Response to Dale O’Leary, author of “The Defense of Marriage Requires Honesty About Homosexuality,” Crisis Magazine, 12/20/12

[Read Ms. O’Leary’s article here.]

Ms. O’Leary, how ironic that your article calls for “honesty” about homosexuality but is so starkly and fundamentally dishonest in its claims. You would have us believe you are speaking as a professional, an expert, and perhaps even as a scientist: “It is long past time to educate the public and particularly the younger generation as to what we know about SSA,” you write. Who is “we?” Surely not the medical community, which has time and again denounced the reparative therapies that you advocate.

Maybe by “we,” you means the Catholic Church? But the Church doesn’t “know” anything about homosexuality. It is not in the business of research or the accumulation of scientific knowledge; it is in the business of propagating certain views of society that are often at odds with scientific knowledge.

So let’s be honest about where we’re coming from, Ms. O’Leary. This is a propaganda piece masquerading as health science, and one sure sign of this is the conspicuous absence of journal citations or even names of researchers. You refer to “numerous well-designed studies” without a hint as to their origin. You make easily disprovable claims from beginning to end, in the apparent conviction that none but the “faithful Catholic laity” for whom Crisis articles are intended will read your piece.

Identical twins don’t share the same sexual attractions? Check again. More than half of them do. There is “no evidence” of a genetic or hormonal cause? Time to read up on the literature. By “the literature,” I mean the scientific literature, not junk-science articles in Catholic magazines. You want evidence? Just ask me. I’ve got it waiting in the wings. Homosexuality is caused by “masturbation with fantasy?” I suppose masturbation also causes pimples? … and hair to grow in the palms of your hand? All this is early 20th-century Catholicism redux.

If you are interested in disease control and prevention, follow commenter “Tim’s” advice. Go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and read what they have to say about HIV.  Here’s what I found:

“The effects of homophobia, stigma and discrimination can be especially hard on adolescents and young adults. Young MSM and other sexual minorities are at increased risk of being bullied in school. They are also at risk of being rejected by their families and, as a result, are at increased risk of homelessness. A study published in 2009 compared gay, lesbian, and bisexual young adults who experienced strong rejection from their families with their peers who had more supportive families. The researchers found that those who experienced stronger rejection were:

  • 8.4 times more likely to have tried to commit suicide
  • 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression
  • 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs
  • 3.4 times more likely to have risky sex”

I hope that before you write another article about HIV, you will do some serious soul-searching about  the issue of responsibility for the HIV scourge. Blaming HIV on “troubled childhoods,” “narcissistic attitudes,” “[early] wounding,” “rebellion against the moral law,” and “[psychological] disorders” all adds up to homophobia, which is one of the three causes of HIV as identified by the CDC. If anyone needs conversion, it is you.

Doughlas Remy (The Bent Angle)



3 Responses to “Response to Dale O’Leary, author of “The Defense of Marriage Requires Honesty About Homosexuality,” Crisis Magazine, 12/20/12”

  1. Thomas Hostek Says:

    Crisis? What crisis? Excellent reply to pseudo-science-pseudo-journalism-pseudo-intellectual rag.

  2. Ray Olson Says:

    Nice going! I’m the Ray Olson who also contributed to answering the benighted Ms. O’Leary. As I said, I’m Romanophilic, by which I mean that I admire the Catholic church’s long record of advocacy for and comfort of the poor and the sinful. I also admire the Roman Empire and, perhaps, if I knew more about it, the Holy Roman Empire. As with the church, my admiration is balanced by full recognition of the cruelties, exploitation, and other sins committed by those empires.

    From a cursory look at your site, I see you know about John Corvino, whose new book I recommended during the O’Leary exchange. You should know, if you don’t, about a new critique of theological cases against homosexuality by a professor of NT t Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI. It’s “Bible Gender Sexuality”, due in February from Eerdmans, and although I’ve just cracked it (about 45 pages), it’s impressing me greatly. Why does this Reformed Church guy want to undermine “conservative” Christian ideas about gay relationships? Well, the fact that his 18-year-old, Tae-Kwon-Do black belt, otherwise high-achieving son came out to him definitely has something to do with it, as he confesses right upfront.

  3. thebentangle Says:

    Hi Ray. Yes, you mentioned John Corvino in a couple of your comments, and it rang a bell. Now I remember his excellent series of videos, which I linked to in one of the posts on this site. I wish we could get some of the Catholic bloggers interested in viewing them. Maybe if we point out that he co-authored a book with Maggie Gallagher of NOM?

    And thanks for the book recommendation. I’ll order it from Amazon and let you know what I think. Maybe I’ll do a review.

    There are a couple of new articles that you may find interesting: Both are on Crisis: “Why ‘gay marriage’ is not inevitable” by Luis Tellez of the Witherspoon Institute (which funded the Regnerus study), and “Benedict Defends Traditional Marriage…”

    I’ll probably have to wind down my blogging after next week as I get back to work, but I hope you will hang in there.

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