Author and cultural commentator Richard Rodriguez offers his insights into the passage of Proposition 8 and the crises in American churches in this interview featured at Salon.com.
Rodriguez is a sophisticated and critically-minded public intellectual. He offers a solid analysis of our political/social present, while also emplotting some old school frameworks to read gender/sex politics. Here are some snipets to whet your appetite:
Then there is the Roman Catholic Church, my own church, which has just come off this extraordinary season of sexual scandal and misbehavior in the rectory against children. The church is barely out of the court and it’s trying to assume the role of governor of sexual behavior, having just proved to America its inability to govern its own sexual behavior.
. . .
To my knowledge, the churches have not accepted responsibility for the Bush catastrophe. Having claimed, in some cases, that Bush was divinely inspired and his election was the will of God, they have failed to explain why the last eight years have been so catastrophic for America.
Rodriguez is something of an outcast in the world of Chicano academics, much of it stemming from his use as a foundation for reactionary racial political ends, such as the end of affirmative action and bilingual education. To his detriment, he (seemingly) willingly allowed his work to get used in this way, often accelerating its profile in certain political circles.
But, I would agree with Peter Richardson, that Rodriguez isn’t really writing political or policy-minded books. In the end, his place in “Chicano letters” may say more about the past status of Chicanos in academia and the arts then about him.