Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Show some pride, gay people

crumbs from the table
Big news this morning is the fact that the official Catholic Church has decided at their little pow wow on the family that gay people have something to contribute to the church.

Well, whoop de friggin do.  Contribute to the church, you say?  Splendid.  Like I’ve been sitting around for ages now, wringing my hands and wondering if I had anything to contribute to you silly bunch of jewel-encrusted dandies.   How very very sweet of you to share some crumbs off your table.  Not.

It’s just plain embarrassing watching gay people fall all over themselves in gratitude over this latest concession, and the hint of possibility that maybe they might not rank down there with road kill.  Some are actually gushing over Francis’s latest efforts to right his sinking ship.  OK, Francis.  It is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but until I see a clear and unequivocal apology for your immediate predecessor’s slapping us with this intrinsically disordered  label, you can all eat my shorts.

For those of you who haven’t followed the story, here’s one source.  

What is it with gay people that they can grovel so?  One blogger of a group that "ministers" to LGBT people offered the “hope” that “future changes that are even more welcoming and accepting of lesbian and gay people and their families can develop down the road.”   Gee, golly, boys and girls.   If we keep our shoes polished and carry a handkerchief, they might someday, just maybe, possibly, be nice to us.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Where’s my barf bag?

AP announces that gay groups are “cautiously cheering” a shift in tone.  Cautiously cheering?  Now there’s a concept.  A little bit of hallelujah goes a long way, I guess.  Clapping your hands in velvet gloves is better than not clapping at all, is that it?  Crack in the ice,” you say?  “First step?” 

Jesus, give me a break!  

Cardinal Raymond Burke
Have you people no pride?  Recognize this for what it is, a retrograde institution being brought kicking and screaming into the 19th century.  Churches are shutting down by the thousands because people are leaving them in droves.  They have no choice.  This isn’t a change of heart; it’s desperation.  Come on, guys.  Reality ain’t gonna bite you.

Those of you counting your chickens need to keep reading beyond the Vatican PR.  The conservatives still run the church, and they have come out clearly in opposition to this latest move toward reconciliation.   Raymond Burke, famous for gussying up in silks and satins like there is no tomorrow, claims the Vatican press was manipulating information about the debate, and hiding the true extent of the opposition.  Burke ought to know.  He’s head of the Vatican Supreme Court.

The protestant churches have long since left the catholic church in the dust when it comes to equality, fair play, and recognition of women and gays as people to engage with at eye level.  The Lutheran Church in Germany, for example, not only ordains women but for some time now has been headed by a woman.  Margot Kaessmann is her name.   She is a classic model for how the church wants you to separate the sin from the sinner, and then love the sinner.   Bishop Margot is divorced.  And she got into trouble some time ago when running a red light while under the influence.   But so popular was this very articulate voice for God’s love that when she resigned, they reinstated her with much acclaim two years later.  (She really is a breath of fresh air – I don’t want to sell her short.)  Bishop Käßmann’s views on women and LGBT people are clear.  In a public debate in St. Thomas’s Church in Leipzig, she made reference to an official church position paper which urges, she says, that whenever there are gay and lesbian relationships “characterized by responsibility, reliability and trust,” they should be tolerated.  That’s something long fought for, she adds, and “we evaluate (these gay partnerships) positively.”

Ah, yes.  That sounds to me like the official Lutheran Church in Germany got to about the same point some time ago that the Catholic progressives surrounding Francis reached today.  

I decided to check the exact wording of this document she cited.

In Section 6 we read that LGBT relationships are deserving of “recognition, respect, and protection.”  Fine.  Lovely.  Thank you.  But read on.  Just a bit further down, we also read that while blessings may be extended to individuals, “the blessing of a same-sex relationship cannot be allowed.”

Face it, boys and girls.  The Hebrew scriptures were written by people living in the iron age, and by a tribal folk desperately worried about becoming wiped out.  And Paul, the big daddy of the early Christian community, never checked The Joy of Sex out of the local library.   It didn’t take long before this “no sex unless you’re making babies” orientation got carved into stone.  The church will always carry the banner of homophobia.  It’s foundational.  Harder to root out than separating Americans from their constitutional right to shoot people.

Love God, if you will.  Be kind.  Be charitable.  Be generous and honest and true.  Find peace in meditation - or in Jesus - if that’s your thing.   Nurture your spiritual nature, by all means.

But please, women and gay people, for the love of Heaven, give up this servile, unworthy, undignified fascination with the power of organized religion.  The church moves closer by the hour to the trash heap of history.   Don’t stand in its way.

And for the sake of all that’s holy, don’t fall all over yourself thanking it for merely switching to slapping you across the face when once it used its nails to draw blood.

photo credits: Burke; crumbs from the table

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