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What Do We Tell the Wavering Child is the Truth?


The well-nigh total victory, within the universities and among the chattering classes, of the gay movement…make it extraordinarily difficult to speak what many homosexuals… still believe to be the truth: that the man who is sexually attracted only to those of his own sex suffers from an unfortunate…condition from which he deserves pity…That gays today, full of hubris at the success…can spare no sympathy for ‘wavering’ children is understandable. Having persuaded themselves that gay and straight are co-equal, it would be quite inconsistent to deplore the fact that some young people will move into the gay life when they might happily live straight. It is astonishing, however, that heterosexuals – few of whom actually believe one orientation is as good as another – contentedly accept changes in society that are likely to have that result.[i]

                E.L. Pattulo


…having known many homosexuals personally, and having done a good deal of reading on the subject, I do not doubt that some young boys are so driven by the lust for other men, and so erotically repelled by women, that for all practical purposes the only choice they have is between homosexuality and chastity. Nor do I doubt that a biological or genetic factor is at work here. Of course it does not follow from this that homosexuality is healthy; after all, many disabilities, diseases, and self-destructive tendencies are genetically transmitted. Still less does it follow that there is no room for free will, as witness the many people (including those with powerful homosexual inclinations) who have successfully struggled against inborn predispositions.

Yet if I do not doubt that some young boys are in effect doomed from the beginning to a choice between homosexuality and chastity, neither do I doubt that other young boys are what E.L. Pattullo has characterized as ‘waverers’ who are capable of going either way. They can yield to the temptation of homosexuality if they are encouraged or seduced into it…Such boys, however, are no longer helped by the world around them to resist the homosexual temptation and to overcome their fears of a normal life. They are instead being abandoned to the ministrations of a culture that not only legitimizes homosexuality but glorifies and glamorizes it, even to the point of representing those who die of AIDS as martyrs and heroes and even as angels.[ii]


                                                                                                                Norman Podhoretz

[i] E.L. Pattullo, Letter to Editor, “Letters from Readers,” Commentary, New York, March 1997.

[ii] Norman Podhoretz, “How the gay-rights movement won,” Commentary, New York, November 1996.