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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Gay in Christ Conference at Notre Dame -- Troublesome Questions

Notre Dame is hosting a conference -- Gay in Christ -- featuring Catholics who identify as "gay" but embrace celibacy and the teachings of the Church on marriage and chastity.

Notre Dame’s ‘Gay in Christ’ Conference Aims for Fidelity, But Speakers Embrace ‘Gay Identity’

Troublesome questions keep popping into my head as I read about it:

If there truly is a "gay identity" what does that mean? Isn't the "gay identity" a sexual identity?  And if it is then doesn't that mean there is a third sex? What does that do to Genesis? "Male and female he created them?"

And if there is a third sex, why not a fourth or a tenth? Isn't that what's happening with gender ideology? 

Austin Ruse wrote an interesting article last year on The New Homophiles. Here's a bit that seems particularly related to the conference in progress and the recent Synod on the Family:
There is also something at least a little bit narcissistic about this claim of gay-exceptionalism, that they are experiencing things no others have ever experienced, or that they have unique gifts given to them by dint of their sexual orientation. One of the writers even speaks of the contributions of gay culture though most people would only know the caricature of camp, show tunes and dressing up. [This was exactly the question Michael Voris raised during a Synod press conference about controversial paragraph 50 in the interim Relatio that stated, "Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community....Are our communities capable of ...accepting and valuing their sexual orientation...?" His question was, "Is the Synod proposing that there is something innate in the homosexual orientation that transcends and uplifts the Catholic Church, the Christian community, and if so what would those particular gifts be?" The question was neatly sidestepped by Archbishop Forte.]  
What they want more than anything is a development of doctrine. The Church teaches that homosexuality is “objectively disordered” and that homosexual sex is an “act of grave depravity.” The Church sees homosexuality as a psychological issue the genesis of which “remains largely unexplained.” There is clearly a long way to go from this to Church seeing homosexuality as a gift not just to the gay person but to the Body of Christ. [In view of what happened at the Synod, Ruse's article seems prophetic.]
The gauntlet they are throwing down is for themselves and for us. For them it is to live chastely, to have intimate nonsexual friendships that will never cross the line. 
For us it is to accept them as they are and not believe they must be changed. We may hold that their homosexuality is an Augustinian thorn as many of them do. Similarly we may even hold that it can be a kind of sickle cell anemia, a malady that also comes with benefits, as one of them wrote. But we may not hold that there is anything really wrong with their orientation.
Obviously there is more to come on this. Pray for those with same-sex attraction, treat them with respect, but don't buy into the flawed idea that there is something exceptional and wonderful about the nature of sinful inclinations no matter how embedded in the psyche. Yes, temptations can be a gift to the degree that we resist them and are drawn to holiness, but they are not in and of themselves good and to be celebrated. Would anyone suggest that temptations to drunkenness, fornication, and adultery are goods in and of themselves because a person felt them to innate. (I actually know a man who considered adultery a personal right because he was exceptional.)

We're all sinners. We need to fight our temptations. As Scripture says, "Submit to God; resist the devil and he will take flight. Draw close to god, and he will draw close to you." James 4:7


  1. Excellent! I'm glad you are posting on this - it's important that people are aware - if you ask me - this is another step trying to 'force' a development in doctrine. I'm not sure how significant this is, but the leaders of the Spiritual Friendship movement are almost all converts to Catholicism.

  2. Thanks, Terry, I'm following your posts on the conference. I think you're on to something with the statement about them all being converts. Check out the article I put up from SuperTradMom (today). She makes some really interesting points.