Tag Archives: Asexuality

Legality And MOrality

Before I start this post, I would like to explicitly say that I am Catholic. What I mean by that, in this particular case, is that I believe in the Authority of Catholic doctrine and hierarchy. I wanted to say that first because this is the first of two posts having to do with two major teachings of the Catholic Church that I don’t entirely understand, or am still uncomfortable with. The first is the teaching on gay marriage. The second is the roles of spouses in traditional marriage. Some might wonder why I follow a church with certain teachings I may not entirely like or understand. I believe in the Catholic Church for historical reasons, logical reasons, and theological reasons which I won’t go into here, but I do want to explicitly say that I believe in Catholicism and not any other denomination of Christianity because this is where God has led me.

Now I’ll get into the uncomfortable stuff. The truth is that a few teachings on marriage make me uncomfortable. When I was a little bit younger I thought I wanted nothing more than to get married. The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is for creating a family, and for growing in holiness together in a particular way. The Church also teaches that the family as an institution of sorts is the basis for society. Lastly, the church teaches that the sacrament of matrimony actually takes place when the couple (forgive the explicit language) has sex for the first time. Furthermore, the Church teaches that such an act has two purposes. The first is procreation. The second is pleasure. If such an act is incapable of accomplishing either of these affects, then it’s wrong. Therefore, gay marriage is not allowed in the Catholic Church because procreation cannot be accomplished.

What makes me uncomfortable about this is that the Church teaches that gay marriage should not be legal, even in society at large. To some extent I understand why. If a traditional family (mom, dad, and kid(s) is the basis for society at large, then a marriage that is incapable of naturally growing a family would seem problematic. However, this raises another question that I would like to touch on. I am asexual. In fact, aside from a biological perspective, I can’t really think about that without feeling uncomfortable. I am also disabled in a way that would make procreation impossible. Recently, however, I’ve entertained the idea of adopting a child when I get older. I don’t know if the Church would permit that. I would like to clarify here that the Church does not teach that any sexuality is in itself sinful. Only certain actions and choices are sinful.

That being said, it could be argued that things like gay marriage should be allowed from a strictly legal standpoint because other things that are considered immoral or sinful are perfectly permissible in larger, secular society. For example, lying, while generally considered wrong, even outside of Christian circles, is completely legal even though it tends to hurt the one lying and the one being lied to, in the end. Of course there are cases in which lying is not legal, like in court, for example, but generally speaking, it is so commonplace that it’s almost expected. Along this line of thought, one might argue that something like gay marriage should then be legalized because the worst that could happen would be that the couple breaks up. It only hurts the two people involved.

The fact of the matter is, we live in a democratic republic, not a theocracy. Our laws are only loosely based on a Christian moral code, and increasingly less so. Therefore, our laws and lawmakers do not recognize sin as something real. However, I think it is safe to say that most Americans, regardless of their belief system recognize that humans have a soul, or a spiritual aspect of their being. That being the case, it would seem that a moral code is necessary to protect that aspect of our being. This again poses difficulties because America is a very diverse country, and not everyone living here is Christian. However, if most people recognize that we do have a soul, we need a moral code to live by, even if we are not legally obligated to do so, to protect our souls. If this is the case, it would seem that our laws do need to enforce this moral code.

The question then is, where would this legal moral code come from? The problem with our laws today is that they try to determine right and wrong from an atheistic standpoint. I simply mean that our laws do not have a standard for the ultimate good. If they do not have a standard for the ultimate good, they also do not have a standard for the ultimate bad, or the ultimate evil. Without a standard for good and evil, one eventually finds that, in the end, even the most straightforward laws become arbitrary. We need to know what the ultimate good is for the human soul, and we need to live up to that ultimate good. That is why, though some of its teachings make me uncomfortable, I believe in the Catholic Church, and I believe it is right.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Own It

Belonging is a high priority for people, made more complicated by the fact that our minds and hearts can comprehend issues like religion, politics, and philosophy. The more things we can belong to, the more things we can be excluded from, and the more difficult it is to figure out precisely where we fit in. Sometimes we simply don’t want to put names to things, but ultimately, identity comes down to categories. We are all unique individuals because of the unique combination of buckets we fit in to. Of course it isn’t always simple. Sometimes our buckets don’t fit together perfectly for whatever reason, and sometimes we fit better in certain groups than in others. Being human is complicated.

I could probably give you an exhaustive list of every bucket I belong in, but it would be a pretty long list. Furthermore, the list might raise some red flags for certain people. I just read an article about a conference held in Houston for LGBTQA Christians. Several different views on many topics were represented, and it seemed like the whole thing was very balanced. Then I read the comments. They were snarky, cruel, and judgmental, and pissed me off royally. I bring this up because I am asexual and Christian, and that might freak some people out, but in my mind, there’s no issue when it comes to bringing these two aspects of my Katie-ness together. In the same vein, as you all know if you’ve been following me for a while, I love stories, particularly fantasy and science-fiction stories. I’ve read accounts from people who have been judged harshly by their churches for their interest in such things. In fact, at my college, I know that some students’ parents took issue with the fact that we were reading mythology in some of my classes.

Obviously some aspects of our personalities are more important to us than others. My sexuality almost doesn’t matter to me at all. It can complicate things here and there, but it’s otherwise not important. The fact that I’m a total nerd is important to me. The freedom to watch sci-fi movies and play RPG’s is something I value very highly, and I don’t find that it clashes with my faith. These stories take place in different universes, so the rules of this one don’t apply. It’s as simple as that, as long as we are able to distinguish fact from fiction, which is, or at least should be pretty darn easy.

Of course belonging isn’t simply a matter of identifying the buckets we theoretically fit into. it’s also a matter of acceptance. We long to be accepted for who we are by the people around us, even if those people are very different from us. Sometimes we’re the black sheep in our immediate families, or in our schools, but we find friends in odd places. Sometimes we fit into the category of weirdos who don’t have much in common other than the fact that we’re weird. Sometimes we’re just the odd ones out, and in that case, we just have to own it. That’s important. Acceptance is often a matter of recognizing confidence. It seems to be natural. Confidence in one’s self is a sign of strength that people will see and appreciate.

Lastly, it’s important to recognize where we belong and how valuable it is. It’s easy to disregard the fact that, although we may not belong in one “cool” or interesting group of people, we are loved by God, and the people we grew up with, and the new friends we make over time. It’s easy to forget what we already have, and we don’t have to strive for something we don’t need and ultimately might not want. Acceptance that is freely given is extremely valuable and should not be taken for granted, though it seems to be a natural human impulse to do so. Of course it is most important to be comfortable with who we already are, while remembering that we can always be better. As long as we strive for our perfect selves, we are the best we have ever been up until this moment. As cliche as it sounds, the most important person to be accepted by is yourself, so own it.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Life Is Weird

I’ve read a few blog posts by people who are self-proclaimed asexual, and I haven’t liked what I’ve read. I’ve read stories of people practically getting kicked out of their churches, and I’ve read stories of seriously weird ridicule. Just a couple months ago I didn’t really even understand what being asexual meant. Since when is not wanting or liking sex a bad thing? Since when is it an anti-Christian thing? Of course there’s the old pro-creation argument: people are supposed to get into heterosexual relationships and have kids.

My immediate reaction to the latter is “eww.” To clarify, I don’t dislike kids, I just don’t have the patience to deal with them, and I know I wouldn’t be a good mother. If I know I wouldn’t be a good mom, wouldn’t God want me to focus on something else for the betterment of his world? For the record, I have nothing against the traditional family. I live in one: Dad works at the bank, Mom stays home and takes care of the house and family stuff, and Katie and Sam hang out and do stupid stuff together.

I’ve read stories about people feeling nervous about “coming out.” I didn’t even know asexuality was something to be closeted. I don’t really talk about it much, but I don’t talk about sexuality much with people anyway. It just doesn’t come up. I just don’t understand why it’s weird. There are way weirder and more complicated things to be and do.

Yesterday my Dad took my brother and cousin hiking. Voluntarily climbing mountains for no good reason is kind of weird. Heck, most video games are pretty weird. Riding a bike is weird. Christianity is really weird when observed from an outside perspective. So how is having no interest in sex or finding it distasteful any weirder? Life is weird. It would be boring if it wasn’t. Let’s embrace the weird! All of it!

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Coming Out, Sort Of

I think I’m asexual. I’ve thought so for a long time, but the idea kind of weirds me out. I’m at that moment where I want to know more and understand myself a little better, but at the same time, I don’t want to know anything more. I know, or at least I gather that there’s a spectrum of sexuality, and I also gather that there’s a spectrum of asexuality. I find all of this confusing because I’ve found a few different definitions of what it means to be asexual. It shouldn’t really matter, but my mind just keeps coming back to it. Am I asexual, or am I not? I want to know.

One definition of asexuality that I’ve come across is that one is not sexually attracted to anyone. Another is that one has no interest in sex or finds it distasteful. Is that the same thing? I don’t even know what it means to be sexually attracted to someone. Is that the same as being physically attracted to them? I find people attractive. I notice cute guys. I just have no desire to do anything other than hang out with them (theoretically: I’ve never actually been on a date). I don’t really even like to be touched–I mean at all, even if it’s just my grandmother rubbing my shoulder or my friend playing with my hair. I tolerate them because I love them, but I’d kind of prefer that they didn’t.

I want to know “what” I am. I like to have labels for myself. I like to be able to tell people that I am Christian or that I’m a songwriter, or that I’m an English major. I feel like if I knew “what” I was I could leave it alone and preoccupy myself with more important things. I also want to know, however, because if I knew “what” I was, I would be able to better understand the theological implications of it, and I’d be able to figure out what, if anything, to do about it.

I don’t really like children. At least, I can’t deal with them for extended periods of time. I know I don’t want my own kids, but I keep reading things about how the most important thing to the Catholic Church is family, and how it’s so rewarding and wonderful to have children, and how it’s super important to the future of the Church, and so on. My mother and my godmother both know quite well that I don’t want kids, and I especially respect my godmother’s opinion on this stuff (she’s super old school Catholic), and she seems to think it’s okay. I still just feel a little out of place for some reason.

I heard (but don’t know for sure) that asexual peeps make up 1% of the world’s population. That kind of freaks me out. I would like to be married, but I’m 22 and I’ve made it all the way through high school and college without ever being on a date. Right now all I really want is a prayer partner. I want someone who I can comfortably share my faith with. It would be nice if that relationship could grow into something more, but we have to start somewhere, and I’d want that kind of relationship to start with friendship anyway.

It scares me that only 1% of people are asexual. How am I supposed to be married to someone who has any interest in sex at all? It’s not just that I’m not interested in sex; I find it repulsive. It’s gross and icky and I can’t even think about it from a scientific standpoint without being vaguely grossed out. I think that crosses a lot of guys off the list of possible partners. Anyway, I don’t mean to get whiney. I’ll be perfectly alright if I have to go through life without a partner. I can be perfectly happy as a single and complete person.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Confusion Is Not License To Judge

I want to be completely honest, and I don’t want to be offensive. If this post offends anyone in any way because of something I said or didn’t think of, I apologize in advance.

Sexuality and gender issues confuse me. I am asexual, and while I identify as a woman, I kind of think that gender is pointless as a defining factor in one’s personality. I am Christian, and I believe that God created people with male and female biology out of necessity. However, I think that thinking too much about on’es gender does more harm than good. For example, if gender was less of a defining factor, there would be less, or perhaps even no need for feminism. If gender didn’t matter then women would have the same power, the same respect, and the same income as men from the beginning of time. Men and women are good at different things for different reasons, but we are all equal on a fundamental level.

However, what I find confusing is when a person who was born male identifies as a woman, or when a person who was born female identifies as a man. I just don’t understand why or how it happens. I am just being honest. I’ve only ever known one trans person, and he was only an acquaintance, so I never got into this kind of stuff with him. It gets even more confusing when it comes to matters of sexuality. Sexuality confuses me to begin with, and I’m straight… I think (I like men without wanting to…). There are probably some asexual transgender peeps, but what about the rest of the world? What does it mean when a person with male biology who identifies as a woman likes men? What does it mean if that person likes women? What do you call that?

Again, I don’t mean to be offensive, but what you have to understand is that I like labels. Labels help me understand the world. I just like to be able to call things, well, things. Furthermore, all of this would matter less to me if I weren’t Christian. I want to understand this stuff in the context of the bigger picture; in terms of faith, and how it relates to God’s plan. To be completely honest, my immediate instinct is to say that God created people male and female–men and women for a reason, but I know that isn’t really fair. Something my friend suggested to me is that perhaps God created some people transgender, agender, etc, as some kind of test: to themselves and to the rest of society. The other thing is, it took me a long time to be able to differentiate gender from biology, which in hindsight, is really kind of stupid, so I apologize for that.

I don’t understand this stuff. Some people condemn the things they don’t understand, and that isn’t kind or fair. I believe that everyone has some kind of role to play in God’s plan, and God loves all of us. More than anything, I want misunderstood people to be accepted, whether that is people of different sexualities or genders, or disabled people, or people of different cultures.  Revelation 7:9 says: “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” The Kingdom of Heaven is diverse because God intended it that way, and because he wants all people to be reconciled to him and to each other. God loves every single person on this planet, and if people have told you otherwise, they are wrong.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!