Saturday, December 22, 2012

Orientation Change vs. Mixed Orientation Marriage


Yet another interruption to my series...

I wanted to talk about the difference between a narrative of “orientation change” and one of “mixed orientation marriage,” and how I see that from a Catholic perspective.

I've struggled for a long time with the notion of “sexual orientation.” In some ways, the Courage party line, that there are no homosexuals, just heterosexuals with same-sex attraction, is true. Ontologically, theologically, it would seem to be a justifiable statement. The problem is, no one really talks ontologically in daily life. We say “I'm depressed,” not “I am a human being who is experiencing depression,” or “I'm a Liverpool fan” not “I am a person with Liverpool Football Attractions (LFA)."
The difficulty with this in terms of the “gay” debate, is that a lot of people do intend the term “gay” or “queer” ontologically. Today this is perhaps less true than it was in the 90's, but the basic meme “I'm gay. That's who I am” is still alive and well and living in San Francisco. This means that if someone like myself, or Josh Gonnerman, says “I'm gay/queer...and Catholic, and chaste,” it raises some eyebrows. Do I mean that I'm “queer” in the depths of my identity, that I am a queer child of God, or am I using language casually, I'm “queer” in the same way that I'm a board-game geek.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Article on California's Reparative Therapy Law

Hey all! Just throwing up a link to an article that I wrote for MercatorNet on California's law banning "conversion" therapies for minors. The law is to take effect January 1, and it basically says that sexual orientation change therapies will be prohibited for the under 18 crowd. Rick Fitzgibbons of NARTH has shown up to correct me for my errors...he repeatedly refers to me as "the author" which makes me want to lose my cool and shout "Hey! We've met. We've corresponded. We were on TV together. Call me by my name, dammit!" He also accuses me of trying to silence people who've had positive experiences of orientation change... Apparently if I say I haven't experienced "orientation change" this is tantamount to silencing others? Truly weird response.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Warning to Anyone Still in Command of Their Possible Futures

I'm temporarily breaking up my series of dialogues. I'm hoping to resume them shortly: the Kirkmans are celebrating Saturnalia this week-end and the climactic series of discussions is intended to coincide with that event. For the moment, however, I am in training to receive a service dog for my son, who is autistic, and my computer access is therefore limited.

I've been reading three books this week: Marshal McLuhan's Understanding Media, Alasdair MacIntyre's After Virtue, and Charles Taylor's The Malaise of Modernity. One theme that has emerged consistently in all three is the problem of postmodernity's relationship with history. I'd like to consider this particularly with respect to conservative thought.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Black and White

(It is morning. Light spills through a salvaged stained-glass window onto the floor or a well-furnished sitting room. Jeremiah, a man in his mid-sixties, is sitting next to the fireplace flipping through a sketchbook while Catullus sips a cup of coffee.)

Catullus: Jeremiah...
Jeremiah: Yes, Catullus.
Catullus: Do you honestly believe that what we do is wrong?
Jeremiah: I assume you mean the sex? Yes, I think it's wrong...
Catullus: Why?