Catholic man with homosexual inclination tells why “gay identity” philosophy is un-Christian

“The whole [Catholic] teaching about sexuality is rooted in the complementarity of the two sexes. For me, that is fundamental. We think about this alphabet soup that’s out there–’LGBTQ’ whatever. But the ones that matter are, in the alphabet, M and F!”

Daniel Mattson, from his courageous “Catholic Answers” interview that is now available to hear or download online.

Daniel, who supports the Courage Apostolate, is also the author of the thought-provoking First Things article “Why I Don’t Call Myself a Gay Christian.”

  • Gregory Peterson

    I’m glad that Mr. Mattson doesn’t call himself a “Gay Christian.” “Gay” is a declaration of a certain sort of personal integrity and self worth, So, if you haven’t found that yet… you don’t really deserve to identify yourself as “Gay,” do you?

    • ladybri

      Bitter are we?

  • Chris

    The term “gay” is certainly not in the Christian tradition and nowhere to be found in the Church’s teaching. No one is “gay” or “lesbian”; rather, there are persons who suffer from same-sex attraction/the homosexual disorder. The first poster here unwittingly demonstrates the problem with it: that someone identifies who they are as a person with their conjugal inclinations and conduct and thus reduces their personhood to them, and links their self-worth to them. If a normal, heterosexual person went around introducing themselves as heterosexual, telling people “that’s who I am,” identifying themselves by it, and composed a “lifestyle” out of it, we would rightly think they were a little disturbed- that they reduced themselves to such things. Yet, how often people let persons with the homosexual disorder do so. Homosexual activists seem to encourage people to use the term also because it keeps people enslaved to the whole lifestyle and the “gay” community. It is easy to see that if someone disturbingly links their self-worth to their sexual attractions and conduct, that they feel compelled to continue in them and reinforce them, for fear of losing their self-worth and identity. (This may also help to explain the very high level of promiscuity found amongst such persons). The term also serves to sever any reference to the realities behind it, the inclinations and conduct, with the inference that those with the disorder are happy/gay. This is especially sad and ironic as such persons have very high rates of drug/alcohol abuse, suicide, and psychological disorders like depression, among other problems.

    • Randy McDonald

      “If a normal, heterosexual person went around introducing themselves as heterosexual, telling people “that’s who I am,” identifying themselves by it, and composed a “lifestyle” out of it, we would rightly think they were a little disturbed- that they reduced themselves to such things.”

      Um, we don’t.

      I’m out. If someone asks me what gender I lean towards, unless I’m feeling personally threatened I’ll tell them. I won’t censor my recreational activities, or my romantic partners, from quotidian discussions. Why wouldn’t I be open? Would I want to mislead people who might be interested in me, or, conversely, make people I might be interested and who might be interested in me think I might not want to reciprocate? Being honest about the relationships I’m in strikes me as a virtue all people should share, regardless of their orientation.

      And what _is_ it about “lifestyle”? Few non-heterosexuals I know talk about living a specific gay lifestyle. The only demographic I know of that consistently does that are homophobes who seem interested in denying our common humanity.

      ” This is especially sad and ironic as such persons have very high rates of drug/alcohol abuse, suicide, and psychological disorders like depression, among other problems.”

      It hasn’t occurred to you that, even in relatively accepting communities, levels of homophobia–overt discrimination, quieter snickering–are still high?

      • Chris

        You would seem to be in a small number of “gay” persons who do not go around identifying themselves by it- that is the whole point of the term “gay” and the original piece the post referred to: by the very fact of using that term one is openly linking and identifying themselves with their sexual inclinations and behavior. It is also one of the basic mantras of “gay” persons to claim that this is “who they are”. No person is “gay,” no person is an adjective. The fact that someone would describe themselves by an adjectival term proves the point.

        As an aside, I notice you are not so “tolerant” and “open-minded” and non-judgmental, as you label those who hold a view you don’t agree with(the truth) as “homophobic”, hateful, etc. That sounds like a textbook definition of bigotry- labeling, judging, categorizing people as villains because they have ideas you don’t like. And especially when my post said nothing about those suffering from same-sex attraction being bad persons or some such thing. You are the one who has assumed and labeled others in blanket fashion. I will pray for you and your affliction. God knows you are not happy living as you do, and its not supposedly because people have not accepted homosexuality.

  • Dan Waldron

    A person’s history as to how they were raised and by whom,and in what circumstances does add to the overall way one decides to live their life.IT has been a struggle for me all my years dealing with same-sex attraction.I even got married,and have a son and daughter.I still even in my later years now have to contend with the same-sex temptations.I was abused sexually in a Catholic Orphange,and beyond that as well,but the truth be known,I harbor no ill against anyone in particular.For over 45 years now I have walked in the way of being a believer in Jesus,and do not regret one minute of it,as He has proven Himself to me over and over.
    The reality of my own experiences has brought me to the conclusion that same-sex relationships and activities only lead a person ultimately to a sad end.I have friends who are in same-sex relationships,and although they have a great deal of fun,and so on,often at moments they feel desparate,and wish their lives would end.They usually have no hope to be with the LORD,and that is obvious in their speech and actions.It is sad and remains a problem for the Gay society altogether.God is a problem to them,naturally because they feel THEY are a problem to God.Christ transforms lives He does not leave a person desparately and hopelessly trapped in whatever stronghold they are unfortunately in.Christ cannot be for any type of living which leaves a person bound to a self destructive way of life.Homosexuality in all its forms bears no fruit unto spiritual life with Christ,it only leads a person away from God,who Created us all in HIS OWN image.Young gays do not ever think about what is going to be their end when approaching the years of fading beauty and virility.Older gays are often very troubled because they are bound to a life of lingering despair over what they cannot have any longer,losing that beauty they once had.It is very obvious in older gays,terribly obvious!

  • drdanfee

    Fundamental, untested assumptions fuel much of our often heard ‘non-gay’/’ex-gay’ narratives, especially in faith contexts. The first basic assumption comes right out in innumerable religious traditions and faith communities: Not being heterosexual is disordered. When we are not hearing about how queer folks are disordered, we will likely hear about their ‘dirtiness’ and/or their being ‘damaged goods’ and/or their being a ‘danger’ to good, right, God-fearingness. As one bumper sticker goes: The opposite of homosexuality is holiness? A great many of these multiple yet univocal sounding claims, as it happens, have indeed been empirically hypothesis tested. The data juries on this repeated triad of ‘dirt’ and ‘damage’ and ‘danger’ have reported back to the courtrooms. Nearly every single piece of the larger assertion puzzles that tell us specifically how or in what exact way(s) LGBT folks are ‘ disordered’ (or ‘dirty’ or ‘damaged goods’ or ‘dangerous’ ?) cannot be empirically confirmed, so far. A good many of these negative specifics have ended up repeatedly being disconfirmed in peer reviewed study after study after study. I don’t know just how much data and testing via neutral empirical methods particular faith people need, but as of now we do have about sixty to seventy years of evidence, all disconfirming our legacy story about ‘disorder’, also known among us as, dirt plus danger plus damage. Not being heterosexually configured does not make anybody slovenly, lazy, dumb, aggressive, violent, nasty mannered, selfish to a fault, hedonistic to lavish and mind-numbing excess, self-destructive, or unethical in any specific flawed manner. We can empirically find no strictly human incompetence that is innate to not being heterosexual as such. To claim (or reclaim, as some individual life stories seem to have it) one’s attraction/orientation is to search more deeply into some of the best or better angels of one’s inner life and evolved human embodiment. To be able to be attracted to other human beings is, among many other things: to be called or lured into: honesty, vulnerability, liking or caring or profound loving of another man or another woman, nakedly self-giving without pretense or defense, and above all … fairly likely to ennable one person to put him/herself in another person’s shoes. What is missing, then, from all the legacy religious discourses about disorder, diminished personhood, and the latest alleged folk causes beliefs about sexual abuse in childhood/youth plus some vague yet globalized ‘confusion’ are … at best … painfully raw, brute failures to empathize. The failure almost always involves this pre-existing range or cluster of untested or untestable assumptions: gay = bad. Having to ‘save’ queer folks from their humanity is often pitched as so sincere and genuine a human or spiritual faith commitment of concern. Yet this same effort to save is also about as flat earthed and wrong-headed as a genuine faith concern could possibly be, once you put all of it on one side of the discussion table and all the published empirical research on the other side of our table. Richly and deeply, sexual orientation and embodiment for non-straight folks functions in daily life and pairbonding, just about the same as sexual orientation operates in straight people and among straight people. That is to say, factually, neutrally, so that just as straight people may be moral or immoral, humanly competent in general or incompetent in this or that domain, so with gay folks. Yes, whether or not you can make a baby together cannot stop mattering, especially if a couple yearns for children and parenting and family. Still. To focus on this single aspect of the immense and wholesome tapestry of human embodiment, as if sperm meeting egg subsumed everything else about us in the most reductionistic manner is to put us all into a strange, catch-22 manner of legacy constructions. Firstly we have to think in a peculiar way which temporarily reduces us essentially to sperm or egg carriers more than anything else about us. Then we are guided to use this striking single-mindedness (or are we having tunnel vision?) to demean, demonize, and deny the value or positive meaning of queer folks’ individual embodiments and personalities, not to mention encouraging ourselves to construe same sex bonding and care as disorder, not to say superficial and problematic, realities. Having thus diagnosed a malady that empirical hypothesis testing cannot find, we then magnanimously proceed to inform queer folks that we know how to ‘save’ them. Or, ‘heal’ them. Or, make them ‘whole’ again. Our medicine requires all queer people to detach the conscious self in favor of renounce deep, lived centers of the human, non-generic, individually finger-printed body, inner life, and personality … exactly those domains from whence key aspects of social and personal identity, connection, empathy, service or care for other people, and yes – pairbonding – of all sorts more or less manifest and emerge. Our faith justification for this is conceptual, not empirical. Damn the data or hypothesis testing torpedoes, all saints full ahead, would seem to be our cry. We believe that being gay must be superficial, burdensome, troubling, and any number of other dispensable, unnecessary things … so jettisoning these parts of oneself in body, in inner life, and in relationships should logically be at minimum a great relief, if not for a few become an ennobling ethical and human struggle that can reach heroic drama. What all the flat earth assumptions seem to have in common is that they consistently oppose being decent, wholesome, and human in the best or better senses, with being attracted to other men or other women. The slow curve of reconciliation points, nevertheless, to a perihelion face off wherein the empirical data meet and interact with the theology and with our ethics. This sort of face off has happened before, say, in the long tortured meeting of legacy theology-ethics with the empirical demise of Ptolemaic Cosmology, and indeed, on any number of other historical occasions and encounters between theology/ethics as received, and facts involved with hypothesis testing. Meanwhile, perhaps we are best advised to tread ever so lightly as we continue to categorically diagnose and respond to all the horrid things we still believe are ‘wrong’ about not being freely and spontaneously ‘heterosexual.’ drdanfee