Essays & Images on Cities, Travel and Contemporary Culture. A web journal of James A. Clapp, Ph.D., an UrbisMedia Ltd. Production


©2007 UrbisMedia

©2007 UrbisMedia

The word “homosexuals” came up only twice in the Bible sessions, once when Sy mentioned it in a list of social concerns, the second time when I brought it up in the context of love of thy neighbor.   Both times it went over like an E-coli notice at the Grand Buffet.   There was literally no reaction.   Some of the group seized on any part of our statements to deflect attention to other matters, and Donald quickly steered us toward some vague passage of Hebrew scripture about graven images; not the one about this sort of stuff being an “abomination.” “The love that dare not speak its name” no one seemed to dare speak about.[1]


I don’t put this all down to cowardice. Everybody in this group is in the “senior” generation, and I suspect that many are not that comfortable with this subject, especially among strangers. Donald, who had solicited us to say positive things about his Bible class to the cruise company so that he can get another free ride, doubtless wanted to avoid any “hot button” issues that might elicit comments of shock and dismay from any socially uptight participants.  He needed to keep things clean and smarmy. This was to be a “love in” with only heterosexual hugging.


Christians are usually very uncomfortable when things get genital, which is where, implicitly, or explicitly, the homosexual issue often leads. [2]   Ever since the beginning days of the Church they have been nervous speaking about those things . . . ah . . . you know . . . ahem . . . a . . .   “down there.”   They could get very weird about it.   St. Simon Stylites thought it a good idea to castrate himself; not a bad idea for a guy who elected also to spend most of his life on the top of a column where you can’t get a date with anything but a bird.   Other “holy men” followed suit, but the practice might have fallen into disfavor because it’s a dumb way to try to build a church considering what castration does to the birth rate. A smarter idea would be to make celibacy an “elite” status and tell the rest of faithful to procreate.   “Recreational (not “procreational”) sex” is about all you can call “the love that dare not speak its name.” [3]    Not that the Church wasn’t instrumental in giving homosexuality some nice names, like faggot , for example. This “F-word” has acquired a currency similar to the “N-word” among Blacks, but is usually invoked with less insider irony by heteros. [4]


These days the Church has itself in a real pickle over the gay issue. Their problem with pederast priests has dragged it into the light because the common, and incorrect , perception is that these predatory prelates are gay and that pedophilia is a subcategory of homosexuality.   There are plenty of gay priests, but that doesn’t mean they prey (pray?) on altar boys.   Anybody who knows even elementary information on pedophilia knows that. Still, the Church hasn’t done nearly enough to clear up conflation. [5]   Their larger problem is with the hypocrisy, a religious version of the equal protection clause problem that the Constitution creates at the secular level.   Christ said to love everybody as thyself.   Presumably the “as” was interpreted by some as a basis for excluding those who aren’t like ourselves from that commandment.   Similarly, how can the “equal protection clause” apply to someone you do not consider to be an equal.   See, it’s OK; “throw another faggot on the fire, boys.”


So now the bishops have drafted “guidelines” to deal with the reality that there remain many Christian gays and lesbians (for reasons that are no more explicable to me than there are “Log Cabin” gay Republicans).   The new guidelines have eliminated the requirement that gays and lesbians try to alter their sexual orientation and, although the Church will still not marry them, it will grant Baptism to the “children of gay and lesbian couples.” The Church prefers to have little Christian “bastards” over married homosexuals.  


This is exactly the kind of hair-splitting bullshit that ecclesiastical boneheads in silly suits do when they aren’t looking for new locations for alter boy buggering priests.   No one should be deluded that all the “how many gay angels can you fit on the head of a pin” Byzantine guidelines is for the sake of the souls of homosexuals.   It has taken the bishops four years of study (without consulting the nation’s largest homosexual organization, Dignity USA) to fiddle up something that they think will keep their “sodomites” ensnared in fine print while dipping into their pockets with the other hand. [6] The Episcopalians have ordained an openly gay Bishop and Methodists have said that homosexuality is “not a barrier to membership” in their denomination.


Christians like to play little rhetorical games with homosexuality. “Hate the sin, love the sinner” is the cute distinction that keeps gays and lesbians in the permanent state of needing the forgiveness of their less opprobrious adulterous, war mongering, and otherwise sinful—buthetero sexual—“betters.”   Every sin has a moral, as well as an economic, utility. The great thing about “sodomites” for Christians is that it makes simple fornication seem positively venial.


Christians like to call it the “gay lifestyle.” This takes God out of the mix; it’s an individual’s “choice” (finally a choice that the fundamentalists recognize, even though it’s not there) not a biological, or psychobiological predisposition.  


On the ship there were some obviously gay waiters, mostly Thai young men with an exaggerated swishy gaits, and feminized voices and mannerisms, in addition to several gay couples.   But the reaction was “don’t act, don’t tell,” or maybe just “don’t bother” about it.   Maybe that’s the reason, and a reasonable one, that the group did not want to take the subject up.   A few days after I returned home the South African parliament announced that the government would recognize gay marriages.   Those folks that belatedly got rid of their racial apartheid less than a generation ago, have roared out ahead of the Catholics and evangelicals still practicing sexual apartheid.

©2007, James A. Clapp (UrbisMedia Ltd. Pub. 1.31.2007)

[1] But DCJournal spoke about this subject a while back.   See Archive, No. 5.12, Nuptial Terrorism (2.10.2004).

[2] Not that the political right that aligns with the political righteous does not see some utility in bringing the subject forward when the genitals belong to somebody like Bill Clinton.   Who can forget the glee with which Kenneth Starr gave to the Internet the report with the X-rated details of the Oval Office escapades of Bill and Monica, with bodily fluids flying all over the place.   Those prurient details, however, may well have backfired on that sleazy bastard Starr and his minions (Clinton’s approval ratings soared, thanks to the approval of those of us who go in for a little fun with bodily fluids) because kids all over the country were asking their parents “Mom, Dad, what’s a blow job?”

[3] Celibacy was a stupid idea.   For a long time it was the clergy who were the most educated people in their communities. They were literate, the teachers, and often the scientists as well, although this last role could be risky.   In any case, celibacy meant that the genes of the most intelligent people were squandered, not passed on. Obviously, the vow was often broken, so some intelligence was passed on. Take Dragon City Journal , for example.

[4] Reputed to derive from the L. fasces, or a bundle of sticks (also, ironically, the Roman symbol of absolute authority).  In Medieval times, when heretics were burned at the stake it was helpful to add a little grease to the fire by tossing a “faggot,” or homosexual, on the fire. We also passed over references to the town of Sodom a few times without touching its role as an etymological root.

[5] In fact, Benny XVI has initiated a purge on gays in the seminaries. He’ll stop that as soon as someone gives that idiot the numbers of seminarians who aren’t Africans looking for three square meals a day.

[6] Gays have a lot of money to spare.   Since they do not have kids, and kids cost an average of $250,000 to raise to adulthood, and the birth rate is about 1.2, that means that for every “gay couple” there is about $375,000 that can be tapped by the Church.   Multiply this by “gays are at least 10% of the population” and you have about 15 million gay couples that are worth more that $5.6 billion!   Considering that the Church has nearly bankrupted itself paying indemnities for its pederast priests, it would be ironic some of the money from gays—who have been unfairly blamed for this scandal—helped bail the Church out.