OpinionMon Apr 16, 2012 - 3:35 pm EST
Life after lesbianism
In January, I wrote about my struggles with same-sex attraction (SSA), while living out my vocation as a Catholic wife and mother. The article was picked up by several Catholic websites and secular blogs. I wrote the article anonymously and considering the vitriol of the comments that followed, I’m glad I did. Especially after reading one man’s enraged, sentence-by-sentence dissection of the piece on a site called Face Punch.
There seemed to be three main objections to my testimony:
1. I’m not a “real” lesbian so I shouldn’t be calling myself one;
2. I’m living a false, inauthentic life that’s unfair to my husband and children and that’s bound to self-destruct; and
3. I’m harming people who struggle with SSA by suggesting they can overcome their sexual orientation.
I was struck by how important labels are to people. At times, multiple commenters were arguing over whether I was lesbian, bisexual, or straight. Some claimed I was never a lesbian (despite living as one) or that I hadn’t been with a woman long enough. Which begs the question–how long does one have to have to engage in homosexual acts before it’s acceptable to be called gay or lesbian? Because apparently, three years is not enough.
I’ll admit I titled the article “Confessions of a Recovering Lesbian” to get it in front of those who wouldn’t be interested in reading one titled, “Embracing Catholic Chastity.” But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there really isn’t a label that fits a person like me. I’m not attracted to men, so I’m not heterosexual or bisexual. I’m not living out my attraction to women, so I’m not a lesbian. What’s most accurate is to say that I’m attracted to women, but I’m most attracted to one man–my husband. And that the emotional, spiritual, and physical bond I have with him entirely eclipses the attraction to people of either sex. Is there a label that encompasses all that? I think so: married.
But even if detractors couldn’t agree on what to call me, they at least agreed I’m a fraud. The people willing to let me call myself a lesbian insisted I was just stifling my “real” self, which would inevitably emerge when I encountered “the next Nora.” Though we live in a culture that celebrates girl-on-girl pornography and threesomes, my poor husband is an object of pity because I’m attracted to women. No one wanted to consider what kind of amazing man it would take to inspire such loyalty in a woman.
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I think my biggest mistake was stating I struggle with SSA “on a daily basis.” This gave the impression my waking hours are consumed by the struggle to desire my husband and not to desire sexual union with a woman, which is simply not true. I’m a mother of nearly half-dozen children; like most women in that situation, most of my life is consumed by how I will be meeting the needs of my family, not how I can fulfill my sexual desires.
Most of the time, my SSA isn’t an issue because I’m spiritually fulfilled by God and intellectually, physically, and mentally fulfilled by my husband. But there are times, as I said, when I’m struggling to get “in the mood” (and show me a woman—lesbian or otherwise, who doesn’t) and it’s those times when I’m most vulnerable to the thoughts and images I know will get the job done. Just as straight people are vulnerable to infidelity when their marriage is floundering, I’m vulnerable to thinking about the easy camaraderie of a woman when I feel emotionally estranged from my husband due to a fight or just the daily grind of life.
People who interpret these temptations as evidence I’m suppressing my true self have an immature understanding of what love—especially married love—actually is. It’s true that love is often sparked by a sexual attraction, and ours was no exception. But love is ultimately expressed in action, not in feelings. I watched Titanic along with everyone else, but all I could think about was how what Rose and Jack had was infatuation, not love. Love is making dinner and doing laundry after a full day at work because your wife is puking her guts out from morning sickness. Love is sacrificing time to yourself so your husband can go on a retreat to get closer to the Lord. Love is wiping the vomit off your terminally-ill wife’s aged face…changing your comatose husband’s adult diapers…caring for her even after she has forgotten who you are. Love is the Cross.
I’m human and I struggle with temptation at times; who doesn’t? But I also accept that the Church speaks with the voice of Christ, so I accept that my homosexual desires are disordered and ought not to be indulged. I’m not especially disciplined or faithful, but I have an unshakeable trust that God will provide all the graces I need to resist SSA and build a happy, fulfilling marriage. Marriage and family life are the means by which God has chosen to sanctify me, with SSA just one of many afflictions He’s trying to rout from my soul. And not even the worst one, at that.
Which brings me to the third criticism readers of my testimony had: that by sharing that I’m happily married, I’m proposing marriage as an effective “cure” for SSA. I wasn’t and I’m not. Marriage is a call to lifelong union, not a “treatment,” and it’s not the answer for every person who struggles with SSA. One of the things I love about Catholicism is that it admits to multiple paths to holiness, or vocations. For people who have a deep revulsion to being intimate with the opposite sex, marriage is almost certainly not their vocation. But we are all called to a vocation; whether that’s marriage, religious life, or the single life is something only the person can answer through prayerful discernment.
Can a person be “cured” of SSA? Yes, sometimes. And sometimes not. Homosexuality is a complex pathology that has biological, psychological, and spiritual causes and only God knows the full extent of why and how a person experiences SSA. And only God knows why He calls some of us to greater holiness through marriage, while others are called to holiness in religious communities or as a single person within the world. To those who claim it’s cruel to deny those with SSA the joy of physical union, I can only point out that the Church does not force anyone into a life of chastity.
It’s rare to find a person today that isn’t broken in some aspect of his or her sexuality. But to be healed, we must first admit we’re sick. Most people, even most Catholics, are unwilling to admit that SSA is a disorder in the first place. In the past, those who suffered this affliction were victims of prejudice and violence. Now our sins are celebrated as an expression of our deepest selves. Few know how to offer the truth in love, as Jesus did. If Our Lord were with us today, we’d almost certainly find him in the gay bars—healing those willing to admit they need Him, with a final, gentle call to “go and sin no more.”
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Pro-life group asks: Pray for abortionists who sell baby body parts
February 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - This Lent, a pro-life group would like you to pray for an abortionist - specifically, an abortionist who facilitates the sale of unborn babies' body parts.
The Pro-Life Action League is asking for people to pray for three people in particular throughout the 40 days of Lent. All three were caught on video by the Center for Medical Progress.
Dr. Deborah Nucatola appeared in the first video released last July, sipping red wine and stabbing her salad as she discussed the dismemberment of aborted children, including where to “crush” their bodies for a "less crunchy" technique.
The second is Dr. Mary Gatter, who appeared in the second undercover video, haggling over the prices Planned Parenthood expected to receive for the aborted children's organs and tissue. At one point, she joked that she wants the revenue to pay for “a Lamborghini.”
And the third is Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, who was also caught in the first video praising Dr. Nucatola.
Despite the shocking evidence uncovered by CMP, Richards has insisted her organization did not receive any profit for what she dubs its "fetal tissue donation program." She apologized only for Dr. Nucatola's "tone." She has since said that Planned Parenthood will not receive any remuneration for babies' body parts.
"These three architects of Planned Parenthood’s baby parts scheme have devoted their lives to the destruction and exploitation of human life in the name of ‘choice,’" said Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League. "If we won’t pray for them, who will?”
He asked Christians to pray for these three abortion industry profiteers - and for Richards, who is a post-abortive woman - in order to fulfill Jesus Christ's commandment in the Bible, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you” (St. Matthew 5:44).
“In God’s eyes, what abortion has done to these three women may be worse than what they’ve done to unborn children, who now rest in our Lord’s loving arms," Scheidler said.
For most Catholics, Lent began yesterday on Ash Wednesday, and lasts 40 days.
Texas AG faces ethics probe for defending conscience rights of natural marriage supporters
AUSTIN, Texas, February 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The attorney general of the state of Texas is facing an ethics investigation for having affirmed the constitutional religious freedom of state workers to decline to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples if it goes against their religious beliefs.
Attorney General Ken Paxton took steps to address the issue of conscience protection in his state before and after last June's Supreme Court's Obergefell decision imposing same-sex "marriage" on all 50 states, first issuing a statement the day prior clarifying that Texas law recognizes the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman and recommending that state officials wait for direction from his office should the High Court move to redefine marriage.
Paxton then issued a statement two days after the ruling, his office allowing county clerks and their employees to retain religious freedoms that may allow accommodation of their religious objections to issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and said as well that justices of the peace and judges would similarly retain religious freedoms.
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A month later, a group of some 200 attorneys filed a complaint asserting that Paxton's position encouraged officials to violate the U.S. Constitution and break their oaths of office, according to ABC News.
The complaint was dismissed at first by the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel of the State Bar of Texas, but it was reinstated February 2 by a state Supreme Court-appointed appeals board, which contended that the complaint alleges a "possible violation" of professional conduct rules.
The appeals board decision to reinstate the case does not mean Paxton violated professional ethics, according to the ABC report, but does require him to respond to the complaint in conjunction with the investigation.
"The complaint has always lacked merit," said Paxton spokeswoman Cynthia Meyer, "and we are confident the legal process for resolving these complaints will bear that out."
Paxton was among several state officials across the U.S. who moved to ensure conscience protection in the immediate aftermath the Obergefell ruling, at times garnering the ire of homosexual activists.
Last July, South Dakota's attorney general granted permission to county clerks with conscientious objections to opt out of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as long as another clerk in the office would issue the license.
In a highly contentious case, Davis had asked for a religious accommodation allowing her office to issue altered licenses to homosexuals without her name on them, which was eventually granted by Kentucky's Governor Matt Bevin. However, the ACLU sued, seeking to force Davis to issue the old forms with her full name on them. A federal judge rejected the suit earlier this week.
Last year, homosexual activists sent harassing messages, including threats of violence, to Oklahoma State Senator Joseph Silk and his family after the Republican legislator sponsored a bill that would have given the state's business owners the freedom to follow their religious convictions in regard to homosexual "marriage."
Paxton faces penalties varying between a reprimand and disbarment resulting from the ethics complaint. The Texas attorney general is also facing securities fraud charges.
This pro-abortion billionaire may run for president
NEW YORK, February 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - He's an upwardly mobile, socially liberal billionaire whose political affiliation has changed numerous times over the years. He's teased numerous presidential campaigns in the past, but this time he's talking like he's serious. And no, he's not who you think he is.
Michael Bloomberg, who served three terms as mayor of New York City, has confirmed to media sources that he is considering running for president as an independent in 2016.
Bloomberg told told the Financial Times this week that he finds American political "discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters," and that he's “looking at all the options."
The 73-year-old tycoon was a registered Democrat before switching parties to run in the less contested Republican primary in 2001. He became a registered independent in 2007.
As mayor, Bloomberg governed as a social liberal who strongly supported abortion and the LGBT political agenda.
In 2011, Bloomberg signed a controversial gag order directed at crisis pregnancy centers. A year later, he endorsed Barack Obama's re-election, saying that abortion-on-demand is part of "the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there."
That's the same year Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a $50 million undertaking to expand "reproductive health," including a major partnership with Planned Parenthood-Global to overturn pro-life laws in four nations: Nicaragua, Sengal, Uganda, and Burkina Faso.
Mayor Bloomberg played a pivotal role redefining marriage in New York state, giving the four Republican state senators who voted for New York’s same-sex “marriage” bill the maximum campaign contribution allowed by law. One retired and a second lost his primary fight.
His strong emphasis on health regulations, such as attempting to ban soft drinks larger than 16 ounces, did little to enhance his popularity and were deftly parodied by Sarah Palin. (A state court struck down the proposed regulation.)
The financial heft he could bring into the race, as well as his quirky politics, has tempted Bloomberg to enter presidential politics in the past. He considered a presidential run in 2008 and thought more strongly about a third party bid in 2012, after hosting the inaugural convention of the “No Labels” movement in New York City in 2010, but he backed off each time after not seeing a viable path to victory.
With an estimated fortune of $39 billion, he has said he would be willing to spend more than $1 billion on his campaign in 2016 - but he would only enter the race if the Republican Party nominates Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, and the Democratic Party nominates Bernie Sanders.
He called Jeb and Hillary Clinton "two quality” candidates and "the only two who know how to make the trains run." Jeb reciprocated last month, telling CNN that Bloomberg is "a good person, and he’s a patriot and wants the best for the country.”
At least one of his competitors is eager to see Mike run. "I hope he gets into the race," Donald Trump told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Wednesday night. "I'd love to compete against him...I would love to see Michael in the race."
That is likely because polling shows Bloomberg would draw most of his support from the Democratic candidate. "Although he is characterized as the New York counterpunch to Trump, Mayor Mike Bloomberg is more the nemesis of Bernie than he is of Donald," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
Bernie Sanders would defeat both Trump and Cruz in a head-to-head match, according to Quinnipiac. But if Bloomberg entered the race, he would win 15 percent of the vote largely from Sanders, giving Trump a one-point victory in the popular vote (and narrowing Cruz's loss to one point).
However, he could throw a major wrench in the Democrats' electoral college total, according to columnist Pat Buchanan.
"Not only would Bloomberg lose the Big Apple, his statewide vote would come mostly from the Democratic nominee, giving Republicans the best opportunity to carry the Empire State since Ronald Reagan coasted to re-election in 1984," wrote Buchanan, who served as White House communications director during Reagan's second term.
“It’s not beyond imagining that he could get in and have an effect on the race,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, told The Hill.
Perhaps sensing this, numerous Democrats - including Senators Claire McCaskill and Jeanne Shaheen - have thrown cold water on a Bloomberg presidential run.
Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman, said this week that an independent Bloomberg candidacy "won't be necessary" - because the Democrats already represent social liberals.
"I really think when he takes a good hard look, he will conclude that the issues that are important to him...[have] a natural home among our Democratic candidates," she said. "And so, I think Michael Bloomberg's agenda is well cared-for and advanced among our Democratic candidates, and his candidacy, I think he will find, won't be necessary.""
His entrance into the race would be a true injection of "New York values" - making him the third or fourth New Yorker in the race - alongside fellow billionaire Trump from Queens, the Brooklyn-born Sanders, and onetime New York Senator Hillary Clinton.
Annie Linskey, a reporter for the Boston Globe who once worked for Bloomberg, told Fox News on Monday that there is "about a four" percent chance that Bloomberg will run.