Gay Marriage: Listen to your head and heart, not the Bishops’ bluff and bluster

(Reader Chris Morley has sent me by email extensive links and useful thoughts on the British bishops and gay marriage. When I suggested that he might write them up himelf, he took up the suggestion, and sent this useful contribution, for which I thank him most heartily):

Catholics need to follow their Informed Consciences using their common sense and life experience, rather than let themselves be bullied by Bishops huffing and puffing about the government’s plans to allow civil gay marriages.

Heterosexual marriages in Britain remain unharmed by the 40,000 civil partnerships formed in the last six years. Ten countries already have civil gay marriages which helps strengthen relationships and make society better integrated.

No churches or priests will be allowed or compelled to hold any civil gay marriages: these would only take place in registrar’s offices, hotels and the like, all conducted by Registrars.

However despite this benign reality, this Sunday all Catholic congregations in England and Wales will hear a Bishops’ pastoral letter condemning the government’s plans for civil gay marriages, from Westminster Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Southwark Bishop Peter Smith.

‘Madness’, like ‘legalising slavery': Cardinal O’Brien

Last Sunday, the Scottish Cardinal O’Brien rather lost his head in the Sunday Telegraph, when he said civil gay marriage is ‘madness’, ‘a gross subversion of a universally accepted human right’, a ‘redefining of reality’ and that supporting this is like ‘legalising slavery’ and will ‘shame the UK in the eyes of the world’. This bullying and disrespectful over-the-top language persuades no-one, especially when the Catechism teaches all Catholics to treat gay people with ‘respect, compassion and sensitivity’.

The two London Bishops are more restrained but hardly persuasive. They use a lot of fine sounding phrases but look closely at their letter and they are wrong on facts, thin on logic, evidence and good sense.

Gay marriage is in the news and Catholic pulpits because the government will ask the public later this month for comments on their plans for gay civil marriage equality, following our six years with civil partnerships.

Bishops caught between a Rock and a Hard Place

Catholic Bishops find they are caught between a rock and a hard place. The rock is defending the Vatican’s strict teaching that homosexuality is ‘intrinsically evil’ and all gay Catholics must lead completely sexless lives without ever having a loving partner by their side. The hard place the Bishops are stuck up against is the reality that most Catholics already know lesbian and gay people, even if only through soap operas or as celebrities, and most Catholics can see gay people are ordinary human beings sharing the same desire to live as a loving couple like almost everyone else.

Opinion polls tell us most people in Britain, including Catholics, want marriage equality for gay people. Support for gay marriage has increased year by year in different polls: 54% in 2004, 55% in 2008, and 61% in 2009. A casual online poll in the Daily Telegraph accompanying an interview with Archbishop Vincent Nichols in March 2012 saw 81% vote in favour of gay civil marriage equality. In 2010 the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey found a clear majority of Catholics want to see gay marriage equality.

So the Bishops are trying to sell Catholics an anti-gay equality message that most Catholics reject and instinctively feel does not fit the loving and inclusive Gospel message of Jesus.

Following Informed Conscience first

Our Catechism instructs us that we must do what our individual Informed Conscience tells us, even if the Church teaches something else. Informed Conscience is already followed by the vast majority of heterosexual Catholics who make up their own minds and use contraception, because for them that is the right thing to do, despite what a Pope said back in 1968. Catholics realise the Church, Pope and Bishops are not infallible or always right on sexual matters; Catholic lay people have first hand life experience in sexual matters, unlike our not always celibate, sometimes child abusing, clergy. Are the Bishops right according to your conscience to reject civil marriage equality for all?

It’s bad because Bishops say so

The Bishops don’t properly explain their reasons or produce convincing evidence to back up their claims that allowing civil gay marriages will ‘gradually and inevitably transform society’s understanding of the purpose of marriage. … There would be no recognition of the complementarity of male and female or that marriage is intended for procreation and the education of children. … It would reduce it just to the commitment of the two people involved.’ The Bishops’ letter is now on the Catholic Herald website and even Catholics who don’t want gay marriage complain that the Bishops’ letter is poor. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2012/03/06/full-text-english-and-welsh-bishops-letter-on-same-sex-marriage/

The Bishops tell us the purpose of marriage is for ‘procreation and the education of children’. Do they mean older or infertile couples aren’t properly married or shouldn’t marry? Where do adoption and fostering fit in? Some gay couples parent and raise their own children, others foster and adopt, often very well for some very demanding children. Limiting their view of marriage to just procreation and child raising is unkind to some heterosexuals and gay people alike.

They ignore one of the purposes and main reason most people marry, which is for the unity and mutual loving life-long exclusive support of each other. Why do the Bishops ignore this crucial part of marriage? What’s so different for gay couples also wanting to commit to a faithful loving life-long relationship? Don’t gay people deserve the support civil marrriage would offer to sustain their relationships in a sometimes hostile society?

Telling us that gay marriage means ‘there would be no recognition of the complementarity of male and female’ is just empty words when the existing heterosexual marriages will provide as much ‘complementarity’ as before.

Marriage is unchanging

The Bishops tell us that marriage is natural and unchanging but this is nonsense, as historians and people who have read the Bible know. Marriage began as a property transaction when the woman and a dowry were ‘given away’ by her father to the husband, these marriages were usually arranged and intended to produce ‘legitimate’ heirs. In Old Testament times many biblical men, including King David and King Solomon, had multiple wives and concubines – a harem. But polygamy later became wrong and a mortal sin. St Paul told the early Christians that it is better not to marry at all and to prepare for the (imminent) second coming. Marriage didn’t even become a sacrament until the 12th century. Only in the 19th century did the idea of a companionate marriage become common. Marriage means very different things in other countries and cultures – many Muslim countries allow polygamy. Remember that just a few decades ago in the Southern States of the USA and apartheid South Africa marriage between different races was completely illegal.

But the Bishops wrongly pretend the current view of marriage is natural and hasn’t changed and expect us to believe their delusion.

Catholics marriage rules for all

In our 21st century democracy the law on civil marriage must meet the needs of the rich variety of people who live here and have all sorts of beliefs or none. Despite this, the Bishops want our civil marriage law to stick with the Catholic traditions for religious marriage. ‘Catholic Bishops are right about marriage’ isn’t a good enough reason to stop legal reform in a democracy. This really won’t convince many Anglicans, Quakers, Sikhs, Reform Jews, Muslims, or people of no religion. It won’t persuade MPs either.

The Bishops’ letter plainly tells us they accept civil marriages between men and women. This can only mean they agree Parliament has the right to make and change the laws for civil marriage. Yet the Bishops want to impose their religious views on civil marriage for everyone else.

The Church rejects divorce but accepts it as part of the civil law of marriage and knows the State has the right to permit this. Divorce can be avoided by Catholics and Catholics who don’t approve of gay marriage have the same simple choice: avoid marrying someone of the same sex.

The Church is free to decide its own marriage rules based on the traditions of Christian marriage between men and women, but it has no right to decide civil marriage law for the whole of the rest of society.

Where’s the harm?

The Bishops warn us about damaging heterosexual marriage but precisely what harm is done to the world by gay marriages? Where is the Bishops’ evidence that our society has been harmed by six years of gay civil partnerships? Isn’t society stronger and better from giving official legal recognition and support for gay relationships? It’s a small step from civil partnerships to gay marriage, when many people already talk about civil partners as if they are married.

Ten countries already allow gay marriages, 7 of them in Europe, including relatively Catholic Spain and Portugal. Heterosexual marriage has survived unscathed everywhere. It will be fine here too. Catholic marriage is strong enough to survive gay people getting civil marriage equality, just as it has survived the introduction of civil partnerships.

Listen to your heads and hearts

It’s time for Catholics to listen to our heads and hearts and not be bluffed and blustered by our Bishops. Let our Informed Conscience guide us to what the loving Jesus of the Gospel would want for gay people.

Whether the Bishops like it or not, civil gay marriage is good for gay people and increasing equality strengthens the bonds in society.

Catholics don’t have to sign the anti-gay marriage petition as the Bishops ask. Catholics don’t have to write to the Equalities Minister to oppose the law change plans. Catholics might instead welcome the plans in good conscience.

There’s an Equal Marriage petition to show support for equality and gay civil marriage that Catholics can join – Coalition for Equal Marriage.

Terence adds, see this, from their website:

What C4EM means to you

March 9, 2012 | 8:27 pm | Conor

James and I have been receiving mail from supporters since day one. They’ve been bittersweet, sad, funny, energising, enlightening, and they’ve kept us going. We want to share some of them with you. Have something you’d like to share? email us at stories@c4em.org.uk

 – Coalition For Equal Marriage.

The Bishops’ Letter is in the Catholic Herald

In the comments there, even the Catholics opposed to gay marriage think the Bishops’ letter makes a poor case. You will also find comments from many Catholics who support civil gay marriage and think the Church has no business interfering in civil marriage.

——————————

Chris Morley

Chris was raised Catholic, attended a junior seminary for five years, survived and emerged gay. He has 30 years experience in community social care, supporting vulnerable and excluded people both at the Citizens Advice Bureau and in leading HIV charities.

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8 comments for “Gay Marriage: Listen to your head and heart, not the Bishops’ bluff and bluster

  1. March 10, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    There is so much to take apart in O’Brien’s nonsense, we could be at it for a week. I would just like to point to one item:
    Those of us who were not in favour of civil partnership, believing that such relationships are harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of those involved, warned that in time marriage would be demanded too.  ”
    ? “Believing” that such relationships are harmful, without a shred of evidence? What evidence there is, from countries and states that have introduced full marriage equality, show the exact opposite: marriage is good for both physical and mental well-being, as demonstrated by published statistics on declining need for medical help for gay men / lesbians. 
    But then, Catholic bishops have never been troubled by any need for evidence to support their claims to superior knowledge about human sexuality. They have centuries of abstract reasoning by celibate men to inform their thinking. Surely that trumps ideas developed from science, evidence and real world experience of how sex and marriage work?
    Or, perhaps not. 

    • Chris Morley
      March 11, 2012 at 12:24 am

      Spot on about the lack of evidence.

      I’m already working on a post about the complete lack of evidence of harm. It’s responding to the Pope’s recent warning to some US bishops ( http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2012/03/09/weaker-appreciation-of-marriage-is-harming-society-says-pope/ ) that they must oppose gay marriage for “Safeguarding the good of the entire human community”.

      I’ve got perfect quotes from the court transcript of the Proposition 8 case in the Federal Court of California. The best expert marriage witness money could buy to prove that gay marriage harms individuals and heterosexual society ends up conceding things are better for everyone with LGB marriage. It’s peachy. His book was even quoted back at him.
      I’ll sleep on it and post it tomorrow. 

  2. Advocatus Diaboli
    March 12, 2012 at 3:58 am

         I have a question. This is Theological Liberalism (also called pop-theology). In case you are unfamiliar with the term, it basically means that whatever society/individual thinks is what God thinks. This is the sole cause of most evil things done in the name of religion. I have just written a huge essay over the issue, but Ill simply name a few examples here: THe crusades were a product of pop-theology. the violence and war obsessed culture of western europe had been repeatedly ignoring the church’s claims that god did not approve of violence and killing, and the crusades and inquisitions were the result of the Church bending to popular theology. I think we can all agree, as the church before the medieval period would have , that the crusades were not approved of by Jesus Christ. The people of the period believed with all of their heart that they were doing good in God’s eyes. Either they were right or we were right; we cannot both be accurately interpreting the teachings and principles of god at the same time. THis is called theological liberalism, and it is when popular thought is believed to be supported by God who’s teachings and principles do not change. 
         The use of torture in the inquisitions was a result of the church bending to theological liberalism. The embracement of Nazism by germany’s Christians is perhaps the worst example of theological Liberalism: Jesus was defiantly a hebrew jew not a blond aryan, and he did not believe that Jews were inherently inferior and should be exterminated from the earth, yet German christians of all denominations believed this secular social trend and through theological liberalism adjusted their religious beliefs to agree with the ‘the sign of the times’. It was only those most principled theologians, the clergy with the most devotion to “out of date” theological ideas that resisted the Nazification of German Christianity. Religion in WW1 is another example of theological liberalism. Every single nation claimed that God supported their cause. Everyone said God supported the war except one international figure: the Pope. When he pleaded with the Leaders of France and Germany to halt the violence and return to peaceful discussions, the German Emperor responded with “You are just trying to destroy the Lutheran Church” and the French President (with the agreement with French society) said that the Pope’s pleas for peace and non-violence were “anti-French and rooting for the victory of Satan”. 
         Do you see the problem of Theological liberalism? It does not believe that God is constant and unwavering and therefore does not believe in adherence to principles. It Changes God to reflect the in the moment beliefs of the individual and/or the perpetually shifting values of society, rather than adjusting the beliefs and values of the individual/society to align with God’s.
        My question is, in all of this support for radically new theological principles to support whatever you believe at the time, how do you prevent embracing somthing that you think is not a problem at the time, but is actually not in line with what God wants? 
         If you believe in the totally ‘supremecy’ of the individual’s conscious, or in the ‘soverienty’ of popular opinion in matters of theology, then you do not believe in the God of Christ’s teaching. This does not mean that the theology cannot change, it has undeniably changed from time to time, but it is VERY slow and done so in UNISON. If the popularity of an idea is indicative of its truth, or if it ‘feels right’ to the individual then it is ok with God, then there is no God. Right now, this very second, there are thousands of Catholics who believe that certain things are the will of God and should be changed, and in another part of the world there are thousands of Catholics who believe that is the will of God, who is right? You cannot say ‘to each his own’ because there is only one God in Catholicism and he does not have conflicting principles and teachings. Either you are wrong, or they are wrong, and it is nothing but the SIN of hubris to say that you are the one that is right simply because it your ideas are ‘newer’ or ‘more enlightened’. It was once considered an ‘enlightened’ belief that science had proven the inherent inferiority of African Americans to white europeans (1800’s darwinian scientific racism). Take a step back and have some humility. 
         My question is, ultimately, how can you justify your belief in Catholicism if you embrace theological liberalism? If there is one god, and that god in unchanging in his teachings and principles (as in he does teach that pre-marital sex to not be ok, and then change that teaching simply because the earth has revolved around the sun 2,000 times), then he DEFIANTLY cannot be said to teach conflicting teachings to different people in the same time period. The point of Catholicism is that there is ONE truth for ALL humans appointed by ONE God who is CONSISTENT in his principles. If you want to make a change to Universal theology (aka catholic theolgoy) you must SLOWLY and CAREFULLY examine EVERYTHING and make sure that you FULLY understand EVERY implication and aspect. Everything must be consistent in principle, and if there is some change that you want to introduce but it conflicts with the principle of a tradition or teaching that you still want to keep then you have to accept that you cannot make that change or that if you do make that change then you will have to drop that tradition that you wanted to keep.

     You guys really need to start becoming more well versed in the intricacies of Theology and start figuring out what parts of the religion are incompatible with with the principle of the change you want to make and make a decision as to if the new change is worth the abolition of those things.The ‘supremecy’ of Conscious is NOT a license for theological liberalism and so is not a grounds for changing official theological doctrine. if you are not willing to accept that fact then you need to start being intellectually honest and admit that you do not belief in the principles of Catholicism. It is getting to the point where you guys need to start pulling together a cohesive vision of what you want the theology of the Church to be, and ALL of it needs to be perfectly consistent in principle AND fully applicable to ALL people in ALL times and ALL places otherwise it by definition be catholic. I have at times pointed out that an argument, belief, or statement that various people have put forward is not compatible with what it means to be believe in the Catholic religion, and they have been met with silence or excuses of “well I don’t know but this is what I believe”. I understand that it is complicated and very difficult to fully understand the entirety of Catholicism (why else do you think people have to have close to 10 years of formal university education on the subject before they can a recognized as FULLY knowing what they are talking about?), but the more vocal and critical you become that excuse begins to be unacceptable. As the situation further divides as same-sex marriage becomes legalized you will be close to irresponsible action to be saying these things when you do not have a full understanding of the far reaching implications of your statements. You obviously do not see it, but the tone and a lot of the proposals and statements that you guys are making are not compatible with the elementary principles of the Catholic  Religion; can you see the implications of the principles of that statement? It means: SOME OF THE THINGS YOU GUYS HAVE STARTED TO SAY RECENTLY ARE NOT COMPATIBLE WITH THE FOUNDATION OF THE CATHOLIC RELIGION, WHICH MEANS THAT YOU ARE INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST TO CLAIM THAT YOU CAN TRUELY BELIEVE THOSE THINGS AND STILL BE CATHOLIC. 
        I try to avoid playing the ‘pick or choose’ card, but it is getting to the point where you are going to have to start pruning your tree; you are going to have to backing off of some of your opinions or quit claiming to believe in Catholicism. Things like “the clergy dont matter simply because I disagree with them” “you can do whatever you want so long as it feels ok to you” “god does not care as long as you think that you are happy” and other principles ANTITHETICAL to the principles of Catholicism. YOu need to start being intellectually honest and ACCEPT that there are some things that you are restricted from because the principle contradicts an unchangeable principle of the religion. YOu guys are borderline putting your political agenda ahead of the principles of the religion that you claim to adhere to. As of right now, you are spewing protestant ideology, which is inherently incompatible with the very basics of Catholicism, you need to start becoming more aware of these things.

    • Bart
      March 12, 2012 at 6:22 am

      I really think that you should take your own advice and reconsider your own theological notions. I won’t go into the lengthy diatribes you seem to indulge in at this site because it is not conducive to good argumentation, but I will tell you this here. There IS such a thing as theological development, and you know that. As for the immutability or otherwise of God, that’s not even at issue here. Theological development goes hand in hand with human development otherwise. Even the Bible is witness to this development, and that is the beauty of Scripture – that we have not plucked out the various conflicting theological notions contained in Scripture but allowed them to stay there to show us that our understanding is both finite and incomplete. So, no, this is not a “pick and choose” card as you put it, but an assertion that what you think is a once-and-for-all truth is perhaps not readily so. We have examples of development in theology in both our doctrine on the Incarnation as well as on the Trinity. Now that’s dogmatic theology, which tends to be more stable once established. The field is more muddy when it comes to moral theology, because it has to do with human behaviour. Clearly, as the boundaries of our knowledge and experience of ourselves and the world around us expand, we will experience the need to develop our moral theology to embrace new situations. You may wish to call it theological liberalism, which reflects more your judgemental attitude than a statement of fact. I think it’s wiser to be neutral (or rather, to suspend judgement until and unless I have full cognisance of the facts) and recognise the fact that we are trying to come to terms with the leaps and bounds that we have made elsewhere, particularly in the scientific field. Adaptability to new situations is a sign of life; rigidity has the opposite effect. That’s not just a rule of nature but applies to all things under the sun. Yes, including theology.

    • Chris Morley
      March 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      Thanks for sharing your recent learning in this essay on theological liberalism. I’m no expert so I can’t predict what your essay mark might be but I haven’t understood the logic in this explanation.

      It seems from your explanation that this depends on the premise that someone (it’s not clear who) always knows the mind of God. This is because theological liberalism (which seems often to be more akin to fascism) stands in opposition to whatever is in the mind of God as ‘correct’. To pick one example from your essay, it clearly cannot be the Pope who knows the mind of God, because it was he who launched, to everyone’s surprise, the first Crusade.

      I am bemused to know who then knows the mind of God. Simply saying you can’t deviate from God’s will or you are wrong because that is theological liberalism, doesn’t get us anywhere. Or have I missed something?

      • Advocatus Diaboli
        March 13, 2012 at 11:41 pm

              First, I am sorry for the poor quality of the writing, i am in the middle of finals week and dont have much time at all to reread things at the moment. Also, This was not the essay, but rather a poor summary of some of the points, and the paper is still in its draft form. Second, I have been told by several professors the way I come across in writing does not at all match how I come across when expressing the same things in person.  Apparently I come across as far more aggressive, dogmatic, and even arrogant, where as when I say the same things person in I come across as friendly, open, and sensitive; one professor said that she had to double check the name on an assignment because after weeks of in person discussion she was not at all expecting the tone of my work. It is something I am working on, so I apologize if I came across as if I know everything.

            I can understand your statement that the concept depends on someone always knowing the will of god at all times. How the will of god is discerned is different for each religion and tradition. In the Catholic Church, it is the authority of Tradition in conjunction with the Pope and top official theologians. It more or less takes two of those three to be able to override the third. Yes, that inherently makes it strongly resistant to change, but that is the point.  the attitude is one of  ‘better to be the last one to embrace the new idea as truth than to be the first one to abandon the truth for a deception”.

              I completely understand and
        support the concept of ‘taking into account new knowledge’ and making
        adjustments accordingly. No system can survive without it. However, the Church’s understanding of how that works
        vs the popular understand is at odds because the popular understanding is
        1800’s style progressivism. THe problem with progressivism is that it thinks
        that all change is good and that the only way forward it to stay in perpetual
        forward motion. Rather than taking the progressivist view of change, the church
        stopped moving ‘forward’, reversed, and backtracked to place and world-view
        that it already been to in the past and done away with  to undo all of the
        ‘newness’ (aka violence that all of society supported) that was introduced  into
        the church in the early medieval period. We need to do the same ‘backtracking’ with our current modernist
        world-view which believes that everything that came before is old and should be
        abandoned. I actually just typed out a 24 page rough draft for a professor on
        how the invention of the concepts of defined sexual orientation (which is
        another one of those Victorian era modernist ‘advancements’) needs to be
        abandoned. 

              Everything from the ‘modern
        period’ (1800’s-WW2) that involves scientific thought, social thought, economic
        thought, psychological theories, views on how human knowledge, historical
        understandings, and basically every abstract concept has proven to be
        destructive, unsustainable, ridiculously uniformed or short-sighted, and/or
        generally abandoned because they have proven to either be totally false or so
        flawed that they cannot work without mixing ideas that are antithetical to its
        own principles (such as: communism, unregulated capitalism, socialism, Fascism,
        Naziism, nationalism, Scientific Racism, Social Determinism, feminism,
        heterosexualism, Commonsense realism, picture-theory of language, imperialism,
        Freud, and the list goes on and on and on).  I do not know how many
        professors I have had that have said something to the effect of “you are
        absolutely forbidden to use any sources printed between the French Revolution
        and WW2 unless you are discussing a specific event in that time period, historiography (the history of interpreting history) or discussing the origin of an idea. An other use of sources from that period is counterproductive and will lead you astray; they tried, but they didnt get anything right and were thoroughly incapable of objectivity, insight, or even sound logic.”

              There is only one abstract
        concept invented during the modernist age of immoral science, laughable theories, and disproven ideas that we have yet to discard with the rest of the trash from the period:
        the concept of defined sexual orientation. The the very concept was an
        expansion of the modernist invention of heterosexualism (which itself was a
        corruption of gender complimentarianism). The fact that our societies have
        begun to reject heterosexualism as completely ignorant about the nature of
        human sexuality, combined with the fact that “sexual orientation
        theory” is the result of assumptions and principles of heterosexualist
        theory, means that we also need to abandon this Victorian abstraction. Men and
        women who have been emotionally, romantically, and sexually attracted to people
        of the same sex have existed since the dawn of time, and most all humans have
        understood this until heterosexualism was invented and sexual orientation
        theory became the standard thought in the late 1800’s . Prior to the invention
        of defined sexual orientation, there were no ‘gay bashings’, because people
        could not be described and labeled by their sexual feelings. prior to the
        invention of sexual orientation, there were no ‘gay teen suicides’ because no
        one’s feelings of self worth were attached to other people’s opinions of sexual
        activity because their sexual feelings were not apart of their ‘identity’ (because you cannot identify yourself by something that does not have a defined
        label). People ‘persecuted for sodomy’ were often heterosexuals AND even women, because sodomites were NOT
        ‘homosexuals’ it was anyone who had anal sex. There are “homosexuals”
        today who are in ‘gay’ relationships yet do not practice anal sex and so they would not qualify as ‘sodomites’. Prior to
        the invention of sexual orientation, there were no homosexuals because there
        were no heterosexuals, there were only people. Racism did not develop until the
        the concept of “black and white” was invented, prior to the invention
        people still knew about european and african people, but there was no label to
        define and so falsely divide humanity by. YOu couldn’t degrade a ‘homosexual person’ because you could not define them that way they were just people.

         

        We say that ‘homosexuality’ is backed by science,
        but it actually has not been; there is no consistent repeatable way to objectively
        prove someone’s ‘sexual orientation’, which is highly indicative that the
        concept exists only in our minds.  The
        only thing that has been proven by science is that heterosexualism is wrong;
        the only thing that is repeatable, consistent, and backed by hard evidence is
        that there is definable constant for brain structure, thought patterns,
        emotional needs, sexual interests, and ‘gender’ expression that can apply to
        humans. AND on top of that there is evidence to suggest that ALL humans are
        capable of varying measures of emotional, romantic, and sexual enjoyment with
        humans of either physical gender. There is more scientific evidence undermining the existence of ‘defined sexual orientation’ than there is supporting the concept of ‘homosexuality’. Science’s failure to support, and possible undermining, of our current concepts of human sexuality strongly suggest that we need to take a step back and reevaluate if we properly understand what we think we know. We would not be the first generation in the pre-modern, modern, or post-modern periods to do so, and I do not think that it would hurt to slow down and delve a little more into the human sexually to make sure we TRUELY have a FULL understanding before we just take concepts and run with it (taking Victorian concepts and running with them with only a superficial understanding of their full in-depth nature and implications is precisely what caused WW1, and the issues were only finally settled after WW2)

        My point is that we need to be less sure of our ‘absolute
        knowledge’ and quit being so progressivist. The church’s stance on
        incorporating new knowledge is that we should not be quick to abandon time
        tested doctrine for the novel, no matter how nice or right it may seem at the time, until we
        have made sure that we fully understand the full absolute and true nature of
        the thing in its entirety. Only then may we begin to consider incorporating it
        into official teaching (see Humani Generis for an explicit example of how the church considers and accepts new knowledge during the Human Evolution debate in the 1950’s). I have come to support this view, particularly after recently coming to understand the naive dangers of theological liberalism and especially the failures
        of progressivist thinking.sorry for the length….. too much to redefine and explain without being able to make the point. 

         

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