The Editor: PM reports on homosexual (Feb. 11) and transgender (April 1) issues failed to recognize that the conditions dealt with are disorders.
In this context, disorder is an unwelcome truth that seems to conflict with love and mercy. But, as Pope Emeritus Benedict said, without truth, love degenerates into sentimentality; and he could have added that without discipline, mercy degenerates into indulgence.
Disorder is not a difficult concept to grasp. If something operates according to what it’s for, it is functional or ordered; if it doesn’t, it is dysfunctional or disordered. This principle applies to man-made things like cars or computers and God-made creatures.
Most accept the principle with respect to conditions like anorexia and pica, the consumption of non-foods. They recognize that because the digestive system is ordered to sustaining life, it is disordered if consumption is deficient or if appetite and digestion are out of sync.
Many, however, disregard the principle with respect to conditions like gender dysphoria and homosexuality. They don’t recognize that because the sexual system is ordered to procreating life, it, too, is disordered if genitalia are ambiguous or if inclinations and organs are out of sync.
Sex, of course, is not just about procreating life. It’s also about intimate love and venereal pleasure; and eating is not just about sustaining life. It’s also about fellowship and gustatory pleasure.
But life is a fundamental human good, so acting against what the sexual and digestive systems are for, their principal functions, is fundamentally evil. The disordered is not a rational basis for recognizing identity. Nor is it something to be celebrated. Nevertheless, those suffering these disorders are to be loved and celebrated as images of God.
Love and sex are not inseparable. You can have either without the other and many do. Love among LGBTQs (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) does not justify disordered sex anymore than honour among thieves justifies theft.
World culture is moving away from church teaching. But the church is supposed to be the light of the world. The world is not the light of the church. — Joe Campbell, Saskatoon