Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Evil comes cheap these days. Want some?

I just read a few minutes ago of the Pope's recent description of gay marriage advocacy as an "ideology of evil." I'm in a Catholic family now, so I have to tread a delicate line in responding, but this kind of remark just begs for some angry liberal soapboxing. Ah, who am I kidding? I'm marching straight over that delicate line.

The word "evil" has been getting tossed around a lot lately. We've an Axis of Evil in the Middle and Far Easts. Interestingly enough, the Axis of Evil is not responsible for promoting this Ideology of Evil. Dr. Evil isn't even responsible for championing it. Apparently I am. Got that? I'm evil. Evil!

I would never choose to argue other people's theological beliefs. If your heart tells you that the world was created by a God who loathes homosexuality, I'm fairly powerless to respond. I find it an odd and curious notion, but what you practice in the privacy of your own pew is your business. (And you're not alone, so you've got the whole strength in numbers thing going for you.) Furthermore, if the Pope wants to issue a public statement opposing gay marriage, the rest of us are entitled to disagree. The public sphere, open discourse, yadda-yadda-yadda.

But this is a dangerously thin line for the Catholic church, inasmuch as its (earthly) power is derived from the combination of increasing the number of practicing Catholics and improving the perception of Catholics that non-Catholics have. It's one thing to say you believe I'm wrong. It's another thing to call me and other people of conscience evil, when we've come by our own theological and ethical perspectives honestly. What's next? Are you going to state that all non-Christians espouse an Ideology of Evil too? All non-Catholics? Just how anti-ecumenical a message are you willing to go on the record with?

That sort of ridiculous talk just demeans all the good and decent Catholics I have known. I have been trying to cultivate appreciation of the Church for what it means in the context of my own family. This message just creates cognitive dissonance; makes it very hard to see the good side in the faith my loved ones practice. It also makes me really twitchy about my child being raised Catholic.

For my money, intolerance and bigotry is an Ideology of Evil. Before today, I had no intention of casting such a severe label on the spiritual leader of the Catholic denomination, but then you threw down the gauntlet, Pope. If you treat people like enemies, they will think like enemies.

Don't worry though. There isn't a soul alive who thinks I'm infallible. Or even reads my stupid blog. Your evil beats my evil hands down, then runs over it with a speeding pope-mobile.


Blogger Brian T. Cahill said...

Well done, Eric. This "evil" homosexual and former Catholic appreciates your thoughtful remarks.

7:49 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Your evil beats my evil hands down, then runs over it with a speeding pope-mobile.Good thing I wasn't drinking anything when I read that, because it's milk-though-the-nose funny.

Oh, and ditto to what Brian says. Although I'm not sure I'm a former Catholic - just non-practicing.

12:59 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home