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You Are Here: Home » Featured, LGBT News From Around The World » BREAKING: Scalia’s Son Was Chaplain for Catholic Anti-Gay Group

Just days after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia shockingly equated homosexuality with murder in an appearance at Princeton University, another troubling revelation has emerged: Scalia’s son Paul, a Roman Catholic priest, has served as chaplain for the Arlington, Virginia chapter of Courage, an official Catholic apostolate that ministers to people with so-called “same-sex attractions” — or what the rest of the world refers to as lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.

In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Michael McGough writes that Paul Scalia’s anti-gay beliefs are so extreme that he isn’t even willing to concede the fact that gay people exist:

He has written: “We must always distinguish the person from the attractions. Most errors in this area come from the reduction of the person to the attractions: to say,  ‘A person who has homosexual attractions must be homosexual.’  This reduces the human person to the sum total of his sexual inclinations.”

The last time I heard that frighteningly dehumanizing lie was when I was undercover receiving “ex-gay” therapy at the Bachmann clinic. No joke.

McGough also points out that when the Vatican acknowledged the reality of homosexuality, it too earned the wrath of Scalia the Younger:

In a 2005 article in the magazine First Things, Paul Scalia warned against the labeling of high school students as “gay” and even took the Vatican to task  for using the term “homosexual person,” which, the younger Scalia said, “suggests that homosexual inclinations somehow determine, which is to say confine, a person’s identity.”  Of course, this is a straw man; psychologists and other who speak of a gay identity don’t argue that “gay” is an exhaustive description of an individual’s personality traits, only that there is more to being gay or lesbian than participation in sexual acts.

Courage, the “ministry” that Paul Scalia was affiliated with, uses a 12-step program similar to Alcoholics Anonymous to encourage Catholics struggling with “same-sex attractions” to suppress their sexuality and live totally celibate lives. It’s essentially a Catholic version of the widely-discredited “ex-gay” programs, just wrapped in a more subtly-colored bow.

As I read McGough’s op-ed I couldn’t help but be reminded of the lyrics of a song from the legendary musical South Pacific:

 You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear, you’ve got to be taught from year to year. It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear — you’ve got to be carefully taught. . .

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late — before you are six or seven or eight — to hate all the people your relatives hate. You’ve got to be carefully taught.

Hmmm, I wonder who taught little Paulie Scalia to hate LGBT people?

One of the nine people who will get to decide next year whether LGBTs are worthy of basic human rights, that’s who.

Anybody else see a problem with that?

About the author

John Becker has written 34 articles on this blog.

John Becker is an LGBT activist, writer, and blogger who has played a critical part in a number of high-profile victories, including a successful international media campaign that resulted in Apple dropping a “gay cure” iPhone app, and a sting operation in which Becker went undercover with hidden cameras at the clinic co-owned by Marcus and Michele Bachmann and exposed them for offering fraudulent “ex-gay” therapy. Becker has appeared as a guest on major news and political shows including ABC's World News Tonight, Nightline, and Good Morning America; NBC's Today Show; Fox's Alan Colmes Show; MSNBC's Ed Schultz Show and Live with Al Sharpton, and the Associated Press Television Network. He and his work have also been mentioned in notable newspapers including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.

52 Comments

  1. Scott Rose says:

    Excellent work, as usual, from John M. Becker!

  2. [...] husband, Marcus, as owners of a therapy practice that has engaged in “ex-gay” therapy, writes: Just days after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia shockingly equated homosexuality with [...]

  3. Being that he’s a Catholic priest obsessed with gay sex it’s obvious that he has raped little boys. A criminal investigation of Father Scalia should be instituted immediately.

  4. Uhhhh--NO. says:

    Uhhh—no.

    If it’s hatred we want to talk about, we need look no further than some of the contentions featured in the very first sentence of this article—which, along with the rest of the article, is fairly riddled with falsehoods.

    It has NOT come to light “just days after” his father spoke at Princeton about homosexuality that Father Paul Scalia served as chaplain to the Arlington Catholic Diocesan chapter of the Courage ministry. Father Scalia’s chaplainship of Arlington Courage came to light approximately eight years ago, when it began. At no time since then has it been treated as a secret. That’s the first falsehood.

    The second is that it is NOT a ministry to people with “so-called” same-sex attractions, but to those with actual same-sex attractions. If Courage chapter members felt just fine about acting on those same-sex attractions, the question arises as to why they would be attending the meetings at all. To suggest that people whose conscience tells them to put their love of God above their personal desires should be denied any support for their endeavors (at least when it’s sexual desires that are at issue) seems sort of…

    …hate-driven.

    • John Becker says:

      Things can be happening out in the open for quite a long time before anyone really notices them, sir/madam. My point — and it’s a valid one — is that this has received very little press coverage until now. Feel free to refute me by providing a list of links to major news stories about Paul Scalia’s affiliation with Courage. Otherwise, your argument is entirely without merit.

      Care to point out any other “falsehoods” for me to dismantle?

      • Uhhhh--NO. says:

        Mr. Becker, if you tell me that you MEANT to say not that Fr. Scalia’s service had only recently “come to light” but, instead, that no one of importance to yourself really noticed it until recently–well, you’ve said that now. I don’t doubt your word about what you had originally intended to say, and am glad that you’ve made it clear. If it pleases you to feel that, by so doing, you dismantled some argument of mine, you’re most welcome to that feeling.

        To your query whether I “care to” point out the other falsehoods in your article, the answer is “Not really.” You asked exactly the right question there–for, I’m assuming, exactly the right reasons.

    • Mike Homfray says:

      No such thing as ‘same-sex attractions. You mean gay by sexual orientation, but suffering from the illness of self hatred. That can be treated, via affirmative therapy, and abandoning harmful and homophobic religionism is another contributory factor

    • Bill Jones says:

      Never trust a man too cowardly to post his name on his comment.

      What are you, Scalia’s friggin’ mom or something?

      • Uhhhh--NO. says:

        Even when they masquerade as challenges to my courage, Mr. Jones, I do not respond to ad hominem attacks in any way that’s at all expected. Whether or not you trust me personally isn’t a source of concern to me. The facts supporting my corrections to the opening sentence of Mr. Becker’s article, since they have always been in the public domain, can be investigated independently of any reliance on my trustworthiness or lack thereof.

        • Jere Reiter says:

          Gym Strong would be a great gay porn name. But, in all seriousness, folks, I can tell you that when I spent 22 years in ex-gay ministries and therapies, I met many men who publicly proclaimed they were no longer gay (or in the gay “lifestyle” whatever that is), but in private whenever the men were candid, they admitted they could go for periods of time without sex, but they would inevitably “fall and repent”. It was a vicious cycle and I can tell you from experience it is a horrible way to live. I am now in a loving and monogamous relationship, engaged to a wonderful man – and that is far more peaceful than trying to live an asexual existence. And I get to have as many deep friendships as I want, too.

          • Jim Strong says:

            Aside from the fact that you seek to sexualise even my name, Mr Reiter, (can ANYTHING linked to the gay world exist and not be eroticised, not even slightly??!), you clearly dealt for 22 years in a wholly different atmosphere to the setting of Courage.
            No one in Courage, to the best of my knowledge and experience, is trying to “ex-gay” anyone. It is NOT an ex-gay ministry that tries to “heal or change people from being gay to straight”. This is where you have failed to understand the nub of my argument – and why, regrettably, after 22 years you possibly saw people “falling and repenting” as you so candidly state. (I also imagine how angry you must feel after spending 22 years of your life trying to do something as impossible as this. How very frustrating for you. My heart goes out to you!)
            What I am saying is that when we focus on, or limit (yes, limit!), sexuality into boxes like “gay”, “bisexual” or “straight”, or use terms like “ex-gay” etc we already start the journey forward with a crippling disability.
            No one is asking anyone to pretend they do not feel what they feel, oir to deny the incredible strong pull of attraction towards others. And yet saying this, I am me, not some category of sexuality! Indeed my sexuality might well fluctuate. I admit above that mine clearly has done so in the past! The so-called gay world rejoices when a so-called straight man “comes out”, but spits and hisses when a so-called gay man moves in the so-called straight world. I enjoy my wife dearly and deeply and honestly do NOT want, and am not tempted, to sexually engage with another man as I did for years previously. If you don’t like the story then there’s not a lot I can do about it.
            Hey, guess what, Mr Reiter, (I won’t even try to mock, manipulate or make suggestions about your name) I am really – yes, really!! – pleased you are now in a loving and monogamous relationship, engaged to a wonderful man. I am sure that it is far more peaceful than trying to live an asexual existence, which I believe NO ONE is called to live (this doesn’t mean you have to have sex though just to live out human sexuality). As for “GETTING to have as many deep friendships as you want too”, this is true for everyone. I just hope you are LIVING out lots of these deep friendships.
            I went from same-sex promiscuity to same-sex monogamy and it was in the peacefulness, joy and deep acceptance of this place that maybe, just maybe, like many others I have now met, I was ready to make the next steps of my sexual journey towards other-sex attractedness.
            Mr Reiter, I honour your journey so far. I hope that one day in your heart you might be able to honour mine and the similar journey of my friends too. If, by total accident as happened to me, your journey leads you elsewhere, I will be there to pat you on the back and to encourage you to be led where your heart is leading you and not to pretend, to deny or to even to judge yourself as to where the path will take you.
            One last point from me at this stage: the core of Mr Becker’s article above seems to tar (or “rainbow”!) Courage with the same brush as other ex-gay ministries (yuk, I hate these titles!). There are some PROFOUND, and indeed liberating, differences between evangelical and protestant theology on matters of sexuality compared to those that are Catholic. I know of many priests who don’t try and deny or repress their same-sex attraction but who remain celibate and deeply contented with their lives and their commitment to a religious people that you would think they would stay as far away from as possible. There is room for everyone at the table in the Catholic Church and yet the SAME calling is there for EVERYONE – to seek to become holy in God’s sight. This is Fr Scalia’s message, and it is the best that any spiritual shepherd can give to any of his spiritual sheep.

        • Jere Reiter says:

          Gym Strong would be a great name for a gay porn star.

          • jere reiter says:

            Jim Strong, you ramble on and on, creating half the posts here, but the bottom line is you are gay and you hate yourself for it. That is sad. Come out and live an honest life. And lighten up. A silly joke is not hurting anyone but the uptight.

  5. Lester says:

    That Antonin Scalia is a homophobe has never been a secret. Alito and Thomas are not far behind. Roberts is also a militant Catholic. And the extremely conservative and political nature of the court has been clear for a long time. What I do not understand is why so many people in the LGBT community are all of a sudden acting so surprised that these are the people in whose hands we have put the decision, as the author puts it “whether LGBTs are worthy of basic human rights.” This was always the place this question was going to end up when some decided to take the issue of marriage to the federal courts. Nothing we can do about it now.

  6. [...] Why did Paul Scalia get this gig, you ask? Oh. Well, because Paul Scalia is deeply involved with the Courage organization, the group that is essentially the “ex-gya” program of the Catholic faith (with an emphasis on “chastity” rather than “change.”) In fact, Paul Scalia either served (or still serves) as the Chairman of the Board of that organization, and has written extensively on the subject of homosexuality. (*Back2Stonewall has more). [...]

  7. [...] Truth Wins Out Communications Director John Becker wrote an interesting piece yesterday at back2stonewall: Just days after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia shockingly [...]

  8. [...] posted at Back2Stonewall. Share this: Written by John Posted in Blog Tagged with Antonin Scalia, Courage, DOMA, [...]

  9. RJP3 says:

    Sorry not taking sexual advice from a man who pretends to be celibate (yes they pretend they do not masturbate either).

  10. RJP3 says:

    And my gaydar is going off at the image of Father Scalia — and the creepy stay away from him version of it I developed as an Alter Boy.

  11. Sonny Scalia writing ““We must always distinguish the person from the attractions. Most errors in this area come from the reduction of the person to the attractions: to say, ‘A person who has homosexual attractions must be homosexual.’ This reduces the human person to the sum total of his sexual inclinations.”

    Sounds like a serious closet queen trying to deny, deny, deny.

    Dollars to doughnuts he IS gay.

  12. [...] Meanwhile, John Becker, the man who exposed Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, as owners of a therapy practice that has engaged in “ex-gay” therapy, writes: [...]

  13. [...] Why did Paul Scalia get this gig, you ask? Oh, well because Paul Scalia is deeply involved with the Courage organization, the group that is essentially the “ex-gay” program of the Catholic faith (with an emphasis on “chastity” rather than “change.”) In fact, Paul Scalia either served (or still serves) as the Chairman of the Board of that organization, and has written extensively on the subject of homosexuality. (*Back2Stonewall has more). [...]

  14. Brightshadow says:

    Have to side with Uhhh-NO on this one.
    Paul Scalia’s message doesn’t seem remotely hateful to me: Humans are more than their sexual urges, and he therefore refuses to refer to them under that heading alone.

    His argument agrees with Gore Vidal (who otherwise never had much in common with Scalia): “There are no homosexual persons; there are homosexual and heterosexual acts, and humans may commit either one.” With which (as a person who prefers homosexual acts) I entirely concur.

    I think the blogger is looking for reasons to execrate Scalia. There are plenty, but this one doesn’t help the blogger’s cause. Just makes him sound like a screaming queer loudmouth.

    • Ned Flaherty says:

      Anyone having trouble seeing the hate in Paul Scalia’s actions should consider these facts.

      • Paul teaches that ethics in sex is possible only when procreation is the focus.
      • He excuses all gay men from Catholic guilt by labeling them as “confused.”
      • He claims that homosexuals are just heterosexuals with “same-gender attractions/inclinations.”
      • He says LGBT students are caused by “heterosexual unchastity.”

      These are the classic, religious superstitions in which the fiction of reparative therapy is rooted, and they have magnetic appeal for repressed homosexuals in extreme denial.

      His philosophy arises from self-hate/loathing, and teaches others to do the same.

  15. Jim Strong says:

    As a man who was perfectly content with being gay, and who was a vehement gay activist, I wish to state that men like Fr Scalia and the message he preaches saved my life. I was NOT a Catholic but a so-called gay man who was happily and (amazingly for the gay community…) wholly faithful to his long-term male partner and him to me. I spent my life affirming others in their gay identity.
    Imagine therefore what happened after a dozen or so sessions with a damn good but regular therapist who helped me to find resolution around a few areas where I felt stuck from the past, my “fixed, always felt, gay identity” began to unravel.
    In brief, guys, to my utter astonishment I discovered that everything Fr Scalia says IS WHOLLY TRUE. 15 years on, I’m married and a dad, and my ex, himself a great man, is dead.
    As for david ehrenstein’s comments about Fr Scalia, these are vile, perverted and show the disturbing lack of reason and maturity around this topic.
    I lived a fulfilling and happy life as a (so-called) gay man. I now live a wholly AMAZING and much more deeply contented one having now matured into a fuller expression of what I stumbled across by accident as my fuller sexual identity. Thank goodness for men like Fr Scalia who dare to believe beyond the odds.

    • JBinSFO says:

      Mr. Strong: You refer to “men like Fr. Scalia”. Are you referring to other Courage chaplains? And If it was Courage that changed you from being a contented gay man to being a [heterosexually] married man, was it Courage that en-couraged it? Were you told or encouraged to not be gay but to be straight instead by Courage ministries? How did they accomplish this? What, may I ask, brought you to this page? Thanks in advance for your answers-

    • Ned Flaherty says:

      Jim Strong thinks Paul Scalia saved his life, but really, it was Jim who saved his own life; Scalia just happened to be present when it happened.

      Mr. Strong was never gay, so-called-gay, or heterosexual. He always was, and still is, a bisexual.

      He is lucky that, as a bisexual, his switch of partners was a natural thing for him. Had he been a true homosexual, the wholly unnatural pretense of a gay man pretending to be straight would have brought nothing but misery, pain, and failure for him and those around him. Such is the legacy of Courage and similar outfits that sell the quack medicine known as “ex-gay” therapy.

    • Jere Reiter says:

      Nothing you say has the ring of truth to it. If you really had been a faithful gay man, you would not be mocking the whole idea that such people exist. And every scientific medical association on the planet advises against the quackery of the “gay curing” reparative therapy you push here. Why would a happy and loving gay man seek to be cured? Simple, he would not. You are just using a fake name to promote a discredited therapy business. Even the only worldwide ex-gay ministry says reparative therapy “doesnt’ work and is not biblical”. (Exodus International website, which took down all links to reparative therapy)

  16. [...] Rev. Paul Scalia, a Catholic priest in Arlington, Virginia. The younger Scalia has worked with the Church’s Courage ministry, which promotes “chastity” for gay Catholics using principles from ex-gay therapy. He has also [...]

  17. Jim Strong says:

    Hi JBinSFO. The Catholic agency, Courage, is a group that deliberately sets out offer support to same-sex attracted men and women. Nowhere whatsoever, that I’m aware, does it have anything to do with “changing” anybody from gay to straight. This is the nun of the whole debate: if the words “gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer” etc are in some way made defunct, what is left but people having to be unique members of society like everybody else…except with same-sex attraction.
    Over the years since discarding my sexual attraction as my core identity I have come to echo the comments of all women and men, whether Courage chaplains, homemakers, janitors or whoever, who share Paul Scalia’s comments above, referred to as a “frighteningly dehumanizing lie” (not to me and others it ain’t!) that nobody should be reduced to being identified by their sexual attraction. I now find even the word “heterosexual” or “straight” offensive as do many whose same-sex attraction has been reduced to differing degrees.
    NOBODY ever told me not to be gay. If you read above, the change in my deep rooted same-sex attraction happened unexpectedly because, I guess, I dared to go into therapy open to whatever may happen. I had no agenda, and neither did my therapist. We were both open yo address anything that came up, sexual or otherwise. Regrettably this would not be possible today because fear-mongers are preventing some clients from leading their own therapy. It’s gross abuse of people’s soul journeys.
    I met a guy 2 days ago who told me a similar story of how he’d been with his male partner for 12 years when almost overnight aged 34 he came to the realisation that the direction of his life was a sham. He almost broke under this “revelation” but he sought help, found it, and is so alive today on his life journey. He told me the last place he wants to go back to is the gay world. He is still same-sex attracted but this diminishes constantly he says the longer he abstains from sexual practice and stays well clear of anything linked to the gay world.
    We both discovered in fact that the more we rejected the whole “gay thing” the more bigoted, intolerant abuse we got from the very people who had claimed for years to be our so-called loving, caring community. Our combined experience was that beneath the surface there was no real love and acceptance, just feelings of shame, anger and fear that bound people together.
    It was some years after my therapy that I came across Courage. These guys at Courage offer real care and support to people without any judgment and have helped many people to make informed decisions without telling, forcing or even slightly encouraging people to “change”. They bring greater choice and freedom to individuals where the gay community failed to offer any real choice. They are “the true heart” for men and women with same-sex attraction (whether you want to refer to them as gay, lesbian, queer, bisexual or whatever – we are talking about REAL people with very REAL needs and hearts that desire love and life).
    What brought me to this page? I don’t know! I was surfing the net and must have typed something into Google, thought the 2 line answer looked interesting and so clicked on it. I read the article and responses and so felt prompted to just tell my story. If you hadn’t asked me questions, JBofSFO, then I’d never have come back to this page. Thanks for askin’!!

    • johnbare says:

      thank you for offering a really important part of this dialogue

    • Ned Flaherty says:

      Yes, it’s true that the Courage syllabus accidentally works out OK for bisexuals who are content to switch to a partner of another gender, and for people who desire and are suited to voluntary, lifelong celibacy. But for homosexuals and lesbians, the “support” offered by the Courage program is nothing but a lifelong torture chamber because it teaches:

      • LGBT people are morally inferior, an “intrinsic moral evil,” “intrinsically disordered,” “contrary to natural law” and “inherently evil” (the very own words of Pope Benedict XVI).

      • Same-gender marriage threatens all civilization and thus is despised and opposed.

      • LGBT couples who are parents via prior marriage, adoption, and/or surrogacy are worthless.

      • Children of LGBT couples are so worthless that their government benefits should be denied.

      • The only choice for LGBT people is to live in the unhealthy, unnatural prison of celibacy.

      Ordering all gays and lesbians to remain celibate forever is just as harmful as ordering them to pretend to be straight. Courage may emphasize the former over the latter, but the damage is equally severe either way.

      And, of course, the unspoken, obvious message from the Courage program is that changing one’s natural, in-born sexual orientation from lesbian or gay to heterosexual would be best, despite the fact that there is no peer-reviewed scientific proof that such a thing is possible, and there is abundant historical evidence that such efforts are harmful and dangerous.

    • Jere Reiter says:

      You really need to stop this constant lying. There is no therapy which changes sexual orientation. You are obviously one of the quacks just coming on here pretending to be a “success story”. Same old tired tactics. Give it up.

      • JBinSFO says:

        Dear Jere Reiter:

        I don’t think it’s fair to attack Jim Strong in this manner. You are accusing him of things he hasn’t said. He explicitly said that Courage is not trying to convert people to heterosexuality, and that it was never suggested to him. If you have evidence to the contrary, present it. But to call him a liar is a bit much.

        He has an opinion (which I do not share) that labels like gay, bisexual, heterosexual are not helpful. But isn’t that his opinion? He isn’t saying no one can use those terms, and he isn’t trying to deny that some people are oriented to same sex attraction. He is just saying he doesn’t find labels valuable and doesn’t want to chose one for himself. Shouldn’t he be entitled to his opinion?

        In the lingo the rest of us use, Jim Strong is probably what we know as bisexual. But really it is up to him to use whatever identifier he chooses to use. It’s really none of our business, and trying to force him into one or other sexual orientation is nothing different than what Exodus and other ex-gay organizations do. Except you want to make an ex-straight therapy.

        What is the harm in letting people identify their sexual orientation for themselves? Why do third parties feel the need to tell people what their true orientation is? Why can’t we just get out of each others’ bedrooms, unless, of course, we are invited there?

        • Ned Flaherty says:

          You wrote, “Jim Strong explicitly said that Courage is not trying to convert people to heterosexuality.”

          Yes, Jim Strong said that, but he does not speak for that organization. Their Web site does, and per the Pope’s orders, Courage and its programs treat lesbianism, homoseuality, and bisexuality as religious evils and as curable disorders.

          Normally, I would agree that yes, Jim Strong is free to avoid labels if he wishes, and yes, he is entitled to his opinion. But when he publishes free advertising for dangerous quack therapy that was discredited long ago, he enters a different realm, and should expect to be called on it.

          No one here is trying to force Jim Strong into any sexual orientation at all, or any particular sex life at all, because no one cares what he calls himself or how he lives his life. But commenters here have every right to call out the deceptive mental health practice of “ex-gay” therapy. So long as Strong remains an apologist for that practice and the organization that sold it to him, then he also remains wide open to criticism for promoting this dangerous therapy to others.

        • jere reiter says:

          I understand what you are saying. I strongly disagree. Jim Strong is using semantics to mislead. This game is dangerous because it enables bigots to continue to launch their attacks under the very clouds people like Strong create. And his intentional use of ambiguous language has you arguing with me, just as he hoped. Obfuscation is just a more sophisticated way of lying.

        • jere reiter says:

          Everyone here should know that “Jim Strong” was the name of the former football coach of the “Fightin’ Irish” at Notre Dame, and is being used as a mere alias here by the anti-gay reparative therapist who won’t use his real name.

  18. Ned Flaherty says:

    Jim Strong wrote, “Nowhere whatsoever does Courage have anything to do with ‘changing’ anybody from gay to straight.”

    He’s wrong. Sexual orientation change is precisely what the Courage program salesmen are pushing.

    The organization’s official Web site sells reparative (“ex-gay”) therapy via its Courage Reparational Group. Courage defines these customers as men and women who pray for: (1) healing of their weakness of same-sex desires; and (2) conversion.

    Throughout the “ex-gay” quack medicine industry, the words “reparational” and “healing” and “conversion” all refer to changing one’s sexual orientation. It couldn’t be any clearer.

    Source: http://CourageRC.net/Reparational_Groups.html

    • JBinSFO says:

      Ned, I agree with you that ex-gay therapy is quackery. But the words “reparative” and “conversion” both have meanings in the catholic church that long predate their use by the ex-gay “therapy”. If you actually read the piece on that site about the theology of the reparational groups, you’d read “It’s in the acceptance of that struggle — ours is in homosexuality — but no matter whose it is, we need to accept the struggle and not fight it off or deny it or try to change it.”

      It’s really not at all clear to me that even these Courage Reparational Groups, which I take it only meet once a month and in only about 4 places, try to covert people to being straight. I’m not saying they are necessarily a good thing even if they don’t, I just don’t think they mean here what we immediately think of when we hear “reparation” and gay in the same context.

      If I’m wrong and there’s something else there, let me know. But I think the point of the article is that Scalia has a bizarre understanding of homosexuality that goes well beyond what even the hierarchy of the Church is saying, and this might give insight about what his father (on earth!) will do when it comes time to deciding the Prop 8 and DOMA cases. Even the hierarchy (except for the Opus Dei types) don’t deny that some people are gay.

      • Ned Flaherty says:

        JBinSFO: you — unknowingly — hit the nail on the head, on two counts.

        Firstly, one of the many deceptions pulled by the Roman Catholic Church is to take words (“reparative,” “conversion,” etc.) that already have theological meanings and then innocently re-use those words within the context of ex-gay therapy as a way to seduce Catholics into a mental health regimen that is known to be dangerous.

        The Roman Catholic Church dictates to all its employees that forbidden sexual orientations exist, and that they are “morally inferior,” “intrinsic moral evils,” “intrinsically disordered,” “contrary to natural law,” and “inherently evil” (the very own words of Pope Benedict XVI). Those words are final, damning evidence that the Courage program attempts to “cure” people of their “affliction.”

        Secondly, when the Pope and his employees take perfectly healthy, natural, in-born human characteristics such as lesbianism, homosexuality, or bisexuality and euphemistically call those characteristics “our struggle” they are committing both consumer fraud and medical/mental malpractice. Being left-handed, brown-haired, or green-eyed is not a “struggle” and neither is sexual orientation, so no one should buy a therapy that falsely says it is.

        Scalia’s “bizarre understanding of homosexuality” does not in any way transcend what church officials teach; in fact, it’s totally in line with their policies and theology, all of which are abundantly quoted by archbishops across the nation every chance they get.

  19. Jim Strong says:

    Mr Flaherty (or might I call you Ned?), your assumptions of my life journey are incredulous to say the least. I have never met anyone called Scalia and am unlikely to ever do so as I don’t even live in the USA.
    Your “labelling” of me and boxing me in as “a bisexual” is both a lie and defamatory.
    I ask myself how often you have come into direct contact with or have attended a Courage meeting during your lifetime, or have met and listened to the stories of the regular attendees. None of them that I have met – NOT ONE – fits into the categories you lay out in your earlier comment. In my contact with Courage and the attendees there, I have met guilt-free, alive, satisfied, stable, rational, non-judgmental people who say they have “come to their senses”. They’re not forced to deny sexual contact with others…they CHOOSE it of their own accord and they PERSONALLY speak of reaping an interior peace from this and a deepening of all their relationships. (It is possible to live a full life without sex!!)
    I am really deeply sorry if you cannot accept my, or their, life stories for what they are – our stories! As much as you might try and judge or find fault with what we say and live as true, we cannot deny where we were, what we felt and where we are today however much you wish to advertise where we are at fault (in your clearly blinkered opinion as you don’t us from Adam…or Steve!). These ‘Scalia people’, and others you associate with them, are not demonic just because they differ in opinion to you.
    I used to get angry when actively gay with people who didn’t fully embrace my thinking and understanding of gay life and relationships. Later on, Along with my rejecting the whole gay identity and the accompanying scene, I also developed a greater ability to accept differences of opinion for what they were – differences of opinion, while being open to others maybe knowing more than me. I came to learn that this is how a mature man responds to life, not that I’ve arrived at full maturity, but I know myself to be in an entirely different and more respectful, accepting place with all people whether their attractions are same-sex, both-sex or other-sex.

    • Ned Flaherty says:

      Jim,

      I’ve made no assumptions about you at all; I write only in reaction to what you write. It is never incorrect to call a person bisexual who honestly admits to having had significant degrees of both same-gender and opposite-gender attraction. I refer to you as bisexual because that’s what the dictionaries say you are, based on your own testimony.

      You say all your fellow patients are “guilt-free, alive, satisfied, stable, rational, non-judgmental people.” But among Courage and similar organizations, all the customers that I have encountered exhibit the opposite characteristics, and suffer from extreme self-denial. Ex-gay salesmen like Paul Scalia are especially notorious for deceiving themselves just as rigorously as they deceive their customers, that is, until they eventually publicly admit to their long-running and profitable charade. So, your perceptions differ markedly from mine.

      People of any sexual orientation may, indeed, lead very satisfying lives, but there’s no record of that ever happening to anyone who is forced to convert from one orientation into another through guilt, shame, and threats of eternal damnation. That is the business that Paul Scalia is in, and that is the product that he is selling — despite it being unproven, uncertified, unregulated, and uninsurable.

      I do not judge or fault anyone else’s heartfelt choices, or reject their personal realities, and I do not view anyone as “demonic” just because their opinion differs from mine. I don’t deny whatever reality you claim to have had; it is no one’s business but your own to understand, verify, and accept or reject your own progress.

      But it is perfectly legitimate and necessary to decry people such as Paul Scalia, because they are selling a discredited product to gullible customers, and a dangerous therapy to patients who are ill-equipped to protect themselves.

      Despite “ex-gay” therapies and their derivatives having been available for decades, there is not one, single instance of peer-reviewed proof, performed by credible practitioners, using published data, showing that “ex-gay” therapy has ever worked, for anyone. And there’s abundant evidence of the despair, suffering, and harm that it causes. That’s why it remains uncertified, unsupervised, unregulated, and uninsurable.

  20. Jim Strong says:

    Thanks for your comments, guys. I have made mine and that is that.
    I stumbled across this site by accident but have to remember that it is called ‘Back2Stonewall’ for a reason so there comes a point where my words, whatever I say, will fall on deaf ears I guess. We are traveling life in different directions even though I was initially moved to write because I used to be on the ‘Back2Stonewall’ pathway.
    So, it’s been good e-chatting with you. I am going to spend the rest of my day with my wife and family instead of writing long responses(!).
    Enjoy your continuing dialogue with one another.

  21. Uhhhh--NO. says:

    Very revealing comments here. Very.

    One particularly valuable revelation was that the name “Jim Strong” is so uncommon that either it MUST be that of a Notre Dame coach or it MUST be an alias. There couldn’t be more than one person in the world named Jim Strong.

    Wow. Live and learn.

  22. Jim Strong says:

    Hey Jere, one last comment (I hope) from me. I’m not from the USA so forgive me if I am ignorant of some of the institutions or people you refer to.
    My grandad was Jim Strong; if I have another child and it’s a boy then I’d like him to be Jim Jr. I know 2 other Jim Strongs too. None of us have anything to do with violent Irish people (to the best of my knowledge) and none of us are therapists. I don’t know who the other fellas are attracted to either. It’s none of my business.
    As for “semantics to mislead”, ” intentional use of ambiguous language” and obfuscation as “just a more sophisticated way of lying”… wow, Jere, I was just sharing my experience which I guess is why I often write at length. I’m not some professor, just a guy trying to live a good and upright life and support his wife and family.
    I gain nothing by lying to myself or to you, and I’ll lose no sleep by being called a whole variety of names on here. I don’t ask anyone to praise or agree with what I’ve shared here. I merely thought a balanced dialogue would be welcome, but maybe not.
    Jere, Ned, Uhhhh–NO, JBinSFO – good chatting with you. I sincerely wish you well on your life journeys! ;-)

  23. [...] the Catholic Church even has its own “apostolate” for gay people, called Courage, which counsels members to abandon their natural sexuality for a lifetime of celibacy and endorses [...]

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