Scalia's boy: labels will solidify homosexuality in teens
“Understanding the full truth of human sexuality produces an appreciation for purity. Of course, all young people need to strive for this virtue. But purity takes on a greater significance for those with same-sex attractions. Nothing will confirm a supposed “gay” identity more quickly and solidly than homosexual actions. After a homosexual encounter, the adolescent must either admit the error of his actions and repent—or more boldly identify himself with his actions and look for a way to justify them.”
— Father Paul Scalia, in his article, “A Label that Sticks“
To get things out of the way, yes, he is son of SCOTUS Justice “Tony”. Father Paul Scalia heads the Arlington, VA, chapter of “Courage” — a Roman Catholic ministry that “helps” people with same-sex attractions “develop an interior life of chastity and move beyond the confines of the homosexual identity to a more complete identity in Christ.” [It should be noted that the British chapter of Courage threw in the towel, coming to the conclusion that gays should not be made to live a life without companionship and intimacy.]
Scalia’s writings are quite vocal in stressing a non-declaration of homosexuality to begin with — to circumvent a need to promote gay chastity — so his writing targets questioning teens. He made the Blend in May, saying “teens who might otherwise outgrow such attractions may be led into behaviors that impede realization of what he calls “their true identity as a child of God.”
When I was in high school, the students fell into many different groups: preps, jocks, cheerleaders, punks, deadheads, druggies, geeks, and all the rest. Just about everyone received an unofficial but virtually unchangeable assignment to a particular group. When I work in high schools today, I discover little difference. The groups still exist (with just a few changes in terminology), and the teachers and administrators still counsel against the labels. As they wisely explain, labels reinforce stereotypes and prejudices; they prevent us from accepting individuals and getting to know the real person.
There is one difference, however. While still warning children against stereotypes and labels, high-school administrations increasingly encourage one group of students to label themselves: those who experience same-sex attractions. With the assistance (and sometimes pressure) of such groups as the Gay-Straight Alliance and the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, high schools across the country now routinely have student organizations dedicated to promoting the tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality. Indeed, New York City has an entire school—Harvey Milk High School—devoted to “gay, lesbian, transgendered and questioning youth.”
This essay really goes around the barn here, blaming the act of self-identifying (he says “labeling”) as gay will help to solidify a person’s orientation. This is absurd. What he is trying to say is that positive affirmation of a teen in the process of coming out is damaging, and takes away a parent’s ability to shape their child’s sexual orientation. Please — this is a nutty fantasy.
Is it worth pointing out, even at this late date, that the teachers and administrators were right about the dangers of labeling—and wrong when they allowed and encouraged homosexual students to be labeled? As with most errors, this one proceeds from a certain truth and often from good intentions. The truth is that adolescents with same-sex attractions have a higher suicide rate and are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs. Attributing these problems to persecution and harassment, the new groups pledge to create a safe atmosphere so that students will not be tempted to self-destructive behavior.
‘Sweet’ Father Paul is a chip off of The Justice’s block.
But in practice this agenda means more than just an end to the name-calling. It means the approval of homosexuality and, in a new form of name-calling, an insistence that adolescents who experience same-sex attractions “come out” as homosexual.
…Meanwhile, the schools’ endorsement of all this quickly undermines parents’ authority in an extraordinarily sensitive area. While the parents try to teach one thing at home, the school presents the opposite view, now not only in the classroom but also socially (which in high school might have a greater effect). And those parents who have a better way to handle their child’s difficulties will find their efforts thwarted. At home they strive to love their children, help them in their struggles, and teach a coherent truth about human sexuality. Meanwhile at school, children receive the propaganda and encouragement to argue precisely against what their parents say.
…Resisting the labeling temptation demands that we reject the culture’s vocabulary and adopt more precise terms. In popular usage, the words “gay” and “lesbian” imply a fixed orientation and the living out of a lifestyle. Even the term “homosexual person,” which is used in some Vatican documents, suggests that homosexual inclinations somehow determine, which is to say confine, a person’s identity.
…Gay school groups gain approval and support partly because heterosexual unchastity (contraception, masturbation, premarital sex, adultery, and all the rest) has compromised so many. Our culture’s deliberate separation of sex from procreation has destroyed our ability to articulate a coherent explanation of sexual ethics. Parents and educators have damaged the tools that would allow them to explain why homosexual activity is wrong.