Tag Archives: homosexual

Dealing with same-sex attraction

Daniel Mattson writes to those who have children struggling with same-sex attraction . . .

Daniel Mattson

Daniel Mattson

The most challenging questions I’m asked when speaking about the Church’s teaching on homosexuality come from parents who desire to remain committed to the teachings of the Church, and yet have a child who has “come out” and identified as gay or lesbian. This is what I tell them.

Express unconditional love. When a child comes out, he needs to know that you won’t reject him, and that your love for him will never change, regardless of his choices. Love can’t be blind to the truth of the Church, naturally, but before you speak of the truth, a child needs to hear and feel unconditional love.

Listen. Then listen some more. Then be silent. Then listen some more. Unless a parent has lived with same-sex attraction (SSA), it’s not possible to fully understand how much inner turmoil, isolation, fear of loneliness and rejection their child has painfully borne. He will know your love is genuine by your attempt to understand what his experience has been — without dialog, interruption, or condemnation.

Preaching about the immorality of homosexual acts has rarely, if ever, changed a person’s mind. If you are a devout Catholic, he may fear that your first response will be to tell him that this will lead him to hell. Hearing such language will usually lead him away from you and the Church. It will lead him to embrace a community that will affirm him in his newly claimed identity and confirm in his mind what others say: that you and the Church are bigots to be ignored.

Before urging a son or daughter to seek the path of truth, educate yourself, listen to others who’ve trod this path before, and seek support. EnCourage, the family support arm of the Courage apostolate, is the best place to find help. Support is vital!

Realize that God has allowed this in your life and your child’s life for your collective sanctification. Complete trust in God’s Providence can often become difficult when a child comes out. Father John Harvey, founder of the Courage apostolate, stressed that the most difficult virtue to acquire is “willing acceptance of the permissive will of God.” God allowed SSA in my life as the path that revealed my complete need for Him. So too, I am convinced, with anyone who lives with SSA. For parents, their child’s SSA is a means by which God invites them to total abandonment to Divine Providence. Remember that God works all things for good (Rom 8:28).

God wants you to be more concerned with your growth in sanctity than he wants you to be concerned with your child’s growth in sanctity. The more we are faithful to Christ and the teachings of his Church, the more effective instruments we will be in his hands for the spiritual good of others. Ask the Holy Spirit for an increase in the gifts of wisdom, understanding and right judgment/good counsel. Offer the merits of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for your child’s deliverance and well-being.

The greatest means of bringing about your child’s salvation is through the gift of redemptive suffering. In the beautiful paradox that is always present in God’s redemption, that which is the most painful in our lives becomes that which ultimately leads to the most joyous outcome. For example, through redemptive suffering, pain caused by a child’s choices becomes the very means by which a parent can love him with a Christ-like love and ultimately help bring him back to his Father’s house.

“Do not despair, for we are an Easter people, and Hallelujah is our song.” Refuse to live in the twin regions of despair — the past and the future. Christ wisely tells us to live in the present, for today is the only place where peace is found and where grace is available to us. Take an honest inventory of your relationship with your child, and seek forgiveness for past shortcomings. But avoid regret or assuming blame for your child’s SSA. Likewise, banish all imagined fears that reside in the unknown future.

Always live with hope. Saint Monica’s answered prayers for St. Augustine should give parents hope. Oscar Wilde’s deathbed conversion should inspire hope as well. I am certain that his salvation was brought about by his mother’s insistence that he be baptized Catholic and by her continuous prayers for her son.

Finally, and most importantly, wait on the Lord. Allow God to act in his way and, in “the fullness of time,” wait with “joyful hope” and excited anticipation for the moment when God reveals his salvific power in your child’s life.

For further support, visit the Courage apostolate’s website: CourageRC.net

DANIEL MATTSON lives in the Midwest where he has a career in the arts. He has written for numerous publications, including First Things. He is occasionally invited to give his personal testimony to groups across the country.

Traditional marriage scores election day victories

Within days of voters passing constitutional amendments protecting traditional marriage in three states, Connecticut became the second state in the Union, after Massachusetts, to legally recognize homosexual unions as “marriages.”

Homosexual couples lined up in front of New Haven’s Superior Court to claim marriage licenses on Nov. 12, and many others were expected to “marry” across the state.

In October, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that homosexual couples are entitled to “marry,” despite a civil union law already in effect that gave same-sex partners the same rights and privileges as married couples.

In early November, Connecticut voters decided against holding a constitutional convention where delegates would have considered a proposal to protect the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in state law.

Peter Wolfgang, executive director of The Family Institute of Connecticut, vowed to press on with an uphill battle to protect marriage in his state.

“Unlike California, we did not have a remedy,” Wolfgang said. The Supreme Court ruling “must be overturned with patience, determination and fortitude.”

On Nov. 4, Christians celebrated the passage of constitutional amendments protecting traditional marriage in California, Florida and Arizona. Thirty states now have amendments outlawing same-sex “marriage.” Another 18 states have statutes on the books protecting marriage, but those statutes tend to be overturned by activist judges, as happened in Connecticut.

Voters in Colorado and South Dakota defeated amendments on Nov. 4 that would have protected the unborn. South Dakotans rejected a ban on abortion by voting down Measure 11 by a 55-45 margin. Colorado voters defeated a ballot initiative 73.5% to 26.5% that would have made it the first state to define personhood as beginning at conception.

Also on Nov. 4, the state of Washington voted to legalize assisted suicide according to the Oregon model. The “Death with Dignity Act,” which allows physicians to prescribe a fatal dose of medication to patients whom a doctor feels are likely to die within six months, passed in the state 59% to 41%.

Lifesitenews.com contributed to this article.

Marriage and religious freedom in America

First Amendment rights on collision course in three states

There is an old saying: “As California goes, so goes the nation.”

If the saying holds true, then the greatest fight in America’s culture wars will take place on Nov. 4 when Californians vote on Proposition 8 — a state constitutional amendment which defines marriage as being solely between one man and one woman.

Although California’s Supreme Court legalized same-sex “marriage” last May, Prop 8 could overturn that ruling. Voters in Arizona and Florida will also decide on constitutional amendments to protect traditional marriage on Election Day.

Persecution

Should the amendments fail, experts say the Catholic Church can expect severe repercussions in these states.

“The religious persecution against the Church will be staggering if Proposition 8 fails,” said Legatus member Charles LiMandri, general counsel for the National Organization for Marriage, one of the leading groups defending marriage in California.

LiMandri has been fighting the battle to protect marriage for years — in and out of the courtroom. He bemoans the fact that many Catholics simply don’t understand the repercussions of legalized same-sex “marriage.” He cites SB777, a California law passed a year ago, which bans anything in public schools that could be interpreted as negative toward homosexuality, bisexuality and other alternative lifestyle choices.

“Textbooks are being rewritten so that they don’t talk about moms and dads anymore, only spouses,” said LiMandri. “The language has to hold up homosexuals as having parity to heterosexuals. California sells textbooks all over the country. Children are being told in schools to reject their parents’ values.”

The same thing happened in Massachusetts after the courts legalized same-sex marriage in 2003. In that state, preschoolers are being taught that gays can marry and that gender does not matter. Parents sued, but they lost.

Republican presidential nominee John McCain supports marriage amendments. Democratic nominee Barack Obama does not.

During a Democratic debate last fall, Obama said he had no problem with children learning about homosexuality. He was asked about King & King, a children’s book about a prince whose mother pressures him to find a princess, but instead he falls in love with and marries the brother of one of the prospective brides. The book is used in Boston’s public schools.

Faith-based hate crimes

American Catholics will likely face the same legal issues as those in countries where same-sex “marriage” is legal. Catholics in Belgium, Canada, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Sweden have been forced to defend the faith in court.

Priests who explain Church teaching on homosexuality have been charged with “hate crimes.” Religious institutions are not allowed to discriminate in hiring “married” homosexuals. Fair housing laws require faith-based universities to grant housing to same-sex couples. Public accommodation laws require churches to rent their halls for same-sex “marriages.”

Parishes and dioceses could also face the prospect of losing their tax-exempt status for not teaching that homosexuality is normal. Religious schools would be required to change their curriculums. Religious institutions may be excluded from providing social services. Boston’s Catholic Charities stopped facilitating adoptions last year because they would not give children to same-sex parents.

Religious hospitals would also face a host of challenges for not performing sex-change operations or artificial insemination. In San Diego earlier this year, two Christian physicians lost a suit after refusing to artificially inseminate a lesbian woman.

“What it boils down to is this: If a sacrament of your faith is declared to be a form of hatred under law, it sets in motion an inexorable logic,” said Matt Daniels, president of the Alliance for Marriage. “This leads to the silencing of your faith.”

Dangerous precedents

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver has referred to same-sex “marriage” as the single greatest problem of our times.

“The problem — and it’s a very serious one — is this: Anything that weakens marriage weakens society at large,” he said. “Marriage is the foundation of the family, and family is the foundation of society. For Christians, marriage has two equal purposes: The unity and love of the spouses and the rearing of children. But long before Christianity, marriage as an institution was tied to sexual fertility and existed primarily for the protection of children and their mothers who create the future with new life.”

While most Catholics believe in the value of marriage, some are hard pressed to see the danger of same-sex “marriage.” But anything that redefines it from its unique legal and social status endangers society, said Archbishop Chaput.

“Homosexual persons cannot together conceive children, and therefore cannot enter into a marriage,” he explained. “This is not an issue of ‘equal rights’ or a judgment on the virtue of homosexually oriented persons.Marriage is a reflection of human nature and biological fact, codified by culture and history.When we tinker with the meaning of something so basic to our everyday life, we’re asking for trouble.”

Activists from across the country have been pouring money into efforts to defeat California Prop 8. The ACLU has given millions. The other side doesn’t have the same resources.

“There are two ways to look at this,” said Daniels. “After 30 years of social disintegration, all the problems in society from teen pregnancy to crime can be closely tracked to the family’s breakdown. It is the single most consistent factor — more than race or economics. This is a struggle to protect the legal foundation of the family and its social status.”

Daniels points to the inconsistency of declaring that not having a dad or a mom is now irrelevant.

“This is completely at odds with 30 years of social research,” he said. “Bad ideas have bad consequences. This is a terrible idea. Look at all the kids whose lives have been devastated by the lack of a father. And now the law is saying this is a good thing.”

Sabrina Arena-Ferrisi is a staff writer for Legatus Magazine.

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Florida

Florida Marriage Protection Amendment (Amendment 2), will require 60% in favor for passage.

Arizona

In 2006, Arizona became the first state to reject constitutional protection for traditional marriage. Prop 17 also rejected domestic partnerships and civil unions. This year’s ballot measure simply defines marriage as being only between one man and one woman.

California

In 2000, 61% of the Californians voted for Prop 22, which defined marriage as one man/one woman. Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court legalized same-sex “marriage.” Prop 8 could overturn that decision.

Resources:

protectmarriage.com, nationformarriage.org, allianceformarriage.org