Moral Relativity

I think I’m a professional student.

No, seriously, I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t involved in learning something.

Some might consider this a good thing, but I’m seriously starting to think it is a bit of an addiction. Because I always feel the need to learn more about something. For example, lately, I’m truly trying to gain a better understanding of my Higher Power. I’m trying to relate to the ideas of my catholic upbringing and understand how I can accept myself, in spite of the perception of sexuality and gender. It seems like an unending battle, since I see myself as a bisexual male or a possible transgendered woman but I also ascribe to many of the precepts of my catholic upbringing and Christianity.

I’ve mentioned numerous times that I struggle with my sexuality and with my gender. Many times I have convinced myself that I am something other than I feel; but I have also wondered if I run from responsibility on many things. Today, I mentioned to my wife (I have not mentioned it, but she called me and we have been talking again) that the one major thing I struggle with in coming to God is that I believe it involves instant responsibility – something I don’t know I am capable of meeting – or I am unwilling. We were discussing the ideas that there are definitive rights and wrongs, and that these definitive rights and wrongs stare the ideas of Moral Relativity in the face.

I have always understood the catholic understanding of any sexuality besides heterosexual is a state of disorder. Disorder requires compassion, but not conviction. For Catholics, hating a homosexual is as much of a sin as the act involved in homosexuality. The catechism explains that homosexuals have a special cross to carry and, as a result, must abstain from sexual relationships – i.e. remain chaste. In other words, being a homosexual is not wrong, but engaging in sexually homosexual acts are sinful – because they are not done within the domain of a marriage. This is where catholic doctrine denies a relative morality.

Although my wife has loved me, regardless of my sexual inclinations (she is unaware I see myself as non-gender specific), I am unsure about my ability to fulfill the requirements of any romantic relationship right now. Granted, a married couple that discovers that one of the people is not heterosexual will open the marriage to being annulled, it is still a complex matter for either person. The heterosexual person will be “allowed” to remarry as a catholic, whereas the non-heterosexual will be required to commit to a chaste life and carry a “special cross” and receive compassion from others.

Truthfully, I struggle with this for a number of reasons. I don’t care to go into them in much detail today, but the ideas they present in my mind are interesting matters and something I feel I will spend time trying to understand. But I am quite aware that the ideas of Moral Relativity are directly related to this topic.  Moral Relativity is the idea that what is right for me is right for me and what is right for you is right for you.  I find the idea to have some major problems and when I have engaged in friendly debate with people about the flaws of Moral Relativity, they find my arguments to be repulsive – I’m sure Hitler felt the eradication of Jews to be completely moral. To me, this idea has some problems because there must be some absolute rights and absolute wrongs or else all of humanity devolves into destructive chaos, arbitrarily chosen by whomever is in charge – typically oneself.

But I can’t find any ability to see the love shared between two consenting adults as disordered. To me, the idea of two adults loving each other is a beautiful thing and an example of love for humanity. I understand the counter arguments to the idea, but I struggle with the concept that it is somehow evil and I can’t find a way to convince myself otherwise. I know some would wonder why I am even bothering to convince myself of the alternatives, because it seems to hurt my mind in some ways. But here is the thing I truly have always believed – and it is a quote from the book of Alcoholics Anonymous – “Either God is everything or He is nothing”.

But I always try to keep my mind open to arguments, but I would be lying if I said it would bother me to have to give up on some things.

But is it a sacrifice, I should make?

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28 thoughts on “Moral Relativity”

  1. God is loving and forgiving. He created you in his image, and for that reasons God has accepted you for who you are. It sounds to me like you are searching for an answer when you already know the answer. You know who you are and want you want, you just need to accept that. God doesn’t see people as good or bad, He sees his children as unique creations and only asks that we love Him and love each other. Church is an amazing thing to be a part of and gives a lot of comfort and guidance in life. However, if their morals do not fit with yours there is no point in denying who you are or you will never be happy. Have you asked Him about what you should do? He is always around and listening. As for always wanting to learn- that is an amazing gift to have- enjoy it! Always here- Amy

    Liked by 9 people

  2. Remember, dear Steph-

    The Bible was not meant to be the Word of God. That’s a theological fallacy. No one has the ultimate authority to discern what the Will of God is but you. You are the final authority. If you were to follow the antichrist Catholic Church’s lead, you would have sent Jews to fry in the furnace during the Holocaust and turned runaway slaves in to the authorities during slavery times. The Bible, theoretically, supported both of these horrible agendas.

    The Bible is a book of ADVICE. You are to read it, reflect upon it, and decide FOR YOURSELF what works for you and what doesn’t. There is no other justifiable answer. Depending on where you are in your spiritual development, some of the advice makes sense for you, and some of it really doesn’t. That doesn’t mean you do whatever you feel like doing. I may feel like going out to a Bushwick bar and flirting with a sinewy pale hipster with dark coloring and a plaid flannel shirt on, but that doesn’t mean that such behavior is Ma’at, or acceptable in any way. My desire for white men is a raging burn that afflicts me every waking minute of every day. I eat it, sleep it, and bathe it. But inside, in my heart of hearts, I truly feel that mating with a white man would be wrong. No matter what the world tells me, I have to respect that.

    On the other hand, the man I know I was supposed to marry looked white, but was ethnically mixed-race. How does one make sense of such a thing? The only way I can understand it is to accept that it’s not the appearance of virtue that matters, but the reality of it. White-looking but ethnically black – okay to marry. White-looking but white – gotta stay away. The Bible couldn’t tell me that. I had to look inside of myself and find the truth. Same for you. Nobody but you knows what you should and shouldn’t do regarding your sexual identity. You can’t rely on the motherfucking Bible. The Bible tells its readers they should all be celibate. That’s what happens when the Catholic Church steals a motherload of sacred scriptures from ancient Egyptian temples and incompetently copies them into one poorly-organized “Good Book.”

    There’s value in the Bible, but we have to discern it for ourselves. Taken as a whole, the Bible is a joke. It simply doesn’t make sense. Realistically, it was designed for clergypeople, not laypeople. Some of the advice in it could never make sense for the everyday person. The invention of the printing press and the publication of the Gutenberg Bible changed history forever. But when you can’t even trust the Bible to represent God accurately (that is, as both feminine and masculine), how can you trust it to tell you the truth about your sexuality? It sounds to me like you really need to study the pagan roots of the Bible, get into new age Christianity and maybe join a couple of Facebook groups on ancient Egypt or star children. Let me know if you want me to send you some names. PLEASE don’t become one of those dry-as-bones holy rollers who ends up being a raging hypocrite because they’re too cowardly to separate their need for the sacred Divine from their desire for worldly recognition and respect (which one gets for being a “Christian”). That’s why the Christians are our modern-day Pharisees and the real gods’ worst enemies. Explore Catholicism if you want, but stay honest and stay real. Just my 2 cents. Blessed be. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

          1. That is a recurring thought in my mind, always. I have apprehension with the bible. It is so interesting to see followers of different religions truly believing in that religion. Who knows which one is the “right” one. I’m living a spiritual life after being baptized as a catholic and growing up in the baptist church. Everyday I wonder if I’m going to hell for learning Tarot and learning Wicca that is badly stigmatized in our society. If God is real, would he send a child to hell because that child didn’t learn about God? Would he send people to hell because they choose a different path but lived a good life and didn’t hurt people? Why do I have to worship anyone? Why can’t I love my soul and body? Why can’t I worship myself? So many questions…

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  3. I don’t want to add to your confusion so I won’t be long. The bible was written by men who lived in a very difference society, where having slaves and diminishing women were acceptable behaviours. These two have changed, not without many battles being fought, but sexuality remains taboo.
    It’s not a choice. It’s who you are. I found the text I mentioned to you the other day. It’s written by a religious man and it’s beautifully accepting. I hope you find peace in it as I have.
    http://johnpavlovitz.com/2016/08/22/the-day-i-chose-my-heterosexuality/

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I find the concept of ‘we accept who you are as long as you don’t act on it’ baffling and not accepting at all. It is veiled discrimination, pretending to be nice as it denies what characterises sexual orientation.
        Just my two cents.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Also the point of the article is not about you accepting yourself, is to question church belief that it is a choice so you can also ‘choose’ to repress it. It’s not a choice. It is instinctive and natural and should be respected the same way the straight are.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The LDS religion is similar, stating it is not a sin to be homosexual, but it is to act on it. I think that there’s more to it than that. I think there’s a bigger picture and like you said, if it’s 2 consenting adults (in a committed relationship) maybe it’s not so bad. I wonder if you could find an LGBT Catholic support group. There’s got to be some. I’m in a few groups for parents of LGBT kids and I’m learning so much and meeting some amazing people. Everyone is in different stages of church, beliefs, etc. but we all get each other and support each other and/or our kids. (Some groups have LGBT adults in them) I’ve even seen couples where one transitions and they stayed married and are working through it. I find it very admirable for those who want to stay true to themselves without losing their faith.

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  5. Your ‘wrestling match’ with God is yours alone, I’m afraid. It took me 36 years to seriously seek the Divine, not what others had taught me God was.

    Things had never made much sense to me. How could God BE love, create US, knowing all our urges and peculiarities, knowing what we would become… if in doing so, we become everything God abhors?

    If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, like *they* told me It is (it, because God is neither male nor female), why would it move forward with the creation of humanity, if it was fully aware of what we would become?

    I wrestled with these and many other questions for several decades before I said ‘screw it, the bible says 1) God is love, 2) God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of love, power and a sound mind 3) Ask, and it shall be given, knock, and it shall be opened unto you, for what man, even in all his wickedness, would give his child a stone when they ask him for bread? (Paraphrased- but you get the idea)’… I decided to try it, because the way I’d been pointed toward just didn’t feel… right.

    The promises and the threats just never added up for me. I realized I had come to a place in my faith where I had to choose. I had to choose to seek the face of God- or not. Not by some dusty old interpreted, re-interpreted, adulterated, and human-tainted book (though, after re-discovering God, the Bible has taken on a whole new dimension, and I actually read it for pleasure now… go figure!).

    I truly believe that for each of us, we reach a point where the ‘clues’ we were left by previous generations are no longer enough. We must venture into our own spiritual ‘desert’ and seek God where he resides, for ourselves. I believe that’s the REAL ‘narrow way’ to which the Bible refers… following the heart, following love. There’s the law, and there’s love. Ceasar and God. Perhaps the law is ‘structured religion’, anf ‘God’, or the ‘narrow way’ are those who are called to delve deeper into an understanding of the Divine.

    You wouldn’t have so much angst and anxiety about this whole subject if you weren’t called by God, friend. That inability to let go of your faith is there for a teason, and that reason is NOT simply Catholic guilt.

    I’m willing to discuss theology theories all day, especially from the POV of ‘seeking’ and settling your heart and mind on the subject. Just comment on any post of mine, and I’ll get back with you (or email me, but I recommend leaving a comment if you do, to let me know to check my email, lol).

    Sorry for the book, friend. I know it’s a lot. No need to reply if I caused overwhelm or annoyance, as my only intention was to offer solace and support.

    You are kind.
    You are wise.
    You are loved.

    I found what I was looking for, though, it was so different, so much BETTER than I’d ever imagined. You will find it, too.

    Hopefully, these familiar words will offer some peace during this process:

    A man’s steps are of the Lord; How then can a man understand his own way? Proverbs 20:24

    Namaste & Blessed be!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And remember… you can be called by “God,” but that doesn’t mean you’re called to fundamentalist Catholicism. God comes in a million different names, races and forms. Choose the one that works for you.

      God may be calling you to gay monogamy, to dating men who are homely, to monogamy in the context of a polygamous 3-person relationship. Don’t let people shame you into relinquishing the joy that comes from knowing that you are doing the right thing. The Middle Path is important – neither denying nor indulging the flesh. Everyone is different. What is holy for you may not be holy for someone else. PLEASE don’t let the Catholic Church bully you into betraying your joy (although joy is not the same as pleasure). There is joy in taking a stand for what you feel is right. If you betray that, you’ll have nothing but regrets when you die.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, I wasn’t making a request, if it came off that way… I was just making myself available if you found yourself in need of a different perspective on something 🙂

        You’ve got this, friend. It seems never ending, but you’re close. Seek and ye shall find. If you ask God to reveal itself to you, it will. You just have to be still, and know God. You’re close.

        Namaste & Blessed be!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. so many thoughts and convictions to struggle with…i was talking with some family members the other night about similar things in this world, and at the end just had to throw my hands up and say “I wish we had the answers but I guess that’s what life is, trying to figure the answers out” (sigh) hang in there as you’re on your journey–asking questions and thinking through things IS progress ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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