The Damned, Visconti, 1969
Or experience 'same sex attraction', does not mean you are queer ...
Nor does it mean you are disordered. The attraction itself is disordered - but that in no way means you are.
Not all people who experience homosexual attraction are gay or queer or disordered? No way.
Concupiscence: it remains in those that are baptized in order that they may struggle for the victory.
For example, some people are tempted to self pleasuring themselves. It's a disordered desire - arising from concupiscence. If they engage in it - it's a sin. If they don't act upon the attraction or give in to the temptation - there is no sin. The temptation, the inclination, springs from original sin and incites to sin - it is not formally sin.
In the discussion which followed the publication of the Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good. Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.
Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not. - Letter to Bishops
Therefore it seems to me the CDF Letter to Bishops on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons is talking about concupiscence when warning that the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder. It is not a sin - it is an inclination to sin. It is the result of the Fall - original sin. The CDF letter is a pastoral response to what has turned out to be a cultural change in giving an overly benign interpretation to the condition itself.
I believe that is why Austin Ruse and people like Joseph Sciambra point out the unsavory aspects of homosexual behavior, as Mr. Ruse did in his latest essay for Crisis, Their Sexual Proclivities Are Killing Them. Ruse's essays have a way of upsetting people simply because they are becoming more graphic, and the cultural attitude has changed completely, as a result of "an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral or even good.” (CDF 1992 Letter) As I said in a comment on Crisis, 'reality bites'. It stings.
Gay activists and gay Christians are always uncomfortable with these discussion and resent the terminology of disorder or objective disorder - which are classic moral, theological terms used by the Church. It seems to me gay Christians are more determined to use terminology intended to give an overly benign interpretation of the condition itself. It is very similar to late 19th early 20th century homophile or same sex friendship movements, such as the Uranians and others. (A synopsis of these can be found here.) One sees that Austin Ruse's reintroduction of the term 'homophile' is in itself a rather respectful term for the Spiritual Friendship, Gay Christian movement/network.
Without fail every time you write about homosexuality, gay/ssa persons, you get flak. "Not every one is like that" is the most common thread, as well as the claim, "That's a problem from an older generation - no longer applicable to the younger more tolerant generation." Same old same old. Truth be told, the re-education of Western culture has been driven by serious efforts beginning in the 19th century by homophile movements working for gender equality, and the elimination of sexual boundaries. It has been going on for well over a century. So yes - younger people and their parents have a greater openness and acceptance of what was once regarded as deviant culture.
It's interesting how much these movements have influenced modern thought, contemporary culture. Early on the introduction of pants for women - menswear became acceptable pretty much due to early LGBTQ movements. (For another synopsis of these, go here.)
Having said all that, and involving myself in this discussion needlessly, I believe this is why people like Melinda Selmys and others get really upset over the fact someone like Austin Ruse is willing to take flak for pointing out aspects of the homosexual underworld they know all about, but would rather not hear repeatedly. Selmys reacted to Ruse's post in a big way here: Sanctioned Bigotry. She makes some good points but pretty much trashes Ruse and company... conservative bigots. I'm not really a conservative, neither am I a bigot.
I began this post as my own sort of response, why? I'm not sure. I noted today Melinda has another post listing how and why such posts seen in Crisis Magazine do not work as a deterrent to homosexual behavior, much less attract anyone to the Catholic Church. While that may be true and I can agree to some extent, the fact is not all are going to be 'saved' or even desire to be religious or Christian. Nevertheless, Selmys recent post is worth considering, she titled it: Telling the Deep Dark Truth About the Sordid Sin of Sodomy in Love. A strange oxymoron for a title, sodomy in love.
I'll let them duke it out though. I think it's called dialogue. Truth in charity, I guess.
Selmys is crazy smart. Truth be told, gay people are indeed different. Being different is just fine. Did you ever see The Imitation Game? It wasn't Alan Turing's sexual proclivities which killed him. Being kind to gay people is not being overly benign to the condition itself... as today's second reading says: Love is kind.
Song for this post here.
Song for this post here.