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Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

More Neuhaus

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Apr 01, 2005

Neuhaus has some pointed remarks on an article called "Gay Adolescents in Catholic Schools" by Robert Mattingly, S.J., of Washington's Gonzaga College High School:

Mattingly acknowledges the perils encountered by gay adolescents and cites familiar findings: the suicide rate is five times higher for such adolescents; their suicide attempts are much more lethal; 40 percent of homeless teens are homosexual, many of them engaged in prostitution; homosexual teens are three times as likely to engage in alcohol and drug abuse, and account for 60 percent of new HIV cases among fifteen-to-twenty-four-year-olds. Why is the gay life so grim? Without a hint of nuance, Mattingly asserts the standard line: "Self-destructive behaviors are not intrinsic to being homosexual but they flow from the external negative reaction to it, which then becomes internalized." In other words, whatever is wrong with homosexuality is the fault of those who think there is something wrong with homosexuality. ...

Adolescents caught up in the ambiguities of sexual desire need loving guidance and support -- and clear moral teaching. It is an extreme act of cruelty to teach an adolescent boy or girl that one's disordered desires define one's identity, and thereby encourage young people to enter a grim gay world in the hope that, if enough do so, it will somehow abolish "the external negative reaction" to homosexuality.

This is a sure way to place children at risk in a sociological gamble that will almost certainly fail. To be sure, people have become more "accepting," or at least less publicly censorious, of homosexuals and homosexuality in recent years. But it is true of almost all parents that they do not want their children to be gay, and they do not want teachers encouraging them to assume a gay identity. That will almost certainly not change, and for very good reasons, including their conviction that homosexual acts are morally wrong, the hope that their children will be spared the miseries attending a gay lifestyle, and their desire for grandchildren.

Mattingly's article appeared not, as you surmised, in the Washington Blade, but in Momentum, the official publication of the National Catholic Educational Association. Remember that at second collection time.

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