Monday, April 14, 2008

Pope's Visit

The President can't be all bad. He is meeting the Pope at the airport and is not delegating to the VP. This has never happened before-- Queen of G.B. empire, Dalai Lama or anyone. But they say the Catholic Church is dead. Looks pretty much alive to me.... the Churches I know are not dying. Put your money where the smart guys are. With Jesus Who promised His Church would never fail or end. Even to the end of the world. The symptoms of imminent death seem to be quite absent --but please don't tell me the tired old line of the priest crisis and low attendance and vocations. We are deeply concerned but NOT anxious. See Matt.16 for enlightment. Tell me more. Fr. JBL.


Justvisiting said...

Looks like the Holy Father's visit was a great success! Viva Il Papa!

lawyerinasia said...

Dear Father Lloyd:

Perhaps this is the proper way to dialogue with you.

I read with interest your suggestions on rhetorically tangling with those who would promote "Gay hype."

I had a few comments regarding selected statements you offer.

"Jesus was a Jew.... and as a devout and believing Jew, He was immersed in the whole Jewish position which abhorred same sex behavior.... From an operational and descriptive point of view every Jew knew the religious Position.... Jesus came NOT to annul our ancient teachings but to fulfill them.... This is an example of the 'de-construct' so popular today. Since he really didn’t mention infanticide or bank robbing, perhaps we could re-construct some kind of acceptable program for such behavior which were previously so rejected."

Father, there appears to be an overwhelming emphasis in the New Testament on love, mercy, charity, tolerance, forgiveness, second chances and turning the other cheek. Needless to say, the "smiting quotient" is far, far lower than what we might encounter in Leviticus and elsewhere in uncompromisingly stern passages in the Old Testament.

The Jesus of the New Testament was obviously not preoccupied either with attacking or "correcting" homosexuality. He was more focused on doing unto others... and the like. Had Jesus felt that homosexuality was such an abomination that we ought to devote ourselves to, and preoccupy ourselves with, its elimination, I tend to think he would have at least alluded to it.

Infanticide and bank robbery are, in fact, covered by the teachings of Jesus since such actions have obvious victims. The "Golden Rule" has not been observed when such crimes are undertaken. Among consenting adults, however, homosexual acts do not leave a trail of impoverished families or murdered babies in their wake.

By the way, if we really want to laud and applaud the Jewish position let's go ahead sign up for the quintessentially Jewish notion that Jesus was no more the Messiah than was Mithras (please excuse the interjection of ribald humor in the video link).

"The disgust at same sex behavior was a GIVEN in that era."

The roots of this disgust -- particularly visceral and obsessive disgust -- are fascinating to me....

"There is not a single researcher who says that he has definitively demonstrated the genetic, hormonal or anatomical CAUSATION of the psychosexual orientation in human beings. LeVay, Hamer, monozygotic twin studies, commissure brain studies, all, while perfectly legitimate as studies, modestly hold only that there might be indication for further studies in these areas... The New York Times, or Newsweek might highlight their headlines trumpeting that such proof is just around the corner..."

And what, Father, may I ask, will you say if science does prove the genetic causation of homosexuality? The footsteps of science are clearly audible...

(I ask myself a similar question regarding how anti-abortion protesters will fill their Saturday mornings when the male birth-control bill is perfected, but that's another discussion.)

As a student of primatology I am ever reminded of the gossamer-thin genetic line that separates us from the great apes in both physiology and psychology. Homosexuality, which I have seen time and again among animals of many varieties, has a purpose in the animal kingdom (a "designed" purpose, if you wish). It is far too common and routinely encountered to be considered a " factory defect," as such.

We can speculate as to the purpose gays serve. I think among humans I can only describe it as fulfilling a compelling need for "fabulousness." Without the contributions of generations of homosexuals one shudders to think, for example, how drab and monumentally un-fabulous the churches and other monuments to Christianity that grace the nations of the Old World would have been.

I daresay that without the awe-inspiring, majestic fabulousness of its houses of worship Christianity would never have flourished so. The hand of God, if you wish, placed these gay artisans in a position to glorify the Christian religion beyond the capacity of their heterosexual brethren. In brief, I would put one gay interior decorator up against ten straight ones any day of the week.

"In my own extensive work with male homosexuals, I have found – over many years working in this area —that most of the males consistently report a same sex deficit dating back to early life."

I agree with you that certain people may be "steered" toward homosexual relationships -- especially when social and legal condemnation of homosexuality does not figure prominently in a given society. But if homosexuality is to be condemned as a mortal sin, I blame the creator/designer/manufacturer for making humans so suggestible, so frail, and generally so susceptible of mistakes that could lead one straight to hell. Something cruel about that, seems to me. I am reminded of Mark Twain's "The Mysterious Stranger," aren't you?

The psychology underlying one's sexuality is evidently far more complex than the physical makeup of one's genitalia. Consider the bucket of DNA influencing the former compared to the thimbleful that determines the latter.

But the bottom line for me is that growing up, we all knew kids who were gay from the get-go. That's just who they were.

I think a vaguely more defensible position for those who so abhor purely "choiceful" gay behavior would be for them to condemn only the non-genetic practitioners of homosexuality. But I don't think that would be a great use of time since the sorting process would be arduous and fraught with ambiguity.

"The ruthless truth is that most SSA persons are interiorly distressed by their tendency."

Yes, just as crypto-Jews were distressed by their religious tendency during the terror of the Spanish Inquisition. Nothing worse than being on the margins of society. This somewhat relates to why we might tend so see such spectacular and grandiose displays of studiously outrageous homosexuality during "Gay Pride" parades and the like. (The same kind of hyper-sexualized ego-centered flexion occurs among straight youth when you train a video camera on them at Daytona Beach during Spring Break.) This workmanlike outrageousness among gays might be expected to continue into late adulthood if their needs are not met through societal affirmation. They're only human.

If you really want to make someone gay "interiorly distressed" try to stop them from being gay.

"As Patrick Carnes insists: 'Don’t call it love.'"

Father, I would be shocked if Dr. Carnes considered your use of this phrase to be consistent with his teachings. I don't believe he would agree with you that homosexuality is inherently wrong. I am open to being corrected here (and elsewhere, of course) but while homosexuals may experience prodigious shame -- which is inextricably intertwined with sexual addiction and the furtive sexual encounters that characterize it -- Dr. Carnes is not passing judgment on same-sex relationships as such.

"It is lust and narcissism gone wild."

As a straight male I experience these torments all the time so please let's not give gays a monopoly on debauchery.

"Wow!!! Why not bring in all the distorted, raging, misfits we can find and insist that they are really pleasing the Lord regardless what Scripture or the experience of history say? (Contact A. Toynbee and his hypothesis that sexual distortions such as homosexuality were always linked to the decline of all cultures and civilizations.)"

I am afraid that no matter what evidence might be presented to you that these "sexual distortions" are as natural as rain for some well-meaning and kind consenting adults you will never see them as pleasing God through their happiness and good acts.

But when you go on to your reward I trust you would be delighted to share heaven with a great many misfits, since you do indicate that you love the sinner. In such a case I also trust that your prayers that God grant these creatures mercy and bend the rules to the fullest extent possible to ensure their salvation will have been answered.