Sunday, October 10, 2010

Well, so much for my theory...

In one moment, I comment that in looking at the very troubling series of suicides from gay teenagers, if one wants to assess blame to right-wing commenters and religious groups, one also has to look at the media for playing up divisive commentators instead of those with more nuanced views.  Most religious, including Catholicism, do not preach anything close to hatred of gays, and that by implying that they do, the media may be leading gay teens to believe they are more hated than they are.

Then, I look at the news, and see that, at this particular moment in history, New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino decided to say this

New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino criticized gays Sunday, saying he didn't want children "to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option," compared to heterosexuality.

"It isn't," Paladino said at a stop in Brooklyn, New York.
A prepared version of his remarks obtained by CNN from New York affiliate NY1 said that "There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual," though Paladino did not wind up delivering that line.
"That's not how (God) created us," the prepared remarks continued, though Paladino did not say those words.

Paladino distributed copies of his prepared remarks to reporters at the event, an address to a group of Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood. 
The candidate's remarks came a day after New York police announced the arrest of an eighth suspect in a series of brutal, anti-gay hate crimes against four men. 

Well, so much for my contention that real homophobia is a fringe phenomenon being played up by political opportunists.

And, if that wasn't enough, after being criticized by his opponent, Paladino's campaign responded with this:

Carl Paladino's position on this is exactly equivalent to the Catholic Church," Caputo told CNN. "And if Andrew Cuomo has a problem with the Catholic Church's position on abortion and homosexuality, he needs to take it up with his parish priest."
Great.  So now it's Catholicism.  My responses:

  1. Paldino's comments and Cuomo's criticism were not about abortion.
  2. It is true that the Church does not regard homosexual orientation to be an equal calling to heterosexual orientation, even referring to the former as "intrinsically disordered."  It is not the official teaching of the Church that gays are engaged in a brainwashing campaign.
  3. If Paladino were to take up his remarks with his parish priest, I would hope that he would receive some counseling about pastoral sensitivity
Indeed, while I'm not typically a fan of pressuring bishops to take some action in political capaigns, it may be worthwhile for them to not let the Church be used as a cover for pandering to homophobia.

UPDATE:  Dave Weigel suggests that Paladino is a bit of an outlier, and not worth the attention he is likely to receive.  I had suspected that if someone running for statewide office in a blue state would be somewhat close to the mainstream, but Weigel would probably know better than I.

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