Monday, November 16, 2009

Scorpions and Snakes: the Daily Bread of a Catholic god

     Rod Dreher of Crunchy Con sparked an online discussion over why gay Catholics remain in the church.  At this point there have been 137 comments posted in response to his question.  Andrew Sullivan entered the argument and posted his apology for still attending his progressive Washington, D.C. catholic parish.  Their reasons are nothing that I haven't heard before, nothing that I didn't tell myself for years when I was still under the influence of the Catholic church and its fear-filled gospel.

     The following is the commented response that I posted on Dreher's blog post and what I would have posted on Sullivan's were comments enabled on his post:

     Jesus asks in Luke 11:11-12:

What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
     Answer: the Catholic god.

     Being gay and Catholic, I lived for three decades with the idea of a god that was loving and who created me in "his" image. When I was in seminary getting my Masters of Divinity, I learned that spirituality and sexuality were two sides of the same coin, of the same energy source planted deep within our beings, and the energy that drove each of us towards union with not only god but with others. I was taught that even in homosexuals this energy was a gift and in the image and likeness of god.

     Of course, to act upon that gift genitally was sinful and depraved.

     The closeted gay clerics that are condemning homosexuality are doing it in a way that makes the same compartmentalization of their sexualities that they use to remain "celibate" the norm for all: "I'm not a gay person, or a gay Catholic, or a gay priest. I'm a priest, catholic, or person, who happens to be gay." This is compartmentalization at its psychological worst, and an affront to true integration of one's self that the church claims to preach.

     The distinction between acts and thoughts is a dualism in which even Jesus didn't believe, for in Jesus' words just to think about a sexual act was to commit the act. (Mt 5:27-28)

     So, the Catholic church will go on telling homosexuals that they have a place in the church, that their god loves them, and accepts them, but at the same time the bishops will continue to decry homosexuals and will use their bully pulpit to raise money to take away LGBT persons' rights (in Maine they even took a special collection at all Masses to raise money to strip people's civil marriage rights) and threaten to boycott serving the poor if civil marriage equality is granted to all couples (as the Archbishop of Washington, D.C. did last week).

     Many of the 137 comments on Dreher's blog defend the church saying it's a family, with room for all people, even gays and lesbians.   They are correct.  The Catholic church is a big family.  It's an extremely large dysfunctional family.

     Why stay with a spouse, who tells you that he loves you as he continues to beat you?  Why believe in the Catholic god, one that hands out scorpions and snakes, when his children ask for eggs and fish?

     Andrew Sullivan wrote in response to Rod's posting saying:
But it [is] also true that absence from the sacrament of communion is for me an unbearable thing after too long.
     The sad truth is that Sullivan and so many like him believe the only place they can experience the ultimate communion with their god is in the Catholic church and it sacraments. This is mind game that the Catholic church has won: form your flock to believe that you have the monopoly on truth, god, communion, etc. and you can get them to stay, even at the cost of their own integration and health.

     Slap your followers with theological edicts that condemn them, but then tell them that you love them and don't discriminate against them. That is the sick dynamic that gay Catholics live in everyday.

     Catholic LGBT persons find themselves in a monetary connundrum as well.

     The US Catholic Conference of Bishops gave large chunks of money to take away marriage equality rights of gays and lesbians in both California and Maine, and many individual dioceses from across the country also gave money. Where did that money come from?  It came from the people in the pews who put money into the collection plates, part of which the parishes tithed to their dioceses, and part of which was sent to the USCCB.

     So, to all you gay Catholics, Andrew Sullivan included, who give money to your "progressive" parishes, part of your money is still being used to take away the rights of LGBT persons, who are not even Catholic, in far away places around the nation. Thank you for supporting your own kind!

     I for one speak from the bottom of my ontologically changed priestly soul when I say that am thankful everyday that I left the dysfunctional nightmare of the Catholic church and its priesthood behind.


Deldachez said...

Right on the money! I used the same compartmentalization approach many times to deal with my conflict. Not to mention the many times I joined the Greek homosexual chorus of seminarians making fun of some of the most flamboyant guys there. I need to be forgiven by our Gay -Straight God, if she does exist!

Heretic Tom said...

I don't know if there's a god to forgive you, but I forgive you for making fun of me, flamboyant cantering queen that I was. Of course, you were the one that singing at my side.

Deldachez said...

By the way, we need to look into getting more followers to your blog. This message needs be shared!

Gazelle said...

Snake medicine. Ancient. Powerful. The healing symbol of medicine.

Heretic Tom said...

Yes, but in the case of the church, giving a child a snake when he/she asks for a fish, is BAD medicine.

Andy said...

But the snake wears Prada!

I prefer Alexander McQueen myself.

This is a very powerful post and I agree with your response to Sullivan's post regarding our addiction to tradition. Even if it's a warm pot of piss, we still crave the warmth and disregard the fact that it's still bodily waste.