Evolution and Creation III – Sexuality

This post continues the series on theological, moral and spiritual issues related (really or supposedly) to the theory of evolution. James Chastek, at the Just Thomism blog, has been doing a number of posts on philosophical issues related to evolution, which readers of this blog may also be interested in reading.

From Hugh Owen's The Importance of the Traditional Doctrine of Creation:

My comments are in red.

3. Theistic Evolutionism confuses and undermines the distinct divinely-instituted roles of men and women and indirectly contributes to the confusion of sexual roles. The traditional understanding of Genesis defines and strengthens the God-given roles of men and women and protects the dignity of both sexes and the leadership role of men.

According to the patristic understanding of Genesis, human sexuality is a gift from above, a reflection of the Trinitarian mystery. [The principal analogate of marriage for the Fathers is not immediately the Trinity, but Christ and the Church.] According to this traditional understanding of human sexuality, contraception, homosexuality, masturbation, and bestiality are all sacrilegious sins, in that they defile the life-giving reflection of Trinitarian divine love and render it sterile. According to theistic evolution, however, human sexuality came up from the apes. [But according to theistic evolution, the particularly human aspect of sexuality is not common to men and apes, nor do men receive it from apes–it is rooted in the rational soul.] Homosexuals even argue that homosexuality is “natural” since certain species of apes and baboons practice homosexual play. [It is important to distinguish two senses of "natural"; in one sense, that which in any way follows upon nature is called natural; in another sense, only that which nature is directly ordered to is called natural; in the first sense, death, disease, and monstrous births are natural to all animals; in the second sense, they are not. The relevant sense of "natural" when discussing whether homosexuality is good or bad, is the second sense. Homosexuality of the sort where an animal is infertile for its whole life could be natural in the first sense, but it's hard to see how it could be in the second. Occasional homosexuality might in some animals be natural in the second sense, be somehow good for them. That would have to be seen by study; it can't be ruled out in advance.] Since man’s body evolved from animals of this kind, they argue, it is foolish to argue that homosexuality is against our nature. [It is indeed foolish to argue that an individual act of homosexuality is a moral evil without taking into consideration man's rational nature, which is presupposed to morality properly speaking. Because man has not a merely animal nature, but a spiritual and rational nature, which is capable of grasping universal truths and seeking good universally, an individual human act can be naturally apt to express the full meaning of human sexuality, which includes relationship to procreation. Hence, considering nature alone, without arguing from revelation, an argument for homosexuality would have to be based on anthropology (just like arguments against homosexuality); arguments from other animals cannot prove the case–we may find some kinds of animals for whom a certain amount of "stealing", "killing", "cheating", etc., is natural and good, but that in no way indicates that these are natural and good for man.]

The identification of the priesthood with masculinity after the pattern of the first Adam and of Jesus Christ, the Second Adam, led the Church Fathers to strongly condemn effeminacy and homosexuality in priests and monks. For the Holy Fathers, the identification of the priesthood with manhood was so strong that priests and monks were expected to be more manly, more courageous, and more ascetical than laymen. Not surprisingly, the rise of theistic evolutionism has coincided with a dramatic increase in homosexuality and effeminacy among the Catholic clergy along with a relentless feminization of the liturgy characterized by such things as female altar servers and inclusive language. [This argument scarcely needs comment. Theistic evolution does not in the least do away with the difference between masculinity and feminity. See the previous post for more on this. The causes of the minimalization of the difference between what is masculine and feminine are quite different–in part a perception that the feminine was as such made inferior to what is masculine, with the consequent desire of doing away with the difference between the two, in order to promote the equal dignity of man and woman.]

… Is it conceivable that homosexuality and clerical sexual abuse could have spread as widely as they have done in an atmosphere charged with faith in the literal historical truth of Genesis? [Yes. In fact, it may actually have been just as common in the early Eastern Church as it is now. Basil thinks it appropriate to forbid young monks from ever being together alone, because of the danger that they will be led to homosexual desires and acts. That's apparently indicative of a common inclination for young (and old) men to perceive young men as feminine, and thus be inclined to sexual intercourse with them. And this to a greater degree than present.]

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