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(Thomas Rowlandson. The Fencing Duel. Source)
Note: This article doesn't make much sense in itself. It's more of a catch-all for responses to arguments I hear during debates about homosexual attractions. Also, you should first read: A Reading List for Persons With Same-Sex Attractions.
1) "I'm gay or lesbian, not homosexual"
2) "I'm a practicing Christian too"
3) "How dare you refuse the status of family to a loving, caring, same-gender couple?"
4) "Being gay is absolutely normal"
5) "Same-gender marriages won't have an impact on other marriages"
6) "Same-gender marriage is law in Canada today"
7) "Sodomy is not the same thing as homosexuality!"
8) "The Church itself teaches that we are born homosexual!"
In any debate, one of the first problems is often "what label do we use"? And often, the choice of that label can be very contentious, since in a way, the mere act of accepting a label can be considered a surrender.
For example, in the current war in Iraq, what do you call an Iraq citizen who shoots a foreign soldier, who is occupying Iraq without a mandate from the United Nations? Some use the label "unlawful combatant" or "terrorist". Others use the label "defender of the Motherland"! So then, who is right? Well, to find out, we need to talk! So some level of terminological discomfort is probably inevitable.
I use the shorthand "homosexual person" as a synonym of "person who feels homosexual attractions". It has the advantage of being well-known, so people understand what it means. It also has the advantage of being factual, since persons who never feel homosexual attractions never call themselves "gay", or "lesbian", etc.
Notice also that I try to always use the word "person" after the word "homosexual", to show that our genital organs and our sexual desires are not the most important part of ourselves. If someone forced me to chose between keeping my sexual desires, or keeping my reason and free-will, I'd tell him to take my sexual desires. My identity is first of all being a human person. Racoons, dogs, even toads have sexual desires, but they don't have reason and free-will.
The human person, made in the image and likeness of God, can hardly be
adequately described by a reductionist reference to his or her sexual
orientation. [...] Today, the Church provides a badly needed context for the
care of the human person when She refuses to consider the person as a
"heterosexual" or a "homosexual" and insists that every person has a
fundamental Identity: the creature of God, and by grace, His child and heir to
[Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, #16]
OK, so you go to church every Sunday. So do my shoes. (And sometimes my shoes look like good Christians compared to me! But that is before they walk me over to the Confessional.) We all know there are all kinds of people out there who claim to be Christian, and who behave in ways incompatible with the teachings of Christ. (Should I mention some examples? George Bush maybe?)
Anyway, if you pray, read the Bible, go to church and try to follow Christ, I can only encourage you to continue! That being said, Christ taught that if we really love Him, we will respect His commandments [Rm 13:9-10; 1Co 7:19; Jas 2:10; 1Jn:2-3; etc.]. And of course, Christ also taught the inerrance of the Word of God.
Do you know who raised me? Not my Dad, he was absent most of my life. I was raised by a "loving, caring, same-gender couple": my mother and grandmother. Was that my family? Of course! Did my mother love my grandmother? Of course! My grandmother, on her deathbed, held on to my Mom with one hand, and my Aunt with the other. My Mom didn't enjoy seeing her mother go, because she loved her very much. And of course my grandmother loved my mother very much too. (And of course they both love me, which obviously proves that they are true martyrs of the Faith! ;-)
Now, did my mother copulate with my grandmother? Of course not! "Love" is not the same thing as "copulation"! In fact, true love is much, much bigger and more beautiful than any emotion, no matter how sweet and enjoyable that emotion. See Vive La Différence Between Charity And Emotions Of Love!
Unfortunately, there is such a thing as "gay propaganda", and that propaganda claims that Catholics are opposed to friendship and love. While I'm sure you can find bad people who claim to be "Catholic" and who are against friendship and love, I guarantee you won't find any support for such errors in the official teachings of the Catholic Church.
The question is not whether love and friendship are good, but whether sodomy and other homosexual acts are good, and if they are good, whether they should be legally glorified and socially encouraged. This brings us back to the same old topic of: What is Morality? In other words, we have to study what makes an act good or bad. It can be proven that homosexual acts, because they are deprived of their essential and indispensable finality, are bad.
Before you jump up and down, remember that the Catholic Church, for exactly the same reasons, condemns masturbation as being against nature. It is something done with genital organs, and it can be done by two people, but it is something essentially unrelated to human reproduction. The reasons used to condemn the contraceptive pill are also very similar. In all those cases, sexuality is taken out of its indispensable context, and used for the wrong reason and in the wrong way.
Well, in a way, I agree with you, since one of the meanings of "gay" is "keenly alive and exuberant: having or inducing high spirits, for example: 'a bird's gay spring song'" [Merriam-Webster, 11th Ed.]. In that sense, I'm usually gay every morning (for some reason I tend to be a bit blue around suppertime).
But you are probably trying to talk about "sodomy", which the same dictionary defines as "anal copulation with a member of the same or opposite sex". Is sodomy normal? I'm not a physician, so let's listen to someone who is:
Genital-anal intercourse is the sex act most often associated with the gay lifestyle. It is an accepted norm among essentially all gays, yet it is unhealthy, it is unnatural, and most people consider it to be offensive.
Anal sex is unhealthy. Aside from sexually transmitted diseases, these acts lead to many other medical conditions including the Gay Bowel Syndrome, hepatitis A, unusual infections of the epididymis, and other disorders of the anus and surrounding muscles such as fissures. Homosexuals who practice anal intercourse are as much as eighty-four times more likely to develop anal cancer than the general population.
Anal sex is unnatural. It obviously is traumatic to the anus, which simply is not made to accomodate the male organ. Not only does the anus have no natural lubrication, but it is clearly the wrong size for genital contact. As evidence of this, consider the difference in size of the speculum and the anoscope. The speculum, which the physician places inside the woman during a gynecologic exam, is roughly the size and shape of the erect male organ. The anoscope, used to examine the anus, is half the diameter of the speculum - more similar in size to an adult forefinger. [...]
Most non-gays consider anal sex to be offensive. This issue is a matter of opinion and is based primarily on whether or not a person is repulsed by feces. The act of anal sex is analogous to cleaning a soiled bedpan with one's bare hands - direct contact with excrement, or the repository through which it has recently passed - and therefore is reasonably considered offensive. [...]
Anal sex is on the level of drinking through one's nose. Given adequate
preparation it can be done, but it is hardly nature's way. Anal sex
is not normal and healthy - not for homosexuals, heterosexuals or anyone
else - nor is there justification for the charge of 'homophobia' simply
for holding such a reasonable opinion.
[WETZEL, Richard, MD. Sexual Wisdom, Ann Arbour, MI, Proctor Publications, 2000. chap. 10, p. 145-147]
Maybe this Wetzel guy is totally wrong, but if so, somebody will need to do some explaining to me. He seems to be stating facts (and the original book has many footnotes leading to scientific studies to support his claims).
If you kick your dog, will you hurt your dog? Yes, of course! But why? Because your dog is a material being, and your boot is a material being too. So when your boot travels at high speed toward your dog, and enters into contact with it, your dog will decelerate your boot, thereby absorbing a lot of kinetic energy, which can damage your dog's internal organs (and cause your dog to yelp).
Can same-sex unions "impact" marriages between one heman and one woman? Strictly speaking, no, since the verb "to impact" requires material beings colliding with each other, and marriage is not a material being. Marriage is a kind of society, and societies are what philosophers call "moral" beings. In other words, they are beings that exist in the wills and intelligences of men. This is a crucially important distinction.
In other words, to "have an impact" on marriage, you need to "kick" the reasons and wills of men. Here is an example. A country, to exist, must defend its borders, and to defend borders, you need more than soldiers, you need soldiers who want to fight the enemy instead of running away like cowards. So many countries give away medals to honor the bravest soldiers. In other words, countries take active measures to legally glorify behaviors required for their survival. When citizens see brave soldiers being honored, they learn that defending the homeland is essential (a "good impact" on their reasons), and they become attracted to imitating such behaviors (a "good impact" on their wills). Such actions "build up" that society, by the good influence they have on the reasons and wills of the citizens.
Now, what if a country started to give more medals for bravery, but to cowards who ran away from the enemy? Would such medals "impact" the existing heros who got medals because they were courageous? Strictly speaking, No. Would such medals prevent future brave soldiers from also getting medals? No. But honoring cowards in the same way as heros would start to destroy that society, by confusing the reasons and wills of the citizens. In other words, it would have a very harmful "moral impact". Eventually, if such harmful actions became widespread, that society would be destroyed.
Marriage is not just any relationship between human persons. It was established
by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose. No
ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists
solely between a
and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and
exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In this
way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to cooperate with God in the
procreation and upbringing of new human lives.
[Regarding Proposals To Give Legal Recognition To Unions Between Homosexual Persons, #2]
To chose someone of the same sex for one's sexual activity is to annul the rich
symbolism and meaning, not to mention the goals, of the Creator's sexual
design. Homosexual activity is not a complementary union, able to transmit
life; and so it thwarts the call to a life of that form of self-giving which
the Gospel says is the essence of Christian living. This does not mean that
homosexual persons are not often generous and giving of themselves; but when
they engage in homosexual activity they confirm within themselves a disordered
sexual inclination which is essentially self-indulgent.
[Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, #7]
Claims that same-sex "marriages" won't hurt our society can only be explained by an ignorance of the nature of society, of marriage, and of men.
Do you believe the Pope is infallible in matters of dogma and morals, when speaking ex cathedra? I assume your answer is "No". Do you believe the Canadian Parliament, or the Supreme Court of Canada, to be infallible? Hum, if you now answer "Yes", you will look silly!
Politicians are human, and they can make mistakes. Claiming that two guys who commit sodomy are equivalent to a guy and a girl who get married and make babies, is, well, a claim! Basically, politicians do not have authority over Natural Law. If the Canadian Parliament "legalized" rape, rape would still be bad, and the Canadian Parliament would be wrong. If the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Jews were subhumans and could be exterminated, the Supreme Court of Canada would be supremely unjust and irrational.
Same-sex "marriage" is a sad mistake:
There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any
way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family.
Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law.
Homosexual acts "close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed
from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can
they be approved".
[Regarding Proposals To Give Legal Recognition To Unions Between Homosexual Persons, #4]
I try hard to use words correctly. I try to define my terms well, and to chose the most precise word to signify the concept I'm trying to transmit. When I use the word "sodomy", it's not because I consider it synonymous with "homosexuality", but because I want to talk about sodomy.
Don't worry. I know sodomy is sometimes practiced between persons of opposite sex. I'm also aware that some people with same-sex attractions don't practice sodomy. I'm also well aware that some women have same-sex attractions, not just hemen.
As I explain elsewhere, the word "homosexuality" is recent, scientifically vague and moreover it's fraught with fundamental questions. The word "sodomy" on the other hand is old, well-documented, and very precise. I normally use it to bring the debate back down into reality, or because of political reasons unrelated to sexuality. On the other hand, when I want to talk about "persons who have same-sex attractions", I say exactly that!
Holy Smokes! I rarely lose debates, but that time I really thought I was totally lost! My Catechism of the Catholic Church actually says, black on white:
They do not choose their homosexual condition.
[Catéchisme de l'Église catholique, paragraph 2358, Centurion/Cerf/Fleurus-Mame, Paris, 1998.]
Then I checked on the English, French and official Latin versions of the Catechism on the Vatican web site. That sentence has dissapeared! From what I googled, the official Latin edition promulgated by Pope John Paul II on September 8, 1997 removed that sentence, because it was mistaken. Warning! Even my new French copies printed in 2005, and supposedly "New and Revised Edition", still contain that mistake! (But my more recent English copies are OK.)
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