How do you commemorate the 75th anniversary of fighting back against the Nazi regime?
The Archbishop of Krakow, Marek Jedraszewski, did it this week by delivering a sermon in which he targeted LGBTQ people as enemies of the state, saying that the nation was under siege by a “rainbow plague.”
“Our land is no longer affected by the red plague, which does not mean that there is no new one that wants to control our souls, hearts and minds,” he told a mass in the medieval St. Mary’s Basilica, one of the most important churches for Poles.
“Not Marxist, Bolshevik, but born of the same spirit, neo-Marxist. Not red, but rainbow,” he was quoted as saying by private TVN24 broadcaster.
Poland no longer has to worry about the Nazis, he said, because they’ve been defeated. But now people fighting for civil rights are trying to win your minds! [Cue gasps from the Catholic audience]
At least there was pushback to the Catholic Church’s bigotry — and it came from one of the most prominent atheists in the country, Robert Biedroń, who also happens to be gay and who recently launched his own political party to counter the religious majority.
“We already had such people, politicians who used similar words and that lead to huge slaughters, genocide. This is an incitement to crime, to hatred,” he told news website wirtualnapolska.pl.
He’s right, of course. To speak about LGBTQ people and Nazis in the same way — as if murdering millions of Jews is equivalent to demanding equal rights for people who are routinely oppressed in the predominantly Catholic nation — is irresponsible at best and a call for violence at worst. What’s Jedraszewski asking for if not a defeat of LGBTQ people and their allies the same way Polish resistance fighters defeated the Nazis?
At least there’s reason to think the Church’s hate speech won’t have as much impact. This is a nation, after all, where a rainbow banner was burned so activists responded with an unbreakable one. It’s where Catholic priests were mocked internationally for burning Harry Potter books to supposedly eradicate evil.
More importantly, the Church’s approval rating, according to one poll, is only 48%. Less than half. The more hate the Church espouses, the faster that number will drop.
(Screenshot via YouTube)