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Trump Administration launches new "human rights" commission founded on principles of "natural law," a principle of conservative Christianity used to justify anti-queer discrimination.

federalregister.gov/documents/2019…
I spent a lot of time studying Catholic ethics and moral theology. So let's talk about natural law.
The important thing to understand is that it's framed in such a way that it's not a religious matter. It's a deliberate attempt to strip religious language out of religious doctrine to make it compatible with secular law.
Natural law, the idea maintains, is based on a rational observation of the world with an emphasis on a sort of teleological, or purpose-based, analytical approach. In Catholicism, the language used is "complementarity."
Same-sex relationships violate natural law, it goes, because opposite-sex relationships are of their very nature facilitative to the creation of life. How do we get to that conclusion?
It starts with the presumption that the sole purpose of sexual relations is procreation (Catholicism hedges on this a bit, and talks as well about a "unitive" aspect, but that's secondary). And, since sex is about procreation, sex which CANNOT procreate is in violation of NL.
Sure, they're willing (well, most of them) to make allowances for infertile couples based on the unitive aspect, but that's basically just there to get around arguments against NL's primary premise. It's sleight of hand, an exception made because the principle is unreasonable.
Ultimately, NL is profoundly reductive -- ironic that an institution founded on the notion that human beings are made in the image of God bases its sexual theology on an idea that makes us no different from animals.
But at its root, NL is an ex post facto justification of a religious idea: that homosexuality is corrupt, eo ipso. That idea was taught by Christianity well before natural law reasoning was ever devised.
The Church is very vested in the idea that it is rational; fides et ratio, faith and reason, that faith provides a light by which we can understand the world. So why the hell are they trying to separate NL from that framework? Because they want legal recognition for it.
"This isn't a religious idea. It's based on rational observation of the world." Sure, to a degree, except inasmuch it's starting with a conclusion and trying to create a justification for it. Because they ALWAYS start with the conclusion that queer is bad.
We saw an enormous increase in the Church's emphasis on natural law during the papacy of John Paul II. It genuinely pains me to have this conversation, because JP2 was my biggest hero for half my life. But he did more to lay the intellectual groundwork for this than anyone.
His emphasis on Thomistic personalism (especially his Theology of the Body, which uses Aquinas to erect an elaborate framework for human sexual existence) translates into the idea that to live contrary to one's telos (or created end) is to live an inhuman life.
In essence, to live a human life means to participate in an extremely narrow range of sexual behaviors that JP2 (again, in his seminal Theology of the Body) defines defines as component of man's dignity.
I know this is turning into a deep dive, but it's really critical to understand how this is being used, how it's being framed, and how it's being REframed.
What NL proponents do is take all of these principles, which are founded on an overtly Christian anthropology, and strip God out of it, hoping you won't notice that it no longer has any animating principles under the weight of its "rational" argumentation.
What do I mean? Well, any chucklefuck can see that het sex makes babies. But it takes a special kind of chucklefuck to make the leap that *all human sexual activity* therefore must conform to that standard. That's a religious principle appearing out of thin air.
It's a conclusion without an argument, a supposition masking itself as the end result of critical thought instead of its first principle.
So anytime the STATE starts talking about natural law, they're talking about a particularly Catholic idea stemming out of particularly Catholic reasoning with the end goal of justifying criminalizing, or at least destroying any legal recognition for, queerness.
It is a THEOLOGY being enunciated in the hopes that that will go over your head by masking the language.

Don't let them.

Never let them.
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