Fifteen Minutes for the New Homophiles

It was all but inevitable. The New Homophiles have finally made the big time, the front page of the Washington Post Style Section, above the fold no less.

Eve and Josh sit fetchingly on a couch, Josh’s legs crossed exactly precisely just so, Eve’s bare feet, Josh’s dirty socks, lips pursed, college text books prominently displayed. Out of the shadows come the celibate “gay” Christians, writes Michelle Boorstein, frequent picker of Catholic scabs.

Such a story was all but inevitable because it is such a good story. Here is a group of smart, young-to-youngish Catholics and Protestants announcing their unabashed and unashamed “gayness,” yet announcing also their fidelity to Christian sexual morality. No “gay sex” for them.

Such a proposition was tailor-made for a media that is obsessed with all things “gay.” And after you run out of the first gay this, that, and the other, what’s there to write about? Hey, over there, look, they’re “gay” and Catholic but they still have a gripe with the Church? Perfect.

The old problems crop up almost immediately in the piece, and also in Eve Tushnet’s new book Gay and Catholic, and that is narcissism. Tushnet told Boorstein that when she “came out” at 20 in 1998 she thought she was the only woman with same-sex desire living chastely in the Catholic Church. Tushnet would blanche at the notion of narcissism since she and the New Homophiles eschew anything that smells of Freud. Still, to think you are the one and only something—whatever you want to call it—is something.

Tushnet says everyone she knew back in those days rejected the Church ‘s teaching on “gay” sexuality. But the thing is, so does Tushnet. Sure, however regrettably, she accepts that she cannot do whatever two naked women do but she also believes the Church has “gay” sexuality wrong. After all, that is one of the main planks in the New Homophile platform.

Until recently Josh Gonnerman was a student in Toronto. At 29, Gonnerman is still a student, now at Catholic University of America working on a PhD in theology. Of course.

Gonnerman has been one of the main theorists of the New Homophile movement. He, too, embraces celibacy but theorizes that celibacy was not heard of back when he came out because in the mid-2000s the celibate bishops did not talk about celibacy because, you know, the celibate bishops “had sort of thrown in their lot with the Republican Party.” Perhaps if the celibate bishops had thrown in their lot with the Democrats, they would have known about celibacy.

Gonnerman sums up how he sees the Catholic approach to homosexuality as “Oh, sucks for you.” At least that was the way it was before the New Homophiles arrived on the scene. Now, he says, “Celibacy is being reimagined.” Maybe that’s not narcissism again. Maybe no one in the Church understood celibacy as positive, an embracing of the possibilities for apostolate that celibacy opens up for the celibate. Maybe no priest or bishop or PhD student ever thought of that before.

Besides reimagining celibacy, the New Homophiles also invented friendship. They gather at a blog called Spiritual Friendship, a name taken from the beautiful work of the Trappist Aelred of Rievaulx who at least one of the New Homophiles thinks was also “gay.” It is truly a good thing the same-sex attracted have figured out that love can be expressed in ways other than genitally and that God may have had a hand in calling them to those other ways but, minor point, they didn’t invent friendship. At least I don’t think they did.

Conservative Christians, opponents of the gay agenda, opponents particularly of gay marriage, are so eager not to be considered bigots that the New Homophiles are acceptable to them. What a welcome relief. See, we’re not bigots. We like those celibate “gay” Christians! While dialogue and engagement are good things, Christians still need to take a closer look at New Homophile claims.

Yes, they are celibate. Yes, they accept the teaching of the Church on sexual ethics. They are 95 percent there when it comes to Church teaching but, as I have written before, the last 5 percent is a serious problem on which the New Homophiles need to be engaged.

First, the New Homophiles insist on the “gay” identifier. The danger here is being reduced to this thing they’re not. Father Paul Scalia, chairman of the Catholic apostolate Courage, a group roundly disliked by the New Homophiles, wrote an essay at First Things many years ago in which he pointed out that “coming out” as “gay” has the tendency to set someone in “amber” that is especially difficult to get out of. Plus, we know that with help, something the New Homophiles especially eschew, same-sex attraction can change.

Second, the New Homophiles hold that their same-sex attraction was not only given to them by God but that along with the attraction God gave them uniquely “gay” spiritual gifts. Such language was actually used in the first draft of the document at the Extraordinary Synod in October, language quickly excised.

One of these special gifts is supposedly this ability to form close friendships, though from what I have read of refugees, there are fewer lonelier places on earth than in the “gay” community.

Third, the New Homophiles want Church doctrine to change in order to recognize points one and two. Yes, they want the Church to be gay-positive; more than that though, they want Church doctrine to recognize their “gayness” as gifts from God and through their gayness they’ve been given unique spiritual gifts. The New Homophiles will deny all of this, but it is in their now voluminous writings.

Without a doubt this is an important debate to have, but it is an important debate to actually have. What I mean is the engagement must really happen. What I see now is largely uncritical acceptance. Engage them. They have PhDs. They can take it. I think.

(Photo credit: Ricky Carioti / The Washington Post)

Austin Ruse

By

Austin Ruse is president of C-FAM (Center for Family & Human Rights), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute. He is the author of Fake Science: Exposing the Left’s Skewed Statistics, Fuzzy Facts, and Dodgy Data published by Regnery. He is also the author of the new book Little Suffering Souls: Children Whose Short Lives Point Us to Christ published by Tan Books. The views expressed here are solely his own.

  • jakeslaw

    Points well made, Austin. Clearly the most important is why be so identified. If one has a certain disordered desire and one knows that one should abstain from it, then it is only logical NOT to embrace or identify with a lifestyle or agenda that celebrates that which is wrong. Simply live for Christ in a Christ centered life. Simply identify as Christian or Catholic. As for the discussion of friendship, clearly it has been one of the casualties of the modern homosexual movement. True friendship is based upon a real concern for the best interests of the other. It is not selfish if it is genuine. I would encourage anyone interested in exploring this particular aspect of the question to read Cicero’s treatise, “On Friendship.”

    • Augustus

      Since friendship is relevant to this discussion, I’d like to add to your fine recommendation Michael Pakaluk’s anthology on friendship: “Other Selves: Philosophers on Friendship” (1991). Needless to say, friendship is as old as the hills.

    • fredx2

      But the point is they will reach so many more gays with this new acceptance of church teaching if they say they are gay. If they retreat from the world, go silent, etc then no other gays will know this is going on. So many gays believe that their orientation is fixed, and cannot change, and this has been reinforced by society, that they will believe that living in accord with church teaching is impossible. These people show that living in accord with church teaching is eminently possible, and perhaps a better way of life. Believe me, they are not going to continue to reject the rest of it.

      • GG

        It is not simply saying “we are gay and celibate”. It is the entire ideology bound up with the movement that is troubling and leads to confusion.

        • ForsythiaTheMariner

          What “entire ideology” do you mean exactly?

          • Tom

            My guess is he’s referring to elements such as the downplaying of gender distinctions, and the promotion of same-sex marriage, same-sex parenting, transexualism, etc.

  • JP

    I am so sick and tired of young, snarky, know-it-all, over educated hipster – whether he be Rob Bell or Eve Tushnet or Johnathan Gruber.

    • Objectivetruth

      Agreed. Like all of us, they need to shut up and quietly carry their cross.

      • GG

        And this is a legitimate and Catholic view to hold. We have become so inverted in our moral reasoning that we automatically call basic Christian witness heroic. Cardinal Kaspar would be proud of so many here.

        Why live as brother and sister now? We can engage in perpetual adultery because it is too “heroic” to abstain from mortal sin.

        • Objectivetruth

          I wonder how many saints are in heaven that were never formally cannonized by the Church. The devout follower of Christ that spent their lives as human wallpaper doing incredibly good things silently all only for the love of Christ, never for their own earthly recognition.

          • St JD George

            Hopefully we’ll someday learn of them.

            • Objectivetruth

              Nice!

              • Yes, indeed. Note “a successful businessman”, not a leftwing Holllywood or USSCB type.

                • Objectivetruth

                  A little bit of a tangent….

                  For a poor person to stand in an impersonal welfare check line is not how Christ wants us to fulfill the demands of Matthew 25, he wanted us to have skin in the game. To give of our own first fruits directly, as Santa B has. To hand the unemployed man a bag of food and to ask what else he needs, possibly g
                  Helping him find a job. To help the family whose mom has breast cancer by running errands for her and watching her kids while she gets chemotherapy. Christ could of raised Lazarus from the dead and given sight to the blind a hundred miles away while sipping his morning Java. But he traveled to Lazarus’ tomb, consoling the family. He spat into the dirt making a soothing balm of mud and with love applying it to the blind man’s eyes. Saint Francis’ conversion only happened after he finally hugged and kissed the leper by the roadside instead of tossing him a couple of lira from a distance.

                  • I think it’s less of a tangent than you think. There’s an economic equivalent of the new homophiles, a group called the “old pecunophiles”.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      Agreed……

      • And in the case of Grubber, not make us carry the cross that they have erected and nailed upon, at the worst kind of profit, that of a mercenary doing the bidding of the priests of the false god, state.

      • Catholic pilgrim (Advent)

        That’d be great. I wonder what all these know-it-all hipsters do with all the Money they make from books & speaking tours? I don’t know 100%. But something tells me these hipsters don’t hand it out to the poor or charity groups. Fame-seeking hipsters, if you ask me.

    • fredx2

      I don’t get it . These people are openly telling people the church is basically right. Perhaps they don’t go 100% of the way but they are most of the way there. We should be denouncing them? I don’t get it.

      For the first time, the media has in effect endorsed being cellbate as a legitimate way of being gay. I am glad these people are advertising their beliefs, because so many others that will now see this as an alternative. Once they drop the insistence on sex outside of marriage, the path to full agreement with church teaching is open.

      • You missed it.

        The inclusion of of Jonathan Grubber indicated his complaint was against against “young, snarky, know-it-all, over educated hipster”, a broad class of chatters, not just the “new homophiles”.

        Whether you describe this sort of public lecturers as Paul Johnson did in “Intellectuals”, where, in the opening of the book he noted that there was a new secular sacerdotal order eager to tell us how to live or perhaps as “The Ruling Class” as described by Angelo Codevilla, where that author made a further connection to politicalpower, and not just public moral authority- what he’s rejecting is people who traffic in abstractions, and act as the arbiters of everything.

        I prefer to think of them as above or as “The New Pharisees” (due to their annoying tendency to every exacting rules and hypocrisy) as I do, the reality is that these are people are eager to accept the diktats of self-appointed demigods with an outsized hegemonistic influence. They think cleverness with words makes reality a plastic construct to be DEFINED by their poetic waxing; rather than something to that can only be DESCRIBED and poorly at that, due to the limitations of language.

      • JP

        Yes fedx, I included Gruber because he is a perfect example of the human type that is legion. They are in education, the government, our corporations, major media outlets, and course social media. And of course, they are in our churches. They are all about nuance, sophistication, and are not bashful shoving the sophisticated ideas down our throats.

        The issue of homosexuality or gender confusion or what ever you may call it, is a First World Problem. Earlier this year, the Census Bureau published their demographic study, and calculated that gays make up 2% of our general population, tops. Yet, by reading our newspapers, magazines, watching our shows, or following blogs, an alien would get the idea that half of the world is gay. One would think after all of this attention that half the population wasn’t being accepted by the other half.

        We are consumed by sex. And Tushnet only underscores the problem. What she and others want us to do is to accept their desires and inclinations. For that is the merciful and sophisticated thing to do for the in crowd.

        Go to Patheos or First Things and you will see this kind of sophistry published all the time. I stopped visiting First Things because a week didn’t go by without some long essay telling us that Gay Christians have so much to teach us, blah, blah, blah.

        • GG

          Amen X 100.

      • GG

        Because not engaging in mortal sin is the least we can do. Can you imagine taking this ideology you think is so inconsequential to its logical conclusion? What if a pedophile group starts telling us publicly they do not engage in sexual acts with children, but that their desire is a type of gift? They have unique talents and spiritual gifts because God gave them this special desire?

        • Joe

          Ask men who struggle with temptations of masturbation if their if struggle for purity of heart is heroic or not. You’re missing the point. Not everyone suffers from the same afflictions and temptations and to the same degree. It’s apparent you are a holy person, stop looking down with condemnation on those who have very real struggles that you don’t understand.

          • Your missing the point. Nobody is complaining that they don’t struggle to be chase, or diminishing the struggle. Are onanists saying, “this is who I am, and it’s a gift”?

          • GG

            You really are way off. It is not about condemning people or overlooking their personal struggles. It is about right reason, right believe, and leading others to misunderstand the nature of objective disorders.

            IOW, we ought not publicly lead others to think deviant desires are some sort of thing to admire or cultivate as a “good’.

            If the person in question simply spoke and wrote about Catholic moral theology as it is understood we would not be typing here at all.

      • entonces_99

        Ruse isn’t denouncing them. He’s taking issue with them. There is a big difference.

    • I think it’s unfair to miss Tushnet to compare her with the others. She embraces her cross and writes primarily to help others with the same cross embrace it.

  • ObiJuan

    We all have sexual desires we are forbidden to act on. What’s different in the case of SSA persons is not the presence of those forbidden desires, but absence of normal desires. SSA is a psychological and moral syndrome. But most people don’t want to admit that.

    There is nothing to be proud of in a temptation to sin. There is also nothing that defines us in a temptation to sin. A common retort here is that there are many “non-genital” ways to express our “sexual orientation.” But that’s ridiculous. That reduces being “gay” to any chaste appreciation for another’s goods. What are our impressionable young boys to make of that? .

    To quote a noted professor, “What does distinguish people who are sexually attracted to
    members of their sex? Here’s where we should be as careful and as sensitive as we can be — if people will allow it and not attack us for it. These desires, precisely because they are wrong by nature and not by attendant circumstances, are more powerful and more a matter of compulsion than are other wrong desires. In other words, we have here a serious moral and psychological disorder.”

    • GG

      Very true. One problem is people do not take this absurd logic to the proper conclusion. What about the new Adulterers? They accept Church teaching, but their desires need to be acknowledged and perceived as a gift.

      Or, what about those who think the poor should stop being lazy? The accept Church teaching on helping the poor, but their understanding of poor people needs to be seen as a gift.

      • Wait until the new zoophiles tell us about the gifts of interspecies “love”.

        • St JD George

          Sorry, they’re here … just waiting their turn at the bullhorn once the current crowd is finished with it.

          • I think I’m going to start a blog about my ferroequinophilia.

            There’s an amazing confluence of events occurring in the next few years, that should provide content.

            • St JD George

              So you are a kid at heart … they criss-cross my path, I hear them at night, and every so often they impede my progress getting to Mass on time with their slow roll through town.

              • Yes, As I told my wife, when I say trains, I don’t mean the ones that going ’round and ’round the Christmas tree, I mean the real thing. I’m an enthusiastic, not a “railfan”. It’s almost time to recertify for 2015.
                Unless you’ve been in the cab of a steam locomotive with a good load on her drawbar and felt that caucaphony rattle your bones, and peered into the firebox as it turned white when the engineer pulled the throttle and smelled the acrid smell of brimstone, and found yourself frustrated almost to the point of tears by the ability of that tea kettle to reduce you into a quivering puddle, just when you thought you understood it, you haven’t really lived.
                Trains are good for the soul, because by virtue of their mass and energy, they tell you just how much the God’s universe doesn’t care what you want to believe. Two miles an hour is a good hitch, (coupling), four miles an hour is more than enough, and six is a collision.

                • St JD George

                  I’ve stood on some big brutes, statically in museums unfortunately. Would love that experience.

                  • Where do you live? (general area).

                    • St JD George

                      Currently in the OH 8th congressional district. Yes, that rep.

                    • IN driving distance of Fort Wayne?
                      “Nickel Plate” 765 is located there and makes regular trips through Ohio. Last year I rode behind it over the Horseshoe Curve (Altoona PA). There’s rumors of a very ambitious schedule for 2015.

                      http://fortwaynerailroad.org/track-765/

                    • St JD George

                      I’ll look it up as I drive through FW to see my son just West of there. Prettiest I ever saw was the UP 4014 Big Boy when we lived in LA. I just read where they are converting it to oil and are looking to get it running again. In LA things never rust, though they get a lot of unwanted paint from street artists that care about private property.

                    • When 4014 runs again, it will be something that until recently was considered impossible. The amazing thing about “Big Boys” is that 8 of 25 still survive.

                • slainte

                  If you haven’t already done, consider trying out the Steam Locomotives at Essex Connecticut.

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCpFXBIKquQ

                  • I do on occasion visit other operations, Essex is an interesting one on my list, especially since they rescued the Chinese locomotive from the Knox and Kane, where it was burned in a fire and “Americanized” it to give it a New York, New Haven and Hartford identity as “NH 3025”.

                    Sometimes its good to just ride and not have to bark at kids who want to put coins on the track, walk the rails, and do a myriad of other things that post great, but inobvious peril.

                    Now when I do I get a spot in the Washington Post?

                    • slainte

                      Well…I suppose if you were to register as one of the New Homophiles venturing a ride on the historic Essex Steam Locomotive, you might qualify for a Washington Post pictorial and perhaps Austin Ruse could write a piece about your adventure. : )

                • Nordog6561

                  Union Pacific Big Boy 4014 is being restored to operational status.

                  I just thought you should know (if you didn’t already).

                  https://www.up.com/aboutup/special_trains/steam/locomotives/4014/index.shtml

                  • I’m already saving money for an extended trip out West.

                    • Nordog6561

                      I had the opportunity to climb around on Big Boy 4018 at the Texas State Fair grounds a number of years back. I was saddened by the brutal oxy-acetylene hack job of cutting the piston rods in two. It has since been moved from Dallas.

                      My bucket list includes riding in the cab of 4014 someday.

                    • About 15 years ago, the 4018 was rumored as a restoration candidate, for a film. For years after the rumor was established as false, there was a website “bigboy4018.com” that indicated news was forthcoming…

          • tom

            They’re already debating this “love” at Fordham. Have Jesuits ever been more lost and confused? Brilliance has been replaced with no longer knowing right from wrong. Is the pope Catholic? He seems to be……Hmm

            • St JD George

              Just lovely. I am not sure if I should be shocked or not though.

        • GG

          Yep, and wait for the credentialed know-it-alls to tell us how the Church can re-interpret the Truth so as to view it as a gift.

      • TommyD6of11

        Pedophilia … intergenerational love … is the next big thing.

        In England they’re already proposing lowering the age of consent … this is not about teenage girls and boys hooking up … it’s about middle age men having sex with teenage boys.

        • Kate10

          That is the next rage. We already have doctors, professionals at Johns Hopkins who are apologists for “minor attracted” people. That’s what they call these deviants, minor attracted. The age of consent is first order of business. People, we must FIGHT that with everything we’ve got. If we don’t, we deserve everything that God will surely send us. NOT our children, nor anybody’s children!

        • That is a lie.

          • TommyD6of11

            Lorenzo,

            Sadly, what I said is True. Just as homosexuality was the love that dare not speak its name, so too inter-generational love will become the next Progressive cause. And, all those who object will be called “Haters” and “Pedophic-Phobic”.

            • Then give evidence. I live in England, the age of consent is the same for gay and straight people. There is not talk of lowering it so that middle-age men may have sex with teenage boys (why not women with teenage girls, you don’t say.) You are lying. It is a sin.

    • Daniel P

      I experience same-sex attraction, but I don’t lack “normal desires”. I’m married to a woman, and I experience sexual attraction to women. I agree that SSA is a moral syndrome, and I think it sometimes/often is a psychological syndrome too. But what makes it problematic is the presence of bad desires, not the absence of good ones.

    • Clayton

      “These desires, precisely because they are wrong by nature and not by
      attendant circumstances, are more powerful and more a matter of
      compulsion than are other wrong desires”

      Desires that are wrong by nature are more powerful than ones that are not? What kind of Manichean dualism is this?

      • OBJ15

        Not Manichean. Just Aquinas 101. See his discussion of unnatural vice. And read your Dante too.

    • Alice Herrick-Davis

      This is a false statement. Some have no desire, whatsoever, for sex.

      • OBJ15

        Then what sets them apart?

    • footballsux

      So you belong to the oh so moral group of people who dare to say “Your sin is worse than mine.” Most of the sexual sins being committed in this world are being committed by heterosexuals. Half of the marriages in the United States end in divorce.
      What Pope Francis understands, and what most of you arrogant bigots do not, is that we in the Western World are living in a post-Christian world. We are exactly in that point in time before Constantine. You do not win souls to Christ by denouncing them as moral lepers and demanding they go live in a cave.

  • Scott W.

    The Church should avoid the business of a sub-cult based on abstaining from something no one should be doing in the first place. In this age of relativism, there are simply too many people working hard to pretend not to understand God’s simple and straightforward teachings on Chastity. Tushnet and Gonnerman are precisely the kind of edge cases people would use to undermine the principles through casuistry to inject all manner of mischief and confusion among the faithful. A sub-cult of celibate homosexuals, in addition to the “gifts” folderol, buttresses the conceit that homosexuality is fixed and immutable, which is a slap in the face to ex-homosexuals that lead happy and fruitful lives married to someone of the opposite sex.

    There is a place for testimonies of converted homosexuals. This guy for instance (warning: explicit content) but for now the Courage apostolate is the only trustworthy ministry for homosexuals.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuDG2k6uAZs

    • Tom

      Scott, did you know that the guy in the video turned from his gay lifestyle, more than ten years ago, yet is still single? If homosexuality is simply a behaviour, as you imply, why is he not now happily married to a wife?

      Perhaps he’s not dissimilar from Tushnet & Gonnerman. And perhaps they do not represent “a sub-cult based on abstaining from something no one should be doing in the first place” who “inject all manner of mischief and confusion among the faithful”. Perhaps even when celibate, homosexuality still affects them. Maybe there is more to it than just behaviour. Perhaps homosexuality is not as simple as you think. But you are probably not listening, because you probably see this post as part of what you perceive to be a mass conspiracy by homosexuals everywhere.

      • Scott W.

        Whether he is happily married to a wife is irrelevant here, because there is no dichotomy here between being married and say, being a priest. Whether there is “more to it than just behavior” is also irrelevant. And no, I don’r see your post as part of a mass conspiracy. That’s just you projecting out of desperation for a point.

        • Tom

          There is no dichotomy here between being married and being a priest? Oh. Where I live, Catholic priests cant marry, so here that is a dichotomy.

          Whether there is “more to it than just behavior” is relevant, because in your initial post, you implied that the issue of homosexuality is more simple than some seek to portray, and you implied that such people seek to confuse others. My point here, is relevant because perhaps homosexuality isn’t as simple as you think.

      • Scott W.

        I tried posting this to disqus, but it hasn’t appeared, so I’ll try it again, so please pardon any doubling.

        Anyway, whether he himself is married or not is irrelevant and frankly is desperate caviling here because there is no dichotomy or “rule” that every single person must either get married or, say go into religious life. Does Mr. Sciambra (who does post at Crisis, so we could just ask him) even discern a vocation to marriage? That he is not married is putting the cart before the horse. Whether there is “more to homosexuality” than I think is likewise irrelevant and so vague as to be meaningless. The only more thing to discover is that Tushnet and company are sincere, which isn’t discovering any new dimension because I’ve never denied the sincerity of homosexuals and in fact even on this thread corrected someone on my side for suggesting that they were insincere. In any case, sincerity is no substitute for Truth, so we are back to irrelevancies. I assume that fair minded readers can see the “conspiracy” sentence as a desperate personal shot and warrants no further comment.

        • Tom

          Whether Sciambra is married or not, is relevant, because your initial post made reference to immutability and simplicity. His not being married is living proof that the reality for some who try to leave homosexuality, includes not entering into heterosexual marriage. IE it’s not as simple as tends to be implied by common notions of mutability. One person may perceive Sciambra as an ex-homosexual, and another may perceive him as a celibate homosexual. The distinction is not large.

          Whether there is “more to homosexuality” is not irrelevant, because it contradicts how you implied that it’s simple, and that confusion about these things is merely the result of mischief.

          I believe you did deny the sincerity of homosexuals, when you wrote of “conceit” and you also wrote ” there are simply too many people working hard to pretend not to understand God’s simple and straightforward teachings on Chastity.”

          However, lets not continue fingerpointing about what is or is not irrelevant. I just hope you come to see that celibate homosexuals are not “a slap in the face to ex-homosexuals”. Some find they can enter heterosexual marriages, and some, like Sciambra find they cant. Life is not a case of one size fits all.

        • Tom

          Scott, the following post illustrates one element of the complexity of the issue.
          http://spiritualfriendship.org/2014/12/18/what-not-reducible-means/
          But in referring to it as ‘complex’, I don’t mean to imply that it is without solution. What I mean is that claims that the homosexual problem can be solved if gay people would simply chose to be straight, are overly simplistic. Certainly God calls everyone to turn from homosexual eroticism. But as the original article points out, even when this happens, celibate homosexuals continue to exist (many of them being affiliated with Courage).

  • GG

    Thanks for another perfect essay. You are one of the few with the guts to do it. Good job.

  • Peter

    I have to say I was disappointed with the tone of this article. These are people trying to live authentically christian lives of virtue, and yes, they have ideas that need to be critiqued, but there really is no call for the level of snark in this article. I’m familiar with Tushnet’s work, not Gonnerman’s. I disagreement with her on a several points, such as the language of “intrinsically disordered.” We can’t throw that phrase away because it is tied with the concept of hetero-normativity, or, more simply put, that man and women are men for each other in God’s design. At the same time, intrinsically disordered does not mean that same sex attracted individuals are only fit for the island of misfit toys. They have a vocation given from God just as all people do. I think that the focus on spiritual friendship on their part is excellent and gives shape to the way that same sex attracted people can chastely show love. We need to keep in mind our ultimate goal is to win souls for Christ, a goal that not going to be achieved by presenting nothing but a cold sterile existence to same sex attracted people, and certainly not achieved by heaping sarcasm upon the few same sex attracted people advocating seriously for sexual morality and continence as an alternative to the gay sub-cultures hedonism.

    • GG

      I disagree with your premise. It is not accurate to claim the tone of the article is unwarranted. The new Homophiles, whatever their motivation, do a great disservice to the truth by promoting what they do.

      They claim to be chaste, ok great but is that something we now want to see as heroic? Is this not the common way we are all called to be? Why the need to bring all this attention? Why the need to attempt to establish a new and novel theology that contradicts Church teaching?

      • Joe

        Yes. For a great many who struggle with chastity, I have no doubt God views their chastity as heroic. We all have crosses to carry. Some of us have much heavier crosses than others.

        • GG

          Well, the general assertion that it is heroic to follow the law of chastity is certainly subjective. While we can encourage each other it is troubling to compare basic living to what the great Saints and Martyrs did for the faith.

          • We live in a time not of great Saints and Martyrs, but rather in a time of demonic lust.

            • Erika Allen

              Perhaps in a time like this, we are likely to see more saints and martyrs.

      • Chastity is heroic in a culture where chastity is degraded.

        • GG

          You sound like Cardinal Kaspar.

          • Sadly, yes, though I most certainly don’t support his homophiliac culture nor his insinuation that sexual sinners are welcome in church but fiscal sinners aren’t.

          • fredx2

            Not at all..

        • fredx2

          Exactly.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        Benedict XIV gave the generally accepted definition of “heroic virtue” – “In order to be heroic a Christian virtue must enable its possessor to perform virtuous actions with uncommon promptitude, ease, and pleasure, from supernatural motives and without human reasoning, with self-abnegation and full control over his natural inclinations.” In other words, it becomes a second nature, or, As Aristotle has it, “a disposition difficult to remove.”

        This is what St Augustine describes, when he says, “Men are not willing to do what is right either because the fact that it is right is hidden from them, or because it does not please them… It is from the grace of God, which helps the wills of man, that that which was hidden becomes known, and that which did not please become sweet.” (On the Merits and Remission of Sins 2, 17, 26)

        Thus chastity, or any other virtue, may be possessed in an heroic degree.

        • Major914

          And, by definition, it won’t be paraded by the possessor as heroic, or even much of a virtue…

        • GG

          ” These norms in fact represent the
          unshakable foundation and solid guarantee of a just and peaceful human
          coexistence, and hence of genuine democracy, which can come into being and
          develop only on the basis of the equality of all its members, who possess
          common rights and duties. When it is a matter of the moral norms prohibiting
          intrinsic evil, there are no privileges or exceptions for anyone. It makes
          no difference whether one is the master of the world or the “poorest of
          the poor” on the face of the earth. Before the demands of morality we are
          all absolutely equal.”
          VERITATIS SPLENDOR

    • Daniel P

      Exactly. Well said!

    • M

      I agree Peter. The article is profoundly anti-Catholic. These two people are doing exactly what they are called to do by the Church. This from the CCC:

      “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.”

      To call Eve Tushnet “narcissistic” is also profoundly anti-Catholic. If she thought she was completely alone in the world as a chaste person with SSA, it was because the issue was kept under wraps at that time. Perhaps she wants to help other vulnerable young people to be both chaste and same-sex attracted. The Catechism tells us that these people must be accepted with “respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” The article is filled with disrespect, lack of compassion, and insensitivity.

      • GG

        No, the Homophile agenda is profoundly anti Catholic.

      • JP

        Call me old fashion, but I think there are some things best left between the person and God. Are we supposed to empathize with Tushnet, feel sorry for her, or applaud her? Should a man who is was a serial adulterer gain fame and recognition for his past sins?

    • Joe

      Yes, thank you Peter. I know Ms. Tushnet personally, and the tone of this article is hurtful. I’m not familiar with her writing, but I do know her story of conversion and it is indeed heroic. My understanding could be a bit imprecise, but I believe her father was a law clerk for Justice Blackmun who wrote the Roe v. Wade opinion. It’s hard for Mr. Ruse to hide in his tone that he is straight as an arrow and uncomfortable with homosexuals, particularly men who exhibit some degree of femininity. And I do know friends who have tried to “convert” from a SSA to straight, and it doesn’t work for everyone. So yes, those who publicly acknowledge their orientation are stuck with it. But I’m sure for many it’s also a relief, similiar to an alcolholic publicly acknowldging they have a problem. I’ll eat crow on the day when Crisis allows Ms. Tushnet to post her counter-point so the debate Mr. Ruse thinks needs to happen, can actually happen.

      • ” I believe her father was a law clerk for Justice Blackmun who wrote the Roe v. Wade opinion. ”

        Hardly a mark of distinction in Catholic circles, being associated with a genocidal maniac.

        Eve’s own practice of habitual censorship on her Patheos blog speaks volumes.

        • fredx2

          Again. She was born Jewish into a family that was very liberal. Her conversion to Catholicism and her abandonment of standard gay sexuality must be a source of wonderment for her family. But she is to be admired for her courage. There is no way she deserves condemnation.

          • Austin Ruse

            Who’s condemning? I say she is 95% of the way there and the final 5% needs to be challenged.

            • And YOU are 100% of the way there?

              • Austin Ruse

                From the moment i first got the thought to become Catholic. I have never wrestled with any teachings of the Church. I was kind of like a moving truck, pulling up to the Catholic warehouse…”I will take all you’ve got; Jonah in the whale? Want it.

                • Joe Malik

                  So, joking about how people should be taken out and shot… You’d characterize that as 100% in keeping with Catholic teachings?

                  Don’t pretend you haven’t struggled when your struggles are documented publicly. I know it’s a humbling situation, but that’s a good thing. Humility is, after all, one of the highest virtues.

                  There is no shame in having struggled, and in having struggled, overcome.

                  • Austin Ruse

                    Sure, the Church does not have a teaching against using figures of speech. Perhaps you did not know that.

                    When I say they are 95% there, I mean, they are faithful, but on a few issues they perhaps are not. It is not sinful for them to hold onto their gay identity, or to think their gayness are gifts from God that come with unique spiritual gifts etc. But, they are wrong on those points.

                  • entonces_99

                    Perhaps you can provide us with a quote from the Catechism or other magisterial statements that condemns making jokes about taking people out and shooting them. (One of my fondest memories of President Reagan was the sound check made before one his TV addresses, in which he ad-libbed, “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” When the word was leaked, the Soviets got on their high horse and made a big show of outrage, but I’m willing to bet that they made the same kinds of jokes themselves.)

          • GG

            Please let us be fair and accurate. No one is condemning her as a person. They are criticizing her ideology.

          • If it is anything like my liberal family members- more a source of hatred than wonderment. I have no doubt that if they could, all of us Catholics would be rounded up and executed.

      • GG

        Crisis has had the “New Homophiles” here commenting before. There ideas get refuted easily and often.

      • daisy

        Hurtful? That’s a nursery school term. Could we please stop baby talking?

        • perpetua

          “bitchy” is a more apt term.

      • fredx2

        Her father is a well known professor of Law. A profoundly liberal one at that. I would be wiling to bet her family was quite accepting of her homosexuality. So her adoption of the church’s position is indeed heroic. I believe her family is Jewish as well, so she is a convert.

        I don’t get the condemnation here.

      • Austin Ruse

        Tushnet has actually published here…

    • What is wrong with the concept of hetero-normativity? After all, to change it you need to murder something on the order of 6 billion heterosexuals.

      • Peter

        I’m not saying there anything wrong with hetero-normativity, just the opposite in fact. one of the things that I would critique Eve Tushnet on is that she doesn’t like the phrase “intrinsically disordered” but I think that “intrinsically disordered” is important as its the other side of the coin from hetero-normativity, which is another way of saying that man and woman are created for each other.

        • Where I attack it from a math/statistical standpoint rather than from a natural law standpoint.

          Heterosexuals are normal because they exceed 66.67% of the population.

          We know statistically that 210 million people, give or take a few million, suffer from this disorder.

          We also know that the statistical definition of normal is 66.67%.

          A world where homosexuality is normal is therefore a world of under 400 million people- requiring the extermination of the other 6.6 billion people on the planet. And that might not actually work anyway, because within five generations, since homosexuals do not breed and their percentage of the population of children of heterosexuals is so small, they will lose their normal status.

          • Daniel P

            From a mathematical standpoint, being left-handed is seriously abnormal, on your account. 😮

            • Yes it is. As is my own high functioning autism. As is any trait that falls outside of the first sigma of the bell curve, thus triggering the neurotypical response of “defend the clan/tribe from the other”.

              The key is to acknowledge the definition of mental illness being outside of that 66.67% stereotypical “human” behavior, and then develop coping skills to NOT trigger the defense response in other people.

              And yes, I’m incredibly bad at that.

            • Abnormality is more than rarity.

            • St JD George

              I just saw you know who sign another executive order left handed, does that mean anything?

          • JP

            Gays make up only 2 maybe 3 percent of the population.

            • Austin Ruse

              1.6%. There are more Methodists than gays.

            • In the above example, I used the “optimistic” 3%. Thus to make them mathematically normal, one of two things need to happen:
              1. Brainwash heterosexuals to become homosexual
              2. Kill off a significant enough number of heterosexuals to raise the percentage of the population up to 66.67%.

              I personally never want to live in a world where homosexuality is forced to be normal by the government. But I think America is headed there.

      • fredx2

        I don’t think anyone is arguing against that.

        • Every time I read or hear homosexuals and environmentalists talk about “breeders” with derision and prejudice, I see the writing on the wall as far as heteronormal families (also called homophobic families) are concerned.

    • Austin Ruse

      The tone in the beginning was inspired by reading the opening chapters of her book and how she handles various understandings of Church teaching and the psychological genesis of same sex attraction. One word for it. Snaaaaarky. Of course, she is being funny..and so am I.

      It is as if you all think these folks are hot-house flowers.

  • AcceptingReality

    Took a long time to finish reading the article. I was laughing too hard at the notion that Catholic Bishops had thrown in with Republicans! What planet does that guy live on?

    • S. Murphy

      Prolly the planet of people who are partially, and therefore all the more misleadingly, misquoted by the WaPo or NYT. The quotation makes so little sense that it almost has to represent some degree of distortion. Maybe Gonnerman meant that the bishops were focusing on the culture war rather than on teaching & offering encouragement for gay Catholics to be celibate.

  • Each person has to discern for themselves what is a near occasion of sin and what represents following God’s path for them. But a general guideline is that if the secular society says it makes you cool (e.g., coming out as gay, identifying as gay, etc.) it probably will lead to sorrow and loss.

    If one of my children struggles with homosexuality, I’ll tell them to stay close to Courage and far away from Eve Tushnet and other narcissists like her.

    • Mary P.

      I would agree! If only they’d listen! But right now, I’m lucky if this one refers to God at all. If anyone has a prayer to spare, please say one for my family. I expect to get a wedding invitation. My child knows how I feel and what I believe. It’s a struggle for us all. And thank you to those who express support, and especially those, like Daniel, who are struggling with this issue. Believe me, unless you’ve witnessed these struggles up close and personal, no one can imagine how heavy this cross is.

      • Jan

        Mary, be assured you have my prayers today.

      • ColdStanding

        Don’t delay! The hour is already late. Spend an hour a day visiting Our Lord laying in repose in the tabernacle. He will lift your burden. Our Lady of Perpetual Help pray is great, too. Also attend the Holy Sacrifice as often as you can. Tuck yourself away in a corner so you can spend the whole time on your knees. Make sure at the offertory that you place your prayer to have this judgement against you lifted.

        God has all the graces you need to save yourself and those near and dear to you. However, He is waiting for you to turn to Him and beg them of Him.

        If you dare, meditate upon this truth: “Oh Lord, all your judgments are just!”

        • Mary P.

          You are so right. Thank you!

      • clintoncps

        Thank you for your message, Mary. I’ll be praying for you and your family at Mass tomorrow. Hold fast to His truth, which alone will set us free.

        Your brother in Christ and the Holy Family,

        Clinton

        • Mary P.

          Thank you!!!

    • GG

      Amen!

  • Vinny

    When you meet resistance, try to get a foot in the door. Then, over time, you overcome the resistance and get in the house. I agree with GG and “The New Adulterers.”

    • St JD George

      Sly and cunning he is, no immediate satisfaction in a full frontal attack, much more fun to slowly seduce and corrupt the soul making one’s destruction a personal decision turning the tables to convince that what is evil is good, and good is evil. Sly and cunning he is.

    • GG

      And that is the problem. Claim fidelity to Church teaching on one hand while subtly undermining the foundation of the teaching with the other.

      This one disorder gets special treatment by the culture today.

  • Vinny

    Doesn’t “celibate” mean not married while “chaste” is what was intended?

    • It is my understanding that the new homophiles support full celibacy for homosexuals, including chastity.

      • Daniel P

        Not exactly. They have no problem with gay or bisexual people marrying people of the opposite sex, so long as this is done honorably.

  • Mary P.

    I usually enjoy your columns, but as a parent of one who is stuck fast to the “amber,” celibacy might be the best that I can hope for. Why is it wrong for these young people to speak out? Why can’t they use their struggles to God’s good? Why offer them such a “downer” article when they’re trying to adhere to God’s Word? How I wish my offspring was one of them! Is it that they don’t do it perfectly? Please! How many heterosexuals get the entire issue of sex perfectly? These young people are beacons of hope to parents like me.

    • M

      Of course, Mary. These people are doing exactly what the Church expects of them, yet Ruse continues to demonstrate “unjust discrimination.” I would not contend that their “sin” is greater than his.

      • GG

        Of course, the Church does not endorse this new ideology.

      • The new homophiles do the opposite. They contend that their sin isn’t sin.

        • Peter

          Eve Tushnet does not say that gay sex isn’t sinful, she recognizes it as a sin and that is why she lives chastely, and advocates for other Same Sex Attracted people to do the same. What they advocate is the concept of vocation for same sex attracted people, and specifically a vocation to friendship.

          • Stoney

            A vocation to friendship? lol

            • GG

              Anything to make this one thing seem special.

          • fredx2

            As i understand it, the MAIN point they have is that is that one who is gay should be celibate. Perhaps some of them also champion their “gayness” but once you agree that you should be celibate if gay, I think there is no logical path that leads you to believe that gayness is something to celibrate. All they do is not continue to beat themsevles up because they are gay, and eliminating that element makes it possible for so many to accept a life of celibacy. I don’t think church law requires them to denounce themselves for having same sex attraction, just not to act on it.

      • Austin Ruse

        Actually, they aren’t. The Church asks them not to identify as “gay”..but they insist upon it. they also insist that God gave them the gift of gayness, something the Church does not teach, and that they have unique gay spiritual gifts, something the Church woudl also reject. When you get granular with these folks, their proposition becomes troubling. It is much marathon not having gay sex…

        • egalitrix

          Does the church actually condemn people for identifying as gay? There doesn’t seem to be a full consensus. In any case what is wrong with using a label to describe what relationships you are capable of forming with people? It is a fact of life that capability for romantic relationships will come up in one’s social life. You are making a moral issue out of a simple self identifier.

          • Austin Ruse

            Condemn? no. Advise against? yes. There are other abundant problems, too, such as the fact that SSA is remarkably plastic and can change pretty dramatically. To publicly identify that way can make all that much harder to change. Plus, sexual attraction is not who they are. I, in fact, don’t know ANY heterosexuals, do you?

            • egalitrix

              So apparently merely not taking a piece of the Church’s advice will get someone the title “homophile” from you? How charitable.

              Many people have SSA that is not so plastic and will probably never change. In any case coming up with a label that describes one’s attractions does not make it more or less hard to change. Labels like “gay,” “bisexual,” and “heterosexual” describe what one is attracted to more precisely than saying “with SSA” and can be changed as the person changes yet you want to deny gay Catholics even that. Yes, sexual attraction does not define the entirety of a person but simply acknowledging it does not consume a person’s identity. I know plenty of heterosexuals and many would acknowledge themselves as such because they know the label describes one aspect of themselves and need not mean anything more.

              • Austin Ruse

                The fact that you refer to “Church teaching” as “Church advice” says pretty much all one needs to know.

                • egalitrix

                  You yourself say they merely “advise against” sexual identity(I was literally taking your wording), and I have not seen any official teachings or statements from the Church on this matter. Your smugness is evident with your condemnation of people over terminology issues.

                  • Austin Ruse

                    You confuse disagreement with condemnation.

                    Sent from my iPad

            • Joseph

              How plastic is sexual attraction (same sex and opposite sex)? I am familiar with depictions of sexual fluidity in prisons and women’s’ colleges, but is sexual attraction really “remarkably plastic”?

              • Austin Ruse

                Read the social science.

    • St JD George

      I feel for you Mary. We all have our struggles in parenting, and I admit I have not had to deal with that one. I do believe that it is important to not lose sight that this is just one sin (to act on) in a sea of sins. A problem in society of course is that we are being forced under the strong arm of the law to accept what we know is sin as normal. To be sure we have developed perverse sense of God’s plan for sexuality and there are plenty of heterosexuals engaging in no less offensive behavior. I think it’s helpful to remember that Satan is cunning in his deceit to harvest souls and the best defense we have is to be aware and draw ourselves closer to Christ.

      • Mary P.

        Yes, you are right. But it’s not only the law that strong-arms us. Now it’s our own friends and families who offer our offspring “support and non-judgmentalism,” but no empathy for us as the dreams that we’d had for our child fade. Now it is our fault for harboring hopes of a traditional marriage and parenthood. It is a silent suffering. Thank you for sharing it with us!

        • St JD George

          This is a tad more serious I know, but has there ever been a time where our extended families didn’t try and counter our traditions and desires, whether child rearing or adolescence. You are too strict – too soft, don’t give them enough freedom, etc. It has never been easy. This is a reflection from one who has made plenty of mistakes and wish I had many to do over. All you can do is keep showing them love, sometimes tough love, and talking. The great thing I found about that age is that they hear everything and internalize even they don’t want you to see that they do. It takes the patience of a saint to endure. Even though we let them go eventually to stand on their own two feet, we never stop being their parents and caring.

    • Joe

      Thank you Mary P. Mary, Aid of Christians, pray for all of our families!

      • GG

        Blessed Mother pray for the confused “New Homophiles”. Pray for the Church.

    • Austin Ruse

      As I say in the piece, they are 95% of the way there but the final 5% is troubling. Should trouble you, too…

  • JohnE_o

    Your article reeks of uncharitable sarcasm and you should be ashamed of yourself for mocking these people who are doing their best to live according to Church teachings.

    • Seamrog

      The point he is making is that they are choosing which teachings they want to live by, and are rejecting the teachings that make them feel uncomfortable.

      I think the author’s position can be viewed in a very charitable light, as he has been working hard to demonstrate the fullness of the Truth they are missing, and trying to help others not follow the same misguided path.

      No shame in that.

    • GG

      Nonsense. The group Courage is full of people doing their best. Strange ideologies should not be celebrated or encouraged.

      • Objectivetruth

        And the members of Courage do their best quietly! You don’t know who the members of Courage are in your parish, they aren’t screaming “look at me! I’ve got same sex attraction and I’m celibate!” They make Christ and others more important than their sexual desires.

        • GG

          Amen.

    • Austin Ruse

      Ashamed? Nah.

  • Daniel P

    Austin, up till I was 21 or so, I did not know of a single Catholic with same-sex attraction who was living according to Church teaching, except me. That’s not because I was narcissistic; it’s because no one talked about the issue. I felt completely alone in my battle.

    • Why should sin and temptation be talked about in the open?

      There’s a lot of “issues” that aren’t “talked about”.

      Sure, “substance abusers” and gamblers have active and vocal groups, but have you heard much about onanism?

      Other afflictions, that can be sinful or the result of sin such as hoarding or gluttony (whether it manifests itself in pica or morbid obesity), to the extent that they are talked about have become the new designated deviancies in society, and sufferers are the circus freaks we watch on TV to affirm our normalcy.

      • ColdStanding

        Good call, the introduction of the 12 Step AA style talking it through therapy is not actually in accord with Catholic moral theology. It is alien to it.

        The proper place to deal with these things is in the confessional. These things being sins with a sense of shame attached to them. The illnesses are of the soul and no physician or psychologist – much less a councilor, can rectify them with the tools they have at their disposal. They are punishments from God and only seeking His forgiveness and appeasing His justice will sort them out.

        Only someone cut off from exposure to the moral manuals produced in great abundance for the clergy and interested layman would not know that the Church has, for centuries, produced very clear and rational guidance on these matters. Unfortunately, the number of people cut off from these important sources is, among Catholics, very high today. Hence our problems.

        • fredx2

          Actually from Catholic Answers:

          “Actually, there were Christians who were involved in the creation of AA. It’s not as secular as you might think. Father Edward Dowling, S.J. and Sister Mary Ignatia Gavin were instrumental in the early development of AA. See:
          http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/6549/38260

          My own Dominican provincial superior, Fr. Emmerich Vogt, O.P. has a ministry to people with addictions with his “12-Step Review.”

          • ColdStanding

            Oh, I am very aware of who was involved and how it came to be. Please review that I said “Catholic” which of course means Christian, but is used to distinguish from those fallen away Christians that only retain part of Catholic, therefore Christian, truth.
            Need you be reminded that a great number of ideas have been let in with the “fresh air” that are not compatible with Catholic teaching? I am disappointed to read that your superior uses this program.

        • Ruth Rocker

          Part of the problem is that “sin” and “shame” are words that aren’t supposed to be in the vocabulary any more. Those nasty words make us feel bad about ourselves and that is the cardinal sin for the Left now. They operate under the 11th Commandment – If it feels good do it and if it doesn’t feel good you’re not doing it right.

          • ColdStanding

            Then I’d heartily recommend using these words on a regular basis. If making them feel ashamed, at the very least, riles them, it should be employed.

      • fredx2

        Why should sin be talked about in the open? Have you ever head of Alcoholics anonymous? As far as I am aware, they are the only effective anti alcoholism group that has existed. If someone has a struggle with an obvious obsession that harms them in the end, let them talk about it. There is nothing that demands that all sinners suffer in silence alone.

        • GG

          Few discuss addiction as a “gift” or try to narrowly define it to make it fit some positive aspect in moral theology.

      • Daniel P

        Quite a few people I knew, when I was 21, had admitted to me that they masturbated or used porn — or had done these things in the past. Homosexuality? No one. Not even in the media. Not a single person, from a Catholic perspective.

        How could I see the path for me, if I saw no one walking that path?

        • And while I heard many admissions about porn, never had any discussions about self-pollution beyond crude jokes.
          The reason, I think people don’t talk about homosexuality, is the same reason I never talked about a dream I about a particularly buxom ninth grade teacher.

    • Austin Ruse

      You’d never heard of Courage? Shame. Heroic men and women.
      and approved by the Church..

  • St JD George

    Ho hum. Should we celebrate that they are documenting how the church teaches that those who feel way should live, i.e. celibate, or could this be another media circus event trying to poke a stick in the eye. There’s another subtle dimension to the agitation too, parading that they have PhD’s as if to say we are more enlightened to you.

  • D Christopher

    Sure, they and some of their claims need to be engaged intellectually. But, let’s take a few moments to really appreciate a good step in the right direction–same-sex attracted people who have managed to go beyond thinking through their genitals.

    • GG

      But, are they not thinking through their genitals when they push this new ideology? Just saying one is celibate, but then goes on to push some ideology is not something to celebrate. The entire discussion is based on a false premise.

    • To be fair, attempting to think with genitals isn’t exclusive to homosexuals.

  • Michal Makovnik

    What I see as a necessity is to accept that even difficult conditions in which we find ourselves are “gifts”. So, what I tend to do, when thinking of my gay friends (without PhD) is to regard their “gayness” as burdensome gift.
    The issue is, Catholics tend to present the circumstances of physical illness often as a “burdensome gift”. Therefore, if this is the way the New Homophiles regard their state of live, I would support it. (Even if people in US would probably be very upset, to say it mildly, when make an allusion to same sex attraction as an illness).
    On the other hand, our vocation is to reach our full potential in the meaning of becoming icon of Christ already here on this world. Therefore, to dawdle in ones own gayness, would be something I would warn against.

  • Vinny

    After reading the other Crisis essay, “Herd of Hookers,” I realized what my problem is with this. It’s group vs. individual. In my seventh grade faith formation class with its many doubters I mentioned how to view God. Don’t look at gatherings of people – tens or hundreds of thousands of people – and say to yourself, “God couldn’t possibly know all these people and the billions who came before them.” Look at the group but know that God sees them (and you) as individuals including all who came before and will be created. I’m tired of hearing; “blacks,” “feminists,” “homosexuals,” (the New Homophiles) even “the poor.” I want to look at the person. I will not give blanket accedence to any group. I try to always see Jesus in others individually. Yes, we are a congregation at church and a part of the body of Christ but it consists of individuals. Yes, I donate to charities but those organizations take care of individuals.

    • “Yes, I donate to charities but those organizations take care of individuals.”

      The surest sign of a fraudulent charity or political movement is one that focuses on some conspicuous attribute of those comprising some group (the characteristics you cite being some of the more prominent ways to reduce people to checkers on a board), and treats them as fungible cogs, rather than individual human persons, each distinct and unique.

      • ColdStanding

        It is only sort of related to the subject at hand, but I read this the other day and thought you might like it.

        https://archive.org/stream/worksorestesabr15browgoog#page/n9/mode/2up

        I didn’t have time to for wrapping and a bow.

        • St JD George

          I’ll have to re-read again later when I can enjoy more fully, but I did like this passage:
          “The governement commits every now and then a sad blunder and the general policy it adopts must prove in the long run suicidal”.
          QE and $18T in debt certainly come to mind.

          • ColdStanding

            Do persist, Mr. Brownson is consistently excellent. The really good part is where he describes the contradiction inherent in the protestant’s relationship to Christian teaching.

        • I hadn’t heard about this fellow until a few years ago. In my limited reading so far, he’s seems to have been both coherent and prescient.

          My personal favorite quote:

          “What we object to is the division of society into two classes, of which one class owns the capital, and the other performs the labor.”

          Thanks for the hyperlink. Will try to reciprocate.

  • john

    The discussions above are interesting, and remind me of the proverb (possibly by Philo of Alexandria): “Be kind always. Everyone you meet is fighting a terrible battle.” I appreciate that thoughtful Catholics with same sex attraction are struggling to find a way to carry their crosses, and they do so through rather public treatises and such (perhaps because that’s the idiom they’ve grown accustomed to). I don’t begrudge them, and pray for them, but suspect they are less unique than they think they are. I think a possible silver lining from this row might be the illumination that ALL Catholic men and women are struggling with sexual temptations or problems that, before now, everybody assumed heterosexual people were immune to. I suspect, and hope that our Catholic culture begins a legitimate dialog on the subject, that ALL Catholic men (or women–but I can’t speak for them) have felt they were the only ones struggling to be chaste before marriage AND WITHIN MARRIAGE. In other words, we’d all be wretched sinners if we followed our sexual inclinations. Chastity is a struggle for almost everybody–let’s encourage each other!

  • Harry

    First a quick summary of Catholic teaching on homosexuality. Just skip the following if you are already familiar with it.

    From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    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.

    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.

    Homosexual orientation is a disorder. It is unnatural. Homosexual orientation is morally neutral, just like heterosexual orientation. Both homosexual and heterosexual fornication are sinful, although homosexual fornication is also a “grave depravity.”

    As for a giftedness that comes with a disordered homosexual orientation, that giftedness may really be there, but, for me, it is in the same way some see giftedness in children with cystic fibrosis. Three of my children had CF. Two have died from it. Their giftedness did not make CF a good thing. But if a certain giftedness tends to come along with CF that shouldn’t be denied. Nor should it be denied if there is a giftedness that comes with the disorder of homosexual orientation.

  • “Without a doubt this is an important debate to have, but it is an important debate to actually have. What I mean is the engagement must really happen. What I see now is largely uncritical acceptance. Engage them. They have PhDs. They can take it. I think.”

    Given the tendency of the new homophiles to use censorship on their blogs to discourage any possible hint that “Once Gay, Always Gay” theology is wrong, I strongly doubt their ability to defend their position with dignity, civility, and honor.

    • Really? The most prominent blog is probably Jeremy’s “Good As You.” No comments are ever censored. Nor are they on the Frog.

      We are pretty secure with respect to where we stand and the correlation to the overwhelming consensus of social and medical science. If someone wants to insist that I am a “same-sex attracted” pervert — have at it.

      • When I get time, I’ll go there to see if you can stand a discussion not on perversion, but on mathematics, the definition of mental illness, the demographic reality of what happens to civilizations that embrace contraceptive sexuality, and the statistical problem of studying small populations with the error rate of surveys.

        Those are the things I usually end up getting banned for.

        • I think that the professional associations have already concluded that variations in sexual orientation is not a mental illness. That “all civilizations” stuff just constitutes a dumb argument that confuses correlation with causation. All civilizations that baked bread died out. And, yes, I fully comprehend the calculus of surveys. That is why good analysis is repeated to demonstrate consistency (or lack thereof). That is also why peer review is important.

          • I have strong suspicion, based on a simple mathematical analysis, that the professional associations have been paid to reach that conclusion, and are guilty of confirmation bias in their studies. I say this due to the fact that their so-called studies do not contain sample sizes necessary to reach the conclusions that they have.

            I am not impressed with the analysis so far, and given the funding sources of the institutions involved, suspect foul play.

            • fredx2

              The fact that professional organizations say something is meaningless. They never ask their membership to vote on these matters, and activists seek control of these organizations to issue reports that confirm their conclusions. The ABA used to issue things about abortion being a fundamental human right and any lawyer that disagreed should be punished. They were radicals. They were useless..

          • R. K. Ich

            My guess is if the same professional associations came out tomorrow with a study saying, “New study confirms homosexuality an authentic mental illness,” the pro-SSA crowd would not care one whit.
            Face it: it’s not about finding the genetic or chemical or sociological causes, because in the end all you want is to be affirmed by the rest, causes notwithstanding. Just be honest about it.

          • Austin Ruse

            The former head of the APA , the man who sponsored the resolution to say SSA was not disordered, treated thsoe with unwanted SSA, and successfully. So, no matter what the “professional” association says, there are still influential men and women treating those with unwanted SSA..

          • fredx2

            Peer review is a complete joke in many cases. The notion that modern social science is a science is very much debatable. Constantly having small sample sizes, self selected sample subjects etc is a major flaw. They cannot run real tests on human beings, so that part of normal scientific method is out. The ability of statistical manipulation is a reality. Statistics are being used more and more to “prove’ tings when in fact there are many statistical methods taht can be used and abused – and peer review rarely catches any of this. In addition, Jonathian Haight once addressed a convention of social sicentists and asked how many were liberal – almost all the hands went up.He asked how many were conservative, and three hands went up. He asked graduate students in the field if they felt free to pursue any course of study. Many answered him that they were certain that to study certain things was to end their career. So this is not science, this is politics masquerading as science.

      • Seamrog

        “We are pretty secure with respect to where we stand and the correlation to the overwhelming consensus of social and medical science.”

        If this were true, then you would not be following this site and these discussions.

        It seems you are drawn here like a moth to flame…to the Truth, and to Light. You’re just not willing to accept it.

        Yet.

        • Nah. I just like the discourse. I try to be polite and never attack the arguer (preferring to attack the argument).

          • St JD George

            You do realize that that statement defies the consensus of social and medical science don’t you? They will tell you that people who are truly self confident in who they are don’t seek out a home like Crisis, and those who do act out of an insecurity whether conscious of it or not. We all have souls and whether we chose to listen to them is our free will, but they are always a part of us calling us to grace until the end of time. Hop out of the soup Dave.

      • Austin Ruse

        Social science shows that SSA is remarkably elastic. 80% of adolescents who identify as gay are no longer by their mid-twenties. This is why the SSA are so eager to get kids to “come-out”. Once “out” it is so much harder to get back in, esp when you add in disordered sex, which can be habitual.

        • GG

          That cannot be said often enough. We get so caught up in the gay person’s public agenda that we only focus on their demands. We ought to focus more on the children and how all things “gay” are effecting them.

  • The primary purpose of, and for, religion is to provide a path to the afterlife. Follow the rules and you go to paradise when you die. These two guys are trying to follow the rules as they are being expressed by the Church. They are willing to do so in spite of the fact that we all engage in selective observation and, well, the rules change from time to time. I guess that they deserve some credit for doing so. The rules, by the way, do not seem to prohibit explanations of sexuality.

    And by the way, Austin, the gay community is not a lonely place. Not at all. And, those “refufgees” you speak of always seem to have an economic interest in claiming to not be gay. More importantly, in society our socialization is rarely based on sexual orientation. In fact, social issues play a very small part in how we interact with others and who we interact with. Can you guess what sociologists tell us about how and who we socialize with?

    • Seamrog

      “It is my narrow, agenda-driven opinion that the primary purpose of, and for, religion is to provide a path to the afterlife.”

      I fixed it for you.

      • You do realize that by attacking a point of view ad hominem you are surrendering to the notion that a more substantive argument does not exist?

        • Seamrog

          I think the author of the essay is pointing out that statements like yours above are essentially reflections of internal personal flaws.

          The substance of the argument is essentially directed at persons – individual persons who specifically demonstrate the flaws he indicates.

          It would rightly be viewed as an ‘attack’ if he were placing any sin, or error as greater than his own personal sins, or errors, or mine, or any other struggling Catholic for that matter.

          I do realize the substance of the argument – you and many others who come here regularly to object to these essays work hard to distract from the substance of the argument.

          I think it is positive that you keep coming here – every essay you read increases your exposure to the light of Truth. It is my hope, and my prayer for you that your heart is softened and you let that light in.

          God’s peace to you.

    • GG

      Relativism commercial.

      • How is a label a substantive argument? Relativism offers the potential for far more caustic commentary than the one I provided.

        • GG

          It is not an argument. It merely points out your reasoning.

    • St JD George

      You must have some pretty tough skin to not be boiled by now after all this time. Are you sure the burner is on, or is that a metaphor for another eternal heat source? The temperature of the frog stew must be comfortable now but I can’t believe that being boiled alive is truly your desired end state. Save yourself while you still can, and live a hoppy life – fulfilled in Christ of course

      • St JD George

        Maybe I spoke too soon … I thought I might have heard you “croak” by now in reply, but the silence has me wondering whether perhaps the heat was too much and you did finally boil away.

    • elarga

      I congratulate DavidHart etc. for actually visiting this site and reading the essays. It seems we don’t convince him, and he doesn’t convince us. Yet he doesn’t give up. Keep coming back, DavidHart etc. We love you.

      • Correction:

        He only “doesn’t give up”, when the topic is homosexuality. He ONLY “comes back” when the topic is homosexuality. He has NOTHING to say on any other matter.

        He knows he will not convince us that homosexuality is normal and benign, so one of two things is true:

        1.) He has a compulsion that makes him engages in futile efforts.
        2.) He’s here to vandalize the site.

        • Seamrog

          3.) He’s being drawn here because his soul recognizes the truth.

          His will is clearly fighting it, but…

        • fredx2

          Well, I suppose he is gay or has a particular interest in gay matters. So what? He seems to engage in polite challenges. That is wonderful. As Catholics we learn every time we are forced to respond to the other side.

          • GG

            DE-173 speaks for folks that do not see places like Crux news and other liberal bastions as main defenders of the Truth. Crisis seems to welcome all views, but several of the commenters here boldly speak up which in our post modern effete culture is seen as a “sin”.

  • elarga

    What I infer from this column is that the new homophiles do not consider homosexuality a disorder, and therefore they want the Church to stop identifying homosexuality as a disorder. Major complication: If we agree it’s not a disorder, then it’s no different from heterosexuality, and so marriage between homosexuals should be licit.

    • fredx2

      It is instructive that you had to infer this from the article. It does not say that, so I am not sure whether the new homophiles actually believe that. The most I (am forced to infer) from this article is that they will maintain that SSA is not easily changed, and in some cannot be changed. They may be factually correct, they may be factually wrong. We just do not know.

      The fact is there is no such thing as the new homophiles. There are a couple of people with a couple of books and no doubt they do not agree on many things. Eve Tushnet does not like the language “intrinsically disordered” Big deal. Even Chaput says we should expand this language to all sex outside of marriage so that there is no confusion about it being used only as a means to attack gay people. Big deal. Eve Tushnet wrote a book.

      The fact that they agree with most of Catholic teaching on the matter should be a cause for celebration and a means to move forward.

      • GG

        No, that little language issue is a really big deal. How we talk matters greatly. How we define the truth informs how we believe and how we live. Yes, it is a big deal.

      • elarga

        At least three times in the essay, Ruse suggests but doesn’t actually assert that the New Homophiles believe that the Church is wrong to call homosexuality a disorder, to wit:
        1. “she also believes the Church has ‘gay’ sexuality wrong. After all, that is one of the main planks in the New Homophile platform.”
        2. “the New Homophiles hold that their same-sex attraction was not only given to them by God . .”
        3. “the New Homophiles want Church doctrine to change in order to recognize points one and two. Yes, they want the Church to be gay-positive”

        We should “celebrate” that they agree with “most” of Catholic teaching? Which “most,” I wonder. John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi agree with “most” of it, I reckon. You celebrate. I’ll pray for them.

  • Susan

    Wow, Relativism has really cast a heavy dark cloud over the teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Truth has become ‘A la Carte’ and logic hangs by a thinning thread.

    The right focus of our lives is to have it 100% on the Intentions of The most Sacred Heart of Jesus if one is a daily persevering catholic. All of humanity bears a cross of one kind or another, some heavier or in bigger numbers than others. To make our crosses a public focus is the complete opposite of the Christian life. If one understands even just a little, the love Christ bears for each one of us, we would not see this kind of banter from professed-Christians. We are to shine the light of Christ with our lives, not our crosses.

    There is no difference between this same gender attraction (over talked of issue) than there is from mental anguish borne of a handicap or the daily difficulties experienced by a midget or a dwarf; or from the trials of disease or terminal illness, etc. As Christians, Christ wants us to use our trials and crosses to bring to life virtuous living. If you are a man, BE A MAN. If you are a woman, BE A WOMAN. We each have a very distinct role through the gift of our masculinity or femininity regardless of anything we see as difficult.

    Truth is simple, clear and beautiful. There is no debate on God’s Truth. If there is, it is Satan who is whispering to the ego to question God.

    • St JD George

      Well said. Satan is the father of relativism don’t you know, and cunning, and deceit. There is only one who is the truth, the way and the life.

    • GG

      Amen. Preach it, sister.

    • fredx2

      So – the “truth of Christ”, as proclaimed by Francis, means that we all should be giving much more of our income to the poor. I doubt that anyone here who claims that adherence to church doctrine must be 100% has done this. The fact is, that there are virtually NO Catholics who adhere 100% to church teachings. We are not all out there marching against the death penalty. We are not all out there handing out blankets to newly arrived immigrants. We do not all go to church every sunday. etc, etc.

      • GG

        Talk about straw men. Many agree with all the Church teaches. That does not mean they do not sin, but they at least accept the truth of the teachings and the need to affirm them.

        This group in question is publicly “teaching” some strange things. If we cannot engage them on there errors then what is the point?

  • R. K. Ich

    We live in a fallen world. Concupiscence bends us in all kinds of perverse directions. This rally to be “celebrated” by the world, and conversely shut down those who can’t throw confetti for religious reasons, is a way of cauterizing consciences.

    I am happy to have SSA friends who actually don’t think their lifestyles ought to be shoved in other people’s faces. But they are the minority, and will be persecuted too.

    • fredx2

      I don’t think anyone in Eve Tushnet’s group believes that their sexuality should be shoved in others faces.

      I usually agree with Austin Ruse, at least to an extent. I think he has missed important facts here, and made the good the enemy of the perfect.

      • R. K. Ich

        Mine was a more general point. Maybe totally inappropriate for this article, but there it is.

      • Austin Ruse

        Please show me where I said the NH believe their sexuality should be shoved in others faces…

        I am happy to debate what i actually wrote but I am not much interested in debating phantoms that are not in my piece..

        • R. K. Ich

          Please show me where I said you said that….

          • Austin Ruse

            my mistake.

            • R. K. Ich

              No problem. I now see why you would think that.

  • It’s sort of comical to me that anyone thinks there’s something new here. Every bit of all this debate has been with the Church from its very beginnings. But perhaps an illusion of novelty presents us with the opportunity of serving the uninformed both inside and outside the Church — which includes preeminently the media.

    • R. K. Ich

      Oh, haven’t you heard? According to the best and brightest (and up-to-date!) scholars, St. Paul and the early Church didn’t know about a thing called “orientation” — so this is all new.

      Now, now, now, I know what you’re thinking, new terms do not overturn principles, but that’s just because you’re not sufficiently trained in the new social vision of things. But that’s okay, you’ll either catch up or get left behind, or maybe even sued or jailed. Nevertheless, welcome to the New Era of Freedom! Weeeeeeeee!

  • Jim Russell

    I’d like to leave one (and just one) comment–please let’s not let the temperatures rise too much in the comboxes on this subject. I want *first* to count Eve, Josh, Julie, etc., as my brothers and sisters in Christ whom I hope to be with in Heaven for eternity. Full stop. Because of the ongoing potential for volatility regarding differences of view, my hope is that commenters will engage this issue via that lens.

    Next, let’s be clear that, as Austin mentions, we share *so* much common ground and are, indeed, allies in proclaiming to secular culture much of the truth about God’s plan for our sexual behavior. The more we emphasize our common ground and our common desire for good for the other, I believe the more we will see and share in the blessings of dialoguing on areas of disagreement.

    And *yes*, truly significant areas of disagreement exist and must be considered. And any regular comboxers know that really deeply virtuous communication rarely if ever happens in comment threads attached to articles. So here’s the challenge–try for something deeply virtuous in your comments here. If we do that, everyone wins….

    • R. K. Ich

      It will be a strange day (but I fear not too distant) when the zoophiles start clamoring for charitable dialogue.
      Charitable dialogue begins with the truth: those appetites are fundamentally broken, essentially disordered. All dialogue and help must proceed from there.

    • GG

      I enjoy your posts. You always use such good logic it is a pleasure to read them. The real problem with this topic is that it is so insidious. I believe that is why it brings out such a response. Sure, that self proclaimed homosexual persons publicly affirm Church teaching on chastity is all well and good but have we gotten to the point that requires a huge thank you? And if we have why?

      Agreeing with this one aspect of Church teaching on the issue is fine, but we cannot exclude the other serious problems with this ideology. Ruse’s article here is making an important point.

      • “that self proclaimed homosexual persons”
        And we should remember that historically acts were homosexual, people were not.

      • fredx2

        Not one of the New Homophiles has asked for a thank you.

        Also, the New Homophies have not agreed with ONE ASPECT of church teaching, they have agreed wit the major aspect of church teaching – the one lthat eliminates sin from their lives. The fact that they have not come all the way is not a reason to reject them in toto.

        Ruse’s article is important if he points out problems with their ideas. To the point that he wants us to just dismiss as evil sinners people who agree with the church 95% of the way is wrong. There has never been a requirement that people who start to agree with the church must believe in every aspect all at once. That is silly and counterproductive. For example, many Protestants who start to love the Catholic church have great difficulty with our view of Mary. So we should roundly condemn them and tell them to get lost until they are ready to agree with us on Mary? Counterproductive in the extreme. These things are a continuum, not an end point.

        • Austin Ruse

          Please show me where I “want us to dismiss as evil sinners” anyone let alone those who are 95% good on the teachings? Sheesh. I say we must engage them and correct them not dismiss them.

          • Guitarcub

            If this article is an example of “engagement”, maybe I read the wrong article? Since when does “engagement” begin with a snarky fashionista description of the people you are trying to engage, followed by a pop psychology assessment that reeks of liberal pseudointellectualism?Your utter contempt for these folks drips from every word you write.

            • Austin Ruse

              I have engaged these folks for months now. Go and read my previous columns. Then welcome back.

              • Guitarcub

                I have read your past articles. No disrespect, but they read like you are engaging in an internal debate as a journalistic tool to show your openness rather than any actual attempt at real engagement.

                • Austin Ruse

                  When I started, my mind was not closed, and that is the way they should be read. As I went forward, though, i came to understand the issues more thoroughly and began to see the very troubling aspect to their main propositions. I also began hearing from those who had been engaging with the New Homophiles for a good long while. And I also began noticing some inherent dishonesty in the what they said and to whom. I also noticed their tricky use of language.

                  As for snark and sarcasm, have you read Tushnet’s book?

          • Vex

            Not according to that article in March where you suggested all left wingers in universities should be dragged outside and shot.

            Sounds like you’d rather they just disappear, preferably in a rather brutal manner.

            • Austin Ruse

              Actually only left wing professors who’ve had a hand in ruining higher Ed. Get your facts straight.

              • Vex

                Wow, that really makes it soooooo much better.

                You still sound like a frustrated repressed sadist, the kind of which the Catholic Church does does not need any more of.

                • Austin Ruse

                  BINGO! You got me

                  • Vex

                    I’m glad you find it funny, it must be something of a reprieve in your case as it draws you away from self-loathing for a few seconds.

                    I’ll admit, I didn’t quite understand why you chose to levy such a vitriolic attack on “the new homophiles” but after learning of you being in a similar boat it just stinks of hypocrisy.

                    There is one very amusing point from all of this though. I’ll admit when the gay marriage movement started picking up speed in the US I really didn’t know what way it would ultimately go. But I suspect a good portion of its success is ultimately down to people like you with extreme statements.

                    People don’t like watching bullying, which is what anything I have read by you seems tantamount to; and it just pushed people further and further away from your side. I mean come on, even the American Family Association (an organization known for some of its more inflammatory comments) ditched you after that spout about professors.

                    All I can say is keep up the good work, you just make it easier for secularists and atheists to paint Catholics as tyrannical sociopaths.

                    • Austin Ruse

                      I’ll try to be better. I really really really will…

                • Gigahoo

                  Ruining higher education is a very serious harm. Those that do it have an agenda and are egotists, and there are victims.

                  • Vex

                    What, like you don’t have one? (i.e: Ultra-Conservative Catholic theocracy?).

                    Everyone has an agenda, Catholics included.

                    • Gigahoo

                      So in this context you are excusing the agenda of the left on campus no matter the harm?

                      The Catholic agenda is to do the will of God, show mercy and love to those harmed, and because it is so near impossible to achieve, trust in the one True Church established by Jesus Christ.

                      Are you saying the Catholic agenda is an Ultra-Conservative Catholic theocracy? That is a contradiction in terms, thought the reign of Henry the VIII resembles what you describe for what little its worth, and more to the point, the theocracy in Constantinople after the split, which the Church did not even ever try to emulate.

                    • Vex

                      [So in this context you are excusing the agenda of the left on campus no matter the harm?

                      Part of going to university is to encounter, challenge and engage with viewpoints entirely different from ones own; hearing the Catholic Church’s opinion over and over does little for this.

                      If their faith was strong and the Catholic Church’s reasoning the ultimate truth as it claims, surely a single man, educated as he may be cannot persuade someone from that? You either give the liberal professors far more credit than they are due, or you doubt the strength or truth of the church.

                      [The Catholic agenda is to do the will of God, show mercy and love to
                      those harmed, and because it is so near impossible to achieve, trust in
                      the one True Church established by Jesus Christ.]

                      It’s also to ensure no divorced and remarried individual, “practicing” homosexuals, atheists and other “untouchables” cannot find constant employment or rented accommodation they cannot be thrown out on for being one of the previous if the efforts of leading Catholics in good standing like Rick Satorum and the Bishop of Illinois are anything to go by.

                      [Are you saying the Catholic agenda is an Ultra-Conservative Catholic
                      theocracy? That is a contradiction in terms, thought the reign of
                      Henry the VIII resembles what you describe for what little its worth,
                      and more to the point, the theocracy in Constantinople after the split,
                      which the Church did not even ever try to emulate.]

                      Surely you jest?

                      It appears you missed the entire period of 400-1517AD in Europe, not to mention the donation of constantine through which the Popes, claimed absolute spiritual and temporal power on all beings in western Europe (later extended by Innocent III when he claimed absolute ruler ship of the universe, which even his contemporaries didn’t take very seriously) not least the entire history of Italy and the Papal States (of which the Pope was absolute Monarch remember? Until Pius IX was deposed by Victor Emmanuel at any rate).

                      Considering Ireland fifty years ago, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal and the Philippines today I’d say the Catholic Church has always displayed a very keen interest in creating a theocratic state, and this is in the past century alone!

                    • Gigahoo

                      But I do give a good deal of credit to the liberal professors. Catholic schools teach respect for teachers, and I’m afraid the students do get sucked in. I infer you are of Catholic background yourself. And the professors aren’t really respectful of other viewpoints to the point of intolerance. Otherwise, I would agree with your main point.

                      No, I accounted for the period 400-1517AD. As I stated there was a true theocracy in the Eastern Empire in Constantinople in that period, and the Church in Rome did NOT ever try to emulate it.

                      So I do not jest.

                      Your examples reflect the kind of distortions liberal professors are teaching. It is ludicrous to call the Philippines a theocracy. Spain and Portugal dictatorships were a reaction to terrorists. In Spain the left executed Priests and nuns in the thousands, using ideologies not much different than much of the left. Lenin did the same. Malta is a 95% Catholic country and not a theocracy.

                      Regarding Pope Innocent III, you have perhaps been led astray by some liberal professor. Wikipedia says of Pope Innocent: “His papacy asserted the absolute spiritual authority of his office, while still respecting the temporal authority of kings.”. From what I read there, Pope Innocent was a really good Pope.

                      The Church does have authority to speak in matters of right and wrong, and it is your obligation as a free citizen, as well as those who govern and even atheists, to give the major encyclicals your serious consideration. That in no way defines a theocracy.

                      If you wish to tie the end of the papal states to Victor Emmanuel, I’ll be glad to concede. That puts the entire Renaissance under the reign of the Popes. And in fact, it is no accident that the Renaissance originated in Italy.

        • GG

          If you only accent one part of the teaching, and then attempt to redefine the rest of the teaching then you are not doing people any favors. Yes, celibacy is a must. No, being “gay” is not a gift and there is no need to re-interpret theology to make “gayness” any more that what it authentically is.

          If Protestant’s want to misdefine Mary’s role in the faith we do not encourage it or overlook it.

        • R. K. Ich

          It’s insulting to Protestants to compare Marian teaching, which is a matter of history and special revelation, to the general revelation of What Man Is and how he ought to behave.

          One can legitimately question whether Mary was bodily assumed with a clean conscience. Judgment has not been poured out on the earth for doubts about our Lady’s physical whereabouts.

        • ForsythiaTheMariner

          What is the “ONE ASPECT” of Church teaching you refer to?

    • Gabriel Blanchard

      Thank you very much, Reverend Deacon, for giving such a thoughtful, measured, and loving reply. I’m really grateful.

    • Hampstead

      See my note above at 12/25. Ruse’s article can be characterized as flippant, condescending and absolutist. It is a style of opinion writing that is in vogue; no writing skill is needed and even less reflection.

  • ColdStanding

    If your starting premise is that the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church has gotten it wrong with regards to “X, Y, and/or Z”, then you are going to be disappointed.

    Don’t feel bad about it. As recently as 50 years ago, a good number of Churchmen that should have known better got it horribly wrong. We are still picking up the pieces.

    Pick up your cross again, keep His commandments and it will all work out.

  • wannabeapoet

    wannabeapoet

  • wannabeapoet

    If instead of a sneering, ridiculing attack, you want to read a thoughtful, nonjudgmental commentary on Miss Tushnet by an orthodox Catholic, Jeff Mirus of Catholic Culture, read this: http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/articles.cfm?id=637&repos=6&subrepos=1&searchid=1467778

    • Austin Ruse

      Sadly, Mirius does not understand or see the entire NH agenda. Sure, her book is a nice book. i willl probably give it a rave when I write about it..but the problems still remain. We cannot be so eager to be loved, that we deliberately overlook the problems…

  • fredx2

    I think that getting gays to agree with 95% of church teaching is a major step forward Let’s not let the good be the enemy of the perfect. Wesley Hill has said that he thinks that about 50% of gays are open to living chastely. The fact that the Washington Post has begun to report on this phenomenon is a good thing. If anything, it gives the lie to the standard gay story line that has obsessed the media for so long.

    No, they have not invented friendship or hospitality. See the very thoughtful videos of Rosaria Butterfield on youtube. (former lesbian feminist professor, now wife and mother) Even she admits that the same sex attraction never goes away, but it can be sublimated to greater ends. Do we castigate the on the wagon alcoholic because he occasionally wants a drink

    Quite frankly I don’t understand the opposition here. Courage has been doing the same things for years as this new homophile group, haven’t they? Let the New Homophiles pretend they invented it, big deal.

    • GG

      No, Courage does not do the same thing or portray the same ideology.

  • CadaveraVeroInnumero

    Thanks for taking on Ms. T.’s book. Hope the mother bears can keep their claws retracted and tucked in – just sol!

    For all the glossy images and wordsmithery in newspaper style-pages (where, these days, religion is usually mixed and stirred with the 5:00pm drinks) the fundamentals, of both faith and sex, have not changed.

    One cannot be utterly faithful to the Church (sacraments, teaching, and such) and utterly faithful to Queerness (identity loci, an – if not *the* – incarnating vehicle for the Life of God, and what-not).

    Impossible. Can’t.

    Dearest brother homophiles, come on over, knock on the door, we’ll have a chat. If you wish, I can move the sofa in front of my bulging shelves of books and original oils. Tuck my leg in just so. Cater the repast from that darling French place down the street. Just the two of us, with the curtains open. We’ll toast and roast this conversation till its all straightened out.

    [From the BANKRUPT Diocese of Stockton]

  • Siwash

    I can’t help but feel sad at the fact that any efforts to scientifically understand the psychological phenomenon of homosexuality gets knocked down: the homosexual activists are enormously anti-scientific and have the same kind of “be irrational, because it’s politically useful to be irrational” attitude that existed in fascist eras.

  • JG89

    Interesting article.

    Now, I (a man) have no physical or even emotional attraction to women, but I do want children, so I am currently dating, and will eventually marry a woman. Would I describe myself as gay? Homosexual? Same sex attracted? I am not sure the right terminology, but it is a minor point. In terms of ‘cross to bear’, while difficult, it is far from insurmountable, and I don’t think it imbues me with any special gifts or wisdom. If it does, I must have missed out on them.

    What I do find very wrong is claiming that some historical figure was gay, piecing together clues from his or her life. Baseless gossip and speculation!

    • “Now, I (a man) have no physical or even emotional attraction to women, but I do want children, so I am currently dating, and will eventually marry a woman.”

      If you are not honest with the woman, you will not have a valid marriage. Almost, worse, some night, she will do something to obtain your attention, and you will be indifferent or unattentive. I don’t know how one can persist without an attraction.

      My Dad gave me advice one time. “Don’t marry the girl you think you can live with, marry the one you cannot live without.”

      • JG89

        I have to disagree with that. If we really waited until we met the one we cannot live without to marry, 90 in 100 would remain single.

        Head-over-heels in love, infatuation is not the best foundation for a marriage. I know I will be a good father, and I want nothing more than to have enough children to field my own hockey team.

        I recently returned to the Catholic faith, and admit my knowledge remains shaky, at best, but my understanding is that as long as spouses freely exchange their consent and are committed to marriage for life, and open to children, then the marriage is valid. Attraction doesn’t enter into it.

        • You may disagree, but undisclosed homosexual attraction/orientation is grounds for annulment. It is fraud in the inducement to use secular legal terms, to conceal such a fact.

          I didn’t marry for heads or heels infatuation. I did however have the opportunity to see what life was like without my wife for a bit over a decade. When we were brought back together by a list of circumstances that included me NOT getting a “sure thing” position in a place formerly known as 1 World Trade Center, New York, New York. Their were other women in the interregnum, but there was always a comparison that failed.

          You don’t know you’ll be a good father, nobody does. Part of being a good father is being in an indissoluable union with your children’s mother. She’s not merely the mixing bowl and oven for your DNA. It’s not enough to want to have “have enough children to field my own hockey team”, the desire should be to have children out of love, with a specific woman who shares that goal.
          You affirm the unbreakable love of children by exhibiting unbreakable love for their mother, who is closer to them than anybody else on earth.

          Attraction may not be necessary for a VALID marriage, but it certainly is for a SUCCESSFUL one. Married life is full of challenges, wonders and doubts. Every married woman wants to be DESIRED by her husband (and visa versa). If she greets you in a nightgown and you say, “so how was your day”, it ain’t going to work.

          • JG89

            DE-173, thank you — I was unaware that undisclosed homosexual attraction is ground from annulment; I have only recently returned to the Catholic faith, so I am quite ignorant on some matters.

            I am under no illusions re the challenges of married life. However, I don’t think that a lack of attraction, emotional or physical, to women, disqualifies me from the only legitimate path to fatherhood.

            • You aren’t married, I am. I thought I knew a lot about being married when I was single too.

        • Daniel P

          JG,

          DE-173 is right that you MUST tell your wife about this. I have SSA, and I’m married, and it’s been SO much easier since I told my wife at the outset. You have no idea what the devil has planned for your life, and hiding just makes you play right into his plan. Honesty is absolutely necessary for a marriage.

          Attraction really, really helps. If you’re not attracted to the woman you marry, she will feel ugly and unattractive. It’s fine not to find random ladies in magazines attractive, but you ought not set yourself up for a situation where your own wife isn’t sexually appealing to you.

    • Seamrog

      Chilling and reviling.

      • JG89

        I don’t think physical or emotional attraction is necessary for a strong relationship — in some ways, love clouds dangerously clouds objectivity and judgement. I will, of course, take marriage vows seriously — no danger of running off because I can’t bear to be trapped in a lie or something.

        • mitch64

          Physical attraction wanes in any relationship, as the years go by and we get older it isn’t AS important and other things supersede that attraction…(shared goals, you like her sense of humor, loyalty etc.) however, there has to be some at the start or by the time you hit 50 your really in trouble. But emotional attraction is VERY important or there is no basis to the relationship.

          No offense to you but you sound like you are more interested in having children then marrying this woman and cherishing her as she should be cherished. You are from the start, not taking her feelings into consideration and are to be blunt, being quite selfish. DE is correct and he obviously speaks from experience as does Daniel P (though no offense to him I have no idea why a woman would enter into that relationship but if it works for them good for them.) Listen to them before you ruin this woman’s life and any kids you bring into the marriage.

          Honesty and trust is the most important part of any relationship, and if she discovers this HUGE lie she will never trust you again.

          If your desire for kids is so great there are a lot of lost ones in the world that need help. Coach a hockey team for Heaven’s sake if its that important to you.

          • JG89

            I understand, Mitch (and I’ve forgotten my password, so I don’t know if this will show up correctly).

            Now, let me spell out my reasons, and defend my thought here a bit:

            I greatly desire children, both for the sake of having children, and so that my parents may be (actual) grand-parents. I have one brother who is married, but his wife is unable to conceive. They are looking into adoption. Having children, and not just a Big Brother/coaching/mentor-type relationship, as I would working with other’s children, is what I really want.

            I really think the potential danger is being exaggerated. Look at how successful arranged marriages are — does anyone think those who practice this custom can fall in love, both emotionally, and physically, with their spouse in the one or two meetings that precede the marriage?

  • clintoncps

    Dear Austin,

    Thank you for this excellent article.

    When I first heard about Eve Tushnet’s book, I was immediately appalled. I have not and will not read it, because it is dangerous. That’s because it proposes a lie — a blasphemy, really: that homosexual impulses proceed from the Holy Spirit and are a “gift” from God.

    Your article makes it clear that the “giftedness” of homosexualism referenced in the interim document from the Synod on the Family (of which we will no doubt hear more in October of 2015) is in sympathy with the New Homophile movement. Little wonder then that the interim document had no savour of the Holy Spirit about it on this topic, but rather that of the father of lies.

    When we go before the Lord at judgment, how will we “educate” Him to understand that the sinful appetites we have nurtured in our minds — albeit without physically practicing them with our bodies — should be welcomed into heaven as part of the New Creation we are supposed to become in Jesus Christ? How will we justify refusing to surrender a sexually-perverse self-image at the foot of the Cross, instead preferring to cling to that self-image and thus driving nails into our Lord? This whole scheme is simply a refusal to acknowledge our willful participation in the cunningness of sin, and finding clever ways to delude ourselves and others that a truce with sin is possible. As an astute writer put it, it is an effort to find a middle ground between orthodoxy (or a least orthopraxy) and heresy.

    However sincere the New Homophiles may be, or may wish to think themselves, imputing to God the works of the devil will only result in personal destruction unless this terrible, imagination-laden, fantasy-path of self-deception is departed from. Let’s stop conflating sinners with their sin. Let’s pray for Eve, Josh, and all those involved in this “movement”, but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking it has anything to do with God’s will for human life, love, or salvation.

    In the love and truth of Christ and the Holy Family,

    Clinton

    • fredx2

      I don’t think you are actually saying what they believe.

      If this is a gift from the Holy Spirit, why must it be resisted?

      They can only believe that this TEMPTATION is a gift of the Holy Spirit only if and to the extent that they resist it and engage in other, holier acts as a substitute.

      Otherwise their position makes no sense,. And they are not thanking the Holy Spirit for this gift, they are thanking the Holy spirit for a trial, which must be resisted and when resisted, leads to a better life. They are no different than Catholics with diseases, etc, who thank God for the trial because it made them better.

      • R. K. Ich

        Are zoophile tendencies a gift of the Holy Spirit? How about pedophile tendencies?

        What you mean to say is that their trial is a cross they must bear by God’s grace and calling. But it’s not what identifies them. They are not gay. They are Catholics who must fight a particular vice. We all have vices to fight.

        • GG

          Like the recent Synod this has become almost a game of words. We are now to believe we must parse evil acts and unnatural desires so that we may conclude there is some good in these things.

          On the one hand we are told people are wildly uncatechized so we must only meet them where they are and affirm them. Forget doctrinal truth because that is too mean.

          Then on the other hand we are to believe that pedantic parsing of certain deviant desires are to be viewed as a “gift”from our Lord because it suits the age we live in and our overlords know better than we do.

          So, cover over that mean old doctrine and play up the “good” in disordered desires. Is this a recipe for evangelization or salvation?

  • CadaveraVeroInnumero

    Responding to Jim Russell:

    “God’s plan for our sexual behavior” includes what is now mischievously tagged *identity*. New Homophiles, Old-Fashion Homophiles, Neither & Other, seems we have all accepted a false demarcation, a dangerous bifurcation of ethics and ontology: that behavior and *identity* (personhood, I suppose) are separate sovereign spheres.

    Until we get off that dime this conversation will spin on and on.

    And, please, spare me a bludgeon over the issue of culpability; that’s a different kettle theological fish.
    |
    To renounce “gay” behavior must include a renunciation of “gayness”, the generating source of that behavior (acted upon or not). There is no good – let alone, a legitimate claim to be an incarating medium for the Holy Spirit – in such a generating source as Queerness.

    It’s time to apologize to Freud for shutting him out of this conversation. His alarm over the dangers of fragmentation has much bearing on this topic, As he wrote to his often irritating colleague, Wilhelm Fliess, “The split off mind is the devil [himself] . . .” The homophiles of his day sought to distract him from pursuing this thought to its end. They, to a degree succeeded.

    Freud’s insight was a Hebraic/Greek.Roman marvel, really: that any generating source (in this case homosexuality), if not renounced or, at least, bound and neutered, will (must) express itself (regardless how often one attempts to damp down its superficial behavior).

    Unless the generating source is, to put it simply, dealt with – utterly – it will always insist on being the parent of all it surveys. All attempts to fragment behavior from its generating source will fail – and create enormous crippling effects on the psyche and society, Whether Freud held a moral repulsion towards homosexuality is beside the point; his initial insight was clarifying, and still holds. That he was distracted from pursuing it to its ends is much to our determent – and Ellen’s.

    [Once more, from the BANKRUPT Diocese of Stockton]

  • tj.nelson

    I’ve read Eve’s book, and though I disagree on some points I have to say she strikes me as very faithful to Catholic teaching and deeply devout. Her book is astonishing in it’s honesty, and at the risk of being mocked here, I couldn’t help but think of Dorothy Day and Madeleine Dubrel – as well as Teresa of Avila whose writings were similarly as honest and sincere. I know from people who write to me that they found her story encouraging as regards their own children who are actively gay.

    Young people today, those alienated for whatever reason, simply want us to listen to their stories and recognize that they exist. They know what the Church teaches already and many just can’t make it fit – yet. We all need to pray and be open to those trying to be faithful.

    If the new homophiles seek to change Catholic teaching – they are mistaken – it can’t change. I’m not sure they all agree with one another on that either. I don’t read them very deeply and to be honest – their exchanges seem more academic/philosophical theoretical experiments than anything else. I know bishops and priests are listening – but Catholic teaching can’t change. To be sure, their writings help people to examine their lives and grow in self-knowledge – that isn’t narcissism since self knowledge is critical for any spiritual growth.

    I’m definitely pro-Courage for ssa persons – but many people may not feel that type of program is designed for them, for whatever reason. Some are convinced that gay is their identity – precisely because they have been educated, formed to think that. Conversion from the ‘lifestyle’ takes time and is often confused, interrupted, sometimes because of critical posts such as this one. I always appreciate what you write, but this article seems just a tad sarcastic and/or scornful. Otherwise your points are well taken and I generally agree with you.

    We need to have great charity – as well as patience. These people are someone’s kids. The culture proclaims gay from the rooftops – as equal, as normative – that constant message pulls upon those trying to be faithful to a Church whose members often scoff and condemn – and as people who comment on my blog say – ‘beat them over the head with doctrine.’ Hopefully they can come to understand that gay is not the gift they were given, likewise, if they are to understand that friendship is not a vocation in itself – they can only do so if those outside their paradigm can befriend them. I often think of Vanier’s book title “Befriending the stranger” in this regard.

    My apologies for writing so much – I maybe should do a blog post on the subject, but I doubt it would affect anyone’s thinking on the subject.

    God bless you and your readers.

    Terry

    • Austin Ruse

      i intend to review Tushnet’s book and suspect I will give it a rave, in some parts anyway. But I find her way to dismissive of Catholic teaching, way too dismissive of psychological counseling for the SSA..she is very good at mockery!

      • tj.nelson

        Thanks Austin – I forget that some in Spiritual Friendship crowd have been equally unkind to you and others who raise questions and concerns about the movement.

        I’m always disappointed when these folks are dismissive of Courage because I see Courage as a solid means to sanctifying one’s life. I also believe one can move beyond gay and same sex attraction into great freedom of spirit – literally to the point of what Paul wrote in Galatians 3:28.

        Younger people aren’t convinced of that fact however – yet.

        • Austin Ruse

          Terry, I answered without noticing it was you. Hope you are excellent. For anyone reading this exchange, Terry Nelson has been working this vein heroically for much longer than most..

  • JP

    The Roman Empire during the time of Christ was, should we say, very gay and bisexual friendly. Roughly 25-30% of the citizens there had “gay” inclinations. In the capital of Rome itself, the percentage of gays and bisexuals was much higher. Slavery, misogyny, infanticide, matricide and crucifixions were the norm. Yes, people got married as well. But, a Roman husband who owned slaves wasn’t prohibited from sleeping with his slaves (male,female, adult child). This was the world that Christ and His Apostles evangelized. Except in that dusty old province of Judea, what the early Christians taught couldn’t have been further than what was practiced within the realm. The Christian family was as foreign to Rome as glaciers are to the Sahara Desert. Yet, within a blink of an eye (300 years) much of the empire was Christian.

    The soft pedaling of sexual sins, deviancy, and homosexuality today never would have worked 1800 years ago. Homosexuals and bisexuals of the Roman Empire who converted had just as strong tendencies as those today, as did those people who practiced adultery and took part in the orgies at the public baths. But, many did convert; they converted in droves. There was no sophisticated and nuanced talk of homophiles and same-sex attraction. But whole sale changes in behaviors did take place within a very short period of time. What did they know or have they we don’t?

    • Daniel P

      From Paul’s letters, it’s clear that Paul just assumed many of his readers desired either homosexual or pederastic relationships. Paul said clearly and unequivocally to not engage in such relationships. Paul did not try conversion therapy, and he did not deal with homosexually inclined Christians (many, many Roman Christians at the time) as inferior or diseased. He just told them to stop doing this action, the same way you would tell someone to stop going to the Colosseum. This worked.

      It still works.

  • The sneering tone of this entire article is dismaying.

    • R. K. Ich

      If he were fawning all over the NH crowd, would you be equally dismayed?

      • Scott W.

        Somehow I doubt it. When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When the law is on your side, argue the law. When neither are on your side, complain about “tone”.

    • ForChristAlone

      Go elsewhere.

  • richado

    Gay identifiers? Cf. Galatians 3:28
    “There
    can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there
    can be no male and female: for ye all are one man in Christ Jesus.”
    What they want is an exception to this.

  • cestusdei

    Same sex attraction is not a gift, it is a cross to bear. Bearing it well means greater holiness. I am all for them being chaste, but we cannot accept same sex attraction as a good.

  • Steve Pålsson

    Does God offer homosexuals the particular grace to resist their particular temptations? If so, that is a gift that those who are not homosexual are not offered. It is a gift uniquely given to homosexuals.

    • R. K. Ich

      But that’s not the same as saying that their SSA disorder is itself a gift from the Father of Lights. If no man can be tempted of God, it follows that no man’s concupiscence is a product of Divine creativity.

      Hear again the word of the Lord:

      “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (James 1:13-18).

  • Enoch14

    Can a Catholic be chaste and call himself “gay” at the same time? No. No. No.

  • kmk

    Stop using SSA. It’s really desirous for a relationship and I’ll take what I can get. I had a male family member who openly, and obviously, preferred women but had little opportunity for relationships with women. He met a man who wanted him to become a woman so my family member began hormone treatment to become a woman. After a couple years of hormone treatment before the big surgery they broke up. My family member met a woman a few years later and they married and were married for many years before he died.
    It is obvious. People want to be in loving relationships. Our culture teaches that anything goes. God has told us how to be in healthy relationships.
    I have many other examples of friends claiming heterosexuality, then homosexuality. Darn, that hetero relationship didn’t work, what can I do? Oh, there’s others that having experienced failed relationships blame it on the sex of the other, couldn’t have been anything that I did. But I so want to be in a relationship that I’ll take any I can get. That’s why we have organizations like NAMBLA.

    • Joe Malik

      Just as a point of order, we don’t have organizations like NAMBLA. Not in the way you think. Not in the way that has as many people as a typical restaurant can expect to see during the lunch rush.

      NAMBLA never had more than 2000-ish members, and that number plummeted after it was revealed that it included scores of undercover police who had already acquired the names of everyone who was in it. That made the news, if you’ll recall.

      I’m pretty sure the number of times the group has been named on national television is higher than the total number of people who have ever been members. Last I heard it was just a pathetic website with no traffic and like a dozen members in one or two cities.

  • kmk

    Most serial murderers also deny any wrongdoing.

  • Major914

    Good article. The new homophilia, almost as brave as it is new, almost as much of both as it fashionably flattering–that is, trendily narcissistic…

  • MrRightWingDave

    Outstanding article, Mr.Ruse!

  • Marcus

    Crisis Magazine: why so many articles on homosexuality? Is there nothing else going on out there that should be discussed? At least 75% of what’s published here is about homosexuality. It’s bordering obsession.

    • R. K. Ich

      Isn’t it proportionate to the SSA exposure in popular media? It has to be talked about because, if you haven’t noticed, self-proclaimed Christians of all stripes are succumbing to the propaganda of forced acceptance.

    • Crisiseditor

      Your claim that 75% of our content is about homosexuality is a lie. But no matter. You clearly don’t care about the issue–or are you really offended that anyone would dare challenge the gay agenda? The well-funded gay lobby cares. And their sycophants in the cultural and political elite are relentless. They will not leave us alone. It is they who keep imposing this on us. We are simply responding to their constant efforts to transform the culture. We are filling a void left by other publications who are too afraid of face squarely the machinations of the pelvic left. If you were Catholic you’d understand why Christian teaching must be defended, but clearly you’re not.

      • Clayton

        What Christian doctrine is being attacked by the likes of Eve Tushnet and Joshua Gonnerman? Do tell.

        • Augustus

          If you read the column, you would know what the debate is about.

    • ForChristAlone

      Don’t like it? Vote with your feet.

    • GG

      Why do much gay propaganda?

    • Scott W.

      The amount of Catholic commentary on this issue is at least proportional (and more likely not enough) to the cultural onslaught to normalize perversion.

      I’ve had a standing promise for several years now: If there is ever a Thieves’ Pride Parade or courts of law recognizing a person’s “alternative property-rights orientation”, I assure you that you will see more Catholic commentary on the wrongness of stealing.

  • Why must you hate education so much? Don’t you have two degrees? Is this some kind of elaborate ruse?

    • Augustus

      Credentials are overrated. Our overeducated elites–the so-called “experts”–repeatedly prove themselves corrupt and incompetent. The most ignorant people are found on college faculties. I distinguish between Ignorant and stupid. You may be good at taking standardized tests, but that does not mean you have a sound grasp of reality. Prejudice often gets in the way of understanding. That’s why academia refuses to accept intellectual diversity. Criticism would expose their intellectual laziness. Buckley was right: It’s better to be governed by the first 50 people in the Boston phone book than the entire faculty of Harvard.

  • ForChristAlone

    FACT:
    There’s no such thing as a “gay” person. Gay does not carry with it an identity as a person. Gay is a disordered passion. It comes with original sin.

  • Jason Suggs

    I thought the article was very positive, and am surprise at how it could be twisted into something so ugly.

  • Clayton

    “Without a doubt this is an important debate to have, but it is an important debate to actually have. What I mean is the engagement must really happen.”

    Mr Ruse, let it begin with you. You have so mischaracterized and demonized them that I would hardly consider it an example of engagement with their ideas. You even have passed judgment on their intentions, warning us not to take them at their word:

    “Third, the New Homophiles want Church doctrine to change in order to recognize points one and two. Yes, they want the Church to be gay-positive; more than that though, they want Church doctrine to recognize their “gayness” as gifts from God and through their gayness they’ve been given unique spiritual gifts. The New Homophiles will deny all of this, but it is in their now voluminous writings.”

    Good grief.

    What Church doctrine, exactly, do you see them wanting changed?

  • Siwash

    What hurts me about these kinds of subjects presented SO publicly is that they violate the natural reticence/prudence/modesty that people have about sex. . . and turn sex into a kind of hobby or sport, rather than something much more and more connected to the vitals of our personhood.

    I resent the homosexuals for talking so openly generally about sex, since this is a subject perhaps better dealt with intimately and personally. Being on the front page of a newspaper about this kind of thing surely presents these boys in a bad light.

  • Joseph Sciambra
    • mitch64

      Well if you say so it must be true! Who wouldn’t believe an ex-gay “porn star,” such as yourself. The self promotion was subtle too!

      • Scott W.

        Sarcasm is unnecessary and ungodly.

  • Mary P.

    Thanks to you all for your kindness and especially prayers! My prayers are going out to all of you today, and especially those other silent parents who know my pain all too well.

    • GG

      Mary, consecrate yourself to the Blessed Mother. She always answers your prayers.

  • Maggie Gallagher

    Eve Tushnet has written a lovely and honest book about her conversion, her sexuality, her alcoholism. I recommend everyone read it, because its not about homosexuality, it’s about living a Christian life. Calling her a narcissist and making fun of her photo is just kind of ugly and weird, if you ask me. Father Scalia may well be right that identifying as gay is a pastoral problem, but there is no need to get mean about the disagreement. IMHO. Anyone who is willing to give up sex for the rest of their live to do God’s will, even if she doesn’t understand it, deserves better. Very sad to see this kind of attack.

    • Scott W.

      Mr. Ruse describes the photo rather than making fun of it. Characterizing the article mean, an attack and calling her a narcissist is an tendentious reading of this article. Mr. Ruse and just about everyone here acknowledge the good in abstaining from something sinful. But accepting 5% falsehood with 95% truth is not going to cut it.

      • GG

        Exactly.

      • Augustus

        I agree. Even if the tone of the column was to Ms. Gallagher’s liking, she still does not respond to the argument it contains. The column was not a review of Ms. Tushnet’s book but a broad critique of the New Homophile ideology. It appears that some supporters of the New Homophiles think their commitment to Church teaching is fragile and therefore my be undermined by criticism of their intellectual arguments, a problem that defenders are reluctant to admit. Even Mr. Ruse does not go so far as to question their faith commitment, only their bad ideas. I would be surprised, too, if the New Homophiles were the first Christians with SSA to accept celibacy. And on a side note, I consider Ms. Gallagher an ally. It’s too bad that the only time she appears in Crisis these days is to complain.

    • ForChristAlone

      I have stop killing people. Must be time for me to write a book and be hailed as a hero.

      • Tom

        Remaining celibate, is tougher than merely not killing people. But is anyone actually calling them heroes?

  • Joseph Sciambra

    I am sure she is a lovely person, but the gay elite lesbian experience that she describes in her book is way out there from the majority of gay men’s lives in San Francisco, LA, and New York. I lived in all three during the 1990s and saw firsthand what self-identification as gay can do…My own book can be found here: http://www.swallowedbysatan.com

  • M.J .

    ‘ Unless a man is born again , he cannot enter The Kingdom .;- the one ‘advantage ‘ that any sinner has , is the awareness , if that has not been drowned out , is for the truth in The Light of Christ , to look deep within, all areas of selfishness and rebellion that might have led to harm to self or others ; all sinners are alike in such and the yearning to set things right through repentance and deliverance is The Way The Lord advocates for all sinners , for those who miss the mark of taking in enough of The Father love, to live and desire and help others too , to live in that truth and dignity .
    Distorting same, while it might seem painless in the short term, is a disservice , to The Lord, His Spirit and The Church , who is to uphold The Truth …that He is Lord and has power ..even His fallen minions hold power , as seen in the reports of the bizarre, in accounts of exorcism , how otherwise decent looking persons, in the midst of exorcism , are throwing up nails ..nails that they might have used , in a spiritual manner, to crucify The Lord, , through unbelief and such wickedness . how the enemy holds such power , even to change the elements ..do we need to suspect that he does not have similar power , in the spiritual – soul realms ,which is what need the healing , as all would acknowledge !
    The article is rather witty but in a good sense and Pope Francis do call attention that The Church need to be seen as a field hospital for sinners ..all sinners ..those who want to limit Her role and power is telling The Lord – ‘ we , our problems , are greater ‘ and a Church that accepts that stand and limitation would be robbing millions of what is precious – the trust in what The Lord and His Spirit can do ..at a time exactly when millions who might have become demonized in one manner or other , through sins against life, curses ( we do have more insight in that realm, thank God ) and the afflicted who need to hear and experience the opposite !.
    Well, The Church does not deny anyone , the grace to come in , to The Lord Jesus , asking for His help , to tell Him, with the rest – Lord, help us , to trust t in You , thus to be holy and true, to our Godly roles , that by the two edged sword of The Spirit , remove from us all, all anger / unforgiveness to The Father , from any woundedness in this area, that You would help us to desire and thus bless each other too , to be filled in the love from The Father , from the moment of conception on down , that we cherish each life , in its true role, dignity and destiny as You will, which alone is to bring us eternal happiness !
    Mother of Untainted Purity , take us up, in Your Son , granting us too, the joy of being born and renewed … that together , with all that you have brought into our lives , all who are alive in The Lord , are blessed to thank and adore The Father , for His goodness towards us each ..for all moments !

  • SR

    What is the point of oublishing this mean spirited essay that doesn’t treat other people with respect?

    • R. K. Ich

      If by mean-spirited you mean “honest”, “blunt”, “forthright”, “explicit”, “truthful”, “unambiguous”, “revealing”, “engaging”, and “passionate” — then the point is to offer a dose of reality to those who need desperately it. You see, the world, the flesh, and the devil will always tell the sinner he is not blind, sick, and wretched.

      Hear the Lord Christ:

      “And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth” (John 9:39-41).

    • Disagreement is not disrespect.

    • ForChristAlone

      A simple matter of pursuing the truth.

      Calling people mean spirited is just a Clintonesque leftist strategy for demonizing those who don’t agree with you and stifling ideas you don’t share.

  • maggie gallagher

    This column, by my friend Austin, is vile. He jumps from an intellectual/doctrinal criticism which is important to the low prospect of criticizing a photo and proclaiming a personality defect ‘narcissism.” It’s vile. I can’t explain all of what I think but I lay down this marker. Austin is not vile, but he has written a column that Christian charity should not accept. More to come, kick me out and revile me from your tribe if you must.

    • R. K. Ich

      The early church would have abhorred you.

      • Maggie Gallagher

        Possibly, kick me out of your tribe if you must.

        • R. K. Ich

          Oh spare me the faux-martyrdom complex.

    • Augustus

      You said this several hours ago. I’m not sure what digging in your heels changes. You still have not addressed the substance of his column. Mr. Ruse called for a debate about the New Homophile ideology. I guess you are one of those Christians he mentioned who refuses to participate, apparently because Mr. Ruse is a meanie.

    • If you were his friend, you would have shared your thoughts privately, prior to offering them publicly.

      As it stands, we really don’t know that “maggie gallagher” isn’t a pseudonymous imposter.

      Anybody can post as “guest” and change the name.

    • ForChristAlone

      the underlying psychological dynamic behind SSA is narcissism leading to gross immaturity in personality development. Who else is given to parades to celebrate their sexual attractions?

    • Jim Russell

      No Maggie–not “vile” at all. At first read, perhaps the tonal effect of a certain disdain seems like it could be pointed directly at Josh and Eve, but it’s not. At least not as I read it. Rather, Austin has a (rightful) disdain for how this secular media report is effectively “objectifying” its subjects by casting them in a certain context that fulfills the insatiable need for more news copy on the gay agenda, and that many people of faith, while positively affirming the positive, are not also engaging the problem areas with a critical eye.

      It’s not “vile” at all–it’s just a bit of a tightrope walk. But the critique here is twofold–first, of the overwrought and objectifying depiction of the article’s subjects (the original WaPo article, that is), and second, of the ongoing failure of even many in the Church to really engage the problem areas….

    • Scott W.

      Let’s try this again. Scrape away all the perceived tone and characterizing of Mr. Ruses article and go to its core argument:

      The concept of “reimagining celibacy” and treating same-sex attraction as a gift from God is pernicious nonsense.

      It’s easy to see why if you consider someone with a predilection for shoplifting declaring it is time to “reimagine obedience to the 7th commandment” and that his refraining from stealing is an occasion for celebrity and that his inclination for the five-fingered discount is a gift from God. Even a secular scoffer would find that bonkers. But because the topic of the article is a pelvic issue, people work overtime pretending that straightforward and unambiguous teachings about Chastity are more complicated than they are.

      Now if you accept the central argument of this article, (which is, to repeat, the concept of “reimagining celibacy” and treating same-sex attraction as a gift from God is pernicious nonsense.) then we can sorta excuse distracting rabbit trails about “tone” because our secular overlords have done a job habituating us to paying a kind of rhetorical PC jizya tax, and most of us do it when not on our guard.

      But if you reject that central argument, then all these tone objections are you being false with us. So which is it?

      • GG

        That is it exactly. Bravo.

    • Austin Ruse

      Just saw this.

      Maggie, are you aware of the remarkably high snark quotient in Tushnet’s book? She mocks many targets in her “thoughtful” book. Is sarcasm just for the New Homophiles and not for their critics? So what… I mention, socks and feet. Vile! The Style Section treatment was just a tad too much for me.

      Also, a tad to much for me are the claims of Gonnerman who says he and his are “reimagining” celibacy and that the bishops never talked about celibacy because they were hanging out with Republicans. And talk about snark: Gonnerman summed up Church teaching on homosexuality as “sucks for you.” Really? How about a little criticism of this kind of snark?

      I have been writing about this topic for months. This is the first time Ive been the least bit sarcastic and the first time you have (non)engaged. Welcome!

      Your friend,

      Austin

      PS I wonder if you are going to chime in over at Mark Shea’s blog where he accuses me of saying things i have never even remotely said? Not vile?

  • Meister Eckhart80

    I’m confused what is your thesis? Individuals experiencing SSA who act on it are clearly breaking with church teaching. Are individuals who experience SSA and accept and live church teaching different from the “new homophiles?” If I experience exclusively SSA, is there any place at all in the church for me without being labeled a “new homophile?” Feeling a bit lost on this one. This article is so sarcastic I don’t know which statements are sincere.

    • Augustus

      The New Homophiles are a particular group of “gay” Christian writers associated with the Spiritual Friendship website who want to celebrate being gay without acting on their sexual inclinations–as Mr. Ruse explicitly said. There are many Catholics with SSA, like those members of Courage, who do not accept the IDEOLOGY of the New Homophiles. This ideology was identified by Mr. Ruse in his column.

      • ForChristAlone

        There is nothing to celebrate about one’s sexual attractions. If they are well-ordered, the matter takes care of itself. If they are disordered, they are the effects of original sin and just keep quiet about it (unless, of course, your sexual impulses – either ordered or disordered – require you to go to confession).

    • “If I experience exclusively SSA, is there any place at all in the church for me without
      being labeled a “new homophile?” ”

      Of course. The entire rest of the world is tempted.

      The term “new homophiles” applies to a small group of people who assert that SSA is a gift, not that experience SSA exclusively.

    • R. K. Ich

      Clearly the difference between the NH crowd and the obedient faithful is the same yawning chasm of a difference between those to whom St Paul wrote: “and such were some of you. But you’ve been washed …” and those of whom it is said to “have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof.”

      Harboring positive feelings about disordered desires is never a good sign, ever. It’s even worse to ascribe those disordered desires to the Father Almighty.

      • GG

        And you have clearly stated the entre problem perfectly.

    • ForChristAlone

      If you experience SSA, the rest of us do not need to hear about it. It’s just that simple.

    • Daniel P

      Meister Eckhart,

      Among same-sex attracted Christians who believe in chastity, there are two extremes:

      (1) Those who believe it should be dealt with between oneself and one’s confessor.

      and

      (2) Those who believe being gay is a central and God-given part of themselves, even though you should not act it out sexually.

      Most people are somewhere in between. Ruse clearly rejects #2, although he does not endorse #1 — he thinks that maybe a small group of people should know, similar to the sort of thing sometimes (but not always) done by members of the group Courage.

      The “New Homophiles” do not all share the same views, but some of them, some of the time, say that being gay is highly important to their life experience, though not central. Some of them, some of the time, also say that they have a charism for friendship that straight people don’t have. Ruse is right to reject these two sorts of claims, since the claims are in one case false, and in the other case unfounded. Ruse recommends people stay far from views like those two, since such views encourage the sin of pride.

      So far, so good. I can’t explain to you why the tone of the article is so grumpy, or why Ruse inexplicably focuses on narcissism in a context where it seems to be applied to Gonnermann and Tushnet. Those things seem, to me, very regrettable, and not ways to encourage the dialogue Ruse rightly recommends.

      • Meister Eckhart80

        Thank you. I read parts of the article in a rush. ‘appreciate the response.

  • Daniel P

    There’s another blog I faithfully read, where the blogger expresses that, at first, he found this article objectionable, but later — when he realized how badly Austin Ruse has been treated by Spiritual Friendship types — he understood the tone of the article.

    Such treatment does explain the tone. It does not excuse it.

    In my prayer before bed last night, I read 1 Peter 2, where Peter talks about how Christ, “though he was reviled, did not revile”. This is, over and over in our lives, a challenge to us all.

    • Scott W.

      Not all of us agree on the “tone” of this article and there is really no point belaboring it because of the subjectivity of it, and the potential for using it as a distraction. So my proposal is this: imagining if Mr. Ruse wrote in a tone you found personally acceptable, do you have anything to say about the substance?

      • Daniel P

        I disagree with two things: (1) Although I think it might have been helpful for Ruse to *warn* about the potential for narcissism here, I think it was very unhelpful for him to merely bandy about the word, in close context to the two subjects of the article, and (2) Ruse continually paints all “New Homophiles” by the same brush, for instance saying that they “roundly dislike Courage”, that they think the Church’s teachings on homosexuality are wrong, that they have uniquely gay spiritual gifts, and so on.

        Ruse is right that SOME people who write for “New Homophile” blogs believe those things, but he’s wrong if he thinks that that these are the central focus. The central focus is to imagine how people can live lives of discipleship while experiencing same-sex attraction.

        • Scott W.

          In other words, peripheral disagreements. This is just the tone objection repackaged.

          • Daniel P

            Knowingly presenting false generalizations is a serious thing, in my book.

            • Scott W.

              Well he didn’t do that, so engage the substance or move on.

    • JP

      How about this: Whether gays are conscious of it or not, they constantly apply Saul Alinsky’s 4th Rule for Radicals. Gays perpetually search for the perfect weak spot to in Christians. And once they’ve found it, they yell a full throat self-righteous cry of “Hypocrite!!” They think they found one in Tushnet, a lesbian who proclaims to live a chaste Christian life. She wishes for “Community” and for Gay Solidarity. But, this Yale grad’s Gemeinschaften are not centered on Christ, but on one’s sexual impulses. She pollutes language and raises one’s sexual preferences to an obsession. But, most importantly, Tushnet attempts to put Catholics on a permanent defensive when it comes to sex. She raises same-sex-attraction to that of a gift from God. And I must say it is working.

  • Enoch14

    The New Homophiles are playing a dangerous and insincere game at the edge of the precipice. they are best adviced not to go there

    • Scott W.

      I agree it is a dangerous game, but to be fair I don’t think they are insincere at all. They just wrong on a few but critical points, but not insincere.

  • JuneV26

    What to say about this article? We are all called to different states in life, and celibacy is a state in life. I prefer to see homosexuals living this way, than in engaging in homosexual sex. Homosexuality has been around for centuries; in fact, Sodom and Gemorrah were destroyed for its perverse promiscuity. We are all called to live chaste and moral lives, but according to the stats, very few feel the need to answer this call. Why? Because, like Adam and Eve, people choose the forbidden fruits, and they become obsessed with them. It would be better if they prayed often to be delivered from such temptations, than to constantly give in to them-no matter if you’re homosexual or heterosexual.

  • Alice Herrick-Davis

    I think many (if not most) “homosexuals” are in fact simply asexual. They mistake the lack of attraction to the opposite sex as a sign they are gay. Because they fail to have a desire in the one (correct) direction, and instead of believing they simply have no attraction for ANY sex, they force the other (homosexuality) as a “last resort.”

    • ForChristAlone

      You make a good point here.

      And it is the case that homosxuals are actually directing their sexual passions onto an object that is merely a reflection of themselves. It’s part and parcel of their narcissism. Psychotherapy of homosexuals should not address the behavior in itself but its underlying disorder which is narcissism.

      • Joe Malik

        It is generally considered inappropriate for anyone who is not a psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor, psychotherapist, or psychiatric or mental health nurse practitioner to diagnose mental disorders.

        It is also generally considered inappropriate for even those listed to diagnose anyone they have not personally worked with, much less categorically diagnose vast swathes of the population in a single stroke.

        • GG

          Oh, the “experts”, huh? One does not need to be a fancy French chef to recognize a good meal. One does need specialized training to see the obvious.

          • Joe Malik

            Recognizing a good meal is not remotely the same thing as a medical diagnosis.

            I mean, unless you go to your chef when you get sick enough that you conclude you need to consult someone about it.

            But hey,. I’m sure those “experts” get doctorates in precisely the field for which they are making diagnoses for no reason, right?
            I certainly hope you don’t have the same disdain for surgeons or paramedics.

            • GG

              Yes, because only the “experts” can see the obvious.

              It is not about disdain for technocrats performing their jobs. It is about not becoming scientistic and rejecting common sense because only the credentialed can know the truth.

        • ForChristAlone

          I am a licensed Ph.D. therapist who has worked with many people with same sex attraction. I treat the underlying narcissistic personality disorder.

    • Joe Malik

      Instead of relying on your own speculation, there are, in fact, many millions of people with direct experience of the circumstance that you could converse with to try to ascertain the nature of the situation.

      All you need is the will to ask them and the respect to consider their responses. You could even compare/contrast their experiences with self-professed asexual people to test your hypothesis.

      I encourage you to give it a try.

      • Alice Herrick-Davis

        That would require that these people never have had any experience in any media. Do you know where I can find asexual people who have not been given “directions” by the TV, News, Magazines, Movies.. etc?

        • Joe Malik

          I’m talking about the people who believe they are gay and you believe are homosexual. Talk to them. They’re everywhere.
          Then talk to the people who call themselves asexual.
          Compare and contrast their experiences of desire or lack thereof.
          Your hypothesis is that they would have the same experiences of desire/attraction, is it not? That is something readily testable.

          You have a clear hypothesis. All it would take is the will to go to them and ask, and the respect to listen to (rather than merely hear) their responses.

          Until you actually gather the data, you are only engaging in speculation.

  • Gabriel Blanchard

    As one of the group under discussion, and one who has made an appearance in this magazine before, I’d like to say the following:

    1. Saying that one feels alone — which is all, I think, Miss Tushnet and Mr. Gonnerman *were* saying — is hardly the same thing as claiming to be the first person to be both an orthodox Catholic and also one who experiences attraction to the same sex.

    2. The term “narcissism” may have been invented by Freud, but under the name “vainglory” it has been known to the Church for two thousand years, and I know of no (so termed) New Homophile who would claim to be free of that particular vice. If there *is* any Catholic who does claim to be wholly free of it, they’d better be the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    3. To say that the “New Homophile” movement believes the Church has gay sexuality wrong (in some unspecified way) is tantamount to an accusation of heresy, and (in my opinion) should not be made without something specifiable in our writings to back it up.

    4. To say that the Church has not preached celibacy very well, especially as it pertains to the lives of those who are homosexually attracted, is distinct from claiming that one has invented celibacy.

    5. To say that friendship is not well appreciated in our culture is distinct from claiming to have invented friendship. I would point out that C. S. Lewis, an author of some prominence who wrote on friendship without even being gay himself, espoused the same opinion, and has not (to my knowledge) been faulted for doing so.

    6. In saying that the Church seemed to have cast her lot with the GOP, I do not think that Mr. Gonnerman’s complaint was that she had *not* cast her lot with the Democratic Party. I see no need for her to cast her lot with any political party even as a social maneuver, and I have a shrewd suspicion that Mr. Gonnerman meant the same.

    7. So far as I know (I may be mistaken), I am the only exponent of the “New Homophile” movement who dislikes Courage; and even my dislike is personal rather than principled — i.e., I don’t like their approach because doesn’t suit *me* at all, but still, it’s entirely orthodox and in my opinion of great worth to the Church. Even if I am quite wrong about this, to tar the whole “movement” with a brush that really only colors me, or a few of us, does not seem altogether fair.

    8. I am not aware that studying theology *as such* is indicative of heresy.

    9. As most if not all of us have explained until we are blue in the face, we actually do *not* insist on the term “gay,” and some of us prefer not to use it at all. What most of us do insist on is that the term “gay” should be understood in the sense given to it by the culture at large, rather than by the specific subset of Catholic apologists — who, for all their virtues, sometimes do not possess the virtue of being careful to use language that is intelligible to those outside the Church. It so happens (as we have observed, and asserted to those whose primary experience of self-identified LGBT culture seems to be indirect) that “gay” is the clearest word for what we mean, whatever its limitations; however, in principle, any synonym would do.

    10. We don’t insist that being gay gives us special spiritual gifts. Many of us, among others, speculate that being in such a position *may also* involve qualities others *might* be less likely to enjoy, but that would be a matter of general tendency, not an assertion of some sort of superior spiritual class. It isn’t, in principal, any different from supposing that the Virgin and the Magdalene brought different gifts to the infant Church.

    11. To say that we want Church doctrine to change on any point is simply false. There are admittedly Protestants who more or less agree with Church teaching on this point, yet may disagree with her on other points; but I know of not a single Catholic associated with this group who has even once expressed a desire that the Church should alter a jot or tittle of her formal teaching.

    12. In your earlier posts on what you have dubbed the “New Homophile” movement, Mr Ruse, you spoke of being weary of the subject of homosexuality. I venture to point out that none of *us*, at any rate, specially sought your attention, and that it has been entirely your own choice to write four or five articles about us in the past year. I think we may therefore be spared any assertions that we are forcing ourselves upon your attention, whatever our other faults.

    • R. K. Ich

      So, let me get this right: your SSA disorder in no way figures in your mind as having special importance whatsoever? It’s a proclivity that you reject without qualification?

      If this is the case, how does this article address you?

      Are you implying Mr. Ruse is making this stuff up? Help me out here.

      • GG

        It is a puzzle for sure.

      • Gabriel Blanchard

        With respect to both of the above comments. There doesn’t seem to be much point in rejecting a proclivity — I mean, there it is, whether I approve of it or not. As for whether it’s important, it’s certainly a large element in my experience, so it’s important to me in that way, and would be no matter what I thought about it. Whether it has any importance aside from that (and aside from its obvious doctrinal importance), I don’t know, really.

        I don’t know that I would say that Mr Ruse is making things up precisely, but he is in my opinion grossly distorting our view of both sexuality and the Church, and I decline to accept that replying to what seem to be veiled accusations of heresy is evidence of narcissism. As a rule, to be honest, I try to avoid these articles; but, though my faults are many and most definitely include narcissism, I don’t see that I need to be charged with it for defending my orthodoxy and that of my friends. There are few things I prize as highly as my fidelity to the Church’s teaching — both because I consider it a matter of intellectual honor, and because, to be blunt, I haven’t got a whole lot else going for me.

        • GG

          The other poster said this is a previous post:

          “Harboring positive feelings about disordered desires is never a good
          sign, ever. It’s even worse to ascribe those disordered desires to the
          Father Almighty.”

          This seems to be the central issue at play. If this situation were simply about persons with a homosexual attraction writing about their struggles while unambiguously supporting Church teaching the persons would be lauded and congratulated. But, that is not the case. So, why is there is confusion?

        • R. K. Ich

          What is bothersome to me (and if this is wholly just straw men, I will happily attack the straw and leave you unscathed) is the palpable difference between the way this disorder gets the “cool kids and their special thing” label, versus all the other sinful proclivities which all the rest of us poor bastards have to pick up our crosses and just do the not-so-glorious thing with St. Paul, and cry out, “Oh wretched man that I am. Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

          I don’t doubt you prize Church teaching based on your own words. But it seems something else is being prized.

          “Oh, there doesn’t seem to be much of a point in rejecting proclivities.” Um, yes you can. Spiritual sanity demands it. I didn’t say rejecting them makes them go away. We must reject all kinds of things that won’t go away. But reject them we must on principle. The fight begins with a principled stand, outcomes be damned.

          There’s my $.02. That and a dollar might get you a cup of coffee.

    • ForChristAlone

      1. No one forces you to come here no matter how many times Mr Ruse pens an article about homosexuals
      2. Your having to list 12 points very accurately substantiates the narcissism of homosexuals.
      3. There is no such thing as a “gay person” or a “homosexual person.” One’s sexual passions and attractions do NOT convey personal identity – (no matter how many points you insist on making).

      • Tom

        If there is such as think as a violent person, a peaceful person, a dishonest person, a truthful person, an alcoholic person or a teetotaller person, why is there not such a thing as a homosexual person?

    • Harry

      Hello, Gabriel Blanchard,

      God bless you. I appreciated your thoughtful remarks and your commitment to orthodox Catholicism which they expressed.

      Here is my analysis of the situation. I would appreciate your opinion of it.

      First, fornication, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual, is what is sinful, not the sexual orientation behind it. Having a homosexual orientation, in itself, is not sinful anymore than is having a heterosexual orientation. That is so obvious it shouldn’t need to be stated, yet it is still necessary to point that out. There are many Christians who think simply having a homosexual orientation is sinful. It is not.

      If ending up with a homosexual orientation was something that was determined by a disorder at the genetic level, like having cystic fibrosis, then homosexuality is no more sinful than cystic fibrosis.

      If it is not something one is born with, but is instead something that is induced by the environment one grew up in, or even if it is acquired by the deliberate, sinful choices one makes, once one has a homosexual orientation, that in itself is not what is sinful. Fornication, whether homosexual or heterosexual, is what is sinful.

      Having had three children with cystic fibrosis, two of which have died from it, I can imagine how frustrating it would be if many people assumed that a condition like having CF made my children, or my wife and I, sinners. Jesus already addressed that:

      And Jesus passing by, saw a man, who was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him: Rabbi, who hath sinned, this man, or his parents, that he should be born blind? Jesus answered: Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

      — John 9:1-3

      Whatever condition God allows us to find ourselves in, the condition is not what is sinful. Our deliberate, bad choices are what is sinful. God may allow one to experience an unnatural condition, whether it be CF, or a homosexual orientation, or something else, but if He does, it is so “that the works of God should be made manifest” in the one experiencing the condition.

      It is as outrageous to condemn one afflicted with a homosexual orientation and is striving to live chastely, as it would be to condemn one who is afflicted with CF.

      The celebration of a promiscuous homosexual fornication as a lifestyle that is a positive good deserves condemnation, but certainly not those who are striving for chastity and celebrate Catholic orthodoxy, not a sinful lifestyle.

  • egalitrix

    Oh my, apparently even abstinent individuals can even be called “homophiles” for simply self labeling.

    • ForChristAlone

      All persons who are not married are expected to be abstinent. And, since marriage is only possible between one man and one woman, it is no big deal for those who are unmarried to be abstinent. This is the expectation for ALL Catholics. It doesn’t make any difference whether your sexual passions are ordered or disordered.

      • egalitrix

        The gay Catholics never said it was a big deal to be abstinent, that is something the author is trying to assert without evidence. This has nothing to do with their self labeling anyway.

  • A sinner

    I don’t agree with people “identifying” with their temptations, but these people are obviously attempting to lead holy lives in Christ and His Church. They don’t deserve the venomous ridicule heaped on them in this article.Most readers of the WP piece may never have heard of any way to describe same sex attracted people other than “gay”. It may be the first time they are being exposed to true Christian attitudes toward homosexuality and celibacy. If these folks are “95% there” they are way ahead of me. I think they deserve encouragement, not disdain.

  • John
  • robert chacon

    Without necessarily condoning the philosophy, instead of berating these people, they should be praised for their desire to conform to Mother Church for the most part. They are attempting to live heroic lives and I think they should be respected for that! ” I say welcome! I would be proud to be sitting next to you at Mass!”

    Having said that, I do think the idea that God created their “gayness” and as such its a gift , is off the mark, but not entirely without some merit. God would not create a condition that would be an occasion for sin. But He does allow homosexual orientation to occur, and as any burden we are handed, we can give thanks to God for the opportunity it provides to put our trust and suffering in Gods hands. Paul tells as much. As such, the New Homophiles, I believe are correct, that handed such a burden puts them in a rather unique place to really develop deep and intimate friendships that we as heterosexuals may never know. To be able to turn that burden into a blessing is truly the work of grace, and we should honor that.

    To be sure, the New Homophiles are not entirely alone in there situation, as much as consecrated singes or priests and religious or those of us who were divorced and cannot receive an annulment will draw from a similar grace to live out a chaste life. The important distinction to me is that it is not homosexuality that provides these gifts! Rather, homosexuality may provide the opportunity to rely on the gifts of grace that God provide, but it is not a unique gift that should be celebrated. And the language that was dropped from the Synod that would have done so, was dropped appropriately.

    When we celebrate homosexuality as a gift in itself, we logically must celebrate other conditions that challenge us, such as lust, anger etc, as has been pointed out here. This would be absurd. And more importantly, we would be giving support and honor to a trait that we own, rather than the Grace given to us to overcome our sinful nature! We dont honor our heterosexuality! That is simply how God created us.The Church does not acknowledge our natural state birth or our heterosexuality, but rather the new creations of God in Christian marriage and baptism!

    But instead of heaping condemnation on our brothers and sisters in Christ who are trying to live chaste lives with homosexual orientations, we should be honoring their courage, and faithfulness! Nevertheless, we must be honest in pointing out that it is only the grace of God that enables them to live faithfully and with special deeply intimate friendships. Grace is the special gift from God, not homosexuality. To celebrate ANY of our God given attributes is to create an idol. Otherwise we would have a sacrament for high I.Q.s, big muscles, strong hearts, etc! Instead the Church celebrates GRACE in Her sacraments, the gift of God Himself, not any human attribute.

    • R. K. Ich

      You almost had this post right. But you lost me at, “We dont honor our heterosexuality!” I disagree at root. Heterosexuality is a gift because it is God’s love that created such a beautiful thing. Homosexuality is a non-starter because it is an affliction, post-fall, that must be patiently born, and God is not its architect.

      The marriage ceremony crowns heterosexuality as a thing inherently good. Children are the fruit of its inherent dignity. Hence, it is natural and good to laud the joining of man and woman biologically and sacramentally.

  • Joe

    Why is it that Austin starts piling on all these articles every year around Thanksgiving through New Years? And why is it they seem to get more and more openly focused on “destroying the ideas” (to use his own words) of others as the Advent and Christmas seasons go on each year?

    • GG

      Does the truth bother you?

      • Joe

        I have no problem with the truth.
        It just seems curious that he becomes so focused on this issue around this time of year like clockwork when he often goes months without writing an article about it at other points on the calendar.

        And I have no problem with truth. I do become a little suspicious when someone proclaims they are more interested in “destroying the ideas of [insert political adversaries here]” than serious apologetics, but I think that response bears out my support of the truth, rather than undermining it.

        • GG

          The article was written in response to a piece published in a national newspaper. How is that the fault of Ruse?

    • ForChristAlone

      Because this is a most difficult time for people with SSA and they need encouragement to live according to God’s will for their lives.

  • Vex

    There really is no pleasing some people is there?

    Gay sex is bad according to the catechism. Ok, so they’ve agreed never to have it,

    Lifelong celibacy and being barred from almost all religious orders, effectively having no vocation on option unlike every other Catholic; they’ve agreed to carry that cross.

    Now you deny their very right to note they actually exist, and teach other people to follow their path?

    The gays have always existed, they will be amongst us until the very end of days. Sinful or not, the morality is irrelevant to the point, their presence has to be noted at very least for educational purposes so they can learn to cope with the extra burden they are expected to carry.

    I read a lot of “shut up and get on with it like everyone else” on this discussion thread. Like everyone else? Are they like us? They are barred from marriage, the priesthood, having roomates (cannot co-habit with males or females, they are obliged to live alone), advised from taking part in sports (changing rooms are an occasion of sin according to several clerics I have met in my time), they cannot work with children (Child abuse apparently). They effectivley have to sit in a small room and wait for death whereas we have several options to bide our time and further our journey to holiness.

    None of us are asked to do that, but they are. They should be hailed as martyrs, because not even priests sacrifice as much as they do. At the very, very, very least they deserve to state a key difference in their psyche that sets them on a one-option road within Catholicism, the vocation of no.

    Also as a personal side note…I have worked alongside an individual who formerly ran a Courage group/chapter (I’m unsure what to call them, and he is neither homosexual and is an active Catholic) and from the practices he has told me of the said organization I think everyone should be very, very wary of advocating it. Courage still practices reparative therapy (a series of treatments designed to “alter” orientation). It sounds innocent, but several studies, some even by the World Health Organization have shown it doesn’t work but also often causes immense psychological damage (think of the Exodus suicides prior to its closure).If you don’t belive me, check “The Third way” because several of its leading propoments like Richard Cohen feature in it.

    Catholic responses so far to celibate SSA Catholics have ranged between the dangerous and simply insulting so far, this isn’t the way to go if your intent is to save souls rather than simply to punish the “guilty”.

    • R. K. Ich

      Your logic is astoundingly poor. I offer you some alternatives to your overblown scenarios.

      (1) SSA folks can live with straight people of the same sex.

      (2) They can minister in all kinds of ways: prison ministry, hospital/hospice ministry, minister to the hungry, upkeep church grounds, help the elderly mow their lawns/do chores around the home, visit orphanages, raise money for the church, go on mission trips, prayer groups, conduct bible studies, join a monastery/nunnery, do disaster relief, shall I go on?

      (3) Some options are closed, sure, but many others remain open. But that’s the nature of life. If I am an alcoholic I *probably* don’t want to around liquor or wine or conduct tours at the local brewery.

      (4) They are not “special” sinners. They are sinners like us who need grace. The Church has accepted them. What is not acceptable are banners celebrating their defects as if it were the 8th sacrament.

      • Vex

        [Your logic is astoundingly poor. I offer you some alternatives to your overblown scenarios.]

        Harsh words, but lets see…

        [(1) SSA folks can live with straight people of the same sex.]

        Not true. Or at very least not always true (Clearly I don’t know your parish priest and you don’t know mine). I have worked on a university campus and as a routine action with the freshmen our presiding priest made it explicitly clear those with SSA who lived with individuals of the same gender were in sin. He was the first, but not the only one I have heard say this.

        [(2) They can minister in all kinds of ways: prison ministry,
        hospital/hospice ministry, minister to the hungry, upkeep church
        grounds, help the elderly mow their lawns/do chores around the home,
        visit orphanages, raise money for the church, go on mission trips,
        prayer groups, conduct bible studies, join a monastery/nunnery, do
        disaster relief, shall I go on?]

        Actually they can’t go to orphanages, because contact with children is to be kept at minimum (see Cardinal Burke and Benedict XVI). All of the other suggestions you offer are “work”. We are all obliged to preform acts of charity for sure, but most of us have something to enjoy ourselves; be it the company of our spouse or a vocation to take some pride in. You only offer them work, work interestingly also unattached to any official church position. Are they only worthy of being serfs?

        [(3) Some options are closed, sure, but many others remain open. But
        that’s the nature of life. If I am an alcoholic I *probably* don’t want
        to around liquor or wine or conduct tours at the local brewery.]

        What options? Marriage is clearly not on the table, because what man/woman wants to marry someone who has no desire for them?

        The priesthood is also barred since Benedict XVI forbade the ordination of “deep seated” homosexuals (i.e: Homosexuals and Bisexuals more inclined to the same gender).

        Maybe you know of an exception but having worked in a Catholic university, one at which several religious orders recruit from and teach at I do not know one that accepts homosexuals; apparently they are too much of a “risk” to consider.

        No, they have a single celibate life. Last time I checked that wasn’t a vocation. I’ve been asked to pray for those discerning a married or religious vocation, but never a “single” one.

        [(4) They are not “special” sinners. They are sinners like us who need
        grace. The Church has accepted them. What is not acceptable are
        banners celebrating their defects as if it were the 8th sacrament.]

        The core difference being Christians have only very rarely put men to death/tortured/castrated/exiled them for adultery, and yet for several centuries in both the Christian and Islamic world this was the normal way to sentence those with SSA right up until very recently in fact (have you seen that new film about Alan Turing? Awful stuff).

        Pay more attention the next time you see a banner for the “8th sacrament”, many of them are attached to organizations simply requesting they cannot be fired or kicked out of rented accommodation for having SSA despite being celibate; because in several US states and a good many countries they can. Being known to have SSA is a death sentence in many places (Uganda, being one of the most devoutly Catholic countries on earth being the most infamous for it).

        We’re happy to punish one mortal sin via secular power but not all of them? Not hypocritical at all?

        Homosexuals sadly are a category of people very different from other Catholics; because so much more is asked of them, far more than either of us. We’re asked to obey certainly, carrying a cross is a difficult road but whereas there are points on our road that can lighten the experience they have far fewer; getting kicked on all sides by “active” gays and traditional Catholics alike.

        They do need protection, not only from extremists but some sections of our own Church who would quite gleefully put them to death had others not stepped in to guarantee a degree of protection.

        • R. K. Ich

          Thank you for the thoughtful response. Clearly not an easy issue, but here’s my reply:

          You wrote, “I have worked on a university campus and as a routine action with the freshmen our presiding priest made it explicitly clear those with SSA who lived with individuals of the same gender were in sin.”:

          This is baloney to me, either policy-wise or logic-wise: there’s no blood-test/genetic-test to see who’s really SSA. All we have is one’s word. So, if somebody identifies as SSA, then the best one can do is pair him/her with somebody of the same sex who does not identify as SSA. Plain and simple. What’s *not* acceptable is to pair opposite sexes together, their predisposition notwithstanding. It’s just not safe for women. Men are more capable of handling themselves if forced to ward off an attacker. Sexist? Yes. Realistic? Double-yes.

          If a priest has so instructed, then he needs his head examined. I’d complain at that level to change the policy. There is no inherent sin for people of the same sex to dwell together. It’s when you purposely place two or more together who self-identify as SSA under the same roof that creates problems.

          “Actually they can’t go to orphanages, because contact with children is to be kept at minimum (see Cardinal Burke and Benedict XVI).”- It’s great advice *if* there is a significant correlation between SSA and pedophilia. Let’s table that one for now since I don’t know the facts on that point. That leaves us still with a host of other possibilities. But then you complain that everything else sounds too much like “work”. This is just silly. Ministry is not “leisure”. Ministry is service. It typically requires significant self-sacrifice of one’s time, talent, and treasure. It *is* work. Jesus *worked* while He ministered. Did you not read in the Gospels how our Lord had to get away from the crowds to pray and rest and be refreshed? If ministry to you is sipping tequila out of a half-coconut shell on the beaches of Cancun, then we have other things to discuss.

          You then write: “You only offer them work, work interestingly also unattached to any official church position. Are they only worthy of being serfs?”
          I laugh at this because you think “official” work is “real ministry” while the grimy stuff is what? “fake ministry?” You *sound* like one of those malcontent Feminazis who whine that women can’t do ministry in the church because they are barred by Apostolic mandate from Holy Orders. What you need to do, I think, is recover the biblical world view of vocation. The priest might have the power to confect the Body and Blood, but that’s a service to you so you can go out and do the high ministry of preaching Christ and being Christ to the world at large — to people your priest will never likely see. You think too little of your baptism.

          Then you went on about how SSA folks have been threatened and persecuted by (ready?) Muslims *AND* Christians. We are talking about SSA, right? and not the acts associated?

          I’m afraid the persecution argument has no bearing on the other points, and frankly is a red herring since nobody here is advocating keeping SSA folks from church life.

          • Vex

            [This is baloney to me, either policy-wise or logic-wise: there’s no
            blood/genetic test to see who’s really SSA. All we have is one’s word.
            So, if somebody identifies as SSA, then the best one can do is pair
            him/her with somebody of the same sex who does not identify as SSA.]

            One would assume, and until said priest stated such I expected a similar standard to heterosexuals who are not to take residence with the opposite gender to whom they are not married.

            Apparently this is an “occasion of sin”, the one with SSA may not be having lustful thoughts or attempting to copulate with the heterosexual, but it may give the impression they might be (or they may give into temptation and attempt it).

            It sounds as if it’s assuming everyone with SSA is a rapist-in-waiting; a grossly offensive false assumption but one I have heard echoed several times.

            [Ministry is not “leisure”. Ministry is service. It typically requires
            significant self-sacrifice of one’s time, talent, and treasure. It *is*
            work.]

            I fear you misunderstand me here. Ministry is service, but the lay chaplain at my workplace can return home at the end of the day to enjoy the company of his wife and children. The lay celibate with SSA? He is kicked from all sides and has no such life fulfillment. This was not an exercise of free will as it would be for you or I, but a fate thrust upon them; one for which even on this discussion threat they are mocked.

            [Then you went on about how SSA folks have been threatened and persecuted
            by (ready?) Muslims *AND* Christians. We are talking about SSA, right?
            and not the acts associated?]

            Absolutley. Do you recall the Ugandan “Kill the Gays” bill, the one actually promoted by an almost entirely Catholic goverment? Clearly that was not an official act on behalf of the Church, but a strong indicator of the intense persecution they do suffer.

            Individuals in Iran, as in Uganda have been executed or murdered purely for being suspected, not even proven, of having SSA, not even acting upon it. I haven’t posted articles on this because posting links causes discus to flag my posts, but a quick google search will net you several examples for those two countries.

            [I’m afraid the persecution argument has no bearing on the other points,
            and frankly is a red herring since nobody here is advocating keeping SSA
            folks from church life. ]

            You may not be, but there are several who do. I don’t think they really need to be provided with any more ammunition, which Mr Ruse’s article assuredly is.

            [I don’t claim it’s an “easy” situation, but clearly the answer isn’t to “celebrate” the disorder.]

            How is a call to repent and take up the cross, which these two provide through their apologetic works a celebration? Truly, you have lost me on this one.

            • R. K. Ich

              You wrote: “Ministry is service, but the lay chaplain at my workplace can return home at the end of the day to enjoy the company of his wife and children. The lay celibate with SSA? He is kicked from all sides and has no such life fulfillment. This was not an exercise of free will as it would be for you or I [sic], but a fate thrust upon them; one for which even on this discussion threat they are mocked.”

              The lay celibate, whether by vow or by spiritual necessity, has a life which prevents such regular relationships, of course. I don’t know who mocks them for this though. If you thought I was mocking brothers and sisters for simply suffering this disorder, then please know I’ve not one thing against anyone who must bear this evil bravely and resolutely. It’s those who demand a special status, special interest, special respect, for their affliction that I am wary of, because it smacks of the world’s programme of recognition. If Mr. Ruse’s analysis is a figment of his own imagining, then just say so.

              You wrote: ” Do you recall the Ugandan “Kill the Gays” bill, the one actually promoted by an almost entirely Catholic goverment?”

              So here it is. Let’s do a thought experiment and take the worse case scenario as an analogy:

              If there were a bill in Uganda called “Kill the Baby Killers Bill” in which all women (and their doctors) who were found killing their babies, or suspected of killing their babies, or even suspected of actively promoting a culture of death for infants, were tried and jailed or put to death, what would you think? Is there *any* justification for a bill that positively condemns and punishes people who advocate the death of innocent children? If there were a culture of persecution in Uganda against advocates of abortion, is there something fundamentally unjust about the push for legislation against such criminality?

              Note what I didn’t say: I didn’t say the Bill (against infanticide) *is* just or right as it stands, or that it shouldn’t be scrutinized or modified; it is a recognition, however, that governments which oppose infanticide do so on a deeply held principle of what constitutes a good society. A society that allows baby-killing to flourish: is it a basically good or a basically evil society?

              So, admittedly, the analogy breaks down in the SSA question because, generally speaking, people don’t simply will themselves to a particular attraction. But people do have, in principle, control over their public actions because self-control is the linchpin of a well-ordered society. A government ought to be threatening specific acts of injustice or acts which disrupt the good of the polis. The government shouldn’t be policing people’s thoughts, as it is essentially outside the realm of justice since private opinion has no necessary correlation to public action. But the interest Uganda or any other society that chooses to publicly prosecute and punish SSA activity is readily understood *if* there is an existential threat to the good of society (think of Sharia law: it stands correctly against certain social evils, but we don’t accept its application on grounds of justice). Whether punishing people caught in SSA activity is a legitimate good is a question that can only be answered by moral reason, not merely popular opinion (for or against) since entire civilizations have been objectively wrong, and mere opinion polls can be notoriously unreliable as a moral compass.

              I vehemently disagree with any bill that tries to hurt or persecute people with a particular predilection (suspected or real), and I don’t care what the inclination is under discussion, over which they have no choice. The strength of punishment for acting out a vice influenced by said predilection should be measured out accordingly to the gravity of the infraction. The imaginary “Kill the Baby Killers Bill” I brought up has, in principle, a just rejection of acts of infanticide, but I could never really support this bill because it transgresses boundaries of justice by trying to police the fickle and unruly realm of men’s imaginations, opinions, lusts, or assumptions. It can only threaten that if action X is taken, then expect reaction Y.

              So my question to you is this: if Uganda has transgressed moral reasoning by such a bill (and by your description it has), what does that have to do with us who do not support that bill but still reject what is being described by Mr. Ruse? Are we somehow complicit with such horrible legislation? A broken casuistry does not mean there is no just principle upon which it is based; it means there are unjust applications we must also fight against. Do you in principle object to any bill that seeks to minimize public SSA activity? If yes, how about public acts of zoophilia? (It is a fair question since some people have such inclinations they do not choose for themselves). Why the former and not the latter?

              I celebrate all sinners who take up their cross to follow Christ. I don’t, however, find any necessity in highlighting specific moral struggles as a gift to the world. I embrace my SSA baptized brother or sister no less or no more than the others because that struggle is not them; it is not their identity. Is that really terrible or lacking compassion?

        • ForChristAlone

          Since you have a flair for writing and being loquacious, might I suggest that your charitable work be to write prayers that those struggling with SSA might find the grace to live in peace according to God’s will.

          • Vex

            I certainly hope and pray they do find a way to find peace, but with articles such of that of Mr Ruse’s I can only see it exacerbating an already tender issue that needs to be handled carefully.

            There are already enough temptations and reasons from the irreligious and protestants for a Catholic with SSA to jump ship, live the high life and receive support for doing so; there is no need to make an already incredibly unattractive path any harder for them; which indeed some of the comments here do.

            They deserve respect for being held to a higher standard than any of us because they are. We are all called to make sacrifices, some small some large, but not one of us without SSA are forced without option to sacrifice what essentially amounts to entire rejection of normal life and sexuality.

            Some may argue this point with me but please bear with me on this one. Priests and religious choose the path of celibacy willingly, Catholics with SSA do not have any such choice. I’m not sure how many reading this article are married or single, but I’m quite sure those who are not will understand how difficult it can be to find any sort of regular companionship when ones freinds are all married and do things as couples. There is also a powerful stigma, wrongly applied as it may be to single lay celibate Catholics. Not forming a family is a “failure”, not only to ones family but also causes strangers to question what is so “wrong” and “deficient” that one remains single. It sounds strange doesn’t it in a church that values celibacy, and yet one only has to wait behind after mass ten minutes to hear the bitching and gossip about any singles past their thirties.

            The Catholic Church is (at present) not a welcoming place to anyone, who through no fault of their own does not conform to the expected standard of Catholic behavior, even and especially if they try to mimic expected behavior as some with SSA do (and by remaining single or without a religious vocation “failing” to attain the ideal).

    • ForChristAlone

      Fear not: Grace has tremendous transformative power.

      • Vex

        I’d love to see an example of it making someone more or less gay though. Because like the rest of the scientific world, and even clergy we’re yet to see an example to look to.

        If Bishops don’t even warrant this grace what hope do those two have?

        • bonaventure

          This was written by AMDG11, 16 days ago, as of January 10th, 2015. It is not my post, but AMDG11’s:

          AMDG11 • 16 days ago

          I am one of the “refugees” from the “gay” community, coming back to the Catholic Church almost 4 years ago. I did not embrace celibacy until 9 months before my return to the CC, so one certainly cannot say that my comment comes from the position of feeling morally superior.

          That said, I was very disturbed when I read the Washington Post article about Eve and Josh (the same day it was published). Thank you Austin for giving voice to my concerns, especially as I see Eve’s book being celebrated in some more orthodox Catholic circles.

          One of the greatest joys in coming home to the CC was being able to shed, indeed to escape, the “gay” label, one that I had embraced even before acting on my SSA. My first (and current) pastor, who is known to be very “conservative” and has spoken out forcefully against gay “marriage”, welcomed me with such great kindness and compassion. He met with me frequently the first year after my return and was a true spiritual father to me.

          Over time, through the grace of God and his help, the wounds which I am convinced were the cause of my SSA began to heal. My current spiritual director is continuing the process. He didn’t dwell on my past or even bring it up, unless I did so first (e.g. when the “accuser” became particularly loud). Instead, he helped uncover and nurture the many positive aspects of my person, the gifts from God that had been suffocated by the “gay” label that I had applied to myself.

          At the same time, I slowly broke ties with my friends (many of whom had been very supportive during a difficult family situation), as it became increasingly clear how all of our interactions were being distorted by the “gay” lens, even with the friends who were “straight.” They knew I had embraced celibacy and were not critical but continued to view my person through the perspective of my SSA. (In fact, this continues to be a problem with some family members, who had been very “supportive” when I “came out.”)

          By the grace of God, I began to make new friends in the Catholic community who knew nothing of my SSA. They helped me grow in love of Christ and his Church and brought out positive aspects of my personality that I didn’t even know existed. As friends do, they acted as a mirror of sorts by the way they interacted with me, and many of the things I saw in that mirror were a wonderful surprise. One of them recently wrote: “Your love towards God is contagious!” I didn’t realize that but, if true, it is because he rescued me and brought me out of darkness into His own wonderful light.

          Again, my experience is very different from that of Eve and Josh, and I am certainly not implying any sin or even bad intentions on their part. However, I fear for those struggling with SSA who encounter the “new homophiles” in the CC and join their community. I believe that by doing so, these individuals will be misled and end up closing themselves off to great graces and healing from God, not allowing themselves to fully become the “new creation” that they (as all of us) are meant to be.

          Ref: See above on this same discussion thread

    • kag1982

      They are supposed to “pray the gay” away or go through conversion therapy which will turn them into good straight God-faring conservative Catholics who want nothing more than to marry and start large Catholic families.. Duh.

      As a straight and single Catholic woman in her 30s, I admire the New Homophiles willingness to open up a new conversation on vocations and think that they have a lot to offer the Church as a whole. It is thinking outside the box about what it means to be Catholic in today’s Church.

      Moreover, I agree with you about Courage. From what I have read, it seems like the Catholic version of Exodus which seeks to “cure” gay people rather than support them. I also heard that it is quite a secretive organization. For instance, I have never seen any advertisements for the group in parish bulletins. Many Catholic dioceses and parishes have their own gay ministries (if there are large gay populations in the area.)

      • Vex

        Hahaha…Well, If thirty years worth of psychiatric, medical and sociological research can’t convince them that “pray the gay away” doesn’t work then nothing will sadly.

        I find the new Homophiles approach to be futile, as hard as it may sound. As Mr. Ruse’s article and several others in this discussion thread has pointed out simply acknowledging that one is a homosexual is totally unacceptable. There really is no place for them in the Catholic Church at the moment.

        Courage is incredibly secretive, I’d actually go as far as sectarian considering, after taking a moment to look at their website, they appear to teach members to shun and fear non-Catholics .

        My local bishop is far from being a gay advocate, but even he doesn’t allow Courage to operate in his diocese any more and looks to other options.

      • GG

        Thanks for the propaganda commercial. Who believes your agitprop?

        • kag1982

          So do you believe that conversion therapy works?

  • offthecuff

    IMO: you folks have had nearly 2,000 years to learn What Homosexuality is but refuse to preferring to decree it is what You think is is. At some point, even ignorance is a Mortal Sin but hey, whatever kindles hatred…….

    • GG

      Save the propaganda for the credulous. No right think g person sees vice as virtue.

    • R. K. Ich

      Is every hatred a vice? If some hatred is virtuous, what is the rule by which we judge it? If all hatred is vice, does that not include your hatred of hatred?

    • ForChristAlone

      About that “learning” you speak of, most of us here will pass.

  • offthecuff

    As a Homosexual man I think I should really tell you exactly what Heterosexuality is and why it is a disorder……After all, I’m an authority on Heterosexuality and you are not……( I’m sure I’d have to explain that comment to 99% of you). Happy Holidays !

    • GG

      I guess Oncologists all have to have cancer themselves to talk about cancer.

    • ForChristAlone

      But, you see, there is no such things as a “homosexual man.”

  • millers3888

    And reason 1,334,545,646 I am happy I left the church.

    • R. K. Ich

      That was terribly judgmental of you to point that out.

    • kmk

      So sorry that you cannot accept goodness, or truth.

    • ForChristAlone

      Which doesn’t even come close to explaining what you’re doing lurking here? Perhaps you haven’t left as much as you thought. Hope so.

      • millers3888

        I was directed here by Damon Linker’s article, not any kind of religious interest.

  • Art Bagnall

    Sorry, from the tone of the posts I thought this was Stormfront.

    You people give me the creeps.

    • R. K. Ich

      Liberals are the masters of “tone”. They hate straight talk, so it’s “hate speech,” “meanness”, tone, tone, tone…

      Rule #1 of the new communist manifesto: make sure every speaks nicely of the New Society, for there can be dissent in neither in act nor feeling.

      • Joe Malik

        When the entire periphery of an argument is filled to overflowing with disrespect and implications carefully worded to avoid making any direct accusations, and commentary on appearance that can only be either irrelevant or an indirect attempt at ad hominem argument, how can the core be entirely wholesome?
        To bear fruit like that, there must be an illness in the tree, even if much of the trunk still healthy.

        • GG

          Truth is hate to those who hate the truth.

        • R. K. Ich

          Simple: address the point. The meanness policing is a tactic, not a way of getting at the truth. With you I hold civil discussion and respectful apologetics are apostolic mandates; I own all my weakness in the heat of the melee.

      • Joe Malik

        Plus if you find their complaints about tone so grating, make arguments in a way that they cannot make that complaint. Surely the truth is robust enough that it can even be presented in a manner that isn’t brusque, patronizing, or calculated to produce frustration in people you disagree with.
        Surely the truth can even be presented serenely, gently, and gracefully, in a manner that reveals its intrinsic beauty.

        If you don’t think that can be done, the limitation i of your ability to present it, not a limitation of the truth itself.

        • GG

          The truth will only be received to the degree one is open to receiving it. The constant “tone” complaint is simply a method to deflect the argument.

        • R. K. Ich

          The idol of nice in liberal speak needs to be toppled. It’s an evil spirit that ought to be called out for what it is.

    • GG

      To the unprincipled everything is “creepy”.

    • mitch64

      While I disagree with the majority of posters here on this subject, stopping in to tell people they give them the creeps does not add to the discussion.

  • footballsux

    As someone who knows, probably a lot more than most of the people posting here, the notion that gay (or SSA if you insist on playing the semantic game) people have some sort of “unique” spiritual qualities, simply by virtue of being gay, is a myth and a nasty stereotype, perpetuated mostly by “well-meaning” straight people who simply cannot deal with the notion of gay people without pigeon-holing them. I can tell you that all gay men are not “sensitive,” are not “artistic,” are not “witty,” and are not “effeminate.” Go into any gay bar on a Saturday night, and you will discover that many are boorish jerks, no different than many straight men. What would be the reaction of the “progressive” media if one started talking about the “unique” spiritual qualities of black people? I think this notion is deeply offensive, as it reduces human beings to some sort of cartoon characters.

    • Vex

      In regards to black people having special gifts, during the American civil rights movement and the build-up to it several groups actually did do this; perhaps most notably the Mormons when they swept their myth that “black people are cursed by God” thing under the rug. It’s based on a similar principle, to make a unattractive path more appealing and to make an individual feel wanted, something those with SSA often find themselves not in religious circles.

      I don’t know what kind of media you’re watching, some Catholic or Anglican station perhaps but I’ve never heard reference from “progressive media” about special gifts, that’s something only a Catholic would say.

      I’d say Catholics perpetuate many Cartoon character stereotypes about ourselves never mind other groups. Like when it comes to occasions of sin, we seem to assume all unmarried men are nymphomaniacs who will pounce on any female given a window of more than ten minutes unchaperoned never mind living together.

      • footballsux

        Well, the interim document expressed that, and I am sure that was the product of some well-meaning straight cardinals (if such a thing actually exists.) As for the “progressive media,” just turn on your television. How are homosexual persons portrayed? In the same manner that negroes were up to the mid-seventies.. Ironically, some of the commenters on this web-site, so damned sure of their own moral rectitude, think that homosexual inclinations are nothing that playing football won’t fix. To these idiots I have just two words: Penn State.

        • Vex

          [Well, the interim document expressed that, and I am sure that was the product of some well-meaning straight cardinals]

          I can’t profess to be an expert of Italian or Latin but I very much suspect that special gifts stuff was a poor translation of a recognition that homosexuals should be recognized for what they are (not anything else).

          I was a rough draft after all, it’s to be expected.

          [ (if such a thing actually exists.)]

          *Snigger * It’s at least debatable considering the now almost annual “Clerics-caught-in-gay-bathouse/sex ring” scandals we seem to be having.

          Considering even the most liberal estimates of homosexuals in the world population typically only places them at around 5% there is a lot…and I mean a lot of gay clerics.

          [As for the “progressive media,” just turn on your television. How are homosexual persons portrayed?]

          I’d say it’s gotten rather mixed, there’s a few examples of them being portrayed almost idealistically (I understand that a children’s cartoon called “Legend of Korra” has upset many Catholics online for featuring a Lesbian couple, despite no displays of affection short of acknowledging they were a couple) but several others of them encountering similar difficulties to a one man one woman couple (cheating, temptation etc). There’s one series on at the moment where the main villain is a bisexual murderous sociopath, hardly a good look for LGBT.

          i.e: When they do appear, there can be portrayed in a good or bad light; it doesn’t seem to favor or demonize character portrayals of them.

          [Ironically, some of the commenters on this web-site, so damned sure of
          their own moral rectitude, think that homosexual inclinations are
          nothing that playing football won’t fix.]

          Amen to that, I’m just so relived someone else can see it.

  • ForsythiaTheMariner

    I’m disappointed such a negative and uncharitable piece appeared in a Catholic magazine. Mr. Ruse, I’ve read Ms. Tushnet’s blog and book, and don’t find her to be narcissistic and I feel you’ve given her a most ungenerous once-over, when, in fact, you should be very welcoming to this “new” group of people. The Catholic Church claims to welcome all, why push these Catholics, obedient to the Church, away with such vitriol? May the Lord give you patience and a more loving demeanor this Christmas.

  • R. K. Ich

    Just a quick note to all I’ve interacted with, whom I might have offended wittingly or unwittingly (forgive me!): I wish you all a very happy Christmass. Tonight I will be attending midnight Mass at St. Agnes. Mozart’s Coronation Mass will fill the church and join the choir of angels; and I, a poor wretched sinner, shall pray the most holy sacrifice of the Mass with my dear brothers and sisters.

    • Neihan

      Merry Christmas!

  • John

    All of their foolish talk would disappear if they read Dr. Renate Jost and her work on ilnesses, deviations, traumas, call it what you like. To have same sex attraction, unwilling or not, is inspired by evil, by the ancient one that does not accept Christ as a human being and hates our bodies as they were perfectly created by God.

  • Hampstead

    “It was all but inevitable,,,,”, “Hey, over there, look, they’re “gay”….”, “but, minor point…..”
    “Perfect.” “Sure, however regrettably….”, “Of course.”

    These quotes show how Ruse’s writing is an example of how to fill space while being at the same time condescending. More to the point though, they are but one of the many methods in which those locked into certainty express themselves.
    ” there are fewer lonelier places on earth than in the “gay” community.” Could that condemnatory pronouncement be said also of those locked into certainty? What could be a more lonely than to always to on one’s guard against those who cross the line?

  • AMDG11

    I am one of the “refugees” from the “gay” community, coming back to the Catholic Church almost 4 years ago. I did not embrace celibacy until 9 months before my return to the CC, so one certainly cannot say that my comment comes from the position of feeling morally superior.

    That said, I was very disturbed when I read the Washington Post article about Eve and Josh (the same day it was published). Thank you Austin for giving voice to my concerns, especially as I see Eve’s book being celebrated in some more orthodox Catholic circles.

    One of the greatest joys in coming home to the CC was being able to shed, indeed to escape, the “gay” label, one that I had embraced even before acting on my SSA. My first (and current) pastor, who is known to be very “conservative” and has spoken out forcefully against gay “marriage”, welcomed me with such great kindness and compassion. He met with me frequently the first year after my return and was a true spiritual father to me.

    Over time, through the grace of God and his help, the wounds which I am convinced were the cause of my SSA began to heal. My current spiritual director is continuing the process. He didn’t dwell on my past or even bring it up, unless I did so first (e.g. when the “accuser” became particularly loud). Instead, he helped uncover and nurture the many positive aspects of my person, the gifts from God that had been suffocated by the “gay” label that I had applied to myself.

    At the same time, I slowly broke ties with my friends (many of whom had been very supportive during a difficult family situation), as it became increasingly clear how all of our interactions were being distorted by the “gay” lens, even with the friends who were “straight.” They knew I had embraced celibacy and were not critical but continued to view my person through the perspective of my SSA. (In fact, this continues to be a problem with some family members, who had been very “supportive” when I “came out.”)

    By the grace of God, I began to make new friends in the Catholic community who knew nothing of my SSA. They helped me grow in love of Christ and his Church and brought out positive aspects of my personality that I didn’t even know existed. As friends do, they acted as a mirror of sorts by the way they interacted with me, and many of the things I saw in that mirror were a wonderful surprise. One of them recently wrote: “Your love towards God is contagious!” I didn’t realize that but, if true, it is because he rescued me and brought me out of darkness into His own wonderful light.

    Again, my experience is very different from that of Eve and Josh, and I am certainly not implying any sin or even bad intentions on their part. However, I fear for those struggling with SSA who encounter the “new homophiles” in the CC and join their community. I believe that by doing so, these individuals will be misled and end up closing themselves off to great graces and healing from God, not allowing themselves to fully become the “new creation” that they (as all of us) are meant to be.

    • R. K. Ich

      You, Sir, are a cause for celebration. Seriously, thank you for being a godly example in a godless age. If you are ever in St Paul, our doors are open to you.

    • GG

      Beautiful witness. May Mary wrap Her mantle around you.

    • Welcome home.

    • Gigahoo

      Very well stated. I perceived signs of the Holy Spirit at work.

  • James Scott

    The Problem here is obvious.

    Ruse is really complaining about the Synod midterm report.

    QUOTE”Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?”END QUOTE

    Ruse is being uncharitable and unkind but he has a valuable point or two obscured by his overwhelming desire too be unkind first and teach the Faith second. I have have been guilty of this in my time.

    Indeed these days it’s seems to be a universal problem in the blogs……….

    Anyway Ruse could have simply explained plainly (without personally attacking the characters of these two young people) how valuing somebody’s gayness can be understood correctly and incorrectly.

    A homosexual disposition is an objective disorder (not to be confused with an act of gay sex which is intrinsically disordered). It is not in itself a moral failing of any kind but is a privation of a properly ordered sexuality. Thus it is in essence a lack of something good the person should have but doesn’t have (admittedly threw no fault of their own). It is like a genetic predisposition to Alcoholism it is not good in itself in essence. But since it is part of the goodness of God to bring good out of evil it is good in the sense it serves as an opportunity to overcome an obstacle by the Grace of God and Grow in merit. It is good in accident. Sort of like the proverbial “O’Happy Fall! Whose transgression brought so great a redemption”. Obviously original sin is an evil that afflicts people but God brings good from it. Obviously a predisposition to desire persons of the same sex is evil in that there is no lawful way it may ever licitly be expressed. But to choose not to give in to it and embrace Grace creates a path for spiritual growth.

    Even Michael Voris made some video about how gay persons may be victim souls given the opportunity for great holiness or something. So he gets it so what is Ruse’s problem??

    These days Catholics only care about scoring points against each other in Internet Blood sport.

    Ruse should now better. He had a good opportunity to clarify a potential mistake and blew it big time.

    Shame on you sir.

    • GG

      You have confused several things. The midterm report used some language the NHs use as well as some other activists. Ruse was spot on. The truth is too harsh for some to accept.

      There is absolutely no need to confuse people with this turn of phrase regarding so called gifts. The NH are not talking about traditional theology because if they were there would be no articles written debating the point. No sir, what is at issue is a new and disturbing trend.

      • James Scott

        With all due respect this is not a rebuttal of anything I said. It is mere nay-saying.

        There is no such thing as the “New Homophiles” that is just paranoid nutty blather & name calling on the part of Ruse to slander two obvious orthodox young Catholics who correctly proclaim they must abstain from homosexual sexual activity. For Ruse, the later which is all the Gospel requires of them, it is clearly not enough for the likes of him. For Ruse it is not enough homosexuals have religious conversion and a resolve to follow the moral law apparently they must feel constant shame and self loathing over having the feelings they have. This is called by Our Lord “Binding heavy burdens on the backs of others” and it is condemned.

        It is objectively wicked.

        The language of the midterm report was problematic in that it did not define what it means to call homosexuality “valued”. Granted evil is defined metaphysically as a privation of a good we should have if one follows Thomas Aquinas and not whatever neo-Calvinist nonsense Ruse is subconsciously channeling. Thus a homosexual disposition is not in itself in essence valuable anymore than a broken leg. But as I said in accidents it is an opportunity to seek Grace.

        >There is absolutely no need to confuse people with this turn of phrase regarding so called gifts.

        The confusion is on the part of Ruse. There is no need for Ruse to insult & slander these people by calling them narcissistic. Otherwise it is fair game for moi to call him a neo-Jansenist.

        >The NH are not talking about traditional theology because if they were there would be no articles written debating the point.

        By that logic St. Athanasius wasn’t really discussing orthodox Christology because Arius was disputing him. That doesn’t make any sense.

        > No sir, what is at issue is a new and disturbing trend.

        Yes and since we are inventing labels let us call Ruse and his partisans the “New Pharasees”.

        Since he is aiming polemics that should be aimed at legitimate subversive heretics who teach the moral illicitness of homosexual activity (like groups like Dignity) is instead he is hurling it at fellow orthodox Catholics and it causes scandal among non-believers.

        That is disturbing.

  • James Scott
    • OBJ15

      Melinda Selmys’ response (the second link) is problematic. She tries to see things from Ruse’s point of view, and pleads with her fellow New Homophiles to understand that people like Ruse retain a dated repulsion for homosexuality, much the same way modern folk experience repulsion for pedophilia. So we have to be patient with Ruse, because he hasn’t progressed beyond the stereotypical “ickyness” of homosexuality, just like moderns haven’t progressed beyond the “ickyness” of pedophilia. This is nonsense. Yes we should separate sins from sinners. But is dulling moral repulsion for deviant sexual behavior really the mark of a healthy culture?

      • James Scott

        >Melinda Selmys’ response (the second link) is problematic.

        As Master Yoda would say “What is in there? Only what you take with you”.

        >But is dulling moral repulsion for deviant sexual behavior really the mark of a healthy culture?

        You are making a big deal out of the fact she as a SSA woman is not grossed out at two gay dudes kissing. I really don’t see what that has to do with anything? If I see two straight girls share a friendship kiss I am not repelled but two dudes (unless they are from the middle east) who try to share a non-gay friendship kiss kind of makes me uncomfortable. I don’t see what that has to do with a sick culture?

        Ruse’s approach is ugly & any subtle mockery of him is well earned in my view.

        It’s not a Catholic view. It almost smells Jansenist or Calvinist.

        “Ickyness” is not a virtue per say. If sin where “icky” then we wouldn’t do it. There is no potential divine merit in “icky”.

        After all speaking personally as a Straight dude I am not attracted to dudes. So “resisting” the “temptation” to do something wicked with a dude because I in fact find it “icky” is not much of a meritorious act of resistance to sin on my part. In fact it’s not hard at all to resist that sin. But God forbid you dropped me in the middle of the Playboy Manson during a wild party….then I would need some serious grace to resist sin and earn real merit till I found the exit.

        Morals are an act of the will moved by the intellect. One’s base senses are not involved in any merit or only as potential hindrances.

        • OBJ15

          Well neither you or I experience compulsions to homosexual conduct. We do not suffer from the moral and psychological disorder that is SSA. There’s an important distinction between a man experiencing compulsion to have sex with women to whom he is not married and a man experiencing compulsion to sodomy. The adulterer does something which by its nature is blessed, but wicked in his case because of circumstances. The sodomite does something wicked, period.

          • James Scott

            Yes and what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

            What does that have to do with Ruse’s ugly vile & implicit view that it is not enough a SSA person believes by Faith and tries to live according to the moral law by Grace. They must have a sense of shame and self loathing for being “abnormal”. That Melinda is not grossed out by two dude kissing is not a problem. Now if she was the sort who got turned on by the thought of that happening. Then there is a problem and that would be added to the list of temptations she should avoid and overcome.

            >There’s an important distinction between a man experiencing compulsion to have sex with women…..etc.

            Practically speaking the only real distinction is between who repents vs who refuses to repent.

            If my Son is sleeping with a single dude that is bad. OTOH if he is sleeping with a married woman with kids that is worst.

            Arguing the act of gay sex is “worst” than either adultery or fornication is meaningless.

            I would prefer a gay son who believed and tried to act as Melinda does than a straight one who bonks everything in a skirt and feels no remorse or repentance.

            I would prefer a pro life gay son to a pro abortion straight one.

            The former. I would tell him am not thrilled with his lifestyle the later I would simply throw out of the house.

            Temptation is not sin(unless you are a Calvinist heretic) so I don’t see what this has to do with anything?

            • OBJ15

              I’ve never understood Catholics who think they can come to a modus vivendi with sodomy. As if sins that cry out to heaven are somehow equivalent to sins of incontinence. Moral philosophy is concerned with the complete truth: good, bad, and ugly. Sodomy is ugly. Those who experience compulsions to violate nature in this way suffer from a moral and psychological disorder. That should be the starting point to help them. And help them we must, through clear moral reasoning and professional care, not false equivocations and linguistic gymnastics.

              • James Scott

                I never understood neo-Jansenists “Catholics” who confuse the fact a homosexual disposition is a mere “objective” disorder while an act of sodomy is “intrinsically” disordered.

                The former not being any type of moral failing & the later act being ugly because it is a formal act of sin and against nature.

                The confusion of the two is insane and shows a lack of reading the CCC properly.

            • OBJ15

              And of course I agree temptation is not sin. SSA involves the experience of intrinsically disordered compulsions. There is no sin in that. There is also no “identity” in that. Men who feel compulsions to commit adultery are not “adulterals.” Men who feel compulsions to speak badly about others behind their backs are not “detractuals.” It’s ontological nonsense.

              • James Scott

                > There is no sin in that. There is also no “identity” in that.

                Clearly they are identified as persons who lack an sexual psychology ordered toward the natural and moral law.
                They are persons who are homosexual or gay.

                > Men who feel compulsions to commit adultery are not

                “adulterals.”

                Rather they are straight and have a lawful outlet for their sexuality. It’s called a “wife’. The gay person has no lawful outlet and deserves our compassion for their burden. Not the asinine stupidity throwing additional burdens on them we would lift with even one of our fingers.

                >Men who feel compulsions to speak badly about others behind their backs are not “detractuals.” It’s ontological nonsense.

                No saying their essence as persons is the compulsion to speak badly of others” is ontological nonsense. But there is no reason why people can’t be described by their accidents.

                A Jewish man is in essence a person. His Jewishness is his accident since if he where an Arab he would still be a person.

                Why is this hard?

                • OBJ15

                  The New Homophiles do not assert SSA as a moral and psychological disorder. Instead, they embrace their “queerness” as a gift from God. And they encourage others to do the same. Their acceptance and promotion of the gay identity offers our young boys nothing but confusion, locking them under the “gay” amber for merely appreciating the goods of another. That is profoundly harmful. This, I believe, is the point of Ruse’s recent critiques.

                  • James Scott

                    >The New Homophiles do not assert SSA as a moral and psychological disorder.

                    Good because it is not any of those things. Rather it is a psychological disposition towards acts that are morally disordered.

                    >Instead, they embrace their “queerness” as a gift from God.

                    Which is very Catholic. We are after all the religion that says “O Happy Fall that occasioned so great a redemption.” Of course in essence eating the Apple and Original sin aren’t good but in so much as in accidents they brought about the redemption because it is part of the Goodness of God to bring evil out of good then it was a happy thing.

                    One of the Desert Fathers had a monk come to him who told him he prayed that God take away all temptations from him. The Father said “Well go back too your cell and pray for some temptations. Otherwise your life has no meaning.”

                    On this level clearly it is a gift.

                    >And they encourage others to do the same.

                    Horrors!!! How dare they not teach they are dirty faggots and Lesbos? The HORROR!!!!!

                    >Their acceptance and promotion of the gay identity offers our young boys nothing but confusion, locking them under the “gay” amber for merely appreciating the goods of another.

                    No confusion happens because a generation of IDIOTS believe the Catholic faith can be absorbed by Osmosis & not actually taught.

                    I would teach young people, Theology, moral dogma, Thomism etc instead of doing the same failed nonsense we have been doing for 50 years that does nothing but breed Protestants and Atheists.

                    >That is profoundly harmful. This, I believe, is the point of Ruse’s recent critiques…..

                    Ruse is an epic fail. At best he could point out the difference between accidents and essence and gently educate these young people so their message would be better, But he calls poor Milinda a “narcissist”.

                    I can understand calling John Bosco (the weirdo who claimed Eastern ceremonies uniting waring house as brothers was a gay marriage ceremony) a narcissist. But attacking fellow orthodox Catholics who accept Church teaching this is foul.

                    • OBJ15

                      Nowhere have I suggested persons suffering from SSA be treated with anything but Christian charity (nevermind calling them “faggots” and “lesbos”). What I’m suggesting, and what I think Ruse suggests, is that individuals who suffer compulsions to unnatural sexual behavior
                      deserve better than the problematic rhetoric offered by the New
                      Homophiles. Their acceptance of Church teaching is important and laudable, but we shouldn’t ignore their errors, just because they reject the orthodoxies of the broader “gay” movement. Our SSA brothers and sisters deserve better.

                    • James Scott

                      >Nowhere have I suggested persons suffering from SSA be treated with anything but Christian charity (nevermind calling them “faggots” and “lesbos”).

                      But that is how it sounds to non-believers coming from Ruse. He is causing scandal.

                      http://theweek.com/article/index/274129/the-foolish-cruelty-of-catholic-conservatives-who-want-gays-to-disappear

                      Stop enabling him.

                      >What I’m suggesting, and what I think Ruse suggests, is that individuals who suffer compulsions to unnatural sexual behavior
                      deserve better than the problematic rhetoric offered by the New
                      Homophiles.

                      So far the only problematic rhetoric I see here comes from Ruse who is channeling his inner John Calvin and not his inner Aquinas or Desert Fathers.

                      > Their acceptance of Church teaching is important and laudable, but we shouldn’t ignore their errors, just because they reject the orthodoxies of the broader “gay” movement. Our SSA brothers and sisters deserve better.

                      Neither you or Ruse have proven any manifest error here on the part of these two SSA youths.

                      I don’t aprove.

                    • Says the man who a few comments ago felt the need to inform us that it was once called ‘sodomy.’ Thank you for the piece of information. I had no idea.

                    • OBJ15

                      Homosexual acts are still called sodomy (as far as the Church is concerned), though the word is infrequently used in public discourse. Changing our moral lexicon to de-stigmatize certain immoral acts is a big mistake. I grant you that “adulterer”, “fornicator”, “pedophile”, “thief” and “sodomite” aren’t happy terms. But love for the truth demands we call things by their proper names (especially in debates like this, whether compulsions to certain immoral acts are something to be proud of and celebrated).

                    • Yes, I think I have an idiom for people like you, but I won’t use it out of Christian charity. I suggest you do the same in your interactions with gay folks. Bye for now.

  • Cha5678

    You walk into any Catholic Church in the country, and you’ll find 30-60yo unmarried virgins that have served their family and parish. Yet of course there’s something special about those that identify themselves by sharing a personal interest (not a hobby, just an interest) with hateful forces opposed to them and the Church.

  • GG

    Huh?

  • M.J.

    ‘Lord Jesus , I trust in You and in Your love for me and for ….’ – such a focus on God might be an essential need in our times , by often repeating same and trying to live in that truth , cherishing all that The Lord gives us , in His goodness ; in heterosexual relationships, if the wife for example focused on the occasions when the husband might have failed in being strong and supportive , in the God given role , the right approach would be , to see that he may not have taken in the truth of God’s love for himself or the family and instead could be sort of blinded by the lie of seeing both as less than what they are meant to be !
    Whoever gets blessed to see the light of God’s love and dignity can embrace the role of calling on same often , for both and thus hope to undo the work of the liar .
    Once recognized that the family has been robbed of such a truth and has been targeted by the enemy , the need is there for the parents, to be seven times more aware for the need for the children to be delivered and protected against the same lie and brought into the light of truth ; if the parents might have failed in same, the grown children can do so for them and may be even get blessed , like Shem did for Noah .
    Seems that mustard seed of the truth of God’s love for each would be the remedy for all disorders ,all of which possibly connected too, in some mysterious manner , from The Garden on down !

MENU