It is beyond dispute that throughout history of humankind as a civilized people there has been a search for an ultimate weapon. America, like every other industrialized nation, spends an inordinate amount of its resources researching, developing, and constructing the ultimate weapon to guarantee military superiority over the rest of the world and to defend the homeland. Now though, for the second time in as many days, it appears that the ultimate weapon is not dependent on research, natural resources, or a robust military industrial complex, but on compassionate human beings and the democratic process. In fact, America is perfectly poised to rule the world since it is a representative democracy and a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage; the combination of which make up the ultimate weapon of mass destruction.
As Hrafnkell Haraldsson reported yesterday, Republican Senator and devout Catholic-evangelical fanatic Marco Rubio asserted that the idea of two human beings of the same sex joined in matrimony because they love each other is a clear and present danger to Christianity. If that concept was remotely true, and Rubio was not beating the Christian persecution drum for effect and electoral support, it seems that any number of nations, religions, and people that suffered the centuries of abuse at the hands of Christianity would hold massive same-sex marriage ceremonies and put an end to the Christian religion once and for all. In fact, throughout history it has been Christianity that posed the only clear and present danger to untold billions of people that continues unabated today; particularly in America under the neo-Christianity embraced by Republicans and their evangelical base.
Although a weapon like same-sex marriage able to jeopardize the existence of the world’s largest religion sounds terrifying, the Vatican went a step farther and claimed the recent democratic vote in Ireland legalizing same-sex marriage is not only a clear and present danger to Christianity, it was a “defeat for humanity.” One wonders in what universe the world’s largest and richest Christian organization regards a democratic people voting to allow two people who love each other to marry equates to the defeat of humanity, but as a focused weapon, one has to admit it would be unstoppable. As an official Vatican statement, it is another sign that nothing has changed with a new-and-improved so-called ‘liberal Pope’ at the helm and more proof that the new ‘enlightened’ Pope’s image is a public relation creation.
The statement that the Irish referendum to legalize same-sex marriage was the defeat of humanity was courtesy of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s top diplomat. As the Vatican secretary of state, Parolin is second only to the Pope in the church’s hierarchy, and his condemnation of Ireland’s democracy represented the most god-damning assessment of the Irish vote by a high-ranking Catholic official to date. America’s United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have not yet unleashed their rage at Irish democracy, but no doubt when they do it will be epic and as apocalyptic as the Vatican’s, if not much, much worse. However, it is difficult to fathom what could be worse than people showing compassion for their fellow human beings through democracy being labeled “a defeat for humanity.”
Cardinal Parolin was speaking at a conference in Rome when he said of the Irish vote, “I was deeply saddened by the result. The church must take account of this reality, but in the sense that it must strengthen its commitment to evangelization. I think that you cannot just talk of a defeat for Christian principles, but of a defeat for humanity.” Parolin’s remarks were similar to, but not as ‘kind’ as, the reaction of the archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin. Martin was more circumspect and said “It is very clear that if this referendum is an affirmation of the views of young people, then the church needs a reality check. Most of these young people who voted yes are products of our Catholic school system for 12 years. I’m saying there’s a big challenge there to see how we get across the message of the church.” The church message, of course, is that the idea of two people who love each other marrying represents a god-forsaken mortal sin along the lines of women using birth control or Catholic adherents failing to give the church their last penny.
One should not minimize Parolin’s remarks condemning the Irish people participating in democracy and compassion given the all-important role he plays in dreaming up and crafting the Vatican’s message on major diplomatic and social issues. According to a veteran Vatican journalist for the National Catholic Reporter, by the time of his appointment as Vatican secretary of state in 2013, “Parolin had already been on the frontline of shaping the Vatican’s response to virtually every geopolitical challenge of the past two decades.” However, it is also certain that nothing comes out of Parolin’s mouth that is not first uttered and blessed by his boss Pope Francis; a man already known for anti-homosexual tendencies.
It is noteworthy that it was Pope Francis’ personal decision to rebuke and refuse to accept France’s chosen ambassador to the Vatican because he is gay and a practicing Catholic. Oh, it is true that Francis did say once that, “who am I to judge” when questioned about a pro-gay lobby inside the Vatican, but as the church leader he has demonstrated he does judge the LGBT community, and will not allow a highly-regarded French diplomat to serve as ambassador because he is gay. According to the comment by his second-in-command about the Irish vote legalizing marriage equality, it is obvious that Francis judges democracy that fails to produce results the Vatican demands as “deeply saddening” and a “defeat for humanity;” a defeat that inspires the Vatican to redouble its evangelizing (read propagandizing fear of eternal damnation) efforts.
If Americans were paying attention to the incongruities coming out of the Vatican, they would realize that although Pope Francis appears socially liberal on the outside, particularly on issues like climate change and income inequality, his image is a well-fashioned product of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and a former Fox News executive’s PR campaign. If, for example, the Pope was serious about following in the footsteps and teachings of the 2100 year-old mythological person he represents on Earth, and really believes in income equality through redistribution, he would order the Vatican to sell its incredibly substantial holdings and give the proceeds to the poor. And yes, it is reported that the Pope handed out sleeping bags to the indigent in Rome, but they were funded by the millions of Catholic devotees’ donations from around the world, especially America; not the Vatican or Pope Francis.
One wonders when Christian fundamentalists, and the Catholic clergy, became so terrified of other people having the same rights as they do that they regard something as benign as marriage equality a “clear and present danger to Christianity” or “the defeat of humanity.” Where is their storied faith in god for protection, or why are they not holding mass prayer rallies for divine intervention and salvation from Irish referendum extinction? Obviously their faith is not nearly as robust as they claim or they would not be nearly as terrified of marriage equality as they obviously are.
What is abundantly clear is that the Vatican’s views and those of American neo-Christians are not embraced by real Christians or the overwhelming majority of Catholics. Still, the entire Christian religion is being portrayed as a terrified cult of hatred for ‘the other‘ that more often than not targets rank and file Catholics and the majority of Christian adherents; two groups that subscribe to a live and let live philosophy. Real Christians and Catholics do not feel they are persecuted or face an existential threat when they cannot impose their will on the population, or mourn “humanity’s defeat” because the Irish people voted for marriage equality; those are views of twisted sick religious fanatics, not decent human beings that call themselves Christians in private.