Remember when Minnesota was a progressive state? Before Norm and Tim and Michelle emerged as our saviors? Well, that's over, as my mother used to say.
It was recently brought to light that the University of St. Thomas "disinvited" Archbishop Desmond Tutu after it was determined that Tutu had said things "hurtful" to some Jews, apparently about Israel.
Tutu was invited to the university through a program called PeaceJam International, which organizes conferences for high school students on issues related to peace.
Doug Hennes, vice president for university and government relations at St. Thomas, explained the dis this way:
Read it all, puhleez.
“We had heard some criticism of him in the past that he had said things some people judged to be anti-Semitic. We talked to the Jewish Community Relations Council. We know a number of other people in the Jewish community, and they said that some of the things he said had been hurtful and there was a feeling - and this isn’t among all Jews - that he had said things that were hurtful to them."
Toodles Tutu. At least until an uproar developed and the University reconsidered and recanted. But it was too late for Tutu, whose address next April has been moved to Metropolitan State University instead.
Then last week, St. Frances Cabrini Church was told by the Catholic archdiocese (do we call that the bishopric or is that just an Anglican thing?) that a planned speech by Carol Curoe and her father Robert about their book, "Are There Closets in Heaven? A Catholic Father and Lesbian Daughter Share Their Story," could not happen. It's not because the Catholic church doesn't like lesbians, they just don't like lesbians who have sex.
According to the Minnesota Monitor, Dennis McGrath, (aye Denny, I knew ye when! Wha' happened?) spokester for the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis, said that because of Curoe's active lesbian lifestyle and the related content in the book, "the parish was asked not to hold the event." McGrath said, "We welcome gay and lesbian members into the church, but they have the same rules of the road as heterosexuals." Those rules dictate that there will be no sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage, he said.
"We cannot allow that message to be heard in the parish. It's antithetical to our beliefs and our doctrine," he said.
Um, does he know that a woman can conceive a child without having sex? And I don't mean the virgin Mary thing, I mean the turkey baster thing.
Never mind. Curoe must have revealed in her book that she -- hold on for this one -- has a sexual relationship with her partner. So mating for life and raising a child is antithetical to the church doctrine -- if you have sex with that mate. Because sex outside of marriage is antithetical to church doctrine. But getting married is antithetical to church doctrine if you happen to be gay or lesbian. So that leaves you one choice, s celibate life. And we know how well that's been working out for Catholic priests.
Folks, this is NUTS. I almost prefer the fire and brimstone Baptists thundering about the abomination of homosexuality than this mealy mouthed splitting of hairs about welcoming gays and lesbians -- as long as they're spayed and neutered.
If you want to see how deeply religious families like those of Rep. Richard Gephart or locals Phil and Randi Reitan come to terms (or don't) with their sexually normal gay and lesbian kids, check out the film -- still playing at the Lagoon in Uptown, Minneapolis but also at other theaters around the nation, -- for the BIBLE tells me so.
And call Dennis McGrath and the rest of the gang at the Bishopric and invite them along. Not to worry, there's no sex, at least not on screen.