Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mr. Coyne on sexual ethics

http://www.catholica.com.au/forum/board_entry.php?id=26836

Here are some curious observations from Mr. Brian Coyne, editor and publisher of the endlessly fascinating Catholica Australia website (it is not clear whether he uses ‘we’ consistently here to mean either himself and his wife, or as the editorial pronoun, or as representing people generally, or whether it’s a mixture of one or more of these uses):

Like most people we have friends, even members of our wider families, who are dealing with their sexual identity and some in same-sex relationships. Frankly we no longer see either the relationships, or what people do in those relationships as "sinful" — or any more "sinful" than what can occur in heterosexual relationships. Rape is just as grotesque and sinful in a heterosexual relationship as it is in a homosexual relationship. It can occur in both relationships whether they are "blessed" by a church or not. How do we ourselves learn — and teach others — that moral behaviour is about "an attitude of mind and spirit"? It is not primarily about what we do with our pink bits. It's what goes on in our mind when we are playing with our pink bits — and the pink bits of our partners. Didn't Jesus himself share that piece of wisdom with us?*
(his emphasis and asterisk)
Who knows precisely what this means; the words ‘offensive to pious ears’ come to mind, though. It sounds like error and blasphemy rolled into one, and reeks of relativism. And I can’t even begin to imagine which of Christ’s teachings Mr. Coyne could possibly invoke in support of these ravings (the other asterisk is not provided at the forum post). Even an atheist and homosexual like Mr. Matthew Parris, who had been brought up, apparently, as an Anglican, can acknowledge that

… though the New Testament says little about sex or marriage, nothing in the Gospels suggests any departure from Judaic wisdom on such matters, a pretty robust sense of which we gain from the Old Testament.

Jesus was never reluctant to challenge received wisdoms that He wanted to change. He gives no impression that He came into the world to revolutionise sexual mores. Even our eye, if it offends us, must be plucked out.
(http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/matthew_parris/article861430.ece
via http://www.billmuehlenberg.com/2009/01/20/out-of-the-mouth-of-atheists)
Curiously, Mr. Coyne seems to contradict his relativism in the next paragraph, in which he appears also to case doubt on the ex opere operato efficacy of the Sacraments:

Sacrament is not some "magic ritual" where, like some witch doctor, we call down some mystical incantations that shower "grace" or "Divine good fortune" into our lives — or to cure our illnesses and relationships. Sacrament is, or should be, part of the process of "learning to intuit the will of the Divine" in our lives. It's part of the "memory and learning process" through which we learn to "think and act like God" — to think and act with the objectivity and detachment of God. My personal view is that all relationships are in some way "sacramental" — they grow out of the Divine imperative to "love one another" and are sacramental in nature. They are THE learning curve within which we learn the "Way" of Jesus — the "Way" of thinking and acting like God would act, detached from our ego, and pains, if God were the one being called upon to make the decisions we have to make if we are to successfully navigate our way through life.
(His red bold type, my bold black type)
What does any of this mean? Only Mr. Coyne knows, I suppose.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. George, Martyr, A.D. 2009

1 comment:

Louise said...

It is not primarily about what we do with our pink bits. It's what goes on in our mind when we are playing with our pink bits — and the pink bits of our partners.

As far as I can tell, secularists (and those infected with the secular heresy) are obsessed with their pink bits and care for nothing else.

Didn't Jesus himself share that piece of wisdom with us?No, Brian. He did not.