Low. Lower. And so lowin terms of both argument and insinuationyou
wonder what forgotten basement of unreality these people are living in.
In this case, the cyber pages of The Daily Star (Lebanon):
pope’s words suggest that homosexuality is a kind of lifestyle choice, a
form of modern decadence a secular, even blasphemous act against God
and nature rather than a fact of birth. This is a common belief among
religious believers, be they conservative Catholics, Protestants, Jews
or Muslims. Tellingly, Benedict quoted Gilles Bernheim, the chief rabbi
of France, who has expressed similar views on the threats to
conventional family life.
sexual behavior is one of the main reasons why most religions establish
strict rules concerning sexual relationships. Marriage is a way of
containing our dangerous desires. Restricting sexual conduct to
procreation is supposed to make the world safer and more peaceful.
Because women excite the desires of men, they are thought to pose a
threat outside the confines of the family home. That is why, in some
societies, they are not allowed to emerge from those confines, or may do
so only if fully covered and accompanied by a male relative.
is not so extreme. Nor does he advocate violence against homosexuals.
On the contrary, he sees himself as a deeply civilized man of peace. But
I would argue that his speech actually encourages the kind of sexual
aggression that can result in the savagery that took place in New Delhi.
rapists who killed the young woman were not modern decadents who chose
to defy God and nature by claiming new secular freedoms, let alone
heterodox sexual identities. From what we can surmise from this case
and many others like it they are the semi-urbanized products of a
highly conventional rural society where the roles of men, and especially
women, are tightly regulated. Their victim, a well-educated
physiotherapy intern, seems to have been a great deal more modern than
her attackers. The men were not uneducated, but they were unable to cope
with the freedoms of contemporary women.
Get that? Sure, the author smirks, the Pope doesn't actually encourage violence, but Benedict XVI's comments, made in his year-end address to the Roman Curia,
somehow encourage and foster it. How so? Here is the basic argument:
"But the more sex is repressed and people are made to fear it the
greater the chance of sexual violence, because anyone who might possibly
stir our sexual desires, man or woman, becomes a potential target of
I suppose that would make senseif it weren't complete nonsense and
had nothing to do with what Benedict actually said or what the Catholic
Church teaches. For example, how can the Church be accused of
"repressing sex" when she is also blasted for her supposedly
irresponsible rejection of contraceptions and her encouragement of large
families? And if serious Catholics are indeed "repressed", wouldn't we
expect incidents of rape to be quite high among such Catholics,
especially married Catholics? Were the six accused rapists mentioned by
the author all married Catholic men? I don't know, but I'm willing to
bet a volume of Catholic moral theology that they aren't.
I'm not an expert on the pathology of rape and sexual violence. But I
do know that the Catholic Church has taught, since her founding, that
rape is a grave evil, and that sex is meant for marriage. And that sex
outside of marriagewhether heterosexual or homosexualis sinful,
because it violates the nature of man and of the sexual embrace. When I
hear of a rape commited by six men, I don't logically conclude that they
suffered from "repression", but from something quite different,
including an inhuman lust that cares not at all about the humanity and
dignity of the victim. It is this inhumanity that Benedict touched upon
in his address, albeit with a different focus (on the modern
"liberation" from gender):
freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then
necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is
stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the
core of his being. The defence of the family is about man himself. And
it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also
Yet, the columnist explains (without really explaining at all),
Benedict is "a man who appears to understand little about sexual life.
That is why, instead of talking about rapists, he targeted peaceful
homosexual men and women who wish to show their commitment to their
lovers by marrying them." The deafness is, sadly, to be expected; the
snarky condescension, alas, is becoming all too common. The Church has
always condemned rape (yes, I'm stating the obvious); in the ancient world, the Church was often the
lone voice defending women against violence and rape. Now those who are worldly and wise, at least according to their confused measure, and who know
nothing about humanity and sexuality offer us arrogant, amoral lectures
based on sentiment and politically-correct clichés while irresponsibly
insinuating that the Pope is responsible for rape and for violence
against homosexuals. Lower, lower, lower we go.