Friday, September 23, 2005

You Don't Have to be Catholic...

Just when I thought the fiasco of bigotry was peaking, between the mis-labelled "minutemen" of the horrendous southwestern vigilante border patrols, to the amazing stereotyping of over 1 billion Muslims in the world as terrorists because of the aberrant fanatic behavior of some who claim Islam as their religion, I hear a story on KNX radio yesterday that is a perfect irony, like a perfect storm.

Without access to a transcript, I will have to recount what I heard as I was driving across Orange County freeways. The afternoon news moderators on KNX, who have less than a major resume of journalism for one person in both of their backgrounds, still make the noble attempt at conversational newsy stories to interest those of us their producers must think are having that afternoon post-A.M. coffee, post-lunch, let-down, so we won't either turn on the hard-rock station, or worse, with sattelite radio, move over to the early show of Chris Matthews "Hard-Ball" on MSNBC, or the Playboy channel, which is available for a few extra bucks a month on subscription. Makes sense to me--the Playboy channel on radio.

So the two chatty and overly-enthusiastic news people, a man and a woman, are going to discuss a non-Hurricane Rita related story in order to break the boredom of having to listen to constant updates of the same old thing--the biggest storm to hit the Texas Gulf in history, over and over again, please, haven't we heard enough? Seems like that would be the ONLY story on the air--but we do have that short attention span thingy.

At least we had that amazing story of the Jetblue landing with the screwed up front landing gear--I'm not sure today which was more incredible: that the people on the plane got to see themselves in mortal jeopardy on little LCD screens in the back of the seat in front of them on MSNBC live, just like I got to watch it at home while I ate my ham and cheese sandwich--or, that Jetblue has had several planes with bad landing gear problems in the past and, in true NASA-style fashion, hasn't gotten around to fixing them yet, evidently.

Actually I am interested in the Hurricane Rita catastrophe about-to-happen because I am concerned for all of those people, their homes, and their businesses. It's impossible to imagine the devastastion these storms cause, even with the TV coverage--"Geraldo is in the path of the storm!" --I was so annoyed by this pandering to some twisted sadistic part of me that I would HOPE that not only was Geraldo in the path of the storm but that it would rip him apart and throw his body parts in front of the ever-present cameras for us all to relish--thank God I'm not into that--so I changed the radio dial (yup--satellite radio again...) From FOX (pardon ME) to MSNBC and heard, "Rita Cosby is in the path of the oncoming hurricane." I came to the conclusion that Geraldo and Rita were getting major publicity for being idiots, while their respective crews were just staying in harm's way for...what? I don't know. I don't get "hero" in my inner spiritual ear, I get "dumbbell, get outta there! Let Geraldo and Rita hold their own cameras up." I don't think Geraldo and Rita are idiots in general, but I'm not gonna get in front of a hurricane category 4+ even if you give me major benefits and a long close-up. Time off with pay, now we can start the negotiations...

So what was the news yesterday that mesmerised me and woke me from my otherwise afternoon stupor in the car? There was a report that the Catholic Church, either in California or nationally--I didn't hear that part because I was looking for the left turn into Burger King so I could scarf down a $1 Whopper Jr. There is NO BETTER VALUE on the planet! So I missed the beginning of the report because I was distracted--The Catholic Church was declaring, not for the record, that Gays would not be acceptable as Priests. This was not for publication, but nevertheless it was on KNX radio with the chit-chatty news people asking what did we all think about that? And, they also had asked a few people already what did they all think about this, not the LEAST OF WHOM was His Eminence, Cardinal Mahoney of Los Angeles.

This was very cool, because the news guys explained that before Cardinal Mahoney was told that the interviewer had access to this memo, which said that gays as priests was a no-no, His Eminence was asked point blank what he thought of the issue--should gays be allowed into the priesthood? His answer, and here is the punchline at last, because I thought I heard it all and at my age I should know there's always more to come--Cardinal Mahoney said that he was not concerned about the sexuality of the individual, gay or straight, as long as that individual is celibate. You know--like how priests and nuns don't have sex, because the Catholic Church forbids it. Which reminds me of this joke--nevermind...

Get it? And I know you do--bigotry against abnormal, extra-biblical, sinful anti-Christian homosexuals has come to an end! But if you have sex outside of marriage, which the state and the church say is impossible for gays and lesbians, then you have crossed the line, you are beneath the rest of us, indeed you are an unrecoverable sub-human who has issues, yes, issues with sex, and lust, and impropriety.

Although this was not an issue with the most famous Jew of all time, Jesus Christ--he was more concerned with getting the basic ducks in order, about loving each other, and caring for each other, in the greater human family, not just one's immediate family. Can you imagine what he would have thought about asking a person not to have sex in order to be a rabbi? I think he and Mary Magdalene would have had a good laugh.

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