I want my soon to be high schooler in your class, Father! You are awesome, thank you so much for being such a great teacher to these children, they are very blessed to have you.
Excellent class. Especially the part explaining what "disordered" means. Every now and then I hear the objection: "Aha! Plenty of heterosexaul married couples can't have kids, but they are still married. That proves sexual acts don't have to be procreative!" I reply to this with the analogy of a football team. A football team is ordered to playing football and winning football games, but even if a football loses every game it ever plays, it is still a football team because it is ordered toward it, and other arrangements such as removing the goal lines, or having both teams line up on the same side, well...you are doing something, but it ain't football.
As a 37 year old guy who happens to be gay, and have never got to hear the words "I love you" from another human being besides family members, there is a lot the church doesn't quite understand about this issue. God does indeed deem it appropriate for some people in this world to be homosexual. That's my case for example. Why? The answer is very simple. In the Bible, there are several passages where Jesus makes promises regarding prayer doing whatever the person asks for; such as in Matthew 18, Matthew 21, Mark 11, John 14. Very clear ambiguous statements made by Jesus. So, I took Jesus at his word(He is the way, the TRUTH and the life) and asked God to make me straight and take away being homosexual amongst some other things. Well.....nothing happened. So that leads me to believe one of two things. Either Jesus never really meant what he said OR God deems it appropriate--VERY appropriate that I remain a homosexual until I die. In the meantime, I will have to suffer psychologically due to its effects, such as depression, anger, jealousy, etc... all while the church condemns me to a life devoid of love. Be alone she demands, live alone, don't hold hands with anybody, don't bind my life with that of another, be alone....live alone..........die alone. And, I suppose the Catholic couple who are about 10 years younger than me and have a baby and are free of mental suffering that I have, whom I see in church every weekend will go to Heaven while I burn in hell.....
Gay Catholic,I think understandably, you don't quite understand the Church's teaching. Reading through your post above it is clear that you don't understand the Church's teaching on homosexuality, and that is because it must never have been properly explained to you. In fact it could be said that the Church's teaching on this issue has hardly been explained properly to anyone; that is why I put this video out there. I'd say every Christian at some point is in a position of asking God, through prayer, to take something away from them or to save them from something they are dealing with, only to hear nothing back. We've ALL been there. You said something interesting in your post; you noted, "In the meantime I will have to suffer psychologically due to its effects, such as depression, anger, jealousy, etc..."My question about what you said is this - if those are the effects of same sex attraction, can it be good? Can anything that is good produce only negative effects? Jesus said by its fruit is a tree known, so if that is the case, and all the fruit from the tree is bad, then can the tree be considered good?Also, about being "condemned to a life devoid of love" is sex the only way to express intimacy, and is it the only way to experience love? Clearly not; as a priest I am not having sex, but I still feel loved, I still express love for others, etc. Third, careful to assume that the married couple sitting in front of you with a child is free of suffering; we get into very dangerous territory when we think we are the only person carrying a cross. Finally, the burn in Hell part of your post makes me wonder if you are actually serious in what you are saying because that was the whole point of my video "The Church is not in the camp of those who would say homosexual attraction is a sin" so how could you possibly hear that as the Church saying you are going to Hell?
Our Lord is not a divine vending-machine in which one inserts prayer coins and out spits whatever we asked for. Even St. Paul asked for a thorn to be removed from his side that wasn't. The fact is Our Lord can answer prayers, but not to the detriment of our salvation or to remove a cross that is ours to bear. As far as being "devoid of love", let's take some similar examples:1. A man may love his daughter--that does not justify sexual contact with her. 2. A man may love Germany--that does not justify gassing Jews.3. A man may love another man (I have a best friend whom I love very much), but that does not justify sexual contact there either.Love is not a feeling, it is an act of the will. And chosen acts are objective which are either right or wrong. Homosexual sex is wrong in and of itself.
"The fact is Our Lord can answer prayers, but not to the detriment of our salvation or to remove a cross that is ours to bear." Well, that would mean a promise broken by Jesus Christ Himself then. 1) Matthew 21--"If you have faith, you will receive anything you ask for in Prayer2) Mark 11--"Whatever you ask for in paryer, believe that you have received it and IT WILL BE YOURS"3) John 14--"Anyone who has faith, you may ask for anything in my name and I WILL DO IT"4) Matthew 18--"If two of you agree about anything they ask, it WILL BE DONE by my father"These are clear unambiguous statements made by Jesus who is perfect. Was Jesus promising things that in some cases His father couldn't possibly fulfill? Either Jesus lied, or was lacking in common sense, or he never made such statements which, if that's the case, the reliability of the Bible then comes into question. As believed by Christians that Jesus is the 2nd person of the trinity; God the father, God the SON and God the holy spirit, then Jesus would have surely known that God couldn't answer every request for something that was asked of him in prayer. These promises in the gospels are so prominent, they aren't like His parables. By most of the gospel accounts, they are some of the most clearest, unambiguous statements. Why can't I take Jesus at his word? We take Jesus at his word when he said to the disciples at the last supper "This IS my body." "This IS my blood." What is the difference? I know the answer will be something like this - Your prayer requests have to be in accordance with God's will. Well, Jesus didn't say that. The only stipulation he stated was faith. Or, another answer would be something like this - You must not put God to the test. Well, Jesus in those promises is inviting us, urging us to put God to the Test. So, after saying all of that, I would like to see if Fr. Hollowell can tell me where I am wrong and how I am wrong here. Please Fr. Hollowell, help me out here!
Amen, Gay Catholic! How about a response here Father?!
Gay Catholic, you have posted on here many times with this same question and I've answered it many times. This will be the last. The idea that because you pray for something and it doesn't happen means that God is lying is really quite ridiculous. Garth Brooks even sings a song about unanswered prayers. The passages you mention of course note the power of prayer, but to read them literally and to think that if you pray for something it WILL happen just isn't the case. Again, I'd go into the pastoral side of the homosexual question with you, but I've already done that elsewhere. If you want to talk about it in person, please feel free to contact me, but I won't continue any longer this "counseling via blog comments" any further.
The idea that because you pray for something and it doesn't happen means that God is lying is really quite ridiculous.It's beyond ridiculous. Take a few examples:I prayed that God would make me a faithful husband and not an adulterer and nothing happened, so either God is a liar or He wants me to be an adultererI prayed that God would make me a law-abiding citizen and not a bank robber and nothing happened so either God is a liar or He wants me to rob banks.I prayed that God would remove my sexual attraction to little childredn and nothing happened, so either God is liar, or He wants me to be a pedophile.The possibilities are endless.
Not that I think we get whatever we pray for, because I believe that God does know what is best for us and perhaps in praying for an end to a homosexual attraction to end, one also needs to seek counsel... But you are making some seriously awful arguments here. You are equating an attraction to an action. In the case of the adulterer, the man still CHOSE TO ACT on his attraction to another woman. In the case of the bank robber, the person still CHOSE TO ACT against the law. In the case of the pedophile, the man still CHOSE TO ACT on his attraction.Gay Catholic, as far as we can tell from his posts, is asking for the attraction to be taken away, but has not ACTED on his attraction. He wants the attraction to go away, but it hasn't. Just because he has the attraction doesn't mean he has CHOSEN TO ACT on it.It's demeaning to equate a homosexual attraction to adultery and breaking laws. Please be a little more respectful.
I'm showing the fallaciousness of taking an unanswered prayer and concluding that as a rubberstamp of approval from God. That's all the analogies are intended to do. So they are valid even though obviously you don't like them. And ultimately, he did say, "God does indeed deem it appropriate for some people in this world to be homosexual." He didn't qualify that with chaste homosexual. If he wants to modify his statements in that regard I can reconsider, but frankly I don't think you can bust my chops over a reasonable inference.
I cannot even begin to comprehend how you are drawing comparisons between homosexual attraction and robbing banks and pedophilia.If I have a disease, a sickness, or even an uncomfortable situation at work, and I ask God to take that cross away from me and he doesn't, I understand that perhaps God is using that as a tool to teach me patience, understanding, self-control, or some other virtue.If Gay Catholic asks God to take away his attraction to men and he doesn't, yes perhaps God wants this man to work through this, learning about himself and others along the way. If Gay Catholic slips and begins to fall in love with another man, who is harmed? Assuming he falls in love with another man who gives his consent (are you able to assume that, or do you need to assume that all homosexual relationships are purely based on animalistic sex?), who is harmed? You would argue that only the men who have chosen this are harmed, in their relationships with God. Of course, many others would argue that nobody at all is harmed. Since nobody is harmed, this may be an appropriate method for teaching.In your scenarios, others are immediately and forever harmed by the man's decisions. Do you really think God is using those attractions as methods for teaching humanity?It is because of you, and unfortunately so many others like you, that people both inside and outside of the Catholic Church see all Catholics as judgmental and damning. Shame on you, from an UNDERSTANDING Catholic.
Kristin, in all honesty, I've reread your comment several times, and I'm not sure what you are actually saying. Perhaps a clarifying post? The one thing I think I discern out of your post is the "nobody is harmed" argument. If that is so, let me know, and I can address that.
What I'm saying is that we all understand that God answers prayers in the way he deems appropriate and best for us. And that sometimes that means we don't get exactly what we want in the moment. God doesn't snap his fingers and make magic happen, but perhaps God is trying to work through others in Gay Catholic's life to help him work through his feelings. Just because it hasn't happened yet (his attraction has not gone away), doesn't mean it won't.I just think it's completely unfair to say that because God hasn't yet answered that prayer, it's similar to someone who commits a crime that harms another. God "not answering" the prayer to end homosexual attraction just can't be compared to "not answering" the desire to rob a bank.I think what happens when we draw comparisons like that, is that we come off as completely misunderstanding, intolerant, and in some cases, hateful. For those reasons, people who make those comparisons hurt all Catholics because it makes it seem like we all equate homosexuality to robbing banks, committing adultery, and pedophilia. It seems very insensitive to me, and is no way to try to help people who are struggling with that or to bring people into the Church.My comment about "nobody is harmed" was meant in terms of those who don't believe that homosexuality is wrong. Obviously, those who do believe it is wrong believe that homosexuality (in action) is harmful to the people involved and probably families and relationships of all kinds.
paragraph 1 of your comment - I totally agree except for the part about God not snapping his fingers. He does that often, just not on command. God works miracles daily.paragraph 2 of your comment - Those who responded with comparisons of praying for sin are simply pointing out (Gay Catholic has a history of these types of comments on the blog) that God not answering a specific prayer is not proof of God's inefficacy.Paragraph 3 - same as above. No one is saying homosexuality is like robbing a bank - I would charitably and kindly challenge you to listen to the point being made. If I pray for God to help me do something, and it doesn't happen, is that proof God doesn't exist or at least doesn't care? That's the only point being made.
I understand the intent of Scott's post. It is merely my opinion that we should be more careful about how we may come off. Sadly, the desired outcome is not always the achieved outcome; thus, sometimes we do more harm than good. I just think a little empathy and some time to put ourselves in another's shoes would change a bit of the way we communicate with each other. And I don't think anyone could disagree that that would help all of humanity, in every aspect. Of course, this is just my opinion.
I don't think that Gay Catholic is saying there is nothing good as a byproduct of homosexuality. He's saying that the Church tells us the byproducts of homosexuality are negative. I believe that Gay Catholic feels depression, anger, and jealousy because he is trying to live according to the Church's teachings, which tell him he cannot act according to his attractions.I understand the analogy to the attraction of junk food. But, giving in to that attraction causes negative effects on the God-given body. Surrendering to the attraction of a homosexual relationship... what is the negative effect there?Giving into sloth, masturbation, etc... is different because that's something that people become preoccupied with. They give into those attractions and, in turn, they choose those actions instead of ones that would bring them closer to God and others. Homosexuality is not the same thing. It could be, yes, in the same ways that heterosexuality could be - as in when someone becomes obsessed with sex in any way and that consumes their life. But within a healthy heterosexual relationship, sex is not sinful. Why, then, is it sinful within the same type of relationship between two people who happen to be of the same sex?Is homosexuality "disordered" merely because it doesn't result in the creation of a child? What then of heterosexual sex with someone who cannot have children for whatever reason?
"Not ordered toward children..." do I need to draw a picture to show how homosexual sex is not ordered toward children in the way that heterosexual sex is, even if the couple is sterile?
Too say that homosexuality is unnatural and not linked to physiological and genetic reasons is blatantly incorrect. Numerous species on this planet display homosexual behaviors, all of which link to some positive for the community. In these species that display homosexuality, many of the males and females that would be considered homosexual actually act as a 'caretaker' for the newly born; they help the mother and father raise their young and help care for them while the parents are away. Humans are animals, and as such, they are subject to the same natural laws that govern the rest of the animal kingdom. The reason we hear that there is a genetic link to homosexuality is because, well... there is. It's a combination of genetics and hormones while in utero. If you understand embryology and the physiology of maternity, you would see why this is the case. All embryos and fetuses (and I am only using this terminology to point out the differences in time of gestation - it is not meant to be a derogatory term or belittle a human life) start off as female in utero. It is only when the hormone that perpetuates a female fetus is turned off by the X gene of the father that a male can begin to form. Because of this, there are some times when a male fetus is 'more female' than would be considered 'normal.' However, it just so happens to be normal for that particular male. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them - it is merely how they were born.In addition to natural reasons for homosexuality, there are an infinite amount of environmental factors that could lead to a defeminized female or feminized male: BPA is one of those factors. This hormone lines every single plastic bottle and canned food item, and it is an endocrine disruptor, which means it can either destroy or enhance hormones circulating in the body. BPA is especially dangerous to women who are pregnant as is can actually feminize any male fetus in utero. If a child is born with homosexual tendencies, they are no more in the wrong than those born with heterosexual tendencies. Just as homosexual animals have a valued place within their communities where they raise the children of the heterosexual animals, the same is and should be true for homosexual humans. This is why there is no reason why homosexuals should not be permitted to adopt children. They are giving love to children in need, and this is a positive thing, not a negative. They cannot influence their children to be gay any more than you can influence a gay person to be straight or a straight person to be gay because they were born that way. If anything, they influence their children to be more loving and accepting of those who are homosexual, which is exactly what this world needs.
I'd love to see some sources here, "homosexual animals raising heterosexual animals" sounds like a Disney movie a few years from now to me.
There is an entire text on animal homosexuality: http://www.amazon.com/Animal-Homosexuality-A-Biosocial-Perspective/dp/0521145147/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335737210&sr=1-1You can also preview the book here (good reading here though only preview): http://books.google.com/books?id=EftT_1bsPOAC&pg=PA126&lpg=PA126&dq=animal+homosexuality+caretaker&source=bl&ots=dEbNbjustm&sig=JvYG-iW58_ANAkJVmfgdLOaexS8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=l7udT9KYMY-ztwfxwpWnBA&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=falseShort excerpt here (I realize it's not very scientific, but you probably don't have access to the hosting sites for published papers unfortunately): http://kerryg.hubpages.com/hub/Is-the-existence-of-homosexuality-incompatible-with-the-theory-of-evolutionShort excerpt again (older): http://www.news-medical.net/news/2006/10/23/20718.aspxAnother text on the behavior: http://www.amazon.com/Biological-Exuberance-Homosexuality-Natural-Diversity/dp/0312192398/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335738090&sr=1-1The textbooks are really quite informative - both in providing examples of the numerous animals that display homosexual behaviors and the reasoning for it. I'll keep looking for more scientific articles, but like I said, you probably won't be able to access any of them yourself because you have to have an account to read them, which I find to be frustrating. How are we supposed to enlighten if only a select few have access? (ugh - pet peeve of mine) From my readings, I know that many of the bird species that exhibit homosexual behavior participate in this "caretaker" role.
Finding examples of homosexual behavior in the animal kingdom is a red herring. By that logic a wife would not be doing anything wrong if she imitated the praying mantis and lopped the head off the husband after mating.Lesson one: Natural law =/= found in the animal kingdom.And note what people are willing to accept in the name of their pet perversion: the two excuses I always hear are 1.) It's my genetics and 2) animals do it. So in the first one is basically saying that we are slaves to our genetics and the other a slave to animal instict. This is a degraded view of man. We are all made in the image of God, and none of us were made to act like an overheated monkey in the zoo.
There is not ONE species on this planet that does not engage in some sort of homosexual behavior (exception: those that do not reproduce sexually like corals, fish, etc). If it were 10-20 examples, yes, perhaps it would be a red herring, but the fact that there are over 1500 documented cases is not something you can merely ignore. (see http://www.news-medical.net/news/2006/10/23/20718.aspx?page=2 for details).Natural law is based on both the physical (the body) and the non-physical (the spirit/soul); these two are intrinsically linked and cannot be separated (ever heard of dualism? didn't last long). The human species, like all other living organisms on this planet, is the product of 4 billion years of evolution. As such, the physical part of the body is subject to the same rules as all other living creatures. This physical part of the body is made up of a myriad of things, which are dictated mainly by our genetics (which are inherited and passed on) and our hormones (which change based on environmental pressures). If you accept that the physical body and the non-physical spirit cannot be separated, then you must accept that the genetics (which dictate the physical body) form the physical person. If I changed your genetics, even slightly, you would become a wholly different person - your appearance, your personality, your tastes, your intellectual capacity - would all change. Are we slave to our genetics? No. Our genetics ARE who we are. We can't change our genetics - the moment we are conceived, we are set to be born with a preset foundation of who we are to become in the physical form.As an aside - people vastly misunderstand animal sexual behavior as is apparent by your "overheated monkey in the zoo" statement. Contrary to popular belief, animals do not just go around all day mating with each other. There is such a thing as sexual selection (which is why you and I are here as well - our parents SELECTED each other). Female animals don't merely allow any male to mate with them. As a matter of fact, female sexual selection actually is the driving force behind sexual selection as a whole. No female would allow just any male to mate with her before putting him through battery of tests aimed at determining his genetic virulence. Males will try numerous times to impress a female to no avail (sound human?). So yes, we are incredibly similar to animals in our mating behavior. Again, this makes perfect sense due to evolutionary history. And I wouldn't insult greater apes too much - they are our closest genetic cousins with 98% of our DNA being identical to that of a chimpanzee. This is not a degraded view of man at all. In fact, it allows us to better understand man and his behaviors and origins by looking at all of our evolutionary predecessors. It is obvious that our higher intellect is what separates us from all other living creatures. The evolutionary development of the brain and cognition is quite fascinating, but I unfortunately do not have time to delve into that subject adequately.
And while we are at, see this link here: http://narth.com/docs/animalmyth.html that shows that even when considering homosexual behaviors among animals, it is aberrant behavior and that none engage in it to the exclusion of heterosexual behavior.
I scanned the resources at the bottom of this page - only one of them come from peer-reviewed scientific journals, and it is quoted out of context (I've read it). This is merely the opinion of one person. When you have some real scientific evidence behind your statement, I would like to read it. This is a subject that is very interesting to me, and I am always open to reading more on the topic.
I had a comment here earlier, but it got lost in moderation. Briefly, it doesn't matter whether it is scientifically peer-reviewed because the premise that animal behavior is a reliable guide to how morally culpable humans should behave isn't a scientific premise. There is no scientific test that proves that it is a good idea to project human motivations and emotions onto animals. And in your other comment you took issue with my "monkey in the zoo" comment and went into a long schpeel about animal sexuality which may be interesting in a biology class, but it has no bearing on how morally culpable humans ought to act. Hence my praying mantis example which you ignored. We have alot in common with animals, I don't dispute that; but if your position is that we are merely higher-brain-developed animals and nothing more, then yes, that is a degraded view of man. In short, even if we grant examples of homosexual acts among animals, which is highly problematic to begin with, it in no way justifies homosexual acts among humans.
In rebuttal to your comment - I will address each separately: I had a comment here earlier, but it got lost in moderation. Briefly, it doesn't matter whether it is scientifically peer-reviewed because the premise that animal behavior is a reliable guide to how morally culpable humans should behave isn't a scientific premise. RESPONSE: Science is indeed a great indicator of moral development in man over time - as cognition evolved, so did morality. There is both evolutionary and cultural evidence as to this. Anthropologists and evolutionary biologists have studied this quite a bit. If you would like, I can provide some sources. There is no scientific test that proves that it is a good idea to project human motivations and emotions onto animals. RESPONSE: Science steers away from anthropomorphizing other organisms for the very reason you said. You'll notice that, in my comments, I had always related animal behavior forward to human behavior and not vice versa as this would neither make sense from a historical or scientific standpoint.And in your other comment you took issue with my "monkey in the zoo" comment and went into a long schpeel about animal sexuality which may be interesting in a biology class, but it has no bearing on how morally culpable humans ought to act. RESPONSE: I went into a "long schpeel" to both educate you and make the ties between human and animal mating behaviors. Again, I will reiterate that moral development can be tied to the evolution of cognition. Hence my praying mantis example which you ignored. RESPONSE: It was ignored because it was YOUR red herring. There are *very* few species (namely insects and squid species) that exhibit that form of sexual cannibalism behavior after mating, and none of them are mammals. Of course it wouldn't be found in humans as it was a behavior that developed after mammals had split from other organisms in evolutionary history.We have alot in common with animals, I don't dispute that; but if your position is that we are merely higher-brain-developed animals and nothing more, then yes, that is a degraded view of man. RESPONSE: I never said that humans were 'merely higher-brain-developed animals and nothing more.' I stated that understanding our phylogenetic history actually helps us BETTER understand man and its origins. As such, it is not degraded but gives us a much more complete picture of the origin and behavior of our species.In short, even if we grant examples of homosexual acts among animals, which is highly problematic to begin with, it in no way justifies homosexual acts among humans. RESPONSE: In addition to all of the above evidence I have listed, there are numerous current studies that have been conducted that link hypothalamus size to sexual orientation. So, in short, I have supplied a scientific, historical, cultural, and evolutionary reasons for the existence of homosexuality. You have projected your own moral beliefs onto the situation and deemed them 'morally unfit.' I never addressed the issue of homosexual actions in my comments, I merely addressed the existence of homosexuality and why it is incorrect to state that it is no way related to genetics or that someone cannot be 'born that way.'
Science is indeed a great indicator of moral development in man over time - as cognition evolved, so did morality.So, does that mean we can expect that in time our cognition will evolve to the point where deliberately killing another innocent human being will be morally acceptable? Why not?I went into a "long schpeel" to both educate you and make the ties between human and animal mating behaviors. Again, I will reiterate that moral development can be tied to the evolution of cognition.Ok, so are there instances of animals having sex with their offspring or sex with animals that are not fully devolped sexually? Does that mean we will evolve to the point where incest and pedohilia will be morally acceptable? Why not?I never said that humans were 'merely higher-brain-developed animals and nothing more.Fair enough. You didn't say it, but the suggestion was there, but since you are explicitly denying it, we can move on.I have supplied a scientific, historical, cultural, and evolutionary reasons for the existence of homosexuality.Well, as long as you are not saying you supplied scientific, historical, cultural, and evolutionary reasons as proof that chosen homosexual acts are morally acceptable, then all is well.I merely addressed the existence of homosexuality and why it is incorrect to state that it is no way related to genetics or that someone cannot be 'born that way.'So in a sense we are back where we started. To take my example: I was born with attraction to every beautiful woman on the planet. I'm sure there is plenty of animals we could look at that has sex with multiple partners. But that doesn't make it right to proposition every attractive woman I see.
Thank you, Father, for your sound teaching on this sensitive topic. It is interesting to me that those who promote homosexuality as normal and good and equal to heterosexuality ignore the fact that it is the action which is wrong, not the attraction. Whether heterosexual or homosexual, the action is wrong if it occurs outside of the marriage between a man and women. (Adultery and fornication are wrong, whether between a man and woman or between those of the same gender.) Sexuality is a God-given gift reserved for marriage. The act should be a total giving of self between the husband and wife--a deeply intimate act bonding the two together in love and open to the gift of life. On a human level, it should point us toward our triune God. The love of the Father for the Son, and the Son for the Father is so profound, it produces the Holy Spirit. The love shared between the husband and the wife can be so profound that it has the potential to produce another human life. A sexual act of any kind outside of marriage cannot reflect that selfless love which God calls us to share.