AlterNet on Valentine’s Day: Pope Ruins Love, Sex, and Marriage

If your Valentine’s Day was a complete fail this year, it’s probably because you listen to Pope Benedict XVI’s advice, according to AlterNet’s Geri Silver. Because those Hallmark cards just don’t do the holiday justice, AlterNet’s Geri Silver felt obliged to wish her readers a Happy Valentine’s Day via “Pope Benedict XVI's Most Unromantic Quotes on Love, Sex and Marriage.” 

Silver plucked short controversial Pope Benedict XVI quotes from their vital context to attack them one by one in her latest article. She wasted no time explaining her perspective – or rather her brimming hatred – of the Church: “Whenever you need a reminder that absolutely nothing about your love life is acceptable, you can always rely on the good old Catholic Church for a solid unreality check” or, in other words, Pope Benedict XVI’s “backward rhetoric.”  

According to Silver, this “unreality check” reminded readers that using condoms, birth control, or any type of contraception meant, “Well, you’re basically a serial killer.” She continued the theme, saying, “And to all you smug married (straight) couples out there, he’s talking to you too. Married couples that opt for any birth control method… are,” according to Pope Benedict XVI’s very words, “negating the intimate truth of conjugal love.”

Wait, the Pope said couples who use contraception don’t love each other? Sounds bad. Especially bad when the context somehow disappears – or even the last part of the sentence explaining an openness to life.

With her concentration on Catholic controversy, Silver highlighted gay marriage to say, We all know the Pope thinks marriage is pretty great. But gay marriage,” according to Pope Benedict, is “an offence against the truth of the human person, with serious harm to justice and peace.” Again, disregard the reasoning on the issue, or the teaching that gays “…must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” by Catholics and that, “Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

And what anti-Catholic screed would be complete without mentioning the clergy sex abuse scandals? Silver cited Pope Benedict XVI’s opinion on that too – conveniently forgetting to also quote the Pope’s apologies or his meetings with abuse victims.

“Have you buried your face in your palms yet?” Silver concludes. Yes. If breeding hatred and misunderstanding of Church teaching doesn’t do it, what will? But then, the media often take the burden upon themselves to attack the Church and Pope

In her eyes, there’s hope: “Don’t let him kill the mood entirely—after all, he’s resigning!” Silver insisted, “Maybe the next pope will take a more progressive stance, allowing us all to enjoy future Valentine’s Days without the burdensome Catholic guilt that some have been forced to endure, and that continues to play an aggravatingly influential role in our government and laws.” 

So Silver is hoping the next Pope won’t be Catholic. In her words, “Well, we can always dream…”

Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center