federally recognized civil unions) and religious ones. Oddly, the adherents of “love the sinner” ideology tipped their hand, once again, when they got in the way of that too.

        [Same sex inclination is just but one of many sins a person commits.]

        I have yet to meet a single person with the wisdom to convince me of this. Who knows, though; maybe God has given you the wisdom to stand against Satan’s Lieutenant and prove him wrong. I do hope your arguments prove amusing, at least.

        [I too am a sinner. As one who has committed the fleshly sin of fornication I do not view those who view fornication as morally unacceptable as my enemy.]

        That is because fornication actively harms the people involved and is a selfish act. You used another human being as a sex toy for your own gratification and neglected their spiritual value. Even I can see that.

        [ In fact I view them as loving me because by explaining the truth ... to this truth as loving me more than my friends who say nothing to me about it.]

        The only reason you stopped using other people for your own gratification was for some celestial carrot dangled on the end of a stick and you sit there and dare to assume my experiences and my motives are the same as yours? God, I had almost forgotten that extraordinary Catholic arrogance I once shared. That self-serving, self aggrandizing nature that fills me with shame even now as I see it parroted to me here.

        It sounds to me like you have learned nothing of why fornication is a sin. This is making your refusal to see things from the perspective of my brethren and myself all the more understandable, though. And pitiable. Thank you for reminding me of why I fight the battles I fight.

        [In fact, are those who do not challenge me about it my "friends" at all? When you consider that the greatest love one can offer to another is "willing" that person to heaven the answer is no.]

        God decides who gets into heaven. Believing you can will someone into heaven is pure folly. And it sounds to me that they didn’t challenge or change you at all. Are you really only in it for your own salvation? Is that the only thing that keeps you from sinning? I challenge myself and my brethren (and my foes) every chance I get and I invite challenge in turn precisely because I realize now I wasn’t doing that for so many years. Are you, now? Don’t bother answering to me; I don’t have to answer for your motivations at the end of the line. You do.

        [Those who oppose homosexuality based on the truth revealed by God should not be viewed as an enemy but as those who love because they were courageous enough to speak the truth while knowing they would likely receive the very response you offered, that is, calling them the enemy and a much worse response from many activist homosexuals.]

        Those who oppose homosexuality based on the “truth revealed by God” could go a long way in convincing me they actually care by not making baseless assumptions about me over and over again or relying on outdated science to paint me as a monster. Not that you did the latter, but I am just saying for the sake of covering all bases here. Making arguments that are convincing and not so easily debunked or rebutted would be another. You have proven you are selfish and uninterested in my perspective. You took one line from my response to the Deacon and painted me as someone who baselessly hates all of you Christians for telling the truth. But can it really be called the truth if you have to rely on so much falsehood to support it?

        It has been a blast. I did enjoy our discussion thus far. If I maybe frank? Saving yourself from hell is the motivation of a selfish coward. At least if I burn, it will be with my head held high and my conscience clean, knowing that I was serving those who needed me in love. I wonder if you will be able to say the same.

        • P2H

          Wow, not only arrogant but extremely ignorant but thinking yourself intelligent. THe worst kind, one where pride stands front and center. gay pride no less. I was sincere in asking my question tried to be charitable in my response. But you know better than everyone here because you are the victim. Just looking at your last paragraph calling me a coward tells me a lot about you. God bless.

          • cajaquarius

            Doesn’t feel good, does it? You came at me with arrogant assumptions of my motives and about why I identify as gay. That isn’t charity. I responded in the same judgemental way, assuming your own motives. Not surprisingly, you are upset. Sit with that feeling for a moment. Experience it and realize that is exactly what you do to us.

            If you want to have a real discussion or debate, come back without the assumptions and rhetoric. You actively harm my brethren. It isn’t pride that drives me but love. Until you are ready to humble yourself and try to see things from our point of view, I and those like me will opppse you.

            To not do so means death. Do take care of yourself, kettle.

            • P2H

              Thats ridiculous. I didn’t come at you with assumptions of why you identify as gay. I know that answer. You’re attracted to people of the same sex. I asked why you identify those who oppose your view as enemies. Why? Because thats telling and its where the problem starts. Charity desires to help others which is why I wanted an aster to the question. I would like yiou to point out one statement that is judgementq, by that I mean, stating that you are going to hell because you are homosexual. That is the judgment Christ does not want us to take part in; judgement of the soul. Christ wants us to judge each others actions. Take a good look at Matthew 6 where he tells us not to judge but then immediately judges the actions of the Pharisees. I do nothing to a homosedxual other than plagiarize the truth as it came from the mouth of CHrist or his holy bride the catholic church. People who self define as enemies of those who oppose their (ike you did) view immediately take the defensive and react to the truth rather than contemplating it and accepting it. AS far as a debate you as I said in my response I don’t engage in arguments to win, I engage in charitable debate to move people to the truth. You identified yourself as a “dualism heretic” there is no need for me to debate with a spf proclaimed heretic. By your won words, not mine, you are your way to hell. No need for me to judge you you have already judged yourself. It is quite funny though to read someone such as yourself try to make yourself seem intelligent. As a self proclaimed heretic you necessarily lack the desire to incorporate the wisdom of God into your thinking and it is quite transparent in the lack of logic in your rambling response.

              • cajaquarius

                Alright, you know what? When I read your initial reply to my post I read your intent as malignant but seeing your reaction to this has made me wonder if I wasn’t hasty in judging your reactions. So let me apologize if your intentions were more innocent than I had guessed. I’m sorry. I will now respond more fully and succinctly to your comments and questions.

                [Your question about my use of the word “enemy”]

                I don’t call myself your or anyone’s enemy because I hate you but because many on that side of the fence do hate and demonize me. I would refer you to the poster on this very story (bonaventure) who has a comment blaming gays for the holocaust in so many words. This is historically inaccurate and is rhetoric designed to dehumanize and kill me, put simply. This person isn’t my enemy because they are grossed out by gays or their traditions teach them that I am a sinner, this person is my enemy because whether they realize it or not and whether they mean to or not their rhetoric, if left unchallenged, could lead to my death and the death of my brethren.

                I don’t hate you, nor do I want to change your mind on anything. I do want to challenge where I see mistakes, deliberate falsehoods, and things that demand correction. I don’t even hate the more malignant of my ideological foes; I simply pity them.

                [The part of your post that was problematic for me and why]

                “Labeling yourself the “enemy” is revealing. In my opinion it is clearly indicative of the demand that everyone must give their moral acceptance to a behavior that, by definition is contrary to the morality they accept as part of their catholic faith. I do not see the Deacon use the word enemy anywhere in his text. Therefore, unless one denies there own morality and accepts the opinion that
                homosexuality is OK, they are the enemy in your mind.”

                I have quoted the portion of your post that initially made me upset. The reason this upsets me is because you asked a question and then proceeded to answer it. This is called “wondering aloud” about another group of people and is often used by propagandists to dehumanize the minority, sect, party, or group being “wondered aloud” about. It would be like me finding a Catholic blogger explaining to someone who questioned them about what they believe in terms of social stuff, noticing that they mention very briefly being against the use of birth control and female ordination and responding to them with:

                “Why do Catholics oppose birth control and female priests? I find that telling. In my opinion, it is clearly indicative of their unfair demand that women stay subservient to men like dogs. I don’t see you mentioning you are a feminist so I have to assume you hate women.”

                That said, perhaps you were just getting ahead of yourself and not maligning me or my brethren. If that is the case then, again, I jumped the gun and am sorry for responding as I did.

                [Concerning my comments on Heresy and Hell as well as responding to your own]

                That is an interesting view as far as me being a heretic but you are mistaken about my definition of heresy (though yours is technically right). I am, indeed, a heretic but so are you in the eyes of a Muslim who would view your Catholic concept of transubstantiation of Christ as a heresy (since they view Christ as one of many prophets leading up to Muhammad and not the Son of God). Heresy is in the eye of the beholder, in the way I was meaning to use it. I see theology as a tool to defend against falsehood and spread the truth as I understand it as well. The problem is, I don’t agree with you on what is truth and you haven’t offered me compelling reasons to believe your truth is better than the one I have struggled to discover.

                As far as Hell? I am a Universalist and believe in complete redemption of everyone, eventually, so I don’t even believe in a permenant hell as you would understand it. I have been engaging in hyperbole to make a point though it only seems to have muddied that point instead. Sorry about that.

                [My History, Perspective, and Theology]

                I have been unfair to you. I have been coming at you, aggressively, yet I have shared nothing of my experience, expecting you to be a mind reader. Sorry about that.

                I fell in love with another man when I was 28 years old. I met him online. I have always kind of known, looking back, but had convinced myself I was just asexual or hadn’t met the right girl yet. We shared interests, goals, he genuinely cared about my well-being, and we even had similar interests, both being fiction writers. At first, we were fast and great friends and then we fell for each
                other. When he realized he was in love with me, he began to grow scared of the prospect of closeness. He was girly and hid his heart behind a sort of faux vanity. When he eventually got in an accident, the scarring destroyed his self-esteem. Eventually we lost touch and I still worry about him, even today. I am still a virgin and am old fashioned, as mentioned elsewhere, at least as far as relationships go.

                When I revealed this to my Church family I was met with suspicion and awkward silence. They figured I was trying to make my life center around my sin. The fact is, I was hurt by this. I had thought these people knew and loved me. Two of my friends from Life Teen had grown to become priests. I wanted, badly, to reconcile what I was and my Church family. I walked away from my faith, in the end, because I literally had no choice. To accept my love for this man, even if he was long gone, as anything but a disordered inclination would be to violate the traditions set forth by the Vicar of Christ and the Magisterium. This was and is a non-negotiable aspect of the faith – you either trust the traditions or you aren’t Catholic. But in order to continue to receive the Eucharist and continue life as a Catholic I would have to bear false witness in admitting that my loving this man was not born of genuine good. I couldn’t do that. Ironically, it was my respect for what the Eucharist signifies that kept me away from the Church, entirely, and still does.

                At first, I despaired. Then I studied theology, archaeology, and religion. At first, it was to find a way to reconcile Catholicism with what I am. Eventually, it had the opposite effect and drove me to a new sort of Christendom. During this time, I realized that many in the LGBT community were sick, sad, and needed someone like me. I realized I could help them. I have had a number of gay male and female friends. I have had a lot of especially the more effeminate male ones who appreciate that I don’t take advantage of them sexually (because that is all too common for many of them). For some I feel like I have become a surrogate father. I came to love them and push them towards getting help for themselves. But I was raised Catholic and I still return to these blogs reconcile my old Church family with my new LGBT family. I doubt I ever will, but I will creep back from time to time to comment, test, and hope. I now felt that I am exactly where I am needed and, once I stopped focusing on my own salvation and my own comfort, I was able to better cry for, laugh with, and be more fully present for my brethren (which is exactly where God wants me to be, I suspect).

                • P2H

                  Thank You for sharing this with me. First, you have met some uncatholic catholics. Stick the catechism in their face and show them that they are supposed to treat you with dignity and respect. WE are all sinners. Te rub comes when you continue to pursue your sin(if it is a sin at all for you) You cannot expect them to shrink from their faith. THey must defend it otherwise whats the sense of believing in it. But defending it means to try to get you to see the light in the power of CHrist. That is that anyone can stop doing something that is sinful in the eyes of the Christian GOd with the help of Christ. Then again you say your morality is different. However, our morality comes from the natural law. WE should be able to intuitively recognize right and wrong with repeat to acts of the flesh given the natural functions of parts of our body .

                  There is a lot in your answer but let me answer the one I think most important do you can see the connection: You wrote (“Why do Catholics oppose birth control and female priests? ) I find that telling. In my opinion, it is clearly indicative of their unfair demand that women stay subservient to men like dogs. I don’t see you mentioning you are a feminist so I have to assume you hate women.”

                  Let me address the easy one first, female priests. THe catholic church is based on 3 things, magisterium, scripture and Taradition( not traditions of men but traditions of God. In the OT the original priesthood was the firstborn, thenMoses came down from the mountain and saw the worship of an idol. The only ones not worshipping were the Levites. THen the priesthood became a levitical one. When Christ ws born we all became priests because of baptism that is we all are to evangelize. Know their is the “royal” priesthood of those of us born into Christ and the ministerial priesthood born of the traditions. Christ knew that mean are to be priests by his expertise on the Jewish Lhistory and so he picked 12 men to be his successors. On Holy Thursday he washed the fet of 12 men and told them ( indifferent word) to go out and do what he has done to them and in another part of scripture to go out and baptize all nations. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. THerefore we are not to arbitrarily change what he has set in place; kong those things the ministerial priesthood being made up of only men. There is much more ddeth to this but I dodnt have time today being Easter to explain it. If you want the depth I would suggest a CD by Dr. Brant Petrie at catholic Productions: Is the priest hood biblical?
                  Now on to contraception: WD know why the homosexual act is wrong from a anatomical perspective and again this is what should lead to forming our morality intuitively. Morality is ultimately from God. WE also know that theologically love is self gift. Not only is at self gift but it is a gift of complete self donation. The gift that we should emulate in love is the ultimate act of love made by Christ on the cross. He gave everything and held nothing back. In doing so he gave us all “new life”. THat is the chance at eternal life. THrefore, in the marital act we too must emulate CHrist. THe only way we can create new life is by not holding anything back. TO contracept means you are intentionally holding back the hope for new life. SO, you give you parner everything but the part that can create life. Is that really love? No, why, first because it denies the hop on GOd that is that you trust GOd in all matters. If a man and woman engage in the marital act they should trust that if the act produces a child that is the wil of God. IF they must avoid having another child for ecominc reasons or other reasons they maintain abstinence during the fertile period. If , even in practicing such they pick a wrong day and the woman gets pregnant that was Gods will. You can’t trust GOd in some things and not others.

                  WE live in a society filled with moral relativism and one consumed worth sex. Sex is made for 2 things I have repeatedlysaid 1. the hope of procreation and pleaure. However, the marital act is to remain within the bond of man and wife so that if a child is born it can be raised in the most perfect union of man and woman created by their biological parents. THat does not mean adoption should not be an option or fostering. But the options should go from best to worse when deciding what is bet for the child. I am an adoptive parents as I could not have children because of my accident.

                  I must go now it is the day the Lord is Risen. I will pray for you and gladly continue this conversation. May GOd bless you.

                  • P2H

                    Oh by the way I am going to read the post by Bonaventure to see if I see the hate you do and then respond accordingly if I do. As I said hate is from the devil. Remember though it is possible to hate the sin and love the sinner but in such instances there is going to be a dichotomy between what is expressed in the way of of love from the person who is doing the loving from a christocentric perspective versus what our secular society thinks love is(i.e being nice to someone and believing life and let live is the right motto). There is a big difference between freedom and licentiousness. Our society views licentiousness as freedom. Licentiousness sans doing whatever you want to do. Freedom means having the ability to do the right thing. Again, here we come to the intuitive nature of morality impressed in our souls by God. It falls from the natural laws especially with respect to the proper use of body parts for the sexual act. The essence of Love, that is what must be in all love, is self gift or self donation,otherwise it isn’t love. Is a father who punishes there child for doing something wrong loving them? Yes. DO they feel good about punishing the child. If they are in their right mind no. THere is proof that loving someone does not mean letting them do what they want or acting only in away to make them feel good. Love, especially as exhibited by CHrist on the cross often can involve pain and suffering. For you, chastity may cause pain and suffering but it is the greatest form of Love you can offer to Christ when you discipline yourself to suffer for him. The greatest display of love for a catholic is to “will” someone to heaven. Why? Because we have to love God first. It is out of that love for GOd first that we should strive to direct all to him so that they may be united with him again in heaven. Why? Because he created each one of us and that is what he wants.Therefore, as his hands and get here on earth I have to do his work and will especially with those who are sinning outwardly or especially with those who are trying to make what my faith teaches is a sin, something that is not a sin in the minds of others, if there is anything, according to the catholic faith that I believe in, that might impede someone from going to heaven I have, in Christ’s call to evangelize, an tbligation to share his truth, whether I am salt on, creamed at or crucified for my belief. Only if those things begin to happen to me am I living my life in imatatio chriti, in the image of Christ. Believe me I don’t need arguments or I don’t need to spend my time debating things my faith teaches as wrong, I can do things that are much more relaxing and easy. I do it first because the first commandment says in short, to put GOd first in my life, and because I truly believe those that commit mortal sinful acts will be denied what is the greatest gift they could ever receive. Again, that means, just as Christ did, suffering in this life and disciplining ourselves( or becoming disciples) to stay away from those sinful acts. Remember Christ remained Chaste by choice and you to( as I have read) have done the same accept for one time. So focus on finding true catholics who understand the trial you are undergoing and not the ones like Judas who are ignorant of the fullness and beauty of the church teaching and betray you because of the specific sin you struggle with. Don’t look at the apostolate of COURAGE as something trying to hurt those with same sex attraction ( even if you do disagree with some of the facts they use) but rather for what it is, an apostolate trying to help people stay away from sin just as AA and NA do.

                    God bless you and I hope you return to the church.

                  • cajaquarius

                    [Thank You for sharing this with me. First, you have met some uncatholic catholics. Stick the catechism in their face and show them that they are supposed to treat you with dignity and respect. WE are all sinners.]

                    You are welcome. And, to be fair, while some of them most certainly were acting against the order of the Catechism in being uncharitable, some were hurtful but still meaning to be charitable (I don’t want to make it seem like these are bad people as I do care about them). I agree. We all fall short, to varying degrees.

                    [Te rub comes when you continue to pursue your sin(if it is a sin at all for you) You cannot expect them to shrink from their faith. THey must defend it otherwise whats the sense of believing in it.]

                    I recognize their hearts are in the right place. I consider them misguided in many ways but try to hold a soft hearted view even of those who would be uncharitable with me since, usually, it is based on past trauma or misunderstanding of who people like myself are. Some think being gay is all about sex and that we are unable to experience love like other people. While this would make the nature of my orientation easier to judge, it isn’t the reality of my experience.

                    [But defending it means to try to get you to see the light in the power of CHrist. That is that anyone can stop doing something that is sinful in the eyes of the Christian GOd with the help of Christ.]

                    The issue here is I simply don’t see my orientation as disordered and differ with the Church on this point, somewhat. I don’t think the Church is completely wrong, I just think they aren’t fully right either on sexual morality. In my view, I think too much is made of the letter of the law when it comes to sex and sex is treated differently from other sins.

                    To prove my point, take “Thou shall not kill”. Pretty straightforward. Except the Catholic Church explores the “why” of the action more in the case of killing. Is a police officer who defends the innocent from a bad guy by shooting them responsible for violation of this commandment? If a Navy seaman dies at sea fighting the Japanese in World War 2, will he be considered damned if he died in the middle of a battle where he killed Japanese pilots attacking his boat simple because he couldn’t get to a priest before he was killed? The Catholic answer to this is no because his intention was the protection of the innocent, the carrying out of civil duty, being ordered to under threat, and so on. It is a highly fleshed out rule. There is many apologetics covering killing and when it is and isn’t a mortal sin.

                    Sexual sin, on the other hand, is less well defined or explored. Why is fornication wrong? It is because there is usually no chance at procreation and it occurs outside of marriage. Why is sex without the chance of procreation or outside of marriage wrong? Because it violates the natural law set up by God concerning the meaning of sex.

                    But that isn’t a very good answer because it boils it down to “Because God says so”. That is a shallow justification and is also outside of the character of God. Generally, sins of all kinds have actual repercussions, including fornication. Fornication involves one person using another person for sexual gratification. That is a selfish act. You can’t act selfishly yet still claim to love someone, therefore it is a violation of the second commandment given by Christ to love your neighbor.

                    I don’t disagree with the Church and believe it is on the right track when it comes to sexual morality. The problem is the focus on the what rather than the why – it is an odd focus that doesn’t address the real issues of sexual immorality and lends itself to legalistic thinking (where our focus should be on empathetic thinking; we should avoid sexual immorality because it harms another person, not simple because “God says so” – that is the kind of justification that will not survive in the future and is only barely surviving now).

                    Where I differ on homosexuality is that I consider the spirit and flesh to be separate from each other and the sexual act to be appropriate for two purposes: for the flesh, sex exists to propagate more life. For the spirit, sex exists to bind two together as one in love. While I cannot do the former, I can do the latter, as a gay man. I consider the spiritual to take precedence above and beyond the flesh based purposes for sex, morally. I believe this because while the flesh based purpose of sex can be used in the service of evil (one can rape a woman and force her to carry a child to term, for example) the spirit based purpose can never be misused for evil because it is good by its very nature. Real, self-sacrificial love is inherently good and born of the spirit.

                    [Then again you say your morality is different.]

                    My understanding of morality maybe different but all have the same law written on their hearts, save for a few unfortunate people whose brain disorders render them incapable of entertaining empathy for others at all. Most have a conscience.

                    [ However, our morality comes from the natural law. WE should be able to intuitively recognize right and wrong with repeat to acts of the flesh given the natural functions of parts of our body.]

                    Or morality comes from our spirit. Natural law refers to the flesh and that is just dust and ash. It is just meat. The meat will die, fade away, and decompose but the spirit lives forever. I would say that this is where I sharply disagree with the Church on the nature of the world.

                    To bind the spirit via simple complementarity is to idolize flesh above the spirit, in my mind. The flesh is fallible and weak. The flesh can be warped by birth defect and radiation. I simple can’t agree to the view that would claim the flesh as anything more than a vehicle for the soul – to elevate it as an equal to the soul is a grave error, in my view.

                    So long as sex is done within the confines of selfless love and is a complete giving of one to another, spiritually, I don’t feel it is a sin and have yet to see anything that convinces me otherwise. I think this is the “why” that the Church is hinting towards with sexual morality but not quite achieving. I could be wrong, but I don’t feel that I am. Also, happy Easter to you as well.

  • MCW

    The Church upholds the natural law. This is why secular society can not stand the Church. Nature wants man and woman to be monogamous, fruitful and chaste in their sexual activity. How do we know this? 1. If we were supposed to be promiscuous nature would have given us an immune system that allowed promiscuity. 2. Nature left alone,always brings forth life. 3. Again, there are certain sexual practices that cause disease. So, even in a monogamous relationship there are things that shouldn’t be done. We must be chaste. The Church, who is Christ present in the world, puts its seal of approval on the laws that God has ordained. If we don’t obey these laws, we pay the consequences which are quite dire emotionally and physically. And it is usually those committed to the Church that help these poor souls.

  • HenryBowers

    Deacon, this is the best thing I’ve ever read of yours. Thanks for highlighting that most helpful, tripartite, distinction.

  • Truth

    There are many problems with this article, both in its ideas and the way in which it is written. Firstly, this article is deeply offensive. It completely ignores subjectivity of experience, instead imposing a rigid and narrow structure on its subjects. If love of ‘The One’ is most important, then why is it completely implausible that one can love God through same-sex relations?
    You’re completely behind on the scholarship. This sort of article is the reason why Christianity is criticised as irrelevant. I am an atheist. However, I like to practise acceptance and toleration of all people, even those who suscribe to ideas which seem wholly implausible to me. Toleration, acceptance, and forgiveness are true Christian principles; NOT notions of superiority, oppression, and guilt.
    Furthermore, this article is appallingly written. It’s choppy and hard to read.
    Before someone asks about my ‘academic credentials’, I should like to point out that I am a student at the University of Oxford, who is up-to-date with recent scholarship which works towards promoting toleration in an ever-changing world.
    However, perhaps you’re right. Perhaps IF there is a God, he will judge those who engage in same-sex relations. However, IF there is a God, he will be more likely to praise those who are capable of love of all of Man. IF there is a God, I hope that your messages of hate [plus stupidity, but I guess that's irrelevant] will send you to the fiery depths of Hell, which is where you deserve to be.

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

      ….deeply offensive, rigid, narrow, behind on scholarship, makes Christianity irrelevant, appallingly written, choppy, message of hate plus stupidity…AND “go to hell”!
      er….uh….thanks for the comment? Thanks for being soooo tolerant? :-)

  • Ubi caritas

    In such writing, and in such commentary, it is critical to keep in mind the explicit caution set forth by the CDF in 1986, in LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
    ON THE PASTORAL CARE OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS, section 10:

    “It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.”

    Such endangerment is primary. Such respect is primary. This comes before any discussion of gender, orientation, and so forth.

    Furthermore, the USCCB in 2006, MINISTRY TO PERSONS WITH A HOMOSEXUAL INCLINATION:

    “As baptized members of the Catholic community, persons with a homosexual inclination continue to look to the Church for a place where they may live in authentic human integrity and holiness of life. Being welcomed into and participating in their local faith community is the foundation of spiritual support that the Church offers to them. Full and active participation is encouraged.”

    Clinging to Christ, I am reminded of Mt. 7:1; Mt. 5:43-48; and Mt. 25:31-46. It is easy to feel justified as did the goats. God sends the rain down indiscriminately.

  • http://shyanguya.wordpress.com/ @FMShyanguya

    To @Deacon Jim Russell and @Crisiseditor:

    CCC (2357) scratches its head regarding the ‘psychological genesis’ of homosexual attraction. What is your opinion and argument? From whence do they originate? From G_d or elsewhere? If elsewhere what is that elsewhere? What is the root cause of the intrinsic disorder? The effective refutal ‘to what has been sprung on society’ lies in the clear and accurate answer(s) to these questions.

  • AntiNihil

    The Theodosian Code against this flagitious deformity shall again be rigorously re-vindicated. Sooner, or later, inevitably. Good shall triumph. The bourgeois chatter period is ending, hopefully congenially minded preservations of teleological order and ordinances supra-mundane – the Augustinian “few good men” are needed to correct and re-purify the state. No more half-measures.

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