"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Doctrine, or Dotage?

The pope has a new book out. Everybody has a book out, but this one's from the pope, so that makes it . . . well, incoherent. Here he is, via Towleroad:

"At the same time, though, sexuality has an intrinsic meaning and direction, which is not homosexual," he said. "The meaning and direction of sexuality is to bring about the union of man and woman and, in this way, to give humanity posterity, children, a future."

Pretty flimsy. We assign meanings. Nothing that I can think of has an "intrinsic" meaning. Although I'm willing to recant on that: Ned Rorem once said that music has no intrinsic meaning, but we find that certain patterns of sound evoke particular emotional responses. But is that "meaning"? I'll leave it to the philosophers.

To limit the meanings of sexuality this way is pretty sad. It's also a little bit on the edge: it's a peasant philosophy, in which bloodline is sacred and in which only shared DNA has value. (Hmm -- can you say "patriarchy"? How surprising.) Which, by logical extension, means that if you adopt children, you don't really have a family and you and your children are less worthy -- you're not genuine.

This is really all bullshit, frankly. It's authority for the sake of authority, divorced from humanity, based on one truth: control sex and you control the people.

And it's not like there's any shortage of children.

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