Even while foaming at the mouth in its antipathy toward same-sex marriage and defamation of Gay people, the Vatican is dancing as fast as it can in relation to its many sexual scandals.
“Sex” provides much of the root of homophobia: Such as the fear of sex; the fear of one’s sexuality; the fear of one’s being perceived as not clearly being in a (falsely) culturally approved and constructed dualistic box of gender performance and/or identification that is viewed by others as being appropriate to his/her anatomy.
It is no accident that the Roman Catholic Church is notoriously homophobic while at the same time having sexual scandals involving young victims that seems to know no bounds; offenses committed and facilitated by men who claim to be celibate heterosexuals who wear dresses and gowns.
Moreover, despite the admonition of the Apostle Paul that no one could or should forbid anyone to marry, all priests (who must, according to Roman Catholic doctrine, be men) must remain celibate.
Despite often stated “spiritual” reasons for mandated celibacy among the RC priesthood, the bottom line is that sexual expression is viewed by the Vatican as something that is largely antithetical to living a truly spiritual life that, to its way of thinking, can only accrue to those who remain celibate.
So, it’s no wonder that with this warped view of sex and sexuality, the RC Church and most of its clergy would feel, and express, revulsion against same-sex love, since many of their clergy are likely to be sexually fearful and/or sexually frustrated and repressed, unless they have been called by God to be celibate for God’s sake.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. (1 Timothy 4:1-5)
Despite the biblical admonition to not ever forbid anyone to marry, the RC Church contravenes that admonition, often attracting sexually and/or emotionally stunted people to its ranks, and rejects healthy Gay people from its seminaries in favor of those who are often self-loathing closet cases who live lives of almost unendurable suffering by having to repress this most primal urge; they sometimes externalize their repressed sexuality onto vulnerable young people.
And, to add insult to injury, the Vatican blames Gay people for their sexual scandals rather than blame itself for flouting Scripture regarding enforced celibacy; for rejecting healthy Gay people; for tacitly encouraging repressed, self-loathing closet cases; for consigning sexuality to an inferior position regarding the spiritual life.
The healthy integration of sexuality and spirituality is seemingly foreign to their views of sex and sexuality!
Similarly, it is no accident that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is notoriously homophobic while at the same time having a history of polygamy that was integrated into its theology until they were threatened by the federal government.
In 1890, “The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government could deny the right to vote or hold office to all Mormons who practiced the Law of Abraham, or who merely believed in plural marriage. Later in the year, they ruled that the Edmunds-Tucker Act was constitutional, and that the federal government could repeal the LDS church charter and dissolve the church.” So, given this court ruling, pragmatism overrode theology for the LDS Church! (“Polygyny during the 19th century“)
Given its checkered history of sexual/marital practices, it is remarkable that the LDS Church argues against same-sex marriage based on its belief in “traditional family values.”
So, we have the tragic situation where major denominations within the institutional Church are notoriously homophobic, and most denominations within that institutional Church are homophobic to varying degrees.
The Church should be in the vanguard of fighting for equal rights and justice for all of God’s children!
Yet, regarding most of the institutional Church, we see the very opposite, where so many intelligent, decent, and sensitive people accurately see much of what is proclaimed to be “Christian” to be nothing more than Reactionary sham religion that seeks to deprive people of equal rights and medical care; most of its gullible followers bearing false witness against God’s very own Gay children.
Those who seek to deprive Gay people of equal rights, and who defame them as much as they can, and who give money to keep them as second-class citizens who are often viewed as pariahs precisely due to the lies promulgated by homophobic clergy and their blind followers, are doing nothing short of serving the demonic!
Professor Emeritus of Sociology at California State University, Chico, Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker served as an ordained priest in the Congregational Catholic Church, a division of the Independent Catholic Churches International (ICCI). For many years he published a weekly column in the Sacramento Valley Mirror titled “Christianity and Society” where he dealt with a variety of social issues from a biblical and sociological perspective. He also published a blog called A Christian Voice for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Rights and the website Radical Christianity.