Thursday, September 09, 2004


I came across this article detailing the latest work in progress by the playwrite Tony Kushner, who gives new meaning to moral obtuseness. More proof, as if any were needed, of the idiocy of the extreme left. From the archives, here is what I had to say about one of Kushner's past bouts of stupidity and hatred:

Tony Kushner, a gay playwright, recently had this to say about the Pope in the pages of the Nation: “Pope John Paul II endorses murder …. The Pope and his cardinals and bishops and priests maintain their cynical, political silence. Rigorously denouncing the abuse and murder of homosexuals would be a big sin against spin, denouncing the murder of homosexuals in such a way that it received even one-thousandth of the coverage his and his Church’s attack on homosexuals routinely receive would be an act of decency the Pope can’t afford, for the Pope knows: behind this one murdered kid stands legions of kids whose lives are scarred by the bigotry this Pope defends as sanctioned by God… A lot of people worry these days about the death of civil discourse and would say that I ought not to call the Pope a homicidal liar…” And so on. I’m sure you get the picture.

Ah, where to start? The one murdered kid referred to in the article was the young man in Montana killed last year, presumably (if every liberal writer in the world can strain to us the word “alleged” in referring to all Clinton crimes – present, past, and future, then I can freely use “presumably” here) because he was a homosexual. I suppose the murder was no surprise in light of the Church’s routine “attacks on homosexuals” alluded to by Mr. Kushner, who seems to think such attacks get very wide coverage. And yet, I’ve never seen a major news outlet expose the Church and the Pope for their vicious attacks. Is the power the papacy so vast that it can prevent Tom Brokaw, in his nightly performance, from quickly dropping his smile, lowering his brow, and turning on the voice of concern, to tell us once again that the Pope has said to Catholics that it is OK to go out and kill homosexuals. If given half an opportunity, the liberal press would gleefully turn its contempt of that most patriarchal of institutions, the Church, into a media blitzkrieg of denunciation.

The Church’s position is that homosexual activity is sinful, though the orientation is not. As far as I know, this is all the attention the matter receives in the Church. The activity joins the list of everything else the Church would characterize as sin, which can be defined loosely as a turning away from God. The primary teaching of the Church holds that all men are sinful, though each may differ in the particular sins he is prone to, and that through the sacrifice made by Christ on the cross, we can be redeemed from our sins. In twelve years of Catholic education, I never once heard the caveat applied that all of this is true accept for homosexuals, who can never be redeemed. Nor have I heard the addendum to the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” that states it is OK to do so as long as the victim is a homosexual.

Is murder and assault of homosexuals a problem among Catholic parisheners? I don’t recall any connection being made between the Montana murderers and the Catholic Church. I attend mass and, to my knowledge, have never shaken hands during the sign of peace with any known homosexual murderers. I doubt that there is any preacher, Catholic or otherwise, that has ever condoned murder of any type. But Mr. Kushner demands that the Pope specifically single out one particular type of murder that requires a papal condemnation, thousands of years after Moses came down from the mountain with God’s definitive statement on the issue. Is the Pope to improve upon that? And if he doesn’t, is he an accomplice to the crime worthy of being tagged a “homicidal liar”? Do those who murder homosexuals adhere to any Christian religion at all? Even if they do, if they are not Catholics, what are the chances that they listen to anything the Pope has to say? Most evangelicals consider him the devil.

Any statement by the Pope on this matter would be a grand empty gesture. It would say nothing to Catholics that is not entirely implied by every other teaching of the Church. So why does the Pope, and the Church in general, become the object of so much hatred? If Mr. Kushner disagrees with the Church’s characterization of homosexual activity as being sinful, but the Church never singles this activity out as being more sinful than, say, premarital sex, why worry? The Church does not wield the power to make sin enforcably illegal, so it certainly cannot restrain Mr. Kushner from behaving as he pleases.

In fact, perhaps Mr. Kushner should be grateful that an institution like the Church has for thousands of years paid all of its attention to figuring out the do’s and don’ts of living as God would have us live. Maybe they are wrong in some areas, and right in others, as any human institution is apt to be. So, as non-Catholics, take from the Church what ever helpful advice you think it offers, and leave behind the counsel you think misguided.

If Mr. Kushner is not a practicing Catholic, why do the teachings of the Church bother him at all? The simple answer is that he wants his own ethic to be shared by the Pope: do as you please to make yourself happy, and be tolerant of the ways in which others seek the same. Would it comfort Mr. Kushner to be told by a “homicidal liar” that there is nothing wrong with what he does? Why does the opinion of a man who Kushner holds in such contempt mean so much to him?

The simple answer is that it doesn’t. But hatred of the Catholic Church is part and parcel of the politics of at least the more political extreme of the gay community. Which beckons the question: is the Pope not entitled to live out his lifestyle choice in peace? (Some would even argue that his lifestyle is no real choice. Would anyone actually choose to remain celibate and dedicate hours on end each day to prayer? He must have been biologically predisposed to live that way.)

It is time to recognize Mr. Kushner and the supportive readers of the Nation for what they are – Popephobes. And if hate crime legislation ever passes, lets pray that Popephobes will be held as accountable as other individuals motivated by irrational hatred and intolerance whenever a Catholic should fall victim to a crime.


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