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Homosexuals Just Want to be Left Alone

by Ian on March 6, 2007

Just in case you still buy that line:

After this April's implementation of the Sexual Orientation Regulations (SOR's), British religious schools may no longer be allowed to teach school children that the Christian viewpoint on sexual morality is "objectively true," a government report says.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights, made up of members from Parliament, has issued a report on the implementation of the regulations recommending that religious schools be required to modify their religious instruction to comply with the government-approved doctrine of "non-discrimination."

Although religious schools will be allowed to remain open and may continue to give instruction in various religious beliefs, instruction must be modified "so that homosexual pupils are not subjected to teaching, as part of the religious education or other curriculum, that their sexual orientation is sinful or morally wrong."

The report says the regulations will not "prevent pupils from being taught as part of their religious education the fact that certain religions view homosexuality as sinful," but they may not teach "a particular religion's doctrinal beliefs as if they were objectively true.” Published February 26, the report says, "We do not consider that the right to freedom of conscience and religion requires the school curriculum to be exempted from the scope of the sexual orientation regulations."

With the Equality Act 2006, the government empowered itself to create regulations making it illegal for anyone providing goods, services, facilities, premises, education or public functions, to discriminate against that person on the grounds of sexual orientation. The SOR's are scheduled to come into effect in England and Wales and Scotland in April of this year after a ratifying vote in Parliament. They came into effect in Northern Ireland January 1.

It has never been a matter of just being left alone. It has always been full, unconditional approval and promotion of the homosexual lifestyle. This year the Democratic-controlled congress will most likely pass federal non-discrimination laws for homosexuals. It's only a matter of time before your first amendment rights will be subordinated to approval of the homosexual agenda.

If you doubt this can happen in America, the Massachusetts's Supreme Court ruled a couple of weeks ago that children in public schools MUST attend classes and take material that promote homosexuality as acceptable. According to the court, the only way parents can avoid indoctrination is to remove their kids from public schools, they aren't allowed to opt out because it might make homosexuals feel bad.

via: EWTN Headlines

{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

Ethan March 7, 2007 at 12:46 pm

Naturally, Catholic schools would be exempt from this, right? Since they’re CATHOLIC?

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Robespierre March 7, 2007 at 4:12 pm

what exactly is the “homosexual agenda,” if you will elaborate on that please?

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Ian March 7, 2007 at 4:22 pm

The agenda is full public approval and endorsement of their lifestyle from every organization including adoption agencies, private and public schools, government agencies, housing and employment law and the suppression of of any disapproval of their lifestyle, even in churches.

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Robespierre March 7, 2007 at 4:43 pm

I am concurrent with that view on the level of a lifestyle of debauchery, just as much as I would agree with disapproval of the lifestyle a prostitute would choose. However I do not see that a homosexuals should be discriminated in housing, employment, government, etc. on the basis that they are different. Had Christ wanted that he would not have invited sinners to his table; it seems that whoever created the notion of a homosexual agenda was acting much like the pharisee in Matthew 9:10-13.

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Ian March 7, 2007 at 4:53 pm

Why should I as a home renter be required by law to rent to people who will be doing things in the home that I disapprove of? I wouldn’t want to rent to an unmarried straight couple either. Also, as a Catholic bookstore, why should I be required by law to ignore someones lifestyle in my hiring practices when it goes against everything we believe and promote?

The government should not redefine marriage either because in doing so they open up the door to things such as the recent MA supreme court mandate and future interference with private citizens based on some vague notion of “equality”.

There is a big difference between having dinner with an actively homosexual person and being forced by law to let them live in my house.

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Robespierre March 7, 2007 at 5:02 pm

Well by those standards, it would be fitting to toss out the New Covenant and just stick with Mosaic Law. We’re all sinners, and really there is nothing in the doctrine of Christianity that says that it is up to us to impose our disapproval on another person, that’s God’s job not ours. Where’s the charity?

Aside from that I do not think marriage should be redefined, it has its divine purpose of procreation through the will of God, whereas homosexuality completely misses the point.

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Ethan March 7, 2007 at 5:57 pm

Sometimes, for the specific cause of charity, it’s necessary to choose the Law of God over what another person believes he “deserves” simply by being. The New Covenant is very clear in this matter; homosexuality is wrong. The charity that we are required to give to such people extends to anything that could help them overcome their sins, but stops short of anything that could possibly be interpreted by them as not “hindering” them, according to the Catechism. If a homosexual person believes that he has the right to be homosexual, he has no place anywhere near me; I wouldn’t associate with him, and for the most part I would even intentionally avoid him; his isn’t the kind of influence any holy person would want in his or her life. If, on the other hand, he has problems concerning homosexuality that he truly believes to be problems, I have the obligation to help him, and would do so for the Love of God. But that person would never call himself a homosexual. Anyone who is truly repentant would never call themselves homosexual. And I’ve yet to hear about a single instance where Christ was “charitable” in that manner toward someone who was NOT repentant.

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Robespierre March 7, 2007 at 6:11 pm

How can one know if another is truly repentant, one cannot with completely see into another’s heart. Even though a homosexual faulters in his weakness he/she could have veritable contrition. Why wouldnt one who is contrite call themselves what they are…if that argument follows, then why do we call ourselves human beings? There exists a level of humility when one carries their weakness and owns it for oneself, not out of proclaimed hautiness, but out of mercy and ingenuousness. Otherwise I agree with you Ethan about indifference, perhaps, toward those who choose not to repent.

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Robespierre March 7, 2007 at 7:20 pm

In the Catechism it states:
CCC 2358
“The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. The must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in thier lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s cross the difficulities they may encounter from their condition.”

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Ethan March 8, 2007 at 10:10 am

I think we’ve gone off topic here. The conversation that was started wasn’t about those who do choose to bear their cross with humility, it was about those who are PROUD of this fault of theirs and those who would choose to undermine the rights of others in order to push forward their own faults as good.

They wouldn’t call themselves homosexual because they would know that they aren’t homosexual. The Catechism never states that people ARE homosexual, it just says that they have homosexual tendencies. For someone to actually BE a homosexual, that would mean that God created them for the purpose of a disorder, and to claim that would be heresy. Nobody actually IS gay, but there are those who have sinned and wish to repent and do repent, and those who have sinned and wish to continue sinning.

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Robespierre March 8, 2007 at 3:55 pm

Since this phenomonological ontology you’ve presented incites heresy, then why are we calling them homosexuals?

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Ian March 8, 2007 at 3:59 pm

To avoid confusion, please assume that any reference to “homosexuals” in this post refers to those people who have, act on, and see nothing wrong with or want the normalization of homosexual inclinations and actions.

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Ethan March 8, 2007 at 4:55 pm

Point well taken, Robespierre. I’ll have to be careful with that in the future. Thanks for pointing that out.

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Ethan March 8, 2007 at 4:58 pm

Do you disagree with my analysis of the “homosexual” state? If so, what about it do you find incorrect?

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Robespierre March 8, 2007 at 10:03 pm

I agree Ethan, from the teachings of Mother Church, the acts of homosexuality are very depraved.

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Len March 9, 2007 at 4:56 pm

Respond To Ian,
What two adults do behind closed doors, should have nothing to do with rather you rent your house to them or not, your comment is like saying I will not rent to Aferican Americans because they cook a lot of fried foods, and it smells. From my experience of dealing with bigits like yourself, Its always the people like you that are really homosexual and affraid to admit that you play the oposit rule and put them down to take attention away from yourself. Lets STOP and Take a look at the catholic Priest that have molested little boys, its sick acts like that you should be concerned about, but you still go to that catholic church knowing that don’t you….

I was born and raised catholic and its because of BIGITS like yourself that I decided to withdraw from the catholic religion. Since when does sexuality have anything to do with church, God, and who we rent our houses too.

I will remember this next time I have a place open to rent If they are a straight couple I will not rent to them because I do not want the BREEDING in my house. Ian get Real ,find a religion that is not so brain washing and most important kick open your doors and be proud of who and what you are GOD will love you regardless of what the catholics think.

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Ian March 9, 2007 at 5:16 pm

Len, who you rent your house to should be up to you, not the government. Not all bigotry is bad. I am a bigot against pedophiles and I am a bigot against those who advocate genocide. I am also a bigot against those who want to force the full acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle on everyone. If you read the Bible, sexuality has a lot to do with church and God. Your failure to accept that saddens me but it doesn’t change reality.

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Len March 9, 2007 at 5:31 pm

Ian
I have accepted who I am, and I don’t push my lifestyle on anyone. your comment was unfair, Its like saying all married men cheat on their wives. If I am not mistaken the catholic church or the book they call the Bible does not approve of that either, Right.
The fact that you are so closed minded Really bothers me.

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Len March 9, 2007 at 5:34 pm

Ian,
Do all Married Men Cheat on their Wives?
Well all homosexuals don’t push their lifestyle on others either

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Ian March 9, 2007 at 5:40 pm

If you read the comments you will see that I qualified my comments to apply to those who want everyone to accept and promote their lifestyle.

The topic at hand is whether or not it is right for the government and those with homosexual inclinations to force acceptance of their behavior on others and have it promoted as normal, not whether or not the Bible condemns adultery.

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Ian March 9, 2007 at 6:08 pm

Len, your movie was funny but let’s stay on topic.

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Ben March 11, 2007 at 1:11 pm

Len,

In your original comment you seemed to lump all “Aferican Americans” (sp) into one group, all priests as child abusers. Ian, rather, has qualified his statements.

When I read this post, I didn’t view it as being anti-homosexual, which is obviously your concern. Rather, it was about the government telling us what we can or cannot do. If you have a house to rent and want to help your fellow homosexuals, you can do that by choosing not to rent to a straight couple. Ian, I believe, is suggesting straight couples should have that same right. You would not be called or consider yourself a “bigit” (sp) if you decided to only rent to a homosexual, but for someone straight to do the same thing all the sudden they get that bigot label. Certainly you can see the discrepancy here.

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Robespierre March 13, 2007 at 11:44 pm

there is a lot to be said about the issue of homosexuality. I’m gay, it’s a burden and it’s also a gift in the sense that it gives me something to struggle with to make me worthy of God’s love. Like I said earlier, I do not believe in “gay” marriage. I dont want it! I really just want to be left alone, I dont want to be marginalized because I am gay. If we’re going to go by the Bible and the Old testament then we shouldnt focus just on homosexuality. What about kosher food laws, women covering their hair…things like that?

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Robespierre March 13, 2007 at 11:50 pm

To Len:
One more thing…sexuality has everything to do with God, it is His will that we go forth and populate the earth, and, well, homosexual acts do not correspond to the Lord’s will.

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Ian March 14, 2007 at 12:41 am

What needs to be considered when looking at Old Testament law and the New Testament is what is condemned or upheld in both. Kosher food laws were done away with in the New Testament as well as the requirement for circumcision. Homosexual acts were condemned in both the Old and New Testaments. Women covering their hair during prayer is a completely separate topic for another day.

As far as leaving gays alone, I fully agree. Gays shouldn’t be mistreated or marginalized through active persecution and segregation. However, gays also shouldn’t expect things such as civil unions and GLBT clubs to be accepted as these things promote homosexual lifestyles as normal. Having gay tendencies, like being an alcoholic is a heavy cross to bear and those afflicted so need prayers and support, not false affirmation.

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Lactantius March 14, 2007 at 12:04 pm

Suppose that homosexuality is a narurally occurring phenomenon and not a matter of personal choice. The American Pyschological society, the testimony of homosexuals, and the occurrence of homosexuallity in non-humans seem to indicate that this is the case. If this is so, then the human nature these individuals have received is imperfect, but it is natural. Isn’t it then contrary to natural law and to charity to discriminate againsst them?

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Ian March 14, 2007 at 12:42 pm

Some people are born with a propensity to alcoholism. Others are born with a tendency towards kleptomania. Just because something occurs in nature doesn’t mean that it is correct or acceptable to act on such a tendency.

And what are you considering discrimination? Refusing to recognize homosexual marriage? Refusing to promote homosexual acts as normal in school?

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Lactantius March 14, 2007 at 11:30 pm

Alcoholism and kleptomania both do harm to people. Homosexuaal activity, if it is not a promiscuous pursuit of pleasure, but an expression of genuine self-sarificing love, does no harm. Gay marriage which is the expression of such a love in a permanent commitment does no harm and promotes the well-being of the indifiduals. Marriage is a weak institution today, not because of homosexual marriage or gay civil unions, but because of easy divorce and marital infideltiy and the unwillingness to sacrifice.

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Ethan March 15, 2007 at 8:07 am

Such self-sacrificing love in a gay marriage is impossible. As the Pope’s recent encyclical is titled, “God is Love”. Any love that is not directed first to Him is imperfect. Any love that isn’t directed to Him at all is false love, and it’s end goal is purely selfish. Since the Old Testament prophets, New Testament Saints, Fathers and Doctors, and even Christ Himself have stated unconditionally that homosexuality is wrong under any circumstance, anyone who actively promotes such a lifestyle, or even just a general acceptance of such a lifestyle, is helping those caught in the grip of the sin to remain there, and because of that participates in that sin in an indirect way. Homosexual activity can only be a promiscuous pursuit of pleasure.

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Ethan March 15, 2007 at 8:13 am

Also, it does harm to everyone who experiences any sort of effect from it, whether they be committing the sins themselves or not. Evil acts are evil for everyone.

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Lactantius March 15, 2007 at 10:56 am

Those are very sweeping statements about the teaching of scripture. But you are mistaken. Christ never once speaks of homosexuality, much less condemnts it. Homosexual activity is wrong when it is engaged in by heterosexuals, because it is then against the nature they have received. The condemnations of homosexual activity in the Bible can well be understood as referring to heterosexuals who practice homosexuality for ritual purposes or simply for superficial pleasure. This, in fact, seems to be the sense of St. Paul’s condemnation of homosexuality in Romans 1:26-27: “Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another.” The persons spoken of “exchanged” or “gave up” natural intercourse; this would seem to indicate that “natural inter­course” was their previous way of acting. Qui nimis probat nihil probat: One who proves too much proves nothing. What evidence do you have ( not just a priori prejudice) that honmosexuals are incapable of unselfish love? What do you call it when one man takes care of his partner who is dying of AIDS? I’m afraid your homophobia is showing.

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Ian March 15, 2007 at 11:06 am

That is the most twisted understanding of this passage that I have ever heard. Would you also say that for someone with a propensity to alcoholism to get drunk is acceptable because he has a “natural” tendency towards it?

Love and truth are both objective realities and the appearance of love, as real as it may appear between people with same-sex attractions, is not proper love. I would suggest reading the Theology of the Body for some very detailed thoughts on this topic.

What if I have a “natural” desire to have sex with animals? Does that suddenly make such actions morally acceptable? That appears to be what you are saying if we try and apply your rational – if it is natural, it is moral – to other situations.

Also, the fact that the APS no longer considers homosexual desire a disorder doesn’t prove anything except that they have been caught up in the current political correctness. Aren’t they the same group that said that pedophilia wasn’t really that harmful long term to children?

Finally, you haven’t explained why it is the governments role to force acceptance and affirmation on the people.

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Lactantius March 15, 2007 at 11:45 am

A tendency to alcoholism is destructive to the person and his associates, so it is immoral to indulge it. A tendency to bestiality is contrary to the interpersonal nature of human sexuality, to it is immoral. It is a convenient way to dismiss the conclusions of the APS by saying they are simly yielding to political correctness. I’m not aware of any statement of theirs on the long term effects of pedophioia, but I would be very much surprised by it and there seems immense evidence that its effects are profound and long lasting. Do you have any evidence that the APS said this about pedophilia or is this another way of dismissing their statements on homosexuality. There are actually many. For example: The American Psychological Association on its internet site replies to the question: “What causes a person to have a particular sexual orientation?”
They answer: “There are numerous theories about the origins of a person’s sexual orientation; most scientists today agree that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors. In most people, sexual orientation is shaped at an early age. There is also considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person’s sexuality. In summary, it is important to recognize that there are probably many reasons for a person’s sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people.” Words like “most likely” and “suggest” show the need for further study until such certainty as is possible is reached on one side or the other.
And to the question, “Is sexual orientation a choice?”, they reply: “No, human beings can not choose to be either gay or straight. Sexual orientation emerges for most people in early adolescence without any prior sexual experience. Although we can choose whether to act on our feelings, psychologists do not consider sexual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed.”

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Ian March 15, 2007 at 11:58 am

Why does love have to be interpersonal? What moral truth are you standing on to make that claim? Do you believe that there can only be “harm” and “sin” when something causes physical harm? You seem to deny any belief in spiritual harm.

And what moral truth are you standing on that says harming yourself is an objectively bad thing?

I was partially correct about the APA. It changed its definition of what constituted a pedophilia mental disorder to require that the pedophilia harmfully affect other aspects of the person’s life to be considered a mental problem. It shortly thereafter published a study in its journal that said there wasn’t proof of long term harmful effects on children subjected to pedophilia. After a brief attempt to defend the quality of the study under whithering criticism the society magically reversed its position.

Regardless, the fact that homosexual tendencies can occur in nature is no argument that such tendencies are in fact good for an individual nor does it make acting on them morally neutral.

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Lactantius March 15, 2007 at 1:04 pm

There is a general moral principle that things are forbidden because they are wrong; they are not wrong because they are forbidden. It is always necessary to show what the wrong is. There is indeed spiritual harm, and it is the greatest. I’m bewildered by the question asking to show that human sexual love is interpersonal. What do you think it is?
You ask what the government has to do with gay rights. It is the function of government to defend human rights. That was stated in the Declaration of Independence when it described human rights as coming from the Creator. If such rights exist, then government should defend them.
Lest you think I am defending gay rights in order to defend my own way of life: I am nearly eighty years old. When I was fifteen I experienced the call of God to the vowed religious life. For more than sixty years I have lived this life with gratitude, joy, and fidelity. But I have a very low tolerance for the unreasonable, the unjust and the unloving, which the blanket condemnations of homosexuality strike me as being. God is love, and he established a pattern of human development in which some come to an awareness of themselves as homosexual with no prior choice of their own that brings this about. That they should choose a way of life that conforms to this awareness, without violating other people’s rights, seems to me to be reasonable, just, and a genuine expression of human love.

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Ian March 15, 2007 at 1:36 pm

Again I ask, “What moral reality are you standing on to make the claim that homosexual acts are not spiritually harmful?” You seem to believe in some notion of objective good and bad but you haven’t said what it is based on. I ask you about the interpersonality of human love because I want to know where you believe such a reality is found. If I have a natural tendency towards bestiality and I truly believe that such behavior is loving, what objective moral criteria are you applying to say that it is wrong?

Your rational for the Biblical passages concerning homosexual acts has never been accepted by any Christian organization until possibly the last 40 years. Is it possible that every Christian church from the time of Christ to the present didn’t understand St. Paul and the Old Testament condemnations of homosexual acts? If this is so, how come St. Paul never corrected such a misunderstanding?

Again I also ask you to read the Theology of the Body for a philosophical and theological rational for why any sexual acts that don’t take place between a man and a woman are wrong.

Why do gays have a human right to have their sexual behavior foisted on me and my children as normal?

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Ethan March 15, 2007 at 2:01 pm

Homophobia!! That’s funny…

Anyway, I seem to be falling behind here. Romans 1:27,28 seems to contradict what you’re saying: “Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper.”

I think that makes it pretty clear cut that St. Paul saw ALL homosexuality as wrong, and not just those acts that are, as you say, committed by heterosexuals. It doesn’t mention anything about “heterosexual” males, it just says “males”.

I’ll admit that I could be wrong about Christ saying that, but I’m pretty sure I remember reading a Gospel passage in which Christ DOES say that. Out of a general respect, I’ll agree to withdraw that statement until I can back it up.

I’d also like to hear the answer about where your ideals of morality are derived.

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Lactantius March 15, 2007 at 10:57 pm

I got mixed up and sent the wrong message. Here is what I meant to send.
I want to make something clear about where I stand on homosexuality. I do not regard it as an equally acceptable or desirable way of life. It seems clear, on the one hand, that homosexuality, whatever its origin, is a genuine deficiency, an “objective disorder.” Sexuality in all animal species is directed to reproduction. Male and female contributions to the process of procrea­tion ensure variety in the offspring, and this makes for a social structure which promotes the survival and well-being of the species. Heterosexual desire and activity guarantee this, while homosexuality, whether male or female, fails to do so. Hence, precisely as generative sexuality it is deficient.
On the other hand, if homosexuality is a naturally occurring phenomenon, in much the same sense as color-blindness for example, what follows? Suppose, that is, that homosexuality, like color-blindness, while not occurring in the majority of the population, is not simply the result of someone’s choice but happens in the ordinary course of nature, what are the consequences? Suppose that just as persons discover they are color-blind without choosing to be this, so some discover they have a sexual attraction toward others of the same sex rather than the opposite sex. Furthermore, just as the activity of color-blind people does not pose a serious threat to their own happiness or the happiness of others, so homosexuals do not directly harm anyone nor do they themselves suffer directly except that they cannot become parents in the ordinary way.
I want to say more, but it’s getting late for me. I’ll try to get to it tomorrow morning.

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Ian March 15, 2007 at 11:25 pm

Color blind people don’t really have a choice about whether or not to use their sight. Homosexually inclined people DO have a choice about whether or not to have sex just as heterosexuals do.

Again I ask, “What moral absolutes are you basing your belief upon?” You keep coming back to this issue of if it’s “natural” and “not hurting anyone” then it can’t be wrong. On what absolute are you basing this? Why is not harming anyone an absolute in your book? What if it isn’t in mine (or all of Christian history up to the last fifty or so years)?

I mean, what if I decide that looking at pornography is okay for me? I’m not hurting anyone and I naturally enjoy looking at the female body. So, is there anything wrong with that? It isn’t the ideal expression of sexuality but I’m not hurting anyone so there can’t be anything wrong with it, can there?

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Lactantius March 16, 2007 at 11:41 am

When is this natural homosexual activity morally good?
Sexual activity in heterosexuals is good and well ordered when it is directed within the covenant of marriage both to the procreation and education of children and to fostering close personal friendship: what has been called the procreative and unitive ends of marriage. (This does not necessarily mean that every sexual act must be open to new life, but that the sexual life of the couple as a whole must not be deliberately closed to new life. This closed attitude is some­times called the “contraceptive mentality” and is clearly contrary to the over-all natural purpose of heterosexual activity.) Even more, merely casual sex, involving no assumption of responsibility and no commitment to the other person, engaged in for nothing more than pleasure is narcissistic, immature, destructive of personal development, and demeaning to both parties.
Well ordered homosexual activity should also be directed to developing close personal relations between persons and to the welfare of the race (the common good). Some homosexuals may find themselves particularly subject to the temptation to engage in merely casual sex. They can easily imagine that since they don’t have to be concerned about the possibility of offspring, they are free of every responsibility. But this is to forget that sexual activity, whether homosexual or heterosexual, when engaged in at the human level, is an interpersonal activity. It is not just mutual masturbation. However pleasant and absorbing it is, it also joins one person’s life experience to that of another. This sense of togetherness as persons who are affirming each other’s dignity and goodness belongs to all good human sexual activity.
The relationship of this homosexual activity to the common good of the human race is mediated by the personal benefit derived by the individuals involved. Because this activity makes them more truly human, more open to the goodness and beauty of another person, they develop their personalities so as to benefit all they associate with. Just as wholesome relations within a family are of benefit not only to the members of the family but also to their other friends and relatives, so the maturity coming from good homosexual relations also benefits others

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Ian March 16, 2007 at 11:53 am

But any sexual activity outside of marriage is immoral. It doesn’t matter how “loving” those involved are. By its very action, such behavior is immoral and degrades sex and love. Please explain how performing sexual acts that have no procreative possibility and have been condemned throughout Biblical history are now suddenly “good” because they join one person’s life experience to another’s.

You still have failed to explain what moral absolutes you are basing your thesis upon. You keep talking about interpersonal relationship and not harming others being the determination of the morality of sex but you haven’t explained why this new moral absolute is suddenly valid when for a couple of thousand years the Christian churches said otherwise. If interpersonality and “doing no harm” are moral absolutes, then marriage shouldn’t be a requirement for heterosexuals to have sex either.

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Ethan March 16, 2007 at 12:39 pm

And nothing else would be wrong, either, insofar as it doesn’t overly involve someone else without their consent. Even stealing, if the person being stolen from doesn’t notice, and the theft doesn’t make any impact on his finances, would be perfectly morally just. But we can go farther than that: as long as your partner is fine with it, sex would be morally good with anyone, including, say, a 7 year old boy or girl, depending on whether you’re heterosexual, or homosexually inclined.

This is what happens when you stop listening to the Church as instituted by Christ.

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Lactantius March 17, 2007 at 2:24 am

I wasn’t able to write anythng today. But if you think my position leads to the absurd and hideous situuation you descrfie, I have certainly failed to make myself clear. Why can we not presme that all of us sincerely with to love God with all our hearts and minds and sould, and our neighbors as ourself. St, Paul tells us that all the commandments are summed jp in this: You shalll ove your neightbor as yourself. More tomorrow.

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Lactantius March 17, 2007 at 3:40 pm

The remarks on homosexuality that I have been contributing to this discussion are occasioned by an article that made no mention of homosexuality. In the July 14, 2006 (Volume CXXXIII, Number 13) issue of Commonweal in an article entitled “Could the Church Have Gotten It Wrong?” Profesor M. Cathleen Kaveny of Notre Dame Law School recalls: “As John Noonan recounts in detail in A Church That Can and Cannot Change (University of Notre Dame Press), the church’s moral teaching has evolved in a number of key areas, such as slavery, religious liberty, usury, and the dissolubility of marriage. The changes are significant.” This leads her to observe about the Church leaders of the past and to ask, “They were trapped by the limitations of their own eras, their judgment impaired by unquestioned assumptions about the morality of certain inherited practices. What does that historical fact imply about us? Can we say for sure that we are not similarly trapped today? Can we say that there are no matters of enduring and grave moral import that have simply escaped our attention? Can we say that we ourselves will not be judged morally blind by our heirs in the faith?”
We should note that the institution of slavery and the prohibition of taking interest on loans seem to have strong support in the scriptures. We might qlso add to that list of moral norms that have developed over the years the recent opposition to the death penalty and support for conscientious objectors. A generation ago, scarcely anyone questioned the acceptability of the death penalty for some serious crimes, and it was generally judged a matter for governments alone to decide if a war was just or not; the individual simply had to obey. The Nazi horror showed that individuals need to exercise their own consciences too.
It seemed to me in the light of all this that we ought to explore the issue of homosexuality as well. There were two reasons why I thought this. For many years I had been advising young men, some of whom were homosexuals. These were not practicing homosexuals, but young men studying for the priesthood, who led chaste lives, but were confronted by discrimination in different ways. Dr. Joaquin Navarro-Valls, a kind of press secretary for Pope John Paul II said homosexuals should not be ordained and questioned whether the ordinations of homosexuals could even be valid. This was skirting heresy, as it tends to revive a Donatist perspective. Regulations singled out homosexuals, requring them (as they should) to observe chastity for some years before they could be ordained. Nothing was said about the same obligation for heterosexuals. My conversations with these men made it clear to me that they had not chosen this condition. They were either born with it or it developed without their choice as they grew through adolescence.
The other reason came from a consideration of homosexuality itself. Sexuality is supposed to be both unitive and procreative. Homosexuality, while it is defective because it lacks an orientation to generation, and hence is disordered in this way, might still be ordered to close personal relations. This is not the promiscuous bed hoppping that is often associated with a gay life style, but genuine self-sacrificing love and concern for another. To deny this is even possible for homosexuals is a gratuitous assumption, not founded on experience but on an a priori concept of human nature, and lacking in love and respect for them. While the procreative aspect of sexuality is absent, the unitive can still be present. In heterosexual love, we accept couples who cannot procreate children because of age or infirmity, and we recognize their sexual activity as an expression and nourishment of their love. Why not admit the same possibillity for homosexuals, provided they do not harm others or violate their rights?
This could indeed mean acknowledging the legitimacy of “gay marriage.” The word “marriage” is used in English in different senses. Shakespeare’s Sonnet CXVI begins “Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments.” Thus, although there is an important difference in purpose in heterosexual and homosexual unions, still, since they are both stable loving unions involving sexual activity, it would seem legitimate, at least in English, to speak of “gay or homosexual marriage.”
When persons of the same sex commit their lives to each other in a permanent way , they should enjoy the same civil and economic benefits as heterosexual couples.
It is sometimes argued that this acknowledgement of gay rights would weaken the institution of marriage. A little reflection makes it clear that this argument is very flimsy. Gay marriage would weaken the institution of heterosexual marriage only if people who would ordinarily choose partners of the opposite sex would now be tempted to choose those of the same sex. But clearly, the only persons who would embrace a gay marriage are homosexuals. Hetero­sexuals will not be tempted to make such a commitment to a person of the same sex. Nor does gay marriage provide a bad example to young people; for only homosexual young people would see there a possibility for their own futures. And such people would not and should not look forward to a heterosexual union. I have seen too much misery when this has been attempted.
We should acknowledge that what really weakens the institution of marriage far more than gay marriages could ever conceivably do, is easy divorce. The fact that half the marriages in the United States end in divorce is the sign of a very weak institution, and none of that weakness comes from gay marriages.
Sexuality is rightly directed to both union and procreation. When it is directed to neither but only to selfish gratification, as in pornography and casual sex, it is unworthy of a human being, and is immoral. The harm done by this kind of sexual indulgence is the primarily injury to the person himself. The person becomes curved in upon himself, rather than looking outward in love. Thomas Aquinas observed that disordered self-love is the root of all sin. It promotes social and personal fragmentation and leads to those things that Paul lists as “works of the flesh” in Chapter 5 of the Letter to the Galatians: “fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these.” Pedophilia and incest involve psychological damage and harm to society as well as damage to the perpetrator. These things are forbidden because they are wrong; they are not wrong just because they are forbidden.
This really is about all I have to say on this matter. I will try clarify any obscurities in this presentation, but I doubt that I have anything new to add.

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Ian March 17, 2007 at 3:43 pm

Thank you for your extended exposition on your position but if, as you posit, the Church “has got it wrong”, then there is no such thing as infallibility, no such thing as a true Church authority and no reason to be Catholic.

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Ian March 17, 2007 at 4:15 pm

For more on the use of the abolition of slavery as an argument in favor of allowing homosexuality I suggest an article from Catholic Culture.

I would also argue that the Church’s position on usury, i.e. the lending or practice of lending money at an exorbitant interest has not changed.

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Lactantius March 17, 2007 at 6:18 pm

The Church has never failed in an ex cathedra teaching. But not all teaching, not even all aujthoritative teachingl is ex cathdra, and there are many instances in the historyof the church of changes in non-infallible teaching. I suggest you read Pope Pius IX’s syllabus of erriorsand ask yourself how many of these statements do you today recognize as “errors.” Ususry did not mean just exorbitant interest, but any interest whatever. They reasoned that since money of itself did not produce anything, it was wrong to require a person to return any more than he had borrowed. Read John Noonan’s book. Read Cathleen Kaveny’s article. The Church does not advertise it when she changes her position, but it is clear to recognize it when it happens. Pope Pius XII (for whom I have great admiratiion) taught in his encylical on the Myst\ical Body that non-Catholics did not belong in any way to the Body of Christ. Those who are separated from us in faith or discipline could not be living a life coming from the Holy Spirit. Theologians still tried to find ways of relating all the baptized to the body of Christ, both Protestants and Orthodox. Pius again returned to the matter in a later encyclical, Humani Generis, saying that once the Pope has spoken the matter is no longer open to discussion. However, discussion continued, and in the Second
Vatican Council, in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, the Council disagreed with Pius XII (without mentioning him), spoke of the unity of all baptized, and referred to them as our separated brethren, who had the inspired Word of God and the sacrrament of baptism. Pius XII got it wrong on this occasion, though he expressed aspects which are important and need to be taken into account. John Paul II went even further and spoke of the structures of non-Christian religions as ways in which God acts in the world. This is just one matter, in our own lifetime, in which the Church has changed its position. The matter, of course. was not something that had been infallibly defined, but it had been taught with authority.

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Lactantius March 17, 2007 at 7:31 pm

Lest I be miunderstood, I think that most of the errors condemned by Pope Pius IX in the Syllabus of Errors, are indeed errors and should be condemned. However, I would have difficulty calling the following propositions errors. The Decree of the Second Vatican Council on Religious Freedom, likewise opposes calling these “errors” especially 55 and 77. 80 seems to have been accepted by Pope John XXIII when he called the Council, and when the Council itself proposed a Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World.
55. The Church ought to be separated from the .State, and the State from the Church. — Allocution “Acerbissimum,” Sept. 27, 1852.
77. In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship. — Allocution “Nemo vestrum,” July 26, 1855.
80. The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism and modern civilization.- -Allocution “Jamdudum cernimus,” March 18, 1861.
There are one or two others for which I have a similar problem.

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Ethan March 19, 2007 at 9:24 am

Lactantius, I see no quarrel between what you quoted to be Piux XII on “separated brethren” and the words of the Council. I think you misunderstood one or both of them.

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Lactantius March 19, 2007 at 3:35 pm

Ethan: I agree with your tendency to try to harmonize different statements rather than to set them at odds. However, I am unable to do this with the teaching of Pius XII on this matter.
Pius XII at one time proposed to end all debate on an issue troubling the church in the 1940′s. It concerned the membership of non-Catholic Christians in the church. In 1943 he wrote in Mystici Corporis: “Those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the one body such as this, and cannot be living the life of its one divine Spirit” (No. 202). Theologians, however, persisted in looking for ways to assert a kind of membership in the church for Protestant and Orthodox Christians.
In 1950 Pius XII reacted to these efforts in Humani Generis: “If the supreme pointiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a hitherto controverted matter, it is clear to all that that matter according to the mind and will of those same pontiffs can no longer be regarded as a question freely debated among theologians” (No. 20). A few paragraphs further on (No. 27), he explicitly refers to the discussion on membership in the church and reproves the theologians who regarded it as still an open question. Pius was clearly invoking his authority as supreme pontiff. He did not, however, succeed in stopping debate.
Vatican II resolved the matter in the “Decree on Ecumenism” against the teaching of Pius XII, though no mention was made of this:
“The brethren divided from us also carry out many of the sacred actions of the Christian religion. Undoubtedly, in ways that vary according to the conditions of each church or community, these actions can truly engender a life of grace, and can rightly be described as providing access to the community of salvation. It follows that these separated churches and communities, though we believe they suffer from defects already mentioned, have by no means been deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic church” (No. 3).
The “sense of the faithful” maintained a conviction contrary to the mind of the pope, and it was confirmed by the ecumenical council and approved by Pope Paul VI in 1964. This was not a defect in the church or in Pope Pius XII, but reflects what Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, later John Paul II, wrote in The Acting Person: “The structure of a human community is correct only if it admits not just the presence of a justified opposition, but also the effectiveness of the opposition which is required by the common good and the right of participation” (Boston: D. Reidel, 1979, p. 343).

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