• 2008-01-23
[Refers to "Clearing up some issues," Dainis Klidzejs, Letters, TBT #589, Jan.17, 2008.]

Thank you Dainis (Klidzejs) for "clearing a few things up." You said the good Cardinal has every right as a citizen to involve himself in politics. Indeed he has. But trying to use his influence to destroy a group of fellow citizens is not, in my view "getting involved in politics," and many, not all, of the followers he uses to badger and harass this group have been variously described as thugs, skinheads and "rent a mob."

Any minority group who flaunt themselves arrogantly in public 's having been given permission to demonstrate peacefully 's are bound to stir discontent. But if they are prevented from doing so at the behest of a narrow-minded churchman then that is also wrong. Far better for Pujats to reach out to these people in search of mutual respect and cooperation instead of wallowing in the dogma in which he seems to be entrenched. Whatever happened to "ask and ye shall receive," give and take, etc? But he won't, because he can't 's he is simply an agent and must obey the demands of the Vatican, which is a pity as he will be remembered only for his attempted destruction of a minority group and not for any other good works he may have instigated. Unfortunately Pope John Paul's attempts, such as they were, at ecclesiastical perestroika did not rub off on the Cardinal.

You are obviously very worried that these people are trying to take over the world. Well, they won't 's  in fact they don't want to. Do they harm children? How do they destroy family values? The British media are almost daily telling of yet another stabbing of an innocent perpetrated by out-of-control teenagers. The reason given is the breakdown of family life, through divorce, parent apathy etc, and you can't blame that on the gay community. I know of no victims of homosexuality, but the list of victims of Catholicism grows almost daily.
Your own small society of Strum has five registered sex offenders at the last count, and it's easy to understand why people would shrink in horror and disgust, and develop homophobia, at the thought of their children being preyed upon. But I'm sure you'll agree that pedophilia and homosexuality are so far apart as to be almost unrelated.

It's obvious you are a church-goer and a man holding strong family values, so look not at the perceived enemy without, but the enemy within. People seem unaware of the dangers lurking in church communities. Two polls carried out recently in the U.S. gave figures for homosexuality within the priesthood. One was 33 percent and the other 75 percent! It's probably somewhere in between, which is still huge. It was also found that young homosexual men join the church because they know they'll have protection from the law. No wonder some towns in your country advocate the ridding of priests and the reversion to community-run religious centres more in tune with the times.

I wonder how Cardinal Pujats would deal with that if he lived in your beautiful state. Trouble is, he wouldn't be allowed to act, and besides, he'd be too busy demonizing the local gays. Now that is the double standard you mentioned.

Harry Gaffney, Riga

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