Skip to main content

Orientation isn't the issue

Pope Francis made an offhand comment yesterday to the effect that there was nothing wrong with (celibate) gay men being priests. The gay lobby here in Des Moines and at least one local television station treated this as a great breakthrough.

In one sense it was. Sort of. John Paul II, as I recall, prohibited the ordination of men with a known homosexual orientation altogether, in part because of the degree to which not-so-celibate gays had established a "network" dominating certain seminaries. But the fact is that homosexual orientation is a comparatively recent concept. Traditionally homosexuality has been thought of in terms of behavior, not psychosexual orientation.

It is in that sense- and that sense only- in which Christianity has a problem with it (this is not to say that it isn't comparatively easy to find bozos who still refuse to make the distinction- more about which in a moment). But while the Faith has always condemned lust of any sexual flavor- treating people as objects just isn't cool- the Great Tradition has never had any difficulty with the concept of celibate individuals of homosexual orientation being accepted as active Christians in good standing, struggling with their fallen natures just like the rest of us. And it certainly does not forbid their ordination on the ground of their orientation.

The confusion of orientation and behavior is a key element in the homosexualist attempt to portray moral problems with homosexual behavior as a form of bigotry. It seems to assume that people- whether gay, lesbian, or straight- are animals who cannot control their sexual appetites, and that therefore sexual self-discipline is something it is simply unreasonable to ask of us.

But they are wrong. It's precisely such self-control (coupled with repentance and absolution when we slip) which has always formed the basis of the Christian sexual ethic.

Orthodox Christianity has always treated homosexual behavior as sinful- and it always will. It's a matter of clear and unchanging biblical revelation. But orientation is simply not an issue, and those who suggest that it is one are either uninformed or disingenuous.

Picture published under the Creative Commons License Attribution 3.0 Brazil


Popular posts from this blog

McMullin, Kasich, Hickenlooper, Huntsman, or somebody else sane in 2020!

I don't expect to be disenfranchised in 2020. I'm looking forward to Evan McMullin running against President Trump and whatever left-wing extremist the Democrats nominate. McMullin may or may not run for the Senate next year, and he may or may not run for president as an independent again next time around, but the nation can't afford to lose its most eloquent and intelligent critic of the populist takeover of the Republican party and the Executive Branch. We need the man in public life.

But interesting alternatives have developed. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been mentioned as a potential primary challenger for Mr. Trump. I hope somebody continues the fight for the soul of my former party, even though I believe it to be a lost cause. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban is reportedly also considering a challenge to Mr. Trump. While I tend to see him at this point as somewhere to the left of where a candidate I would feel comfortable supporting might be, I would wish him well. Still, I see…

A modest proposal for a shocking innovation which is completely within the rules but which would, if adopted, revolutionize college football

I call it defense.

The idea- crazy as it may sound- is to supplement the scoring of points by your offense with an attempt to stop the other team from scoring them. Yeah, I know.  Really "out there," isn't it? But it has a history of winning not only games but championships. Modern college teams should try it more.

I'm a bit bummed about the Rose Bowl outcome but amused by the score. It seems that certain conferences aren't sure whether they're playing college football or high school basketball! I've noticed that in the scores of Sooner games. Last season the nation's college teams set a record by scoring an average of slightly more than 30 points each per game. That's a lot. Historically, that's a REAL lot.

The final score of the Rose Bowl was 54-48, though to be fair that was in double overtime. But to get there, the teams had to be tied 45-45 at the end of regulation! Last year was even worse. Southern Cal beat Penn State 52-49- in regulat…

A third party President in 2020?

I had the pleasure of meeting Joel Searsby, the campaign manager for Evan McMullin last year, at an event for Evan here in Des Moines during the campaign. Here's an interview with Joel by Jon Ward of Yahoo News on the ways in which centrist French President Emmanuel Marcon's out-of-nowhere landslide election last year may serve as an example for the inevitable bid to elect a rational, moderate third party candidate in 2020.

I have a feeling that it will be Evan McMullin again. But names like John Kasich, the Governor of Ohio, and Sen. Lindsey Graham also keep popping up. Word is that Kasich may challenge President Trump for the 2020 Republican nomination, an endeavor in which I'd wish him well but hold out very, very little hope for his success. I sadly expect that my conviction that the Republicans are dead as a vehicle for rationality and the reuniting of our fractured and divided country to be confirmed by the easy renomination of the most unfit and unqualified preside…