"Expressions of Anarchic Freedom"


According to the Washington Times, that's Pope Benedict XVI's take on gay marriage:

Pope Benedict XVI, in his first clear pronouncement on homosexual "marriages" since his election, yesterday condemned same-sex unions as fake and "expressions of anarchic freedom" that threatened the future of the family.

Gotta love the Times' house-style scare quotes around "marriage" whenever they mention gay marriage. (Should the "Times," which I enjoy immensely, get similar treatment, I wonder?)

Don't mistake Pope Ratzi for just another dress-wearing fag-basher, though. He laid into all sorts of other things, too:

The pope, who was elected in April, also condemned divorce, artificial birth control, trial marriages and free-style unions, saying all of those practices were dangerous for the family….

"The greatest expression of freedom is not the search for pleasure," he said, adding that society seemed to want to tear down the moral goal posts he said were needed for its future.

Gotta love the details: "artificial" birth control–as if the Church-sanctioned rhythm method is "natural". Whole thing here.

One quick question for the pope: Isn't the desire for marriage among gays precisely an acknowledgement that they want something from a relationship beyond the sybaritic pleasure that many conservatives–and, to be fair, many gay activists–claim defines homosexuality?

Benedict is a classic short-timer pontiff; picked at least partly because he was a long-time Vatican apparatchik who would stay the course until a youngblood (relatively speaking) comes along. As my fellow mackerel-snapping colleague Tim Cavanaugh put it, he's not so much the anti-pope as an anti-climax. Yet in his out-of-the-box excoriations of modernity, Benedict seems to be doing his damnedest to nugde Roman Catholics on to the losing side (e.g. Orthodox/Muslim) of the clash of civilizations.