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A Change at Courage

Timothy Kincaid

December 31st, 2010

Along with the passage of Father John Harvey, Catholic ex-gay group Courage is taking a new direction. They are moving from their home in Manhattan to Norwalk, CT, and are leaving behind their staff, volunteers, directors, and even their legal identity. The new non-profit corporation will have a Board of Directors will consist of:

Father Paul Scalia – son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia – tends to discuss “homosexual activities” using language such as “depravity” and his writings focus as much on the miseries that he just knows are experienced by those who choose the homosexual lifestyle as they do on Catholic teaching about sexuality.

Father James Knapp – has long been a leader in Courage, but seems to have written or spoken publicly little on the subject.

Dr. Tim Lock – a psychologist, was a presenter at NARTH’s 2010 conference with, of all people, Gerald Schoenewolf whose “other way of looking at” slavery led a number of evangelicals to question their association with NARTH. Lock is a true NARTHy who, in a conference in Australia, “exposed nine gay myths, citing scientific research” in a manner reminiscent of John Diggs or Paul Cameron.

Mrs. Marylee MacDougall – is less well known, but in a letter to the editor of The Cowl, Brown’s student newspaper, seems to endorse anti-gay political activism:

Matt Rand (in the Apr. 2 issue) is saying gay marriage is a religious issue, but the history of this topic is that even without religion more than 2000 years of civilization has had a position opposing this lifestyle and valuing family life-which starts with marriage between a man and a woman. Pending legislation and recent court decisions indicate a frontal assault on the traditional and widely accepted understanding of the essence and purpose of marriage.

Father Paul Check (ex-officio) – is the new executive director of the newly revised organization.

In addition to the Directors, there will be “a Body of Members, who provide governance and impart ecclesial authority,” consisting of:

New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan – a conservative Catholic who has made his campaign against marriage equality in New York a significant priority. However, Dolan – who sees homosexuality as a compulsion – is not perceived to be harshly anti-gay and uses more nuanced language.

Bridgeport, CT, Bishop William Lori – will be the host to Courage. A conservative, he’s best known for successfully fighting against an attempt by the State of Connecticut to require the Catholic Church to turn over control of the diocese to its membership rather than its hierarchy.

New Ulm, MN, Bishop John LeVoir – gave $250 to the campaign to defeat marriage equality in Maine.

Oakland, CA, Bishop Salvatore Cordileone – is the father of Proposition 8. It was his organization and advocacy that initiated the writing and signature collection of the proposition (remember the early funding was almost entirely Catholic and only after it got on the ballot did the Mormon Church dump in some 20 million dollars).

Father Paul Check (ex-officio)

Considering the number of politically motivated anti-gay activists now involved, what do you want to bet that the ‘new and improved’ Courage has more on its plate than ministry to those with same-sex attractions?

Comments

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BlackDog
December 31st, 2010 | LINK

Why is it, that Gay people (Who do NOT molest children) are supposedly SO BAD but so many of these conservative Catholics (Including the Pope) have covered for, excuse, or ignore actual PEDOPHILES???

Why is being gay, something that’s normal, Not Okay with the Church? Yet something that IS a recognized mental disorder listed in the DSM-IV is perfectly fine with at least some elements of the higher ranks?

To me, that is a sign of a very sick situation. It’s the sort of thing that’s probably got Satan himself sitting on his throne in hell drinking a margarita and shaking his head saying “That’s just not right, man!”

I wonder how long this rightwing love fest has been brewing? Anybody wanna bet that they were just waiting for the previous leader to keel over?

Philip Lowe Jr
December 31st, 2010 | LINK

I am writing this comment as someone who is an ex-gay survivor of Courage. You can find and read my narrative about my experience with Courage at http://www.beyondexgay.com. After going to the web site, go to narratives and click on my name: Philip Lowe, Jr and you can read about my experience.

Contrary to what Courage and many others might think, Courage IS an ex-gay group. Those who lead and endorse the organization regularly refer to and use “help” information from the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. (NARTH). While Courage may say they are not about reparative therapy they certainly do not discourage it.

Courage treats being gay or lesbian like both words are BAD. They encourage their attendees to think of themselves as men or women with same-sex attraction (or SSA). They treat it just like one treats alcoholism. They model their group after the 12 step idea and basically learn to think of themselves as victims of a sexual addiction and/or disorder. Even masturbation is seen as a symptom of the bigger disorder. This organization is one that recommends that if someone has jacked off, they should go to confession before going to Communion. They are such a destructive organization, with very damaging methods.

Since leaving the group that I used to attend, I am now involved in a wonderful relationship and have become Episcopalian. I will be facilitating an ex-gay survivor’s caucus group at Creating Change 2011 that will be in Minneapolis Feb 2 to Feb 6th at the Hilton Minneapolis. Those wanting more info about Creating Change should go to CreatingChange.org.

Courage most certainly is an ex-gay group. Their work is to exterminate homosexual people and treat our sexual orientation as a sickness. Make no mistake, their work does not deserve commendation from anyone.

BlackDog
December 31st, 2010 | LINK

Figures.

Mihangel apYrs
December 31st, 2010 | LINK

Phillip
first: happy new year

second: I can’t tell you what to think or be, I can tell you that you that you are worth it, that no-one has the right to diminish you: that no-one has the right to come between your god (if you acknowledge it) and you.

Find your path, consistent with what you are: no-one else an do it for you

Philip Lowe Jr
December 31st, 2010 | LINK

Thank you.

I am 10 times happier since I left Courage. I have a better relationship life and a better faith life.

I just wanted to share with folks the reality of what Courage is. They are very deceiving as many groups like that are.

As for my belief in God, yes, I still believe in God. But I believe that God is not small minded as many Christian churches and ex-gay groups such as Courage make God out to be. I believe in a God of love, compassion, understanding and inclusion of all people. I do not believe in a God who is a psycho-path on anything or anyone that is not as Christianist and arch-conservative Catholic groups make God out to be. And I respect those who don’t believe as well as those who do. I also believe that all loving relationships are honored by God.

Thank you to all who read this and respond with a sense of appreciation.

Happy New Year.

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