No News is New

A Catholic view on old heresies in the news

Category: LGBT

Superstition and the Sacraments

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/gay-patient-says-catholic-chaplain-refused-him-last-rites/2014/02/19/35d163f6-99b1-11e3-80ac-63a8ba7f7942_story.html

The above link goes to an article about a man who is denied a sacrament.  At first pass this seems outrageous, but by recognizing what a sacrament is we can see the particulars of this case actually make a lot of sense.

The purpose of all 7 Sacraments is to bring us into relationship with God.  Baptism starts and Confirmation completes the founding of our friendship.  Eucharist is the celebration and renewal of that communion.  Holy Orders and Marriage both guide us into a deeper frienship with God by teaching us to how to serve each other.  Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick heal us when we have damaged that relationship or are close to death and so want to ensure our relationship is strong.

The sacraments are not magical because they go hand in hand with our union with God.  For example: if I was not yet baptised when I died, but I desired a relationship with God, then I can be assumed to have a “Baptism of Desire” and (even without a baptism of water) I might be with God celebrating that connection in Heaven.  To think the sacraments are efficacious without an internal aspect of faith is to fall into superstition.  As the Catechism says, “To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart form the interior dispositions that they demand, is to fall into superstition” (CCC 2111).

Trying for every superstition.

Trying for every superstition.

Looking at the particulars of the case in the article, there was a man who was apparently unrepentant about being in a sexual relationship with another man.  Briefly put, this sort of relationship leads us away from the truth of God by lying about his nature.  Since the man didn’t want to repent from lying about the nature of God with his actions, the performance of the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick would have been mere superstition.

Here we must go down a brief rabbit hole without losing focus about the topic at hand.  Marriage is a picture of God’s love.  The Father and Son have such a real love that it (because of the nature of that love) is personified into the Holy Spirit.  The nature of male-male or female-female love is such that it cannot generate new persons.  The nature of male-female love is such that it can generate persons similar to the out-flowing of the Holy Spirit, and so female-male love is an icon of God.

God the Father and God the Son love so intensely that this love is the God the Holy Spirit.

God the Father and God the Son love so intensely that this love is the God the Holy Spirit.

Sex therefore becomes an image to us of who God is.  If we use sex in such a way that it doesn’t properly show us who God is, then we misuse it.  It is no coincidence that people commonly yet out “Oh God” during sex.  This topic deserves more digital ink, but let this suffice as a summary so we can get back to the topic at hand.

The man in the article is by his actions rejecting God, but yet wants a sacrament so he can have union with God.  He doesn’t want “to rot in hell”, but he also doesn’t want to live a celibate life in communion with God.  The priest “can’t give you [Communion] if you continue that lifestyle, if you’re an active participant” because by participating in that lifestyle one is choosing to reject God, which is the opposite of Communion.  If the man had same sex attraction but still sought out God and tried to live with good will towards God, then I would agree that, “who am I to judge” such a life?

Sadly, this article doesn’t discuss such a man, a man living a celibate life not by desire for such a life but rather out of love for God.  Instead it discusses a man living out his carnal desires to the point of rejecting God and the shepherding actions of a priest.  In his desire to not “end up 63 and alone”, he has decided to reject the Church, to reject Jesus, and hence to be 63 and alone from God.  It’s very tragic not that he was denied a sacrament, but that he didn’t want to order his life in such a way as to be ready to receive the sacrament.

Still, it is better to be him than it is to be me.  Who knows what I am doing that should prohibit me from receiving the Eucharist?  If only a priest would shepherd me as this priest tried to shepherd him, then I might be more on track with life.  This man with same sex attraction now can correct his life and be with God for eternity.  Me?  I might never root out all the sins I am unaware I commit.

Sad story of 6 year old rejected by mother.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/argentina/10339296/Six-year-old-becomes-first-transgender-child-in-Argentina-to-change-identity.html

To begin the discussion of this article, it is first important to recall what a 6 year old is capable of.  From the PBS website for child development (see also the subpage on science, and social and emotional growth):

  • “Shows ability, though not consistently, to support claims with evidence”
  • “Recognizes that a living thing has needs and that those needs must be met if the living thing is to survive”
  • “Begins to recognize that each living thing goes through a cycle that includes birth, growth and development, procreation and death.”
  • “Scientific discovery for children this age is affected by their tendency to straddle the world between make-believe and reality.”
  • “start to display an increasing awareness of their own and others’ emotions and begin to develop better techniques for self-control.”
  • “Sense of security is reliant on relationships with close adults.”
  • “Describes self based on external characteristics, such as physical attributes, name, possessions and age (e.g., says, “I am six and I have brown hair.”). Often evaluates own abilities highly (e.g., when asked if he is good at painting, he looks somewhat mystified and says, “Yes, I am a good artist.”); such evaluations can be inaccurate or based on limited views. Copes poorly with failure and does not take criticism well.”
  • Mature understanding of sexuality and sufficient reasoning to make complex sexual decisions.

Oops, that last one isn’t on the PBS website, but it is implicit in the news article.   Apparently, instead of correcting her sons mistaken notion about his masculinity when he first “started talking” (according to the article), the mother reinforced this view.  Instead of teaching her son to love his body, she taught him to reject it.

keep-calm-and-love-the-skin-you-re-in

This Gnostic like rejection of the physical world as exemplified in ones own body is bad enough, but to not correct a child who still “straddle(s) the world between make-believe and reality” seems more like abuse than acceptance of a non-standard identity.  Like never telling the child that the Easter Bunny is just a story and going along with it for their whole life, even so far as getting the government to release a statement as to the Easter Bunny’s authenticity.  How cruel!  Children at this age say all sorts of weird stuff, that doesn’t mean we should accept what they say as truth.

I don’t mean to imply that gender identity needs to be correlated to specific roles or colors.

I love a good pink tie.

I love a good pink tie.

But rather I mean that male is good.  Female is good.  We shouldn’t reject our own bodies, our own selves, and instead we should love ourselves.  We need to be who we are, and no one else.  Because of the unity between body and soul (after all, one is a singular person, not two parts stuck together) our body tells us something about our soul.  To reject this boy’s body and to go along with the fictional story that he’s really a she is to reject this boy’s person.  For a mother to reject her own six year old is quite a wicked event.  Sadly, by rejecting this boy’s masculinity, she does just that.

Same sex adoption: Both sides “Think of the Children!”

http://www.freep.com/article/20130918/OPINION/309180020/gay-marriage-same-sex-adoption-Michigan-legislature-adoption-Brian-Dickerson

I struggle to get past even the title of this article: “Adoption bills put Catholic Church’s interests ahead of kids'”.  This title is incoherent, because the Church’s interest in adoption is protecting the rights children ahead of potential parents.  By putting children’s right ahead of parents, somehow children are put behind children?  When viewed within Church teaching, the incoherent title is followed by an equally incoherent article.  But what else could be expected from the opinion section of a major newspaper?  In the words of Mr. Larrabee, “All columnists should be beaten to a pulp and converted back into paper!”

Here's a man who knew what papers were good for.

Here’s a man who knew what writers like me were good for.

The premise of the Church position on adoption is the not so outlandish notion that all children deserve by right a mother and a father.  If a family has only a mother, something is missing.  If a family has only a father, something is missing.  We can see this is a natural right because by nature families are formed when a mommy and a daddy love each other very much, yadda yadda yadda, baby is born.  It is only through catastrophe or sin that children are deprived of such a natural right as to be born and cared for by their progenitors – male and female.  We should do all within our power to protect the “most vulnerable” (in the words of the article) so that they may have their rights insured.  If some of these rights are violated by catastrophy (such as a single mom who cannot afford her special needs child and so gives that child up for adoption), that doesn’t mean other rights should be violated as well.  Our first recourse should be to provide the child enough to keep the child with the mom.  If that fails, our second recourse should be finding a home that provides as much of the rights as possible to the child.  That would be a home with loving male and female parents — as close to the natural home as possible.

There seems to be a problem in Michigan that not enough couples are stepping up to adopt these children who need parents, so the argument is made that we can strip these children of their right to both a mom and a dad and adopt them off to same sex couples.  A better solution would be to protect these children’s rights but lower the cost of adoption, which runs between 20 and 30 thousand dollars!  Any economist will tell you that if you drop the cost of something, more people will partake of that thing.

The Cost of Adoption is Too Damn High Party

The Cost of Adoption is Too Damn High Party

If the cost of adoption were dropped to say, the cost of delivery (average of $3,500), I’m sure many more couples would come forward to adopt while still protecting the child’s right to both a mom and a dad.  As a society, we should protect children’s natural rights even if it means we need to subsidize adoption.  What is the point of a right if we are not willing to put up money to defend that right?  The Church seeks to protect the natural rights of these “most vulnerable” and not deprive them of their rights just because that will cost society more.  This is contrasted with those who wish to deprive children of their right to parents of both genders.  This author tosses out the word “bigot” so flippantly, but from this perspective, who’s the bigger bigot: the ones protecting the rights of the most vulnerable (the Catholic Church) or the ones who want to strip children of their rights (LGBT adoption supporters)?