The Yuck Factor and Holistic Love
This article above is becoming much discussed around the blog world, so I consider it news. However, I want to focus on a different part than what everyone else is talking about. I think the following is more relevant to heresy (it is also not already covered in a thick layer of commentary): “If marriage wasn’t about the conjugal relationship, what was it about? ‘Love and commitment’ we were told. ‘What’s wrong with two people finding love?'”
Indeed, browsing Pinterest the other day, it was easy to find such images as below:
This idea that love has no gender is a form of dualism. The body and soul are separated and seen as distinct. This splitting apart of a whole person can be see even more clearly with this image, which shows what all the fuss is about:
The one human person is broken up into all these bits and then these bits are set against each other. Expression might be at odds with sex which might not align with orientation. While there are some cases of intersex (1 in 100 babies don’t appear normally male or female), these are the result of a breakdown in the normal genomic process. Some children are born with tails:
And this is not considered an identity but a deformity in how the body would naturally express itself. Being born with a tail or intersex is a breakdown of the person because of the fallen nature of the world. The person, according to Catholic teaching, should still be seen as a whole person and not broken up into bits like the ginger bread man image above would suggest. Dualism’s excessive drive to split apart whole beings into their component parts fuels the idea that love has no gender. The soul is seen as entirely separate from the body.
Rejecting dualism, the Church teaches that the soul and the body are one person. If that person is male, that means the soul has a certain “maleness” to it as well.
“The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the “form” of the body: i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body; spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature.” (CCC 365)
If my nature is female, then my soul and body together are female. This holistic approach by the Church guarantees the love of the whole person rather than just loving parts of a person.
Which brings us back to the point of the discussion: it is people who love, not merely the soul or the body which loves. And because people come in two sexes (baring a medical problem) then love also comes in two sexes. Love is gendered. I love a woman in a different way than I love a man because I am a whole person, and my body and soul form a unity that has a sex.
This unity of a person, this holistic approach to people, restores the notion that marital love has a component of reproduction. To say married love is both unitive and procreative is to recognize that love has a gender because people have a gender.
In turn, this walks us back the path laid out by LGBT activists to the “yuck factor” in the article. There needn’t be a grossness to the external acts (Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile), but instead a blanching of the face that people are reduced to mere external acts. The dualism required to think same sex sexuality is love appallingly divorces a person’s body from their soul. It is a wretched thing to turn a person against him/her self by introducing a disunity into that person through dualism. Homosexuality requires that disunity between ones body and soul and that’s why it’s bad. It hurts a persons communion with themselves. It is not wrong in the abstract because, “the Bible also teaches that homosexual behavior was wrongdoing or sin” (one might see the Nominalist roots of how the author proclaims it), but it is wrong concretely because it does injury to communion through dualist ideology.