"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Duck Dynasty Translated into the Catholic Catechism

I've never watched Duck Dynasty and probably won't ever watch it.   Reality TV is just not interesting to me... to me it seems like it's neither "reality" nor good "TV."   And I particularly don't like the kind of winking condescension of TV networks who put on hicks or white trash or southerners or simpletons and then induce them to say outrageous things.   It seems like slumming, like they're inviting the viewers to laugh at people, to think that they're superior to the people they're watching.   And, frankly, we're just not a smart enough country anymore that we can sneer at people for being dumb.   We're all pretty dumbed down ca. 2013.

Anyway, the Internet is fairly agog with the supposedly horrible comments about homosexuality by Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty family that appears on A&E, in an interview/article in GQ magazine, so much so that A&E has taken the step to "indefinitely suspend" Robertson.   Now, I don't think the suspension will last very long -- Duck Dynasty is a huge hit, by far the biggest hit A&E has ever had, and they're in business, so you do the math.   And I also am not convinced that the whole thing isn't a publicity stunt.   Duck Dynasty's new season starts January 15th, they're obviously interested in capitalizing on its popularity and growing the audience share, etc.   Again, you do the math.

But, even so, this seems to me to be a very strange "scandal."   What is it that Robertson actually said about homosexuality?   Here is the article and below are the three quotes that reference homosexuality.   For the benefit of liberals who don't get out much and who apparently have no concept of what it is that mainstream Christianity believes anymore, I've translated his comments into the nearly identical positions of the Catholic Catechism:
1. “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.” 
Translation:  Men and women have a natural sexual complementarity oriented toward procreation.   Men and men do not.

Catholic Catechism, 2231-2235:

“God created man in his own image... male and female he created them”;116 He blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply”;117 “When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.”118
Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.
Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out.
“In creating men ‘male and female,’ God gives man and woman an equal personal dignity.”119 “Man is a person, man and woman equally so, since both were created in the image and likeness of the personal God.”120
Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tenderness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way. The union of man and woman in marriage is a way of imitating in the flesh the Creator’s generosity and fecundity: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”121 All human generations proceed from this union.
2. What, in your mind, is sinful?  “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”   
Translation: Homosexual acts -- the acts, not the persons -- are sinful.

Catholic Catechism, 2357:

Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
3. “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”
Translation:  Christ teaches us to love sinners and hope for their salvation.

Catholic Catechism, 2358:

The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

In short, Robertson had the audacity to express the absolutely predictable mainstream tenets of traditional Christianity.   Yet everyone is shocked, shocked to find out that conservative Southern Christians disapprove of homosexual conduct.  

And that, ultimately, appears to be what the problem is.   It used to be that you weren't permitted to discriminate against homosexuals or to act based on "hate" for homosexuals as people.   And that was a position that was correct both legally and morally.   But now you are apparently not permitted to express a disapproving opinion about homosexual conduct, even when it's couched in a message of love and compassion for the homosexual person.  

In short, we've moved into the realm of the "thought police."   Pretty soon it will become a firing offense just to be Christian or to be Catholic.  

If I were Robertson, I would have my lawyers send a terse letter to A&E threatening a lawsuit based on religious discrimination in employment.  

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