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“Ask a Priest: How Do I Raise Kids Amid All the Pro-Gay Propaganda?”
Q: My 7-year-old daughter mentioned hearing about someone being gay on a TV show she was watching. I have noticed more homosexual themes, as well as occult themes, in the TV shows we watch on Disney. I have also noticed that transgenderism seems more prevalent now. How do I teach my kids about homosexuality and transgenderism? What is the Catholic teaching on these two subjects? I’m afraid of teaching them something they might go repeat at school, and then suffer negative consequences (like loss of friendships or being labeled as hateful). Today I was reading that most of the men and women in Hollywood, politics and sports are transgender. I’m not sure how true it is, but I’m convinced that is probably is. Looking at it from a spiritual warfare perspective, it makes sense that this is true because it is how we are all being conditioned subconsciously to accept transgenderism, homosexuality and other non-biblical principles so that we lose our souls. Now after reading this today, I just feel scared. I’m afraid of my children losing their souls, and of me not being strong enough to teach them truth. It seems kind of hopeless, really, to think about how much evil is around now. – Kelly
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: My heart goes out to you. You have one of the toughest tasks, trying to raise children in the Catholic faith in a society that is becoming a swamp.
Unfortunately, there are no magic bullet solutions. But there are strategies you might consider.
First, think about detoxing your home of bad media. This includes cable TV (or at least blocking all but the truly reputable stations).
Your concerns about Disney are well-founded. It has long promoted a pro-homosexual agenda. (For instance, see The Atlantic’s article “It’s Not Just Frozen: Most Disney Movies Are Pro-Gay.”)
The company’s products and parks seem like a Trojan horse for those of us old enough to remember the days when Disney and wholesome family entertainment were synonymous. It’s paradoxical that so many traditionally minded parents cheerfully expose their children to Disney products.
If you decide to allow Disney films or other similar movies into your home, you might want to be prepared to discuss with your daughter any anti-family or anti-Christian values embedded in the plots.
Second, and this is the wider strategy, it helps to explain to your daughter in simple terms that:
— God created human beings as male and female, and willed that a man and a woman should get married is they want to start and raise a family so that the whole family can be holy and happy. God taught us this through the Bible and the Church but also through nature.
— Gays disagree and think that two men or two women can marry and start a family exactly like a man and woman who get married. They can’t.
— Some people believe that being born a man or a woman doesn’t matter. What matters to them is what they feel. This simply goes against reality. We are how God made us, and that means he has a plan for us as a man or as a woman.
— Some men think they are women and want to be treated as women. But life teaches us that we are never always treated as we want to be treated, and sometimes it is actually wrong to treat us as we want to be treated.
— Some of these people will get very upset if you talk to them about it or try to tell them they are wrong. They can also get upset if they find out you don’t agree with them. If they try to argue with you, just tell them, “I am sorry, I do not agree with you and I will pray for you,” and tell them you do not want to talk about it anymore. If you ever get confused about these things, come home and talk to Mom or Dad about it.
You would need to gauge how well your children can hold their own at school. It’s one thing to defend one’s views on a given day. It’s another to face opposition day after day, month after month.
In an extreme case, you might want to think about alternative ways to educate them. This could include homeschooling.
It can seem like a daunting task, but many parents find it is doable. You can find lots of helpful resources online, such as the Seton Home Study School.
And it might help to network with families facing similar challenges. You might ask at the parish if such families are nearby.
You mention “that most of the men and women in Hollywood, politics and sports are transgender.” That sounds wildly exaggerated, which might be a sign that you are reading items from extremist websites.
Extremism isn’t healthy, no matter which side of the political spectrum it comes from. So, you might want to stick with reputable sources such as EWTN, the National Catholic Register, Our Sunday Visitor, The Pillar, and Crux.
An outline of Church teaching on homosexuality and pastoral approaches can be found online. Catholic Answers has a posting on transgenderism that might help.
Above all, live the faith fully in your home. Pray with your children. Let them see you praying and going to confession and doing acts of charity for the poor. Those lessons will sink in and give them a full view of what it means to be Catholic.
God knows the task you face raising children today. And he has just the grace to sustain you.
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