I Desired You: An Intellectual Journal on Faith and Sexuality
If you’re interested, you can now order a collection of some of my old writings on faith and sexuality on Amazon. Click here!
About the book: “When Christopher was twenty-one, he started writing on Catholicism and sexuality. A year later, that work expanded quite a bit when he came out as gay, and over the next few years he explored through writing what it means to be gay and Catholic, drawing largely from personal experience, but also grappling with Church teaching and history. This book is a collection of that work, his public writings from when he was about twenty-one until he wrote a significant piece, a sort of second coming out, at twenty-five.“
In my previous post I discussed how Post-Enlightenment understandings of truth have led us to seek salvation in notional knowledge and to prize analytical-technical reasoning over the more comprehensive human experience disclosed in story telling. In her essay against “healthy homoerotic desire,” Dr. Lu presents “clear explanation[s]” as the “only” response to today’s confusions over human sexuality and criticizes the Spiritual Friendship project for its supposed lack of philosophical precision. I disagree. Story telling is a far more appropriate response to the present situation. Continue reading “Dr. Lu on Same Sex Attraction: Stories and Embrace”
In my previous post I discussed how mimetic opposition might cause us to take on the spirit of those whom we oppose. We unconsciously adopt their modes of thought and action as we seek to overcome them, adjusting our own approaches in ways that make us begin to resemble our opponents. This resemblance can be masked by the fact that we still maintain certain tenets of our opposition, however, allowing us to delude ourselves into believing that we are engaged in the same project with which we began. I worry that Dr. Lu’s argument against “healthy homoerotic love” operates within this delusion, both in its approach to “homoerotic desire” and also in its approach to truth. This post will address the question of truth.
Perhaps the most remarkable—and most distinctively modern—claim made by Dr. Lu comes in her proposed solution to Christians’ insensitivity towards those with “SSA” (same sex attraction). She argues, “But the appropriate corrective can only be a clear explanation of Catholic sexual morals and their relevance to the issue of SSA.” As a preliminary matter, it is significant that she limits the issue of insensitivity solely within the realm of sexual morality, rather than advocating a comprehensive and multidimensional approach. In this way, her approach mimics the specialization and fragmentation characteristic of modern academia. A deeper issue can be found, however, in this statement’s more general approach to truth. Continue reading “Dr. Lu on Same Sex Attraction: Rival Versions of Truth”
In part one of my response to Dr. Rachel Lu’s “Eros Divided: Is There Such a Thing as Healthy Homoerotic Love?” I outlined some of the dangers of viewing ourselves–Christians–in contrast to our secular/progressive/modern peers when promoting the Christian way of life. In particular, I expressed concerns about how this can hide hypocrisies and encourage condescension rather than engagement. There is another danger, however: the danger, in the process of combating our “opponents,” of becoming them. Continue reading “Dr. Lu on Same Sex Attraction: Mimetic Opposition”
In 2015, Ignatius Press published Living the Truth in Love: Pastoral Approaches to Same Sex Attraction. The book is an important addition to the American Catholic discussion on sexuality, partly because of its influence among many Catholics and partly because its ideas are representative of those held by a significant portion of the American Church. It includes chapters by a number of thoughtful Catholic leaders and scholars, and it is worthy of consideration for those who want to enter into today’s debates on Catholicism and homosexuality.
The first chapter, in the “theoretical” section of the book, is written by Dr. Rachel Lu. It explores “Eros Divided: Is There Such a Thing as Healthy Homoerotic Love?” After reviewing her chapter, I believe it merits significant discussion, partly because of its imprecision in both approach and language and partly because of its departures from and misrepresentations of the historic treatments of eros, truth, and friendship in the Christian tradition. As a personal matter, I was initially interested in her chapter because it critiques some of the views of sexuality presented by the Spiritual Friendship blog, of which I had been a regular contributor. Continue reading “Dr. Lu on Same-Sex Attraction: A Response”
I recently had lunch with a friend, and we discussed “The Benedict Option.” He asked me, “Isn’t that basically what your house is doing?”
For those of you who don’t know, my house is named “The Station.” It’s a duplex with an upstairs and a downstairs apartment. For almost ten years, the upstairs apartment has been occupied by various women from the University of St. Thomas Catholic Studies program. The downstairs apartment had had a variety of occupants, until I moved in with four Catholic men.
When I moved in, I was close friends with the entire house. Seven of us had lived together as undergrads in the Catholic Studies Rome program. So when we started “The Station,” we had already had four months’ experience living in community together (when I say “living in community,” I mean living in that community; I’m not sure there’s such a thing as “living in community,” only living in communities). And over the next couple of years, the house solidified into a pretty dynamic place to live as a young Catholic. Continue reading “My Benedict Option?”
I remember a professor once commenting on Alasdair MacIntyre’s praise of fishing villages. In an offhanded manner he said, “Of course, Alasdair would never be able to survive in one of them.” Perhaps not. But neither could I. Continue reading “The Dreher-Rocha Exchange”
I recently gave a talk in Texas on Catholicism and homosexuality! You can watch it here:
I’m giving a talk this weekend on Catholicism and homosexuality, and I’ll be giving the students a list of resources. If you’re interested, here’s the list (plus a book I’ve put together of my own writings)! Continue reading “Some Resources on Catholicism and Homosexuality (+ my book!)”
Casey Chalk’s recent review of La La Land can be summed up in his statement: “Pity that for all of its well-deserved accolades, the movie’s main characters choose wrong.”
As I exited the theater after seeing La La Land for the first time with one of my friends, she said the same thing. She wished the characters had foregone professional pursuits in order to be with each other. I had an entirely different reaction. I thought the ending, in which Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) imagine a life they could have shared while accepting, almost whimsically, a full and vibrant life apart from each other, was an achievement in a culture that undermines marriage through its particular obsession with the institution. Continue reading “Artists in Love: A Defense of La La Land, and a Critique of Us”