From The Stranger, April 15 (Savage Love):
Written by Dan Savage
Okay, speaking of weird and perverse head-trips: This will come as a shock to many of my readers but I'm Catholic--in a cultural sense, not an eat-the-wafer, say-the-rosary, burn-down- the-women's-health- center sense. I was so Catholic that I attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary North, a Catholic high school in Chicago for boys thinking about becoming priests. Along with my classmates I got to meet the pope in 1979 when he dropped by our school during his visit to Chicago. We gave him a soccer ball.
I would be lying if said I wasn't pleased to see John Paul II's papacy come to an end. On one of his other visits to the United States the pope condemned an "[American] culture that seeks to declare entire groups of human beings… to be outside the boundaries of legal protection." That's rich coming from the same man who ordered bishops in the United States to oppose civil rights laws that protect gays and lesbians (including hate-crime laws), leaving us "outside the boundaries of legal protection." In 2003 a Vatican screed condemned not only gay marriage but also adoptions by gay and lesbian couples. Allowing gays and lesbians to adopt children, the Vatican said, "would actually mean doing violence to these children." (Hmm. Violence against children… perhaps we should defer to the Catholic Church's expertise on that subject?) And two days before my boyfriend and I celebrated our 10th anniversary in February, the pope rose from his deathbed just long enough describe gay marriage as part of an "ideology of evil." Gee, J. P., you shouldn't have.
What's maddening about this pope's signature gay bashing is this: When the pope--the dead one, the next one, the one after that--says something stupid about homosexuality, straight Americans listen. The church's efforts have helped defeat gay rights bills, lead to the omission of gays from hate-crime statutes, and helped to pass anti-gay-marriage amendments. But when a pope says something stupid about heterosexuality, straight Americans go deaf. And this pope had plenty to say about heterosexual sex--no contraceptives, no premarital sex, no blowjobs, no jerkin' off, no divorce, no remarriage, no artificial insemination, no blowjobs, no three-ways, no swinging, no blowjobs, no anal. Did I mention no blowjobs? John Paul II had a longer list of "no's" for straights than he did for gays. But when he tried to meddle in the private lives of straights, the same people who deferred to his delicate sensibilities where my rights were concerned suddenly blew the old asshole off. Gay blowjobs are expendable, it seems; straight ones are sacred.
So forgive me if I can't get behind the orgy of cheap and easy piety that's greeted the death of this pope. Watching the talking twats on CNN pay their respects to this "universally beloved man of God" (how many of them have had premarital sex, I wonder?), to say nothing of the suddenly so reverent assholes on Fox News (Bill O'Reilly didn't have many nice things to say about the pope when he opposed the invasion of Iraq), is making me want to throw a bottle of lube through a stained-glass window.