Witega, I noticed that you begin every response to my posts with very scornful, harsh, despising remarks like this one above, and it seems to me - maybe that's just my subjective feeling - that you are deliberately trying to cause me pain. I actually like your erudition and logic and I enjoy conversing with you, but you do cause me pain (I don't know, maybe because I imagine too much or because English is not my first language). May I suggest that that causing me pain is hardly necessary?
It is not my intention to cause you pain. I apologize for doing so.
I have attempted to restrict my part in this discussion to addressing facts, principles, and actual arguments. To whatever extent I have failed in that and made you feel like I'm attacking or impugning you or your motives (rather than your argument), I apologize for that as well.
I *am* feeling some frustration that
a) You seem unwilling to directly address the fundamental point. If the universal witness of the Church is authoritative, then you have to accept that homosexual acts are a sin and then we can how one integrates pastoral concerns and modern thoughts and discoveries with that authoriy; or you have to demonstrate that this is not the universal witness of the Church. You have not done either--you started by arguing scientific advancement as a criterion by which to judge the Tradition. Then later focused on an argument that seems to sum up as 'this part of Tradition (the teachings on love or monasticism) contradict that part of Tradition (the moral teaching on homosexuality) so 'that part' of Tradition needs to be discarded'--without addressing what criterion you use to decide which parts of Tradition you'll accept and which you won't. It feels somewhat like trying to discuss whether the sky is blue or green with pink polka dots with someone who refuses to open his eyes--but also insists that visual evidence is the criterion by which to determine the color of the sky.
b) You have several times seriously mischaracterized the teaching of the Fathers on such relevant subjects as fallen human nature, the nature of temptation, the nature of desire, and the nature of will. Even once this was pointed out, you did not appear to even pause to consider that since one of your premises was wrong, perhaps your overall argument needed to be reconsidered.
However, I did not want, and should not have, allowed that frustration to creep into my posts, and I apologize that I have done so.
A final thought--as I have said, I have tried to maintain this discussion on the merits. But consider this--if you are right, then I am 'oppressing' gays, in the sense of depriving them of a good. Since I have and want no authority, I am not the same as the judge upholding a miscegenation law or a communist censer preventing freedom of the press, but I am the same the individuals who approved and 'carried water' for such behavior. On the other hand, if I am right, then you are encouraging gays to indulge a sinful proclivity. You may not be the guy waving a shot under the nose of a recovering alcoholic, but you are the guy going, 'drink it up! a little alcohol never hurt anyone'. I bring this up not to accuse you of being 'that guy' (or to admit to being 'that guy') but to point out that as much as either of us may wish to keep the discussion respectively academic and objective, the fact is that either I am a supporter of oppression or you are encouraging homosexuals to damn themselves. Given that context, I do not how know to continue this discussion without being hurtful which is why I am trying to disengage now.
Again, forgive me.