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Pope: Gay Marriage an Obstacle to World Peace

In a statement released yesterday by the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI ranked same-sex marriage with nuclear arms proliferation, environmental pollution, economic inequality, abortion, and birth control as threats to world peace in a message for for the World Day of Peace on January 1st, according to Religion News Service:

Pope"Presenting the nuclear family as the 'first and indispensable teacher of peace' and the 'primary agency of peace,' the 15-page document links sexual and medical ethics to international relations. 'Everything that serves to weaken the family based on the marriage of a man and woman, everything that directly or indirectly stands in the way of its openness to the responsible acceptance of new life ... constitutes an objective obstacle on the road to peace,' Benedict writes."

Pope Says Abortion, Gay Marriage Are 'Obstacles' to World Peace [the pew forum]

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High-Ranking Vatican Cleric Suspended in Gay Sex Scandal [tr]
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  1. Well, H.S.H. Caligula's comment is a little confusing, but I think I will draw on some universal issues that he (or she) obliquely touches; i.e., not all "organized" religious or spiritually influenced behavior is inherently evil or anti-human.

    I find it quite frankly really troubling that so many of the commentators here have literally "thrown the baby out with the bathwater." In other words, all religious sentiment is nothing but crap, based on the hateful and/or discriminatory dismissive actions of certain individuals who claim their actions and statements are supported and inspired by their faith.

    So, I suppose that we have to then completely ignore centuries of people who have been and continue to be driven by a genuine belief in a deity that actually manifests itself in caring, supportive actions? Those who have sacrificed to perform works of mercy for others, and have accepted them for who they are, and ground their actions in their religious faith?

    There are plenty of real human beings in history who did not condemn others for their behavior, and lived lives of service and dedication to humanity, and yes, this behavior was grounded in their faith....and this occurred in Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc.

    I would love to hear what some of these posters have to say if they really investigated what grounds some who provide real service and care in their communities, i.e., the volunteers for those who are sick, dying, hungry, homeless, etc. Could some of these argue their faith grounds them? Certainly.

    I find it quite frankly ignorant to argue that any action based in a spiritual or religious grounding has done nothing but harm humanity. That is simply not the case.
    This would be just as ridiculous as making the comment that because one can come up with numerous examples of money-grubbing, intolerant, selfish atheists, then all atheists are selfish, money-grubbing, intolerant individuals.

    Posted by: tommy | Dec 13, 2007 1:16:26 AM

  2. Well, The Pope is just following his religion. The Bible is hate speech when it comes to gays,

    Posted by: ReasonBased | Dec 13, 2007 2:49:13 AM

  3. The Pope is entitled to his opinion, as we are here on this blog. World peace has nothing to do with a man being in a relationship with another man. Nor does a legitimate union of two men (or women) weaken a nation. The Pope is merely promoting what his Catholic base want him to: that gay marriage is not indigenous to their beliefs. Unfortunately, civil uinions are not an acceptable alternative for this religious group, because civil unions are in fact what makes for equality.

    Posted by: Integrityofmen | Dec 13, 2007 7:30:42 AM

  4. What the pope said is not worth getting one's bowels in an uproar. It's simply
    ex cathedra clap-trap and in essence means nothing. Ignore it/him.

    Posted by: Al Mahaffey | Dec 13, 2007 12:15:26 PM

  5. A lot of people are upset about this, and apparently they haven't bothered to read it.

    The document doesn't mention same-sex marriage even once (nor does it mention abortion).

    I suppose in his mentioning of male/female marriage as the essential family unit the Pope could be said to be dissing same-sex marriage, but that's to be expected of an organization which doesn't believe in same-sex marriage.

    However, clearly the Pope isn't condemning same-sex marriage any more than he is condemning, say, a heterosexual couple living together without being married.

    I don't agree with the Pope that a family has to be male/female parents to be valid as a family, but the level of anger being directed at the Pope for something not even indicated in the document is alarming, and more indicative that those who are in a froth didn't bother to READ the document than indicative of anything offensive in the document itself.

    Posted by: D-train | Dec 13, 2007 6:05:34 PM

  6. Oh, and it bears mentioning to AL MAHAFFEY that the document is not an "ex-cathedra" statement.

    Posted by: D-train | Dec 13, 2007 6:08:02 PM

  7. @ D-TRAIN,

    does one really need to read the entire document to understand the implicit meaning: hetero-marriage, good; gay-marriage, threat to peace. don't be a dick-head. this old fart is perpetuating the anti-gay speechifying of the older fart he replaced. everyone knows that the cardinals (bird-brains all, but oh so well feathered) placed numb-nuts benedict as a transitional drag queen, er, pope that would carry on the conservative positions of john paul (may he rest in hell). throughout his tenure john paul never said anything akin to, "gays deserve human and civil rights, and they deserve rights equal to heterosexuals in the eyes of the law. please stop the violence against homosexuals." he didn't. such a simple statement. yet he didn't make it, and may god have mercy on his soul (if he is not in hell but in purgatory or some other fantastical construction of the delusional religious mind.

    i have no more patience with the catholic church, nor with their apologists.

    Posted by: nic | Dec 13, 2007 8:17:55 PM

  8. Yes, NIC, one does need to read the document if one is to comment on it with any credibility.

    Especially since it doesn't say what so many of the people commenting on it, including the original poster, think it says.

    And you are wrong, by the way, about John Paul. In fact when he was Pope the Vatican issued a document specifically addressing the treatment of homosexuals and calling for them to be treated the same as anybody else.

    Not many people read that one either though, and now they use it as evidence that Benedict is anti-gay, because Benedict wrote it back when he was still Ratzinger.

    Look, I don't agree with the Catholic Church on homosexuality. It would be tough for me to do so because I am gay.

    But so many people are in such a hurry to bash the Pope or the Church that they don't bother to think it through. You get all wound up to shriek petty insults (like your silly drag queen comment) that they can't be bothered to see if what they are whining about is actually true or not.

    Posted by: D-TRAIN | Dec 13, 2007 8:54:22 PM

  9. D-TRAIN,

    credibility is something the catholic church lost a long, long time ago. and, no, one does not need to read every word of the pope's bullshit to know that for the most part it IS bullshit. though it may be trite, the expression "consider the source" has never been more apt as it pertains to people such as he and his brethren, or should i say sistren.

    i remember john paul in the 80's wading (in all his regalia) through a sea of platter-eyed, swollen-bellied, starving black children in africa while decrying contraception. to this day, the church does not support the use of condoms, despite the deaths of countless innocent lives due to AIDS.

    the church's leadership on the gay issue is at best benign ignorance and at worst malevolent disregard. i'm sorry, but platitudes like "love the sinner but hate the sin" no longer hold water. do you really believe that an all-loving god gives a rat's ass where you put your penis? if there is an all-loving god, i would hope that he cares more about your treatment of your family, friends, and all human beings and much, much less about the trappings and pomp of the catholic church.

    i stand by my previous comments. i will not debate the minutae when the big picture is self-evident.

    Posted by: nic | Dec 14, 2007 8:52:44 AM

  10. Whatever your opinion of the Catholic Church in general, you're still missing my point, and my point is this:

    The document doesn't say any of what it's being claimed it says.

    The document doesn't say anything, not a word, about gay marriage.

    What is says is that families help kids grow up happier, which in the long run serves the cause of peace.

    Yes, the document specifies male/female headed families. I think that's simplistic and ignorant, but it's hardly malevolent.

    If you prefer to comment about the document from ignorance, that's your choice.

    But it doesn't serve you well to carry on about slights which are only in your imagination.

    Posted by: D-Train | Dec 15, 2007 10:06:01 PM

  11. The church/religions hides in it's very own misconceptions and totally misguided teachings, when will it wake up to reality? to actual truth. To any person, of any faith, just looking back in history is complete and utter proof that religion has been the scourge of mankind! not because of the religion itself, but through the power wielding/hungry leadership of same. It surely has been the cause of more wars, deaths, riots, and the down-treading of the poor and the meek, and the mental health of many poor souls!

    Posted by: Ego.Maverick | Dec 16, 2007 12:17:44 PM

  12. The great irony in all this outrage over the document in question is that, except for the misguided focus on male/female led families over just "families", the document could have been written by a die hard American liberal such as myself.

    It talks about the need to save the environment, stop needless war, fight poverty, and on and on and on.

    Most Catholic teaching is very politically liberal. Being a gay ex-catholic, I'm bothered by the Church's stance towards my sexuality, which is why I'm an ex-Catholic.

    But otherwise, they're on almost exactly the same page as I am.

    Posted by: D-Train | Dec 16, 2007 1:14:12 PM

  13. D-TRAIN, you are fooling yourself if you think that this document does not condemn marriage equality. I actually did read the document, and although there are some lovely sentiments throughout, those niceties do not negate the malevolence towards homosexuality.

    This sentence directly from the document sums it up: "everything that serves to weaken the family based on the marriage of a man and a woman, everything that directly or indirectly stands in the way of its openness to the responsible acceptance of a new life, everything that obstructs its right to be primarily responsible for the education of its children, constitutes an objective obstacle on the road to peace". This same quote in a shortened version is in the original post here. True, this can include unmarried straight people. But they have the OPTION of marriage. Gay people do not.

    Good for you that you can so easily dismiss the homophobia in the church and see the good aspects of the church through the fog of hatred that this malevolent pope is fostering. Good for you that you can dismiss the countless deaths caused by AIDS due to the pope's condemnation of condoms.

    This is not some goody goody document that, oops, mistakenly assumes that a marriage can only be one man and one woman. No. This is a calculated dissertation on the dangers in society - one of those dangers being marriage equality.

    You state that the document "doesn't say what so many of the people commenting on it, including the original poster, think it says". Well, if you read the document without trying to whitewash it, then it does indeed equate marriage equality with nuclear arms, pollution, economic inequality, abortion and contraception as obstacles to peace - just as the original post states.

    You cannot blame this uproar on the fact that people have not read the document. You are wrong. I, among many others, have read it and come away with the same conclusion. The pope is stating that marriage equality is a threat to world peace.

    Posted by: Gregg | Dec 16, 2007 2:24:58 PM

  14. The fact that so many arrive at the same wrong conclusion is just evidence that some people are predisposed to hatred and misplaced rage, nothing more.

    I agree with your classification of the section on marriage as homophobia, but in the literal sense: fear.

    Fear born of ignorance, not hatred, and it is a significant difference. Ignorance can be corrected. It wasn't long ago that most Catholics would have agreed with the Church's stance on homosexuality. That has changed, just in the past generation or two.

    Catholics, even Catholic clergy, are generally good people, just as most people are generally good people. I have no doubt that in time the Church's stance on this will soften. It's not a doctrinal issue. It has nothing to do with the faith of the Catholic Church, so it's something that CAN change as the leadership changes. And all that takes is time.

    Posted by: D-Train | Dec 17, 2007 8:18:27 AM

  15. D-TRAIN,you say all the church needs is time! it's had 2,000 odd years, does it need another 2,000? there is doubt that the 'earth' will be here then :)

    Posted by: Ego.Maverick | Dec 17, 2007 12:34:51 PM

  16. Well, it's only in the last dozen years or so that we've started to get any kind of legal protection in the USA, and only in the last 30 or so that we've gotten any legal protection in Europe.

    There's no reason to believe the Church won't follow the same pattern.

    Contrary to the prevailing sentiment here, the Church isn't made of a billion evil hateful people who want us to suffer and die. It's made of people. And people are generally good.

    Posted by: D-Train | Dec 17, 2007 6:28:55 PM

  17. D-Train - are you for real? How long did it take the Catholic Church to admit that Galileo was correct? The Catholic church does not change at a rate anywhere close to that of general society.

    I speak from a position of knowledge, having worked closely and still working with many Catholic officials on a multitude of levels. Currently, there is an atmosphere of institutionalized distrust, fear, malevolence, and cold indifference coming from the highest levels of the church. I know good, kind, compassionate priests and religious who are leaving or have left the Catholic church because of frustration with the current situation. It is extreme.

    You can paint a rosy picture all you want, but it doesn't change the fact that this current pope indeed said that marriage between two people of the same sex is an obstacle to world peace.

    Your assessment, both of the validity of the initial post here and of the intentions of other commenters, is clearly colored by some need to believe in the good of the Catholic church and all of its officials. You say that people are generally good. That does not mean that ALL people are good. And it does not mean that this pope is good. This pope is taking the Catholic church in the opposite direction of which you speak - heading back into the Middle Ages.

    We NEED to speak out against this malevolence when it occurs, so that the church CAN eventually change. But simply looking at the bright side while failing to look at the negative will not encourage them to change.

    Please, look at the situation objectively.

    Posted by: Phil | Dec 18, 2007 1:58:45 AM

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