Structures of Sexual Reality
Humanity redefining herself
On the other side, away from wisdom, un-creation
God loves erring humanity, ever calling them to wisdom, to life
Sexuality always sensual, never spiritual
a gift for pleasure
a gift for offspring
a gift to be held responsibly
Love doesn’t come without a promise
Preliminary Notes for my Reader
Although I reject the normalization of homosexuality, I am opposed to any expression of hate towards homosexual persons or the limiting of human rights in relation to homosexual persons.
In this chapter, I do not address the birth defects that contribute to confusion of sexual identity. Briefly, these incidents reflect a need for compassion and understanding that can defy accepted norms.
Some suggest celibacy within the confines of a religious order as an option for homosexual persons. Recent history has displayed, through failure, that a religious order is not sufficient to contain the desire for touch and sexual life in human beings.
The vastness of this subject in relation to individual cases is extensive, complicated, and not explored in this essay; such work belongs to case studies and statistical research efforts. We are going to need a lot of grace for this complex reality.
The End of Life
To say that homosexuality is a created, or a natural state, is a metaphysical claim. This is so because the claim defies created biological difference and voids any impact of psychological and sociological effects on the human psyche that serve to understand homosexuality. Further, this particular claim denies the power of the will in relation to the natural biology of gender. Rather than wrestle with the responsibility of choice, or the existential ripples in humanity that contribute to gender confusion, homosexual apologists opted for a spiritual explanation that effectively normalizes their behavior with a metaphysical claim.
The misplaced inner gender idea relies upon the concept of spirit, that their spirit defines their identity and their spirit has been placed in the wrong body. So, either God is cruel and intends for some to suffer the difference of a state of existence that is in conflict with biological realities, or there are other factors to be considered.
Some justify their homosexuality under the richness of love, as though in the name of love anything can be normalized. Love does not require sexual activity. Further, the myth of the misplaced spirit makes sexuality a spiritual reality rather than belonging to the creaturely aspect of humanity. This thinking inexorably leads to the worship of sexuality and devolves religion in a return to the sex cults of the past.
It is a well-known fact that religion appeals to the human psyche and so religion is not subject to reason. However, religion wrestles with reason whereas the homosexual community’s response avoids the dialectics of understanding; based on a metaphysical claim and an appeal to love that disavows sexual ethics.
It is politically incorrect to speak reasonably about homosexual behavior in a society that has lost the ability to think critically about reality. Homosexuality as a created state is now a metaphysical myth; it is an unwritten, unexamined, growing myth, a myth that is without historical precedent. The current birth of this new consciousness, this sociological emerging of a myth without a past is indicative of a psychotic episode, even a psychotic epidemic. A psychotic episode is to redefine humanity apart from what she knows herself to be.
As an epidemic the normalization of homosexuality opens up an alternative way of living, it ignites desire as it arises from Pandora’s box. Where choice and desire were once held in check by cultural and sociological taboo they are now released into the air of possibility and haunt the realm of the living like released spirits.
The resignation of same-gendered persons choosing to publicly live together as a familial unit and attempting to live ethically in society posits a situation that was once hidden. Meaning homosexual couples did not flaunt their status as homosexuals but lived together quietly. The burden of secrecy and accompanying societal guilt became obstacles for these persons whose lives often demonstrated love and ethical concern for others regardless of their sexual life.
However, shame is an unpleasant if not damning aspect of sexuality and has driven many with homosexual desires to resort to suicide. We all seek acceptance and sexuality is fraught with variations of shameful or unacceptable behavior. The guilt for failed sexual behavior is so pervasive in humanity that we all know and experience some shame; this alone should alert us to a need for grace. The current social concern for homosexual persons is inclusive of a concentrated effort to remove shame from the status of persons practicing a homosexual lifestyle.
I think we must ask if societal and religious acceptance can remove shame as an aspect of the homosexual experience. Although social and religious acceptance can ease the tension caused by outside pressures it is unlikely that it can conquer the natural reality of shame brought on by the conflict of life at odds with natural biology.
The current normalization of homosexuality is more than a political trend; it is the recreating of humanity on a myth that has no history. The myth of homosexuality as a created state of existence is associated with the myth of progress. Not technological progress, but the myth that humanity is evolving into more than our ancestors that lived in millenniums past. To embrace homosexuality as evidence of human enlightenment is at the heart of this new myth without a history.
Sociological and psychological factors affect identity formation. This being said, the normalization of homosexuality makes it an option, a choice for developing human beings. Although the metaphysical claim is that being homosexual is not a choice, the sociological effect of normalization creates a choice for persons that would otherwise not choose to live as a homosexual person.
The metaphysical claim seeks to undermine critical reflection on the historical presence of homosexuality and its current rise in American society. Critical reflection becomes an offensive task once normalization is introduced into law and the social fabric. Because the normalization of homosexuality posits for developing persons a choice that is become (through the developing myth) an object for imitation, the population of homosexual persons will increase due to the effects of normalization coupled with newfound religious approval. So sexuality becomes an identity-forming power rather than a gift for male and female couples.
Under the metaphysical myth of homosexuality, the human desire for sex becomes an uncontrollable desire that breaches the natural order of gendered beings. It is for this reason that sexual restraint is taught in Christianity as a spiritual discipline. The menstrual cycle provides a natural time for sexual activity to halt (for both men and women), and a natural time for attending to spiritual matters in order to gain control of and over the sexual instinct.
In my thinking, circumcision required in the Hebrew Scriptures is instructive for males because it is God taking ownership of the male’s procreative powers and sexual behavior. Our sexual impulse, the instinctual desire for sex, must be tamed and only through spiritual discipline with an abiding love and respect for the other gender can we learn to live and have a healthy sexual life.
Human beings are mimetic; we learn through imitation. Although we are mimetic and imitate others, the biological determination that makes us gendered creatures directs our choice of which (parent) or gender we will model in relation to femaleness or maleness. Other biological factors contribute to our need and ability to imitate a specific gender’s style of speech, movements, and desires. Gender identity is first biological and secondly socio-cultural through perceived roles. Along with gender identity is the sexual aspect of gender behavior that is both instinctual and learned.
We are sexual beings. Like all aspects of being human we need civil law to govern our behavior in all matters that affect all of us. Simply said, we cannot legislate morality, but we can regulate behavior. The production of a healthy society is built on human rights and personal liberty to choose. However, our choices function within boundaries defined by natural limits e.g. a man cannot choose to bear a child.
The promotion of homosexuality as a metaphysical myth and mystery rather than a choice based upon desire is a reflection of a society that has failed to regulate sexual behavior in healthy ways. Also, the imposing of sexual identity through remarks challenging a person’s biologically determined gender, especially at a young age, is a sociological power that imposes upon a young person a sense of a predetermined role beyond their power.
The misogyny that is pervasive in American society is rooted in ways that violate a healthy relationship with women. Misogyny is sexual dominance and disallows the equality of males and females as bearers of God’s image. Further, misogyny makes the female’s sexuality threatening to males. The scapegoating of females through suppression of their sensuality is done to appease the lack of sexual restraint by males and is often rejected by gentler men who are then labeled as effeminate.
Regulating all forms of sexual display is essential for a healthy society. This being said, heterosexual pornography is ultimately more detrimental to society than the presence of homosexuality.
The removal of the power of choice in the metaphysical myth annuls the spontaneity of humanity as creators of reality. Yet, the myth is a reality-building tool, an unwritten etiology; it is the fabrication of a new reality. Normalizing homosexuality alters humanity by ignoring the limits we face as gendered, reproducing, mortal beings; this is so because it defies nature.
Social structure forms human behavior and attempts to define or redefine morality. The disjunction in gender relations, our failure to live in mutually respectful ways as gendered persons, the complexity of sexuality, all contribute to an unhealthy social structure. Solving the abuse of sexuality in our society will require both regulation and redefining cultural values. As a people, we are shallow aesthetes who value appearances over character. We are a violent people whose desire for order requires severe punishment for those that are victims of a failing society built upon runaway desires.
We are now including in the structuring of society an unwritten myth of sexual orientation that is more mythically religious in nature than it is reasoned according to the biological life of gendered beings or the psychological realities of sex and shame. The metaphysical myth of homosexuality requires a god who confuses the created order with a hybrid person. The homosexual myth requires a god who is capricious and defies the ordering of a good creation with natural law.
The tension of a highly structured society that threatens personal liberty will produce injustice and result in collapse. The social structure of the U.S. is a complex of fractured realities attempting to endure at the expense of our humanity. Sexuality is one of the most potently packed realities of human experience. It requires the use of wisdom, of self-control, it is not a spiritual aspect of our being; rather it requires governing from the spiritual aspect of our being, from the religious. It is for this reason that theology must address the affects of all sexual expression on society.
We are sexual beings because we are gendered beings. The spiritual aspect of sexuality is not in relation to God. This is the theological error of the metaphysical myth of homosexuality. Rather the spiritual aspect of sexuality is in relation to the violation of the natural structures of creation; it is a negative relation. The spiritual aspect of homosexuality is the negation of the good, that is, to mar the creation and reduce sexuality solely to instinct rather than insight, to cast off restraint and respond only to desire. It is to be in conflict with the work of the Spirit of God the creator.
Wisdom is to cooperate with the underlying structures of reality that define humanity through the power of choice that recognizes the work of God in creation. The homosexual claim of no choice insists on sexual expression as uncontrollable desire rather than gift. Sexuality is a gift to be enjoyed, and to serve the continuance of humanity within the confines of possibility for creating new life through sexuality limited by gender and promise. For older couples, who (often) due to menopause in the female are no longer able to re-produce, sexuality remains a life giving part of their relationship.
It is true that the spiritual aspect of human sexuality is in relation to the good structures of creation put in place by God however, not in direct relation to God’s Spirit, but in relation to the wisdom or voice of God discerned in the created order. God is not a sexual being, sexuality is foreign to God's being and experience; sexuality belongs to the creature. Jesus' celibacy indicates that engaging in sex does not contribute to the fulfilling of the image of God. Jesus will conclude that sexuality does not survive the resurrection, although gender distinctiveness will. To abuse sexual life (in any form or expression) is to participate in un-creation to oppose the wisdom of God. Sexuality belongs to the sphere of the sacred between a male and a female.
Love Doesn’t Come without a Promise
The spirituality of marriage is in the promise, the relationship, not the sexual act. God is not involved, does not participate, and does not violate the sphere of the sacred between a male and a female. Human sexuality is love and worship of the other, not love and worship of God. This is portrayed in the Song of Solomon, a book that celebrates male and female sexuality. The absence of God in the Song of Solomon is confirming of human sexuality as sacred apart from God. The inclusion of the Song of Solomon in the canon affirms that sexuality is sacred within the context of marriage as male and female.
The error of Israel’s neighbors was to attribute sexuality to their god(s), to worship their god(s) through the spiritualizing of sexuality. The metaphysical claim that homosexuality is a natural state from birth due to a gendered spirit in the wrong body is to spiritualize sexuality. It is a subtle return to the ideologies of the sex cults of the past.
Sex is not sin. However, uncontrolled sexual desire that eradicates the natural limits of gender is sin. Unrestrained sexuality that functions without a promise, or without concern for progeny is a sin. This does not annul the joy of sexual life for those persons who have passed beyond child - bearing years or experience infertility, and live out the promise of marriage. The potency of sexuality for life is matched by its potency for self-destruction. We are living in a moment when the need to understand sexual restraint, as wisdom, as a spiritual discipline of profound importance is imperative. Sexual restraint for purposes of seeking spiritual matters is revealing of the image of God in the Lord’s people; this too can be abused if it is removed from a couples personal choice to be governed by any authority whether civil or religious.
In conclusion, I do not think that homosexual relationships should be normalized through the institution of marriage. The concept of marriage as an institution belongs to religion and not the state. Homosexual relationships should be acknowledged in civil law to protect their rights as persons, but the word marriage belongs to religious faith and to male and female relationships.
Love and Truth Walk Together
I live in the Philippines and interact with homosexual persons nearly everyday, at the gym, waiting in the dentist office, at restaurants, coffee shops, medical clinics, hospitals, while shopping, and when watching entertainers. My immediate response is empathy, they, like many heterosexual persons, are wrestling with the problem of sexuality.
Empathy and our God require we live with grace in relation to those persons whose desire for the same gender dominates their sexual impulse. Our faith requires we wrestle with a reality that challenges us at the core of our identity as human beings and side with biological identity as the way of wisdom.
Touch and affection are a part of being human and belong to all of us. A sexual relationship is subject to the ethical and the religious. Religion fails when it accepts same gendered sex as normative, ethical, and religiously sanctioned. This is also true for acceptance of all forms of pernicious sexual behavior. We all must control our sexual desires; this includes those persons whose desire is for the same sex.
The lack of sexual ethics in all aspects of human behavior is a subject that is an immediate need in Christian theology. Homosexual persons have been disqualified from the pursuit of God based on their sexual desire while other unethical sexual behavior by various groups is ignored.
Throughout history the conquering of a people has always included sexual access to the women by the conquering soldiers. The U.S. has caused untold and unexplored harm to various nations and peoples through the invading presence of the U.S. military. U.S. military presence in Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines, has birthed both an international sex industry and harmed the sexual ethics of large segments of these societies.
In these locations where sexual ethics are nonexistent, U.S. soldiers leave behind children and acquire a sense of male power over the sexuality of women that is contrary to a healthy male role in relation to women. The language of male misogyny is acquired and nurtured in the U.S. military. U.S. veterans bring home the affects of living without sexual ethics. Of course, it is unnatural for men to be living in mass and without women. The military is a breeding ground for sexual colloquialisms and all types of unethical sexual behavior.
The proliferation of pornography and its deleterious affects on society is altogether ignored by those who scapegoat peaceful homosexual persons. Empathy can be given to those who suffer a misdirected desire but those who profit from abusive sexuality should be punished by legal regulations. If those who scapegoat homosexual persons for producing social ills do not address the economic injustice of the sex industry they only exhibit ignorance and their own shame.
 I think Paul had the menstrual cycle in mind when offering his advice in 1st Corinthians 7:5 but did not identify this specifically because of not wanting to exclude post menopausal women, or exclude a simple decision to practice the spiritual discipline of sexual restraint.
 If the sexual impulse is uncontrollable then the choice to abstain is impossible. That sexual restraint is a spiritual discipline affirms the need for sexuality to be governed by the religious. Sexual ethics require limits for male / female relationships where sexual behavior is naturally accommodated. The application of sexual ethics must be applied to those who identify as homosexual where sexuality is not naturally accommodated.