The Wheel and Axle

Cowardice, Not Courage

by on Jan.21, 2017, under Queer, Society

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There is nothing more disturbing than harmful “ex-gay” programs that purport to cure homosexuality under the guise of good and holy intentions.

Recently, I got caught in a comment thread of a Facebook page that popped up on my newsfeed for some reason. It was a post promoting a Catholic seminar that would help homosexuals “struggling with themselves.” Despite all flowery words used by the ad, this was clearly a “pray the gay away” program.

If it were any other religious post offering any other kind of seminar, I would’ve ignored it. However, science and other experts have proven that these types of “conversion therapy” programs are dangerous and harmful, and in some cases, deadly. In fact, these practices are already illegal and/or banned in certain US states and a couple of Canadian provinces as well as several other countries such as EcuadorMalta, and even China.


Thus, I could not stand idly by as potential victims of this program get enticed, only to suffer long-term traumas. The good thing is, apparently dozens – perhaps hundreds – of others felt like I did as many of us came in to challenge this group in a variety of ways, both creative and direct.

Of course, the (underwhelming) response was full of defensive crap. There were vehement denials that this was a conversion or reparative therapy program, that it was merely an “orientation seminar” for people “struggling with homosexuality.” To which I say: po-tay-to, po-tah-toe. Crap by any other name is still crap.

Crap by any other name is still crap.

Moreover, the LGBT folks who decided to speak up and criticize this foolishness were being accused of intolerance. Then again, any sane person would not tolerate this type of oppression. If that is intolerant, then so be it – for if you tolerate the promotion of an activity that has proven to bring psychological and even physical harm to people, then you are undoubtedly an enabler of pure evil.

It really is quite bothersome because, having studied in a Jesuit school myself and having rectored for Days with the Lord (despite being Protestant), I know that there are a lot of Catholic groups that would never do this. Quite the opposite in my personal experience, in fact – given that one of my closest mentors in the Ateneo was the late, great Bro. Dunne who embraced and celebrated outcasts in school and who never once tried to change any of us. 

What’s even more telling is that, with a little research, I discovered that this group – Courage Philippines – is lobbying staunchly against the Anti-Discrimination Bill. Everything becomes clearer now as one sees their true agenda: oppression fueled by their innate sin, homophobia.

This stance of Courage Philippines – as a supposed Catholic group – is quite pathetic when you consider that Pope Francis himself has stated that the LGBT community should not be discriminated against. Perhaps this group holds higher authority within the Catholic Church?

Obviously, when I exposed Courage Philippines’ agenda to suppress the ADB by linking to their position paper, the page admins became further defensive and claimed that the ADB will basically promote heterophobia, discrimination against straights, and that this was already evident now with their page being criticized by a legion of LGBT people who will not take their crap of attempting to traumatize people who need proper support, not “conversion.”

Let me lay this out clearly: in our heterocentric patriarchal society, people like those behind Courage Philippines are the oppressors. It is their intolerance that has made the LGBT community second-class citizens in society. They cannot cry “oppression” when their victims finally decide to fight back.

The truth is that they are burdened with fear: their conversion therapy program as well as their opposition to the ADB are borne of the fear of a growing empowered LGBT community. They fear that their power will be neutralized. They fear that their institutionalized oppression and their patriarchal position will finally be shattered as social equality becomes a reality and the status quo.

So they harbor the illusion that they will become the oppressed if the LGBT community is afforded equal rights, for isn’t this the greatest fear of any oppressor? To be subjected to the very hatred and intolerance they so casually meted out once the power structure of society shifts?

This, of course, is not at all the goal of the LGBT community. The goal is to simply be given equal rights and protection as the rest of the world, not to oppress others the way we have been and are still being oppressed.

But monsters do fear the very thing they sow, and thus do they try and seek to also make monsters out of the oppressed.

No, there is nothing courageous about Courage Philippines.

They are snivelling cowards.

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