Another honest voice in the gay community
Story: An openly gay radio talk show host has admitted that in the Catholic priest scandals, “what you have here are not pedophiles. You have predatory gay men . . . ”
Al Rantel, a talk show host for KABC radio in Los Angeles, said on CNN’s “Talk Back Live” on June 14 that “these predatory gay men found their way into the Catholic priesthood in inordinately large numbers,” adding that “it makes the Boy Scouts look prescient with what they did” [in banning gay Scoutmasters].
Following is a transcript of Rantel’s comments:
“Well, I mean, and I don’t say this happily, Arthel, because, as you may know, I happen to be gay myself. I’m openly gay here on the radio in Los Angeles, and have been for many years.
But I have to tell you that, you know, even if you are gay, two and two is still four, and there’s this proverbial 3,000-pound elephant sitting in the room that no one wants to talk about. This is not a pedophile issue, although the media called it a pedophile issue, because they don’t want to insult the gay community. They don’t want to be politically incorrect.
But what you have here are not pedophiles. You have predatory gay men — and there are some of us, believe me, I don’t happen to be one of them but there are some and we should all admit they’re there. And these predatory gay men found their way into the Catholic priesthood in inordinately large numbers, you know, it makes the boy scouts look prescient with what they did. And these gay men have gone after young males. And I think it’s disgraceful, and I think the media needs to address this. The gay community needs to address this.”
The more I think about this, the more I see a weird parallel between the majority of talking heads in the gay community and some of the dumb and outrageous things said by some of our clergy, and this is why I think it bugs me so much. A bishop from Honduras stands up and says “This is all a plot by Catholic bashers to attack the Church!” and everybody rightly tells the bishop to shut up, face reality and clean up his community, not blame the people who are exposing the sickness at the heart of it. And yet, how do the words of the overwhelming number of apologists for the gay community differ in any substance from the bishop’s? The thing about Rantel’s comments is that they are news. They are unusual for a gay person to say. They break ranks. Most gay talking heads spend their time complaining that “gays are being scapegoated” just like the bishop complained that Catholics were being scapegoated. They don’t want to face the sickness at the heart of their own community and attack anybody who tries to expose that sickness as a gay-basher. I, for one, applaud Rantel for facing this problem squarely and not engaging in the sort of “shoot the messenger” rhetoric that has made some of our bishops–and most of the gay talking heads–look so silly. I hope he will be heeded by the members of his community.