Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Knack of Pope Benedict

If you've ever read any of the Alvin Maker books by Orson Scott Card (and I don't recommend that any do so; Ender's Game, et seq are much better), you might be familiar with his use of the term "knack." Think of it as a sort of magical talent. I am beginning to think that Pope Benedict has such an ability. It is the ability to (pardon my language) piss people off.

The existence of this ability was pretty clear even before he ascended the Throne of St. Peter. Dropping words like "dictatorship of relativism" made a lot of the heretics and secular whackjobs cringe at the thought of such a guy as pope. As if he would be the first of this kind. Anyways, then you had stuff like Regensburg, his discussion of pro-abortion politicians, etc. It's been a busy couple of years, and it seems like most of it has been spent rousing anger of one sort or another.

And, as reported by The Washington Times and Damian Thompson, he can't seem to stop himself. This time, it seems that Pope Benedict is a hate-mongering homophobe. In a nutshell:

The pope called for a “human ecology” - a serious, sustained effort to protect not only the environment, but fragile social relations between men and women: “The tropical forests do deserve our protection. But man, as a creature, does not deserve any less.”

The response to this statement, as mentioned in the Times piece, was just the sort of rational, measured debate that we've come to expect from the Holy Fathers adversaries:

The pontiff's statements were immediately attacked by the pro-homosexual lobby and its liberal media allies. Rev. Sharon Ferguson, chief executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, told Britain's venerable newspaper, The Times, that the pope's comments were “totally irresponsible and unacceptable in any shape or form.”

”It is comments like that that justify homophobic bullying that goes on in schools and it is comments like that that justify gay-bashing,” she said. “There are still so many instances of people being killed around the world, including in Western society, purely and simply because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity.”

She added: “When you have religious leaders like that making that sort of statement, then followers feel they are justified in behaving in an aggressive and violent way because they feel that they are doing God's work in ridding the world of these people.”

In other words, according to Ms. Ferguson, Pope Benedict's comments pave the way not only for widespread hate crimes and gay-bashing, but the genocidal eradication of homosexuals. The anti-Catholic left views the Holy Father as a crypto fascist whose real aim is to keep the church in the Dark Ages.

”The Prada Papa Ratzi opens his trap again, and the homophobia stinks like trash piled up during a New York City garbage strike,” writes Pam Spaulding, a prominent American lesbian blogger.

I think we are coming to something of a watershed point in the Church's clash with modernity. It seems more and more that the opposition is conceding the intellectual high ground. There really aren't any attempts to take Pope Benedict on with anything that resembles intelligence. Emotional hysteria and abuse are the new weapons of choice. Of course, the Vicar of Christ is yelled at for being a backwards-thinking jerk, but nobody is bothering to back up their polemic. He's wrong because they said so, and that's that.

Thompson makes an even better point. The opposition isn't even paying attention anymore. Regarding homosexuality, he's at a loss to find it brought up in the Pope's speech:

Perhaps that was because Benedict himself didn't refer to it. On the other hand, he does say that humanity needs saving from "outmoded metaphysics" that blur the distinction between men and women. The destruction of traditional heterosexual relations is part of the wider destruction of God's creation.

The liberals will hate that juxtaposition. In the view of the secular world, and more than a few Tabletistas, "saving the planet" has become an alternative or successor project to the defence of the family. Pope Benedict has had the nerve to argue, in effect, that marriage is yet another aspect of the planet that needs saving.

I would suggest that they hate it because such a position would force them into coming up with ideas rather than insults. Metaphysics are pretty much dead for the materialist anyway. Why bother, right?

Going back to the Times, we start getting the real picture:

The debate about same-sex marriage has nothing to do with “gay rights.” Homosexuals are free to do anything they like in the privacy of their bedrooms. The relentless push for gay marriage is not about tolerance, but the legitimization of homosexual behavior - to place it beyond the boundaries of moral disapproval and social ostracism. To accomplish this, the liberal elite seek to marginalize the great traditional religions, especially Christendom's most powerful defender, the Catholic Church.

Cuts right to the quick. What "rights"? Where do these "rights" come from? We've discussed this strange thinking here before. Rights are the smokescreen to cover the deeper point which is strictly cultural.

Thompson wraps up all the outrage quite nicely:

So it boils down to this, really. Pope Catholic, shock horror. Admittedly, the shock and the horror are real. But that's Catholicism for you: a sign of contradiction.

I'm sure we'll see more of this same in 2009. Pope Benedict ticking people off all over the globe. I wouldn't have it any other way.

1 comment:

Mark said...

He is the favorite Pope of my lifetime already. I hope the Lord grants him length of days.

Great blog