Sports Camp Helps Men ‘Move Beyond’ Being Gay

SoccerPositionThere will be lots of balls thrown and caught during a sports retreat being hosted by the Catholic "ex-gay" group Courage in Philadelphia this weekend.

Because, you know, you can overcome being gay by brushing up on tossing around the ol' pigskin. 

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.

“They think that in offering people with same sex attraction the chance to learn how to play sports they will learn to be manlier,” said Ed Coffin, director of Peace Advocacy Network, a Philadelphia group which plans to protest outside the seminary…

“It’s a ludicrous assertion. There are many, many out gay athletes and many gay men who play sports,” he said.

One participant, who refused to be identified, insists the camp is not "brainwashing." Rather it's a "tutorial sports event" for men who face "social blockades" for their lack of athletic acumen.

Courage also claims that men are gay because they're estranged from their fathers. "I never met a man with same sex attraction that had a healthy relationship with his father," said one member, known only as Al.

Comments

  1. Keelai says

    Well Al meet me, a gay man who has a great relationship with my father and I have since I can remember.

    My mother however was curious if me not rough housing enough with my older brother made me gay… luckily my father, sister, and I all laughed at that notion.

  2. says

    “”I never met a man with same sex attraction that had a healthy relationship with his father,” said one member, known only as Al.”

    Well I invite Al to have dinner over at my place with me, my boyfriend, and our fathers. Both of us have amazing relationships with them.

    My own father was at every sporting event – yeah… I’m gay and I play sports, went camping, fishing, hiking, boy scouts, did yard work together. I willingly helped him at his work for hours and hours on end (leather industry). He is always there for me, always interested in my life, and always making it clear how much he loves me and as proud of the man I’ve become. My dad is one classy father.

    Sorry, Al, but you can meet me and be proven wrong.

  3. Jack M says

    I left my parish because the new priest wanted to bring in Courage (an inappropriate name if there ever was one). What BS! I now go to a gay-supportive Catholic church and am much happier.

    And, as we all know, there’s no better way to turn gay men straight then to have them play a game with other sweaty men on a field.

  4. James in Hollywood says

    “I never met a man with same sex attraction that had a healthy relationship with his father,” said one member, known only as Al.

    Al clearly needs to get out more.

  5. matt says

    I’m annoyed by people who think their experience or their friend’s experience must be everyone’s experience. I have an amazing relationship with my father and always have. He’s one of the most important people in my life and I consider him one of my best friends. We watched and played sports together growing up and I’m a huge football fan because of him. This guy needs to actually meet gay people and not his merry band of self loathing assholes LOL

  6. Peter says

    Oh, the sad hypocrisy of Christian bigots: rail against homosexuality because it is forbidden in Leviticus 18:22 by playing a game that requires you to touch pig skin, which is forbidden in Leviticus 11: 7-8.

  7. Frank says

    I had an amazing relationship with my father for 50 years until he passed away last fall. And when my Mom passed away 15 years earlier he gave me an article to read about this same type of thing then said, “Can you believe this BS that people think you can change the way you were born?” It doesn’t get any better than that!

  8. Major Onions says

    Al must live a sheltered life. I’m an out and proud gay man with a great relationship with my father. I also played basketball, tennis, rugby, golf, lacrosse and ran track in HS and college. What a moran.

  9. Jeebus says

    Every good Catholic knows that it’s those confusing and conflicted relationships with both his earthly father (Joseph) and his “heavenly” father (“God”) that must’ve turned Jeebus into a fudge packing goober smoocher.

  10. Gregv says

    I have the best dad I ever could have asked for. I don’t doubt for a moment that in the gay-hating circles that “Al” lives in, he’s not meeting anyone, fathers or otherwise, who has a healthy relationship with the gay people in their lives.
    The fathers of the men in his club were without a doubt brainwashed into being negative toward every hint of homosexuality that they ever saw in their sons as they grew up.
    That’s a recipe for not only bad family relationships but also poor self-esteem on the partvof the kid and ultimately (if the kid internalizes the negativity about his own self-image), unhealthy and failed relationships as an adult.
    These anti-gay nuts always portray homosexuality as being about bad relqtionships, drugs and diseases. To me it’s about a wonderful partner who is loved by my family and health and happiness in life.
    As Jesus said: Beware of false prophets; you shall know them by the fruits they bear.

  11. Gregv says

    I have the best dad I ever could have asked for. I don’t doubt for a moment that in the gay-hating circles that “Al” lives in, he’s not meeting anyone, fathers or otherwise, who has a healthy relationship with the gay people in their lives.
    The fathers of the men in his club were without a doubt brainwashed into being negative toward every hint of homosexuality that they ever saw in their sons as they grew up.
    That’s a recipe for not only bad family relationships but also poor self-esteem on the partvof the kid and ultimately (if the kid internalizes the negativity about his own self-image), unhealthy and failed relationships as an adult.
    These anti-gay nuts always portray homosexuality as being about bad relqtionships, drugs and diseases. To me it’s about a wonderful partner who is loved by my family and health and happiness in life.
    As Jesus said: Beware of false prophets; you shall know them by the fruits they bear.

  12. RK says

    Let’s debunk the myth about gay sons not have strong relationships with their fathers. I for one had an amazing relationship with my dad (since passed). He taught me so many things from simple things like sports to more important things like how to be a righteous man. He has always been supportative in every way.

    On another note, I cannot understand how any gay man can attend such a ridiculous event. They really must hate oneself. Not what Jesus would want.

  13. RK says

    Let’s debunk the myth about gay sons not have strong relationships with their fathers. I for one had an amazing relationship with my dad (since passed). He taught me so many things from simple things like sports to more important things like how to be a righteous man. He has always been supportative in every way.

    On another note, I cannot understand how any gay man can attend such a ridiculous event. They really must hate oneself. Not what Jesus would want.

  14. says

    I guess accepting that you’re always going to have same-sex attraction, but vowing never to act on it, is better than pretending you don’t have same-sex attraction. I know someone who lives the way these guys do. He seems unhappy to me, but his faith is the most important thing in his life. I support his choice.

  15. Swiminbuff says

    “. I willingly helped him at his work for hours and hours on end (leather industry). He is always there for me, always interested in my life, and always making it clear how much he loves me and as proud of the man I’ve become. My dad is one classy father.” Does that mean your father was a “leather daddy”, lol?

    Seriously these guys are deluded. I had a great relationship with my father all my life and played a lot of sports through school and university, some of which he taught me how to play. He was always there for me. On his death bed he spoke privately to my then boyfriend of 8 years and urged us to officially marry. How many Dads would do that?

  16. Oz in OK says

    So someone who didn’t have a good relationship with their father is Gay? I think my hetero male friends who had terrible relationships with their fathers are in for a shock…

  17. jomicur says

    They’re Catholics. They believe saying a few magic words can turn bread into meat. They believe a superannuated ex-Nazi is infallible. Why would believing this crap be a stretch for them?

  18. Hollywood, CA says

    There’s got to be a small sect of these groups/events that go there to hook-up. Right? You’re both sexually repressed, the lights go out, and you have at it with the only other person you know that can keep your secret. Makes perfect sense (See: Scientology)

  19. Michaelandfred says

    Just so stupid. How does one not laugh. What is it with the conservative mind that they jump on the broadest, must simplistic answer to every topic, be it climate change, the economy, energy production….. Or being gay. Many of us are estranged because we are gay, we’re not gay because we’re estranged. How do they walk without falling down…

  20. Mousie says

    Yet another gay dude with a great relationship with my father…

    And I hope this aggravates the conservatives to no end: I also have a great relationship with my father-in-law. Zing!

  21. says

    that said, there is a strong correlation between lousy-father-relationships and “gay” but they have it reversed.

    the gay aint the product of a father-son disconnect, the disconnect is often the product of “the gay”.

    as i said to the father of a friend who was all but disowned by his father when he came out “if nothing else, you should be proud that you raised your son to be strong enough to stand up to you.”

    but the reality is that a good father instills in his children the courage to be themselves, the integrity to stand up for others no matter how “different” a prejudiced society deems them to be, and to approach each and every obstacle in life with a backbone.

    one look at the sad-sack gay conservatives that troll this site, in a way, makes that point. “i hate fems!” they yell, in hopes their dads will hear. *yawn*
    he aint hearing.

  22. Hard ball anyone? says

    I think the guy in back is concentrating very hard on not getting a hard on. It must be one of the exercises to develop courage.

  23. Matt Ford says

    I had great parents, so for that, I am grateful. My grandparents were even cool for their generation.

    I can’t think of a single friend who is gay or lesbian who does/did not have wonderful relationships with their parents so Al does need to meet some more people!

    I will remember and miss my Dad very much this coming Father’s Day.

  24. anon says

    Theology/ideology has a way of painting people into corners and then they have to rationalize their way out. The trouble starts when you not only have to believe things that can’t be proven or dis-proven, but also things that are dis-proven. It’s painful to believe in lies.

  25. Mic says

    Oh, and BTW Xtian Fascists;

    At 50 I play Ice Hockey 3 times a week and have since I was 18. Hard and Fast.

    And then I come home and have sex with my Husband…Hard and Fast.

    Not happy about the Fast though… But then I am 50!

  26. J. Page says

    Al,

    For your dim-witted information, I have a great relationship with my father. My relationship actually got stronger when I stopped hiding myself and came out to him and my mother. They love me with no strings unlike the catholic church.

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