He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
Our scriptures today about women accused of adultery remind us of the mystery of sexuality. If it's true that every word of the Bible was written amid conflict and controversy, then we can understand why God's decree appears so early in Genesis,
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.
Given that humans have no instincts and every attitude, idea, decision, and action must be deliberate and acknowledged, the differences of male and female have always been difficult. We're born not knowing how to relate to one another.
Throughout most of human history we assigned different roles to men and women, and men received the more powerful positions. Their bodies are generally larger, and they have assigned to themselves the heavier chores and larger decisions. But that unjust arrangement has never been entirely comfortable for everyone. Often violent, it has seen constant revision.
In our day, while many men fear that women are gaining the ascendancy, there is a more insidious impulse to deny sexual differences altogether. With machines handling our heavy labor and women managing machines as well as men, many believe that role assignments are totally arbitrary; and, in fact, individuals can choose whichever "gender" they prefer: male, female, both, or neither.
The new hypothesis is that sexual difference is not gender difference; and that one's physical body might not agree with one's spiritual orientation. Some boys are actually girls; and some girls, boys. But no one noticed it until quite recently. (Or perhaps it never happened that way until recently.)
This brave new age promises young people, who are understandably confused by a world of options, they can switch their sexuality with chemicals and surgery; it will cost them nothing more than their fertility. Given the challenges of parenting in an uncertain future, many girls would eschew womanhood and the burdens of motherhood and opt for maleness, both physical and spiritual. Given the opportunities of single parenting, homosexual parenting, adoption as spiritual parenting, and the future possibilities of cloning: the less reliable "traditional way" of reproduction is entirely optional. The otherness of engagement between different sexes can be avoided entirely, asking with the challenges, pleasure and beautiful mystery.
Gay marriage, we're told, is like the marriage of "black" and "white" persons in a bipolar America. And denying "sexual preference" to gay persons is as violent and irrational as forcing left-handed children to prefer their right hands. These unexpected analogies make sense to the thoughtless, the indifferent, and those with an ulterior motive.
The homosexual ideology has led inevitably to transsexualism and the belief that everything about the human being is interchangeable, plastic, and malleable. Rather than recognize how arbitrary the role assignments have been, it would entrench them permanently by altering the sacred bodies of young, confused, and vulnerable people for the sake of a massive social experiment. Boys will finally be masculine, and girls will be permanently, definitively feminine!
The human race can be reshaped into something stronger, more intelligent, and less vulnerable to diseases. Its sexual energies can be sanitized and potential problems can be aborted.
Eugenics has arisen from its grave at Auschwitz.
But the failure of Communist and Nazi attempts to alter the human race in the twentieth century augurs badly for this one.
Aldous Huxley foresaw our dystopian dilemma in his 1932 novel, Brave New World, when pregnancy might be jobbed out to human females who are bred for high fertility and low intelligence. Ordinary men and women would not have the capacity for parenting, nor would they want it.
Agustin Fuentes, in his book, The Creative Spark, describes the evolution of the human race from carnivorous scavenger through hunting and cooking into the Anthropocene Age. By our choices of food and lifestyle, he says, we created ourselves and our world. Because human evolution is never finished, I suppose, homosexuality and transsexuality have appeared. They are disorders created by both nature and nurture.
The Catholic Church's response to this resurgence of eugenics began with the encyclical Humanae Vitae, by Pope Paul VI in July, 1968. Prophetically, he reminded us that the sexual act is both unitive and generative. It is ordered toward marriage, a sacred commitment of one man and one woman to lifelong fidelity. Denying or frustrating either the unitive or generative impulse violates human dignity and human nature.
This teaching promoting marriage and against frustrating our reproductive energies was furthered in March 1987 by "Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation." If we should not frustrate our productivity with "birth control," neither should we manipulate it. We dare not turn our sexuality into an industry to control and manufacture human beings and satisfy the impulses of a consumer economy.
These pronouncement of 1968 or 1987 were not greeted with joy by the secular press. They are ignored by civil laws which recognize marriage as a temporary arrangement between consenting adults, regardless of their identity or intentions.
God did not create these strange notions; we did. The recent drive to promote transsexualism has given the lie to homosexuality. It was never natural. If this is a critical evolutionary moment when we must decide what kind of creature we would become, the faithful turn to the Church for guidance. We have the assurance that the gates of hell cannot prevail against us, and we need that assurance today.
The truths of sexuality, otherness, and mystery are often unwelcome. But they will set you free.