detesting the unlocked door
Have you noticed, in the multitude of hostile reactions to the Vatican's Instruction, that what has provoked the most violent outrage is not the Church's teaching that homosexual tendencies are objectively disordered, but her conviction that they are capable of being overcome? Gays don't like the judgment that homo-erotic propensities are in need of healing, but it's the notion that healing is possible that brings out the rage, the flecks of spittle in the corners of the mouth. The secular dogma that insists homosexual orientation is innate is, for obvious reasons, a comforting one for many people, but to advance the opposite position -- and threaten to deprive them of the myth -- sparks a reaction comparable to taking a pork chop away from somebody else's Doberman.
In that connection, I was put in mind of the following passage from a 2002 CWR article by the Dutch clinical psychologist Gerard van den Aardweg, an expert in the treatment of homosexual disorders:
The traits which form the basis for biological explanations are extreme feminine identification (in males) combined with a 100 percent homosexual orientation in fantasies. But effeminacy is a learned identification. For example, Rekers and Lovaas describe a boy with such profound feminine "mannerisms, gestures, fantasies, flirtations, ... wig, nail polish, high screechy voice, slatternly, seductive eyes that it suggested irreversible neurological and biochemical determinants." After therapy, "he looked and acted like any other boy. People who viewed the videotaped recordings of him before and after treatment talk of him as 'two different boys.'" All of the boys treated for extreme femininity by Newman "became more masculine, more aggressive, discontinued feminine behaviors ... remaining masculine in puberty."
Finally, both therapy and self-therapy may completely eradicate a fully homosexual orientation and restore normal heterosexuality. That this does not happen suddenly, nor very frequently, is part due to the fact that therapy for homosexuality is still very rare, and that most homosexuals, in spite of a wish to change, at the same time cling to their sexual pleasure addiction and infantile personality, so that only relatively few really engage in a continued struggle with the old self. One of the distressing aspects of the misplaced mystification of the causes of this disorder and the emphasis on the "natural" or inborn factor is that it discourages both clients and therapists to do something about it; that way, the myth that the orientation cannot be changed becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Here's a man who's talking sense. The folks who insist there is no cure are the same folks who insist there's no disease to be cured from: a scientifically dubious contention, especially where the patient has zero wish to take the medicine and his physician zero wish to prescribe it. No wonder they go ballistic when the Church declines to take part in the fraud.
And note: it's not only gays who are making noise. There's a baritone line to the chorus of anti-Catholic editorial fury contributed by heteros who are themselves addicted to unseemly sexual indulgences and who panic at the demand that they give them up. Each of us, in his own way, finds onerous what Aardweg calls the "continued struggle with the old self." But those who have given up the fight and made peace with their sins hate the cure the way demons ("Have you come to torment us before the time?" Matt 8:29) hate the exorcism.
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Posted by: Sterling -
Dec. 09, 2005 9:34 PM ET USA
For example, Rekers and Lovaas describe a boy with such profound feminine "mannerisms, gestures, fantasies, flirtations, ... wig, nail polish, high screechy voice, slatternly, seductive eyes ... Gosh, if that's how Rekers and Lovaas perceive feminine mannerisms, I think they're the ones with the sexual problems.
Posted by: Fr. William -
Dec. 05, 2005 1:09 PM ET USA
Amen, Diogenes. And let's be watchful of the sympathizing bishops who make their own sort of noise... and call them to task on their alignment with the outraged homosexuals within and outside the priesthood.
Posted by: zonner -
Dec. 04, 2005 2:38 PM ET USA
Priests who minister to homosexuals in Courage, from what I hear, say that not all can change their orientation through therapy. On the other hand Fr.Groeschel told me a committed homosexual (living with his "lover") and an ex-catholic was grabbed by a priest while visiting a chuch (for esthetic reasons) and pulled into a confessional and told to confess. He had a conversion. He broke with his partner who also returned to the church.They remain friends and vacation together but they are chaste.
Posted by: John J Plick -
Dec. 03, 2005 3:34 PM ET USA
This is new knowledge??? I don't think so... Sinners "love' their sin... They always have... Particularly when they are so benighted that they don't even identify their "sin" as sin... The two appalling things, though, are One: That the sinners sometimes appear to "love their sin" more than we love Jesus Christ... and Two: That for a long time now militant sinners are allowed to publicly identify themselves as Catholics.