Thursday, February 01, 2007

The attack of the Rainbow Fish continues

In my post regarding the 'Gay Mass' in Park City, I concluded with a letter to the editor written by several parishioners in response to a prior letter to the editor praising the 'Gay Mass'. On January 31st, The Park Record printed this letter:

Shame on those who responded to Beano Solomon's letter praising Father Bob for holding a mass which welcomed the gay community. Her letter only expressed admiration for his conducting a worship service. They did not respond to her letter, they changed the subject. She didn't discuss who has sex with whom. That's none of my business and it's none of theirs.
Their letter mentioned a Web site which advocates Reparative Therapy. This therapy is reprehensible! One of its methods is electro-shock therapy on a person's genitals. It tries to "cure" people into "being straight." The record shows that "reparative therapy" has no support from the major medical and mental health professional organizations, such as American Academy of Pediatrics , American Counseling Association, American Psychological Association, United States Surgeon General, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists , and National Education Association which take the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and there is, therefore, no need for a cure. Medical doctors can and have lost their licenses for using this "therapy."
I prefer to address gay youth, their parents and friends. Please be assured that there are people and organizations that will understand, love and embrace you. The Utah Pride Center, in Salt Lake City, is a large, thriving community center that serves the GLBT community and can be found at This site has links to organizations such as PFLAG and Family Fellowship These groups don't just tolerate you, they celebrate you; and then go out and advocate for you.
Why would you want anyone's children and friends to live celibate lives? You don't. Why would you want them to come to an empty home every night and have no one to hear their stories, to care about them? You don't. Everyone deserves to be accepted for who he or she is and to be loved. Gay people aren't broken. They don't need to be fixed.
Fran Miller
McLean, Va.

Here we have a representative of the thinking behind the 'Gay Mass'. Nothing will be tolerated but the complete acceptance, nay celebration of homosexuality. Homosexual attraction is a disorder. Those with it must be loved and accepted as persons, but the homosexuality must be rejected. The problem that I see with most so-called Catholic ministries to gays is that they reject this truth in favor of Ms. Miller's celebration of queerness. Courage is a rare example of how to do it right.

Here is another letter to the editor from a fellow from Park City who is studying at Notre Dame.

Ms. Miller’s letter (1/30/07) provides misleading information, employs drastic generalization, and fosters a disrespectful attitude towards persons with same sex attraction. The publication of her letter has led some people astray in its attempts to demonize "Courage Ministries" ( Ms. Miller claims that this organization promotes "reparative therapy" through "electro-shock therapy on a person’s genitals." Any person who honestly examines the organization’s website finds mention of "reparational groups," not reparative therapy. The concept of reparation is simple, even if one does not have an understanding of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. If I do something less than noble—let’s say, be uncharitable towards my wife—then it will not be enough to simply apologize to her. It will take an extra effort on my part to regain her trust and confidence, crucial in a mutually submissive relationship, both for our good and the common good of our family. Those who take part in these reparational groups have themselves been hurt, and have hurt many people. Having changed their own lifestyles, they are committed to praying and fasting for the conversion of those who are involved in hurtful sexual relationships, which plague both
heterosexual and homosexual parts of our society. These groups "stand not in judgment or self righteousness but in solidarity" with their "brothers and sisters in their pain and struggle."
In addition to providing false information, Ms. Miller dismisses views other than her own. Having several friendships with persons who are practicing Catholics and are same sex attracted, I can say that their perseverance and consistency in living their Christian faith to the full is inspiring and encouraging. Therefore, it is offensive when somebody seeks to diminish their heroic efforts to live chastely. Ms. Miller’s dismissal of such people who want to live chaste lives is quite telling of her true attitude. Her celebration of "tolerance" leads her to only tolerate celebration of those attitudes with which she agrees.
She equates same sex attraction with sexual activity by asking, "Why would you want anyone’s children and friends to live celibate lives? You don’t." She therefore assumes that anybody who has chosen a life free of sexual activity is hindered and deprived. Yet, one can look to ancient Roman vestal virgins, Jewish ascetical communities, contemporary Christian
religious, Buddhist monks, and even many single persons in our own society who value a life of celibacy. Celibacy is a conscious human choice, made for various reasons in different societies, and is not a limitation and hindrance to living a happy life.
Not only is Ms. Miller’s letter misleading and broad, but it is also disrespectful to persons with same sex attraction. She asserts, "Gay people aren’t broken. They don’t need to be fixed." Such an attitude toward persons with same sex attraction is degrading. They are not machines to be treated in such a dismissive and generalized manner. Many persons do struggle with same sex attraction, all for different reasons, through no fault of their own, and are lonely, looking for acceptance and friendship. Each person chooses the manner in which he or she lives this reality out, which can either hurt or help him or her. Those who seek to reach out to them ought not to disregard the many who face difficulties.
Finally, in a generation and culture dominated by materialistic consumerism and a utilitarian ideal—I get what I want when I want it—it would be useful for one to consider the motives behind his actions. Interpersonal, and particularly sexual relationships, are plagued by use and abuse, which leads to a disintegration and devaluation of the human person, a fact evidenced by the divorce rate and familial breakdown of our society. Does the remedy lie
in a utilitarian approach to life that often leads one to affirm others in their unhealthy behavior, in order to bring about personal satisfaction and a feeling of benevolence and generosity? Virtue is a habit acquired through human actions that involve moral choices
ordered towards the good. I can choose to affirm the very sources of another’s pain for my own satisfaction, or I can choose to act according to the common good. Therefore, true "tolerance" and "acceptance" means choosing what is genuinely good for another. An approach to the treatment of persons that tolerates their destructive and demoralizing behavior is reprehensible. Therefore, it is the responsibility of all to help and encourage those who are faced with struggles to live lives of virtue.
John Sikorski
University of Notre Dame
PCHS Class of ‘03

I would also add that Ms. Miller is wrongly characterizing reparative theraphy. (See the NARTH website.)

(Hmmm, it seems that at last the Catholic faith is being taught well under the Golden Dome.)
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