This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fr. Scalia, Carl Paladino, and the message of gay marriage

In the Arlington Catholic Herald, Fr. Paul Scalia (son of the Associate Justice) rehashes current Catholic doctrine on same sex attraction and how both the action and the attrraction is disordered but the person is to be cherished. You can read it yourself at http://catholicherald.com/opinions/detail.html?sub_id=13998. Meanwhile, a tape has surfaced where Carl Paladino, Republican candidate for NY Governor, is addressing Hacidic Jews about why he opposes legalizing gay marriage because of the message it send our children about homosexuality (although he claims not to be bigoted).

They both miss the point. While it would be comforting to accuse both of malice, I suspect they hold none. Instead, ignorance is their fault - as well as bad logic.

The message legalizing gay marriage sends to youth is the point of doing it - and that message is far superior than the message sent by Paladino, Scalia and the Church. One's sexuality is an intrinsic part of personhood. To call that sexuality disordered sends the message that the person is flawed. The Catholic explanation of how the universe appears to be ordered is a human creation - a sophistry - designed to support a traditional view of marriage. If gays and lesbians are wonderfully made and sexuality (with all its messiness) is a gift from God, then gay sex can no longer be considered sinful within the confines of a marital relationship. What is stopping the Church from realizing this is fear - both fear of offending older members of the faithful and fear of God. I suspect that the tolerance of older Catholics is being underestimated here. More importantly, the theology which attributes homophobia to God is flawed - for it assumes a God who has a personal stake in human morality rather than a God who gives us the gift of morality for our own happiness. I prefer to worship the latter - within the Church. If you know Jesus, you know he falls in category 2 as well.

The message of legalizing gay marriage to youth is that they are wonderfully made. They are not disordered. God has not cursed them nor will society reject them. It also sends them the message that permanent relationships are better than transitory ones - and that they should save themselves for someone they love rather than engaging in random hook-ups (with the assumption that both are equally disordered). If marital gay sex is not disordered, than the Church actually CAN send a message to gay youth to wait for love. Of course, the Church needs to also rethink how it teaches about masturbation for the same reason, but that is another topic. The point is, driving a teen to suicide because he believes he is disordered and will never find love is hardly protecting the child.

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