Monday, March 19, 2012

The Lefty View Of Homosexuality

From an interview with an openly gay Catholic priest and theologian, this might be the best analogical discussion of homosexuality that I've seen:
Think of it this way. There is a distinction between left-handedness and the act of writing left-handedly. For most of us the distinction remains exactly that, and has no moral consequences. We would understand that a left-handed person forced to write right-handedly owing, say, to having their left arm in a plaster cast, or a right-handed person forced to write left-handedly for analogous reasons, would, with some difficulty, be able to learn to do so. These people would in some sense be acting contra natura. But the use of the hand appropriate to their handedness would be entirely unremarkable. Now, imagine that, involved in a Catholic discussion, you find yourself addressing a left-handed person. You say: “Any left-handed writing you do is intrinsically wrong; and in fact the inclination we call left-handedness must be considered objectively disordered.” The only justification for using the distinctions in this way is if you have received, from quite other sources, the sure knowledge that right-handedness is normative to the human condition, anything else being some sort of defect from that norm, and yet you don’t want entirely to condemn the person who has a strong tendency to left-handed writing...

No, it seems to me quite patent that here we have an unwieldy bid to fit a reality into an acceptable framework, rather than learning from reality how to adjust a now unreliable framework.
My own belief is that being gay is a regularly occurring nonpathological minority variant in the human condition, and that an appropriate analogy is left-handedness, which also, as it happens, used to be regarded as some sort of defect in a normatively right-handed humanity. I’ve arrived at this position having, as an educated amateur, followed the studies and arguments back and forth over many years, and notice that this position is tending to be confirmed the more we know and see of gay people who are able to live their lives openly...
Not only does it comport with what we are learning about sexual orientation and choice, it also reminds me that my dad, a southpaw, went to school in the era where people like him were forced to write right-handed. He had the worst handwriting I've ever seen (and I'm a doctor!!!)

When we played catch, he threw from the left.

1 comment:

  1. OH YEAH!?
    Well as a fellow Sinister-Paw, I can tell ya, we face REAL discrimination.
    Just TRY and find a left handed laryngoscope, and even if you do, they won't let you use it.
    And no matter how good your arm, your restricted to first base, outfield, or pitcher, Jeez-Us, its worse than being Black.
    And the fact that 5 of the last 6 Presidents are/were lefties doesn't fix thangs.
    Just try giving an A-rab a High-5 with your left hand, see what happens.
    And be honest, how many left-handed Surgeons do you know? I hope none, cause while scalpels cut both ways, almost every other surgical instrument is for Rightie's Only, which rhymes with "Whities Only".
    Which might as well be the sign outside any large Surgical Get-to-Gether.
    Ironic isn't it, that you, a Righty, are politically lefty, and chose the leastest diversest specialty, while me, a Lefty, be a Righty, and my group looks like that bar scene from Star Wars...



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