(I posted this on Facebook as just a normal rant, but a few people wanted to share it, and couldn’t because I lock my FB to friends only. I’ve copy-pasted it here for those people, but be warned that it’s not a properly thought out post)
Now, the Pope doesn’t need me to defend him, and I disagree with what he said, and think it’s stupid, but he didn’t compare trans people to nuclear weapons.
The actual quote, before being turned inside out and upside down by Gay Star News, was:
“Let’s think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings,” he continues. “Let’s think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation.”
“With this attitude, man commits a new sin, that against God the Creator,” the pope says. “The true custody of creation does not have anything to do with the ideologies that consider man like an accident, like a problem to eliminate.”
Looking at this, he’s criticising:
1) Nuclear weapons
2) Genetic manipulation
3) “Gender theory” — the idea that gender exists on a spectrum.
The Gay Star News piece paraphrases bits, cuts sentences up and places them out of order, and — crucially — has a paraphrase about “people who ‘manipulate’ their bodies” that appears nowhere in the Pope’s actual statements.
Now, it happens that I think the statement itself is bloody stupid and worthy of criticism — nuclear weapons are a terrible evil, genetic engineering is something that could have very good or very bad uses, and the idea that gender is a spectrum is not only scientifically obvious but is also blatantly obvious to anyone who actually looks at the different ways gender presents itself in different people — but he wasn’t talking about trans people, he didn’t compare them to nuclear weapons, and frankly there are enough people out there *really* saying horribly bigoted things about trans people that it isn’t necessary to manufacture another one when you could throw a rock in a Guardian editorial meeting and hit half a dozen of them…