“Has anyone noticed that the head of the Catholic Church isn't very bright?”
-- Tim Minchin
Tim has a point, but as he pointed out a few minutes later:
“The pope is an intelligent man. Denying that absolves him from responsibility for his awful words.”
Either way, the Pope said on Monday that gay marriage “undermined the future of humanity itself”. He said it to diplomats from nearly 180 countries. I don’t understand why those diplomats were there to listen to the old horror. Why do we insist on pretending that the Vatican is a proper nation or that it has any significance at all on the world stage? But those diplomats were in for a festival of unsupported bigotry:
"The family unit is fundamental for the educational process and for the development both of individuals and states; hence there is a need for policies which promote the family and aid social cohesion and dialogue,"
Difficult to know where to begin, isn’t it? In what way is ‘the family unit’ ‘fundamental’ to education? And if it’s true, how does that differ if there’s only one parent or two parents of the same sex? Or for that matter, more than two parents? Benny didn’t say and didn’t offer any evidence to support his claims. But we’re not done yet. Apparently the same is true for the development of states. I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean, but that’s OK because Benny doesn’t either. He hasn’t thought it through, presumably because he doesn’t need to. We get it, you think homosexual acts are wrong, therefore anything that helps it to become more acceptable to society is also wrong.
But the most horrible thing Ratzinger says here is the part about needing policies “which promote the family”. By which – transparently – he means banning gay marriage. He means forcing everyone to do what he, personally, thinks is proper. Based on a couple of sentences in a bronze age book.
"pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman."
Or to put it another way, he’s saying gay and unmarried parents – and their families - should be treated as second-class citizens. Charming. He doesn’t say what sanctions he thinks ought to be applied to such parents or how he feels the children of those families should be discriminated against.
One more thing, and this is remarkably common behaviour for religious leaders. He can’t resist a threat: “polices which promote the family and aid social cohesion and dialogue.” Watch out, he’s saying, If you don’t do what we say… there’s going to be ‘trouble’. His friend, New York Bishop Timothy Dolan says – in the same article – that not banning gay marriage could "precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions."
What’s that if it isn’t a threat?
Well, we’re not scared.