I recently finished the Penguin biography of Joseph Smith. It was interesting not only because of the bizarre Mormon saga, but also enlightening as to the incredible religious fervor that was extant at the time. It was extreme, and extremely popular, beyond anything imaginable today, murderous even. And yet democracy has survived, and the odds of our returning to such a collective consciousness are not even miniscule. They are zero.
I don’t hardly read Andrew Sullivan anymore. The power of the Christian right in America has been on the wane for years, and not only for years, but for hundreds of years. I’m not afraid of it, and those who wave it around as a bogeyman are just demagoging, as far as I’m concerned, even if it’s Andrew Sullivan.
As for the hetero-normal defensiveness, I have to confess I share it. I watched Before Night Falls again the other night. What a fantastic movie! How any liberal can defend Castro after seeing it, confounds me. But…, I can’t help feeling some sympathy with Castro’s desire to discourage the wild, hedonistic life-style of the Cuban homosexual community as portrayed in the movie. Of course he did more than discourage it, he brutally repressed it, and that is not only wrong, it is counter-productive, as Harcamone points out below. It seems to me that it must be allowed, but societally disapproved of. And that is exactly where we are at today in the U.S. And that’s fine with me. I feel the same way about pot-smoking.