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  • Reverend James Squire

Born This Way

The words of one verse of Lady Gaga’s 2011 song, Born This Way are:

“I’m beautiful in my way

‘Cause God makes no mistakes

I’m on the right track, baby

I was born this way.”

It is one of my favorite songs to run to for it is high energy from start to finish. It isn’t one of the Roman Catholic Church’s favorite tunes. I remember a headline that appeared in the Inquirer years ago that Cardinal Kroll was going to stamp out homosexuality and pedophilia in his priests. Homosexuality is not pedophilia. They are two different things. One doesn’t have anything to do with the other. That was a headline born in ignorance.

Today’s decision by Pope Francis is born in a difference of perspective but not ignorance but maybe of being naïve. He and the Roman Catholic Church Doctrine say that homosexuality is a sin. I couldn’t disagree more.

Here is the Roman Catholic Church’s position: “We begin with the Thomistic idea that the world ‘makes sense’. From that starting point, Aquinas would say that it’s clear that everything is ‘ordered’ toward something. Its Aristotelian telos, or end point, should be obvious to our eyes and to our reason. For example, an acorn is quite obviously ‘ordered’ toward becoming an oak tree. A child is ‘ordered’ toward becoming an adult. Likewise, every act is judged according to whether it is properly oriented toward its proper end. In terms of sexuality, all sex is ‘ordered’ toward what are called the affective (love) and generative (having children) ends within the context of marriage.”

My problem with the Roman Catholic Church’s position on gay marriage is that the Church talks about sex as though they invented it let alone of having a great deal of it. In the words of our President, Joe Biden, “Here’s the deal!”

Number one. Is sexuality’s purpose toward intimacy and love, what the Church calls “affective’” or is the purpose to have children, what the Church calls generative. Is sex for intimacy or procreation? You can’t have a “both and” conversation about homosexual marriage where procreation is clearly the most important part of their argument. The Church is for “ordered means forward” which is procreation. It is pure and simple an example of NATURAL LAW. That is what “ordered” means, a natural progression. Homosexuals can’t have children by biological means therefore they are sinners because otherwise they shouldn’t have sex. It is the same if a Roman Catholic chooses not to use a contraceptive. They would be sinners for that as well.

Number two. Ethics deals with choices. I don’t know many people who wake up in the morning and shout, “I think that I will be gay today!” People don’t choose to be something difficult when they could be something easy in our culture. It is also the reason that “sexual preference” is no longer used to describe homosexuality for that implies choice. The term that is more appropriate is “sexual orientation” because, in the words, of the song “I was born this way!”

Point Three. 76% of U.S. Roman Catholics believe that contraception is OK. 54% that it is OK to be homosexual. If you believe in contraception and believe in homosexuality as acceptable technically the percentages should be the same as the issue is still natural law. But here we have cultural bias. 33% believe that homosexuality is a sin. For a Church that has so much to say about sex based in natural law, they are out of touch with their members who are actually having sex for reasons of intimacy first and procreation of children as a goal being a very distant second. Last time I looked they were still blessing the marriages of people who are using contraceptives and don’t intend on having children with every sexual encounter. I grew up in a heavily Roman Catholic community. A vast majority of families had a few children. I can’t remember one large family.

Point Four. We need to look at Muslim policy regarding gay people and gay marriage. In the U.S. in a recent study none of the Muslims who took the survey identified as gay. Hard to believe. Their position against homosexuality goes back to the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah where modern discourse has linked that passage of scripture as a metaphor for homosexuality. This is the origin of the word sodomite which in legal terms means a crime against nature.

The Muslim community has also made known that Islam is too important to exclude people from it. There is a great deal of agreement and disagreement over the issue of homosexuality being OK if you are a conservative or liberal interpreter of their doctrine.

Now at this point, President Biden would say, “Get it!!! Go listen to “Born This Way!” Well maybe not the “Born This Way” comment! That is what I would say.

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