Friday, October 15, 2010

Carl Paladino and the Catholic Preferential Option for the Heterosexual Male: The Real Moral Message of Catholicism for the World

This is increasingly the face of Catholic teaching about sexual morality.  This is the iconic standard for everyone to which the Catholic church points with its teaching that every person born heterosexual is automatically "ordered" aright by the happenstance of his or her birth and therefore automatically normative, while every gay or lesbian person is ipso facto disordered and abnormal.

This is where Catholic teaching about sexual morality has ended up, with the theology of the body and its distortion of the Christian tradition, its reduction of scripture and tradition to the crude and decidedly untraditional formula of male-female complementarity--which seeks to stamp male dominance of the female with a stamp of divine approval, and to enshrine it as the core value of the Judaeo-Christian tradition.

In practice, Catholic teaching about sexual morality has come to mean Carl Paladino, with his child  born out of wedlock and smutty racist emails; it has come to mean Newt Gingrich, with his three wives and various affairs.  It has come to mean Carl Paladino and Newt Gingrich talking about the sanctity of marriage and the superiority of every heterosexual person ever born to every homosexual person ever born.

In practice, Catholic teaching about sexual morality is a preferential option for the heterosexual male--for any and all heterosexual males, no matter how little their moral lives actually conform in any other respect to any standard of morality that makes sense to anyone with half a brain and a soup├žon of ethical sensitivity.   The ultimate message that Catholic magisterial teaching about sexuality offers to the world as redemptive truth and evidence of God's loving plan for humankind: anyone with a penis, who professes to use his penis according to divine "order," has higher human worth and loftier moral status, more right to bray and posture as God's emissary on earth, than anyone without a penis.

And than any gay or lesbian person in the world.

What a place for an intellectually challenging religious tradition, with a wealth of admirable teaching on a wide range of moral issues, to end up.
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