Aggressive Emotivism at Charlotte Catholic HS

In a recent case in North Carolina, a sweet faced and intellectually accomplished nun came to a Catholic high school to address the students about human sexuality. We don’t have the text of sister’s talk, but from the outrage expressed she not only criticized homosexual actions, but was down on divorce and sexual sin.

The mother of one student reported her son’s comments, “We had the worst assembly today, we tried to leave but were made to sit down. There are students in this school who are openly gay and some who are not out yet. Obviously, they felt bullied.” A petition organized by students stated, “We resent the fact that a school wide assembly became a stage to blast the issue of homosexuality after Pope Francis said in an interview this past fall that ‘we can not insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptives methods.’ ” Other students and parents were “outraged” and “in tears.” A meeting between parents and school administrators was held in which the wild emotions over the issue continued.

While high emotion often accompanies hot topics like sex in schools what we are seeing in the current moral debate in America is more than a typical emotional reaction to sex education. Instead of this being an emotional element in a heated debate, the debate seemed to consist of nothing but heated emotions. This is not emotion about morality this is emotion instead of morality, and there is a philosophical term for it: Boo-hurrah morality.

Another term for Boo-hurrah morality is emotivism. Emotivism is a gut level theory of the origin of ethics which suggests that moral judgements are no more than emotional reactions expressed forcibly to change someone else’s attitudes and actions. If you think this is all made up academic hocus pocus you would be correct. It was first proposed by the logical positivist A. J. Ayer in his 1936 book Language, Truth and Logica book which should have been titled, There’s No Such Thing As Language, Truth and Logic. 

Emotivists contend that words which suggest an objective morality like “good,” “bad,” “right,” “wrong,” “should,” “ought” have no basis in reality. They are merely the emotional expressions of the speaker and that he uses these words to bully someone else to do what he wants. It’s called “boo-hurrah” morality because the morality consists of nothing more than one person saying, “Hurrah! to this” or “Boo! to that.” Morality is thus reduced to “It’s right because I said so loudly” or “It’s wrong because I objected loudly.” Emotivism excludes social, historical, cultural, spiritual, and religious considerations from the discussion of morality.

Emotivism is moral judgment as exclamation. Thus if Sister Laurel says, “Divorce is bad” she is only saying “I don’t like divorce.” If the students of Charlotte Catholic say “Fornication is okay,” they mean “I like fornication.”

I am not suggesting that American high school students and their parents are students of A.J. Ayer or that they are consciously aware that their “meta-ethical conclusion is emotivism.” Instead I am observing that emotivism describes the moral morass of our society.

Pope Benedict XVI coined the phrase “the dictatorship of relativism” and the rise of boo-hurrah morality illustrates the tyrannical nature of the current moral climate. Two kinds of emotion alternate in this tyranny. First is the emotion of the passive victim. When something displeases we get the firestorm of emotions: trauma, tears, tantrums, and irrational rage.

This tsunami of emotion disorients anyone who supposes there is a rational or authoritative foundation for morality, and immediately puts them on the defensive. Along with the turbulent emotions is a sense of victimhood. The opposition is put off balance. No one wants to be a meanie. No one wants to be seen to be the aggressor. The emotional blackmail works like a charm. The one who asserted or even so much as suggested an objective moral standard is put in the position of the comforter, the apologizer. He is the bumbling parent confronted with the tantrum throwing child or the befuddled bridegroom confounded and confused by the suddenly weeping wife.

Once the enemy goes to defend the wounded, weeping victim smells blood and is on the attack. The petitions are circulated. The lawyers are contacted. The lawsuits are launched. Apologies are demanded and resignations are forced. The emotivist army marches forth bristling with righteous indignation. They are no longer the wounded victims. They are the rampaging and righteous champions of the underdogs, the mistreated, and the misunderstood. They do not care about the majority vote for they are the brave pioneers who are destined to overturn the oppressive majority. They do not care for the process of law or democracy. Their cause is greater than all that. The surge in their hearts tells them so.

Why has the moral debate in America descended to emotivism? Because where there is no objective truth there can be no intelligent debate. If there is no such thing as right and wrong, then it is pointless trying to have a discussion on what is right and wrong. All that remains is your opinion against my opinion and therefore the one who best uses the tools of emotional blackmail and bullying will prevail.

Nor will their prevalence stop at bullying their foes into silence. What began as emotional blackmail will continue into active use of force. They will move from emotivism to activism. The lawsuits will be followed with other forms of financial, legal, and finally physical force. In the face of emotive violence the government takes over and decides what is legal, and what is legal is not necessarily moral, for any idea of morality has long since disappeared. When the only morality that remains is that which is legal, then those who make the laws determine what can be done or not done. At that point what is legal will inevitably be that which pleases those who make the laws, and when the law is made by those who benefit from the law, the triumph of emotive totalitarianism begins.

Editor’s note: This column first appeared April 18, 2014 in the Imaginative Conservative and is reprinted with permission.

Rev. Dwight Longenecker

By

Rev. Dwight Longenecker is the parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary parish in Greenville, South Carolina. His latest book is The Romance of Religion published by Thomas Nelson. Check out his website and blog at www.dwightlongenecker.com.

  • Objectivetruth

    “There are students in this school who are openly gay and some who are not out yet.”

    ……..at a Catholic High School………

    Hail Mary, full of grace……pray for us sinners, now and at our death.

    • Bill

      Are you saying that gay students be prohibited from attending a Catholic school? If so, I find your position indefensible from a Christian, let along a Catholic Christian, perspective. How can you defend your position to deny an education, particularly a Catholic education, to a child who is suffering because of his sexuality. Furthermore, the presence of gay students in a school does not act like a flu epidemic–“gayness” cannot be spread like a virus or bacteria.

      • Objectivetruth

        Read the article: “Openly gay.” No, a child should not be allowed to be “openly gay” in a Catholic high school, therefore giving tacit approval to the sinful lifestyle. Should then the openly gay youth be allowed to bring his/her same sex date to the Catholic high school’s prom? I don’t think so.

      • Guest

        Thanks for the parody.

      • Objectivetruth

        Maybe you’re not aware, but here from the Catechism is the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality:

        “2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

        • CadaveraVeroInnumero

          Not to appear less than Catholic but the following quote from the CCC is weaselly weak Yesat best: ‘ Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained.’

          Yes, there is need for much discussion regarding the “genesis” of homosexuality, but its etiology is better understood than what we (should say, the experts”0 are willing to admit. (They do behind closed doors, though.) And its genesis holds across “the centuries and in different culture’. That last is also an avoidance tactic on the part of the CCC. “A great variety of forms”??!!! Heck, how many different ways can one do the deed, do the homosexual act?

          I categorize that confusion along with the unfounded notion that if a society does not have a definite word 9with cognates0 for homosexuality than homosexuality is not “issue’ in that society. One hear that argument all the time among the homosexual apologists evangelists).

          Should I apologize for bucking up against the CCC in this instance. When I entered the Church I saw its weaselly wrongness – still do. It’s almost as if the last ring the CCC wanted to box in is the one where the Diagnostic Manual of the APA is crowned the heavyweight.

          • Nesbyth

            You’re keen on the word “weasely”!

        • Bill

          Why do you send me the CCC teaching on homosexuality? It tells me nothing about the genesis of it. Sure, I believe that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered, but that has nothing to do with “being” homosexual. And NO I do not approved of homosexual acts. I find them abhorrent as well as sinful.

      • Objectivetruth

        See the link below for Courage, the Catholic apostolate that reaches out to those with homosexual tendencies. Please pass it on to any high school students that have a homosexual tendency and fighting the good fight trying to follow Christ’s teachings in the Catholic Church. Courage does incredible work and is a blessing to these individuals who have such a tough cross to carry:

        http://couragerc.net/

        • Objectivetruth

          ……….and if Charlotte Catholic High School has openly gay students a blessing and grace would be a young member of Courage to come in and speak to the students. That there is a better way for these students, one that helps them deal with and embrace such a difficult cross from a Catholic perspective. I think that would be a wonderful response to the situation by a Catholic high school.

          • Mary W

            Great suggestion. Here’s an example of that very thing: http://letterstochristopher.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/reflections-on-my-week/

          • Daniel P

            But young members in Courage are encouraged not to be open about their attractions. How likely is it that they will be willing to speak at a high school, if their own friends don’t know they have SSA?

            I like your idea, but I want you to realize how complicated this all is. It would be very hard for them to present a cogent witness to kids with SSA without Courage having a completely different attitude toward openness about sexual orientation/desire.

            • Mary W

              Well not just any young member of Courage, but one who has carefully discerned with the help of good spiritual direction and the leadership of Courage that he or she should be willing to go public with his/her story so as to serve as a witness. If you check out the stuff on the young adult page on Courage, you can hear from a few guys who have been speaking to high school and college students. http://www.couragerc.net/Young_Adults.html

        • Vinnie

          Thank you for not using a “boo-hurrah” reply.

          • Objectivetruth

            The beauty of our faith is when we need answer to faith and moral issues, the Catholic Church always has a better way. Christ loves us, and has not left us orphans. He has provided us with the teachings of His bride, the Church to help us “take up our cross, and follow Me.”

        • Daniel P

          Objectivetruth,

          So far as I know, Courage is pretty much exclusively made up of adults. The Catholic Church has NO organization to reach out to teenagers struggling with same-sex attraction. That is exactly why we are in this crisis.

          • Mary W

            Courage is for adults because it would be doing those teenagers no favors to lock them into a gay identity with adults at such a young age when their sexual attractions are still fluid. Teens with some same-sex attractions don’t need a support group of other teens who are attracted to the same sex. They need good counselors, well-trained compassionate and orthodox clergy, and well-informed parents to help them navigate this incredibly difficult challenge. Nonetheless, Courage’s young adult page might be helpful to a teen. http://www.couragerc.net/Young_Adults.html

            • Objectivetruth

              Thank you. Good suggestion.

            • Daniel P

              But why would a gay teenager want to talk to a counselor or a priest who they anticipate condemning them? Unless we get the message out that they will not be judged, and send that message LOUDLY, these teenagers will either hide or get advice from the gay lobby.

              I speak from knowledge. I experience same-sex attraction myself, and — despite a loving family — I never told ANYONE about it until I was 22.

              • Mary W

                Very good question Daniel. I’d love to hear from you what you think would have served you well. Input from people like you is CRITICAL!

                Can you tell me what you mean by “not be judged” and “condemning”? Do you mean simply that they would tell you that homosexual behavior is wrong, or are you talking more about a tone and attitude?

                Would this have been good enough for you if you had heard all of this from a priest BEFORE you had even approached him, say if he gave a homily in which he spoke in general terms to anyone in the congregation who might have these attractions to the same sex?

                1) You are loved and respected no matter what, you will be treated with gentleness and kindness no matter what, and you will be welcome no matter what. (Well, perhaps flagrant homosexual behavior would not be welcome, but YOU would always be! )

                2) I know you didn’t choose to feel that way. Your attractions in and of themselves are not sinful.

                3) If you have acted on your attractions, God’s mercy is there for you in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, just like the that of the Father in the story of the Prodigal son. In fact most graced way of encountering the love of God is in the tender touch of his mercy on our sin.

                4) We are ALL sinners, so even if you have acted on your attractions, I don’t see your sin as somehow so much worse than what my sin. We are in this quest for virtue and holiness together.

                5) Your primary identity is that you are a beloved son of the Father and that you are a man, not that you are a gay. Make time for Him in prayer so that you can hear Him telling you that.

                6) After all that you would also be told with gentleness and reason that God, out of His boundless love for you, does not want you to act on your attractions because that is not what He made your body for.

                Have you heard Fr. Mike Schmitz talk about homosexuality in the context of The Theology of the Body? Here’s his talk on video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvYv6UUt9aE . If you knew that a priest would be that gentle with you (while uncompromising on moral teaching), would that have been good enough?

                I think it could be immensely helpful to all of us if you could tell us what you think could have made a priest and others trustworthy and approachable for you so you wouldn’t have had to carry that lonely secret for so long?

                • Daniel P

                  Hi Mary!

                  Obviously, sin likes to hide, so we’re working against inertia here. At least in my case, there wasn’t really any time when I felt an attraction but didn’t act on it in some way. Those sins were, in some sense, not a huge deal — looking at underwear models in magazines, e.g. — but I felt like the most evil person in the world. It would be hard to overstate my shame. Some people on this thread have suggested that kids nowadays don’t feel guilt about this, but I highly doubt it. The guilt is intrinsic to the acts; it is not merely imposed by a disapproving culture.

                  But no one talked to me about what to do with shame. I went to a Catholic school and had a loving family, but I didn’t feel safe to talk about it. (I think I would have in high school, but by that time I was acting out in another way that buried me under more shame, because I was sexually active with a girlfriend.) Probably the biggest thing that held me back, honestly, was my family’s reaction to the priest scandal. These priests were dealt with as utter abominations, completely evil people, and yet (when I was 14) I wanted to do exactly what they were doing: I was curious about sex with other boys. I didn’t see the distinction in age between me and the priests, and I didn’t see the power dynamics. I only knew that “gay priests” were the source of all evil, and I was terrified that I was a “gay man” too.

                  So obviously, if my family had demonized these priests less, explained the nature of their wrongs more, and expressed that there is hope for gay people, I would have been more likely to open up.

                  As for the Church, despite growing up in Catholic schools, I never even considered talking to anyone in the Church about this. With the exception of confession — I didn’t confess my issues with homosexuality until I was older, but I did *think* about it. If there had been a priest who somehow had reached out to me, I think I would have reached back. But nothing like that happened. All the men in the church seemed very distant from me, perhaps precisely because of those stupid scandals.

                  (You see, my dad received a brain injury when I was a kid, so I didn’t have a dad, really. So the fact that it is not almost taboo for a non-paternal male to have a close relationship with a boy worked very much against me. I REALLY needed an older man who cared to listen to me.)

                  At any rate, I am pretty sure that I would have opened up, absolutely, if I had been taught what you wrote above. But we really need to get the message out, and we can’t focus on side issues like whether a boy should call himself “gay”. Kids with SSA who hear that argument immediately feel like political footballs, not like dignified human beings.

                  As for the video, I’ll check it out when I get a chance. Thanks!

                  • TheAbaum

                    — looking at underwear models in magazines,

                    I guarantee you ever male alive over the age of 13 has dwelled on such images, the only difference is generally the object is female.

                    • Daniel P

                      And some of us, like me, have dwelled on both male and female. Which gives me exactly twice as many occasions of sin as everybody else — not that I’m counting!

                    • TheAbaum

                      Yeah, but maybe you lack other inclinations.

                      I once had a priest tell me that he believed that after listening to confessions for a year after ordination, he had heard just about everything, except for murder.

                    • Daniel P

                      Oh, I wasn’t trying to whine. I’m quite aware that other people have temptations I don’t have.

                    • TheAbaum

                      I didn’t think you were trying to whine, just reminding you.

                      Listen, people have “quirks”, and as of yet all you seemed to have done is dwell on male underwear models.

                      I can show you a gym full of guys fawning over the latest issue of Muscle and Fitness (granted this is aspirational, not sexual, or is it?) maybe you are interpreting an interest in the human form as sexual. The mind plays tricks on us, sometimes.

                      Are you familiar with St. John Vianney? He was the Saint (geez I hope I have the right guy) whose bed burned (and I believe still exists, complete with scorch marks) under diabolical attack and he reportedly laughed.

                      By the way, all decent accountants have at least a touch of OCD, so I’m not unfamiliar with neuroses.

              • TheAbaum

                “But why would a gay teenager want to talk to a counselor or a priest who they anticipate condemning them?”

                This is an interesting question. Either it is the sin of presumption or it illustrates that for some reason a homosexually inclined person can’t separate their personhood from this temptation.

                If I went to talk to a priest and said that I had an inclination to rob banks, I would hope for and expect a dope slap to the head. I would want reminders of how it’s a violation of the Decalogue, reminders that I would be threatening the lives and property of others, my own life, limb and liberty and advice to stay away from banks, guns and other occasions of temptation.

                • Bob

                  Agreed……and the priest isn’t condemning the teenager, he’s condemning the sin.

                • Daniel P

                  Let’s think about the advice that people like myself have been getting from pastors, though. It has NOT been that the temptation is normal, and that you should just resist the temptation. It HAS been that they must get healed of the temptation, so that it goes away entirely, and THEN they can be good Christians. When people with SSA go in the confessional, they often aren’t just told to stop sinning. They are told that they are deformities, though not in so many words.

                  I agree with you that the practical advice you mention a priest giving to a bank robber is the type of advice a gay person needs. But the Church has been complicit in identifying the homosexually inclined person with his temptation, and — as this comments thread indicates — good Catholics continue to identify people with SSA with their temptations.

                  So yeah, it’s hard to confess to a person who will identify you with your sin, i.e. identify you as somehow monstrous. And that’s hard even if you (like me, now) genuinely understand the gulf between my identity as a son of God and my sin. But I do see a lot of encouraging signs that people in the Church will stop making this mistake.

                  • TheAbaum

                    It HAS been that they must get healed of the temptation, so that it goes away entirely, and THEN they can be good Christians.

                    Guess what. I bet if you made some paternal or fraternal friendships it would go away, but you’ll have new temptations.

                    “So yeah, it’s hard to confess to a person who will identify you with your sin, i.e. identify you as somehow monstrous.”

                    That’s presumption.

                    • Daniel P

                      Speaking of presumption, you just presumed that I lack paternal and fraternal friendships. I do have a father-figure in my life, and two older brothers I’m close to, and five very close (straight) male friends. Many of these relationships are very long-standing. And no, having these friendships has not magically made me not find the male body sexually attractive. They have made it easier to resist temptation, but that’s a very different thing.

                      To be clear, I’d love this temptation to go away, and I pray for it. But I can be a good man and a good husband and a good father despite the temptation.

                    • Bob

                      You make an important point in stating “They have made it easier to resist temptation.” That, in a nutshell, is all of proclivities towards a certain. The married man that has a tendency towards lusting other women, has to work on resisting that temptation and not acting upon it. I don’t think any of our temptations ever fully go away, but through prayer, grace, discipline and the sacraments we can keep that beast quietly caged. I once asked a priest in confession, when does the temptation for lusting after other women finally ends in ones life, he chuckled and responded “two weeks after your dead!” Satan will probe our weaknesses towards sin constantly, let us put on our armor if Christ and humbly repel these attacks.

                    • TheAbaum

                      Daniel, I’m trying to be sensitive here, but you indicated that your father suffered an injury and that wished that a priest had “reached out to you”. That certainly sounded like an unmet need to me.

                      We all live with things that we want to “go away”. I lived with juvenile epilepsy. You want to feel like an outsider-have a “grand mal” seizure three weeks after entering a new school. It’s still there and every once in a while, there’s an “aura” that reminds me it’s there, even if maturity has laid down enough myelin (I think with a 20 year absence of such an event) to prevent grand mals.

                      Temptation is another matter-I like to work out with weights, and I need a gym, where there’s plenty of young women eager to display their wares, but I go home to my wife.

                      It’s a good thing I have a lazy streak, because among my tools for dealing with temptation is to remind myself just how difficult life would be, if I were like one of the guys who call their wives to tell them they are “working late”.,

                      No man is without temptation.

                    • Daniel P

                      I never said I don’t have unmet needs. I don’t anticipate being healed from losing my dad anytime this side of Heaven. But it’s a commonplace in Christian circles that a person with SSA would be healed if he just had such-and-such friendships, as if one could magically wake up one morning and be attracted to completely different people than the day before. With God, that is possible, but it’s clear that God doesn’t seem to work that way. If you look at ex-gays, VERY few of them say that they no longer experience SSA.

                      And this is another way of suggesting that, whereas heterosexuals can be tempted and not sin, homosexuals just need to do X and Y and be rid of the temptation. Which seems to suggest that homosexuals are incapable of being tempted without sinning — which is unscriptural.

                      It’s clear to me that YOU aren’t making that suggestion, though, by the way. But anyway, I don’t expect my male friendships to make my SSA go away, though I’d welcome it if they did!

                    • TheAbaum

                      We all have unmet needs, don’t take it as an insult. You won’t be magically healed, anymore than time ends grief over the loss of a loved one.

                      I didn’t say the attraction would go away, but the temptation (to act on it) will go away. I used to be a bit of a spendthrift, and I still am attracted to spending money foolishly, but after I was married, something deeper was met and I now check a brokerage statement at the end of the month, not a credit card statement.

                    • Daniel P

                      Makes sense.

              • Conniption Fitz

                The presumed goal is not condemnation, but help to escape an unhealthy, unholy, dangerous, deadly lifestyle.

                One’s feelings and conditioned responses need not be obeyed, and in this case, the preponderance of evidence in science, CDC and police statistics and Scripture show that it would be safer to learn new feelings through learning new habits of thought, new responses to feelings and positive changes of heart and mind.

          • Objectivetruth

            OK…..

      • I think, like those of us who still understand that homosexuality is a mental disorder and have not abandoned reason in favor of mere emotivism, a child encouraged to be gay is a child abused.

      • TheAbaum

        Should the doors also let in jihadis and skinheads?

        • Bill

          Jihadis and skinheads are not equal to homosexuality. It is a false equivalency. Although many young people have problems with their developing sexuality, homosexuality, from what I have read, is a trait that “is” and not acquired as is the philosophies of the jihadis and skinheads, which are both based on hatred.

          • Art Deco

            from what I have read, is a trait that “is” and not acquired

            From our gloriously impartial press corps, no doubt.

            • Bill

              In all the literature on this subject, there has been no definitive answer. Now having said that, the consensus seems to be part of “is” and part “acquired”, with the emphasis on “is”. Now to refer to the “impartial press corps” as the source of homosexual trait as “is” is certainly unfair because you are certainly implying that the press has an agenda in spreading the homosexual agenda, which is a bias statement without foundation.

      • RufusChoate

        I never understood the “suffering” because of Homosexuality claim. Most Homosexuals I have encountered have always insist on being very aggressive and in your face about the excess of pleasure they get from their innumerable sexual contacts and while I having only a Heterosexual view point I have trouble understanding the concept of people have hundreds of “painful” sexual contacts that cause them to suffer but will still insist they are “born that way”.
        Yes, open and active Homosexuals should be restricted from attending Catholic schools in the same manner that Children with criminal, violent, disciplinary problems or immoral proclivities are restricted from Catholic Schools.

        • Art Deco

          Yes, the Janus face of it all reminds one of the celebrity culture: pity me and admire me at the same time. Business for the mental health trade as well, who enhance their book to define the normal (that to admire) and get traffic on their couch (jaw-jaw). Win-win.

        • Daniel P

          Perhaps they are so aggressive because they are motivated by pain and guilt? That’s why most aggressive people are aggressive.

          Also, I assume that you’re forbidding fornicating teenagers from Catholic schools, too? Just making sure.

          • Mary W

            Good challenge, Daniel. The distinction between temptation and action arises again. Also we need to look at the distinction between considering the temptation to be a problem vs. thinking it to be a good desire.

            No, a teen with an inclination to fornicate should not be denied admittance to the school. (That would eliminate most of the student body!) However if a the student was regularly and unrepently fornicating and flouting that fact at the school, I’d say disciplinary action would be needed. Or even if the student just wanted to identify himself with a name that also implied that he fornicates (or even suggests plans to do so one day) and that fornication is a good and healthy thing, then there would be a problem. No student who was tempted to fornicate, but saw fornication as sinful, would want to identify with such a label.

          • RufusChoate

            Sure that it is and the 2.2 Billion spent cleaning up after primarily Homosexual misconduct (90%) in the Priesthood is just our down payment on the pain of Homosexuality.

            I have no problem with punishing fornicating normal teenagers but from a perspective of fiduciary stewardship homosexuals should be purged from all Catholic Institutions as a defensive measure.

            • Mary W

              Rufus, surely you don’t mean admittance should be denied to a young person who finds himself with unwanted attractions to the same sex, but who wants to remain chaste? The distinction must be made between 1) a person with unwanted attractions and 2) the person who identifies him/herself by those attractions and the accompanying belief that these attractions are a good thing (and the implied intent to act on them at some point) rather than a temptation to be resisted.

              • Daniel P

                Even in this second case, Mary, we have to understand that different people mean different things by “gay”. Some men and women call themselves gay, despite being celibate, because they have talked to advisers in the Church (often very conservative Catholics) who recommend they use the term “gay”, for various reasons — including the practical reason that it saves them all sorts of intrusive questions about relationships with the opposite sex. I myself don’t like the term “gay” for the sorts of reasons you mention, but I don’t think calling oneself “gay” is a serious sin, much less grounds for expulsion.

                Also, kids are being brainwashed by the media. It won’t do for them to discover the media’s term for them (“gay”) and then for their parents and teachers to freak out when they use that term. Adults need to act like adults, and talk these things through with children. Any knee-jerk reaction is unhelpful.

                • Mary W

                  Thanks again for your valuable insights, Daniel. How do you propose a school proceed then? I’d really like to hear your recommendations as one who could have been in that position yourself. I would agree that the simple identification of oneself as “gay” should not be grounds for expulsion, because not everyone means by the word “gay” that they intend to act on their feelings, but how, then, should the line be drawn? We don’t want students suggesting that homosexual activity is equivalent to the marital act between a man and husband and a wife or even suggesting that an erotic attraction to the same-sex without sexual activity is a desirable thing. An embrace of the label “gay” implies that unless the person explicitly states his commitment to chastity. I would argue that such students be encouraged to describe themselves and understand their identity in a different terms, and consider that it is not necessary to announce this weakness of theirs to the whole school, any more than it is necessary for me to announce my specific temptations. Your thoughts on what a school could do would be most appreciated!

                  • Daniel P

                    Well, it’s not quite true that I’ve been in the same position. When I was in school, being gay was socially taboo, and I wouldn’t have ever considered “coming out” — though I did, at some level at least, think of myself as gay.

                    I think that, as soon as a child calls him or herself gay, a teacher or an administrator should meet with that child and his parents, and explain that the school considers homosexual conduct intrinsically wrong. This should not be said as a judgment, but simply a statement of the school’s opinion. The the teacher should say that the school’s policy toward sexual relationships — whatever that is — will apply to this child in just the same way it would apply to any other child. Boys will not be allowed to publicly kiss boys, but they aren’t allowed to publicly kiss girls either. The child should be told that talk of his sexuality should be, in general, confined to appropriate situations: thoughtful conversations between friends, one-on-one discussions with teachers, etc. Speaking about being gay cannot be used as an excuse to grandstand or undermine the school.

                    I taught in a high school for a number of years, and my students would have respected me saying that. I would also offer to get them in touch with people who live chaste lives with SSA — well, in my case, I would just pull the child aside and tell him my own story.

                    But I wouldn’t expel a student for doing anything unless that thing was clearly forbidden to straight students too. We have enough work to do in the culture wars, without giving our enemies ammunition.

                • Bill

                  Contrary to your differentiation between “gay” and homosexual, it is well understood that “gay” means one who is an active homosexual, whereas one who is termed homosexual simply means one who is attracted to those of the same gender.

            • Daniel P

              So now we’re purging homosexuals from our seminaries and from our primary and secondary schools, if we take your advice. Shall we purge them from our families, too. If little Sally says she likes girls, should we toss her on the street? If 15-year-old Jim makes a single mistake with another 15-year-old boy, should we make an example of him by dropping him off at a gay bar and taking away his key?

        • Asmondius

          I seem to have been born to hit my thumb each time I use a hammer.

      • Art Deco

        How can you defend your position to deny an education, particularly a
        Catholic education, to a child who is suffering because of his
        sexuality.

        Because making a public point of your sexual proclivities is a histrionic act of rebellion. The school administration is within its rights to tell you to take your tuchus and your exhibitionism somewhere else.

      • Guest

        The gay lobby is always passing off this lie that normal people think “gayness” can be caught. It is a lie intended to make others appear foolish and ignorant. It is a lie. That is not what normal people think.

        What people do not want is vice sitting next to virtue and claiming vice is virtue or normal.

        The poor child who is indoctrinated into “gay” ideology is not more free. He or she is less free and it is a form of abuse. Spreading that ideology is not only unCatholic it is terribly unreasonable and harsh.

        In many ways we have lost our minds and our hearts.

        • Bill

          I have no idea how your response is related to my post.

      • CadaveraVeroInnumero

        [Bracketing off the truthful element that homosexuality is an objective suffering, regardless of its emotive acceptance – egads, what an ugly way of putting things], very few, if any students these days ‘suffers” from being “gay”. Homosexuality is widely accepted; it is celebrated, those “who have it” are awarded a place of honor.

        All this honored accpetance, on the part of parents and schools, of a 14 year-old’s homosexuality implies that he is engaged in homosexual acts – with his peers or other. They know this but refuse to visualize what the kid is doing. They deal with the issue on the level of fantasy: of the worst kind, deceit. They have convinced themselves that all that is at issue here is something called “idenity; that it is not really about sex, but something called ‘queerism”. Don’t believe me, go ask the guys an gals over at the “Spiritual Friendship” site.

        This issue of homosexuality (it’s corrupting emotive rationalization) is tearing our society apart. 14 year olds, supposedly “suffering” from under the threat of having their ‘gayness’ demeaned and removed, have become both the heroes and the cannon fodder in this war of the century.

        Any parent or school administrator who marches under the banner “All For Anal Intercourse” will not be waving that flag at the Judgement Seat of Christ.

        • Tony

          This is exactly right. If your fourteen year old kid declares that he is “gay,” it means that he has already been engaging in fellatio and anal intercourse, or that he plans to do so directly. He is, in other words, deeply disturbed. He needs help — and he needs to be gotten away from the bad influences (including internet porn, almost universal now among our young people).

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Evil people like you speaking evil of others…. why haven’t you been raptured, again?

            • Tony

              I am saying that the child is disturbed and needs help. Why is that evil? Are you the father of a son? Tell me to my face, if you are, that you would be happy with somebody telling the boy, when he is fourteen and maybe lonely and confused and filled with crazy sexual feelings that he doesn’t understand, that he is “gay,” and that if some other kid asks him for you-know-what, he should oblige him. NO NORMAL FATHER would want that. I am trying to protect boys from the next stage of the massive confusion we have visited upon them — all to put a pretty face on the sexual sins of adults.

              • Nesbyth

                So well said and explained Tony. I suspect this is exactly how it happens.

              • Giauz Ragnarock

                Unless you do have some ill intent, i do not see the good of accusing a child who admits their sexuality is not going as expected of already having had sexual relationships, whether to the child’s face or not (as an example of the same being applied to straight people, my maternal grandmother, an extremely paranoid and abusive person, bullied her husband out of his deacon-ship and going to church ever again by constantly accusing him of having sex with the other deacons. The marriage was over as soon as my mom and uncle were of legal age to stay with he by choice, and the mother remains undiagnosed to my knowledge).

                Also, you are making a lot of assumptions of the worst kind about gay people when you don’t do the same for any boy or girl who admits they are crushing on another child or a teacher of the opposite sex. you effectively make gay people your N-word, to which you can ascribe all kinds of intrinsic horrible behaviors that “all of ’em are just wired to do!”

                If you believe the things you said would be okay to say to absolutely any other individual SPECIFIC person you do not know, I guess it’s not evil and would not be evil to make the same assumptions about you.

                • CadaveraVeroInnumero

                  He was not isolating “gay” youngsters out for exclusion. The issue on the table is disordered nature of homosexuality itself, which adds a special burden to sexual sin.

                  • Giauz Ragnarock

                    Actually read the assumptions Tony makes about how ALL children stating their experience of homosexuality MUST act. Then read the Christian Identity stand-in, Nesbyth’s, comment agreeing with Tony below. Their statements are FEAR.

                    • CadaveraVeroInnumero

                      As with you, do not know their actual experience south early teens dealing with homosexuality. Yet knowing the propaganda nature of gay affirmation in public schools (let alone the cultural at large) the chances of their acting is pretty certain. Once a vulnerable teen announces his probable homosexuality it is open season. He is encouraged to be truly, truly gay. And both of know that know that there are wolves out there licking their gums anxious to mentor him in all things gay. That the schools bullhorn all this makes the kid even more vulnerable. What is a parent to do?

                      One’s struggle with homosexuality, in most instances, is a lifelong event. I would never deny or diminish that. The duty of all Christians is to befriend the gay struggler – not to force change upon him, but simply do just that, be a friend. But this aggressive rationalization to normalize homosexuality is very destructive and is tearing our nation apart. It is the duty of all father’s to stand sentinel for the Naturl Law.

                      For the life me, I do not know what you mean by “Christian Identity”.

                    • Guest

                      That’s What Google is for.

                      I have no idea for the life of me what normalizing homosexuality means. You seem to speak of some erotic dream you have. I’m not living with dreams anymore. For about two years now I have obsessed over the issue of gay rights (no idea why I obsess, but I have over the course of my life obsessed over many subjects). I have and continue to look at every angle of the issue. The anti-gay rights side comes out the filthiest: slander, libel, crime, hypocrisy, violence, coercion, fallacy, and insult clothe the beast. The most propaganda I have seen has come from opposition to equality. This issue brought Christianity’s and theism’s credibility into question. I’m an atheist, and i speak with Christians because that is what i have done since I properly became a Christian years ago in high school.

                    • CadaveraVeroInnumero

                      Think of me as a evolutionist, of sorts. “Normalizing homosexuality” is the attempt to take behavior which works against the species and substituting it for, or making it equal to, behavior which allows the species to survive and flourish. Sexual “rights”, so called, are located within that.

                • Asmondius

                  ‘you effectively make gay people your N-word’

                  Well, they make up their own words – homosexuality is certainly not a ‘gay’ state of existence.

                  • Giauz Ragnarock

                    Depends on the person’s company I suppose.

            • Bob

              Be careful calling anyone “evil.” You have made a very grave accusation. There is only one evil one, the “Father of all lies.” I would apologize.

              • Giauz Ragnarock

                I did clarify below, but i cannot apologize for calling out what I saw as character assassination of children Tony has never known.

      • clintoncps

        Dear Bill,

        Thank you for your comment.

        There are no “homosexuals” – such mythological creatures do not exist. There is, however, our fallen nature, our attraction to sin, that damages us all – we were all “born that way”. But in Christ we are reborn, we are new creations, and that means old addictions, masks, fantasies, and labels have to go. Christ’s love is the love that sets us free, it is not a love of excuses and self-lndulgence; it demands that we lay down even our most cherished sins at the Cross. Are we willing to do that?

    • TheAbaum

      “There are students in this school who are openly gay and some who are not out yet.”

      Or more precisely, there are those that have been recruited and those that are still under recruitment.

  • jacobhalo

    Any Catholic who boos Catholic teaching is a heretic. Check the Catechism. I blame the school adm. for, apparently, not teaching Catholic doctrine concerning homosexuality, divorce, etc. If it did no one would had been startled. Again, I blame Vatican II for much of the church’s problem today. The Vatican II clerics have become mush-mouths when it comes to some of the teachings. One of the only things I hear from the Post-Vatican popes has been “mercy”. What happened to “justice”?

    • fredx2

      You’re confusing the “Spirit of Vatican II” priests with “Vatican II” priests. We have only just started to get “Vatican II” priests in the last ten years or so. They are very good.

      • Vinnie

        Our church presented Father Trigilio’s EWTN presentation on the documents of Vatican II. It was pastoral and didn’t change any doctrine. Finally, as you mention, priests are understanding what Catholic is.

        http://www.ewtnreligiouscatalogue.com/Home+Page/MULTIMEDIA/EWTN+HOME+VIDEO/All/COUNCIL+FAITH+DOCUMENTS+OF+VATICAN+II.axd

        • TheAbaum

          I first became aware of Father Trigilio from when he was the young guy on “Web of Faith”. with an older Priest, who I believe was from Erie.

          He has always seemed orthodox, thoughtful and pastoral.

      • TheAbaum

        There’ll always been heretics, but it’ll be good when the “spirit” frauds are sent to the nursing home to make dreamcatchers.

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      Too often, topics like contraception and homosexuality are discussed in isolation, rather than in the context of our Christian calling and our living relationship with our Risen Lord, through the indwelling of His Spirit.

      How often are students reminded that we are to renounce the world, and differ in every temper and way of life, from the spirit and the way of the world: to renounce all its goods, to fear none of its evils, to reject its joys, and have no value for its happiness: to be as new-born babes, that are born into a new state of things: to live as pilgrims in spiritual watching, in holy fear, and heavenly aspiring after another life: to take up our daily cross, to deny ourselves? Yet this teaching is found on nearly every page of the New Testament.

      How often are students taught that “It is necessary for the soul to be in fear and distrust of self; … It should make its pleasure and joy depend on sacrificing to Jesus all joy and pleasure which it may have apart from Himself. And when taking part in those things in which by Providence it is obliged to be occupied, such as eating, drinking, and conversation with creatures, it must be sparing in all, must discard what is superfluous, and must renounce, in the use of them, the joy and pleasure to be found therein, uniting and giving itself to Jesus as often as it feels itself tempted to enjoy something apart from Him and not Himself” (The Christian Day – Jean-Jacques Olier)

      To students thoroughly grounded in this way, particular moral injunctions fall into place naturally.

    • Bill

      You blame the school administration for not teaching Catholic doctrine concerning homosexuality, etc. I was a CCD 7th grade teacher for 15 years. Part of my curricula was a program titled “The Catholic Vision of Love”. All aspects of Catholic moral teaching was covered. What stunned me once was when a 12 or 13 young man, who came from a devout Catholic family stated; What is wrong with homosexuality–everybody needs to be loved. I never expected this from him. Part of the problem with teaching our young people about our moral doctrine is that they become influenced by the culture in which they live. It stands with us to try to get them to understand that being Catholic means we are counter-culture for the most part.

  • Salvelinus

    The Church has been so feminized, caring only about emotions and mercy (without justice) for as long as I’ve been on the earth.
    I bet, after reading encyclicals of previous popes, we need another “hammer of heretics” to turn the tide.
    Although with Francis now normalizing disident priests in Ireland now, we in for even worse emotional gobblygook.
    Saint Pius X, ora pro nobis!

    • TheAbaum

      Right. Helping to remove the hammer and sickle from Eastern Europe without firing a single shot was the work of a girlie man, right Hanz un’ Franz?

  • John O’Neill

    Concerning the morality taught in the magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church there are certainly non negotiable issues and they should not be negotiated period. The problem is that American Catholics have been totally Americanized into the heresy of americanisim which was condemned by Pope Leo XIII. Fortunately there are orthodox catholic institutions still extant in this country and they are growing by leaps and bounds and I include the Pius X congregations and Eastern communities. The American Catholics should drop all pretenses and proclaim their allegiance to the Episcopalian Church which they secretly want to do anyway. Let the Americanized catholics become the protestants that they want to be.

    • FernieV

      or rather, let us pray that they come out, with the help of the teaching and ministry of holy and faithful priests, religious and lay people, of the practical errors they have fallen into. We all have the duty to evangelize, and the first to benefit from it are our fellow Catholic faithful.

  • Guest

    Thank you for a wonderful and cogent essay, Father. WE no longer think critically or deeply about the central issues of our times. We are a shallow culture that reasons by emotion and relativism.

    I am sure your piece here will be met with cries of lack of charity and such.

  • FernieV

    There is a great ignorance among the faithful of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. How much good derives from reading and meditating on it regularly.

  • Louise

    This is why my kids go to public school. We are fortunate enough to have good ones. At least when I object to content at school I can explain to my kids why we disagree with an issue, and back it up with the reasoning of the Catholic Church. I cannot imagine trying to explain to them why a school representing their faith is flat out wrong.

    • lifeknight

      You are correct in your thinking. It is the “devil we know.”
      We are in the home-stretch of the vocation to homeschool, but without that ability (financial or otherwise), it is better to send them where no religion is imparted. However, then you deal with the likes of Planned Parenthood or school “counselors” handing out condoms like lollypops.

      • Dave

        The only options as I see them are (in order of preference):
        1a) Homeschooling
        1b) A GOOD Catholic school, where imparting the faith is at the heart of the mission

        2) Public school and pray constantly. It’s an absolutely terrible option, but it’s better than a pseudo-Catholic school.

        • But what happens when you put them in a good Catholic school, and then find out that the other students (and, more to the point, their parents) will rebel against any Catholic teaching that doesn’t fit their views or agenda?

          Prior to this, I had heard that Charlotte Catholic was a good still, and it seems to be still, but how do you deal with outbursts like this from adults who should know better? I say should, because apparently one problem is the number of parents who aren’t Catholic but just see it as a discount private school for their children.

          • Aliquantillus

            The harm that is done at Charlotte cannot be made undone, but I never have understood why parents are not screened when they apply for their kids at a Catholic school. Why not simply ask them a few questions: (1) Are you Catholic? (2) Do you subscribe to the all the doctrinal and moral teachings of the Church? And then let them sign a statement that they indeed do subscribe to these teachings.

            In serious Catholic institutions it is almost always silently presumed that you accept the teachings of the Church. This is a non-starter in our age and time. It is a receipt for problems. Evangelical Protestants, with all their quarrels and conflicts, often know better. When someone applies they ask him straight on: Do you believe in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour and are you prepared to witness for him and follow his teachings? This explicit manner may not be Catholic, but it works! So why not let Catholic parents sign a document of adherence to the Church’s teachings?

            • Art Deco

              You’re assuming the bishop views the high school as an actual Catholic apostolate rather than a business that must go on and on if only to meet its fixed costs.

              • Aliquantillus

                There’s no purpose for a Catholic institution to remain in existence if its only way to do so is by compromising or de facto denying the very principles of its Catholicism. In that case, let them close down or cease to be Catholic. The means are there to serve the end, not the other way round.

            • Bill

              Your wrote as a condition for children to be admitted to a Catholic school; “Do you subscribe to all the doctrinal and moral teachings of the Church? And then let them sign a statement that they indeed do subscribe to these teachings.” I am afraid that most schools would need to be closed for lack of students.

          • Dave

            Good point…I guess by a GOOD Catholic school, I should have included “with a good student body”

          • slainte

            The Bishop is ultimately responsible for a Catholic school’s failure to properly teach the faith.
            .
            The Bishop of Charlotte must be spending a lot of time these days discerning how best to respond to dissenting parents. These protestors and their children have tasted victory and they will, no doubt, find other Catholic teachings worthy of protest and reform.

        • Bill

          “Public school and pray constantly. It’s an absolutely terrible option, but it’s better than a pseudo-Catholic school.” Say what??????
          Even in a so-called pseudo-Catholic school, children do receive some grounding in Catholic philosophy and morals, which they do not in public schools.

    • Bill

      Wrong about?

  • lifeknight

    Thank you for the logical and reasoned article. I am going to make my high schoolers read it.
    As to Church teaching, we have the Catechism and the comment on homosexuality–sited by many here.
    However, the debacle at the school in Charlotte bespeaks what is true nationwide. Many non-Catholics attend these schools (some paying double tuition) in order to enhance their academics……They have no religious alignment with Catholicism and many are anti-Catholic. Shamefully, offending anyone with real truth is a threat to the coffers of these schools.
    Also, unless the Charlotte Diocese is unique, teachers do not sign an oath to uphold the Magisterial teachings. Consequently, during these very formative years, students may have their minds and souls polluted by dissenters.

    • TheAbaum

      “Shamefully, offending anyone with real truth is a threat to the coffers of these schools. ”

      Also known as thirty pieces of silver.

  • texasknight

    I seriously doubt that Sister Laurel said, “Divorce is bad” and left it at that. She was there to teach and the audience rejected her along with Jesus.

  • cestusdei

    I am reminded of the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail when they cried out about a presumed witch “burn her!” Now it is the “modern” culture that is showing such unthinking mob behavior.

  • JoeThePimpernel

    A large percentage of Catholic high school students are non-Catholic refugees from the government-school gulags, so it’s not surprising that they don’t accept Catholic dogma.

    Solution… send them back to the government-school gulags.

    • ForChristAlone

      Especially since the mission of Catholic schools should be (and is not) to prepare all students to evangelize the culture. One presumes that a well- educated person might be better disposed to evangelize. When we fail to get the mission of Catholic schools straight, we will just be operating very expensive private schools and that’s about all. Where’s the outcome studies that demonstrate that our Catholic schools are producing better evangelizers? Whether Catholic schools get their graduates into top tier colleges is pretty much irrelevant if they are poorly catechized and not prepared to evangelize. The system, with only a few exceptions, is a gigantic failure in my eyes.

    • bonaventure

      Alternatively, do not accept any Catholic or non-Catholic who would refuse to sign a declaration that they oppose — and will oppose — abortion, homosexuality, etc. This should apply to their parents as well. And at the first violation, expel them without appeal.

      Some non-Catholics (ex.: Orthodox or conservative Protestants) are actually more faithful to the true teaching of the Church on this issue than some so-called Catholics.

  • Kimo

    Until we recognize that humans are utterly depraved and cannot find salvation apart from Jesus, this will be the case. The fact is that the Catholic Church, like most of the Protestant churches, is now full of non-Christians thinking they are Christians. The Bible speaks clearly to so many of these issues. If we had been teaching the Scriptures to our children for the past 50 years, we wouldn’t have the moral collapse of the country we are seeing now. But we didn’t do that, and this is what happens.

    I think all followers of Jesus, Catholic and Protestant, need to be preparing for a time of serious persecution. We certainly are already talking about preparing for that in my church. The first step will be people losing their jobs and livelihoods if they don’t sign affirmations that same-sex “marriage” and the homosexual lifestyle are good.

  • Kindspirit

    Obviously many commenting here, have not read the full test of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on homosexual persons (not acts), or the statement of the U S Bishops on gays and lesbians………or, having read it, they have not understood it.

    • Objectivetruth

      Agreed. I posted below on acts, but here is more from the Catechism:
      n.
      2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

      2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

    • Guest

      Some have not read the Vatican document on the pastoral care of homosexual persons. It is a magnificent document.

    • Mary W
  • Daniel P

    I like the article, but some of the comments here are rather disturbing. Commenters, please watch http://vimeo.com/93079367.

    • Guest

      What is disturbing?

      • Daniel P

        A few disturbing things…

        The suggestion that it is outrageous that there are gay kids at a Catholic high school, and that we should not attempt to be sensitive to their feelings.

        The suggestion that identifying as “gay” implies having acted out sexually with someone.

        The suggestion that “making a public point of your sexual proclivities is a histrionic act of rebellion.”

        The idea that the fact that some gay people “aggressive and in your face about the excess of pleasure they get from their innumerable sexual contacts” implies that they don’t suffer because of their orientation and the way Christians relate to them.

        • Art Deco

          None of that is disturbing to anyone who does not approach human relations with a simpering disposition.

          • Daniel P

            Oh gosh, I just realized that I simper! Dear, oh, dear!

            Thank you, good sir — or good miss, I’m not sure which — for pointing out my grave fault. From now on I will only be disturbed by objectively disturbing things, like people who personally attack other posters’ dispositions instead of attacking their ideas.

            Again, I appreciate the corrective.

          • Mary W

            Art Deco, compassion and truth are not incompatible, although sometimes it sure looks that way because we so rarely see them together.

            I would encourage you to put yourself in the shoes of a young person who discovers, much to his horror, that he has these unwanted and devastatingly confusing and shameful attractions. From your parish and your school, who say so very little on it, you somehow get the sense that this is the most evil thing you could be (even if you don’t act on it.) The entire culture is telling it’s it’s fine and you should come out as “gay”.

            What do you need from your church and school?

            Think hard about this. It’s an important question and we have to get it right.

            • Art Deco

              Mary, whenever you state a ‘need’, you have an implicit purpose in mind. You ‘need’ something to accomplish something else. What would that be here. That something is the maintenance of discipline, dignity, productivity, and an appreciation of one’s surroundings. Incongruent with such a project, I will suggest to you (and my father would have suggested to you) is the flogging the notion that you are entitled to much or the notion that you are ‘special’. That means attempting to inculcate a disposition toward one’s world diametrically opposed to the sort of disposition promoted and manifested in contemporary ‘gay’ politics and culture, where brazenness, histrionics, and narcissism are the order of the day.

              Inculcating discipline, dignity, and such requires reminding the young that their feelings are just not that important.

              • Daniel P

                Well, we agree that discipline, dignity, productivity, and appreciation are important, and we agree that the notion that “you are special” is really not very helpful. And we agree that feelings are not all that important.

                But I’m not sure why that means that kids experiencing SSA don’t, first and foremost, deserve to be listened to and loved. That love will enable them to have discipline. Repression, on the other hand, has never been a good way to stay disciplined — the holiest people are also those who are most aware of their own sinful desires.

                So considering that the status quo encourages kids with SSA to stay quiet, and not get help, I think that that status quo needs changing. Do you agree?

                (Please note that I am not recommending they “come out”, only that the Church make it very clear that we WANT to hear about their struggle, and that they can talk to two or three mature adults about it).

                • Art Deco

                  Repression and self denial are the stuff of discipline, buddy. And you do not require ‘love’ to be disciplined, even when love is not confounded with cloying solicitude.

                  • Daniel P

                    Any discipline that does not flow out of love is, in my experience, Pharisaism — i.e. earning one’s salvation. “If you love me, you will keep my commands,” our Lord said. As for repression, I wonder if you really mean what you’re saying. Is it better for an ordinary boy to lie to himself and tell himself that he doesn’t want to see Kate Upton scantily clad? Or is it best if he admits his desire (at least to himself!), but decides that such an action is unhelpful and wrong? In the latter case, he doesn’t repress. Surely you think that he shouldn’t lie to himself about this, no?

                    • Art Deco

                      Any discipline that does not flow out of love is, in my experience, Pharisaism — i.e. earning one’s salvation.

                      I see silly non sequiturs are a habit of yours.

    • John200

      Just a friendly suggestion: explanation of why we should take the detour to watch a 38-minute video is in order.

      • Mary W

        The video is excellent. It features a number of same-sex attracted Catholics, many of whom at one time in their lives had acted on their attractions. They speak of the difficulties and desperate loneliness of finding themselves with these perplexing feelings, of what it was like to live out their understanding of their “gay” identity. They speak of how they found they finally found peace and love and truth in the Church. They also speak of how the Church could do much better.

        In addition, the video also feature five of the nation’s best Catholic speakers on sexuality. (I wonder if these speakers have had the same problems as Sister Jane Dominic and Fr. Rocky when they go to highschools. Someone needs to help develop a wiser strategy for speakers engaging poorly catechized students and their equally poorly-catechized parents who are likely to react emotionally as did the those in these two schools.)

        • slainte

          Has the video been reviewed and approved by the Catholic leadership of the apostolate “Courage”?

          • Mary W

            I don’t believe the video has been officially approved by Courage although it was recommended to me by someone who I know to have the mindset of Courage. I find it a bit curious that Courage is not mentioned in the video as Courage is perhaps the best thing the Church has going for persons with same-sex attraction.

            • slainte

              Thanks for your response. The director or producer thanks Father Paul Check in the closing credits.
              Father Check is the head of the Courage apostolate in Connecticut.

        • Art Deco

          omeone needs to help develop a wiser strategy for speakers engaging
          poorly catechized students and their equally poorly-catechized parents
          who are likely to react emotionally

          Both Sr. Jane and Fr. Rocky have adequate experience speaking to high school audiences. Technique’s not the problem here.

          • Mary W

            I agree, knowing both of them personally and having been present at events at which they’ve spoken, I would say that Sr. Jane and Fr. Rocky are exceptionally qualified speakers, yet even their messages weren’t heard.

            Still we have to ask, is there a way in which the message could have been presented and in which the school could have been better prepared, with no compromise whatsoever, so that there would have been a different outcome? What happened in these two schools was not effective in evangelizing and educating the dissenters and the ill-informed, not was it effective in reinforcing the goodness of the church’s wisdom among those who accept it. I’ll be honest; there is a part of me that would like to say, “If you don’t like the teaching of the Church, then just leave.” But that’s not what the Church does. The Church and Christ Himself seek to win the hearts and minds of the lost.

            So, again, I ask there a strategy that would be more effective? Eg. Meeting with parents and faculty prior to the event. Address the problem of dissenting faculty and parents long before an event like this occurs, not necessarily by kicking them out, but by clearly spelling out expectations and offering effective tools for learning. Anticipate protests and have a preemptive plan to address the likely reactions. Bringing in a speaker with same-sex attractions who is peacefully living in conformity with Church teaching or presenting a video like the new one by Blackstone Media or something of the like.

            • Guest

              Well, is it not a tad disingenuous to pretend attending a Catholic school is like evangelizing pagans? If one consents to send their children to a Catholic school one expects Catholic teaching. Period.

              I see no reason to bend over backwards to the point of twisting ourselves into a pretzel under the vague use of the term of charity.

              We have taken leave of our senses if we think we must Kowtow to rebellion at a Catholic school when nothing was done wrong. It is an Alice in Wonderland world now I guess.

              Must we apologize for the Truth?

      • Daniel P

        Sure. This video addresses the single most significant obstacle that the Church has in evangelizing young people today: the fact that young people don’t understand why the Church is “so hard” on gay people. The video explains that both wholesale acceptance of homosexuality and wholesale rejection of homosexuals is deeply wrong.

        I see that Mary W has given a much better description, so I’ll leave it at that.

        Let me say, however, that I myself experience SSA — (according to one comment below, I must be histrionic for admitting that!) — and I think the video did a really excellent job of explaining my own situation growing up. And it does not compromise on theology. But it does attempt to speak the truth *in love*.

    • Rtort

      A moving video. Anyone who calls themselves Catholic cannot say that the disposition of SSA in a person is sinful, disordered maybe but not sinful…it is the act that is sinful, against chastity but not the person. ALL of us are disordered, sinful and in great need of our saviour.
      Unfortunately in the church the problem has come when people are insisting that to live an active and open homosexual lifestyle is not only not wrong but should be embraced by the church. This has decimated the already decimated Anglican communion and the devil has kept them arguing for over 30 years over it.
      The Catholic church must never accept any sin as good but it must also give more help and support to those struggling with SSA than it already does. I refer to Leanne Payne’s book The Broken Image and all her books that go into this in a very deep way indeed and offers tremendous hope to those who will choose to read and heed it. She says that the ‘healing of the homosexual is the healing of all of us.’ We have to ask ourselves do we agree!
      P.s. A thank you to the few souls who appeared on the video and were so honest.

      • bonaventure

        The whole “SSA”-is-not-a-sin-until-acted-upon is a lie based on a double standard. For while “sufferers” from “SSA” are given lots of compassion, etc., other sexual deviates (whether they simply struggle with the sin or act upon it) are not given the same consideration.

        Consider:

        A “sufferer” from “SSA” comes out = Everyone in the Church pitch themselves at his feet to help him;

        Now imagine that a “sufferer” from chronic adultery (or adulterous thoughts) comes out. Or a “sufferer” from chronic pornography addiction comes out. Or a “sufferer” from pedophilia, etc.

        Homosexuality (even if only in thoughts) is a great evil and sin. As are all the other sexual perversions mentioned above. Hence, the Church will not ordain a homosexual, just as she will not ordain a murderer.

        • Daniel P

          Wow. I mean wow. You’re saying that I, since I have SSA, am sinning, even though I do not act on it. Wow.

          Your comparisons are apt, by the way. There is no sin in being tempted to adultery or porn or pedophilia. There is sin in giving into these temptations.

          However, you might ask, why do some Christians invite gay people to come out as chaste homosexuals, but not invite people to come out as chaste pedophiles? If you think about this question a bit, it will become clear. You see, homosexuality is socially acceptable in this culture, whereas pedophilia is not. When a sin is socially acceptable, you need Christians who will publicly state that they are tempted to this sin, and resist the temptation. That is called being a witness.

          Since pedophilia is — thank God — not socially acceptable, we don’t need publicly chaste pedophiles. I do think, however, that we need publicly chaste former porn users — if you look around the internet, these people are a tremendous source of inspiration for people still battling against porn use.

          • bonaventure

            The very fact that an alleged Christian “comes out” with a (politically loaded) “I have SSA” admission, is already a sin. Such a person crosses the threshold of temptation into finding comfort in the fake martyrdom that identification with the homosexual perversion affords him. Self-identified homosexuals who “come out” and (claim to) resist the temptation are really neck-deep into homosexuality — on top of being chronic and inveterate narcissists.

            • Art Deco

              Wouldn’t go that far, but its definitely exhibitionistic and should not be discouraged.

              • Art Deco

                SHOULD be discouraged.

              • bonaventure

                You mean should be discouraged?

            • Daniel P

              But this isn’t what you said before. You said that having SSA is a sin even if you don’t act on it. Would you like to rescind that statement?

              • bonaventure

                My most recent reply does not contradict the fact that homosexuality is sinful, even if only in thoughts, which is what I wrote originally.

                Now, based on your own admission, your homosexual sin is more than just “in thoughts” since you have allowed your narcissism to take over, and you have “come out,” even if not sinning with homosexual genital acts. Your sin, therefore, is twice as grave = you sin in thoughts (you identify with homosexuality) AND you sin in actions (you have “come out” as a homosexual).

                In fact, I would much rather deal with a hardcore sinner who commits grave sins with homosexual genital acts and admits that his actions are evil and sinful, and is ready to repent from it, than someone who (claims to) remain chaste, yet elevates homosexual thought and feelings (and the homosexual identity overall) to some sort of superior state of spiritual blessing.

                • Daniel P

                  Presumption after presumption! You describe someone, Bonaventure, but not me.

                  (1) You say that I have come out as a homosexual. I have done no such thing. I am married to a woman, and I have five children. We are orthodox Catholics. Probably about 10 people know about the fact that I am attracted to men as well as women.

                  (2) You accuse me of pride and narcissism. On what basis?

                  (3) You say I “identify as homosexual”. I do not. I am not ashamed that I have same-sex attraction, but that is a different thing. I do not think one has a duty to be ashamed of temptations, only sins. I am deeply ashamed of my sins, as we all should be.

                  (4) You say I elevate homosexual thoughts and feelings to some sort of superior state of blessing. When did I say such a thing?

                  • bonaventure

                    (1) My comments & replies are based solely on yours. I have no means of knowing any details about your personal life, but I can make deductions based on your public writings. Remember that a text always takes a life of its own.

                    (2) But if what you write about yourself is true, and you do not want to be misinterpreted, then considering abstaining from writing on forums about homosexuality, where your comments alone reflect on who you are. That is the source of my observation that you are a narcissist, since you seem to have difficulties refraining from sharing about your homosexuality.

                    (3) You should be ashamed that “you have” same-sex attraction — for there is nothing valuable, nor good, nor noble, nor beautiful, nor Biblical, nor Christian, nor Catholic in it. Repentance begins with shame. Anyway, homosexuality is a choice, which makes it all the more shameful, especially when one feeds it, either physically or mentally.

                    (4) My reference about “elevating homosexual thoughts and feelings to some sort of superior state of blessing” is a concluding remark, an overall observation on your insistent defense of homosexuality, your persistent politically correct language (“I have SSA”), etc. In other words, you have created (at least online), an aura and a culture of homosexuality around your person. And you seem to revel in it.

                    Sorry, but that is my perception based on what you write. But if you really are legitimate — if what you tell about your marriage to a woman (etc) is true — then my suggestion would be to drop the forum discussions on homosexuality.

                    Do not yield to the temptation. In fact, you shouldn’t even bothering answering me (however unfair this suggestion may appear). Just go back to you wife and make sure that only 10 people know about your “SSA”… because at this time, you’ve just expanded the number to all the users on this forum. Narcissist much? Ask God, and keep the answer to yourself.

                    • Daniel P

                      There are two reasons I post on this forum: (1) I want to help the Church relate to young people who were in the same situation I was in. (2) I like arguing.

                      The second reason is not very praiseworthy. But neither reason appears, to me, to be narcissistic. And, judging from your previous false deductions that I was an openly gay homosexual, your powers of mind-reading aren’t exactly top-notch.

                      If I had dealt with an eating disorder, I would share my experience on internet forums, to help others who deal with eating disorders. If people in the Church were relating dysfunctionally to people with eating disorders, I would try to convince them to relate to them in a more beneficial way.

                      Also, just on a practical level, I’m not going to go back to being ashamed of my temptations. That shame drove me to sin. When I lost the shame, the sin went away too.

                    • bonaventure

                      People in the Church do not relate to homosexuals “dysfunctionalIy.” Homosexuals, however, relate to others and themselves dyfunctionally.

                      Homosexuals AS homosexuals are needed in the Church only insofar as they repent from the sin of homosexuality, as is expected from all other sinners, rather than come to the Church to force her to re-write her docrtine to “celebrate” the sin, as most homosexuals try to do. Just go to a liberal-leaning parish…

                      Anyway, why are we still having this conversation? I mean, we wouldn’t have had that conversion for so long, had the sin in question been adultery, fornication, masttturbation, pornography addiction, bestiality, necrophilia, pedophilia, etc. None of which are celebrated — or expected to be celebrated in the Church like homosexuality.

                      In fact, most users on this forum would agree that all of the above perversions are grave sins, and they need to be (1) condemned, (2) ashamed of, and (3) repented from. That’s it. That simple.

                      So why the double standard with homosexuality? Why pushing the discussion when all that needs to be said before moving on is, (1) that homosexuality is an abomination no less than the other sins [and sometimes worse], (2) that homosexuals need to be ashamed of their sins, and (3) that they need to repent.

                    • Daniel P

                      You make me laugh. I assure you, I would not invent a family to make a point on a public forum. I understand that it might be hard for you to understand people like me, but I assure you I’m not a liberal Catholic, and I assure you I don’t play the silly game of justifying sins that I’ve often seen in magazines like Commonweal. I agree that homosexual actions are abominations, I agree that those who act in such ways should bring their shame to Christ and repent.

                      My message is roughly the message of the “Third Way” video I posted here. In that video, you see leading Catholic clergy and apologists talking about how the Church has not given a compassionate witness to people with same-sex attraction. The problem isn’t that people in the Church reject the sin — I WANT them to reject the sin!!! The problem is that they reject the person.

                      One way they reject the person is by denying the distinction between temptation and sin — which is exactly what you were doing above. Since we do not control our temptations, such a denial implies that a person like myself is damned, whether or not I ever sin. Not a very comfortable spot, that.

                      (By the way “SSA” is not a synonym for “homosexual”. “SSA” is used almost exclusively by people who would be happy to be rid of their attractions.)

                    • bonaventure

                      The Catechism makes an equivalent between SSA and homosexuality: “Homosexuality refers to relations between men or
                      between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual
                      attraction toward persons of the same sex” (CCC 2357).

                      I am not sure how happy most homosexuals would be to “be rid of their attractions.” After all, your “leading Catholic clergy and apologists” even propose “lots of intimacy” between “SSA” people, or to call one’s “SSA” partner a “beloved”… And YOU say that those very same homosexuals who, according to your “leading apologists,” should remain on “intimate” terms with their “beloved” homosexual partner(s) really want to “get rid” of “SSA”? Did I miss something?

                      (Btw, did you mean that the producers of the little known Third Way 38 minutes film are “leading” Catholic clergy and apologists? You’re kidding, right??? I mean, which one is the leader? Is it the “lots of intimacy” enthusiast sister, or the Justin Bieber haircut “my beloved homosexual partner” guy?)

                    • Daniel P

                      You follow a common script: Lure someone into a conversation by making an astonishingly false claim, and then deflect the issue by including all sorts of comments that have nothing to do with the original claim.

                      Your claim that same-sex attraction is sinful is unsubstantiated and expressly denied by the Church. Have a nice life.

                    • Art Deco

                      Your remarks are non-responsive.

                    • bonaventure

                      I never said that temptations is sinful.

                      I said, I say, and I will forever repeat, that all those who believe and proclaim that there’s an aura of acceptability around homosexuality (such as claiming that there should be “lots of intimacy” and that a homosexual partner could be another homosexual’s “beloved”) are committing a grave sin, since their words flat-out contradict Biblical and Magisterial teaching on the issue.

                      There is nothing redemptive about homosexuality, and to even insinuate otherwise is evil. And that’s where you sin. Not because you’re tempted. But because you fall into the homosexual temptation (and there are different ways of falling into it — and it’s not necessarily genital — as mentioned above).

                    • Daniel P

                      You previously said, ‘The whole “SSA”-is-not-a-sin-until-acted-upon is a lie based on a double standard.’

                      You seem to have changed your mind, which makes a lot of sense. I agree, of course, that people can cite certain goods (close friendship) as an excuse to indulge sinful desires, even if the satisfaction of these desires doesn’t always involve sex. However, that is not reason for a blanket condemnations of close friendships for gay people. It is reason for pastoral guidance, prudence, and continual conversion.

                    • bonaventure

                      Then you need to explain why the Church will not ordain a man who confesses to being attracted to the same sex, which is your “SSA” by definition, even if not acted upon. Because it is so holy and wholesome? I doubt it.

                    • Daniel P

                      (1) The Church will not ordain schizophrenics, and generally doesn’t ordain people with certain disabilities/illnesses. That does not make these conditions sins.

                      (2) When I say “I have a cup of coffee”, I am identifying myself with a cup of coffee?

                      (3) When I say, “I have trouble sleeping”, I am identifying myself with sleeplessness?

                      Perhaps you might want to look up the meaning of the word “have” in the dictionary?

                    • bonaventure

                      (1) The Church also does not ordain criminals who have committed grave SINS.

                      (2) You’re an idiot.

                      (3) Stop watching homosexual porn at night if you have trouble sleeping; it’s not good for your “temptations” and your overall mental health.

                      Perhaps you might want to look up the meaning of the world “moron” in the dictionary? Maybe you will discover yourself for once, and shed the guilt that makes you answer moronic answers to serious questions.

    • bonaventure

      N.B.: This is not a response to Daniel P. This is a criticism of the film he posted.

      Preliminary problems with this film:

      (1) The emotionally-loaded drivel in the first 20 minutes is unnecessary. The producers should have cut it to 5 minutes at the most. Otherwise — and however good the producers’ intention — many people will remember ONLY the first 20 minutes, while the remaining half will be but a blur.

      (2) One of the commentators (the man with a medal on his chest, standing against a mountainous background) used “beloved” in reference to a homosexual’s same-sex partner. At best, that is a highly unorthodox metaphor, considering that in the Bible “beloved” is ONLY an opposite-sex spouse: allegorically, the only beloved is Christ in relation to his Bride, the Church — and the Church, Christ’s Bride, in relation to her beloved Groom.

      (3) The sister proposes “lots of intimacy” with no sex. Intimacy is designed FOR the opposite sex, just as is sexuality. That’s another highly unorthodox proposition that will not withstand the test of time. The current Theology of the Body folks are really threading a thin line on the matter of homosexuality. They seem to be devolving from John Paul’s original Theology of the Body.

      • Daniel P

        Criticisms #1 and #2 make sense to me. The point about intimacy doesn’t, since my Bible seems to speak of significant intimacy — knowing and being known, emotional and even physical closeness — between John and Jesus, for example, or between Ruth and Naomi.

  • Valentin

    In some states unfortunately the majority is wrong and use democracy to fight off the idea of morality.

  • Guest

    The problem already existed before the nun arrived. For some reason, those kids were too emotionally retarded to listen to opinions contrary to their own.

    • Art Deco

      And they evidently come by that emotional retardation quite honestly.

  • Carl

    The author’s use of the expression “hocus pocus ” is a Catholic religious SLUR!
    Hoc est corpus, this is my body, Transubstantiation.
    To shorten the word Homosexual to the first four letters is a slur. To call a prostitute a four or five letter word description is an insult. (Just ask Rush Limbaugh)
    Slurs are used to attempt to remove the dignity of the person. I don’t think the author has intended this, but it just goes to show how our language has been so sullied. Just like our public morals have been as this author clearly demonstrates.

  • bonaventure

    Admission to Catholic Schools should be on condition of the parents’ (and, at some point in High School, the child’s) unconditional support of Church doctrine on abortion, homosexuality, etc. This support should be demonstrated by a signed document.

    And if a parent or a student later reneges on that support, expel them from the school. Period.

  • Lion_IRC

    It’s very dangerous for the (adult) gay lobby to be promulgating the idea that school children can give informed consent in matters of their own supposed homosexuality.

    The under-age school boy who can allegedly declare freely, that he wants and enjoys having consensual sex with another school boy, also presumably, has ability to give consent to a gay adult.

    I find it sickening that the LGBTQI lobby is so vocal and active in respect to what goes on in schools.

    Why are they using children to further their agenda?

    • Art Deco

      Because the youngsters are there. It’s a useful wedge if used correctly, and they are nothing if not deft at ad campaigns.

      The dark core of this is the legitimation of pederasty. They’ll come up with a straw defendant a good deal more winsome than Katelyn Hunt, one who’s graced with a more disciplined and discreet set of parents, in order to break age-of-consent laws.

  • Michael Chavez

    As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of man….

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