Sex and affect

For what it’s worth, the account of the criticisms which has been given to me is that although the members of the Spiritual Friends movement correctly recognize that chaste friendships with persons of the same sex are good, and that same-sex friendships should not be sexualized, some of their positions on God’s gifts seem to suggest that same-sex attraction is not in itself a disorder of the feelings. This would be a serious criticism, if true.

I’m not at liberty to identify the author of those words, provided in private correspondence, but they seem right to me. I have failed to view the writings of the “Spiritual Friendship” folks through the “intrinsic disorder” lens of natural law (“codified,” as it were, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church).

Having now attempted to do so with a few of them, I think it’s not at all clear that those folks deny that same-sex sexual (i.e., erotic) desire is disordered. Their focus seems to be on the goodness of the affective aspects of such attraction.

That’s a preliminary assessment. I post this not so you can say “the critics of ‘Spiritual Friendship’ are mistaken, but to provide you with what I think a very important measuring-stick.

It’s easy to lose track of that measuring stick because the critics of Spiritual Friendship tend to fire a sawed-off shotgun volley of snarky red-herrings, such as questioning the reality of their commitment to chastity.

Reader John @ReaderJohn
My main blog is the Tipsy Teetotaler, http://intellectualoid.com.