Remain open to all persons
Observer Viewpoint | Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Lance Gallop’s article on Oct. 13 stated that most people forget that both gay and straight people have similar human “motivations, thoughts, desires, needs and concerns.” I would agree. One of these desires and needs that is essentially human is the need to love and to be loved. God has placed this need in us, and none of us can deny its existence nor its power. That need is uniquely expressed through sexual desire, and most perfectly through the sexual act within marriage. Where Gallop and I differ is his leap from the existence of this desire to this desire’s role upon identity.
He goes on to state that “being gay is not a lifestyle, it is a person; being gay is not a choice, it is a commitment to oneself.” I would argue that sadly, Gallop has fallen for what is a common proposition of gay activists. This proposition argues that a person’s sexuality is the defining fact of their existence.
This understanding of human anthropology is countered by the full exposition of human anthropology by the Catholic Church, and most recently in Pope John Paul II writings on the Theology of the Body. Man is more than one desire, one need. So many needs and desires compete for and master our actions. We all know this, and I have found that the Catholic Church’s divinely inspired teaching has alone offered me the path to freedom. It teaches that I am not slave to my sexual desire, or any desire for that matter. It is a sad thing indeed if I am led to believe that my entire identity, my unique self, is bound to any one of my needs or desires alone.
The Princeton Review is often quoted in its finding Notre Dame as the number one discriminatory school in regards to alternative lifestyles. According to their website, this is based upon the question: “Is there very little discrimination against homosexuals?” As an institution that says the homosexual act is flat out wrong, of course Notre Dame would garner a high ranking. That ranking will always remain high because the question refuses to determine between the person and the act. Those adhering to the Catholic faith must do so, and it is a very fine line indeed. The Catholic view will always make this distinction, and gay activists must realize that people are more than there sexual drives. These contrasting views of the human person are at odds and need to be recognized.
Perhaps Gallop is correct about the lack of acceptance at this school towards those who have a same-sex attraction. But acceptance of the person will never mean acceptance of the act. On the flip side, it must also be conceded that until the gay activists give up their limited view of the human person there will be little fruitful dialogue in this arena. I hope that those of you who struggle with a same sex attraction, and all of us who struggle with our powerful sexual desires, will not fall prey to this trap. In our hyper-sexualized culture, we are all, homosexual and heterosexual alike, bombarded with the idea that our main meaning for existence is our sexuality. Your identity is bound up in much more than your sexuality. We are all called to a higher standard than what the world presents.