Sunday, October 10, 2010

Gay bullying and Catholic responsibilities - by David Gibson, October 8, 2010 - Commonweal

A striking aspect of the focus by many bishops on the battle against gay marriage, such as the DVD campaign by Minnesota’s Archbishop John Nienstedt, discussed below, is how out of synch it is with the tragic realities of bullying against gay youths, brought home so forcefully by the deaths of Tyler Clementi and many other teens.

Bishops who have been concerned about gay marriage have also been fighting against anti-bullying laws that include sexual orientation (along with religion and race, e.g.) as a targeted category, which studies show it often is. They argue that including sexual orientation to protect youths from harassment is the slippery slope to gay marriage and other gay rights.

I have a story at today about some serious soul-searching by Christians, especially those of the conservative stripe, about their language and approach on gays in light of the rash of suicides and bullying that has come to light.
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Homophobia in the Church:
What Catholics Are Doing About It, and
What Still Needs to Be Done
By Michele Somerville, 
October 10, 2010
The Huffington Post

I attended a Roman Catholic baptism about two weeks ago. A crowd of young parents and others of all ages stood in semi-circle around the font. The atmosphere was reverent yet festive. Toddlers squirmed. The church was exquisite. Blades of late-morning light slid down through colored glass. The priest exuded hope and delight as he kicked off the rites. As the two parents approached the font to offer their child to the church, I began to tear up. My 11-year-old daughter Grace, not unaccustomed to my poet's penchant for being capsized by moments so tender, saw my waterworks start up, rolled her eyes as adolescents do, smiled, and handed me a tissue. As I often do when my emotions get the best of me in the presence of my children, I get all pedagogical on them. I whispered sidebars to Grace: "That's litany of the saints, it's beautiful when sung in Latin... And that the part about Satan and the empty promises -- it's technically an exorcism!" Photo

I didn't have to explain that it was no ordinary baptism we were witnessing. She knew it was extraordinary, because I had taught her. The two parents at the font were bravely (or so I believe) demonstrating their desire not to throw the baby out with the baptismal water.

They were two gay dads asking a church governed by bullies to bless their child.

My daughter later asked how it was that gay people could have their children baptized in Catholic churches but not be married in them. Good question. I broke it down for her. I told her a far greater percentage of Catholics support gay marriage than support the Vatican. I characterized the failure of my church to offer gay Catholics marriage in the church as just that -- "a failure." And a sin...  Photo - not the 2 dads in this article
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Suicide surge: Schools confront anti-gay bullying

– by David Crary, AP, October 9, 2010 –

 Deaths prompt districts nationwide to rethink efforts, policy

NEW YORK — A spate of teen suicides linked to anti-gay harassment is prompting school officials nationwide to rethink their efforts against bullying — and in the process, risk entanglement in a bitter ideological debate.

The conflict: Gay-rights supporters insist that any effective anti-bullying program must include specific components addressing harassment of gay youth. But religious conservatives condemn that approach as an unnecessary and manipulative tactic to sway young people's views of homosexuality. Photo 

It's a highly emotional topic. Witness the hate mail — from the left and right — directed at Minnesota's Anoka-Hennepin School District while it reviews its anti-bullying strategies in the aftermath of a gay student's suicide.

The invective is "some of the worst I've ever seen," Superintendent Dennis Carlson said. "We may invite the Department of Justice to come in and help us mediate this discussion between people who seem to want to go at each other."

…"Policies have to name the problem in order to have an impact," said GLSEN's executive director, Eliza Byard. "Only the ones that name it see an improvement."

According to a 2009 GLSEN survey of 7,261 students, only 18 percent said their schools had a comprehensive program addressing anti-gay bullying, while gay students in schools that had such programs were less likely to be victimized and more likely to report problems to staff…
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Chris Colfer
for The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project

Gay Prejudice Starts on the Playground
by Peter W. Fulham, October 9, 2010
Politics Daily
When I was in middle school, few accusations silenced a room as quickly as this one: "What are you? Gay?" If you wore the wrong kind of t-shirt, if you botched an assist during a soccer game, or if you listened to outdated music, you could expect the dreaded interrogation. My classmates always asked the question with a vitriol that made clear what the right answer should be.

No. I'm not gay.

But I was, and I knew it.

As you grow older, it becomes easier to forget the brutality of childhood. Prejudice begins on the playground, and children often face the most intolerance at an age when they are least equipped to cope with it. "The weakness of the child," George Orwell once wrote, "is that it starts with a blank sheet. It neither understands nor questions the society in which it lives, and because of its credulity other people can work upon it, infecting it with the sense of inferiority and the dread of offending against mysterious, terrible laws."

It would be easy to say that Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers freshman who committed suicide last week after his roommate secretly filmed him having a sexual encounter with another man, was a victim of "cyber-bullying." But American culture sealed Clementi's fate long before news of last week's tragedy spread across the country. We'll never know how many taunts Clementi heard growing up, how many moments of humiliation he endured at an age when humiliation comes all too easily. It's clear, however, that Clementi was a victim of a national atmosphere that permits second-class treatment of gays, in the law, in popular culture, and in schools.
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Faith, Hope and Love: Ending LGBT Teen Suicide
by Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Ph.D. – October 6, 2010
The Huffington Post

I have been simultaneously horrified, saddened, and enraged at the spate of suicides in the last month by teenagers and young adults who were bullied for being, or being perceived to be, gay. Billy Lucas, 15, hung himself on September 9 from the rafters of a barn. Seth Walsh, 13, hung himself on September 19 from a tree in his backyard. Tyler Clementi, 18, jumped off the George Washington bridge on September 22. Asher Brown, 13, shot himself in the head on September 23.
As an openly gay minister, theologian, and seminary professor, these suicides have brought back vivid memories of being bullied myself in junior high school. I remember being taunted so badly at the bus stop on Helen Drive that I no longer wanted to go to school. I remember being kicked out of my tent at Cutter Scout Reservation, with my possessions thrown in the dirt, and spending the rest of the night under a picnic table. I remember spending my recesses and lunch breaks in the Taylor Intermediate School library, which was a place of refuge for me, thanks to Mr. Rand, the kind-hearted librarian.
I believe this recent string of suicides by LGBT young people is, at root, a religious problem. For me, there is a clear and indisputable link between these horrible deaths and the rhetoric espoused by anti-gay Christians who continually condemn lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people as sinners worthy of divine punishment. Where else do you think the bullies learn their behavior? No matter how well intentioned, anti-gay Christians need to understand that their nonstop rhetoric of sin and punishment creates a toxic environment that views LGBT people as less than fully human and thus deserving of socially or religiously sanctioned violence -- including self-inflicted violence.
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New Vatican Rule Said to 
Bar Gays 
as New Priests
September 22, 2005 
The New York Times

ROME, Sept. 21 - Homosexuals, even those who are celibate, will be barred from becoming Roman Catholic priests, a church official said Wednesday, under stricter rules soon to be released on one of the most sensitive issues facing the church. Photo
The official, said the question was not "if it will be published, but when," referring to the new ruling about homosexuality in Catholic seminaries, a topic that has stirred much recent rumor and worry in the church. The official, who has authoritative knowledge of the new rules, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the church's policy of not commenting on unpublished reports.

"Impending rules on gay priests create Catholic divide"
by Charles Honey – October 8, 2005
The Grand Rapids Press

When the Rev. Martin Kurylowicz came out to his Sparta parish eight years ago, he said he had struggled for years with his homosexuality.

The Catholic priest says the struggle would be made harder for many others if the Vatican issues new rules that reportedly would ban gays from becoming priests…

…"I sizzled when I read it," said Kurylowicz, 55. "It's very hurtful, is what it is. In this day and age, there's no reason for it. It sends a message that there's something wrong with gays." Photo 

Kurylowicz said he spoke out then to raise awareness of violence against gays and teach others homosexuality is not a choice but an inborn trait. Church leaders still don't understand that and contribute to gays' poor self-esteem, he said…

…"Kids as young as 4 or 5 know they're different," said Kurylowicz, a psychotherapist… "They grow up with this pervasive guilt, which sabotages their growth and motivation." The result is thousands of dollars in therapy to accept their natural orientation, he said, adding, "Does the Vatican want to take that on, like the tobacco industry had to take on for the damage it caused consumers? "…
Read complete article: by Charles Honey - Religion Editor - The Grand Rapids Press – Archives

Gay Marriage - WITCH HUNTS ->
The Crucible (1996) -> McCarthyism 1940’s -1950’s, -> Benedict XVI 2005

Professor's view: Witch hunt for gay priests 
off base 
when target should be child abusers 
By: Iver Bogen, 4/25/10
University of Minnesota Duluth 
Duluth News Tribune

Pope Benedict XVI in August 2005 ordered an investigation of America’s 229 Catholic seminaries in order to eliminate gay seminarians. The week of Sept. 27, Vatican investigators began the “witch-hunt” at the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. The question posed to the students: “Are you, or have you ever been, a homosexual?” Photo

The investigation was reminiscent of the house arrest of Galileo in his home near Florence from 1633 until his death in 1642 for espousing the Copernican heliocentric view of the universe. The church does not suffer “heretical” thinking well and is extremely slow in altering its doctrines to be consistent with scientific progress as well as changes in cultural mores regarding acceptable human behaviors…

… It is my belief the Catholic Church’s focus on gay priests is merely a strategy for affixing blame and is consistent with its historical antipathy toward homosexuality and same-sex behaviors. However, research in the area of child sexual abuse suggests that pedophilic intrusions occur preponderantly with heterosexual males rather than gay men. It is not one’s orientation that is predictive of pedophilia. According to Dr. Nathaniel McConaghy, “The man who offends against prepubertal or immediately postpubertal boys is typically not sexually interested in older men or women.” Photo 

Being immature psycho-sexually, these men find themselves responding sexually to other males who also are immature. One’s orientation is not predictive of pedophilia. Read complete article - By: Iver Bogen, University of Minnesota Duluth - Duluth News Tribune

Gay Marriage - 
Does Not Give Churches Or Benedict XVI
The Freedom To Abuse Children or Adults. 
July 2010 - By Fr. Marty Kurylowicz

July 2010 

President of the United States
United States Congress
United States Supreme Court

Dear -- --------,

My name is Fr. Marty Kurylowicz, a Roman Catholic priest from the Diocese of Grand Rapids Michigan ordained June 16, 1979.

In March 1997, after attending a National Symposium of the New Ways Ministry that was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I learned that children as young as 4 and 5 years of age know that they are different. This feeling "different" is only identified in their adult years as being gay. However, the harmful influence of antigay social and religious norms -- in particular, for Catholics, the Vatican’s unsubstantiated antigay teachings -- are severe and last throughout a child’s lifetime. The harmful effects are not isolated only to these children who grow up to be gay, but also affect their families, siblings, friends and anyone whom they might consider special in their lives. They are a prescribed societal sentence of implicit isolation, which place at risk of suicide so many innocent adolescents and young adults. They stifle an enormous amount of human potential in the world that otherwise could be put to use for finding cures for diseases, offering better ways of maintaining peace among people and improving the quality of life for everyone in the world.

After the New Ways Ministry National Symposium in March 1997, in good conscience I felt intensely morally obligated to "come out" as a gay Catholic priest to my parishioners at Holy Family Parish, Sparta, Michigan USA, to draw public attention to this implicit form of child abuse. This abuse is caused by the harmful influence of antigay social and religious norms, in particular, for Catholics, the Vatican’s unsubstantiated antigay teachings. My background study in this area is extensive, far beyond that of the average person. However, since I have come out, I have been subjected to overt as well as covert retaliation coming from the Vatican through the bishops of the Diocese of Grand Rapids. I was ordered to be sent away to be re-educated regarding sexual orientation, to subject myself to conversion or reparative therapy--not a lobotomy, but similar. I refused to consent to this inhuman treatment because of the obvious clinical research data. And because I did so, in retaliation I lost my regular priest salary for the past 13 years, my earned sabbatical terms and my status for any future assignments in the Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.

At the same time, an insider to the Vatican warned me that I could really get hurt severely by people in the Vatican. And even though this person was dead serious, I passed this warning off as being someone’s overactive imagination that was a bit bizarre. I thought, "After all, this is the USA, what do I have to fear?" However, this covert retaliation has been substantial. My car was repossessed in July 2009 and on June 26, 2010, I lost my home to foreclosure…

Tortured For Being Gay,
by Andrew Sullivan, 
October 9, 2010
The Atlantic

This story in the NYT this morning obviously speaks for itself. The plight of gay teens and youths, despite so much advances in the culture, for so many remain an unimaginable nightmare. The truth is not, I suspect, that there is a sudden new wave of this; the truth is that we have not been so aware of it before, or that shame on the part of victims, has kept some of this from the light of day. The five well-publicized suicides of the last month do not represent a rise, which is why I've tried before on this blog to mention The Trevor Project, an organization devoted to helping to save suicidal gay teens and children... -------Photo

For too long, gay people have been described by too many on the right as a threat to the family, society and decency. Those words have consequences. This is especially true of religious leaders. When even the Pope describes us as "intrinsically disordered" and directed to an "objective moral evil", when Republicans call us a threat to family life, when NOM runs ads of a "storm coming", I hope they understand what these words do to the psyches and souls of the young and impressionable, and to those who need a mere signal to take up arms and attack us.

When you do these things to the least of my brethren, you do them to me, said Jesus. I pray that those who say they follow him would sometimes remember those words when it comes to the rhetoric that gay children and teens cannot help but hear...
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Roman Catholic - hierarchy child sexual abuse “cover-ups”
ordered by Benedict XVI
to avoid public outrage & criminal charges
- falsely accused gay priests - WATERGATE?

No “Checks and Balances”
A major problem with the hierarchical structure of the Roman Catholic Church is that there are no “checks and balances.” When the necessary “checks and balances” are not in place to protect any organization, it leaves “not making waves” the rule that governs the hierarchy and opens the way to many devastating mistakes harmful to everyone and allows corruption to grow.

The following statements are harsh statements, but unfortunately they are heavily documented. (1) Benedict XVI and his hierarchy failed to protect children from child sexual abuse for decades. (2) They mistreated and intimidated the victims and their families who came to report the child sexual abuse, in order to cover up publicity of any child sexual abuse. (3) They failed to protect children by repeatedly reassigning the child sexual abusers to assignments where children would be present. (4) When the hierarchy’s criminal negligence failing to protect children became public, globally, in 2002 they shifted the blame wrongfully onto gay priests.

(5) By falsely, against known research to the contrary, blaming gay priests they implicated the entire LGBT community and how they are fighting against Marriage Equality. When the scientific facts known for decades about human sexuality have been discounted with no substantiated facts given to explain why, it causes many questions whether Benedict XVI and the hierarchy’s fight against Marriage Equality is more a fight to maintained the cover-up of the hierarchy’s criminal negligence failing to protect children? Benedict XVI and his hierarchy need to clearly offer substantiated reasons why they are against Marriage Equality. This statement needs to be spelled out in great detail and follow Pope John Paul II’s test of truth of not separating science and religion. 

(6) Benedict XVI and the hierarchy’s continuous public propaganda against homosexuality encourages public intolerance towards LGBTQ&I adults and children. They continue to do this even though this summer 2 major Christian denominations approved LGBT singled and partnered people for all forms of ordained ministries. (7) Benedict XVI and the hierarchy’s continuous promulgation of the Vatican’s unsubstantiated antigay teachings that are harmful to children in their early childhood psychological developmental years, harm that is crippling throughout their lives. They have continued this even after the beginning of the year, 2009, the Family Acceptance Project research studies had shown the negative effects caused to youths, when their sexual orientation is not accepted, having health problems, suicidal ideation, etc. They ignore all the major medical, psychiatric, psychological and social workers national and international professional associations regarding their findings regarding human sexuality and sexual orientation. WHEN DO WE START PROTECTING CHILDREN?!?!
Written by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz

Anti-gay marriage DVDs - UNSUBSTANTIATED - Nienstedt (Minnesota) & Benedict XVI, gay marriage, like Galileo Against Nature law – “It is Common Sense” ??? -> Kids Are Being Hurt!!!

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