Friday, September 26, 2014

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: "Shocker — LGBT Is Incompatible with Being Catholic"

This is one of the stinky sort: someone calling himself 3DeadInChi-cah-goh logs into the National Catholic Reporter thread discussing Bob Shine's article about the plethora of firings of LGBT employees in Catholic institutions of late to say sarcastically: 

shocker - LGBT is incompatible with being Catholic*

And there you have it in a nutshell, the tribalistic Catholic formula enabled even by "liberal" Catholic publications: it's either Catholic or gay. 

You can't have both.

Catholic ≠ gay.

Being gay is in and of itself incompatible with being Catholic.

There's the Catholic tribe, whose boundaries are neatly and clearly defined. And then there are the gays. They're over there. They're on the outside.

They are, in fact, a useful cipher for everything that's not Catholic.

When this imagination about what it means to be Catholic and what it means to be gay occupies the center of many Catholic minds, and when it's reinforced by centrist Catholic publications that permit it to be broadcast ad nauseam in their discussion threads, is it any wonder that Catholic catechesis seems not to have been successful in convincing tribalistic Catholic young folks that attacking gay couples out for an evening stroll in the street is something less than a righteous and holy idea?

Is it any wonder that Catholic catechesis often fails to have any success at all at prying open the defensive, inward-turned, violently reactive tribal notion of what it means to be Catholic, which is about the very opposite of what it means to be really catholic, when even our best and brightest Catholic publications reinforce the tribal boundaries by allowing such definitions of Catholic identity to broadcast themselves over and over on these Catholic publications' discussion threads?

When those same Catholic publications would certainly not permit themselves to be used in the very same way to broadcast definitions of Catholic identity that define Jews or people of color as the opposite of what it means to be Catholic . . . . 

We have a long, long way to go. And, as Tina Beattie reminds us, we're not going to get there by sitting on the fence. 

Because there just aren't any fences left to sit on. Not morally defensible ones.

* Please note Annie Roux's comment in the thread below, noting (on the morning of 27 September) that NCR has now deleted the comment by 3DeadInChi-cah-goh discussed above.

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