Saturday, September 24, 2011

Compassion or Naivety?

The following is a comment we received after posting "The Pursuit of Happiness and the Fatal Principle." From what appears to be another Anonymous to whom we cannot reply directly, it looks like more of a general reaction to our efforts at SoL than a comment on the post, but we felt it was a sincere and somewhat respectful comment and wanted to respond.

These "immoral" people may be acting selfishly, but most of them are doing so out of a deficit of self usually stemming from woundedness from childhood. The deficit has kept them from coalescing a whole personality and kept them fixated at an early stage of emotional development focused on their genitals and gratification thereof. How do you ensure that children grow up unwounded and whole? You cannot legislate it. You describe it as it is...a tragedy, an incompleteness, a wound. You describe it and describe and keep describing it. Then maybe they will stop seeing it as a hateful attack on their selfhood which gets you nowhere. You can work hard or you can work smart and actually accomplish something besides getting validation from the people who already see what you see.

Dear Anonymous,
Thank you for the thoughtful comment. Here is our response.

Homosexuality is immoral and harmful, no matter what the causes. While we can't and shouldn't judge people as immortal souls, we can and should judge between good and evil. Homosexuality is a symptom of what may be a myriad of numerous larger problems and sins, from the tragic early sexual abuse you mention to a prideful rebellion against goodness/God.

Especially if homosexuality is a symptom of emotional/mental illness, or if it is specifically unwanted, it follows that we should at least offer help so it is available. Despite great success in this area, cutting-edge reparative or re-orientation therapy is now highly politically incorrect, discouraged, dismissed, and denigrated. The APA compromised its professionalism by removing homosexuality from its manual of disorders back in 1973 due to pressure from gay activists, and now there is actually a movement to prevent professional therapists from treating people who specifically wish to get to the roots of and overcome homosexual tendencies. Increasingly and in all facets of our mainstream society and institutions, no opposition to homosexuality is allowed.

You should know that, according to widespread gay activism standards, your comment about gays being "wounded," possessing "a deficit of self'," being "incomplete," "fixated," or a "tragedy," would be considered highly homophobic, intolerant, bigoted, and hateful, truly an "attack on their selfhood," the very thing you have accused us of. Having achieved mainstream acceptance, this movement now demands celebration and nurturance of homosexuality (and all related identities and corresponding behaviors) as normal, natural, and good. And many young, vulnerable, rebellious, damaged, or confused individuals are being recruited and exploited to further this cause.

Here at SoL we have come to recognize the "compassion" you show as counterproductive. One of the travesties of our modern age is that the devil is being mistaken for this or that psychological tendency. People deeply involved in sinfulness (for whatever reason) who are flattered and coddled, who are not taught about human nature and the nature of God, will make no lasting or significant progress, at least not that kind that followers of Christ should be concerned with. Merely describing a malady ad infinitum as woundedness is like wallowing in the mud. It gives no guidance or help or ideal. How can people transcend their troubles without hope for something better? In addition, we see your suggestion to refer to homosexualism as damage or deficiency while hoping for a different response from the gay community, as the definition of insanity. Not only is this viewpoint considered homophobic, it is extremely naive to hope these people will understand another point of view or change just because you keep saying how sorry you are for them. They are taught to hate pity, but are patient, knowing that it is just a step toward embrace.

As with alcoholism, pornography and drug addiction, people focused on homosexual lust have to want to change. Many don't want to see things another way and obviously don't want it known that change is possible, or all their justifications for homosex would fall apart. However one gets into it, sin is pleasurable both in thought and deed, at least for a time. To borrow from C. S. Lewis, real love seeks to offer eternal truth and divine repentance, rather than shallow, self-serving, and misguided human comfort and sympathy. To borrow from Flannery O'Connor, real charity is hard and endures.

Our goal at SoL is to educate on what is happening in our society in order to counteract these trends in one's own sphere of influence and responsibility, and to point out the best resources for families and individuals confronted with unwanted sexual problems, all with a timeless Christ-centered approach. We do the work as best we can for the best reasons we know, and leave it up to God whether we "accomplish something"or not.

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