I am of the view, and I have come to it from a thoughtful disposition and years of circumspection, that the Catholic Church doesn’t speak for me as a gay man. I also think that, for the most part, religion is a tool of convenience for people whose intentions are selfish.
“Patriotism is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.” (Seneca)
As a friend from another forum poignantly noted the other day, if you substitute ‘religion’ for patriotism in the Seneca quotation above, you have yourself the totality of what religion is about.
So, I don’t expend time worrying what superstitious religious zealots want to happen to me when I breathe my last. I don’t believe that I am going to hell and they are going to some place else because, frankly, my belief is that there is no heaven or hell. Once we die, that’s it.
The Vatican would want everyone to believe that I am destined for hell because my only natural sexual and emotional inclination is to those of my own gender. That makes the Pope homophobic in the eyes of many gay activists, and he may very well be. But it so happens that the Catholic Church in Uganda, itself prominent in the battle to maintain the view that homosexuals are terrible sinners, also has huge plantations of foodstuff which makes its way into the market place so that heterosexuals and homosexuals like myself may be fed.
“I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it” (Anon)
The question has to be this one: if Cardinal Emmanual Wamala of Uganda castigates me as immoral or an abomination, should I in turn campaign for everyone of my ilk (plus those who support me) to boycott the food that grows in the plantations that the Catholic Church in Uganda owns?
That is the question that confronted gay rights activists in the United States recently. When Dan Cathy, the president of a fast food chain called Chick-fil-A, announced that he was against gay marriage all hell broke loose from our side. Calls for a boycott of the fast food chain he runs predictably followed and the hysteria was whipped up to such a frenzy that mayors of major cities demanded a retraction or else Chick-fil-A would lose this and that privilege up to and including a right to sell their foodstuff to hungry eaters.
Discreet City, a gay blogger with a level head if there ever was one, condemned the gay activists’ bully boy tactics but most gay mouthpieces have remained either non-committal or have endorsed the calls to boycott Chick-fil-A.
Yet, rather obviously, just as Cardinal Wamala has a right to express what he thinks of gay men like me, the business leaders of Chick-fil-A have a right to contrary opinions to what we might want to hear.
Who is it that said that much as they disagree with you, you have every right to say whatever they disagree with? That is a wise adage that eludes us, at our peril I fear.