An edict from Ben which stamps him as a dopey pope
It’s a familiar scenario and one which has played out ad nauseam for a long time. It polarises opinion like few other topics and there just isn’t any common ground. In fact, the gulf has widened to become a chasm.
That is pretty much the only conclusion to be drawn from Pope Benedict’s recent ramblings about all things gay marriage.
In his Christmas address to the Vatican bureaucracy on Saturday, Pope Benedict decided not to celebrate what the Festive Season should mean to Roman Catholics – peace, love, family, togetherness, oh, and the birth of the religion’s deity – but instead chose to rail, again, against gay marriage by saying it was destroying the very “essence of the human creature.”
It comes on the back of the good pontiff, in his recently released annual peace message, saying gay marriage - like abortion and euthanasia - was a threat to world peace.
Threat. To. World. Peace. Say it slowly. Allow it to sink in.
I’m not sure if that means the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse will actually turn out to be two couples, sent down to destroy humanity by living together in harmony having been given the opportunity to legally get married.
Of all the things which could legitimately be considered threats to world peace, Pope Benedict comes up with gay marriage. Famine, drought, natural disasters? Nah, not so much.
Sleep tight knowing climate change, man made or not, won’t have as big an impact on how we live. Over-population? Bah Humbug! Nor will wars, disease or being forced to watch another season of Big Brother.
Nope, it’s gay marriage that threatens world peace. You really couldn’t make this stuff up.
It’s outlandish statements like these that open up Pope Benedict, and indeed his church’s stance on issues like gay marriage, to be roundly and rightly ridiculed.
The arguments against gay marriage (it’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve is my personal favourite) can quite often sound crazy. It’ll lead to people wanting to marry animals; it’s a slippery slope, don’t you know?
But putting arguments for or against gay marriage aside just for one moment, the timing of Pope Benedict’s comments is what is particularly annoying.
Christmas - for theist or atheist, believer or agnostic - should be a time of togetherness. It should be a time when we put aside our differences and celebrate as one. For Christians there is a religious aspect to their celebrations, and that does not need to be denied. For everyone else it’s just a chance to, hopefully, be with family and friends and, perhaps, reach out and lend a helping hand to someone who is less fortunate than ourselves.
It’s a pity one of the world’s most influential and powerful religious figures couldn’t find it in his heart to try and bring people together at this time, rather than sticking another wedge in society that just isn’t needed.
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