My 17-year-old son was recently involved in a friendly “text-debate” with someone from his high school about homosexuality. My son rightly emphasized that, in terms of morality, their conversation had to address specific behaviors.
People often get uncomfortable talking about homosexual behavior. I understand. It is uncomfortable. But it must be done if we are to have clear, rational conversations about what is really at stake in topics being so hotly debated in today’s world. If we keep it vaguely about “love” or “relationships” or even “homosexuality” (versus homosexual behavior) we’ll never know what we’re actually debating.
For example, my son’s classmate insisted that there was nothing wrong with two men loving each other. That is 100 percent correct. In fact, there is everything right with two men loving each other. The question is, what does it mean for two men to love each other, and what does that have to do with engaging their genitals?
So, their friendly debate turned to the meaning of love and, after some conversation, they both agreed that a good working definition of love was “sacrificing yourself for the good of others.” (Pardon the frankness, but, again, in order to have an honest conversation, we have to be frank.) My son then asked his friend to demonstrate how ejaculation in another man’s anus showed self-sacrifice for the good of others.
[tweetthis]We have reduced the engagement of our genitals to the experience of a certain intense pleasure. – Christopher West[/tweetthis]
His friend’s response was telling. He saw no reason why my son was connecting ejaculation with love in the first place. Ejaculation is just ejaculation. It’s just the pleasurable release of body fluid. In my son’s friend’s mind, it seemed absurd to think ejaculation was supposed to be “sacrificing yourself for the good of others.”
Therein lies the problem. We have reduced the engagement of our genitals to the experience of a certain intense pleasure. And if that’s all it is, the solitary or shared experience of pleasure, there is no reason whatsoever that we couldn’t or shouldn’t experience that pleasure in any way that a given person deems, well, pleasurable.
(Image by Miraceti, from Wikimedia Commons)