Rights & Tolerance | August 2003
E-Mail to an Ex-Catholic Friend & Activist
I found interesting, although questionable,]
the assertion that there had once been a Catholic blessing for
I try to understand things from both sides, even
when one side...is being unreasonable -- understanding complex
situations is like trying to untie a complicated knot (The
"Gordian Knot" approach, of just cutting the thing in
half, is pretty harsh, especially when people's true and
passionate feelings are on the line, on both sides).
For priests, who swear to God to be celibate, it
must be a tough life (...recently I find out that for the first
millennium or whatever of the Church, they could [marry], until
there were inheritance scandals); and sexual frustrations can
produce all sorts of mean feelings, particularly on sexual
issues, whether one is of the clergy or not.
As far as whether being homosexual is a matter
of choice or instinct, I think it's usually instinct; but
sometimes it seems to be choice, or at least a combination of
both -- every individual is different, which is what this is
all about -- understanding and tolerance, and maybe even
appreciation of differences.
This Pope is very conservative on virtually all
matters of doctrine. He's been very popular because of his
travels and work for the poor -- which are good things -- but
his strict social doctrines really alienate a lot of people.
Then again, a lot of people who disagree with him still respect
him for standing up for what he apparently truly believes in.
If there is to be change in the Church, or
nation, then it will have to come from leaders who have just as
deep-seated beliefs the other way -- the natural human instinct
is to resist change, especially in very important matters; but I
think most people will also let their heart and mind open to a
very passionate appeal to reason and belief as long as it is
sincere. That's how racial segregation laws were slowly,
eventually overturned (even though blacks are still in the
If...[progressive church] leaders can make the
case that acceptance of a gay lifestyle (and I don't really like
that term "gay", as it conjures up stereotypes) is
indeed following the commandment of Jesus to "love thy
neighbor" (no jokes), then it is a powerful argument
(particularly...since [after reading the four Gospels] I don't
believe Jesus himself condemned homosexuality).
Anyway, in another millennium or two, the Church
P.S. In case you wondered, even though I have
many gay friends...I'm still interested only in the ladies -- which brings to mind a powerful argument
-- it would be as
dishonest for me to deny that instinct as it would be for a
homosexual to deny his or her instincts, which (it can at least
be argued) come from God.
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