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11/24/2010

Cardinal says gays persecute and silence; we might shush our Catholic Aunt Bethany at the Thanksgiving table, but that's about it (*and that's b/c she's annoying, not b/c she's Christian)

by Jeremy Hooper

Cardinal-BiffiCardinal Giacomo Biffi has updated and republished his memoirs, with new portions focused exclusively on homosexuality. This snippet from the openly anti-gay LifeSite News:

In these “shattered” times, the cardinal said, the new ideologies have resulted in an “intellectual blindness” and in the silencing of Christians who are intimidated by persecution by homosexuals and their ideological accomplices.

But in the end, the cardinal wrote, the Church will not be defeated: “We are with the Lord of History.”
...
The ideology of homosexuality, he said, as often happens to ideologies when they become aggressive and are politically successful, “becomes a threat to our legitimate autonomy of thought: those who do not share it risk condemnation to a kind of cultural and social marginalization.”

“The attacks on freedom of thought start with language,” he wrote. “Those who do not resign themselves to accept ‘homophilia’ ... are charged with ‘homophobia’.”

“Is it still permitted ... to be faithful and consistent disciples of the teaching of Christ ... or must we prepare ourselves for a new form of persecution, promoted by homosexual activists, by their ideological accomplices, and even by those whose task it should be to defend the intellectual freedom of all, including Christians?”
Aggressive homosexual ideology silencing Christians: senior Cardinal [LifeSite News]

Pretty harsh and dangerous claims, no? Here we have an influential leader of the Roman Catholic Church putting forth messaging that pretty much tells believers that gays who are "radical" enough to see themselves as equal citizens of the world (how dare we?) are out to get people of faith, and therefore the church must fight back against the supposed persecution. In this day and age of bullying and other highlighted torments, this is the meme the Cardinal is choosing to drum up. As we said: Dangerous.

And then there's the element of pure nonsense. The Cardinal paints a portrait of militant gays intimidating and silencing and persecuting and attacking. Then he talks about how the church will ultimately win. All the while, we're sitting here on the sidelines, wondering why people keep trying to drag us into a fight we never asked for, fostered, or raise a fist within. It's like junior high all over again, where we just wanna get through the day so we can go home and play Super Mario World, but our friend Mason keeps insisting on running his mouth, getting into arguments, and dragging us into it. Next thing we know, Mason's coming to blows behind the football field, and we're forced to sit there feigning interest and wasting crucial Yoshi time, having been dragged into the silly melee by unsubstantiated claims, demanded sympathies, and the unfortunate fact that our seventh grade locker proximity led Mason to determine that our geographical closeness should translate to friendship. Yea, it's kind of like that. Except, you know: With the Cardinal's reach extending well beyond Mason's influence at the most popular lunch room table, and the stakes being marked in actual human lives rather than Mario's digital 1ups.

But who here in America has signed on to this unfortunate, nonsensical, perilous rhetoric as a fan? None other than the Catholic-focused National Organization For Marriage, natch:

Screen Shot 2010-11-24 At 6.59.53 AmCardinal Biffi's new essay in a book "The Inconvenient Memoirs" points out the ways in which an "aggressive ideology" is shattering the once-Christian west and increasingly silencing the voice of Christians. But to those who argue for the inevitability of the victory of this new ideology, he says, fear not, "We are with the Lord of History."
"We are With the Lord of History" [NOM Blog]

Makes sense (in nonsensical "culture war" terms) that NOM would get behind this kind of thing. We've always said that while "marriage protection" is NOM's stated goal, their underlying, perhaps more pervasive strategy is script-flipping. They want to change the stakes of this conversation, position this current civil rights conversation as being their own struggle over supposed gay persecution, so that for the first time in history, it will be the rights-strippers who history shines favorably upon. In that sense, Cardinal Biffi's "with the Lord of History" rhetoric fits like a gay love.

But despite it being non-shocking, we should not neglect the concerns attached to this mindset. It is an outlook that, by design, will more fully enrage like-minded people of faith every time an LGBT person gains a fortuitous new labor-fruit. As that can is more fully cracked open, none of NOM's carefully parsed language or measured sympathies will be able to control the way the masses receive and act on what pretty much sounds like a Christian call to arms.

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