Sunday, September 18, 2005

Witch Hunt?

Hearing about the Catholic Church's attempt to root out homosexuality in the priesthood makes me glad I decided to step away from the church a while back.

It seems like the powers-that-beautify are blaming homosexuals for the recent child abuse scandals, and therefore want to drive them out. Bastards like Bernard Law who facilitated and aided the abuse are fine and dandy for some odd reason, but for God's sake, don't be gay. Even if you never act on it, you'll be driven out.

Ignoring the obvious question of exactly HOW they will determine someone's sexual orientation ("Are you gay?" "No." "Are you SURE?") there's a deeper issue here, it seems. At least, it seems that way to me, and I state right off I am no expert.

But here's what I see happening: It appears the Catholic Church feels that homosexuality is part of what you are - close to a religious idea of genetic coding. They don't say, "If you are homosexual, stop doing it." They say, "If you are homosexual, you are not qualified to be a priest." They don't offer you a choice to stop it; they seem to say you ARE it. And being it, you can't be a priest.

So why is that disturbing to me? Because it seems to say, "We know that being gay is what you are - it's like having moles, or black hair. And because of that, regardless of whether or not you act on it, you are disallowed from being a priest. There's no chance of you changing what you are, and we don't like what you are."

Substitute the word "black" in there for gay, or "nearsighted" (which at least follows a Mosiac law anyway), or "lisping". It's very unfair for a Church to decide that uncontrollable factors that don't harm anyone are means for defrockment, to say the least. Let alone the fact that these factors may not even be acted on. Are heterosexual priests caught in affairs defrocked? At least one wasn't - he was allowed/encouraged to resign. Which isn't the same as being defrocked - when you get defrocked, you lose all priestly privileges and functions. Resigning doesn't involve the revoking of his functions.

But if you're a homosexual it doesn't matter - you're out. Being gay in and of itself is enough to get you removed from the priesthood, whereas abusing kids and having heterosexual affairs aren't in some cases. Is this fair at all to anyone? If a business decided to fire a man for being gay and not acting on it, but allowed someone who abused to kids to stay confident would you feel in patronizing it? (For that matter, when someone does this I would argue they may be bettter off away from the priesthood as well.)

Andrew Sullivan has some other thoughts about this as well. He's done a good job on pointing out the disparities the Church is pushing.

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