See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Stonewall


Gay Pride weekend in the Twin Cities.

June is celebrated by homosexuals as Gay Pride month, an inspiration derived from the 1960's equal rights campaigns for minorities, specifically Black Pride, and later, Black Power movements. The birth of the politicized gay rights campaign actually had it's beginnings in New York city at a gay bar in the Village known as The Stonewall Inn. It was a bar largely patronized by hispanic and black gay men, many, because of poverty and racial marginalization were hustlers, with transvestites and other drug dealers among them. NYC was beginning to clamp down on illegal activity at the time, including prostitution, while in their effort to clean up the city the police also began raids upon gay establishments and general harrasment of gay men engaging in public misconduct.

On June 27th, 1969 the same day as Judy Garland's funeral, (a pathetic icon of sorts for gay men of the day, much like Barbara Streisand or Madonna may be now.) the police raided the bar and attempted to arrest the patrons for lewd conduct or any other charge that applied. They encountered massive resistance and the men fought back. The Stonewall riots, as the press dubbed it, initiated the modern gay rights movement we witness today. At the time coverage of the event was headlines across the country, I remember Life magazine had a cover of the event with a story covering it inside. Earlier in the '60's, Life, Time, and other publications carried related stories on the gay sub-culture in NYC and San Francisco that gradually acquainted the general population with a lifestyle heretofore never spoken about, much less accepted.

Pictured, 2004 gay pride parade in Brazil, this years event attracted over a million according to press reports.

The gay pride movement rapidly spread throughout Europe and Canada and gave bold impetus to the feminist movement as well. Today we have gay pride celebrations in every major city in the United States during the month of June. Stonewall has gone down in history as the "Boston Tea Party" for gay liberation. It gave birth to numerous movements, including "Act Up!" the Black Panther style, more militant movement from the 1980's. I should also include organzations such as Dignity and the Rainbow Sash movement, they most likely wouldn't be around without Stonewall either.

Fr. Benedict Groeschl was once speaking about the gay pride parade passing in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC and mentioned it as being an affront to the Catholic Church that has done so much to help those suffering from AIDs as well as providing support groups such as "Courage" to help men and women live a chaste life in keeping with the Commandments and Church teaching. He expressed incredulity as to how these people could expect any respect when they flaunt their sexuality and practices publicly in such a shameful display. In the past there have been drag queens and nearly nude men simulating sex acts on the floats and among the revelers - which becomes a distasteful display of depravity for any moral person witnessing it. When one does see the extreme elements of the homosexual lifestyle it becomes obvious that there is a lack of maturity as well as morality, it is a culture marked by a sort of 'arrested development syndrome' - as if the majority are stuck emotionally and socially in their early teens. Watch reruns of "Will and Grace" to see what I mean, these people are somewhat retarded emotionally as well as sexually. Gay culture is a sex based culture. It's emphasis has always been focused upon the rather antiquated term 'freelove' and voluptuousness.

Gay publications are littered with sex ads and personals that enjoy an unabashed promotion of pornography. In the past alcoholism has gone hand in hand with the gay lifestyle, and still does to some extent. (Although anti-depressants may now have lessened the need for alcohol.) Yet there are many today who seem to live a conventional lifestyle; many are professionals and live very discreetly, these are the 'upper class' if you will excuse my lack of a better description. It is this more or less affluent group making a rather convicing argument for same-sex marriage, gay adoption, etc. They are influencial with politicians and pepper the media, and business. (As a gay bumper sticker announces, "We are everywhere.") The gay agenda is moving forward. The acceptance of homsexuality in our contraceptive, pro-abortion age by the educated elite and popular culture adherents has removed much of the stigma of same-sex attraction as well as sexual relations - even so-called bi-sexuality. An un-churched, faithless generation who cohabitates liberally, or marries and yet contracepts, cannot really be expected to understand why two men or two women may not enjoy equal status with their own sterile, selfish consumer/leisure driven lifestyles and relationships.


St. Benedict Joseph Labre


"Gay Pride" seems to me to be nothing more than an emotionally charged, adolescent mentality in rebellion against truth and the natural law, devoid of authentic faith or spirituality. Some gay people have adopted the form of religion without adherence to moral teachings. The term 'gay pride' is a decidedly oxymoron. Underlying the 'gay' is a sense of inferiority and loneliness; beneath the 'pride' lays an unconsious sense of shame that none can or will acknowledge, an awareness of conscience that has been more or less stiffled by a deluded self acceptance. Contrary to what the American Psychiatric Association (or whatever the name of the organization) has said in declassifying it as a mental disorder, it seems to me that it still has to be a neurosis of some type. This does not preclude one from living a normal life - it's not as if anyone has to be locked up. To realize that it is an "objective moral disorder" can be a starting point for a person on the path of conversion and wholeness in Christ - "in whom there is no longer male or female, slave or freeman" - in Him we become a new creation. In Him, every person can become the person God created him/her to be. I often look to St. Benedict Joseph Labre, the mendicant who most likely suffered from a sort of mental disorder and was homeless. He lived his life as a pilgrim, on the fringe of society. Through grace and fidelity to prayer and penance he became very holy; a great mystic, and a complete man who lived in intimate union with God.

Thinking about today's events I had hoped that the entire day would be a wash and that thunderstorms and rain would hamper the celebrations. The rain ceased and the sun came out and I recalled Our Lord's admonition to "Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you." And elsewhere, "Be merciful as your Heavenly Father is merciful; He makes the sun to shine on the just as well as the unjust." They've got a gorgeous day for their celebrations here in Minneapolis, so let's pray all the harder for their conversion and make reparation for their omission of keeping holy the Lord's Day.

11 comments:

  1. Don Marco4:47 PM

    Courageous and insightful. Thank you, Terry.

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  2. Don Marco5:41 PM

    The Proper Mass for the feast of Saint Benedict Joseph Labre (April 16) contains words for anyone struggling with alienation and with the inability to "fit in." Many years ago I discovered the liturgical texts for his feast and they filled me with hope and comfort. Here they are:

    Introit (Jer 12:7; Ps 85:1; 26:10; 41:2)
    I have forsaken my home,
    I have cast off mine inheritance:
    I am poor and needy, but the Lord hath taken me up.
    V. As the hart panteth after the fountains of water:
    so my soul panteth after Thee, O God.

    Gradual (Ps 39:5, 18)
    Blessed is the man whose trust is in the name of the Lord
    and who hath not had regard to vanities and lying follies.
    But am a beggar and poor:
    the Lord is careful for me.
    Thou art my Helper and my Protector.

    Alleluia (Ps 38:13)
    Hear my prayer, O Lord,
    and my supplication:
    give ear to my tears,
    for I am a stranger with Thee,
    and a sojourner.

    Tract (1 Jn 2:15)
    Love not the world nor the things that are in the world . . . .

    Offertory (Heb 13:14-15)
    For we have not here a lasting city,
    but we seek one that is to come.
    Let us therefore offer to God
    the sacrifice of praise,
    the fruit of lips confessing to His name.

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  3. Don Marco5:54 PM

    And just one more thing . . . . People who define themselves as "gay" are really no different from anyone else; the hurt is just felt in a different way and in a different place. At the deepest level it is all about the longing for a loving, faithful presence. The Scriptures, and in particular the psalms, equate "presence" with "face." The presence we all desire, the face we are all looking for is in the Eucharist.
    When Pope John Paul II spoke in Ecclesia de Eucharistia of "the Eucharistic Face of Christ," he was, in effect, offering all who go about in search of a presence and a face, the Presence and the Face of a Love that will never fail, or disappoint, or leave an afterwards of bitterness. The Eucharistic Face of Love is hidden in the tabernacles of the world waiting to be recognized. Seek out the Eucharistic Face of Jesus; read there all the secrets of His Heart. You will find there, not condemnation but acceptance, not disappointment in you, but joy in that you have come, at last, to the right place in search of Love.

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  4. Thank you Don Marco for your excellent comments - as always. You have supplied what my post lacked, the search for love.
    Terry

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  5. As for the text for the Mass of St. Benedict Joseph, I believe I remember 0ne of the psalms from the Roman Missal for his feast as, "I would rather lay abject upon the threshold of the House of God than dwell in the tents of the wicked." That's from memory and I cannot remember the entire psalm.

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  6. Anonymous6:57 PM

    Yes, that would be Psalm 83:11. "Elegi ad limen esse in domo Dei mei magis quam habitare in tabernaculis peccatorum." I don't see it in the Propers for St. Benedict Joseph's Mass, but it is certainly suitable. Years ago I visited the church in Rome where he collapsed before dying. I can almost see him lying on the threshold of that church.

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  7. Don Marco7:09 PM

    Another "saint" — not yet beatified — who has a message for folks struggling with same-sex attraction issues is Herman Cohen, in religion Father Marie-Augustin du Saint-Sacrement, Carmelite. For Herman the Eucharist was decisive; it set him all ablaze with love and quieted his troubled heart. He was one of the founders of the Nocturnal Adoration Society. He really deserves to be better known. I am very fond of him . . . but, then again, I have a whole gallery of friends in heaven!

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  8. maybe it was just my devotion. Terry

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  9. Anonymous7:23 PM

    People with same sex attraction should realize that very often the cure, if you will, is in the ailment. Itis somewhat akin to the "serpent mounted on a pole" that Moses errected for those Israelites who suffered by being bitten by the serpents that invded the camp. A good number of people with same sex attraction would eventually come to peace with their orientation in and through goos and wholesome, as well as chaste, same sex friendships. Read VanHaarteg's book, "The struggle for Normality" - I'm not certin I spelled the author's namecorrectly or even got the title right. It makes much sense - if you are open to it and ready for it. Marco is right when he writes about the search for love and presence - that is right on. Thanks for the post, I grew up thinking gay rights was just a given.

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  10. Excellent history and analysis, Terry!

    Ray

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  11. St. Joan of Arc had a float in the Minneapolis parade yesterday!

    The parade goes right by the Basilica of St. Mary.

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