17 responses

  1. joe kort
    December 30, 2010

    Great article and I’ve loved every word.

    I don’t have a problem with any of these groups either until they start bashing gay affirmative groups and insist that their way is the only way.

  2. Lynn David
    December 30, 2010

    I hope some day that the Catholic Church will find a path to full acceptance and equality for gay and lesbian Catholics (perhaps when they finally accept women as equal).

    Never going to happen.

    I for one wouldn’t be so concilatory towards Harvey. There have been times that his exposition on homosexuality has been downright mean. For instance he praised a new document of American bishops called “Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination: Guidelines for Pastoral Care,” over and above the 1997 Church document, “Always Our Children: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions for Pastoral Ministers.” Harvey said of the two:

    The document is a definite improvement from the 1997 document “Always Our Children: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions for Pastoral Ministers.” That document was written in a way that it could be assumed that there are two orientations: heterosexual and homosexual.

    The fact of the matter is that there is only one orientation, the heterosexual orientation. The homosexual tendency is an objective disorder, and if a person has this objective disorder, it is because other things have happened.

    From all the psychological studies of homosexuality, there is no scientific evidence that you are born with the homosexual tendency. There is no evidence. … From what we know today, the main factors leading to a homosexual tendency all have to do with environment: family environment, school environment, adolescent environment.

    And indeed that is the teaching of the Catholic Church. It is written in the Catechism that is an “unknown psychological disorder.” But Harvey like those at NARTH was sure homosexuality is all environmental.

    In that article Harvey went on to say:

    Same-sex attraction is not normal. The disorder is a subrational inclination of the person. People with homosexual tendencies suffer with these desires.

    And not all persons with homosexual tendencies are alike. Studies indicate that of those who have homosexual desires there are those who have the homosexual desires, but are able to control them. There are also those who have the desires, and are actually able to come out of the condition, to find the opposite sex attractive, to marry and to have children.

    Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, founder of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, in Encino, California, says it best when he says that there are no homosexuals, just heterosexuals with a homosexual tendency.

    The big difference in this document and previous ones is that we know much more about the origins, and much more about treatment than years ago.

    The most important person in this regard is Elizabeth Moberly, who in 1984 published “Psychogenesis: The Early Development of Gender Identity.” It’s only 100 pages, but it revolutionized the therapy we use with homosexual people in that she shows that the homosexual tendency can be overcome.

    Yep! Subrational….

  3. cgd
    December 30, 2010

    Gay kids are taught to hate themselves by people like this.
    In fact, the Catholic teaching on sex is cruel to everyone.

  4. truthteller
    December 30, 2010

    I want to scream very time I read something to this effect: “…But I do appreciate that in recent decades the Church has made the distinction between “inclination” and behavior (though the current Pope seems to conflate the two)”

    How can you find value in the tearing of a persons spirit apart? I think what these people are doing is spiritual violence, period. They brainwash their followers with threats of damnation and then claim those followers are willingly accepting to destroy an integral part of themselves.

    Can someone become Ex-Anglo? Ex-black? Ex-Latino? How about if they abstain from the behavior of those groups? No more burgers, rock n roll, soul food, mexican food? Can you then make a distinction between their racial inclination and behavior?

    Ludicrous!

  5. R
    December 30, 2010

    Just because someone’s not the worst, doesn’t mean they should necessarily get a pat on the back.

    I do think that eventually the Catholic Church will come around. It may not be my lifetime though.

  6. grantdale
    December 30, 2010

    I don’t see Harvey as compassionate either. That would have required understandings and appreciations that he simply did not have.

    I also think you are downplaying how readily Courage has whispered in the ears of those who do engage in overt anti-gay politics. They are part and parcel of that coercion, threat of eternal damnation, and machine politics you mention; supporting the warped reasoning and an excuse for the impact on individuals.

    Harvey was an ideologue to his core, committed to a religious organisation, who spent the last 30 years of his life promoting not only his side of that religion but also promoting a number of profoundly ignorant, profoundly false, views about non-heterosexual men and women. He also kept some very troubling company while doing so. (Gerard van den Aardweg being an early mentor, to name one).

    If anything, Harvey is an example of how an inclination to obey one’s faith can also lead one to engage in ultimately uncompassionate behaviour toward others. Taken to the extreme, it leads people to purify the souls of sinners through death by fire. A ‘compassion’ for their everlasting soul as justification for inflicting grotesque indignity on the body.

    Such inclinations I’ve little to say about, but the ancillary behaviour deserves challenge at every point.

    Undoubtedly missed by many, but his legacy remains and continues to promote profoundly ignorant, profoundly false, views alongside conservative Catholicism.

  7. Ben in Atlanta
    December 30, 2010

    There is no distinction to be made between Courage and any other hetero-supremacist group. Or any other sort of supremacists.

    I refuse to PC it up to heterosexual privilege. It’s bullshit. Call it what it is. There’s no such thing as ex-gay.

  8. Clifton
    December 31, 2010

    I wonder if the Phelps family will be at his funeral?

  9. Josh
    December 31, 2010

    I used to be a part of Courage when I was trying to live celibately. I’ve met and talked to Fr. Harvey a few times, nothing really in-depth. I’ve also met Fr. Scalia-he’s quite a bit like his father, a strict interpretationist.

    While Courage has always publicly stated that they don’t push people to go ex-gay, they certainly gave alot of support to those who did. I remember we had Robert Gagnon at one conference-he did not take kindly to attendees’ repeated attempts to explain the fine distinction in Catholic doctrine between inclination and action, calling both equally sinful.

    Courage leaders tend to have a certain naivete-one conference was at a college campus in St. Louis-above the registration table were the campus fraternities’ engraved paddles. Way to go on not giving people ideas!

  10. Philip Lowe Jr
    December 31, 2010

    I also am an ex-gay survivor of Courage. You can read my narrative of my experience with Courage at http://www.beyondexgay.com. After going to the web site, click on narratives and then look for my name, Philip Lowe, Jr. and clock to read my narrative.

    Courage IS an ex-gay ministry that supports and recommends the material found at and by NARTH (National Association of Research and Therapy for Homosexuality). They do not oppose reparative therapy. The longer I stayed in the group the worse I felt about myself, my family and my relationship with God. Since I’ve come back out, started going to an Episcopal Church and got involved in a wonderful and healthy relationship, I have been much better off.

    I do not find Fr. Harvey compassionate at all. His work is supported by the folks at EWTN and their therapists turn healthy gay and lesbian people into very unhealthy people. I know, I was there and I have been working really hard to bounce back from their damage ever since.

    Happy New Year everyone.

  11. justsearching
    January 1, 2011

    “But I do appreciate that in recent decades the Church has made the distinction between ‘inclination’ and behavior.” Yeah… basically they’ve gone from telling people they must refrain from homosexual behavior to telling people to either change or reject homosexual inclinations. In my mind, there’s not too much to get excited about in the new phrasing of their God-given prohibitions.

  12. Priya Lynn
    January 1, 2011

    Right Justsearching. That’s just another attempt to justify the “hate the sin, love the sinner” stupidity. The “sin” comes about because of the nature of the “sinner”. If you hate the “sin” then you hate the nature of the “sinner” and hating the nature of the “sinner” means you hate the “sinner”. People’s actions are not divorced from who they are, people’s actions are determined in large part by who they are.

  13. Ken R
    January 1, 2011

    Right Justsearching. That’s just another attempt to justify the “hate the sin, love the sinner” stupidity. The “sin” comes about because of the nature of the “sinner”. If you hate the “sin” then you hate the nature of the “sinner” and hating the nature of the “sinner” means you hate the “sinner”. People’s actions are not divorced from who they are, people’s actions are determined in large part by who they are.

    BINGO! Couldn’t have said it better!

  14. Jimmy
    January 1, 2011

    “An organization for celibate, Catholic homosexuals”?

    Isn’t that called “the priesthood”?

  15. jojo
    January 2, 2011

    here we have another organisation that emphasizes the basic idea that being gay is inferior to being straight and wich is connected in many direct and indirect ways to other “ex-gay” groups and others of our political enemies.

    in my opinion, to say that any of these organisations could be “mostly apolitical” is a basic misunderstanding of what “politics” are.

    downplaying the evil political influence of any of these groups really doesn’t help the gay community in any way!

  16. J. Philip Faranda
    January 2, 2011

    I concur that the Catholic teaching that gay people are “disordered” is a tragic error.

    I recall in freshman theology class at Villanova how the professor, who had to be at least 70, had the intellectual honesty to say something to the effect that had St Thomas Aquinas gotten out much, then he’d understand that the “Natural law” he loved to invoke had different rules than he thought. There are examples all over nature of same sex relationships and plenty of other things Aquinas conveniently didn’t notice.

    I am struck by the conciliatory nature of this post, however, and can say that from my perch that productive change will come from within. For now, I am at peace with the fact that I am a heretic for not believing that being gay is a disorder.

  17. Frank
    June 23, 2011

    Good. I hope he Burns in Hell for all the suffering he caused.

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

Back to top
mobile desktop