So what causes the inclination to same-sex attraction if it appears early and involuntarily and "who," if anyone, is responsible? In determining the answer to the "what" question, the most widely accepted scientific hypothesis points to random imbalances in maternal hormone levels and identifies their disruptive prenatal effects on fetal development as the likely and major cause.This is dangerous territory. Not because the science is not interesting. It is because the scientific answer to the question of causation does not change the moral answer. So picking one scientific theory among many and using it to justify the church's position makes it seem that the church's moral teaching depends on Simon LeVay's theory being right. It does not.
The most recent and most comprehensive discussion of this research is found in a book published earlier this year by a scientist who also happens to be a gay-rights advocate. Even though it discounts other environmental factors that other scientists believe also may play a role, Simon LeVay's publication, "Gay, Straight and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Attraction" is worth the read.
LeVay is not interested in the "who" question and describes same-sex attraction as just a variation among other human inclinations. Catholics do not have the luxury of being materialists. We look for ultimate explanations that transcend the strictly physical world and that stretch beyond our limited ability to mold and reshape reality as we know it. Disruptive imbalances in nature that thwart encoded processes point to supernatural actors who, unlike God, do not have the good of persons at heart.This is true but it is also dangerous. Looking at creation and figuring out why God made things the way He did and why God gave the commands He did is interesting but error prone. The biggest error we make is finding a partial answer and assuming it is the whole answer. We do believe we can learn from creation. We just need to be very careful. If the bible is hard to interpret we can expect creation to be quite a bit less clear.
In other words, the scientific evidence of how same-sex attraction most likely may be created provides a credible basis for a spiritual explanation that indicts the devil. Any time natural disasters occur, we as people of faith look back to Scripture's account of those angels who rebelled and fell from grace. In their anger against God, these malcontents prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. They continue to do all they can to mar, distort and destroy God's handiwork.This is the paragraph that got him into trouble. He seems to refer to same-sex attraction as a "natural disaster." I don't think he intends that. His point is valid. Just because something comes from nature does not mean it is good and beautiful and right. Earthquakes come from nature. They are part of the brokenness of the world and not part of the goodness of creation. How can science tell us which is which? It can't. He is suggesting that same-sex attraction comes from what scientifically can be described as"disruptive imbalances in nature that thwart encoded processes." It is easier to associate those kinds of things with the devil then with God. But is it impossible for God to work good ends through such genetic anomalies? No. We might discover an example down the road. It would not shock me.
Therefore, whenever natural causes disturb otherwise typical biological development, leading to the personally unchosen beginnings of same-sex attraction, the ultimate responsibility, on a theological level, is and should be imputed to the evil one, not God. Applying this aspect of Catholic belief to interpret the scientific data makes more sense because it does not place God in the awkward position of blessing two mutually incompatible realities -- sexual difference and same-sex attraction.The language of a broken world I think is less offensive than the language of the devil. Saying the devil is in your DNA is hard to process. It brings up images of the Damien movies. We need to understand that this is a big misunderstanding with a lot of same-sex attracted people. They are told that the Catholic church teaches that they are just evil and cannot be saved. That is a lie but it is a lie many people have believed. So we need to be extra careful when addressing the fact that same-sex attraction is disordered. It does not mean the person is evil. Just like we don't say a diabetic is evil but we do say diabetes is disordered. So saying diabetes comes from the devil would be unwise. Some people speak of the devil in a very broad framework and from that point of view it would not be inaccurate to say diabetes is from the devil.
If in fact this analysis of causation and culpability is correct, then it opens new perspectives on the Church's teaching in this area. Being born with an inclination which originates in a manner outside of one's control is not sufficient proof that the condition is caused by God or that its satisfaction meets God's purpose. Furthermore, a proper understanding of who is really at fault should deepen our compassion towards those who experience same-sex attraction and inform our response to the question of loneliness. Ultimately, an accurate attribution of responsibility for same-sex attraction frees us to consider more fully the urgent question of why sexual difference matters so much to God. These matters will be addressed in my next column.I think you could just remove the first line here. Causation is irrelevant. If you knew you same-sex attraction came from being sexually abused as a child. Certainly not God's will. You will still ask God where He expects you to go from here. You let me get here. I now have these desires. Why can't I act on them? It really changes nothing.
What changes things is the knowledge that celibacy can be a blessing. That is something this world cannot seem to understand. They see a life without sex as unthinkable. You need to know that however you got to that place God is going to either heal you of same-sex attraction or grant you the grace to have a fruitful celibacy. Both options seems impossible to many same-sex attracted people. It requires such a deep change of heart they can't imagine it. But God can heal anything if you let Him. Do you want to be healed? Do you want God more then you want your sin? These are the questions every person faces.
The whole incident shows me how rational discussion has been shut down on this issue. It is true of many issues. This article is not perfect but it is reasonable. It is not just name calling. It is insensitive but it is not malicious. It certainly does not deserve to get anybody fired. That can only have a chilling effect on freedom of expression on this issue.