Thursday, 30 April 2015

Joe Orton...

I've never seen Loot and I've never read Joe Orton's diaries but this video interested me not least because Kenneth Williams is the narrator but also because of what he says about Orton's view of the established and "hypocritical" view of homosexuality in the 1960's and the husband-wife, bread winner-housewife stereotype. I am largely rejected by the homosexual community because I live a celibate life and condemn the homosexual lifestyle. However I have one or two homosexual friends who live in a kind of "union" that's in some ways analogous to a married couple. With these people I tend to adopt a kind of practical tolerance for the sake of friendship. What else can I do? They know what my position is; that kind of sinful knowledge is just not for me. I suppose I just pray that they get well. Is this hypocrisy? We all have ideals and insofar as it is not possible to live up to them we are all hypocrites. In an ideal world homosexuality would not be indulged. But that we live in a world in which it is not only indulged and tolerated but celebrated, what is the correct position to take? Do we patronise them and go quiet whenever they walk into our midst? Do we expel them from our midst and risk charges of homophobia?

Joe Orton has been dead for almost fifty years and society is ostensibly not as it was then. His kind of libertine homosexual lifestyle (which, as Mr Williams says, kills him in the end) is becoming increasingly normal. How do we relate to them?  There's no point in trying to rehabilitate them; they think with their genitals and any attempt to deprive them of their bodies' need will probably be met with violence and anger, let alone kindly remonstrance. Is there a kind of "contingency plan" for this warped, odd-ball situation? Men "marrying" other men! Women crudely imitating sexual intercourse with various implements, God! It's wrong isn't it?! Do we shun them? When we stand before God's judgement seat and we are asked to give an account of our lives, what will we say? That we tolerated this vice for the sake of an easy life? That we acted uncharitably toward these people? Will we be asked to account for the eternal souls of our homosexual friends? Nil inultum remanebit, as the Sequence says.


  1. Watching the video, it made me wonder if some of that stuff was shown across the Atlantic. My father, who is from that era, had certain assumptions about posh English dandies. The most popular show in America in that era had scenes like this:

    1. I just watched that and wondered how anyone could find it funny. Now, Carry on Abroad on the other hand!

    2. Believe it or now, that show ("All in the Family"), the most popular programme on American television in the 1970s, was an adaptation of the BBC series "Till Death Do Us Part"!

      Speaking of Orton, it's pretty rich to see all the honours he has gotten posthumously, with plaques and buildings named after him and all that. The man was a pederast, as his diaries attest. No better than Jimmy Savile.

    3. I suppose that's what comes of being murdered. Perhaps Orton is seen as some kind of gay hero or martyr? Who knows (or cares)?

  2. Once again, I can only suggest you make the best of your own life and not worry about what other people are doing. You have opted to live without a relationship with another person. That is your choice like that of monks and other celibates. Others live in relationships and have more or less difficulty in living in marriage or friendships. We all have different vocations or are all messed-up in one way or another.

    I don’t think you need to be concerned about not relating to the homosexual community. If you have friendships, it isn’t because they are homosexual, living this or that way of life, or are not homosexual. Why does it always have to be something on the surface and jutting out two miles?

    Another thing we have to get used to is that our Christianity is going into the closet where homosexuality used to be. Perhaps it is not a bad thing. It isn’t about authority as some of your critics claim, but about your relationship with God. I don’t think we can lord it over people any more than homosexuals. Religion or sexuality are labels, and human life is above both. We can be discreet for the sake of getting on with others in the world, the alternative being to retreat into solitude. Something my wife has to learn is that I need times of solitude, for example to go sailing for extended times.

    As a priest, I cannot in conscience condone same-sex “marriage”, but we can tolerate people living together in friendship. If there is anything physical between them, that is a matter for the confessional, not the pulpit or the blog. Apart from that, it is their life, not ours. It is not for us to seek them out, put pink triangles on them and kills them like the Nazis did.

    Many pious Catholics think they are their brother’s keeper. They compare “spiritual danger” with some kind of life in danger and rescue situation. As a priest, we need to be available for all but not to proselytise or ram things down people’s throats, something that alienates them from religion even more, and leaves you as even more of a self-righteous pariah.

    Things are more complex than what the catechism says, and we don’t own the truth. We try to discover it and grow in it. Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

    1. You don't seem to understand that akin to your Nazi analogy, this is PRECISELY what they would do to you. A persecution always begins with media demonization and then low level legal penalties, and then high level legal penalties.

      How Christians can be so passive as this occurs baffles me, and would have shocked and appalled the torchbearers of our religion in the time prior to the 'Enlightenment' before Christianity was robbed of its lands.

      How many examples must be presented? The revolutionaries in France who butchered Catholics, the red terror in Spain, the massacres of the Communist nations against the faithful? Post-Enlightenment society is the enemy of Christianity.

      We do not own the truth? Do we not profess the Word of God? This is the truth! Have the enemies of our faith ever professed anything truthful since they overthrew the monarchies of Europe?

      I will quote the great Catholic thinker, Felix Sarda y Salvany:

      "Liberalism, whether in the doctrinal or practical order, is a sin. In the doctrinal order, it is heresy, and consequently a mortal sin against faith. In the practical order it is a sin against the commandments of God and of the Church, for it virtually transgresses all commandments. To be more precise: in the doctrinal order Liberalism strikes at the very foundations of faith; it is heresy radical and universal, because within it are comprehended all heresies. In the practical order it is a radical and universal infraction of the divine law, since it sanctions and authorizes all infractions of that law."