Sunday, September 15, 2013

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: Women Responding to Arrows-and-Holes Theology of Catholic Right

It's imperative that we look carefully at who's inventing many of the "scientific" theories designed to put women and LGBTI people in their places in the divine-natural scheme of things. And it's imperative that we ask why those who are shopping around this junk science are doing so, and whose self-interest the pseudo-science serves.

Here are some powerful observations by women responding to some of the pseudo-scientific theories about human sexuality invented by heterosexual males of the Catholic right that we've discussed here in the past week:

It's not that there's no recognition of individual differences or experiences in Catholic sexual morality, or that it prioritizes biological acts over relationships, it's that it's formulated on male masturbation. It starts from the premise that spilling sperm is intrinsically evil and then proceeds from there to make deposits in vaginas the only valid sexual activity--and historically, this superceded any notions of consent. All of this, of course, ignores the fact women hold half the genetic equation and spill eggs on a monthly basis. In fact, when this lifelong spilling of eggs is purposely chosen as a life style, it is raised to sanctity. Seriously, Catholic sexual morality borders on insanity, not sanctity.

The more I think about the "arrow and hole" the more I feel sad for Mr Hu. and those whose image of intimate loving is a sharp weapon used to inflict injury and even death. There is something so very sick about this it grieves me.

I've been watching this discussion and I know it is primarily about how catholicism reduces gay catholics to body parts. But there is something, as a woman, that makes my skin crawl as I read all about arrows and holes. There is something fundamentally wrong in describing a living breathing human being as a 'hole', even metaphorically. 
Holes has just as demeaning as calling us "precious pearl of purity", or referring to women who have sex outside of marriage as being "careless with [their] treasure."
The imagery is violent, demeaning and a subtle threat. 
The message is clear—accempting this theology 'benevolent sexism', 'spiritual leadership' is the only protection women (or gays) will find in the church. 
To deviate at all leaves you open to potential violence from both inside and outside the church. 
Mr. Hu’s 'Natural theology' dehumanizes both men and women. 
It amazes me that a 'dialogue' this length can be carried on by him without looking above the waist for more than a few moments at a time...and then call it obfuscating on Bill's part..
And, finally, Janet Hanson, who's not responding to the arrows-and-holes theology of some heterosexual men of the Catholic right, but to the allied pseudo-scientific theories about race and how nature self-evidently functions that I discussed yesterday:

The first time I_ever_heard the black bird doesn't mate with the blue bird speech, I was a young adult working in my first nursing job. 
Even then I thought it was a weak stab at pseudoscience because generally for mating to occur the animals do have to be in the same species and THAT happens all the time. So the logical extension of this argument was that blacks and whites can and do successfully mate because they are the same species. Ergo, they are the same. 
And I believe that the science just keeps eroding this thinking. People often take two different groups within dogs to make unique breeds. Generally if genetic science wants to take the feature of an animal (like biofluorescence) the trait can be shared across species but usually it takes genetic manipulation. 
I actually think this is one of the reasons that many uneducated people dislike and disdain science; they need to maintain their sense of superiority and science often radically shifts the paradigm.

Powerful wisdom in each of these comments, wisdom that the Christian churches shut out to their great peril, as the leaders of these churches (in the case of the Catholic church, the all-male leaders) issue pronouncements on issues like sexual morality, marriage, and the family . . . . If this is what Pope Francis means when he says we Catholics could use a theology of women, then I say that we can't develop that theology quickly enough.

No comments: