On February 28, I posted a think-piece whose premise was that gay marriage may be the issue which triggers a cascade failure of democracy, which in turn may turn our “culture wars” into a civil war. (Yesterday and today mark the 150th anniversary of the battle of Fort Sumter and the beginning of the War Between the States.)
I got a three-part jeremiad in reply from one reader. I’ll say this: it was coherent, though it was way off-topic. The first two parts of his reply had all the appearance of being “canned”; the third was such a misstatement of my thesis that it was clear he only read the title. And the writer’s basic assumptions about my education and intents were so insulting as to be infamous; it took all my moral courage to take them out of the spam folder (where Blogger had put them) and actually post them against my own stated policy.
I was reminded of this when I read how Equality Matters, a media and communications group for homosexual rights, hysterically claimed that Fr. John Hollowell, chaplain and teacher at Indianapolis’ Cardinal Ritter High School, of “spouting a stream of homophobic and offensive falsehoods about same-sex marriage and gay people in general to a classroom full of students.” You can access the YouTube clips of the class here at his blog site.
Clearly, Fr. John teaches the orthodox Catholic morality: While homosexuality is disordered, and gay sex is sinful, people afflicted with same-sex attraction “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” (CCC 2358). It doesn’t matter, though: if you aren’t teaching that homosexuality is natural and good, and that people of the same sex should be allowed to marry, you’re a bigot and an idiot. (I wonder if it holds true even if, like Richard Waghorne, you’re gay and against gay marriage?)
Back in January, our President and several liberal talking heads in the MSM were calling for the elimination of violent rhetoric from public discourse, as if such had never left their own lips. And back in October, everyone was evincing concern about bullying … but, for the most part, only if the bullying were related to homosexuality; other grounds for bullying were mostly ignored, like poor Hope Witsell.
However, since before I went to college, political bullying has been tweaked to near perfection. In his book Illiberal Education, Dinesh D’Souza does a fair job of exposing how teachers and students were bullied, harassed and hounded into accepting various liberal policies and initiatives, especially in how opposing voices were shut down with an authoritarianism befitting the old Soviet Union.
And that was 1992, when the book was first published. Now, the main bulk of the campus thought police’s effort is now switched to the gay-rights agenda.
Consider: When Abp. Thomas Wenski of Miami wrote in support of traditional marriage in the Miami Sun-Sentinel, Brandon K. Thorp penned an extremely nasty and juvenile response that ridiculed Christianity, misrepresented Scripture, and all but accused +Wenski of colluding in the predator priest scandals.
Again: As a consequence of the reversal of “don’t ask, don’t tell”, Army chaplains face disciplinary actions if they speak of traditional Christian teaching about homosexuality in any place other than Sunday services. As retired Brig. Gen. Douglas E. Lee put it, homosexuality is “just another sin that affects soldiers, airmen, guardians and Marines. However no other category that we would declare as sin is ... claiming civil rights to be a serial adulterer.”
And if we needed a reminder: Last spring, Kenneth Howell, an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois lost his job for doing the same thing Fr. Hollowell did—telling his students the Catholic teaching on homosexuality in a class about Catholicism.
Here we’re not talking about whiners. We’re talking about an active, organized and malicious effort to shame and marginalize anyone who opposes gay marriage or the encoding into law of “queer theory”. The term “homophobia”, as Dr. Jeffrey Mirus of CatholicCulture.org points out, is an example of “language which demeans others and bullies them into parroting a party line, lest they be considered haters, or frightened, or uneducated.” Abp. Charles J. Chaput of Denver summed it up exquisitely, “[T]hat kind of language is the real bigotry in this debate.” And as Matthew J. Franck wrote in the WaPo, “Marginalize, privatize, anathematize: These are the successive goals of gay-marriage advocates when it comes to their opponents.”
Archbishop Chaput again, from a different spot:
For the Greeks, the “idiot” was not a mentally deficient man. Rather, he was a man who did not possess a proper public philosophy, or as Murray says, “a man who is not master of the knowledge and skills that underlie the life of a civilized city. The idiot, to the Greek, was just one stage removed from the barbarian. He is the man who is ignorant of the meaning of the word ‘civility’.”
One of the basic skills of civilization is telling the truth. So many economic and social transactions depend for their stability on my ability to trust what you tell me that we punish various kinds of liar: the con artist, the counterfeiter, the perjurer, the accountant who cooks the books.
Yet we’re dealing with a subset of the left that, for many years, has taught and believed in the subjectivity of truth. As Dr. Jeffrey Satinover demonstrates, this subset has been using not only bad science over fifty years old but actively misrepresenting good science in the service of the gay-rights agenda. Not only can we not trust them to tell the truth, we can’t trust them to even recognize the truth.
So what are they afraid of others hearing, if truth is subjective? Or is truth subjective only when they want to lie, and morality relative only when they wish not to feel guilty about it?