Thursday, April 7

Thinkin about smex.

No, not like that, you sick little monkey.

A disproportionate amount of ecclesiastical rhetoric is directed at "proper behaviour" in the bedroom and 
I'm trying to understand the rationale of 'some people' regarding sex and sexuality as well as looking at an alternative reasoned response from the one I normally take.  So, bear with me, here.

1. All of mankind is made in the image/likeness of God.

2. Sexuality is a gift of God.

Those are, purportedly, hard-limit theological points which are beyond argument.  I see no great issue with either and there is substantive Scripture and Tradition behind this so, yah, let's move on.

3. Sexual orientation is a manifestation of that God-given gift of sexuality, not a choice.

As social scientist and lab researchers study the subject, we find that sexual orientation is principally not a choice and is genetically encoded (not unlike chirality) though later social/environmental factors can suppress or enhance the natural expression of orientation (again, like chirality).  Since orientation is a manifestation of a gift from God, it is inherently good and holy.  Thus, it is a question not of intrinsic order, but intent of expression in which the error (ἥμαρτον) lies.

4.  Expression of sexual orientation is reserved to people who are joined in marriage with the understanding that said expression is both unitive and procreative in nature.

There are two parts of this.  The first is that sexual expression (i.e. - sexual 'acts') must be for the aim of having children and bonding of people.  The second is that sexual expression is reserved for those who have received express license from the Church.  Therefore, any who have sex and are not attempting to bond with their partner, attempting to have children AND have their partnership approved by a priest is in sin.

Ergo, if the priest doesn't approve of the partnership and refuses to marry them or if the union of the two partners is unable, for whatever reason, to produce offspring, then one isn't permitted to express their love and devotion in the most intimate of ways, building those aforementioned unitive bonds.

The second argument is the easier to dispose of  : "So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."  No mortal knows the heart of another, but it is God who knows what lies in the hearts of all humanity and it is He alone who can know whether two people have emotionally/spiritually joined together and become one.  This 'one-ness' is independent of a public sacrament or piece of paper from a courthouse (I make this statement due to Reason, based upon my personal experience).

As to the first, I would argue that the necessity of having children is a cultural matter which has roots in rural-based society (where large families are needed) when infant mortality was high and the continuation of a family line was important to social stability.  In parts of the developing world today, those things (in part or whole) still apply, but in the developed world they simply do not. 

I would put forth that the procreative power of sexual expression, though important and not to be ignored, is the smaller portion of God's gift of sexuality.  The greater part lies within the unitive value of the act which, when used in accordance with Spirit-filled conscience and will of the Divine, functions as solid mortar to assist in deepening and strengthening the above mentioned 'one-ness'.  To put it in simpler terms, sex isn't about making babies, it's about making love.

A careful reader will note that the argument (and refutation) has yet to mention 'tabs and slots' and how many of each should be involved.  It applies equally to 'same' and 'other', 'both' and 'neither'. 

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