Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Different Strokes for Different Folks: a Guest Blog Post

     My buddy, Russ Manley, over at Blue Truck, Red State (, gave me permission to reprint his following recent post, "Different Strokes for Different Folks."   Thanks, Russ!  And, thanks for being a fellow voice crying out in the face of the Gospel According to Hate.

     I used to have a certain admiration for the late Pope John Paul II as an indefatigable supporter of human rights in general, notwithstanding his also obvious support for the Catholic moral position on matters of sexuality.

      But I can never forget the cold and cutting pronouncement he made in his last book, Memory and Identity, reported in the news media just a week or two after my husband's death, that same-sex marriage was an "ideology of evil."  Yes, two men and a little dog living quietly and peacefully in a little town far out on the prairie, working their jobs, serving the community, paying their taxes, attending church, buying groceries, doing all the very same things their neighbors did, day in and day out, were "objectively disordered" and "intrinsically evil," points he had already made in a letter to American bishops twenty years earlier. 

      But now with my husband barely cold in the ground, I felt His Holiness's nasty, coldhearted, evil-minded words more acutely than ever before.  This was a man, it must be recalled, in a position of ultimate moral authority over more than a billion people; and for all his great intellect and wide experience, the best he could say about Cody and me is that we were evil, and promoting evil.  Really. 

      Well now come to find out, as Sullivan and others have reported, the late Pontiff
whipped himself with a belt, even on vacation, and slept on the floor as acts of penitence and to bring him closer to Christian perfection, according to a new book by the Polish prelate spearheading his sainthood case...

     "It's an instrument of Christian perfection," Oder said, responding to questions about how such a practice could be condoned considering Catholic teaching holds that the human body is a gift from God.

     "As some members of his close entourage in Poland and in the Vatican were able to hear with their own ears, John Paul flagellated himself. In his armoire, amid all the vestments and hanging on a hanger, was a belt which he used as a whip and which he always brought to Castel Gandolfo," the papal retreat where John Paul vacationed each summer.
     Sullivan, a devout Catholic, approves, saying
    I have every respect for the practice of self-mortification and self-denial. . . .  I see the last Pope's embrace of these things as affecting signs of his deep and genuine closeness to God.
     Yet despite his loyal support for self-flagellation - a practice which Jesus never indulged in, and never, ever recommended - that brilliant mind also has the independence to ask the pertinent question here:
    So why is self-abuse inherently wrong when it is done by hand and yet saintly when it is done by whip?
     Masturbation, of course, is also an "intrinsically and gravely disordered action," the Church says.

      So - if you jack yourself off, or you get off with your committed partner, you are committing outrageous evil.  And destroying civilization while you're at it.  Don't even think about asking for the law to protect your love and marriage, you filthy, twisted, disordered creep, you.

      But - if you whip yourself bloody in your bedroom every night, why, God smiles - and loves you even more.

      Now I ask you, fellas:  Just how fucked up is that?

      Christian perfection, my ass. 

      And again I refer my truckbuddies to Matthew 25 for clarification.

And the Beat Goes on...

Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports:
     "Homosexuality is not the same as normal sex in the same way that anorexia is not a normal appetite," says the new Archbishop of Belgium.
     Archbishop L矇onard's comments were made in an interview with a Belgian television station. He added that he would "never call anorexia patients abnormal."
     A few years ago, when he was serving as Bishop of Namen, he caused a storm of controversy when he said that homosexuality was abnormal. Last week Pope Benedict XVI named him as the successor to Archbishop Daniels.

What to say in response to that?  Catholic clerics have already told us gays that we're going to hell.  The Rick Warrens, Anita Bryants, and Proposition 8 supporters of the world have taken the pastime of equating homosexuality with pedophilia, incest, and bestiality and ontologically transformed it into a political fetish and fund-raising Avatar.  We homos are used to the name-calling, so why not add eating disorders to the mix?  Make homosexuality a behavioral addiction!

Well sorry, Archy Leo, but you are so last century.

In seminary, I learned all about how sin is addiction.  I was formed to treat my sexual energy, which was supposedly created in god's image and given to me as a divine gift, like it was an addiction.  If I had a sexual thought that I couldn't shake (figuratively and literally), I was counseled to first acknowledge its existence, because as one of my professors warned me: "You're only as sick as your secrets."  I thought he was so wise, so deep.  It wasn't until a few years later that I realized he was a plagiarist and probably a recovered alcoholic, who had taken his Twelve Step theology and projected it onto his celibate delusion

For many celibates, sexual energy has to be treated as an addiction, for it's a slippery slope: a passing attraction, a slip of the eye, a random sexual thought, focusing on the sexy thought, fantasizing about the thought, erection, multiple fantasies, cascades of erections, animal gravity wrestling one’s hands South, masturbation, random, uncontrollable, addictive gay sex, AIDS, death, and an eternity in hell!

But still, I was assured that to have a mere sexual thought was okay, because who can control a thought or an urge coming into their consciousness?

But to dwell, indulge, or (dog forbid) act upon it was sinful.  So, the first thing  that I was prescribed to do was to diffuse the thought or attraction by taking it to prayer, to offer it up to god, which I did, and which always failed, except for the times that I ended up jacking off while praying. 

When I was really pent-up and hadn't masturbated for a month, something else bubbled up from my sulfuric testosterone tar pits.  The gift of my vivid imagination began to reward me with visions, very sensual, communal, and holy interactions within the spirit of prayer, and I experienced what some call "spiritual ecstasy," a.k.a. a spontaneous orgasm or at least a prolonged edging brought on by prayerful indulgence in ones spiritual/sexual appetites. 

And, it was okay!—because I was meditating over god, heaven, communion, etc.  After all, Saints Theresa and John of the Cross experienced ecstasy, so these non-touch orgasms had to be of god, not my own self-indulgence.  During this period of blessed ecstasy, I prayed for hours a day, not to satisfy my own sexual appetite, of course, but for the salvation of the world and for deeper communion with god in my prayer.

And that, according to Archy Leo, Pope Ben, and Catholic moralists around the world, is normal.