The Catholic League’s perennial malcontent, Bill Donohue, is now kvetching over how the tables seem to have turned over his brand of prudish Christianism:
For most of American history, manger scenes adorned public property at Christmastime without controversy. It was also normal to ban public nudity. But times have changed: now the authorities in Santa Monica and San Francisco are set to rule on these issues.
Today in Santa Monica a federal judge will decide whether the city can ban churches from erecting crèches in Palisades Park. On Tuesday, lawmakers in San Francisco will decide whether the city can ban public nudity. Activists in the atheist and homosexual communities are responsible for upending these traditions.
Those doggone heathens and their anti-religious, pro-nudity (?) ways!
And naturally, it wouldn’t be a Donohue rant if there weren’t plenty of gratuitous swipes at those filthy gheys:
Homosexuals have been walking around naked in San Francisco with increasing regularity, and tomorrow lawmakers will rule on whether to adopt an ordinance that would make public nudity illegal. There is a caveat: because gay pride is inseparable from genital liberation, the law being considered would still allow these men to go naked at the annual gay pride parade, and at the Folsom Street Fair; the latter event is marked by naked homosexuals who whip each other in the street. Jolly for them, they will still be allowed to torture themselves in public even if the law is passed.
Of course, as has already been noted, San Francisco’s policy regarding public nudity and the proposed law to ban it has nothing to do with “gay pride” (and whatever grotesque caricature Donohue’s fevered mind may fabricate about it) and is instead the result of nudist activists in the area, who are largely considered to be majoritarily straight. In other words, it’s Donohue’s precious heterosexuals who want to retain the right to bare it all in the streets, but that would be too inconvenient to admit, so he’d rather just close his eyes and wag his stubby finger towards Big GayTM, instead.
But the overall point is even more discrediting towards him. Throughout all that whining and grinding of teeth and shaking of tiny fists about those pesky gays and atheists, one thing Donohue never even mentions – perhaps because he knows doing so would destroy his argument – is that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (corroborated by decades of judicial precedent) strictly prohibits government endorsements of religion. Even the nuttiest of religious-Rightists have yet to come up with any rationale to explain how allowing explicitly religious displays on government property shouldn’t be interpreted as a violation of the separation of church and state, which thus explains why they rely exclusively on tiresome red herrings about “tradition!” and “religious liberty!” where they simply don’t apply.
In the end, there’s a reason why government-endorsed religious displays are outlawed whereas public nudity is (for now, in certain select locales) legal. Seeing others in their birthday suits may be disturbing to some (or even most, given how prudish Americans are known to be), but I’ve yet to hear about it ever causing harm to anyone. And if the sight of wieners and vajayjays is more disturbing to you than the thought of breaking down the only line of defense between a government that treats all faiths equally and one that’s overrun by the very kind of oppressive theocrats the U.S. Founding Fathers sought to keep out in the first place, then I propose you have bigger issues to deal with than the risk of seeing others enjoy full-body tans out on the sidewalk.
Edit: 11/19/12 9:55 PM ET – Revised the concluding paragraph for coherency.