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Catholic "conversion" group uses sports to cure men of their gay urges

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This is not an article from the Onion. There actually is a Catholic group called Courage that is holding a sports weekend as a way for men to channel their same-sex urges into more manly pursuits. From the Philadelphia Daily News:

This weekend a group of men will gather at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary to how learn to throw a spiral, make a three-point shot and hit a long ball — and to resist homosexual urges.

Courage, a Catholic group that encourages people with same-sex attraction to remain celibate, is holding its 13th annual sports camp in which “men physically compete on the field while enriching their souls through a daily regimen of prayer, confessions, mass, and the Liturgy of the Hours,” according to the group’s website.

The Courage mission statement states: "By developing an interior life of chastity, which is the universal call to all Christians, one can move beyond the confines of the homosexual identity to a more complete one in Christ." Sports is an ideal vehicle for such a mission since no athlete can possibly be gay. Or so says a conversion therapist quoted by the Daily News:

Some of that rejection, at least for men, can be linked to failure at sports, the group maintains. Robert Fitzgibbons, a therapist who runs the Marital Institute and has written extensively about what he calls healing homosexual attraction, said in an article on the Catholic Education Resource Center that boys who are rejected because they can’t play sports “begin to identify with the female instead of the male.”

At the root of the problem, he contends, is poor eye-hand coordination. Fitzgibbons spoke at a 2006 sports camp in St. Louis.

"Poor eye-hand coordination?" That must be why Billy Bean only lasted nine years in the majors. One man, Robert, who attended a previous camp, told how he was helped by his weekend with the guys:

“It felt so true and good to see myself as a peer and competitor to the other men instead of believing that I didn’t belong with the other members of my own sex,” he wrote. “Instead of feeling intimidated or repulsed by the physical contact, I liked it ... One time a teammate gave me a sweaty celebratory hug. He was humbly secure in himself, just as he was, selflessly and joyfully showing affection to others. I also liked when one man, whom I’d felt intimated by, gave me a pat on my belly, meaning “way to go!” His touch made me feel accepted as one of the guys.”

Robert probably still dreams daily about that "physical contact," "celebratory hug" and "pat on the belly."

I am supposed to be outraged by this but this is way too absurd to even take seriously. But I also feel sorry for men who torment themselves by going through this kind of garbage (with all the inner anguish) instead of just accepting who they are. If they really want to play sports with men just like them, Philadelphia has great gay flag football and softball leagues and an amazing swim club, among others.