Friday, June 08, 2012

Thou shalt not covet...

Sin speaks to the sinner in the depths of his heart.

Yesterday, after reading a post of mine wherein I linked to a gay blog site, a reader asked me why sites like that so often display homoerotic images.  I couldn't tell her, but I agreed, that it is often the case on such blogs.  I tried to explain, in my clumsy way, my sense of scripture regarding homosexuality or homoerotica, responding to her email, I wrote:
Nope - it is just not you - gay sites are obsessed with male nudes - why? Not sure. I think it's comparable to 'religious cult' in some aspects.  Seriously.  With some people, it seems homosexual attraction can border on idolatry, with a bit of fetishism thrown in - albeit more or less unconsciously.   I'm not sure why everything seems to be reduced to the  erotic - but it certainly appears obsessive.   I've noted lately how so called "chaste-Catholic-gays" seem to be intent on developing a spirituality involving a precipitous  understanding of eros in same sex friendship.  Nevertheless, I think there is a danger in such thinking, perhaps even a subliminal cultivation of the erotic in the process. I'm trying - politely and respectfully - to make sense of their constant discussion on how gay/queer is good - but I'm not buying it.  - My response to a reader.
My friend never responded, so I sent her something I found later, from a writer I'm probably not supposed to like.  However, in a discussion he posted at his site on the topic of the chaste-gay-Catholic phenomenon, I had to agree with many of his points.  I didn't take his commentary to be offensive or mean-spirited, straight forward and blunt perhaps, but his argument seemed reasonable enough to me.  I've never read the guy before, I do not know him, I've only read what other people say about him.  Reprinted below is the section of his post which I sent to my friend, and which accords with my personal intuition.

The interesting thing about beauty is that the person who has it did nothing to attain it. It is something given to them by God. So, if one wants to appreciate the beauty of a human being, one must realize that the human being is merely a reflection of the beauty of God and thus not the one to be plugged into. The only thing beauty should prompt us to do is marvel at the God who created it. Or as St. Paul puts it, one needs to reject the temptation to worship the creation and only worship the Creator. Interestingly enough, St. Paul’s warning against idolizing the creation appears in the very context he is speaking about the causes for homosexuality, Romans 1:25. In other words, the seeds of homosexuality begin by an inordinate admiration of the creation. The creation becomes the focus of one’s attention rather than the God who created it. In fact, in most cases of sin, it is the idolization of the creation that leads to the shunning of God, and this is why St. Paul calls covetousness idolatry (Col 3:5). It is here where the person begins to idolize either another person or even themselves, and the idolization takes on its own identity, and the very reason that the label of “chaste gay” becomes so important to those promoting this new persona. - Robert Sungenis, The Chaste Gay Concept in the Light of the Tenth Commandment

Live "according to the Spirit of unity and truth. To this end we must pray that the Spirit may illuminate us, guiding us to overcome the lure of our own truths and to accept the truth of Christ, as transmitted by the Church". - Pope Benedict XVI, Pentecost 2012


  1. Terry Nelson writes : "With some people, it seems homosexual attraction can border on idolatry"

    Years ago while doing a design for a Ukrainian parish the pastor told me he had two kinds of parishioners :

    Catholic ukrainians
    Ukrainian catholics

    A simple distinction I've often seen in virtually any type of Catholic grouping. Some desire to be formed in the image of the Church. Others desire to form the Church into their own image.

  2. he does an excellent job in explaining a unique perspective. and i have to agree with you, terry.

  3. I think homoerotic behaviour is almost always idolatrous.


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