Bad Catholic, Barton Gingerich, bisexual, gay, homosexual, homosexuality, Institute on Religion and Democracy, IRD Blog, lesbian, LGBT, Marc Barnes, marriage, ministry, morality, Politics, proposition 1, redemption, sin, soul, spirit, spirituality
I would be remiss if I failed to share Marc Barnes’ most excellent blog, Bad Catholic. Although I’m not in the Roman fold myself, I benefit greatly from Mr. Barnes’ interspersed memes, loving audacity, side-busting humor, and terrifyingly true theological-philosophical insights. I mean, seriously man, how do you write that well that often? It’s like a daily shot out of a cannon into the divine sphere. I recommend any of our readers to check it out; there is solid food to be digested there. Did I mention that this critic of contemporary buffoonery is only 18? (Unless he had his 19th birthday since last February–I’m not the guy’s stalker…yet). From what I understand, the majority of his ever-burgeoning readership falls within the same demographic as well. Kudos.
Especially big kudos for this excellent article on our objectification of men with same-sex attraction. In one portion, Barnes goes after the media portrayal of the Gay Man, someone whose identity is found in their sexuality:
According to Hollywood, gay men are not allowed to be screw-ups. Gay men are, well, just fabulous. You can hardly turn on a sitcom or cartoon, read a novel, or watch a movie without seeing the Media running their fingers through the hair of the Gay Man Abstraction, telling the world that, “Oh my goodness, well (Gay Man) here is incredibly funny, cute, kooky, has great taste in clothes, and will always solve (straight female protagonist)’s problems by the end of the episode, like the fantastic little helper he is!”
We have turned the human being–with his real desires, sufferings, characteristics, and talents–into a pet.
Culturally speaking, this safely trained/cage pet helps in various agendas. To make something otherwise detestable to a society (whether it be stealing, sexuality, or lying) more palatable to said society’s denizens, one needs to remove the “ick factor.” To make something detestable, the ick factor must be added. Horrible, manipulative, and hazardous meat packing industry? Write The Jungle. Good manners? Uphold a populist “common man” that is the very archetype of democracy and shows deference to no man. Abortion? Show the horror that is the murder of the unborn. Opposition to homosexuality? Make the archetype of fun, tasteful, sassy, fashionable, loving, and safe gay man the standard societal image. Nevertheless, this culture war discussion doesn’t touch the core issue: the human soul.
The post continues:
The “Gay Best Friend” must — above all things — be safe. He must have all the emotional benefits of being a male, without the emotional threats. He must be supportive, without reminding her of the father-figures in her life. He must provide the emotional affirmation of male, physical touch, without touch ever meaning anything. He must be a girl, provide fashion advice, and — in general — have all the characteristics of a puppy on happy pills.
But he is made for more. He is made for infinite love.
When it comes to the whole gambit of issues lumped into pansexuality, I think Kevin De Young said it well: different conditions require different responses for the Church. When it comes to the public sphere of debate, you will have to deal with political theory and such concerns as “human flourishing.” We need to decide of government is primarily about providing the best conditions for the satisfaction of our desires that leave each individual to his own OR if there is something else to politics.
But that is in the abstract: the realm of lobbyists and protestors and full-time activists. What about the headwaters? Indeed, what do you tell a person–a true human person, the Man–about the Savior Christ, also a true Man? The abstracts peel away and our pet sins of all sorts try to find a darkness to hide in. Some of the darkest shadows are public approval. Some are the lighted backdrop of a computer screen. We should be discussing what IS Man and what SHOULD he be if there’s something amiss now. As another fine post posits: “Only when we have ceased to argue for Traditional Values, and have begun to argue for love of that singular, human person — only then will anything change.” And things must change.