"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

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Today in Disgusting People

Actually, it's not an individual, it's an institution.

It may come as no surprise that I have no respect for the Roman Catholic Church or its hierarchy -- quite aside from my thoughts on Christianity in general, which are mixed. And frankly, I had hopes for Francis' call to re-orient the Church's mission away from persecuting minorities and back to those basic Christian teachings -- you know, things like sheltering the homeless and feeding the hungry, things that the movers and shakers among the hierarchy can't be bothered with.

Sadly,the Church is falling back into old patterns, with Francis at the head:

The supposedly “moderate” Pope Francis was recently quoted in a meeting with Polish bishops as saying, “Today, in schools they are teaching this to children – to children! – that everyone can choose their gender… We are living a moment of annihilation of man as image of God.” He accused Western countries that tolerate transgender people of “ideological colonizing,” stating: “One such colonization, I'll say it clearly with its first and last name – is gender.”

He repeated these claims about “indoctrination” and “ideological colonization,” when speaking to reporters this week. He attacks schools which accept transgender youth describing the "'nasty' tendency of schools to 'indoctrinate' children with the idea that their gender is something that can be picked and chosen and changed."

Other high level Catholic officials have also made recent statements that leave no doubt that the Church has decided transgender people, and acceptance of them, are some of the most dangerous evils on the face of the Earth. Pope Francis previously stated that transgender people are a “threat to the order of creation,” and compared danger of transgender people to nuclear weapons, stating: “Let’s think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings. Let’s think also of… of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation.”

This is all the expected follow-up to the pope's somewhat incoherent rants against "gender ideology," whatever that is, and, given the Church's fixation on morality as a function of genitals, it's not really a surprise. It is, however, somewhat disheartening to see the hierarchy once again institutionalizing ignorance -- it's quite clear that the pope and the bishops have no clue as to what trans folk are about. ("Disheartening" because the Roman Catholic Church quite easily accepted the theory of evolution, after performing the necessary theological cartwheels.)

Aside from the sheer viciousness of the rhetoric, the irony is of staggering proportions: "ideological colonization" is a nice succinct summary of the history of the Catholic Church. It's a phenomenon not readily apparent in the West -- Europe and North America, where governments and cultures in general are more secular -- but it's a very dangerous trend in Africa and the Catholic portions of Asia. The Church has a long, dirty history of selling social outcasts -- the very people it should be trying to protect, according to its own teachings -- down the river. (Another screaming irony: African clergy maintaining that homosexuality and gender fluidity are "not African" while clinging desperately to the worst and most ignorant aspects of Colonial rule -- and nothing could be less African than the Christian churches and their teachings on sexuality. Anyone with the slightest reading knowledge of anthropology understands that most "primitive" societies had a much more accurate and realistic understanding of sexuality and its variations than the "enlightened" Christian Europeans who were determined to obliterate their cultures.)

Read the whole article. It's infuriating, but at least it's not Trump.

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