Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cruz Needs a Check-up from the Neck up

He just exudes love, doesn't he?
Keep standing against bigotry and foolishness, folks, because there's still a long way to go in the Philippines.

Archbishop-emeritus Oscar Cruz has proven himself to be a first class dingbat in the past, and he's working hard to keep that reputation alive.

Hot on the heels of Benedict's recent rant against gay unions as a threat to the future of humanity, Cruz set out to gleefully regurgitate his boss's madness to the masses in the Philippines.

Cruz's level of confusion astounds me, I mean literally floors me.  How a man can be alive for 77 years, yet remain utterly clueless and non-sympathetic to his fellow man, is beyond me.  Arrogance can, however, be blinding.

For instance, on January 13th he made this statement:  "Gay people also have human rights but they cannot force the Catholic Church to bless their unions."  Oscar, no one desires, or is setting out, to force your church or any other church to bless any union whatsoever.  That's the distinction between religious marriage and civil marriage.  You should know that by now, and if you don't, you can review the marriage equality laws of other countries.  It's really not that complicated.

How about recognizing the fact that this is a two-way street, grandpa Cruz?  Gay people don't want to force you to do anything.  What they want is for you to stop forcing them to remain second class citizens in their own country; for you to get your religious paws off their private lives as free Filipinos.  I'm sorry but the world does not revolve around your church.

The vocal retiree also said, "When gays want to be together, it is understandable that they could have partnership, understanding or contractual life, but not marriage.  This is not because the church says so but because human nature says so."

That statement is so ridiculous and elementary that it makes my head want to explode.  Human nature does not, in fact, say so.  Human nature includes a remarkable variety and fluidity of gender expression and sexual orientation.  It clearly is the church who is doing the "saying so" here, not human nature.

I always get a kick out of clergy trying to fit the expansive box of scientific knowledge into their eye-of-a-needle-sized limited dogmatic understanding of "natural law" and "human nature."  And I'm sorry, but same-sex marriage already is a reality.  You cannot wish it away.  It's here and it's here to stay, no matter how many rosary beads you have wrapped around your bony little wrist.

What does that even mean: "partnership, understanding or contractual life"?  Is he saying he would support a Partnership Bill in Congress?  I sincerely doubt it, but I'd love watching him have a meltdown if such a bill were submitted.  He'd likely decry it as being the same thing as marriage.  And an understanding?  What on earth is that?  It's good that he doesn't expound on his points, because I'm fairly sure he doesn't even know what he means.

But this comment has to be my favorite.  "There are now countries where gay marriages have lowered human dignity, especially belonging to the gay people themselves."

Awww, he cares about "the gay people."

Indeed there are several countries with gay marriages (sic) - I'm from one of them - and the number will only increase, but Cruz is entirely mistaken that marriage equality lowers human dignity.  Interesting how he lists no proof, no statistics, no professional opinions, and no examples.

Coincidentally, a recent Massachusetts study found the exact opposite of what Cruz posits.  It found that legalization of same-sex marriage improves the mental and physical health of gay men and women. This concurs with a 2006 study conducted in the UK.  Incidences of infectious disease drop, depression rates drop, and substance abuse rates drop among the gay community in countries where state-sanctioned marriage equality exists, which encourages monogamy and stability.

Not to mention the fact that the American Psychological Association and Australian Psychological Society have recently joined their European counterparts in stating their full support for marriage equality precisely because the freedom to marry equates to increased human dignity among gays and lesbians.  The summarized findings can be read here.

Sorry Cruz, you lose.

These types of statements from Cruz wouldn't be so bad if he was just a wing-nut on the fringes, but such is not the case in the Philippines.  Cruz, and other members of the CBCP, hold real sway.  Politicians fear their scorn, and the Catholic-majority populace (particularly the less-educated) look to the bishops and the CBCP for guidance on many issues of the day, believing they not only speak for Mother Church, but for God himself.

This is precisely why such ignorance must continually be actively refuted and fought against with scientific facts and life stories of real people who are being hurt by it on a daily basis.  We progressives must never relent or give an inch, because the reactionary establishment certainly won't be relenting any time soon, either.

Oscar, you've been retired since 2009, so please go away.  Go relax, drink your Ensure, and stop tampering with the progress of your nation.

Cruz's quotes taken from the Philippine Inquirer


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