Thursday, August 17, 2006

Normalizing Queerdom

I cannot tell you how hornswoggled I was to read in the PW reviews section (Aug 7, 2006) that Andrew Sullivan has been “a major conservative voice in US politics for 15 years” with absolutely no mention of his avowed homosexuality. Oh, and then we have this jewel in the review. “Much of the book is a meditation on his own evolving faith as a Roman Catholic…” I am a Catholic and it is absolute and utter nonsense to refer to a practicing homosexual as having an evolving faith in Roman Catholicism. (One wonders why he just doesn’t become an Episcopagan.) You cannot be a practicing homosexual and be considered as anything but a lapsed Catholic. You would no more refer to a Jew who ate pork as an orthodox Jew or a Muslim who does not believe in Allah as a Muslim with an evolving faith, so let’s not give Mr. Sullivan any more credibility than he deserves. It would be more correct to say that Mr. Sullivan has an evolving faith that concerns his relationship with the Church as a former practicing Catholic.

And please don’t tell me that we don’t mention the sexuality of straight people. Homosexuality is almost always a data set that reveals multiple levels of orientation just as when one distinguished between a Catholic and Jew or a Muslim and a Hindu—it is in fact a separate belief system.

What we have here is part of the normalization process of queerdom--something dear to the heart of all true liberals. We should never forget that to tolerate something is not the same thing as accepting it as being either normal or entirely healthy. Let us just think of homosexuality as a moral disability and attempt to be charitable towards all those so afflicted.

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