Wednesday, September 21, 2011

For Catholics Who Accept Magisterial Language of Gay Disorder: Five Points of Advice

As I mull over the attempt of Catholics of the center (along with Catholics of the right) to continue entertaining the magisterial language of disorder about gay folks, I think I'd like to make five points to them.  If they cared to hear what a gay Catholic might have to say about their desire to define him or her, that is . . . .  Here are my points:

1. Ditch the language of disorder.  

You don't win friends and influence people when you start conversations by informing folks they're disordered.  Period.

2. Take a look in the mirror. 

Ask yourselves how you might feel and react if authority figures claiming to speak in God's name informed you that you and all those in your group are disordered because they're capable of doing disordered acts.

3. Take another look in the mirror.

Ask yourself why you're so focused on the disorder of your gay brothers and sisters when Catholic teaching tells you that any ejaculation of any penis outside any vagina is disordered--not to mention, masturbation, use of contraceptives, and so on.  Ask yourself if any heterosexuals anywhere might engage in those disordered acts, and if so, why the church doesn't define all heterosexuals as disordered in their inclinations.

4. Read the gospels.

As you do so, look for all those passages where Jesus talks about homosexuality and penises and vaginas and order and disorder (or locks and keys and hammers and nails).  And if you fail to find those (and you will), then ask yourself what he does talk about and whether the church ought to be talking about what Jesus talked about instead of disordered homosexuals and penises fitting into vaginas.

5. Recognize that Catholic teaching about human sexuality is just plain wrong, insofar as it's based on biologistic understandings of natural law.

Magisterial teaching has been plainly wrong in the past and has had to change as new moral (and scientific and cultural) insights come along in the world at large.  The current magisterial teaching about human sexuality is plainly wrong and will eventually have to change, if the Catholic church expects to maintain credibility among thinking and morally sensitive human beings. 

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