Friday, 2 January 2009

Boy trouble

I want to tell you about some sixth formers (17-18 yr olds) from many years ago. These boys will be getting on for 30 now, these events are well in the past and I will keep details sketchy for obvious reasons.

The first boy was one I had a real soft spot for. He was funny, articulate and perceptive but he’d never get a good grade in my subject. This was partly due to the fact that he could hardly stay awake during the day, he was a brilliant astronomer and night time was when he came alive. I perhaps defended him more than I should, I excused late homeworks, praised mediocre work in the hope better would be forthcoming, in short I kept him coming to class in the hope he could gain even the most meager of grades. Some of my other colleagues wanted him kicked out, they didn’t want the risk of a failure in their subject. For some of my colleagues he was disagreable for another reason; the boy was wrestling with his sexuality and believed himself to be gay. He would talk to me and I would listen. He definitely felt sexual attraction towards men and there did seem to be an older man in his life who exerted a strong influence on him. At the time I treated him like I would a girl who was dating an inappropriate guy. Tell them that they were precious, tell them that promiscuity was wrong and to be wary of flattery. At the same time I’d make it perfectly clear that I personally disapproved of what they were doing but that that didn't stop me supporting them as a teacher.

Once I overheard a colleague tell him he was a waste of space and p***s like him didn’t deserve an education and he deserved to fail. I told the boy I’d heard every word of the exchange and if he wanted me to take it further I would. He declined.

The other boy was a friend of his on a different course but facing a similar struggle. I found him wheezing in a corridor with a panic attack after he’d been ambushed by some boys who’d drenched him in water and called him names relating to his sexuality. I went straight to the headmaster with the names of the attackers and was laughed out of his office and told the boy had better toughen up, it was a harmless prank.

My colleagues will not have changed their views on homosexuality nor their attitudes but in the light of the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Agenda they will have to be more devious. Their attitudes can not be endorsed, those colleagues were scum in this respect. The boys needed support that just wasn’t there and drove them further into the welcoming camaraderie of the gay scene.

Today there will be many gay activists with plenty of anti-Catholic propaganda grooming our young people to join their cult, for cult it is. They will say how unreasonable and hateful we are and encourage them to believe their untruths.

We will lose souls unless we all as individuals show our Faith and Love for these young people. I see no contradiction with Catholic teaching in doing so.


Anonymous said...

I remember similar experiences at school. A friend of my sister's was (I think) quite traumatised by his treatment.
Sadly i think the 'Gay Agenda' will make things worse not better.

I know you are facing a tough 2009 Rita. God bless you and give you His strength.
Tough times for a lot of us ahead I think.
Lots of prayers

Irene said...

How refreshingly perceptive! Your last paragraph is a beautiful and prophetic summation.

If other "Catholics" could show such love for these tortured people, God might reward His church with explosive growth. And isn't that what we were commanded to do?

Tom in Vegas said...


I'm so glad that you were able to approach these boys from a standpoint of compassion and not from a point of view that trivialized their troubles, or objectified them. You are correct in assuming that if we fail to approach this subject matter seriously, we could lose them to the a dangerous culture of promiscuity, or to other anti-Catholic agents.

Shame on your colleagues.

Phil Steinacker said...


I'm proud of your struggle to balance your devotion to Church teaching with your devotion to the 2nd greatest commandment. It sounds hackneyed to say it, but we truly are called "to love the sinner and hate the sin" - every sin, not just the ones that offend us individually.

I find that keeping my own character defect in line as I walk the tightrope between confronting wrongdoing but without inflicting pain or harm on the wrongdoer (it can be oh, so tempting!) can sometimes be very challenging. I thank God I don't experience it often, as my passion for supporting the Mysterieum is a good thing that merely needs appropriate focus and application - and not to be expressed as a careless explosion in which people who need our loving guidance get caught in the blast and are driven even further from the Church.

We all need to remember that we don't always realize who we're dealing with (on an interior level of emotion, temptation, loneliness, and the burning need for hope). While it is of great importance never to softsoap the eternal consequences of separating ourselves from God by our sin, our main mission (yours and mine) is to remain mostly focused on how we can lovingly bring support, hope (as in "trust"), prayer, and a fresh start into the lives of those whose paths the Holy Spirit has caused ours to cross.

By always keeping in mind that it's the Holy Spirit who does ALL the heavy lifting we are then freed up to do His bidding - the small, grunt work "on the ground." By surrendering to merely carrying water for Him, we're able to give up trying to control that which we need to leave to Him (i.e. inflicting pain, approbation, and punishment).

To be sure, there are those times we need to be absolutely clear that specific behavior is dead wrong, but I like your appraoch to helping these two boys. You didn't dilute the position of the Church, but the Church does not support the un-Christlike treatment they received at the hands of your "colleagues." They needed you to bring Christ into their lives by being a Christ-like friend.

Again, I'm proud of you.



I hope my rambling made sense.

Rita said...

Thanks all of you. These are encouraging comments. I feel now however that because of the increasingly weighted agenda, I can no longer behave in this way. More worryingly, the students feel the only support they can have is from the gay movement. They believe that if you are not part of it then in some way you must be anti-them, nothing could be further from the truth. Dialogue is increasingly difficult.

Kirk said...

Hallo Rita,

I am just catching up with my blog reading. I think that yours is a very thoughtful post. I love reading your blog!

I don't think that you should alter your approach one bit when dealing with boys and girls who are struggling with issues of sexuality. The Catechism is right behind you in this. Far better for these boys and others like them to see that the Holy Mother Church truly is a mother who does not hate any of her children. She recognises they have a special cross to bear/bare (I can never remember the correct version of that word to use!) and does not condone this disorder but she never says that homosexual people be treated with contempt or become the subjects of cruel and hurtful words and epithets.
And I wouldn't worry about those so called militants either. I certainly don't and would never let them colour my views on how to practice the beatitudes!

I think you have inspired me to attempt a post on this subject!

ukok said...

When you are doubtful about your vocation as a teacher, remember, dear friend, that former pupils thank God for teachers like you.

Those young man, so cruelly treated, at least knew that they had someone prepared to fight in their corner for them against the horrendous bullying they were exposed to.

Yes Rita, you are very very much in the correct profession, i'm sure.