WHAT’S THAT GOT TO DO WITH IT?
Catalyst September Issue 1997
We recently sent a letter to Christopher Noble, the owner and publisher of a line of greeting cards, protesting one of his cards that parodied a priest kissing the Pope’s ring. Because the card wasn’t the most offensive one we’ve seen, we made a fairly mild complaint. We simply said, “We appeal to your sense of fairness and goodwill and ask that you consider the sensibilities of your Catholic customers in the development and promotion of your cards in the future.” What we got back in response was another story altogether.
“I am a mature man,” wrote Noble, “with a successful business and a happy home.” Great, we thought. “I have many loved ones including two God children who I help support and nurture,” he informed. This also sounds great, as does his next line, “I contribute more each year to charity than some people make.” Still, we’re wondering, what does this have to do with our complaint?
His next comment was also puzzling: “I am a self-made man who had to struggle and claw to find success and happiness.” So? Then he unloads with, “I am also a homosexual. That is why I have had to struggle.” With that off his chest, we were still left wondering, what’s that got to do with it? We should have known.
“It is a horror,” explained Noble, “how many lives of homosexual men the Catholic church has directly ruined. I was strong enough to survive. Many others are not.” Good gracious. We never thought that the Church’s teaching that sexual relations should be confined to marriage was responsible for so much misery, but now we know just how wrong we were. “The Catholic Church,” he continued, “spreads, bigotry, intolerance and homophobia throughout the world,” and that is why Noble told us that he has no concern “for respecting any Catholic institution, most notably the Pope.”
We particularly liked Noble’s remark, “The Pope doesn’t recognizer [sic] my God given right to be the person I am” (our emphasis). That isn’t true, but the last thing we want Noble to think is that we don’t recognizer his right to be wrong.