Monday, September 19, 2011

More on Ongoing Centrist Catholic Conversations about How to Define the Homosexuals

And, as a complement to what I posted last evening about the ongoing discussion of how to define the homosexuals at centrist Catholic blog sites like Commonweal, where a discussion of this sort is going on right now (the preceding link points to a link to the Commonweal discussion): I want to recommend a complementary discussion at Michael Bayly's Wild Reed site

Michael has been blogging about the "soft bigotry" of Catholics who continue the love-the-sinner-but-hate-the-sin approach to their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.  For many of these Catholics, the magisterial language of disorder as applied to those who are gay is inoffensive, because it denotes acts that persons do, while (so they wish to maintain) it does not define the persons doing those acts as disordered.

I've blogged repeatedly about this dishonest and misleading attempt to prettify the magisterial language of intrinsic disorder, which is applied to gay persons in recent magisterial statements, and I won't repeat what I've said on that important topic in this posting.  But I do want to direct attention to Michael's incisive analysis of these issues, both in the posting to which I point above and in some extremely valuable statements Michael makes in the thread following that posting.

As my comments about the centrist discussion of gay and lesbian Catholics last evening noted, what is perhaps most offensive to me in these discussions of how, when, and where to use the language of disorder to define LGBT people and/or their acts is this: these centrist Catholic discussions treat those of us who are gay and lesbian as if we're not even in the room.  As if we're not even there.  As if we should have no voice in the discussion at all.

As if we shouldn't be offended to be talked about as objects by heterosexual brothers and sisters who enjoy heterosexist power and privilege within Catholic structures and Catholic institutions, but who never seem to get around to critiquing their own heterosexist power and privilege while they spin definitions of us, their gay brothers and sisters, and wonder if we should or should not be offended by these definitions, over which we have had no control and regarding which we've had no input.

It would be interesting to know how so many Catholics of the center have acquired such spectacularly bad manners, that they seem so incapable of understanding the offense they give in defining others qua Other, while excluding those Others from the conversations that define them as Other!  Such appalling bad manners ought, it seems to me, to be intuitively and obviously distasteful to anyone with very much moral acumen at all.

How do those who stand in power centers become so obtuse?  And so arrogant?  And so beside the point, when it comes to mounting really meaningful and really respectful and really inclusive conversations?  These are questions that, in my humble opinion, deserve careful consideration.

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