Saturday, June 30, 2012

More on the Morality of Homosexual Acts

On the 13th of last month, someone by the name of "Harriet" came across my post from 2008 on Proposition 8 and Homosexuality (please read that post and Part 2 for an overview of what I've already said in defense of the Catholic position). She left some comments on that post that I would like to respond to here. Her words will be indented and italicized.
Personally, I believe that there is nothing wrong with Homosexuals or Same-Sex marriage. I believe that if God made everyone exactly the way they are - I believe Jesus once said 'You created my innermost self; you knitted me together in my Mother's womb' - then God made people Gay. And if God made people Gay, then why do other people have problems with it?
Well, first of all, there's no conclusive proof yet that God "makes people gay." In other words, there's no "gay gene" that has been discovered. There's no genetic predisposition that has been definitively proven.

Secondly, even if it could be said that God makes people gay, this does not mean that he approves of gay sex acts. God makes some people with a genetic predisposition to alcoholism, but that doesn't mean that He approves of such people abusing alcohol.

God also made us with free will. This means that someone with alcoholism in his family actually has the power to refuse becoming an alcoholic. Someone with a "gay gene" actually has the power to refuse acting on his sexual orientation.

I know, I know, this seems so unfair, right? Why create someone with a gay gene and then tell him he can't act on it? The fact is, disorder, and chaos, and genetic abnormalities, and suffering and pain are not God's doing. They are the result of sin. Yet, we also know that God's grace is powerful enough to bring good out of any situation, no matter how hopeless it may seem.
Homosexuality is evident in animals such as Dolphins, Domestic Cats and Brown bears (a full list can be found here). So if Homosexuality is documented in animals and humans, then doesn't that mean God wants it to be there?
What animals do has no bearing upon this discussion. The actions of animals have no moral quality to them. Animals don't possess a spirit that was made for union with God. They don't have an intellect or a will. BUT, human beings do. Our actions DO have a moral character. We ARE made for union with God. Thus, we must be sure that our actions are in accordance with His will and His design for our bodies and our sexual faculties.

At any rate, do we really want to begin doing what the animals do? There are animals that also eat their own children, have children by multiple females, and abandon their children. Just b/c animals do it, that doesn't mean it's ok for us.
I know that there are some Bible books that are Anti-Homosexuality, such as Leviticus, but doesn't Leviticus also condemn wearing clothes made of mixed fibre, mixing seeds when planting your crops, and believe that bats are just unclean birds?
The laws regarding the eating of certain foods and ritual purity are not of the same kind as the moral laws. The moral laws communicate universal norms for all mankind. They do not change. The other laws, however, are culturally conditioned. They can and do change. The law on gay sex acts (and any other law that is one of the Ten Commandments or a derivative of the Ten) is a universal moral norm that we are bound to follow.

Beyond that, Leviticus isn't the only place where the Bible condemns gay sex acts. If my arguments in support of the Leviticus passage aren't persuasive, then just look at the other books. In them you don't have the confusion over what still applies and what doesn't. There you have simple, straight-forward condemnations of homosexual acts.

For a list of these passages, see the bottom of Part 2 from my Prop 8 debate.
I hope my views do not come across as offensive. I really don't mean to offend anyone by disagreeing with some of their views. I'm just curious.
Not a problem. I'm not offended in the least.

[From here you may proceed to Part 2 and Part 3]

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

phatcatholic,

Let me begin by saying that in your three pieces on the issue of homosexuality (the two Prop 8 articles and this one), I appreciate and respect your loving approach and gentle tone. This is an issue that hits home to many people, and showing a little love -- particularly in Christian circles -- goes a long way. I all-too-often find Christians focusing on the "Hate the sin" part at the expense of and forgetting the "but love the sinner" part.

At any rate, I do not wish to hash out arguments in favor of homosexual activity, and I do not wish to address each of your points. I do however wish to ask you to question some of your own conclusions that you've reached. I am a devout Catholic who very highly respects and tries to understand and follow the teaching authority of the Church, which is why I do not automatically agree with conclusions made by theologians in favor of gay unions. However, the intellectual part of me, which I know to be flawed, finds the arguments in favor of loving gay relationships compelling and arguments against them hardly convincing (at least as far as the six to seven Biblical "clobber" passages go -- JP2's Theology of the Body certainly makes a better case for complementarity, etc.).

Therefore, I would recommend reading a very quick pamphlet by Justin R. Cannon called "The Bible, Christianity, and Homosexuality" that covers each of the Biblical passages (you can find it for free on Google). While it's not from a Catholic perspective, and doesn't cover arguments from Tradition, it still does a good job of articulating certain misinterpretations people sometimes make of certain passages. I would be happy to share other resources with you, if you so desire.

Look, as I've mentioned, I understand the Church to be the "Pillar of Truth," as written by St. Paul to Timothy. In fact, Paul writes at length of the evil behind preaching falsehoods. So my intention is not to go against Church Teaching. Instead, my hope and ultimate desire is to live according to the Truth, with the hope that that Truth is taught by the Church. But I must confess that with examples of the Church being wrong on moral issues like slavery, on scientific issues like heliocentrism, and even on faith issues like the full humanity and full divinity of our Lord (obviously, that last one is of the early Church, but Christ's Bride nonetheless), I see our Church as something that is in constant search for the Truth, seeking ever more revelations from the Spirit, and therefore not knowing absolutely all. And so I admit that on this issue of the morality of homosexual acts, I pray for a revelation of some kind that allows the Church to reverse its teaching and affirms loving, monogamous homosexual relationships. But know that I pray even more to be able to live according to God's will, even if at the end of the day it's not what I want.

This has been a long enough reply, and if you've read up to here, thank you! But I want to leave you with one final thought I told my sister. Please do not think that by reading or considering that which I've recommended you, that you're only hurting yourself. Quite the contrary: "Even if you disagree with these points from the start and still disagree afterward, you’ll simply be strengthening your own current views. But what’s the worst that can happen? At worst (from your perspective; at best in mine), the Spirit will guide you to reconsider some views you hold. And anyway, wouldn’t you want to believe what God believes? So if the Spirit so moves you, celebrate that as a good thing. And in the case that you do not change your mind on anything, at the very least you will be able to have a better understanding of where [faithful Catholics like me are] coming from," which would strengthen dialogue in the future.

Peace,

Rich

Anonymous said...

Brad

I would like to respond to the point made about homosexual behavior in the animal world. We also see examples of polygamy, males murdering the young of their new mate, cannibalism and war between different troops. Would the people who use nature to prove homosexuality is OK approve these behaviors as well?

jac said...

Rich,
The Church can err in scientific matters, social matters, political matters.
The Church cannot err in faith and morals issues.
Slavery isn't a moral issue: During the Rome's times, there were free men and slaves who converted to the true Faith. Both worshipped. But never the Church condemned the free men for owning slaves, although many christians freed their slaves.

Anonymous said...

I pray that this soul may be awakened to the beauty of Gods creation, and stand in awe and wonder rather than behaving like Gods equal and considering himself able to sit in judgement on Gods behalf. Arrogant, egotistical, and disrespectful to God to say the very least!!!
Read the words of Jesus Matthew 6 Vs 14 & 15. and find something human and useful to do with your life!

Anonymous said...

Your comments do not accurately state the author's post nor the teaching of The Church. A sin is a sin. Calling an action a sin is not the same as judging someone's soul.

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