Since the long-awaited papal encyclical ‘on care for our common home’ was published on the 18th June, progressives and campaigners of all types have enthusiastically hailed Pope Francis’ latest teaching – and for good reason.
Everyone has their blind spot. This Pope is doing GREAT good in the way of raising consciousness but the fundamental anti-woman misogyny of the church built on uber: patriarchal values is his blind spot. It’s well understood that poverty disproportionately impacts females and that one way to ensure poverty is to deny women birth control. Family planning goes a long way towards mitigating poverty. The Catholic Church is the major global obstacle to this very thing!
Also missing, apart from otherwise wondrously inspiring words about the fundamental connectivity of all living beings is recognizing that the way the Mother Earth is treated reflects how women across the world (and girls) are treated, and both of these phenomena tie in with the Biblical scripture that insists that a male God gave MEN dominion over the earth and all creatures therein.
I am grateful that the Pope is tackling the climate matter and global poverty. What’s glaringly absent is also tying both to the state of women and how the second class status of females works as the asymmetric foundation upon which the theology of resource (as well as human) exploitation–i.e. The Dominator Model–is built and maintained.
There are 3 prongs to this matter… and while it’s terrific that 2 are being openly discussed, the core prong is still being kept invisible… since it presents the greatest threat to the temples that patriarchy built.
It’s quite amazing that suddenly gays can marry and gay sex is everywhere in the news… but women are fighting the battles they fought decades ago in order to gain control of their own biological destinies.
There are lots of wealthy gay males who no doubt pushed the agenda. And how many gay males within institutional church structures, the military, or heads of big businesses? THAT is why the Gay Matter made it across lots of obstacles. Meanwhile, the plight of women remains the taboo subject that must never be openly exposed or remedied.
No mention of gender in all of this:
“But the entire letter is infused with his appeal for humanity to protect the most vulnerable, who are the “majority of the planet’s population” and yet treated “as an afterthought” in international political and economic discussions, if not “treated merely as collateral damage” (49). Pope Francis repeatedly rails against our collective indifference to widespread human suffering, as revealed by our lack of indignation “at the enormous inequalities in our midst” (90), as well as our lack of response to the tragedies of migrants who often “flee from the growing poverty caused by environmental degradation” (25). In this light, he goes on to describe the present ecological crisis as “one small sign of the ethical, cultural and spiritual crisis of modernity”, and asserts that “we cannot presume to heal our relationship with nature and the environment without healing all fundamental human relationships” (119).”
“Our inability to think seriously about the well-being of future generations is linked to our “inability to broaden the scope of our present interests and give consideration to those who remain excluded from development” – hence the need for intra-generational solidarity as well as a fairer sense of intergenerational solidarity (162).”
The truth is not about “our inability to think seriously about the well-being of future generations,” it’s the product of expunging the countervailing voice of The Mother. Every aspect of decision-making for CENTURIES has been attributed to males and in particular, empowered patriarchs who show 100% homage to God, the father. In other words, missing from the equation of reverence is any acknowledgement of the female counterpart: the Great Mother.
And it IS this absence that has led to such unholy abuse of Mother Nature and women and girls in so many places. A cursory look at rape levels, the industry of sex trafficking, and the culture of porn substantiate my case.
The MOTHER protects and nurtures the young, the next generation. The healthy father-male-masculine partner would arguably protect all; but militarism, unhinged from any respect for the built-in Yin-Yang balance is so out of control as to turn virtually anyone or anything into an enemy to be attacked, conquered, dominated, abused, exploited, or obliterated. THAT is the ruling model and it’s the direct result of expiating the Divine Feminine counterpart from all meaningful equations.
Those only capable of superficial analyses, or otherwise too proud of their masculine identities (or the order that patriarchy built) to look deep enough into what’s created the current paradigm… see that in modern times there are women in powerful roles. Never a majority, and 9 times out of 10, these women have been chosen BECAUSE they pose no threat to the system that patriarchal institutions built… these people make the bogus argument that women are no different from men. They can’t seem to see that the dominant paradigm only rewards behaviors that conform to its limited metrics.
This is how the ONE–male view–subsumes all else unto itself and then claims that no other alternative is viable. This argument is Darwinian to the extreme. It follows the logic that whomever has the most efficient weapons wins, and is thereby granted permission by this same male God to take possession of lands and resources that belong to others. And anyone who thinks this Crusades mentality is dead and buried should do some research on what’s going on inside the U.S military today.
There is no more callous delusion than the idea that God wants soldiers to kill other persons. And it is THAT belief, resurrected as a New Crusades which IS being promulgated throughout the U.S. military… convenient, isn’t it, when the goal on the part of dark military powers and their financial beneficiaries is to annihilate the entire Middle East… it would seem.
Therefore, the strained use of the WE frame which subsumes the voice/witness/experience/sensibilities and counterbalancing values of the Feminine into itself is an argument for more of the same insanity that’s murdering this planet. It makes other–in the form of its Divine complement and intended ideological counterpart–invisible! I speak for SHE that has long been absented from all decision-making tables. And there are MILLIONS more like me! WE will not allow our voices to be subsumed into that of the dominant male and the paradigm that HE built.
My favorite quote is >>>
“We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it”.
That about covers it any which way you look at it.
And so, what are We going to do about it? In real practical terms? How will We unwrap this ideological / political / economic construct, unbuild these death machines, and practice lives that harmonize with the living Earth?
Folks are generally unaware of how deep and yet easily identifiable the need for the Catholic Church to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery actually is.
Appeal to the Pope to renounce the 15th century church documents that justify the colonization and oppression of indigenous peoples
“The Doctrine of Discovery is a series of papal bulls, or decrees, that gave Christian explorers the right to lay claim to any land that was not inhabited by Christians and was available to be “discovered.” If its
inhabitants could be converted, they might be spared. If not, they could be enslaved or killed.”
Steve Newcomb, author of among other books 'Pagans in the Promised Land" speaking at a conference on the Doctrine of Discovery in 2012. This is a profoundly rich expose of language and ideas with the elegance of an indigenous perspective backed by extensive documentation.
Thanks OG for consistently addressing this specific topic, repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery. Also props for your consistent focus on the need to seek indigenous leadership in abandoning the machineries of death that are woven into the fabric of “modern” culture, consciousness, and the economy.
i regularly point out in these threads, the inability of most of us “moderns” to grasp the fact that genuine “anti-colonialism” and “anti-racism” require deep restructuring of basic elements of society and the economy. Not just restructuring of words, or symbols, or communications, but fundamental restructuring of land, and countries, and wealth.
Who “owns” what? Based on what? What do we do about it?
I answered you on the Atcheson thread. It’s amusing that you copycat me in calling out “Andrew Boston’s” One-Trick-Pony comments, but apparently you’re doing something similar in asking me to answer in pragmatic terms, with a full-court set of instructions, in a frame consistent with your own belief system. Soldier boys… you don’t even recognize the loud emanations of your inner Authoritarian. Ha ha ha.
I also recognize the subtext of this comment of yours and how it’s aimed at a “little thing like gender”:
“Not just restructuring of words, or symbols, or communications, but fundamental restructuring of land, and countries, and wealth…”
Pay no attention to that penis behind the curtain. It’s all just a world of one type of sexual organ and one being who oh, so coincidentally thinks, looks, talks, acts, and believes like… you guessed it… a white male! NOTHING else is valid, right???
As always, you cannot respond to me as a person, but only as the demon construct in your mind.
It’s so complex and devious! webwalk only replies to AB in order to steal SR’s meme’s to appear legitimate!
You should look up the word “solipsism.” You seem to truly believe that everything that happens, only happens in relation to you.
And of course the actual, practical effect of your latest smear, is to deflect from the Doctrine of Discovery. So you are carrying water for the patriarchy!
So trapped in your ego, you react defensively to everything as if your centrality, and your very existence, are under threat. Another patriarchal construct that defines how you operate here!
Also in your distraction posture, by insulting penises and writing a fake quote as if i were subtexting a “little thing like gender,” you clearly aim to provoke a knee-jerk response, to deflect from the matter of: What are we to do?
You are mistaken, sister. i’m going to keep returning to the questions you always seek to crush:
In the very little time remaining, based on our understanding, our analysis, our love, our life, and in the shadow of our death:
- What are we to do?
- How are we to live?
- What actual efforts to live and work in community and solidarity with each other; in harmony with the Earth; and in opposition to the machinery of murder, shall we consider, and attempt?
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Well, we could all start with what we know NOT to do. But, that would honestly lead to mass arrests, people being shot and killed here on the orders of people we elected or, by the people who are appointed by the people we elected. Property rights trump human rights, even in the commons that we all paid taxes to have and share. A woman over at FDL said the most honest thing, imo, about all of this mess when Freddie Gray was murdered. She simply pointed out the obvious, " everyone knows black lives don’t matter. " She’s historically 100% accurate. Extrapolate that out and say to Pope Francis, " Native American lives don’t matter. " To quote the genius Randy Newman, " it’s money that matters. " That was over two decades ago. To translate the old French saw, " Save yourself, if you can. " Ain’t nobody else here but us chickens, ain’t nobody here, at all.