While I’m no theologian, if this picking of the Rev. Rick Warren to perform at Mr. Obama’s Inauguration were truly for spiritual purposes, any man of salt would pick a universally-acclaimed Nobel Peace Laureate, like an Archbishop Desi Tutu or the like. Covers the spectrum of the globe and is the diametric opposite of any of these TV snake oil salesmen whose glittering Cubic Zirconia charlatanry is so transparent that once again the rest of Earth rolls its eyes and chortles in nervous titters.
But since it’s most definitely not about anything meaningfully spiritual, let’s abandon all the permutations on who has a bigger Jesus and who represents our Krispy Kreme Kristian Kulture more representationally. Remember, even if they picked the Pope himself, would we (gays) agitate because of the Catholic church’s execrable treatment of the Jews during WWII? Not for a second! Nope. Silence, indifference. This is what our adversaries fully understand: unless it effects us personally—and our non-profits can clang their profitable fundraising klaxons, we simply don’t show up. How does this appear to outsiders? That we apparently don’t care…whether it’s enormous issues like the 5 year-long occupation of Iraq with a million dead civilians (according to the non-controversial Oxford Research Bureau), not to mention 34,000 amputee or permanently brain-damaged US soldiers. Not a peep from our corner–only conspicuous disinterest.
I was a panelist last night on WABC in NY to comment on this churl, Nick Warren. The ultra conservative host in NY was quick to bring up blacks in LA as having pushed Prop 8 over the top through their bigotry. He was truly enjoying himself in an effort to foment controversy and contention. Surprisingly, perhaps, I don’t necessarily blame many blacks for their Prop 8 support because I don’t subscribe to the current wisdom our self-appointed gay leaders that this was some freak homophobic tsunami. Here’s why. How is it even remotely possible—given the historical choice of the past election, we gayfolk purposely made no outreach to the vast African American community? How did we so completely choose to ignore the millions of people south of Pico? What could be more screamingly obvious than the fact that blacks would be showing up to vote in record numbers, given the groundbreaking assent of this particular Democratic candidate? Why didn’t “we” (read: our self-appointeds who took millions in cash from us which went where?) … why didn’t we put even one PSA on TV speaking to this highly populous voting group? One 60 second spot could have so effectively delivered a message, for example, that the Mormon church didn’t even allow blacks or “Ethiopes”, as they so indelicately referred to them previously, within miles of Mormon temples until the late 70’s! Now, that same church wants to tell blacks exactly how to vote!
It is my opinion that instead of protesting and jabbering about religious picks, we agitate to a larger purpose, as Gore Vidal told me last spring. The more we haggle that we know best which brand of minister should be proffered during the Invocation, the more we create adversaries whose wobbly faith becomes threatened. And what does a threatened animal predictably do?
No longer can we let them frame the controversy or the argument in which we jump blindly and emotionally headlong into the pooge pile and wonder why we just slid another mile down the hill. We fancy ourselves to be a creative, bright, and intuitive bunch. Why aren’t we openly guffawing at the proselytizing preachers and their QVC diamonds flashing under the national Big Top? Are we actually taking these mountebanks seriously, ourselves? Have we become equally as brainwashed as the Mormons who prance about for Gawd in magic Mormon underwear? Prickly question to ask, isn’t it?
Let’s put our assets where they can do some real good and view politics as the make-believe it is—instrumental solely in shifting money and power from point A to point B. Want to get the straight folk on board? Think humanity, not gaiety on those scant occasions when we choose to show up. With rampant unemployment and Mother Earth exsanguinating through the melted nipples of its ice shelves, why not champion something which not only effects us, but all the other kids in our national sandbox of fun. Say, for instance, Universal Health Care for all Americanos. Don’t think this won’t wildly excite the “others”. Instead of exhibiting a yawn at universal human issues, we can instead lead by employing our extraordinary creative talents and passions to major ends. We can prove that our alleged narcissism isn’t the only thing that’ll draw us into fray.
I own that my admonitions here may feel unduly harsh, but what can history tally from us in the past 20 years apart from Prop 8…other than having, perhaps, arranging a sofa or two on TV.
Take a listen to what straight peoples’ assumptions are about why we’re so cuckoo for Coco Puffs over this. (You can hear this burlesque at: https://www.goharrison.com/Audiofiles/KABC_CurtisSliwa-Harrison-12.18.08.mp3) With all the grand woes hammering down upon humankind, they “hear” us freaking out over what appear to be luxury problems. They see unemployment, fear of starvation, mortgage crises, and worse. We yell we want to throw a wedding and be able to select the nation’s preacher for a TV invocation.