Is it me or are we already done with the season of love and peace? The first two things I read online this morning have upset my delicate sensibilities, Dear Reader. First, a tweet from @JoeMyGod
about a group of people who are boycotting the Rose Parade because a wedding float will feature a gay couple. The second, the comments section following an article on komonews.com about the Catholic school vice principal fired for his same sex marriage.
I clicked through to the Facebook link
on the Rose Parade—evidently a gay couple won the Dreams Come True contest and the prize is getting married on the giant cake-shaped float in the venerated parade. More details can be found here
. I found a page filled with hateful, ignorant comments about how witnessing two men getting married would irreparably harm children. I have to say I was stunned. I mean, yes, I know that not everyone is thrilled with same sex marriage, but I have been living in a bit of a bubble, I guess. The hate and fear and ignorance, the vitriol and anger shocked me. I posted a comment on the page, just a few words letting them know that I was sure Jesus would be so proud of their hate and bile. I think we all need to visit the site and show them that hate won’t win.
That small act made me feel a tiny bit better but for a moment I was beset by anxiety and dread, that feeling of futility that I often get spread across my chest. I then realized that my FB picture is of The Little Woman and me holding our marriage license and I had to smile. I fought back my urge to delete my comment, to not make waves.
I poured myself a cup of coffee and settled myself in front of the Pin Stripe Bowl, picked up my laptop and logged on to www.komonews.com
to catch up on local news. My eyes caught the headline announcing that the vice principal of Eastside Catholic High School was fired and had not resigned as the church said last week. I clicked. Call me a sucker for the obvious. The article confirmed what I’d already suspected—Mark Zmuda had been forced out for marrying his male partner. The article was benign enough, but the comments section . . . why oh why did I feel the need to read the comments? More hate and ignorance.
I understand that Mr. Zmuda worked at a Catholic school and that his being gay flies in the face of some Catholic teachings, but the hypocrisy is killing me. How many Catholic school teachers live “in sin” with their heterosexual lovers? How many Catholic school teachers use birth control? How many Catholic school teachers have had abortions? How many of these teachers have been forced out of their jobs? And lets not forget the hundreds or thousands of priests who continued in their positions in spite of having sexually molested thousands of children. Mr. Zmuda’s being gay has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on his ability to do his job, to teach math. Mr. Zmuda did nothing wrong, he committed no crime. He simply let down his guard and maybe forgot that he worked for a homophobic organization. I can understand his mistake—lots of people who work for the church are decent folks. But the organization itself is not so benign (see my earlier blog here
Let’s not forget that the Catholic church operates without paying any taxes. It does not pay into unemployment insurance, it does not pay any income tax. As an institution, it collects gazillions of dollars and not one cent of it (except what its employees pay in income tax) goes into the public coffers. Hundreds of non-Catholics and non-believers work for the church, and I’m guessing lots of those workers belong to the LGBTQ community. It seems to me, and call me crazy, that an institution that doesn’t pay taxes should have no right whatsoever to contradict the laws of the land. Same sex marriage is legal. Don’t like it? Tough shit.
We’ve (and by we I mean all LGBQT people) have lived too long in fear of god’s wrath, in fear of other people’s judgment, in fear that we will lose not just our jobs but our very lives. We’ve stood by and watched as heterosexuals celebrated their love in some of the gaudiest and most offensive ways imaginable. We have been marginalized by religious institutions, shunned by those that claim a loving Jesus and god as their masters. It’s a bit hyperbolic that these people believe a single float in the Rose Parade or the same sex marriage of a Catholic math teacher signal the end of civilization, don’t you think? On the other hand, maybe we need an end to this sort of civilization—maybe the end of civilization as we know it is not a bad thing at all.