Thursday, October 15, 2015

The shaming room is now open

Another victim
The Catholic Church's Courage Apostolate has a new infomercial titled “Desire of the Everlasting Hills.” The call to chastity doesn't concern me — people can make their own decisions. Rather, it is the portrayal of gay people that is offensive. The Church has spent some money in production values to drive home the notion that gay people are broken and need to be fixed.

According to the film, and the accompanying study guide, gay people are “objectively disordered,” “unfulfilled” and isolated. We “experience feelings of loneliness, confusion, guilt and despair.” The Church offers “fellowship, truth and friendship” in return for giving up your sexuality. I think that it is a shitty deal. Others might disagree. As I said, people can make their own decisions.

The Courage Ministry treats homosexuality (which they reconstitute to “same-sex attraction”) like a drug or alcohol dependency. Their approach is 12-step pseudo-science. The five stated goals of the Courage Ministry are:
  1. To live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality. (Chastity)
  2. To dedicate our entire lives to Christ through service to others, spiritual reading, prayer, meditation, individual spiritual direction, frequent attendance at Mass, and the frequent reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. (Prayer and Dedication)
  3. To foster a spirit of fellowship in which we may share with one another our thoughts and experiences, and so ensure that no one will have to face the problems of homosexuality alone. (Fellowship)
  4. To be mindful of the truth that chaste friendships are not only possible but necessary in a chaste Christian life; and to encourage one another in forming and sustaining these friendships. (Support)
  5. To live lives that may serve as good examples to others. (Good Example/Role Model)
The real goal of the Courage ministry is to solve the problem of how to deal with the existence of gay people as society increasingly accepts the fact that sexual orientation is innate and unalterable. If you cannot make them straight, make them eunuchs.

These people are theologians. They are wholly unqualified to counsel people to deal with their insecurities, challenges and stressers. I don't accept the idea that gay people are any more unhappy than straight people. However, if gay people are more disconnected from society than their heterosexual peers, if they are more insecure or neurotic, it might be because Christians are determined to shame them because of scribbling in ancient texts. The Church causes families to disassociate from their gay members and causes gay people to feel guilty. It all reminds me of mafiosi creating union problems so that they can shake down management to solve the problem of the mafia's design.

The Catholic Church has volumes of arbitrary rules. Most of them are mere superstition. Follow all the rules and you go to paradise when you die. Break the rules and you are destined for Hell. It's all rather childlike and simplistic. No one can exist without breaking some of the rules. Enter the priest, a celibate who can absolve you of your sins which can include forgiveness for breaking the rules that actually do make some sense. The Church sates a need that would not exist were it not for the Church. Rules like not murdering or stealing were in existence for civil societies at least 1,800 years before the birth of Christ.

Courage makes about as much sense as telling people that red hair is the sign of Satan. They shame gay people into compliance. If one wants temporal insecurities to become deep-seated disorders, just submit to Courage's program. Gay people are not “objectively disordered.” That description would apply to the priests who participate in this ersatz counseling. They have their own problems.

This documentary features a few people who decided to give up sex in order to be accepted by the Church. How many people did they have to fuck up to get these few?

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