Why am I gay/have SSA if it's against God?

This is not something that will be solved through an online forum, I know, but I would really appreciate sincere, thoughtful input. I’m not asking this to start a fight. And I’m not asking it ironically.

I often feel like I’m playing tug of war, where one side is Faith/Catholicism and the other side is being gay/SSA – and I’m the rope being pulled both ways, back and forth.

I understand that because of Original Sin, we are without the special gift of integrity and therefore our passions, intellect, will, etc. all compete with each other for different goods. So mortification (right word?) is required to get everything in line – with God’s grace. But when it comes to this issue, I’m genuinely perplexed. Not only emotionally but intellectually. Adam’s Fall made sin easier to commit. I understand that. But if gay relationships and acts are sinful, then why does anyone even have the homosexual orientation (inclination, whatever you want to call it). Why do people exist who are emotionally, romantically, and sexually attracted to people of the same sex? This is an enduring state or “temptation” – something inherent in the person, not just a fleeting occasion of sin.

Original sin was not Pandora’s box in the sense that a bunch of bad things (like homosexuality) came gushing out of the Fall, as a positive punishment inflicted by God. The Fall led to an absense of grace and friendship with God and the corresponding gift of integrity. So how is homosexuality thanks to the Fall? Or is it not? Why am I attracted to guys? What’s the purpose here, if it’s sinful?

I guess my confusion and curiousity comes down to (1) if homosexuality is a consistent, disordered state or inclination to sin, why does anyone have this? (2) How is anyone homosexual, if it is against God’s design/is sinful? If it must be the result of the Fall and Original Sin, how did that work?

I promise no fully satisfying intellectual answers (let alone emotional ones), but a few thoughts:

(1) if homosexuality is a consistent, disordered state or inclination to sin, why does anyone have this?

I’m having the trouble of seeing how tendency to sin in terms of sexual attraction to the same sex is particularly different from other tendencies to sin (heterosexual attraction to women who are not your wife does not go away after marriage, for example, yet it is still a disordered inclination inasmuch as it is an inclination towards sin). This is to say “For the same reason other people other people have consistent inclination to sin,” which is an absolute non-answer, but it might help to reframe the question slightly. I think tightly wrapped up in your question here is also the question of why God would ask someone to sacrifice a happy marital union in virtue of having attraction to the same sex.

  1. It is a life that more closely resembles Christ, given that Christ Himself was single and chaste.
  2. It is an eschatological witness to the fact that there will be no marriage in Heaven and thus such a person is living and striving for Heaven here on earth.
  3. It is a witness to a world so enveloped by sexual vice such that one is called, through their sacrifice of chastity, to show how happiness and fulfillment can be found in Christ and that one can, despite natural inclinations, live a life of purity without giving into sexual desire.

Not a particularly worked-out answer, and the reframing might have been less helpful than hoped, but it is a start.

(2) How is anyone homosexual, if it is against God’s design/is sinful? If it must be the result of the Fall and Original Sin, how did that work?

First off, being homosexual is not sinful per se (which I am guessing you knew already, but it is worth repeating). Now, I’m going to get a little technical, but hopefully it is lucid enough:
God has what is called antecedent will and consequent will, which to simplify a bit can be formulated as “God simply wills…” and “Given the situation and conditions, God wills…,” respectively. To illustrate, God antecedently wills that all men be saved. God consequently wills that persons X,Y, and Z be saved given the fact that persons A,B, and C rejected Him.
Going from there, then, God antecedently wills that there be no evil and disorder in the world. God wills consequently, however, that due to disorder and original sin affecting the world, it is permissible that person X will have a certain set of disorders, person Y another set, and person Z yet another. In short, because of human free will, God is left rescuing a disordered world rather than having union with a perfect one such that he permits certain evils and disorders to befall people (He permits rather than actively willing such evils).

So yeah, it is a consequence of original sin. In terms of that entire mechanism, I confess I am not competent to address it simply because of my lack of familiarity with the theology surrounding the Fall. Two possible places to look off the top of my head would be Pope Benedict XVI’s book In the Beginning and Pope JPII’s Theology of the Body. I know the first one addresses original sin in the context of the Fall, and the latter specifically discusses human sexuality in relation to the Fall, but I make no promises that it will give you all the answers you want.

Sorry for the length, and I appreciate your willingness to search this out. Peace, brother.

Homosexuality itself is not sinful.
Acting on it is.
No one who is not properly married ( a man and a woman) can have sex outside of marriage. Single, straight folks cannot engage in sex outside of marriage either.
That’s the long and short of it.

Well, homosexuality in terms of inclinations (and then followed by acts) is a result of the Fall in a sense that the Fall resulted in a number of ways in which our desires might not match up with the normal Order which God created. Obviously some people have more or less same-sex attractions than others - i.e., others have differing degrees of it - but I see it as a deprivation of the good of ordered sexual desire. And obviously people with SSA aren’t the only people with disordered sexual desire.

Regarding SSA being an “enduring state or ‘temptation’ – something inherent in the person, not just a fleeting occasion of sin.” - as ccmnxc mentioned, there’s definitely a sense in which it is no more an “enduring temptation” as any other temptation. It is true that many people (myself included) with SSA, for various reasons, have the tendency to zero in on and focus exclusively on our sexuality, but we have to work to move away from that. Besides, OK, there’s certainly a sense in which it feels like SSA is “inherent in the person”, but that’s only true in terms of our experiences of our sexuality, not in the sense it’s an actual essential part of our identity or anything. We ought to ask ourselves how our experiences can reveal to us the objective reality of who we truly are as human beings, and not how they can define ourselves in a way which doesn’t match up with that reality. Our experiences ought to move us to question who we really are, who we are meant to be, and how much we are in need of God to guide us and to heal us, and this is true of everyone.

Going back to “focusing exclusively on our sexuality” and some people’s tendency to let it more or less consume our focus in life - the solution is to develop friendships which allow us to a) see ourselves as we truly are in God’s eyes, b) grow more fully into the person God created us to be, and perhaps most importantly, c) give of ourselves so that we become less inwardly focused.

Finally, a note to ccmnxc’s discussion about the vocation of someone with SSA: I don’t know, perhaps it is true that God calls most people with SSA to a life of celibacy. In any case, that seems to be the path that most people with SSA take, who are living chastely. And so I certainly don’t want to discount that or say that is wrong, because a celibate life seems to be the best context, at least initially, for meeting one’s needs for fellowship, support, and individual growth. I do just want to point out, though, that God does not call all people with SSA to celibacy, and nor would marriage (to the opposite sex, obviously) for such an individual be a “lie” or “against his nature” or anything along those lines. So, again, while it is good to acknowledge that celibacy appears to be the most common path for us, the key is to let God direct our lives as He sees fit, to abandon ourselves to His will, and that path may or may not result in celibacy. At our core, we are still males with the capacity to complement a woman and there is no set-in-stone standard for how such a relationship must work and/or look. So abandonment of our will and our desires to God’s is of the utmost importance in the matter!

I hope that the Church and Catholics in general can eventually develop more of a support system for individuals with same sex attraction who still want to live according to Church teaching. I always hear from these individuals that they feel very alone in the Catholic Church. There is a certain emotional bond that comes from marriage and having a family that these individuals can never have if they intend to live according to the gospel. As Catholics we ought to be that family for them…

It is also a sin for us married heterosexual men to look at another woman with lust, and it is also natural and for us, essentially impossible not to do EVER. It seems totally natural. Yet it is sinful. We all have natural incliniations which are sinful. It is our duty to fight against them. Indeed “the spirit is willing yet the flesh is weak.”

I think we can assume that homosexuality is ONE of the innumerable results of the fall, as is lust for another woman by a married man. The fall brought sin into the world, its as simple as that. Why or how that exactly happened is deep theological speculation which is beyond our total understanding.

I will pray for you

I’ve seen hundreds of times that confusion comes back in if you aren’t extra firm about your terminology.

In your question 2 and in Cmmnxc’s and Pianistclare’s posts in particular, I see:

“is homosexual”
“being homosexual”
“homosexuality”

The three of you in particular, and all thread participants in general, must be extra sharp about choosing your meanings:

  • the Freudian-Kinseyan, or
  • the Jesus Christ and the Apostles meaning.

(This is because of all readers sharing in benefitting from this thread. So many people don’t realise that you don’t necessarily get stuck if you don’t get stuck, or that something is not necessarily compulsory if it seems compulsive.)

Then we can consider emotional growth (using inherited patterns as starting point), freedom to plan our own lives and train our own thinking, etc, which the other answerers have begun to touch upon slightly.

“The fathers ate sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.”

The fascinating relationship between Jacob and Laban, and those between King Saul, his father and his uncle, come in here as do the elder and younger sons in the Prodigal Father parable, also the men with the one, the two and the five talents, etc.

I’m 60 and not married yet, and have recently looked into the family dynamics for the last 120 years approx. I feel very kindly towards my ancestors, though it’s clear some of them were tricky!

Many schools have shown a weakness, in that they drum it into many people not to devote time and trouble thinking for themselves.

This is not about making anyone be “re-oriented” to a different orientation among a portfolio of orientations, nor “therapy” in the sense of “rectifying” an “obvious wrong” at all. Merely musing about what scope there might be to explore what growth we might want to choose as we get older, given the distressing limitations of our circumstances, experiences and heredity.

C1S, did you get something out of the other threads on the subject?

We need to understand that a temptation is not the same as allowing ourselves to be entertained by the temptation.

I totally agree. As a Catholic who happens to have same-sex attraction, living a chaste life is not easy. I’m in my late twenties and there are many Catholics who are my age in my parish who are either engaged or married. Some newly weds now have kids and I am always reminded that I will never experience those things. But what’s worse is that there are some parishioners who would even go on a homophobic rant, calling people with ssa “disgusting, ought to be killed, evil, etc.” and priests would not say a thing to stop this behaviour. I could have left the Church and embraced the gay lifestyle, but I chose to stay faithful to Christ, His Church, and His teachings. I love being with Our Lord, yet I still yearn for the affection, bond, love, and intimacy that I can find in a partner. While young Catholics at my parish continue to get married and have children, I remain single and I assure you it can be emotionally painful. Therefore, I see this as an opportunity to offer up this cross as a form of penance, for the conversion of sinners, and for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and I am comforted by the fact that my Lord’s love for me is eternal. So yes, there should be a way to support Catholics with ssa without abandoning or compromising Church doctrines and dogmas.

We all have to deal with disordered desires. That is part of what the Fall cost the human race. There was a real loss there. And as we are unified in one human family, that Original Sin affects us all. It doesn’t always seem fair, but it is good that it is so because that is why Jesus’ saving act can redeem us. That also isn’t fair because it is a gift none of us can deserve.

It helps me to use analogies. Take alcoholism. Many say there is a genetic component to it. It is not something that is necessarily chosen. I know someone who is a recovering alcoholic and for whom it runs in his family. Now, is he responsible for having that disposition? No. But is he responsible for how he acts? Yes. We all are. And he chooses to stay away from alcohol altogether else he wind up going down a bad path.

There are plenty of other inclinations that—unchecked—would lead a person to sin. Some people are hot-tempered and more prone to angry outbursts. Some people lack courage and are more prone to sins of omission.

Obviously, there are many differences between homosexuality and alcoholism (and anger, etc.). But the general principle is the same. We are all born with tendencies that make certain sins easier to commit. And we appeal to God’s grace and mercy to make up for our own shortcomings and help us to live more and more as the people we were created to be rather than the people are disordered inclinations want to drag us down into.

Does it really suck sometimes? Definitely. Is it difficult? Of course. But that’s where grace comes in. We need God. We cannot do it on our own. It is impossible. But with God, nothing is impossible.

God bless you. I am sure it is not an easy cross to carry. Jesus is there to help shoulder the load. Rely on Him.

couragerc.org/

The above site is an authentic Catholic apostolate that I have heard a lot of good things about.

Why did God make me attracted to redheads when my wife is a brunette?
The point is that the sin would be my acting on it… And perhaps a little point that your environment can influence your sexuality. Look what porn has done for the world of fetishes…

Btw my wife is cuter to me than any redhead I have seen. I’m just trying to make a point…

Many good thoughts have been shared already. A good book to look in to for some insight on how same sex attraction can begin, even without the choice of the individual, is One Man One Woman by Dale O’Leary.

I ask these questions all the time. Why do I do the things I know I shouldn’t do? St Paul expressed such questions.

We all have it. We all fall short without Christ.
In my case, these questions are usually a case of “Why me God? Why do I have to endure this struggle? It’s not right.”
It truly offends my human sense of justice. How can a just and merciful God allow me this and that struggle while others breeze along seemingly without incident?. Thing is, that’s a self deception. We all fall short and need Jesus. Intensely. Some know it, some don’t. Some embrace it, some run from it. I do both.

I have particular issues that cause such intense spiritual and emotional pain that I would almost welcome a sexual temptation to take my mind off the other. But, we all have our stuff. So it’s not whether or not we deserve a particular affliction,
it’s what we do with it, and how we deal with it, with who’s help (Jesus).
I pray you have strength and patience.

Good save…

I don’t think that you are clear as to original.sin because if.a few statements in your post. You say “Adam’s fall.made.sin.easier to.commit.” that is not correct because the fall didn’t.make.sin.easier. Adam’s fall introduced conscupisiemce. That is an inclination to sin.and disorders. Adam had no.conscupisience. your post makes it sound like you think Adam.had some degree of.It and.the fall.made it worst which is not correct. It was.non.resistant and with the fall sin entered into the world, our nature changed and became inclined.to.all.kinds of.disorders.

You say that the fall.was not like a.Pandoras box, but that is not correct. Yes, original.sin was a Pandoras box out of which a bunch of.bad things came out: death, illness, pain, suffering, sin, concuspicience, disorders, evil inclinations, weaknesses, everything came out from.the fall. So yes homosexual tendencies are q result of the fall on the same way as for example compulsiveness to lie, gluttony, addictions are all.a result of the fall. So people.have it because we ALL have some kind of disordered inclination or sinful tendency. For some it will be homosexuality, for others will be masturbating, for others will be a tendency to lie, for others will be weird fetishes, for others will be other kind of disordered sexual attractions, for others will be a tendency to violence so the list goes on.and on.

We all have something mayor to fight. What God gave us as a weapon against this inclinations was free will. Free will is the ability to make decisions. We all have inclinations.but we have the ability to say no and fight the inclination. So that is how it works. We all have inclinations.but we have this wonderful thing called free will that gives us the weapons to.fight it.

This is a particularly well thought out and interesting response from a Christian perspective, particularly the first part. OP, pay attention!

First I.want to.congratulate for.tour brave choice. It is not.easy.but you will receive your reward on the same way that people saying that people.like you should be killed.Will receive their own reward. Even if the priest doesn’t say anything, God sees everything and he will reward each person.accordingly so put your trust in.God.

Second I agree that we need to become your family. I know that there are mean people but there are also many.people who will be happy to be a support system for.you.have you ever thought about talking to.your priest? Maybe he can recommend you a support system or even start one at your parish.

Also remember that grass is not greener on the other side. Each one has his or her own cross to bear. While yours may be ssa fir heterosexuals may be other things. Marriage and children has many crosses. For some.It may be having to deal with NFP, others may suffer to attractions to.people that are not their spouse, foe.others may be infertility, there is a.Miriam of crosses when it comes.to marriage, so.don’t think that it will be better on the other side because it may not.

Keep on offering your suffering to God for the conversion of sinners. Get involved actively in.a.ministry in.your church Avondale.God the focus.of.your.life. I will.be praying for.you and again, do not dispair. You are doing the right thing.There is a very beautiful story of st Francis if Assisi, one of.his firsts came to him.telling him.that he could.not.deal with that lifestyle anymore. It was.uncomfortable, he was.not.used to.poverty, he was hungry and it was a living hell. Because he could.not deal.with it anymore so he wanted to leave the congregation. St Francis told the friar to go and pray to God that night and ask God his will.
If after that, he still wanted to go back to his.previous .lifestyle, st Francis would agree to let him go.

The friar did as st Francis said and he had a vision of.heaven.where he saw the angels.and st Francis and all his firsts being rewarded for their sufferings on.earth. Because they had denied themselves on.earth God was giving them the greatest rewards. The next morning the friar came back to st Francis and told him that he had decided to stay and from.that Fay on he was going to accept his sufferings with happiness.

So when you feel that everything is bad and not fair for you, remember the friar of st Francis and offer to st Francis your sufferings and ask him to intercede to God to help you and give you strength.

It is quite interesting that you at the beginning of your post write about the condition of us humans in our present state. It is obvious that you understand that we have a serious inclination to sin and without supernatural help cannot possibly redeem ourselves.

Then you depart on a tangent about how come GOD allows SSA and homosexuality, etc etc.

Well I would ask why does GOD allow people with drugs attraction. Or what about compulsive sex attraction. People who cannot be faithful to one husband/wife. Alcohol attraction, etc etc.

The reality is that we are all sinners, we all have some kind of failure in our nature and as we are not replicated copies, each one of us will have a personal cross to bear. Not caused by GOD but the result from the sinfulness of the human race.

Jesus told us explicitly “Pick up your cross and follow me”. HE did NOT say “Here I will remove your cross so you don’t need to worry any longer in this life”

No HE promised an everlasting reward to those who persevered.

And every one has the choice to either embrace fully their sin “following the flesh” as St. Paul puts it OR to renounce the flesh and follow the Spirit. Will we fall from time to time? Possibly, this is why the Catholic Church has through Christ the Sacrament of Reconciliation. So that we can pick up our cross again when we fall.
And prayer, lots of prayer that we may persevere.

I don’t have much insight here, other than to say you have been given a special cross to bear in your life. We all have been given heavy burdens… I can only imagine how hard it must be for you… but you have also been very lucky in another way. You have faith in God… which is something many people don’t have. GOD has given you a strong moral compass. Your sexual orientation, as others have noted above, is not sinful, though acting on it is. Just like my living in sin with my boyfriend is sinful and means I can’t receive the holy eucharist until I change my life and become right with God. I believe you were called to a life of chastity… and in a way, I believe that is what God is calling me to as well, since I really can’t see how at 37, with an almost 16 year old child, that I will be able to find someone who shares my belief system enough to allow me to live chaste until I am married. I’m not saying it’s impossible- of course, but I can’t see it happening for me.
If you choose to Love God, and follow his commandments, you will find your forever happiness, even if you have to struggle through this your entire life. God doesn’t give us anything in life that he knows we can’t handle. The struggles you were given were for a reason. The way you choose to live your life will impact everyone around you, even if you don’t see it. Your struggles may in fact be payment required to save someone’s soul from everlasting flame! None of us will know why terrible things happen until we meet God on the last day… but we have to TRUST that he knows what’s best not only for us, but for everyone around us.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers! God bless you!

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