Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Old Ideology of Evil

According to a new book by Pope John Paul II, it seems that my husband and I may be part of "a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man." I'm truly baffled as to where this hidden evil might lie in our lives. We both work hard at our jobs, keep our home and yard maintained, pay our taxes, attend church, keep close to our families, and generally try to set good examples for my godson, our nieces and nephews, and our younger cousins. In living out our wedding vows of lifelong loving commitment, we strive to follow the examples of our own parents (first marriages, still together, over 100 years of marriage between the two couples). Is it insidious that I would support George if he lost his job? Is it evil that George would take care of me if I became incapacitated? We believe in human rights, as we believe in family and believe in our fellow man, and fail to see the conflict.

Kevin Ray does a great job of diagnosing the problem with the Pope's view:
the view the Pope adheres to in these statements diminishes humanity, the family and marriage -- reducing all to mere biology, where marriage and family are naked husbandry and human nature is bestial at best. A less spiritual view of human nature and man's place in the world is difficult to conceive. If the Church is to remain true to its traditional view that individuals (including gay individuals) mirror the nature of God, this impoverished representation of man's nature must be rejected.

Moreover, this perversely narrow view of man's fulfillment in the world has consequences beyond a profound misunderstanding of homosexuality. This same narrow view that man's only purpose is "begatting" leads to a reckless absolute prohibition of birth control, with worldwide overpopulation and poverty as a result. This same medieval thinking precludes sane and effective methods for preventing the spread of disease. (Some within the church hierarchy have attempted to have a sane conversation about condoms and disease prevention, but have been sternly slapped down by the conservative defenders of doctrine.) To paraphrase the pontiff, I would suggest that it would be legitimate and necessary for the Pope to ask himself if this is not perhaps part of an old ideology of evil, of the most insidious kind (misguided benevolence), which attempts to pit an irrational dogma against the family and against man.

1 comment:

M.S. Hayes said...

great post ;)

but to be fair to the pope, two thoughts. first, I wonder whether at his age and in his condition he really wrote the book.

second, i do think that those of us who are advocates of gay marriage might not agree that some of our fellow advocates might be part of an ideology of "evil." i'm thinking of those who says things like, "it doesn't matter who you love so long as you love someone," etc.

the main evil in that statement--one that i hear a great deal in conversation--is that it's just plain stupid. but taken to an extreme, it would seem to make personal gratification the end-of-be-all of everything. thus by "love" is meant to feel special, warm feelings about, feelings which, once gone, free the person up to move on to other, new loves....