Gay Manifesto the rantings and ravings of a revolutionary

Tamara Scott-Williams

Sunday, May 27, 2012

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Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions. — Karl Marx


WHEN few could read anything, much less ancient texts, religious elders were the sole interpreters of the word of God and would use fear as a means of social control, evoking 'fire and brimstone' preachings and descriptions of judgement day and eternal damnation to encourage following and repentance.


Thank God for the Internet.


Information is no longer the sole-source realm of the soapbox and pulpit and newsprint pundits. With the Internet we can quickly check, double-check, and read and discover more than we really have time for. And it was to the Internet that I turned after learning that the Reverend Peter Garth, at the Jamaica Observer's Monday Exchange, was willing to die in battle over something called the Gay Manifesto.


The Observer online headline read: "Full text of the Gay Manifesto! Clergyman willing to die in fight against gay lobby." Intrigued by this headline, I read on.


For those who missed it, the text, according to Reverend Garth, begins: "We shall sodomise your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theatre bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses, in your truck stops, in your all-male clubs, in your houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together. Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us."


Scared the hell out of me, it did.


The text continues with outrageous and incendiary statements which Garth rightly suggests are crafted to destroy the heterosexual family and eventually the society. Garth has said that he is prepared to die in the fight against what he described as a "very powerful" gay lobby. A little extreme perhaps, but intolerance does have its place. Unfortunately, this is not the place.


For on this occasion, what was missing was one line of the so-called 'Manifesto' that serves to reduce the text to its most basic and innocuous form: the rantings and ravings of a revolutionary. In fact, the actual title of the piece is: 'The Gay Revolutionary' and it is an essay written by one Michael Swift who in 1987 was asked to contribute an editorial piece to a gay community magazine.


The essay begins: "This essay is an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor." This is a vital line which sets the context for the piece.


On another inflammatory note. A dear family friend who knows of my ascendancy to the presidency of the Second Wives Club (also known as the Trophy Club) sent me the following joke about why women are so much better at financial planning than men:


Dan was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business. When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father died, he decided he needed a wife with whom to share his fortune. One evening at an investment meeting he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away. "I may look like just an ordinary man," he said to her, "but in just a few years, my father will die, and I'll inherit $20 million." Impressed, the woman obtained his business card and three days later she became his stepmother.


If you're through laughing... It's jokes like those that give second wives such a bad rap. It's time, ladies, to start a local chapter and create our own manifesto. We'll have tea, share heart-warming/rending stories, plot our revenge and maybe take over the world in-between pedicures, tennis lessons and random acts of philanthropy with our husbands' money. Applications welcome, please indicate "Trophy Club" in the subject line of your e-mail.


scowicomm@gmail.com



Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


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