Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dumbledore is Gay - A Catholic Response

Well, this is interesting news.

According to a CNN article posted today, the world famous British author J.K. Rowling, while wrapping up a brief "Open Book Tour" of the U.S., was asked by a young fan whether Dumbledore, the old wizard mentor of Harry Potter, finds "true love."

"Dumbledore is gay," the author responded.

Gasps and claps erupted in the audience. Huh?
OK... is that a yes or a no?

Amidst the shock and applause that fanned out over the fans at that sitting, I wonder if anyone saw the irony here. The hollow space of the unanswered question. Now with the ripples and the waves on the water caused by this comment, will we ever get to see the answer reflected?

Rowling was said to have regarded her Harry Potter series as a "prolonged argument for tolerance" and urged her fans to "question authority."

Oh boy...

But I'd like the answer to the question about finding "true love."

Dumbledore is gay? What does this mean? How will this effect the young readers across the planet who have looked on Dumbledore as a kind of grandpa, a type of Ben Kenobi guiding Luke in his decisions for a new generation? Will this give them light and clarity about their own life's direction (because good stories should do that; lead us to the light and not to fog.)

What is homosexuality? Let's reflect....

The Potter series, already a wee bit muddy with its dabbling in magic (although I feel the series ended on a very clear note with the triumph of good), has added another big question mark into its pages. Our sexual identity. I thought it was a story of good and evil, of courage and bravery in the face of tyranny and deceit? I guess there's more to this book than its cover?


Our culture is in the midst of a sexual crisis. What does it mean to be a man? What does it mean to be a woman? Are there distinctions, differences? Are they merely biological? Can they be manipulated, conditioned? Can we decide to alter, recreate, refashion our bodies the way we want to? Is our sexual identity as male and female just like parts that can be replaced or rearranged?

Or is there something more than just biology about our bodies? Is there a theology? Something cosmic, something spiritual, something distinct in our creation as male AND female? Is there something complimentary in the very universe that echoes a Masculine and Feminine? It seems that every culture and every religion since the beginning has seen in earth and sky, seed and sower, flower and bee, a great truth manifested for us.

What is that truth? That the very difference between man and woman is literally what unites us together. Our sexual difference is literally what brings LIFE into the world.

Now let's look at Dumbledore, the homosexual wizard. This is where it gets "muddy." And bear with me, but I have to mention the "S word" really quickly: SIN. I know, I know, it's really out of date. Speaking of SIN today is like referring to pimples as carbuncles, or to CD players as gramophones. But SIN was a very popular word once and helped us to diagnose heaps of problems in the culture and inside our own messed up hearts too! And naming and claiming SIN helped us get the remedy too, like an antidote to poison.

So what is SIN? It's greek root means to miss the mark, like when an archer's arrow misses the bull's eye. Sin is a distortion, a bending of the good, a twisting of the original design to make it fit in our own little pocket. Some may not like to hear this, but homosexual acts are sinful. And like any sin, it's a seeking after what's deemed a Good. It just misses the mark.

Do homosexuals love one another (even wizards?); they can absolutely love one another. But there's love for all, and then there's the sexual expression of love meant for man and woman as part of God's plan for bringing LIFE into the world. Is homosexual love in this sense even possible? No. The very act itself is a forcing, an act that even biologically doesn't work. No word, no agenda, no person can change that or should try to. Does this mean that people with homosexual inclinations are evil and are going to Hell? Hell no.

It simply means that we are living in confusing times. It means that all of us are still looking for Love, still peering out through foggy, distorted lenses that haven't been set right since the Fall, when our first parents, Adam and Eve, reached out to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and decided that they would rather make up the rules for themselves. That's what SIN is at the end of the day. SIN says "I don't trust this plan of love. I want it another way."

This is a hard teaching, I know. It's difficult especially for those suffering from strong, often overpowering, emotions towards same-sex attraction. And there's no magic wand of wood that can make it go away in an instant. But we're not bound by SIN anymore. The Wood of the Cross can set this right, can re-order our hearts, can lead us to Life! The Serpent in the Tree of the Garden had twisted its roots and its fruit has deceived us. But the Tree of the Cross has the figure of a Man upon it. And He says, "This is my Body, given up for you. Take and eat, and you will have Life." And the Church, the Bride of Christ, says, "Amen!"

Therein is the answer to the question of finding "true love." It's there at the foot of the Cross that our love can be remade, our hearts refashioned! May He turn our water into wine, and fill us with His Love!

Now that's magic.
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