Thursday, February 24, 2005

Pope Calls Gay Marriage Part of 'Ideology of Evil'

"Homosexual marriages are part of 'a new ideology of evil' that is insidiously threatening society, Pope John Paul says in a new book published Tuesday." (Via CP.)

Boy, I must be missing something. It seems to me that if there's an "ideology of evil" at work in the world, it's behind our unheeding destruction of our atmosphere.

Or the mentality that allows corporations to fling their pollutants into the water supply without fear of reprisal.

Or the thoughtless use of depleted uranium that threatens to haunt war survivors with generations of deformed offspring.

Take your goddamned pick.

Our planet is experiencing a near-exponential rise in temperature due to anthropogenic climate change. Whole communities are being uprooted as the environment inexorably worsens.

The United States, while lambasting the use of fictional weapons of mass destruction in the Persian Gulf, stealthily upgrades its bioweapons arsenal with a genetically altered smallpox virus.

Mass extinction, genocide . . . and John Paul has the gall to pick on gay marriage?

It probably goes without saying that I don't find any fault whatsoever with gay marriage. I don't think there's anything vaguely objectionable about it, and suspect those who do harbor issues they'd rather not discuss (openly, at least). So when an "authority" like the Pope regurgitates this xenophobic shit, words like "senility" and even "delusional" come to mind.

I've never been a fan of religion; the Vatican is no exception. I'm reminded of Timothy Leary's observation that the Catholic Church arguably kills more human beings than it saves through its missionary work in Africa: What good is coming to the aid of victims of famine and grinding poverty if you preach the evils of birth control, thereby ensuring a new crop of the homeless and starving?

The Pope is trafficking memes just like everyone else. But there's no wisdom here, no empathy, no attempt to address the psychopathology of imminent cataclysm. His condemnation of gay marriage is a feeble bit of nastiness from an old man who doesn't seem to realize our time is running out. If we're to make the evolutionary cut, we need to dispense with our adoration for leaders -- religious, political and otherwise -- and to hell with offending others with inconvenient truths.

15 comments:

Ken Younos said...

At one time Popes brought kings to their knees and made the earth tremble. Today all height, all greatness, has been reduced to this: A weak, watered down, and anemic symbol - a little old man wheeling around in his Pope-mobile, an exponent of that childish and wholly unrealistic idea called "world peace". He who was once uncontested Emperor of the western world has now become the representative - of what? Of beautiful sentiments! Fortune and glory - the grand *height* of the Papacy in former days - what's become of it? Today the Pope's chief concerns revolve around such paltry questions as whether or not gays have the right to marry! Who gives a damn?! Of course, J.P. also represents something quite novel - i.e., a Pope who actually takes his Christianity seriously...

Ken Younos said...

One more word about this "idealogy of evil": Observe how once powerful concepts - such as "evil" - have become altogether leeched of potency, of significance, of spirit. In former times "evil" was something terrifying, harrowing, dreadful. For this reason one also *respected* it. And now today - "evil" has come to be associated with little married gay people. The word is also blithely tossed about for purposes of politlcal propaganda, superficial rhetoric (e.g., W's "axis of evil"). What I wouldn't give to have been born long long ago in a galaxy far far away - where evil is still something to be feared rather than despised - where it still evokes a negative sense of awe and reverence. A world in which "evil" is associated with such pettiness as gay marriage is not only laughable - it is down right nauseating.

Maggie said...

And all this while the Anglican church is ready to split over the issue...

Mac said...

Great points, Ken. "Evil" has been seriously downgraded -- and we're paying for it with short-sighted pettiness.

KennyJC said...

mac you better be careful, how dare you speak out against religion! Your e-mail will be flooded with threats and your cars tyres will be let down.

W.M. Bear said...

And when John Paul finishes dying, I predict that the College of Cardinals will elect an even more conservative Pope (probably from the Italian Curia). Sorry to be the bearer of an unhappy prophecy but this seems to be the current trend. The pendulum of history will swing back the other way but it may take a while.

BTW, Ken, I do not agree that being against gay marriage is necessarily taking Christianity seriously. Indeed, there is huge disagreement among believers as to what taking Christianity seriously even means.

--WMB

Mac said...

Kennyjc--

In the words of "Our Leader": Bring 'em on!

Ken Younos said...

WMB,
I am not saying that being against gay marriage is necessarily to take Christianity seriously. My point was that, whereas the Popes of old DIDN'T take Christianity seriously (to them it was merely a pretext for imperial power), J.S. certain DOES. This is why he refused the Papal crown when he was ordained. This is also why he preoccupies himself with little people who stomp their feet, throw tantrums and demand their rights (as if their paltry concerns were of any real consequence). True biblical Christianity doesn't believe in human greatness; instead it nurses human pettiness and every manifestation of it. In this regard, J.S. is a bona fide Christian. I take him to be the symbol - par excellence - of what modern man is becoming.

W.M. Bear said...

Interesting take on Christianity, Ken. Nietzsche would probably agree with you. I do think J.P. is at least sincere in his religious populism (if that's what it is). Certainly populists have been among the most reactionary types. And he is certainly hanging in there!
--WMB

Ken Younos said...

Really, who gives a rat's ass about self-absorbed little appetites and their tirades over their "right" to happiness?! Certainly not the most powerful man in the world. He wouldn't soil his hands with such paltry concerns - much less take note of them. But this is what Christianity and democracy have done: they have made individual interests *absolute*, everyone - down to the smallest prig - is reckoned as equally, infinitely important in the eyes of God. In the past they were counted utterly unworthy of trampling the Papal courts; today their little feet are allowed to trample everything. There is no sense of height, no sense of reverence, no pathos of distance; all is made common, all is profaned. Vulgar little hands are allowed to touch and handle anything they desire. Even once ominously terrifying concepts like "evil" have been remade in their image: "Evil" is no longer associated with passions so deep, gripping and powerful that they can only be described as *black* (e.g., Darth Vader as an icon of the old ideal). Petty people know only petty passions; great concepts are unreal to them because they lie outside their sphere of experience. "Evil" henceforth is redefined - as being represented by political piss-ants or snivelling "sinners". "Sin" is "evil" shrunk to the stature of little people. Our Pope is the ultimate consequence of this modern marvel - the incredible shrinking of man.

Ken Younos said...

To top it all, the Catholic theologian Hans Kung has even suggested that the Pope divest himself of his one remaining item of distinction - i.e., his sanctity. That'll be the day, when the Pope of Rome is finally reduced to being just another Jimmy Swaggart or Pat Robertson. But then, this is only an indication that Catholicism is striving to be more and more true to its Christian essence. After all, the first Pope was just an ignorant fisherman.

Corwin said...

He's obviously trying to get people to dispise and ignore leadership wherever it shows it's evil, oppressive front person. He's freed the mines of millions of brilliant people that think for themselves, now he's going to dive deep with his opinions to free even the sheepiest lackey from believing anything.
Wait until he gets more people to notice the fancy dresses he wears by allowing PBS to do a documentary on "The Pope's Attire: The Most Godly Outfits" hosted by someone from "Queer Eye"

Bravo Mr.Penis hat.

W.M. Bear said...

"Bravo Mr.Penis hat."

Actually the ecclesiastical miter is supposed to represent a fish (a fish's open mouth actually), the ancient symbol of Christ.
--WMB

Mac said...

It does look disturbingly phallic, though...

Ken Younos said...

Yeah, it's still funny...in a sick kind of way...