The Church and the Homosexual: Fourth Edition

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Fundamentalists such as Southern Baptists and Catholics promote the problems seemingly with a vengeance, declaring homosexuality itself a sin. Most denominations are discussing it openly; without exception they are divided in their thinking, and the news reports of the discussions publicize the negative rhetoric along with the positive. This subject so needs to be examined and discussed at length in our churches, without passion and with open minds.

I believe what I am stating in this letter will be the truth the churches will discover. Then they must act on and proclaim that truth. When the story of the Holocaust became more fully known, there was recognition that the sin of the Nazis was not the only sin involved--there was the silence on the part of the churches and of other nations as they learned about it during the war. When we know of the hate and the hate-crimes against lesbians and gays, we should not be silent; we have a responsibility to fight it.

Our silence encourages it and makes us guilty. Whose fault is this? It's the fault of us all. It's the fault of any of us who make jokes about gay people, who insult them with the use of demeaning names. It's the fault of us who are silent when others do these things or when they publish lies about what homosexuality is. And it's the fault of us who don't provide a safe place and a caring response to those of homosexual orientation.


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Who knows how many hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost - to violence, to suicide, to drugs, to promiscuity, to AIDS, to shattered self-esteem, to life forever outside the doors of the church - because we have participated in or by silence colluded with the demeaning and the ostracizing of homosexual people. In this respect there is blood on the hands of the church.

And that's what has driven me more than anything else to talk with you as I am doing. I have had a vision of Christ at the judgment asking, "Why were you silent? When people are lost and dying by the millions you don't pontificate about sexual morality, you reach out to them, you give them a safe place, you listen, you talk, you love with the love of Christ. You and I realize that the people in our churches are ignorant about the truths I have already stated about homosexuals and homosexuality.

They must be made to realize that honesty and integrity demand they make judgments on the basis of knowledge and not on groundless feelings and prejudice. It's like the race hatreds and segregated churches of a few decades ago; most church people know better now and our churches are at least open to all. The same must happen with this issue. I think of the homespun philosopher Josh Billings' saying, "The longer I live the more I find it necessary to reexamine those things about which I was once most certain.

I've given a lot of space to the church here, but that's where we both have our hearts. And our churches are so terribly wrong here, just as they were in the sixties with the race issue and years ago with slavery. All the wonderful things our churches are doing and the immeasurable importance they are to our society can't cover up our woeful failures in this matter.

Gays and lesbians in general have the potential for outstanding character and accomplishment; some may have greater potential than most heterosexuals to be exceptional persons. It is well known that while certain characteristics are dominant in men and others dominant in women, all people have some of both characteristics.

Psychologists have found that the gay man has an exceptional supply of feminine characteristics enough that he falls in love with a man -? Psychologists are recognizing that this special combination of characteristics in homosexuals often results in their having exceptional potential. Psychologist Mark Friedman, from a series of tests administered to both gays and lesbians, found that the homosexuals he tested were superior to their heterosexual counterparts in such psychological qualities as autonomy, spontaneity, orientation toward the present, and increased sensitivity to the value of the person.

There is no doubt that the homosexual man is freer to develop aesthetic values than is his male counterpart in the heterosexual world, and thus he has an important role to play in guiding humanity to a deeper appreciation of aesthetic values There is the hopeful possibility that the homosexual community could serve the human community as a whole by making the male free to do works of service in the human community without feeling guilty about betraying the standards of his male identity.

Many writers speak of the contributions gays and lesbians have made to our world and name dozens of examples, some of the world's most famous statesmen, artists, writers, musicians, etc. Louise, it seems as though one ought to look on a gay or a lesbian as potentially a very special person made that way by God, one we should seek out, especially for our churches. It is not only unrealistic to expect homosexuals to live without sex, but also it is psychologically harmful to them for them to do so.

Now we are face to face with the question of what is moral in sex expression. In so many people's minds, the whole meaning of homosexuality is immoral sex. And that is evil, they say, because sex must be between male and female, and it is evil because sex must be in marriage; it is as simple and black and white as that. But nothing as complex as sex, which plumbs both the heights of beauty and the depths of ugliness, can be simple, and no black and white rule can touch it.

Professor Kathy Rudy says, "Christian ethicists, moral theologians, and religious leaders throughout the ages have spent an enormous amount of time and energy thinking about when sex can be considered moral and when it cannot. Even on such a major issue as sexual intercourse between unmarried consenting adults there is no explicit prohibition in either Hebrew Scripture or the New Testament which John Calvin discovered to his consternation. Indeed, the Song of Solomon celebrates one such relationship. The Bible knows only a love ethic, which is constantly being brought to bear on whatever sexual mores are dominant in any given country, or culture, or period.

One reason theologians and Christian ethicists have difficulty finding a sex ethic in the Bible is that the Bible's condemnation of sexual acts is always associated with selfish lust, with nothing said about a loving sex life. Further, the Bible does not say that moral sex is confined to what we understand marriage to be. For example, David and Solomon, beloved and used by God, were polygamists. Solomon had hundreds of mistresses. A pastor is found to have one mistress, and he is quickly gone.

This is not to comment on whether he should or should not be, only to point out the contrast between our concepts and a Biblical example. Some New Testament Christians, church members, obviously were not "the husband of one wife" or I Timothy would not have been written. Must sex be between male and female? One act of sex must be.

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Is that all of sex, or for heterosexuals does sex--let's think only of beautiful sex--involve many other acts, some of which sometimes become more important than that one act? Does marriage make sex beautiful and moral? Even those who insist that sex must be only in marriage admit that there is often immoral sex within marriage--selfishness, exploitation, even rape.

So the marriage certificate is not what determines whether sex is moral or immoral. Then we must say that if legality is not the criterion for the morality of sex, lack of legality cannot be the criterion for its immorality. The average person has associated and confused the question of the morality of sexual conduct with the question of its objective legal status.

The reason for this confusion is, in part, that one finds a very easily applied objective norm: sex before marriage is wrong; sex after marriage is right There is something more to the moral quality of sexual behavior than the purely objective legal question of marriage Something else ought to be present; that something else is love The human conforms to the divine image revealed in Christ not by acting in an impersonal, rational way, but by acting from a motive of love.

Nelson, Wink, and McNeill say love is the criterion. At least we can know that the definition is not in either a certificate or a specific sex act but is somewhere in the heart and mind of the participants. This does not define moral sex, but it tells us that the definition is not in an objective rule, but in the subjective psyche of the participants.

Since the minds and hearts of gays and lesbians are in no way limited, are no different from the minds and hearts of heterosexuals, they can have the same criteria as heterosexuals for a moral sex act.

Homosexuality and the Church

These things clearly indicate that requiring celibacy of gays and lesbians cannot be supported by the Bible, is unjustifiable from an ethical standpoint, and can be damaging psychologically. Many psychiatrists believe a it is wrong to consign a person to such isolation and loneliness, one who is thus cut off from close relationships with either sex, not temporarily but until death; b it is unrealistic to expect this for it is virtually impossible for it to be done; c many of those who attempt to do this do so for pathological reasons; d the "almost inevitable results [of attempting celibacy] will be tragic in terms of suffering, guilt, and mental disorder;" and e growth and maturity require deep and committed relationships in one's life.

In my experience as a psychotherapist, I have found that the vast majority of people living out a life of abstinence do so for pathological reasons. Many have interiorized the homophobia of the surrounding culture and the Church and as a consequence hate and fear their sexual feelings Others live out a life of abstinence because of serious trauma to their capacity for intimacy with another human Those who have repressed or denied their homosexual feelings for pathological reasons are the ones in greatest danger of acting out those needs compulsively, imprudently, and unconsciously, seeking punishment for what they see as their crime I would heartily advise all gay people to develop the most intimate and committed relationship possible for them.

It would seem that a sound scriptural argument against requiring celibacy would be Paul's writing clearly in I Cor. Some commentators suggest that I Tim. Highly respected theologians are coming to the conclusion that gays and lesbians need to develop intimate and committed relationships. Thielicke: "It is true that the homosexual relationship is The call of the Gospel is not one of conforming passively to biological givens; rather, that call is to transform and humanize the natural order through the power to love. William Barclay, whose commentaries on the books of the New Testament have sold over a million copies, has this comment on celibacy: "Sex is a part of life and the deliberate annihilation of it is not a virtue; it is a criticism of life as God made it and meant it to be.

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Nor need their experience of ecstatic bodily communion be less valuable. One of the earliest affirmations of this that I found is a statement made by Quakers back in " Homosexual affection can be as selfless as heterosexual affection, and, therefore, we cannot see that it is in some way morally worse.

In a symposium on homosexuality at the annual meeting of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies [note Christian Association] reported that behavioral science research and the realities of their clinical practice had forced them to propose that while promiscuity, fornication, and adultery should be regarded as sinful for both homosexual and heterosexual persons, a loving, committed, permanent relationship between two persons of the same sex was in an entirely different category and was not condemned in Scripture, and that Christians burdened with an involuntary homosexual orientation could choose a committed homosexual relationship as within God's will rather than an unwanted celibacy.

If I can believe as I do, that gays and lesbians can have in their hearts and minds the criteria set forth here in their relationships, then I can believe, as I have come to, that they can engage in loving sex that is moral and that provides for their psychological needs--God-created needs--as celibacy cannot. And I can believe that their sexual love is not condemned by scripture, but is within the principles God expects us to live by.

You understand this is not a blanket approval of all homosexual sex. It is speaking of loving, committed relationships. Full acceptance by society, including the blessings and legality of marriage should be extended to gays and lesbians in the same way it is extended to others. Louise, if it is moral as well as psychologically needful--a God-created need--for homosexuals to live as couples in committed relationships, as many theologians and psychologists have said it is, then homosexuals who are in loving, long-term, committed relationships should have the societal rights and privileges that marriage can give them.

Following are some statements in this regard. Gays and lesbians want the right to marry for the same reasons other Americans do: to gain the moral, legal, social and spiritual benefits conferred on the marrying couple and especially on their family unit. The material benefits of marriage are considerable, but it is the moral benefit that is especially attractive to many couples, including gay and lesbian ones.

Marriage is, or can be, a moral commitment that two people make to one another. The marriage vow enshrines love, honor, respect, and mutual support and gives people access to resources and community acknowledgment that serve to strengthen their bond. Marriage is not conditioned on the intention or the capacity to have children. Nothing in marriage, except custom, mandates partners of different genders.

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If we think about what marriage is for, it becomes clear that it is for people to find ways to live ordered, shared lives; it is intended to be the stablest possible unit of family life and a stable structure of intimacy. Noting Paul's advice that it was better to marry than to burn, Theology professor Daniel C. Maguire points out as long as homosexual couples are denied marriage, "there is no alternative to burning.

Was it not God who said, "It is not good for man to be alone. James Nelson, Professor of Christian Ethics, believes that "same-sex relationships are fully capable of expressing God's humanizing intentions," and views the "homosexual problem" as "more truly a heterosexual problem" of homophobia , just as the "woman problem" is a problem of "male sexism. As I have discussed above, the Bible cannot be used to argue against this for the Bible has nothing to say about homosexual people. Here is a religious editor's word in this connection:. Nor can the Bible be confidently cited in this debate.

Certainly, the concept of same-sex marriage is not found in the Bible. But the concept of government by democracy is also not found in the Bible, only that of monarchy. On strictly biblical grounds, the doctrine of the divine right of kings has a firmer base than government by the people. Human experience, however, has led us to believe that democracy is not an illegitimate, unbiblical form of government. Since the biblical models of marriage range from polygamy at one end to celibacy on the other, we shall have to find our own way and not claim that the Bible permits only one model of marriage.

The fact that we are in a same-sex relationship means that the predetermination of roles by gender, sometimes so destructive a force in heterosexual relationships, is not relevant to our lives. Each member of a same-sex couple is free to act from individual interests, predilections, and skills, rather than having to choose between conforming to or rebelling against the cultural norm. We are able to see the mainstream culture from a greater distance and a healthier perspective. This means that we know that many of the oppressive messages of the culture are inapplicable to us, and that others are simply false or distorted.

Ironically, it is the same-sex couple that can most clearly see itself as being composed of two human beings, whereas the heterosexual couple is constantly having to deal with the coercive personae of Man and Woman. In many ways, we [lesbians] have an easier time of creating a truly egalitarian, mutual and mature relationship. In fact, some researchers are now beginning to look at the same-sex couple as a model for helping heterosexuals to create more human relationships. In contrast with heterosexuals, who often feel alienated from their mates, we need only look inside ourselves to know much about our lovers.

Reconciling Resources

We are able to relax with each other in a much more trusting way than can most straight couples. The inequities in our relationships are individually made ones, for the most part, and not a function of historically sanctioned power imbalances that have created the fear and hatred in which many women and men coexist today. In a lesbian couple, both women can freely develop strength and competence. In addition, having been socialized as women, we have been trained to be interpersonally sensitive, nurturant, gentle and compassionate.

In a heterosexual relationship, these qualities are used primarily to serve the man and to oppress the woman, who often must bear full responsibility for the emotional quality of the relationship These same attributes, however, can create a miraculously high-quality relationship when shared by two women who are matched in their capacities to share and to love. Once we understand what marriage is, we can see what marriage would mean for us, and why it is worth fighting for. Same-sex marriage would not force anyone to honor or approve of gay or lesbian relationships against their will.

But it would enable those of us who are involved in gay or lesbian relationships to get the rest of society to understand that we take these relationships just as seriously as heterosexual married couples take theirs. And without marriage, we remain second-class citizens - excluded, for no good reason, from participating in one of the basic institutions of society. The document dates to the fourth century, if not earlier. In other words, nine centuries before heterosexual marriage was declared a sacrament, the church liturgically celebrated same-sex covenants.

Louise, this goes against everything I had ever thought about homosexuality--which I confess now was very little. But I pray for an open mind that puts truth first in my thinking. I see truth in all of the above. Regardless of what I have thought in the past, this is what I have to believe now. Josh Billings, thank you for your encouragement. As in society, gays and lesbians should be accepted and affirmed in our churches and given any opportunity for service, including ordination, that others have.

You know that for the past decade or so most Protestant denominations have been debating whether to affirm, and especially whether to ordain, homosexuals. I have read of much of this activity and the reports. In every case that I can recall now the commissions have recommended just about what I have said in this discussion. I am impressed that those who have made a serious study of this matter--the members of the commissions--are in favor of affirming gays and lesbians, and that those who vote it down are the ones who have not studied it.

If they vote it down because they have not studied it, then they are voting on the basis of pre-judging, that is, prejudice. Prejudging, prejudice, is evil. We need to put aside our prejudices and presuppositions, then seriously and open-mindedly study this matter. Since there is no explicit instruction in the Bible about homosexual ordination, we must derive our belief from our understanding of the principles of the Bible. Tex S. Sample has this concept:. The question of their union - and celibacy and marriage as well, for that matter - is whether it serves the kingdom of God The second issue for ordination is whether one's union, like marriage or celibacy, frees one for obedience to God and propels one to fulfill God's aims Finally, and perhaps most important, does the union itself bear witness to the covenantal reality of the kingdom of God?

When homosexual unions are faithful to God's rule, manifest its power, serve its aims and bespeak its hopes and joys, the basic question of readiness for ordained ministry has been met. In June the Presbyterian General Assembly voted to permit ordination of openly non-celibate gay clergy.

This must be ratified by the presbyteries. Conservative theologian Stanley Grenz observes that homosexuality in itself should not be considered in selecting a candidate for ordination, because, "The texts that set down guidelines for the selection of officers focus on three basic prerequisites - giftedness for leadership, spirituality and character, and public reputation e. These criteria give central emphasis to the importance of one's present life of faith. And Richard Hays, although believing homosexuality to be sinful, notes that other sins are in the same list with homosexuality, and concludes, "It is arbitrary to single out homosexuality as a special sin that precludes ordination.

Certainly the New Testament does not do this. The church has no analogous special rules to exclude from ordination the greedy or the self-righteous. Such matters are left to the discernment of the bodies charged with examining candidates for ordination; these bodies must determine whether the individual candidate has the gifts and graces requisite for ministry. Louise, surely any gay or lesbian who comes to our churches professing that Jesus Christ is Lord should be accepted and affirmed in every way just as you and I have been.

I have to believe deeply that these ten statements are true. The convictions have come from seriously studying this subject, and, thankfully, I now can feel enlightened about it. How I wish all our church members, especially all our pastors, would make such a study.

Now I know that gays and lesbians do not choose their orientation, for they are created by God, in his image with an unchangeable orientation which is good and with a God-given purpose. I know the love between gays and between lesbians is no less than that of others. I am convinced the Bible supports their loving, committed relationships, that there is no moral evil in such and that society and our churches should affirm them fully.

And homosexuals have those characteristics that give them some extraordinary potential in very desirable areas! If we would only accept them, respect them, affirm them and bring them out of their closets, they could give beauty and strength to society and our churches. It is not only sad, isn't it somewhat irresponsible that for a matter so important to so many people, to churches and to denominations, our churches and their members have never seriously studied what the Bible says and doesn't say about this matter?

I am writing out below what I am thoroughly convinced is the correct understanding of scripture that may have relevance to this subject. We Baptists believe that each person must interpret the Bible for himself or herself; we are not to let anyone else control our thinking about scripture. Surely there are some helpful guides for interpreting scripture, some principles that we should follow. I have selected a few of these to discuss briefly that I think are very important to our rightly understanding our Bible and perhaps especially the subject of homosexuality.

This seems so obvious, but millions of Bible readers and thousands of preachers violate this principle constantly because when they look at a passage, they do not give a thought either to the author or to those to whom he wrote but immediately begin to decide what the words, by themselves, mean. Practically everyone is guilty of this. This leads to almost as many different ideas as there are readers.

But the only truth in a passage is the truth the writer was trying to convey to readers who were his contemporaries.

‘Patron saint’ of LGBT Catholics, John J. McNeill, 90, dies

The New Testament scholar H. Dana, in his Searching the Scriptures, says, "The ultimate object which we seek in interpretation is the thought in the mind of the New Testament writer which sought expression in the written text We should seek to discover the one meaning which the writer had in mind, and then apply that meaning to our moral and religious experience. While the Bible is an inspired revelation of God, giving us "truth without any mixture of error" about God as the Baptist Faith and Message Statement says, God did not dictate; he let the authors of the books write out of their own consciousness and experience, using their own words for example, the Greek of some NT writers was atrocious.

Isn't it wonderful how unimportant that was for God's using them! The Biblical author can write only out of his own culture, understandings and presuppositions. Two presuppositions every writer in the Bible had were that everyone was heterosexual and that women were inferior.

People who have gone to church and Sunday school regularly usually know something about the writer's circumstances.


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The problem often is not ignorance of the writer's background but careless inattention to it. Paul's letter to Philemon is an obvious illustration of this. The scriptures were written to people who lived thousands of years ago. Everything the author wrote to them had in mind their culture, circumstances and needs. Do we read and with great earnestness ask, "What is Paul saying to me? He wasn't writing to me. God is trying to say something to me through something he inspired Paul to write almost years ago to his Paul's contemporaries to meet their first century needs. Paul was applying eternal, Christian principles to their needs.

It is my task to see and understand these principles so that I can apply them to my 21st century life. It is easier for us to impose our culture on the first century writer and readers than it is to understand theirs, so I am sure our interpretations would often be unrecognizable by the writer. If you and I read the same thing, not just the Bible, our interpretations will often be different just because of our different backgrounds and experiences. Which of us will be right? So many times I have stood in the vestibule after a service to speak to people as they left the church and had someone comment on something I had said in the sermon, only to think to myself, Where in the world did they get that?

I didn't say anything like that! Many church members have such a cultural revulsion to the thought of same-gender sex that anything in the Bible about it is interpreted as its being the worst of revolting evils. So their thought is, "No homosexual could ever be welcomed to our church, he or she is just too vile. Our culture's influence is what makes them different, not the Bible. Now, does the list mean that lust is not very bad or that greed, envy, lying and gossip are just as vile in God's sight as lust? That is a serious question: How does God judge sin? The way we do? Appendix C below attempts to say a little about this.

We must try to keep our own background and culture out of our interpretations. Our understanding of that purpose may be the most important thing about our understanding the meaning. As we read and watch the author fulfill his purpose, our understanding opens up. Whatever the author's purpose, it was for his contemporaries; he didn't have us in mind. Understanding why the writer was writing and what he wanted to accomplish will lead to our finding the principles and eternal truths in the writing.

I can still hear the great W. Connor raise his voice in my theology class: "The Bible does not mean what it says, it means what it means. Words are the best things we have for trying to transfer the thinking of one mind to the understanding of another mind. If we are face to face, gestures and tone of voice help, and we can ask, "What do you mean? Nevertheless, we must try, and remembering principles of interpretation helps. Every principle of interpretation outlined here is violated when we lift words out of the Bible, out of their context, out of their culture, away from the writer's purpose, hold them up and declare, "This is what the Bible says!

If we can possibly go behind the words to the mind of the writer, we can have a glorious revelation of God. If we stop with the words, we shall find and worship and proclaim only false gods. The right question never is, "What does this passage say? If all these things are not considered seriously, we shall have either no understanding of what we have read or a wrong understanding. The words used to form the context are the media for giving us that truth. Unsupportable doctrines and practices are often formed from the setting in which the truth is couched or in peripherals of the truth, or first century practices are turned into rules for practice today.

Women keeping silent in some churches and being obedient to their husbands, as Paul instructed, were not central truths of scripture, but practices that would keep the church and Christianity from being unnecessarily "discredited" in the first century's culture Titus So the central, eternal truth is: Do not in any century unnecessarily engage in practices that would alienate unbelievers. Compare slavery. It is evil, but in the first century Paul wanted slaves to obey their masters "so that in every way they [slaves] will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive" Titus Dana says, "No single sentence or verse should ever be interpreted independent of its logical connections.

Interpretation should deal with whole sections, each section being considered from two angles: its connection with And that is as ridiculous and repulsive as many of the ways "proof-texts" have had cults built around them. Paul thought Christ would return very shortly, so he was saying that since marriage would last for such a brief period, it was just better, if you were single, to stay as you were.

When the time came that it was no longer so certain that couples would have only a brief time for marriage, Paul's scriptural admonition was no longer considered applicable. It was not an eternal rule; it was for the conditions described in the context. Peter said that if we believe and are baptized for the remission of our sins, we shall be saved Acts This says rather clearly that faith and baptism are the way to salvation.

Baptists don't believe he meant literally what the words say, for we know from the whole New Testament that baptism in itself has nothing to do with salvation. So now we know what he really meant and didn't mean. Grievous errors are made by those who believe it is. The Bible is a record that gives us a revelation of God by the writers' having recorded their experiences with God, things that happened in the first and preceding centuries. The influence of these psychosocial factors has been studied primarily by researchers of the psychoanalytic tradition.

On the basis of psychoanalytic exploration, these researchers attribute homosexuality to the developmental difficulties a young person experiences. Gadpaille , p. There are, however common denominators in the various family patterns: parenting figures of the same sex who are so weak or punitive and hostile as to make identification impossible or unacceptable, parent figures of the opposite sex who are so seductive or so demeaning and hostile or so emotionally disorganized that the child cannot learn to trust those of the opposite sex, and parents who successfully undermine and reject a child's biological sex and the sex-specific behaviours and attitudes typical of it".

The homosexuality resulting from a difficult psychosexual development has the character of a "compromise" or defence mechanism; the homosexual person does not achieve heterosexual maturity in the psychosexual aspect of his development. There remains a partially unanswered question: whether the same genesis can be attributed to all homosexuals, given that the majority of them have never been studied with psychoanalytic methods. This approach has been strongly challenged by those who defend homosexuality as normal. However, it has two merits worthy of mention.

In the first place, it is based on careful research, such as that of Bieber and his colleagues cf. Bieber, i. In the second place, it corresponds to the experience of many homosexuals who have personally told me their story cf. Healing Homosexuality. Obviously, this last point does not clear up the doubt as to whether the same experiences are part of the life of homosexual persons who do not seek the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist.

As for the current cultural situation, it should be recalled that on 8 February the European Parliament in Strasbourg voted in favour of a resolution that homosexual persons be given equal rights, including the right to marry, to adopt children and to political asylum. This critical fact helps to illustrate the phenomenon of how politicized the homosexual question has become. Other aspects of the "gay culture" and its defence have been described by Nicolosi , especially chap, 13 : the demand that homosexuality be recognized as normal, the tendency to reject research results showing that homosexuality is not normal, the attributing of all the difficulties experienced by homosexual persons to the "homophobic" prejudices of heterosexuals, and the extreme thesis of some people that homosexual persons should follow a different moral system in which promiscuity would be acceptable.

Many years ago, Fr John Connery, S. J, had already commented on the zeal of homosexual organizations in looking for new recruits "Homosexuality - Good, Bad or Indifferent? Certainly, these phenomena are part complex, extensive process of social change, which includes the crisis of moral values noted in the Encyclical Veritatis splendor , a process which cannot be adequately commented on here. At any rate, it is obvious that if a young person identifies with the "gay culture", homosexuality will become a central is life of his life.

It is not easy at all to find one's bearings in such a polarized situation; however, the following assertions can be made about the moral evaluation of homosexuality:. Even if it does turn out that a person can inherit a biological predisposition to homosexuality, it would not follow that homosexuality should be considered normal even the Catechism , n.

The same can be said of possible family or social conditioning. If we think of a less provocative subject, such as shyness or aggressiveness, it becomes clearer that the tendencies a person develops for whatever reason are to be evaluated according to their intrinsic nature; extreme shyness never becomes a good or normal quality, even though the person is not that way through his own fault.

In the light of available evidence, the position can be defended, also in psychological terms, that homosexuality represents a defective form of psychosexual development Nicolosi, , passim. Apart from the exclusion of the procreative meaning of sexuality, it is clear that the relationship between two homosexual persons of the same sex and of the same sexual orientation lacks that complementarity which characterizes heterosexual marriage cf.


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Open admission of same-sex desires

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