A full accounting of the man's crusade against any recognition in law or even public culture of the dignity and equality of homosexuals has yet to appear in the various obits. But Neuhaus was central to redefining Republicanism as Christianism, to seeing religion as indistinguishable from politics, and to cementing the marginalization and disdain of gay people as a pillar of the Christianist movement.
It was therefore unsurprising that it was Neuhaus to whom president Bush turned when deciding whether to back amending the federal constitution to ensure that gay people were for ever defined as inferior to straight people under the law; and it was Neuhaus' influence that allowed Bush to pursue this agenda without ever even acknowledging the existence of the human beings whose families he was seeking to penalize and stigmatize in the founding document. The homophobia of the Bush administration cannot be understood without understanding how Neuhaus personally pioneered and shaped it.
With Neuhaus as with Ratzinger, the gay issue was central and passionate and personal. This needs stating for the record.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.