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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Comiskey

After Pride: Icons

I liked these guys but wouldn’t agree that they were ‘married.’ ‘Friends with benefits’ better described them. As we talked, it was clear they were riding the wave of rainbow justice—wealthy dudes with no dependents ready for Europe.


We were all grounded on a tarmac in Buenos Aires. As flight attendants redistributed luggage in the overheads, a young man sprung up and firmly insisted that his wife and baby needed access to these three items. (No negotiation.) The infant cried and mom looked anxiously at dad. How he attuned to their needs and acted to secure them released a wave of new life; holy love permeated the cabin.


They were icons—a glimpse of the divine. ‘In creating humanity as man and woman, God imprints on humanity the mystery of that communion which is the essence of His interior life’ (St. John Paul II). God—Three in One—reveals Himself through man for woman, woman for man (Gen. 1: 26-27).


I need icons. You do too: persons whose ordered humanity speaks more clearly than a Bible verse or an encyclical. Annette and I had the privilege of sermonizing two Sundays at her Anglican Church. She was marvelous. Honestly. As she spoke of our sexual differences and kids—the overflow of our love—I had an Edenic moment in which I re-encountered in her ‘the eternal feminine’, something of the pure unique gift she is to me. God entrusted us to each other. My responsibility? Proceed with awe and decisive action for her good.


Joseph and Mary. Adam and Eve. Jahweh and Israel. Jesus and Church. We need man and we need woman.

We need icons—the fullness of God’s image in a Church so intent on atoning for sins against vulnerable people that she honors the selfish and dishonorable. I just read a bewildering essay on ‘gay’ Catholics in which Eve Tushnet spoke self-reverentially about Side A and B (‘gays’ actively practicing and ‘celibate’) then urged us to discern the choice best for us. In the weird world of Revoice, Dignity USA, and Outreach, we are invited to forge identity and community on disordered desires and to act on those desires as ‘conscience’ calls.


Jesus wasn’t mentioned. Just ‘gay’ rights and victim-speak: an airless cabin in need of icons.

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