Main | Friday, September 26, 2008

Palin Unknowingly Accepts Book About Killed Openly Gay Priest, Mychal Judge

Yesterday when Sarah Palin visited a downtown 9/11 memorial, author Michael Daly was there signing copies of his book about Father Mychal Judge, the quietly gay yet celibate priest who was killed by falling debris outside the Twin Towers. When Palin approached Daly's table, his handlers suggested inscribing a copy for her. In the photo at left, Daly's book is in Palin's hand.

Michael Daly:
I thought of Mychal, who had bridged all differences. I recalled that Sen. Hillary Clinton, former Mayor Dave Dinkins and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani had all welled up while talking to me of their fallen friend. I now wrote in the title page what I felt sure to be true.

"For Governor Palin, who would have loved Mychal."

I was introduced to her and I handed her the book, not entirely sure she knew who Mychal was. I opened the book to what some have called the modern Pieta. Her eyes welled again as she gazed at the photo of the anguished first responders carrying him from the fiery ruins.

"Mychal always said, 'If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans for tomorrow,'" I told her, adding, "I guess a lot of people in this country have been feeling that way lately."
Would Palin have loved Mychal? Or would her church call him a witch and demand that she "stomp on the neck" of his "python spirit"?

Judge was the official chaplain of the NYFD and was the first recorded death of September 11th. By all accounts he was beloved by NYC's firemen and according to some reports, there are firemen who now pray to his photo in their lockers before heading out on a call. Daly's book discusses Judge's gay yet celibate life and one chapter goes at length about his never-consummated love for a much younger man. Some Catholic factions have called for his canonization, although others have vehemently denied his gayness, accusing the LGBT movement of attempting to co-opt his death and turn him into a homosexual icon.

But those that deny his gayness willingly ignore that Judge was a decades-long member of the LGBT Catholic group Dignity. In 1986 when the Vatican declared homosexuality an "intrinsic moral evil", most bishops and New York's Cardinal O'Connor banned Dignity from Catholic properties. It was Mychal Judge who welcomed their AIDS ministry to his church.

Here's the photo that Daly refers to above, the "American Pieta."

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