Friday, June 23, 2006

Letter to Patrick Buchanan

Mr. Patrick J. Buchanan
c/o The American Conservative
1300 Wilson Blvd. Suite 120
Arlington, VA 22209

Dear Mr. Buchanan:

In this morning’s paper (San Francisco Chronicle, June 23, 2006) you ask the question, “Is Catholicism now ‘unacceptable’?” Your question is rhetorical, but let me answer it anyway. Sweet Jesus, I hope so. At least in the form you’re pitching.

You want the answer to be no. You want the church to be respected for its views on homosexuality, and your argument is the old saw that any conviction held for two thousand years can’t be all wrong. And that Protestants, Jews, Muslims and others share the conviction. You have the weight of tradition on your side, you say.

Back when the Jewish votes in Florida went to you by mistake helping the current president into office, I was in the camp of those who saw you as the face of a very sinister and very ignorant force in this country. Since then, I have come to see you differently and I avidly read your comments these days. Your views, even when I disagree with them, have the ring of integrity.

Your beef with Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich is that he tossed his own appointee, Robert J. Smith, to the wolves for declaring that homosexuals are “persons of sexual deviancy, instead of standing up for his right to follow his “catholic” conviction that homosexuals are “unnatural and immoral, ruinous to body and soul alike.” You want that “catholic” view upheld because as a private citizen, Smith’s views have “nothing to do with running trains and busses.”

Think of where that line of reasoning leads. It also has nothing to do with running trains and busses to believe Jews should be ghettoized or worse (another Catholic position that held its own for nearly 2000 years, by the way), that blacks have low IQs, that children should take advantage of their size and be chimney sweeps instead of going to school, but each of these notions has evolved out of consciousness. The view that homosexual people are rightly associated with decadence and corruption is also on its way out and your dragging your heels reveals a sad blindness of the history of injustice perpetrated on gay men and women in our society.

Your article is filled with stunning misinformation. You blame gays for AIDS when no one in his right mind (almost no one who reads the papers, even) has failed to realize AIDS entered the United States via gays by chance and is a disease now associated overwhelmingly with heterosexuals. You repeat the slander that it was the homosexuals who brought down the Roman Empire and the Weimar Republic, a notion right up there with claims that Koreans were poisoning wells after the Tokyo Earthquake or that Jews require Christian children’s blood for their Passover matzoh.

People have always drawn lines the wrong way across categories. When I went into the army, it was the category “communist, fascist or homosexual” that I had to disassociate myself from. Not that long ago in this country, evil could be attributed to another single category with the shared evils, “Rum and Romanism.”

Are you really that uninformed?

You broke the category conservative down for me very effectively in recent times into those committed to values worth dying for and the me-me-me folks currently in power. What am I to do after this ridiculous piece, build a single category back up again under the rubric of retrograde, unaware and insensitive?

You are a practicing Roman Catholic, I believe. You don’t need to be reminded the “red state/blue state” divide is mirrored in the church’s “ultramontane/Mystical Body of Christ” divide. It’s not “Catholicism” that I hope will die (or at least become ‘unacceptable’); it’s the rotten body that holds to this day to the Syllabus of Errors against modern democracy, that fosters the canonization of persecuters of Jews and stands in the way of an ecumenical spirit. You failed to make that very important distinction, just as you fail to distinguish between homosexual love that is indistinguishable from Christian love on the one hand and homosexual depravity that is indistinguishable from heterosexual depravity on the other.

The stats show the prejudice against gay people drops with direct personal contact. That’s a nice way of saying when ignorance diminishes.

Up your credibility, will you? You’ve got so much to say worth listening to. Don’t muck about with misinformation as awful as this.

Yours sincerely,

Alan J. McCornick

Berkeley, CA
June 23, 2006

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