"Would you want to be adopted by a pair of faggots or lesbians?"
I didn’t find this quote in the deep, dark nether regions of the Internet. It isn’t from some ultra-conservative radio host, and I didn’t hear it from a gay-bashing skinhead scowling on the sidewalk.
No, I saw it in the Los Angeles Times two or three weeks ago, and it is from a bishop - an archbishop - Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez, archbishop of Guadalajara and one of the most senior Roman Catholic prelates in the nation. He said this in reaction to Mexico City’s ordinance allowing same-sex marriages and adoptions and the Mexican Supreme Court’s upholding it. (He went on to accuse the court of taking bribes.)
Never mind how I would answer his question, and forget, for the moment, the whole gay rights issue. My question here is, how can a respected man of the church - not some fringe minister, a la Fred Phelps - spew such hateful gutter-talk ("faggots").
I may sound shocked. I should be shocked. I wish I was shocked.
But I’m not. This fits right in with the furor over the building of a mosque two blocks from "ground zero" in New York City. Never mind that it will be more of a community center open to all, that it will be run by sufi Muslims, who are the blissed-out flower children of Islam, and that it certainly won’t "loom over" the Twin Towers site. There are people calling the building of the mosque a jihadist victory, a symbol of "Islamic triumphalism."
New York City isn’t the only place where there’s consternation over a mosque being built. It is happening in several communities across the nation, including Temecula, not far from here, and there was a fire a few days ago where a mosque was under construction in Tennessee.
Then there are the increasing number of Americans who believe that President Obama is a Muslim - as if that’s a bad thing. I was at the market the other day and saw a tabloid paper at the check-out stand with a large photograph on its cover of Obama wearing a white robe and a turban - "SHOCKING PROOF THAT OBAMA IS A MUSLIM!"
Even more disturbing and sad to me is that a number of mosques are cancelling their festivals - a big deal for children in particular - marking the last day of Ramadan, which this year happens to fall on September 11. This is a bit like cancelling Christmas morning, and it is being done because they don’t want people to get the wrong idea - that they’re celebrating 9/11.
It has been observed and lamented that it appears more and more that, contrary to the official rhetoric, America (and the West) is in a War on Islam.
Not unlike those who are against same-sex marriage saying they simply want to "protect marriage" when it is all too evident that they are against queers.
And meanwhile, Glen Beck and his rallying crowd, who more or less all loudly label themselves as Christians (there might be a few Jews, but that’s okay, because they’re in the Bible, unenlightened though they are) claim that all this, all this hate, is about "honor" and God.
I recently saw a production of "South Pacific," and I keep thinking of the song, "You Got To Be Carefully Taught," about how children learn to be prejudiced. It seems to me that it took some extraordinary teaching to get people to believe that Jesus espoused or endorsed all this bigotry and hate.
Either that, or it took a lot of people being scared shitless.