Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Trouble With Assholes

Did you hear about the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in San Francisco? Went into a church, got communion, dressed like this? Yeah. Kinda weird. But offensive per se? Well, that seems to depend who you ask. The usual mouthpieces, of course, are all a twitter- O'Reilly & company it sound like the Sisters took a whizz on the host before eating it.

Choice quotes from the Americans for Truth site:

Allyson Smith, an analyst for Americans for Truth, commented, “San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer did not condemn the depravity of Folsom Street Fair, which occurred in front of one of his own parishes (St. Joseph’s on 10th Street), or the blasphemous antics of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence there. Yet one week later, he gave Holy Communion, which Catholics believe is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, to these same twisted ’sisters’ who were dressed in full drag costumes. This begs the question: Does Archbishop Niederauer approve of or identify with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and their sacrilegious and disordered homosexual behaviors? If so, then he is unfit to shepherd San Francisco Catholics and should be immediately removed from his post by Pope Benedict XVI.”

Yeah, Archbishop. The only reason not to be against gays is if you are gay. You're not gay... are you?

“I doubt that even Judas would have done such a perverse thing as this,” Gonzales said. ”Not only did Niederauer sell out our Lord for human respect but deliberately crucified Him again within the very sanctuary of the Church that he was consecrated to protect. If Rome does not remove him immediately from his position and excommunicate him for this evil, then Rome itself becomes complicit in the crime. Enough is enough!”

Wait, he crucified him AGAIN? But I thought you guys thought that was a good thing... And besides, if he crucified him again, what happened to the first Jesus, the one supposedly hanging out in heaven? Was he brought back to earth just to be stuck up there again? Or is this some weird Catholic metaphor thing, like, "Mother Mary cries when you touch yourself"? Also, I like the Judas bit. Nice touch. Sort of the Catholic equivalent to Godwin's Law.

First O'Reilly piece:

Last Sunday, at the Catholic Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, Archbishop George Niederauer was celebrating mass. As part of that ritual, holy communion is given to Catholics by the celebrants. Two gay militants in bizarre dress took communion from the archbishop in an attempt to mock the mass and the man. — The people who did this are members of a militant homosexual group that runs around San Francisco dressed as nuns.

I find the "militant" designation hilarious, given that in this day and age it's used mostly as a PC way to describe folks like Hamas. The Sisters aren't my cup of tea (though apparently they do have their good points- hey, giving to charity? They are Hamas!), but I'm curious as to exactly how they fulfill the qualifications of "militant."

Here's the second O'Reilly piece, on the SF Chronicle's coverage:

The article went on to quote some people who said the archbishop was correct in giving the gay militants communion. Then why did he apologize for doing it? The article doesn't say.

Presumably, because some people are now giving him crap for not batting an eye when handing communion out to them, mime make-up and all. Now, some of that ire is understandable and even, IMO, justified, but there's a difference between local SF Catholics that were actually offended (of which there seem to be a sizable number) and jerkwads like yourself that are just stirring the pot.

This isn't to say I agree with what the Sisters did. The idea of drag nuns just sort of rubs me the wrong way, and particularly going into that religion's sanctuary and attempting to participate in a holy ritual is, to me, a bit beyond the Pale- not unlike, say, some lesbian activists dressing up as Hasids and trying to read Torah in an Orthodox synagogue. Some things just aren't cool. The fact that this was being filmed also makes me pretty uncomfortable. The Sisters claim that they were just there for communion and appreciate that the Archbishop and church made them feel welcome, and indeed, some liberal Catholics are praising the Archbishop (though judging from his apology, that really isn't what he wants to hear right now as he attempts to re-establish credibility with his base and bosses). Still, the whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I suppose it comes down to intention. At the end of the day, this still feels like a stunt, and in that regard I think it's inappropriate. Do your thing outside or at the fair, or have a group of committed gay Catholics come to Mass and ask for Communion. Then the issue would be different. But don't crash a church service. It remains unclear to me exactly what the goal of the Sisters' trip to the Church was and how going there and looking like jerks benefited them, local Catholics, or the gay community. Someone please explain it to me.

All this said, the manufactured outrage from O'Reilly and his peers is really something. The latest from Bill is that the Sisters "invaded" the church, which, as Debra Saunders points out, is pretty ridiculous, given that it was a public mass. (See her blow-up with Bill here- he comes close to reaching through the TV and slugging her, it's pretty impressive.)

Speaking of Saunders, I'm impressed with her being willing to demolish some conservative sacred cows about the Baghdad by the Bay, particularly when it's clear her politics don't jive with the majority's. This is the second time in a few weeks she's stepped out of line, pointing out that the distortion the right was spinning about the city banning the Marines from making a commercial in the city's downtown area was, well, bullcrap. (You better hope Bill doesn't show up on your doorstep, Deb.)

Newsom had a point when he said that critics of The Special City will not "allow the facts get in the way." Stories about Ess Eff turning away a crew filming a Marine recruitment ad apparently were much ado about nothing. The city did issue a permit - if not for the day the Marines wanted - with the result that the production company shot the Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin County side.

Saunders goes on to explain why she thinks the city is still anti-military- mostly having to do with plans to close JROTC and the City Supervisors' foolish decision to stick it to the military by refusing to berth a newly-retired battleship (thereby proving once and for all that they're totally, like, anti-navy, dudes, and earning the unending hatred of thousands of children). And along the way she throws out a tirade about gay marriage too, just for the heck of it.

Don't bother looking for an apology or retraction from anyone at Fox "News" or anywhere else for the fake story, though. They don't want to hear it. In fact, check out the angry comments on the Free Republic comment board- not a single one reacts to Saunders' bit of news about the story-that-wasn't. Instead they seem to persist in hoping the city gets hit by a tsunami, bitching about the mayor, and of course, the requisite penis jokes. Priceless.

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