This article is in response to an opinion piece by Serena Bonnette, published on Oct. 10.
By Mary Keran.
Like Serena Bonnette, I too am a Catholic woman, and I also believe it is wrong to condemn people who have homosexual tendencies. However, I do not believe the church does this.
Ms. Bonnette stated that the church should change its teaching on the morality of acting on homosexual tendencies because people with homosexual tendencies were created that way and should be permitted to gain happiness in the way that they are able to express, because “acting on a genetic trait is not a sin.”
But should the genetics you were born with justify your actions? Someone can be born with a genetic disposition to the pleasurable effects of alcohol over others – but this does not mean they are meant to be alcoholics.
I was born with poor vision – in my opinion I considered it to be normal. My parents, however made me get glasses so I wouldn’t end up hurting myself down the road (literally). Just because I had a genetic predisposition of seeing the world one way did not make it the correct way.
A child may be born with a sweet tooth (my sister certainly was!) and they may feel that copious amounts of ice cream will make them happy because it is pleasurable. Nonetheless, a parent tells them not to, not because parents want to make “anything and everything” a rule but because out of love, they desire what is ultimately best for the child.
If, as you say, the church should change her doctrine to condone everyone acting in accord with their genetic tendencies, what about someone who is born with pedophilic tendencies? Does that condition justify their actions? While this may seem an extreme example, if the logic of excusing acting on a genetic trait is valid, then this example also becomes valid.
In conclusion, I do not believe that how you are born or your genetics can determine what is right or wrong. And since this individualistic approach is lacking, then there must be an objective solution, one which the church, as a mother desiring our good, guides us towards in the truest sense of love for us and out of concern for our happiness.