If you're not in Chicago, you may think that was a typo up there. It's not. Our fair city is hosting the "Gay Games," a combination of gay pride and sports events (plus cheerleading and choral events). Sr. Helena said she noticed some protesters holding signs sying things like "Repent." (I seriously doubt that this is what Jesus had in mind when he called all of us to repentance.) But I was still having a really hard time figuring out why a sector of society needed its own faux Olympics (will they have ever have "chaste games" so I can play?). An article in yesterday's Tribune shed a little light on the matter. (Living, as I do, in the rarified atmosphere of the convent, some things don't occur to me.) Anyway, one of the persons interviewed in the paper commented that he would like to play football and so on, but the chatter in the field usually hovers around subject relative to the attractiveness of persons on the sidelines. Someone who doesn't share that attraction is in a pretty awkward position. It just contributes to a person's sense of "not belonging." And the "Gay Games" are an attempt to address that.
I would like to suggest another approach. It is an old approach. It even has quaint names. But it is part of the Christian vocation, and if outfield chatter tends to focus on certain topics, it could mean that the Christians in the outfield are failing to take their vocation seriously.
Because the answer to our hyper-sexualized dominant hetero culture is not simply to have occasional mass gatherings of a different, but still hyper-sexualized culture. The real "antidote" is a thing called modesty. Or "chastity according to one's state in life" (I told you it had quaint names). Chastity does not mean "celibacy." Celibacy is a way of living chastely, for those who are not married. But there is definitely a chaste way of loving that is also part of sexual expression. And it is seriously missing in the usual discussions and assumptions about human love.
Just yesterday in the Office of Readings, we heard St. Ambrose telling the recently baptized, "You renounced the devil and his works, the world and its dissipation and sensuality." These (dissipation and sensuality) are characteristics of something that the Christian is presumed to have renounced.
Are we, by a vibrant witness to Christian purity, telling our society that there is really good news to be found in Jesus? Or do we need the signs of those sincere protesters to be turned toward us, calling for repentance?