22 responses

  1. Ben In Oakland
    September 24, 2012

    I couldn’t believe the trash I was reading. More lies, ignorance, false equivalencies, and straw men wrapped up in a pretty bow

    I have a prayer for him. i hope his son turns out to be gay, so he can actually gain some wisdom instead of the hyper-active superiority gland that funcitons as a brain.

  2. Rowan Bristol
    September 24, 2012

    How does a site called Public Discourse not have a comments field?

  3. Steve
    September 24, 2012

    Catholic theology is pure insanity. I don’t get anyone who says that there is reason or intelligence behind it.

  4. Jim Hlavac
    September 24, 2012

    I can’t imagine the scenarios where either this man or his son is encountering all the snares of “homosexuality” he so fears. Sounds more like the kid wouldn’t know a thing about it, unless he was gay, or his father told him. Surely no gay men are approaching the two at home, their church, school, work, etc, and saying: “hey, we’re gay….” I’m not sure that he or is son will knowingly encounter gay men, less so a gay couple, and virtually impossibly a gay couple holding hands in public. He’s got what he wants — we are hidden from him. He doesn’t even see one of us at a hotel desk, or his waiter at Applebees. So what’s his beef? That we exist on the next block over? Do we butter our toast too loudly for the man.

  5. Jim Burroway
    September 24, 2012

    This is the kind of writing that makes me jealous. ;-)

  6. Timothy Kincaid
    September 24, 2012

    Oh the snares that can cross a child’s path. There are the snares of Protestantism or agnosticism or even temptation to the arrogant assumption that man can understand God’s Divine Ways that might lead a child to doubt the church’s wisdom. There are snares of pious sounding “principles” (but which are mere sophistry) like equality and diversity and fairness with can warp a young mind into placing worldly values above those timeless values that the church makes clear.

    Yes, yes, tis best to send the child to an approved boarding school that has neither television, books that threaten his future, not access to broader society with its snares and temptations and false “science”. Or homeschool him; I hear it’s similar.

  7. Dante
    September 24, 2012

    ” invoking Thomas Aquinas ”

    Did he use this quote:

    Because of the diverse conditions of humans, it happens that some acts are virtuous to some people, as appropriate and suitable to them, while the same acts are immoral for others, as inappropriate to them.
    Thomas Aquinas
    Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/thomas_aquinas.html#RUMBHlfVuKpQ1ffu.99

    I doubt it.

  8. TomTallis
    September 24, 2012

    He sounds like a victim of Opus Dei brainwashing. I’ll bet he sends that kid to the same Opus Dei school that Rick Santorum sends his kids to. The kid won’t grow up to be a man, any more than his father has. He will grow up to be a pissant little dogmatist, just like his dad.

  9. David Wachter
    September 24, 2012

    Thanks for tearing this one apart. Even knowing nothing about Esolen, I recognized the tortured logic of Roman Catholicism. It takes a recovering Catholic to recognize it and untangle the bizarre pretzel-like knots it takes to logically justify a point of view based on a fallacy. And it seems like everything that goes back to Thomas Aquinas turns into mega-pretzels.

    This poor man. When I used to be the organist in Catholic churches, I would encounter poor things like this. They were insufferable, and I’m thankful that I haven’t had to deal with them for twenty years.

  10. Ben In Oakland
    September 24, 2012

    The whole thing boiled down to this;

    I am a superior being who deigns to tolerate your right to exist by virtue of my superiority. however, do not press hard upon my tolerance, because I may withdraw it…

    and you will suffer, as you used to before I was tolerant.

    Funny about those “snares”, though. They’re baited with compassion, intelligence, and facts– reality, for short.

    Reality is what happens while youre busy being superior.

  11. james
    September 24, 2012

    I feel like I’m listening to a first-born who was very, very disappointed when his parents had another child. After all, there aren’t supposed to be any people in my universe other than myself, right?

  12. iDavid
    September 24, 2012

    This is not my bad. Therefore not mine to get agitated over. There is nothing to change in me, no behavior no thoughts. Nature needs no defense.

    He needs help as he is suffering at his own thoughts.
    Now he can resolve it or not. It is after all, his torture.

  13. David S.
    September 24, 2012

    Professor Esolen wrote a series of blog entries entitled “Ten Arguments for Sanity” on the Touchstone Magazine blog some time ago. This blog entry links to and critically summarizes his arguments, such as they are:


  14. Neil
    September 24, 2012

    Mr Esolen wants his son to grow up without encountering any complications of humanity. I gather the plan is to hatch him from an infantile state into fully fledged masculine innocence.

    Fie on us nasty gays with our snaring tendencies. The Garden of Eden may yet be brought into being as Mr Esolen fashions his son into the new Adam. let’s all keep very quiet so the imprinting process takes hold and he might recognise his Eve when he sees her.

    Wouldn’t it be terrible if some less than ideal condition should rupture the fragile purity of Adam’s gender construction. We’d better all stay indoors lest we somehow cause a fall from Grace. Whatever you do, don’t let him see your apples.

  15. esurience
    September 25, 2012

    Doesn’t he understand that we are tolerating him as well?

    I would rather he not not hold the views he does, and if he must hold them, I’d rather he not express them. In fact, I think he does damage by expressing his views. Sets up a “snare” for other people, if you will.

    But I recognize his right to hold those views, and his right to express them, as contemptible as I find them.

    What debt should he owe to me for tolerating that?

    “For one, the rights of my son should be respected.”

    Your son has no right to not be confronted with ideas and people that make him uncomfortable.

    If that was truly a “right” then I’d have to demand not to be confronted with

  16. CPT_Doom
    September 25, 2012

    I feel very sorry for Mr. Esolen, for the burdens he carries, and I think the least the LGBT community can do – especially those of us who have not attained the healthy masculine nature he wants for his son – is to honor his wishes. We should keep our homosexuality and our existence hidden from his precious son, even though that may inconvenience him a bit. After all, that history teacher who lives without a wife cannot guarantee that Mr. Esolen’s son won’t figure out his “nautre” from his mannerisms, etc. Thus he must decline to educate Mr. Esolen’s son. The waiter must also refrain from serving the professor and his family; the doctor must refrain from providing health care; the accountant must refuse to do their taxes; the pilot must refuse them passage on his airliner – all to ensure that very special Esolen dauphin won’t ever come into contact with non-masculine individuals. Sure trying to navigate the world without ever coming into contact with TEH GAY may require longer waits by the Esolen family and whole places – like Disney parks – where they cannot go, but I am sure it will be worth the sacrifice.

    Oh, and one other note for Mr. Esolen. The two teenagers who bashed me 8 years ago, smashing my face in with a brick, learned very quickly that I can certainly fight like a man, which is why they ran away like the cowards that they were. And I am not the only homosexual who is capable of self-defense. He might remember that there are those of us who have come close enough to Esolen’s masculine ideal that we can actually kick his sorry behind, hypothetically speaking of course. It might make him pause before ticking more of us off.

  17. cd
    September 26, 2012

    To find where Prof. Esolen is at any given time, measure the rotation of the Earth accurately and compute where the point on its surface is that it revolves around. Go there and you will meet Prof. Esolen!!!

  18. Charles
    September 26, 2012

    I am so profoundly encouraged by the ability of us on the side of equality to think critically and divergently. Those on Mr. Esolen’s team ought to try it some time.

  19. TikiHead
    September 26, 2012

    LOL. I am envisioning the gay snare in his son’s path. Maybe it’s a Pottery Barn Catalog, with a tilted box held by a stick, connected to a string…

  20. Frijondi
    September 26, 2012

    Does anyone else from the Bay Area remember Art Hoppe’s columns in the SF Chronicle? For non-Chron readers, Hoppe died about ten years ago, after having been reliably funny five days a week since (I’m told) the 1950s.

    I’ve been googling around trying to find a particular column he wrote in the early eighties that addresses Mr. Esolen’s concerns. Can’t find it, so I’ll try to reconstruct the gist from memory. It went more or less like this:

    Hoppe’s fictitious son Mordred comes home and announces, “Guess what, Dad? I’ve been recruited!”

    “You mean by the army? Didn’t your mother and I warn you about that?”

    “No, by the homosexuals.”

    “Really? I thought you had a crush on that girl in your history class.”

    “Well, these two guys told me that as a homosexual, I’d live a glamorous, carefree life, with no wife to nag me and no kids to put through college. Women will love me because I’m well-dressed, witty and cultured, and I’ll get to accompany rich widows to the symphony and art openings every weekend!”

    “Son, do you realize what two men actually have to do together in order to be homosexuals?”

    And that was the end of that.

  21. Jim
    March 31, 2013

    Poor old Esolen is so confused. He’s just so … conflicted! I mean if anyone were to encroach upon the extraordinary tolerance of either him or the dauphin, my God! Who knows what would happen? They might be tempted! And from there they could be corrupted! They’d be down that slippery slope in a laundry chute and the resulting debauchery would be all your fault, you gay dudes!

  22. Jim
    March 31, 2013

    If you thought that one was bad, try this one! http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/03/9449/
    I doesn’t make much sense either. As far as I can glean, traditional marriage is good because Leander tried to rape Hero. Or something.

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