Posts tagged Christianity
Posts tagged Christianity
by Fr. Thomas McKenna C.M.
My professor asked me to type up the regulations for classroom use of electronics. He really shouldn’t have.
Why is yugioh a related tag to “Catholics”
I apologize. Had I known I was dealing with an emissary of the famed glittecclesia I would have acted with more decorum. Knowing that now, I swear to treat your threats to destabilize the Roman Catholic Church more seriously.
On facebook, a friend of mine had posted a prayer that originated from the page “We defend traditional marriage - and we’re gay.”
Heavenly Father [or Jesus, Mary and Joseph, or Lord Jesus Christ], I love you very much. I beg you to provide help to the LGBT/same-sex attracted person who is in spiritual danger and is most in need of my prayers. Amen.
The prayer came from a post advocating for the “spiritual adoption” of unknown people with same-sex attractions. The idea seems to be modeled on the concept of spiritual adoption of an unborn child, wherein someone or multiple someones, often a married couple spiritually adopt a child at risk of being aborted by praying for that child’s safety, and sometimes if they know the mother of the child, bringing gifts or necessary supplies to the mother. One of the biggest purposes of this type of ministry, is that it seeks to create a relationship between the unborn child and its “spiritually adopted parents.”
Now, while we should always pray for each other, especially for our brothers and sisters experiencing overwhelming struggles, of any type, I think this particular strategy leaves something to be desired. The point of spiritual adoption is to build a relationship with the unborn child. Those who spiritually adopt a child are encouraged to name it, keep track of its growth, and of course pray for it. etc. The spiritual adoption of the unborn child is supposed to mimic in a sense, the *actual* adoption of the child. But how can you do that with the “unknown LGBT person?” An LGBT person as a born person who is at least an adolescent or older is in a situation very different from an unborn child, capable of having a deeper relationship with more “two-way communication” than one can have with an unborn child.
This is of course not to demean the very meaningful relationships one has with an unborn child, but it should not be demeaning to say that a child still in the womb does not understand as much, and is much more “passive” in a relationship than your typical teenager or young adult. My point being, that while a “spiritual adoption” of a fetus can model, at least in some way the relationship one can have with an unborn child, and can at least attempt to give the adopter a sense of a relationship one has with that child, such a model fails to accurately portray what its like to have a relationship with a person with same-sex attractions, and that perhaps another model might be better developed.
Again, I’m not saying, don’t pray for people with same-sex attractions, I’m just saying, the prayers you might say, and the relationship you seek to establish with the person you’re praying for would be very different than those for the unborn child and one needs to be cognizant of that. To put it another way, why spiritually adopt an unknown person with same-sex attractions when they are in your neighborhood, in your school, in your church? If you want to help a member of the LGBT community, pray
for with them, build a real relationship with them. If you want to help someone in spiritual danger, (and it should not be assumed that all people with SSA are in spiritual danger any more than the rest of us,) get to know them. All prayers are good, but the prayer of a friend will do more than any prayer to the “unknown LGBT person.” Be that friend.
In many ways I still am. I accept fully the teachings of the Catholic Church, sure, but do my actions always show that? I mean, I’ve met people who say things like, “I believe in God because the angels told me about Him,” and I always say, “that’s a touching story,” but in my head I think “Sure they did.” Also, I believe fully that perfection of the virtues, but I haven’t sold away everything I have and given the money to the poor, and I haven’t thrown myself into thorn bushes or jumped into freezing ponds like some of the saints did to protect their chastity. I’m not constantly praying or serving the poor. I push myself, but I also grow complacent.
I’m not saying one has to go to extremes, or believe every story about angels and God they’re told, but given the radical beliefs I hold as a Catholic, dang, I’m definitely not as radical as I can be.
My point is, faith is not a destination. It’s a journey. While there are principles and beliefs we assent to as Christians, faith itself is not a laundry list of anathemas. It’s an unwavering knowledge that no matter how high the crap gets, (and it gets high) God will not only dig you out, but then turn it into fertilizer. And we love Him for it.
As I’ve said before, I did not accept most of the Church’s teachings for much of middle school and high school. I started believing them, not because I stopped being skeptical, but because when I applied my skepticism to every possibility, I found the Church’s position the strongest. So, you’re questioning the Church? Good. The Church is a serious thing, and if we stop questioning serious things we’re in big trouble. But make sure you keep a healthy perspective. Question everything else too. And don’t let people give you a distorted idea. Take people’s advice and do ask for guidance in your search, but go to the source yourself. Never stop searching for truth. In the end, if you search for truth, you will find Christ.
Is it sinful to have a “lower sex drive” or less of an interest in sexual relationships than others? No, there’s nothing wrong with that. It may be possible that such a person might face less temptation to sexual sin, (though not necessarily.)
However, seeking to put a label on it, (like asexual,) and generally to define oneself by one’s sexual proclivity suggests an attitude, that while not necessarily sinful, can be harmful to one’s faith and one’s development.
People like putting labels on things including themselves, and acting on those labels, and then if and when they find the label doesn’t fit anymore, it can cause stress, or worse. If one continues to try to fit into a label even after they’ve outgrown it, they can end up doing things which can hurt themselves or others, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.
So, is it a sin to be “asexual?” No. But, resist the need to label yourself. Labels make it easy for people to dismiss you, why give them a reason to?
Sometimes, I think the most relatable character in the Gospels is Pontius Pilate. He was a busy man, who had a lot of things to do, and was just trying to keep peace and order in his province. And this mob thrusts this guy whom Pontius Pilate had never met before, and says, “Hey, we want you to kill him.” Pontius Pilate doesn’t immediately give into their commands, heck, in every other possible scenario, he did just about everything he could to prevent Jesus from dying. In the end though, when he felt pressured, he cracked, and washed his hands of the matter.
How often are we Pontius Pilate in our daily lives? When we see a homeless person on the street, do we actually sit and have a conversation with them, or do we throw a few bucks at them, not even learning their name? Do we get to know the people we interact with, and try to love them in a truly Christian manner, or do we minimize contact in our social lives, worrying about the next thing we have to do? Why do we do this? Is it because we feel we are so busy that giving other people the time of day might inconvenience us somehow? Isn’t that what Pontius Pilate did? He was willing to try to save Christ, until doing so became inconvenient. What did Christ tell us in Mark 12:41-44? Giving from our surplus certainly help those who receive our aid, but we make no sacrifice in doing that. We make no connection to the person we are serving. Christ calls us to radical charity, to give, to sacrifice in His name, even when it becomes inconvenient, even when it takes our whole lives. How often do we let our worries about our responsibilities get in the way of making human connections with the people in our lives, especially the poor, who often go forgotten?
You can have sex. The Catholic Church says that physical intimacy is a healthy and beautiful expression of love. The Catechism says, “Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator’s eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: “And God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.’” (CCC 1604)
The Catholic Church simply asks that before having sex, you get married. Marriage is at its core a promise a couple makes to “give themselves, each to the other, mutually and definitively, in order to live a covenant of faithful and fruitful love.” (CCC 1662)
Now, it seems to me, if both of you want to make that promise, then the two of you should get married and thus, there is nothing in the way of you having sex. If on the other hand though, one of you two is not willing to give of themselves totally and completely to the other, why would you want to say that you are through sex? I think I may be quoting a movie here, I don’t remember which one, but essentially, in sex, the body is making a promise to love the other person forever, and there’s no way to separate that reality from the sexual act. That’s why we say that the sexual act is an expression of marriage, and why sex should only be in marriage. For one to allow the body to say, “I will love you forever” but not be willing to make that commitment in marriage is a kind of duplicity. Does that make sense?
So, the Catholic Church isn’t saying don’t have sex; it’s saying, before you say “I do” with your bodies, say it with your lips.
Does that help?
(Ps. Anyone else is free to expand or clarify my answer. I’m sure there are many people on this site who can do a much better job than I can at explaining it.)
"For those of us that work in our worldwide church with the intersection of LGBT and faith, this notion that you must have malice towards LGBT folk to be considered homophobic is extremely misleading. I have yet to meet a single Christian person who has been intentionally malicious towards gay people. Non-affirming Christians honestly, truly believe they are being loving by attempting to change our orientation, encourage celibacy, or ban us from their pews — but to name their actions as anything but what they are would be to turn a blind eye to the epidemic of religious homophobia.”
Interesting, so if a church or denomination doesn’t kowtow on this issue, and support same-sex marriage, never stepping out of line with the “gay agenda,” it’s homophobic? So, no discussion, no understanding, no reflection, just “do this, or your homophobic?” It sounds to me like those who write articles like these aren’t looking for love or acceptance from their religious communities, just obedience.
So because I don’t believe 2 men should get married and have sex, I’m a homophobe? Wow, that sounds strange for me to call myself a homophobe knowing I’m a proud gay person. Last time I checked, a homophobe was someone who has hatred toward homosexual people. When I say I think 2 men and 2 women should not be together sexually, it’s not because I hate my own kind, it’s because I love them!
It’s this simple: I believe in Christianity, thus I believe in what the Christian faith teaches. The Faith teaches same sex sexual activity is sinful. I love all people, including gays. I don’t want anyone (including gays) to sin. So, I would tell gay people (including myself) that I don’t think they should engage in sexual activity.
OMG I hate myself and other gays so much!!!!!
I find this extremely theophobic.
This is fantastic!
Hi everyone I’m the author of this article :)
Let me clarify some things: It’s not about obedience or any of that sort. It IS about love and compassion. I write about this topic for the past two years, when religion and LGBT folk intersect. If you read any of my other work you would know that i’m much more about reconciliation and bridge-building.
It’s really interests me on why non affirming Christians (those who are against same-sex sex because we are talking about gay sex not a sexual orientation) have such a problem being labeled homophobic. The definition of homophobia is being said you must be malicious or intentionally hateful. Or an irrational fear of lgbt folk. That’s not it.
Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). It can be expressed as antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, or hatred, may be based on irrational fear, and is sometimes related to religious beliefs.
That’s the dictionary definition.
If by definition you are homophobic, even if it’s religiously based, why are you so afraid to be called that? I don’t think that most christians are purposefully malicious or intend to be harmful. But you don’t have to be intentional to cause harm. Homophobia under the guise of love is still homophobia.
For those who find this “theophobic”
Here is a list of the all the times Christians have been discriminated against for tier beliefs in the USA. Just so we’re clear.
And contrary to the very dedicated tumblr person who believes i’m being “funded by Arcus” foundation— I’m not. I’m a broke college student who started a 501 c 3 (that’s a non profit) creating safe spaces for LGBT students on educational christian campuses. I don’t make a single cent from any of my articles or from the work that I do. It’s probono because I believe that’s what Christ calls me to do.
But yes by definition, if you’re “against” same-sex sex, you’re homophobic. If that’s really what you believe, shouldn’t you own that label not be afraid of it? Just a thought.
Here are all my social media links so people can “verify” me and know i’m not getting “paid” for some gay agenda. Though if someone wants to pay me, i’ll let you know where to send the check.
I’m always up for respectful dialogue :)
Hello Mr. Cruz,
First of all, I just wanted to thank you for making yourself available for discussion about your article. Not a lot of authors of articles like these have tumblrs, or are so willing to discuss, so it is a bit of a rare treat for us, and I’m sure the entire tumblr community feels the same way.
Next, I’d like to echo your sentiment that reconciliation through bridge-making and creating loving relationships is central not just to coming to the truth on this matter, but really to our Christian mission, for Christ is the law, and the law is love.
That being said, I think the easiest place to start would be to answer your question as to why those of us who oppose same-sex marriage do not like the label “homophobic” applied to us. The main reason is that we find it a poor descriptor of our position. While we do have what may be called “negative attitudes” towards homosexuality, in that we believe that same-sex attractions (SSA) can cause people difficulty in their lives as Christians, because it predisposes them to a variety of sexual sin they might not otherwise be as susceptible to, we do not think this makes people with SSA bad people or even worse sinners than others. We have no fear of SSA or those with them. We all carry crosses, and having SSA can be one of them. We are called to love those with SSA just like we are called to love anyone else. Furthermore, the definition you provided says that “homophobia… can be expressed in antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, or hatred,” and of those responding to your article here on tumblr, none of us hold those sentiments. We simply disagree with you on the issue of same-sex marriage.
Now, it should be noted that denying someone a specific right on the basis of their orientation could qualify as an example of homophobia. Advocates of same-sex marriage who consider same-sex marriage a right often use this stipulation to show that opponents of same-sex marriage are homophobic. However, those of us who oppose same-sex marriage do not believe we are denying a right, rather, we argue the question of whether there is a right to same-sex marriage, which is a very different thing, and therefore, cannot be called homophobic. For more information on this issue, please check out my article which touches on the “rights” issue of same-sex marriage, here.
Furthermore, a good number of us repudiate that term because it is loaded with political baggage. It’s a way that people can dismiss those who disagree with them without addressing their arguments. Charge that your opponent has a phobia or an -ism, (whether homophobia, racism, sexism) and you don’t need to discuss with them, because they are “blinded by their bigotry.” It’s a common tactic used by tumblr’s very own social justice warriors. It is also a genetic fallacy.
As for your article, I should note that your comment that opposition to same-sex marriage is founded primarily on “disgust with the mechanics of gay sex” is perhaps true in community level debates in some fundamentalist areas, but this hardly represents the reality of the discussion elsewhere. For most people, the crux of the debate centers around the teleological understanding of marriage as “ordered towards procreation” which is impossible for same-sex couples. That is the issue that needs to be addressed, not ‘disgust with the mechanics of gay sex.’
Next, in your examples of what qualifies as “homophobia” you include “encouraging celibacy.” Now, one might wonder then if you consider the Catholic Church to be “priestphobic” as well, since it “encourages celibacy” among its priests. Barring the possibility that you do think that, it would seem to me that “encouraging celibacy” cannot be construed as a type of prejudicial discrimination. Either way, that definition means that anyone who opposes same-sex acts or marriage is necessarily classified as homophobic, which means that you essentially dismiss anyone who believes same-sex acts/marriage is wrong as homophobic.
Another problem with your definition is that it denies the experience of many people with same-sex attractions who oppose gay marriage and same-sex acts. It labels them as self-loathing when that is clearly not the case.
That sums up perhaps my biggest concerns with your article and your argument, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. I’ll be anxiously awaiting. Pax et bonum!
(p.s. as to your tongue-in-cheek list of ways Christians have been discriminated against in the U.S., I would recommend looking up the experiences Catholics in early American history who often had to go into hiding or even hide their churches, for example Old St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia. Also of interest are the histories of Irish and Italian Catholic immigrants in the United States. Catholics who were persecuted by the Ku Klux Klan. Really, any of the myriad accusations of evil through “popery” against the Catholic Church. More recently, Christians have been forced to participate in weddings of same-sex marriages violating their consciences, there have been several examples of churches having windows smashed or being otherwise vandalized, on new years day a priest was beaten to death with a gutter pipe and a wooden stake, and the government is coercing Christians into providing contraception against their religious beliefs. I’m not saying these are the worst examples of discrimination in our nation’s history, but just because they aren’t the worst does not mean one can erase them.)