Interesting Piece by Melinda Selmys

Interesting Piece by Melinda Selmys April 2, 2013

She is a chaste and faithful same sex attracted woman who has become a Catholic and chosen to pursue heterosexual marriage.  She writes here on how to speak to (and about) homosexuality.

But Mark, you’ve been plenty critical of gays too.  Sure.  I write defenses of the Church’s teaching against militant gays who attack it.  But I’ve also written repeatedly on same-sex attracted people who live faithfully according to the teaching of Jesus Christ.  So my posture with respect to homosexuality is to defend against attacks from that sector and highlight, where possible, examples of SSA folk who demonstrate discipleship.

What I tend to avoid is telling SSA people what they need to be doing.  Why?  C.S. Lewis explains it all for you.  He tells us in Surprised by Joy that he never commented on two sins: pederasty (rampant in the school he attended) and excessive gambling.  That was because they were two sins to which he himself felt no temptation and since he always resented it when the officers gave moral lectures to their subordinates on matters they themselves were not struggling with, so he refused to do it himself.  He then goes on and tells us that if we are wondering about all the other sins he does comment on in places like the Screwtape Letters, the answer is “Yes.  I have been tempted to all of them.”  Elsewhere he says, “My heart–I need no other’s–showeth me the wickedness of the ungodly.”

The reason I don’t hand out free advice to homosexuals is that I have never been tempted to homosexuality.  I also don’t hand out free advice to heroin addicts for the very simple reason that I have never been tempted to drug abuse, particularly with any drug involving (brrrr) needles.  Lewis remarks, in a way that will scandalize Pharisees, that his failure to be tempted in the area of pederasty and gambling probably signals the lack of some corresponding virtue.

“What!” the Pharisee squawks, “What could possibly be virtuous about pederasty?”

Well, nothing.  Just as there is nothing virtuous about excessive gambling or heroin addiction.  But since sin is disordered love, there is some love there which, rightly ordered, would be virtuous, such as noble friendship (now often taken for pederasty even when it is only friendship), or the courage to take risks (which is what excessive gambling and even the person experimenting with drugs perverts).  In Lewis’ case, I think his immense capacity for rightly ordered friendship precluded a homosexual temptation and his (self-confessed) cowardice made him too timid to be tempted to gambling.  I suspect my own ineptitude for passionate friendships and loves has rendered me immune from homosexual temptation.  I have a lot of acquaintances, but few deep loves and friendships.  It’s something I would love the Holy Spirit to change in me, particularly with regard to friendship.  I have a deep longing for true friendship.  I suspect that part of the reason I both spend time on the web and find it so intensely frustrating is that I am looking for friendship in a place where it is not to be found.

Anyway, I think Selmys’ piece is interesting because she is speaking heart to heart with SSA persons who, like all the rest of us, long for Christ whether they realize it or not.  She can do that because she’s been there.  I can’t do that because I haven’t.

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