Enter your email address to receive updates by email:

subscribe in a reader like my facebook page follow me on twitter Image Map
Podcast Message Line: 512-222-3389
Logos Catholic Bible Software

« Avoiding Temptation & NFP | Main | Real Life Invisibility Cloak? »

April 12, 2007

Comments

Realist

To repeat my comment from the previous thread,

"Eliminate the desire, eliminate the temptation. The drug companies need to address the issue with proper medication."

Apparently the drug companies have already started.

To repeat JA's list of approved users of EDET drugs

* Convicted sex offenders.
* Individuals with strong homosexual desires that are resistant to treatment.
* Celibate clergy who find themselves facing grave temptations.
* Married people who cannot safely have conjugal relations with their spouse."

Adding a few more potential users:

* Fanatical Muslim suicide bombers who are driven to kill themselves and others in order to have sex with 72 virgins in heaven

* male and female teachers who have uncontrollable sexual desires for their students

*teenagers

* "spring-breaking" college students

Catholic Mama

Oh boy, I sense another long discussion on ABC coming.

cdm014

Actually in his post Jimmy precluded teenagers/spring breakers on the grounds that their usage would frustrate the desire for marriage not that spring-breakers have marriage in mind anyways.

Actually though that does present an interesting question if Jimmy wants to answer it. Could a spring breaker morally use it for the libido lowering effect provided that the only other option was wanton coupling (for reasons of low will power or what have you)?

JD

I was at three World Youth Days during the pontificate of John Paul II, and at each, his message was the same: the Church expects great things from you, the pope expects great things from you, Christ expects great things from you, and you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

We need to be careful, when discussing "low will power" not to diminish the extraordinary capacity of the baptized to achieve moral perfection through grace. To diminish the possibility of achieving moral perfection by providing a chemical solution in a situation where the battle is primarily moral (such as for your average straight teenager or young adult who simply wants to use a drug to avoid sin) diminishes the Church's deep-seated respect for the human person.

Additionally, a drug doesn't help to root out the causes of sin (concupiscience, irascibility, etc.)

gaucho

A drug to take away the sexual desire seems like a good idea to me, but there has got to be some very unpleasant side effects.

gaucho

""You will note that one item I did not put on that list is "single heterosexual men." While single men (and especially young ones) often have grave temptations in this area, using medicine to diminish their libido could result in causing a problem worse than the cure: It could diminish their incentive to get married.""

And you say that like it is a bad thing. It seems like it would be wonderful to be "asexual". All it would mean is to be blissfully ignorant of all sexual desire. Where do I sign up for this?

JD

gaucho-

wouldn't you rather be a human being, and sanctify what you've got? Sexual desire, for all folks, is a gift from God. We can suppress this gift, or sanctify it and thereby salvage it from the damage caused by original sin. I'd rather be fully alive than blissfully ignorant of what it is to be human.

What would be the morality of other, non-chemical "treatments" for premature ejaculation such as some of the start/stop arousal techniques that are recommended? If the arousal is done by the spouse and culminated in intercourse that would seem ok. But what about if it was during a period in which that was not possible and the couple was abstaining from intercourse due to medical reasons on the wife's part?

gaucho

JD
No I would rather be asexual like many people are naturally. The only thing I need to do is find a way to do it safely. Asexuality: it's not just for amoebas any more

Slowboy

*teenagers

* "spring-breaking" college students

I thought this was pretty funny. I think though an anti-alcohol drug would be more effective on both fronts though most effective would be about 500 nuns, in habits,with rulers and cell phones asking the kids if their moms and dads know what they are doing.

gaucho

*teenagers

* "spring-breaking" college students

* Catholics

That should cover it. I am really surprised that there is not more of a push to see a drug like this out on the market. I know that most religious people could really benefit from a drug like this. Anybody know of any ways to lower or eliminate libido naturally? I would love to have something available but messing with your hormones seems like it would be risky.

JTC

"*Celibate clergy who find themselves facing grave temptations."

What about celibate laity who find themselves facing grave temptations? It seems to me that a man (or woman) who makes the choice to remain celibate because that's what he (or she) feels God is calling him (or her) to do might have a legitimate claim to be added to Jimmy's list.

In fact, the first two categories on that list could include such people. You (Jimmy) have merely taken the celibate lay-person (hetero or homosexual) to the "next step" of committing a sexual offense (in the first case); and a celibate lay-person (homosexual) to the extreme of not responding to treatment (in the second).

Ed Peters

What is "off lable treatment"?

JD

I don't understand this! There is no virtue developed or gained in the suppression of a natural human character. Self-mastery, all other things being equal, is a vital part of sanctification. Certainly, clerics and other celibates could castrate themselves, but they would be denying the gift of sexuality God has given all of us.

We gain nothing for the Kingdom of Heaven by merely reducing or suppressing that which makes us human. We gain everything for the Kingdom of Heaven when that which makes us human is sanctified, and drawn into the service of God.

Abigail

It is important to distinguish between normal sexual desires and malfunctioning ones. Is it morally permissible to directly harm the body's natural function, even as a means to avoiding temptation? If what Origen did was wrong, does it make a difference if it's done chemically, or only partially?

Anyone interested should look into the story of Michael Ross, repentant serial killer executed in Connecticut a couple of years ago. He was extremely grateful for the drug Depro-Lupron, a testosterone-inhibitor, that he said "chained the monsters" of the violent sexual drives that led him to commit his crimes.

It is obvious to me that such a drug is justifiable in such a situation, because the drug was clearly treating a disorder. But in Jimmy's example of "married people who cannot safely have conjugal relations with their spouse," there is no disease or malfunction to be treated.

On the other hand, pain is a normal function of the body, and we use drugs to remove it. Emotional pain is a normal response of the psyche to tragedy, but I do not think it is wrong to use drugs to decrease it, in the case, for example, of a person who is paralyzed by such pain.

Ed Peters: "Off-label" means the doctor prescribed a drug for a reason other than the pharmaceutical company's stated purpose. SSRIs are marketed as anti-depressants.

gaucho

I found at least one herbal remedy. Chaste Tree or Monk's Pepper, was said to be used as herbal remedy by monks in the Middle Ages to diminish their sex drive. I wonder if this stuff works.

Esau

Jimmy said:

Temptation--like physical illness or psychological illness--is a disorder in the human condition, and God means us to deal with it as best we can. If we have medicines that can help with it, I don't see a problem with using those medicines, just as we have medicines to help with physical or psychological disorders.


This makes sense.

However, I can't help but think of the Voyager episode where that Harry Kim character (and I apologize in advance to die-hard ST fans out there, but I wasn't too much the avid fan and, therefore, my recollection of the details here may fail) had wanted to utilize a certain medical solution (I think it was an injection) to control his "falling in love" emotions.

In short, are we coming to a point in our Modern Day Age in reaching a certain conclusion that truly what we all are is but the sum of the chemicals that run in our bodies?

If so, is there truly any point to anything at all, since almost anything can be reasoned away to the extent of saying it's because of the chemical make-up of an individual that drives a person to believe the way they do, to act the way they do, to think the way they do, to feel the way they do, etc.

In other words, there is the matter of avoidance of responsibility that can certainly be argued for in such cases that the majority of the Modern World, due to such dire conclusions, may tend to dismiss because, among other things, a means to rationalize such actions/behaviour and/or salve their conscience on the matter.

Ed Peters

Thx abby.

Suffering Guy

I was given SSRI's for depression, but they have so many bad side effects I am desparately trying to get off them. They are addictive! Don't believe me? Google the side effects. Google "SSRI discontinuation syndrome." Have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paroxetine. Some of the "off label" side effects are *PERMANENT*! My marriage has suffered (*cannot* complete the act *at all*). My kids have suffered (look up "aggression" in the discontinuation syndrome). It is so bad the FDA has forced companies to put warnings about *increased* teenage suicides on the labels.

Read and be warned...! And *pray*!

Esau

I was given SSRI's for depression, but they have so many bad side effects I am desparately trying to get off them. They are addictive! Don't believe me? Google the side effects.

AND

Read and be warned...! And *pray*!


Thank-you, Suffering Guy!

That's one of the things I meant by my post.

It's almost to the point where Society has become so infatuated with so-called "Medical Miracles" that they'll prescribe/take almost anything for almost any condition.

frequent poster, not usually anon

suffering guy-

I had similar difficulties. When I got off SSRIs, I did a short bout on benzodiazepines, specifically Xanax, which balanced me out. Now I take Xanax only when I need it, and the difficulties I did have are over.

same as above

ask your head doc if you can get of SSRIs and try benzodiazepines--I promise you, it makes a serious difference. He might counsel you to take a low dose of SSRI while you transition (maybe 10mg) but, don't bother. you'll have two hellish days, but you can get through it.

I know you can, because I did.

And, if you can, try to see a (very) Catholic head doc. Makes all the difference in the world.

b

i believe this to be a sticky wicket in that we do not want to advocate that a pill will cure everything... we tell our kids to say no to drugs then give them a pill to make them into the child we would rather them be... there are very definate real diagnoses that mandate medication, but we need to be careful not to substitute a pill with forming the will. we need to teach our kids how to deal with the temptations of sin and how to be in the world without being of the world. we are held to a higher call.

peter

This is one of the most irresponsible (and downright silly) things I have read on the Internet in a long time. Using pharmaceuticals created for one purpose to block a person's sexual desire? Following your religious logic, why would God have given us sexual desire if it's something we need to turn off or get rid of?

And how can you possibly say that sexual desire exists to get people married? Have you ever read a biology book? This is simply ridiculous. Animals experience sexual desire and they don't get married.

You're fully entitled to your religious beliefs, but when you start stating that gay people should be given drugs to turn them into zombies, then you've crossed the line. And it wouldn't hurt to keep in mind that there's a little something called science that stands in opposition to most of what you say. Burying your head in the sand is much easier than dealing with reality, isn't it?

Edith

I would rather be asexual like many people are naturally.

Bless you! As Jesus said, "Some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."

bill912

Now *there's* an intellectual response.

bill912

My comment was not directed at Edith.

Esau

i believe this to be a sticky wicket in that we do not want to advocate that a pill will cure everything... we tell our kids to say no to drugs then give them a pill to make them into the child we would rather them be... there are very definate real diagnoses that mandate medication, but we need to be careful not to substitute a pill with forming the will. we need to teach our kids how to deal with the temptations of sin and how to be in the world without being of the world. we are held to a higher call.


Thank-you, B., for that comment!

There are certainly legitimate reasons for taking medication in the case of an actual medical condition, particularly if it's serious.

It just seems that nowadays, almost anything seems to be perceived/rationalized as being such and, therefore, deemed to require a chemical solution since the underlying premise is that all such things (e.g., a person's temper, habits, actions) are due to a person's chemistry.

This mistakened notion tends to reduce humanity (its very will) to nothing but a composite of its chemical makeup -- which is NOT what God had intended humanity to be. God intended us to be GREATER than just the sum of our parts!


As you rightly stated:

we are held to a higher call.


I recall a court case where the Defense was arguing that the person committing the heinous crime wasn't responsible for his behaviour; but that it was due to his chemistry.

At what point exactly, then, does it become the individual's responsibility?

gaucho

Posted by: JD | Apr 12, 2007 8:14:12 AM

JD
Some people go their entire lives without ever having a sexual thought and they are still completely human. I do understand what you are saying that using a pill to get rid of sexual desire is like cheating on an exam: you may pass but there is no glory or sense of accomplishment. What can I say, I am a coward; if I could get rid of sexual desire completely I would do it and then never have to worry again. Think of what some of the saints did to get rid of sexual desire: beating themselves with whips, throwing themselves into thorn bushes, forcing themselves into isolation. Unfortunately there is no legit way to do away with all sexual temptation, but if there were I don’t think it would be wrong for us weak people to use it.

Realist

Matt 19: 12 " For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven."

Being a single attestation, makes this passage somewhat suspect as being said by the historic Jesus.

Not the way to go in my opinion and not a good reference for promoting celibacy or a NFP method or a method to reduce sexual temptations :)

Definition of a eunuch:

1. A castrated man employed as a harem attendant or as a functionary in certain Asian courts.
2. A man or boy whose testes are nonfunctioning or have been removed.
3. Informal. An ineffectual, powerless, or unmasculine man.

Dr. Eric

There are alternatives to SSRIs MAOIs et al.

Acupuncture will release serotonin in the brain ONLY and not in the rest of the body.

Herbal formulae are decocted to contain the "King Herb" which has the primary effect, the "Prime Minister Herb" which modulates the effect, and the "Servant Herb(s)" which suppress side effects.

The great thing about most herbal formulae is that they have been around for 100s if not 1000s of years and have been produced by trial and error over centuries, whereas our western drugs are released on the market only after a decade or so.

bill912

"...why would God have given us sexual desire if it's something we need to turn off or get rid of?" Sexual desire is a good thing. It's the abuse of it that is wrong. Why would God have given us the ability to speak if He didn't want us to slander? Speech is a good thing. Slander is the abuse of speech.

"Animals experience sexual desire and they don't get maried." Some of us consider ourselves to be on a slightly higher level than animals; i.e., created in the image and likeness of God.

"...when you start saying that gay people should be given drugs to turn them into zombies..." Jimmy didn't say that. He wrote: "...if there were a drug that eliminated homosexual temptations it would seem legitimate for people to have recourse to that." Stating that people who *want* to use a particular drug should have recourse to it is not "saying that gay people should be given drugs to turn them into zombies".

"You're fully entitled to your (non-)religious beliefs, but...it wouldn't hurt to keep in mind that there's a little something called (morality) that stands in opposition to most of what you say."

Gwen

there's a little something called (morality) that stands in opposition to most of what you say.

One man's morality is another man's party.

JD

Gaucho


you need to get with the times. Read anything on the nuptial meaning of the body, and you will know that what worked for the saints of yore is not what we are being called to today. Doctrine develops. Divine pedagogy, etc.

Sorry, but these days, merely suppressing our sexuality instead of understanding its profound meaning is an affront to the creator.

gaucho

"you need to get with the times."

not going to happen. I am Catholic :P

Screwtape

Being a single attestation, makes this passage somewhat suspect as being said by the historic Jesus.

Way to go, my boy.

Peter

And let not any eunuch complain,
"I am only a dry tree."

For this is what the LORD says:
"To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
who choose what pleases me
and hold fast to my covenant-

to them I will give within my temple and its walls
a memorial and a name
better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
that will not be cut off.

gaucho

""Sorry, but these days, merely suppressing our sexuality instead of understanding its profound meaning is an affront to the creator.""

Sex is a dirty and unsavory act that should generally be avoided unless it is meant to bring children into the world. :-P What else are you supposed to do with your sexual urge but repress it when NFP and work leave you with 5 days out the month to have sex? I read Theology of the Body and the modern teaching but I have to say that it isn’t much practical help.

bill912

"Sex is a dirty and unsavory act that should generally by avoided unless it is meant to bring children into the world."

No, sex is a holy act that is meant to bring a husband and wife closer to God and to one another. That's why God gave us marriage and made it the symbol of His relationship with us. The whole Bible is the story of a marriage. In the Old Testament, Israel is the bride of the Lord; in the New Testament, the Church is the bride of Christ. The marriage act is the symbol of Holy Communion. In a marriage, the lover gives himself completely to the beloved, the beloved gives herself completely to the lover, and the two become one flesh. In Holy Communion, the Lover (Jesus) gives Himself completely to the beloved (each of us), we give ourselves completely to Jesus, and we become one flesh with Jesus.

J.R. Stoodley

gaucho,

I sympathize with your desire to eliminate sexual urges. I strongly suspect you think (rightly or wrongly) that you are called to celibacy.

Still, sexuality, though it can become disordered, fundamentally is a beautiful thing created by God. With fallen human nature it can be a struggle, but one worth winning.

Sexuality is so important it is an inseperable part of a whole sacrament of the Church. It is a beautiful thing which has a place even in the lives of single people, in the form of wholesome normal attraction to potential future spouces. Whether you are called to renounce what it leads to for the sake of the kingdom or to marry and enjoy the gifts of creation the elimination of sexual desire is counterproductive.

Eric

sex is a holy act that is meant to bring a husband and wife closer to God and to one another... the Church is the bride of Christ.

I can see it now.

J.R. Stoodley

Read the Song of Songs aka Song of Solomon. It is very erotic (not in a dirty sinful way obviously) and even more so when you know what some of the flowers mentioned smell like and so forth, but it is the inspired word of God and an expression of the relationship between Christ and the Church.

I for one would never take a pill to eliminate one of the basic things that makes me human, much less this gift that is so tied up with some of the holiest things in the world.

Mark

Allergies are part of being human too, but that doesn't stop people from taking allergy pills.

J.R. Stoodley

When practicing NFP (I write from intuition not experience) during fertile periods one should probably work on expressing your love for your wife in other ways (kind of like I have to do with my girlfriend). This can be a struggle but can also build the relationship and be an excersise in self control at the same time. Then during infertile periods you can fully express your love. Eliminating sexual desire, whether temporarily or perminantly, could only be harmful to the relationship I think.

J.R. Stoodley

Mark, sexuality is not a disease so your annalogy does not work.

Mark

What did not work was your statement.

J.R. Stoodley

also allergies like all disease is a physical evil brought about by the fall.

Sexuality, while due to the fall we can be tempted into misusing it or in the most extremly bad cases can be redirected to someone other than an adult of the opposite sex, is fundamentally a good thing created by God and given for our benefit.

The only time I can imagine licitly completely eliminating it would be when it has been completely and incurably redirected to people who are not your spouce or a potential spouce. Even in this case I would be warry since perhaps even such a misdirected sexuality could be sublimated and ultimately used to enhance one's desire for God and victory in the moral battle.

gaucho

Allergies are the immune system over reacting to something. Think of an overactive sex drive as analogous to the body’s overactive immune system and the pill puts everything back in order. The analogy works.

Catholic Mama

I understand Jimmy's reasoning and all, but I'm not convinced.

One of the arguments used against chemical artificial birth control is that proponents are of the mentality of treating a woman's fertility as if it were a disease. Couldn't this same logic be applied to arguments against using chemicals to treat a natural, God-given drive (libido)?

J.R. Stoodley

allergies are your immune system reacting to something it probably shouldn't even be reacting to.

Sexuality, at least if heterosexual and directed to your spouse or potential spouse, is a good thing. Is it possible for the attraction to be too strong? Possibly but I am highly sceptical of that. What is needed is self control, both in terms of actions and custody of the eyes, not elimination of a good human quality.

J.R. Stoodley

exactly, Catholic Mama.

However, while Jimmy is more comfortible with the matter than I am, he hasn't really suggested eliminating attraction to anyone who you should be attracted to (again, spouse or potential spouse) except in the case where it is too dangerous for the couple to have sex. I highly doubt that in the latter case any couple unless mentally diseased would need chemicals to control themselves, but if it is a choice between death and elimination of sexual desire perhaps you should just eliminate the desire. You are not actually corrupting the marital act like in contraception so it is perhaps not the same intrinsic evil.

John

I see nothing wrong, what good is a sexual libido without a healthy Catholic life? You are worth more to the Catholic church alive than dead, as long as you are not doing so to avoid pleasing your marital partner

bill912

We use medicine to correct an imbalance in the body. Chemical birth control is wrong because it creates an imbalance. However, birth control pills (not the abortificent kinds) may be used to correct a woman's normal cycle if it has gotten out of whack(correcting the imbalance). I can see the same legitimate use for a pill that would correct a sex drive that's out of whack.

J.R. Stoodley

Certainly if it just corrected a disorderd sexuality, like turn a homosexual heterosexual or cure someone addicted to some sexual activity, returning them to a normal healthy sexuality, I would be in favor of that.

M.Z. Forrest

Google says 'psychotropic' is in this Vatican document:
EDUCATIONAL GUIDANCE IN HUMAN LOVE (Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education) http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_19831101_sexual-education_en.html

I haven't read it, so I won't provide commentary.

My speculation is that psychotropic drugs would be looked at negatively.

J.R. Stoodley

From the document M.Z. Forrest provided the link to:

4. Sexuality is a fundamental component of personality, one of its modes of being, of manifestation, of communicating with others, of feeling, of expressing and of living human love. Therefore it is an integral part of the development of the personality and of its educative process: " It is, in fact, from sex that the human person receives the characteristics which, on the biological, psychological and spiritual levels, make that person a man or a woman, and thereby largely condition his or her progress towards maturity and insertion into society ".(3)

5. Sexuality characterises man and woman not only on the physical level, but also on the psychological and spiritual, making its mark on each of their expressions. Such diversity, linked to the complementarity of the two sexes, allows thorough response to the design of God according to the vocation to which each one is called.

Doesn't sound like sexuality is a quality we want to obliterate.

Hank

Doesn't sound like sexuality is a quality we want to obliterate.

Priests love it.

bill912

Wow, Hank! That's so profound! Doesn't it make you proud to be so clever?

Tha average 12-year-old can do better than that.

Hank

It's what the priest told me. He said it was ok.

J.R. Stoodley

From the same document (I'm not going to put it in italics this time because I've decided it's hard on the eyes):

"28. Since men and women in their time have been inclined to reduce sexuality to genital experience alone, there have been reactions tending to devalue sex, as though by its nature men and women were defiled by it. These present guidelines intend to oppose such devaluation.

29. " It is only in the Mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear",(28) and human existence acquires its full meaning in the vocation to the divine life. Only by following Christ does man respond to this vocation and become so fully man, growing finally to reach the perfect man in the measure approaching the full maturity of Christ.(29)

30. In the light of the Mystery of Christ, sexuality appears to us as a vocation to realise that love which the Holy Spirit instills in the hearts of the redeemed. Jesus Christ has enriched such vocation with the Sacrament of Marriage.

31. Furthermore, Jesus has pointed out by word and example the vocation to virginity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.(30) Virginity is a vocation to love: it renders the heart more free to love God.(31) Free of the duties of conjugal love, the virgin heart can feel, therefore, more disposed to the gratuitous love of one's brothers and sisters.

In consequence, virginity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven better expresses the gift of Christ to the Father on behalf of us and prefigures with greater precision the reality of eternal life, all substantiated in charity.(32)

Virginity, certainly is a renunciation of the form of love which typifies marriage, but committed to undertaking in greater profundity the dynamism, inherent in sexuality, of self-giving openness to others. It seeks to obtain its strengthening and transfiguring by the presence of the Spirit, who teaches us to love the Father and the brethren, after the example of the Lord Jesus.

32. In synthesis, sexuality is called to express different values to which specific moral exigencies correspond. Oriented towards interpersonal dialogue, it contributes to the integral maturation of people, opening them to the gift of self in love; furthermore, tied to the order of creation, to fecundity and to the transmission of life, it is called to be faithful to this inner purpose also. Love and fecundity are meanings and values of sexuality which include and summons each other in turn, and cannot therefore be considered as either alternatives or opposites.

33. The affective life, proper to each sex, expresses itself in a characteristic mode in the different states of life: conjugal union, consecrated celibacy chosen for the sake of the kingdom, the condition of the christian who has not yet reached marriage, or who remains celibate, or who has chosen to remain such. In all these cases the affective life must be gathered and integrated in the human person."

Philadelphia

The Vatican has defrocked a former priest accused of sexually assaulting and whipping boys as they enacted the Passion play, the Philadelphia archdiocese announced Thursday.

The Rev. Thomas J. Smith "engaged in depraved and sadistic behavior" that included putting pins in his mouth and pricking the boys until they bled, whipping boys playing Jesus until they had welts, and coercing them to get naked with him in a hot tub, according to a 2005 grand jury report.

Smith's actions took place in various parishes from 1973 through December 2004, when he left active ministry amid an archdiocesan investigation involving at least one minor. He last lived at St. Francis of Assisi in Springfield, Delaware County.

"The allegation was subsequently found credible, and he sought removal from the clerical state," the archdiocese said in a statement released Thursday.

The explosive 2005 grand jury report accused former Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and other church leaders of covering up decades of abuse by at least 63 priests, a charge the archdiocese has denied.

Smith also served as a Boy Scouts chaplain, as chaplain of Archbishop Prendergast High School in Drexel Hill, and as an associate director of youth sports, the archdiocese said.

His current whereabouts could not be determined.

Smith appeared before the grand jury but did not answer the allegations made against him, the report said.

bill912

Since the above has nothing to do with this thread, it must have been posted only to slam the Church. I hope Jimmy will delete it.

gaucho

How is that related Philly? Don't just copy and paste a news story.

Esau

J.R. Stoodley --

Catholic MaMa is right in her comment:

Couldn't this same logic be applied to arguments against using chemicals to treat a natural, God-given drive (libido)?


If the drug in question is devised to thwart the natural design of God in man, how is it even deemed permissible to actually use such agents as a means of avoiding sin when their very utilization is a sin in itself given the nature of the device?

Anonymous

Gaucho --

Being "asexual" doesn't work like that. It doesn't make life easier. It makes you struggle to understand the motivations of other people. It makes it difficult to give people honest compliments on how they look, because you have to give a purely aesthetic judgement. It's harder to relate to people. So it's not necessarily a lot of fun.

Also, it doesn't cut you off from every sexual thought. Plenty of people with nonexistent libidos and an inability to be attracted to anyone or any fictional character still read smutty romance novels or watch R-rated movies.

This is not to say that it's the biggest cross ever, but it's not anything you should wish on yourself.* There's not any state in life that's not a giant pain in the butt; and the sooner you figure that out, the happier you'll be.

(*Unless, of course, you're a wannabe-friar-and-theologian named Thomas whose parents have locked him in a tower with a comely member of the oldest profession.) :)

Esau

bill912:

There are certain issues in your comments that I would like to address:

We use medicine to correct an imbalance in the body.

This is rather vague since anything in the body can be perceived as an 'imbalance' (especially from a chemistry standpoint) and, therefore, can almost justify any means that would seemingly correct such a 'perceived' imbalance.


Chemical birth control is wrong because it creates an imbalance.

Chemical birth control doesn't actually create an imbalance and, thus, wrong; it is wrong because it frustrates the natural procreative aspects of reproduction intended by the Creator.


I can see the same legitimate use for a pill that would correct a sex drive that's out of whack.

I don't in my view since it thwarts, likewise, the natural design.

bill912

An out-of-whack sex drive is not the natural design.

Creating an imbalance is exactly what chemical birth control causes.

JoAnna

Esau - the Star Trek: Voyager episode you're referring to is the fifth season's "The Disease." In that case, the biology of the alien female courted by Harry Kim caused them to become biochemically interdependent as a result of copulation, and he actually REFUSED treatment during his "withdrawl period." (Huge STV fan here. :P)

guacho - where on earth did you get the idea that there's only a five-day window for sex when couples use NFP? A woman's normal luteal phase is 10-12 days, so that gives couples at least seven days in the post-ovulatory period (sometimes more), and often there's opportunity for intercourse in the pre-ovulatory phase. Having intercourse during one's menstrual period can be icky sometimes, but that can also be done.

bill912

To finish: It's the chemical imbalance that causes ovulation to halt.

Asexual

Being "asexual" doesn't work like that. It doesn't make life easier. It makes you struggle to understand the motivations of other people. It makes it difficult to give people honest compliments on how they look, because you have to give a purely aesthetic judgement. It's harder to relate to people. So it's not necessarily a lot of fun.

Funny, I don't find it harder, or a struggle, or more difficult to give compliments or any of the things you list. Perhaps what you're calling "asexual" is just a form of repression.

Esau

JoAnna --

Esau - the Star Trek: Voyager episode you're referring to is the fifth season's "The Disease." In that case, the biology of the alien female courted by Harry Kim caused them to become biochemically interdependent as a result of copulation, and he actually REFUSED treatment during his "withdrawl period." (Huge STV fan here. :P)


Thanks for the Info, JoAnna! ;^)

Bill912 --

About:
An out-of-whack sex drive is not the natural design.

It's too easy to rationalize something as an out-of-whack this or an out-of-whack that.

I know you mean well, bill912.

gaucho

"guacho - where on earth did you get the idea that there's only a five-day window for sex when couples use NFP?"

JoAnna,

I said between work and NFP we are only left with 5 days. My wife’s infertile cycles and I work opposite shifts. I work 14 on and 14 off so when I am gone she is infertile and when I am home she is fertile. That schedule leaves us with 5 days or less which I am a little miffed about. :-P

gaucho

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 12, 2007 4:29:46 PM

Thanks Anonymous, I guess it is true the grass is always greener. I didn’t know St. Thomas had it so easy though. I always imagined the women he drove out of his room with a branding iron was the most beautiful women in the world. I guess if she had been a little more appealing the whole history of the Catholic Church would be just a little different today.

Esau

JoAnna (or ANYBODY):

Having intercourse during one's menstrual period can be icky sometimes, but that can also be done.

In the case you stated above, would it be permissible to use a CONDOM?

I mean, you wouldn't actually be utilizing it for its contraceptive effects but rather for sanitary reasons.

The contraceptive effects would only be a side effect.

egf

Who needs the Eucharist or God's Mercy when chemicals are all that is needed to defeat concupiscence?

gaucho

Sex during mentruation isn't that nasty Esau and a condom would just make things worse anywho. I really doubt that anybody will agree that a condom is permissible in that case.

Esau

A-M-E-N, egf!

That's what I'm talking about!

Society has put TOO MUCH FAITH on CHEMICALS and NOT ENOUGH FAITH on GOD!

It's fine to utilize chemicals for legitimate reasons, but not for almost every thing imaginable or even to the point of substituting the act of the will.

Esau

Sex during mentruation isn't that nasty Esau...


gaucho:

Have you? If you have, how?

(Please don't answer if it's too personal)

Sparky

Just a comment on SSRIs and decreased libido:
I was put on SSRIs for a problem I've had with panic attacks and anxiety since my early teens (I'm over 50 now). To me they're a complete Godsend. They've turned my life around completely and I don't know how I lived without them. One of the side effects is, alas, decreased sexual function. Having said that, my wife and I love each other deeply and are content that I can live a normal life with this one problem. While sexual relations are a big part of marriage they are not THE marriage, and we continue to grow in love with each other and with God.

Perhaps the example of Catherine and Eddie Doherty might be a good example to trot out when people get too critical about marriages without sex.

Realist

Esau, you have been ordained? A degree in marriage/sex therapy? Or simply a "blogging know-it-all", the raving on-line "hatcheteering" confessor?

anon anti SSRI guy

Sparky-

I truly thought SSRI's were the best thing ever until I realized how many side effects there were. benzodiazepines seemm like a new springtime. ask your doctor.(i am not a Xanax salesguy, just someone who feels a million times better on Xanax than he ever did on Lexapro.)

Sparky

Anon anti SSRI guy - I've used every benzo on the market, aphabetically from Ativan to Xanax, and they all provided very temporary relief. They are also some of the most addictive anti-anxiety meds ever created, and I've worked with people being weened off of them - not pretty. I appreciate how you respond to Xanax as opposed to Lexapro, but everyone is different and reacts differently. No, I know about the reported withdrawal problems of SSRIs. It only makes sense as they change the level of chemicals in the brain and thence how the brain responds to things. As far as I'm concerned there's a chemical-related problem in my brain without them and the med I'm on fixes that. After 30+ years of using every other med in the book, unsuccessfully, to try to deal with the problem, that's all I care about. It works. But thanks for your concern.

Sarahndipity

The idea of taking a pill to reduce sexual desire sounds a bit creepy and big-brother-ish to me (though I can certainly sympathize with those who have a strong sexual desire and no legitimate means to express it.)

On the subject of “it’s better to marry than to burn with passion” – I’ve always had trouble understanding this. It seems to me that such a philosophy would cause people to rush into marriage before they were ready or to someone who wasn’t right for them just because they wanted to have sex.

gaucho

This discussion already made it to another blog.

http://www.queerty.com/queer/gay/diagnosis-terminal-horseshit-20070412.php

FR BP

I think that perhaps the posting from Philadelphia is not an anti-Catholic slam but more a point that the drug therapy would not have worked so well on the priest in question. I am catious about this approach of medication ( to be honest though, I don't like taking aspirin when I have a headache) as it does say that God's grace in insufficient to help us overcome tepmtation. Medication does seem to be an easy answer though; for it easier, I would suppose, to take a pill than to exercise correctly one's free will. Not that there wasn't problems before the 60's, but it seems that this is another example of sowing the wind and reaping the whilrwind: the hypersexualization of the 60' and on have weakened us significantly. How long, as we have watched one sexual domino after another fall, will it be before these aberrant behaviors are seen as normative as well? Babylon the great is indeed falling!

FR BP

Sorry fopr the misspellings. I have had only one cup of coffee. Must...get...more...caffiene!

JoAnna

Gaucho -

It seems that NFP isn't the problem for you, then; it's your crazy work schedlues that are the problem. My husband and I had a similar situation at one time and we just learned to really utilize my infertile times!

But my question is, why do you want to become asexual if you have a spouse? Wouldn't becoming asexual effectively cause you to lose all desire for your spouse, to her detriment?

Esau -- I supposed if you poked holes in the condom you could use it for that purpose, but it wouldn't help anyway so there's no point. We just put a dark-colored towel down under us and wash up afterwards if necessary.

Esau

JoAnna:

Esau -- I supposed if you poked holes in the condom you could use it for that purpose, but it wouldn't help anyway so there's no point.

Actually, the proposed use I asserted above in my comment wouldn't be quite unlike the proposed use that was undergoing investigation by the Decastry called by the Pope in Rome to see if whether or not using condoms to prevent AIDS, or the AIDS virus, from being transmitted from one person to another, and, specifically, in places like Africa and so forth, would be okay.

That means that in that case the condom would not be used as a contraceptive -- because you’re not trying to prevent conception –- it does prevent conception as a side effect (as long as the condom doesn’t fail). But, that’s not the purpose it’s being employed for in this case. It’d be employed as an anti-viral agent.


We just put a dark-colored towel down under us and wash up afterwards if necessary.

Thanks for your being candid, JoAnna.

I really appreciate it!

I didn't mean to be intrusive as I know my question to gaucho was of a very personal nature (that's why I insisted that he not answer it if it was too personal for him to do so), but I really wanted to know from someone who's had experience actually performing under those conditions.

As always, I appreciate your sincere response!

Esau

I am catious about this approach of medication ( to be honest though, I don't like taking aspirin when I have a headache) as it does say that God's grace in insufficient to help us overcome tepmtation. Medication does seem to be an easy answer though; for it easier, I would suppose, to take a pill than to exercise correctly one's free will.


THANK-YOU, FR. BP!

Like I said, it's TOO EASY to place blame on something other than ourselves and/or to avoid responsibility in the matter and/or just pop a pill and be done with it, reducing the act of will (and, not to mention, our very humanity) to nothing but the sum of our chemistry.

I acknowledge, as I have, that for actual and real medical conditions (particularly if they're serious ones), medical treatment is understandable by such chemical means.

However, it seems that pharmaceutical companies are developing drugs for almost anything these days in order to make money.

Tim J.

I have to throw in with JD above, when he says;

"There is no virtue developed or gained in the suppression of a natural human character. Self-mastery, all other things being equal, is a vital part of sanctification. Certainly, clerics and other celibates could castrate themselves, but they would be denying the gift of sexuality God has given all of us."

But reading Jimmy's post, I don't see him presenting this as a cure-all for everyone, but as POSSIBLY morally permissible in extreme cases.

To wish to be an asexual being when God has made you a sexual being seems to be problematic, unless your sexuality is really out-of-whack in some way... so overwhelming that you think of little else, ordered toward the wrong things (same sex, children, animals, etc...), or if you are in a situation where you simply MUST NOT have sex (a spouse with AIDS, maybe, or if you were an astronaut on the space station).

Also, there are often effects from these kinds of things that are not physical, but are subtle, long term, psychological, interpersonal, social... we simply can't see all ends and tinkering with these things on a massive scale through chemicals seems extremely risky, as once the geenie is out of the bottle, it will be almost impossible to put back (as with abortion).

Esau

Tim J.:

That's just it -- to thwart the Natural Design by God in humans (e.g., sexual drives, etc.) through means of drugs that undermine such; this would be, in my view, just as wrong as the utilization of artificial contraceptives (e.g., birth control pills) that likewise do the same.

Also, not only because of this, but the very act as well as the underlying premise of the act itself tends to reduce the will and, not to mention, the very dignity of humanity to nothing more than merely chemical.

Tim J.

Sorry, that's "genie".

Really, the whole idea reminds me of Soma.

Tim J.

What I mean when I say we can't see all ends is that maybe sex drive is linked to other things like concrete reasoning or assertiveness - the same way that maybe my being a disorganized slob might be linked to my artistic sensibilities. If I take a pill that makes me more efficient and organized, might it make me less contemplative or creative? And how would we recognize if this were happening subtly over a broad population?

It gives me the crawlies.

Tim J.

"...how can you possibly say that sexual desire exists to get people married? ... This is simply ridiculous. Animals experience sexual desire and they don't get married."

Animals also don't build hospitals, paint pictures or play poker. Your point is?

OF COURSE the desire to pair off - at least in men - is experienced first as sexual desire. It grows and matures, eventually (thank God) but that initial spark in most men is physical (I really can't say how important that physical spark is to young women, as they have kept that a closely guarded secret).

I expect a fair number of people with SSA wouldbe glad enough if there were a pill to help them control that. As the catechism states, for most it is a trial.

Esau

Tim J.:

It just seems to me that these days, almost anything ordinary and natural and human can be seen and even justified as a malady of sorts by society and even the medical community and, in particular, Big Pharma (especially if there's money involved).

Also, if something is found to be an inconvenience, even that can be seen as a malady by society and, therefore, needing medical treatment, a chemical solution.

It just seems there is no stopping to where you can draw the line between something natural and normal and human and something that is actually deserving of medical treatment especially these days.


"Have you fallen madly in love and your emotions for that special girl has taken a toll on your life? Have no fear! We have the drug that will provide a solution to this imbalance in your life and heal you of this disorder!"

"Do you experience bad tempers which cause you to loose it and commit things that really aren't your fault but a result of bad chemistry in your body? Have no fear! We have the drug that will heal you of this imbalance and disorder!"

"Having problems raising the flag when you're with your girlfriend? Have no fear! We have the drug that will heal you of this incredible disorder and restore balance in your life!"

Realist


Actually many drugs are not chemical but biological.
e.g. antibiotics, vitamins, vaccines, insulin, caffeine, alcohol. IMHO, God expects personkind to use their gifts of wisdom and thinking to develop pharmaceuticals to lessen the burdens of life so bless the drug companies for the development of said drugs that ease pain, eliminate diseases to include now many cancers, eradicate plagues, reduce depression and other neurological conditions, reduce blood pressure, increase libido and increase/decrease fertility.

Buy some stock in these drug companies to show your support.

Tim J.

"God expects personkind to use their gifts of wisdom and thinking to develop pharmaceuticals to lessen the burdens of life"

Pass the Soma.

J.R. Stoodley

This seems like medical Buddhism to me.

Realist

Pass the Wine or is it the Blood of the 24/7 filicide?

Marge

Pass the gas anyone?

"A wind went out from the LORD."

The comments to this entry are closed.

January 2012

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31