This Christmas, the Catholic Church came out swinging hard against LGBT equality and same sex marriage:
- At the Vatican, the Pope devoted much of his Christmas address to condemning the movement for LGBT rights, saying that LGBT people are going against their nature as ordained by God. Just a few weeks ago, in his "World Day Of Peace" message, he called LGBT equality a threat to justice and peace in the world.
- In the UK, the Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury used his Christmas address to compare LGBT equality to Nazism and Communism. The "communism" claim in particular seems to be a meme the Catholic Church really wants to push.
- And in Cameroon, the Catholic Archbishop of Yaounde declared that same-sex marriage is a "crime against humanity."
So... Happy Birthday Jesus?
I'm not a Christian. In fact, I've never been a Christian, and I obviously can't speak for people who are. That said, I imagine that if I was a Christian, I'd be pretty pissed off right now.
As if having one of your holy celebrations perverted into one of the most craven and debased exercises in greed, consumerism, and manufactured nostalgia in history isn't demeaning enough, now men whose focus is meant to be faith and piety are using the day honoring the birth of the Prince of Peace to engage in emotional and spiritual warfare against a persecuted minority.
But I'm not a Catholic or a Christian of any stripe. Rather, I'm a polytheistic pagan, whose practices include celebrating the wheel of the seasons. As I read the articles and quotes above, I was reminded of our own celebration at this time of year. The Winter Solstice is the longest night, a time to take shelter against the dark and the cold, and look with hope towards the coming spring as the days slowly grow longer.
If we're lucky and the gods are just, the hateful teachings of men like these will lose their power as the tide of acceptance of LGBT people continues its advance, just as the night and dark loose their power over us as the days lengthen and the air warms in the coming spring.
Now, here's what you need to know today: