Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ramblings On The Immaculate Conception And Homosexuality

A confusing caption for a post, but just bear with me for a moment.

For those who don't know, Ian McKellen is gay. LifeSite recently reported on his being upset with Bishop Joseph Devine making the following comments:

McKellan, the actor who has used his fame, derived in part from his role as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings films, to promote the homosexualist cause, said in a speech at a dinner for Stonewall, "From the pulpit, homophobia is preached by some arrogant religious leaders who think their beliefs are superior to our inborn and, some would say, God-given nature."

The "some" here may or may not include Sir Ian (I really don't know), but I think the latter part of the statement is applicable to most everyone. How so?

Modernity has inspired a lot of people to have this idea that they are born exactly how God would have them be. Not only that, but that we are above primitive ideas like redemption by the virtue of how awesome we are from birth. You see this with the folks who are preaching a sort of universal salvation theology, whereby we are already godlike and merely need to wake up and realize it. These tend to be New Age/Gnostic types, though you are seeing strands of this infiltrating some popular media preachers who claim to be Christian.

God didn't give this kind of stuff to us, though. Adam did.

What it all comes down to is the idea that we are all conceived immaculate. No original sin. No concupiscence. We're perfect. This is McKellen's point. Since he is how he is, it must be God's fault, so it must be good. When you've blasted away the concept of sin, especially that we are born with broken wills and intellects, his is a very logical conclusion.

People don't like the idea that there might be something bad about themselves, even if it is something that they can't do anything about (like the effects of original sin). Of course, they could embrace the reality of the badness and strive to overcome it. Much easier to just say that it's all on God and that I have no room for improvement because, hey, I'm awesome.

Just rambling and maybe not making any sense, but the more I see people degrading infant baptism (like at our old parish) or talking about how they don't need to change their ways because "God loves them just how they are" the more it seems that people really do think of themselves as immaculate.

All the more reason for reflecting upon the meaning of our dogma and how it emphasizes our brokenness and need for a Saviour.

We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.

Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus

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