On the nature of homosexuality and Original Sin

Question

Hi Dr. Sugon,

I sent you further inquiries about your thoughts on the nature of homosexuality last May 18, and I was wondering if you have received it. I am very much looking forward to discuss and be enlightened about matters which I still am not aware of, and I think that this conversation wonderfully helps me in doing that. In case you haven’t received it, I’ll be copying my reply here. Again, thanks, and I hope to hear from you soon.

“Yes, I say that homosexuality is partly a biological phenomenon, however, I did not say that because it is a biological phenomenon that homosexuals do not have a choice on their lifestyle. Homosexuals have the choice to live conservatively, that is not denying their homosexuality, but living in a way which does not scream the essence of stereotypical homosexuality (i.e. cross-dressing, application of excessive make-up). They also have the choice to dress and express their ideas more through clothing and other sociocultural avenues. But, what they don’t have a choice at is their attraction orientation – just as a straight man does not have a choice to get attracted to women and vice versa, unless society affects them to act otherwise. The same thing goes with your example of a murderer. I do not claim that killing is good, but a murderer who was born with schizophrenia or other psychological disorder is not deemed morally responsible for the act of killing, because he technically did not have a choice; his body was programmed to act that way. Therefore, this murderer, instead of being sent to jail, is sent to a psychological facility in which he will serve his term. What I think then is that, generally, homosexuals must not be held responsible for their orientation, and thus be condemned for it, because they don’t have a choice on who to get attracted to. (One particular exception may be a man who was born with the probability of getting attracted to women, but chooses to engage homosexually.)

To clarify, are you suggesting that homosexuals can be “trained”? I disagree with this point, and I will provide sociocultural references that show that such a transformation to becoming a heterosexual is improbable. Although we can try putting homosexuals in psychological facilities, or perhaps have the Church assist in an action to rehabilitate them from their homosexuality, society is not designed to act upon such an action. The case is different from the psychologically impaired, because there is a probability that they hurt themselves or others when they do not get treated. It is improbable that a particular gender is more inclined to doing harm to people than other genders, so it is not necessary to “treat” them. Also, becoming stable and constant in early years, gender is part of one’s identity (Kail, 2010). Therefore, trying to manipulate one’s gender through conditioning entails tainting one’s identity. With that, society deems that a mandate or even to advocate change in gender is unethical. That is why centers for homosexual rehabilitation do not exist.*But, I do not deny that there are still people who try to convert homosexuals, however, because gender is established and constant, these most of these people fail. Stories of fathers drowning their children in a drum of water and physically abusing them seem to attest to this.

Yes, man has free will, but this free will is affected by many factors. Thus, human behavior is not governed by biological instincts alone, but rather affected by it, together with the environment. We do not just punch the person who accidentally stepped on our foot, because we think that he did not mean and know what he did, even if, by our fight-or-flight mechanism, our bodies tell us to punch him or flee the scene. Homosexuality acts in the same way. Since social mores and teachings do not give enough reason to convince homosexuals to constrain their biological instnict to get attracted to the same sex, homosexuals think that they are justified in following their biological instinct.

Moreover, the link you provided me is Vatican’s official statement on the nature of marriage and homosexual unions alone. I am still stumped on what the Church claims about the essence and nature of homosexuality: where did it come from, for example.“-

*I have looked into this matter, and I stand corrected in saying that there are homosexual rehabilitation centers. However, it is highly frowned upon by the society and by the Catholic Church herself, because, again, it’s unethical.

Response:

Dear ____

Yes, I received it a long time ago, but it got buried in my many emails for not responding soon enough.

The short answerto your question on the nature of homosexuality is this: I don’t know.

The long answer is: God created only male and female.  And God blessed them: “Be fruitful and multiply!”  If God only made male and female, how is it possible that some men are attracted to men and women to women?  The answer to this question is related to the more fundamental question: If everything that God created is good (read Genesis 1), why is there evil in the world? Answer: God made the angels good, but He gave them free will to reject or accept his love.  Some angels used their free will to reject God’s love, and they became demons, with all the powers of angels before their fall, but filled with malice and hatred against God.  Their choice is irrevocable.

Now, if God made humans only male and female, why are there lesbians and gays?  Answer: before their Fall, Adam and Eve have perfect control over their passions.  This is called Original Justice.  But Satan, the leader of the fallen angels, is envious of the privilege of Adam and Eve, for they and their descendants shall become children of God if Adam and Eve pass the test.  But misery seeks company.  So Satan tempted Eve to disobey God’s commandment not to eat from the forbidden tree, and she brought his husband Adam with him in her disobedience.  Because of their disobedience, Adam and Eve lost their perfect control over their passions.  This is Original Sin.  And this defect of Adam and Eve is passed on to their descendants, together with increase birthpangs, difficulty of tilling the ground, and ultimately, of bodily death.  Thus, homosexuality is a result of Original Sin.  It is very difficult to cure, but the struggle to overcome ones homosexual tendencies is itself a path to sanctity, a cross that a homosexual has to bear in order to reach heaven.  God can provide us with all the graces that we need to overcome temptation.  We only need but ask.  As Christ said: “For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened….how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Lk 11:9-13).

Let us always pray and fast.  Fasting helps us control our passions.  If a homosexual can learn how to control himself from eating meat on Fridays, he will build up spiritual reserves to combat his hunger for the human flesh during sexual intercourse with a fellow man (or with a fellow woman as in the case of lesbians).  Some passions are difficult to remove; they are like stubborn demons that refuse to get out of a man.  The apostles, too, encountered several cases of demonic possessions that the apostles have difficulty sending out.  The apostles complained to Christ, and Christ said to them: “”But this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting.”  In the same way, homosexuality can also be cured, but it can only be done by prayer and fasting.  The only way to see if this method works is to try it.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Sugon

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About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

2 Responses to On the nature of homosexuality and Original Sin

  1. Jon says:

    Homosexuality 101: What Every Therapist, Parent, And Homosexual Should Know
    Is Change Really Possible?

    “The case is different from the psychologically impaired, because there is a probability that they hurt themselves or others when they do not get treated.”
    -Explaining the need of people with same-sex attraction to seek emotional and spiritual help and the consequences of not being able to do so would be quite long but homosexual life can harm the self and other people. It is not simply a matter of attraction. This page talks about causes and consequences of homosexuality: Root Causes, Homosexual Consequences

    “Therefore, trying to manipulate one’s gender through conditioning entails tainting one’s identity. With that, society deems that a mandate or even to advocate change in gender is unethical.”
    -Trying to hange is not ‘conditioning’. It involves healing what has been broken. It isn’t good to identify oneself with one’s brokenness or imperfection. It would be unethical if society were to condemn other people for wanting to change.

    “That is why centers for homosexual rehabilitation do not exist.”
    -There are support groups in the country (mostly in Metro Manila) and elsewhere in the world that help people live chaste lives. Some groups emphasize healing while some emphasize chastity. Many of these groups are religious in nature (Catholic and non-Catholic) but there are also groups that are not faith-based.

    “…because gender is established and constant, these most of these people fail.”
    -Here is a site that talks about change: Questions and Answers about Change
    -Gender is constant but there are only 2 genders – male and female. Homosexuality cannot be considered a gender because it is mostly based on attraction. People trying to change are only being true to their maleness or femaleness. Yes, many fail, but many do succeed. Healing and change is a long process. It’s not a quick and easy fix. Would one consider getting a 90-degree shift out of the 180-degree goal a failure?

    “Yes, man has free will, but this free will is affected by many factors. Thus, human behavior is not governed by biological instincts alone, but rather affected by it, together with the environment. ”
    -The same can be said about homosexuality. Some people may be predisposed to homosexuality but it doesn’t determine sexual orientation.

    People Can Change
    NARTH

    Here are some links to the Vatican website.

    Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons
    About Homosexual Unions

  2. Jon says:

    “Moreover, the link you provided me is Vatican’s official statement on the nature of marriage and homosexual unions alone. I am still stumped on what the Church claims about the essence and nature of homosexuality: where did it come from, for example.”
    -If you read all the links provided in the previous comment, you’ll learn more about scientific issues (which gays will always try to discredit through loud protests, politicking and harassment) of homosexuality. Moreover, if you read the link on the “Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons”, the Church says “However, the Catholic moral viewpoint is founded on human reason illumined by faith and is consciously motivated by the desire to do the will of God our Father. The Church is thus in a position to learn from scientific discovery but also to transcend the horizons of science and to be confident that her more global vision does greater justice to the rich reality of the human person in his spiritual and physical dimensions, created by God and heir, by grace, to eternal life”. This means that even if the Church does not know much about homosexuality, her statements regarding the morality of it still holds.

    “However, it is highly frowned upon by the society and by the Catholic Church herself, because, again, it’s unethical.”
    -Again, if you read all the links, you’d understand why the cause is ethical. Besides, they don’t force change. Forcing is unethical and, unlike pro-gay people, these groups will respect decisions to pursue or not to pursue healing. There things more important than same-sex attraction anyway (this is also part of the healing process – to know that one can go beyond attraction or addiction). Society will always see trying to do good as unethical and useless especially if it goes and speaks against desires. The Church, however sees it far from being unethical. How come? The Church in America started an apostolate (now worldwide) “for helping homosexual persons to live in accordance with the laws of God and the teaching of His Church”. This is the Courage apostalate. (http://couragerc.net)

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