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LIBERTY: Rights & Tolerance | August 2003



An E-Mail to an Ex-Catholic Friend & Activist

I found interesting, although questionable,] the assertion that there had once been a Catholic blessing for same-sex unions...

I try to understand things from both sides, even when one side...is being unreasonable -- understanding complex situations is like trying to untie a complicated knot (The "Gordian Knot" approach, of just cutting the thing in half, is pretty harsh, especially when people's true and passionate feelings are on the line, on both sides).

For priests, who swear to God to be celibate, it must be a tough life (...recently I find out that for the first millennium or whatever of the Church, they could [marry], until there were inheritance scandals); and sexual frustrations can produce all sorts of mean feelings, particularly on sexual issues, whether one is of the clergy or not.

As far as whether being homosexual is a matter of choice or instinct, I think it's usually instinct; but sometimes it seems to be choice, or at least a combination of both -- every individual is different, which is what this is all about -- understanding and tolerance, and maybe even appreciation of differences.

This Pope is very conservative on virtually all matters of doctrine.  He's been very popular because of his travels and work for the poor -- which are good things -- but his strict social doctrines really alienate a lot of people.  Then again, a lot of people who disagree with him still respect him for standing up for what he apparently truly believes in.

If there is to be change in the Church, or nation, then it will have to come from leaders who have just as deep-seated beliefs the other way -- the natural human instinct is to resist change, especially in very important matters; but I think most people will also let their heart and mind open to a very passionate appeal to reason and belief as long as it is sincere.  That's how racial segregation laws were slowly, eventually overturned (even though blacks are still in the minority).

If...[progressive church] leaders can make the case that acceptance of a gay lifestyle (and I don't really like that term "gay", as it conjures up stereotypes) is indeed following the commandment of Jesus to "love thy neighbor" (no jokes), then it is a powerful argument (particularly...since [after reading the four Gospels] I don't believe Jesus himself condemned homosexuality).

Anyway, in another millennium or two, the Church will change...

P.S. In case you wondered, even though I have many gay friends...I'm still interested only in the ladies -- which brings to mind a powerful argument -- it would be as dishonest for me to deny that instinct as it would be for a homosexual to deny his or her instincts, which (it can at least be argued) come from God.

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