I have a friend from whom I have learned a few things over the years. Lee is wise, witty and has a deep love of God. But he is not Catholic and therefore he does not accept some of what I believe and a lot of what I write. I suspect there are many like him out there, but in addition to intelligence, wit and a deep love of Christ, Lee also has a lot of courage. Therefore, he lets me know of his disagreement.
In Lee’s response to my article on Fr. James Martin’s propaganda campaign, he has given me some things to consider. One of those things was the difference between “feelings” and “orientation”. I wondered if there is a difference between “feelings” and “orientation”, so I consulted the Merriam-Webster dictionary to see what one authority had to say about the word “orientation”.
The most relevant parts of the definition (for purposes of this conversation) say that orientation is the act or process of orienting or of being oriented (i.e. nurture as opposed to nature); a usually general or lasting direction of thought, inclination, or interest (in other words, not genetic); or a person’s self-identification as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual sexual orientation.
I think my choice of the word “feelings” in my blog on July 28th was correct. Same-sex attraction (SSA) is an inclination or self-identification which is not manifested biologically or physically as much as it is through the psychology of emotions and feelings. If the LGBT community wants to call it an orientation, that’s fine, its just that to insist that it isn’t primarily emotional is to ignore reality.
I fully expect that the LGBT community has (or will soon adopt) a totally different definition for “orientation” than the english language dictionaries have printed for decades and decades. In reality, much of the American culture finds it necessary to redefine things lately, be it marriage, history, reality, etc… Wordsmithing has a powerful effect on people. So powerful in fact, that even the Supreme Court justices, some of the most intelligent people you could ever meet, were influenced to think a different way on contraception, abortion and marriage due primarily to wordsmithing.
While some are of the opinion that SSA is genetic or that people can actually be born in the wrong biological body, I disagree with that theory and agree with the American Psychological Association. With regard to the “born this way” theory. The APA says:
“There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.”
I would like to reiterate the fact that there has been “much research” to try and find a genetic cause for SSA and gender dysphoria, but the best they can say is that the cause is unknown. Some articles and studies say there has been extensive research. The research has not revealed a gene or any other physical cause. Some LGBT advocates say there hasn’t been enough research and that just as researchers thought they were on the trail of a cause, funding was curtailed. I believe the actual explanation is that there has been extensive research and due to lack of evidence, doctors and scientists are tired of chasing wishful thinking.
That being said, there is absolutely no doubt that some children (2% to 4% to be more specific) experience apparent SSA and/or gender dysphoria at a very young age and that there are cases in which there are no evident environmental factors that would explain why. Many children who experience same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria in their youth actually mature out of it (gender dysphoria resolves naturally) without any medical treatment whatsoever. About one half of the 2-4% of children who experience SSA in their childhood end up with no such attraction in adulthood. Unfortunately there is a significant push to attack counseling and therapy which helps people overcome their SSA (change their sexual orientation) and/or to live chastely instead of turning their lives over to their desires. Thankfully with regard to gender dysphoria, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association still deals with detransitioning, but it is likely the manual will soon be amended to be as politically correct on detransitioning as the field has become with regard to chastity and changing one’s sexual orientation from “gay” to “straight”.
By the way, detransitioning is the process of returning to the sex you were born with. People who assume a gender that is not the sex with which they are born have transitioned. Detransitioning is changing your mind and coming to the conclusion that you actually are the gender that corresponds with your biological makeup. Detransitioning is not as uncommon as LGBT advocates wish it was.
One thing we do know is that with both attractions, there is no genetic, hormonal or physical evidence that explains why the child behaves the way he or she behaves or has the attractions he or she has. However, in many of these cases, there are evident developmental, social and cultural influences that seem to play a role, such as a troubled relationship with the child’s father, or a traumatic event in the child’s life. I find it interesting that Psychology Today published an article on the father/son relationship and its impact on the child’s SSA, but instead of considering the fact that a poor relationship can increase the chance that a child may experience SSA, it was painted as fathers showing callous disregard toward their gay children.
The point is, I’m not suggesting feelings are not real, nor am I suggesting that people with SSA or gender dysphoria simply have to “get over it”. To the contrary, I know how controlling feelings can be, especially feelings that have such a significant impact on an individual’s identity. Whereas Fr. Martin seems to suggest that a person is a slave to their feelings, 2000 years of Christianity tells us just opposite. We are a makeup of our intellect, our will and our emotions. If we allow our emotions to dictate our life, we are usually doomed to suffering and eventual dispair. However, if we can engage our intellect and will ourselves toward virtue, we will find joy. St. Thomas Aquinas developed the Christian understanding of the balance needed between intellect, will and emotions. A short article that touches on all this is here. But cognitive dissonance is real, especially in the life of people like Fr. James Martin.
I’ve spent a lot of time on the “orientation” v. “feelings” part of Lee’s criticism, but that is because he says that my use of the word “feelings” makes the rest of my opinion unreasonable and contrary to modern science. Lee is wrong.
So how about that science which my “prejudiced reasoning” is said to contradict? Science is actually on my side and the side of brilliant Christians such as St. Thomas Aquinas. And even with a scientific approach, we still need to deal with feelings (emotion).
Science confirms that emotion plays a significant role in decision making, often causing people to make decisions that are not in their best interest or decisions which defy logic (cognitive dissonance rears its ugly head once again).
In addition to the intellectual scientific analysis, there is also the medical science. It is a fact, though not often discussed, that homosexual behavior is inherintly unhealthy for both males who have sex with males and females who have sex with females. There are significant health risks in the LGBT lifestyle. People who engage in homosexual behavior have higher incidences of cancer, STD’s, mental illness, addiction, heart disease, obesity, etc…, than the rest of the population. People in same-sex relationships are also much more likely to be victims of domestic violence than people in heterosexual relationship.
Surely legal protection and societal acceptance of LGBT members would have a significant impact on the health risks, wouldn’t it? I mean, things such as mental illness, addiction, heart disease, obesity and other illnesses must be the result of discrimination, intimidation and victimization by homophobes, right? Well, not actually. There have been a few studies of populations in which laws have been passed to protect LGBT members from discrimination and in which there have been publicity campaigns to improve acceptance and tolerance of the LGBT lifestyle. In those studies (such as this one on LGBT Stigma and health), the health of the LGBT members does not improve to the point where it is the same or similar to the general population. This frustrates LGBT activists so much that they have actually faked their own studies to make it appear as though public opinion changes to favor the LGBT community once LGBT protections are passed into law. Yes, this is cognitive dissonance in practical application. If reality is unpleasant, create an alternative reality. Yikes!
Even if societal acceptance of the behavior did help diminish mental illness, addiction, heart disease, obesity and other illnesses, it would have absolutely no effect on cancer and STD’s. Natural law is pretty inflexible that way.
In spite of these facts, Fr. Martin cannot engage his intellect and his will enough to overcome his emotions with regard to the LGBT lifestyle. Because of this, he distorts Scripture, logic and facts, and leads people to a life of suffering, dispair and possibly, eternal agony. This is just more practical application of cognitive dissonance. If anyone needs our prayers in this scenario it is Fr. Martin (see Luke 17:2), but I’ll take any prayers that anyone is willing to send my way too.
Lee says I must confess the sins of self-righteousness and being judgmental. If I am judged and labeled as self-righteous and judgmental by my fellow man, so be it (a pot and kettle scenario if I’ve ever seen one). I’m primarily concerned with the judgment of Jesus Christ, and that is why I am concerned for Fr. Martin and for those who support him, admire him and actually believe the things he says with regard to God’s plan for our human sexuality. Even though I find Fr. Martin’s approach to be deadly foolish, I made every effort to judge his ideas, not his soul. His ideas cause me concern for his soul. Yet, I am not the judge. This is an important line which should not be crossed.
Near the end of his comment, Lee challenges me to read the whole of the Bible (which I remind you, is 73 books). Lee believes that if I do so, I will see that Christ said nothing regarding LGBT’s.
Thankfully, I happen read a little of the Bible six to seven days a week, every month of the year. Therefore I have read it many times, cover to cover (all 73 books). And in the Bible, there are clear teachings about human sexuality. While nothing in Scripture condones the behavior we see in the LGBT community today, there are numerous passages and teachings which teach that marriage is between one man and one woman, family is essential and same-sex sexual behavior is contrary to God’s plan. And I can find all of this in the same 66 books Lee has. So here are some verses to contemplate:
- Matthew 19:3-6 (which I cited in my blog on July 28th)
- Mark 10:6-9 (paralell to Mt 19)
- Genesis 1:26-28 (cited in my blog on July 28th)
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
- 1 Corinthians 7:2
- Hebrews 13:4
- Romans 1:26-28
- Jude 1:5-8
- 1 Timothy 1:8-11
- Leviticus 18:22
- Leviticus 20:13
- Song of Songs (The entire book)
LGBT advocates like to try and make it seem like the Christian teaching on human sexuality is an argument from Scriptural silence. Above, I’ve provided 12 examples of verses which either talk about the sanctity of marriage or about the immorality of homosexual acts. But the real argument from silence is that of the LGBT advocate who cannot point to one verse in all of Scripture, which says homosexual behavior is okay. If you can find one, please comment below and we will discuss it thoroughly. Much of human civilization has agreed with Scripture too.
Even in non-Christian societies, homosexual behavior has been historically discouraged. This is because the family is the basic building block of civilization and is the cheapest and most efficient way to promote order. If parents can keep their kids from misbehaving, the king, governor and police don’t have to.
But back to Scripture: When you read the whole of Scripture, you can see that God’s plan for our salvation is rooted in marriage and family. From Abraham through Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David and finally the Virgin Mary, we see God’s grand plan and nowhere in it is the active homosexual who is told he or she is doing fine. We do find incest, adultery, bigamy and other immoral behaviors, and with each one we also find God’s chastisement for these disordered behaviors. There are blessings for obedience to God’s plan and there are negative consequences for disobedience to God’s plan.
Keep in mind that the disobedient behaviors we read in the Bible (including the LGBT lifestyle) do not say the people are deplorable, to be rejected or to be condemned by anyone. It is the behavior which must change or the person is in danger of spending eternity in Hell. Repent is an actual word that is used frequently in Scripture, but never by Fr. Martin or the secular culture who likes guys like Fr. Martin.
The only way to help people change their behavior is to point out the clear and present danger.
Lee feels that my soul is in danger of damnation because I am encouraging people to repent, embrace chastity and get their emotions, will and intellect in the proper balance. I disagree with Lee, but I sure do appreciate his courage to speak out to me about it, which is something I cannot say about Fr. Martin, who has seen my blog, but has declined to discuss it.