Monday, January 12, 2009

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus on "homophobia" as "fear"

It turns out that Fr. Richard John Neuhaus addressed the slurs of Andrew Sullivan and Co. nearly nineteen years ago, in a May 1990 review of Homosexuality in the Priesthood and the Religious Life (edited by Jeannine Gramic, Crossroad) [Ignatius Insight Scoop]:

  • In addition to being insensitive and unfeeling toward non-homosexuals who are coping with sexuality and its discontents, the activist literature is typically cruel and slanderous in its explanation of why most people have negative views of homosexuality. Anything other than the “correct” view of homosexuality is attributed to “homophobia,” which is consistently described as the result of bigotry, ignorance, and the fear of one’s own sexuality. If it is an instance of homophobia that parents earnestly hope that their children will not turn out to be homosexual, then almost every parent in the world is homophobic. Books such as Homosexuality, which incessantly talk about the fears, frustrations, angers, and depressions involved in being homosexual, inadvertently reinforce the reasons why parents hope their children will not be homosexual. The dramatically higher incidence among homosexuals of suicide, psychological disorder, and sexually related disease (frequently lethal) suggests that homosexuality is anything but gay. Of course the activists blame these pathologies on society’s intolerance, but it is not intolerance that produces another and very basic reason why people hope their children will not be homosexual. Whatever its alleged merits, homosexuality is sterile. Few things are more fundamental to societal interest and parental desire than the hope for children and grandchildren, for successor generations that will carry on our communal stories. The society’s “failure” to put homosexuality on a moral par with heterosexuality is not a result of homophobia, as that term is now recklessly used, but of a human refusal to accept the end of history.
See also George Weigel's column on Father Neuhaus in Newsweek magazine.


Anonymous said...

Please just pray for them--it is a cross. I am reminded of a story.

A doctor needed to reveal to a woman that her tests showed inoperable cancer. After telling her, the woman was silent.
Then , very quietly--almost to herself, the woman said "THANK GOD FOR TRUSTING ME WITH THIS."

Those people who bear the cross of homosexuality don't need people to fear them--to reject them--they need people to understand and show compassion to them. Their salvation
is part of their treatment of one another. It is that simple-- LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.

These so-called rejected homosexuals might be in heaven before ye--because they responded to their enemies with LOVE and UNDERSTANDING and COMPASSION.

Amen and God love and Bless you.

Terry Nelson said...

I wonder if those who suffer from authentic homophobia could not be admitted, or committed to mental hospitals? Or at least sent away to a sort of reorientation camp? That would settle so many social ills, I'm sure. Failing that, labotomy could be an alternative.

Unknown said...


Isn't the "fear" in homophobia really a fear that the person might be homosexual himself? And that is manifested in anger and violence towards homosexuals.

I believe on two occasions when I was in the army, guys who I barely knew, when talking about life before the army, would refer to "trolling for queers." In other words going to places where homosexuals would hang out, trying to find a partner. They would pick them up and take them to some isolated area where they promised sex, but actually then beat the crap out of them.

A girl I used to date a bit in the 70s had a brother who was homosexual. He was murdered in his own apartment in Uptown, apparently by someone he picked up. Neighbors heard him screaming but by the time the police arrived, he was dead and the perpetrator was long gone.

It did make the papers, but I never saw any article that indicated that a suspect had been arrested.

I used to feel a bit of that "fear." But never to the point where I would do anything.

Remember I told you once that Len Shimota once told me in response to my question as to whether or not he was uncomfortable working or being with homosexuals and he replied: "Not when you're certain of your own sexuality."

Since that day in the 70s, I have never experienced that "uncomfortableness."