If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. The identity that matters is our identity in God’s will, to be the person God created us to be. Fr. Paul Scalia, who is the son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, is getting raked over the coals at Think Progress for offering the Catholic viewpoint on identity when it comes to things like homosexuality. Here is the big fat lie being told about Fr. Scalia by Think Progress:
His true goal with this wordplay is to find a way to justify parents’ rejecting their gay children.
Um, no. His true goal is to lead souls to heaven, as is the duty of every Catholic priest. The “gay” identity poisons souls because it is identity in disorder.
Resisting the labeling temptation demands that we reject the culture’s vocabulary and adopt more precise terms. In popular usage, the words “gay” and “lesbian” imply a fixed orientation and the living out of a lifestyle. Even the term “homosexual person,”which is used in some Vatican documents, suggests that homosexual inclinations somehow determine, which is to say confine, a person’s identity.
Granted, the more accurate phrases do not trip easily off the tongue. But what is lost in efficiency is gained in precision. Terms such as “same-sex attractions” and “homosexual inclinations” express what a person experiences without identifying the person with those attractions. They both acknowledge the attractions and preserve the freedom and dignity of the person. With that essential distinction made, parents can better oppose the attractions without rejecting the child. And as the child matures, he will not find his identity confined to his sexuality.
The importance of the Catholic argument on identity is borne out in the false reasoning opponents use to argue against it. They claim we hate the person because we reject the identity. That they are unable to intellectually separate the person from the identity is where the danger lies. Our dignity is in our humanity, not in labels. All people have inherent, inviolable dignity because all people are created in the image of God. To insist that you have no “dignity” unless society accepts your finding your identity in disorder is robbing yourself of the truth about your value as a human person. All have dignity no matter what society may say. Identity in our humanity is what unites mankind. Identity in labels divides mankind, and when the label is the “gay” label, it cannot be accepted by a Christian.
Adding to the confusion is the insistence by some in the Catholic community who insist that the “gay” identity is harmless, and who will even go so far as to agree with our opponents that to reject the “gay” identity is the same as rejecting the people who identify that way. Catholics need to speak as one voice on this important issue.
God bless Father Scalia for speaking out. I would invite you to take this message to heart and spread the word. It’s the crux of the issue we are faced with, after all. To fail to address it is to continue to wallow in confusion. Particularly now, in the Advent season, as we await the Birth of God Incarnate, it is more important than ever to remind people where our dignity comes from.