“We know where great sex is; we don’t know where great sex isn’t” [Blogathon 3/12]

“We know where great sex is; we don’t know where great sex isn’t” [Blogathon 3/12] June 11, 2012

This post is number three of twelve for the Secular Student Alliance Blogathon.  I’m responding to comments in the “Go Ahead, Tell Me What’s Wrong with Homosexuality” thread all day.  You can read an explanation of the Blogathon and a pitch for donations (even if you’re religious) here.


I’ve done two posts of comments I disagreed with.   Now here’s one from Jerry I quite liked.

To paraphrase (butcher?) a common phrase: we know where great sex is; we don’t know where great sex isn’t. All marriages are imperfect expressions of the ideal marriage. Throughout history, mankind has made varying imperfect attempts at fulfilling this ideal marriage concept in the same way any triangle you draw on a piece of paper is an imperfect attempt at expressing the perfect concept of triagularness. Instead of seeing things as some kind of “violation” of some kind of Catholic view or rule or law, I see the vast number of marriages as people’s honest attempt at striving for a happy union in the best way they know how. No fault or problem with that at all. I just think that the fullness of the truth about marriage is held and taught by the Catholic Church precisely because I believe it is more than just a bunch of celibate men and therefore I try to live mine according to those principles (and try to be ready to explain them when asked!). If someone else wants to go it another way, that’s entirely their choice and I don’t mean to disparage anyone’s honest attempts at reaching the ideal, even if I might personally think some of them are more or less likely to achieve depending on their approaches.

In this case, pitching non-Catholics and non-Christians on celibate gay lives feels a little like pitching Gentiles on keeping kosher.  Or, at least, like the consequence of effecting a conversion, and not the thing you use to pitch people on your metaphysics and theology.  Seems like bad tactics for churches to make opposition to gay marriage the first thing people think of when they they think of Christian marriage.  (Or even just when they hear the word ‘Christian.’)

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  • David

    I can go half-way with Jerry. But I also take it for granted that humans will not rest easy until the ideal is achieved–imperfectly in this life and perfectly in Heaven. Its a matter of conscience for us to strive for the ideal because the deepest longings of our hearts demand no less. For a Catholic, gay marriage expresses this intention: “I am in this for life even though my life depends on me giving this up.”

  • I don’t see how it is possible to convince someone that homosexual behavior is harmful and immoral without an appeal to Theology of the Body and thus faith. If a purpose doesn’t believe that the human body/person has an inherent and objective dignity, meaning, and purpose, then of course they won’t be able to see what is wrong with homosexual behavior or any sexual immorality.

  • Andrew

    There are many areas in which the Catholic idea of marriage is not recognised by wider society in the last half century including abortion, contraception, sex before marriage and divorce. The consequences of this are so obvious it does seem absurd that same-sex marriage is the only frontier being focused on. Real lives of people are being truly impacted by these issues but we turn our heads away. The normal reaction to the ideal Catholic family life (though this is imperfectly achieved by most of us) seems to be one of disdain or envy: “I’m just as good as you are” rather than seeing the beauty in it, the choices and the struggle that it has entailed. The personal testimony of celibate gay people would be the best proof the Catholic Church could offer but likely to achieve the same “I’m just as good as you are” sentiments from those who receive it.

    Catholics are standing firm because like the other issues described above, we see it as another nail in the coffin for Western society and we see the massive amounts of hurt and sufferring these issues cause. Society is choosing to go one way while the Church is proposing another way. It is almost impossible to maintain a foot in both camps. It is the “we are just as good as you” backlash that we see coming in the quest for validation: the dismantling of our families through ideological interference. Family life and religious instruction will be the last place where the “ideal” will be communicated as any attempt to raise these issues in the public square will be shouted down and even outlawed. But I think that for most, because of education, financial reasons or lack of commitment to their faith, it will all be too hard and our children will adopt the attitudes of wider society. Many heterosexual Catholics already adopt societies’ views on abortion, contraception, sex-before marriage etc.

    Can we live and let live when same-sex marriage will so obviously impact on the lives of our families in the ways mentioned above. It is probably true that there is no society in which an honorable man cannot make a home. Though it will be tougher to raise children with the same honor. The common request of same-sex marriage proponents that people against it “stay out of our business” seems to contradict the wish to have the government sanction these relationships. It is obvious that they want the public involved in some way, to publicly validate them and make them equal in law to opposite-sex marriage. It may even be that, like in the parable of the prodigal son, more and more people will see that they are being led in a direction that does not produce happiness and to a place they don’t want to go. They may return to the Father. The Church has to hold firm to her vision.