Thursday, 3 November 2011

OII(Australia) on Homophobia

OII Australia (Organisation Intersex International - Australia) nails it with a very perceptive comment:
The fear of homosexuality, homophobia, is the prime motivation for the worldwide persecution of intersex people. In a remarkable feat of fact-free magical thinking, we are perceived as somehow being born intrinsically homosexual. We are not, but popular belief is seldom trumped by reality and so the intersex fetus abortions, intersex infanticides, intersex genital mutilations (IGM) and refusal of fundamental human rights continue unabated.
I've been accused of being a gay man, and a lesbian woman - sometimes at the same time - by the same people. The contradiction escapes them, logic tends not to be the strong suit of homophobes. Many don't know what "Intersex" means, even if you patiently explain it to them, with references. A few don't believe it can exist, that like Evil-ution, it's all a giant anti-Christian conspiracy by (quite possibly demonically possessed) "scientists", who they view as The Adversary. Well, in some ways they're right, as Rationality is contrary to their beliefs. "Fact-free magical thinking" describes their superstitions perfectly. Others of course, the majority, are merely religious. Their beliefs are based on faith, yet not impervious to facts and rational argument. They, not being Fanatics, often have their voices of reason drowned out by the True Believers - those so sure that God is on their side, that they don't think it's necessary to ask themselves whether they're on His. Whether God is a literal Deity, or the mystical "Forces of History".

Belief in an invisible Sky Policeman is not in itself a bad or harmful thing. It all too often leads to beliefs in whole pantheons of supernatural beings though, demons and devils and evil spirits.

Here's an example:
In other words, the scientific evidence of how same-sex attraction most likely may be created provides a credible basis for a spiritual explanation that indicts the devil. Any time natural disasters occur, we as people of faith look back to Scripture's account of those angels who rebelled and fell from grace. In their anger against God, these malcontents prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. They continue to do all they can to mar, distort and destroy God's handiwork.

Therefore, whenever natural causes disturb otherwise typical biological development, leading to the personally unchosen beginnings of same-sex attraction, the ultimate responsibility, on a theological level, is and should be imputed to the evil one, not God. Applying this aspect of Catholic belief to interpret the scientific data makes more sense because it does not place God in the awkward position of blessing two mutually incompatible realities -- sexual difference and same-sex attraction.
Trying to reconcile Catholic Belief with Scientific Evidence often gets people into trouble - just ask Galileo. He's since been forced to retract his article and issue a Mea Culpa.
"Statements made in my column, 'Some fundamental questions on same-sex attraction' of October 28, do not represent the position of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the column was not authorized for publication as is required policy for staff of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The teaching of Sacred Scripture and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church make it clear that all persons are created in the image and likeness of God and have inviolable dignity. Likewise, the Church proclaims the sanctity of marriage as the permanent, faithful, fruitful union of one man and one woman. The Church opposes, as I do too, all unjust discrimination and the violence against persons that unjust discrimination inspires. I deeply apologize for the hurt and confusion that this column has caused."
Just (as opposed to Unjust) discrimination is fine though - and the USCCB have decided that discrimination against Trans and Intersex people is just fine. As they've stated in writing.

At least he made a Good Faith attempt to reconcile the irreconcilable; superstition and reality. The problem is, by invoking the Work of the Devil as being responsible, the next step is all too easy. Inevitable really. The belief that some are possessed, or the spawn of the Devil, not really human at all. Thus witchsmelling and charlatanry, persecution of the different, and all manner of barbarities.

The USCCB appear to have recognised that, and pulled him up short. At least, I hope that's what they did. I try to think the best of people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mmm. Plus ca change. Nothing has changed for us. J Money et al actively engaged in unethical promotion of their ideas as the "only paradigm": cultural thinking inculcated such ideas as acceptable .... the presentation may have changed in recent years, but the reality of what we face down is only just under the surface.

Good to have you back Zoe. Hope your mum is well.