Monday, November 16, 2009

And Jesus Said "Come to me, and I will give you rest...unless you're a homo"

As a life-long Catholic and someone who tries to follow the scriptures, there's often a bit of cognitive dissonance to work through. Sometimes it's particular bits of theology I can't agree with (I'm still looking for that part of Christianity that actually says gay people aren't people) and sometimes it's extremely embarrassing things my church has done that I can never condone (hiding the sex crimes of multiple known child abusers).

But this week the American church has really upped the ante of reprehensible/hypocritical anti-scriptural behavior. In two different ways, nonetheless.

Hot on the heels of a national announcement by American bishops that they would not support health care if it included any money that could possibly ever be spent near an abortion provider, Catholic Charities has announced they will stop all work in D.C. if it legalizes marriage.

Yes, that's right -- if the District of Columbia says it's ok for people who love each other to get married, Catholic Charities will respond by no longer housing or feeding the homeless. Because that seems like a proportional punishment. After all, there's no better way to make a political point than by punishing the poor and downtrodden.

If I remember correctly, the sermon goes "Blessed be the poor, unless of course, they can be easily used as political pawns in a war over semantics. In that case, fuck the poor."

People often misinterpret the role of infallibility in the Church. Not everything the Pope says is infallible; it is actually only special declarations that are deemed infallible (such as the Virgin Mary being subsumed bodily into Heaven). There's actually a pretty big out for when the Pope (or conservative asshole Bishops) are wrong. Called sensus fidelium it means literally "sense of the faithful." While it's a bit more complicated than this, it's essentially a smell test. Meaning that even in a Chruch as rigid and hierarchical as Catholicism, it is still recognized that if you honestly don't believe the Church's doctrine matches with what God really would proscribe, you can faithfully disagree if that doctrine just doesn't smell right. It's also the only nod toward some form of democracy in the Church, as a big enough groundswell of the faithful can actually change Church doctrine.

And these two recent events would be great examples of a sensus smell test -- no matter what tortured scriptural logic you can come up with to condemn homosexuality, I don't think any truly faithful person can agree that God would want you to punish the homeless as a result...

1 comment:

.:m-e-g-g-o:. said...

thanks for writing this blog jesse.

i think you've nailed it.