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The L Word

I learn from Bill Donohue in the Washington Post that not only am I one of a vast network of Secular Saboteurs, but I am a sexual libertine as well.

Libertine! If only I could be louche, but I will settle for libertinism.

I believe that Mr. Donohue’s post was actually printed in the Post; I haven’t seen a printed copy of that newspaper for a few years, myself, and they don’t indicate a page number on that link, but I don’t suppose it matters, really. The point is that it’s about sexual libertines, who (according to Mr. Donohue) run the world (but don’t procreate—breeders evidently are doin’ it wrong), motivated most of all by a pathological hatred of Christianity.

No, stop laughing. You depraved saboteurs and your shoes—well, us depraved saboteurs, anyway—may think it’s all about the flesh, but it’s really about the Spirit. We are termites, libertine termites, and, um, that’s a bad thing, you see, because, on the whole, it’s better to have repressed termites, or just termites with very low libidos. Right? On the other hand, religious conservatives are like rabbits, who presumably have high libidos, or at least short gestational periods, and don’t walk their dogs, because rabbits walking dogs would be against Scripture, like multiculturalism and scrubbing. Scrubbing, very bad. Also bathing. Cleanliness, evidently, is metaphorically quite far from the Divine.

OK, just for fun, here’s us, according to the column: nihilists, saboteurs, libertines, malcontents, elements, radicals, anarchists, menaces, students, Yaleys (now that’s a low blow), secularists, activists, blasphemers, artists, masters, charlatans, zealots, and termites. We scrub, we club, we tear, we annihilate, we wage war, we attack, we pervert, we hate, we shudder, we seize, we politicize, we denigrate, we insult, we bash, we harbor, we bash, we lie, we ban, we punish, we are flagrantly insubordinate, we walk dogs and bathe and (this is the great part) we are losing the culture war. Which you can tell by the way we are in charge of everything (seriously, “the gay activists are in charge” of the Democratic Party) and still “In the fight over gay marriage, the scorecard is 30-0”. He doesn’t say which way, though.

Yeah, see, that’s the thing. We are too busy being sexual libertines to get gay marriage legalized in Vermont, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and somewhere else, can’t think of it, begins with a C. It’ll come to me. Sorry, too busy to look it up. Libertinism really takes it out of a fellow.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


Okay, usually when you or someone else I like to read takes apart a conservative columnist, I can get a good enough sense of what s/he is writing about from your criticism, and most of the time I think, "eh, don't really need to read that."

This time, however, from your post, I have not the faintest idea what Mr. Donohue's point is. So I clicked over and read* it.

And I still haven't the faintest clue.

*Where by "read" I mean, "started skimming after the first couple of paragraphs when it became apparent that the effort of close reading would not be repaid by the reward of adequate understanding."

The key is to keep in mind that the next day, Mr. Donohue will go to the town meeting and propose that he can keep the kids out of trouble with a boy's band—and that band's gonna be in uniform! Johnny, Willy, Teddy, Fred!


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