Saturday, August 09, 2008
The Archbishop and the Message of Hate
In the comfort of his palace a tormented Archbishop twists and turns in intellectual agony, like a purple shrimp impaled on a toothpick. Or his own petard.
After it is revealed that he once thought that gay relationships were comparable to (straight) marriage.
Only a few days after he had blasted liberal churches for blessing them.
"If North American churches do not accept the need for a moratoria [on same sex blessings and the consecration of gay clergy] we are no further forward. We continue to be in grave peril."
In the grubby Merseyside district of Liverpool a murdered gay teenager is mourned.
“We were all there by his bedside. He did not go alone. He knew how much he was loved, and how many lives he had affected by his story.”
From grave peril. To the peril of the grave.
The two stories are not connected directly of course. But in the larger sense there is a fatal connection. The endless arguments over the humanity of gay people, some refined some not, are just part of a message of hate designed to intimidate and subjugate us.
As Wayne Besen points out.
The far right's dirty little secret is that they depend on the threat of violence to retard the advancement of the GLBT movement. Without the fear of physical attack, the number of people who are out of the closet would quickly multiply. Gay couples would hold hands in every city in the nation. On each block, from San Francisco to San Antonio, gay and lesbian people would be visibly present.
Each day, all but the bravest GLBT people make subtle or even significant adjustments to remain safe. Some dress a little blander in order to blend in. A number of gay men talk a bit deeper so they won't arouse suspicion. Some lesbians apply make up so they won't get beaten up. And, most loving couples act like buddies so they won't get bashed.
We tell ourselves comforting lies, such as "we don't like public displays of affection," to justify pushing a partner's hand away at a romantic moment. But, the reality is, even the most confident and brave among us have something to fear..... each gay person knows these hidden ticking time bombs exist and could go off at any moment -- shattering our lives.
Sébastien and I can defend ourselves better than most, but when we're in public together I can never quite relax. In a society awash with neverending shite about gay people, you never know what crazy might jump you.
But of course it's not just the right-wingers who are responsible. The cancer of anti-gay bigotry is far more widespread. It's there when parents turn their backs on bullying believing that it's just nature's way of turning boys into real men.i.e. not faggots.
It's there in the blogosphere when we are marginalized, and our voices are stifled. It's there when some gays are so anxious to please straight people, they practically beg for acceptance. As if we owed them anything but neverending grief.
For some like the Archbishop it's all about religion and betraying his own beliefs to preserve a community at all costs. Even if he ends up with a community of bigots and an Apartheid Church....that is more Catholic than Protestant.
For the self styled Freedom Riders of Canada it's a question of abolishing the Human Rights Commissions so they can be free to hate us even more. They say it's about other things but it isn't. It's all about hating us to death....and getting away with it.
For some on the left it's just a debating point.
Even though while I enjoy mocking them myself.... ahem... I need the Phelps gang running around my country stirring up other crazies like I need a baseball bat in the back of the head.
Or needed that brick in the side of my head.
But then we know better or differently. We have to.... we have no choice. We know it's about OUR lives. Our freedom to love.Our HUMANITY.
And the fear of that shattering moment.
That's why we speak out even when they don't listen to us.
That's why we fight...