24 September 2005

Told you I was going to get flamed...

Dear Jason,

Please read the whole article, and not just the bit that pushes your buttons. It’s an ongoing situation, that is, if they abandon one of the qualifications (e.g. hit the bottle, break up with their one wife or add another wife (or husband) to the mix, whatever) they’re supposed to abandon the post. Unless you want to get all legalist about it, stuff like using Ecstasy would disqualify them as well, even though — for some funny reason — it’s not explicitly mentioned there.

Your comment does highlight a potentially contentious point, though. As I read it, the directive speaks against homosexuals becoming ordained, but doesn’t speak to homosexuals who are already ordained. Given Ratzinger’s direction, I would expect that either the latter is silently implied (seems likely from the “we will resign” responses), or will be addressed after the hubbub from the first round has abated.

Turning to the issue of bisexuals to ensure that no substantial confusion remains about my reasoning here; and this is as it’s been explained to me — I’m sure others will have different points of view — marriage and intercourse are, to use an appropriate turn of phrase, intimately bound together. A bisexual man with one wife and one husband (whether formally acknowledged, legally dilineated, common-law or in the loosest sense defacto) disqualifies himself by having a set of spouses not equal to ['wife'].

Likewise, a polygynous arrangement is also a disqualification for the same reason despite (and again this is as IMESHO) being only lightly spoken against (e.g. Abraham had two wives and two concubines and all 12 of his sons got the official nod), and I suspect that this is undershadowed by an implication that more than one wife is considered gredy and/or intemperate.

I see that I haven’t offended any Latter Day Saints recently, so now is probably the time to point out that the word translated “overseer” is sometimes translated “elder” and specifically in some of the passages used by the Latter Day Saints to justify so entitling their bicycling missionaries. The implication is that these “elders” should all be married, but every single one that I’ve ever asked about it has been single. Worse than that, and despite official disclaimers, some Saints practice polygyny, which would also disqualify them from any positions of oversight.

For the record, I’m not a homophobic. I’ve worked for and with them (one for over 8 years), have friends of both genders who are bent (either “pure bent” (hairpinned?) or bi), most of them are fine, a few of them are in-your-face or rude but then again so are a few straights.

OTOH I have absolutely no interest in being homosexual, nor can I see any way to rationally justify the behaviour no matter what your philosophical starting point.

Before the wailing starts, I think I need to point out that I view quite a few other human pastimes in exactly the same light. Humans are far from entirely rational critters. Smoking (sorry i386), binge drinking, gambling, spending more on your mobile ’phone service than on food or clothes are a few examples. So is being racially prejudiced in the malicious sense, and so is acting as if there were no general differences between genders, cultures, and so on (ponder Dashiel’s line to his mother, spoken in the car after escaping the principle’s office in The Incredibles: “Everyone's special [...] which is another way of saying that nobody is”).

While we’re kicking around in religious neighbourhoods, I notice that there is also a Church of Humanism, the basic premise being that we ourselves are the ultimate authority in this universe. This led me to wondering what the inside of their church building looks like. Crosses, menorahs or baphomets would be right out of the question, of course, so what do they have on or behind their speakers’ platform? A floor-to-ceiling mirror? Probably still not as much fun as the Pastafarians.

OK, I guess it’s time for the last incendiary topic: sport! I notice that the Swans beat the Teagles today (by a mere 4 points, but a win is a win). One of my oldest daughters’ classmates was barracking for the Swans because the Teagles beat the Dockers [click me!]. Follow the logic: Team A beats Team B. Supporter of Team B now wants Team A to lose to Team C — but wait, doesn’t that make Team B worse than two teams now? Whereas if Team A won, Team B might still be better than Team C. D’oh!

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