Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dialogue on Homosexuality (vs. Sogn Mill-Scout)

The following is an exchange with another Christian member of the Apologetics/Ecumenism discussion list, which I founded. Sogn's words will be in blue:


Gay rights is about equal respect and moral approval being granted to the homosexual orientation;

A-ha! You hit the nail on the head. You prove the point many of us have made. Thanks for your refreshing honesty. The so-called "gay rights" movement is not about mere legal equality but truly forcing others to believe as they do - precisely what the religious right is routinely accused of! Can you not see the irony and blatant hypocrisy of this?

I see the irony but not the hypocrisy, at least if your comment was directed at me rather than some nameless gay rights activists you have in mind.

At the latter.

It is indeed hypocritical for either side of this cultural battle to charge their opponents with "forcing others to believe as they do" as long as they are attempting to do the same thing in return.

Are we saying to them that "you must accept the tenets of Christianity and our traditional lifestyle or else you are obviously Christian-a-phobes (and we will force you to by law)?" I have no legal power to force a homosexual to attend church, but they have (or will soon have) the power to force me to accept them as tenants, or to be my church organist, etc. I don't see the analogy here at all.

But if each side is forthright about this attempted coercion by cultural mores, then there is no hypocrisy.

No, it is the connection between coercion and the legal force of law to which I refer.

I don't think any gay activists ever thought they would revolutionize our culture "easily." Stonewall was 29 years ago last June and in my opinion there has been very limited progress.

Well, Elton John and Melissa Etheridge are loved. :-) And Leonard Bernstein . . .

But how can a group expect to easily achieve moral approval and "respect," when they engage in activities which have been condemned unequivocally by traditional Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and I'm sure other world religions?

As for the unequivocal condemnation of homosexuality by most religions, this has no clear relevance to whether the gay liberation cause is just. You can't appeal to a majority rule principle to settle moral disputes.

But you are not reacting to what I said. I was making a completely different point than that (about sociology and persuasion and coercion). Be that as it may, I still think the very fact of religious consensus would give one pause if he has any respect for religious opinion at all. That's an awful lot of people to have gotten it so wrong. And you who claim the name of Christ ought to very seriously consider whether you have sufficient cause and reason to disagree with the vast majority of Christians now and through history.

The left always thinks it can overturn the moral consensus of millennia by enough propagandizing, sloganizing, Big Lies (e.g., 10% of the population being homosexual - Kinsey), fiat court decisions, Ellen shows, Heather Has Two Mommies books for first-graders, etc. But the (religious and political) left cannot change the way people like myself and most on this list think and believe about Christian morality. That has to come from religious conviction; from our churches, from our consciences, and what we feel the Bible and Christian Tradition teach - not from political and legal power politics and other forms of coercion.

As for propaganda, both sides of the culture war are guilty of that; the left has no monopoly on lies and misinformation and the end justifying the means.

We don't need to lie and conceal in order to explicate our points. All we have to do is have the guts to present information about the unnatural and unhealthy sexual practices of homosexuals. I rarely hear those things discussed, even in public debates. The facts speak loudly by themselves. So does the Bible.

By the way, I find your reference to Ellen objectionable if you're suggesting that a TV show can only feature a gay character if it's part of a pro-gay conspiracy.

I didn't say it was a conspiracy. You are being almost paranoid here and putting words in my mouth. The left and so-called "progressives" simply do things which flow from their worldview - it doesn't have to be an organized conspiracy any more than the media's overwhelming and obvious liberal bias is.

I liked the show both before and after Ellen came out, and I don't see any basis for objecting to showing or even featuring gay characters on TV -

I never saw the show (or any other regular network show for some 12 years now - I do like documentaries and movies), so I can't judge that. When I have seen Ellen on specials now and then (as host), I didn't find her particularly funny, but I didn't know she was a lesbian then, so that factor was irrelevant.

they exist in the real world, so why shouldn't they be included among the diverse characters in TV shows -

Why don't we portray child molesters, bigots, pornographers, corporate thieves, or wife beaters sympathetically, too, then? All these people are in bondage to a sinful lifestyle of one sort or other, and would try to justify it, just as the homosexual does. The objection we have is Hollywood putting these examples out there, as if homosexuals are just like everyone else. Well, in many respects they are, but this is a subtle form of brainwashing (even if unintended) - "hey, they are no different than us; why do those right-wing religious fanatics hate them so much?" Yet look how often priests and evangelicals are portrayed as kooks, oddballs, evil plotters, freaks, and idiots in the media. There is a clear agenda (or at least a "trend" if you will).

some of whom are truly revolting like the obsessively and vulgarly heterosexual Married With Children vermin. In any case, ABC was always extremely nervous about letting Ellen come out and it took them less than one season to pull the plug.

I reject the whole lot of these shows because I object to the constant sexual innuendo and the intelligence-insulting commercials. I realize there are some good shows, too, but that is the sacrifice one makes to try to avoid impurity in this cesspool of a society we live in.

my point is that entertainment can include gay characters without thereby being an agent in a particular cause.

Yes, but it would be foolish and naive to believe that the homosexual activists are not using the media whenever they can to push the idea that they are "normal." Liberals in general have been using the media (and educational institutions) to inculcate anti-traditional and antinomian values for years. Call me a conspiracy nut if you must, but to me this is a truism; utterly self-evident. People believe things, and it comes out in their work, whether they are aware of it or not. They may delude themselves with the "myth of objectivity," but there is no such thing, in the final analysis.

i.e. there should be full equality of social status between heterosexual and homosexual relationships - all else being equal.

There have always been social stigmas imposed on sinful (or even just societally harmful) behaviors - and rightly so. Not long ago illegitimacy was socially stigmatized. The dynamic there was that childbearing belonged in the context of marriage. Fornication and living together was frowned upon (oh, for the good ole days . . . ). It is right for society to impose "sanctions" of disapproval, so as to enforce its mores and norms. It isn't right to hate or despise people who have messed up (Christianity has never taught that), but social stigmas are perfectly normal and natural, in my opinion - and they exist in all societies, because all societies have moral codes which they teach and enforce in one way or another. Thank God racism is now stigmatized. This is a great development in our own lifetimes.

Not long ago, the abortionist was considered the lowest form of murderer, and exploiter of women. Now he is tantamount to a hero in pro-abort circles. His profession has been generally despised ever since the pagan Greeks came up with the Hippocratic Oath some 2200 years ago, but now he has moved up the societal ladder to "equal respect and moral approval" granted to the "child-killing orientation."

After all, the Supreme Court has given what he does total legitimacy, has it not?! Who do those self-righteous Christians think they are, disagreeing with the Supreme Court??!! OK, admittedly they screwed up by saying that Dred Scott was property rather than a person back in 1857, but we have progressed much since then . . . now we know that black people are people. We just have to become enlightened that little people are people, too, and not owned by their mothers, and not the proper subjects for being torn limb from limb or having their brains sucked out right before birth (with the approval of the President and 36 US Senators, including the great hero John Glenn) . . .

As I say: the liberalism of death is the death of liberalism . . .

Divorce was frowned upon not long ago. John Fogerty, the rock star (from Creedence Clearwater Revival - one of my all-time favorite bands) talked about how in the early 50s it was utterly scandalous and embarrassing to say that one's parents were divorced (his father abandoned the family). He later divorced his wife, by the way. Now one who initiates a divorce is merely embarking on "personal fulfillment" and "change of lifestyle," etc. Adultery is winked at - we even tolerate a President who does it all the time; even give him a 65% approval rating!

Euthanasia and assisted suicide were relegated to the morbid and surreal; Nazi-like in their implications not long ago. Now it is law in Oregon, and was voted on yesterday in Michigan (thank God it went down 70-30). It is law in the Netherlands: formerly a stronghold for Calvinist Christianity, and with a heroic record of resistance against the Nazis.

Filthy language, violence, and portrayals of (usually immoral) sex on movies and TV was considered unacceptable not long ago . . .

All these things have moved up the ladder to public acceptance. Why not the homosexual lifestyle?

I agree with you that a healthy culture will attach stigmas to immoral behavior; that point is not where the issue between us lies. Please do me the courtesy of not lumping me together with moral relativists and secular radicals who wish to trash tradition and the social order altogether.

I didn't do that. The examples I gave weren't intended at all to accuse you of guilt by association. But if you follow my reasoning carefully, what I was implying was that all these examples - ones which you, too would largely agree with - illustrate that true and right traditions are being broken down in our time, and things are being called good which only a short time ago were considered bad. From my perspective homosexuality is one more example of such a thing.

The analogy implies not only that social stigma is proper if something is immoral, but also that homosexuality (presented as an alternate and normal lifestyle) might just be another phenomenon which is merely trendy and fashionable, and that us traditionalists are right about its wrongness and abnormality. The left, after all, is advocating almost all of the examples I used to make my argument. Others follow from the logic they employ (or lack thereof), in my opinion.

This is what irritates me about [someone] branding me as a mouthpiece - unwitting or not - for the radical-relativist-secular counterculture or whatever you wish to call it.

I would say that on this issue, anyway, you argue largely (not totally) like they do, and they would co-opt you for their ends, because these types love to enlist religious people for their cause. That is one of the oldest tricks in the book for the left. They trot out trendy clergy (the more denominations the better), so that they can say that the other religious people who oppose their viewpoint comprise the lunatic "fundamentalist" or "extremist" or "religious fanatic" fringe and doesn't speak for all Christians, blah, blah, blah.

Now contrast this with the situation of most gay men and lesbians in our culture. There are not many places - except "their own" places, few and far between - where they can enjoy the liberty and spontaneity which my wife and I - and every heterosexual couple - take for granted. In most social contexts, a gay couple must be ever vigilant about revealing their relationship because of the still very widespread opprobrium - if not violence - which is directed at them because of their relationship.

Life is tough. No one justifies the violence, but if a lifestyle is considered immoral by the great majority of the public, would you not expect some manifestation of disapproval? Am I supposed to blithely accept, e.g., the behavior of a publicly-drunk person (after all, there is evidence that a genetic predisposition exists for that condition also)? Am I supposed to consider his drunk driving, rude comments, sloppy clothes, off-key singing (ok, I couldn't resist), etc., as perfectly normal and praiseworthy, as an alternate lifestyle? Can't the homosexual activist stop and think for a minute that there must be some reason why most societies all through history have considered homosexuality abnormal?

Even if it were innate, genetic, not initiated by the person, that doesn't prove it is therefore "normal." Down's Syndrome is not considered normal, even though the person involved didn't cause it (and it is genetically-caused). Thalidomide babies born without arms were not "normal." Siamese Twins are not "normal." Hemophilia is not normal. People have an inherent sense of normalcy. As a friend of mine says: we don't go around sticking our fingers up other people's noses, or our toes in their ears. Most people - having read the sort of things homosexuals engage in - spontaneously recoil in horror and revulsion.

These things are not natural. And therefore it is neither unreasonable nor wrong for a society to frown upon public expressions of such an abnormal lifestyle - especially when advocates of same are going around trying to force us to accept their life (as you yourself said above), in direct contradiction to our passionately-held religious convictions. In the name of tolerance and revulsion at others' "intolerance," they are as intolerant as they can be of our rights to hold whatever moral views we feel are taught to us by our religion.

The quest for gay and lesbian rights is essentially an attempt to build a society in which there is no discrimination of any kind in any way on the basis of sexual orientation.

Discrimination is already illegal, across the board. But I thought the left was fond of saying that "you can't legislate morality." No one can be forced to love. But I refuse to accept the false dichotomy that I don't love someone because I don't agree with some sin in their life. I told someone I know I didn't agree with her living with a man outside of marriage. It was tough, and very uncomfortable. She wanted my approval. She didn't like hearing at all that I didn't approve. She got mad at me. But with clarification, eventually she respected me for being honest (and I tried to show that I cared about her as a person). We don't love people by acquiescing in their sins - which in this case will likely lead them to one of several health problems, psychological misery, and possibly eternal separation from God. We must act upon what we believe, too.

Society is also quite hostile these days to Catholics, political conservatives, non-feminists, creationists, and pro-lifers. I know from experience: I am in all those camps (and I switched to all five of them from opposite views). And I know in what circles I dare not talk about one or more of these convictions of mine (but I do, anyway, if I feel like it :-). It is not all that different for the homosexual: just more widespread, as more people disagree morally with their lifestyle - and intensely at that. I agree that homosexuals have a terrible road to walk down. I would disagree as to the causes and nature of those difficulties, and the supposed total "innocence" of the homosexual.

But what society is this that is hostile to Catholics, political conservatives, non-feminists, creationists, and pro-lifers?

Modern secular and increasingly barbarian America (and Europe is far worse). Anti-Catholicism is still quite prevalent, even respectable in some circles. Conservatives are regularly slandered as uncompassionate, greedy, bigots, anti-Semites (even recently on our list, as you know), non-feminists are chauvinist pigs and Neanderthals, creationists are dumb and stupid - on a par with flat-earthers, and pro-lifers are anti-woman and go around murdering abortionists. You would actually deny this stuff?

I mean, there are plenty of people around who fall into one or more of those camps. Also, consider how enormously popular Rush Limbaugh is.

That's because of the very reason that people were absolutely fed up with being mocked and derided by the liberal-dominated institutions.

There are millions of dittoheads out there who would be sympathetic to some or all of your views.

That's beside my point. There are millions of black people, too, but that doesn't mean they aren't routinely subjected to bigotry.

I realize that academia and the media - the "intellectual" elite - are predominately anti-your-views, but do they represent the majority of the citizenry?

No, but that citizenry sits and takes in the product of the propaganda machines which teach them these things.

(and, by the way, I just don't think most people are ideologically motivated - this election, for instance, was all about economic confidence),

I agree, but they are sheep, and parrots.

the fact is clearly that the majority agree with you on homosexuality - at least concerning marriage.

My point wasn't to count heads, but to say that people are subject to many other prejudices besides so-called "homophobia" (itself a silly word which means "fear of sameness"). So I have at least five prejudices coming against me, but I live with it (not always without pain and hurt). I don't care what people think in the final analysis, but what God thinks of me and what I do.

In the ideal society, everyone would be absolutely indifferent to the gender of romantically bonded couples.

I love them, but I will not condone their sin. Christian conscience and Tradition will not allow that. Nor will I be intimidated by anyone wishing to force me to approve of something or other in their life. I seek truth and righteousness, and I hope that I would follow them wherever they lead. I'm not in the business of adopting viewpoints simply to be popular, fashionable, and "PC." Real tolerance is loving people despite profound disagreements, not pretending that all is relative, and that all judgments whatever are improper in the first place. In my experience, us so-called "homophobes" are infinitely more tolerant of the homosexual advocates than vice-versa. I have rarely encountered venomous hatred of homosexuals among committed Christians. I have heard times without number hateful and slanderous remarks coming from the other camp.

I too don't adopt viewpoints to be popular, fashionable, or PC. I hope you would do me the courtesy of acknowledging and respecting that fact.

Yes, but I think you are being taken in (to what degree I can't say) by sentiment (from your friends) and left-wing propaganda. I know you form your own opinions using your head, but there is no question that you are being influenced by sources which I would suspect are at bottom hostile to Christianity.

I wish only to follow Christ. If you or some other traditionalist anti-gay-lib person could convince me that Jesus Christ absolutely disapproves of all gay relationships, I would be forced to concede the traditional view of this issue.

Is Paul good enough? I await a sensible counter-exegesis of Romans 1.

You sound almost as though my "refreshing honesty" is unusual or surprises you.

Compared to the average homosexual activist, yes (not compared to your past utterances - I've come to expect honesty and openness from you).

There's no hidden agenda going on, these things have been plain enough to anyone who takes an interest in them for quite some time.

Well, then I think it's both sinister and foolish for these activists to expect that the Christian Church will change its constant Tradition on this, and grant "moral approval" to what has heretofore been considered grave sin. Anglicans (the radical component) and Unitarians and the United Church of Christ might be willing to do so, but not us Catholics.

I'm sure you agree in principle that applying even legitimate stigmas is a walk on a razor edge between anything-goes relativism and mean-spirited ungracious intolerance.

Oh yes; human nature being what it is. Satan corrupts every good thing in some fashion. So stigma becomes hate. On the other end, permissiveness becomes license and libertinism.

Let me ask you: Are those in favor of gay rights supposed to blithely accept the moral opprobrium of you and the majority of society just because it's the majority?

That is never a reason why I put forth any view. That is the lunacy of the present Clinton mess. These are my reasons:

1) Biblical Teaching (i.e., if one accepts biblical authority);
2) Natural Law (as demonstrated in the medical and psychological data, which establishes many severe health and emotional repercussions stemming from the homosexual lifestyle);
3) Anthropological Data suggesting that the taboo is widespread. Most other taboos (incest, stealing, betrayal) are universally considered wrongs, so it reasonably follows that homosexuality is, too.
They don't believe homosexuality is necessarily immoral.

If there is no God and hence no natural law, and no "ontological reality and meaning" of properly ordered sexuality, it wouldn't be. Men would be animals, and who cares what orifice is used for whatever purpose? Pascal stated that when men reject God they do one of two things: they exalt themselves up to the level of gods, or they debase themselves to the level of animals (one might say that is Hinduism and hedonism, respectively). On the other hand, if there is a God and a revelation, homosexuals need to honestly face those facts, and submit themselves to the moral teaching of that God, just like the rest of us do. It is no bed of roses to live a chaste heterosexual life, either - whether married or single - these days.

Unless you can come up with cogent reasons to convince them they're wrong, they will never accept the traditional assessment of homosexual relationships. And why should they? The only legitimate basis is reason, not majority rule.

I think the reasons are quite compelling. The trouble is, their bondage and their will to remain in it is quite a bit stronger than the ability of right reason to overcome, in most cases. The more one indulges in a sin, the harder it is to break free of it. If the reported promiscuity of the average male homosexual is true, then the bondage is an extremely tough thing to break. It is a tremendous spiritual battle and healing. That being the case, a great deal of self-justification and self-delusion goes on, in order to rationalize behavior and to feel good about oneself. I can understand that (we all do that to one degree or another) but it doesn't excuse the sin, or the Christian's obligation to show the way out of it.

I don't have any interest in discussing what's "normal." It seems like a red herring to me. "Normal" has a variety of meanings which are not very relevant to what I see as the crux of this issue,

Then discuss "natural." That is much more my argument, following Paul's in Romans 1.

As you say, Downs Syndrome is also not normal, nor is alcoholism, nor is transvestism or transsexualism, and so on. We could compile quite a list of abnormal phenomena without advancing one iota toward determining the moral status of said phenomena.

That argument was only in reference to the homosexual inference that whatever is genetically-determined is therefore "normal." The counter-examples prove otherwise.

I will reply separately to your post on "Natural, Normal, Healthy," [which was about the medical data concerning the unhealthiness of homosexual practices - see "Homosexuality: Fact and Fiction," by Joseph P. Gudel] but here I just want to state that I completely separate the matter of personal repugnance or aversion from the question of whether a type of relationship is morally good. When I defend the concept of same-sex marriage I'm primarily concerned with the lifelong companionship of two men or two women who have the same sort of mutual love and total, unconditional commitment as my wife and I share. I am not even interested in, much less defending, any specific sexual behaviors.

The reason we do that is because it is the acts to which we morally object, and they are almost always present - I assume - in a so-called "gay marriage." I don't care if two men live together (I lived with two for a while) or "love" each other (Jonathan and David did that) as long as they don't commit sodomy or other sinful sexual practices. This is the Catholic position.

This illustrates, once again, the curious fixation of the religious right with sex acts.

This is asinine. That was necessary in order to illustrate the proposition of homosexuality being a violation of natural law. If we wanna discuss true "fixation," we need to go back to how the liberal media (and the pornographers) had a field day with Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, and Clarence Thomas. Bakker has since repented, and Thomas always was innocent. For those who didn't follow it, Swaggart was caught twice more with prostitutes after his "repentance." Kenneth Starr merely did his job of collecting facts concerning perjury, and he is accused of the same thing. Sheer desperation for lack of rational argument, in my opinion . . .

I don't see the anti-gay-lib partisans searching out aberrant sexual practices between heterosexuals.

But you miss the point entirely! The acts referred to in the above-cited article are normative among homosexuals (at least sodomy), just as intercourse is normative among heterosexuals. They claim their lifestyle is "normal" and "natural." I think it is reasonable to conclude many of their practices aren't, ergo: homosexuality is neither natural nor normal.

Let me make this perfectly clear:

Where have I heard that before? :-)

I am only concerned with relationships; I am not concerned with sex acts - at least insofar as I defend gay marriage. I don't concern myself with the sexual behavior of heterosexual couples, who, for all I know, may be doing something unhygienic behind closed doors. I will go further toward your point of view, however, and acknowledge that if certain behaviors are unhealthy and pose extreme health hazards, then this fact should be publicly discussed and addressed. This, however, is a separate issue from whether same-sex monogamous relationships should be accepted. We can advocate safe and healthy sexual behavior, but whether couples - either hetero- or homosexual - choose to take our good advice is up to them. We can't police people's bedrooms, right? Therefore we should think of same-sex marriages in terms of relationship, just as we do with male-female marriage. You don't reduce male-female marriages to their sexual behavior, I presume.

I think this is a naive (even irresponsible) outlook, since you want to turn your view from the very thing that is killing homosexuals by the thousands. What you are defending above is no more or less than the Catholic Church would defend (apart from institutionalized "marriage" which is no marriage). But - with all due respect - to sit there and say that what almost all homosexuals will do in that marriage is irrelevant to the question of the morality of so-called "gay marriage" is sheer obfuscation, in my opinion

As long as they can't marry and raise families, they are being discriminated against.

I can't marry my sister, or a 13-year-old , or a second wife, either. Am I being discriminated against?

I do believe that in the vast majority of cases, whether hetero- or homo- or bisexual, people's sexual orientation "just happens"; it isn't chosen. I sure didn't choose mine, and most gays describe their experience much as I describe mine, apart from the gender of the objects of one's affection, of course.

This would wreak havoc with the Christian notion of responsible behavior. Why couldn't Hugh Hefner or Wilt Chamberlain say that they didn't choose their playboy lifestyles, and hence can't be held morally accountable for them?

(1) Anal (they should probably call it rectal) sex is clearly hazardous to one's health. Indubitably. I never denied this.

How, then, can a touted "alternate lifestyle" which has as its routine (and defining) sexual act the above, itself be considered "normal" and "natural?" This is completely incoherent - far below your usual rational standard. If you concede this much, you concede the whole argument, as far as I'm concerned, since the lifestyle and its defining sexual activities cannot possibly be separated in any sensible discussion of either the morality or the healthiness of homosexuality.

    "(2) The American Psychiatric Association membership, when polled, is out of sync with its vote in 1973 to remove homosexuality from their list of pathologies."
I have to take the word of your source, but the data seems inexplicable, unless one supposes that the majority caved to activist pressure.

That appears to be the case. I see that psychiatrists are spineless politicians, too. Maybe they have gotten together with the Republicans, who have mastered the art of wimphood . . .

    "(3) Gays, especially males, tend to be astoundingly promiscuous, which promotes the contagion of various venereal diseases, or STDs as they are now called."
This is no news to me. I learned of this from pro-gay sources, such as Eric Marcus's splendid 1992 oral history of the gay rights movement, Making History. His interview subjects were remarkably and sometimes appallingly candid about their sexual backgrounds.

Yet you have no problem with that, in your defense of the morality of the lifestyle?

    "(4) Gays, especially males, tend to engage in extremely risky and unhealthy forms of sexual interaction, . . ."
Once again, I'm very well aware of these behaviors, having read extensively on the subject of homosexuality and deviant sexuality.

So tell me, what percentage of homosexuals - as far as you can estimate - engage in these bizarre sexual activities? And what percentage would be required for you to chalk up the "deviance" to the very nature of homosexuality itself, rather than a corruption of it?

Tangentially, I object to the phrase "homosexual lifestyle"; we don't normally speak of the heterosexual lifestyle.

Isn't this their self-description? If so, why should you object? Certainly "alternate lifestyle" is used, no?

And what exactly would the heterosexual lifestyle be, anyway?

Use of genitals according to natural law and their clear biological and sexual function (as God intended).

But when homosexuality is addressed by conservatives the fixation is always on the sexual component of the relationships.

Again, of course, because that is what we consider sinful! We have no objection to a chaste love between men. That is merely a part of the universal duty to love others.

This is misleading when we're speaking of the minority of gay couples who are in long-term committed relationships.

So now you admit that such couples are in the minority!!!! Man, you're making my side of the argument very easy to make! You're conceding everything important . . .

Getting back to the point of this post, who ever denied that much of what goes on sexually between homosexuals, at least among men, is unhealthy?

The radical homosexual agenda - either outright, or implicitly by never mentioning these things in their various PR campaigns.

Not me. The disproportionate spread of STDs in the gay population, even apart from AIDS, is ample evidence of that fact. The most obvious fact is that anal sex is very unhealthy. I should think this would be obvious even without the medical research data. I mean, obviously the rectum is not designed for insertion. Duh.

Yet you can't accept the biblical moral law against sodomy, nor can you accept the fact that all such relations between men are disordered and sinful. You want to talk about "gay marriage" without dealing with the corresponding sexual practices. But if they are not present at all, then the Church would have no objection to living together, except for calling such a relationship "marriage." That is a holy sacrament which by definition is confined to a male/female couple. God made both the "plumbing" and the personalities and temperaments between men and women complementary (even notwithstanding a million Henny Youngman jokes LOL).

So, we agree that there is a much higher incidence of unhealthy sexual behaviors among gays than among straights. But these aberrant behaviors do occur among straight couples, even if more rarely, and they are no less unhealthy when they do. So if our concern is with sexual health, we should be addressing the problem of these behaviors wherever they occur. That would be problematic, however, insofar as privacy issues are involved.

This is the whole point: when homosexuals engage in their usual sexual practices, they are acting quite unnaturally (and even you seem to admit that this is obvious) and placing themselves at risk. When heterosexuals engage in their routine sexual activities, there is very little risk at all (unless there is significant promiscuity involved, in which case VD and even AIDS come into play). All of which lends support to my argument . . .

The point I wish to emphasize is that unless you can establish that there is a necessary connection between dangerous sexual behaviors and homosexual love,

If their "marriage" is analogous to traditional marriage, then sex will be involved, no?

it is hard to see how you can use the health angle to justify the absolute moral condemnation of all homosexual relationships.

If they abstain from homosexual sex (sodomy et al), we have no problem (at least the Catholic Church doesn't).

Throughout this discussion, in which I've spoken out for gay marriage, I have been concerned only with loving relationships analogous to my own marriage; I have not expressed any support for any unhealthy sexual practices, nor do I wish to express such approval. I completely separate the loving relationship from the sexual behavior. After all, it is quite possible for two homosexuals to engage in harmless and healthy sexual behavior. For example, two gays could content themselves with mutual masturbation, which presumably can pose no health hazards.

I think you're living in a dream world when you talk like this. You must accept the reality as it is. Finding rare exceptions to the norm within the homosexual community proves nothing. This reminds me of the abortion argument ("2% of abortions are due to rape and incest, so we ought to have abortion-on-demand in all cases . . ." - they never say this, of course, but that is the logic of their tactics and more subtle arguments). You can't reasonably argue anything from the exceptions. Let me challenge you: produce for me some sort of hard evidence that such "healthy 'marriage' " as you describe is at all prevalent among homosexuals. If it is a tiny minority, will you then join us in condemning the standard unhealthy practices as not only unnatural, but immoral?

Suffice it to say I don't find anything in the teaching of Christ to warrant the extreme Catholic insistence on the absolute and inviolable connection between procreation and sex.

You don't, but then please explain to me why all Christians (not just Catholics) taught this until 1930? What else might have been gotten wrong by everyone for 1900 years, until our eminently enlightened and progressive 20th century? The very idea is patently ludicrous . . . . .

However, if by "natural" one means occurring of its own accord, so to speak, rather than being a deliberate choice of how to live, then I believe homosexuality is, for the most part, just as natural as heterosexuality. People just grow up gay through no choice of their own in the vast majority of cases, which is exactly how heterosexuals experience the development of their own orientation. It just happens.

How, then, do you account for the overwhelming psychological evidence that male homosexuals (and, I believe, lesbians, but I'm not sure) tend to lack a healthy, loving relationship with their fathers? Just a coincidence? No relation to the chosen sexual path of the son or daughter?

Finally, with regard to the suicide data, this is questionable in terms of locating the real cause. As you know, it is generally contended by gay advocates that it is the alienation from a morally intolerant society which engenders profound psychological distress and maladjustment in many gays, which leads to not only suicide, but many forms and degrees of self-destructive behavior.

Why is the lifestyle called "gay," then, for heaven's sake? It is anything but, whether the reason is society or one's own choice to sin, or genetics - whatever the ultimate cause.

Compiled and uploaded from public list discussions: 11 November 1998.

1 comment:

Michael said...

That is where it ended?

Marriage is a contract, more so than it is about love, so his argument for marriage because of love seems ludicrous. Of course, that opens up a bigger can of worms.