I’m sharing this post from a fellow blogger as my Reblog First Monday because it has stayed in my mind since I first read it and I still reflect upon it from time to time. Sadly, it seems to me that some of my fellow readers have misunderstood The Smiling Pilgrim. This post does not say that the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality is wrong – neither does it say that it is right. The point, I believe, is our need for honest dialogue about being human.
The group of Christian men that The Smiling Pilgrim discovered in an online forum all had same-sex attraction and were wondering what to do about it. Some of them were considering celibacy, others were considering “mixed orientation” marriage. Notice that all of them didn’t automatically feel or believe that they should leave the Church and enter into a same-sex relationship. But, some of them did feel that this was the course that they would take.
The Catholic Church has very deep teachings on human sexuality with organic ramifications for all people – not just those who have same-sex attraction. There are very high standards for heterosexual people, too. And I understand that many people chafe against these ramifications and standards – but it is important for us to understand what it is that we are chafing against. In other words, what is the Church’s teaching? (1) That every human being is sacred. (2) That the way through which human beings enter into the world (sex and sexuality) is sacred. (3) Sacrifice is not a four letter word, but, rather, from loving sacrifice can come bliss.
As I wrote in my original comment to this post on LGBT Christianity, too often, people in the Catholic Church and other Christian churches do not realize the sacrifice that gay and lesbian people are being asked to make and only speak to them and about them with unsympathetic and sometimes angry language. That isn’t the Christian way. We need to truly understand a person’s struggles if we want to help that person understand the healing nature of the Gospel. What also bothers me is that, in our mainstream culture, we are too quick to think that someone with same-sex attraction must enter into a relationship in order to attain full happiness – just as we think for people who are heterosexual. Why? Why is it believed that only by having a sexual relationship can a person be fully human?
My question “Why” is an honest one. And I believe what The Smiling Pilgrim is hoping for is honesty in current and future conversations about anything and everything. Honesty doesn’t mean spouting off an opinion without listening to the other person. It means truly listening and truly wondering, not afraid to show our own wounds. It means getting to the heart of each and every matter and understanding how the tiny seed of a Teaching can bear beautiful fruit, even if the growing is difficult. It means loving and receiving love. Forgiving and being forgiven. The Gospel is truly Good News for all people – including someone like me who, not by choice, will never have a sexual partner. The goodness of the Gospel needs to be discovered, cultivated, nourished, and cherished. It is not a hammer with which to beat other people into submission. Rather, it is a lever with which we pry open our own hearts that we may better understand Christ’s love in the fullness of being human.
I truly appreciate hearing any and all comments!