Monday, June 7, 2010

Homophobia: The Untold Story pt. 7

You're jumping in late, if you're just starting now. So, I'll summarize for ya! We're taking a thorough look at Susan Brinkmann's ebook for "Homosexuality: The Untold Story." First, Susan taught us how acceptance of homosexuality hurts the freedoms of Christians who want to discriminate against gay people, and that homosexuality is a choice. Then, we found out that men are gay because they suck at sports and we ignored lesbians. Susan and her favorite quack Dr. Fitzgibbons also said profound selfishness is the cause of homosexuality, and that being gay will kill you. Oh, and they also let us know that if those queers would just let go of their anger, why then they'd be straight! Obviously, statements like these require mocking (and factual debunking), and I am only too glad to do my part. Let's pick up where we left off yesterday.
Prevention of same-sex attraction disorder remains largely with parents because the roots of this condition are laid early in life. Father John Harvey, the founder of Courage, a support group for people with same-sex attraction who are striving to live chaste lives, published a new book especially for parents entitled, Same-Sex Attraction: A Parents Guide.
So a priest runs a group for guilt-ridden Catholic homosexuals, and wrote a book on how to blame parents for making you gay. Excellent. And what exactly is Harvey's expertise in this matter? He's not a psychiatrist. He's not an out homosexual, as far as I can tell from my research. He's just a man without a sex life (presumably.)
First, he explains what Church teaching is — and what it isn't. "One must carefully distinguish between the condition of homosexuality and homosexual acts. The condition of same-sex attraction is not a sin, but it is an objective disorder in the adolescent or adult person. If one gives into the desire for same-sex acts, one always sins."
This careful distinguishing between being gay and anal sex certainly has been lacking throughout Susan's writings. Indeed, you might think lesbians didn't exist at all, from the way she presents her "evidence." Now I must state clearly here: Homosexuality is not a "disorder." It may be less common. It may not result in children (as some heterosexual couplings will not result in children.) It may not be your personal orientation, but none of those make homosexuality WRONG. And you can guess what I think of the Catholic Church's opinions on sin.
The Church takes no position on whether or not a person with same-sex attraction should attempt to change their sexual orientation. Her concern is chiefly with the soul of the individual, which is why She insists that unmarried persons, whether they have same-sex or opposite sex attraction, live chastely.
I always forget the church is a She to Catholics, but it should be obvious, what with all the men wearing dresses. Tell me, how can you be chiefly concerned with the part of a person which has never been shown to exist? What a waste - to devalue every other (real) part of a person and focus all your energy on their mythological soul.
In the Catechism, the Church expresses the belief that people with same-sex attraction do not choose that condition. " . . . For most of them, it is a trial." (CCC2358) For this reason, she insists that they be treated with respect, compassion and especially sensitivity. "Every sign of unjust discrimination . . . should be avoided. These persons are called to . . . unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition." (CCC2358) The struggle to live chastely is one in which all unmarried Christians share, whether they are homosexual or heterosexual.
Even if it is a struggle they all share, only the homosexual persons are given no reprieve in Catholic doctrine. And all this martyrdom of uniting with "the sacrifice of the Lord's cross" is a great way to make oneself miserable. It's not a great way to live a rich and fulfilling life, though. I'm glad discrimination is called out, but of course, everything the Catholic Church does regarding gay people IS discrimination - from saying gay men can't serve as clergy (of course women NEVER can,) to opposing same-sex marriage. Whether or not you treat a person "compassionately" while discriminating against them does not change the fact that what you do is wrong.
Parents should make themselves fully aware of Church teaching in order to properly guide their children. Father Harvey also suggests that "Parents need to talk to their children, give their child thorough instruction on the purpose and meaning of human sexuality, and the beauty of marriage as a union of a man and woman. . . . You can't talk to your kids about homosexuality alone — it needs a background. First you have to talk to them about theology and God's plan for the human person, then heterosexuality, then homosexuality."
Of course you can talk about homosexuality without talking about theology or God. It's what secular people (both believers and non) do every day. We deal with the world at hand, and not the scribblings of goat herders millenia ago. If my son is gay, I want him to have every right and opportunity he will have if he is straight. I want him to be able to find love, marriage, family, community, and hope. And I do not want the Catholic church or any other church getting in the way of that future happiness.
He highly recommends the writings of Christopher West on Pope John Paul II's "theology of the body" for this purpose.
Remember kiddies, you can't stick it in your bum OR use a condom OR any birth control. It's better to get an STI which will punish you for not being a virgin, or have lots of children you can't provide for - no matter what the physical risks to you - as punishment for being a slut. (This is never a problem for priests because they are "celibate" or else having sex with virgins. And even if they do get pregnant, in these cases abortion is apparently okay.)
Children should learn how to relate well to both parents and should see them expressing affection for one another. "Youngsters need to see their father and mother embrace regularly. Often, children with same-sex attractions come from a home where they don't see their parents embrace. If a child comes from a home with no sign of affection between parents or siblings, it's difficult for a child with same-sex attractions to rightly order his affection and attractions.
This has nothing to do with homosexuality. Where is the evidence that children raised by gay parents don't see affection in the home? They don't see heterosexual affection, but they may still see affection. Now let's look at the underlying assumption here: that kids raised by straight parents are automatically raised in happy, loving environments. Obviously, there is no such thing as spousal abuse, sexless marriage, or incest in heterosexual families. After all - they aren't "objectively disordered."
Because a major cause of same-sex attraction can be an absent or distant father relationship, Father Harvey strongly recommends that single parents find a relative who can serve as a good same-sex role model for a child. "A single mother needs to find an uncle or someone in the family to relate to her son, and vice versa with a single father and his daughter."
Now remember - there's no evidence that growing up in a single-parent home makes you gay. Susan hasn't even tried to present any; she's just had Fitzgibbon's make the claim, and now Harvey. Even if homosexuality was caused by life events and environment, rather than genetics and prenatal hormone exposure, "because church doctrine says it's bad" does not actually constitute a good enough reason to condemn someone to a life of involuntary celibacy. If your child is gay, so be it.
Part five of the series will address the complex issue of homosexual marriage from both a sociological and theological point of view.

To read more about the information contained in this article, visit the Courage Web site at or the National Association for Research and Therapy on Homosexuality
I'm gonna leave this links to you, Anteaters, or for another time. Tomorrow we'll talk about gay marriage. Bring your bouquets and cummerbunds!