Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bishop Cordileone Gets Arrested, and I Get Slapped Upside the Head for Noticing

So here's how my day went, two days ago: when the news broke that the rabidly anti-gay archbishop-to-be of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, had been arrested in San Diego for DUI, I posted a link to one of the reports of this breaking news on my Facebook page.  I learned the news when a friend of mine, a retired Catholic theologian living in San Francisco with his partner, called to tell me the news as soon as it broke.

Yes.  Teh gayz talk.  We talk among ourselves.  We get on the phone and make phone calls when pharaoh tumbles.  We crack jokes.  We laugh.

We rejoice.  That's what those consigned to tread bricks from straw as they're kept in perpetual enslavement to pharaoh do when pharaoh takes a fall.  They even sing a bit sometimes (Exodus 15:1-20).

Teh gayz like to sing.  And to laugh.

So I post a link to an article about Cordileone's arrest and share it with my Facebook friends.  My circle of friends, a goodly number of whom are the gays, found the news interesting.  We had just had a discussion, our circle of FB friends, about Cordileone after his promotion to the archbishopric of SF, about how he seemed to be stepping mighty high these days, but karma does so love to visit high-stepping dictators to take them down a notch.

And so Sally might want to keep Miss Karma and her love of making housecalls in mind as he does his high-stepping top-of-the world strut about his new plum position, we told each other.  He might want to keep the housecall-making Ms. Karma in mind after he has spent years stepping down his gay brothers and sisters as he's climbed the ecclesiastical ladder.  After he's risen to the top while suggesting we gay folks are connected to the devil and he's on God's side and all, as he robs us of our rights.

I hear the news.  I laugh.  A little bit.  I post to FB.

And then this happens: a man I don't even know, who is a friend of a FB friend of mine, comes onto my FB page and slams me for posting a link to the story of Bishop Cordileone's arrest.  He attributes to me things I haven't even said about Cordileone.

He taunts me and my gay friends who have found pharoah's little tumble just a tad bit amusing.

I repeat: the man issuing these taunts doesn't even know me.  He's not even a FB friend of mine.

But he feels perfectly free--as a heterosexual married Catholic man who professes to be all about peace and justice (he's, I gather, a Pax Christi leader in Atlanta!)--to slam me.  Evidently because I'm gay.  And in the 7 pages of hits I find at Google when I search for this man's name along with the tag "homosexual," I find one statement after another by him about how the gays are "evil."  Are destroying the church.

How the gays are undermining Catholic peace and justice teaching just by existing.  And asking for human rights that are bogus human rights.  When real peace and justice Catholics--married heterosexual ones like himself--know better.

And I have to say, I just don't get it.  I don't get how some people feel perfectly entitled to invade the private space of others, their Facebook homes or their blog homes, and to issue such taunts.  All the while claiming to stand on the side of God and the angels.

This man's taunting comes right on the heels of another message to me here in the past several days from a reader who took objection to my postings after the state of North Carolina doubled down on anti-gay discrimination earlier this year with its vote to amend the state constitution to outlaw marriage equality.  Again, the person logging into that discussion from months ago this past week to inform me that my readers and I are "racists" if we object to the decision of North Carolina voters is a male, though I suspect from what I've learned of him through sites on which he's active that he's not much more than 17 years old.  And he doesn't even live in North Carolina! though he's defending the state from what he sees as attacks on its "traditional" values.

At the very same time, I've been receiving a steady stream of comments here from a Latin-named reader--also a male--from Canada, who posts one blast after another at  Bilgrimage lately, informing me that my readers and I are indefensible bigots who don't understand traditional Catholic values.  Or, for that matter, traditional American values.  

This Canadian man appears not to realize that I know he's not even an American, as he submits his zingers about how very wrong I am with my left-wing assessment of American politics.

Three men: three men (or, in the case of one of these, perhaps a man still in the making) who, with their astonishing sense of entitlement, with their astonishing way of communicating that God has ordained them to invade my internet home, my private space, and set me and my readers straight, remind me of a man I saw engaged in similar actions a number of years back at the national meeting of the American Academy of Religion.  This was a man who felt perfectly free to waltz into a workshop on gay and lesbian issues in the churches, and to grab the microphone and inform a large room full of people he had never met and didn't know that we were all the direst possible sinners.

Headed to hell.  Equivalent to murderers.

Just repent.  Just admit you're wrong.  God may still be able to set you straight, he told us.

I had never before witnessed anything of the sort at an AAR meeting.  Nor did I ever witness anything of the like at any AAR meeting in the years after this, when I was still active in that group.  

What leads to such an amazing sense of entitlement, I wonder?  To a sense that God has ordained you to set others straight?  To a sense that you are not subject to the common laws of human decency that govern everyone else in the world, and so you're entitled to invade the homes of people you've never met and inform them that they are sinners making their way to hell?

Can God really be on the side of men who think and act this way, I wonder?

P.S. I keep trying to figure out what the six right-wing folks now driving GOP policy, according to Peter Montgomery, all have in common.  It strikes me that there's some obvious connection between the six, which ought to leap out at me.  But that connection seems to be eluding me.  Any suggestions, readers?

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