I'm sorry this has come late, but I have had a very, no frantically, busy week. Celebrating Mass this morning, I found myself stumbling again and again with the new translation, microphones &c, and preaching very lack-lustredly.
But I can't let one incident go by entirely without comment. Fr Ray Blake, who is one of my dearest friends, has been sent a most unpleasant communication, accusing him, essentially, of inciting hatred and bigotry against gay people on his blog, and, essentially, threatening him with a scandal by involving his (and my) superiors.
'Hatred' and 'Bigotry' are words often used by secularists about religious people. It is such a strange comment to make. Now I think that one does encounter it among some Christians in some places; I understand that in some places in the United States certain Protestant Christians feel it their duty to display signs saying 'God hates fags' and similar things. Never, ever, have I heard or seen anything of the sort from a Catholic, however opinionated. And never, ever, have I heard or seen anything of the sort from any Christian, Protestant or Catholic, in this country. I'm not saying these have never happened; only that I have never witnessed them.
God hates nobody. God hates nothing that he has made. God loves gays, lesbians, even Richard Dawkins. Even me, which is really a miracle of tolerance.
Thinking, even writing, that gay people might be better off being continent if they wish to live the full Christian life may be disagreed with, but slinging around cheap accusations of bigotry does nothing even for the gay cause, if truth is what they are after. And this is as true for Christians as for Stonewall.
We live in a multicultural society, and we have to rub along with all sorts of ways of life that we think are less than ideal. It's part of being human. But if certain members of the gay community demand tolerance and understanding, then they have to show it to others also. They demand we understand them; they must try and understand us, and not base their accusations on caricatures of what they think we believe.