My father, not my favorite. He is without a doubt the most self-absorbed, twisted, abusive, brilliant, myopic son of a bitch on the planet. So, he was a chemist. That much I already know. He worked out of a basement lab in Harvard, doing research for a toothpaste company. I also know that there was an accident at the lab one night, that my father was arrested, beginning the first truly peaceful period in our home. But here’s the thing, Olivia: my gut tells me that your friend’s life, the one hanging in the balance, not gonna be saved by a tube of toothpaste.
we’ve reached a point where science and technology have advanced at such an exponential rate for so long, it may be way beyond our ability to regulate and control them. you should know what you’re getting into, agent Dunham.
Pope Francis seems to be a wonderful human being and Christian. Like the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, his goodness, kindness and compassion transcend the usual religious boundaries. However, when asked about this pope, I also add, “So far, so good.” I have been saying, over and over again, that this pope, with a winning persona, has changed the tone of the papacy—which, admittedly, must feel to many Catholics like a cool drink of water in the desert, compared to the tone of his two predecessors. But while tone matters, there have been no substantive changes in the teaching, doctrine or policy of the church.
With respect to people like me, who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, we are “intrinsically disordered,” so says the church. Let that sink in. “Intrinsically” means there’s not a damned thing you can do about it; it’s just the way you are. “Disordered” means nature has made a categorical mistake with you, you are fundamentally flawed, and the most you can hope for from the church is pity, but what you will probably get instead is condemnation and exclusion.
If the feel-good “Francis effect” lulls people into ignoring these teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, of which he is the head, then shame on us. I believe Pope Francis has picked the wrong issue and the wrong messenger to teach about civil disobedience. Davis has not been denied the right to conscientiously object; she has simply been denied the right to get away with it without paying a price.
The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Bishop Diocesan of New Hampshire, Retired