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Switch to Forum Live View Can Homophobia Be Cured?
6 years ago  ::  Mar 23, 2009 - 6:30PM #1
ConanTheLibrarian
Posts: 60

Yesterday, I went to Mass at an Eastern Rite parish (not my own). I have been to Mass there before and for the part, I enjoy going Mass there.


However, the pastor is quite homophobic. In my state, the legislature is debating legislation that would ban most forms of discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity. The pastor included in the parish bulletin a handout asking parishioners to contact their legislators to fight the proposed law. From the pulpit, he claimed he could go to jail if he upheld the Catholic doctrine against homosexuality. I guess Father has never heard of the First Amendment


Previously, the priest did the same thing as the county legislature has been in process of debating a countywide law outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation.


The priest seems to be a nice guy -- ivery ntelligent, a good speaker and an interesting homilist.


However, as a straight man I quite insulted by his remarks and I let him know. He took my words politely as said that the matter is open to debate. I said I disagree with him, but I would defend his right to his views.


He is fairly young (in his 40s) and grew up in southern California. I am very surprised how homophobic he is.


Other than praying for a change of heart, is there anything I can do to open his eyes so he can he how hurtful ihs actions are. I plan to stay in his face so he will realize that not every Catholic in the pew believes that gays and lesbians are objectively disordered.

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 23, 2009 - 7:33PM #2
darcamani
Posts: 2,152

Hi Conan;


Having dealt with homophobia in many forms over the last darn near most of my life, I can say you are doing the right thing addressing your views directly and honoring the other persons right to a different pov gently and face to face is the best approach to really beginning a change of heart.  Prayer is nice, yet real contact with real people with real insight  openly discussed gently has worked in my experience, having sit down and shared a bowl of soup with a Klansman that damn near killed me I can tell ya, once he understood I was human  he relaxed, he kept his views yet stopped threateneing me.


I also faced men who attacked me a few years ago because they were taught gay folk deserved little more then death, with gentle understanding this stance comes from fear and ignorance.    Sometimes homophobia comes from within, internalised and projected outwords.  Those that often shout the loudest against, are often quite closeted and very gay.


In my experience; real live hetero folk don't even worry about gay anything unless it has to to do with social justice, otherwise it is a non issue.  In other words it only affects them if they have friends or family directly affected.


IMO, if someone is actively preaching against gay anything, he/she is gay or questioning which means not all that straight,  and hiding it from spouse, friends and family and has something more at stake like home, career, family, which says a lot about how far we must continue to bring this issue to light .


In my experience, straight people simply do not question their sexuality at all.  Period, never.


In this american culture there is expectation to be straght and to get married yet there are only a few that actually pull that off successfully.   There is a HUGE gray area.   If more could simply be honest in the beginning with out the cloak of religion or societies "norm" there would be less divorce, because marriages would count,  would not be because that is what feels one is supposed to do regardeless of how one really feels.  


A question pastors need to ask couples seeking marriage, are you certain you are monogamous and if so, how do you know? And does it matter and has the question come up. And... is it important? and how do you as a couple define marriage anyway? and do you both agree ? And as a couple are you willing to manage the stuff that comes up ?  And the legal crap that comes with being gay?  The real stuff that makes us the last group with real rights with held because of who we love?  The legal stuff, the open discrimination, the real threat of loss of jobs, family ties, housing. Even wills are contested and because we are not next of kin can lose everything, ( that happened to me ) .


Denying someone these rights spiritually and legally is an outrage and abusive and ...


 and takes years to heal. 


Feel free to give this post to your pastor.


Love does not hurt.


 


Blessed be


 


Dar

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2009 - 8:34AM #3
twolf02
Posts: 32

Can homophobia be cured? Of course it can. 


But like many self imposed diseases the sufferer has to be willing to change and to cure themselves.  No one is born homophobic, they are taught to be that way, so in a sense it is a social disease.  I have found that when one does not make their sexual 'anything' the topic of existance it becomes, for the most part, a moot point.


My homosexulaity does not define ME.  It is only one aspect of me.  And like was said in the previous post.  Like hetrosexual people, I do not consciously think about it unless it is brought up.  I think gay people can move through this world as effortlessly as anything else.  But...it would require developing a sense of self.  Having self-esteem.  Not allowing yourself to become a victim of a thought pattern.  We are all vicitms of something. Maybe domestic violence, auto accident, unfair laws, etc.  Do not add self imposed victimization to the list.


Speak up for your rights, as an equal citizen not a second class one.  Flaunting is haunting.  I go to these Pride events and many times I am embarassed by the behavior and actions of the participants.  There is no need for that kind of display.  Where's the dignity?  What is needed is a gay Ghandi or Martin L. King, Jr.


Any time there is injustice the scales of Justice must be balanced on both sides.

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2009 - 8:04AM #4
REteach
Posts: 14,764

You might be interested in New Ways Ministry, which is a gay friendly Catholic group.  It may help you bolster your contention that Catholic does not have to mean homophobic.  My parish is on the gay-friendly list.


http://www.newwaysministry.org/

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard was not what I meant...
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2009 - 10:04PM #5
Mareczku
Posts: 2,220

That was very interesting Conan.  I read some things by this one priest from California.  He said that homophobia was a good thing.  Then I read that the man was involved with a "Courage" ministry and counseled gay people.  After I read some of the things he wrote, I was astounded.  I could not imagine a gay person with any self-respect going anywhere near this guy.  I couldn't understand why if this guy had such a strong dislike for homosexuality and gay people, why would he be involved with such a group? 


 


Peace - Mareczku 

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6 years ago  ::  Apr 12, 2009 - 3:01AM #6
greling
Posts: 15

Mar 25, 2009 -- 8:34AM, twolf02 wrote:


Speak up for your rights, as an equal citizen not a second class one.  Flaunting is haunting.  I go to these Pride events and many times I am embarassed by the behavior and actions of the participants.  There is no need for that kind of display.  Where's the dignity?  What is needed is a gay Ghandi or Martin L. King, Jr.


Any time there is injustice the scales of Justice must be balanced on both sides.




 


This segment struck a chord with me. I couldn't help but see the parallels in my experience as an African American and the behind the scenes conversations we have with each other about our "image problem" and what to do about all the of the guys on TV with gold grills, saggy pants and thug attire. It seems like EVERY oppressed minority has had this problem at some point! LOL

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6 years ago  ::  Apr 12, 2009 - 1:35PM #7
Do_unto_others
Posts: 8,995

Conan,


 


You say the pastor is "very intelligent. How do you reconcile such "intelligence" if, as you say, "From the pulpit, he claimed he could go to jail if he upheld the Catholic doctrine against homosexuality. I guess Father has never heard of the First Amendment.


 


Intelligent people understand that their First Amendment rights are not abrogated when all citizens are treated equally under the law.


 


I understand your vested interest in attending worship spaces of your choice, but if this is a 'theme' at this particular church, I'd rethink my attendance if I were you. The man sounds like an inveterate hater, imo, and if he's using the worship service to promulgate political views, I'd be challenging him on that too. Maybe you could ask him "Who would Jesus treat this way?"

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