“Bullies” are the modern-day boogeymen. Lurking around every corner ready to pounce on their prey, they live to inflict psychological harm on their victims. They demand blind obedience to their views, eliminating anyone who opposes their reign. Bullies apparently dominate our school yards, workplaces, and of course social media. According to the mainstream narrative, within each of us hides an inner-bully just looking for an opportunity to emerge.
Ironically the supposed anti-bullying activists have now become the biggest bullies on the block. While making lofty declarations against close-mindedness, harassment, and contempt, they themselves work quickly to shut down any opposition to their views—resorting of course to such things as harassment and contempt. Naturally the first step is to tag anyone who disagrees with them as—you guessed it—bullies. This phenomenon is particularly noticeable among LGBT anti-bullying activists.
The latest example of this can be found in a statement against “LGBT bullying” signed by eight Catholic bishops and called “God Is On Your Side.” The signatories include both Cardinal Joseph Tobin (Newark and of “Nighty-Night, Baby” fame) and Archbishop John Wester (Sante Fe) and is sponsored by the Tyler Clementi Foundation through their “True Faith Doesn’t Bully” campaign. And yes, to the surprise of no one, promoter-of-all-things-LGBT Fr. James Martin, SJ was instrumental in obtaining the signatures of these bishops.
On the surface, the “God Is On Your Side” statement appears benign and essentially in conformity with Catholic teaching. Most such statements do. It declares that “The Catholic Church values the God-given dignity of all human life” and condemns “violence, bullying or harassment.” Yet this statement is part of a whole movement to confuse the faithful and silence orthodox Catholics.
LGBT anti-bullying activism is a muddled mess from a Catholic perspective. It emphasizes one part of Catholic teaching to the exclusion of other equally important parts. It defines bullying so broadly as to include any statement of Catholic teaching on homosexuality. And ultimately, it is used to prevent orthodox Catholics from helping homosexual men and women grow in their relationship with Christ.
The favorite Catechism passage of LGBT anti-bullying activists is from paragraph 2358: “They [men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies] must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” From these two sentences, anti-bullying activists want to cut off any discussion of the potential harm—spiritual, mental, and physical—that arises from embracing a LGBT identity and/or engaging in homosexual activity. Yet the same Catechism also states, just one paragraph prior:
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. (CCC 2357, emphasis added)
In other words, although men and women who suffer with same-sex attraction are to be treated with dignity as images of God, they should not in the least be encouraged in their homosexuality, and in fact, should be warned of its dangers.
Yet, to the LGBT anti-bullying activists, my previous paragraph (as well as CCC 2357) can easily be construed as “bullying” language. Let’s take a look at the Tyler Clementi Foundation definition of bullying:
Bullying, broadly defined, is unwanted and harmful verbal, physical, psychological, sexual or social acts by an individual or group, as well as any real or perceived threat or imbalance of power. When individuals or groups use religion to demean or harass people, to exclude them, to make them feel bad about themselves, or to harm them in any other way, this is bullying.
Note the ambiguity of this definition, particularly words like “unwanted and harmful,” “real or perceived,” and “demean and harass.” Each of those terms is extremely subjective, and in the eyes of the LGBT anti-bullying activists, their definitions are determined solely by the supposed victim. So if I calmly state that homosexuality is a disorder (as the Catholic Church has always taught), then a person with same-sex attraction could easily say that my words are “unwanted,” constitute a “perceived threat,” and “demean” him. Voilà! I’m a bully!
The ambiguity of what it means to “bully,” as well as its subjective nature, makes the accusation an effective tool to silence any dissent. And this is exactly the purpose of statements like “God Is On Your Side.” It’s not to help young people (it’s not like any young person cares what these bishops think, anyway); it’s to bully orthodox Catholics into silence. If you dare to challenge a statement such as “God created you, God loves you and God is on your side,” then you are immediately shouted down; after all, are you saying that God isn’t on their side, that He doesn’t love people with same-sex attraction?
The founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation (a fallen-away Catholic) says that in the bishops’ statement,“we’re trying to start a conversation.” We should know by now that this is Leftist language for “we’re trying to silence our opponents.” A “conversation” for LGBT activists is always one-way: away from Catholic teaching.
Faithful Catholics must not be afraid to stand up to the LGBT anti-bullying bullies. We cannot soften or water-down our proclamation that homosexuality is disordered and that homosexual activity is always sinful. To do so would be uncharitable and show a fundamental disrespect for those who suffer with same-sex attraction. For to love someone is to want what is best for them, and a homosexual lifestyle is gravely harmful spiritually, mentally, and physically. To dismiss that reality is like ignoring the impact of drugs on a drug addict in a misguided effort not to “demean or harass” him.
As Catholics, we know the teachings of the Church—the full teachings—are the way to happiness in this world and eternal bliss in the next. Yes, God is on the side of men and women who suffer with same-sex attraction; that’s exactly why we want them to embrace His teachings in their totality. Only by rejecting their identity as “LGBT” and avoiding homosexual activity can people with same-sex attraction find true peace and happiness…no matter what the LGBT anti-bullying bullies may say.
[Image Source: The Tyler Clementi Foundation]