Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ouch, with responsory

After reading through a lot of the unpleasant things which evoked my previous post, I was trolling through the dials on the TV and bumped into "The A List." Sorta like making the case for Black equality and then tuning into a hip hop event in a prison. Or for women's suffrage, and then watching The View.

I was not arguing against the Catholic case on its own terms. As I've said, it is an inverted pyramid, if you will, and if you make an exception to the fundamental axiom, the whole thing will deconstruct.

But what has irked me  --yeah, I do get irked-- is the "don't let your disability define you" approach. In their wish to separate the sin from the sinner (necessary and fine in principle), they tell people of homosexual orientation not to make that a big part of their personal identity. Just consider "same sex attraction" an ancillary disordered desire, like gambling or drinking or stealing.  For example:
We do not doubt that many gays and lesbians-perhaps especially those who seek the blessing of our religious communities-believe that theirs is the only form of love, understood as affection and erotic satisfaction, of which they are capable. Nor do we doubt that they have found in such relationships something of great personal significance, since even a distorted love retains traces of love's grandeur. Where there is love in morally disordered relationships we do not censure the love. We censure the form in which that love seeks expression. To those who say that this disordered behavior is so much at the core of their being that the person cannot be (and should not be) distinguished from the behavior, we can only respond that we earnestly hope they are wrong.
But then, especially with JPII's "theology of the body", they tell normal men and women that their capacity for sacramental marital communion is their great vocation, that "opposite sex attraction" is constitutive not only of their personal identity as men, as women, --manhood and womanhood are classically defined, partly but significantly, out of their mutual desire for each other--but the necessary gendered material for their Catholic and Christian destiny. Celibates, of course, share in this pattern by offering this noble gift in sacrifice.

So what is it? Is the sexual drive basic to human identity or is it like a twitch? If you want to maximize hetero eros, its kinda hard to take you seriously when you want to minimize homo eros.

Now I have always known people who have a homosexual orientation who do not wish to identify as "gay", or even make their homoerotic life known to their family and friends. That's their own choice, for their own reasons, some of which Ex Cathedra understands and some of which he doesn't. But again, that is their own choice, not the "pastoral strategy" of people who consider homosexuality nothing but a deformity. There's a lot of room between being a drag-nun Sister of Perpetual Indulgence and a cringing penitent at a Courage meeting.

One of the complaints of straight people is that they don't make a big deal about being straight all the time, so why do gays have to be "coming out" and being so public? As I have said before, they are like fish in water, unconscious of how massively and constantly culture and society have broadcast heterosexuality, both as assumption and as model. And I have no beef with that at all. Sex is fundamental reality and heterosexuality is essential and normative. The oft-condescended to "Victorian prudery" was not a diminishment of sex, but its repression, which took enormous and constant energy. It was as present then by its absence as it is now in our culture by its abundance. In order not to think about sex all the time, you have to be thinking about not thinking about sex all the time all the time.

Which is why, for many people whose erotic drive is for their own sex, it is also a fundamental reality.


4 comments:

Leah said...

The average hetero person is proclaiming their sexuality openly and proudly on a daily basis - especially if one is married with children. It's out there in front of everyone's nose.
So for a homosexual to simply drop a comment here and there may seem like an affront and 'shoving it in our faces' it really isn't - unless the person is one of those obnoxious victim types who really is.

Anonymous said...

If one is going to maintain that sexuality is part of one's God-ordained sacred vocation, and also maintain that homosexuality is a sin, then it seems to me that one would have to conclude either that

a) nobody is really homosexual (perhaps they think that)

or b) homos are some strange sort of people that weren't created by God.

--Nathan

USMaleSF said...

What creates a new problem for the old morality is the contemporary idea that same sex orientation creates a personal identity. Old morality saw all kinds of sex as activities, not constituents of identity. When modern romance entered into marriage, they tried to adapt that and sanctify it into something identity shaping. But then what to do with the homos?

Hence the resistance to encouraging homos to make sexual desire into an element of identity.

So, in a way, while there are people with homosexual desires, you're right, there are no homosexuals.

USMaleSF said...

As for whether God created them, as long as you avoid the homosexual as a kind of person, it's not more problematic than any other "ontic evil", being born blind or deaf or without a limb, etc.

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