William and the Savage

There's no better truth-teller than a furious former Catholic. That fact was on full review on Bill Maher's recent show with gay author and sexpert Dan Savage. Dan, for those who aren't familiar with him, wrote the column "Savage Love" since 1991. It is a column full of VERY frank how-to advice for those who, let's say, desire to explore the full range of human sexuality, albeit safely. He is also behind the "It Gets Better" campaign which attempted to slow the suicide rate of gay teens.

So, Dan was on "Real Time with Bill Maher," commenting on the recent exorcism performed by  Springfield, Illinois Bishop Thomas John Paprocki after that state's decision to allow same-sex marriage. The bishop, certain that the devil was in the legislative details (or just angling for a church promotion) decided that driving Satan out of Illinois was the appropriate way to handle the "crisis."

As GayStarNews relates Dan's appearance:
During an appearance on HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher last week, he was asked to comment on a Catholic bishop who opposes marriage equality in Hawaii alleging children with same sex parents were at a greater risk of suicide. 'That’s total bullsh*t,' Savage told Maher. 'He’s confusing children with gay parents with children who are raped by Catholic priests. Sorry, I am just done being lectured about children and their safety by Catholic-f*cking bishops, priests, cardinals.'
Tough (and rough) language! Predictably, The Catholic League's Bill Donohue, self-style scourge of anti-Catholicism, erupted:
The board of directors at Time Warner cannot distance themselves from Bill Maher any longer. On Friday night, Maher teed up Dan Savage, another anti-Catholic bigot. What happened was particularly vicious.
We are sending to every member of Time Warner’s board of directors a copy of 54 anti-Catholic statements made by Bill Maher on TV [click here to read the report]. Friday’s show concluded the season. The time has come to close this show once and for all.
Poor Bully (excuse, me Billy) D. He can't tell the difference between anti-Catholicism and a moral disgust at the action of Catholic prelates -- those who protected child molesters and are now distracting from that abysmal record with calls to prevent loving gay couples to marry.

The sad thing is not that some people are mad at the Church, but that we need to rely on those who have left the Church to provide it with prophetic calls to morality. In my more radical moments, I would love for men like Maher and Savage to be bishops, overseeing the modern moral landscape and calling us to conversion. For now, I ask only that our ordained bishops take a message from our comedy shows, which have become one of the few dependable sources of perspective, conscience and well-aimed moral outrage.