Concupiscence Is Not a Sin

A reader wrote in to ask what I think about this story, where a young boy underwent monstrous “reparative therapy” because he exhibited feminine behavior, only to end up killing himself at 38.

As you may have gathered, I think it monstrous. This will no doubt confuse people who have noted that I think homosexual acts to be sinful and believe much homosexual agitprop to be militant, intolerant, and totalitarian in intent.

So why do I think this particular “therapy” monstrous? For the same reason I oppose totalitarian attempts and acts of violence calculated to force me to approve of homosexual acts: because I believe in human freedom and dignity.

Here’s the thing: Grace builds on and cooperates with nature. Some males, beginning at a very young age, behave in feminine ways. Who knows why. But whatever the origin, such behavior does not necessarily signify a homosexual orientation, much less homosexual acts — which are the only thing that the Church reckons as sinful.

But this “therapy” began with the assumption of absolute contempt for the victim — a five-year-old boy. It saw his nature (whatever that might have been) as an enemy to be destroyed, not as it is for all of us: a gift of God damaged by the effects of the Fall and intended for glory. It’s a deeply Calvinist take on nature. The goal was to beat a presumed homosexuality out of the poor kid, rather than find out who the poor kid was. Small wonder he eventually committed suicide.

Christ does not redeem us from the effects of the Fall by brutalizing us. My take on homosexuality (to which I feel no temptation) is the same as my take on gluttony (a temptation with which I have struggled all my life). Both are disordered appetites that we may, but do not have to, express in actions. Depending on where we are in the cultural spectrum, we will tend to be excusing or merciless.

On the cultural Left, homosexuality, both in temptation and act, is relentlessly excused, while gluttony is vilified as disgusting and immoral. Indeed, even people (such as those struggling with hypothyroidism) who are overweight through no fault of their own tend to get written off as pigs in that milieu.

Meanwhile, on the cultural Right, gluttony is a peccadillo, while even the whiff of homosexual orientation is treated as contemptible. What few tend to do is treat disordered appetites as disordered appetites or distinguish between temptation and act, concupiscence and sin. Indeed, many Christians no longer even know what concupiscence is. So: a brief refresher.

 

Baptism removes original sin and confers the life of the Trinity. But it is grace, not magic. And because of this, the Church teaches that the effects of original sin remain, much as we can still have a “trick knee” after the knee surgery is finished and healed. Baptism gives us the life of grace to strengthen us. But precisely why we need strength is that we are still left to struggle with the darkened mind, weakened will, and disordered appetites — in a word, concupiscence — that result from original sin.

The reason this matters is that concupiscence is not, in itself, sinful. It is merely the “tinder for sin.” So what? Well, if you believe that sin is the reality of who we are — in short, if you subscribe to some sort of half-baked notion of Total Depravity — and you believe that virtue is the mask, then every temptation will be seen not as a moral battlefield upon which we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, with the help of a loving Father, but as further proof of what scum you are. If you believe that every time you are tempted, God is standing there saying, “And you call yourself a Christian! If you really loved me, you wouldn’t feel tempted! This just shows what you really are!” you are going to react differently than you would to a God who is rooting for you, interceding for you, and supplying you with grace to help you in your hour of trial.

If every temptation is seen as further proof of “what you really are,” then every repentance will be dismissed as one more phony attempt to deny who you “really are.” If every temptation is seen as the field of battle upon which you are being given the chance to join with Christ in the great struggle for holiness, then you will see your struggles in a very different light.

Understanding concupiscence makes the difference between seeing God as a Father who is pleased with the heroism of his Spirit-filled children or as an impatient, exasperated Critic who never has a good word to say to losers like us.

If we do not grasp the Church’s teaching on concupiscence, there are two equal and opposite errors into which we can fall when dealing with disordered appetites. We can pretend the appetite is not disordered and demand everybody else pretend that a disordered appetite is a “gift from God.” This is what I object to in much homosex agitprop: It aims to force people not merely to bear with a sinner in his weakness, but to celebrate the sin and muzzle those who will not comply with the lie.

Or we can err by going all Calvinist and identifying nature as essentially sinful — as though sin constitutes our humanity and redemption consists of smashing and annihilating our human nature. This was the approach taken in the “Sissy Boy” therapy, and it is just as contrary to Catholic faith as the embrace and affirmation of homosex as a virtue.

Not being homosexual myself, I don’t presume to say how homosexuals should cooperate with grace in order to confront this disordered appetite. For that, I would talk to a same-sex-attracted person who is a devout and holy Catholic. They do exist, after all. Personally, I suspect there is no one-size-fits-all way to cooperate with grace in redeeming our disordered sexual appetites (and everyone, not just homosexuals, has disordered sexual appetites). That’s because, being a glutton, I know there is no one-size-fits-all remedy for disordered appetites of the stomach. One thing I do know is that disordered appetites are not intended by God to define us, nor are they a license for me to demand that everybody in the room celebrate gluttony as a gift of God (except in satire).

 

Not being a therapist or a spiritual director, nor spectacularly successful at the long, slow slog of taming disordered appetites myself, I will not presume to hand out free advice to people grappling with temptations that I have never felt. I will simply conclude by remarking that my own experience with disordered appetite has taught me three things.

First, neither concupiscence nor sin is a “gift of God.” They are things that the gift of God (grace) is ordered to help us overcome and triumph over. Therefore, while concupiscence is not sin and sin is not unforgiveable, we cannot deal with it by pretending it is a “gift” or demanding that everybody affirm us in our okayness and pretending that our disordered appetites are peachy. They aren’t. They are disordered. I don’t need somebody to offer me a donut in order to make me feel better about my gluttony. I need them to support me as I try to eat less and move more. It seems to me that somebody struggling with other disordered appetites needs much the same combination of support and moral firmness.

Second, you’d be surprised how often people inclined to harshness toward human weakness tell themselves that their brutality is “tough love.” It’s one thing when somebody is trying to make ridiculous justifications for sin and even attempting to threaten those who rightly maintain that sins are sins. Christians have an obligation to defend the truth about the Church’s moral teaching even when they are unpopular. Sometimes we have to say hard things and even to offer rebuke to intransigent sinners. But many is the time that Christians indulge the sins of anger or violence against innocents or penitents while congratulating themselves on their “courage” or, in a tedious and overworked strategy, comparing themselves to Jesus versus the moneychangers. Indeed, I have little doubt that the architects of the Sissy Boy Experiment perpetually congratulated themselves on their “tough love.”

Certainly, I have had any number of Christians write me and say things like, “Hey fatso! Gluttony is a sin! Why don’t you lose some weight, piggy? You’re disgusting.” Such folk may lie to themselves that they are “rebuking” in Christian love, but, of course, they are simply speaking in malice by stabbing a penitent in the rawest spot of his conflicted heart. They mean to be cruel. They are the reason so many people struggling with concupiscence give up and embrace their sin — or suicide. After all, if even penitence is rewarded by Christians with a vicious kick in the teeth, then why believe in all that mercy stuff Christians go on about?

Nonetheless, bad and abusive Christians are not a reason to give up on the grace of God. They are not the voice of God, merely sinful people living out the consequences of sin through their big mouths. The truth is, we are created in the image and likeness of God and redeemed by Jesus Christ. Because of this, the deepest truth about us is not our weakness, concupiscence, or sin, but Jesus Christ. He is even the truth about big-mouthed and abusive people who kick the penitent when they are down. When we are tempted or sin, we are not stripping off the mask and revealing the awful truth about who we really are. We are putting on the mask and obscuring the truth about who we really are. It doesn’t matter how often the accuser lies and tells us that our disordered appetites or sins constitute the truth about us. The accuser is a liar and the father of lies. Don’t listen to him. Listen to God, who loves you, delights in you, gives grace and mercy in your weakness, and wills your happiness.

Mark P. Shea

By

Mark P. Shea is the author of Mary, Mother of the Son and other works. He is a senior editor at Catholic Exchange and a columnist for Crisis Magazine. Visit his blog at www.markshea.blogspot.com.

  • http://tonylayne.blogspot.com/ Anthony S. Layne

    Great post, Mark!

  • http://blogsofasoul.blogspot.com Nick

    Reading the lives of the saints helps, too.

    I forget the saint, but I read he had to deal with an angry priest, who’s anger was caused by his pride.

    That has helped me, since I am hot-tempered and vain.

    Nonetheless, reading the saints is a good help to meditation, which, as prayer, helps you deal with sin.

  • A Reader

    This post gives me comfort and hope – just what I needed to read this evening, even if I can’t believe it right now. Bookmarked for future reference. Thank you, Mark.

  • http://thetheologyoflaundry.blogspot.com/ marissa Nichols

    Terrific post/response to the ‘reparative’ therapy story (very sad, indeed). I particularly like, “So why do I think this particular “therapy” monstrous? For the same reason I oppose totalitarian attempts and acts of violence calculated to force me to approve of homosexual acts: because I believe in human freedom and dignity.” Very well said. I enjoy your posts tremendously! Keep it up, Mark!

  • Zac

    Great one, Mark.

  • dylan

    dear Mr Shea — I note the link to Courage, and do not doubt that the organization has done some good work. However, I once heard the founder of Courage, the late Fr John Harvey, OSFS, say in an interview on EWTN — on the show that is now known as “Sunday Night Prime” — that part of Courage’s activities involved a summer camp where the men who were struggling with SSA would be encouraged (compelled?) to play football (American football, I’m assuming) “to learn to be comfortable with themselves as men.” I cannot tell you how profoundly obtuse and imperceptive I found that notion to be. But perhaps Fr Harvey’s virtues outweighed his faults.

    • David Casson

      As far as I understand, the logic there is that gay men are often those who had difficulty bonding with male peers during youth (coupled with father issues of course), and who have come to eroticize this desire for male companionship. The idea is to help these men find healthy ways to form relationships with one another without needing to sexualize the relationship.

    • Mitchell Button

      John Harvey, wrote an extremely well-researched, and charitable book called “The Homosexual Person”. It’s central thesis is that the reasons for homosexuality are varied (behavioral and genetic) and approaches have to be varied in response to that. He likens homosexuality to a disease that requires psychological treatment.

      I had no idea he formed an apostolate to combat the temptation.

  • Charles

    Wow, this is one of your best articles I have ever read. I needed this for my own life. Thank you for your courage Mark! Keep up the good fight!

  • Paul L.

    Mark says,
    “The goal was to beat a presumed homosexuality out of the poor kid, rather than find out who the poor kid was. Small wonder he eventually committed suicide.”
    Although I agree with much of your position here, Mark, this statement assumes too much. You have not shown any clear/necessary link between this ‘treatment’ when the guy was 5 and his suicide when he was 38. You presume a syllogism that isn’t there, something like, Major Premise: ‘person treated when young. Minor Premise: Person commits suicide 33 years later. Necessary Conclusion=Treatment caused suicide. It’s like saying, ‘boy was forced to go to church every Sunday until he was 5. Little wonder he fire-bombed a church building when he was 38. Conclusion: Don’t force your young children to go to church’.
    There is no necessary relationship between your major and minor premises. As if there couldn’t have been any other factor that contributed to his suicide during the 33 years in between these events. For all we know, this treatment may have prolonged his life and that without it he would have blown his head off when he was 17. (I tend to doubt that was the case, I am no fan of modern psychology/psychiatry and admit it is more likely that they (‘doctors’) did more harm than good.)
    This is typical modern (bad) ‘reason’ and gets us all in a lot of trouble, and frankly, you are way too intelligent for this type of broken logic. This type of ‘association’ is used all the time, and is a great tool of deception used by those who would hide the Truth at all cost in order to twist it more in line with their appetites; It is the cornerstone of Relativism! I assume you are not one of those people, so it would be nice if you wouldn’t use their methods, as it puts you on their level.
    Just some friendly advice!

  • http://thesheepfold.typepad.com/the_sheepcat/ The Sheepcat

    Thank you, Mark. Wonderful grace-filled piece.

    Dylan, I appreciate your concern for us, though honestly I’m a bit puzzled by it. I’m a Courage member and attended a Courage men’s retreat a few years ago. I can assure you that no one was compelled to play football. But play I did, and after many humiliating experiences of team sports when I was a boy, playing football in the “Courage Bowl” was exhilarating and liberating. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

  • Will

    Wow, best thing I think you’ve ever written. IMO at least, good job!

  • Nina

    I’ve read some of the deliberately cruel and uncharitable comments you’ve made about gay people on your blog, Mr. Shea, and you are in no position to be commenting on this story. You’re not so different from Rekers or that poor child’s ignorant and abusive parents.

    • irksome1

      I’ve read some of the things that Mark has written on his blog about gay people myself, some which I’ve taken issue with. Is he glib? Often yes. Is he prone to hyperbole? No question. Does it follow that he shouldn’t be commenting on a story such as this one? Absolutely not! If anything, he has MORE of a responsibility to say something, since the people who will listen to him will not listen to either you or I regarding the monstrous injustice described in the linked article.

  • http://Nina Mark P. Shea

    Documentation please? I have never, so far as I know, said anything against homosexuals qua homosexuals. I have objected to those homosexuals who engage in militant, intolerant, and totalitarian attempts to force me to approve of homosexual acts or to approve of their attempts to redefine the sacrament of marriage or to punish and vilify who will not comply with this intolerance. Failure to agree with or submit to the intolerant and militant demands of homosex advocates is only cruel and uncharitable in the minds of narcissists.

  • David

    Shout out to those who struggle with hypothyroidism!

    All you have to do is look at something to gain weight….

  • http://www.crisismagazine.com Administrator

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  • Julie

    Wonderful, as always, Mark. I wondered if you’re familiar with the work of Joseph Nicolosi and of NARTH, which seems to employ a sensitive, deeply insightful and comprehensive approach in working with clients with same sex attraction, who are not fulfilled or do not identify with the gay lifestyle?

    • Mark P. Shea

      I’m afraid I’m not up on this, pretty much for the reason stated in the piece. Not having to endure homosexual temptation, I haven’t read up on it, just as I am only passingly familiar with treatments for the disordered appetite called alcoholism.

  • Joan H.

    “Meanwhile, on the cultural Right, gluttony is a peccadillo, while even the whiff of homosexual orientation is treated as contemptible.”

    Way to paint with the broad brush there, Mr. Shea.

    • Martial Artist

      @Joan H.,

      Perhaps you are making an incorrect assumption in thinking Mr. Shea would consider you as someone who is “on the cultural Right.” There are, after all, those on the “cultural Right” who fit his description, and those who don’t, to the latter group of which, I would presume you belong.

      I would suspect rather strongly that there are those on both the cultural Left and the cultural Right who are able successfully to differentiate between the sinner and the sin, whether the sin is homosexual or gluttonous conduct.

      Pax et bonum,
      Keith Töpfer

  • Dug

    Beautiful and helpful piece, Mark. This one bears sharing. Many thanks.

  • Pamela

    I didn’t notice the author when I started reading, but I was not at all surprised it was you, Mark. You have the most marvelous way of expressing the Church’s nuanced positions, avoiding going either too far to the right or to the left. You make the correct path so clear to your readers, and point out the errors of going too far one way or the other that should be obvious but often just aren’t.

    We love the sinners and hate the sin. In today’s society, it seems like we have to either love the sinner because of the sin, or hate the sinner because of their sin. But that has never been what God asked of us. I think the true sentiment – loving people even while we might decry their actions – has become inconceivable to a lot of people.

    Thanks for sharing, this was a great article!

  • Carl

    I agree with Joan H., I think the gluttony examples of the Left and the Right is too broad. Michael Moore and Rush Limbaugh being two examples of not fitting this stereo type example, both of these people do hear it from detractors—not from supporters.

    Perhaps Mr. Shea you’re too sensitive on this issue. I think you are perfect and lovable just the way you are! In a platonic and friendship sense of course!

  • http://www.rjsullivanfiction.com RJ Sullivan

    I consider myself well-versed on this issue and I fall fairly in the middle, which means I don’t agree entirely with everything out there. So all that said, you wrote:

    “So why do I think this particular “therapy” monstrous? For the same reason I oppose totalitarian attempts and acts of violence calculated to force me to approve of homosexual acts: because I believe in human freedom and dignity.”

    Okay, so much has been made of the acts of violence toward gays throughout history. Few of us would deny the unfair and often monstrous forms it has taken. On the other hand, I’m drawing a blank to come up with even one instance of an act of violence calculated to force others to approve of homosexual acts. Can you clarify this point? Were you speaking hypothetically or are you thinking of specific instances where violence was used?

    RJ

  • Melissa

    You and Simcha Fisher channelled each other quite nicely today.
    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/the-matrix-disney-heresy/
    It also just happened to be exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you.

  • AD

    Mark–thank you for this fine article. I’ve recently had to face my son’s SSA and his somewhat militant rejection of the Church. I find this a walk across a tightrope–loving him and yet not able to say acting on this SSA is all right. Unfortunately, he sees my unwillingness to endorse the sin as a rejection of him. A spiritual anguish I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I’m sure there are many Catholic parents out there who are on this same heart breaking pilgrimage.
    Sheepcat, I wonder if you could offer any insight–anything would be helpful and appreciated.

  • richard

    Thanks, Mark.

  • Craig Roberts

    @Mark
    You say: My take on homosexuality (to which I feel no temptation) is the same as my take on gluttony (a temptation with which I have struggled all my life).

    Maybe I missed something but all sins are not the same. Do you really need to go to confession and get that pizza off your soul for fear of hell? Gluttony does not even rate as one of the Decalogue. Seriously. Lets not kid ourselves. The Church teaches that all sexual sins are grievous. If I give in to sexual temptation it’s not the same as if I break my diet.

    While your refresher on concupiscence was nice, no one benefits by equating grievous mortal sins with venial sins. Meat is not murder.

    You should not have ‘the same take’ on cheating on your wife as cheating on your diet.

    • Mark P. Shea

      Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins in the Church’s tradition. If it comes to it, homosexuality is not mentioned in the Decalogue either. Thanks for illustrating my point about the lightness with which it is taken among conservative Christians.

      • Craig Roberts

        Touche. Please don’t take offense. Your sins obviously weigh very heavily on you. Doh! But seriously I wish you the best in your struggle with gluttony. I admire your commitment to rooting out your personal vices.

        Just remember, if you do conquer your weight, and are as svelte as an angel, you can look in the mirror and be proud. Then you’ll really be able to sympathize with gay pride. Your sin will be second to none.

        • Carl

          Mr. Roberts are you one of the high metabolism guys who can’t gain weight? You display too much jocularity on this issue of gluttony. It’s interesting to see that many times people don’t respect others because they themselves can’t relate to that particular weakness. Like someone who can’t stand the sight or smell of cigarettes but can also find it so easy to condemn the smoker.

          Your “sympathize with gay pride” comment is confusing. Gay pride is about advancing mortal sin; weight loss is about an exercise in virtues like temperance and self-control. It almost appears the real underlining issue here may be homosexuality.

          What ever happened to the jolly fat guy? Cherubs are not svelte angels. I personally like Renaissance and medieval art depicting full figured women.

          I don’t assume a full bodied person as a sinner! Certainly in the U.S. no one is malnourished because of someone else eating more than their fair share! Full bodied people don’t necessarily hoard or steal the food of others.

          • Craig Roberts

            I have the utmost respect for Mark. He defends the Church I love with wit and wisdom everyday.

            But Mark can sometimes get a little puffed up. (DOH!) Mark is well aware that all temptations are not the same. But to concede the fact would open up the even more painful realization that his attempt at sympathy is self-centered, condescending, and silly.

            You can’t march into a group of drug addicts, violent criminals, or militant gay activists and say, “I totally understand you guys because I’m overweight!” You just insult them by minimizing their struggle. What’s worse is, by turning the focus on yourself, you open the door to self-pity.

            Pride blinds everybody…gay, fat, lazy, angry, drunk, pious, evil, pagan, Christian…to their faults. Without the light of Christ we are all doomed to wander in darkness.

          • Carl

            I don’t think so at all, he said what he said, meant what he said, and it happens to be true. Mr. Shea never described the two as equals.

            And I don’t buy the argument that you have to have sinned as great or greater to have empathy towards another sinner. This technique in fact is many times used in an attempt to silence morality.

            I do think Mr. Shea is “little puffed up” about his Left and the Right stereotype assertions about gluttony.

          • Craig Roberts

            I’m not saying that empathy requires that you have the same sins. Empathy requires that we look at others with love. To compare them to ourselves takes our focus off them and renders our charity void. “There but for the grace of God go I” becomes the prayer of the Pharisee (Luke 18:11) if we are doing comparisons.

            So what should we do? Pray for our enemies so that we might be forgiven as we forgive others.

    • Carl

      @ Mr. Roberts,

      You missed his next sentence:

      “Both are disordered appetites that we may, but do not have to, express in actions.”

      I would agree that a clarifier like [albeit to a much lesser degree] cheating on your diet or controlling your appetite are not of the level of adultery which is mentioned twice in the Ten Commandments and gluttony is probably only indirectly represented in the coveting commandment.

      Both are disordered appetites affected by things like boredom, sensual addiction, and a host of other areas both biological and physiological.

      I try to take someone’s written words and combox postings literally—less confusion.

      • Carl

        CCC 2357 lists homosexuality under the adultery commandment Article 6: 2331-2400

  • Carl

    CCC lists gluttony under Part Three Life in Christ, article 8: Sin
    1866 Vices can be classified according to the virtues they oppose, or also be linked to the capital sins which Christian experience has distinguished, following St. John Cassian and St. Gregory the Great. They are called “capital” because they engender other sins, other vice. They are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia.

    1867 The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are “sins that cry to heaven”: the blood of Abel, the sin of the Sodomites, the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt, the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan, injustice to the wage earner.

    Mark, one of my addictions is learning and arguing the Catholic faith as weak as my attempts may be.

    • Craig Roberts

      Thank you Carl. As you can see I am afflicted with the same addiction. Luckily we have a support group that meets every Sunday. God bless!

  • Aaron Stewart

    Thanks for the very useful article, Mark. I would add a plea for understanding, though. The best of Calvinism isn’t guilty of saying “sin constitutes our humanity and redemption consists of smashing and annihilating our human nature”. Rather, it holds that all parts of human nature are corrupt – that no part is without sin. The difference is between ‘as bad as it can be’ and ‘no part is pure’.

    Official statements even go so far as to say, “There remain, however, in man since the fall, the glimmerings of natural light, whereby he retains some knowledge of God, of natural things, and of the differences between good and evil, and discovers some regard for virtue, good order in society, and for maintaining an orderly external deportment.” (http://www.prca.org/cd_text3.html)

    None of this detracts from your main points, which are excellent. I do think it is best to spread and think the best about others, though, even in the small points.

  • http://banderson11@hot.rr.com Betty Anderson

    This was a great article. As a diabetic, I know much about temptation. And just thinking about a strict diet makes me want a coke and a candy bar to soothe my self-pity. If only we Christians could assure sinners that we do love them but not their sin. That’s exactly how Jesus loves us. And accepting and even condoning their sin is what we can’t do. And as you pointed out, our temptations may be different, but we have them. The alcoholic can’t drink; I can’t live by candy bars alone. We all need the love and grace of God.

  • Ryan

    Great post!

  • JUlianne Wiley

    Home Run, Mark. I love you.

  • Mena

    Depends what the “reparative therapy” consisted of. It probably was *voluntary,* and it probably involved attempts to re-educate the person’s mind and will to overcome mere natural impulses — impulses that were out of line with Nature’s design and intent. In other words, the therapy probably was based on the concept of discipline and re-education. No big deal.

    I think it’s a mistake to assume that human sexuality should develop entirely developed out of natural tendencies. It needs to be nurtured as well at the level of the mind. Humans have to be educated and trained to consciously embrace sexuality for the purpose of life long family and child-rearing. Not only do homosexuals fail to grasp the family purpose of their sexual organs, but also many people of the younger generation fail to associate their biological sexuality with children/procreation. Thus they live hedonistic lives and seek to kill off the biological “unintended consequences” of their actions (kids). They don’t know that their own sexual organs have inherent procreative intent and purpose, and thus they must act accordingly.

    FInally, who can say why the person committed suicide, unless the person left a detailed note.

    • Mark P. Shea

      “No big deal.”

      Did you acquire this authoritative expertise by being born with it? Direct divine infusion of knowledge? Is it stuff you picked up from a lot of combox conversations that bestows such certitude? A class at a community college? You seem so cocksure that you know this kid’s “therapy” was no big deal. Indeed, you seem to know it without really having read the article.

  • Aengus O’Shaughnessy

    Awesome post, Mr. Shea! I love you! (In a completely non-homosexual way.)

  • Robyn

    Mena,

    I myself don’t support militant gays, and I believe that homosexual acts are sinful–however.

    I’m also a mother, and can’t condone this sort of ‘reparative therapy’. Most programs that go under this title are pretty bloody inhumane. And to a FIVE-YEAR-OLD? What the devil could this poor bairn have done to prove himself to be gay? He probably scarce understands what that even means!

    I’m with Mark Shea on this one–such things are monstrous.

  • anon

    Great post. Amazing!

  • Name changed to protect…

    One of mine dear sons wanted a doll and would breast feed her while I nursed the littlest one. He is a well adjusted ‘tween now.

    Or as well adjusted as a ‘tween can be. He’s “all boy.”

  • Mena

    Robyn,

    We don’t know what the “therapy” consisted of. So, it’s hard to know if it was excessive or not.

    While five years is likely too early, I do believe that boys and girls alike require age-appropriate socialization and education towards proper human sexuality. That is, there is no reason to think that “nature will figure itself out” for every one. If a person is showing confusion along these lines, proper education and direction may help the child strengthen the mind/will to embrace the mission of family despite wayward tendencies and impediments.

    A person who has gay tendencies by nature may **by nurture** embrace the mission and beauty of procreation and family—but only if educated and persuaded to that end. Without such intentional conscious education, the person is left to the dictates of mere bodily impulses undirected by knowledge or purpose.

  • Mena

    P.S. — Both Hollywood and the porn industry have successfully been able to socialize straight women to experiment with lesbianism via peer pressure, coaxing, and cash.

    So, if filmmakers can alter a person’s default sexual orientation to various degrees, so can skilled counselors. Human sexual “orientation” is not so rigid that it can’t be altered to various degrees.

    A person with a “gay orientation” can via the right education and enticement be persuaded to embrace family life.

  • Robyn

    Mena,

    I’ve yet to see a single example of a ‘skilled counselor’ such as you mention. If a boy (or girl) seems to be leaning towards homosexuality, better that their parents speak to them about the Church’s teachings, and God’s purpose.

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