Thursday, December 10, 2015

Jews 1, Vatican 0

Pope Evita's Vatican eschews baptizing Jews.

One wonders why the Apostles went to all that trouble...


Years ago , during the worst AIDS years, I was director of an AIDS organization. We succeeded in getting the Minister of Health, a Conservative and no friend to us --this was in the days when people had a choice--, came to visit our offices.

She was a quite large Jewess and well aware of her official majesty. During the Q&A after our presentations, she had the chutzpah to tell us to our faces that " you know of course that this disease is the best thing that ever happened to your community"...or words to that effect. It was offensive and rude.

And it was true.

And because it was 1989, her job was in no jeopardy because of it.

We eventually succeeded in making gay men with AIDS into sacred victims, at least in the eyes of the post-Reagan government in the US and eventually in Canada, too. Thirty years ago journalists and politicians could say what they wanted about gays, etc. without losing their heads. But in the ensuing juggernaut, which I do not think would have happened in the same way without HIV, now one's livelihood and reputation are at risk for not making lesbian wedding cakes.

This by way of prologue for the offensive and rude and equally true thing I am about to say, that what happened to the Jews of Europe during WWII was "the best thing that ever happened to their community."

In the wake of that Part Two of the Great European Civil War, they finally, after almost 2000 years, got their own country again.

And ever since, with their success in making people believe that of the 230 million deaths in the last century or so caused by ideological and/or ethnic wars and violence, theirs were the ones that carry metaphysical and world-changing significance. (The Eurocentrism of this claim is astonishing, don't you think?) Consequently, it has been their great shield against any kind of criticism throughout the West, especially in the religious world.

As with all our Official Sacred Victim Groups, we have to ignore their identity unless they decide we have to pay attention to it. "I'm just like you and how dare you suggest otherwise" can go to "As the child of Holocaust survivors" in a heartbeat. Like gays, and women, and Blacks, and Muslims, etc....this is how the victim game is played. Wymyn, though no numerical minority, are treated like one and act accordingly.

I read as much as I could stand of the Vatican document. It plays out in the inter-religious realm the very same game that the Catholic liberals want played out in the marriage game: while asserting that the doctrine remains unchanged, alter the practical policies so completely that that doctrine becomes a dead letter.

As with mostly everything the Church does or doesn't, it is not as a practicing Catholic that I object, of course, having long given up the right to have an opinion on those grounds. But it is as a Man of the West that I respond with pain and grief, and yes, anger, to every cowardly self-evisceration that I see enacted by men who are supposedly the guardians of a Faith which for 1500 years formed the backbone of the most consequential civilization in human history.



Anonymous said...

This is a trickle-up thing. I was taught back in Catholic school that Catholics don't "preach by the Bible" but "preach by example," and the tone was such that it was implied that the Protestant method of preaching was inferior or backwards.

Ugh. Disheartening. Who's a Right-wing homo to worship in this day and age?


-A said...

Who to worship? Choose your muscle daddy.

I see what you mean by reading the article. The phrase that the Vatican "eschews Baptizing Jews" led me to believe that they weren't going to Baptize people who aren't Catholic. Perhaps instead of fighting antisemitism as opposed to converting Jews, they should just observe the staff in their own collective eye? I don't know why I didn't see it before but, I can see now how we may very well be seeing an all new cluster of European traditions built off of the intentions of the old ones with more explicit strictures to defend their sanctity. It is for the best. May cowards and traitors be tossed into the frozen wastelands, each of their final breaths a reminder of the circle of Hell they will crash into.


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