Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Born that way ... redux.

Mr. Peabody here...

Or "Socially constructed"?

These discussions never seem to get old.

So anyway.  I'm against it - the idea that you are born that way - except in rare cases, I should probably add.  I've spent my entire life trying to figure out what went wrong - I'm still not sure - but I know without a doubt that I was born a male, and all my life I was very happy about it.  So happy I could almost chime in with Tevye singing, “Shelo Asani Isha”: “Blessed are you Lord… for not making me a woman”.  Although if I ran around singing that I would most assuredly be accused of being gynephobic - and maybe I was - but I wasn't born that way...  I definitely know that.

Which leads me to a very insightful essay by Anthony Esolen, titled- you guessed it!  Born That Way.  Citing anecdotal examples of a few famous men with same sex attraction, as well as their conflicted childhood experiences, Esolen makes a good argument against the born that way proponents.

Drunkenness, hatred, loneliness, missing fathers, rape, molestation, over-mothering, all these are inevitable when a certain kind of boy is born. - Anthony Esolen - read the rest here.

I know!  But how do you explain SSA in men who have solid families?  A loving mom and dad?  A well provided, integrated life?  I don't know.  Neither does the Church, the Catechism helps us understand that  its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained.  Catholics know that, yet trying to understand these inclinations is helpful - especially to those who go through periods of struggle; seeking to live chastely, making friends, career choices, family, and so on.  Striving for authentic self-knowledge in the way of perfection - or rather, becoming holy - the sanctification of one's life.

Such views are controversial today - but necessary.  I think many of the men Anthony Esolen cites, as well as other famous 'tragic figures' have had a host of other problems coping with real life and relationships as a result of their dysfunctional development.  Many behaviors may have been learned or acquired and forged into habits to such a degree their existence was defined by them.  Understanding how one turned out is one thing, allowing ourselves to be formed and guided is another.  The Church doesn't require more than repentance and conversion from sin and to live chastely.  The grace of God accomplishes the rest.

Looking over my life, I can see the effects of grace.  The forgiveness of sins, the healing of serious wounds.  "I run the way of your commands; you give freedom to my heart."  Ps. 119

You are what you are - as God made you - not what social constructs tell you you are.  Sounds a bit like an argument for 'genderlessness' huh?  It's not.  "God made them male and female" - Genesis.

That's all for today Sherman.

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