Friday, September 24, 2010
Kevin Miller sent me a link to the USCCB's statement on the book The Sexual Person: Toward a Renewed Catholic Anthropology, by Todd A. Salszman and Michael G. Lawler. The statement is very rich. Here are a couple of quotes that I especially like:
"Whether or not the scriptural writers, along with the rest of society until the twentieth century, were indeed ignorant of the fact that some people have a predominantly homosexual inclination, is a historical question that cannot be considered resolved by the evidence provided in The Sexual Person" (p. 6). [This reminds me of C.S. Lewis's point in Mere Christianity about the supposed ignorance of the way babies are made by the writers of the infant narratives who described a virgin birth.]"An epistemology that denies to human reason the capacity to grasp the intelligibility of nature and to discern an intrinsic order to nature is too skeptical to be compatible with a Catholic understanding of the human person as created in the image of God and a created order that has come into being and is sustained in being by the eternal Logos" (p. 11).[I've never really understood Christians who are enamored of Hume.]"For example, they propose that homosexual acts can be justified on the basis of a personal, affective complementarity between persons of a homosexual orientation. In their view, personal complementarity is independent of bodily complementarity, and exists even when contradicted by bodily non-complementarity. The implication here is that the personal and the bodily are separable. Rather than an integral part of the human person, the human body becomes merely an instrument of the human spirit, an instrument that can be manipulated according to one's desire" (p. 15). [Dualism rears its ugly head again. And, yes, Kevin, I put a lot of the blame on Descartes.]"Indeed, rather than setting moral limits, the chief concern of the authors of The Sexual Person appears to be to provide a moral justification for sexual behaviors that are common in contemporary culture but rejected as immoral by the Church" (p. 18). [Ear-ticklers.]:"The very idea of unnormed, individual experience as foundational results in a dangerous circularity, so that one's prejudices and those of one's culture can be simply reinforced" (p. 21). [My question is, why can't they and their like see this fatal flaw?]
Both authors teach Catholic theology at Creighton University. They also won the Catholic Book Award in theology from the Catholic Press Association.