The World's New Gay State

Peace Be With You, Madame Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Posted in Uncategorized by thegaystateblog on December 10, 2009

I happened to have been born into a Catholic family.  Over the years, for me, and yes religion is a very individual experience, the folly of the Church became blatant, the misguided papacy represented the heights of hypocrisy and my experiences with the Roman Catholic hierarchy revealed itself as an enemy of my people.  I believe they harm freedom-seeking and spiritually inclined Gays around the world.  I cannot continue to let my people suffer in silence and benign neglect from the church because of some other “goods” that they apparently stand for.

But as I have said, religion is a personal experience meant to bring you closer to your God.  Several very wise and loving friends of mine happen to follow the Catholic church and they choose to overlook the hatred and intolerance that is preached from the pulpit.  I think they believe their bond with their God is strong enough to withstand the meddling of hostile middle men who work to build artificial barriers.  I surround myself with diverse thinkers; some friends being Pro-Choice, some being Pro-Life (you might call them Anti-Choice,) some being Democratic Socialists and yes, even a few who fancy themselves as Republicans.  Some attend mass to enrich their lives.  Some attend services to be part of a community.  Others attend mass for the P.R. value.  Just think of the political candidates that have taken their message to the pulpits across America.

 On this particular Sunday, I attended the Gayest of Catholic churches in all of New York City; the St. Francis Xavier Church on W. 16th Street.  It is located on the edge of Chelsea; others call it the Union Square neighborhood.  But it is on its face, a very accepting church with a lovely and well-meaning congregation; most or at least many who are of the Gay community who call SFX the home for their spiritual enrichment.

 Just moments after the mass begins, who quietly walks in with her young, toddler-aged grandson and discretely takes a seat in a rear pew?  Non other than the woman who is third in line for the Presidency of the United States, the Honorable  Speaker of the House, Representative Nancy Pelosi.  I noticed her out of the corner of my eye, while seemingly very few others did.  New Yorkers tend to be non-plused by celebrity sightings anyway. 

 Speaker Pelosi was very pleasant, blended in as just another congregant.  She sang the hymns, and modestly distracted her young grandson, who while well-behaved, squirmed in his seat as toddlers do.  And she was a big tipper too.  Make that donor.  One isn’t suppose to notice these things in a house of worship but on this Sunday they passed the basket around two times.  The first time, she put two twenties in the basket, one from her, the other the grandson.  On the second passing, when most people scale back their offerings in a big way, she followed through and ponied up another $40 smackers.

 Then there is the part of the service when Catholics go through this offering of the peace to all of those sitting around them in neighbouring seats.  Generally, on queue, people smile at one another, shake hands and say “Peace be with you.”  They unclasp their handshake, turn to the next person and repeat.  Nancy, with her trademark smile and sparkling eyes, made eye contact to each and every participant she offered peace to.  Only then did some people recognize her.  As the mass ended and the congregants turned to depart the church, only then could one see the Secret Service agents in the church, at the entrance and guarding her awaiting SUV waiting just outside the door.

Word quickly spread in hushed tones, others clearly responded to what might be defined as a celebrity sighting.  People, one at a time came to her as everyone slowly exited the church.  The congregants thanked her for all that she is doing to provide the citizens of the US with health care.  Others thanked her in fighting the “evil doers” who work to deny affordable health care.  Even more thanked her for all of her efforts and others shouted from a moderate distance, “God Bless You, Nancy Pelosi!”  I believe she was a genuine Catholic practicing her faith.  She didn’t seem to be one of the countless phonies I have met in my lifetime, just trying to put in a good show.

It must be nice.  It must be comforting and reassuring to believe in a faith that is not determined to rob you of your civil rights.  If we are all perfect; made in God’s image and he made us as we are, who then is the church to shout “Blasphemy!” at our families and who we love?  The Catholic church has supported our executioners for thousands of years, enabling those who subject us to brutal oppression.  It is an organization I will not break bread with anytime soon.

And then, there are the parishioners, like my friends and like Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sincere, genuine and well meaning, who embody the goodness of humanity.  May their God bless them heartily!


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