Wednesday, August 24, 2005
I missed my own blogging birthday! DesignerBlog turned two years old on the 8th of this month while I was certain the date was somewhere around the 27th.
The Man who would unleash an AssassinThe man at the left is a Christian minister. He regularly preaches The Eleven Commandments (the regular ten plus a non-canonical eleventh: "Thou shalt not tolerate homosexuals") and is nationally known as an exponent of "Christian Charity." He has publicly advocated the assassination by the United States of Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela.
I am not surprised. I was sent to Catholic School by my parents where we were regularly told of the hundreds, thousands, possibly millions of innocents they had beheaded, hanged, but mostly burned alive in the presence of the populations of entire towns whose people stood around eating, dancing and jeering to prolong and make even more unbearable the final agony of those condemned for the horrible "crime" of thinking their own thoughts. And they were proud to have done this--it was God's work, we were told. The "Reverend" Robertson feels that sending the CIA to take down Chavez (president of a major oil-producing country, not so coincidentally) would be far quicker and cheaper than another war. Should the assassination take place, doubtless we we'll all be told that it was done to bring democracy to the country and to liberate Venezuelan women from a macho Hispanic-male dominated culture--and all at bargain prices.
So, here we have a "Man of God" who advocates "Thou shalt not kill" calling for public murder. I'd ask if the radical religious right has no shame but I already know the answer to that one. And it leads me to wonder who else might be in the back of his mind as eligible for elimination by U.S. government hit squads (a great many people who sleep with members of their own sex, I imagine). What kills me is that he gets away with statements like this, or the one Fritz came across on Seattle TV while surfing through the channels: Rowe v. Wade and the entire abortion/"murder of babies" movement was wholly engineered by Lesbians according to Robertson. On the assassination statement, the White House has called his remarks merely "inappropriate." I often wish the U.S. guaranteed its citizens not freedom OF religion, but freedom FROM religion.
Which leads me to an interesting and tantalizing email I found when I got back from the trip. Some of you may remember that I registered a page on my Catholic high school's alumni site, including the information that I am an out gay man making a life in the performing arts. I included a picture or two of Fritz and me at my elder daughter's wedding and listed myself as married in a Massachusetts same-sex marriage. I thought it might do the community some good to know they have homosexuals among their alumni. I've seen evidence that a couple of people have checked out the blog from the link I left on the page.
The email invites me to speak to groups of juniors and seniors at a Career Day on the last Wednesday in October, a day when I could actually make the trip down to Queens in New York City. I never thought I would want to set foot in the place ever again but this is intriguing. There have obviously been some enormous changes from the day when they told me that I'd have to choose a new profession to go into because they couldn't find any Catholic college or university in the U.S. that had professional theater studies. They were so inept that they didn't know Catholic University in D.C. had, and continues to have, a highly respectable theater school. I created a scandal by telling them I wasn't planning to attend a Catholic college and that was the end of my relationship with them as far as I was concerned. I haven't made a decision yet but if they offer to cover travel expenses, it just might be a done deal.
"The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians." Actual quote from the guy, in a 1992 fundraising newsletter.
About your possible trip to the school. Man, I have no idea what I'd do in your shoes. You can't just go there and berate them, it's rude, no matter how much they deserve it. On the other hand, if you go, you can't just altogether ignore/not mention the relationship you had with them. That's a tough one, but you're very smart and well spoken, I'm sure you'll figure something out. At first sight, I'd say they're trying to reach out. Are they being conciliatory after realizing the errors of their ways? :-)
No, not berate them, as you are rightly aware. My interest is to walk in fully as myself, see what the community is prepared to make of me at this point in its history, and be as much of an informational and support resource as I can in four hours to any students who are thinking of a career in the performing arts and/or academia.
Any comment I might make on my relationship with the school would be simply to acknowledge that it and I were not a great fit at the time, mention that current students seem to enjoy a far more open and sympathetic atmosphere, and build from there.
I wrote to the president of the alumni association this morning and we'll see what kind of response I get. Who knows, I might even get to resolve a couple of decades of resentment/anger, which wouldn't be such a bad thing in and of itself.
I suppose the only real way to find out is to go. I can't imagine that they'd have you head up to the podium only to ridicule you. Plus, you could be quite an inspiration to a scared/closeted gay student. If you make the difference to that one person - you've done good.
Happy Blog Birthday!