Friday, September 16, 2005

Gay Equals Pedophile…says the Catholic Church


In response to the Church sexual abuse scandal of three years ago the Vatican has announced a new plan to root out homosexuals from the priesthood and seminaries throughout the United States.

Instead of taking a serious look at how the Church actively covered up this scandal and make radical reforms in the Church (i.e. allow priests to marry and allow women to become priests), they have instead decided to equate pedophilia with homosexuality even though there is no credible scientific research to support this claim and most experts agree that there is not a link.

This is just another example of the blatant hypocrisy of the Catholic Church. In a Church that is suppose to foster a sense of love for all people, they are instead perpetuating false stereotypes and creating even wider social barriers to the acceptance of others.

I guess the Westboro Baptist Church just found another ally.

16 comments:

Judd P said...

You are going to base some Catholic hatred on a document that is rumored to be out there and hasn't been published by anyone, let alone the Vatican? How do people take you seriously?

Perhaps, too, you as an expert on the teachings of the Catholic Church can expand on its hypocrisy. Or are you going to leave that to our imagination just like this so-called document?

PiedPiper said...

Personally, you both make valid points. I would argue, and I'm a practicing Catholic (and one who can speak from 12, going on 15, years of Catholic education), that the Church is so large as to make it inherently contradictory. In many examples of Catholic doctrine, you can find an historical doctrine that contradicts it, or at least treats it in a different light.

For example, much to the dismay of apologists who insist priests must be unmarried men who prescribe to celebcy due to historical considerations, the Church actually did allow priests to marry and have families for about 1500 years of its existence (give or take a century). The practice was ended not for the purpose of making priests more representative of Christ, but rather to settle property disputes (as in sons inheriting Church property and many shady deals that followed).

One of the greatest contradictions in the American Catholic Church, however, has occurred among Catholics of the Republican Party. Our previous Holy Father, John Paul II, came out unequivocally against the Iraq War, insisting that it was unjust. Yet there was no call for Republican Catholics to be barred from receiving communion if they were pro-war. And our priests, at least the ones I've encountered, have been largely silent about a war that their Church has deemed unjust. Catholics were told, however, in the last election (most notably by a bishop in Colorado) that they should not receive communion if they planned on casting a vote for John Kerry or any Democrat, and if they did cast that vote (or even ponder it, I assume) they were required to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation and repent their sin! I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous.

The problem here, though, is that one can go round and round trying to fit the Catholic Church into modern political identities. My opinion is that the relationship simply doesn't work. And the Catholic Church isn't as uniform as many in the hierarchy would have others believe.

PiedPiper said...

With all that said, the issue of homosexuality within the Church is a muddy one.

The simple doctrine the Church relies on when it comes to homosexuality (and other practices it deems as sin) is "hate the sin; love the sinner."

Now, I see many different interpretations, and contradictions within its six simple words. How can you "hate" a practice, yet "love" someone who identifies him/herself completely with that practice? And if this doctrine were read literally, why aren't gay Catholics more accepted than they are? They are supposed to be loved, after all, not shunned or subjected to witch hunts.

My personal feelings on this doctrine is that it means reaching out to the gay community in a respectful and open way. In my view, homosexuals do not commit a sin against God or the Church or anyone else. And even if they did, who am I to judge or decide that? I certainly am not a fourth compenent to the Holy Trinity (which would thus make it the Holy Quadrangle, I presume), and don't pretend to have authority over deciding whether a person sins or not. I have my own problems. Maybe it's a matter of emphasis, where I put more emphasis on the "love" part of the doctrine, while others put more emphasis on the "hate" part. Anyway you dice it, upon examination and analysis, you can see what I'm talking about when I say above that the Church isn't as uniform as some would have you believe.

Judd P said...

Pied,

You have a well-thought take on the issues in the Catholic Church. I'd like to go a bit further.

Regarding the priesthood, there is still nothing about church doctrine that says priests must be male or that they can't be married. Other parts of the world actually do allow priests to be married. That isn't to say that Pope Benedict won't put out an encyclical that will be binding on the church to suggest it must be a man and he must be single to be a priest in the future. Right now, though, that isn't the case. Still, Church tradition says it must be and it's not as if there aren't important roles for women in the church. In fact, any priest will tell you that the most important work a woman can do for God is be a mother (if they are able).

Second, the Pope does not speak infallibly on matters of war and that is why Catholics are not bound to necessarily take his stance on those issues. This is rightly so, as the Pope had access to (perhaps) barely more information than the average American and thus didn't exactly know the prudent decision for a President of a nation, though he knew the prudent stance for a Holy Father. His take on that particular war isn't much more binding than would be his preference for the Vikings over the Bengals on Sunday.

In the case of John Kerry, however, it is binding church doctrine to be against abortion. Any cooperation with this natural evil is a grave sin against God, and a politician, especially, who publically supports such evil is causing great scandal. Many Catholics who agree with other stances John Kerry takes (of which I even share a few) will take his stance on abortion because "he's Catholic and he's pro-choice." By voting for him you are also guilty by cooperation with evil. There is no contradiction here other than what is caused by the fall of the human being and the evil that comes with it.

I find it highly unlikely that any such document mentioned would be made official by the Catholic Church. That isn't to say that it might not be written by a Catholic, and even a high-standing official in the Church (we are all human and make mistakes). That being said, I think where the Catholic Church could improve is to reach out more to homosexuals and help them to live a chaste lifestyle. There is great holiness in that. The church cannot, however, ignore the grave matter of homosexual relationships. It has a duty to speak out against those relationships whether they are learned behaviors or genetic ones. All religions have that responsibility, as even should non-believers, in that it is rooted in natural law (two guys nor two girls can make a baby and I don't think natural law gets any clearer than that).

Human beings are imperfect and thus have a hard time hating the sin while loving the sinner. But because we are rational beings we can, indeed, seperate the two. Insisting that doing so is impossible is selling yourself short. I have friends and family that struggle with all sorts of sinful behaviors (as do I). I can hate some things they do, yet I know if I had the chance to give my life to save them I would do it as fast as I could. I'm sure people hate some of the sinful things I do, yet would do the same for me. Let's not sell ourselves short here!

Ultimately the contradictions of the perfect Catholic Church lie in the imperfects thoughts, words, and deeds of its human body.

PiedPiper said...

Judd-

I can understand your viewpoints. And while I believe that the Church's just war doctrine when applied is more binding on an international Church congregation, I know it's certainly more binding than the Vikings-Bengals spread. I've heard the argument - just war v. abortion - and I don't think it holds water. The American Church, after the issue was raised by the Holy Father, should have been more vocal in explaining to people where the Church stands on war. The same goes with the death penalty. There are millions of so-called pro-life Catholics who have no idea that the Church equates the death penalty with abortion, and I've run across one person - Sr. Helen Prejean - who has spoken openly and forcefully on that subject. Was it a sin for Catholics to vote for George W. Bush, based on the fact that he sent a record number of inmates to death? Was it more of a sin because he did that, AND started an unjust war?

As for the equation of voting Democrat equals sin, I again have to respectfully disagree. You're right to say that no clergy of high standing (unless you consider a bishop in Colorado, who attracted national attention albeit via Bill O'Reilly) would say so explicitly that a vote for John Kerry or a vote for anyone who is pro-choice is a sin that demands reconciling. But this goes to the heart of the separation of church and state, except from the other side.

My Catholic faith inspires and informs my politics, but my faith is not solely my politics. John Kerry said something during one of the debates that reached to the core of what this means, "I will not legislate my religious beliefs." Personally, I would never encourage someone to get an abortion. But I would never tell a woman that she can't have an abortion. It's up to her own free will. Essentially, it's not the Church's choice, not the government's choice; it's her choice. Contrary to what the right-wing bloviators will have you believe, we are not a Christian nation. We are nation of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, Geists, etc., et al. Who am I, as a sole Catholic, to say to all these other groups who believe in their faiths as strongly as I believe in my faith, "I am right, you are wrong," when in all actuality none of us know the Truth (note the capital t). We are all merely struggling along, trying to live out our lives the best way we know how.

Faith and doubt go hand-in-hand. It's human nature to struggle with faith. When I run across people who say or act as if they have no struggle with their faith, I don't believe a word they say. Faith is an internal struggle that we work out as individuals through the venue we choose (or our parents choose). And I sure don't think I have the authority to tell someone else what or how they should believe, when I'm just trying to work out my own faith.

As for the homosexuality piece, I think you and I look at it differently and maybe we can get into that at another time.

As for married priests and female priests, I won't challenge most of what you say. The priests who are married now live mostly in Africa and other developing nations, and the topic, I think, is a bit taboo within the hierarchy. (Although there are cases in the American Church where Protestant ministers who are married have converted to Catholicism and the Church has allowed them to become priests, which again begs the question: Why not extend that privilege to all?)The Church turns a (mostly) blind eye because it has to for the survival of the Church. Women in the priesthood? I won't make a long argument for or against because I simply don't know enough about it. Yes, women have a strong role in the Church, but they don't have any power or influence. I've known a lot of nuns in my time, and they have been some of the most gentle, meek, and strong women I have ever known. But why don't women deserve an authoritative voice in their faith? Personally, I think that terrifies men who have held power for a couple millenia now.

As to your last point: "Ultimately the contradictions of the perfect Catholic Church lie in the imperfects thoughts, words, and deeds of its human body," I ask the question, do you include the clergy in the Church's human body? Because, as is evident in Anti-Everything's post and by countless historical examples, the Church's leaders are just as capable of sin and imperfection as the rest of us.

Anti-Everything said...

Judd -
First off I take great offence to you stating that my original post was you based on “Catholic hatred”. All through high school I was raised Catholic. In order for me to take a stance on hating Catholics that would mean that I would have to hate my entire family, a good portion of my friends, almost all of my co-workers, the institution that I currently have one degree from and am working on a second, as well as the institution that I work for. That is just a whole lot of hatred and would basically mean that I hate almost everyone and everything that surrounds my life. You may be referring to my posting of the link to the WBC, that was meant to be a point of irony. If you take the time to look through the content on their website you will see that after the priest sexually scandal broke they started protesting against homosexual priests outside of Catholic Churches. The irony I found is that if this program goes through the Catholic Church will be removing gay priests and seminarians just as the WBC had suggested.

Also in your post you stated, “I think where the Catholic Church could improve is to reach out more to homosexuals and help them to live a chaste lifestyle. There is great holiness in that. The church cannot, however, ignore the grave matter of homosexual relationships. It has a duty to speak out against those relationships whether they are learned behaviors or genetic ones. All religions have that responsibility, as even should non-believers, in that it is rooted in natural law (two guys nor two girls can make a baby and I don't think natural law gets any clearer than that).” I would have to argue against your interpretation regarding natural law, and I actually think that Aquinas' interpretations are some what flawed.

Almost all of the theories on the morality of homosexuality held by Aquinas are based on Aquinas' interpretation and explanation of natural law and what is sexually natural and unnatural for a person. Aquinas presents his interpretation of natural law as it relates to homosexuality in his Commentary on Romans. He starts by explaining that all pleasure that is genuine as it relates to the individual is natural. He then goes on to explain that the pleasure that humans receive from acts of sodomy are not natural because the pleasure is not obtained by the natural biologic means that are associated with pleasures as they relate to procreation and in fact acts of sodomy are an insult to nature. These acts of sodomy are actually putting the human race in jeopardy because they deflect from the primary purpose of the sexual organs. According to Aquinas's view of natural law nature is not actually derived from human instinct, instead it comes from reason. Aquinas stated it this way, “To the rational animal the same act is according to nature and according to reason.” The laws of nature are regarded as being the same as the biological laws that govern everything in the physical universe. This means that the rational law of everything that is natural represents God's presence in the universe as cosmic biological reason, and in order to achieve a union with God one must conform to the physical laws of nature. Simply stated natural law is nothing more than our own rational participation in the world that God created.

Aquinas identifies that the participation in natural law as it relates to sexual activities is the same as holding the virtue of temperance. All acts that are contrary to this virtue are seen as lustful acts and are considered to be a sin against nature. Aquinas describes acts of lust to be those acts that “exceed the order and mode of reason where venereal acts are concerned.” Aquinas states that all sexual acts that are not consistent with the natural venereal end, mainly the creation of children, is an act that pertains to the vice of lust. Aquinas argues that all sexual acts fall in to two categories; either they are acts of procreation or acts of lust. Aquinas believes that acts of homosexuality are simply practices that have the goal of selfishly seeking venereal pleasure. They do not in anyway pertain to the virtue of temperance and because of this all such acts are the result of sin.

Aquinas sees all individuals as naturally heterosexual. According to the natural laws created by God human sexuality is strictly for the use of procreation. Under this context any indulgence of homosexual activity would be an indulgence against God. The motivation for such acts is simply for lustful pleasure and is unnatural to all human beings who are inherently and naturally heterosexual. He assumes this because there is no possibility that these acts could be used for procreation and thus the acts are contrary to biological human nature. Homosexual acts do not serve the divine purpose of governing human sexuality.

One passage presented by Aquinas that is relatively unknown and rarely looked at was presented in his Summa Theologica. In this passage he discusses certain acts that although unnatural have the capability to become natural for the individual. He first starts by asking the question of what exactly is pleasure that is according to nature. He comes to the conclusion that there are two types of pleasure, rational pleasure and irrational pleasure. He states that rational pleasure is pleasure that is specific to rational beings. Examples of this type of pleasure would be a human beings pleasure in the “contemplation of the truth”. He describes irrational pleasure as being that which all humans share with animals, such as the pleasures of “venereal activities”. He then goes on to explain how unnatural acts can become natural to the individual in specific situations. Aquinas states:

“In case of both types of pleasure it can happen that what is unnatural simply speaking can be connatural in certain situation. For it can occur that in a particular individual there can be a breakdown of some natural principle of the species and thus what is contrary to the nature of the species can become by accident natural to this individual.”

He relates certain acts of homosexuality to fall under this category of unnatural acts becoming natural. He is, however, quick to explain that although these acts may be natural to the individual they are still unnatural to the laws created by God that govern human sexuality. He argues that the biological nature created by God regarding procreation is of much greater importance than the natural desires of the individual. To give in to ones personal nature would be to deny the divine nature of what God has created. This would mean that although the acts are natural they are still a perversion of the biological function of human sexual organs. Following these ideas presented by Aquinas Stanton L. Jones concludes that “genital homosexual acts are immoral and, in a normative sense, that immorality is an abnormal (unintended by God) condition for humanity.”

Aquinas also addresses the idea that homosexual acts are not sins against nature because when performed by consenting partners they are not hurting anybody. Aquinas addresses this point much like he addresses his other arguments. He states that even when no other humans are hurt by these actions, they are still going against the natural laws of the divine. He explains that action upon homosexual desires directly contradicts the biological law created by God and thus devastates the dignity of human sexuality.

He does, however, offer commentary that when interpreted liberally may speak against the condemnation of homosexuals. He explains that one should refrain from the unjust judging of others. He states that commonly the actions of unjustly judging someone is “usurping for oneself the judgments of hidden things, of which God alone has the judgment.” He then goes on to explain that one of these hidden things is hidden “not only to us, but according to its own nature, the knowledge of which pertains to God alone.” One may presume that human sexual desires, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual, are desires of the heart. Following from this presumption one may interpret this commentary to be one that speaks out against the judgment of a persons sexual desires.

Perhaps the greatest argument presented against Aquinas's view of natural law as it relates to homosexuality is that Aquinas may have been inaccurate when he stated that there is a natural law that is inherently the same in all individuals. This argument presents the idea that there is no such thing as a nature that is present in all human beings. Instead they argue that the only aspect of human nature that all humans share is the fact that we all have desires, what these desires specifically are is completely unique to the individual. This is not to say that there aren't many similar desires amongst humans, for example we all have the desire to eat food because we are hungry. Although this desire is similar in basically all human beings, the specific points of our desires are what make up our nature. A part of ones nature may be that they love to eat chocolate, though this nature is probably similar to many other humans, it is not unique to all. The fact that all humans have a sexual desire is, however, not what defines the nature of all human sexual desires. Instead what makes up our nature as it relates to sexual desires is our own individual desires. Some people may have a sexual desire for members of the opposite sex, while others may have a sexual desire for members of the same sex, or others may have a sexual desire for animals in the form of bestiality. Whatever the form of their sexual desires all the desires are natural to the individual. Any definition of what is normal or not normal to a person in society is strictly formed from constructs created by society and not those created by God. This argument's primary basis is that since these desires occur naturally in individuals, then all such desires are the creation of God and to go against these desires would be to go against the natural will of God. John McNeill, citing recent cultural anthropological, sociological and psychological evidence, stated this about the consistency of homosexual human nature:

“Since it is the divine plan that humans should freely construct their cultural identity images, and since it seems to be a universal phenomenon that a certain percentage of humans do not necessarily conform to the accepted heterosexual pattern, no matter how heavily conformity to that pattern is sanctioned by society, I see no reason to assume a priori that the human who emerges from that unconscious learning process as a homosexual is somehow alienated from God's plan or in conflict with nature's design…the homosexual is part of the divine plan and has an intrinsic role to play in human society.”

Anonymous said...

this isn't as long or as well thought out as the other responses, but i would just like to tell mr. judd p that unless he is perfect, which he apparently is not, then he is in no position to judge other people or "help them lead a chaste life." as someone with a brother who is gay, i take a great deal of offense to those types of comments. the way i see it, people are just trying to get by, myself included. therefore, i'm not going to sit back and judge what others are doing- it doesn't affect me. i am in no position whatsoever to "speak out" against homosexual relationships because, guess what??? i'm not in one, and neither are you judd p!!! by the way, i'm lutheran, and don't have to deal with all of this Catholic crap.

Judd P said...

Pied-

Please excuse my tardiness in continuing this conversation. It is just that, a conversation, and deserves more than a quick-witted response. In fact, it deserves more time than I'm giving it now, but that's more time than I have at the moment.

To just start cracking away at your thoughts, here we go. First, you are wrong that the just war doctrine is more binding (which is a problem just as it's stated there) on the world Church than the American Church. It's not. It is perfectly binding on all of the faithful in a position to use it, cooperate with it, whatever the case might be. That said, whether a war is a just one is based on opinion. It is based on informed opinion, yes, but it is opinion, simply. It is a prudential decision based on information, guidance through the Church and prayer, and a person's personal situation and knowledge/experience. What the President of the United States knows is not equal to what the Pope knows. The Pope doesn't have the intelligence reports, for example, that the President has. And because war is not intrinsically evil (it is a necessary employment in some cases), the people in power have a prudential decision to make when going to war or refraining from it. Regarding your comments about the American church needing to be more forthright about their stance on the war, I would like to hear some opinion on where they stand, but without the bishops or the Pope speaking within the conditions of infallibility, it is only strong advice for guidance purposes.

The death penalty also falls into that category. It, neither, is intrinsically evil. It has been stated by church leaders that it is unnecessary, and I agree with them (I am against the death penalty), but it is *not* a binding church doctrine. We all know there are circumstances where the death penalty is not only correct, but necessary (like in cases where a person is gravely endangering other people and an officer has to shoot the person). Again, this is a prudential decision made by people who are in the position to do so, or to cooperate with those people.

Abortion is never an alternative. It is never a prudential decision. The only way abortion is okay is to save someone's life (the mother's), and never as a matter of only killing the baby for any reason besides that. It is, in fact, one of the Church's five non-negotiables (along with embryonic stem cell research, homosexual marriage, euthanasia, and cloning).

Therefore you are right in stating that 'there are millions of "so-called" pro-life Catholics who have no idea that the Church equates the death penalty with abortion,' except for the fact that they *are* pro-life and they are right, because the Church *doesn't* equate the two. One is intrinsically evil while the other isn't.

I have to respectfully disagree with the idea that voting Democrat equals sin, too, though I'm not reversing course in any way. Voting pro-choice, when there is an alternative to doing so, is sin. There are a good number of pro-life Democrats that are perfectly valid political candidates (and I can't wait until the day when one pops up in Minnesota, because I'd love to be able to move on to issues beyond the non-negotiables). There are and were many clergy members pretty high up that suggested that a vote for Kerry was sin, and then-Cardinal Ratzinger is one of them (though not mentioning Kerry individually, he has stated on many occasions that voting pro-choice is a grave sin). Separation of church and state is great in the world of religions, but I'm content to first win over Christians, and there is no way for a Christian to vote for truth without keeping Truth in mind (the Church).

You said "My Catholic faith inspires and informs my politics, but my faith is not solely my politics." That's good insofar as your faith isn't going to necessarily tell you about good tax law. But your first obligation when voting should be to the church. If not, you are simply placing yourself higher in importance than God. What else and who else should we have in mind first when entering the voting booth?

John Kerry, with his statement about not legislating his religious beliefs, makes for a good sound byte. However, why is it that he can take up his personal agendas on everything else, but those agendas can't include his faith? I would hesitate to vote for any candidate who would say such a thing, whether they were pro-life or pro-choice. Our form of government, taking the good and the bad, is a representative one. We vote for the people who vote for us. When I elect a person, there are certainly going to be some things I don't like about them (with Bush it was namely gun control and the death penalty, not in that order). But it is the man we are voting for and hoping that he will stand the right way on those things that are important to us as individuals. I can understand a politician saying "I'm not going to legislate as a male," but I can't understand a politician saying "I'm not going to legislate as a Christian." What is it that makes you want to vote for someone? Is it a few abstract promises?

The government and natural law both work against killing. Should the government have to say that murder is illegal? No. But it does have to for the sake of protecting its citizens. Abortion is killing, and no woman or man should be allowed to kill an innocent baby. It doesn't matter whether that baby is Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, or anything else (including what would be decided later in life as opposed to some form of baptism), that baby, once conceived, has a right to live. Ultimately the choice is up to her own free will, but then so is any other form of murder, which is then punishable by law (and eternal damnation without repentence, though that is another issue). As much as the liberal bloviators would like you to believe, this is not a matter of privacy. It is a matter of the worst kind of invasion of privacy -- the murder of an innocent human being.

I don't speak for a second to try to convey that I don't struggle with my faith. I am sincere when I say I don't struggle for that second with such elementary matters as the five non-negotiables. They are just obvious. There are a lot of other things that aren't so obvious to me, like the Trinity or Real Presence in the Eucharist. I believe, but I cannot understand these things so sometimes I have an easier time than others. That said, those mysteries of faith are a far cry from those things that are natural law, and are obvious to all humans with a reasonable mind. I can guarantee you that I would first convince you of the inequality of the death penalty and abortion before I'd convince you of the Real Presence (if you weren't Catholic).

As for women having authoritative roles in the church, I think they have more authority than you think. If you are thinking in terms of the Vatican, there are many, many women in high roles there. Who do you really hear from but the Pope from the Vatican anyway. At the parish level I'd say women have as much authority as anyone, and probably more, besides the pastor.

And when I spoke of the imperfections of the Church, I meant imperfections of all human beings of the Church (Popes, clergy, religious, and lay people). They are most certainly as capable of sin and imperfection as the rest of us. On that we agree.

Judd

Judd P said...

Anti-everything-

I appreciate your tireless response and the effort put forth within it, but I just can't seem to draw the lines. I'm still not sure how you figure that that some humans might have "natural" homosexual tendencies somehow discredits the idea that natural law suggests anything other than a man and a woman are right, and other combinations are evil. Regardless of whether it is genetic or learned, it seems obvious that there is always the potential for disorder. There are forces that arise "naturally" within our minds and bodies, such as mental health problems. The brain and the chemicals that it releases with these health problems isn't what we would consider "natural" in the sense that it isn't the way a brain *should* act in full health and with perfect purpose. Yet, it is a natural occurrence under which something like this would happen. We don't go with the flow and let these things take people where they may. Instead we work to correct what is not right about the brain so that they can live as a human lives (unlike an animal, dependent on its "urges").

That said, I think the main point where your argument is best thrown in the circular file is where you ultimately decide that it is our desires that determine our nature. In that case I am curious as to where you think we pull our desires from, if not first from a nature. There is a development gap in your argument that would need to be rectified before it could be considered sufficient. Nature is the wrong word for it if it is the result of something else -- nature must come first.

I'm sorry my response is much less verbose than yours, but this is the overriding problem with it and it's a point with which I might as well not advance beyond without better understanding.

Judd

Judd P said...

I don't typically respond to "anonymous" posters, but blogger doesn't make it easy to just plop your name in there, so here goes.

Anonymous-

I am not perfect. None of us are. That isn't to say I don't know my imperfections and that you or someone else shouldn't know yours. Anyone with a greater understanding of Truth has an obligation to teach others as far as I'm concerned. If there are 6.5 billion people in the world, I'm somewhere around the 6.49999 billionth smartest person in the world. However, there are a lot of things that you would have to be morally/ethically/intellectually blind not to see, and homosexuality being wrong is one of those things.

I don't speak to offend, and I even realize it is inconvenient for you to hear these things. But it is your faith (yes, even as a Lutheran) and it's something you probably should hear and something your brother probably should, too. He's not doomed just yet -- he has until the moment of death to come to the Truth, just like I do for my faults.

You're right -- you probably are in no position to speak out on this issue because it may cause scandal in your family. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't know the truth in your heart and pray for your brother, that he may someday know the truth.

I don't speak to offend, but only to point to the truth where it is so obvious.

Anti-Everything said...

Judd,

Thank you for your response but I think you are misinterpreting my theories on this issue.

Your example of addressing mental health disorders so that people “can live human lives” directly relates to my theory that it isn’t so much what is natural and what is unnatural more so than it is ensuring that people live within socially acceptable norms of society. You state that in regard to metal health disorders “we don’t go with the flow and let these things take people where they may. Instead we work to correct what is not right about the brain.” It is all well and fine to ensure that people can function within the constraints of society, but does that ultimately mean that it is God’s will to have all people function in this way.

It can be argued that a number people that have shared their genius with the world were “mentally unhealthy”. But does God want us to fix this, if so then that would probably mean that as a society we would have never been able to fully appreciate the genius of such people as Edgar Allen Poe or Vincent Van Gogh who in their own right were “mentally unhealthy” but from this came great works of genius that have enriched the lives of future generations.

I also think you are misunderstanding my argument about desires and how our desires are what make up our nature as human beings. It is true that there are certain biological traits inherent in all humans, but these shared biological traits are not what make up the nature of humans. Our human nature may be originally based on satisfying biological needs, but what differentiates us from other species is our ability to utilize reason in addressing our desires.

I am not an expert and I realize that I am doing a poor job of explaining these ideas so I will try to explain it using examples. I am guessing that when you are feeling horny (and I apologize for using such a crude term) that the origin of these feelings although originally biologically based, since all humans are sexual beings, are more so based on desires. Such as I doubt when these feelings come along that you are desiring a child and having a strong urge to procreate. Instead you are thinking about what you find sexually arousing. The same can be said about the feeling of being hungry. When you see a commercial for McDonalds or some other type of food product I would assume that the first thought through your mind is not that you want to fill your biological need for nourishment, instead you are thinking about how much you desire a hamburger. These desires are what make up our human nature and what defines us as a human and not the biological triggers that cause them.

But like I said I am not an expert and if you would like to further look into these theories I would highly recommend two books: “The Church and the Homosexual” by John J. McNeill and “Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality : Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century” by John Boswell. Both these books take a scholarly look at the history of homosexuality and Church doctrine and how this relates to current Church doctrine on the topic.

Anonymous said...

judd p needs to get off his pedestal or stop hiding behind Catholic doctrine or look to where his incredible close-mindedness comes from, or maybe all three. MY God is not "dooming" people because of something they are unable to do anything about. People like judd p are probably pro-Bush, "support our troops" car magnet buyers, kill all terrorists types of people that don't realize the rhetoric they are spouting off is strikingly similar to the beliefs of islamic fundamentalists that we're fighting against.

Anonymous said...

ps judd, i've got a very un-intellectual response to your belief that my brother is "doomed"- go to hell

xtrachromosomeconservative said...

I don't know about your brother being doomed but you have a bad attitude mister. I think you need a time out.

Judd P said...

First off, I'm not going to engage in further conversation with anyone who doesn't bring an argument to the table of more than "go to hell." I'm presenting what I think to be a fairly intellectually based argument whether people agree with me or not and my intention is certainly not to offend anyone, but to move further to the Truth (as is always the effort). I won't say anything more than that sometimes the truth stings.

Anti-everything,

Again, I appreciate your response and I'd like to go a little further on that.

Wouldn't you agree that there is a scientific/biological way the brain ought to act? I'm not talking within societal norms, but just as an observational approach. That's merely what I meant about "living human lives." I'm saying from the womb to the second before the grave, isn't there a way, in general, that a brain is supposed to act? It is clear to see that a brain doesn't always act in that way, and (this disorder) often causes irrationality.

If you suggest that human beings are rational beings then that kind of supposes that being rational is part of our human nature. Wouldn't you suggest that we should try to fix, in humans, that which keeps them from being rational beings (that which keeps a human being from, essentially, being human)? I'm certainly not saying that societal norms have our best interests in mind with regards to our human nature. In fact, I think in the case of Western society, it is something that is pushing us away from our rational nature and is selling the human being short (do "Just do it" and "Obey your thirst" sound familiar?).

And so when you talk about Van Gogh and Edgar Allen Poe, you are speaking as though any means are suitable to reach a desirable end. I'm perfectly happy for the truth that has come out of irrational human beings and perfectly saddened by that which hasn't (in both cases because I'm not sure there was much that could have been done at the time). But that isn't to say that we shouldn't help a person be a human as long as he is exhibiting some kind of genius (besides, as an aside, isn't the genius of Van Gogh and Poe rather subjective? ). And we also wouldn't be allowed to try to create such a situation for the purpose of genius. It is acting (or not acting) in order to take away the free will of a human being (which is far more sacred than a painting or a poem). [as a side note, it is my recollection that Van Gogh became mentally ill after he had done his work, but that's neither here nor there]

I think the major point of contention with this latest post, however, is your idea of our desires. Desire is emotionally driven, and therefore the sexual urges you feel (horny-ness, as you called it) or the specific hunger you described for a McDonalds hamburger is based in your learned emotion. These emotions are learned, and the desire that is based in these emotions cannot also be based in rational thought. Rational thought would dictate that because you haven't eaten in a while and your body is slowing down because of it, you should probably sustain yourself (not that you must wait until you are slowing down -- you can do preventitive maintenance). Emotion would tell you "I want a hamburger because that would be most satisfying." How do we know this? Because until you've ever had a hamburger you can't crave a hamburger. Also, there are plenty of people who can see a McDonalds commercial and who haven't eaten a recent meal who will not be enticed by it to go out and get a hamburger. They might have had a hamburger and didn't like it. Therefore, these emotional responses to advertisements or attractedness to another human being (or animal or whatever else people might come up with) are not based on rational thought. The possibility of creating another human life or the reason that leads you to believe that you should sustain yourself with food and water are the reasons why we ought to act in those manners. If there is pleasure that comes with these actions it is good if it is rightly ordered and bad if it isn't. You could be pleasured by sexual intercourse regardless of who it is with, but unless it is with your spouse (of the opposite sex) and with an openness to life, that pleasure is wrongly ordered. That is the difference between desire and reason.

Homosexuality, by natural law, does not achieve the possibility of life as it ought to, and is therefore evil. The desire to have homosexual relations is disordered because it is something based on emotion and not reason. This is different than having a genetic predisposition to sexual attraction to the same sex. You can have that attraction and still come to the reasonable conclusion that acting on that attraction does not fulfill the intention of the act. The intention of the act should not be for pleasure, though the pleasure of committing the act in the right situation should not be considered a guilty pleasure.

I thank you for your suggestions for further reading and will consider them when I have some extra time.

Kiki said...

If you've made it through all these posts, here's a related article from the NYT
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/27/opinion/27allen.html