Wednesday, June 25, 2003

John Derbyshire quietly reflects on homosexuality and the clergy

Any organization that admits frank and open homosexuals into its higher levels will sooner or later abandon its original purpose and give itself over to propagating and celebrating the homosexualist ethos, and to excluding heterosexuals and denigrating heterosexuality.

The key phrase there is "frank and open." These things I am talking about are new in the world. Catholic seminaries of 50 years ago were not, to judge at any rate from the novels of J. F. Powers, plagued with the kinds of issues detailed in Michael Rose's book, though there must have been lots of homosexuals in them.

In this sense, the problem is not homosexuals or homosexuality. I am sure that God loves homosexuals and has a purpose for them. (I even think that their prowess in the "caring professions" offers some clue as to what that purpose might be.) The problem is the sexual revolution. The problem is hedonism. The problem is the preening vanity and selfishness of "coming out," of parading private inclinations, of a kind that repel normal people, as if those inclinations were, all by themselves, marks of authenticity and virtue, of suffering and oppression. A large part of the problem, too, is "heterophobia" — the dislike, mistrust, and contempt which many homosexuals feel towards normal people.

My own reaction to all this is, well, reactionary. I rather liked the old order I grew up in, where everyone knew that the local vicar or the Latin master was a bit of an iron,* but that he kept his hands to himself and his private life private, and did a first-class job of work in his chosen line. Such a one could be a respected and admired member of the community. That homosexual schoolmaster in my National Review piece was known and liked throughout our town — a substantial place, pop. 100,000 — and widely mourned when he died.

The Rev. Robinson, with his selfish betrayal of two little babes, and Canon John, with his self-important announcements about his "lifestyle" and his bedroom activities, will never have that kind of respect and admiration, certainly not from me.The church that they and their friends are busily colonizing will soon be one that ordinary Christian families will stay away from in droves.

Organized Christianity began as a religion for women and slaves. It looks set fair to end, at least in the Western world, as a religion for homosexuals. The only thing that might turn the tide would be a determined missionary effort by the diocese of Nigeria.