I waited for Sassy Pants to return from the Ladies Room, but as the moments ticked by, I become concerned. So I got up and walked toward the restrooms in the back. But when I passed the door to the Men’s Room, I heard loud, even thunderous noises coming from inside. There was clearly a violent altercation taking place! I could feel the vibration of heavy bodies throwing themselves against the door and walls inside. There were wild cries and whinnies… as if, imaging a large and powerful racehorse being locked up in a stall, someone had thrown a cobra in at his feet!
Then… in a few moments the door opened and a muscular, jet-black Arabian stallion emerged, his coat glistening with perspiration and his breath coming thick and fast. Following him out the door was Sassy Pants (!) her eyes wide and glassy. She tottered on her hooves unsteadily, and she repeatedly looked around to her tail, which she flicked sharply in the air, as if trying to disentangle some sticky, messy knot she recently developed.
I followed her back to the booth, and we resumed our conversation. I asked her, “Perhaps you could tell me the theme of your campaign?” She responded, “Certainly. My ‘theme’ is that I promise to end the ‘Conspiracy of Silence’ which so oppresses the Church and its believers. You know, of course, that in order to be ordained a priest, a man must make a Vow of Celibacy – and he must strictly keep that vow throughout his life.”
“It is most amazing, when you think about it, that the Church requires this vow. You would think – our sexuality being a gift from God bestowed upon us at our birth – that this refusal cannot help but reflect some… ‘ingratitude’ if not outright ‘disrespect’ for a man (seeking to show his obedience to his Maker) to publicly declare that he will never, ever take that Gift out of its box and put it to use.”
“Why, exactly, does the Church believe that our Maker would be pleased with this result? And why, exactly, should we (outsiders to the faith) see anything ‘uplifting’ or ‘laudatory’ in all of those priests refusing to seek out loving relationships with others (of whatever gender they may be)?”
“We see the Church surrounded by a ‘Wall of Silence’ by which all priests and members of the Church are participants in a great game of ‘Let’s Pretend.’ Everyone acts as if those priests no longer have any sexual feelings (or behaviors), and the Pope feels entitled to insist that his priests are neither straight nor gay. But behind that wall of silence, there are hidden many sins.”
“Those of us who have never been inducted into that game of ‘Let’s Pretend’ cannot help but conclude that priests – in their private hours – feel those same urges that every man feels. Even today, if that man (a priest) is a gay man, he will live within a world of ‘Double Secret Pretend.’ He will have to keep his sexuality entirely secret, and he will have to pretend that his Vow of Celibacy cancels out any sexual feelings he might have.”
“Frankly, Holly,” she went on, “here is what puzzles me: You know, of course, how common it is that a man will hide a few select articles of pornography in his sock drawer. And, from time-to-time, in his private hours, he will take them out and gaze upon them while he pleasures himself. As we all know, this is only too common among members of the male gender. And if he has a wife, she will soon catch on to his deception, which will cause him either to give up (temporarily) his treasures – or find another hiding place.”
“So I wonder, what do priests have in their sock drawer? Would we see pictures of women – or men? And – having been denied a wife – is there anyone there to search his sock drawer and take away his guilty treasure… the only mercy and indulgence he has ever received in return for the vow he made so long ago?”
Sassy Pants drew herself up to her full height (which – had she not been so very, very pink – would have rendered her an imposing sight, indeed) and shaking her mane out behind her in righteous indignation, issued this challenge: “Let the Pope show us HIS sock drawer!”
Then looking around the room to acknowledge those patrons who had been eavesdropping upon her speech, she raised her voice and shouted out this threat: “If the Pope wants the world to go on playing ‘Let’s Pretend,’ then let him show us what has been gained by making all those priests live such a lonely, barren, sterile life.” (To be continued)