Procreative Accounting

Having failed miserably in previous attempts at doing a post on religion every first Friday, I launch my latest effort today, in the hope of another eight in a row and eternal salvation.

David Quinn is going hardcore -conservative hardcore- on us today:

Since its beginning, the Church has taught that only men can be ordained because Christ was a man and because his Apostles were men. But liberals dismiss this argument on various grounds, the chief one being that it creates inequality within the Church. With regard to human sexuality, the Church has always taught that sex has a meaning and a purpose beyond the act itself and that it finds its true meaning only if it takes place within a permanent loving relationship and if the relationship is open to the procreation of children.

This makes it intrinsically heterosexual. Ordaining sexually active homosexuals would radically change the Church’s teaching on sex.

Ordaining sexually active heterosexuals would also radically change the Church’s teaching on sex, of course, but more interesting is the fact that the ‘it’ in the second paragraph refers to human sexuality in the first. So: human sexuality is intrinsically heterosexual. What this means from this perspective, inter alia, is that any hot and steamy encounter between Adam and Steve is based on the fact that Adam really desires Steve to be Eve, and Steve also really desires Adam to be Eve. But the phantasmic support, to use a Žižekian term, of this encounter would be the figure of two women having sex, which is not -despite the protests of some straight men clutching their copies of Club International- intrinsically heterosexual.

Another thing: if the true meaning of sex is only found when a relationship is open to the procreation of children (sic), this means that sex between heterosexual couples, who for whatever reason -age, illness, firing blanks- are unable to conceive, lacks true meaning. Unless, that is, they are open to the procreation of children even when it is physically impossible. So for two 80 year olds are to have a meaningful sexual relationship, they must be open to the possibility of a little nipper coming along 9 months later. How this works in practice, I have no idea. A prayer to Saint Elizabeth beforehand perhaps?

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1 Response to “Procreative Accounting”


  1. 1 Kmaleney August 12, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Yes, like you, it seems to me that the church has really dug a hole it can’t jump out of, so many side holes and tunnels will need to be dug to unify the present conundrum with other heterodox teaching. All we can do in the face of such paradox is laugh, and reckon Jesus might have done the same.

    Love the image of the two 80 yr. olds and their appeals to St. Elizabeth.


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