Tuesday, November 23, 2010

WE MUST EXAMINE THE MENTAL HEALTH OF HOMOPHOBES

When one suppresses his or her sexual appetites, one of the psychological consequences of that suppression is anger directed against others, usually those who are perceived to be a "safe" minority group to persecute. Often, that anger is falsely portrayed and seen as being "righteous" because the Bible is erroneously invoked to justify that anger; an anger that often paves the way to denying that minority group both civil and sacramental rights.

Therefore, it's no surprise when we read:

A German theologian says that much of the homophobia in the Catholic Church can be traced to the large number of gay priests who are attempting to suppress their sexual orientation.... "The worst homophobia in the Catholic Church comes from homophile priests, who are desperately fighting their own sexuality. Obviously, those who follow their urges are repudiated more fiercely when one is so painfully repressing that disposition oneself.”

[For the full article, see here.]

The German theologian, David Berger, says that he spent time in "conservative" Catholic circles where the imprisonment and murders of Gay people in concentration camps was praised. This scenario should come as no surprise to us, as the defense mechanism of Reaction Formation is a quite common occurrence in social life.

Whether it be a pastor who has had a checkered sexual background condemning Facebook for provoking what he views as inappropriate sexual relationships; a gay Roman Catholic priest condemning same-sex love and marriage; a virulent religious homophobe found to consort with a male prostitute, or any number of other hypocritical occurrences, we see that we have to focus our attention not on the homophobic rhetoric, but on the person who is virulently homophobic and using that rhetoric.

These hypocrites who engage in Reaction Formation are very dangerous people for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that they are given credibility by gullible people, and they help set the stage for the suicides, assaults, and murders of LGBT people. Moreover, their rhetoric frames the argument that compels many Gay people to be on the defensive in their struggle to acquire all of the civil rights that heterosexuals enjoy.

There are people, some of whom are likely to be Gay, in positions of leadership in religious (and secular) circles who, if they knew they could get away with it, would countenance the murders of Gay people, as we see in Uganda.

When Berger heard approval of the imprisonment and murders of Gay people by the Nazis by "conservative" Roman Catholics, he was hearing the inner workings of those whose psychological health must be examined first and foremost, just as we must examine the psyches of homophobic clergy, and other clergy and professing Christians who are encouraging the draconian treatment of Gay people in Uganda and elsewhere; those professing Christians whose rhetoric and actions regarding LGBT people are diametrically opposed to Jesus' teachings.

Therefore, whenever we hear any homophobe condemning LGBT people, we must first and foremost question and examine the mental health of that homophobe, for only a mentally unhealthy person would bother him/herself with the love and sex lives of other consenting adults!
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4 comments:

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

I found this revelation by David Berger quite disturbing, Jerry. It confirms what I've always believed: Some of our worst enemies are ourselves! It's important for the normal Gay people come out in ever greater numbers so that the Straight world doesn't see these deeply perverted, aggressively self-hating types as our norm.

Jerry Maneker said...

The tragedy, Don Charles, is that the face of Gay people that the public too often sees are the sexual hedonists who equate being Gay with Sex, and who feed into the false stereotypes that all too many homophobes and potential Straight allies believe.

The healthy Gay people out there often live their lives quietly, and too often remain silent about the reality of their lives.

Therefore, this double whammy helps retard equality on the one hand, and empowers the virulent homophobes on the other hand.

It's only when mentally healthy Gay people express their outrage, in the courts and in the streets, that equality will be assured in the foreseeable future. Best wishes, Jerry.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Ah the joy that must come over the haters when they discover a ¨obvious¨ LGBTI person to torment or slander...I don´t think we can go around policing the ¨look¨ or ¨actions¨ of our LGBTI sisters and brother in order for us to cause less of a fuss in the minds of those who despise us (for whatever reason)...but it´s always been clear to me, as a Gay person from childhood-into manhood, that there was something very emotionally DISORDERED about those who ridicule, demonize and attempt to outcast LGBTI family/friends and everyday associates--all one really needs do is listen and the vileness that explodes can´t be considered ¨normal¨ reaction--no, I fully agree with the assumption that something like a dangerous ¨too close for comfort¨ reaction sets in when bigots are striking out against people like me--certainly that ¨loathing¨ was part of the self-loathing that I even turned on me as I became actively alcoholic--but then, there was one night when it became clear there was nowhere to hide--especially not from my self--I cried out drunk/alone in my own house to God to ¨take this away from me¨--God did and that was in just a few days 33 years ago. Self destructiveness comes in many packages for people like me and for people like the abusers of fellow human beings.

Happy Thanksgiving from South of the Border(s),

Leonardo

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks for this great and instructive comment, Len. And Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. Best wishes, Jerry.