A new book is challenging liberal cultural assumptions about homosexuality.
In “Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay: How I Reclaimed My Sexual Reality and Found Peace” (Ignatius Press), Daniel Mattson, a writer and professional musician, describes how be became attracted to other men, and how he came to embrace chastity and the teaching of the Catholic Church.
“This book is a memoir,” Mattson told the Catholic World Report. “The first part tells the story of my childhood, and leaving the Church behind. Part two is a reflection on my wrestling with reality. I came to see the importance of words. I think that the Church is wise in that it refuses to consider a person as ‘heterosexual’ or ‘homosexual.’ These terms are reductionist. They pressure people, particularly our young people, into believing that your feelings define who you are. I argue against the view of those who say you should “come out.” Coming out is merely adopting the world’s view of sexuality, and leads to frustration and confusion.”
Part three discusses about the Catholic catechism’s teaching on homosexuality. “The word ‘disorder’ does not mean a mental disorder,” Mattson says, “but an evaluation of the way man is: we are sexual creatures, with both soul and body, and our bodies are made for union of man and woman and ordered towards procreation."
Then, there came this exchange:
CWR: Where do you think your same sex attraction comes from?
Daniel Mattson: I write about my own experience. I don’t believe I was born with it, but can see clearly the path I took that led me to it. I had an unfortunate encounter with a neighborhood boy when I was age 6 to 9, which I believe began me on the course. I experienced rejection from girls. My dad was gruff, and scared me at the time. My mom was very involved in my life, in ways I now feel was unhealthy.
I envied other boys and became sexually attracted to the features I admired in them. These experiences eventually became transformed into pornographic fantasies.
Some people say that same sex attraction is just as natural as opposite sex attraction. But I say no, I can see where it came from in my life, it came from wounds. It’s unfortunate that the world says that I am not supposed to view my life in that way, that same sex attraction is healthy and a normal variation of sexual desire, and that wounds are not wounds at all.
I’m not advocating that people try to change their sexual attractions, but for me, I can see my same sex attraction come from wounds in my life and choices I made. As St. Gregory of Nyssa said, in some respects we become our own mothers and fathers by the choices we make.
When I chose to indulge in my desires I was putting the plow to the ground to grow my own attractions to men.
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