God the Father, the Elephantine God - Whatever

January 2004

Richard Rodriguez is probably America’s favorite “gay Catholic.” More mellow than Andrew Sullivan, he’s frequently heard on National Public Radio and seen on PBS’s NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.

And he’s Mexican-American to boot, though as a self-described “queer” living in San Francisco, you can be sure he’s not going to get a warm reception in the barrios. Richard Alleva has described him thus: “A Hispanic man of letters more devoted to nineteenth-century British literature than to…Gabriel García Márquez. A consumer of pop culture turned on by Broadway musicals rather than mariachi. A writer who will quote Joseph Addison in the pages of his latest book [Brown] but not César Chávez. A traitor to his race, you might say.”

But in p.c. America, you can be a deracinated Mexican, but you still count as a Mexican, and as an authority on all things Mexican. So in the Diverse People’s Republic of the United States, he’s a prized possession. Or, in Affirmative Action terms, he’s a twofer (were Rodriguez a female homosexual, he’d be a threefer).

Rodriguez’s writings have been described as “haunting,” and something he wrote in the National Catholic Reporter (Nov. 2, 2001) continues to haunt us. It’s about the masculine and feminine impulses in religion.

But first, let’s back up. When we were Episcopalian we were well aware that there was a vastly disproportionate percentage of homosexual priests in the Episcopal Church, many of them “active” and some of them discreetly “open” about it. In 1976, contrary to Anglican tradition, the Episcopal Church decided to ordain priestesses, and after that, certain Episcopal bishops were admitting that they were knowingly ordaining active homosexuals to the priesthood. And now the Episcopal Church has an actively and openly homosexual bishop, duly given approbation by his fellow bishops. Meanwhile, various Episcopal bishops have been denying key tenets of the Christian faith, such as the Virgin Birth, the physical Resurrection, the divinity of Christ, and the Trinity.

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New Oxford Notes: January 2004

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