Friday, November 11, 2005

Human Sexuality

This post contains content that is not meant for children under the age of 16.

One of today's questions caught my eye because I don’t recall being asked this anytime within the past year. A teacher who is planning to run for political office inquires: "Should a Catholic leader be making political moves to outlaw contraceptives- not just the 'maybe contraceptive, maybe abortifacients,' but things like condoms and other physical barrier types?"

Absolutely! A Catholic politician ought to support legislation that would prohibit the use, distribution or funding of contraceptives, including condoms. Political moves to outlaw contraceptives and to restore the proper meaning and context to human sexuality are essential. I then encouraged him to make this a central point of his "ministry" as a politician, as it will undoubtedly restore order to a sexually-confused culture.

Contraception is a social ill as well as a hindrance to spousal relations. It redefines the sexual act and thus puts it in the context of a recreational activity instead of a holy act of spouses meant for the purposes of procreation and union. Among other negative effects, when contraception creeps into a marriage, the children are not given and example of trust in God, self-sacrifice or service to others. On the other hand, they are give a message of self-gratification and this creates a skewed understanding of human sexuality.

Let's discuss human sexuality for a little bit. In our "over-sexualized" society, the very term "sexuality" typically refers to using ones sexual faculties to achieve orgasm or simply for recreation. This attitude has justified many deviant sexual behaviors such as oral sex and homosexuality.

In Her wisdom, the Catholic Church speaks much differently about the meaning of human sexuality. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2332-2335, it says:

Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.

Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out.

"In creating men 'male and female,' God gives man and woman an equal personal dignity." "Man is a person, man and woman equally so, since both were created in the image and likeness of the personal God."

Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tenderness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way. The union of man and woman in marriage is a way of imitating in the flesh the Creator's generosity and fecundity: "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh." All human generations proceed from this union.


According to these definitions, sexuality only refers to the act in as much as it is within the covenant of marriage and open to life. It is through that union of husbands and wives that procreation is meant to happen.

More accurately, our human sexuality is God's writing on our hearts of how we are to love one another but not necessarily in a sexual way. Sexual love is a higher form of love, a vocation which is the responsibility of those who discern it, not the right of all people by the mere factor that our bodies have the capacity to experience it physically.

With this understanding, we can see how the deviant acts of homosexuality and masturbation, for example, are grave offenses against our human sexuality.

So, in order for a Catholic leader or politician to serve the Church as well as all of his constituents, he must accept the responsibility of ensuring that laws protect human sexuality and place it in its proper context.


Recommended reading: The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, a 1996 document of the Pontifical Council for the Family that describes recommended guidelines for sexual education within the family, which is its proper place.

4 comments:

  1. What happened to the Separation of Church and State that was the whole reason that the friggin' Pilgrims pilgrimaged, lady?

    Ridiculous. I don't care at all what religion our idiot president is, this country was founded on that separation and what your beliefs are, and his are, and the belief systems all you religious people hold should have absolutely NOTHING to do with law-making and morality policing.

    Would it be acceptable to you if a Jewish person took office and decided that pork and shellfish should be completely outlawed across the US? Should a Constitutional Amendment be set in place that forces all boy babies to be circumsized upon their births? Sorry, non-Jews, no more bacon for you or we'll throw your ass in jail for treasonous behavior!

    Ridiculous.

    Keep your church out of my crotch. You make your decisions and I will make mine.

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  2. Rocker Mommy- in order to show the sharp contrast between our messages, i will leave this posted. i do, however, want to point out that the teaching of the Catholic Church on sexuality is not an imposition, but a plan of love and wholeness. it is based on the natural law written on our hearts, which is a desire for truth and goodness.
    the popular use of contraception has led women to be used as objects, not loved as persons. it also has created an epidemic of broken homes where children grow up without stability or normalcy.

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  3. Except that The Catholic Church does NOT run our country. No church does. No church SHOULD.

    I get the love and wholeness thing, I really do. I don't agree that you can't be a single, sexual being and not feel love or be whole or have truth, but that's the thing, I'm not imposing my rules on anyone else.

    You don't answer on the separation of church and state, by the way, which is really what all of this is about. God has no place in politics or policy.

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