Memo to Fr. James Martin: tell people to get the sex apps off their phones

Memo to Fr. James Martin: please tell people to get the casual sex apps off their phones. Lives are at stake.

I see where Fr. James Martin has expressed concern that Catholic churches may be opening too soon. Only when it is safe, he says. We must listen to the experts, he says. For those of you who are not familiar with him, Fr. James Martin is a highly-placed Catholic priest who is well-known for his supportive attitude toward Catholics who self-identify as gay, transgender, lesbian or bisexual. So, I would like to ask Fr. Martin a favor.

Could you speak to the LGBT community about the dating apps, like Grinder and Tinder?

For those watching this video who may not know what these things are, I don’t want to shock or offend you. But these are apps similar to Uber or Waiter, except for casual sex. You can go on your phone and type in the sort of partner you are looking for. You and your location show up on the phone. You can connect with anyone who happens to be in the vicinity and interested in what you’re interested in.

You see, Fr. Martin, I have been concerned about these apps since the beginning of the public health crisis over the Wuhan virus. Our public health experts are really letting us down. I have yet to see any public health expert anywhere tell people that they should refrain from using these apps. In fact, the NY City public health department made it sound like it was ok. Dr. Anthony Fauci went so far as to say, flat out, “everyone has their own tolerance for risk,” when asked point-blank.

We at the Ruth Institute have been trying to get people’s attention about these casual sex apps. Whether you are male or female, straight or gay, having sex with strangers is not ok. It is not healthy, even without the global Wuhan virus pandemic. And casual sex is not going to solve the problems of loneliness that people are feeling at this time. You know that Fr. Martin. You should tell people that. People who won’t listen to me, just might listen to you.

You know, if it is too dangerous to hug your grandma, if it is too dangerous for children to have birthday parties, if it is too risky to go to church, why is it ok to have sex with strangers? Surely, there is less risk of spreading the Wuhan virus from going to church than from going on a one-night stand.

So, Fr. Martin, I’m asking you: could you please tell people to take these apps off their phones? Could you please tell those who self-identify as gay or lesbian that casual sex is risky? A person could catch the Wuhan virus or lots of other diseases? Fr. Martin, people who wouldn’t give me the time of day, just might listen to you.  They trust you. And surely you can see that the public health experts are being way too timid on this point. They should be telling people to abstain from sex with anyone but their spouses, at least for the duration of the pandemic. Don’t you agree, Fr. Martin?

Please Fr. Martin. People will listen to you. They won’t listen to someone like me. Lives are at stake. Tell people: get these apps off your phone.

Week 5 Day 2, Recorded on May 28, 2020


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