Sunday, June 28, 2015

Selling out the gay movement ... an idiosyncratic take on things.

"Notturno Bologna," by Paul Cadmus

"For too many artists and writers to count, being gay infused their work with an outsider sensibility, even when they were not explicitly addressing those themes." - NYTimes

Redefining marriage in and through making same sex marriage the law of the land, pretty much zaps all the uniqueness of being gay.  As Karl Lagerfeld observed: “In the 60's, they all said we had the right to the difference. And now, suddenly, they want a bourgeois life.”

How to explain that?  Probably because young LGBTQ persons have always been out - they never really needed a closet.  The SCOTUS decision was welcomed by gays - even former gays may have received the news with joy - simply because it more or less symbolizes the end of societal, institutional discrimination against LGBTQ persons.  It leveled the playing field - to some extent.  No more being singled out for abuse or exclusion - no more shame.  That's the superficial impression of course - the one the 'world' celebrates.  Former gays, celibate-faithful same sex attracted persons no longer defined by sexual inclinations, know it doesn't make it real or true.  It is simply a socio-anthropological development.

A friend sent me an interesting article from the NYTimes touching on what I had been thinking regards the idea of normalizing homosexuality and gay marriage and the sense that the "specialness of being gay,” is gone.  The outré dimension is gone.  It became a movement, and the strategy was to normalize - hence the embrace of the "bourgeois life."  Perhaps that facade of normalcy was always there - as a way of blending in, being accepted, and just surviving - but it was pretty much a facade.

There are oral histories by bachelors who led a conventional life, successful businessmen and professionals, who were gay - although not severely closeted, in the sense they did the bars, the baths, and parties which often included orgies or at least 'circle jerks'.  Yet for all intents and purposes, they were neither out to their family or colleagues - after Stonewall - that double life started to fade away.  But I digress.

Mr. Goodbar

When I was a very, very young man, out and about, I always thought the domestic illusion attached to gay marriage was absolutely repellent - why would anyone want to be normal?  Why would I ever want kids?  The Looking for Mr. Goodbar persona - straight by day, gay by night - was to some extent acceptable to me - especially since the 'hidden life' of nightclubbing seemed so 'underground' and Bohemian.  Sadly, for many that lifestyle degenerated even further into a life of dissipation, unless AA or religious conversion intervened.  When AA alone became the salvation, somehow it became easy for the person to view being gay as an identity to be embraced, to accept being gay as normative.  Which in turn was the first step to domestication, if you will.

What accord is there ...?

Way back when, as for religious closeted gay people, I just thought they were creepy.  If someone I met told me they went to church at all, I thought they were like Little House on the Prairie people - it totally freaked me out and I was completely repelled.  I remember a guy who worked with me, when I was in display - he was from the South and was a born again Christian in a stable relationship with a man.  I could not comprehend that and avoided him as much as possible.  No one I knew had any interest in same sex marriage or being accepted by any church whatsoever.

I experienced similar rejection first hand when I returned to the Church, to the sacraments.  I'll never forget running into a former bar friend.  I wore a medium sized crucifix like that Pope Paul VI used for his ferula/crozier on a chain around my neck.  Buddy pulled it out from under my shirt, looked at it,  and said, "What's this?!"  Laughing out loud, he let it go, waved me off and said something like "She's a nun now."  He walked away and pretty much never talked to me again, except for an occasional hello.

This is where 'you can't be gay and Catholic' makes sense.

My point is, being religious and gay just wasn't a good fit back then, and I have to wonder why gay-Catholics think it is today.  After returning to the sacraments, Paul's letters to the Corinthians really made sense to me, especially the section in 2 Corinthians 6: "Do not yoke yourselves in a mismatch with unbelievers... what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common, or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  What accord is there between Christ and Belial?"  That stood out to me - and still does.

Something is off.

I can't help but recall what Masha Gessen once said about gay marriage:
“It’s a no-brainer that (homosexual activists) should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. …(F)ighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there — because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie. - Read the rest here.
What the SCOTUS just did was open new avenues for the redifinition of marriage... Although they redefined marriage legally, it will go beyond what that, the next step is open marriage.  Marriage has not only been redefined, it is changed - and it will change Stepford.  Wait and see.

"Gay is not enough anymore."

As I mentioned, a friend sent me a NYTimes article quoting John Waters who made that statement in a commencement address recently:
John Waters, the film director and patron saint of the American marginal, warned graduates to heed the shift in a recent commencement speech at the Rhode Island School of Design. “Refuse to isolate yourself. Separatism is for losers,” he said, adding, “Gay is not enough anymore.”
Gay writers lament the loss of specialness, Waters suggests gay is not enough anymore,
“What do gay men have in common when they don’t have oppression?” asked Andrew Sullivan, one of the intellectual architects of the marriage movement. “I don’t know the answer to that yet.” - NYTimes
They've all worked so hard.  There never was an agenda of course .... What?  Of course there was - and is.  What's the next step?

We just took it.

We bought the lie.  Ask Masha.

Song for this post here.  Just don't say it's not sin.  It is.

and people are diving right in...

h/t PP for NYT piece.


  1. That's ironic. So it appears "going bourgeois" is fatal to both the "specialness of being gay" and to an authentic Christian life. On the latter point, the Catholic novelist Georges Bernanos thought that "going bourgeois" was killing the church in France.

    I once read an article in Aleteia by one of those "conservative" theologians that show up on EWTN, Catholic radio, etc. He was mystified that there had been one of those Columbine-type killings in his small Wisconsin community since everyone there was a "conservative Republican". He really said that.

    1. Amazing. I saw a comment elsewhere is that this is what we get for making Catholicism synonymous with being a Republican. I also was surprised to read something to the effect of "a disappointment for Christians who believed in the Constitution." That is not what Christians believe in - at least it shouldn't be. I'm not sure it was you but a comment from Scott W. on a post by Fr. Z said it all: "We have no king but Caesar!" That's what this is all about.

    2. Terry, you should add Aleteia to the list of Catholic-Republican-NeoCon conspiracies. Something's not right with that site. Like many of these things, 95% of the time all is well. But watch out for the other 5%. In Aleteia's case, the 5% is half war drum, half weird psycho-spiritual social theories.

      I eagerly await your shocking, SHOCKING! expose.

    3. I think "going bourgeois" is fancy-talk for self-sufficiency. It's a threat to the left because it means you don't need the state, to ideologies because you don't need the ideological framework, and to authentic religion because you don't need God. The bourgeois life is the anticlimax to the promise of the Enlightenment/atheistic humanism.

    4. "The bourgeois life is the anticlimax to the promise of the Enlightenment/atheistic humanism."

      You nailed it.

      BTW, Is it just me or does Aleteia have boring content?

  2. "How to explain that?  Probably because young LGBTQ persons have always been out - they never really needed a closet."

    True, and heartbreaking. But Terry, you would have been a really good daddy. I mourn what we lost. But we've lost so much. No Bernadette or Lil Flower quotes to touch things up . I'm just really feeling sad right now, and I hope you know how important your spiritual fatherhood is here, even if you can't acknowledge it publicly. You know how you are!

    1. You think too highly of me, but thanks.

  3. I agree with Fr. Frank. And I too feel sad especially when I think of the young families I know who are cheering the decision. Several are Catholic. All I keep thinking is that if two women or two men can be parents than mothers and fathers really don't matter. If a mom's role is not uniquely necessary for her children and she can be replaced by a man...well...she is just insignificant. Ditto with dads. Why can't these young people see it? Same sex parenting is psychological and emotional child abuse at best.

    1. Thanks. Pope Benedict called it a form of child abuse as well.

    2. It's child abuse because they are trying to inoculate the child at the very beginning from receiving the full Word of God. When Christ tries to draw the child to him, the child will either have to reject his own parents relationship or become a modernist scripture scholar and start redacting parts of the Bible.

  4. What Waters and his ilk don't like is that most gay people are like most straight people, kind of boring and just wanting the same protections for they and their families that everyone else has. But Waters grew up in a generation that internalized a lot of that crap about homos and cultivated an outsider image and made very good money by it too. Most gay people contrary to popular perception are not artists or decorators or outrageous designers and drag queens, but schlubs like everyone else. That is what the "movement," was about and it was bout living in the sun then hiding in the back alleys...though they are still there for anyone who wants them, gay or straight.

    There is nothing special in your sexuality, just like there is nothing special on if your right handed or have blue eyes, etc. What makes you special is what you bring to the table and your contributions to the world. That is the point.

  5. Mack - that's a fair contention.

    I've been watching some of the PBS programming for Pride Month after the regular prime time schedule on gay issues. Last night parents of gays - members of PFLAG I guess, discussed the coming out of their children - their children spoke about it as well, including the reaction of the Church - it was deeply moving, very sad, but heartening the way the parents accepted and affirmed their kids. It also dealt with the tragedy of kids being kicked out, becoming homeless and so on. All terribly sad and deeply convicting.

    I think I get that the separation of love is the answer - throw aside the sexual acts - and rather focus on how each of us deserve someone to love and be loved by, as well as being allowed the freedom to build a life together, and so on. It seems to be the reason why ss-marriage has become acceptable - it's about love, not what people do in their bedroom, not doctrine, not dogma - the Mormon mom said that. I also get it - I second the emotions - I don't condemn these people nor their kids. Far from it - I think they are caring and loving.

    So we live and let live.

    Quite seriously, I definitely mean it when I say, 'who am I to judge' - not a question BTW. I can't control what other people do or what they believe and I accept you and the people I watched last night on television. I understand without being able to agree.

    I don't know how to say this, but within doctrine and dogma there is truth - truth which frees us - it isn't just a set of rules to control populations - it's deeper than that. It's the source of life and genuine love. Most cannot be convinced of that however.

    The thing is, there are people on the gay rights side who actually care deeply about dogma and doctrine - H. Clinton and Obama for instance - calling for religions to change their teaching - to accept this new 'doctrinal' development... or else. This after they admitted to having evolved in their own thinking of the issue.

    The biggest moral problem in the 20th century is just that however - love and sexuality has been separated... divorced. Contraception separated sex from marriage - the children's rhyme, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes mommy and daddy with the baby carriage, ceased to be the way life - and love - happened. And as you point out, there is no longer anything special about sexuality. Nevertheless, that's a pretty startling development.

    I sense a sort of barrenness about this lack of specialness regarding one's sexuality, an inherent impotence, or soullessness as it were - as if the difference between soul and body no longer exists. Not sure how to express that, but I think it is the same reason why genderlessness has come to the surface of social consciousness. When we separate love and sexuality, we do so to placate our conscience on some level. When we do that our understanding undergoes a sort of fractalization. An algorithmic technique of organizing familial structures, identities, genders, sexualities, and so on.

    For instance, the new "Gay Catholics" expend themselves on sublimating their sexual desire, attraction, and affections, attempting to invent new lifestyles/community/partnerships totally aloof from sexual/genital expression - something is off with that - it is a sort of new Gnosticism - or as I like to call it, a fractilization familial stereotypes towards conscious evolution.

    I know how crazy and conspiratorial that sounds - but I'm just a crackpot blogger, don't forget. ;)

  6. Anonymous9:26 PM

    I would be happy if everyone just admitted the reality of the situation: Opposing views on what a human person is and what his purpose is. If someone rejects Catholic anthropology, there is no hope for that person to accept a host of truths dependent upon that worldview, especially with regard to marriage. If that is where someone is, despite prayer and work to the contrary, there is nothing more to be done but entrust them to the mercy of Christ. Pride parades and homosexual activity sadden me like any sin, but they do not make me angry. What does the latter are those seeking to change Catholic anthropology, though I know they cannot and will not. But in the process, souls are lost.


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