Catholic columnist: homosexuality = eating disorder

By pams
Sunday, June 7, 2009 19:46 EDT
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And the church wonders why its numbers are shrinking? Deacon Keith Fournier’s screed @ Catholic Online, “Should Disordered Appetites be Civil Rights?”, only reinforces the belief that the moral and logical center is missing from the domain of pedophile-enabling Prada Papa Ratzi’s domain. He pulls out all the old saws, quoting the Pope’s nonsense, using the “parts don’t fit” argument…then pulls out a comparison of equal rights committed same-sex relationships to affirming eating disorders.

The Catholic Church will not change its position on the nature of marriage because it cannot. Truth is not up for grabs.

Among the clearest summaries of the teaching of our Church on this matter was set forth by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XI) in the “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons” promulgated in 1986. Here are just a few of the clearly stated insights: “The Church, obedient to the Lord who founded her and gave to her the sacramental life, celebrates the divine plan of the loving and live-giving union of men and women in the sacrament of marriage. It is only in the marital relationship that the use of the sexual faculty can be morally good. A person engaging in homosexual behavior therefore acts immorally.”

“To choose someone of the same sex for one’s sexual activity is to annul the rich symbolism and meaning, not to mention the goals, of the Creator’s sexual design. Homosexual activity is not a complementary union, able to transmit life; and so it thwarts the call to a life of that form of self-giving which the Gospel says is the essence of Christian living. This does not mean that homosexual persons are not often generous and giving of themselves; but when they engage in homosexual activity they confirm within themselves a disordered sexual inclination which is essentially self-indulgent”.

…Some maintain that same sex attraction is a genetic predisposition. This is disputed. Even if it were the case, that does not give homosexual activity any more of a claim to being given a special civil rights status. Should we really give disordered appetites civil rights status under the law? Let’s consider an absurd example. I have struggled most of my life with fighting obesity. I am on the “winning end” lately, but just give me another Holiday! A very good argument can be made that obesity also has a genetic predisposition. However, I will fight it my whole life because it is unhealthy. It is a disordered appetite. Should we as a Nation decide that fat people have a civil right to be fat? Should those who insist that they resist that “genetic predisposition” to overeat be called Fata-phobic?

Disordered appetites – and the actions engaged in by those who give into them – simply should not be called civil rights. Certainly, those who succumb to them should be treated with the human dignity that they deserve and not be discriminated against. However, that is because they are human not because of their behavior! Homosexual sexual acts are simply homosexual sexual acts. Our bodies do not lie, they speak the language written within their constitution and confirmed in the Natural Law which binds us all.

Now since I belong to these two groups he brings up — fat and gay — I ask this question, does being overweight/obese mean you have fewer civil rights than a thin person? We’re not talking about actuarial tables, pre-existing conditions or cost of health care here — those are certainly debatable topics (and policies are being affected by the debate). We’re talking about a man who is actually saying that being gay (or overweight) itself is grounds to be considered “less than.” I doubt he’s the only one who believes this, and it’s a pathological cultural problem on both calls. The question Fournier asks is “Should we as a Nation decide that fat people have a civil right to be fat?” His bias is embedded in the question. The appropriate question, IMHO, is whether those who are fat (regardless of cause or desire) should be discriminated against by law in regards to civil rights? Based on his argument, the answer would be yes. The fact is that the obese already have to deal with social scorn and stigma (note the reflexive fat-bashing by some in comments over at my pad), higher premiums and usually die younger anyway. And not every fat person has an eating disorder (most anorexics are clearly not obese; and they do have an eating disorder). Anyway, if it were that easy a task to shed the pounds (and never regain them, which is the larger problem for most), I think we’d see more thin people around than we currently do, and Fournier could sleep better at night on that count.

If the crux of his argument that eating itself is a controllable behavior, the answer is yes and no — as human beings we HAVE to eat or we die. The issue he’s pointing to is choice of what we ingest, how often, what we do about it, etc. As we all know, there are thin people who can eat like horses and not gain weight, as well as heavy people who look at food and the pounds leap on. Everyone has a different metabolism. Most people want to lose weight rather than be fat, but how, when, why or if that occurs not under Fournier’s control (though it appears he may relish that), who in the meantime gets his jollies passing judgment (isn’t that up to the Big Guy Upstairs, or did he forget that bit?). Obesity is a disease; homosexuality is not. But Fournier clearly believes otherwise.

It’s true that all humans are physically capable of copulating with an opposite-sex human being. That doesn’t mean their brains were wired to desire that, nor does that mean the wiring is defective. Fournier is arguing the wiring and resulting behavior is defective, therefore comparable to an eating disorder that needs to be cured. And here we are, back to the promotion of pray-away-the-gay. And we know how successful that is.

In essence, he thinks affirming the right of two individuals to have legal rights to care for one another and have a family is on its face immoral and illogical because of his belief system — only if they happen to have the same naughty bits. Does this make any sense outside the context of his small world?

Honestly — should we care that Fournier’s kind of thinking — and it is diseased thinking — is promoted as morality? This message is coming from a man who is proud of a church that knowingly shipped around pedophiles to destroy the lives of children and families for years, paying off people to remain silent in their misery, protecting criminals from prosecution under the law, coercing the flock to pay for the church’s misdeeds and immoral buyouts in settlement after settlement? I don’t think there’s a basis here for claiming moral supremacy on any subject, particularly religious or civil marriage.

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