An example of this is most vividly portrayed in the movie "Brokeback Mountain." It takes place when Ennis and Jack are together again for the first time in 4 years, after first meeting on Brokeback Mountain. They are sitting around a campfire in the evening and Ennis is relaxing reclining back starring up at the stars. Jack looks over at Ennis and says to him, "Is there anything interesting up there in heaven?" Ennis replies with a very pleasant smile on his face "I was just sending up a prayer of thanks." This is a very tender moment in the film, which Jack is in a way proposing to Ennis. Jack tells Ennis that "... it could be like this always, just like this, always." Ennis's face loses its smile becoming strained as he turns his face away from Jack, looks down at the ground. Ennis then begins to soberly tell Jack about this vivid flashback he is having to his early childhood days growing up. Ennis describes for Jack this disturbing scene from his past how his father took him and his brother along this pathway in the country to show them the kind of violence that happens to adult men who lived together. The traumatic psychological effects from this event with his father appear to have remained vivid throughout Ennis's adult life. It is shown in Ennis's inability to form and be in a relationship, any kind of relationship, but particularly the one with Jack, to go with Jack, and build a life together.
Dear Fr. Geoff Farrow,
I have been so saddened by Pope Benedict XVI's cruel words to LGBTQ people around the world, to their parents, families and friends, most ESPECIALLY TO CHILDREN. After reading the accounts of this human travesty, I did not know where to find comfort or hope. And then I thought about your blog. And just like receiving a wonderful Christmas present, sure enough I found the hope and comfort I needed to hear.
I am a priest and a clinical psychologist (MS). And for one of my research projects I chose to do a qualitative research project of the recorded verbal accounts of survivors of the Holocaust, 50 years after the event. It was a difficult research project, because I could not make sense of one of the accounts of the survivors.
For example, one survivor was describing what it was like riding the train to AUSCHWITZ, but he was describing how he was trying to make conversation with a girl on the train. I listened and wrote out this one account almost 30 times but I just was not getting it. I could not understand how this man could be talking about wanting to make conversation with this girl on the same train to AUSCHWITZ!?!
Because I had taught high school religion classes for nearly 20 years, it hit me hard, like a flash of lightning. Instantly, all the pieces came together, so fast. Though this survivor was in his late 60’s when he gave his account of his story on audiotape, he was remembering the events that took place, but naturally they were recounted through the mind of a teenager, the age he was on the train to AUSCHWITZ. That is why the dialogue wasn’t making any sense. I was thinking of him as an old man because the voice on the audiotape was the voice of a 68-year-old. As shocking as a bomb going off, all the different aspects of the psychological developmental stages of a teenager kicked in. I realized only too fully that he was just a young normal teenager on that train!!! And so was the girl he was trying to make conversation, and their moms and dads were there with them!!! There was no way to pretend I did not realize what I discovered. It kept hitting me: this is not some script from a movie or TV miniseries on the Holocaust. No; as much as I wished it were. The reality of this horror hit me all at once, on so many different levels of consciousness: what an unbelievable horror it was!!! How could we treat human beings like this! I remember when the realization of the magnitude of this horror first hit me, like an instant reflex. I threw down the transcript I was holding as if it were a blazing hot poker. It kept hitting me over and over again that this is not a movie script or some kind of play – this really happened! It really happened! Oh, my God, how could this have happened!?!!!
My supervisor told me at the time that I was traumatized by the oral content. Qualitative research is an attempt to understand the complexity of emotions, the kinds of emotions, and the degree of intensity involved. Our emotions are what allow us to connect with other human beings. We identify with the non-verbal quality of emotions more immediately and strongly than with the words used to express them. The non-verbal qualities include tone of voice, eye contact, facial expression, body posture, and gestures, all of which express emotions. Emotions are why we can connect with people through time, across cultures, and individually. It is the expression of human emotions in the arts that makes some works of art timeless, because they continually speak to all people through the ages.
And when I heard what Pope Benedict XVI said about homosexuals and transgendered human beings at Christmas 2008, I felt that same trauma all over again. Because in some way, somehow, he was conveying in a non-verbal manner the horror of the Holocaust, in what appears to be a traumatized, trance-like, accepted social norm from that period of time dictating that some people just don’t count, aren’t important, and can be easily disposed of. And if you rock the boat, you could be next to be disposed of.
I truly have to believe that a person in his position would not be doing this consciously or intentionally. The horror of the Holocaust is like an atomic bomb with fallout so extensive that it spreads over a radius of more than 150 miles. The horror of the Holocaust began in 1933 and ended in 1945. The psychological fallout would have been far more extensive and more deadly, especially when it is not identified as such.
It hit me the way it did when I realized that the research I was doing about a Holocaust survivor, a man 68 years old telling his story, who was remembering what it was like to be on the train to AUSCHWITZ, from the perspective of a young teenage boy who just wanted to talk to a girl. It seemed like the same kind of horror, a tacit assumption that some people don't count and can be disposed of without remorse. Could it be that Benedict XVI is unconsciously repeating Hitler's crime against humanity by taking on a long-accepted social attitude from that period of time?
The question I asked myself was: what would it have been like for someone growing up gay during the Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933 -1945?
What would be the severity of the psychological effects on a boy who grew up to be gay in Germany during the time of Hitler’s NAZI PERSECUTION OF HOMOSEXUALS 1933 -1945? During the Nazi regime, homosexuals were publicly defamed and falsely accused for the major social problems of that time, which was done to incite massive public hatred and hostility directed against homosexuals. Homosexuals were used for medical experiments, physically mutilated, brutally tortured and exterminated.
Would this child, as an adult, in a severe dissociated state of mind from his own homosexual feelings (Harry Stack Sullivan MD, Dissociative Processes, Clinical Studies on Psychiatry (1956)), unconsciously perpetuate the terrifying horror of the insensitivity he had experienced growing up? If he found himself in a position of authority would he recreate the same social and political environment of violence and terror for homosexuals that he experienced, as a child who grew up to be gay, during the NAZI PERSECUTION OF HOMOSEXUALS?
I think in truth on a much deeper level I was frightened, really frightened, to hear Pope Benedict XVI’s Christmas remarks against homosexuals and transgendered human beings and even more frightened by the silence from the larger global community of human beings. What is so frightening is, even if there is agreement that one person does not matter or is not important, in truth then no one matters. Therefore, when I thought about your blog and what you did on October 5, 2008, I felt more reassured, I felt hope, and I felt comforted. NOW, isn’t that the true meaning of Christmas?
God Bless you,
. . . .Written by Martin S. Kurylowicz, M.Div., M.S.
Edited by Madeline Wright, Ph.D., M.S. . . . .
Edited by Madeline Wright, Ph.D., M.S. . . . .
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024-2126
Main telephone: (202) 488-0400
TTY: (202) 488-0406
Homophobia and Sexual Politics in Nazi Germany (2002)
by Geoffrey J. Giles explanation of Hitler’s immediate action taken against gays, when he came to power, accounts of the inhuman treatment of gays.
www.vatican.va. - Benedict XVI - Cardinal Ratzinger on April 19, 2005, was elected as the successor to Pope John Paul II. Read more
CBS News, Ratzinger On Abuse, Celibacy, Gays - - April 19, 2005 | by Christine Lagorio, A Collection Of Quotations By Newly Named Pope Benedict XVI Read more
Human Rights Campaign - Election of Pope Benedict XVI Portends Further Conflict Between Church and GLBT Community 4/19/2005 - WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign pointed to years of statements by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the newly elected pope, in expressing concern about the Catholic Church’s future treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Read more
Southern Voice - Gay Catholics dismayed by Pope Benedict XVI By DYANA BAGBY APR. 22, 2005 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the man who described homosexuality as “an intrinsic moral evil,” emerged at dusk on Tuesday on to the balcony of St. Peter’s Square, drawing cheers from the thousands gathered as the 265th pope announced his new name, Benedict XVI. Read more
Washington Post Foreign Service, Saturday October 8, 2005 , ROME, Rules Affirm Pope Benedict's Stance Against Gays by Daniel Williams -- In the first five months of Pope Benedict XVI's reign, stern opposition to homosexuality in and outside the Roman Catholic Church has quickly become a prime public message for the Vatican. Read more
Cable News Network (CNN) Monday, November 28, 2005 -- In an eagerly awaited document, the Vatican has reiterated its policy against gay priests, but has said it would allow those who have "clearly overcome" homosexual tendencies to start the process of becoming a priest. Read more
Slate Magazine - Gland Inquisitor Pope Benedict's antigay tendencies. By William Saletan Posted Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2005, at 12:46 AM ET - The Vatican's new policy on gay priests has been leaked. Officially, it proposes the incorrigibility of deeply rooted gay tendencies. Unofficially, it exposes the deeply rooted, incorrigible antigay tendencies of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, aka Pope Benedict XVI. Read more
Blog Out - Just Out Newspaper - Does the Vatican Support Criminalizing, Executing Homosexuals? December 2nd, 2008 at 11:15 am by Jim Radosta - That’s the message that Pope Benedict XVI seems to be sending: The Vatican is trying to block a nonbinding proposed U.N. resolution calling on governments worldwide to decriminalize homosexuality, claiming that it will start a “slippery slope” toward same-sex marriage. Read more
365gay Pope celebrates Human Rights Day while opposing gay rights By 365gay Newscenter Staff 12.12.2008 8:35am EST - (Vatican City) At the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI paid tribute to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; but elsewhere, LGBT civil rights groups were denouncing the pope’s opposition to expanding the 60-year-old United Nations document to include gays. Read more
Task Force December 22, 2008 National Religious Leadership Roundtable condemns pope’s remarks denouncing gender theory - WASHINGTON, Dec. 22 — The National Religious Leadership Roundtable, convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, condemns today’s remarks by Pope Benedict XVI that denounced gender theory, saying it could lead to humanity’s “self-destruction.” Gender theory explores sexual orientation, the roles assigned by society to individuals according to their gender and how people perceive their identity. Read more
ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) - Pope wants humanity 'saved' from homosexuality Dec 23, 2008 - Pope Benedict XVI says saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour is just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction. Read more
BBC - Tuesday, 23 December 2008, Pope attacks blurring of gender - Pope Benedict XVI has suggested that the need to save mankind from a destructive blurring of gender roles is as important as saving the rainforests. Read more
Times Online, December 23, 2008 Pope accused of stoking homophobia after he equates homosexuality to climate change
"There are still so many instances of people being killed around the world, including in Western society, purely and simply because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity.
"When you have religious leaders like that making that sort of statement then followers feel they are justified in behaving in an aggressive and violent way because they feel that they are doing God’s work in ridding the world of these people." Read more
SFGate.com December 23 2008 at 05:35 AM Pope Benedict at Christmas: Preaching bigotry disguised as compassion - by Edward M. Gomez Read More
Gay Rights - Pope Benedict XVI: How Gays are Like the Rainforest by Michael A. Jones December 22, 2008 @ 09:45AM PST - In the (not-so) spirit of the holidays, Pope Benedict XVI gave a Christmas address to the Vatican's Central Administration (known as the Curia), where he called homosexuality unnatural and "a destruction of God's work." Read more
REUTERS UK, Mon Dec 22, 2008 Pope likens "saving" gays to saving the rainforest
The Catholic Church teaches that while homosexuality is not sinful, homosexual acts are. It opposes gay marriage and, in October, a leading Vatican official called homosexuality "a deviation, an irregularity, a wound."
He also defended the Church's right to "speak of human nature as man and woman, and ask that this order of creation be respected." Read more
The Canadian December 22, 2008, - Pope Benedict XVI declares clerical agenda against homosexuals and transsexuals. Read more
guardian.co.uk - A whiff of hypocrisy in pope's pronouncement by Stephen Bates Tuesday 23 December 2008 15.22 GMT Read more
NowPublic - Pope Says Gays as Dangerous as Climate Change by Rob Walker | December 23, 2008 at 08:44 am - The internet is abuzz today after remarks from Pope Benedict XVI's speech yesterday, where he declared that saving humanity from homosexuality was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction. Read more
SKY NEWS, Pope: 'Save The World From Gays' 9:34am UK, Tuesday December 23, 2008 Benedict XVI described relationships that are not heterosexual as "a destruction of God's work", during his Christmas speech to the Curia, the administrative body of the Catholic Church. .. "(The Church) should also protect man from the destruction of himself. A sort of ecology of man is needed," he said. Read more
The New York Times, The Vatican: In Speech, Pope Calls Homosexual Behavior a Violation, By Rachel Donadio, Published: December 22, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI spoke out Monday against homosexual behavior, calling it a violation of the natural order. In an address to the Vatican hierarchy, the pope called for an “ecology of man” to protect man from “the destruction of himself.” He added, “The rain forests deserve our protection, but man as a creature indeed deserves no less.” The Vatican opposes same-sex marriage and considers homosexual acts sinful. Read more
Telegraph.co.uk by Nick Allen: 7:31PM GMT 23 Dec 2008 Pope says humanity needs 'saving' from homosexuality … Pope Benedict XVI sparked a furious reaction from other Christian groups as he also suggested that a blurring of the distinction between male and female could lead to the "self-destruction" of the human race. Read more
China Daily, Gays outraged by pope's 'homophobic attack' (Agencies) Updated: 2008-12-24 09:43 VATICAN CITY – A suggestion by Pope Benedict XVI that homosexuality is as much of a threat to the survival of the human race as climate change sparked outrage among gay rights campaigners on Tuesday… "The Vatican talks about homosexuality or transsexuality as if it were a whim, never as suffering," Hofer said, adding that the Roman Catholic Church "reduces sexual orientation to the sexual act as if it had nothing to do with a person's identity." Read more
The Bilerico Project - All Powerful Trannies Threaten Humanity - December 24, 2008 2:00 PM by: Brynn Craffey - In his end-of-year address to senior Vatican staff, Pope Benedict XVI, head of the 1.13 billion person-strong Catholic Church, has warned of the dangers of "gender theory," saying it threatens humanity's existence and equating its potential destructive power to that of the disappearing rain forests. Read more
Couriermail.comau December 24, 2008 08:55pm Pope Benedict XVI uses Christmas message to attack gays OPENLY gay Australian Greens leader Bob Brown has joined the world-wide chorus of condemnation directed at Pope Benedict XVI, after the Catholic leader suggested homosexuality was as much a threat to the survival of the human race as climate change.
In his end-of-year speech at the Vatican on Monday, the Pope said gender theory blurred the distinction between male and female, and he called for "an ecology of the human being" to protect mankind "from self-destruction". Read more
World New/The Manila Times, Thursday, December 25, 2008 Gays outraged by ‘homophobic attack’ of Pope Benedict XVI - VATICAN CITY: A suggestion by Pope Benedict XVI that homosexuality is as much of a threat to the survival of the human race as climate change sparked outrage among gay rights campaigners on Tuesday. Read more
PinkNews.co.uk - Amnesty asks Pope to defend gay rights By Jessica Geen • March 19, 2009 - 11:53 Amnesty International has urged Pope Benedict XVI to condemn the criminalisation of homosexuality when he meets with African bishops today in Cameroon. Read more