Wednesday, February 20, 2008

On a Controversial Issue™
Mark Shea (do get an RSS feed) writes:
I tend to shy away from questions of the origin of the disordered appetite known as homosexuality, basically because I think it an almost complete and total mystery. Transpose the question to another disorder appetite — say, overeating — and you immediately see that there could be literally dozens of origins, depending on the person. Some people overeat because they feel physical hunger and don’t know when to stop. Some do so because it’s a comfort. Some do so out of fear. Some do so for various other reasons.

What is matters, I think, is not the origin of a disordered appetite. That’s paradoxically because we know the origin of our disordered appetites ulimately: we are fallen creature afflicted with concupiscence. All we don’t know is how that played out in the specific biography of each person who struggles with their specific set of disorders. What matters, then, is how each person is to live out their call to discipleship and following Christ. Wherever the disordered appetite comes from, Christ is able to help us rightly order it, and that’s the point.
To those of this orientation and practice reading this blog: obviously the teaching of the Catholic faith and other conservative Christians on this makes sense to me. (BTW it’s none of the state’s business.) That said the faith also teaches that although there is objective right and wrong one will be judged by God according to one’s own conscience (in other words did you know something was wrong and did you mean to do wrong). Go with God.
May Jesus comfort you
in all your afflictions.
May He sustain you in dangers,
watch over you always with His grace,
and indicate the safe path
that leads to eternal salvation.
And may He render you always
dearer to His Divine Heart
and always more worthy of Paradise.
— St Pius of Pietrelcina

Here is a fine libertarian answer on another matter (although both practices are objectively sins here I’m not equating the two) that I think applies to this and to the wrong attempts by the right (here I mean the cruel, coercive ‘cures’ of some on the right, based on bad psychology and as the Ted Haggard saga shows famously don’t work) and the left to predict/control certain behaviour.
Each time the tragedy of a mass shooting takes place we see the same responses from the same people.

Politicians rush to the stage and wring their hands, phoning condolences and otherwise mugging for the cameras. Members of the clergy and psychology profession yammer about survivors talking things out, emotionally distraught young people erect crosses and pile flowers somewhere, and everyone immediately begins to speak of “healing.”

Long before the funerals an historical and psychological postmortem begins on the deceased shooter’s life in a ritualistic search for cause or meaning, animated by a desire to identify common themes that could presumably lead to some sort of screening for future gun-wielding nuts. Imagine a bizarre kind of Rorschach test administered in grade school where passing means walking out the door and failing means needles and pills and chemical lobotomy.

This is based on the idea that life can be planned, controlled, professionally managed by a central authority.

Unfortunately this mechanistic model of the world is not remotely parallel to reality. Reality is non-linear and full of surprises, and human social behavior is demonstrably non-mechanistic.
On Star Wars
[George Lucas is] interesting to me because he embodies the Millennial American attempt to maintain a culture without a specific cultus. Like many good pagans, he has real flashes of insight, but they are completely mixed up with a view of God (and therefore of the human person) that is spectacularly shallow at times. You can’t help but like the guy, just as you can’t help but like most of his movies. His work has the same attraction that the penny dreadfuls had for Chesterton: unabashed faith in good old-fashioned heroic virtue. And he is a fine storyteller. But I, at any rate, can’t help feeling a sadness that he seems somehow unable to get past the concatenation of images to the Reality he is feeling toward.
The ridiculousness of Obama as messiah
He’s the least of three evils but no saviour
Some political cartoons

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