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?

“What return shall I make to the Lord…

…for all that He has done for me?”  (Psalm 116: 12)

 

Truthfully, I’m struggling with gratitude, lately, but I also believe that my attempt to focus on a higher power and praying daily is a step. I am struggling with understanding my true nature, but I am hopeful that my willingness to live each day as it comes demonstrates my gratitude for life…

“Be Not Afraid…”

I read another blogger’s post today and the first thing that struck me is the phrase, “Be Not Afraid…”. It reminded me of when I first paid attention to it – it was when I read the biography of St. John Paul II – The Great (Of course, at the time I read it, he was still alive and not a Saint). It was a phrase he adopted, almost as a legacy to his papacy, but it is biblically referenced.

Today, I wanted to find out where it is referenced in the bible – apparently the authors of the bible felt it would be ignored.

Today, I am teetering on an edge, because I am quite aware I can’t find happiness from my own doing.  I’m tired, unmotivated, lost, and feeling desperate again. Maybe it is time to let go…

QFMR: Why do some people have Faith and some people do not?

I follow a couple of bloggers that are wonderful people – although, I don’t know them personally, I really enjoy the things they post. These women, I follow, discuss their faith and are unashamed to show their faith when writing. Certainly, they have struggles, but the joy they have when dealing with these struggles is amazing.  I told one of them today, in fact, that I am amazed by her faith.

I don’t have that faith. I lost it (R.E.M. is now playing in the recesses of my mind). I felt like I had it at one time, but I lost it. I can’t find it. The essence of this blog is horribly stricken with an obvious need for a Higher Power, but I can’t do it…I don’t understand myself, let alone faith.

But tonight, I’m questioning – I’m not tortured like I have been, before, but I am deeply in need of this answer:

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Why do some people have faith and some do not?

Where does faith come from?

Where is My Passion?

Today, my thoughts are on people’s passions in life. I feel like I have lost mine to the point that I can’t even explain why some things were passions to me in life at one time bit are not now. I read so many blogs and there are a lot of people that write about their passions – hiking, crochet, sex, God, camping, dance, photography, Jesus, beauty, fashion, climbing, poetry, family, movies, books, etc. These people are all so full of life, so full of joy, so fulfilled, so…passionate. And, I’m always amazed by those that are passionate about God or Jesus.

I can’t seem to find that. I can’t find that one thing that keeps me connected to life. Having gone to Alcoholic Anonymous meetings and have often heard that you can fake it until you make it, I grasp the idea of putting things into practice. I’m not that kind of person though…in fact, I despise fakeness. I can’t pretend to like or appreciate things and I believe that I can’t embrace anything I don’t feel in my soul.

It’s no secret that one of my biggest struggles is my sexuality and my gender identity. I ponder if I can have a relationship with God or Jesus being who I am. Or am I avoiding some sense of spiritual responsibility by focusing on something that seems inherently at odds with mainstream religious faith systems? I can’t ignore the very principle behind genetics and sexuality, as well as the ideas that gender stereotypes are engrained from our human psyche. Is there a possibility that God made a mistake and made me a woman with a man’s body? Or am I twisting my human understanding of sex and gender to serve some selfish desire that is counter to “God’s plan”?

I tend to accept this struggle within myself as natural to who I am. Because this particular struggle is a part of who I am, I never set down a path of radical change in me life. My thinking and values are typically conservative by nature and I used to believe that I had to behave in ways that promoted a greater purpose to others, but I have lost that mentality. It’s a similar aspect of myself that I have discovered within the confines of my soon to be ended marriage – forgetting to care for my own needs because I spent my efforts on others.

I certainly don’t want to sound like a victim, because I take full responsibility for my own actions and decisions. But I have always struggled with the idea of doing what’s right versus doing what I want. I remember, growing up, my dad used to advise that any decision made that does not hurt someone, is not illegal, and does not conflict with morality is a good decision. Legality, however, is dictated by public opinion, therefore it is always subject to change. Morality has been a matter of debate for the entirety of human history, and subject to predominant powers at hand. Hurting others? That is the most fickle issue, isn’t it? Some people are hurt by the wind and others are so resistant to pain the appear hard as rocks.

I know how many would react, if I asked the question, “Would God hate me, if I did…?” The “did” is always an issue of morality, legality and hurting others. It’s the question I can never answer; regardless, it has become my passion – the search to define myself.

(EDIT: I just read through this and realized how convoluted my thoughts were when writing this. I am not going to edit it, regardless of it’s lack of linear thought- it’s merely how my thoughts can out of me while writing.)