Someone I Love

Someone I Love

Someone I love is an atheist.  He would say he has reasoned it out.  He was born into a Catholic family.  Four years at a Catholic college, where he studied under an atheist philosophy Professor, cured him of that nonsense.  He’s read Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and others.  He says the atheist world view makes more sense than religion.

Now, I do not think he is an atheist because he reasoned it out.  I think he believes there is no God because he doesn’t want there to be a God.  He is homosexual.  To believe in the existence of God would lead to the acceptance of objective Truth.  That means acknowledging that our own ideas of what is right and what is wrong could be mistaken.

Catholic teaching on the subject of homosexuality might come as a surprise to many people.  First and foremost, the Catholic Church emphasizes every human being, having been created by God, in His image and likeness, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.  We are called to love all people, even those who disagree with our theology and world view.

Whatever the reasons, or causes of homosexuality, whether it be genetic, environmental or conditional, an obvious fact is that it is real.  Some people are just not sexually attracted to the opposite sex, but instead are sexually attracted to the same sex.  It’s a fact.  The Church teaching is that it is not a sin to be homosexual; however, the Church also teaches that any sexual behavior outside of the sacramental union of marriage is sin.  And marriage is the union of one man and one woman.  That goes for everyone.

When I was in my twenties I called myself an atheist.  Although I would have told you that I had, the Truth is I hadn’t reasoned it out that there’s no God.  I was using drugs, and was engaging in frequent casual sexual encounters.  I didn’t want to believe in God because I knew, deep down inside, it would mean no more sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.  The Truth is my behavior was disordered.

People often object when one defines homosexual activity as “disordered.”  I understand that.  I have come to accept that the Truth is, sexually, we all are disordered.  God created everything with a plan.  The plan for sex was marriage.  There are two primary purposes for sex.  First, procreation.  All sexual activity must be open to the possibility of the creation of a new life.  Babies.  Second, marital union.  The joy of sex is fulfilled to the highest degree as an expression of love and bonding between a married man and woman.  If either of these two purposes are absent from a sexual act, then it is sin.

God also endowed us with free will.  There is Truth.  There is right.  There is wrong.  And we have been given the freedom choose for ourselves.  What good would our love for anyone be, especially for God, if we were compelled to it?

I know there are many Christian denominations that have altered the doctrine on these things.  I believe the Catholic Church teaching to be correct because the Catholic Church, as is present in the world today, is the apostolic succession, the lineage of the original Church founded by Jesus about 2,000 years ago.  If the history of Christianity were to be visually represented like a family tree, the Catholic Church would be the main branch, with all other Christian denominations being the subsidiary branches and twigs splitting off it.

I’ve come to the Catholic Church through a series of conversions.  From atheist, to agnostic, to believer, to Protestant and eventually Roman Catholic.  I took that last leap, about ten years ago, mainly because I wish to cleave to the Main Branch.  And, as time goes by, I am more and more convinced.  Not only is it fulfilment in my heart and in my soul, but it is so reasonable.  It just makes so much sense.

My loved one who is homosexual naturally and completely disagrees with everything I’s said so far.  But I still love him.  We are extended family.  In-laws.  Over the years our approach (my wife’s and mine), to him has evolved.  We’ve learned the hard way that our efforts to convince him of the Truth have not only been ineffective, but have been damaging.  Eventually, after some very had years, we seem to have come to a mutual understanding.  We love and respect each other.  We accept that we have completely different world views, and it is best not to engage in conversations about it.  We pray for him.  We love him.

Yet, there is this underlying tension.  It seems inevitable that the time will come when we will be faced with a situation when our differences cannot be avoided.  How do we respond when confronted?  After some prayerful, and tearful, consideration we’ve concluded there is only one way.  Since the whole of our differences stem from one foundational difference, that in and of itself should be the only response.

“We believe in God.  You don’t.”

Say no more.  Say no less.

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