Saturday, April 11, 2015

Who am I to judge?

Apparently His Jocularity has a less than friendly side

Pope Francis 'refuses' gay French ambassador - Telegraph:

For once in his life, Francis the Talking Pope apparently had nothing to say.

And who knows, if another country, not led by an anti-Christian Socialist who was loudly pushing gay marriage, had quietly sent a diplomat who happened to be gay but made no fuss about it, it might have turned out differently.

The Telegraph article tries to let His Hipsterness off the hook a little by saying that "observers" think he had to placate "the conservative wing" after his airplane interview.

Just as they always let Obama and Hillary & Co. off the hook over their long refusal to "evolve" over gay marriage as merely strategic temporizing. Which, it turned out in their case, was precisely true.

Given Papa Bergoglio's general style, though, I doubt very much that he cares about placating anybody. Like most grandstanding men of the people, he is authoritarian to his Jesuit core.

As Professor Haidt has shown, traditional morality gives serious weight to traditional authority, group cohesion and loyalty, and to divine assertions of what is safely pure and dangerously impure, while the truncated ethics of the liberal West obsesses only about equality and oppression and care*. Different moral continents.

Part 2, if you're interested:

I made my peace with Catholic sexual morality when I realized that it was not about me. I certainly have my own selfishness and streaks of narcissism, but unlike the Sacred Victim Groups who populate the media and suck up vastly disproportionate amounts of cultural energy, I recognized that guys like me are a very tiny outlier minority. Awesome though we may be.

Catholicism's "No" to homosexual activity is an unavoidable but secondary, even tertiary, result of its prior fundamental commitments to issues of far more moment and importance, viz the sacrament of marriage and the family, and the binary gender structure of the human species. Long wed both to Scripture's focus on the male-female relation and to Western natural law philosophy, it lacks the tools to say "Yes," even if it wanted to.

And if it did, then its entire moral framework would unravel. It's no accident that Christian bodies who have, first, ordained women and, then, ordained active homosexuals and now, embrace genderless marriage had previously beveled the edges of their denominational identity, then their reading of Scripture and its authority, then their contra mundum Christian identity until liberal ideals --like a parasitic wasp or a retrovirus--had sucked it out entirely and replaced it with the fanatical devotion to a new trinity of sensitivity, inclusivity and diversity. As Jesus the Liberal might say of the sinful woman who anointed his feet in Luke 7, "Her sins, though many, are forgiven, for she is radically inclusive."  Hence, my frequent description of them simply as Unitarians in drag.

Unless you are a liberal, you eventually realize that not every problem here below is solvable. As Ennis DelMar says in Brokeback Mountain, "If ya can't fix it, ya gotta stand it." I came to that painful conclusion about homosexuality within Christianity quite a while ago. I have recently arrived at a similarly resigned stance on racial matters. Just because I want a solution does not mean that there is one.

Now there are homosexuals who continue to practice their Catholic religion and do not suffer overmuch from their tradition's unwillingness/inability to accept their erotic nature. That is a personality type I admire but do not share. Whether it's a matter of preferring authenticity to prevarication, or being too rigid to adapt gracefully to the complexities of life, I don't know. But there it is.

Were I to look for a way to support someone in that situation, clearly gay but also deeply attached to Catholicism, I would suggest that because of the necessary limitations inherent in all systems of ethics, Catholicism's understandable laser-focus on marriage and family makes it very difficult for such a system to actually see "same-sex attracted" people fully and clearly. And on that basis I would suggest that such a person try to carve out --carefully-- a place for oneself within an unavoidably "myopic" moral tradition. (I have blogged about this before, but can't find the post at the moment.)

A lot of Christian gay readings of Scripture make a similar point, that what the ancient Jewish and Christian world knew of same-sex eros is only superficially like its contemporary shape. So the condemnation does not apply. That's a complex discussion, but I thought I should admit that I am aware of it and of its similarity to my "myopia" suggestion.

On the other hand, doing this carefully would require taking a critical stance toward LGBTism and gay culture as well. If Catholicism cannot see homosexuality clearly, gay-ism cannot really see anything but. The gay/LGBTQ thing is perhaps even more myopic, and almost completed embedded in and submerged by its liberal/progressive politics and culture. To perform the thankless task (thankless from both sides) of shaping a kind of active same-sex eros that shows respect for Catholicism and also dares to reject parts of gay-ism...well, that would be work for a saint.

Enough for now.

*Like their Shadow, the Muslims, Liberals give determinative weight to wounded feelings and hurt pride.

'via Blog this'


Anonymous said...

I've read the thoughts of those Catholics who have submitted to the Church's teachings. Even Tushnet confesses frustration with the Church's inability to understand homosexuality. As you said, it is a consequence of their laser-fine focus on family, and homosexuality throws that dynamic to hell.

There is evidence of male-male spiritual unions in the early Greek Church, but these were probably not sexual. Some medieval French records suggest that two men could legally co-own property and even raise children together, but the exact circumstances are hazy.

How to navigate between the madness of GLBTism and the strictures of doctrine? How to forge a homoeroticism that the Church can accept? It would require a saint, someone who could withstand the scrutiny and contempt of both sides, who could respond with grace to every attack and criticism. It certainly would not be me. A shame, since this is a dream of mine that just won't go away.


Anonymous said...

You are amazing...

OreamnosAmericanus said...

Uh, amazing good or amazing bad?
And, Sean or ExC?

Anonymous said...

You ExC are amazing - in a very good way.

Anonymous said...



OreamnosAmericanus said...

Very kind of you, Anonymous. Thanks.

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