Pope-A-Dope On Gay Marriage & Abortion Again genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation & Uncivil Unions

Pope Benedict

Wearing his flashy red hat and Prada slippers, the Pope has once again spoken out on his opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion. He continues to assert that politicians who do not oppose same-sex marriage and abortion in the execution of their elected positions are failing to act according to their faith. The remarks are a clear reminder of how ideologues cannot be content living the life they choose; they are all too often driven to impose their beliefs on other people. Is it any wonder we have conflict in the Middle East, sectarian violence in Iraq, ethnic and religious cleansing, and political polarization? Reuters has the full article here.

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Friday Catholic politicians could not be swayed by opinion polls and social trends into supporting practices such as abortion and the "folly" of gay marriage.

The Pope repeated his opposition to abortion and gay marriage in a toughly worded address to visiting bishops from Canada.

"In the name of ‘tolerance' your country has had to endure the folly of the redefinition of spouse, and in the name of ‘freedom of choice' it is confronted with the daily destruction of unborn children," the Pope said.

Since his election last year, the Pope has often condemned gay marriage and last June a Vatican document called it one sign of "the eclipse of God" in modern times.

In his address to the bishops, the Pope also touched on the highly sensitive issue of whether Catholic politicians can back legislation allowing practices such as gay marriage and abortion even if they are personally opposed to them.

The Pope condemned such behavior by politicians as "false dichotomies".

It seems a bit ironic to me that at the time John Kennedy was running for President, he had to make clear that as a Catholic, he would not allow his beliefs to dictate his policies and that he would not capitulate power to the Pope. Today, we have an Evangelical president and numerous politicians and organizations that seek to make theological beliefs the guiding principles of our government and they are now aligned with the Pope and many Catholics in these objectives. Such is the "folly" of ideology...it morphs into whatever serves its goal of defining its "truth" as absolute "Truth"...often exposing the utter hypocrisy that makes it so repulsive to the many people who are content to allow differing beliefs.

The Pope went further in his chastising of politicians.

"They are particularly damaging when Christian civic leaders sacrifice the unity of faith and sanction the disintegration of reason and the principles of natural ethics, by yielding to ephemeral social trends and the spurious demands of opinion polls," he said.

"Democracy succeeds only to the extent that it is based on truth and a correct understanding of the human person. Catholic involvement in political life cannot compromise on this principle...," he said.

Unfortunately, the Pope and so many others are convinced that they hold a monopoly on "truth". That is not to say their beliefs are without any merit or that they aren't entitled to their beliefs...they are...but they are also intransigent with regard to any further exploration of the truth and they create institutions in order to defend the dogma they deem to be infallible. The problem that creates is witnessed in the current wave of extremist conflict.

Osama and many others also feel that they are awash in "truth" and that it is their right and their duty to impose that upon others...regardless of their methods. Don't get me wrong, the actions of al-Qaeda are far worse than those of the Catholic Church...at this point in history. However, if one were to look back, the Catholic Church has committed its share of atrocities...in the name of "truth".

In the end, government needs to be the arbiter of equality and provide each citizen with the opportunity to embrace the beliefs they choose so long as those beliefs accept or accommodate the established social contract. When government seeks to define values or allows religious groups to usurp established governmental constructs, it is no longer impartial and it can no longer objectively execute its obligations. The more those lines become blurred, the more likely the social contract will fail.

Daniel DiRito | September 8, 2006 | 9:35 AM
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