Friday, March 6, 2015

To My Fellow Catholics Hiding Behind Pseudonyms While Using Catholic Blog Sites to Attack Gay Folks: Have the Decency and Courage to Come Out of the Closet, Please

As this long week of Lent ends, I want to issue a note of thanks to my fellow Catholics like Dennis Herrera who stand in solidarity with their gay brothers and sisters, and who state unambiguously that the ugly, discriminatory treatment that Catholic leaders like the archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, keep dishing out to gay folks and those who love them, makes their job as Catholic parents infinitely more difficult. 

My son is growing up in a generation that has witnessed laudable progress in civil rights, in science, and in how a more just society views and better affirms the dignity of nontraditional families and once-reviled minorities. Church ideologues may quarrel with much of that progress. But we should make no mistake that his generation (and those to follow) will view prohibitions on same-sex marriage with the same disdain my generation held for racist Jim Crow laws. For my son and his contemporaries, rejecting discrimination isn't at odds with a well-formed Christian conscience -- it's the product of it. And it's hard to argue that they're wrong.

And I'd like to follow this note of thanks to Dennis Herrera with a challenge to my fellow Catholics like Purgatrix Ineptiae, who persistently use the discussion threads at Catholic blog sites (including the thread following Dennis's article) to spread poisonous disinformation about their fellow human beings who are gay, making claims like this:

1. The Catholic priesthood is full of gay men who hate women. Jesus would not have ordained them because they're gay (news flash to Purgatrix: Jesus ordained no one. He was not interested in priesthood.)

2. Homosexuality is filthy, a threat to public hygiene.

3. What gay men (gay men are always the unique fixation of Purgatrix and her tribe) do in their bedrooms is filthy, not to be mentioned. Gay men rape each other in the privacy of their bedrooms.

4. Gays deserve to be singled out by the hierarchy, because magisterial teaching on homosexuality is clear and cannot be disagreed with — even though Purgatrix defends the right of her fellow Catholics using contraceptives to do so, and to remain employed by Catholic institutions as gays are fired. Because magisterium. 

5. In fact, Purgatrix Ineptiae has stated in Catholic blog threads that anything a man and a woman do in the privacy of their bedroom is pleasing to God — no qualifications about whether that man and woman are married and whether their sexual acts are approved by the magisterium, while she homes in very obsessively on the dirtiness of gay sexual acts. (She also laughs off catechetical teaching that use of illegal drugs like marijuana, which she tells folks on Catholic blog threads she freely uses, is immoral, just as she laughs off magisterial teaching that denigrates women.)

My challenge to Purgatrix Ineptiae and other contributors to Catholic blog sites who want to use  our Catholic faith to attack, lie about, and discriminate against fellow Catholics and fellow human beings who are gay:

Please come out of the closet. Please unmask yourself. Please have the decency to speak in your real names while you attack fellow Catholics who have put our lives on the line to witness to the truth of our real Catholic lives as gay people, using our real names, showing our real faces to the world.

What you're doing under the cover of pseudonyms is simply despicable. It's not moral in any shape, form, or fashion. It does not represent Catholic values and Catholic teaching in any adequate way at all. You're using anonymity in order to try to inflict harm on fellow human beings who have risked much (and, often, paid a high price) to tell their stories in an honest and public way, showing their faces to the Catholic community as they do so.

If you're going to engage in such behavior, at least have the courage to show yourselves to the Catholic community in the same way the fellow human beings you're trashing do.

Please. Your cowardice is showing as long as you remain in your homophobic Catholic closet, using pseudonyms to represent your hate-oriented teaching as authentic Catholicism, while throwing stones at fellow Catholics who are gay and have left the closet behind. And your closeted cowardice is not a pretty picture. 

Not at all.

P.S. Needless to say, I am not opposed to the use of pseudonymous usernames on discussion threads at blog sites. What I am opposed to is the use of those pseudonymous usernames to disguise one's identity as one lies about and attacks targeted minority communities who are already susceptible to attack by various religious groups.

And I have serious reservations about the willingness of faith-based blog sites to permit this kind of behavior, particularly when those engaging in it do so over a lengthy period of time that should enable the administrators of these blogs to see very clearly that malicious intent to do harm in the name of Christ is clearly intended by certain commenters abusing blog anonymity in this way.

The graphic is from the Flickr stream of the Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center International Team, and is available for sharing at Wikimedia Commons.

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