Homosexuality and Tolerance

Hello! :slight_smile: I want to start by saying that although I am no longer Catholic and have a difficult relationship with Catholicism, I will try my best to be respectful and I hope you will do the same for me.

I was raised by relatively liberal Catholic parents in a city where more than 90% of the population is Catholic. Growing up, I found it very difficult to reconcile my religion with my love of science (big bang, evolution, etc.), and eventually found that I had to choose one above the other. I chose science, and drifted away from religion for ages before I finally called myself Agnostic.

I’m also a lesbian and I hope to marry a woman through the government someday. As a child, people outside of my family indirectly taught me that homosexuality was a sin. It made self acceptance extremely difficult as well as caused resentment towards Christianity. I’ve also found that nearly all Catholic people are prejudiced when it comes to the gay community, and overall it has severely impacted my respect for organized religion. It’s very difficult for me to appreciate my Catholic background when its primary contributions to my life were oppression and self-hatred. But over time, I’ve gotten tired of instinctively judging people for believing something I don’t, and I want to stop being prejudiced towards Catholic people.

So that’s why I am here. I want to learn more about Catholicism objectively and secularly so I can reduce my resentment and appreciate my Catholic roots, and there are a few of things I want to start with.
For people who are Catholic and also accepting of homosexuality, how did you come to have this opinion and how do you reconcile it with Catholic teachings?
For people who put science above the bible yet still manage to be religious, how do you balance both?

(NOTE: I am not looking to be converted to Catholicism or to be reprimanded for my sexuality, so please don’t do that. You really won’t get anywhere and it’ll only add to my negative bias.)

Thank you all! :smiley:

First, I don’t condone homosexual conduct. Just want to get that out of the way.

Having said that, welcome. I will not try to convert you.

I actually feel for somebody who has same sex attraction. I cannot imagine that it is a voluntary preference for you (in the vein of waking up and saying “gee, today I think I’ll like other girls” “gee, I think I’ll wear my blue sweater today”)

I will also tell you that my Catholic brothers and sisters who feel same sex attraction, but, despite that, make the decision to live their lives in accordance with Church teachings, have my eminent and heartfelt decision. It takes an incredible amount of sheer guts.

Since you grew up Catholic, I feel confident that you already know what the Scriptures say about the sexual behaviors that are associated with same sex attraction. I don’t know when you left the Church and don’t know how much you studied about it prior to leaving, so if you are interested in reading for yourself what the Church teaches (rather than what somebody else, including your mother, your religion teacher, or whoever else said that it teaches), please let me know and I’d be happy to provide you with a list of documents and hot links.

The one thing I will say is that typically if the Scriptures proscribe some behavior, there is generally some good reason why it was done. Murder was proscribed. If you think about it a bit, there is a reason why. Adultery was proscribed. There’s a good reason why…actually a few good reasons and they are not necessarily all what you might think. And so on. There was actually even a good reason for the dietary rules…again, it might not be quite as obvious as one would think.

The question I have for you is if you have ever thought about why homosexual conduct was proscribed in the Bible.

Again, welcome…hope you can find whatever it is that you are looking for.

usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/homosexuality/index.cfm

might help your research on church teaching?

Rene Descartes, Blaise Pascal,Gregor Mendel, Louis Pasteur, Nicolaus Copernicus, Georges Lemaitre, Alexander Fleming, Erwin Schrodinger, John Eccles, Alexis Carrel…

The Pontifical Academy of Science, Numerous Catholic Universities with excellent science departments.

From a Catholic perspective, the truths of faith and the truths of reason (including science) cannot in principle ever be opposed, because God is the ultimate Author of the book of Grace (revelation) as well as the book of Nature (philosophy and science). One ought not, therefore, choose between faith on the one hand and reason on the other, but rather one should seek to bring both faith and reason into a more fruitful collaboration.

Kaczor, Christopher ( ). The Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church (p. 24). . Kindle Edition.

Peace

The second issue, that of tolerance, depends wholly upon the subject in question and the object chosen.

People are created in the image and likeness of God. So as such they are good in themselves.

When it comes to tolerance you tolerate a good for a greater good. You don’t tolerate evil, because by tolerating it you in fact condone it.

Homosexual acts distort that image.

So we tolerate people, even those who have homosexual tendencies.

But we can never tolerate the acts themselves.

I accept homosexuality by not caring. People will love and have sexual relationships with whoever they want and its none of my business. I see no positive outcome in bothering to care. How i came to have this opinion? Well, I live in Sweden… and homosexuality is not exactly a rarity over here so i guess im used to it.

Science and religion are not to be compared imho. Religion is for ones spiritual wellbeing and the things that science can’t comprehend or explain, so why have them “fight”? The way I see it our lord created science too :rolleyes: I find it best for my own mental health to take in a moderate amount of religion and science. :thumbsup:

Welcome to the forum, and God bless you for inquiring into the truth. I suspect you believe somewhere, that a loving God would not institute a faith that promotes hatred.
And you would be right.
I encourage you to begin conversing with those who have offered some good things to read.

And please, keep in mind, that 80% of the people of the world have NO CLUE what the Catholic church teaches about this, that, or another.
And I’ll say this too: neither do cradle Catholics…lots of people are highly catechized, and truly know their faith. You will meet some here. But the average pew sitter? Not so much.

So if you have been hurt by someone in the church…I’m sorry.
I hope you will learn what we teach and what we absolutely do not.
The church is to be the hands and feet of Christ.
He loves you.
I will not judge you.
I will pray for you.
Peace to you this evening.
pianist

I don’t hate homosexuals but I do hate that the homosexual acts that I find unnatural are shoved in my face and I’m told that I have to accept those acts as natural because THE MAJORITY of citizens around the world have determined that they are just as natural as what God created. I hate that people think that sleeping around is natural, too. I hate to have that shoved in my face because THE MAJORITY says it’s natural. I hate that our young kids (and adults) abuse alcohol and drugs and turn into people we don’t know anymore because THE MAJORITY of the world says it’s natural, everybody does it. And on and on. I’m only one little person in this world and the truth calls me in a different direction. So, I love all the people God created and I pray and pray and pray…

I would just like to add one piece of advice - judge Catholicism based on whether or not it is true. Don’t get caught up on anything that deviates from that quest.

Agree.

The big bang theory was first proposed by Catholic priest and physicist Georges Lemaitre. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang#Development

I never had any trouble reconciling science and religion. It didn’t seem to me that reconciliation was necessary. First, the bible isn’t a science book, and I don’t treat it as such. I have no problem with such theories as the big bang. Science and religion are different spheres of knowledge.

As to homosexuality, the Church does not condemn homosexuals although it’s teaching on sex insist that sex is only for marriage, and only between man and woman, because they are sexually complementary and capable of marital relations.

In fact, the Church does not treat persons as being identified somehow with their sexual predilections. That is not our identity. We are all children of God.

For a somewhat different view on sexual orientation, here is an article about the matter. The prose is rather thick, but the idea behind it is not complicated.

When the Bible means “homosexuality”, many people assume it includes SSA. That assumption is wrong. “Homosexuality” in the Bible refers to homosexual ACTS such as same-sex intercourse.

Same-sex attraction is NOT a choice. You cannot choose to like this or that. It may be genetic, it may be an acquired taste, but it is not in your control. Take chocolate for example. Some people may like chocolate bars, others not. They cannot force themselves to like or dislike that chocolate bar. They can show different reactions to chocolate, but they still can’t change what their taste preference is (even if it’s acquired, it’s not because they wanted to like it). Now, the choice here is whether they will eat the chocolate bar or not. (Hey, I’m not saying that eating chocolate is a sin, but I am just using it as an example in giving an analogy to prove that homosexual orientation is not a choice)

The Bible only mentions homosexual acts, but it also recognizes that attraction is not a choice. That’s why the homosexuality-related parts of the Bible all only include acts. There is no place in the Bible that talks about mere attraction.

On a personal side, I support LEGAL gay marriage by state, but not sacramental gay marriage by the Church. For me, the gay community is alright because I should not mind them just because of my beliefs. I may try to convince them, but if they do not get convinced, then I would still respect that. Hey, I am attracted to both sexes too. I’ve been through this dilemma, and I read the Bible to actually realize that it recognizes that it’s okay to be gay as long as there’s no gay sex.

As for your science stuff, I also believe in Evolution and the Big Bang myself. I’ve been taught in my Catholic school that science answers “How did it happen?” while religion answers “Why did it happen, for what purpose?”. In other words, the Creation may actually only be figurative, but it has many symbols as to the origins of sin and purposes of man. All that creation wants to tell us is that God is responsible for the world’s existence, that human is God’s masterpiece and that sin basically means disobedience to God. Perhaps, there was no literal Adam or Eve or the serpent, but were just used to symbolize humanity and temptation and sin.

Personally, I also love science myself. One of my main goals in life is to reconcile both science and religion. My main guideline is that science answers how the world works, while religion answers why things are the way they have been and are. Religion teaches that the world is made by God, while science mentions that the universe was made by the Big Bang. To combine science and religion we can say that “God made the world by making the Big Bang happen.” I personally believe that the literal historical part of the Bible begins with Abraham’s story and onwards.

Hi, welcome to CAF!

I’m not sure how old you are–I’m in my 40’s, have always loved science, have always been a practicing Catholic. There has never been a conflict for me.

That’s why I was taken by surprise by the idea, which has really gained traction in the last few years, that you can’t love science and religion, or you must “choose” between them. If you are in your 20’s, you’ve been more exposed to the idea of science and religion being natural enemies, like cats and dogs, LOL

Scientists, are after all, just people. They have their own subculture, and different trends and fads among them. Right now, anti-God is the current fad. In the future, this will pass, and some other fad will come and take it’s place. In the meantime, I will continue to read science books avidly and pray to God and feel no conflict whatsoever!

So, in answer to your question–I don’t need to chose, at all.

Have a great day

You know the Church’s teaching on homosexuals.

The tendencies are not a sin, but the actions are. I disagree with you, but if you have your mind set-up, what else is there to do.

I am quoting what the church says that it is morally wrong when you do this in actions; the tendencies are not a sin.

As I can perceive, you have your mind set.

There is nothing else I can do.

May God be compassionate with you.

You are at an age where you know what is right and wrong and giving into these actions are wrong.

God bless you, now.

I think you were misinformed about the Church and it’s role in science. Are you aware, for example, that the Big Bang Theory that you referred to was developed by a Catholic priest.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lema%C3%AEtre

Likewise with the theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun. That came from a Catholic cleric, Copernicus.

And that the Church developed the Scientific Method.

In fact, the suppression of the publication of Galileo’s work was that it VIOLATED the Scientific Method. Galileo hypothesized a circular orbit, so his calculations of planetary retrograde were WAY off. When a scientific model is shown to be in direct opposition to it’s own predictions, it does not get published. That was true then just as it is true in modern scientific publications. It’s called the Peer Review process.

I would encourage you to read

Fides et Ratio by Pope John Paul II
vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_15101998_fides-et-ratio_en.html

Interestingly enough. I am an engineer and have found zero conflict between Faith and Science. My wife is a Physicist and was an agnostic. But her study of cosmology actually lead to Catholicism.

If you want to know why, read this one ( warning, there is a lot of physics in this one, not super intensive, but you will need to know a LOT of physics terminology) - amazon.com/New-Proofs-Existence-God-Contributions-ebook/dp/B0045Y23UW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394121486&sr=1-1&keywords=new+proofs+for+the+existence+of+god

A literal Adam and Eve are necessary for the Dogma of Original Sin. You can read about that in Pope Pius XII writings.

Also, regarding legal homosexual unions, is something that stills contradicts Catholic teachings.

Blessings!

I’m not quite certain that this is the case. (Regarding Adam and Eve):shrug:

That there were two first humans, yes, that is definitive Church teaching. How they came about is not.

When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains either that after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which through generation is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.

Pope Pius XII - Humani Generis

It is biological science as well. There would have to be a reproducible genetic difference that would distinguish one species from another. In other words, there WERE two initial members of species *homo sapiens *that were a distinct species from their genetic predecessors. .

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