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Studying Salt, Dust, Water & Light in Scripture

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Salt, Dust, Water & Light in Scripture

Salt, Dust, Water & Light in Scripture

What is salt, dust, and stone in the Bible
In Scripture, DNA is both dust and salt
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Born With It: Does God Will It? Part 2 of 3
STOSS Books

If Born With It, Does That Mean God Wills It?

 
Part 2 of 3 Parts
 

The Tree, the Fruit, and the Seed

Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit — (Matt 12:33).

Matthew is Referring to Heritability: What Parents Give to Their Offspring

 
Some may artificially limit the scope of the interpretation of this passage from Matthew. They may view it as a mere symbol of our works’ good or bad consequences — having nothing to do with the science of our biology. In other words, the fruit represents, for example, the charitable work of contributing money to a cancer foundation, which leads to a quicker cure for cancer.
 
When Moses asks God what his name is, God responded, I Am that I Am (YHWH). This very name informs us of the essence of God as a Trinity, which is an eternal fruitful relationship between each Person of the Trinity. The first “I Am” identifies the Father who is eternally generating (begetting) the Son — who is identified by the second I Am. The singular “I” indicates that from the Father and the Son proceeds the Holy Spirit, which is the Unity and Divine Charity of God — the Heart of God on fire. The hermeneutics of the ancient Hebrew word that translates as “that” or “who” in Exodus 3:14 is detailed in this Endnote.[1]
 
As one created in the image and likeness of the Trinity, man can neither know nor understand himself without first gaining a deeper understanding of the Trinity. Nowhere in Scripture does it say he created man in the image and likeness of God — except for our bodies. The opposite is true. In Genesis, we read, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). The fruitfulness that occurs in the procreative process requires a body. Procreative fruitfulness is the very first positive command that God gave to our First Parents and, therefore, all of us.
 
While the Holy Spirit does not himself express,[2] nor can He be expressed, it is nevertheless true that it is the action of the Spirit that is behind all expressions within Love (note that I didn’t say “of” Love. For this reason, Pope Leo XIII tells us the Holy Spirit, who is Divine Goodness, is the ultimate cause of all things, including the completion of man’s salvation and purification.[3] Just as the Holy Spirit cannot express, so too, it is with our souls, which are also spirit. Hildegard writes, “Our body is the concealing garment of our soul … and our soul could do nothing [emphasis SML] without the body.”[4]
 
Man is created in the image and likeness of God. From God’s answer to Moses’ question, “who shall I say sent me” in Exodus 3:14, we know that being in the image and likeness of God requires openness to procreative fruitfulness, barring substantial mitigating circumstances. It is unlikely that angels are fruitful in the same manner as man. I am not aware of any Magisterial document that asserts one angel can beget or has begotten another angel.
 
So, let us paraphrase and expand on Matthew’s passage about the tree and its fruit. Let us start with apple tree [A-1]. An apple [A-2] growing within tree [A-1] is, in general, an accurate genetic reproduction of the quality of tree [A-1]. Likewise, seed [A-3] that grows within apple [A-2] is an accurate genetic reproduction of apple [A-2], which is an accurate genetic reproduction of tree [A-1]. When apple [A-2] falls to the ground, the DNA located within seed [A-3] executes the genetic instructions through which tree [B-1] is built in the image and likeness of tree [A-1], apple [A-2], and seed [A-3]. Then the process repeats.
 

Third and Fourth Generation

 
More than one passage of Scripture references the sins of the father visiting the sons for three or four generations (e.g., Ex 20:5, 34:7; Num. 14:18; Deut. 5:9). Without question, Scripture points to an understanding that environment (including the intrauterine environment) affects the germline DNA (the copy of DNA that resides in the nucleus of the sperm and egg cells) that goes to a sheep’s offspring. Scripture describes a process we now know as epigenetic modification, which affects a gene’s function, but not its architecture (aka DNA sequencing). Put in another way, the functional change is not the result of genetic mutation of the DNA sequencing, random or otherwise. Epigenetic modification and inheritance by succeeding generations of offspring are not speculative science. As Scripture repeatedly warns us, epigenetic mechanisms can result in transgenerational inheritance to the third and fourth generation.[5],[6],[7],[8] A large number of experiments have proven the validity of the above–cited passages in Scripture. Using fluorescent labels, researchers at the University of California—Santa Cruz were able to watch the epigenetic process unfold.[9]
 
So now we will look at some Scripture passages and other writings, which serve to validate my interpretation of Mt. 12:33 above.
 
Scripture passages:

1. “You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me” (Ex. 20:4–5);
    2. “The LORD passed before him, and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation” (Ex. 34:6–7). The same warnings exist in Numbers 14:18 and Deuteronomy 5:9. We have already provided examples where the parents’ behaviors can cause heritable changes in subsequent generations of their offspring through the effects of epigenetic mechanisms. A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Developmental Biology in Germany has determined that genetic changes occurring due to epigenetic influence are usually short-term, lasting for only a few generations.[10] That is so because they are not the result of hardwired DNA mutations of DNA sequencing. Once again, we see that Scripture is an advanced applied sciences book;
    3. “In those days they shall no longer say: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’” (Jer. 31:29);
    4. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Gal. 6:7–8);
5. “The children of sinners are abominable children, and they frequent the haunts of the ungodly. The inheritance of the children of sinners will perish, and on their posterity will be a perpetual reproach. Children will blame an ungodly father, for they suffer reproach because of him” (Eccl. 41:5–7); and,
6. “For the fruit of good labors is renowned, and the root of understanding does not fail. But children of adulterers will not come to maturity, and the offspring of an unlawful union will perish” (Wis. 3:15–16).
 
Other Writings
 
1. “[W]hen [Adam and Eve] knew they could sin, they discovered sin’s sweetness. And in this way, turning My rightful institution into sinful lust, although they should have known that the commotion in their veins [remember that hormones are transmitted in the blood — SML] was not for the sweetness of sin but for the love of children, by the Devil’s suggestion they changed it to lechery; and, losing the innocence of the act of begetting, they yielded it to sin … [and the Devil] said, ‘My strength is in human conception [through lust — SML], and therefore humanity is mine! [SML]’”[11]
2. In a vision given to St. Hildegard, God explains that people’s behaviors (good or bad) will affect the quality of the seed they produce, which will, in turn, negatively or positively impact the children they beget. He tells her, “[S]trong semen, which is usefully and well matured and tempered, produces energetic people, to whom brilliant spiritual and bodily gifts are given by their great and noble ancestors, making them flourish in prudence, discretion and usefulness in their works before God and Man, and the Devil finds no place in them…. [weak] semen, imperfectly matured and tempered in a weak season, produces weak people, who are for the most part foolish, languid and useless in their works … one part is mixed with corruption, basely emitted in weakness and confusion and mixed uselessly, and it produces misshapen people, who often have bitterness, adversity and oppression of heart and are thus unable to raise their minds to higher things.”[12] These words make perfect sense. In his pre–fallen Original Justice, man was created perfectly — without any defect or disorder. Through Satan, we lost all supernatural grace; sin entered into the world. All death, disorder, and sickness stem from man’s fallen and disordered state (see #1 above).
    3. “So, in order to find God propitious, let them not contaminate their seed by various vices, since those who emit their semen in fornication or adultery render their children, born of them thus, unsound. How? Can he who mixes mud or ordure [dung; excrement] with pure clay make a lasting vessel? Likewise, will he who contaminates his semen in fornication or adultery ever beget strong sons?”[13]; and
    4. “And because it was from the pure Virgin that My Son took on flesh without sin, it is fitting that His flesh should now be made from that fruit which is without the sap [semen] of bitterness. How? The grain of wheat is the strongest and best of all the fruits there are; it has in its stalk no sap or pith like other trees, but its stem rises to a spike that leads to the fruit, and it never produces bitter juice either in heat or in cold, but yields dry flour. So too the flesh of My Son was dry, with no filth of the human pollution that produces the human race through the lustful embraces of a man and a woman.”[14]
  

BEIRBO Revisited

 
We talked about BEIRBO extensively in Part One of this blog series. The current section will be a recapitulation (in this particular case, of biogenetic law or embryological parallelism) of the first, but with additional information added.
 
Covenants, most especially covenants of salt (involving the salt of DNA), are that which God entered into with man as a means of accomplishing the economy of salvation. Such covenants directly apply to the body in conjunction with the soul. Covenants of Salt are, in my view, a branch of Pope St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. God entered into a covenant of salt with Abraham to preserve and redeem his seed from irreparable corruption. The seed is the result of another covenant of salt, entered into by a man and a woman, i.e., sacramental Marriage. This covenant indicates that the salt of DNA is subject to change in both structure and function.
 
Can the function of DNA change? With scientific certainty, the short answer to this question is yes. As it turns out, God is an infinitely intelligent designer. The instruction manual (aka DNA) written for building and maintaining a body is, metaphorically speaking, written in pencil. Furthermore, he gave us an eraser on the end of that pencil! Why the pencil and eraser?
 
As was said above, man was created possessing the gift of supernatural grace, i.e., grace that lifts human nature above the natural state of a human body and soul composite. By comparison, animals are also a body and soul composite, but not with a rational soul. They do not exist with an elevated supernatural state. In the supernatural state, man’s body did not experience the need to adapt to the environment of the “natural world” to survive and thrive. What would the pre–fallen state of Original Justice look like for man?
 
From a blog post on this site[15], we read:
St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “Now we have it on the authority of Scripture that ‘God made man right’ (Eccles. 7:30), which rightness, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei, xiv, 11), consists in the perfect subjection of the body [i.e., salt/dust of DNA — SML] to the soul.”[16] Aquinas goes on to show the role that supernatural grace played in our state of Original Justice. He writes, “Subjection of the body to the soul and of the lower powers to reason, was not from nature; otherwise it would have remained after sin … Hence it is clear that also the primitive subjection by virtue of which reason was subject to God, was not a merely natural gift, but a supernatural endowment of grace.”[17] The body is meant by God’s design to be fully and harmoniously subject to the soul.
 
A perfect body in subjection to a perfect soul, which, in turn, would be inhabited by the Holy Spirit, would encounter absolutely nothing that would require the body to alter its function to survive and thrive.
 
St. Seraphim of Saroy provides us with a small glimpse of such a state. St. Seraphim lived an austere life in the Russian wilderness. The winters where he lived could be brutal. In November of 1831, a pious Orthodox Christian named Nicholas Motovilov met with Saint Seraphim and recorded his conversation with the saint. Sergius Nilus transcribed and published the notes written by Motovilov. According to what he wrote,
“[Motovilov asks St. Seraphim,] How can you feel warmth, my son? Look, we are sitting in the forest. It is winter out-of-doors, and snow is underfoot. There is more than an inch of snow on us, and the snowflakes are still falling. What warmth can there be?” I [St. Seraphim] answered: “Such as there is in a bath-house when the water is poured on the stone and the steam rises in clouds. … neither on you nor on me does the snow melt, nor does it underfoot; therefore, this warmth is not in the air but in us. It is that very warmth about which the Holy Spirit in the words of prayer makes us cry to the Lord: “Warm me with the warmth of Thy Holy Spirit!”[18]
 
The body of a fallen man lacking supernatural grace must change to survive and thrive. Additionally, the body is the mouth through which the overflow of the human heart is accurately expressed (e.g., Matt 12:30-35, Lk 6:45, Mk 7:21-22, Proverbs 4:23). The human heart, in which the Holy Spirit dwells, is overflowing with the power of that same Holy Spirit.
 
Let us look at some other reasons why God would design a body with the inherent ability to change. Mindful of his command for man to be fruitful and multiply (which is in effect to this very day), God knew man would eventually populate many different geographical areas of the planet. He knew that we would encounter a multitude of environments and would require a means to cope with these various environmental challenges.
 
He designed our salt of DNA to change and adapt to survive and thrive, despite environmental changes/challenges. For example, the genes of people living in high altitude environments would have to function differently from those living in a low altitude environment. The air in high altitudes contains less oxygen than in lower elevations. Consequently, hypoxia would develop if genes had not altered their function to compensate for living in a low oxygen environment. Indigenous dwellers in three different high–altitude environments (Andeans, Tibetans, and Ethiopians) have experienced three unique genetic adaptations that allow them to function in their respective severe climates.[19]
 

Homosexuality

 
I want to touch on a critical moral and theological issue. One that is a very hot topic of debate these days. I want to broach this subject because BEIRBO (an acronym for Behavioral / Environmental Input à Reactive Biological Output; scientifically known as epigenetic plasticity) helps us understand why specific arguments are based on false and fallacious premises.
 
BEIRBO applies to many different predispositions, which make it easier to succumb to addictive and destructive behaviors. These can be classified as disordered to persons created in the image and likeness of God. However, one, in particular, is highly detrimental to the person and the culture. It relates to SSAs. Based on false logic, the argument used to justify this destructive behavior goes something like this: I am gay, lesbian, transgendered, etc., because I am genetically created this way. I had no choice in the matter. Because I was born this way, it must be God’s will that I am the way that I am. Furthermore, since it is God’s will that I am this way, you should accept this behavior as morally acceptable. Who are you to go against God’s will and deny me my sexual rights?
 

Hardware (the Genome) Versus Software (the Epigenome)

 
Many opponents of the gay and lesbian agenda are hesitant — or downright afraid — to admit that homosexuality may be genetically based. They know in their hearts that God does not make mistakes. To acknowledge that SSA persons were born with that attraction might make it difficult for them to justify the belief that it is against God’s will. BEIRBO helps us understand why being “born with it” (while probably true to some degree or another) does not mean that God wills it.
 
Francis Collins led the Human Genome Project, which (as the title indicates) mapped the human genome. He is also the Director of the National Institutes of Health. He wrote that studies performed on twins suggest that there are heritable factors at play in SSA, but attraction is not hard–wired into the genetic code. In other words, the genes within the DNA are not structurally altered, implying that hardwired mutations are directly responsible for functional changes producing SSA. He concludes that [epigenetics] play a role in creating a predisposition toward homosexuality, but not in predetermination.[20] To my mind, his view is an indication of BEIRBO in action, a software change — epigenetic or RNA induced — to the computer hardware that is DNA. Research, especially in the area of epigenetics, is pointing to the validity of this belief.
 
A good summary of the epigenetics of homosexuality can be found on Wikipedia. It reads:
Epigenetic theories of homosexuality concern the studies of changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype[21] caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence, and their role in the development of homosexuality [William R. Rice, Friberg, Urban and Sergey Gavrilets. “Homosexuality as a Consequence of Epigenetically Canalized Sexual Development.” The Quarterly Review of Biology 87.4 (2012): PMID 23397798 doi:10.1086/668167], [Rice WR, Friberg U, Gavrilets S. 2013. Homosexuality via canalized sexual development: A testing protocol for a new epigenetic model. BioEssays 35: 343–368], [Rice W. R., Friberg U., and Gavrilets S. 2016. Sexually antagonistic epigenetic marks that canalize sexually dimorphic development. Molecular Ecology 12: https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.13490]. Epigenetics examines the set of chemical reactions that switch parts of the genome on and off at strategic times and locations in the organism’s life cycle. However, epigenetic theories tangle a multiplicity of initiating causes and of resulting final effects and will never lead to a single cause or a single result. Hence, any interpretation of such theories may not focus just one isolated reason of a multiplicity of causes or of effects.
    Instead of affecting the organism’s DNA sequence, non–genetic factors [e.g., methyl groups — SML] may cause the organism’s genes to express themselves differently. DNA in the human body is wrapped around histones [see Figure 1 below], which are proteins that package and order DNA into structural units. DNA and histone are covered with chemical tags known as the epigenome [methyl and acetyl groups], which shapes the physical structure of the genome.[Genetic Science Learning Center, “Epigenetics,” Learn.Genetics, July 15, 2013, (accessed March 4, 2021)] It tightly wraps inactive genes on the DNA sequence making those genes unreadable while loosely wrapping active genes making them more expressive [i.e., making proteins, which are the chemical messengers used to convey instructions to cells — SML]. The more tightly wrapped the gene, the less it will be expressed in the organism. These epigenetic tags react to stimuli [both behavioral and environmental — SML] presented from the outside world. It adjusts specific genes in the genome to respond to humans’ rapidly changing environments. The idea of epigenetics and gene expression has been a theory applied to the origins of homosexuality in humans. One team of researchers examined the effects of epi–marks buffering XX fetuses and XY fetuses from certain androgen exposure and used published data on fetal androgen signaling and gene regulation through non–genetic changes in DNA packaging to develop a new model for homosexuality.[Sabrina Richards, “Can Epigenetics Explain Homosexuality?,” The Scientist online version, Jan. 1, 2013]. The researchers found that stronger than average epi–marks, epigenomes that are wrapped tightly around the DNA sequence, convert sexual preference in individuals without altering genitalia or sexual identity [“National Geographic Explains the Biology of Homosexuality.” YouTube. YouTube, Feb. 04, 2009]. This research gives support to the hypothesis that homosexuality stems from the under expression of certain genes on the DNA sequence involved with sexual preferences. …
     Epigenetic marks (epi–marks) are temporary “switches” that control how our genes are expressed during gestation and after birth. Moreover, epi–marks are modifications of histone proteins [Ruthenburg, A., C. Allis, and J. Wysocka. “Methylation of Lysine 4 on Histone H3: Intricacy of Writing and Reading a Single Epigenetic Mark.” Molecular Cell 25.1 (2007): 15–30. Print. PMID 17218268 doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2006.12.014]. Epigenetic marks are modifications of the methyl and acetyl groups that bind to DNA histones thereby changing how the proteins function and as a result, alter gene expression [Jablonka E and MJ Lamb (2010). “Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance,” In: M Pigliucci and GB Müller Evolution, the expanded synthesis]. Epi–marks change how histones function and, as a result, influence the way genes are expressed.[ William R. Rice, Friberg, Urban and Sergey Gavrilets. “Homosexuality as a Consequence of Epigenetically Canalized Sexual Development.The Quarterly Review of Biology 87.4 (2012): PMID 23397798 doi:10.1086/668167] Epigenetic marks promote normal sexual development during fetal development. However, they can be passed on to offspring through the process of mitosis. When the epi–marks transfer from one parent to an offspring of the opposite sex, altered sexual development can result. This transfer, in turn, can lead to masculinization of female offspring and feminization of male offspring [Stephanie Pappas, “Gene Regulation May Explain How Homosexuality Flourishes,” Live Science, https://www.livescience.com/25431-gene-regulation-homosexuality.html, December 11, 2012 (accessed 3/22/2021)].[22]
 
 
 
Figure 1: DNA molecule (orange) wrapped around histones (blue)
 
There are several wide–ranging studies that reliably indicate there is no hard–wired gay gene(s). However, that does not mean that epigenetic mechanisms do not play a significant role in genetic function (aka protein expression/production) and are not somehow involved in the biology of SSA.[23]
 
For example, research from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis provides compelling evidence indicating homosexuality seems to have an epigenetic link (i.e., environmentally induced as a result of inheritance) but not a hard–wired genetic link. Their research also indicates that lesbians get this epigenetic marker from their fathers, while gay men get it from their mothers. William Rice, an evolutionary biologist at the University  of California Santa Barbara and lead author of the study, mentioned that most mainstream biologists had shied away from this type of research because of, as he words it, social stigma.[24]
 
Social stigma? I prefer calling it self–centered fear of the consequences for being politically incorrect. I call it false and/or biological compassion (more on that topic later). So much for the unbiased pursuit of scientific truth. I’m not so much blaming scientists as I am a culture and government that is increasingly willing to sacrifice truth on the altar of social and political agenda.
 
A team of researchers at Penn State University have discovered an epigenetic link between: 1) alcohol consumption (chronic/addictive); 2) the “reward” hormone, dopamine (one of the pleasure and addiction hormones, aka biological reward hormones); and, 3) SSA among male fruit flies. According to research team–leader Kyung–An Han, associate professor of biology and neuroscience at Penn State, their research points to dopamine as the critical mediator of ethanol–induced (ethanol is a key component of alcohol) homosexual behavior. Their research indicates that the more chronic the consumption of alcohol, the greater is the frequency of occurrence of SSA.[25] I want to offer up for consideration the fact that many other pleasurable behaviors are rewarded via the release of dopamine (or other reward hormones) into the bloodstream. The Penn State study does not attempt to answer the following question, but I will ask it. Do any other epigenetic connections come to mind between pleasure/reward hormones and disordered behaviors?
 
Our brothers and sisters who have been burdened with this heavy cross (i.e., SSA) are owed all the love and support we can muster. The weight of their cross would be hard for anyone, including me, to bear. I admire and support those who take up that cross and bear because it is the right thing to do.
 
However, love and support cannot take the form of approval, acceptance, or promotion of any behavior that may proceed from the predisposition. I admire and support the person given the heavy cross of bipolar disorder. Still, I won’t say that I accept “normalize” the consequence–laden and destructive behavior that flows from it. I admire and support the person given the heavy cross of drug addiction. Still, I won’t accept or “normalize” the consequence–laden and destructive behavior that flows from it. I admire and support the person given the heavy cross of sexual addiction. Still, I won’t say that I accept “normalize” the consequence–laden and destructive behavior that flows from it.
 
Suicide rates are higher among those carrying the heavy cross of mental illness, but do we tell them that suicide is OK and that it’s God’s will that they carry it out? NO!! Likewise, we cannot consent to the lie that homosexuality is God’s will and, therefore, acceptable for one to act upon. Doing so would lead to the logical conclusion that God is inconsistent at best and schizophrenic at worst.
 

Pastoral Considerations

 
Jesus tells us that we are in the world, but not of the world. For some period of historical time, every one of God’s children has spent, is spending, or will spend a lifetime in this world. During this time, we are required to speak Truth in Love.
 
There are several passages in Scripture that inform us of the necessity to speak the truth in love to those who are obstinate sinners. Here is just one example: “So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.” (Ez. 33:7-9)? In reading these passages, note the dire consequences for remaining silent. Also, remember the Scripture passage that tells us, “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity” (1 Tim 5:1-2). Speak Truth in Love.
 
The word “speak” should be understood in a more comprehensive theological/scriptural context. We not only speak words, but we also speak with our actions and behaviors. In Luke, we read, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Lk 6:45). While the Truth never changes, whether we speak it and how we speak, it does.
 
From the 1986 Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith provides a clear statement about speaking Truth from the heart to those with SSA. The CDF tells us:
It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.
    But the proper reaction to crimes committed against homosexual persons should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered. When such a claim is made and when homosexual activity is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behavior to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase.[26]
   
We must always be aware that the SSA person did not choose the epigenetically–driven predisposition toward disordered sexual attraction. Likewise, the child of alcoholic parent(s) did not choose to be predisposed to alcoholism or some other related compulsive behavior. The only thing such a person can choose is how they respond to the resulting biological urges. We would never consider counseling such people living in our society that it is morally OK to engage in such epigenetically–driven behavior. The free will of these individuals is not taken away from them due to the heavy weight of epigenetic–based crosses. St. Paul described our journey to Heaven as a race. With the help of grace, each can finish the race. However, epigenetic hardships can act as ankle weights that make it harder to finish the race — facilitating easier and more frequent falls. Some may have to carry two–pound ankle weights — some, ten–pound ankle weights, and so forth. None will have to carry so heavy a set of weights that they cannot finish the race. However, we can strap on more — and heavier — ankle weights of our own free will by giving in to addictive predispositions. That is how we become slaves to our sins. However, if one sincerely asks Jesus to help him with the gift of grace after every fall, we will always finish the race, even if Jesus has to pick us up and carries us across the finish line.
 
According to Dr. Mark Lowery,
Many moderns have embraced an autonomous view of reality: ‘I can do what I want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.’ Others embrace a moralism [called heteronomous] … which turns venomous when it vilifies and demonizes. … Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical Veritatis Splendor (art. 41), distinguishes the Catholic moral outlook from these two erroneous positions [i.e., autonomous and heteronomous]. He labels the Catholic view a ‘participated theonomy.’ If for autonomy there is no law, and if for heteronomy the law is to be followed because God said so, for participated theonomy the moral law is something friendly to our being, something built for our genuine fulfillment and for our authentic freedom. The law is not true because God commanded it; rather, God commands it because it is true. When we use our free will to align our lives with this truth, we possess authentic freedom.[27] [We must never forget that all people, including those with SSA, are persons created in the image and likeness of a God who loves each one of them infinitely — SML].
    What does this mean for the discussion on homosexuality? It means that the truth about human sexuality is something that ultimately offers genuine freedom to the homosexual person, helping him to escape the slavery to his passions [emphasis SML] that resulted from the misuse of his free will. This is a truth that, with true compassion [as opposed to biological/false compassion — SML], reaches out to the homosexual person in his desperation. Although that person may not be aware of it, he is crying out for the truth. When the response from our culture is heteronomous and mean–spirited, he recoils, and takes false comfort in a worldview that espouses autonomy. The Church and society must offer the truth, and offer it in the right way, the way of participatory theonomy. It won’t do to start with a good logical argument, using the data of reason and revelation. Such arguments will occupy a central position in the overall Catholic approach, this article included, but only after a compassionate pastoral approach has laid the proper foundation. [We must avoid as much as charitably possible what] Frank Sheed said somewhere, ‘Win an argument, lose a convert.’[28]
 
Relative to the autonomous view described above, there is no such thing as an entirely private (cordoned off and walled–in) sin. God tells St. Catherine, “Keep in mind that each of you has your own vineyard. But everyone is joined to your neighbors’ vineyards without any dividing lines. They are so joined together, in fact, that you cannot do good or evil for yourself without doing the same for your neighbors.”[29] Our bodies are not fencing that helps keep our inner heart, and its overflows (our actions) hidden from — and lacking any measurable impact on — our neighbors. Based on everything God is teaching us, I think it would be more accurate to describe our body as a transmission tower that sends out the overflow of our inner hearts. One of a couple of goals in teaching The Science & Theology of Salt in Scripture is to discover the truth of the previous statement.
 
Lowery continues:
There is no evidence whatsoever that homosexuality is caused genetically [not to be confused with epigenetically, for which there is a good bit of scientific evidence], though there could be a genetic predisposition toward homosexuality. As Christopher Wolfe has noted, ‘. . . if [homosexuality] really were [genetically hardwired], it would have almost certainly died out, or at least be continually declining. Homosexuals reproduce at much lower levels than the general population . . . . So if homosexuality were a [hardwired] genetic trait . . . it would be found in a smaller and smaller percentage of the population.’ And, ‘. . . if homosexuality were [genetically hardwired], then in all sets of identical [monozygotic-SML] twins where one was homosexual, the other would be, too.’ [Jeffrey Satinover, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996), 51–54] On the other hand, one cannot prove that the orientation is caused environmentally, but all the evidence points in that direction. [Jeffrey Satinover, “The Biology of Homosexuality: Science or Politics?” ed Christopher Wolfe, Homosexuality and American Public Life (Dallas: Spence, 1999), 3–61].[30]
 
False/Misguided Compassion
 
In the Garden of Eden, Eve was guilty of giving scandal to Adam. So, what does the Church says about scandal? When, whether by an individual or by a community of individuals, an attempt is made to persuade one or more individual(s) that a sinful act is morally OK, each is guilty of giving scandal.[31] Yet this is precisely what is happening in a large segment of today’s society. Large swaths of the modern world believe they are doing a good and compassionate thing by telling those with SSA that acting on their attraction is normal and morally good. The devastating consequences of that false compassion will be discussed in Part III of this blog series. The motivation for this false/biological compassion can stem from fear of rebuke or a desire to appear to others as a good person. Both are forms of self–centered false/physical/chemical love.
 
An example of this wrong–headed thinking is the Pharisees at the time of Jesus. Full of self–centered pride, the Pharisees believed they were essential to preserving Judaism from false prophets. Because of their sinful pride, they didn’t listen to what Jesus was saying and doing. Their pride blinded them to the fact they were misinterpreting the words of Scripture about the promised Messiah. Their pride blinded them to Truth. So, out of their false compassion (and their desire for power and adulation) for the nation of Israel, they had the True Messiah killed. From a biological standpoint, if the heart believes it is good (i.e., apparent good instead of real good), it will cause the body to reward itself in the form of chemical (hormonal) rewards.
 
Engaging in repeated and intentional behaviors that lead to hormonal appetites' satisfaction are acts of self–centeredness, not other–centeredness.[32] This behavior was, and is, the sad state of fallen man in today's society. We seek hormonal happiness at the expense of spiritual joy. We are even confused about what constitutes true happiness. For example, there is a vast difference between biological compassion on the one hand and spiritual compassion on the other. As a result of fallen man’s disordered body–soul composite nature, we are easily fooled as to whether something is a real good or an apparent good. This confusion can lead us to confuse spiritual compassion with compassion (or even love) that is originating in the flesh. A lack of awareness of this fact is why we have so many divorces in the United States. We too often equate the chemically–induced feeling with true love. It is not a reliable indicator of genuine love or compassion.
 
The following wedding vows would represent a more accurate understanding of modern–day marriages:
I, _____, take you, _____, for my lawful wife/husband spouse, to have and to hold from this day forward for as long as you make me feel good, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, and in full employment, until death do us part someone else who is more beautiful makes me feel even better than you do. I will love and honor you all the many days of my life.
  
Few are callous enough to make such a vow out loud or consciously, but statistics don’t lie. The celebration of Silver and Gold Anniverseries are few and far between. Not all, but a significant number hold an understanding of love that would be more indicative of the above vow instead of the more Traditional wedding vows.

The average length of marriage before a divorce is between four and seven years. The current divorce rate is between 40 to 50%. In a survey of divorced couples, here are the top five reasons for the divorce:
 
#5: Financial problems — 36.1%
#4: Married too young — 45.1%
#3: Too much conflict & arguing — 57.7%
#2: Adultery — 59.6% (almost a whopping two-thirds fertile ground for deeper analysis)
#1: Lack of commitment to the relationship — 75%

Based on the statistics above, the modified marriage vow listed above looks to be pretty darn accurate. The statistics for infidelity present an opportunity for much greater study. There is much more to be gleaned from the adultery factor than meets the eye. That may be the topic of a different article.
 
Biological compassion originates from within the flesh. It is fed by the release of hormones, primarily oxytocin,[33] that cause a person to feel good. This hormonally induced feeling fools the person into thinking that a real good has just been accomplished when, in fact, it was only an apparent good (i.e., a perceived good, but not a real good).[34] Real/Objective Good is always inextricably linked to God. The Holy Spirit — and only the Holy Spirit — dwelling within the inner heart motivates spiritual/True compassion. The Holy Spirit leads man to acts focused on obtaining ultimate and eternal happiness for others. Here is a litmus test to help judge which type of compassion is behind any particular act of helpfulness: If the specific action being enabled is of a sinful nature, then biological/false compassion is at its root. Period! The Holy Spirit will not prompt anyone to be an accomplice to another person’s sin! Willingly engaging in SSA–induced acts are gravely/deathly sinful.
 
In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis provides us with a good understanding of the pitfalls of false biological compassion. He tells us,
What is morally good or evil is what we do on the basis of, or under the influence of, a given passion. But when passions are aroused or sought, and as a result we perform evil acts, the evil lies in the decision to fuel them and in the evil acts that result. Along the same lines, my being attracted to someone is not automatically good. If my attraction to that person makes me try to dominate him or her, then my feeling only serves my selfishness. To believe that we are good simply because ‘we feel good’ [a product of biology — SML] is a tremendous illusion. There are those who feel themselves capable of great love only because they have a great need for affection, yet they prove incapable of the effort needed to bring [True — SML] happiness to others. They remain caught up in their own needs and desires. In such cases, emotions distract from the highest values and conceal a self-centeredness that makes it impossible to develop a healthy and happy family life.[35]
 
Biological compassion and biological love are closely related. Both are opposite sides of the same coin. When grounded in God's laws and of created nature, both are ordered to the laws God has written within the heart of every person, written in the spirit — i.e., the higher powers of the soul — of each person. As was said earlier, disobeying God's laws will inevitably lead to spiritual blindness and a disordered body/soul existence. When we allow our chemically produced feelings to be the determinant of what constitutes good and evil, we have set the stage for our own misery and self–destruction. Nowhere is this truer than in the area of lust of the flesh.
 
About three or four years ago, I had a dream. I can’t tell you with any certainty whether or not it was a prophetic dream from God. All I can say is that it was a powerful dream, the memory of which has never faded. In the dream, I was imprisoned in the house of a man who clearly loved to watch people committing sexual sins. Pornographic programming was playing on his TV. He was amused by what he was viewing but not aroused by it. I believe that man was Satan or a demon in human form (cf. 1 Peter 5:8). Then I saw another man on the ground being eaten by a lion. The strange thing was how the lion was eating the man. It wasn’t eating the man in the same manner as lions typically do (i.e., by ripping apart the victim's flesh). Instead, it was eating the man in the exact same way as a snake would eat its prey. I observed that the man had been consumed all the way up to his armpits. That would equate to about eighty percent of his body already consumed. The human prey was not fighting, screaming, crying, etc. It was as though he had no idea what was happening to him. I believe that man was a collective representation of all humanity, but most especially men.
 
This dream represents the great danger of biological compassion/love when entirely severed from the True Source of spiritual compassion/love. Through biologically–induced false love/compassion, we engorge ourselves with the sweet poison that is the lust of the flesh. We make ourselves prey to satisfy the insatiable appetite of Satan for souls to destroy. The sweetness of sin intoxicates us; we don’t even recognize or care about our fate. We feel full of life when in truth, we are on the precipice of death. I have often said the most lethal power of man in his fallen state is the ability to rationalize as being good, compassionate, and loving that which the human heart desires. Unfortunately, that is true even if that which is desired is a horrendous evil. Let us take a look at some examples.
 
Gay rights activist Dr. Franklin Kameny said, “because under our system, morality is a matter of personal opinion and individual belief on which any American citizen may hold any view he wishes and upon which the government has no power or authority to have any view at all. Besides which, in my view, homosexuality is not only not immoral, but is affirmatively moral [SML] [David W. Dunlap, “Franklin Kameny, Gay Rights Pioneer, Dies at 86”, New York Times, October 12, 2001].” In 1968 (at the height of the sexual revolution) Kameny coined the phrase “gay is good.”[36]
 
He also wrote, “Let us have more and better enjoyment of more and better sexual perversions, by whatever definition, by more and more consenting adults. . . . If bestiality with consenting animals provides happiness to some people, let them pursue their happiness. That is Americanism in action [Peter LaBarbera, “‘Gay Rights’ Icon Frank Kameny Says Bestiality OK ‘as Long as the Animal Doesn’t Mind,’” Americans for Truth about Homosexuality website, accessed August 2, 2013, http://americansfortruth.com/2008/05/31/gay-icon-kameny-says-bestiality-ok-as-long-as-the-animal-doesnt-mind/].”[37] One might say this only represents one individual’s view. That might be true if it were not for the circumstances surrounding this man and his writings. Kameny was one of 250 gay rights leaders invited to the White House by then-President Barrack Obama. The President singled out Kameny saying, “We are proud of you, Frank, and we are grateful to you for your leadership.” The invitation and praise from the White House occurred after Kameny’s well-circulated writings cited above.
 
According to Robert Reilly,
[Quoting] “Jeffrey Levi, former executive director for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, ‘We [homosexuals] are no longer seeking just a right to privacy and a right to protection from wrong. We have a right—as heterosexuals have already—to see government and society affirm our lives.’ Homosexual author Urvashi Vaid declared, ‘We have an agenda to create a society in which homosexuality is regarded as healthy, natural, and normal. To me that is the most important agenda item [Quoted in Gabriel Rotello, Sexual Ecology: AIDS and the Destiny of Gay Men, (New York: Penguin Books, 1997), 286].’ Paula Ettelbrick, former legal director of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, stated: ‘Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex, sexuality, and family, and. . . transforming the very fabric of society. . . . We must keep our eyes on the goals of providing true alternatives to marriage and of radically reordering society’s view of reality [Quoted in Since When Is Marriage a Path to Liberation? in Lesbians, Gay Men, and the Law, ed. William B. Rubenstein (New York: New Press, 1993), 398, 400.].’”[38]
 
All of the above are particularly alarming for the fate of mankind. In Part III of this blog series, the gravity of the consequences on society for SSA behaviors will be expanded upon. SSA and the use of artificial birth control removes any intention of, or openness to the fruitful expression of love in the Holy Spirit. Pope St. John Paul II, in his December 30, 1988 homily given on the Feast of the Holy Family, tells us there is not a more perfect image of the divine mystery of the Trinity than is marriage and the family.[39] This deliberately made fruitless/infertile SSA–induced act is a direct attack on marriage and the family. This attack has been going on since the beginning of the 20th century.
 
Pope John Paul II tasked cardinal Carlo Caffara to plan and establish the Pontifical Institute for the Studies on Marriage and the Family. He wrote to Sr. Lucia, one of the three children who received Church–approved apparitions from Mary, the Mother of God (for information on Fatima and the miracle of the sun, click here and here). The purpose of his letter was to ask for her prayers for the success of the endeavor for which Caffara was tasked. She responded with a six-page letter, telling the Cardinal, “the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family [emphasis mine]. Don’t be afraid, she added, because anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue [my emphasis].”[40] We are now in this final battle!
 
Cardinal Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II), in an address during the Eucharistic Congress in 1976 for the Bicentennial Celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, said:
We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American Society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in Gods Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously [Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II), reprinted November 9, 1978, issue of The Wall Street Journal from a 1976 speech to the American Bishops].[41]
 
The family is the domestic Church. When Satan wants to destroy the Church, he wants to destroy marriage and the family. The Church is the marriage of the Bridegroom (Jesus) and the Bride (The Mystical Body of Christ). Dr. Brant Pitre writes,
For many others, baptism is primarily a rite of initiation into the Christian community, by which a person becomes a member of the “one body” of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). However, when we look at the mystery of baptism in the light of everything we’ve learned about Jesus the Bridegroom, another meaning emerges. If Jesus is the Bridegroom and the Church is his bride, then Christian baptism is more than just a sign of repentance, an ordinance, or a ritual of initiation; it is the bridal bath by which Jesus cleanses us from sin so that we can be united to God.[42]
 
Baptism is not the actual marriage. What is, then? According to St. Augustine,
Every Celebration [of the Eucharist] is a celebration of Marriage; the Church’s nuptials are celebrated. The King’s Son is about to marry a wife, and the King’s Son [is] himself a King; and the guests frequenting the marriage are themselves the Bride.… For all the Church is Christ’s Bride, of which the beginning and first-fruits is the Flesh of Christ, because there was the Bride joined to the Bridegroom in the flesh. (Augustine, Homilies on 1 John 2:12–17).
    In other words, in the Eucharistic “marriage celebration” (Latin nuptiarum celebratio), Jesus the Bridegroom is united to the Church, not just in spirit, but in body as well. For while Jesus, as the divine Son of God, is spiritually present everywhere, in the Eucharist he is present bodily: it is the wedding banquet at which the Bridegroom Messiah is united to his bride in both body and spirit.[43]
 
From Dr. Pitre’s writings, we begin to see the more profound significance of the miracle performed by Jesus at Cana. The wedding at Cana signifies the completion of Jesus’ mission on earth. The fulfillment of the Covenant of Salt between God and man. The Mass is a representation of the Marriage that took place at Calvary — the Marriage through which we become one flesh with Jesus on the Cross. This Marriage is the significance of Jesus nailed to the Cross. The salt of DNA of the wood is a representation of our salt of DNA becoming one flesh with Jesus on the Cross. This symbolism is the same as the symbolism of the vine, and the branches (John 15:1-17), The DNA of the vine is the same DNA as the branches. This marriage on the Cross can also be seen in passages referring to both Elijah and Elisha. Both resurrected dead children by laying their bodies upon the dead bodies of the children. Elisha’s encounter is described thus: “putting his mouth upon his mouth, his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands; and as he stretched himself upon him, the flesh of the child became warm” (2 Kings 4:27-35). Elijah’s encounter is described this way: “Then he stretched himself upon the child three times [signifying the Resurrection of Jesus on the third day — SML], and cried to the Lord, ‘O Lord my God, let this child’s soul come into him again.’ And the Lord hearkened to the voice of Eli′jah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived” (1 Kgs 17:21-22). See Endnote for more information.[44] In both cases, they laid their bodies in the same basic configuration that Jesus held when nailed upon the Cross. Again, this is the Covenant of Salt fulfilled.
 
Through the Eucharist, we become one flesh with Jesus on the Cross. We become one family with the Son of God. This is why all Jews were required to add salt to their offerings. Jesus is the unblemished sacrificial offering; our bodies are the salt that is added to the offering. Only the incarnate Son of God could ever be identified as being without blemish. Therefore, the salt that had to be added to the salt of the offering is our salt (of DNA). Our sufferings/offerings are ‘acceptable and pleasing’ (cf. Malach. 1:10-11, Is. 64:6, 1 Pt. 2:4-5) to the Father only when we unite them with the Son’s infinitely and eternally perfect offering. After an oblation was offered to God on the altar, it had to be eaten (the offering was not valid otherwise). In ancient Jewish history, it was believed that by eating the offering, the offeror would become one with that offering and thus participate in the benefits of the altar sacrifice.[45] This is why Satan wants to destroy the Church. He wants to destroy Christ’s human family — His Church. Intentionally sterile acts (ALL SSA acts are, as a direct result of its inherent disorder, sterile) are antithetical to God’s definition of a family; definition of the Church.
 
Robert Reilly continues about our abilities to rationalize evil behaviors:
Habitual moral failure, however, can be lived with only by obliterating conscience through a more permanent rationalization, an enduring inversion of morality. It is often difficult to detect rationalizations when one is living directly under their influence, and so historical examples are useful. One of the clearest was offered at the Nuremberg trials by Dr. Karl Brandt, Adolf Hitler’s personal physician, who had been in charge of the Nazi regime’s Aktion T-4 euthanasia program to eliminate “life unworthy of life”. He said in his defense: “When I said ‘yes’ to euthanasia I did so with the deepest conviction, just as it is my conviction today, that it was right. Death can mean deliverance. Death is life.” [In other words, euthanasia is biological compassion put into practice — SML]. …The purpose of this analogy is not to suggest that homosexual acts are in any way comparable to the evil of euthanasia, but to illustrate the enormous power that rationalization can exercise over those whose consciences it corrupts. …
    Perhaps a more immediately apt analogy to this kind of rationalization is the practice and justification of abortion, itself a product of the sexual revolution, which is equally expansive in its claims upon society. The internal logic of abortion requires the spread of death from the unborn to the nearly born, and then to the infirm and [then] to otherwise burdensome individuals. …
     Like Dr. Brandt, if you are going to kill innocent persons, you had better convince yourself and others that it is right, that you do it out of compassion [emphasis SML]. Thus, Beverly Harrison, a professor of Christian ethics at Union Theological Seminary, contends that abortion is a “positive good” and even a “loving choice.” …during a US Senate debate, Senator Barbara Boxer assured her colleagues that mothers who have aborted their children by this means “buried those babies with love.” If abortion is love, then, indeed, as Dr. Brandt said, “death is life.”[46]
 
As can be clearly seen, biological compassion/love can be very dangerous, even highly deadly, when acted upon by those who have lost their objective moral compass — who have deadened their conscience. Many make the mistake of believing that one should not impose one’s views on others … including the government. This lie is one of Satan’s most successful. Such people falsely believe that Satan will be appeased enough to cease his attack. Satan will never settle for destroying the Church by only 30%, 50%, 70%, 90%, or even 99%. He will stop at nothing less than 100% of the Church destroyed. Such is his hatred for God and man. He will never willingly rest from his quest until he is forced to do so by the Son of God. Until we come to terms with this fact, we are sleeping at the wheel. From all the above, we can arrive at the following truth: If the righteous do not impose morality on its government and the laws it creates, the government will, sooner or later, impose its immoral laws on all its citizens.
 
Divine Truth requires our humility before God. However, that humility does not apply to confrontations with evil. According to award-winning journalist Michael Brown, when talking about a Church–sanctioned 1984 apparition at San Nicolás in Argentina, the Blessed Virgin Mary said to Gladys Quiroga, he writes:
‘Daughter, pride is a very serious sin.’ …This does not mean we concede to evil. ‘I say this to all my children: God does not want you to humble yourselves before the enemy, nor does He want you to be destroyed by him, but for you to face up to him,’ she said dramatically on August 30, 1984. ‘Fear nothing, because the Lord goes in front to each battle. May your will not shrink; be strong because you have the Presence of the Almighty.’[47]
 
We must impose God’s moral Truth on those who attempt to exert governing power over our society and culture. A Godless government can and will lead many souls to hell.
 

Appealing to Our Biological Compassion

 
Keeping in mind what we have been discussing above, we can begin to see the tactics employed to appeal to our biological compassion, pushing aside all true spiritual compassion. The conscious or unconscious followers of Stat appealing to apparent good because the SSA act is completely devoid of any real good. Employing a tactic that has been used before by those who have fallen for the Evil one’s lies, we see emotional arguments revolving around suicides and mental depression coming to the surface. These problems are falsely linked to the mental pressures experienced due to societal discrimination upon those suffering from SSA.
 
According to Psychiatrist Jeffrey Satinover,
[I]t is widely recognized and accepted, even within homosexual advocacy circles, that homosexuals do have a -greater incidence of mental illness, particularly depression and suicide, than do heterosexuals. Activists quickly explain that this connection implies neither a necessary psychological nor a necessary biological link between homosexuality and depression. They argue, rather, that suicidal depression is the unsurprising effect on otherwise healthy individuals of living a closeted existence in an abusive and hostile society.
    Similar arguments have been made before-. It has long been obvious, for instance, that parental divorce is associated with both severe distress and behavioral problems among children. But in the 1970s the divorce industry argued that it was the social stigma attached to divorce that caused children’s distress, not divorce itself. If divorce were normalized, they claimed, the children could walk away unscathed. Indeed, children would be helped by divorce, for they would not suffer the trauma of being reared and cared for by less-than-totally-personally-fulfilled parents.
      Until recently, no scientific studies were available to prove what has been painfully obvious to everyone, but science has finally caught up with experience and common sense. Numerous studies now confirm that divorce inflicts lifelong damage on children, far greater than that caused by parental unhappiness. Even divorce experts are beginning to withdraw their earlier claims [D. W. Whitehead, “Dan Quayle Was Right,” The Atlantic Monthly 271, no. 4: 47-84, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1993/04/dan-quayle-was-right/307015/].[48]
 
According to Satinover, there are no studies that support the notion that societal stress is the primary cause of depression and suicide among those with SSA[49]. There are, however, studies that link childhood trauma with said depression and mental problems, both of which are linked to rates of suicide. “Many studies reveal a sadly disproportionate rate of sexual abuse during the childhoods of homosexual men, at the very least suggesting that both homosexual unhappiness and homosexuality itself derive from common causes and that unhappiness is, therefore, an inherent accompaniment of homosexuality.”[50] Let’s cite two such studies:
From May 1989 through April 1990, 1001 adult homosexual and bisexual men attending sexually transmitted disease clinics were interviewed regarding potentially abusive sexual contacts during childhood and adolescence. Thirty-seven percent of participants reported they had been encouraged or forced to have sexual contact before age 19 with an older or more powerful partner; 94 percent occurred with men. Median age of the participant at first contact was 10; median age difference between partners was 11 years. Fifty-one percent involved use of force; 33 percent involved anal sex. Black and Hispanic men were more likely than white men to report such sexual contact. Using developmentally based criteria to define sexual abuse, 93 percent of participants reporting sexual contact with an older or more powerful partner were classified as sexually abused. Our data suggest the risk of sexual abuse may be high among some male youth and increased attention should be devoted to prevention as well as early identification and treatment [Doll LS, Joy D, Bartholow BN, Harrison JS, Bolan G, Douglas JM, Saltzman LE, Moss PM, Delgado W. Self-reported childhood and adolescent sexual abuse among adult homosexual bisexual men. Child Abuse Negl. 1992 Nov-Dec;16(6):855-64. doi: 10.1016/0145-2134(92)90087-8. PMID: 1486514].[51]
 
The same is true for pedophiles:
The association between perpetration of sexual abuse and the offender’s own victimization as a child has been well documented in the literature. Various researchers have examined this relationship by assessing the exclusiveness of the sexual abuser’s behavior, the gender of his victims and the gender of his own childhood abuser. . . . Subjects were 135 pedophiles. . . who admitted to their offenses. A total of 42 percent of pedophiles . . . reported being sexually victimized in their own childhoods. . . . [and] appear to choose their age specific victims in accordance with the age of their own experience of sexual victimization. Although the cause of child molestation remains undetermined these results support social learning and modeling theories [Greenberg DM, Bradford JM, Curry S. A comparison of sexual victimization in the childhoods of pedophiles and hebephiles. J Forensic Sci. 1993 Mar;38(2):432-6. PMID: 8455000].[52]
 
Satinover concludes, “Studies, like the one cited immediately above, do suggest that both the high levels of emotional distress and homosexuality itself have at least one common root in painful childhood experiences, as do other deviations from the sexual norm such as pedophilia. It makes as much sense to claim that the high levels of psychological abnormality and personal distress found among pedophiles are due solely to the [widespread] social disapproval of pedophilia.”[53]
 
This concludes Part II of III. In Part III of this blog series, we will spend some time on the dangers that await us as a nation if we fall for the traps that the Evil one has set for us. Why is deliberate fruitlessness so extremely evil in God’s eyes — and dealt with so harshly? Why does classical Philosophy teach that SSA is a distortion of natural law? Why is acceptance of same–sex acts part of the main goal in Satan’s 100–plus year plan to defeat God’s Church and to destroy the souls of all mankind.

Updated 05/24/2021

Endnotes

   
[1] Exodus 3:14 is the passage where “Moses when he asks, who shall I say sent me. And God said to Moses, I Am That I Am. And he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel: I AM hath sent me unto you” (Ex 3:14, KJV). The Hebrew word that is most commonly translated into that or who, is either aher (אחר) or asher (אשר). Aher [https://www.abarim–publications.com/Meaning/Aher.html#.X3jfXMROm00], as an adjective, means another. Asher [https://www.abarim–publications.com/Dictionary/a/a–si–r.html], “occurs in two different ways: There's the verbal root אשר ('ashar), which indicates progression, and there's the particle אשר ('asher) that indicates relation.” According to Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon [http://www.eliyah.com/cgi–bin/strongs.cgi?file=hebrewlexicon&isindex=834], the word can be translated as: “so that” or “in order that”. Putting all of this together, it is clear that I Am that (or Who) I Am, can be summarized thusly, I Am (the Father) so that I Am (the Son — indicating Divine Fruitfulness). Additionally, the single “I” for the two “I Am”’s indicates a Unity that can only come through the Holy Spirit.
 
[2]. CCC, n. 687.
 
[3]. Leo XIII, Divinum Illud Munus, (Third Millennium Media L.L.C., The Faith Database L.L.C., 2008), n. 3.
 
[4]. Hildegard of Bingen’s Book of Divine Works: With Letters and Song. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission of publisher. Kindle Locations 2548-2552.
 
[5] Rodgers AB, Bale TL. “Germ Cell Origins of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Risk: The Transgenerational Impact of Parental Stress Experience,” Biol Psychiatry, 2015 Sep 1;78(5):307–14. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.03.018. Epub 2015 Mar 23. PMID: 25895429; PMCID: PMC4526334.
 
[6] Martha Henriques, “Can the legacy of trauma be passed down the generations?” The BBC, https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190326-what-is-epigenetics, 26th March 2019 (accessed 03/24/2021).
 
[7] Rodgers AB, Morgan CP, Bronson SL, Revello S, Bale TL, “Paternal stress exposure alters sperm microRNA content and reprograms offspring HPA stress axis regulation,” J Neurosci, 2013;33(21):9003–9012. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0914–13.2013.
 
[8] Max–Planck–Gesellschaft, "Epigenetics between the generations: We inherit more than just genes," ScienceDaily, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170717100548.htm, (accessed March 24, 2021).
Journal Source: Zenk F, Loeser E, Schiavo R, Kilpert F, Bogdanovic O, Iovino N. “Germ line–inherited H3K27me3 restricts enhancer function during maternal–to–zygotic transition,” Science, Vol. 357, Issue 6347, pp. 212–216; July 14th, 2017 DOI: 10.1126/science.aam5339.
 
[9] University of California – Santa Cruz, “How epigenetic memory is passed through generations: Sperm and eggs transmit memory of gene repression to embryos,” Science Daily, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140918141448.htm: ScienceDaily, September 18, 2014 (accessed 09/20/2014);
Journal Source: L. J. Gaydos, W. Wang, S. Strome.”H3K27me and PRC2 transmit a memory of repression across generations and during development.” Science, 2014; 345 (6203): 1515 DOI:10.1126/science.1255023.
 
[10]. Max–Planck–Gesellschaft, "Epigenetic Changes Often Don’t Last, Probably Have Limited Effects On Long–Term Evolution, Research Finds," Science Daily, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110920132628.htm: Science Daily LLC, Sept. 20, 2011 (accessed 9/20/2011).
 
[11] St. Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias (997 Macarthur Bl., Mahwah, New Jersey 07430: Paulist Press, 1990), 80–81.
 
[12] Ibid., 118.
 
[13] Ibid., 79.
 
[14] Ibid., 253–254.
 
 
[16] Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 99, https://www.newadvent.org/summa/1099.htm
 
[17] Ibid.
 
[18] Saint Seraphim of Saroy, On Acquisition of the Holy Spirit, trans Sergius Nilus, (Kindle Locations 351-361), Kindle Edition.
 
[19] Hillary Mayell, “Three High–Altitude Peoples, Three Adaptations to Thin Air,” National Geographic News, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/high–altitude–adaptations–evolution: National Geographic Society, February 25, 2004.
 
[20] Francis S. Collins, The Language of God, (New York, NY: Free Press, 2006), 260.
 
[21] A phenotype is an individual's observable traits, such as height, eye color, and blood type. The genetic contribution to the phenotype is called the genotype. Some traits are largely determined by the genotype, while other traits are largely determined by environmental factors. https://www.genome.gov/genetics-glossary/Phenotype.
 
[22] Wikipedia contributors, "Epigenetic theories of homosexuality," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Epigenetic_theories_of_homosexuality&oldid=994718805, (accessed March 22, 2021).
 
[23] Sara Reardon, “Massive Study Finds No Single Genetic Cause of Same–Sex Sexual Behavior: Analysis of half a million people suggests genetics may have a limited contribution to sexual orientation,” Scientific American, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/massive–study–finds–no–single–genetic–cause–of–same–sex–sexual–behavior/, August 29, 2019 (accessed 3/22/2021).
 
[24] Jason Koebler, "Scientists May Have Finally Unlocked Puzzle of Why People Are Gay," Online edition of U.S. News & World Report, https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/12/11/scientists–may–have–finally–unlocked–puzzle–of–why–people–are–gay: December 11, 2012 (accessed 12/11/2012).
 
[25] Penn State, "With Daily Alcohol Use, Male Fruit Flies Court Other Males," Science Daily LLC, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080102222901.htm, Jan. 10, 2008 (accessed 01/16/2008).
 
[26] Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons,” Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1986, n. 10, http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19861001_homosexual-persons_en.html#top.
 
[27] Dr. Mark Lowery, “Homosexuality and Authentic Freedom,” Catholic World Report, https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2021/03/15/homosexuality–and–authentic–freedom/, March 15, 2021 (accessed 3/17/2021).
 
[28] Ibid.
 
[29] Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue, trans. Suzanne Noffke (New York: Paulist Press, 1980), 62.
 
[30] Dr. Mark Lowery, “Homosexuality and Authentic Freedom,” Catholic World Report, https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2021/03/15/homosexuality–and–authentic–freedom/, March 15, 2021 (accessed 3/17/2021).
 
[31] Fr. Augustine Trantells us, “The word scandal comes from the Greek word skandalon, which means “a stumbling block”. Now, while stumbling blocks are always a nuisance, they sometimes have a positive effect and sometimes a negative effect. The effect is positive if it forces us to do what is right (for example, speed bumps) or if it strengthens us, such as military obstacle courses do. The effect is negative if it hinders us from achieving a good end. This is the sense in which we use it when we talk about scandal as a sin.” https://catholicexchange.com/the–definition–of–scandal
 
[32]. Francois Jamart, Complete Spiritual Doctrine of St. Therese of Lisieux (New York, NY: Alba House, 1996), 109.
 
[33]. University of California – Berkeley, “Social Scientists Say Compassion Is Humans’ Strongest Trait”, News–Medical, http://www.news–medical.net/news/20091210/Social–scientists–say–compassion–is–humans–strongest–trait.aspx, December 10, 2009 (accessed 04/30/2012).
 
[34]. Leen, Rev. Edward. The Holy Spirit. (New York, NY: Sheed & Ward, 1939; Sceptor Publishers, 1998, 2008), 15–16, 18.
 
 
[36] Reilly, Robert. Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything, (Kindle Locations 102-105), Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.
 
[37] Ibid.
 
[38] Ibid., Locations 161-167.
 
[39]. Christopher West, Theology of the Body Explained (Boston, MA: Pauline Books and Media, 2003), 12.
 
[40] Rorate Caeli, “Cardinal: What Sister Lucia told me: Final Confrontation between the Lord and Satan will be over Family and Marriage,” https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2015/06/cardinal-what-sister-lucia-told-me.html, 2/16/2008.
 
[41] Mark Mallet, “Understanding the Final Confrontation,” The Now Word, https://www.markmallett.com/blog/2010/02/16/understanding-the-final-confrontation/, Feb. 16, 2010.
 
[42] Brant James Pitre PhD, Jesus the Bridegroom (p. 138). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
 
[43] Ibid., pp. 146-147.
 
[44] God informed St. Catherine of Siena, “I sent the Word my only-begotten Son, who was prefigured in Elisha [SML]. He laid himself out on this dead child by joining the divine nature with your human nature. Member for member he joined this divine nature with yours: my power, the wisdom of my Son, the mercy of the Holy Spirit-all of me, God, the abyss of the Trinity, laid upon and united with your human nature. After this union the gentle loving Word accomplished the other by running like one in love to the shameful death of the cross, where he laid himself out [above, Elisha is said to have ‘laid himself out;’ in the this sentence, Jesus ‘laid himself out’ on the cross. (SML)].”  Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue, 288-289 (© Paulist Press; all rights reserved; all quotations from Catherine of Siena’s book, The Dialogue, are used with permission of Paulist Press).
 
[45]. Gary M. Burge, (2012-08-07). Jesus and the Jewish Festivals (Ancient Context, Ancient Faith) (Kindle Locations 1184-1187). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
 
[46] Robert Reilly, Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything, (Kindle Locations 175-205), Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.
 
[47] Michael Brown, “How True Are We?,” Spirit Daily, May 11, 2021 (accessed 5/13/2021), https://spiritdailyblog.com/inspiration/how-true-are-we.
 
[48] Jeffrey Satinover, “The Biology of Homosexuality: Science or Politics?” ed. Christopher Wolfe, Homosexuality and American Public Life, (Dallas, Texas: Spence Pub. Co., 2000), p 20.
 
[49] Ibid., p 22-23.
 
[50] Ibid., p. 20-22.
 
[51] Ibid.
 
[52] Ibid.
 
[53] Ibid.


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