Roberto De Mattei, a Roman Catholic professor and vice president of Italy’s Centre for National Research, has an awesome new theory about why the Roman Empire came undone: the gays! Guess who doesn’t much like this theory? The gays!
“The Roman colony of Carthage was a paradise for homosexuals and they infected many others,” De Mattei claims in a new radio interview. “The invasion of the Barbarians was seen as punishment for this moral transgression. It is well known effeminate men and homosexuals have no place in the kingdom of God. Homosexuality was not rife among the Barbarians and this shows God’s justice comes throughout history.”
Well then! So it’s not that Romans acting all gay somehow made them lesser warriors, but god hated the way all these gay couplings were happening under his watch and decided to let the Barbarians stomp them out?
But what else would we expect from the same man who blamed the Japanese earthquake and tsunami as god’s plan? (“Great catastrophes are a terrible but paternal sign of God’s benevolence which call attention to the ultimate scope of our lives. … If the Earth offered no danger, pain or catastrophe it would fascinate us to no end, and we would too easily forget we are citizens of heaven.”)
Sadly, actual experts on Roman civilization had to put down their tea to refute De Mattei’s claims.
Fellow historians, gay rights groups and politicians expressed their outrage over the historian’s claims. “I have tabled an urgent call for the education minister to intervene,” Paola Concia, a lawmaker with the Democratic Left, said. Italian homosexual groups said the professor’s comments were “based on superstition” and described them as ridiculous and outrageous”. The groups called on him to resign from his Rome-based post.
“It is highly improbable homosexuality led to the fall of the Roman Empire,” historian Emilio Gabba, a leading light in Roman history, said. However research would seem to suggest homosexuality was rife in ancient Rome, and it is widely portrayed in ancient Roman art and was seen as acceptable 2,000 years ago. “There is no proof Rome had a high number of homosexuals. I can safely say Rome did not fall because it was gay,” Professor Lellia Cracco Ruggini, an expert on Roman history from Turin University, added.
Except I kind of like De Mattei’s little theory about how all the world’s disasters are simply god’s punishment, because can you even imagine what’s in store for the world’s Catholics for their abuse of thousands of little boys? And their contributions to helping HIV spread? I think the earth might just open up and swallow Vatican City whole.