As if the “No Drag Queens” story couldn’t get more ridiculous:
But apparent dissension about the policy has arisen. Not only that, it seems to be an open question as to who is in charge at the renegade parish. On August 13 the S. F. Examinerpublished an article called “Faux Pas Puts S.F. Holy Site in Fix” by Carolyn Copeland.
Copeland spoke to Michael Poma, the business manager at Most Holy Redeemer:
“… although church Business Manager Michael Poma acknowledged that Pastor Brian Costello did tell members of the Castro Country Club that they could not hold their event if drag queens were scheduled to attend, Poma said he quickly reversed his decision.
“‘Father Brian wasn’t educated about the importance of drag queens in the gay community,’ Poma said. ‘Once it was explained to him, he said they were welcome to attend as long as their behavior was church-appropriate.’
“Church officials now say the new policy is not a prohibition against drag queens, but rather an end to all one-time events that do not originate at the church. Poma said the ban applies to all outside events — gay or straight — including weddings, parties or fundraisers. The church is still planning to hold its own events, including 12-step programs, suppers for the homeless and AIDS support groups.
“‘This is not a ban on drag queens or an insult to the gay community whatsoever,’ Poma said. ‘In the church hall there have been issues with weddings and other groups, so we decided to put an end to them altogether. We are part of the community here and to think that we’re banning drag queens is obnoxious and ridiculous.’”
California Catholic Daily via Sancte Pater
I don’t like Poma’s use of the word “obnoxious.”
I don’t know why. It isn’t sitting right with me.
Also, how do you cross dress appropriately for Church?
Two other things in that article struck me as odd:
1. Why does a church need somebody with the title Business Manager? I mean, who is this Poma guy?
2. If I understood Fr. Brian’s initial statement, he didn’t say that drag queens couldn’t *come* to MHR, he said they couldn’t *perform* there. (The context, remember, was the Castro Country Club’s annual event.) So he wasn’t trying to bar sinners from the church (a Catholicism 101 Bad Idea, since we’re all sinners); he was trying to avoid the appearance of blessing the sin (another Catholicism 101 Bad Idea).
What am I missing here?
Okay, so drag queens are important to the gay community. The Church is not the gay community. Just because some parishoners might be gay doesn’t make the Church gay! What kind of wacky reasoning is that?
Maybe the point is, once you let an organization that exists to celebrate grave evil use your parish hall, you’re hardly in a position to say which aspects of that grave evil may be celebrated.
Personally, I think the problem with Mr. Poma’s use of “obnoxious” is that he makes it sound like a bad thing. People always have and always will find prophets obnoxious. The question is, when you belong to two communities that oppose each other, and one of those communities is the Mystical Body of Christ, which one do you side with?
It’s easy for me, sitting here in Maryland, to tell a parish business manager in San Francisco how to answer that question. Of more immediate concern, though, is whether, sitting here in Maryland, I’ve made similarly unfaithful choices.
To cross-dress appropriately for Church? Dress so it’s not obvious, don’t call attention to yourself or the fact of what you have done. Speak softly and politely, and with respect. Treat the priest and your elders with dignity, and make sure your family and friends do the same.
Probably good advice for anyone.
@Peter Brown: you state “Two other things in that article struck me as odd:”
Those are the only things that strike you as odd about this story? 🙂