Friday, April 18, 2008


"It was electrifying. Chills ran up and down my spine as I watched the protesters and then looked back at Ratzinger. Soon I broke into a sweat, overcome by heat, my face turning red as anger swelled up inside me: This man was the embodiment of all that had oppressed me, all the horrors I had suffered as a child. It was because of his bigotry that my family, my church -- everyone around me -- had alienated me, and it was because of his bigotry that I was called "faggot" in school. Because of his bigotry I was treated like garbage. He was responsible for the hell I'd endured. He and his kind were the people who forced me to live in shame, in the closet. I became livid."

[For the full article, see here.]

The untold damage done to LGBT people by the likes of a Joseph Ratzinger, the current Pope, is incalculable. Most all clergy and their followers in the institutional Church are every bit as culpable as is he for the suicides, assaults, and murders of LGBT people, and for tortured lives lived in fear and desperation.

Mere words can't possibly convey how depraved is their rhetoric and the "justification" that they provide to those who would in any way condemn or discriminate against LGBT people.

The above article by Mike Signorile is excellent, and speaks to the rage that must be expressed by LGBT people and allies to and about all ignorant haters, many of whom have a truly undeserved credibility that they receive by the mere attendance and material contributions that their followers and members of their churches and denominations provide to them.

The following is a slightly edited version of an email I wrote to a friend of mine yesterday: "Why would any Gay person with even one ounce of dignity be a member of a homophobic denomination or church? This nonsense of 'working from within' is foolish on its face! I once heard a gay man on TV say he was staying a Catholic because it was his church too, and he could make a difference within it. Really? He can't excommunicate anyone; he can't create even one piece of church doctrine; he can't determine anything or any word that comes out of the Vatican; the Pope doesn't even know he exists, and he's fooling himself, and lending credibility to that whole enterprise, by physically and materially supporting it.

The adulation given to the Pope is inexplicable to me, and merely reinforces, and serves to applaud, his hateful rhetoric that has defamed all Gay people everywhere.

Is it instructive that a Pew poll conducted in 2005 showed that professing Christians were more likely to favor the use of torture on perceived enemies than were non-Christians; the largest group of those professing Christians who favored the use of torture identified themselves as Roman Catholic.

The authoritarian personality exists everywhere, in all churches within the institutional Church, and within all aspects of secular society, but it may well be especially honed to a fine art among those who blindly accept the utterances and encyclicals emanating from the Vatican (save for adherence to the ban on artificial birth control, as that doctrine isn't viewed by most Roman Catholics as serving their best interests).

Moreoever, those people whose belief in God is dependent on "Scriptural infallibility," and who appeal to the Bible to justify their homophobia, are actually worshipping the Bible, as opposed to worshipping God, and they are frequently equating the two, and are, therefore, making an idol out of both the Bible as well as making an idol of their own fallible and erroneous interpretation of those Bible passages that they select in order to "justify" their condemnation of same-sex love and, by extension, Gay people themselves.

And don't ever believe the nonsense that rolls off of their tongues that they believe in the unbiblical phrase, "Hate the sin, and love the sinner." They demean and defame Gay people and call upon the God Who tells us to love and not judge others, whereas the god they really worship is their own erroneous interpretation of certain selected Scripture verses usually taken out of context.

So, they are actually making an idol both of the Bible and of themselves! And making idols clearly contravenes one of the Ten Commandments: "You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth." (Exodus 20:4) And to make an idol of oneself is probably among the worst forms of idolatry!

Moreover, to have one's belief in God, or the condemnation of any of God's children, be based on "Scriptural infallibility" is not being intellectually honest, given the fact that there are no extant autographs, and that we are looking at a translation of a translation of a translation, and that the Canon appeared about 400 years after the Resurrection.

If anyone's trust in God is based on "Scriptural infallibility," he/she is missing the point, as "Scriptural infallibility" was used as a justification for all sorts of atrocities: subjugation of women, slavery, segregation, and, of course, demonizing LGBT people.

And, to adhere to papal teachings and Vatican directives, or to adhere to any other person's teachings that contravene Jesus' commandments to His disciples to love and not judge others in any way, as in regard to discrimination against LGBT people, and seek to deprive them of civil and sacramental rights, is nothing short of what happens when one trusts "the creation" rather than "the Creator." Hear the Apostle Paul who says that such people change "...the truth of God into a lie, and [worship] and [serve] the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen." (Romans 1:25)

Also know that anyone, Straight or Gay, who attends or in any other way supports a church or denomination that discriminates against LGBT people, is supporting such idolatry, and is also every bit as culpable in its acts of discrimination as is the person whose rhetoric from the pulpit, or in any other venue, literally kills people, destroys lives, and defames God!
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I read the entire essay, Jerry, and it's a powerful coming-of-age story. Signorile's account of how he broke through the wall of complacency was totally inspiring. To be sure, it was the Holy Spirit who took hold of him that day when he stood up and revealed the true identity of Ratzi.

Jerry Maneker said...

I think increasing numbers of people are going to see homophobic "religion" as the sham it is, and are going to flee these oppressive institutions. Most of the rest who remain and are "true believers" in the rhetoric of discrimination in the name of the Prince of Peace will be authoritarian personalities who lap up that hateful swill with greedy mouths.