So many things to discuss

If you were thoughtful and gay, you would. A bit about myself: I experienced a deep and powerful attraction to men starting at age 10 or 11, and it has never abated. My attraction to women is much more casual, often more like appreciation than attraction. One of my heart’s desires, no doubt, is to be in a physical relationship with a man, to build a family with another man.

It kills me that God made such relationships barren. And make no mistake: they are that way because God made them that way. God can make the world whatever way he wants. You can’t even imagine how I’ve raged at God about this, because I know in my gut that either God doesn’t exist, or God doesn’t want me to have a boyfriend. It just doesn’t make any *sense *for God to approve of gay sex but make it infertile!

More about me: I’m married now, and I have five kids. I can say with confidence I would never have married my wife if I thought homosexual activity was good and healthy. If God wanted me to take the option of marrying a man seriously, then why did he put such huge obstacles between a potential gay marriage and a family? And why are these obstacles not merely a matter of social pressure, but actually a matter of biology? :confused:

Could I have adopted? Maybe. But not in 99.9% of societies that ever existed. It just doesn’t make any sense to me that God would force gay people to adopt in order to have kids. That doesn’t explain the world, and theology is supposed to explain the world.

Several years ago, my sister needed a liver transplant (at no fault of her own; she wasn’t a drinker or anything like that). She went on to a waiting list, and spent the next two years just waiting around for an organ that would save her life. Eventually, it came. She is now healthier than ever.

The best of my knowledge, the church permits organ donation. But what happened to my sister is completely unnatural. Nature intended for her to die. Man (well, I say it was God) stepped in. An organ from a complete stranger, a totally different person, was placed inside of my sisters body, and now it sustains her.

The difference is that your sister’s sickness was an accident, “an attribute which may or may not belong to a subject, without affecting its essence” (Guthrie). The fact that I can’t have babies with Leonardo DiCaprio is no accident; it’s part of our essential nature. We can explain accidental evils by appealing to the fall. But we can’t explain the infertility of gay couples by appealing to the fall.

I know, I know. Odd comparison. My point is that God has a way of working around nature, using his children as instruments. Can my son and his husband biologically create a child together? Of course not. But they are both fully capable of creating a child. They are also both capable of adopting. For all any of us know, that little girl who was abandoned by her biological parents and left to the state was put in that position so that Jennifer and Theresa down the street could take her in and give her the life she deserves.

This is your best hope for an argument against what I’m saying. But I don’t think it works. Same-sex desire has been around as long as history, but such adoptions have been forbidden, in almost every society – even societies, like Greece, where homosexuality was everywhere. If God made gay couples so that *somebody *would adopt abandoned kids, you would expect God to have allowed it to happen before the 21st century.

Finite, I have two brief comments that I’d like to make.

Firstly, thank you for starting this thread. It’s the most thoughtful and well-expressed post on the topic of same sex attraction that I’ve read on these forums (and I’ve read a lot of them).

Secondly, I’d like to say that I too disagree with the message of the Bible and the teaching of the Church with respect to gay people. I have many gay friends, both female and male. Faced with a choice between holding on to principles handed down to me, or deciding on principles of my own derived from my life-experience and from empathy with others, I’m glad to say that I chose the latter.

But you see, you’re using whether or not a pairing or two people can make babies as the reason those with SSA shouldn’t be in a relationship. I do not feel that way. I do not think it matters. I’m not going to get into the whole “elderly couples are infertile/some men have low or non-existent sperm counts/some women simply can’t reproduce” thing, because it has been beaten to death.

But the reason that argument is so frequently used – and so frequently dismissed by those against same-sex parents adopting or having a civil marriage – is because it is actually an extremely sound, albeit simple, argument. It’s simple because the arguments against those with SSA having these things are so weak. They are flimsy.

More about me: I’m married now, and I have five kids. I can say with confidence I would never have married my wife if I thought homosexual activity was good and healthy. If God wanted me to take the option of marrying a man seriously, then why did he put such huge obstacles between a potential gay marriage and a family? And why are these obstacles not merely a matter of social pressure, but actually a matter of biology? :confused:

Firstly, that is wonderful that you were able to marry the person you love. Many people take that for granted.

And again, I don’t think the fact that two men or two women can’t produce offspring between themselves is an indicator of God’s Will. We as a People do a lot of things against biology.

Could I have adopted? Maybe. But not in 99.9% of societies that ever existed. It just doesn’t make any sense to me that God would force gay people to adopt in order to have kids. That doesn’t explain the world, and theology is supposed to explain the world.

I think, rather, we would all like theology to explain the world. Some believe it already does. But, at the risk of sounding unchristian, The Bible was written in a much different time, in a world that those who called it home would find ours unrecognizable. I’ve never understood the argument "we’ve never, as a society, allowed -fill in the blank- until the last -whatever time-. As in, extending marriage to same-sex couples was never even an issue up until the very, very recent history. Of course we didn’t! Being someone who was OPEN about having SSA as recent as 50 years ago opened the door for exile from a community, violence, even death.

Now, we could argue back-and-forth that the recent surge of acceptance by society of homosexuals is fueled by “propaganda” and “politics”, but speaking from my own experiences, my acceptance didn’t come from either. It came from my experience and how I chose to use that knowledge moving forward. I personally, along with my wife, had my heart change. You took your experience (which I acknowledge is vastly different from mine) and paired it alongside your Faith, eventually leading to the life you live now (which, again, I think is wonderful). You and I have simply interpreted the knowledge and experience we gained differently.

Cont…

…Cont

The difference is that your sister’s sickness was an accident, “an attribute which may or may not belong to a subject, without affecting its essence” (Guthrie). The fact that I can’t have babies with Leonardo DiCaprio is no accident; it’s part of our essential nature. We can explain accidental evils by appealing to the fall. But we can’t explain the infertility of gay couples by appealing to the fall.

Cancer is no accident. It’s nature. It occurs naturally within our bodies. One could argue that modern diets and drug use could contribute to it, but ailments like cancer existed long before society reached the Industrial Age. We may have worsened it, but we by no means created it.

This is your best hope for an argument against what I’m saying. But I don’t think it works. Same-sex desire has been around as long as history, but such adoptions have been forbidden, in almost every society – even societies, like Greece, where homosexuality was everywhere. If God made gay couples so that *somebody *would adopt abandoned kids, you would expect God to have allowed it to happen before the 21st century.

Refer to my earlier comments about how our modern society is a completely different world than the one Jesus was born into (and died for us in).

And I am in no way saying that “God made gay couples for the sole purpose of adopting children”. Not at all. I am saying, simply, that gay couples are simply one piece of a larger puzzle.

My intention is not to demean the Bible. I know some of my comments may come across as very “Un-Catholic”, but what I say stems from my evolving beliefs and curiosities. I think we can all agree that not every single thing in the Bible can or should be applied to our modern society. It was just a different time.

But those with SSA have always existed (as you have already acknowledged). I am simply starting to doubt that God would create someone with SSA, then call them to chastity with no option to commit themselves to someone they love. I would be more inclined to believe it if, say, homosexuals only felt lust towards those of the same gender, but that’s not true. They feel love. Genuine love. I don’t doubt for a second that the love my son feels for his husband is any different than the love I feel for my wife, or the love you feel for your wife.

I’ve seen many people on this forum comment that “homosexuals don’t really love each other”. I think that is such an arrogant and presumptuous thing to say. Who are we to state, as “fact”, that two people we don’t even know are incapable of experiencing love for one another?

Sorry. I’ve gone off track :stuck_out_tongue:

My point is that history isn’t always the best indicator. Because something was frowned upon, or even unknown, in the past doesn’t automatically make it so in the present.


And Prodigal, I truly appreciate your candor and ability to remain civil. Too often do these conversations become angry and bitter!

Finite,

Glad to have the conversation! You seem to think that I’m just like some other posters here at CAF. I’m not. Check out my blog, if you like – it’s not standard fare among Catholics, at all. For example, I think it’s absolutely bizarre for people to say that same-sex couples don’t love each other. That makes NO sense to me. I’ve seen the love same-sex couples have for each other first hand.

Because you anticipate me holding certain views, I think, you’ve set up a number of straw-man arguments. For instance:

I don’t either. I don’t think the infertility of gay couples is a reason they shouldn’t be in a relationship. I think the *intrinsic *infertility of such couples is an indication that either (a) God doesn’t exist, or (b) God does not think sexual activity should be a part of such relationships. I laid out this argument more precisely, in response to PseuTonym:

  1. God made man and woman for each other, and made their lovemaking fruitful as a manifestation of His love for them.
  2. All healthy human couples desire their lovemaking to at least have the potential to be fruitful.
  3. If God made man and man for each other, then their sexual lovemaking would have the potential to be fruitful.
  4. Gay sexual lovemaking does not have the potential to be fruitful.
  5. Therefore, God did not make man and man for each other.

I don’t have a problem with gay people being very close and intimate with each other. I think that’s healthy. But I don’t know what sex adds to the relationship, honestly.

But the reason that argument is so frequently used – and so frequently dismissed by those against same-sex parents adopting or having a civil marriage – is because it is actually an extremely sound, albeit simple, argument. It’s simple because the arguments against those with SSA having these things are so weak. They are flimsy.

Given our modern attitude toward government and morality, they are flimsy, I agree. But then again, I think the modern attitude toward government is all wrong. I think divorce, pornography, and violent video games – to name just a few examples – should be completely forbidden by law. But with divorce laws the way they are, you’re right that opposition to gay marriage is hard to explain.

And again, I don’t think the fact that two men or two women can’t produce offspring between themselves is an indicator of God’s Will.

Why not? God is all-powerful. Facts about nature are not mistakes. :shrug:

I think, rather, we would all like theology to explain the world. Some believe it already does. But, at the risk of sounding unchristian, The Bible was written in a much different time, in a world that those who called it home would find ours unrecognizable.

Not true. I’m a scholar of the ancient world. In the New Testament Roman Empire, divorce was quite common, and children were routinely aborted or exposed. There were very few norms about sexual activity, and same-sex relationships were often celebrated, and always tolerated (except by the Jews). Both Paul, Plato, and Aristotle – among other ancient authors – said that male/male or female/female sex was “against nature”. The debates raged on the issue in just the same way that they rage now.

I’ve never understood the argument "we’ve never, as a society, allowed -fill in the blank- until the last -whatever time-. As in, extending marriage to same-sex couples was never even an issue up until the very, very recent history. Of course we didn’t! Being someone who was OPEN about having SSA as recent as 50 years ago opened the door for exile from a community, violence, even death.

This is a straw man. I’m not talking about gay marriage, and I’m certainly not saying that we should resist gay marriage simply because we always have.

Cancer is no accident. It’s nature. It occurs naturally within our bodies. One could argue that modern diets and drug use could contribute to it, but ailments like cancer existed long before society reached the Industrial Age. We may have worsened it, but we by no means created it.

I’m using a philosophical term, “accident”. An essential property is a property that one could not lose, without failing to be oneself. An accidental property is a property that might come and go. “Having cancer” is an accidental property. “Being male” or “being incapable of reproducing with another male” is an essential property.

God is the ultimate explanation of all essential properties. To deny that is to deny that God is the creator of the world. :shrug:

Accidental properties can be caused by things like human decisions, or the fall, or even random chance.

My intention is not to demean the Bible. I know some of my comments may come across as very “Un-Catholic”, but what I say stems from my evolving beliefs and curiosities. I think we can all agree that not every single thing in the Bible can or should be applied to our modern society. It was just a different time.

But I haven’t mentioned the Bible, if you’ll notice. I’m arguing like Aquinas did, purely on the basis of natural reason. Tell me which premise (1-4) is false in my argument above, and we’ll go from there.

Cont…

But those with SSA have always existed (as you have already acknowledged). I am simply starting to doubt that God would create someone with SSA, then call them to chastity with no option to commit themselves to someone they love. I would be more inclined to believe it if, say, homosexuals only felt lust towards those of the same gender, but that’s not true. They feel love. Genuine love.

I feel – and express – love for my two best friends, both of whom are male. Does this love differ from the love I have for my wife? Sometimes, sometimes not. Is it genuine love? Yes! True love is the willingness to lay down one’s life for the other. Do gay couples love? Sure they do! Do they feel about their partner the way I feel about my wife? Sure. Does this fact mean that we should respect gay relationships? Yes.

We should absolutely respect gay relationships. We should hold all friendships in awe, whether they exist between husband and wife, or between people of the same sex. If my brother were gay, and brought his partner to Thanksgiving, I would simply say, “Pass the gravy”; I would not feel it necessary to invalidate their relationship.

But none of that tells us whether sexual activity and romance is a life-giving and society-upbuilding activity, when it takes place between people of the same sex. As a Christian who is attracted to other men, I look for signs of God’s approval or disapproval of that sort of activity. All the signs I see point to no. And you haven’t brought me any new evidence, unless you could somehow convince me that two gay partners could be better adoptive parents because they have sex.

I’m open to that sort of evidence, I suppose. Any thoughts?

I misspoke, FYI. I did not mean to write “divorce” should be illegal. I meant to write “no-fault divorce” should be illegal. My bad!

Did God change His mind about the morality of homosexual acts? Or, rather, did you, and other men, invent a new God of your own making who is opposed to the God of the Bible?

Prodigal_Son, I can’t agree with you about cancer. You seem to be arguing for a distinction between essential properties which are a guide to the intentions of God’s plan, and accidental properties which are not. But if God, as Creator of the world, made humans beings to be susceptible to cancer and God created cancer in the first place, how can we be sure that this not also a guide to some part of God’s plan?

[quote=Prodigal_Son]“Being male” or “being incapable of reproducing with another male” is an essential property.
[/quote]

I agree that ‘being male’ is an essential property (using your definitions). If a man lost that property, then they would no longer be themself. But I disagree about ‘being incapable of reproducing with another male’ being an essential property. That is a limitation of human biology. But if a man somehow gained the ability to reproduce with another male, then I don’t see how that would stop them being themself. As such, I think it’s an accidental property, a consequence of their gender, but not essential to who they are.

[quote=Prodigal_Son] 1. God made man and woman for each other, and made their lovemaking fruitful as a manifestation of His love for them.
2. All healthy human couples desire their lovemaking to at least have the potential to be fruitful.
3. If God made man and man for each other, then their sexual lovemaking would have the potential to be fruitful.
. . .
Tell me which premise (1-4) is false … and we’ll go from there.
[/quote]

I don’t agree with premise 2. I expect that there are and always have been couples that do not want to have children, for a variety of reasons, and that they want to enjoy lovemaking without the consequence of pregnancy and childbirth.
I don’t agree with premise 3. You’re making a very bold assertion about God’s intentions. God may have intended for male couples (and female couples) to be together and for them to demonstrate their closeness through lovemaking, but have some intention for them other than the creation of children. God is said to have a different intention for the lives of those ‘called to chastity’, so why not for same-sex couples?

Because cancer is a deprivation. It destroys life. God can use it for good, but in itself, it is evil. Are you really prepared to say that cancer is intrinsically good? Everything God actively creates is intrinsically good.

I agree that ‘being male’ is an essential property (using your definitions). If a man lost that property, then they would no longer be themself. But I disagree about ‘being incapable of reproducing with another male’ being an essential property. That is a limitation of human biology. But if a man somehow gained the ability to reproduce with another male, then I don’t see how that would stop them being themself. As such, I think it’s an accidental property, a consequence of their gender, but not essential to who they are.

How do you imagine this would happen? Are you talking about using two sperm to make a baby, maybe with a genetically empty placeholder egg? Yes, sure, that would not make a man any less a man. But that is also not reproducing, no more than pharmaceuticals are a form of gardening.

And anyway, you say that “being incapable of reproducing with another male” is a “consequence of gender”. Wouldn’t all direct consequences of essential properties be essential properties themselves? If “5 is an odd number” is an essential property of 5, then isn’t “5 is not an even number” also an essential property?

I don’t agree with premise 2. I expect that there are and always have been couples that do not want to have children, for a variety of reasons, and that they want to enjoy lovemaking without the consequence of pregnancy and childbirth.

But that doesn’t contradict premise 2. Premise 2 says that these people (if healthy) want to be *capable *of reproducing. It doesn’t say that they want to reproduce. In sexual talk, we praise virility and fertility – and we are right to do so.

As I said earlier in this thread: The desire to be sterile, for its own sake, is a very unusual and disturbing desire. Lots of people want to be sterile for other reasons, but I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be sterile for its own sake. That would be an outright rejection of masculinity or femininity. Talk to some gay people – they usually want children, and they don’t reject being male or female.

I don’t agree with premise 3. You’re making a very bold assertion about God’s intentions. God may have intended for male couples (and female couples) to be together and for them to demonstrate their closeness through lovemaking, but have some intention for them other than the creation of children. God is said to have a different intention for the lives of those ‘called to chastity’, so why not for same-sex couples?

Then the question becomes: how does sex help same-sex couples accomplish this intention? It’s obvious the many good purposes that God might have for close male friends, or for close female friends. What’s not obvious is what SEX has to do with those intimacies.

For the record, I had a gay uncle who was a wonderful person and who has passed away. My father was raised catholic and he was very much against my gay uncle coming to visit us. He and my mother, it was her brother, fought over it until they came to a compromise. Uncle could visit, but not show any romantic affection in front of us kids and he couldn’t spend the night at our house if his partner was with him. If the two came to visit together, Uncles partner was to be referred to as his friend and they had to stay at a hotel.

When my mother died, my father basically cut our uncle completely out of our lives. I only recently learned of his loss in searching for him and I am deeply disturbed by the fact that I missed those years with him and never got to say goodbye. I am also saddened that my siblings, who are much younger, never got to know him. He was a truly good man. I applaud you for making your son and his husband welcome in your home and I hope his siblings and their children will love him dearly.

My dear uncle would have died alone across the country from his only family were it not for his partner, who nursed him through the years until he passed. I am grateful for that mans presence in his life. God bless him, he showed my uncle such love during his years of illness when no one else did.

Also, I am divorced and remarried and I have not the strength to carry the cross of chastity until I receive an annulment (no way the marriage was valid) and can have my marriage convalidated. I have much sympathy and empathy for those called to carry the cross and who fail. I am one of them.

Yes, as was mentioned earlier in another post by Finite, heterosexuals and bisexuals have an out in the form of marriage that homosexuals do not. But not everyone can take advantage of that out and those people are also supposed to act in a moral manner by refraining from acting on their desires. There are people that never meet a mate and are celibate for life. There are others who have married and divorced and who remain chaste unless they receive annulment. Some will receive annulment and some will not. Those who do not are to remain chaste until either they die or their former spouse dies. So, it’s not just gay folks and those who enter religious life who have to carry that cross for either an extended period of time or their whole lives.

The fact that cancer is naturally occurring doesn’t change the fact that cancerous cells aren’t supposed to be there. Those little cancerous cells are something that has gone wrong. As it was explained to me, when something in the body has gone wrong it is morally right to correct the problem if possible. So, if Finite’s sister had liver cancer, something went wrong in her body and a doctor was (thankfully and by the grace of God) able to fix it via liver transplant and whatever other therapy was needed. No moral debate there.

Now, take a person with SSA. This person also has something wrong with their body (I believe sexual attraction is determined by hormone levels while in utero, genetics, or a combination of the two) and this person is inclined to act in an unnatural way by wanting to have romantic and sexual relationships with those of their own sex. Unfortunately, we have no way to “fix” this for such people and I’m not even sure we should if we could. Which means that the only moral solution is for those persons to refrain from acting on their desires and find fulfillment in other ways. Some people simply aren’t capable of that and those should be loved and prayed for.

I am curious, Prodigal, about your statement “The desire to be sterile, for its own sake, is a very unusual and disturbing desire. Lots of people want to be sterile for other reasons, but I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be sterile for its own sake. That would be an outright rejection of masculinity or femininity.”

I know a lot of younger to middle aged couples and individuals of both sexes who desire and have achieved sterility simply because they have no desire to reproduce or raise a child. An easy example is R. She simply doesn’t want to experience pregnancy or raise a baby. She is educated, owns her own home free and clear (at just under 30, no less!) and has recently married. Her husband, K, is well aware that children aren’t part of the deal and he is totally on board with the no Baby on Board life. He claims to also not want children.

Now, I know R is serious because she became pregnant and had an abortion (K knows and is ok with it), so I don’t think it’s a matter of she’ll/they’ll change her/their mind later or that they’ll want kids when their lives are stable because they already are stable. I see this more and more. People who simply don’t want kids and are serious about it. They want to be/have been physically sterilized to prevent accidental pregnancy without ever having reproduced.

My questions are why do you find this disturbing and why do you believe it is a rejection of masculinity and femininity when these people seem to embrace their gender while not wanting to have babies?

The people you describe don’t want to be sterile for its own sake. They want to be sterile because, say, they want a peaceful life, or they don’t want to care for kids, or they think they wouldn’t be good parents, or they lack income, etc. The person who wants to be sterile for its own sake simply wants their reproductive system not to function properly, without having any extrinsic reason. There’s nothing “in it” for them.

Pretty much everyone I’ve talked to likes being fertile in itself. It is a power. Wanting not to be fertile, for its own sake, is like wanting not to hear, or wanting not to see. It’s unnatural to desire such a thing. It would be highly disturbing to me to hear about a priest or a celibate who wanted to be impotent. I think that is profoundly unnatural, tantamount to wanting to be blind.

In that case, I have never met anyone who wanted to be sterile for it’s own sake. Every one of us wanted to be sterile because we did not want children or already had children and did not want more.

We know that blind and deaf people, for example, experience heightened senses. Blind people are often more sensitive to scent, smell, sound and touch. They experience the world more fully than those with sight in some ways. I imagine deaf people are more sensitive to vibration and probably notice much more than we typically do when watching the world. I don’t think wanting to be blind or deaf would be unnatural if the person with such a desire wanted to be blind or deaf to experience the heightened senses. I do agree that wanting to be blind or deaf for it’s own sake would be a bit…odd.

Thanks for the brief discussion. I’m not trying to derail the thread. I just happened to see a comment that made me think. As a SAHM I need all the mental stim I can get! :slight_smile:

I understood this better when it was explained to me more like this: things have functions, like our eyes are made to see, right? If the thing doesn’t work, if one cannot see well, for example, then this is a deficiency in the function of my eye, or a lack of health. However, if the reason I can’t see well is that I keep putting belladonna into my eyes, then my eyes are all right, but I am doing something wrong to them.

Now, cancer is a problem with health, because the body is supposed to work in a certain way, and cancer is not the way it is supposed to work. It is not God Who made us susceptible to cancer but ourselves, or more specifically, the entrance of sin into the world made the world stop functioning in its ideal way. So, a person does not have cancer as a result of *his own *sin, but as a result of the entry of sin into the world. This is *not *a part of God’s ideal plan or perfect will but a part of His permissive will.

I agree that ‘being male’ is an essential property (using your definitions). If a man lost that property, then they would no longer be themself. But I disagree about ‘being incapable of reproducing with another male’ being an essential property. That is a limitation of human biology. But if a man somehow gained the ability to reproduce with another male, then I don’t see how that would stop them being themself. As such, I think it’s an accidental property, a consequence of their gender, but not essential to who they are.

The way procreation is supposed to work, the way God created it to work, is that two members of the opposite sex come together and reproduce. Reproduction is the function of the union between their reproductive systems.

So we can see from the way God designed our bodies that reproduction requires one each of the opposite sexes, and that reproduction is what the particular organs involved are for.

It may be that a man and a woman won’t be able to have children, due to some individual characteristics but *not *due to the natures. Men have the nature of being able to be fathers, women have the nature of being able to be mothers. The two are complementary.

Thus, two members of the *same *sex cannot *by their nature *reproduce. They don’t have the functionality for reproduction. This is not an individual problem but a problem related to how God designed them–they just don’t have the parts necessary for reproduction. This is a limitation of biology in the same way that not being able to hear with our eyes or walk with our noses or digest with our hearts are “limitations of our biology.”

I don’t agree with premise 2. I expect that there are and always have been couples that do not want to have children, for a variety of reasons, and that they want to enjoy lovemaking without the consequence of pregnancy and childbirth.
I don’t agree with premise 3. You’re making a very bold assertion about God’s intentions. God may have intended for male couples (and female couples) to be together and for them to demonstrate their closeness through lovemaking, but have some intention for them other than the creation of children. God is said to have a different intention for the lives of those ‘called to chastity’, so why not for same-sex couples?

WRT premise 3, it is inherent is the way God designed men and women. The organs are for reproduction. Sexual pleasure is an inherent feature for humans, but it is not the primary purpose of the organs. So when people use their reproductive organs in a way that is not in accord with their design, then they are misusing them.

Imagine that I hated the smell of gasoline, so I refused to put it in my car. Instead, I put rose water, because that smells so much nicer. Would that make any sense? Would my car run if I pumped rose water into it instead of gasoline?

And the same sort of thing that happens when one uses a product out of alignment with what the designer of the car designed for it, so misusing one’s reproductive organs also causes disruption. Homosexuals of both sexes have health problems owing to using them in a way for which they were not designed.

**All **who are not married (heterosexual marriage) are called to chasity, including homosexuals. There is no evading this by saying, well, maybe some people who are not married to a person with whom they can by nature reproduce can still will to share sexual pleasure and not sin. It is simply not the case that some unmarried people are called to chastity and others are not as you propose.

[quote=St Francis]The organs are for reproduction. Sexual pleasure is an inherent feature for humans, but it is not the primary purpose of the organs. So when people use their reproductive organs in a way that is not in accord with their design, then they are misusing them.
[/quote]

If an organ has more than one purpose, how do you determine what is the ‘primary’ purpose? Why do you think that using it for a secondary purpose is to misuse it?

Ears allow people to hear sounds and are also used for balance. Which is the primary purpose? Am I misusing them in one way or the other if I hear sounds whilst keeping my balance?

If you see people using an organ for a certain purpose, and notice that their using it for this purpose leads to broken relationships, divorce, single parenting, violence, hatred, bitterness, child abuse, loneliness, jealousy, and the like, you can pretty much be sure that this purpose is NOT the actual function of the organ.

Having sex primarily for the purpose of pleasure is highly destructive, and therefore not the God-given function of the sexual organs.

My parents have a car which both gets them places and is comfortable. Which do you think was the designer’s *primary *purpose?

Ears allow people to hear sounds and are also used for balance. Which is the primary purpose? Am I misusing them in one way or the other if I hear sounds whilst keeping my balance?
If a person has balance trouble, that too is an indication of a problem with the ears, isn’t it?

Consider our digestive organs. We eat to nourish ourselves, but we also get pleasure from eating. But some people don’t–ai know a woman who lost her sense of smell and as a result, could no longer *enjoy *her food as she once had, but she continued to eat because it was still necessary to eat.

And consider too what we think of people who eat only for pleasure, long past the point of nourishment.

This thread appears to have derailed a bit, so instead of responding to each statement I’m just going to make a general statement.

Firstly, as I’ve stated again and again, my goal is not to encourage my son to live chastely. I am not looking to end his marriage.

Now, I’m well aware of the Church’s teachings on this. I am also aware that many here don’t consider my son to be in a “real” marriage (hence the constant need to type “marriage” instead of, simply, marriage). But I do. Both the Federal Government and the State in which he resides consider it a marriage. A civil marriage. That said, I also believe that God approves of the Union.

And that is one of the many beliefs I have that contradict the Church. I do not believe that my son and his husband sinned when they entered into this marriage. As for sex…well, once again, I’d prefer not to think about what my son does in the bedroom, but that isn’t because he is homosexual; I feel the same way about about my other sons and their wives.

I know the teachings on sodomy…I simply have begun to question them. While I concede that two men having sex is not what was “biologically intended”, I don’t think that is enough to condemn it on its own merits. I think two men or two women having sex is natural to the homosexual. It is simply a way they express their love and passion for one another.

I know that my beliefs completely go against the catholic beliefs I had come to embrace, but again, that’s the whole point. I don’t think this situation is some sort of “test of my faith”. The more time that goes by, the more I find myself disagreeing with my former beliefs.

I simply can’t believe that God would allow someone to have SSA, make it impossible to “flip a switch” on their sexuality, then place the same rules upon them that are given to everyone else. As I stated in an earlier post:

Person A is heterosexual. He is called to chastity like everyone is, until he marries.

Person B is homosexual. He is called to chastity like everyone is, until he marries…which he cannot do, because he lacks the romantic and sexual attraction to the opposite sex, so he just has to remain chaste.

It just doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t feel homosexuality is a cross to bear, and it is in no way similar to carrying alcoholism, porn addiction, and chronic masturbation as a cross.
All of those people have an option. They are given a choice. They can overcome their perceived “weakness” and continue through life as if it never was. But a homosexual is expected to just keep carrying that cross and is told they’re actually lucky - chastity makes them closer to God.

It doesn’t seem right to me. A homosexual person is told their is but one path to take. Someone who drinks, for example, has multiple paths. They have options.

The God I pray to works in mysterious ways, and I truly believe that. But I’ve never felt that He is a cruel God.

So, as of now, I’m not sure where I stand with the Church. I haven’t taken communion in a very long time because I have acknowledged to myself that doing so would be dishonest. But loving and supporting my son, I am told, is sinful (granted, not everyone says this, but enough do).

I could never tell my son that he could not bring his husband to a family get-together, and I could never insist that he refer to his spouse as just “his friend”. That would be dishonest. Sure, they’re friends, but let’s not kid ourselves here: they’re a couple. I’ve seen many posters here claim that two people of the same gender who are a couple aren’t really a couple (that never made sense to me). I’ve seen many posters say that the love they feel for one another isn’t really love, which is odd considering my sons marriage is much more stable and loving than many other married couples I’ve met.

I’m by no means trying to insult the church. That is the last thing I’d ever want to do. I love the church, but I also love my son, and I also love my son-in-law. Therein lies the problem. I love the church, but I’ve grown to disagree with it on so many levels. That is the point of this thread. I know the last thing anyone wants is for me to leave the Church, but my son, his sexuality and his partner are settled issues for me. There is no budging on that. So, what choice am I left with?

(I would also like to thank those who have participated in this thread. Contrary to what I have read on this forum in the past, you have all been extremely civil and compassionate, and for that I thank you.)

There are many people who will never have the chance to marry or have a romantic relationship: mentally disabled, epileptics, physically disabled, etc.

No one has the right to have sex or to get married, per se. If no one wants to marry me, I don’t have any claim on someone else so that I can fulfill some supposed right I have to marry, and the same goes with sex.

You can disagree with your son and still love him. You do not have to accept his views in irder to love him. Would you be questioning what the Church teaches if it weren’t for your son’s situation? Don’t let your love for him lead you away from God, Who is the loving Father of your son as well as of you.

I don’t think you have to right this minute renounce your views. God knows we are weak! But do not abandon God–keep praying to Him and talk to Him about your concerns.

I think that it is very honorable of you to continue going to Mass but abstaining from the Eucharist.

It just doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t feel homosexuality is a cross to bear, and it is in no way similar to carrying alcoholism, porn addiction, and chronic masturbation as a cross.
All of those people have an option. They are given a choice. They can overcome their perceived “weakness” and continue through life as if it never was. But a homosexual is expected to just keep carrying that cross and is told they’re actually lucky - chastity makes them closer to God.

It doesn’t seem right to me. A homosexual person is told their is but one path to take. Someone who drinks, for example, has multiple paths. They have options.

The God I pray to works in mysterious ways, and I truly believe that. But I’ve never felt that He is a cruel God.

So, as of now, I’m not sure where I stand with the Church. I haven’t taken communion in a very long time because I have acknowledged to myself that doing so would be dishonest. But loving and supporting my son, I am told, is sinful (granted, not everyone says this, but enough do).

I could never tell my son that he could not bring his husband to a family get-together, and I could never insist that he refer to his spouse as just “his friend”. That would be dishonest. Sure, they’re friends, but let’s not kid ourselves here: they’re a couple. I’ve seen many posters here claim that two people of the same gender who are a couple aren’t really a couple (that never made sense to me). I’ve seen many posters say that the love they feel for one another isn’t really love, which is odd considering my sons marriage is much more stable and loving than many other married couples I’ve met.

I’m by no means trying to insult the church. That is the last thing I’d ever want to do. I love the church, but I also love my son, and I also love my son-in-law. Therein lies the problem. I love the church, but I’ve grown to disagree with it on so many levels. That is the point of this thread. I know the last thing anyone wants is for me to leave the Church, but my son, his sexuality and his partner are settled issues for me. There is no budging on that. So, what choice am I left with?

(I would also like to thank those who have participated in this thread. Contrary to what I have read on this forum in the past, you have all been extremely civil and compassionate, and for that I thank you.)

By union, I understand you mean a union that includes a sexual element. I note you infer this conclusion about God’s approval from a belief that God is not “cruel” etc. To the best of my knowledge, there is actually no support for God’s approval of same sex sexual relations in Scripture or Church teaching. There is, however, the reverse.

I think two men or two women having sex is natural to the homosexual. It is simply a way they express their love and passion for one another.

That they desire it is in fact a considerable part of why they are called homosexual. That provides no assurance that it is moral.

I simply can’t believe that God would allow someone to have SSA, make it impossible to “flip a switch” on their sexuality, then place the same rules upon them that are given to everyone else.

This seems to be the centrepiece of your argument for why same sex relationships must be good. Paraphrased: “It would be too cruel if they were not OK”

Finite - when you look about at the world, and see the extent of disadvantage and suffering - be it naturally arising, or through man’s “efforts”, what do you conclude about God? Must he be a cruel God to permit this? In another thread, a poster has passionately argued that it must be OK to abort babies, because to deny that right to a struggling woman/couple would amount to victimisation. Are there no bounds to what can be justified in the name of avoiding life’s struggles?

It just doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t feel homosexuality is a cross to bear, and it is in no way similar to carrying alcoholism, porn addiction, and chronic masturbation as a cross. All of those people have an option. They are given a choice. They can overcome their perceived “weakness” and continue through life as if it never was. But a homosexual is expected to just keep carrying that cross and is told they’re actually lucky - chastity makes them closer to God.

The blind carry their cross throughout life. As does the paraplegic. How unfair? Is God cruel?

But loving and supporting my son, I am told, is sinful (granted, not everyone says this, but enough do).

Loving you son is not sinful and I think you know that. I don’t know what “supporting” means, but endorsing some of his life choices might well be wrong. A parent’s love need not extend to that.

I’m by no means trying to insult the church. That is the last thing I’d ever want to do. I love the church, but I also love my son, and I also love my son-in-law. Therein lies the problem. I love the church, but I’ve grown to disagree with it on so many levels. That is the point of this thread. I know the last thing anyone wants is for me to leave the Church, but my son, his sexuality and his partner are settled issues for me. There is no budging on that. So, what choice am I left with?

Your love for your son is not in question nor compromised by any conformity with Catholic teaching.

Your conclusion that the sexual relationship your son maintains with another man is good and moral and approved by God seems to rest on extraordinarily thin reasoning. “It can’t be wrong because to remain celibate would be cruel”. That you find this argument persuasive, despite NIL support in Scripture or Church teaching, while both in fact profess the exact opposite, seems to me quite extraordinary.

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