The announcement in our parish bulletin last spring seemed innocuous enough. A program entitled Transgender Homosexual Awareness (T.H.AW.) was being held to give parishioners “an opportunity . . . to hear the voices and to understand the experiences of our transgender brothers and sisters and their family members.”
But since our parish had already hosted an obviously skewed program/event entitled “Let’s Talk”, there were good reasons to be concerned about the true intent of the T.H.AW. Program. As it turned out, the concern was justified. There was more to the program than simply hearing the voices of and understanding the experiences of our gay and “transgender brothers and sisters,” and helping people “better understand the issues.”
The use of the word “program” in describing what was going to take place is fitting since a program is “a plan or system under which action may be taken toward a goal.” In this case, the goal of the program appears to be much the same as the goal of most (maybe every) secular LGBTQ organizations in existence – presenting homosexuality, same-sex “marriage,” and now transgenderism, as “normal.”
THAW was apparently developed by Tielman, a former social worker, under the auspices of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). PFLAG boasts of 400 chapters and over 200,000 members throughout the U.S. The PFLAG website proclaims, “PFLAG has been saving lives, strengthening families, changing hearts, minds and laws since 1972.”
Unlike Courage, a true Catholic organization that ministers to people with same-sex attraction, LGBTQ organizations such as PFLAG, Equally Blessed, Dignity USA, New Ways Ministry, Fortunate Families, and Caring Catholic Families, seem to have one overriding aim – to “make gay ok” by convincing the world that God created “gay” people as “gay” people.
Even Fr. Greg Greiten, of St. Bernadette Parish in Milwaukee, WI, seems to have bought into this lie. He announced to his parishioners in December that he was “gay.” He then followed up his announcement with an article in the National Catholic Reporter entitled “Parish priest breaks the silence, shares that he is gay.” In the article he states, “I promise to be my authentically gay self. I will embrace the person that God created me to be.” One can’t help but feel pity for Fr. Greiten if he truly thinks that God created him “gay.”
If the THAW program is any indication, now that Obergefell v. Hodges is the law of the land, LGBTQ activists are more determined than ever to make the LGBTQ lifestyle and same sex marriage “normal” and “acceptable” to all Catholics and Christians. Programs like THAW seem to be purposely designed to play on people’s emotions. They are a blatant attempt to elicit a false compassion for the ‘plight’ of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. The goal of such programs is to convince people that Catholic Teaching on homosexuality is wrong and that homosexual behavior is perfectly normal.
The T.H.AW. Program
After introducing Tielman, our pastor said that any discussion following the presentations by the panelists should not get into politics or the morality of homosexuality or transgenderism. The focus should be on the stories of the panelists.
Tielman then kicked things off saying that in his 20-plus years of counseling young people, three LGBTQ individuals he knew had committed suicide after being bullied, teased or tormented for being different. This is what THAW is all about, he said. We are here, said Tielman, to hear the stories of the presenters so we can learn to feel compassion for them and all of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
The first presenter was a Catholic mother who recounted the struggle of coming to terms with the fact that her child was “gay.” The other three presenters – a homosexual young man, a young lesbian woman, and male-to-female transgendered person – all talked about how they struggled with their “identities,” and feeling different and unaccepted while growing up. The young man and the young woman also mentioned during their presentations that once they entered into “a relationship” with another LGBTQ individual life got better for them. So much for not talking about morality.
At the conclusion of the presentations, the two young people who said they were in relationships were asked if their relationships were chaste relationships. Tielman quickly jumped in and said that it was not proper for the panelists to discuss their sex lives, so he was instructing them not to answer that question. And that statement summed up the whole point of the program: pity these people, feel compassion for them, accept them, welcome them into the parish community – and just ignore the fact that they are choosing to openly live immoral lives.
The usual LGBTQ propaganda was also handed out to those in attendance. The handouts included an “equality literacy” handout, developed by PFLAG. It was a list of words and terms used in discussing LGBTQ issues and their “approved” definitions. Also included was an old, outdated photocopy of “Answers to Your Questions About Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality” from the American Psychological Association.
OUTDATED Handout From the APA:
What Causes a Person To Have a Particular Sexual Orientation?
There are numerous theories about the origins of a person’s sexual orientation: most scientists today agree that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive, and biological factors. In most people, sexual orientation is shaped at an early age. There is considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person’s sexuality. In summary, it is important to recognize that there are probably many reasons for a person’s sexual orientation, and the reasons may be different for many people. [Emphasis added.]
NEW APA Answer to: What causes a person to have a particular sexual orientation?
There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation. [Emphasis added.]
Playing on Emotions
What’s concerning here is that programs like THAW may well change some minds regarding the morality of homosexuality. As such our pastors and clergy simply cannot allow themselves to be ‘suckered’ into allowing the LGBTQ crowd to put on such programs.
These kinds of programs enable the LGBTQ activists to set the agenda regarding how homosexuality and transgenderism is to be discussed. If the focus of discussion is only on how those who “are different” are bullied and tormented as children and teenagers, it’s difficult not to feel compassion. But implying that “we” are putting LGBTQ youth at risk of committing suicide by not accepting homosexual behavior as normal is not being honest.
According to StopBullying.gov:
“The relationship between bullying and suicide is complex. Many media reports oversimplify this relationship, insinuating or directly stating that bullying can cause suicide. The facts tell a different story. In particular, it is not accurate and potentially dangerous to present bullying as the “cause” or “reason” for a suicide, or to suggest that suicide is a natural response to bullying.”
What those clerics and laypeople who are sympathetic to the LGBTQ agenda and same-sex “marriage” will not admit or accept is that same-sex attraction is no different than any other sinful impulses, attractions, or temptations. But if we are going to accept Christian moral standards at all, they must be applied to everyone.
God did not create homosexuals any more than He created kleptomaniacs, or people who are greedy, slothful, or filled with hate. These are all learned behaviors and choices.
The unspoken message of the THAW program – that we should feel compassion for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters and ignore the fact that many of them are choosing sin over virtue – is completely misguided. We should feel pity and compassion for unchaste homosexuals and their enablers, but in the same way we pity all sinners who feel no remorse and are unrepentant.
The kind of compassion the LGBTQ crowd wants, however, is quite different. They want to “alleviate the suffering” of those who are afflicted with same-sex attraction or gender confusion by the normalizing and accepting homosexual and transgendered lifestyles. For the LGBTQ activists there is no need for repentance or remorse because there in nothing wrong with two persons of the same sex engaging in sexual relations or a male deciding he wants to be a female, or vice versa.
The Catechism, however, offers an unequivocal response:
“2357 . . . Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”
“2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity.”
St. Paul is also very clear in Romans 1:24-27 that homosexuality is a “perversity,” and in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, that sodomy is a sin. In the Old Testament, we are told in Leviticus 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination.” And again in Leviticus 20:13, “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, they have committed an abomination; the two of them shall be put to death; their bloodguilt is upon them.”
Since we were created in God’s image we cannot have been created with a built-in perversity.
SSA is Not Genetic
“. . . the major media continue to promote the idea that a “gay gene” has been discovered. However, researchers have failed to find evidence of a biological cause for SSA, and gay activists are backing away from the claim of a “gay gene.” If SSA were genetically predetermined before birth, then identical twins should virtually always exhibit the same pattern of sexual attraction. However, a study of males in the Australian Twin Registry found that only 11% of identical twins with SSA had a twin brother who also experienced SSA. It is also important to note that a number of studies have found that sexual-attraction patterns are not stable over time. Some people spontaneously cease to identify themselves as homosexuals as they mature or receive help.”
That pamphlet also answers the question, “Can SSA be prevented?”
“Yes. Early identification of at-risk children, along with appropriate psychotherapy and parental support, are key factors leading to successful prevention and treatment of the emotional pain in these children and adolescents.”
Parents of children who suddenly announce that they are gay, or that they “identify” as a person of the opposite sex, need to keep in mind two specific verses in scripture:
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (MT 22:37)
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.” (MT 10:37-38) [Emphasis added.]
God and the Logos must always come first in our lives. Parents, clergy and laypeople should not allow themselves to be swayed by the false philosophy of moral relativism and a false compassion for their children or others afflicted with same-sex attraction or GID. Those who are accepting of their children’s, loved ones’, or friends’ homosexual or GID lifestyle are being led astray by the evil one.
As the Homosexuality and Hope pamphlet states:
“Authentic Christian charity and prayer for those with GID and SSA and their families should be features of the Catholic community life. Parents, priests, and teachers have a serious responsibility to communicate the fullness of the Church’s teaching on sexual morality, to counter false information about SSA, and to encourage people with SSA to obtain help. Catholic mental-health professionals, educators, physicians, priests, and religious should recognize that medical science supports the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. True compassion toward those with SSA requires communicating to them the scientific truth about treatment.” [Emphasis added.]
Download the pamphlet at: http://www.cathmed.org/assets/files/HH%202010%20Pages%20for%20Website.pdf. Don’t let the LGBTQ crowd set the agenda when it comes to same-sex attraction and GID.