Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pope reiterates pronatal stand against homosexuality; Southern Poverty Law Center issues intelligence report on religious right and hate

The Catholic News Service has a story that Pope Benedict XVI, in a new book “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and Signs of the Times”, published Nov. 23, maintains his position that homosexual acts are “disordered” and homosexuality is incompatible with the priesthood.

His arguments sound existential in nature. He says that God gave sexuality a single, universal meaning. “The meaning and direction of sexuality is to bring about the union of man and woman and, in this way, to give humanity posterity, children, a future.” He said it would be “extremely dangerous if celibacy became a sort of pretext for bringing people into the priesthood who don't want to get married anyway” and that homosexual orientation contradicts “the proper sense of paternity” that goes with the priesthood.

The story link is here.

In 1986 Ratzinger had written “Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is more or less a tendency toward an intrinsic moral evil and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder” (the last two words of which drew a lot of fire, particularly from Andrew Sullivan), and there was a 2005 “Pastoral Letter” from the Vatican, as follows here.

The Pope also made a statement recently accepting the idea that value of condoms in preventing HIV spread may outweigh the Church’s opposition to preventing procreation. I’m covering that today on the International Issues blog.

Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, on Nov.22 released a scathing report, “Gays remain minority most targeted by hate crimes,” link here.  The report goes into the apparent “intellectual intransigence” of some “pro-family” organizations with long standing ties to the religious right (back to the days of the “Moral Majority” early during the Reagan years). Generally, the religious right has been able to maintain the idea that there are “two sides” to gay issues, in a manner analogous to the days (through the 1950s) when racial segregation could be “justified” intellectually. That needs to change. However, religious teachings (as with the Catholic clips above) often take on the idea that everyone “owes” certain duties to other generations or to family, and does not see things in terms of individual rights and equality, as is common in today’s political debate. Potok notes that perpetrators of hate crimes have sometimes been older males, often displaced by economic difficulties as well as social change. That fits the pattern of history, where in hard times political leaders look for scapegoats.

Author Dan Savage’s recent finding (for the “It Gets Better Project”) of “Gays most targeted minority” is presented by the SPLC and discussed by CNN and President Obama here.

Back in the 1980s, Perry Deane Young had authored a book titled "God's Bullies"!

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