Homosexuality: Why Is This Disorder Being Singled Out for Celebration?

Deborah Sturm
April 30, 2015
Reproduced with Permission

The government should have a pretty decent reason for passing a law. Singling out one group based on a fundamental and unchangeable aspect of its identity is usually not a decent reason. - Emily Bazelon and Adam Liptak, New York Times , April 28, 2015

Our nation is currently waiting for the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to make a decision that could create a "right" to homosexual marriage. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in line with Sacred Scripture, sees homosexual acts as "acts of grave depravity," "intrinsically disordered," and "contrary to the natural law" (CCC 2357)

The Catholic Church does not create rights for mankind. For example, the Church does not have the authority to declare that the use of contraception is justified, no more than she has the authority to declare that a blue sky is purple. Neither can she declare that engaging in homosexual acts is justified. Yet we have an earthly body, the SCOTUS, on the verge of creating a "right" to homosexual acts, something that has throughout human history been understood as disordered. Many kinds of behaviors are disordered, but society seems to have carved out homosexual acts as an exception. And what is particularly problematic is if the SCOTUS can arrogate to itself the creation of a "right," it can also take them away. But the New York Times writers Bazelon and Liptak seem to have forgotten this.

When I did my counseling internship at Franciscan University many years ago, I facilitated a group of women who were struggling with various eating disorders. Generally, the women were struggling with undereating behaviors such as anorexia nervosa or patterns of binge eating followed by induced vomiting characteristic of bulimia. And these behaviors, like homosexual acts, are also "intrinsically disordered" and "contrary to the natural law."

There is a twelve-step program called Overeaters Anonymous in which individuals struggling with "compulsive overeating" meet regularly in in their attempts to overcome what they understand as unhealthy eating patterns.

What leads a person to join a twelve-step program in the first place is that they recognize a lack of freedom that causes them significant distress regarding a particular behavior. There are twelve-step programs to overcome drug abuse, drinking, gambling, viewing pornography and other sexual addictions, and other behaviors.

I have heard other mental health professionals say that clients with eating disorders are a difficult population with which to work. I have personally witnessed the frustration of mental health professionals who are working with a client with an eating disorder. But, of course, this does not mean overcoming an eating disorder is impossible.

I personally developed an eating disorder in my late teens. I went through periods of binge eating followed by induced vomiting as well as extensive periods of undereating. For at least two decades, I was never really comfortable with eating. I had an unhealthy relationship with food that actually began when I was very young. It was only after I experienced a fight with a roommate that destroyed that relationship that I finally recognized that I needed help. I began attending Overeaters Anonymous regularly as well as an eating disorder support group. I eventually overcame my unhealthy eating patterns, but it required a lot of inner work. I came to realize that my unhealthy relationship with food really had very little to do with food in the first place. It was my difficulty relating to people - a difficulty being vulnerable and truly intimate as well as a difficulty being assertive and completely honest in general - that led to my addictive behaviors. And this is true of all addictions .

It was not easy transitioning to a life free of addiction. In fact, I specifically recall thinking prior to my recovery that I could never overcome my eating disorder. And I remember early on in my recovery feeling like I was suspended in thin air, clinging to a thread. How was I going to cope with life without binging and purging? How was I going to function without protracted periods of barely eating? I remember feeling tremendous anxiety, a real fear of the unknown. But this flood of feelings was merely a necessary part of the process of transformation.

In the 1990's when the internet took off, there were all kinds of online groups developing. Groups such as "Pro-Ana, Pro-Mia and Pro-ED," which are short for Pro-Anorexia, Pro-Bulimia and Pro-Eating Disorders came into being, and these groups encouraged eating disorder behaviors. The message of these groups was essentially, "If you can't beat it, join it." The Today Show eventually exposed these groups. I believe it is safe to say that as of the time of this writing, it is "politically incorrect" to encourage having an eating disorder.

But I believe that could change. I recall several years ago while I was working as a nurse in behavioral medicine, discussing addictions with a co-worker. She said that people are born with addictions. People are born with a cocaine addiction. People are born with eating disorders. People are born with addiction to alcohol. If this is truly the case, why bother overcoming anything?

And now the advocates of homosexual "marriage" have declared that same-sex attraction cannot be changed. People are merely "born that way," they insist. There is a serious flaw in their argument, however, and homosexual activists will not admit it: If a person is born with a particular behavioral tendency, it must be genetic. And if this is the case, identical twins, who are absolutely genetically identical, must have exactly the same sexual orientation. But this is not the case at all. There are many cases where identical twins have different sexual orientations. See http://www.narth.org/docs/whitehead2.html . And according to N.E. Whitehead, Ph.D, "there is no argument about this in the scientific community." But the public believes the exact opposite.

It is "politically correct" to support homosexual "marriage." It is "politically incorrect" to condemn it. Several years ago, a medical student doing a rotation in behavioral medicine, asked me what I thought about homosexuality. When I replied that it was a "disorder," he immediately referred to me as a "bitch." His response is typical of advocates of homosexual "marriage." And I truly believe their responses which are merely personal attacks are rooted in their inability to articulate their positions.

Bazelon and Liptak, quoted above, do not believe that if the SCOTUS declares homosexuals have a "right" to marry, that the rights of religious groups will be infringed upon. They believe that the SCOTUS will defend religious groups' right to oppose homosexuality. (See http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/28/magazine/whats-at-stake-in-the-supreme-courts-gay-marriage-case.html?_r=0 ) But they are dead wrong. In fact, the government is already cracking down on businesses owned by Christians when they fail to accommodate homosexual couples. If homosexuals have a "right" to marry, nothing will stand in their way. As I wrote in my August 2013 Crisis Magazine article, "Evil expands of its own accord. It is never content to be limited in any way." Homosexual advocates are already going after private businesses that oppose their agenda, even when other businesses would be happy to accommodate them.

And will the SCOTUS attempt to change something that has been true for millennia? Justice Kennedy, who is often the "swing vote," said, "It is difficult for the court to say, 'We know better'". (See http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/04/28/supreme-court-hears-historic-same-sex-marriage-arguments/ ) Really? With all due respect, Justice Kennedy, unborn children were always considered human beings and worthy of protection. But on January 22, 1973, as a result of the SCOTUS Roe vs. Wade decision, everything changed in one fell swoop, and over 60 million babies have been killed before they could see the light of day.

And if the SCOTUS can create a "right" to homosexual "marriage," what will be next? A "right" to have sex with children? A "right" to marry your dog or cat? And as ridiculous and unthinkable as these questions may sound, killing an unborn child was at one time unthinkable, just as marrying someone of the same sex was also considered unthinkable. It is now unthinkable to kill a Jew, but it was fashionable in Germany during the Third Reich. And what inherent rights will be destroyed in the process? And as the old saying goes, "Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it."