I should clarify my statement; I was refering to sexual desires and not all desires (such as violent ones).
This is where your paradigm differs from that of a Christian. Perhaps I can offer some insight. There are feelings/impulses/desires and then there are actions, as you’ve probably already heard. Violent desires come out of disordered anger just as lustful desires can lead to sexual sin. Sin is sin, differing only by variety. See below.
Most people who read anything about religion have heard of the Seven Deadly Sins. If you are Catholic/Christian, you will have possibly been taught about them in more depth. They are:
Gluttony (for food and drink)
Note that each of these can be experienced by a human being in the form of emotions and/or a desire. A strong pull towards or away from something. But still, as long as one takes no sinful action motivated by this, one is morally in the clear.
So it’s a matter of learning how to coexist with one’s human nature (which Catholics and many other Christians attribute to the effects of Original Sin) and make peace with these desires and drives in a way that does not lead to sin. One can’t be in denial that they exist because that’s a cop-out and can be dangerous. They can sneak out and cause more trouble than if they are addressed head-on and honestly but firmly.
In other words, if you say, “I have no lust” but then you find yourself acting out sexually and digging into an ever-deeper pit of shame, you are just as controlled by your lust as if you were a total deviant holding orgies every night.
If you say you have no gluttony for food and drink, and then you secretly binge on cheesecake, or get drunk but deny it ever happened, you are in no better position than if you routinely eat more than you should or are an admitted practicing alcoholic.
And so on. In this Christian paradigm, we recognize that these things exist and that we must deal with them, neither futilely pretending they don’t exist nor allowing them to rule us. Does that make sense? We have to live a paradox, as it were. We have this “dark side” but we are called to “live in the light” :idea:- and even to take it further than that - to be “light for the world and salt for the Earth” (which incidentally was the Gospel at yesterday’s Mass!).
And we who believe in Jesus believe his life, death and Resurrection “tipped the balance” so there’s no question of dualism, either - that the darkness is already defeated, it cannot ultimately stand against the light. We’re just living that out, hopefully on the side of the light. What we do is how we answer God’s call, hence an individual judgment. We have been given every opportunity to unite ourselves with the Resurrection, but we also have free will. We can choose darkness, but if we do, we have sealed our defeat unless we turn again to the light.
One final point - sexual sin is so intimate - the closest parallel to it would be gluttony or drunkenness - because it does involve the bodily desires that are most essential for the survival of the individual (food) and the species (sex). So one can expect the struggles in these areas to be particularly intense.
But the rest of them also involve fears of not getting one’s needs met, then being tempted to go to extremes. Fear of poverty, for example, could lead to greed. Fatigue could lead to sloth. Low self-esteem that makes one suicidially depressed could flip over into false pride when a means to esteem is discovered. Righteous anger can lead to a pattern of hostility. And so on. That is why spiritual guidance is crucial. (I made a pun! Crucial - the crux of the matter - the Cross! Wow! We have to crucify the evil so that we can be reborn. Awesome. :bowdown2: Praise be to Jesus Christ.)
I love that statement. It is very true. I am celibate as well but I do not find it hard at all to control lustful thoughts. So while this is quite simple for me, for my gay friend this is something he struggles with. He goes to confession but at times slips and manages to sin again. I tell him that we are all human and will sin but we must try not to.
It is generally harder for guys whether SSA or heterosexual to deal with temptations of the flesh. Does your friend know about Courage? If he’s going to confession, at least he’s trying. God can do amazing things. But he might like to get involved with a Courage group (the one approved by the Church - not Dignity, the pro-gay-lifestyle one). Then he would have others to encourage him and he could help them.
Beg to differ with you. It does hurt those of us who are concerned for these folks’ eternal salvation. It hurts the society which is torn apart by the “gay marriage” being forced upon those with traditional values which have never been questioned for millennia. And just try getting some polygamists to limit their “marriages” to only women who are of age. Many of them like young girls.
As for not knowing what will happen to us after we die, wouldn’t it make more sense then to err on the side of caution and not sin?
I don’t see how society is going to be torn apart by gay marriage. There are already openly gay couples everywhere, and there are also plenty of straight marriages that end in divorce.
Would I rather err on the side of caution? No. For one, how do I know if I choose the correct belief? Also, I put such a small probability on being judged to go to heaven or hell after I die it isn’t anything to worry about.
Thank you. That is a wonderful idea! I will look into that and see if I can get him to go. I’ll even attend with him if I must. :grouphug:
He really looks up to me for some reason and anything I do he tends to copy (I say this in the sweetest way possible) so now that I have become even more religious and he sees that I am changing in many ways to attempt to be a better Catholic, he is doing the same. While he can’t change the way he was born, he is slowly improving himself and his virtues. Seeing that motivates me to become even better, knowing that he will do the same. :yup:
We go to Mass together, I purchase Catholic books for him and in return he gives me spiritual music. Its very darling. The power and glory of The Lord brings close friends even closer. Our friendship bond is at another level now.
You say that like it’s a good thing. :shrug: I don’t think it’s a good trend. Obviously we are of different views on this. What about the people who are forced against their moral consciences to acknowledge “gay marriage” or face persecution?
Good luck to you, then. Seriously. I don’t mean to sound flippant. I’m wondering if you are part of the generation which has grown up under such an unprecedented level of moral relativism that indeed you have been stunted in your ability to believe there is such a thing as truth. I really do feel for younger people who have never known the blessing of the gift of faith in God.
I don’t mean to sound condescending, either. I simply can’t fathom how that would feel; to me it would feel like being adrift at sea. :sad_yes: All questions and no answers. I mean no offense. It’s just hard for me to get my mind around. It saddens me. I will pray for you. No harm, right? If God doesn’t exist, the only thing “wasted” will be my time, and it’s worth it to me. Much worse ways to “waste” it exist in this world, that’s for sure.
Runwaymodel, your friendship is such a blessing to your friend. I have had gay and lesbian friends over the years and try to be a loving witness in this way also.
And I’ve heard it said - it might have been by Fr. John Harvey (founder of Courage, who passed away with the past few weeks) that good, patient, compassionate Christian friends are very important to gay people who are often lonely in a more poignant way than lonely straight people.
That’s not, of course, a hard and fast rule. But the gay and lesbian friends I have had seem to bear out that. And the pro-gay-lifestyle folks propose one cure, widespread acceptance of the gay lifestyle, but that’s not the truly best remedy in the long run.
But I’m rambling! Just want to say, you are doing a wonderful thing and I’m sure your friend is a great friend to have too and that your friendship is mutually beneficial.
I didn’t mean to imply that I see divorce as a good thing, I certainly don’t. I was simply saying that I don’t think marriage is the same “sacred” institution it used to be.
I do see gay marriage as a positive thing. I’m not saying Catholics need to allow gay marriage. The church shouldn’t have to do something it disagrees with. I don’t see how a civil gay marriage would infringe upon a Catholic’s moral conscience within the church. As far as insulting peoples morals, nothing would be legal if only things considered moral by everyone were allowed.
If in your eyes gay people are sinning anyway, how does it harm them anymore to allow them to marry eachother?
You are correct, I don’t believe there is an ultimate truth, nor do I believe there are any consequences to our actions beyond this life. That doesn’t mean I go around stealing, killing, etc. If you met me you’d probably think I was a decent easygoing person. Most people, regardless of their religious beliefs, can agree that actions which harm other individuals on Earth are wrong. The difference essentially lies when we go beyond that and begin talking about the soul.
I am not offended by your prayers, no worries there. Up until a few years ago I myself used to pray every night to “err on the side of caution” as you put it.
You are right. Marriage isn’t as sacred as it used to be which is quite upsetting. I wish people realized what it really means to be married. Its not just some piece of paper. You marry this person FOR LIFE. No one in my family or extended family has ever been divorced and I will keep that tradition going. I do cherish the sanctity of marriage.
In my opinion, marriage should only be between a man and a women however, I believe in equal rights for gays through civil unions.
I find it very sad that you don’t believe in God. Heartbreaking…
Civil union, marriage, I don’t really care what it is called, I just feel that if a person chooses to live in a same sex relationship they should be afforded the same rights as a couple living in a heterosexual marriage.
Don’t be sad for me, I’m sure you have far more important things to worry about!
Trust me, I of all people know of many many gay couples. They are my friends and people I respect and I will 100% support civil unions because then they get all the legal rights of married couples but the sanctity of marriage remains intact.
I can’t help but to be sad. You really have no idea what you are missing out on. I don’t want to preach (but I will a little–haha). Some people turn to God and become religious when they hit rock bottom. I encountered success yet was never truly fufilled until I started going to Church again. :heaven:
This concept makes me sad also. Indeed, people don’t regard it as sacred, and that’s part of why marriages aren’t as solid as they used to be. And it’s had negative consequences that have a ripple effect across society.
Because sooner or later if gay marriage were allowed, there would follow lawsuits alleging “discrimination” against churches and parochial schools and institutions who were not “on the same page” with it. This has happened with abortion, for instance. Conscience clauses that would protect healthcare workers from having to participate in an abortion procedure are being challenged as we speak. It stinks. :mad:
I probably would find you a likeable person and we might even be friends. Not all my friends are people who believe the same way I do.
As for “actions that harm others,” there do seem to be a very basic few that all but sociopaths would agree to - like no first-degree murder of a born person (unborn and even “unwanted” infants are up for grabs with many). No stealing, and no cheating on your significant other (unless you are in an “open” relationship - and it depends on your moral code who your significant other can be and how many of them you may have at once! :eek:) See how already it gets into qualifications - but yes, there are generally some basic things.
Except for that pesky ripple effect, which is harder to determine. :shrug: But I think it’s part of the reason most religions have more specific and detailed moral codes. To try and prevent at least as much of the ripple effect of evil as possible. To make people conscious and aware of the consequences of their choices, and to provide guidelines for making the best moral choices possible.
The sins and scandals of people in the Church have had a very sad ripple effect that is hurting Catholics in the pews, for instance, and tarnishing the Church’s reputation in the eyes of the world. Some persons involved acted in ignorance (especially in the misguided moving of offending priests to other parishes where they continued to sin against children), but in other cases they simply had their priorities out of order. I choose this example specifically so that you will know that I am not trying to exempt my own faith community from accountability.
Anyway, I’ll pray for you, I’ll pray for me, I’ll pray for all of us and for our world! Peace be with you!
I’m not really clear on something, - is your friend practicing homosexuality (ie does he have a partner) or does he have same sex attraction but is living a chaste/celibate life while trying to seek purity of heart and mind?
if the first one, he is sinning… if the second one, he is not sinning and could be a good Christian… it’s not HAVING same sex attaction that’s the sin here, because like you said, it’s not always chosen. Sin is a choice. SSA is still not how God designed us to be, but it’s not a sin if the person chooses chastity and does not act on homosexual tendencies
we are all called to chastity, not only homosexuals. For example, as a heterosexual person, I am still called to abstinence before marriage. Some people like those in religious orders or the priesthood, continue practicing abstinence for the rest of their lives. This isn’t “suppressing” anything…neither does it cause as much pain or sadness as people tend to think… in fact if the person is doing this for love of God, it causes joy. I know many young people my age have sex and they think I’m missing out on something cause I’m waiting till marriage. But actually for me, the fact that I’m waiting till marriage brings me joy. And if God calls me to a religious order, which is something I am discerning, I would be open to remaining celibate for the rest of my life. Ultimately the joy that God offers is so much greater.
Also there are many things that are natural to our fallen nature which we need to “suppress” every day… for example, anger, hatred, jealousy, etc. We are not robots, we have free will. The more we strive to practice virtue, the easier it becomes. It is not difficult to live chastely for the person who relies on God’s grace to do this and who has mastered their passions.
if he tries and goes to Confession, then certainly God sees his effort and forgives him
My friend will always have same-sex attraction. He is homosexual and there is no changing that. I did mention that there were times that he gave in to lust and sinned. I understand that fornication is very wrong and I myself have had sex in the past (NOT with the same sex, to be clear), but confessed and am now living a celebate life.
I just worry for him because you and I and everyone else who is not homosexual can choose to live a chaste life until we marry or if we choose not to marry, we can entery a nunery or the priesthood, etc. But HE can’t. He can’t do any of that. As his friend I just can’t help but be heartbroken.
They could marry a person of the opposite sex in a catholic church and have all the sex they want.
I never said I don’t spend money or eat chocolate. I just do it in the manner that pleases God
There is so much not right with that sentence…It would be morally wrong if a person born a homosexual marries someone of the opposite sex so they can have “all the sex they want”. What if my friend did this? He would be cheating the poor girl from finiding a person who truly loves her, living a lie, not to mention make a joke out of marriage.
Not if he was upfront with her and she was ok with it. Especially if he had already turned to God and sought help in mending his ways
Free thinker, my heart really bleeds for you. From all your posts on his thread, I can only concluded you are a very hurting person looking for help
First of all, this is a Catholic forum and most people who join want to learn more about the faith and disuss life issues with people with similar beliefs. Why would an atheist who made it clear he does not want to follow the Catholic church bother posting here? I am not trying to make you feel unwelcome, I am simply showing you how your behaviour comes across as a cry for help
Also, I have always wondering WHY anyone would spend time telling others sex is fun and OK (outside of marriage). If it was that good, why are you spending time posting here instead of going to get more???
My theory (and don’t bother trying to get me to change it) is people who are OK with sex outside of marriage keep their business private. People who talk about how it is OK to have sex outside of marriage are really hurt over some of their past experiences. Instead of admiting their mistake and mending their ways, they are subconsciously hoping that if the whole world agrees with their choices the pain will go away