I’ve heard it said many times, when discussing homosexuality, that possessing the homosexual proclivity (orientation) is not sinful. It is only when a homosexual acts on that proclivity that a sin is committed.
Theologically, I agree with this statement. However, I think that such statements are problematic, in that they tend to promote an indifferent attitude towards our sinful proclivities.
Jesus said that even our sinful thoughts need to be controlled, not just our actions: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Now, I think Jesus is warning against illicit fantasizing in this passage. However, it does somewhat suggest that our proclivity to sin is something we should be ashamed of. In other words, it makes no sense for a person to say, “I will never commit adultery, but I support and affirm this adulterous proclivity (orientation) that I was born with.”
If you are truly a repentant sinner, you will not only hate your sin but also your proclivity to sin. If I am gambler, I must not only hate the sin of gambling, but also the desire to gamble that is in me. I must do everything I can to suppress it and overcome it.
It’s the same with homosexuality, in my opinion. Possessing the orientation may not be sinful. Nevertheless, the orientation itself (just like any other orientation to sin) is something that must be rejected by all who possess it. It is something that a homosexual should keep private, and should be ashamed of, in my opinion. When I say “ashamed”, I do not mean “despair” or “self-hatred”. I mean that it is something that a homosexual should not want anyone, except their confessor or spiritual director, to know about.
Do you agree with this?