Pope Francis reached out to gays kinda sorta not really.

The internet is abuzz with a quote from Pope Francis:

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis asked.

And I can’t figure out why secular folk are celebrating.  Maybe we’re so used to complete and utter loathing of homosexuals by the Catholic Church that we missed the qualifier in that sentence: “…and he searches for the Lord.”

And if they aren’t “searching for the Lord”?  What if they just love someone of the same gender?  What then?  Homosexuality is not a quality made acceptable only by the adoption of faith.  Whether a person loves Jesus or not, it doesn’t matter what brand of naughty bits to which they are attracted.

And for those who say the reason for celebration is the signaling that this Pope will depart from the draconian hatred of LGBT people embodied by Francis’ predecessor, may I remind you that Francis is vehemently opposed to equal rights for gay people.  When marriage equality was being considered by the government of Argentina, then Jorge Bergoglio said in a letter to the country’s four monasteries:

“The Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family… At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children.

He also said that gay parents were an abomination and a threat to the well-being of children:

“At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”

Yes, you read that correctly.  Gay people adopting children is a form of discrimination against children in the eyes of the current pope.

So when the pope asks “Who am I to judge?” in the same breath he suggests one needs to submit to all kinds of loony beliefs being advanced by the Catholic Church in order for someone’s gayness to become ok, the answer is simple: he’s the same jackass who has been judging gay people his entire life and who will continue to do so when they aren’t Catholic (or even when they are) and just want to marry a consenting adult of whom the Church does not approve.

So go ahead, celebrate the fact that even the pope must bow to political pressure eventually.  But let’s wait a bit to break out the champagne on the pope, the Catholic Church, or the majority of is adherents coming to grips with the notion that gay people are normal, loving members of society who are doing nothing wrong.

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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.


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