Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Blessed are the gays

   There's a looming same-sex showdown between progressives and conservatives at the highest levels of the Catholic Church hierarchy, and it's a battle the old guard can't win.
   In keeping with Pope Francis's "Who am I to judge?" comment in July 2013, Catholic bishops meeting at the Vatican have released a draft report showing an unprecedented openness towards gays, whom the bishops said had "gifts" to offer to the church and should be accepted, although same-sex marriage is still off the table.  A group of conservative bishops quickly distanced themselves from the report and promised to fight any attempt to soften the church's traditional stance against homosexuality, showing just how badly out of touch they are with present day sentiment.  In western liberal democracies, including Canada, anyone who unequivocally opposes or condemns the gay lifestyle has been successfully marginalized.
    Tolerance, however, is a two way street.  Contrary to the claims of the most strident sociopolitical progressives, it's possible to have faith-based moral misgivings about homosexuality without being homophobic or bigoted.  While Jesus didn't include anything about "blessed are the gays" in the Sermon on the Mount, love, understanding and compassion are consistent New Testament themes.  Pope Francis and his supporters are putting those  principles into practice with their willingness to adjust longstanding church doctrine to fit with modern times.  
   In the interests of mutual tolerance and acceptance, it behooves the organized gay rights community to accept the olive branch graciously without demanding the whole tree.  


  1. Great post, Ted. I haven't associated with the Catholic church for years, but I think Pope Francis has done more for the Church, in the very short timespan he's been in his position than many of predecessors have done in their entire careers.

    However, I don't think in this case it's as much as being too little, as much as it is about being too late. The Church has held its stance against homosexuality for so many years, along with other other things that made it totally out of touch with the rest of society, that people have decided to explore other ways to express their faith and spirituality.

  2. "Contrary to the claims of the most strident sociopolitical progressives, it's possible to have faith-based moral misgivings about homosexuality without being homophobic or bigoted."

    Please back this up. Seriously, how can anyone seriously make this claim? How can anyone be against homosexuality on moral grounds unless it is based on a bigoted religious world view? I am not gay but I don't see how anyone can oppose homosexuality on any grounds. I get the feeling you make this claim because you are religious and oppose homosexuality but don't like thinking of yourself as a bigot.

  3. The fact you censor the comments on your blog tells me everything I need to know about you. You fear public opinion and want to preserve your bubble. I wonder how many comments you have to purge because they didn't praise you. Moving on to a better blog now, you are irrelevant.

  4. Sorry I didn't stay up all night waiting for your comment so I could post it right away, John. You know nothing about me. Get over yourself.

  5. Very good point about the olive branch. I miss the part, however, where the insane hypocrisy of the church gets mentioned - the part where they have publicly condemned gay acts and the gay lifestyle while too many of them have privately committed horrible acts against young boys and men under their authority. How many lives have they f***ed with, with these reprehensible actions and in their words? So you can imagine people - straight, non-abused people as well - are pretty fed up with anything the church or the 'faith-based' has to say. Pretty sure they know where they can stick that olive branch.

  6. Hi Jeff - I get what you're saying about church hypocrisy. It's well-documented and doesn't need to be re-hashed for the purposes of my blog. On the other point, I know many people of faith who have moral misgivings about homosexuality but are nonetheless unconditionally compassionate and loving towards gays in their immediate circle, whether they are family, friends or co-workers.