As more further evidence of the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy's anti-gay jihad goes on unabated despite disingenuous statements about "loving gays" and needing to treat gays better, this weekend its "Courage" program - an "ex-gay" ministry in all but name - will be holding a "camp weekend" program that "helps men with same sex attraction." Rather than worry about normal gays and inflicting psychological abuse, the Church should be focusing such efforts on the many sexual predator priests still within the ranks of the priesthood. Overall, the program is symptomatic of the Church hierarchy's growing retreat from modernity and rejection of modern day knowledge. The mindset that condemned Galileo is still alive and well. Having been raised Catholic I know first hand the harm that the Church's anti-gay teaching inflict on gays. A piece in Huffington Post looks at this harmful program and its efforts to make gays view themselves as sick and sinful. Here are excerpts:
Exercise the gay urges away? A Pennsylvania sports camp claims to help men control same-sex attractions through Christian fellowship, camaraderie and sweaty team sports.
Held on the grounds of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Penn., Sports Camp XIV will be held this year from May 23 to May 26. The camp advertises an "exhilarating, experiential weekend for men" led by the Rev. Paul Check and the Courage Apostolate organization.
Courage Apostolate, a Catholic organization, has long worked to "help" those with same-sex attraction urges change their ways or achieve peace through a life of celibacy, according to its website. The group claims to have the endorsement of the Vatican and "operates through the partial financial support of the Archdiocese of New York."
While the Sports Camp website itself never uses the word "gay," the site's testimonials are revealing.
In an emailed statement to The Huffington Post, Sport Camp XIV officials said the event "does not target young gay men with the hope of 'curing' them of their homosexuality." In addition, they said they do not allow minors, nor engage in any "advocacy" outside of "[providing] men an opportunity to practice having chaste friendships by allowing men to have fun at playing sports."
While Courage tries to portray itself as "an accepting community for Catholic gay men. This could not be further from the truth," Coffin said in an email. "The purpose of this campaign against Courage is to expose what these people are doing. It's not just about the camp, but the camp certainly is part of it. Just the idea that gay men have to 'heal' some sort of 'sports wound' shows how out of touch with reality these people are."
Coffin's sentiments were echoed by others who said that the implication that gay people are bad at sports is insulting and ridiculous, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer article on the camp from May 2012.
“The idea that sports has anything to do with one’s sexuality is confusing science with stereotypes," Wayne Besen, executive director of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy group Truth Wins Out, said at the time.
Billy Bean, a gay former professional baseball star, agrees. The former outfielder, who went public with his sexual orientation in 1999, told The Inquirer that Sport Camp's stated ideology was "inexcusable" and "heartbreaking."
More tortured lives and needless emotional and psychological pain. All because the bitter old men in dresses cannot let go of their bizarre and very sick obsession with all things sexual. As for this "camp" program, why not just hire a witch doctor to do an exorcism? It would have the same likelihood of changing something that is unchangeable.