Carol Platt Liebau: Ian McKellen: What's He Thinking?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ian McKellen: What's He Thinking?

Ian McKellen has an incredible tin ear when it comes to discussing matters of faith -- unfortunate, perhaps, given that he's one of the stars of "The Da Vinci Code."

First, he insinuated that the Bible is fiction. And now, he's proven that he's no better a spinmeister than he is a theologian, according to this piece. McKellen's latest?:

I'm very happy to believe that Jesus was married. I know that the Catholic Church has problems with gay people and I thought that this was absolute truth that Jesus was not gay.

I'm not a Catholic, but any fair observer of Catholic views would have to conclude that McKellen's remark smacks of bigotry -- and ignorance. The Church, as far as I know, doesn't have "problems with gay people." To the extent it has "problems," it's with homosexual behavior. That's because many believe that it's a sin. When it comes to homosexuality, as I understand it, the traditional Catholic view is akin to those of conservative Christians, as I described them here:

in approaching the whole question of homosexuality, their outlook is to "Love the sinner, hate the sin." They believe homosexual behavior is wrong, but they also believe that homosexuals carry the full weight of God's glory and are as beloved by the Almighty as any heterosexual He ever made.

Obviously, many will debate whether homosexual behavior is really a sin. But believing that it is doesn't turn one into a hater of gays, any more than hating indecisiveness turns one into a hater of people who manifest that quality.

Let's hope that in the future, McKellen either bones up on the facts or sticks to reciting the lines that others write for him.

6 Comments:

Blogger wrabkin said...

If I were gay and you said to me "I love you as one of God's creatures, but because of my religion, I will work to pass laws to allow companies to fire you based on your sex life, to allow landlords to refuse to rent to you. and work to amend the constitution to make sure you and the one you love are never allowed the same state-supplied marital rights (as opposed to church ones)," I would find it difficult to place a lot of faith in your love for me. And I would say you had a problem with me.

If I were gay, I would probably believe that what you would call my behavior is actually an innate part of my self.

And I would find your avowal of your "love" for me patronizing at best.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Carol Platt Liebau said...

Perhaps that is, indeed, what you would "feel" and what you would "find." That wouldn't make it true.

I haven't noticed Catholic groups advocating the firing of gays based only on their sexual preference or singling gays out as people against whom, uniquely, landlords should be able to discriminate.

Finally, the constitutional amendment about gay marriage has less to do with animus against gays than about making sure that courts cannot impose radical rearrangements of family structure in this country without the consent of the governed.

Most peoples' behavior, of all kinds, springs from "an innate part" of themselves. As many people of faith see it, that fact alone doesn't immunize it from objection or criticism -- whether it has to do with sex or anything else.

11:49 AM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

1. I thought the Catholic Church recently prohibited homosexuals from becoming priests even if their sexual preference were not manifested in behavior.

2. The language of the defense-of-marriage amendment would appear to strip the states of their traditional jurisdiction over marriage. This language should be objectionable to a conservative federalist. (See George Will's recent column on this point.)

3:20 PM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

Homosexuality did exist in Bible times. In fact, the Bible is very clear that homosexuality is a sin (Genesis 19:1-13; Leviticus 18:22; 1 Corinthians 6:9). The Bible says that homosexuality comes as a result of disobeying God. Romans 1:26-27 says, "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." From here.

Pretty clear to me. It seems to me Christians just need to read the Bible more than they seem to do.

Same thing with Adultery, Murder, Theft, etc. They all come from Selfishness.

7:51 AM  
Blogger Yonmei said...

Perhaps that is, indeed, what you would "feel" and what you would "find." That wouldn't make it true.

So basically, what gay people feel about being told that for them, falling in love and getting married is a mortal sin, is "not true"? Wow. It takes some real arrogance to tell people their feelings are not true.

I haven't noticed Catholic groups advocating the firing of gays based only on their sexual preference

Then you haven't been paying attention: any time the issue comes up legislatively, to make it illegal for employers to fire people for their sexual orientation, Catholic groups are right in there claiming this is an infringement of "religious liberty".

or singling gays out as people against whom, uniquely, landlords should be able to discriminate.

Then, again, you haven't been paying attention.

1:50 AM  
Blogger Yonmei said...

Oops - I just realised how old this blog post is. I found it googling on Ian McKellan, but if you're not interested in continuing the discussion, feel free to ignore it...

1:51 AM  

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