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"Why is the Pope telling a man who got raped by a priest that God made him gay?" That's the big question.
A couple of people have contacted me about a controversy swirling about reports that Pope Francis told a sex abuse victim that God made him gay. They have asked for my comments but I am just going to blog about it, because I do not have time to put out something super fancy and well-edited.
If you do not know who Joseph Sciambra is, you should really go to his blog and become acquainted with him. Really great guy who has dedicated his life to helping people get out of homosexuality. He is also fighting very hard against the encroachment of LGBT politics into the Catholic Church. He wrote about the recent "God made you gay" controversy here.
We have no idea whether Pope Francis really said this
Think of how great a story this would be for the gay community, if Francis really said it. Now say to yourself, if the story is too good to be true, from an LGBT vantage point, then the story is probably made up.
Matt Drudge is homosexual. The Drudge Report ran this story about the pope saying someone was born gay. It also ran in the Guardian. These are people who really want a story like this to be true. So you should not trust them.
Of course the Papacy will issue nothing but vague statements that neither confirm nor deny what the Pope said. This is part of Pope Francis's game. It is part of the Latin American left wing's game with the Church in general. In Latin America, communists and sundry leftists always coveted the power of the church to instill people with values of collective sacrifice and devotion. But these leftists also didn't like being told that their sex lives were sinful. So they wanted more than anything else to come up with a theology that would give them sympathy for the poor, resistance to authority, and full license to be promiscuous, depraved, and oversexed.
To understand this game that Pope Francis plays, you have to understand the inevitable quirks of being Catholic (which I was, for 37 years, by the way.)
I understand the ecclesiological and pastoral philosophy that leads many of my fine Catholic friends to function well within this system. It was not for me. I found it much healthier for me personally not to be in that strange situation. Since I had such a difficult time with homosexuality, I also found it more than irritating to be lectured about the sinfulness of my heterosexual desires by the same priesthood that didn't really get terribly worried about my homosexual adventures. As I have said in past essays and won't belabor, when I was Catholic, the Church was far stricter about my sleeping with women. I could go to confession every week for fifteen years and regale the priest with tales of wild orgies and anonymous sex with hundreds of strangers, and the priest would be like, "okay, sounds like you had a busy week, go do twenty Our Fathers and let's catch up next Sunday."
There is much good and beauty in the Catholic tradition. But it has a long history of being confused about sex. The leftward tilt of the Church after Vatican II did not help, and that is where my upbringing comes in. I was raised in the 1970s and 1980s to believe in the liberation theology message, the message that sin was only political oppression. Sexual sin was not important. Gays and lesbians were booming in the ecclesiastical orders at that time, adding to what had always been a massive constituency of homosexuals inside the Church. The idea that they could be gay but not act on their desires grew complex and thorny when the sex-abuse scandals exploded in the press around 2002. While sexual liberation was a popular idea among liberal Catholics in the 1970s-1990s, there was major favoritism toward LGBTs because the priesthood was full of homosexual men who found sex with women repugnant, or heterosexual men who had sworn against sex with women. Heterosexual male desires did not emerge from these upheavals with a great deal of affirmation, but homosexuality grew increasingly in vogue.
So Pope Francis rose to power emerging from the murk and confusion I just described above. Judging from all the things he has said or hinted at, and knowing where he came from, I am going to assume that he does not believe that God makes people gay but he does believe gays cannot change. I cannot imagine any circumstance in which I would go to Pope Francis and tell him my life story, and hear from him that my change from gay to straight was healthy or good. I imagine that the first thing he would do would be to criticize me for allowing lust for a woman to lead me to fornicate and co-habitate before we had a formal Catholic wedding. I glean this from the fact that that is how almost every Catholic I know responds to my testimony (Catholics really like celibacy because of its deep roots in the faith.)
Surrounded by men who do not have sex with women, many of whom are undoubtedly gay and increasingly unabashed about it, Pope Francis is most likely captive to their ideology. He probably thinks gay people are born that way and the life they lead is totally normal. One reason that liberal Catholic priests do not understand gay issues is also that, even if they are gay, they usually have not thrown themselves into the full madness that someone like me went through.
But since God created people in His image, Pope Francis probably believes in his heart that therefore gay people should not be encouraged to change and that they cannot change. Why would Pope Francis want gay people to change? He's the pope of a religion run by celibate men who tell sexually active men that they are sinning if they have sex for reasons other than procreation and "the unitive function."
I do not mean to offend Catholics, because I know from my own life how much good the church does. I am just being realistic about Pope Francis and where the church is.
Do I think Pope Francis believes the people are born gay? Yes, I believe he thinks that.
Do I think Pope Francis believes God makes people gay?
I don't know, but I would lean toward doubting that. That's too extreme for someone who knows he carries the weight of the Church on him. Francis knows that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the one unpardonable sin and I assume he does not want to go to Hades. So I am going to doubt this.
Do I think Pope Francis told this man, "Juan Carlos," that God made him gay? No, I do not believe that. I think Pope Francis, regardless of his inner feelings, is not stupid or wildly irresponsible. He knows that such a statement would be the possible ruin of the Church, especially after the sex-abuse scandals of twenty years ago. And especially given the massive presence of homosexuals in the priesthood today. It would open the floodgates for a flood that Pope Francis knows that the Church could not survive.
But I predict that Pope Francis will play coy about what he said, because in all likelihood, he does believe that gay men do not need to change (or cannot change). He just would not go so far as to say God makes people gay.
The statement as reported is sick, sick, sick
So having gotten Pope Francis off the hook for this dastardly statement -- "God made you gay" -- and for the predictably frustrating and evasive response his henchmen will issue in upcoming days, let us deal with the substance of this. "God made you gay."
Such a statement is demonic. It is blasphemy. It is sick.
The Bible is clear that God made male and female and told them to have sex with each other, and only each other. I don't know whether people are thinking of "gay" as some catch-all term to include people who enjoy Donna Summer albums but live celibate lives, but let's cut to the chase. When we say a man is "gay" most people mean he wants to engage in sexual acts involving genitalia, with other men. God created the penis specifically not to be used in this way.
The cost of thinking this way
The Catholic Church had an enormous sex-abuse scandal. I want to make very clear -- I was never, ever sexually abused or mistreated by any priest or member of the Catholic church -- so I am not addressing this issue out of personal animus.
But the Catholic Church already reaped the harvest of an open-door policy toward people who believed they were gay and committed to feeling the desires, just not acting on them. Without directing their sex drives toward women, these priests cooped up all their natural urges and ended up losing control over themselves in a terrible catastrophe for the Christian faith.
But the abuse of boys by Catholic priests was only one half of a double helix of abuse heaped on young males in the West. The LGBT community also sought endlessly to pressure young men like the boy I was in 1984, into conceptualizing gay sex, trying gay sex, and then committing to a lifelong gay identity.
Saying "you were born this way" and even worse, "God made you this way" was a pickup line. People in the gay community in the 1990s used to joke that if you could recruit a new person into being gay, you got a free toaster. (I think that was even referenced in an Ellen episode, if they still allow that online.) When I was in my teens and twenties gays were not shy about what they wanted. They wanted fresh meat. They had standard recruiting slogans. They needed catchy slogans to overcome the inner reluctance in young males to what the gay sirens were offering them.
In this day, in this culture, coming out as gay is like signing a contract. You are basically telling the world that you will make yourself available on a dating market designed for the same sex, and you are willing to lose out on the beauty and glory of making love to the opposite sex the way God designed us. When you come out as gay, you are implying that as a male you are comfortable with at least oral and probably also anal sex, so you will try to find sexual happiness through these acts, even with all their awkwardness and clumsiness.
No male in his right mind who ever thought he had a chance with girls would sign on to something like that. But the LGBT community has to pound a young recruit with an ideology that makes him think he has no chance with girls, he does not really want girls, this is enough for him, and he should just come out now because there's some handsome man waiting in the wings to take him up and bring him to a lovely new world. At that stage, if the boy has nobody advising him honestly, he has no idea that he will forever have to deal with feces whenever he wants to have sex with someone. He has no idea that if he is a top, he will forever be hurting men by trying to have sex with them, destroying their bowels so they will soil their underpants, and causing them wincing pain that they will probably have to overcome with poppers and other drugs. He has no idea that if he is a bottom, after years of selfless sacrifice to other men, he will eventually earn the status of a used toy that has lost its physical value. He cannot foresee, when he is seventeen and telling everyone he is gay, that he must spend the rest of his days in this economy of ruin and pain, either being the top who goes around destroying men's bodies, or the bottom being used again and again and constantly in pain.
God made our bodies. There is no difference between a gay and a straight male, when it comes to their penis or their bowels or what they must do with each other to find sexual release. You can blame social prejudice all day long and cry that nobody accepts you, but the truth is, if you commit to having sex with men for the rest of your life, the body parts do not fit, and you are either ruining other men or being ruined by other men. There is no comparison between having anal sex with a man and having normal sex with a woman. When you make love to a woman the normal way, if you are skilled at it, everything is pleasant and salubrious, and you can do it again and again and it just keeps getting better. When you have anal sex, you are just hurting a helpless guy who wants to be loved, and you know you don't love him because you don't cause that kind of pain and humiliation to someone you love.
I've made it clear on English Manif that I don't believe anybody's gay or straight. God made men and women. People create situations and feed their own obsessions and make up phony labels. But the bodies tell you everything you need to know about what God created. There is no way God created a man and wanted him to use his penis as a wrecking instrument, going around ruining other men who are just looking desperately for someone to make them feel loved. There is no way God ever told a man that he should do that to another man, because the worst part is, you cause a man tremendous pain and then he's there, in front of you, obviously damaged by what you just did to him, and humiliated. Because God made you with a manhood, and God made the other guy with a manhood, and there is no way to do that to another guy without humiliating him, emasculating him, taking away his manhood. The other guy has a woman out there, somewhere, who needs him to put his manhood to better use. God made all of us, with our individual body parts, to bring pleasure and joy and life, not pain and humiliation.
So it is sick on so many levels to tell a man that God made him gay. It's absolutely false. It also reinforces the lies that gay "recruiters" tell him to try to get him into their sex pool. It would be like giving an Army recruiter a badge saying "God sent me" as he goes and tells high school seniors that basic training is going to be just like summercamp and twenty years of military service is going to be a wonderful, exciting adventure full of nothing but friendship and camaraderie (don't worry, what are the chances you'll ever be sent to combat?)
The good news I see in this story is that I don't think Pope Francis said this. The bad news in this story is that I don't think it matters whether Pope Francis said it or not. The damage will proliferate anyway.
My contribution going forward
I feel called, as I have said, to speak directly to the guys out there who know in their hearts they can get out of homosexuality and just need practical tips and morale boosters to get out there and find a wife. I'm with them. Whatever people feel prompted to declare about the Pope's politics, I support anything that will help me in my mission to get these guys I love through their journey from gay to straight.