Pope Benedict Tells It Like It Is

I actually have some respect for the Catholic church, mainly because of its willingness to adapt to scientific progress (most of the time, anyway). As far as I know they haven’t revised that policy, so kudos to them for that, but Pope Benedict is not doing much to garner my continued support. Apparently, saving humanity from the scourge of homosexuality is more important than saving the planet’s dwindling rainforests:

“(The Church) should also protect man from the destruction of himself. A sort of ecology of man is needed,” the pontiff said in a holiday address to the Curia, the Vatican’s central administration.

“The tropical forests do deserve our protection. But man, as a creature, does not deserve any less.”

The Catholic Church teaches that while homosexuality is not sinful, homosexual acts are. It opposes gay marriage and, in October, a leading Vatican official called homosexuality “a deviation, an irregularity, a wound.” (Source)

(It’s probably just some oppurtunistic writer using juxtaposition as a subtle criticism, but I believe I see a slight contradiction in that last paragraph.)

Please, people – if you’re of the opinion that homosexuality is ‘a deviation, an irregularity, a wound’, why not just come right out and start calling it a disease? Or a ‘sickness’, even? At least that term is vague enough to be immune to scientific criticism. This is part of what I’ve referred to as the Religious Right’s ‘sugar-coating’ campaign, a comprehensive attempt at turning blatant prejudice into something resembling respectful dialogue. At least we know that the Vatican is just too hardcore for such niceties.

As for the Pope’s actual point…well, yes, I’d agree that we should be doing our utmost to protect humanity from its own destructive impulses. We should be trying to end wars, feed the millions of starving people throughout the world, halt the HIV pandemic and ensure that children everywhere are afforded the best education they can possibly be given. On any reasonable list of global ills, ‘gayness’ should be pretty close to the bottom.

EDIT: A better version of the story than the one I linked to above can be found here, courtesy of BBC News.

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