Thursday, May 30, 2013

Living faith ...

... I'm Gay, but I'm Not Switching to a Church That Supports Gay Marriage - Eve Tushnet - The Atlantic

The Church needs to grow and change in response to societal changes. We can do so much better in serving the needs of gay/queer/same-sex attracted Catholics, especially the next generation. But I think gay Catholics can also offer a necessary witness to the broader society. By leading lives of fruitful, creative love, we can offer proof that sexual restraint isn't a death sentence (or an especially boring form of masochism). Celibacy can offer some of us radical freedom to serve others. While this approach isn't for everyone, there were times when I had much more time, space, and energy to give to people in need than my friends who were juggling marriage and parenting along with all their other commitments. I've been able to take homeless women briefly into my own home, for example, which I would not have been able to do as spontaneously—and maybe not at all—if I had not been single.


  1. Hi Frank, this is interesting. I wish to raise one issue. The writer refers to sexual difference as the only recognizable difference in the Bible, and thereon, goes to distinguish, and speak exclusively of, marriage as a union of opposite genders. Does that not contradict the author's latter suggestion of finding happiness in a celibate life? What the author is asking, if I read her correctly, is to let the Church welcome you, in spite of your differences, if you can agree to remain chaste. Does that not put gay people below straight people?

  2. I think it's great she has found a Church she can live with. Those born Catholic often have less enthusiasm than her (or any convert) I think.

    I think her theology re: genders (which also means sexual differences to her I think) is a little questionable:

    Didn't Paul say in Heaven there is no male or female?

    Didn't God in Genesis make us male and female in His Image, not male or female?

    Didn't Jesus say some I have made enunchs and If your eye causes you to sin cut it out?

    Didn't David sing: I am fearfully and wonderfully made,

    and God in Isaiah, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,

    and Jesus, Judge not, that ye be not judged,

    and finally Jesus: "Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part. For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward."

    but if in spite of all that her theology works for her God Bless her.

    To me the concept that God cares whether or not she or anyone has physical sex outside of procreation (Hey you 50 year olds! Stop right now!) as the sum total of their following Him is simply wrong. And I write that as someone who is in a 25 year long marriage, has four kids, and changed gender last year.

    As God said, "By their works ye shall know them." I missed the part where He said if you have gay sex you are dead to Me.

  3. This is one those topics where it is best to start with what we can all agree on, for instance, that celibacy has been a counsel of perfection, irrespective of sexual orientation, since time immemorial. It is worthy of respect and justified on its own, not in reference to the nature of sexuality. It is a form of fasting.
    My reservations regarding gay marriage have mostly to do with language. The terms husband and wife have been understood in a specific way for a long time and I don't really see why that should have to change because certain would like that for whatever reason.
    But I think it best the state keep out of it. If church A allows gay nuptials, fine. If church B doesn't, fine as well.
    I also think people need to make their their own, have their own private interpretation of it, something that should be between them and God.
    Best to remind oneself at all times that the law was made for man, not the other way around, and that the point of itall is to be good and kind.

  4. Yes, in fact I saw your point about the difficulty of celibacy, irrespective of sexuality, myself within a few hours of posting that comment. As for the other points, you have made them earlier and they are eminently distinguished.