Before I briefly met Fr. James Martin at the 2018 LA REC, I had spent so much time beforehand – listening, critiquing, and getting angry at what he had already publicly stated and written concerning homosexuality, that I was prepared to really dislike, even hate him once we finally met face to face. I had to wait in line for 1.5 hours to say a few words. Over that time, I watched him interact with several rather obvious attendees who were LGBT. With them, he was engaging and his interest in them seemed heartfelt. By the time I got to the front of the line, my anger dissipated. When I spoke with him – he looked me in the eye and listened. I can’t tell you the Bishops that I have talked to, in a much less combative approach towards them, who will not even accord me that simple courtesy. I concede that to James Martin – he will give you his full attention and I think he (deep down) does genuinely care about the LGBT community. I also think, in his mind, he believes he is doing the right thing. But this makes his deception of them even more devastating. I think he could do so much good – if he were honest. That was my point to him – Tell the Truth Father! For whatever reason – he won’t do that. As a result, and it hurts me to say, he is no different (except Martin does it in the name of God) than those siren calls from pop-culture luring lost souls into a world in which they may never escape; when Martin started to widely disseminate the “born this way” theory, I thought, he is the Catholic Church’s Lady Gaga in a collar. Except, he should know better. But he is gleeful. He is a self-satisfied disruptive force, and as individuals who have often grown up feeling alienated, lonely, and oppressed, those who identify as LGBT are frequently drawn to the transgressive. In the 1980s, I believed that Madonna (the singer) was the Madonna. She made it okay to “Express Yourself.” She was my hero – a modern-day Joan of Arc. Martin publicly calls out those bishops, priests, and deacons who he claims have “said and done ignorant, hurtful and even hateful things” towards the LGBT community. He is our one friend on the playground that stood up for us in front of the bullies. I had such a friend in grade-school; and in the midst of my suffering, I regarded him as my salvation. I couldn’t cope without him. If he didn’t show up for school one day because he had a cold, I’d feign some illness to be sent home. True friends make you stronger – not more clingy. They help you to face your fears and question long-held misconceptions about yourself, such as – God made me this way. James Martin leads the LGBT community to a candy-covered cottage in the forest; recommending such dissident groups as Fortunate Families, Out at St. Paul, and New Ways Ministry. There, they fatten you up with gay “Pride” Masses, meetings at local gay bars, and rainbow-colored cupcakes. I’ve lived through this before. In the 1990s, I saw another outwardly benevolent Jesuit (John J. McNeill) spread his errors around the country. Yet, in the Age of AIDS, his trickery, for many, led directly to the grave. Despite the media blackout, disease, depression, and mental illness continues to haunt the LGBT community. With his wide grin, James Martin is the Cheshire Cat. At least in the 1951 Disney version of “Alice in Wonderland,” the Cheshire Cat lures you in with his smile, but proves ultimately deceptive – even deadly.
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