Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Homophobes are not Dead: Another One Just Raised his Ugly Head

I received an email this morning concerning Catholic homophobia. It seems that the evangelical fundamentalists do not have a corner on bigotry and denial of human rights. Of course, the right wing of the Catholic Church and Calvinists are kissing cousins [insestually]. My email reads,

"President Obama has nominated Chai Feldblum to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Feldblum has had an exemplary career culminating in her current role as a Full Professor of Law at Georgetown University and Director of the Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic.

But since her nomination, she has been vilified by the Right Wing, and attacked specifically by the Catholic Right Wing. In an editorial on CatholicOnline, Deacon Keith Fournier wrote:

"Ms. Feldblum’s work to, in the words of the announcement, advance “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights”, places marriage and religious freedom in America at grave risk."

Founier is essentially saying that Feldbaum's advocacy of basic human rights under the law somehow threatens the very fabric of the nation. We must counter this hysterical nonsense.

Hysterical nonsense. Nonsense to the majority of Americans who uphold the Constitution and the 'human rights' articulated in many of the sacred documents upon which this nation was founded. Nonsense to most of the first-world nations on this planet.

Yet, not to those obsessed with Leviticus and Deuteronomy. No, not to these holier-than-thou Sadducees who live among us, watching us, chiding us, examining our 21 Century lives through the microscope of Mosaic Law. "Abomination!" they yell from the steps of the Temple. They know all of the passages by heart and will recite them for you whether you ask or not.

The poor souls. It must be extraordinarily difficult for them to live in these times. Occasions of sin everywhere! Ritual hand washing at every turn. A cloak of bible verses to ward off the demons, the sinners, the unclean. A lightening rod ready to stab a sinful soul! And the guilt, the ever-present guilt. The compulsive prayers, compulsive bible reading, compulsive thoughts raging through the head.

Loony, we'd say. Probably true. Psychologists have already labeled it: Religious OCD. ABC's 20/20 recently reported on the syndrome and said that nearly 7,000,000 Americans are afflicted, clearly 10% of all OCD patients. They believe that they must constantly 'please' god because he is a 'punitive' god.

Of course, the mentally healthy adult knows that it is impossible to 'please' an angry god, a god of judgement and punishment. The 'wrath of god' knows no boundaries and takes no prisoners. Therefore, the mentally healthy adult has moved beyond this childlike vision, this adolescent concoction, and lives his/her life well by treating others with love and compassion. After all, isn't that what Jesus taught?

We ought to have compassion for those stuck in pitiful Religious OCD. I do. I recommend mental health counselling and prescription drugs. After all, this is the 21st century.

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