06 April, 2010

Myth of the 'gay lifestyle' justifies bias - CNN.com

Posters such as Martin have defended the rights of the GBLT community to the full benefits of our society. His method of doing so is civil, intelligent and persuasive. At its root, Martin's position is grounded in the firm conviction that we are all equal due, not to our 'accidents', but by our 'substance' (expressed Thomistic-ally). I have been persuaded that the GBLT community certainly suffers the prejudices and abuse of many who either are wrong in an honest belief, or are 'frightened' and 'threatened' by others 'different' from them in society. Irrespective of the genesis, both results are hurtful and harmful to God's children. Citizens/souls such as Martin need not ask our 'permission' to live as they choose. Further, if the social sciences demonstrate conclusively that the restriction placed upon them in many jurisdictions is unwarranted (marital/family rights being first among these) and rooted in prejudice, they should be erased from the civil law post-haste!

The Church is absolutely within its rights to determine what is right or wrong as regards its adherents, but that is as far as its influence should extend. If Easter teaches us anything, it is that God loves us. Everyone, everywhere deserves to be seen through His witness and offer to each other the essential gift that we as Christians believe we have won through the triumph of the empty tomb over the cross: the triumph of love over death.

Here is an article posted on the CNN website. It's written from the perspective of the 'stay at home/domestic engineer' partner of a modern nuclear family, a gay marriage. I recommend it as ESSENTIAL READING for anyone who sincerely strives to (at the very least) understand the positives of their opponents arguments. Be warned though... I walked into this exploration of religious and secular values convinced of the rightness of the Church demanding that its definitions of such legally expressed concepts as 'marriage' and 'family' be the law of the land... it was 'God's will, expressed in law. Now I am not so confident in this belief.

Don't get me wrong... I do not question the Church's theology on the issue. I believe that it is a true expression of God's will, and I live my life in accordance to this belief. I am simply coming to realize that, as I have the right to make these personal decisions without restriction from the state, so too should every person have the same ... (IF - I'm all the where there yet, Marty) it is clear that such a decision will not have a deleterious impact on society at large. We were taught for over a millennium that the breakdown of the Greek and Roman Empires were preceded by a precipitous decline in moral and sexual values; a harbinger of civilizational collapse. It's hard for me get past why this was held to be a historical and moral axiom. Is this 'inner instinct' that pre-positions us with a negative opinion of the homosexual lifestyle (ergo subjecting gays seemingly everywhere to have experienced persecution and discrimination at the hands of heterosexual communities) there for a reason? It's universality throughout the species is reason enough to be cautious before redefining these basic rules of our society.

Fr. Tim



Myth of the 'gay lifestyle' justifies bias - CNN.com

8 comments:

  1. The logic behind the article and the lifestyle does not hold true. You can choose your lifestyle. We are all given a choice- to sin, or not to sin. Every day God calls us to take up the cross and try to follow Him. Some days we win, some days we don't. Regardless of our sexual proclivity, we are all still called to chastity within our state in life.

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  2. Kathie: Even if we can all choose how we live vis a vis our sexuality, do we not also carry the capacity or right to carry out our choice? Must this choice be legally limited or restricted for some but not for all? (No one can legally have more than one legal partner - but only a few are denied the right to legally commit to a chosen partner). Can this be the just manner in which we are to order our society.

    If we CAN choose... so can everyone else.

    I'm open to be corrected if somehow I have erred in logic or faith. I simply cannot see that I have.

    Fr. Tim

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  3. Oh my, soon you'll be reading the National Catholic Reporter and hanging out with nuns. The road to perdition.

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  4. Dawn Young06 April, 2010

    When you accept that two men bringing up a child is the equivalent to a man and a woman and that the only thing that is important is that the couple are in love and the relationship is stable, what you are infact claiming is that there is nothing remotly unique in motherhood and indeed that it is irrelevant.

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  5. Dawn: I accept that what you post is accepted wisdom among Catholics; that motherhood is a unique vocation that brings specific gifts to a family. Yet if... and I repeat, IF... social science research points to another conclusion, is it our theology or reality that one that must cede to the other.

    If I may be permitted to share a personal wisdom shared with me by a dear and close friend when speaking about a mutual gay acquaintance... "He's the best 'girl friend' I've ever had!" It got me to thinking that perhaps nurturing and domestic obligations need not necessarily be limited to the female adult in any family. Most certainly, children raised in such environments will still have a great deal of contact with opposite gender role models within her/his extended family and social life. Are these sufficient to meet the requirements of love and maternal influence when being raised in a traditional nuclear families? have there been long term studies of cultures where such domestic configuration abound? I do not know the answers, but I am looking for it. If I had access to a university library database, the information would be easy to locate. Alas, no such library exists in Mattawa and are expensive to access on line. If someone would be kind enough to post to the 'cloud' copies of these studies so that everyone could read it, it would be appreciated by all.

    Thanks.

    Fr. Tim

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  6. "The Church is absolutely within its rights to determine what is right or wrong as regards its adherents, but that is as far as its influence should extend."

    THANK YOU!

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  7. "We are all given a choice- to sin, or not to sin."

    And if you believe in "sin," you get to make your own choices in the matter. You cannot make those choices for anyone else. You cannot even define it for them.

    "...what you are infact claiming is that there is nothing remotly unique in motherhood and indeed that it is irrelevant."

    Motherhood is only a subset of parenthood. It's not a unique thing unto itself. But no one is saying that it's irrelevant -- only that it's not absolutely necessary that it be done by a genetically-linked female.

    "Alas, no such library exists in Mattawa and are expensive to access on line."

    Have you tried Salt Lake City, Tim? I know the Mormons keep a huge database on geneology that can be accessed by anyone...perhaps they know where you can look for the studies you want, or even if they exist. I'm not sure if they would charge anything for the service, though. Can't hurt to ask.

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  8. Hi Tim,

    The credit for your metamorphosis belongs to you. You have valued intellectual honesty and engaged others with respect. These qualities have helped you to refine your position on the legitimate aspirations of the LGBT community.

    I thank you for your words of understanding. I also acknowledge that your post takes a large measure of bravery on your part (it should not – but sadly it does). Your post places you at odds with many in your Church’s hierarchy who insist that there can be no neutrality on the question of equal marriage in the civil law. I only wish that there were more priests in your Church with your level of integrity.

    Obviously - there is still much that we disagree about. Nevertheless, I have enormous respect for those whose arguments are principled, who eschew cheap rhetoric, and retain intellectual honesty. Far too often it seems to me, these qualities are in short supply - regardless of whether or not we see ourselves as orthodox, reformed, liberal, conservative, left, right, or progressive.

    Cheers…Martin

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