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  UNNATURAL ARGUMENT

New Catholic Documentary Tells Gays To Give Up Sex For God

gay-jesusCatholic teaching holds that lesbians and gay men won’t go to hell if they refrain from sex. Now a new documentary is making the rounds to promote just that point. Entitled “The Third Way: Homosexuality and the Catholic Church,” the film features gay men and lesbians who follow the Church’s teaching and embrace celibacy, along with a few priests who pontificate (so to speak) about catechism. (The 38-minute film is available for viewing online.)

“We’re all called to chastity,” says one man in the film. “What is best for this man I love?,” asks another speculating about what happens when you are attracted to another man. “How do I do that? Maybe it’s through sacrifice.”

As might be expected, the film doesn’t paint a picture of gay life as fulfilling. Several of the people in the film talk about loneliness and depression, and a few explicitly attribute their sexual actions as adults to the search to cure that sense of loneliness. No one talks about having a happy childhood or even a happy adulthood.

The film also studiously likes to talk about ‘same-sex attraction,” which is the Church’s terminology for being lesbian or gay. By diminishing identity to sexual attraction, the film defines LGBT people on its own terms.

Fr. Michael Schmitz says in the film that the “Church makes it very, very clear. All men and women experiencing same-sex attraction must be treated with compassion, dignity, respect.”

This argument, of course, would be a lot easier to swallow if the Church actually didn’t oppose basic protections for LGBT people, such as workplace protections. But then, that would be recognizing LGBT people as people, and not as someone with what the film refers to in shorthand as SSA.

The people in the film believe in the Church’s natural law argument, which says that sex is only for procreation and within marriage. As one man puts it, gay sex is “not in keeping with the design for human flesh.”

The film builds up to the speakers in the film talking about how they found themselves through the Catholic Church. As the final speaker puts it, “I used to think I was gay. I”m not gay. I am a Catholic man.”

Cue the inspirational music.

Now it would be easy to make fun of the people in the film, but they have a deep-held faith and if, indeed, this is how they find comfort in life, good for them. The problem is that it’s the only option that the Church allows for anyone who engages in “intrinsically disordered” sexual relationships, because, as the bishops put it, “such acts never lead to happiness.” (Sorry to disillusion you, all you happily married couples out there.)

And that’s the bigger issue. Because of its reliance on Thomas Aquinas (died 1274), the Church cannot see how sex can, in and of itself, be good. It’s not just a matter of gay and lesbian sex. It’s any non-procreative sex.

That is a disservice to the millions of Catholics (and non-Catholics) throughout the world who not only find sex enjoyable, but who find it deeply intimate. Indeed, you could even say it’s a window into the divine. Believers apprehend God through the people around them. Sex provides that connection for many couples. It’s not the choice between God and sex that the movie makes it out to be.

So the next time you hear hard-line Catholics talk about why no sex is the only option for lesbian and gay people (or SSA-ers), keep that in mind. What the Church teaches may not be what the laity experiences. At some point, those two worlds will have to be resolved. Let’s hope it’s before the next millennium rolls around.

 

By:           John Gallagher
On:           May 20, 2014
Tagged: , , , , , ,

  • 27 Comments
    • dixichuk
      dixichuk

      The End Times must be near. When I glanced at the thumbnail for this article, I thought Jesus was Conchita Wurst.

      May 20, 2014 at 7:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      So in other words just another in a long line of Ex-Gay, stay celibate B.S.

      May 20, 2014 at 8:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mezaien
      Mezaien

      More D.E.K.C.U.F up Christian shit.

      May 20, 2014 at 8:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stefano
      Stefano

      Same old, same old.

      May 20, 2014 at 8:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jonjct
      jonjct

      see below for what i expect will be a whole series of catholic bashes from the gay community. i am gay and catholic and i know other gay people feel entitled to make fun of me and act like it’s a free for all to say whatever hateful things they want about my religion, but please don’t, have some respect gentlemen, exercise some restraint. what goes on in my bedroom is between me and God. i’ll leave it there.

      May 20, 2014 at 8:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stefano
      Stefano

      @jonjct : “…what goes in my bedroom is between me and God…” And what goes in my bedroom is between me and my boyfriend not Christians, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, etc. The problem with religions, is that they try to impose their views to others. If you beleive in God, good for you but stop telling me what to do.

      May 20, 2014 at 8:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • barkomatic
      barkomatic

      All the gay men in this documentary are mentally ill and are being made more so by the church. Gay men who accept themselves and fulfill their sexual needs in a healthy way with other guys can live happy lives.

      However, I will say that I’ve known more than a few guys who have voluntarily gone through periods of celibacy in order to center themselves and rein in some bad habits. Just not a lifelong thing–and not based upon the belief that gay sex in itself is harmful or should be avoided.

      May 20, 2014 at 9:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Qjersey
      Qjersey

      Where’s the documentary on not fucking children?

      May 20, 2014 at 9:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
      PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID

      I’d give it up for Jesus in a loincloth

      May 20, 2014 at 9:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jayj150
      jayj150

      Giving up sex for God; I wish the catholic church would demand the same sacrifice from its legions of pedophile priests.

      May 20, 2014 at 10:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @jonjct:

      Funny how you call pointing out the hypocrisy of the Catholic churches attacks on gays, including funding many of the anti-gay laws that currently exist across this nation and even threatening to pull all their charity work out of cities that have laws protecting gay citizens. An attack.

      Ok we get it, the Catholic Church can haul out it’s inquisition tools to go after gays and that is ok with you. But if gays say “hey, they shouldn’t do that” THAT is a horrible attack from gays on the church.

      Try to sell playing the victim someplace else. After the Mormons, the Right Wing politicos, and the Evangelicals we’re all full up here.

      May 20, 2014 at 10:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
      PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID

      These snivelling cowardly insects, begging forgiveness and cravenly prostrating themselves before their omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving God, who, nevertheless, played this dirty trick on them in the first place; and won’t even take it away! What a sadistic bastard!

      These “useful idiots” are in fact merely unhealthily channeling their sexual aim into a kind of masochism, and whether consciously or unconsciously getting off on this. Sick sick sick!

      May 20, 2014 at 11:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
      PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID

      A lot of glossy production values going on there, I wonder who’s footing the bill?

      The founder of Blackstone films is John-Andrew O’Rourke. Any sleuths out there that can get some dirt on this guy or indeed on those other “chastity experts” ?

      May 20, 2014 at 11:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • a new member
      a new member

      Lemme see, my god loves me so much that he wants to take away
      my greatest pleasure in feeling alive to please Him, He that has all.
      Yup, makes perfect sense. And you can be so lucky too! Just follow me. Wow.

      May 20, 2014 at 12:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
      PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

      WWJSAG?

      ABSOLUTLEY NOTHING!

      May 20, 2014 at 12:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
      PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

      @Qjersey: You do realize you stole the words right off my keyboard! :p

      May 20, 2014 at 12:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
      PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID

      Normally this shit is water off a ducks back to me..but this film has got me so fucking angry; I prefer the honest hate of Westboro to this slick sententious, mendacious “compassionate” enmity.

      If nothing else this was an object lesson in Stockholm Syndrome.

      Tubby Nellyvoice — newly initiated into the mysteries of real non-”broken” manhood by being taught, by his hetero betters, how to athrow ball; presumably gay-voice is an advanced module — spunks this out:

      “so those with same-sex attraction are not being asked to do anything different from a heterosexual; we’re all called to chastity, every single one of us”

      Hmmm.

      But notice how EVERY ONE of those (non-clergy) “expert” guys who were extolling the benefits and superiority of homo chastity happened to be flashing a wedding ring. Fuck outta here!

      Fucking married hetero hypocrites! Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and show us just how rewarding that SACRIFICE really is, by walking alongside those poor sexual lepers that you pontificate at, and forgoing a lifetime of sexual intimacy alongside them? It’s not like it’s lions and shit. And heavenly rewards, don’t forget heavenly rewards!

      May 20, 2014 at 1:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • suem
      suem

      As well as delivering the message of the ex-gay (gay-straight therapy) movement i.e. gay = probable abuse / dysfunctional same sex relationships in childhood; misery as opposed to straight = life time happiness etc, many of the documentary interviewees are themselves involved in the movement. Some very deeply. Richard Cohen and Christopher Doyle run The International Healing Foundation.

      Additionally, the Executive Producer who is a Catholic priest has come up on anti-discrimination radar in the past re grossly homophobic content on YouTube and his personal blog. This is a long read but if you want detailed info see this http://jpatrickredmond.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/the-third-way-a-depressing-study-in-catholic-ex-gay-propaganda/ which was tagged to the end of J.Patrick’s article in the Huffington Post a few days back. Info on background starts a few paragraphs in.

      May 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DistingueTraces
      DistingueTraces

      @jonjct: Yes, and the uses your money is put to when you donate it to an abusive institution is between you, God, and the people the Catholic church spends that money to directly harm.

      May 20, 2014 at 3:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr
      DarkZephyr

      God I remember this kind of stuff back when I was just inches away from converting to Catholicism. I remember how “SSA” was the preferred term to “gay”. I actually bought into that for a time too. The problem remains that these teachings that are being promoted still imply that LGBT people are “less than”, especially if they act on a fundamental part of who they are.

      Today I am agnostic and I am fairly sure I will die that way.

      May 20, 2014 at 4:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jonjct
      jonjct

      There you have it, ^ the gay community is utterly intolerant of the catholic church and believes they can say any hateful thing they want against catholics, the proof is right here for all to read. don’t dare bash muslims, gays, trans or other protected classes, just catholics. Haters, every one of you. IDK, maybe gay bashings are just blowback.

      May 20, 2014 at 5:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ogre Magi
      Ogre Magi

      I don’t know why so many people in the LGBT community act like the Catholics are somehow better than evangelicals

      May 20, 2014 at 5:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan down in Florida
      Alan down in Florida

      @dixichuk: You’re not alone. My immediate reaction was “Why is the Eurovision winner on Queerty?”

      May 20, 2014 at 6:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Throbert McGee
      Throbert McGee

      @Ogre Magi:

      I don’t know why so many people in the LGBT community act like the Catholics are somehow better than evangelicals

      Here’s why, from John Gallagher’s OP:

      And that’s the bigger issue. Because of its reliance on Thomas Aquinas (died 1274), the Church cannot see how sex can, in and of itself, be good. It’s not just a matter of gay and lesbian sex. It’s any non-procreative sex.

      Thus, the Catholics are “better” than the Evangelicals insofar as the Catholics — or, rather, traditionalist Catholic theologians — “bash” anyone and everyone, homosexual and heterosexual alike, who spills their precious seed hither and yon. From the Catholic point-of-view, if a married heterosexual couple uses a condom or diaphragm to avoid pregnancy, that’s JUST AS SINFUL as “gay and lesbian sex.”

      It’s also JUST AS SINFUL as “gay and lesbian sex” if a wife says to her husband, “honey, I’m not ready to get pregnant again — just pull out and give me a nice pearl necklace instead.”

      And it’s JUST AS SINFUL as “gay and lesbian sex” if a 16-year-old boy wanks into a sock. Whether he was looking at a Playboy magazine or a COLT Men calendar doesn’t really matter, however — what matters is that he experienced sexual pleasure without trying to make a baby.

      On the other hand, some Evangelicals have no theological objections to masturbation or coitus interruptus or contraception; they just like to pick on homosexuals. So in that sense, they’re worse than Catholics are.

      May 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Throbert McGee
      Throbert McGee

      @PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID:

      The founder of Blackstone films is John-Andrew O’Rourke. Any sleuths out there that can get some dirt on this guy or indeed on those other “chastity experts” ?

      WHY ON EARTH would you want to do that?!

      I certainly don’t agree with “Gay by Birth, Celibate by Free Choice and the Grace of God” approach that the Catholic Church is peddling; I believe that homosexual love-making can be experienced as a divine blessing and that the Church is wrong to exclude this possibility.

      However, the “Gay by Birth, Celibate by Choice” ought to be recognized as a GIGANTIC IMPROVEMENT over the “Satan made you homosexual but we can pray away the gay!” approach favored by Evangelical ex-gay groups like Exodus.

      And while I don’t think that a lifetime of self-enforced celibacy is psychologically or spiritually healthy for most homosexual OR heterosexual people, no one has ever come to harm by abstaining from sex for a while.

      On the other hand, many many people (gay and straight) have gotten themselves into extremely serious trouble because they decided that the word “chastity” is medieval churchy mumbo-jumbo that ought to be discarded — rather than arguing that “chastity” is a highly important and valuable concept for ALL people, but that religious traditionalists have erred by defining “chastity” in artificially narrow and Procrustean ways. (That’s basically what John Gallagher was getting at when he referred to Thomas Aquinas in the OP.)

      May 20, 2014 at 7:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Throbert McGee
      Throbert McGee

      @DarkZephyr:

      The problem remains that these teachings that are being promoted still imply that LGBT people are “less than”, especially if they act on a fundamental part of who they are.

      Well… LGBT individuals aren’t “less than,” but in some sense, same-sex relationships are “less than” — there are very good reasons for treating procreative, monogamous heterosexual marriage as The Gold Standard for human society. Which is to say that parents (including adoptive gay parents!) ought to bring up their kids to aspire towards this Gold Standard, while recognizing that maybe 3-5% of children are “called” to things other than procreative, monogamous heterosexual marriage.

      It’s still important to promote this Gold Standard, however, because something like 95% of kids will grow up to be heterosexual adults, and they need to be steered and coached towards stable monogamy — I hope it’s not too controversial a point that “serial” single moms with a string of “baby daddies” have generally been a social disaster.

      THE PROBLEM is that the Church, in its stiff-necked arrogance, refuses to acknowledge that non-procreative couples — including gay and lesbian pairs — have the potential to be a Silver or Bronze standard. Instead, the Church acts as though same-sex couples can’t be anything better than a Lead Standard, or a Clay Standard, or a Dung Standard.

      May 20, 2014 at 7:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Throbert McGee
      Throbert McGee

      @barkomatic:

      However, I will say that I’ve known more than a few guys who have voluntarily gone through periods of celibacy in order to center themselves and rein in some bad habits. Just not a lifelong thing–and not based upon the belief that gay sex in itself is harmful or should be avoided.

      50 points to Gryffindor!

      May 20, 2014 at 7:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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