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« Jews Find the Sweetness of Christ | Main | Liturgical StAR »

Friday, June 08, 2007

Comments

V

You know Carl if you watch the film Kinsey, which is pro-Kinsey, it's obvious to anyone who is knowledgeable about science, that what Kinsey was doing was not science.

Celestial SeraphiMan

What does interracial married sex do to the human body? What about the "logical complimentarity" of different races? What is the "nature of reality" of racial mixing? Were the cavemen more racially conscious?

Everyone, I really needed to vent. Please let me start to explain myself. Ever since I started to view materials from civil-rights organizations, reading up on insidious racialist ideologies that pro-family groups won't expose, I've become distrustful of traditionalist rhetoric. If you were to read materials from the ADL and the SPLC, you'd see how similar racialist rhetoric is to pro-family rhetoric. Where are the pro-family condemantions of insidious racialism? It seems that pro-family activists commend the likes of Jorg Haider and Jean-Luc Marie Le Pen instead of condeming them. It seems that pro-family activists are completely and totally silent on right-wing eugenics.

You asked me to let you help me. Now I'm trying to do so.

Mark Brumley

Okay. Now you have "vented". Right-wing eugenics is as wrong as left-wing eugenics. We agree.

Celestial SeraphiMan, I simply don't understand why you seem always to bring racial issues into these discussions. Racism is wrong. Period. Let's all agree that we agree about that here. Can we discuss a topic without having to repeat that racism is wrong?

But can we also agree that when racist groups use profamily rhetoric that non-racist groups' espousal of profamily views is no more undercut than the value of baby-kissing is undercut by the fact that Nazi parents kissed their babies?

I am not suggesting that racism isn't an important concern or that we should never relate other social evils to it or it to them. It's perfectly legimatimate, even essential, that right-wing eugenics be condemned as as evil along with left-wing eugenics. However, I'm suggesting that social conservatives and traditional Christians shouldn't have to preface everything they say with an acknowledgement of the evil of racism. Is that too much to ask in civil discourse?

John Herreid

Celestial SeraphiMan: Read "War Against the Weak" for a good understanding of the racial aspects of eugenics in America and Europe. You'll find that the racist agenda behind eugenics has its roots in so-called "progessive" and "liberal" politics stemming back over a hundred years. The founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was deeply racist. Advocates for the pro-life, anti eugenic have always been Catholics like Chesterton (who wrote extensively on the topic) and others. Here in America, it was often the liberal wing of different Protestant demoninations who were the strongest proponents of a eugenic campaign against blacks, the poor, and Irish/Italian immigrants.

You will find fringe "traditionalists" (I'm no fan of them) who think that anti-semitism is a good thing because it existed in Catholic countries in the past. But this goes against the consistent teaching of the Popes--see here for example:

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/g10-jews.html

But these so-called traditional Catholics have no more in common with the teachings of the Church than pro-abortion groups like Catholics for Free Choice.

If you were really looking around hard, like you say, you'd find that authentic Catholic teaching condemns racism. It condemns eugenics.

Reall, I'm kind of at a loss as to how you can come up with these questions as if there are no answers. It seems like you aren't really looking very hard.

The Catechism is online. So are almost every document the Magesterium has produced. Take a look around.

Celestial SeraphiMan

I have looked for Church documents and I have read them. That's why I know racism is wrong and why I raise these issues. Unfortunately, most socio-political discourse has become reduced to a match of whoever can shout the loudest "this is human nature" or "this is reality" or "this is justice". I fear that people can't see the breadth and depth of the Gospel of life and love because of the socio-political climate. They see only either pansexualism or and radical feminism on the one hand, or white-nationalism and Taliban-style puritanism on the other.

I'm sorry for not being able to explain myself more clearly. Part of the problem could be my Asperger's Syndrome. My thought process could be necessarily somewhat incoherent. Am I becoming an annoyance? Please forgive me if I am becoming annoying. Would you like me to stop posting on this board? I will if you ask.

Ed Peters

Well said, Mark. I would just like to add that, in my personal opinion, I think racism is wrong.

Anonymous

They see only either pansexualism or and radical feminism on the one hand, or white-nationalism and Taliban-style puritanism on the other.

I see plenty of radical feminism and pansexualism in today's discourse. I see no white-nationalism and no Taliban-style puritanism, at least not in the mainstream.

Heather Price

My mother came up with a very simple axiom that applies to this issue: "If God had meant for the races not to mix, He'd have made it impossible."
And we do have happy, healthy, mixed-race marriages with happy, healthy children.
I think the same goes for homosexuals--while not technically impossible, they sure aren't getting any children and there are more dire consequences for their activities.

Histor

"What does interracial married sex do to the human body? What about the "logical complimentarity" of different races? What is the "nature of reality" of racial mixing? Were the cavemen more racially conscious?"

Is there really a difference between interracial 'straight' copulation and buggery? I mean, is something different happening in the second case?

-----

I might point out that generic politicospeak sounds much like fascist and communist government announcements. They talk about similar things, so they tend to sound the same.

Both racists and 'pro-family' groups think some things in modernity are immoral and unnatural. Only the latter is right.

Histor

Seamus

What does interracial married sex do to the human body? What about the "logical complimentarity" of different races? What is the "nature of reality" of racial mixing?

Huh? Is this serious? If so, then let me help you out: Interracial married sex (assuming, of course, that the married couple are of opposite sexes) does nothing for the human body that married sex does where the couple is of the same sex. As for "logical complementarity" of different races, there's no indication that any such thing exists, biologically. The "natural of reality" of racial mixing is that it happens.

No need to thank me. I'm just happy to be of service.

(This effort to analogize race to sex in the context of sexual intercourse is just silly. Leaving aside the issue of why we call it *sexual* intercourse, I'd point out that the offspring of unions between men and women of different races are mixed-race children, while the offspring of unions between opposite-sex couples are either male or female; there's no such thing as a "mixed-sex" child. (If you want to talk about children with ambiguous external genitalia, I would point that checking their chromosomes will give you an answer one way or the other.) And the offspring of same-sex unions are, of course, nothing.)

Franklin Jennings

"I fear that people can't see the breadth and depth of the Gospel of life and love because of the socio-political climate. They see only either pansexualism or and radical feminism on the one hand, or white-nationalism and Taliban-style puritanism on the other."

Your fears reflect your inner turmoil. They have nothing to do with the rest of us. You might want to do something about whatever it is that drives you to view the other in such simplistic terms. I'm really concerned for you.

Clayton

You've declared that it's obvious to all human beings that, "The sexes are "fully complementary"", but I guess I'm living proof that you were wrong to say so. It's not obvious to me because I have no idea what it means. I'm also sure that even if I knew what it meant and came to accept it, the claim is neither here nor there if the discussion concerns not couples involving partners of two sexes, but homosexual couples. I suppose we're to infer that homosexual couples are somehow less than "fully complementary", so could someone explain to me what that is supposed to mean and what scientific significance this claim has. You later state that it's obvious that men and women are 'meant' to go together, but if that's what the claim about which couples are complementary, you are hopefully not naive enough to think that the claim that only couples involving members of opposite sex are complementary is a scientific claim. The 'meant' is obviously normative.

fwiw, it's not quite right to say that anal sex isn't the same thing as homosexual sex acts. Heterosexual couples engage in anal sex; homosexuals perform sex acts other than anal sex.

Mark Brumley

The fact that a statement is not seen to be true or even seen obviously to be true to one person doesn't mean that the statement itself isn't true or obviously true.

In any event, it is a matter of science that men and women are biologically complementary. It is a matter of philosophy--specifically ethics--and, on a higher level, moral theology, to see that this biological complementarity involves the personal, ethical and moral complementarity of men and women.

As a matter of biology, a man and a woman are as such capable of coming together, through genital acts, in a bodily union that enables them to be a single procreative principle--to bring other human beings into existence.

As a matter of ethics and, on a higher level, moral theology, recognizing that human beings have intrinsic worth, are the subjects of rights and responsibilities, and are capable of rational fulfillment; we can say that men and women are capable of coming together in an intimate bodily union that is, by its nature, capable of the mutual expression of the gift of the whole self--body, heart, and mind--to the other, including the gift of one's power of procreating, with a person of the opposite sex, other human beings--beings of inherent worth, the subjects of rights and responsibilities, and capable of rational fulfillment. It is precisely differences between men and women that enable them as human beings to cooperate with one another in procreation and therefore to "give" themselves mutually to one another in together bringing other human beings into existence.

Since complementarity entails completion of one element by another, with one element lacking something the other needs so that together the two elements attain a unity, and since men complete women and women complete men when it comes to the ability to be a single procreative principle of human life--men providing what women lack and women providing what men lack--it follows that men and women are complementary.

Insofar as we are speaking about sheer biology, it is true to say that men and women are biologically complementary in that, coming together in genital union, they can form a single biological, procreative principle.

Insofar as we are speaking about ethics and, on a higher level, moral theology, it is true to say that men and women are ethically and spiritually complementary in that, coming together in an intimate, interpersonal, bodily union, they can form a single personal, moral, procreative principle (theologically speaking, "a one-flesh" union) by which new human beings come into existence.

In the above sense, it is reasonable, even if, as with all ethical and moral considerations, it transcends the rational limitations of the strictly scientific mode of discourse, to say that men and woman are "meant for one another". That cannot be said of homosexual persons qua homosexual persons.

Clayton

So if he was speaking as a scientist, it would have been inappropriate for Holsinger to go beyond the claim that for the purposes of procreation, only sex involving two of the opposite sex is fully complementary, right? So, we're to assume that there's nothing in his paper that was intended to support the claim that, say, the only legitimate use of the sexual organs is for the purposes of procreation. There's also nothing in the paper that would warrant the claim that pairs of males cannot use their parts to form a fully complementary unit for the purposes of the mutual expression of love, correct?

I didn't mention this earlier, but the axiom Ms. Price mentions isn't an axiom. Surely we're not to infer that God isn't bothered by adults who have sex with children simply because it's possible for minors to become impregnated.

Mark Brumley

It depends on the meaning of "fully complementary" and "mutual expression of love".

In any case, homosexual persons cannot "give themselves" in love to one another in the same sense as heterosexual, married couples, because homosexual persons cannot engage in the kind of acts that are by their nature acts in which persons can unite to form "one flesh" unions, nor are homosexual persons able to engage in the kind of acts by which the mutual gift of self between a man and a woman can blossom into a new human being. (Even when husbands and wives do not anticipate their union resulting in a new human being, or even when they anticipate that it will not, so long as they do not positively act to make an otherwise potentially fecund act sterile, they can nevertheless still engage in the kind of act of love--an act involving the mutual (and complementary) gift of self to one another that treats the other as irreplaceable and necessary for the mutual completion of one another--by which another human being comes to be.)

While it is appropriate to distinguish scientific findings from philosophical/ethical considerations, it is not inappropriate for a scientist to present his scientific findings as a basis for scientifically-informed ethical analysis and decision-making. Thus, when scientists warn us about the dangers of secondhand smoke, global warming, or diminution of the ozone layer, we reasonably expect that their scientific activity, while distinguished from their ethical analysis or political recommendations, is presented for ethical and social reasons, not out of indifference to ethics or society. Moreover, we don't suppose that their science is questionable simply because scientists seek to employ their findings to address ethical or social concerns.

There is a danger, of course, that a priori ethical or social considerations will distort the science. But that danger always exists, since scientists do not operate without presuppositions and prior commitments.

MMajor Fan

I've had friends who are homosexual as far back as the mid-1970's. Several of them have become very dear friends. However, things have changed. This is because I noticed that in the past 7-10 years, my friendship was not enough for them. They have all badgered me to go beyond treating them like any other person, and demanding a "good housekeeping seal" from me for homosexuality. And that I will not do. When I will not do that, they stop being my friends from their choice, even though I've done nothing to harm them and in fact, protected them in work and political situations.

I will give an example. When I was in graduate school there were many "gender studies" students and professors. I really liked one of my fellow students, a lesbian, who was younger than me. I was staying in a hotel instead of the dirty dorms, and often dined in the hotel dining room. I invited her one evening and treated her to dinner. At the end of the evening she totally ruined it by saying, "I feel I ought to put out for you." Everything is now a homosexual agenda for them, now, so far as I can see. They are selling short the anti-persecution gains they have made, and ruining a full spectrum of relationships through their insistence and testing for a "good housekeeping seal" for their homosexuality in total, rather than even footed, respectful friendships and relationships.

Fr Joe O'Leary

I think a Jewish or Black person would also drop your friendship if you made them feel that their Jewishness or Blackness was something for which you were withholding a "good housekeeping seal".

Mark Brumley

Jewishness or blackness does not involve a pattern of activity that is incapable of objectively being order to true human fulfillment. It is completely in keeping with sound ethics and Catholic moral teaching for one to accept homosexual persons as persons and yet to reject homosexual activity as objectvely gravely wrong or sinful. In fact, it is a requirement of following Jesus Christ as a Catholic that one does so.

No doubt, people often want others to validate their choices (to give them the "good housekeeping seal of approval") when it comes to gravely immoral or sinful activity. That some homosexual persons choose to engage in gravely sinful actions and then seek the approval for those actions is therefore not surprising.

Ed Peters

MB wrote: "...men and women are biologically complementary in that, coming together in genital union, they can form a single biological, procreative principle."

I've never seen it so succintly put.

john

Mark's excellent summary of the complementarity of men and women as evidenced biologically in acts which enable them to form a "one-flesh union" [which biological reality is part of, not merely an instrument of, their personal reality], is given extended treatment in Chapter 4 and Chapter 13 of Robert P. George's book "The Clash of Orthodoxies."

Dan

Mark Brumley gave a great answer to Clayton's questions concerning whether Dr. Holsinger's paper improperly ventured into the ethical realm. I would add that Dr. Holsinger's paper was solicited by a church and as such the context was particularly appropriate for providing scientific information within the framework of an ethical analysis. I read in this morning's newspaper that leading Democrats (including for example Barrack Obama) have vilified Dr. Holsinger not because anything he wrote is wrong as a matter of science but rather because he has pointed to unpleasant facts concerning homosexuality. Is not this the real example of ideology improperly interfering with science?

Robert Miller

Holsinger's piece offers the same service that Justice Kennedy's opinion in the partial-birth abortion decision offers: He lays out in graphic black and white the whole nasty business. Too often, even pro-family people forget the unspeakable ugliness of the evils against which they are defending the family and human life. It's as if Holsinger and Kennedy are saying: Take what position you like on these issues, gang, but let's get real about what's going on here. Do you really have the stomach for it?

Fitz

Quoting Professor Germain Grisez

:

“Though a male and a female are complete individuals with respect to other functions – for example nutrition, sensation, and locomotion- with respect to reproduction they are only potential parts of a mated pair, which is the complete organism capable of reproducing sexually. Even if the mated pair is sterile, intercourse, provided it is the reproductive behavior characteristic of the species, makes the copulating male and female one organism”


“it is a plain matter of biological fact that reproduction is a single function, yet it cannot be carried out by an individual male or female human being, but by a male and female as a mated pair….”
And notes a though experiment by Grisez

Imagine a type of bodily, rational being that reproduces, not by mating but by some individual performance. Imagine that for these beings, however, locomotion or digestion is performed not by individuals, but only by biologically complementary pairs that unite for this purpose. Would anybody have any difficulty understanding that in respect to reproduction the organism performing the function is the individual, while in respect of locomotion or digestion the organism performing the function is the united pair?

Seamus

I'm not quite sure what's going on here. I'm Seamus, and I made the post on Friday, June 8, at 1:17 pm that has Histor's name on it. Conversely, there's a post made Friday, June 8, at 1:19 pm that has my name on it, yet it isn't one I made.

Spirit  of Vatican II

"Jewishness or blackness does not involve a pattern of activity that is incapable of objectively being order to true human fulfillment."

For 2000 years Catholics held that Jewishness did involve such a pattern, and worse.

" It is completely in keeping with sound ethics and Catholic moral teaching for one to accept homosexual persons as persons and yet to reject homosexual activity as objectvely gravely wrong or sinful."

The lady seemed to reject her friend's sexual orientation, not acts. Usually, we do not ask our friends about their sexual acts.

" In fact, it is a requirement of following Jesus Christ as a Catholic that one does so."

Well, do you ask your hetero friends if they practice illicit methods of contraception and refuse a good housekeeping seal to them on that basis? If not, by your own Criteria, you are not following Jesus.

Carl Olson

"Jewishness or blackness does not involve a pattern of activity that is incapable of objectively being order to true human fulfillment."

For 2000 years Catholics held that Jewishness did involve such a pattern, and worse.

So, Fr. O'Leary, are you saying the Catholic Church nearly barred Jesus, his apostles, and most of the first Christians from being members because they were Jews? You know your statement is both simplistic and inflammatory.

" It is completely in keeping with sound ethics and Catholic moral teaching for one to accept homosexual persons as persons and yet to reject homosexual activity as objectvely gravely wrong or sinful."

The lady seemed to reject her friend's sexual orientation, not acts. Usually, we do not ask our friends about their sexual acts.

To mix the first statement, made by Mark Brumley, with someone else's remark is misleading and ignores the fact that it accurately reflects Church teaching (something you seem to have more than a passing problem with). See Catechism of the Catholic Church, pars. 2357-59 for details.

" In fact, it is a requirement of following Jesus Christ as a Catholic that one does so."

Well, do you ask your hetero friends if they practice illicit methods of contraception and refuse a good housekeeping seal to them on that basis? If not, by your own Criteria, you are not following Jesus.

Again (shocker!) you misrepresent the statement at hand. Catholics are called to reject all sorts of sins--homosexual acts, contraception, adultery, racism, etc.--while loving those who sin, understanding that we are all sinners and are, without God's grace, lost in our sins.

Rick

"The lady seemed to reject her friend's sexual orientation, not acts. Usually, we do not ask our friends about their sexual acts."

No Fr. Joe/Spirit of Vatican II, the friend tried to make her sexual orientation and thus her sexual acts as part of the criterion for friendship. In addition, her comments after paying her friend paid for dinner were vulgar.

Francis Beckwith

Imagine if Dr. Holsinger were talking about the lungs and said that the inhaling of nicotine, a naturally occurring substance, harmed the lungs and was thus were not healthy for them. We would think it odd if someone accused Dr. Holsinger of harboring hidden fears against fellow citizens who smoked. We would think to ourselves, "Even if the good doctor did fear smokers, his comments about smoking are a separate matter altogether." And we would surely not consider it a persuasive counter to his case if someone offered to us press releases and commentaries by spokespersons from the tobacco industry, many of whom can sincerely testify that they enjoy smoking, partake in it often and it brings meaning and pleasure to their lives.

But if we were to replace smoking with sodomy, the assessment all of a sudden changes. So, to paraphrase and invert Freud, sometimes a cigar is not a cigar.

Carl Olson

Dr. Beckwith: Your point is an excellent and leads to another, related one: why is it that those we might generally call "social liberals" are so insistent on ending smoking but are, in most cases, equally staunch in their support of "gay rights"? The argument against smoking is usually said to be a matter of health and medical costs. But the same can be said about the consequences of acts engaged in by many homosexual men: they lead to disease (often fatal), early deaths, and all sorts of extraordinary medical costs. So why is one considered bad and one considered good?

Seamus

I'm not quite sure what's going on here.

Oops. Now I see what's going on. The dotted lines don't separate posts from one another; they separate a post from information about the poster and the date of the post. Am I the only one who finds this way of formatting the combox to be confusing?

Carl Olson

Seamus: Since many blogs format comments in different ways, I can see how this might be confusing at first. But you are the first to have the courage to say so. ;-)

Ed Peters

I get worried when others are confused, and I am not. Makes me think I missed something. Probly did.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Posted by Ed Peters | Monday, June 11, 2007 at 6:05 PM

Mark Brumley

I've been away from the internet for a week. Glad to see some spirited discussion here.

I am not sure who "Father Joe O'Leary"/Spirit of Vatican II is. Others have responded to his points in my absence but:

Father Joe/Spirit of Vatican II, you wrote: "For 2000 years Catholics held that Jewishness did involve such a pattern, and worse."

I am perplexed by this statement, since it seems to imply that the Catholic Church has for two thousand years held that the merely genealogical fact of being Jewish "involve[s] a pattern of activity that is incapable of objectively being order to true human fulfillment".

The Catholic Church has taught no such thing.

So it seems we must return to the point that being homosexually oriented differs from being Jewish and being black (or white, for that matter). Homosexuality involves an inclination, more or less strong, to act in ways that are objectively incapable of being directed to true human fulfillment as the Church and reason understand it. The same cannot be said about being Jewish, black or white.

In any case, in the specific example that seems to have given rise to this line of discussion, it was not the issue of mere homosexual inclination that caused the break in friendship but insistence that homosexual activity be approved of. It is one thing to say that someone should not be unjustly discriminated against; it is another to insist that avoiding unjust discrimination requires endorsing homosexual activity as morally acceptable.

 Phil Thegiuze

It is interesting how the sex lives of others generate so much interest here. While the vast majority of the articles in here are lucky to get a handful of posts, simply the mention of "homosexuality" and "plumbing' generate enough heat to warrant about three dozen posts, so far.

I guess we can see what's really important or at least intriguing.

Joseph O'Leary

"So, Fr. O'Leary, are you saying the Catholic Church nearly barred Jesus, his apostles, and most of the first Christians from being members because they were Jews? You know your statement is both simplistic and inflammatory."

Well, the Jesuits barred people who did not have purity of blood, i. e., who had Jewish ancestors, even though one of their best Generals had been of Jewish descent.

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