Decades from now, when historians look back on the 21st century’s sudden, tragic, but temporary infestation of homosexuality, they will have to credit the Internet as one of the causes.
Twenty years ago, as a freshman in college, a friend introduced me to IRC, or Internet Relay Chat. IRC is an international system of chatrooms. Back then IRC (and most of the Internet) was populated by universities and their students. Keep in mind this was a text-based Internet, before the popularity of NCSA Mosaic and other browsers that turned the World Wide Web into a graphical “Internet.”
Over time, IRC became a drug and an escape for me. Alienated from the world I was in, IRC allowed me to pretend to be someone else, talk to people who didn’t judge me by my gangly looks, and to explore the forbidden.
IRC and the Internet were my gateway drug into the homosexual lifestyle. Usenet (bulletin boards or forums) offered free access to homosexual pornographic photos. What’s more, IRC and the Internet helped me and countless others struggling with same sex attraction realize that we were not alone. Maybe I wasn’t normal, but I wasn’t alone in my struggles.
Eventually, I would have my first homosexual experience with a guy I met on IRC. Eventually, I would go to my first “gay bar” with a guy I met on IRC. Eventually, I would have brief, random, risky sexual “hookups” with dozens, possibly hundreds of men I met on various online chat and “hookup” web sites. Eventually, I would consider it normal —because the homosexual lifestyle if not the culture itself now— to routinely view hard core pornography and commit sins of the flesh.
So it has been for perhaps millions of other homosexuals over the past 20 years. The Internet’s allowed them to turn on the closet light and see they’re not the only ones inside, and made them feel more comfortable about coming out.
That development, that creation of an online network of homosexuals and catering to our filthy desires, helped many men and women “come out” to friends, family, coworkers, etc. More people can say they know someone who’s “gay” and “they’re normal just like me.” Ellen Degeneres coming out as a lesbian on her 1997 television show was a watershed moment. NBC broadcast a show, “Will & Grace” with a openly gay characters. The granddaddy of reality TV, CBS’ “Survivor,” starred a homosexual who won the inaugural season. And so on, and so on, and so on. So by the time that the Massachusetts Supreme Court raped the definition of marriage in 2004 to include men and women with same sex attraction disorders, a lot of the culture had been acclimated to “the gays.” “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and the metrosexual look were in.
. . .
In 2005, Blessed Pope John Paul II died. He was the only pope I’d ever known (I was three when he was elected so I have no memory of Popes Paul VI or John Paul I). I’d never lived through a papal conclave before and was drawn to news coverage (online, of course; who buys newspapers or watches TV?), especially after Benedict XVI was elected.
I wanted to learn more about who he was. The media delighted in speculating how he got elected. Many reporters cited his homily during the Mass for the Election of the Supreme Pontiff, as an inspiration for his fellow cardinals that he was the man they were looking for.
I read the homily and still have a printout of it. He said,
We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.
That reference to “a dictatorship of relativism” intrigued me.
The election of Pope Benedict XVI and later, his moth proprio Summorum Pontificum, were turning points in my reversion to the faith. Slowly but surely, the Holy Spirit, surely the prayers of my grandmother, perhaps the intervention of Our Lady, and some spectacular resources on the Internet (which I really should summarize in a future post), I inched my way back to Holy Mother Church.