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.

S├ębastien 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...

6 comments:

  1. "For some on the left it's just a debating point."

    Well, as a blogger who posts opinions for debate, yeah, I guess it IS a debating point. Not sure what your dismissive "just" is supposed to imply.

    My argument was that:
    a) Phelps is an evil lunatic.
    b) Denying his demonstrators entrance at the border furthers THEIR social goals, not ours.

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  2. Hi Balbulican...actually I thought that my post was pretty clear.

    (1) We are inundated with messages of hate that affect our lives in many real ways.

    (2)We need hatemongers like the Phelps family attracting massive media coverage, spreading their genocidal message,and stirring up some of our homegrown crazies, like we need a hole in the head...or whatever.

    (3) Denying them entrance prevents them from getting the media coverage they crave, and as such furthers OUR social goals. As well as sparing us from their garbage.

    As for your post ... I just thought it strange that it focused on the legality of picketing funerals...and never once mentioned how gay people might feel about it. This time they were going after Tim McLean. Another day they might go after dead American soldiers. But their hideous messages of hate are ALWAYS aimed at us.
    So if we can find an excuse to keep them out of the country, so much the better.
    That's all.It was just a passing comment. I'm not accusing you of being a homophobe or anything like that.I know you aren't. Just of a certain blindness...of which you are not alone.
    Besides...in our little pond of a political blogosphere...where there are only a handful of gay bloggers and we are all such teddy bears. If the growly bear doesn't grumble...who the fuck will?

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  3. "We are inundated with messages of hate that affect our lives in many real ways."

    Yup.

    "We need hatemongers like the Phelps family attracting massive media coverage, spreading their genocidal message,and stirring up some of our homegrown crazies, like we need a hole in the head...or whatever."

    Yup.

    "Denying them entrance prevents them from getting the media coverage they crave, and as such furthers OUR social goals. As well as sparing us from their garbage."

    In my opinion, nope. It prolonged their moment in the sun, and gave them the opportunity to reinforce their position as martyrs. As I noted in a later exchange in the same thread, it is exactly the same strategy that the foetishists have been using for years, and that Ezra and the faux free speech martyrs are using now. Create as much fuss as you can, then claim persecution when a disgusted community reacts.

    "As for your post ... I just thought it strange that it focused on the legality of picketing funerals...and never once mentioned how gay people might feel about it.""

    My post actually said nothing about the legality of picketing funerals. That was a point raised in the comments by James Bow, to which I responded by noting I wasn't talking about the law - I was talking about what tactics work best against Phelps and his ilk.

    Anyway, we agree that Phelps is a vicious, dangerous, and profoundly disturbed lunatic. As a member of the community under attack, your reaction - keep them the fuck out of my country - is a pretty sane, and it may be wiser than mine, which is "let them humiliate themselves as thoroughly and publicly as possible". I may place too much faith in Canadians' inherent good sense.

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  4. I feel like that with Harper as PM, it's obvious we can't count on the good sense of our countrymen (and women).

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  5. "In my opinion, nope. It prolonged their moment in the sun, and gave them the opportunity to reinforce their position as martyrs. As I noted in a later exchange in the same thread, it is exactly the same strategy that the foetishists have been using for years, and that Ezra and the faux free speech martyrs are using now. Create as much fuss as you can, then claim persecution when a disgusted community reacts."

    Nonsense.If they had made it to the funeral they would have had massive media coverage. They would have been in our living rooms with their hateful signs. The media coverage would have gone on for days. This way they ended up with squat.And who gives a shit if the Phelps gang screams persecution. Come down from your lofty perch and get real.

    "My post actually said nothing about the legality of picketing funerals. That was a point raised in the comments by James Bow, to which I responded by noting I wasn't talking about the law - I was talking about what tactics work best against Phelps and his ilk."

    Yeah but since the law is the law whether you wrote about it or not is irrelevant. You are just taking a position that the law doesn't matter. And the best tactic against the WBC is not to give them any television exposure. That really hurts them.

    "I may place too much faith in Canadians' inherent good sense."

    I'm sure you don't. But the kind of crazies Phelps stirs up clearly have no common sense. They are disturbed individuals who are clearly not amenable to reason.

    You never really answer the question why gay people should have violent hatred shoved in their faces.

    But whatever....at least you declared me sane. I'll use that as a reference...

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  6. Hi Jay Good point. The fact that with just 35 per cent of the vote the harper crazies are able to hold an entire country hostage speaks not only to a lack of common sense...but a lack of intelligence.... :)

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