Over at The Dish, Andrew Sullivan posted a video (below; for some reason it’s in semi-animation) explaining how he can be openly gay and still be a member of the Catholic Church.
Maybe it’s the animation, but he looks pretty tortured as he explains this: a visible sign of cognitive dissonance. Here’s a bit of the last half:
I just believe that the church’s fixation on defining us by a sexual act—a nonprocreating sexual act—to be [an] absurdly myopic, viewed the wrong way down the telescope. And I think it’s sustained, unfortunately, by a lot of emotionally crippled gay men who run the church. And they’ve done a great job in the last ten years of making sure that no one with an independent mind or spirit can really enter the seminaries.
. . . I’m not a Catholic because of issues like gayness. I’m a Catholic because of what I believe to be its revelation of the truth about everything. And either it’s true or it isn’t. And it’s possible for it to be true on some core levels, and yet mistaken, and misplaced, and misguided in other areas. And if you look at the history of the Church, it’s full of it. So I try and hang in there, and let God do the rest.
Whenever I get ticked off at Sullivan, I try to remember how tortured he must be (and it shows in the video) about trying to be a good gay Catholic. The problems are evident in just the two excerpts above.
First, the Catholic church’s policy is not just the product of a few twisted, “emotionally crippled gay men.” It is the official dogma of the Catholic church. Homosexuality is seen not only as “disordered,” but as a sin, one that, if acted upon, can send you to hell if you don’t confess it. By fobbing off church policy as the misguided notions of a few miscreants, he totally neglects the Biblical basis for the proscription of homosexual acts, one that would make it hard to ever change church policy. He also absolves himself from hypocrisy when attending church by somehow denying that the official stance of that church decrees Sullivan as a sinner.
Second, how does Sullivan know that the Church’s view of homosexuality isn’t part of the “truth about everything”? After all, a lot of Catholics, including important people in the Church, think that it is. Sullivan thinks that the revelation that homosexuality is a sin is simply a mistaken interpretation—of what seems pretty plain in scripture. So Sullivan re-interprets scripture as erroneous, cherry-picking the bits he likes and dumping the bits that make him a sinner.
He’s not a sinner, of course, because Catholic dogma is bunk. But the fact that he’s tortured about all this, and has to engage in the dubious and intellectually insupportable tactic of deciding himself which bits of revelation are true and which aren’t, shows the whole misguided enterprise of his remaining a Catholic. If he wants to have his own religion, one that makes gays acceptable, well, more power to him, but since he apparently accepts a lot of what the Bible says as true on “core levels,” his own faith will remain bunk.
I feel sorry for him. Religion poisons everything, including Andrew Sullivan.