Tuesday, July 11, 2006

'What could it hurt?'

I-AM-TIRED. I guess age is catching up and allnighters are harder feats each time. After a few days facing a PC and cellphones, it seems like a good time to switch off my connected self and think about my family and ruminate about the family and its values, especially after the 5th World Meeting of Families just ended (good roundup found here).

The Catholic Church, and our Pope, has always hailed the institution of the family as an earthly prefigurement of the 'love of God the Father made manifest and incarnate in Christ', and the perfect channel for transmission of Faith. "Defense of the family" these days, however, seems synonymous with what some termed 'bigotry' against liberal-championed demands for 'equality' in non-traditional 'unions': same-sex marriage, same-sex-parents adoption rights, etc.

In my work circle, I meet a lot of Indians and Indian ethnic who, coming from a land of long tradition of mixing cultures, pride themselves in being tolerant. Typical questions I hear when the gay subculture topic is broached range from: (1) "What's wrong with being gay?", to (2) "If they want to get married, why shouldn't the state accord the same privileges and rights to heterosexual marriage?", to (3)"If they can be as good as any husband and wife, why shouldn't they have the right to adopt kids?"

Those of you who have amused yourselves reading my erstwhile rants from waa...aay back would know many years ago, I asked myself Question 1 and came up with "Nothing." Outside its deviant character, I believed that being gay must be a cross to bear, and that being a celibate gay, must be an even heavier cross to bear. So I questioned the Church's teaching that homosexual intercourse is intrinsically evil. Believing that some gays were 'predisposed since birth', I wonder why not give them a small allowance on some earthly comfort since they were doomed to die and not propagate their deviant genes anyway?

On question 2, I am not qualified to offer any opinion. I'm not an economist or a political commentator. Here's an excellent article (written by a self-proclaimed libertarian) about why state-sponsored social changes should be treated with caution.

When it comes to the issue of children, I stopped myself. It was a slippery slope: let adults decide for themselves, but children should not be taught that it is normal to be gay. And how can this be avoided when both its parents (not 'father' and 'mother', but 'Parent A' and 'Parent B') are gay? And since procreation is a motivation (and a consequence) for heterosexual intercourse, why should gay couples, whom through their physical acts surely did not intend to procreate, want to have children?

So how does the mainstream acceptance of gay lifestyle undermine the family?

The Church is wiser than her children obviously. Gradually, through milestone events that happened all over the world, I realized that the deviant cannot be accorded the same recognition as the natural. Increasingly, the deviant is pushing to be the acceptable while the natural is increasingly painted as the archaic and bigoted. There is still sympathy, but looking at these people self-ridiculing and reveling in their degradation made me think they do not only want to be accepted but also for the whole world to be like them.

Take a look at possible results of the revolution pushing for gay marriage and gay-couple adoption: perhaps one day your child reaches a legal limit age and said, "It's time to decide whether I want to adopt a heterosexual or a homosexual lifestyle."; or maybe you are a teacher and the law forces you to teach that it is normal for human beings have two sexual preferences (or more?), and reproduction has nothing to do with sexual intercourse; or maybe the Church and Christians will be persecuted for 'hate crime'?

Mark Shea here has a concise post on "what could it hurt?" and expressed himself better in less words than I ever could with more.

My family isn't perfect; I'm fortunate to have a father and a mother who are still staying together. Thank God for my family!


Bravo said...

Hi Anotnia,

Nice sharing again. Yep, do take a break and go for a walk.

The topic on gay did not hit me until a few years back when one of my girl cousins asked me and one of my guy cousins “Are you gay?”. I guess partly why we were classify as gay was because we did not asked any girls out and we tend to hangout with our guys friends. I was dumbfounded and it took a few seconds for us to tell that we are normal guys. I guess that moment being label as gay was sort of tell me that there is something wrong with me. Although I can’t full understand and think and feel as a gay. I feel it is a sad thing the nature had created men who are gay. And they have to live in normal world.

Pray that God will help them and guide them.

PS: All the best on your retreat and may God guide you in this time.

Antonia said...

It must've been very awkward, (and to some, insulting), to be asked whether you are gay if you are not.

I think you misunderstood my post: I did not believe there are people who are 'created' gay. I wrote I used to think that way, but more evidence seemed to point that it's "nurture" than "nature". Most have experience abuses as a child/adolescent. This is all hotly debated, of course.

Bravo said...

Hi Antonia,

Yeah you are right, I felt it was an insult and sort of made me feel less of a guy :(

I think it is both “nature” and “nurture” that could “create” gay. As a human we have our imperfection. Take for example my white eyelash on my left eyes. I was not born with it but I had accidentally “nurture” it (had damage the pigment cells there). And I was telling myself that no way there will be anyone like me who will have one white eyelash on one side and the other black. A few months back I met a friend who told me she has a patient that has the same white eyelash on his left eyes like me and he was born with it!

I don’t have statistics on how many white eyelashes were “nurture” and how many are “nature”. But both causes of creating are real from this point of view.

I guess at the end of the day whether it is white eyelash or gay… what counts is how we live our life that really counts. So will we live a life to fulfill our imperfections? Or will we live a life to the fullest with our imperfections? (I guess it is something like that Antonia…)

PS: See you later at prayer meet.

Bravo said...

Hi Antonia,

I guess Andrea is right in some way... at the end of the day it is up to the person choice.

And I guess it will be good that we agree to disagree on this "nurture" than "nature" thing?


Antonia said...

Actually, I don't see the point of taking up different positions in this matter unless we consider the ramification.

If one believes that homosexual tendency (and also, the act) is caused by (all-) "nature" (and if choice does not play a role) necessarily means one believes the Church's teaching to be erroneous; for how can anyone be guilty of mortal sin, if he has no consent in the matter?

A sin is mortal if it satisfies three conditions: knowledge, consent and gravity. The Church teaches that homosexual act is intrinsically evil. If consent is missing (in this 'nature' position, it would be, because the person absolutely has no control over his body), then it is no mortal sin, is it?

Bravo said...

Hi Antonia,

I’m confused with the ramification that we are considering. And therefore do not know how to answer your questions.

First we say that if choice does not play a role. I equate that choice is equal to freedom to choose. And freedom is one of the most important and fundamental thing for us humans. Then we say that “consent is missing” will mean that a person absolutely has no control over his body. Which I believe that is like I instruct my body to lift up my right hand and instead my left hand comes up (I do not think this type of control fits in this ramification). And we bring in the Church teachings. Once we bring this in, for what I know the homosexual act is a sin and that’s it.

I just want to say there are humans by nature born that way.
Although with is imperfection in them. We can educate them good values and also teach them about Church teachings. And at the end of the day what life they choose is their choice. If he chooses to live a normal straight guy’s life with this imperfection then he will need to exercise his self-control on this imperfection that he has. And if he decides to live a homosexual life… I really do not know what to say… but was advice before to love the sinner and hate the sin.

Feel free to comment, agree, disagree & etc on what I have said.


Antonia said...

I don't wish to debate on this matter on a comment box. If you wish to ruminate further on this matter, you have a blog to write your thoughts, no? And please differentiate "we" from "I" and "you".

Basically, the argument distils down to this: if you say, people are "born that way", then like someone born with partial color blindness, they cannot help but to see a particular color as another color. If someone is truly born with homosexual tendency over which he has no control and no say ('choice' & 'consent'), then how can we believe that the homosexual act is sinful?

Therefore, if we believe that the act is sinful, then we necessarily must believe that the persons capable of committing this act have control and consent over whether they will to commit the act, despite their predisposition/inclination. The consequence of your position can be summarized thus:
1. there are people who are "born that way";
2. for those who are not "born that way", you accept that the act is definitely sinful;
3. therefore, for those who are "born that way", the act is less sinful?

It's just not logically consistent. I'm sorry I took the terms literally. When you wrote "born that way", you probably don't mean total loss of control over his sexuality, but this position could represent the extreme.

Anyway, I reiterate that I will not write any more comments here (I'm very close to being uncharitable to you here). So here are some links, I hope they will help:
The Gay Gene
Can't Anyone Tell Me Why

Bravo said...


First please accept my humble apologies as I did not expect it to come to this.

For the point number 3 whether the act is less sinful, I do not know whether there is a level of less sinful. But I only can say the person has basically sin (deliberate disobedience to the known will of God) which what you have mention in point number 2.

Thanks you for your patience and understanding in sharing these ideas and knowledge (and the links too) and I’m very grateful for it. I will stop commenting on this matter.