A few weeks ago, I was invited to talk about chastity with the students at a local Catholic middle school. Most of the talk was addressed to things like the meaning of Christian marriage and the importance of modesty in dress and speech and things like that--the ABC's of Catholic teaching on the virtue of chastity.
However, the teachers had asked me to briefly address homosexuality, because they said that with all the news coverage these days, the kids heard about it and it would be good to give them at least the basics of the Church's teaching. So, I spent about five minutes explaining that (1) the Catholic Church says that homosexual acts are sinful because they go against God's plan, which is for sexual intimacy to occur within a marriage between a man and a woman; (2) that it is somewhat common for boys and girls to feel a certain amount of confusion about their sexual orientation during puberty, but that the vast majority of those who experience some homosexual feelings in their teen years will end up straight; and (3) that the Church does not condemn people for having homosexual feelings, and that the sort of teasing of homosexuals that often occurs in middle school and high school IS condemned by the Church.
After the lecture, a 7th grad boy came up to me with tears in his eyes, and told how he was constantly teased and beaten up for being a faggot. He had considered suicide because of this. He said he was attracted to girls, but as he talked about the bullying kept coming back to the worry that he might turn out gay--that maybe his fellow students were right. The fact that his peers saw him as a faggot caused him to doubt his sexuality, despite the fact that he was attracted to girls.
Fortunately, in this case, the administration seemed seriously interested in addressing his situation, and hopefully they will help to make the school a more supportive environment for him going forward.
The Church has a great deal of experience with the deceptions of the human heart, and her teaching is neither a mindless acceptance of the spirit of the age nor a mindless reaction against it. When she teaches that homosexual acts are sins, she also teaches that homosexual persons are created in the image of God, and that unjust discrimination against homosexual persons is to be condemned.
But wonder whether the Caveman really cares what the Church says. In this matter, at least, he seems to act like an overgrown 7th grade bully, more interested in yelling about faggots and talking about excretions than in understanding the Church's teaching or putting it into practice.
The second correspondent posted something in the combox, then wrote me a personal note, which he signed off with what I take to be his personal signature. But it's worth my reprinting as suddenly more relevant in this context (despite what I said above, no permission was sought here, but no sane man can think he has a proprietary or confidentiality right over a great saint's words):
First be purified and then purify others; first allow yourself to be instructed by wisdom and then instruct others; first become light and then enlighten others; first draw close to God and then guide others to him; first be holy yourself and then make others holy.