Skip to main content

Body confusion and alphabet soup

Do you know what "LGBTQIA" means? It's a cumbersome new term meant to include every form of sexual identity questioning (although, hold on, more may be coming!). According to the New York Times: "'Q' can mean 'questioning' or 'queer,' an umbrella term itself, formerly derogatory before it was appropriated by gay activists in the 1990s. 'I' is for 'intersex,' someone whose anatomy is not exclusively male or female. And 'A' stands for 'ally' (a friend of the cause) or 'asexual,' characterized by the absence of sexual attraction."

It's apparently becoming popular on college campuses, where of course, young minds are eager to show how open they are to such things. George Neumayr at Real Clear Religion:
Some students, for example, find "transgender" too limiting and speak instead of "bi-gender." On Monday, they may wish to be male. By Tuesday, they may change their mind and wish to be female. One student is quoted as saying: "Some days I wake up and think, 'Why am I in this body?' Most days I wake up and think, 'What was I thinking yesterday?'"
 Another student saw herself as "agender," prefers the pronoun "they" to he or she, and now just sees herself as an "amorphous blob."
These poor kids. No one ever told them, really told them, that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. "An amorphous blob"? My heart aches. Can you only imagine the pain that soul is in?

Our society spends so much time telling us how to create ourselves: makeover shows, products to reduce or increase this or that, surgery to change whatever you don't like or want more of, motivational books and speakers that promise to bring vast riches to you if you only want to attract it. We begin to think that we are our own creations.

It's nothing new. Walt Whitman was a fan of this philosophy: 
I have said that the soul is not more than the body,
And I have said that the body is not more than the soul,
And nothing, not God, is greater to one than one’s self is...
but I'm not sure even Walt dreamt of "Rue Paul's Drag Race", "Toddlers and Tiaras" or the "real" housewives of anywhere.

It will likely take us centuries to glean all there is from Bl. John Paul's Theology of the Body, but he certainly knew better than to fall for our current society's vision of self-creation and body confusion.
The specific subject of the text in question is the theology of the Church as the Body of Christ. However, in connection with this passage it can be said that Paul, by means of his great ecclesiological analogy (which recurs in other letters, and which we will take up again in due time), contributes, at the same time, to deepening the theology of the body. While in First Thessalonians he writes about control of the body in holiness and honour , in the passage now quoted from First Corinthians he wishes to show this human body as worthy of honour . It could also be said that he wishes to teach the receivers of his letter the correct concept of the human body.
Therefore, this Pauline description of the human body in First Corinthians seems to be closely connected with the recommendations of the First Letter to the Thessalonians: "...that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honour " (1 Th 4:4). This is an important thread, perhaps the essential one, of the Pauline doctrine on purity.
I hope someone can share with the young woman who feels herself to be an "amorphous blob" that her body is honorable, holy  and good. Good news truly, for a world that is lost in a muddled alphabetical mess.
 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Secret Santa!!

Too old for Santa? I think not.

Yes, there are discussions as to whether we should "lie" to kids and tell them that Santa brings them gifts vs. We can't lie to the kids; it's wrong.

There is also the "Christmas is about Jesus" vs. "But Santa is magical!"

You know, we have so few magical and joyful moments, and less and less as we get older. Santa is fun. And the kids usually figure it out, and no one I know was ever scarred for life for believing that Santa brought them and every child everywhere a toy for Christmas.

It's the magic of looking up at the sky on a clear December night, thinking "I'll wait up to see Santa" and later, as you fell asleep at the window, being in your daddy's arms as he carries you to bed.

It's the magic of putting out cookies and milk (or beer, because Santa does like beer) and maybe some carrots for the reindeer, and then checking in the morning to make sure the food was all consumed.

It's…

Advent Brokenness

It was a lovely May evening, the kind we in Michigan savor like honey. After the brutal cold of winter, flowers blossomed, grass greened, mosquitoes flocked. School was almost done for the year - just the formalities of 8th grade graduation were ahead.

Why not saddle up the horse and go for a ride? Why not, indeed. So my sister and I did. I took Prince out across the road from our house, to romp through the weeds on a path my father mowed for us. The view from horseback on a spring night - well, nearly Heaven.

Until Prince bolted. He spooked. I fell. And my arm broke. Compound fracture.

My dog, a collie, had followed us out. He was not particularly trusting of Prince, as Prince would never allow himself to be herded, and this vexed my collie. My dog, channeling his inner Lassie, ran home without me.

My sister had been in the yard with her boyfriend at the time, Gary, waiting for me to come back. Instead, it was just the dog loping across the road. That didn't seem right, so my si…