Dear Brothers and Sisters…

September 22, 2008

So I'm about to go talk to my students about gay culture.  I assigned them "The End of Gay Culture" by Andrew Sullivan – my favorite pink elephant on the planet.  For those who don't know him, Andrew Sullivan is a gay, republican journalist… who'd have thought, right?  He's a good republican – a fiscal conservative for all the right reasons (even if I don't agree with every one of them), and a fierce advocate for social progressiveness.  You've probably seen him on Real Time with Bill Maher – a show I've started to like less and less as time has gone by.

An aside:  Bill Maher annoys the living shit out of me.  We agree on nearly every issue – atheism, social liberalism, personal responsibility, the abject stupidity of the collective American voice… etc.  But he's just so in love with his own invented badboy image.  He behaves as though he's some grand advocate for social change – subverting the cultural norms by dating black porn stars and smoking pot.  Really, the guy's just a sleaze.  I agree with his ideas on marriage – that it's a floundering and archaic institution that doesn't have to be for everyone – but find his rhetoric on the subject to be horribly arrogant and divisive.  I realize the irony here… me criticizing another person for being crass, when the title of this blog (one which is the home of countless vitriolic rants) makes light of  one of the most horrible ideas ever to be put into practice – eugenics… but there's a difference between Bill Maher and myself.  I've never held myself up as the paragon of rational thought.  I know that I'm a loudmouthed complainer – a hysterical prick ranting into the vacuum of cyberspace.  Bill Maher has a television show and millions of viewers – and he acts as though that show was the last bastion of mature political debate.  It isn't.  That show died with Tim Russert.  I'm still not over that.  Anyway.

I don't know what to expect from these kids.  I'm far from hopeful.  Sure, Saint Joes is a Jesuit institution, and therefore a little more open-minded when it comes to social justice than the rest of Catholicism… but these kids come from all over the Catholic spectrum.  I've had a few namedrop God's providence – wipe away national and personal tragedy with the wholly flaccid, "God's will" argument.  Maybe it's Maherish of me… but I doubt a person's intellect when they resort to that.  It's so simple – so cruelly lazy.  Just like hate.  Hate is easy too.

I don't know what I'll do if I'm faced with bigotry.  How do I remain unbiased when I am so purely the opposite?  I'm furiously pro-gay rights.  Not because I hold any emotion in my heart for homosexuals – I don't give a tinker's damn about who a person takes to bed… it isn't that at all.  It's that our culture still seems to see homophobia as acceptable hate.  That just because God said it was wrong 2000 years ago, in a poorly-written book that's been translated and translated and translated a million times… that seems to justify their contempt for homosexuals.  We live in a country where equal rights for homosexuals (ie: marriage) is actually up for debate.  What's to talk about?  You're either equal or you're not.

I got a lot of pissy hate mail when I made my earlier suggestion to African-Americans that, if they're not going to get behind (pardon the pun) gay rights, then they have to become second-class citizens again…. shit… have to go teach.  I'll be back to finish this in a moment.  I'll keep you updated.

Since you all care so much.


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