Among other statements Cardinal George has made concerning gay rights in the wake of his controversial interview on Fox News last week, he also said the following:
“It is terribly wrong and sinful that gays and lesbians have been harassed and subjected to psychological and even physical harm.”
— Francis Cardinal George
They just don’t get the point…
Despite Cardinal George’s attempts to clarify his statement comparing gay activism to the Ku Klux Klan (see my post on Dec. 30), gay activists groups are calling for his resignation.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, executive director for the Rainbow Sash Movement, Joe Murray, called George’s new statement “schizoid,” suggesting, “You can’t say on one hand that you love people and on the other hand condemn them for who they are.” He added:
“Cardinal Francis George’s recent statement comparing the gay community to the KKK is just another example of bigotry sidestepping what it means to be pro-life,”
“The cardinal promotes his brand of bigotry based on a case of selective Biblical literalism.”
Murray’s aim is to make Cardinal George out to be a dissembler, but he conflates so many issues that he ends up stepping into his own trap.
First, he conflates issues when he throws the pro-life card. The topic under discussion is gay activism, which has little if anything to do with pro-life. So why does he so clumsily drop the term “pro-life,” which makes it seem as if the cardinal were contradicting his pro-life convictions?
The part about “selective biblical literalism” is just plain silly. Hardly worth commenting on.
Second, Murray confuses the issue further and causes others to be even more confused, by suggesting that the Cardinal’s words were a direct attack on people with homosexual tendencies, whereas the Cardinal’s original statement was directed at gay activism.
There are actually three different things we need to separate from one another when talking about things “gay”.
- Sexual orientation. Everyone has sexual inclinations. These inclinations, whether homosexual or heterosexual, can be beyond the person’s control. The Cardinal is not condemning anyone for this, although this is the implication of Murray’s accusation. To be sure, Cardinal George clarified that “It is terribly wrong and sinful that gays and lesbians have been harassed and subjected to psychological and even physical harm.”
- Sexual behavior. The Catholic Church does not condone homosexuality in this sense. True, the Bible condemns homosexual behavior, i.e., engaging in homosexual acts. But the Church does not argue sola scriptura (I’m sure Murray’s at least heard of Natural Law). Although this is the issue we should be discussing, it’s actually not the one being discussed. However, even if it were, the Cardinal could not be accused of condemning people for what they are, because we can distinguish between what a person is and what a person does.
- Gay Activism. Antagonistic displays directed against the Church is what the Cardinal compared to similar displays of the Ku Klux Klan movement. No matter what he says to make this clear, they probably won’t get the point. Even if they do get it, they still want you to miss it.
Who’s the bigot? He’s the one who refuses to see the point
A bigot can be described as a person who obstinately uphold his own opinions and will not tolerance or listen to the opinions of others (e.g., a cross burning white supremacist wearing a white robe). Murray and other gay activists like him are sticking to their own opinion, while refusing to listen to the Church’s clear explanation on the topic and distorting whatever any Church official actually says. They want to make the Church look like the aggressor, themselves the victim.
Unfortunately, many homosexuals have been victimized, and Cardinal George calls acts of aggression toward them sinful. He’s speaking on their behalf.
I find it sad that Murray wants to cover that part up. He does not give the Cardinal any credit for that. Instead, he uses the his statements against him. He conflates the issue of real discrimination with the issue of remarks against antagonistic behavior on the part of the gay pride movement.
The fact that gay activism can be antagonistic sometimes is precisely what is being overlooked throughout this discussion — aside from the fact that the Cardinal mentioned it first. Everyone still seems to be missing that point.
You have to hand it to them. They have a knack for cloaking the truth with rhetoric.
Murray’s actions are exactly the type of activism the Cardinal was addressing. Murray essentially wants to ‘string up’ the Cardinal.
If I can’t distinguish between the person I am (inherent dignity) and my acts (good and bad) then I am held a prisoner by them.