Sorry, *Gay or Straight Friends in Rome*, this is just Rude

Wait, let me get my eyeroll over with, in anticipation of all the people who, knowing nothing about me, will nevertheless descend on this blog screaming “homophobe.”

Now that that’s out of the way, Huffpo Religion did one of their attention-getting tweets about big, bad old Catholicism: LOOK: The photos of gays and lesbians kissing in church that the Vatican doesn’t want you to see

And then the breathless:

Despite Pope Francis’ earlier remarks about opening up the Church, the Vatican has firmly shut the door on artist Gonzalo Orquin’s latest exhibit, “Trialogo,” . . .The exhibit consists of photographs of same-sex couples kissing in churches mainly located in Rome, but the pictures have been covered up after the Vatican sent the gallery a notice threatening legal action and saying that “the church is against the exhibition.”

Quite a lede. Let’s pretend that Pope Francis, who sincerely wants to open wide the doors to the field hospital that is the church by opening wide the doors to Christ, actually meant that he wants to see people sucking face before her altars and tabernacles, but the baaaad old Vatican is thwarting him!


And this, is supposed to make it all alright, then:

The photos were all taken in Rome churches save one, and both gay and straight people offered to pose for Orquin.

Having looked at the slideshow, all I can say is, “thank you, Vatican, for objecting” and I would say the same if the slideshow was a bunch of straight couples. Why? Because an altar, a tabernacle, a prayerspace is not the place for showboating or for demonstrating the wonderfulness of yourself and what you think is the most important thing in the world, which is you and your feelings.

It’s not a difficult thing to learn: everything is not always about you.

If I’m in someone’s house, I comport myself as a guest. I show respect for their values and their feelings, and if I cannot do that, I do not accept the invitation to their home. I certainly do not go through their open doors and then put myself and my feelings or beliefs forward in a way I know will discomfit them. Because I am not a perpetual adolescent, I would not rudely act out, just because I felt I had some point to prove.

Sorry. I’m sorry to sound like the Church Lady, but rude is rude. That “show” was adolescent and rude.

There is a time and a place for everything under heaven. And before an altar where the sacrifice of the Mass has been performed, before a tabernacle in which resposes the Body of Christ, is not the place for polisexual activism.

My auntie had a saying: you want to be treated like an adult, you act like one. You want to be treated with class, start by having a little, yourself.

I have a saying, too: grow up.

Or, if you can’t grow up, at least consider the fact that, as Chesterton said, “when you choose one thing, you reject everything else.. If you’re choosing to be adolescent and rude, you’re rejecting an open hand that has been directed toward you, just to make a point.

We only get so many choices in life. Choose wisely. Or at least, less rudely.

UPDATE: Note the asterisks in the headline*. A gentleman I have never spoken to — and who I doubt has ever read me before but seemed anxious to alert me that I might be a homophobe, sent me a tweet taking offense at the header — which read — “Sorry, Gay Friends in Rome, this is just Rude” — and asking if I was shaming all gay people in the whole world for the rude acts of a few. Well, for the record, the word “shame” appeared nowhere in this piece (because I hate when people go “shhhhaaaame on you!”) and of course I wasn’t; the headline was already “Rome”-specific. But he then asked if I meant to say that all gay folk in Rome were responsible.

Honestly, I more or less assumed — call it a good-faith assumption — that ordinary readers with a bit of common sense would understand that my Church Lady Finger Wag was directed to the people who created the rudeness and those who found it applause-worthy. I pretty much spelled that out, in the text.

But apparently very little is obvious in the world, and an assumption of bad faith must always be assumed…or something…and so I was urged to edit my header — and permitted to do so as I saw fit — in such as way as to insure that no one could misconstrue my meaning and possibly take a hurt via a bad-faith assumption that I was castigating every gay person in the world. Or in Rome.

Now, long time readers know that I am never happy to learn that I have unintentionally given offense — I try to always be very overt in my offense-giving because there is already too much confusion in a world clamoring for clarity. But after pondering the issue for a few minutes (and noting that I had clearly stated that I’d be offended whether the couples were gay or straight) I decided to amend the header to insure absolute lucidity on that point.

Because I’m very delicate in that way.

Browse Our Archives