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Seth Meyers Show: Pope Is ‘Homophobic’

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-NxRZ46fBw]

Jenny Hagel, a lesbian writer for Seth Meyers’s late-night show, rips Pope Francis over his recent statement that gays should not be priests. In her monologue, she denounces Francis as a “homophobe,” and implicitly compares Francis to the KKK because of his papal regalia: “Remember that white robes are the official uniforms of people with bad ideas.”

I don’t suppose I can blame a gay person who rejects Catholic teaching for being ticked off at the Pope’s upholding it, though I can’t recall a late-night comedy show devoting three minutes to a monologue denouncing Francis for the way he’s handled the sex abuse scandal. This clip shows that the media loves Francis only insofar as he validates what secular liberals hold sacred. He was even celebrated as Person of the Year by a national gay magazine after his “Who am I to judge?” comment.

“We should all care about this because the Pope is a world leader who is giving people permission to be prejudiced,” Hagel says in the clip. Ah. A pope who affirms longstanding Catholic teaching on homosexuality is now guilty of hate speech, and encouraging others to hate. By inference, you’re a Catholic or some other Christian who affirms traditional Christian teaching on this matter, you’re a hater too, according to a writer for Seth Meyers’s show, and are encouraging others to hate.

Don’t feel too sorry for Francis. He has traded on ambiguity for a long time, and has made so many pro-LGBT statements and appointments that it’s not surprising that people like Jenny Hagel were shocked to read the Pope say something that is bog-standard Catholicism. Still, that clip, which appeared on national television, is a sign of the times. The reader who sent it to me writes:

This woman is a complete ignoramus of what the Church teaches and her irreverence is telling, but we have here on television the first actual challenge to the Church on its role in “hate speech”.

I’m sure the Catholic Church has been challenged elsewhere on this point regarding its teaching on homosexuality, but the fact that this particular challenge appeared on a network comedy show is a sign that condemning the Catholic Church as a bigot factory is moving to the mainstream. The day is coming when every one of us is going to have to declare a position. The pro-gay Evangelical ethicist David Gushee was simply telling the truth in 2016 when he wrote:

It turns out that you are either for full and unequivocal social and legal equality for LGBT people, or you are against it, and your answer will at some point be revealed. This is true both for individuals and for institutions.

Neutrality is not an option. Neither is polite half-acceptance. Nor is avoiding the subject. Hide as you might, the issue will come and find you.

No matter how loving, how kind, how winsome you are, if you don’t line up with the new orthodoxy on LGBT issues, you are going to be made to pay for it. Pope Francis is a liberal’s dream pope in most respects, and has been exceptionally friendly to gay and lesbian Catholics. But to Jenny Hagel, he’s only two ticks away from Klucker. There is no middle ground.

UPDATE: A French reader e-mails:

I told you in a previous email that after three centuries of an anomalous absence, anti-clericalism had finally arrived to America. Jenny Nagel proves me right and if things are going by the French textbook it’s only the beginning and Christians can expect the worse in years to come, without any possibility to answer in kind as the most vicious attacks will come from “protected minorities”. Being rubbished by despicable people is something French Catholics have had to live for two centuries, and American Christians will have to live it until either they regain control of the culture (unlikely at this stage) or stop being nice guys (and girls) and fight back. I know, that’s unlikely too – it hasn’t happened yet in France either.

The Gushee quote consolidates my opinion that the culture war has been lost because it was badly fought. Our side fought for freedom of speech and religious liberty, when what is actually at stake is freedom of opinion. I remember French novelist Matthieu Lindon saying in an old interview that everyone had a right not to like migrants or gay people as long as they didn’t insult or assaulted them. It was, I thought and still think, a reasonable distinction but the SJW won’t even accept that. They want to be welcomed, embraced and affirmed and most of all they don’t want to be judged – hence their hatred of “judgmentalism” and the ubiquity of “not that there’s anything wrong with that” in the public discourse. The mere idea that someone somewhere someday may not like them or disapprove of their lifestyles is unbeareable to them. So they use all of their considerable political and cultural power to stomp on not only the expression but the mere existence of “prejudice”.

The problem is, it won’t work forever and I know it firsthand since European politicians used the same tactic to eradicate racism and anti-semitism and yet both are now making a massive comeback. Like it or not – and believe me, I don’t – human beings are inherently bigoted creatures and while it’s possible to suppress their bad tendencies for a while they never stay away from the surface for long. All it takes is a crisis or the appearance of such to have all the ugly things coming back with a vengeance. Now that homophobia has been put to rest it’s anti-clericalism’s turn to claim its place in the sun, and who knows what will come next.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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