The only ever time I was in France was a few years ago while on my way to Poland with my wife. We changed planes at De Gaulle airport and sped away within an hour or so. Poland, I thought after a few days there, had taken the title away from France for me. Which title, you ask? The title France owned outright once; the Eldest Daughter of the Church.
She had dropped out of the contest long ago, relinquishing her champion’s belt, her crown and title to any passer by; it seemed for simple lack of interest in the matter. Follow France in the media and you’ll read about Muslim slum kids rioting, naked movie stars, near naked models, haute couture that is a parody of itself, gray salt, cheese and churches becoming night clubs.
You don’t think of religion and churches when you think about France and the French; unless you think of them scoffing at any thought of the former and avoiding the latter in favor of riots, movie stars, clothes, salt and cheese in no particular order. Oops, I forgot wine.
Oh, you’ll probably also read about “Kiss Ins”. This is an event staged in public by homosexual activists, now called “homosexualists”. (Well, why not? We have Islamism and Islamists.) Often the “Kiss In” will be staged in front of a Catholic Church. Groups of homosexualists, male and female, will assemble and kiss each other; confining that activity of course to members of the same sex kissing each other, because, well, that’s what homosexuals do; their raison d’etre, if you will.
Now, the French, you might say, are always kissing each other; men and men, women and women. What is the problem with that? Well, I suppose none if you happen to like doing it. Folks do all kinds of things because they like doing it. Even if, “It’s illegal, it’s immoral or it makes you fat.” as the song has it. They like doing it, and so they’re gonna do it. What’s more, they don’t like being told they can’t, shouldn’t or ought not do it.
Personally, I find it yucky. But as someone might say, “There’s no accounting for taste.” I like sardines and anchovies, but my wife doesn’t. I could never bring myself to kiss a guy…or gal, for that matter…who had just finished smoking a gauloises; something the Frenchies like to do as much as eating stinky cheeses.
Another thing I wouldn’t do is demand that my wife or everyone else in the whole wide world endorse my taste for anchovies and other “tin fishies”, as my wife calls them; or else. Or else, what? Well, or else I’ll show up in their home, office or, say, church and cram loads of anchovies down my throat in front of them until they turn green and say, “Please. We’re sorry.”
So, over in France a bunch of “homosexualists” decided to get together in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, and stage this “Kiss In”, where they would get sloppy in public. They don’t like the Catholic Church because the Catholic Church disapproves of their behavior and calls what they do disordered and sinful. These are words which can upset people who like doing what they are doing. I don’t suppose anyone likes to hear they are doing something they shouldn’t ought to do. As my grand daughter once said to me, “You’re not the boss of me.”
The “Kiss In” was supposed to be a kind of nose-thumbing exercise at the Catholic Church in France, a kind of public shaming of their intolerance toward people who like doing what they do; people who in fact can’t help doing it, so they say. To “homosexualists” it is as if the Catholic Church had pronounced blue eyes and red hair disordered and sinful. Their demonstration then would be nothing different from a group of “Blue-eyed-ists” gathering to stare at Catholics.
But then, some Catholics objected to this, and decided to counter demonstrate, to let them “Kissers” know they were not welcome to do what they were planning to do in front of Notre Dame Cathedral . And, they were forced to move away. If you follow the link to the video of the incident you may be struck by the same thing which astonished me, frankly. Can you guess what that was?
They were all young! There wasn’t a gray head in the crowd, not one. Here’s another thing you’ll see in the clip, and hear. You’ll see and hear the kids chanting in Latin, “Habemus Papam!” That means “We have a Pope!” One website which is, err, on the other side of this issue reported that the “kissers” were attacked and beaten with motorcycle helmets by “Christian fundamentalists. See for yourself.
Over here there’s a word entering the language for what happened in front of the cathedral in Paris. The word is “pushback.”
The French have phrase, “L’Amour, Toujours L’Amour.” It means “Love, Always Love.” It’s supposed to capture the French spirit of romance, and stuff like that; as opposed to the English spirit of, umm, bully beef? Anyway, sometimes love gets a bum rap because you have to do a hard thing to the folks you love and tell them what they like doing is not good for you, them or anyone. I was doing something like that with my granddaughter when she told me that I was “not the boss” of her.
Listen to the grandkids here, though. Don’t you just love ’em?