Don't make it more complicated.
That's the impression I sometimes get after reading the New Homophiles.
I read Chris Damian's piece at Crisis yesterday - twice, the second time around with the com box responses. Hence my title: The Glee Diaries.
There really is a gay exceptionalism - no doubt about it - but it is not God's gift to the person, nor the Church and the world. More often than not it strikes me as a sort of arrested development. It may take a lifetime to grow up.
It seems to me the more these guys write, the more confused people get. It's a great strategy, baffle people with attestations of celibate chastity along with theological-philosophical dissertation on equality for same sex - albeit chaste - love, and you really do have something exceptional. Just like everyone agrees coming out is heroic, right?
These discussions of falling in love with same sex roommates at college, bursting into tears when the other guy is straight, 'but you just have to tell him or you will burst!' such drama strikes me as so immature. I've also encountered statements like this, 'if I could feel anymore rejected I might commit suicide' - and I'm sorry if I appear insensitive, but sometimes that just comes off as a sort of threat to those who really have a hard time accepting LGBTQ in your face 24 hours a day. When gay Catholics say such things, it just adds another layer of Catholic guilt. Something else is wrong in that brain.
I have several straight friends who always ask me, "What makes gay people so special? Why is it any different for a single gay guy to remain chaste than it is for a single straight guy? Why are gay people so special?"
How do you answer that? Especially when the New Homophiles are so busy developing a new theology for themselves - one not all that different from the New Ways Ministry model, BTW.
In real life straight guys
do not want to hug and kiss their gay friends.
Hold me, touch me.
There seems to be an almost continual discussion on the nature of same sex friendship and the level of intimacy permitted. It reminds me of middle school, when the guys would talk about how far they could go - with themselves - before it became 'complete self abuse'. In those days that seemed to be the criteria Fr. Pingatore used for mortal sin. So what happened if you accidentally had an emission? You went to confession. The point is, you were already lusting in your heart, right? Now days most Catholics reject the idea that masturbation is a mortal sin, so this seems to be a non-issue - which may help explain why gay people are so concerned about how far they can go in same sex friendship, how much intimacy is permitted, and so on. (And believe me when I tell you, no matter what generation you happen to be, straight guys are not comfortable with male friends who have something more than a man-crush for them.)
Essentially, that is what I think is at the heart of much of the discussion. 'We've been condemned to live chastely and celibately, but there must be a way of having a partner, of being in love.' Even religiously professed celibates will split hairs about what chastity means. People forget that straight singles have to be chaste too. I realize many of the gay Catholic writers are young, many are students. Their writing gives that away. They are searching and struggling - which helps explain why no one term can be used to describe them individually, and why consensus is nearly impossible. Their work remains unfinished, always in flux. They may make mistakes - they make mistakes - but can they be guided, taught, or are they the only ones who can do that? It is difficult to know where they are at, or where they will end up. Some may end up leaving the Church - after all, many are converts from atheism to some form of Protestantism to Catholicism - the Church just may be a temporary stopping off place in their development.
I always say gay Catholics battle on several fronts - not that everyone else doesn't - but the culture is always tugging at gay Catholics with a particular urgency. Perhaps unwittingly, the New Homophiles are useful for the 'agenda'. Interestingly, one local Catholic dissenter has now moved on. He seems to feel his efforts for same sex marriage have come to fruition now that Minnesota has recognized gay marriage. Obviously he sees more to be done as concerns issues of equality and Catholic teaching, but he needs to find a better paying job at the moment. It occurred to me the New Homophiles may be furthering the cause - albeit unintentionally.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition."They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity." Just like anyone else I should think.
Austin Ruse has a very good post up on The New Homophiles, A closer look. It is much more civil than what I write.
And stop bursting into tears.