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Monday, 29 July 2013

Pope Frances the Bigot and the Spin Doctor

The Pope has made a speech and suddenly everyone is falling over themselves hailing what a wonderfully progressive man he is and how he’s totally backed down on the homophobia.

Bullshit. Not only is it bullshit, but it is obscene and disgusting how many people are so quick and eager to swallow this man’s shit without any attempt to parse it through. The media reporting has been awful and it has been a major PR bonus for a man who is a grossly evil bigot and always has been

“It’s not for me to judge gay priests,” the pope says.

D’you know why? Because priests are celibate. Because for the last 3 popes the Catholic church has always said that they won’t judge gay people who are celibate, closeted or trying to be straight.

This is not progress. This does not change even a shred of Catholic attitudes or Catholic bigotry. It doesn’t change the fact the billion or so Catholics out there are supporting a grossly bigoted institution that attacks and dehumanises gay people every chance it gets.

The pope says he doesn’t want to marginalise gay people

Again, this is nothing new. The Catholic church has always claimed not to be homophobic, they have always claimed not to want to persecute or marginalise gay people. They have always claimed this - but their actions put the lie to the pretty speeches. Their hate speech put the lie to their pretty speeches. His hate speech puts the lie to his pretty speeches.

While he made that speech,
Catholic bishops are fighting against anti-discrimination laws in the US. Lack of anti-discrimination laws by definition marginalise gay people but the Catholic are there fighting - as they are fighting against GSAs, anti-bullying laws, anti-marriage laws and every other attempt to fight for equality we have. The Catholic church’s official stance is still that gay people are “disordered,” our love lives are “acts of depravity” and that we’re against “natural law”.

None of this has changed. Francis has changed none of that. He has continued to uphold the bigoted homophobia of the Catholic church. He is continuing to push the bullshit idea of “love the sinner, hate the sin” because they continue to try and make being gay something we do rather than something they are. They still deny our personhood.

Frances hasn’t changed that. He is every bit as much a bigot as the vile Benedict who was every bit as much a bigot as the vile Jean-Paul. He and his church will continue working to oppose all of our rights and our humanity, no matter how much it hurts us or how many of us die because of Catholic hate.

This is not progress. This doesn’t even resemble progress. Nothing has changed - but the media and an inordinate number of people are now willing to sugarcoat his bigotry because there are such damn low standards for accepting GBLT people’s right to exist as full people.

But you know one thing Frances is good at? Not compassion and certainly not decency, not with the hate speech he spouted. No, this man is awesome at PR. He is a bloody genius spin doctor. Whether it’s washing people’s feet or sitting in a chair and not a throne (did he sell the throne? No?), he knows how to make big dramatic empty gestures that don’t actually change anything but look so good and the media laps it up!

This pope is no better than his predecessors, but he’s already shown a devious ability to play to the crowd and ensure there will be people there to play apologetic for his bigotry.