Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jesuit On Sin, Shame and Suicide

George Washington Bridge
It's impossible not to be moved by the terrible stories of the five youths who recently took their own lives because they were being harassed as g@ys and l@sbians. 
 In New York the story of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers freshman who was filmed having a romantic encounter with another man, which was them live-streamed by his "friends," seemed particularly harrowing.  
A despairing Clementi, age 18, ended his life by jumping off of the George Washington Bridge
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Link (here) to read the full post by Fr. James Martin, S.J. at America.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Homosexuals define themselves in terms of a sin because 'homosexual' sex is sinful. Married couple and business people don't define themselves by some sinful activity. Therefore, Fr. Martin's analogy doesn't work.

Homosexuals should stop defining themselves as gay, etc. but it seems that some Jesuits are encouraging them to do just that. I'm not saying Fr. Martin is one of them.

Fr. Martin is right in that Christ would surely want us to be compassionate with homosexuals. I would add that Christians shouldn't stand by passively if they see abuse or discrimination, but they should also discourage homosexuals away from that path. But how?

Anonymous said...

"Homosexuals define themselves in terms of a sin because 'homosexual' sex is sinful. Married couple and business people don't define themselves by some sinful activity. Therefore, Fr. Martin's analogy doesn't work."

This is COMPLETE and utter nonsense.

Homosexuals define themselves by their sexual ORIENTATION, which is NOT sinful. There are chaste homosexuals.

Whoever posts such wholly inaccurate bilge should find something else to do.

Maria said...

Sin, of course, for Fr. Martin, has nothing to do with this...

Maria said...

I posted the below comment in response to Fr. Martin's blog commentary. It was deleted. I re-posted it. We will see if it stay posted...

"Our Lady's message at Fatima is that we must repent. Repentance for the sin of denying sin is obedience to the will of God. Whenever we sin, we indulge our own will in opposition to the divine will. To repent, we must bend our wills to God's will. And this is the hardest task we have to do on earth.
This kind of repentance by obedience must begin with ourselves. We who have the true faith must merit the graces that others need to be converted in obedience to the Divine Majesty. We must give the example to others of what it means to be humble by obeying the will of God in our lives, so that others may see our obedience and be converted from their evil ways. We must pay the heavy price of bending the knees of our self-will to the demanding will of God's Providence. Why? So that God may be merciful to a sinful world and bring it back to moral sanity.
We must teach others, by word and example, individually and collectively, that sin is not a figment of the imagination; that sin is the root of all the evils in the world: that wars and suicides, drug addiction and broken families, broken hearts and broken minds - are really the consequences of sin.
We must tell everyone who is willing to listen, and even those who are not willing to hear it - that unless they repent, they will all likewise perish. We must restore faith in the justice of God, even as we glorify the love of God, in a world that is steeped in self-idolatry.
Not the least blessing of Fatima is to remind the world of the existence of hell".

-John Hardon SJ
Servant of God

Anonymous said...

Fr. Martin, SJ is a fool.

Anonymous said...

"Homosexuals define themselves by their sexual ORIENTATION, which is NOT sinful. There are chaste homosexuals."

Why would a chaste homosexual want to define himself by his sexual preference? As advertisement? Why?

Anonymous said...

Maria --That was a terrific quote from John Hardon S.J.

Most helpful. Prophetic.

Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

""Homosexuals define themselves in terms of a sin because 'homosexual' sex is sinful.

Why would a chaste homosexual want to define himself by his sexual preference? As advertisement? Why?""

You string together syllogisms which make no sense at all.

Homosexuals are NOT defined by their sexual relations, but by their "sexual preference." A "chaste homosexual" is also a "homosexual," whether you like it or not. A homosexual who does not tell others about his orientation is also a homosexual, whether you like it or not.

Please consult wikipedia or some other reference work before posting total nonsense.

Anonymous said...

“Homosexuals are NOT defined by their sexual relations, but by their "sexual preference.”...“A "chaste homosexual" is also a "homosexual,"”

We disagree on the premises.

While you seem to contend that 'homosexual' is a legitimate self definition, I do not.

Firstly, one is a human being created in the image of God. Human beings may be single or married and by marriage I only mean towards those of the opposite sex. Single human beings may be celibate for life or eventually married.

Because we are under the effects of Original sin, and God has endowed us with free choice, we do not reflect God perfectly. One example is a constitutional predisposition whereby an individual experiences a sexual preference that is the result of original sin compounded by defects resulting from sins of previous generations.

Sin can be of such magnitude and depth that the afflicted party stops seeing him/herself first and foremost as an image of the Creator. In the case of some, he/she defines him/herself firstly by sexuality, and in some cases by a deviant one.

Those who define themselves by their sexual preference are confusing a person's sinful predisposition with the person. When human beings define themselves as 'homosexuals' they are denying the fundamental nature with which God created them, according to Holy Scripture and the Catholic Church.

They should simply define themselves as God's image, as human beings, single and chaste.

When they instead define themselves as homosexuals they are signaling, specially to others who do likewise, that they are part of the same club. This may be motivated by an interest in advertising themselves for sex (consciously or unconsciously) or perhaps to seek consolation given the rejection they might experience from the mainstream culture. What other reason could there be? Please enlighten me.

Therefore, the mainstream culture is also guilty of serious blame to the extent that it does not regard or treat those who erroneously see themselves (or are regarded by others) as 'homosexuals', as human beings who God demands that everyone treat with dignity, respect and compassion.

Maria said...

Dear Anonymous Who Liked Hardon's commentart--I am glad someone appreciated it. I find it telling that America Magazine cannot tolerate John Hardon SJ...I consider myself in good company. The Society tried to silence Fr. Hardon SJ, a Servant of God. I guess that tells us all we need to know about the current state of the Society...

Anonymous said...

It would be clear to anyone with moderate reasoning faculties or more that that they're way wrong when their definitions of what the Catholic faith teaches stand in contradiction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and universally accepted definitions.


2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

homosexual: of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/netdict/homosexual

You can argue definitions, facts, and interpretations with other people, but it is a waste of time to argue with those unreceptive to, or incapable of, logic.

In my opinion, you do not contribute to this blog when you go against logic.

As for your question: it is not homosexuals who "define themselves," (as homosexuals) even though I went along with your usage for the sake of convenience, but rather dictionaries and encyclopedias who define what a homosexual is.

Anonymous said...

"It would be clear to anyone with moderate reasoning faculties..."

Sounds like you are running out of false arguments.

"homosexual: of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex. http://www.merriam-webster.com/netdict/homosexual"

You now are arguing that dictionaries and encyclopedias define who a person is? You can't possibly be serious. They are merely defining the meaning of a term, not a person. "Homosexual" is a term that points to a concept. You and I are debating whether that concept points to a real thing, or if it instead distorts what that thing (a person) really is.

It sounds like you think you have a lot invested in your false self-definition. But God has more invested in who you really are.

Anonymous said...

One last point: "homosexual" and "homosexual tendencies" point to different concepts. The catechism is referring to the latter and not to the former.

Anonymous said...

There is no semantic content to your last posts.

No reasoning or logic is possible with those unwilling or unable to create semantically meaningful content.

No wonder you are drawn to religion, long a prime refuge for such people, (and some great people as well.)

TonyD said...

A particular choice may be “made true” for an individual, depending on the lessons needed by the individual. So the situation itself does not usually hold the truth. This means that one person’s correct response to a situation is another person’s incorrect response to the same situation. So an analysis of an individual’s response/sexual orientation makes some sense – but not for the response itself. Instead, it is the underlying balance of values (eg. Too much vs. too little of a value) reflected in making a judgment. The immaterial aspects - not the material aspects.

I am not saying that we should encourage homosexuality - but it plays a role in God's plan. Our response should be appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Are the last 2 comments from Catholics? I can't be certain but I don't believe so.

The next to the last is an insult which is what some people do when they are unable to effectively persuade with their reasons. He confesses to be anti-religious.

The last one does not even believe there is objective right and wrong. Nor will he say whether he's been baptized as a Catholic, although asked elsewhere. So he's almost certainly not. He talks mostly about his ideas (which he wants to convert us to), but not Christ or Christ's.

Wouldn't it be great if these were our only enemies?

TonyD said...

>>Are the last 2 comments from Catholics? I can't be certain but I don't believe so.
Let’s suppose that all the posts and comments on this blog aren’t from Catholics. Does that mean that they don’t reflect God’s values? Other metrics for validity are more meaningful.

>>…what some people do when they are unable to effectively persuade with their reasons…
Yes.

>>…does not even believe there is objective right and wrong. ...
I’m not quite sure what this is referring to – so I can’t really address it. Certainly, judgment is required in this existence. We are given many truths, values, and judgments. So different well-intentioned people can reach different conclusions.

>> Wouldn't it be great if these were our only enemies?
Free will is allowed to operate in order to perfect our soul. And we are asked to support free will in God’s request to “love your neighbor” with the associated respect for their free will. So evil can still be evil, and serve God’s purpose. Perhaps this means that God doesn’t believe in objective right and wrong?

Anonymous said...

1."We are given many truths, values, and judgments."

2." So different well-intentioned people can reach different conclusions."

-------------------------
Would you care to try this?

(Premises:)

1. For a proposed idea to be true, it must be objectively true.

2. Legitimate values and valid judgments must be based on what is objectively true.

3. If one doesn't construct one's intentions and manages one's life according to legitimate values and valid judgments, one will self destruct (unless rescued).

4. One is presented with many different ideas as if they were objective truths and therefore the basis of legitimate values and valid judgments.

5.Therefore one must carefully separate what is objectively true from what is not.

6. And only embrace values and make judgments consistent with what is objectively true.

7. Otherwise one will destroy one's life even with what seem to be good intentions (unless rescued).

Anonymous said...

1."We are given many truths, values, and judgments."

2." So different well-intentioned people can reach different conclusions."

-------------------------
Would you care to try this?

(Premises:)

1. For a proposed idea to be true, it must be objectively true.

2. Legitimate values and valid judgments must be based on what is objectively true.

3. If one doesn't construct one's intentions and manages one's life according to legitimate values and valid judgments, one will self destruct (unless rescued).

(Last premise...But in life...)

4. One is presented with many different ideas as if they were objective truths and therefore the basis of legitimate values and valid judgments.

(Conclusions:)

5.Therefore one must carefully separate what is objectively true from what is not.

6. And only embrace values and make judgments consistent with what is objectively true.

7. Otherwise one will destroy one's life even with what seem to be good intentions (unless rescued).

TonyD said...

>>P1. For a proposed idea to be true, it must be objectively true.
Yes and No. Prayers can be answered. Miracles are real. If you have ever experienced miracles, then you know that truth can change in ways that defy our worldly logic. We don’t really have the vocabulary or conceptual understanding to discuss this topic – but perhaps one might say that “objective truth” can be constructed. And, while “visible” miracles are rare, that does not mean that miracles are rare.

>>P2. Legitimate values and valid judgments must be based on what is objectively true.
Yes. But as anyone who knows the story of Abraham knows, this only takes you so far.

>>P3. If one doesn't construct one's intentions and manages one's life according to legitimate values and valid judgments, one will self destruct (unless rescued).
This is not generally true. Many lessons can be learned from a place of non-legitimate values, bad intentions, and poor judgment.

Our lessons are not typically “isolated”. That is, there is often a specific sequence of lessons in order to both focus the lessons and eliminate the possibility that extraneous “values” influenced the outcome of a particular lesson. So lessons can occur at a pace and level appropriate for the individual.

God is God – and He uses the material world in specific ways to meet His ends.

Since lessons may have a short term effect, and we have no idea what those lessons are, our ability to judge others is generally very poor. Also, our ability to “guess” the nature of lessons is also very poor. Humility is recommended for a reason. We are told that we are not God for a reason.

Anonymous said...

Let's focus first on #1.

Did I write that miracles couldn't be objectively true? No I did not. Why then do you respond “yes and no”, citing miracles?

I repeat: For a proposed idea to be true, it must be objectively true. Do you agree?

TonyD said...

Miracles allow for multiple contradictory objective truths to coexist.

Anonymous said...

Truth can't be contradictory. Something either is or is not objectively true. However, something may be objectively true but only within a limited scope.

The supernatural supersedes the natural and can alter it.

If you don't agree please explain what you mean by "multiple contradictory objective truths..." that "coexist".

Are you arguing that "a" can be "a" and "not-a"?

TonyD said...

>> Truth can't be contradictory. Something either is or is not objectively true. However, something may be objectively true but only within a limited scope.
Our experience of the “truth” is constructed – which results in our inability to see contradictory truths. This may seem purely intellectual – but it really isn’t. The existence of multiple contradictory truths serves a purpose – they provide emotional, logical, and judgment problems to overcome.

>> The supernatural supersedes the natural and can alter it.
Again, logic fails us. Experience of the “natural” is constructed. Stated another way, the miraculous is more real than the natural. Our vocabulary and conceptual “frames of reference” fail us.

>> If you don't agree please explain what you mean by "multiple contradictory objective truths..." that "coexist".
Most people experience our existence in terms of the material. The spiritual aspect is unseen – which implies that many material aspects may be similarly unseen. So it should be no surprise that we are unable to comprehend “real” truth. In fact, we should expect to discover that we are ignorant about such things – given our inability to reconcile our understanding of truth with many aspects of this existence – especially given an omnipotent God.

>> Are you arguing that "a" can be "a" and "not-a"?
Yes.

Anonymous said...

Given that according to you "a" can be itself, that is, "a", and also "not-a", it would follow that all you write is as true as it is false, or so you wish.

Your pseudo argument is evidently illogical and therefore meaningless and invalid.

TonyD said...

Exactly.

So how should one respond? This provides a great test for one's genuine understanding of God's values and judgment. How to apply "love your neighbor", humility, emotional control, and balance of trade-offs.

Anonymous said...

"So how should one respond?"

By returning to rationality. Anything other response is irrational.

www.pontevedra-3d.com said...

Well, I do not really believe this will have success.