January 13 - A Major Rift
Events in France move faster than my mind can keep up. Often I hear of a future event and I wait to see how things develop, then suddenly it's upon me and I've fallen behind, so swiftly did time pass. I thought I had ample time to write about January 13, but it's only five days away, and there are hundreds of articles, possibly thousands, at Le Salon Beige alone.
On Sunday January 13 all Frenchmen interested in stopping the bill on gay marriage from becoming law are mobilizing with determination and zeal for the march in Paris. They are coming from all over France, by bus, by train, by car. Some reports are predicting over half a million demonstrators. This march will be the culmination of a protest movement that began in November 2012, with two separate demonstrations held on November 17 and 18. On Saturday November 17, two hundred thousand people demonstrated in Paris as part of the Manif Pour Tous ("Rally for Everyone"), an organized demonstration open to all opponents of the Taubira bill that would legalize "marriage for everyone". The huge success of this rally was followed the next day by the more restricted Civitas demonstration of about 20,000. Civitas, a traditional Catholic organization is closely connected to the SSPX (Society of Saint Pius X).
On January 13, the two groups named above will once again march. Originally Civitas was to join in with the others, but a major rift has occurred. Civitas will march separately, but close to the larger group. The two groups will begin and end within 700 meters of each other.
The rift in question places Civitas in moral opposition with the woman who has organized (or who claims to have organized) the Manif Pour Tous, a satirist named Frijide Barjot. Traditional Catholics are blaming her for wanting to appease homosexuals by turning the crucial anti-gay marriage rally into a massive attempt to win support and tolerance for homosexuality, if not for gay marriage itself. She insists strongly on her opposition to "homophobia" and according to Le Point she once celebrated a symbolic gay marriage in a night club between two of her male friends. The spoof had been staged for "better or for laughter, for love and for humor". Barjot now says she did it symbolically for her friends since marriage in City Hall was impossible.
A communiqué posted at Civitas from the Catholic association Papa, Maman et Nous ("Daddy, Mommy and Us") describes further the attempt by Frijide Barjot to undermine the rally and use it for her own private agenda. The association has decided to march with Civitas rather than with Manif Pour Tous:
"Considering the assimilation she consciously makes between the refusal by Catholics faithful to the teaching of the Church to promote homosexuality in any way, and the hatred of homosexuals, which is contrary to Christianity, that one finds exclusively among neo-pagan groups of the extreme right;
considering the anathema she hurls on Catholic associations that she labels as fanatical ("intégristes"), her goal being to snuff out their voices and cut them off from the masses of Christians, and the manipulation she exerts over them with the goal of eventually using them for her own ulterior motives;
(…) I call on all Catholics who are aware of these wayward tactics, and on all men and women of good will, to join massively in dignity and respect for others, in the separate demonstration that the Civitas Institute is organizing the same day at 1:00 p.m. place Pinel, in the 13th arrondissement."
In a parallel quarrel, Frijide Barjot (whose real name is either Virginie Merle or Virginie Tellenne) opposes Education Minister Vincent Peillon who warned the private Catholic schools of France NOT to hold any debate on homosexuality in the classroom, lest it lead to "homophobia". The Catholics, predictably, are critical of this interference from the State into the affairs of private religious institutions. Madame Barjot however has come out in favor of a debate on the topic in ALL schools, for the same reason: to prevent homophobia.
I should point out that Peillon addressed his warning in particular to private schools that are "under contract", meaning they are still partially funded by the Ministry of National Education. He urged "the greatest vigilance":
"It is up to you to see to it that the questions being debated throughout French society not become, in the schools, phenomenons of rejection and homophobic stigmatization."
It is clear that both Frijide Barjot and Vincent Peillon have but one goal: to promote homosexuality and to condemn what they perceive as "homophobia". The difference is that he, at least, is openly in favor of gay marriage, while she is a double agent, claiming to be against gay marriage but at the same time serving the homosexual cause.
As far as I know, Marine Le Pen will not be attending either rally, but she has expressed her support for all members of the Front National who will be marching. Oddly, her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, in a rare show of support for Catholics, has said he feels she should attend. What prompted him to say this? Is it conviction? Or is he trying to show he is still wiser than his daughter?
Below, Frijide Barjot with a poster for Manif Pour Tous.
At the top, a Civitas poster.