Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Voris Problem

“Most importantly, gay men are less likely to be child molesters than straight men.”
Michael Voris
Michael Voris is the gay man (now allegedly celibate) who runs Church Militant. The website has been described as the Alt-Right of ultra-conservative Catholicism. Mr. Voris is entitled to believe anything he wants. He is equally entitled to his opinion. He is not entitled to offer, as fact, inaccurate or misleading information. Voris is a propagandist willing to push just about anything in defense of the Catholic Church regardless of its truthfulness of if it even makes sense. Voris is also unrestrained by the damage that he potentially does to other people, particularly gay men.

Thursday, Voris writes: The “Gay Priest” problem (and it is a problem). Before I get to Voris' off-the-wall fiction, he asserts that gay priests should not be ordained. I couldn't care less and that is not the subject of this post. With that resolved:
… homosexuality is a psychological disorder which can too often end up damaging the lives and souls of not only those afflicted, as nearly all afflictions can, but in particular the damaging effects of homosexuality can be transferred to the sheep who entrust themselves to the spiritual care of such men.
Obviously just because the Church disapproves of a sexual orientation does not make it a “psychological disorder.” That part of the catechism has been authored by celibate men who are usually theologians and catechists. They are certainly not trained experts in human sexuality. If they were then Voris would not write such nonsense because Church dogma would then conform to the science.

Sexual orientation cannot be “transferred.” It is not contagious. Furthermore, openly gay people are not “damaged” by their sexual orientation. I am damaged (neurotic) by the many years of paranoia in the closet. Young gay people might be damaged by disapproval based on religion and the discrimination that follows from that disapproval. Adults are not immune to the damage caused by superstitious fools.
And as an aside, just because the American Psychological Association was politically bullied in 1975 to declare homosexuality "normal" does not make it so — it's not.
The notion that the APA was “politically bullied” is mythology that is generally accepted as truthful by people who want to denigrate gay people. In point of fact, there certainly were vocal advocates for the change and their advocacy was based on an enormous amount of peer-reviewed research. Just consider how generally powerless gay people were 43 years ago. It was only in 1975 that California decriminalized consensual gay sex. It would take another 28 years before the Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas decriminalized gay sex nationally.
It [homosexuality] is always the result of a deep wound, almost always not the fault of the person but nonetheless his to now suffer with. It is a cancer of the mind and self-image. The man who sees himself through the lens of being sexually attracted to other men can never be psychologically healthy enough to minister in the priesthood, and this is true even if the man remains completely chaste.
The above has absolutely no scientific support and no one is at fault for being gay. The idea of fault is part of the shame equation. “It's not your fault but it is your choice to remain homosexual.”

Sexual orientation is formed from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Environmental means anything that is not genetic. It is also rather complex because sexual orientation is a continuum with heterosexual and homosexual at the extreme ends. Altough most people identify as either heterosexal or homosexual few people are actually at the endpoints. In other words, most straight people are at least a bit gay and most gay people are a bit straight.

Voris is pushing the rubbish that people assert to justify conversion “therapy” absent evidence that the approach is either safe or effective. NARTH was founded more than 25 years ago. Over a quarter-century of advocating for conversion therapy and they have yet to provide peer-reviewed research published to a respected academic journal that it works. And no, the Catholic Medical Association's journal (Linacre) is not a respected academic journal.

Again, I have no interest in the qualifications for priesthood. However, an openly gay man (Tim Cook) is “psychologically healthy enough” to run the world's largest company (Apple). People do not see themselves “through the lens of being sexually attracted to other men.” While sexual orientation is an important part of who we are as humans it does not define us. It is incidental to our integrity, our character, our ethics — indeed, our very being. Mr. Voris should understand that. He does not.

“Dr.” Voris further explains:
The priesthood is a place where healthy men who are well grounded in their identity as a man can put themselves on the line for the good of their sheep.
Sexual orientation and gender identity are separate constructs. Gay men are just as healthy as straight men. Gay men are willing to sacrifice for the benefit of others at least as much as straight men.
But a flood of psychologically wounded men, wounded by their homosexuality, have been allowed into seminary and been ordained and a large percentage of U.S. bishops are included among them.

These men — owing explicitly to their pain from this psychological illness — seek each other out, a "misery loves company" kind of mindset.
Again this idea of gay people being psychologically damaged. It is crass nonsense that is unsupported by any science. Men usually have sex because they are horny. Gay men have sex with other gay men because they are gay. It has been estimated that half of priests are not celibate and most of those are heterosexual. That's a whole lot of “miserable” people.

Voris is indulging in the Invasion of the Body Snatchers theory. Gay men have sex with otherwise straight men and boys which turns the straight men and boys gay. In some Christian circles it is common for people to believe that almost all gay men are gay because they were molested as  children. The reason that this is pervasive is propaganda spread by religious conservatives like Voris. The purpose of this propaganda is to characterize gay men as a danger to children. This, in turn, is proffered to either oppose nondiscrimination laws or to foster some form of discrimination.

A bit of conspiracy theory is always helpful in understanding an issue:
They [gay priests] form cliques, associate with one another, embolden one another, in some cases rationalize sin for one another, and their priesthood becomes a gay-centric priesthood not really about the people as much as it is about themselves.
And:
And it doesn't take long to see how seminaries could easily become a ticking time bomb where homosexual men in power, unstable in their own psychologies, begin lusting after seminarians subordinate to them.

Effeminate men are welcomed into these environments not because they have a genuine call to serve at the altar, but because they represent a steady supply of fresh meat.
Not once in this diatribe does Michael Voris offer any evidence to support his claims. I do not care about priests but he is essentially saying that gay men are predators of younger men and boys. It is today's equivalent of black men are obsessed with the desire to rape white women. Both memes were, or are, used to denigrate and discriminate.

One more bit of the bat:
It was gay men preying on minors that was the heart of the issue revealed back in 2002, something gay bishops did not want talked about, so they were happy to go along with Theodore McCarrick when he said it's not a gay thing, but psychological immaturity, as he trotted back to his notorious beach house to sexually assault the next group of vulnerable seminarians while his gay brother bishops looked the other way.
Most importantly, gay men are less likely to be child molesters than straight men. The Church and Mr. Voris are looking for blame and then shame. Or is Michael Vooris attracted to children? Men who have sex with boys are usually not gay. Furthermore, pedophilia and pederasty are unrelated to sexual orientation.

The Church and Michael Voris are attempting to shift the blame for abuse scandals. Much, if not most, of the abuse could have and should have been stopped by priests and prelates who looked the other way. Now they are claiming that the Church has a gay problem. They can change the narrative and denigrate gay men at the same time. Whoopie!

Some of this is the result of not understanding human sexuality. Some is the result of accepting dogma over science. Most, I think, is the result of opportunistic dishonesty.

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