On the political roundtable "21 This Week," on Maryland's tiny Access Montgomery cable channel 21, Robert J. Smith has been a regular panelist. Introduced as a "Republican activist," Smith was also Gov. Robert Ehrlich's appointee on the Metro Transit Authority board.
No more. Smith has been fired for remarks that the GOP governor considers "inappropriate, insensitive and unacceptable." What did Smith say? Did he cut loose into some racist rant using the "n" word?
Nope. One of the panelists on "21 This Week" had volunteered that Mary Cheney, the vice president's daughter who has come out of the closet, would not want the federal government interfering in her life. Smith interrupted: "That's fine, that's fine. But that doesn't mean that the government should proffer a special place of entitlement within the laws of the United States for persons of sexual deviancy."
Parsing that statement, what was Smith saying? That the feds should not intrude into private lives, but neither should the feds grant special privileges to homosexuals. Smith was also saying that, in his view, homosexuals are "persons of sexual deviancy." In short, Smith was saying what most Americans have always thought.
But at the next meeting of the Metro board, he was confronted by D.C. member James Graham, a homosexual activist, who demanded that Smith recant and apologize, or be fired by the governor.
Smith held his ground. "Homosexual behavior, in my view, is deviant," Smith said. "I'm a Roman Catholic."
He added, "The comments I make outside of my (Metro board job) I'm entitled to make." Moreover, said Smith, these were personal beliefs that have "nothing to do with running trains and buses, and have not affected my actions or decisions on the board."
Five hours later, Gov. Ehrlich, in a tight re-election race, fired Smith. The episode is instructive for what it says about the correlation of forces in America's religious war.
To save himself, Ehrlich threw Smith to the wolves. He declined to defend traditional Christian teaching on homosexuality -- i.e., that it is unnatural and immoral, ruinous to body and soul alike. Ehrlich sacrificed one of his own to appease the homosexuals and their media auxiliary, rather than defy their moral authority.
Smith was fired by a Republican governor for standing by a truth rooted in 2,000 years of Catholic doctrine, Natural Law, the Torah, the Islamic faith, the teachings of every Christian denomination and the laws of every Western nation up to the late 20th century. One has yet to hear a word in defense of this faithful son from the Catholic hierarchy of the Washington area.
As for homosexuality, where it has been prevalent -- in the late Roman Empire, Weimar Germany, San Francisco -- it has been regarded as a mark of and a metaphor for moral decadence and societal decline.
But the bottom line is this: What is the truth? Is homosexuality moral or immoral, natural or unnatural, normal and healthy or deviant and destructive behavior?
In 1983, when the AIDS epidemic first broke onto the national scene, this writer wrote in a column predicting scores of thousands could perish: "The poor homosexuals. They have declared war against nature, and nature is exacting an awful retribution."
This sentence restated the Natural Law teaching of Thomas Aquinas. Homosexuality is against nature, (SET ITAL) contra naturam. (END ITAL) It also said what was, by then, obvious to all. Acts that cannot be described in this publication were transmitting a dread and deadly disease that was killing homosexuals in the hundreds, and would soon kill them in the scores of thousands.
Indeed, a subsequent clamor by homosexuals for a mass government education program on the use of condoms suggested they knew exactly how and why the disease was spreading.
But in a May 28 column, Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times accused this writer, Ronald Reagan and the Rev. Jerry Falwell of "behaving more immorally" in the 1980s than the clientele of "the San Francisco bathhouses." It was our "indifference to the suffering of gays," said Kristof, that "allowed the epidemic to spread."
Not a word of reproof -- or even of recognition -- may be found in Kristof's column against those who actually spread the disease that has now killed millions. Nick knows his readers.
What does all of this tell us? Our society is being marinated in lies -- the lie that homosexuality is a natural, normal and healthy lifestyle; the lie that those who think otherwise are all hateful bigots; the lie that the diseases that afflict the homosexual community are the fault of an uncaring society.
Humankind cannot stand too much truth, said T.S. Eliot.
In the matter of Robert Smith, there was indeed intolerance: a savage intolerance of one man with the courage to declare Christian truths in the face of the fabricated and fake faith that has become the established religion of America's secular elite.