Seek Ye First

I’ve been reading Gabriel Blanchard’s stuff over at Mudblood Catholic, a site of which I’m newly and extremely fond. I don’t agree (I don’t think) with Gabriel on all points, but I love his clarity of thought, his humor, and his honesty.

Given the whole Exodus thing, orientation change has been the obsession du jour in the Gershom headspace. It’s a subject I don’t relish but can’t not think about, although thanks to some mixture of maturity and meds, it’s something I can stop thinking about when I feel done with it.

My position on the whole thing is something like this:

  • Gay people (and everybody else) can and should seek competent help in looking closely at the things that are causing them pain.
  • They should do this not in response to some kind of moral imperative, but just because suffering, although it can be offered up, is itself an evil.
  • Yes, suffering is an evil and should be avoided if reasonably possible. I can’t believe this is controversial. Even Jesus didn’t want to be crucified.
  • I do think it’s possible that, as a kind of side effect of emotional healing, some people with SSA sometimes see a diminution of same-sex attraction and an increase of opposite-sex attraction.
  • But! Making this kind of shift the whole point of therapy, or of addressing one’s issues in general, is stupid and dangerous and, on the part of those offering the therapy, incredibly irresponsible.

Whether we’re able to relate to other human beings in healthy ways matters a zillion times more than whether we fancy a roll in the hay with them. If you’re focusing too much on the second thing, you’re not going to get the first.

In other words, Seek ye first His healing and His sanity, and heterosexuality will be added unto you as well — or actually, it almost definitely won’t, but by the time you’ve achieved some measure of sanity, you’ll begin to discover that heterosexuality matters very much less than you had supposed.

So yes, as you were, I’m going to take a few breaths and keep drinking my coffee. Why the !@#$ did I quit smoking again?

8 Comments on “Seek Ye First”

  1. JMG says:

    Hi Steven,

    I have been an avid follower of your blog. I honestly wanted to know if you have read this blog from a devout Christian mother who speaks of truly loving her gay son. Have you read it?

    What are you personal thoughts on it.

    I seriously cried like a baby. Just saying.

    1. Rachel says:

      I read this article too. It sparked quite the conversation between my husband and myself. I cried as well, but I think any parent would cry reading an article about the loss of a child. In the end although I feel like it was a decent piece, I felt that it reduced the issue to one sexual attraction. As people we are more then who we are attracted to. My take away was the lack of choice given to the son more then anything.

    2. Mark from PA says:

      I just read that story, JMG. It is so tragic. Rejection is an awful thing and from reading this story it shows also how damaging drugs can be. How said that people can’t just accept people for who they are. I think our society is getting better at that be we aren’t there yet.

  2. JBT says:

    The kung-fu. You quit for the kung-fu.

  3. David Cuff says:

    Hey Steve,
    I enjoy reading your candid thoughts and comments. I support your courage and “View Of The Universe.”
    I also have experienced suffering and believe I have experienced some measure of the “Fellowship of suffering” (Philippians 3:10) Paul and The Holy Spirit speaks of. Although my suffering is an incurable disease of my immune system it seams to be a long-term battle (over 10 years now).
    Anyway…enough of me…wanted to say thanks for your blog and the spirit behind it.

  4. mikell says:

    Never and I mean never trust a hetrosexual medical person. In the 50s California doctors treating the desease of SSA performed 3000 labadamies, and you wonder why so many choose not to come out. I’m associated with a lot of medical people and in private things haven’t changed as much as you think. They smile, they sempithise but they’re disgusted when your gone. I see it every day. Bitter, no longer, I just dont care.

  5. Gabriel says:

    Very well-written; I love the bullets — clear, concise, and right. And thanks a million for the shout-out!

  6. J.AO says:

    It’s not just about suffering or pain in general. It’s not about a random “side effect”. That can be taken as a condescending way of looking at therapy.

    Suffering in relationships and difficulties of sexual development are indeed a possibility for anyone. But lets try not to escape from the reality that deep-down, in some people, those difficulties have indeed been at the root cause for their SSA, along with other stuff, of course.

    As you yourself put it in 2011, it’s about “the root causes of SSA: isolation, father-hunger, shame, rejection”.

    These are issues that come between us and being authentically grown men. They are directly affecting your self-perception, your identifications and yes, your attractions.

    The question isn’t so much whether those are root causes in the development of SSA (they certainly are always present, although it’s difficult to say what came before what or what is more prevalent), but how far you can meet your own needs in healthy ways, how much sense do certain principles of growth make to you in order for you to follow them, how motivated and able are you to challenge fears and patterns… and then of course, how lucky you are to meet the right people to help you with all of it along the way.

    From what you write Joseph, it seems you’re still offended by the Catholic moral theology that teaches gay/homosexual/same-sex inclinations to be intrinsically disordered. It isn’t a medical concept, it’s not a “disease”, but it really is a moral issue. It’s not just about behaviors, the inclinations themselves are reasons of concern. This makes sense also because Catholicism respects the emotions that accompany behaviors.

    I hope that this moral teaching of disorder isn’t what’s causing you “isolation, father-hunger, shame, rejection”; it’s rather those things that influence your emotional life, and then cause a lack of balance and self-confidence that result in disordered inclinations you should not follow.

    It’s also sensible to say that, if the inclinations shouldn’t be followed, then they serve little purpose in existing. Hence, the permanence of gay inclinations falls a bit outside of a person’s wholeness, although it should still be respect as the way the person has adapted throughout their sexual development. And so, some therapy directly approaches root causes of SSA, and that makes perfect sense.

    People should be clear about this and not be offended by this morality, though. I know it only has helped me, personally, in navigating through much troubled water. God bless you.

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