Monday, March 30, 2009


Being opposed to changing the definition of marriage so that it makes gender irrelevant does not mean that you hate homosexuals. Some gays, including most who have a public voice, equate opposition to gay marriage and hatred of homosexuals, aka homophobia.

I am opposed to affirmative action on the basis of race (or anything else) and to slavery reparations for blacks. You can say that makes me a racist. Go ahead. As I have said, neither that word nor the preceding one (homophobia) has much meaning to me.

A lot of this comes down to "If you don't agree with me and give me what I want, you are evil."



Been wandering through some Vatican II-loving Catholic blogs. God, do these folks never catch on? Same old same old routines and demands and dusty ideas of "renewal", wanting to turn Roman Catholicism into the Episcopal Church and stamping their feet because it doesn't seem to want to. Dudes. 1968 was a long time ago. Give it up. You can't make Catholicism be whatever you want it to be. You lost.


Found an old article by a Catholic theologian, taking on another Catholic theologian about homosexuality. Pretty bright, pretty civil. The writer is traditional and after doing an assessment of the various arguments pro and con, asks a interesting question: how can specifically homosexual sex acts be said to support the goals of the Catholic tradition?

Leads me to wonder about how any sexual act except penile-vaginal intercourse with ejaculation, performed by a married man and woman, could support those goals? Which raises the question of what constitutes a sexual, as opposed to a non-sexual, act? The Bill Clinton problem: when is sex sex?

So, if a married couple starts in, kissing and stroking and rubbing. And then it moves to lots of skin-on-skin contact. And then genital contact. Oral sex, say, the woman on the man. Is the oral sex wrong? What if it's stimulation without ejaculation? Does it then become foreplay, like kissing and ok? Or is it a sin? What if the man ejaculates and then after his recovery, has penile-vaginal intercourse?


The traditional theologian notes the current Catholic morality rejects homosexual sex because it is forbidden by positive divine law, does not fulfill the requirements of natural law, breaks the gender complementarity of the act of sexual love and is not a genuine communion of self-giving persons.

We all know, I think, that marital intercourse can be an act of communion, giving and generativity. And it can be an act of disconnected duty, selfishness and manipulation. Its "saving grace" is that even in the second case, a human being can be conceived. (Hence the medieval opinion that rape -praeter naturam- is less evil than masturbation -contra naturam-, because it least in rape the aim of nature is achieved, despite the illict mode.)

The traditional theologian, even if he grants that in a particular instance sex between two men can be subjectively experienced by them as intimate communion, self-giving, even a moment divine grace --and it can, I'm here to tell you-- he does not see how the acts themselves can be read in this way. I guess we are talking here not of the kissing, the caressing, etc. as much as of those activities where there is penetration and/or ejaculation.

That's where the primary problem lies, I suspect. Where it's always been.

Even if a lot of people have found sexual intercourse between man and woman vulgar or dangerous or impure or animalistic, no one seems to find it unnatural. No one says that it is degrading to the man as a man, or denaturing to the woman.

Especially in male-male sex, the very acts place at least one of the males' nature in question.
Male sex with a woman can be situationally turned into an act of humiliation, but it is not thought to be so in itself...except insofar as women, being thought very widely to be inferior to men, are naturally secondary to him.

But for a man to be on the receiving end of anal sex or on the oral end of oral sex has been very widely thought to be a kind of humiliation specifically of his maleness. After all, who is in that position by nature? Women.

Even in societies where male-male sex is condoned, it is almost universally the case that it is arranged on an age-grade or another hierachical gradation.


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