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Re: “Catholics Schooled

DamosA (and all): The main issue comes in what truly defines "Catholic moral teaching on sexuality." There are many different perspectives within the faith on the issue of sexuality and sexual morality. For instance, several of the recent high profile candidates for Pope had a positive view on homosexuality, even though Pope Francis maintains a conservative perspective on the subject. Truly, it all hinges on the question of whether the Church and University are arguing that homosexuality is a choice. For the University to argue that homosexuality is NOT a choice, and is therefore a naturally occurring trait, yet still deny this group legal protection would be the same as to deny legal protection to any other group based on their having a naturally occurring trait, say a different race or sex. Obviously UP would not want to make this claim, since it would morally be the same for them to deny these protections to women or Asians, so the school must be arguing that homosexuality is a choice. This allows them to deny protection to people based on making what they view as an immoral life choice, a much more tenable position. Here, however, they also run into problems because of a little statement made by the Pope in 1994. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (basically a doctrinal statement made by the Pope that serves as an admittedly nonbinding guideline for the teaching of Catholicism, but a guideline nonetheless), Pope John Paul II made the following statement:

"Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth. Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God."

He goes on to state that the theory of evolution is almost certainly correct based on the overwhelming body of scientific evidence (paragraph 283) and that the creation story in Genesis should be interpreted symbolically, not literally. (paragraph 337). That's right, it is the official position of the papacy to not only teach evolution, but to argue against Biblical literalism, all because there is scientific consensus on the issue. This would heavily suggest that the Church, and therefore the University, trust scientific consensus. The problem is that scientists have already come to a consensus on the issue of homosexuality. It is not a choice. It is a naturally occurring trait that comes about from a complicated interplay between genetics, epigenetics (the things that activate your genes), and, yes, the environment, although with this they are primarily referring to the environment of the mother's womb and the hormone bath therein. Since it's not a choice, then, we're back to UP's position being morally equivalent to racism or sexism. It makes no sense for the school to consider to both support the teaching of science and deny protections to homosexual staff, students, and faculty.

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by theburgerboy on 03/15/2013 at 12:21 AM

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