Posts tagged Homosexuality
Posts tagged Homosexuality
"Please do not make judgments based on stereotypes, media images and comments taken out of context. Rather, get to know us first as fellow human beings. I myself am willing to meet personally with any of you not only to dialogue, but simply so that we can get to know each other. It is the personal encounter that changes the vision of the other and softens the heart. In the end, love is the answer, and this can happen even between people with such deep disagreements. That may sound fanciful and far-fetched, but it is true, it is possible. I know it is possible, I know this from personal experience. When we come together seeking to understand the other with good will, miracles can happen."
Hi, I’ve actually recently answered this question here.
Can you address the functional objection to your argument? I am sure critics would argue that same sex relationships should be called marriages if they- at least in appearance- function like other marriages. Can you articulate why the functionalist argument is insufficient? I was thinking about this sort of thing earlier in regards to parenting and adoption.
Plus I think you’ve missed a step in your articulation- convince why teleology should be believed before talking about ends to procreation and the like. I believe it, but others do not.
Regarding this post. Well, those two questions are actually related. I chose not to go this far back in my original post, because as I said, I wanted to keep it short, but if it would help people to hear it: the first point to tackle is “why teleology?” And the answer is, because without it, we simply can’t define anything. Take something simple like a pencil. How do we know a pencil is a pencil? Not by size, shape, color, etc. because there are pencils of all different sizes shapes and colors. Some pencils have scents and make noises, some don’t. Is it what they are made up of that makes them a pencil? Clearly not. Old pencils had lead, today they have graphite, but they are both pencils. Some pencils have wood, some have plastic. Some have rubber for erasers, some don’t. Yet they are all pencils. Furthermore, we could imagine someone taking a pencil, separating the wood from the graphite and making some kind of sculpture out of it. The fact that it maintains the same materials as made up a pencil does not make that sculpture a pencil, and we wouldn’t recognize it as such.
What makes a pencil, is its ability to write. We recognize the form of a pencil makes it good for writing, and so we know it is to be used for writing. And all of us who have had to write essays for tests, know that when a pencil can write well, it is a “good pencil,” and when the pencil doesn’t write well, we often are frustrated with it and call it a “bad pencil.” The fact that we all understand this shows us that we understand that a pencil, and by extension, all other things are defined by their ends.
Now, when we apply that to the sexual act, we see that the sexual act (or the act of sexual reproduction) has a procreative end. Thus, the sexual act in part is defined by its openness to reproduction and marriage is defined in part by the ability to use the sexual act to increase love. Which brings us to your second question “Why can’t same-sex relationships be marriages if they function like marriages.” Well, the answer is, they don’t function like marriages. Because a same-sex relationship is not open to procreation, it cannot complete the sexual act, and because it cannot do so, it cannot function as a marriage.
Now, some people might argue, “what about people suffering from infertility.” This brings us to a key distinction. Same-sex relationships are necessarily, definitionally closed to procreation. Opposite-sex relationships where one or both of the members is infertile is only conditionally closed to procreation.
The best analogy I could come up with is, it’s true a broken pencil cannot write, but even though it is broken we still can tell from its form that it is meant for writing. A donut however, we can tell is not. And though a donut can write as well as a broken pencil, that doesn’t make the donut a pencil. Similarly, just because a same-sex relationship is as fertile as an infertile opposite-sex relationship, it doesn’t make the same-sex relationship open to procreation. For this reason, a same-sex relationship can never be a marriage.
Now, does that mean that people with same-sex attractions can’t have relationships with each other? Of course not. These relationships can be fierce friendships that lead their members to great virtue. The problem is, these relationships are often trampled upon by everyone pushing for gay marriage, forcing relationships between people with same-sex attractions into this romantic category where they do not belong. Thus, it takes great courage for someone with same-sex attractions to build healthy relationships in today’s world. Yes, because they have to stand up to bigots who hate people with same-sex attractions, but more so, because they have to protect their relationship from those “activists” who cannot understand the value of a chaste friendship, and will seek to turn the friendship into an erotic relationship for their own gain. Therefore, we who call ourselves Catholics have to do our best to support our brothers and sisters with same-sex attractions, stand with them, and most importantly, be their friend. Because fundamentally, if being a Christian doesn’t mean being a true friend to all, then I have no idea what being a Christian means.
I don’t understand where anything I’ve said anywhere would give you the idea that I hold any bigotry or hatred towards the gay community. I love my same sex attracted brothers and sisters. We may disagree on what the best way to love our same sex attracted brothers and sisters is, and we can discuss that, but don’t mistake disagreement over how to love as hate.
If you’re interested, here's a cool video about the issue. If you decide to watch it, I'd recommend watching it all the way through before making any prejudgments.
Thank you so much for the question. I really appreciate that you took the time to write it out, and I’m sorry I didn’t get to it earlier, I’ve had a busy schedule, so thank you for understanding.
What you ask is a difficult question to answer completely in a short concise statement, because it requires that we look at entire fields of philosophy, including ethics, metaphysics, and even some political philosophy. Since going over the whole history of western philosophy is not going to be useful here, let’s make a deal, I’ll skip some introductory stuff and start in the middle and try to write as brief as possible, (and it will still be way too long) but if you’re confused about or disagree with something, please message me back on what specifically you’re confused on or disagree with, and I’ll try to expand a little more on it.
With that out of the way, I think it’s important that we start with a basic thing that often gets overlooked:
Sexual orientation =/= sexual identity
What I mean by this is that in our culture, one’s sexual orientation, whether they are attracted to men or women, or both, is often turned into a sexual identity, gay, straight, bi, etc. This is a mistake. As BadCatholic put so eloquently in this post, “the unique identity of man is not defined by where he wants to put his penis.” Thus, I often try to avoid talking about people with same-sex attraction as “gay,” “lesbian,” or “homosexual.” They are people with same-sex attractions. Homosexual does not describe a person, it rather describes a sexual act between two people. The fact that a man prefers men to women does not affect their sexual identity anymore than the fact that I prefer brunettes to blondes. Thus, we are not gay and straight men and women, rather we are just men and women. Some of us are attracted to men, some of us are attracted to women, but whoever we are attracted to, does not define us.
Now that we’ve talked a little bit about sexual orientation, let’s talk about sexuality. Fundamentally, our sexuality is a “force” or “urge” within us that drives us to “productive unity.” Now, what do I mean by that term? I mean that our sexuality calls us first to “unity” with another person. Human beings are inherently social, and our sexuality is clear evidence of that. Fundamentally, we want to become “one” with other human beings. This becoming “one with” other human beings is very different from the way I become one with a hamburger. In that kind of union, the hamburger is consumed, ceases to exist, and becomes a part of me. I take what I want and leave the rest behind. That is a union of domination. Though it sounds silly to say it this way, I dominate the hamburger. I don’t see the hamburger as an equal partner in the relationship. (And because it is a hamburger I shouldn’t) However, that is not what we are talking about when we talk about a union of human beings. A union of human beings refers to a relationship in which they act as one, AND YET, retain their unique identities. It is a relationship between equals, characterized by respect, compassion and self-giving. It really is, love.
In love, or a “productive unity,” we recognize that the union is working “for” something. We experience it as a push, beckoning us to service. This can be done in several ways, through charity to others, to perfection of each other, and to procreation. In this sense, one’s sexuality does not belong to oneself, rather, one’s sexuality belongs to the whole community, in the sense that the fruits of sexuality ought to benefit someone else, not oneself, either through the works of mercy, (feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, teaching the ignorant, etc,) by helping someone live virtuously, or by the creation of new life through the sexual act. Note that these are all expressions of sexuality, even if we don’t experience it as such. I certainly don’t love the person begging for food the same way I love my best friend, or the way a husband loves a wife, but each of these relationships with each of these people stems from the same fundamental human desire to love and be loved.
Now, having laid down the groundwork we can start getting around to answering your question, but, there’s something else we have to cover. Having talked about sexuality and its relationship to our desire to love and be loved, to enter into relationship with others, it ought to be clear that there are moral imperatives related to our sexuality. This is because it has an “end” something it strives for. To turn it away from that end would be morally wrong. Taking this into account, we see that for example, masturbation is wrong. The reason is because it is taking something, our sexuality, which is meant to be “other-oriented” and turning it onto ourselves. Thus, the part of ourselves that exists for others, instead of being used for others, is used for ourselves. It is turned away from its purpose, its “end.” Similarly, pornography is wrong. The reason is, because it turns other people, (the people in the pornography) into sexual objects. Those people are being used, (first by the pornographers to make money, and then by those watching the pornography for pleasure) like objects. They are not being treated like people. In doing so, it reduces their humanity. As the great John Paul II so wisely said, “The problem with pornography is not that it shows too much of a person, but that it shows too little.” Thus, instead of using our sexuality to serve others, when we use pornography we are using others to serve our sexual desire, and so it is wrong. It is like the relationship between me and the hamburger. The person who watches porn takes the parts of the person they like, uses it for their pleasure and ignores the rest. It is a relationship of domination. Thus it is wrong because it dominates another human being. Again our sexuality is really our gift to others, and so it is important to understand it as such.
Now, we’ve talked about sexual orientation and sexuality, and talked about some offenses against sexuality, I want to talk about vocations. Vocation is often used by many people to mean a job or a career, and this is one use of a vocation, but there’s another meaning to vocation that I think is more important. Your vocation refers to how you live out your sexuality, how you are to serve others. There are many different vocations, including being single, being married, being a priest, being a brother, a monk, a sister, a nun, etc. and there are even subdivisions in these, like, do I want to be a missionary, do I want to live in a cloistered order, do I want to take a vow of silence, how will I devote my time to my friends, family, and community? Will I work creating wealth to share with my community, or will I provide direct service for those who need it and cannot afford it? etc. Now, these aren’t jobs, though fulfilling one’s vocation often requires some kind of career or work as well. Rather, a vocation is a “canvas” on which we can paint the picture of how we are going to serve people. A vocation connects “who we are” “what we do” and “why we do it.”
Everyone has a vocation, and though everyone’s is a little bit different, they are all expressions of sexuality. Because of this, we all need to learn chastity. Chastity is often seen as an imposition, or something made to limit our freedom, but this is a mistake. All chastity refers to, is to having a proper understanding and control of one’s sexuality. In the sense that cultivating chastity gives us control over our sexuality and how we express it, it is very much a positive expression of our freedom, since we choose to live in a well-ordered manner. Chastity is at its core, making sure that our sexual expression is always in service of other people, and never for ourselves. However, chastity is expressed differently in different vocations.
In marriage, which is what concerns us currently, (promised I’d get around to it,) chastity is expressed through union and procreation. Union means that for the many people whose vocation is marriage, they are able to physically “become one” with their spouse. This stems from the “productive unity” I talked about above, but it’s even deeper. Essentially, this union is the two people saying “I do” to each other with their bodies. (Seriously, look up the powerful chemicals at work during sex. The psychology of sex clearly shows us the powerful bonding it creates between two people.) Even if that’s not what we intend to happen, even if we are just looking to “feel good,” that is what happens. In fact, because sex causes us to bond in such a powerful way, it is important that we have sex only within the confines of a committed monogamous union. In a sense, to have extramarital sex is a bit like lying. It is saying with one’s body, “I am giving you everything I have, everything I am,” when one’s not actually intending to do that. Which is one major reason why sex cannot be separated from marriage.
The other reason is procreation. Procreation refers to the creating and raising of children, and it most certainly is a sexual expression of the parents. Essentially sex is ordered towards creating new life, sexual intercourse is called the act of sexual reproduction. Marriage exists between a man and a woman to create a stable family structure to bear and raise children. Numerous studies show that a committed marriage is the ideal environment in which to raise a child, and in fact, family life is often the best indicator of future success of a child. We recognize that marriage and the sexual act are both ordered to procreation in this sense.
Having established that marriage and the sexual act is ordered towards union and procreation, something immediately jumps out at us. Marriage necessarily exists between a man and a woman. The reason for this is that it is only between a man and a woman that both the unitive and the procreative functions of marriage can take place. Only a man can give his full self to a woman and only a woman can give her full self to a man, because one’s full self includes one’s fecundity. Thus, the sexual expression of marriage, union and procreation can only take place between a man and a woman. So, two men or two women could not marry each other, not because their love doesn’t count, or that it’s not as valuable as the love between a man and a woman, but because that love, and that relationship is necessarily different, (not better or worse) than what we understand marriage to be. It is a different vocation. (Another note, marriage is not just for the couple but also for children, and children deserve a mother and father. People with same-sex attractions are no better or worse at parenting than people without same-sex attractions, but, it’s not a question of being good at parenting, it’s just that children have a right to a mother and a father. And a man can be the best father in the world, but no matter how good he is, he cannot be or make up for a mother, in the same way that a mother can be the best mother in the world, but no matter how good she is, she cannot be or make up for a father. Thus, those who argue for adoption by same-sex couples are wrong, not because people with same-sex attractions can’t be wonderful parents, but because a child deserves both a mother and father.)
Having established that marriage is necessarily between a man and a woman, we can finally get into why same-sex marriage hurts people with same-sex attractions. (I know it was a hard road, but we’re finally here) Fundamentally, the reason is, it takes people away from their very real vocations and promises them a fake one. Now, I’m not calling the relationships between people of the same sex fake. Those are very real relationships, with very real love. But, what I am calling fake is the labeling of those relationships as a marriage, because, for the reasons we’ve already talked about it is not marriage. People with same-sex attractions are called, like everyone else to love by and be loved all people, and to develop deep passionate friendships, and may, like many people without same-sex attractions develop romantic feelings for people, and that’s okay. But, it’s necessary to understand that marriage, and therefore, sexual intercourse can only exist between a man and a woman. Thus, same-sex marriage cannot exist for the same reason that a square circle cannot exist. The people who push for gay marriage who are trying to force people who aren’t attracted to people of the opposite sex, who don’t have calling to marry someone of the opposite sex, to see their relationship as sexual or as a marriage, are putting pressure on, and misunderstanding the beautiful passionate friendship that already exists there in favor of a relationship that can never exist. This can harm people with same sex attractions, because they will be looking at, and thus acting in, their relationship not as it is, but as something it is not. When that happens, the relationship loses, maybe not completely, but in some way, the capacity to be a true loving encounter with the other person, and gets caught up in abstractness. Thus, opposition to same-sex marriage exists, not because we want to deny people with same-sex attractions a relationship, but because we want to preserve the one that is already there, a celibate friendship.
Having answered that question, the only question that remains is how do we help our brothers and sisters with same-sex attractions? And this is a question that we as a society have not answered nearly as well as we should have in the past. Clearly, for the reasons stated above, same-sex marriage isn’t the way to do it, but neither are “gay conversion centers” which try to “make people heterosexual.” Not because its necessarily impossible for some people to be able to change who they’re attracted to. For some people it may be possible, for most, it doesn’t seem that way. But, centers like this don’t seem to be addressing the root issue.
Really, it seems like the most helpful thing would be to help people with same-sex attractions accept those same-sex attractions, and provide them assistance, if they need it, in learning how to live a celibate lifestyle of service. In this second effort, I think priests would be people who can help. Priests, who (in the Latin Rite, with some exceptions,) are celibate, can share the knowledge they’ve gained about celibacy through their classes and their life experience with the gay community, and show how meaningful human relationships are not only still possible while one is celibate, but how in many ways, celibacy can lead to still deeper relationships. Of course, most priests don’t have experience ministering to people with same sex attractions in this capacity, and so, priests will have to listen to people with same-sex attractions and learn about their specific needs and struggles to be accepted. Through this dialogue, I have high hopes that great progress on this issue will occur.
I’ve already taken way more of your time than I should have, so I think I’ll end hear for now. Thank you very much for reading, and I hope everything made sense. If it didn’t, again, please message me back. And if you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
The Third Way: Homosexuality and the Catholic Church
I encourage all my friends to watch this short 30 minute film. It is first of all, a love letter to all of you who experience same-sex attraction. I just have one request. If you do choose to watch it, watch the whole thing, from beginning to end.
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.
"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.)
Andrew, how are you? I hope you are doing well. I saw this post and had some thoughts that I put down below. I certainly don’t believe homosexuality and pedophilia are identical, nor do I believe that everyone with same-sex attractions is a pedophile, nor do I believe that same-sex attractions are as disordered as pedophilic ones. But, I do think you overstate a lot of your claims here, and you deny the very strong historical relationship homosexuality and pederasty have had. So, if you’re interested, please look over these arguments. As always, I assure you of my love for you as a fellow brother in Christ. Pax et bonum! Niko
"Pedophilia should not be compared to homosexuality. Pedophilia is diagnosed as a mental disorder whereas homosexuality is not."
Homosexuality was diagnosed as a mental disorder until 1973 when it was declassified as one. The reason for its declassification had less to do with any psychological research and more to do with the fact that homosexuality had achieved greater societal acceptance. Societal acceptance that many argue ought to be given to pedophilia. Would pedophilia cease to be a mental disorder if it achieved that same social acceptance? From a historical perspective, all you’re saying in the above quote is that pedophilia is not as socially accepted as homosexuality, which does not speak to the objective legitimacy of either.
Btw, look at this article that drifted onto my newsfeed in the last 10 minutes providentially.
"There can be no consent in pedophilia simply because they are children… But that’s a totally different issue…
No, I think the fact that it’s “blurry” as you say, is a main point. Where is the line between homosexuality and pederasty. Can you put an age limit on where this “ability to consent” magically materializes in a young person’s life? Why does it only apply to sexuality as opposed to other things which we certainly think young people consent to?
But that’s ignoring an even stronger argument which is the fact that historically speaking homosexuality and pederasty have always been linked. None of the ancient cultures that practiced some form of homosexuality differentiated it in any major way from pederasty. They were one in the same thing. Up through the 19th century, the two were undifferentiated. Karl Heinrich Ulrichs was really the first person to make a case for gay marriage in the 1860s (and coincidentally the first person who differentiated between homosexuals and pederasts.) But, despite this intellectual and taxonomical differentiation, the fact of the matter is that up until the mid 20th century, it was not practiced. (For example, the Uranian poets (1860-1930 practiced both homosexuality and pederasty without distinguishing them.) It really wasn’t until the modern same-sex marriage movement, which is generally agreed upon to begin at the stonewall riot that you have any modern understanding of homosexuality without pederasty, and that seems mostly due to the fact that the same-sex marriage movement realized that society would not readily condone pederasty, but could be made to accept homosexuality, so adult-oriented-homosexuality could be the point of a wedge which would split the social mores of society so pederasty and the rest could follow. Thus, the historical relationship between homosexuality and pederasty is one which needs to be addressed.
"When we speak of… lingering on the chin.
And here we have come across the main point of the argument. The gay rights movement holds same-sex unions and opposite-sex unions as functionally equivalent, those who are opposed to same-sex marriage argue that they are not, and therefore, same-sex unions cannot be properly called or treated like marriage.
As same-sex unions cannot procreate, they cannot be called functionally equivalent to opposite-sex unions and therefore, cannot be called marriages. This is true under pretty much any philosophical scheme you want to use, Scholastic Natural Law Ethics, Kant’s Categorical Imperative, Consequentalism, even John Stuart Mill’s utilitarian understanding of “higher goods” can argue against civil same-sex marriage.
As for your napkin example, sure, the example works if we were talking about a situation in which the same thing which was given to one man was denied to another. For example, if we were to tell one person they could marry someone of the same sex and forbid it to another. But that is not the case. Rather, we are discussing a situation in which we say no one can marry someone of the same sex, because marriage is a term that by definition applies only to people of the opposite sex.
Thus, using napkins, it would be as if I invited you to dinner, and before we sat down at the table, I put out rolls of toilet paper instead of napkins and I were to explain it by saying, “well, you use napkins and toilet paper to wipe yourself, so in reality they are the same thing.” You would be right to say that I was making a silly argument and that toilet paper is not the same thing as a napkin just because they are both used for wiping, since one wipes very different things with them.
Pedophilia should not be compared to homosexuality. Pedophilia is diagnosed as a mental disorder whereas homosexuality is not.
There can be no consent in pedophilia simply because they are children.
A homosexual relationship is between two consenting adults. Just like a heterosexual relationship.
Comparing non-consenual sex with an un-sexually developed child to two consenting humans who love each other is faulty reasoning.
If you’re talking about someone who is 17 or somewhere near that age, that’s where it get’s more blurry. I think the age of consent in some other countries is like 16. But that’s a totally separate issue.
“When we speak of same-sex marriage, isn’t some radically new thing at all. It’s marriage. Made available to people who have been denied it in the past.
And we have a lot of experience with the effects that this institution of marriage has. And so we can make some pretty sound predictions about what making this institution available to gays and lesbians will mean. More stability of relationships over time. Less promiscuity. Less sexual volatility, with the concomitant heartbreak and jealousy. More reliable support persons and partners to help more people through the trials of life. Reduced spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. More stable environment for child-rearing.
To use a spin on Rick Santorum’s dumb example, making marriage available to same-sex couples is nothing like introducing a new technology with unpredictable effects. It’s more like making napkins available to people who’ve previously been denied (for some weird reason) the legal right to use them. What can we expect from this? The same things we know napkins do for those of us who’ve been using them for a long time: fewer greasy fingertips; fewer smears on shirt sleeves, less frequent embarrassment caused by that dollop of spaghetti sauce lingering on the chin.”
— The Piety That Lies Between
Comparing pedophilia to homosexuality is an invalid slippery slope argument that should not be regarded as a roadblock for full equality.
"Comparing… for full equality."
1. It’s not a slippery slope argument, since the argument is not, “Gay marriage leads to pederasty,” (well, I do suggest that’s the case, but that’s not the main thrust of my argument.) instead, it is argued, “There is no justification for recognizing same-sex relationships as marriages that cannot equally be applied to pederastic relationships.” The difference is subtle, but important.
For example, consider these two arguments “If the U.S. lowers the drinking age to 18, then they will lower it to 16.” This is a slippery slope argument because it suggests one action necessarily leads to another. Instead consider, “There is no justification for lowering the drinking age to 18 that cannot equally be applied to lowering it to 16.” Do you see the difference? It does not imply that the future action will be taken, but that the justification for taking the first action applies equally to the future one.
In this situation, the argument is “If we must accept same-sex marriage because those with SSA are born that way, then we must accept pedophilic unions because pedophiles are born that way too.” If you accept that being born that way is a sufficient justification for marriage, it seems hard to deny it to pedophiles, but, if like me, you find that being born that way is not sufficient justification for marriage, then the argument cannot be used to support either pedophilic or homosexual unions.
2. Remember how it was like 6 months ago that people were saying that “homosexuality leads to polygamy” is a slippery slope fallacy? Have you noticed all the articles recently that have argued for polygamy based on societal acceptance for homosexuality? Remember, while a slippery slope argument is fallacious, in that it implies necessity where necessity does not exist, that does not mean that the slippery slope is wrong, sometimes, one thing really does lead to another.
Well now I’m wide awake and thinking about theology of the body ANYWAY. So - let’s talk about Catholics and sex!
Usual disclaimer that these are my private views on sex based on my personal religious beliefs, and you’re not wrong or a bad person for disagreeing - ESPECIALLY if you’re not a…
And here is a link to my original response,
so that people can see how the Catholic Church responds to criticisms like the ones above.
Also, in response to comments made in the tags, the Catholic Church’s teachings are not about denying any rights to people with same-sex attractions, nor are they “anti-gay.” In fact, the Church’s teaching on treatment towards people with same-sex attractions is quite clear:
The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
However, accepting same-sex marriage is not required for any of that to take place, in fact, as Catholics, we see same-sex marriage as harmful to those with same-sex attractions because any justification for same-sex marriage stems from an “othering” of those with same-sex attractions, and that separation of them from the rest of humanity is the true discrimination. Therefore, it is out of love and a recognition of the full humanity of the man or woman with same-sex attractions that the Church insists on teaching as she does.
For more information, here is a link to USCCB documents on issues of same-sex attraction.
Perhaps, if one intends to come to a true understanding of why the Church teaches what she does, one should actually consider her teachings, not immediately reject them as a form of “homophobia.”