Thursday, October 22, 2009
Religion and Homosexuality
This post is an excerpt taken from Dr. van den Aardweg's book The Battle For Normality pp. 85-87. Here, he makes a succinct observation on the interest and attraction of people with SSA to the religious life. The author also touched briefly on the incompatibility of reconciling the gay lifestyle with authentic Christian morality.
A young, homosexually inclined Christian told me he had studied the Bible and found reasons to reconcile his conscience with his homosexual relationship of that moment, provided he remained faithful. Predictably, after some time he dropped that pretension, but he continued on his course, and his Christianity withered. That is the history of many young persons who try to reconcile the irreconcilable. If they convince themselves that homosexuality is morally good and beautiful, they either lose their faith or invent one of their own, which sanctions their desires. Of the last possibility, examples abound as well as of the first. A well-known homosexual Dutch actor from a Catholic background, for instance, presently plays the role of a self-appointed priest, "blessing" young couples at marriage celebrations (not excluding homosexual "couples", of course) and "ministering" at funerals.
This brings up a topic of current interest: Why are so many Protestant and Catholic homosexuals, male and female alike, interested in theology, and why do they not infrequently want to be ministers or priests? Part of the answer lies in their infantile need for sympathy and contact. They view church professions as soft and sentimentally "caring" and imagine themselves in them as being honored and revered, elevated above common human beings. They see the Church as a noncompetitive, friendly world where they may enjoy high status and be protected at the same time. For male homosexuals, there is the additional incentive of a rather closed men's community where they need not prove themselves as men; women with lesbian feelings, on their part, may feel drawn to an exclusive women's community, like a convent. Unctuous ways, which they associate with "pastoral" manners and ways, moreover, appeal to some, being in line with their overfriendly, soft manners. And in the Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches, there is the attraction of the garments and the aesthetic rituals, which male homosexuals may, in their childish perception, experience as feminine and which enable a narcissistic showing off, comparable to the exhibitionistic joys of homosexual ballet dancers.
Remarkably, lesbian women may also feel attracted to the role of vicar and priest. In their case too the attractive element for those who feel they don't belong is the social recognition as well as the enjoyment of being able to dominate others. It is interesting that the attraction of homosexuals to priestly functions is not restricted to modern Christianity; in several primitive societies, as in antiquity, homosexuals have fulfilled the priestly role.
These interests stem for the most part, then, from an infantile, self-centered imagination and have precious little to do with the objective contents of Christian belief. What some homosexuals thus see as their "calling" to the priesthood is an attraction to an emotionally rewarding, but self-centered, way of life. These are self-imagined or "false" vocations. Needless to say, these ministers and priests are inclined to preach a soft, humanistic reinvention of traditional beliefs, especially of moral principles, and a distorted concept of "love". Moreover, they tend to create a homosexual subculture within their churches. There they undoubtedly pose a subtle threat for the orthodoxy and undermine church unity by their habit of forming subversive coteries that do not feel responsible to the official church community (the reader may recall the homosexual complex of "not belonging"). Otherwise, they generally lack the balance and the strength of character necessary for giving fatherly guidance.
Do real vocations never go along with homosexual interests? I do not dare to affirm that fully; perhaps I have seen a few exceptions in the course of the years. But, as a rule, a homosexual orientation, whether acted out or experienced only in the private emotional life, must certainly be regarded as a contraindication to the supernatural source of priestly interests.