pope francis, the catholic church, and homosexuality

Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, was in Rio last week for a giant world youth rally. The man is extremely popular, and no surprise when you compare him with his predecessor.

On why people were leaving the Catholic church in droves:

Perhaps the church appeared too weak, perhaps too distant from their needs, perhaps too poor to respond to their concerns, perhaps too cold, perhaps too caught up with itself, perhaps a prisoner of its own rigid formulas,” he said. “Perhaps the world seems to have made the church a relic of the past, unfit for new questions. Perhaps the church could speak to people in their infancy but not to those come of age.

On gay priests:

If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?

In the comment section of that NYT article, the best strategy proposal I’ve ever heard on how to advocate gay rights (read till the end – it’s worth it):

This simply is another illustration of misuse of language. Homosexuality is not something you are, it is something you do. Homosexuality is not analogous to race. Race is determined by genes that determine skin color; homosexuality is a behavior. Behaviors are certainly influenced by genes, for we all inherit the ability to become angry, but we may choose to control anger instead of expressing it as road rage.

You cannot argue that because sexual orientation is part of one’s biology, sodomy is, therefore, not an immoral act. Arguing that one is born with a particular sexual orientation, therefore he/she cannot be condemned is to commit the naturalistic fallacy (good is the same thing as any natural property). Saying that I must engage in gay sex because I was born gay is simply biological determinism. No different than saying blacks have lower IQ’s than whites because they were born black.

The way to rebut homophobia is not to say being gay is natural. The way to rebut homophobia is to argue that homosexual behavior is not immoral.

We do not let genetically related individuals marry because that would be incest, and incest is illegal. The Supreme Court struck down anti-sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas. Sodomy is no longer illegal, so it makes no sense to make gay marriage illegal.

What the Pope should have said is: I do not judge people who engage in gay sex. (Priests who engage in gay sex are behaving immorally because they are breaking a vow of chastity.)


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