Having been one who has been so very conflicted about the “marriage equality” debate at times, even recently with Minnesota becoming the 12th state to allow same-gender marriage, and on a personal note as one who happens to be both same-sex attracted (celibate) and a Catholic Christian, I just re-read the article linked above and did so with a different set of lenses than when I first perused it a few short months ago. These guys (Dr Robert P George, Ryan T Anderson, and Sherif Girgis) have done their research and homework thoroughly, and more so, share their views with deep clarity and honest charity, not just throwing tickling platitudes towards the actively LGBT community as many who believe themselves to be far more “tolerant” have done at times. Even if you disagree with them totally you cannot read this article or their well-written book without seeing and respecting that.
On an even more personal note, some of us from my background, me included, have at times allowed the intense hurt or anger which most of us with SSA issues at times feel towards Christians and a society which is less friendly than it would admit to “my kind,” to unfortunately cloud my vision of why the Church, as well as society, benefits from traditional marriage. Sherif clears most of that up in one writing here.
In short, and hence my second “mea culpa” in as many weeks, I unwittingly pushed aside personal conviction and went fully by a seductively emotional impetus, allowing it to derail me more than once while yet trying to remain connected to Church teachings I have at times not always fully understood. And doing that can be misleading, even to ourselves, or perhaps especially to ourselves. Plus it simply does not work. Without that admission my original “mea culpa” is incomplete at best. So there you have it. Mea culpa two.
Sherif Girgis and his co-authors expertly, and, in the best sense, somewhat cunningly, move past that in this article as well as in their book and moreover cause me to feel that I genuinely matter to them as a Christian brother and fellow human being. And as an equal. I would yet further add that I have had some personal contact with both Sherif and Ryan T Anderson via Facebook, and would be proud, actually very much so, to consider either of them real-time friends if the opportunity so allowed. While I have not had contact with Dr George, I am pretty sure I would feel much the same with him as well. Far from dividing and conquering, they have helped me to unify and reconcile my sometimes overwhelming and conflicting pulls on this matter, and that is a far larger conquest anyway.
In any case both the logic and conclusions shared here move beyond mere surface rhetoric, and when quietly attempting to tune in to my deepest intellectual honesty as well as spirituality (the kind one has when alone and staring into the mirror of heart and body at 3 am), the teaching of the Church and body of Christ as clarified in their writings have caused me to yet again dig deeper and to re-think this issue once for all. Ironically I have found myself arriving in a full circle back to what was my original position until I allowed some very real anger, fear, and inner pain to cloud my thinking and affect my overarching attitudes. In short they are right and I wasn’t.
And even shorter, it isn’t a matter or who gets to be right anyway. It is a matter of finding Truth and letting it take us where we must then go. And, as I said before, I am done fighting God on this topic or anything else for that matter. He always wins anyway.
- A Mea Culpa… (catholicboyrichard2.wordpress.com)