Over the last couple of days, I’ve heard some *interesting* religious arguments regarding religion and homosexuality. They basically add up to “gay people are ok but they can’t have sex, that’s bad”. They go about it in different ways – the Catholic attitude is that homosexual sex is inherently sinful because it cannot ever be procreative (I think, they get a bit slippery about it), while the strange biblical pseudoscholar’s (Rafael Moreno) position is that God banned anal sex because it’s ‘detrimental to everyone’, or as most people would express it, ‘icky’.
The Catholic position is deeply condescending and misleading. Statements like ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ make my blood boil, because they inherently put the one doing the loving in a place of both judgement and superiority. If I were still a Christian, I would say that the sin is between the sinner and God, and if you want to hate it, do it quietly, because it’s none of your business. As an atheist, I say that your artificial construct of sin is damaging people who just want to freely express their love to those they love. Get out of other people’s bedrooms! You’re actively harming people with your guilt-based restrictions on sexuality.
The Catholic idea that sex should be procreative (yes, I know, they now allow ‘unitive’ acts as well, but the primary focus is on procreative) needs to retire to the days before birth control became available, the days before women became more than just child-bearers. The world has turned, and the Catholic Church is being left behind.
The Rafael Moreno’s thinking is truly weird. He deconstructs several bible verses in their original languages, and comes up with conclusions that somewhat mirror current Catholic doctrine, but that can be somewhat different to evangelical Christian teaching. It is not clear how well he know ancient Hebrew, nor what his qualifications are when it comes to interpreting both the somewhat ambiguous verses he attacks and the rabbinical teachings he references, but as his conclusion (that the bible condemns anal intercourse) aren’t far off those of scholars, it doesn’t matter too much.
However, this blogger’s treatment really boils down to ‘people shouldn’t have anal sex because it’s icky’. And to that, I have to say, grow up. Get out of other people’s sex lives. If you don’t like it, don’t do it, and don’t try and tell others what they should do. Your thin veneer of biblical mandate is far too cracked for anyone to believe you.
Interestingly, while the Catholic position condemns both male and female homosexuality alike, Moreno’s interpretation of the bible has no problem with lesbianism, as long as there’s no anal penetration involved. It very much feels like he’s reading his own biases of what’s good and what’s not into the bible.
The opinions of the deacon expressed in Public Catholic are mainstream Catholic, while Moreno’s are fairly fringe Christian, or so it seems. But what they share is that they condemn homosexual sex. They condemn the expression of love, intimacy, or passion between people simply because their sexual impulses are ‘sinful’. And that’s wrong. That’s not ‘loving the sinner’, it’s imposing your own artificial morality onto people who deserve to live and love however appeals to them.