Are we homilophobic?

Posted on 11 Nov 2009 at 5:20pm

On my partner’s laptop at home, when you first log on to the Internet, the preferences are set to take you to a Google search home page that includes a random tidbit of trivia. Each time you go to the home page, there is a new factoid displayed.

So this time, I logged and there it was: “Homilophobia: Fear of sermons.”

Considering how similar the word is to “homophobia” and considering my very recent¬†close encounter with some very “homophobic” sermonizers, my first thought was, “Well, considering the things some of these people say in their sermons, why shouldn’t we be homilophobic?!”

But I did a quick Web search, wanting to be sure that it was a real word, something that real people really suffer from. Sure enought, it’s for real. There’s even a site online where you can get treatment –¬†You can do the home study program, with CDs and a workbook, for $147 (or download for $137), or you can get a special one-on-one “VIP” program for $2,497, which includes “private sessions with a board-certified specialist.”

(Now, I am not making any judgments on this site or its services, either good or bad. I am just saying it’s out there.)

I don’t want to make light of what appears to be a truly serious problem for some people. But again I say, why shouldn’t we be afraid of some of the speech that gets called sermonizing these days. It’s not so much a problem to be treated as a form of self preservation.



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