The Catholic Church is obsessed with human sexuality. This preoccupation is based upon ancient screeds that are so wrong about so many things. For starters (and I could fill a website with the errors) the authors of those texts assert that the seemingly flat earth is the center of the universe, that the moon is lit rather than a reflection, that their god created light a couple of days before he created the sun, that demons cause sickness (which prayer can heal), that the Earth was created before the sun, that pi equals precisely 3 and so on. Yet Russell and his ilk will torture logic to the point of absurdity in order for their reality to conform to those ancients chronicles.
It is all too easy to dismiss this with some snark. However, this is not amusing. Parents and children believe their baffling bullshit. It can destroy the family dynamic with with the dishonesty that their theology creates in people.
According to Russell:
…authentic love and authentic freedom can only be ours to the extent that we possess the truth. Yet, we face a difficult problem: the more fully we possess truth, the harder it can be to see any remaining errors in our thinking.Russell's “truth” is that your gay kid is “objectively disordered” and if you, the parents, don't see it that way then your thinking is errant and you are disordered. People, it seems, are willing to accept the notion that the scientific truth is wrong that homosexuality is a natural variant of human sexuality in order to please a deity. It is rank superstition. At least the Druids had no sacred texts and were surprising short on dogma.
Error becomes like a hairline fracture, barely perceptible, in a piece of treasured pottery. Strike the vessel and wait for the audible “ring” that emanates from an intact vase—you won’t hear it because somewhere there hides a harmful flaw.In other words they are right about all things and if you do not think as they think then you are on the path to destruction. What they really mean is that you go to heaven when you die — if you follow the rules. They will instruct you as to what those rules are.
There was a time when following those rules meant murdering people. Death to insolent children, brides who are not virgins, witches, people who work on the Sabbath and so on. I should only have had the chalk franchise for all of the bodily outlines.
Presumably Christ was circumcised and kept kosher. Circa 54 CE Paul changed the rules. He did so to make it easier to convert Gentiles so that they did not have to submit to painful surgery and give up the foods that they had eaten their entire lives. He edited the rules for convenience. We no longer kill fortunetellers or adulterers. The rules were arbitrary then and they are arbitrary now.
The chastity-seeking celibate “gay Christian” asserts that his primary duty is to avoid desiring and willing homogenitalNot having sex isn't good enough for these people. Oh no. Chastity requires the elimination of intimacy. It constitutes a rather bleak outlook for a gay child.
sex acts, and that other forms of the homosexual inclination can be somehow properly ordered toward good ends, like cherishing another man in lifelong “spiritual friendship.” But … any and every manifestation of the homosexual inclination must be rejected in our pursuit of authentic chastity.
Why? Because the homosexual inclination is not disordered simply because it points a person toward same-sex acts. It’s disordered because it is a distortion of the sexual inclination that God gives to every human person as a part of our human nature—the natural human inclination toward the procreation and education of children. We’re “born that way,” to borrow a phrase.And there you have it. Everyone is born a heterosexual and cisgender. It must be those demons at work that cause people to be gay. There are no gay people — only gay actions. A Mt. Everest of peer reviewed scholarly literature just went down the crapper. The only thing stupider than spouting this nonsense is believing it.
Sexual Inclination—God’s Gift to Human NatureBy today's standards, Aquinas was an ignoramus. Moreover, he made a case for slavery (among other things). More offensive is that Russell is claiming that your gay kid is “evil.”
This is an indispensable element of natural law and Church teaching. … Aquinas outlines three such very basic inclinations—self-preservation, procreation/education of children, and use of reason. Indeed, the whole realm of natural law is largely extrapolated from the existence of these God-given natural human inclinations—these are the things “written on our hearts” that incline us toward doing good and avoiding evil.
Think of our God-given natural sexual inclination in this way: Imagine the human person as a rocket launcher in a field. Now, whether a rocket can hit its target depends largely upon the angle of “inclination” the launcher starts out with. At the beginning of every human person’s existence, God himself has given us our original angle of inclination to ensure we hit the “target” of sexual love …Oh goodie. Russell has now mixed ancient superstition with a smattering of ignorance about rocket science. Very impressive.
But what if some external influence ends up distorting or shifting the God-given natural sexual inclination such that the person is no longer aimed at the right kind of target—a human person of the other sex? … The angle of inclination is “disordered” because it directly contradicts God’s original gift of the right inclination.An external influence? Russell never explains. How could he without looking even more foolish?
The Temptation of Inordinate PleasureRussell is appealing to stereotype. The gay person is a sex-obsessed pervert. What is “evident” is that they make this stuff up as the go along in order to conform the world to scripture. It makes no sense whatsoever. Russell has constructed what he believes is a logical sequence of Thomistic argument. Yet each and every step is flawed. The problem (well, one of the many problems) is that these people only talk to each other. They are not sufficiently challenged.
It should be evident by now that the homosexual inclination, because it is opposed to a God-given gift of human nature, is not capable of being affirmed, redeemed, or purified. The only response to an experience of same-sex attraction must be a willful “no.” Pain and suffering will arise whenever a person says any kind of willful “yes” to same-sex attraction. While seeking to avoid homosexual sex acts is a hugely important step in discipleship, true chastity will not be possible for a person if he continues to cling to this inclination both as an identity and as a source of intense friendship or intimate relationship with others of the same sex.
Crucify the Temptation—And Then Pray“Crucify?” Really? The condemnation is that strong? This is what this schmuck would tell a parent with a gay kid? Eventually that child is going to grow up, come out of the closet, seek therapy to repair some of the damage and resent his or her parents for the rest of his or her life. And, no, I am not describing myself. My circumstances were very different. This really is demons make you sick — prayer makes you well gobbledygook. These objects of Russell's criticism should not be struggling in the first place.
As such, this is where real compassion for real persons must kick in. It’s realistic—not pessimistic—to say that the “gay Christian” seeking to “purify” same-sex attraction is engaging in an impossible endeavor that can only bring them pain. Sadly, in recent weeks I’ve personally observed the fallout from this thinking among some struggling for chastity who are failing because they are saying a partial “yes” to their experience of same-sex attraction.
And, dear readers, we can and should pray always. Yes, let’s fulfill our obligation to truth by pointing out and even despising error when we see it, but let us never ever despise those who may be in error. You and I may be the only ones who can compassionately help our brother and sister, … those whom we should hope to see at our side someday in the everlasting bliss of Heaven.As I wrote; follow the rules — go to Nirvana. What Deacon Jim Russell espouses is not any sane person's idea of compassion. Deacon Jim Russell is preaching and promoting hate. There is nothing wrong with gay people. They are not disordered; they are not sick; and they don't need anyone's prayers. More than anything they need to be who they are.