Eve Tushnet: Queer as a three dollar bill?
Tushnet self-identifies as a gay-Catholic. I write about people who do that from time to time, mostly how I'm so confused by the identity problem their claims pose. I call it a problem for several reasons. For instance, if I identify as gay - I'm talking about a sexual preference, a vulnerability. Why 'be gay' if you can't be sexual? Especially for gay men, the gay lifestyle is highly sexualized. Even the Leave It To Beaver style gay family - if dad and dad are sexually intimate - is highly sexualized. Tushnet wrote a post recently linking to another article on what to do with desire - speaking to gay celibates. So the sexual desire thing, as well as the 'affective disorder' part of it, is more or less a constant with queer Catholics - or so it seems to me, since their literature is so much about that.
Making a home for gays in the Church - or making the Church more welcoming to gays is indeed a queer notion. Gay people do not want to be labeled disordered, nor disabled. They hate the comparisons made to alcoholics, and definitely reject comparisons to anyone with mental illness - even the common garden variety bi-polar disorder. So what is the special needs requirement that prompted someone like Cardinal Dolan to say 'the Church needs to do better for gay people'? What are queer Catholics really saying but they are an unique 'third way' or gender type, a species set apart but needy to be included? What are they saying about genderlessness, sexual fluidity, and how does that conform to Catholic teaching?
Also, why do they oppose Catholic support groups such as Courage, and seek to create a special 'queer' spirituality for gay people? Why would they reject the notion that a person can change their sexual preference and leave the gay lifestyle?
Janet Smith: Sorry. I agree with her on this one.
Once upon a time I decided I didn't like Janet Smith because she defended Christopher West and his interpretation of JPII's Theology of the Body. It was all academic and over my head, and I moved on. I got to appreciate Dr. Smith after her speaking engagement to Courage members at a Courage Conference a few years ago, and of course, I admired her work on the issue of contraception in the light of Humane Vitae. Anyway, I have come to have a great respect for Dr. Smith. (After all, she is a real theologian and has a real job.)
Dr. Smith was interviewed on the Kresta Show (I do not listen to radio talk shows) about the Cardinal Dolan/Archdiocese of NY problem of providing insurance coverage for Catholic employees, poloicies which also provide coverage for 'women's reproductive health' - contraception and abortion. Yes. It is a scandal. But as I said in another post - I'm not sure the issue is restricted to NY, and probably exists in other diocese, and or, amongst Catholic employers. I may be wrong. However, as Dr. Smith put it:
One last question raised by Al Kresta concerned the issue of "intrinsic evil". Is the Church cooperating with evil if it affiliates with hospitals whose health care plan for unionized employees includes contraceptive coverage?Works for me.
Dr. Smith laughed, noting that God gave us everything we have, even while knowing that some humans would do some terrible things: God provided Adam and Eve with the tree and the apple, and He gave them the possibility of eating the apple from the tree. God was not, however, complicit in their sin. Similarly, if a thief puts a gun to your head and demands that you drive him to the airport, you are under duress and are not guilty of material cooperation for driving him. In the same way the Catholic Church, required to include birth control and abortion in their insurance coverage, is not culpable if the insured then utilizes that coverage. - Kresta
I have confidence the Cardinal and the Archdiocese will sort through the mess.
In the meantime, all I want to add to that is what any other normal person might ask, "So what is wrong with the HHS mandate? How can the USCCB possibly 'win' now?" Maybe we will all have to become immigrants and leave the United States.
Bonus: if you could have chosen any name for yourself at birth, what would it be? I think Darcy is pretty for a girl. (Patron saint could be Joan D'Arc. Beulah is nice too.)
Added bonus: It's not genetic.