This post is mainly in response to the video. I know the song is from 2013, but it has been getting a lot of air-time on my favorite local pop station lately. In case you couldn’t make it through the video, here’s a summary: There is a gay couple. They hear a lynch mob coming and run for their lives. One of the men doesn’t make it.
I have two confessions to make:
1) I didn’t make it through the video. There is so much suffering and evil in the world, all you need to do is watch the news. I couldn’t watch this mob attack this man.
2) I struggle with the Church’s teachings about homosexuality. For me, the key words there are “struggle with.” I don’t reject them outright. The Church is my Mother and I want to listen to all she has to tell me. For me, the only way I can make sense of it is by putting it in the overall picture of the Church’s teachings on sexuality. Because of my struggle, I think I can explain the Church’s teachings in this area better than many hard-core believers. Let me illustrate:
Let me try to explain now it in 500 words or less:
As I say in the cartoon above, God made us male and female. Now, this wasn’t a coincidence, this wasn’t an accident. Our bodies aren’t a tomb or a tool. We are our bodies and our bodies are us. Our souls and our bodies are intrinsic to who we are. The resurrection of the body isn’t some sort of metaphorical hogwash, it’s true and literal. We’re all going to be kind of like some sort of holy, glorified, incorrupt zombies someday.
Our bodies reflect something intrinsic about the individual. For example, women’s bodies are made to create and nurture life. So women are naturally drawn to nuture. We are more naturally open-minded, able to embrace everyone. We are drawn to be protective and to provide for the least of those among us. Men, pardon my graphicness, are more direct. They are built to penetrate, so they are naturally less open to those who are different and more able to hone in on things. They also protect and provide for those they care about. While we are more able to receive, they are more able to give.
As our bodies are so intrinsic to our identities, in the Catholic worldview, God cannot be compartmentalized. Everything we do, what we eat, what we wear, where we live, what entertainment we consume, when, how and with whom we make love, all of these and more have eternal consequences. Hence the so-called “culture wars” right now. Artificial contraception is just as “intrinsically disordered” as homosexual behavior from a Catholic perspective. We cannot condone behavior that we believe will lead other people to hell.
We observe in nature that the sex act has two effects. One is the bonding of the couple. The other is to have children. Anything that interferes with either of those things is “intrinsically disordered” as to the nature of sex. That’s all there is to it. Gay people aren’t sick. Gay people aren’t any more sinners than the rest of us. Homosexual behavior isn’t any worse than artificial contraception, premarital sex and porn.
The Church’s teachings on homosexuality cannot be seen outside of its overall teachings on sex and the body. (Arguably, the Church’s teachings on sexuality cannot be seen outside of the whole Gospel, but that is beyond the scope of this post.) If you take it out of context, like anything you take out of context, it gets greatly distorted. And people get hurt and others, like the idiot in the cartoon, die in ignorance. The body is good and sex is very good. The Church just does not want to see sex used as a tool for pleasure when it can be so much more.
Less than 500 words? Nailed it!