Logical and Spiritual REFLECTIONS
Book 6.No to Sodom
Chapter 11.Spiritual impurity
All the arguments proposed in the present essay are only incidentally addressed to practicing homosexuals. It is very unlikely that these people will be moved by reason to revise their ways. It is very doubtful that even if they did “straighten up and fly right” they would “save their souls” from the abyss that they have condemned them to. They have probably indelibly sullied themselves.
The soul is indeed eternally pure. We cannot say it is literally stained, since it cannot bemixed withnon-spiritual substances (i.e. mind or matter), and the spiritual substance is universally one and always the same.
However, we could say the soul is irretrievablyweighed down bynegative mental and physical accretions that stick to its surface, as it were. But perhaps the most accurate description of spiritual impurity would be that the soul is so deluded by past misbehavior thatits consciousnessbecomes obscured and can no longer find its way back to clarity and understanding.
Homosexuality would seem to have such a “once and for all” negative effect, without possible redemption. This does not mean homosexuals should not try to improve their conduct. They may still, through such effort, hope to somewhat better their spiritual lot, and partly redeem themselves (or at least, not to worsen their lot and fall further still). Even a little redemption is better than none.
No, this essay is not addressed to practicing homosexuals, but to virgin youths and other still-innocent souls, who under the influence of an increasingly corrupt culture may be considering taking up this misbehavior for whatever motive. It is also addressed to moral philosophers, religious leaders, medical professionals, educators, opinion makers and legislators – to enjoin them to think and act in a responsible manner.
It used to be, once upon a time, that most people had great faith in the Jewish Bible, or similarly authoritative texts in other religious traditions. It sufficed for the Torah to command“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination”(Lev. 18:22), and most Jews complied. This was not just fear of eventual Divine retribution, or because such behavior was legally very severely punishable. It was out of a deep-seated love for ordinary dignity and decency, for a certain model of humanity.
Some people still today have this clear vision of what it means to be a human being. Such people do not need convincing. This essay is not addressed to them, but to those who have lost their bearings. If they have no faith in religious traditions, perchance some rational arguments will convince them. If they are envisaging indulging in homosexuality, perchance these arguments will help them check their impulse. If they have already engaged in homosexual acts, perhaps these arguments will make them cease and desist.
Some will of course rebelliously continue on their path and indeed arrogantly reassert their “right” to it. That is their problem; they will surely eventually suffer the consequences of their choice one way or another. Their willfulness, their insolence, their shamelessness, their impudence, their immodesty, will lead them astray – “sure as hell”. They have no fears or regrets, now; but one day, “their teeth will clatter and they will gnash their tongues”. Wait and see what they will think and feel at the time of their death.
Human nature is such that we are all capable of the most sublime virtue and spirituality, or the ultimate depths of depravity and vice. This is what it means to have freedom of the will, the power of choice. It means that the whole range of possible human conduct ispotentialto each and every individual. There is nothing wrong with having a natural potential for vice or evil – what matters ethically is whether such potential is everactualizedor not. Indeed, the respectability of the virtuous and good is that they had the opposite potential in them, and chose this demanding path.
Fortunately for humanity, there are and will likely always be good, decent people around, who know the honor of being human. The statistical distribution of good and evil in the world is probably in the traditional bell shape, though its spread may vary. We should not be misled, by the popularity of ugly or evil acts (at a given historical time, in a given society), into believing that human nature is inherently like that. This would just be an excuse or pretext for joining the ranks of those who lack dignity.
Humans are really, sadly, capable of great depravity. People who habitually entirely surrender to their every passing sexual impulse, eventually become crazy and desire “sex” with just about anything that crosses their path. A man will desire to penetrate almost anything, and a woman will desire to be penetrated by almost anything. They can lose all sense of dignity or decency, and have sex with dead bodies or animals – or other people of the same sex.
A related interdiction is that against transvestism, in Deut. 22:5; such practices, by men or women, are also labeled “abomination”, probably because they reflect and produce mental confusion with regard to objects of sexual interest, eventually leading some people to homosexual responses and practices. As regards transsexuality (which is a hot topic nowadays, when sex change surgery seems to be easy and popular), it would appear forbidden by Judaism (and similar traditions), primarily because (in normal cases) it constitutes voluntary mutilation of natural reproductive capabilities. To this biological reason, we might add that the sexual activities of (willful) transsexuals are either effectively homosexual (since anatomical changes are superficial and do not affect the genetic makeup of individuals, so that an “ex-male” is still a male, and ditto for females) or effectively transvestite (so that if an “ex-man” has sex with a woman, or vice-versa, it is not homosexuality, but ‘dressing up’ not only with the wrong clothes but even with false body parts).
It is also written: “And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (Lev. 20:13). The crime of sodomy was taken so seriously, death was prescribed for it.
If there is anything in any holy book that convinces me that it is God-inspired, that it comesfrom the deepest well of truth and goodness in the human spirit, it is the inclusion in it of laws against such lewdness. Of course, traditionper seis not proof; but then, nor is modernity. We could say, naturalistically, that our ancestors have learned certain lessons of life through bitter experience, and passed them on to us in the form of religious, spiritual or wisdom teachings. These teachings do not impose improbable truths on us, but rather remind us of what deep inside we already instinctively know to be true.