Saturday, June 12, 2010

Homophobia: The Untold Story pt. 9

I'm gonna try to wrap this up in the next two posts, because if I try to fit it all in today, this post will be about 50 paragraphs long, and that seems a bit much for even the most devoted Anteater. Let's dive headlong into the muck and bile that makes up "Homosexuality: The Untold Story" by Susan "Bigot" Brinkmann. (Previous posts can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)
It's no accident that during this time of immense sexual confusion, God sent us the great gift of Pope John Paul II.
I didn't realize God gifted popes. (Can you return or exchange such a gift?) I thought the Council of Cardinals voted on them. Also, while the Catholic church certainly seems to be confused about sexuality, I don't think the rest of us necessarily are. I know I'm not.
Two-thirds of what the Church has ever said on the subject of human sexuality in her 2000 year history has been said by this Pope. Although he didn't change what the Church teaches, he expounded upon it and put it into a more contemporary language that might better equip Christians to carry the message of Jesus Christ into the modern world. This new way of teaching about human sexuality has come to be known as the "theology of the body."
Wow, that is an undue influence. The massively huge Catholic Church - claiming over a billion living souls as their own - tells people all across the globe what to do with their sex lives, and 2/3 of what it's ever said on the subject came from one solitary man? Did he have his Infallibility Drive turned on the whole time, or are some of these fallible pope statements?
God's Plan for Sexuality
"According to John Paul II, God created the body as a 'sign' of his own divine mystery," explains Christopher West, moral theologian, author and speaker, who is considered an expert on the theology of the body. "This is why he speaks of the body as a theology, a study of God."
Really? I don't remember the Bible saying anything about the body being a "sign" of god's divine mystery. (What is it with Catholics and mystery?) So, is this something Johnny Paul came up with on his own?
Because God Himself is the source of the complementarity of the sexes, when He created man in the image of Himself, he created both a male and a female. They were then directed to "be fruitful and multiply" by becoming "one flesh."
Now hang on a minute, this guy is quoting Genesis and the creation myth. You know - Adam and Eve, that whole thing the Vatican claims is just an allegory? How do you decide which of God's supposed edicts to Adam and Eve were literal quotes from God and which were merely parts of an allegorical myth? There's no discernible criteria I can detect, and I doubt a reliable one exists. Oh, and "complementarity" sounds nice and pleasant till you remember the Catholic church has no respect for women, so when they stress gender differences it isn't in a misguided by well-meant "separate but equal" kind of way. It's in a "Get back in the kitchen and start squatting out youngin's" kind of way. Charming, don't you think?
This was the original vocation of man and woman, to unite their bodies and produce life, but to do so in the "image of God" which means it must bear the following characteristics: it must be free, total, faithful and fruitful.
You know what isn't free? Love that's forced. Gay women love women, and forcing them into marriage and procreation with straight men (or "ex gay men") will not lead to a total or free love. (Likewise, forcing gay men into heterosexual marriage will not make them straight.) I wonder, at what stage in evolution (which the Vatican accepts) did man start to be "in the image of God" and no longer in the image of our evolutionary ancestors?
This teaching was not something invented by the Church but taken directly from Scripture. From the book of Genesis onward, "The Bible uses spousal love more than any other image to help us understand God's eternal plan for humanity," West writes. "God wants to 'marry' us. (Hosea 2:19) to live with us in an 'eternal exchange of love.'"
God wants to marry us like Hosea's cheating whore bride! (I remember reading that book of the Bible when I was about 13 and being absolutely baffled by it.) And what does any of this "God's plan" stuff have to do with the legal rights of homosexual persons to marry, adopt, and provide healthcare for their families? Unlike Vatican City, the United States is not a theocracy (despite the bleatings of many sheep who have no clue what our Founding Fathers thought or wrote on the subject.)
The marital analogy is used because it best describes what God intends for us — to love as He loves, and to be united in that love with an "other" as well as with Him. We were made for love and communion and this desire is inscribed into our very bodies. West calls it the body's innate "language," but it cannot achieve its desire without an "other." Male and female have a built-in desire for an "other"- not a "same."
Except for homosexual males and females who DO have a built-in desire for "same." That's kind of the definition of homosexuality, you twit. I've explained before in other posts why I would not want a love like God's, and why I think it is far inferior to earthly human loves. And I think it's important to remember that the Bible uses the Father analogy an awful lot, too. So, we're supposed to marry our dads, got that?
Authentic Love
But it goes even further. Because humans have a soul, their union should far surpass the mere sense level of animals, and should involve the spirit as well as the body. In other words, it should be love that unites them, not just a physical urge.
I am certain that the love my lesbian friends feel for their partners, and the love my gay friends feel for theirs, is more than "just a physical urge." Again, I wonder, at what point in the evolutionary process do Catholics believe humans aquired souls? Do bonobos monkeys have souls? They share 98% of our DNA. Is our soul located in that 2% of our genome they do not share? How about cows? Do cows have souls? Where on earth do you draw the line when God did not breathe into Adam's lungs after crafting him from the soil? If you accept that we evolved by natural selection (whether you think a god guided that process or not) the arbitrary introduction of a metaphysical supernatural soul for one specific species out of the millions which have ever existed seems suspect. Especially since there is no proof that such a thing as a soul exists.
And this love that unites man and woman is meant to mirror God's love, which has certain characteristics: it is free, total, faithful and fruitful.
Now honestly, where does it say sexual intercourse is supposed to be godly or god-like? Really, I'd like to know. And while you're at it, please give me a reason to suppose whatever book your referencing is worth believing.
As West writes, ". . . .This is exactly what spouses commit to at the altar . . . to give themselves to one another without reservations, to be faithful until death, and to receive whatever children God wishes to send them."
That may be what Catholics vow to, but it is not what all spouses do. According to NARAL, 98% of women in the US use birth control at some point in their lives (which seems high to me as well, given that some women are lesbians and some women don't use birth control for religious reasons.) That means almost all of us are trying NOT to be "fruitful" when we have sex, at least not every time. There are also plenty of loving child-free-by-choice heterosexual couples, who simply do not want or need biological children of their own. Hell, a third of us have even had abortions.

And (despite the Vatican's best efforts) none of those things are illegal in the United States. Birth control pills, condoms, and abortion are all allowed here, while gay marriage is very often not. I'll give the Catholic Church "credit" for being consistent (consistently wrong) on sex. They do oppose ALL forms of sex that aren't actively getting sperm into an egg, including masturbation (although the anal rape of children seems to be okay. I mean, it's gotta be better than spilling your seed on the ground like Onan, right? God killed that guy on the spot, but child rapists are allowed to live out their lives in comfort and anonymity.)
Every time this couple unites themselves in the marital embrace, they are, in a sense, renewing those vows. This is the proper reflection of God's 'marital' love for us, in the 'marital' embrace of those He created in His own image.
Sorry, but you haven't gotten to this yet. How exactly does God's 'marital' love for us result in sexual reproduction of live young, descended from single-celled organisms billions of years ago? While you keep insisting his love is "fruital, faithful" blah blah blah, you haven't shown it in anyway. Don't tell, show.
When one understands the "soul" of Church teaching about human sexuality, it becomes clear why she maintains that homosexuality, as well as adultery, premarital sex, contraception, do not image God's free, total, faithful and fruitful love.
Look, saying over and over again that's God's love is "free, total, faithful and fruitful" is one thing, but actually demonstrating your claims have any basis in reality or hell, even scripture, is quite another. Lazy freaking theologians.

Anything that is a true moral evil must cause some demonstrable harm. Contraception is a demonstrable GOOD. Family planning is good for children. It increases the odds that children born will be wanted, prepared for, and provided for. Masturbation hurts no one until you get a wrist cramp. Premarital sex is every individual's choice to do or not to, and homosexuality is just love pointed in another direction. It is love. How can you so hate love? I just don't get it.
Homosexual unions and the use of contraceptives are not "marital"as God's love is "marital" because they are not fruitful. Premarital sex is not 'marital' because without the self-sacrifice of commitment, it is not total. Adultery is not 'marital' because it is not faithful.
If love is not total without the self-sacrifice of commitment, why won't you let homosexual people get married? Why won't you LET them make that "self-sacrifice?" And, once again ad nauseum, where's the freaking evidence that your god's love is "marital" if "marital" means fruitful, total (which apparently means self-sacrificial), and faithful? Weren't the Israelites once his favorite chosen people and isn't that no longer true according to the teachings of the Catholic Church over several genocidal and anti-semitic centuries? That doesn't seem all that "faithful" to me.
But does it really make a difference if we follow God's plan? The answer to this question can be found in the sad global statistics on divorce, domestic abuse, sexual disease, abortion. "The truth of the Church's teachings on sex is confirmed in the wounds of those who haven't lived it," West writes.
Fact FAIL. It looks like India had the lowest divorce rate of selected countries in this table, with 1%. Perhaps following a Hindu god's plan for marriage is the real key? And let's see, sexual disease is certainly not helped by the Church's teachings on condoms. Oh yeah and abortion? Isn't a social ill, but even if it was, teaching abstinence rather than contraception increases the incidence of abortion. So if you want to prevent abortion, start promoting condoms, and stop trying to convince people that sex isn't fun.

The sacrifice of remaining chaste outside of marriage doesn't seem so bad when one considers the enormous social ills that a chaste lifestyle can prevent. But even more important, by remaining chaste outside of marriage, we keep sexual activity within its intended context.
Actually, remaining chaste does seem pretty bad to me. I don't think it's worth denying my natural healthy human urges and desire fpor intimacy because you think sex is always and only for procreation. I disagree, as do millions of birth control users around the globe.
Any other approach to human sexuality diminishes not only the nature and meaning of married love, but the nature and meaning of God's love as well. Sexuality is reduced to a mere sensation and lacks the true gift of self that constitutes authentic love. The longing for union that is stamped into our very bodies becomes distorted and confused, driving us hither and yon in search of a satisfaction that does not exist outside of God's plan.
Human sexuality does not equal marriage, and marriage does not equal sex. How many times do I have to spell this out? The "longing for union that is stamped" into the bodies of homosexual people is for a union with someone of the same sex. They're GAY, not "distorted and confused." There's a lot of satisfaction to be found in doing it like rabbits with condoms and contraception. There's a lot of satisfaction to be found in intimacy with the one you love. Stop fetishizing fetuses and remember that sex is about the two people doing it, not any gods or future children.

You are wrong on sex, Vatican. You are wrong, and you are rapists.

More tomorrow.