Is “Gay” Just Another Adjective?

In the current debate about the wisdom of the proposals being made by those who call themselves “gay celibate Christians,” many find a problem with their self-identification as being gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer or anything other than their God given male or female natures. The usual response they give to their critics is that those who criticize them simply don’t understand what they are saying when they say “I am gay.”

Spiritual Friendship is ground central for the “gay celibate Christian” movement. Ron Belgau, one of the blog’s founders recently responded to those critical of their use of the phrase “gay” about themselves in an essay called “What Is ‘Gay’?” In his essay Belgau dismisses this criticism as merely a misunderstanding that is easily settled, since he seems to believe it is just a question of grammar:

English speakers say, “I am X” all the time without meaning that “X” is either a defining or constitutive element in their identity. As far as I can tell, our critics are missing this basic grammatical point. And this is at the root of much of their confusion about the way we speak. But I submit that the fault for this failure to communicate does not lie primarily on our side. This is not the first time we have tried to point this out, nor are we talking about a particularly confusing point of English grammar.

Belgau quotes another of their authors, Chris Damian, who tries to make the same point by giving a list of all sorts of things we might use to describe ourselves, as if those critical of anyone saying “I am gay” don’t understand the way language works:

We create words for things, even though words have a danger of confining things. People will always be bigger than the words we use to describe them, and words will always have the tendency to give us narrow views. But this danger shouldn’t keep us from using words. I am a man; I am American; I am single; I am 5’10”; I am hungry; I am tired: I am happy: I am sad; I am studious; I am foolish; I am fallen; I am sinful; I am hopeful; I am inquisitive; and I am gay. I’m not just any one of these things, but I am all of these things. You could ask me to not categorize myself in terms of my sexual identity because I am not just my sexuality; but if you’re going to do that, you might as well not ask me to categorize myself at all.

The whole argument crumbles to the ground however after just a moment’s examination.

Imagine a boy of fifteen. He wonders if he might be different than all of the other boys he knows. He often lies awake at night, crying himself to sleep in anguish about it. He fears his parents might reject him if he tells them. Could God still love him, if it’s true? And why would God allow this in his life anyway?

He’s depressed and doesn’t know how he can survive and so he finally steels his resolve to tell his parents.

He waits for a moment when they’re all alone.

“Mom and dad, I don’t know how to tell you this, so I’ll just say it: I think I might be hungry.”

You see the point.

Replace “hungry” with any of the other adjectives in Chris Damian’s list of identifiers and only one of them is a label that causes a young person to question the sort of person he is at the very core of his nature. This difference is obvious to everyone. “Gay” is far more than just one adjective among many a man might say about himself. It’s not a question of grammar—it’s a question of identity and one’s self understanding of the sort of person one is. No one has ever agonized about coming out as inquisitive. I never suffered sleepless nights in adolescence because of wondering if I was studious.

I was recently speaking with a 24 year old man about his attractions to men. He told me he first realized these attractions when he was around twelve or thirteen and it was then that he realized he must be gay.

After listening to his story I asked him a question. “Once you realized that you were attracted to other guys, did you ever have the freedom to consider yourself as not being gay?”

He reflected for a moment, and said, “No. You know, I really didn’t.”

Wesley Hill, the cofounder of Spiritual Friendship and author of Washed and Waiting shares a similar moment of recognition in his book:

The homoerotic attractions I had been conscious of since waking up to the strange new universe of sexuality remained so constant and unbroken that I came to realize I was experiencing what was usually called “homosexuality.” I had a homosexual orientation. I was gay.

Contrast Hill’s recognition with a conversation I recently had with a woman who came of age in the 1950s. She recalled a time in adolescence when she had a close attachment to one of her female friends. The strong feelings of affection between them led for a time to sexual experiences between them.

Unlike Wesley Hill, or my 24-year-old friend, this woman had no concept or awareness of the category of a “gay” person, or of “being a lesbian” or a “bisexual.” Her encounter with her friend didn’t cause her to think of herself as a different sort of woman than every other woman who had ever lived because she was fortunate to live in a world that still believed that the only sexual division that existed was the line separating men from women.

Alas, the world has since been remade.

Today, a young person who finds himself attracted to the same sex is automatically a certain sort of person. He has a label, an identifier, a state of being, a category into which he fits—all courtesy of the culture around us. Our world’s language of sexual orientation is a pernicious trap: the boy who even has a passing attraction to another boy now has likely lost the freedom to view himself as he truly is: a boy who is the same sort of boy as all other boys that came before him. Rather, he will likely question his “sexual identity,” or wonder about his “sexual orientation” since the world tells him that if he’s attracted to another boy, he is necessarily—and by definition—something other than “straight.” The dividing line of sexuality is no longer male and female. It is “straight” and “something not straight’’ where that “something” is whatever a mind might imagine.

So of course, the thinking doesn’t end with merely gay, straight, bisexual, or lesbian.

Not long ago I spoke to a Catholic high school about the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and why I find it liberating. One of the handwritten comments I received was from a girl who said, “I consider being straight overrated. I view myself as pansexual.”

What answer does the Church have for this poor girl who can no longer delight in being a girl, as God created her? Is her salvation found in the thinking of “gay celibate Christians”: accept your sense of your own sexuality, and embrace some sort of mysterious good gifts it brings you that are unavailable to “straight” people—but just be sure to realize that it’s the “having sex” that is the problem? If as a Church, we accept the notion of “gay celibate Christians,” where does it end? Will we someday speak of “pansexual celibate Christians?”

This is not merely a question of abstract philosophical musings. I recently heard from a Catholic mother who was devastated because her daughter came out at age eighteen as a “celibate lesbian.” She did so because of those who call themselves “gay celibate Christians.” Her primary inspiration came from the writings of Eve Tushnet and the blog A Queer Calling, written by two women who refer to themselves as a “Celibate, LGBT, Christian couple.” They consciously have chosen not to refer to themselves as a “chaste lesbian couple” because only one of them views herself as a lesbian. The other member of the couple hasn’t decided yet what her sexual identity is. She seems to believe that “Choosing A Letter Is Complicated.”

Such is the world as it is today: one can adorn oneself with whatever sexual identity one would like; Choose another tomorrow if this one today doesn’t feel quite right.

This is madness.

That sort of thinking cannot be the model for our children. A woman who believes she has the freedom to choose a sexual identity does not know who she is. We can just as easily choose our sexual identity as we can deny the existence of gravity. We may call ourselves something other than what we are, and find others who will go along with our self-deception, but they are the flatterers who will not tell the Emperor the truth—that the New Clothes he is wearing were manufactured by weavers in the employ of the Father of Lies. It should come as no surprise that Pope Francis has called gender ideology demonic.

Where, then, is truth and freedom to be found?

In Veritatis Splendor, St. Pope John Paul II tells us that the answer is found in our human nature:

It must certainly be admitted that man always exists in a particular culture, but it must also be admitted that man is not exhaustively defined by that same culture. Moreover, the very progress of cultures demonstrates that there is something in man that transcends those cultures. This “something” is precisely human nature: this nature is itself the measure of culture and the condition ensuring that man does not become the prisoner of any of his cultures, but asserts his personal dignity by living in accordance with the profound truth of his being.

This, then is the crux of the problem: Those who call themselves “gay celibate Christians” are not living in accordance with the profound truth of their being. They are receiving a hearing in the Church because they are focused on “good behavior,” yet they are trying to proclaim a message of liberation without realizing they are living behind the walls of a prison, still in need of freedom themselves. They are trapped in our cultural confusion concerning sexuality and they fail to see the world and themselves as they truly are: as sexual beings, we are solely, and completely, male and female, ordered towards our sexual opposite, and have been such since the beginning of Creation. Sadly, in their own confusion, they are leading young people down a path of confusion as well.

The model for the Church isn’t “gay celibacy.” The model it needs to follow comes from the experience of people who finally know who they truly are. People like David Prosen.

In his essay “I am not gay . . . I am David” he writes, “By defining myself as a ‘gay’ male, I had taken on a false identity. Any label such as ‘lesbian,’ ‘bisexual,’ or even ‘homosexual’ insinuates a type of person equivalent to male or female. This is simply not true. One is not a same-sex attraction, but instead experiences this attraction.”

In the book Out Of A Far Country, Christopher Yuan writes about his dramatic conversion from a sexually active life of homosexuality. He writes, “I really believed that God had created me this way—gay. I had told myself over and over, I am gay. I was born this way. This is who I am. I never chose to have these feelings.” After searching the Bible, he came to the conclusion that “my identity was not ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual,’ or even ‘heterosexual,’ for that matter. But my identity as a child of the living God must be in Jesus Christ alone.”

A man named Kevin writes about his own wrestling with the ideology of LGBT identities. He says, “When I hear many people use such terms today, I know deep down that I have immense worth as a child of God, which gives me freedom from using those terms. I think that freedom applies to everyone. Even someone I know who considers himself an LGBT activist, recently admitted that he admired me for holding this position, which I explained as just one of the many amazing truths taught by the Church. He had said that the teaching itself was quite ‘progressive,’ the more he thought about it.”

That is what true freedom looks like. And notice—truth that comes from God always rings right through any fog of confusion. We are made for the truth: his LGBT activist friend saw this view of man’s identity as quite progressive.

This then is the only way forward: proclaiming the profound truth of man’s nature created by God as part of the good news of the Gospel. The notions of “gay celibacy” or of “chaste LGBT couples” are no answer to the pastoral questions facing the Church. At best this thinking can only be seen as a halfway house to freedom, a stopping point for people who are almost free, but not yet. It is good that these writers have embraced and promote sexual continence, but their notion of “gay celibacy” is far too meager a vision of what human freedom and flourishing is all about. That begins with understanding who we are: that every human being is either male or female, a beloved daughter or son of the Most High, both made gloriously in the image and likeness of God. Those trapped in the morass of the ever-expanding litany of sexual identities will only ever be fully free when they accept the truth of who they really are.

I am grateful that I have learned this. I know who I truly am by the grace of God and the pastoral ministry of the Church. The Church has taught me who I truly am, and thus, I choose to follow the wisdom the Church sets before me. Every day I assert my personal dignity by living in accordance with the profound truth of my being.

I am not gay. I am a man.

 Editor’s note: The image above is a detail from “Vitruvian Universal Man” drawn by Leonardo DaVinci.

Daniel Mattson

By

Daniel Mattson lives in the midwest, where he has a career in the arts. He is featured in the Courage Apostolate's documentary Desire of the Everlasting Hills and is often invited to share his testimony to clergy, schools and parishes. He blogs at LettersToChristopher.wordpress.com. Other writings may be found at Joyful Pilgrims.

  • Daniel P

    Father, I pray that You might bless the conversation in this combox today, and help it to glorify You. I pray that understanding might triumph over misunderstanding, that truth might triumph over error, that mercy might triumph over judgment. I pray that you might cover over both sides of this debate with a blanket of humility, so that we might be pliable and moldable, so that you might mold us together into a place of unity, focused on the good of You and Your people. May we all come to a deeper understanding of who You, and, in that understanding, also know who we are in You. Amen.

    • GG

      The author of the this essay does an excellent job defending, and explaining, Church teaching. There is a battle waging right now. Those who oppose the matter in this piece may not even grasp that they are fighting against reason and Church teaching.

      • TommyD6of11

        I hope and pray that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, is one who would embrace this article. But, I am not confident he would.

    • Jacqueleen

      We are children of God, plain and simple. All must grow in our faith and in holiness while obeying God’s Commands, loving and forgiving those in our paths and helping others along the journey to eternal life…..Our purpose of being is not to enjoy sex but to bring glory to God by our life. Pray for the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit. KNOW THY FAITH!

    • bonaventure

      I pray that you might cover over both sides of this debate with a blanket of humility

      You’re assuming that there are both side to the issue, while the article makes abundantly clear that there aren’t.

      The author concludes with: “I am no gay. I am a man.” No room here for “I am gay.” If there were, the author’s clear point would be a lie, as is anyone’s “other side” on this issue, for that matter.

      • Daniel P

        Interestingly ironic comment.

      • GG

        Very true. As is said the measure of humility is obedience. How can one claim to to obedient while defining oneself as “gay”?

  • fredx2

    It seems to me that considering oneself a gay celibate is a half way house. It is a start. It is the beginning of a journey that hopefully will end up at the correct destination. But let’s not condemn the person who starts the journey. That could be horribly counterproductive.

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      Where do you read any condemnation in this article?

    • GG

      No, it is an ideology. It is not half way. It is an end in and of itself. It is wrong-headed.

  • I don’t see “Gay” as a political or a cultural term. I have always seen it as a synonym for having a homosexual orientation, just as being “Straight” is having a heterosexual orientation. It says nothing about a person’s “lifestyle.” Some people a promiscuous, others aspire toward monogamy and marriage, others are happy being single but occasionally dating, and still other prefer celibacy. None of these ways of conducting one’s own personal life hinge on sexual orientation.

    The word “Gay” was never hijacked by homosexuals. It not as though, after the Stonewall uprising in 1969, homosexuals said, “Hey guys, let’s start calling ourselves Gay!” It’s a term that slowly, gradually came into common parlance starting in the early part of the part of the 20th century. The film Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word Gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. In a scene in which the Cary Grant character’s clothes have been sent to the cleaners, he is forced to wear a woman’s feather-trimmed robe. When a woman asks about his robe, he responds, “Because I just went GAY all of a sudden!”

    But apparently there’s a lingering resentment over use of the term in this way. A Gay Catholic is supposed to say instead, “I’m struggling with same-sex attraction,” which is supposedly more theologically correct.

    • Jim Russell

      If none of these ways of conducting one’s own personal life hinge on sexual orientation, then why would anyone feel compelled to publicly self-identify *according* to sexual orientation? What’s the point?

      • DEAR JIM:

        Sexual orientation is a fundamental part of a person’s psychological and emotional being, whether the person is Gay or Straight. Let me at least assume that you are Straight (i.e. heterosexual). Have you ever felt the need to verbally identify yourself as such? Probably not.

        I wouldn’t really expect you to understand this. There is absolutely nothing in Straight experience that is analogous to “coming out.” But I would like you to consider a few things:

        If you were a Gay man, would you live your life openly and honestly, or would you prefer to hide yourself away in a closet, content for people to assume that you were Straight? If you had a husband or a boyfriend, would you have a framed photo of him on your desk at work, or would you take great pains not to be seen in public together, and do everything you could to hide your relationship from friends and family members?

        As someone who is ostensibly heterosexual, how would you feel if you heard that there were rumors going around that you were Gay? Would you just ignore the rumors, or would you go out of your way to make sure that everyone knew you were Straight? You wouldn’t want people ASSUMING that you were Gay, would you? If not, why do you think Gay people would want anyone ASSUMING that they are Straight?

        In my 55 years as a Gay man, there have been many times that people have asked me if I’m married or if I have a girlfriend. Such questions are perfectly innocent chit-chat, especially considering that there is absolutely NOTHING about the way that I dress, talk, or act that make you think I was anything but Straight. Nevertheless, as a Gay man who has been fairly active in the LGBT community, I simply don’t people ASSUMING that I’m Straight.

        Do you have a wife and/or kids? Have you ever shown photos of them to other people? Have you ever walked hand-in-hand with your wife? It would be perfectly innocuous for you to do so, as a Straight man. Yet if a Gay person does the same thing, it’s often seen as militant, subversive act.

        As I said, Straight people will never truly understand what “coming out” means. There’s nothing they can compare it to. And it’s a different experience for each and every Gay person. Sometimes it goes well, other times not so much. Coming out means possibly losing friends, being rejected by one’s own family, risking one’s employment and safety.

        It’s something I hope you’ll think about. And if you have any Gay friends, its something you may wish to ask them about.

        • GG

          “Coming out” is a contrived cultural identity. It is not authentic.

          • DEAR GG:

            If a Catholic comes forward and identifies himself as someone who is “struggling with same-sex attraction,” it is still “coming out.”

            • Jim Russell

              Actually, no, it’s not–it’s decidedly a different thing altogether–particularly in contrast to how you yourself have described the meaning of “coming out”….

              • DEAR JIM:

                If, like the term “Gay,” you consider “coming out” some kind of militant act, and that a Catholic who joins Courage is for all intents and purposes still in the closet, I wouldn’t really know how to respond, other than to say I think you’re splitting hairs.

                A Catholic family sits down to breakfast.

                The mother asks her son, “So, Chris, what are you doing today?”

                Chris responds, “I have a meeting I need to attend.”

                Mother: “Really? What kind of meeting?”

                Chris: “It at the church. It’s just a social group. Don’t worry, it’s no big deal.”

                Father: “Is it other teens? Maybe you’ll meet a nice girl. It’s about time you had a girlfriend. What’s this group called?”

                Chris: “It’s called Courage, Dad.”

                Mother and Father put down their forks and look at each other.

                If you don’t want to call it “coming out,” what do you call it?

                • Daniel P

                  “Living in the light.” At least, that’s the Scriptural term.

                  • “Living in the light.” Huh. Let’s continue that breakfast conversation.

                    Mother: “Courage? Did you say COURAGE, Chris? That’s a group for homosexual Catholics. You’re not GAY, are you? You never told us you were GAY!”

                    Chris: “Mom, it’s not like that. And we don’t use that word! I’m just … you know, struggling with my … tendencies.”

                    Father: “So this is why you’ve never had a girlfriend?”

                    Chris: “I don’t need a girlfriend. But if it will make you feel any better, I don’t have a boyfriend, either. I’m not going to have a boyfriend. The guys in this group, we call it ‘Living in the Light’.”

                    Mother and father continue to look at each other in silence.

                    Mother: “So, Chris … if you’re Gay, do you really think it’s a good idea to get together with other Gay boys like this?”

                    Chris: “I told you, Mom, I’M NOT GAY!”

                    Father: “Then why do you need to go to this Courage meeting thing?”

                    Chris: “Look, Dad, I’m just trying to live the way God wants me to live. Gay Catholics are called to be chaste, and this group helps me do that.”

                    Father: I thought you said your weren’t Gay.”

                    Chris: “I’M NOT GAY. I shouldn’t have said that. I’m … I’m Living in the Light.”

                    Father: “Light in the LOAFERS, if you ask me …. ”

                    Mother: “More coffee, anyone?”

                    • Daniel P

                      Chuck,

                      Your imagined dialogue depicts a mother and a father who apparently hate their son. It’s very sad. I can hardly imagine anyone being so cruel and tone-deaf as in the example you give.

                      Can you give me an example of an action that you consider deeply wrong, Chuck? I’m wondering if you would think it appropriate to describe oneself by a word referring to that action.

                    • DANIEL:

                      As I said previously, the “coming out” process is something that Straight people really don’t have a clue about. It IS something that Gay people talk about all the time. The process is different for everyone, and the reactions from friends and family members and co-workers are different as well. The breakfast conversation I described? You thought the mother and father apparently hated their son. That’s NOT what I envisioned or wanted to convey. Fact is, for younger people who are Gay, there is no way to test the waters. Imagine this exchange:

                      Chris: “Dad, I need to ask you a question.”

                      Father: “Sure, son, what’s on your mind?”

                      Chris: “Well, how would you feel if I told you I was a … homosexual?”

                      Father: “Homosexual? You mean, like, queer? I wouldn’t like it. wouldn’t like it at all. No son of mine is going to be a queer.”

                      Chris: “Great, Dad. Thanks. Never mind about that. I was just curious. Don’t worry, I’m not Gay. I was just wondering how you would feel if I was.”

                      Father: “No problem, son. Say, how about that Steelers game, huh?”

                    • Daniel P

                      But Chuck, the parents responded with BRUTAL indifference and dehumanizing language.

                      By the way, I’m not a “straight person”, and I DO understand the situation of the sort of teenager we’re talking about. When I hit puberty, I found myself attracted to men, not women. I hid it, and was terrified by the secret.

                      But if I had told my mom — at that point — that I experienced an unwanted attraction to other boys, she would not have said anything. She would have held me, and let me deeply experience her unconditional love. Any mother who would do otherwise has never properly learned how to love. Any mother who would do otherwise hardly deserves the name “mother”.

                    • DEAR DANIEL:

                      I’m glad that your mom would have loved you unconditionally. I know other people who have been kicked out of their homes after telling their parents they were Gay. Everyone’s experience is different. As Gay people, we learn from these experiences and talking about them.

                    • So either we kick them out or affirm them? There’s no other route? Deep compassion and love for them does not mean we have to prop up their disposition to the level of “ok” or “gift” or central identity.

                    • Daniel P

                      Who is to blame for those people being kicked out of their homes?

                    • Do you think those Gay young people have themselves to blame, Daniel?

                    • Daniel P

                      Of course not!!!

                      Their parents are to blame. Not the Church, which teaches them to love unconditionally. Not the people here at Crisis. Not the windmills you’re tilting at.

                    • Excuse me, but parents have the right to set the rules for their house.

                    • Daniel P

                      The rule “You may not have a boyfriend” is a perfectly acceptable rule. The rule “You may not be attracted to other boys” is not. People cannot control their attractions.

                    • Rules affect behavior, not inclination.

                    • bonaventure

                      People cannot control their attractions.

                      Yes they can. In fact, attraction to the same sex is very much controlled (i.e., manipulated and manufactured),* considering that every human being is only designed for, and originally attracted to, the opposite sex.
                      ___
                      * Often manufactured by putting together one’s and others’ sins which linger in a person’s psyche.

                    • GG

                      Is from a 70s TV movie?

                    • asmondius

                      ‘Gidget Meets Gaylord’

                    • asmondius

                      Now it’s a ‘process’!

                    • Yep.

                    • asmondius

                      Digestion is a process, homogenization is a process, photosynthesis is a process……coming out? Nope.
                      .
                      ‘coming out’ = convincing teens with questions that they Must be homosexuals

                    • Tony

                      PONTICOLAE NON PASCENDI.

                      Don’t feed the trolls.

                    • Wow, the Latin form of that proscription has more bite.

                    • asmondius

                      Interesting in that the homosexual point of view always involves contrived fiction of some sort.
                      .
                      Note how these scenarios always portray the Dad as some type of crude oaf.
                      .
                      Also interesting in how it often involves imagery regarding teenage boys.

                • GG

                  Call it seeking support for a troubled youth. It is looking for assistance. It is not a self identification used as a badge of honor, nor is it a total self identification above all else.

                • Jim Russell

                  I’m saying that “coming out” and “in the closet” are both peripheral realities that come into play *if* one accepts the premise of sexual “orientation” as somehow a useful concept to self-identification and public identity. They mean something quite different in that context than what is meant by someone who chooses to share with family or close friends that they have experienced same-sex attractions and are seeking to effectively manage that aspect of their lives without that aspect becoming a deeply central and public dimension of their existence. “Coming out” is definitely quite different from someone who may acknowledge such attractions, but is only publicly acknowledging their SSA as a means of seeking to assist others in properly understanding SSA and in living with SSA chastely.

                • “If you don’t want to call it “coming out,” what do you call it?”

                  Surrender.

                • asmondius

                  Poor timing.

            • GG

              No, and that is not analogous at all. In a support group one confesses their problem to other sufferers. That is not what is intended by “coming out”.

              Coming out as you asserted is a contrived cultural condition that has developed through ideology and politics. The entire concept has distorted reality for too many people. The “gays” have developed this concept as the means to desensitize people to what is really true and the concept has been so integrated into popular culture it is now viewed as a good as in something to celebrate.

            • Then why the hell do people juxtapose colorful flags to their brokenness if coming out is the same as confession of a fault?

              We ought to share in their cross and burden, not delight in it and paint it up in gay (true meaning of that word) colors.

            • “If a Catholic comes forward and identifies himself as someone who is “struggling with same-sex attraction,” it is still “coming out.””

              Who are you to make that determination?

        • Jim Russell

          Thanks for the reply, Chuck–I don’t consider myself “straight” any more than someone like Dan considers himself “gay.” I’m just not that interested in whether other people form opinions about what particular groups I find sexually attractive.

          In your reply, though, you point to what is really of interest rather than the “group”–it’s the *relationships*. Actual relationships with living, breathing individual human beings is what is important in all this. But those relationships also have to be “right” relationships. And “coming out,” frankly, doesn’t really alter one way or the other the reality of whether our relationships are “right” relationships.

        • Some things should not be aired. However, the culture Nazis have ensured popular media will propagandize acceptance and normalcy out of disorder and vice.

          If somebody asks someone whom he does not know is struggling with SSA, “Are you married? Do you have kids?” Their default assumptions are correct: people marry and procreate. The answer in polite company should be, “Not ready for those things.” Or, “Not desirous to do so.” My kids don’t need to hear, “I like people of the same sex.” It advertises the brokenness as just being one thing among others, something akin to your zodiac sign.

          Again, nobody on your side has addressed this: what if it is discovered 3% of the population has a bent toward “sex” with animals? Should they “come out” and create a narrative of acceptance and identity around that attraction? Some people have a broken desire for love with their pets. I am sure you can find women who can’t get out of their minds the idea of intimacy with their dog. So, should they out themselves in common conversation, “I am animal queer?”

          Not the same, you say? Can’t find in nature interspecies sexuality, you say? Think again. Your word game is a struggle for power, not truth. It is at root a rejection of the Word exchanged for a lie. I feel sad for people who bear (and bare!) the brokenness of SSA. It does not need special recognition or advertisement in popular culture, especially around children, who are victimized the most by it.

          Back in 1993 a dear friend of mine confided in me he had these broken desires. I loved him in the face of such contriteness and courage to acknowledge it to me. I didn’t go around outing him. I treated him like a man and a friend. He was right in being careful with that information. He got counseling for it too. Thank God.

          • GG

            Excellent response. It is really about power as you state. People think if they can only control the debate they can control reality. If they can stop all opposition then they can finally be at peace. But, that will never happen because the answer is not in controlling debate.

            The other issue you raised bout people being attracted to animals is another great point. Those that defend this identity, celibate or not, really do not think the desire is that bad. If you raise the point about animals or children you notice the story changes.

          • “Not desirous to do so”? Yeah, that’ll shut people up.

            And the whole “sex with animals” thing is just insulting.

            • Objectivetruth

              And the whole “man lieing with man” thing is an abomination!

              Look, Chuck, it must be extremely exhausting on your end trying to constantly argue that an elm tree is actually a golden retriever. Sodomy/the gay lifestyle is against nature. It’s against God’s clear plan for the body which He engineered and created. It’s against holy scripture.

              But of course, I’m wasting my time telling you this, you’ve heard it all before. You’ve got a choice in life, Chuck. Do you continue sinning, or do you turn towards Christ. Until then, why are you wasting your time posting here?

              • DEAR OBJECTIVE:

                I guess the reason I’m posting here is because the topic is one that pertains to me in a very personal way. If the comment section is only for people to preach to the choir, why even have a comment section?

                • Objectivetruth

                  “If Gay people never shared their personal perspectives and experiences, we never would have made the progress we’ve made.”

                  Let’s substitute the word “Gay” in the above quote from your post with the following words, see how it looks:

                  “Adulterous”

                  “Fornicating”

                  “Thieving”

                  “Murderous”

                  “Pedophile”

                  “Violent”

                  “Lieing”

                  Sin is sin, Chuck.

                  • And don’t forget the elephant in the room: interspecies love.

                    • “Interspecies love” is no more relevant to Gay people than it is to Straight people. There is no elephant in the room.

                    • Really? So if you were a baker and I went into your store asking for a wedding cake to be made in celebration of my union with my pet dog or pony, you would make me one? No problem? Irrelevant?

                      Excuse me, the BS detector is going off rathet loudly and the only way it’ll stoo is when you can truthfully show me why interspecies advocates don’t deserve equal rights and celebration.

                      And don’t quote that outmoded junk from Leviticus about a woman or man getting executed for lying with animals. We eat shellfish now.

                    • If a couple is legally eligible to marry, why would a baker deny them a cake? If a Christian florist designs arrangements for a Muslim couple’s wedding, does it mean the florist is endorsing Islam? Of course not.

                    • Your logic is as broken: Muslims uphold the natural order of marriage as being a divine arrangement between male and female. SSA folk reject the revelation of what marriage is.

                    • Daniel P

                      Ummm, “SSA folk” reject marriage? Huh?

                    • I should say, “Certain SSA folk”

                    • bonaventure

                      Ummm, “SSA folk” reject marriage? Huh?

                      Actually, Anglicanae wrote “Some SSA folk reject the revelation of what marriage is.”

                      Which is ABSOLUTELY true, because what homosexuals demand (the redefinition of marriage to “two people”) is NOT marriage at all.

                    • GG

                      Because not all laws are just or sane.

                    • Our laws should indeed be “just,” and in the United States that means constitutional. Whether a law or a court decision is “sane” is a more subjective call.

                    • Jim Russell

                      But the Catholic view on this is that such “constitutional” laws must also be in accord with the natural law and with what is best for marriage and family–two realities that, according to natural law, arise *prior* to anything else regarding community and society. And the things that pertain to the truth about marriage and family are sacrosanct, such that man-made “law” cannot (or should not) trump them.

                    • That’s absurd. There are patently objective violations of truth. The Constitution is not the arbiter of Truth, it merely claims to uphold certain truths.

                    • GG

                      Slavery was legal at one point. Abortion is legal.

                    • “Just” and “constitutional” are not equivalencies, even in the framers’ mind that would not have been so. This shows how far one must go to justify celebrating SSA.

                    • asmondius

                      Then you must be of the opinion that slavery and abortion are Okey Dokey so long as they are just ‘legal’. How about some of the laws on the Afircan continent – support those as well?
                      .
                      These days ‘constitutional’ simply means that a sympathetic judge somewhere decided it is so. Just remember that this is a blade that can cut both ways.

                    • ForChristAlone

                      Abortion is legal. Legal test has failed.

                    • Legal: counting a black man as less than a white man, involuntarily sterilizing a woman against her will, alienating the property of Japanese Americans

                    • asmondius

                      Because what is ‘legal’ is not always exactly ‘moral’.
                      .
                      Homosexuality is not a religion.

                    • bonaventure

                      You are a blacksmith at a time when slavery was LEGAL. You have moral objections against slavery. A slave owner comes to your shop makes an order of slave chains, which you have the skills and tools to manufacture. Would you take the order?

                    • GG

                      You have created your own reality.

                    • You should be more tolerant of zoophilia.

                    • But it’s irrelevant. Don’t you get it? IRRELEVANT. Just don’t ask me why. That’s too much like defense, reason, logic, common sense, etc. Just go with the “I said so,” and we’ll all get along.

                    • asmondius

                      There you go making homosexuality equivalent to heterosexuality.
                      .
                      False by any measure.
                      .

                    • bonaventure

                      The elephant in the room is SIN.

                • I guess the reason I’m posting here is because the topic is one that pertains to me in a very personal way.
                  Well, that’s another way to describe obsessed.

                • asmondius

                  You haven’t made any progress whatsoever – you’re still doing the same things homosexuals did in ancient Greece.
                  .
                  Lots of people were accepting of the Nazis as well – that doesn’t mean their acceptance was not in the end a disastrous error.

              • Andre B

                It’s against God’s clear plan for the body which He engineered and created.

                Definitely, which is why I’m always careful to never put my peeing-tube in my partners pooping-tube.

            • “Yeah, that’ll shut people up.” Remember: I said “in polite company.” Maybe in your world where nosiness and erased boundaries are eliminated such an answer would not suffice. In real adult land, we acknowledge some things should not be in common discussion.

              And the interspecies attraction point: I noticed you didn’t actually answer the logic. It’s a real problem. You didn’t answer it. You just dismissed it. Typical leftist maneuver. Don’t like the argument, change the subject.

              • There are still plenty of people who are uncomfortable with interracial coupling, just as there are still plenty of people who think Christians should not marry non-Christians.

                Back before Loving v. Virginia, I’m sure it was not unheard of for people to say, “White folks marrying negroes? What next, men marrying sheep???” It was insulting then, and it’s insulting now.

                • And there are real people out there who desire to be not stigmatized merely because they find pleasure with their farm animal or house pet. Do you stigmatize such desires? Do you?

                  See, I have a rational, logical, consistent basis for affirming that interracial relationships can be healthy and pleasing to God. You have no basis for asserting SSA to be anything more than an affliction of the soul.

                • GG

                  What is the relationship between skin color and sodomistic acts?

                • Objectivetruth

                  Why do very few “gays” actually get “married”, Chuck? It’s on the books in 23 states, but a very small percentage of homosexuals actually do get married, compared to the rest of the population.

                  • Andre B

                    Putting the terms you do in scare quotes makes me wonder whether you’re asking this question in good faith. Leaving aside that the general trend towards getting married is down and that the majority of states still don’t allow SSM, there could be any number of reasons why less gay people get married including: lack of family/community/employer support for SSM, already being in long-term relationship for so long that they don’t feel the need to get married, or financial reasons. As it is, there’s evidence that less than 20% of gays rule marriage out: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/06/26/how-many-same-sex-marriages-in-the-u-s-at-least-71165-probably-more/

                    Why do you feel so few gays get married?

                    • They can’t get married, even if everybody on earth voted to the contrary. It’s a logical impossibility. Hence the quotes.

                      Might as well talk about men marrying fish or termites. Makes as much sense.

                    • Andre B

                      You have Objectivetruth’s proxy? In any case, your explanation – at best – explains the scare quotes around ‘married’, not ‘gays’.

                    • Because that’s a bastardized usage of the term which describes delightful colors and sounds and happiness. A disordered affliction of the soul or mind does not approximate these things.

                    • Andre B

                      Haha, yeah words never change. Language is static. Good luck taking the word ‘gay’ back. That’s definitely doing the lord’s work.

                    • GG

                      Changing the name of something does not change its essence. Sodomistic acts will never be gay. Words matter.

                    • Andre B

                      Sodomistic acts will never be gay.

                      What makes you think that sodomy can’t be bright and happy?

                    • GG

                      Because it is evil.

                    • Andre B

                      Bah, you’re probably just saying that because you’re an inconsiderate lover.

                    • GG

                      No love in evil. Just evil.

                    • Andre B

                      pretty close though, like one vowel difference. and, you know, there’s love in vowel. so there’s that.

                    • GG

                      Denial and avoidance.

                    • What’s bright and happy about excrement?

                    • Andre B

                      What makes you think sodomy need involve that?

                    • You’re right, an alternative meaning is copulation with an animal.

                    • Andre B

                      Yeah…or, you know…the most common form: oral. Weirdo.

                    • I’m not the one taking about pee-pee tubes.

                    • Andre B

                      I mean, a quick search reveals that you are the only one, at least in these comments.

                    • Definitely, which is why I’m always careful to never put my peeing-tube in my partners pooping-tube.”

                    • Andre B

                      Oh, don’t get me wrong, I knew you were referring to my earlier satirizing of the idea that we’re such perfect creations of god. I just figured that, since you’re going to be silly about what the most common form of sodomy is, I might as well return the favor and point out that “pee-pee tube” =/= “peeing-tube”.

                    • Wow, that’s uh, weird.

                    • On your view, why shouldn’t it involve that and not be as cheery and wonderful?

                    • Andre B

                      Here’s the thing, the most practiced form of sodomy is oral sex. I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that the vast majority of heterosexual couples practice this – and I would even guess that most Catholic couples do. So, when I hear people talk about the ‘evils of sodomy’, what I really hear is ‘the evils of the sodomy…that I don’t like to engage in’.

                      As to your specific question – on my view, I’m just not into scat (which is itself distinct from sodomy as you seem to conceive of it [anal]), so it wouldn’t be cheery and wonderful for me.

                    • But poop sex is otherwise morally neutral to you?

                    • Andre B

                      Look at the stupid questions you are asking strangers on the internet.

                    • Look at the stupid preferences you are airing: “I’m just not into scat.”

                      As if we’re talking about beer or iced tea preferences. Moral idiot.

                    • Andre B

                      As if I was just airing preferences for no reason, and not being asked…by you…repeatedly. Regular idiot.

                    • You’re not too bright. Apparently your public school education didn’t help you understand the socratic method of dialogue.

                      I can dumb it down for you: will The View or CNN level conversation work?

                    • I was being rough with my words, but I didn’t detect much genuine desire from you to actually discuss rationally the topic at hand. I hope I’m misreading your intent. I would rather have a weighty exchange rather than flaming.

                    • What makes you think interspecies intercourse can’t be bright and happy?

                    • Andre B

                      Does dog on stuffed-animal count as inter-species? Because I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty hilarious when our tiny maltese-poodle humps his huge plush cat toy.

                    • And it’s hilarious because you realize the dog is acting as a brute animal. When homo sapiens acts like a brute beast, it ought to bring shame and embarrassment.

                    • Paul B. Lot

                      I just dominated an apple/cherry condensed fruit bar like a beast. It was awesome.

                      100% not ashamed.

                      Well; a little.

                      It was vegan.

                    • The eating was comparable to the way a brute beast might, but the act was conformable to biological design. Being a slob is not the same as acting against nature.

                    • Paul B. Lot

                      Being a slob is not the same as acting against nature.

                      Why are you so consistently bad at reading comprehension?

                      You said “When homo sapiens acts like a brute beast, it ought to bring shame and embarrassment.”

                      So in response, I pointed out a counter-factual.

                      Do you know what a counter-factual is?

                      It’s an example that puts the lie to a vacuous statement.

                      Acting like a brute beast does not, per se, bring shame to homo sapiens.

                      Perhaps certain kinds of brutality, and in certain circumstances do, but that’s not the case you made.

                    • Sorry, I’ll help you out here, junior. Apparently grammar is your sore spot.

                      You claimed (I’ll try to use small words from here on out): “I just dominated an apple/cherry condensed fruit bar like a beast.”

                      The fact that you ate like an animal your fruit bar was a rhetorical device to indicate, what? The speed? Ferocity? Messiness? Lack of concern for hygiene? All the above?

                      I’m guessing nobody was taken aback by your eating the bar (were you drooling everywhere and licking the pieces up off the ground?)

                      You were using harmless grammatical (that’s a four syllable word to indicate the rules and uses of words) device.

                      Now (sorry, let me know if this is too much), when men act like brute beasts in fact, the way philosophers and theologians actually use the phrase, they are referencing man transgressing the bounds of his nature to satisfy mere appetite.

                      I’m sorry you’re too dim to see the difference between indulging happily on a vegan fruit bar and merely plugging away abusively against another to get off.

                      Nice try, thanks for playing, but you’re sophomoric stab at philosophy and grammar are both pitiful and embarrassing.

                    • I think my amended reply will reflect my intent on civility and earnest discourse, my usual explicated distaste for modernism notwithstanding. I apologize.

                    • Andre B

                      I’m pretty sure it’s hilarious because 1) the dog is smaller than the stuffed-animal it’s humping; 2) it looks like a dog humping a cat; and 3) of the two, the dog looks more like a stuffed animal than the cat.

                      EDIT: not an exclusive list, and not necessarily ranked in order of importance.

                    • So it has nothing to do with the dog being a dog and not a human?

                      Those accidentals you mention contribute to the comedy, but I’ve seen plenty of couples where the woman is rotund and tall, and the man is small and slight. It’s funny to observe but not for the same reasons we laugh at the brute beast under consideration.

                    • Andre B

                      “So it has nothing to do with the dog being a dog and not a human?”

                      I don’t know, why don’t you post a video of yourself humping a huge plush cat and I’ll let you know if it’s funny.

                    • Because if you laughed you’d be laughing at the behavior that is inherently ridiculous: things that do not belong together getting it on.

                      Hence, the reason why the idea of SSA “sex” is at once laughable and sad. It turns men into women and women into men.

                    • Andre B

                      Sex is inherently ridiculous, regardless of what combinations of species of genders engages in it. Not sure that’s a great litmus test.

                    • “Sex is inherently ridiculous.”

                      Why do you say that? Who told you it was? What was the grounds of such judgment? When you say “inherently” do you mean as touching the act itself? The feeling from the act? The results of such an act?

                      I have to remind myself leftists love to assert but never explain. Cults and death regimes love that stuff. Why, if sex is inherently ridiculous, perhaps the resulting offspring are too: let’s just kill them off.

                      Children are ridiculous. Oh wait, that’s right, we have laws that allow for infanticide. You’re in luck!

                    • Objectivetruth

                      Such wonderful posts! Your mother must be so proud of you!

                    • cleos_mom

                      It’s hilarious when a Very Serious Conversation devolves into a Learned Discussion about the sex lives of toys.

                    • Makes one weep, no?

                    • bonaventure

                      Disorder never brings about happiness. Only destruction.

                    • Language is not static, true. But if it has no correspondence to what is, like looking at snow and commenting on how dreadfully hot it is, then we are no longer speaking to communicate but to deceive. Gayness does not describe happy people in the way the term is used by culture destroyers. It rises to the level of barside banter, like people in Boston calling something good “wicked”. It’s an ironic term.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      You do understand the homosexual community actually used the letters “G.A.Y.” To denote “Good As You” to try and claim some type of moral equality for their immoral sodomite activities?

                    • DEAR ANDRE:

                      In West Virginia (where I live) Gay couples have been allowed to legally marry since November. Problem is, it’s still legal for businesses here to fire employees for no other reason than their sexual orientation, and the state’s Human Rights Commission is powerless to even investigate such cases. For this reason, many workers struggle to keep their privates lives and relationships a secret for fear of losing their jobs.

                      But what happens when one of those Gay employees decides to get married? Since marriage is a public declaration of love and commitment between two compatible people, it is likely the employee’s boss will find out about it, and if the boss doesn’t approve of Gay couples getting married, he can get rid of the worker if he likes.

                      What this means is that a worker may be forced to choose between his job and something as fundamental to human dignity as the chance to get married. People who are Straight (i.e. heterosexual) have never had to worry about such a thing!

                    • bonaventure

                      Because they don’t care about marriage. They only care about imposing such laws as they perceive might undermine religious freedom, because religious freedom alone stands in the way of sexual license.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      “Scare quotes” around the word “gay” entails that the homosexual community is using the word “gay” incorrectly. The word “gay’s” actual definition has absolutely nothing to do with people whose raison d’être is co-masturbation with a member of the same sex.

                  • DEAR OBJECTIVE:

                    It IS odd, is it not? Social conservatives say that not only do Gay people comprise a vanishingly tiny part of the human population, only a vanishingly tiny number of Gay people have any interest in getting married. And YET, somehow, that teeny tiny itsy bitsy number of people are going to cause civilization to implode. Go figure.

                    • If we allowed a single person to be retained in slavery, would that be ok?

                    • bonaventure

                      Society is always disproportionately affected by even a tiny itsy bitsy number of people are involved in something evil. For example, that’s why we have so many laws against crimes which are committed by such a small number of people.

                • asmondius

                  Homosexuality is not a race.
                  .
                  Batter up.

                • bonaventure

                  Compared to millennia of interracial marriages all over the world, and across all cultures and races, Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage was a parenthetical aberration in the history of human marriage, just as homosexual “marriage” is an aberration that may last for a few decades, but will be rid of soon enough in the future.

            • “And the whole “sex with animals” thing is just insulting.”

              So is the substitution of an anus for “lady parts”.

              • “Yeah, but that’s just being bigoted. Why, you ask? Because *we* said so.”

                Notice the transferal of authority from man’s domain of reason about nature in the light of God to man’s fiat declaration minus the Creator. Only God can declare something by fiat and be still Good and Loving.

                Men who choose to declare on fiat when touching moral categories are usurpers and acting the part of demons.

            • asmondius

              ‘And the whole “sex with animals” thing is just insulting.’
              .
              Why?

              .

              Bestiality is just as uncomplementary, unnatural, and closed to life as homosexual acts are.

              .

              And just wait until the necrophiliacs band together under a clever ‘orientation’ label and insist on bringing their dates to movie theaters, etc..

              • “Irrelevant”!

                Man, this liberal logic is so….liberating! I mean, you give your meanie Aristotelian, Thomistically charged analyses, and I can deflect it all with “irrelevant”.

                And to make you feel super ashamed for trying to reason with me, I’ll use my other favorite, conversation stopping words “hater” and “bigot”.

                Next you’re going to tell me the answer to ISIS isn’t more jobs.

                • asmondius

                  You are clairvoyant – I was just going to say that the real answer to ISIS is free cable TV and EBT cards. Overweight couch potatoes aren’t going to be so inclined to conquer the world. I say we ‘Latinize’ them with bread and circuses.

        • There is absolutely nothing in Straight experience that is analogous to “coming out.”
          Why should there be?

          • asmondius

            How about meeting your in laws for the very first time?

    • Jane

      I don’t sense any resentment over the use of the word “gay”. I sense the authour is simply reminding us of what predates these adjectives….our humanity.

    • GG

      Propaganda.

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      Once again, you missed the entire point of the article. There is no such thing as a “Gay Catholic,” or a “gay anything else.” Struggling with sinful impulses is a universal part of human existence. Any attempt to locate “identify” within one’s particular temptation is both delusional and dehumanizing.

      • Seamrog

        He didn’t miss the point – it is not possible to read this essay and not understand the point.

        He chooses to completely ignore the point, because the alternative is to admit the lie he is living, and spreading.

        • Objectivetruth

          Chuck’s not here to be converted. People should stop trying.

          • Seamrog

            I think he’s here to wring approval out those faithful to Catholic teaching – like wringing blood from a turnip. I think his internal agony at the disapproval of a sinful lifestyle drives him him to keep this up.

            It is quite sad…he deliberately avoids the truth the essay spells out for him – the relief to that agony will only be found in the freedom of life lived according to God’s will.

            An experience not unique to people suffering from same sex attraction – it is universal to any man or woman struggling with sin.

            • Objectivetruth

              Shake the dust off of our sandals……

          • Chuck is a troll. He’s here to posit arguments that range from specious to inane, to provoke, rather than persuade.

            • I’m under no illusions that I could persuade you about anything, DE-173. But that’s OK.

              • Nothing gets accomplished that isn’t tried.

      • Just sharing my perspective, Dr. Tim. Personally I consider being Gay as NEITHER delusional nor dehumanizing. I

        • Interspecies attractions: dehumanizing or fulfilling?

            • “Irrelevant,” is, from what I understand, the best way to make these inconvenient realities go away.

              That lady who married her roller coaster needs to wage her own campaign, come up with her own flag, and start her own parade — she’s not a problem for the SSA crowd. She’s irrelevant. See? It makes it all disappear.

              Funny how SSA folks marginalize those whom they find icky or abnormal.

              • The lady who married her roller coaster is no more a problem for the “SSA crowd” than the “OSA crowd.” Getting verbal and written consent from an inanimate object for the purpose of legal recognition may prove to be a problem, though.

                • Objectivetruth

                  You miss the point, Chuck. Her marrying a roller caster is as justified in her eyes as you marrying a man is justified in yours. Both “justifications” are irrational, a perversion of nature.

                  • DEAR OBJECTIVE:

                    I haven’t missed anything. There is no movement afoot to allow people to legally marry inanimate objects, nor will there ever be. The fact remains that, unless the Constitution only applies to people who are Straight, there is no justification for denying law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples the exact same legal benefits and opportunities that Straight couples have always taken for granted.

                    Mrs. Roller Coaster notwithstanding.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      “there is no justification for denying law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples the exact same legal benefits and opportunities that Straight couples have always taken for granted.”

                      Once again Chuckie let’s do our little sentence exercise. Replace the word “Gay” with “pedophiles”, “bigamy”, “adulterous”, “bestiality”, “incestuous”……etc……etc……

                      See how this works?

                    • The interesting thing is this line of argument (about legal and tax benefits) is that what he considers “benefits” are consequences.

                    • There is no movement afoot to allow people to legally pseudomarry another person of the same sex, nor will there ever be.
                      -99.9% of all living persons in 1965.

                    • “There is no movement afoot to allow people to legally pseudomarry another person of the same sex, nor will there ever be.”

                      You don’t follow current events much, do you?

                    • Did you read the attribution?

                    • “Irrelevant” –> The Universal Escape Hatch of Bad Reasoning.

          • asmondius

            The owl and the pussycat?

        • “Just sharing my perspective, Dr. Tim. Personally I consider being Gay as NEITHER delusional nor dehumanizing.”

          So?

          • So, let’s all just get along and forget these divisive categories of sex. It’s just pieces of flesh.

            • Hey, if you’re Straight, it’s normal and natural to marry another compatible Straight adult of the opposite sex. If you’re Gay, it’s normal and natural to marry another compatible Gay adult of the same sex. And if you prefer to be chaste, regardless of your sexual orientation, that’s perfectly honorable also. What else is there to understand?

              • Seamrog

                The biology of your body tells you the exact opposite.

                It specifically tells you that it is not normal.

                • Tell that to a married Gay couple.

                  • Seamrog

                    There is no such thing as a married gay couple.

                    That aside, there is not one thing complimentary about sex between two men, or between two women.

                    The fact that you refuse to acknowledge this biological / physiological certainty speaks to the inherent disorder of same sex attraction.

                    I pity you.

                  • Neither “gay” nor “married”. Together, yet never one flesh. That’s misery.

                  • So, how do the two become one flesh?

                  • bonaventure

                    Their response would be a lie.

              • Hey,it’s normal and natural to marry another compatible adult of the opposite sex.
                Fixed it for you. You are welcome.

                • Just as it is neither normal nor natural for a Straight man to marry a Lesbian, it would be neither normal nor natural for me to marry a woman.

                  • You are very confused.

                    • No, just Gay.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      Confused…gay….same thing….

                    • Face it Chuck, you are in an epistemic funk. No matter how hard you squeeze on the throat of your conscience, it will say “no”, even if it does so weakly and softy.

                      Militant homosexuals need to understand that no matter how the “stab it with their steely knives, they just can’t kill”, their conscience.

                    • Wow, now it’s capital G? That’s like saying you’re Amish or Scandinavian.

                  • Jim Russell

                    Er….uh….have you not yet heard of mixed-orientation marriages? Those couples think it’s both normal and natural for a “straight” man to marry a “lesbian” or for a man with SSA to marry a woman.

                    • DEAR JIM:

                      Actually I have a Gay male friend who married a woman because he thought it would be advantageous for his political career. But that’s all it is. They have separate bedrooms. Not necessarily what I would call “normal,” but people get married for all sorts of reasons.

                    • That’s not a marriage, it is a charade.

                    • Paul B. Lot

                      Not if they’ve consummated via the marital act, even once.

                    • If they contracted a marriage with the idea, we’ll consummate it once as a formality, and it was an arrangement to serve political ambition, then their pledges would be invalid, as you are supposed to enter without purpose of evasion.

                    • Paul B. Lot

                      Fair enough.

                    • Jim Russell

                      But mixed-orientation marriages are not marriages of convenience. In addition to being husband and wife, they become fathers and mothers and raise families….

              • Because marriage is ontologically impossible with SSAers. How do “gay” people consummate a marriage?

                • GG

                  Insanity.

        • asmondius

          Sounds like a pep talk from Jerry Sandusky……

          • Objectivetruth

            The Sandusky’s analogy is actually a good one. He never thought he was molesting the boys, they were pals. He treated them nice, Gave them Penn State football swag, and had them over to the house. Treated them real fine. Sandusky felt if there was feelings between him and the boy, who’s business was it? Chuck’s delusional rational and logic is along the same lines.

            • asmondius

              Well…it’s all about ‘love’, isn’t it?

    • Daniel P

      Chuck,

      Either sexual activity with the same sex is wrong, or it is permissible. If it is permissible, then no one should oppose using the attraction to it as an adjective to describe oneself. (Just as I call myself a “chocolate-lover”, for instance). Since you see sexual activity with the same sex as morally permissible — or so I gather — your view is perfectly consistent and sensible, if your assumptions are correct.

      I’m not sure why you’re objecting to Dan’s point above, then. For Dan doesn’t think such activity is morally permissible.

      The relevant question is how Christians who oppose same-sex sexual activity should describe themselves. Should they adopt the terms of the culture, or reject those terms? This question really isn’t one that is coherent if one does not object to homosexual activity.

      • redfish

        I think most will casually use “gay” just as a matter of brevity. The same reason most black men continued to say “black” instead of “African American,” even though those arguing for equality and empowerment suggested “African American” as a term carrying more definite meaning and dignity.

        The underlying debate about the term — about the notion of “sexual identity” — is worthwhile. But in the end it probably won’t destroy the necessity of verbal convenience.

        • “I think most will casually use “gay” just as a matter of brevity. ”
          Or a vacant euphemism.

    • asmondius

      ‘Straight’ is just another word distorted for purposes of hype by homosexuals. The normative does not require special words, it is always implicit.
      .
      The Cary Grant story is just another homosexual exercise in revisionist history, unless you are trying to say that all homosexuals are cross dressers or vice versa.

      • Sorry, it’s just the way slang evolves. By the mid-20th century, the term “Gay” was becoming increasingly established in reference to homosexual persons, and its antonym, “Straight,” which had long had connotations of seriousness, respectability, and conventionality, had now acquired specific connotations of heterosexuality. None of this was part of some sinister plot to revise language. If on any given day you are feeling particularly joyful and festive, just tell everyone you’re gay. You may get some odd looks, though.

        • asmondius

          There are plenty of ‘slang words’ that have evolved to describe homosexuals as well – are you OK with those?.
          .
          When less than 3% of the population formulate some special terminology for themselves, it’s a plot.
          .
          However, if I were to use the word ‘gay’ in a contemporary context other than it’s original meaning, I’d refer to a bad movie as ‘That’s so gay’.

          • “There are plenty of ‘slang words’ that have evolved to describe homosexuals as well – are you OK with those?”

            I think most of the words that you refer to have been hurled at me at one time or another in my 55 years. I pay them no heed. They simply illustrate the fears and prejudices of the people using them. Have at it.

            • asmondius

              Cue the violin music…….

    • jacobhalo

      I remember when gay meant happy. I don’t think that “gay” in 1938 meant what it means today.

      • Paul B. Lot

        I remember when a man could have a cigarette in a bar without, being hassled.

        I remember when Negroes didn’t try to use the White Man’s lavatory.

        • EPIC FAIL.

        • Remember when infanticide was illegal? Women can now vote for presidents *and* to tear their unborn apart. My we’ve progressed

          • Paul B. Lot

            Are you implying that women’s suffrage and the abortion of unborn children are both examples of regression?

            • Just stating the obvious absurdity: that things become legal or illegal say nothing of their fundamental rightness or wrongness.

              • Paul B. Lot

                Fair enough.

          • Andre B

            For somebody so concerned with what words mean, here you are conflating infanticide with abortion.

            • Am I? What’s the definition of an infant?

      • Objectivetruth

        When one lives a life that is a lie, telling lies is not a stretch.

  • Jim Russell

    Another great offering, stated with clarity and compassion!

    • Don

      I agree Jim. Mr. Mattson’s articles have really opened my eyes and impressed me.

      • He has told his story on radio. Compelling and courageous.

  • GG

    Another excellent essay. Great work!

  • Chris Damien is right. I am asking him not to categorize himself, because the entire concept of categorizing human beings is offensive.

  • ‘Gay’, ‘straight’ and ‘bi-sexual’ are qualifiers. They take the physical realities of Male and Female (as determined by the body) and fracture them into ‘types’ of Male and Female as determined by our mind.
    Since our sex represents the whole body rather than a part, it represents our physical essence. To qualify the essence is to qualify our entire identity. The qualified identity is then deemed superior to the very thing upon which it is dependent – sexual identity. That’s like saying ‘the smell of a loaf of bread’ is more real than ‘a loaf of bread’.

    • Paul B. Lot
      • Everybody is one of two sexes. Male and Female is the order against which we can recognise disorders of sexual development (‘Intersex’). Black and White allow us to recognise shades of grey.

        • MarcAlcan

          Very well put!

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      “That’s like saying ‘the smell of a loaf of bread’ is more real than ‘a loaf of bread’.”
      But it is. This smell, this texture, this taste, these feelings of appetite and satisfaction are real and concrete; they are the objects of immediate experience.
      “A loaf of bread” is a lable we apply to these and similar experiences; it is an abstraction, notion or reflection.

      • As an analogy, it serves to illustrate a limited point – namely that ‘sexual orientation’/mind is dependent on sexual identity/body. A smell can arise from the physical reality of the thing we name ‘Loaf of Bread’ only if that physical thing first exists. Existence exists before experience of existence.

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          I have never encountered a “physical reality,” other than colour, smell taste, pressure, resistance and the like.

          We attach labels to bundles of these and call them loafs of bread, dogs, flamingos and so on, but these are notions, not things.

          • You are talking about measurements, not existence. Your approach is one that the sexual anarchists would welcome. Physical reality exists, Michael. It is not a measurement.

          • MarcAlcan

            A dog is a notion? Have you ever been mauled by a notion? Was the bruising also just a notion? And the ripped off flesh – was it also just a notion?
            Perhaps a notion of a doctor was responsible for curing that notional disease.
            Hang on- are you sure you are not just a notion?
            Fancy that, a notion capable of typing notions.

            • Michael Paterson-Seymour

              Fido is real – something we see, touch, smell; “dog” is an abstraction, a label we apply to a class of phenomena (things we see, touch, smell &c), based on perceived similarities. In fact, every common noun is an abstraction.

              Thus, arguing over whether a plant is a tree or a shrub, or an element is a metal or a metalloid is an argument over how we should use words, not over the objective properties of things.

              • MarcAlcan

                So basically you are also an abstraction. An abstraction who types and converses.

                • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                  No.

                  Compare these two sentences:-

                  1) Man is a rational animal
                  2) Philip was the father of Alexander.

                  On (1) “man” and “animal” are ideas or abstractions; in (2) “Philip” and “Alexander” refer to real things, objects of perception.

                  • MarcAlcan

                    Man is a rational animal is just an idea? So there is a possibility that man is not a rational animal?

                    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                      No, “man” is an idea and “animal” is an idea; they are labels we apply to real things, when we group them into classes or categories; whereas “Philip” and “Alexander” are unit and individual, things we can see, point to, touch.

                    • MarcAlcan

                      No, “man” is an idea and “animal” is an idea; they are labels we apply to real things

                      Sorry but that kind of philosophizing is just absurd. If man is an idea then Phillip is an idea and so is Alexander because Phillip and Alexander are just labels we give to a particular man.
                      And if man is an idea and ideas change then it is possible that man is not man at all.

                    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                      No, for “Philip” can be defined ostensively, by pointing to that particular individual, but I cannot point to “Man,” only to examples of what we call “man.” The similarity between the examples is a notion in the mind and exists nowhere else.

                      Of course, “Philip” is a label, but a label attached to something real and concrete, something we can see and touch; “Man” is a label for an idea in our heads, a generalisation.

                      As Bl John Henry Newman argued, “All things in the exterior world are unit and individual, and are nothing else; but the mind not only contemplates those unit realities, as they exist, but has the gift, by an act of creation, of bringing before it abstractions and generalizations, which have no existence, no counterpart, out of it. Now there are propositions, in which one or both of the terms are common nouns, as standing for what is abstract, general, and non-existing, such as “Man is an animal,”… And there are other propositions, which are composed of singular nouns, and of which the terms stand for things external to us, unit and individual, as “Philip was the father of Alexander,” “the earth goes round the sun.”

                    • MarcAlcan

                      But don’t you get it? If Man is an idea, then if Philip is also a man then Philip is also just an idea.
                      If man is just an idea in our head, then Philip who is a man is also an idea in our head.
                      Whether we can point to man or examples is beside the point because if man is just an idea then examples will also be just an idea.

                    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                      “If Man is an idea, then if Philip is also a man then Philip is also just an idea.”

                      No. There are real things or phenomena, individual concrete things that impact our senses. “Philip” is the label we attach to one such phenomenon. We may categorize or classify this phenomenon in many ways, “man” being simply one of them. But classes and categories are not phenomena, but mental constructs.

                      As for the members of the class “man,” (or Macedonian, or king, or mammal), then, as Newman insists, “Each thing has its own nature and its own history. When the nature and the history of many things are similar, we say that they have the same nature; but there is no such thing as one and the same nature; they are each of them itself, not identical, but like. A law is not a fact, but a notion.”

                      He adds that of John and Richard, “what seems to be common in the two, becomes in fact so uncommon, so sui simile, in their respective individualities—the bodily frame of each is so singled out from all other bodies by its special constitution, sound or weak, by its vitality, activity, pathological history and changes, and, again, the mind of each is so distinct from all other minds, in disposition, powers, and habits,—that, instead of saying, as logicians say, that the two men differ only in number, we ought, I repeat, rather to say that they differ from each other in all that they are, in identity, in incommunicability, in personality.”

                      Hence, “Let units come first, and (so-called) universals second; let universals minister to units, not units be sacrificed to universals.”

                    • MarcAlcan

                      No. There are real things or phenomena, individual concrete things that impact our senses.

                      So only what can impact our senses (i.e. empirically verifiable) is real?
                      But if man is just an idea, then man does not impact our senses. And if Philip impacts our senses then he is not a man because man is merely an idea.
                      Are you a nominalist?

                    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                      “Philip” is a designation, not a description; it is equivalent to “the thing I am pointing at.”

                      “Man” is a description, which we apply to some things (things we can point to). Every description is an idea or notion. To say “Philip is a man” means “our idea or notion of ‘man’ is applicable to Philip,” or “Philip satisfies our definition of what we mean by the word ‘man’”

                      The fallacy in your argument is an equivocal use of the verb “to be.” Sometimes it is used as a copula, linking subject and predicate – “I am Scottish,” sometimes as equivalent to “I exist.” This can lead to the further fallacy of treating existence a predicate. Symbolic logic eliminates this ambiguity by having a special sign to designate existence.

                    • MarcAlcan

                      But that you are Scottish and that you exist are both facts. They are both realities. If all that is real is what we can point to, then God is nothing more than an idea.

  • HartPonder

    To assist the Church in fulfilling it’s mission (Matthew 28:19,29), who or what should we strive to be as a consecrated people?

    Colossians 3:5
    Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

    1 Corinthians 6:11
    And such some of you were; but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of our God.

    Galatians 3:28
    There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.

  • Carol Leeda Crawford

    Thank you for a wonderful article, clear concise and supportive of those who experience ssa or gender alternatives. We are children of God. He made us male and female in His image and likeness. Our thoughts, feelings, and desires are not what define us and often change when we discover their roots. I recommend reading David Prosen, who chose to explore the genesis for his ss inclinations, and found he hadn’t discovered what it is to be a man. His article mentioned above and others he wrote are so clear and respectful. Another line from the article I like: “same sex attraction is an experience not a person”. I encourage the individuals who are identifying themselves as their sexual inclinations to surrender to the truth.

    • Paul B. Lot

      “He made us male and female…”

      What about hermaphrodites?

      • It is an aberrant condition, rather uncommon.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Both of those characterizations, as far as I understand the science and statistics, are accurate.

          Neither of them answer my question.

          If each human being is born with an immutable stamp of static, eternal gender, as many people seem to be stating here, which stamp are people with both sets of genitals born with?

          What about people with malformed or non-extant genitalia?

          Are they male?

          Or female?

          • bonaventure

            Most hermaphrodites could be fixed back into the sex they were conceived into with surgery after birth. However, as with every other handicap, the greater the handicap, the more difficult to fix.

          • Would you object to the notion they have eyes but see not, because some people have or are both with blindness or ocular malformation?

  • Jamodus

    Now some say that the terms “Gay” or “Homosexual” represent the orientation or the inclination or the tendencies as separate from same-sex acts. And therefore they say the terms “Gay” or “Homosexual” can be used by Catholics and Christians.

    Can a Catholic call himself or herself “gay”?

    Can a Catholic call himself or herself “homosexual”?

    Can a Catholic identify himself or herself as “gay” or “homosexual”?

    Can a Catholic say, “I am gay, but chaste, so I am okay”?

    Can a Catholic say, “I am gay, but I don’t engage in homosexual sex acts, so I am okay”?

    We say an emphatic NO to these propositions.

    Why? Because the orientations, the inclination, the tendencies towards sex acts are always accompanied by instances of being attracted to carry out these same-sex sex acts. This attraction is either constant or occurs from time to time, without which no one could claim such orientation or tendency in the first place.

    In other words, by saying someone has the tendency or orientation or inclination to same-sex acts, we are saying that person is attracted to carry out same-sex acts, irrespective of whether he actually carries out such same-sex sex acts.

    When a Catholic says he is “Gay” or “Homosexual” he is saying he has the tendency or orientation or inclination to same-sex acts – meaning he is attracted to carry out samesex acts – irrespective of whether he actually carries out those same-sex sex acts.

    With the help of St. Augustine we have demonstrated that – by the very fact of Original Sin – every attraction towards sex acts is necessarily accompanied by lust.

    This attraction is a grave temptation when it is geared towards a sex act, which the Church has always defined as abominable sin that cries to Heaven for vengeance.

    So when a Catholic says he is “Gay” he is proclaiming that he has this attraction, this temptation, this deep-seated desire, this lust to engage in same-sex acts. Whether he does or does not actually carry out the sex acts is immaterial, as long as he has this attraction in his mind and in his heart and in his body.

    Sexual orientation, sexual inclination, sexual appetite, sexual desire, sexual fantasy, sexual thought, sexual temptation, all point towards lust: by the very fact of our fallen human nature.

    Lust can be defined as a desire for the pleasure of the sex acts, separate from procreative function
    Read more: http://www.popeleo13.com/pope/2014/08/19/category-archive-message-board-100-st-augustine-on-sex-3/

  • Roy Rannila

    I see it as gradualism. My own journey has been slow and steady. I didn’t go from out and proud to humble overnight. If someone identifies as a Gay celibate Christian rejoice. It’s better than where I came from. And when the GCC has an epiphany…rejoice in their growth and revelation. It is a heavy cross to bear.

    • Daniel P

      Amen, brother!

    • Jim Russell

      But it’s not merely “gradualism” when one thinks Catholic teaching can accommodate these assertions as being true. Gradualism (to the extent that it’s *authentic* gradualism) is a phenomenon for an *individual* rather than for a “movement,” so to speak. This is why certain assertions must be challenged in a public context so as to better establish the truth of what the Church teaches.

      • GG

        That is correct. The homophiles are not about gradualism but reinterpreting Church teaching while claiming fidelity.

      • Daniel P

        You’re missing something, though, Jim. For the most part, the “New Homophiles” are not seasoned veterans of theological debates. They have been THRUST into the spotlight because they are highly intelligent and sensitive people who can write, and because Christians are eager to hear the voices of people who experience attraction to the same sex. So sure, they will need correction, like we all do. But the “us versus them” feel to the debate is very problematic.

        • Jim Russell

          I think you are missing an important point on this one.

          One does not get “thrust” into starting up one’s own web site, writing one’s own articles, and hosting one’s own conference. 🙂 That is, it’s not as though these assertions are only “accidentally” in public view.

          Having said that, you *are* right that this can’t be an
          “us vs. them” debate on any personal level whatsoever. I think we need to have a clear and charitable dialogue over differences of view, and that’s what I’m hoping we can continue improving upon over time.

          • Daniel P

            Of course, starting a blog was their choice. But the attention that they got FOR that blog wasn’t their choice. They were — with good and bad results, I think — adopted by First Things. I think the debate that arose has been good for the Church, but it has also meant that some of these people have been dealt with rather aggressively.

            One is always more willing to change one’s position if the “other side” is charitable. Even more so if the “other side” is always willing to include you, and make you feel less “other”. If same-sex attracted folks felt less “other” in the Church, they would be less inclined to stake out their own territory.

            (To be clear, though, Jim, I think you yourself have been charitable.)

            • MarcAlcan

              If same-sex attracted folks felt less “other” in the Church, they would be less inclined to stake out their own territory

              That will have to be the best enunciation of the gay Catholic perspective. Bravo!

              Still, we need to sort out how to make them feel “less other” considering that the attraction is intrinsically disordered. How do we reach out and affirm them without affirming the disordered attraction. Will they be content being affirmed as children of God without their attraction being affirmed?

              • Daniel P

                That’s easy enough. You see, right now, VERY few churches explain to teenagers that “it’s common for you to feel some attraction to the same sex while growing up. If you have that experience, here’s someone you can talk to.” That was what would have made me feel welcome!

                When the Church deals with you as a dirty secret, you can’t feel welcome. If the Church dealt with SSA like it deals with gossip, wrath, and other forms of lust, we would feel much more welcome — even though our attraction would still clearly be disordered. Right now the Church is clinging to a social taboo against homosexuality, and actual gay people are victims of this taboo — but only victims IN the Church, not outside it. The taboo was once good and useful, but now it is dead. If you want SSA people to feel dignified and loved, you have to relate to them without the taboo. You have to say, “This is just another thing people experience, and we want to talk with you about it.”

                • MarcAlcan

                  Thank you very much for that response.
                  Suppose someone in the Church had approached you in that manner, how would that have helped when you know that this feeling is still intrinsically disordered and hence a taboo?

                  How the Church has dealt with sin is to condemn it (rightly) from the pulpit (at least before the 60’s). If the Church had dealt with homosexuality in the same manner (instead of not mentioning) how would that have made homosexuals feel welcome? Would that not have made it worse?

                  Bringing it out in the open and talking about it would certainly help but at the end of it all, you would still have this very strong attraction that is a taboo and you would still feel very much other because the greater majority of the population don’t feel this way. I think the only way to not feel “other” is to not allow it to define you. The unfortunate thing is that so many SSAs define themselves by this.

                  • Daniel P

                    Marc,

                    Thanks for the conversation. I’m not sure you see how huge the distinction between “objectively disordered” and a “taboo” is. Pica is objectively disordered, but no one feels marginalized by the Church for having pica, or for (say) wanting to fornicate. Gay people are treated like lepers by many in the Church, despite the fact that no doctrine suggests such treatment. (At the other extreme, some churches bend over backward to accommodate the disorder, as opposed to accommodating the person! It’s quite messed up.)

                    You say that “at the end of it all, you would still have this very strong attraction that is a taboo and you would still feel very much other because the greater majority of the population don’t feel this way. I think the only way to not feel “other” is to not allow it to define you. The unfortunate thing is that so many SSAs define themselves by this.”

                    But you see, my point is that same-sex attracted youth would NOT consider their attraction as defining if they were TREATED normally by the Church. If someone told me, when I was 11, that same-sex attraction is common, and that the ATTRACTION is not sinful, I would have been so phenomenally thankful! If they had been willing to talk to me about it, I would have been thrilled. I would have felt like “just another kid with problems”. But as it was, I felt like evil incarnate. I’m not kidding. I needed a way out, and no one in the Church cared to help. No one wanted to know.

                    Good pastoral work with same-sex attracted young people will help them not identify with their temptations, and will help them gain resources to be chaste. Children in this situation won’t be troubled by the vocal condemnation of sodomy, because they’re not guilty of sodomy. They simply experience a temptation, and they desperately need our help. If we don’t help them, the gay advocacy campaigns will more than happily swoop in.

                    • MarcAlcan

                      Re: Pica. While this is indeed a disorder, it does not carry a moral valence as such.

                      Re: Fornication. The Church does teach against fornication (though since the 60’s she has been mostly silent and her priests even aiding and abetting them), it is not a disorder as such because it is the circumstance (not the act itself) that makes it immoral.

                      same-sex attracted youth would NOT consider their attraction as defining if they were TREATED normally by the Church.

                      This is what we need to sort out. What would constitute being treated normally by the Church. You said that the SSA youth are treated too much like “other” but we need to define what consists “other” treatment and normal treatment.

                      that the ATTRACTION is not sinful, I would have been so phenomenally thankful! If they had been willing to talk to me about it, I would have been thrilled. I would have felt like “just another kid with problems”.

                      What then would you like to see happen at the parish level?
                      Bearing in mind the lack of priests, what can parish do?

    • GG

      That is not gradualism. That is ideology.

    • Tony

      It may be gradualism for the particular person — but it isn’t charitable to the children coming after us, who deserve better than mass confusion.

      Sal Mineo, a confused soul if there ever was one, once said that if he and “Jimmy” (James Dean, his friend and co-star in Rebel Without a Cause) had known that guys could do things with other guys, they would have done them. That was Sal Mineo, talking about what he knew and didn’t know, around 1960, when the two of them were about 20 years old.

      A lot of young people can be protected from obsessing about attractions, which are often various and transient, if we stop insisting upon the labels.

      • asmondius

        But that’s why GLSEN is in the schools, and why the letter ‘Q’ (‘questioning’) was added to the deviant alphabet.

      • Maybe that’s why the militants are so insistent on labels.

        • Branding is everything to the left. You can’t win people over on the merit of argument, you have to dazzle them with slogans and images.

          • MarcAlcan

            That is not surprising since we now conceive man as a product – one created for consumption.

        • RufusChoate

          Very special inappropriate and duplicitous labels that conceal their reality.

      • M

        “A lot of young people can be protected from obsessing about attractions, which are often various and transient, if we stop insisting upon the labels.”
        Children need to understand the labels in order to set boundaries and to understand other people’s sometimes abusive behavior. I remember, as a very young and naive child, wondering why on earth the optometrist was doing THAT when I was alone in the room with him supposedly having my eyes checked. I never told anybody. A label would have helped me to understand that what was going on was an act of pedophilia, and I could have helped myself and other kids by saying something. I know other people who had similar experiences as children. When I was growing up, most children didn’t have enough understanding of sex to get help with abuse.

        • Tony

          That is not to the point. You CAN be taught about that, in a sensitive and sane way, by being taught that grownups who “touch” you in that way are evil.

          The point is this, and please attend. Many boys and girls will have a tough time of it in puberty and after, especially in our perfectly insane time. They do NOT need additional confusion heaped upon them. You know how many boys will experience arousal upon seeing a nude male? No, you don’t. You can’t possibly. But neither will the boy — he will be told, “Oh, it must mean,” and so forth. This could not come at a worse time for him, because all the guard rails have been knocked over, and all the healthy avenues for him to discover and learn to delight in the beauty of girls have been destroyed. Quit the labeling. The FIRST SECOND and THIRD orders of business have to do with bringing boys and girls into a healthy expression of manhood and womanhood, and bringing them safe to the altar of marriage. None of that is going on now.

          • M

            I never thought of my abusers as “evil” — I always felt kind of sorry for them. Even as a child, I knew there was something wrong with them.

            Perhaps I expressed my point too narrowly by tying it to sexual abuse. The broader point is that understanding of sexuality helps kids to understand all sexual matters — whether related to abuse or to their own feelings. Boys get aroused fairly randomly, sometimes for no ostensible reason and sometimes because they’re in the presence of a person they find attractive. One of my very pretty teen daughters came home from hanging with her friends at the pool last summer with a report of certain reactions from certain boys she hung out with. I asked how she responded. She said she was “merciful” and pretended not to notice. If a boy is getting aroused around other boys, my daughter’s response is good advice — be “merciful.” But one also has to consider that heterosexual/homosexual orientation occurs along a spectrum. Your approach seems to be to shove all kids to the heterosexual end of the spectrum and, by censoring language and information, pretending homosexual feelings don’t exist, which is naive and also very invalidating to the kid. It’s far better, in my opinion, to get all this out in the open. Many kids are very sophisticated about understanding emotional nuance. Explain that it’s normal. Explain that it’s OK to be mindful of one’s feelings. If I had a bisexual child who was “straight enough” to manage a traditional marriage, I would encourage him or her by offering all sorts of (I hope) compelling reasons to marry someone of the opposite sex. I would also offer the child support in dealing with the feelings of same sex attraction. Those feelings will fester and suppurate if not addressed kindly. As adults, we should be supporting and guiding our children with honesty and compassion, and part of that means realistically accepting them as they are, SSA and all.

            • Ronk

              Neither the author nor anyone here suggested making anyone deny that he has such feelings, or treat him cruelly. Just try to help him not give in to the lie that such feelings comprise his very essence and identity.

          • GG

            Exactly. Now, it is all ideology.

    • There’s a lot of heavy crosses to bear.

      • Roy Rannila

        …And Christ’s was the heaviest. The author is one man with one experience. I respect him and that. One of the most frustrating things about SSA is that each individual can have a decidedly different experience and how those SSA have affected their lives. thankfully the solution is the same for all. Stay close to the sacraments and Jesus.

        • MarcAlcan

          Amen!!!

    • bonaventure

      If someone identifies as a Gay celibate Christian rejoice.

      As it is, if someone identifies as such, he or she is in grave danger of being sucked into the very ideology which they claim to be distinct from. While in reality they are very deep in it. Yes, the author makes a point that to identify as a “gay celibate Christian” is better than the lies of the “gay culture,” but that is “better” only in a similar way as the Soviet Union was “better” than, say, North Korea.

  • CadaveraVeroInnumero

    Now that this Valentine’s Day we have gorged on “50 Shades” let us rephrase the question by tweaking Mr. Hill’s statement. First, here’s his quote:

    “The homoerotic attractions I had been
    conscious of since waking up to the strange new universe of sexuality
    remained so constant and unbroken that I came to realize I was
    experiencing what was usually called “homosexuality.” I had a homosexual
    orientation. I was gay.”

    Now, the reworking:

    “The Bondage/Dominance/Sadomasochism (BDSM) attraction I had been conscious of waking up the strange new universe [continuum!] of sexuality remained so constant and unbroken that I came to realize I was experiencing what was usually called (unqueered) “sadomasochism”. I had a BDSM orientation. I was BDSM, Queered.”

    Or, substitute homosexuality/gay with any other point on the sexual continuum. Maybe the folks over at Spiritual Sadomasochism can assist.

    (Again & again, from the BANKRUPT Diocese of Stockton, the Mother Lode.]

    • Forget it, they just dismiss it as “irrelevant”. That’s another way of saying, “Thought experiments in logic and consistency give me no comfort, so away with logic and consistency.” Note: cults do the same thing.

      • It IS irrelevant. The characters in Fifty Shades of Grey had a pretty kinky relationship, but they were still a Straight couple.

        • Kinky, by whose standards? Why not affirm them? Give them a colorful flag and celebrate their love of heightened sensuality during intimacy. “Who am I to judge?”

          Notice, you just keep repeating, “Irrelevant.” Why do liberals think simply chanting a word will wear down the force of logic? Oh yeah, that’s because, in that metaverse, legitimacy is forged on the will to power and not on the dictates of Truth and reason.

          • I Googled “Straight Pride Flag” and came up with this. Nice, huh?

            • Sorry, the image didn’t show up at first.

              So, what’s the point there? Is that the international symbol of heterosexuality?

              • Hey Anglicanæ? I didn’t Photoshop anything, I just Googled it.

                “Kinky by whose standards? Why not affirm them? Give them a colorful flag and celebrate their love of heightened sensuality during intimacy.”

                Your wish is my command. Here’s how the flag below as described: “The BDSM Rights Flag is intended to represent the belief that people whose sexuality or relationship preferences include Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, or Sadism and Masochism (“BDSM”) deserve the same human rights as everyone else, and should not be discriminated against for pursuing BDSM with consenting adults.”

                Personally I don’t think it’s going to catch on, though.

                • Sorry, I replied but my web page was showing nothing. I thought you were making a point. I misunderstood until the image showed up. So I erased my original reply.

                • Now where’s the zoophile’s flag?

                  • Sorry, I haven’t been able to find a zoophile flag. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that animals aren’t capable of providing verbal and written consent to marry humans.

                    • So if scientists find a way to prove an analogy of consent in primates, would you be okay with having sex with apes?

                    • GG

                      Consent does not make unreasonable suddenly reasonable.

                    • Furthermore, do you need an animal’s consent to get it spayed or neutered? So why object to sex if it’s not feeling pain or being harmed? No children can result.

                    • GG

                      Right, and one can own an animal. Where is the consent then?

                    • “Irrelevant.”

                    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

                      Keep looking. You’ll find a willing zoo partner out there somewhere.

                    • asmondius

                      They didn’t name that bear ‘Smokey’ for nothing!

                • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

                  I think it might be time for the Moderator to step in. Mr. Anziulewicz’s exhibitionism is getting a little tiresome and objectionable.

                  • Objectivetruth

                    Agreed…..

                    Chuck, ISIS is playing gravity games with homosexuals today in eastern Syria. Why don’t you hustle over to one of their websites like a nice boy and give the Muslims what for.

                    • asmondius

                      Everyone knows that Catholics are more fun – who ever played BINGO in a mosque?

                  • That will not happen.

                • asmondius

                  Looks just like the little plastic insert used to play a 45 on a 33 1/3 turntable.
                  .
                  I suspect it’s really the Vinyl Lovers’ flag.

            • You have a problem with art deco?

              • I LOVE Art Deco. This is most certainly NOT Art Deco. And when I said, “Nice, huh?”, I was being slightly sarcastic. Frankly I think this “Straight Pride Flag” is rather ugly.

                • I can agree with you there.

                  • bonaventure

                    It’s inscribed on my sexual design.

                    In fact, it’s inscribed in everyone’s sexual design, but denied by some.

                • Who are you to judge?
                  The use of black and white was one aspect of art deco and in this case the binary color scheme accurate conveys the idea of sex as binary. If want something ugly, try the rainbow flag, which has the curious effect of conveying the disorderly idea that everything is nothing.

                  • Just about to mention the ugly rainbow flag.

                  • asmondius

                    The rainbow just doesn’t include bakers, photographers, Mom and Pop vacation rental cabin owners, urban Fire Chiefs, etc….

            • asmondius

              Note that there appears to be prison bars or some sort of confining fence, and the male symbol seems to be trying to escape.
              .
              Perhaps this is the basis for homosexuality.

            • Queer and Loving It
        • asmondius

          Yes, fictional characters always provide a solid argument

  • GG

    “Today, a young person who finds himself attracted to the same sex is
    automatically a certain sort of person. He has a label, an identifier, a
    state of being, a category into which he fits—all courtesy of the
    culture around us. Our world’s language of sexual orientation is a
    pernicious trap: the boy who even has a passing attraction to another
    boy now has likely lost the freedom to view himself as he truly is: a
    boy who is the same sort of boy as all other boys that came before him.
    Rather, he will likely question his “sexual identity,” or wonder about
    his “sexual orientation” since the world tells him that if he’s
    attracted to another boy, he is necessarily—and by definition—something other than “straight.” The dividing line of sexuality is no longer male and female. It is “straight” and “something not straight’’ where that “something” is whatever a mind might imagine.”

    And this is a central point. The NH, and their supporters here, claim being “celibate” is all that the Church requires. They then go on to redefine identity in such a way that “gayness” is some unique characteristic that deserves special recognition. Once you parse out this one deviation and make it special you begin to redefine reality in a way that is contrary to the natural order.

    • asmondius

      On a slightly different but related bent, if you read closely the supposed suicide note of the unfortunate young man who declared himself to be ‘transgender’ and apparently committed suicide recently, you can see the frustration of a young person feeling trapped, who has fallen into the faulty advice found by reaching out to strangers on the Internet.

  • Andre B

    I find it confusing that, on the one hand you bemoan people losing the freedom to define themselves:

    Our world’s language of sexual orientation is a pernicious trap: the boy who even has a passing attraction to another boy now has likely lost the freedom to view himself as he truly is

    and yet here you do the opposite:

    Such is the world as it is today: one can adorn oneself with whatever sexual identity one would like; Choose another tomorrow if this one today doesn’t feel quite right.

    This is madness.

    • Daniel P

      “the freedom to view himself as he truly is” =/= “the freedom to define oneself”

      The one is called objectivism, the other subjectivism. Aquinas versus Sartre.

      • Andre B

        I mean, your view of yourself is, by definition (?) not objective. I don’t think your distinction holds.

        • cestusdei

          We don’t get to decide what we are. We are created by another. We are not malleable.

          • Andre B

            This isn’t a 1:1 comparison, but I think it’ll do to make my point. I didn’t get to decide where I was born, let alone my heritage. I wasn’t born in the US and only one of my parents was, but I’ve spent 80% of my life here. In the beginning, I definitely didn’t feel American. Even now, decades later, I still feel somewhat ‘other’, but for the most part, I feel American. I’m not sure I would view this transition (from not-American to very-American) as me ‘deciding what I was’, it was more me finding different ways to accurately describe myself as I was changing. That’s not madness at all.

          • Paul B. Lot

            “We are not malleable.”

            The fields of biology, psychology, economics and education (at minimum?) would like a word with you, @cestusdei:disqus.

            • GG

              Only if they are inauthentic and “gay”.

              • Paul B. Lot

                What?

                Humans are hugely malleable at a variety of ages to varying degrees in different contexts. That’s not a controversial statement and it has nothing to do with authenticity or sexual orientation.

                You are simply incorrect.

                • GG

                  You are being intentionally vague. The post you responded to was regarding sexuality.

                  • Paul B. Lot

                    Going forward you might not want to guess at my intentions, you don’t have the necessary faculties. I was actually being the diametrical opposite of ‘vague.’ The post I responded to was (if your underlying assumption is correct) insufficiently precise, had the poster said “human sexuality is not malleable” my reply would’ve reflected such a statement.

                    As it happens, he or she did not, and so your are assuming that malleability in the realm of human sexuality is what was being referred to. Do you know what they say about assumptions, GG, and the people who make them?

                    So, now that we’ve addressed your errors, let’s deal with the meat of your point. What evidence would you bring to bear to support your assertion that “human sexuality is not malleable?”

                    • GG

                      Are you claiming the poster was referring to something other than sexuality?

                      You pedantic games will not work here.

                    • Paul B. Lot

                      I am making no claims whatsoever about *the intended scope of the phrase “we are not malleable” in* cestusdei’s post.

                      I simply didn’t presume to restrict the poster’s scope of discussion for him or her, unlike you. The only one making any definitive claims about the poster’s intentions is you.

                      Your assumption may well be correct, but that will be something you learn after-the-fact…a risk I am not often willing to take.

                      I’m sorry that writing and reasoning clearly feel like a game to you but don’t worry, losing continuously is good for your character.

                      Edit for clarification.

                    • GG

                      I wish you were as intelligent as you think you are. Your posts reveal otherwise.

                      The poster was referring to sexuality. That is not in question as any reasonable, and intelligent, reader would conclude given the context and history of the thread.

                      If you want to weasel out of your erroneous conclusion go ahead but honest people already see your posts for what they are.

                    • Paul B. Lot

                      If you want to weasel out of your erroneous conclusion…

                      Much like accusing someone of being ‘in denial,’ accusing them of wanting to ‘weasel out of _____’ is unanswerable. “Oh, what’s that, you’re denying that you’re in denial?”

                      Suffice it to say that any honest reader will note that I pointed out a lapse of precision on someone else’s part, and you decided to be their white knight. Fair enough, I’m not going to try to stop you from getting mud on your face.

                      That is not in question as any reasonable, and intelligent, reader

                      Forgive me for being loathe to account you an authority on the subject of what intelligent readers would or would not think.

                      The poster was referring to sexuality.

                      You may well be correct. I’ve never denied its possibility, and already conceded it’s probability.

                      On the other hand, I am not cestusdei and I will not presume to declare that his or her imprecise phrase refers exactly to what I assume it does.

                      I hope you are capable of understanding that distinction.

                      In any case it’s truly a minor point. If cestusdei were referring to the non-malleability of only human sexuality, he or she would be incorrect about that as well. AFAIK the emerging scientific consensus indicates otherwise.

        • GG

          So, if a person says they are a tree then they become a tree?

          • Andre B

            No, which is precisely why ones view of oneself is not objective.

            • GG

              If it is not objective then the person is a tree.

              • Andre B

                i don’t think that word means what you think it mean. nice chat though.

                • GG

                  You are confused.

                  • Andre B

                    yes, your inability to navigate the english language is confusing me. no doubt on that count.

                    • GG

                      The language is quite clear. You just do not like accurate answers.

                    • Andre B

                      Here’s a refresher.

                      Daniel P, referred to this passage:

                      “the freedom to view himself as he truly is”

                      as “objectivism”. Now, I’m pretty sure he meant ‘objectivity’ or something similar, and wasn’t referring to Randian philosophy.

                      Wiki has a good enough definition of ‘objectivity’:

                      Generally, objectivity means the state or quality of being true even outside of a subject’s individual biases, interpretations, feelings, and imaginings.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivity_(philosophy)

                      Similarly, the term ‘objective’ means:

                      based on facts rather than feelings or opinions : not influenced by feelings

                      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/objective

                      So, when he tried to describe the act of viewing oneself as objective, that seemed to me not to be accurate, by definition. How one views oneself is subjective.

                      You then asked if a person saying they are a tree means they become a tree. My response was that no – whatever subjective feelings they have about being a tree wouldn’t mean they would objectively become a tree.

                      You then said: “If [ones view of oneself] is not objective then the person is a tree.”

                      That is incorrect, the person would not (objectively) be a tree, regardless of how they (subjectively) feel. If you meant to say ‘If ones view of oneself is not objective then one might believe they are a tree’ – or something similar – then I would agree. But that’s not what you said.

                    • GG

                      The point is, as Daniel was saying, we are free to view ourselves as we are. That is an objective understanding. We are male or female. That understanding is independent of any subjective desire we may have.

                      We are abusing freedom if we decide our nature is some other thing than it really is based on our desires. That would be a subjective, and erroneous, view.

                    • Paul B. Lot

                      “We are male or female.”

                      What about hermaphrodites?

                    • GG

                      That is a pathological condition. It mainly affects genitalia. Why do you ask?

                    • Paul B. Lot

                      Is a hermaphrodite male or female?

                    • GG

                      Evaluate the chromosomes.

                    • Andre B

                      I’ll let Daniel explain what he was saying, thank you.

                      Again, and we may just have to agree to disagree, but describing the views people have of themselves as ‘objective understanding’ makes no sense.

                    • Daniel P

                      The views can be true or false. Which is to say they must be evaluated by objective criteria.

                    • It’s just a contracted form of saying an objectively truthful understanding. Nobody is denying there is subjectivity in understanding.

                    • Andre B

                      It’s cute how you all answer for each other here. I respond to Daniel, to which GG then responds to, and now here you are responding to my reply to GG, who was busy telling me what Daniel was saying.

                    • This isn’t your private chat room, jackass.

                      But since you’re not interested in adult conversation (I’m guessing reddit is more your speed: slow and low impact dialogue), I’ll gladly stop replying to your inanities.

                    • GG

                      Inane is right.

                    • GG

                      There is an objective truth to the knowledge one is a man and not a woman.

                    • Paul B. Lot

                      “We are male or female.”

                      What about hermaphrodites?

                    • Paul B. Lot

                      Whoops, double-post. My bad.

                    • Daniel P

                      If I view myself as left-handed, I have a false view of myself. If I view myself as a woman, I have a false view of myself. Dan Mattson claims: “If I view myself as gay, I have a false view of myself.”

                      Not hard to understand, so far as I can tell.

                    • Andre B

                      I don’t think it’s as simple as what you’re laying out here, but a lot of that has to do with not defining terms well (especially Mattson).

                      I’ll try to give this the time it deserves, but don’t have it at the moment.

  • Tim Warner

    I have always hated the word “gay” as a way to describe myself.If in a germane discussion, I prefer to use the adjective, homosexual. I am not “A homosexual” ; I am homosexual. This is not anything but a descriptor of my sexual attractions. It defines me as much or as little as hetero-sexual defines those who are hetero-sexual. The impact of homosexuality in my life as a celibate Christian is as profound as the impact of sexuality in the life of a hetero-sexual celibate Christian.

    • But don’t feel cheated if the world doesn’t know what your attractions are?

      • I don’t feel cheated if the world doesn’t know what my attractions are. I don’t wear it on my sleeve. Conversely, I don’t want someone mistaking me for a Straight person … not that there’s anything wrong with that.

        • No you wear it on your electronic sleeve.

          • When an online article demands it.

            • Seamrog

              Yes – here is the crux of it. If your life is as rich and fulfilling as you claim it is, you would be out enjoying the world – yet you repeatedly come here whenever there is an essay on faithful, orthodox Catholic understanding of human sexuality – you have over 6,000 online comments – my guess is most are about sex.

              In every post of yours I have bothered to read, you do NOTHING to address the essay. Rather, you proclaim a lie to be a truth, or establish a strawman argument that has NOTHING to do with the topic of the essay, and then you hop from comment to comment spreading disordered propaganda to people who openly proclaim to profess and believe in their core, the Truth of Christ Jesus and the Church he established here on our Earth.

              This is not the behavior of a reasoned, adjusted, happy man.

              It is the petulant tantrum of a scolded child.

              You reportedly don’t agree with Roman Catholic theology, yet you continue to peruse websites that proclaim it, and when you are confronted with a Truth that picks at your psychological scabs, you feel compelled to rebel against it.

              You try and rationalize it by clothing it in terms of ‘human dignity,’ in the same way a pill addict takes 10 oxycontins a day because of ‘back pain.’

              Again – I pity you. Put down your defenses, and come into the Light. You will never be truly happy unless you do – as beautifully and logically demonstrated by this essay.

              • DEAR SEAMROG:

                Throw insults at me if it makes you feel righteous. You still know nothing about me as a person.

                I think the reason the antipathy toward Gay people is reaching such a hysterical, fevered pitch is because the writing is on the wall in terms of marriage equality for Gay couples. Sometime this year the Supreme Court is very likely going to rule that there is no justification for denying law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples the same legal benefits and opportunities, at all levels of government, that Straight couples have always taken for granted. And the anti-Gay side is acting like a vicious animal that’s been backed into a corner, lashing out at anything that dares approach. Why else do you think Crisis Magazine has devoted increasing amounts of attention to such issues? Why so much wailing and gnashing of teeth over something as innocuous as the word “GAY”?

                My guess is that, once SCOTUS dispenses with this issue once and for all, the rhetoric from all sides will drop rapidly in volume, people will move on to other things, and five years from now people will wonder what all the fuss was about.

                You think I’m an unhappy man? Hardly. On the issue of marriage equality, I’m tremendously happy. Ten years ago I wondered if I would see a day in my lifetime in which Gay couples in the United States could finally marry. And suddenly it seems that day is here.

                Like you and everyone else, I have my joys and sorrows, my own trials and tribulations. But I’m emotionally stable, I do good work (six days a week), and I’ve accomplished a great deal. My work as a an educator, counselor, and radio announcer is tremendously rewarding. Empathy is my middle name, and people feel very comfortable talking to me. I have a huge number of dear friends who love and respect me as much as I do them. I’ve seen wonders in my lifetime. And I’m a pretty good singer.

                So don’t be so presumptuous, OK?

                • GG

                  You are very wrong. If the court imposes another unjust law the rhetoric will increase. Like abortion the nation will be forever divided. That innocent children are being introduced into dire and perverse situations will make the situation even more polarized.

                • Seamrog

                  It is not presumptuous to observe, and comment on one’s behavior. You dismiss commentary on your behavior here as insult, and once again resort to spinning yet another distortion that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the topic at hand because your are disatified with the Church’s position on your behavior.

                  In essence – you behaved exactly as described…again.

                  You are well aware that the patrons of this website believe that the behaviors you promote are ruinous to our civilization, yet you feel compelled to come here repeatedly and proclaim your glee at federal efforts to undermine the moral underpinnings that built our society. This, and you cast yourself as a reasonable, adjusted, happy man.

                  It is pitiful to me – I do not mean that as an insult, or offer it from a position of righteousness. There is not one of the ten commandments I have not broken, and I am a witness to the redemptive, saving mercy of Jesus.

                  Your efforts to promote a divisive, disordered existence are not serving you – they are harming you, and these essays, and many faithful Catholics who appreciate them are offered to bring you to the Truth.

                  You are in opposition to Jesus Christ here – please work to end that opposition and let him lead you to salvation.

                  With us.

                  • “You are in opposition to Jesus Christ here – please work to end that opposition and let him lead you to salvation.

                    With us.”

                    Sorry, I’m not ready to be assimilated quite yet.

                    • Seamrog

                      If that were true, you would not be frequenting these websites.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      “Sorry, I’m not ready to be assimilated quite yet.”

                      Why not?

                • asmondius

                  Oy vey – always the name calling, always the name calling and the labeling to silence any disagreement.

                  .

                  ‘hysterical, fevered pitch’

                  ‘a vicious animal’

                  ‘denying law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples the same legal benefits and opportunities’

                  .
                  er, you forgot to mention your Rhodes scholarship and Nobel prize. Methinks thou dost proclaim thy happiness a bit much.

                  .
                  You are here because inside you are still saddened, and you hope that by encouraging others to disparage you that you will be able to in turn dispel the tenets of their faith. It is Christ who beckons your heart, not anonymous posters on a commbox and certainly not those who have given you membership in a fractious group fraught with error. He specifically defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Do you seriously believe that the Supreme Court or any other group of flawed humans can argue can override His truth?
                  .
                  Two men calling each other ‘Hubby’ will never replace their own parents. This entire misguided drive for ‘marriage equality’ will only result in a class of people willing to masquerade as third-class heterosexuals or as societal curiosities.

                  • Objectivetruth

                    True. Chuck proclaims he has fulfilled the “gay” man’s dream. He has it all….life is grand! Yet, he is always spending hours on orthodox Catholic websites. Why? Why spend so much time here on this website? He has fulfilled every homosexual hedonistic desire……..life should be perfect now, but it’s not. Why not? WHY AM I STILL SO UNHAPPY??!! There is still something missing. Something gnawing him at his core, a songbird chirping in his soul that can only be satisfied by surrendering to Jesus Christ.

                • Objectivetruth

                  Come fully to Christ, Chuck. What’s stopping you?

              • By the way, sweet alias.

                I keep seeing it with the accent in my mind’s eye as seamróg. And would be even sweeter if you were to throw a three leaf clover in your avatar box. 🙂

                • Seamrog

                  I have no idea how to get that accent over the ‘o’ or how do have an avatar, or both would be exactly as you describe!

              • Objectivetruth

                Excellent post.

            • Nothing here “demands” anything from you. You just aren’t that original, Chuck.

        • I have to say, Chuck, I do sense you are more sincere than many that come here. I’m never averse to arguing honestly about serious differences. But I am a bit short on patience with evasive conversation, so I ratchet my rhetoric up in response.

          Seriously, I do hope and pray you find peace with Christ. I don’t see you as less of a man than me; I’m no less in need of a savior than you, and I do hope you keep asking honest questions and giving honest answers.

          Blessings.

  • Randall

    I hear a lot of “they” language here. No one who has not been through this themselves has any idea what it’s like. It’s easy to say all this when the “they” is someone else. It’s entirely another thing when the “they” is us. Mr. Mattson, I realize you understand what it’s like to live with same-sex attraction. But you clearly don’t understand all of us who live with same-sex attraction. Your constant use of “they” language makes that clear:

    “They are trapped in our cultural confusion concerning sexuality and they fail to see the world and themselves as they truly are: as sexual beings, we are solely, and completely, male and female, ordered towards our sexual opposite, and have been such since the beginning of Creation.”

    Sorry, but this is not true for me. I’m not saying God created me gay, but no matter how hard I have tried to change I have never been able to be attracted to the opposite sex. I am much more whole acknowledging I am God’s creation broken by the fall than I am pretending I am unbroken.

    “Those trapped in the morass of the ever-expanding litany of sexual identities will only ever be fully free when they accept the truth of who they really are.”

    You are wrong where I am concerned. The Church for years told me I am really straight, despite my same-sex attraction. As long as I believed that I always had a part of me that could not come under the redemption of Christ. I was disintegrated personally, emotionally, and spiritually. Now I have accepted the truth of who I am, I can see that part of me as redeemed as well. And rather than living in less freedom to walk a life of biblical morality, I am experiencing greater freedom.

    Please just focus on the Bible’s teaching against homosexual behavior and quit vilifying you brothers and sisters in Christ who are trying to live lives of morality and authenticity.

    • Jim Russell

      By criticizing the perspective of “those” people who think like Dan thinks, it seems you are pointing out the difficulty of referring to a group of persons sharing a common view without sounding as though you’re “vilifying” “them.” Dan’s not vilifying the “they” to whom he refers any more than you are vilifying the “they” to whom you seem to refer. We simply need to remember to give each other the benefit of the doubt in this regard–that’s really the *only* way to avoid “us vs. them” personal debates….

      • Randall

        Good point, Jim. I did not mean to vilify Dan or anyone who disagrees with me. I can respect someone who acknowledges their same-sex attraction but does not feel it is appropriate to identify as gay. And I can understand that position because it was mine for a long time. I am just calling for the same respect and understanding in return.

    • Scott W.

      “You are wrong where I am concerned. The Church for years told me I am really straight, despite my same-sex attraction.”

      Let’s be clear: someone IN in the Church might have told you that you were really straight (and I’d like to hear a quote just to confirm). The Church itself does not take a position on the genesis of SSM. As an analogy, the Church teaches that drunkenness is wrong, but it would be silly for the Church to tell an alcoholic he really wasn’t an alcoholic. He’s called to be sober no doubt. Where the analogy breaks down is that there is no one seriously claiming their alcoholism is a gift from God.

      • Randall

        Full disclosure: I am not Catholic, but an evangelical Christian. I didn’t mean to be deceptive in the way I mentioned the Church. I just thought it would be less confusing. And I also have great respect in general for the Catholic Church’s historic teachings regarding issues of morality.

        Scott, regarding your last sentence, “Where the analogy breaks down is that there is no one seriously claiming their alcoholism is a gift from God” I would say a better analogy is something like Down Syndrome or congenital deafness. Neither of those are what God intended for His creation, as is the case with same-sex attraction. Yet we celebrate the sacredness of life in a Down Syndrome child, and we affirm the complete worth of a deaf child. We would not deny that either child has this disability, but acknowledge it is a part of who they are. Likewise, when I call myself “gay” it is not to point to a behavior (which, by the grace of God, I will never participate in) but to the beauty of God’s creative work in me that exists despite my “disability” of same-sex attraction.

        • asmondius

          Yet we do not create a new class of people called ‘Downers’, for example.

        • Physical defects are not under the domain of morality in themselves. Being born without legs predisposes no man to committing a natural evil. Having SSA has vast moral implications.

          • Welcome to effects of the therapeutic state.

          • Randall

            Anglicanæ, just being a human being in a fallen state has vast moral implications, but no more so for someone with SSA than, for instance, the man who wishes he could have sex with a woman who is not his wife. Both are tempted to sin and both have the choice to resist that temptation.

            • A penchant for overeating, while a sin against my body on some level, is not morally equivalent to a lust for illicit sex it?

              • Randall

                Both gluttony and lust are among the seven deadly sins, so one could argue they are morally equivalent. But even so, it is the behavior, not the temptation, that is sinful.

                • But when one overindulges in licit things, the sin tends toward turning a good into an evil.

                  Pseudosex doesn’t even leave the gates because the act is at root mimicry, hence deathly on principle.

    • Objectivetruth

      Have you looked into the Catholic apostolate Courage?

      • Randall

        I have just recently heard about it. I am impressed with their stated goals, particularly this one: “To be mindful of the truth that chaste friendships are not only possible but necessary in a chaste Christian life; and to encourage one another in forming and sustaining these friendships.”

        • Objectivetruth

          Look further in to it, I hear they are a wonderful group.

          You have a very tough cross to bear, Randall, no doubt. But Christ will help you carry it, trust in that. Carrying your cross will be tough at first, but will take you down a new path that you didn’t realize was there. It’s truly a path to sainthood. And to a greater joy than you can imagine.

          I’ll pray for you. Pray for me.

          • Randall

            Thank you, Objectivetruth. I will pray for you!

            • Objectivetruth

              Thanks….I don’t have the same cross as you, but I certainly have my own crosses to carry!

              We all have to realize we’re all in the same boat. Let’s all grab our oars and row…..

    • Daniel P

      Randall, Objectivetruth, Scott, and Jim,

      I’m highly encouraged by the tone of your conversation here. It’s great.

    • Randall, everybody has a demon or two. Some are more obvious, dangerous, or disapproved of than others.
      A for instance: I have a friend, who for years was evasive about why he and his wife resided in different cities. Because they wed right before the real estate crash and both owned homes, it was easy for them to blame a thin real estate market to remain apart.
      As prices recovered and their personal situations solidified, we assumed that they had just settled into “many tearful goodbyes, and happy reunions”. Then one day, it came “out” to borrow a phrase. She was a hoarder, incapable of moving. He knew it all along, but didn’t BELIEVE it until one day that he tried to dispose of some FIVE YEAR OLD junk mail. She became apoplectic because she claimed that some day she would review this stuff and even the idea that whatever “offers” they contained were long since expired didn’t work. Now they are “stuck”, paying two mortgages.
      She refuses to admit she has a problem and he pointed out to me that hoarders, like the obese, are among the “designated deviants” where shaudenfreude (spelling?) is still allowed, now that TV, not Barnum and Bailey bring us the modern version of circus freaks.
      If you admit you have a problem, good. Maybe YOU can’t make your SSA go away, maybe the best you can do is ignore it. Even better is to laugh at it.
      Most of the acrimony over these this comes from the fact that people really are frustrated by how homosexuality is the one sin that is DEFINING the person. It’s a small distinction, but an important one to say that I have a particular weakness, but I will not allow it define me, and encage me.

      • Randall

        DE-173, I totally get what you’re saying and why that makes sense to you. In answer to you I guess I would ask this question: Is it the inclination that’s the problem, or is it the behavior that’s the problem? Will your friend’s wife ever be able to change her behavior if she never acknowledges the fact she is a hoarder? No, in order to change the behavior she has to acknowledge her weakness, otherwise she’s just in denial. Likewise, I would argue that I am in a safer place acknowledging I am characterized by my same-sex attraction than if I were to deny it.

        So if I don’t want to embrace gay behavior, why would I want to go a step further and call myself gay? As the Ron Belgau and Chris Damian articles quoted in this blog post try to explain, being gay speaks to so much more than just a person’s sexual desires. While a Christian gay man desires sexual chastity because of the convictions of his faith, he has reasons for identifying as gay that have nothing to do with sexual attraction. Just one example is that gay men tend to be sensitive and artistic. This may explain why male ballet dancers, theater actors, and church organists are all more likely to be gay than men in other professions. We don’t call these artistic talents sinful or sexually perverted, but rather we celebrate them and see them as gifts of God’s creation. And yet to a gay man these are also a part of who he is as a gay man.

        I know this is probably hard to understand for those who haven’t walked in our shoes. That’s why I agree that we need to focus on behavior, godly character, and faith—rather than becoming overly concerned about how a person identifies himself. Is a person walking with Christ, formed by the scriptures and in fellowship with the church to live a life of holiness and purity? We should encourage, not disparage all such brothers and sisters in the faith.

        • Daniel P

          Randall, you say, “And yet to a gay man these are also a part of who he is as a gay man.”

          I want to challenge you on that. I have same-sex attraction too, and I am reasonably creative. It may be that more creative and artistic people are more likely to deal with homosexual temptations. But that is a far cry from ascribing all these abilities to one’s homosexuality, and I’m not sure why one would do that. My tendency to anger is most definitely associated with how passionate I am, as a person, but I wouldn’t say that my wrathful instinct is what makes me passionate. Quite the opposite, I would say that my passion makes me prone to wrath.

          So I guess I wonder why you wouldn’t say that your artistic nature is capable of being twisted in such a way that you deal with homosexual temptation? As opposed to ascribing it to your homosexuality?

          • Randall

            Actually, Daniel, that’s exactly what I’m saying. I do believe God has created me with an artistic nature that by virtue of our human fallenness has been twisted to include homosexual temptation. But when I say I am gay, it’s my way of embracing the sensitive, artistic part of me God has created as good, not the part of me that is tempted to sin. I can understand why my approach to this would be hard for you to understand. It’s only been fairly recently I have been identifying (only privately, not publicly) as a gay Christian. For years I tried to think of myself as a straight man who just had this big, shameful flaw he couldn’t get rid of. But after praying earnestly for years that the Lord would take this “thorn in the flesh” away, only to be met with the answer “no, my grace is sufficient for you,” I finally decided to do what the Apostle Paul did and “glory in my weakness” so that Christ’s power could be made perfect in me. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

            • Daniel P

              I have a lot of sympathy for what you’re saying, and I think it could be very effective in helping you live a holy Christian life. (Certainly, my life became a lot better when I became open with myself and my close friends about my attraction to men). My issue is more pedantic, in a certain way — it’s that *gayness*, as such, isn’t important — what’s important is embracing all the good aspect of myself that I’ve falsely pigeonholed as “me being gay.”

              So, for instance, I had a lingering shame because I like bright colors (even — gasp! — hot pink), and I felt like my love for something like dance or theater was gay, and I felt like my passion for poetry was gay, etc. THOSE things have nothing to do with sin, even if people who like those things sometimes deal with characteristic sins. So I wonder — why don’t we create a name for THAT? That would be a noncontroversially acceptable adjective — or at least, IF people objected, they would be obviously in the wrong.

              • Randall

                Thanks for what you shared, Daniel. It’s a blessing to hear from someone else who can relate to my life as we have both had to live it. And you make a really great point about the inadequacy of language too. It would be great if there were an identifier for people like us that affirmed the good and disassociated us from the bad. But I think even if such a term existed we would still be looked at negatively. Our masculinity would continue to be questioned by those who think manliness is only rough and tumble—despite the example of our Savior who was a sensitive, compassionate Man. Looking at His example encourages me that our unique sensibilities are a gift from God, and if those around us don’t know how to value them, we should at least. Blessings to you, Daniel!

                • Daniel P

                  Good to talk to you, Randall!

            • MarcAlcan

              But when I say I am gay, it’s my way of embracing the sensitive, artistic part of me God has created as good,

              But one can be sensitive and artistic and not gay.
              Many men are like that. There are no talents or graces that are specific to gay people.

              • Randall

                MarcAlcan, all three of your sentences are true, certainly. Likewise there are gay men who are not sensitive and artistic. But society in general has rejected men who are physically weak, emotionally tender, and artistically expressive—whereas such men are welcome with open arms in the gay community. Perhaps no one would ever need to identify as gay if such men were genuinely accepted with their true gifts and personalities instead of having to measure up to a standard of masculinity they could never hope to achieve.

                • Ronk

                  “society in general has rejected men who are physically weak, emotionally tender, and artistically expressive”
                  Come on this is a massive exaggeration. Many such men are celebrated by society in general. Maybe such a man would be “rejected” by the blokes at a pub in an outback mining town, but “society in general”, no way.

                • MarcAlcan

                  But society in general has rejected men who are physically weak, emotionally tender, and artistically expressive

                  If society in general have rejected men who are physically weak, that would be because men are supposed to be the physically stronger of the sexes. And that is true in general. But the world loves artists because the world loves art.
                  Put simply all men should be accepted simply for being creatures of God. And we must recognize that artistic ability and sensitivity are not the sole domain of those SSA and neither do they spring from their being SSA.

        • Randall,

          • Randall

            DE-173, one of the limitations of print media is that you don’t get to hear a person’s tone of voice or see their face. The last thing I wanted to do was be pseudo-polite, passive-aggressive, or make inappropriate assumptions of what you do or don’t understand about me. As you suggest, I will try to speak more directly, in hopes that will work better than my earlier approach.

            It is my belief that the gay community has become “militant” simply because years of oppression have forced that reaction. Western Christian culture could have and should have offered people with same-sex attraction a context to constructively deal with their sexuality. But instead the dominant culture rejected people with same-sex attraction, forcing them to hide in shame and shutting them off from the very help they needed. The outcome has been disastrous. Instead of gay and lesbian people seeking ways to live out a traditional biblical sexual ethic because Christians cared for them and taught them the way to live, they have rejected it and invented their own. In this way perhaps you’re right that the gay community has become “a group which is going to have personal and political reasons to undercut [my] efforts to remain chaste,” though as someone who lives a relatively sheltered, traditional life, that actually has not been my experience.

            And yet, as you point out, it is actually the experience of ALL of us who live in today’s fallen world—whether we are heterosexual or same-sex attracted. Like you, I have to “be on guard for the potential of my own sinfulness.” I have to be on guard “when a pleasant young [male store clerk] is being friendly and I realize I’m a bit flattered.” I too have to be “careful where I click my mouse.” And this spring “a walk down the street will be a challenge” for me as much as it will be for you, though for different reasons. Yes, you’re right when you say “temptation is the moral equivalent of a mathematical vector. It has direction and magnitude.” And so remembering that we all have a propensity for sin—that we are all in need of God’s strength and grace—is a helpful thing rather than a harmful thing. And we also need each other in our effort to live holy lives; we need to be on guard that the Devil doesn’t balkanize or isolate us. Thanks for the reminder of that, and blessings to us both as we walk that journey!

            • “The last thing I wanted to do was be pseudo-polite, passive-aggressive, or make inappropriate assumptions of what you do or don’t understand about me. ”

              I’m not suggesting you did it intentionally. It’s a PC cultural convention that has osmosed into everything. To give you an idea where I’m coming from. when somebody says “have a nice holiday” in the days before Christmas, I respond “oh thank you, but I don’t celebrate holiday, I celebrate Christmas. ”

              “though as someone who lives a relatively sheltered, traditional life, that actually has not been my experience.”

              Wow, that is infuriatingly presumptuous. You have no idea where I came from or what my journey has been or what I’ve seen. I’m not the graduate of some academy of saints or will I likely be confused with one any time soon.

              I’m not going to list a bill of my sins or failings, but understand this-having a grand mal seizure three in class three weeks after entering (a new) high school is plenty insight into alienation and isolation.

              • Randall

                I was talking about myself, not you when I said I live a relatively sheltered, traditional life. I wasn’t making any assumptions about yours. I’m sorry if I offended you. I’m also sorry to hear about the challenges you’ve faced, and will pray for you!

    • M

      I would think it’s quite possible to be both “pansexual” AND, as Christopher Yuan writes, to have an overarching identity “as a child of the living God,” which he apparently felt expunged his identity as “gay.” Sexuality is complex, and understandings of sexuality are becoming more nuanced. A teen can experience some SSA without unconditionally categorizing themselves as gay or lesbian or even bisexual. Sexual orientations are being explored and better understood. I don’t think the labels (or adjectives) need to be suppressed. Perhaps it is better to be mindful of them and to adapt accordingly. If someone has a sexual orientation of pedophilia, perhaps it is best that the person (or someone close to him) acknowledges that and seeks help so as not to act on the urge. When one reads Dickens or other stories from the past, it seems likely that Mr. Murdoch and others from David Copperfield and Mr. Squeers from Nicholas Nickleby had BDSM orientations. The same is probably true of religious self-flagellants and others who practice corporal mortification. In order to understand whether they’re indulging a kink and being abusive toward self or others, these people need sexual self-knowledge, which requires sexual understanding and a sexual vocabulary. So I think the labels/adjectives can be a step toward self-knowledge. Once the person understands what he’s dealing with in himself, he’s in a better position to formulate an ethical strategy.

      • Randall

        M, I agree with a lot of what you say. We can call ourselves a lot of things and many of them can be helpful in identifying our struggle. At the same time we need to be careful that we are not limiting ourselves or excusing sinful behavior with those identifiers. That’s why—though he has come to a different conclusion than I have about identifying as “gay”—I agree with Christopher Yuan that our primary identity needs to be “as a child of the living God” and anything else needs to be a distant second.

        • M

          “I agree with Christopher Yuan that our primary identity needs to be “as a child of the living God” and anything else needs to be a distant second.”

          I agree, Randall. I would add that we should restrict “excusing sinful behavior” to our own behavior rather than that of others (unless they are being abusive.) As Pope Francis said, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” The important part of the person is that he is “searching for the Lord and has good will.” This makes him a “child of the living God.”

    • MarcAlcan

      Can I ask you something? If someone were to self identify as SAC (sexually attracted to children) or SAA (sexually attracted to animals) would it be okay with you if they were to self identify as such but with a “chaste” as clarifier?

      • GG

        And that is the point. Culturally, now, one is not allowed to draw proper conclusions.

      • Randall

        What you are referring to as “SAC” and “SAA” attractions are not in the same category, because—unlike being simply gay or lesbian—acting on these attractions exerts superior strength and intelligence over helpless victims who are unable to adequately resist or give their consent. Even so, if someone with these attractions is determined never to act on them, they will have a far higher chance of success if they identify their attraction and allow others to hold them accountable. Hiding and foolishly pretending such attractions will go away on their own is a formula for failure and unfathomable harm to helpless victims.

        • MarcAlcan

          What you are referring to as “SAC” and “SAA” attractions are not in the same category, because—unlike being simply gay or lesbian—acting on these attractions exerts superior strength and intelligence over helpless victims who are unable to adequately resist or give their consent

          When we kill animals for food, do we ask for consent? Are we not victimizing them?

          As regards children, consent is a movable feast. The gay lobby is in fact proposing the lowering of the age of consent. So consent cannot be the determiner of what is right or wrong. If someone were to consent to being tortured, would we accept torture as okay?

          Even so, if someone with these attractions is determined never to act on them, they will have a far higher chance of success if they identify their attraction and allow others to hold them accountable.

          That is true. Acceptance that this deviant and disordered inclination exists in one’s self is the beginning of the road to healing.
          But my question is: in the same manner that you think it is okay to label one’s self gay and celibate, is it okay for someone to write a book, start a blog or proclaim to everyone that one’s identity is that of a paedophile or one strongly inclined to bestiality but they are just not giving in to it. So we would have people proclaiming themselves to be paedophile celibates and bestial celibates.

  • M.J.A.

    A topic that affects The Church at varying levels ,making many yearn that it did not
    have to be hard but as easy as putting on a ‘New Man’ – The Lord !
    Yet , that may be the truthful, simplest answer as well !
    Every one of us , being formed to be conformed to the image of The Lord , in The Bride and Mother, The Church , by His Holy Spirit and The Church tries to help , in letting us know what would make that process that is best for each and what messes up same, esp. with prowling lions around !
    It is not easy for the ‘straights ‘ to look at another, always with the sort of truth and love , from taking in the faith that The Lord became incarnate , died ,rose , for that person whom one finds difficult to see with such worth ; any compromise of that truth that gives more credence to one’s distorted appetites/pride in any manner thus can be a form of idolatry and for that matter , so called attraction , in that sense might really be even a form of hidden demonic hatred from the ‘ user ‘ mentality , of wanting to use another, in the parasitic abuse trait of selfishness !
    Thus, accepting and claiming a title that is in direct opposition to the God intended nature , destiny and blessing , of ongoing formation , to be like unto The Lord ,in loving relationship with The Father and working out detachments , for truer attachments , by seeing everyone in that format /destiny , accepting periods of desolation / isolation / rejection , as needs for healthy detachment in order to turn to The Lord, with all mind and heart, not to idols , which has led many in the straight culture as well , with need for similar struggles and freedom , even if the circumstances might be different !
    Would a title – ‘I have been an idolator ‘ be more appropriate and with greater potential for healing through repentance , to also recognize the bond with all others too !
    Thank God for many who identify the issues and stand for the truth !

  • naturgesetz

    Is gay just another adjective? Yes it is, despite Mr Mattson’s mighty attempts to prove that nobody must speak the truth which the Catechism affirms, that there are “people who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex.” There are “men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies.” The word “gay” to ordinary speakers of colloquial English means no more that “a person [or, more narrowly understood, a man] who experience[s] an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex.” To ordinary people it means, “men [or, more broadly, men and women] who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies.” Use all the sophisticated mumbo-jumbo you want, the argument against using the word “gay” as a descriptor amounts to a denial of the reality acknowledged by the Catechism.

    • Scott W.

      I missed the part where the author denies there are “people who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex”. In fact, his quote of David Prosen whom he agrees with, explicitly says he experiences this attraction. What I take away from this is not that the word “Gay” isn’t real with a common usage. Rather, that Catholics, and really anyone committed to the Truth, should avoid using the word gay in the same way we ought to avoid words like “pro-choice”, or “enhanced interrogation” precisely because they obscure truth by creating a layer of euphemistic fog covering an evil act underneath.

      • naturgesetz

        It is rash judgment to conclude that there is “an evil act underneath” gay celibate Catholics’ use of the term “gay” to refer to themselves. It is calumny to assert that there is.

        Certainly, the word “gay” is ambivalent. But any imprecision is removed when it is used as a self-descriptor by people who proclaim themselves celibate. The obstinate refusal to acknowledge this fact is, in my opinion, a de facto attempt to deny that the category of “people who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex” is really real. As I read the tiresome attempts to explain why it is wrong for celibate Christians, Catholics included, to call themselves “gay,” what it comes down to is telling them, “No you aren’t. You misrepresent reality when you use a word which says in one syllable what the Catechism says in fifteen words.”

        When Mr. Mattson says, “I am not gay. I am a man,” he creates a false dichotomy which de facto, denies the reality of the category which the Catechism affirms. If he has his personal reasons for preferring not to use the g word about himself, fine. But it is not his place to say that others should not use it.

        • Scott W.

          Jamming.

        • Objectivetruth

          The catechism never uses the word “gay” when discussing disordered homosexuality.

          • naturgesetz

            That’s okay. The Catechism doesn’t use colloquial language.

      • Daniel P

        I agree with naturgesetz that the phrase “euphemistic fog covering an evil act underneath” is not accurate. Many people who call themselves gay have no “associated act” with the word. They just have an associated desire, or set of inclinations. And they could be using the word much as an alcoholic uses the word “alchoholic” — as a description of a flaw.

        • Scott W.

          You are missing the larger point that such words are designed for and thrive on ambiguity and we have no obligation to participate.

          • Daniel P

            I never said we had an obligation to participate, far from it.

    • Daniel P

      Imagine, for a moment, that I am 400 pounds. If the culture divided human beings into “fatsos” and “normal”, and portly people began to take pride in the term “fatso”, they might simply describe being a “fatso” as “being portly”. Then they might tell me that I am a fatso, since — after all — I fit the definition!

      But the question is (a) do I want people to use that term to apply to me? and (b) is that definition helpful to me, as I try to lose weight?

      The analogy isn’t perfect, but it might help you understand why Dan Mattson is arguing the way he is, despite the fact that he obviously agrees that some people have deep-seated homosexual tendencies.

      • naturgesetz

        There are two responses to your analogy.

        First there is the question of trying to lose weight. The suggestion that changing one’s orientation is something with a degree of difficulty similar to that of losing weight is one of the imperfections of the analogy. The accounts of many people and my own experience say that for many, the attempt to change orientation is an exercise in futility. Indeed, the Church does not say that one is obligated to try to change, much less that one must make a life-long effort to do so. Thus, the analogy has no applicability to those who have decided that to try to change is a waste of effort.

        The other is that it does not deal with the arrogance of those who would dictate to others how they must not refer to themselves. If a portly man who is trying to lose weight decides for himself that he’d rather not refer to himself as a fatso, that’s fine. But if he’s content to call himself a fatso, others have no business telling him he mustn’t use that word, much less inventing theological grounds for pretending that it’s wrong of him to do so.

        • Daniel P

          (1) My purpose was not to make an analogy that would address the question of orientation change. And, generally, I think orientation change is a bad thing to focus on.

          (2) But what good is being accomplished by referring to himself as a “fatso”? What else is being done except to reinforce the already existing (flawed) way that the culture uses names?

          I don’t have any particular objection to people using the name “gay” to describe themselves, and I certainly think that criticism of this practice can be overemphasized and overblown. Still, #2 is a good question.

          • James Scott

            >and I certainly think that criticism of this practice can be overemphasized and overblown.

            That is why this article rubs me the wrong way.

      • James Scott

        If you don’t want to be called Gay (even if you have SSA) that is your right and allowed by your Christian liberty.

        But some people have no problem with it or no matter how hard they try they can’t seem to “pray the gay away” but they still believe and are still bound by the divine and natural law. They must be encouraged by grace to live that law. It is all about behavior & only behavior I am afraid Mattson has it wrong.

  • bonaventure

    The other member of the couple hasn’t decided yet what her sexual identity is. She seems to believe that “Choosing A Letter Is Complicated.”

    There is more truth to that woman’s feelings than all the lies which have ever been claimed, spoken, published or legislated about homosexuality as “innate.”

  • Thomas J. Hennigan

    These semantic games are dangerous especially for adolescents as the author points out. Besides homosexuality is not a matter of black or white but rather a spectrum and at those early stages with proper guidance these adolescents can often overcome such passing attractions for others of the same sex, which are basically as sign of immaturity and not a sign of some kind of identity with which they were born. If words mean nothing or can mean so many things and we cannot communicate by using them, then we are creating chaos.

  • Aaron Taylor

    [Quote]”Contrast Hill’s recognition with a conversation I recently had with a woman who came of age in the 1950s. She recalled a time in adolescence when she had a close attachment to one of her female friends. The strong feelings of affection between them led for a time to sexual experiences between them. Unlike Wesley Hill, or my 24-year-old friend, this woman had no concept or awareness of the category of a “gay” person, or of “being a lesbian” or a “bisexual.”[Quote]

    Ah, yes, the good old days of the 1950s, when you could have tonnes of super-hot steamy homosex without it raising any questions about your “identity.” Those were the days, eh? Angst-free sodomy: is this why all of the allegedly “ex”-gays really want to go back to the 1950s?

    • Daniel P

      Puzzling comment, Aaron. I don’t see how insinuating that people who object to using the term “gay” are motivated by sexual perversion will advance the conversation. Do you? Or what are you getting at?

      • Aaron Taylor

        I didn’t actually say that and I don’t see how twisting my comment will “advance the conversation” either.

        • Daniel P

          Sorry if I twisted your comment. I was actually just looking for a clarification, because I can see how people could take your comment in the way I took it.

          • Aaron Taylor

            OK, fair enough. Let me explain. It was deliberate snark, and the point of the snark was intended to highlight the logical absurdity of the argument. Of course I don’t think those people are *actually* motivated by sexual perversion. That’s the whole point. That’s what makes the fact that they are demonizing celibate gay people while glossing over the sins of those who actually commit homosexual acts illogical and absurd. If they were really motivated by perversion, it would be logical, and there would be nothing for me to critique. Capisce?

            Secondly, and more importantly, there’s a HUGE difference between
            (a) “people who object to using the term “gay”,’ and (b) “people who demonize *celibates* who identify as gay while at the same time weirdly glossing over the sins of non-gay-identifying people who actually commit sodomy.” Do you see how these are not the same thing at all?

            Pax.

            • Daniel P

              OK, this makes more sense. I would say, though, that (a) I don’t think Dan Mattson has portrayed gay celibates as evil, and (b) if we’re going to use the term “demonizing” to refer to something other than “portraying as evil”, then it seems like we all do a lot of demonizing.

              With respect to your comment about weirdly glossing over people who actually commit the sin of sodomy, that sort of glossing makes sense if we think of the word “gay” as fundamentally a description of a temptation. (I’m not saying we *should* think of it that way, but Dan *does* think of it that way). For I don’t think that the person who thinks pornography is wrong but uses pornography out of weakness of will is any more morally mixed up than the person who calls himself a pornographer despite not using porn. (But note that BOTH people are tempted to take pride: one in his refusal to accept that porn defines him, the other in his refusal to actually use the stuff.)

              Now I’m sure you’re going to disagree with Dan that “gay” is fundamentally a description of a temptation. But I think that THAT is the difference here, and I don’t see any indication that anyone here advocates “coddling sin, so long as one calls it sin”.

              Blessings,
              Daniel

              • Aaron Taylor

                Thanks, Daniel.

                What I meant by glossing over is the way that sin language has been eliminated from Mattson’s discussion of his friend from the 1950s. Note how he refers to their homosexual acts with the non-morally-evaluative term, “sexual experiences,” and that he says these “experiences” were borne, not of an intrinsically disordered desire, but of the “strong feelings of affection” between them. That is quite different from saying that their experiences proceeded from “a more or less strong strong tendency ordered toward an instrinsic moral evil” (Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, No. 3). Any notion of sin is played down. On the other hand, strong morally evaluative language is used of those like Wesley Hill who identify as gay but remain celibate (often at the cost of significant personal sacrifice). They are “trapped” in a “prison” of “self-deception,” from whence they are orchestrating a movement to lead “young people down a path of confusion,” and so on. Given that, for all Dan’s faults, he’s actually quite a good writer, I don’t think this rhetoric is less than deliberate.

                Mattson is certainly right that being a good Catholic requires more than “good behavior,” but good behavior is a good place to *start*. Mattson doesn’t even seem to be bothered about this minimum level of fidelity, however, advocating that instead of the hard work of resisting temptation and mortifying our flesh, we should follow a milquetoast gospel where everything is magically OK the moment you stop “identifying” as one thing and start “identifying” as another. Its too easy, and ultimately Mattson commits exactly the error that he accuses others of by promoting a “halfway house to freedom” in which it doesn’t really matter how much sex you have as long as you share Mattson’s identity politics.

                God bless.

                • Jim Russell

                  *****Its too easy, and ultimately Mattson commits exactly the error that he accuses others of by promoting a “halfway house to freedom” in which it doesn’t really matter how much sex you have as long as you share Mattson’s identity politics.*****

                  “Identity politics” is not the most awesome way to refer to God’s plan for us, Aaron.

                  Can you cite the passage in which Dan says “it doesn’t really matter how much sex you have”??? I’m not finding it….

                  • Aaron Taylor

                    I didn’t say it is what he “says.” I said it is the erroneous system he promotes. See my comments above about he soft-soaps the discussion of sodomy.

                    • Jim Russell

                      So Dan can promote something without actually saying it in the post? Oddly, I’ve always tried to take the actual things said by an author as the actual points the author is asserting, rather than looking past those statements for things he’s “really” promoting.

                      I shall now have to challenge Dan thusly: “Hey, Dan, why are you writing stuff about how people with SSA should neither act on those inclinations nor identify according to those inclinations, when your obvious and *real* point is ‘have all the sex you want as long as you agree with me’???”

                      Who knew? [btw, I think my British genes have finally gone to work–I’m lightening up!]

                    • Daniel P

                      Alright, you two, I am going to have to involuntarily quote George Costanza:

                      “Serenity, now!”

                    • Jim Russell

                      🙂

                      But I *was* having a bit o’ fun tapping into my inner Brit!

                    • Aaron Taylor

                      For what it’s worth, I am not offended, Jim. The need for charity in dialogue is not the same as some Buddha-like serenity.

                    • Aaron Taylor

                      This is tiresome, Jim. If you actually have a counterpoint, great, I’m all ears, but I think you know what I meant. By (a) radically downplaying the sinfulness of homosexual acts by eliminating morally evaluative language when discussing those acts while (b) *at the same time* using strongly morally evaluative language against celibate gays, (c) the *effect* of Mattson’s argument is to downplay the importance of the seriousness of actual sexual sin in comparison to identity politics.

                      When I say he “promotes” this, I mean he “promotes” it in the same way conservatives might say ultra-liberals promote a “culture of death.” Liberals aren’t necessarily doing so fully intentionally and in some ways they’re actually promoting things that go *against* their own better moral instincts, but when conservatives say they promote a culture of death what they mean is that the culture death flows as an irrevocable conclusion from the premises liberals posit (even if, consciously, liberals would actually deny the conclusion, and also deny that it follows from their premises). Do you see what I’m getting at? And do you see how this kind of argument can’t just be refuted by childishly shouting, “show me where the liberals explicitly wrote, ‘we are promoting a culture of death’!”

                    • Jim Russell

                      Okay–point taken. You’re making clear that the “effect” achieved, whether direct or conscious or not, is an important consideration when evaluating language, even regarding word choices employed by people who aren’t directly intending to convey a particular message, sometimes that particular message is conveyed nonetheless.

                      You see that in how Dan has written about the two examples of non-celibate and celibate gays. Fair enough.

                      But, you do see that this same analysis is pretty much *exactly* the point of Dan’s post regarding use of the term “gay” as an identifier? That is, people who identify publicly as “gay” may not have any intention whatsoever to be the source of the “effect” achieved by that term’s use, but the “effect” of using the term remains nonetheless.

                    • Aaron Taylor

                      Yes, I see the argument, and I actually agree with it, but I don’t agree with Dan (or you) that identifying as a “celibate gay Catholic” leads to the kind of evil “effects” you think it does.

                      For example, let’s take this anecdote from Dan’s article above:

                      [Quote]”I recently heard from a Catholic mother who was devastated because her daughter came out at age eighteen as a “celibate lesbian.” She did so because of those who call themselves “gay celibate Christians.” Her primary inspiration came from the writings of Eve Tushnet … ”[Quote]

                      Now, of course, since I don’t know this woman or her daughter, I don’t know the whole backstory, but let’s establish what planet we’re actually on, shall we, Jim? Do you honestly think this 18-year-old girl developed same-sex attraction as a result of reading Eve Tushnet?! Its not like Eve is out there writing lesbian erotica or something. The reality is that this girl was probably struggling with how to process same-sex attractions for years. Like most Christians who find themselves in this situation, she probably spent a proportion of her teenage years agonising and praying for them to go away, and they never did. And its probably the case that the reason this girl identifies as a “celibate lesbian Catholic” instead of a “radical queer lesbian humanist atheist ex-Catholic” is precisely because she read Tushnet’s stuff. If so that would be a GOOD effect, not an EVIL one. I could be entirely wrong, of course, because I don’t know the backstory, but I just don’t agree with the picture Dan is painting of folks like Belgau, Damian, and Tushnet as pied pipers leading Catholic kids down the merry road to hell, and I don’t think it stacks up against the facts.

                    • Daniel P

                      “Its not like Eve is out there writing lesbian erotica or something.”

                      This could be a new genre: celibate gay/lesbian erotica! Brilliant!

                      “I watched with great interest as she slowly moved her hand to reveal the cover of the book. It was the Theology of the Body, and oh yes, I was interested. ‘Could you read me that passage about personal discipline in pursuit of a higher good again?’ I asked. ‘Can I ever!’ she replied…”

                    • Aaron Taylor

                      LOL.

                    • Jim Russell

                      *****Do you honestly think this 18-year-old girl developed same-sex attraction as a result of reading Eve Tushnet?! *****

                      Well, no, I don’t, because that’s not even what Dan asserted, is it? Dan asserted the girl *came out* because of the positive view of *coming out* presented in Eve’s book and elsewhere.

                      It’s all about the *response* to the SSA. And “coming out” is something that no authoritative Catholic resource recommends to Catholics, as I think we both know…..

                    • Aaron Taylor

                      OK, fair enough, but if you think the salient factor is not that this girl committed herself to celibacy, but that she committed the “sin” of coming out, then you are just providing fodder my previous claim that you and Mattson are diverting the conversation away from chastity toward identity politics.

                      As for your claim that “no authoritative Catholic resource recommends [coming out] to Catholics,” I couldn’t care less. Catholicism is not a fascist cult. Coming out isn’t forbidden and people don’t need to wait for an explicit recommendation from an “authoritative Catholic resource” for every single act they perform.

                    • Jim Russell

                      It also could be that *not* coming out is perceived by Catholics as a healthier alternative precisely because the Church explicitly teaches that sexuality, eros, and marriage all go together….thus, publicly self-identifying in a manner that seems to split apart these realities? Maybe not as great an option as some suggest…

                    • Aaron Taylor

                      So coming out is wrong because some Catholics perceive it as wrong? And this nameless and random group of Catholics just happens to include you. Why don’t you just say, “coming out is wrong because I say so”?

                    • Jim Russell

                      If sexuality, eros, and marriage all go together, as the Catholic Church teaches, how does “coming out” *assist* someone with SSA in both understanding and integrating sexuality, eros, and marriage in a person’s life? Give me a rational basis for concluding that “coming out” moves a person toward such an integration….

                    • Aaron Taylor

                      First: you’re shifting your argument. Earlier you appeared to be saying coming out was forbidden because its not explicitly endorsed by the Church. Now you seem to be saying that its not necessarily forbidden but that the burden of proof lies with those who wish to come out to render an account of themselves to *you* to prove that what they’re doing has a “rational basis.” To which I can only respond that (1) you’re just a Deacon from some place most Catholics in the world have never heard of and queer folk aren’t obliged to render an account of themselves to you or pander to your desire to police their self-concepts, and (b) the burden of proof is on *you* if you want to create a new sin. If coming out were so evil, the Church would have said so.

                      Second: you know full well that (a) we don’t agree about “sexuality, eros, and marriage” all going together and (b) part of the reason we don’t agree is because the Church doesn’t teach that they all go together and you consistently ignore that. For example, the Church teaches celibacy involves living out the meaning of our sexuality as embodied male and female beings to be a gift to God and others, but it doesn’t involve “marriage.”

                    • Jim Russell

                      Aaron–I’ve not said it’s explicitly forbidden.I think I said it was a “healthier alternative.”

                      More importantly, you say “the Church doesn’t teach that they all go together”–sexuality, eros, and marriage?? Then would you say that Pope Benedict is *wrong* when he says this:

                      *****The awareness that sexuality, eros and marriage as a union between a man and a woman go together – “and they become one flesh” (Gn 2: 24) – this knowledge is growing weaker and weaker; every type of bond seems entirely normal – they represent a sort of overall morality of non-discrimination and a form of freedom due to man.***** (Thursday, Nov. 9, 2006)

                      See, I’d be more inclined to think Benedict got Church teaching right on this one….

                    • Aaron Taylor

                      Benedict’s quote doesn’t even mention “coming out” and you are wasting both of our time here. In order to accept that coming out is wrong I’d have to accept (1) that Benedict is correct, (2) that your interpretation of Benedict is accurate, and (3) that your interpretation of what is involved in “coming out” is also accurate. You might think you’re infallible, but you’re not, and (2) and (3) are highly questionable.

                      As for (1), it depends what you (and Benedict) mean by the vague and slippery term “sexuality.” Ultimately our sexuality as human persons is reducible to maleness and femaleness, Jim, and this reciprocal duality exists in the world as a sign that points to our universal vocation of self-giving in love. If Benedict is teaching that celibacy (which specifically *renounces* marriage) is *not* a means by which someone give of themselves in service and a means by which they live out the true meaning of their maleness or femaleness then yes, of course he is wrong, because what he’s saying contradicts the entire tradition of the Church. And if that’s what you’re saying, you’re wrong too. As I said, Catholicism is not a fascist cult.

                    • Jim Russell

                      1) It’s not at all about me and what I think. I’m focused on what the Catholic Church’s teaching is.
                      2) “Sexuality” is neither vague nor slippery in Catholic-speak. It’s defined in the Catechism. It’s used consistently in magisterial teaching.
                      3) *Celibacy* is NOT some alternate path for “sexuality” and eros that *changes* what sexuality and eros are ultimately ordered toward (the conjugal love of a man and a woman). I think you misunderstand what celibacy represents relative to sexuality.
                      4) I think part of the problem is that you do actually seem to think that the term “sexuality” as “human persons is reducible to maleness and femaleness,” which is something the Church’s teaching never ever does. It never reduces “sexuality” to this. In fact, the Church’s teaching does quite the opposite, making clear that “sexuality” *cannot* be so reduced….

                    • Aaron Taylor

                      “It’s not at all about me and what I think. I’m focused on what the Catholic Church’s teaching is” … Well, of course, this is what ideologues and religious fanatics *always* say. No-one ever says, “I’m promoting my own personal ideology under cover of Church teaching.” And most ideologues (Luther, Arius, Kung, etc.) in fact are subjectively convinced that they are being faithful to the truth. Now, before you get all puffed up and indignant and accuse me of being a bad, bad, uncharitable meanie once again, I’m not saying you *are* an ideologue. I’m just saying that hollering, “I’m not one!” doesn’t settle one way or another the question of whether what you are pushing here is the “teaching of the Church”, or just Russellism.

                      As for your odd claim that the term “sexuality” as its defined in the Wojtyla Catechism is clearly defined, that’s total poppycock. Its slippery as the slipperiest eel you ever did see in God’s blue ocean, marinated in a vat of slippery slime for three centuries. Lets look at the Wojtylian Catechism’s definition of “sexuality,” shall we?

                      [Quote]”Sexuality affects all aspects of the human
                      person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns
                      affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more
                      general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.”[Quote]

                      In other words, Wojtylian “sexuality” means everything and nothing. If “affects all aspects of the human person,” and therefore affects no single aspect *in particular.*

                      And let’s not even get into the fact that, as I think Michael Hannon deftly shew in First Things, the concept of “sexuality” is a Victorian invention at variance with Catholic truth: http://www.firstthings.com/article/2014/03/against-heterosexuality

                    • Jim Russell

                      “Russellism”–hmmm…nice ring to it. 🙂 And of course my Mom’s maiden name was Jansen…..

                      Interesting that you believe you’ve provided the CCC’s “definition” of “sexuality” in the above quote (CCC 2332). Well, you haven’t.

                      There is CCC 2237: Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man’s belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman.

                      There is CCC 2353: Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children.

                      CCC 2360 has always seemed decidedly clear: Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman.

                      And CCC 2361 tells us the *only* way to realize “sexuality” in a “truly human way”: 2361 “Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death.”

                      Hardly slippery at all, Aaron. I recently wrote on some of this here, btw:
                      http://www.catholicvote.org/sexualities-or-sexuality/

                    • Aaron Taylor

                      Lol 🙂

                      And yes, I read your piece. You totally lost me the minute I read the phrase “Pope St John Paul II.”

                    • Jim Russell

                      Kinda lost me there–was not Pope John Paul II canonized?

                      Is “Saint” just another adjective? 🙂

                    • Aaron Taylor

                      You crusade around the internet correcting celibate gay Catholics for their “errors,” while at the same time sycophantically fawning over a Pope who enabled the rape and molestation of children.

                    • Jim Russell

                      Wow–now this is utterly remarkable and utterly revealing. Do you similarly criticize the Catholic writers at Spiritual Friendship for sycophantically fawning over Pope St. John Paul II, too? I really couldn’t have imagined such a reaction from you….

                    • Objectivetruth

                      It is sooooo cute how you try to use words such as “inquisitor” and “crusade” against Jim thinking you’re taking a cutesy shot against the Catholic Church! So adorable!!

                    • Objectivetruth

                      Jammmming!

                • Daniel P

                  Except that Dan spends much of his time teaching young people about chastity and sexual self-control, which would be an awfully strange thing to do if he thought that sexual self-control really didn’t matter.

                  I’ll give you that Dan’s rhetoric can sometimes be frustrating. But I assure you that, in his work with Courage, he does not tolerate sexual sin.

                  • Aaron Taylor

                    You’re missing my point.

                    • Daniel P

                      Then you’re obscuring your point by saying things like “Mattson doesn’t even seem to be bothered about this minimum level of fidelity.” That’s straightforwardly false.

                    • Aaron Taylor

                      No, it is not false. It is true in respect of *this* particular article which is the topic of *this* particular conversation in *this* particular combox. The fact that Dan’s rhetoric *here* (in *this* article) doesn’t reflect Dan’s broader work on chastity (much of which I admire, btw) is precisely what makes it worthwhile for me to point this out.

                    • Daniel P

                      OK, maybe I’m understanding your complaint now. The problem seems to be this one sentence: “The strong feelings of affection between them led for a time to sexual experiences between them.” I myself think this sentence is misleading and unhelpful, since it might be seen to imply that non-sinful strong feelings of affection cause sin — whereas, in fact, it was temptation that caused the sin, and the affection was just the occasion for the temptation. We ought not excuse sexual indulgence simply because it’s somehow “understandable in context”.

                      Is that an at-all-adequate rephrasing of your complaint?

                    • Aaron Taylor

                      No, my objection is more to the overall inconsistency of the moral logic of the article. If Dan wants to take a softly-softly approach to sexual sin (without explicitly denying it), I don’t mind that. But he can’t then preach fire and brimstone against people who are actually making significant sacrifices to be celibate in a culture that tells them they are weird for doing so. Its got to be either one or the other.

            • Jim Russell

              Deliberate snark and accusations of “demonizing celibate gay people”?

              Not sure you’re assisting in maintaining a high level of charity in the comboxes….

              • Aaron Taylor

                The self-appointed internet inquisitor rides again.

                • Jim Russell

                  God bless you, my friend–I’m pretty sure you can do better than this….

                  • Aaron Taylor

                    If you have a point to make Jim, go ahead.

                    • Jim Russell

                      My point is simply that “snark” is not actually a point, and neither is accusing someone of demonizing others. Those are rabbit holes that pull us all away from dealing with substance. You do better as in the comment below, wherein you focus on substance…

                    • Aaron Taylor

                      Neither is accusing me of uncharitableness a point. Maybe this is a UK/US thing because here the use of humour (including sarcasm) to illustrate a point is not considered a sin against charity or against any other virtue. And, last time I checked, dour American puritanism isn’t mandatory in international conversations over the *world* wide web. If you’ve finished your language policing for the day, have a good one.

                    • Jim Russell

                      Nope–I haven’t quite finished yet. You have an opportunity to represent your views either gracefully, or not, when adding comments to a post like this. You’ve chosen to apply snark and made an accusation of “demonizing” and are now defending it as a “UK” thing instead of owning it as the ineffective communication that it is in this context. That’s your choice. But I think you’re diminishing your capacity for real dialogue, though it may well be that real dialogue is not what you’re here for….

                    • Aaron Taylor

                      I didn’t defend the accusation of “demonizing” as a UK thing (and I explain that below). I defended the use of sarcasm as a UK thing. Although maybe its not accurate to say its entirely a US/UK thing. I had a convo with Austin Ruse in these comboxes once and, although we disagreed strongly, he at least has a lively sense of humour. Lighten up, Jim.

                    • Jim Russell

                      It’s not that I’m lacking in a sense of humo(u)r, it’s that I believe that, if there’s one thing harder than engaging folks on issues like the “gay” identity, it’s engaging folks on issues like the “gay” identity while at the same time trying to be humo(u)rous. That said, I’ll try to consider more carefully the fact that your approach is not as narrowly defined as mine on this point….

                    • Aaron Taylor

                      “Humo(u)r” … lol 🙂

                    • Jim Russell

                      See–I’m really not such a dour puritan after all (Russell is decidedly English)….I’ve just been holding back….

                    • Objectivetruth

                      Aaron, buddy…..where’d ya go??

  • cleos_mom

    This should be a warning to gay Catholics who imagine that they will be acceptable if they embrace celibacy. “You must not live” is the end game, however much frosting and frou-frou is applied.

    • Jim Russell

      I don’t think that attempting to twist the conversation in this direction is going to be helpful. “You must not live” is clearly NOT the end game. Rather, the fullness of life in Christ is.

      • cleos_mom

        Au contraire, extermination of human beings is typically a process of steps.

        The remark will probably be deleted anyway but it was intended as a warning, not a fruitless attempt to reason with True Believers.

        • Seamrog

          Everything the Church proclaims condemns what you say here.

          Shame on you.

          • cleos_mom

            I’m not a member of your cult; harrumph and finger-shake all you like.

            And no, not an atheist either.

            • Objectivetruth

              Then why then don’t you go attack the Muslims? Coward.

              • cleos_mom

                LOL the next to last step before “so’s your old man”.

                A generation ago it would have been “your mama wears combat boots” but times have changed since then.

                • Objectivetruth

                  Thank God I’m not a member of your cult….

    • millers3888

      Just one reason I left the church.

      • ForChristAlone

        which Church?….give us the name of the parish you attended on a regular basis….You can’t because you didn’t…you never left the Church

        • millers3888

          I left years ago. St. Francis of Assisi.

    • James Scott

      I am by the grace of God an orthodox Catholic Christian in communion with the Bishop of Rome and I CONDEMN this article.

      I

  • hombre111

    Sad. He disappeared the gays, like a death squad in Argentina. Not willing to grant them any shred of self-respect and dignity. But a hypothesis is not a truth proclaimed. The only ones who can say whether or not he has struck the truth are the gays themselves. He needs to send this missive out to gay people and ask if it gives them sudden new light. Or is he, as usual, just another Crisis writer hammering away at homosexual people?

    • Seamrog

      You completely missed the point of the essay, and you comment demonstrates that you have no true understanding of what human dignity is.

      Why are you opposed to the Church on so many things?

      • hombre111

        Actually my opposition to the Church makes up a very small list, most of it having to do with the Church’s teaching on pelvic issues: Birth control, treatment of gays, forced celibacy, attitude toward women. Right now, I am a bit tired, having celebrated two Masses in a row, and can’t think of much else. Oh. And all the squawk about liturgy and the dangers of life in a modern Church. These seem to be the major preoccupations of Crisis, and so I respond.

        • ForChristAlone

          take a rest….a loooooooong rest

    • Objectivetruth

      Errrrrr, Brian….

      You do realize the writer of the article is homosexual??

      Serious question…..do you think you’ll get your job back at NBC?

    • M

      “Disappeared” is a good term for what is being suggested, and I can’t see how it is helpful. Gay people who wish to dedicate themselves to chastity will very likely need support from their communities and priests, which means they will need to identify the issue in order to get help. They do no choose their conditions, and (per CCC 2358) “they must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” Refusing to acknowledge gays does not fall into that category.

      • Jim Russell

        Here’s what the US bishops teach on this point:

        “For some persons, revealing their homosexual tendencies to certain close friends, family members, a spiritual director, confessor, or members of a Church support group may provide some spiritual and emotional help and aid them in their growth in the Christian life. In the context of parish life, however, general public self- disclosures are not helpful and should not be encouraged.”

        • M

          Jim, thank you for the pertinent quote. Public self-disclosure about most private matters is probably seldom helpful and not anyone else’s business.

  • Dave

    I have never understood why you and others like you seem to believe that they are the oracle of truth on how someone else should express their innermost feelings and life experience.

    And how arrogant of you to redefine someone else’s terminology and then condemn them with your definitions. Don’t you have anything better to do?

    The focus of scripture is on what you do with the feelings you have. Re: What do I do with my attraction to the opposite gender … what do I do with my attraction to the same gender. .. what do I do with this attraction to someone else when I am already married? (how do I safeguard my marriage?)

    Scripture does not waste an endless amount of time deciding how you define that attraction. Scripture is concerned with what you do with that attraction. If you want to label … define … adjective … or whatever yourself a certain way then go ahead … God bless. But I really don’t see any reason to tell others how to do so.

    Dave Earp
    Ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene

    • Objectivetruth

      You’re from a heretical faith. How do you claim any authority or interpretation over scripture at all?

  • Mattson’s argument is flawed because he’s advocating (intentionally or not) what we have already known and lived through: a violent, State-sanctioned heteronormativity that oppresses sexual and gender minorities and indeed this is still the case around the world today. Mattson is wrong because he’s asking us to disavow our history, community and individual stories without being clear what the alternative is or presenting an understanding of the Church’s theology in practice and its implications for the public and democratic sphere. In-fact if Mattson is sincere then he would be better arguing for the dissolution of heteronormative and heterosexist thinking and then arguing for the irrelevance of our communities. I think finally Mattson needs to recognise the privilege of his position and consider that it’s LGBT activists that have won him the security of his non-heterosexuality and the freedom to identify or not as ‘Gay’: a right not afforded to many throughout the world.

    • Aaron Taylor

      Amen.

      • Mocking is obnoxious.

    • Jim Russell

      The Catholic Church’s view has *always* been and will always be, forever Amen, “heteronormativity.” Rather than being a pejorative, it’s the bedrock belief of Catholics regarding human sexuality.

      http://www.catholicvote.org/sexualities-or-sexuality/

      • “Today, the Church provides a badly needed context for the care of the human person when she refuses to consider the person as a “heterosexual” or a “homosexual” and insists that every person has a fundamental Identity: the creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life.”

        – Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 1986.

        The ‘bedrock belief of Catholics regarding human sexuality’ is contained within Revelation and the Church’s Magisterial teaching and as Ratzinger teaches in 1986 the Church *refuses* the obligatory and reductive secular concepts that you advocate.

        • Jim Russell

          Nothing in the CDF quote from 1986 is being disputed. I totally agree that it’s utterly reductive to be referred to *either* as homosexual OR heterosexual. It’s reductive *precisely* because the Church’s teaching is that sexuality is ordered toward the conjugal love of man and woman.

        • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

          You actually believe the quote from Ratzinger supports your position? No wonder your “reasoning” is so convoluted. You can’t read.

    • Daniel P

      Can you say that in a way that I can understand it? There are a lot of buzzwords in your post that, honestly, make me want to stop reading and just dismiss what you say. I don’t know what heteronormativity is. Do you mean “the notion that the male/female relation holds a special place” or do you mean “the notion that people with the ‘right’ attractions are better than others”? I also am not quite sure what you mean by “our” history and “our” community. I’m attracted to men, and I don’t have any such history or community. Do you think I should? Should I feel somehow oppressed? If so, by what?

      I honestly want to communicate here. I just don’t understand what you mean.

      • Aaron Taylor

        I’ll let Aaron speak for himself, but I will say I think the final point is easy-to-understand and highly salient. If Mattson had lived in the glory days of the 1950s, I doubt the violent queer-bashers would have been the least bit interested in his protestations that “I’m not gay, I’m just a man who happens to be attracted to other men!” The only reason Mattson is even able to be open about the fact he is same-sex attracted and advocate for the truth of the Church’s teaching is precisely because he does *not* live in the 1950s, when he would have been viewed as a monster and a pervert, not an interesting voice in the public square. He is only able to peddle his anti-gay ideology because of the blanket of security that queer activists have made significant sacrifices to gain for people like him.

        • Jim Russell

          Nonsense. Seriously, can’t y’all come up with better arguments than this? That we’re supposed to owe a debt of gratitude to those “queer activists” of the days of yore for giving us all a right to speak the truth about God’s plan for us? Nope–that’s pretty much pure nonsense….

          • Aaron Taylor

            I think you know what I’m saying is correct and can’t gainsay it so all you can do is cry “nonsense.” There is a reason there were no “Dan Mattsons” in the 1970s and it wasn’t because no-one was questioning the Church’s teaching. It was because many parts of America were still violently homophobic and it would never have been safe for someone like Dan to speak out, even with all of his qualifications about striving for chastity and not identifying as gay — and a lot of that had to do with people who peddled the same poison you peddle here and elsewhere. So, yes, Dan’s witness is only possible because of the pioneers of queer liberation at Stonewall, and he owes them a debt of gratitude for it.

            • “I think you know what I’m saying is correct”

              Nothing like the unassailability of the ipse dixit.

              • Aaron Taylor

                Well if you or anyone else wants to furnish us with an alternative explanation, I’m all ears. Otherwise its just hot air.

                • I’m not much into fool’s errands.

                • Jim Russell

                  Cool! Read “Making Gay Okay” by Robert Reilly–great synopsis of the history….

                  • Aaron Taylor

                    Yes, I’m familiar with Reilly’s idiotic thesis. LGBT folks have their sins, but if you expect me to believe its the 2-3% of the population that are LGBT who are “changing everything,” and nothing to do with all of the heteros divorcing, contracepting, and then callously butchering their own children in their mothers’ wombs when their contaceptives fail, you must be think I’m a total dolt. Behold your heteronormative gods, America.

                    • Jim Russell

                      Hey–we AGREE on this! Goodness, yes, there is a huge, deep, and abiding link between the “gay” agenda and the *rest* of the social ills found in, particularly, American culture. But I don’t think Reilly denies this link in his book, either–have you read it, or are you just familiar with the “thesis”? I think the book actually *supports* the same understanding you articulate in this last comment….

                    • Aaron Taylor

                      So, its “nonsense” for me to claim that queer activists who fought for their free speech are partly to thank for Dan being able to be open about his SSA, but its fine for you to smear celibate gay Catholics by claiming that we’re responsible for abortion and all of the other “social ills” practiced overwhelmingly by heterosexuals?? You’re nuts, Jim.

                    • Jim Russell

                      You’ve shifted your view it seems–now the claim is “*partly* to thank”?

                      A few comments ago it was this: ******The only reason Mattson is even able to be open about the fact he is same-sex attracted and advocate for the truth of the Church’s teaching is precisely because he does *not* live in the 1950s, when he would have been viewed as a monster and a pervert, not an interesting voice in the public square. He is only able to peddle his anti-gay ideology because of the blanket of security that queer activists have made significant sacrifices to gain for people like him.******

                      I probably wouldn’t have said “nonsense” if you’d originally said “partly to thank”. But you didn’t.

                      As to the other question–I don’t think I’m nuts for agreeing with you that there are deep links among *all* these social ills. And I’ve not smeared anyone–where did you get that from? Again, I was merely agreeing with you.

                    • Aaron Taylor

                      Fair enough. I would say its the main reason, though. Its not because all the homophobes just woke up one morning and decided to be clement.

                      As for the smear: your claim here (via Reilly) is that some vague and nebulous “gay” agenda is responsible for ruining modern America, is it not? I just think its ridiculous to argue that because folk like myself want to have the same rights as others, don’t want to live under the aegis of a police state, and want to be able to walk down the street without getting beaten up, that we’re somehow responsible for heterosexuals killing their babies.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      “Homophobe”…..”gay” playbook time! I always love it when you guys trot that word out when you have really no reasoned response or rebuttal. When all is lost call the opposition a “homophobe.” Classic!

                    • Jim Russell

                      I took you to be saying that Reilly inappropriately blamed *only* a “gay agenda” for social ills and that you disagreed with this. I said I *agreed* that all these social ills were interrelated. And I said that I really don’t think Reilly *does* blame everything on the “gay agenda” in the book, but rather sees the same interconnection. Then I asked if you’ve read the book.

                      So, no I don’t think either Reilly or me claim modern America is ruined by the nebulous gay agenda. I just think you should read the book…

                    • Objectivetruth

                      Heeeey Aaron!

                      I hear they’re discussing and debating over on the ISIS website that whether lesbians or gay males make the loudest “thud” after hitting the ground when they toss them from the roofs of buildings. Why don’t you head over there and vomit all over them?

                      But of course, you won’t. Easier to attack the Catholics that say “love the sinner, hate the sin” and “turn the other cheek” then go after the Muslims who say “gays must be stoned to death!” You’re such a hero for your cause!

                    • We all know “hetero” is the militant homosexual equivalent of “faggot”. Take your vitriol elsewhere.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      “and nothing to do with all of the heteros divorcing, contracepting, and then callously butchering their own children in their mothers’ wombs when their contaceptives fail, you must think I’m a total dolt. Behold your heteronormative gods, America.”

                      But of course, the article has nothing do with this, so why trot out the strawman? And it looks like you were airlifted in by the sodomite Air Force, so not very familiar with Crisis? And that these topics have all been discussed in other articles over the years?

                      And I’ve read your postings twice, and outside of being extremely arrogant and condescending, their like a truck going downhill without a steering wheel.

                      Or is the Catholic Truths you’re attacking here causing the demons possessing you to howl and whine from the antiseptic “son”light being shown upon your lies?

            • Jim Russell

              Naw…sometime I just say “nonsense” to be brief. Look how much I’ve written already! I’m just amazed at the claim.

            • Yes, precisely, Aaron: and its this abstract, individualistic and depolitical sexual identity that Mattson et al advocates that vexes me: this idea that if we ‘don’t say Gay’ we’ll be okay which is ignorant of the history of the closet and LGBT invisibility and oppression.

              • Jim Russell

                We’ll obviously agree that oppression and unjust discrimination are never justifiable. But what is the necessity and purpose of “LGBT ‘visibility'”?

                • “The closet is a term used to describe the denial, concealment, erasure, or ignorance of lesbians and gay men. It describes their absence — and alludes to their ironic presence nonetheless — in a society that, in countless interlocking ways, subtly and blatantly dictates that heterosexuality is the only way to be.”
                  — Brown, M. (2000) Closet Space. London, USA and Canada: Routledge

                  The problem with Mattson’s line of argument is that the ‘freedom’ he presents is actually a kind of prescriptive violence that invalidates the lives of the LGBT people as a delusion or disorder and let me tell you: the evangelisation of non-heterosexual Christians doesn’t begin with the ‘hard truth’ that we’re living a lie when many of us have thought long and hard about these issues alone and in community with each-other.

                  • Jim Russell

                    Do you feel “erased” when someone is totally unaware that you self-identify as “gay”?

                    • Let me put it another way: I feel erased when it is presumed that my long-term partner is a woman and I am then required to ‘out myself’ as gay to realign the conversation and the other person’s expectations.

                    • Jim Russell

                      So, someone being unaware of whether or not your are “gay” does not count as a form of “erasure” for you, right?

                  • LGBT visibility then is the pre-requisite of addressing the manifold injustices that have occassioned LGBT people throughout history and indeed the ‘freedom’ that Mattson et al advocates is dangerous in that it is an abstract freedom divorced from our present history.

                  • Objectivetruth

                    “evangelisation of non-heterosexual Christians doesn’t begin with the ‘hard truth’ that we’re living a lie when many of us have thought long and hard about these issues alone and in community with each-other.”

                    Cmon, man…..let’s be truthful here.

                    If the Truth of Christ from the teachings of the Catholic Church on sodomy and the gay lifestyle came to you hard, soft, up, down, squishy, or wrapped up in a gift box…..you have no plans on following those teachings anyway, right?

              • CadaveraVeroInnumero

                Aaron, where have you been?

                LGBTIQQ,BD/SM,CA/AC people invisible and oppressed in our culture!!!!!!!!!

                Such folks are all over the place these days, greatly esteemed, honored, made heroes for our children, identified early in life and herded into all sorts of honorary programs of recognition. and lifted high on our society’s pedestals.

                Aaron, Aaron, lift your head up high, its a LGBT outside your door. It’s raining rainbows.

                It is folks like myself, who have refused and laid aside their LGBTness – who have rejected the agent status of our controlling LGBT culture – who are invisible and oppressed.

                That was even the case – years and years ago – when I manned the curbs from Hollywood & Vine to Santa Monica Blvd.

                [Yes, yes, from the BANKRUPT Stockton Diocese, the Mother Lode, once more]

        • Daniel P

          Maybe I can agree with that, Aaron. But I think we disagree on the nature of the 1950s situation. Let’s go back to the 1850s, shall we?

          In the Wilde era, as I will call it, homosexuality became thought of as a psychological disorder. This was the root of the creation of “the homosexual”, which had not been a term in history — not even in other languages — before that time. The situation became about a PERSON, not about an ACTION. This is chronicled quite well in Hannon’s article, if I recall correctly.

          Now fast forward to gay liberation. We have a group of people who have been wrongly PATHOLOGIZED, and we have the pathology becoming reified into an “identity”, into a movement, into a “sexuality.” This was all new. Now the good and holy taboo against *sodomy* became a perverse and harmful taboo against “homosexuals”. That was awful, and it needed to be fought against. The Church did not fight that battle, because they were afraid — rightly — that winning the battle would bring down the taboo against sodomy, as well. They were right.

          Certainly there is a lot of blame to go around here. But don’t oversimplify.

          It is not inconsistent to say that now, once the cat is out of the bag, we should put it back in. It’s might be unrealistic, but it is not inconsistent. I have a lot more to say here, but I need to check out, for a while.

          Blessings,
          Daniel

          • Aaron Taylor

            “The Church did not fight that battle, because they were afraid —
            rightly — that winning the battle would bring down the taboo against
            sodomy, as well.”

            Yes, they sacrificed queers on the political altar of the preservation of order, just like the bloated, corrupt, and semi-heretical American Church never fought the battle against the slavery because they were afraid it would bring down the general taboo against disobedience to one’s legitimate superiors. Caiaphases.

            • Go away.

            • Objectivetruth

              I’m guessing “Guest” is also one of the “Aaron’s”……crafty Devils……..

              • Jim Russell

                Aaron Taylor has bowed out of the conversation.

          • CadaveraVeroInnumero

            The wrench in the conversation is defining *sodomy* – in the ’50’s, or now.

            Correct me, but traditionally the term *sodomy* embraced a wider (and interrelated) set of both behaviors, attitudes, and the interior (psychological, spiritual, theological) which birthed and nourished them. Now we have reduced *sodomy* to anal intercourse (which, in our age of equivocation) is an act easily performed in both homosexual and heterosexual relations, So, therefore, why are homosexuals especially signaled out.

            Sodomy as a *sign*, a signature – of a certain way of life and (to be really 1950ish) existential self-understanding – is no longer an acceptable use of the term? We have – even among *conservative* peoples- have utterly severed act from condition (the soil – good,,bad ,barren, thorny – from which all moral acts are seeded,sprouted and nourished. In our new way of thinking the soil of our moral life no longer needs to be husband, plowed,, weeded, made to lay fallow. Certainly (for the sake of pastoral aproaches0 never have the soil analyzed. If one does, the report may come back connecting the weed of sodomy with the *kind of* (*condition*) of soil which bedded its seed and nurtured it into its sterile life.

            I’m not a heartless fellow who doesn’t understand souls like Aaron. My empathy (and fellow feeling) comes from regretable memories. I regret knowing the life.

            Yet, maybe, for some, my regret minus me out as a conversation partner!!

            (By the way, declarations of “long-term relations”, in the context of the “gay:community, is a non-starter;it’s another heterosexual term snatched, severed, isolated, emptied of its root meaning, hulled to a husk, and re-stuffed with alien homosexual purpose.)

    • “Heteronormativity” is a requirement for the continuance of humanity. You want violent, go see ISIS.

    • thebigdog

      Your description says “Catholic conservative” — but your picture shouts gay pajama boy. Seriously, is it impossible for you guys to be honest?

      • Objectivetruth

        Exactly, good post. Live a lie, your whole life is a lie. I love it when the bigdog barks…..

    • CadaveraVeroInnumero

      Aaron,

      Remove the Queer Theory language, replace with ordinary speech, and see what remains.

      Get off the dime of sex-as-a-continuum, pick up some Aristotlean essentialism, then you and I can actually have a conversation over a beer or two.

      Suggest gathering at Black Cat Bar, 700 block of Montgomery St.

      [Across the way in the BANKRUPT Diocese of Stockton, the Mother Lode]

    • ForChristAlone

      “heteronormativity”

      There no such thing as a gay person. Disordered passions, yes; personhood, no

      • MarcAlcan

        Great point!

    • barbieahayes

      Aaron, forgive me if I do not sound sympathetic to the human condition, flaws and all. I don’t want to be offensive. Your thinking is so roundabout and circuitous that it is reflective of one who is trying to twist right reason to fit a lie. It is a deviation, Aaron and shows how when one worships his own passions instead of worshiping God how God will allow that person to become fixated, obsessed by his own disorder. There is no winning for you or me in this. You lose the way of the Cross and I lose a brother. Blessings.

    • MarcAlcan

      it’s LGBT activists that have won him the security of his non-heterosexuality

      Or tried to keep him locked up in homosexuality.

  • Wow, it took 24 hours for the prairie dogs to call out the wolves,

    • Objectivetruth

      Seriously……the trolls are calling in their big guns now……articles like this strike a nerve like holy water on the possessed. “It burrrrrrrns….!”

      • The verbal engineering doesn’t conceal their seething imperiousness.

        • Objectivetruth

          When they trot out “homophobe”, their quiver is empty, and you’ve won the argument. Not that their quiver is full to begin with.

  • millers3888

    Thanks for the reminder of why I left the church Dan.

    • Jim Russell

      Reminders are what our consciences need, in order to stop resisting truth….this reminder seems particularly effective…

      • GG

        Several years ago Cardinal Pell gave a talk about dissent within the Church. He asked a perfect question. Do those who reject moral teachings do so because they think following the teaching would make them feel quilty or because following would give them unfulfilled wishes?

        • GG

          Quilty=guilty

      • millers3888

        Indeed. Whatever bit of faith I have in the Church is sucked out when I read articles like this.

        • Objectivetruth

          We’ll miss you…..

          So, which one of the 30,000 Protestant denominations are you going to join? I guess you’ve done your homework, and definitely concluded that one is the “true” church, right?

          • millers3888

            Nope. Just going to live my life the best way I can, and that’s good enough for me. I don’t need a church for fulfillment, and besides my experiences have always been negative anyway..

            • ForChristAlone

              Why not start your own church…you’ll undoubtedly have many followers. What, now, shall you call this church of yours?

              • millers3888

                I’m not God or a cult leader so no.

          • ForChristAlone

            Truth does not matter to these people….the only thing that matters is wielding power over others – as in throwing tantrums

    • Objectivetruth

      I remember hearing someone say the same thing after they heard a homily on the Ten Commandments.

  • tj.nelson

    Another great post Dan – very clear and understandable – and faithful. I hope to link to it if you don’t mind. Thanks for stating Catholic teaching so clearly.

  • Reasonable_Opinion

    This is the best explanation yet from Dan…thank you.

  • jmc

    Many years ago, I came t the startling conclusion that I had absolutely no interest in sex. Zero. Zippo. Zilch. Nada. It’s a situation that still holds true today. But even in today’s “whatever-floats-your-boat” culture, the few to whom I’ve confided that fact view me as having something wrong with me. I find it revealing of the hypocrisy behind the supposed “tolerance” of our age. Our culture is “tolerant” as long as you conform. It doesn’t matter what sort of sexual perversity you find enjoyable, as long as your partner consents. But talk of virginity, chastity, celibacy, or whatever other word there is for it, and you’re regarded as having a disease…and not just any disease, but a highly contagious one, to judge by the way people subtly edge away from you when they discover that one of those “adjectives” applies to you. A close consideration of this reveals the slavery of sin for what it is. Our culture is so steeped in sin that anything else is not just “abnormal,” but dangerously so.

  • James Scott

    This article is legalistic, tedious, & hair splitting. It manages to be worst than the Austin Ruse articles on this subject and I give it zero stars.

    >This is not merely a question of abstract philosophical musings. I recently heard from a Catholic mother who was devastated because her daughter came out at age eighteen as a “celibate lesbian.”

    Seriously?

    “Hi Mom in spite of these feelings I have of attraction toward other girls I am not going to reject Church teaching on sexual morality but try to live within the moral law & refrain from sleeping with other girls.”

    Yeh is this “Catholic” mother whose is devastated by this a member of Dignity per chance because I don’t get the disappointment?

    Because if my son came home and said “Dad I am really hitting it with this girl but don’t worry if we get pregnant I can pay for an abortion”.

    I believe my response won’t be “Oh thank God you are Straight”. I believe my true response would be “GET OUT YOU ARE NOT MY SON!!!”

    >Replace “hungry” with any of the other adjectives in Chris Damian’s list of identifiers and only one of them is a label that causes a young person to question the sort of person he is at the very core of his nature.

    Uh no at best Damian gives a list of feelings, passions and desires which in human beings are Accidents not essence. I can be a human being even when I am not hungry & I am one regardless if I have a sexual attraction ordered toward nature or against it.

    >Those who call themselves “gay celibate Christians” are not living in accordance with the profound truth of their being.

    I am a sinner and I need grace is the only truth. Anything else you force on others is a heavy burden our lord condemns.

    > They are receiving a hearing in the Church because they are focused on “good behavior,” yet they are trying to proclaim a message of liberation without realizing they are living behind the walls of a prison, still in need of freedom themselves.

    The opposite of active homosexuality is not heterosexuality but holiness.

    I hate to point it out to you but some if not many people no matter how hard they try can’t pray the gay away & you have to be realistic and recognize some people have that cross to carry. Obviously they can’t be told “Ok go find someone to have a homoerotic sex relationship with” but they should not be shamed because they cannot change.
    They can only by grace follow the moral law. That is all the Gospel requires anything else is a heavy burden.

    Dude I get it you have found a way to change & that is great & you choice not to use that label which is in your Christian freedom but allow other orthodox Catholics the right to do it differently.

    PS gay means happy. In the 19th century it became a code word for promiscuous homo or hetero but eventually came to mean active homosexual. There is no reason why it can’t be a synonym for SSA.

    • GG

      It is not legalistic at all. It is clear and intelligent. That is why the homosexualists do not like it. Your propaganda post is a hoot.

      • James Scott

        “Homosexualists”?

        What the heck is that mishigoss?

        I am defending fellow orthodox & faithful Catholics against pseudo-Jancenist wannabes.

        • Jim Russell

          What assertions do you consider “pseudo-Jansenist”? Can you be specific?

          • James Scott

            The idea of merely calling oneself “gay” or identifying oneself as “gay: because you have SSA is somehow “evil” or against the Faith.

            Mind you this is predicated on persons who do so who also accept Church teaching and the burden of refraining from temptation to have same sex physical relations.

            If it is possible for some SSA/gay Catholics to change their orientation they should do so or be free to explore it or not according to their prudent judgement but the moral & divine prohibition against Sodomy remains and must be held or repented of in confession if broken.

            One gets the impression from some of these idiot articles we have been seeing here at Crisis there is some form of “total depravity” in having a homosexual orientation.

            That simply won’t do. It’s not Catholic.

            • Jim Russell

              I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Crisis article proclaiming that identifying as “gay” is *evil*.

              The US Bishops say such self-identification in a parish setting is not helpful and should not be encouraged.

              I think it’s laudable to agree with the US Bishops on this one….

              • James Scott

                Then why all this fuss? Why start a useless war within Catholic Community between the Spiritual Friendship crowd and Courage?
                Why title this piece “Is ‘gay’ just another adjective?”.
                Why continually claim that if you call yourself “gay” when you have SSA you are making some type of statement about your essence?
                As for your claims about the US Bishops I would appreciate a link to read what they allegedly said if you can manage it. If not then I cannot answer you for it.

                • Jim Russell

                  I don’t think engaging in dialogue and conversation about differences of view is a useless war. In any case, there is no such battle between Courage and anyone else, to my knowledge.

                  Here’s what the US Bishops said in the 2006 Pastoral Letter, “Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination”:

                  “For some persons, revealing their homosexual tendencies to certain close friends, family members, a spiritual director, confessor, or members of a Church support group may provide some spiritual and emotional help and aid them in their growth in the Christian life. In the context of parish life, however, general public self-disclosures are not helpful and should not be encouraged.”

                  • James Scott

                    Well then we are going to have to agree to disagree because it looks to me like Crisis(or at least some of it’s writers) are taking on the role of provocateur & self-appointed inquisitors of the SF people.

                    >In the context of parish life, however, general public self-disclosures are not helpful and should not be encouraged.”

                    I am not sure what that has to do with wither or not it is kosher to label yourself “gay” or “ssa” or whatever? It just seems to say past-orally you shouldnot go around the parish telling people your tendencies.

                    Well that is smart especially in light of how some people treat even orthodox Catholics with SSA tendencies in a cruel and un-Christian manner.

                    • Jim Russell

                      Yes, we can agree to disagree–I have no idea why anyone would think that it would be inappropriate to question the thinking and assertions of fellow Catholics whose views don’t quite seem to comport with the Church’s longstanding and clear views on human sexuality. Doing so is by no means a personal condemnation of those holding such views. It is by all means a worthy endeavor to clarify what the Church teaches with charity and respect for all involved.

                    • James Scott

                      >the thinking and assertions of fellow Catholics whose views don’t quite seem to comport with the Church’s longstanding and clear views on human sexuality.

                      Which is another problem I submit they are reading into their views this lack of comportment. Or they are equating their own private views on sexuality with that of the Church.

                      Either is offensive to me.

                      >Doing so is by no means a personal condemnation of those holding such views.

                      Yet they seem to act as if the SF are something sinister?

                      Mic’d Up “Smuggling in Sodomy”

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajphdYFKuXg#t=360

                      About 5 minutes into it is Austin Ruse……

                    • Jim Russell

                      James–I spent two days listening to their views–in person–at the “Gay in Christ” conference at Notre Dame this past fall. I think they’re all awesome people seeking to be faithful Catholics.

                      I also think a few of their ideas on human sexuality are deeply misguided and dangerous in pastoral settings. I also take them at their word when they say they are seeking to “rehabilitate the Church’s concept of ‘eros.'” I just don’t happen to agree that the Church’s concept of eros *needs* any rehabilitation….

                    • James Scott

                      >I also think a few of their ideas on human sexuality are deeply misguided and dangerous in pastoral settings.

                      Then I am going to require something more than the non-issues I have been treated to here.

                      I am going to need something more substantial then being “upset” at someone’s daughter coming out as a “celebrate lesbian”.

                    • Just Thinking Out Loud

                      That’s an interesting slip: “celebrate lesbian.” That’s sort of what is at issue here, isn’t it? The SF crowd seem to “celebrate” homosexuality as being somehow good. It’s just the “having sex” that is the only part of homosexuality that’s bad, as the author points out. The mother is troubled and upset about her daughter coming out as a “lesbian” since this is opposed to the truth of who her daughter is. Her daughter has embraced lies about human sexuality which are imposed on her by a culture that has separated our bodily reality from whatever our subjective feelings are. Particularly in the case of young women, sexual attractions are very fluid–this young girl, who perhaps in a previous day and age would have experienced these attractions as a passing phase (like the woman in the story who grew up in the 1950s) and possibly found a man to marry and live out her life with no one even knowing about her passing attraction to women. But now, based on writers like Eve Tushnet, this young woman who is in search of some sort of way to understand her attractions has globbed onto an idea of somehow being a “celibate lesbian,” a rather novel approach in the history of the world, and certainly in Christianity. Do you think this movement is GOOD? And if so, why? And we can’t engage in false dichotomies either: the other option isn’t that this young woman would come out as a sexually active lesbian. Perhaps yes, but that is in no way certain. I would also point out the 1986 Letter which speaks this way: “In the discussion which followed the publication of the Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good. Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.” This is one component of the problem proposed by those like Tushnet: they seem to believe that homosexuality is in some way “even good,” and thus encourage a young woman to “come out” as a “chaste lesbian” because she has special gifts that are unique to her because of being lesbian. It’s absurd, and totally from the pit of hell.

                    • James Scott

                      @JTOL

                      As Freud once said sometime a cigar is just a cigar……..

                      >That’s an interesting slip: “celebrate lesbian.” That’s sort of what is at issue here, isn’t it?

                      No it is just evident my spellcheck didn’t do what I wanted it to do. I meant to write “celibate” which even
                      I admit is technically incorrect but popularly equivocal to “chaste” in the minds of most common people.

                      >The SF crowd seem to “celebrate” homosexuality as being somehow good.

                      Well what it isn’t is morally evil that would only apply to homo-erotic sex acts. It can’t be good in essence since
                      it is a privation of sex passions ordered toward nature but it can be good in the sense that it is part of the goodness
                      of God to allow evil or privation to bring goodness and actual being out of it. It is good in the sense of the old liturgy
                      ” “O happy fault that merited such and so great a Redeemer.”. Well literally that is not true in the sense you may not ever do evil on purpose.
                      The original sin of Adam was not good and the state of being in original sin was not good in essence. But as Augustine said “God judged it better to allow evil so He could bring forth good from it.” Being gay can afford someone similar blessing once one embraces the Gospel and teaching of the Church by Grace.

                      >It’s just the “having sex” that is the only part of homosexuality that’s bad, as the author points out.

                      That is the only part that is morally bad. It is Calvinist & or Jancenist heresy to suggest otherwise.

                      > The mother is troubled and upset about her daughter coming out as a “lesbian” since this is opposed to the truth of who her daughter is. Her daughter has embraced lies about human sexuality which are imposed on her by a culture that has separated our bodily reality from whatever our subjective feelings are.

                      If homosexuality where merely a matter of “subjective” feelings then they would be no more a problem then resisting
                      heterosexual sins of fornication and adultery. But like it or not some people for reasons they can’t understand develop an inverted attraction to the same sex and an aversion to the opposite & it seems to be beyond their control.
                      Their only Christian choice in this instant is to not consent to it & have sex with someone of their own gender.
                      Nothing more is required by the Gospel.

                      > Particularly in the case of young women, sexual attractions are very fluid–this young girl, who perhaps in a previous day and age would have experienced these attractions as a passing phase (like the woman in the story who grew up in the 1950s) and possibly found a man to marry and live out her life with no one even knowing about her passing attraction to women.

                      This is simplistic and naive. There is no reason to believe all homosexual psychologies are the same. Pedophilia isn’t. A Fixated Pedophile, or a regressed pedophile or a pederast are not psychologically the same thing.
                      Neither is a “pansexual” the same. A basically straight person who experiments with sinful erotic novelty is not the same as being gay.

                      Acting as if being “Gay” is all one thing is ridiculous. But one thing is absolute. The moral demands of the Divine & natural Law. They are also the only required things.

                      > But now, based on writers like Eve Tushnet, this young woman who is in search of some sort of way to understand her attractions has globbed onto an idea of somehow being a “celibate lesbian,” a rather novel approach in the history of the world, and certainly in Christianity.

                      It seems rather Traditional. It does not matter if your flesh is tempted according to nature or against. Don’t sin turn to grace and avoid the near occasions of sin. That is all that is required anything else is an act of supererogation.

                      > Do you think this movement is GOOD? And if so, why? And we can’t engage in false dichotomies either: the other option isn’t that this young woman would come out as a sexually active lesbian.

                      What she must do is choose the Gospel and the Cross which she does when she resists the temptation to just give
                      in and be a sexually active lesbian. Wither she can change her orientation or by therapy become functionally bisexual and marry a man, stay a lesbian and marry a man anyway or stay “celibate”/chaste while still having her orientation is for her to explore. But the end game is holiness NOT Heterosexuality & enough of the false dichotomies of either
                      you change or you are against changing across the board.
                      It’s getting old.

                      > Perhaps yes, but that is in no way certain. I would also point out the 1986 Letter which speaks this way: “In the discussion which followed the publication of the Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good. Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”

                      You would be surprised how many idiots I have had to correct(even in the Crisis comments boxes)who have called the homosexual orientation “Intrinsically disordered” which the CCC applies Only to sex acts. The only thing we may take from this letter given the presuppositions of Traditional scholastic theology is a gay orientation can’t be good in essence. But original sin isn’t good in essence either yet “Happy fall etc”….

                      >This is one component of the problem proposed by those like Tushnet: they seem to believe that homosexuality is in some way “even good,” and thus encourage a young woman to “come out” as a “chaste lesbian” because she has special gifts that are unique to her because of being lesbian. It’s absurd, and totally from the pit of hell.

                      Except I have no reason to believe Ms. Tushnet actually teaches being gay is good in essence in the scholastic. In fact from where I am sitting it seems more likely that is what some of the more egregious critics of her writings here at Crisis WISH she was teaching in order to justify their bogus provocations and polemics.
                      In fact as I pointed out above Damian seems to give a list of feelings, passions and desires which in human beings are Accidents not essence. But he clearly denies he is anything in essence but a sinful human in need of grace.

                      So I cry “Barbara Streisand” here because I don’t wish to give scandal with my natural sailor vocabulary.

                      Peace be with you.

                    • Just Thinking Out Loud

                      Well, if you don’t think Tushnet and Co. don’t believe that “being gay” is good, then you just haven’t read what they write. I can’t take you seriously.

                      It would be very refreshing if this is actually how Eve Tushnet or the folks at SF view homosexuality: “O happy fault that merited such and so great a Redeemer.”

                      It’s clear you haven’t really read what they write. I can’t take you seriously. And no need to deal with Barbara Streisand. What I’m reading from you is utter B.S.

                    • James Scott

                      >Well, if you don’t think Tushnet and Co. don’t believe that “being gay” is good, then you just haven’t read what they write. I can’t take you seriously.

                      Rather calling something good without qualifying how it is good just leads to fallacies of equivocation which shows a lack of reasoning ability & shows it is you who is not trying to be serious here.

                      >It would be very refreshing if this is actually how Eve Tushnet or the folks at SF view homosexuality: “O happy fault that merited such and so great a Redeemer.”

                      It would be equally refreshing if you could produce something from their writings that showed they viewed having a homosexual orientation was good in essence in the scholiastic sense. Instead of reading into them what you want them to mean as to justify your empty polemics.

                      >It’s clear you haven’t really read what they write. I can’t take you seriously. And no need to deal with Barbara Streisand. What I’m reading from you is utter B.S.

                      I have read them & some of their responses to Austin Ruse. If you feel you are such an expert then by all means give me the quotes that explicitly contravene Catholic thought here? Don’t just cop out just because I
                      hit back hard. That my friend is real BS.

                    • Just Thinking Out Loud

                      Who’s copping out? And who’s hitting back hard? I certainly don’t feel that you’ve hit back hard. If you want to know what is opposed to Catholic thought, read up about them by their critics. They’ve already spoken at length about what is problematic. It’s a waste of time to repaste them here. Or just read Tushnet’s book. If you don’t find problems within her book with regards to Catholic teaching, then I’d say you’re not on board with Catholic anthropology. As for me, I find the arguments made by the author and by others here who’ve written about the subject, as well as articles in Touchstone Magazine and elsewhere, as well as those in Evangelical circles who are troubled by this movement to have very cogent concerns. That you don’t see the problems doesn’t mean that they’re aren’t some! Nor are you the arbiter (thankfully) of whether or not the Church is right to have concerns about this movement. Nor do I personally really care about trying to convince someone in a random com-box conversation. You may view it as copping out, but I don’t particularly care if you perceive it as such. Big deal. I view it as wasted breath. I have far better things to do with my time than to engage in a combox conversation. If you are actually interested in knowing what troubles people about the SF blog, then read the other articles on the subject here. From a Protestant perspective, look for articles written by Denny Burk. There was also a debate that went on for awhile at First Things if I recall correctly. The core question, however, is anthropological and ontological and one’s true sexual identity. I find the arguments in opposition to the language of sexual orientations like LGBTQ etc. very convincing, and being lies about the human person, so I understand the woman who was troubled by her daughter coming out. That you don’t share that concern is troubling to me, but I don’t really care to try and change your mind about the subject.

                    • Just Thinking Out Loud

                      Interestingly enough I saw a tweet with this review of Eve Tushnet’s new book, which just came out yesterday. Perfect timing. There are plenty people out there, and more than just Crisis authors who are troubled by what these folks are doing. And echoing what I said in my earlier response, this author makes it clear that the question is anthropological: who is man, who is woman, and in the case of Eve Tushnet, is she being Catholic when she embraces a notion of herself being a lesbian. This review is right on the money. http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/3718/gay_catholics_and_an_adequate_anthropology.aspx#.VO-PSuUB2P8.twitter

  • For insight on the language question, I recommend R. V. Young, The Gay Invention: Homosexuality Is a Linguistic as Well as a Moral Error.

  • 4lifeandfreedom

    “Gay” is simply a euphemism for the homosexual lifestyle, period! If people would start calling it what it is, instead of going along with the three letter term, then there might be a lesson learned by many.

    • How would you describe the HETEROSEXUAL lifestyle, by comparison?

  • Guglielmo Marinaro

    Although enlightenment has not prevailed everywhere by any means, we are undeniably on the way there. It is increasingly becoming the case that the boy who has even a persistent sexual attraction to another boy now has the freedom to view himself as he truly is: a boy who is the same sort of boy as all other boys that came before him, and whose attraction to another boy is a mere detail which makes not the slightest difference to that fact. What “the world” is rightly telling him is that if he eventually turns out to be one of the “straight” majority, that is absolutely fine, and that if he eventually turns out to be gay, that too is absolutely fine, so he has no need to make his adolescent years hideous by wasting them worrying about his sexual orientation, much less “struggling” with it.

    He also realises, if he has a modicum of intelligence, that his sexual identity, in his case male, and his sexual orientation, in his case possibly homosexual, are two different things; that the latter does not in any way affect the former; and that “I am not gay. I am a man” makes no more practical sense than “I am not straight. I am a man”.

  • Joe

    There would not be so much drama, and instead would be analysis of vocations, if mere experience of same-sex attraction were not so violently stigmatized.
    And I do mean violently, having known Catholics who were assaulted by other Catholics in their youth on mere suspicion that the former had such attraction.

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