A friend recently emailed me observing that at a recent parents' weekend, a lesbian colleague announced that she had some exciting news: she and her partner were having a baby. How to react and respond? You want to be nice, friendly, supportive, affirming. THAT, of course would be the Catholic thing to do these days, right?
So what is the big deal, afterall? Live and let love. Right?
But as my friend has learned from a long and arduous process, if you actually believe in the morals you espouse, and think they are objectively true and matter, such a reaction, even feigned, is difficult and disingenuous.
People now discuss how oppressive it has been for homosexuals to have been in the closet. "I will give them partial credit," says my friend, "for you soon discover how oppressive covert attitudes and beliefs are if yours rub up against the zeitgeist."
But the problem is that there is no apparent neutral moral ground whatsoever, and if something matters, it matters. Peaceful co-existence is possible, but affirming co-existence?
My friend concludes: "From my own experience I have found that such a state is impossible to maintain along with conflicting moral beliefs."
Indeed. The affirmations of decades of happy parents with cohabitating children does not prove this wrong. It simply proves that the they were compromisers when it came to their children's behavior.
So, is there a common ground? Metaphysically, yes: we have all been created in God's image. We share a human nature, a common reality. Epistemologically, no: our understandings of that common nature and reality may have nothing in common. And today the lines of antithesis are being drawn ever more clearly.
[Hat tip to Anon.]