Monday, December 24, 2012

More Responses to Papal Christmas Christmas Statement: Joseph Amodeo and Andrew Sullivan

Vis-a-vis the pope's latest poison-pill Christmas gift to his gay brothers and sisters, I observed yesterday,

And so, in these persistent turning-of-the-year statements about those who are gay and their place in church and world, Benedict prefers to speak in abstractions. He talks about nature and creation, family and gender, God and state, as if the diktats he delivers have no real human locus, and no implication for any human face in the church he governs and in the wider world that listens to his worlds.

And today, I read Joseph Amodeo saying

I am not asking the Holy Father or others to accept marriage equality. However, I am asking that when you speak about me, you do so with understanding and with respect for my humanity and dignity.

Gay people stand ready for that commitment - which does indeed mean suffering at times and sacrifice for the other, and all that an unending freely chosen responsibility to another human being requires. The question is not whether we are willing or capable. We are and we have been for centuries. The question is why the Pope cannot see us as human beings.

This persistent need to dehumanize an entire group of human beings: it's sick. In the extreme. And it needs to stop. Soon. 

The pope and his top advisors have succeeded in seriously undermining the moral credibility of the Catholic church when it speaks on any issue at all. They have done so by listening exclusively for far too long to the 1%, particularly in the U.S. Those to whom they're listening have drastically miscalculated on many issues, including the issue of gay and lesbian human rights. The result of their miscalculation is that they and those enthralled by them have not understood that there is growing popular support for the human rights of those who are gay.

This miscalculation leaves religious groups in the thrall of the 1% an embattled tiny island in a rising sea of sympathy for LGBT human beings. And tiny eroding islands quickly lose their chance to affect the mainland . . . .

This is a theme that the rabidly anti-gay Christian groups very much need to ponder as Christmas arrives, with its message that God so loves the entire world and everyone in it that God freely takes human flesh to gather the world into divine embrace. This gospel affirmation is the heart of the Christian faith. Excluding, demeaning, and dehumanizing others is not.

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