A look at how the Pope selection reflects on Catholics and LGBT rights.

Gay marriage is going to happen.  Equality for LGBT people is going to happen.  However, it will happen faster if we’re praising a Pope for hauling the Catholic Church out of the Dark Ages rather than criticizing him for failing to let the Catholic Church grow up.  Sadly, I think we’re in for a lot of the latter.

I would also like to point out that it says a lot about your organization if having a new leader who can just manage to not abet child rapists would be an improvement.  For many Catholics who thought the last Pope was grand (that would be the Pope whose ridiculous policy on condoms cost an uncountable number of lives to AIDS the world over and whose priorities were to protect the predators of children rather than their victims), it strains the limits of imagination to conceive of a Pope so terrible they would not celebrate him as a promising leader.  That says not only a lot about Catholics, it also says a lot about their religion’s potential to make them tolerant of inhumanity – all while praising the church as a moral beacon.

Hemant commented on Bergoglio’s homophobia.

You heard it: Gay marriage is of the devil! The kicker: Argentina passed marriage equality in 2010 anyway, becoming the first Latin American nation to do so. So much for that.

When that legislation was being considered, Bergoglio called marriage equality a “real and dire anthropological throwback”.  And yet, by Numbeo’s quality of life index, Argentina’s rating jumped from a score of 32.58 in 2012 to 72.53 in 2013 (Bergoglio has also said that Argentina has made great progress).  I guess he’s only infallible once he becomes Pope.  Up to that point he can be wrong about plenty of stuff.  In this case, Argentina (and humanity) is trucking along just fine letting people marry the adult of the adult of their choice.

Anyway, today I’ll be reading the Catholic blogs and trying not to have an aneurism.  I’ll report throughout the day.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • MikeyM

    The new pope appears to have been cozy with the Argentinian death squads, as well.

    • Glodson

      This seems be the same thing I’ve been reading. The causal bigotry is par for the course. That doesn’t even get me to bat my eye as I expected as much. They aren’t going to have a pope that accepts gay rights, contraception, abortion or seeks to actually punish pedophile priests. Not anytime soon, at least.

      But the blood-soaked past of this man is turning out to be somewhat surprising. If half of what I’ve read is true, they picked one hell of a guy to be their leader. That’s a bad thing.

      • Loqi

        The best we can hope for is that they alienate their members so much that they get out of that vile organization. I know several of my friends are not only ex-Catholics, but at this point are ashamed to have been Catholic. Of course, the church and its adherents say you can’t just leave the church like that, and that the church still counts them when it talks about how many Catholics there are. It’s like the mafia: once you’re in, you’re not allowed to leave.

      • Emmet

        Sure. “Blood-soaked past.” Right. Citation?

    • Emmet

      Sure. Citation?

  • DSimon

    Remember, the infallibility thing only applies when they’re speaking “ex cathedra”. So yeah, he can still be wrong about stuff he says even now that he’s pope; nobody is claiming otherwise.

    Of course, the possible wrongness of popes is also verified by direct evidence regardless of any claims otherwise, but still.

  • Emmet

    Oh, shit. Sorry. You’re attacking the Catholic Church. I forgot, no citation needed – an a priori assumption that God doesn’t exist and that the Church is Evil is all that’s needed.

    • Compuholic

      [...]an a priori assumption that God doesn’t exist [...]

      That is precisely the point. If there is no evidence for the existence of X the a priory assumption is that X does not exist. That is how every rational person in this world operates. There is no evidence for the existence of unicorns, fairies or elves. I assume that you have no problems to say that unicorns, fairies or elves don’t exist. God is just another item in this list.

      [...]the Church is Evil[...]

      Well the CC has a rich history of evil deeds. But you don’t even have t go into the past. The present also offers rich examples. Just a few things to refresh you memory:
      - Telling Africans that condoms don’t prevent HIV.
      - Money laundering for the mafia
      - Denying equal rights to homosexual people
      the list could easily be expanded but you get the idea.

    • Compuholic

      Ooops, blockquote fail. Could one of the moderators please clean up the mess? Thank you

  • Emmet

    “…an uncountable number of lives” – so how many is that, exactly? I mean, you’re making the extraordinary claim of “uncountable” – where’s your extraordinary evidence?

    Oh, again! I forgot – no evidence needed. Your readers know the Church is eveil, you know the Church is evil – why bother with evidence to back up your bombast?

    Tell me how it works, by the way – a man with AIDS who isn’t following the Church’s teachings on faithfulness in marriage or abstinence before marriage, and is having extra-marital sex, is nonetheless going to follow the Church’s teachings on condoms, and thus infect his sexual partner. Is that how it goes?

    I see. Yep, that’s logical. Uh huh.

    BTW, “pope” doesn’t need a capital P unless you’re saying “Pope Francis”.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

      You, sir, need some help with context. “Uncountable” because we can’t count them because we don’t know how many, or who- it’s nearly a statistical certainty that lots of people have been hurt, but we don’t know which ones. Thus, they can’t be counted. Thus, uncountable. See, isn’t simple reading comprehension and logic fun?

      Now to the meat of your argument, such as it is. First of all, a lot of people don’t know they’re HIV+. So always using a condom is a great idea, especially if one is not in a long-term, monogamous relationship with someone one trusts is also monogamous AND who has tested negative. Second, people use all sorts of justifications for things they want to do anyways. So if the Pope says don’t use a condom, a man who is cheating on his wife and/or visiting prostitutes will still absolutely use “the Pope said so” to justify his lack of condom use. Third, even if no one would listen to him, the Pope saying something wrong/bad/evil is reason enough to call him out on it. Saying that condoms spread HIV is factually false. It is harmful because people do listen to him. Women who suspect their husbands/boyfriends of cheating are already in a precarious position when it comes to requesting condom use in patriarchal societies, and the Pope saying that makes them have less power in their sexual lives. Real live people have been hurt because the Pope just had to get his digs in on birth control, because we all know that women controlling their own lives and bodies is something the RCC does not approve of. That’s what it comes down to, almost always, in the end: control. Control of women more than men, but control. And you know what? That is evil.

  • Emmet

    But thanks for turning up a new phrase which I hadn’t come across before – “a real and dire anthropological throwback”. Here in New Zealand we’re in the midst of the redefinition of marriage debate and that phrase will come in useful in a letter to the editor tomorrow.