terre thaemlitz writings

In Response To The Pope's Rant On Gender Forests Something-or-other...
- Terre Thaemlitz

Originally published on comatonse.com (Japan: Comatonse Recordings, December 24, 2008).


    "We need something like human ecology, meant in the right way. The Church speaks of 'man' or 'woman,' and asks that this order is respected. This is not out of date metaphysics. It comes from faith in the Creator and from listening to the language of creation, the despising of which would mean the self-destruction of humans, and therefore a destruction of God's work itself.

    What is often expressed and signified with the word 'gender' implies human auto-emancipation from creation and from the Creator. The human being wants to make himself on his own, and to decide always and exclusive by himself about what concerns him. But, in doing so, the human being lives against the truth and against the Creator.

    Rain forests deserve our protection, and the human being - as a creature which contains a message that is not in contradiction with his freedom, but is the condition of his freedom - does not deserve less."
    Pope Benedict XVI
    End of Year Address, Vatican City
    December 23, 2008

    "Does it really seem appropriate to talk about `gender' to all these poor folks who are unemployed or vulnerable and don't even know what the word means?"
    Paola Concia (in response)
    Left-wing Italian MP

Pope Benedict XVI

Rain forest in need of Catholic protection

Human in need of Catholic protection

Gaybashed but probably still Catholic
Homosaywhat? Merry fucking Christmas, everyone! Let us join the pope in a silent prayer for Christmas trees in rain forests everywhere...


I must say, after hearing the Pope's speech my heart immediately went out to all the Catholic transgendered lumberjacks. 2008's end of year speach from Vatican City was certainly not an easy one for them to hear. My next thought was how the Pope is breaking my Mama's heart, because she sooooooo wants to believe in the Church while still loving me as her child, and the molestation scandals have already tested her dear faith so much (I refer to the Church's scandals, not mine). Well, clearly the Pope is going through a crisis, the only solution for which seems to be lashing out rather than lashing oneself. Or perhaps he's managing to do both. Could it be the pressure of celibacy during this family-oriented holiday season? Or, more likely, has life as el Papa lost it's flare in a world where gay marriage is no longer an exclusive affair between male clergy and Jesus, and gender-amorphic drag is no longer the sole domain of the ordained?

What baffles me is how the Pope's rant could come as a surprise to anyone. "What? The Pope hates fags and fairies?" NO FUCKING SHIT! You dumbasses. The centuries-old history of Gnosticism laying at the core of all this Catholic bullshit placing celibate cultists at the top of the social ladder is ANTI-EVERYONE! (Gnosticism preceeds Christianity by hundreds of years. John the Baptist and his desert-dwelling cohorts were Gnostics sworn to denying all forms of 'pleasure,' from flavorful food to clothing to sex, as distractions of the Devil. It wasn't until around 300AD that Gnostic subsects took hold of Catholicism and celibacy became a mandatory condition of clergyhood.) And yet, in his perpetual denial of the flesh, the Pope and his cronies manage to live in a fucking gold palace. If Catholics can accept that hypocrisy without blinking an eye, imagine all the other less obvious hypocrisies being accepted by the sheeply flock.

The fact that religious people are upset or shocked by his statement only shows the depths of their own denial about longstanding views of the Catholic church, and the majority of all religions Christian and otherwise. What should be upsetting is the way in which Catholics (especially US Catholics) continue to operate in willing blindness, ignoring the radically oppressive tenets laying a the core of their faith while failing to push for true reforms (if that is what they indeed wish for - most in-depth discussions show that such Catholics are letting the Vatican do the dirty work while they feign political correctness). This kind of "selective faith" or "faith of convenience" is completely shallow, and only shows the weakness of those who wish to think for themselves but are afraid to do so. (Apologies to my parents.)

And to the pundits on 'our side' - setting aside the completely unsurprising yet eternally frustrating essentialism behind every response I have read so far (beware always spouting born-this-way 'queer creationism,' people!), as well as the way issues of gender and sexuality have been swept into one - I am appalled by Paola Concia's implication that 'gender' is irrelevant to the poor, and adding injury to insult, that it is too big of a word for our baby minds to comprehend. "Duhhh... 'gen...derrrr'...?"

It is a well establish fact that poverty rates among transgendered people, lesbians and gays in every nation are higher than average, with transgendered people and lesbians having it worse (FTM worst of all). There is also the unending global inequity between wages for men and women. In Japan, current statistics show that 70% of all working women earn less than ¥3,000,000 per year (approx. $25K USD), and you can be sure the overwhelming majority of the remaining 30% earn little more than that. The global reality of the relationship between gender and poverty is, of course, even more grim and urgent than in the First World.

So to Concia and the international press who mindlessly print her same quote over and over, I say you seem to be the ignorant ones who don't understand what the term 'gender' means. Let me dumb it down... Yes, it is in fact appropriate to talk about `gender' to all these poor folks who are unemployed or vulnerable and you think maybe didn't even know what the word meant until the Pope defined it for them instead of you. All day, every day!

Jesus Christ, I just had a horrible thought. Does this mean the entire discussion of 'gender' has been self-sabotaged and self-insulated to a point where the fucking Pope is more willing to discuss it than 'we' are? Excuse me while I go kill myself...

...Oh, wait. Suicide is a sin. I'd better get a devout Christian to do the killing for me.

Malcolm X-mas, each and every one!

X-mas Eve 2008

Related reading:
"El Papa y la Virgin" Hoax Explained
PDF Download 2.7GB (click to download)


El Papa y la Virgin photo hoax

I wrote this text a while back at the request of a daily "God Bless You" SPAM victim living in a Third World Catholic country where job applications require specifying one's religion, and atheism is dangerous to confess both publicly and privately. It was distributed anonymously.

The "El Papa y la Virgin" photo (right) was supposedly taken by a member of former Pope John Paul's security staff at the time of his attempted assasination. You may laugh, but hundreds of thousands of sheep sincerely accept this and other ridiculous farces as 'scientific.'

The struggle to escape religious conditioning may seem like a tangential struggle to many in the First World who believe they are free to 'choose' their faiths, but it is a real struggle rooted in a desire to overcome oppressive forms of social control. For most, a day not shaped by unwanted blessings and rituals is just a far off dream... First World or Third.

"Homosaywhat" was written in response to the following highly circulated article:
Pope's 'gender' warning angers gays
December 24, 2008
Agence France-Presse


A suggestion by Pope Benedict XVI that homosexuality is as much of a threat to the survival of the human race as climate change has sparked outrage among gay rights campaigners.

"It's the latest homophobic attack by this Pope," said Gustav Hofer, co-director of a documentary on the life of a gay couple in Italy called Suddenly Last Winter.

"The Vatican talks about homosexuality or transsexuality as if it were a whim, never as suffering," said Hofer, adding that the Roman Catholic Church "reduces sexual orientation to the sexual act as if it had nothing to do with a person's identity."

In his end-of-year speech at the Vatican on Monday, the Pope said gender theory blurred the distinction between male and female, and he called for "an ecology of the human being" to protect mankind "from self-destruction".

Gender theory, which the Pope referred to in English, explores how society designates fixed roles to people based on their gender and many gay groups see it as helpful to improving tolerance and understanding.

Amid a global financial crisis, "does it really seem appropriate to talk about `gender' to all these poor folks who are unemployed or vulnerable and don't even know what the word means?" left-wing Italian MP Paola Concia wrote in an open letter to the Pope. "People need words of comfort."

British campaigners, including some priests from the Church of England, also took the remarks as an attack on homosexuality.

Reverend Sharon Ferguson, chief executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, called the comments "totally irresponsible and unacceptable".

"When you have religious leaders like that making that sort of statement, then followers feel they are justified in behaving in an aggressive and violent way because they feel that they are doing God's work in ridding the world of these people," she said.

Reverend Doctor Giles Fraser, president of the pro-gay Anglican movement the Inclusive Church and vicar of a London parish, said: "The Pope is spreading fear that gay people somehow threaten the planet, and that's just absurd.

"As always, this sort of religious homophobia will be an alibi for all those who would do gay people harm. Can't he think of something better to say at Christmas?" he asked.

Mark Dowd, campaign strategist at Operation Noah, the Christian environmental group, said the remarks were "understandable but misguided and unfortunate".

Mr Dowd, who is gay, said: "If you study ecology seriously as any intelligent man would do, and the Pope is a fantastically intelligent man, you realise that ecology is complex, it has all sorts of weird interdependencies, and it is the same with human sexuality."

The Pope's remarks "betray a lack of openness to the complexity of creation", Mr Dowd said.

The Catholic Church has repeatedly spoken against gender theory, but Monday was the first time the Pope referred to it directly.

The remarks follow hard on the heels of the Vatican's refusal to join a United Nations appeal for the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality launched on December 18 by 66 countries.

More than 80 countries have laws against homosexuality, including nine in which it is punishable by death.

The Vatican is a staunch opponent of the death penalty, but fears the proposed UN resolution would encourage gay marriage.