Wednesday, November 23, 2005

When Should I Become Anti-Catholic?

Americans have a choice. We can be tolerant of everything (which must include intolerance). Or we can be intolerant of some things (which might, but need not, be limited to intolerance).

I happen to be a big fan of intolerance. I think America, and specifically the left, could benefit from a healthy helping of it. And let's be open about it. If some group out there proudly identifies itself as anti-somethingwevalue, why shouldn't we respond with a declaration of proud anti-whateverisantisomethingwevalue-ism?

Which brings me to the Catholic church. The Vatican, Pope Benedict's secret hideout, is about to issue a new hiring policy, the details of which have been leaked: No fags allowed. In fact, the Catholic church is now not only a proud discriminator against fags, queers, dykes, sword swallowers and presumably other carny folk, Papa Benedict is going so far as to prohibit from its seminaries and its, um, "sacred orders" (By The Power of Greyskull!) "those who...support so-called gay culture."

That's right, while the corporate media goes bat-shit on the no-shit anti-gay angle, it turns out the Vatican is also implementing job discrimination against, well, male fag hags, I guess. Metrosexuals, perhaps. Straight men who enjoy Broadway musicals. Writers. Me, maybe. I've supported the so-called gay culture, which I take to include, well, all culture. So, no priesthood for me: The Vatican is anti-me. Shouldn't it be okay, then, for me to be anti-them?

I don't mean to suggest that I think all Catholics are bad people, or that we should discriminate against them. But when an institution advertises and defends hateful policies of employment discrimination, doesn't that put a burden on those who identify themselves as members of that institution either to disavow it, disavow its policies, or accept the logic that, otherwise, we must assume they embrace the policies of the organization with which they willingly, publicly identify?

At what point does an organization, an ideology, a religion, slip from being one that enjoys the assumption of beneficence to become one that is seen, and treated, as an advocate and propagator of hate?


Back in college, for the April Fools issue of The Tufts Daily, our lead story was that Kurt Waldheim (then the UN Secretary General), was going to give Tufts' commencement speech. The point was to lampoon Tufts' decision to hold commencement on a Jewish holiday. But one of the lines we included in the story was a defense of the fictional Waldheim booking, in which Waldheim (or a surrogate) protested: "You never hear about the nice Nazis, the ones who care."

Today, I have to wonder, what will it mean to be a good Catholic, if Catholicism itself goes bad?

6 comments:

CitizenSteve said...

Jonathan,
Nice to have you posting again.

This is a tough, tough subject. I've known and liked a lot of Catholics, but I've never liked Catholicism or the Catholic church. I suppose part of it is because I grew up in a very protestant tradition... my family took that Reformation stuff pretty seriously.

But to be fair (as much as that irks me sometimes) their are plenty of Protestant churchs with anti-gay (and anti-woman) policies, they just don't get the media coverage that the Vatican does.

I can't quite figure out if this latest anti-gay/anti-gay-like pronouncement is really a heartfelt expression of narrow-minded asshole-ism coming from Pope Benny or just a smoke screen to cover the fact that the Catholic church hasn't really dealt with their deeply entrenched pedophilia problem.

Marjorie L. Swanson said...

I was raised a Catholic and always had problems with it but had found the same problems with other religions.
Then I read the following by Ghandi: I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
Mohandas Gandhi
Spirituality is the pass-time of those consumed by wisdom and love.

Religion is the pass-time of those consumed by ignorance and hate.
Now I no longer even find the Catholic Church or other organized religions relevant. They do so very much harm.
Then I found the following:

Anonymous said...

Hey Jonathan...good to read new postings!!!

In case you've missed it, check out on NPR.org..the series...This I Believe.
Pen Gillette has a WONDERFUL essay entitled..."There is no God". The main point being, if we suspend belief in a "God" we open ourselves up to so many other realities and ways of thinking. I think the essay is brilliant!

Larry, in Chicago.

Petro said...

"...why shouldn't we respond with a declaration of proud anti-whateverisantisomethingwevalue-ism?"

Um... so one doesn't become a mirror image of one's enemy?

ceej said...

So, Petro, anti-Nazis are "mirror images" of Nazis?

Roy said...

I was raised in a nomal catholic family..going to church,etc. Being gay myself I have to admit that I never knew local local church for being anti gay. How ever I know the church for being anti homosexuality...very diferent!! Like the church, Jesus Christ loves every one including gay people. Jesus hates sin and in the eyes of Jesus and his church homosexuality is a sin. I can live with that. It is my decision to act as gay and I will be accountable for my actions.

The only problem I have with your comments is that If a straight person doesn`t agree with you, then he`s homophobic. People like you give a bad name to the gay community. You are forcing people to hate us

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