EURO-SINS AND THE NEW INQUISITION
For his inaugural invocation, the democrat Barack Obama selected the disreputable pastor (protestant clergyman) Rick Warren, an ardent opponent of abortion, gay rights and the use of condoms. His most recent action was burning condoms in the name of Jesus. Warren’s allies in African countries are impeding, by means of false propaganda, safe methods of AIDS prevention which will result in even greater diffusion of infections.
Snotty handkerchief for the starving was the title of an article describing the magnitude of a film star who donated her snotty handkerchief at an auction, earmarking the takings for food for the poor. Further, we could read how the rich mob spent Christmas in Maldives, Morocco and other parts of the world faced with global exploitation under the guise of tourism, while our fellow countrymen played golf in Marrakesh. Hitting golf balls across a golf course may well not be an intelligent sport, but it certainly is a luxurious ecological disaster. However, what newspapers fail to report about is the huge waste of water and use of pesticides and herbicides which destroy living species – a medium-sized golf course requires 400,000 square meters of water and 2.5 tons of pesticides annually. This is one of the reasons why tourist agencies continue selling New Year packages worth 20,000 Euros to the Slovenian elite. But apparently, this is a mere trifle. Namely, the European Union spends 2.4 billion euro annually for self-promotion.
The death of a sixteen-year old boy who was shot dead by the police on the streets of Athens on 6th December 2008 was forgotten in less than a month. The media reported about the riots in Greece as if they were a mere “incident,” and as long as the streets were cloaked in plumes of smoke and explosives were going off, and the scenes of street fights with police “defending” itself from “assaults” of anarchists were nourishing the bloodlust of broadcasting houses and TV audience. The natural revolt of generations of young Europeans against the unavoidable destiny of becoming the future jobless cannon foggers of mega-capitalists was denounced by the media as the actions of “violent demonstrators” who break cars and display windows out of mere boredom, while the police responsible for child murder were labeled as the defenders. Regardless of the repulsive media blockade, solidarity with Greek protestors flared up throughout Europe, including in Ljubljana. The kernel of the conflict is the global analogy of western society – production of alienation, slow death in the workplace and the hunting ground of capital, modernized illiteracy and spectacular superstition that strengthen the power of the masters, and universities as cathedrals of stupidity all inevitably result in street takeover, the eviction of servants to the existing order. Rejection of the state, capital and police; of a world with no future.1
The new Italian legislation known as Security Package restricts measures against immigrants; it introduces longer detentions, equates illegal immigrants with criminals, deprives them of the right to family, and stimulates hospitals to inform authorities on sick migrants. At the beginning of January 2009 in Rome, activists mobilized the public against greater segregation and racism towards immigrants. Over the last three months in Berlin, there have been recurrent attacks at the monument dedicated to homosexual victims of Nazism. Under Hitler’s regime, 54,000 gays and lesbians were convicted, while thousands died in concentration camps. In Germany, on other occasions too, there has been evidence of the increase of homophobic violence. The organization Maneo has pasted Berlin with posters of (assaulted) beaten-up gays, placing the blame for the violence on Neo-Nazis, young religious extremists and city authorities. The mayor Klaus Wowerveit is being called upon to provide for safety, while he goes on repeating that he is not a gay politician, but a politician who’s gay. Under his mayoralty, the city authorities abolished grants for programs on tolerance, safe sex and prevention of HIV/AIDS.
In Croatia, a twenty-one year old girl from Rijeka was released after a five-year detention in a mental hospital, to where she was sent by her parents for being a lesbian. A completely worn out young girl is suing the hospital, the Ministry for Health and the city of Rijeka due to inhuman treatment behind the walls of the psychiatric hospital. According to the Lithuanian Parliament, public information on homosexuality seems to have permanent consequences on child development, undermining family values. As a result, the law for protection of youth against homosexual content has been introduced. Recently, the Council of Europe has repeatedly blamed Lithuania for state homophobia. Lithuanian member of the European Parliament Šarunas Birutis complained about the gay family exhibition held at the Euro Parliament; he denounced it as vulgar and aggressive. The moral condition of youths is a point of concern also in Portugal, where youth football clubs prescribe a penalty charge of forty cents for “homosexual behaving in changing rooms,” while also prohibiting “buttock smacking.” In November last year, Slovenian president Danilo Türk hosted Lech Kaczynski, the Polish President, and a declared homophobe. On that occasion, Reartikulacija – notwithstanding the assurances given by the news services – did not get an answer to the journalistic question posed to the Polish president: How would you explain your stubborn, declarative perseverance in declining equality and human rights to gays and lesbians, both at the national and international level?
According to the report by the organization Human Rights Watch titled This Alien Legacy: The Origins of ‘Sodomy’ Laws in British Colonialism, more than half of the countries worldwide that have until now prosecuted homosexuality, are a legacy of the British colonial sovereignty. In 1860, the British introduced the Indian Penal Code, Article 377 of which punishes “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” with life imprisonment. From India through Africa and to New Guinea, regulations that derive from that same colonial law are still in use today.
Ever more recurrent assaults on homosexuality show that the Pope continues to be, and is ever more obsessed with gay sex. The Pope says that homosexual inclination is not a sin, rather that the sin is in a sexual act, for it implies the “destruction of God’s work.” Pope Benedict XVI disapproves of even those homosexuals who practice abstinence and are not sexually active, on the ground that they involve the “tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil.” He set up a violent campaign against decriminalization called upon by the UN. The Vatican, the only religious institution entitled to speak in the UN, is an entity without a democratic structure – a condition that applies to all other member states – and a (persistent) functional mistake of the UN.
On 18th December 2008, the UN General Assembly approved the declaration which sets out that international protection of human rights shall also include the sphere of sexual orientation and gender identity. In this historical document, the UN, for the first time in its existence, expressly condemned the violation of human rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals. It firmly condemned hate-murders (killings out of hatred), torturing, imprisonment and persecution of gays, lesbians and transsexuals worldwide. Among the sixty six signatory states was Slovenia, while the document was not approved by the USA, Russia, China and The South African Republic. The signatory states pointed out their commitment to protect the human rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation and sexual identity, and to abolish globally penal laws that persecute and sanction homosexuality. Currently, 86 states in the world legally prosecute gays, some of them also lesbianism, subjecting them to imprisonment or, at times, even life imprisonment. The death penalty applies in at least seven countries, such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, Mauretania, Nigeria and Pakistan. However, while opposing the death penalty generally, the Vatican seems to be in favor of it when it comes to homosexuals.
Convinced that homosexuals represent a global threat to the planet and may also endanger the survival of the human species, later on that same month the Pope called for ecological measures against homosexuality. He stated that saving mankind from homosexuals and transsexuals was just as important as saving the Earth from climate change or the rainforest from deforestation. Homosexual behavior leads to the self-destruction of the human race. It is no coincidence then, that for the “cleaning” of society, and for the clerical hygiene of moral depravity, ecology happens to be the nearest at hand. It is precisely the use of ecology as a guise for the ever more poisonous instigation against the rights of sexual minorities, and an ever more atrocious discursive eccentricity of the Vatican that bear testimony to the absolute incapability of religion to control human sexuality.
By mixing ecology with homosexuality, the Pope for the first time meddled directly in the theory of gender. According to the Vatican, gender theory blurs the distinction between sexes designed by the Creator, thus curtailing the biological identity of man and woman. “Listening to the language of creation” means to submit oneself to theocratic and ultra-patriarchal definition of what is the “only” and “undisputable” role of man and woman.
The attack on homosexuality instead of on hunger, war, poverty and indigence points to the Pope’s list of priorities. Ecological threat to the planet is by no means represented by gays, lesbians or transsexuals, but rather by the Church, religion, capitalism, greediness and consumerism. Homoactivists are justified in asking themselves why Benedict XVI is so obsessed with gay sex as to preoccupy himself with it virtually on a weekly basis. Some search for answers in the symptomatic coercive neurosis, and sarcastically make the point that without gay clergy the Roman Catholic Church could not function properly – for at least one third of the catholic clergy are homosexuals. If there were no gay clergymen, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, advisers and secretaries all dressed up in silk and gliding along in the Vatican palaces, the universal church would hardly have been able to spin its wheels. Transsexuals are roguishly calling upon the Pope to stop assaulting them, for he himself wears skirts, vestments, spangles and other insignia of womanhood.
Due to an active spreading of homophobia, at the beginning of 2009, the Dutch Foundation of Friends of the Gay Krant initiated a global campaign against Pope Benedict XVI. At the exhibition “In Hate We Trust,” a photograph of the Swedish photographer Elisabeth Ohlson-Wallin depicts the Pope standing on the top of a pile of half-naked human bodies, the living dead.
1 Anarhistična pobuda [Anarchic Initiative]. Ljubljana, 20. 12. 2008.
Tatjana Greif holds a PhD in archaeology. She is a lesbian activist, publicist, editor of the book ŠKUC – Vizibilija and the Journal for Critique of Science, Ljubljana.
Translated from Slovenian by Tanja Passoni.