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  • “Gay Cure” Bans: Free to Choose, but Only One Choice Allowed?

    by Stephen Beale

    Not Gay Sign Pic

    Remember the pill scene from the movie Matrix? Neo is offered a choice between a red and a blue pill. The red pill promises only the truth. The blue pill offers the blissful ignorance to the fact that he is a human battery, one of millions that power futuristic machines.

    What’s really incredible about the scene isn’t the possibility of such a fantasy world. It’s that Neo actually has a choice to leave it.

    Ours is a culture that celebrates choices—to live where we want, marry whomever we want, work in whatever career we want, and be who we want to be.

    Or is it?

    Earlier this month, news broke that California had become the first state to ban licensed psychiatrists, social workers, and other mental health professionals from using any therapies or treatments that endeavor to change the sexual orientation of someone under 18 years old.

    Governor Jerry Brown and the bill’s sponsor, state senator Ted Lieu, declared that minors would now be spared the trauma of attempting to change their sexual orientation.

    Jubilation rung out across blue-state America. “Efforts to change minors’ sexual orientation are not therapy, they are the relics of prejudice and abuse that have inflicted untold harm on young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians,” said Clarissa Filgioun, board president of Equality California, the “largest statewide LGBT advocacy organization” in the state. Another gay rights group, Truth Wins Out, hailed an end to what it described as “child abuse disguised as therapy.”

    Apparently, the possibility that a teenager may want to change his or her sexual orientation of their own accord—not due to the firm prodding of overbearing parents—never crossed their minds. Modern liberalism supposedly holds individual choice to be a sacred act, but it seems that some choices are favored over others.

    Since the culture war began, social liberals have been fighting under the banner of freedom—not just for consenting adults, but for minors as well, with parental authority an acceptable casualty in the cause of individual rights.

    This is still a country where parents can decide when their children can get a car, buy a cell phone, and start surfing the net, but in 29 states teens don’t need parental permission to get an abortion. The same goes for condom distribution in hundreds of high schools in the country. Even the morning-after pill is available on demand in New York City public schools. Teens that come out as gay or transgender are hailed as cultural heroes and, if they are supportive, their parents join the proud ranks of “straight allies.” Parents that aren’t are branded “abusive.”

    All this is the handiwork of social liberalism. Contrary to appearances, there’s a lot more to it than just a blind push for ever-widening circles of individual freedom. Indeed, one can discern three stages in the social liberal agenda.

    At first, mere tolerance is demanded. Your neighbor, your son, a popular athlete or famous celebrity—it’s OK for them to come out as gay.

    But eventually tolerance is not enough. Then the culture war escalates to the next phase, in which the choice to lead a gay lifestyle must be celebrated—gay pride parades, transgender contestants in beauty pageants, or gay nuptials.  

    All this is predicated on the assumption that real freedom means the right to be true to who you are and the right to openly choose a once-closeted lifestyle. In describing the prejudice aspiring trangender model Isis King faced from fellow contestants on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra Banks said: “But she wasn’t about to stop being who she is for a second. … Ultimately Isis wasn’t able to go all the way, but in her brief time on Top Model, she helped us all redefine what beauty is really about.”

    But it is this very notion of choice that perishes in the third stage. Being gay, it turns out, isn’t a choice. It’s biological.

    It is this third and final stage of the culture war that is now unfolding in California.

    “The idea that people can just pick their sexual orientation the way they pick what to wear or what kind of coffee to drink is so irrational that even conservative vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan had a problem going along with that line of thinking,” scoffed CNN columnist LZ Granderson in a piece supporting the so-called gay cure ban. “When it comes to sexual orientation, people can’t change who they are. But the ignorant parents could change with a little book therapy,” wrote US News and World Report writer Susan Milligan.

    But regardless of where one falls on the nature-nurture side of the question, there still is an element of choice involved, even for those convinced that they were “born that way.” The choice is how one responds to such sexual urges.

    It’s a choice that everyone faces, actually, albeit to differing degrees. Many people, for reasons of faith, family, or just a tradition sense of prudence decide to restrain their urges in one fashion or another. Celibate priests, devout Catholic couples practicing natural family planning, unmarried young Christian men and women—all, one may presume, have sexual urges from which they are abstaining, either temporarily or permanently, as the case may be. For those hoping to change their sexual orientation it goes beyond mere restraint: not only must one not act upon those urges, one must seek to eliminate or redirect those urges.

    Denying one’s base urges—sexual or otherwise—is inconceivable to modern liberals. Their credo is seductively simple: Good feelings make for good actions.

    But beyond the bumper-sticker appeal of such a slogan is an unsettling vision of diminished mankind. To put one’s instinctive urges in the driver’s seat is to hand the keys over to the id—the seat of all that is primal, passionate, and irrational in man, according to Freud. Framed in somewhat more traditional terms, it holds one’s will and intellect hostage to desire. “The most insidious corruption brought about by sexual sin … is the corruption of the mind,” writes E. Michael Jones, author of Degenerate Moderns. “One moves all too easily from sexual sins, which are probably the most common to mankind, to intellectual sins, which are the most pernicious.”

    Of course, aside from the siren song of sexual desire, where else is the modern liberal to turn for guidance?

    Faith, tradition, moral law, and Church—all pose too great a threat to the autonomy of the self.

    Only choices that affirm a person as an individual are to be respected because the self is only authentic when it is autonomous. Call it the Golden Rule of American individualism: Better to be the Dirty Harry, than clean up your act.

    Actually, there is one authority, outside the self, which liberals claim to recognize: science. In justifying the gay-cure ban, Brown appealed to science: “These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery,” the governor said. The legislation he signed into law cites reports, journal articles, and statements from seven social science societies in support of the ban.

    Cue the usual canards about science against religious “quackery.”

    But this isn’t because social liberals are such good scientists. It’s because science is a weapon of convenience in the war against traditional institutions on behalf of individual autonomy.

    It’s easy to imagine that once science loses its usefulness the honeymoon will be over—easy, because it’s already happening. Just venture over to the web site of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality,  a group that opposes the ban and is challenging it in court. For just about every fact, statistic, or journal article cited by gay rights advocates, you’ll find an opposing one on their site.

    Already, the California ban is having a ricochet effect across the country. Lawmakers in New Jersey are reportedly working on their own version and the National Center for Lesbian Rights is shopping the California legislation around to other “gay-friendly states,” according to the Huffington Post.

    This third and final stage of the culture war is perhaps the most destructive of all. For decades, the idea of individualism has manifested itself on a collective scale under many guises: multiculturalism, postmodernism, pluralism, deliberative democracy.

    But the core idea is the same: the public square has been stripped of anything that imposes demands upon us: family, tradition, Church, virtue, and so on.

    In other words, we bring as little of ourselves as citizens and members of society to the public square—as few of our values and beliefs on the fundamental questions of life as possible because those might be offensive to those who don’t share them (i.e. the Left)—and we make our exit as empty-handed and open-minded as we came.

    Social conservatives once may have rued the unraveling of the social fabric, the disuniting of America, and further decline of civilization. But at home, in Church, within the neighborhood, the local community, and perhaps in the reddest of red states there survives, even thrives, the vital cells of an old civilization ready to renew a nation. (A few examples that come to mind are the New Monasticism movement on the Protestant side, the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal on the Catholic.)

    But now something more insidious is afoot. It turns out that we are not to be left alone anymore in our private lives. The same forces that denuded the public square of any common sense of the good, the true, and the beautiful now will not rest until it has laid siege to the home and the church. A genuinely pluralistic society—which liberals supposedly believe in, if not conservatives—would have tolerated secular adoption agencies open to gay parents and Catholic ones that aren’t. In the name of pluralism such a society would have been OK with churches denying insurance coverage for contraceptives while other employers provide it.

    But no more. It’s enough to make conservatives yearn for the good old days of pluralism when toleration was the sole demand of the Left.

    The views expressed by the authors and editorial staff are not necessarily the views of
    Sophia Institute, Holy Spirit College, or the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.

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    • J G

      They firmly believe that children, and in fact all of us, belong to the State. If we don’t get with the program then we are a threat to be eliminated. They will not tolerate us. They will do their best to ensure that your children are raised with their secular values. In ancient Rome Christians were marginalized and could not practice many professions. Under communism Christians were treated the same way and relegated to a few professions and denied higher education. In both cases there was persecution. Communism treated Christianity as a mental illness. Haven’t we already heard that in our culture from the Left? I have. Yes, there are still enclaves especially in the Red states. But unless we become more assertive then we will lose. Our foes are implacable.

      • Tyler

        I agree partially with you. I’m an independent/moderate, and agree with certain views on both sides. I’m sorry to hear what happened under those cruel regimes. But don’t you think that calling the “Lefts”, or what-have-you “foes”, and addressing them as your enemy helps? In order for the problems going on right now to dissipate, wouldn’t you agree that people should put aside their differences, attempt to make some decisions together, and unite as one people be better for all of us? George Washington condemned the party-system (which is optional in our governmental system), thinking it would divide people. It did. I have to admit, I prefer Democratic-party ideals more, but I certainly don’t want the government telling everyone what to do in most everything, that just sounds wrong, and defeats the point of a democracy. I believe Christianity should be given full religious freedom in America (that’s your right afterall), but other religions (or none at all) should be given equal freedom as well. I think, in the end, our government’s desperate attempt to be politically-correct is contradicting itself. I hope this gets alleviated soon.

        • Proteios1

          Yes, I agree. I think the blatant majority agrees, which is why we tolerate a great deal of intolerance from all sides. I think that’s the problem is small rigid groups at the extremes drive these issues. These lent majority of moderates are represented by no one. Read toffler. I don’t agree with allow his stuff, but when he predicted decades ago that politics would be driven by well organized and well financed groups of minorities (as in small in numbers, not racial or other minorities) but small numbers of people with wealthy groups would drive democracy and ignore the more moderate values of most of America. I see that as the case.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Esolen/1184164082 Tony Esolen

      The most disgusting thing about this is their gleeful labeling of teenagers — stamping them with the “gay” designation at the very time when their sexual desires are most tumultuous, notoriously erratic, confused, and undirected. Most teenagers disturbed by same-sex attraction will outgrow it, if they are given half a chance. Not all will, but most — because nature and social expectations and the moral law and the individual’s own conscious determination take over. What the bill reveals is a deep insecurity among its sponsors, who know damned well how many teenagers may be teetering one way or another, and want to make sure that nobody interferes with the fall.

    • Wayne Besen

      Wow — this author is a particularly paranoid extremist who traffics in the incoherent rant, rooted in a fantasy world wrapped in a warped sense of reality.

      If you are gay — you are gay. I hope those in the closet will accept themselves so they won’t be miserable forever. Come out of the closet, you will be infinitely happier. Don’t believe the anti-gay lies and the reparative therapy quacks who are on the far fringes of mainstream psychiatry.

      • Tyler

        I agree. And who are a bunch of people (Catholics) whose priests are molesting children with frightening consistency to say that homosexuality is wrong? Hypocrisy is an annoying sin on their part. Freedom belongs to everyone, and if a bunch of religious bigots who can’t even keep their children (whom they force to go to church) safe from sex scandals say that another person’s actions and choices are “wrong”, then our society has a major problem, and it’s not gays. :(

        • Augustus

          I have a question for you, Tyler. Are your brown shirts finely tailored and your jackbboots well-polished? Your insistance on using police power to deprive youth the option of seeking medical services demonstrates your insecurity about your own sexual orientation. How parents raise their children is none of your business. And if a youth reasonably concludes that the gay lifestyle is damaging to his well-being, that’s his decision, not yours. The irony is that your ad hominem attack on the Catholic church only reminds us that homosexuals, priests or otherwise, should not have easy access to children. The scandal confirmed the Church’s teachings. If only she would enforce them. But then if she did so to protect children I suppose she would be accused of bigotry. You can’t have it both ways. But then again, I don’t expect logic from someone who would in the name of freedom deny youth the freedom to seek healing.

          • Tyler

            You hatred of homosexuality is a demonstration of your sexual confidence. I do not condone the actions this article describes, nor do I approve of them. I happen do disapprove of homophobia of any kind. And is an attack on gay rights more approvable than support for them? You need to learn to show respect for other people’s lives, there is a fine line between maintaining morality and denying the freedoms belonging to people. And people like you will tell me that I AM NOT AMERICAN! What hypocrisy! You go ahead and believe what you want. But when you tell people that what they are is an abomination, then you are crossing some lines. I am heterosexual, and have a homosexual friend whom I am completely ok with. I have absolutely no problem with his sexuality, even though we’re the same gender. And you’re telling me I’m insecure. Hah, you are quite the hypocrite, which is to be expected from the insecure, and heartless.

            • Bob

              No one here hates homosexuals, Tyler. In fact we love our neighbor, whomever they are. But sin is sin, it destroys souls. Because of our love for all men (including homosexuals), we call out sin, whether it’s sodomy, murder, theft, adultery as wrong and against nature and God’s plan for us. If you had a close heterosexual friend that was constantly cheating on his wife, you would counsel him that what he is doing is wrong, wouldn’t you? Or would you say “none of my biz…..I’m completely OK with his adultery!” your allowing your friend that is living a gay lifestyle to destroy his soul, simple as that. Not much of a friend, are you?

          • Tyler

            How parents should raise their kids IS their business. So why are you telling kids how to live their lives, if they aren’t even your kids? That’s pretty pathetic of you. You are literally criticizing me for something you do yourself. If you want to argue, do it in front of a mirror, it’ll be more productive for you that way.

            • Augustus

              So, now you tell us that you are straight but you know so much about homosexuality because you have a friend who is gay. And that gives you the authority to speak on whether or not this therapy works and whether it should be legal for minors. That, after all, is the issue raised by the article you initially joined Besen in criticizing. Didn’t you say “I agree” to Besen’s comments? So now you are saying that you have no opinion about the California law? Yet anyone who thinks people should be allowed to undergo such therapy because they see how harmful homosexuality is is a bigot? Defenders of homosexuality are very good name callers but I struggle to find a coherent argument in your reaction. You accuse the Catholic Church of being bigoted for opposing homosexuality despite the harm it does and then point to the sexual scandal in the Church as evidence of hypocracy when it was homosexual priests who were guilty of abuse. But you insist on defending homosexuality because your friend tells you all you need to know about the subject and there’s no need to think any further about it. You talk about freedom being denied but then you say you have no opinion about the law. What freedom are you talking about? What are these rights and where do they come from? You are changing the subject because what the gays are doing in California undermines your assertions. The gay lobby is depriving people of basic rights and you don’t want to talk about that but instead talk about how victimized your gay friends are. It is your gay friends who are the victimizers. We see it everywhere the gay lobby gains power. Are you purposely misrepresenting my words or are you illiterate? I defended parental rights (deprived by the law you now say you have no opinion about) and the teenagers who choose this therapy. I did not say that there should be a law requiring all gay minors to undergo therapy. And why should I approve of lives that are selfdestructive? You make vapid, unsubstantiated claims about the rights of homosexuals while calling your critics names and think that that’s enough to shut people up. You are gravely mistaken.

              • Tyler

                First of all, he wasn’t bringing up the article. He said homosexuals should come out of their closets. Insult me at your whim, I see judging others is what you are willing to waste your life doing against Christ’s teachings. But DO NOT put words in someone else’s mouth in order to insult me. And yes, having a homosexual friend whom I speak with does give me an argumentative advantage you clearly lack. After all, you are sitting here criticizing a group of people you know almost nothing about because you actively attack their interests. Do you have a homosexual friend? Do you actively try to understand the plight of this attacked group of people? Didn’t think so? Otherwise, stop judging me, and stop judging other people simply because your religion says NOPE to their actions. Who do you think you are?

                • Tyler

                  By he wasn’t bringing up the article, I mean I was agreeing with the part where he said homosexuals should come out of their closets.

              • Tyler

                Yes, because an individual who call’s homosexuals “abominations” is calling me a name-caller. Your using name-calling, really? That’s a childish argument you have there. It’s spelled hypocrisy by the way. :P

          • Daniel

            How parents raise their children starts being a concern to the rest of society when their way of raising them endangers them physically or psycologicaly.
            Your sexual identity is yours to determine and yours alone and its part of who you are. If two parents where telling their kid to be ashamed of being left-handed, or of having eyes of a certain color and forcing them to seek therapy to change, then these parents’ child-raising activities would be limited by the state. Staying with the same analogy, if you are not happy about your child’s eye color, you may force him to wear contacts, but the real eye color is there beneath. It is exactly the same way with ex-gay therapies.

        • Bob

          Interestingly, close to 100% of the children molested by male priests were young boys. Heterosexual men don’t molest young boys, only homosexual men do. Rid the priesthood of homosexuals, pedophilia drops almost to zero. It’s not hypocrisy to call out sexual sin (sodomy) as grave and immoral. Sorry Tyler. If your performing sodomy, your soul is in grave danger.

          • Tyler

            Before you continue your argument Mr. Sorry, perhaps you should prove to me the existence of the soul, and any possible endangerment thereof. Citing the soul as a reason hypocrisy is wrong is a pathetic reason to ban sodomy. SODOMY IS WRONG BECAUSE IT VIOLATES CHILDREN. That’s it, no soul this, hell that, just logic. Beautiful isn’t it. If you want to be polite, stop assuming people believe, or should believe, in your religious bigotry. Just because you’re Catholic does not mean you know better. History has proven otherwise. :/

            • John200

              Tyler,

              We’ll start with your conclusion; Just because you are a homo”sex”ual does not mean you know better. Don’t deny it, you will eventually admit it like all the other homo”sex”ual trolls.

              By the way, history proves exactly what the Catholic faith asserts; homo”sex”ual activity is bad. It is bad for the homo”sex”ual, for the partner he is destroying, for the people who love him and would like to see him correct himself, and for society at large (we all pay the cost).

              The easiest way to learn the truth is to go to Roman Catholic Initiation of Adults (RCIA). Until you do so, you really have no idea of the faith you are criticizing in a most boorish and ignorant manner. A second alternative is to go see a priest; one who follows the faith, not a lefty. A third — I would steer you to the Catechism, but you won’t read it for a little dispute in a combox.

              Later we might have to peel back your other “arguments” as we have done many times before. But for now it’s RCIA for you.

              Best to you and yours (including the homo”sex”ual friend you are destroying).

              • Tyler

                Yes I’m physically/spiritually destroying my friend who has to put up with cruelty and unforgivable behavior from people like you on a daily basis. You don’t even know this person. And I wasn’t aware it was correct “engrish” to put quotes inside of words. What do you even mean by homo”sex”ual?

                • John200

                  The quotes mean that homo”sex”ual activity is not sex. It is perversion of sex. Let’s use your own words; it is cruelty and unforgivable behavior toward your “friend” who you are destroying.*

                  Physically: You are destroying his digestive system ( and/or he, yours). You are pointing him away from what he is supposed to be and toward a life of disease, diapers, sickness, and early death. From the physical perspective, you are not your “friend’s” friend.

                  Spiritually: You are pointing him (and yourself) away from what you are supposed to be; toward hell, if you will allow me to base my comments on the Catholic faith which you will soon embrace. From the spiritual perspective, you are not your “friend’s” friend.

                  You may thank me for skipping a paragraph about the mental diseases that go with homo”sex”uality. There are many; they are vicious. I let you off the hook because it is not necessary to show all the pathology associated with homo”sex”ual activity.

                  RCIA, Tyler, RCIA is the next step. You are not doing well at pretending to be a philosopher.

                  Your reference to “engrish” does not work well as you are short on grammar, your logic is poor, and your rhetoric is thin. I cannot tell how much of your misfortune is due to personal inadequacy and how much arises because you are advancing a comprehensively wrong purpose. But the difficulties are multiple, and obvious to your interlocutors.

                  * I know homo”sex”uals come here to lie and that your ‘friend” may not exist. I predicate my comments on your veracity.

                  RCIA, Tyler.

                  • Tyler

                    You’re still trying to continue a battle of insults. I’m tired of this, so this will probably be my last post. I happen to like thinking for my self, and seeing as you are continuing to try and indoctrinate me with your religious beliefs because you think “getting on board” will solve your problems or mine, as an intelligent and relatively peace-loving person (though you would doubt and insult me about it), I’m not going to continue harassing you or voicing my opinions. Ahh, the beauty of online communication. You have your beliefs, and logic, and I have my own. It seems a recurring process that you would attempt to eradicate my own beliefs, because you think that you are in absolute (if I’m not mistaken, for I do not know you personally) correctitude. If you will not respect my friend’s sexual orientation/practice, then I can only ask you to respect his autonomy. I consider him to be of intelligence far in excess of mine (if you ever met him you’d agree, regardless of your opinion of his sexual morality), so I can safely assume or if need be discuss with him the risks of his sexuality (although that IS none of my business, nor is it my place to make it mine). You can be assured that I care for him, for he has been my genuine friend from childhood. If you wish to further discuss this matter with me, very well, I’ll gladly converse with you on it. But I would ask that you be a little more mild mannered than you are currently being (and I will make every attempt to do the same). I simply cannot make any attempt to reason with someone who would completely and ruthlessly assume a greater knowledge of the matter than me. I can see that you are well educated, and rather curiously childish at times (but alas, who isn’t), but perhaps we can see this through together. If you genuinely want to help, I would gladly continue chatting with you. But if you only wish to annihilate my viewpoints and usurp them with your own, I’m afraid I cannot continue here. On that note, I will try to establish contact with my distantly-located friend and see what he knows about any of this, being sure to inform him of the risks you have provided.

            • Bob

              I’m guessing you have never studied Catholicism or really know nothing about it, but are more than willing to attack it? Or the natural law…..no thoughtful studying of that either on your end, correct?

              • Tyler

                I’m a theologist. Gotcha there. You’re one to talking about ignorantly attacking things.

                • Bob

                  That’s “Theologian” not”theologist”, Tyler. There is no such thing as a “theologist”. Maybe it’s best you go bother another website, stop humiliating yourself.

                  • Tyler

                    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/theologist
                    P.S. Theologian comes from the younger, Latin, theologias. Theologist comes from the older, Greek, theologos. Same concept as biologos (knowledge/study of life). According to your logic, biologist isn’t a word, instead it’s biologian. DERP!

                • Bob

                  I guess as a “theologist” you can explain to me what humetics is and its relationship is to the Pentateuch? Paschal’s Wager? “Literal” vs a “literalist” interpretation of scripture? The arguments surrounding the Septuagint? Luther’s “consubstantiation” vs the Church’s “transubstantiation” concerning the Eucharist? C’mon Tyler……..you’re an atheist in here to attack the Church, that’s all. Just admit it, you’ll feel better! Or as I first thought, a waste of time……

                  • Tyler

                    I hate to break it to you, but theologist is a synonym for theologian. And I have studied religious philosophy and comparative religion for nearly half a decade now. And I’m not an atheist. Sorry to hear that you are so heavily insulted by me. If the Church was so innocent, why is it being attacked?

                    • Tyler

                      The difference in theologist and theologian is probably resultant of the Greek and Latin variations of the word. I assume that you, being a Catholic, are more familiar with the Latin variation.

                  • Tyler

                    By the way, what your referring to is strictly Western religious doctrine, specific to Christianity. And no, I’m not fully familiar with those things, at least not yet. I specifically study religion in its most unspecific format, so I haven’t gotten into deep enough study within Judeo-Christian traditional doctrines to know much of those terms. Though it’s nice of you to open my eyes to there existence.

                • Tyler

                  By the way Bob, do you have Skype? I really would like to discuss things in live chat. If you want to chat only to continue to harass me with false information, don’t bother. But I really would like to engage in a non-hostile, intelligent conversation with someone who has an interest in philosophy and/or religion. If not, so be it, no hard feelings. :)

              • Tyler

                Just so you know, I take a college philosophy class. In my opinion, as well as that of many thinkers, Saint of no-Saint, St. Thomas isn’t that clever. I can, for example, present to you numerous example wherein the Natural Law Theory of Morality breaks down (even in its natural setting of…well, nature). For example diseases and environmental disasters do not seem to have a divinely-ascribed “purpose” that might be proposed by the Natural Law Theory. And there are in fact many animals that naturally practice homosexual behavior. You could consider this a mistake on their part, but then the theory would still break down, as you would have to assume that “mistakes” can happen in nature. This seems to be problematic when Natural Law is considered (as I’m sure an intelligent Catholic like you) to be part of God’s will (or plan). You question my logic, yet you continue to base your beliefs around a theory that simply doesn’t work when dealing with the inherent complexity in the universe and the environment, or animal behavior for that matter. Unless you have a good counter-point to make, I don’t see how Natural Law works in this situation (namely, sexual morality). Any thoughts?

                • Tyler

                  You’re right, perhaps my grammar does need some work :D I type these rather fast. Please excuse me

                • John200

                  Dear Tyler,

                  Thank you for, “Just so you know, I take a college philosophy class. In my opinion, as well as that of
                  many thinkers, Saint of no-Saint, St. Thomas isn’t that clever.”

                  Just so we both know, I took “x” university-level philosophy and theology classes (transcripts are in my files, but I don’t feel like counting). Then I taught “y” of them (I won’t count them, either).

                  “In my opinion,” you should name the many “thinkers” who refute the best synthesizer you will ever read. And in my opinion, you should tell us just what is a “Saint of no-Saint?” And just so you know, St. Thomas did not become a saint by being “clever.”

                  “I can,
                  for example, present to you numerous example wherein the Natural Law
                  Theory of Morality breaks down…”

                  Again, self-refutation and embarrassment combine to produce …. what exactly are you trying to do to yourself? I see no need to proceed further. That self-refutation is a fine coda to our little contretemps.

                  What comes next? It is time to drop all the pretense. You need not spend any more time in the dark.

                  I wish the best to you and yours. And that means RCIA, Tyler. RCIA, pronto. I see promise in you, but you must get going, and the sooner the better.

                  • Tyler

                    Instead of “of”, I meant or. And I understand you like your religion (I like mine too), but I don’t want any of yours (even if you think it will “help” me with whatever it is you imagine is my ailment). I suppose I appreciate the offer, and I’m trying to re-approach this with an open-mind, and be more polite. It has occurred to me that I’ve greatly insulted you and others with what I have said, and believe it or not, I would like to formally apologize. I can understand you disrespect for me now, I probably deserve it (you may believe that I certainly deserve it). But now I wish to complement and speak with you about what you have that you think I should learn. I’m not willing to take medicine if it could poison me, so I would appreciate some enlightenment as to what you wish to tell me about. And I apologize for insulting St. Thomas. I’m horrible at reciting what I learned about him, which I can admit is negligible. Sorry for getting on the wrong foot, insulting you and your beliefs without merit, insulting a beloved religious figure, and making lots of typos and an ass of my self.

                    • John200

                      Apology accepted. Don’t worry about that, and don’t worry about disrespect, even if you deserve it (that’s a joke, Tyler, it’s OK to laugh, I don’t mean it as an attack).

                      On to a few specifics:

                      1. Very few have read St. Thomas thoroughly. I would be surprised if you knew him in depth, given that you are still taking college courses. I presume you are an undergrad or maybe a precocious high schooler taking advanced college credit. Either way, you are not in position to master Thomism unless the school is giving you about, say, 24 credits for doing so. For what it’s worth, my thought is steeped in the Summa, with the benefit of expert commentary to guide me, but I still feel like I might have missed something.

                      2. Same with the catechism; you probably will not read it while you are in college. You’re just too *&^#@! busy.

                      3. That’s why I proposed RCIA as the quickest way to know the faith you criticize. They can do it better than I can do it in a combox. Then you can make intelligent conclusions about it.

                      4. Over the last 2000+ years, many have criticized Catholicism, then somehow come to the point where they — they decide that the faith is true and that it has all the answers.

                      5. A medicine that is strong enough to cure your ills can poison you; it HAS to be strong to cause the change that fixes you up. The difference between therapeutic dose and a killing dose is just the amount you take. People commit suicide with sleeping pills, tranquilizers, etc. A person could kill himself with aspirin. If you stay within the recommended dosage level, you will not die. I guarantee you this medicine is no poison.

                      No harm done here, I think. Best to you and yours.

                      • John200

                        I hate to reply to myself, but I thought you might get something out of a famous and forgotten (yes, Chesterton is both) convert’s reasons for being a Catholic.

                        http://catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0075.html

                        It is short enough so you can read it even though it is not from one of your courses.

            • Bob

              Oh yes….I can prove to you there is a soul. But right away Tyler I pick up on your unreasonableness and it would be a waste of time with you. If you were truly interested in finding out, you know you could outside of this website. But I believe you’re here to just (ignorantly) attack the Church, so once again you are a waste of time.

              • Tyler

                Out of curiosity, would you be willing to share some of the theories, philosophies, data, or what you may have to infer or prove the existence of the soul? Believe it or not, I am religious (only to the extent that I’m not single-minded), and do in fact have a pretty open mind. If you genuinely want to help me in learning about Catholic theology, I sure would appreciated it.

          • Tyler

            This is purely a societal issue, and a big one at that. Dragging anyone’s religion into this is pure opinionated bigotry, and it certainly doesn’t help your cause. Hate to break it to you, but atheism is the fastest growing religious philosophy in America. Combined with modern science, freethought, and common sense, it won’t be long before YOU’RE the minority, and you will have to defend your beliefs from athiests

            • Tyler

              woops, spelled atheists wrong in the last sentence.

            • John200

              We have spent 2000+ years defending Catholic belief from atheists. The atheists lost, but then a new generation comes along every 20 years. A few in each generation take in the stench of atheism and pretend it is perfume (insert 100s of pages of explanation here). My current purpose is modest; I’ll just give you the conclusion that will do you the most good:

              Thomas Aquinas destroyed every substantive atheistic argument 750 years ago.

              Best to you and yours.

              • Tyler

                Defending the Catholic faith from who? Or did you forget your childhood history lessons, that the Catholic Church was the most powerful organization in Europe during the Dark Ages. By the Way, the reason the atheists lost the first time around, was because your Church killed them! Thanks for that. I study theology and religion, as well as contemporary philosophy, and nearly all of the sciences. You know nothing about my background, yet you wrongly assume I’m bringing all of this up ignorantly. Also, I didn’t say there was no soul, I simply asked for your evidence to cite one, seeing as your using the idea of a soul and eternal damnation (presumably) to justify your point on morality and homosexuality. I apologize if I’m insulting anyone here, truly. I don’t like starting conflicts, I simply want to understand why you have these points of view, and to present to you my own and the reasons thereof. I thought Christians were supposed to be “good to there neighbor”, and if you truly think that me or my friend are facing some manner of damnation, I think you’d be trying to educate us, not criticize my viewpoints, and trading argumentative blows. I do not doubt either of us will refuse to change our viewpoints, but the best we can do is try to understand each other. Once again, I apologize for any hostility that I’ve been clearly making towards you, but as you can see, I’m quite the skeptic. As a philosopher, I try to maintain an open mind (that’s what got me interested in religion). But I honestly think you are hurting people by voicing your opinion, it almost seems like your threatening them.

                • John200

                  Tyler,

                  I have no need to prove that the Dark Ages were not what you think they were; no need to react to, “(the) Church killed all (the atheists);” parse “I do not doubt either of us will refuse to change our viewpoints;” and all the rest.

                  You have made 20 of the first 38 comments. I am under orders to correct you twice, no more. I will thus leave you in your darkness, and point to the light one last time.

                  RCIA, Tyler. Do you see?

                  Best to you and yours.

                  • Tyler

                    Whatever you think is right. Thank you, I guess. If your intentions are sincere, I have nothing to argue about.

            • Mark

              “This is purely a societal issue..”

              Why, because you say so? Who the hell are you? Just an ignorant, loud-mouth who boasts of having no soul.

              Too funny.

              • Tyler

                Name-calling again, really? It’s nice to see a Christian so easily stirred to rage. I feel as though you are conveying through your words a strong desire to hit me repeatedly. Seems very *cough* Christ-like of you. I’m voicing my opinion, and I assume you are as well. I’m simply engaging in a scholarly argument, but if you want to stoop to childish methods of getting your point across, so be it. This is getting tiring for me anyways, seeing as reasoning is a laughable word in you opinion. “Boasts of having no soul”, “loud-mouth”, I wasn’t aware I could be loud in a non-audible message, just some examples of your seemingly enraged remarks and their logic. :(

                • Mark

                  “It’s nice to see a Christian so easily stirred to rage.”

                  Oh, confused little Tyler. When you see the phrase “Too funny” in someone’s comment — it means that he / she is amused by you, not filled with “rage”

                  Also, you may want to check out Münchausen syndrome by proxy. While you seem to be hounded by many forms of mental illness, you may at least find that one interesting to research.

                  I will continue to pray for you and those of your ilk. Oh, and by all means, feel free to continue to attempt to insult me — I find it amusing.

                  • Tyler

                    Thank you. :D

                  • Tyler

                    What part of me are you referring to as “little”. It couldn’t possibly be my height or my anatomy, considering I may safely assume you don’t know anything about me personally. On that note, you are the last person to diagnose me with hypothesized syndromes pertaining to my demeanor or behavior, considering your ability to analyze people seems a little over-estimated with your seeming attempt at insulting my height and/or age by referring to me as “little”. I apologize (as sincerely as a message may convey) for all of the belittling things I said to you and the others. If you wish to continue insulting me however, fair enough, but I think you’d only be proving that some of the relative opinions I’ve been making (albeit wrongly) of you correct. Once again, I apologize.

    • John

      Excellent article. You clearly reveal liberalism’s so-called “tolerance”–which is far more coercive than it admits–and a forgotten aspect of the debate that we Catholics feel especially keenly: that holiness requires sexual restraint in nearly everyone. Nice work!

    • Pingback: “Gay Cure” Bans: Free to Choose, but Only One Choice Allowed?

    • SR

      My sister WAS gay. She realized the debased lifestyle and wanted out. I asked her to do a little research while still re configuring herself. She had been attacked as a young girl by a group of guys. Every gay person I have known also had some sexual attack or event in their lives that made the opposite sex very untrustworthy. She asked around. She found of the dozens of friends that she had that all of them, without exception had had such an experience. But we never hear about this side of the coin. Great article. God does not lie and has been consistent on this issues for a long time. I think he should know.

      • Tyler

        I’m sorry to hear about that my friend. I hope your sister will find the right path for her. Men who do this to people are naught but swine and jerks, who deserve to be able to do this to women. I hope for the best, blessings upon you and your sister.

        • Tyler

          I mean don’t deserve to be able to do this to women. Pretty bad typo there.

    • Alejo

      Homosexuality is the crowning jewel of the Sexual Revolution. Slowly it has become a mark of progress to assent to and celebrate men who put their genitals in other men’s rectums. Hollywood is so obsessed with homosexuality that almost every new TV show out there has at least one homosexual character, to the point that in polls people respond that at least 10-25% of Americans are homosexual. There has been an active campaign to completely legitimize homosexuality and rejoice in it almost as it were a superior state of being. The respect and honor once associated with virginity and chastity has in many ways been replaced with respect and honor for those who are “brave” enough to announce that they have sex with members of the same sex. Society has lost its way. I wish no hate on any individual but to think that homosexuality is ok and should be welcomed, encouraged and celebrated, even in minors, is disgusting and a sign of a rotten society.

    • Ryan Kingston

      Yes stick to your guns despite all of the evidence that ex gay therapy is damaging. Despite the fact that the biggest ex gay ministry Exodus International closed its doors and apologized to the LGBT community.

      And NARTH? A little fact you may not know Joseph Nicolosi was fired from a Catholic seminary years ago because of his views. His practice is extremely questionable in light of his claims.