Thursday, August 30, 2012

Catholicism and Same-Sex-Attraction - Part 3 Gay Marriage

Well, this is the last installment of my first series.  My next post will cover some similar ground but it will be a different focus.  As with the last installment, i want you to know my position before you read this post.  Please go back and read Part 1 and Part 2 before reading this.  I cannot be held responsible for any offense you may take (and probably will take) if you aren't versed in what i have already said on this topic.
      Although we often hear claims to the contrary, the Catholic position on marriage is not based on our view of gay people.  Even if the Church didn't hold homosexual activity to be harmful to those who engage in it, our view of marriage would be the same.  Why?  Because our understanding of marriage is really based on our understanding of sex.
      For Catholics, we start with an assumption of meaning.  The universe has meaning, everything has a purpose.  This, you kinda gotta take on faith.  Either there is meaning and purpose or there isn't.  If there is no purpose or meaning then there is no true happiness, for happiness cannot exist apart from meaning.  There is just the now, to be lived to the fullest and then comes despair and death and nothing more.  (nice thought, huh?)
      But what if there is meaning?  Remember from Part 2, we discussed the three right desires; truth, goodness and beauty?  For the moment, i'm only concerned with truth.  A thing's purpose is tied to the truth of that thing.  To pursue something in truth is to pursue it in accord with its purpose.  (I know this seems abstract and confusing, bare with me for a moment longer.)
      Contemplate a house with no one to live in it.  No family to cuddle before its fire place.  No children to play in its yard.  No mom to tell bedtime stories.  No dad to scare away the monsters.  The purpose of a house is to be a home.  What is the allure of fixing up an old house, of restoring it, of making it a home once more?  That joy, that is from pursuing the house in accord with its purpose.
      Now contemplate sex.  What is its purpose?  The natural, physical purpose of sex is procreation, having kids!  There is also a spiritual purpose of joining the two individuals together, of uniting them together in love.  Children are the miraculous sign of this union.  This purpose should not be forgotten, but primarily it's the natural purpose which comes to bare on this topic.  When we separate sex from its procreative element we are separating it from its purpose, we are not pursuing it in truth, we are pursuing a falsehood.
      So sex and procreation can't be separated from each other if we are to find right desire.  But what about marriage?  Marriage is unique among all human institutions as the only one to flow seamlessly from the natural order.  When two people have sex they establish an everlasting bond.  They have joined themselves together for all time.  They pledge themselves to one another, giving themselves over, fully, without reserve.  Sometimes this is incarnated in the form of a child, a living union.  Marriage gives words to this act.  In marriage these truth are recognized, the two pledge themselves to one another, they join themselves for life.  Marriage gives words to this act.  Sex gives act to the words.
      Here, homosexuals get a bum deal.  It would be one thing if Christians applied this idea evenly across the board, but they don't.  We tolerate divorce; trying to end an everlasting bond.  We tolerate contraception; separating sex from its procreative ends.  We tolerate co-habitation; separating sex from marriage.
      The truth is, we're all a bunch of hypocrites.  We tolerate divorce and contraception and co-habitation because opposing them would be hard, because opposing them would affect us!  We want divorce and contraception and co-habitation.  What we want for ourselves we turn a blind eye to.  But we don't want gay marriage, we don't want gay sex and so we fight it.  We fight it because it's icky, because it doesn't affect us.
      The truth is, i don't agree with democrats on this point, but i respect them far more then i respect the republicans.  At least the democrats are consistent.  There is no such thing as gay marriage.  Gay sex, by its very nature, is closed to procreation.  It cannot be pursued in a way that respects its natural ends.  The sexual act of two gay men is not the sexual act to which marriage gives words, its a different act.  An act which i believe impedes the happiness of the men and women who engage in it.
      But at least i'm consistent.  I would say the same thing about divorce and contraception and any sex apart from marriage.  I place no burden on you to agree with me.  You are free to ignore what i have said and live your life as you choose.  I am proud to be Catholic and i am proud to not be a republican.  I am proud to be Catholic because this is the only place where these truths are found.  Not in any protestant church, not among Muslims nor Jews nor Buddhists.  Among the almighty atheist, agnostic, free thinking mob these ideas have never even seen the light of day.

      Living life in accord with truth is hard.  I know you can't do it yourself, don't force others to.  Go live your life to the best of your ability.  If you want one final piece of advice, i'd live it as a Catholic.  Only here is the fullness of truth to be found.  Only here is it united to the fullness of goodness and beauty.  Only here can true happiness be obtained.
      I might be wrong, but i really don't think i am.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."  John 14:6

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