Homosexuals and celibacy

Over and over I’ve seen Christians advocate that homosexuals are to take a neutral stance, and that they are called to celibacy. I agree with them to a certain extent. Homosexuality is a sin, no doubt in my mind there, and celibacy is better than indulgence. But why do people want them celibate and not all the way heterosexual?

Why don’t more people advocate that homosexuals just stop being what they claim to be? Why not advocate that they give heterosexuality a chance? Why does hardly anybody care about ‘converting’ homosexuals and only desire to neutralize them? I hardly ever see this stance anywhere.

Yeah, some will say it’s not a choice, and that their only choices are celibacy or sin. I find this kinda hard to swallow after seeing pride parades and talking to people openly gay, they don’t even seem to want to consider heterosexuality.

Have you read the relevant part of the Catechism? That would be a good launching point for your consideration:

Chastity and homosexuality

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

I admit that I haven’t rad that part of the Catechism before. But even after reading it, my question still remains. Why the call to celibacy and not the call to heterosexuality?

First of all, homosuality is not a sin.
Homosexual activities are sinful.
Homosexuals, just like heterosexuals, are called to chastity.

It is not a sin to be a homosexual, because it is not freely chosen. The only sin involved is if they engage in homosexual activity.

You can’t make a homosexual turn heterosexual, in the same way that nobody can make you turn homosexual. You’re either attracted to a certain gender, or you’re not. It’s not a choice.

Could YOU be attracted to someone of the same sex? If not, why not? I’m sure homosexuals feel the same way. Also, do you think that would be fair to the people that this homosexual was trying to date in order to “try out” being straight?

Pray for a cure for homosexuality.

There are a lot of other things I think we might be better off praying for. Things like a cure for cancer, for alzheimers, and various other diseases. For world peace. For the poor, the sick, the homeless, the hungry.

Not if they didn’t just wake up one morning and say hey I choose to be heterosexual today!

again, matt,
???

The question of whether there’s some absolute determinism about sexual orientation has been discussed on other threads, btw. Science has not discovered a “gay gene.” There is no evidence of that. What there is evidence of, and has been for quite awhile (several books on this), is that male and female brains tend to be constructed differently, within a normative spectrum for a male and a (different) normative spectrum for a female. Some females and some males exhibit brain-wiring slightly, or greatly, outside the norm for their gender spectrum. However, those gender aberrations are not necessarily related to sexual orientation, preference, or behavior, and importantly, they are not determinant of it.

Sexuality is not “inborn” and “unchangeable.” Sexuality develops over time in human development, from infancy to and through adolescence. Tendencies which align themselves to attraction develop over time, depending on how those potential attractions are responded to by others, and how other (contrary) attractions are not responded to, given opportunity to flourish, etc. Sexuality is very fluid in the early stages. And just because we “can’t remember” when we “decided” (or “knew”) we “felt” heterosexual or homosexual, does not mean that therefore that orientation was definitively inborn. Our ultimate path is complex and largely unconscious. That does not mean that it is fixed, let alone inborn. Most often, what male homosexuals especially report was that they remember they were “different” as young boys. But in this country, unfortunately the “difference” becomes an artificial dividing line for sexual identity which is unnecessary and actually unfair.

Infants are essentially asexual or pan-sexual. The sexuality takes form over time – a result of validation, experimentation, and exposure. Mental health professionals who have studied homosexuality, as well as a strong percentage of male homosexuals themselves, report dissatisfaction with the father figure as one of the key elements that “formed” them into homosexuals. To me, it’s perfectly logical. In this country especially (as opposed to some other cultures), gender roles & expectations are more narrow, with expectations especially by fathers (but sometimes by mothers, too) that men behave in certain ways and do not behave in other ways. In cultures where gender roles are allowed to be more fluid, and lacking in punishment & rejection, the rate of homosexual orientation is considerably lower. I believe a poster on CAF posted the study, which I then read, but don’t have the link to it.

There was a great program on Women of Grace tonight about this very subject, as well as some of the things I have mentioned. Monica Breaux brought up a lot of the current research, as well as some of the recent admissions by the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. One of the realities that was stressed tonight was that homosexuality is a reaction sometimes to limited choices, sometimes to early experiences, and often to wounds.

All of this does not address the OP’s question, I realize. :blush: Tonight’s WOG program did address it slightly, in that, despite the popular mythology, it is possible, without mental violence, to transform someone who has adopted the gay lifestyle into a whole, integrated person who does not identify his humanness as equal with his sexuality. But the thing is, it is slow and painful. Not overnight, not spontaneous. Because underlying it all is for the person to come to understand that the non-normative sexual lifestyle he or she has chosen is a reaction to wounds. That is central to all psychology & psychiatry: recognizing the wounded roots of unhealthy behavior, and no less so in this case.

There’s 5 parts to a person: sexual, physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. A person can be a practicing homosexual (sexual) and still be a strong Catholic in regards to the other four categories I wrote. However if they made it a goal to increase one of the categories lets say spiritual it could lead to a conversion and it would balance out the five categories. God Bless!

Could YOU be attracted to someone of the same sex? If not, why not? I’m sure homosexuals feel the same way. Also, do you think that would be fair to the people that this homosexual was trying to date in order to “try out” being straight?

I’m not convinced that sexuality is carved in stone upon birth. It’s psychological, and like all other things psychological, it can be changed if one truly worked hard enough. It’s just that so few want to change, and some even take offense if you ask them to change.

And yes, this could hypothetically apply to heterosexual to homosexual transitions, it’s just that there’s no reason to do so.

First of all, homosuality is not a sin.
Homosexual activities are sinful.

You know what I meant.

Homosexuals, just like heterosexuals, are called to chastity.

Heterosexuals are called to chastity until marriage. A homosexual, who doesn’t change, will never end their call to chastity.

If you think about it, that’s pretty counterintuitive. Before hearing about the atypical ways humans are sometimes tempted to use their reproductive powers, most people, I think, assume that the attraction men have for women and vice versa is mainly a biological phenomenon which stands in no need of explanation. After all, they’ll say, the attraction toward the opposite sex is something we share with animals who may or may not have much going on psychologically. And besides, they might add, it seems like the attraction is compatible with both mental health and mental disease, whereas, if heterosexuality were a manifestation of a sound psychology, we would not expect to see it much in people with profound mental disturbance.

…and like all other things psychological, it can be changed if one truly worked hard enough.

All psychological things can be changed?! If that’s so, and if one allowed that sexual orientation is mostly psychological, then we would have to allow exceptions to this or admit that it is groundless since there are conditions that we don’t know how to change. I base that on the review undertaken by an APA taskforce which showed that, despite all the efforts researchers and clinicians have expended on eliminating homosexual attractions in clients, there is absolutely no evidence out there showing that such efforts are effective. So it might be that homosexuality is psychological and that every psychological trait is malleable, but then it is clear that no one knows how to change this particular trait.

It’s just that so few want to change, and some even take offense if you ask them to change.

It’s not quite that simple. There are many people out there who have tried to change and completely “failed.” I guess, if you have some kind of a priori belief that it’s possible to change, you’ll say they just didn’t try hard enough; so far as I can tell, though, it has very little to do with effort because the “treatments” involved are totally worthless.

Heterosexuals are called to chastity until marriage. A homosexual, who doesn’t change, will never end their call to chastity.

Minor point on terminology: everyone is called to chastity at every stage of life, but after marrying, complete abstinence is no longer a necessary ingredient of that call. Chastity is merely the virtue that deals with the right use of the reproductive faculties.

Most of the above pretty much answers the original question I think. One final point to notice that heterosexuality as it exists in fact is pretty disordered, so there’s no good reason why someone should be eager to exchange one disorder (homosexual tendencies) for another (heterosexual tendencies as they exist in the real world). So rather than wasting time and piles of money on “treatments” that have never been validated, it is much better to accept the hand you were dealt and to live a life of integrity with the help of God’s grace.

Actually, this statement betrays a common misunderstanding on what the virtue of chastity is about. Chastity is about the proper use of sexual faculties according to one’s state in life. For the single, that means one thing and for married couples, that means another thing. Still, every Christian is called to practice the virtue of chastity.

Really? If you don’t mind me asking, are you a girl or a guy?

Well I’m a girl, and there’s absolutely, positively, NO WAY IN YOU KNOW WHAT that I’d EVER EVER EVER be attracted to another girl. Haha!

Anybody who knows about animals can tell you that even animals have psychology. It might not be quite as advanced as human psychology, but it’s definitely there. If animal psychology did not exist, training them would be impossible.

Actually, it is because of what you said that I believe they can change. Heterosexuality has bilogical basis, it is the ‘default setting’ if you will. Homosexuality runs counter to this, making it a disorder to be fixed. Unfortunately, many are unwilling to even acknowledge it as a disorder, so little work gets done.

And besides, they might add, it seems like the attraction is compatible with both mental health and mental disease, whereas, if heterosexuality were a manifestation of a sound psychology, we would not expect to see it much in people with profound mental disturbance.

Simply because one lacks a lot doesn’t mean they lack everything.

Most of the above pretty much answers the original question I think. One final point to notice that heterosexuality as it exists in fact is pretty disordered, so there’s no good reason why someone should be eager to exchange one disorder (homosexual tendencies) for another (heterosexual tendencies as they exist in the real world). So rather than wasting time and piles of money on “treatments” that have never been validated, it is much better to accept the hand you were dealt and to live a life of integrity with the help of God’s grace.

A lot of good comes out of heterosexuality. It is the natural way of things, and how God intended couples to be. Simply because some have promiscuous sex doesn’t mean that heterosexuality is automatically just as bad as homosexuality. And if one had the desire to change, that implies they must have sexuals morals of some kind.

Bisexuals help my argument more than anything else. There’s a scientist, named Alfred Kinsley, the maker of the Kinsley Scale, who suggests that everybody is bisexual to a certain degree, some more than others. If he’s right, it is a choice, it’s just about trying to alter yourself to be on the heterosexual side of things rather than the straight side. Something else I’ve noticed that I find annoying about our liberal culture, gays and bisexuals use it to imply everybody has some gay in them, yet it’s rarely used to suggest gays have some straight in them. It’s also apparent both in present and in the past that in more immoral settings, more people embrace their bisexuality/homosexuality than in more moral settings. From ancient Greece and Rome, to the modern day hedonistic teenagers, and even our liberal society that encourages people to be open about their sexuality, and to experiment. So many liberals advocate experimentation to know one’s sexuality, as if it would be an atrocity to believe oneself to be straight. So, here we have in past and present straight people going gay to fit in with the crowd; why can’t it happen the other way around? The idea that people are strictly homosexual or strictly heterosexual is also a relatively recent idea.

It is not quite that easy. For when you move away from celibacy you are talking about marriage. Would it be fair for an man to try to have a “call” to marriage when he has no desire for his wife?

The same would apply to a woman with same sex attraction. It is not fair to marry someone in the effort to overcome this problem.

What I said was unfortunately ambiguous. What I meant was that, if you consider all the species of animals that reproduce sexually (gnats and slugs as wells as dogs and bunnies), you can see that some have virtually no psychology in them (gnats) while others have fairly rich psychologies (dogs). I never intended to imply that no animal has much of a mental life.

Actually, it is because of what you said that I believe they can change. Heterosexuality has bilogical basis, it is the ‘default setting’ if you will. Homosexuality runs counter to this, making it a disorder to be fixed. Unfortunately, many are unwilling to even acknowledge it as a disorder, so little work gets done.

But it’s pretty arbitrary, or at least a little strange, to conclude that someone has a psychological problem because his or her biological trait is out of whack. A priori, would it not make more sense to look first for a biological cause of atypical sexual orientations if indeed the regular sexual orientation has a biological basis?

A lot of good comes out of heterosexuality. It is the natural way of things, and how God intended couples to be.

Judging from morality, it seems like God did not intend people to be heterosexual. He intended them to be sexually attracted to exactly one person of the opposite sex and only after (or if) they were married to that person. Having a general propensity to be attracted to members of the opposite sex–note the plural construction here–is in clear contradiction to the ideal of marriage and therefore disordered.

There’s a scientist, named Alfred Kinsley, the maker of the Kinsley Scale, who suggests that everybody is bisexual to a certain degree, some more than others. If he’s right, it is a choice, it’s just about trying to alter yourself to be on the heterosexual side of things rather than the straight side.

Not sure I get what you’re saying here. Of course it’s possible to alter your behavior and to stop deliberately fantasizing about anyone, but that doesn’t have much to do with sexual orientation which is more about spontaneous reactions than about deliberate thoughts or actions. For instance, you talk about experimentation, but many really and truly heterosexual people have fooled around with same-sex partners… and haven’t turn gay. Many really and truly homosexual people have fooled around with opposite-sex partners and haven’t turn straight. But if these drastic measures don’t change sexual orientation, and if psychologists don’t have a clue how to change it, then how on earth could anyone opt for the heterosexual side of things? It seems like there are no known means for doing that, and so it doesn’t make sense, at least to me, to talk about choosing which team to play on.

You seem to think this issue is a lot simpler than it really is.

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