If only we lived in a world where the ignorant words of an old man with too much time on his hands didn’t matter; they do. We live in a world where people like Mikey Causer are beaten to death for being gay. Yet again with Pope Benedict XVI we have the Vatican badmouthing homosexuality, transsexualism and every variance from baseline heterosexual behaviour and institutions:
Since faith in the Creator is an essential part of the Christian Credo, the Church cannot and should not confine itself to passing on the message of salvation alone. It has a responsibility for the created order and ought to make this responsibility prevail, even in public. And in so doing, it ought to safeguard not only the earth, water, and air as gifts of creation, belonging to everyone. It ought also to protect man against the destruction of himself. What is necessary is a kind of ecology of man, understood in the correct sense. When the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman and asks that this order of creation be respected, it is not the result of an outdated metaphysic. It is a question here of faith in the Creator and of listening to the language of creation, the devaluation of which leads to the self-destruction of man and therefore to the destruction of the same work of God. That which is often expressed and understood by the term “gender”, results finally in the self-emancipation of man from creation and from the Creator. Man wishes to act alone and to dispose ever and exclusively of that alone which concerns him. But in this way he is living contrary to the truth, he is living contrary to the Spirit Creator. The tropical forests are deserving, yes, of our protection, but man merits no less than the creature, in which there is written a message which does not mean a contradiction of our liberty, but its condition. The great Scholastic theologians have characterised matrimony, the life-long bond between man and woman, as a sacrament of creation, instituted by the Creator himself and which Christ – without modifying the message of creation – has incorporated into the history of his covenant with mankind. This forms part of the message that the Church must recover the witness in favour of the Spirit Creator present in nature in its entirety and in a particular way in the nature of man, created in the image of God. Beginning from this perspective, it would be beneficial to read again the Encyclical Humanae Vitae: the intention of Pope Paul VI was to defend love against sexuality as a consumer entity, the future as opposed to the exclusive pretext of the present, and the nature of man against its manipulation.
It’s a whole load of unscientific, mostly meaningless garbage of course, but what’s important isn’t so much the content as who’s saying it. For some drunk in a pub to come out with such archaic nonsense is one thing – for the leader of one of the world’s organised religions it’s another. People do and will listen to him, and although I don’t believe for a moment that he speaks for all the world’s Catholics, when he legitimises bigotry through religious intellectualism, or even via the modern language of environmentalism, he is dangerous. Homophobia isn’t an inherent quality in human beings, it’s a value which is transmitted and legitimised, and people like Josef Ratzinger should know better:
It is an instructive exercise to take Pope Benedict’s latest homophobic outburst and substitute the word “Jew” for “homosexual.”
The Pope’s detractors are always quick to point to his service in the Hitler Youth as a teenager.
I fully accept that his Hitler Youth membership was probably compulsory, even that his views on homosexuality may not have arisen from his membership of the party – he has shown a propensity to over-intellectualise anything. But his unique position as Pope should make him particularly mindful of the origins of hate and the role his office can play in either fostering it or inhibiting it:
Gay people are a serious threat to the existence of humanity, as serious as global warming. Does any of that rhetoric sound familiar?
Even the most casual observer of history cannot help but be struck by the chilling parallel.
Yet instead he capriciously couches his homophobia in the terms of environmentalism to legitimise it to his wider audience. The last point is equally salient though, and more concerning. The leader of the Catholic Church actually uses the language of social Darwinism, of Nazism, that we’re ‘against God and nature’, to justify his attack on everyone who doesn’t conform to baseline heterosexuality. A man who has lived through the Holocaust should know better – such words will only help to justify the ignorance of those who hate us. Peter Tatchell remarks:
Free market capitalism, and its culture of greed and consumerism, is a far greater threat to the ecological survival of our planet than homosexuality or transsexuality.
Is the Pope ignorant or malevolent?
The suggestion that gay people are a threat to human survival is absurd and dangerous. It is poisonous propaganda that will give comfort and succour to queer-bashers everywhere.
Homosexuality is a part of human ecology. It has existed in all cultures in all eras. At a time of global over-population, by not having children gay couples contribute to population stabilisation and thereby reduce pressure on over-strained natural resources. We are an ecological asset to humanity.
He may rhetorically overstate the counter-argument, but he’s obviously right in slamming Benedict for linking environmental protection with ‘gender protection’. With capitalism uniquely responsible for the destruction of the environment, as well increasing poverty during this ‘credit crunch’, it’s a disgrace that the leader of the Catholic Church should find time once again to prioritise blaming us for the world’s ills. He has indeed learned nothing from his time as a Nazi.