Mary O'Grady writes in response to my posting yesterday about Father William Grimm's question, When Catholics talk about LGBT people, what would the arguments look like if real people were part of the evidence?:
When disabled people were first getting radicalized, some wonderful person came up with a great saying: "Nothing about us, without us." It occurs to me that that is a great rule to live by. No one, especially people in authority over anything, should discuss *any* people designated as "others" without the robust, respected contributions of those "others."
Nothing about us, without us: No one, especially people in authority over anything, should discuss *any* people designated as "others" without the robust, respected contributions of those "others."
I love the lapidary way in which Mary puts these points, which seem to me so self-evidently correct that my head spins as I try to imagine when and where Catholic communities began to think that they could issue moral dictates about gay and trans people without including gay and trans people in Catholic conversations defining their identity.
I know the answer to that question, of course: in its approach to human sexuality, Catholic moral theology at the official level of the magisterium remains abstract, removed from human experience, inclined to dictate rather than to listen. It moves from abstract principles to the realm of human experience, rather than vice versa — and, as a result, it convinces hardly anyone.
Couple this with the taken-for-granted, deeply ingrained cultural assumptions of atomistic individualism that have such a powerful hold on the thinking of the American Catholic liberals who dominate the Catholic academy and Catholic journalism in the U.S., and you have a recipe for not listening, not thinking, for convincing no one as you talk about and not with gay and trans folks.
For royally embarrassing yourselves, if you had the capacity to be embarrassed . . . .