The gay porn video controversy that has gripped a Tyrone parish and fuelled much discussion and ribald commentary elsewhere is probably much ado about nothing, or certainly very little. You would imagine in times when priests are being censured and censored by the Vatican Infallibilia while the Cardinal of Australia is calling Jews inferior ( he might really mean subhuman) that there would be more to tax the collective mind of parishioners than this business. The priest in the eye of the storm, Martin McVeigh, would appear to have done no wrong other than forget to erase the contents of his memory stick and ended up giving a PowerPoint presentation containing ‘images of guys with moustaches going at it hammer and tongs.'
Yes, it was foolish given the holy communion ceremony he was about to perform. But blunder rather than badness is written all over it.
So what if he watches gay porn. I like to watch soccer or Scandinavian crime fiction and he watches porn. Some like to drink, others take speed, acid, ecstasy, whatever, and the odd one does a bit of bird watching or poetry writing. It is the tapestry of modern existence that might get up the noses of the politically correct and the I just love to be offended brigade.
In spite of that lot there is enough tolerance about to permit people the space to do as they wish so long as they are not being harmful to others. That harm however provides no insurance cover for beliefs. On that front there is no right not to be offended, no ideas or opinions with special protection. Let them all take their chances in the crucible of reason. There are many who wish there were a right not to be offended. Just imagine the power that would give to them. Don’t watch this, don’t read that, don’t go there, don’t talk to her, don’t discuss that, don’t believe what I don’t believe. Welcome to the Dictatorship of Don’t.
The problem would be much greater if this priest was a carrier of the Iris Virus and went round hammering gays, calling down on their heads the fire and brimstone from a ‘loving god’ who would torture and torment them for the sheer pleasure of the I just love to be offended mob. When the pain of another is required for one’s own pleasure, that is a real abomination. McVeigh really needs to bite the bullet on this one and acknowledge his mistake as distinct from fessing up to any serious transgression. Otherwise the real crime is going to be in the cover up and he is going to draw ridicule down upon him rather than fire and brimstone:
The whole incident has more than a little Father Tedness to it, especially McVeigh's claims that he doesn't know how the images got on his key. Were they just resting in his account? Did he accidentally brush against another priest and catch them like a virus? Did an elite squad of gay priest porn-commandos put them on there while his attention was elsewhere?
That's how daft it has come to look.
It is not as if he is in the position of the anti-gay pastor Grant Storms in New Orleans earlier this year. This ‘Christian patriot’, as he promoted himself, was arrested for choking the chicken ‘in the vicinity of a carousel and playground where children were present.’ He wasn’t a kiddie fiddler by the way, just somebody who was horny and decided a quick flog of the bishop would soon put matters right. No interest in kids so why in or near a kids’ playground and not in some naval school populated by burly marine cadets? Witnesses reported him to the cops because they observed him sitting in his car with 'his zipper down' attending to himself 'while watching children on the playground at Lafreniere Park.'
Once rumbled with the stolen cookie (pronounced cockie if you use a strong New Orelans drawl) in his hand, Storm asked the gay community for forgiveness. He had previously used religion to make life difficult for gays. He campaigned against the French Quarter’s gay Mardi Gras, which he termed a ‘Southern Decadence’ event. He confessed to having been 'proudful, arrogant ... I have been vicious at times in my condemnation of others.’
New Orleans was bunged as hundreds of thousands alighted from spacecraft to accept his contrition. Shows you what can happen when the chippers are down.
No need for Martin McVeigh to look as implausible and ridiculous as Storm. Time for the priest to cut the crap, cut his losses and, rather than run, stand his ground.