Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Times: Condemnation of homosexuality

Monday, 12th January 2009 by David Carrington, Sannat

There has been a great deal of comment in the press recently over Pope Benedict's (and, by implication, the Church's) supposed condemnation of homosexual men and women. But, to my mind there is no desire to persecute this minority as some have claimed. If a person is born to a life which does not enable them to have satisfactory sexual relations with a member of the opposite gender this should not be regarded as unnatural.

However, what is unnatural is the desire to undertake erotic activity with members of the same sex since, ultimately, this is utterly futile and can only lead to frustration and often despair, not happiness. This is what the Church cannot condone. Is it wrong for two men to "love" each other? It seems to me that there is a great deal of confusion over what people are and, also, the meaning of "love".

Unfortunately we have only one word in English to describe what is, actually, a multi-faceted concept.

The Greeks, for instance, have four words to describe the idea of love. Eros is the lowest of these. It describes passionate love, which is necessary if there is to be an issue: primarily (but not only) new physical life. The highest is agape, or love of God, creation and mankind (Mother Theresa would be an example here). In between there is storge, or the love that members of a family have for each other and philia, or love e.g. for friends, or, maybe, concepts - such as philosophy, or love of truth.
The fact that two men, or women, might have "love" for each other is therefore not wrong. The fact that they might choose to live together, as friends, out of a need for companionship is, similarly, not wrong (the monasteries would be closed if it were otherwise). But then to go on and ape the preserve of a married couple is not right.

It is not what you are that you should worry about - only what you do.

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