Saturday, May 26, 2018

Ireland Apparently Knocks Down Abortion Ban; Children Being Taken from Parents by ICE; Pope Francis Does Usual Two-Step with LGBTQ Humanity and LGBTQ Lives: My Commentary

Father James Martin tweets the above (as it happens, on the day that the predominantly Catholic nation of Ireland votes overwhelmingly, election results are suggesting, to strike down its draconian anti-abortion law — and see here), and all hell breaks loose. All hell breaks loose from so-called "pro-lifers," who issue ugly insinuations about immigrants being in thrall to organized crime outfits — so that it's justified for ICE officials to rip the children of immigrants from the arms of their parents, these "pro-lifers" want to maintain.

I repeat: these are proud "pro-life" American Christians making these statements.

Americans, including American white Christians, who are the base for the moral monstrosity now occupying the White House, love to love "children" in the abstract, the hidden, unseen child in the womb who is, we're told by "pro-lifers," being "murdered" by the millions via legalized abortion — even when the vast majority of the abortions these folks are talking about occur at a stage of fetal development at which many of us believe that the fetus is not yet a fully formed human person.

Americans, including, notably, white Christian Americans, love that invisible child in the womb who makes no demands on them for any kind of concrete action or political choice, who requires nothing at all of them. But actually born, real-life children being ripped from the arms of their parents at the borders of the U.S.? Not so much.

Americans would like to teach the whole world how to be "pro-life" and Christian, and — as happened when the Irish deliberated about same-sex marriage and voted overwhelmingly to permit same-sex marriage in Ireland — have poured countless dollars into propaganda campaigns designed to influence the vote of the Irish people, trying to impose the American understanding of what it means to be "pro-life" on the Catholic nation of Ireland.

We Americans seem to see no irony at all in proclaiming ourselves as pre-eminently pro-life and wagging our fingers at the Catholic nation of Ireland as it votes to strike down its ban on abortion — at the very same time that it's being documented that children of immigrants are being removed from their parents by American officials, physically abused by those officials, and in the case of an astonishing number of children, "lost."

My conclusion: countries that value human life and human rights would do very well to be chary in the extreme of "pro-life" U.S. white Christianity. It's lethal. And smug, hypocritcal, and hollow in the extreme.

And by the way: it's difficult to convince a nation of Catholic people that the Catholic leaders preaching a "pro-life" message to them are authentically pro-life, when those same leaders have been found to be covering up the sexual molestation of real-life, actually born children by church officials. It's hard for Catholic leaders to score "pro-life" points with Catholic people in a nation in which unwed mothers and children born to them are exploited and punished by nuns who bury the children born to unwed mothers in their care, while the graves of each nun in the convents managing such operations are all marked — and when great care is taken to mark the graves of each nun when those graves are relocated to a new cemetery.

One not far from the mass grave into which the bodies of children born in the care of those same nuns have been dumped, with no marker indicating even the names of those buried in these dump sites . . . . 

I'm just saying. Pro-life means pro-life in the real world or it means nothing at all — and it means pro-life for the people mouthing the phrase "pro-life" over and over again, or it means nothing at all. It means treating LGBTQ young people with the same respect you claim you want for the just-fertilized zygote in the womb, or it means nothing at all.

The Irish people are fed up — to the gills and beyond — with how the "pastoral" leaders of the Catholic church in Ireland have behaved (see: sexual abuse of minors and its cover-up by bishops; see: exploitation of and cruelty towards unmarried mothers and their children by nuns).

We are now seeing just how fed up they are, and how little they intend to listen to the finger-wagging of the religious authority figures any longer. This is not a rejection of religion. It's an assertion of deep-rooted, authentic Catholic spirituality, which belongs to lay Catholics every bit as much as it belongs to clerics and religious.


And since I'm commenting on matters Catholic and the doings of Catholic pastoral leaders, a brief bit of commentary on reports that (and here) Pope Francis has done his usual two-step with his purported remarks affirming a gay man, Juan Carlos Cruz, and has stated that gay men should be banned from seminaries: 

People who think these men intend to get it are badly deceived. This is why I have had little to say about the pope's supposed affirmation of Juan Carlos Cruz as a gay man.

I've avoided commentary because I knew the Vatican (and Francis himself) would find a way to walk that comment back. They're playing a p-r game, one designed to put a smiley face on homophobic cruelty, to give the church a better image while nothing at all changes substantially.

I also have a news flash for the pope: if you imagine bans on admitting gay men to the priesthood have kept gay men out of it and that the priesthood is not full of gay men, you are living on a planet that not is planet Earth.

The Catholic church has branded itself as an exclusive boys' club for straight men — or, in the case of many Catholic clergy and hierarchs, for gay men who posture as straight. This is a club of which women, LGBTQ folks, young folks seeking an authentic church home, should be very chary. It will not change until the whole clerical system is revamped.

And Francis will not do that.

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