Fury, Mire, Bananas!

Occasionally I do pull out the gay card. The gay card, of course, is a conversational trump, as in: “You say homosexual acts are wrong? Well, I have a gay cousin!” This is exactly as logical as saying: “You think Cheetos aren’t nutritious? Well, I love Cheetos!” Probably true, but totally irrelevant — unless you expect me to tailor my principles according to who they’re going to offend.1

I use the gay card in the opposite way, as in: “You say I call homosexual actions immoral because I don’t understand what it’s like to be a gay man — well, I’ll let you in on a secret.” Sort of a cheap trick, really, and I’ve only used it twice. And, come to think of it, alcohol was involved both times.

The first time I used it was about seven years ago, in an argument with a Catholic woman I knew from college. She was a dissenter, and who could blame her: if I grew in her house, I’d probably think all Catholicism was as toxic as her parents’ brand apparently was.2

I was arguing that being gay meant being stuck in a kind of perpetual self-absorption: if the opposite sex is an image of otherness, and if one of the natural purposes of romantic love is to draw us out of ourselves — towards the other, towards that-which-is-not-us — then being oriented romantically towards your own gender is, by definition, narcissistic. My conclusion was that gay men, therefore, don’t know how to love.

I was arguing from theory, and she from experience: she told me that she knew gay men in loving relationships, whose unselfishness towards each other was something that anyone could learn from, and something that she only infrequently saw in straight couples. Gay men taught me how to love, she said.

Well, that was a long time ago. I stand by my fundamental points — you can’t ignore the built-in symbolism of the sexes, can’t pretend that it doesn’t exist or that it’s meaningless — but my conclusion was utterly bogus. Things are rarely that simple — or rather, truth is always simple, like white light, but it gets refracted and scattered somehow when it enters this world.3

The short version of what I’m about to say is: It’s not that gay men don’t know how to love. It’s that nobody does.

It’s easy for us (maybe especially those of us with SSA) to get so hung up on the Church’s teaching about homosexuality that we miss the bigger picture. The Church proposes an ideal for human sexuality that nobody fulfills: “There is no one who does good, not even one.” Being gay doesn’t guarantee that your relationships are thoroughly selfish, any more than being straight guarantees that they are thoroughly unselfish, and the Church has at least as much to say to straight couples as she does to gay ones.4

The tricky part, unfortunately, remains: a homosexual romantic relationship, unlike a heterosexual one, has no potential of coming to its proper fulfillment as a romantic relationship — that’s like saying an acorn could ever come to its proper fulfillment as a banana tree:5 it just doesn’t have it within itself.

That doesn’t mean a homosexual relationship doesn’t have its own potential, and its own proper fulfillment — it just means that that fulfillment isn’t marriage. There are men who begin as lovers and, as their love for each other deepens, end up as friends; when they discover that that’s what their relationship meant all along.

But I’m writing, as usual, of things I don’t fully understand. We’ve got some heavy hitters in the comboxes these days. Have at it, y’all.

1 Caveat: this doesn’t mean we can’t adjust the presentation of our principles to avoid being jerks. Some conservatives like to use truth like a bludgeon.
2 Someone, somewhere, says something like: Anyone who runs away from what is hateful, even if it’s (apparently) Jesus, is really running towards Jesus the whole time.
3 I’m pretty sure that’s what Yeats means by: “All mere complexities, / The fury and the mire of human veins.”
4 It’s just that “Catholic Church Holds Up Transcendently Gorgeous Standard For All Human Relationships!” doesn’t make as good press as “Catholic Church Still Chock-Full of Bigoted Assholes!”
5 The resonances of the banana imagery do not escape me. What can I say, it’s the first thing that came to mind.

31 Comments on “Fury, Mire, Bananas!”

  1. Gabriel says:

    You always hit them out of the park, man. Being a gay Catholic (though I keep trying to come up with a more satisfactory word than ‘gay’) can be so isolating, but every time I read your blog, I know there are people who comprehend this insane and/or beautiful experience.

    Also, to be really immature, heh heh, the banana thing …

  2. Peter J says:

    “I was arguing that being gay meant being stuck in a kind of perpetual self-absorption: if the opposite sex is an image of otherness, and if one of the natural purposes of romantic love is to draw us out of ourselves . . . then being oriented romantically towards your own gender is, by definition, narcissistic.”

    With regard to sexual attraction, yes, being gay is an exercise in perpetual narcissism. Otherwise, I argue that being gay offers a great advantage towards other-oriented behavior.

    Straight men’s romantic “appreciation” of women is most often an objectification of her, a stripping her of her humanity to reduce her to her sexual value. In the thought of Luce Irigaray, traditionally the woman has been given three social roles due to her sexuality: mother, virgin, prostitute. The objectified woman becomes an emotional, psychological, and economic commodity to male-dominated society, and can easily become so for the straight man even in the modern age.

    Contrast this treatment of women to the union of Christ and the Church. Where does Christ use the Church? Where does he devalue her? Quite the opposite, Christ’s actions. His love toward the Church entails his own willful death.

    When straight men enter into marriage, the objectification of women is an obstacle to overcome as they strive to treat their wives as Christ would. Gay men, however, in their interaction with women, are already past this barrier. No, they won’t end up in a romantic relationship and marry, but love is not primarily about sex. Rather, like that of Christ, it is the willful death of the self to treat the other as oneself. My experience has been that, without the hormones to get in the way, I can interact with and understand women like no straight man can. Lest you think I’m delusional, the women around me attest to this ability of mine. Myself being gay, to me women are no sexual commodity; they are fully human. Even without the romantic attraction toward women, which is better: loving feelings, or loving actions? Had Christ had merely the former, we would as yet be lost.

    I admit, there are inadequacies to this line of thinking. If the earthly is to be a type of the heavenly, the holy union of man and woman best reflects the intimate union of Christ and the Church in a loving relationship. Nonetheless, regarding the treatment of women, being gay is hardly narcissistic. It is better suited toward loving as Christ would.

    Cheers. 🙂

  3. jp says:

    i’m with Gabriel: this is fantastic and insightful, particularly this:

    “There are men who begin as lovers and, as their love for each other deepens, end up as friends; when they discover that that’s what their relationship meant all along…”

    This may be too much info, but: in my own life, there were friendships that fell apart to the degree that I wanted and sought more than friendship. As lust crept in and festered, resentment and envy grew. As resentment and envy grew, the desire for friendship disintegrated and so it was easier to objectify (dehumanize).

  4. To Peter J’s point I would say both yes and no. It is not being gay that provides for such a relationship. Rather, it is more closely related to having a chaste disposition toward women. I think this may be part of the wisdom of a celibate clergy. But it is not simply the celibate who can have such a relationship and chaste intimacy with women. The chaste man can also have a clear understanding of a woman in her human totality. JPII’s insights into the Gospel passage about gazing at a woman with a desire to posses her brings this point out in a clear way. A chaste gaze is always a challenge for each of us. Yet, being gay does not necessarily provide an advantage. The friendship born of chastity is the true key to unlocking the mystery of each human relationship.

    1. Loretta S. says:

      There is a passage that speaks to this effect in “The Cloister Walk” by Kathleen Norris. She interviews and relates a number of Benedictines sisters’ perspectives on chastity and how it helps or hinders their relations with others – men and women. If you haven’t read the book, you truly should.

  5. Peter J says:

    Br. Gabriel:
    Actually, I think the two of us are in full agreement. To restate my point in your terms, a gay man already has a chaste disposition toward women. The chaste gaze is no challenge at all, thus providing that “true key” to friendship you speak of. 🙂

    Keep in mind, though, I’m ejecting gay men’s gaze toward each other for the moment. There, rather than with women, is where the challenge of chastity comes in!

  6. Dante says:

    Few things:

    1. Banana reference immediately received. Good one.
    2. Favorite and personally validated quote from the post: “There are men who begin as lovers and, as their love for each other deepens, end up as friends; when they discover that that’s what their relationship meant all along.” I can write the chapter on this one if you ever decide to edit an “Anthology for Gay Catholic Men”.
    3. (This is the shit-starter I would assume): I think much of the confusion comes from treating ALL human sexuality as the same reality. I believe heterosexuality and homosexuality are like apples and oranges. Yes they are both fruits but they are not the exact same. I am going to go into an explanation here as I am in no mood for either a debate nor an argument so I will just paraphrase a bit here: “To those who believe they are the same no explanation otherwise is possible; to those who do not believe it, no explanation is necessary.”

  7. Peter M says:

    I also love the part that jp quotes. The idea that there could be a deep sharing of souls without eventual sexual expression draws laughter nowadays. But the God who made eros also made philia, and it’s no less a part of human sexuality. In the realm of human interaction, God does not condemn we who must be single to either an empty, lonely, repressed existence or a death spiral of even-more-empty hedonism. True friendship has a beauty all its own.

  8. Fr. B says:

    “It’s not that gay men don’t know how to love. It’s that nobody does.”

    Cue Lil Wayne: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8Gf4-eT3w0&ob=av2n

  9. viego pobre says:

    i would say that none of us (all humanity) have the ability to love. love is not something i can do if i only find the right person. none of us can love, and if original sin means anything….it means that we are all so self centered that we cannot love the “other” without a real, deep, total conversion. And on one level all spirituality is a pedagogy in learning to truly love.

    no one’s orientation has a monopoly on narcissism, all humanity inherits a narcissistic nature that will express itself in all kinds of ways. but if you scratch the narcissism, you may find fear, and if you scratch the fear, you will find deep wounds and under the wounds is someone trying to find out who they really are and how the heck they can really learn to love.

    IMMHO, i think the biggest myth we buy into is this idea of “romantic love”.
    i think that romantic love is a phase for one to go through, but at its core it is narcissitic and adolescent and no one orientation seems to have a monopoly on getting fixated on this level.

    one’s orientation does not stop one from the human vocation of learning to love. it is a different path for SSA, but it leads to the same goal and to great fulfillment if we use it as a path to heal our deep wounds, let go of these inner fears and finally learn to love others as we have been loved at our core by the mercy of God.

  10. Peter J says:

    Came across a verse today I want to throw into the mix, since celibacy and remaining single is a recurring topic around here:

    “But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” (1 Co. 7:9, NIV)

    I’m Protestant, so how I would deal with this verse would probably be a little different. Enlighten me on the Catholic perspective. 😉

  11. Gabriel says:

    Well, obviously, what St Paul says under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost is true. However, there he is addressing a very particular situation in Corinth — interpretations differ, though the general principle (still emphasized by the Church today) is that if God is really calling you to something such as celibacy, He will give you the graces necessary to live that vocation. Therefore, if it seems clear that you have not received such graces — all else being equal — it is wise to look more closely at whether you did receive a call to celibacy.

    Where it gets tricky, in my experience anyway, is that “all else being equal” part. With gay Catholics like me, all else is not equal. (Of course it has wider application.) I don’t believe I have the capacity for an, ah, adequate response to a wife; therefore I must assume that God has called me to celibacy — at the very least I must assume that until and unless that fact about me changes, which it might or might not. I gather that my experience is pretty common among Christians with same-sex attraction, and the same rubric would apply.

    Does that clarify things at all, or am I talking past you?

  12. Nick says:

    I think I understand your #3 statement. I very recently finally came out to my parents, and they were pretty good with it. Much better than I thought they would be given the things they had said about gay people when I was a kid. Anyway, I’ve had all kinds of discussions with my Dad since then, and my description of the scope of what I experience in terms of attraction was baffling to him. I don’t know if I’m the same as other gay guys, but I have a somewhat narrow range of what and who I find myself attracted to, and that in friendships I’ve had with other gay guys, if there was initial sexual attraction it really does fade as friendship develops. (Not that I consider them unattractive, but there is noticeably less temptation to think of them sexually.) Is that more or less what you are describing? I don’t claim to know what it means, just that my Dad seemed to think that was vastly different than what straight guys experience in being attracted to women.

  13. Kathryn Rose says:

    But it’s the same situation for any person who doesn’t have the right circumstances to do what they feel called to do, right? If I feel called to be a religious sister, but I have yet to find a community, then I have to wait in patient chastity. If I feel called to marriage and children, but I haven’t met the right guy yet, same thing. This is what is so beautiful about the Church’s teachings on celibacy and chastity – is that it doesn’t single out homosexuals to do something that it is not asking others to do. Everyone has to live chastely, and some people are not called to marriage – regardless of sexual orientation. It’s basically a moot point, when you get right down to it.

    1. Gadel,

      I think your response is a perfect example of what I meant when I said that it is possible to present true principles in a tactless manner. I doubt that anybody reading that page would be convinced of the things you say, because of the hostile way in which you say them. On the contrary, I think this kind of thing makes people want to run as far from Christianity as they can.

      1. GADEL says:

        Okay. That’s why I ask you for an opinion since you understand these issue far better. Thanks. I hope to amend my response.

        1. Wow. Thank you for responding to my criticism with so much humility.

  14. viego pobre says:

    Peter J, perhaps if you explain how you understand the verse, it would be easier for others to give you their reactions and understanding. I am not sure why catholics or protestants would understand the verse differently. it is just sound pastoral advice given to those in Corinth, which was one of the most immoral towns in the ancient world.

    Dante, i agree that there maybe some big differences in how gays and straights have to deal with their sexuality. but both have to struggle with integrating their sexuality in a healthy way, both must struggle with the sexual fixations where their sexuality reflects an infantile or adolescent stagnation. and they both have to deal with the big problem of LUST and the struggle of being chaste. so there is lot more in common on a deeper level.
    (i think the bigger difference is how men and women have to deal with this, but that is another topic).

    Kathryn, i agree that it is easy to forget that all are called to chastity. Until one sees that no one can really grow or be human without chastity, they will just see it as a burden and not as a great gift of freedom. also chastity is one of the fruits of the spirit, not a burden and deprivation but a sign that we are being transformed here and now into real life in Christ.

    just a gentle question, but have you ever looked into the secular institutes or the new church movements? i will keep your vocation in prayer and know God is leading you to where he wants you to be.

  15. Peter J says:

    Gabriel, I understand you to mean that the verse applies to heterosexuals only. This meaning is certainly in line with Church tradition and was the response I was expecting, but I was curious to see if there might be a difference in the specifics of how you handled it. So far, no difference, but I wonder if there could be some traced out in a more extensive discussion.

    viego pobre, I think the primary difference between Catholic and Protestant hermeneutics is the use of tradition to inform readings of the text. Catholic interpretation, as I understand it, remains in constant dialogue with Church tradition, whereas Protestant interpretation tends either to exclude tradition or not to acknowledge it when it does play a role. Consequently, lay Protestant readings can be quite homespun or wildly erratic in the way they synthesize the meanings of the text and be more susceptible toward supporting one’s own biases. That is, at least, my understanding of the difference.

    The following is how a (left-leaning) Protestant reading could go: I could boldly shout that Paul’s exhortation to use marriage as a refuge for out-of-control sexual urges (in 1 Cor. 7:8-9) can apply to both hetero- and homo-sexual monogamous marriages. The idea of a homosexual marriage would never have occurred to Paul, much less members of the Greco-Roman culture at large. It was simply not part of their particular constellation of gender roles, thus to say that Paul’s omission of positive sanctions of homosexual marriage was not because it violated a cosmic law but rather because it was absent from Paul’s culture-specific outlook. Instead, when Paul condemns μαλακοι and αρσενοκοιται in 6:9 (translated variously as “effeminate” and “abusers of themselves with men” or “homosexuals”) he is condemning the promiscuity of the Corinthian community, especially that with male and female prostitutes. For he goes on to explicitly condemn the union of the body of Christ with a prostitute in verses 15-20 (through verse 20 because calling the body a “temple” in v19 is likely a pun on the alleged temple prostitution of Corinth.) A committed, homosexual monogamous marriage relationship, comparable in every way except sexes to the marriages Paul explicitly speaks of, would be outside the category of the behaviors Paul is condemning in this letter.

    This argument would provide a textual basis for the support of homosexual marriage. It claims that homosexual marriage is the institution God has provided to control the urges of those who “burn with passion” for the same sex.

    I myself, however, am unconvinced as yet. This was merely intended to be an example of how the verse could variously be read in tantalizing ways. Steve, if you have anything to say on it I’d love to see another post. 😉

    Cheers. 🙂

  16. Zach says:

    Sometimes I wonder if I should be commenting on posts in this context. I told my boyfriend that sometimes he comes up in discussions I have online and he always balks just a little bit.

    Well, that was a long time ago. I stand by my fundamental points — you can’t ignore the built-in symbolism of the sexes, can’t pretend that it doesn’t exist or that it’s meaningless — but my conclusion was utterly bogus. Things are rarely that simple — or rather, truth is always simple, like white light, but it gets refracted and scattered somehow when it enters this world.

    I’m glad we agree (on the last part…). My most frustrating time in comboxes is that things are rarely ever as simple as how we try to paint them to be.

    I get what you’re jiving here though. Even as a gay secularist, it’s difficult to fit yourself in amongst a culture and even a biology of inherent heterosexism. To contrast that, there are remarkable sexual situations in the animal kingdom. It’s tough for me to see attraction to a fellow consenting adult as immoral. But,

    the consideration of it as such is something I’ve grown to appreciate. At least in the way that I really enjoy reading what you write. I mean, I’ll always have a problem misunderstanding why babymaking is required for the fruition of romantic love, or what the issue is with extending legal marriage to samesex couples.

    I had a date with my boyfriend tonight. We wore camo and plaid and ate grilled food. We watched cheesy claymation. We cuddled. We shared a connection that was beyond friendship, so I have trouble accepting an idea that says a bond between two men is meant only for friendship.

    Obviously I have all these things and other relevant ones on my mind all the time. Write more!

    1. I get what you’re jiving here though. Even as a gay secularist, it’s difficult to fit yourself in amongst a culture and even a biology of inherent heterosexism.

      It must be! When even biology is against you…to the Christian mind, or to any mind that recognizes the world as having an author, biology has an inherent meaning. It sounds like you see that, even though you don’t agree.

      I see your point, too. If I didn’t believe in the inherent meaning even of material things, I’d have no problem with same-sex erotic love. So I can see where you’re coming from too.

      It’s why I say that there’s no poetry without metaphysics. If every physical thing reflects a spiritual reality, then the necessary corollary is that physical reality imposes spiritual limitations on us, the way the rhythm of a sonnet imposes limitations on the poet.

      I still like sonnets, though.

  17. viego pobre says:

    Peter J, for sure a catholic understanding could never come to the conclusion in your post from that verse. as i am sure you know, the catholic approach in both the east and west, is not a literal or fundamentalist one nor is it gnostic/individualistic, but sees revelation as “incarnate revelation”. that comes to us through knowledge of the TEXT, (its literary type, cultural background etc), its context within the overall text (no verse stands in isolation), and how it has been received and understood by the universal church through the ages.
    which is why catholic tradition would see that verse in a whole different light.

  18. Thomas Augustine says:


    “I’ll always have a problem misunderstanding why babymaking is required for the fruition of romantic love, or what the issue is with extending legal marriage to samesex couples.”

    I don’t have long and I am not sure whether the question is precisely directed toward a general audience, but here are a few thoughts.

    First, you are a self proclaimed secularist. Thus, I think it is a safe assumption that you reject certain data that the Church accepts as true. Catholicism is highly deductive. From major premises (data), we can make certain inferences and come to narrow conclusions. Summing up the Church’s stance on homosexuality could take a page of the Catechism. However, explaining the Church’s reasoning would take a major treatise. Fortunately, we have such a treatise in JPII’s “Theology of the Body” (well worth the read).

    Second, regarding marital rights for homosexual couples, the Church cannot support, as legitimate, an unjust law. That is to say, a law that deviates from the natural law is not law at all. I am referencing St. Thomas Aquinas and, maybe surprisingly, Dr. Martin Luther King in his Letter from Birmingham Jail. The Church objects to same sex marriages for the same reason that the Church object to laws that prohibit marriages between people of different races. One law adds something to marriage that is outside the scope of marriage while the other law makes an unnecessary encumbrance upon marriage. Both laws deviate from scripture, Tradition, natural law and theological truths and, therefore, cannot be just because they cannot be true.

    Third, regarding “romantic love”, Catholics can have a love affair with a man. Well, as long as that love affair is with Christ. In a sense, we are put into the shoes of the bride in Song of Songs running through the streets looking for her beloved.

    For more on divine eroticism:


    You also might like John Heard, if you have not heard of him already (no pun intended). Here’s a link. Also don’t be fooled by the title, John Heard, nor his post, is bigoted or offensive.


  19. Sarah says:

    Hm. I liked this post, except for the swipe at SSPX. I’m not SSPX; in fact, I’m a sedevacantist… But you do have readers who follow the pre-Conciliar-Church-in-general-types, and who are not “running away” and not “dissenting” and not “hateful,” I guess I took that comment to heart.

    I respect all my Catholic friends, and try to give them the benefit of the doubt that these are confusing times for everyone, and we’re all trying to follow Christ’s teaching. I defer to the time of the Great Schism, which reaped canonized saints from every side, even though some of them were wrong about which pope they were following. Do I think you’re wrong by following the Conciliar Church? Yes. Does that mean we still don’t have common beliefs as baptized Catholics and can support each other? No.

  20. Sarah says:

    Er I should say, does that mean we CAN’T support each other* And the answer would that be, as I said, “No.”

    1. Dear Sarah,

      You’re right, I could very much have done without that bit. I apologize, and have edited the piece.

      I’ve known a fair amount of people who grew up in ultra-traditionalist families, and who suffered greatly. The suffering was more a function of their parents’ emotional imbalance than of their religious beliefs per se, but I guess it was enough to plant an aversion for all things ultra-traditionalist in my mind, although I do very much love the Tridentine Mass.

      ‘you do have readers who follow the pre-Conciliar-Church-in-general-types, and who are not “running away” and not “dissenting” and not “hateful,” I guess I took that comment to heart.’

      Maybe this won’t help much, but I meant ‘hateful’ as in ‘worthy of being hated’, rather than ‘hate-filled’; and I definitely meant the adjective to apply to the emotional atmosphere in my friends’ homes, rather than to SSPX in general. But I wasn’t at all clear about that.

      Thanks again for your thoughtful reply.


  21. Gabriel says:

    @ Peter J: Shortly before my conversion to Catholicism (I was raised an evangelical), I tried very hard to convince myself of the interpretation you set forth; it was the Greek and Hebrew, however, that defeated me. They are frequently appealed to by the “left,” but I took a hard look at them, and the cold facts are that the relevant words in the relevant texts can be made to support a pro-gay interpretation only by ignoring the realities of the language. (I can give you more specific explanations if you so desire.)

    As far as taking St Paul to be supporting gay marriage, however unconsciously, I have to agree with Viego Pobre, and add one or two things. First, homosexuality was not unknown in the ancient world, in its most romantic and most degraded forms — indeed, it was a great deal more acceptable in Greece than it has ever been here. The ancients did not use our concept of sexual orientation, but the possibility that a man might prefer another man as his permanent emotional-sexual partner was very familiar, appearing in no less a figure than Plato.

    The institution of Marriage, however (whether considered as a sacrament or just sociologically), was never altered by this fact. I think it a much safer guess, if we insist on guessing, to say St Paul would have said something specific if he’d had homosexuality in mind; and that the Holy Spirit would have moved him to reflect on the matter if he didn’t. For there was no precedent in Judaism for homosexual acts to be approved on religious grounds, and we know from another passage in I Corinthians (to which you allude) that there were homosexual practitioners, or ex-practitioners, in the Church there. To pass over the matter if a change were warranted would, therefore, be an act of careless cruelty.

    @ Zach: if it helps at all, we don’t actually regard any attraction whatever as a violation of moral law. Acting on a given attraction might be wrong, but attractions themselves are involuntary — no guilt attaches to having them, because they happen to you. Unfortunately not everything that happens to us is as it should be: we have chronic diseases or bad eyesight or a desire to listen to Justin Bieber, for instance. What things we put on the “not as it should be” list does, of course, depend on our presuppositions; and, as Mr Augustine says, that would require a separate and compendious tome.

  22. CassL says:

    Just a short comment… as someone else noted the swype at the SSPX. Just wanted to let you know that there are those of us out here who are strong proponents of the tridentine, as well as having had the grace of having the latin Mass because of the SSPX (they are a priestly fraternity, so we can’t rightly say we are part of them), and who are not hateful or walking around with blinders. I agree there are many who can turn others away and it saddens me. But there are still many who know their faith, know the world, and move through it, i suppose, a little more quietly than some boisterous biased bigots that can aggregate towards the traditionalist position. Anyhow, that’s all. Just a shout out 🙂

  23. Sarah says:


    Steve already apologized and revised his post. You might find this hard to believe, but your comment was not helpful by any means.

  24. CassL says:

    @Sarah I’m quite aware that he did so, as I read all comments before posting 🙂 I wasn’t trying to be helpful, just shouting out, as I said; I apologize if my comment seemed accusing or didactic, definitely not meant that way 🙂

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