See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Friday, June 25, 2010

Getting towards the end of the month...


And the end of the Pride posts.
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Seriously - the Gay Pride issue can be a creepy subject.  If any political movement - outside of the pro-choice/abortion/euthanasia movement - has a dark underbelly - this political movement definitely does.  My intention is not to insult gay rights advocates or gay friends with that statement either - it's my personal experience.  Yet there are reasons to be vigilant - just believe me when I tell you that.  One of the key indicators that it is not of God - aside from the fact the lifestyle promoted is opposed to the Commandments as well as natural law and therefore in a state of rebellion, is the confusion and chaos the subject engenders, not to mention the hostility and violence which accompanies it.
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I appreciate what Thomas Peters of American Papist (CatholicVoteAction.org) had to say explaining why he posts on the subject, I certainly share his motivation:

...[P]art of my motivation in talking about this subject is my sincere belief that there are many individuals with homosexual inclinations that do not wish to act out on these inclinations, that wish to live chastely (as all non-married – and married! – persons are called to live) and who, sadly, are given no support for their lifestyle choice because of the overwhelming pressures given to affirming homosexuality in our culture today. - Homosexuality In the Light of Faith

After clearing that up, I think there are sections of St. Paul's Letter to the Romans, beyond the classic condemnation of homosexuality, which can be accommodated to defend the so-called ex-gay phenomenon which active homosexuals so vehemently condemn.
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The call to chastity.
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First of all. I think everyone needs to understand and keep in mind that the Church is not asking homosexual men and women to change their sexual orientation, but to live chastely and celibate - it is the same requirement the Church and the Commandments obliges all unmarried persons to observe.  For some people the very thought of changing one's sexual orientation is unthinkable and would deter them from even attempting to reconcile with the Church.  For others, same sex attraction is completely abhorrent and unwanted and they would do anything to be rid of it, given the means and resources.  Again, Peters refers to an excellent source on the topic which helps to understand and respect their attitude.
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“To men and women tormented by homosexual emotions who do not want to live as homosexuals, who want constructive help and support, and who are forgotten, have no voice, and get no answers in our society, which recognizes only the emancipatory homosexual who wants to impose his ideology of ‘normality’ and ‘unchangeability and thus discriminates against those who know or feel that that is a sad lie.”  - Dr. Gerard J.M. van den Aardweg, The Battle for Normality
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Not everyone is convinced of this however, therefore the Church, reluctant to "bind up heavy burdens too heavy to carry" [Mt 23:4] simply asks persons with homosexual inclination to live chastely and celibate.  No sex, no gay marriage, no porn, no auto-eroticism, no cruising, and so on.  Gay lifestyle stuff - however, that does not mean a man with homosexual inclination must trash his friends and relatives who are gay, or quit his nursing job, or stop going to Broadway shows and hi-lighting their hair... No, no, no - gay lifestyle refers to the practice of homosexuality.  Two or more men can live together - just like anyone else - to "help carry one another's burdens" as the Apostle commands.
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"God has various ways to draw us to himself." - Br. Lawrence
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However, these days Courage Apostolate is often criticized, if not condemned because their website links to organizations such as NARTH, or recommends self-help books such as van der Aardweg's, The Battle for Normality.  Why?  Because the research and science behind these organizations and literature is sound.  Gay activists fight against the findings of course, and claim real science refutes their data.  Who is lying?  Perhaps neither side is, however, men and women who have left the gay lifestyle have been helped immensely by the work Courage, NARTH, and other resources.  It works for them.  Many have found insight into the origins, the why and wherefore of their same-sex attraction - for themselves - not all claim cures or consider themselves ex-gay - but they do acknowledge that they have moved on from the compulsion to act out and even the desire to act out homosexually.
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If someone wants to call themselves ex-gay, let them.  I think another reason out and about gay people hate that term is because they feel threatened by it.  They fear a return to the days when homosexuality was illegal or considered a mental illness to be cured of, therefore they seek to squash any notion of change.  (And yet straight people are permitted to suddenly change and be gay.)  However, in their fight for gay rights, many activists are working to establish a sort of moral dictatorship which rejects everything opposed to their 'agenda', hence the term homosexualist is sometimes applied to these activists - just as some radical feminists are referred to as femininazis.  These are labels which permit outsiders a better understanding of their political goals.  Their tactics are at times similar to totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, and they employ many of the same methods of intimidation and fear.  Consider the backlash against opponents to Prop 8 in California.
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Just hate the sin - not the sinner.
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More recently and locally, this form of intimidation took the form of outing a vociferous critic of homosexuality, a Lutheran pastor who happened to be a member of Courage - seeking support to live chastely and celibate in accord with his Christian calling.  As I noted elsewhere, he was outed by a local gay magazine.  The magazine claimed the man was a hypocrite and because he condemned homosexuality from his radio show pulpit, he deserved to be outed.  In effect, what they did was retaliation and intimidation.  Very Nazi-like tactics.
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That said, although I never heard of the minister nor his radio show before the story hit the news, I understand he came off pretty strong against gay people on the air.  If that is true, I have to wonder if he may not have benefited from St. Paul's continuing exhortation to the Romans, which seems to fit anyone who leaves behind a sinful lifestyle...
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"That is why every one of you who judges another is inexcusable.  By your judgment you convict yourself, since you do the very same things.  'We know that God's judgment on men who do such things is just.'  Do you suppose then that you will escape his judgment, you who condemn these things in others yet do them yourself?'" - Romans 2: 1-3

2 comments:

  1. Aceman8:47 PM

    Geesh T-man, and I thought I was a registered Republican! Ace

    ReplyDelete
  2. Clare Krishan9:55 AM

    As an humble ex-debaucher (someone who had sex before marriage) I think I get why some struggling with SSA would not like the moniker ex-gay. It seems counter to the meme 'Just hate the sin - not the sinner.' Self-identifying as ex-debaucher would imply that the person (me) has earned a merit worthy of self-promotion, rather than the truth - the conduct (libidinous exercise of genitals with another who shares the same hobby) was conquered by a gift of grace and it is the Giver of the gift who's deserving of promotion, not self! The psyche as well as the physique is chastened by grace, simple continence may not be true celebacy. Some of us may be incontinent celebates when our disposition to the physique of others, our psyche's appetite, has not been chastened; and some can be chaste sexually active, when our disposition to the physique of others, our psyche is pierced by that terrible mercy of the gift of contrition for the disordered appetite that leads to acting out on sinful imaginings.

    ReplyDelete


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