Are we bigger than our bodies?

Pope Benedict XVI said, no, we are not in his annual Christmas message to the world, one of his most important speeches of the year, where he once again proclaimed that same-sex marriage is destroying “the essence of humanity.”

“People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being,” he said at the Vatican. “They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.”

He further went on to say, “When freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God.”

Could it be, as Pope Benedict suggests, that life truly is a shallow existence of “what you get is what you get”?

What would the Pope tell a child born a hermaphrodite, a condition in which someone is born with both female and male sex organs – a body given to him by God, by the way? Too bad? You deserve no one? Or perhaps the contrary: “Lucky you, you can have a relationship with whoever you want”?

And what about the Pope himself who has been “defined” by God as a male, given a penis, and yet chooses not to fall in line with that “identity” and chooses not to express romantic love to a female and chooses not to enter into intimate relationships? According to his own definition, is he not “denying” his own “nature” that God intended for him to share in intimacy with a woman and to reproduce? Is he not participating in his own freedom and creativity in an effort to self-define who he is and what he believes about why he is here?

Aren’t we ALL doing that very same thing?

Why are we being told to feel bound to our physicality when it comes to S-E-X, but celebrated when we demonstrate our capacity for greatness beyond our bodies in other ways?

My friend, Mark, whose body is partially paralyzed and riddled with unrelenting pain – again, the body given to him by God — climbed 108 floors of the Sears Tower in Chicago…and plans to do it again this year. I imagine it would be quite difficult to find anyone who would say Mark has “stripped himself of his dignity” by creating a new definition of himself that expanded far beyond his physicality.

But again, I get it. We are talking about the unspeakable, the shameful, the only-talked-about-in-a-whisper topic of S-E-X.

However, the Pope’s declaration of “Gay marriage, like abortion and euthanasia, is a threat to world peace” appears to be falling upon deaf ears as the Constitutional Court in largely Roman Catholic Spain upheld the law legalizing gay marriage last month, the British government announced it will introduce a bill next year legalizing gay marriage, and in France, President Francois Hollande has said he would enact his “Marriage for Everyone” plan within a year of taking office last May.

These are the visionaries, the writers of our New Cultural Story, the mold-shatterers and rule-breakers who do not believe in a God that makes mistakes. They are not buying into the twisted idea that God would create something so extraordinary and then make it wrong.

What these New Cultural Story global authors do believe in is Love. They do not believe same-sex marriage is destroying the essence of humanity, but rather that it IS the essence of humanity. They believe that love transcends everything and is denied to no one, that Love that has no rules and is certainly not reserved for only a select few to be experienced in a select way, and that the biggest continuing threat to world peace is not found, as Pope Benedict suggested, within the loving union of a same-sex partnership, but rather in a belief system that embraces and promotes a vengeful and judgmental God.

(Lisa McCormack is the Managing Editor & Administrator of The Global Conversation. She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team, a website offering emotional and spiritual support. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at

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