Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Foggy Bottom Explains What He Meant

What I Meant to Say: A Case for Same-Sex Marriage

 Crisis magazine today publishes Michael Pakaluk's brilliant and timely satire on Jody Bottum's essay in Commonweal.  
Crisis Editor’s Note: A friend passed on this manuscript written by someone named “Foggy Bottom,” which purports to be the notes or an alternative draft of a recent piece, with a similar title, which has received some attention by one “Jody Bottum” in Commonweal.  We cannot vouch for its authenticity, but in light of its curious content and approach, we think that our readers will find it of exceedingly great interest.

I had a friend named Jim Watson.  We used to play bluegrass music together on street corners in New York City.  When we did, Jim used to shout loudly to people passing by, using very crude and explicit language about his gay sexual practices.  That didn’t bother me.  I liked playing music with him.  (And I’m cool because of that.) But Jim became increasing anti-Catholic over time, showing intense and irrational hatred, first towards the hierarchy, and then towards all Catholics.  That didn’t bother me either; I still wanted to play old-timey Americana tunes with him.
Last time I was in New York, Jim did not return my phone call about playing music together.  I think I have lost him as a friend.  Actually, no one in the arts circles of New York wants to be my friend. The reason is that I am a Catholic and therefore stuck with a Church that annoyingly keeps opposing same-sex marriage.  Frankly, the Church right now is just a big embarrassment to me and a huge rock around my neck.
So, the purpose of this essay is to say that I wish the Church would make life easier for me.  I know that that sounds like special pleading and weakens my case, but hey … if I can re-frame the question, not in terms of what embarrasses me, but rather in terms of what will make the Church more effective, then no one will notice.
I don’t really have any arguments either, but I’m a damn good writer, and I think if this piece gets enough attention then I just might embarrass the Church leadership into agreeing with me, or at least enough Catholics so that no one will connect me anymore with the remaining fools.

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