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New Film Shows How to Leave the Gay Life Behind
Crisis Magazine ^ | July 18, 2014 | AUSTIN RUSE

Posted on 07/18/2014 2:27:27 PM PDT by NYer

The modern day LGBT movement wants you to believe that the people featured in the new documentary “Desire of the Everlasting Hills” really don’t exist. They are figments of the fevered imaginations of the Christian right.

Meet Dan, Rilene and Paul, all refugees from deep enmeshment in the LGBT life, each finding a home in sexual sobriety and, not incidentally, the Catholic Church.

It is impossible to watch this important documentary without tears, and not sad tears either, but happy ones, tears that come from a joyful movement of the spirit.

These are people who have been deeply wounded by the choices they have made and who have struggled through to a profound peace.

The documentary makes its world premier this weekend at the annual conference of the Courage apostolate in Philadelphia. Courage is the Church-approved movement of same-sex attracted men and women who have decided to step away from that life and to reengage with who they really are and were meant to be.

The readers of these pages and the pages of First Things will recognize one of them—Dan Mattson—from his jousting with the group we call The New Homophiles. He is open about his struggle with same-sex attraction but insists it does not define him. He tells his story in great detail in this new movie.

Mattson was at once attracted to men but at least initially repelled by what happens sexually. Expecting fireworks, his first time was an enormous letdown, and then depression and shame. “What have I done?” he asked himself over and over as he drove back home.

Early on in his search for the gay life, he googled “I am gay and….” The first result was “…and I want a boyfriend.” The second result was “…and I want to die.” He understood this while he was never suicidal; he thought death would be welcome.

He prayed fervently for the same-sex attractions to leave him. Better to be a leper than gay. When the feelings didn’t leave, he turned on God. He still believed but he hated Him, indeed wanted Him dead. God made promises that he could not fulfill. His promises were hogwash. Mattson says he would pass the Cathedral in his town and almost every day “shoot it the bird.”

He dove into the gay life.

Was Mattson ever attracted to women? He went to a strip club and struck up a conversation about gardening with the woman trying to give him a lap dance. She gave him gardening tips that he uses to this day.

Mattson had only one real boyfriend and for a time he was happy. But he longed for a family, for children. On the verge of finally telling his family that he was with a man, Mattson fell in love with a woman at work.

Dan says in the year he was with her he felt once more that God loved him and when that broke up he was tempted to go back online to find guys but he was “convinced the path to peace” was not that way. Quoting C.S. Lewis, Mattson says the boy in pain chooses safety but the man chooses to find the meaning of suffering. Safety for Lewis was turning from God as was Mattson’s, in addition to porn and meeting guys online. And now he has chosen the way of the man.

He sees his whole life has been a search to understand himself and to find consolation and that he has found both in the commandments of God. When he passes the Cathedral these days, the one he shot the bird at, he sees those three domes as a sign of beauty, a harbor that he embraces. Mattson says, “We were made for better stuff than what we settle for. My whole life I settled. I don’t want to settle anymore even if it means a life of being single.”

Where Mattson’s was an immense interior drama played out on the tiny stage of small town life, Paul played his out in the gilded and dangerous playground of New York in the 1970s.

Paul started the gay life at 15 on the beaches of Miami, eventually becoming an international model in New York. He was one of those beautiful people literally hanging out with Cher at Studio 54, drenched in “drugs and sex and disco.”

Paul said Manhattan in those days “was like finding Oz. If you were good looking, it was totally heaven.” He spent much of his time cruising for men. Once in Rome he read in his gay travel guide that the Coliseum was the place to pick up strangers though his plans were foiled because it was Good Friday and John Paul II was there leading an enormous crowd in the Stations of the Cross. His libido was stilled but only for a few hours and he went cruising someplace else.

He says his sexual appetite was insatiable, “frantic.” He went through “dozens, and then hundreds and eventually thousands of men, becoming insensitive to what it means to be with a partner both body and soul.”

Paul was frantic sexually at the time and place where HIV/AIDs first struck and did such devastation. One of his lovers was among the first 900 people diagnosed with the deadly disease. He says, “90 percent of my friends got AIDs and died.”

He moved to San Francisco to get away from the death and dying in New York. He moved in with a man, into a huge house on lots of property in Sonoma County though he did not end his promiscuity.

You might think that Paul worried about AIDs. He did but just assumed, after thousands of men, he was infected like all of his friends. So, he never got tested. But then AZT was discovered, the drug that adds years to the HIV patient’s life.

Going for a test, he says, “I remember so clearly driving down Dolores Avenue feeling doomed and then a ray of sunshine came through the sun roof and I felt peace and comfort. And then I heard a voice, from the center of my being, saying you do not have AIDs because you have too much to do to make up for how you have been living.” He said he knew with certainty that the words were true, and when the doctor confirmed he was negative “was the most wonderful feeling in the world.”

And then he met Mother Angelica.

Watching TV late into the night and early morning after a night of frantic sex, he was flipping channels “and an image came on my television that was so strange.” He called out to his boyfriend to come and look. Together they mocked Mother Angelica, who at the time had an eye-patch and a quite obvious stroke. They called her the pirate nun.

But when his boyfriend left the room she said “something so intelligent, real and honest; ‘God created you and I to be happy in this life and the next. He cares for you. He watches your every move. There is no one you know who can do that.’”

She became his dirty little secret. He would hide her from his boyfriend, changing the channel when he turned the TV off so that EWTN would not come up when it was turned back on.

Paul eventually went into a Catholic Church, hiding himself so no one would see because, as eventually happened, he would lose friends and clients if they knew. Eventually he went to confession and “confessed all Ten Commandments.”

Paul says, “I was happy. I was in Toyland, Never-Never land in New York City. Some of my most euphoric moments was when I was with beautiful and famous people in penthouses overlooking the spectacular skyline of New York City and I have got to tell you, that happiness, that euphoria that would have lasted me a lifetime pales next to when I am taking the body and blood of our Lord in Mass.”

No matter what the sexual left says, Paul and Dan are real, as is Rilene who quite unexpectedly spent 25 years in a lesbian relationship. Each went into a life they found ultimately unsettling, unsatisfying, even repellent, and though sometimes lonely, each of them knows what Rilene says at the end of the movie.

She is talking about what the young Rilene would say about “Church lady Rilene.” The young version of her would “laugh hysterically. All that church stuff is for people who are weak, people who can’t get it together, people who are poor and sick and can’t manage their lives.”

“True enough,” she says. “Here I am.”

“Contentment comes with a sense of peace and well-being and I have a sense about my life that I am safe and I’m home.”

Many in the gay life are desperate to get out. But the world conspires against them. It’s impossible. This is who you are. Those people are lying who say they are changed.

These brave people—Dan, Paul and Rilene—and all those in the apostolate Courage are living testaments to the possibilities that it can be left behind and that what opens up is not just the desire but the bounty of the everlasting hills.

TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: courage; glbt; homosexual; romancatholic

1 posted on 07/18/2014 2:27:27 PM PDT by NYer
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To: Tax-chick; GregB; Berlin_Freeper; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; Ronaldus Magnus; tiki; ...


2 posted on 07/18/2014 2:27:47 PM PDT by NYer ("Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." --Jeremiah 1:5)
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To: NYer
Or "gay" death depending how you look at it.

Sodomy and "dike"-ness (or whatever the female equivalent of "gay" is) have nothing to do with being happy or "gay." It is something that comes from deep hurts and sadness.

3 posted on 07/18/2014 2:31:58 PM PDT by PapaNew (Freedom always wins the debate in the forum of ideas)
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To: NYer

Unfortunate word choice in the title.

4 posted on 07/18/2014 2:36:46 PM PDT by Flag_This (Liberalism: Kills countries dead.)
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To: NYer

“Many in the gay life are desperate to get out. But the world conspires against them.”

The homos are like commies who build walls that prevent their slaves from leaving the plantation.

Or worst yet, the homos are like muzzies who kill people leaving their religion.

5 posted on 07/18/2014 3:08:57 PM PDT by Vision Thing (obama wants his suicidal worshipers to become suicidal bombers.)
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To: Flag_This

The headline is almost an oxymoron.

6 posted on 07/18/2014 3:24:50 PM PDT by Oliviaforever
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To: NYer

Alleluia! So many are abused into that life and can’t admit that they were victims - and having been betrayed by men, cannot trust enough to believe in God.

7 posted on 07/18/2014 3:48:55 PM PDT by mrreaganaut (Thimk before you post.)
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To: NYer

Sexual addictions are the worst.

8 posted on 07/18/2014 4:01:44 PM PDT by huldah1776
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To: Flag_This
Unfortunate word choice in the title.

They are explaining the issue - trying to get to the bottom of it.

9 posted on 07/18/2014 4:56:57 PM PDT by BlackVeil ('The past is never dead. It's not even past.' William Faulkner)
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To: NYer

Great video and then other info about this ministry.

10 posted on 07/18/2014 6:08:21 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer

I have a friend who is a lesbian. She was a Christian girl who was part of a strong Assemblies of God background. She went away to California as as teenager just out of high school about 25 years ago to be an au pair. She developed a lesbian relationship with someone she met down there. She eventually came out to her pastor and through the help of her church there, came back home. She was treated by her family as “a walking disease” and told that “she’d better never do that again”. They accepted her back, as long as she never did “that” again.

She lived a celibate life for the next 20 years or so, doing her best to, as she puts it, “convince myself that I was straight”. She eventually went on to college, first to a Catholic university, then on to a major university in the Midwest to pursue a doctorate in philosophy. It was during that time that she decided that she was a lesbian for good. She came out, lost all her family (only a younger sister even speaks to her), and she is now in a relationship with another ‘formerly straight’ woman.

She recently posted that she “hurt for those who fall for reparative therapy lies”. She believes the “born this way” lie and has turned from someone who was fired-up about Christ into a bitter and vocal anti-Christian. She is currently working on a book talking about how utterly “harmful” and “dangerous” evangelical Christianity is, and how it is nothing less than a “mental illness” that must be “cured”. The “cure” she speaks of is it’s total destruction.

I bring this up because she posted something yesterday (on another social site) about a Protestant black bishop in Pittsburgh who wrote a book about “Stop Being Gay”. He was arrested for molesting a teen-aged boy. She holds this up as “proof” that you can never overcome “they way you were born”.

11 posted on 07/18/2014 6:47:54 PM PDT by hoagy62 ("Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered..."-Thomas Paine. 1776)
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To: NYer

I just posted this on another thread... But it fits better here:

They’re people who think biological gender is something you can change at will, yet sexual preference is locked at birth and forever immutable.

Funny thing is that they say it’s conservatives that are anti-science.

12 posted on 07/18/2014 6:49:35 PM PDT by Ramius (Personally, I give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?)
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To: BlackVeil; Flag_This
Unfortunate word choice in the title.

They are explaining the issue - trying to get to the bottom of it.

That made me laugh and now my cheeks hurt.

13 posted on 07/18/2014 7:47:10 PM PDT by scripter
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To: scripter; BlackVeil
"That made me laugh and now my cheeks hurt."

It was an excellent rebuttal.

14 posted on 07/18/2014 8:31:54 PM PDT by Flag_This (Liberalism: Kills countries dead.)
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To: Flag_This; BlackVeil
It was an excellent rebuttal.

What's funny is my neighbor had a party and just handed me some hot dogs and buns.

15 posted on 07/18/2014 10:24:47 PM PDT by scripter
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To: scripter; Flag_This
It was an excellent rebuttal. What's funny is my neighbor had a party and just handed me some hot dogs and buns.

I found these posts very amusing. I am in a different time zone, out here on the Pacific, and I was very early in checking the forum.

I was up at the crack of dawn.

16 posted on 07/21/2014 9:40:27 PM PDT by BlackVeil ('The past is never dead. It's not even past.' William Faulkner)
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To: BlackVeil; Flag_This
I was up at the crack of dawn.

Being that it's so late, it sounds like you're the caboose in this thread!

17 posted on 07/21/2014 9:49:30 PM PDT by scripter
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To: scripter

The words “I’m late” doesn’t seem to surprise gay couples.

18 posted on 07/21/2014 9:54:43 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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