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?