We constantly hear in the Catholic media how the Catholic church has a “compassionate” stance towards LGBT people and doesn’t advocate violence against them (we’ll just ignore for the moment how the Ugandan Catholic church was instrumental in advocating for the infamous “kill the gays” bill several years back). Yesterday, I found these astonishing quotes from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI when he was Joseph Ratzinger that put these views into greater context:
You’ve probably heard already about the token gay man, Ron Belgau (white, middle class, and ostensibly celibate, natch), who will be representing LGBT Catholics at the upcoming World Meeting of Families, and if you haven’t here’s the link:
As per the article, Belgau and his mother is going to lead a session on “Homosexuality in the Family.”
One thing you hear a lot about from religious conservatives in general is how “unnatural” homosexuality is. This argument is particularly common among conservotrad Catholics because of the church’s natural law tradition, which considers homosexuality to be a major breach of the natural law. While most conservative Protestants would prefer to say that homosexuality is “unbiblical” and stop at that, there appears to be a major “ick factor” about LGBT people in conservative Protestant discourse that suggests that they are referencing natural law theory in an indirect way. But what does this really mean for homosexuality to be “natural” or “unnatural”? How can we tell if something, be it homosexuality, artificial contraception, or eyeglasses, is “natural” or not?
Although much of the “culture of life” rhetoric focuses on the supposed evils associated with heterosexual relations (e.g., abortion and contraception), condemning LGBT rights is another important aspect of this ideology. As many readers probably know, the Catholic church teaches that homosexuality is “intrinsically disordered” and therefore not something that any well-ordered society should be promoting. Thus, preventing the spread of LGBT rights (i.e., the “homosexual agenda”) is another front in the battle over whether the future will be a “culture of life” or a “culture of death.”