"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Friday, January 03, 2014

The "Glee Diaries"

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.

The Catechism

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.



  1. Terry, I disagree with you on many things "gay," but I gotta agree with you on this one. These "homophiles," as you call them do so much naval gazing (not an innuendo there) that they come off as jittery high school girls mooning over the high school quaterback they can't have.

    Some of them seem to neurotically examine every interaction and feeling they have with and for another guy (I don't really say same sex here as most of the people posting are guys.) I can imagine what their straight friends think, hell they would annoy the crap out of me!

    I would think that maybe its a product of their age...most of them seem to be in their 20's or early 30's (i.e. Terry we are OLD and don't get them) and there seems to be a segment of that generation, gay and straight, which seems to be focused on self indulgently examining their feelings, over and over again.

    Personally I think these guys are so sexually frustrated (I don't blame them, but that was their choice) that they try to paint those feelings as something higher, more emotional and less "earthy," then they are.

    Of course, they lost me in one post talking about how "gays," are so much better at friendship (apparently they have never been to a gay bar with a bunch of bitchy queens) being empathetic, and artistic and refined, etc. It seem to me to be just as much stereo typing as the limp wristed guy dressed in lavender...(or course I don't fit any of those roles, besides being a good buddy, so maybe Im just being pissy.)

    And I am being pissy...they are struggling, and I should be nicer. I understand their struggle,,they are trying to make sense of it so I do feel for them. I guess I would feel more for them if they didnt try to elevate this and say, "I'm really, really, hor..uh frustrated, and I don't know what to do." like as you said their straight celibate counterparts (of course, most of those dont have to look forward to a lifetime of those feelings. )

  2. P.S. I love how you throw in a picture of two dudes kissing and two others showing their abs! Its kind of like the old movies used to do (and Mae West got away with my making it all a joke) show sex to put butts in the seats but make everyone feel better by making it a morality play! : )

    1. Haha! Thanks Mack.

    2. Mack - and how I found that last photo - I was looking for something under "Don't cry for me Argentina" and came across the soccer players. Works for me.

  3. you provide such timely analysis on this stuff. Thank you for your honesty charity and most of all adherence to orthodoxy when touching on such a touchy issue as it is!


    1. Thanks James - although I doubt many would agree with you on that. But that's fine with me as well.

  4. The arrested development is not limited to the homophiles. There seem to be many of the under-35 set who write intensely personal blogs/articles on religious matters, and yet suffer from a startling immaturity. Especially spiritual immaturity. In a sense, some of them write on a subject they barely understand.

    If I was head of the old Holy Office, I would mandate that Catholic writers have to be Catholic for at least three years before publishing, and seem to have mastered the purgative stage of the spiritual life. That's my dream anyway...

    1. Much like new converts having to sit out a year before they can sponsor someone into the Church? That's how my parish does it; 1 year may not be enough though.

    2. Two of the writers I have in mind recently left the Church after about a year. Both have become E. Orthodox, and are now writing from that faith tradition. Before the age of 30 each has been protestant, agnostic/atheist, Catholic and Orthodox. It reminds me of a quote regarding Alasdair MacIntyre, the well-travelled Catholic ethicist: "To change one's mind is laudable, but to change it so many times is just careless."

      They need to work these things out before they end up on patheos, or before they draw a lot of internet traffic.

    3. But a year isn't long enough to understand Catholicism or even to know if you're in the right parish, assuming you live in a place with option!

  5. Forgot to say.. A real man will show affection to their gay buddy if they are confident in both their buddy and their sexuality. No problems there.

    1. I read somewhere else of a guy who's creeped out because a friend has not exactly hit on him but has been talking gay this and gay that and the guy is thinking his friend is gay and trying to find out his level of potential interest, which is squicked out and not wanting to talk to him.

    2. Nan,

      That's that guy, as in all stories, you can't extrapolate that to "everyone." As for me, everyone knows my story so I am not in anyway hiding out, and no..I am not hitting on my friends...(they could only hope for that! .Just kidding, its like your brothers..) of course, I am not the least bit coy so I would say, "Hey, want a go..."(I know, I am a very slick and sophisticated seducer...) not into beating around the bush as it were.(actually we homos have to sometimes deal with their straight friends who think you are up to taking care of things their girlfriends wont, which squicks me personally out...) Anyway,I been in sports all my life, including showers, and locker ooms and I haven't become a sex fiend chasing everyone around like Benny Hill with a bunch of nurses, nor have I had guys cover themselves in fright as I walk by. I would advice this guy to simply say, "Hey what's up with this gay stuff?" and ask his bud if he is gay and hitting on him. Then say, "Im not gay and I wish you would knock it off." Common sense solutions to everyday problems!


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