Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

It's the sex, stupid.

Atrios wonders out loud why, with so much bad stuff in the world, the Catholic church seems obsessed with the issue of sex, especially gay sex. I don't know about our readers, but this one seems obvious to me. The church views homosexuality as a sort of tidal wave, taking the old morals and replacing them with the new ones. It's the kind of thing that has always been around (hey, wasn't the guy who painted the Sistine chapel gay?) but in the last few years has become rapidly more accepted.

Yeah, there are other sins out there, and certainly ones that have more basis for being a sin in the Bible. But it must seem to the church that the walls are caving in around them and they have to do something about it. As to the question of why pre-marital sex and contraception are so important to them, I guess it's the same idea. But that's a little more ridiculous, as I can't find any reference to that in the Bible (not even in the red words, and them's the most important words right there).


Anonymous said...

War, poverty, oppression, abuse of human rights and dignity have never been particular problems for the Church (or most institutionalized religions). Of course Church leaders speak out against these things but rarely with the fervor or strictness with which they speak of things like birth control or homosexuality (how many IRA leaders got excommunicated?).

War or poverty are not a threat to their existance. Modernity, however, is a threat. Anything that seems to the leaders of the religion to be an expression or symbol of modernity is transformed into monsterous bugbears. And to be fair, modernity really is a direct threat to the kind of institutionalized religion that Catholicism is an example of.  

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Dr. Strangelove said...

When I first read Bell Curve's post, I thought his "tidal wave" argument was rather circular. He says that the Church focuses on sexual mores because they are the vanguard of other changes in morality--but other than sexual morality, what other changes are have there been? Is murder, theft, rape, or arson more acceptable today than it was before? Are we less charitable than before? On the contrary, life used to be cheap and expendable, and the poor starved to death.

But then I started thinking... well, there have been a few more changes. First, education is becoming universal, and free thought is now acceptable--including holding different religious views--and so the church has now been separated from the state power it used to have. Second, equal, human rights for all people, men and women, black and white, are being respected--slavery is gone, women are being liberated. And third, of course, sexual and reproductive freedoms have come along for the ride.

One can make the argument that the Catholic church, a defender of an unquestionable, elitist, patriarchal society, is threatened by all three--and since they have largely lost the battles on the first two, they now are fighting fierce rear-guard action on the third. But it goes deeper still.

For centuries, the church has used a deep-rooted sense of shame and sin about our sexual urges and our bodies to keep us down. The only way to feel good was through the absolution of a priest. But now that we are building a free-thinking society with love for our bodies and ourselves, joyous acceptance of sexual fulfillment, equality for women, reproductive freedom and family planning, technological wonders and miraculous medicine far beyond anything ever offered by the church, and a natural sense of community and world citizenship... people are beginning to realize that we don't need the priests anymore. We don't need their shame or hatred, and we don't need their approval either.

We are building a better world, and the church, like feudal system it still represents, is one more institution we no longer need. No wonder the Priests are so scared. If this keeps up, they will lose the rest of their wealth and power. And then they might actually have to start working for a living.

Anonymous said...

The other day, Spain's lower house of parliament (the lower house has most of the power) passed new legislation allowing same sex mariages in Spain. The law - when it passes - will allow Spain to join Belgium and the Netherlands as the only countries in the world that acknowlege that homosexual couples have the same mariage rights that heterosexual couples have. Spain's law goes further than the other two in that it also allows same sex couples to adopt.

In his first major policy pronouncement since becoming Pope, Benedict XVI did not call for world peace, an end to war, an end to terrorism, or for increased aid to the poor. No. Benedict XVI condemned the Spanish law. 

Benedict XVI declared that "the Church was making an urgent call for freedom of conscience for Roman Catholics and appealing to them to resist the law." First, how is someone else getting the same rights you have a threat to your 'freedom of conscience?' Second, how does he suggest Catholics 'resist?' Is he suggesting that conservative Catholics who are Gay should refuse to get married? Or is he suggesting that conservative Catholics act to prevent homosexual couples (who may or may not be Catholic) from exercising their rights under this law.

Has there ever been a time when religious freedom didn't really mean the right to oppress your neighbor as you see fit?

By the way, the Spanish government is also planning to make it easier to get divorced in Spain. I'll bet we'll hear from Benedict XVI on that issue too before he says a word about charges that Catholic priests participated in the genocide in Rwanda

// posted by Raised By Republicans

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