Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: Is Catholic Magisterial Teaching About Marriage Equality Homophobic, or Is It Not?

Folks: opposing same sex marriage needn't be evidence of homophobia.  It's an unjust, vicious slur to equate the two without evidence.

And John Prior responds (without addressing Jim Pauwels directly): 

Assuming that there are sound, principled, non-homophobic arguments against same-sex marriage, I think it is fair to say that they have not often in recent years been stated loudly and consistently enough to be heard above the cacophony of the haters. The bloodlust of the Old Testament and the "death to all gays" rhetoric spouted by various African leaders and American crackpots set the tone. Then the Church chimes in with "intrinsically evil" and "gravely disordered," fooling itself that it can offset the murderous implication of those words with pleas for justice and charity to be shown to the people it applies them to. Others spin fantasies, concoct theories, and produce "studies" to demonstrate that the effect, and maybe even the intent, of gay marriage is to undermine heterosexual marriage, pervert children, and destroy civilization. The actual experience of gay people who have married in recent years and formed families is generally ignored. 
So yes, let us by all means gather calmly and quietly, very quietly, to hear the benign reasons for denying gay men and women the love and security that the rest of us take for granted as our right. I am ready.

On my interaction with Deacon Jim Pauwels, when he invited me to email him several years ago and have a conversation with him about why gay people feel unwelcome in the Catholic church, see here and here

John Prior is correct. And I'd add to what he says the following: it's rather difficult to make the argument that magisterial teaching about homosexuality is non-homophobic when its defenders do not even treat fellow Catholics who are gay as human beings who deserve to be acknowledged and respected as human beings, included in conversations, and listened to with respect.

I can think of hardly anything more disrespectful and inhumane than to ask a fellow human being why he or she feels unwelcome in a church in which you have a pastoral role, and then to receive that fellow human being's reply in total silence, never even acknowledging it.

If this is what toeing the Catholic party line is all about, then I'd say that, yes, official Catholic teaching about people homosexual and matters homosexual has a lot of  homophobia folded into it. And it seems rather shocking to me that those engaged in the defense don't recognize this.

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