Angels in America!

Kushner really hit that out of the park, man.

Lenny and I went to see the show more than once on Broadway. Both parts. We saw it close to the beginning of its run.

Act Up attended en masse.

People in the audience were openly sobbing.

How would I feel today about spitting on that priest?

I’d spit again.

People try to make this complicated. But it’s not. It’s not complicated at all.

He was trying to kill us.

When I say “us,” I include myself in the population of queer and straight people at risk for infection with HIV.

The hierarchy of the Catholic Church in general, and that priest in particular, were trying to prevent us from having access to life-saving information.

They were actively working to kill us.

That’s evil.

It’s despicable.

It’s horrible beyond words.

I think about Sam Harris in his magisterial End of Faith.

He talks about how religion is privileged in our society, how we allow the idea of faith to give people a pass for their evil behavior.

Look at it this way.

I was the only person in the park that day to take the initiative to confront evil.

Act Up was roundly condemned by so-called reasonable voices on the left for regularly and unapologetically calling out the leadership of the Church for their terrible evil.

Mayor Koch, a closeted gay man with tons of friends who died of AIDS, condemned us for speaking the truth plainly.

And for what?

To privilege religion.

No other reason.

Sam Harris has the right of it.

Religion deserves no special privilege.

I don’t care if somebody’s wearing a clerical collar. If they’re working to kill me and my people, I’ll call them on their evil inhumanity.

And if I get the chance to spit in their face?

Betcher sweet patooties.

Something Act Up taught me well is that it often takes shocking action to wake people from the complacency of quietly tolerating evil.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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