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Sunday, June 19, 2011

New York Times article: "My ex-gay friend"

I read the NYT piece this morning with the above title with great interest, and I pray Our Lord uses this fascinating article to prick the hearts of those struggling with this lifestyle.

However, I thought Michael Glatze could have possibly given a fuller, more compelling exposition on why the same-sex choice will only lead to despair for those who make it.

His friend wrote, “I rejected his argument that 'homosexuality prevents us from finding our true self within.'”

The answer he implicitly give -- and maybe the quote that follows a paragraph or so later was done without benefit of knowing this sentiment of this -- would have failed to persuade me if I was him. Might I suggest something else, based on the following?

God is not only Love, but He is perfect love. When Genesis 1 tells us He said, "Let Us make them in Our image," He couldn't not have meant an image of a body, as the Father and the Holy Spirit are non-corporeal, and God the Son was not yet incarnate. So it must have meant in an image of total self-giving, as we see in the Trinity. Indeed, we see this implicit in Matthew 22:36-40. And when Our Lord says, "Be perfect as Your Father in heaven is perfect," given that we are sinners, this is practically impossible. However, we can ever perfect ourselves in love, right?

And how do we do that? By becoming holy, sanctified, and we do that by mirroring the image presented to us in the Holy Trinity. And what is that image? It is a love that is free, faithful, total, and fruitful.

Let me give you an example, the most perfect example: Our Lord's salvific act on the cross.

First, it is free. The Gospels all make clear that He was not coerced into the Passion, but went freely. We see this very clearly in John 10:18.

Next, it was faithful, as we see from the the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus says, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou [wilt]."

Then it was total. Our Lord held nothing back, did He? If the film The Passion of the Christ is any indicator of just how bad it was, or even if we simply go by what we know from history and Roman execution methods, that is patently clear.

Finally, it was fruitful, because you and I are communicating by virtue of that once, for all sacrifice.

Going even deeper than this, The first commandment in all of Scripture is Genesis 1:28. This same thought is also the first commandment given humanity after Noah and his family emerge from the Ark, which God says twice (cf., Gen 9:1-7). It is implicit in the two commandments of the new covenant (cf. Matt 22:36-40) and His final commandment before the Ascension, which repeats the formula of Genesis, "Go forth," except here we are called not just to a physical fruitfulness, but one that is spiritual, as well.

Homosexual genital acts, however, can never be free, faithful, total, or fruitful.

They are not free because they are not free to do this by virtue of God's law. That may sound, I don't know, whatever you think it sounds like, but that doesn't make it any less true.

It is not faithful, or often is not, given that the average homosexual man, for instance, has (depending on the study) between 50-500+ sexual partners in his lifetime, with some 18-30%+ having over 1,000. Women naturally have far fewer, but they, too, have double digit numbers of relationships.

It is not total, in that 75% of homosexual relationships find that they have to accept the absence of physical monogamy if they want their relationship to survive. How can my love for another man be total if it is not for him alone?

More fundamentally, however, it cannot be total because I can never give another man my fertility nor he give me hisfertility. I can never image the Holy Trinity. The very nature of homosexual genital acts forecludes that from being a possibility.

Finally, and most importantly, it can never, ever, ever be fruitful. No many how many times two women rub their genitals together or use sex toys, no matter how many times two men sodomize or orally copulate one another, it will never -- can never -- bear fruit. Two men could never produce a baby together. Sara and Phyllis could never produce a baby together in the way God intended it. Homosexual love thus goes against God's design from the very beginning (cf., Gen 1:28, Gen 38:3-10, et al).

More fundamentally, however, it does so because it goes against God's very desire in the beginning: "Let us make them in our image" (Gen 1:26). The love between God the Father and God the Son is so total and so fruitful that the Holy Spirit proceeds from it. Similarly, the love between a husband and wife is so total and fruitful that nine months later, you have to give it a name.

Because we are only right in ourselves when we are in right relationship with God ("Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee," St. Augustine, Confessions, 1), a homosexual can "never get out of that cave. We go from guy to guy, looking for someone to love us and make us feel OK." It's not that "God is so much better than all the other masters out there." He is. He is our first beginning, and our last end. He made us to know, love, and serve Him in this life so that we may be happy with Him in the next.

But "[going] from guy to guy, looking for someone to love us and make us feel OK" will never make us happy because we are falling for a pale imitation of the love of the Holy Trinity. We are searching for God (Chesterton says, "Every man who enters a whorehouse is looking for God," i.e., for happiness and freedom from "restlessness" that can only be found in God), and we will never find it in a relationship that cannot be fruitful.

And ultimately, we are falling for the same lie for which Adam and Eve fell. The lure of homosexuality tells us that one love between any two or more persons is just as good as heterosexual love. ("You will not die; you will be as gods.") It is not, it cannot be, and we must work to save people with these attractions from this deception.

This is a talk given on this subject in 2007 or so to the national conference of Exodus, the ministry serving those seeking to be free of homosexual attractions. See what you think: (or see under downloads if you don't trust my giving you this link).

What do you think?

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