by Lisa Graas
at her blog, CatholicBandita.com
October 15, 2012 A.D.
Regular readers know that it particularly pains me when I see Catholic bloggers referring to people as “gay,” because our identity is in Christ, not in disorder. (See here.) It is clear that this argument about identity, that we are supposed to find our identity in what God has called us to be, is falling on deaf ears, for the most part. Perhaps it is time to bring up another point, and that is that chastity is internal. It is a virtue. A demand that the “gay” identity be defended is an argument against chastity.It is the same as arguing that it is okay for a person with same-sex attraction to put a condom over his heart in his relationship with Christ.
Chastity, from the Catholic Dictionary, by Fr. John Hardon:
The virtue that moderates the desire for sexual pleasure according to the principles of faith and right reason. In married people, chastity moderates the desire in conformity with their state of life; in unmarried people who wish to marry, the desire is moderated by abstention until (or unless) they get married; in those who resolve not to marry, the desire is sacrificed entirely.Chastity and purity, modesty and decency are comparable in that they have the basic meaning of freedom from whatever is lewd or salacious. Yet they also differ. Chastity implies an opposition to the immoral in the sense of lustful or licentious. It suggests refraining from all acts or thoughts that are not in accordance with the Church’s teaching about the use of one’s reproductive powers. It particularly stresses restraint and an avoidance of anything that might defile or make unclean the soul because the body has not been controlled in the exercise of its most imperious passion. (Etym. Latin castus, morally pure, unstained.)
Marc Barnes offers the latest example of insistence that the “gay” identity be embraced and, remarkably, he goes the extra mile by saying that Warhol’s identifying as “gay” was “a laudable feat.”
Now truly, Mr. Warhol was openly, undeniably gay, a laudable feat in a time less friendly to men with same-sex attraction.
Dawn Eden, author of My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints, writes a response to him citing Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. She also mentions identity.
Andy Warhol spent a lifetime creating works of “art” that consisted in “removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties.” And now he is a role model of intentional celibacy? Is this where promoting the “gay Catholic” label leads? If so, I can’t help but believe that Daniel Mattson is right when he writes that the claim for such a thing as “gay Catholic” identity does not do justice to the Church’s teaching of the fundamental identity of the human person as a child of God in Jesus Christ.
My take on this as a celibate person myself is that those who claim that Andy Warhol was a model of celibacy must have no idea whatsoever what it is to be celibate as a Catholic. None. Zero. Chastity does not deal only with external sexual acts. Chastity is a virtue that includes fertility. Chastity from celibate Catholics is “a singular source of spiritual fertility in the world.” [Lisa sooooo gets it!] Sofia’s comment…
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