Sunday, November 05, 2006

The devil makes a good argument...

I was on Mark Shea's blog recently and saw a link to this story: "Parish cancels 'Catholic' drag queens' bingo games"

What is most interesting to me is not how the parish of the chancellor of the Archdiocese of San Francisco ended up renting its hall to the notorious "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence," or how the grassroots strength of Catholics from around the country called and wrote in on this matter until action was, the most interesting part was contrasting the sordid details of this story with the response from the "Sisters" upon their bingo event lease being cancelled. An excerpt:
The primary mission of The Sisters is involvement in and support of the local community. This includes working with and supporting many local community organizations whose ability to serve their constituency is dependent on contributions from charitable groups like the Sisters. Without the thousands of dollars raised by the consistently sold-out monthly bingo event, their services may be cut at a time when charitable giving is more critical than ever.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence believe that our commitment to giving is in alignment with the philosophy of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, which represents a cross-section of the San Francisco population. It is unfortunate and extremely disappointing that this appears not to be the case, and that our shared values cannot overcome our differences of opinion when it comes to how we serve the community.

Let's imagine that you only heard that a group gay "Catholics" holding a charitable bingo game had been kicked out of a Catholic parish, then read that group's response. It sounds pretty reasonable, pretty squeaky clean, pretty convincing almost...almost...

I find oftentimes that so much of my frustration comes with the oft-repeated human experience that the devil makes a mighty good argument...and distracts people from common sense. The common sense in this particular story comes in realizing who the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are, and how they were raising charitable funds. From the story:
The next game, featuring master of ceremonies "Peaches Christ" -- was scheduled for Thursday, All Souls Day, when Catholics typically pray for deceased loved ones.

The Sisters' motto "Go and sin some more" is indicative of their use of mockery to express opposition to Catholic moral norms. They are infamous for their offensive street theater, in which they use Catholic symbols and images to shock opponents and entertain allies. Catholics who walked in the West Coast Walk for Life in 2005 and 2006 report they were heckled and jeered with blasphemous catcalls by the group.

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A Sept. 14 article by "Sister Dana Van Iquity" in the homosexual newspaper San Francisco Bay Times stated, "The long awaited return of the Castro's longest running Bingo – Revival Bingo —kicked off at Ellard Hall on Sept. 7 at 100 Diamond Street and 18th [the address of Most Holy Redeemer] in the heart of the Castro. The new home includes more space, more seating capacity, a big stage, and a brand new sound & video system (thanks to Dave the bear) with all players on one main floor instead of having to hang from the rafters at the old venue. … A gaggle of nuns -- dozens really -- opened the show, carrying candles and acting rather solemn with slow, marching steps. But when the sound system played 'Gonna Make You Sweat,' the Sisters commenced to clapping and dancing wildly down the aisles, getting everyone's energy up."

The article went on to describe sexual "punishments" meted out to participants whose cell phones ring during the game or who call a false bingo. Prizes distributed to winners, according to the article, range from "wines to porn DVDs to sex toys to toasters and more."

So the group basically stands in ridicule and intense mockery of nearly everything that the Catholic Church is, then feigns disapointment that "our shared values cannot overcome our differences of opinion." Well, there are differences of opinion and there are differences of opinion, apparently.

Go read the whole story to see it all

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