Tuesday, April 16, 2013

None dare call it "disordered"?

Daniel Mattson, "Homosexual Orientation, or Disorientation?" (First Things, April 10, 2013):
All of us have a longing to be fully known: by ourselves, by others, and by God. Fundamental to Christian thought is this: We can only know ourselves fully when we know ourselves as we are known by God. As Gaudium et Spes teaches, “In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear. . . . Christ the new Adam . . . fully reveals man to himself and brings to light his most high calling.”

In his address on the World Day of Peace a year ago, Pope Benedict XVI wrote about this longing in all of us: “This is the fundamental question that must be asked: who is man?” In his 2012 Advent address to the Roman Curia, he tells us that the truth of mankind is found within the “blueprint of human existence.”

Questions surrounding the blueprint of human existence and the fundamental question of who man is have been much on my mind in recent months because of several essays on homosexuality published in First Things by Wesley Hill and Joshua Gonnerman. As a man who is also attracted to members of the same sex, I find much to applaud in their writing, namely their adherence to the Church’s teaching on sexual morality. Nevertheless, their embrace of a gay identity (like their claim that they are oriented to the same sex) seems, on my reading, counter to the truth of man and therefore an obstacle to authentic self-knowledge.

In Hill’s otherwise excellent essay entitled “Homosexuality and the Impatience for Joy,” he matter-of-factly uses the phrase “those of us who are gay and Christian,” which seems to be in keeping with his First Thoughts post on the label “gay Christian,” where he speaks of his sexual orientation as “being gay.” His thoughts there echo what he writes in his book, Washed and Waiting, about his adolescence: “I came to realize I was experiencing what was usually called ‘homosexuality.’ I had a homosexual orientation. I was gay.”

In an earlier essay, Hill quotes a writer familiar to readers of First Things, Eve Tushnet, who also embraces a gay identity. In the excerpt quoted by Hill, Tushnet writes, “I do think straight adults often underestimate the loneliness—and fear of even greater future loneliness—of gay Christian teens. But it’s also, of course, very easy for teenagers of any sexual orientation to have unrealistic romantic ideas in which marriage solves the problem of the self.”

Though people may describe themselves by using terms like “gay” or “queer” which are commonly used in today’s culture, as Christians who believe in man created in the image of God, we should ask if these cultural terms are, in fact, true ontological categories of the human person, in accord with the blueprint of human existence.

Gonnerman, for his part, seems to assume that these categories of the human person are foregone conclusions in several of his writings, as well as in his recent discussion of reparative therapy, in which he calls himself “a chaste man who is also gay.”

[Hat tip to JM]


Mark S. Latkovic, "A Précis of the Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality and Homosexual Acts" (Truth & Charity Forum.org, 2013).


QV said...

"... a chaste man who is also gay."

People need to do a little more serious moral theology before crafting slogans, such as the above, that smack of contradiction. Deliberately consenting to irrational desires (e.g., by entertaining them) is itself sinful and, in sexual matters, is almost always grave. What in the world does "gay" mean such that it can be construed as compatible with chastity?

"... a chaste man who also desires fornication, adultery, masturbation, sodomy, pedophilia, bestiality ..."

Pertinacious Papist said...


You make a very important point that begs to be made here. The language is ambiguous. "Gay" is probably a word we should generally avoid, since it is term used by same-sex-attracted individuals generally to identify themselves in a confused way.

If the fellow suffers from SSA but is chaste, that's one thing; but one can't have it both ways by celebrating homosexualism as a sexually-active SSA lifestyle (calling it "gay") and also identify oneself as "chaste."


I am not Spartacus said...

The answer to the problem of sodomy is to be found in the architecture of stone


and with enticing nearly nekkid women in adjacent windows.

Look, the Italians had this figured-out a long time ago. When Florence was faced the problem of an increasing number of mincing men, they hired attractive whores who wore belled hats and who salaciously strolled amongst the hordes of homos.

I find the old ways are the best ways.

We require fewer neologisms and more long-legged blondes wearing short skirts and stiletto heels.

Now, I know some might find this objectionable on a spiritual level but Pope Paul Vi - current candidate for canonisation - said that we (The Catholic Church) had the Cult of man; so, there's that.

Dark Horse said...

" ... By 1509, one writer estimated that there were some 11,565 courtesans working in Venice" (Wiki)

Yeah! Hilarius!

Anonymous said...


Are you being serious?


Robert Allen said...

Right on Spartacus. 2 of my brothers, one of whom is a homosexual, are refusing to have anything to do with me because I had the unmitigated gall to point out that sodomy is aberrant, even though I did it charitably and from the bottom of my heart. He said a few years ago 'I want to get married, meaning to the 'mincer' who led him astray, and I instinctively responded 'that's ludicrous'- he's hated me ever since. I'm a 'homophobe', 'bigot', 'religious fanatic', and 'crazy'. They are both atheists and HMC haters to boot, but, again, I'm the bad guy. My parents are also devout Catholics, but afraid to chastise him for fear of his rejection, which would be swift in coming. Nor will anyone discuss the matter with; I guess we are just supposed to pretend it doesn't exist. ('Peace peace when there is no peace.') You can't even attempt to make the moral case against homosexuality anymore without having one of the above labels slapped on you.

I am not Spartacus said...

Dear Donna. Oncet, IANS and The Bride were in Venice which is a sexy woman of a city in which the longer a couple in love vacationing stays there the younger they become.

When we arrived we were in our late 50s but within three days we were in our 30s.

Of course, it ought go without saying that anyone who vacations there will get lost; Venice is an Italian word meaning, Happily Lost.

I don't care if you have the best maps on the planet: I don't care if you have a very good sense of direction: I don't care if you have to stop and ask directions every 100 yards or so (like we did) for you still will get lost but because Venice is so dazzlingly picturesque and so seductively romantic you won;t care.

Over the more than 400 bridges and around hundreds of corners, you'll wander into some fantastic square where some beautiful Church stands patiently waiting to be explored or where some Trattoria or Cafe stands ready to serve you pastry or wine or where some incredibly voluptuous
alley inveiglingly lifts a cobblestone skirt up over her bewitching bridge, flashing a bit of sensuous canal, skillfully seducing the virgin visitor...

I'm sorry; were you talking to me?

I am not Spartacus said...

Dear Mr. Allen It is great to read your words on this wonderful Blog; it's been awhile since I have read your words here.

Kudos on your witness to the truth that always divides and sets Mother against Father and Brother against Sister and Brother against Brother etc etc.

I know it will not in any way lessen the pain Jesus dispenses as His reward for doing His will but as one who was born into a large Catholic family and has seen three of my sisters divorce and remarry and apostasise and who has had a brother apostasise and who has seen his Mother, Agatha, (named after the great woman of The Roman Canon, for Heaven's sake) defend the divorces and remarriages, I know how you must feel but Jesus taught me to give Him all of that pain back at the foot of The Cross.

I know you know all of this but I just wanted you to know that I know what you know too and it is through this shared weakness that we strengthen the bonds that bind as brothers in Christ.

Dark Horse said...


You are hilarius!!

Anonymous said...

You are exactly right. Moreover every time I hear the word “gay” to refer to homosexuals I cringe. It used to be a synonym for happy. Another thing, why oh why do people who have SSA have to tell us? Hebrews Chapter 12 is still valid. God’s grace is sufficient in all temptation.