Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tortured Gay Men

In reaction to the new Ted Haggard gay sex scandal, Andrew Sullivan asks some pointed and all too applicable questions. Having viewed Prayers for Bobby last night, the issue is all the more poignant. Here are Andrew's thoughts:
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At some point, surely evangelical Christians will have to ask themselves: are we going to continue to demonize homosexuality to such an extent that even our ablest preachers and leaders are led into destructive, secret and often abusive relationships because we cannot allow them to pursue open and honest and loving ones?
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The countless gay men who are currently running many of the world's leading Christian denominations are threats to themselves, to other gay men, to their wives and their churches because ancient doctrine forces them into twisted shells of human beings. In the Catholic church, this led to a horrifying epidemic of child abuse, protected and enabled by the last two Popes. And their response to this? To ratchet up the psychological pressure even further on the men whose psyches and souls they have already permanently warped. When will this end?
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Sadly, in my view the answer is no time soon. There is too much money to be made using anti-gay propaganda to solicit donations from Kool-Aid drinkers and running fraudulent "ex-gay" programs. And with the Roman Catholic Church's bizarre obsession with sexual issues (which includes demonizing women to a degree), the bitter old queens in dresses at the Vatican do not strike me as willing to change whatsoever. Thus, until such time as more of the public is educated as to the immutability of sexual orientation and is willing to walk away from anti-gay denominations, the torment of LGBT people will go on. I think it's a sad assessment, but a realistic one.

1 comment:

headbang8 said...

"bitter old queens in dresses"

Quite. I went to law school with an obvious gay man, who spent a year in the novitiate. He couldn't pass as straight; it just wasn't in him.

He was asked to leave, with a telling note, "There is more to the priesthood than dressing up in frocks."

Funny. Novitiates don't wear frocks. And his behaviour while in the seminary, he assured us, was impeccable.

For an institution that is one of the world's largest employers of gay men, it shows an internalised homophobia that staggers the outside world. Men identifiable as gay would give the game away.