Thursday, November 2, 2006

Jim McGreavey and Infantilism

As a healing aid after surgery or a serious illness, a perceptive physician might recommend the traditional “sea cruise” cure wherein the patient might retreat temporarily into a pleasant, relaxing fantasy land, breathing the clear sea air and relishing gourmet meals. One might (as recently I did myself on such a trip) read mindless mystery novels where the bad guy always seems to be called something like “Mendoza” who wears a black slouch hat pulled way down over his scary eyes. Of course, the good guy, the hero-white knight, always escapes from impossible situations by daring exploits which would make Superman look juvenile. Such “retreat”, temporary in nature, can be healthy and innocuous. Knowing that the voyage is for a very short period of time, no one believes the daring tales or seriously swallows the glitter of shipboard experience. It is escapist and meant to be such.

However, on my sea cruise, I happened to catch an interview with the out-of-the-closet homosexual former governor of New Jersey, Jim McGreavey. He was hosted by the liberal CNN through Larry King and his slightly nauseating softball questions. The “interview” with its massive falsity and infantilism, almost made me want to “frowup” which the cruise ship did not. Obviously, everyone, at times, needs to “retreat” from the occasional harshness of reality. However, mental health protocols insist that one’s “emotional feet” be planted relatively firmly—for the most part—in that which is real. To live in the Make Believe is to court emotional disaster. The McGreavey interview was classic for its LaLa land dimensions and infantilisms. It was far beyond the boundaries of common sense reality.

McGreavey, (cosily called “Jim” by King), twice married and (possibly) twice divorced with a daughter from each marriage, often pursued his insatiable need for same sex at Highway rest stops, anonymously, while he was married and sitting as Chief Executive of the State. There was no problem with back seats for his lust even while he was Governor. Nor was he hesitant to appoint his then lover (who had no credentials) to a sensitive post in Homeland Security. This particular same sex relationship is currently seen (ex post facto) quite differently. His ex-lover says that he was pressured into same sex behavior by gubernatorial power while Jim somewhat airily dismisses “it” as “…… just happened…”

The group watching this fiasco with me all got the impression that McGreavey believes (or tries to convince himself) that his behavior is “normal.” And this in spite of the overwhelming evidence of the human experience of at least 3,000 years. He seems to see himself as some kind of prophet sent (by whom is unclear) to illuminate the unenlightened masses. He speaks as if his Irish Catholic mother approves of his life style—with the abandonment of two wives and two children. He fantasizes that any negative impact on his children will be minimal or zero. And that his Marine drill instructor father will be quite accepting of his only son’s homosexual behavior.[1] He speaks of his recent ex-wife as a “class lady” as she sends him off with love and kisses to his new life with his current lover whom he met at a “Gay” bar. His facile description of her graciously stepping aside for his new love is too implausible to believe. As Bill O’Reilly would say “Come on.” To the experienced psychologist’s nose, this doesn’t merely smell. It reeks of classic rationalization, fantasy and infantilism. Self delusion has been practiced by the human animal in every century. In ours it is fast becoming a favorite pastime. To expect reasonably objective observers to buy into this particular delusion is a “bit much.” Is it that Jim McG hopes that, by persuading others of his “happiness”, he might really believe it himself? He even inserts into his pitch that he spent some time in retreat in a Benedictine Monastery where he sorted all this out. One was left with the impression that this was a Catholic Benedictine monastery until he “slipped in” its location. It is not Catholic but Episcopalian where he would more likely find some approval of his sexual behavior.

There is no obvious malfunction in McGreavey’s cognitive levels. He was apparently quite capable in politics, the art of compromise. Human beings can have skills in certain areas and be seriously deficient in others. There are psychological histories of persons (as in the case of the Idiot Savant) having enormous talent in s single area but being practically illiterate in others. McGreavey is certainly not I.S. but he is clearly underdeveloped or arrested in his sexuality. This is not a question of intellectual ability but one of an emotional or visceral reaction stemming from some unconscious conflict of earlier years.

Elementary insight into human behavior indicates a significant residual of infantile desire in all adults which, with maturity, is acceptably absorbed in adult ways of resolving life’s problems. The infant wants what he wants instantly/now. Doesn’t every parent know this? Any kind of delay might cause him to scream ear splitting yells, hold his breath, turn blue or stomp his little feet with great vigor. He might try to wound or manipulate his “nasty” parents (because of their constant “Don’ts) by using his ultimate weapon: “I hate you.”

Every family counselor of any significant experience has first hand data on such behavior. And every professional obviously understands the need for what is called “Tough love.” This translates into the need to help children grown up as responsible adults and to support them healthily lest they get mired in the perpetual and driven narcissism we find in the active homosexual. The all permissive and allegedly all loving parent is, in fact, an unconsciously hostile parent. This is also partially true of the well meaning “tolerant” straight with his misplaced compassion. The former Anglican Bishop of Atlanta, Bishop Bennett Simms rightly stated: “compassion does not mean endorsement.” This resonates the spirit of Jesus who certainly forgave the public sinner but reminded her, in effect, “Don’t do it again.” Forgiveness more than implies reformation of life. It requires it.

McGreavey’s performance almost shouted out that he (emotionally) is practically on the level of the high school freshman who wants what he wants regardless of anything or anyone. Implicit in his presentation is the politically correct idiocy[2] that if one really desires anything, it is unhealthy to deny such urges. There is no indication here of any adult delay of libidinous “wants.” Yet, the mature adult accepts the reality that sometimes life simply cannot be what one wants. His impassioned insistence that he “tried” so hard sounds more like the airy verbiage meant both to elicit sympathy from the uninformed and to mask his continuing self destructive behavior. Hopefully, the driven toxic lifestyle of his past is under some kind of self control. However, does his previous promiscuity suddenly vanish with the appearance of the out-of-the closet lover? One has to wonder! If emotional constancy is expected in same sex “unions”, sexual fidelity is not.

His constant response-----the teenaged “yeah” as compared with an adult “yes”----told much about him. He wants to be seen on some level as a little boy—to be cared for and loved. One viewer noted (I think accurately) that he came across as “syrupy.” Indeed, his current lover described him, on the air, as “cute”, a word used extensively in the homosexual community. This current Lover was finally brought onto the set with a big defiant big smack on the lips of his Jim. They semi-cuddled, flapped their eyes at each other and flashed love sick swain-like smiles. Those of us watching experienced spontaneous revulsion. But why?

Gay activists would probably---- in their characteristically knee-jerk fashion—scream the awkward shibboleth Homophobia. This is usually meant to silence any criticism of same sex behavior. But as difficult as it may be for activists to understand, the average citizen’s spontaneous revulsion stems not from fear or hatred of homosexual persons but rather from an instinctive sense of fundamental disorder. Many critics (like myself who has spent the last 12 years working extensively with and for same sex attracted people) have affection and compassion for those afflicted with this anomaly. We do not fear or hate the same sex afflicted person. On the contrary, I and other Catholic counselors dearly wish that our SSA brethren have peaceful and meaningful lives. We have seen too much depression and seriatim sexual liaisons with their painful breakups to believe the falsehoods perpetuated by the activists.

Even an elementary study of human anatomy and physiology will illustrate the magnificent plan and design of the Creator wherein the Order of things is actually rooted. In fact, the very chromosomes of the human race trumpet what the French so colorfully champion “Vive la Difference.” Men and women, while similar in some ways, are profoundly different in others. Jesus clearly teaches in Mark (ch.10) that the Creator made them male and female. There is an ordered system in the sexual framework. Even granting the occasional anomalies, there is a design from God Himself indicating how things ought to be. Lynn Boughton, one of this generation’s classic Scripture scholars, points out as an example, the force of “Design” when she notes that Cross Dressing or Transvestism is abnormal and unnatural since it violates God’s design (Deut. 22:5). What is revolting about cross dressing? Does it hurt anyone? Why is it wrong? Because, it, like same sex behavior, fetishes and the like, seriously contravene God’s Plan. This is not homophobia. This is insistence on basic Order.

There is nothing in Sacred Scripture which tolerates same sex relationships[3]. Nor a third sex. Nor paraphilic behavior. Any Biblical reference to the homosexual dimension is always pejorative. Scripture sees males and females complementing each other in fundamental ways impossible for same sex “lovers.” This is unequivocal. Same sex “lovers” simply cannot procreate.[4] This is utterly foundational for society’s welfare and survival.[5] Even beyond the sexual dimension, however, it is commonly accepted that the sexes relate differently on emotional and other levels. These different modes of relating are largely conditioned by the mysteries of biology. For example, Dr. Judy Bardwick, a psychologist at the University of Michigan, claimed in a television interview with me that males and females are wired differently. Neural grooving in males and females is simply different. Many people believe she very well might be right.

The often repeated claim that hetero and homosexual marriages are just the same is clearly absurd--- and patently so! To hold such an unreal position would seem to be a case of either ignorance or quasi-psychosis or deliberate distortion. Or do activists really know the truth but mask the reality by manipulating people’s minds by lies? On the other hand, it might be that those involved in same sex living which they so desperately want, simply have their minds clouded. They simply cannot see the facts. Is it really a matter of psychology and not truth?

The Catholic Church believes that sexual activity is good and holy only between a man and woman in lawful marriage. Again, this is neither “homophobia” nor injustice. This is Order which also strongly requires that homosexual persons be treated with dignity and respect. There is no Catholic toleration[6] of discrimination against these afflicted ones for whom Christ also truly died and who are clearly God’s own children as well as any other baptized child of Adam.[7] And it is within this framework that real identity is clarified. People cannot be classified or defined in terms of sexuality. We are all defined fundamentally as children of God. This is what gives value and true self awareness. Definition by sexual terms is degrading, insulting and narrowing for the human being.

The former Bishop of Brooklyn and Palm Beach, Bishop James Dailey, has said that one of the best kept secrets within Catholicism, is the support group called Courage, founded in New York City to assist SSA persons in their struggles. This group, totally in sync with our best Traditions, offers not only spiritual and psychological support but clarifies the meaning of one’s basic identity as God’s child. Through Courage, countless men and women have achieved peace of soul, a realization of their own true identity and the meaning of friendship without the use of illicit genitality. They have released punishing angers, even rages. They have learned to forgive. In effect, they have learned the Catholic truth that even though they did not really choose to be homosexual, there are ways of managing their sexual drives besides indulgence. Without necessarily changing their orientation, they have found the key to living happily as chaste celibates. It becomes apparent that the wild and nearly insatiable sexual needs of people like McGreavey are really symptoms of problems far deeper than gonads.

Ultimately, all human beings are bound by God’s law of chastity, whether married or not. When McGreavey breaks up with his current lover, his P.R. people will couch the “end” as friendly and cordial. But unless Jim has a real breakthrough, he will go on to the unending futile search for the non-existent Mr. Right. He hopes and hopes. Perhaps this time. Or the next. Or the next. The search is not the answer. The grace of the good God is. I cite the Courage group to compare an approach to life (for SSA persons) which is healthy and holy. In essence, it works. Courage works if one works Courage. Infantilism is no answer. Remaining an emotional teenager is no answer. Acting “silly”[8] as campy Gays often do, is no answer. Raging sarcasm and sophomoric demonstrations are no answer. And obviously acting out infantile fantasies leads nowhere. It is only with the Lord’s grace that one can become free.

The Courage members manfully carry their Crosses like Him Who went before them to show the real way to freedom and peace. In chastity they have found the masculinity which has eluded them for so long. I pray for all the misled Jim McGreaveys of this world. Would that they could take the word of Jesus as it is!
[1] There was a subtle insinuation that his early relationship with his father was less than enthusiastic. This can give a clue as to much of Jim’s ”problem.”
[2] That is from a psychological point of view
[3] The term “relationship” in homosexual circles usually means sexual (genital) behavior
[4] The notion of adoption of children by gays is seriously questioned by many researchers. There is great concern about the potential psychic harm which can occur for these children. US Cong. (Calif) Tim Leslie has extensive material on this point
[5] It was noted last summer in Provincetown on Cape Cod that “straight” visitors to this beautiful town run the risk of being called “breeders” by some flamboyant summer residents. Years ago this same homosexual group pleaded for acceptance into the town on the basis of needed diversity.
As the Population proportion has changed, so has the “tolerance” level.
[6] There have been nominal Catholics acting in discriminatory ways against SSA people. They act contrary to Catholic teaching.
[7] Catholic teaching sees all human beings of Good Will who follow their consciences, hopefully enlightened, to be part of the Mystical Body of Christ. Cf. Encyclical of PPius XII, Mystici Corporis.
[8] A liberated” SSA person recently gave as an example of typical “ silly” behavior, the oft used gay remark “I have my high heels on today.”