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06 March 2002

Hail Mary, Full of Gripes... Remember how I said I was gonna thrash the tar out of Michelangelo Signorile for his harebrained column about how the Pope wants to shove homosexuals into big gas ovens? Well, I may finally finish it, because Vatican spokesmodel Joaquin Navarro-Valls recently served up some fresh bait for sissy-boys who enjoy soaking in the luxuriant bliss of maudlin self-pity -- and it shouldn't be long before Mike lunges at it like a hammerhead going after chum.

So let me send this as a preemptive strike. Not only was Signorile incorrect in saying that the Catholic Church hates gay people, but setting up that tired strawman isn't even necessary, because the RCC's whole position on homosexuality is so stupid, a Cornish game hen could refute it. Here, Mike, let me help:

As you'd know if you bothered to do a little background research, the Pope doesn't hate faggots or anybody else. You can even ask my mom, with whom I've been having a lively email discussion on this issue. Like kajillions of other devout mackerelsnappers, my mom will tell you that the Pope is totally full of shit on all matters remotely connected to human sexuality, but otherwise he's a perfectly lovely man who knows what he's talking about.

The problem, though, is that Mr. Karol Wojtyla and his conservative minions are totally naive about and scared of non-procreative sex in general, not just homosexual acts, as you might expect from a bunch of celibates. The ban on same-sex shenanigans is just part of a crazy but internally coherent system of morality that also says it's objectively disordered and intrinsically evil (please note, readers, that all of those underscored terms, including the word "evil," are technical jargon used by Catholic theologians):

* to masturbate

* to use a condom, even if the husband is HIV+ and the wife has already had a hysterectomy for legimate medical reasons and thus could only get pregnant by a miracle even without the rubber (Confidential to JP2: Without getting into a debate over whether God could make a rock too heavy for Him to lift, we can be certain of this: If the word "omnipotent" implies anything, it implies that God is perfectly capable of making a living, breathing baby out of Legos or dried macaroni and inflicting said infant on the couple, even if they were using three layers of condoms, the Pill, and the dude had been vasectomized. So that "frustrating God's will" stuff is a massive load.)

* for a husband to deliberately come in his wife's mouth even if she's begging for it (the wife is allowed to have as many orgasms as she wants during cunnilingus, which is itself allowed, along with fellatio short of making the guy spooge, as foreplay to the morally-obligatory act of ejaculating into her twat)

* for non-married heterosexuals to provide each other good vibrations under any circumstances

* to use a ceramic statue of Our Lady of Lourdes as a dildo (Actually, this is a sneaky example! The dildo part is fine so long as it occurs during foreplay between a husband and wife; it's disrespecting the Blessed Virgin Mary in so scandalous a manner that's supposed to be sinful, because it hurts Mary's feelings. The Church is wrong on this one, too, however, and here's why: The bitch has not one but three omnipotent bodyguards who are ready and able to defend her honor against all attackers. So, believe me, the Co-Redemptrix of Mankind can easily afford to be a good sport if us poor little humans want to make some harmless "Mary with the cherry" jokes, QED.)

All of this nonsense mainly persists, as I said, because of the naivete of conservative theologians who won't listen when non-celibate Catholics say "Hey, this whole sex-for-fun thing is totally great!! Not only does it not feel selfish and mutually degrading, but it often makes us a lot more content about our own bodies, and can even trick us into treating each other much more kindly, just as it does for bonobo chimps."

(Incidentally, the fact that boy bonobos will routinely have gay sex to inhibit ingression and promote inter-male friendships also explains why some otherwise straight men are more than happy to stroke wang with each other or even -- so I've heard -- with an overt homosexual, provided the overt homosexual in question has just the right sort of friendly demeanor. It's because jacking stiff dicks with another man until you both blow gigantic wads of hot creamy sperm all over your chests makes you feel like he's your bestest buddy in the whole wide world!!!)

But anyway, another reason for the persistence of the Vatican's anti-sex jive is that the Church fears losing its already attenuated temporal power if it gives the appearance of backpedaling on past moral teachings. This fear is unfounded, of course, because educated lay Catholics in developed countries, and a whole lot of liberal clergy, already put their hands over their ears and go "La-la-la" whenever the Pope selects Non-Procreative Sex Gives the Baby Jesus Seizures, 2 the Xtreme on his big Vatican jukebox. So if the Church said "Hey, that stuff about not using rubbers or jacking off was totally crazy," the response from the laity would be a loud but forgiving "NO SHIT!"

Finally, there may be a superstitious fear among very conservative theologians that if they question Church tradition, God will smack them with molten brimstone or something. If only they'd listen to the millions and millions of smarter Catholics like my mom, who've figured out that God takes a totally laissez-faire stance on honest skepticism, just as He does on the matter of what consenting adults do with their cocks and pussies.

As you see, Mr. Signorile, the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church doesn't hate gay people; they just mistrust all sex acts that aren't redeemed by the magic healing powers of a jizz-filled uterus. So knock off the misdirected whining, dude.

posted by Throbert | 3/06/2002 01:03:00 PM | (0) responses

05 March 2002

Oh, glory be! Today the mailman brought me a book entitled Mental Hygiene: Classroom Films 1945 -1970, by Ken Smith, ISBN 0-922233-21-7, and you should run out and buy yourself a copy this instant, even if it means hustling your crotch on the Santa Monica freeway for cash, or pawning those little St. Francis figurines that your great-grandmother smuggled out of Bratislava in the folds of her petticoats just as the Nazis came a-ridin' in, because the book is a perfect scream.
Of course, it helps if you're familiar with this peculiar genre -- those scratchy, grayscale, 16mm melodramas in which Betty learns to wash her hair at least once a week with a heaping tablespoon of shampoo powder, while Howard discovers that C-O-U-R-T-E-S-Y is what distinguishes American children from dangerous jungle creatures. Here are a few excerpts straight from the pages of Mental Hygiene:
  • Joan Avoids a Cold (Coronet Films, 1964) "Even Joan's mom and dad join in the fun by boiling all their dishes for twenty minutes and spitting into the toilet after they gargle. 'Everyone in the family is working together,' the narrator cheers, and the next cold pestilence passes harmlessly over their home.
  • Take a Letter... From A to Z (Sponsor: Gregg Shorthand manuals, 1967) "Serious-looking men sit in their important offices and give orders, while outside the secretary smiles and ensures that 'her decision maker' remembers to go to the barber. What does the secretary get in return? 'The glow of shared accomplishments.'"
  • Why Study Social Studies? (Gateway Productions, 1961) "Dad has a map of the world nailed to the wall, and he's tied strings to everything on the breakfast table. Slowly, deliberately, Dad thumbtacks the end of each string to the country of its origin: bananas go to Honduras, napkins are tacked to Ireland, etc."

posted by Throbert | 3/05/2002 12:10:00 AM | (0) responses
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