Tuesday, December 23, 2008

You Were Expecting...?

Advocacy groups of the homosexual community are up in arms over Pope Benedict XVI's statement that humanity needed to be saved from homosexual or transsexual behavior, saying that this was as important as protecting the environment.

Um... what were they expecting? While it can hardly be said that the Roman Catholic Church is the only institution with a stake in traditional gender-role stereotyping, I expect the Moon to smack me in the back of the head before the Church says that men and women can take on each other's roles, and that this would meet with their approval. I understand the feeling that the Pope is, in effect, sanctioning the re-closeting of homosexuals and transsexuals, if not the outright criminalization of the behavior, but again, what do you expect? It's a small demographic, and easy to target while the rest of the population looks on. I was unable to find the full text of the pontiff's comments, but I'm willing to bet that he didn't go near the topics of say, divorce or pre-marital sex, which would have driven a wedge between the Church and a much larger segment of the populace. (And is something that the media coverage, in the constant quest for yet another controversy, would be unlikely to ignore.)

And therein lies the rub. For both sides. If enough people are doing (or not doing) something, the Church winds up having to go along, to a certain degree. If "proper" relationships between men and women are imperative to saving the world, one would think that doing away with divorce would get us much closer to that point than forcing the relatively small segment of the population that is either homosexual or transsexual into celibacy or accepting their outward gender. On the other hand, because these communities are always going to be a minority, and not a very large one at that, they're always going to be convenient targets. Expecting the Church to be more accepting of them anytime in the near future is unrealistic.

The Church's advice to a gay or lesbian couple, or a young child who's positive that they were born into the wrong body is always going to be the same: "God is Right, you are Wrong. Pray harder." Those groups should get used to hearing it, in much the same way that the Vatican has needed to become used to being ignored.


Catnapping said...

I think I disagree. Women are not a minority (in the mathematical sense), and yet the church's teachings have been very much about our demonization.

It seems everything worldly and sensual is seen as female, while all that is spiritual and godly is seen as male.

Celibacy? wtf? Why is sex seen as a bad thing in the first place? It wasn't that long ago that sex among Catholics was supposed to be for procreation, not recreation.

I wonder sometimes if it is only male homosexuals they abhor/fear...because they see them as "womanly."

I'm sure that in theory, they oppose lesbianism, but in their darkest thoughts, it is probably only men they worry about meeting naked. I say this, because many of the same jerks who post homophobic rantings on the fray are the same ones who will wink and chuckle about "girl-on-girl" porn.

Aaron said...

I'm not 100% sure that I agree with the idea that the Church demonizes women, but there is most definitely a second-class citizen vibe going on there. (I think the Church sees women as weak, rather than evil.)

I suspect that male homosexuality gets people bent out of shape more because people see it as more predatory, and while they seem to be okay with the idea of women as sexual prey, there is much more discomfort with men being preyed upon in that fashion. >shrug< But I don't know. I grew up Catholic and I don't get most of it.

I've also been curious about the Church's fixation on celibacy. I understand that Jesus seemed to be big on the idea, but the whole near-immediate extinction of the species if everyone aspired to it seems to be lost on its supporters.