Smart people saying smart things

Smart people saying smart things September 19, 2012

Max S. Gordon: “Proud Americans, Be Who You Are”

In other words, I can’t dismiss Paul Ryan’s good-natured homophobia as anything else but what it is, a hatred of gays.  I can’t blame a generation gap, or that he’s from some other country that isn’t “free” like us, or any of the bullshit excuses that would let him off the hook.  He’s just like me. Only he has privileges that I don’t, because he’s heterosexual.  It’s that simple.  We try to make it more complicated, bringing in religion and “upbringing,” because if we reduce it down its basic components, it’s just plain ugly and embarrassing.  Denying gays and lesbians full equality in this country is no different from having separate bathrooms for colored people.

Sr. Teresa Forcades: “The VilaWeb Interview” (via)

The grace of “queer” theory is that it says “very well then, instead of tolerating them and putting them in a box aside or discriminating against them as certain fundamentalists do, and persecuting them and punishing them, and even killing them, as has happened throughout history, no, we invite them to teach us something essential about who we are. Because, in fact, it’s not appropriate to put any of us in a prefabricated box. And, as such, it helps us to think about ourselves in more open categories.

Kathryn Pogin & Benjamin Cohen Rossi: “Letter of Inquiry & Petition for Action”

The university already provides access to medications that treat erectile dysfunction, without requiring the insured to justify their use of it (neither medically nor morally), as you require women to justify their use of contraceptives. If faculty, staff, or students are unmarried, providing access to such medications is also materially contributing to gravely immoral behavior. We must ask, then, why the difference? Determining if men are married is surely easier than determining if there are non-contraceptive medical reasons a woman might need contraceptives, so it cannot be a matter of difficulty. If the university can provide access to medications that treat erectile dysfunction without question because you trust the decision to use it wisely to the individual consciences of insured men, why not treat women likewise when it comes to contraceptives? Regardless of whether or not contraceptives themselves promote gender equity, pursuing this suit is an affront to gender equity at the University of Notre Dame. The university’s policies do not treat men and women as equally capable and trustworthy moral agents, and the university is going to court to defend that disparity.

Richard Sipe: “On Sex and Reformation in the Catholic Church”

I will stand by some basic assertions:

  1. Masturbation is not intrinsically evil.
  2. Contraception is not intrinsically evil either inside or outside of marriage.
  3. Certainly condoms should be used if effective in avoiding disease, especially the HIV virus.
  4. Gay orientation is not an intrinsic disorder.
  5. Homosexual love is not intrinsically evil.
  6. Marriage between same-sex partners is not intrinsically evil.
  7. Neither scripture nor theology unalterably dictates that women are intrinsically disqualified from the sacrament of priestly ordination.

Now let’s get down to some serious discussion and dismiss the apodictic stance that sex is intrinsically evil and current church teaching is unalterable.

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  • EllieMurasaki

    I kind of wish we could vote Richard Sipe for Pope now.

  • Fusina

     Me too. And if my Mum-in-law were still alive, that would be three of us.

  • The_L1985

    Crossing my fingers.  At least we know the current pope doesn’t have too many years left in him.

  • Carstonio

    The Gordon article is heartbreaking. He’s exactly right that in 2012 we should know better.

    I hadn’t read the exchange before between Romney and the gay veteran in the New Hampshire diner. Romney gives every impression that he wants the man to leave him alone, like the voter is simply an annoying telemarketer calling at dinnertime. In some ways, that’s worse than if Romney was passionate about marriage inequality like his running mate, because he’s disinterestedly throwing gays and lesbians under the bus.

    And Sipe and Farley bring out a point I was trying to make yesterday in another thread –  in this debate, homophobes have got nothing. They argue from supposed authority, either scripture or “nature” which is simply pseudotheology. Santorum does the same thing when he claims that contraception is a “license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” All this is simply the equivalent of arguing children saying “Because” as if that settled the issue. My hope is that the more we confront such people to explain their reasoning, the more we challenge their assumptions, the more it will become obvious to everyone else that they have no reasoning behind their stance.

  • Nathaniel

     Does it really matter? Who’s to say the next guy won’t find a way of being worse?

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    I always have the impression Romney treats everyone who isn’t part of his 1% club like that. I’ve never seen a candidate seem so dismissive of the voting public, as if he’s stunned us peasant-folk even get a say in whether he gets to be president.

  • redsixwing

     If the next pope is worse, we’ll rant about him on the internet, too.

    Who’s to say the next guy won’t find a way of being better?

  • Tricksterson

    Yeah but do you really think that whoever replaces him will be much better, if at all?

  • Lori

    Speaking of a smart person, saying smart things, Chris Kluwe attended a rally for Minnesota marriage equality (the issue is on the ballot in November) and wrote about it for the Pioneer Press. It’s not very long and the whole thing is excellent, so it’s well worth a read. He wraps it up in vintage Kluwe fashion:

    I, for one, will not stand for it. I will not stand for a world that
    demeans those it finds ‘different’ or ‘gross’. I will not stand for an
    ideology that promotes slavish adherence to a single arbitrary standard,
    that sacrifices children on the altar of oppression and control. I will
    not stand for one more RED TINGED MUSHROOM CLOUD second of people
    thinking that they have the right to live someone else’s life for them,
    for the complete lack of empathy so often shown in our society.
    I stand for gay marriage. I stand for the end of segregation. I stand
    for a woman’s right to vote. I stand for equality under the law, for
    treating others how I want to be treated, for the fundamental human
    right to live a happy life free of tyranny.
    I stand for my children.

  • Persia

    You really should watch the video of Romney with the gay vet – Romney seeks the guy out at first, and then his whole face changes when he realizes that the guy doesn’t fit the initial box Romney put him in. It’s both funny and sad.

  • Robyrt

    I don’t think Sipe really understands what Sr Farley is saying. Her book sounds really interesting, and the excerpted bits are much more thoughtful, nuanced, and respectful of the rationale behind Catholic teaching than Sipe’s casual blanket assertions.

  • Thank you for the link to the Proud Americans article, Fred.  It was so beautifully written, so true, so painful.

    And thanks for the link to the Kluwe article, Lori – the dude just _gets_ it.

  • AnonaMiss

    wrt the Notre Dame thing, I wish that so much of the conversation wrt mandatory contraception coverage didn’t keep bringing up ED medications. It provides too easy an out for those who are aginnit: “Well, we shouldn’t be providing those for free either!” I understand that the unrestricted access of men to ED medications is particularly illustrative of the misogyny behind those who would rather not cover contraception, but associating them so strongly with each other reduces the likelihood that we can win over sex-negative voters, who may think covering viagra is out of line for the insurance companies too (just aren’t upset enough to yell about it). 

    I think a more helpful comparison would be to a drug which can be used for non-sexual recreation, like vicodin or ritalin. If your doctor prescribed you ritalin for your ADD, should you be required to disclose to your employer that you have ADD, so that he can ‘allow’ you to follow your doctor’s orders with a clear conscience? If you need an emergency surgery, should you have to wait for your boss to approve your pain medications?

    There are a lot of sex-negative people in this country, and while we may desperately want to attack their whole sex-view, it is more prudent to show them that we’re right even within their own framework.

  • Becca Stareyes

     If I recall correctly, Viagra was developed for treatment of heart and circulatory problems, and the fact it’s known and marketed for a very specific circulatory problem now doesn’t mean a doctor won’t give you a prescription because you need it for your arteries.

    (Wikipedia does helpfully inform me that the same drug is marketed under a different name when used to treat things other than ED, though I wonder if that makes a difference for insurance paperwork, or if doctors can easily prescribe either for a situation where that chemical is indicated.)

  • Santorum does the same thing when he claims that contraception is a “license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

    Makes me wonder if the pickup line, “I have a license to do unnatural things in the sexual realm,” might make raised-Catholic people chuckle.

  • Nathaniel

     The Catholic church bishops, for one.

  •  No, but a little rewording and it could be a tag line for a porn version of James Bond. Which would not be that hard to write actually, given the general quality of the writing here.

  • AnonymousSam

    Gaaaagh. Now you’ve done it.

    “The name’s Bone. James Bone.”

  • Joshua

    Doesn’t Force use extend your lifespan? Does that apply to those who use the Dark Side?

  • The_L1985

    I know Mr. Ratzinger may look like Palpatine/Sidious, but that doesn’t mean he is.

    Sidious still had standards.

  • “Santorum does the same thing when he claims that contraception is a
    “license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things
    are supposed to be.”

    This comment irritated me so much when he first said it. All I could think was, “Wow, so worrying about whether another child would inherit type 1 diabetes like our first did, and how we would pay for that, this is “how things are supposed to be” in my sex life with my husband? And removing that worry from the bedroom is, I dunno, disordered somehow? Gimmie a friggin break.”